“Wake up, America!” #BLM protests & other antiracist, anti-fascist & pro-democratic things to do…

May 6 – We have so much work to do & nobody’s slowing down…

Say what you will, Senator Scott, but America’s racism is public policy set in wood and concrete, built into our homes, our streets and our neighborhoods. If the short video below inspires you to look further, there are lectures with Richard Rothstein, author of “The Color of Law” here (with EPI) and here (with Ta-Nehisi Coates).

New video from Black Voters Matter

Click here for latest actions and events listings below!

Continue reading ““Wake up, America!” #BLM protests & other antiracist, anti-fascist & pro-democratic things to do…”

PFAS are forever. Literally. Inside us. Let’s stop making them now.

Action #1: Tell your legislators that you want them to support the PFAS Action Act.

In April, Reps. Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Fred Upton (MI-6), along with 25 other members of Congress, introduced comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that aims to protect all Americans and our environment from harmful forever chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The package (read it here) establishes a national drinking water standard for select PFAS chemicals, designates as hazardous to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up contaminated sites in Michigan and across the country, as well as list under the Clean Water Act, limits industrial discharges, and provides $200 million annually to assist water utilities and wastewater treatment. The PFAS Action Act would do the following to protect our air, land, and water from harmful PFAS contamination:

  • Require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a national drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS within two years that protects public health, including the health of vulnerable subpopulations.
  • Designate PFOA and PFOS chemicals as hazardous substances within one year and requires EPA to determine whether to list other PFAS within five years.
  • Designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous air pollutants within 180 days and requires EPA to determine whether to list other PFAS within five years.
  • Require EPA to place discharge limits on industrial releases of PFAS and provides $200 million annually for wastewater treatment. 
  • Prohibit unsafe incineration of PFAS wastes and places a moratorium on the introduction of new PFAS into commerce. 
  • Require comprehensive PFAS health testing.
  • Create a voluntary label for PFAS in cookware.

Minimum script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [__] to support Reps. Dingell and Upton’s PFAS Action Plan.

Contacts

  • 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 Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Action #2: Write a comment to the EPA to stop the dumping of these “forever chemicals” into our drinking water. Deadline May 17.

Continue reading “PFAS are forever. Literally. Inside us. Let’s stop making them now.”

America hurts its kids. It’s time to stop. “YES” on H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act.

Action #1: Tell your legislators to vote “YES” to H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act of 2021.

(Trigger warning – violence towards a child.) Video cameras inside our smartphones are affecting justice in ways we could not have conceived of a decade or so ago. A brave teenager’s footage of the murder of George Floyd put a bad cop in jail. Now, we’re hoping that a mother’s video, who filmed the violence as proof that it happened, will be the end of this abusive and racially discriminatory practice of corporal punishment in our country. But it will need your voice to happen.

The principal may be in legal trouble, not because she beat a student, but because the school happens to be in Hendry County, one of the 20 counties out of 67 in Florida that does not permit corporal punishment. (When did your state ban corporal punishment? Here. Where does it still happen? Here.)

There is a lot of research available proving that children who have been subjected to hitting, paddling or other harsh disciplinary practices have reported subsequent problems with depression, fear and anger and frequently withdraw from school activities and disengage academically. The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that “corporal punishment may adversely affect a student’s self-image and school achievement, contributing to disruptive and violent behavior.” This includes increased rates of bullying and aggression in school in the months and years following the punishment and increased aggressive conduct toward their siblings, parents, teachers, and schoolmates, and increasing the chances that a child “graduates” to our prison system. It’s illegal to flog adults in our prisons (1952) or military services (Navy – 1853, Marines – 1957). Why do we still allow this to happen to kids?

H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act of 2021 includes the following points:

Continue reading “America hurts its kids. It’s time to stop. “YES” on H.R. 1234 – Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act.”

May Day! Support American workers. “YES” on the PRO Act.

Action #1: Sign this petition

Amazon won it’s first round of unionization against it’s own workers, but it will not win the public relations war.

Sign a petition that will go to Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Mark Kelly (AZ), and Mark Warner (VA), three Democratic senators not currently listed as cosponsors of S.420, the PRO Act – herehttps://sign.moveon.org/petitions/don-t-allow-a-repeat-of-amazon-s-union-busting-tactics-pass-the-pro-act-now.

Workers in Amazon’s Bessemer, AL warehouse—where 85% of workers are Black—fought hard to organize and form the first union at an Amazon warehouse in the U.S, but their efforts were thwarted by Jeff Bezos’ anti-union scare tactics, intimidation, and bullying. Let’s even up the playing field.

Action #2: Contact your senator and tell them vote “YES” on the S.420 – the PRO Act.

This union-busting by Amazon is just one example of why we must pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which will reverse the trend of billionaires and bosses successfully stopping workers from organizing and collectively bargaining. 

Continue reading “May Day! Support American workers. “YES” on the PRO Act.”

AB-20: Clean Money Act is coming up Thursday morning. (4/29) Put in a call or email to Asm. Steve Bennett.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Assemblymember [___] to vote “YES” on AB 20, the “Clean Money Act.”

This act is first up at 10:30 tomorrow (4/29) in the Assembly Elections Committee. Our Asm. Steve Bennett is a member. Call or leave a message on his machine, even after 5:00 pm.

Contacts:
State Assemblymember  Steve Bennett (CA-37): SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700 email
Not your people?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

SACRAMENTO, CA – On his first day in office and the day of his swearing-in ceremony, Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-25) has introduced AB 20, also known as the “Clean Money Act,” which will root out corporate special interest money in elections.

“Corporate special interests do not represent the will of the people,” said Lee, the youngest Asian American and first Gen-Z state legislator in California history. “During my campaign, I rejected all campaign contributions from corporations because I am accountable to my community, not powerful corporate special interests.”

Even without corporate campaign contributions, Assemblymember Alex Lee, 25, won triumphantly in a landslide through grassroots organizing and by connecting with constituents.
“This is the first bill I’m introducing – during the election, I saw firsthand the undue influence corporations have on our elections, and it’s polluting our democracy,” said Lee.
Each year, business entities contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to campaigns across California, with over $785 million spent on the 2020 election in California alone. In order to stay competitive in their races, many candidates are pressured to accept the money from these business entities.

Continue reading “AB-20: Clean Money Act is coming up Thursday morning. (4/29) Put in a call or email to Asm. Steve Bennett.”

Tucker Carlson is just a symptom. We are the cure.

UPDATE: “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs a Voter Suppression Bill, and Fox News Has the Only Camera” (MotherJones) (Axios) Hard-right politicians recognize Fox “News” for what it is – the propaganda wing of the GOP, just as Roger Ailes envisioned. DeSantis baldly using them as a force-multiplier for his message, while denying all other news media access, makes Fox a political actor rendering services. Contact the FEC. (Action #4 below)

(Graphic quote here.) Watch the CNN video below here. Then we have four actions for you to do.

Action #1: Stop their money machine.

Right now, FOX news is mainly subsidized by our cable fees. MyPillow, Ark Encounter, Relief Factor and in-house Fox News Channel promos provide the bulk of their remaining advertisers, along with some new advertisers like “Prager U,Theraworx Relief, Hero Health, the Indianapolis Colts, Kubota and Bass Pro Shops.” Fox News received roughly $20 per year apiece from most cable news subscribers, regardless of whether they actually watch the channel. That’s way more than its competitors CNN and MSNBC. “They could have zero commercials, and still have a 90% profit margin, because they are the second-most expensive channel on everybody’s cable box.” However, Fox is in the process right now of renegotiating 40 to 50% of all of their contracts. We all have options now. Traditional pay-TV operators lost over 6 million subscribers in 2019 and “cord-cutting” is increasing. Time for change.

Click here to #UnFoxMyCableBox and join the growing coalition of people who refuse to fund hateful rhetoric from Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and the rest of the Fox political machine.

Action #2: Write to your cable company’s CEO.

(Make this sound like your voice. Personalize this fight. Discuss how Fox News’ programming has affected your family and/or your social environment. Be the letter or story that sticks in their head.)

Dear Mr./Ms. [_____],

My family and I are customers of your cable company, and we have enjoyed many hours of entertainment and education with your service. However, I’ve learned that, through my cable fees, that I’m helping to support [Fox News, Newsmax, OAN], which I believe to more a political propaganda arm of the Republican party than an actual cable news show.

If the free enterprise system, which Fox pundits constantly extoll, were actually working correctly, the network would be struggling or bankrupt now. Most of its respectable advertisers are long gone. But we consumers now know that Fox News keeps afloat in fine style with approximately $2 billion per year from hidden subscriber fees from our cable services. Roughly $1.6 billion of those fees are paid by cable and satellite customers like me, who seldom or never watch Fox News, making them a huge moocher of our money.

Continue reading “Tucker Carlson is just a symptom. We are the cure.”

Three Actions for Earth Day.

Action #1: UPDATED ACTION – Call Newsom. He needs to do more. – This is a tragedy of leadership and vision.

4/26/2021: New action – email Governor Newsom here: First, thank you for declaring a fracking ban to take place in 2024. That’s a great start. However, we urgently need you to issue an immediate moratorium on new oil and gas permits within 2500′ feet of homes, hospitals, schools, and other sensitive receptors. The science has been clear for years. Adults, children, and even unborn babies are injured by their close proximity to oil and gas industry installations. That we allow these toxic sites near enough to harm people is a reflection of our long and shameful indifference to low-income and minority communities. 2500′ is the bare minimum to escape some of the most serious health effects and our state is behind the curve on this issue. Mandatory minimum distances between oil & gas extraction sites and homes, schools, and hospitals are already law in Idaho, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Colorado, and Texas. Please state that all Californians are worthy of this basic health protection, as well.

  • (Environmentalhealthproject) Pregnant women and fracking: A case for special concern.
  • (Stanfordnews) Living near oil and gas wells may increase preterm birth risk, according to Stanford research
  • (environmentAmerica) Report: Children and the elderly at risk from “dangerous and close” fracking
  • (fractracker.org) Impact of a 2500′ oil and gas well setback in California.
  • (denverpost.com) Does living near an oil and gas well increase your risk of cancer? A new Colorado study says yes.
  • (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) Impact of upstream oil extraction and environmental public health: a review of the evidence

Update – News from the legislative front on SB 467.

We failed to secure Senator Eggman’s vote by the end of last week, and as a result, SB 467 will not be able to move forward this year. VISION advocates still see the bill as a success. The bill called for a fracking ban and a managed decline of oil and gas extraction in California. On Friday, the governor announced a fracking ban forthcoming from CalGEM and that CARB would begin planning for a managed decline. With SB 467, we changed the conversation and made that announcement possible. We now have a public process that we can use to protect our communities in the ambitious project of phasing out all oil and gas drilling in the state.

Many are disappointed in the governor’s announcement, which delays the managed decline to 2045, delays the fracking ban to 2024 or 2025, and leaves unaddressed setbacks and environmental racism. VISION shares those concerns, particularly the latter. At the same time, local fights benefit from statewide progress, and Kern County doesn’t get many big wins against oil and gas. Just last month, Kern passed an ordinance greenlighting tens of thousands new oil and gas wells with minimal environmental review. A statewide plan to move in the opposite direction over the next two and a half decades—with the opportunity to intervene and accelerate that timeframe—is a powerful step in the right direction, despite its imperfections, and we are celebrating even as we chart the way forward to end neighborhood drilling.

We now turn our attention to setbacks, emboldened by our win yet frustrated that, once again, communities of color have been told to wait as the state addresses climate change without addressing the inequities that our extractive systems have wrought. We are calling on the governor to issue a moratorium on new oil and gas permits within 2500 feet of homes, hospitals, schools, and other sensitive receptors, and we welcome your voices joining ours in that call. 

Original posts here and here.

Action #2: Tell your federal legislators to invest in infrastructure & create green jobs – The American Jobs Act.

Continue reading “Three Actions for Earth Day.”

Tell your legislators to take action on plastic pollution now. (3) actions.

Action #1: Tell your federal legislators to vote “YES” on the “Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act.”

It’s a shell game. A 50-year-long grift. Corporations who make or use plastic have been gaslighting America since that duplicitous “Crying Indian” commercial. States Sen. Merkley: “Many of us were taught the three R’s—reduce, reuse, and recycle — and figured that as long as we got our plastic items into those blue bins, we could keep our plastic use in check and protect our planet.” But only a scant 9% is actually recycled. “… the reality has become much more like the three B’s—plastic is buried, burned, or borne out to sea.” Or heaped into dystopian landscapes in third world nations, out of our sight, sickening people we don’t know.

The world’s top plastic polluters, including Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé, have diverted our attention from the human and environmental havoc they’ve caused with shiny promises of incremental increases of recyclable materials, while actively sabotaging recycling systems and shifting the blame onto us with industry-supported “Keep America Beautiful“- style campaigns. (This one literally called us pigs.) (Video – “The Plastic Industry’s Long Fight to Blame Pollution on You“)

With our current system, there’s no way to recycle our way out of the mountain of plastic waste we use every day that’s killing our planet and “slowly but surely killing us.”

So, we’re going to have to make change happen another way. Corporations must be held accountable.

Continue reading “Tell your legislators to take action on plastic pollution now. (3) actions.”

Our profit-centric healthcare system was broken before COVID-19. It’s just more obvious now.

The CA Assembly Committee on Health will present their analysis of AB1400 on April 21. WEDNESDAY! Get your calls in today!

Despite the gains made under the Affordable Care Act, nearly 3 million Californians have no health insurance, and millions more have insurance that they can’t afford to use because their copays and deductibles are too high. Meanwhile, for-profit insurance companies are reporting record-breaking profits, even while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage California and medical bankruptcies are at an all time high. In fact, these corporations benefitted from the pandemic, because we couldn’t access healthcare our premiums paid for safely. Despite this, premiums will be increasing in 2021, because that’s what profit-driven corporations do. It’s past time for a change to a patient-centric healthcare model. In the era of COVID-19, single-payer has taken on a new urgency. 

Action #1: Update on last weekend’s CalCare Caravan & invitation to join the CalCare phone banks!

Many thanks to all of you who helped in any way with Saturday’s CalCare SPEAKOUT and caravan.  Whether you attended the event, took pictures, made signs, made phone calls, sent emails, offered suggestions, or wished us well from afar – it all helped to make the event as successful as it was.  #BetterTogether
To keep the momentum going, here’s a list of urgent actions you can take right now to promote #CalCare and Healthcare Justice:
+The CA Assembly Committee on Health will present their analysis of AB1400 on April 21.  So it’s urgent that we contact the members of  this committee immediately to tell them why CA needs AB1400.  For a list of committee members and links to contact them go to: ahea.assembly.CA.gov/membersstaff
+Text “CALCARE” TO 69866 to join the Phone Banks.
+If you have 10 minutes, please call or email your legislator today!

Continue reading “Our profit-centric healthcare system was broken before COVID-19. It’s just more obvious now.”

5 Environmental Actions – from the president’s desk to our own backyards.

Action #1: SB-467 FAILED in committee! Seriously! With a Democratic majority! But we may still get the 2500′ setback if we call!

3 Democratic state senators (Eggman, Hueso, and Hertzberg) killed SB 467 – the Dangerous Drilling Bill in the Natural Resources Committee. This critical legislation, authored by our own senator Monique Limón, would have protected the millions of Californians who live in close proximity to oil and gas operations, banned dangerous drilling practices, and begun a just transition for oil and gas workers as the state meets its climate goals and steadily moves away from fossil fuels. (Oil industry donor spreadsheet here.)

(From VISION) “THE FIGHT’S NOT OVER YET! SB 467, is not dead yet – we still have a chance to protect more than 2M Californians, mostly in low-income and Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, but only if we show our target Senators we won’t accept their silence and lack of support. We can no longer sacrifice our health and the health of our children, neighbors, and friends to the oil and gas industry, and our lawmakers have the chance to do something about it. (Plus our state’s economy loses about $28 billion annually due to premature deaths and illnesses linked to ozone and particulates.)

SB 467 will be amended to a “SETBACKS-ONLY” bill. We’ve got just 7 business days to make sure that we can get one more vote in the Natural Resources Committee from our targets below. Please share the attachments and the email below with your friends and community members to make calls! ASAP to keep up the momentum of the fight for setbacks! – and our work is fruitless if it doesn’t escape the inboxes of the people getting this email right now. You do not have to be a constituent to make these calls.

Then, take a moment to thank our senator for her efforts! She’s one of only 9 CA legislators judged as climate and environmental champions! Oil and Gas Scores for all CA legislators (Assembly) (Senate)

Continue reading “5 Environmental Actions – from the president’s desk to our own backyards.”

Who really believes in “No taxation without representation?” We’ll find out soon! CALL on H.R.51/S.51!

The GOP’s racist and blatantly partisan refusal to vote for DC statehood last year put its residents in danger during the insurrection.

Activate your resistance PHONE TREE – contact every friend or relative you know in a RED state, and ask them to not just call their legislators, but to ask their local friends to do it too!

Update – 4/20: White House formally backs bill to grant DC statehood

When DC statehood was last seen in the House, GOP legislators and their lawyers actually went on camera with ludicrous requirements for statehood: mines were suddenly required (DC has them!), so were auto dealerships and an airport (just like in the original 13 colonies!), that there was an implied “balancing” rule, straight from our ugly “free state/slave state” history, and that the yard signs of DC landowners were equal to actual votes of all the city’s residents. Seriously, we were driven to creating BINGO cards.

The House Oversight Committee just passed the D.C. statehood bill today — bringing it one step closer to the House floor for a vote later this month, and D.C.’s 700,000 residents one step closer to true representation in government. Activists and Indivisibles all across the country will be mobilizing today to let their members of Congress (MoCs) know that the 50 states support the addition of the 51st state. This isn’t some radical idea: calling for D.C. statehood is the same basic principle of representation that our country is founded on.

4/16 is the 159th anniversary of Emancipation Day in DC. Let’s get this done!

If you already have called on this, call again. If you have friends or family that are unsure or confused about the issue of D.C. statehood, share any one (or more!) of these resources with them and then ask them to make a call: 

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to [thank Rep./Sen. [___] for being/ask Rep./Sen. [___] to become] a cosponsor of [Rep. – HR.51/ Sen. – S.51] – Washington, D.C. Admission Act and ending this example of racial injustice in the very heart of our nation.

Additional script for Senators: I’m also requesting that Sen. [___] drop the filibuster for this bill, as there is no legitimate reason to deny full citizenship to 700,000 Americans citizens other than racism and partisanship, which we the people will no longer stand for.

Continue reading “Who really believes in “No taxation without representation?” We’ll find out soon! CALL on H.R.51/S.51!”