Friday, July 14, 2017

Leisa's 2017 Haiti Journal #1 -- "Norm's Place"

Dear Friends,

Emergency medical services in Folsom, CA are 3,180 miles away from the seaside village of Labadee, Haiti that sheltered me at Norm’s Place a few years ago, but it may as well be light years away. The contrast in care came crashing into real life this week as we tended Grandma Toby during her emergency surgery in Folsom.
            I told Grandma my Labadee story, in part to distract her from her pain and in part to remind myself of the 50+ Haiti boxes Luke just dragged up from storage today, the first step to packing over 1,000 lbs. of medical, sports and school supplies that our Children’s Hope 2017 team will hand-carry into Haiti later this month.
            I started slowly earning her attention as more details came flooding back. “Oh, yes, ‘Norm’s Place’ – that’s the place that Norm runs up in Labadee. He’s about your age, Grandma, an American, who once in Haiti fell in love with it and with a woman there. So, he just stayed.”
            Her interest grew as I described Norm. And though I was on a daybed next to hers, our air-conditioned hospital room faded as I told her about Labadee that night. Over my shoulder, she had a12-foot picture window view of oak woodlands from her $40,000 hospital bed, but now, it was as if she were watching me in Labadee, Haiti that night.
            Though I had been to Haiti previously doing human rights work, that night was the first time I was given the ok to get into the Caribbean water “free of floaters” (here they don’t have to push raw sewage directly into the sea).
            I jumped at the chance, literally. Leaving my clothes in the boat we “borrowed” to get to the village, I dove off the back of the dingy. The nearly midnight moon danced on the cove’s gentle waves, washing the salt and sweat and grime of the day to the bottom of the sea. Glorious, warm water…never had a swim felt so free. For a few moments, the squalor of nearby Shada slum faded. It was just me and the moon.
            A bit sheepishly, I made my way up the village path to Norm’s Place. What would he think of me and my long wet hair dripping all over his place?
            “I just couldn’t resist,” I offered.
            “Now that’s my kind of girl,” he said, handing me a shot of rum and a tiny lémon (lime).  We toasted.
            My friends, Maco and Sasha found their way to their rooms while Norm and I chatted. He asked about my medical bag and my picture based book, Where Women Have No Doctor. As a sociologist I have no medical training, but, bit by bit, (or tipa tipa), I have evolved into a deliverer of such supplies, I explained on our second shot of rum.
            Just then, Norm’s wife escorted some villagers begging transport for a young relative into the room.  The girl kept her eyes downcast, and except for her furtive hand resting on her belly, I would not have known she was in labor. The village’s Cuban doctor was away and the midwife felt she couldn’t handle this life-threatening delivery...           

Bernie Sanders Podcast

Election days come and go, but political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. Listen to The Bernie Sanders Show to stay informed on the political revolution, our focus in the fight for a progressive agenda and how Bernie and others are fighting back against the Trump administration and its efforts divide us up.

The Bernie Sanders Show is now available on:

iTunes Google Play iHeartRadio

Excellent podcast on Net Neutrality. 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Voting Processes

California Voter’s Choice Act: Call for Applicants for Two Advisory Committees

Sacramento, CA – In 2016, the State of California passed Senate Bill 450, allowing select counties to conduct elections by vote-by-mail ballot while also providing regional Vote Centers to be open 10 days prior to Election Day through close of voting on Election Day. On June 6, 2017 the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved this new voting model which will provide the most voting options for Sacramento County voters, making voting more convenient and accessible. With this new process, all voters will receive a ballot in the mail 29 days before Election Day. Voters may mail back the ballot, or return it in the secure envelope to one of over 50 drop-off locations. Or, a person may vote at Vote Centers in Sacramento County over the 11 days prior to and including Election Day. To enhance accessibility, Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Department is seeking volunteer committee members to serve on the Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC) and the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee (LAAC).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. Is One of the Russian Connections

All along, the truth was right there in the emails — Donald Trump Jr.’s emails, that is, which he releasedpublicly on Twitter Tuesday morning after learning that The New York Times was about to publish their contents.

In language so blunt and obvious it would make a Hollywood screenwriter blush, the emails confirm what the president, his son and others have denied repeatedly for more than a year: that top members of the Trump campaign met with representatives of the Russian government in the expectation of help in damaging Hillary Clinton and getting Donald Trump elected.

On June 3, 2016, the younger Mr. Trump received an email from Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid reporter and music publicist, telling him that a Russian government lawyer had “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”

Mr. Goldstone went on, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

At this point, any halfway competent and ethical campaign would have contacted the F.B.I. That’s what the Gore campaign did in 2000 when it mysteriously received confidential debate materials belonging to the Bush campaign.

In President Trump’s world, ethics is for suckers. His son wrote back to Mr. Goldstone, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer” — when he probably assumed it would do the most damage.

Choosing Democracy: Trump, Right-Wing Populism, and the Future of the ...

Choosing Democracy: Trump, Right-Wing Populism, and the Future of the ...: Bill Fletcher

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tell No Lies

Defense of democracy is necessary.

On every one of his first 40 days in office, Trump made false statements in public. They ranged from assertions that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, causing him to lose the popular vote, to claiming that the United States has a $17 billion trade deficit with Canada. (We had an $8.1 billion dollar trade surplus with Canada in 2016.)

The New York Times has compiled a list of his lies and provided fact checking sources.

This is a great service to the public.  I encourage you to read the list.
I, along with the Moyers Report think the Times should receive a Pulitzer Prize for this public service.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Healthcare Rally Sacramento -Wed.

CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is blocking SB 562, the single payer healthcare bill!

There is an emergency action TOMORROW (Wed.) at 11:30 AM. Meet at the South Steps of the Capitol, 1315 10th St, Sacramento. Note: new time/location.
Join us to urge the California Assembly to stop the delay and pass SB 562 - guaranteed healthcare for all Californians.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Support SB 54: The Sanctuary Bill

antiracismdsa: Support SB 54: The Sanctuary Bill: Yesterday, the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed SB 54 by a 5-2 vote! Now it's time to call Governor Brown. Please call Gov...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Can Progressives Gain Control of the Democratic Party ?

An alternative view to that presented in the Sacramento Bee. 

From California to Massachusetts, a grassroots revolt from the left is wresting control of the party away from the corporate establishment.

WHEN KIMBERLY ELLIS ENTERED THE CONTEST FOR CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (CDP) chair in 2015, she adopted a slogan from Shirley Chisholm’s groundbreaking 1972 presidential campaign, “Unbought and Unbossed.” Four years before becoming the first woman and the first African American to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Chisholm had defied the Democratic machine “bosses” in Brooklyn to win a House seat.

For Ellis, the slogan was both a nod to Chisholm and a dig at the bossed and bought character of the Democratic Party. She and her opponent in the race, Eric Bauman, agreed on a range of progressive policies, like single-payer healthcare and a minimum wage of at least $15. The heart of their dispute was the influence of economic elites and the political establishment over the party. Ellis, the former head of an organization devoted to recruiting women to enter politics, has long advocated reducing the influence of lobbyists and corporate money, and broadening the base by building a network of organizers and activists.

“I believe the CDP should hire organizers, not build an institute,” she noted in a statement of her principles, taking a swipe at Bauman’s idea of building a think tank devoted to progressive ideas. In her pitch at the state convention, Ellis told delegates, “If we want people to fight for the Democratic Party, we have to give them a Democratic Party worth fighting for.”

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pass the California Sanctuary Bill

Local Assembly persons  Cooper and Cooley need to be called !

Your phone calls have made the difference in getting SB 54, the California Values Act, through the Senate to the Assembly. This campaign has serious momentum, and we're ready for the next step. The Assembly Public Safety Committee is holding a hearing on SB 54 this Tuesday, and our next task is making sure it passes the committee vote.
The California Values Act gives sanctuary to undocumented California residents and their families by prohibiting state or local law enforcement cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. ICE has made communities less safe, not more. When undocumented people are so scared of being detained or deported that they won't report serious crimes that our law enforcement should be dealing with, we all suffer.
SB 54 protects our neighbors from detention and deportation, and makes communities safer as a whole by allowing law enforcement to focus on crimes that actually endanger people. Please call your assemblyperson today and get their support for SB 54, the California Values Act.
The need for immigration reform predates Donald Trump's presidency, but ever since he took office our immigrant communities have been put in even greater danger. No undocumented person is immune from detention or deportation. There is no regard for their job, family, time lived in this country, or even children who are American citizens. It is our duty to take action, and California's to lead on making a home for our beloved immigrant communities when the federal government won't. That's what this campaign is about.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

BREAKING: Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal Is Actually Fake – Talking Points Memo

BREAKING: Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal Is Actually Fake – Talking Points Memo

Help Pass Single Payer in California

Thanks to your unprecedented efforts calling the California Senate in support of SB 562, state senators responded by passing the Healthy California Act and moving it to the Assembly. Because of your dedication to creating a single payer health care system, we are now one step closer to this becoming a reality!
The insurance and pharmaceutical industries fiercely oppose SB 562, but their political clout wasn't enough to stop the power of our movement for universal health care in California's upper chamber. Our opponents are still trying to submarine our efforts to pass this bill, but if we keep calling, we can see it through the Assembly.
We're on the side of California's tens of millions of residents who can't wait a moment longer. This bill will ensure that everyone has equal access to health care, no matter their income. Please call your assemblyperson today to get their support for SB 562, the Healthy California Act.
Insurance and pharmaceutical companies are trying to paint our efforts as childish, whimsical, and unrealistic. What they are really worried about is losing the profits they make by charging exorbitant prices for health care services and prescription drugs. Once again, it is time to say, loud and clear, we are here to disrupt that status quo and create a system that truly works for the people of California, whether they were born in the state or immigrated from another country.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Richmond California Progressives Run for State Offices

"Corporate Free" Richmond Candidates Moving UP.

Two Progressive Alliance leaders–city councilors Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin–are preparing to run as “corporate free” candidates for higher office.
Steve Early
May 23, 2017
Since 2004, members of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) have won ten out of the sixteen city council and mayoral races they have contested in their majority minority city of 110,000.
Last November, progressives gained an unprecedented “super-majority” of five on Richmond’s seven-member council—despite more than a decade of heavy spending against them by Chevron Corp. and other big business interests. For 12 years, RPA candidates have distinguished themselves from local Democrats by their lonely, Bernie Sanders-like refusal to take corporate contributions.
Now two Progressive Alliance leaders–city councilors Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin–are preparing to run as  “corporate free” candidates for higher office. It’s the first time either one has sought a ballot line outside their own blue-collar refinery town.  Both hope to capitalize on the energy and enthusiasm (and campaign donations) of thousands of former Sanders supporters, including those who tried to reform the Democratic Party at its statewide convention in Sacramento May 20-21.
At a lively pre-convention gathering of 500 “Bernicrats” last Friday night, McLaughlin discussed her not-quite-final decision to run for lieutenant governor of California as a progressive independent.  Like Sanders during his 2014 visit to Richmond–when he was still soliciting advice from out-of-state audiences about running for president—the former Richmond mayor asked the crowd for its “input.” (The response when she finished her speech, was loud chanting: “Run, Gayle, Run!”)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Healthy California Rally Wed.


Senator Dr. Richard Pan still does not support SB 562, the Healthy California Act, and the CA Senate votes on the bill any day this week.

As a pediatrician, Dr. Pan should be leading the fight to guarantee healthcare for all, not standing in the way of progress.

Come rally to show Senator Pan that now's the time for single payer healthcare! #YesOn562 #2018Primary

Bring musical instruments!

Date: TOMORROW, May 31, 11 AM-12 PM
Location: 2251 Florin Rd, #156, Sacramento, CA 95822
RSVP on Facebook

antiracismdsa: Texas Protests Over SB 4 Lead to Call to ICE

antiracismdsa: Texas Protests Over SB 4 Lead to Call to ICE: By the end of the state legislative session in Texas on Monday, the Capitol had devolved into scuffles and grave accusations. A Democrat...

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Memorial Day observance: The destruction that is war

A collaborative effort of the DSA Veterans Working Group

Memorial Day began as a consecration of war dead following our Civil War, by recently freed people honoring their comrades who fought and died with the Union Army for their freedom. Its purpose was one of mourning, not celebration; it is only in this generation that it has become — in the mass culture of the United States of America, at least — a festival for commerce and pageantry, far removed from any context or awareness of battlefield casualties. Out of respect for those who died and for those whose lives were forever changed by war, we must not allow this to happen. We don’t need bumper stickers or parades; we need solidarity.

It is not the first time that capitalist society has hijacked the intended meaning of a holiday; we see the same kind of ahistorical interpretation of Mother’s Day, which was itself a product of 19th century anti-war movements. As veterans of America’s adventurism abroad, we reject the notion that Memorial Day should avoid the uncomfortable question of this nation’s longest-running conflict.

Since 2001, the United States has waged ceaseless, objectiveless warfare in the Middle East, Central Asia, North and East Africa, and the islands of Southeast Asia. We’ve been at war in Afghanistan for nearly seventeen years. A generation has been born into this unending conflict, and we will soon have service members who have never known a time when this country was not at war. As of today, we have lost 6,915 service members directly in battle or in support of hostilities abroad, the overwhelming majority of whom were working class. We have lost many more to suicide and the after-effects of military service, at an average rate of 20 veteran suicides each day. We have contributed to the deaths of over a million people worldwide by bombing their homes, destroying their livelihoods, and instigating a near-apocalyptic refugee crisis in the Middle East. We have spent more than $5 trillion at the expense of all else while we’ve allowed our nation’s infrastructure and schools to rot away. With no real tangible objective, the endless campaign to support American Exceptionalism abroad resembles a truck marooned in sand, spinning its wheels and churning, getting nowhere while digging itself into an even deeper hole. There is no turning point on the horizon; continued engagement by armed forces will not improve the situation. It will cause only more death and waste: all of it unaccountable, most of it invisible to all but its victims. And there are always victims; entire communities overseas live in our shadow, wondering if the next plane overhead will be the last.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Senator Pan- Town Hall. Single Payer Health Care

Last week supporters of The Healthy California Act swarmed Sacramento as the deadline for a vote in the State Senate approached. You could feel the electricity in the halls of the Capitol building as hundreds of volunteers lobbied hard for SB 562!
Help us keep up the heat in the home districts of senators who haven't committed to supporting our bill to guarantee healthcare to all Californians! Can you join us for a Town Hall in Senator Pan's District?

Healthy California Town Hall in Senator Pan's District!
Thursday, May 25th 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Fruitridge Community Collaborative
4625 44th St
Sacramento, CA 95820

Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump Admin. begins NAFTA campaign

Trump's NAFTA Plans Fail to Protect Workers and the Environment

Take Action!

Sign the Petition Demanding Trump Put Workers and the Planet First

Oakland, CA — Now that President Trump has formally issued notice to Congress of his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the California Trade Justice Coalition is urging his administration to commit to an open, public process, remove job-killing special investor provisions, and include enforceable labor and environmental standards.

Today’s notification from the Trump administration does not offer any concrete plans for NAFTA renegotiation. However, in late March, a leaked outline of his NAFTA plans read like a wishlist from Wall Street  and even revived parts of the defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) like expanded rights for pharmaceutical firms to block generic competition and keep drug prices high and more investor incentives to offshore jobs that working families depend on.

“The promise of NAFTA being a job creator was hollow,” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. “Thousands of California workers watched helplessly as this flawed trade agreement led to the outsourcing of middle-class jobs. While renegotiating NAFTA is a start, the Trump Administration must fulfill its promise to working people to create an agreement that prioritizes good jobs over corporate greed. We’ll be watching closely to ensure that the voices of working people are heard throughout this process.”

Saturday, May 20, 2017

CWA On Strike at AT & T Sites.

The strike is over- for now. The CWA workers have gone back to work.

CWA union members have been working closely with DSA on organizing efforts across the country. 38,000 CWA folks at AT &T have been working without a contract. This has gone on far too long. Now AT&T workers in 36 states and Washington, DC are on strike.
DSA's national Steering Committee endorses this strike. DSA local groups and individual members are joining striking workers at picket lines across the country. Click here to RSVP for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Downloadable DSA solidarity signs are available here and here.
Members who can't join a picket line are encouraged to email AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and tell him to settle now.
UPDATE: DirecTV employees are joining the potential strike as well. Now 40,000 workers are ready to stand up for their livelihoods — and their dignity.

Join the CWA picket lines at the locations below and support our comrades fighting for better wages and better livelihoods!
  • 1743 ARDEN WAY
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95815
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95825
  • 3591 TRUXEL ROAD
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95834
  • 5550 SUNRISE BLVD STE 100

Read DSA National's statement here.

To find other/additional picket lines, click here.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Free Screening of "WHERE TO INVADE NEXT" on Cameron Park Lake!

Art Exhibit: Sin Fronteras

An exhibition of over 100 prints, sculptures and artifacts
Curator: David Bischoff

For 30 years, a brilliant artist-activist, RINI TEMPLETON illustrated the struggles of the people in the United States, Mexico, Central America and Cuba. Before her early death in 1986, Rini made thousands of unsigned drawings to be reproduced and used freely for popular movements. 

On May 13th the Latino Center of Art and Culture presents SIN FRONTERAS/IMAGES OF HOPE: RINI TEMPLETON PRESENTE! an exhibition of over 100 prints, publications and original sculptures. They present Rini’s legacy of art --- of and for the people. The exhibition includes a multi-media biography, “Rini Templeton, A Life of Struggle and Creation,“ created by Mexico City’s Punto Critico magazine collective. 

The work is on loan from Mexican and US collections. 

WHAT                                               SIN FRONTERAS/IMAGES OF HOPE: RINI   TEMPLETON PRESENTE!
May 13-July 17, 2017
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12PM – 6PM

OPENING RECEPTION:                        Saturday, May 13
(speakers, music, refreshments)       5PM – 9PM

WHERE:                                              Latino Center of Art and Culture
                                                            2700 Front St.
                                                            Sacramento, CA 95818

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Trump Fires Comey

BREAKING: Donald Trump just fired FBI Director James Comey, compromising the only semi-credible and somewhat-resourced investigation into Trump and his administration's ties to Russia.1 Trump fired Comey on the advice of Jeff Sessions, who was forced to recuse himself from Russia-focused investigations because he lied under oath about his own conversations with Russian officials.2
We now face a constitutional crisis. The security and integrity of our democracy is at stake.
More than ever, what we need now is a truly bipartisan and independent commission to investigate Donald Trump and his administration's foreign entanglements, business conflicts of interest, and violations of federal ethics laws. Will you join me in demanding an immediate, independent investigation into the Trump administration? Click here to sign the petition, which says:
Create a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate Donald Trump and his administration's foreign entanglements, business conflicts of interest, and violations of federal ethics laws.
Comey's record at the FBI isn't flawless—plenty of people take issue with the way he handled investigating Hillary Clinton's emails in the days before the election, and the news reports today about him mischaracterizing backing up emails as forwarding them don't help. But the argument that Trump would fire Comey for being overly critical of Clinton, when Trump personally led chants of "lock her up," is absurd. This isn't about good governance. It's about BAD government and the kind of cronyist cabal that fires someone who a week ago testified that he was made nauseous by the thought of helping Trump win office.

Choosing Democracy: Know Your Rights - Front Door (English)

Choosing Democracy: Know Your Rights - Front Door (English): The Sacramento Immigration committee has established a hot line to report ICE activity in the neighborhoods, at schools, parks, and othe...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Paul Krugman: Under Trumpcare, Millions Will Lose Coverage, Many Will Die—and the GOP Will Try to Blame It on Liberals | Alternet

Paul Krugman: Under Trumpcare, Millions Will Lose Coverage, Many Will Die—and the GOP Will Try to Blame It on Liberals | Alternet

Rini Templeton Art Exhibition : Images of Hope

An exhibition of over 100 prints, sculptures and artifacts
Curator: David Bischoff

For 30 years, a brilliant artist-activist, RINI TEMPLETON illustrated the struggles of the people in the United States, Mexico, Central America and Cuba. Before her early death in 1986, Rini made thousands of unsigned drawings to be reproduced and used freely for popular movements.

On May 13th the Latino Center of Art and Culture presents SIN FRONTERAS/IMAGES OF HOPE: RINI TEMPLETON PRESENTE! an exhibition of over 100 prints, publications and original sculptures. They present Rini’s legacy of art --- of and for the people. The exhibition includes a multi-media biography, “Rini Templeton, A Life of Struggle and Creation,“ created by Mexico City’s Punto Critico magazine collective.

The work is on loan from Mexican and US collections.

WHAT:                                                SIN FRONTERAS/IMAGES OF HOPE: RINI   TEMPLETON PRESENTE!
May 13-July 17, 2017
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 12PM – 6PM

OPENING RECEPTION:                        Saturday, May 13
(speakers, music, refreshments)       5PM – 9PM

WHERE:                                              Latino Center of Art and Culture
                                                            2700 Front St.
                                                            Sacramento, CA 95818