Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day!

ACTION #1: Wear ORANGE this today and this weekend!

  • Wear Orange: On June 2, 2023 and all this weekend, wear or hold anything Orange (a pin, a scarf, an orange, or be creative and hold up any Orange item in your home that strikes your fancy), take a selfie and share it via social media with the hashtag #WearOrange.
  • Create a “Wear Orange” image!
  • Post to your social media!
    • Make a dedication: One of the most powerful parts of the campaign are the online dedications users post to share why they’re taking part. Examples include: “Today, I will #WearOrange…”
      • “in honor of my beloved child, [XXX].”
      • “because I’m a hunter, and I know gun safety saves lives.”
      • “because organizations like [xxx] continue to make a difference and reduce gun violence in my community every day”
  • Download a video background!
  • Print a poster!
  • Color some pages!

ACTION #2: Help remove Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-27) – one of the largest recipients of NRA funds in the House of Representatives.

Continue reading “Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day!”

The GOP is openly calling the US economy their “hostage.”

Headline from Common Dreams

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said the U.S. potentially defaulting on its debt would be a boon for Republicans in 2024.

Action #1: Call your legislators!

Continue reading “The GOP is openly calling the US economy their “hostage.””

A serious campaign finance violation…or just an unbelievable deal on rent?

For those just catching up with this story…

On March 14 and 28, with no previous notice and against overwhelming public opposition, our two newest county supervisors, Jeff Gorell and Janice Parvin, armed with a shoddy letter of nonsense, and the vote of their willing accomplice – fellow conservative Supervisor Kelly Long – proceeded to kill off our 20-year-old local election campaign finance and ethics ordinance. It has been replaced with the +600% higher contribution limits and dysfunctional violations enforcement offered by the state.

This team would consider no compromises, no delays, no citizen-led study committee nor a public vote. Needless to say, county residents smelled a rat…(remember the rat!)

Continue reading “A serious campaign finance violation…or just an unbelievable deal on rent?”

Hey, “Dark Brandon” – Tell Kevin and his band of economic terrorists to “cut the crap!”

Write Joe and tell him “NO compromise with economic terrorists!”

The GOP’s funding proposal: 22% Cuts That Would Harm American Families, Seniors and Veterans

On May 9, Biden met with House Majority McCarthy on the debt limit. After listening to the GOP’s plans to freeze all spending for freezing spending for 2-10 years, which takes no account of issues like a aging population and rapidlyincreasing extreme weather events, “…President Biden left the door open to circumventing Congress to prevent Republicans from crashing the economy.”

Action: Email Joe and tell him play hardball with McCarthy.

It’s easy! Just click on and you’ve got 2000 characters to tell him what you think. Here’s our take, a general-purpose letter liberally stolen from Robert Reich’s column.

Continue reading “Hey, “Dark Brandon” – Tell Kevin and his band of economic terrorists to “cut the crap!””

The MAGA Default Crisis is just another diversion…

This is all GOP political theater to protect the interests of the wealthy and corporations who fill their campaign chests.

Kevin McCarthy and the MAGA majority in the House have threatened to take the economy hostage, seeming willing to drive the US to default on our debts if they don’t get their way. Their goal is always the same – slash Social Security, Medicare, and other programs our families and communities rely on. Cuts to these programs could be devastating for millions of Americans, and would pull the rug out from underneath all of us who have paid into the programs. Not to mention the risks of a recession and job losses if Republicans force the government to default on its debt. 

They’ve added more detail to their campaign of punching downwards – blocking Biden’s student loan forgiveness, instituting work requirements for our country’s poorest who receive “Medicaid healthcare benefits and SNAP food benefits” (like Jesus would have done!); cutting 22% from funding for veterans, Head Start and other childcare programs, Meals of Wheels, cut safety inspections for trains, provisions of the House-passed energy package and more.

This is all a diversion to keep us from noticing thatit was GOP tax cuts enacted under Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump―disproportionately benefiting the wealthy and profitable corporations―that are major drivers of our debt.” In fact, under the new GOP-dominated House’ rules, these kinds of tax cuts do not need to be offset with any sort of savings elsewhere in the budget, even if they add more trillions to the debt.

Action #1: Call your representatives!

Continue reading “The MAGA Default Crisis is just another diversion…”

Ventura County Board of Supervisors’ GOP majority go rogue. (2) Actions! And a new campaign finance ethics complaint has been filed!

Another campaign finance violation…or just an amazingly good deal on rent?
We shall see! A new election finance complaint was just submitted against Supervisor Gorell.

See the details here!

On March 14, About 30 people spoke on the issue and a total of 288 written comments were submitted for the hearing, with an overwhelming number opposing the repeal. On March 28, 60 people spoke, with 296 written comments, once again the vast majority once again strongly opposing the change. Videos posted at the bottom of this post.

Action #1: It’s time to write a letter to the Editor

Why in the world would you do this? We have a whole post on that, along with how to contact local news organizations here.

How do I do it? We gathered a lot of examples here to give you good ideas on how to start. Your letters, and their headlines with haunt these greedy and cynical supervisors when they stand for re-election! Links to the two complaints are here:

Action #2: Constituents – call your public servants! Hold them to their promises of “public trust”, “transparency” and fighting against corruption!

Minimal phone script for those who live in Districts 2 (Gorell) and 4 (Parvin):

Continue reading “Ventura County Board of Supervisors’ GOP majority go rogue. (2) Actions! And a new campaign finance ethics complaint has been filed!”

Former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond:  “I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.” Californians can change this. Pass AB83!

Updated 3/20/23

In 2010, the Supreme Court decided in the corrupt case Citizens United that corporations were actually “an association of citizens,” opening our elections up both to dark money and the influence of the foreign investors who now hold over 40% of all shares in US corporations.

We take the word “citizen” very seriously here in Ventura County. At Swap Meet Justice’s monthly citizenship fair, we know that applicants wait years, and sometime decades, before they can get the help they need to become citizens and to receive the privilege of voting. Foreign investors jump the line and abuse our voting process to increase their profits.

AB83 – Political Reform Act of 1974: contributions and expenditures by foreign-influenced business entities could help level the playing ground by preventing these entities from messing with our elections. (Lot of resources, fact sheets, etc. here)

It passed through the Assembly Committee on Elections with our Assemblymember Steve Bennett and is heading for a hearing in thee Appropriations Committee. We don’t have a horse in that race (your friends/family might – check here), but this is a great chance to strike back at Citizen’s United.

Continue reading “Former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond:  “I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.” Californians can change this. Pass AB83!”

Just say “NO!” to Trump-like policies on asylum! Deadline – March 27.

Letter from Democrats here: “We all want the same thing – a safe place for our families to live and thrive. That’s exactly what parents are looking for when they reach our border and request asylum. We all want our children to be alive and well. For some parents that means they have to trek international borders to keep themselves and their children safe from persecution and violence. 

Moms know the importance of keeping their children and families safe. We know we have to do more on our border to protect those fleeing violence hoping to find asylum here. 

Our nation cannot, and should not, block vulnerable asylum seeking women, children, and families from finding safety within our borders. The right to access asylum upon arrival at a U.S. border is foundational to international and domestic refugee law.”

Comment Kit – How to write and post a comment that will count!!

The proposed rule is called “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” and comments are due by 11:59 pm on March 27.

Continue reading “Just say “NO!” to Trump-like policies on asylum! Deadline – March 27.”

To all who’ve promised to never forget…it’s starting again.

We are on a historically dangerous path. Tell your legislators to reintroduce the Equality Act now and to publicly disavow all anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and state legislation!

Sunday, March 5th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, signing his odious book, and dog-whistling that he would “never surrender to the “woke” mob, or, as defined by Merriam- Webster – those aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice.)

In exchange for democracy, he promised the crowd of +1000 regressives a bright and shiny new deal. He would suppress and silence the lesser-valued claimants of “We, the People” in exchange for his cynical Christian Nationalist version of the”core foundational principles that made this country great.” It’s ironic that his book’s title, “Courage to Be Free,” far better describd the LGBTQ+ protesters at the front entrance, a demographic traditionally targeted by fascist leaders, than it did himself.

Despite our blithe assumption that we Americans are exceptional – above the political trauma that’s happened elsewhere and beyond our own genocidal early history, scholars are now actively studying if the growth of White Nationalism under Trump could devolve into violent oppression of minority groups and dissenters if a fascist leader like Ron became president.

Continue reading “To all who’ve promised to never forget…it’s starting again.”

How close are train tracks to your home? Your job? Your kid’s school? Tell your legislators to make these train bills better!

Seriously! The train that derailed in East Palestine wasn’t even considered a “high-hazard flammable train” (HHFT).

The Department of Transportation (DOT) applies stricter rules to high-hazard flammable trains – those carrying flammable liquids in at least (20) consecutive tank cars — or (35) cars total. They are limited to a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour, and must have newer ECP braking equipment and special cars when transporting hazardous materials across the country.

Update: Since the East Palestine derailment on Feb. 3, Norfolk Southern has had TWO more derailments.

  • March 4, 28 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Springfield, Ohio.
  • March 9, 30 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Calhoun County, Alabama. A worker died.

Before we get to the bills, please watch this short video about how a Wall Street system designed for maximum profit has made the America’s train industry so dangerous…

Action #1: Email/call your legislators. There are now two bills introduced in Congress to address train safety and neither is perfect.

The derailed train in East Palestine (we now have to define WHICH derailment) had only (11) tank cars, not (20), not (35). It also had (2) crew members and (1) trainee. But before the “100 percent preventable” accident, train workers had worried that the 9,300 feet long (that’s 1.7 miles!), 18,000 ton, 151-car train was too long and heavy to travel safely

Continue reading “How close are train tracks to your home? Your job? Your kid’s school? Tell your legislators to make these train bills better!”