Hot Labor Summer

Making it easier to support worker organizing across the United States.

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We worked with workers and organizers to develop an accessible map and backend for aggregating and publishing concrete actions that everyday people can take in solidarity with worker organizing.

Challenge

The US labor movement is growing, with the highest approval level since 1965, but there was no clear wayt o act in solidarity with the labor movement if you are not actively working in a campaign as a worker organizer. There are wonderful projects that aggregate things like strikes and union busting, but there was no aggregated source for solidarity actions.

Solution

We started by building a simple website backed by a Google spreadsheet so @orientaljanedoe and @chiangstar, the project editors could get going. This site loaded actions from the spreadsheet, geocoded them with Esri, and plotted them on a map. This got us up fast (in one day), but we quickly realized this front-end solution wouldn't scale to the scope of features that the editors needed, so we set to work building a backend to store actions. We built out a backend application, and had a new site with server-side action management, geocode caching, RSS feed, and visitor action submission deployed two weeks later. We also implemented the open source and privacy preserving analytics tool Plausible, and wrote a privacy statement for the site based on how data flows through the system. During this process, our Accessibility Tester Louis Do designed an accessible experience design for the map, which renders the actions plotted on the map as text, so that screen readers users can read the map information. We implemented this design, and are in the process of refactoring it into a reusable Leaflet plugin. As a quick follow-on, the project editors asked for tools to generate Tweets and Instagram posts based on the action database. We built Tweet and Instagram post generators, and implemented a server-side job to generate screenshots for Instagram once per week.

Impact

Hotlaborsummer.com launched on July 18th, 2022, and overnight garnered a following of folks in the labor movement, and worker power supporters who are clicking through to support actions locally and nationally in the United States.

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch!

Mail

P.O. Box 961436
Boston, MA 02196