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.
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!)
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.
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.
Momsrising.org: “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!!
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.)
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
All this firepower hasn’t made Missouri safer. The state’s gun violence rates have risen with each new law – they now have the 5th-highestrate of gun deaths in the US and firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens.
What can stop this progression to chaos?: Deaths? So far, no. Hard costs? Hasn’t slowed them down. All this carnage costs the state $17.6 billion each year, of which $455.3 million is paid by taxpayers. Jobs and income? Maybe…Tourism provides more than 304,000 tourism-related jobs and generates nearly $18 billion in tourism-related spending. According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the state plans “to invest more than $50 million in the Show-Me State’s tourism industry, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Missouri tourism is a powerful economic driver, and we’re committed to ensuring local tourism organizations, entertainment venues, and other attractions have the resources they need to stay open and thrive.“
Are they committed enough to tell their legislators that Missouri may not offer enough for visitors to risk encounters with armed teenagers? Maybe if their state gets on advisory and travel restriction lists, they will.