EARN Notice
A monthly newsletter from the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN)

July 1, 2021

Hi EARN Community—
I hope you had a pleasant June, a month known for its warm weather, long days, and the twice-weekly ritual of refreshing for Supreme Court live updates. This includes considering how case decisions will impact the lives of workers and their families across the country.
In good news, the Affordable Care Act survived its third major challenge at the Supreme Court. The ACA is an imperfect but enormously important advance in the U.S. welfare state. It has provided protection for millions, with the biggest improvements going to lower- and middle-income families, and Black and Brown populations. Additionally, the expansions of public health insurance through Medicaid have been transformative through the ACA. If it had been overturned by the Court, the consequences would have been disastrous for this country. The Court also ruled against the NCAA’s restrictions on education-related benefits for student athletes and depriving them of compensation—a hopeful signal of future changes in the way college athletes are treated.
Other Court opinions harm workers and fail to advance racial and gender justice. For example, the Court’s decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid means union organizers will no longer have the right to access the farms where farmworkers are employed. This makes it harder for workers in some of the most dangerous jobs in the country to have a voice at work. The decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia overturned a lower court ruling that allowed the City of Philadelphia to ban Catholic Social Services from participating in the city’s foster care program due to their refusal to accept same-sex couples as foster parents, stating the restriction violates the organization’s First Amendment right. This comes as a defeat to LGBTQ individuals, but also other populations that are often discriminated against and excluded from key social services. These two disappointing decisions were not related to federal laws, but state and local matters, highlighting the importance of your work across the network.
Over the coming weeks, I look forward to introducing you to the new partnerships between EARN groups and grassroots organizations through our EARN in the Midwest initiative. These partnerships aim to advance racial equity and win workers’ rights in some of the toughest terrains for change in the country. Stay tuned!
In Solidarity,
Dave Kamper
Senior State Policy Coordinator, EARN in the Midwest

New Publications

Towards the other side: past the pandemic and beyond to an equitable recovery (June 21, 2021)
Failure to renew Medicaid provider taxes would be devastating for Missourians (June 18, 2021)
Racial disparities in California’s state prisons remain large despite justice system reforms (June 2021)
Misclassification, the ABC test, and employee status (June 16, 2021)

What We're Reading

Black Workers Stopped Making Progress on Pay. Is It Racism? (June 28, 2021)

Economists are grappling with how much to blame bias or a changing economy for the widening wage gap over the last 40 years. Read here.
How Amazon Workers Got Serious About Climate (and How You Can, too) (May 27, 2021)

This podcast episode explores how Amazon workers pushed the company to act on climate change, how effective it was, and what lessons the rest of us can learn from them. Listen here


Reminder: Add EARNCon to your calendar! This year's virtual event is taking place from September 27 to October 1.

Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming webinars. In the meantime, check out the recordings from our recent webinars:

Project Updates

Worker Power
Our Worker Power Project launched in June with a "Unions 101" workshop sharing why strong unions are essential to achieving racial, gender, and economic justice, and how state and local policies often determine whether workers can access rights to organize, join a union, or collectively bargain with employers.
In the coming months, the Worker Power Project will provide resources, learning opportunities, and funding support to EARN groups engaged in state or local issue campaigns to ensure all workers—including those long excluded from state or federal legal protections—can freely exercise the right to join together in a union and gain a voice on the job.

  • EARN groups will soon receive a brief Worker Power Project questionnaire, which will help us take stock of initiatives already underway across the network.
  • In July, we will issue a request for proposals for two-year capacity-building grants, which will be designated for hiring or funding EARN staff dedicated to worker power projects undertaken in partnership with a labor union, labor federation, or worker center. The proposed worker power projects should aim to advance one or more state/local policies that expand, restore, or maintain workers’ rights to organize unions and/or collectively bargain with employers. The proposed project should also show potential for improving racial and gender equity outcomes for workers.
This email was sent to you by the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), 
1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005  •

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

View this email in your browser