Week of March 6th

 March 6th: Called Judy Chu to speak out against HR 861 (terminating the EPA, includig cutting funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative), HR 147 criminalizing abortion, and HR 354 defunding Planned Parenthood.

Called Dianne Feinstein & Kamala Harris to speak out against Trump’s budget slashing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; against House Joint Resolution 69 which would repeal protection of wildlife; and against any budget proposal that would defund Planned Parenthood.

March 7th: wrote postcards of thanks to some representatives who are part of the climate caucus: Darrell Issa (R-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Mia Love (R-UT), and Mark Amodei (R-NV). Also mailed a birthday card to the notorious RBG, who turns 83 on March 15th (and if you pray, my friends, pray for the long life of RBG).

Listened in to the Indivisible call about the Affordable Care Act. Also, one important takeaway: even if you’re in a blue state and are represented by staunchly liberal Members of Congress, STILL CALL: they need to hear your voice and know their constituency’s concerns.

March 8th: Called Judy Chu, Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris in support of the ACA and against the rush job on the AHCA. In particular, I expressed concern that the bill be assigned a score by the Congressional Budget Office before any voting take place. The CBO will try to ascertain the actual financial effect of the changes on the American public. I also expressed my opposition to the AHCA’s proposed freeze on the Medicaid expansion and reduction of Medicaid in the future and my opposition to its defunding of Planned Parenthood.

March 10th: Called Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris to express opposition to the REINS and Midnight Rules Relief Act, both of which promise to hold up regulation of industry by subjecting all regulation to Congressional approval (both redundant and counterproductive to the purpose of regulating industry in the first place, which is to protect consumers and the public from corporate abuse). Donated $10 to Sherrod Brown (Ohio) (an NPR article on him here), Kathryn Allen (Utah), and Jon Ossoff (Georgia). Brown will run for reelection in 2018 and it’s possible Kasich will decide to run against him. Allen is posing a Nov. 2018 challenge to Jason Chaffetz (the charmer who seems to think that if poor people would stop buying iPhones, they’d be able to afford health care).  Ossoff is running to take the seat in Georgia that Trump’s appointment of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary. The election happens in April 2017, and Dems feel that a Democratic “takeover” of this seat will help send a clear message to the establishment about how angry we all are about what a sham the AHCA is.

Postcard Gallery!

Week of February 26th

Monday: Called Judy Chu (626-304-0110), Dianne Feinstein (310-914-7300), and Kamala Harris (213-894-5000) to express support for the Senate bill McCain introduced to require Congressional approval before Trump lifts sanctions on Russia, and for bills introduced in the House (HR371) and Senate (S65) requiring the President to disclose and divest himself from financial conflicts of interest.

Tuesday: Called Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris to urge them to vote against Ryan Zinke and Rick Perry for Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Energy, respectively.

Wednesday: Tried to call the White House but the lines were busy every time I tried. Ready to tell the staffer that I don’t support any cuts to the EPA. Will try again Friday.

Thursday: Wrote this one for The Donald:

Dear President Trump:

I am writing to express my dismay at your move to defund domestic programs, in particular the EPA, and to increase spending on the military.

The EPA performs the crucial function of protecting citizens from environmental abuses inflicted by corporations which are, by definition and mandate, more interested in the bottom line than the long term health of a locality or the human population that lives and works within it. To cut the EPA in the interests of business is only to give businesses the tools to extract and export wealth from a locality with even less concern for the long term ecological and financial health of that locality than they currently exhibit.

Without the EPA, only the wealthy will be able to afford what should not be a luxury but a human right: clean water, clean air, a thriving and diverse nonhuman ecosystem, and a safe and healthy place for our children to live.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, JPL stored rocket fuel waste in seepage pits in the Arroyo Seco of the Pasadena area, where I now live. As a result, the drinking water was infused with perchlorates, a compound that causes thyroid disorders. Thanks to the EPA, this problem was brought to light and remedied. The groundwater is still being cleaned, more than 20 years later, but now the water in my neighborhood is purchased by Pasadena Water and Power from the Metropolitan Water District, which gets water from the Colorado River and other non-contaminated sources. If it were not for the EPA, I might have raised my children in a neighborhood with contaminated water. JPL would not have been forced to stop their storage practices or to fund a cleanup. The EPA may have saved my life and the lives of my children.

Please stop your plans to cut or de-fund the EPA. Its work is absolutely vital to the health of our nation.

Sent him a postcard version, too, because why not.

Friday: Call Judy Chu, Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris to ask them to oppose the gutting of the Consumer Protection Bill. As one of my activist friends wrote to me:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has returned roughly $11.8 billion to 29 million consumers since its inception in 2011. This article details just how much the CFPG has had the backs of students, credit card holders, homeowners, and consumers. Most recently, the CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million for its illegal practice of opening unauthorized accounts.

Donald Trump promised to gut this agency. The Republicans doubled down on this and recently introduced two companion bills that would eliminate the bureau altogether. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Senate Bill (S.370) and Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) introduced the House Bill (H.R. 1031). If passed, these bills would repeal Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB. ”