Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Protect Arizona's Wild and Scenic River - Fossil Creek!


Congress designated the Fossil Creek a Wild and Scenic River in 2009 -- only the second river in Arizona to be designated as Wild and Scenic. Fossil Creek includes a unique and important riparian environment that is one of Arizona's best habitats for threatened and endangered native fish and other wildlife. It and the surrounding wilderness areas are also popular recreation sites for hiking, birding, fishing, nature study, photography, and more.

The Forest Service has developed a Draft Comprehensive Resource Management Plan (CRMP) and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will guide management actions and policies on Fossil Creek for decades. This is our last chance to improve the proposed plan. The Forest Service needs to hear from everyone who cares about this beautiful and biologically rich area.

Please use the button below to send your message to the Forest Service to develop a plan that better protects the unique and important values of this beautiful area or consider writing and sending comments to:

Coconino National Forest
Attention: Fossil Creek CRMP
P.O. Box 20429
Sedona, AZ 86341

Send email comments to: comments-southwestern-coconino-redrock@fs.fed.us.

Comments are due April 4th, so please take action today!

A summary of the CRMP and public concerns for Fossil Creek with maps is available here.

Take Action!

For questions about the Fossil Creek plan, contact Gary Beverly at gbverde99@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

ACT NOW: Block ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt's appointment as Secretary of the Interior

Stop oily Bernhardt! 
The Senate is poised to vote on former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt’s confirmation as official Interior secretary. His hearing committee is scheduled for next week.

As acting secretary, Bernhardt has shown that he’s more interested in serving the interests of the oil companies that he used to lobby for, like Halliburton, than those of the American people.

He has pushed for oil drilling off America’s coasts and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge … advocated for rolling back the Endangered Species Act … weakened limits on climate-busting methane for oil and gas companies … and supported dismantling our national monuments. 

The Interior secretary oversees around one-fifth of this country's total landmass, including all of the oil, natural gas, and coal beneath the ground on federal lands. The secretary also plays a critical role in protecting our oceans and coastal waters. It's a role too important to the future of this country to hand off to a polluter ally like Bernhardt without a fight.

Together we've shown time and time again that public pressure makes an impact — including forcing former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to resign.We must mobilize a massive outcry in opposition to this dangerous nomination.

Take action NOW by urging your senators to vote NO on Bernhardt’s confirmation — and tell them that we won’t stop fighting to protect our public lands, oceans, and wildlife.

SUPPORT electric vehicles for state agencies and equal tax breaks for solar leasers


Here's your chance to give a BIG THUMBS UP in the Request to Speak system at the Arizona State Legislature!

REQUEST TO SPEAK ACTIONS:

If you have registered for Request to Speak, this is your opportunity to weigh in on the following bills in committee this week.   (See directions on RTS here.) 

(To register for a Request to Speak account: http://www.cebv.us/. NOTE: It may take a day or two for someone to go to the capitol to sign you up, so do it now so you can participate on Wednesday or Thursday.) 


You can weigh in on the following bills anytime now or while they are in the committee meeting. 

Wednesday, March 20th at 2 p.m. 

House Committee on Transportation
  • SB1442 state fleet; neighborhood electric vehicles (Pratt) states that when agencies request vehicles, preference will be given to electric neighborhood vehicles unless they demonstrate it will not fit their needs. This seems like a good idea to reduce pollution and burning fossil fuels. SUPPORT.
Senate Committee on Finance
  • HB2493 appraisal methods; solar energy devices (Cobb) clarifies that leased solar rooftop systems are not subject to property tax, just as those systems owned by the property owner are not subject to property tax. This is a question of equity. Why give a tax break to those who can afford to buy a system outright versus those who cannot afford to buy and who lease instead? Why make solar less affordable for those with lower incomes or less upfront capital? SUPPORT.
If you haven’t registered for Request to Speak...

You can also call or email the following members of the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to support HB2493. If they say they are supporting it, also thank them.

Senator Lela Alston
Senator Sean Bowie
Senator Paul Boyer
Senator Lupe Contreras
Senator David Farnsworth
Senator Vince Leach
Senator David Livingston
Senator JD Mesnard
Senator Martin Quezada

Arizona: Call your Reps now to save ballot initiatives!


Republicans in Arizona are scared of the grassroots. That’s why they are pushing SB 1451, which would create burdens for people collecting ballot initiative signatures. The Arizona House Elections Committee will be hearing this bill tomorrow. SB 1451 has already passed the Senate, so our only hope is to stop this bill in the House.

SB 1451 would require petitions to be identified and submitted by each signature collector, adding unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles to the already intensive process of gathering signatures to qualify an initiative. This is an attempt to once again weaken voters’ right to put ballot measures to a vote of their fellow citizens.

Here’s what you can do to end this blatant attack on democracy in Arizona:

Check out our call page for phone numbers and ask your state representatives to vote NO on SB 1451.

Sample Script: 

For Republican House Representatives


Hello, my name is <YOUR NAME> and I am a constituent of Representative <NAME> from <YOUR TOWN>. I’m calling to express my concern about a bill that would undermine democracy in our state. SB 1451 would place onerous burdens on signature gatherers, . We should be facilitating access to ballot initiatives, not making it more difficult. Can I count on Representative <NAME> to vote NO SB 1451in the House?

If you're in Phoenix:

Help us pack the hearing this afternoon! One of the most impactful ways to hold the legislature accountable is to show up in person.

When: Tuesday, March 19, 2:00 PM
Where: Hearing Room 4, 1700 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Monday, March 18, 2019

Actions to Protect AZ Water this week at the AZ State Legislature



This week there are some bills that could affect our water being heard at the state legislature.

The first action requires a quick phone call. Please, take a couple minutes to call your state Representatives before it goes to a vote (which could be any day.) The rest of the bills are being heard in committee. If you have registered for the Request to Speak, you can sign in on the system on the Arizona Legislature Website.  You can weigh in on RTS anytime before or during that meeting. (See info below.)

PHONE ACTION:

There was a recent attempt to resurrect one of several bad water bills in the House. HB2609 Harquahala non-expansion area; groundwater transfer (Petersen: Cook) allows private water companies in the Harquahala Irrigation Non-expansion area (west of the Phoenix area) to withdraw water to a depth of 1,500 feet rather than 1,000 feet and transport it into an active management area. This violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the 1980 Arizona Groundwater Code and sets a terrible precedent for bypassing statewide groundwater management by importing water from areas outside the Active Management Areas. Speaker of the House, Rusty Bowers, is leading the effort to jam this through over the objections of La Paz County and any who are concerned about further privatizing water. Please call your representatives and ask them to oppose HB2609. If they say they are opposing it, thank them.

To find out who your Rep is, find your district: 


Use that district to find the contact information for your Rep.



REQUEST TO SPEAK ACTIONS:

If you have registered for Request to Speak, this is your opportunity to weigh in on the following bills this week.   (See directions on RTS here.) 

(To register for a Request to Speak account: http://www.cebv.us/. NOTE: It may take a day or two for someone to go to the capitol to sign you up, so do it now so you can still participate on Wednesday or Thursday.) 

Wednesday, March 20th
    Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy at 2:00 PM
    • HCM2003 uranium pollution; remediation (Thorpe) includes inaccurate information about uranium mining, turning it into a promotional for the mining industry. Encouraging cleanup is something we do support, but this memorial does not reference the need to get the mining companies to clean up their own messes, plus it says that there are no issues with "modern" uranium mining. (The current practice is for mines to become limited liability companies so they aren't held responsible to clean up their own toxic tailings that seep into our waterways). OPPOSE.

    Thursday, March 21st
    Senate Committee on Water and Agriculture at 9:00 AM
    • HB2475 water use; criminal penalty; wells (Bowers) says if you take someone else's water via a well, it is no longer a misdemeanor. This includes the subsurface flows of streams and rivers. Essentially, this would keep the law making it illegal to steal someone else’s water when it is on the surface, but legal to steal it if it’s below the surface. OPPOSE.

    NOTE: I've found it easiest just to do all of the Request to Speak bills while I am in the system. Just click "another request." 

    Sunday, March 17, 2019

    Support Rep. Maxine Waters' Consumer First Act to restore the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    Rep. Maxine Waters explains the Consumers First Act.
    Petition to Congress:
    "Support Rep. Maxine Waters' Consumer First Act to restore the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and undo the damage of Donald Trump's Wall Street first administration."
    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►
    The CFPB – the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren – was one the shining star of Wall Street oversight. In just a few short years, it "returned $12 billion to nearly 30 million consumers who have been harmed by financial institutions, handled over 1.3 million consumer complaints about financial institutions, and made the financial marketplace stronger and fairer for all Americans."1
    First, Trump hijacked the independent watchdog by installing his then-OMB Director Mick Mulvaney – a man who once publicly told a room full of bank lobbyists that donors to his political campaigns got first access to his congressional office.2
    Then, Mulvaney set out to destroy the CFPB from within. He put partisan hacks in charge, dismissed an independent expert consultant board, suppressed a report on exploitative student loans, dropped charges against predatory payday lenders and quit cooperating with other agencies.
    Now, Mulvaney's handpicked successor, Kathy Kraninger – a woman with no relevant experience who helped implement Trump's family separation policy – is continuing the crusade, starting with a handout to payday lenders.3
    Rep. Maxine Waters has had enough, and now she's out to reclaim the CFPB as the new chair of the House Committee on Financial Services. Her Consumers First Act restores the CFPB's staffing and powers, protects its work to rein in predatory lenders, and blocks further administration sabotage.4 We must help Rep. Waters pass this bill to undo the damage and expose Trump's Wall Street first agenda.
    - Josh Nelson, CREDO Action
    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►
    References:
    1. Timothy Jenkins, "Chairwoman Waters introduces bill to reverse Mulvaney actions," Consumer Finance Monitor, March 7, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    More Information:

    Donald Trump Is Targeting an Agency That Has Recovered $11.8 Billion for Consumers - Fortune, Jan. 2017

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    Urge Legislators to oppose bills that make it harder to vote in AZ


    ARIZONA: Our fight to defend democracy continues!

    Republicans in the state legislature have introduced a flurry of bills to make it more difficult to qualify ballot initiatives and register voters. Their strategy is simple: they’ve seen the power of the grassroots so they want to limit that power however they can.

    We’ve succeeded in knocking back several bills that would undermine the democratic process in Arizona. But the battle rages on! Last week, Republicans quietly and quickly jammed a bill through the Senate that would purge early voters if they missed two elections. At the same time, the legislature is still trying to move bills to make ballot initiatives and voter registration more difficult. But we can still stop these bills. Here’s what we’re fighting this week:

    SB 1188: Purges early voters from the permanent early voter list if they miss two elections.

    SB 1451: Creates unnecessary burdens for volunteers who collect ballot initiative petition signatures.

    HB 2616: Makes it a crime to register voters as part of your job.


    - Indivisible

    To find out who your Representatives are, first find your district:

    Then use that district to find your state Reps:
    https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/

    Sample Scripts:

    For Republican House Representatives:

    Hello, my name is________________ and I am a constituent of Representative __________ from <YOUR TOWN>. I’m calling to express my concern about several bills that would undermine democracy in our state. SB 1451 would place onerous burdens on signature gatherers, SB 1090 will make emergency voting more difficult, HB 2616 would criminalize voter registration, and SB 1188 will disenfranchise a quarter million early voters. We should be facilitating access to voting, voter registration, and ballot initiatives, not making it more difficult. Can I count on Representative ___________ to vote NO SB 1451, SB 1090, HB 2616, and SB 1188 in the House?

    Look up your state Senator:
    https://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=S

    For Republican Senators (except Heather Carter)

    Hello, my name is ______________ and I am a constituent of Senator __________ from <YOUR TOWN>. I want to express my severe disappointment that Senator ____________voted in favor of SB 1188 last week. SB 1188 will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters and we should be making it as easy as possible for people to participate in our democratic process. I will remember this vote in the next election.