December 8th, 2016 | Opinion

Opinion

calmatters

Good morning.

The new California Legislature was sworn in this week and Democrats were busy trying to build a “blue wall” against the expected policies of President-elect Donald Trump. The details, from CALmatters news analyst Laurel Rosenhall and immigration reporter Elizabeth Aguilera.

—Thanks from all of us at CALmatters.


 

cm-1  Urgent appeal: CA Democrats to invoke new-anti-Trump weapon

Democrats who dominate the new California Legislature vow to unleash one of the superpowers of holding a supermajority: the ability to enact laws immediately by passing urgency bills. They predict they will be able to act fast—counter-punching in real time—if Republican President-elect Donald Trump signs federal laws or adopts policies they perceive as hostile to California.

BY Laurel Rosenhall

cm3

 

If feds try to ID deportable immigrants using Cal data, state will block access

 

 

 

In a state where Democrats hold the governor’s office and supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, lawmakers say their answer will be a vociferous “no” if the federal government tries to peruse California’s DMV records and other state databases to identify undocumented immigrants. That would likely kick off what could be a protracted fed-versus-state legal battle—one in which both sides predict their argument would prevail.

BY Elizabeth Aguilera


CALmatters is a nonprofit journalism venture focused on engaging Californians in how their state government works and why it matters through original, multi-platform reporting and analysis. To learn more, visit calmatters.org, and connect with CALmatters on Facebook and Twitter.

December 8th, 2016 | Opinion

Opinion: Putting Your Money Where It Matters

While one can hope that the policies and actions of the Trump administration will not cause grave harm to our country and the world, his continuing tweets and appointments do not support such hope. Indeed, the next four years look to be an unmitigated disaster. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, those who believe in civil liberties, climate change, diversity, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, and basic fairness need to support experienced organizations that are set to effectively fight for these issues in the courts, Congress, and state capitols and can mobilize people into action via social media and the like. There are literally hundreds of these organizations each at the national, state, and local level.
I have put together my own list of 12 organizations at the national or regional level that warrant your consideration to support with monetary donations. Most are engaged in political action and donations to their listed websites are not tax-deductible donations. However, if this is an important consideration, they typically have an associated Foundation, which will still benefit from your donation. Each website provides information about the organization and a link for online donating.
If you can donate at a higher amount by doing so in monthly installments, this is preferred as it provides a more stable funding base. Note: donating to any of these groups does not mean you should not donate to others. This list came about as I have received literally hundreds of requests for financial support, and I wanted to come up with what I thought would be most effective for the money donated. The list could easily have been 25 or more organizations, but I concluded that would be too long.
I hope you find this information of use. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Thank you.
Howard

Howard K. Watkins
1785 W. Dovewood Lane
Fresno, CA 93711
Cell 559-355-7040

TWELVE NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS TO CONSIDER

FOR DONATIONS IN RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT-ELECT

DONALD TRUMP’S POLICIES & APPOINTMENTS

  1. American Civil Liberties Union aclu.org
  2. Campaign for Southern Equality southernequality.org
  3. Democratic Party  democrats.org
  4. MoveOn.org  www.moveon.org
  5. Muslim Advocates muslimadvocates.org
  6. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People naacp.org
  7. National Hispanic Leadership Agenda nationalhispanicleadership.org
  8. Our Revolution www.ourrevolution.org
  9. People for the American Way org
  10. Planned Parenthood Action Fund ppaction.org
  11. Sierra Club sierraclub.org/
  12. Southern Poverty Law Center splcenter.org

 

October 24th, 2016 | Opinion

No on Measure X, by Carol Mills

[Note: the FCDCC has not taken a position on ballot Measure X]
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2016 9:42 AM
From: Mills, Carol <carolmillsfusd@comcast.net>
Subject: NO on Measure X

Dear Friends,

If you have received this email before, please excuse the duplication. This is an important issue.

I am OPPOSED to Measure X, a position that I do not take lightly, as I have always in the past supported school bonds.

I do believe that 2018 would be a better time to seek a school bond, when the FBI investigation and lease-leaseback litigation will hopefully be resolved. In addition, this bond has been rushed through, with only a two week window for community input that was shortly after school started, and very little outreach to the community to solicit input. Then, when FUSD did receive some input from the Fresno High region and others, it was ignored. I think if FUSD were to do a larger, well planned bond with lots of community input, it could pass in 2018.

As to Fresno High, the district has decided to take out basketball courts, some tennis courts, and some of our precious little field/open space to put in a small second gym, which parents, staff and I have stated we don’t have room for at this time. We do have a list of other facility needs we would like addressed, but FUSD is not responsive. The FH staff have told FUSD this proposal adversely impacts P.E. and athletics, but district staff persist in moving forward on this idea. It confounds me.

Others in the Fresno High region remember vividly the promise made by FUSD in 2010 that the long-term site master plan for Fresno High provide for removal of north and south academic halls and replacing them with multi-story buildings with a smaller footprint that will open up the space needed for a second gym and provide more open space. The district has unilaterally decided to go back on this promise and intends to leave these buildings that were deemed “educationally unsuitable” by an outside firm in 2010. FH lacks open space and is at about 50% of the state recommended ratio; we need multi-story buildings for open space requirements. We also deserve to have educationally suitable buildings, as were provided to Hoover and Bullard when outdated permanent buildings were placed with modern educational facilities.

It also is troubling that FUSD has been paying staff salaries from bond money – over $4 million of Measure Q went to salaries to date. This isn’t disclosed in the reports to the bond oversight committee; FUSD includes it in “projects costs.” This means salaries are being financed over 30 years and FUSD plans to continue this in X. So the real cost is doubled, at least.

I do know from the size of the bond, most schools will receive nothing and this will likely upset people. The project list released by the district on October 14 shows a lot of deferred maintenance items; indicates the schools “may” receive money for projects from X; and makes some projects contingent on a state bond passing (polls show it is failing). Plus, when I asked for the estimated cost of a second gym, the response from staff was that FUSD “didn’t know” and it “would depend.” If FUSD hasn’t done a cost projection for projects, how can we know what can be done? Will staff even follow the list, because the specific list wasn’t Board approved and isn’t binding?

Will they use local contractors? There is no commitment to do so. Both the Chamber and Building Trades refused to support X, despite being asked to do so, and have remained neutral.

Will X be subject to legal attack if it passes? Charter schools are legally entitled to be provided with “reasonably equivalent” facilities by the district in which they operate. Charters asked to be included in the bond and were denied by district administration, creating legal issues around allocation and spending of bond money. The Charter School Association is opposing the bond, as is the Lincoln Club.

I am asking voters to vote No on X and allow FUSD to do it right in 2018, with community input and transparency.

Sincerely,

April 29th, 2016 | Opinion

CADEM Vice Chair Eric Bauman calls for a wall… against Trump

From Eric Bauman, Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party:

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
April 29, 2016

Contact: Dave Jacobson, (818) 943-2348
Shallman Communications

CA DEM PARTY LEADER MAKES URGENT PLEA TO GOV. BROWN, ASKS TO BUILD WALL TO PROTECT CA FROM DONALD TRUMP

California Democratic Party Vice Chair & Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman Releases Urgent Statement Hours Before Trump Takes Stage at GOP Convention

LOS ANGELES, CA– Today, California Democratic Party Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman issued the following statement urging Governor Jerry Brown to build a wall to protect Californians from Republican billionaire and GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump:

“Today I am personally issuing an urgent call to action to Governor Jerry Brown. A dark and evil force is descending upon our state, forcing California to face irreversible harm and danger in just a few short hours when the racist, shameless and megalomaniacal Republican Donald Trump takes the stage at the California GOP convention.

“That’s why I’m calling on the Governor to build a ‘great wall’ to keep this divisive character out of California! Such a wall could prevent our Golden State from being permanently tainted by Trump’s inexcusable and hateful rhetoric, his discriminatory policies, and his divisive politics. Most importantly, this wall will create thousands of good paying jobs and economic opportunities for our hard working union members and kick start widespread economic growth. Plus, this project won’t cost us a dime: we’ll take a page out of Trump’s book and have him cover the construction costs! Please, Governor Brown, now is the time to take a stand and build a massive wall to keep Trump OUT!”

Eric C. Bauman is the Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party and Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the largest local Democratic Party in the nation with a campaign budget of nearly $2 million per year.

For more information please visit www.ericbauman.com

March 2nd, 2016 | News, Opinion

CNN publishes Presidential ‘Candidate Matchmaker’

Still undecided about your choice for President? Seeking new insights or validation of your views? Check out the “CNN Candidate Matchmaker,” a quick app that helps you to choose your candidate based on your views about some of today’s issues.

(Yes, we know the Matchmaker includes Republicans. But perhaps that’s so you can solidify your own views as a Democrat.)

Click on the following link to check it out: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2016/politics/election-candidate-matchmaker/

January 13th, 2016 | Opinion

Opinion: NYT review of ‘Dark Money’ captures far-right agenda

By Halima Aquino

The following New York Times review, entitled “Dark Money” is the single most interesting and disturbing article I’ve read about the far right agenda, as defined by the Koch brothers’ expensive, tax-free investments in politics, journalism, lobbying, organizing, and false advertising. For this book, intricate financial and tax data was apparently expertly researched and analyzed to show how Koch non-profits support Koch industries’ bottom line. The research also shows how the Koch’s original fortune dates back to the Stalinist regime through their father.

Today, the Kochs are using billions of tax-free dollars to systematically and subversively undermine and destroy decades of progress and investment in major American Institutions created for the benefit of average American citizens by the Roosevelt, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford and Carter administrations. According to the review, this book states that there is very little popular public support for well-funded Koch goals. Democracy itself is therefore at stake with their intricate manipulation of the system under Citizens United- among other things.

The most ominous message in this review is how Koch public relations campaigns recruit followers with mind-bending, Stalinist type propaganda techniques that are far more threatening than any potential Communist threats ever posed to American freedom in the 1950s. How does any regime, in the not so free world, control the public’s beliefs? They silence intellectual thought and spread propaganda. They buy out competitive, research-oriented newspapers and TV stations. The Koch’s are on track in these areas.

In fact, the Koch’s are disingenuously denying the usefulness of science, journalistic freedom and humanitarian programs- not because they believe what they’re saying- but because they earn more profits if they can make people believe their lies in the media.

The Koch Industry goals include single-handedly destroying American institutions like Social Security, the National Science Foundation, NOAA, and the EPA. They want people to believe that “American freedom” is being compromised by these institutions – when , in fact, it’s Koch profits in the oil business that are really at stake.

Why do they do what they do? How many of us knew that the Koch’s are the No. 1 polluter in our country? They fight the EPA so they can deny that their pollution exists and does not need to be rectified. The Koch’s want to undermine investments in clean alternative energy and technology so they can have those government benefits.The Koch’s fight financial regulations, not because Americans don’t like banking protections – but because their profits grow better when they are unhindered by consumer protections….

Read on- so we can better understand the lies and corruption that compromise real American freedom and Democracy. We can defeat them. Their money can’t buy everyone who understands what they’re doing for themselves- not the American people.

NYT Review: “Dark Money”

 

November 3rd, 2015 | News, Opinion, Podcast, Volunteer Opportunities

Democratic Coffee, Episode 12: Doug and Estella Kessler, and Democratic Precinct Captains

In Episode 12 of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee’s ‘Democratic Coffee’ podcast, local Democratic “power couple” Doug and Estella Kessler talk about their histories as active Democrats, and tell listeners about the Fresno County Democratic Party’s “Precinct Captain” program, an effective and fun way to lead local Democrats in their own neighborhoods.

Download the episode here, or listen now by clicking the Play button below. You can now subscribe to our Democratic Coffee podcast through iTunes. To subscribe, click here to open your iTunes account, then click the ‘View in iTunes’ and ‘Subscribe’ buttons. New episodes will then be delivered to your iPhone, iPod or iPad with every sync.

Democratic Coffee, our audio podcast, features news and interviews with local Democrats presented as friendly conversations over coffee. New episodes will become available approximately every other week. Please continue to join us for a Democratic Coffee!

October 28th, 2015 | Candidate News, News, Opinion

Classic Bernie Sanders: Outsider on the Inside

From the Fresno for Bernie campaign: An opinion piece by Chip Ashley, Steering Group, Fresno For Bernie:

Chip Ashley, staffing the Fresno County Democrats booth at the 2015 Big Fresno Fair.

Chip Ashley, staffing the Fresno County Democrats booth at the 2015 Big Fresno Fair.

In a political season when many are looking for an outsider, Bernie Sanders brings to the table the best of both insider and outsider.

In one sense, Sanders is an insider. He has served in federal elected offices for 25 years. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 after serving three terms as Mayor of Burlington. In 2006 he was elected Senator in Vermont, where he still serves.

But Sanders is not the typical insider who relies on focus groups and polls to tell him which way the political wind blows at a given moment. He has not given in to the temptation to take contributions from the powerful few who have taken over the economy and now enjoy all of its benefits while ordinary citizens must work harder and harder just to stay even in an economy designed by lobbyists and politicians in the pockets of the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful.

Sanders is an outsider in the sense that he knows he serves each and every member of his constituency, not just those with enough money to buy elections. A popular bumper sticker sums it up: “Bernie Sanders: Not for Sale.”

Tabling for Bernie at the recent Intermountain Nursery Harvest Festival, I talked with a Vermonter named Bob. Bob said simply, “There’s nobody like Bernie.” When I learned Bob was from Vermont, I said, “I guess you know where all the bodies are buried.”

“There aren’t any,” he said.

Bob then went on to explain that Senator Sanders had helped his brother, a veteran having trouble getting help from the VA for his hearing disability. Sanders took the trouble to have Bob’s brother’s records pulled and went to bat for him, finally getting him the help he needed.

Bernie knows who he works for.

This is why Bernie was re-elected twice as Mayor, six times as Congressman, and once as senator.

In a post-moral, post-ethical world, Bernie Sanders is fighting to re-establish ethical and moral imperatives. For Sanders ethics and morals are not about merely personal behavior; they are about community. And Sanders is willing to take unpopular votes when it is right to do so.

As a Congressman in 1996, Sanders was only one of 57 House members to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At the time, rural Vermont favored the bill, but Sanders voted against it simply because it was the right thing to do. But Vermonters respected Sanders’ vote and elected him senator in November of that year.

Sanders understands the moral imperative that government in a real democracy is about serving the whole community and enabling every member of the community to live a rich and meaningful life. For Sanders democracy is about individuals, but it is about a community of individuals and how they live together and help each other.

Bernie Sanders is an insider who thinks outside the box. He’s a classic.

For ongoing Fresno County activities to nominate and elect Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016 follow Fresno For Bernie on Facebook. You can reach Chip Ashley at FresnoForBernie2016@gmail.com.

October 6th, 2015 | Events, News, Opinion, Podcast

Democratic Coffee, Episode 11: Daren Miller talks about our ‘Proud to Be Democrats’ celebration

In the eleventh episode of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee’s ‘Democratic Coffee’ podcast, educator and Chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party’s Events and Voter Education Committee Daren Miller shares his history as a Democrat, and invites all to our ‘Proud to be Democrats’ celebration scheduled Oct. 31.

Download the episode here, or listen now by clicking the Play button below. You can now subscribe to our Democratic Coffee podcast through iTunes. To subscribe, click here to open your iTunes account, then click the ‘View in iTunes’ and ‘Subscribe’ buttons. New episodes will then be delivered to your iPhone, iPod or iPad with every sync.

Democratic Coffee, our audio podcast, features news and interviews with local Democrats, presented as friendly conversations over coffee. New episodes will become available approximately every other week. Please continue to join us for a Democratic Coffee!

September 22nd, 2015 | News, Opinion, Podcast

Democratic Coffee, Episode 10: Dottie Smith talks about the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club

In the tenth episode of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee’s ‘Democratic Coffee’ podcast, recently elected President of the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club Dottie Smith shares some of her history and tells us about the influential Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club.

Download the episode here, or listen now by clicking the Play button below. You can now subscribe to our Democratic Coffee podcast through iTunes. To subscribe, click here to open your iTunes account, then click the ‘View in iTunes’ and ‘Subscribe’ buttons. New episodes will then be delivered to your iPhone, iPod or iPad with every sync.

Democratic Coffee, our audio podcast, features news and interviews with local Democrats, presented as friendly conversations over coffee. New episodes will become available approximately every other week. Please continue to join us for a Democratic Coffee!