Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Karl Rove Hypocrisy Alert: He Supports Same Budget Approach As Peters

 

San Diego -- Turns out Karl Rove is a big fan of the Simpson-Bowles approach to deficit reduction, which wouldn’t be all that newsworthy were Rove not spending $705,000 in attack ads lambasting Rep. Scott Peters for supporting the exact same approach.




Today comes news about Rove’s effusive praise of Simpson-Bowles. At one point Rove called the bipartisan proposal for balancing the federal budget “the blueprint for righting the nation’s finances.” Rove also has been “repeatedly attacking President Obama for not enacting its recommendations,” Media Matters for America reports.



The news comes roughly a week after Rove’s political-action committee began airing $705,000 worth of attack ads in San Diego. The ads attack Peters for his support of the exact same Simpson-Bowles approach, saying: “Peters’ approach doesn’t make sense.”



“Karl Rove’s hypocrisy is so mind-boggling that you have to wonder if he even watched these ads before they started airing on TV,” said Alex Roth, communications director for the Scott Peters for Congress Campaign.  “Rove should probably stick to his area of expertise – predicting elections.”

VIDEO: DeMaio Says He'll Change Congress By Being Like Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz

 

San Diego -- Today the Scott Peters for Congress campaign released more evidence proving that Carl DeMaio’s record and philosophy are pure Tea Party extremism, regardless of his transparent attempts to rebrand himself.


In this video from last year, notably recorded on the day the Tea Party shut down the federal government, Carl DeMaio was asked at a public appearance how a freshman legislator could make a difference in Congress.

His answer: He cited Ted Cruz, the Texas Tea Party senator and the man who led the charge to shut down the federal government.

“Take a look at what Ted Cruz is doing,” DeMaio told his audience. “He’s a freshman senator. He’s certainly creating a lot of stir. So I do believe one individual can make a difference. And it’s a question of whether you’re willing to stand your ground.”

So on the same day Ted Cruz succeeded in his wild-eyed mission to shut down the government, Carl DeMaio chose to give Cruz a shout-out.

“Every day brings more evidence that Carl DeMaio is fundamentally aligned with the Tea Party,” said Alex Roth, communications director for the Scott Peters for Congress Campaign. “On the very first day of the government shutdown created by Ted Cruz and his allies, Carl DeMaio publicly cites Cruz as a guy making a difference in our nation’s capital. Who but a fan of the Tea Party would ever make such a reference?”

For raw video of DeMaio’s speech, click here and here.




Monday, August 25, 2014

Even By DeMaio's Standards, His Latest Ad is Utterly Deceptive


 

San Diego -- Even by Carl DeMaio’s standards, his latest ad is so deceptive that it demands a response to set the record straight:

The ad claims:

1. That Peters “opposed pension reforms.”

Sadly for DeMaio, there’s video that makes this statement downright laughable. Specifically, the video shows a 2008 press conference in which DeMaio stands next to City Council President Peters and praises the council’s work on pension reform, calling those reforms “the first step towards sustainable pension benefits for the city of San Diego.”  As DeMaio well knows, the pension reforms championed by Scott Peters – and announced at that very press conference -- will save the city an estimated $22 million a year. And Mayor Jerry Sanders called Scott Peters a valuable partner in meaningful pension reform.

2. That Peters “voted to increase his own pension.”

This statement is about as misleading as it gets. First, as DeMaio knows, Scott Peters has donated every penny of his city pension to San Diego’s city libraries. Second, the ad apparently refers to Peters’ vote to raise City Council pay from $71,522 to $75,386 – a raise he didn’t accept for himself. Not only did Peters’ own salary remain at $71,522, he took home only $30,000 of that salary in 2008 and used the rest towards providing better constituent service from his council office.

 “This ad reveals Carl DeMaio’s basic campaign strategy, which is to try to bamboozle the voters at every turn between now and Election Day,” said Alex Roth, communications director for the Scott Peters for Congress campaign. “But the voters are too smart for that. They won’t fall for this deceptive ad campaign.”



Assemblywoman Gonzalez’s Bill To Protect All Peace Officers Injured in the Line of Duty Passes Full Legislature, Sent to Governor Brown

AB 2052 closes gaps in safety net for injured police, expanding coverage to all law enforcement officers


SACRAMENTO – (Monday, August 25, 2014) – The State Assembly voted today to send to Gov. Brown for his signature a bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to ensure that all classifications of peace officers receive the workers' compensation health protection they deserve if they are injured in the line of duty.

“We can all agree that California has a moral responsibility to ensure every peace officer receives basic workers' compensation protections if they're injured in the line of duty,” Gonzalez said. “With AB 2052, the officers who protect students in our schools and universities, passengers in our airports and our transit systems, and many others whose protection we rely upon will be cared for.”

When the workers’ compensation section of the Labor Code was written in the 1970’s, the intent was to include all peace officers that performed the duties of active law enforcement as having a rebuttable presumption that certain injuries were related to their occupation. Assembly Bill 2052 will expand the existing workers' compensation protections or work-related injuries to new classifications of peace officers which didn't exist at that time, such as school police, transit police and airport police.

The bill was supported by twenty five public safety organizations including the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, Association of Probation Supervisors, California Correctional Peace Officers Association, California School Employees Association, California State Firefighters’ Association, and State Coalition of Probation Organizations.

AB 2052 was approved by the Assembly on a 51-10 vote Monday after it passed the State Senate with 27-8 bipartisan vote last Thursday. Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hazmat-suit Wearing San Diego Protesters to Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking 





Highlight dangers of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean


SAN DIEGO, California— As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with SanDiego350 and the Center for Biological Diversity will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s precious oceans, wildlife, and beaches.



Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean. Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.



"Every offshore frack job increases the toxic threat to California's fragile ocean ecosystems," said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center for Biological Diversity's Oceans Program Director.



“Our beaches and coastal cities are some of the gems of San Diego tourism,” said Peg Mitchell, Fracking Campaign Leader for SanDiego350. “We can’t afford any risks to our local economy, nor can the marine life sustain any further damage to their waters”.



What:            
Protest against offshore fracking outside California Coastal Commission meeting



When:           
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 10 a.m.
           


Where:          
Catamaran Resort, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego



Oil companies have fracked hundreds of wells off California’s coast, and about half the oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel discharge wastewater into the sea. The oil industry has federal permission to annually dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including toxic fracking fluid, directly into the ocean off California’s coast.



A recent Center for Biological Diversity analysis of 12 frack jobs in California waters found that at least one-third of chemicals used in these fracking operations are suspected ecological hazards. Drawing on data disclosed by oil companies, the Center also found that more than a third of these chemicals are suspected of affecting human developmental and nervous systems.



Because of the dangerously high pressures involved, fracking also increases the risk of a catastrophic accident like the 1969 oil spill that contaminated hundreds of miles of shoreline from Santa Barbara to the Silver Strand here in San Diego. 

SanDiego350.org, an all-volunteer organization, is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. We work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are loosely affiliated with 350.org, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us.




Coastkeeper Releases New Animated Map Showing Correlation Between Region’s Water Supply Sources and Drought

Map illustrates severity of and growing risk in current water supply sources


SAN DIEGO, August 12, 2014 – How does the severe drought in California and the Southwest impact San Diego’s imported water supply? Today, San Diego Coastkeeper, which protects drinkable waters in San Diego County, published an animated map that overlays drought conditions and an outline of watersheds from where the region imports water. The map shows the increasing severity of the drought through the last year as it relates to the watersheds from where San Diego imports water.

“It’s devastating to see this illustrated visually,” said Travis Pritchard, San Diego Coastkeeper program manager. “The watersheds from where San Diego draws its water are nearly 100 percent impacted by drought.”

The map’s color-coded portion depicts the severity of drought throughout California with data from the US Drought Monitor, a joint venture between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To see the drought’s impact on our water supply sources, Coastkeeper overlaid the outlines of the Colorado River Basin and the Sacramento River Basin combined with the San Joaquin River Basin, which flow into the Bay Delta. The maps show the past year, using one map a month. For consistency, the drought maps are captured on the last Thursday of each month.

For more information on San Diego Coastkeeper, please visit www.sdcoastkeeper.org.
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SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER: Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. Visit us online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

District attorneys urge passage of bills adding new enforcement tools against human trafficking


SACRAMENTO – District attorneys from San Diego and Riverside counties today urged passage of two bills in the fight against human trafficking (HT). The measures – SB 473 and SB 939 – authored by Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) would elevate the crime of human trafficking to the same level as other gang offenses and sex crimes. Both are subject to a final vote by the Legislature this week.

SB 473 would treat human trafficking crimes committed by gang members with the same severity as 33 other gang offenses; SB 939 would streamline prosecution of human traffickers by allowing multiple offenses from different jurisdictions consolidated into a single trial.

“Human trafficking is among the most despicable and odious of crimes because traffickers treat victims as property to be used and sold,” Block said. “Winning the human trafficking war is a priority for me because trafficking cases filed in San Diego federal court have increased by more than 600 percent over the past five years.”

SB 473 would add human trafficking to the list of 33 crimes that define a criminal street gang under the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act. The anti-gang laws include strict penalties, but the statute has not been updated to include gang involvement in human trafficking. Inclusion would affect probation and parole conditions, augment law enforcement tools, and affect the way cases are handled by all stakeholders in the system.

“Senate Bill 473 takes direct aim at gang members who would victimize young women in communities across the State of California by adding human trafficking as offenses that can be used to establish a pattern of criminal gang activity,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “”In short, it will help prosecutors build our cases against gang members who, until now, have been slipping through a loophole in the law.”

Supporters include Crime Victims United of California, the California District Attorneys Association, the Child Abuse Prevention Center and the California Sheriff’s Association. It is on the Assembly Floor Monday. It has received no “NO” votes in the Legislature.

SB 939 would streamline prosecutions and reduce court costs and the trauma experienced by victim witnesses who testify in human trafficking cases that cross multiple jurisdictions. The measure would permit the consolidation of serial human trafficking, pimping and pandering charges into a single trial if all the involved jurisdictions agree. Victims of these crimes are frequently taken to multiple cities and counties for labor and commercial sex exploitation. Prosecution involves trials in each of the multiple cities and count where the crimes occurred, with victims testifying in each of the trials. Current law already allows for the consolidation of other serial sexual offenses occurring in multiple jurisdictions. The Senate is expected to vote on concurrence in Assembly amendments Monday. It will then go to the Governor. SB 939 has not received any “NO” votes in the Legislature.

“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in California, and SB 939 will be a tremendous asset to prosecutors statewide and make it easier and more efficient to prosecute these types of cases,” said Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach. “At the same time, this bill will also provide human trafficking victims more protections under the law.”

Support for SB 939 includes California Against Slavery as well as Crime Victims United, the California District Attorneys Association and the California State Sheriffs Association.

Block added that human trafficking is highly lucrative and that stemming these crimes will take the use of multiple tools on multiple fronts. “Gangs and other perpetrators are using victims as their ATM machines,” Block said. “In San Diego, the human sex trafficking trade brought in $97 million in revenue as of 2007, more money than drug trafficking, according to a new Urban Institute study. We need to fight this on all fronts.”
 
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Proudly representing the cities and communities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado






San Diego Coastkeeper Announces its Annual Seaside Soiree 

 

Proceeds from September 10 event will protect fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County 


SAN DIEGO, August 8, 2014–– On September 10, San Diego Coastkeeper hosts its annual Seaside Soiree to raise money and celebrate swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. This year marks the 17th annual Seaside Soiree where guests, supporters, board members and staff gather to celebrate the importance of protecting San Diego’s underwater treasures and healthy waterways. Tickets are available online.

Taking place at the Scripps Seaside Forum in La Jolla, participants will mingle inside and outside and enjoy an oceanfront view with a spectacular sunset. The event, which runs from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., promises a roaming buffet, cash bar, auction and opportunity drawing, interactive educational booths, fishy dance moves and fun.

SeaWorld presents the Seaside Soiree with additional support by The Waitt Foundation, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Regency Centers Corporation, Patricia A. Meagher and David C. Ritter, Micah Mitrosky & EDCO. Underwriting by the Cohn Restaurant Group. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities still available.

Tickets can be purchased from San Diego Coastkeeper’s website. VIP Tickets are $250 and include free parking, hosted drinks and recognition during the event. General admission tickets are $100. To reserve a table or sponsor the event, contact Megan Baehrens at meganb@sdcoastkeeper.org or (619) 758-7743 X103.

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San Diego Coastkeeper
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region's bays, beaches, watersheds and ocean for the people and wildlife that depend on them. We balance community outreach, education, and advocacy to promote stewardship of clean water and a healthy coastal ecosystem. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.




September 3: Good Neighbor Dialogue to Explore Homelessness in Border Town

Other Good Neighbor Month festivities include Soup’s On, Good Neighbor Day 


SAN DIEGO, August 8- Father Joe’s Villages and its partner agencies joins forces with the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute to present Good Neighbor Dialogue—Homelessness in San Diego: What Makes Good Neighbors? At the free event, a panel of experts will discuss the impacts of homelessness on the bi-national region. Speakers include St. Vincent de Paul Village Executive Director Ruth Bruland, Trans-Border Institute Director Dr. Everard Meade and the San Diego Police Department. Moderated by KPBS’ Mark Sauer, the Dialogue will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on September 3 at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Center for Peace and Justice.

“San Diego’s location in a border region makes us unique from most large cities in the U.S. and that reality presents both opportunities and challenges. At the Good Neighbor Dialogue, we will discuss the key homelessness issues and their impacts on the region as a whole,” said Diane Stumph, interim president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “What a great kick off to Good Neighbor Month, which encourages neighbors to help neighbors in need.”

The Good Neighbor Dialogue is part of Father Joe’s Villages Inaugural Good Neighbor Month, which includes a variety of events to raise awareness about homelessness, encourage neighborly acts and provoke important dialogue around key homelessness issues.

In addition to the Good Neighbor Dialogue, highlights in this year’s Good Neighbor Month include Good Neighbor Day and Soup’s On, along with an Internet pledge to encourage San Diegans to do something for a neighbor in need.

Good Neighbor Day on Saturday, September 20, encourages San Diegans to conduct a kind gesture for a neighbor in need. The organization and its Good Neighbor Day participants will share many of these stories via social media.

Soup’s On is scheduled for Friday, September 26, at the Headquarters at Seaport Village. For $10, patrons will enjoy soup served in special bowls collected and hand painted by Toussaint teens, children in arts program, community members and local celebrities.

Father Joe’s and partner agencies are asking San Diegans to take a pledge through the website to commit to being a good neighbor and share how they will do it—volunteer, donate clothes and goods to St. Vincent de Paul Village or any number of other acts. Proceeds benefit the programs of St. Vincent de Paul Villages.

More information on donation of bowls for Soups On and sponsorship opportunities can be found by contacting Mike O’ Malley at mike.omalley@neighbor.org or 619-260-2143.

For more information visit the Good Neighbor webpage.

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ABOUT FATHER JOE’S VILLAGES/ST. VINCENT DE PAUL VILLAGE 
As Southern California’s largest residential homeless services provider, Father Joe’s Villages and partner agency St. Vincent de Paul Village have been empowering people to achieve self-sufficiency for over 62 years. What started as a small chapel serving San Diego’s impoverished has grown into a cutting-edge provider of innovative housing programs and services. Father Joe’s Villages and St. Vincent de Paul Village prepare up to 3,000 meals and provide a continuum of care to nearly 1,500 individuals every day—from infants and adolescents to adults and seniors. This includes over 200 children and over 200 military veterans. As industry thought-leaders, the two agencies offer innovative solutions to address the complex needs of the homeless, regardless of age, race, culture or beliefs. The organizations’ primary goal is to transform lives and end the cycle of homelessness. To this end they provide housing, healthcare, food, clothing, education, job training and child development in an internationally modeled “one-stop-shop” approach. The organizations’ mission is made possible only through the efforts of compassionate staff, dedicated volunteers, and generous public and private donors. For more information, please visit: http://www.neighbor.org.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Beach safety, recreation, economy take center stage at event urging passage of rapid beach water testing


Area officials, environmentalists and business leaders today urged passage of  legislation by Senator Marty Block (SD-39) permitting county public health officials to use an “early alert” test that would allow same day test results of beach water quality.

“SB 1395 safeguards the public and protects local economies,” Block said. “We want the public alerted to any health danger as quickly as possible. We also want beaches reopened as soon as possible for visitors to enjoy once safety is assured.” He noted that over the Memorial Day weekend more than 450,000 people enjoyed San Diego’s beaches and that statewide 238 million beach-goers enjoy California’s beaches annually.

Swimming, surfing or participating in other water activities in polluted water can result in stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis and hepatitis. California Coastkeeper Alliance states that every year approximately one million Southern California beachgoers contract gastrointestinal illness from exposure to polluted coastal areas at a public health cost of $21 to $51 million.

The County of San Diego is sponsoring SB 1395. “Our beaches define San Diego, and San Diegans expect them to be safe,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox. “That is why we must continue to improve our beach water testing and get same day results. This bill allows us to do that.” Cox advocated for the legislation.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is supporting the measure. “There’s no doubting the importance of the beach to San Diego’s tourism and economy," said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. "Our beaches are a point of pride for our city and having the ability to quickly determine the safety of our beaches is important to tourists, residents and the many businesses that depend on the beach and beach-goers. The Chamber appreciates Senator Block’s leadership on this bill that will benefit San Diego. ”

Under the state’s Beach and Bay Water Quality Monitoring Program, county public health departments perform beach water sampling and close beaches or post warning signs if water quality does not meet state standards. Current permissible tests are culture-based involving a multiple sample standard for three indicators – total coliform, fecal coliform and enterococcus. Test results are typically available in 24 to 48 hours – and sometimes as long as 96 hours – leaving beachgoers at risk before results are obtained.

To address the current waiting period for results, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified an alternative testing method, the qualitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) test which shortens the result waiting period to four hours, a significant time savings.

“We want to protect people as they play in the ocean and visit waterfront businesses, but today's best information uses yesterday’s water quality,” said Megan Baehrens, Executive Director of San Diego Coastkeeper. “With this rapid test, we’ll know if water is safe right now--only four hours after the test. This has huge health and economic implications.”

Block’s bill would authorize local health officers to use the current or future rapid tests to determine beach water quality. The jurisdiction must first perform the tests side-by-side with the currently approved culture-based assessment over an entire beach season to determine that the tests are a reliable indicator of public health standards. Additionally the new tests must be performed in compliance with the federal EPA’s established guidance and with oversight by the California Department of Public Health.

Serge Dedina, Ph.D., executive director of WILDCOAST and author of “Wild Sea,” also underscored the importance of quicker test results. “By helping to close and open our beaches quicker,” SB 1395 will protect the health and safety of beach-goers throughout San Diego County as well as our economy.”

In addition to the County of San Diego, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the California Coastkeeper Alliance and WILDCOAST, SB 1395 is also supported by the California Association of Environmental Health Administrators and the Surfrider Foundation.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The U.S. Must Not Lower the Bar on Protecting Children Fleeing Violence

July 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - The humanitarian challenge posed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and young families at our southern border has once again ignited passions over the role immigration plays in our country. Rather than respond to the arrival of children and young families as refugees fleeing violence and crime, and appropriately fund our ability to prioritize the health and well-being of these individuals, Washington has yet again become mired in anti-immigration rhetoric. As the Senate and House take up supplemental funding bills, this debate is likely to involve numerous attacks on existing protections for children, including rolling back the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), accelerating court proceedings to limit the due process available to children, and other measures that will in essence blame the children for needing protection.

During the course of this debate, it bears constant repeating that neither the TVPRA nor providing access to immigration court proceedings is the problem. Some have argued that existing measures designed to screen Central American children to determine whether they might be eligible for asylum, protection as trafficking victims, or some other form of relief is hindering the rapid removal of children, and without speedy removal there is no deterrent effect. Others have argued that the court process itself is too slow or that providing counsel to children is too burdensome. All of these arguments ignore the fundamental fact that the TVPRA is not a barrier to efficiently and effectively deciding the cases of unaccompanied children.

Responsibility for the delays under the current system lies squarely at the feet of those who have consistently refused to provide resources to the adjudicators and judges that are a critical part of our immigration system in general, and this process in particular. Abandoning the protections of the TVPRA would not only be a travesty of justice, but would be a victory for those anti-immigrant members of Congress who have consistently expanded immigration enforcement without addressing the equally important issue of providing fair and timely hearings for all. This is particularly important in situations where the life of a child is endangered, and where an accelerated process reduces the chances that those in need of protection will be identified. In fact, the current screening process for identifying Mexican children who are victims of trafficking (which is far more limited than the process for Central American children) has been found by the UNHCR to utterly fail as a vehicle for identifying children at risk.

Success is achievable without undermining legal protections. Providing additional resources to the immigration courts is a first step, but far more can and should be done. Improving access to counsel, including making counsel available to all children, ensures protections and actually leads to a more efficient adjudication process. In those cases where children choose to return to their countries or are ordered removed, the U.S. must comply with its international obligations and follow its moral compass to ensure that returns are conducted with appropriate attention to the best interests and needs of the child. We can make use of international monitoring and protection standards for ensuring safe repatriation of children and support programs that help the countries of origin reduce the violence, crime, and poverty that is driving children from their homes. In other words, thoughtful, holistic approaches will, in the long run, produce better results for all. Simply pouring more money into border protection or downgrading “inconvenient” laws sounds tough, but is ultimately the weakest response of all.

The United States Congress must ensure that its legacy is the improvement of our immigration court and adjudication processes and not the demise of humanitarian protections put in place to protect children fleeing violence.

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Teamsters, Transit Workers, and other Labor Groups Back Prop 45 Campaign To Make Health Insurers Justify Rates


Sacramento, CA - Two powerful labor groups, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council and the California Conference Board-Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), have joined the growing list of leaders, organizations, and labor groups that support Proposition 45, the health insurance rate regulation initiative. It will be on California's November 4 ballot.

The Teamsters and ATU join many other labor organizations in supporting Prop 45, including AFSCME Local 685 - LA County Deputy Probation Officers, California Federation of Teachers, California Nurses Association, California School Employees Association, Labor United for Universal Healthcare, Northern California Carpenters Union Regional Council, ILWU-Northern California District Council, Orange County Employees Association, United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, and United Teachers Los Angeles.

In addition to the initiative's strong labor support, Prop 45 has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party; statewide leaders such as California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Democratic Candidates Betty Yee for State Controller and Alex Padilla for Secretary of State; and advocacy organizations such as AllCare Alliance, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Congress of California Seniors, California National Organization for Women, Campaign for a Healthy California, Consumer Federation of California, Consumer Watchdog, Courage Campaign, and Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), amongst others.

Proposition 45, the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act, would:
    •    Give the insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive rate increases for individual and small group health insurance.
    •    Require health insurance companies to publicly disclose and justify, under penalty of perjury, proposed rate changes before they take effect.
    •    Make public every document filed by an insurance company to justify a rate increase.
    •    Allow Californians to challenge unjustified premium rate increases.

Health insurance premiums for California families have risen approximately 185% since 2002, more than 5 times the rate of inflation. Today, 35 other states, but not California, already require health insurance companies to get approval for rate increases before they take effect.

"Holding health insurers accountable with respect to rate increases is critical to making health insurance affordable and accessible to Californians," stated PNHP.

 In 1988, voters approved an insurance reform law called Proposition 103 at the ballot. Proposition 103 requires auto, homeowners and other business insurance companies to open their books and publicly justify rate increases. Since then, consumers have saved tens of billions of dollars on their auto insurance premiums. Prop 45 simply applies these same rules to health insurance companies.

Opponents of Proposition 45, mostly health insurers, have already raised more than $28 million for its defeat.

Learn more about Proposition 45 at www.JustifyRates.org.




On Medicare's Anniversary, Peters Keeps Working to Strengthen and Protect It

 

San Diego -- Protecting and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid are among Rep. Scott Peters’ top priorities in Congress. Today, on the 49th anniversary of their creation, Peters reaffirms his commitment to them and reminds voters of his work to make sure seniors continue to have access to affordable and reliable health care.

Peters is a member of the Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force and was recently recognized by a  health-care advocacy group for his work to keep prescription drugs affordable for seniors.

“Medicare and Medicaid are a lifeline for many seniors,” Rep. Peters said. "Seniors who have spent decades paying into them deserve the peace of mind of knowing the benefits they’ve earned through a lifetime of hard work will be there for them.”

In sharp contrast, Carl DeMaio has praised Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that would turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Peters has taken numerous steps during his first term in Congress to make sure seniors have health-care security. He successfully fought against drastic cuts to the Medicare Advantage Program by meeting with a group of leaders including White House officials and the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

His successful efforts to protect Medicare’s Part D affordable prescription drug coverage earned him praise from the Healthcare Leadership Council, which wrote: “Thanks to Medicare Part D, seniors and the disabled get coverage plans. And thanks to Representative Scott Peters, we can all still rely on that.”

Rep. Peters also voted to ensure that doctors continue to receive reimbursements that allow them to provide Medicare recipients with high-quality health care. And he co-sponsored the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures Act, which helps keep these benefits sustainable by cracking down on fraud and abuse.

Over and over again, Rep. Peters has been clear and vocal in his opposition to turning Medicare into a private voucher system, noting that such a system will produce a spike in out-of-pocket healthcare costs for seniors.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Robin Is Everywhere Campaign Comic Con 2014


 Dates of event:  July 23 - 27, 2014

Location: 
   In and around Children’s Park, Downtown San Diego

Description:   The Robin Hood Tax can mean slightly less for the 1% at the top and lots more for the 99% below. In order to help spread this message The Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street USA will be maintaining a presence outside of Comic Con 2014.

Organizers bring fight for community services to your hands by asking that the crowd become a hero and support the campaign and show Wall Street that “Robin is everywhere!” This action is about turning a fantasy into a reality, by asking people to “be a hero” and support a Robin Hood Tax. Strategically located in-between Comic Con and the Gaslamp district in beautiful Children’s Park, we will be costumed and offering fun for all ages. Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1423262124622563/
  
During the daytime, Robin Hood Tax USA volunteers will be set up in Children’s Park with an information booth Thursday 2p - 6p, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10a - 6p.
There, we will be handing out economic justice themed posters, offering a “Be A Hero” photo stand-in opportunity, a “Flush Wall Street” toilet themed dunk tank, chariot-led theater performances, and more. During the evenings, Overpass Light Brigade San Diego will be showing projections and holding lights. These nighttime events are between 8:30 pm and 10:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday.

About the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street:

The Robin Hood Tax is a tax on Wall Street that would go to support schools, hospitals, and job development. The Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street can be the game changer for a fairer, more democratic, humane, balanced, and moral American Tax System.

https://twitter.com/RobinHoodTax
https://www.facebook.com/RobinHoodTaxUsa
https://www.youtube.com/user/robinhoodtaxUSA