articles tagged "Cynthia Lin"

Unrest in Michigan

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 | A Public Affair

During this edition of A Public Affair, on Tuesday December 11th, we turned our attention to Michigan and the ongoing unrest in the state. During the first half of the hour, host Cynthia Lin interviewed Liz Rodriguez, communications chair of the Graduate Employees Organization at UMich, who helped organize resistance to the anti-union “Right to Work” Bill. For the second half of the hour, Cynthia spoke to Meghan Hodge Groen, Director of Government Relations and Political Fundraising at Planned Parenthood, about the attacks on women’s rights that are going on in Michigan at the same time. According to the Chicago Tribune, “LANSING, Mich. — Michigan enacted a ban on mandatory union membership on Tuesday, dealing a stunning blow to organized labor in the state that is home to U.S. automakers and the symbol of industrial labor in the United States. As more than 12,000 unionized workers and supporters protested at the Capitol in Lansing, the Republican-led state House of Representatives gave final approval to a pair of “right-to-work” bills covering public- and private-sector unions.” Read the entire Tribune article: The “right-to-work bills were not the only legislation which brought protests to the Capitol in Lansing. Planned Parenthood Advocates also fought against House Bill 5711. According to the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan website, “Extremist legislators have launched the most dangerous and sweeping attacks on women’s health in our state’s history. If passed, these bills would have a devastating impact on women’s reproductive health and access to abortion services in the state. As this year’s legislative session comes to a close anti-women’s health lawmakers are trying to push through dangerous, onerous and outrageous policy initiatives which include efforts to: Regulate women’s health centers out of existence. (HB 5711) Limit abortion access for women in rural areas. (HB 5711) Prevent private insurance companies from covering any abortion services. (SBs 612, 613, 614) Allow providers to deny any health care service they deem objectionable. (SB 975)”   Read more about the Planned Parenthood resistance to HB 5711: Listen to the entire program: more »

Bengladesh Factory Fire

Tuesday, 4 December 2012 | A Public Affair
Faded Glory2

On Tuesday December 4th, host Cynthia Lin interviewed Professor Stephanie Luce about the recent tragic factory fire in Bangladesh. Luce is Associate Professor of Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute at the City University of New York. She said today: “The fire is a tragedy, but unfortunately not a surprise. Bangladesh has received a lot of attention in its role as a large garment producer, and as such, has been targeted in some high profile international anti-sweatshop campaigns and labor solidarity efforts. Yet this fire seems to highlight the weaknesses of that strategy to improve working conditions from the outside, particularly when a country depends so heavily on low wages as its comparative advantage in a global export model. After several decades of intensive garment production for export, the conditions of Bangladeshi garment factories have barely improved. Average wages are still among the lowest in the world. Working conditions are often extremely dangerous. At the same time, retailers or brands, such as Walmart or Nike, have inordinate bargaining power over the factories in Bangladesh (and the Bangladeshi government). This can allow the Walmarts and Nikes to increase profits, consolidate their wealth and strength, leading to a high degree of concentration in the industries. This helps develop ‘buyer-driven supply chains’ where the buyer (e.g. Walmart) sets the terms of contracts. It is possible that Walmart could then use that excess profit to provide better wages and working conditions in the U.S., but in most cases, it does not. It uses its increased monopoly power in the U.S. as well, growing in size and becoming large enough to set wage levels and keep them low. This is no ‘free market’ in any sense: the large retailers have monopoly power over their suppliers, and what we call monopsony power over workers in the U.S. retail market. There is no free-willed negotiation between equal partners, whether that be Walmart and suppliers, or Walmart and retail workers.”   Read more about the tragedy:   Listen to the entire interview: more »

US Relations with China

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 | A Public Affair

On Tuesday November 27th, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Henry Rosemont, distinguished professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and visiting professor of religious studies at Brown University. They discussed US approaches to relations with China. Rosemont recently said, “If President Obama bases U.S. relations with China on principles of competition and criticism, the new regime of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will almost surely respond in kind, and the governments of both countries will become less capable of dealing with their own internal large-scale problems. “Moving to a policy based on cooperation on the other hand diplomatically, militarily and economically — both countries can contribute to solving their own and each other’s problems at the same time, as well as problems more worldwide in scope. As the major power in the relationship, the initiative for a new policy must lie with the U.S., especially with all the anti-China rhetoric that infected the recent election campaign.” Read Rosemont’s piece “Is China a Threat?”: Listen to the entire interview: more »

Hip Hop and the Green Party

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 | A Public Affair

On Tuesday November 20th, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Rosa Clemente, a grassroots organizer, hip-hop activist, journalist, and entrepreneur. Clemente recently said, “The Green Party is no longer the alternative; the Green Party is the imperative.” Clemente was the 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate and supported Jill Stein in the 2012 election. According to Jill Stein’s website, “There is something taking place with the relationship between Hip Hop and the Green Party. Maybe it’s because the Green Party, much like Hip Hop, can be blamed for a mess much larger than itself with no regard for the truth. Maybe it’s because both of them have spent their whole existence fighting corporate media and corporate influence and getting shut out of the conversation. Maybe it’s because they are both stuck in a world where the “mainstream” dictates definition, and your perspective, your contribution, your base isn’t acknowledged if it isn’t validated by the very thing it seeks to challenge. Maybe it’s because they both imagine a world where education is accessible to all, there are no more evictions and no more foreclosures, where food production, resolving community challenges and culture is localized, and more money is spent on education and housing than on war and imprisonment. Or, as 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate David Cobb put it, “maybe it’s because Hip Hop and the Green Party are both revolutionary calls for such systemic social political and economic change that you just can’t get it until you get it.” Whatever the case may be, it is a relationship that keeps expanding. That expansion was given to us not just by the natural development of our economic and political situation, but also by leaders like Jared Ball and Rosa Clemente.” Cynthia interviewed Clemente about hip hop, her work with the Green Party, and the post-election future of the nation. Read more about Hip Hop and the Green Party: Listen to the entire interview: more »

Shift Change

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 | A Public Affair
Shift Change

On Tuesday November 13th, host Cynthia Lin brought listeners a great program featuring the folks involved with the film “Shift Change,” a documentary about worker run businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy. The film will be showing this Thursday, November 15th, at the Barrymore Theater as part of the Havens Center Social Cinema film series. You can find out details about the event online at Cynthia spoke with Melissa Young, one of the producers and co-directors of the film. Cynthia also spoke with coop leaders here in Madison to discuss worker cooperatives as a key solution for economic resilience and healthy communities. In the studio with Cynthia were John Conowall, Union Cab Member and representative to the Madison Worker Cooperatives (MadWorC) and Richard Kilmer, chief pharmacist at Community Pharmacy. Union Cab and other Madison businesses are featured in the film and Thursday’s film screening is a fundraiser for MadWorC. Watch the trailer and read more about the film on their website: Listen to the entire interview: more »

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