Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action in after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to the U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Business Owners: Don't Give Up on Voting-Rights Reform

Play

Friday, January 21, 2022   

More than 200 business owners are calling on others to support federal reforms to strengthen election laws.

Senate Democrats were unable to change the filibuster rules Wednesday night to pass legislation expanding voting access across the country.

Barry Cik, owner of Naturepedic, an organic mattress company in northeast Ohio and a member of the American Sustainable Business Network, said businesses understand a functioning economy relies on a functioning democracy, which, he emphasized, requires citizen involvement.

"If I may be a little bit harsh, we can't just trust government to do the right thing," Cik contended. "We need citizen participation. We want a society where everybody's treated equal, everybody has a chance to succeed. Voting rights is one part of that."

The bill defeated in the Senate would have established minimum federal voting standards. It was a response to dozens of bills passed in GOP-controlled states Democrats argued were designed to make it harder to vote.

Some Senate Republicans are now discussing launching a bipartisan effort to pass a smaller bill focused on safeguarding election results and protecting elected officials from harassment.

Thomas Oppel, executive vice president of the American Sustainable Business Network, said measures restricting access to the ballot can lead to an autocratic government favoring special interests and limiting entrepreneurship.

"If people don't have confidence in their government, you're going to end up with 'crony capitalism,'" Oppel asserted. "Where it's not about your ability to deliver a quality product or deliver a better price. It's about who you know, what connections you have, and how much corruption and graft you're willing to put up with."

Oppel believes creating more opportunities to vote is helpful for small businesses.

"Most businesses in this country are small businesses and in many cases, they operate with very few employees," Oppel pointed out. "If you're a small-business person, it can be really hard for you to get away from your enterprise to go vote yourself, let alone making sure your employees get there and vote."

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


get more stories like this via email
Florida Democrats want to expand the state's "red flag" law, to allow family members to initiate confiscating weapons. Currently, only law enforcement can take guns away from those who pose a danger to themselves and others. (jarmoluk/Pixabay)

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Aside from health risks, environmental officials say harmful algae blooms pose a threat to Iowa's water recreation industry. When beaches and other access points are temporarily shut down, it discourages plans for boating or swimming. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

Environment

New York state lawmakers are weighing two bills which would grant utilities more vertical market power, a move proponents argued will help the state …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021