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. ”






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