CREDO boosts Walmart workers’ activism at company’s shareholder meeting

Last week, as company executives and the Walton family convened for Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, workers with OUR Walmart gathered to take actions and deliver more than 200,000 petition signatures to these decision-makers, calling on them to pay workers $15 an hour and offer full-time, consistent scheduling.

They aimed to highlight the Walmart’s poverty wages, understaffed stores, and inconsistent schedules to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, the Walton heirs and other Walmart executives and shareholders.

CREDO teamed up with OUR Walmart to co-sponsor a mobile billboard truck that carried the workers’ message throughout Bentonville during the shareholder meeting. The workers also executed a banner drop inside the shareholder meeting to deliver the call for change directly to investors.

The billboard, which read “Walmart’s CEO earned $9,323/hr last year. Walmart can afford $15/hour and full time,” went to Walmart’s home office, the town square offices of the Walton family heirs, and Bud Walton Arena, among other places.

walmart

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The Social Security fight: A victory for the progressive movement

Expand social securityJust six years ago, the movement to expand Social Security was virtually invisible. President Obama had empowered a fast-track commission that was dead set on cutting Social Security and Medicare. The Washington consensus was that Social Security benefit cuts were inevitable – the only question was how big the cuts would be.

Back then it was pretty lonely in D.C. to be standing against the Democratic president’s commision. We had to push back not only against a popular Democratic president, but against the mainstream Democratic establishment that wanted to give him leeway to cut other deals. In 2010, it was like pulling teeth to get Democrats to pledge “no cuts” to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

But CREDO Action and Social Security Works weren’t interested in being popular in D.C., we were interested in what was right. And so from day one we opposed any and all efforts to cut benefits.

Whether we faced fast-track commissions like Bowles-Simpson, debt ceiling hostage crises, or supercommittees, we collectively raised our voices and stopped these attempts to dismantle our earned benefits. The plain fact of America’s retirement security crisis was powerful enough that the same arguments against cuts were also arguments FOR expanding benefits. We didn’t rest in victory – we kept fighting. And six years later, the president announced that he supports increased benefits to address the retirement security crisis. We did that together. Our voices changed the conversation. Read More

Who we’re funding in June

Every month CREDO gives you the opportunity to vote to distribute our donations. Here’s how it works. We select three progressive nonprofits and commit to donating a portion of our monthly revenue to them—more than $150,000—based on your votes.

For June we’ve selected three amazing organizations: Friends of the Earth and Stand.earth—both are vital partners in our fight for climate justice—and Project Vote, whose voter registration efforts will be critical to progressive success in 2016. We are excited to support them this month and we hope that you are, too. Read More

5 tips for better mobile phone security

As technology becomes a more and more important part of our daily lives, the risks of exposure to hacking and malicious software are constantly growing. The good news is that you can take a few quick and easy measures to better protect yourself and your device.

1. Avoid public WiFi
I’ve been there—at the airport or in the local coffee shop and desperate for wireless connectivity. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes I do connect to public WiFi. Networks that are open to the public and readily available in many corners of the world are hotbeds for snooping. Anyone with access to the network can view other people’s browsing behavior. If you must connect to public WiFi, avoid doing anything that involves payment or passwords (like online shopping or logging into Facebook).

If you have an Android phone, you can download the Secure Wireless app by Disconnect Inc. from the Google Play store. This app can help you fend of snoopers and stop tracking companies from collecting data on your online behavior without your knowledge.

2. Keep your apps up to date
Ever wonder why you keep getting nagged to install app updates? There’s a good reason for the frequent releases and pesky reminders to install them—they help keep secure the plethora of personal information stored on your phone. Many apps store sensitive information, like your credit card payment information or personal contacts. Engineers often find security vulnerabilities in their apps and fix them by releasing new versions of the software with improved security. Read More

CREDO’s May donations recipients say thanks

Thanks to our customers and the revenue they generate, CREDO donates more than $150,000 to three progressive nonprofits every month. In May, we funded Amnesty International USA, Pesticide Action Network North America and Women for Women International. Over 61,000 CREDO members voted on how to distribute our donations. Each and every one of these votes matter to the organizations – and our May donations recipients want to say thanks.

Amnesty International USA
“Support for Amnesty International will help protect and defend human rights around the world. Amnesty International is campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Our work protects and empowers people—from advancing sexual and reproductive rights and advocating for the rights of women and girls, to defending refugees and migrants’ rights, to combating discrimination, and to demanding the freedom of individuals around the world jailed solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs or identity. We speak out for anyone and everyone whose human rights are under threat. Support from CREDO and its members helps Amnesty as it researches human rights abuses, organizes millions of activists, and advocates for change locally, nationally, and internationally. We thank you for your incredible support, and encourage you to join our movement and continue helping us to create change. Thank you, CREDO! To learn more, visit amnestyusa.org.” Read More

The power of ordinary Americans

I admire CREDO and its members for their desire for accountability against entrenched power. Your work serves as a great example of making manifest the American values of fair play and success through hard work. You have fought tirelessly for justice for those who invade our privacy or nearly bankrupt our economy. And you have had triumphs, however small, in building the movement to ensure that everyone in this country, no matter how rich or poor, is treated fairly and honestly. I want to tell you a story about three people who share those values.

In my book Chain of Title, I profile three Americans who played a significant role in uncovering the largest consumer fraud in American history. They didn’t work in government or law enforcement. They were not experts in real estate law or high finance. They had no history of anti-corporate activism or community organizing. They had no resources or institutional knowledge. They were a cancer nurse, a car salesman, and an insurance fraud specialist, and they were all foreclosure victims. While struggling with the shame and dislocation and financial stress that foreclosure causes, they did something extraordinary: they read their mortgage documents. And what they found was a scheme hidden in plain view, in millions of pieces of paper distributed to courts and county offices all over the country. Read More

How to beat Trump’s hate

At CREDO we believe that when we witness racism, xenophobia, or any other form of bigotry we have an obligation to fight back.

That is why we are doing everything we can to stand up to Donald Trump’s demonization of immigrants, dehumanization of people of color, and the violence his hateful rhetoric has incited and spawned.

Thankfully we have an incredible partner in frequent CREDO donations recipient ColorOfChange. From demanding Glenn Beck’s advertisers abandon his program to successful campaigns to remove racist shows like Cops from TV, they have led the way in holding corporations accountable for the racism their sponsorship dollars fund.

Now we are proud to partner with ColorOfChange and other progressive allies to stand up to the companies who are sponsoring the Republican National Convention (RNC) that will confirm Trump as the Republican presidential nominee. Corporate sponsorship of the RNC helps mainstream and sanitize Trump’s racism, xenophobia and misogyny. It is irresponsible and dangerous for any company to choose access to political power over standing up to bigotry and hate. We’re working hard to make sure that corporations get that message, and feel the pressure to do the right thing.

Donald Trump action at Google HQ

We are already seeing success. 93,000 CREDO activists signed a petition demanding Coca-Cola drop their sponsorship of the convention. 63,000 made the same request of Microsoft. Both companies have now scaled back their support and pledged not to make any additional cash donations to the convention.

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WATCH: Sen. Elizabeth Warren vs. a small, insecure money-grubber

News broke last week that Donald Trump responded to the prospect of the economic collapse of 2007 by saying:

I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy. If there is a bubble burst…you know you can make a lot of money.

In response, in a speech Tuesday night in Washington, Sen. Elizabeth Warren took Trump to task for being “a small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it.”

What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van? What kind of a man does that? I’ll tell you exactly what kind—a man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it.

Sen. Warren’s remarks raise another important question: What is Donald Trump hiding and why won’t he release his tax returns? We put together a quick video using Senator Warren’s powerful remarks to build pressure on Donald Trump to stop hiding and release his tax returns.

Watch the video below – then sign our petition urging Donald Trump to stop hiding and release his tax returns.

Three free progressive apps for your smartphone

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Back in March, I recommended three progressive-friendly apps for your smartphone: Buycott: Buy this, not that, EWG’s Food Scores: Eat healthier, and iRecycle: Find where to take it.

Here are three more apps that can help progressives stay involved with the issues we care about.

Progressive Voices
Apple App Store   
Want to know where you can listen to progressive news and opinion talk shows? With all the corporate-owned radio stations out there, progressive radio can be hard to find. Now you can get fantastic progressive radio content whenever you want with the Progressive Voices app. Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller and Bill Press are just some of the hosts featured on Progressive Voices.

The app is FREE with live streaming 24 hours a day so you can listen anytime you want. What could be better than that? Read More

Women for Women International visits CREDO headquarters

Women for Women International visit
Economic security is an integral part of women’s ability to achieve full equality and freedom. Here in the U.S., CREDO activists are helping fight for equal pay, raise the minimum wage, and guarantee paid sick and family leave. In countries like Rwanda, Kosovo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, CREDO donations are helping to give women in conflict zones the support and skills they need to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.

Since 1995, Women for Women International (WfWI) has received $452,810— nearly half a million dollars— in donations generated by CREDO members. WfWI works with marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict. It is currently working in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. It enrolls women in a 12-month training program that creates a safe space where they can heal, form friendships, learn new skills and access resources. Women who complete the program increase their daily personal earnings fourfold, three times as many report practicing family planning, and 11 times as many report sharing information about their rights with other women. WfWI also trains men to be allies and accelerate women’s success at home, in business and in the community.

On May 4, Abdoulaye Toure, WfWI Country Director for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Antoinette Uwimana, WfWI Country Director for Rwanda, and WfWI CEO Jennifer Windsor visited our San Francisco office to report on their work around the world. Read More