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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Name:
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT NEWSLETTER: Scaled down version issue 4

    I am putting this together on July 4th while on a nice vacation in California. As usual I love it here, though this time we get to tease my California friends that New York is WAY ahead of them (FINALLY!) on marriage equality. I swear, California should be the next big state to finally recognize marriage equality as a basic right. With that in mind may I recommend Equality California as an organization that needs some timely support to push for California catching up with New York on this basic Civil Rights issue? The time is NOW for this issue. More on this issue:

    The 2012 battlegrounds in the fight for marriage equality

    This issue I want to continue to push my readers to help win in Wisconsin. This is SUCH a critical fight. The special elections in Wisconsin are our first major chance to beat back the right wing extremists and their Billionaire Koch Brothers backers. We have to win for the sake of union rights in EVERY state. The Billionaire Koch Brothers of NYC and the so-called US Chamber of Commerce are doing everything they can to restrict the rights of working and middle class Americans and Wisconsin is the battle ground where we have the chance of turning the tide. We have about one month to win this one. I go into more detail below, but PLEASE either donate to winning in Wisconsin or join in the phone banking effort right from your home wherever you live. We all have to participate one way or another.

    But this isn't JUST about Wisconsin. Wisconsin is only the first of many battles. As I highlight below the right wing extremists, led by the so-called US Chamber of Commerce, are on an all out attack on working and middle class Americans. Michigan and Ohio in particular are also battle grounds with states like Minnesota and Iowa close behind. But the bottom line is that now we have to unite behind unions. Please visit the AFL-CIO website, find your local affiliates and action alerts. If you want inspiration, read this article by someone who proudly stands up “with a union card in one hand and an NAACP card in the other.”

    Civil Rights and Unions Go Hand-in-Hand, Says Ky. Activist

    And here is a Transit Workers Union video addressed to the extremist governors who have been attacking our unions:

    Dear Governor from TWU International on Vimeo.



    Click here to get a union-made "Stand with Wisconsin" T-shirt.

    Finally I want to repeat an action from last issue. We have to deliberately distance ourselves from the Billionaire Koch Brothers who are trying to break down our most basic rights as Americans. I vow to never again use a Koch Brothers product to wipe my ass. Back in the day boycotting products from union busting companies was ingrained at least in this Jewish Liberal's family mind set. Now I see people arguing effectiveness and all that. Hell, I just don't want my money going to the Billionaire Koch Brothers. It's a matter of sticking with the union, whether or not it hurts the Billionaire Koch Brothers. It's a matter of solidarity.

    Now I admit the construction products they make are perhaps beyond my reach to boycott, but their paper goods are fair game and I WILL NOT BUY THESE PRODUCTS:

    (Georgia-Pacific products)
    Angel Soft toilet paper
    Brawny paper towels
    Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
    Mardi Gras napkins and towels
    Quilted Northern toilet paper
    Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
    Sparkle napkins
    Vanity fair napkins
    Zee napkins
    Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes

    Then again I prefer recycled paper products anyway. Seventh Generation or Marcal for example. The Koch brothers may not care...but I sure do. I am sticking with the union and that means, to the best of my ability, boycotting union busters.

    To find out more ways you can help in Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin AFL-CIO website. In particular check out their action page.

    To find out more ways to help in Ohio (including phone banks), visit the Ohio AFL-CIO website. Here is their action page.

    And to help out in Indiana (which I am convinced will be a battlefield again soon), visit the Indiana AFL-CIO website.


    Some of my recent articles:

    FIGHT BACK: The U.S. Chamber Does NOT Speak For Me

    The Choice is Yours: The time is NOW for Renewable Energy

    FIGHT BACK: The Home Stretch in Wisconsin


    ONGOING EFFORTS:

    Walmart Watch: seeks to hold Walmart fully accountable for its impact on communities, the American workforce, the retail sector, the environment and the nation's economy. Walmart Watch exists to challenge Walmart to more fully embrace its corporate responsibilities and live up to its position as the largest corporation in the United States.

    Green America's Green Business Program: provides the networks, resources, and technical assistance needed for socially and environmentally responsible businesses to emerge and thrive in communities across the US. Plus, we help individual consumers shift their spending to support green businesses and help build a green economy. Find local green businesses (by zip code) here.

    BIODIESEL STATIONS: If you have a diesel car or truck, you can help both the environment and the America economy by buying biodiesel rather than Saudi, Iranian or Venezuelan oil-based gasoline. To find biodiesel stations near you, click here. To read more about biodiesel as a fuel and as part of the American economy, click here.

    FOOD CO-OPS: food co-ops are a great way to buy more responsibly for less money while eating healthier. My wife and I took 7 years living down the street from America's largest food co-op before we took the plunge. Our food bills went down a little while the quality, environmental responsibility and healthiness of our diet went way up. It is also a great way to help your community's local economy. To find your local food co-op, click here.


    WHAT YOU CAN DO LOCALLY: I want to highlight some ways you can be more involved locally in the progressive movement. There are lots of good organizations that you can connect with both for good socializing and for political action. Here are a handful. All of them have MANY local chapters. Look up what is in your area.

    Living Liberally: Political action through social interaction...includes Drinking Liberally, Eating Liberally, Reading Liberally, Laughing Liberally and Screening Liberally. Something for everyone. Nonpartisan, very progressive.

    Democracy for America: The grassroots progressive organization founded by Howard Dean, because Democracy is NOT a spectator sport. Democratic activism at its best.

    Coffee Party: Wake Up and Stand Up. The progressive (and sane!) answer to the Teabaggers. The Coffee Party is a democracy movement that began on Facebook, powered by volunteers and small donations from every-day Americans. Nonpartisan, moderate/progressive.

    Native Vote: a national non-partisan effort to mobilize the American Indian and Alaska Native vote. Nonpartisan, moderate.

    AFL-CIO: America's Union movement, now fighting back thanks to right wing Republican attacks on America's working and middle classes. Nonpartisan, moderate.

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. Nonpartisan, moderate.


    Some other organizations: more national and not necessarily with many local chapters, but worth getting involved with.

    Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP): APAP is a national network of progressive Asian Americans and friends. Our goals are to bring progressive values to the community and to organize for electoral empowerment. Nonpartisan, very progressive.

    Cesar E. Chavez Foundation: Cesar's dream for a better and more just world has guided the Foundation's vision. Through our programming we strive to empower individuals so that they may fully realize their inherent and unlimited potential to make a difference in their own lives, in their communities, and in the world as a whole. Nonpartisan, moderate.


    CALIFORNIA FOCUS:

    Saturday, September 24: Second Annual Swim for Equality

    Calling All California Kossacks. Your Voice is Needed Now!

    CALIFORNIA FOCUS: A gas station we like where Green and Cheap combine

    Independence [from oil] Day: Israeli Firm Building World's Largest Solar Plant in California!

    On 45th Anniversary, Medicare Under Siege

    This Week in Hollywood Progressive

    Wendell Potter blasts Ca. Blue Shield CEO: Cap on profits is 'Bullsht and a PR ploy' w/video

    I think I remember when this first was beginning back when I was in college (or maybe it was a precursor or something): San Diego Reuse Water Purification Plant Opens

    Republican-led ballot measure leaves city workers without retirement safety net.


    NEW YORK STATE FOCUS:

    This is bad news: Cuomo wants to lift the ban on hydrofracking. But only for upstate...look, hydrofracking POISONS OUR WATER SUPPLY. That is what it comes down to...MORE HERE: This Is A Real "Game Changer": Shale Gas Plays Exposed As Ponzi Schemes By Industry Insiders

    More on hydrofracking here: Protecting New York’s Air, Land, Water and People: What’s the Hydro-Fracking Rush? (PDF)

    TAKE ACTION:
    To Oppose poisoning our water for profit, Email Governor Cuomo

    or write to:

    Honorable Andrew Cuomo
    Governor
    The Executive Chamber
    State Capitol

    and tell him to oppose hydrofracking and to support green energy like wind power and methane from waste projects


    For more on hyrdofracking go to:
    http://www.riverkeeper.org/
    http://www.catskillmountainkeeper.org/ or
    http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/marcellus.asp.


    The BIG News in NY STATE: New York is the Big Domino in the marriage equality campaign

    Here's a former opponent of marriage equality who came out for it, with his description of his evolution: COMING OUT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

    You didn't think the fight was over, did you?...The Scheme To Repeal Marriage Equality

    National Organization for Marriage Money Pit

    How Democrats can take -- and keep -- the Senate

    It's official: Meeks is under investigation


    NORTH CAROLINA FOCUS:

    SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL UNIONS: Red/White/Blue- Western North Carolina-"We Are One Rally"- July 17th, 2011

    NC AFL-CIO 54th Annual Convention, September 8-9, 2011

    Duke Energy to hike residential rates 17%

    On a related topic: Duke and Progress Energy Refuse to Move on Solar...why? It is where we need to go for energy independence, clean air, clean water and local jobs! Why are we letting China take the lead on solar energy???

    This guy, Cecil Bothwell, is running for Congress in North Carolina's 11th district...this is from 2009, but it shows why I think I will endorse him for Congress in 2012:



    NAACP Speaks Out Against GOP Redistricting Plans

    Equality NC Responds to N.C. House Speaker's Statements on the Proposed Anti-LGBT Amendment

    Republicans screw people again: As state budget takes effect, watch for job losses, fiscal problems


    NEW JERSEY FOCUS:

    From the NJ NAACP: New Jersey NAACP - The NJ State Conference NAACP Annual State Convention will be held on September 9 - 11, 2011. The NJSCNAACP has released its convention sponsorship package and scholarship application packages. We look forward to seeing you in September. For more information:
    Phone: 973-746-0085
    Email: info@njnaacp.org

    Governor Christie Vetoes $900 Million in Funding for Middle Class Families and Low Income Residents

    AS a Matter Of Fact...Busting the myth: The real numbers show N.J. is not the most overtaxed state

    A Reminder: Declaration of Independence

    Republican Chris Christie - Lying Liar

    Thanks to the Obama Administration: Proposed NLRB Rule Changes Would Make it Easier for Workers to Join and Form Unions

    Ethics Charges Proceed Against Rumana


    VIRGINIA FOCUS:

    2011 AFL-CIO Political Convention
    Date: Fri, Aug 5, 2011 to Sat, Aug 6, 2011
    Location: Williamsburg, VA
    For more information:
    Phone: 804-755-8001
    Email: info@va-aflcio.org

    75% of Virginia Voters Oppose Republican Cuts to Social Security

    Dems Use GOP's Plan to End Medicare in Fundraising Emails

    Typical cronyism: Developer-Beholden Sun Gazette Defends Developer-Beholden Favola

    Civil Rights and Unions Go Hand-in-Hand, Says Ky. Activist

    Right wing back to advocating violence

    Wayne Powell hammers Eric Cantor for questionable investment

    Equality: Virginia Cannot be Last Again

    Social Prejudice Slows Economic Development


    FLORIDA FOCUS:

    Does America REALLY need ANOTHER Bush???...Experts take down Jebbie's education claims

    ACTION ALERT: Public Hearings on Fair Districts are Coming to a City Near You!

    This summer, members of the House and Senate will be holding public hearings on redistricting across Florida.

    This is our opportunity to let politicians know how important it is to us that they faithfully follow the Fair Districts standards when they re-draw their own districts.

    Over 60% of Florida’s voters approved Fair Districts in 2010.

    Below you will find dates and locations for the first stops on the Fair Districts public hearing tour. If you live in or near these areas, please try to attend and make your voice heard on this critical issue.

    Public Hearings on redistricting will take place across Florida at the locations listed below.

    July 11th: Jacksonville
    2pm-4pm and 6pm to 8pm
    FL State College Downtown Campus

    July 12th : St Augustine
    8am- 11am
    Flagler College (Auditorium)

    July 12th : Daytona Beach
    6pm-9pm
    News Journal Center at Daytona State College

    July 13th : The Villages
    8am-12pm
    Colony Cottage Recreation Center

    July 13th:Gainesville
    6pm-9pm
    Santa Fe College (Fine Arts Hall – NW Corner of Campus)


    Now THIS really shows the priorities of the Greedy Oil Party: Republican Gov. Scott misses Firefighter funerals to kiss Billionaire Koch Brothers' derrieres

    Subjects Needed for Research Study on Gay and Lesbian Parents

    "Rick Scott remains a national punch line"

    "Devastating impact of this year's legislation on Floridians"

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs law cutting unemployment insurance

    Miami Dade Mayoral Election Results

    Sen. Haridopolos' Failed Book Deal...Tax Payers Pay Haridopolos $152,000...college nets only $487.90


    ILLINOIS FOCUS:

    July Monthly Northside Democracy for America Meeting
    Tues. July 12
    6-7 pm, dinner, social hour
    7-8:30 pm meeting
    NEW LOCATION:
    Lincoln Restaurant
    4008 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

    Equality Illinois Celebrity Pie Toss 2011
    Saturday, July 23 · 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Sidetrack
    3349 N Halsted Street
    Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

    Equality Illinois will hold its third-annual Celebrity Pie Toss event to raise visibility for our mission and to raise urgent resources to get our work done. The Pie Toss will be hosted by Sidetrack in its outdoor bar. We have some new twists added to this year’s event, ensuring that the 2011 Celebrity Pie Toss will be more raucous and cream-filled than last year!

    Last year’s participants included Nirmalpal Sachdev of Steamworks, Art Johnston of Sidetrack, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC, Jamal Edwards of Howard Brown, and many others!

    THIS FUN-FILLED EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC...SEE YOU THERE!



    Vice President Joe Biden Calls Attacks on Public Workers a Scam

    Scientist and Entrepreneur Bill Foster Announces Candidacy for Congress (IL-11)

    Northside Democracy for America Events, Endorsement

    Google Map of New IL Congressional Districts

    Building Illinois-Iowa Solidarity for Locked Out Roquette Workers


    PENNSYLVANIA FOCUS:

    3rd Quarterly NAACP Conference 2011
    Hosted by the Lancaster, PA Branch
    Saturday, August 20th
    Lancaster Host Resort
    2300 Lincoln Hwy. East
    For more info: robhdma@aol.com

    Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) challenged on taxes, oil subsidies

    SPEAK UP FOR JOBS as the Congressional Listening Tour comes to SW PA...MONDAY JULY 18TH AT 6:30 PM in Pittsburgh KINGSLEY ASSOCIATION 6434 Frankstown Ave, Pittsburgh PA Community Rally & Picnic starting at 5:00pm

    Learn to build a stronger, highly respected Labor Movement:



    Download a registration brochure here. (PDF)

    Video: "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias"

    Preview of "School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias" from Rachel Tabachnick on Vimeo.



    Pa.'s Stupid 2011-12 Budget: Doing Less with More

    Setting the Record Straight on Marcellus Shale Jobs in Pennsylvania


    MICHIGAN FOCUS:

    Snyder’s First Six Months: Killing Michigan Jobs

    Recalling Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, One Signature at a Time

    RELATED ACTION ALERT: Reclaim Michigan: Recall Snyder

    Michigan Education Association To Back Snyder Recall Efforts

    Republicans Boycott Trade Hearing Over Inclusion of Help for Workers...Why do Republicans hate American workers?

    Blue/Green Alliance Talks Jobs, Renewable Energy in Muskegon

    Detroit News puts final nail in the coffin of true conservatism

    Benton Harbor-area developer with ties to Whirlpool busted shoplifting porn


    WISCONSIN FOCUS:

    The Home Stretch in Wisconsin

    CRITICAL ACTION ALERT: PHONE BANK FOR WISCONSIN...help us win back the State Senate and defeat the right wing Billionaire Koch Brothers' extremist agenda

    Wisconsin Recall Names and Dates

    ACTION ALERT: Sign Up Today! -- for the e-Activist Network of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO

    Wisconsin: Kaukauna School District

    Walker's War on Workers Fuels Fierce Fight Back across Wisconsin

    State Senators Dale Schultz And Tim Cullen Models Of Leadership For Wisconsin

    Rep. Husley Blasts Walker on Bridge Boondoggle


    COLORADO FOCUS:

    Larimer County GOP Facing $200,000 in Fines

    Todos Somos Americanos: Latinos in the U.S.

    2011 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

    Fort Carson Soldiers Attacked In Possible Anti-Gay Attack

    Amid new Big Branch revelations, spotlight also back on Colorado coal mine safety

    Voters in key states prioritize protecting Social Security


    WASHINGTON STATE FOCUS:

    Pride 2011 Events:

    Tacoma Pride “Out in the Park”
    Saturday, July 9th
    Volunteer to help ERW with Tacoma Pride
    www.rainbowcntr.org

    Bellingham Pride
    Sunday, July 10th
    Volunteer to help ERW with Bellingham Pride
    www.bhampride.org/

    Kitsap Pride / Bremerton
    Saturday, July 16th
    Volunteer to help ERW at Kitsap Pride
    www.kitsappride.org

    Tri-Cities / Mid-Columbia / Pasco Pride
    Sunday, July 17th
    Volunteer to help ERW at Tri-Cities Pride
    http://www.facebook.com/MidColumbiaPRIDE

    Yakima Pride
    Saturday, July 30th Franklin Park in Yakima
    Volunteer to staff a booth for ERW at Yakima Pride
    www.gayakima.com/index.html

    If there is a Pride event in your area that we do not have listed here, please email the information to pride@equalrightswashington.org or call (206) 324-2570. To Volunteer at any of these events, please email volunteer@equalrightswashington.org


    ACTION ALERT: Join Equal Rights Washington on Wednesday Nights for Volunteer Night!

    LABOR EVENTS:

    Pierce County CLC's COPE Barbecue in Tacoma
    The Pierce County Central Labor Council is hosting its annual Suds & Solidarity Barbecue on WEDNESDAY, JULY 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at IBEW Local 76, 3049 S. 36th St. in Tacoma, prior to the council's delegate meeting to raise money to support labor-endorsed candidates from Pierce County. Endorsed candidates and other friends of labor have been invited to attend so local union members can share their views on the issues facing working families. There will be a delicious menu of all Union-made products, including brauts, pasta salad and, of course, union beer! You are welcome to bring adult family members and other members of your union who are interested in learning how they can help ensure that the voices of the Pierce County labor community are heard. For more information, see the event flier or call the PCCLC at 253-473-3810.

    Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Banquet in Seattle
    The 2nd Annual Banquet of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists will be held SATURDAY, JULY 23 with the reception starting at 6 p.m. and the banquet at 7 p.m. at the Machinists Hall, 9125 15th Place South in Seattle. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Leslie Braxton of the New beginnings Christian Fellowship Church. The national honoree will be Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development, and local labor honorees will be James Davis, Joy Cage, Clifton Wyatt, Greg Devereux and Joe McGee. Tickets are $50. Seniors, students and children are $25. Proceeds will benefit the CBTU. Download a ticket order form. For more information, call Jacquie Jones-Walsh at 206-772-2079 or Mari Wyatt at 206-721-2266.

    WSLC's 2011 Convention in SeaTac
    The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will hold its 2011 Convention on Thursday through Saturday, AUGUST 4-6 at the SeaTac DoubleTree Hotel. As per WSLC Constitution, the official Convention Call notifying affiliates unions of the number of delegates to which they are entitled have been mailed. For more information, call 206-281-8901.

    M.L. King County Labor Council Labor Day Picnic in Seattle
    The M.L. King, Jr. County Labor Council, AFL-CIO will host its annual Labor Day Picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 at Lower Woodland Park in Shelters 1, 2 and 3, N. 50th St. & Woodland Park Ave. in Seattle.There will be live music featuring Bobby Medina and the Red Hot Band, hot dogs, soda, ice cream, kettlecorn, clowns, games, face painting, and raffle prizes. And it's all free! Make plans to attend and bring the family. For more information, call 206-441-8510.


    Inslee and Kucinich to address NWroots 2011

    Jay Inslee confirms he’s running for governor in 2012


    NEVADA FOCUS:

    ACTION ALERT: Dear Nevada Legislature: Raise Revenue!

    Republican Extremists, Amodei, The Ryan Budget, and The Next Depression

    What's Happening in North Las Vegas?

    Todos Somos Americanos: Latinos in the U.S.

    ACTION ALERT: Protect Our Air From Toxic Mercury

    NV-02: Kate Marshall Wins Nevada State Democratic Party Endorsement...go here to help or to sign up for updates.

    NV GOP Strategist: “Let The Gays Marry For The Money.”


    IOWA FOCUS:

    LABOR EVENTS:

    Keokuk WIN Meeting
    Date: Thu, Jul 7, 2011
    Location: Lee County Labor Council

    Davenport WIN Meeting
    Date: Tue, Jul 12, 2011
    Location: UFCW 431 Hall

    Muscatine WIN Meeting
    Date: Thu, Jul 14, 2011
    Location: Musser Public Library

    Burlington WIN Meeting
    Date: Tue, Jul 19, 2011
    Location: IBEW 13 Hall

    Dubuque WIN Meeting
    Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2011
    Location: Dubuque Labor Temple

    Clinton WIN Meeting
    Date: Mon, Jul 25, 2011
    Location: Clinton Labor Congress


    The five biggest surprises of the Iowa legislature's 2011 session

    Unconventional Iowa survey finds majority support marriage equality

    Union Plus MasterCard: Get a credit card that shows your union solidarity everyday.

    Extreme Republican Stupidity: Michele Bachmann's Rationale for Running: I'm Like a Serial Killer!

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