monday morning news July 24, 2017

The Republican attempt to pass some version, any version of their heartless bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act—deadly consequences for 22 to 32 million of their fellow Americans be damned—is playing out like a gut-churning reprise of the 1987 “bunny boiler” Fatal Attraction, with Trumpcare as the psychotic stalker who will not die. No sooner do you think the bill has gone down in defeat than it springs from the bathtub, knife in hand, going straight for the jugular of the American health care system. The Senate GOP leadership has vowed to force a vote tomorrow on a version of the bill. Which one?... Who knows? (Details, shmetails.) Pressure from outraged constituents has been crucial in defeating the bill so far—phone calls, letters, town halls, wonderfully creative demonstrations, courageous protestors who refuse to back down and go away even when threatened with arrest. We must keep up the pressure. Call Senators Donnelly and Young and let them know that you support the Affordable Care Act and that they must not vote for a bill that will have catastrophic consequences for the most vulnerable among us. In the words of the book so many Republicans claim to revere even as they are willfully deaf to its call for justice:

Let not the needy be forgotten
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away. (Psalm 9)

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

Announcements
Events
Action Item

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Democratic Party Caucus for City Council At-Large Seat
As we announced last week, Tim Mayer is resigning from the Bloomington Common Council. On Monday, August 21, the Monroe County Democratic Party (MCDP) will hold a caucus to fill the vacant at-large seat. The Party encourages anyone who wants to compete in the caucus to do so and will give them the tools and guidance they need to make this a productive experience. If you’re interested in running, email MCDP Chair Mark Fraley for more information and next steps.
Additionally, the MCDP will be hosting events over the course of the next month to give the candidates an opportunity to meet the voting precinct chairs and to give all of us a voice as part of the process. These events will be as follows:

Tuesday, July 25, 6:00 -8:00 pm
Monday, July 31, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 6, 5:00 -7:00 pm
Saturday, August 12, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
There will be forthcoming details about each event and what you can expect. For more information about this special caucus, contact Mark Fraley.

City is Now Seeking Applicants for Two Commissions--
The Hispanic and Latino Affairs and Environmental Commissions
Last week we reported that the Office of the City Clerk is accepting applications to fill vacant advisory seats appointed by the City Council on the Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs. The Clerk's Office just announced that it is also accepting applications for a vacancy on the Environmental Commission. Application review for both positions will begin soon and will continue until the position are filled. To learn more about each board and commission, including mission statements, membership requirements, current membership listings and term lengths, or for online applications, go to the online City system for board and commission information known as “OnBoard” at bloomington.in.gov/onboard, or by clicking on the “Boards and Commissions” button on the City’s home web page at bloomington.in.gov.  
All board and commission meetings are free and open to the public. Potential applicants are urged to attend a meeting of their desired board or commission prior to applying. Meeting schedules and locations can be found under the “committee info” tab on OnBoard. City Boards and Commissions are citizen staffed and operated, and serve to advise the Common Council and the Administration on issues affecting Bloomington.

For more information, please contact: Stephen Lucas, Deputy City Clerk, lucass@bloomington.in.gov, 812-349-3408.

EVENTS:

MCDP ‘Your Voice Matters’ Canvass and Listening Tour
Saturday, August 12, Ellettsville
August's canvass will be in Ellettsville with details coming soon about exact times and location. Help reach out to members of our community to ask “What do you want from your government?”  We’ll go door to door to lend an ear to voters who want to express concerns about local, state, and national issues. Volunteers will first be trained on how to engage with voters, get a walk packet, and then return to debrief. You do not have to have canvassing experience to attend. If you are new to canvassing, you will be paired up with an experienced canvasser. If you have questions or would like to sign up to help, contact Teri Bleuel.

2017 Pridefest
Saturday, August 26, 3:00 - 11:00 pm, Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington Pride-sponsored Summerfest, Bloomington's annual celebration of LGBTQ+ life and culture, now has a new name: Pridefest. This year's festival takes place August 26 on Kirkwood Ave (between Walnut & Lincoln Streets). We'll have live performers, music, family-friendly activities, educational booths, and local food trucks. Performers: Interested in joining us? Visit our website to submit an application. Local and regional acts preferred. Information at http://bloomingtonpride.org/pridefest

Lee Hamilton Dinner
Saturday, August 26, 6:00 pm, 8670 West Highway, French Lick, Indiana
Join your fellow Ninth District Democrats for the annual dinner fundraiser and candidate showcase named in honor of our former Ninth District congressman Lee Hamilton, to be held as part of the annual Indiana Democratic Editorial Association (IDEA) conference in historic French Lick. For more information, contact District Party Headquarters at 812.725.2020 or chair@ninthdistrictdems.org.


First Annual Monroe County Government Opioid and Prescription Drug Summit
Thursday, September 28, 9:00 am, Monroe County Convention Center
Commissioner Amanda Barge, Councilwoman Shelli Yoder and Monroe County Government officials are teaming up to provide leadership on this issue for this region. This event is for anyone who has an interest in this issue and being part of the solution. CEU's will be offered.
Tickets are going fast, so reserve yours now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/monroe-county-government-annual-opioid-summit-tickets-9101014379

If your organization wants to sponsor this event, please email Shelli at: shelliyoder@me.com
If you are interested in presenting at the event, or having a booth, please email Amanda at: amandabarge@gmail.com

ACTION ITEMS:

With apologies for repeating last week's Action Item (blame the Republicans' fatal attraction to destroying the Affordable Care Act). We're STILL STILL not done with the health care issue. Continue to keep these numbers on speed dial!
Senator Joe Donnelly      
donnelly.senate.gov
Washington D.C. Office:(202) 224-4814
Indianapolis Office:  (317) 226-5555     
115 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 100     

Senator Todd Young
young.senate.gov
Washington D.C. Office:  202-224-5623
Indianapolis Office: 317-226-6700                       
46 East Ohio Street, Suite 462  

When you've made your call, check out George Monbiot's column in The Guardian for a chilling account of the philosophical underpinnings of the current assault on democracy and human decency on both sides of the Atlantic. In it he discusses Nancy MacLean’s recently published biography of James McGill Buchanan, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Buchanan, an American economist who created “public choice theory,” was the malevolent Muse to Charles Koch and the radical right. Monbiot’s conclusion is sobering: “Buchanan’s programme is a prescription for totalitarian capitalism. And his disciples have only begun to implement it. But at least, thanks to MacLean’s discoveries, we can now apprehend the agenda. One of the first rules of politics is, know your enemy. We’re getting there.”
 
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