April 16, 2014


Congratulations! The Taxes You Just Paid Might Be On Their Way to a Private Prison. When you pay taxes, you assume they’ll be used to support education, health care, public transportation, and other programs that make your community stronger. That’s true, but so is this: some of your hard-earned dollars might be bundled into a massive payout to a private prison company that cares more about profits than public safety. That’s right, taxpayers: for-profit prison companies are skimming off the top of taxes you pay ostensibly to create safer communities. And no company benefits more than the largest private prison company out there: the Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA.  ACLU

Postal Union Fights Staples Partnership: ‘A Big Step Toward Privatization’. . . Under the premise of a pilot program, a limited number of Staples locations are now offering most of the same services provided at post offices, to be handled by Staples employees rather than postal workers. “It’s just a big step toward privatization,” said Suchomel, who hopped a bus to the protest from the Labor Notes conference, a biannual gathering of labor activists held in Chicago. “I think it’s a terrible thing that the postmaster general would even think about this.” . . . Union representatives say the Staples program is proof agency management would be happy to spin off basic postal services to the private sector, further shrinking what’s long been a bastion of well-paying, public-sector union jobs. After a series of sporadic demonstrations against Staples in recent weeks, the American Postal Workers Union, which represents 220,000 postal employees, is planning protests from coast to coast on April 24, and it expects broad backing from other public-sector unions.  Huffington Post

Call to stop water privatization and strengthen public water systems. On the heels of the World Bank’s 2014 spring meetings, an international coalition of water rights groups from India and the United States issued a stern call for the institution to end its destructive promotion of water privatization under the guise of development. After a week of meetings, including high level events on water, no action has been taken to address the coalition’s concerns.  Media For Freedom

TX: Privatization of foster care to expand. Texas’ protective services chief said Tuesday that he intends to expand an ambitious privatization of foster care, despite warnings from some child advocates that he’s moving too fast. . . . It puts one super-vendor in charge of running all the other contractors in a region. It also incorporates into contracts financial incentives for better performance. . .  .Texans Care for Children, an advocacy group, urged Specia to “hit the pause button” on expanded outsourcing. In a report, the group referred to last year’s spike in foster care deaths from maltreatment. It said the state’s rush to expand the outsourcing approach could jeopardize foster children’s safety.  Dallas Morning News

TX: SAISD Board passes resolution against privatization. On Monday night, the school board unanimously passed a resolution opposing the privatizing of district custodial and support services and reaffirming its commitment to district custodial and support services employees. Rumors regarding privatization, or outsourcing, had been rampant for weeks.  Board member Debra Guerrero placed the resolution on the agenda so as to reassure employees that the district is not moving in the direction of privatization.  San Antonio Alliance

CA: In Plain Sight: The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California. . . The rise of what might be called the Corporate Democrat can only be partly explained by shrinking GOP delegations in Sacramento. It is also the product of redistricting and effects of the “top-two primary,” by which members of the same political party can win the top two primary positions and then face off in November. These two structural changes were approved by voters in, respectively, 2008 and 2010. Since then, powerful corporations, agricultural associations and other political high rollers have been turning away from their traditional Republican partners and placing more and more of their chips on the Democratic end of the table. . .  . Yet Dodd also boasts deep funding from individuals who, like David Crane, are influential advocates of cutting public employee pensions or, like Greg and Carrie Penner, are wealthy supporters of school privatization – views that run counter to longstanding Democratic Party positions.  Huffington Post