- Campaign Finance Reform
- Civil Liberties / Surveillance
- Civil Rights
- Economic Justice
- Government Accountability / Whistleblowers
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Law Enforcement
- Post Office
- Retirement and Healthcare
Re-Name the Church of the BrethrenAs a historic peace church originating from the 16th century Protestant Reformation, it is high time to embrace a name that acknowledges women, who constitute at least 50 percent of the denomination's population. During the major division of the 1880s the German Baptist Brethren splintered into three groups: the traditionalists such as the Old German Baptist Brethren, progressives led by the Brethren Church, and the conservatives, who adopted the name Church of the Brethren in 1908. By title, none of these groups even recognized the presence of women in their respective communities. The doctrine of the Priesthood of all Believers promotes a non-hierarchical pattern of church life, thus, an inclusive and egalitarian church ought to reflect such values in its name.
No Spy Planes Over Miami-DadeIf the MDPD has its way, whenever you step outside -- on your way to the store, to the beach, or even just into your backyard -- you could be filmed by a plane flying over the county. It’s a radical new surveillance technology that will create an oppressive and stigmatizing environment in the communities that are targeted.
Tell Jamie Raskin: Stop fueling a dangerous new Cold WarConsider the rhetoric from one of the most promising new House members, Democrat Jamie Raskin, at a recent rally near the Washington Monument. Reading from a prepared text, Raskin warmed up by declaring that “Donald Trump is the hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians.” Soon the congressman named such varied countries as Hungary, the Philippines, Syria and Venezuela, and immediately proclaimed: “All the despots, dictators and kleptocrats have found each other, and Vladimir Putin is the ringleader of the unfree world.” He even blamed Vladimir Putin for Brexit. Watch the speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKml53OjzGY Later, asked about factual errors in his speech, Raskin floundered during a filmed interview with The Real News. Watch the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce0X7_48vGY Read "Dangerous Discourse: When Progressives Sound Like Demagogues," by Norman Solomon: http://rootsaction.org/news-a-views/1535-dangerous-discourse-when-progressives-sound-like-demagogues
Tell Barbara Lee: Stop spreading Russophobia and fueling a new Cold WarBarbara Lee represents Berkeley and Oakland and nearby areas in Congress (13th CD). She has built a reputation as an advocate for peace and civil liberties. She was the lone vote in Congress against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that has been used to justify US wars/bombing/drone killing since 9/11. Most recently she opposed and spoke out against Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria in April. But lately Representative Lee may be taking a dangerous turn. At a recent town hall Lee hosted Malcolm Nance, MSNBC analyst and former U.S. intelligence agent who is one of the premier neo-McCarthyists and Russia bashers in the country. Nance not only pushed the dubious narrative that Russia “stole the election.” He went into a rant about the Russian people saying “Russia is an intensely conservative nation. They have a serf-slave mentality. They are passionately and intensely insincere…” AND "There is nothing we should do that's friendly to the Russians. They've gone from Communists to Autocrats." This is nothing more than xenophobia and war-mongering. It is part of a campaign by establishment Democrats and the mass media that seeks to: • Deflect blame for Clinton’s defeat from the discredited politics of the corporate Democrats to the Russians. • Push an aggressive stance toward Russia that could lead to a direct military confrontation and possible nuclear war. Many of us are constituents of Barbara Lee and have voted for her in past elections. We urge her to: • Cease and desist from spreading/enabling this warmongering. • Condemn xenophobia whether it is directed against Muslims or Russians. • Reaffirm her support for peace and opposition to all wars of aggression.
Rich must pay fair share of Social SecurityOnly those earning $115,000 and below pay the full amount ie 15% of their total net imcome. One can make a billion dollars and still will only pay 15% on $115,000.00. This is not fair. This is regressive and the cap should be done away with and the richest among us should be forced to pay their fair share. Then Social Security would be solvent for milliniums.
California Prisoners Bear the Brunt of Statewide Water ShortageIn the wake of the state’s most severe drought in memory, California Governor Jerry Brown issued mandatory statewide water restrictions that require all public agencies to reduce their water consumption by 25 percent. Officials at the 34 prisons operated by the California Department of Corrections have responded by restricting inmates' showers, ability to flush their cells' toilets, and access to laundry services and clean clothes, according to interviews with inmates. Showers are running only three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for a total of four hours, providing a little over an hour for hundreds of prisoners to take turns bathing on shower days. Any prisoner caught in the showers for more than 5 minutes, washing clothes while showers are running, bird bathing or flushing the toilets in their assigned cell could face disciplinary action, including 30 days added to their prison sentence (CDC-115 Rules Violation Report). Prison officials have been instructed to shut off water fountains, outdoor showers, and to stop hosing down sidewalks. As a result, California prisoners are denied water-breaks throughout the day and are refused the hygienic practice of washing off sweat after a workout. Women's prisons in particular have struggled with sanitary upkeep since the implementation of CDCR’s water conservation program. Shower and toilet restrictions affect female prisoners on their menstrual cycles most directly. CDCR’s water conservation program began in 2006 with a pilot project to install flush-restricting valves on toilets at nearly one-third of all California adult institutions, resulting in a host of unsanitary conditions ranging from foul odor to overflowing toilets. Water conservation methods have only grown more aggressive within the recent decade and California prisoners have borne the brunt of health and safety hazards associated with aggressive yet inadequate conservation planning. If California is serious about water conservation and water-use reduction in its prisons, state officials should consider developing policies that promote the depopulation of overcrowded state facilities -- starting with releasing disabled people, the elderly and non-violent offenders. Reducing the numbers of people incarcerated unnecessarily could result in significant water savings and help to make the prison environment more adaptable and suitable for rehabilitation. Other methods of reducing water waste, without violating the human rights of the imprisoned, can include updating sinks, toilets, showers, and appliances with advanced water-saving fixtures. Sign this petition to California Governor Jerry Brown asking him to immediately end all water conservation methods that violate the human rights of people in prison. Sources: http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-to-save-water-california-turns-off-prison-showers-20150709-story.html https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/california-prisons-are-restricting-shower-and-toilet-use-to-fight-the-historic-drought-626 http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2010/04/california-prisons-reduce-water-consumption/ http://www.inmate.com/prison-articles/california-prisoners-affected-by-drought.htm
No Package Restrictions for NYS Prisoners!Visitation packages are a crucial part of subsistence in the prisons. New York State’s prison system that houses over 60,000 men, women, and children, all of whom are under fed, under nourished, and are not able to meet hygiene needs without purchasing products. Packages brought in by visitors allow prisoners to sustain themselves while they suffer the “slow death” of the prison system. They receive books, hygiene products, stationery, religious objects, underwear, shoes, shirts and blouses (which allow inmates to regulate their body temperature). All of these objects are crucial for survival for inmates. The proposal to revise the package directive 4911 by adding 4911A to restrict packages to a small selection of prison vendors will severely restrict what prisoners can have (which is already extremely restrictive) and raise costs for family members who already have an extra burden to bear taking care of their loved ones in and out of prison. Currently, visitation packages can be purchased from bulk stores, which allow families to keep costs down. We can be assured that packages purchased through vendors will be more expensive. In addition to increasing costs for families who are already financially struggling, this directive will put even more money into the hands of the prison industry, which is already a multi-million dollar a year industry that thrives of other people’s immiseration. Meanwhile, prisoners are working for slave wages, making 10-16 cents an hour, and are completely reliant on outside support to supplement their starvation diets served in prison. Furthermore, the justification for restricting packages is that visitors are allegedly smuggling drugs through packages. However, as investigations show, it is often corrections officers who smuggle drugs, and who are the ones allowing in tainted packages. Instead of monitoring the COs--there are currently no cameras in the package room--DOCCS is instead punishing prisoners and their families. In addition, suicide in prison is often a result of alienation, deprivation, and lack of stimulation, which will all increase with a new package restriction. The only things that this directive will be taking out of the prisons if it is implemented are prisoners’ human dignity, will, and incentive for good behavior. We are asking that the new directive, 4911A, be repealed immediately, before the NYS prison system wastes time and money on vendor contracts, and before the lives of 60,000 inmates and their families are changed for the worse. Written by families and friends of inmates from the Women’s Facilities of NYS, presented by Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
Promote Solar Power in FloridaFlorida's nickname of the Sunshine State is entirely appropriate. We enjoy one of the greatest numer of sunny days per year anywhere in the US. It is time we put all that energy to work for our State and provide much needed clean and non-polluting electrical power to our economy. Such enterprise could provide a large number of well remunerated high technology jobs to our citizens for many years to come. Reducing our dependency on fossil fuels could set the example for our nation and the world.
Investigate Recurring Exit Poll Voting AnomaliesWith a privately-run, non-transparent, computer-driven voting landscape now fully deployed, we are incredibly vulnerable to malfeasance yet this reality is glaringly absent from our national dialogue! Election integrity experts are virtually unanimous in questioning the inexplicable results of our last three elections, finding highly troubling inconsistencies that do not reflect exit poll outcomes. Our own State Dept. has set up exit poll programs worldwide to detect corruption in foreign elections yet in spite of legions of red flags we readily discount their value here. It is crucial that we demand answers without which all our courageous efforts are totally futile!
Release Mumia Abu-Jamal Case RecordsA petition filed on behalf of political prisoner and renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, seeking a new appeal in his decades-long case, was heard in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas on April 24, 2017. During the session, Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ordered the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to turn over all records pertaining to Mumia’s legal case. If released, these records will reveal a grave conflict of interest in Mumia’s appeal case, identifying Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille as a biased contributor to the case. Justice Castille, who has in the past denied Mumia’s appeals, also played a significant role in Mumia’s conviction during his trial on charges of killing a police office. Castille was Assistant DA at the time of Abu-Jamal’s trial in 1982. In addition, he was appointed as the Philadelphia District Attorney during Mumia’s direct appeal in 1988. A new nine-minute video gives background on new revelations of conflict of interest regarding Mumia’s appeal case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17Tp5NlllLU What else can you do? A ruling to implement Judge Leon Tucker's recent order to release Mumia’s court documents could be made as soon as May 30, 2017. Please call or e-mail the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office now to pressure them to follow the court’s order to release all the records and files regarding Mumia Abu-Jamal’s legal case. Phone: 215-686-8000 E-mail: DA_Central@phila.gov
BAN THE USE AND SALE OF MICROBEADSDid you know that a single tube of face wash can contain over 330,000 microbeads and well over 1,000 personal cleansing products contain microbeads? Several studies have shown that microbeads absorb pesticides and other toxic chemicals as they go down the drain. Most treatment plants do not have filters that are fine enough to filter and capture these .5mm beads, causing them to slip through and into our waterways. This is causing fish, birds and other animals to mistaken these beads for, which leads to them ingestion these plastics – bringing these microbeads to our plates. This is an extremely dangerous matter that is allegedly good for the skin, but is an extremely alarming issue that is and will continue to impact our oceans and environment. We do not have the technology, manpower or equipment to easily remove these .5mm beads from our oceans and as of right now, the problem is just continuing to grow. The State of California and New York recently passed legislation prohibiting the production, manufacture, distribution and sale of products containing plastic beads fewer than 5 millimeters in size. The Wisconsin Legislature and several members of Congress have also introduced similar bills this year. I need your help in making sure we keep our water ways clean and healthy!