Weekly Update: A Bridge Made WHERE?!
Should Be Made in America Campaign
The Alliance for America Manufacturing has launched a campaign to call out infrastructure projects which use foreign-made materials – paid for with our tax dollars. American manufacturing has been in decline, and nationwide one out of every 12 workers is looking for work, while we spend money on foreign made products.
“Should be Made in America” is starting with the Bay Bridge, stretching from Oakland to San Francisco. Two massive billboards raise awareness about the Chinese steel used in the bridge’s construction. Check out the billboards and read more about that project here.
In Oregon, we are always working to pass legislation that prioritizes our materials and our workers for infrastructure jobs that use state tax dollars. As the economy picks up and more people head back to work, our tax dollars need to fund further recovery efforts – not go overseas. Learn more and sign up for updates about the campaign here: www.ShouldBeMadeInAmerica.com.
In Other News...
Affordable Healthcare Act
The Affordable Healthcare Act is being debated in the Supreme Court this week. The debate has centered on the requirement for every American to have health insurance – so that we’re not subsidizing uninsured, unaffordable care. In debate is the constitutionality of that requirement, whether or not they can overturn the requirement given that it hasn’t even gone into effect yet, and what happens to the rest of the bill if that section is unconstitutional.
The Affordable Healthcare Act does a lot of good things for working families: It allows children to remain under their parents’ insurance for longer – which is important considering the high unemployment rate among recent college graduates. It prevents insurance companies from exploiting clerical errors and removing coverage from sick people. It allows for the creation of health insurance exchanges, where working families who are not covered by their employer can receive the best coverage possible at a fair price. And it ensures that health insurance costs aren’t higher for women just because of their gender (in some states women pay up-to-double what men do for health insurance coverage), and that individuals aren’t denied coverage just because they’re sick.
As the Supreme Court Justices debate the nuances of the Act, we want to hear from you: have you benefited from the Affordable Healthcare Act? Let us know on our Facebook page or tweet us on Twitter.
A New Kind of “Offshoring.”
Nationally, states are starting to look at "offshoring" differently - just off shore, that is. Our oceans have always provided a foundation for coastal economies through fishing, canneries, shipping and other related industries. But in Oregon we've long known that those industries can't sustain our coastal economies anymore. Conservationists see new marine sanctuaries that will protect wildlife as a way to spur tourism and scientific research. And local government leaders are looking for new ways to revive their economies and bring in the revenues that are needed to support local schools, police forces, libraries, and other vital services.
Next week, representatives from Oregon’s unions will join advocates from across the Pacific Northwest from both new and traditional industries to talk about our oceans' future. Union members know that we must balance new industries with traditional ones, and we should look even bigger - including at the potential for wave energy which is being developed in Oregon - with major potential for job creation.
Our oceans have always been a vital resource, and a vital part of our Northwest ecosystem. It can also be a vital part of our statewide economy again if we move forward carefully.
Are You Online?
Next Monday, CWA leaders who were arrested supporting workers at Dosha will be in court on charges related to an action earlier this year. We’ll be live-tweeting the proceedings. Check us out on Twitter @ORStrongVoice to keep up!