Monthly Archives: August 2013
Congressional Letter to Obama on Syria
This letter is being circulated in Congress by Reps. Lee and Amash.
Ask your Representative to sign.
Dear Mr. President,
We join you and the international community in expressing unequivocal condemnation over the news that chemical weapons were reportedly used by the government of Syria.
While we understand that as Commander in Chief you have a constitutional obligation to protect our national interests from direct attack, Congress has the Constitutional obligation and power to approve military force if the United States or its direct interests (such as its embassies) has not been attacked or threatened with an attack. As such, we strongly urge you to seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any U.S. military engagement to this complex crisis.
While the ongoing human rights violations and continued loss of life is horrific, they should not draw us into an unwise war — especially without adhering to our own constitutional requirements. We strongly support the work within the United Nations Security Council to build international consensus condemning the alleged use of chemical weapons and preparing an appropriate response; we should also allow the U.N. inspectors the space and time necessary to do their jobs, which are so crucial to ensuring accountability.
As elected officials, we have a duty to represent the will and priorities of our constituents, consistently with the Constitution we all swore to uphold and defend. Before weighing the use of military force, Congress must fully debate and consider the facts and every alternative, as well as determine how best to end the violence and protect civilians. We stand ready to work with you.
[List in Formation]
Blatant Racism in North Carolina Voter Suppression
Progressive Democrats Protest ALEC in Chicago
Why We Are Marching on Washington August 24th
National Action Network
August 8, 2013
The name of the march on August 24th is the “National Action to Realize the Dream March”.
For more information for Beaver County buses contact Tina Shannon, MLK 50th Anniversary Committee 724-683-1925.
It is important that you use the name when speaking about the march so that people understand that this march is not just a commemoration, but a continuation of the efforts 50 years ago.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place 50 years ago on August 28th at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. It was during this march that Dr. King gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech that has reverberated for decades. While we celebrate all that was achieved in the 50 years since that march, we recognize that the “Dream” has not been fulfilled and the battle for justice is ongoing.
The name of the march on August 24th is the //”National Action to Realize the Dream March”.// It is important that you use the name when speaking about the march so that people understand that this march is not just a commemoration, but a continuation of the efforts 50 years ago.
The talking points for the march are below:
Jobs & the Economy – Jobs are still a major focus of the march 50 years later. Unemployment is still plaguing many communities. The black community still sees double the unemployment rates of the rest of the country. Youth unemployment is nearly six times higher.
Voting Rights – Voting Rights have been thrust to the forefront of the agenda after the Supreme Court dismantled a crucial section of the Voting Rights Act. Now, without protections to keep states with a history of disenfranchising voters, those states are left susceptible to new laws that threaten to keep them from the polls. This after winning crucial battles in 2012 against misleading claims of voter fraud.
Workers’ Rights – Workers’ Rights have been under attack in states across this country. Low wage earners in certain industries have been banned the right to unionize and collectively bargain for fair pay, benefits and other protections. Others who have been protected have had their rights attacked or taken away through the introduction and passage of bills that threaten workers’ protections.
Stand Your Ground Laws & Gun Violence – The Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander cases put Stand Your Ground laws under the microscope. The cases brought to light the inequalities that lie within its interpretation and the fact that it is in place in a majority of states underscores that we must fight to repeal the laws. Gun violence has been an issue in low income communities for years, but the Sandy Hook tragedy created an urgency to address gun laws. While Congress failed to act on sensible gun legislation, we must continue to demand action.
Women’s Rights – Women continue to have to fight laws that limit their ability to make decisions about their own health. Many states have legislation that has either recently passed or that has been introduced that eliminates a woman’s right to choose even in instances of incest, rape or health. Women are also still making less than male counterparts but living longer. The implications of this are numerous but keep women in vulnerable positions.
Immigration – Immigration reform has been discussed for many years, but gained traction in the recent months with the introduction and passage of a bill in Senate. While it has stalled in the House, this legislation will have a huge, positive impact on the economy and create civil rights for the millions of immigrants living in this country. Despite the fact that many immigrants are Latino, this is not just a Latino issue – it is an American issue. We need to grant amnesty to the many illegal immigrants who are here and allow them to achieve the American Dream.
LGBT Equality – This year the LGBT community made progress in their work to achieve equality. With 13 states now allowing gays to marry and the Supreme Court overturning DOMA and Prop 8, the crucial victories set up a forward march. However, the gay community still faces employment discrimination and other challenges that block their ability to achieve full rights.
Environmental Justice – Many low income people and minorities face environmental challenges that threaten their health and their lifestyle. In Los Angeles, African Americans are twice as likely to die in a heat wave. 68% of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal plant and this creates more incidences of asthma. Latino children are twice as likely to die from an asthma attack as non-Latino children. There are many more issues related to the environment that impact outcomes for these communities.
Youth – Many of the aforementioned issues affect youth, but in addition to those challenges, youth often deal with college loans. In recent years the college loan interest rate has been at risk for doubling multiple times.
Food and Commercial Workers Union Joins AFL-CIO
For Immediate Release: August 8, 2013
UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION JOINS AFL-CIO
(Chicago, Illinois) – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW)<http://www.ufcw.org/> affiliated with the AFL-CIO in a bold move toward a stronger, more unified labor movement. UFCW President Joe Hansen, supported by a vote of the UFCW Executive Board, decided to add the 1.3 million private sector members to the AFL-CIO federation in order to build a stronger, more unified voice for the rights of workers.
UFCW International President Joe Hansen today released the following statement:
“We join the AFL-CIO because it is the right thing to do for UFCW members, giving them more power and influence. This is not about which building in Washington D.C. we call home — it is about fostering more opportunities for workers to have a true voice on the job. It is about joining forces to build a more united labor movement that can fight back against the corporate and political onslaught facing our members each and every day.
“Our affiliation with the Change to Win Federation (CTW) has been a rewarding one. The CTW’s Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) is leading some of the best campaigns to give workers rights and dignity. While no longer an affiliate of CTW, we continue our strong relationships with the Teamsters, SEIU and the Farmworkers. We will remain active in the SOC and bring our AFL-CIO partners into collaboration with private-sector unions in an effort to build more power for workers.
“The need for unity became paramount after the 2010 elections. The attacks on workers brought the UFCW into direct strategic partnership with the AFL-CIO and the entire labor movement. Our shared campaign revealed a dynamic and revitalized AFL-CIO and made it clear that it was time for the UFCW to redouble our efforts to build a more robust and unified labor movement.
Continue reading Food and Commercial Workers Union Joins AFL-CIO
PA DEP shuts down wastewater facility
Pa. shuts down wastewater facility
Written by Don Hopey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 9:45 am. Posted in Archives
After several spills and at least four violation orders, state environmental regulators have shut down a gas drilling wastewater treatment facility built at a former rodeo arena in Indiana County.
The state Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday that it has revoked the permit issued to Aquatic Synthesis Unlimited and will use the company’s $1 million bond to begin cleaning up the site, which holds 1 million gallons of shale gas drilling wastewater and at least 5 tons of contaminated soil.
John Poister, a DEP spokesman, said URS Energy and Construction, a Pittsburgh firm, has been hired to do the soil remediation and wastewater disposal work. URS will submit a work plan in the next few weeks.
On the site now are several wastewater holding impoundments and at least 54 mobile tanker trailers, each with a capacity of 21,000 gallons, used to haul used wastewater from Marcellus Shale gas well hydraulic fracturing operations. Mr. Poister said it’s not clear how full they are.
“We don’t know yet if the bond will be enough to do the work,” Mr. Poister said. “The cleanup plan will be submitted soon and if the bond isn’t enough, DEP will go after the responsible parties to pay the difference.”