The UC Board of Regents is once again voting on the very bad idea of UC Health contracting with discriminatory religious hospitals. Urgent email! They vote on Wednesday!

We say “NO” (AGAIN!) to discrimination in UC health care, and “YES” to the high-quality, evidence-based care that all patients expect and deserve.

A mechanical voice but a good, short overview.

A little more than a year ago, we asked people to email the University of California Board of Regents, as they were planning to partner up the UC San Francisco Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals, with Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital chain that uses religious directives to openly discriminate against women, disproportionately affecting women of color, LGBTQ patients, and those seeking end-of-life care, in order to help resolve a bedspace problem. We, the people who demand the separation of church and state in our health care, said “NO!,” and the Board backed off, then. But since then, the ACLU has discovered that every single UC Health center has contracts that impose harmful non-medical restrictions on care.

On Wednesday, the regents are going to vote on a policy which would allow UC Health, the university division that oversees six health centers 20 health professional schools, and the medical education more than fifty percent of our state’s doctors, to normalize the process of affiliating with Catholic or other entities with discriminatory religious restrictions, despite the fact that contracting with such organizations is in clear violation of CA’s constitution and state laws.

The Regent’s draft policy being voted on has guidelines that would prevent these affiliate hospitals from actually gagging UC professionals’ from counseling their patients and prescribing treatments they feel are in the patients’ best interest, at least for now… However, they are absolutely unable to ensure that those professionals can actually perform those treatments at these facilities, as hard experience shows that the Conference of Catholic Bishops will place their Ethical and Reigious Directives (ERDs) over doctor/patient decisions, even at the cost of human life.

Reading between the lines of Point #3 of the draft policy, the authors anticipate the bewilderment, humiliation and possible endangerment that people will face upon being denied legal health care on the grounds that what they need is considered “intrinsically evil.” This includes women seeking abortions, miscarriage treatment, contraception or sterilization, LGBTQ+ patients seeking gender-affirming surgeries and the terminally ill seeking euthanasia (legal since 2016).

Each University location contracting with healthcare organizations that have adopted policy-based restrictions on care must develop and implement a process to inform UC patients, faculty, staff, and trainees: (i) about such restrictions at sites to which they may be referred or assigned; (ii) that such referrals or assignments are voluntary; and (iii) and that information about alternative sites for care, practice, and training will be provided upon request.

The paragraph ends on how to relocate people who need such “restricted services,” resulting in a “stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services, and public accommodations.”

Each location must also develop a process to transfer patients who need restricted services to a UC or other location where the services can be provided.

It’s also a dry reminder of how dangerous their religious strictures are, as these facilities have to “relocate” women suffering from miscarriage emergencies, because the best practices to save their lives would be construed as an abortion by their ERD rules. The is modern “separate, but definitely not equal accommodation,” and we don’t accept it.

Action #1 – EMAIL the UC Board of Regents to oppose any UC-system health care affiliation with any religious, anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ hospital. 

Write them an email to tell them that this discussion of whether or not to allow this trojan horse of discrimination into our health system should be an easy “NO”. Use whatever of the attached sample script makes sense to you. Make it as personal as you can, by adding any stories how this type of discrimination could have or did affect you, family member or an acquaintance.

Sample email script:

(Put in “Subject” line): DRAFT Regents Policy on Affiliations with Healthcare Organizations that Have Adopted Policy-Based Restrictions on Care

Continue reading “The UC Board of Regents is once again voting on the very bad idea of UC Health contracting with discriminatory religious hospitals. Urgent email! They vote on Wednesday!”

D.C. statehood is in the Senate on Tuesday, 6/22! Pile on! YES on S.51!

Juneteenth celebrates freedom. But what is freedom to an American without the full rights of citizenship? The +700,000 residents of DC are still waiting for an answer.

  • Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, June 16, 2021
    • Today’s bill making Juneteenth, when the last slaves got word that slavery had ended, a federal holiday has unique meaning for the District of Columbia because the slaves here were the first, not the last, to be freed.  The reason, of course, is that the District was and is a federally controlled jurisdiction.  The District celebrates the emancipation of slaves here on April 16 every year.
    • Juneteenth should remind Congress that it’s time for the first to be freed to finally become equal to other Americans.  The House understands that with its passage of the D.C. statehood bill.  So does the Senate, with a hearing on our D.C. statehood bill scheduled for next Tuesday, June 22.
    • With the President, the House, and the Senate all believing that the residents of their nation’s capital should in every way be equal to other Americans, we rejoice this Juneteenth knowing that we are close to adding the 51st star to the flag.”
  • From Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office Emancipation.dc.gov
    • One result of the intense struggle over slavery was the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, passed by the Congress and signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The act ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality that we commemorate every April 16, DC Emancipation Day.
    • Though the Compensated Emancipation Act was an important legal and symbolic victory, it was part of a larger struggle over the meaning and practice of freedom and citizenship. These two words continue to be central to what it means to be a participating member of society. We invite you to think about what these concepts have meant in the past and what they mean to you today...”
  • Statement by then-Rep. Mike Pence in 2007:

On Tuesday, June 22, the issue of DC statehood will appear before the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. During the House Oversight Committee hearing in April, GOP representatives presented such bizarre requirements for statehood on live TV, we despaired for the teaching of American civics. Assuming a repeat from the Senate’s own GOP fabulists, you may want to create your BINGO cards now with the help of “6 collossally Stupid Arguments against DC Statehood” and or other resources provided below. Or use ours.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to [thank Rep./Sen. [___] for being/ask Rep./Sen. [___] to become] a cosponsor of Sen. – S.51Washington, D.C. Admission Act and ending this example of racial injustice in the very heart of our nation. Freedom without full rights, including taxation without representation, is not true citizenship. I’m joining Rep. Holmes, Mayor Bowser and 2007’s version of Mike Pence in recommending the immediate correction of this historic wrong.

Continue reading “D.C. statehood is in the Senate on Tuesday, 6/22! Pile on! YES on S.51!”

Thank our Board of Supervisors for their LGBTQ+ Pride Month Proclamation!

Ventura County resisters – anti-LGBTQ+ groups and people are targeting this post by Supervisor LaVere because our County Supervisors approved the flying of the Pride flag last week.

Please don’t feed these trolls! Use your keyboards to support and thank our supervisors for doing the right thing! Knowing that we have their back encourages them to do more!

  • Send a quick email to the Board of Supervisors at Clerkoftheboard@ventura.org.
  • Put “June 22nd Item Not on the Agenda” in the SUBJECT line
  • Write a simple “thank you” message for the board unanimously supporting the LGBTQ+ Pride Month Proclamation and for raising the pride flag last week.

These messages go to all the supervisors and are read into the record at the next meeting. Please share with Ventura County friends and encourage them to do the same.

“YES” on H.R. 1320/S. 475 – Juneteenth National Independence Day! – UPDATE!

UPDATED: The Senate just passed S.475 on Tuesday to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. No lawmaker objected to passage of the legislation for commemorating the end of slavery, and it now goes to the House, which is expected to pass it today.

Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past — but we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfill the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution,” stated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Let’s take him at his word! Tell your senators to pass S.1 For the People Act and stop all the Jim-Crow voter suppression laws taking place around the country! Then, let’s work on HR 40Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act and H.R. 55Emmet Till Antilynching Act.

Action #1: Let’s join Opal Lee in making Juneteenth a federal holiday! And then let’s ask for more!

Juneteenth, also known as “Emancipation Day” or “Freedom Day,” is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States; however, it is not a national holiday. All of that will change if it has anything to do with the will of Opal Lee, a formidable 94-year-old who goes by the moniker Ms. Opal. If this indomitable nonagenarian has her way, Juneteenth (June 19) will become a federal holiday celebrated with all the pomp and circumstance of the Fourth of July because, as she reminds everyone, “We weren’t free in 1776!…Ms. Opal hopes that if she achieves her goal, the day will return to its original intent of educating, celebrating, informing, and bringing all people together. “I don’t mean just Black people,” she muses. “Nobody is free until we’re all free”

Over the past 40 years, 47 of 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have come to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or a day of observance (exceptions are North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii) , but it’s not yet a federal holiday. 

Let’s do our part. Call your legislators, even if this bill is passed before the day is out, and ask for more.

UPDATED Minimal script for Representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Rep. [___] for voting “YES” on H.R.1320 – Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. Now that our country has recognized the importance of Juneteenth, it’s time to address other justice issues long denied. We ask Rep. [___] to encourage their fellow legislators to vote “YES” on HR 40 – Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act and H.R. 55 – Emmet Till Antilynching Act, and H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Continue reading ““YES” on H.R. 1320/S. 475 – Juneteenth National Independence Day! – UPDATE!”

Remember the work we did for the 2020 election? Time to do it again for democracy itself.

Join one of these four campaigns to help push through S.1- “For the People” Act.

The S-1 For the People Act is an ambitious Democratic proposal that includes provisions like: making it easier to register to vote, expanding early voting nationwide, attempting to end political gerrymandering and supporting statehood for the District of Columbia. Some polls have found that a majority of Americans support many of the provisions currently in the bill.” (Here’s a quick primer on S.1 – For the People Act.)

Find a call campaign that fits your schedule and roll up your sleeves! Are you an introvert who really hates calling people? Well, that may actually be your super-power! Check this link out and find out why…

1 – FAIR FIGHT

Fair Fight Club founder Stacey Abrams:Today I’m launching Hot Call Summer— because in order to pass the For The People Act, we need your help to make sure our Senators know how important this legislation is to you.

So far this year, 47 state legislatures have introduced at least 361 bills that would make it harder to vote. Fair Fight Action is launching nationwide advocacy efforts in support of urgently needed federal voting rights laws like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and S.1, the For the People Act. We need your help to call voters in states across the country to hear their voting experiences. Through these stories you will help collect, Fair Fight Action and our partners will demonstrate to Congress the need for enhanced federal protections to ensure all eligible voters are able to cast their vote freely and make their voices heard, regardless of where they live.” 

Continue reading “Remember the work we did for the 2020 election? Time to do it again for democracy itself.”

“Lost Cause” to the “Big Lie” – we’re stuck in a malevolent version of “Groundhog Day.”

It’s time to fight Trump’s “Big Lie” with GOP facts and break out of this recurring trauma of voter suppression .

  • Action #1: Facts are fun! Create a meme and share it on your social media!
  • Action #2: “S.1 – For the People Act” – GOP-led states have proved that they can no longer be trusted to protect the right to vote.
  • Action #3: Censure all federal legislators who are complicit in pushing the “Big Lie.”
  • Action #4: Roll your sleeves up. We need to hammer Manchin with calls from his own constituents!
  • A brief overview of three Reconstructions.

(Graphic quote by Ricky L. Jones. Full video of Rep. Rafael Anchía interrogation here.)

Fighting back against the GOP’s “Big Lie” that reimagines America’s elections as dangerous quagmires of voter fraud committed by minorities and “antifa”, the Democratic state legislators of Texas walked out of their session to stop the passage of S.B. 7, one of the most restrictive and anti-democratic of the new voter restriction bills, risking the wrath of Governor Abbott and the possible sacrifice of their paycheck. “We did our part to stop S.B. 7. Now we need Congress to do their part by passing H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.” said Texas State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-45).

So, is Texas a hotbed of duplicitous voters? According to the GOP’s own right-wing voter-fraud-myth promoter Heritage Foundation, who has created a database of wayward voters neatly organized by state, year and type of crime, Texas desperately needs S.B.7 because…wait a minute…they had exactly ZERO CASES OF VOTER FRAUD IN 2020-21! Georgia and Florida have already signed suppressive bills into law, because they had,…wait a minute… ZERO and ZERO cases respectively. Arizona, a relative hotbed of iniquity, is marked as having “ONE” for 2020. It seems that Attorney General Bill Barr was actually telling the truth.

Continue reading ““Lost Cause” to the “Big Lie” – we’re stuck in a malevolent version of “Groundhog Day.””

This Memorial Day, remind your legislators of what’s important.

  • Action #1: Honor delayed too long. Medals for all the “Harlem Hellfighters!”
  • Action #2: No one left behind – paying off our war debt to living soldiers. Pay for their health care!
  • Action #3: What we can do now about the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Today we’re honoring two Memorial Days, one to honor soldiers who died in far-flung places defending our democracy, and one for the Black men, women and children of Tulsa, OK, who suffered a war at home, 100 years ago.

For both of them, let’s do a some quick actions in their honor. Fill up your legislators’ voicemail boxes and stack up messages in their email accounts.

Action #1: Honor delayed too long.

Minimal script for representatives: I’m [calling/emailing] from [zip code] to thank Rep. [___] for supporting H.R.3642 —To award a Congressional gold medal to the 369th Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the “Harlem Hellfighters”, in recognition of their bravery and outstanding service during World War I.

Continue reading “This Memorial Day, remind your legislators of what’s important.”

Friday, May 28, is the second act of the Jan. 6 insurrection. The Senate GOP just used the filibuster to block a commission.

  • Action #1 – Tell your legislator we need a House select committee.
  • Action #2 – Write emails to President Biden and Attorney General (Sample included)
  • Action #3 – Send postcards/letters to Sens. Manchin and Sinema (Sample included)

With their Trump-centric re-election campaigns to plot, the GOP betrays the nation and their sworn oaths.

The GOP ignores both the pleas of the Capitol officers who protect them every day, and of a mother of Brian Sicknick, who died as a result of his injuries from the insurrection.

(The Hill) “This vote has made it official. Donald Trump’s big lie has now fully enveloped the Republican Party. Trump’s big lie is now the defining principle of what was once the party of Lincoln.” – Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer

(The Hill) “Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate. Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe.” – House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Action #1 – Tell your legislator we need a House select committee.

This can be created quickly by majority vote. Members and staff would need to be recruited, but they are already on hand in Congress. According to Just Security, a select committee could also be given subpoena power comparable to other House committees. But most importantly, “..congressional committees have special access privileges to Trump administration documents, including White House documents, that have been sent to the National Archives. Under the Presidential Records Act (PRA), most Trump White House documents are effectively under seal for several years. But Congress can break that seal right away based on a low showing of need. What happened in the White House during the insurrection remains one of the biggest gaps in our understanding.”

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to encourage Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to create a House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6th insurrection.

Continue reading “Friday, May 28, is the second act of the Jan. 6 insurrection. The Senate GOP just used the filibuster to block a commission.”

Utility companies are using AB 1139 to kill CA’s rooftop solar industry. Our legislators are letting it happen!

We just called our assemblymember’s office and we’re told they are studying this NOW! Get on the phone. Email them too. Make sure they know that this is important to us.

Action #1: How many ways can we say “NO” to AB-1139?

This bad legislation just slid through the Assembly Appropriations Committee! Make sure your assemblymember AND YOUR STATE SENATOR are prepared to do the right thing and bring it down!

(from Indivisible CA Green Team) Consumers suffer when power is concentrated in the hands of a few. This was the lesson learned from the 2000 electricity crisis and out of that grew California’s commitment to consumer solar and localized energy. However, the potential for additional revenue is forcing us to repeat history as lobbyists for PG&E, SDG&E AND SoCal Edison are telling Sacto politicians that our solar is the reason why utility bills are skyrocketing. Investor-owned utilities like P,G&E are threatened by this people-centered movement cutting into their profits, so they’re making up lies to justify killing our solar, even though it is the solution to rising utility bills, power outages, and wildfires. 

Continue reading “Utility companies are using AB 1139 to kill CA’s rooftop solar industry. Our legislators are letting it happen!”

Wed. 5/26 is “Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act” Call-In Day!

Please join us on Wednesday, 5/26/21 to flood Congress with calls from across the nation urging them to fight plastic pollution by co-sponsoring the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021.

  • Action #1: Tell your representatives: Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act
  • Action #2: Tell Amazon shareholders to vote YES on reporting on single-use plastic pollution
  • Action #3: Tell Whole Foods: Take single-use plastic packaging off your shelves.

Plastic is toxic, and includes 144 chemicals or chemical groups known to be hazardous to human health. Microplastic particles are so pervasive in our food and water that the average person ingests a credit card’s worth of plastic (5g) every week. A recent study even documented microplastic particles in maternal human placentas. Breaking free from plastic would protect human health and improve fertility, helping ensure our survival as a species.

Action #1: Tell your representatives: Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act

Continue reading “Wed. 5/26 is “Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act” Call-In Day!”