Progressive voices were heard loud and clear at Saturday’s Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee Meeting in Maricopa, Arizona.
Unlike some past ADP meetingswhere progressives were ignored or where progressive resolutions were tabled and not heard by the full ADP membership, the Maricopa meeting was dominated by progressives.
During the morning caucus meetings, approximately 80 members of the progressive caucus (pictured here) met in the booming high school cafeteria to hear about legalization of marijuana, the plight of Dreamers, and a host of progressive resolutions.
In the progressive caucus, members unanimously endorsed resolutions: 1) in support of a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United and abolishing corporate personhood; 2) in support of passage of the Inclusive Prosperity Tax (AKA Robin Hood Tax); 3) against building the Keystone XL Pipeline; and 4) in support of allowing DREAMers to have Arizona drivers’ licenses and in-state college tuition. A resolution requiring clean elections candidates to give back extra funds passed, with some dissent. In addition, with only one dissenting vote, the Progressive Caucus voted to endorse Safer Arizona, the citizens’ initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use. [Votes from the entire State Committee after the jump.]
Tucson is one of the most impoverished cities in the country—for many reasons. The Arizona Legislature—driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and short-sighted, “small government” ideology—has routinely swept funds earmarked for counties and cities to "balance" the state’s budget or fund pet projects like lower corporate taxes.
Beyond the Legislature’s negative impact on Baja Arizona, the Tucson economy is not diversified enough. Manufacturing is nearly non-existent in Southern Arizona. There is an over-reliance on defense spending, University of Arizona spin-offs, tourism, low-wage service jobs, and growth/development. During the Great Recession, multiple income streams for our local economy were dramatically reduced or eliminated—resulting in the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of good-paying jobs due to budget cuts, business closures, and the housing market crash. People and jobs left the area.
In August, the Arizona Daily Star ran a week-long series on multiple aspects of poverty in Southern Arizona and just this week, the Star ran a story that stated Tucson was second only to Detroit in the proliferation of crappy, low-wage jobs. In a survey of 52 metro areas with over 1 million residents, Tucson was in the top 10 for job creation; the problem is that more than half of the projected 28,000 new jobs will pay less than $13.84/hour. (If you really want to be depressed, check out the list of Tucson's fastest growing occupations here. None of these jobs requires a college education. Thanks to TREO's efforts, telemarketer is #1. Thanks to Tucson's ample supply of old folks, the next four most popular jobs are low-wage health/caregiver positions. We won't break the cycle of poverty in this city with a jobs picture like this.)
So, we know that our city has big economic challenges. Now what? As I wrote back in August, it's time for some creative economic solutions. It's time to STOP our addiction to military spending. It's time to STOP relying on temporary construction jobs and low-wage hospitality industry jobs. It's time to defund TREO and STOP chasing rainbows by competing with other metro areas for "the next IBM" or the next spring training team. It's time to STOP sending our money to Wall Street for investment. It's time to START investing in Tucson. It's time for public banking. [Read why after the jump.]
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and healthcare reform, in general, will be the focus of PDA Tucson’s general membership meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14.
Andrea Witte (the Connect the Dots Lady) will present the updated version of “The American Healthcare CrazyQuilt”, which looks at how the US healthcare system evolved into the most expensive system in the world but still leaves millions of people uninsured. She also will discuss the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Eve Shapiro, local pediatrician and head of PDA Tucson’s universal healthcare issue organizing team, will talk about single-payer, universal healthcare and why that should be our country’s ultimate healthcare reform goal. The ACA is a step in the right direction but not the end of the road.
Concluding the healthcare portion of the program, Michal Goforth, executive director of the Pima County Access Program, will talk about local ACA outreach efforts and local implementation of the new healthcare law.
Rounding out the evening, PDA Tucson Chair Phil Lopes will discuss local and national initiatives of the Progressive Democrats of America.
The Nov. 14 meeting will be held at the Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress St. The entrance faces Congress Street, but parking is on the North and East sides of the building. Doors open at 6 p.m.; program starts at 6:30 p.m.
Affordable Care Act Quick Reference Guide from Connect the Dots USA
This weekend, Nov. 9-10, is the 26th Annual Tucson Pima Arts Council Open Studio Tour. More than 240 local artists, scattered all over Pima County, will open their art studios to visitors (and hopefully make a few sales). My midtown studio– Wind Dancer Design– will be one of them.
Buying local is always a good idea, but the Open Studio Tour gives art and craft lovers an opportunity to buy from Tucson’s smallest and most unique micro-businesses– local artists. It’s also highly cost-effective to buy direct from an artist, since local galleries and gift shops take 40-50% of the sale price as a consignment fee when you buy through them.
Since going to 240 artist studios is impossible in one weekend, the TPAC website allows you to review what’s available by location or by artist and plan your outing. Although there are many artist studios and collectives around downtown and the University of Arizona (like my daughter’s), there is also a high concentration of artist studios in the central Tucson area (where I am). Tour booklets which provide detailed maps, thumbnail photos, and artist details are available at local libraries and retailers around town, and you can download one here. (The booklets are so well done that they provide a year-round reference to local artists.)
The tour is Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days.
This holiday season, it’s time to forsake the chachkies made by Chinese children and buy uniquely Tucson gifts of local art. Come on down!
While some Arizona Democrats are cozying up to the Republicans, Congressman Raul Grijalva continues to be a leader of the progressive movement. Last week, he and other progressive Congressmen were arrested at a recent immigration reform protest in DC (above). He also spoke with Democracy Now about the shutdown and immigration reform.
This Wednesday, October 16, Grijalva will give a Washington update at the Fall Membership Meeting of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Tucson Chapter at the Ward 6 midtown office.
From the National Day Laborer Organizing Network…
Just now, protestors chained themselves in front of the Eloy Detention Center. Their action calls on the President to stop deportations and the criminalization of immigrants. Through civil disobedience they say they’re exposing the inhumane imprisonment at the center of current immigration policy and the needless warehousing of the undocumented who could benefit from reform.
Many of those inside Eloy have committed no major offense and instead are victims of Congress’ 34,000 minimum detention bed mandate and the profiling of Sheriffs like Arpaio and Border Patrol required to fulfill the arbitrary quota.
A week ago, Republican grandstanding in the House of Representatives shutdown the US government. Saying they want to "save the American people from the threat of Obamacare" Tea Party anarchists are risking the health and welfare of millions of Americans, our standing as a world leader, and our financial health as a nation, as they stall budget negotiations. This is beyond unconscionable. It is traitorous.
Bankrolled by the Koch Brothers and a handful of capitalists bent on denying affordable health care to millions of Americans, Republicans in the House of Representatives continue to
use double speak lie to cloud the issues and deflect blame for this dangerous brinksmanship away from themselves.
We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation's insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up to the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson's account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.
We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.
[Video after the jump.]
What began on Sept 17, 2011 as an extended sit-in in a park in Manhattan-- the bastion of US capitalism-- the Occupy Movement grew into a worldwide movement with a simple message, "We are the 99%."
And we are oppressed by the 1% who own the world's wealth.
Occupy's we're-all-in-this-together-- regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or location on the globe-- message presented an ah-ha moment and raised the class consciousness of millions of people.
Although small-scale compared to big-city encampments, Occupy Tucson was one of the longest running, ongoing encampments and one of the most harassed by local police and one of the most ignored by the local media. Hundreds of tickets for violating park curfews were issued to Tucson Occupiers in nightly park sweeps. At one point in 2011, more Occupy tickets had been issued in Tucson than in any other US city-- except for New York City.
Today, Occupy Tucson lives on-- not in the parks-- but in a small office in the Alliance for Global Justice headquarters, where several activist groups share space. Well-known local Occupiers and their allies regularly speak out or organize actions related to ending corporate personhood, stopping Citizens United, building a sustainable community, ending drone warfare, stopping genetically modified foods, and other issues of the day. [Video links and the impact of Occupy after the jump.]
As the Republican Congressional circus continues, October 1-- the federal budget deadline and the Affordable Care Act health exchange roll-out date-- is fast approaching.
Teapublican Senatorial crusaders Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and others are spreading tons of misinformation about the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).
To counter the misinformation, PolitiFact has provided this great list of facts-- to counter the "pants-on-fire" lies.
1. The health care law rations care, like systems in Canada and Great Britain. False.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, July 2, 2012, in an interview on Fox News
The health care law is not socialized medicine. Instead, it leaves in place the private health care system that follows free market principles. The law does put more regulations on health insurance companies. It also fines most large employers who fail to provide insurance for their employees, and it requires all individuals to have health insurance. This is unlike the systems in either Britain or Canada. In Britain, doctors are employees of the government, while in Canada, the government pays most medical bills as part of a single-payer system. The U.S. health care law has neither of those features. PolitiFact has rated this claim and others like it False.
President Ronald Reagan has been elevated to God-like status by contemporary Republicans-- particularly those who still believe in trickledown economics, union-busting, Welfare Queens, the "vegetable" ketchup, and spending BIG BUCKS on the military-industrial complex, while taking food out of the mouths of children.
So, although the Gipper might agree in theory with the cannibals in the House of Representatives who are trying to destroy the social fabric of our country by denying food to the poor, he would not agree with their irresponsible tactic of repeatedly bringing the country to the brink of a shutdown just to make political points.
Check out this recording from 1987 (below) in which he scolds Congress for exactly the brinksmanship that his contemporary fans are pursuing now.
Is it hot enough for ya?
In the coming years, as temperatures rise, weather patterns evolve, and plant and animal species become extinct, that wry, old country greeting will lose it’s quaint humor. Thanks to global warming.
The Southwest is already the hottest and driest part of the US. And our region is already experiencing longer and more intense heat waves, a dramatic spike in forest fires and severe dust storms, and changes in rainfall and seasonal snowmelt. These changes threaten water resources, food security, and public health. As extreme weather events continue to increase, we will see higher rates of heat stress, newly emerging infectious diseases, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
How will the Sonoran Desert change as climate change progresses? Will we have enough water? What will our air quality be like if Arizona’s dirty coal-fired power plants continue to balk at environmental regulations? How will Arizona cope with rolling brown outs if electrical demand spikes? How will Tucson’s vulnerable populations fare with more days over 100 degrees? What can we do NOW to lessen the impact of climate change on our fragile environment?
This coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, the Arizona Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is sponsoring an important conference for us desert dwellers:Climate Smart Southwest, Ready or Hot? Check out the details after the jump.
With each massacre of innocent citizens, the demand for action on gun control by the US Congress intensifies.
After the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, it appeared as if the national outrage over the massacre of 20 children and 6 school staff would finally push the Congress into action, but sadly, in April 2013, the most recent attempt at common sense gun control was thwarted by a Republican Party filibuster (which included both Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain.)
This week, a lone gunman opened fire in a Washington DC naval facility, killing 12 people and injuring 8 others before being killed by authorities. Within hours of the shooting, Senator Diane Feinstein, who sponsored gun control legislation earlier this year, called on Congress to revive gun control efforts.
Serendipitously for gun control advocates, The American Journal of Medicine released Gun Ownership and Firearm-related Deaths by Drs. Sripal Bangalore and Franz Messerli today.
More Guns Don't Make a Nation Safer
Read the details of the study after the jump and then forward it to your state legislators and your Congressional representatives.
Two years ago, the Occupy Movement– with its simple “We Are the 99%!” message– united the world by enlightening us to the workings of the corporate oligarchy and the governments they run (including our own) and how this system is designed to keep us down. Worldwide, Occupy encampments sprang up in 2011.
On the second anniversary of Occupy, there will be worldwide protests against austerity. Here at home the anniversary will be marked with a Poor People’s Party.
Here is the information from Occupy Tucson.
This Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, beginning at 6:00 pm, Occupy Tucson, National Nurses United, and Progressive Democrats of America are hosting a Poor People’s Party to offer a collective response to the global austerity measures foisted upon us.
Come to 225 E 26th Street and check out the new national headquarters for the Alliance for Global Justice.
We’re having a pot-luck supper, free movies, free games, and a chance to video-record personal responses to “What Austerity Means to Me.”
Please spread the word. Bring your favorite games. Let’s have some fun. That’s the best response to a widening wealth gap, a corrupt political system, and a ramped-up hyper-militarized police state.
September is Hunger Action Month. Locally, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is encouraging Tucson residents to take the SNAP (food stamp) challenge by trying to live on $4 of food per person per day.
If you follow my blog, you know that I write regularly about poverty and imperiled social safety net programs, including food stamps and other nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels and school lunches. When the food bank called me and asked if I wanted to join the SNAP Challenge and blog about it, I jumped on board. I was intrigued by Cory Booker’s food stamp challenge blogging and video and wanted to try it.
My husband and I both participated in the SNAP challenge this week. Since there were 2 of us doing it, our allotment was $32 for the 4 days of the challenge. Read about our experience after the jump.
It's time for a status update...
93 years after American women won the right to vote,
90 years after the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution was proposed,
53 years after The Pill,
50 years after The Feminine Mystique awakened middle-class housewives from the slumber of the 1950s,
47 years after the creation of the National Organization for Women (NOW),
40 years after Roe v Wade legalized abortion in the US,
and 31 years after the ERA died because it fell short of state ratification by 3 state legislatures...
Where are we? Find out after the jump.
UPDATE: This article was picked up by the national publication In These Times and by the Daily Kos Progressive Blog Round-up. Check out the In These Times version for more details: Knights of the Progressive Roundtable.
Deals are made, and bills are negotiated not only in the halls of Congress but in offices and meeting rooms around DC. Since December 2012, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been conducting monthly, Educate Congress roundtable meetings with Congressional representatives and key staff.
With a give-and-take format, these meetings allow PDA representatives and allies to discuss proposed legislation and related progressive ideas and allow Congressional representatives and staffers to offer updates, insights, and strategies.
The Progressive Roundtables provide a forum to address a broad range of issues– from Wall Street gambling and hunger in America to voting rights, immigration, fracking, universal healthcare, the living wage, austerity, tax reform, mass incarceration, and more.
“One of the things I love about PDA is you stand up for ‘the little guy,’ and that’s what government’s all about,” Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern told the roundtable audience in July 2013. “Donald Trump doesn’t need us [Congress], but somebody who is unemployed or somebody who is working and making so little that they still qualify for SNAP [food stamps], they need us!” More roundtable details and videos after the jump.)
In recent years, the Republican Party has earned the well-deserved nickname of the “Party of NO.” Senior Senator form Kentucky, Mitch McConnell (AKA Senator Gridlock) is the Party of NO’s mascot with an astounding 413 filibusters since 2007.
The latest thing for the Republican National Committee to say “Hell, No!” to is debates on CNN and NBC. Why are they pulling debates from these two national networks? Because they plan to air a specials about Hillary Clinton.
Seriously? Instead of rising to the challenge of the Democratic Party’s early presidential favorite and finding an intelligent candidate (ie, not Rand Paul or Rick Perry), you’re going to HIDE from her and the American people?
Being afraid of a TV special that airs three years before the election is just silly– given the American public’s short attention span.
Stop your sniveling and man up.
Inside the 40th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Chicago, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and other right-wing big-wigs addressed ALEC members and on-the-dole politicians.
Outside, the people, who have been cut out of the legislative process by ALEC and big money donors, protested in the streets. (Photos here.)
In its 40-year history, ALEC has done more to destroy the American Dream than any other group. According to a report by the Center for Media and Democracy, 466 ALEC bills were introduced in 2013, and 84 of them became law. Every state and the District of Columbia considered ALEC bills this year. Read the highlights of this ALEC legislative report and watch a video of Chicago protesters after the jump.
Business friendly? Tucson’s been there, done that, … and got the t-shirt at Goodwill. As former City Councilwoman Molly McKasson said, we put all of our eggs in the development basket and look where it got us.
Twenty percent of Tucsonans are living in poverty.
Thirty percent of Tucson children are living in poverty.
Fifty-two percent of Tucson children live in a one-parent household.
Seventy-one percent of Tucson Unified School District students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. (Statistics from the Arizona Daily Star.)
How did we get here?
The Back Story on Tucson’s Poverty Rate
In a November 2011 “What If?” article published just a few days before the last mayoral election, former Arizona Daily Star reporter Josh Brodesky interviewed activist, writer, and artist McKasson and mused about how Tucson would be different today if she had beaten former Mayor Bob Walkup back in their 1999 match-up.
I remember that election well. Walkup– a former Hughes Aircraft executive and former head of the Greater Tucson Economic Council– was the quintessential business candidate. Bankrolled by Tucson’s business community, Walkup’s campaign successfully painted McKasson as a flighty hippie artist whose no-growth, tree-hugging, water-conserving policies would be bad for Tucson (ie, bad for business and bad for growth). Meanwhile, Walkup was championed as a business savvy savior who successfully ran a business, and, therefore, (of course!) could successfully run a city.
As mayor, the glad-handing, ribbon-cutting Walkup promoted business development, Rio Nuevo, and ill-conceived, taxpayer-funded private projects like the downtown hotel (which went down in flames, thank goodness). Except for his pro-business, pro-growth cheerleading, Walkup was a do-nothing mayor who depended upon defense funding, the occasional TREO call center moving to Tucson, and housing boom construction jobs to bolster Tucson’s chronically low-wage tourist economy. The Tucson Weekly’s endorsement of McKasson (here) eerily predicts what happened to Tucson under three terms of Walkup. Read it and more background and new ideas after the jump.
MoveOn.org members have launched petitions against 14 Democrats– including Arizona’s Congresswomen Kyrsten Sinema and Ann Kirkpatrick– for siding with Republicans in their vote to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act from 2014 to 2015.
According to The Hill, these members were targeted with MoveOn.org petitions: Reps. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
Video and more background after the jump.
The banksters are pissed. How dare the City of Richmond, California try to use its power of eminent domain to stop housing foreclosures in its city?
Generally, governmental bodies use eminent domain to force people to sell their land and/or homes to make way for projects (like freeways) which are for the common good. Long ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement suggested that cities could use eminent domain to buy up mortgages and reduce homeowner debt– before the homeowners are forced out of their underwater mortgages by the banksters.
Remember the old Occupy chant? “Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.” The US government bailed out the Wall Street gamblers who crashed the worldwide economy, created and burst the housing bubble, caused businesses to close and lay off workers, and plunged millions of Americans into homelessness or rental units when they lost their homes. The federal government has done almost nothing to help the millions of beleaguered homowners who have lost their homes or are on the verge of it. Check out Richmond's plan after the jump.
Sexism and sexual violence cross all ethnic, racial, and class boundaries. This story focuses on the struggle against misogyny and sexual violence in Tucson’s Chicano community.
For years, the Tucson Weekly’s Mari Herreras has covered multiple aspects of the rise and fall of Mexican American Studies (MAS)– the chaining, the chanting, the demonstrations, the fundraising, the controversies, the personalities– but A Broken Community, the cover story of the July 18 issue, was one of the more fascinating stories about the evolution of MAS.
Maybe it’s because I gave up reading the Three Sonorans blog years ago, but I haven’t heard or read much about MAS since the former director of the program, Sean Arce, was charged with domestic violence back in December 2012.
At the time, the silence surrounding the Arce’s charges and what happened between him and his wife that night in December at La Cocina was deafening. As I wrote, “Bloggers who regularly post ‘news’ stories every time Arce catches a cold are mute, and none of the mainstream media have touched his story.”
A handful women bloggers wrote about the Arce story– most notably, a relatively new blog, MalintZINE. “Dear Sean”, a moving essay about machismo and sexism in the MAS movement, was one of the first few posts on this blog, and at the time, the author(s) was/were anonymous to the general public, myself included.
Herreras’ TW story updates us on this thread.
Rape and Violence
Without naming many names, Herreras gives us the back story on sexism, sexual abuse charges, and fallen idols in the MAS program, with accounts dating back to 2011 (more than a year before the December 2012 Arce incident). At the core of the story is former MAS spokesperson and former cover girl for the Precious Knowledgemovie Leilani Clark and the womyn of MalintZINE. In the early heyday of the MAS protests, Clark was everywhere. I heard her speak with poise and fire about the MAS struggle at multiple events, and then… poof… she disappeared from the scene. She was everywhere, and then, nowhere. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered what happened to her.)
To find out, follow the jump.
10:30-12 noon, 738 N. 5th Ave.
We'll also celebrate the 48th birthday of Medicare with cupcakes and "Happy Birthday."
Over the weekend, George Zimmerman, the now infamous gun-toting neighborhood watch volunteer, was found not guilty after he shot and killed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Like many others, I was shocked at the verdict, I don’t agree with it, but I am sadly not surprised. I have not written about this because I really didn’t know what to say. Was it racial profiling? Yes. Did the gun give Zimmerman undeserved power and authority over Martin? Yes. Should Stand-Your-Ground Laws be repealed? Yes. Do we need better gun control laws in the US to prevent innocent people from premature death? Yes. Are laws in the US applied unevenly based upon race and class? Yes.
John Oliver sums up the outrage and the inequality in this segment of the Daily Show. Now it’s our turn to figure out next steps. Maybe in our own backyard– with Arizona’s Stand-Your-Ground Law.
Here's the link:
From the failure of the Farm Bill to the ups and downs of Immigration Reform to last-minute,late night anti-abortion bills– it’s been a wild ride lately. And, the craziness is not likely to stop any time soon.
After the jump, check out several news stories and two videos which highlight [Republican] men behaving badly in the Congress and multiple state legislatures. Heavy sigh. Will this strategy of "subtraction" work for them in 2014 or 2016? I personally don't see how it can.
Progressives in Congress and across the country are fighting the tide of right wing extremism on multiple fronts-- from food stamps to cuts in Social Security to stalled immigration reform to anti-woman legislation to austerity for the middle class, while the wealthy live high on the hog.
Congressman Raul Grijalva has been at the forefront of the progressive movement in Congress. As another budget battle heats up in the House of Representatives, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) want to thank our stalwarts like Grijalva, and at the same time want to celebrate Medicare's 48th birthday.
This rally at Grijalva's office is part of a nationwide action at multiple Congressional offices by PDA and National Nurses United (NNU). The event is 10:30 a.m.-12 noon at the old YWCA (738 N. 5th Ave.)
At some locations-- like Congressman Ron Barber's-- PDA members will do letter drops urging Congressional representatives to support certain bills or issues. This month the focus is on prosperity vs austerity, Medicare expansion, jobs, and progressive financial legislation like the Robin Hood Tax. (More details below.) At Grijalva's office and others, there will be street heat rallies, as there were last month when PDA members were protesting cuts to food stamps nationwide and helped stop the Farm Bill.
Details are still being formulated; so, watch this blog and the PDA Tucson Facebook page for updates. Details after the jump.
Knuckle-dragging Republicans in the US House of Representatives have said that they will NOT– that is NOT with capital letters– pass an immigration “reform” bill that includes a path to citizenship for 12 million immigrants living in the US.
After all, the Republican Party’s corporate masters are making big bucks exploiting and imprisoning undocumented workers; I guess their motto is: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For big business, immigration ain’t broke (except that they would like easier access to cheap, skilled labor from India).
The US Senate’s much-celebrated bill did have a path to citizen (plus lots of other stuff the Democrats agreed to in order to get a handful of Republicans to vote for it.)
In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t like the US Senate’s version of Immigration Reform for multiple reasons. Read them and more about the White Man's Party after the jump.
Pro-choice advocates are fighting the Republican Party's anti-woman laws in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Texas.
In Wisconsin, a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of the anti-abortion legislation signed in secret by Governor Scott Walker on July 5. From the Huffington Post...
U.S. District Judge William Conley granted the order following a hearing in a lawsuit filed Friday by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services. It alleged the requirement would unconstitutionally restrict the availability of abortions in the state, violates the U.S. Constitution's due process guarantee and unconstitutionally treats doctors who perform abortions differently from those who perform other procedures.
The restraining order will remain in place pending a fuller hearing July 17. In his ruling, Conley said "there is a troubling lack of justification for the hospital admitting privileges requirement." He said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states must prove that restrictions on abortion rights must be reasonably aimed at preserving the mother's health.
"Moreover, the record to date strongly supports a finding that no medical purpose is served by this requirement," he said.
The bill was introduced in the Legislature on June 4, passed nine days later and signed into law Friday by Gov. Scott Walker. It took effect Monday. The law also requires women to obtain an ultrasound before getting an abortion, but that provision is not being challenged. [Emphasis added.]
In North Carolina, State Legislators tacked abortion restrictions onto an unrelated bill outlawing "Sharia Law" in North Carolina. "Moral Monday" protesters have been demonstrating against NC's Republican agenda every Monday for the past 10 weeks. This Monday, more than 60 pro-choice protesters-- including the head of North Carolina's Planned Parenthood-- were arrested during the Moral Monday protest. From the Huffington Post...
North Carolinians of all stripes have been fighting back with everything we've got. For months, hundreds of us have rallied and protested against more restrictions on women's health in our state. In a matter of hours last week, more than 500 women's health activists descended on the General Assembly to protest the Senate's actions last week. Hundreds more are protesting today to #standwithNCwomen. We are already home to one of the nation's most intrusive and demeaning mandatory ultrasound laws. We were also among the first to try to block preventive health care funds from Planned Parenthood's nonprofit health centers. Taxpayers here have been on the hook for the costly legal battles these unconstitutional attacks on women's health and well-being have triggered.
In Texas, 1000s of protesters descended on the capitol to protest the Texas Legislature's reconsideration of a highly restrictive anti-abortion law that was stopped by filibuster (and noisy protesters) recently. The Texas Legislature is expected to debate and vote on this legislation today (July 9, 2013). From Democracy Now...
In Texas, thousands of people descended on the Capitol Monday as Republicans revived a bill that would shut down nearly all of the state’s abortion clinics and ban abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization. Hundreds of people on both sides gave testimony during a state Senate committee hearing that lasted into the early hours of Tuesday morning. Among them was Austin resident Katie Heim, who delivered a poem.
Katie Heim: "If my vagina was a gun, you would stand for its rights. You would ride on a bus and fight all the fights. If my vagina was a gun, you would treat it with care. You wouldn’t spill all its secrets, because, well, why go there? If my vagina was a gun, you’d say what it holds is private. From cold dead hands we could pry; you surely would riot. If my vagina was a gun, its rights would all be protected. No matter the body count or the children affected. If my vagina was a gun, I could bypass security. Concealed carry laws would ensure I had purity."
Words like “onslaught,” “unprecedented,” “extremist,” “dangerous,” “unconstitutional,” “medically unnecessary,” “unscientific,” and “draconian” have been used to describe the Republican Party’s nationwide push to limit women’s healthcare, stop women from choosing to have safe, legal abortions, and close abortion clinics through over-regulation. In the first six months of this year, states have passed 106 provisions related to reproductive health, including 43 that specifically restrict abortion access.
In recent weeks, high-profile, anti-choice legislation in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and North Dakota has made the news. Thanks to a one-woman filibuster by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and hundreds of pro-choice protesters watching in the Legislative chambers, Texas is the only Republican-controlled state government in that list that didn’t pass and sign into law anti-choice legislation this spring. (Of course, Texas Governor Rick Perry– vowing to end abortion in Texas altogether– has called for another special session of the Republican-dominated State Legislature to fix that, and Democrats have little hope they will be able to stop the legislation a second time.)
These Republican-led states join others like Arizona and Virginia who passed anti-choice legislation in recent years. Nationwide, 13 states now have highly restrictive laws limiting women’s reproductive healthcare and access to legal abortions, resulting in half of American women of reproductive age living in states that are outwardly hostile to their health. Nationwide, 300 anti-choice bills are being debated. In addition, US Senator Marco Rubio and Arizona Congressman Trent Franks have introduced anti-choice bills in the Senate and House of Representatives; a ban on abortions after 20 weeks has already passed the Republican-controlled House. More details about the extent of this battle after the jump.
Breaking news on the front page of today’s Arizona Daily Star is a 20″ story about dumping Tucson’s “Old Pueblo” nickname. Leaders of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce think Tucson needs a new nickname that reflects our bustling, business friendly city– not a “dusty, old desert town”. From the Star…
“Tucson has a choice,” the chamber’s board Chairman Kurt Wadlington and CEO Mike Varney wrote in the program for the chairman’s lunch.
“We can remain the ‘Old Pueblo’ or we can do whatever is necessary to propel ourselves forward to grow, prosper and compete with other cities and regions for the bounties of free enterprise,” the duo wrote. ” ‘The Old Pueblo’ is great for history buffs, but a new mind-set and attitude toward prosperity is long overdue.”
Most of the story is dedicated to marketing and business types making the case for dumping the “Old Pueblo” because it’s an “archaic marketing motto”. More on the nickname controversy after the jump.
Teapublican Legislatures in Texas and Ohio have been working diligently in recent weeks on sexist laws aimed at the suppression of women.
Last week Texas State Senator Wendy Davisbecame a nationwide feminist hero when she single-handedly filibustered and stopped anti-choice, anti-woman legislation that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks and effectively close all but 5 abortion clinics in the state of Texas.
In response to Davis and the thousands of pro-choice protesters who flooded Austin yesterday, Governor Rick Perry vowed to ban abortions in the state of Texas and called another special session. The sole purpose of this new 30-day session is to pass the same anti-choice bill that failed last week, thanks to Davis and cheering pro-choice protesters inside the Legislative chamber.
Meanwhile in Ohio, another Teapublican Governor, John Kasich– surrounded by other old white men– quietly signed one of the most draconian, anti-choice, anti-woman bills in the country this week. The Ohio legislation requires women seeking abortions to have a vaginal ultrasound (even if the woman doesn’t want one), defunds Planned Parenthood, requires stricter controls on abortion clinics which will cause some of them to close, and redefines pregnancy to begin at fertilization. (If some of this anti-woman nonsense sounds familiar, it’s because Arizona and other Teapubican states passed similar legislation in recent years.)
Perry and other anti-abortion zealots paint this fight as a religious war to protect the unborn. This is hogwash. The War on Women’s reproductive rights is a war of suppression. More on this and proposed laws to regulate sperm donors after the jump.
One hundred years ago, at the dawn of the last American Progressive Era, the United States was a very different place– a place of inequality, discrimination, and wealth disparity, author and historian John Nichols told a gathering of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) in June.
Although slavery had been abolished in 1865 (#13), the rights of citizens were established in 1868 (#14), and the right to vote for all men was established in 1870 (#15), the majority of Americans could not vote.
At the turn of the last century, women and adults 18-21 years of age were barred from voting, and because of racist, state-level machinations and poll taxes, many African Americans and poor Americans of any color also were kept from voting. In addition, citizens didn’t have representation in the US Senate, since Senators were chosen by robber barons in back room deals (not elected by the people).
This sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Are Republicans trying to take our country back to 1900? Consider these current scenarios:
The energy and activism of the Progressive Era (1900-1929) brought many positive changes and new Constitutional Amendments; it’s up to those of us in the New Progressive Movementto fight back against new regressive and discriminatory laws to save our country.
Videos and details after the jump.
When Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) rallied its membership and asked them to take to the streets, their computers, and their telephones to oppose food stamp cuts in the farm bill, stopping the multi-year, behemoth looked bleak.
Both versions of the bill had cuts to food stamps and school lunches; the House of Representatives version, which was defeated on Thursday, had $20 billion in cuts to food stamps + increased subsidies to agribusiness, and the Senate version has $4 billion in cuts. This is immoral– feeding the military industrial complex but not the children.
PDA mobilized nationally to stop this– hundreds of letter drops at Congressional offices around the country and in Washington DC, thousands of phone calls and e-mails to Congressional representatives. And it worked– for now. Details of the mobilization after the jump.
Corporate giants work in mysterious ways. A case in point is Google's decision to abruptly end its popular Google Reader service, which allows users to get "feeds" from their favorite blogs.
Blog for Arizona has almost 900 followers. (Hey, thanks!) The problem is that more than half of these followers are using Google Reader to stay up-to-date with our musings.
What's a person to do? So, you know the theory that if you ask the universe a question, the answer will appear to you? Well, that's what happened today.
I Googled something completely unrelated to Google Reader's death and up popped the following post about transporting your Google Reader blogs to Feedly.
Digging a little deeper, I found several other stories about what to do post-Google Reader. The catch is: If you want to maintain your current list of blogs to follow and you want to transfer said list to another service, you have to do it before July 1, 2013! (Or you are SOL and you have to re-essemble your favorites list.)
Here's what The Verge says about Feedly...
Feedly appears to be the heir apparent to Google Reader’s throne, a modern take on RSS that blends some of the niceties of Flipboard (like a “magazine view”) with useful Reader features like keyboard shortcuts and tags. But its biggest advantage may be that it’s the only RSS application that also has excellent and free companion mobile apps. In a world without the ubiquitous Google Reader API, building your own mobile apps is the only way to make sure you can pick up where you left off — in this way, Feedly is the only real Google Reader alternative.
Connecting by Feedly and other links, after the jump.
The Farm Bill-- which included $20 Billion in cuts to food stamps-- went down in flames in the US House of Representatives this morning. The vote was 234-195, with 62 Republicans voting "no", and 24 Democrats voting for it, according to the Huffington Post.
The roll call vote (after the jump) reveals that Arizona Congressional Democraic Representatives Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema voted "yes" (with the Republicans), while Representatives Ann Kirkpatirck, Raul Grijalva, and Ed Pastor voted "no". (On the Arizona Republican side, Paul Gosar voted the party line, while Matt Salmon, Trent Franks, and David Schweikert voted "no".)
More details and the roll call after the jump.
For weeks, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been turning up the heat on Congressional Democrats in an effort to stop the proposed $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, AKA food stamps).
On Monday, June 17, PDA members nationwide protested athigh-profile Congressional officesfrom California to Florida to Illinois to Massachusetts. (At right is the PDA protest outside of Congressman Henry Waxman's office. PDA Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy is in the middle Other photos here.) PDA activists demonstrated at the offices of influential members of Congress, like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Here is the list:
On Wednesday, June 19, PDA members visited the offices of more than 200 members of Congress and urged them to vote against the food stamp cuts. In Arizona,PDA activists delivered letters to the offices of Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Kyrsten Sinema.
Read the letter delivered to Congressional offices after the jump.
President Barack Obama has issued an official statement saying that he opposes the current form of HR1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (AKA the Farm Bill).
Specifically, he opposes the deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP– food stamps) and the spending increases in the form of subsidies. Cutting food subsidies (in the form of food stamps) to the poor while increasing subsidies to agribusiness is immoral. (You’ll remember that, in public, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is all “we gotta tighten out belts and reduce spending”, but in reality, they love spending money on pet projects– like war and corporate welfare. They passed the $640 Billion Pentagon Pork Bill last week. )
Will Obama’s statement and threatened veto give weak-kneed Blue Dog Democratsthe back-up to stand up for what’s right? I hope so. (The House of Representatives is still working on this bill; there is still time to call your representative and urge him/her topreserve funding for food stamps.) Read the President's full statement after the jump.
Bipartisanship is a popular buzz word in some political circles. Republicans use the call for “bipartisan solutions” to strong-arm Democrats into voting for bad ideas (like increased militarization and drone surveillance on the border in exchange for a long and complicated path to citizenship).
Democrats tout the quest for bipartisanship as code for “I’m a Democrat who votes with Republicans when it’s politically expedient.”
When the vast majority of American voters want higher taxes on the 1%, universal background checks, bans on assault weapons, immigration reform, a higher minimum wage, good jobs, relief from crushing student and credit card debt, safe roads and bridges, regulatory controls on Wall Street, safe guards on Social Security, legalization of marijuana, and the right to vote, Congress devolves into inaction and gamesmanship.
When real action is needed, but no action is taken, the “bipartisan solutions” rallying cry is revealed as a sham. The threatened filibuster that stopped the universal background check bill is the quintessential example of something that 90% of Americans wanted, but 40 men stopped.
Is bipartisanship a good strategy or just a trap to get Democrats to “punt on the first down”? More details and the video after the jump.
Could you live on a $4.50/day food stamp allotment?
Rep. Jim McGovern, who has been leading the charge to stop billions of dollars of cuts to the food stamp program (SNAP), will begin a food stamp challenge tomorrow, June 13, to draw attention to the plight of the poor and hungry in America. Twenty Congressional leaders, staffers, and supporters have joined the challenge to live on $4.50/day for one week. Here is information from McGovern's website.
Starting on June 13th, 2013, I will be joining over 20 of my Congressional colleagues, staffers and Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz for the 2013 National Food Stamp Challenge.
I will live on $4.50 a day for food for a week to bring attention to hunger and the $20 billion in cuts SNAP millions of Americans are facing. This is a conversation we need to have, and I hope this Challenge will help us continue the dialogue. Stay tuned to this page for updates from many of the participants!
And for more on my ongoing efforts to bring attention to hunger on the House floor, visit my #EndHungerNow page.
McGovern has given a series of speeches on ending hunger in America. Watch them here. Fifty million Americans are living with food insecurity. Now is not the time to cut billions from food stamps-- while adding billions to the Pentagon budget.
A list of Congressional Representatives taking the National Food Stamp Challenage is after the jump.
During the Bush II Era, excessive deficit spending was no big deal for Republicans. Congressional Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Lindsay Graham, and even current “budget hawk” Paul Ryan “spent money like drunken sailors”– particularly when the spending benefited the 1% (remember the tax cuts we couldn’t afford?) or corporations (two wars, Medicare Advantage, off-shoring jobs, more tax cuts, privatization, etc.)
But as soon as a Democratic President occupied the White House, the siren song became: We must tighten our belts and live within our means! Cut government
jobs…er… spending! Cut Social Security… er… “entitlements”!
This austerity screed intensified after the Democratic “shellacking” in 2010 when Teapublicans took control of the House of Representatives and the budget, and Senate Teapublicans began playing games with people’s lives by filibustering everything. (No wonder Congress has a 16% approval rating.)
For the past few months, Congress has been weighing the pros and cons of budget cuts and pork barrel projects. Food stamps and schools lunches are on the chopping block, while the Congress considers passing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, which authorizes $640 billion more in defense spending than the Pentagon asked for. (This action was passed by the House Armed Services committee last week; the full vote in the House of Representatives is scheduled for today– Wednesday, June 12.) More details about Pentegon pork after the jump.
Several weeks ago, after the US intelligence agencies found the Boston Marathon bombers in a matter of days, I posted this story: Who Is Homeland Security Watching? Off-the-grid Fertilizer Plant vs On-the-Grid Citizenry.
When I said that the federal government was watching “real people, not corporate people,” I had no idea how prophetic that statement was. In the few short weeks since that story, there has been one revelation about government spying on American citizens and news organizations after another.
Gov’t Obtains Wide AP Phone Records in Probe
First we learned that the feds obtained months worth of telephone records from Associated Press (AP) reporters. AP called this “a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’ into how news organizations gather the news.”
US gov’t collecting huge number of phone records
Although there was a huge media uproar over the AP story when it broke, it pales in comparison to what we learned this week. Senator Diane Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, confirmed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting cell phone records for millions of Americans on a regular basis for years. This ongoing surveillance of American citizens began during the warrantless wiretapping program initiated under President George Bush’s reign. Verizon, Sprint, and At&T have complied with court orders to provide customer data. Verizon alone has 121 million customers. More details and links after the jump.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a new report on arrests and incarceration for marijuana possession. The findings are startling– in light of new research showing multiple medical uses for marijuana, spread of states with medical marijuana, legalization of marijuana in two states, and widespread usage of marijuana by millions of Americans.
Here are a few of the high points:
From the Huffington Post:
“The war on marijuana has disproportionately been a war on people of color,” Edwards said in the [ACLU] release. “State and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against Black people and communities, needlessly ensnaring hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system at tremendous human and financial cost.”…
The ACLU is calling “for states to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.”
As Republicans in Congress are poised to cut billions from the food stamp program, a new report about poverty in America reveals how many millions of Americans need social safety net programs like food stamps.
Ever since President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty in 1964, capitalists and their Republican lackeys have been working hard to dismantle the collection of progressive policies that Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed-- food stamps, Head Start, Medicaid, Medicare, low-cost student loans, work study programs and more.
In 1964, the rate of poverty in the US was 20%; with the War on Poverty in full swin, it had dropped to 11% by 1973. Now, thanks to the slow dismantling and defunding of anti-poverty programs, the US poverty rate is 15%, according to the new report published by The Nation and Bill Moyers; 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty. This translates to a family of three with an income of less than $17,916. The most impoverished Americans are children with 22% of all American children living in poverty; this includes 39% of African-American children and 34% of Latino children. Women are far more likely to be poor than men, and that scenario is gradually worsening.
Highlights-- or lowlights, depending upon how you look at it-- of the report after the jump.
Citigroup knows how to schmooze Congress-- and how to write legislation, apparently.
Ever since the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act reinstated some regulations on Wall Street gamblers in 2010, the banksters have been trying to reduce or eliminate those regulations.
The newest chapter in this banking regulation saga finds Citigroup writing the latest round of financial regulations and wining and dining Congressional representatives-- including Arizona Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema-- to make the legislation happen. In Sinema's case, it worked. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, she voted with Republicans to allow
the Citigroup Protection Act... er... relaxed banking regulations to move out of committee.
I have been in Arizona long enough to have seen Sinema rise through the ranks of the Arizona Legislature and move to the US Congress. When she was in the State Senate, I enjoyed watching her Facebook posts cracking on Arizona Teapublicans and the video speeches where she openly challenged recalled Senate President Russell Pearce. Although I backed her for Congress because of her strong stance on women's issues, I'm seriously disgusted with her overall performance in Congress.
For months, Maricopa County members of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) have been urging Sinema to support the Financial Speculation Tax (AKA the Robin Hood Tax), which would charge a tiny fee on every Wall Street trade-- generating billions of dollars, while reducing risky, computerized micro-trades.
Not only has Sinema not supporting the Robin Hood Tax, her recent vote exempts many Wall Street trades from any regulation. This is the wrong direction for the American people. How many Wall Street bankers live in CD9? How many people who would benefit from the revenue generated by the Robin Hood Tax live in CD9? It's time for Sinema to do the math. Voting with Wall Street is a vote against her constituents in Arizona.
If you live in CD9, it's time to call Sinema and tell her you thought you were voting for that fiery State Senator-- not the banksters' handmaiden.
Earlier today, I posted a story about Republicans’ draconian and racist amendment to the Farm Bill that would deny food stamp benefits for ex-convicts– for the rest of their lives. (Obviously, a great way to pump up recidivism.)
But ex-cons are not the only people that Republicans want to starve. Overall, they want to cut billions from the food stamp program (while working behind the scenes to lessen the burned of regulation on the banksters. Who elected them? I thought it was real people– not corporate persons– who elected them.)
Below is an action alert from the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). It’s time to call your elected Congressional representatives and tell them thatAusterity is Not an Option! Starving people, taking their jobs, taking their houses, reducing benefits… these austerity measures haven't worked in Europe. They won’t work here.
Extremists in Congress want to slash funding for Food Stamps (aka SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). We must stand up against this heartless effort. Call and write your Senators and Representative, and tell them to oppose the Farm Bill unless full funding for food stamps is restored. We must do more to end hunger, not less.
Please watch this video in which I interviewed PDA Advisory Board member, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts about the upcoming Farm Bill–and the despicable plan to cut food stamps in a time of great hunger. Call and write your Senators and Representative, and tell them to reject the Farm Bill if it contains these hunger-causing cuts.
Many of us are wise to the racist private prison pipeline for people of color in the US. Black men have been incarcerated at higher rates than white men for decades. Thanks harsh immigration laws, brown men and women now make up the highest proportion of our federal prison system.
To add insult to injury, Senator Vitter has proposed an amendment to the farm bill which would prohibit anyone convicted of a crime from ever receiving food stamps during their lifetimes.
So, a 19-year-old man who serves prison time and returns to society rehabilitated would never be allowed to get subsidized food while he is trying to rebuild his life. What is his likely course of action? More crime? It could happen.
This amendment is openly racist. The only benefit would be to the private prison industry.
Read more about this in this story from Colorlines. Then call Senators Flake and McCain.
On Saturday, May 25, an estimated 2 million marched against multinational chemical giant Monsanto for tinkering with the genes of our worldwide food supply and for trying to outright control the food supply by controlling seed sales and prosecuting private farmers for saving seeds.
Here in Tucson an estimated 700 people marched against Monsanto. A veteran of many a Tucson protest march, I’d say 700 is a highly significant and news-worthy event. Ironically (or not), this march was ignored by the local news media. A Google search for local coverage revealed that both the Arizona Daily Star andKVOA ran canned stories about the worldwide effort with no mention or photos of the Tucson march. The only mention in the Tucson Weekly was a pre-event calendar announcement posted by the organizers. (For more Tucson pictures, go here.)
Here is a Loneprotestor video of the Tucson March Against Monsanto.
To grasp the scope of this event, check out this video with scenes from around the world.
Worldwide-- and here in Tucson-- hundreds of thousands of citizens have signed up to March Against Monsanto today, May 25. More than 1000 Tucsonans have RSVP'd for this event on Facebook. Will they show up? Who knows. If even 1/3 that many people come to Reid Park today, that's a big march by Tucson standards.
Why are people pissed off at Monsanto? Read this...
More than 90 days have passed since the Tucson City Council voted to begin a 60-90 day public comment period to gather information and ideas related to the proposed re-development of the Ronstadt Transit Center. During that time, the Tucson Bus Riders Union held a public forum at the Rialto, compiled and organized hundreds written comments collected at the forum, met with City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich, and participated in collecting 2800 surveys from bus riders.
What has Corky Poster done? Poster is the architect and planner who was City Council hired to gather the public input. Rumor has it that Poster has held eight "stakeholder" meetings in recent weeks. With the information gathered at those meetings, he has compiled a report outlining consensus goals and objectives and said report was to be delivered to the City Manager's office last week before Poster left town on vacation. More photos and details on the secret public process and who the real stakeholders are after the jump.
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