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

Clear It With Sidney

Fri, Apr 24, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

Continue reading

The Best of the Week's News

Close
Thu, Apr 23, 2015

Charles Gladden works in the cafeteria at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, but he has not had a fixed address for 5 years. Instead of going home at night, the 63-year-old diabetic grandfather sleeps in the McPherson Square Metro Station, near the White House.

Continue reading

Charles Gladden works in the cafeteria at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, but he has not had a fixed address for 5 years. Instead of going home at night, the 63-year-old diabetic grandfather sleeps in the McPherson Square Metro Station, near the White House.

Gladden recently took part in a one-day strike to draw attention to the fact that the U.S. government is the single biggest indirect creator of jobs that do not pay a living wage. 

Close
Mon, Apr 20, 2015

In September 2014, Doug Pardue, Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes, and Natalie Caula Haff won the Sidney Award for "Til Death do Us Part," a fearless, masterfully reported investigation into the domestic homicide crisis in South Carolina.

Read our Backstory Interview about the making of this landmark series 

Continue reading

In September 2014, Doug Pardue, Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes, and Natalie Caula Haff won the Sidney Award for "Til Death do Us Part," a fearless, masterfully reported investigation into the domestic homicide crisis in South Carolina.

Read our Backstory Interview about the making of this landmark series 

Today, "Til Death" went on to win the gold medal for Public Service, the most prestigious of all the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism

Our warmest congratulations to Doug, Glenn, Jennifer, and Natalie. We knew they were destined for big things! 

 

Close
Fri, Apr 17, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

Continue reading

The Best of the Week's News

  • The New York City Housing Authority is way behind on lead abatement and kids are paying the price. (Hat Tip: Liz)
  • 65% of migrants who died in 2014 drowned in the Mediterranean. How one NGO is trying to save lives at sea.
  • NYU made 10,000 construction workers on its Abu Dhabi campus second-class citizens, denying them wage and hour protections that the rest of NYU's employees enjoy.
Close
Fri, Apr 10, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

Continue reading

The Best of the Week's News

  • What happens when prisoners get sent home early because of computer glitches? What happens when they have to go back?
Close
Wed, Apr 8, 2015

We are very pleased to announce that Spencer Woodman has won the April Sidney Award for exposing the outrageous non-compete agreements that Amazon has been enforcing on its temporary warehouse workers. Woodman found that the mega-retailer was forcing workers to sign 18-month non-compete agreements in order to qualify for a 3-month stint in an Amazon warehouse. The language of the non-compete clause is so sweeping that, if it were enforced, it would appear to bar workers from almost any job anywhere in the world, for a period 6 times longer than they actually worked at Amazon. 

Continue reading

We are very pleased to announce that Spencer Woodman has won the April Sidney Award for exposing the outrageous non-compete agreements that Amazon has been enforcing on its temporary warehouse workers. Woodman found that the mega-retailer was forcing workers to sign 18-month non-compete agreements in order to qualify for a 3-month stint in an Amazon warehouse. The language of the non-compete clause is so sweeping that, if it were enforced, it would appear to bar workers from almost any job anywhere in the world, for a period 6 times longer than they actually worked at Amazon. 

Learn more about Spencer's reporting and Amazon's subsequent promise to stop imposing non-competes on hourly workers in The Backstory

Close
Fri, Apr 3, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

Continue reading

The Best of the Week's News

  • Texas bill would name judges who authorize abortions for minors.
Close
Tue, Mar 31, 2015

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is proud to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be the recipient of the inaugural George Barrett Award. This prize goes to an attorney whose work exemplifies the public spirit of the crusading Nashville civil rights attorney George "Citizen" Barrett. 

Continue reading

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is proud to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be the recipient of the inaugural George Barrett Award. This prize goes to an attorney whose work exemplifies the public spirit of the crusading Nashville civil rights attorney George "Citizen" Barrett. 

Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Based in Alabama, the EJI fights against wrongful convictions, executions, and excessive sentences. Stevenson is the author of the bestselling book, Just Mercy, a memoir about his work as a public interest lawyer. His 2012 TED Talk, "We Need to Talk About Injustice," has been viewed over 2 million times. 

Close
Fri, Mar 27, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

Continue reading

The Best of the Week's News

  • "We are like a shark": Steelworkers in Ukraine have to keep toiling in a war zone, because if their plant shuts down, it can never re-open.
Close
Wed, Mar 25, 2015

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out 114 years ago today, on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six garment workers, mostly immigrant women, died in the blaze. The fire became a catalyst for the nascent labor movement. 

Today, Workers United/SEIU, the New York City Fire Department, and city school children, mark the anniversary at the official commemoration ceremony at the cite of the fire.

11:30am-1:00pm, at Washington Place & Greene Street.

 

Continue reading

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out 114 years ago today, on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six garment workers, mostly immigrant women, died in the blaze. The fire became a catalyst for the nascent labor movement. 

Today, Workers United/SEIU, the New York City Fire Department, and city school children, mark the anniversary at the official commemoration ceremony at the cite of the fire.

11:30am-1:00pm, at Washington Place & Greene Street.

 

 

Close
 
 

Recent Tweets

RT @ptullis: @SidneyHillman foundation picks last week's @TakePart feature as a "best of the week" http://t.co/VjyASFDLVv 1 day 15 hours ago
RT @NYTMetro: Public city libraries have not gotten anywhere near the kind of capital funding enjoyed by sports teams: http://t.co/7Thq7XOR… 1 day 20 hours ago
RT @mirkel: Leonhart's DEA exit, "a day late and a trillion dollars short." @GrahamDavidA with devastating summary of DEA fails: http://t.c… 1 day 20 hours ago
Sidney's Picks: Cirque du Soleil is a Death Trap & Sex Offender Registries are a Joke: http://t.co/tA0aGgKJwZ 1 day 21 hours ago
2015 Hillman Prize for Book Journalism | Hillman Foundation http://t.co/RcW71JPFIe 1 day 21 hours ago