August 10th, 2017 | News

Working to Improve Lives

Dear Friends,

The House of Representatives is not meeting in Washington until after Labor Day, which allows members to return home to work in our districts. I am glad to be home for the month of August, working for and talking to the people I have the honor of representing. With that in mind, I wanted to take the time to share what I have been doing to improve the lives of all my constituents as we were wrapping up our summer session in Washington.

Proposing Solutions to Improve our Nation’s Health Care System

As the debate over our nation’s health care system continues, it is clear that the only way to fix the problems we all face is for Democrats and Republicans to work together. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus – a bipartisan group of House members focused on finding a path forward for responsible governance – I have been part of our group’s effort to promote bipartisan solutions for our country’s health care system. This week we announced our proposal to help improve the health care system in America. The proposal focuses on stabilizing the individual health care market and states the importance of improving patient choice and responsibility, creating incentives for providers to lower costs, and giving states more flexibility in implementing health care policy. Our suggestions center on areas of common ground where members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have shown they are willing to work to help give individuals, families, and businesses access to high-quality, affordable health care. It is my hope that the Problem Solvers’ proposal will serve as the beginning of a serious, bipartisan effort in Congress to fix the problems with our health care system.

Introducing Legislation Supporting Employment Training for SNAP Recipients

Last week, I introduced the Results Through Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 3577) into the House of Representatives, which would help bolster federal funding for employment and training (E&T) programs for individuals receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP E&T programs – such as those at the Fresno Bridge Academy – aim at helping SNAP recipients secure gainful employment through work-related education, job training, and job advancement classes so they can ultimately become self-sufficient. HR 3577 would establish a competitive grant program to provide funds to States to carry out targeted employment and training projects. The bill outlines that programs awarded these funds should increase the short-term and long-term employment as well as income earnings for households receiving SNAP benefits, support a range of rural and urban areas, and provide support services to individuals to help enable them to participate in the program, such as transportation reimbursement and childcare. We have seen these innovative practices work in the past, and my bill would help build on this success, helping millions of Americans lift themselves out of poverty and become self-reliant, all while saving taxpayers money.

Working to End Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a crime that is often overlooked in our society today and is far too common, especially among our nation’s young people. As a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, I have been working to shed light on this issue and find ways to both prevent sexual assault and protect victims. The Task Force recently sent a letter to Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights, Candice Jackson, urging them to keep public the list of colleges and universities under investigations for possible federal law violations over their handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. This list has been available to the public through the Office of Civil Rights since May 2014, and the transparency it provides both allows parents and students to make informed decisions about where to attend school and helps communities understand the scope of the sexual assault problem facing them in their own schools.

Fighting for Affordable Housing

Access to affordable, quality housing is a cornerstone of the American dream. In pursuit of that dream, public housing provides critical support for low-income seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, and working families. President Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 (FY18) would cut funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by an astounding $1.8 billion, or 68%, and is deeply concerning. These cuts would have a disproportionately negative impact on low-income Americans and would expose many to increased health risks associated with aging home infrastructure. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, of which I am a member, sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson opposing these cuts and advocating for stronger local partnerships with HUD to preserve and improve public housing for years to come. When proper investments are made, local housing agencies – like those in Fresno – have demonstrated great ability in improving the health and lives of their residents.

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter update. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any federal issues of your concern. To stay up-to-date on the work I am doing in Congress, please visit my website at costa.house.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter here. You can also follow my work and events in our Valley on my Facebook page and twitter account.

Sincerely,

Jim Costa
Member of Congress

   

August 9th, 2017 | News

A short survey for Fresno County

Kamala Harris

Fresno County –

Congress is on recess, Trump is on vacation, and I’m back in California to recharge and meet with my constituents and supporters like you.

So I thought this would be a good time to check in. It’s been a difficult six months fighting back against Trump’s assault on our values, but I’m proud of all we’ve been able to accomplish in stalling his radical agenda.

As we gear up for the fights ahead on issues like climate change, tax reform, and more, your feedback will be invaluable to our cause. So, please, take a moment to answer a few short questions and I promise that I’ll take some time this month to personally review your feedback:

TAKE OUR SURVEY »

As the people of California know, I will never stop being fearless for the people — be it against this White House, Wall Street, or any group that targets the most vulnerable and voiceless in our society.

Thanks for adding your input today.

All my best,

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

 

 

August 8th, 2017 | Action Alerts, Events, News

Lt. Governor and Candidate for Governor Gavin Newsom Meet & Greet

RSVP AT  https://goo.gl/KfbDKX

August 8th, 2017 | News

Thank Kamala Harris!

 

Thank Kamala Harris

ADD YOUR NAME

 

California Senator Kamala Harris is making BIG waves in the Senate!!

Her first MAJOR bill is a bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform proposal!! We finally have a progressive senator who is speaking out about our broken criminal system.

Will you ADD YOUR NAME to thank Kamala Harris for fighting for reform? >>

Right now, judges set bail with ZERO regard for a defendant’s ability to pay. That means a criminal defendant could lose their job, home, and children just because they don’t have the money to pay excessive bail — even if they’re innocent!

Kamala’s bill would transform the way our broken bail system operates. We need a criminal justice that is just, equitable, and actually REDUCES crime. This bill is a GREAT first step.

Will you thank Kamala for her leadership?

https://act.redtoblueca.org/Thank-Kamala

Let’s defend our democracy,

RedtoBlueCA.Org

 

 

 

 

August 6th, 2017 | News

President Trump’s Poll Numbers

August 6th, 2017 | News

Our right to vote is under attack

CDP

Fifty-two years ago to‌day, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law to protect voting rights for every American, especially African American voters in the South.

To‌day, our right to vote is under Republican attack like never before — including by President Trump and his bogus “voter fraud” commission.

But California Democrats are fighting back, and our Secretary of State Alex Padilla is leading the charge.

On today’s anniversary of the VRA, will you add your name to stand with Secretary of State Alex Padilla in fighting Trump’s voter suppression efforts?

President Trump created his delusional “voter fraud” commission after the election to justify his own insecurities after losing the popular vote by an unprecedented margin — thanks in part to his landslide rejection by California voters.

What’s even more alarming is that Trump’s commission is using these groundless allegations of fraud as a smokescreen to request the personal information of every registered voter in California and across the country.

This is a transparent effort to disenfranchise voters and further suppress the vote, and Secretary of State Padilla has repeatedly denounced the commission’s’ efforts and refused to share the information of California voters with Trump’s sham commission.

Led by Secretary of State Padilla, California Democrats will continue to fight back against any attempts of voter suppression by Republicans in Washington — and we are hard at work expanding opportunities to vote in our great state.

On today’s anniversary, add your name to stand with Secretary of State Alex Padilla in standing up to Trump’s voter suppression efforts.

Thank you for being a California Democrat and for being a part of this fight.

CDP Vice Chairs Alexandra Gallardo Rooker & Daraka Larimore-Hall

ADD YOUR NAME »

 

 

 

August 6th, 2017 | News

re: the Voting Rights Act (add your name)

Join us.

Today is the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but Trump and Republicans at every level continue to target our right to vote.

Commit to standing with Democrats who will fight to protect our voting rights:

I’M IN

On this day 52 years ago, during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, enshrining the right to vote as the most fundamental right in our democracy.

Nearly fifty years later, the Supreme Court struck down some of the VRA’s most important protections — and Republicans jumped at the chance to limit access to the ballot box.

Our right to vote is under attack right now, more so than it has been in decades. Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Kris Kobach — the architect of some of the GOP’s most extreme voting restrictions — have embarked on a campaign to take those restrictions nationwide. They’ve created a “voter fraud” commission which has the sole purpose of inventing new ways to prevent American citizens from making our voices heard at the ballot box. It’s disgraceful. It’s un-American.

As Democrats, we won’t rest until we’ve restored the Voting Rights Act and reversed the GOP’s efforts to subvert our most important right.

Add your name today and commit to this fight, Michael. Say you’ll do everything you can to protect the right to vote for everyone:

I’M IN

Thanks,

Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

August 4th, 2017 | News

Your Weekly CDP Update

CDP

It’s been another productive week for the CDP, and we have a lot of updates. See below for a recap of the week’s activities.

Committee Appointments
The Chair and the statewide officers have completed the appointments for CDP Standing Committees. To see the full roster of committees, click here. Some quick facts on the appointees:

  • More than half of appointees are people of color
  • More than half are women
  • 13 percent identify as disabled
  • 16 percent identify as members of the LGBT Community
  • And nearly half of appointees are brand new committee members, having never served on a CDP Standing Committee before

As Chair Eric C. Bauman said in his statement announcing the appointments, “These Committees are one of the most important ways an activist can help build up and strengthen our party and fight for our values. I believe we will see tremendous work come out of each of these committees, particularly with so many new and enthusiastic Grassroots Democrats participating for the first time.”

Reminder — Special Election Endorsing Caucus
The governor has called a special election to fill the Assembly vacancy in Assembly District 51 after Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez was elected to Congress.

What: CDP Assembly District 51 Special Election Endorsing Caucus
When: Satu‌rday, Augu‌st 5, 2017. Doors open at 10:‌00 am, Meeting begins at 10:‌30 am
Where: Teen Center — 324 N. McDonn‌ell Ave., Los An‌geles, CA 90‌022

For more information, the CDP has set up a special election page on the website, which you can find here, or you may contact CDP Region 11 Director and Caucus Convener Mark Ramos at Mark4Region11@gmail.com or Kasey Walukones on CDP staff at kasey@cadem.org. The endorsement process is governed by the CDP bylaws governing special election endorsements, which you can find here.

Executive Board Meeting Update
At the 2017 CDP State Convention, the CDP Rules Committee recommended Bylaws amendments for adoption at the August 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting, Aug‌ust 25-27, 2017, at Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim.

The CDP Rules Committee is taking testimony for Bylaws amendments received and referred to Rules Subcommittees, including ADEM, Endorsements, and Miscellaneous Issues Subcommittees. Please visit the CDP Rules Committee webpage to see the proposals, reports, and how to submit testimony.

The CDP Platform Committee will be holding its first hearing in Anaheim. For more information on the Platform Committee process, or to submit written testimony, please visit the Platform Committee’s page.

A quick note on lodging: The CDP room block at the Sheraton Park Hotel is rapidly filling up. However, the Anaheim Hilton is located right next door and is also a union hotel.

For the latest draft agenda, or for more information about the August Executive Board meeting, please visit the Executive Board page on the website.

Reminder — Regional Meetings
CDP Regional Meetings are being held around the state. Check out the CDP Events page for a full calendar of meetings.

One week closer to 2018!

— CDP Update

 

August 4th, 2017 | News

These 100 interest groups spent the most trying to influence California officials

California lawmakers were busy in the second quarter of the year. So were the special-interest groups that lobby them. Between April 1 and the end of June, lawmakers in Sacramento passed a controversial gas tax, put the breaks on universal health care and began negotiations on a cap-and-trade deal to extend the state’s marquee climate change program.

August 4th, 2017 | News

Read this and share

Alex Padilla

This Sunday marks the 52nd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, landmark legislation that protects and expands voting rights for all eligible Americans.

Four years ago, the Supreme Court gutted one of the most important provisions of the VRA that prevented states, mainly those with a history of racial discrimination, from passing restrictive laws that suppress our right to vote.

Now, President Trump is threatening the fundamental promise of the VRA by lying about voter fraud in order to justify his nationwide voter suppression plan to block eligible voters from voting.

I can’t emphasize it enough, defending our right to vote is necessary for our democracy to thrive. Our country works best when everyone participates. Trump’s baseless attacks on our rights and our democracy is dangerous and we must fight back.

In keeping with the spirit of the Voting Rights Act, I wrote an op-ed, in The Sacramento Bee, on this topic (attached below). Please take a moment to read it and share it with your friends and family. Our voting rights are under assault, which is why I’m asking you to help me spread the word:

SHARE ON FACEBOOK

SHARE ON TWITTER

(Or forward this email to five friends.)

The more people are aware of how our rights are under attack, the stronger we can fight back.

Thank you for everything you do,

Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State
 


On Voting Rights Act anniversary, ‘the greatest threat to voting rights in the past half-century’

By: Alex Padilla  

Two years ago, President Barack Obama marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act with a White House summit on protecting and expanding the right to vote.

As California’s chief elections officer, I was invited to this significant event. It was an inspiring day, meeting in the Oval Office with the president and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon, and joining voting rights advocates from across the country in a series of panels.

Sunday marks the 52nd anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. The contrast in the White House could not be more stark.

Our current president believes, without evidence, that millions of “illegal votes” cost him the popular vote. He has created a sham “Election Integrity Commission” headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the nation’s foremost vote suppressor, to place barriers between American citizens and their right to vote.

Make no mistake: We are facing the greatest threat to voting rights in the past half-century.

The first act of the “commission” was to request a wide range of personal information of every registered voter in America including their full name, date of birth, and Social Security information, along with party affiliation and voting history. Most secretaries of state saw it for what it was, a startling overreach.

Many state elections officials, both Republicans and Democrats, simply said no. I was one of them. Republican elections officials in states as red as Mississippi and Louisiana also rejected the Trump commission request.

Elections and cybersecurity experts across the country have warned that the commission’s request raises major privacy and security concerns. There are many outstanding questions about how the voter data would be transferred, stored and used.

The commission already faces several lawsuits from national civil rights and voting rights groups. These lawsuits send a strong message that the commission, which has no power to compel anyone to do anything, will not go unchallenged.

Let me reassure California voters: I will not provide the Trump commission with your personal data. I will continue to do everything in my power to protect every citizen’s right to register and vote free of barriers and intimidation.

But we must do more. Trump’s commission and their voter suppression agenda are not going away.

The Voting Rights Act was last reauthorized in 2006 by the United States Senate in a 98-0 vote and signed by President George W. Bush. Since then, there has been a broad concerted effort to roll back voter protections.

In a misguided 2013 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. This has led to many states passing restrictive voter laws.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 14 states put in place new voting restrictions – including strict voter ID requirements and reducing early voting opportunities – leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

And it continues. This year more laws to restrict voting were introduced in dozens of states. Several states are aggressively purging voters from their rolls.

Ohio faces a lawsuit over the unconstitutional removal of eligible voters. At the same time that Kobach made his data request, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who also has a long history of supporting voter-suppression efforts – and his Department of Justice initiated an unprecedented inquiry about the voter roll maintenance procedures of every state.

And Kobach emails released in July make clear their intention is to weaken the National Voter Registration Act. We will continue to resist these efforts by the Trump administration. There is a better way.

In California, we are creating a more-inclusive democracy. We’ve passed legislation to create automatic voter registration for eligible citizens who visit the DMV.

A landmark new law allows counties to adopt a new election model where all registered voters will automatically receive their ballot 28 days prior to Election Day. Voters will have the choice to return their ballots by mail, deliver them to a drop-off location or cast them in person at any vote center in the county. Sacramento County, along with several others, will debut this system in 2018.

Californians who miss the traditional voter registration deadline will now have the opportunity to register or re-register to vote all the way up to Election Day at county elections offices and other satellite locations. And we now have pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, so they can vote as soon as they turn 18.

As Americans, we have a responsibility to increase voter participation, not stifle it. Our future as a democracy requires it.

From Boston Harbor and Paul Revere to Seneca Falls and Selma, Americans have worked to not only preserve – but strengthen – our democracy. That’s what we should be doing today: removing barriers, empowering communities and enfranchising the people. Now more than ever.

CONTRIBUTE

 

 

 

 

 

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