You may have heard that over 200 workers at Samsung's display and computer chip factories in South Korea have contracted serious illnesses, including lymphoma, leukemia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, and 76 of them had died; most of these workers, contrary to what you might expect, were in their twenties and thirties, and were, in the words of one retired worker, "uninformed kids from the countryside" that Samsung used like they were "disposable cups." You may not have heard that Samsung did not disclose the harmful chemicals to which these workers were all exposed, out of a concern for protecting trade secrets. You recall that gas drilling corporations also use the trade-secret rationale to justify refusing to disclose the chemicals they pump into your drinking and bathing water; it's getting to the point where we can safely assume that when a corporation says "trade secret," it really means "I'm not telling you because I'm doing you harm." So Sum of Us helps you tell Samsung to compensate the families of workers who died in their factories.
Meanwhile, both houses of the California state legislature have passed AB 2844, a bill which would force all businesses and non-profits contracting with the state to declare that they do not have a policy of boycotting a "sovereign nation." If that sounds a bit obscure, consider that Israel is a sovereign nation, and that the BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanctions) aims to change Israel's policies toward Palestine by refraining from investing in, or using the products of, those corporations that contract with Israel. I don't think bills like AB 2844 violate the First Amendment -- no entity has a right to government contracts, and really, in my view, governments should be performing, not outsourcing, the tasks that the people have given them via legislation and taxes -- but I do think AB 2844 will be almost prohibitively difficult to enforce, and states shouldn't use purity tests to hand out contracts. AB 2844 now goes to Gov. Brown, historically tight-lipped about signing controversial bills, and Jewish Voice for Peace helps you tell Gov. Brown to veto the anti-BDS bill, AB 2844.
Finally, MoveOn helps you tell President Obama to designate the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument, and thus protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining forever. The Grand Canyon has been a national park for almost a century, but mining corporations want to dig up the area around the Canyon for uranium, which would, as you might expect, pollute the Colorado River, which provides drinking water to seven Western states. Mr. Obama's previous Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar (lately appointed by Hillary Clinton to run her transition team), rather unexpectedly imposed a uranium-mining moratorium on the Grand Canyon area, but that's going to expire one day, and designating the area as a national monument would prevent uranium mining there forever. A lot of good folks probably already think the Grand Canyon is a national monument because, hello, have you seen that thing? But a national treasure and a National Monument are two entirely different things. If Mr. Obama is so concerned about his legacy, he can forget all about the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" and designate the Grand Canyon area a national monument.