Is the 1% Beginning to Worry?

After President Obama’s State of the Union speech this year, I blogged about the emphasis on wage equality and the continued decline of the middle class. Since that time, unions and other organizations have continued to fight to move the minimum wage up and there have been some successes, including Seattle’s increase in the minimum wage to $15.

Nick Hanauer, Seattle entrepreneur (Photo Credit – Politico)

A recent article in Politico, The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats, by Nick Hanauer, a Seattle entrepreneur, may be an indication that those who are benefiting by a successful middle class …read more

Children are the Future: Let’s Listen

Everyone knows that children are our future, and the city of Boston put their money where their mouth is. Boston recently held the “Youth Lead the Change” project, with help from the Participatory Budgeting Project. This was the first youth-led participatory budgeting process in a U.S. city which empowered young people, ages 12 to 25, to decide where 1 million dollars of public capital should go to best improve their communities. [1]

Participating youth were able to vote in four categories for projects that would better their communityvia text and voting stations. Projects had to be for brick and mortar …read more

After Soldiers Protect Us, Who Protects Them?

I recently read a disturbing article in the Baltimore Sun that quoted a Veterans Administration report that there is an average of 22 suicides a day by veterans. 22 a day. Where are we as a nation if we cannot help and support those who risk their lives to protect us?

The website, Veterans and PTSD shares these statistics from a major study done by the RAND Corporation (full pdf of study), the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Administration, and the US Surgeon General.[i]

at least 20% of the over 2.3 million American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD …read more

Is Ceasefire Baltimore’s Answer?

Baltimore has seen 33 murders this year. We are 44 days into 2014. After a more hopeful 2012 where Baltimore had its 2nd lowest murder rate* since the late 1980’s this is particularly striking. Communities are reeling and wanting answers. I was at a community meeting last night that had over 500 participants. Mayor Rawlings Blake has recently announced new crime fighting strategies in her State of the City address like implementing Operation Ceasefire and opening 24 hour Youth Connection Centers.

Operation Ceasefire had three components. Recognized gang members would be brought in under probation or parole …read more

Outrageous Measures

In Texas, as a woman you can’t make choices for your body whether you’re living or deceased. We’ve spoken about the battle for women’s rights in Texas like the abortion regulations that are being passed that violate federal laws in order to severely limit women’s access to abortions. The courts have now escalated to keeping a dead woman on life support to incubate the fetus inside her.

Malise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she was found unresponsive and later declared brain dead. As her family prepared to say goodbye to her, they were told that due to a Texas …read more

Things That Made Us Go Hmmmmmm…

Thinking RFID (Photo credit: @boetter)

In keeping with Campaign Consultation’s theme of “things that made us go hmmmmm in 2013” we have compiled a short list of some of the items that made the Eyes Wide Open team go hmmmm this year. Please add in the comments below any other events that were particularly hmmmm-worthy in 2013.

US Government Shut Down

There were numerous cringe worthy moments in the US government this year, many which continue to linger, but arguably the one that stands out the most was the 2 week shutdown of the federal government. Not only was …read more

A year goes by, not much has changed.

In the year since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

1,500 gun bills were considered 109 passed 2/3 of those were to loosen restrictions and ease access

The NY Times recently wrote a piece that did an in-depth analysis of state gun laws that have passed in the year following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I wasn’t surprised to see that the gun lobbyists were successful in the fear mongering that more guns will protect us from people that shouldn’t have been able to get guns in the first place.

I’ve written about gun control before, specifically regarding …read more

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose

The war against women’s rights is being waged in many states, but none quite as publicized as Texas. We’ve written about Wendy Davis’s astonishing filibuster and the social media campaign it spurred into action. Now the next generation of #standwithWendy has arrived. A pop up telethon took place on Monday night to raise money for women who were suffering under Texas’ dangerous abortion laws.

The telethon took place for three hours and was accessible via the internet site www.ladypartsjustice.com. If you missed it you can go back and watch it now. You also have the …read more

Keep the Health Care Baby; Toss the Technology Bath Water

Bath-time (Photo credit: Photo-Fenix.com)

On one recent evening, as I was flipping channels to get to my favorite news program, I came across a television game show called Let’s Ask America. It’s sort of the Family Feud meets Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Okay, so I like game shows and the news. The concept of the show is that using Skype, four contestants play from their homes responding to questions with two to four possible answers. The answers are based on surveying Americans from various walks of life – moms, business people, high school students, etc. On this …read more

Lawyering Up Before Birth

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, there are laws in place that allow authorities to detain pregnant women for substance abuse. The Wisconsin fetal protection law, which was passed in 1998, allows child-welfare authorities to forcibly confine a pregnant woman who uses illegal drugs or alcohol – and who refuses to accept treatment – “to a severe degree.” Proponents of the law say that it is intended to protect mothers and babies. The first federal challenge of this law was filed this month. What could be wrong with this well-meaning law?

The law disproportionately affects …read more