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Using IT for Political Advocacy

February 27, 2017 Leave a comment

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While many citizens choose Twitter and/or Facebook to advocate for important causes (or just vent), it’s definitely not the only weapon in the advocacy arsenal.

Countable and VoteSpotter are two apps enabling social advocates and political junkies to obtain info regarding issues and bills, so citizens can respond in real time to their elected officials.

We need everyone to fight for our Rights. Please contact your elected officials and tell them what’s important in your life. Remember, they work for you.

Do the elected officials in Washington stand with ordinary Americans – working families, children, the elderly, the poor – or will the extraordinary power of billionaire campaign contributors and Big Money prevail? The American people, by the millions, must send Congress the answer to that question. -Bernie Sanders

 

 

 

#Resist & Know Your Rights

January 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Whether you are a Protester, Federal Employee, Immigrant or Refugee, #resist & know your rights with information from the ACLU.

Since there is more information for Immigrants and Refugees concerning their rights, you will find two flyers at the end of the post: one for rights at home and one when traveling.

Rights of Protesters:

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Rights of Federal Employees:

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Rights of Traveling Immigrants & Refugees:

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Rights of Immigrants & Refugees at home:

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#NoBanNoWall #Resist #Resistance #OurRevolution

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

-Robert Kennedy

 

 

 

What do Bill Moyers, Jon Oliver & The Pope have in common? Prison Issues.

September 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Prison

Unbelievably, the “home of the free” incarcerates more of its citizenry than any other nation. Moreover, it invests more in prisons than its educational system. In prisons today, we incarcerate the guilty, but also the poor, the sick, the old, the young, and the innocent. While the rich pay bail and go free, the poor are incarcerated until trial–if they don’t take a plea bargain. All the while, families are left without fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. In this blog post, Bill Moyers and Jon Oliver provide a wealth of information about our culture of imprisonment, and Pope Francis offers his sage advice.

As noted by a CNN Money graph entitled, Education vs Prison Costs, data from 40 states depict how much government money is spent per year to educate an elementary/secondary school student compared to the cost of keeping an inmate imprisoned.” In addition, Online Degrees provides a list of the 10 States That Spend More on Prisons Than Education.

krogh_040205_335cc-6ef52bb049898a969421a3026fe4f9ce89ec44f7-s6-c301Bill Moyers, Political Talk Show Host and Former White House Press Secretary, offers enlightening episodes via Moyers & Company in regards to incarceration, as you can see from the following episodic titles (which you can click on to see the episode):

  1. Stop Punishing People After They Have Been Released From Prison January 30, 2015 by Jeremy Haile
  2. These Five Corporations Are Making Millions From Mass Incarceration January 21, 2015 by James Kilgore
  3. The School-to-Prison Pipeline Starts in Preschool March 31, 2014 by Mychal Denzel Smith
  4. Higher Profits Explain Why There Are More People of Color in Private Prisons February 7, 2014 by Joshua Holland
  5. Just Kids (in Prison for Life) December 31, 2013 by Matt Stroud
  6. Land of the Free? US Has 25 Percent of the World’s Prisoners December 16, 2013 by Joshua Holland
  7. Report: “Low-Crime Tax” Keeps For-Profit Prisons Profitable September 20, 2013 by Joshua Holland

Not to be outdone (but he still needs a few episodes to catch up to Bill), Jon Oliver discusses our penchant for prison, mandatory minimums, and bail.john-oliver-last-week-tonight (2)

  1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison
  2. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mandatory Minimums
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Bail
  4. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Public Defenders

By now, you’re asking yourself, what can I do? I know because you wouldn’t have read this far down the post, otherwise. So, yes, you can help. You can help by voicing your concerns to elected officials, advising them to invest in schools not prisons, and you can advocate for those who received sentences that do not or no longer fit the crime. We need pardons and commutations to reduce sentences that were mandatory, especially for judgments that no longer are applicable. You can also help “Witness to Innocence” produce a short documentary that shares the incredible journey of our many Witnesses to Innocence.”

Lastly, we can take the words of Pope Francis to heart and action:

“This time in your life can only have one purpose: to give you a hand in getting back on the right road, to give you a hand to help you rejoin society,” the pope said in the gymnasium of the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. “All of us are part of that effort, all of us are invited to encourage, help and enable your rehabilitation.”

Pope Francis also rebuked society for not doing enough to rehabilitate prisoners. “It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities,” the pope said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “It is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society.”

Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to Curran-Fromhold correctional facility.
Pope Francis greets inmates during his visit to Curran-Fromhold correctional facility. Photograph: David Maialetti/AP

#LoveWins “It is so ordered.” #SCOTUS

White House Cam Screenshot. For video, click NBC link:

White House Cam Screenshot. For video, click NBC link below photo:

NBC News – White House Splashed in Rainbow Lights.

Thanks to Upworthy

For those citizens who oppose yesterday’s SCOTUS ruling and think that states should continue to vote on a citizen’s right to marry, I offer you a quote from Rachel Maddow:

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Healthcare Enrollment Starts Tomorrow

September 30, 2013 1 comment

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If you’re uninsured, then tomorrow is the start of a new life. Online enrollment for healthcare is available on October 1st; insurance starts on January 1st. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a Patient’s Bill of Rights for all of our citizens. It provides protective clauses for people with pre-existing conditions. It allows parents to insure their children up to the age of twenty-six. It ends life-time limits on coverage, and guarantees your right to an appeal. To review all of your rights, please review the Patient’s Bill of Rights, and for more information about ACA, please visit Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596. This website will give you the opportunity to find out general information regarding your healthcare. Moreover, after you answer a few questions, it will direct you to your local state exchange to obtain specific information about your state healthcare exchange.

“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”

-Thomas Carlyle

You Can End Gun Violence

March 24, 2013 2 comments
113th Congress

113th Congress

Photo credit to Google Free Images

These are the people who represent you; you are the people who need to voice your opinion. Congress is out of session for the next two weeks, and when they return they will be voting on gun legislation.

Each day more people die. If you want to know how many people have died in the United States since the tragedy at Newtown, Slate.com is keeping a current Gun-Death count.

Now is the time to fight for universal background checks. Now is the time to reduce high capacity gun clips. Now is the time to stop the sale of assault weapons. Now is the time to make your voice heard. Join the fight to end gun violence by signing the petition put forth by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Contact your elected officials, and have your voice heard.

Usually, I end my posts with a quote. Today, I also ask you to take the time to hear the voices of family members speaking about the loss of their loved ones to gun violence. I hope it will inspire you to act now.

“I would not have bought a gun for Eric and Dylan if I had had to give any personal information or submit to any kind of check at all.” -Robyn Anderson, friend who bought guns at a local gun show for the Columbine shooters.

“Five brave UltraViolet members came to Washington, DC to talk about family members they’ve lost to gun violence, and they have an important message for Congress: it’s time to end gun violence.” -Ultraviolet Action

Call to Action: Anti-Gun Activists and Responsible Gun Owners

January 30, 2013 7 comments

M.Wuerker Politico

Who will be killed by gun violence today, tomorrow, the next day and days to come? Will it be you, your child, neighbors, family or strangers? Will their death/s mean something to you, or will it just be another person who lost their life to gun violence? As of this morning,  the death count since Newtown is approximately 1,435 souls.  How many more will be added to the list by the time you finish reading this post?

I ask that you become a part of the solution whether you are an anti-gun activist or a responsible gun owner; please help by contacting your elected officials to support gun control and help to ensure the safety of our children, our neighbors, and our families.

“Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying — too many children. We must do something.” – Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a shooting survivor, today before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control.