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Busy Weekend

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We have a busy weekend of activism ahead in Richmond. Be sure to read the calendar of events below. As the state prepares to enact new regulations that threaten the future of reproductive health clinics, Richmond hosts a rally on Saturday to protest the war on women's health care and reproductive choice.

The Occupy Together movement which gained attention through the Occupy Wall Street protest is spreading across the country. After the rally for reproductive choice on Saturday, stick around for Occupy Richmond which will meet at the same site.

In this issue:

  • Threats to reproductive choice
  • A teaching aid for the Affordable Care Act
  • Special note for citizens in the 4th Congressional District
  • A petition to get Americans back to work repairing our aging infrastructure
  • White House conference calls regarding the American Jobs Act.
  • Lots of opportunities for action in the calendar of events
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At Whose Expense Congressman Forbes?

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Attention 4th Congressional District citizens: Congressman Randy Forbes has a plan, he says, to eliminate "red tape" and expedite road construction projects. But at whose expense?

Gearing Up

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As summer winds down, the state and local election season prepares to gear up. Though Congress is on recess and the President is on vacation, we activists continue our work.  

In this issue:
* Warren Buffet's urge to raise taxes
* Robert Reich analyzes austerity measures
* Uranium mining dangers in Virginia
* Holding Congressman Cantor accountable
* Public input for Affordable Care Act implementation in Virginia
* Petitions related to discrimination against the unemployed, access to safe and legal abortion in Virginia
* Upcoming events  

Get Involved

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In this issue:

  • Anti-bullying in Schools Model Policy
  • Outreach Campaign for Temporary Workers and Day Laborers
  • New law targeted at abortion providers is in the hands of the Board of Health 
  • Public Comments and Petition Signatures Needed for Women's Health Care Access

White House Community Leaders Briefing Series

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ActionUpdate

July 2011

In this issue:
Special Report on the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series
Articles on Medicaid in Virginia
Letters to the editor on speaking out from the pulpit, and taxes and the deficit
Videos on the US economy, the middle class in America, and Governor McDonnell's record on women's issues
News about the Virginia medical insurance program for citizens with pre-existing health conditions
Petition against gas industry's practice of frackiing

White House Community Leaders Briefing Series

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In this issue:
  • Special Report on the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series
  • Articles on Medicaid in Virginia
  • Letters to the editor on speaking out from the pulpit, and taxes & the deficit
  • Videos explaining the US economy, the state of teh middle class, and Governor McDonnell's record on women's issues
  • News about the Virginia medical insurance program for those with pre-existing medical conditions
  • Petition against gas industry's practice of "fracking." 

ActionUpdate 11 May 2011

In this issue:

Virginia Supreme Court - Cuccinelli vs. UVA climate change case

Sierra Club seeks meeting hosts for offshore wind power presentation

Income inequality facts and figures

More attacks on reproductive health care access

Available internships and externships

Petitions: big oil tax breaks, birth control co-pays, IRS interrogations after abortion, offshore wind farms, discrimination in the workplace, attacks on Planned Parenthood

Calendar of Events

Why is Congressman Randy Forbes Ignoring His Constituents?

Congressman Randy Forbes has an active constituent outreach program. It is a great program if you support the issues Congressman Forbes favors. He polls his constituents regularly by e-mail and Facebook. However, the polls are usually  worded to steer answers validating his position. For example, on April 28 he asked:
According to a recent USA Today study, Americans depended more on government aid in 2010 than at any other time in U.S. history due to the expansion of health care and federal programs generally, the aging population, and lingering economic problems. Are you concerned about a growing dependence of citizens on the federal government?

Yes, I am concerned that increased reliance on government assistance leads to less independence and more national debt.

No, I believe the social safety net must be expanded to assist those in need regardless of the impact on the fiscal condition.

I am unsure.

The choice of answers is narrow and biased. Forbes does not mention the cause of the dependence: the economic meltdown perpetrated by the reckless relaxation of regulation of the financial and industry and the irresponsible behavior of many working in that industry. The wording of this poll would leave an uninformed or forgetful constituent believing that Americans are just lazy.    

ActionUpdate 20 April 2011

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Hello Friends,

In this week's issue:
- Power-hungry governors: an update on Wisconsin and Michigan
- ALEC, the conservative private club that writes our laws
- Our insistent attorney general, the Supreme Court, and the Affordable Care Act
- Redistricting in Virginia (speaking of power-hungry governors)
- Tax Day, the Tea Party, marriage equality, and tax inequality
- Deficit reduction and the Gang of Six
- A plea from the Chesterfield County Democratic Committee Membership Chair
- Announcements - advocacy on uranium mining in Virginia and promoting the Affordable Care Act (the new health insurance reform law)
- Paid summer externships
- Calendar of events for pro-choice legislation, local redistricting and May Day

ActionUpdate

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13 April 2011

Hello Friends,

In this issue:

-President Obama's speech on fiscal policy today
-Analysis of Republican Paul Ryan's proposed 2012 budget, and a warning about a coming battle
-Redistricting news
-Local events and actions on a variety of topics, and
-Links to articles of interest on redistricting, voting rights in the District of Columbia, Wisconsin politics, the 2011 budget agreement, and opposition to the Republican 2012 budget proposal.

Today, Wednesday, President Obama is expected to deliver an address regarding the 2012 national budget. You can watch at 1:30 p.m. on C-SPAN 3 at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/pro... or at http://whitehouse.gov/live

In a conference call hosted by the Coalition on Human Needs on Tuesday, Robert Greenstein, Founder and President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, stated that the Ryan (Republican) proposed 2012 budget is designed to drastically reduce the size of government and to shift money from the lower and median income earners to higher income individuals. Details and good resources at http://www.cbpp.org/research/i... The bigger threat, he said, is the battle which will ensue on the way to the July 8 deadline for raising the debt ceiling. If the ceiling is not raised by that date, the US government will be in default to its creditors. The Republican Party is expected to use this deadline as leverage to write a global spending cap into law. If they succeed, the spending cap could eventually force the dismantlement of our social safety net.

In friendship,

Beth

Beth Kimbriel
ActionUpdate@me.com
804-592-6321

"You must be the change you want to see in the world." - Mohandas Gandhi

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Please submit your organization's events to ActionUpdate@me.com for consideration for inclusion. 

Wednesday, April 13, 1:30 p.m.
President Obama's Address on Fiscal Policy
from George Washington University
Watch live at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/pro... or at http://whitehouse.gov/live.

Thursday, April 14, 7 - 9 p.m.
Chesterfield County Redistricting Community Meeting
Greenfield Elementary School
10751 Savoy Road
Richmond 23235
This is the second of two public meetings to review changes to the boundaries of the county voting precincts.
See http://www.chesterfield.gov/Bo... for detailed maps.

Saturday, April 16, noon - 3 p.m.
"9500 Liberty" Film Screening
Byrd Theatre in Carytown, Richmond
Prince William County, VA, became ground zero in America's battle over immigration policy when local officials adopted a law requiring police officers to question anyone they had "probable cause" to suspect was an undocumented immigrant. This happened years before similar events in Arizona. The documentary reveals the startling vulnerability of a local government when targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the internet to influence lawmakers and citizens. Alarmed by the climate of fear and racial division which resulted, residents resisted with YouTube videos, townhall meetings and a virtual showdown in the county seat of government.

Co-sponsored by Richmond Teachers for Social Justice, ACLU of Virginia, Richmond Peace Education Center, Colaborando Juntos, Wayside Center for Popular Education, Virginia Center for Teaching of International Studies, and VCU Masters of Social Work Student Association. A $2 donation is suggested.

Monday, April 18 · 4:00pm - 6:00pm
From Tiffany M. Word:
Tax Day Action
Chester Post Office
12300 Rock Hill Road
Chester, VA 23831
Same-sex couples are denied the 1,049+ federal rights that heterosexual couples have through marriage. The inequality prevents same-sex couples from filing taxes together and having the same tax benefits heterosexual couples enjoy. This will be a peaceful event showing support for our fellow human beings. Feel free to bring signs of support, or just stand with us. 
RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144251012305405

Wednesday, April 20, 7 - 8:30 p.m. (reception 6:30 - 7:00)
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Legislative Debriefing
Old Town Alexandria near King Street Metrorail Station
(full address available upon RSVP)
Gather for a 2011 Legislative Debriefing from several pro-choice legislators  in the Virginia General Assembly. The annual Legislative Scorecard will be unveiled.
More details at http://www.naralva.org/events/...

Wednesday, April 27
Final Public Hearing and Vote on New Voting Districts for Chesterfield County
Public Meeting Room, Chesterfield County Administration Building
Route 10 and Lori Road, Chesterfield
See http://www.chesterfield.gov/Bo... for detailed maps.

TAKE ACTION:
Call your Congressman and tell them to vote NO on the 2012 Budget Resolution:

Congressman Bobby Scott 202- 225-8351
Congressman Randy Forbes 202- 225-6365
Congressman Eric Cantor 202-225-2815

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Chesterfield County residents: Voting district lines will be redrawn and finalized by the end of April. See the calendar for community meeting dates to review the two proposed plans before the April 27 public hearing. For more details about the proposals see http://www.nbc12.com/story/143...
and
http://www.chesterfield.gov/Bo...

Virginia Organizing is offering paid summer externships to engage community members on the issue of Social Security. For more information see http://www.virginia-organizing... and download the application at http://www.virginia-organizing... and send your resume and completed application to Kevin Simowitz at kevin@virginia-organizing.org.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST:
Redistricting:

Overview: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/...

Proposed state-wide maps:
http://redistricting.dls.virgi...

Update on situation in Wisconsin:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
Wisconsin Supreme Court election recount: http://www.orchidforchange.com...

Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray and other District officials among 200 - 300 protestors were arrested outside the Hart Senate Office Building while protesting restrictions placed on the District by the budget deal. The protest was a sign of growing exasperation over the GOP's continued opposition to voting rights and independence for the residents of Washington DC. See http://www.politico.com/news/s...

Synopsis of the 2011 budget resolution passed last Friday:
http://www.politico.com/news/s...

Faith leaders are opposing the GOP's proposed 2012 budget on moral grounds: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

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