February 19, 2012
This weeks What Were Reading: Things we LOVE edition takes a different perspective on love by showing you the issues, organizations, and FCC regulations that DFA staff enjoy whole heartedly. Mia Moore, Chief of Staff Pick of the Week:
My husband's uncle shared this great article on the history of Planned Parenthood and the battle for women's health rights and I've found it very helpful in understanding the context in which we are working right now. Plus, I'm a nerdy fan of all kinds of historical trivia, no matter how obscure so I'm gobbling this all up this week.
Birthright By Jill Lepore
Aside from its proximity to the site of the United States first birth-control clinicopened in Brooklyn in 1916the place is a typical Planned Parenthood clinic. Last year, seventeen thousand patients received medical care here. Two-thirds were insured by Medicaid, or paid reduced rates, or received free treatment. They were tested for S.T.I.s and U.T.I.s; they were prescribed birth-control pills and antibiotics; they were fitted for diaphragms and I.U.D.s and cervical caps; they learned how to check their breasts for lumps. They had pregnancy tests and Pap smears and abortions. Julielyn Gibbons, Training Director Pick of the Week:
This is a great sign for us ladies in the world. We can be smart and find satisfying, long-lasting relationships! Watch out world - here we come!
The M.R.S. and the Ph.D. By Stephanie Coontz
Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated.
Monique Teal, Campaign Academy Organizer Pick of the Week:
I think its really interesting how longstanding communities are using new technology to advance grassroots campaigns and one of our DFA members helped run the campaign! Breaking through a storied political culture By Dane Strother
The race to head the Cherokee Nation isnt typically a contest favorable to the use of more traditional campaign techniquesnew media, direct mail and phones. So the question for our team upon deciding to take on the challenge of unseating a 12-year incumbent this past year was whether modern campaign tactics could work in a storied and somewhat closed political culture...The short answer is yes. But it meant breaking 30 years of tight control from an insular group, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and nine month of focus on a project undertaken on a whim.
Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Pick of the Week:
Im tracking some of the big fights happening this year - this seems like one of the largest.
Whose Wisconsin recall is it? By Josh Eidelson
Last winter, the three-week occupation of Wisconsins capitol brought into sharp relief what would become two of the years defining forces: Emboldened far-right state governments and emergent left populist movements. After Walker successfully pushed through his budget repair bill to cripple public workers collective bargaining rights, much of the energy of the capitol occupation shifted to efforts to recall the bills midwives in the Senate. Though they took place in Republican-leaning districts, last summers recall campaigns against six GOP senators were marked by fierce populism rather than cautious moderation.
Emma Interlandi, Operations Manager Pick of the Week:
Cable news channels have focused almost entirely on the religious and political aspects of contraception... how is this complete coverage?
300 Reasons Why Contraception Is Not Being Discussed As A Womens Health Issue By Zachary Pleat, Leslie Rosenberg, & Kevin Zieber
While ovarian cancer remains hard to detect despite being one of the "deadliest of cancers that affect the female reproductive system," contraception use is correlated with reduced risk of the disease. The American Cancer Society has estimated that "30,000 cases of ovarian cancer worldwide could be prevented each year" through contraception use alone.
Sam Stelfox, Tech Department Pick of the Week:
This is great news! If you want to receive annoying robocalls from telemarketers you will have to opt in. Federal Communications Commission rules now require that telemarketers get your consent before dialing your number. Telemarketers will also have to obtain consent even if they had previously 'done business with' the consumer on the receiving end of a call."
FCC Cracks Down on Robocalls By Maya Jackson Randall
The rules require telemarketers to obtain written consent before placing so-called robocalls, and telemarketers will no longer be able to make robocalls simply because a person previously had done business with that telemarketer.
February 17, 2012
Largest Grassroots Contest in DFA History; 2nd Round of Voting Expected to be Very Competitive Burlington, VT Today, Democracy for America (DFA)
announced the top ten winners of the first round of voting in the
Grassroots All-Stars Contest. With 70,000 votes, this is the largest
endorsement contest DFA has hosted to date. The winners of the first
round will compete in a second round for the top prize.
The top ten winners are:
1)Alan Grayson FL - 27
2)Ilya Sheyman IL - 10
3)Norman Solomon CA - 02
4)Jose Hernandez CA - 10
5)Mark Pocan WI - 02
6)Lois Frankel FL - 22
7)Angela Zimmann OH - 05
8)Kelda Roys WI - 02
9)Eric Griego NM - 01
10)Annie Kuster NH - 02
This is a critical year to win back the House and we are getting
started on a great note with some real progressive champions who will be
fighters and truth-tellers in Congress, said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA.
With this Grassroots All Stars competition for House challengers, we
will begin the largest campaign season in DFAs history.
Grassroots All-Stars (www.grassrootsallstars.com)
is an annual competition for House challengers and open seats.
Candidates compete for online votes to demonstrate support among DFA
members, and the candidate with the most votes wins. The winner of the
2012 Grassroots All-Star Competition will receive:
- The title of "2012 DFA Grassroots All-Star" and DFA's endorsement
- A commitment to raise $20,000 in small donations from our national membership.
- A commitment to tap into our national membership to recruit volunteers
over the course of your campaign and other support. (See www.grassrootsallstars.com/faq)
Two runners-up also receive prizes.
Past winners of the whole contest include Jerry McNerney, Charlie
Brown, and Beth Krom. The voting for the second round will end at
11:59PM Pacific time, Tuesday, February 28th. The announcement of the
winner will be made LIVE on telephone town hall event on Thursday March
### ABOUT DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA
Democracy for America is a people-powered Democratic Political Action
Committee. With over one million members nationwide, DFA is a grassroots
powerhouse working to change our country and the Democratic Party from
Paid for by Democracy for America, www.democracyforamerica.com, and not authorized by any candidate.
February 16, 2012
A message from Jim Dean:
Last year, hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses and regular,
hard-working Americans took to the streets of Wisconsin to demand an end
to right-wing Gov. Scott Walker's War on Working Families.
Wisconsin Democrats heard them loud and clear. All 14 State Senate
Democrats left the state to stop the Republican legislature from jamming
through a bill to smash unions and middle class families. Then,
a coalition of working people came together over the spring and summer
to beat two State Senate Republicans in recall elections in deep red
districts for their votes to kill unions. It was a huge blow to
Wisconsin Republicans. Now, it's time to finish the job.
Over one million Wisconsinites signed on to recall Scott Walker and
four more Republican State Senators for pushing their outrageous
right-wing agenda on Wisconsin -- smashing unions, defunding Planned
Parenthood, pushing a harsh new voter ID law that hurts the poor and
elderly, and so much more. These are just some of the things at stake.
That's why we absolutely must win these recall elections. Please contribute $4 right now to recall Scott Walker and his four cronies and stop their right-wing agenda once and for all.
We've seen Republicans push these sorts of extreme right-wing agendas
at the state level all across the country -- Ohio, New Hampshire,
Florida, Montana, and a dozen other states. Wisconsin is our
first chance to fight back. These recall elections are happening this
summer -- not as part of the November elections. A big win here
this summer will be a shot in the arm to Democrats across the country.
The progressive base will be fired up and we can keep the momentum going
into November, reelecting President Obama, electing bold progressives
like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to the Senate, and taking back
the House from John Boehner and the Tea Partiers. We have a
chance to stop these right-wingers in Wisconsin right here, right now --
and to give progressives the momentum they need to win big in November. But to win big, we must support the folks working on the ground in Wisconsin right now. Please contribute $4 to the Wisconsin Democratic Party right now. Thank you for everything you do. -Jim Jim Dean, Chair Democracy for America
February 13, 2012
A message from Kaili Lambe:
DFA Member - We have 24 hours to stop the U.S. Senate from giving the green light to a project that would have a catastrophic impact on our climate.
You may have heard about the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would ship dirty tar sand oil from Canada to the Gulf right through America's agricultural heartland. Not only would this disastrous project jeopardize our water and land with the threat of leaks and spills -- it would also make our efforts to stabilize climate change virtually impossible.
Last month President Obama rejected construction of the pipeline, but many Senators are rushing to resurrect it in order to protect some of their biggest donors -- Big Oil.
To stop them, we need a remarkable response. Democracy for America has joined with dozens of other organizations to collect and deliver 500,000 messages before tomorrow's vote.
Add your name now.
The petition says: "Senators: Block any efforts to revive the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."
There is no way to build Keystone XL that does not accelerate production of the tar sands and contribute disastrous amounts of carbon to climate change. Only Big Oil would benefit from pipeline -- every single claim about the positive economic impact has been proven false by independent review.
For the next 24 hours, it's all hands on deck.
Tomorrow we will deliver boxes upon boxes of signatures to the U.S. Senate. It will be a unified show of our power -- our voices against the money of Big Oil.
We don't have a second to lose. Can you sign the petition to the Senate right away and then share it with your friends?
Thanks for everything you've done already -- and everything you will do to make the next 24 hours a really big deal.
Let's do this.
Kaili Lambe, Politcal Campaign Manger Democracy for America
February 10, 2012
This weeks What Were Reading: Super Edition takes a closer look at issues for one reason or another are SUPER important to DFA staff members. These issues affect us all personally and many of them strike at the nerve of political outrage. Jim Dean, Chair
Pick of the Week: File this under the Super Unbelievable category. The story of a successful businessman who got ripped off by mortgage lenders, researched the problem and then went to Fannie, Freddie, and the big banks with the research, thinking that they would heed the warnings and take steps to avoid the meltdown. All of this happened several years ago. The article is really a shameful indictment of corporate corruption.
A Mortgage Tornado Warning, Unheeded
By Gretchen Morgenson
You might wonder why Mr. Lavalle didnt speak up. But he did. For two years, he corresponded with Fannie executives and lawyers. Fannie later hired a Washington law firm to investigate his claims. In May 2006, that firm, using some of Mr. Lavalles research, issued a confidential, 147-page report corroborating many of his findings. Kate Lesniak, Deputy Finance Director
Pick of the Week:
Here is a look at why our current tax system in completely and utterly SUPER broken.
The Zuckerberg Tax
By David Miller
Our tax system is based on the concept of realization. Individuals are not taxed until they actually sell property and realize their gains. But this system makes less sense for the publicly traded stocks of the superwealthy. A drastic change is necessary to fix this fundamental flaw in our tax system and finally require people like Warren E. Buffett, Mr. Ellison and others to pay at least a little income tax on their unsold shares. The fix is called mark-to-market taxation.
Monique Teal, Campaign Academy Organizer
Pick of the Week:
I'm SUPER angry at religious conservatives trying to co-opt my civil liberties. As someone who was born to a teenage mother, access to and use of birth control has nothing to do with my relationship to God and everything to do with freedom. Knocked Up: Republican Presidential Candidates Plan for American Women
By Adele M. Stan
For the Republican base, with its antipathy to what it calls "Obamacare," the controversy over birth control is quite perfect. That base, as it exists today, is largely composed of the religious right, which stands in opposition to women's equality, and the Tea Party movement, which was organized by political operators in opposition to the healthcare reform legislation that became law in 2009 as the Affordable Care Act.
Laurie Childers, Accountant
Pick of the Week:
This week am I am SUPER distressed over the escalation of bloodshed in Syria and am fearing war between Israel and Iran. It is deeply frightening and I feel helpless to do anything about it. On the good news side a home town girl (she went to high school just down the road) won a Golden Globe award this week. She says in the interview that you can always tell Vermonters where ever she goes in the world. "They have fresh air around them". And Prop 8 in CA is nearly dead after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Yeah! I can not stop governments from killing their own people, but I did find some good news to wake up for.
Prop 8 unconstitutional: The sanctity of marriage equality
By Susan Brooks
But I am wholly and completely persuaded that standing up for equality in marriage for LGBT people is a holy act, an act that is worthy of reverence. Sanctity in general means being in a state of being holy, and if there were ever an institution where holiness should apply, it is the right to be married to the person you love.
Jase Roberts, Technology Director
Pick of the Week: Im SUPER interested in watching how this whole debate unfolds and Im glad that tech groups are becoming more active in political issues that effect the tech community.
Coalition of tech, rights groups demand u-turn in copyright debate
By Stephen C. Webster
"Instead of finding new ways to punish copyright offenders, they urge lawmakers to back away from the issue entirely and think of ways that current copyright law can be amended to repair loopholes that sometimes allow content creators to abuse their rights. Some of those abuses have related to companies using the law to crush potential competitors, stifle scientific and digital security research, and censor journalists."
Levana Layendecker, Communications Director Pick of the Week:
Scott Brown was quoted saying In Massachusetts we have such a strong demand for this because our family and cultural ties...This is kind of a no brainer.
Hmm...If only there were other states that happen to border to the US where there are such strong family and cultural ties that it would justify an easier path to citizenship. Oh Wait! I will be waiting for similar legislative proposals from Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. #RepublicanHypocrisy101
Sen. Brown: Irish immigration bill about to pop
By Hillary Chabot
Brown filed the bill, which would boost the number of work visas per year for the Irish to 10,500, last year but struggled to get support. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) filed similar legislation but Republicans balked because it would allow a sort of, backdoor amnesty. It wasnt going anywhere, Brown said.
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