News·6 min read

Daily Skimm: Election Day Countdown, Pay Transparency, and the Twitterverse

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Nov 1, 2022

Final Countdown

The Story

We’re one week out from Election Day.

What’s the game plan?

Making sure you’re ready to vote. As Americans gear up to vote on everything from House and Senate races to ballot initiatives and state legislators, here are some of the biggest talkers ahead of Nov 8:

Economy…as in, Americans are dealing with the highest inflation in 40 years — affecting everything from groceries to clothes. Federal interest rates keep rising. And every home may feel like a dream home with mortgage rates at their highest since 2001. But that’s one side of it: prices are now averaging below $3.80 per gallon — down from their high of over $5 this summer. The US economy also grew in the third quarter...simmering recession rumors for now. Unemployment is down to pre-pandemic numbers. And yesterday, the Dow capped off its best month since 1976. But with Americans’ savings dwindling, many are concerned a recession is still coming next.

Abortion…a key driver for many women to the polls. With abortion access now decided at the state level, more than a dozen states have banned or restricted the procedure — while 16 others (and DC) have moved to protect access. Over the summer, Kansas voted to keep abortion access legal. Next week, five states will vote on abortion-related ballot initiatives. And all voters will be electing congressional and state reps that will play an increasingly large role. At the national level, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has introduced a 15-week national abortion ban — which divided his party. Meanwhile, President Biden is promising to codify Roe v. Wade if at least “two more” Dems are elected to the Senate.

Social Issues…as in everything else you’ve chatted about in your family group chat. Guns continue to be a major topic ahead of the polls, with gun-related deaths recently reaching their highest levels in three decades. And gun-related questions are on the ballot in both Iowa and Oregon. Then there’s crime. While murder and shooting rates have reportedly gone down, the murder rate is still believed to be 30% higher than 2019. Theft and robberies have seen a 20% increase. And there’s been a jump in anti-Semitic and anti-Asian hate crimes in major cities. Meanwhile, five states will have the chance to explicitly remove slavery from their state laws.

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Next week, the issues Americans care about will be up for a vote — on the national, state, and local levels. Stay updated and get ready to vote.

You Asked, He Answered

With the Nov 8 midterm elections looming, our audience has a lot of questions about the state of the country. So we sent your questions to President Biden to get more info on the issues that are most important to Skimm’rs ahead of Election Day. Here’s what he had to say

It’s tough to wake up every day in a country that seemingly hates women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community. What do you intend to do to make America feel welcoming again to those of us feeling trampled on? — Ashley

“Our country is at an inflection point and the soul of our nation is at stake. There is no doubt about it. I decided to run for president after Charlottesville to fight the battle for the soul of this nation and unite the country. By that, I meant the core values of who we are as Americans: honesty, decency, and respect. Giving hate no safe harbor. Giving everyone a shot at making it. That was never going to be the work of one election. And, it was never going to be easy…” 

To find out what the president is doing on this specific issue, plus his answers to your questions on everything from immigration to climate change, check out our full Q&A here.

And Also...This

Who’s saying ‘show me the money’...

New York City. Today, NYC’s pay transparency law is set to go into effect. Under the new law — which passed last year — companies with four or more employees will be required to post a “good faith salary range” in every job listing. Aka a minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wages. States like ColoradoConnecticut, and Washington have already passed similar pay transparency laws to reduce pay inequities. Especially among groups that are routinely paid less, like women and people of color. Now, job seekers can say ‘bye, bye’ to struggling with an answer for ‘what would you like to be paid’ and wasting time interviewing for underpaying jobs. Getting rid of wage secrecy could also allow current employees to see if they’re being paid competitive salaries. Next up: the state bill is waiting to be signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and other states may follow suit.

  • Good faith gone bad: Not following the law would be considered “unlawful discriminatory practice.” And could result in fines of up to $250,000 after the first violation. Current employees can sue employers that violate the law related to jobs, promotions, or transfer opportunities.

PS: Check out our tips for negotiating your salary.

What people are concerned about in the US...

Political violence. Over the weekend, Paul Pelosi — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) husband — began the road to recovery following what she called a "life-threatening attack." Last week, a man broke into their home in San Francisco demanding “where is Nancy?” before attacking the 82-year-old with a hammer. Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have condemned the assault. It comes after recent threats against figures like Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — as well as the 2017 attack on House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). And amid an uptick in threats against lawmakers. Last year alone, US Capitol Police said it investigated nearly 10,000 threats — up more than 100% since 2018.

What’s under review…

Affirmative action. Yesterday, SCOTUS signaled it could rule against colleges and universities considering race in their admissions process. The idea of modern affirmative action dates back to the 1960s as a way to ensure more racial equality in institutions. Since then, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the initiative. But in 2014, a conservative group filed lawsuits against both Harvard and the University of North Carolina, arguing that the practices promoting the inclusion of Black and Latino students end up discriminating against white and Asian American students. Yesterday, SCOTUS heard arguments — the first peek into how they might rule. The court’s 6-3 conservative majority called the racial classifications “dangerous” and asked whether there are any “educational benefits.” Meanwhile, liberal justices referred to race considerations as a “plus factor” and as a way to look at the "full person." A ruling is expected in the summer.

…Oh and speaking of things on SCOTUS’s desk: former President Trump is asking the court to block a House committee from accessing his tax returns.

What’s going on in the Twitterverse…

A lot. Yesterday, a securities filing revealed that Elon Musk dissolved Twitter’s board of directors — in addition to other execs. The move means “Chief Twit” is now the social media platform's sole director. Next up: He’s reportedly working on plans to lay off 25% of the company (think: an estimated 7,000 employees) in the coming days. And there are also reports Musk is planning a Vine comeback. And that the blue check mark could be yours for $19.99 a month. Our weekends were…different from his.

What has us walking on eggshells….

Costco’s chicken.

Who's cool as cucumber...

Kendall Jenner.

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