Race / Ethnic Issues

"Shameful" WI Redistricting Awaits Final Ruling

A federal court will rule in coming weeks on Wisconsin's redistricting plan, after sharply criticizing Republican lawmakers for developing the maps under a veil of secrecy and shutting the public out of the process. Along with voter ID legislation inspired by an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model, GOP legislators in Wisconsin appear to be reshaping elections for partisan political advantage.

Wisconsin GOP Goes After Equal Pay for Equal Work

Rep. Taylor speaking to crowd with sign saying "no equal pay, no equal work"Late in the evening, on February 22, the Wisconsin Legislature turned back the clock gutting key provisions of Wisconsin's Equal Pay Enforcement Act (Act 20).

Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison), a long time women's rights advocate lamented: "It's like we're going back to 1912. We are fighting the same fight our mothers fought, just to be treated equally."

Senate Bill 202, authored by Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), passed on a party line vote. According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, Act 20 sought "to secure equal pay for the thousands of working families who are denied fair pay due to wage discrimination based on race and gender." Specifically, the act was intended to deter employers from discriminating by opening an avenue to bring discrimination cases in state court with stiff penalties. Previously, victims were required to pursue lengthy administrative remedies through a state agency. SB 202 removed the compensatory and punitive damages for violations of Act 20, leaving it a toothless tiger.

NAACP Denounces Role of ALEC in "Jim Crow, Esquire" Voting Laws

NAACP logoThe NAACP is calling the wave of Voter ID laws passed in 2011 a "coordinated and comprehensive assault" on the right to vote for people of color and the poor, singling out the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as the source of the outbreak. The organization is taking its case to the United Nations this week.

Rev. William Barber, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference, says "Jim Crow used blunt tools. James Crow, Esquire uses surgical tools, high paid consultants and lawyers to cut out the heart of black political power."

How the Koch-Funded ALEC Works to Deny Voting Rights; Brave New Film Highlights Voter Suppression

A new film from the Brave New Foundation outlines the role of the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council in new voter suppression tactics; the Center for Media and Democracy is one of the voices featured in the film.

Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state and federal laws that govern your rights. The so-called "model bills" of this corporate bill mill -- which has been funded by Koch profits and other corporations -- reach into almost every area of American life, including the right to vote.

Wisconsin Legislature Holds Hearings on Affirmative Action: Students Criticize Priorities

MADISON -- Wisconsin legislators heard Monday from the president of a group alleging the University of Wisconsin's admissions policies discriminates against whites. Students had protested when the group's report was first released in September, but on Monday they stayed out of the Assembly hearing to communicate to legislators there are more important issues facing the state.

Group Alleges University of Wisconsin's Diversity Policies are "Discriminatory;" Protesters Take Over Press Conference

MADISON -- The University of Wisconsin-Madison's race-conscious admissions policies amount to "severe racial discrimination," announced Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) president Roger Clegg at a press conference Tuesday. As the event concluded, supporters of the university's diversity policies took over the conference room, and beneficiaries of the diversity policies Clegg attacked shared their experiences.

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