Netflix announces: “529 women ran for congress in 2018 — meet four of them in @knockdownmovie.” And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shares on Twitter: “Before my primary, three women & I agreed to film our journey of trying to run for office without big money. Now, #KnockDownTheHouse hits Netflix & select theaters next week, May 1st.”
Visit knockdownthehouse.com to find a screening or learn how to host one. Discussion materials available.
Several states are holding local elections today. It’s important to know what your voter rights are and where to seek help if you feel that anyone has blocked you from exercising your Constitutional right to vote.
A good place to turn for information about your rights is the League of Women Voters. If you have questions about voting issues call their voting rights hotline website Vote411.org. Visit the website or
Call one of these national hotlines:
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
Here’s some specific information they shared about New Jersey voter rights:
1st time voters who register in person may be asked to show ID.
1st time voters who register by mail can satisfy the ID requirement by filling in their Social Security Number or NJ Driver’s License number on the registration form
At the polls, voters who have already not satisfied the ID requirement can be asked to show proof of address. That proof can be a piece of mail addressed to the voter.
If you cannot satisfy the ID requirement, you can ask for a provisional ballot. Lack of ID cannot stop you from voting.
Sanders, along with filmmaker Michel Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, economist Darrick Hamilton and other experts, will discuss poverty in America, the 40-year decline of the middle class, the growing power of corporate interests and how we an economy that works for all Americans.
“The issue of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, yet it gets very little coverage from the corporate media,” Sanders said. “I am excited to build on the success of our Medicare for All town hall and go outside the traditional media to talk about who owns America, why the middle class is declining, extreme poverty and how we create an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent.”
The event, titled “Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class,” will be held in front of a live audience at the Capitol Visitor Center’s Congressional Auditorium in Washington from 7:00 to 8:20 p.m. and live streamed across the partners’ social media channels.
“The political establishment has completely turned away from the middle class and abandoned the American blue collar workers in favor of the wealthy elite,” said TYT host Ana Kasparian. “Tax cuts are only helping the top one percent and have become corporations’ best and most loyal friend . Our government needs to create opportunity for all people and it’s imperative that our elected officials make sure wages increase with the productivity of this country. I applaud Sen. Sanders’ work in making this the issue of our time. I look forward to working with Michael Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Darrick Hamilton and the many other esteemed guests to advance the conversation and create change.”
John Mulholland, Guardian US editor said: “The Guardian strives to illuminate the most pressing and underreported issues facing America today. Widening levels of inequality are of huge concern to our American readers. We’re pleased to be involved in this event, helping to amplify one of the most endemic injustices in our society.”
“We need a government that works for all of us, not only the 1 percent. Likewise we are proud to partner in this town hall and amplify such a vital issue. Another world is possible, but we need a better media to make it,” said Harry Waisbren, co-founder of Act.tv.
Guests interested in attending in person can find more information here.
Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren has made her life’s work the fight for middle class families. She is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle class families, and the Boston Globe has called her “the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks.”
Michael Moore, filmmaker and author
Michael Moore is an Academy-Award winning documentary filmmaker, activist, and author. Among many issues his work has examined globalization, gun ownership, health care, and domestic and foreign policy.
Darrick Hamilton, Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, The New School, New York City
Professor Darrick Hamilton teaches economic and urban policy at the New School in New York. Both his academic work and activism is aimed at promoting greater economic, political, and social inclusion. His work examines inequality and identity, racism, and socioeconomic outcomes.
Catherine Coleman, Flowers, founder, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise
Ms. Catherine Coleman Flowers is the founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation. Ms. Flowers has called attention to the lack of environmental and climate justice in poor rural communities, including exposing how some communities live surrounded by raw open sewage. Last year she invited the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty to Alabama, and he characterized what he saw as “uncommon in the first world.”
Cindy Estrada, Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union
Cindy Estrada is a longtime union organizer and social activist. She was first elected as vice president in 2010 and is the first Latina elected to serve as an International officer. Cindy developed a passion for the labor movement while listening to her grandparents and other family members talk about their experiences working on farms and inside the factories of Detroit. Their stories were the first of many that have guided Estrada in her dedication to empower workers and show them they deserve a seat at the table to raise and resolve workplace problems and improve their working conditions.
Professor Gordon Lafer, Political Scientist, University of Oregon
Dr. Gordon Lafer, a political economist, is a Professor at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center and a Research Associate with the Economic Policy Institute. He has spent many years working as a union organizer and has seen how people have been mistreated or ripped off by their employers. His most recent book is The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time (Cornell University Press, 2017).
El sábado 28 de octubre el líder demócrata Julián Castro viene a Passaic, New Jersey para unirse a la campaña del candidato a gobernador Phil Murphy.
Castro se desempeñó como Secretario de Vivienda de los Estados Unidos durante el mandato del Presidente Obama. La manifestación se efectuará:
El sábado 28 2017 a las 6pm
Mt. Carmel Hall
10 St. Francis Way
Castro ganó su bachillerato de la Universidad de Stanford y su doctorado de Harvard Law School en el 2000. En 2001 a la edad de 26 años Castro se convirtió en el concejal más joven en la historia de San Antonio, Tejas. Cuando lo elijieron alcalde en el año 2009 los líderes del partido Demócrata le consideraron a Castro como uno de los más prominentes líderes del partido. En 2014 se unió al gabinete del Pres. Obama.
El alcalde Héctor Lora y los líderes Demócratas del Condado de Passaic recibirán a Castro. El ingreso al evento es libre.
Gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno released a TV ad on October 12 reiterating her statement from the first gubernatorial debate referring to undocumented immigrants as “murderers and rapists”, using disparaging language like that of Donald Trump.
“Phil Murphy was very clear in the debate that he condemns murderous acts committed by anyone and that the people who commit those crimes should be prosecuted,” said Chris Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. “Guadagno’s Trump-like approach paints all immigrants and Latinos as murderers and rapists.” LAN has condemned Guadagno’s statement.
According to Rudy Rodas, another LAN official, “Programs that deputize local police to carry out federal immigration enforcement, like that instituted by Kim Guadagno when she served as Sherriff of Monmouth County, make communities less safe since law abiding immigrants are less likely to report crimes or cooperate with police investigations when they fear that they will also be detained.”
“We have faith that New Jersey voters are intelligent people who won’t fall for Kim Guadagno’s Donald Trump impersonation and her hateful and divisive speech toward immigrants,” concluded Estevez.
The Nation reported on October 12, “San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz woke up to Trump’s vindictive tweets on Thursday, and she texted a long message to Representative Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, who shared it with reporters.”
Here’s the body of the Mayor’s message:
Puerto Ricans have suffered greatly in the past month. Two hurricanes devastated our homes and our electrical infrastructure leaving us without the essentials to survive: drinkable water, food and medicine. But perhaps more frustrating has been the devastating actions, time after time, by a President whose tweets, comments and actions seem to be taken out of a book on “how to add insult to injury” rather than a book on “how to help during a humanitarian crisis”. He is simply incapable of understanding the contributions, the sacrifices and the commitment to democratic values that Puerto Ricans have shown over decades. His actions are unbecoming of a leader of the free world.
Mr President, you seem to want to disregard the moral imperative that your administration has been unable to fulfill. Your replacement of the FEMA Coordinator in Puerto Rico is an admission that things are not going the way they should. Your tweets and comments just show desperation and underscore the inadequacy of your government’s response to this humanitarian crisis. It is not that you do not get it, it is that you are incapable of empathy and frankly simply cannot get the job done.
Ever since this ordeal began, San Juan has had over 300 sustained volunteers from the United States. Good, hard working people from New York, Florida, California, Texas and many others who embody the fundamental values of compassion, ingenuity and hard work that you are certainly unable to express. These men and women, most of them union workers, have literally taken care of our bodies and souls. They did not come for a photo op or to throw paper towels and insults at us. They came to help, something you seem to be unable to grasp. These volunteers have seen the horror that you continue to want to dismiss. They embody the true spirit of the American values that you dismiss with every inappropriate and derogatory action and comment.
Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis. While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of non drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us since they face the impediment of the Jones Act.
I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE. I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls.
No one needs an invitation to help, to feed the hungry, to cure the sick, to give a helping hand to those in need. Simply put: HELP US. WITHOUT ROBUST and CONSISTENT HELP, WE WILL DIE.
Mr. President fulfill your moral imperative towards the people of Puerto Rico.
Elizabeth – El candidato demócrata para gobernador de New Jersey Phil Murphy prometió trabajar mano a mano con los puertorriqueños en New Jersey para superar los estragos del Huracán María y reiteró su solidaridad con miles de familias, ancianos y niños afectados en la isla.
“Yo siento la misma preocupación de ustedes, porque la crisis humanitaria nos afecta a todos”, dijo el líder demócrata durante la Convención Anual del Congreso Boricua en Elizabeth, en la cual se rindió un minuto de silencio en la memoria del lider puertorriqueño Eliu Rivera, ex -director de la agencia PACO fallecido el 30 de septiembre.
“Los puertorriqueños son nuestros compatriotas estadounidenses y ellos nos necesitan más que nunca”, enfatizó Murphy tras indicar que New Jersey es el hogar de casi medio millón de puertorriqueños. Al responder las preguntas relacionadas con la ayuda humanitaria puntualizó: “el pueblo de Puerto Rico se enfrenta a un largo camino por recorrer para volver a la normalidad, y necesita nuestro apoyo”.
“Washington debe actuar de manera agresiva, rápida y decisiva para acelerar la ayuda humanitaria a Puerto Rico”, indicó Murphy, quien mantiene directa comunicación con el gobernador de Puerto Rico.
Murphy aseguró que trabajará por una economía sólida y justa para todos. “Tenemos que estar seguros que nuestra economía sea fuerte para que podamos beneficiar a toda la población y seguir ayudando a nuestras comunidades”.
La convención puertorriqueña ha sido organizada por el Puerto Rican Congress de New Jersey y Lydia Valencia es su presidenta y CEO.
Brilliant skit starring Chris Pine playing highly erratic and childish company president (president – get it?) points out the extremely awesome truth: we don’t need to put up with the nut or his buddies. And p.s. if these loons worked in industry, they would have been ousted long ago with minimum fuss.
The good news? Yes, we can vote and get rid of them. Learn how and where at SaveTheDay.vote.
Skit stars Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, J. August Richards, Jillian Morgese, Romy Rosemont, Josh Zar, Zac Oyama and David Fury.
If you’re still wondering whether Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is worth putting time into, here’s another testimony to mull over. On Bill Maher’s RealTime, guest Bradley Whitford talks about the high quality training CCL offers to teach Americans how to talk about climate change with Republicans. Because climate change needs to be a lobbying priority and conversations about it must take place on both sides of the aisle.
Bill Moyers points out, “the Census is key to the work (of) researchers and journalists,” so hobbling the Census’ data collection process will hobble the ability of independent analysts to examine the realities of American life and to tell accurate and authoritative stories about it. Furthermore, funding to serve Americans is allocated according to the composition of neighborhoods and households – and these characteristics are established through the Census.
And by the way, did you know that the U.S. Census is required in our Constitution?
Marquette University archivist William Fliss tells how census data shows the transformation of the United States from a new republic to the nation it is today.
The decennial census is critical to ensuring that Americans are fairly represented in Washington, since it’s used as the basis for congressional redistricting. A mishandled census could undercount poor and minority populations, putting some states and many cities at a demographic disadvantage…
The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.
The 2010 Census represented the most massive participation movement ever witnessed in our country. Approximately 74 percent of the households returned their census forms by mail; the remaining households were counted by census workers walking neighborhoods throughout the United States. National and state population totals from the 2010 Census were released on December 21, 2010. Redistricting data, which include additional state, county and local counts, will be released starting in February 2011.
“The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct.”
~ Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States
Gerrymandering is what has allowed elections to be skewed toward Republican control
For all of the misleading nonsense about “rigged elections” coming from the Trump camp this summer, we haven’t talked enough about the way our electoral map really was rigged by Republicans after the 2010 census. These tilted (gerrymandered) maps make it possible for the Republicans to govern with a supermajority in Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin – despite getting less votes overall.
The WaPo elaborates:
How do conservative Republicans maintain so much power in the House, even though Americans reelected a liberal president and polls show that the GOP suffers from high disapproval ratings?
Salon editor David Daley’s punchy, though overstated, new book lays the blame for Republican power in the House on partisan gerrymandering, the byzantine process through which state legislatures draw district lines to favor incumbents from one party. Challenging the claim that increased partisan polarization is a result of voters naturally sorting themselves into red and blue states, Daley argues that a group of operatives in the Republican Party did the sorting for them. The GOP poured money into an unprecedented effort to control governorships and state legislative bodies in 2010 and to then redraw congressional districts so that the party could turn the House into a firewall against the Democrats.
While the term “gerrymander” has been around since the early years of the republic, computer technology and big money have allowed governors and legislatures to perfect the process in ways that have never before been imagined, according to Daley. The same technology that allows Amazon to figure out who buys what in any home on a given block now allows party officials to do the same with elections.
Although his argument might not be as sexy as talking about how money corrupts politics or how the 24-hour news media leaves us all screaming, the success of Republican legislatures and governors at redrawing congressional districts is the reason, he says, House Republican incumbents have increased their power and don’t have to worry about any “wave” election that would shift control to the other party.
So now: Why did the Census Bureau’s director quit?
Sabotage is probably the reason Census Bureau Director John Thompson resigned today on 11 May 2017. He probably looked at the writing on the wall and understood that the Trump administration has little intention of allowing a fair, impartial and complete Census of the American people to be held this cycle. Slate share some of the ways the sabotage is being carried out:
To make matters worse, the administration has reportedly toyed with the idea of adding a question to the once-a-decade survey about immigration status, which some experts believe could scare many households out of responding.
Congress (just) handed the census an appropriation “that critics say is woefully inadequate.”
Thompson also testified to Congress last week that a snazzy new electronic data collection system that was meant to save expenses would cost 50 percent more than expected.
What is our degenerate non-leader doing in this picture? Right, you guessed it – something disgusting. His hand sign consists of forming the letter W with three fingers and P with the circle of his thumb and index finger and the line that is formed by the base of his thumb.
This is a symbol for White Power. And the president of the United States makes it openly. God help us.
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg received the National Newspaper Association Open Government Award for her legislative advocacy to promote government transparency and accountability. The award was presented to the senator Thursday by NNA President Matt Paxton during the 2017 Community Newspaper Leadership Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“Whether at the state or national level, an attack on the media is an attack on our democracy. Particularly during these uncertain times, we have to stand in support of a free and independent press. I am committed to continuing the fight for government transparency and accountability and am honored to receive this award from the National Newspaper Association,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “I am also dedicated to continuing the work that I’ve done over the last several years to reform the state’s open government laws to make government more accessible to the public. A strong press and transparent government are the best safeguards for truth in our state and our country.”
Senator Weinberg led the fight against legislation that would have eliminated the requirement that public notices are published in newspapers, and was successful in blocking the bill from advancing late last year. The senator has also championed reforms to New Jersey’s open government laws, the Open Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act, that would update and modernize the state’s decades-old laws.
Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association (NNA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing the owners, publishers and editors of America’s community newspapers. NNA’s mission is to protect, promote and enhance America’s community newspapers. Today, NNA’s 2,200 members make it the largest national newspaper association.
In addition to Senator Weinberg, those speaking at the event included Martin “Marty” Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, who previously served as editor of The Boston Globe which, under his leadership, won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into clergy sex abuse and was the basis for the movie Spotlight.