Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tell Congress: Protect the planet, not big polluters by replacing NAFTA.

The petition to Congress reads:
“Our nation’s trade agreements should support good jobs and a safe environment – not corporations that offshore jobs and pollute our air, water and climate. Block and resist any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement that does not put workers and the environment ahead of corporate profits.”
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Tell Congress: Protect working families and the environment, not corporate polluters
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a nightmare for American workers and the environment.1
American, Mexican and Canadian officials are currently renegotiating NAFTA, but phony populist Donald Trump and his lead negotiator U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are trying to use the negotiation process to hand over even more power to wealthy investors, big polluters and out-of-control mega-corporations.2
Congress will have the opportunity to review and vote on the new agreement before it goes into effect. We must insist that any NAFTA renegotiation puts workers and the environment before corporate profits.
NAFTA eliminates jobs, erodes wages, increases pollution, and undermines critical environmental and health protections, harming lower-income families and people of color. It is already a bad deal for American workers and the planet – and if Trump gets his way, it could get even worse.
That’s why we’re building pressure on Congress to insist that any NAFTA renegotiation must:
  1. Institute a democratic, accountable and transparent negotiating process that doesn’t give corporate interests special access or seats at the table.
  2. Eliminate the investor-state dispute settlement system, which surrenders U.S. sovereignty to multinational corporations that can sue our government before a tribunal of three corporate lawyers – ordering taxpayers to pay corporations unlimited sums of money for the loss of expected future profits, especially if they think protections for workers or the environment might undermine corporate NAFTA privileges.
  3. Include strong and enforceable environmental and labor standards.
  4. Require all imports meet our safety rules, including environmental and labor protections on imported food, goods and services.
  5. Preserve Buy American and Buy Local policies, eliminating NAFTA’s waivers that allow companies to offshore our tax dollars instead of reinvesting them to create jobs here.
  6. Remove rules that drive up drug prices by allowing pharmaceutical companies extended monopolies on drug patents.
If the Trump regime negotiates an agreement that doesn’t meet those criteria, Congress must stand up for the American people and refuse to ratify it.
Tell Congress: Protect the planet, not big polluters. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Josh Nelson, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. David J. Lynch, "NAFTA talks that were supposed to end last year might continue into 2019," The Washington Post, Jan. 28, 2018.
  2. Michael McAuliff, "NAFTA Report Warns Of Trade Deal Environmental Disasters," HUFFPOST, Mar. 14, 2014

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sign the Petition: Demand a budget that supports working families and older Americans

Donald Trump’s budget would cut more than a trillion dollars from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and trillions more from education, food stamps, infrastructure spending and more. Tell Congress to reject a budget that hurts working families just to pay for tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
Sign the petition

Donald Trump has just proposed a new federal budget that steals from working families to pay for his massive $1.5 trillion tax cut that largely benefits the wealthy and big corporations.
As if his tax scam weren’t bad enough, he’s planning to pay for it with a budget that would slash critical services for working families and older Americans, including:
  • $1.8 trillion from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and more―kicking millions of seniors, children and people with disabilities off their healthcare;
  • $203 billion from student loans, making it a lot tougher for students to afford college;
  • $215 billion from food stamps, hurting the health of low-income children;
  • And, $1.5  trillion from hundreds of other public investments from schools to highways to medical research and environmental protection―gone!
Stand up to Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans as they attempt to devastate our earned benefits and other critical services for working families (all so they can pay for their massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations). Sign the petition today!
Participating organizations:
Americans for Tax Fairness
Center for American Progress
Corporate Accountability
Daily Kos
Demand Progress
EPI
Good Jobs Nation
People Demanding Action

People For the American Way

Tell the Department of Homeland Security: Investigate ICE for violating the human rights of immigrants.


The petition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General reads:
“Immediately investigate U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for violating the human rights of immigrants.”
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Border Patrol pouring out humanitarian aide water in desert 

Tell the Department of Homeland Security: Investigate ICE
Donald Trump’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is out of control.
As the rogue enforcement arm of Trump’s racist, xenophobic regime, ICE is invading communities across the country to terrorize and tear apart immigrant families. Its agents are detaining and deporting prominent immigrant activists and reportedly abusing people in their custody.1
To get ICE out of every community, we must use every tool at our disposal to discredit the agency and expose its human rights abuses. Demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately investigate ICE is a crucial first step.
ICE is the deportation army that is helping Trump enforce his racist agenda and silence dissent.

Trump picked anti-immigrant bigot Thomas Homan to be acting director of ICE and wants him to lead the agency permanently. Homan relishes in his ability to instill fear in immigrant communities and recently bragged about how many immigrants his agency has deported since Trump took office.2 He believes all undocumented immigrants are criminals and has unleashed his ICE agents to wage war on immigrant communities.
ICE is hunting down immigrants at hospitals, schools and courthouses. Its agents are even arresting and detaining Dreamers and green card holders.3,4 Now, ICE is targeting immigrant activists who are speaking out against Trump’s authoritarian regime. Its agents have deported Haitian activist Jean Montrevil and detained and threatened to deport other prominent immigrant activists including Maru Mora Villalpando, Eliseo Jurado and Ravi Ragbir.5
Recently, more than 70 members of Congress signed a letter calling out DHS for failing to investigate thousands of sexual assault complaints and other human rights violations filed by immigrants who were detained by ICE over the past decade. ICE agents have reportedly subjected immigrants in their custody to unnecessary strip searches, forced them to eat moldy and expired food, and denied pain medication to those with debilitating diseases.6 That is unacceptable.
When security forces or intelligence services are terrorizing disenfranchised communities or resistance movements in other countries, Americans are quick to speak out. Now it's happening here at home and it’s up to us to stop it. We cannot allow ICE to operate in the shadows any longer. Add your name now.
Tell the DHS Office of Inspector General: Investigate Trump’s deportation army. Click the link below to sign the petition.
- Nicole Regalado, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Juliane Hing, "ICE Is Going After People Who Were Once Off-Limits," The Nation, Jan. 19 2018.
  2. Jake Johnson, "ICE Director Brags About How Much He's 'Enjoying' Tearing Immigrant Families Apart," Common Dreams, Feb. 1, 2018.
  3. Samantha Schmidt, "ICE detains a Polish doctor and green-card holder who has lived in the U.S. for nearly 40 years," The Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2018.
  4. Jamie Lynch, "DREAMer speaks out on immigration, gets arrested by ICE," CNN, March 2, 2017.
  5. Maria Sacchetti and David Weigel, "ICE has detained or deported prominent immigration activists," The Washington Post, Jan. 19, 2018.
  6. Anna Núñez, "Inhumane Human Rights Violations Found at U.S. Immigration Detention Centers," America's Voice, Dec. 19, 2017.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Urgent! Tell your members of congress to oppose the Fischer's stinky CAFO bill


Factory farms, also known as CAFOs or animal factories, and their allies in Congress want to re-write federal law so they don’t have to report the hazardous emissions that they spew into the air we breathe.

Long ago, Congress passed a law1 ensuring that communities deserve to know what toxic substances are being released in their midst, no matter who emits them. Alarmingly, Senator Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) is leading a legislative effort to exempt factory farms from having to report their hazardous emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as is required by this federal law.

Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are dangerous substances and can cause serious health impacts such as asthma attacks, respiratory illness, and even death. If CAFOs get their way, they won’t have to report their hazardous emissions and impacted communities won’t know what’s in their air. Act now and tell your Senator to oppose this bill!

CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW

and urge them to oppose the Fischer CAFO bill (Senate Bill 2421)!

To find your Senators:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

Senator Jeff Flake at (202) 224-4521 and Senator John McCain at (202) 224-2235

Sample Phone Script:

I am a constituent of the Senator, and I urge him/her to oppose the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, S. 2421. This bill is NOT fair as it actually allows polluting factory farms to emit hazardous substances without reporting this information. As a member of the public, I have a right to know if my neighboring factory farms are emitting hazardous substances such as ammonia. Please tell the Senator to VOTE NO on S. 2421. Thank you!


- The Center for Food Safety

-----------

1. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, “CERCLA”

Tell Ford: Stop working with Trump to undo clean car standards

The petition to Ford reads:
"Honor your commitment to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change. Stop working with the Trump administration to delay, weaken or block the clean car standards."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Tell Ford: Stop working with Trump to undo clean car standards
Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt can claim another partner in their war against curbing climate change: Ford Motor Company.
While Ford advertises its commitment to building fuel efficient and electric vehicles, the company is simultaneously working hand-in-hand with the Trump regime to weaken the "clean car standards," Obama-era rules meant to increase fuel efficiency, reduce pollution and help curb climate change.1
Ford is putting profits ahead of protecting public health and the environment by working to undermine the very rules it once hailed and now continues to publicly promote. We must urge Ford to honor its commitment to the clean car standards and stop working with the Trump regime to weaken these critical safeguards.
Ford's hypocrisy and opportunism is astounding. As recently as last summer, Ford released a slick video in which Chairman Bill Ford greenwashed the company’s commitment to sustainability. The Chairman told his consumers and the outside world that "climate change is real and a critical threat" and that the company would "work with leaders around the world in support of ambitious global greenhouse gas reduction targets."2 Yet, at the same time, the company's powerful lobbyists at the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturing have been meeting with the Trump administration and even testifying in front of the Republican-controlled Congress to roll back regulations. A company that touts its commitment to addressing climate change has no business meeting with the Trump regime.3
The clean car standards are good for consumers, public health and the environment. If the U.S. government fully implements these critical protections by 2025, they will reduce oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, save consumers $1 trillion at the pump and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons — the equivalent of 150 coal-fired plants or 1.3 million cars.4
It's no wonder the clean car standards are extremely popular. In fact, 95 percent of Americans want auto manufacturers to improve fuel economy for cars, and nearly 80 percent believe the government must continue increasing fuel efficient standards.5
Our environmental and consumer protection allies are ramping up the pressure on Ford to drop its collaboration with the Trump regime.6 We must ensure Ford honors its promise to reducing emissions and stop working to undo years of to progress to protect our environment and climate.
Tell Ford: Stop working with Trump to roll back clean car standards. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Josh Nelson, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Environment America, "Earth to Ford: Get Back on Track With Clean Cars," EcoWatch, Jan. 25, 2018.
  2. Sustainable Brands, "New Ford Sustainability Report Reveals Progress on Water Stewardship Goals," Aug. 31, 2017.
  3. Public Citizen, "Ford Receives 2018 Hypocrisy Award for Promoting Innovation and Sustainability While Colluding With Trump to Undo Climate Safeguards," Jan. 9, 2018.
  4. Sierra Club, "Go ‘Forward Not Backward’: Environmental and Consumer Groups Launch Campaign Calling on Ford, Volkswagen and Other Automakers to Drop Efforts to Roll Back Clean Car Standards," Oct. 25, 2017.
  5. National Resources Defense Council, "'Floor It:' NRDC Poll Shows Broad Bipartisan Backing for Clean Cars and Clean Transportation," Aug. 4, 2016.
  6. Leon Kaye, "Ford Called Out for Undermining Fuel Standards While Promoting Sustainability," Triple Pundit, Jan. 11, 2018.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Submit your public comment before March 19: NO mining in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments


The Wilderness Society is challenging President Trump's rollback of protections for Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in court, and the law is on our side.

But in the meantime, the Trump administration is shamelessly moving forward with the land planning process that will open these priceless lands to uranium and coal mining, reckless off-road vehicle use and other impacts.

The Interior Department is currently accepting public comments on these new land planning efforts. 

Please tell them it is premature and irresponsible to open our monuments to industry while Trump’s actions are being challenged.

If they insist on moving forward with new land use plans for any portion of Bears Ears or Grand Staircase-Escalante, they must prioritize the protection of cultural and ecological resources.

Help us hold the line while we fight in court--submit a public comment in defense of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

- The Wilderness Society 

Submit a public comment in defense of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante to Assoc. Monument Manager Matt Betenson and Bureau of Land Management District Manager Lance Porter.

Sign the public comment by clicking here. (Please, personalize it for even more impact.) 

The comment reads:

President Trump's Proclamation 9681 and Proclamation 9682 are each the subject of ongoing legal challenges, and it is therefore premature and irresponsible for the Bureau of Land Management to move forward with the planning efforts for the tracts affected by those decisions. 

If the agency moves forward, any management plans created for the Indian Creek, Shash Jaa, Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits and Escalante Canyons units should reflect the intent of the original proclamations establishing the Bears Ears (Proclamation 9558) and Grand Staircase-Escalante (Proclamation 6920) national monuments. The plans should prioritize the protection of cultural and ecological resources in all the monument lands.  

Additionally, for both Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, new public hearings should be scheduled in Salt Lake City, UT, Flagstaff, AZ, Denver, CO, Washington D.C. and Albuquerque, NM, in addition to the "gateway communities" of each monument.  

Thank you. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tell Congress to stop Trump's outrageous offshore drilling scheme, and keep our coast off limits to oil giants


President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have released an outrageous plan to auction off vast swaths of our U.S. coastlines to disastrous offshore drilling.

From Maine to Florida, Washington State to California, across the Arctic and in the Gulf of Mexico, their plan would put drill rigs off the coast of every coastal state — endangering communities, marine wildlife, and our climate with the risk of catastrophic oil spills.

Congress has the power to stop this dirty, dangerous plan by passing legislation that would protect our coastlines — but we must push them to take action now.

Tell your senators and representative to stand up to Trump's fossil fuel giveaway, and protect our coast and our climate from reckless oil and gas drilling!


Despite years of cleanup, tourism and wildlife still haven't fully recovered from the horrific Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that spilled millions of gallons of crude oil. Tar balls still turn up on beaches. Toxic poisons continue to show up in birds and wildlife. Dolphins are still sick and dying at elevated rates.

Trump's short-sighted drilling scheme would put virtually every inch of our coastlines at risk of devastating oil spills. It will irreversibly harm dolphins, whales, polar bears, otters, and other imperiled wildlife that thrive in and around our oceans ... threaten coastal jobs and economies ... dramatically amplify the effects of climate change ... and block our path to a clean energy future by keeping us shackled to the heavily polluting fossil fuels of the past.

All of this, just to pad the pockets of oil executives.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose expanding drilling off our coast. We need Congress to act by launching a full-on legislative counteroffensive that will stop this drilling plan in its tracks.

We need you to help us mobilize a massive, nationwide public outcry in defense of our coast, our communities, and our climate, and make your voice heard at your senators' and representative's offices across the country.

Tell Congress to stop Trump's outrageous offshore drilling scheme, and keep our coast off limits to oil giants!

- Rhea Suh, NRDC 

Stand with Warren and Sanders: Tell the Senate Bailout Caucus to stop helping Trump deregulate Wall Street

Petition to Senate Democrats:
"Do not collaborate with Donald Trump and Trump Republicans to deregulate big banks. We need to finish the job of Wall Street reform and end a dangerous and rigged system that puts our economy at risk, not roll back the reforms already in place."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Stand with Warren and Sanders: Tell the Senate Bailout Caucus to stop helping Trump deregulate Wall Street
Meet the “Bailout Caucus:” the 12 members of the Senate Democratic caucus helping Donald Trump in his mission to give a regulatory bailout to Wall Street.1
One of Trump’s top priorities for 2018 is to slash the Dodd-Frank protections that safeguard against the risky gambling and speculation that led to the Wall Street economic crash and the bank bailouts. He has help from 11 corporate Democrats and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, who have co-sponsored a horrendous bill undermining rules on Wall Street.2
The American people have made clear their opposition to the #TrumpTaxScam and repeatedly supported candidates who promise to resist Trump. But these Democrats seem to have learned nothing from the financial crash and instead think currying favor with Wall Street is smart politics. We need an instant outcry to show that Americans stand with the Warren-Sanders base of the Democratic party and oppose this Wall Street bailout.
Republicans have spent years attacking the Dodd-Frank protections on behalf of their big bank benefactors. Trump has made letting Wall Street go back to greedy and dangerous speculation one of his top priorities. Now, 12 members of the Senate Democratic caucus have lined up behind Trump’s plans: Sens. Michael Bennet, Tom Carper, Christopher Coons, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Gary Peters, Jon Tester, Mark Warner and Angus King.3
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has blasted the deal in no uncertain terms:
“This bill weakens consumer protections, helps out the country’s biggest banks and encourages them to swallow up even more community banks. This bill shows once again how Washington values short-term profits for big banks ahead of the interests of consumers or the safety of the financial system.”4
The deal would let some banks sell high-risk mortgages once again, exempt many from the Volcker Rule that prevents risky gambling with depositor money and let speculative hedge funds hide behind the branding of major banks. Worst of all, it would exempt dozens of major, well-known banks from strict, too-big-to-fail oversight to prevent another massive crash.5 We need to show that the Warren-Sanders base of the party opposes Wall Street bailouts no matter who pushes them.
Despite what some corporate Democrats say, there is no excuse for supporting this bill. Instead of colluding with an unpopular Trump White House, they could have put Republicans on the defensive with a bold agenda. Instead of echoing Republican talking points about protecting small banks, they could point to statistics that show that small banks are more profitable now than they were when Dodd-Frank was passed.6They decided they would rather add their name to a Wall Street regulatory bailout the Trump administration has been pushing.
There is still time to kill the formal legislation, especially with Democrats wary after the backlash from their surrender to Trump and abandonment of the Dreamers. We need to let every Democratic senator know that this deal is simply unacceptable and pressure them to side with the Warren-Sanders base of the party instead.
Stand with Warren and Sanders: Tell the Senate Bailout Caucus to stop helping Trump deregulate Wall Street. Click below to sign the petition:
Murshed Zaheed, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Rootstrikers, “Meet the Senate Democrats’ Bailout Caucus [Tweet],” Jan. 23, 2018.
  2. Katrina vanden Heuvel, "Why Democrats need to stand with working Americans vs. big banks,” The Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2018.
  3. Rootstrikers, “Meet the Senate Democrats’ Bailout Caucus [Tweet].”
  4. Hannah Levintova, “Tell Democrats: Stop helping Trump deregulate banks,” Mother Jones, Nov. 15, 2017.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.

Monday, February 19, 2018

URGENT! Tell City Council not to spend $2.4 million to subsidize big water users


The City Council will be voting Wednesday on a plan to provide up to $2.4 million per year to subsidize the cost of new water lines to new industrial and warehouse businesses on the outskirts of Tucson. Like the other development incentives, the object is to stimulate Tucson’s economy by providing good paying jobs. The other perk is that in order to get the city to pay for the pipelines, the businesses must agree to include some environmentally sound practices in their building and business plan. Please, read Tony Davis’ article in the Arizona Daily Star for more details: Tucson City Council to consider paying for water lines to new employers

While the current plan is better than the previous plan that encouraged the new businesses to use green practices by offering incentives for implementing them (rather than requiring them), it is still just “greening” more development. For some reason the Tucson Chamber of Commerce wants us to compete with Phoenix in encouraging urban sprawl. 


This perpetual development is NOT SUSTAINABLE. We live in the desert during a drought. We have very limited reserves that rely on imported Central Arizona Project water. The CAP water  is transported 336 miles uphill requiring a whole coal fired power plant to power the pumps. The CAP water stored in Lake Powell is receding at a rapid rate. And other states get first dibs on that water. As climate change progresses, it is irresponsible to bring in more industry that will require water to manufacture their products and even more water to mine for the materials. 

The City Council has committed to taking action to fight climate change. Good! But it is not enough to just install some solar panels on city property. They need to stop promoting development on the outskirts of Tucson that increases traffic to those sites (putting more carbon in the air) and encourages the development of more housing complexes that use up even more of our diminishing water supply.

That $2.4 million would be better spent fixing our aging water system or retrofitting the houses and businesses we already have with water conservation and rainwater harvesting features. It would be better spent installing rainwater harvesting systems on neighborhood streets all over town.

As climate change progresses, Tucson will have more extreme weather. That means more droughts and flash floods. We need to work with the county to update our storm water infrastructure so that storm water is harvested. That would also save millions on storm damage. 


The City Council needs to decide if they are really serious about fighting climate change and making Tucson more sustainable. It’s time to encourage the growth of local businesses by incentivizing them to conserve water and retrofitting existing buildings – instead of bringing in more industrial water hogs. We can never compete with Phoenix. And why would we want to? Tucson Water cannot support perpetual development – particularly of businesses that require a lot of water. If we keep this up, Tucson will be a ghost town like all of the little mining towns that line our back roads. 

For a more sustainable vision for Tucson, check out Sustainable Living Tucson's blog: For the love of Tucson: Creating a desert oasis to combat climate change

Please, speak out to our Mayor and council members before the Wednesday meeting. And if you can, come to the City Council Meeting and make a public statement supporting a more sustainable plan for the future of Tucson's water.

Contact Mayor & Council Members

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild: https://www.mayorrothschild.com/contact-us/ or phone (520) 791-4201

*Ward 1 Vice Mayor Regina Romero: Regina.Romero@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4040

*See V.M. Romero's views on the proposal here.

Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham: Paul.Cunningham@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4687

Ward 3 Council Member Paul Durham: Paul.Durham@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4711

Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott: Shirley.Scott@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-3199

Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres: Richard.Fimbres@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4231

Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik: Steve.Kozachik@tucsonaz.gov (520) 791-4601

Speak up at the City Council Meeting

What: The Tucson City Council will consider a program of water infrastructure incentives at its Wednesday, Feb. 21 meeting.

When: The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m., and the water incentive package is the 10th and last item on the council agenda.

Where: In the Mayor and Council Chambers of Tucson City Hall, 255 W. Alameda St.

#saveTucson'swater

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Arizona Advocacy Ops for Water and the Environment


Champions for the Environment and Sustainability

Please, consider attending the Pima County DEQ Meeting on the Sundt Generating Station and its impact on our air quality. This is our chance to demand that any future investment goes towards building a clean infrastructure. If we want change, we have to show up and demand it. It is on Thursday, March 1st. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Abrams Public Health Center, Room 1108, 3950 S. Country Club Road,

More information here.

RSVP to tell the Department of Environmental Quality these new gas investments are unacceptable.

There is a lot going on with water in our state legislator. Some bad bills have made it through committee and will probably be up for a vote on the Senate floor early next week. (See more information below). Please, tell your senator to vote no on SB1493. This bill would be a first step in giving ADEQ control of a critical Clean Water Act program that protects washes and wetlands

Sandy Bahr from the Sierra Club wrote:

This week, a crazy number of bills were heard in committee and there were some long agendas and late nights. Next week, there are only two committee hearings, the House and Senate Appropriations committees. The reason for the packed agendas this week was it was the last week to hear bills in committee in the house in which the bills originated. Bills that were not heard are considered dead, unless they are heard in Appropriations or resurrected as a strike-everything amendment. For those unfamiliar with strike-everything amendments, these entail striking the original bill and replacing it with a brand new bill. This is one of many reasons no bill is really dead until the chambers adjourn, sine die, for the session.

It is likely that a couple of bills to allow the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to take control of important water programs will come to the Senate Floor early next week. We are particularly concerned about one of them, SB1493. This would be a first step in giving ADEQ control of a critical Clean Water Act program that protects washes and wetlands. Please ask your senator to vote NO on SB1493!

Update on other Water Bills: The Senate Natural Resource, Energy, and Water Committee and the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee both advanced a number of bills, the larger bills that include multiple provisions -- SB1507 and HB2512 -- and then several other bills that include the individual provisions. They will either attempt to pass them as they are and send them up to the Governor for a veto, or will try to work out some pretty major floor amendments. Either way, there is nothing in the bills that helps protect the environment, our rivers and streams, or consumers. The provisions help developers and big agriculture, mostly. Stay tuned for more on these as they move through the process. Let legislators know you want to see an open, transparent, and inclusive process for addressing Arizona's waters.

To find out who your Representative is, first find your district:
https://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

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

Sign the petition: Block the NRA’s dream bill


Senate Democrats: Stop the NRA. Block concealed carry reciprocity

Tell Senate Democrats: “Block concealed carry reciprocity legislation that would undermine state laws that protect residents from gun violence.”

Add your name:



Parkland, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Orlando. Whether it’s mass shootings or the appalling number of daily gun deaths, the National Rifle Association’s “guns everywhere” agenda is fueling an epidemic of gun violence in our country.

After each mass tragedy, Republicans offer their thoughts and prayers for the victims but show their blind allegiance to the NRA by refusing to act to keep their constituents safe. But now that Trump’s in the White House, they are going even further to help the NRA ramp up its extremist agenda on a national scale – with a reckless, dangerous bill to undermine gun safety laws across the country.

The right-wing Republican extremists in the House of Representatives recently passed the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) dream bill.1 The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would undermine state efforts to protect residents from gun violence and force every state to abide by the weakest gun laws in the country.

Now more than ever we need to do everything we can to stop the NRA. Republicans are so beholden to the NRA that they will do their bidding, but Democratic senators have the power to block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Can you add your name today to make sure they act as a firewall between our communities and the NRA’s extremism?

Tell Senate Democrats: Block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Click here to sign the petition.

Every state allows some kind of concealed carry, but 39 states require a gun owner to obtain a permit before publicly carrying concealed weapons in public.2 Some of those states require training before residents can get those permits. Some states block people who have committed violent crimes, domestic abusers, stalkers or people with mental illness that make them a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun or getting a concealed carry permit. Nearly every state restricts residents from carrying concealed weapons in places like schools, hospitals, government buildings or bars.3

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act uses the differences between states’ gun control laws to water down protections across the country. It forces states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state, no matter how lax the state’s permitting standards are.4 It will encourage people, including domestic abusers, who cannot get a concealed carry license in one state to “permit shop:” applying in another state with weaker laws and bringing their gun back to the state where they live.5 A resident of a state whose legislature has stood up for public safety and passed gun control legislation would be no safer than a resident of a state whose legislature is in the pocket of the NRA.

Years of statistics prove that comprehensive state gun laws lead to fewer gun deaths, but the NRA wants to undermine public safety by advancing a reckless, dangerous policy like concealed carry reciprocity.6 Senate Democrats must use their power to reject the NRA’s extremism and block this deadly bill.

Tell Senate Democrats: Block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/Senate_Concealed_Carry?t=7&akid=27312%2E3130208%2Ey_L0aP

Heidi Hess, CREDO Action


Add your name:


References:
  1. Dana Liebelson, "One Month After Texas Church Shooting, House Republicans Vote To Expand Gun Rights," HuffPost, Dec. 6, 2017.
  2. Michele Gorman, “Guns in America: What is national concealed carry reciprocity?” Newsweek, April 10, 2017.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Everytown for Gun Safety, “Federally Mandated Concealed Carry Reciprocity," accessed Dec. 6, 2017.
  5. Polly Mosendz, "Get Ready for Concealed Guns in All 50 States," Bloomberg Politics, Nov. 30, 2017.
  6. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, "2016 Gun Law State Scorecard,” accessed Dec. 6, 2017.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Donald Trump and conservatives in Congress are seeking to turn churches into the next secret money super PACs


Donald Trump and conservatives in Congress are seeking to turn churches into the next secret money super PACs and sneak through other policies that would further weaken our democracy.

We have to stop them. Will you make a call today? (See sample script below.)

Conservatives have snuck multiple ideological provisions into the must-pass federal spending bills. These riders threaten to further destabilize our democracy in favor of wealthy special interests, and we need to speak out NOW to let Congress know that we’re not going to stand for more attacks on everyday people.

These anti-democratic riders include:

*Allowing tax-deductible dark money to flow through churches and charities into our politics, essentially unleashing Citizens United 2.0.
*Stopping the Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring companies to disclose their political spending.
*Stopping the IRS from creating clear definitions for nonprofit engagement in politics.
*Prohibiting federal contractors from being required to disclose their political spending.
*Relaxing campaign finance coordination limits, which would allow candidates to spend significantly more.

Taken together, corporate dark money would greatly increase in our politics, and our institutions would have little or no ability to stop it. It’s up to us to stop it before it starts.

Today, Americans from across the country are calling Congress to say that we need a clean budget with none of these destructive riders.

Will you join them by making a call today and asking your legislators to remove these pro-big money provisions?

Call your members of Congress now!

Congress is working on passing crucial federal spending bills - and conservatives have snuck multiple ideological provisions into the bills. These riders would weaken our campaign finance system and further destabilize our democracy, and we need to speak up to stop these attacks on everyday people.

Act now and call your legislators at (202) 224-3121 (or at their local offices) to let them know we won't stand for a budget bill that allows more big money into our elections - here's a suggested script for your call:

 “My name is ____ and I’m a constituent of Sen/Rep ______. I’m calling to ask Sen./Rep.______ to oppose any riders in the budget bill that would allow more big money into our elections. Please oppose the riders that would block the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment and prevent disclosure of political spending. We deserve a clean budget that has no riders that would weaken our campaign finance laws. Thank you.”

-Francoise Stovall, Every Voice

URGENT: Big chance to stop Pebble Mine


With the Trump administration’s help, foreign mining companies are pushing ahead with plans for the Pebble Mine — the toxic, gold and copper mega-mine that poses catastrophic risks to Alaska's Bristol Bay wilderness and its world-renowned salmon runs, abundant wildlife, and Native communities.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt cut a backroom deal with Canadian company Northern Dynasty Minerals that brought the Pebble Mine back from the dead. But EPA’s settlement agreement with Northern Dynasty did more than just resurrect the project: it opened the door for Northern Dynasty to secure the investors it desperately needs to move the project forward.

Along comes First Quantum Minerals, another Canadian company, which recently announced interest in potentially acquiring half of the project and will pay $150 million to help fund the permitting process in the meantime.

If we want to kill the disastrous Pebble Mine, we must shut off the investor money. So, we must do everything in our power to convince First Quantum to walk away from the Pebble Project.

Tell First Quantum’s CEO that the Pebble Mine has no place in Alaska’s Bristol Bay wilderness!

Sign the petition: Tell U.S. Supreme Court to protect working peoples’ right to organize


For decades, our right to collectively negotiate a fair return on our work has been under attack. Whether it is so-called “right-to-work” laws, or legal attempts to undermine collective bargaining rights―corporate lobbyists seek to lower our wages and weaken unions.

On Monday, February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Janus vs. AFSCME―a case that could profoundly affect the ability of public-sector workers to improve their wages and working conditions.

Stand with EPI and our partners in telling the U.S. Supreme Court to protect working peoples’ right to organize. Sign the petition today!

The outcome of this case will directly impact 17 million public-sector workers across the country, disproportionately impacting black women―who make up 17.7 percent of public-sector workers.

Black women have traditionally faced a double pay gap―a gender pay gap and a racial wage gap. EPI research has shown that black women are paid only 65 cents of the dollar that their white male counterparts are paid. However, unions help reduce these pay gaps.

Janus vs. AFSCME poses a threat not just to public sector workers, but to all working people because we all benefit from strong unions. Labor unions bring about a better standard of living for union and non-union members alike.

Sign the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect our right to collectively bargain for a fair return on our work.

- Celine McNicholas,
Labor Counsel, Economic Policy Institute 

More information:

nwlaborpress.org: Right-to-work nation? Getting ready for Janus v AFSCME


Manhattan Institute video: Explaining the 'Janus v. AFSCME' Case

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough

Detective Barbara J. Mattson with a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle
The petition to Republicans in Congress reads:
“Put your constituents before the National Rifle Association. Take immediate action to ban weapons of war, including assault weapons and large capacity magazines, which have no place in the hands of private citizens.”
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough
Within hours of Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school – which took the lives of at least 17 people – Republican politicians without the courage to support real solutions to our gun violence crisis released statements and social media posts offering their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families.1
It was the exact same cowardly, ineffectual response they offered after gunmen wielding AR-15 assault rifles killed people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a concert in Las Vegas, Pulse nightclub in Orlando and Sandy Hook Elementary School.2
It is time for Republicans in Congress to join Democrats in standing up to the National Rifle Association and pass an assault weapons ban that will save American lives.
Tragic mass shootings like the one Wednesday in South Florida have become all too common. The last 5 months alone now account for three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history.3 In the past 5 years, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in the United States4 – including 18 so far in 2018 alone.5
According to Newsweek, “Florida has some of the weakest gun laws in the country.” Gun owners are not required to have a license, they are not required to register their guns and it is perfectly legal to own semi-automatic assault rifles like the one used in Wednesday’s tragic shooting.6 The heartbreaking truth is that the combination of weak state and federal gun laws made Wednesday’s horrific attack possible.
There’s one reason why politicians consistently fail to take real action on gun violence: The National Rifle Association. The NRA has a chokehold on Congress that keeps most bills about gun control from even coming to the floor for a vote. Politicians beholden to – or afraid of – the NRA are willing to turn their backs on their constituents when it comes time to implement reasonable limits and controls on guns. But you can count on them for a “heartbroken” tweet about their “thoughts and prayers” when a tragic shooting makes the national news.
Finally breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive grassroots pressure on our elected officials, demanding that they deliver more than thoughts and prayers in the face of our epidemic of gun violence.
We must forcefully demand that Congress takes immediate action to ban weapons of war, including assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Please add your name to our emergency petition now.
Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Ed Mazza, "People Sick Of ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ Demand Action After Florida School Shooting," HuffPost, Feb. 15, 2018.
  2. Igor Volsky, "Tweet," Twitter, Feb. 14, 2018.
  3. The New York Times, "Florida Shooting: Nikolas Cruz Is Charged With 17 Counts of Murder," Feb. 15. 2018.
  4. BBC News, "Florida shooting: 'Policy and change' not 'thoughts and prayers,'" Feb. 15. 2018.
  5. Meghan Keneally, "There have already been 18 school shootings in the US this year: Everytown," ABC News, Feb. 14, 2018.
  6. Chantal Da Silva, "Florida Massacre Survivor Tells Trump: 'I Don't Want Your Condolences,' Demands Gun Control," Newsweek, Feb. 15, 2018.