• Facebook

Archive | Policy

Tuesday, Dec. 12th – Break the Internet!

On it, thanks! Read “I’m on the FCC. Please stop us from killing net neutrality” (LATimes)

Here’s a helpful graphic of what is coming if we don’t stand up now…

12-12-17 NetNeutrality Break the Internet Campaign_Page_1

Step #1 – Multi-media messages and send a note to Congress

We have just days. The FCC is about to vote to end net neutrality—breaking the fundamental principle of the open Internet—and only an avalanche of calls to Congress can stop it. So this Tuesday, December 12th, “Break the Internet” on your site, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, reddit, Tumblr, Youtube or in whatever wild creative way you can to get your audience to contact Congress. That’s how we win. Are you in? 

If you run a website, blog, tumblr, or forum, help spread the word by putting up a sticky post, or use one of these widgets, ads, or banners: https://www.battleforthenet.com/#join

Tell people what the internet will be like without net neutrality. There are already examples for us to study. Guaranteed our internet providers are studying them.

net in portugal

Step #2 – Send a note to Congress

Click on this site: https://www.battleforthenet.com/breaktheinternet/

  • Fill out the information blanks.
  • Click on “Write Congress Now”.

Need inspiration for your note? Click here for good starter material.

12-12-17 NetNeutrality Break the Internet Campaign_Page_2

Step #3 – Call your legislators to influence the FCC

FCC’s vote can be prevented by the House, so call your reps:

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to support Title Two net neutrality rules and urge him/her/they to oppose the FCC’s plan to repeal them. Specifically, I’d like our Congressmember to contact the FCC Chairman and demand he abandon his current plan.”

Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779

or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348

Other Rep Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com


Step #4 – Lobby the FCC commissioners directly.

Lobby the 3 FCC commissioners who are likely to vote ‘yes’ on repealing net neutrality, to try to get them to vote ‘no’ instead.

Apparently the phone lines are either being inundated with calls or have been shut off, so use other means if you can’t get through: or at the very least, to delay the vote until an investigation can be completed regarding the numerous fake comments on the FCC’s website

You can contact these other two, just to be sure they don’t change their minds.


Step #5 – Tell your legislators to come up with a law to protect the net.

The best long-term solution is to elevate the mandate to protect net neutrality above the FCC’s regulatory level by enshrining it in law, like Senator Bill Nelson tried to do back in 2015 . Let’s push forward on all 3 of these items, because having an open, unbiased online information network is crucial not only to the Resistance, but to democracy itself now.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to author a law to ensure that the internet’s  Title Two net neutrality rules remain in place, no matter what industry hack is in charge of the FCC.

Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779

or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348

Other Rep Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430

and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884

Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com


Why is this important?

This is the conclusion of Sarah Kendzior’s newest piece in The Globe and Mail about net neutrality: “And here we lie at the interconnected horror of the Trump administration’s autocratic maneuvers. Consider this scenario for 2018: The repeal of net neutrality will stem the flow of information, making voter suppression harder to document. The packing of the courts will make the voter suppression that is documented harder to challenge. And the long-standing solution to purveyors of unpopular policies – vote them out – will be, by definition, impossible, since the election is rigged and the rigging uncontestable. This carefully constructed web of repression is how democracy dies.”:


Continue Reading

Things on the tax scam fight and the Dream fight are changing quickly

But one thing remains constant: the Republican caucus is hanging on by a thread. On the tax scam, Republican members in the House aren’t in agreement, even though they voted to go to conference last night. And, this weekend, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) said she may not be able to vote for the final tax bill. The continuing resolution holds many challenges, too, as the Freedom Caucus refuse to go along with the rest of the Republicans.

As they’re working on both bills, negotiations will create more and more wedges between the Republicans. Things might be changing, but our weekly to-dos are still the same. Re-read our email from yesterday, start making phone calls, and use your constituent pressure to fight both of these bills:

  • Make calls as the tax scam heads to conference: call 1-855-980-2350 to be connected to your member of Congress. Hold Republicans accountable for their votes and tell them you expect them to vote against the final tax bill. Let Democrats know you appreciate their support and you hope they continue to oppose the tax scam.

Keep up the good work. It’s working.

– The Indivisible Team

(reposted from indivisible.org)

Continue Reading

Gun violence is an American public health crisis.

 Vote YES to fund the CDC to research  gun violence and firearm safety for the next 5 years. (HR.1832 / S.834)

(Updated 10/5/17)

The NRA stopped the research we need to make us safer. 

In 1996, the Dickey Amendment was inserted into the omnibus spending bill that mandated that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

A 2005 report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) assessed existing research on gun violence and gun policy, finding that considerable gaps exist in research and data to evaluate most gun violence prevention methods and that increased federal government funding was critical for further progress.

In 2013, Obama directed the CDC to restart research but spokesperson Courtney Lenard, told the Washington Post that “It is possible for us to conduct firearm-related research within the context of our efforts to address youth violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and suicide. But our resources are very limited.” Despite an effort in 2015 to remove it, the Dickey amenment remains.

These bills that will fund $10 million for the (Centers for Disease Control) to research gun violence prevention and firearm safety for the next five years. 

H.R. 1832

Minimal Script for Reps. who support this: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Rep. [___] for co-sponsoring H.R.1832. (You can also email your thanks!)

Minimal Script for Reps. who don’t yet: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep. [___] to vote YES on H.R.1832.

(Check your Congressperson here.  Brownley and Carbajal are already co-sponsors)

THANK Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779, https://juliabrownley.house.gov/contact/email-me

OR THANK Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348, https://carbajal.house.gov/contact/email

Not your Rep.?: http://www.phoneyourrep.com


Minimal Script for Senators who support this: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank  Sen [___] for co-sponsoring S.834.  (You can also email your thanks!)

Minimal Script for Senators who don’t yet: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask  Sen [___] to vote YES on S.834. 

(Check your Senator here.  Feinstein and Harris are already co-sponsors)

THANK Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430 https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

AND THANK Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884 https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

Not your Senator?: http://www.phoneyourrep.com

More Info:

These and other concepts should be studied in great depth for efficacy in reducing gun violence.

(Just added – visuals for those of us who do better with graphics!)

select measure

100 support

1. Background checks
Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun. The studies are clear: Where these laws are passed, fewer people get shot. Where they have been repealed, murder and violence have increased. And background checks aren’t controversial: A recent poll found that 94 percent of Americans support requiring background checks for all gun buyers, including 93 percent of Republicans.

2. Minimum age limit
Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases. This is already the law for handgun purchases in many states, and it mirrors the law on buying alcohol. Laws imposing minimum age requirements for the possession and purchase of firearms are intended to decrease access to firearms by young people and, correspondingly, to decrease the number of suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings among that population. Firearms were used in 41% of suicide deaths among individuals under age 21 in 2014.

3. Ban Bump Stocks
Ban bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more like automatics. In Las Vegas, a single gunman was able to shoot hundreds of people because he had converted guns to bump-stock firing. Senator Dianne Feinstein has a bill against them in the works.

4. Ban large magazines
Ban large capacity ammunition magazines (over 10). This is already law in CA, CT, DC, HI, MD, MA,  and NY. The states of CO and NJ allow 15 rounds. 50% of mass shootings use large capacity magazines, resulting in 135% more people shot and 57% more deaths.

5. Keep guns away from domestic abusers
Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order. This is a moment when people are upset and prone to violence against their exes.

6. Keep guns away from violent individuals.
Create federal and state policy help us identify and intervene with at-risk individuals and ensure they are prevented from accessing or purchasing firearms until they are deemed fit. This includes programs that teach the early signs of violence as well as sensible legislation like Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that an individual is threatening harm to themselves or others. On Feb. 28, Trump signed a bill reversion Obama rule to ban gun purchases by the mentally ill. However, 89% of Americans endorse a ban on allowing people with a diagnosed mental illness to own guns.

7. Keep guns away from people on watch lists.
Remove loopholes in the Terror Watch List. Between February 2004 and December 2014, individuals on the terror watchlist were able to buy firearms 2,043 times, due to the federal government’s failure to take legal action to close the watchlist loophole. In 2015 alone, known or suspected terrorists underwent background checks to purchase firearms 244 times—and 223 of those transactions, or 91%, were allowed to proceed.

8. Limit gun purchases
Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month, and tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals. Make serial numbers harder to remove.

9. Mark and track cartridges
Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, useful for solving gun crimes. California’s microstamping law went into effect on May 17, 2013.

10. Make guns “smart”.
Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use. Such guns require a PIN or can only be fired when near a particular bracelet or other device, so that children cannot misuse them and they are less vulnerable to theft. The gun industry made a childproof gun in the 1800’s but now resists smart guns. A 2001 survey found that 73.6% of Americans favor a requirement that all new models of handguns be personalized.

11. Keep kids safe.
Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.

12. Track guns across state lines. 
Establish a federal firearms trafficking statute to stop the illegal trafficking of guns from states with weak laws to states with strong laws.

13. Create a federal data base
71% of Americans support creating a federal database tracking gun sales. Federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to maintain records of gun sales indefinitely, including information about the firearm(s) being purchased, as well as the purchaser. Federal law prohibits the federal government from collecting firearm sales records in a central repository, however. Without a central repository of all firearm sales records, gun tracing is a slow, cumbersome process.

14. Study open-carry laws
Study the effect of open-carry laws . The open presence of guns in public life can quickly escalate everyday conflicts into deadly altercations, causing tragic, irreversible damage to innocent lives. Despite the evidence that openly carrying firearms in public spaces endangers public safety, most states lack laws to limit “open carry”—and some have even taken steps to weaken regulation regarding the practice.

15. Study gun violence like we study other dangerous things.
Require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our public health public health agencies to invest in preventing gun deaths and injuries — like we do for every other similar cause of death and injury. For 20 years, Congress has effectively banned the study of gun violence because of pressure from the gun lobby. Similar investments in reducing other kinds of accidental deaths have been very effective.

16. Revisit assault weapon bans.
OK, here’s the hard one for hard-right 2nd amendment fans…Assault weapons. Some  say banning these weapons is counterproductive to more useful efforts, like those detailed above and that the weapons don’t significantly add to the death toll unless they’re using high capacity magazines. Others say they are an issue by themselves. Debate like this are EXACTLY why the CDC needs to study this stuff.

Assault weapons have been used in many tragic, high-profile shootings, including the nation’s most deadly mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016, which left 49 dead and 53 injured.

A review of mass shootings between 2009 and 2015 by Everytown for Gun Safety found that incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 155% more people shot and 47% more people killed compared to other incidents. When access to assault weapons is restricted, deaths due to mass shootings decrease. A 2014 study found that “both state and federal assault weapons bans have statistically significant and negative effects on mass shooting fatalities.”6

A study analyzing FBI data showed that 20% of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty from 1998 to 2001 were killed with assault weapons.  A 2007 report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police recommended that Congress enact an effective ban on military-style assault weapons in order to curb the ability of individuals to “outgun” law enforcement officers.

A majority of Americans consistently support laws prohibiting assault weapons. As of June 2016, 57% of Americans polled supported a ban on assault weapons.A poll conducted in December 2012 found that 62% of Americans favored this policy. In a survey from 2003, 67% of Field & Stream readers polled did not consider assault weapons to be legitimate sporting guns.

Legislators who’ve received contributions from the NRA


Comparisons and Facts:

Firearms kill 33,000 Americans annually.

Costs of other safety research:
$240 million/yr. – traffic safety research
$233 million/yr. –  food safety
$331 million/yr. – effects of tobacco

Organizations fighting for sensible gun regulations







https://www.csgv.org (The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence)


Reference materials:







Continue Reading