Saturday, September 28, 2019

Tell Congress: Don't trade Social Security for paid family leave

Petition to Congress:
"Pass the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act and establish an insurance plan to provide paid family and sick leave to every working American."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
This year, Trump's budget once again included a bogus paid family leave proposal that opens to the door to Republican sneak attacks on Social Security.1 But while Trump violates the Constitution and schemes against the social safety net, progressives are proposing real, concrete plans to make our country stronger.Donald Trump's America is the only industrialized nation that fails to offer paid family and medical leave. That's not a problem if you are a Wall Street executive who can take time off when you or a relative falls ill. But for everyone else, it means choosing between a paycheck and your health or a paycheck and your loved ones.
The FAMILY Act would establish an insurance plan to provide paid family and medical leave to every working American.2 At a time when working people face so many challenges, it's more important than ever to rally behind the most progressive plan in Congress.
New parents should not have to choose between caring for their children and keeping their jobs. Yet more than 25 years after Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act – which requires some employers to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to attend to family and health-related matters the United States remains the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer all citizens paid family or medical leave.3
The raw numbers behind that fact are staggering. Eighty-three percent of U.S. workers do not have paid family or medical leave – leaving more than 100 million people struggling when they or a loved one gets sick. Right now, low-wage earners and women make up a disproportionate number of workers without paid family and medical leave. No wonder it has support from more than three quarters of Republican, independent and Democratic voters.4
The progressive FAMILY Act would give people up to 12 weeks of paid time off, earning up to two-thirds of their regular wages, to care for new children or deal with serious family or health issues. It is funded by a small increase in payroll taxes – less than $2 per person – instead of pitting family leave and earned Social Security benefits against each other like Republican plans do.5
With Trump trying to soften his despicable image by putting paid family leave in his budget, there is more and more talk that Republicans and Democrats may come together to get something done. We need to make sure the strong, progressive Family Act is the standard for any paid family leave plan.
Tell Congress: We need paid family leave now. Click below to sign the petition:
- Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Emily Peck, "Trump’s Parental Leave Proposal Is Pure Hypocrisy," HuffPost, March 12, 2019.
  2. National Partnership for Women and Families, "Coalition Letter," May 6, 2019.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Peck, "Trump’s Parental Leave Proposal Is Pure Hypocrisy."

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Urge Democrats: Fight for a progressive plan to crack down on Big Pharma

Petition to the House Ways & Means, Education & Labor and Energy & Commerce Committees:
"Fight for the most progressive plan to crack down on predatory Big Pharma. At the very least, any proposal to negotiate drug prices must include more than 25 drugs per year with no ceiling on the total number and policies to address high prices at initial launch."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Under pressure from House progressives, Speaker Pelosi just unveiled a better-than-expected plan to crack down on predatory Big Pharma prices.1 But this plan still isn't as strong as what we need to bring drug prices down and stop Big Pharma's out-of-control greed. And there's a real risk it gets watered down even more in fruitless negotiations. We can't let that happen – we need to keep up the pressure for the most progressive plan possible. 
Sen. Warren's plan would direct the government to manufacture generic drugs. Sens. Sanders and Merkley and Rep. Ro Khanna's plan would force companies to follow international average prices or face tough consequences. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's bill would allow Medicare to negotiate discounts and let the government issue a license to produce a generic version of the drug if Big Pharma refuses to negotiate in good faith.2,3
Democratic leaders took these bold plans off the table. Their plan is weaker than the progressive options, but tougher than some of the draft plans that were floated by some of Speaker Pelosi's closest allies. It instructs HHS to negotiate the prices of only a minimum of 25 pharmaceutical drugs each year, with an unnecessary maximum of 250. It leaves room for prices above international standards and for Big Pharma to launch new medicines with absurdly high prices only to "bargain" them down. It levies penalties instead of creating competition when Big Pharma refuses to negotiate. It does include important protections to cap out-of-pocket pay under Medicare Part D and repeal some recent price hikes, and it does not include Pelosi's horrible earlier idea to let corporate-friendly arbitration panels set drug prices.4
Our voices helped block a terrible Big Pharma-friendly Democratic proposal, but we need to fight to improve the new Democratic plan and keep pushing for progressive plans that actually crack down on Big Pharma and deliver lower prescription drug prices for the American people.
Tell Democrats: Fight for a progressive plan to crack down on Big Pharma. Click below to sign the petition:
- Heidi Hess, Co-Director, CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Li Zhou, "House Democrats just introduced an ambitious plan to take on prescription drug prices," Vox, Sep. 19, 2019.
  2. Zach Carter and Daniel Marans, "Democrats Ran On Lowering Drug Prices. Now They Could Cut A Bad Deal With Donald Trump." HuffPost, April 19, 2019.
  3. David Dayen, "Nancy Pelosi's Drug-Pricing Talks with the Trump Administration Are About Mediating Fights Between Corporate Interests," The Intercept, April 22, 2019.
  4. Zhou, "House Democrats just introduced an ambitious plan to take on prescription drug prices."
More Information

Pelosi's new drug plan pressures Trump on campaign pledge - Politico 

Monday, September 23, 2019

CLIMATE STRIKE ACTION: Call #1 Investor in Fossil Fuels!

Millions of people around the world are following youth leaders and taking action for the climate during Climate Strike Week, September 20-27. This is a global movement of tremendous importance for people and the planet. You can take action too! Read on!

Green America, as part of the international Fossil Banks, No Thanks campaign, is continuing to pressure JPMorgan Chase to stop financing the fossil fuel industry.

By far, JP Morgan Chase is the biggest funder among the 33 banks assessed– including the expansion of the fossil fuel sector through ultra-deep-water drilling, Arctic drilling, tar sands extraction, fracking, and funding for more liquefied natural gas terminals.

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, JPMorgan Chase has become:

The top banker of fossil fuels, outpacing the second highest bank funder by nearly 30%.
The biggest funder for the top 100 companies responsible for expanding fossil fuels, outpacing the second highest bank funder by nearly 70% putting $196 billion into fossil fuels from 2016 through 2018.

Join Climate Strike week by making a phone call to JPMorgan Chase today, urging the bank to halt its disastrous financing of the climate crisis. Here’s all you need:

Dial any and all of these numbers:

212-270-1111 for the office of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

212-270-5097 for the office of Matthew Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance

Sample Message:

Hello, my name is ____________. I’m calling JPMorgan Chase today out of my deep concern about the escalating climate crisis and the need for JPMorgan Chase to stop its financing of the fossil fuel sector. I am opposed to investment in the fossil fuel industry and the abuse of human rights and Indigenous People’s rights that routinely accompany the extraction of fossil fuels. What are the bank’s plans to reverse its bankrolling of the climate crisis?

If you bank at Chase you could include: Given the bank’s record, I am planning to switch to a better financial institution that supports people and the planet.

Thank you for making this call TODAY – please share this action widely!

- Green America 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Saturday is the big day - The Climate Strike!

As you may have noticed there are several Climate Strike Events in Tucson. Hope you can attend one near you! (See locations below.)

If you would like to join Sustainable Tucson, Dan and I are hoping to attend all 3 of the events. But we will for sure attend the Youth Climate Strike. Just look for Sustainable Tucson's quilted cloth banner and grab an end! Smirk

We especially want to show support for the Youth Climate Strike hosted by our collaborators the Sunrise Movement and Students for Sustainability. (The Sunrise Movement recently facilitated a Sustainable Tucson meeting on the Green New Deal and then we attended their town hall!) That event is Friday, Sept. 20th from 4:30 - 6:30 at El Presidio Park, 160 W. Alameda. 

Speaking of Town Halls... There's a fun one on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 4 - 6 p.m. The Tucson Faces of Climate Action Town Hall. 

Agnes Nelms Haury Lecture Hall S107, 1064 E. Lowell St, Tucson, AZ

Hope to see you this weekend!

  • Southern Arizona Climate StrikeFriday, September 20, 2019 • 11:00 AMTucson, AZ88 E Broadway BlvdTucson, AZ 85702
  • ECOUNITNOW SYSTEMSFriday, September 20, 2019 • 12:30 PMPima County Tucson Main Library 101 North Stone 101 North Stone101 Noth StoneTucson , AZ 85701
  • Tucson Climate StrikeFriday, September 20, 2019 • 4:30 PMEl Presidio Park (next to Tucson City Hall)255 W Alameda StTucson, AZ 85701

Tell your members of Congress to co-sponsor Rep. DeSaulnier and Sen. Harris's resolution on clean air

Remember when you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you in LA? 

With a tweet, President Trump is trying to pollute the air you breathe.

In what has become his signature move, today President Trump announced via Twitter that he plans to revoke your state's ability to protect the air you breathe. 

NOTE: For more impact don't forget to personalize the subject line and leave a personal message!

Under the Clean Air Act, California has the ability to set standards for vehicles to reduce pollution. Other states can then adopt these standards to help protect you and the air you breathe. 

Now, Trump and his cronies in the EPA and the Department of Transportation are attacking that authority. California's rules have helped states clean their air, save their residents money at the pump, and reduce climate pollution. The only people that will benefit from this attack on state authority are oil companies. 

Congress standing up to this outrageous action by the Trump administration is one of the strongest actions we can take. 

- Andrew Linhardt, Sierra Club

More Information

Trump Defends Plan to Kill California’s Auto-Emissions Authority - The New York Times 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Don't let Nestle destroy the Santa Fe River

Petition to the Suwannee River Water Management District Board and Staff:
"Reject the attempt by Nestle Waters to renew Seven Springs Water's consumptive use permit. Drawing 1.152 million gallons per day from the fragile and valuable ecosystem of the Santa Fe River and its springs is clearly not 'reasonable and beneficial and with the public interest.'"
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
But Nestle wants to change all that. The water-hoarding corporate giant is trying to pump 1.1 million gallons a day out of the Santa Fe River area, even though the watershed is already listed as "in recovery" from earlier over-pumping.The blue waters of Florida's Santa Fe River and Ginnie Springs are home to 15 different species of turtles, including 11 native to the area, and a haven for those looking to respectfully enjoy the outdoors.1
The Suwannee River Water Management Board is currently investigating and taking public input. It could decide any day now whether to give Nestle the permit it needs. We have a short window to stand with locals who are speaking out against Nestle's disastrous plans.
The 1.1 million gallons Nestle wants each day is more than four times the record high the previous permit-holder Seven Springs pumped from the watershed. Nestle admitted as much in its application to renew an expired pumping permit it purchased from Seven Springs.3
As the world’s leading bottled water producer and owner of the Perrier and San Pellegrino brands, Nestlé already has a dismal track record on water conservation and human rights. In 2013, Nestlé was forced to back down after fighting a decision in Ontario, Canada that would have limited its water-taking in times of severe drought. That same year, Nestlé’s CEO famously challenged the human right to water.4
The Santa Fe River and related Ginnie Springs are already listed as "in recovery" after earlier exploitation.But Nestle recklessly wants to plunge ahead with a plan to rip four times as much water out of the area. It appears to be trying to game the approval process as well. The company applied for a five-year permit, likely to dodge the stricter scientific study requirements of a 20-year permit. But it is pouring millions into refurbishing and expanding a nearby bottling plant, which it wouldn't do if it planned to leave after only five years.5,6
"The Santa Fe River is already in decline," Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, one of the leaders of Our Santa Fe River, told reporters, "there’s not enough water coming out of the aquifer itself to recharge these lovely, amazing springs that are iconic and culturally valued and important for natural systems and habitats."7 We need to stand alongside everyone fighting to protect waterways from corporate destruction for profit by speaking out against Nestle's move now.
Tell the Suwannee River Water Management District: Don't let Nestle destroy the Santa Fe River. Click below to sign the petition:
Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Richard Luscomb, "Nestlé plan to take 1.1m gallons of water a day from natural springs sparks outcry," The Guardian, Aug. 26, 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Food & Water Watch, "Organizations Denounce Nestle’s New Human Rights Impact Assessment as a Public Relations Stunt," Dec. 19, 2013.
  5. Our Santa Fe River, "Nestle sets its sights on the Santa Fe River," Aug. 2, 2019.
  6. Luscomb, "Nestlé plan to take 1.1m gallons of water a day from natural springs sparks outcry."
  7. Ibid.
More Information: 


Tell Dept. of Agriculture: No logging in Tongass National Forest

Petition to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue:
"Reject plans to open the Tongass National Forest to devastating exploitation by logging and mining interests."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Instead of putting pressure on Trumpian Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro to act in the Amazon, Trump appears to be weakly following his lead here in America. He recently instructed the secretary of agriculture to open 10 million acres in the stunning Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation.The Amazon is burning, and yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to exploitation by mining and logging companies.
Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the United States, provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old.2 We can't let Trump destroy it.
"There are very few places in the world that are wild," one Alaska tour guide told reporters, "Here we have one, in southeast Alaska, and it’s being put at risk.3 Located in the southeast region of Alaska, the Tongass National Forest is a 500-mile archipelago, which encompasses the world's largest temperate rainforest and is "home to five species of Pacific salmon, humpback and orca whales, otters, beavers, Alexander Archipelago wolves, plus some of the largest concentrations of brown bears and bald eagles found in the United States."4
Its old-growth trees store vast amounts of carbon – an estimated 10-12 percent of all of America's national forests – and play a critical role as "Alaska’s first line of climate change defense."5,6 Local indigenous people, including the Tlingit and Haida, have lived in this region for centuries and rely on the forest's healthy natural resources for survival.7
The Tongass was open to logging exploitation until the 1990s. As much as half of the old-growth trees in the forest were clear-cut. A Clinton-era "roadless rule" requires the National Forest Service to approve new industrial roads that allow for logging on a case by case basis. But Trump recently directed the secretary of agriculture to exempt the Tongass from the rule and unilaterally open up to 10 million acres to exploitation. It appears to be a prelude to pushing for a full repeal of the rule that limits oil, gas and logging companies from plowing up our national forests.8,9
Trump's plan would also devastate tourism and sustainable salmon fishing – costing Alaska far more than it would gain from environmentally destructive logging that requires federal subsidies to be profitable.10 Clear-cutting forests has weirdly become "an obsession" for Trump, according to a former adviser.11 We need to generate a massive public backlash to stop this idea in its tracks before mining and gas companies plow through the Tongass.
Tell the Department of Agriculture: No logging in the Tongass National Forest. Click the link below to sign the petition
- Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Brendan Jones, "We need the Tongass now more than ever," The Washington Post, Aug. 29, 2019.
  2. Juliet Eilperin and Josh Dawsey, "Trump pushes to allow new logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest," The Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2019.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Dominick A. DellaSala, "The Tongass Rainforest as Alaska’s First Line of Climate Change Defense and Importance to the Paris Climate Change Agreements," Forest Legacies.
  5. Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, "Alaska Indigenous Women to Senator Murkowski: End The Assault On Our Communities and Lands," HuffPost, Jan. 10, 2018.
  6. Krista Langlois, "Thanks to Trump, This Senator Finally Gets Her Chance to Decimate Alaska’s Environmental Protections," Mother Jones, March 11, 2018.
  7. Earthjustice, "Federal Courts Uphold Landmark Federal Forest Protections Again," Sept. 22, 2017.
  8. The Seattle Times Editorial Board, "Stop the assault on Tongass forest," The Seattle Times, Aug. 29, 2019.
  9. Jones, "We need the Tongass now more than ever."
  10. Ibid.
  11. Eilperin and Dawsey, "Trump pushes to allow new logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Support Tucson's Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program

I am so excited about the City's Proposed Stormwater Management Program. Installing more Green Stormwater Infrastructure is one of the most impactful actions we can take to make Tucson water independent and secure in the future.  As a citizen advocate, I have attended G.I. planning meetings at he Pima Department of Environmental Quality. I'm so impressed by the incredible the work that the  city and county are doing to implement Green Stormwater infrastructure using guidelines by Watershed Management Group.  To really be sustainable, we need these systems built all over town and to be maintained.

The proposed green infrastructure is important for a sustainable future for Tucson.  Please, support the Proposed Stormwater Management Program and Fee by familiarizing yourself with their proposal and providing your feedback in the following survey and showing up at the Mayor and Council Study Session. 

Take this quick survey on the proposed stormwater project here.

I also encourage you to write your city council member.

Find your city council member here:

On Sept 4, City of Tucson's Mayor and Council will be considering a new funding program to support the development and maintenance of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) across the city to reduce flooding, promote shade trees, along with many other benefits.

We need YOU to join WMG's Policy and Technical Director Catlow Shipek in attending the Mayor and Council Study Session on Wednesday, September 4 and showing support for creating a Green Stormwater Infrastructure plan for Tucson.

When: Wednesday, September 4, at 2:30 PM – 4 PM
Where: Tucson City Hall, 255 W Alameda St, Tucson, Arizona 85701

Based on the current agenda timeline we expect the GSI program item to be discussed as earlier as 2:30 p.m. or up to 4 p.m. This is a critical program to help Tucson become more water sustainable, livable, and work towards restoring our rivers. To learn more about GSI please visit:

See the M&C Agenda at:

More information: 

Scaling up Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) - Watershed Management Group