VICTORY: Dr. Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, teaches at Harvard Medical School and started a technology company to improve the efficiency of clinical trials around the world. He is also a gun control advocate who has supported measures like an assault weapons ban an mandatory safety training. The NRA tried to torpedo his nomination in the Senate.  

After more than 120,000 activists signed the petition and more than 1,400 called key Senate offices, the Senate confirmed Dr. Murthy as surgeon general by a vote of 51-43 on Monday, Dec. 15.

VICTORY: Berkeley, California raises minimum wage to $12.53

Berkeley, California’s minimum wage was the state-mandated $8.00 per hour, which had not been updated since 2007. The proposal sent to the city council included a gradual increase to $13.34 by 2022 with a faster acceleration for corporations and chains, annual cost of living adjustments and health care benefits worth at least $2.22 per hour starting in 2015.

The Berkeley City Council voted to increase the minimum wage to $12.53, rolled out over a 2 year period with annual increases to follow. This victory means 5000 a year in the pockets of low-wage working families that will flow directly into our local economy improving the lives of tens of thousands of people.

VICTORY: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick increases food-stamps allowance

Last month, President Obama signed a new “farm bill” that cuts food stamp funding by about $800 million per year. These heartless cuts – which Republicans forced through in Congress – slash $90 in food stamp benefits per month from 850,000 families nationwide.

Fortunately, a bipartisan group of governors in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut found a way to reverse these devastating cuts by participating in a special “heat and eat” program, which would leverage heating assistance payments into higher food stamp benefits. By slightly increasing state funding for heating assistance to residents slated to lose part of their food stamp benefits, these governors have completely stopped the Republican food stamp cut from affecting residents in their states.

After almost 4,000 signatures, on Tuesday March 18, Massachusetts became the 8th state to announce that it would leverage heating assistance funding to stop food stamp cuts from affecting its citizens.

VICTORY: Minnesota increases minimum wage

The minimum wage is not a living wage. In Minnesota, minimum wage was not indexed to inflation. Minnesota minimum wage workers shouldn’t have to wait nine years or more for a raise, hoping that the political climate might be right – and businesses should have the stability of knowing in advance what they will be paying their workers. Thanks to grassroots activism that included 2,700 CREDO signatures, Minnesota raised its minimum wage, indexed to inflation.

VICTORY: President Obama signs executive order barring anti-gay discrimination for federal contractors

In more than 30 states, Americans can be fired just because they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. On June 16, the White House announced that President Obama intends to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Almost 107,000 of you signed a petition calling on him to do this. The executive order will allow millions more Americans to go to work empowered with the right to do their jobs free of harassment or discrimination.

VICTORY: Gov. Cuomo extends solar program through 2023

Clean Energy Now Written on a blue background with wind energy in the distance and the CREDO logo in the right hand corner

The New York Public Service Commission planned an extension to NY-Sun Initiative solar program through 2023. The plan results in 10x more affordable solar up and down the state, enough to power 465,000 New York homes and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tons annually. Private investment in solar at this scale reduces the need for utilities to build traditional power plants and transmission infrastructure, which can help keep rates low for all New Yorkers. So far, NY-Sun has resulted in almost 300 megawatts of solar capacity, more than was installed in the entire decade prior to the program. The solar industry employs 5,000 New Yorkers, ranking New York 5th in the nation for solar job creation.

Thanks in part to activism from almost 11,000 CREDO members, the plan was extended to 2023.


VICTORY: Gov. Brewer vetoes S.B. 1062

S.B. 1062 is a bill that codifies, rationalizes and justifies discrimination for religious purposes and would lead to unfair treatment of gay and lesbian Arizonans. The bill passed both the Senate and House and without any support from Democrats, but since Republicans hold a majority in both chambers, this discriminatory bill landed Governor Brewer’s desk awaiting her signature.

After hearing from opposition, including almost 34,000 CREDO members, Gov. Brewer vetoed S.B. 1062.


Vicci Hamlin, Lisa Leggio and Barbara Carter – the MI-CATS 3 – locked themselves to machinery to block the construction of Enbridge’s line $6B tar sands pipeline. The pipeline is the same one that, in 2010, spilled more than a million gallons of tar sands, fouling a huge section of the Kalamazoo River.

After delivering over 60,000 other signatures to the judge, a month-long campaign supported by CREDO  to build awareness and public pressure calling for leniency, Vicci, Lisa and Barbara were released from jail with 13 months probation and no prison time.  

VICTORY: President Obama raises wages for federal contractors to $10.10/hr

After more than 65,000 CREDO members signed a petition and helped put pressure on President Obama to address the hardships faced by millions of federal contractors nationwide, President Obama announced on Jan. 28 that he would be signing an executive order that raises the minimum wage for new federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.

VICTORY: Maryland raises the minimum wage

At just $7.25 an hour, Maryland’s minimum wage left a family of three stuck below the poverty line. Like workers being paid the minimum wage in the other 49 states, Maryland workers couldn’t even afford to pay for an average two-bedroom apartment by working a standard 40-hour work week. The minimum wage in Maryland hadn’t been raised since 2009, despite inflation. The real value of the federal minimum wage was actually a few dollars lower than it was in 1968.

Activism, including about 2,000 CREDO signatures, prompted the Maryland General Assembly pass legislation that raised the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.