Friday, June 29, 2012
New Mexico House of Representatives Now More Than Ever
Ok....the republicans have got to deal with the huge Supreme Court opinion that "Obamacare" is the law of the land. God forbid ordinary people recieve healthcare. They have promised to keep that fight going, both on the Federal level and surely the State level and they will.
Open up the Journal today and read that Schott Solar is closing, more than 200 jobs gone in Albuquerque today. This is bad beyond believe. Of all industry that should be thriving is the making of solar panels. How incredibly sad that these jobs are going under.
Every republican that does not vote for green energy jobs, and who continues to be bought off by oil and gas should be voted out.
Now is the time folks. We know the positions of the republicans within the state and within the federal government. The hysteria from the republicans yesterday over the decision yesterday is real, they are furious about our socialists government.
The backlash from the republicans regarding this decision is going to be huge, and it is going to be in the form of money to smear every democrat that wants to bring jobs and dignity and security to our citizens.
So I ask you please contribute to Elect Mary Ellen Broderick HD30 or to whoever is the strong person in your district who is fighting against the republican fear machine. We must hold on to the NM House of Representatives Now More Than Ever.
Obamacare: Surreal in so many ways by Peter Moulson
The moment so many had been waiting for, the Supreme Court’s decision on what has become known as Obamacare started with a crash as Fox and CNN got it wrong by broadcasting that the Supremes had struck down the Individual Mandate from the ACA (Obamacare). It soon became clear that these Bastions of the Truth had got it wrong, and the Supreme Court had in fact upheld Obamacare.
As the initial shock wore off and strategy meetings were held, a group of excited, surprised, even astonished activists and politicians met for a 2:00pm press conference in front of the Federal Court building in downtown Albuquerque, almost oblivious to the near-100 degree heat.
Chris Cervini, director of Know Your Care New Mexico introduced Senators Dede Feldman and Jerry Ortiz y Pino, and physician Dr. Dan Derksen to the waiting TV media. The well-messaged points were that today’s ruling was an outstanding success for healthcare in our country and it is now time to pressure the Martinez administration to take advantage of the millions of dollars being made available to us to assist with Medicaid in New Mexico.
Senator Feldman called on the governor and the legislature “to stop horsing around and implement this law of the land.” Expanding Medicaid and developing a strong healthcare insurance exchange are essential she said, and then millions of dollars in Federal aid will be made available to New Mexico. “Hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans will benefit.”
Dr. Derksen highlighted the fact that in New Mexico with a population of little over 2,000,000 -- 340,000 are without health insurance.
The excitement was palpable. Yet so was the underlying confusion. What did this mean? Why did they vote this way when we were so convinced they were going to shred the Affordable Healthcare Act in its entirety? And where exactly do we go from here?
Racing out of the heat in search of shelter, a large group from the press conference landed at Marble Brewery to celebrate. Chris Cervini brought the house to order by raising his glass in a toast to Justice Roberts, “certainly for the first and last time.”
You can bet your boots the Republicans will continue to challenge the ACA, but right now, let’s enjoy the moment.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Affordable Care Act Upheld by Supreme Court
The Health care reform act was challenged clear up to the US Supreme Court and the decision was rendered today. It is satisfying to know the highest court in the land upheld the constitutionality of this important legislation. The final deciding vote was cast by Chief Judge John Roberts, appointed by Bush 43.
This will not stop the republicans at all, in fact it will embolden them. As Pearce says at the end of these statements, "The House has scheduled a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare during the week of July 9."
What a contrast of message from the R's to the D's about good news for the people of this Country.
Let's contribute to the State races for the NM House of Representatives. You know the SusanaPac is rolling in the dough today with this news. Please start with a contribution to my race for NM House District 30. Please go to this ActBlue link here, thank you in advance.
Below are the statements from all of NM Congressional leaders:
Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s CD-3 released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
“For too long, families and small businesses in New Mexico have seen their health care costs skyrocket as they continue to pay more and receive less. The ranks of the uninsured grew while insurance companies continued to deny or drop coverage for those who needed it most. That is why President Obama and Democrats in Congress took action to pass health insurance reform that ends the insurance companies’ worst abuses, expands coverage, and takes steps to bring down costs for hard-working New Mexicans.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law is an important victory for the people of New Mexico. Young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, those with pre-existing conditions will be assured that they will have health insurance, and seniors will continue to pay less for prescription drugs and receive free preventive care.
“It is now abundantly clear that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and that the people of New Mexico will continue to benefit from its many important provisions.”
Congressman Martin Heinrich (CD-1) Statement On Supreme Court Decision Upholding Health Care Reform
U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional:
“The Supreme Court has spoken, declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional. This decision means New Mexicans will continue to benefit from expanded access to quality, affordable health care.
“Now it’s time to move on to the major economic problems facing our country. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track. The finger-pointing needs to end and Washington needs to get its priorities straight by cutting waste and ending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and companies that outsource jobs, so we can focus on job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare."
Michelle Lujan Grisham Candidate for CD-1: Health Care Debate Must Shift to Controlling Costs
Congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has spent her career as an advocate for quality health care, said the Supreme Court’s decision today is a victory for the thousands of New Mexico families that deserve access to quality, affordable health care.
“This is a victory for New Mexico families because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or force women to pay more for health care,” Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “This is a good first step toward reforming our broken health care system.
“However, there is still work to be done. When I get to Congress I will work to require health insurance companies to put patients before profits. We must control health care costs, improve quality and train more health care workers.”
Senator Udall Statement on Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling Following the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
"When Congress and President Obama first took up this issue, we knew it wouldn't be easy. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is the best possible outcome for the American people. Today, quality, affordable health care is a major step closer to becoming a reality for millions of Americans who live one accident or diagnosis away from losing everything. For these families, health care is an economic matter with the very real consequences of life, death and bankruptcy. As a nation, and across New Mexico, we cannot afford to go back to just a short time ago when insurance coverage for all was further from reach, when children with cancer could be denied coverage, and when unemployed, recent college graduates would be kicked off their parents' insurance by age 22.
"We can still improve upon the law we've put into place, but today, New Mexico has already received more than $200 million in grants and loans to establish an insurance exchange, strengthen community health centers, train new health professionals and so much more. Since passing the law, more than 26,000 young adults under 26-years-old in our state have been allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. Almost 20,000 New Mexico seniors on Medicare received a rebate to help cover prescription costs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. And 285,000 New Mexicans with private health insurance no longer have to pay a deductible or copayment for preventive care like physicals, cancer screenings and vaccinations. More is yet to come.
"Today's decision marks another turning point in our country's approach to health care equality. Now’s the time to put aside partisanship and work together to make our health care policy even stronger."
Republican NMCD-2 Rep. Steve Pearce issued the following statement:
Supreme Court Decision Allows for New Obamacare Tax on New Mexico Families
“I have long believed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011 was an unconstitutional overreach by the President. ObamaCare is a violation of our individual rights and an expansion of federal government power our nation’s founders would have found unfathomable.
“The Supreme Court, which has the responsibility of interpreting the law, found this overreach acceptable as a tax. While I do not agree, I respect its authority to make this interpretation.
“Since day one, the Obama Administration has denied that his law was a tax on the American people. Yet, the Obama Administration will claim victory, when all this law does is assess a greater financial burden on hardworking American families and small business owners.
“ObamaCare puts government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors, hurts small businesses and creates trillions in new government spending that will add a huge new weight to our already overloaded deficit.
“We need to get back to work on repealing this ‘tax’ and reforming our healthcare system. These reforms must be focused on protecting patient access to the care they need from the doctor they choose.”
The Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the law is constitutional. The House has scheduled a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare during the week of July 9.
June 28, 2012 at 04:17 PM in 2012 Legislature Races, Healthcare, Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM Congressional Delegation, Obama Health Care Reform, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Tom Udall, Steve Pearce | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
First Judicial Court Judge Barbara Vigil Candidate for New Mexico Supreme Court Justice
Following is a post regarding Judge Vigil a candidate for NM Supreme Court. This is a special State Central Committee Democratic election which will take place sometime in July or August. A date has not been set per the DPNM.
Judge Barbara J. Vigil Chief Judge - First Judicial District New Mexico
Judge Barbara J. Vigil is the Chief Judge of the First Judicial District Court in New Mexico. The First Judicial District encompasses the counties of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties in northern New Mexico. Judge Vigil is respected across the state of New Mexico as being a fair, dedicated and experienced Judge. Judge Vigil is running for the position of New Mexico Supreme Court Justice, to fill the position of retiring Justice Patricio M. Serna.
Judge Vigil has served as District Court Judge for over 12 years and has presided over thousands of cases in the areas of complex civil litigation, family and domestic relations matters, child abuse and neglect cases, juvenile delinquency cases, criminal proceedings and appeals of administrative decisions.
While serving as District Court Judge, Judge Vigil also served 10 years as a Children’s Court Judge. Judge Vigil was instrumental in the creation of Juvenile Justice Boards in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. These boards served as a vehicle for the receipt of state and federal funds for many social programs serving at-risk youth.
As a licensed lawyer for over 27 years, Judge Vigil has served on many community and legal boards and commissions, including the New Mexico Drug Court Advisory Board and the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association.
Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Vigil owned her own law office, handling a cross spectrum of cases for individuals and institutions. As a Judge and lawyer for nearly three decades, Judge Vigil has extensive legal experience in both the public and private sectors in virtually every aspect of the law. This includes legal representation of both Plaintiffs and Defendants in state and federal courts.
Judge Vigil earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from New Mexico State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Judge Vigil was raised in Santa Fe, NM, and has resided in New Mexico her entire life.
- University of New Mexico School of Law - Juris Doctorate, 1985
- New Mexico State University - Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting,1981
- Saint Catherine’s Indian School, 1977
Proven Track Record:
- New Mexico Drug Court Advisory Board, 2003-2005
- New Mexico Women’s Bar Association, 1993-2000
- American Red Cross, 1992-1998
- Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Board Member, 2000-2007
- Santa Fe Small Business Development, Board Member,1992-1994
Democratic Special Election for New Mexico Senate District 15
The following review of the three candidates running in the special election to replace Senator Tim Eichenberg SD15 on the general election ballot is provided by Marsha Garcia of ProgressNowNM.
New Mexico District 15 will soon have a new Democratic nominee for State Senate. On June 5th, incumbent Tim Eichenberg announced that he will be resigning from his District 15 Senate seat in order to properly care for two ailing family members. On July 7th, the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee will be nominating a Democrat to replace Tim Eichenberg on the November ballot. The meeting will be held at the Erna Fergusson Library, located at 3700 San Mateo NE, Albuquerque, on July 7that 10:00 am. Voting will only be open to Central Committee members that reside in District 15.
There have been many democrats interested in replacing Mr. Eichenberg on Albuquerque's east side. Progress Now New Mexico recently spoke to the potential candidates on why they hope to receive the nomination on July 7th, and other issues that are important to progressives in District 15.
Daniel Ivey Soto, Attorney and former Director of the state Bureau of Elections
Mr. Ivey Soto confirmed that if he is nominated on July 7th by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee, he will accept and run for Senate District 15. Ivey-Soto wants to make sure that New Mexicans are being stood up for, and will be represented in the Senate.
He stressed that the Senate is the last line of defense in stopping a number of policies from going into effect, and that he will take a stand on the issues. Ivey Soto spoke about his previous work on a number of innovative bills at the legislature that were introduced, though he did not offer specific examples, and that he understands the process. After the elections this fall a fourth of the Senate will be new, his experience will allow him to hit the ground running.
Vanessa Alarid, Consultant and former Executive Director of the Democratic Party of New Mexico
Ms. Alarid confirmed that she too will accept the nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the Senate District 15 race if she is named on July 7th. Alarid stated that she is the best candidate to represent District 15 in the November election. She has lived in District 15 her whole life with the exception of her time attending Columbia University, and is the only potential candidate that owns a home in District 15. Alarid added that the Democratic Party needs someone strong who can raise money, knock on doors, and ensure that this seat remains a Democratic seat.
Alarid addressed questions that have arisen in part to her previous work for SunCal and to donations she's given to Republican legislators Bill Rehm, Nate Gentry, and Nora Espinoza. She spoke of her work with SunCal as economic development. Alarid says that specific bills that she worked on would have brought 20,000 jobs to Albuquerque and were supported across the aisle by both Democratic and Republican legislators. Unfortunately, some of the biggest job creating bills did not pass. In regards to donating funds to Republican legislators, she attributes some to personal relationships she has had for years, and others to work.
Alarid also spoke about questions that arose from her engagement to a legislator who represents a district on Albuquerque's west side and where she would reside should she be elected to represent Senate District 15. Alarid stated that her family has always lived in District 15, that she is completely committed to District 15, and that is where her family will live. No word on how that decision would affect her fiance's status as a legislator when he would be eligible for reelection in two years.
Scott LeFevre, Marketing and Organizing United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 412
Mr. LeFevre also confirmed that he is interested in receiving the nomination from the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee for Senate District 15. He sees running for this seat as an opportunity to be a public servant working on behalf of the working families in District 15 and in our state.
LeFevre added that this is a critical time for our state and District 15 needs a strong leader who is willing to stand up and fight for issues in the district as well as issues that are on a broader spectrum such as economic fairness, meaningful job creation, and educational issues. LeFevre stated that the district needs a leader who is not just another political insider striving to make inroads in Santa Fe. Senate District 15 needs a leader who is willing to reach out to all constituents within the district, and work to not only better the district, but to better New Mexico by working together on issues that affect us as citizens and avoiding partisan politics.
LeFevre also added that he will fight to assure that the constitutional promise of a sufficient education to our children is upheld. He will stand up and fight to assure that as a state we fulfill our obligations to our seniors and veterans by providing the resources needed for seniors to have a good quality of life, and our veterans are afforded all the benefits they are entitled too. He stated that he is the leader who can and will fulfill these obligations, and will work tirelessly to win this district through a rock solid work ethic and unbreakable spirit.
Kevin Hoover, Mortgage Broker
Mr. Hoover confirmed that he had explored a run for the seat, but has since stricken his name from consideration for nomination for Senate District 15. He added that if either Daniel Ivey Soto or Scott LeFevre are nominated, he will be supporting them.
Heinrich Statement on Supreme Court's Decision on Arizona Immigration Law
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its decision on State of Arizona v. United States, which challenged the authority of a state to enact its own immigration enforcement laws instead of following federal regulations. In a 5-3 decision, the Court found three of the four provisions of Arizona's immigration law, S.B. 1070, unconstitutional.
The Court, however, upheld the "show me your papers" provision, which requires every Arizona law enforcement officer to verify the immigration status of every person stopped, arrested, or detained if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country unlawfully.
U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich released the below statement following the Supreme Court's decision:
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law, but I'm concerned that the 'show me your papers' provision that is still intact casts a wide net over all people of Hispanic descent, and will undoubtedly snare honest, hardworking Americans in a misguided attempt to deport undocumented immigrants.
“Arizona’s legislation was the wrong reaction to a very real issue. Passing laws that institutionalize racial profiling is no solution.
“I am proud that here in New Mexico we value our diverse heritage. Congress must rise to the challenge and fix this broken system at the federal level once and for all.”
Monday, June 25, 2012
Invitation to a Reception Hosted by The Honorable Hector Balderas For Senate Candidate Rep. Martin Heinrich
Did you know? - When you look up the word class-act in the dictionary there is a picture of Hector Balderas.
Mr. Balderas is our NM State Auditor, cleaning up corruption for real every day. A true democrat, for the people. A true statesman hosting an event for Congressman Martin Heinrich, his opponent who won the very challenging primary state race for the United States Senate.
Vote for Michelle on Emily's List: Voting Ends at 10:00 MT Today Monday
Go to the EMILY's List website, enter your name, email address, and zip code and vote for Michelle.
WHAT WILL WE WIN?
It's big: EMILY's List will send out an email to their nationwide network about Michelle before the June 30th filing deadline IF she gets the most votes!
IT'S THAT SIMPLE.
Go to EMILY's List NOW, and vote for Michelle!
AND IF YOU CAN TAKE ONE MORE STEP...
Tell a friend and ask them to vote.
WE CAN WIN THIS FOR MICHELLE!
Just enter your name, email address, zip code, click on the picture of Michelle, and press the SUBMIT button. That's it.
Voting ends Monday at 9:59 pm Mountain Time so don't delay!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
From AFT NM: SusanaPAC is Targeting YOU.
Below is a press release from AFT NM about this heinous targeting of teachers across the state and the blatant usage of Governmental Resources for Political Purposes. American Federation of Teachers Speaks out against Government Resources being used for Political Purposes.
According to a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Independent Source PAC unearthed an email exchange between high level PED officials and administrators at the Governor’s Office. As representatives of educational employees across the state, American Federation of Teachers New Mexico is speaking out against the apparent violation of using government resources for political purposes.
Based on the article, the Public Education Department utilized the PED’s Information and Technology Department to create a list of all teacher emails. The IT department then manipulated the list to target non-union teachers.
The lists were sent from the personal email of Larry Behrens, Public Information Officer at the PED, to the personal emails of Jay McCleskey, Political Director of SusanaPAC, Keith Gardner, Chief of Staff at the Governor's Office and Scott Darnell the Director of Communications at the Governor’s Office. In addition the email was sent to Secretary Designate Hannah Skandera and Christine Stavem, the newly resigned Chief of Staff at the PED.
“It is evident that government resources including computers and staff were utilized to pull lists of educational employees for SusanaPAC,” said AFT NM President Stephanie Ly. “Using government resources to develop a targeted list for political purposes is a potential ethical violation.”
The email, sent during work time, contained lists compiled by the PED’s Information and Technology Department, filtering non-union educators from union educators which creates a larger issue for union officials.
“It is never okay for a political organization to request information separating union members from those who are not protected under a collective bargaining agreement. This was a questionable request with questionable intent and conducted in a questionable manner,” said ATF President Ellen Bernstien, “My members are accountable for our actions, and we are holding the governor to the same standards”
Governor Martinez and Secretary Designee Hannah Skandera have continued to push failed Florida Reforms instead of working with educators and community partners to address New Mexico’s education challenges appropriately. This information was requested a month before the primaries on June 5th. In addition contributors to Susana PAC funded Reform for New Mexico which played heavily against AFT endorsed candidates statewide.
Guest Blog by Alex Cotoia: Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Constitutionality of the ACA
Alexander Cotoia is a paralegal with the firm of Holt Mynatt Martinez P.C. in Las Cruces, and a member of the Democratic Party State Central Committee. He has authored several guest columns that have appeared on this site.
In a matter of days, the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), as it issues its much anticipated decision governing the constitutionality of the law under the federal Constitution. Exhaustively discussed in legal and political circles, the ACA contains a number of controversial provisions, including the hotly contested “individual mandate” or “minimum coverage provision” that conservatives view as anathema; an impermissible encroachment on an individual’s economic liberty.
If the Court were to accept this argument and strike down the ACA or any portion of the Act as constitutionally incompatible, it would be engaging in an egregious act of judicial activism; upending the principle of congressional deference and subverting the justification for “rational basis” review, which long recognized that Congress possesses plenary, or exclusive power over the regulation of interstate commerce. As Justice Breyer noted in dissent in the landmark case of U.S. v. Lopez—the seminal case in which the Court departed from nearly a half century of settled jurisprudence—the Court’s function is to assess “not whether the regulated activity sufficiently affected interstate commerce, but, rather, whether Congress could have had a rational basis for so concluding.”
That a rational basis exists for regulating the health insurance market is beyond legitimate contention. The unique nature of American health care, coupled with the inability of an individual to opt out (even those with the strongest immune systems are likely to fall ill at least once during their lifespan) left Congress little choice but to fashion legislation that included a minimum coverage provision to curb skyrocketing health care costs, and eradicate the ‘cost-shifting’ that is largely responsible for escalating premiums. Far from being without precedent, this is exactly the kind of “broader regulatory scheme” that the Supreme Court has consistently deemed constitutionally permissible, even in cases where the regulated activity was of a “wholly intrastate [and] . . . non-economic” character. (For a more detailed discussion about Commerce Clause jurisprudence, see opinion by a federal judge upholding the constitutionality of the ACA here: https://www.hfma.org/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=24259)
I’m not saying the ACA is perfect—it isn’t. In a world in which the United States stands alone among our industrialized counterparts in providing health care as a matter of right to its citizens, the better, but far more controversial option would have been to expand Medicare and eliminate the private insurance market altogether. But this President recognizes political reality, and chose to pass legislation that dramatically expanded health care coverage to uninsured Americans; banned discrimination based on pre-existing conditions; and required insurance companies to cover a host of preventative care services without requiring a co-payment from the consumer. On balance, the ACA is a positive first-step in recognizing that access to quality, affordable health care is an integral part of American competitiveness. If Americans are to have an edge with our competitors the world over, it is imperative that we live both productive and healthy lives.
For this reason, the Court would do well to reject the frenzied contentions of the reactionary right and give new meaning to the principle of stare decisis. Allowing the ACA to stand is both legally sound and practically expedient. If conservatives truly were champions of judicial restraint, they would agree.
06/29: NM Political Flag Football Bowl and Brat Sausage Sizzle!
President of NM ALF-CIO, Jon Hendry would like to invite you to their political flag football bowl. It's a flag football game between elected officials & candidates vs. union leaders on Friday June 29th, 6-8p at Phil Chacon Park, 1098 Louisiana SE ABQ, NM 87108.
06/22: Candidates and Communications Workers of America (CWA) Activists Gather to Address Jobs, Outsourcing and Legislative Efforts to Protect Opportunity in New Mexico
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, You say?
On 6/22/2012, T-mobile USA will fire 3,300 workers and close 7 U.S. call centers. Presently, T-mobile outsources 6,000 jobs while waging a sustained battle against U.S. Workers’ efforts to form a union and protect their rights.
Fav old song, great performance! Danny Rivera above sings "Which side are you on?" 2/26/11 at a Rally at the Roundhouse. (dfnm video)
Communications Workers of America –New Mexico is hosting a brief press conference and demonstration in support of Albuquerque T-mobile call center workers and (H.R. 3596).
WHO: CWA, NM Unions, Allied Groups and Candidates
WHAT: Press Conference, Support Demonstration
WHERE: Outside T-Mobile Call Center at 2600 Broadbent Parkway N.E., Albuquerque
WHEN: Friday, June 22nd 2012 from Noon-1 pm.
WHY: Solidarity with T-Mobile Employees Efforts to Form a Union and Legislation to Help
Keep Good Jobs at Home in the U.S.A.
Candidates will speak on the subject of JOBS and their visions for creating and retaining good jobs in New Mexico.
Congressman Heinrich co-signed the US Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3596) to turn the tide on U.S. outsourcing and assaults on Worker and Human Rights.
With the decimation of manufacturing in the U.S., many communities committed millions in taxpayer dollars to fund incentives for companies opening customer service/call center jobs in their communities. However, the last decade has seen a number of those jobs now being shipped overseas, with companies pocketing taxpayer dollars and off-shoring the call center jobs just a few years later; leaving those communities devastated once again with job losses and lost financial investments.
Often, calls into service centers go to countries where workers are exploited and/or human resource and information security practices are far inferior to those in the U.S. These centers are often referred to as modern day sweatshops.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that 83 percent of Indian outsourcing companies surveyed had information security breaches during the previous year. There is a strong link between overseas call centers and security problems, putting American consumers at risk for identity theft, fraudulent transactions, and general mishandling of sensitive information.
A growing trend for Indian call center companies is to subcontract the call center work out to other politically volatile countries that often times have even worse security protections.
U.S. taxpayer money should not be awarded to companies that make a practice of sending U.S. jobs overseas – resulting in greater job losses here in the U.S., decimate communities, and jeopardize consumers.
This bill, if passed, would accomplish the following things:
• Create a ‘bad actor’ list of U.S. Companies that make a practice of sending U.S. jobs overseas: It would require a publically available list, kept by the Department of Labor, of all employers that relocated entirely or a significant portion of their call center or customer service work overseas. These companies would be ineligible for Federal grants or guaranteed loans. Preference will be given to U.S. employers that do not appear on the list for awarding civilian or defense-related contracts. Employers that relocate a call center will remain on the list for up to 5 years after each instance of relocating a call center.
• Disclose Call Center Location to U.S. Consumers: It would require the relocated overseas call center agent to disclose their name and physical location of their operation. For example, a customer may hear, “Hello, this is Jane in Manila.”
• Right to Transfer: The U.S. consumer would have the right to request the call be transferred to a customer service agent who is physically located in the U.S.
CWA, New Mexico Labor, and Allied Candidates for Office will gather in support of T-Mobile workers and H.R.3596 on Friday, June 22nd, 12 -1 PM outside the T-Mobile Call Center at 2600 Broadbent Parkway N.E., Albuquerque.