Archive for March, 2010

Tell the Mayor to Save Our Safety Net

The latest from Empower DC:

Dear friend –

Our city needs your help. DC’s Chief Financial Officer recently confirmed what we all feared: DC faces a budget gap of $500 million dollars.

Despite this bleak news, Mayor Fenty has refused to consider raising taxes on high-income residents to prevent more cuts to the safety net. If his past actions are any indication, he’ll instead try to balance the budget by slashing funding for safety net services that are essential to the health of our entire city.

Tell Mayor Fenty: No More Cuts! Save Our Safety Net!

In the course of the recession, our leaders have slashed more than $100 million from domestic violence services, affordable housing, job training, and other essential services. Programs that help young families stay secure in the face of unemployment. Programs that we need to keep communities strong in the face of a brutal recession.

We can already see the crippling effect of this shortsighted approach. More than 100 staff positions have been cut from the agency that distributes assistance like Food Stamps — and the Washington Post recently reported that offices are packed with people who “essentially camp out for days to try to get assistance… [O]n any given day, more than 100 might be turned away at the close of business, even though they have been in the waiting area for up to eight hours.”

We can’t afford any more cuts.

Mayor Fenty can rebuild our safety net by turning for support to those least impacted in a recession: the highest-income DC residents. Because of our flawed tax system, DC residents earning $400,000 a year currently pay the same rate in taxes as those making $40,000 a year. New tax brackets for the top 4% of the city’s earners (those making over $200,000 a year) could raise as much as $50 million to protect safety net services from further cuts.

The Mayor will release his budget proposal on April 1st – less than two weeks from now. He needs to hear from us now that safety net services are the foundation of strong neighborhoods and we won’t stand to see them cut further.

If those who have sacrificed least in this recession pay a fair share, we can invest in an economic recovery that includes everyone.

Spread the Word! Tell your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to sign our petition and help Save Our Safety Net.

Thank you,

James Davis II
Lead Organizer, Save Our Safety Net

Women are going to walk


To me, one of the most egregious things in this bill is the way that women are treated. When we are considered at all, our reproductive health seems to be in a special category, one where a bunch of old guys in red beanies and pointy hats, have the final say as to what is or isn’t acceptable. If the Senate bill passes, it will perfectly acceptable to force women to identify themselves as considering abortion as a healthcare option when they sign up for insurance. It’s to shame them. No, no, don’t try to sugar coat this. That is the intention. To keep abortion as a shameful procedure. …

… This is a Congress that we elected and it is a president that the deluded foisted upon the rest of us. We expected them to be different from their immediate predecessors. Well, we expected some congress members to be different. The Confluence never expected anything different from Obama but we thought he could be prevailed upon to not veto what Congress passed. And this Congress is overwhelmingly Democratic. These are the very same Democrats who scared the deluded into voting for Obama in 2008 because they convinced young women of child bearing age that only he and they could protect the reproductive rights of women.

They made that promise and we will hold them to it.

Mark my words, Democrats will go down in flames in 2010, and a handful of liberal third party candidates will win congress and possibly even a senate seat.

Child Care Budget Release Event

Over the past four years, Mayor Fenty has cut $22 million from the child care budget that supports working parents and their children. On April 1, Fenty will release his budget for 2011 and it promises to be more of the same…

But join us next week when the Parents and Providers’ Alliance for Child Care announces OUR Child Care Budget to tell the Mayor and Council what WE need to ensure high-quality child care for DC’s children and families. COME OUT AND TELL THEM THIS IS THE WRONG TIME FOR CUTS! Our children need MORE not less!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10:00 AM

Steps of the Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

At this event, PPACC members – both parents and child providers – will speak to the child care crisis in DC and how budget cuts over the past four years have affected families and child care providers. Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. will also speak.

Remember, the facts all say the same thing: High-quality child care in DC is what’s right for EVERYONE. $1 invested in young children returns more than $10 before they reach adulthood. It means they’re more likely to be prepared for school, to graduate from high school, go on to college, and maintain employment – and less likely to be arrested during adolescence. Child care means parents can maintain their employment, receive job training, and raise their incomes.

What’s more, DC’s elected officials say they “look out for small business.” Well, community-based child care providers ARE DC small businesses, many family-owned for decades. Without more funding, they will be forced to close their doors – as many have already – leaving staff unemployed and families without the support they need to maintain their employment and provide the best education for their children.

Come hear PPACC members demand the right choices for DC’s child care program and come support DC’s children!

Child Care Budget Release Event

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10:00 AM

Steps of the Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Thank you Stephen Lynch!

Lynch is key defector against health care

“This is a great bill if you’re an insurance company,” Lynch said, telling reporters that he does not trust the Senate to enact some of the changes that will be taken up next week if the House passes the legislation. Calling himself “firmly no” on the Senate draft, Lynch said he will speak this afternoon with Obama to give the president a last chance at swaying him.

Here is hoping that he holds firm.

Misogynist health care deform


I’m not the only woman in the country who once had a partner who took my paychecks and deposited them in an account that I had no access to; not by debit card, not by checkbook. That started the first year we were married, when I was 18 and I balanced our checkbook wrong. Did I get to revoke his bank privileges later on when he would be late with rent, didn’t pay our utility bills, or threw money away on expensive outings and crazy schemes? No.

Years later, at 22, I still had to ask for lunch money every week to take to work, something he’d often conveniently forget about if he was in a bad mood. He was often in a bad mood. My workweek lunch money regularly came out of the change jar and only covered vending machine snacks.

If I’d had a child from that relationship, one way or another, it would have meant two decades of that creep still messing with my head on a daily basis–a fate I was saved from only by a miscarriage brought on by a 2 lb. ovarian cyst, which my Catholic hospital doctor told me couldn’t be operated on unless I did miscarry on my own–so lucky me. And he only hit me once in five years, threatened and starved me, so I didn’t have it nearly as bad as some of the women for whom the Senate abortion coverage restrictions might as well be a hand covering their mouths and holding them down.

The fact is that reproductive coercion, including sabotaging of birth control, pressuring partners into unprotected sex and outright rape are part of the regular toolkit of abusers who want to keep a partner tightly under their thumb. The term “rape exception” in abortion law circles seems to lead people to think that coercive sex is exceptional, unusual, even if women are supposed to always be expecting it, but coercive sex is a common part of many women’s experiences and a third of us will be abused in our lifetimes.

I am beginning to wonder why we accredit Catholic hospitals, given their attitude towards miscarriage.

Somali pirates tell their side

How IndyMac Bank stole a blogger’s house

The Bank Is Stealing My House THIS Monday