Meanwhile, from the other side of the aisle, the Service Employees International Union is hosting a competition for new ideas to benefit working families. Called Since Sliced Bread, the contest is easy to enter - just submit some basic demographic information and your one idea, maximum of 175 words. Winners will be determined through an elimination process - first by a panel of judges, then by internet vote, "Survivor" style, then by judges again. The winner will receive $100,000, plus the SEIU's pledge to make the idea a priority item. Two runners up receive $50,000.
Thus far, 7639 ideas have been submitted. Each idea remains posted on the website for discussion by participants. Plenty of the submissions are larks, posted just to create controversy; many others are things that have been tried before or are currently under consideration in think tank circles. But there are some genuinely fresh ideas here, and the discussion boards are humming. For the most part, anyway - my own submission, alas, languishes without commentary. To those who know me, it's entirely predictable.
I’ve written about the SEIU before – they are quickly becoming the world’s foremost radical-centrist union. In the midst of a union movement that often seems to be in tatters, the SEIU continues to run ahead of the pack, at least when it comes to marketing. And marketing may very well be the one thing that can save unions at this point.