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Sometimes It Takes a Fire to Wake Us Up

Huffington Post, By Matt Ryan, March 30, 2011. One hundred years ago last Friday, 146 workers, mostly young immigrant girls, lost their lives in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Trapped inside a sweatshop behind doors that had been locked to prevent theft and keep out union organizers, dozens of girls chose to throw themselves to their deaths nine stories below rather than be consumed by flames.

Traumatized by images of innocent bodies left strewn on city streets for days, New Yorkers rose to the occasion, initiating a wave of legal reforms and union organizing drives that laid the groundwork for the New Deal and the most exceptional gains that American workers have ever achieved.

Left, Right Unite Against Cuomo

Crains Insider, March 17, 2011. In an unusual, perhaps unprecedented occurrence, left-leaning New York Jobs with Justice sided with state Senate Republicans yesterday in rejecting the regional economic development councils proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "This could be a first," said a Jobs with Justice spokeswoman, "though we occasionally get a Republican who questions bottomless tax breaks." She said Cuomo hasn't provided enough details on the councils to demonstrate that they're "a coordinated, long-term strategy to create good jobs throughout the state." Senate opposition was not unexpected, given that the councils entail new spending largely outside of legislators' control.

Main Streeter joins state

Albany Times Union, By Rick Karlin, January 28, 2011. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday nominated a veteran business advocate as CEO and president of the Empire State Development Corp., New York's main economic development organization. And while unions have frequently been on the other side of business groups on several issues -- from the push for family leave to property tax caps -- representatives of labor groups generally had little criticism of Adams. One exception was Allison Duwe, executive director at the Coalition for Economic Justice, which has criticized business tax breaks and supports an expansion of workers rights. She said appointing an economic developer like Adams is "business as usual" at the Capitol.