Jon Nelson hosts this episode of the Old Mole, which includes the following segments:
Democracy in Portland: Portland is embarking on a great experiment, a pretty radical change in the how the city council and mayor operate, thanks to the Charter Commission and a 58% approval from the voters. But will it work to democratize city governance and can city elites be defeated in their attempts to nullify it? Bill Resnick talks to Mike Alfoni about the ranked choice voting system through which three council members will be elected from four districts each, the most consequential change in the city Charter. Alfoni directs Oregon Ranked Choice Voting.
Hollywood and the Left: On July 14th, the SAG-AFTRA, a union representing about 160,000 Hollywood actors, officially went on strike after rejecting the contract offered by the motion picture and television studios. They joined WGA, the writers guild, that went on strike on May 2nd. This is the first time that Hollywood actors and writers are on strike simultaneously in more than 60 years and these actions have brought most film and television productions to a halt. Jan Haaken talks with labor historian Paul Buhl about the history of unions in Hollywood and what might be learned from earlier eras of union organization and mobilization in building solidarity for the current strike actions. Paul Buhle taught at Brown University and is the co-author of four books on the history of the Hollywood Blacklist and the editor of a series of graphic non-fiction works by American comics artists and writers. He has contributed frequently to journals and newspapers, including The Nation, The Village Voice, Monthly Review, Jewish Currents, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Covid is Not Over (Wear a Mask): Despite what you may have heard, the pandemic is not over and you should be wearing a respirator indoors and in outdoor areas near others. As the WHO Director-General noted, the lifting of international emergency status did not mean the end of the pandemic: "The worst thing any country could do now is to use this news as a reason to let down its guard, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its people that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about." Frann Michel shares comments on hospitals dropping masking, In-N-Out Burger restricting workers from masking without medical documentation, and the inadequacy of proposed Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) guidelines.