No recess until the Senate passes S.1 – For the People Act and stops partisan gerrymandering.

Today’s good news included the IRS being ordered to hand over Trump’s taxes to Congress and the public exposure of the notes taken during his attempt to bully Georgia into declaring him a winner.

But not good enough. The GOP will just patiently wait out this news cycle or even consider it a welcome distraction from the news they’re hoping we won’t notice

On August 16, the Census Bureau will release their demographic data, the starting gun for the GOP to quietly and immediately gerrymander away six to 13 seats in the House of Representatives—more than the 5 needed to retake the House in 2022—through its control of the redistricting process in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas alone. The Republican redistricting advantage extends far beyond those four states: They’ll be able to draw 187 congressional districts, compared to 75 for Democrats, and those that elected new legislators like Lucy McBath, the first Black woman to represent old Newt’s district, will be eliminated. We already know that CA will lose a seat, while Texas, Florida, and NC will gain some.

Instead of hanging in their home districts with us, we need our senators to be pushing S.1 – For the People Act through. Some reforms could theoretically wait until after a recess period, but certain key proposals, such as prohibiting partisan gerrymandering, must be enacted now to make a difference in the 2022 elections. Without congressional action in the next few weeks, Republicans could lock Democrats out of power for the next decade, even if voters mobilize and turn out heavily in Democrats’ favor. So, the window to prevent partisan gerrymandering is closing quickly.

Yeah. That’s the real news. 

Minimal script for our own senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to stay in the Capitol to push through “S.1 – For the People Act,” especially the parts prohibiting partisan gerrymandering. I would consider leaving for summer recess a dereliction of duty, as the Census Bureau is releasing fuel for a savage GOP-redistricting on August 16. I and my friends worked hard for Sen. [___]. But unless [he/she] wants to become part of the legislative minority party again, watching helplessly as an actual minority party passes unjust bills and tries to reinstate a fascist president, [he/she] needs to get to work now and stay until it’s done. No excuses. Nothing in [his/her] district is as important as dealing with this issue.

Continue reading “No recess until the Senate passes S.1 – For the People Act and stops partisan gerrymandering.”

Get your state legislators to D.C. to fight for democracy!

Easiest action you’ll get this week! Copy and paste a letter to your STATE legislators, asking them to join their Texas colleagues in Washington DC!

The Declaration for American Democracy is planning a solid week of advocacy on democracy in D.C. next week from Aug. 2 to Aug. 6. (Video below from DFAD – click if “black”.)

They want to get state legislators from as many states as possible to come to D.C. on Aug 3 to follow in the footsteps of the Texas legislature (minus the fear of arrest… ) to speakup about the effect that the suppressive laws would have on democracy in their states. And CA wasn’t free of voter suppression bills – two of them showed up on the Brennan Center’s State Voting Bills Tracker. 

They need us to help to get the word out! We’ve printed out a 2000 character version of their letter below to fit in Sen. Limón and Asm. Bennett’s email comment sections. If your legislators have no limits, use their original version here (email template for state legislators) Share with your friends and family! Let’s get leaders from all over America to stand on the Capitol steps and demand better from the GOP.

Action #1: Just copy, edit the [name parts] and email to your state legislators.

Continue reading “Get your state legislators to D.C. to fight for democracy!”

Tell your legislators – stay on the job until essential infrastructure and voting bills are passed!

  • Action #1: Call your legislators and tell them summer is cancelled.
  • Action #2: Pelosi, Schumer – Make the call.

Update: 7/28/21 “Senators say they have deal on ‘major issues’ in infrastructure talks.” Haha, no. You go home when it’s passed both houses and signed by Biden, along with a serious voting rights bill, and all the funding legislation that’s pending under deadline.

While it might be amusing to track the various COVID and Critical Race Theory lies that GOP legislators will tell their packed and contagious hometown audiences during August recess, we simply can’t afford the time. We’ve already had a whole administration of opportunity wasted with Donald Trump’s “Groundhog Day-style” promises of “Infrastructure Week!” (aborted attempts listed here and here). Now he’s reaching out and touching those who fear him, threatening to turn them into losers like himself unless they stall the current infrastructure talks with Trump-dsyfunction until after the 2022 elections, more than a year away.

After all, what’s another year of the GOP’s legislative sabotage? Who minds another year of roads buckling under extreme heat, “sun-kinked” railroad tracks, flooded, melting, or inadequate runways and 47,000 bridges in need of urgent repair, with predictions that 1 in 4 U.S. steel bridges will collapse from extreme heat by 2040? (No problem except for those involved in their 171.5 million daily crossings.) And who doesn’t remeber last winter, when 15 million people in Texas were without safe drinking water in the wake of the massive storm, cold snap, and power outages, along with more in OklahomaLouisiana, and other hard-hit Southern states.

Action #1: Call your legislators and tell them summer is cancelled.

Continue reading “Tell your legislators – stay on the job until essential infrastructure and voting bills are passed!”

Two urgent Ventura County actions…

ACTION #1: Send a letter to our Ventura County Board of Supervisors to support the recommendation of indoor mask wearing.

ACTION #2: ZOOM – Call in to the Ventura County Fairground Board regarding gun shows- Tuesday, July 27 (9:00 am)

ACTION #1: Send a letter to our Ventura County board of supervisors to support the recommendation of indoor mask wearing.

(VC Star) “Citing rising COVID-19 infections and the spread of the delta variant, Ventura County public health officials are urging residents to wear masks indoors in public places whether they are vaccinated or not.

While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection,” said Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County’s health officer, in an advisory released Monday.

COVID-19 case rates have increased across California since the state’s full economic reopening on June 15. Ventura County’s COVID case rate grew to 4.5 infections a day per 100,000 people for the week ending July 10 — nearly four times the rate a month earlier. Levin said county data shows unvaccinated people are 22 times more likely to become infected and hospitalized than vaccinated residents.

Please send a letter to our Ventura County Board of Supervisors to support the recommendation of indoor mask wearing given the impact of the delta variant – Meeting is Tuesday, July 27.

Continue reading “Two urgent Ventura County actions…”

Clearcut some outdated logging solutions out of the Conservation Corps Act (HR 1162/S487)

Forest fires don’t work like we think they do…

(Video the “New California Wildfire Report Co-Authored by ForestWatch Staff”)

We, along with the good people at Los Padres ForestWatch, are very excited about a reboot of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which contains grant programs for planting trees in urban areas, support for outdoor recreation, and funding focused on creating jobs for youth. What we are not excited about are billions of taxpayer dollars tucked into HR 1162/ S 487 which go towards outdated solutions for wildfires that were developed by the original CCC almost 90 years ago, actions which we now know will increase threats to communities and worsen climate change. 

Continue reading “Clearcut some outdated logging solutions out of the Conservation Corps Act (HR 1162/S487)”

“Hello, I’d like to speak to the man behind the curtain.” Let’s talk to Rupert Murdoch.

Action #1 – Continue to de-FOX-ify your life.

We have, like many groups, advised people to cut off their unwitting financial support of FOX News, a right-wing propaganda machine masquerading as a media empire. And as there’s more than one way to attack this issue, so we offered a variety of options here.

Meanwhile, the poison continues. Tucker Carlson, who promotes white nationalist viewpoints on his widely watched show, gave a sympathetic and unquestioning platform to Charles Murray, a social scientist who uses racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor. Meanwhile, a report released last Friday by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters showed that the majority of vaccine-related segments that Fox News aired over the past two weeks “repeatedly fearmongered about and downplayed the need for continued vaccination campaigns.”

So what do we do now?

In 2019, the Intercept published an article: “The Problem at Fox News Is Not Just Tucker Carlson — It’s the Murdoch Family Who Owns and Controls the Network: It’s not enough to criticize the racist anchors on Fox News. The Murdoch family is responsible for what happens there. Let’s talk about them

…It’s absolutely correct to direct our anger at the terrible people we see on Fox and the terrible things they say, but they are not the worst culprits or the most powerful ones. Remember the Watergate-era saying, “follow the money”? Do that with Fox News and you’ll quickly realize that the people responsible for its hateful programming — the people who can shut it off in an instant but don’t because they approve of it or are too cowardly to take a stand against it — are Rupert Murdoch and his heirs, who founded and own a controlling stake in the network’s parent company.

In fact, let’s talk to Rupert...

Action #2 – Write an email, a letter or a postcard to Rupert Murdoch. Copy his son.

Continue reading ““Hello, I’d like to speak to the man behind the curtain.” Let’s talk to Rupert Murdoch.”

TX Dem. legislators are facing arrest for trying to protect voting rights. Our job is easy – just to pick up our phones!

Democratic lawmakers in Texas staged a dramatic walkout to prevent the Republican-controlled Legislature from passing a sweeping bill to rewrite election laws in the state. Critics say the bill will lead to mass voter suppression, especially of Black and Latinx voters, by eliminating drive-thru and 24-hour voting, as well as ballot drop boxes. The Republican bill would also make it easier for elections to be overturned even if there is no evidence of fraud.

Joe did his part. Watch his speech, or read it here.

This is the task for the rest of us…

OK, call your senators over and over. Make it as much a part of your everyday life as coffee in the morning and it will take less than a minute of your time. Phone calls and in-person meetings are the most effective ways to influence your senator, and since we need to pass this bill before August recess, calling daily now is truly crucial. We know it might feel odd to call over and over, but please know that your second and third calls are just as important as the first one.

You can go to Indivisible’s autodialer here or DIY it.

Minimal script: Hello, I’m calling from [zip code] and I’m very concerned about Senate Republicans’ use of the filibuster to block the For the People Act from passage. We cannot let Republicans hold our democracy hostage. It’s time to eliminate the filibuster to save our democracy. 

Will Sen. [___] eliminate the filibuster and pass the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and all the other essential Democratic priorities? Republicans cannot be allowed to continue obstructing our government and standing in the way of progress. There’s no time to waste. 

Continue reading “TX Dem. legislators are facing arrest for trying to protect voting rights. Our job is easy – just to pick up our phones!”

Becoming a citizen shouldn’t be this hard. Let’s break the DACA logjam for this guy.

Ju Hong’s issue strikes close to home…

Every month, we join immigrant advocates, immigration lawyers, and community volunteers at Swap Meet Justice to help people fill out government forms for citizenship, DACA and green cards renewals, voter registration and selective service.

We are always impressed by our DACA applicants – this group of 800,000 hardworking and well-educated young people brought here as children are estimated to add $460.3 billion in national gross domestic product to the U.S. over the next decade and over 200,000 were essential workers during the worst of the COVID pandemic. These are exactly the people we want as citizens, but our politicians can’t seem to summon the political will to give them a pathway to that status. To continue their life in the only country they call home, they must reapply every two years, for a fee of $495, or face deportation.

Therefore, it makes us sick to learn that even when our DACA applicants do everything right, they are still vulnerable to being taken from their families, due to nothing more that a paperwork backlog at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). “As of March 31, USCIS had a backlog of more than 55,000 pending first-time DACA applications,” in addition to over 44,000 renewal requests. As of March 2021: Less than 800 — or roughly 1.5% of applicants in that period — of 50,000 received between January and March 2021 have been approved.

So we’re asking everyone to join in and help this one person – Ju Hong, and hope that the strength of our combined voices clears a path for all the others.

(Video of him here from (2012))

My name is Ju Hong. I serve on Immigrants Rising’s Leadership Council, and I am now facing a major crisis. I need your help.

Continue reading “Becoming a citizen shouldn’t be this hard. Let’s break the DACA logjam for this guy.”

“Flea markets for firearms” don’t belong at our fairgrounds. Call your assemblymember today!

Call your assemblymember and ask that they support Sen. Dave Min’s bill SB-264 – “Firearms: state property,” to prevent our state-owned fairgrounds from being rented out as a gun marketplace. This bill passed the Senate (29-9) and is heading into Assembly public safety committee on July 13.

Our own fairgrounds’ Board of Directors reduced the number of shows in 2019 in response to strong community activism, but seems unable to do what some other former host cities have done, such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. They ultimately helped push through AB 893, with permanently prevents Del Mar Fairgrounds from leasing their property to gun shows.

Ventura’s next Crossroads of the West gun show will be in October and there are other gun shows scheduled at fairgrounds and venues throughout the state. Beyond straw sales and theft from vendors, every show is a dispersion point for ghost gun and and precursor parts into our communities. Even Bob Templeton, the head of the family that own Crossroads of the West “has concerns about ghost gun parts being sold at his shows, but he said he’s been threatened with litigation if he didn’t allow those vendors – and he noted there’s another pending state bill that would ban the sale of precursor parts at gun shows.

We agree, Bob, and the best way we can help you with your legal issues is to stop your shows from coming here in the first place.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Assemblymember [___] to know that I strongly support Sen. Min’s SB264. Our state, and my tax dollars, should not in any way be associated with the selling and promotion of firearms, ammunition and untraceable gun parts. Please ask Asm. [___] to encourage his/her colleagues on the Public Safety Committee to vote “YES” on this bill.

Continue reading ““Flea markets for firearms” don’t belong at our fairgrounds. Call your assemblymember today!”

On July 23, 5 banks have to decide whether to renew three major loans to Enbridge for Line 3, or walk away. Help them decide.

Don’t make grandmothers do all the heavy lifting here!

  • Action #1: Call Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
  • Action #2: Email Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
  • Action #3: Grandmother letter-writing campaign to Dr. Jill Biden
  • Related action: Call to legislators and email to Biden here.

Action #1: Call Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3

There is an actual deadline. On July 23, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America & Royal Bank of Canada have a major decision to make: renew $4.6 billion in loans to Enbridge, or walk away from Line 3.

Join in “Stop the Money Pipeline’s” well-designed campaign to contact any or all of their CEOs here. You can fill out their form and they’ll even dial the numbers for you automatically.

They’ve helpfully included tips for making your calls more effective and a short script to get you started.

Action #2: Email Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3

Continue reading “On July 23, 5 banks have to decide whether to renew three major loans to Enbridge for Line 3, or walk away. Help them decide.”