Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
We've been burned too many times by candidates who sound great on the campaign trail, but once elected, do little or nothing to ensure that our democracy is of, by and for the people.
So this year, we're demanding action and giving voters the tools to hold candidates accountable in the "Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Reform Agenda."
The heat rose from the asphalt beneath me like a snake with no head. It circled around my body and landed in my nose and mouth. I began to have choking sensations. It was at least 111 degrees with heavy smog in downtown Los Angeles that day and I had already been working for eight hours, but me and my mama had no money to eat so I couldn't leave our vendor stand cause I still hadn't made a sale.
I don't know any of the 13 activists who lowered themselves from the St. John's Bridge in Portland, Oregon, nor any of the dozens of kayakers paddling in the Willamette River below them, but they succeeded in a temporary blockade of the Shell-leased Arctic-boundice breaker MSV Fennica. I know that the activists participated in our democracy - they were nonviolent and far more civil than many members of Congress. The ship was in Portland for repairs of damage to the hull, which ironically occurred when it was scheduled tol eave for the Arctic as part of the safety conditions Royal Dutch Shell Oil needed to fulfill for federal approval to drill for oil after a series of accidents in 2013.
On behalf of the Organic Consumers Association, which represents more than 1 million Americans, I ask that you take the lead in protecting the right of consumers to know if their food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by issuing a public statement opposing HR 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, and by urging your fellow senators to oppose a Senate version of this bill.
On July 23, 2015, the US House of Representatives passed HR 1599, a bill written by the biotech and processed food industries that preempts states' rights to pass laws requiring the mandatory labeling of GMOs.
In the continuous acquiescence of local government municipalities mixing church with state, the Jefferson County Police Department of Illinois has recently elected to place the words, "In God We Trust" on their police vehicles. This act, among many like it across the country, is a stark contradiction to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
No religion or its rhetoric should be promoted by a government agency. It sets a dangerous precedent to allow the promotion of God to infiltrate public services.
Compare Hillary Clinton's top donors to Bernie Sanders': 90 percent of the top 20 contributors to Hillary Clinton are corporations or provide services to corporations. 95 percent of the top 20 contributors to Bernie Sanders are unions.
Watchdog NGO Open Secrets monitors donations to US politicians and money in US politics. Open Secrets has compiled a list of the 20 largest donors to Democratic 2016 Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
In light of President Obama's 2015 trip to Africa, likely his last trip to Africa as US president, it is appropriate to evaluate his government's foreign policies in Africa since he assumed office. Through this assessment, it is sadly plain to see that Obama's policies have not helped the vast majority of Africans. Instead, the policies have allowed the suppression of the African people's hoped-for democratic reforms, while simultaneously bolstering the power of corrupt African elites.
Last year, San Francisco tenant rights' supporters scored an important victory when voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition K, requiring all new housing developments provide 33% low and moderate-cost units.
The objective was to put a lid on the unregulated, speculative construction boom that earned the city its most contentious distinction of being the country's second most expensive place to live, just after New York City.
James K. Galbraith, author of The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth, answered questions that acTVIsm Munich put to him about the crisis in Greece. He provides his analysis on the voting results of the Greek referendum, austerity and its effects on the Eurozone.
In March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules to crack down on predatory payday lenders. These rules would prevent many payday lending abuses and give consumers a way out of lenders' debt trap.
Under the CFPB's new rules, borrowers would first have to show they could cover their basic living expenses while repaying loans. Lenders could skip "means testing" and instead limit each person's total borrowing to $500 - with a single finance charge and no repeated charges.