Friday, November 7, 2008


The long, seemingly endless election season has come to an end. Working families saw great wins and some unsettling losses in terms of supportive candidates, but the results of the Presidential election have made it clear that the people of this country want change. President-elect Barack Obama has outlined on his new website his agenda for the when the new administration takes office next January. High priorities on the list are matters of the economy, health care, and energy, issues that have become so important to working families across the country. His plans to support our workers, revitalize the economy, phase in reforms to our health care system, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil will be steps in the right direction to provide some relief to the tough financial problems faced by working families every day.

But our fight is not over.

According to the American Automobile Association, Western New York has the highest gas prices of anywhere in the continental US; only Alaskans and Hawaiins pay more per gallon. Congressman-elect Chris Lee wants the market to control our health care system, to deregulate business even further, and will cut government spending for vital social programs that working families here in WNY rely on. Though this was a long campaign cycle that left so many of us very tired of politics, we must still stay vigilant. It is our duty to make sure Congressman-elect Lee takes on our concerns and represents everyone here in the 26th districts - businesses as well as working families.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deceptive Literature

We've received word from The Albany Project that a piece of literature is being circulated today that contain misleading information about Alice Kryzan's environmental policies. The piece contains no "paid for by..." information, which is a violation of federal election law. You can find out information about her actual positions on the Kryzan for Congress website, which also notes that she is supported by the NY League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club.

While WFW doesn't endorse any candidates, we always strive to get the truth about their policy positions out there so that voters can make informed decisions. Please pass along this note if you come across any of the misleading literature. We shouldn't let dirty politics confuse voters, especially not today!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rock The Vote!

Despite the cold, almost a hundred Western New Yorkers came out yesterday to Rock The Vote with us at the Albright Knox. It was a really fun event, and I think our message about voting and getting involved really came across well. Five different local bands performed: Type Relevant, Davey O, The Found, Redwater, and The Thermidors. There was a little something for everyone, ranging from jazzy hip hop to folk to rock to some classic sounding rock and roll. The music pulled in quite a few people from the park who hadn't heard about the event, even well after the dark and cold set in, which was great in helping to pass along the message.

It was a busy last weekend before the election, but a number of political figures took the time to stop by to talk to the attendees. Congressional candidate Dan Humiston stopped by early on in the event to chat with people. Chairman Len Lenihan of the Democratic Party really got the crowd geared up taking about how important this election is, and how critical it is for everyone to get out there and vote. Alice Kryzan's son Sam stopped by on her behalf (she was out campaigning in another county) to talk about how beneficial grassroots campaigning and the involvement of ordinary community members has been this year. Comptroller Mark Poloncarz and NYS Assembly candidate Jerry Schad also mingled with attendees at the event.

Check out some photos of the day's festivities below. You can see many more over at our Flickr photostream.


You can also watch video of some of the bands' performances below!

For those of you who were there, what did you think of Rock The Vote? Post your comments here!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Four Days Left!

With just four days left until the election, things are really hopping in the 26th Congressional District. Despite an attempt on the part of Chris Lee's campaign to block it, Alice Kryzan will now appear on the Working Families Party (no affiliation to us!) line next week. This gives Chris Lee the Republican, Independence, and Conservative lines, and Alice Kryzan the Democratic and Working Families lines. For those of you who haven't voted since 2004, please remember that the Democratic line is now ROW A, and the Republican line is now ROW B after the last gubernatorial election.

Since my last post, the Cook Report has also changed the rating of the 26th district to a toss up. This race has gotten so big that there's a story circulating about it on the AP wire! Thank you for all of your support so far, and keep doing all you can to educate voters and get them involved over this last weekend. We have plenty of volunteer opportunities, so please contact me if you'd like to help out.

Also, don't forget about tomorrow's Rock The Vote concert and rally! It's supposed to be sunny and crisp, a great fall day here in WNY for getting out and getting involved. Details are below.

Date:  Saturday, November 1, 2008
Time:  3:00 - 10:00pm
Place:  Delaware Park, on the steps of the Albright Knox Art Gallery
Details: Featuring local musicians Davey O, The Found, Redwater, The Thermidors, and Type Relevant. Speakers will include NYS Senator Antoine Thompson, NYS Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, Erie County Legislator Michele Iannello, Erie County Legislator Bob Reynolds, Buffalo Common Councilmember David Rivera, Congressional candidate Dan Humiston, Congressional candidate Alice Kryzan, NYS Assembly candidate Jerry Schad, Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan, and a representative from the ACLU. (Check the links in the right sidebar for last minute updates!) This event is free and open to the public and is an all ages show.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The 26th District in the News

Things are really heating up in these days before the election. Last week, there were two interesting bits of information about the Congressional race in the 26th district that I thought I'd share.

(1) Time magazine published an article listing this district as one of the top 15 Congressional races to watch - not that that should come as a surprise to anyone around here! (Note: Since it was written, Jon Powers has come out in support of Alice.)

(2) Larry Sabato of Rasmussen Reports changed his ranking of the race from "leaning republican" to "toss up".

In these last ten days, we need to work even harder to get our message out to the voters in the 26th district. The whole country is watching, so let's show them what progressive Western New Yorkers can do! Contact us using the links over to the right if you'd like to help out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Closer...and closer

Wow. Is it really already the latter part of October?!? The elections are closing in and volunteers are needed NOW more than ever! A big THANKS! to all of our volunteers so far! You've been wonderful and we really appreciate your help.

If you have even an hour to spare - we'd love to have you!

We are currently canvassing two days a week; Wednesday evenings begining aroung 5 or 6 pm and Saturday mornings about 10am. Phone banks are 6 days a week! Weeknights we begin calling about 5 and wrap up about 8 and Saturdays we are able to call throughout the day. Any time you can contribute is GREATLY APPRECIATED!


Working Families Win is also hosting a ROCK THE VOTE event at the Albright Knox. It's a beautiful location and we're hoping for an equally beautiful day! Come out and see us. It's November 1st, from 3-10pm. We'll have LIVE BANDS and SPEAKERS all day. Politicains currently in office and those running have been invited to attend with several already confirmed! It will be a great day of promoting civil participation I hope you can attend.


Please contact me (716) 471 - 7892 if you'd like more information or you'd like to have your band play or your business represented. I'll be more than happy to work something out.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Working Families Win has had a busy couple of weeks here in WNY! Last week, we went to a flu clinic hosted by the lovely women of the St. John's Nurse Ministry group. Yesterday, we were invited to attend a panel discussion of the Adult Immunization Coalition, where we discussed the burden placed on our health care system by wholly preventable, vaccinable diseases. WFW was asked to be a part of the committee/task force to handle some of these issues, so feel free to drop us a line if you have ideas or suggestions!

We've been working hard at our regular phone banks - check out the news section of our website for photos, stats, and other updates. And now that our literature has finally arrived from the printer, we'll begin our canvass efforts this weekend. Also, keep your eyes peeled for updates about a Rock The Vote® concert we'll be hosting on Saturday, November 1, just a few days before the election! We're still in the planning stages in terms of speakers and bands, but it will be held all afternoon at Delaware Park, just outside the Albright Knox.

In these last eighteen days leading up to the election, we need your help more than ever. If you'd like to participate in our phone bank, canvass, other GOTV efforts, or help out with our Rock The Vote® planning, please drop either Christy or me an e-mail, or give us a call at 716-908-0469 and 716-471-7892.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kryzan and Lee Debate.....FINALLY!

The debate occurred last night between 26th congressional district candidates Chris Lee and Alice Kryzan. There were no fireworks or explosions and at times it sounded strangely like the previous Presidential debates. Even so, the first question that always seems to be asked is, “who won?” Well, it seems that this question has never been so difficult to answer honestly than it has throughout this election year. It's a relevant question but, will we really have the answer before Nov. 5th?

So, what did we see? He's my summary of part of the debate - please let us know what you think and if you thought there was a clear winner. E-mail me at
If you didn't catch the debate on TV, watch it on - and check back for more on Lee's and Kryzan's answers to tough questions about jobs and trade and the economy!

It began tame and cordially as the candidates made their opening statements but it would soon become notably more intense in the studio as the questions from the panelists hit on every soft spot the candidates had. Bailing on ‘the bailout question’ bit Mr. Lee in the backside during the debate. He was criticized not only by Ms. Kryzan, who accused him of being, “MIA” for five days while, “Congress was in turmoil” over what to do; but also by a debate panelist from the Buffalo News, Bob McCarthy. In one of his questions directed toward Mr. Lee, Mr. McCarthy asked Lee, point blank, how he would have voted if he were, in fact, a member of congress. Staring directly back at his questioner, Lee answered, “I was for it.”

Alice Kryzan was questioned about her involvement in one of the worst environmental disasters of our time and region, Love Canal. She defended herself by defining her role in the situation as one who helped deal out money from a fund she helped ensure for the tenants. Their respective tense moments were handled very nicely by both candidates.

The question that provoked much of the mudslinging that occurred during the debate was about accountability. Bob McCarthy’s question began with a narrative about how he had tried to ascertain Mr. Lee’s stance on abortion and the bailout and wasn’t able to do this for either issue. (nailing Jell-o to the wall, if you will) This has also been Working Families Win's experience with Mr. Lee. Simple and complex questions alike, Lee has eluded them all. Chris Lee’s defense was that he had in fact, answered these questions but not in the way in which the interviewer had asked him to. He was asked to define his stance on abortion in two words. (presumably pro-choice or pro-life) He said that, “at the time” he was not able to do so…but still didn’t offer an answer.

We were happy that some of these questions were finally acknowledged by Mr. Lee, even if he didn't really answer them. WFW has been trying to get him to talk to us for months now. We're glad he's finally saying something. On the other hand, Ms. Kryzan has been very generous with her policy proposal information. During the debate, when Lee criticized Ms. Kryzan for not having a hold on the problems facing WNY and claimed that his website provided lots of press releases and links to information; she shot back that he, "..Must not have been reading my website" and then named several packets of policy related info on her site.

See for yourself:

Friday, October 3, 2008

WFW Unveils Local Literature

Happy Friday, everyone!

We've finally received a proof of our local literature comparing Alice Kryzan and Chris Lee on the issues. (The reverse side has information about polling places.) Click on the image below to see a larger version.

It really highlights Lee's resistance to taking any real position on the issues that are most important to the WNY region. The piece is currently in print, and we'll start our voter canvassing operation as soon as we receive it. Contact us if you'd like to be involved in our outreach efforts!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

5 Friends

Check out this PSA that's been making the rounds about voting and getting involved. (Warning for some language.)

Leonardo DiCaprio, will i. am, Tobey Maguire, and Forest Whitaker have created public service announcements to encourage American youth to register to vote. The non-partisan PSAs, produced by DiCaprios Appian Way, were created to engage and inspire young people to register and vote and participate in the upcoming election. Celebrities appearing in the PSAs include: Amy Adams,, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bacon, Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Connolly, Courteney Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jonah Hill, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Kiedis, Ashton Kutcher, Adam Levine, Laura Linney, Eva Longoria, Tobey Maguire, Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Giovanni Ribisi, Ethan Suplee, Kyra Sedgwick, Michelle Trachtenberg, Usher, and Forest Whitaker.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interview with Mark Poloncarz

Yesterday, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz was generous enough to give us an interview about the bailout, important local issues, and prospects for Western New York's economic future. Here's what he had to say.


What do you think about Congress voting down the bailout yesterday?
Thankfully it didn’t have negative ramifications today. It had a huge impact yesterday. The markets leveled themselves out. Something has to be done. There has to be something due to the impact it will have. Banks are, unfortunately, failing. Two of the largest banks – Washington Mutual and Wachovia – are really no longer existing, investment banks no longer exist. Something needs to be done to protect the end consumer, the people who received loans that they can’t pay now, as well as to insure that our banking industry doesn’t fail or else we’ll be facing a much greater crisis. We’ll be seeing higher unemployment, higher inflation, as well as continued degradation of the markets. And this doesn’t change, so something has to be done now that the original bailout was rejected. They’re going to have to come back with other proposals. Unfortunately, no one’s going to get exactly what they want. Conservatives aren’t going to get everything they want, and progressives and liberals aren’t going to get everything they want. It’s going to have to reach some sort of compromise, and I don’t know if they know exactly what that is at this point.

What do you think about the job situation here in Western New York?
Well, we were never the hotbed of economic activity, though to tell you the truth, right now we’re in better shape than other parts of the country. We’ve not had the housing issues like other parts because we never had the boom, we don’t see the bust. Thankfully, we never had the many subprime mortgages in this area, so we’re not seeing the result of that. If the US economy takes a downturn, it’s going to hurt this area. We need new jobs; we need them from new industries. The old industries no longer exist in this area so we’ll have to rely on new industries. And anybody who thinks that the old industries are coming back are wrong. Whether they’re green types of industries or not, banking – certainly they’ll be less types of banks than there were before, so it’s going to be tough to get new banks to come to this area, but the financial services industry is still going to exist, so hopefully we can take a portion of that, and move on. We’re at least better situated to survive an economic downturn, especially compared to other parts of the country. No one’s invulnerable from this, but we’re in a little better situation.

Some Congressional candidates have suggested loosening restrictions on businesses. What kind of effect do you think that strategy might have on Western New York?
Well, I certainly would hate to see more deregulation. Unfortunately, deregulation is one of the reasons for the economic crisis today. Loosening restrictions on businesses is not the best way to go. Especially when we’re talking about the financial industry, we need to regulate a little bit more to ensure that the decisions that these banks make do not have the impact that we see today. I don’t think that deregulation – especially with what we’ve seen in the last few months, but more importantly in the last few years – is in this country’s or in this region’s best interest.

What’s the most frustrating issue you’re facing right now as County Comptroller?
We just finished a loan that thankfully we were able to get done by the end of today, otherwise we would have run out of money. Dealing with the Control Board and their refusal to allow my office to close loans on behalf of the County is frustrating. I could have easily done this weeks ago at a lower rate, but they refused to do it. They refused to let me do it, they said they were going to do it, and then when they tried to close the loan, they were incapable of doing it and had to turn to me anyway. It takes a lot of effort to argue who can do it, but it’s a lot easier to just do it. And so in this situation, I would just prefer that they allow me to do the borrowing.

Dealing with the County Executive is also another interesting issue. It’s often frustrating because we don’t always agree – on some things we do, but other things we don’t. So, I’ve always said that he shouldn’t take anything I say personally. It’s not a personal attack on him, it’s just a difference of opinion on the direction I think the County should go in compared to him. We have different roles, but that doesn’t mean that I can sit back and let him do whatever he wants.

What do you think is the biggest issue that Western New Yorkers should be concerned about right now?
The economy, certainly, is the number one issue on most people’s minds across the country. An economic slowdown in this country will hurt us all, regardless of where we live. We may be in a little better position than most parts of the country because we didn’t have the huge booms, so we don’t have the busts that they’re going through right now, but we have to be prepared for belt-tightening and tougher economic times. That is the number one issue, it has been for some time, and it will continue to be. I guess the best way to look at it is that New York State is going to be facing huge, multi-billion dollar budget shortfalls, and usually that gets passed on to the municipalities. When New York City catches a cold, Albany catches the flu, and usually Buffalo and Erie County gets pneumonia. But right now, New York City has the flu, Albany has pneumonia, which is not a good sign for Western New York. So, we have to just kind of tighten our belts and hope for the best. This economic issue is going to affect all of us for some time to come. We’ve not seen anywhere near the impact that we will see, especially as they resolve the issues in Albany with New York State’s government problems.

So, what do you think about the 26th Congressional race?
Well, the democrats have a candidate in Alice Kryzan, who is a strong candidate. I’ve known Alice for a number of years. This is a determination on the direction that people want to take the rest of this country. You look at the difference between Alice Kryzan and Chris Lee, and you usually note differences between their positions, but it’s also, “Where does this country want to go?” Do we want to continue more of the same, more of what you saw under George W. Bush, more of what you’d see under John McCain, more of what you saw in Tom Reynolds, which was a Congressman who rarely was in Western New York, who was doing what he needed to do for the national Republican party? And I think with Chris Lee, you’ll get more of the same. You’ll get a Congressman who, in all likelihood, would be in the minority, would have very little say, very little help and assistance for this area, and in all likelihood would not really do much for this area. Alice has been a strong advocate for her clients over the years, she’s a hard worker, she’s a fighter. And she is looking to move this country forward, especially this community when it deals with green industry. I think she’s a strong candidate, one that I’m hoping the people of the 26th Congressional district will vote in because if so, it will give this area another voice in the majority as we move forward to not only create a better country, but also a better Western New York.

Thank you so much!
You’re welcome. Thank you, ladies.


Thanks again to Comptroller Poloncarz for taking the time to speak with us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Call for Common Sense

Below are some talking points on where to go from here on the bailout, "A Call for Common Sense" made by representatives from several different groups.


Every man, woman, and child in America is now being told to ante up $2000 – an estimated $700 billion in all – to bail out Wall Street’s recklessness, or the very people who created this crisis are telling us that they will bring down our entire economy.

The Treasury Department’s proposal that the Secretary be given essentially unlimited authority to spend $700 billion to bail out any financial institution across the world is irresponsible and unacceptable.

We urge the Congress to insist on some basic conditions for any bailout.

1. Public Oversight. This kind of power can never be centralized in a single individual – much less one who did not even stand for election. Any funds must be controlled by an independent entity, with consumers and workers given seats on its board. Congress should be empowered to name independent monitors and to approve all board members.

2. Protect the Taxpayer. The Treasury bill would have taxpayers buying paper that nobody else wants at prices far above its current value. If a firm wants to auction off its toxic paper to the US Government, taxpayers should get equity in that firm equal to any amount paid in excess of the paper’s value. This will deter profitable firms from using the government as a dumpster for their toxic paper. And it will insure that if the bailout works and the firms become profitable, taxpayers, not simply bankers, benefit from the upside.

3. Curb the casino. This crisis was caused because sensible regulations of the banking system that worked for dozens of years were dismantled or went unenforced. No bailout can go forward without requiring the necessary regulation to insure this does not happen again. Any institution, which receives assistance, should agree to come under a microscope going forward in terms of disclosure requirements, and it should have stringent capital requirement imposed upon it.

4. Invest in the real economy. Ending the bankers strike is not sufficient enough to avoid the recession into which we have been driven. Major public investment in new energy and conservation, rebuilding schools and infrastructure, extending unemployment and food stamps, helping states avoid crippling cuts in police and health services – is vital to get the real economy moving and put people back to work. No bailout should proceed without being linked to support for a major public investment plan to get the economy going.

5. Hold CEOs and Boards of Directors Accountable. Wall Street CEOs shouldn’t be pocketing millions while taxpayers are forced to bail them out. Any firm that applies for relief must agree to cancel all stock option programs and CEOs should have stringent limits placed on their compensation until the Company has repaid all taxpayer assistance.

6. Aid the victims, not just the predators. Both bankers and home owners made foolish bets that home prices would keep rising. Many homeowners, however, were misled by predatory lenders into taking mortgages that they didn’t understand and couldn’t afford. It would be simply obscene to help the predators and not those that they preyed upon. No bail out of the banks should take place without measures to help people in trouble stay in their homes. Explicit provisions should ensure use of the full array of financial and legal tools available to the government to stop foreclosures and restructure home mortgage loans for ordinary Americans, including amending the bankruptcy code to allow judges to modify mortgages. Where workouts are not feasible, people should be allowed to stay in their homes as renters.

John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO
Andy Stern, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Gerald McEntee, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association (NEA)
Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers (USW)
Maude Hurd, National President, ACORN
Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice
Amy Issacs, National Director, Americans for Democratic Action
Bob Borosage, Co-Director, Campaign for America’s Future
Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, Campaign for Fresh Air & Clean Politics
John Podesta, President, Center for American Progress Action Fund
Deepak Bhargava, President, Center for Community Change
Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition for Human Needs
Donald Mathis, President, Community Action Partnership
Jane Hamsher,
James D. Weill, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth
John Cavanagh, Director, Institute for Policy Studies
Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs with Justice
Wade Henderson, President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Carissa Picard, Esq., President, Military Spouses for Change
Sally Greenberg, Executive Director, National Consumers League
Christine L. Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project
Gary Bass, Executive Director, OMB Watch
Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS
William McNary, President, USAction
Paula Brantner, Executive Director, Workplace Fairness
Dan Cantor, Executive Director, Working Families Party
Mark Lotwis, Executive Director, 21st Centu

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stop the Bailout!

This week, Congress will finalize the largest government intervention in financial markets since the Great Depression. The Bush Administration is asking for $700 billion to bail out Wall Street by buying up the mountains of bad debt they accumulated during the housing bubble.

Plenty for Wall Street, Nothing for Main Street!

Outrageously, the Administration proposal includes nothing for struggling homeowners, no protections for taxpayers or sharing of future profits and no regulatory control over the institutions that created the mess. In short, they want to privatize the profits, and socialize the losses! And, what is perhaps the most galling display of greed and corruption, while the Republicans plan to stick each American taxpayer with a $2000 bill, the CEO's who crafted the schemes that led to this disaster get to keep their multi-million dollar salaries. These large banks and mortgage companies are benefiting from irresponsible lending at best (and predatory lending at worst), while the victims of their mistakes receive no help.

Click here to send a message to Congress.

Call your US Representative and Senators:  1-800-473-6711, toll-free, thanks to American Friends Service Committee*

In the Rochester area, you can contact Senator Clinton's local office at 585-263-6250 and Senator Schumer's local office at 585-263-5866. In the Buffalo area, you can contact Senator Clinton's local office at 716-845-9725 and Senator Schumer's local office at 716-846-4111.

Tell them:
*I urge you to reject a blank check bailout for Wall Street. I understand there is a real and costly crisis brought on by unregulated greed. Congress must fix the mess through a public ownership stake to reduce the loss to taxpayers, effective oversight, help for those hurt by the crisis (people losing homes, jobs, and income), and investments in economic recovery.

Talking Points:
*Be governed by an independent board with transparency and effective public and congressional oversight.
*Use the full array of financial and legal tools available to the government to stop foreclosures and restructure home mortgage loans for working families.
*Address the cause of the crisis on Main Street in addition to the symptoms on Wall Street.
*Congress should invest in health care, education and the financial security of average people.
*Work to address the disastrous weaknesses in our financial regulatory system and corporate governance system that allowed this disaster to happen.

Write a letter to the editor TODAY! You can find an editable sample letter right here, thanks to the organization RESULTS, and you can send it right from that link. If you'd like to send a hard copy the old fashioned way, again, check out the details on the action section of our website.

*This toll-free number is provided courtesy of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization which works for economic justice and peace ( AFSC welcomes groups to circulate and use the number in support of non-partisan work for policies that benefit the common good and without linking the alert to a website soliciting donations or actions which may be used to support partisan lobbying or work.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Again

Today, Christy and I were fortunate to speak with the seniors at my alma mater, Sacred Heart Academy. We went to let them know about Working Families Win and how to get involved, and more generally the importance of being involved with your community. We also had a chance to talk a little bit about some of our key issues here in Western New York - health care, energy, and trade. It was a great experience listening to the girls talk about which points really stick out for them, and what their generation is concerned with.

It was even more heartening to see how disappointed some of them were that they'll just miss the cut off for being able to vote this year. While we need all of the good, progressive voters we can get, the fact that many of them were so energized and engaged about the process was great. It's a good sign for our future that young people actually want to be a part of the process rather than becoming disengaged. We're really looking forward to working with SHA students and other high school volunteers from the area.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

GOOD Sheets on Health Care

Starbucks has recently begun to offer free factsheets in their coffee shops, sponsored by GOOD Magazine plus one advertiser per issue. They call them GOOD Sheets, and you can find them in any of the Starbucks locations peppered across the area.

This week's issue is called Bill of Health, about our health care system: how we stack up against other modern, industrialized nations; how the system got as bad as it is; and different plans for fixing it, including little notes on where Obama and McCain stand on the issue. If you don't manage to pick up a copy by tomorrow (each issue is on the shelf from Thursday to Wednesday), you can check out all the handy little graphs over at the GOOD blog by clicking the link or the image below.

Slacker Uprising

Starting today, residents of the US and Canada can download Michael Moore's new movie, Slacker Uprising for free. The film details Moore's road trip across the swing states during the 2004 election season (62 cities in 42 days) with the purpose of getting young people out to vote. Check out the trailer below.

You can watch the entire movie absolutely for free by signing up here. After you sign up, you'll receive an e-mail link that will allow you to view it one of the following five ways:
  1. is providing streaming right from, free of commercials and advertising.
  2. Amazon Video on Demand is providing a higher resolution version of the above stream for people with lots of bandwidth.
  3. iTunes will make it easy for you to download "Slacker Uprising" on your iTunes, iPod, or Apple TV, and view it there or transmit it to your television. This way, the film can be portable as well as for home viewing. (This is not available yet, but will be soon!)
  4. Hypernia is providing bandwidth and servers to host MPEG4 and DivX versions of "Slacker Uprising" online, so you can burn a DVD or download the film to watch on your computer, XBOX, or PS3.
  5. Lycos is providing free streaming of the film and an on-demand version.
If you sign up and don't receive the link shortly afterward, be sure to check your spam mailboxes. I've heard reports that some mail systems have been filtering the e-mail there by mistake.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Continued Adventures of the Elusive Chris Lee

After a call and two visits to Chris Lee's office today, we finally came away with a press packet. It contained yet another palm card, a copy of an editorial from The Buffalo News that was published in May, and some information cobbled together from what was already presented on his website. We were unable to speak directly with Lee, and the campaign refused to fill out our candidate questionnaire, despite warnings that we would proceed without his input, printing "candidate did not respond" on our literature.

As one WFW supporter said in response to Friday's post, "How does he expect to get elected?" Now is the time for action! Write a letter to your local newspaper, and let people know that he's hiding from discussion of the issues. (You can find out guidelines for contacting The Buffalo News and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on the action section of our website.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Mysterious Mr. Lee

This afternoon, representatives from Working Families Win went over to Chris Lee's headquarters to find out more information about where he stands on important issues like trade, health care, and jobs. So far, his campaign has refused several requests made by phone and e-mail, so we decided to go there in person.

The campaign staff refused to speak with us or answer our questions while we were there. Moreover, they had no policy papers to give us that outlined his plans on the issues. The only information we were able to take away from the office was a palm card containing very general claims about Chris having "real world experience" and wanting to "change business as usual attitudes."

We need your help! Take just a couple of minutes from your day to call Lee HQ and ask them to respond to our questions. Let them know how important it is for him to actually address the issues that matter most to working people in Western New York. You can reach Andrea Bozek from his campaign at the office at 716-632-2008 or by cell phone at 716-208-1870.


Hello, everyone! Stay tuned to our new Working Families Win blog for updates about local action.

E-mail Jennifer if you'd like to contribute an entry.