AB5 and the War on Lyft/Uber expose why Black Jobs Matter

18 08 2020

Well, Lordy, lordy, who would have thought that a bad law and a pandemic would render a response from Civil Rights organizations that actually address the real needs of their people? The NAACP and other business and civil rights organizations sent an urgent letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for him to stop the war on the gig economy and to use his emergency powers to suspend #AB5, and to protect the work of drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Another anti-AB5 colleague found it, but I promptly tweeted it out:

NAACP Calls Newsom to Stop War on Gig Economy

For those of you who have been under a rock, #AB5 has all but decimated the economic prospects of independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers in California. On top of this, the State of California is doing its utmost to end Uber and Lyft operations in California: filing lawsuits, lodging fines, and faux organizing by disgruntled drivers (totally engineered by the Labor Unions) in order to extract money that they claim the state and their drivers are owed.

Uber and Lyft have refused to cave, but in light of the court upholding an injunction forcing the app companies to convert their drivers to employees by August 20, both Uber and Lyft have said they will suspend operations in California through November. The vote on the Prop 22 ballot measure, which would allow Californians to decide whether these drivers should be able to be an independent contractor or an employee, will be the deciding factor.

Then Covid-19 with its subsequent lock downs and closed businesses rendered the death blow. Governor Newsom’s schizophrenic and inconsistent response and actions, appearing perfectly groomed and coiffed while the rest of us developed gray hairs and lumberjack beards, were just more nails in the coffin.

Both the evil law and the virus exposed unintended consequences (what else is new?). The fact that Blacks and Hispanics are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to be adversely affected by it, and the so-called experts still have no idea why this is the case. The lack of any proper measures beyond mask wearing has made some of us understandably cautious about trying to go among people and look for work—if there is any work to be had.

CBS News reported on a University of Santa Cruz research survey that found that 40 percent of Black businesses in major cities like New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles have been lost, and probably will never come back.

“There were more than 1 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February, according to research from the University of California at Santa Cruz, which drew from Census survey estimates. By mid-April, 440,000 black business owners had shuttered their company for good — a 41% plunge. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period, the UC Santa Cruz research shows.”

Back in May, on my Communities Digital News page, I reported that women and minorities make up a huge chunk of independent contractors, and this law disenfranchises us; particularly during this pandemic, when we all could be working from home.

So, the fact that the NAACP recognizes this and took action came as a huge surprise. Writer baldilocks replied to my tweet with this apt response:

Baldilocks Response to NAACP Tweet

The rest of that phrase goes, “is right twice a day.” And it’s true. As much as the organization has moved away from true racial justice and equality, on this particular issue of the evils of AB5 and the Uber/Lyft war, it has stepped up to the plate.

Other organizations who sponsored the letter include the Los Angeles Urban League, Ex-Offender Action Network, and Independent Professionals Association.

It is quite an amazing missive, and you can read it in its entirety here. While I don’t agree with all its suggested solutions, the outlining of the case that AB5 and the injunctions against Uber and Lyft need to go is spot on.

An excerpt from the letter:

“The fact is that this crisis demands a new approach. COVID-19 has exposed just how broken the existing safety net programs are for people of color. Unemployment insurance in the U.S. is a patchwork of state-controlled programs originally designed to allow states to exclude Black domestic and agricultural workers during the Great Depression. The challenges faced by Black Americans in accessing unemployment assistance, business loans, and other pandemic assistance funding today are the direct result of racist policies that systematically disenfranchise Black Americans because they do not look like the traditional employees and businesses for whom these programs were designed.”

It ends with this:

“Governor, for African Americans, self-employment is not just a matter of pride – it is a matter of principle. Our people have been fighting for the right to profit from our own labor for over 400 years. We are proud of our resilience and entrepreneurship in the face of odds that have always been stacked against us. But while the coronavirus is destroying Black businesses, we must not allow this disease to destroy our independence.”

Boom. The NAACP laid bare to the Governor why Black JOBS Matter.

Let’s hope Newsom grows a brain and listens.

 





Prop 22 Fight stirs outrage from Veena Dubal’s Sock Puppets

13 08 2020

Blocked by Veena on Professions affected by AB5

On my Communities Digital News page, I have written extensively about University of California Hastings School of Law professor Veena Dubal, and the evil she has caused to those affected by the California law AB5. You can read those articles here, here, AND here.

Dubal helped assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez ruin the lives of 4.5 million independent contractors by supplying the bones of the AB5 text, and in her vocal support and advocacy of the so-called “gig workers” law. Apparently, she now feels it is her goal to debunk and convince people to vote NO on Proposition 22, which is on the California November ballot. This ballot initiative is Uber and Lyft’s response to AB5: Let the voting public and drivers decide how they wish to be treated: as independent contractors, or employees. Proposition 22’s stated goal is, “protects app-based drivers’ flexibility while establishing new earnings and benefit guarantees, and protecting public safety and consumer choice”.

Should this initiative pass, it would do damage to AB5. Independent contractors and freelancers know this, gig workers and drivers know this, and it’s sure as hell Lorena Gonzalez and the Unions know it. Which is why Veena Dubal and her league of unexceptional followers are on the warpath to tear the Proposition down.

Here is what is wrong with this: Veena Dubal delights in using her so-called scholarship to insert herself into debates about labor law and how best to use it to destroy the independent contractor model; this is exactly what is being done with AB5 law and the nationwide PRO Act bill.

However, when legitimately challenged on her positions, Veena turns tail and blocks the critics from her Twitter. But she goes beyond this by rallying her sock puppet followers to cry foul and claim harassment on her behalf.

Dubal freely admitted this after the publication of my series:

Veena Dubal-Read my scholarship

Dubal would know about dissemination of false information. When independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers were desperate to get PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) payments, and the California Employment Development Department was playing fast and loose with giving them that information, Ms. Dubal directed them to file for unemployment in order to bolster the misclassification claims against Uber and Lyft. Once those claims were rightly denied, she steered them toward a Legal Aid lawyer as referenced here:

Veena Dubal--EDD Misclassification-Misdirection

This is the same woman who applauded the rising Covid-19 numbers because it justified the need for “employee protections”:

Veena Dubal on Mocking COVID19-Sick Leave

Veena Dubal is neither innocent, nor ignorant of the molotov cocktails she throws, nor of the damage it causes, no matter how much she tries to hide behind the: I’m just a scholar, I don’t influence laws schtick.

Veena Duval-Not an elected official

Veena Dubal-You Know you've arrived

Veena Dubal-Arrogance about who writes laws

If anything, she revels in it, particularly when she has a sock puppet army to supply cover.

The campaign for Yes on Proposition 22, freely admits it is funded by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. What people don’t bother to check is who is funding the opposition: Those astroturf driver’s rights groups like Gig Workers Rising (GWR), the one who Dubal freely supports and retweets.

Among the heavy funding from non-profit organizations, GWR gets financial support from the Teamsters and SEIU, the two biggest labor unions in the country. These same unions funded Lorena Gonzalez and the other California legislature tools who pushed through AB5.

So please, cry me a river about the heavy corporate funding on Yes on Prop 22.

The Yes on Prop 22 campaign has been going gangbusters, spotlighting the drivers who want to continue to work unencumbered by “employee protections”, and keeping us all abreast of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s campaign to destroy the app companies.

On August 6, the campaign took to Twitter to mock Dubal’s hypocrisy and how easily she uses her Blocker Trigger Finger against her critics.

Yes on 22-Blocked By Veena Thread

This is a question that has been asked by independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers who have been the recipient of this treatment. So a representation of the 4.5 million affected by AB5, and who have been blocked by Dubal responded:

Piano Man-Alfera-Stop Publishing Scholarship that Hurts People

Industrious Bird-Rebuttal

There were even responses by some who never even engaged Dubal on Twitter, but were pre-emptively blocked!

2020-08-13 10_09_39-(1) Evan Miller on Twitter_ _@VoteYesOn22 I don’t even recall interacting with h

Why is someone who is 1) a labor lawyer; 2) an academic; and 3) claims to be a champion for the marginalized so feckless at defending her own positions?

More importantly, how do you get unions and politicians to come to your defense? Along with the drivers, union-sponsored accounts, and yes, bots, District 27 Assemblyman Ash Kalra, who co-sponsored and championed for the passage of AB5 waded into the melee to express his outrage.

Ash Kalra 🌱 on Twitter_ _.@veenadubal does her work

One wonders where his outrage was over South African immigrant and domestic worker Carmel Foster, who his colleague Assemblyman Phil Ting bedded and used for four years to craft legislation. But, I digress….

Then Nicole Moore, a supposed Lyft driver leapt to Dubal’s defense.

Nicole Moore-Veena's Defense

Nicole Moore is active on Twitter to expose the “extremely exploitative business models” of Uber and Lyft and defend the need for drivers to unionize. What has been discovered is that she is a union plant. Several drivers and independent contractors have pointed this out, but this one brings the receipts.

DINO MANELLI on Twitter_ Fake union salter Nicole Moore poses as Lyft driver to support care

Now, the unionized writers have gotten into the game. Slate writer Aaron Mak came to Dubal’s defense with a piece titled, “Why Is an Advocacy Group Funded by Uber and Lyft Hounding a Law Professor on Twitter?” Writer Mak decries the “targeting a law professor on Twitter over her efforts to get their workers classified as employees.”

To Mack’s credit, he does point out that Dubal has been a prominent advocate of AB5 and vocal critic of Prop 22. Here is where he starts shredding the truth: “On Twitter, she was buffeted with threats and vulgar harassment, often denigrating her identity as a woman of color. Other accounts circulated false rumors about her, alleging that she was harassing independent contractors on Twitter.”

Mak then supplies tweets (with the names blocked out—how considerate), to back up these “threats and vulgar harassment”, while ignoring other tweets (the majority, frankly) calling Dubal to account for her involvement in AB5 and in pushing an agenda to derail Prop 22.

Dubal’s sock puppets want to paint every critic who has been blocked by her as evil, or the typical response of those who have no defense, as bots bought and paid for by Uber and Lyft, when much of the push back she receives is either legitimate concern that her “scholarship” and advocacy hurts not just drivers, but freelancers, independent contractors, and the self-employed. While this writer cannot yet find a union connection to Dubal’s fixation in destroying the independent contractor model, the fact that the propagandist for the California Federation of Labor and Union salter Nicole Moore come to her defense reeks to high heaven.

But if fully addressed, that would change the narrative from poor, put upon academic who is just trying to help “the worker” gain equity, to a narcissistic, privileged, and entitled fraud who cannot take any criticism, and manipulates people into defending her empty scholarship, gaslighting, and lies.





The Little Writing Engine that Could…

1 02 2018

fashion-legs-notebook-working

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” — Neil Gaiman

Words of wisdom from a writer I greatly admire.

Amazingly enough, I’ve been doing just that: putting one word, then another word, then a paragraph, then an entire piece. So my resolution to write has so far been flowing like water.

In case you’re not cognizant of my latest writings, I thought I’d talk about what I’ve been up to…

My latest features at Communities Digital News focus on what I do best: commenting on the union of popular culture and politics. It’s Oscar season, and the movie The Post is up for Best Picture, probably due to the film’s tortured attempt to connect the Republican administration of 1972 to the Republican administration of 2017. Read my review of the film and my take on this comparison at The Post: Katharine Graham’s feminist manifesto fails as propaganda.

The March for Life and The Women’s March occurred during the same weekend. One is a pro-life civil rights event that has spanned 45 years, the other a two-year old progressive-leaning affair that masquerades as a women’s right manifesto, but appears to merely be a rant against the current Republican administration. Seems to be a common theme. I compare and contrast them at The March for Life vs. the Women’s March: Which will stand the test of time?

The best reflection of one’s skill and worth as a writer is when you are invited to write by people you admire. In the short space of 2018, I have had two invitations to do just that! An up and coming millennial entrepreneur asked me to write a press release for a project that involves the marriage of clothing, art, and hip hop music, that was launched the week of the Grammys.

The beautiful CEO of Habibi Bath and Body has asked me to contribute to her LOVE SERIES throughout the month of February. I am working on sharing tips on self-care, and how to truly nourish and appreciate the skin that you are in!

Stay tuned for those links in a future post.





2018: New Year, New Soul

7 01 2018

pexels-photo-285173

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton is one of my favorite Christian theologians/thinkers. Like C.S. Lewis, he is less highbrow, and more akin to Christianity in work clothes. As intellectual as people say that I am, I relate to hands-on and sweat of the brow as much as I relate to the theoretical. But I digress…

I never share the resolutions that I make, but feel the need to put down them down online. Who knows, it may do wonders to make me more accountable:

  1. Read more books, and actually finish them. Like most of my friends, I have stacks of books waiting to be read. I started three books before 2017 (that is how pathetic I am), but never finished them. I need to complete them and track my completion of books. I used to read a book a week—it would be a good challenge to get back to that. Here are the books I need to complete: 1. Washington Spies by Alexander Rose. 2. Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace. 3. The Curse of Conservatism by Coleman G. Luck.
  2. Meditate more. It does wonders, but I need to set a consistent rhythm. Some changes are afoot in my schedule that will help that, so no more excuses.
  3. Up the home and studio practice. It was really abysmal in 2017. No excuses—I feel so much better when I practice at home, and I need to connect with my own studios and other studios in a greater way.
  4.  Write again. This dried up considerably in 2016, and died a slow death in 2017. The question is, how to feebly pick up the pen again? This blog post, and another article on my Communities Digital News page are a feeble beginning. Which leads me to…
  5. Ditch the perfectionism. I think Voltaire said it best: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” I can create the perfect project, article, meal, etc. but because I only have the materials to achieve “good”, I ditch the entire thing. Time to stop that; if I am not paralyzed by perfection, it will go a long way to my getting words on the page.
  6. Find ways to increase the voice: musically in particular, vocationally in general. Maybe unburying and dusting off the piano? Right now it is surrounded by boxes (long story for another blog post). Maybe taking another Kahmelson & Kahmelson class? Actually signing up for those songwriting expos I get invited to? The possibilities are endless, but I need to take action on just one.




50 Days to 50 Years: Day 22, Talking Careers and Reinvention with Markell Morris

10 07 2016

“Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it,
produce it and give birth to it.” — Meister Eckhart

20160709_123819

The magic of Twitter. I try to tell those who are searching for work or looking to transition to a different career to get on this social media platform, and start engaging. The 140-character limitation not only sharpens your communication skills, but it refines your voice, and allows people to get past the noise and the memes. Yes, like any social media platform, there are fools, and junk, and people who only wish to waste your time. Some of the nice features on Twitter are the mute and block functions, and the ability to filter using hashtags—so you only see the information you want to see.

Which leads me to one of my Twitter contacts and how a simple tweet turned into a meet up and a future workshop on social media and careers! I first met Markell Morris through my work with CareerCamp Intl (see my asthegirlturns.com website for more info on that). At that time, she was a career counselor with UCLA, and she was a Tuesdays with Transitioners speaker back in 2010. Since then, we have kept up with each other peripherally on Twitter, and she is working on growing her own career coaching business.

Fast forward to 2016, and my recent work with Elizabeth House. Markell saw my tweet about the seminar I was doing that Saturday, and replied to it, asking whether it was a webinar format.

 

From this interaction, we arranged to meet each other and talk about this concept in greater detail. We met at Portos in Downey, and it was a productive and delicious time—love Portos’ food! We are now planning “How to Get Work to Come to You”, a webinar series on using social media and technology to not just look for work, but let those interested in hiring discover and hire you for that work.

From this single meeting, to my work at Communities Digital News, to other opportunities, I can testify to the benefit of allowing yourself to be active on social media in order to position yourself for work. There is a strategy and a manner in which you have to go about this, but it can be successfully done. Once Markell and I have the bones in place, I will be promoting the seminar so that people can learn these strategies and let the work they want find them.

Love serendipity, love networking with like minds, and really love Twitter.

 

 

 


 





50 Days to 50 Years: Day 28, Happy Independence Day!

4 07 2016

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow.”
― Thomas Paine

Despite the horrid events of late, and all that is wrong in our political and social processes, I am still grateful to have been born in the U.S.A., and proud to be an American. You want my opinion on those two other things, go look at my page at Communities Digital News or some of my posts here from years past. Today is a day to honor the establishment of the United States as a free nation, and to commemorate our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, when said document was first read to the people.

Freedom isn’t free. It is bought and paid for by those who have the courage to stand for it. Every point of freedom I possess today was paid for by someone: from Crispus Attucks, to Harriet Tubman, to Frederick Douglass, to Ida B. Wells, to Martin Luther King, Jr., a price was rendered, and a sacrifice was made. What I find most tragic is many of today’s young people go in one of two directions: they either consider the day simply about fireworks and barbecues, or they rail against celebration or denigrate the U.S. because of the dishonest and twisted claptrap they learned in the public school system or a liberal college environment. Yeah, I said it; what they learned is no better than the whitewashed or sterling accounts about the U.S.A. peddled in certain conservative and right-wing circles.

Part of the reason for the social and political ills mentioned earlier is that many people have abdicated their freedoms for security, ease, and perpetual entertainment. Others spend their lives fighting battles that have nothing to do with life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness and wonder why they are unhappy and nothing ever changes. The two likely nominees of both parties are a clear indication that we have lost our moral compass and are far to easily swayed by pablum and promises. But I digress….

I pray a generation emerges that has the courage to right the ship. But while we still have some freedoms left, I choose to celebrate the reason why we can.

Here is the preamble to the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”





Illustrating Absurdity: Rachel Dolezal wins the “WTF” award

12 06 2015

11406532_10153144472037670_2046971547255303365_o

This is a comedy sketch that’s writing itself. Rachel Dolezal, head of the Spokane chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. has been “passing” as black. She was born Caucasian and raised by two white parents who apparently grew tired of her deception—so they’ve outed her.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Armed with pictures and a birth certificate, Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal are taking to newspapers, cable and network news shows to let the world know this Black activist who has filed police reports about nine different hate crimes perpetrated against her, who is touted as an academic expert on African-American culture, and teaches African-American studies classes at Eastern Washington University is their estranged daughter who is… white.

After the obvious jokes and the laughter subsides, you then start to think about how many people this fraudulence hurts, not in the least her Caucasian parents.

I explore the role of the feckless N.A.A.C.P. in this mess, and social media reaction over at Communities Digital News: The self-loathing Rachel Dolezal marks the irrelevant N.A.A.C.P.’s demise.

In the meantime, listen to her seemingly shell shocked parents talk about the daughter who has rejected them and her race, because #whitelivesdontmatter.





Black History Month 2015: Harriet Tubman

2 02 2015

harriet-tubman

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand
more if only they knew they were slaves
.
-Harriet Tubman

This famous quote by the “Black Moses” could well be applied today. The chains of slavery are evident in the mind, attitudes and allegiances of our race, and are being reflected in the lack of leadership and focus in the modern civil rights movement:

“Seeing the power, presence, and passion of Dr. King artfully portrayed by actor David Oyelowo, as well as the re-enactment of the give and take between Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and John Lewis of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, merely spotlights the total lack of conviction or moral authority in the civil rights movement of today. In place of an intelligent, articulate, and anointed Dr. King, we have the mush-mouthed Al Sharpton, and the empty bumper sticker slogans of “No Justice, No Peace,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Dr. King is flipping in his grave.”

Read the rest at my Communities Digital News column: Martin Luther King Day, Selma, and the moral scarcity in modern-day civil rights.





In My Orbit: Growing Ebola concerns and the pandemic on our doorstep

2 10 2014

Anyone else believe our government is handling the Ebola crisis effectively? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Since the announcement of Thomas Duncan as our first Ebola contagion on United States soil, my suspicion antenna has been raised. The more I read from sources that don’t include the mainstream media, the deeper my suspicions become. Here are a few articles that I think shed more light than the legacy press and our government wishes to let out:

The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media: Despite the fact that this guy is hawking his wares, he makes some valid points that don’t require much digging to verify.

Nurses stage Ebola ‘die-in’ on Las Vegas Strip: No joke. When you’ve lost the medical community, you know you’re in trouble. Plus the fact that Mr. Duncan was not diagnosed and quarantined on his first visit to Dallas Presbyterian was due to lack of recognition, preparation, and information sharing by the triage nurse. Yeah….

Speaking of the medical community, Dr. Gil Mobley, a Missouri microbiologist and emergency trauma physician traipsed through Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in full Hazmat gear with “CDC is Lying” emblazoned on the back. He is protesting how the CDC and federal authorities are handling the outbreak, in his opinion, the CDC is “asleep at the wheel.”

I could not agree more. I listen to these “experts” in Dallas and from the CDC trying to be reassuring, and they act like they don’t even believe what’s coming out of their mouths.

Read on:

Doctor dons Ebola protection suit to protest ‘asleep at the wheel’ CDC

…and view on.

My plan is to stock up on some Colloidal silver, and see how much disaster prepping I can do. This craziness, coupled with the southern border crisis that brought who knows what disease over with all the illegal children, and we are prime for some sort of pandemic soon.

In more reality-based information, I wrote about the beheading in Moore, Oklahoma at Communities Digital News. It truly is time to wake up America.

Time to stop denying Islamic Jihad is on America’s doorstep.





In My Orbit: Communities Digital News Hour

7 06 2014
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl’s writing as part of Communities Digital News is reaping dividends. My latest column, White House Prevaricator Jay Carney calls it quits, has gotten tremendous response. So tremendous that I was asked to be a guest columnist on the Communities Digital News Hour yesterday to talk about White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s resignation, the role of the White House Press Secretary, his or her relationship to the Washington correspondents, and how technology has altered that role and potentially may bring it to obsolescence.

I am about 15 minutes in, after the discussion on Bowe Bergdahl—which is also well worth your listening:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/communitiesdigitalnewshour/2014/06/06/commdiginews-hour-talking-bowe-berghdale-jay-carney-normandy-and-fathers-day

News Podcasts with Communities Digital News Hours on BlogTalkRadio.

Hope you enjoy your listen, and enjoy your weekend!







%d bloggers like this: