Thursday, February 23, 2012

Domestic Workers in Sacramento demonstration

Labor photojournalist David Baconsends us this from Sacramento.
Veronica, a young domestic worker from Southern California, took her heart in her hands to speak to a barrage of television cameras and microphones, in a hearing room in the state Capitol building in Sacramento. She wasn’t afraid, though, she said, because she felt the strength of unions behind her.
Standing in front of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, she declared:
Today I know we have the support of the largest union in the country. I believe we can pass our bill of rights. Yes we can! ¡Si se puede!
Veronica was paid $350 – $400 a week to clean 34 houses, at little more than $10 per house. And for that wage, she had to clean everything.
Trumka responded, telling the legislators and other domestic workers, who’d gathered with the press,
This bill does not create new rights, it extends the rights that almost all other workers have to domestic workers.
He told them that domestic workers should be thanked for the work they do.
You do the most important work of all when you take care of the people most precious to us with such dignity.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Democratic Promise of Occupy Wall Street

December 12, 2011

Friday, February 17, 2012

Koch Brothers give $60 million to defeat Obama

David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, attends a meeting of the Economic Club of New York, Monday, April 11, 2011. (AP)
WASHINGTON -- At a private three-day retreat in California last weekend, conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections.
A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million.
The semi-annual, invitation-only meeting attracts wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. Last year, hundreds of activists gathered outside the walled-off resort to protest the meeting. This year, however, the conference went off quietly.
"Conference organizers and their guests successfully slipped in and out of the Coachella Valley without being detected, by buying out nearly all of the 500-plus rooms at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort in Indian Wells," reported The Desert Sun. "The resort closed its restaurants, locked down the grounds with private security guards and sent many workers home."
This is the ninth straight year the Kochs have hosted the conference. As Politicoreported last year, the meetings often adjourn "after soliciting pledges of support from the donors -- sometimes totaling as much as $50 million -- to nonprofit groups favored by the Kochs."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Obama's recent State of the Union speech can provide a solution to progressives' most difficult dilemma in the 2012 election - how to combine legitimate criticism of Obama with active, passionate opposition to Republican extremism. | Democratic Strategist

Obama's recent State of the Union speech can provide a solution to progressives' most difficult dilemma in the 2012 election - how to combine legitimate criticism of Obama with active, passionate opposition to Republican extremism. | Democratic Strategist

Commemorate the incarceration of Japanese Americans

Join with Japanese American communities throughout the country who annually commemorate the date, February 19, 1942. This date marks when, during World War II, an executive order was signed which led to the imprisonment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans without due process and with no regard for their constitutional rights. The community now uses this date to encourage active participation in defending the basic civil liberties of all Americans. February 19, 2012 will mark the 70th year anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066.

The California premiere of the new documentary film "Prisoners and Patriots" - Saturday, Feb. 18th @ 1 PM
California Secretary of State's Auditorium at 11th & O St

We still have space available for our limited seating so please RSVP by Friday by emailing back (or calling in (916) 685-6747 or 427-2841) if you haven't had a chance to respond yet.

California faces tax choices

by Duane Campbell
It is time that California work again for people who work for a living. There are over 2 million working people who lost their jobs in the financial crisis through no fault of their own.  They would be happy to be working and paying taxes again.  California must reinvest in our schools to make certain that every child has access to the kinds of public schools that will prepare them to compete in the global economy.

Public schools  are being decimated amidst budget cuts and the growing accumulation of wealth by the 1%.  California needs additional revenues to fund the schools and other parts of the safety net. The Courage Campaign, CA Calls and the CA Federation of Teachers have partnered to get a Millionaire's Tax on the November ballot.  The Millionaire's Tax would raise $6 billion for public education, safety, and infrastructure by raising additional taxes on those making more than $1 million a year. 

There is a competing tax initiative by Governor Brown that asks us all to pay a temporary  increased sales tax – and it will produce no new money for the schools. If working people and the middle class are going to take a hit in tough times it shouldn’t be to pay for the tax breaks for millionaires and the big companies that ship our jobs overseas.  It’s time the middle class stop picking up the tab while the rich and the big corporations get loopholes and tax dodges.  Its time that the rich and the corporations start living by the same rules  and pay their fair share of taxes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Education - Day of Action. March 5 -Sacramento

Join Us on March 5 Day of Action
To Demand that the California Government:

Fully fund public education, which is a public good and is the cornerstone of a democratic society, a vibrant economy, and the social and intellectual development of every individual.

Fully fund social services, which to a large part provide a crucial safety net for the most vulnerable members of society and therefore serve as a measure of society's moral standard.
Cartoon used with permission.
Tax the rich, pass the Millionaires Tax, pass the Oil Tax to Fund Education, and reject regressive taxes.

In the state of California working people with the lowest income pay a higher rate (11%) of state and local taxes than the rich (8%). This tax inequity has contributed to an 81 percent growth in the income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Californians between 1978 and 2008, while during the same period the income of the poorest 20 percent dropped by 11.5 percent.

We refuse to pay for the crisis created by the 1 percent. If we make the rich and the corporations pay, we can fully fund public education and social services and reverse the budget cuts, tuition hikes, and attacks on jobs. Join us in this peaceful demonstration.

Endorse our rally and mobilize your members to attend.

Send endorsements to:
Endorsed by Sacramento Progressive Alliance, and Sacramento DSA. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sacramento retiree helped change history as a 1960s Freedom Rider



At 19, Ellen Broms was a Los Angeles City College student devoted to the civil rights cause. Now 69, a grandmother and retired state worker, Broms lives in Sacramento, where a collage recalls her days as a Freedom Rider.

The first time she was in Texas – 50 years ago, as part of an 11-person Freedom Rider group from California – Ellen Broms was thrown in jail for unlawful assembly after trying to desegregate the Houston train station's coffee shop.
The second time, earlier this month, she received a Texas State Senate proclamation naming her an honorary Texan.
"I'm so ordinary," said Broms, 69, a retired state worker who lives in Sacramento and returned to Houston for a Freedom Riders conference.
"I sew. I go to the Y. But people in Houston wanted their picture taken with me. They wanted my autograph."
They're aging now, their numbers beginning to dwindle, but as young people in the 1960s, Broms and 435 other Freedom Riders helped transform the nation.
In this landmark anniversary year – commemorated by a series of events, from a late April "Oprah" taping to the Houston conference to a national Freedom Rider reunion that begins Sunday in Mississippi – they remember their part in a defining era for civil rights.

THE RIGHT TO VOTE UNDER ATTACK: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box

People for the American Way


Shortly after George W. Bush took office in 2001, his administration launched a concerted effort to crack down on a supposed epidemic of voter fraud in the United States. The campaign to identify and eliminate such fraud became such a priority that escalating political pressure from the White House eventually drove the Justice Department to fire U.S. attorneys who were seen as weak on prosecuting cases of fraud, in a politically-charged purge. State legislatures across the country also embarked on a zealous mission to fight the problem of “voter fraud,” while right-wing pundits and advocacy groups made it their goal to expose and defeat the so-called voter fraud epidemic. Claims that corrupt organizations, illegal immigrants and political machines were stealing elections away from voters became common refrains in the right-wing media and political debates.
But the Bush Justice Department’s war on voter fraud found little evidence of the illegal voting it alleged. Between 2002 and 2006, the DOJ’s efforts resulted in only 86 convictions out of nearly 200 million votes cast, a rate of 0.0000004%.
Unfazed by the complete lack of proof that widespread voter fraud exists, right-wing politicians, media personalities, activists and think tanks have continued their attacks on voting rights in the name of “voter integrity,” “ballot security” and “fighting voter fraud.” The resulting policies present a massive threat to citizens’ right to vote, which is at the very foundation of our democracy.

Is There Widespread Voter Fraud?

While open to a variety of interpretations, the term “voter fraud” usually refers to voting without registration, registering nonexistent voters, voting more than once, voting in places where one is ineligible to vote, manipulating or rigging the vote count, or buying votes.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has found that the most common causes of voting irregularities include clerical mistakes, transcription blunders and computer errors, such as mistakes in poll books or in voter registration documents. Personal information listed on voter rolls may be out of date, incomplete, or include typos. In 2005, the Brennan Center looked at a list of purportedly fraudulent voter registrations in New Jersey and found that most of the suspected cases of ”double-voting” ended up being matching errors, where two people with identical or similar names were thought to be one person voting twice.
New York Times analysis of federal voting fraud cases found that roughly a third of the 86 convictions from 2002 through 2006 involved small vote-buying schemes in local elections. Nearly all the others were the result of honest mistakes by those who didn’t know they were ineligible to vote or instances of individuals acting alone. Ultimately, as the Times reported, prosecutors and election experts agreed that evidence of large-scale or coordinated fraud just wasn’t there.
In 2010, Tova Andrea Wang, a senior fellow at the think tank Demos, wrote, “Law enforcement statistics, reports from elections officials and widespread research have proved that voter fraud at the polling place is virtually non-existent.” Lorraine Minnite, an elections expert at Barnard College, argues that there is “no threat” of voter fraud, with official statistics showing that from “2002 to 2005 only one person was found guilty of registration fraud. Twenty people were found guilty of voting while ineligible and five people were found guilty of voting more than once.”
In Minnesota, which has been at the center of the Right’s search for voter fraud, a report by Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota found that a grand total of 26 people were convicted of voter fraud in 2008 — all because they were felons who mistakenly voted. In other words, “nine ten-thousandths of one percent (0.0009%) of 2008 voters were convicted of fraud” in Minnesota. Nonetheless, the Republicans who control both houses of the state legislature are pushing a voter ID bill that would disenfranchise tens of thousands of Minnesotans: the Star Tribunefound that approximately “144,000 eligible voters in Minnesota lack a valid, state-issued identification card.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Free Screening of FREEDOM RIDERS to celebrate Black History Month at Sac State

Campus Progressive Alliance

The Friday Night Film Series Celebrates Black History Month!

Freedom Riders

“A Superb Piece of Journalism.” – Variety

“Exhilarating!”  – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Friday, February 10, 2012
 Foothill Suite (3rd Floor)
Sac State University Union

 Shorts--6:00pm   Feature Film--6:30pm

Info: 916-248-3970 or

Job Growth

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Attorney General Harris agrees to settlement

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and 48 state Attorneys General just announced a $25 billion settlement with the banks that will be a down payment on the debt owed to homeowners and communities by the Wall Street gamblers that crashed our economy.  This will bring relief to some of the victims of the fraud and abuse of Wall Street, and we will be supporting Attorney General Harris to make sure there is real implementation and enforcement of this settlement and a guarantee that California’s hardest hit communities – especially African American and Latino borrowers who were targeted by predatory lenders – are the first to benefit from this agreement.

Let's face it: the banks created $700 billion in negative home equity and $25 billion is merely a downpayment in compensation.  ACCE, along with our partners in the ReFund California coalition, will be pushing for further litigation that will lead to significant restitution as well as due process for homeowners fighting for modifications.  An aggressive investigation is the only way to build the leverage needed to reset mortgages to fair market value on a scale that will get our economy moving again.  It is also critical that the next round of investigations delivers accountability, an end to dual tracking and principal reduction for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae owned mortgages, which are 60% of the market in California.

We will also be demanding state-level legislation that will stop the bleeding of foreclosures that are still happening once every 75 seconds.

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rev. Jesse Jackson, "Many Are Like Romney -- "Not Concerned" About The Very Poor"

By : Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Last week, Mitt Romney created a firestorm for saying that “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” Romney later explained that he “misspoke,” and that he’d said something “similar to that, but quite acceptable, for a long time.”
The real problem isn’t that it misstates Romney’s concerns, but that it accurately states our bipartisan political consensus. Romney’s “gaffe” states a central truth: This nation shows too little concern about the poor.
The rich rulers in high places show amazing indifference to the poor while commercializing a religion that is rooted in a poverty-stricken Jesus. Jesus’ mission was to preach good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. Too many of those in power are woefully silent about the predicament of the poor.
One in three Americans is in poverty or classified as low income. More than 17 million children live in a household that is “food insecure,” the technical term for going hungry.
One out of every 45 children — 1.5 million in all — is homeless. Of the industrial nations, the U.S. lags in ensuring that poor children get a fair start with adequate nutrition, prenatal care, stable housing and high-quality education.
Most poor people, contrary to what Newt Gingrich might think, are working. When the poor finish high school and can’t afford college, they join the military and perform risky work for America. Unfortunately, many soldiers come home to foreclosure, unemployment and no health care. Hospital workers wipe our brows, clear our bedpans and change our beds when we are sick. They work every day that they can. They take the early bus. They work in minimum-wage and subminimum-wage jobs that can’t lift a family out of poverty.
The poor are Appalachian coal miners who work without adequate safety protections. They are veterans who return victorious from wartime battlefields to face defeat in economic crossfires. The poor tend our children, mow our lawns. They clean up the hotel rooms that Romney and Gingrich sleep in. But the poor can’t afford adequate health care, stable housing, or to send their kids to college.
Yet neither party “concerns” itself with the very poor. They tend not to vote. They can’t afford lobbyists. They don’t make campaign contributions. Even as poverty spreads, politicians in both parties talk about the middle class.
We need targeted intervention by our federal government to provide jobs for our people — an FDR-like program that hires our youth, our returning soldiers, our chronically unemployed.
The last president to express real concern about the poor was Lyndon Johnson. He launched the War on Poverty. By raising the minimum wage, launching jobs programs, extending welfare for poor mothers and children, aiding poor schools, expanding food stamps and Medicare, building affordable housing, Johnson made dramatic strides in reducing poverty.
When Ronald Reagan came in, he painted a dishonest picture of welfare mothers living high on the state. He slashed taxes on the wealthy, doubled the military budget in peacetime and sought to slash poverty programs.
Ironically, the more both parties talk about the middle class, the more the middle class declines. The decline of the minimum wage and of labor unions contributed to declining wages. Good jobs were shipped abroad. College was priced out of the reach of more and more families. Health care costs soared.
Romney said the poor had a safety net, but he would “fix it” by shredding it. He and Gingrich promise more top-end tax cuts, more military spending and less government spending, requiring savage cuts in programs for the poor from aid to poor schools, prenatal care for mothers, Pell grants for college students, affordable housing and more.
Conservatives argue that America is a Christian nation, but these realities offend the faith. Jesus embraced his mission to “preach good news to the poor.” He would judge us by how we treated the “least of these."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tax the Millionaires

by Duane Campbell
California needs additional revenue to fund schools and to invest in the future.  A tax plan known as  The Millionaires Tax has been   proposed by the California Federation of Teachers and the Courage Campaign to increase revenues to pay for vital services.   It was assigned the official title "Tax To Benefit Public Schools, Social Services, Public Safety, And Road Maintenance," on Friday, Feb.2,   by California  Attorney General Kamala Harris.
A report of the California Budget Project notes that  “measured as a share of family income, California’s lowest-income families pay the most in taxes. The bottom fifth of the state’s families, with an average income of $12,600, spent 11.1 percent of their income on state and local taxes.  In comparison, the wealthiest 1 percent, with an average income of $2.3 million, spent 7.8 percent of their income on state and local taxes.”
The Millionaires  Tax  plan, of  the California Federation of Teachers and the Courage Campaign would raise taxes by three percentage points on income above $1 million and five percentage points on income over  $2 million.    Analysts say the proposal would generate $4 billion to $6 billion annually.  Signature gathering for the plan will begin within weeks.