Don't petition the White House, Use Change.org

Don’t petition the White House, Use Change.org

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly wanting to secede from the United States. Texas leads the way with more than 100,000 people asking the White House to address the issue. This is the same state governed by Rick Perry who drummed up his base of supporters with calls for seceding prior to his Republican bid for President. The irony seemed lost on him. Governor Perry is obviously not a viable option to lead the cause. He hardly put up a fight against a weak group seeking his party’s nomination. I also question...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s move toward progressive values. It appears that Democrats will pick up a couple seats in the lower chamber but the real change happened on the senatorial level. Voters said no way to Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after they attempted to scapegoat women and downplay the trauma of rape and sexual abuse. Furthermore, women won in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Wisconsin for their first terms. All four of them will be more progressive legislators than their predecessors. In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin will be the...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen. Mourdock joined a club made exclusively of Republicans but a club that seems to be growing as the November election nears. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made a reprehensible comment about exceptions for the life of the mother following his debate. “There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.” Complete crap as this woman explains. Of course who can forget Missouri...

Six Major Labor Leaders Pressure Change.org

Jul 17, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments

In a bold move, one showing solidarity in the labor movement, six union presidents wrote a letter to Change.org’s founder and CEO Ben Rattray that encourages him to clearly articulate his company’s position on workers’ rights and collective bargaining.

While we are encouraged by the fact that you have decided to end your relationship with both StudentsFirst and Stand for Children, we are very concerned that you have not yet defined a clear policy regarding prospective clients who have a history of attacking workers and supporting the dismantling of public services. An unequivocal public statement from you articulating Change.org’s position on collective bargaining, and on workers’ rights more generally, would go a long way toward clarifying what your brand represents.

The letter, dated July 10th, comes in the wake of Change.org’s decision to cease its work with Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst organization once the contract ends. Last month Stand for Children ran a petition on the progressive for-proft company’s site asking for Chicago teachers and the Board of Education to come to the bargaining table. All the while, Stand for Children has worked to undermine the teachers union. Progressive community pressure that started from a Chicago teacher forced Change.org to do the right thing.

Labor leaders point to Change.org’s own mission statement:

We accept sponsored campaigns from organizations fighting for the public good and the common values we hold dear – fairness, equality, and justice. We do not accept sponsored campaigns from organizations that consistently violate these values, support discriminatory policies, or seek private corporate benefit that undermines the common good.

They highlight the contradiction of it when the company works with organizations promoting anti-union policies:

Organizations that weaken workers’ rights and facilitate the privatization of public services undermine the common good for private corporate benefit. Experience has shown that when these services upon which the public depends are opened to corporate interests, considerations of equal access, fairness and quality become much less important than profitability.

During the initial dustup I wrote “Change.org says they do not take any official position and only asks that the organizations are ethical in their practices and policies.”

Promoting oneself as progressive and growing because of progressive support should mean holding progressive values – believing workers should have a voice at the table with their employers is an essential progressive value.

Signing the petition include: Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, Randi Weingarten of American Federation of Teachers, Lee Saunders of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Larry Cohen of Communication Workers of America, Leo Gerard of United Steelworkers, and Edwin Hill of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The letter (posted in full below) leads one to believe the labor unions could initiate a boycott of Change.org if the company does not take a stand in favor of workers’ rights. The company, founded in 2006 by Ben Rattray, has taken strong stands in favor of gay rights, immigrants and women’s rights. Why should the rights of workers be excluded?

Change.org’s spokesperson Benjamin Joffe-Walt replied to the Huffington Post:

“As we’ve noted, Change.org is undertaking a company-wide process to evaluate and clarify our client policy. As part of this process, we are reaching out to thousands stakeholders across the Change.org community through surveys and in-person meetings, including with the organizations represented in this letter. We are eager to engage with the millions of people who interact with Change.org every day, and we we will continue to actively seek input from this diverse community as part of this process.”

Did they do the same thing on other progressive issues?

The pressure on Change.org continues for now.

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