Monday, August 24, 2009

Health Care Debate between Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

Stop the political power-grab that has been leaving many Floridians without a voice

"It is time to rise up and reform! The issue is redistricting. And it's the dirty little secret of modern politics.
Right now, politicians get to draw their own districts most any way they want. And boy, do they. It's all designed to stifle competition and stack the deck before you even get to the polls."

- The Orlando Sentinel, 3/18/09
Redistricting is the once-a-decade process in which state legislators get to redraw the lines of their own districts in Florida. With no guidelines or standards in the Florida Constitution for drawing these districts, legislators have used the system to rig their districts in order to preserve and perpetuate their own power. To stop the political power-grab that has been leaving many Floridians without a voice, FairDistrictsFlorida.org has proposed two amendments to the Florida Constitution that would create fairness standards in the redistricting process. These fairness standards would prohibit legislators from drawing district lines for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring any incumbent or political party. The districts would have to be compact and community-based. These amendments have earned the unanimous endorsement of every major newspaper in the state. FairDistrictsFlorida.org has collected more than 1.4 million signed petitions so far – over 80% of what's needed to get these amendments on the ballot in 2010. But we are not there yet. The State of Florida charges a $.10 processing fee to turn these petitions in. That's a lot of money to raise if we want to stop the political favoritism in drawing district lines. Just last week, FairDistrictsFlorida.org launched 9/9/09: Donate for FairDistricts Day, the largest online fundraiser in Florida history. All across the state, Floridians are showing their overwhelming support by pledging to give and signing up to co-host this online event to raise the money for the turn-in fees! You can help in several important ways:
1. Pledge to give whatever you can afford on 9/9/09 – we'll remind you when the time comes.
2. Sign up to Co-Host the event – we'll send you links to track your success.
3. Email your family & friends – we've included an email you can copy & paste into a message to all of your contacts.
4. Spread the word – if you use Facebook and/or Twitter, we've included a status update you can copy and paste into Facebook and a tweet you can copy and paste in Twitter.
Check out our website to see the remarkable grassroots support for this online event so far...and if you haven't signed up yet, please, pledge right now to give on 9/9/09. 9/9/09 is getting closer every day…and so is fair redistricting in Florida! Let's all rise up and reform, and be a part of history…pledge today to give on 9.9.09!
Ellen Freidin Campaign Chair FairDistrictsFlorida.org
Copy and paste this into an email to your contacts: Every ten years, state legislators get to redraw the lines of Congressional and legislative districts in Florida. However, the Florida Constitution contains no guidelines or standards for drawing these districts. Not surprisingly, legislators have used the system to rig the districts in order to preserve their own power. Just listen to what some Florida newspapers are saying about this process:
"This is not a Republican or Democratic issue…" (Naples News, 8/11/09)
"Florida voters' rights are at stake – as is Florida's future well-being." (The Miami Herald, 6/21/09)
"The system is rigged." (St. Petersburg Times, 5/6/09)
FairDistrictsFlorida.org is standing up against the system by proposing two amendments to the Florida Constitution that would establish fairness standards and stop this political free-for-all. They've collected 1.4 million petitions towards getting those amendments on the ballot – now we need to help raise the money to turn them in! I just signed up to be an online Co-Host of 9/9/09: Donate for FairDistricts Day, the largest online fundraiser in Florida ever! Will you pledge to give towards this historic movement? Just follow this link and pledge to give on 9/9/09 here: http://www.fairdistrictflorida.org/9909 Together, we can change the course of Florida's history! Please, join me and pledge to give to FairDistrictsFlorida.org at the above link …we only have one chance to do this, and the time is now! Thanks,
Copy & paste this into Twitter: On 9/9/09 FairDistrictsFlorida.org will host the biggest online fundraiser in FL history. Pledge to give/cohost at http://tinyurl.com/m2xjtl
Copy & paste this into your Facebook status: On 9/9/09, FairDistrictsFlorida.org will host the biggest online fundraiser in Florida history. I just pledged to give. Will you help me make this fundraiser a success by going to http://www.FairDistrictsFlorida.org/9909 and joining the cause today?


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80+ orgs in Florida sign on to the National Equality March


Organizations United Together (OUT), a federation of LGBT and allied organizations dedicated to achieving equality and justice for LGBT Floridians has just announced that it endorses the National Equality March, which is on October 11. A list of the orgs is in a table below the fold.

An update on the March itself:

Major national LGBT organizations including the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) have endorsed the march as have local and state grassroots organizations like Join the Impact Chicago, One Struggle One Fight and Freedom Democrats of Miami-Dade.

October 11 has been observed as "National Coming Out Day" since 1988. As well, this year commemorates the 30th anniversary of the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. "We're marching this October to demand action from the Federal government to protect our rights in all fifty states," said Kip Williams, one of the organizers. "Real equality can only come from the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court."

Equality Across America brings together veteran movement activists such as David Mixner, Torie Osborn, Cleve Jones, Anne Northrop and Nadine Smith, with new organizers like Williams and Robin McGehee, who lead the successful "Meet in the Middle" rally in Fresno, California following the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8. "We've got people from the Stonewall generation to the Facebook generation working together to win real equality," said McGehee. "We're tired of compromises and delays."

...Lt. Dan Choi, also a member of the march steering committee, is working to ensure a strong presence by LGBT and straight veterans at the march. "The majority of Americans reject discrimination in the armed forces, it's time for Congress and the Administration to move on this and all issues of equality for LGBT Americans."


Be Real, Inc. www.berealorlando.org
BLAST (Bi, Lesbian, and Straight Together) Women of the Palm Beaches www.meetup.com/BLASTwpb
Capital City GLBTA Democratic Caucus
Central Florida Gay & Lesbian Law Association www.cfglla.org
Central Florida Law office of Jonas Urbo, P.A. www.GayProbate.com, http://www.jonasurba.com/
Compass www.compassglcc.com
Dolphin Democrats
Embracing Our Differences www.embracingourdifferences.org
FirstCoast MCC
Florida Safe Schools Alliance - South Florida www.safeschoolssouthflorida.org
Gateway Project www.gatewayproject@bellsouth.net
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Central Florida www.glbcc.org
GaYBOR District Coalition www.GaYBOR.com
GLSEN Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network - Tampa www.glsen.org/tampa
Hillsborough County GLBTA Democratic Caucus
Holy Spirit Ecumenical Catholic Church www.holyspiritecc.org
Hope Unites United Church of Christ www.hopeunites.com
HRC Human Rights Campaign - Orlando
HRC Human Rights Campaign - South Florida
Human Rights Council of North Central Florida
IMPACT Florida - Pinellas
IMPACT Tallahassee
JASMYN Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Inc. www.jasmyn.org
Lakeland Youth Alliance Polk City
Log Cabin Republicans - Orlando
Metropolitan Business Association www.MBAorlando.org
NOW National Organization for Women - North Palm Beach County
Orlando Gay Chorus www.orlandogaychorus.org
Orlando Youth Alliance www.orlandoyouthalliance.org/index.cfm
Oviedo High School Gay/Straight Alliance
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council PBCHRC
PFLAG Brevard - Florida Safe Schools Alliance Chapter http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=803
PFLAG Brevard - Student Outreach www.pflagbrevard.org/
PFLAG Jacksonville www.pflagjax.org
PFLAG Polk County/Lakeland Youth Alliance www.pflagofpolkcounty.org
Phi Epsilon Mu Chapter of Tri Ess www.crossdressflorida.com/index.htm
Pinellas Youth Pride PYP http://impactflorida.ning.com/events/event/show?
id=2521924%3AEvent%3A11442&page=1
Pride Community Center of North Central Florida www.pridecommunitycenter.org
Rainbow Democratic Club
Sarasota Equality Project
SAVE Dade - Safeguarding American Values for Everyone
SAVE Foundation - Safeguarding American Values for Everyone
South Florida Family Pride www.southfloridafamilypride.com/
Stand-Up SWFL GLBT Alliance www.standupswfl.com
Stonewall Democrats of Alachua County
Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
Suncoast Stonewall Democrats
Tampa Bay Business Guild www.tbbg.org
Tampa Bay Family Pride Tampabayfamilypride-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
UM for Equality, Miami-Dade, University of Miami
Unity Coalition/Coalicion Unida www.unitycoalition.org
University of North Florida, LGBT Education www.unf.edu/dept/lgbt
Volusia Flagler GLBT Democratic Club
Womyn's Energy Bank
Womyn's Words


Posted From Pam's House Blend
Pam Spaulding :: 80+ orgs in Florida sign on to the National Equality March list of supporters Organizations United Together (OUT)

Friday, August 21, 2009

7 Ways We Can Fight Back Against the Rising Fascist Threat

7 Ways We Can Fight Back Against the Rising Fascist Threat


First: The teabaggers must not win this one. Back in elementary school, most of us learned that when a bully learns that intimidation and threats work, he'll will keep doing more of it. In fact, the longer he goes without comeuppance, the bolder and badder he becomes, and the harder it is to make him stop. Every success teaches him something new about how to use terror for maximum effect and tempts him to push the envelope and see what else he can get away with. Do nothing, and he'll soon take over the whole playground.

And it happens like this for bullies in groups, too. Living in a fascist regime is just living in a town dominated by the Mob, a street gang, the KKK, or a corrupt sheriff.

It only takes a small handful of thugs to terrorize people into giving up their civil rights, abandoning democracy and doing what they're told, just so they can keep their jobs, windows and families intact.

The main imperative in life becomes staying off the goons' radar. All the enforcers need to do is make an horrific example out of one or two troublemakers every now and then -- and the resulting fear will keep everybody else quietly in line.

Conservatives have tried to subdue other Americans this way for centuries, so there's nothing new going on here. And this is the way they've always done it: they used race (and yes, the birthers and anti-health care rioters are, at root, all about race) and economic calamity to whip up a posse of terrified, well-armed vigilantes, and then turned them loose on society to "enforce order."

Given their colossal investment in organizing and indoctinating the teabaggers, we'd be stupid to believe that this is all going to go away when Congress returns to Washington in September. Having had a taste of power and publicity, these newly empowered mobs are very likely to stick around town and see what else they can do to keep the muck stirred up.

Our choice now is stark: knock them back while they're still new, small and not yet entrenched; or deal with them later, when they've got some real power to fight back with, and the cost to all of us will be so much higher.

Second: Think nationally, fight locally. The conservatives are running this effort as a national campaign -- but that's not where the real fight is. The terror that fuels fascism is always intensely, intimately local in scale.

Fascist goon squads always recruit from the neighborhood -- they're built on people you know. Since that's where they start, that's where they have to be stopped.

This is why all the best tactics involve community-level action. The high-level fight in Congress and the media is already under way, and the Democratic leadership is fighting it with unusual elan. But anybody who sits this one out because they assume that the folks in D.C. have it all handled for them shouldn't be surprised when they start getting "special treatment" from longtime neighbors, or discover that they can't park their car downtown any more without having it vandalized.

That's just the next baby step up from where we are now; and in some places, it's already started to happen. Winning this means getting out there and defending our community's standards and boundaries now, while they're still there to be defended.

Third: Brush up on our nonviolent resistance -- but leave the heavy lifting and rough enforcement to the cops. It's true that the only way to stop a bully is to stand up to them. But there are ways to stand up to them that don't involve getting down to the eye-for-an-eye level.

Back home, we had a saying: "Never mudwrestle a pig. You will lose, and the pig enjoys it."

If we meet thuggery with thuggery, we will lose, because they're just plain better at it. And make no mistake: they will enjoy it. Right now, the right wing is looking -- hard -- to make the case that they're the innocent victim and the left instigated this whole thing. This quote from religious right organizer Gary Bauer is typical of the genre:

My fear, given the stakes and emotions on both sides, is that union thugs, ACORN activists and left-wing anarchists (who ransacked the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul during last year's Republican National Convention) will turn violent, and innocent people will get hurt. If that happens, the radical left will bear the responsibility for demonizing free speech.

The Nazis used this kind of victim-blaming to tremendous effect as they built up their party.

We must not -- must not -- give our proto-brownshirts any basis to make the same kind of argument. (Of course, the absence of evidence will only drive them to make up fake victims; but then we get to call them out as whining liars with a big fat persecution complex, which is always a fun way to spend a news cycle or two.)

It's about the moral high ground, people. Any choices we make must be consistent with our own values, or we betray both ourselves and the country.

Standing up for health care reform is important; but before that, the country needs to see us standing up for civil discourse and the right to democratic free speech. Since we're defending the rule of law, our best tactic is to use that law.

You have a right to attend a public meeting and speak your mind in a civil, respectful manner. You do not have a right to be disruptive or deprive other people of their right to be heard. And most jurisdictions have laws about disturbing the peace and creating a public nuisance -- laws, let's not forget, that the Bush regime didn't hesitate to stretch until the elastic gave out against people who merely showed up at meetings with the wrong bumper stickers or T-shirts.

Since we're not Bush goons, we can't go around arresting people who haven't yet broken any laws. But when people -- from either side -- cross that line, it's time for the cops and prosecutors to make the point for us: bullying people in a public meeting (or anywhere else) is illegal and will not be tolerated in this county.

Fourth: We need to make absolutely sure that the media get the story right. The teabaggers would run out of power with the flick of a switch if the media would just turn off their cameras. But the cold reality is that this kind of drama is a real ratings-booster.

It would be like telling lions to lay off that elephant carcass. Left alone, the media (local news in particular) will turn these people into cultural heroes. They couldn't turn their backs on this if the republic depended on it.

Since we can't beat 'em, we'll have to join 'em. The best cure for bad speech is always more speech. This means bringing cameras and documenting everything, getting it up on YouTube, and blogging it.

It also means coordinating rapid-response letterwriting to the local paper and keeping down-home reporters well-fed every single day with some new theme that reinforces the idea of concerned nonpartisan citizens trying to keep control over their democratic discourse in the face of organized thugs. Since the media are watching, let's make sure they see it all.

Fifth: Support legislators who don't show fear. The Democratic Party seems to be playing this just right (so far). The leadership has made it known that these noisy, scary people don't represent the 73 percent of Americans who support health care reform. The GOP is running the risk of being marginalized as not only the Party of No, but the Party of Moonbat Crazy.

If you've never attended a public meeting in your life, August 2009 is the month you need to start. Your congressperson's Web site probably lists a schedule, or at least a number you can call to inquire.

But that's just a first step. Do more. Write. Call. Find out where your local congressional office is, and just drop by when you're in the neighborhood. Tell the staff how you feel -- about health care reform, about the teabaggers, about your legislator's brave stance in the face of this.

If they're showing stress, encourage them to stand firm. A constituent in the office counts for thousands writing e-mails, so an in-person visit is 15 minutes incredibly well spent.

One visit or call is good. More is better. Put it in your schedule to contact your representatives at least once a week for the duration, and make sure they're not buckling under the pressure.

Sixth: Shut down the hate talkers. In most parts of the country, the teabaggers are coming straight out of right-wing talk-radio audiences. For hours every day, they're mainlining raw emotion and toxic misinformation.

They're going put your kids before "death panels!" They're going to kill your granny! You're going to have to call the White House to get a bone set! You'll be a Real American Hero if you get out there and join the "resistance!"

Cutting off this endless torrent of lies, fearmongering and validation will go a long way toward powering down the whole movement. (Conversely, what happens when these kinds of radio instigators are left to spin it all the way out to the end can be summed up in two words: Radio Rwanda.)

The basic recipe: Record their shows. Take notes of anything they say that is intimidating, threatening, or aimed at inciting violence against a named target. And while you're at it, note every single advertiser they have.

Then write a polite letter the CEOs of the sponsoring companies. Throw them some choice quotes from these shows and ask them if this is the kind of thing they want their product associated with. (Point out that if their own employees said things like this at work, they'd be fired on the spot.)

Often, the CEO has no clue that any of this is happening and will pull the ads as soon as she finds out what's being done in her name. This has worked extremely well -- and quickly -- at both the local and national level.

Finally: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Even if we succeed this time, let's not kid ourselves that this is over. The conservatives are investing a lot of money and effort to build a mass movement that is explicitly aimed at destroying a Democratic government -- and if we learned anything from the Clinton years, it's that they're not going to let up for a second as long as the Democrats are in control.

This is our new reality -- and it comes straight out of Hitler's playbook (check out Chapter 6 of Mein Kampf). Their intention is to keep the outrage junkies high by giving them a never-ending supply of new, made-up reasons to act out.

When the birth certificate fracas cools, they're standing by with "death panels." When that one's run its course, there will be something else -- over and over, every few weeks, for as long as the Dems rule.

Which means that even if we win this round, we can't stand down. We're going to be pushing back against these bullies, over and over, for the next three to seven years.

There are only two outcomes here. Either we get very good at spotting and stopping these attempts at a brownshirt takeover the minute they crop up; or they're going to get very good at public intimidation and keep ratcheting it up further toward outright violence and goon rule.

That's how it's going to be for the rest of this administration. The sooner we resign ourselves to the zero-sum nature of this fight, the sooner we can get on with getting good at it.



Posted by: Sara Robinson

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lead Shifts To Republican In Florida Gov Race


Lead Shifts To Republican In Florida Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Crist Ahead 2-1 In GOP Primary For Senate

Republican Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum leads the state's Chief Financial Officer, Democrat Alex Sink, 38 - 34 percent among registered voters in the 2010 Governor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This reverses a 38 - 34 percent Sink lead in a June 9 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. The key is among independent voters who shift from 32 - 27 percent for McCollum June 9 to 38 - 23 percent today.

Gov. Charlie Crist leads former state House Speaker Marco Rubio 55 - 26 percent for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, compared to 54 - 23 percent margin June 10.

The three potential candidates for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, U.S. Reps. Kendrick Meek, Ron Klein and Corrine Brown, are bunched together and largely unknown to most Floridians.

"Bill McCollum has been on the ballot in Florida for decades in various campaigns and this exposure to the voters seems to be serving him well," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Floridians know him better than they do Ms. Sink, who first ran for office in 2006. When voters are asked to rate him personally and in his job performance as attorney general he gets strongly positive ratings."

Florida voters rate McCollum 42 percent favorably, 13 percent unfavorably. Even Democrats give him a narrow 26 - 23 percent thumbs up. Asked about how he is handling his job as Attorney General, 53 percent approve and 16 percent disapprove. Among Democrats he has a healthy 43 - 26 percent approval rating, and scores 52 - 15 percent among independents.

By comparison, Ms. Sink gets a 23 - 8 percent favorability, while 68 percent don't know enough about her to form an opinion. Florida voters approve 37 - 21 percent of Sink's performance as CFO, with 42 percent undecided. She gets a 31 - 20 percent job approval rating from Republicans and a 36 - 21 percent score from independent voters.

"Ms. Sink's numbers indicate she has made a good first impression on Florida voters, but a much larger share of the electorate does not know her compared to McCollum," said Brown.

Crist's lead over Rubio in a GOP primary shows no gender gap as 56 percent of women and 53 percent of men support him. His 60 - 30 percent job approval as Governor, while his highest disapproval ever, shows that his support extends well beyond his Republican base.

READ MORE..............

Word format

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Answering the Challenge...

A few days ago, FairDistrictsFlorida.org launched 9/9/09: Donate for FairDistricts Day, the largest online fundraiser in Florida history. All across the state, Floridians have shown their overwhelming support by pledging to give and signing up to co-host this online event!

As we said last week, we've collected more than 1.4 million signatures. As we also mentioned, the State of Florida charges a $.10 processing fee per petition. That's a lot of money we need to raise if we want to stop the political favoritism in drawing district lines.

You can make this online fundraiser a success by becoming a Co-Host, pledging to give, and spreading the word at http://www.fairdistrictsflorida.org/9909.

What does being an online Co-Host entail? It means you're pledging to give on 9/9/09, and pledging to take responsibility to make Donate for FairDistricts Day a success by asking your friends to pledge to give. The real work isn't just on 9/9/09 – it's every day between now and then. We need you to email all of your friends – a few times – call them and get them to commit on the phone, and be a leader in this movement!

Visit http://www.fairdistrictsflorida.org/9909 to sign up to Co-Host, and we'll send you an email with 2 links:

- A personalized link you can send to your friends. Anytime someone pledges by clicking your link, you'll get the credit!

- A tracking link where you can log-in and see which of your friends have signed up.

Then, use those links to write an email to all your contacts about the event. Tell them that you've pledged to give and to be a Co-Host online, and ask them to join you in this important effort. You can also talk about 9/9/09: Donate for FairDistricts Day on blogs and social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter.

Many of you have taken the challenge so far. If you haven't signed up yet, please, pledge right now to give on 9/9/09 and sign up to Co-Host the Donate for FairDistricts Day online at http://www.fairdistrictsflorida.org/9909!

9/9/09 is getting closer every day…and so is fair redistricting in Florida!

Be a part of history…sign up to Co-Host this biggest-ever event today!

Ellen Freidin
Campaign Chair
FairDistrictsFlorida.org


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Drivers license renewals skyrocket by 140 percent, from $20 to $48.

* Drivers license renewals skyrocket by 140 percent, from $20 to
$48.

* Class E Drivers license fees increase from $27 to $48, a
78-percent hike.


* Motor Vehicle registration fees for new autos increase 125
percent, from the current $100 charge to $225 a vehicle.

To help save money on tag renewals, Democrats encourage residents
with birthdays on or before November 30 to renew before September 1.
Motorists may renew their registrations up to three months prior to
their birthday month to avoid increased fees. To maximize savings, a
two-year renewal is suggested.

Call Your Rep and thank them

CLICK HERE

And thank them for raising out taxes 140 percent




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Republican Plan to Hike Vehicle Fees Kicks in September 1



TAG! YOU'RE IT!!!

Republican Plan to Hike Vehicle Fees Kicks in September 1

Floridians Can Rush to Renew Licenses & Tags in August

TALLAHASSEE - Floridians, get ready for a new version of sticker shock!

Republican lawmakers balanced the Fiscal Year 2009-10 state budget on
the backs of average Floridians with, among other things, higher-priced
driver licenses and auto registrations that go into effect Sept. 1.

Increases include:

* Class E Drivers license fees increase from $27 to $48, a
78-percent hike.

* Drivers license renewals skyrocket by 140 percent, from $20 to
$48.

* Motor Vehicle registration fees for new autos increase 125
percent, from the current $100 charge to $225 a vehicle.

To help save money on tag renewals, House Democrats encourage residents
with birthdays on or before November 30 to renew before September 1.
Motorists may renew their registrations up to three months prior to
their birthday month to avoid increased fees. To maximize savings, a
two-year renewal is suggested.

Additionally, there is a chance to save on the driver license renewal
fees. A valid Florida driver license can be renewed up to 18 months in
advance and extended for eight years. Renewing early will lock in the
current rate.

During the 2009 legislative session, Florida House Democrats voted
against fee increases that were passed by the majority of the
Legislature. House Democrats say higher priced license and registration
fees are an inappropriate and unwelcome burden on Floridians during
these tough economic times.

"Republican legislators proved again this year that they are not looking
out for the middle class and working families," said House Democratic
Leader Franklin Sands (D-Weston). "These fee hikes will negatively
impact average Floridians, small businesses, farmers and industry with
higher costs that could have been averted."

For more information on the updated Department of Highway Safety and
Motor Vehicles Fee Schedule, please visit:
http://www.flhsmv. gov/dhsmvfees. htm.

###

Mark Hollis

Communications Director

Democratic Office

Florida House of Representatives

850-488-9622

www.flhousedems. com

[Attachment(s) from Hollis, Mark included below]

Attachment(s) from Hollis, Mark

1 of 1 File(s)

Reply to sender | Reply to gro

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Please call today to support for S1584 and HR3017


Florida has 25 Congressional Representatives and 2 Senators. Well, one Senator, as Republican Senator Mel Martinez has announced his resignation. According to the Herald Tribune, Gov. Charlie Crist, who announced in May his intention to run for that Senate seat, has put together a list of possible replacements, but they must agree not to run against Crist. One of his possible replacements has already turned him down, and it looks like we won't see a replacement until the Senate session resumes in September.

So that leaves Senator Bill Nelson (the second sitting Congressmember to fly in space), and three of Florida's 25 House Representatives whose votes are in play.

Please call them today to ask for their support for S1584 and HR3017. Facts and contact below.

Nelson.jpgBoyd.jpeg1.jpgMario_Diaz-Balart,_official_photo_portrait,_color.JPG


Sen. Bill Nelson is a Democrat, and usually good on LGBT issues, but his office has indicated that he was undecided as of the middle of July, and we've heard nothing different as yet. Call him at 850-942-8415 to support S1584.

Rep. Alan Boyd, a Democrat, voted yes on hate crimes bills in 07 and 09, but he abstained on ENDA in 2007. He has not yet given out his position on HR3017. Call him at 850-561-3979 to support HR 3017.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is a staunch Republican on social issues, but he is a fair-minded one when it comes to jobs, voting for ENDA in 07. He voted yes on hate crimes bills in 07 and 09. But he apparently hasn't made his decision on ENDA this year yet. Call him at 305-225-6866 to support HR 3017.

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Republican like his brother Mario, also voted yes on hate crimes bills in 07 and 09; and yes on ENDA in 2007. He also has not yet indicated his position. Call him at 305-470-8555 to support HR 3017.

Here are the positions of the other Florida Representatives, as reported on the Inclusive ENDA House spreadsheet (more info about each on that site):

Confirmed yes votes:
Alan Grayson
Kathy Castor
Kendrick B. Meek
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Robert Wexler
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Ron Klein
Alcee L. Hastings

Probable yes votes:
Corrine Brown
Suzanne M. Kosmas

Probable no votes:
Jeff Miller
Ander Crenshaw
Ginny Brown-Waite
Cliff Stearns
John L. Mica
Gus M. Bilirakis
C. W. Bill Young
Adam H. Putnam
Vern Buchanan
Connie Mack
Bill Posey
Thomas J. Rooney

For contact info of these Representatives, click here.

Please tell us if you contact any of them. you can email directly.


Action@DolphinDems.org


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The Blue Dog Coalition


Contact these members of Congress and urge them to support the public plan option! These are the Democrats holding us back from the best health care plan possible.

Key people to contact - view the entire list of the 56 Blue Dog Democrats here!

The List of Democratic Senators not directly supporting the public plan health care option


Update: Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) says she supports a public option.
Update: Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) says he supports a public option.
Update: Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) says she supports a public option.


You can also contact the White House and voice your opinion

Email
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Urge Our Florida Democratic Members of Congress to...


The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus is calling on its chapters to schedule in-district visits with Senator Bill Nelson and Members of Congress during their summer recess to urge them to support LGBT-supportive legislation and ask them to become a co-sponsor.


Becoming a co-sponsor demonstrates their commitment and support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community. If your Member of Congress is already a co-sponsor, call them and thank them for their leadership.

Help us make as many local contacts as possible before they return to Washington after Labor Day.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) prohibits employment discrimina­tion on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA creates express protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people similar to those available under existing federal discrimination laws for other protected classes of workers.

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (MREA) would repeal the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of the United States Military. There is no Senate Bill at this time.

The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO) would provide benefits for same-gender domestic partners of federal civilian employees on the same basis as spousal benefits.

The United American Families Act (UAFA) would allow Americas in long-term relationships to sponsor their permanent partners for U.S. Citizenship.

As LGBT Democrats, we campaign hard to elect Democrats who support the LGBT community and demonstrate great courage and leadership on our issues. Now is the time for them to stand with us.

Below is a scorecard noting where Florida Democratic Members of Congress are demonstrating courage to stand with the Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community by co-sponsoring legislation:


For a more detailed copy, go here:
http://floridaglbtdemocrats.org/images/2009_dem_scorecard_full.jpg

To contact your Member of Congress, click the link below and enter your zip code.
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt

To learn more about the issues and download talking points, visit Human Rights Campaign at:
http://www.hrc.org/documents/Congressional-MTG-TPS.pdf

After you call and meet with your Member of Congress, please e-mail Michael Emanuel Rajner, Legislative Director for the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus at merajner@gmail.com to report on your experience.




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Friday, August 07, 2009

Are You Ready To Act Now For Healthcare Reform...?!?


http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww279/tricorfg/HealthCareObamaReform.jpg

This is the moment our movement was built for.

For one month, the fight for health insurance reform leaves the backrooms of Washington, D.C., and returns to communities across America. Throughout August, members of Congress are back home, where the hands they shake and the voices they hear will not belong to lobbyists, but to people like you. Home is where we're strongest. We didn't win last year's election together at a committee hearing in D.C. We won it on the doorsteps and the phone lines, at the softball games and the town meetings, and in every part of this great country where people gather to talk about what matters most. And if you're willing to step up once again, that's exactly where we're going to win this historic campaign for the guaranteed, affordable health insurance that every American deserves.

There are those who profit from the status quo, or see this debate as a political game, and they will stop at nothing to block reform. They are filling the airwaves and the internet with outrageous falsehoods to scare people into opposing change. And some people, not surprisingly, are getting pretty nervous. So we've got to get out there, fight lies with truth, and set the record straight.

That's why Organizing for America is putting together thousands of events this month where you can reach out to neighbors, show your support, and make certain your members of Congress know that you're counting on them to act.


But these canvasses, town halls, and gatherings only make a difference if you turn up to knock on doors, share your views, and show your support. So here's what I need from you:

Can you commit to join at least one event in your community this month?

In politics, there's a rule that says when you ask people to get involved, always tell them it'll be easy. Well, let's be honest here: Passing comprehensive health insurance reform will not be easy. Every President since Harry Truman has talked about it, and the most powerful and experienced lobbyists in Washington stand in the way. But every day we don't act, Americans watch their premiums rise three times faster than wages, small businesses and families are pushed towards bankruptcy, and 14,000 people lose their coverage entirely. The cost of inaction is simply too much for the people of this nation to bear. So yes, fixing this crisis will not be easy. Our opponents will attack us every day for daring to try. It will require time, and hard work, and there will be days when we don't know if we have anything more to give. But there comes a moment when we all have to choose between doing what's easy, and doing what's right.

This is one of those times. And moments like this are what this movement was built for. So, are you ready? Please commit now to taking at least one action in your community this month to build support for health insurance reform:

http://my.barackobama.com/CommitAugust

Let's seize this moment and win this historic victory for our economy, our health and our families.

Thank you,
President Barack Obama


Join Organizing For America on Facebook
Florida : http://ChangeInTallahssee.com/ofa
Broward County http://BrowardForChange.com/ofa

on twitter: @ofabroward @ofaflorida
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Monday, August 03, 2009

GOP Advocates Gerrymandering

Governors Races are Where the Action Is, GOP Advocates Gerrymandering: "Forget about the lopsided House and the 60-seat Senate; the real races to watch in 2010 could have nothing to do with federal government. This cycle's 39 gubernatorial races are shaping up to be where much of the action is, with as many as half of them potentially switching parties and at least 19 open seats…Throw in the fact that, for the first time in 20 years, the races are being held immediately before the redistricting process, and the environment is shaping up to be nearly unprecedented." Later in the story, GOP operatives say they need to win governorships to take back Congress and the White House.  Read more here.


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