Tunnels Subsidize Water To Benefit Big Agribusiness

“Governor Brown’s plan to build massive tunnels to divert the Sacramento River away from the San Francisco Bay Delta – estimated to cost as much as $67 billion – has always primarily been a scheme to send massive amounts of water to corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the Central Valley. These powerful agribusinesses, including Stewart Resnick’s Paramount Farms and growers in the Westlands Water District, have planted excessive amounts of water-thirsty almonds and pistachios, most of which are exported overseas and need massive amounts of water to succeed in the hot and dry climate of the west side.

“The Governor has slightly repackaged his euphemistically named Bay Delta Conservation Plan, because the tunnels plan will likely not meet federal water quality standards in the Bay Delta, but the fundamental problem with the project remains: it is grossly unfair for the Governor to make California taxpayers and water ratepayers subsidize a massive project that only benefits a handful of California’s most powerful agribusinesses. Forcing taxpayers to subsidize agribusiness is especially wrong now that the Governor has demanded all Californians reduce their own water use or face substantial fines. In addition, removing fresh water from the Bay Delta via tunnels will only worsen conditions for California’s threatened wild salmon.

“Instead of pushing this outdated tunnels project, the Governor should limit agricultural irrigation on the west side and stop sending enormous amounts of public water to agriculture tycoons at the expense of California taxpayers and the fragile ecosystem and fish populations supported by the San Francisco Bay Delta.”

Send a letter online to Gov. Brown to Stop the Tunnels!

US Veterans Return to Standing Rock to Shield Water Protectors

Published on The Independent 2.12.17

US army veterans are returning to Standing Rock to protect Dakota Access pipeline protesters amid violent clashes with the police.  Native American activists are camped near the construction site and some hope the veterans could make it harder for police to remove them. “We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatised military force,” air force veteran Elizabeth Williams told The Guardian.  “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”

Clashes with police turned violent last year as temperatures dropped in winter, when around 1,000 veterans formed a human shield between the police and “water protector” protesters. Police used water hoses and tear gas, and one canister badly damaged the arm of a female protester. Hundreds of people were arrested. Native American protesters vowed they would not back down after Mr Trump signed his executive order, overturning decisions made by Barack Obama to halt the construction of the pipeline. It is opposed by a Native American tribe fearful of water contamination from potential oil leaks.

So far, military veteran organisation Veterans Stand has raised more then $200,000 for a renewed campaign effort against the controversial oil pipeline.  The group will use the money to send supplies to the reservation to help protesters and those who will be affected by the construction of the $3.7bn pipeline. Demonstrators also plan to assemble near Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to protest his decision.

Veterans Stand launched a fundraising drive on GoFundMe last week to support a network of protesters camped out near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. It seeks to raise $500,000 to buy supplies for campers, provide car rides for volunteers and create a rapid response ability. It has raised about $19,000 in two days.

Bernie’s Next Chapter: Our Revolution

Our Revolution will reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the “political revolution.” Through supporting a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering millions to fight for progressive change and elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution will transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families.

Our Revolution has three intertwined goals: to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders and elevate the political consciousness.

The Fight for $15 to hold FIRST EVER Nationwide Convention Aug. 12-13

Thousands of Americans doing all kinds of work for too little pay are heading to Richmond — the ex-capital of the Confederacy — to fight for for justice. Economic justice. Immigration justice. Racial justice.  Representatives of the country’s nearly 64 million workers paid less than $15 per hour will be there — McDonald’s cashiers and airport baggage handlers, truck drivers and early education teachers, retail employees and home care workers. And so many others.  We’ll be confronting our nation’s biggest, most important issues — the crisis of today’s low wages and the effects of racist policies that have held back working people of color.  Read More  Originally posted on FightFor15

 

State Parties Turn to Ranked Choice Voting Systems to Make Convention Elections More Representative

Every four years, the Democratic and Republican parties’ national conventions draw an enormous amount of public attention as the parties select their presidential candidates and set their direction for the next four years. However, much less attention is paid to the smaller state and local conventions that are also held in the leadup to the national convention. Each of these conventions has its own rules, including the rules governing how the nominees to be selected at the convention will be chosen, and how the various party officials will be elected.  For the most part, these contests are decided by plurality voting methods such as first-past-the-post in single-winner elections and plurality block voting when electing multiple people. These systems are not particularly representative or fair, and sometimes produce results that make nobody happy. Some state parties, having recognized these shortcomings, are choosing to use various forms of ranked choice voting – sometimes described as preferential voting or instant runoff voting – instead. Read More  Originally posted on FairVote.org BY HARRY LEESER ON AUGUST 01, 2016

In Solidarity (national)

In Solidarity is a group of people determined to affect the course of political life in the United States by working together to support progressive candidates and initiatives at the local, state and national levels. Initially, we will promote this mission in three ways:

  1. Provide a password-protected database and contact engine for progressive organizers and volunteers.
  2. Recommend candidates and initiatives to support and coordinate with those campaigns to direct volunteers effectively.
  3. Offer mentoring and training to help organizers grow and volunteers to become organizers.

Ben and Betsie Kemper and Dave Doering founded In Solidarity.  We need more volunteers, especially a graphic artist at this point. You can still access the list though, by writing to BetsieKemper@InSolidarity.US   Subscribe to their Newsletter

Progressive Action for Glendale

Progressive Action for Glendale is a group of progressives in the Glendale area who have been fired up by the 2016 election and are ready to make change on a local level. We want to continue organizing to elect progressive politicians at all levels of government who pledge to get money out of politics, fight climate change, and are responsive to the needs of working people.  We want to rally behind city and county actions that make our neighborhoods greener and more forward-thinking—including new parks and communal spaces, along with infrastructure for biking, walking, and great public transit.

Learn more about Progressive Action for Glendale on Facebook