Official blog of the Sacramento Progressive Alliance, one of the largest and most vibrant progressive activist groups in California with more than 8,000 members. We educate and mobilize Progressives in Sacramento, the surrounding foothill areas, and at Sac State and Folsom Lake College.
As shoppers crowded into the McAllen, Texas, branch of Sprouts Farmers Market in mid-March to stockpile food, store clerk Josh Cano grew alarmed at the lack of safety precautions in place.
“There weren’t sneeze guards or masks or gloves,” he says. “There was zero sense of urgency from management.”
Cano, 24, worried about bringing the coronavirus home because his mother has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. He had heard of an online form that activists from the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the United Electrical Workers union (UE) were using to help workers organize to make their workplaces safer as the Covid-19 pandemic spread. The two groups—which had previously worked together on the Bernie Sanders campaign—were calling their joint effort the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC).
The experience many EWOC organizers gained from the Sanders movement had a direct impact on their work. Officials from the DSA and UE said the group took ideas from the Sanders campaign—such as building a largely volunteer operation to do complex organizing—and applied them to workplaces rather than an election. Many former Sanders staff members also volunteered to help workers organize. It's one example of a possible path forward for the grassroots movement that powered the Sanders campaign—a way to channel its insurgent energy into new battles for social justice.
Cano filled out the form, and Michael Enriquez, former deputy field director of the Sanders campaign in Iowa and a member of the EWOC planning committee, responded to assist the Sprouts workers. With guidance from Enriquez, who previously ran the Fight for $15 office in Kansas City, Cano and a co-worker, Michael Martinez, soon got 44 of their store’s 50 workers to sign a petition demanding personal protective equipment, a $3 an hour increase for hazard pay, 14 days of paid sick leave and an in-store safety committee. “We started the petition out of fear,” Martinez says.
On the afternoon of April 1, six Sprouts workers marched on their boss’s office with their petition and protest signs saying, “Health and safety over profit,” and “Make the pay worth the risk.”
The workers wanted outside support, and with Enriquez’s help, they got the petition circulated through Change.org. Within a week it had 7,000 signatures, including workers from some of Sprouts’ 340 other stores. A huge boost came when Sanders himself tweeted his support for the Sprouts workers.
Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of the provocative and popular socialist Jacobinmagazine, tweeted last week that he intends to vote for Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins in November. And yes, it matters. Jacobin has a considerable reach. It claimsto have a paid print circulation of 50,000, while its website draws over 2 million visitors a month. Jacobin is particularly influential among young leftists, with more-radical-than-thou tendencies that reflect the idealism of recent recruits to left-wing ideas. It was near-messianic in its devotion to Bernie Sanders’s candidacy.
The danger here is obvious. It only takes a small number of votes in key swing states—Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa, and Florida—where the margin of victory could be a few thousand or a few hundred votes, to hand Donald Trump a victory, as we saw in 2016. In Wisconsin, Trump’s margin over Clinton was 22,748 votes, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein won 31,072 votes. In Michigan, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes, while Stein got 51,463 votes.
In his 2019 book, The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality, Sunkara expressed concern that American socialists had “isolated ourselves in sectarian irrelevance.” Instead, he wrote, socialists need to create “an electoral strategy that can represent the distinct interests of working people, but without demanding that voters start immediately supporting unviable third-party candidacies.”
Hawkins, this year’s Stein, is about as unviable as one can imagine. A perennial Green Party candidate, since 2008 he’s run for the Senate, the House, governor of New York, and Syracuse mayor, city council, and auditor—never garnering more than a handful of votes.
Sunkara lives in New York, a blue state where Joe Biden is in no danger of losing to Trump. But Sunkara didn’t condition his support for Hawkins. If just enough people in swing states follow Sunkara’s example and vote for Hawkins rather than Biden, it could help reelect a fascist-wannabe president.
The Covid-19 crisis and the economic collapse have exposed Trump’s ignorance, mendacity, and incompetence for the world to see. He’s demonstrated no compassion or concern for the 50,000 people who have already died. He has used the crisis as an opportunity to promote his reelection, further his agenda of putting profits over people, and scapegoat immigrants, the media, China, the World Health Organization, and Democrats to divert attention from his own failures.
You don’t have to love Biden to understand that Trump unleashed for a second term will be much worse than his first term. Trump will use every means at his disposal (the FBI, the Justice Department, Supreme Court and other judicial nominations, and the post office) to repress progressive movements and restrict the right to protest. After four more years of Trump, our democracy will be on life support, in need of hard-to-find ventilators.
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Biden is certainly no socialist. In the past he’s taken some positions that made him look like a corporate shill. In 2005, for example, he supported an overhaul of bankruptcy law that favored banks and credit card companies over consumers. At the time, Elizabeth Warren, then a Harvard law professor and bankruptcy expert, attacked Biden’s vote. Now, Biden has embraced Warren’s plan to roll back the 2005 law and make it easier for people to go through the bankruptcy process, including allowing student loans to be treated like other debts. Thanks in part to Sanders, and the Democratic Party’s leftward shift, Biden has adopted other progressive stances on key issues—the minimum wage, health care, workers’ rights, abortion, climate change, and college debt—and could be pushed further left during the campaign and after he takes office. Last week, for example, Biden said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be “a hell of a lot bigger” than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, including massive aid to states and cities to maintain essential services and avoid having to lay off teachers, cops, firefighters, and other public employees—and without the handouts to corporate America .
The question for progressives isn’t whether they can fall in love with Joe Biden. It is about changing the political playing field to increase the odds of winning fights for reforms that improve people’s lives. Michael Harrington, the founder of Democratic Socialists of America, described that as pursuing the “left wing of the possible.”
For progressives, the question boils down to this: Who is more likely to respond to pressure to move us closer to Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and an end to student debt: Biden or Trump? This is not a theoretical question. Every vote for Hawkins in key swing states is, in reality, a vote for Trump. Sunkara is a smart guy. He can do the math.
In the past decade, after starting his magazine in 2010 while an undergraduate history major at George Washington University, Sunkara has become a prominent presence on the left. He’s written for The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and other publications. The 30-year-old has been profiled in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Columbia Journalism Review, and is frequently quoted in the media as a representative of millennial and Generation Z leftists. He was a vice chair of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) until the organization eliminated that position three years ago.
Jacobin represents a young left that has enough adherents to help reelect Trump if they follow Sunkara’s example. It occupies a similar political space in the left-wing media as The Young Turks and Chapo Trap House, appealing to young people radicalized after the Great Recession by the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Dreamers, #Metoo, and Sunrise movements.
Among young radicals, Jacobin and DSA are two of the most prominent sources of ideas and activism. DSA has grown from 6,000 to 60,000 members in the past four years and has a much wider following. A 2019 Gallup Poll found that 43 percent of Americans, including 70 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of 18–34-year-olds, believe that socialism would be a good thing for the country. About 40 DSA members now serve in public office, including two members of Congress (Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York) and six members of the Chicago City Council.
In 2016, and again this year, DSA members worked hard for Sanders. Once he withdrew, the group’s leaders announced that they were not officially endorsing Biden, a move that stirred considerable controversy among its own ranks—and among older leftists, including over 80 former members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the 1960s radical group, who published an open letter to DSAers urging them to support, if not totally embrace, Biden. Jacobin quickly posted a rejoinder by Daniel Finn, one of its editors, titled “An Open Letter from SDS Veterans Haranguing Young Socialists to Back Biden Was a Bad Idea.”
But DSA’s non-endorsement of Biden is strategically different from affirmative support for Hawkins. In fact, DSA insiders believe that most of the group’s members will vote for Biden. Moreover, DSA chapters are working for progressive (non-socialist) Democrats for Congress, governors’ seats, and state legislative campaigns. So at least they’re getting out the Democratic vote, which in the end will help Biden defeat Trump.
In contrast, Sunkara’s stance is self-indulgent—an individual act of virtue signaling rather than part of a collective movement for justice. At its worst, it is a reflection of what one can only view as indifference to real human suffering.
Bernie Sanders won the California Democratic presidential primary over Joe Biden by nearly half a million votes — but California’s top Democrats might strip him of the delegates he earned.
Duane, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks need to know that we will not tolerate them stripping 84 elected Bernie delegate positions and turning them over to Joe Biden.
Hicks is considering relying on an obscure party rule that says district delegates are allotted based on the presidential primary result (even if the candidate is no longer running), but NOT statewide delegates, which can only be allotted to a candidate who is still running.
Bernie made it clear when he announced that he was suspending (not ending) his campaign that he was still accumulating delegates, including in states with upcoming primaries.
The buck stops with Governor Newsom. He and the California Democratic Party must make it clear now that the process of filling Bernie’s delegate slots in California will go forward.
The unequal impact of the pandemic and economic collapse are forcing us to rethink the assumptions of our system.
By Bernie Sanders
Mr. Sanders is a senator from Vermont and former Democratic candidate for president.
April 19, 2020
We are the richest country in the history of the world, but at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, that reality means little to half of our people who live paycheck to paycheck, the 40 million living in poverty, the 87 million who are uninsured or underinsured, and the half million who are homeless.
In the midst of the twin crises that we face — the coronavirus pandemic and the meltdown of our economy — it’s imperative that we re-examine some of the foundations of American society, understand why they are failing us, and fight for a fairer and more just nation.
The absurdity and cruelty of our employer-based, private health insurance system should now be apparent to all. As tens of millions of Americans are losing their jobs and incomes as a result of the pandemic, many of them are also losing their health insurance. That is what happens when health care is seen as an employee benefit, not a guaranteed right. As we move forward beyond the pandemic, we need to pass legislation that finally guarantees health care to every man, woman and child — available to people employed or unemployed, at every age.
The pandemic has also made clear the irrationality of the current system. Unbelievably, in the midst of the worst health care crisis in modern history, thousands of medical workers are being laid off and many hospitals and clinics are on the verge of going bankrupt and shutting down. In truth, we don’t have a health care “system.” We have a byzantine network of medical institutions dominated by the profit-making interests of insurance and drug companies. The goal of a new, long-overdue health care system, Medicare for All, must be to provide health care to all, in every region of the country — not billions in profits for Wall Street and the health care industry.
It is true that the Covid-19 virus strikes anyone, anywhere, regardless of income or social status. Prince Charles of Britain has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has just been released from a hospital. Rich people get the virus and rich people die. But it is also true that poor and working-class people are suffering higher rates of sickness and are dying at much higher rates than wealthy people.
This is especially true of the African-American community. This disparity in outcomes from exposure to the virus is a direct reflection not only of a broken and unjust health care system but also an economy that punishes, in terrible ways, the poor and working class of this country.
In addition to millions of lower-income families not having any health insurance, Covid-19 virus is vicious and incredibly opportunistic in attacking people with pre-existing conditions and weakened immune systems. For a wide variety of socio-economic reasons, it is the poor and working class in this country who are exactly in that position as they suffer higher rates of diabetes, drug addiction, obesity, stress, high blood pressure, asthma and heart disease — and are most vulnerable to the virus. Poor and working-class people have lower life expectancies than rich people in general, and that tragic unfairness remains even truer with regard to this pandemic.
Further, while doctors, governors and mayors tell us that we should isolate ourselves and stay at home, and rich people head off to their second homes in less populated areas, working-class people don’t have those options. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, and you lack paid medical and family leave, staying home is not an option. If you’re going to feed your family and pay the rent, you have to go to work. And, for the working class, that means leaving your home and doing jobs that interact with other people, some of whom are spreading the virus.
If there is any silver lining in the horrible pandemic and economic collapse we’re experiencing, it is that many in our country are now beginning to rethink the basic assumptions underlying the American value system.
I'm writing because the Sacramento Board of Supervisors is going to vote tomorrow about whether to spend $7 million to design a new jail for the County. This is simply wrong-headed, and I'd urge you to write the Supervisors to object, preferrably before they vote.
Among other things, Sacramento County's arrest and conviction rates are declining, and (a few months ago) 60% of those incarcerated in the County jail were not convicted of anything, they were simply too poor to afford bail. That's right, it's illegal to be poor in Sacramento County!
I've written those facts and a few more in a mail I sent the supervisors (here). Feel free to use that or make your own objection to this misuse of public funds.
It's true that the public has precious little input into public policy, but when it comes to local issues like this, I'd suggest we can have a little more impact. In any case, pre-emptive resignation is not a winning life strategy
Also, feel free to pass this along to your friends and neighbors, too.
By now you’ve probably heard about the protests in Michigan from MAGA types, congregating while an infectious disease is afoot and demanding that the state reopen. The irony is thick with these ones, and also probably deadly. The truth is that we will likely “re-open” the country prematurely, but “reopen” is a relative term. If nobody actually wants to patronize businesses out of fear of infection, what have you reopened? If a tree falls in the forest, etc.
The only way to actually reopen the country is by instituting a program of mass testing, so you can isolate those with COVID-19. Nobody understands this more than the business community, who pleaded with the president on Wednesday to dramatically increase testing, or nobody will come out of their homes. Experts in the field like Dr. Fauci know this is true as well.
Unfortunately we’re going in the opposite direction. Testing has effectively plateaued for three weeks, and dropped by about 30 percent in the last week. There are shortages of swabs—hey, maybe hollowing out our industrial base was a bad idea—and many commercial labs that process the tests have a backlog. We don’t have the equivalent of an in-home pregnancy test that can rapidly pump out results. There are some claims of “overly restrictive” criteria that is blocking testing, but if you don’t have the equipment who cares what the criteria are?
I’d be happy to clear any bottlenecks, since this is the number one most critical aspect for public health and economic revival. It’s amazing how much it’s been put to the back burner. Senate Democrats just released a $30 billion bill to surge testing but they did it on April 15, months after we knew about the virus and that testing would be the key to beating it.
Some localities are taking matters into their own hands. New York City got a supply of 100,000 tests per week, which isn’t enough but it’s a start. San Francisco is instituting a first-in-the-nation contact tracing program, where people who test positive are asked who they have been in contact with in prior days, and outreach staff follows up with them. Monitoring is done with the help of cell phone apps.
We don’t have a lot of time to figure this out. Testing is the only safety valve from the “your money on your life” choice over how to reopen the country.
*Gaslighting, if you don’t know the word, is defined as manipulation into doubting your own sanity; as in, Carl made Mary think she was crazy, even though she clearly caught him cheating. He gaslit her.
Pretty soon, as the country begins to figure out how we “open back up” and move forward, very powerful forces will try to convince us all to get back to normal. (That never happened. What are you talking about?) Billions of dollars will be spent on advertising, messaging, and television and media content to make you feel comfortable again. It will come in the traditional forms — a billboard here, a hundred commercials there — and in new-media forms: a 2020–2021 generation of memes to remind you that what you want again is normalcy. In truth, you want the feeling of normalcy, and we all want it. We want desperately to feel good again, to get back to the routines of life, to not lie in bed at night wondering how we’re going to afford our rent and bills, to not wake to an endless scroll of human tragedy on our phones, to have a cup of perfectly brewed coffee and simply leave the house for work. The need for comfort will be real, and it will be strong. And every brand in America will come to your rescue, dear consumer, to help take away that darkness and get life back to the way it was before the crisis. I urge you to be well aware of what is coming.
For the last hundred years, the multibillion-dollar advertising business has operated based on this cardinal principle: Find the consumer’s problem and fix it with your product. When the problem is practical and tactical, the solution is “as seen on TV” and available at Home Depot. Command strips will save me from having to repaint. So will Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. Elfa shelving will get rid of the mess in my closet. The Ring doorbell will let me see who’s on the porch if I can’t take my eyes off Netflix. But when the problem is emotional, the fix becomes a new staple in your life, and you become a lifelong loyalist. Coca-Cola makes you: happy. A Mercedes makes you: successful. Taking your family on a Royal Caribbean cruise makes you: special. Smart marketers know how to highlight what brands can do for you to make your life easier. But brilliant marketers know how to rewire your heart. And, make no mistake, the heart is what has been most traumatized this last month. We are, as a society, now vulnerable in a whole new way.
What the trauma has shown us, though, cannot be unseen. A carless Los Angeles has clear blue skies as pollution has simply stopped. In a quiet New York, you can hear the birds chirp in the middle of Madison Avenue. Coyotes have been spotted on the Golden Gate Bridge. These are the postcard images of what the world might be like if we could find a way to have a less deadly daily effect on the planet. What’s not fit for a postcard are the other scenes we have witnessed: a health care system that cannot provide basic protective equipment for its frontline; small businesses — and very large ones — that do not have enough cash to pay their rent or workers, sending over 16 million people to seek unemployment benefits; a government that has so severely damaged the credibility of our media that 300 million people don’t know who to listen to for basic facts that can save their lives.
The cat is out of the bag. We, as a nation, have deeply disturbing problems. You’re right. That’s not news. They are problems we ignore every day, not because we’re terrible people or because we don’t care about fixing them, but because we don’t have time. Sorry, we have other shit to do. The plain truth is that no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender, political party (the list goes on), nor even our socioeconomic status, as Americans we share this: We are busy. We’re out and about hustling to make our own lives work. We have goals to meet and meetings to attend and mortgages to pay — all while the phone is ringing and the laptop is pinging. And when we get home, Crate and Barrel and Louis Vuitton and Andy Cohen make us feel just good enough to get up the next day and do it all over again. It is very easy to close your eyes to a problem when you barely have enough time to close them to sleep. The greatest misconception among us, which causes deep and painful social and political tension every day in this country, is that we somehow don’t care about each other. White people don’t care about the problems of black America. Men don’t care about women’s rights. Cops don’t care about the communities they serve. Humans don’t care about the environment. These couldn’t be further from the truth. We do care. We just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Maybe that’s just me. But maybe it’s you, too.
Well, the treadmill you’ve been on for decades just stopped. Bam! And that feeling you have right now is the same as if you’d been thrown off your Peloton bike and onto the ground: What in the holy fuck just happened? I hope you might consider this: What happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but The Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has… never… happened… before. If we want to create a better country and a better world for our kids, and if we want to make sure we are even sustainable as a nation and as a democracy, we have to pay attention to how we feel right now. I cannot speak for you, but I imagine you feel like I do: devastated, depressed, and heartbroken.
The first concerns about the outbreak of covid-19 infections were detailed in early November in a report from the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) that was delivered to the White House and the Pentagon, which concluded "that it could be an event catastrophic ”, quotes the same media.
Back then, the contagion was spreading uncontrollably in the Chinese region of Wuhan, affecting businesses and the routine of thousands of inhabitants. To date, this virus has spread to 1.4 million people and has claimed more than 85,000 lives worldwide. The US became the epicenter of the outbreak, with more than 400,000 cases and more than 13,000 deaths. New York is now ground zero of the pandemic.
Trump knew by at least January, yet he did nothing. Instead his advisors debated how to respond and if to respond.
We Cannot Rely on Trump. Congress Must Lead The Way in This Unprecedented Crisis - Bernie Sanders
The American people deserve and require leadership from Washington amid this horrific pandemic and economic meltdown. In this unprecedented moment in American history, we need an unprecedented legislative response.
The United States is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with far more cases than any other country.1
Dr. Anthony Fauci, our government's leading infectious disease expert, says that millions of Americans could get sick and "nearly a quarter-million people in the United States could lose their lives"—and that's if we now do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus.2
Now, the Federal Reserve is estimating that job losses due to the crisis could total 47 million and that the unemployment rate could hit 32%, higher than the Great Depression.3
It didn't have to be this way—but a majority of Americans don't know how badly Donald Trump and his administration have mishandled the national response.4 In fact, they give Trump positive marks for his handing of the crisis, and his approval rating is the highest of his presidency.5
We've put together a list of 10 key ways that Trump has botched the crisis so far (see below). We have to get this information out.
That's why we're aiming to launch and sustain a massive digital ad campaign focused on voters who approve of Trump to educate them about his part in creating this public health disaster. The ads will intensify public pressure for relief efforts that focus on the hardest hit people and communities—not big business bailouts—and will hold Trump accountable for his failures. We need to keep these ads up until
Here are 10 key ways that Trump has let the coronavirus pandemic get out of control:
1.Refusing to take responsibility for his administration's response to the pandemic. Trump doesn't believe he's responsible for how he and his administration are dealing with the crisis. When asked by reporters about it, he said, "I don't take any responsibility at all."6
2.Shutting down the White House pandemic office. Trump closed the White House's National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense in 2018—despite official briefings starting even before his inauguration about the threat posed by pandemics.7,8
3.Ignoring intelligence warnings. Trump ignored dire warnings in January and February from U.S. intelligence agencies about the coronavirus pandemic, downplaying the threat and blocking necessary preparations.9 He also stonewalled inquiries from Congress starting in early February.10
4.Failing to test. Trump failed to mobilize the government and private sector to establish testing early on to contain the spread of the virus.11 Dr. Fauci calls the lack of early testing "a failing" of the U.S. response.12 Now, we're left with lockdowns and intense social and economic disruptions to try to mitigate the harm.
5.Failing to procure medical supplies. Trump failed to marshal the powers of the federal government to procure the medical supplies and hospital beds needed to meet the scale of this public health crisis. For instance, if the Trump administration had reacted in February to the ventilator shortage, the shortage would have been resolved by mid-to-late April. Because the administration failed to react, we might have enough ventilators only in early June, at best.13
6.Spreading lies and misinformation. Early in the crisis, Trump said that the coronavirus would simply disappear. "It's going to disappear. One day it's like a miracle—it will disappear."14 Then, he promoted a risky antimalarial drug as a treatment, with no evidence.15 He accused governors of not needing the personal protective equipment and ventilators they asked for, and he accused health care workers of stealing and selling masks.16,17 And he still continues to spread lies and advance his own political agenda, boasting about his poll numbers and television ratings.
I encourage all to watch, or read Bernie’s statement. It is well informed. Our task is to continue to build the political opposition movement to Trump et al.
I, for some reason, could not turn off the chat function during the talk, So, I read the idiocy of the ultra left- Vote for La Rivas and others. These views simply do not understand the U.S. political system, and they do not understand organizing a political majority.,
Our task of building a democratic left continues. Bernie made substantial additions and gains. But, it is a movement, not an individual that will make the differences we need.
This column looks at the demographics of DACA recipients who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, highlighting three inextricably linked industries and occupation groups identified as “essential critical infrastructure workers” by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
oMore than 200,000 work on the front lines of a coronavirus response; this includes an estimated 29,000 health care workers⚕️🏥
oStates with the most DACA recipients are also home to the largest number of DACA recipients working in health care occupations: California (8,600), Texas (4,300), New York (1,700), Illinois (1,400), Florida (1,100), Arizona (1,000), and Washington (1,000) are all home to sizable numbers of these frontline health workers.
o4,700 DACA recipients work in food-related wholesale trade, and 8,800 DACA recipients work in food warehousing, transportation, and delivery.
oAnother group of essential food-related workers are those keeping grocery stores open and operable. That includes 14,900 DACA recipients, employed in roles such as cashiers (6,000); stockers and laborers (2,900); and supervisors (1,200).
With the coronavirus pandemic worsening, a little-known Sacramento manufacturer announced a deal Monday to dramatically ramp up production of inexpensive ventilators that could help overwhelmed health care workers treat COVID-19 patients.
Vortran had been criticized by some on social media after the Los Angeles Times reported that the Sacramento company had refused to hand over its design to a pair of Army veterans on the East Coast who thought they could mass-produce the Vortran models and help overwhelmed emergency room doctors and others.
A spokeswoman for Vortran, Elizabeth Wise, declined to respond to the Times story but said the Sacramento company “has been approached by numerous parties” about its ventilator design.
In a joint announcement, Vortran and Xerox said the technology-licensing agreement will enable Xerox to mass-produce the Vortran ventilators at its plant near Rochester, N.Y. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Vortran, which is based in Natomas and has been making medical equipment since the 1980s, will continue to make the units as well.
“Assuming a stable supply of essential parts, the companies will be rapidly scaling up production from approximately 40,000 ventilators in April to between 150,000 and 200,000 ventilators a month by June,” the companies said. “Together, Xerox and Vortran could produce as many as 1 million ventilators in the coming months.”
DISPOSABLE, 30-DAY USAGE
They said the Vortran unit, known as a GO2Vent, isn’t a replacement for the high-end ventilators found in hospital intensive-care units. Instead, they are “widely used in emergency situations, inter-hospital transport and MRIs. Given the shortage of ICU-grade ventilators, medical professionals are utilizing tools like this and other technology to support patients.”
They said the GO2Vent is a gas-operated unit that can provide breathing assistance for a single patient for up to 30 days. The unit is disposable.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his cohorts around the country have been appealing for more ventilators as COVID-19 spreads. Earlier Monday, Newsom announced that the state is loaning 500 ventilators to the nation’s stockpile to help hard-hit states such as New York.
“The partnership with Xerox has one clear goal — to help save as many lives as possible,” said Vortran’s co-founder and chief executive, Dr. Gordon Wong, in a prepared statement. “With Vortran’s proven technology and Xerox’s ability to hyper-scale manufacturing, we believe we can supply health care providers (with) as many as 1 million ventilators in the coming months. For all of us, this will be the most important thing we ever do.”
Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article241803771.html?#storylink=cpy
Welcome to the PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE. We are a multi-racial, multi-issue "rainbow coalition" dedicated to social justice, peace and building progressive power. Our key priorities include economic justice; equal rights and equal opportunities for all regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation; international solidarity; humanitarian service; eradicating poverty at home and abroad; environmental protection and sustainable development; and electing progressives to public office and then holding them accountable.
Founded in 2005, we have grown to more than 7,000 members and have emerged as one of the largest and most grassroots activist groups in California. We are proud to serve as a local chapter Our Revolution, the national movement inspired by Bernie Sanders' historic 2016 Presidential Campaign, and as a local affiliate of United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ), a network of several hundred peace and justice groups from all over the world.
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