Tues 2/25: Busy morning. Remind the Ventura County Fair Board that their “gun problem” isn’t going away.

The monthly meeting of the Ventura County FairBoard is TODAY at 9 am! Go visit! Ask a question!

Brady members and others who find the continuing GUN SHOWS at our Fair Grounds unacceptable attend to speak during PUBLIC FORUM. Join us! WEAR ORANGE!!

Issues:

  • Should GUN SHOWS be there at all? Has the board been actively searching for more acceptable alternatives? Is there a committee assigned to that task? When can we expect to hear the results?
  • As long as gun shows are continuing, how are they improving safety issues? Are the guns secured? Other weapons?
  • What kind of security is there, both in the building and in the parking lots? How are weapons brought in being tracked? Are people leaving the facility checked for proper paperwork for all weapons and ammunition?
  • What actions are they taking to actively discourage straw buyers? Is there an informational campaign with an active sign-in requirement at entrances to warn such buyers of the legal consequences?
  • What good-faith actions are gun show purveyors voluntarily doing to protect Californians from their dangerous merchandise being sold in more permissive nearby states? In 2018, 3,920 guns originally purchased in Nevada and Arizona were recovered by California law enforcement officers from crime scenes.
  • Why hasn’t the FAIR BOARD posted minutes from last month?
  • What action is the FAIR BOARD taking on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee suggested by many?

Continue reading “Tues 2/25: Busy morning. Remind the Ventura County Fair Board that their “gun problem” isn’t going away.”

Tues 2/25: Easiest election decision ever – vote for the mountain lions!

URGENT: Action is at 8:30 am this morning!

(A note from Jim Hines, team leader of the Sierra Club California Wildlife Team)

Greetings Friends:
The Sierra Club’s Mountain Lions FOREVER! campaign to protect the largest wild cats in California is asking each of you to support the following resolution before the Ventura county board of supervisors today (February 25) –  Agenda item # 37 with no time certain, but we can all speak at general public comment which is at 8:30 AM
Where: Ventura County Government Center at 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura
Resolution: here.
Excerpt from resolution: 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Ventura County Board of Supervisors hereby includes in its 2020 State Legislative Agenda and Platform support or sponsorship of legislation and/or administrative action to end the issuance of depredation permits in Ventura County for mountain lions that attacked livestock and other animals; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the County of Ventura supports legislative or executive action to support the listing of the Southern /Central Coast Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) of Mountain Lions at Threatened under the California Endangered Species Act as recommended by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Continue reading “Tues 2/25: Easiest election decision ever – vote for the mountain lions!”

Mon 2/24: “Thank you!” to every Swap Meet Justice volunteer!

Swap Meet Justice began as a result of our voter registration efforts. We learned that the people passing us by were permanent legal residents who wanted to become citizens but were facing significant challenges in doing so. These included unaffordable attorney fees for help with the application process, and the impossibility of taking time off from work to meet with them.

Thanks to previous instruction from SEIU 721, the volunteer services of community members, local immigration attorneys and coalition organizations like VC-CLUE, Ventura County Legal Aid, El Concilio, UFW, and MICOP,  and the generosity of Oxnard College, we were able to start Swap Meet Justice at the Oxnard College Community Marketplace.

Services are free and they take place on the last Sunday of every month.

Yesterday, a man came up to the tent to show us his brand new citizenship certificate and to thank us for helping him get it. We’ve heard that others have received their citizenship, but this personal visit was a first for us.

Continue reading “Mon 2/24: “Thank you!” to every Swap Meet Justice volunteer!”

Sun 2/23: Tomorrow is Swap Meet Justice at Oxnard College! Please volunteer and help spread the word to those who need our services!

Ventura’s resistance movement is strong and varied. Check out our entire list of events and keep track here. Send additions for the list to indivisibleventura@gmail.com

Action #1: THIS SUNDAY- 12/29: Volunteer, help spread the word and/or donate to our local free citizenship fair – Swap Meet Justice! 

What are we doing? We help our neighbors turn their green cards (permanent residency cards) into citizenship. We also help renew green card and DACA applications and register new voters. Come help! No experience required.

If you’ve never watch Ronald Reagan’s astonishing last speech as president, reminding his listeners that immigration is “the great life force of each generation of new Americans…” watch it here. (Quick timeline of the history of immigration here.)

  • More details on this event and downloadable flyers here!
  • Where: Oxnard Community Marketplace –  Oxnard College Campus.
  • When: We are open from 8am-3pm, last application starting at ±1:00 pm.
  • Note: First-time volunteers MUST take a 1-hour training course at 8:30 am. It’s actually really interesting. We do reserve the right to refuse the services of any volunteers.
  • Mark your calendar for next month and beyond!: 2020 dates are 1/26, 2/23, 3/29, 4/26, 5/31, 6/28, 7/26, 8/30, 9/27, 10/25, 11/29, and 12/27.

Thinking about being a volunteer? You don’t have to be a lawyer. You don’t need to speak a foreign language, but that extra skill is appreciated. You don’t have to be a citizen and you don’t have to be over 18. Teen volunteers are great! Basic requirement is that you care about helping our immigrant neighbors. We do reserve the right to respectfully refuse services from anyone. More details here!

Action #2: Donate in a powerful way for the needs in our own community. Share this information!

Continue reading “Sun 2/23: Tomorrow is Swap Meet Justice at Oxnard College! Please volunteer and help spread the word to those who need our services!”

Fri 2/21: Deadline tonight to write against another side-door incursion of priests into your health care. Two actions!

Action #1 – Write a comment to tell the University of CA to stop collaborating with  entities that discriminate against women and the LGBTQ community.

Last year, we wrote a post alerting people to write comments to stop University of San Francisco Medical Center’s planned merger with Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital chain that uses religious directives to openly discriminate against women and LGBTQ patients.

Your reponse was awesome and UCSF backed out of the deal!

Now, this whole issue is back, and not just for one city.  NARAL Pro-Choice California has notified us that the University of California’s six health systems across the state, which serves nearly two million patients a year, and trains over 14,000 health professionals throughout UC — has affiliations with religiously-affiliated health systems, who use “non-evidenced-based policy restrictions on care” – care defined by those guys in pink skull caps, to refuse essential reproductive health care services such as  LGBTQ+ inclusive care, “End of Life Option” Act, abortion care, miscarriage management, tubal ligation — even medical contraception, that could be required while treating another illness. (UC report, pg. 15)

UC is seeking feedback on maintaining or extracting themselves from this arrangement.

  • Read a short summary and provide feedback here;
  • Get more background on the Working Group on Comprehensive Access here; and
  • Read the full Working Group on Comprehensive Access report here.

Anyone can comment. You don’t need to live in California or have any connection with UC.

Possible comment: My name is _____, I live in [town/city/state]. [If you have an affiliation with the University of California, say what it is.] I’m calling on you to reject religiously imposed limits outlined in this report. The University of California needs to end affiliations that discriminate against women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

No one should be denied care because of religious interference. UC is a public healthcare institution and has an obligation to ensure that patients receive appropriate care. You put Californians’ health in real jeopardy by failing to provide this care. Continue reading “Fri 2/21: Deadline tonight to write against another side-door incursion of priests into your health care. Two actions!”

Thur 2/20: Today is our 3rd Thursday “Pizza & Postcards” event and our goal is to reach 400 folks in Montgomery County, Alabama! Join in. We need your help!

Action #1  – TODAY – Thursday, 2/20: Meet at Santino’s for pizza, good conversation, and social justice – every Third Thursday starting at 11:30 am

The next community showing of this film will be by the Chalice UU on 3/28. Stay tuned to our “Event” page for more details. Ventura’s resistance movement is strong and varied. Check out the entire list and keep track here. Send additions for the list to indivisibleventura@gmail.com

Indivisible Ventura, along with groups and individuals across the country, has been participating in a postcard campaign with the Reclaim our Vote campaign, organized by the Center for Common Ground.   This month, the campaign has sent us 400 addresses for the next area of deliberate voter disenfranchisement – Montgomery County, Alabama.

If you have a moment, read these great reports: “Alive and Well: Voter Suppression and Election Mismanagement in Alabama,”  and Systemic Inequality and American Democracy.”

  • Where: Santino’s Pizza. It’s at 4231 Telegraph Rd., Ventura, 93003
  • When: Thursday, Feb. 20th, between 11:30am – 1:30pm.
  • RSVP for our supporters: Nope. Just come. Invite your friends!
    We do, however, reserve the right to refuse any volunteers and their services.
  • What to bring: We provide the pizza, postcards, stationary. If you prefer, you may bring your own pre-stamped postcards, or stationary for letter actions. You are also welcome to bring stickers and different colored pens.
  • Donations gratefully accepted: A postcard stamp is $0.35! We’re trying to achieve 400 finished postcards, which equals $140!. Donations of money for stamps and pizza or rolls of postcard stamps are gratefully accepted. 
  • Questions? Email indivisibleventura@gmail.org

Continue reading “Thur 2/20: Today is our 3rd Thursday “Pizza & Postcards” event and our goal is to reach 400 folks in Montgomery County, Alabama! Join in. We need your help!”

Indivisible Ventura’s Voting Guide for the 2020 Primary Election – March 3rd!

Note: this post will be periodically updated with new information!

Jump to: FederalStateCountyVenturaOxnardPropositionsJudges

To save you time, if you’re looking for which Republican candidate to vote for, this is not the voting guide for you.

We at Indivisible Ventura don’t believe we have any more time to coddle those who feel that the answers to the problems of this new century lie in the bones of the last one. Or those who vote from fear or anger.

We believe in progress and in science. We believe in women, their sovereignty over their own bodies and their access to equal pay, paid family leave and access to child care. We believe in the separation of church and state. We believe that all Americans should have access to clean air, pure water, affordable, accessible healthcare, and a safe place to sleep. We believe in protecting our environment and our wildlife. We believe in our youth, their access to equally-funded education and higher education without crippling debt. We believe in helping our immigrants, our poor, and our homeless. We believe in the rights of workers and a living wage. We believe in strong gun laws to keep our communities safe and reexamining and removing laws that unfairly target members of our communities. We believe in the fundamental American value that all people are created equal. We believe that the American dream is worth fighting for. And right now, we’re doing it at the ballot box.

Wake the sleeping giant, the 91 million Americans who didn’t vote, and change America into a more just society.

Although Indivisible Ventura is not officially endorsing any particular candidate, we’ve pulled together endorsements from other groups we respect, for you to read and compare along with reference materials that mention all candidates.

Basic Information Continue reading “Indivisible Ventura’s Voting Guide for the 2020 Primary Election – March 3rd!”

40 questions – Interviews with the candidates for Superior Court Office No. 2

Interviews with judicial candidates Catherine Voelker and Martin Zaehringer – Tuesday, February 11th.

To paraphrase Dr. McCoy from Star Trek, “Damn it, Jim! We’re political activists, not trained journalists!” (Much kudos here to all real journalists. They have a very hard job.) Read these interviews with these caveats in mind…

  • It’s tricky: Interviewing judicial candidates isn’t a straightforward process. Because of “Canon 5” issues, you can’t just ask them if they are future Ruth Bader Ginsbergs, or Brett Kavanaughs or what their opinions are on abortion, civil or LGBTQ rights or on protecting the environment.
  • “Not journalists” – part 1: We are not lawyers either. We consulted lawyers and various Bar sources for acceptable questions and we ended up learning a lot from both interviewees about Ventura County’s court system.
  • “Not journalists” – part 2: Not all questions were asked in the same way to each candidate, and some questions had extensive “cross talk” or additional comments, as we followed the flow of conversation. See above – “not journalists.”
  • Why didn’t you ask…: Assuredly, some great questions were not asked. However, these interviews took over 90 minutes each and we were grateful that the candidates were willing to sit that long for self-admitted partisan activists.
  • Yes, we edited…: Both questions and answers were lightly edited for grammar and brevity. We also added links for information and definitions of legal terms and issues.
  • Yes, they edited…: These interviews were not a “gotcha!” activity. Both candidates were given drafts of their answers to edit for clarity and conformance to Canon 5 requirements. We really want to understand who these people are before we vote on them.
  • Who’s on first?: Mr. Zaehringer’s comments were placed first, because Ms. Voelker was asked to address additional issues at the end of her interview.
  • What did the pros say?: The Ventura County Bar Association released their 2020 Judicial Candidates Ratings and we’ve graphed the results below the interviews.
  • Are you doing interviews for Office 8?: No. We recommend that you vote for Paul W. Baelly (endorsements here). His opponent, Steve Pell, is not considered qualified by the Ventura County Bar Association.
  • Candidate Bios: These two newspapers give good short overviews of the candidates’ demographic information: VC Star interviews here. VC Reporter blurbs here. Quick facts:
    •  G. Martin Zaehringer is an 38-year trial attorney who’s worked on all the types of cases that appear before a Superior Court. Endorsements here. His campaign contributions are here.
    • Catherine Voelker has worked for 15 years in the District Attorney’s office. Her list of endorsements is here.
  • A  moment to say “Thank you!”: These candidates had no idea how long the interviews were going to be, and that afterwards, that they would have to fit editing 18+ page documents into their busy schedules. They were both very good sports and we enjoyed working with them.

Before you start reading the interviews with both candidates, do you know what a “superior court” is? This will be important for making your choice.

Superior courts have trial jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases. Special departments of the courts handle family, probate, mental health, juvenile, small claims, and traffic cases. Many superior courts also have specialty departments for nonviolent drug offenses and domestic violence cases. Superior courts handle cases in which parties ask for special relief, such as an injunction or a declaratory order.

Superior court judges serve six-year terms and are elected by county voters on a nonpartisan ballot at a general election. Vacancies are filled through appointment by the Governor. A superior court judge (with the exception of former municipal court judges in now unified courts) must have been an attorney admitted to practice law in California or have served as a judge of a court of record in this state for at least 10 years immediately preceding election or appointment.” (Article on “The Qualities of a Good Judge“)

The Interviews – 40 questions.

  • Our questions and comments are in RED.
  • Martin Zaehringer’s comments are in BLACK.
  • Catherine Voelker’s comments are in BLUE.

Before we started the interviews with both candidates, we read them the following statement. We understand you are subject to Canon 5, (Oct. 10th, 2018), “a judge or candidate for judicial office shall not engage in political or campaign activity that is inconsistent with the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary.“ Section 5A(3)(d) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court. As a corollary, a candidate should emphasize in any public statement the candidate’s duty to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal views.

Q1: Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night thinking about a case and wishing you had handled something differently? Continue reading “40 questions – Interviews with the candidates for Superior Court Office No. 2”

Thurs 2/13: Stoned.

Indivisible Ventura is busy today writing up some great local judicial candidate interviews for our upcoming voting guide, so thank goodness for Rogan’s List for today’s actions!

Action #1 – Emergency at the Department of Justice. Call your legislators!

On Monday, the DOJ made their sentencing recommendations in the Roger Stone case, based on the face that he is actually a criminal who lied under oath. Overnight on Monday, Trump tweeted out the unfairness of the sentencing recommendation. Tuesday, the DOJ announced a revision to the recommendation. Then, the four DOJ prosecutors resigned from the case in protest of the intervention of Attorney General William Barr. Then Barr announced that that he will be controlling all aspects of cases related to Trump (like the Stone case) which Trump is pleased about. Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, but that seems much later than needed.  Regardless of Barr’s willingness to testify, this is a disturbing and dangerous politicization of the DOJ and isnot the behavior of democracies.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen/Rep [___] to know that we are very concerned about the following unacceptable actions by Attorney General Bill Barr:

  • setting up a Giuliani information backchannel
  • taking over all Trump-related cases (how can we even be saying this!)
  • slashing Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendations.

Contact
Rep. Julia Brownley: email(CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal:
email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?:https://whoismyrepresentative.co

Action #2 – Send a postcard or note of thanks to the attorney that resigned in protest.

Continue reading “Thurs 2/13: Stoned.”