Party with a Purpose
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An insult at the Presidential Debate has turned into a movement of Nasty Women. Proudly Nasty. Since that moment, and the loss of the election, woman around the world are declaring Time’s Up. For many women, that means time’s up for an entrenched male patriarchy that keeps women oppressed.
Now is the time for women to be strong, to be loud, to tell the truth and to come out of the shadows of shame and fear. It’s time for women to claim their power, to stand up to the men who assaulted them, who have denied them the right to fair pay to support their children, to the careers they dreamed of, to access to the boardrooms.
This is not a movement against men. Women have sons, boyfriends, fathers, husbands who are decent and loving. This is a movement against an entrenched power structure that serves itself above all. It is a movement against men who oppress women – and often other men as well.
It’s time for a reckoning. The Women’s March showed the world women’s determination in the biggest demonstrations in history. As # #Timesup, #MeToo, #5050by2020 unleash women’s anger, pain and ambition, it’s time to get more women in government. Across the country more women than ever are rising to the call. Want to see a difference in Washington? Let’s get to 50/50 in 2020, just like Hollywood. Emily’s List has been at this since 1985 helping to elect many women to office. Now’s the time for a sweep of women in government to declare Time’s Up in the corridors of power. It’s our turn.
On Jan. 1, marijuana use became legal in California. A few days later, the Attorney General of the United States announced he authorizing federal prosecutors to go after pot smokers and growers. His claim? “Nice people don’t smoke marijuana.” Truth is marijuana is still illegal under federal law. It’s considered a Class 1 drug ( the most dangerous classification). You might wonder why a drug that is proven to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, is still considered dangerous.
As they say, “follow the money.” There are several groups that have consistently spent the most lobbying against legalizing marijuana. The biggest spender is “Big Pharma, “especially opioid manufacturers. Opioids can extremely effective for end of life patients. But for people with short term pain, marijuana – a plant that is easy to grow – can be more effective and non- addictive – and a threat to a company in the midst of a scandalous opioid epidemic.
The next big spender is the private prison industry. For them, marijuana has provided a steady supply of people – mostly young African American men – to fill prison cells across America. Contrary to what you might hear, violent crime has fallen consistently over the past 20 years. With the legalization of marijuana, prisons and the unions want to stem the loss of their income.
On this issue, winning back Congress could finally legalize pot across the country. Even many on the right support this as it’s been an economic bonanza for states like Colorado. For more on these issues, Norml has been at the forefront of legalization for years. Californians for Safety and Justice are working to transfer funding for prisons to education.
From DACA to the muslim ban, from ICE raids to a Wall of Waste, broken immigration policies result in the destruction of families, businesses and communities. Immigrants are under attack. It’s the classic divide and conquer – turn us against each other so we don’t notice the latest in the Shock Doctrine.
Immigration is the cornerstone of this country. Our collective future depends on immigration. Always has. We need the talents and hard work of new people who struggle to get here, believing in the American Dream often more than citizens.
While we are a nation of laws, cruelty should never be the policy of the United States. Elected officials should protect and support those who risk their lives seeking asylum in America. We need comprehensive immigration reform to protect all Americans who contribute to the tapestry of our nation. Many of them are undocumented but they feed us, they care for us, they contribute to the economy. They are our friends, neighbors and family. The ACLU has consistently fought for the rights of immigrants and undocumented Americans. We encourage you to learn more about their work here.
There was a time when news came from trusted sources. Or at least we believed that. Now news comes from everywhere and we are learning that much of it is really fake – from bots to hackers to news channels that think outright lies are “fair and balanced.” That said, we still have access to a wide variety of respected news sources because the internet has been neutral. A small independent organization has the same access as the big media outlets like Fox and NBC. This is fundamental to protect the First Amendment – the right to free speech,
This administration is working to do away with net neutrality and allow big money to control your access. We must fight this. Congress can vote to overturn the decision by the 5 member panel at the FCC, but this current Congress will not allow even a vote on the issue. Go to the polls and protect your right to play any video, listen to you favorite hip hop artist, or find your trusted source of facts. Fight for the Future has been fighting since 2011. If you hear something and want to know if it’s real, Snopes is a good place to find out if it’s fact or fiction. And if you want some some help finding news told by people who value real facts, National Public Radio does a good job of looking for the truth.
If you are not happy with any candidate, then vote for this. Presidents come and go. Justices are there for a lifetime. A president that controls the Senate can affect your life in the most profound ways. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President, approved by Senate. The decisions upheld or overturned by sitting justices have long lasting policy that impact generations to come.
Right now, we are facing the possibility that 2 or more Justices might be replaced by the current administration. These are Justices who have opposed or moderated the views of more extreme members of SCOTUS. We must win back the Senate to block this – just as President Obama’s nomination was blocked his last year. This may not be the be the art of compromise we hope for in a functioning democracy, but extreme views invite an extreme response until we become a civil society again.
Campaign Finance Reform is the Issue that affects all issues. There’s always been money in politics but at present, thanks to Citizens UNited, little transparency exists on who is funding who. Money in politics makes our systems corrupt. Lack of transparency leads folks to believe government is working for wealthy and not for us.
The money that legally enters politics is there for one reason – to influence you to vote the way that the moneyed interest want you to vote. Or it’s there to suppress your vote by giving you a barrage of fake news.
But we have the power that money can’t buy. If we vote, in overwhelming numbers, all that money won’t matter. And our elected officials will have to listen to us – the Lobby of the People. What we lack in money, we have in social currency if we show up at polls together. BTW, did you know local elections are controlled by the Secretary of State? An elected official. Even the candidates you may not know about or think often impact your life.
Find your Secretary of State office here and learn more about elections where you live.
America owes it to women – our mothers, sisters, and besties – to solve their most pressing problems. To do it, we need to elect leaders who believe in women’s equality at work and at home. Time’s up for politicians to ignore Women’s bodies that are still under attack from abortion to sexual harassment to employment access to jobs and equal pay. Congress must do more to end the culture of silence around harassment. It’s beyond time to end sexual assault and domestic violence against women. We’ve got to demand elected officials stand up for organizations like Planned Parenthood while supporting organizations making it possible for women running in the midterms to win their races.
America is the only industrialized nation in world without healthcare for all. Why are citizens subsidizing big pharma? Because we’re not voting people into office willing to take on the industry. But we can. Healthcare is a human right. The cost of healthcare shouldn’t bankrupt families, forcing them out of their homes and on to the streets. Even though The Affordable Care Act was not a perfect plan, it added 20 million people in accessing insurance. We can fix it, if can stop it’s demise.
We also have a model for successful administered healthcare via Medicaid and the Veterans Affairs. VWe can do this! If we can give some Americans a trillion dollar tax cut we can also determine how to give everyone in this country affordable and accessible healthcare. Visit Healthcare-now.org to learn more about how we can revolutionize healthcare in America.
Voodoo economics are enacted when Congress reduces taxes for the rich by cutting safety nets for low income members of our communities. When most Americans already face economic uncertainties due to lack of access capital, Congress is actively cutting programs for the elderly and the poor to pay for Tax Cuts that benefit the wealthiest Americans most.
While some of these policies are cruel beyond measure, one thing we can measure is both the cruelty and economic stupidity of student debt. We have to do something about student debt and the insane amount of money it costs to go to college. When several generations of young people lose all buying power to start families, buy homes., buy new cars, it’s clear that’s bad for economic growth. Voodoo economics doesn’t really help anyone – anyone except people who really don’t need any more money.
By banding together we can make tuition free at state colleges across the country. Families and students shouldn’t have to go into debt to get quality educations. Raising inheritance taxes on a small number of the wealthiest people in California could pay for every student in the state to attend a state school. Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a free college plan worth checking out here. You can also learn what California is doing to bring back free tuition at College for ALL or California Rise.
How does a gun enter a house of God? A legal loophole allowed the Charleston shooter to obtain the weapon he used to kill nine individuals at Mother Emanuel while they attended Bible Study. Federal law prohibits people with pending felony charges from obtaining firearms. But South Carolina law requires no background checks for private gun sales, or between two individuals.
Even worse, the debate is often wrapped in false equivalencies about people who use mental health services or have experienced a psychiatric disorder.
What America needs now are a range of solutions around access to firearms. We need to support solutions for those in search of mental health care. We need legislators willing to stand up to the gun lobby. As seen recently in Parkland, and in Sandy Hook, we believe we must ban assault weapons. We need after school programs that offer young people memberships in “gangs for good.’ Sports, art and music programs are proven to lower gun violence. Coding boot camps and other activities where youth develop self esteem and skills lead to jobs, instead of crime. That’s why we endorse Community Justice Reform Coalition and Everytown for Gun Violence as they agitate for effective, human centered solutions in the gun debate.
Climate change is quite possibly the single greatest issue facing us all. Nature doesn’t discriminate based on political party. The dangers of denying the science are becoming more apparent every day. Where once the federal government was subsidizing solar energy, it’s back to subsidizing Big Oil. It’s removing regulations and allowing a series of plastic plants to add toxins to the Gulf of Mexico – one of the main sources of seafood.
Dire as it may sound, it’s not too late if we Band Together to subsidize renewable energy instead of the oil industry and fossils fuels. We can get serious about banning plastics and moving to plant based packaging. If you ever wondered if votes matter, the man now running the EPA says he wants to destroy it. That alone should get us to the ballot box.
Our votes DO matter. Let’s use them to enact the types of government regulation and policies able to protect the planet an stimulate a booming clean energy economy.
China and Germany are moving full speed ahead. . 350.org and the NRDC have been leading the fight to reverse the effects of the our carbon burning culture and create a sustainable future for all. Learn how you can get involved on their site.
Last fall, a sitting U.S. president endorsed hatred following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, citing there were, “nice people on both sides.” One of those “nice people” drove their car into a group of protesters, killing Heather Heyer. In recent years there’s been a marked increase in white supremacists’ expressions of hate that defy what we believe America should stand for.
White supremacists have historically promoted racist and anti-Semetic views. But their hatred extends the LGBTQ, Muslim and other communities as well. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been working on this issue for decades. The Human Rights Campaign has been advocating and informing the LGBTQ community as well. Visit these sites to learn how to battle racial and social injustices where you live.