HEALTH CARE DEBACLE
Last week the Senate GOP cabal finally released its proposed version of the House bill that will gut the Affordable Care Act. Although they developed it in secret and almost nobody, including the Congressional Budget Office, has had a chance to review and comment on it, Senate leadership wants a vote by July 4th. PLEASE contact our Indiana senators and tell them to vote no on this horrendous legislation. Our lives and the lives of millions of Americans at nearly all but the highest income levels depend on our willingness to scream BLOODY HELL NO!
Senator Joe Donnelly
Washington D.C. Office:(202) 224-4814
Indianapolis Office: (317) 226-5555
115 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 100
Senator Todd Young
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-5623
Indianapolis Office: 317-226-6700
46 East Ohio Street, Suite 462
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Taking a clue from Wonder Woman we look at roles of women in the process of empowering women.
We know that women hold about 20% of the approximately 500,000 elected offices in the country.
We know that women don't run for office readily, and that they are not overly encouraged by party leaders, although this is really changing now.
We know that women approach tasks differently than men, thinking that they have to know EVERYTHING about the job before they think they are qualified for the job.
We know that women balance more than work/campaign when they're running for office.
We know that the average age of women when they run for the first time is 47.
BUT -- This has all begun to change since November 2016. Women have marched. Women have organized. Women have signed up to run for office in droves! We WILL make a dent in that 30% deficit and we will bring our younger sisters along with us, supporting them, teaching them, and learning from them.
Starting with Rise To Run a unique program that is a nationwide grassroots and community based organization that trains and encourages young progressive women to rise up and run for office. Bloomington is a pilot hub for this program, one of four in the country, that will draw on the strength of progressive women to help create an atmosphere where young college age and high school age women begin to understand that they can make a difference in public service. An advisory committee is being formed this summer, with a kick-off event in early fall after school starts.
If you are interested the program, please visit https://www.risetorun.org/.
Support the group by "Liking" the Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/risetorun.Bloomington.IN/
Think about how you could support this group of young women,
and finally think about young women that you think would be well suited for the program.
Send your thoughts to Rachel and Regina
Rachel Guglielmo email@example.com
Regina Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
We just cannot tolerate any more pictures of middle aged white men in suits around tables creating health care programs for women, regulating personal choices, or telling women that after the age of 50 there is no need for them to have a gynecologist.
To take a quote from the movie Network: We're "mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more!"
Wonder Woman inspires us!
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Has it really been only 145 days? It feels like an eternity. But as we fight to protect healthcare, the environment, our public schools, justice for religious, racial, and LGBTQ minorities, and so much more, we need to keep the president’s accomplices in the House and Senate squarely in our sights—and begin thinking about taking back the House in 2018. And that brings us to the gerrymander, the spawn of legislators intent on protecting the party in power by drawing district maps to favor its own candidates, in effect allowing candidates to choose their voters rather than being accountable to them. According to “Extreme Maps,” a recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, “extreme partisan bias in congressional maps accounts for at least 16–17 Republican seats in the current Congress—a significant portion of the 24 seats Democrats would need to gain control of the House in 2020.” Among the report’s findings are that congressional maps drawn up after the 2010 census consistently favor Republicans; that these maps have persisted through changes in the legislature and population shifts; that just six swing states and Texas account for almost all the bias, and most importantly, “maps drawn by independent commissions, courts, or split-party state governments had less bias.”
So what can we do to take back our democracy? First, we need to educate ourselves. Read the Brennan Center’s report (http://www.brennancenter.org/publication/extreme-maps) and its work on redistricting as well as voting rights and elections (http://www.brennancenter.org/issues/redistricting). Watch the movie Gerrymandering (available free online at http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/gerrymandering). Consider walking in the League of Women Voters’ July “Gerrymander Meander” and invite a few friends and neighbors to come along. Lend your support to organizations that are fighting to end gerrymandering. Let your legislators know that you want competitive districts drawn up by a bipartisan commission. Time is of the essence—the 2018 House races are right around the corner and the next redistricting is less than four years away, following the 2020 census.
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DON'T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT!
Did you just think of an elephant? Of course you did...
What are you reading this summer? At our June Meeting DWC members shared some of the books they've been reading to keep up to date, to stay informed, to better help candidates be successful, and sometimes, just to keep sane. We had a wonderful show and tell at breakfast and a fun round table discussion at lunch... if you missed it, a list of the books and synopses is coming your way soon....
But back to the elephant in the room... one of the books discussed at breakfast was George Lakoff's Don’t Think of an Elephant! In the book, Lakoff explains how framing is about ideas―ideas that come before policy, ideas that make sense of facts, ideas that are proactive not reactive, positive not negative, ideas that need to be communicated out loud every day in public. Republicans have been all too successful at sandwiching messages into soundbites and reducing policies to short (and misleading) phrases - think “death tax”, “school choice” or “activist judge.” Lakoff, urges us to go beyond the typical laundry list of facts, policies, and programs and present a clear moral vision to the country―one that is traditionally American and can become a guidepost for developing compassionate, effective policy that upholds citizens’ well-being and freedom. It’s time to educate ourselves, reclaim and reframe our own messages and to get out and talk to the people, those who agree with us and those who don’t.
Happy summer reading, chance encounters, tea and tête-à-têtes, cocktails and conversations…
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BREAKFAST FRIDAY! This and more!
Summer Reading List!
or the Topic of our June 2nd meeting
7:30 am at Village Deli and/or NOON at Grazie Italiano
please rsvp to email@example.com
Trade in the light-hearted beach reads for something a bit more useful in our work to change our political atmosphere.
So….. What are you reading this summer?
Can you share a 2-3 minute summary about your book with the DWC members?
Do you have a favorite you'd like to pass on to a DWC member for reading?
Let us know if you are going to share a book! firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a list of suggestions to get you started!
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, Johathan Allen and Aime Parnes
It’s Up to the Women, Eleanor Roosevelt
The Destruction of Hillary Clinton, Susan Brodo
Pantsuit Nation, Libby Chamberlain, ed
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D.Vance
White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg
Talking Politics? What You Need to Know before Opening Your Mouth, Sheila Suess Kennedy
Broad Influence: How Women are Changing the Way America Works, Jay Newton-Small
This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class, Elizabeth Warren
Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton
Listen Liberal, Thomas Frank
Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, David Daley
Don’t Think of an Elephant, George Lakoff
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt
Can't We All Disagree More Constructively? from The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt (a $.99 ebook)
More Reading! This from Commissioner and DWC member Julie Thomas about gender parity in politics.
Are we really making progress???
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What a week it's been. From Monday's news of the president's decision to share code word-level secret intelligence with the Russian foreign minister, to Tuesday's bombshell that Trump attempted to "persuade" FBI Director Comey to stop the Flynn investigation, to Wednesday's appointment of a special counsel, and then to Friday's bombshell that a senior White House adviser is a "person of interest" in the Russia investigation (yes, we used "bombshell" twice in the same sentence intentionally). We're constantly being buffeted by news breaking upon news that is still in the process of being broken. As Alexandra Petri writes in her May 17 Washington Post op-ed: "Merely watching this, you are now 600 years old. (Have you written this before? Hundreds of years have passed since Tuesday. You have no memory of the Time Before.) It is as though all of your involuntary muscle functions now require conscious effort. Everything you assumed would take care of itself so that you could go about your life now requires you to watch it and hold your breath. You are holding your breath all the time." Now more than ever progressive Democratic women must stand together in word and action to support one another, fellow Democrats, and everyone and everything caught in the crosshairs of the Republican agenda of greed and hate. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. See the announcements, events, and opportunities for service listed below--and persist!
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RAISE YOUR VOICES! ORGANIZE!
This was one of the inspiring messages we received at last Friday's monthly breakfast at the Village Deli. Our speaker, Indiana State Senator, Jean Breaux (daughter and legacy of retired female State Senator Billy Breaux!), is the Democratic Assistant Minority Floor Leader in the Senate, as well as a member of the Rules Committee and the ranking member of the Health and Provider Services Committee. She is obviously in the thick of crucial issues facing our state and our country and had lots to report on the Indiana legislative session that just ended. Unfortunately, most of what went on there represented horribly backward thinking and anti-democratic politicking. From the environment, to women's rights, to education, to racial equality, to election of judges, to voting rights to local home rule, the State Assembly took action to undermine progress in these areas and more. We are not going to rehash every negative thing that emerged from those hollowed halls in Indianapolis (and yes, we mean hollowed with an O) because it's an unproductive exercise in self-flagellation. There is a silver lining, and it is that the people of our state need us and we have a true opportunity to serve. We MUST serve!!! One of the breakfast attendees asked Senator Breaux what we can do besides trying to vote representatives out, and that led to her response, "You can raise your voices. Organize. Show your opposition." She cited the example of a proposed bill that would have allowed law enforcement officers to use any means necessary in responding to people "obstructing traffic." This kind of bill is being proposed in numerous states across the country in the wake of marches and demonstrations since last November's national election. Senator Breaux said that the introduction of this bill was shared repeatedly on social media and the committee hearings were so packed with outraged young people that it died a quick death. So we have our marching orders. Speak up. Organize. Call our representatives. Use the power of social media. It works. And we need it now more than ever.
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DROP DEAD DEADLINE! Get your tickets for the DWC fundraiser!
Sunday, April 23. Yes, just a week away!!
The producers of the event need time to make sure characters for each person have been drawn up, sent to you, and that you have time to prepare for your character. Make your reservations asap!!! Don't be left out of this wonderful and fun event! More details are below.
Elizabeth Warren's new book will be available on Tuesday, April 18th.
From the Boston Globe review:
“Washington works great for the rich and powerful who can hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists, but it is not working very well for everyone else,” Warren said in a statement about the book.“America’s once-solid middle class is on the ropes, and now Donald Trump and his administration seem determined to deliver the knock-out punch. At this perilous moment in our country’s history, it’s time to fight back—and I’m looking for more people to join me.” Some of the book’s proceeds will be donated to food banks in Massachusetts, according to a news release announcing the book.
We ARE raising strong girls to be strong women!
This clip from member Julie Thomas. A young girl attends a meeting with Congressman Doug Lamborn from Colorado.
She asks him about his vote on climate change, and invites him to her science class!
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About 150 Democratic Women’s Caucus members and their guests got a little more acquainted with Christina Hale last week. Christina has served two terms in the Indiana House, and ran on the Democratic Ticket as the candidate for Lt. Governor last year. Her message about the need for the state legislature to make stronger and bigger strides to address health concerns of Indiana citizens came through loud and clear. She also spoke of her commitment to helping create the statewide Women’s Leadership Series for Democratic women.
Christina’s international experience with Kiwanis International and her time spent overseas gave her a sensitivity to issues of health and access to resources for women and families. She introduced a legislative amendment designed to remove the taxable status of personal products for women – pads and tampons -- in addition to the taxable status for diapers and adult diapers. Noting that the same bill removed such taxable status for gold bullion and personal aircraft, she was sorry to tell us that her amendment did not pass, but the rest of the bill did. So, if you are in the market for gold and Cessnas, you're in luck. But if you’re a woman with a small child and limited access to laundry facilities, you’re out of luck. Many people ask if it makes a difference if your state legislator is a woman. In this case, it certainly does.
Our breakfasts since the election have been so well attended (read "crowded") and we wanted as many members and friends as possible to hear Christina that we had her speak at both breakfast and lunch. It seemed to work well so stay tuned for future efforts at crowd control and convenient access to programs.
And--check out Sheila Kennedy's latest post. Doctors and psychologists are apparently reporting spikes in depression and other
psychosomatic responses among the general citizenry in response to the daily reports of dysfunction, corruption and regression in Washington. But there's also an amazing resurgence of civic engagement!
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Breakfast with people sitting on the floor?
How can you eat Paxton's Potatoes on the floor?! Where do you put your coffee so that no one steps in it?!
So this week we've arranged for our special guest, Christina Hale, former Indiana State Representative and former candidate for Lt. Governor, to spend half of her day in Bloomington!
She'll be our speaker at BREAKFAST and LUNCH on Friday... same topic both times.... so that you can make your day work for you, and so that we don't overcrowd the Deli for Breakfast.
PICK ONE!! Let us know which you'll be attending. Same speaker. Same energy. Same connections to women in political life.
Village Deli on Friday, April 7 from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
same set up -- order on your own, pay your server.
NB: We may need to turn people away from the meeting if we reach the limit of 110 people.
Grazie Italiano on Friday, April 7 from 11:30 to 1pm.
Lunch will be served Family Style with bread, salad, pasta for the set price of $12. (Wine is extra) Pay at the bar on your way out.
If you are gluten free these days, let us know.
So that we can gauge the numbers for both meetings, PLEASE send your reservation to the email@example.com address.
If you know others are coming, or if you are bringing a friend, please include that information in your email.
Put BREAKFAST or LUNCH in the subject line. Also include any notes on gluten-free, etc. We'll try our best to accommodate your needs.
TUESDAY, APRIL 4, IS EQUAL PAY DAY.
What's this all about?
Men work one calendar year making what it would take women to earn in one calendar year AND all the days until April 4th.
Thanks to the Monroe County Women's Commission and the City of Bloomington's Commission the Status of Women for joining together for the first time to produce Pay Equity: Lilly Ledbetter's story and You. We hope it becomes an annual event to bring attention to the issue.
Here's a video link to the Lilly Ledbetter story which opened the session. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMxsYqaFwA0
To view the CATS recording of the event check out their archives: http://catstv.net/index.php?sl=L
Most depressing fact heard at the panel? It'll take until 2059 for women to catch up....and even longer for women of color and Hispanic and Latino women.
Best thing heard at the event? DWC Vice Chair Jillian Kinzie originally had agreed to moderate the panel until she realized she needed to catch a flight to DC at the same time. She noted in a message back (during the panel session!) that she actually sat next to Lilly Ledbetter on that flight!
Best picture from the event?
oh, and more news? We know there will be a MURDER AT THE DWC ANNUAL SPRING FUNDRAISER!!
see information below
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