Tues 12/10: Holiday gift ideas and activities that make a difference.

Action #1 – Postcards for America-California has a HOLIDAY PROJECT!

The Impeachment of DJT is moving along quickly (HOORAY) and while the House is certain to vote to Impeach, the Senate is not…unless we pressure them! Please share these materials (google drive or this page) with anyone you think will help with this effort. We may think our little effort doesn’t amount to much but multiplied by the hundreds, thousands, and yes, millions of Americans who feel exactly as we do, then we can change this situation. U.S. Senators are a fearful bunch, right now they fear Trump more than us. Let’s change that equation because THEY WORK FOR US!

  • 4 printable postcard designs
  • Write your short, clear message (See suggestions below.)
    • Don’t be a Russian Asset! Vote to Impeach and Remove Trump!
    • The Rule of Law is ALL! Vote to Impeach and Remove Trump!
  • Add a postcard stamp (or $.35 cents postage.)
  • Mail your card and REPEAT!
  • Here are all the addresses for GOP Senators (plus a Dem and an Ind who generally vote with them). Write to as many of them as you want, the more the better, as often as you want to! All it takes is some of your time, some card stock, your printer, and stamps.

Action #2 – Check out this great holiday gift guide to a better future.

Some of these sites allow us to buy things for ourselves, our family, and our loved ones. Some provide things to people we may have never met. In that case, consider donating in honor of someone. And don’t forget to look for causes in your own town that need support.  Continue reading “Tues 12/10: Holiday gift ideas and activities that make a difference.”

Tues 12/10: Today’s do-it-ourselves-democracy action – 2 actions for election security.

Action #1 – Call your senator to add election security to the budget on Dec. 20th.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code]  and I’m asking Senator______ to protect election security by:
1. Dedicating at least the $600 million the house passed for election security 
2. Requiring hand-marked paper ballots only, no machine marked paper ballots, with the single exception of non-tabulating ballot marking devices for voters who need assistance.
3. Requiring a secure chain of custody of the ballots. 
Contact:
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

 

Action #2 – Working together, we can bring election security to the national debate stage.

This guest post from Jennifer Tanner of Indivisible DA-33 tells us how to do it! We have until Dec. 13th to get this done. SHARE widely!

If you’ve already done this, share with your family and friends! 

Continue reading “Tues 12/10: Today’s do-it-ourselves-democracy action – 2 actions for election security.”

Mon 12/9: The IRS wants to bow out of investigating corruption in tax-exempt groups. Tell them we want them on the job. Deadline tonight, 11:59 pm EST.

Action – Comment on the IRS’ dereliction of duty – Due tonight (12/9) by 11:59 EST.

This is from 2016 before Trump was elected, but still very relevant regarding dark money.

The IRS is proposing regulations allowing tax-exempt groups to keep donor identities secret. Political groups using tax-exempt entities for fundraising will be able to do so without disclosing the identities of their donors, effectively using so-called “dark money” to finance their causes and preferred candidates. Although the proposed rules would apply equally to groups such as Planned Parenthood, Indivisible, National Rifle Association, labor unions and trade associations, “dark money” is disproportionately used by far-right proponents.

Deeper Dive 

Propublica has published an article called “How the IRS Gave Up Fighting Political Dark Money Groups” as the IRS proposes new regulations allowing tax-exempt groups, including people, companies and unions  to dispense more than $1 billion in dark money while keeping their identities secret. Such spending is legal because Section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code allows organizations to make independent expenditures on politics while concealing their donors’ names — as long as politics isn’t the organization’s “primary activity.” The IRS is was supposed to check that organizations comply. Continue reading “Mon 12/9: The IRS wants to bow out of investigating corruption in tax-exempt groups. Tell them we want them on the job. Deadline tonight, 11:59 pm EST.”

Mon – 12/9: Have you ever waited tables? Worked as a bartender? Write to protect these tipped workers from a salary grab. Update! – Deadline extended to Wednesday (12/11) at 11:59 pm EST.

The deadline is updated to 12/11 due to a technical issues with a government regulation website yesterday.

Action – Write a comment to protest another blow to tipped servers. New deadline – Wed. (12/11) by 11:59 pm EST.

Servers already have enough to deal with…

Now the Trump administration has put out a new proposal that allows restaurant owners to pocket more of their workers’ tips indirectly. Our administration has squarely landed on the side of the National Restaurant Association (the “other NRA”) against tipped workers and has neglected their duty to enumerate the economic damage caused by this proposed change.

  • Write a comment here (if this link is down, go here.)
  • Read the proposal here (if this link is down, go here.)
  • Other comments, which are almost all from restaurant owners/managers here. (this link may be down for some reason…)

First- good news: The new rule does prevent employers, managers, and supervisors from directly taking tips received by employees. But that’s kind of the bare minimum.

The bad news: The proposed rule eliminates the “80/20 rule”, replacing a 20% limit on servers doing non-tipped “side work” with slippery wording like “reasonable” amount of time. (See definition of “80/20 rule” under “Deeper Dive” below)

More bad news: The proposed rule allows employers who pay the full minimum wage and don’t take “tip credit” to implement a mandatory “nontraditional” tip pool to include employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips, such as cooks and dishwashers. “Wait! This seems like a good idea”…keep reading. (See definition of “tip credit under “Deeper Dive” below)

Continue reading “Mon – 12/9: Have you ever waited tables? Worked as a bartender? Write to protect these tipped workers from a salary grab. Update! – Deadline extended to Wednesday (12/11) at 11:59 pm EST.”

Donations Needed for Ventura’s New Homeless Shelter! You may have some of this stuff in your garage!

Ventura’s new year-round shelter, The Arch: All Roads Connect To Housing, opens on 1/9/20 and will make a huge impact in the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Ventura.

Below is a list of items that would be very helpful if they were donated. Please donate by the end of 2019. ‘Tis the Season!

If you can assist, please contact Meredith Hart (mhart@cityof ventura.ca.gov). In addition, please feel free to pass this on to any group, faith community, service club, or individual who could assist with the suggested donations.

CLOTHES 

Continue reading “Donations Needed for Ventura’s New Homeless Shelter! You may have some of this stuff in your garage!”

Fri 12/6: Do-it-ourselves-democracy – Making our voices heard in this impeachment battle.

Map of impending impeachment rallies across the country (impeach.org)

Action #1 – The “Friends and Family Plan” meets the “Power of Five” 

Make sure your contacts in GOP-run states know the power of their phone calls to their legislators regarding the impeachment hearings. Then ask them reach out to five fellow local voters to call as well. Share this video below on calling to inspire them.

What do I say?: We have some scripts here. Here’s one from #needtoimpeach and one from 5calls.org. Pick your favorite or make up your own. Ask your contacts to share their own great phrases with five fellow local voters.

All you need are these basic elements and a live person on the other end of the phone. This is more effective than texts, bots, or leaving a message. Be nice. The person answering phone is NOT the legislator. The whole thing will take less than a minute.

  • Your zip code. They need to verify that the person calling can vote for the legislator.
  • The issue: In this case – impeachment. For other calls, say the bill number or the subject clearly.
  • What you want them to do: Vote “yes”, vote “no”, thank them, spank them, or ask a specific question.

Contact for all legislators: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

Action #2 – Sign up to talk to people in GOP states.

Continue reading “Fri 12/6: Do-it-ourselves-democracy – Making our voices heard in this impeachment battle.”

Thurs 12/5: Toys we DON’T want Santa to bring. Two actions.

Action #1: Sign a petition to stop Target’s sale of assault-style toy guns.

This all started with a Target ad on the Sunday after Thanksgiving featured a Nerf gun called a “Fortnite AR-E blaster.” The toy gun was shaped like an AR-15, the weapon of choice for mass shootings—including the school shootings at Margery Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, FL and Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. In these times of horrific gun violence, people are asking our retailers to step up and stop selling toys modeled on AR-15s or other assault-style weapons. This is not inconceivable. Walmart ended sales of realistic assault-styled toys and Target puts itself out as a responsible corporation that helps communities.

MoveOn has a petition to ask Target to end sales of toys styled after assault weapons.

Read more about this issue and sign the petition here.

Action #2: Hey, don’t forget Amazon!

‘Tis the season of inappropriate gifts and Amazon has just withdrawn Holocaust-themed Christmas ornaments and bath towels. Let’s ask them to go a bit further. We can’t replicate their onsite photos so just click this link: “toy guns that look like assault rifles“. What you’ll see will include:

Continue reading “Thurs 12/5: Toys we DON’T want Santa to bring. Two actions.”

Wed 12/4: To defend Trump against impeachment, the GOP has become the Kremlin’s “useful idiots.” Where do your legislators stand?

Image from wikimedia commons – Gage Skidmore.

Action #1: Ask GOP legislators (or ask friends & family to ask theirs) why they are supporting an anti-democratic dictatorship over a pro-western democracy.

We are entering a Twilight Zone version of the McCarthy era. This time, GOP apologists of a foreign and malign dictatorship are actively attacking American values and democracy to keep possibly the most corrupt president in history from sinking their own political careers. Kremlin-inspired propaganda is aimed at making Ukraine less sympathetic to the American public and to make Trump’s fictitious “concerns” about Ukrainian corruption more believable. It’s no accident that they are pushing this story line. According to a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, American concerns about corruption cut across party lines equally.

The GOP is using the Kremlin-supplied innuendo of corruption to perpetrate actual corruption.  Time to make each legislator publicly show where they stand.

On 11/26, we asked you to get friends and relatives with GOP legislators to call and ask them if they swore an oath to the Constitution or to a man. Today, we want them to ask what country they work for. Continue reading “Wed 12/4: To defend Trump against impeachment, the GOP has become the Kremlin’s “useful idiots.” Where do your legislators stand?”

Mon 12/2: Emergency meeting tonight to stop unjust evictions to evade new renter protection laws!

Facebook event here. Please arrive by 5:45 to the front of Ventura City Hall!

(From CAUSE:) We’re  reaching out to let you all know about a really important City Council meeting on Monday December 2nd at 6 pm where a Moratorium on Evictions will be on the agenda and up for a vote. 

You may have heard about the most recent VC Reporter article and/or the previous   article talking about the 1313 Buena Vista apartments as well as other tenants being evicted on the Avenue. 

On Monday, November 18th, the Ventura City Council voted unanimously to draft a moratorium on no-fault evictions until the new renter protection laws (AB 1482) go into effect January 1st. It is now imperative that we attend the next meeting when they actually vote on the draft. If passed, this will allow tenants who were given no-fault notices to vacate are able to remain in their homes.

Please arrive by 5:45 to the front of Ventura City Hall and we will once again walk in together to the council chambers at at 6pm. We should all then try to speak during public comment period, which will be at the beginning of the meeting. 

We’re trying to get as many people to show up and give public comment in support of the moratorium.

 

 

Mon- 12/02: Trump has been tearing down the wall between church and state. Say “NO” to Sarah Pitlyk.

Action  – Call your senators (both Dems and GOP!) and tell them to vote “NO” on “NOT QUALIFIED” forced-birther radical  Sarah Pitlyk for U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

The word is that she’s up for a full vote of the Senate this week.

Planned Parenthood alert:  The bipartisan American Bar Association has unanimously rated Sarah Pitlyk, another extremist Federalist Society member, “not qualified” for this important position, due to her lack of trial experience. She opposes reproductive rights, the Affordable Care Act and the legal right to abortion. She fought to allow businesses and landlords the right to discriminate against women whose private health histories include abortion or birth control. Through her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, her writings, and legal actions she participated in at forced-birther advocacy firm Thomas Moore Society (TMS), she’s demonstrated that she will impose her own religious beliefs over the lives of women and their families if she gets into a position of power. While the concept of the the Handmaid’s Tale’s Aunt Lydia becoming an judge might make a great Hollywood script, in real life, true-believer Sarah Pitlyk cannot be trusted to apply the law and legal precedents fairly and impartially to everyone who might come before the court.

Update: Oct. 31st – “In a party-line vote on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of a St. Louis County anti-abortion and religious rights lawyer in line to become St. Louis’ next federal judge.”

Continue reading “Mon- 12/02: Trump has been tearing down the wall between church and state. Say “NO” to Sarah Pitlyk.”