Thurs 11/14: GOP, OBEY YOUR MASTERS! Stop playing chicken with our economy by putting Dreamers at risk.

Action  – Call your senators! Push through the S.874 Dream Act to the president’s desk without another one of his poisonous deals.

We’re not going to talk about Judeo-Christian concepts of welcoming strangers. We’re not going to talk about the inherent cruelty of throwing people out of the only country they’ve ever known. Trump’s base remains immune to these arguments. Instead, we’re going to talk in language the GOP claims, against all evidence, to be proficient in, i.e.- the economy. While McConnell is distracted installing as many extremist judges in lifetime positions as he can, a factor of our future economy’s success is standing before a hostile SCOTUS.

The GOP’s donor class, major companies and conservative think tanks like the Cato Institute, are alarmed. Their pet legislators seems to have forgotten that rescinding DACA protections for almost 800,000 U.S.-educated, hardworking adults, will cause serious economic harm to America, including a loss of $460.3 billion from the nation GDP over the next decade. The 10 states that put DACA in court – Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia—stand to suffer a self-inflicted loss of more than $8 billion annually in state GDP. More immediate concerns for businesses are 1.1 million jobs already going begging, from high tech to unskilled labor. This number is going to get larger as boomers age out of the labor pool. A harsh retirement is in store if there are not enough workers to diagnose their illnesses, fix their cars or change out sheets in their future nursing homes. Continue reading “Thurs 11/14: GOP, OBEY YOUR MASTERS! Stop playing chicken with our economy by putting Dreamers at risk.”

Wed 11/13: All three branches of our democracy are on fire. This is what you can do.

Action #1: JUDICIARY BRANCH – Steven Menashi’s up for a full Senate vote tomorrow! Ask your friends and family to call their GOP senators to stop the wholesale destruction of our justice system.

These extremist judges will harm women, children, people of color, LGBTQ people, labor, the environment, education, the poor, elderly, access to healthcare, housing, fair pay and the voting booth – rending the entire social fabric of a first world country with the exception of the interests of the very wealthy and corporations. (More information on each judge here.)  Ask your GOP senator if you have one, or those you know who do, to stop these people from sitting in judgement of us for a generation.

  • Sarah Pitlyk: Not only has she been judged unqualified by the American Bar Association, but this religious ideologue has already proven that she can’t be an impartial judge.
  • Steven Menashi: His nomination is a threat to the civil rights of women, POC, students, the LGBTQ community, immigrants as well as to the environment.
  • Halil S. Ozerden: – we do not need another corporatist judge, who ignores the rights of consumers and workers, and who sides with police abuse.
  • Lawrence VanDyke: The ABA states he “is arrogant, lazy, and an ideologue.”
  • Federalist Society: Also, please stop voting for any judicial nominations who are members of the Federalist Society, an extremist far-right group. Their members, who are just 4% of the legal community but more than 80% of Trumps’ nominees, do not reflect those views of most Americans.

Minimal script for Democratic Senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to vote “NO” on the following judicial nominees.

Minimal script for GOP senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to vote “NO” to Sarah Pitlyk, Steven Menashi, Lawrence VanDyke and Halil S. Ozerden.  That your party destroyed the “blue slip” system, and no longer seems to care if candidates are qualified or even marginally impartial, will result in rulings that will harm your own constituents. Your support for these candidates implicates you in a corrupt system that will need to be cleaned out at the ballot box.  Do the right thing.

Contact:
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?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

Action #2: EXECUTIVE BRANCH – Indivisible members just like you are calling blue voters in red states. Join in. 

Continue reading “Wed 11/13: All three branches of our democracy are on fire. This is what you can do.”

Impeach This! – Nobody is Above the Law Rally on eve of impeachment vote (whenever that may be) with over 300 groups nationwide!

When: 5:30 pm on the eve of the impeachment vote
Where: Corner of Victoria and Telephone in front of the Ventura Country Government Center. 800 S. Victoria Ave, Ventura
Bring: A flashlight to light the night! Bring flags, signs, friends and your unbridled enthusiasm!
RSVP: On the Facebook event page  (we will be updating there)
More info and stay up to date: Visit impeach.org or the Facebook event page

At 5:30 pm on the eve of Trump’s impeachment vote (whenever that may be), at least 300 groups including from around our nation, including Indivisible and MoveOn.org, will hold events asking our Members of Congress to Impeach & Remove our incompetent, corrupt, and criminal President.

Nobody Is Above the Law. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to Impeach & Remove Donald Trump.

We will get out the word that the rally is being held whenever the national organizers determine that the impeachment vote is imminent. Watch the Facebook event page and impeach.org.

By choosing to attend this event, you are committing to participate nonviolently and in accordance with the law, to work to de-escalate confrontations with others, and to obey the orders of authorized event marshals and of law enforcement. You also acknowledge that you are solely responsible for any injury or damage to your person or property resulting from or occurring during this event and that you release all event sponsors and organizers (and their officers, directors, employees, and agents) from any liability for that injury or damage. We disavow all who advocate violence as a solution to our Nation’s present crisis.

Want to learn more about dealing with difficult people at rallies? Take SURJ’s class on Tues, the 19th. More information  here.

Tues – 11/12: Do it for immigrants. Do it for yourself. Write a comment against the enforced DNA sampling of immigrants. Deadline tonight, 11:59 pm EST.

  • Quote by Molly Ivens in 2003 Scripps College Commencement address.
  • Quote by German professor 7 years after WWII 

Action – Write a comment against the further criminalization of immigrants as well as the degradation of the assumption of innocence for all Americans. – Due tonight, 11/12, 11:59 pm EST.

Tonight, comments are due on an insidious proposal from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to amend regulations to remove an exemption that prevented their agents from collecting DNA samples from individuals who are arrested, facing charges, or convicted, and from non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States. Exemptions from the DNA mandate include children age 13 and younger, legal permanent residents, and people entering the country legally.  This invasion of the essential privacy of non-violent people would be done in the name of “public safety”, a well of civil rights violations for which there is no bottom.

  • Comment here.
  • Read their summary here. Read their complete proposal here.
  • Inspiration here. If you’re having trouble getting started, cruise through other’s comments. DO NOT COPY. All identical comments will be culled, so channel your high school creative writing classes.

So what’s the big deal about swabbing immigrants for DNA and why should I care about it?

Let’s take a moment and talk about government data bases.

(ACLU) “Throughout history, the government has often tried to normalize new surveillance technologies by testing them on vulnerable communities and imposing initial restrictions on how any information collected will be used. The government inevitably expands those technologies beyond their original purposes. That’s why DOJ’s new rule could have wide repercussions for everyone in this country — not only those in immigrant detention sites.

But more data equals more public safety, right? “…mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation basically to population surveillance, which is basically contrary to our basic notions of a free, trusting, autonomous society,” Vera Eidelman, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told New York Times when news of the mandate first came out. Continue reading “Tues – 11/12: Do it for immigrants. Do it for yourself. Write a comment against the enforced DNA sampling of immigrants. Deadline tonight, 11:59 pm EST.”

Mon 11/11: FLIP 20! Public impeachment hearings start Wed. Call your friends & relatives in RED states and other actions!

Action #1: Stop saying “quid pro quo”. There is power in language. Say the real names of his crimes.

Does “quid pro quo” always equal a criminal act or can it apply to normal political horse trading? Mick Mulvaney gave us an object lesson in the slipperiness of this Latin phrase when he both confirmed that the administration had withheld aid to further Trump’s election campaign, while declaring it merely an instance of normal “political influence in foreign policy.” Luckily, our own language has unequivocal terms for the possible crimes Trump committed during his “perfect” phone call. So, go basic “Law & Order” and call them out by name. Here are the most powerful charges:

  • Bribery/Extortion: Trump didn’t just ask for a personal favor from a foreign government, which is illegal by itself. He tied badly needed foreign aid to the tail of his request. So, bribery or extortion? According to Patrick Cotter, a former New York prosecutor who helped bring down the mobster John Gotti, that issue depends on whether the person being asked for a payout is closer to being an accomplice, or a victim. If the person is being threatened, then it may be extortion.
    • That we are even having this discussion about “bribery or extortion” in regards to our president shows what trouble we are in.
    • For those Thanksgiving guests/facebook friends who think colluding with foreign powers for private gain is no big deal, send them this video. Trump is why our founding fathers added impeachment to the Constitution.

Continue reading “Mon 11/11: FLIP 20! Public impeachment hearings start Wed. Call your friends & relatives in RED states and other actions!”

Sunday 11/10: Two fun activities! Say “HI!” to Don Jr. or celebrate Food Forward’s 4th anniversary!

Action #1 – Food Forward’s 4th Annual Ventura County Branch Out – 1:00 today!

(from their Facebook event) Join Food Forward on Sunday, November 10th as we celebrate 7 great years of harvesting food and fighting food insecurity in Ventura County!

Agricultural abundance is a signature characteristic of Southern California, and it’s what makes Food Forward’s work possible still today. That’s especially true in Ventura County, where our organization has flourished over the past 7 years, redistributing over 1.5 million pounds of surplus produce across the county and serving over 65 agencies with support from community partners like you.

Where better to celebrate our Ventura community than at the soon-to-be opened Topa Topa Brewing Co. on Colt Street?!

Depending on weather, we’ll either be outside in the beer garden or inside in the brewery itself. Topa Topa will be slinging amazing brews all afternoon and donating a portion of sales back to Food Forward! We’ll have live music playing good tunes and delicious food for purchase from one of Ventura’s finest food trucks. Plus, we’ll be bringing back our exciting raffle that’s made possible by our generous Ventura County sponsors and throwing in a silent auction to boot!

Be sure to RSVP via Eventbrite so that we know you’re coming. This event is very family friendly. See you there!

Action #2 – The president’s pouting progeny is peddling preposterous pulp-fiction in our proximity! 3:00 today!

donnie junior

Continue reading “Sunday 11/10: Two fun activities! Say “HI!” to Don Jr. or celebrate Food Forward’s 4th anniversary!”

Fri 11/8: The GOP is big on forcing people to work. Except for asylum seekers. They can just starve. Comment today by 11:59 pm EST.

Action – Write a comment to stop this mean-spirited rollback of protection for asylum seekers.

A new Trump Administration regulation rollback could leave asylum seekers without work authorization or the ability to attain social services needed to survive. Currently, asylum seekers must wait 150 days after filing their asylum applications to be eligible to apply for work authorization, after which, the USCIS must  process their applications for work authorization within 30 days after applying. This regulation that’s been in place since 1994. However, they has regularly failed to adhere to this deadline, often delaying adjudication of applications for months at a time. This delay can cause severe hardship for asylum seekers, many of whom are left in precarious situations with no ability to legally work while their applications are pending. In July 2018, a judge ordered USCIS to comply with the 30-day timeline. The Trump administration’s proposed regulation change would remove the 30-day requirement altogether.

There are already a lot of comments from the other side, most of which can be summed up by one anxious citizen here… 

“Secure our boarder’s.”

Yes, your comment matters. We need your help to stop this rule from taking effect!

  • Comment here.
  • Read their proposal here.
  • Read other comments here for inspiration. No “cut and pastes” – identical comments are removed. Channel all your high school creative writing classes!

Continue reading “Fri 11/8: The GOP is big on forcing people to work. Except for asylum seekers. They can just starve. Comment today by 11:59 pm EST.”

Thurs. 11/7: Unbridled capitalism looks a lot like “depraved indifference”. Tell your legislators to rein in drug companies with H.R. 3, by phone and at this week’s town halls.

“Three people died in 2017 while rationing their insulin. Three more died in 2018. Four died in 2019, so far.” (rightcarealliance.org)

Talk to your legislators about how drug prices affect you and your family and ask them to support and strenthen H.R. 3. – “Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019″ – 2 actions below.

(from Indivisible) Drug prices are higher in America than anywhere else in the world, and as a result, 1 in 5 people won’t fill a prescription, and 1 in 10 skip doses or cut pills in half. This kind of rationing can lead to complications for untreated conditions, which cause increased healthcare costs such as hospitalization, surgery, or emergency medical care. Rationing critical drugs like insulin, marked up as much as 5000%, can also kill people. H.R. 3 – Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 is a good start to lowering drug prices because it directs the government to expand its immense buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for more than just Medicare patients. But the bill needs to be stronger. Here are things it’s missing… Continue reading “Thurs. 11/7: Unbridled capitalism looks a lot like “depraved indifference”. Tell your legislators to rein in drug companies with H.R. 3, by phone and at this week’s town halls.”

Tues 11/5: It’s Election Day! How to help from here.

Action #1 – Do you know people who live in these states? – CALL THEM!

Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi are voting themselves new governors. Voters in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia can elect a whole new slate of state lawmakers or a governor and other statewide executives or all of the above. (Ventura Co. residents – you have a local action to do today too. Click here.)

The NAACP created a “Power of Five” campaign for the 2018 elections to empower voters to take leadership of their own spheres of influence. The charge is simple: reach out to 5 people you know and get them involved in voting. That’s a powerful organizing principle that you can use today.

  • If you know one person, or five or more in these states with big elections… Call them today. Ask them if they’ve already voted or if they haven’t, how they plan to get to the polls. If they have transportation issues, help them find a ride. (See “Ride Information” below.)
  • If they don’t think their vote matters, share the video above with them.
  • Ask them to contact 5 people they know around them and repeat the same process with them. If they have a car, ask them to offer rides to people they know with transportation issues.
  • Are they confused? Do they have questions? Here are some great links collated by Political Charge.

Action #2 – There’s still time to help Virginia!

Continue reading “Tues 11/5: It’s Election Day! How to help from here.”

Tues 11/5: Help protect Ventura County’s Water! Urge the Board of Supervisors to extend the ban on new oil wells! Meeting today at 3:00 pm.

(Food & Water Watch) A U.S. Geological Survey report earlier this year revealed petroleum-related gases near flammable levels in Oxnard’s and Camarillo’s water supply.   The people living closest to the current and proposed oil wells are already overburdened with the highest rates of pollution in all of California, according to the California EPA.

Ventura County Supervisors did the right thing and voted for a temporary ban on new oil and gas wells near drinkable water. So far there haven’t been any new findings, but the temporary ban expires soon. And there are potential fossil fuel projects in the pipeline for Ventura County, so the industry isn’t going to give up easily.

Action #1 – Go to the meeting, speak out and/or write a comment card.

Ventura County Supervisors are scheduled to vote on whether to extend the ban for a year, today, November 5th at 3:00 p.m.

Despite Big Oil’s efforts and millions of dollars spent, people like you have spoken out and Ventura County supervisors have voted twice now to protect our water.

Action #2 – Whether or not you can make the meeting, send in a message. Food & Water Watch has made it easy.

Tell the Ventura County Supervisors to extend Ventura’s oil and gas moratorium to protect our drinking water! Write a comment here!

Continue reading “Tues 11/5: Help protect Ventura County’s Water! Urge the Board of Supervisors to extend the ban on new oil wells! Meeting today at 3:00 pm.”