Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for April, 2015

Progressive Democrats of America Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

Posted by carldavidson on April 30, 2015

PDA Chapter President Tina Shannon with Democratic Presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders

Source: Progressive Democrats of America

Dated: Apr. 30, 2015

Contacts: Steve Cobble, PDA Political Director, (571)-274-5144 steve.cobble@gmail.com Conor Boylan, PDA Executive Director, (206)-965-0802 conor@pdamerica.org

Washington, D.C.–Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), a grassroots federal PAC, announced the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders for President. Speaking on behalf of PDA, Political Director Steve Cobble said, “We launched an effort just over a year ago to ask Sen. Bernie Sanders to run for President as a Democrat. We worked with our national ‘Run Bernie Run’ Team to build support for this historic candidacy, gathering more than 20,000 petition signatures, holding town hall meetings and house parties in several states, and designing social media efforts and a website, http://www.pdafund.com/

Cobble added, “We welcome the official announcement of Sen. Sanders’ candidacy today. He has been reaching out to voters across the country on his national listening tour, discussing the issues that matter most to most Americans. He has long shown a deep understanding of the systemic problems we face. We agree with Sen. Sanders when he says, ‘Most people have given up on the political process. They understand the political deck is stacked against them. They think there is no particular reason for them to come out and vote…'” PDA believes we must change this.

Cobble quoted Sen. Sanders as saying, “This country faces more serious problems than at any time since the Great Depression, and there is a horrendous lack of serious political discourse or ideas out there that can address these crises. Somebody has got to represent the working-class and the middle-class of this country.” Cobble concluded, “Bernie Sanders is a progressive, principled, politician. He has an established record of standing up to the big-money interests who have far too much power over the economic and political life of this country. Bernie will take on the big fights–campaign finance reform, global warming, wealth inequality–into the Democratic debates. We support his candidacy because he knows that his job as a candidate is to help bring together a massive grassroots populist / progressive coalition that can win elections and transform politics. That’s been PDA’s mission since our founding in 2004.”

PDA is proud that USA Today and The Nation noted that PDA launched its ‘Run Bernie Run’ campaign last spring, collecting thousands of petition signatures calling on Sanders to run as a Democrat. We will follow up by helping raise money for the Sanders campaign, operate volunteer phone banks, organize house parties, and otherwise support the Sanders for President campaign.

Contacts: Steve Cobble, PDA Political Director, (571)-274-5144 steve.cobble@gmail.com Conor Boylan, PDA Executive Director, (206)-965-0802 conor@pdamerica.org

Posted in 2016 Election, PDA | 1 Comment »

Raise the Minimum wage!

Posted by carldavidson on April 20, 2015

 

Our County Commissioners agree!

They will be passing a resolution on Thursday evening at their regularly scheduled meeting to support raising the minimum wage.

They have invited us to attend.

THURSDAY 4/23/15 BEAVER COUNTY COURTHOUSE 6:00 PM

Here in Beaver County, we once had a wonderful standard of living. One wage earner made enough to support an entire family. That money flowed through our community, making life better for everyone. We and our neighbors had money for the services that a proliferation of small businesses offered. Our children went to college and happily shopped for their supplies. Hobbies and recreation abounded. Now we have more minimum wage jobs in our County than ever. More of our neighbors are struggling just to pay rent and put food on the table. If their car breaks down, or they get sick and miss work, their family experiences a crisis. On an everyday basis they have trouble buying warm school clothes for their children. More and more of us are winding up in this position.

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Posted in Low Wage workers, Organizing, safety net | 1 Comment »

Everything Goes Somewhere: Yet Another Argument for Green Energy

Posted by carldavidson on April 16, 2015

State records miss half the waste pumped into injection wells

By John Finnerty
CNHI Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG, April 16, 2015 — State environmental officials didn’t account for half the waste pumped into injection disposal wells last year, a comparison with federal data shows.

The state’s injection wells took 330,000 barrels of waste left over after natural gas drilling last year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s about six truckloads a day.

The state Department of Environmental Protection only accounted for 167,500 barrels, according to its records.

That means about three truckloads of waste per day are unaccounted for in the state’s tracking system.

The discrepancy “begs the question of whether Pennsylvania should let the industry expand,” said Nadia Steinzor, eastern program coordinator for Earthworks Action, an environmental watchdog.

Pressure is mounting for more disposal wells to serve the burgeoning gas drilling industry.

Steinzor’s group released a report earlier this month that criticized efforts of Pennsylvania and three other states — Ohio, West Virginia and New York — in managing waste generated by the industry.

Injection wells are a conventional way of disposing of liquid waste from fracking, the process in which drillers use pressurized water and chemicals to release underground reservoirs of gas.

Controversy stems from studies that have blamed injection wells for earthquakes. Neighbors of proposed well sites also raise fears about pollution to water supplies and problems related to truck traffic.

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Posted in Environment, Fracking | 1 Comment »

Leading House Democrat Will Oppose TPP Fast Track

Posted by randyshannon on April 15, 2015

Chris Van Hollen

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (AFGE/CC BY 2.0)

As legislation to fast-track congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets ready to finally make its debut in Congress this week, a top Democratic member of the House announced he would oppose the bill.

Representative Chris Van Hollen, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, wrote in a letter to Representative Sandy Levin, the ranking member of the House Ways & Means Committee, that he would oppose fast-track authority, also known as Trade Promotion Authority or TPA. The letter was obtained by The Nation and its authenticity was confirmed by an aide to Van Hollen.

Van Hollen opposed a previous iteration of fast-track legislation last year, as did most other top Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But so far, many of those Democrats (including Van Hollen) had not yet announced a position on the new TPA legislation being hammered out by Senators Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch, and Representative Paul Ryan. (Levin opted out of those talks, and believes Congress should see at least the outline of a trade deal before taking up legislation to fast-track its approval.) Pelosi still remains publicly undecided.

If Van Hollen—a visible member of the Democratic caucus and ranking member of a major committee—ultimately supported the Wyden-Hatch-Ryan bill, it would have been a signal that House Democrats were ready to go along with the Obama administration’s trade agenda. But in his letter, Van Hollen wrote “it is clear that many [of my concerns] will not be included in a revised TPA.”

While the legislation remains behind closed doors for now, Van Hollen said continuing public opposition from Republicans made it clear that the TPA legislation wouldn’t include additional currency, labor, and environmental provisions. Moreover, he wrote that since TPA was being unveiled so close to the conclusion of the overall trade talks, “it is clearly too late for TPA to have any meaningful impact on the shape of TPP negotiations.”

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HR 1391 to Strengthen Social Security

Posted by randyshannon on April 4, 2015

More information

FACT SHEET

SSA Chief Actuary Letter

(Washington) – Today, Congressman John B. Larson released details of the Social Security 2100 Act, H.R. 1391. Authored and introduced by Congressman Larson, the proposal stands to comprehensively strengthen benefits for current and future Social Security beneficiaries while keeping the program strong through the 21st Century:

“Social Security is America’s insurance program. In fact, it’s the insurance you have paid for!”said Larson. “Social Security lifts Americans, including children, out of poverty and boosts our economy as a whole. This is a system we can count on, and by taking common-sense, gradual steps, we can ensure that Social Security benefits keep up with the needs of current and future generations.”

“We applaud Representative Larson for sponsoring such important, visionary legislation,” said Nancy Altman and Eric Kingston, founding Co-directors of Social Security Works, in a joint statement. “In recognition of a looming retirement income crisis, an increasing squeeze on middle class families, and rising income inequality, Representative Larson has introduced The Social Security 2100 Act, which is an important step in addressing all three. Among other important improvements, it increases benefits for all current and future beneficiaries and switches to the more accurate CPI-E to better protect benefits from eroding over time. He pays for the improvements in responsible, balanced ways, including by requiring the wealthiest to pay more of their fair share and by increasing the return on Social Security’s $2.8 trillion reserve.”

Larson’s proposal improves Social Security benefits by providing:

  • Benefit bump for current and new beneficiaries – Everyone will see modest increase starting in 2015.
  • Improved cost of living adjustments (COLA) by adopting the CPI-E formula.
  • A tax break to over 10 million Social Security recipients by raising the threshold for taxation on benefits for individual and joint filers.
  • Protection for low income workers because no one who paid into the system should come out poor. It would set a new minimum benefit that will be 25% above the poverty line.

Social Security is currently estimated to remain solvent until the early 2030’s. According to the Social Security Administration’s Chief Actuary Stephen C. Goss, Larson’s proposal would make the Social Security Trust Fund fully solvent beyond the 75-year projection period (2088) and put the system into actuarial balance.

Larson’s proposal keeps Social Security strong through the 21st Century by ensuring millionaires and billionaires pay into the system like every American, by gradually increasing the payroll tax on workers and employers starting in 2018, equivalent to 50 cents per week cumulatively, and investing a portion of the reserve back into the American economy to double the rate of return on assets held by the Trust Fund.

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Related

Huffington Post Blog Congressman John Larson’s Important Plan to Expand Social Security

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