The new company store?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Despite the fact that many workers in their warehouses rely on them, Amazon has decided not to accept food stamps, in their cashier-less Amazon Go stores. I guess the company store doesn’t sell to workers anymore?

In an interesting turn of events, David Rolf (SEIU 775) and Nick Hanauer (Civic Partners) have signed an open letter about portable benefits with the new CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshani.

Oregon voters overwhelmingly approved a tax to support the state’s Medicaid expansion program, in the wake of federal budget instability.

We’re now up to 750 communities in the US that have built their own internet networks. Somehow, that second Comcast tower keeps rising over Philly, though…

From Partners

I’ve heard from a couple of folks about their interest in using Voter Circle’s free (to groups with lists of 10K or less) tool for matching voter file data onto social networks. How are you planning to use it?

Geeking Out

End the carceral state, but on the way there, use technology to avoid excessive arrests, per this example out of NYC.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

I mean, how could I pass by an article titled, “I am a roboticist in a cheese factory?”

It’s great to see that some startups are giving equity to freelancers that help build their platform. It’ll be even better when they give equity to the independent contractors that help execute the work in the world.

German workers are fighting for the 28-hour workweek. Here’s how industry sees that effort.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

ICE is going to be able to track license plates all across the country, through a network of camera-equipped police cars, and readers on bridges or toll booths, going back at least five years.

Organizing Theory

Great piece by Kaytee Ray-Riek on how to create an organization that supports a diverse staff team.

Replace “the Democratic Party” with any effort to build mass political power, in this article, and it’s a pretty good read about the importance of digital grassroots organizing.

“Revolutionary common sense”

Original Content

There’s been a lot of conversation in organizing spaces recently about distributed & decentralized organizing. Check out my conversation with Nijmie Dzurinko of Put People First! PA on how that organization develops leaders using very limited staff support.

Thanks to all our supporters who keep this site going. If you like the original content on this site, please kick in a small contribution ($2/mo?) to help us keep it up and running.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Uber thinks it will be able to roll out driverless cars without a backup human driver sometime in the next year—but only in places that don’t get snow, at first.

The Perils of Trumpism

Yes, you too can now become a real estate speculator, with an investment as low as $500!


Becker Digital Strategies announces the East Coast version of their Social Media Deep Dive Training—in DC, from May 14-17.

The Aspen Institute hosts a book talk with CIW organizers in DC on Friday, February 9th (but it will also live-stream, if you’re not in DC that day).

From Partners

The Labor Research and Action Network has issued a call for proposals for its conference (May 31-June 1 in Nashville).

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Municipally-owned broadband is cheaper than privately-provided internet. Duh, but now there’s evidence.

20 cities enter…but only one will leave. Welcome to Amazon HQ2 Thunderdome!

European campaigners are lobbying to have all code developed by governments become open source.

“…a factory for the production of activists.” Great piece about Minnesota’s CTUL, an amazing worker center.

DoorDash now helps restaurants get productively rid of leftover food—by dropping it off at food banks.

Solidarity? Forever.

Original Content

For the next year, we’re going to highlight stories about building solidarity across difference. Here’s why. Got a story to suggest? Email me, or leave a comment on the blog.

Thanks to all our supporters who keep this site going. If you like the original content on this site, please kick in a small contribution ($2/mo?) to help us keep it up and running.

Organizing Theory

Non-profit organizations don’t usually lean into new technology—here’s a piece arguing we should, particularly when it comes to bots & other AI.

Geeking Out

One of the more plausible pieces of science fiction I’ve read this year—what’s to stop your driverless car from turning into a driverless hotel room, when you’re done traveling for the night? (Related–you should still tip your housekeeper.)

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Great piece by Alex Rosenblat on how ride-sharing drivers communicate & organize through online platforms.

Health care has become the biggest US employment sector. But please, let’s worry about manufacturing some more.

Thanks to reader Allison Petonic for sending me this piece, about how Australian union officials are responding to (and using) technology in their organizing work.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Uber built a tool to allow their employees in SF to shut down computers in any other Uber office, if government officials came looking for data.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

What if, instead of having one more cop show on tv, we had a coop show?

In an interesting turn of events, the tax bill seems to have created an advantage for agricultural cooperatives over Big Ag.

Can AI-infused robots help reduce the use of chemicals in agribusiness?

Who do you build solidarity with?

If the early Trump era has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t afford to be siloed in our work to build power for the precarious. The Administration, along with its allies in Congress, has proved that they are able to carry out multiple attacks on our hard-fought victories–sometimes within the span of a single day–even while managing a news cycle that seems to explode hourly with new signs of the president’s slipping grasp on reality.

We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March (and of course, of the inauguration that preceded it), which kicked off a year of massive mobilization to demonstrations, hearings, town halls and rallies across movements. And of course, we’re also about to hit the 50-year anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign, which is being revived for the 21st century by Rev. Barber and many others.

It’s got me thinking a lot about the concept of solidarity and how it is practiced (or sometimes just given lip service to), in the US–particularly for unions who, in earlier decades, fought the fights that brought the majority of their members into the middle class.

I’d challenge all of us to ask ourselves, our leaders, and our friends the following questions:

  • Does your practice of solidarity require you to enlist your middle-class members in the #fightfor15?
  • Does your practice of solidarity require you to educate your white members about why #blacklivesmatter, and to get them in the streets?
  • Does your practice of solidarity require you to recruit the men in your membership into fighting sexual harassment? And to understand why reproductive justice is an economic issue, as well as a health care one?
  • Does your practice of solidarity require you to confront your US citizen members with the need to defend the undocumented and the DACA-mented?
  • Does your practice of solidarity require that your abled members stand up for the disabled, on and off the job?
  • Does your practice of solidarity require you to press your straight members into fighting for LGBTQ rights?

For progressive, membership-based organizations, the practice of solidarity requires political education of the members. We won’t get to where we need to be until we start talking to our members about our analysis of power–how it is created and held, how we are complicit in it (some more than others), how we are going to fight it and win.

We can’t build a movement for economic justice unless we expand our concept of solidarity beyond the borders of our own organizations. Nor should we keep spouting the word “solidarity” without actually showing up to do the work that makes it real.

For the next year, at Hack the Union, I’m looking to highlight stories of solidarity-building–and in particular, to delve into the strategies that organizers are using, to build alliances across difference. If you know of an organization that’s doing great work in this arena, send me a tip.

Public banks are picking up ground

I don’t even have a category for this one….possible super-wealthy senate candidate launches website that looks like an organization, to convince voters to join a movement for financial security?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Legal weed and divestment campaigns have a common problem—where to send cash? Public banks might be the answer.

With the FCC backing off of net neutrality, some state legislatures are working to ensure an open internet, at least for their own residents.

What’s Going on in the Workforce

An amazing long-read about the private waste collection industry in NYC, and how a shitty company union is help for-profit operators hurt workers—as well as pedestrians & bicyclists—in the city.

For a much lighter look at the world of gig work, here’s a quick hit on what it’s like to be a movie/tv extra.

“Do better than what you can get away with.” Basecamp’s CTO explains why the company pays everyone what they would earn if they worked for a Bay Area tech company and lived in San Francisco—even though no one who works for them fits that description.

The Future of Work is already here, says Politico.

German union IG Metall is striking to redefine “full-time” work as a 28-hour week.


In DC & want to talk about health care reform in 2020? Check out this Century Foundation event on Thursday.

Becker Strategies is offering a 4-day Social Media Strategy training in Oakland in March.

Geeking Out

The only way a laundry-folding machine will be worth $700 to me is if it can fold a fitted sheet better than I can.

It’s the sex-robot-hot-take you’ve been waiting for: maybe it won’t be women who are replaced by sex robots, but men. (I’m listening.)

Organizing Theory

Relay has some thoughts on how not to ruin P2P texting, for organizations and campaigns that use it.

Happy New Year! Now, back to fighting for what we need.

Thanks, everyone who spread the word about Hack the Union in the end of last year—we picked up many new subscribers & followers. And if you forgot to do this in December—there’s still time! 

What’s Going on in the Workforce

Here’s a new (to me, at least) effort to create anonymized, workplace-topic conversations inside tech companies.

 “…decades of subsidizing coal profits over investment in human capital and technology has led to a dearth of opportunities for young central Appalachians.” On how coal has messed up West Virginia’s economy, not just its environment, through reverse wealth distribution 

Geeking Out

Check out Campaign Zero’s 2017 Police Violence Report, with data on every US police shooting in 2017. Amazing use of data to tell a story.

Organizing Theory

It’s not every day (or every week. or every month.) that I’ll post something written by a Congressional Republican—but I’ll give Rep. Crawford credit for this post, where he argues that we need a better way for Americans to give their elected representatives feedback than using Facebook & Twitter.

From Partners

The National Women’s Law Center has a good, downloadable toolkit for fighting sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

UberEats is a bigger business than Uber, in some European cities.

Thanks to reader Brad Rothrock, for sending me this piece, about competing narratives about the gig economy.


Social Movement Technologies just posted a slew of free online talks for 2018. Sign up for them here.