Dear OSTPDX Members,
The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride, like every other week in the Trump Administration, with the Department of Justice calling Trump a felon, Russian Agent Maria Butina pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a clandestine foreign agent with the intent to undermine American democracy using the NRA to gain access to the GOP, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer made it clear to Trump that he’s not getting the funding he desires for a wall and, the ACA is under attack again. It’s so easy to get distracted by the never-ending horrible news coming at us everyday but we need to stay focused on our progressive goals and the actions that need to be taken to achieve them.
With the year coming to an end and the busyness that comes with the holiday season, I’ll leave you all with only a few important action items but more importantly, let’s be grateful for all of the achievements that the progressive movement has had this year thanks to all of our hard work.
One Small Thing PDX – January 8, 2019 Meeting
7 – 9 PM, SUBUD Center-3185 NE Regents Drive
Turning Progressive Policy into Law
What are the top issues and what can we do?
Our January meeting will pivot from midterm elections to the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session. Now we must put our progressive policies, super majority and democratic Governor to work!!
- Senator Michael Dembrow will present an overview of major legislative issues in 2019, and how we can help get important work done.
- Madison Hathaway, Advocacy and Outreach Director for Renew Oregon, will review the Clean Energy Bill.
- Alejandro Queral, Executive Director of Oregon Center for Public Policy, will give an introduction to revenue reform and specifics on their proposal to increase Oregon corporate tax rates.
- Kate Titus, Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon, will share potential legislation on campaign finance reform.
There will be time for questions and answers with our panel, in addition we will break into small groups to dig deeper into these three important issues and find out what actions are required to pass progressive legislation. Then we’ll break for libations and snacks at 9 PM.
OSTPDX Activist Reading Group’s next meeting
- What: The reading will be: “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World” by Anand Giridharadas.
- Lenny Dee recommends this video that summarizes the book: “A fabulous half hour speech by the author of Winners Take All:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP7HajXJD3s“
- When: Thursday, January 31 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at:
- Where: 3082 NE Regents Dr, Portland, OR 97212
OSTPDX has various types of volunteer opportunities available so we’re reaching out to our membership for help. If you’re interested in volunteering with us, please fill out this form and we’ll in touch to discuss ways to get more involved.
Activities & Actions
What is the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal (GND) Resolution is a national plan to meet the climate crisis and the inequality crisis with the urgency that science and justice demand. While the idea and the term have been around for at least a decade, it has been given new impetus by the November 2018 election. According to climate writer David Roberts, “…this represents perhaps the first time in US history that a Democrat has proposed a plan for addressing climate change that actually scales to the problem and has some chance of influencing the party’s agenda”.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (hereafter AOC) is leading the charge to create a select House committee tasked with crafting a comprehensive plan which would move the US away from fossil fuels in an equity-focused manner. It isn’t a plan, as much as a plan to make a plan, and like the 1930’s version, it is envisioned as an umbrella under which various policies would reside. For the next two years the House Democrats are limited to exerting their oversight authority to minimize some of the damage being done by the current regime, and slipping a few good things into must-pass legislation. But a major task is to prepare for the 2020 election (when Democrats will have, it goes without saying, taken the Senate and the Presidency) and after. This is what the GND select committee is all about. One important requirement of the committee is that members take a pledge not to accept monies from the fossil fuel industry.
Much like the Portland Clean Energy Initiative, the GND brings together climate issues like rapid decarbonization, with equity issues like income inequality and racial injustice. It has been described as a massive system upgrade for the the economy, on the scale of the mobilization for World War II.
Young people are leading this charge – see the Sunrise Movement’s sit-in at Pelosi’s office, when AOC dropped by, which effectively brought the GND to public attention. Note that the GND may have the potential to bring out the youth vote in the 2020 elections.
Here are a couple articles with more detail about the GND, both the politics and the vision:
David Roberts in “Vox”
Kate Aronoff in “The Intercept“
Action to take: Urge Oregon US Representatives to join the eighteen who have already signed on, including Earl Blumenauer. Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici, and Peter DeFazio have not.
To watch: inspiring videos
Bernie Sanders interviews AOC about the Green New Deal (19 minutes)
Greta Thunberg speaks to Secretary-General of the UN (4 minutes)
Donald Trump’s Border Wall:
Donald Trump is getting ready to kick into overdrive his fight over funding for his long promised border wall this week, even stating that he’d be “proud” to shutdown the government to get his way with the showdown happening this Friday. Americans and even Republican legislators disapprove of shutting down the government over Trump’s demands for wall funding. Call your MoC to let them know that there should be no new money allocated to the wall and no compromising with Trump on this issue.
Consider making a tax-deductible donation to Doctors Without Borders to help the humanitarian crisis in Yemen where 14 million people are facing famine.
- Indivisible Oregon Calls for Action-Call your Senator & House Representative to demand that the new spending bill represent our progressive values-see script.
- Resist Trump Tuesday at Senator Merkley’s Office-12/18 from 11:30-12:30
- As Democrats move from playing defense to offense, one of first pieces of legislation the new House of Representatives will be looking at on its first day, January 3, 2019, is H.R. 1 which is aimed at strengthening our democracy by focusing on voter empowerment and access, money in politics, and ethics and corruption. This bill is going to face fierce resistance so please ask your representative today to publicly support this bill in its entirety to ensure our democracy has a future.
Other Upcoming Events:
- NWGSD: Women’s March & Rally Film Night-Friday, 1/4/19 from 7-9
- Legislative Swearing In Ceremony: Monday, 1/14/19 8-9 am
- Salem Rally & Public Hearing to Stop Jordan Cove LNG: Tuesday, 1/15/19 4-9pm
- Portland Women’s March & Rally for Action: Sunday, 1/20/19 from 12-3
- Rally Against Denaturualization: Saturday, 1/26/19 2-4
“Yemen: Crisis Update December 2018,” Doctors Without Borders, December 11, 2018
Check out our website – www.onesmallthingpdx.org – like our Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/One-Small-Thing-150519055702228/ — follow our Twitter account — @onepdx.