Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump Energy + Enviro Team Moves Closer to Confirmation

This was published in Climate Nexus 'Hot News'

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on the nominations of both Rick Perry for Energy Secretary and Rep Ryan Zinke for Interior Secretary today. Both relatively non-controversial nominees expected to pass committee, despite Democratic concerns over their shaky positions on climate change and worries over funding cuts and suppression of science in both departments under a Trump administration. Zinke and Perry provided written answers to committee members' follow-up questions earlier this week, with Perry reassuring senators that he would not politicize scientific research at DOE and expressing nonspecific support for renewables programs, while Zinke looked forward to "reviewing" the work of the DOI's Climate Centers. In the Senate, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's nomination for Secretary of State cleared a procedural vote, with a final confirmation vote possible as early as Wednesday. (Perry + Zinke: The Hill. Written answers, all Politico Pro $: Perry, Perry, Zinke. Tillerson: The Hill, USA Today)

Educating Our Children is the Most Effective Way We Can KEEP America Great

This is from Betsy Fox Vance

Hi all,

Being in education for 31 years, I know how vitally important it is that Betsy DeVos not be confirmed as Sec of Education. This is a billionaire who has NEVER had any experience with public schools, nor has she had any experience running any large entity. She is totally ill-equipped to have any part in our educational system. These youth are the future of our country. If you agree, please give this a look and see what you can do.

The vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as Sec of Education was delayed due to outpouring of resistance.
The hearing will now be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 31 so that Republicans have more time to garner votes.
So it's time for us to act now. Please call one of the following Republican Senators (key in the confirmation vote) to express your opposition to the appointment. At least 3 of these senators need to be convinced in order to block DeVos' nomination. Don't email. Don't tweet. Please call them! If you work in education, let that be known. PLEASE SHARE WIDELY:

Susan Collins (ME) 207.622.8414..&..202.224.2523
Lamar Alexander (TN) 615.736.5129..&..202.224.4944
Lisa Murkowski (AK) 907.586.7277..&..202.224.6665
Johnny Isakson (GA) 770.661.0999..&..202.224.3643
Orrin Hatch (UT) 801.524.4380..&..202.224.5251
Richard Burr (NC) 336.631.5125..&..202.224.3154..&.. 910.251.1058..&..828.350.2437
Michael Enzi (WY) 202.224.3424
Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA) 202.224.5824
Pat Roberts (KS) 202.224.4774
Tim Scott (SC) 202.224.6121
Rand Paul (KY) 202.224.4343

Oppose Jeff Sessions -- Do it NOW!

From Eliot A Cohen in a Jan 29, 2017 article in the Atlantic

"In an epic week beginning with a dark and divisive inaugural speech, extraordinary attacks on a free press, a visit to the CIA that dishonored a monument to anonymous heroes who paid the ultimate price, and now an attempt to ban selected groups of Muslims (including interpreters who served with our forces in Iraq and those with green cards, though not those from countries with Trump hotels, or from really indispensable states like Saudi Arabia), he has lived down to expectations."

Cohen concludes a disturbing, if insightful article by saying;

"There was nothing unanticipated in this first disturbing week of the Trump administration. It will not get better. Americans should therefore steel themselves, and hold their representatives to account. Those in a position to take a stand should do so, and those who are not should lay the groundwork for a better day. There is nothing great about the America that Trump thinks he is going to make; but in the end, it is the greatness of America that will stop him."

So, what to do? For me, the priority is to let our senators know what we think about Donald Trump's cabinet nominees. This is time-urgent, so it's a, "speak now, or forever hold your peace" sort of thing. Start with the appointment of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. The most effective way to get your oar in the water is to call a senator whose vote will make a difference. That means we need to contact people we know in other states, whose senators are Republicans, and urge them to make the calls. Those senators are:

Chuck Grassley (IA) – (202) 224-3744
Orrin Hatch (UT) – (202) 224-5251
Mike Lee (UT) – (202) 224-5444
Lindsey Graham (SC) – (202) 224-5972
John Cornyn (TX) – (202) 224-2934
Ben Sasse (NE) – (202) 224-4224
Jeff Flake (AZ) – (202) 224-4521
Mike Crapo (ID) – (202) 224-6142
Thom Tillis (NC) – (202) 224-6342
John Kennedy (LA) – (202) 224-4623

If you have friends in these states, contact them via Facebook, Twitter, phone, etc., and ask them call/contact their senator and oppose Sessions. Do it NOW!

You'll also want to contact the office of Governor Jay Inslee at 360-902-0002 and the office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson at 360-753-6200 and let them know you appreciate them fighting back against Trump’s illegal and racist executive order banning Muslims from the U.S. (yeah, Trump doesn't say "Muslims," but we know damn well what he means!). 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Postcards the Easy Way

I'm preparing postcards to send to members of congress (MoC). Postcards should get through screening quicker than letters in envelopes, although both go through a lengthy screening process. If your issue is urgent, phone calls are best. Your MoC web page contact form is next best. But a whole bunch of postcards flooding into MoC offices makes it's own statement.

Because I expect to address a number of issues over the next four years, I purchased a kit to preprint MoC addresses, and my return address. You can also print your message on the back of the card, but I think handwriting the message is more effective.

The product I'm using is Avery, Textured White Postcards, Template 3380. They meet U.S. Postal Regulations. Avery provides a free app to customize the template. It's straightforward, easy to use, and convenient.

If you need help, give me a cal: 509-546-1420.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Do you believe in equal rights for all Americans?

Action 1: Oppose religious discrimination by contacting the White House.
Call: The WH comment line is closed, however, use:
Fax: 202-456-2461 202-456-7890. (Message me if you find a working #)
Postcard: Buy stock (3.5 x 4.25 high, 5 x 6 long) and hand-write
Script: I oppose the executive order banning entry to the US by green card-carrying residents, dual passport-holding residents, legal citizens, and vetted, peaceful refugees. This action is unconstitutional and unamerican.
Tweet: @realDonaldTrump (or @POTUS(Trump) Banning legal residents is unconstitutional and rejecting immigrants is unamerican. #revoke

Action 2: Defend the rights of legal immigrants to our country.
Donate to the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/

Action 3: Ask your elected officials to publicly oppose this executive order.
Call: Your three MoCs (1 representative and 2 senators) (lookup)

Script: Hi! I am a constituent from _ZIP code _ and oppose the executive order on banning refugees and legal residents. Can you tell me if _MoC’s name_ has publicly opposed this action? If not, can you tell me when s/he will?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ideas for Action

Check out Jennifer Hofmann's blog for a very comprehensive rundown of ideas and information on activisim in the era of Trump. Jennifer is a multi-talented writer and explorer, who includes in her activities a weekly action checklist for "Americans of Conscience."

Here's how Jennifer starts you out.

Gear up for the next 652 days to the midterm elections.
Print out this worksheet for the steps below:
  1. Put your representative’s name, local phone, DC phone, address, and email on the worksheet or your phone. Get them here.
  2. Put your two senators’ names, local phones, DC phones, addresses, and email addresses there too. Get them here.
  3. Get a pile of postcards (or sheets of 110lb cardstock to make your own) and 34-cent postcard stamps. Snail mail is the new response to full voice mailboxes.
  4. Decide on your “Top Three” most-important issues. Focusing on just a few issues will prevent overwhelm. Consider choosing at least one issue that doesn’t affect you personally. #Top3
  5. Have a conversation with yourself and/or beloved others about how you want to give time and/or treasure to your Top Three.
  6. Set aside time each week to be active. 20-60 minutes is a good range. Add this to your calendar. You might consider doing your actions with others for support and community.
Go for it!

Trump's Conflicts of Interest

Today's 30 second action:

If you want to support Senator Warren's request to audit President Trump's finances for conflicts of interest, the woman who answered the phone at the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office said the most effective way to be sure your support is considered is to email two administrators:
Katherine Siggerud and Timothy Minnelli.
Their email addresses are:

There is a third email address through which they're responding people who are urging support for the audit: congrel@gao.gov

You can send ONE email addressed to:
siggerudk@gao.gov, minnellit@gao.gov, congrel@gao.gov

Subject line:
Re: Audit for President Trump's financial concerns

Dear Ms. Siggerud and Mr. Minnelli,

I’m writing in support of Senator Elizabeth Warren's request for an audit of President Trump's finances, to prohibit conflicts of interest that would prevent him from carrying out the responsibilities of the office without corrupt influence.



You can also sign this petition to demand that Trump release his tax returns.
Please cut and paste this into your FB. Takes 30 seconds!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Note From Lora Rathbone Suggesting Actions We Can Take Now

Hi Everyone;

Here are some issues that need attention this week. Since it’s early in the process, it may be best to just ask for support on the issue rather than give bill numbers. The easiest thing to do is to call the legislative hotline: let them know your name and address, and they’ll forward the message to our legislators. Call: 1-800-562-600

For more info, go to www.legwa.gov  and www.fanwa.org

Voting Rights/Campaign Financing
Several bills will be heard this Wednesday. TODAY.  While we see greater public concern for the influence of big money special interests on politics, we also see those same interests taking advantage of loopholes in the law to not only contribute massive sums of money, but to do so without any public disclosure. Allowing this massive flow of "dark money" presents a serious threat to our democracy. Your legislators have an opportunity to do something to stop that flow by passing the Washington State DISCLOSE Act (SB5219), and SB5108 to shine light on contributions between political committees. (LWV WA)

Gun Safety
HB 1134 and (SB 5050) ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and to limit the size of ammunition clips. Access to assault weapons in Washington is problematic and has resulted in tragic mass shootings in Washington and the US. As assault weapons are considered a long gun for hunting, they can be legally purchased by persons as young as 18 and released to the buyer immediately after a simple background check. Pistols on the other hand require training, an extensive background check by law enforcement meaning a waiting period of around ten days normally, and a minimum age of 21. (LWV WA)

HB1048  It extends renewable energy tax incentives through 2021; increases low income individual participation in renewable energy programs; requires solar module recycling or “take back.”

HB1233 Aligns utility revenue incentives with the current need to conserve energy in order to reduce carbon emissions.

Dakota Access Project
You can find all 17 banks supporting the Dakota Access Project and their contact information in this YES! Magazine article: http://bit.ly/2ddtWGe. In order to get this link to work, you need to click on it and another line will appear underneath. It should put you through to the article by double clicking on that. If you should happen to contact US Bank, the person whose name I was given by my local bank is Dana Ripley. Haven't been able to get through yet. Here's what the Oceti Sakowin youth advise for a possible script:

“As a customer of [bank name] I was upset to learn that you are financially invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens the water and livelihood of the Standing Rock Sioux and the thousands of people who live along the Missouri River. I’m calling to ask that you withdraw your financial support of and stake in the project immediately.”

LaDonna said the Oceti Sakowin camp will be closing in February, leaving Sacred Stone, her camp, and Rosebud + a new one will be locating right in Cannonball. I don't know truly how many camps there have been. Some are certainly continuing to hang in there. Wanted to let you know there's a web site for Sacred Stone. It's sacredstonecamp.org. Donations to that camp can be sent to Sacred Stone Camp, PO Box 1011, Ft. Yates ND 58538.



Thosands March

Thousands marched in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, and Yakima on January 21st. The Tri-City Herald reported that "Over 1,000 participants joined the Tri-Cities Women's March on Saturday at John Dam Plaza in Richland. The Richland walk was one of hundreds across the country with the goal of supporting human rights in light of the new presidential administration."

Benton County and 8th Legislative District Democrats were out in force, braving snow, freezing temperatures, and icy roads, to assert progressive principles; the right to adequate healthcare, reproductive rights, equality, social justice, quality education, and a liveable climate, common decency, and "love not hate!"

Further actions/events are being planned to push back against a Trump Administration that seems bent on rolling back hard-won rights for women and minorities, and for all people who value the principles of inclusiveness and compassion.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article128022844.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, January 20, 2017

Executive Board Meeting This Sunday!

Joint Executive Board Meeting, Sunday, January 22nd

There will be a combined Executive Board Meeting on Sunday, January 22nd at 3:30 PM at the All Saints Episcopal Church. The address is 1322 Kimball Ave in Richland. The Executive Boards of the Benton County, 8th LD, and Tri-City Democrats organizations will be meeting together.

We will be discussing how best to coordinate our efforts for the foreseeable future in order to have responibilities clearly assigned and to reduce duplication of effort.

There is no need to attend if you are not on any of the executive boards, but anyone is welcome to come observe. Only executive board members may vote.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

No Meeting Today

No Meeting, Wednesday, January 18th

Because we had a special meeting on January 9th, the standard 3rd Wednesday meetings for the 8th LD organization and the Benton County Central Committee will not be held this month.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 15.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Call to Action: Affordable Care Act CANCELLED


Call to Action

Tell Congressman Dan Newhouse you want health care for all when he tours a facility in Granger tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18th.  Bring signs and dress warm.  It's the Yakima Neighborhood Health Family Medical and Dental Clinic in Granger, 111 Main Street.

Be there from 1 - 2:15pm.   (Newhouse tours from 1:30 to 2)

Congressman Newhouse voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but has offered no comparable replacement for the millions of Americans now depending on the ACA for access to care. 

For car pooling, meet at the Target parking lot in Queensgate area of Richland close to the front door at noon.  We will take off close to 12 noon so get there early.

Please share this information.

And if you're unable to join us, please call the Congressman's office to relay your support for health care for all.
Congressman Dan Newhouse
TriCities (509) 713-7374
Yakima (509) 452-3243
Washington DC (202) 225-5816

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Upcoming Events in Our Community

Events of possible interest to our members coming up between now and the inauguration of Donald Trump. You may find that attending these events will lessen the distress of seeing this odious man become the POTUS.

January 12, 2017 "The Soul, Science & Culture of HOPE"
Did you see the Disney film McFarland, USA? If so, you know that instilling hope in kids can inspire them to accomplish great things with their lives.

Kennewick School District invites teachers, coaches and anyone in the Tri-Cities community to a free symposium at Kennewick High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m, Jan 12.

Featured speakers include Danny Diaz, a member of the California high school track team portrayed in the Disney film McFarland, USA. He will be joined by Rick Miller, founder of Kids at Hope, a national youth advocacy organization. Those planning to attend are encouraged to watch McFarland USA before attending. For more information, contact Sarah Del Toro at sarah.deltoro@ksd.org

January 14, 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event
Red Lion Hotel, 802 George Washington Way in Richland
From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $50 per person (includes dinner)

The African American Community Cultural & Educational Society (AACCES) is hosting the Dr. Martin Luther King 10th Annual Celebration that will feature dinner, guest speakers and entertainment.

Guest speakers include:
•Les Trent, Senior Correspondent for CBS' Inside Edition with Deborah Norville
•Gwen Fisher Trent, Head of U. S. Communications for Shire, a global biotechnology company

The Trents are seasoned communications professionals who will discuss issues of traditional vs alternative news media.

AACCES will award its annual MLK scholarship to a student from WSU Tri-Cities and its Commitment to Diversity Award to an individual who has made a positive impact in the community.
In addition, Freeform, a nationally acclaimed jazz vocal group from Columbia Basin College, will be performing.

Tickets can be purchase at Salon Remedi (745 The Parkway in Richland), online or by phone 509-531-2141. Info and Tickets at AACCES

January 15, 2017, Rally for the Affordable Care Act.
Noon Sunday. John Dam Plaza, Richland.

Community event hosted by the local democrats. Includes speakers, music, information and call to action.

More info can be found here and on the BCDCC web page.

January 19, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. The White Privilege: The Other Side of Racial Inequality
Mid-Columbia Library - Kennewick Branch, located at 1620 S. Union St.

To be presented by Sociology Professor, Teresa Ciabattari, this event centers on racial inequality and white people's experiences concerning this matter. 'The White Privilege' aims to inform the participants how situations like this should be addressed, and how racial justice can be promoted in every community.

For more details, please visit the White Privilege: The Other Side of Racial Inequality page at Columbia Basin College's website.

Supporting the Affordable Care Act

We local Democrats are sponsoring a rally in support of the Affordable Car Act, this coming Sunday, January 15, at 12:00 Noon. Meet at the the John Dam Plaza in Richland, WA. There will be notable speakers and musical entertainment.

If you are a Medicaid recipient or signed up for health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace, please come to the rally and show your support.

Congressman, Dan Newhouse (WA-4) is co-sponsoring the bill to repeal key portions of the Affordable Care Act. If it passes, you could lose your access to health care. People will get sicker, people will die unnecessarily, or will be financially ruined by illness. Congressman Newhouse needs to understand, he does not represent us!

Please spread the word to everyone you know.

Layer up for warmth and raise your voice with us. #OurFirstStandTC.

Snowbound? Need Help?

Snowbound? Need help with groceries or meds or appointments? Please contact Heidi at 509-539-2156 (text ok) or email intentionalhealingadvisors@gmail.com and one of your Democratic friends will help.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Special Meeting of LDDO and BCDCC

Instead of meeting on the third Wednesday of this month, as usual, the 8th Legislative District Democratic Organization (LDDO) and Benton County Democratic Central Committee (BCDCC) will meet Monday, January 9, at the Laborers Local 348 Hall (2505 Duportail, just off the bypass in Richland). The 8th LDDO will meet at 6:00 PM, followed by the BCDCC at 7:00 PM.

The meeting is needed in order to lay out an agenda for advocacy activities prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president on January 20, 2017. Also, it will be a chance to meet your new officers.

Members are encouraged to attend, but at the same time, use good judgment. If you are uncomfortable driving in these conditions, stay home and follow developments on-line.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Officers

The new 8 LDDO officers elected at Saturday's meeting are:

Chair: Skye White

Vice Chair: Matt Bonomo

Secretary: Carl Sjostrand

Treasurer: Brent Kirby

SCM: Jay Clough

SCW: Barbara O'Brien

Congratulations to our new officers, and many thanks to the past officers.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Larry Haler Coffee, January 2, is Postponed

The coffee with our 8th LD Representative originally scheduled for today has been postponed to later in January. As soon as we have a new date and time, we will post it here.