Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

Close window

"Crime After Crime" Inspires Domestic Violence Legislation in New Jersey

Yoav Potash's Hillman Prize-winning documentary Crime After Crime tells the story of Debbie Peagler, a woman who served over 20 years in prison for the murder of her husband and later won her freedom using a California law that allows battered women who strike back against their abusers to petition a court to re-open their cases if evidence of that abuse was overlooked. Peagler's husband had forced her into prostitution as a teenager and beat her throughout their marriage. 

After seeing the Crime After Crime, 16-year-old Micaela Mangot decided that her home state of New Jersey needed its own version of Debbie's Law. She invited her state senator Loretta Weinberg to a screening of the film. The senator was so moved by Debbie's story and Micaela's activism that she drafted a version of Debbie's Law for New Jersey. If the bill becomes law, it will be the second of its kind in the nation. 

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
 
 

Recent Tweets

RT @CIRonline: California passes law to protect female farmworkers from sexual abuse after our Rape in the Fields investigation: http://t.c… 20 hours 6 min ago
Congrats to NeedToKnow team on #EMMYwin for CONTINUING COVERAGE-NEWSMAG for "Dying to Get Back" @PBS @johncarlosfrey #NewsEmmys #SidneyAward 20 hours 28 min ago
RT @fightcensorship: Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution(香港雨伞革命):你有盾牌长枪辣椒水,我有雨伞和救港之心。 http://t.co/eaxb40PptK 21 hours 3 min ago
RT @nycjim: Amazing photo of #HongKong protesters sleeping on highway. #OccupyCentral. More here: http://t.co/hofEZhNHvK http://t.co/20eCQ… 21 hours 5 min ago
Three Jobs at Dunkin' Donuts, One Tragic Death. http://t.co/jbdR9oJvU9 1 day 50 min ago