Thursday, March 23, 2017

The GOP American Health Care Act is Outrageous

From Indivisible Washington

Republicans are rushing to get their outrageous American Health Care Act (AHCA) through before the upcoming April recess, ignoring the normal legislative process, because they don’t want to face you, their constituents. They are moving forward even though we now know, from estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, that TrumpCare will lead to at least 24 million Americans losing their coverage, higher premiums for consumers, and a $600 billion tax break on the wealthy and corporations.

Members of Congress need to know that you reject TrumpCare. The bill the House will be voting on this Thursday would harm millions of Americans. It gives wealthy Americans, insurance companies, drug companies, and other corporations tax breaks. These tax cuts are paid for on the backs of poor and middle class Americans by dramatically scaling back the subsidies that low- and moderate-income families use to purchase affordable health care as well by gutting the Medicaid program.1 The changes to Medicaid financing would not only end Medicaid expansion but also jeopardize states’ long-term financing of the program and their ability to provide coverage to other populations who depend on the program—for example, children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Call your representative in the House and tell them to vote NO on TrumpCare. Tell them you oppose any plan that does not preserve the coverage gains and quality of care under the ACA. First, Do No Harm. Reject TrumpCare.

TrumpCare Details: The CBO score is in and (surprise, surprise!) TrumpCare is even worse than we feared
  • 24 million Americans would lose coverage over the next 10 years—14 million in the first year alone
  • 2 million Americans with employer-sponsored coverage would lose it by 2020; 7 million would lose it over 10 years
  • Higher premiums, higher deductibles, and more out-of-pocket costs
  • Insurance premiums would skyrocket by 20% by 2019
  • $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid funding while giving rich Americans and corporations a $592 billion tax cut
Call NOW and tell your members of Congress that you oppose the AHCA. Go here to see scripts you can use, if you'd like. Then go to the Indivisible Facebook page and post your experience.

I just finished talking with "Andrew" in Rep Dan Newhouse's office (202-225-516). He was very pleasant and promised to pass on my comments.

And keep sending in those postcards!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trump Budget Slams Science and Rips the Safety Net

Trump’s proposed budget is out. Here are some of the worst cuts for our state that he's proposing.
1.   Transportation - Trump’s budget would cut important local infrastructure projects including funding to help build Link light rail in Lynnwood, Federal Way, & Tacoma and expand Bus Rapid Transit in Spokane, Everett, & Seattle. This despite his pledge to make massive infrastructure investments.
2.   Environmental - The budget makes massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency – cutting the budget by 31% and laying off a fifth of the employees. It would end funding for climate change research, cut funding for clean up of SuperFund toxic waste sites, and reduce grants to help cities and states fight air pollution. Trump believes climate change is a hoax, so he's following through on his beliefs, no matter how absurd they are.
3.   Agriculture and Farming - Trump proposes to cut billions from the Agriculture Department, hurting farmers and needy families. He’d cut hundreds of millions from Women/Infant/Children Nutrition Assistance, and rural development and research grants would be on the chopping block as well. Even the Meals On Wheels program and after-school lunches for poor children would be cut!
4.   College Access and Affordability - The budget would cut $3.9 billion from Pell Grants, financial aid that’s critical to helping students and families afford college. This budget would close the door of opportunity to millions and prevent students from getting the skills, experience, and training they need to succeed. But remember, Trump "loves the uneducated," so this makes sense to him.
5.   Jobs - The 21 percent proposed cut in the Labor Department reduces funding for job training programs that benefit seniors and disadvantaged youth. The budget eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps low-income seniors find work and closes poor-performing centers for Job Corps, a job-training program for disadvantaged youth. This doesn't track with Trump's pledge to concentrate on "jobs, jobs, jobs."
6.   Health and Scientific Research - Health and Human Services would face devastating cuts, and more than a third of the $15.1 billion in cuts would affect the National Institutes of Health, the government’s main engine of biomedical research. Make America Sick Again! Get the tee shirt.
7.   Children - The Education Department faces a $9 billion cut under the Trump administration budget, which would downsize or eliminate a raft of grants, including for teacher training, afterschool programs, and aid to low-income and minority college students. These colossal cuts to our schools are a betrayal of our commitment to students. While the budget doesn’t detail effects on the Head Start preschool program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, these important supports for vulnerable children could be slashed as well. I can't think of anything funny about this, can you?
8.   Housing and FEMA - The Trump budget would cut $6 billion from affordable housing and community development grants – grants that have funded important projects like recovery from natural disasters and improvements in low-income neighborhoods. Add the GOP American Health Care Act, and you have a prescription for genocide of the poor in America.
9.   Weather and Hurricane, Tornado and Tsunami preparedness - We didn’t think that NOAA and the National Weather Service would be partisan targets – shouldn’t everyone want decent weather forecasting? But Trump’s budget would cut funding from all sorts of weather and coastal programs at the Department of Commerce, including helping coastal communities prepare for storms, satellites for tracking weather and supporting forecasting, and climate change research efforts. Meanwhile, Trump's family is safe in Trump Tower.
10.        The Arts and Public Broadcasting - We spend hardly any public money on the arts, especially when compared to military spending. But Trump’s budget would still eliminate the $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - aka PBS and NPR – as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and funding for libraries and museums across the country. Trump has his own ideas about art.

Show Up, Speak Up, Influence Planning for the City of Richland

What are your issues and/or concerns; traffic, bike lanes, open spaces, river access, electric vehicle charging stations, coal trains, water resources, homeless, community  policing...?

Attend this public open house and make your issues/concerns and recommendations known to the commission. Now is the time!

Add caption

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Draw your postcards and get 'em in the mail!

We have a lot of artistic people in our mix. A picture can sometimes convey how we feel about proposed legislation as effectively, or even more effectively, than the written word. Postcards are especially suited to pictures -- isn't that what they were made for?

So, draw your postcards and mail them to members of congress. Take a quick photo of your creation and post it in the comments section of this blog. Let's see what you've got!

Here's mine on the GOP American Health Care Act -- AHCA.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Statement by Derek Kilmer (D-WA6)

The debate about repealing the Affordable Care Act is neither disconnected nor distant – it’s about people. Real people who will suffer real consequences if the Republican repeal plan were to pass. 
  • It’s about the breast cancer survivor in Gig Harbor who told me that she's only here because of treatment she received through the Medicaid expansion. 
  • It’s about the mom in Tacoma who was able to make sure that her daughter's bi-polar disorder was treated by keeping her on the family's insurance plan until she was 26. 
  • It’s about all of the seniors I represent that will face premium costs up to 5 times more than younger individuals under the repeal plan.
  • It’s about the 24 million Americans expected to lose their insurance under the Trumpcare plan and for every person who will see their insurance premiums rise – on average 10-15 percent.
  • It’s about women. One in every five women in our country have gotten care from Planned Parenthood, and they may lose access to mammograms, cancer screenings, and primary care if this bill passes.
  • It’s about the 1.3 million people who have received treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders who may lose access to those vital services under this bill.
  • And it’s about the people who will lose access to preventive services from our public health departments because this misguided bill completely eliminates the Center for Disease Control’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.
It’s for all of these people that I will vote no.
There is still plenty we need to do to improve our healthcare system. There are positive changes that can be made to the Affordable Care Act. In fact, I've proposed changes to the law to improve rural health care, enhance affordability for small businesses, and strengthen primary care. 

But Trumpcare doesn't represent progress. Asking people to pay more for less heath care coverage is a move backward.  

Please know that I will keep fighting the fight for the folks I represent. As always, I’m honored to represent you.
- Derek

Proposed Amendment to 8th LLDO by-Laws

Currently, 8th LDDO By-laws are inconsistent with the WSDCC and BCDCC by-laws/rules in not specifying that voting by proxy is permitted. Without such specificity, the issue devolves to RRO, which prohibits proxy voting unless otherwise stipulated.

We want to expand our reach and engagement of the wider membership. Allowing proxy voting helps do that. We have a lot going on that generates voting. Let’s get everyone involved!

BCDCC Rules that stipulate the rules under which proxy voting is permitted under Article XI of the BCDCC By-Laws are:
Voting by proxy shall be permitted in accordance with the following rules:
a. All proxies must be in writing, and either signed by the member or accompanied
by a signed letter attesting to the wishes of the member, and designating who will
vote the proxy.
b. No person will hold more than one general and uninstructed proxy.
c. Proxies are nontransferable.
d. In order to vote a general and uninstructed proxy, the holder must register the
proxy with the Secretary of the Central Committee before a vote is taken
e. All specific and instructed proxies must be registered with the Secretary before a
vote is taken, and shall be tallied for inclusion in the final vote count.
f. The holder of the proxy must reside in Benton County.

 I recommend these be adopted verbatim under Article III of the 8th LD By-Laws.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Benton County Democrats and 8th LDDO Wednesday Meeting

The Benton County and 8th Legislative District Democrats will hold their regular monthly meeting this coming Wednesday, March 15th, at the union's labor hall on Duportail, just off the bypass in Richland. The 8th LD meets at 6:00 pm followed immediately by the BCDCC at 7:00 pm.

The proposaed 8th LDDO agenda follows:
  1. Call to Order by Chair 6PM
  2. Adoption of Minutes as sent out on March 14th 6:02PM
  3. Adoption of the Agenda 6:04PM
  4. Officer Reports 6:05 PM – 6:25 PM
  5. Treasurer
  6. Secretary
  7. State Committee Woman
  8. State Committee Man
  9. Chair of Activism
  10. Chair of Fundraising
  11. Chair of Elections Vice Chair
  12. Chair Report 6:25 PM
  13. Our Revolution
  14. Candidate/Campaign Training Opportunity
  15. Monthly State Committee Meeting Update
  16. Budget
  17. Good of the Order 6:45 PM
  18. Adjournment 7:00PM
8th Legislative District Meeting Minutes, February 15, 2017

I. Skye called the meeting to order at 6:08 PM on February 15, 2017 at the Laborers Hall 348. A flag salute is conducted.
II. Adoption of the Agenda
Motion is made to adopt the agenda as e-mailed out prior to meeting. Motion carried.
III. Guest Speaker Leo Perales
Leo spoke on the Inclusive Community Resolution in Kennewick. Took questions. Motion made: The 8th LD encourages the cities within our communities to support similar inclusive resolutions. Seconded. Motion passed.
IV. Officer Reports
A) Brent Kirby – Treasurer – 8th LD currently has $2,458 in checking and $375 in savings.
B) Carl Sjostrand – Secretary – Updated body on the previous motion to purchase a recorder. New motion was made for: The 8th LD to purchase of a PA System, with the cost split between the 8th LD and Benton County CC, for use in the meeting space; if Benton County fails to pass the motion to split, the 8th LD covers the cost itself. Seconded. Motion carried.
C) Barbara O’Brien – State Committee Woman – Spoke on the state committee meeting she attended. Full comments are attached. Took questions.
D) Jay Clough – State Committee Man – Also spoke on state meeting. Jay was elected for 4th CD Executive Board, spoke on the state chair election, took questions.
E) Matt Bonomo – Spoke on upcoming DNC elections, state bills SJM 8000 and HJM 4003. Took questions.
V. PCO Outreach Update
Allison Dabler spoke on the need and recruitment of PCOs and further outreach. Took questions.
VI. Chair Report
A) Standing Committees
a. Legislative Candidate Search Committee

i. Nancy Washton appointed as chair. Body votes and approves.
b. Fundraising Committee
i. Angie Mykel appointed as chair. Body votes and

B) Additional Committees a. Bylaws Committee
i. Chuck LoPresti appointed as chair. Body votes and approves.
b. Audit Committee
i. Stacy Cash-Ware is appointed as chair. Body votes and

c. Community Activism Committee

i. Jill Mulhasen is appointed as chair. Body votes and approves.
VII. Good of the Order
  1. A)  Question of committee meeting times/8th LD website.
  2. B)  Reminder to body of Protest Tuesdays at John Dam Plaza.
  3. C)  $229 was collected at the meeting for the 8th LD.
VIII. Adjournment
Skye adjourned meeting at 7:01 PM Minutes submitted by: Carl Sjostrand

The BCDCC agenda follows:

1. Call to order
2. Flag Salute
3. Special order of Business
    *Young Dems food fundraiser
    *Guest Speaker: Indivisible group

4. Report of Committees
    *Labor and Commerce
    *Platform and Legislation

5. Report of the Officers
    *Recording Secretary
    *Vice Chair

6. BCDCC Chairs Report
    *Candidates running for open seats and upcoming elections
    *House Bill 1723
        -Action moving forward
        -Yays and Nays for bill
    *Political Movement moving forward/Together as one!

7. Old Business

8. New business
    *If not having already done so, approve Bylaws, Policy Guide and Rules

9. Good of the order

10. Adjourn

Please review last month's meeting minutes prior to the meeting.