On January 15th, 41 new students attended SLU’s Spring 2020 orientation. Students got to meet their spring cohort classmates and other current SLU students, and hear from faculty, advisors, and staff from career services, library services and IT. We look forward to what this wonderful new class of students will bring to our school. Welcome!
The New Labor Forum has a monthly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
With this newsletter we offer advance reading of a feature article from the January 2020 issue of New Labor Forum. In it, Harold Meyerson examines the forces that have made California, once a bastion of conservatism, now the bluest state in the union. Cautioning against the facile formulation that demography is destiny, Meyerson suggests demographic trends don’t adequately explain California’s leftward shift. He tells the story of the emergence of a savvy and determined Latinx-labor coalition that transformed the political landscape, enabling the passage of a slew of recent groundbreaking legislation protecting workers, immigrants, and the environment. We provide a summary of that legislation here . We also include an article fromCity & State New York , discussing the New York State legislature’s yet unsuccessful efforts to keep pace with west coast counterparts by enabling the reclassification of whole groups of gig workers as employees.
Finally, if one person can be credited as the architect of California’s political transformation, Meyerson suggests it was the former Miguel Contreras, son of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico, who in 1996 became the executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Back in 2002, at the apex of his leadership, New Labor Forum ran an interview by Kent Wong and Ruth Milkman with Miguel Contreras, in which he describes the disarray within organized labor he confronted early on at the fed, and the strategic organizing undertaken that would later lead to a series of remarkable victories for labor, immigrant, and working-class communities. We include that interview here.
Table of Contents
The “Blue-ing” of California / Harold Meyerson, New Labor Forum
Here Are The 2019 Bills California Has Passed So Far — Now It’s Up To Newsom / CalMatters, LAList
Is there any hope for gig workers this session? / Annie McDonough, City & State New York
Interview with Miguel Contreras / Ruth Milkman and Kent Wong, New Labor Forum
On December 3rd, SLU held an evening forum entitled “Beyond Resistance: A Progressive Immigration Agenda for 2020,” as part of its ongoing #Election2020 program series.
Distinguished Professor Ruth Milkman moderated a panel discussion featuring Maribel Hernández Rivera, District Director for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute at NYU Law; and SLU Distinguished Lecturer Deepak Bhargava, who was the longtime President and Executive Director of the Center for Community Change and Community Change Action. The forum was co-sponsored by the New York Immigration Coalition.
Hernández Rivera discussed the potential of migrants’ stories to shift public dialogue and educate more Americans about the crises immigrants face and the contributions they make. Chishti provided insider critiques of recent immigration policy failures and a balanced outlook about the specific proposals a new Democratic administration should prioritize. Bhargava spoke about the intersections between U.S. foreign policy and immigration policy, as well as how racism shapes public opinion and policy-making.
Missed the event or want to review the conversation? Check out the video above.
KenDell Jackson is a graduate candidate in the URB MA program, and recipient of a 2019 University Student Senate Graduate Peer Mentor Scholarship. KenDell was interviewed by SLU Advisor Samina Shahidi.
What is the University Student Senate Graduate Peer Mentor Scholarship, and how did you get involved with it?
The University Student Senate Graduate Peer Mentor Scholarship is a recognition for students that have shown academic excellence, scholastic dedication and overall contributions to the improvement of student life.
The CUNY SLU advisement team provides frequent updates on upcoming activities and opportunities. Like many of us being so busy, I ignored many of the previous emails suggesting that students apply for Graduate Mentor Scholarship opportunities. I hadn’t considered the Scholarship as a viable option. I was certainly wrong. I decided to submit an essay describing my journey and how working with youth via Track & Field is my unique contribution to improving my community. It started with just training my daughter and it blossomed into working with over 50 young people in the Bronx. Continue reading SLU Students in Action: KenDell Jackson→
The Civic Engagement and Leadership Development program (CELD), CUNY’s very popular civic leadership program will hold its annual Saturday morning sessions starting on February 1, 2020 and ending on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
The program is sponsored and hosted by the new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, which grew out of the Murphy Institute, and its over 30 years of educating tens of thousands of New Yorkers about the challenges and possibilities confronting organized labor and working-class communities.
Each of the 8 Saturday morning sessions will feature veteran practitioners and CUNY faculty with years of experience and expertise in civic leadership, electoral politics, the history of mass movements, and policymaking at the local, state and national levels of government.
Participants completing at least 7 of the 8 Saturday morning sessions will receive a certificate. All participants will join the growing network of CELD alumni, and be invited to future civic leadership events and gatherings.