Newsletter March 21, 2017
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From the Executive Director's Desk

The release of Donald Trump's skinny budget confirmed some of our worst fears; the proposal included a 20% reduction for the Department of Labor, and the total elimination of the training grant programs within OSHA. The Chemical Safety Board is slated for elimination, and the Environmental Protection Administration would face drastic reductions, including big cuts to the Superfund program. If enacted, this type of budget would be devastating for New Jersey. The hypocrisy here is notable; this administration claims to be primarily concerned about American safety and security (often given as justification for transparently xenophobic actions) while simultaneously proposing the dismantlement of many programs that strive for chemical safety and security, and actually protect public health. 

In regard to protecting public health, WEC stands with our allies in opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and we will be attending the rally in Trenton this Thursday, March 23 at 11:30am. The CBO analysis showing that more than 24 million people could lose their healthcare coverage, and the projected loss of coverage for nearly half a million New Jersey residents, should give us all pause. Please consider calling your Congressional representatives today and asking them to oppose TrumpCare. You can use this CWA number and be automatically redirected: 855-980-2346.

In Solidarity,

Take Action!
Make Our Communities Safer
From Dangerous Oil Trains

WEC and allies, including the Professional Fire Fighters Association of NJ, have been working together for more than two years on a bill that would make communities safer from ultra-explosive crude oil trains. The Oil Train Safety Bill A2463 (S806) is scheduled for a floor vote in the NJ Assembly this Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Please contact your Assembly members and urge them to vote for community safety by voting yes on bill A2463. Learn more.

Jersey Renews Launch Events 

WEC recently helped launch Jersey Renews, a coalition of labor, community, environmental and faith based organizations pushing for stronger climate policies here in NJ.

Join us for one of our Jersey Renews kick-off meetings:

Monday, March 27
7:30 to 9:00 pm
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Montclair

Monday, April 3
2:00 to 2:30 pm
Kroc Corps Community Center, Camden

Monday, April 10
6:30 to 8:00 pm
Labor Education Center, New Brunswick

You’ll hear from dynamic speakers who will describe how intelligent state policies can help us reach the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals we need, maintain and create good jobs, and give us cleaner air in our communities.  New Jerseyans will elect a new governor later this year.  We need all the candidates to know that there’s powerful support for taking action on climate change.

And, because we need to join our efforts to the national upsurge in support for socially just climate action, you’ll hear up-to-the-minute updates about the People’s Climate March in Washington DC on April 29, including updates on the march route and the design of the action, opportunities to sign up for buses to DC, and more.

How Do We Protect Our Children, Communities Against Toxic Chemicals? 

Debra Coyle McFadden, WEC assistant director, and Molly Greenberg, environmental justice policy manager at Ironbound Community Corp. co-authored an opinion-editorial that appeared in NJ Spotlight on February 28, 2017. 

"In kindergarten, when the fire alarm went off, we were told what to do. Line up, follow the exit signs, and walk to our assigned meeting place outside the school. We had an emergency plan in case there was a fire. Now as adults responsible for our families and communities, we find the threats are greater and the information we need to be prepared is missing.

Decades ago, at a time when chemicals were not monitored, explosions and releases would happen regularly in highly industrial communities, such as the Ironbound neighborhood in Newark. Residents rose up and demanded that workers and communities had a right to know what the chemicals were and what they needed do to protect themselves."

Read more.

A National Action Agenda for
Workplace Safety

WEC, and other NJ allies, are advocating for worker safety, and has joined a nationwide campaign to advance an action agenda for workplace safety. “Protecting Workers’ Lives and Limbs,” compiled by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, has been endorsed by 92 groups across the country, including WEC, GreenFaith, New Labor, New Jersey Education Association, NJ Sierra Club, Professional Firefighters Association of NJ, and Statewide Education Organizing Committee.

The comprehensive platform for strong worker safety protections can save workers’ lives and reduce costs to employers in New Jersey. Read more.

Public Need Over Corporate Greed

The Public Need over Corporate Greed campaign presumes that fundamental social change, in New Jersey and elsewhere, can only be achieved if workers, communities, and environmental organizations join forces to combat big moneyed special interests and corporate power.

We are excited to announce that we have now trained 45 trainers who are prepared to educate other activists on the economic strip mining of our economy, and how corporations and Wall Street firms have robbed our country, state, communities, and workplaces.

Together, we are prepared to shine a spotlight, and make clear the complex economics that political elites would prefer be kept muddled and unclear. Understanding finance and how it affects us is more important now than ever, as we move into an era in which industry executives and Wall Street financiers are leading our federal agencies and setting national policy.

If you wish to arrange a training session on financialization and how it affects your community, please contact campaign organizer Brandon Castro.
Workers' Memorial Day

Join Us!
Sunday, April 23, 2017
1PM, New Brunswick
Need a speaker for an upcoming event, meeting, or training conference on workplace, environmental, or school safety issues? WEC staff would love to help. Contact Cecelia Gilligan Leto for more information.
Become a Member
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Take Action
New year,
new opportunity to join! Individuals and organizations can join WEC & you may 
pay for your membership online.

If you aren't yet a member, please join today!
Workplace Violence PSA
A nurse tells her personal and compelling story of workplace violence.
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