Tues 4/24 – The far-right knows that “Abstinence-only” is a loser…

Back in 2015, there was a brief resurgence in “Abstinence-only” education funding…

There’s been improvements since then. But while our attention was diverted elsewhere, a war has been taking place over the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program, a comprehensive educational approach credited with helping to drive the nation’s teen pregnancy rate to an all-time low. Perversely, in his 2018 budget, Trump stated that he would fund only ineffective abstinence-based programs and in July of 2017, his appointees overruled agency career officials and cut funding for the last two years of this highly successful program. A lawsuit is pending and the administration agreed to put back some of the program’s funding. But not for the existing programs. On Friday, when all bad things happen now, the HHS announced their new requirements for sex-ed programs. So here we go…

They re-branded “Abstinence-only”. Meet “Sexual risk avoidance”! It’s still bad.

(Guttmacher Institute)
“Abstinence-only” training is ineffective: (nbc) In 2007, the non-partisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy stated “At present there does not exist any strong evidence that any abstinence program delays the initiation of sex, hastens the return to abstinence or reduces the number of sexual partners”, and that more comprehensive programs that supported both abstinence and the use of condoms and contraceptives for sexually active teens had positive behavior effects.” Continue reading “Tues 4/24 – The far-right knows that “Abstinence-only” is a loser…”

Mon. 4/23 – Deadline TODAY for these comments on our environment!

Illustration from Science – “Evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer’s, dementia”

#1. – LAST DAY (4/23) Dirtier Air Courtesy of Trump’s EPA

The Trump Administration has been determined to rollback and unravel the hard fought for rules protecting our air, water and soil from pollution. With strong support from the oil and fossil fuel industry, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to withdraw from the Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) that assist states in controlling air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry, and trigger related clean air planning requirements in many areas with ozone smog problems.  Withdrawal of these guidelines would mean that, as a practical matter, much uncontrolled or under-controlled oil and gas industry equipment in impacted areas would continue to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of chemicals that react in the atmosphere to form ground-level ozone (smog). Let EPA know we support keeping these guidelines and oppose allowing pollutants to dirty our air.

Deadline for comments to the EPA is TODAY – Monday, April 23.  Comment here.
Read other comments here.

We have been reviewing comments already submitted. There are a number of conservative comments, including letter/attachments from energy companies eager to improve their profit margins, like this one

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So get your comments in right away. They do NOT have to be long. There are currently only 14,642 recorded comments.

Sample Written Script:  Pick some of these points and mix and match. More information on air pollution issues here. If your health or someone you love has health issues from pollution, make it personal. Continue reading “Mon. 4/23 – Deadline TODAY for these comments on our environment!”

Mon. – 4/23 – The Senate is voting at 3:00 pm on this guy…

Vote “NO” on Kyle Duncan TODAY! – Swamp your senators’ D.C. numbers!

Even if you’ve called on this guy before. Here is today’s schedule.

  • The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m.
  • Following leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #624, Stuart Kyle Duncan, of Louisiana, to be United States Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
  • At 5:30 p.m., the Senate will VOTE on confirmation of Executive Calendar #624, Stuart Kyle Duncan, of Louisiana, to be United States Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.

Kyle Duncan, a lawyer who has built a career around extreme positions against members of the LGBTQ community, has been nominated by Donald Trump for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has worked aggressively to eradicate LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, and more. Read about Duncan at Lambda Legal.  Let’s contact our Senators to let them know we oppose extremist nominee Kyle Duncan.

Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [__] to oppose the nomination of Kyle Duncan to our federal courts.

Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553
Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

 

Friday – 4/20 – We are now awake.

For those of us who felt that we were sleepwalking politically before the last presidential election, it’s come as a surprise at just how much sustained effort is necessary to make change. 

We are asking you to join us in persistently insisting that our legislators actively work to clean up the gun-oil-soaked atmosphere we live in right now.

  • If you think voting for a Democrat is the only action you need to do, read this.
  • If you think calling isn’t an effective form of protest, watch this.
  • If you haven’t optimized your phone for fast dialing, do it now.

We will be posting gun actions every 2 weeks minimum starting from today, the 19th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine. You will be asked to repeat calls you’ve already made. These calls create pressure to keep anti-gun-violence bills in the forefront of our legislators thoughts and efforts.

Action #1 – Support Pro-Gun Sense Candidates in 2018.

Who takes gun money is important. Check the latest list here.

On April 17th, 2013, members of the US Senate voted on the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns. The vote failed, with 54 members in support and 46 in opposition. Nearly all of the members who voted against the amendment have received substantial amounts of money from the political action committees of gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association.  (see chart here)

Charts of gun money to the 2016 Presidential Candidates and the top 20 individuals are here, along with the top earners of money from gun control advocates.

Continue reading “Friday – 4/20 – We are now awake.”

Friday 4/20 – Come join us.

Today is the 19th anniversary of the attack on Columbine High School.

Come stand in the place of the 12 kids and the teacher who died at Columbine on this day in 1999. Those students would have been adults now. Maybe with kids of their own. Come and give voice to the resolve of the nation to end gun violence. 

We will be meeting at 10:00-12:00 in front of the Ventura County Government Center, in coordination with school walk-outs and rallies taking place nationally on April 20, 2018, the anniversary of the Columbine shootings.

We ask that you dress in BLACK to show our united support for the end of GUN VIOLENCE. We want to make a visual statement to those passing by the historic import of what happened that day and how it still effects us.

We’re providing the signs — so just bring yourself and your friends.  We will ALSO give you a strip of ORANGE cloth to be worn as an armband or a headband. (We encourage you to wear the orange band all day long.)

For more information, including parking locations and participation rules for this event, please click here.

Thursday 4/19 – Today’s word is “CHOICE”, just not yours. Healthcare comments (4/23 deadline) and calls.

We’re heading back to the dark old days …

Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our “choice” in health care was often determined by where we worked or by cost. However, insurance companies had many more “choices” available to them – to outright reject us, retroactively cancel policies, apply caps, limit coverage and charge us whatever they could. In 2009, 1 in 7 applicants with pre-existing conditions could not get insurance at any price from the four largest insurance companies. In 2016, an average of 27% of adult Americans under the age of 65 had health conditions that would leave them uninsurable pre-ACA. In case we’ve forgotten what it was like, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois published their pre-existing conditions list here, (including a 25% upcharge for being overweight!), which will be immediately reinstated if the ACA is repealed.

“…informed decisions” doesn’t equal health insurance coverage.

Although Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and MedicaidServices (CMS), says she “is committed to empowering patients to take ownership of their healthcare and ensuring they have access to the resources they need to make informed decisions,” she tweeted her approval of an article that called for “turning away patients based on their health status, or charging older, sicker patients more than three times what they charged younger, healthier ones — two valuable strategies for keeping costs down.”

Action #1: Comment on the Department of Health and Human Services’  (HHS) new rule on short-term health insurance.
Deadline – April 23rd. 

Continue reading “Thursday 4/19 – Today’s word is “CHOICE”, just not yours. Healthcare comments (4/23 deadline) and calls.”

Curb Police Violence – Enough is enough

“Mapping police Violence” – article here.

What most people now know: 

Stephon Clark was shot by the police 7 times in the back. He was unarmed.

What most people may not know: 

This was not an anomaly. California’s police departments are some of the deadliest in the country. Police in Kern County, for example, have killed more people per capita than in any other county in the US. Broken down by city, we has five of the 15 deadliest police departments – Bakersfield, Stockton, Long Beach, Santa Ana and San Bernardino. Our officers fatally shot 162 people last year, only half of whom were armed with guns and studies show that blacks are far more likely than whites to die in police shootings. But many of these deaths could have been prevented if police were held to a higher standard that valued the preservation of life.

Our legislators are advocating for two bills that resulted directly from Stephon Clark’s death: Continue reading “Curb Police Violence – Enough is enough”