Today is a continuation of our “Evacuation Special”, as our town and surrounding areas are still literally on fire. Today’s post will be notable for its lateness and weird format.
#1 – Assistance gratefully accepted.
Our co-director Veronica was on a writing assignment in Cuba with her husband earlier this week. She’s the one who put this website together and keeps it running, organizes all our resistance events and watches over me. All the hard jobs. While they were gone, the Thomas Fire destroyed her apartment building and literally everything she and her husband owned except for their car at the LAX parking lot and two carry-ons with warm-weather clothing. (http://abc7.com/thomas-fire-destroys-downtown-ventura-apartment-complex/2741430/)
Any assistance to help them get re-started would be gratefully accepted. https://www.gofundme.com/david-and-veronica-fire-fund
#2 – “I’ll take ‘Natural Disasters’ for $100, Alex!” – Keep up the pressure on the #TrumpTaxScam.
Fun new fact: The House Republican tax bill would eliminate deductions for personal losses from wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. (If this were Jeopardy – “What are disasters that happen in California?”) Interestingly enough, it would keep the break for victims of the recent severe hurricanes (“What are disasters that happen mostly in red states?”).
Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to express my strong disapproval of H.R. 1, the disastrous Republican tax bill, and to ask that Rep. [___] vote against it when it comes out of the conference committee.
More script if you need it: This proposed tax scam must be stopped because of … [insert personal reason], [blatant discrimination between people living in different states – see above] or find your favorite reason here.
Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Other Rep Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
#3 – Support community health centers.
(From Michelle at Small Deeds Done)
Federally Qualified Health Centers – also known as community health centers – provide care for low-income and underserved individuals, often in rural areas. The legislation providing funding for these centers has received bipartisan support, and everyone thought it would be renewed by the September 30 deadline. It wasn’t, natch.
Health centers are considering or taking a number of actions that will have an immediate impact on their capacity to provide high quality care to their patients:
• 72 percent plan to institute a hiring freeze.
• 41 percent will lay off staff.
• 47 percent will reduce staff hours and/or hours of operation.
• 42 percent will begin tapping into and spending down reserves.
• More than half (52 percent) will cancel or delay a facility renovation or expansion.
• 53 percent will cancel or delay performance improvement investments.
In California, the cut is estimated to reach more than $300 million, affecting nearly 300,000 patients, according to a report by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Go here for a more detailed breakdown of the impact on your state, including the number of patients and jobs lost, and lost revenue.
More Script if you want it.: Those health centers provide care for low-income and underserved residents of our state. Without funding, 9 million patients will lose access to care and 51,000 jobs will be lost. That’s unacceptable. Please support these community health centers and restore their funding.
Thanks Rep. Julia Brownley: Email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Thank Rep. Salud Carbajal: Email, (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Other Rep Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com
#4 – Support for the community.
See here for information from Rep. Julia Brownley’s office on assistance, fire information, evacuation shelters, replacing important documents, etc.
(Information below from a variety of online newspapers.)
Thomas Fire Fund
- The United Way of Ventura County, American Red Cross of Ventura County, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services have teamed up to create the Thomas Fire Fund.
- Text UWVC to 41444 to make a cash donation, call 805-485-6288, or go online to United Way of Ventura County’s website.
- Checks with “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo line can be mailed to 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100 Ventura, CA 93003.
The Salvation Army
- The Salvation Army is accepting food and water at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
- You can donate cash by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or visiting the website.
The Red Cross
- The Red Cross of Los Angeles will update its social media accounts with information about volunteer opportunities.
- Make a cash donation on redcrossla.org or over the phone by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
The Humane Society of Ventura County
- The Humane Society of Ventura County has taken in over 100 animals.
- Drop off any of the following items at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai: Alfalfa hay, Timothy hay, cat chow, rabbit food, flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, water troughs, bottled water, fruit, snacks, hoses, and power generators.
- Donate food and water for volunteers, or make a cash donation on HSVC’s website.
Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation
- Donate to Noah’s Legacy Fund, which provides supplies, training, and equipment to first responders charged with rescuing animals from areas stricken by natural disasters.
- Mail donations to P.O. Box 100515, Pasadena, CA 91189-0515 or through the LACACF website.
- Dozens of families who’ve already lost their homes have turned to GoFundMe for donations.
- Here is a list of all the verified campaigns.
- Santa Barbara-based organization Direct Relief is donating 100% of designated funds to victims of the wildfires.
- Donate money for supplies online and make sure you direct your donation to ” Southern California Wildfires.”
- Catholic Charities is accepting donations of gently used clothing as well as new toys and clothing to be given as Christmas gifts to families displaced by the fires. Donations can be dropped off at Catholic Charities’ Ventura Community Services Center at 303 N. Ventura Ave. Ventura, CA 93001.The charity has also established a special fund to help offset the cost of home repairs. Donations can be made to the Catholic Charities website.
- YouCaring, an online crowd-funding platform, has created a landing page with all of its campaigns for Southern California wildfire relief.
CCF Wildfire Relief Fund
- The CCF Wildfire Relief Fund supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts.
Advice for fire victims
(1) Contact your insurance companies. Most will cover hotel stays, apart from the usual coverage.
(2) Call your credit card companies and have the last 3-6 months of your purchases reimbursed back (get a police report that testifies you are a fire victim).
(3) If you are renting and are a minor, your parents’ home insurance may cover your belongings.
(4) Call your chain retail stores and see what they can offer to fire victims.
The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report.