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George Gresham

Stories by George

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Remembering the 1963 March on Washington

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, let us remember...

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Beyond the blue wave

Despite the pundits’ election night pronouncements, last month’s election truly resulted in a blue wave that should fundamentally transform developments in our nation’s capital.

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Remember Selma

Nov. 6 we will have an opportunity to voice our opinion about our nation’s direction. We dare not squander that opportunity; far too much is at stake.

Stepping up the resistance

Last month, we learned that corporate tax receipts are near a 75-year low as a share of the overall economy and that the federal budget deficit is increasing far faster than the White House and its congressional allies had predicted.

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A new rallying point

The last session of the Supreme Court produced a host of decisions that turned back the clock on social, political and economic justice. 

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The labor movement lives

The labor movement lives

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Working women show the way

During March, Women’s History Month, it is fitting to pay tribute to these leaders whose contributions are sorely under-recorded and underappreciated.

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Advancing Dr. King’s legacy

This month we celebrate the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth.

Women are on the front lines

Each March we pay tribute to the generations of women who have made incalculable contributions to our nation, and we recommit ourselves to the ongoing struggle for women’s equality.

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The path ahead

One month after Election Day, many of us are still fighting through our shock and grief while trying to better understand the reasons for Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

Election Day and beyond

We in 1199SEIU have been in high gear since September, pulling out the vote for Hillary Clinton and labor-friendly candidates for Congress and state houses.

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It’s GOTV time

Not in at least a half-century have we witnessed a national presidential election in which the candidates hold such vastly different views.

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Climate change: challenge and opportunity

Heavy rainfall and historic flooding in Louisiana last month took the lives of 13 residents and damaged 60,000 homes.

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Economic justice is tied to racial justice

For too long, much of the U. S. labor movement has been fighting the corporate class with one hand tied behind our backs.

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We celebrate historic minimum wage increase

Last week, the New York State Legislature reached a historic budget agreement that puts the state on a path to a $15 minimum wage. The legislation ensures that millions of low-paid, hard-working New Yorkers will receive much-needed wage increases.

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Our history is US history

During African-American History Month, we are reminded that the struggles and victories of people of African descent are central to our nation’s progress.

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Why we’re marching on King Day

Jan. 18, millions around the world will observe the birthday of our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Political costs of inequality

As we approach year’s end, justice and equality advocates can point to important gains.

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For low-wage workers, the time has come

Nov. 10, thousands of 1199ers will take to the streets, as will thousands across the U.S., to demand a $15 an hour minimum wage.

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Cuomo helps low-paid workers come out of the shadows

I proudly took the stage at the Jacob Javits Center Sept. 10 with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Vice President Joseph Biden and other leaders to announce Cuomo’s “Campaign for Economic Justice,” which seeks to make New York the first state in the nation with a $15 minimum wage.

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Keeping our eyes on the prize

Saturday, Sept. 12, I will be marching shoulder to shoulder with union sisters and brothers in the New York City Labor Day Parade.

Union Matters

With more than 20 candidates running for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, we health care workers—the largest single sector of the American workforce—are asking ourselves, who will speak for working people?

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Home care is a vital part of equality fight

Economic inequality already has emerged as an issue in the 2016 elections.

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Home care a vital part of equality fight

Economic inequality has already emerged as an issue in the 2016 elections.

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Freddie Gray and the Baltimore time bomb

Langston Hughes opens his powerful poem “Harlem” with the question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” He ends with another question, “Or does it explode?”

Fight for $15: Raising the wage floor

April 15 is Tax Day. For many of us, it also is a reminder of the disparity between what working people pay in taxes versus what the 1 percent pay.

Honoring our unsung heroes

I’m proud to have been part of a delegation of 1199ers that went to be in Alabama this month to retrace the footsteps of our heroic sisters and brothers whose courage and sacrifice helped forged a key victory in our ongoing march to equality: the right to vote.

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A better way to handle juvenile crime

New York is one of only two states where 16- and 17-year-olds are automatically tried for crimes as adults. Teens tried as adults are 34 percent more likely to be re-arrested for felony crimes than their peers in the juvenile justice system.

The best of our nation’s history

A major goal of Black History Month is to more fully integrate our long journey into our national narrative, but we are not there yet. Not nearly enough of our schools, educators and leaders know or are willing to acknowledge the struggles and contributions of African-Americans to our nation’s journey and progress.

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The Fight for $15

2015 presents daunting challenges for working people and progressives. Because last November’s elections saw the nation’s most conservative legislators capture the U.S. Senate and increase their hold on the House, the next Congress is expected to bring more obstruction and renewed attempts to reverse recent and past achievements.

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Defeating Ebola

As president of a health care workers union, my primary responsibility is to defend the interests of our members and their patients, families and communities

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The power of the ballot

One month from now, our nation’s voters will head to the polls.

The crimes of the Kochs

Last month, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted to sever its ties with the United Negro College Fund over the UNCF’s decision to accept a $25 million grant and to participate in a summit with the billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch.

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We’re sticking with Rep Charlie Rangel

An effective labor union supports its organizing efforts with robust political and legislative action.

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Justice for home care workers

Home care workers today face a major challenge as the health care industry embraces managed long-term care (MLTC), a system that streamlines the delivery of long-term services to people who are elderly or disabled and who wish to stay in their homes and communities.

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Lessons of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

This year’s African-American History Month takes place a half-century after one of the most important years in our nation’s history. On July 2, 1964, after seven weeks of a vicious filibuster by Southern senators, the Civil Rights Act (CRA) was signed into law.

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The hard work begins

There is now a consensus among New York political observers that Bill de Blasio was elected mayor in a blow-out largely because his campaign theme of “A Tale of Two Cities” spoke to voters’ concerns about the growing inequality and the struggle of working families to live in the city. Mayor de Blasio, NYC, Working Families, Occupy Movement, Economy, Homeless Population, Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid

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Nelson Mandela mourned like Martin Luther King

The word “icon” has become a cliché after careless overuse, but in the case of Mandela, the term is absolutely appropriate.

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Bill de Blasio’s vision of one New York

Congratulations to Bill de Blasio

Holding our nation hostage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, went through a tortuous journey before being passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld ACA’s constitutionality. The ACA is the law of the land.

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We’re standing with de Blasio

We at 1199 SEIU count as friends most of the New York City’s Democratic candidates for mayor. None, however, have stood with us as consistently and steadfastly as Bill de Blasio.

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Continuing the March on Washington

Recently, race has taken center stage in our nation’s discourse. George Zimmerman’s acquittal, the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights decisions and the bankruptcy of Detroit are among the events that are inextricably tied to our nation’s relationship with its people of color. Our nation’s troubled history with its non-white citizens is central to its long journey to democracy and economic equality. In that respect, it is instructive that our nation’s first African-American president, in recent comments on widening economic disparities, has linked racial equality to economic equality.

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Down to the Ground Game

The presidential candidates have made their cases. There's not much left to be said. President...

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We are the 99 Percent

The Occupy Wall Street movement (#OWS) has captured the imagination of our nation and the...

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In the path of Dr. King

his week, we commemorated the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of one of our nation's...

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Time to put on our marching shoes

It gives me great pride that on Aug. 28, a 30-foot statue of Dr. Martin...