Here’s a little something so you can head into the weekend informed.
• The SEIU put together a rally of over 1,000 members in Sacramento today, demanding a budget solution. More are expected in Sacramento, San Francisco and Fresno tomorrow. Given the desperation, I see nothing wrong with taking it to the streets. You can also contribute to their letter-writing campaign to the Governor here.
• Here are a couple of real victories for organized labor and working people. First, UNITE-Here’s workers won a court decision that will expand the Living Wage ordinance in Southern California and gives 550 laundry workers a better chance to sue Cintas for back wages. Speaking of back pay, TV networks settled two class-action lawsuits with reality-show workers for $4 million dollars. These workers were made to falsify time cards and work up to 20-hour days without overtime or meal breaks. I have some friends in the industry who were parties to these lawsuits and I’m very happy they reached a good conclusion. The fight continues.
• The Senate GOP is slow-walking the confirmation of Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary, which is annoying. She is more than qualified and her views on the Employee Free Choice Act, which is a legislative fight, are hardly germane as well as well-known. She deserves a vote and not this nonsense. America needs a friend to labor at the Labor Department again.
• I have no idea why Rocky Delgadillo is running for Attorney General again. Rocky has been a real hero in fighting insurance industry malfeasance like rescission, but his recent troubles over his wife running his city-owned SUV into a pole (and she didn’t have a license) and paying for it with city money is a 30-second ad waiting to happen. Maybe he should wait out a cycle?
• The FDA has approved a Menlo Park-based company for a human trial for a stem cell treatment, the first ever in the US. This is not just a victory for science but could prove to make California a real leader in medical therapeutics. We need some expansion in industry here, anyway.
• Shorter Phil Bronstein: Leave Bush ALOOOOOONE!