The Miller Saturday Review – 1/6/17 Edition

(Collection of news from the week for fellow wonks and concerned citizens by Barb Miller of Indivisible Ventura)

Legislation on our minds this week…

    • S. 2016 –  No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act of 2017  Deeming that there is insufficient protection against global catastrophe, Senator Ed Markey advocated for his bill, which points out that the Constitution forbids presidents from launching wars that have not been declared by Congress, and which includes a ban on using any funds to violate the law by nuking North Korea.  The hearing’s witnesses, and Senators from both major parties, made clear that they did not trust the president to obey laws. In fact, in launching a war, nuclear or otherwise, Trump would violate not only the Constitution but also the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter. The latter also bans threatening war, which Trump does on a regular basis.  Introduced 10/26/2017
    • S. 2047 – Preventing Preemptive War in  North Korea Act of 2017. No funds may be used for kinetic military operations in North Korea absent an imminent threat to the United States without express congressional authorization.
    • S 2148 – Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2017 A bill to authorize dedicated domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to analyze and monitor domestic terrorist activity and require the Federal Government to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism. 11/16/2017  referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
    • H.R. 3771 —     Special Counsel Integrity Act. Bipartisan legislation which protects the Russia collusion investigation by taking away Donald Trumps ability to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

Civil Liberties Continue reading “The Miller Saturday Review – 1/6/17 Edition”

Sanity-Saving Good News -“Thanksgiving” Edition

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! We’ve made it the  first Thanksgiving in the age of Trump. Thanks to all of you who’ve been working hard to protect our citizens, our immigrants, our students, our environment, and our civil rights from those who stand to gain by harming us.

Welcome to those who’ve just started on this seemingly endless battlefield. You will meet some of the most amazing people and friends amongst your new comrades-in-arms.

For today, we’re gathering as much good news and useful things together to make your day better, even if that uncle that makes everyone crazy comes…

If fact…ESPECIALLY if that uncle comes. If he want to talk about taxes, send him here. If he wants to denigrate fellow Americans for their religion, their race, or their relationship preferences, the Women’s March has put together a conversational toolkit called “Daring Discussions“. “The stakes are too high to remain silent in the face of bigotry and injustice.” It’s up to us to be willing to confront current injustices, as well as acknowledging historical ones, like the violence inflicted on indigenous peoples and recognize that Thanksgiving is a day of mourning for many of our indigenous citizens.

So, let’s start by putting aside childish things…Like the fairy tale of Thanksgiving itself.

In related news, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians have distributed 10,000 turkeys as part of their 32 year long Thanksgiving Outreach Program.

The kids are alright!

Continue reading “Sanity-Saving Good News -“Thanksgiving” Edition”

Take a moment… Now find your pens and crayons and let’s get to work…

(From our Sunday Sanity-Saving Good news column.)

IndivisibleVentura.org is organizing weekly postcard-writing huddles. Watch for place and time in our “Events” listing.

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Want to help Doug Jones to beat Roy Moore in Alabama? Can you write short notes on postcards to encourage Alabama citizens to get out and vote on Dec. 12th?

Friendly, handwritten election reminders from volunteer to targeted voters is giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.

Become a member of the postcard brigade!

How do you do it?
1) email Tony at join@tonythedemocrat.org, and you’ll get instructions & addresses .
2) Get some postcards and stamps. Link below to stamp source.
3) Tony has some phrases from the campaign that need to be on the card. If you write small, there’s other talking points you can add.
4) Once you’re vetted, you can request as many addresses as you want from “Abby the address bot” It’s a great texting tool.
5) Call Mandy at 781-424-2088 if you have any questions.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/PostcardsToVoters?src=hash

Postcard stamps at a discount:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/522977669/postcards-to-voters-34-cent-vintage

Postcard Gallery:  from simple to crazy-amazing.  Don’t worry if you can’t draw a straight line. All are effective! Continue reading “Take a moment… Now find your pens and crayons and let’s get to work…”

Venturans – Join in! Help determine new districts to bring representation to all.

CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy) has successfully spearheaded an effort to switch Ventura from a city-wide election model to a district-base one. District elections guarantee a voice for underrepresented neighborhoods like the Westside, leading to more diverse leadership at City Hall. While one in three Ventura residents is a person of color, Ventura has never had a non-white city councilmember, an issue that’s put us in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.

However, there are other benefits of using districts. By reducing the size of a voting area, the cost of running for office is greatly reduced, making it possible for more people to consider running for local office. It currently costs an average of $18,000 to win a seat on Ventura City Council, as candidates must pay to run expensive citywide advertisements. Districts bring elections down to the neighborhood level, promoting grassroots democracy. District elections also keep our representatives more accountable to listening to their neighbors instead of wealthy interests.

So, now the mapping of the districts begins and this is where you come in. We can help place the lines of the seven new districts.

Here’s the city’s link: https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/districtelections

There are paper maps you can download, interactive maps and an on-line district-drawing tool. Also, attend the public hearings (hearing dates

Continue reading “Venturans – Join in! Help determine new districts to bring representation to all.”

This Week in Sanity-saving Good News – “The Kids are Alright” Edition…

Lego welcomes the women of NASA.

The kids are alright.

First, let’s talk about this 11 year-old girl who’s been worried about the Flint water situation since she’s been 9. Along with playing piano, swimming, fencing and taking dance lessons, she has invented the cheapest, most effective test for lead in water and won “America’s Top Young Scientist”. God, what was I doing when I was 11?

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Then there’s Ames Mayfield, who in 14 years or so, will be running for office. Put in on your calendars now.

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Continue reading “This Week in Sanity-saving Good News – “The Kids are Alright” Edition…”

Join us as Ventura City Council Votes on a Resolution to Create District Elections!

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Facebook Event link

Today at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Pre-meeting Rally at 5:15 at Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli St, Ventura, CA.

Join us as Ventura City Council votes on a resolution to create district elections. This will bring the City of Ventura into compliance with the California Voting Rights Act!

District elections guarantee a voice for underrepresented neighborhoods like the Westside, leading to more diverse leadership at City Hall. While one in three Ventura residents is a person of color, Ventura has never had a non-white city councilmember!

By reducing the cost of running for office, district elections keep our representatives more accountable to listening to their neighbors instead of wealthy interests. It currently costs an average of $18,000 to win a seat on Ventura City Council as candidates pay to run expensive citywide advertisements, but districts bring elections down to the neighborhood level, promoting grassroots democracy.

Demand an Independent Commission on Election Cybersecurity

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to urge Senator [___] to support S. 1821 which establishes a national commission on the cybersecurity of US election systems.

More script if you want it: The government must take steps to protect the integrity of our elections, and an investigative commission is a crucial step, in concert with the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC), in combatting future attempts by Russia to interfere with our voting systems again.

Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430

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

More info:  Continue reading “Demand an Independent Commission on Election Cybersecurity”