Blue Cross Loses Its State Tax Exemption in California

Little Rock     The state of California in an unusual and precedent setting move withdrew the state tax exempt status of Blue Cross Blue Shield of California.  The Los Angeles Times said they did so “quietly,” but trust  me on this one, their action will reverberate with a loud roar  throughout the soft chairs and well-appointed […]

Important Suit to Stop Diversion of Foreclosure Relief Funds for Other Purposes

Peterborough    Three California-based nonprofits, the National Asian American Coalition, COR Community Development Corporation, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition sued Governor Jerry Brown and his team in California demanding replacement of $369 million obtained for the state for mortgage foreclosure relief and diverted to pay for state debts.  The suit alleges that according to […]

Higher Living Wages Somewhere, Maybe? $15 Per Hour, Unlikely!

Labor DayLittle Rock       A couple of days ago there was an article in the Times that examined the call by some fast food workers through their publicity strike for $15 per hour as their minimum wage.   The reporters wrote of experts and economists being “flown to Las Vegas” for urgent strategy sessions on how […]

Richmond’s Fight to Use Eminent Domain to Stop Home Foreclosures

New Orleans   Talking to community activists this week who are among the sparkplugs behind the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) in Richmond, California, one of the hot topics was the investigation by the city of whether or not eminent domain might force refinancing of houses facing foreclosure that are “underwater,” where owners owe more than market […]

Half-a-Loaf: The Hard Lessons of Elections

New Orleans  As we peel more layers off the onion of the recent election, there’s more good news and more bad, but there are also refresher courses that remind us of lessons we’ve painfully won, but are forced into detention to review yet again.  The hardest is often the tough lesson of elections:  it is […]

State Initiatives Move the Needle on Key Issues in USA Elections

New Orleans  Obvious disclosure:  I’m a huge proponent of the strategic and tactical value of local and statewide initiative on our issues to build organizational power and actually win campaign results.   This is obvious given the number of living wage, lifeline utility, sales tax on food & medicine, generic drug, minimum wage increase, and single […]