Monday, February 27, 2017

The assault on public education and services for special needs kids has begun.





House Resolution 610 makes some substantial changes. It will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17, and starts the defunding process of public schools. In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law and provides equal opportunity in education.

ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.

The bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.

The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting SN kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.

Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities:

-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently under-performing subgroups.

-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).


Please call Virginia Fox, the Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and ask her to vote NO on House Resolution 610 (HR 610). For people in Arizona, contact Rep Raul M. Grijalva.

For the rest of you, find out if your rep is on the committee here: 


Here's my husband Dan's e-mail: 

Dear Rep Grijalva,

I just became aware of HR 610, which was introduced in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. As I'm sure you are aware, this ill-conceived bill will hurt many children - especially from households with limited means. I implore you to help ensure this bill doesn't get passed out of committee. Thank you.
Chat Conversation End


Friday, February 24, 2017

State House passed bills that create barriers to placing initiatives on ballots

"Despite our efforts, all of the bills that will profoundly restrict your direct democracy in Arizona, passed the State House last night. These bills are going to create barriers for voters who want to put initiatives on the ballot, and they completely undermine voters' power by allowing the Legislature to change or repeal initiatives even though voters already approved them.

We cannot allow these bills to pass the Senate too. This aggressive attack on your constitutional right to direct democracy cannot stand. We appreciate all of your help on this. Please take a minute to call these key legislators if you’re in their district and tell them to vote AGAINST HCR2002, HCR2007, HB2404, HB2255, HCR2029, and HB2320."

Call these legislators NOW:

Frank Pratt, LD 8 (602) 926-5761
Katie Brophy McGee, LD 28 (602) 926-4486
Steve Yarbrough, LD 17 (602) 926-5863
Kimberly Yee, LD 20 (602) 926-3024
Judy Burges, LD 22 (602) 926-5861
Nancy Barto, LD 15 (602) 926-5766
Steve Montenegro, LD 13 (602) 926-5955
David Farnsworth, LD 16 (602) 926-3020
Sylvia Allen, LD 6 (602) 926-5409
Bob Worsley, LD 25 (602) 926-5760

Call today — your voice makes a difference and we need your help to win this fight.

— Katie O'Connell, People for the American Way

To find your district, use the district locator:

http://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

To find out who your senator is:

http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster/?body=S

I just looked up my district: 9 and senator: Steve Farley and asked him to oppose the bills that prohibit new initiatives on the ballot. (602) 926-3022

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Prayer for Water Protectors evacuating the Oceti Sakowin Camp

Protesters participate in a prayer circle on Turtle Island on Thanksgiving day
Trump gave permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to break the law by proceeding to build the pipeline under the Missouri River with out the required environmental impact statement. The Water Protectors have been asked to evacuate the Oceti Sakowin Camp by 2 o'clock, February 22.

Today at 2 o'clock (N. Dakota time) many will leave the Oceti Sakowin Camp in prayer and ceremony, others (including some veterans) have chosen to make a stand and to be arrested rather than leave.

Water Protector Lisha Sterling writes:

Good morning, water protectors! This is not a vacation! It is time to pray!

In fact, it will be hard to do anything else besides pray today as my thoughts are constantly on Oceti Sakowin, Sicangu and Sacred Stone. May the water protectors stand today in one mind. May peace and strength emanate from the heart of every water protector throughout the camps, and may that peace and strength connect them all like a mycelial web, from heart to heart, mind to mind. May the ancestors and spirits of place rise up to defend the water protectors even as the water protectors stand to defend all our relatives. May those on the side of DAPL and those who would block, remove, or in any way harm the water protectors be confounded today, and let those who have good hearts have their eyes opened and their minds changed so that they too will stand with us.


Let there be peace. Let there be power. Let there be right thinking and right actions.

May our people have the time to fully clear the land that we have called home these many months, leaving no trace, and may we continue to stand together in new places for the protection of the water, the land, the air, and all our relatives as a community of prayer.


Previously live broadcast of the evacuation here:

https://www.facebook.com/Truthdig/videos/10154205741756367/

or here:

https://www.facebook.com/jenni.monet.journalist/videos/1636962879650702/

Let Rep. McSally know how you feel about repealing the Affordable Care Act

TOMORROW, Rep. Martha McSally will be available to hear constituents' opinions on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is the first opportunity since Republican Congressional leaders and President Trump took office. Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act are already crumbling under grassroots pressure--and this could be the opportunity we need to stop them for good. We know that turning out in the streets and calling our representatives is making a difference--and it's really getting under President Trump's skin.

Now we have our best chance yet to show Rep. Martha McSally how big our pro-woman and pro-healthcare movement really is. We need Rep. Martha McSally to hear directly from all of us that we won't allow Congress to repeal the ACA and take away health insurance from nearly 30 million, birth control from 55 million, and coverage of preventive care from millions more.1

Here are the details of the event:

WHERE: The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Cañada Dr. in Sahuarita*

WHEN: Thursday, February 23, 4 PM

WHAT: Your member of Congress is holding a town hall meeting to hear constituents' opinions about repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

When you go, please be sure to take the opportunity to speak. Use your own words, but here are some points to guide you:

The Affordable Care Act matters to me because [share a personal story or reasons why.]

Rep. Martha McSally, what would you say to the young adults who are able to stay on their parent's health insurance up to age 26 thanks to the Affordable Care Act? Or to the many residents of Arizona who have a pre-existing condition which could make them un-insurable without the ACA?

Just under 25 million Americans depend on the Affordable Care Act for insurance, and another five million for Medicaid coverage. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we now have the lowest uninsured rate in American history.2

27 million women have benefited from having all FDA-approved contraceptive methods without a co-pay, including emergency contraception. Nearly three in five women have stated they have struggled to afford birth control at some point, including 57% of young Latinas and 61% of young Black women.3

Rep. Martha McSally needs to hear from you.

Questions may be sent to Dan Shearer at the GV News and selected questions will be posed to McSally. E-mail : dshearer@gvnews.com

P.S. Check out our new Tumblr for more personal stories of individuals positively impacted by the Affordable Care Act.

Sources:
1. Obamacare Repeal Would Take Insurance From 30 Million People, NBC News, December 11, 2016
In the Middle of the Night, the Senate Voted Against Keeping Health-Care Coverage for Contraceptives, New York Magazine, January 12, 2017
2. Women and the Health Care Law in the United States, National Women's Law Center, May 16, 2013
3. Survey: Nearly Three in Four Voters in America Support Fully Covering Prescription Birth Control, Planned Parenthood, May 14, 2014

*NOTE: CHANGE OF VENUE.  MAY BE SOLD OUT.  

http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/mcsally-to-hold-town-hall-in-sahuarita/article_036fcc76-f6bb-11e6-bdfa-8b6fdfb4617c.html



Friday, February 17, 2017

Meet with Your Members of Congress

Members of Congress are about to head to their districts to begin a week-long recess. It’s the perfect time to pay them a visit and demand action on a crucial issue in grave danger under the Trump administration: health care. With Tom Price confirmed as the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Republicans determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we must act now to protect the gains of the ACA and demand a way forward toward true universal health care. Here’s how you can get involved:

1) Head to TownHallProject.com to find a town hall in your area.

2) Use Resistance Recess to find a town hall or rally near you, along with talking points specific to fighting for health care.

3) If you can’t attend a meeting or make a personal visit, give your representative a call.

What To Ask For

1) Demand that your representatives protect Medicaid. Republicans have long been advocating to turn Medicaid into a block-grant program. Block-granting is an old idea that was already used to gut welfare and would almost certainly mean major cuts. You can read more about the tactic in a 2014 article for The Nation by Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert.

2) Fight for a real alternative to the Affordable Care Act: Medicare For All. Representative John Conyers recently introduced HR 676, the Explanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, a bill that would implement a single-payer “Medicare For All” system. Tell members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor the bill and to advocate for it publicly and loudly. For more ways to get involved, check out Medicare4All or sign up for the Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare.

3) Defend the gains of the Affordable Care Act. While nowhere near perfect, the ACA has made coverage possible for more than 20 million people and cut the uninsured rate by nearly half. Tell your representatives that we can NOT go backwards. Resistance Recess provides talking points for defending the program.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How confirming Pruitt will prohibit Arizona's progress


I just sent the following e-mail to Senator Flake at:

https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-jeff

Dear Senator Flake,

Sure, Arizona has abundant reserves of coal, but that doesn't mean it is in our best interest to extract it from our public lands. Extracting coal uses up our already depleted water supply. Why do that when Arizona has a more abundant and profitable alternative: solar energy. Solar energy has already created more long lasting, high paying jobs than all of the fossil fuel industries combined.  Why aren't we leading the way in this growth industry?

In the midst of a 20 year drought, shouldn't we find more sustainable methods of procuring water than pumping it 320+ miles uphill from the Colorado River? The coal burning plant that powers those pumps has already depleted the Hopi and Navajo's aquifer. Why do that when Tucson has enough annual rainfall to supply every Tucsonan with water. We need to incentivize water harvesting and rebuild our antiquated "flood control" system to sink the water into our depleted aquifers. This would also save taxpayers millions yearly from flood damage.

Investing in a more sustainable infrastructure would not only create job security (rather than those temporary coal mining jobs) while protecting our national treasures that bring in 21 billion in tourism dollars.

It's not too late to be a hero to our children. Please, vote "no" on Pruitt. As head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt will protect the fossil fuel industry - not support a clean infrastructure that will strengthen Arizona's economy. He will cut regulations that protect Arizona's beautiful land, air and water. Confirming Pruitt will only prohibit Arizona's progress.

Respectfully,
Jana Segal

Now to Senator McCain...

https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form#form_5410ED49-30B0-4918-84D6-C3B8DD32DCCB

Resist climate-denier Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA

The resistance is working! First public outcry caused Michael Flynn to resign as National Security Director, now fast-food executive Andrew Puzder has withdrawn from consideration as Labor Secretary.



Will climate-denier Scott Pruitt be next? Call your senator TODAY at 877-969-2590 and tell them to vote against Pruitt’s nomination as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.


If you’ve never called your senator before, don’t worry. It’s easy! There’s a script and a toll-free number ready for you. It will only take a couple of minutes, but it will make a big difference.

If you’ve never called your senator before, don’t worry. It’s easy! There’s a script and a toll-free number ready for you. It will only take a couple of minutes, but it will make a big difference.

Step 1: Dial 877-969-2590.

Step 2: Before you are connected with your senate office, you will hear a message from me with some brief talking points.

Step 3: After the message ends, you will be transferred to one of your senators' offices. You may be put on hold, but don’t hang up! Your message couldn’t be more important.

In case you want to practice ahead of time, here are the talking points written out:
My name is _______ and I’m calling to ask the senator to vote NO on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head up the EPA.
 
Scott Pruitt is a known climate-change denier who pushes fracking and other dirty energy sources over clean energy. By nominating Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Donald Trump is putting America’s communities, health, and environment at risk.

As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt blocked basic protections for clean drinking water and helped the industry hide the connections between fracking and earthquakes. Pruitt has made a career suing the EPA to undo critical environmental protections for our air and water. He’s also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry since 2002, leaving little doubt about whose interests he’ll protect as EPA head — and it’s not people or the environment.

If climate change denial is going to be the default position of the Trump White House, then relentless resistance will be the default position of the American people. It is now up to each one of us to fight for each other, and to resist the ways in which Donald Trump and his crony cabinet threaten our communities, climate, and country.

Thousands have already spoken out in resistance — writing messages, showing up at rallies, and going to town halls. Now let’s pick up the phones and make sure we can’t be ignored! Call 877-969-2590 right now.

In united resistance,

Jill Pape
Greenpeace, USA

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

One word: jobs


A Facebook friend explained why he supported Trump, “One word: jobs.”

Kellyanne Conway made a statement that people are coming up to President Trump, thanking him for saving their jobs. Trump and (then) Indiana Governor Pence had saved 800 of the 2,100 Carrier jobs from going to Mexico.

The State of Indiana has reportedly offered the company $7 million in tax breaks over 10 years to keep the jobs in the state. In addition, Mr. Trump is expected to ease up on his campaign pledge to slap a 35 percent tariff on Carrier air-conditioners imported from Mexico, a nice concession, given that Carrier will still be outsourcing more jobs than it is retaining in the deal. The most significant benefits could well come in the form of corporate tax cuts (and, inevitably, tax loopholes for specific industries) along with regulatory rollbacks, which Mr. Trump has promised, without supplying details. (New York Times, Dec. 1, 2016)

Trump said that he was going to make jobs but he never really said how he was going to do it – aside from cutting taxes and burdensome regulations on corporations. Let’s look at that. Here are my humble musings on how Trump’s policies, recent appointments and executive orders might affect the job market.

Healthcare continues to be a growth field. But with privatizing of our healthcare system, there will continue to be less nurses working more hours. The aging of America should also ensure more healthcare jobs, but Republicans are fighting to eliminate Medicaid and Medicare. You would also think there would be an increase in eldercare jobs, but Medicare also covers those services.


Trump has pledged to expand mining and fracking to public lands, so you might think that would increase jobs for those willing to travel back and forth to mining towns. However, these jobs are temporary. As soon as the mining companies decide it isn’t profitable, they pull out leaving a gaping hole and ugly abandoned mining towns where there used to be a pristine mountain or national forest. The jobs that were already lost when mining became automated aren’t ever coming back and that is a trend that is set to continue.


What about jobs building the pipelines? Those construction jobs last until the pipeline is completed.  But the Dakota Access Pipeline is nearly built. DAPL will create only 35 permanent jobs. There should be some jobs cleaning up the oil spills. However, Trump’s deregulation could encourage hasty cover-ups. It's time to leave behind this dead end industry.  Clean energy is a growth industry - the industry of the future. Solar energy already provides more long-term, high paying jobs than all of the fossil fuel companies combined.

Trump's cuts to the EPA will eliminate more than 3,200 jobs. Now compare that to the 40 jobs the Nestle bottling facility brings to Phoenix (to bottle up AZ. CAP water) or the 400 Green Valley miners who were let go when the mine was deemed "not profitable enough."
.
If Trump gets his way and mining is allowed in our national parks, that will hurt the tourism industry. People travel from around the world to see our national treasures. $21 billion is spent in Arizona alone!  But who wants to see smoke billowing out of the Grand Canyon?

Trump has promised to give sovereign Native American land to mining and oil companies. But the Water Protectors are leading the opposition. So... if Trump succeeds in making it illegal to protest, that may create more police and prison guard jobs when they are incarcerated.


Building the wall will create temporary construction jobs and ongoing border patrol jobs for those willing to live on the border. That will result in imprisoning even more undocumented workers. If Trump’s policies pan out, it looks like our biggest growth industry will be privatized prisons. If you’re worried about undocumented workers taking our jobs now, wait until corporations use them for slave labor.  Some of the manufacturing jobs that prisoners have taken over are: rebuilding computers, sewing, processing food, and metal fabrication.

Federal Prison Industries, better known as Unicor, enlists prisoners at 89 different factories across the country to create uniforms, bedding, shoes, helmets and flak vests for the United States military. Unicor employees are also responsible for creating everyday products for civilians, such as office furniture, batteries, extension cords, surge protectors, solar panels, safety goggles, sheets and blankets and, yes, license plates.



Trump’s pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall threatens the good relationship America has built with Mexico. American-owned factories are currently employing more Mexicans – ebbing the flow of undocumented workers into this country. Mexico is our number 3 trading partner. Exports to Mexico supports 1.1 million jobs in the U.S. That is more jobs than any other trading partner including Canada and China.

Tucson gets most of its produce from Mexico. Less than 4% of Tucson’s food is grown in Arizona. Where will we get our food?  Will drought-ridden California be able to take up the slack? Trump's actions are threatening our food security.  And what about all of those truck driving jobs?

With Trump threatening a 20% tariff on Mexican imports, Americans may finally get a chance to see what it’s like to do back-breaking farm labor (if they are willing to migrate from town to town as the produce comes in season). Wouldn’t it be great if that meant the return of small American farms?! But more likely, deregulation will make it even more profitable for big agriculture. And the factories that manufacture the food are becoming automated.


And there are other concerns. How much business will we lose when it becomes too hard to cross the border to shop? What about all the products undocumented immigrants purchase everyday?

And what about Trump’s plan to enact 35% tariffs on companies that take their jobs out of the U.S.? Even members of his own party are against it because many companies have already pulled out, it would make us lose trade, and would make products more expensive for the average consumer.

Donald is bribing manufacturing companies (with our tax dollars) to stay in the country. But these jobs will be phased out as it becomes cheaper for factories to be automated.


As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushes for more trade schools, Americans will be ill-equipped to compete with other countries for the jobs of the future that require problem solving and creativity. If she succeeds in privatizing education, teachers’ already low pay will go down because of the profit motive and less regulation on private schools. We are already experiencing a teacher shortage in Arizona because of low pay. What if that is extended nationwide? And what about all the teaching and support jobs at Universities that may be lost as fewer graduates can afford to attend Universities with profit-driven Betsy in control of student loans?

Many of the jobs still left in America are service jobs in the fast food industry. But there has been a trend away from unhealthy fast food, and it will only get unhealthier as the quality of the food declines with the removal of USDA and FDA food safety protections. Also, Trump showed his commitment to lowering the minimum wage (to make us more competitive) by appointing  Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor, (former CEO of Carls Jr. who fought the minimum wage and forced his managers to work 20 extra hours a week without pay). Puzder has now withdrawn his nomination. With service workers toiling more hours for less pay, they have less expendable time and income to go shopping, so that will hamper new business growth.

President Donald Trump has vowed to keep trying to ban immigrants, even as medical, scientific and technology groups work every possible angle to get employees and students through the new barriers. Without immigration, "we'd be a third-rate country," says Michio Kaku, the well-known author of "The Future of the Mind" and other books and a professor of physics at City College of New York. "Most of the prosperity that we see around us is due to the genius of the people that came in." Being able to attract the world's best and the brightest gives the U.S. a huge advantage, Kaku says. It makes for a bigger pie, so everyone gets more. (See article in link)

Also, if Trump continues to issue travel bans, that will affect the travel industry. In fact, it already has. Trump is currently dismantling the EPA and is putting a freeze on government hiring – more jobs lost. What about all the jobs in television and theater that will be lost because of cutting funding for the arts – not to mention all the artists who won’t be able to make a living?


Trump does seem well on his way to increasing jobs in the military complex – as he antagonizes world leaders possibly inciting them to war.

Between all the tax breaks for his billionaire friends, the average American paying for the environmental cleanup (caused by decreased environment protections), eventually bailing out banks and Wall Street (as a result of cutting Dodd-Frank), and the increased military budget - how on earth will we be able to afford the construction workers to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure?

From what I can tell, Trump’s policies should create more jobs in the military, law enforcement, the prison industry, homeland security, mining and oil extraction (for a while), pipeline and border wall construction (for a while), and produce picking. Some of us are gonna really have toughen up for those jobs. Or… we can stay at home with the kids…hmm... Only, with no minimum wage, families won’t be able to afford a stay at home parent. So we can continue to work in fast food. Wait! How much do you get for homeschooling your kids? Ask DeVos.


At least I've demonstrated that it's not as simple as "one word." These policies need to be thought through.

Monday, February 13, 2017

U.S. SENATORS' CONTACT INFO

For your desktop activist convenience...

Speak up for what you believe!

www.biologicaldiversity.org/action/toolbox/phone_numbers

Postcard Campaign

Since Paul Ryan has blocked his office phones and fax numbers, and is turning away people who show up to deliver petitions, time to change tactics. Please mail postcards to his HOME address saying NO to repealing the ACA, and NO to privatizing Medicare!

PAUL RYAN
700 ST. LAWRENCE AVE.
JANESVILLE, WI 53545


Please, paste and copy this info and share. Let’s see what 67 million cards in the driveway looks like.

How to deal with Trump

How to deal with Trump

1. Don't use his name;
2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone;
3. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;
4. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
5. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
6. Support artists and the arts;
7. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
8. Take care of yourselves; and
9. Resist!

Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, "When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make your fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."

When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to "The Republican Administration," or "The Republicans." This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don't like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.

(Re-posted from facebook. Copy to paste to your own public media wall.)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Protest fatigue" getting to you?


Take heart. Some words of inspiration from Michael Moore. 

"This morning I have been pondering a nearly forgotten lesson I learned in high school music. Sometimes in band or choir, music requires players or singers to hold a note longer than they actually can hold a note. In those cases, we were taught to mindfully stagger when we took a breath so the sound appeared uninterrupted. Everyone got to breathe, and the music stayed strong and vibrant. Yesterday, I read an article that suggested the administration's litany of bad executive orders is a way of giving us "protest fatigue" - we will literally lose our will to continue the fight in the face of the onslaught of negative action. Let's remember MUSIC. Take a breath. The rest of the chorus will sing. The rest of the band will play. Rejoin so others can breathe. Together, we can sustain a very long, beautiful song for a very, very long time. You don’t have to do it all, but you must add your voice to the song. With special love to all the musicians and music teachers in my life."

Let's breathe - in mindful unity and remember to keep using our voices.

Letter to Sen. Flake about my kids' experience with charter schools.


After spending hours signing and sharing petitions, e-mailing and calling Senator Flake's Tucson and Washington offices to PLEAD with him to deny the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, I was irate to get an e-mail response that included this tweet:

Lest there be any doubt about how I'm voting on she had me at "school choice" years ago...

He had the power to really represent the people and our children. If he had just voted against her, the appointment would not have gone through.

Here is the e-mail I just sent to him - letting him know we are watching him.

Dear Senator Flake,

I have two bright boys who have attended both public and charter schools here in Tucson. With Tucson already one of the worst-financed school systems in the U.S., class sizes are so large (even in Kindergarten!) that it is difficult for teachers to keep order. So when Sonoran Science Academy promised smaller class sizes, we transferred to that promising charter school. But charter schools function on a profit-first motive so they eventually let every possible student into their limited space - with inexpensive, inexperienced teachers to instruct them. I later found out that my younger son had taken to wondering the halls to escape the irate, bellowing teacher. My older son, who had received the highest score in the school on the math placement exam, who had been programming computer games since the age of 8, somehow got an F in intro to computer science! I ended up putting my younger child back at his old elementary school - with the stipulation that he be able to take advanced math. After transferring back, the teacher who had agreed to accelerate his math lessons could no longer do it because he was forced to teach two grades in one classroom when a school closed (due to money leaving the public school system to go to charter schools.) My children's' neighborhood elementary school also shut its doors and the students were crammed in with middle school students (at a middle school with a reputation for gang violence). My younger son, who had a gift for math, has now lost all interest in school and is even failing algebra.

That's why I was very disappointed that you didn't listen to me and so many other Arizonans pleading with you to deny the appointment of the inexperienced Betsy DeVos - who will push her agenda of profit-based charter schools at the expense of our public schools and our children. We have got to have someone with experience in education to reform our broken education system. Betsy DeVos is not that person. Education is the future of our country and our children.

Again, I am very disappointed and am watching the decisions you make.

Sincerely,
Jana Segal

Don't Let Congress Put Oil And Gas Above Your Interests


https://www.facebook.com/473191156175163/videos/725770440917232/
2016 was the hottest year on record—and rising methane emissions are responsible for about a quarter of that increased warming. And in America, oil and gas companies are responsible for more methane pollution than any other industry. Together, we worked to put in place first-ever limits of the dangerous climate pollution that the oil & gas industry is leaking, venting, and flaring on our public and tribal lands. Now, all of that is at risk.
The House has already voted to roll back these standards and block the Bureau of Land Management from issuing similar protections into law in the future without additional congressional action. That will mean more pollution and wasted taxpayer resources. Now, the fight moves on to the Senate.
Any day now the Senate will vote on a rule that would permanently block common sense safeguards on pollution and waste from the oil and gas industry.
TAKE ACTION and tell Senator John McCain: Don't waste our taxpayer resources to protect the interests of the oil and gas industry.

Suite 1150.
Phoenix, Arizona 85016.
Phone: (602) 952-2410.
Fax: (602) 952-8702.

Sign petition: 

https://secure2.edf.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&id=2891&page=UserAction&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=edaf_blm-methane_pd_acq&utm_medium=ad&utm_id=1486147810&utm_content=mccainvideo

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Nudging Mom to fight for her health care.

I just sent this e-mail to my mom (who doesn't like political posts on her page.) lol Notice the large print. 

Mom, I thought you might be interested since Dad is dependent on drugs for his health. 

If you click the link, it will ask for your zip and give you the number to your representative in MO. 

Just say:

"I am Lorna (last name) from Lebanon, MO. I am calling to ask my representative to vote no on Tom Price. This drug corporation insider shouldn't be in control of our health care." 

It's not that hard.

Thanks,
Jana

----------------------

Jana,

Republicans are still scrambling on health care. We quite literally have them running out of town halls from California to Illinois to Texas. But we won’t let them duck their duty to serve us, their constituents. We’re going to keep fighting for quality, affordable health care for all.

Our calls and letters gave Democrats the backbone to stall confirmation of drug corporation insider Tom Price, Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services. With a vote expected tomorrow in the Senate, we need one more big push to tell our senators that we won’t stand for Price.

Tell your senators to vote "no" on Tom Price. This drug corporation insider shouldn’t be in control of our health care.
Health care costs are people’s biggest concern nationwide, according to a new Monmouth University poll. Across the board, people want corporations to stop charging out-of-reach amounts for life-saving prescription drugs.

Tom Price lined his pockets with drug corporation money. Now his boss, Donald Trump, is walking back his campaign promise to negotiate lower prices with drug corporations. Trump met with drug corporation lobbyists and says he’ll give them lower taxes instead.

Call your senator now. Say: vote "no" on Tom Price. He wants to dismantle our health care. We need care, not chaos.
We know whose side Tom Price and Donald Trump are on. They want to dismantle the health care programs our families count on, from Medicaid and Medicare to the Affordable Care Act. Their haphazard plans are already threatening chaos for all of us.

We want care for every person in our country, not chaos. That’s why we’re putting the heat on politicians who put corporations above people. Let’s keep the pressure on and show the best of our country. We deserve better than drug corporation insider Tom Price.

Thank you for being a health care champion!

Sarah Chaisson-Warner
People’s Action

Army Corps of Engineers to permit the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe

Trump is bragging that no one called to protest his executive order to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to be rushed through without proper investigation into the environmental impact.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its intention to issue a permit for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe as soon as tomorrow. The Army Corps also stated that it would grant the easement without completing an environmental impact statement (EIS), a process that allows for public input.


Here's their contact information:

www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/u-s-army-corps-of-engineers

I just left a message.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Army Corps announced that it will allow the company to continue construction on the pipeline


Last week, raids and arrests continued as Water Protectors stood their ground against Trump's push to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. And just now, the Army Corps announced that it will allow the company to continue construction on the pipeline.1

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

URGENT: Dakota Access Pipeline approved, take action

Outrageous. The Trump administration just issued the final approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline, putting corporate profits above the safety and sovereignty of the Standing Rock Sioux. Trump is blatantly ignoring the environmental review and public comment period that the Army Corps of Engineers already started under the Obama administration.

The Standing Rock Sioux recently stated, "We stand ready to fight this battle against corporate interest superseding government procedure and the health and well-being of millions of Americans." We continue to stand with them.

Take action: Send a message to the Army Corps of Engineers to hold them accountable for putting Big Oil first by stopping the environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline!

In December, the Obama administration ordered an environmental review of the pipeline to study the effect it would have on the Standing Rock Sioux's sacred land and Lake Oahe, the body of water the pipeline would cut through. The public comment period opened in January, and since then, the Water Protectors and their supporters have already submitted more than 200,000 comments opposing the pipeline that the Army Corps has now chosen to ignore in favor of helping Big Oil.

This blatant disregard for the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux, the need for an environmental review, and for the democratic process of considering public feedback is unacceptable. Send a message to the Army Corps of Engineers now to show them that we will not be silenced!

By casting people aside for corporate polluter profits, Donald Trump continues to show what his White House stands for: corruption, bigotry, and greed. More than 300 tribes and millions of Americans will continue to stand united in opposition to this reckless project, and we are not backing down. We will continue to stand in solidarity with the movement that is challenging the fossil fuel status quo in so many places - from the Tribes fighting the Trans Pecos Pipeline in Texas, to the First Nations and landowners fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, to the landowners challenging the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, to the Gwich'in people standing up for continued protection of the Alaska Refuge. Our movement is strong, and it cannot be silenced by this administration's blatant prioritization of corporate profits over people's wellbeing.

Last year, 15,000 people -- including veterans and hundreds of Tribes from around the world -- traveled to North Dakota to peacefully support the Standing Rock Sioux and oppose this dangerous pipeline. Their prayers and songs were increasingly met by a militarized police force using dogs, water cannons, rubber bullets, pepper spray, concussion grenades, and other tactics designed to intimidate, dehumanize, and invoke fear.

There's no question that a fair and comprehensive environmental review would show that this pipeline will threaten the safety of every community it cuts through, including the ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We must hold the Army Corps of Engineers accountable for breaking their promise to Standing Rock and to the millions of people who supported them. Speak up by sending the Army Corps a letter now.

This is just the first step in our fight to hold the administration and the Army Corps of Engineers accountable, and we will continue to let you know how you can fight back. We will not back down.

Thank you for standing with Standing Rock,

Michael Brune
Executive Director, Sierra Club

Speak Up for Fair Electric Rates in and Around Tucson!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
10:00 a.m.
Room 222, Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC)
400 West Congress, 2nd Floor, Tucson

Please attend this meeting of the ACC tomorrow in Tucson, and sign up to give public comment! Below are some suggested talking points.

NOTE: This session will cover “Phase 1” of the TEP and Trico rate cases, which includes the proposed fixed fees and rates, but not rooftop solar issues. Rooftop solar issues will be considered during “Phase 2,” within the next several months.

  • Under TEP’s plan, customers would have to pay a 70% increase in the monthly fixed charge, no matter how much electricity they use. Trico is even worse, proposing to raise their monthly fixed charge from $15 to $24! That’s unfair. An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the ACC recently issues a Recommended Opinion and Order (ROO) suggesting a 30% increase in TEP’s fixed monthly charge. This is also unfair. Please don’t increase the fixed charge.

  • Customers would be unable to do anything to reduce that additional fixed cost.
  • In other jurisdictions, they charge customers in a better way. Fixed charges are much lower. Customers are charged more based on how much electricity they use instead of a fixed amount.

  • Billing based on how much energy is actually used is a fairer way to bill. It allows customers to save money when they do basic things such as turn off the lights and adjust the thermostat up or down. That’s why most utility companies have low fixed charges.

  • Usually when you pay more for something, you get better service in return. But under this proposal, TEP is not expanding additional services that might, for example, make it easier for people to control the costs of their electric bills.
  • TEP is requesting a 7% increase on rates.  I wish I could go into work and request a 7% raise.  Please don’t let them raise their rates this high.  I won’t be able to afford it. Electricity rates are already too high for those with limited and fixed incomes. Let’s not make a bad situation worse with a rate increase and increase in fixed charges.

  • The ACC can help to make sure Arizona continues toward a clean energy future:
    • Please oppose the $2/month second meter charge for TEP solar customers.
    • Please keep intact net metering to ensure that those who install solar are fairly compensated for electricity they generate for their neighbors. I understand this will be considered during Phase 2, but I want to make sure the ACC understands that I support fairly compensating rooftop solar customers for electricity they generate.

  • The Commission should keep fixed charges low to encourage energy efficiency and limit harm to those on low and fixed incomes and keep policies to encourage rooftop solar.


Help us get the word out! Tweet for fair rates!

SAMPLE TWEETS

Utility @TEPenergy raising the monthly fixed charge by 70% for all customers, discouraging energy efficiency. @CorpCommAZ just say no!

Utility @TEPenergy time to end attacks on rooftop solar, low-income customers, & energy efficiency. Invest in Tucson's clean energy future!

Ask @CorpCommAZ to tell @TEPenergy to commit to future powered by clean energy, energy efficiency & fair rates. Don't increase fixed charge.

Utility @TEPenergy should be a leader. Don't increase fixed charges. $84 more per year b4 flipping a light switch is a lot to many customers

The @CorpCommAZ needs to listen to @TEPenergy customers who are saying DO NOT INCREASE THE MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGE @utilityreporter

Utility @TEPenergy wants 70% increase in monthly charge w/out anything in return for customers. Bad idea. @utilityreporter @CorpCommAZ

Residents of @cityoftucsonaz want fair utility rates that don't harm low-income customers, support solar, & save energy & water @CorpCommAZ

Fixed monthly charges on electric bills should be limited – a 70% increase is huge! @TEPenergy why so much? What more are customers getting?

-- 
Dan Millis
Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter
Program Organizer, Borderlands and Beyond Coal

@SC_Borderlands / @AZBeyondCoal

(520) 620-6401 dan.millis@sierraclub.org
738 N. 5th Ave. #214, Tucson, AZ 85705

Tucson's Community Seed Banks vs. Monsanto


What distinguishes Tucson as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy is that we are a model for seed libraries with our world renown Native Seeds Search and Seed Library of Pima County Public Library. The purpose of these seed libraries is to maintain a wide diversity of seeds to combat Monsanto's monopoly on seeds that threatens our food supply.

Then why on earth would the Pima Country Board of Supervisors allow Monsanto to have a greenhouse to experiment with GMOs here in Tucson? Isn't that the antithesis of what Tucson stands for? Why would we use our tax dollars to incentivize them?


The people who represent us, the Pima Country Board of Supervisors, are currently holding hearings on Monsanto.

For more information, read, "Monsanto to grow greenhouse crops in Tucson area."

More Politics than My Other Blogs Can Handle


I started my first blog, Reel Inspiration, to promote diverse films with substance. Back then I had a strict policy to stay away from politics. But as things started to heat up in the world, I found myself drawn to films about the important issues of our times. I started seeking out movies to review that allowed me to express my thoughts about what was going on in the world. Some of those issues snuck into the writing/storytelling blog I share with my mom, Rag-looms and Heirlooms. Then my husband Dan and I started getting into sustainability and water harvesting. So naturally, Sustainable Living Tucson follows our journey from a normal consumer life style to a more sustainable one. But I found myself posting more and more on Facebook about fracking or Nestle bottling Arizona’s CAP water in a drought or protesting Tucson Electric for its war on solar or the Water Protectors standing up to the Dakota Access Pipeline. That led to sharing petitions and contact information for our representatives to protest the pipeline or Trump’s latest cabinet picks.

I like to think of myself as a desktop activist: keeping my friends abreast of what is happening in Standing Rock or in the White House, writing or calling our representatives, sharing my e-mails and contact information with my Facebook friends.

In these changing times, it has become increasingly important to remain politically active, stay informed, hold our politicians accountable, and keep on top of our representatives to make sure they are representing our best interests. I needed a place where I could blog about my actions as a desktop activist, share my thoughts on what is happening in our country, and post calls to action and updates. More politics than my other little blogs could handle! So, I finally started a fourth blog – Desktop Activist Tucson.