Thursday, March 23, 2017

Make the Road Regional Network Statement on Republican’s Delay of TrumpCare Vote Network Cheers Republican Congressmen Pledging to Vote No #wefightback

NEW YORK (March 23rd, 2017) – Make the Road New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania cheered the delay of a House vote on TrumpCare (also known as the Affordable Health Care Act), thanks in part to the stances of local Republican Congressmen who bucked their party and stood with members of their districts and the country who would be among the 24 million to lose health insurance under the proposal. They were Rep. Lance (NJ-7), Rep. Donovan (NY-11), and Rep. Dent (PA-15). The Make the Road Network also joined their allies at the Center for Popular Democracy in a rally of hundreds to protect healthcare in Washington D.C. that culminated in the arrest of 24 people in an act of civil disobedience in front of the Capitol. Becca Telzak, Director of Health Programs at Make the Road New York, stated, "Today's postponement of the vote on TrumpCare is a testament to all of the organizing and resistance happening in communities these past few weeks. TrumpCare would take away health coverage from 2.7 million New Yorkers and have a detrimental impact on the state's Medicaid program. Make the Road New York thanks those representatives like Dan Donovan (NY-11) who stood strong today to protect the health of our communities."

Aracelis Hidalgo, a leader from Make the Road Connecticut, said, “I came to D.C. to tell Congress and President Trump that we will continue fighting for the health care of my children and my ability to stay in this country with no fear of being separated from my family. Today’s delay in repealing the Affordable Care Act shows what we can do when we fight back as a community.  ¡Sí se puede!
Sara Cullinane, Director of Make the Road New Jersey who also was arrested in a civil disobedience to highlight the importance of the ACA, said, “Twenty-four people were arrested today to highlight the 24 million people who would stand to lose their healthcare if TrumpCare passes. On behalf of Make the Road members in New Jersey I want to thank Rep. Lance (NJ-7) for his opposition to TrumpCare, and his recognition that thousands of his constituents depend on Medicaid and the ACA to obtain health insurance.”
Adanjesus Marin, Director of Make the Road Pennsylvania  who also attended the rally and march, affirmed, “Dozens of Allentown residents drive to Washington D.C. today because healthcare is critical to their lives. We are fighting for our lives, and are pleased to see Rep. Dent has heard our voices and the voices of all of those people who would be hurt by this proposal.”

The background for the action was posted on facebook:

Seven years ago on March 23rd, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, making health care accessible to millions of working families who previously weren't covered. Now, Donald Trump, his Administration, and Republicans in Congress are working to get rid of it.

In 2017, our communities are fighting for their lives every day: immigrant families are being separated, workers are being fired for demonstrating dissent, and millions are concerned about losing their health coverage.

That's why on Thursday, March 23rd, we fight back! Join us as we gather to protest the nefarious GOP plan to dismantle the ACA, ICE raids against our communities, and more!

We will be joined by some extra special guests, including Congressman Keith Ellison and Pittsburgh-based rapper and activist Jasiri X, followed by a march past the White House, Trump Hotel, and more!

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is joining us on Thursday. What are you waiting for? Let's tell the GOP #WeFightBack!

By the end of the action, the vote was delayed. Lets keep up the pressure!

Ever since Nov 8th, I've worried about the courts and ripples of what might happen.

 I lay in bed thinking about what would have happened if Scalia had died when the dems had the majority in the senate the year before. The attack on unions and women... it wouldn't have the same ferocity. But it does. Hopefully we can save ourselves from these bastards.

I still believe in the Democrats despite their many flaws. From President Wilson to Clinton, the dems have had deep flaws. But they are also the party of Jimmy Carter and John Lewis and the War on Poverty, the New Deal and Medicare.  But i know we need to be in the streets to win this, as well as in power, inside outside.

We need to look out for each other and support everyone doing everything we can to resist.

After all, as my friend Billy puts it:

Billy Livsey Its not either its and. We need activists and anarchists and centrists and socialists. Its not Bernie or Hillary. Its Bernie and Hillary.

Postscript after the House failed to move on the ACA repeal and replace bill, I wrote:

We always knew it was easier to tear things down than to create things. The democrats created a new deal, a war on poverty, our limited social safety net, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. Its still the law of the land. Its much harder to create than destroy. Lets continue to create a workable social safety net for all. New round of healthcare advocacy, lets expand Medicare for all. Keep it simple.
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Karina Gaige And now the lie has been exposed - the whole time they were trying to repeal Obamacare for "something much better" they had NO ACTUAL PLAN. Yes, it is hard to build something complicated.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rocky Mountain Rumble - Roller Derby in the Rockies

We came to Colorado for a roller derby tournament.  But it was the morning sunrise that got to me.

The trip out felt odd.  Sure the kids spent a year in California a decade ago. I've not been to Colorado
since we went for a ski trip in eighth grade three decades prior. I loved it then, skiing, smoking, listening to the Jam, hanging friends from all over the school.

But this felt different.

Arriving, we rented a car in Denver, driving through the night.  Number two said, "This must be what Area 51 looks like," strange and otherworldly.

Sure, its a red state, an open carry state; they voted to do away with the EPA. There's too much development. The West of my childhood, of LBJ's war on poverty and John Denver singing praise for the natural environment has turned to a focus on short term quarterly profits, without much thought to sustainability.

"There's a fall of empire quality here," mused Caroline.

But its still lovely, for now.

The landscape was still intriguing.  Between roller derby games, I hiked some of the Red Rocks trail, hauntingly beautiful red rock formations jetting out of the ground.

And found a favorite tree.

And listened to the birds outside our window.

A woodpecker pecked.

Ducks flew overhead.

And a robin danced in the distance.

At the tournament, I made buddies with the Topeka Kansas crew, who we play on Memorial Day.
They cheered for the Gotham Girls.

"Its like another world," explained one of the dads, wearing a Kansas Chiefs hat.

"I know what its like.  I saw Wizard of Oz."

Caroline worked the merchandise table, right by the Kansas table. We coveted each others' cool t shirts.  There's a cool punk derby quality to families who do derby. The kids learn how to fight and take a hit and still remain sports. Girl power is everywhere.  So is pink and purple hair.

The queer kids work the snack bar, their friends dropping by to chat.

The Gotham Girls won two out of three games, showing a ton of grit as they pulled away in the third match.

And we ate pizza with the sunset.

I love the morning sunrise in Colorado. 

So nervous!

There is a terrifying feeling watching your kids get smashed around.
Denver or bust.