January 16th, 2017 | News

PEACE FRESNO POST-INAUGURAL STREET DEMONSTRATION

DATE: 1.21.2017 January 21 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
TIME: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
COST: $Free
ORGANIZER: Dan Yaseen
VENUE: River Park
ADDRESS: corner of Blackstone and Nees
CITY: Fresno, CA

“Organize for a Better Future”
A Post-Inaugural Street Demonstration
Organized by Peace Fresno
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 2:00 to 4:00
All four corners of Blackstone and Nees (River Park)
On Day 2 of the Trump presidency, individuals and groups are invited to take a public stand expressing their hopes, concerns, and visions for a better future. Bring signs and banners with your message.

Contact Dan Yaseen for more info.

January 20th, 2017 | News

President Trump

It’s official: Donald Trump has been sworn in as president of the United States.

While Republicans in D.C. have already begun working to advance the interests of billionaires at the expense of the American people, California Democrats are mobilizing to protect working people and the middle class, ensure that DREAMers stay on the path to success, and expand health care access for all.

We have never needed you more. As Trump assumes the presidency, will you sign up to volunteer with your County Committee and help us lead the way?

County Committees form the backbone of our party. They do the frontline work of registering and educating voters, protecting our right to vote, and working to elect candidates who will stand up for our values.

Under Trump’s presidency, our work to strengthen our democracy, to fight for our values, and to build power in our communities is more crucial than ever before.

Here in California, we have a strong foundation to build on: In our state, every statewide office holder is a Democrat, and Trump lost here by more than 4 million votes.

We’re counting on you to be a part of our work to ensure that California continues to lead the way.

As Senator Kamala Harris said on Election Night:

“Do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are.”

It’s time to roll up our sleeves, Michael. Will you sign up to volunteer with your County Committee today?

Thank you for being a California Democrat.

Now let’s get to work,

Shawnda Westly
Senior Strategist
California Democratic Party

VOLUNTEER »

January 20th, 2017 | News

The hard truth of this moment

This was not the presidential inauguration I wanted today, but the hard truth of this moment is that there is no going back.

Like you, I am worried about the future of our country. I am heartbroken for millions of people in our immigrant communities who are terrified they will be deported or worse. I am scared for communities of color who are being targeted by this new President and his allies. I am angry that the Republicans plan to rip health insurance away from millions of Americans.

We know that the cause of justice and equality is more urgent than ever — because the progress we have made so far is now on the line. Because people’s lives are on the line.

I only have one piece of advice: RISE UP.

Do not despair. Do not become overwhelmed. We cannot throw up our hands at a time that requires all of us to roll up our sleeves.

Republicans may have taken the House, the Senate, and even the White House, but they cannot take away our power. This movement, all of us working together to make change, will be the difference in the challenging fights that lay ahead.

You have a powerful voice. Use it. Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to solve the problems facing your community — dig deep and get involved. For some, that might mean a run for office. For others, it will mean working locally in their communities to bolster local and state efforts to create social safety nets as our federal programs come under attack.

Make calls, write letters, and join protests as we resist Trump’s radical agenda. Apathy is how they win. Don’t let them win.

We cannot fall into the trap, as Martin Luther King, Jr., would say, of the “appalling silence of the good people.” There is too much injustice before us to stay silent.

History is looking to all of us to get into what my colleague John Lewis calls “good trouble.” That’s why I intend to fight for the voiceless and vulnerable in California and across the country. But I cannot do that alone.

As we face what I believe is an inflection point in the history of this country — one that is similar to the Civil Rights Movement — we must all look in the mirror with furrowed brow and ask ourselves: Who are we?

I believe the answer is a good one. We are a great country. Imperfect, but great because of our values, ideals, and diversity. One election cannot erase that.

The gains the opposition makes in the coming weeks and months, while painful, are not permanent. As Coretta Scott King taught us, the fight for civil rights — the struggle for justice and equality — must be fought and won with each generation.

It’s time for our generation to rise up and take control of our destiny. Choose hope, not hate. Choose action, not apathy. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to fight.

Thanks for everything,

Kamala

CONTRIBUTE

January 19th, 2017 | Events, News

January 18th, 2017 | News

Thank President Obama

Throughout his presidency, President Obama has worked every day to make our state and our nation both stronger and better.

Thanks to his leadership, together we have:

  • Rebuilt our economy
  • Passed the Affordable Care Act
  • Addressed the reality of climate change
  • Created millions of jobs
  • Fought for equality

 

And so much more. With his final term coming to a close, we want to thank him for all he’s done for California and the nation.

Will you add your name to our card thanking President Obama for his service to our country? And, if you’d like, add a personal note.

What President Obama and California Democrats have accomplished over the past eight years in the face of unprecedented Republican obstruction is truly incredible. And it’s all at risk.

Republicans’ first priority is to repeal the Affordable Care Act — which expanded health coverage to more than 20 million Americans, brought California’s uninsured rate from 17% before it passed to a historic low of 7% today, and made health insurance cover more and cost less for Americans with employer-provided plans. The Affordable Care Act required free preventive care, extended health coverage to dependents up to age 26, capped out of pocket costs, and eliminated coverage gaps for people with pre-existing conditions.

As we prepare for the unique threats of a Trump administration and GOP-controlled Congress, President Obama’s progressive legacy should serve as inspiration to each of us to fight even harder for a better California and a better nation.

Add your name to our card thanking President Obama for all he’s done for our country.

Thanks,

The CADEM Team

SIGN THE CARD »

January 17th, 2017 | News

Local Response to Donald Trump Inauguration Events

Here are links to a few of the protests and events taking place in Fresno over the next couple of days in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump:

Friday, January 20 (7 – 9 a.m.) Banner Drop from freeway overpasses:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/16/18795393.php

Friday, January 20 (8 – 10 a.m.) Vigil for Peace and Justice:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/16/18795389.php

Friday, January 20 (6 – 9 p.m.) Not My President:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/16/18795391.php

Saturday, January 21 2 p.m) Fresno’s Women’s March:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/17/18795402.php

Saturday, January 21 (2 – 4 p.m.) Organize for a Better Future:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/16/18795390.php

Sunday, January 29 (12:30 p.m.) Moving Forward Together
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/16/18795392.php

***

January 17th, 2017 | News

Rep. Jim Costa: ACA Survey – Please Share Your Thoughts

jim-costa

Dear Friend:

As you may know, there are efforts in Congress to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which became law in 2010. President Barack Obama and Congress enacted the ACA in hopes of reining in skyrocketing health care costs and providing important new protections for doctors and patients. Since the enactment of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans have gained health coverage who didn’t have it before.

Additionally, as a result of the ACA, the days of denied coverage due to preexisting conditions are over. Because of health care reform, young adults under the age of 26 are now covered under their parent’s health insurance, and thousands of seniors in California’s 16th Congressional district are now eligible for Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles. Thousands of children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers, and hundreds of small businesses have taken advantage of tax credits to help maintain or expand coverage for their employees.

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created many improvements for families throughout the San Joaquin Valley, the law is certainly not perfect. Further improvements to the law and our health care system can and should be made. Since passage of the new health care law, I have voted several times to revise certain provisions to improve the law and the U.S. health care system. The Valley has unique challenges that face our small businesses, farmers, and agriculture workers, and I will continue to support commonsense reforms that reflect their needs.

As Congress continues to move forward with repealing the ACA, I would like to know your thoughts on the issue by taking the survey below. Your answers will help me to better represent the views of San Joaquin Valley residents.

Do you support efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

[ ] No – The ACA has helped me and/or my family gain health coverage.
[ ] No – I support the ACA but some parts of the law could be fixed.
[ ] Yes – There is nothing good in the law. The ACA has NOT been helpful to me and/or my family.
[ ] Yes – While I do like some parts of the ACA, the law should be repealed and a better health care law should be enacted.
[ ] Other

Click Here to take ACA Survey 

Note: By participating in the survey, you are opting in to my e-newsletter.

Thank you for answering the survey question.

To get up-to-date information on the work I am doing on behalf of our Valley, please visit my website at www.costa.house.gov and and sign up for my e-newsletter.

Sincerely,

Jim Costa
Member of Congress

Fresno Office
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Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: 559-495-1620
Fax: 559-495-1027

Merced Office
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Merced, CA 95340
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Washington, DC Office
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Phone: 202-225-3341
Fax: 202-225-9308
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January 16th, 2017 | News

Stand with Planned Parenthood

cadem

Republicans in Congress just said their top priority for 2017 is repealing Obamacare and stripping federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

Republicans are closer than ever to using government power to take away women’s health care. We need to stand with Planned Parenthood now more than ever.

Will you sign our petition in support of Planned Parenthood? And then, commit to join California Democrats and Planned Parenthood in Sacramento on January 17 for Capitol Pink Out Day!

Republicans and their allies on the hard right have been obsessed with defunding Planned Parenthood for years. President Obama vetoed a defunding bill last year, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence introduced a bill when he was in Congress in 2011.

The fact is that every dollar of federal funding goes to Planned Parenthood’s primary services like cervical cancer screenings, treating sexually transmitted infections, sexual health programs, and breast exams. If they are successful, Republicans will target poor women and families who depend on Planned Parenthood for basic health care.

As the LA Times said, “defunding Planned Parenthood hurts the healthcare system” and the 2.5 million people it serves every year with basic health care.1

California Democrats are standing with Planned Parenthood and with women’s health care, and we need you to stand with us.

Click here to sign your name in support of Planned Parenthood — and learn more about Capitol Pink Out Day in Sacramento on January 17.

Thank you for being a California Democrat.

Sincerely,

Shawnda Westly
Senior Strategist
California Democratic Party

SIGN ON »

1Defunding Planned Parenthood hurts the healthcare system, Ja‌nuary 7, 2017

January 14th, 2017 | Events, News

Rally for ACA, Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security-1/15 12:30 – 2:30 pm Fresno 93720

170115 Save our Health Care & Safety Net - Ver 1

From: L. Traynor [mailto:traynor27@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 9:39 PM

Subject: Rally for ACA, Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security-1/15 12:30 – 2:30 pm Fresno 93720
Practically every American, certainly the bottom 98% of us benefits from Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security and/or Medicaid.
Both the Senate and the House have voted to repeal Obamacare which also affects the viability and benefits we receive thru Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other medical delivery organizations that serve the working class and the poor, because all these programs are tied together. Be aware that regardless as to what Trump campaigned on, the Republicans intend to eliminate ALL OF THEM.

There will be rallies all over the nation this Sunday. Fresnans must stand up in solidarity. Folks in the Central Valley depend on these programs and will be hurt if these programs are gutted and repealed.

I’m organizing a RALLY IN SUPPORT OF THE ACA, MEDICARE. MEDICAID, & SOCIAL SECURITY for this SUnday Jan 15 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm in the SE corner of Blackstone and Nees Fresno 93720 in solidarity with each other and with similar events happening all over the nation this Sunday.

This is a peaceful non-violent rally and everyone is expected to conduct themselves according to the highest civic standards of respect and civility.

I’m attaching a flyer I created on the fly. I will send out an invitation thru the facebook event page. For those who know us, Phil and I will be there. I hope you will show solidarity AND ATTEND. It’s important for me to know who is coming. I will also inform the local media about this event. Large numbers of people will send a clear message to our elected members of Congress.

Organizations who stand in support are encouraged to participate and bring their organizations’ banners.

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THIS EMAIL WIDELY AND RSVP TO MY EMAIL AS WELL AS THE FACEBOOK INVITATION!

The Flyer I created is attached. Feel free to print it and distribute it widely. A Facebook invitation will be sent out to all my friends. Please invite others.
I hope to see you there.

PLEASE RSVP.
Thanks!
Linda Traynor

 

January 14th, 2017 | News

LA Times: Cursing like a sailor, John Burton helped steer California into deep blue waters

Cursing like a sailor, John Burton helped steer California into deep blue waters
Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2017
By Phil Willon | Times Staff Writer

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton stood before hundreds of loyalists at the party’s 2015 convention and introduced Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with a thunderous, trademark F-bomb.

“She is the [expletive] champion of the American people,” he shouted, igniting a roar of applause.

It was an unvarnished glimpse of one of California’s most influential politicians, a man with a well-earned reputation for his gruff style and for swearing “more than a West Coast rapper,” as comedian John Oliver remarked while interviewing him for “The Daily Show.”

It was Burton’s charm and razor-sharp political instincts honed over more than a half-century in politics that convinced Democrats to tap the 84-year-old San Francisco power broker, a former congressman and state Senate president, to lead their state party for going on eight years now.

His reign, which ends in May, has coincided with escalating Democratic dominance in a state that was once led by Ronald Reagan. Under Burton, one of the state’s most devout disciples of liberal activism, Democrats are thriving in California while the party looks to regain its footing elsewhere in the U.S.

“It’s too bad he can’t be chair of the national party,” said former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a longtime Burton ally.

In the November election, California repelled the populist national uprising that swept Donald Trump into the White House and has emerged as something akin to a left-wing rebel base primed to counter Republicans now in control of Washington.

Democrats recaptured a powerful supermajorityin both houses of the California Legislature, preventing Republicans from blocking tax increases or proposed constitutional amendments. They have held every statewide elected office since 2010. Since 2008, the once-red counties of Fresno, Riverside and San Diego have flipped to blue. And with the Democrats’ edge over the GOP in voter registration growing to almost 19%, the party’s stranglehold on the state isn’t expected to loosen any time soon.

The party “is more professional than it’s ever been in the history of the party,” Gov. Jerry Brown, who served briefly as party chairman from 1989-91, told the Times.

A variety of political factors have contributed to the Democrats’ rise to supremacy in California, including a Latino population that has been growing in number as well as political influence. Latinos have overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, in no small part because of the wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric by GOP politicians, from former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson to President-elect Trump.

Brown and Burton said the state party has been able to capitalize on those trends, especially in recent years, by fundraising, organizing grassroots activists and shepherding party loyalists to the polls.

Alex Rooker, a vice chairman of the state party, praised Burton as one of the state’s “last liberal lions” devoted to protecting children, the homeless and other vulnerable Californians, but said it’s time for new leadership. While the party has devoted more resources to the county parties and grassroots activists under Burton, a number of local party leaders believe more can be done, Rooker said.

While the percentage of Californians registered as Republicans has been on a steady decline, the percentage of registered Democrats has been stagnant for more than 15 years — at roughly 45%. Meanwhile, more and more voters are registering as “no party preference,” and they now account for a quarter of all registered voters in the state.

Shawnda Westly, senior strategist for the California Democratic Party, said that when Burton took the helm in 2009, he worked quickly to dispel concerns by some grassroots activists that he would be “another elected official trying to tie our hands.” He began providing county chapters with the state party’s voter database and handed out door-hangers, political mailers and other essentials and funds to register voters.

Westly said one of Burton’s most significant victories was his push for Proposition 25 in 2010, the measure California voters approved allowing lawmakers to pass the state budget with a majority rather than a two-thirds vote — eviscerating one of the GOP’s most potent political bargaining tools in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Angie Tate, the chief fundraiser for Brown and the state party, said that under Burton, the party’s staff was slashed from 34 to 17 people. The party purchased and refurbished a Sacramento building for its new headquarters, freeing it from expensive office leases in the capital and Los Angeles. Those cost-saving moves, along with Burton’s prodigious fundraising ability, helped provide money the party needed to help Jerry Brown in the 2010 governor’s race against former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, along with hotly contested down-ballot races, she said.

“Meg Whitman was driving through California throwing $150 million out the window,” Tate said. “We were able to spend the money we had to when it mattered.”

Until Burton rose to become the leader of state Senate in 1999, his political career had largely existed in the shadow of his late older brother, Rep. Phil Burton, a San Francisco liberal with bullish demeanor. His brother, who lost a 1976 bid for House majority leader by a single vote, helped carve out Burton’s successful path to the Assembly and later to Congress.

But the younger Burton’s five terms in Congress ended abruptly when, consumed by an addiction to cocaine and booze, he quit in 1982 and checked himself into rehab. He said he never looked back once he got well.

His political revival began six years later when, after a lucrative stint as an attorney in private practice, he was once again elected to the California Legislature.

Along with his shaggy gray hair and fondness for guayabera shirts, Burton was — and still is — known for his no-nonsense style and ample repertoire of vulgarities.

While those closest to him find those traits endearing and nonthreatening, not everyone feels the same. Rooker recalls Burton berating her with profanities after she unsuccessfully challenged him for party chair in 2009.

“I don’t think many of those things are acceptable any more,” Rooker said.

In 2008, the former executive director of the John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes sued Burton for allegedly sexually harassing her. Burton denied the allegation and the matter was settled out of court.

State Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma, who broke into politics two decades ago as one of Burton’s Senate aides, said she doesn’t know of any politician who has given more opportunities to women. Recently retired U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer worked as one of Burton’s legislative aides before she headed to Washington, and he brought in two women as the state party’s top advisers, Ma said.

“The more John screams and cusses at you the more he loves you because he feels comfortable with you. That’s just how he is,” Ma said.

Burton’s departure will continue the slow but inevitable transformation of a state party leadership where a generation of younger Democrats have been blocked from ascending to California’s highest offices. Until this month, California’s two U.S. senators — Dianne Feinstein, 83, and Boxer, 76 — had served in Washington for more than two decades. Jerry Brown, 78, is serving a historic fourth term as California governor.

That barrier began to melt away in Novemberwhen former state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, 52, was elected to replace Boxer. Term limits will force Brown from the governor’s office in 2018, and with Feinstein up for reelection that same year, speculation abounds about whether she will retire.

Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman appears to be the front-runner to replace Burton. Bauman faces a challenge by Kimberly Ellis of San Francisco, executive director of an organization dedicated to increasing the number of Democratic women in elected office. Party delegates will elect a new chair at the annual convention in Sacramento in May.

Burton said his successor should come in with the same attitude he had when he took over for longtime party chairman Art Torres. To make his point, Burton, an avid baseball fan, used a tale about former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda taking over as manager from Walter “Smokey” Alston in 1977.

During a conversation with Burton 20 years ago, Lasorda recalled being asked if he felt any pressure taking over for a Hall of Fame manager.

“I worry about the … who’s following me,” Lasorda, also known for spraying curse words on occasion, told Burton. “That’s where the pressure is going to be.”

 

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