Puerto Rico Needs Support After Hurricane Fiona. Here’s How to Help.

In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, mutual aid and grassroots networks in Puerto Rico are directly assisting struggling communities with food, water, and medical supplies. Through recruiting volunteers, distributing resources, and cleaning up communities, local organizations are quickly addressing needs while the government dithers. “We have seen that the government is incapable of addressing the immediate survival needs of vulnerable communities, those vulnerable to climate change, economically vulnerable,” said Aurora Santiago-Ortiz, an assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Because the government is unable to address these immediate needs for survival, folks have had to…

Groups Pushing Right-Wing State Policy Are Raking In $152 Million Each Year

The right-wing State Policy Network (SPN) and its state-based affiliates now collectively bring in $152 million annually in revenue, according to an analysis of the most recent publicly available tax filings by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). This represents a 27% increase over the $120 million CMD calculated the network brought in almost three years ago. SPN met last week in Atlanta for its 30th Annual Meeting, where members spent four days immersed in a far-right agenda of social, political, economic, and culture war issues they hope to advance at the state level — in resistance to “federal…

Entirety of Puerto Rico’s Private Power Grid Knocked Out Before Hurricane Hit

The entirety of Puerto Rico lost power on Sunday, leaving the island’s over 3 million people in the dark before the Category 1 Hurricane Fiona that was forecasted to dump at least over a foot and up to 30 inches of rain on the island. Over 1.4 million customers tracked by Luma Energy, which owns the transmission and distribution of power in Puerto Rico, lost power. This includes places like health centers, where many people rely on electricity to survive. According to PowerOutage.us, the vast majority of buildings and residences are still without power as of Monday morning, with over…

Corporate Involvement in Jackson’s Infrastructure Set Stage for Its Water Crisis

Image Credit: Twitter: @mintamolly We look at how corporate involvement in Jackson, Mississippi’s infrastructure helped set the stage for its water crisis, as tens of thousands of residents of the majority-Black city remain under a boil water advisory. The main water treatment plant was damaged after a flood in late August, and while water pressure has been restored to most homes, viral videos show undrinkable brown liquid coming out of many taps. Mississippi’s Governor Tate Reeves has said “privatization is on the table” for the state capital. This could lead to a repeat of problems stemming from a $90 million…

Does Mexico’s Wind Industry Deliver More Dirty Profits Than Clean Energy?

Almost all wind farms in Mexico are privately owned, typically by European and U.S. transnational companies. While wind farms are touted as climate solutions, the profit-hungry companies are actually causing widespread damage to the regions they’re based in. Almost two-thirds of Mexican towns and cities are currently facing severe water shortages, and the country’s Senate declared a climate emergency in 2019. Instead of addressing these issues, however, alternative energy companies in Mexico are focused on exploiting cheap land that is often the common property of farmers and Indigenous people. While companies like Coca-Cola, Walmart and Mitsubishi use the electricity generated,…

Texas Organizers Win Partial Victory to Defend Public Transit From Privatization

This article was first published at Labor Notes. When “microtransit,” the new rage in transit privatization, showed up in Denton, Texas, union activists decided to fight back. Microtransit is a loosely defined term that combines on-demand service with flexible scheduling and routes — imagine replacing a bus system with shared Ubers. It is presented as a high-tech alternative to public transit, but in reality it’s an extension of the drive to privatize. Some local governments around the country have already handed off operations of their public transit systems to large private operators like Keolis and MV Transportation. This move takes…

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