iOS app Android app

Tom Dalzell
Tom Dalzell is the business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, which represents 18,000 working men and women in California and Nevada. He began his career working with the United Farm Workers in rural California in 1972.

Since 1983, Dalzell has devoted a considerable portion of his life to the study of American slang, and is recognized as a national expert. He has authored three books on slang: Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang (Merriam-Webster, 1996), The Slang of Sin (Merriam-Webster, 1998) and Damn the Man: Slang of the Oppressed in America (Dover Publications, 2010). Dalzell is the senior editor of The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, which he is currently in the process of updating.

Entries by Tom Dalzell

Historic Agreement Paves Way for Alliance Between Labor and Environmentalists

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2016 | 4:06 PM

For too long, the interests of labor and environmental groups have cleaved through the Democratic Party. The transition to clean energy has stressed this relationship further: as carbon-based sources of power come under fire, the union jobs that go along with them (workers at power plants) are being replaced by...

Read Post

Robin Hood in Reverse: Why Californians Who Care About Income Inequality and Our Environment Should Oppose the PUC's Net Energy Metering Ruling

(2) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 3:54 PM

Reversing climate change and addressing income inequality are the twin challenges of our time. Solving them both means a safer, more stable future for generations to come.

If we don't stop and reverse climate change, our environment and our economy could collapse. If we don't address the growing gap...

Read Post

Why Are Progressives Asking Poor Families to Subsidize Wall Street and the Richest Americans?

(1) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 3:29 PM

Congress recently acted at the last minute to renew a giant tax subsidy for Wall Street investors and the richest Americans. Sadly, in almost all cases, such dead-of-night maneuvers to increase corporate subsidies and tax breaks for the wealthy are hardly breaking news.

But when Democrats and progressives applaud this...

Read Post

(Green) Power to the People

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 10:14 AM

Equal access to clean power and a shared investment in our infrastructure will make America greener.

Over the past few decades, "going green" has evolved from something a handful of elites discussed over tempeh and green tea to a national priority shared by the majority of Americans. A confluence of...

Read Post

Testing Under the Influence

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 2:29 PM

Workplace drug testing isn't effective. So why do we do it?

Rarely are California's doctors, unions and the Republican Party on the same page -- but this year, Proposition 46, which would mandate drug testing for doctors, is making some strange bedfellows. Doctors are fighting back against what they see...

Read Post

Invest San Bruno Fine in Safety

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 11:15 AM

Proposed PG&E Fine Would Drain Money from Safety Upgrades, Put Californians at Risk

The evening of September 9, 2010, fear and confusion reigned as Californians tried to make sense of the news out of San Bruno. The explosion had laid bare more than busted pipe -- decades of deferred maintenance...

Read Post

Wrong TURN on Public Safety

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 3:37 PM

The consumer group's irresponsible attacks put Californians at risk.

"Untimely and misguided" - in the spring of 2007, that's what Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty called a thoughtful proposal to invest in Minnesota's roads and bridges. He vetoed it upon receipt. Two months later, the Mississippi River...

Read Post

Marin Deserves Real Green Power, Not Slick Marketing Campaigns

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 5:35 PM

A few enduring classics from the Too Good To Be True department: Eat more, lose weight! Get rich quick! Send your financial information to a generous Nigerian prince and he will pay you millions!

The latest installment comes courtesy of Marin County's power provider, the Marin Energy Authority: you...

Read Post

John Avalos and Francesca Vietor Play the Shell Game

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 11:48 AM

In 2011, corporate lobbyists and their Republican allies came up with a piece of political trickery -- the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis Act. The bill guts environmental protections in the Clean Air Act, sparing its corporate backers millions in fines and compliance costs. They pushed it...

Read Post

Dirty Power for San Francisco? Say S'hell No!

(4) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 6:56 PM

Last week the esteemed Goldman Prizes for environmental stewardship were awarded in San Francisco. One of the winners at this ceremony, which has been called the Oscars of the environmental movement, went to Jonathan Deal, a brave South African man who stood up to the corporate might of...

Read Post

Worked Over: Why Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age is a Bad Idea

(31) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 12:26 PM

Given the news out of Washington this week, you'd think the president and the Republicans in Congress couldn't agree that the sky is blue on a clear sunny day. Here's one thing I bet they'd all agree on: not one of them wants to be waiting tables, jack-hammering concrete or...

Read Post

Hannity's Lies About Our First Responders

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 9:36 AM

Last Friday, as millions of Americans were trying to pick up the pieces in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Sean Hannity seems to have been looking for an opportunity. By the time his radio show went live that afternoon he thought he had found one: there was one unsubstantiated report...

Read Post

Why Is San Francisco Trying to Outsource Green Investment to the "Dirtiest" Texas Corporation?

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 12:35 PM

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote today on a contract with Shell Energy of Houston, Texas that would nearly double electricity costs for San Franciscans.

Say what?

Why would a city that prides itself on being on the forefront of energy policy sign a...

Read Post

CNA Nurses Deserve Our Support

(5) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 10:40 AM

From health care to energy to government, we tend to think about our world in terms of "systems." I know I do it -- consider the health care "system," the political "system" the legal "system."

At least that was my perspective until a few weeks ago when my body's systems...

Read Post

Can a Green Company Have a Dirty Labor Record?

(1) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 11:14 AM

In the past few years, we've seen corporation after corporation try on the mantle of green. Most of that has been good -- America is moving towards energy independence, we are becoming more thoughtful consumers, and most of us have internalized the idea that what we're doing, making or disposing...

Read Post

Fifty Thousand Friends: Union Organizing On Facebook

(19) Comments | Posted September 2, 2011 | 2:48 PM

The head of any organization -- whether it's a union, a corporation or my daughter's soccer league -- will tell you it's good to have friends. In recent years, organized labor has found it more and more difficult to make friends with average Americans. And it's not that we haven't...

Read Post