Update: Invest in the rest of us! It’s time to pass our budget reconciliation priorities!

What are we getting for our +20% in combined taxes? Let’s compare, point by point, with the Swedish guy above and they talk to our legislators…

  • Healthcare: Even with the Affordable Care Act, two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills, with 20% of those in the 55+ age group. 70% of Americans with medical bills had to cut their food expenses to avoid bankruptcy.Our students owe. A 2019 poll  found 25% of Americans say they or a family member have delayed medical treatment for a serious illness due to the costs of care. 34 million Americans know of family member or friend who died in the last 5 tears after being unable to afford treatment.
  • College: U.S. student loan debt totals $1.6 trillion as of March 31, 2021. 62% of students graduate with debt and the average U.S. household with student debt owes $57,520.
  • Retirement: The U.S. is on a path to a predictable and unfortunate outcome — millions of working Americans unable to meet their basic needs in retirement.” This is helped on by corporation replacing pensions with 401k’s or refusing benefits entirely.
  • Welfare: Read and weep. “In comparing poverty in the U.S. to these OECD countries, we find that American poverty is both more prevalent and more extreme.”
  • Parental leave: Among 41 countries, the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require employers to provide any paid leave to new parents, though some states, like R.I, and N.J. require it.
  • Child care: Rich countries contribute an average of $14,000 per year for a toddler’s care, compared with $500 in the U.S. The Democrats’ spending bill tries to shrink the gap.
  • Paid sick leave: The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarentee paid sick leave in any capacity, though some states like NY and CA have statewide mandates.

Action: Call/email your legislators now! Pick a script to call or email!

Continue reading “Update: Invest in the rest of us! It’s time to pass our budget reconciliation priorities!”

Undeniable – Addressing the systemic racism behind U.S. housing. Vote “Yes” for equity.

Event and an action!

The Event: Today, at 6:30, you can participate in a free webinar regarding Richard Rothstein’s book – ”The Color Of Law – A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (6:30 pm PDT) Sign up here – www.rebrand.ly/colorlaw

Rothstein, who is an engaging lecturer, documents how American governments in the twentieth century deliberately imposed residential racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide. His book offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation.” If you can’t make this event, we’ve included two great video lectures to watch at the bottom.

Continue reading “Undeniable – Addressing the systemic racism behind U.S. housing. Vote “Yes” for equity.”

Wednesday, 10/13 – “Dear Joe, did you mean what you said about listening to Indigenous peoples?”

Action: Write him and ask.

If you haven’t done Monday’s tasks yet, go here.

Today’s letter to Joe is a riff on what he promised in his proclamation declaring Indigenous People’s Day. Use what you want of it, or better yet, read the proclamation, and use your own voice.

Dear Joe,

In your proclamation, you wrote “…History demonstrates that Native American people — and our Nation as a whole — are best served when Tribal governments are empowered to lead their communities and when Federal officials listen to and work together with Tribal leaders when formulating Federal policy that affects Tribal NationsThe Federal Government has a solemn obligation to lift up and invest in the future of Indigenous people and empower Tribal Nations to govern their own communities and make their own decisions...”

I read it through several times and was struck by the evident respect and admiration for our nation’s Indigenous peoples. I’m writing to ask if you meant what you said. If your words were real. Actionable.

Continue reading “Wednesday, 10/13 – “Dear Joe, did you mean what you said about listening to Indigenous peoples?””

Actions to take on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

(And all week as well…)

  • Action #1: Make it official – remove Columbus Day from the books.
  • Action #2 Sign a proclamation of opposition to LIne 3
  • Action #3: Write to Jamie Pinkham of the Army Corp of Engineers
  • Action #4: Write to Joe.

Read Biden’s proclamation on Indigenous People’s Day, 2021, here, the first ever issued by an American president. Then, read why a lynching in 1891 of eleven Italians immigrants in New Orleans led to a holiday for a problematic man who never set foot in America. Another story we didn’t learn in school…

Action #1: Make it official – remove Columbus Day from the books.

HR 5473/S.2919 designates Indigenous People’s Day as a legal public holiday the second Monday in October and replaces any wording related to Columbus Day with “Indigenous People’s Day.”

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to support and approve (Rep. – HR 5473/Sen. – S.2919) – Indigenous Peoples’ Day Act.
(Or thank the legislators who’ve already cosponsored these bills. Everyone likes being thanked!)

  • H.R. 5473 cosponsors here. Brownley hasn’t signed on yet, Carbajal has.
  • S.2919 cosponsors here. Feinstein hasn’t signed on yet, Padilla has.
Continue reading “Actions to take on Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

(3) fast immigration actions, aka “Seriously, WTH, America!?!”

  • Action #1: Sign the “ICE OUT of Ventura County’s open letter to the Board of Supervisors – DEADLINE – Friday, October 8.
  • Action #2: Denounce inhumane and discriminatory practices against Black asylum seekers at the southern border.
  • Action #3: WTH, DHS? Why do we need to ask ICE to stop spraying detained people with toxic chemicals.

Action #1: Sign the “ICE OUT of Ventura County’s open letter to the Board of Supervisors – DEADLINE – Friday, October 8.

For VENTURA COUNTY RESIDENTS: Please sign ICE Out of Ventura County’s open letter urging our Board of Supervisors to protect all Ventura County community members by using its power to put an end to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office’s (VCSO) practice of collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The deadline to sign onto the form is Friday, October 8th. 

Action #2: Denounce inhumane and discriminatory practices against Black asylum seekers at the southern border.

Continue reading “(3) fast immigration actions, aka “Seriously, WTH, America!?!””

Build Back Better without leaving anyone behind.

  • Action #1: Advocate for a pathway to citizenship – Sign NAKASEC’s petition
  • Action #2: Advocate for a pathway to citizenship – Call your legislators and Sen. Schumer.
  • Action #3: Write to V.P. Harris.
  • NAKASEC letter to V.P. Kamala Harris

We are tired of two rogue Democratic Senators and an unelected parliamentarian preventing the progress America needs. Today, at the Ellipse in DC, 51 people, representing the 51 votes required to pass the larger Build Back Better package, participated in a dramatic and traditional method of protest – shaving their heads as an act of personal sacrifice to demand that Vice President Harris fight harder to include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the package, many of whom are on the front lines as essential workers during this prolonged pandemic.

States event organizer NAKASEC – “The historical and cultural significance of a bald head cannot be understated. In religious context, a shaved head signifies one’s separation from the material and superficial world. Across cultures and generations, hair holds great significance and meaning. To voluntarily cut off or shave one’s head is an act of strength, rebellion, and devotion to one’s cause.“

Action #1: Advocate for a pathway to citizenship – Sign NAKASEC’s petition

Vice President Harris can reverse the Biden-Harris administration’s disastrous legacy on immigration by DISREGARDING the parliamentarian’s non-binding advisory opinion and provide permanent relief for millions of undocumented immigrants. 

Sign their petition here: https://nakasec.org/c4all-action

(Founded in 1994, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium’s (NAKASEC) mission is to organize Korean and Asian Americans to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. NAKASEC’s founding organizing values are: Live Right, Live Strong, Know Your Roots, and Live Together.)

Action #2: Advocate for a pathway to citizenship – Call your legislators and Sen. Schumer.

Continue reading “Build Back Better without leaving anyone behind.”

9/28 – Gun show actions

  • Action #1: Tuesday – 9/28/2021 – VIRTUAL MEETING – ”Ventura County Fairgrounds Board Meeting – Gun Shows” (9:00am PDT) Finished.
  • Action #2: Ask Governor Newsom to sign SB 264 into law.
  • Action #3: Ask our federal legislators to do their job on regulating ghost guns.

Action #1: Tuesday – 9/28/2021 – VIRTUAL MEETING – ”Ventura County Fairgrounds Board Meeting – Gun Shows” (9:00am PDT)

UPDATE: BOARD HAD VOTED TO APPROVE ONE MORE SHOW, with the caveat that unserialized components that can be formed into ghost guns not be sold, and that an employee under the control of the Fair Board monitor this requirement during the show.

Here is their agenda. (https://www.venturacountyfair.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/September-Board-Packet.pdf)

Action #2: Ask Governor Newsom to sign SB 264 into law.

SB-264 “Firearms: the OC Fair and Event Center,” a bill that prevents the Orange County fairgrounds from being used by gunshows, has passed the CA legislature and is sitting on Governor Newsom’s desk.

Continue reading “9/28 – Gun show actions”

Pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Judiciary Act of 2021 now!

  • Action #1: Tell your legislators to vote “YES” on H.R. 3755/S.1975 – The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021
  • Action #2: Expand and rebalance this lawless Court with H.R. 2584/S.1141 – Judiciary Act of 2021. It no longer represents the American public.
  • Action #3: Print up some of our RBG postcards and demand that Texas-based corporations step up.
  • Action #4: Help fund non-profit organizations that help women access healthcare.
  • Action #5: Chat with Joe.

Action #1: Tell your legislators to vote “YES” on H.R. 3755/S.1975– The Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021

An incredibly brave Texas doctor, Dr. Alan Braid, has crossed the line drawn by the Texas’ new and unconstitutional forced-birther bounty hunt law – SB8. 

Continue reading “Pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Judiciary Act of 2021 now!”

Tell Newsom to sign SB-660 and stop the scourge of pay-per-signature gatherers in CA!

SB-660, Prohibiting Pay-Per-Signature Incentives, would “eliminate the corrosive practice of paying per-signature bounties to professional signature gatherers who work for partisan organizations,” an industry whose employees have been repeatedly accused of making false claims to prospective voters. The bill would not prohibit paying signature-gatherers an hourly wage or salary, as long as it’s not based on the number of signatures obtained. This reform might also slow down the relentless and expensive tide of recall elections.

(Note: For those of who wonder why we can’t just ban all types of paid signature gatherers outright, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Colorado’s ban on them in the Meyer vs. Grant, 486 U.S. 414 (1988) decision.)

This bill has passed both chambers of the CA legislature and is now sitting on Newsom’s desk.

However, he is NOT a lock on signing it. In fact “every recent governor has vetoed at least one version of the proposal. When he vetoed a 2019 ban on per-signature payments, Newsom said,While I appreciate the intent of this legislation to incentivize grassroots support for the initiative process, I believe this measure could make the qualification of many initiatives cost-prohibitive, thereby having the opposite effect.

However, we disagree. Sen. Henry Stern argued that in a similar 2018 bill, per-signature payments incentivize gatherers to use misleading or underhanded tactics to get pen on paper. “This practice degrades the integrity of our direct democracy and our initiative process, because the behavior is based on the bounty hunter’s bottom-line.” Seven states already manage to survive without them. Why not us?

And now that he’s survived a recall attempt, Governor Newsom may be having second thoughts. Let’s ask.

Minimum call/email script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Governor Newsom to make CA the eighth state to ban pay-per-signature gatherers by signing SB 660 into law. Signature-gathering firms paying a bounty for each signature create an incentive to both illegally misinform voters and to forge names. Their presence creates distrust and confusion in the initiative process and should no longer be allowed.

Contact:

Governor Gavin Newsom: email, (916) 445-2841 

[You can add on more information about pay-per-signature scandals from your own county. Here’s a sampling of ones that made the news.]

VENTURA RESIDENTS: This issue hits close to home for us Ventura County residents. Paid–signature gatherers on the payroll of oil companies helped to stop, at least temporarily, new operating rules that would protect local front line communities and our land and water from older and more hazardous industry practices. Four local environmental organizations alleged that these signature gatherers provided false and misleading information to prospective petition signers. Now county voters will have to pay for an election to enforce the very sensible ruling of our Board of Supervisors, an elected body that already represents our interests.

Continue reading “Tell Newsom to sign SB-660 and stop the scourge of pay-per-signature gatherers in CA!”

Shut down the billionaire estate tax boondoggle hiding behind a flimflam farmer fable!

The GOP’s fiction about small family farms sold to pay off a “death tax” are more convincing than actual facts about the stepped-up basis tax loophole for the rich.

Proof? “House Democrats revealed a package of tax hikes on corporations and the rich WITHOUT President Joseph Biden’s proposed levy on inherited property at death.

Seriously?! You know what small farmers want MORE than being used as a beard for the mega-wealthy’s “Buy-Borrow-Die” tax-free lifestyle? Debt relief! Affordable health care! Affordable childcare! Reasonable drug prices!( also in danger from DEMS!) What most non-1% Americans want.

How did we get here? By letting our eyes glaze over on “tax” issues, leaving it up to our heavily-lobbied legislators. But we’re starting to catch on to the con game in which mega-corporations and ultra-rich individuals pay little or nothing in federal income tax, using a fiction about farms that hasn’t been true for decades.

ProPublica said the data showed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos realizes billions each year in asset appreciation (such as rising stock prices) and yet can keep his taxable income so low that one year he qualified for the child tax credit (which he took).”

Polling this summer has generally found the public supportive of higher taxes on “corporations and the wealthy.” The billionaires’ tax avoidance schemes are actually easy to understand. We just need to start holding our legislators to account and close up this “step-up” loophole.

Tell your legislators to cut off the step-up loophole scam! CALL/EMAIL

Continue reading “Shut down the billionaire estate tax boondoggle hiding behind a flimflam farmer fable!”