You might find it hard to believe, but it’s been less than three months since we suspended the weekly newsletter. I’m bringing it back for now. Hope you have all been well, and I know you have all been busy, as the twin impacts of the pandemic and police violence have been felt so hard by the working people of our country–particularly the Black and indigenous people of color in all of our communities. Thank you for everything you are doing to fight for a more just society & economy.
Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability
“…there’s a reason why so many elected officials relent when police contracts come up for renewal. The unions have political clout — offering politicians a big voting block of their members and those who support them. They also raise campaign contributions for elected officials who support their agenda.” Buzzfeed takes a look at how police unions influence efforts to reform the behavior of police. Meanwhile, IBM is getting out of the facial recognition business, citing concerns about how the technology is being used for mass surveillance and racial profiling.
Today in headlines that would have been hard to explain six months ago: “Uber will bail out food-delivery drivers arrested past curfew.”
Reputation, reputation, reputation
Workers have filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the company’s efforts at contact tracing to stop the spread of coronavirus in warehouses. One specific point of contention is that the company is only using surveillance from video cameras (which don’t cover all the areas where people might interact, just the places the company is worried about theft) to inform other workers that they may have been exposed.
If you know that facial recognition software is effective worse at identifying people of color, maybe don’t use it to find photos to go along with robot-generated articles?
“Despite its public statements, black users on Nextdoor are being silenced by community moderators after participating in discussions about race. Some are opting to leave the app altogether while others are considering moving out of their neighborhoods based on what they’ve seen on the platform. ‘As a black person, I don’t feel safe at all using it for anything,’ Kalkidan told The Verge. ‘I’m always terrified, thinking “Oh my god. I already know what so-and-so thinks of us.” This is a very horrible situation to be in.’” NextDoor communities expose racism & white supremacy in mixed-race communities.
Webinar, next week, by the Century Foundation: “Tackling child poverty in the wake of COVID-19” Register here.
What’s Going on in the Workforce
CA farmworkers fear the spread of COVID in the crowded housing they are offered by farmers.
CNN wonders—will the gig economy be the new normal for many people, after COVID?