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Got an Abusive Boss? There's an App for That

Working America launches a website,, to be a WebMD for the rights of working people.

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This type of organizing taps into the existing frustrations that people have—in the Pittsburgh case obstacles to voting—and showing them how they can make a difference. "It’s everybody recognizing their own networks,” Nussbaum said. “I think that’s the key to organizing, isn’t it?”

She explained that Working America encourages people to see themselves as leaders within their own social circles, and, as it did in the case of the man in the hardware store, this recognition makes it easier to take action.

Nussbaum sees as a complement to these offline campaigns and as a means for introducing people to the labor movement. “Some people who use these tools will get turned on and they will become activists for life,” she said. “Some will fail, but it will help create a new environment that I think supports what we’re already beginning to see bubble up."

Amy Dean is a fellow at the Century Foundation and the principal of ABD Ventures, a firm that seeks to increase the organizational effectiveness of social change organizations. She co-authored, with David Reynolds, "A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement." Dean has worked for more than 20 years at the cross-section between labor and community-based organizations. You can follow Amy on Twitter at @amybdean, or she can be reached via the Web site,

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