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Resources for AFSCME Activists

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As we head into the New Year, there are union members around the country who are fighting—and striking—for their rights. Often, as union members, we want to help but don’t know how. In Detroit, employees of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News are on strike—have been for months now—and there are some things you can do to help. If you live in the area, make sure you’ve cancelled your subscriptions to these papers. You should also avoid shopping at Kmart, which has been one of the key advertising supporters of the scab papers. You can also provide an infusion of cash for the striking families. Ralph and Eva Fasanella have donated a limited number of his posters commemorating the 1990 New York Daily News strike. Ralph has even autographed some. All funds raised from their sale will go to the striking families. Signed posters are available for $50; unsigned for $25. Send your order—with a check made payable to DNA Striker Relief Fund—to Michael Funke, UAW Public Relations Dept., 8000 E Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48214.

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And, on the subject of things to do in the New Year, I bet one of your New Year’s resolutions was to learn more about how the economy works. Nancy Folbre and The Center for Popular Economics have come out with a brand new book that tells all. The New Field Guide to the U.S. Economy explains economics issues in a practical, down-to-earth manner with lively illustrations. Noted economist John Kenneth Galbraith describes it as, “quite possibly the best and most certainly the least solemn guide to the dismal science you are likely soon to encounter.” The book also includes a glossary and a guide to other sources of information. Look for it in your local bookstore, or order a copy for $12.95 from W. W. Norton at (800) 233-4830.

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During January, public television stations across the country will be airing the new four-part series Positive: Life with HIV (check local listings). The series blends documentary stories with satire, animation, music, dance, and first-person commentaries. This is not just a TV series; it’s also an organizing and educational opportunity. With support from the Ford Foundation, the Independent Television Service is able to offer free copies of the shows to groups that would like to use them in their communities. For more information, call Jim Gordon at (212) 787-2544 or Nancy Robinson at (612) 225-9035.

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From New Year’s, it’s only a hop and a skip into February, African American History Month. It’s always fun to have something new and special to read during this month about the contributions African American women and men have made to our country. We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible is just that. The 600-plus page book, edited by Darlene Clark Hine, Wilma King, and Linda Reed, contains 32 essays focusing on black women—from their lives in Africa to their experiences in the U.S. Ask for it in your local library or bookstore, or order it from Carlson Publishing Inc., P O Box 023350, Brooklyn NY 11202-0067 or call them at (718) 875-7460.

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And how are you going to prepare for Women’s History Month celebrations in March? You might want to start by getting the word out to youngsters. Here’s a lively—one could say “hell-raising”—book: Mother Jones: One Woman’s Fight for Labor by Betsy Harvey Kraft. It tells the story of the 19th century labor leader who organized for the mineworkers until she was nearly 90. There are photos and drawings on most pages, and the book is written in simple language that may get your daughters/ granddaughters/nieces, etc., more interested in unions and work. Be prepared for questions. You might find the book in your local library or bookstore. You can order it for $16.95 from Clarion Books, 181 Ballard Vale Park, Wilmington MA 01887 or call them at (800) 225-3362.

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Have any resource ideas you would like to share? Send them to Keeping Up, AFSCME Public Employee Magazine, 1625 L ST NW, Washington DC 20036-5687.

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