ALEC’s Three-pronged Attack on Working Families and Communities of Color

ALEC’s Three-pronged Attack on Working Families and Communities of Color

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 16 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 16 5:15 PM (Eastern)

The Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has relentlessly promoted a toxic brew of steep tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, cuts to health care and the social safety net, and union busting and wage suppression measures—all with profound consequences for working families and particularly communities of color. Since 2013, some 40 localities have approved minimum wages above the federal level, but ALEC is fighting to reverse this progress and prohibit localities from raising the wage. ALEC politicians are attempting the same preemption strategy for paid sick days and LBGTQ rights. This agenda is only deepening poverty in many states. Join us as we discuss the consequences of this toxic brew and talk about the tactics that have been successful in fighting back.



Rep. Rosa DeLauro


Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro represents Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District. As a Member of Congress, Rosa has fought in the trenches with progressive allies to protect and expand opportunities for America’s working families. At the core of her work is building an economic agenda for working men and women to help create jobs and alleviate the economic pressures so many are facing today. Rosa believes that we must create good-paying jobs at home, raise the minimum wage, make college more affordable, and give everyone access to affordable healthcare. Rosa continues to fight for hardworking families to have better wages, equal pay for equal work, affordable child care, and paid family and medical leave.

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Lisa Graves


Lisa Graves is Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of (its award-winning investigation of the American Legislative Exchange Council),,, and She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division at the U.S. Courts, and Senior Legislative Strategist for the ACLU on national security issues, among other posts. Reach her on twitter: thelisagraves and email:

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Carol Joyner


Carol Joyner is the Executive Director of Family Values @ Work Action (FV@WA), sister organization to Family Values @ Work, the national network of 27 state coalitions. FV@WA is building worker power centered on caregiving and economic justice. Prior to FV@W where Carol directed the Labor Project for Working Families and founded FV@WA, Carol provided consultation on work and family trust funds and related labor administration issues. She is also the founding director of the 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Fund and past President of the Child Care Corporation, a labor/management benefit fund negotiated by the 1199 Health and Human Service Employees Union and more than 400 Healthcare Employers in New York State. Ms. Joyner is the recipient of various achievement awards, is a founding member of the NY Union Child Care Coalition; is past National Advisory Board member of the Labor Project for Working Families and the Family Values@Work Network; founding partner of the Work Family Strategy Council, and founding partner of its national campaign, #PaidLeaveforAll. Carol is also a member of the NCBCP, Black Women’s Roundtable and co-chaired the 2022 Ward 4 Redistricting Committee. Carol lives in Washington.

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Sherrette Spicer


Fast food worker Sherrette Spicer of Birmingham Alabama will give us an update from the front lines of the fight for fair wages. Birmingham workers won a big victory when in February 2016, the City Council approved a measure raising the city’s minimum hourly wage to $10.10 from the federal minimum of $7.25. Their struggle was featured on the front page of the New York Times. However, just days later, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley voided the decision by signing House Bill 174, a law that bans Alabama cities from setting their own wage floors. Now an NAACP-led coalition is in court arguing that the state preemption law infringes on the civil rights of Birmingham workers.