Professor of Constitutional Law, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Distinguished Lecturer, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
Former Executive Director, Center for Community Change
Doors open at 8:30am. A light breakfast will be served.
Given the especially high stakes of the 2020 election, the need for broad and unobstructed voter participation could not be greater. Yet the past decade has seen a plethora of legal curtailments on voting rights. Since 2010, 25 states have adopted strict photo ID requirements, curbs on early voting, and voter registration restrictions that have all served to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a major win of the Civil Rights movement. Finally, the perennial challenge of voter turnout still exists – over 25% of eligible voters are unregistered, and only 50% of registered voters are expected to vote, making the prospects for a truly democratic election in 2020 very concerning.
What lessons can be gleaned from a long history of heroic efforts to ensure equal voting opportunities and rights for all? What are advocates, unions, and other activists doing to combat voter suppression and promote voter registration and turnout in the upcoming election? What should be the top legislative priorities of a more progressive, post-2020 federal government to strengthen our democracy by expanding the vote?
Are passionate about labor rights and social change
Have a strong academic background
Possess leadership skills or leadership potential
Will complete Part I of the application by March 3, 2020
What Students Learn
Students in the M.A. in Labor Studies program develop critical thinking, analytical, and leadership skills, while learning: labor law, history, practical skills, and contemporary challenges facing labor. The program is designed to support working adults or full-time students. The B.A. in Urban and Community Studies (labor concentration) curriculum examines policies and governance processes that affect diverse urban working-class communities. B.A. applicants must have completed 60 college credits.
Applicants must first apply to the M.A. in Labor Studies or the B.A. in Urban and Community Studies program by March 3, 2020. Contact Laurie.Kellogg@slu.cuny.edu or 718-440-1550 (day, evening or weekend) for information and tips on writing a successful application.
Diversity Scholarship applications must be received by March 24, 2020.
In New York and California, museums are getting unionized. And if organizers have anything to say about it, this is a trend that’s going to spread. Last month, SLU alum and IUOE Local 30 Director of Special Projects Andres Puerta went on Museum Confidential to discuss the recent wave — and where we might go from here. Check it out.
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.
A conversation about workers, communities and social justice