#DNCinPHL: Day 3. It’s Nomination Time

Today’s events started off with honoring the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The Call to Order highlighted this.

Call to order honoring the 26th anniversary of the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Then Mike Mollena lead us with the national anthem.

Mike Mollena 

Senator Tom Harkin then spoke about the ADA, his brother, and what the ADA means for America.  He then taught us the sign-language symbol for the United States — fingers intertwined and moving your arms in a circle. United one and all is the meaning of this symbol.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) honoring the 26th anniversary of the ADA. He calls upon Congress to pass the Disability Integration Act that Clinton has said she will sign into law.

The nominations began.

First off was Bernie Sanders.

Executive Director IBEW Local 2222 seconds Bernie’s Nomination

Then Hillary Clinton’s name was put into nomination.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, MD placing the name of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President

Representative John Lewis seconding Hillary Clinton’s nomination for the Democratic candidate for President.

Na’ilah Amaru, an adoptee and Iraq veteran seconding Hillary’s nomination for President

Roll call:vote followed.

Alabama 59 C, 9 S, 1 abstenstion

Alaska 6 C, 14 S

American Samoa  8 C, 3 S

Arizona 51 C, 34 S

Arkansas 27 C, 10 S including 1 vote by Bernie’s brother

California 330 C 221 S

Colorado 26 C, 41 S, 1 abstenstion

Connecticut 44 C, 27 S

Delaware 23 C,  9 S

Democrats Abroad 7 C, 10 S including one vote by Bernie’s brother

District of Columbia . 39 C, 5 S

Florida 163 C, 72 S, 1 abstenstion

Georgia 87 C, 29 S 1 abstenstion

Guam 9 C, 2 S, 1 abstenstion

Hawaii 15 C, 19 S

Idaho 7 C, 20 S

Illinois 98 C, 74 S

Indiana 48 C, 43 S, 1 abstenstion

Iowa 30 C, 21 S

Kansas 14 C, 23 S

Kentucky 33 C, 27 S

Louisiana 45 C, 14 S

Maine 12 C, 18 S

Maryland 84 C, 36 S

Massachusetts 68 C, 46 S, 1 abstenstion

Michigan 81 C, 66 S

Minnesota 42 C 47 S, 4 abstenstions

Mississippi 33 C, 7 S, 1 abstenstion

Missouri 49 C, 35 S

Montana 14 C, 12 S

Nebraska 13 C, 16 S, 1 abstenstion

Nevada 20 C,  16 S, 1 abstenstion

New Hampshire 16 C, 16 S

New Jersey 90 C,  45 S, 7 abstenstions

New Mexico 27 C, 16 S

New York 181 C, 108 S, 3 abstenstion

North Carolina 70 C, 48 S, 2 abstenstions

Norh Dakota 7 C 14 S, 2 abstenstion

Northern Marianas  9 C, 2 S

Ohio  98 C, 62 S

Oklahoma 20 C, 22 S

Oregon 34 C, 38 S, 2 abstenstions

Pennsylvania 126 C, 82 S

Puerto Rico 44 C, 23 S

Rhode Island 19 C, 13 S, 1 abstenstion

South Carolina 46 C, 13 S

South Dakota 15 C, 10 S

Tennessee 50 C , 23 S, 2 abstenstions

Texas 179 C, 72 S

Utah 8 C, 29 S

Vermont passes

Virgin Islands 12 C, 0 S

Virginia 75 C, 33 S

Washington 32 C, 74 S, 2 abstenstions

West Virginia 19 C, 18 S

Wisconsin 47 C, 49 S

Wyoming 11 C, 7 S

Back to  Vermont 4 C, 22  S

Picture of Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Sanders asks the convention to suspend the rules to accept Hillary Rodham Clinton as the 2016 Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

Sanders then speaks and moves to suspend the rules to nominate Hillay by acclamation. Clinton is declared the Democratic Nominee. Total is not announced and Hillary will speak on Thursday  evening.

For your edification,  here is the final vote count:

  • Hillary Clinton 2874 votes
  • Bernie Sanders 1865 votes

Governor Tery McAuliffe of Virginia  then speaks on behalf of fellow Virginian Tim Kaine. Also spoke of his friendship with Hillary

Then the women of Congress came on stage.  They are 1/3 of the Democratic Congressional delegation

Picture of the women in Congress

A panorama of the diversity of Democratic women elected to Congress from across the country. Several of the women then spoke on how Democrats and the voice of women have changed the conversation in Congress. I estimate that there wer 55 women on stage. About 10 of them spoke.

Following  the women, we had a video from Jimmy Carter.

Senator Shumer talks about 9/11 and how Hillary championed the need for healthcare for the first responders. America shall  and can break down barriers and shatter ceilings. But this can only be done if we get a Democratic Senate majority.

Others begin to tell Hillary’s  story.

She worked with burn victim children.  She worked with kids with disabilities.  She helped insure that kids in South Carolina  no longer were jailed with adults. As first lady of Arkansas, she played major role in improving education in the stae. She worked on adoption  issues so that older kids could find a “forever” home. She continued her fight for children  when she was in the Senate; she reserved an intern position for a person who was raised in foster care.

Then Donna Brazile  spoke. She’s  Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee.  She spoke about segregation in the South. Then she spoke of Hillary’s work with the Children’s Defense Fund.

Agter several other speeches, Cecile Richards, the Executive Director  of Planned Parenthood. She touted the Supreme Court decision in Whole Womens Clinic v Hellerstedt that TRAP laws are unconstitutional . But if Trump is elected,  then women’s lives will be in danger.

Cecile Richards, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood

Then a surprise  (to me). Senator Barbara Boxer of California talked about her personal relationship with Hillary. Her son-in-law is Hillary’s nephew. This was a segway into how parenting, families broadly defined, and the right to choose are basic to Hillary’s view of America.

Then the conversation turned to healthcare for all. For me that means Medicare for All, aka single-payer healthcare.  As a result  of Bernie’s push for single-payer healthcare,  the platform has improved and now advocates for healthcare as a human right.

Former Presidential candidate Howard Dean, with his background as a medical doctor talked about the view that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.  He talked about Hillary’s support of the public option and why he believes that Hillary will  help expand acces to healthcare. 

At this point, my sister — who was able to obtain a guest pass for the day — decided to leave and head back to the hotel. So we ended watching  Bill Clinton wrap up the day. He gave a personal, family-oriental  picture of Hillary  and how she wrapped policy with her family responsibilities.

#DNCinPHL – Day 1

In June I was appointed as a pledged Bernie Sanders Pennsylvania Public Leader/Elected Official Delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.  The convention is being held in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (for the Caucuses) and at the Wells Fargo Arena for the main events.

The convention officially starts on Monday July 25.  For delegates and their guests, travel to Philadelphia and welcoming parties started on Sunday.

I will be taking pictures and notes of what I see and hear at my very first convention and will share them with you.  So here’s my first day.

picture of Joanne wearing a Bernie Sanders t-shirt holding a Single-Payer healthcare baseball cap bedecked with political pins

I left home this morning for Philadelphia. But before I left I had Joe take this picture of me in our back yard in my Bernie regalia next to our very own “Liberty Bell.”

Instead of driving to Philadelphia and spending $47/day for parking, I took the Amtrak train from Lewistown, PA.

Varity Show at Kimmel Center for #DNAmtrak's Pennsylvanian #42 pulling into the train station at LewistownCinPHL Welcome Par

Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian #42 pulling into the train station at Lewistown.

picture of the Amtrak engine pulling the passenger cars at the Lewistown train station.

My couch awaits me!

On Board Amtrak

The train was full.  Many of the people on board were delegates, media personnel, and people generally interested in attending the events surrounding the convention.  I met people from Wisconsin, New York, and of course Pennsylvania on board Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian #42, the once-daily eastbound train from Pittsburgh to New York City by way of Philadelphia.

Picture of Ruth Pastore, Jean Mllko, Angie Gialloreto, and Norma McCuen holding up two t-shirts that say "Clintonettes H for Hillary" on the front and "Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Allegheny County 2016" on the back.

The “Clintonettes” from Pittsburgh. These are people I know from the Pennsylvania Democratic State Party meetings I attend three times a year. Left to Right: Ruth Pastore, Jean Mllko, Angie Gialloreto, and Norma McCuen.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s capital, was our first stop where we changed engines.

picture of downtown Harrisburand showing the employee parking lot and Chestnut Street

A brief glimpse of Harrisburg looking down Chestnut Street from the train station.

picture of staircase and the coach cars of my Amtrak train in Harrisburg, PA

The coach cars of the Pennsylvanian at the Harrisburg Amtrak station.

Picture of the staircases and

We sat at the Harrisburg Amtrak train for 30 minutes while the diesel engine was switched to an electric engine for the rest of the trip.

Then we were off again for the last leg of the train trip.

Picture of Chris Dietz and Alexander Reber

Chris Dietz and Alex Reber joined us in Harrisburg. Chris is Millersburg Borough Council President. I first met them when Chris ran for the state legislature several years ago.

Philadelphia – We’re Here!

The train arrived at the 30th Street Station and we took a shuttle over to the Doubletree Inn in downtown Philadelphia.  What should have been a 10-minute ride turned into an hour’s excursion of narrow roads and circling blocks in an attempt to get to the hotel.  Part of the reason for the long drive was a parade down Broad Street near City Hall in support of Bernie Sanders.

Picture of a larger than life-size Bernie sanders blow-up puppet marching down Broad Street with 100's of his supporters.

“Bernie Sanders” joins the parade in his honor. Feel the Bern. Photo courtesy of Linda Tosti-Lane; she took this picture from our corner room at the DoubleTree Inn.

We have a great view from our 19th floor room as you can see above.  We are also set for staying here for 5 days. 12 sets of towels came with the room!

Picture of our pile of towels.

We’re ready for anything this week! LOL!

After settling in we went to our first party.  It was a welcoming party to the DNC convention for several states including Pennsylvania, California, Colorado and several others. It was held at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Food and a wonderful variety show wrapped up the day for us.

picture of City Hall as seen from the balcony of the Kimmel Center

City Hall as seen from the balcony of the Kimmel Center

picture of One of the live-action flower women at the Kimmel Center standing in a large flower urn waving her arms.

One of the live-action flower women at the Kimmel Center

Picture of the stage at Verizon Symphony Hall at the Kimmel Center with yellow spotlights on the variety show stage.

#DNCinPHL Welcome Party Variety Show at the William Way hosted by Cheryl Lee Ralph. Her husband is PA State Senator Vincent Hughes.

 

 

 

 

Comparison of Political Parties through Congressional Interns

Pictures say it all… Intersectionality is the face of the Democratic Party. With the Republicans? It’s almost always white men. Women and people of color are essentially invisible.

Nel's New Day

Watching the GOP convention this week was painful on a large number of levels, one of them being the struggle to show minorities in both the speakers and the audience. Out of 2,472 delegates, only 18 are black–less than one percent. That’s down from the peak of seven percent in 2004. Only 20 percent of the 71 prime-time speakers are white. This is the party of Donald Trump.

The look of whiteness at the RNC is patterned in this photograph of GOP congressional interns, proudly taken by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

PaulRyan interns

Below is the photograph of Democratic congressional interns, thanks to Audra Jackson, an intern working for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). What an amazing difference!

democratic interns

According to Valcy Etienne, Johnson said that Jackson’s selfie was an “excellent idea” because the interns “represent the future of our party and where we’re going.” She added:

“I wonder if the Republicans…

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NOW's Keep abortion legal round

Oppose the Most Restrictive Abortion Ban in Country

Keep Abortion Legal NOW Round

Oppose the PA Abortion Ban

Pennsylvania is poised to pass what is seen as the most restrictive abortion ban law in the country.  The House has already passed HB 1948 and has sent it to the Senate. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed strictly along party lines. It has the most extreme restrictions placed on abortion in the country. A vote by the full state Senate is expected as early as this Wednesday, July 13. Please call your PA State Senator and tell her/him to OPPOSE House Bill 1948.

SUMMARY OF HOUSE BILL 1948
House Bill 1948, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren), decreases the gestational limit for abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. It also bans Dilation and Evacuation abortions at any gestational age unless necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or prevent the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. There is no exception for rape, incest or fetal anomaly

TALKING POINTS

  1. My name is __________________ and I am a constituent from [your city]. I would like Senator________________________ to oppose HB 1948 that would restrict a woman’s access to abortion care services in an extreme and harmful way.
  2. All women should have access to a full range of health care options, including abortion care services, and live their lives free from violence and reproductive coercion.
  3. Every pregnancy is different and protecting women’s health and safety is paramount. I ask Sen. __________________ to stand with the women of this Commonwealth and vote “No” on HB 1948.
  4. More than 40 years ago, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade recognized a woman’s constitutional right to decide whether to continue or end a pregnancy prior to viability.  This ban is clearly unconstitutional and will cost taxpayers for the state to litigate a law that is unenforceable.  It also constitutionally violates the most recent Supreme Court decision as noted in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion in the June 2016 WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ET AL. v. HELLERSTEDT case: 

Justice Ginsburg dismissed Texas’s argument about its interest in protecting “the health of women who experience complications from abortions,” by countering that “complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous.” She recites a laundry list of studies of how safe abortion is, and then she delivers the message: “So long as this Court adheres to Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers laws like H. B. 2 [and PA’s proposed HB 1948] that ‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion,’ Planned Parenthood of Wis., 806 F. 3d, at 921, cannot survive judicial inspection.”

You can find your representatives by clicking here. Once you are on the page you may enter your address and your elected officials and their contact information will appear.

Meme that says "Even with the Supreme Court's Decision, Reproductive freedom is in a sorry situation in the US. Poor Women don't have a choice (Justice Ginsburg).." Then is says, 9 states tried to ban abortion in 2016; in the past 5 years, states have enacted nearly 300 laws restricting abortions; over 30 million women live near a shuttered clinic; and in red and blue states, nearly 15 clinics were shut down in the last five years [with] only 21 clinics opened."

Don’t Add Pennsylvania to the States that are Banning Abortions.

Don’t let Pennsylvania become the most restrictive state for abortion access in the country. Call your legislator TODAY!

(Thanks to the Pennsylvania Reproductive Health Coalition and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence for providing part of this information).

Picture of a gun with a knotted barrel with the words "Stop the Violence" surrounding the gun.

Lighting the Way: National Speakout

Picture of a gun with a knotted barrel with the words "Stop the Violence" surrounding the gun.

Stop Gun Violence

Congressman John Lewis is leading a national speak-out on gun violence. He put together this video to share with everyone why we need to come together and why the “Black Caucus Demands Congress Hold Vote After Shootings”


Organizers hope that folks who live nearby will come to the west side of the US Capitol and fill the mall with our bodies, signs and voices. You can rsvp for the rally here.  If you can’t make this rally, please find your Members of Congress when they come home from the break and ask them to support real gun safety measures before more people die. The killer in Dallas had been “less than honorably” discharged from the military and he should have failed a background check.

Democrats to Hold  ‘ Lighting the Way’

National Speak Out: The Path Forward on Gun Violence

 WHO: Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Representative John Lewis (D-GA), Congressional Black Caucus, and Members of the House Democratic Caucus

WHAT and WHY: The House will be adjourning for a VERY long recess and this rally is to point out that they have failed to act on bills to promote gun safety.  If miracles happen, this will be a celebration.

  • Ensuring Universal Background Checks H.R. 1217, Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act
  •  Enacting No Fly, No Buy H.R. 1076, Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act
  • Closing the Charleston Loophole H.R. 3051, Background Check Completion Act
  • Barring Firearm Sales to Hate Crime Offenders H.R. 4603, Hate Crimes Prevention Act

WHEN: Thursday, July 14th at 7:30 PM

 WHERE:  West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building

Picture of a gun with a knotted barrel with the words "Stop the Violence" surrounding the gun.

We Need to Save Both Blacks, Police

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said it all in her tweet:

“Black Americans shouldn’t be killed in routine traffic stops, and police shouldn’t be killed while protecting and serving their communities.”

Picture of a gun with a knotted barrel with the words "Stop the Violence" surrounding the gun.

Stop Gun Violence

Nel's New Day

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY) husband was killed in a mass shooting in 1993, the same horrific event that seriously wounded her son. Elected to Congress four years later, she fought for gun safety legislation. Not until 2007 did she succeed—in a small way. During the last session before winter holiday recess that year, Congress passed a law requiring federal agencies to keep up-to-date records on people who might be disqualified from purchasing guns such as those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, and those with documented mental health issues.  Other than a vote to renew a ban on plastic firearms in 2013, that’s the last gun safety legislation that got through Congress. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have died because of firearms, and the number of mass shootings are drastically increasing.

After the 50 deaths…

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Three women holding up posters that say "Love it! Improve it! Medicare for All!"

Add Medicare for All to DNC Platform: My Testimony

Three women holding up posters that say "Love it! Improve it! Medicare for All!"

Advocating for Medicare for All – a universal, single-payer healthcare program. Photo Courtesy of National Nurses United.

The full Democratic Platform Committee is meeting this weekend in Orlando, Florida two weeks prior to the Democratic National Convention. I will be attending the National Convention in Philadelphia as a PA-PLEO (Public Leader/Elected Official) delegate.

My biggest issue is access to health care for all. The Affordable Care Act that was passed in 2010 has gained access to healthcare for more people in the US.  But not for everyone.  It’s time to take the next step to build upon what is currently in place.

So as part of my advocacy for access to Universal Health Care, I wrote and sent in testimony to the entire Platform Committee and to the members of the PA members of the committee for whom I had an email address.

Here’s that testimony.  If the Medicare for All amendment isn’t added to the platform this weekend, I will do what I can to get it back in at the Convention in Philadelphia.

nighttime picture of the US Capita

We need Medicare for All/aka Universal or Single Payer Health Care at both the national and state levels. Picture of the US Capital courtesy of Rep. Katherine Clark.

Health Care for All Rally Harrisburg005

Advocates for Single Payer Healthcare Rallying in 2009 in Harrisburg, PA

Friday, July 08, 2016

RE: Adding Medicare for All Amendment to the DNC Platform: My Story

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing to ask you to add the Medicare for All amendment language into the Democratic Platform.  As I understand, the amendment language that is being proposed says,

“While making various changes would improve the ACA, the social insurance model, single-payer system, is our goal, and we will continue to fight for it. Health care is a fundamental human right and an important measure of social justice. Achieving universal health care will not come from mandating everyone to buy a health insurance policy from a private insurance company. Instead, we must build on the experience of Medicare, which shows that the most cost-effective and equitable way to provide quality care is through a single-payer system. “Medicare for all” would require updating and expanding the program’s benefits to fit the working population and children, as well as negotiating prices with physicians, providers, and with Pharmaceutical companies for medications that working families–and the country–can afford. Until we achieve a -payer model at the national level states should be allowed to implement universal, publicly financed health care coverage on their own so long as that coverage is affordable and provides a full range of benefits, commensurate with the requirements that apply to all states under the ACA.”

I strongly urge you to add this paragraph into the platform.  FYI, I have read the entire ACA (yes, I’m a glutton for punishment – J ).  I read the entire ACA when it was passed because I wanted to make sure that individuals who have to have a transplant would have both their treatment as well as the treatment of their donor covered without a fight amongst the insurance companies.    I almost died in 1989 because of such a fight – two insurance companies fighting over who would NOT pay for the donor portion of my bone marrow transplant and the hospital refusing to do the transplant until they were guaranteed payment by one or both of the insurance companies.

Here’s an excerpt of my story.  You can read the full story here on my blog — https://civilrightsadvocacy.net/2013/02/20/why-i-support-universal-health-care-a-right-not-a-privilege/.

My life was threatened by the multi-company, private health insurance system we currently have.

I received a bone marrow transplant in 1989 from my identical twin sister. Although I had no problem finding a match, I had to jump through many hoops and barriers put up by the two health insurance companies covering my sister and myself. In the case of my insurance provider, I was refused coverage of the donor portion of the transplant because my twin sister wasn’t on my health insurance plan. In the case of my twin sister’s insurance provider, they refused to cover her portion of the transplant because she “wasn’t sick.” Then the hospital administration said that they would not perform the transplant until this conflict between the two insurance agencies was resolved with a guarantee of payment by either or both companies. And my doctors said that if the resolution did not occur rapidly, I would be dead within the year due to the seriousness of the form of leukemia that I had.

According to Health Care for America, health insurance companies profit by denying–not by providing–healthcare. Health insurance CEOs of the top 10 health insurance companies today typically enjoy an average of $10,000,000 in annual compensation–salary, bonuses, stock options, etc.

Back to my story. I went into battle mode against the insurance companies when I was told that they would let me die because of their bottom line and attempts to deny coverage. Because of the support and advocacy I had through the organization where I self-purchased my health insurance (the National Organization for Women), we were finally able to get me the life-saving transplant that I needed. And I am here today.

This experience is why I became an advocate for a single-payer health care system rather than the current system that allows private companies the ability to deny critical health care to “save” their bottom line for profit only….

Other Reasons why I support a Universal Health Care Plan at Either the National or State Level.

  • It is the ethical and moral to treat all people, regardless of economics or status when they are sick….
  • Some statesare threatening people’s health care and lives based on decisions either by their legislature and/or their governors….
  • A Single Payer, Universal Healthcare program would cover everyone….

As a result of this experience I became actively involved as a member of the board of Healthcare for All PA Education Fund. This non-profit organization is advocating for passage of the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan (HB 1688) (prime sponsor, Pam DeLissio (D-Bucks County).

Thus, given my personal and passionate support for Healthcare for All, and the fact that the US spends 2.5 times the average of other industrialized countries, yet we don’t provide healthcare to everyone; and that Medical outcomes such as infant mortality and life expectancy, and equality of access, are much better in other countries; and that 58% of all Americans support Medicare for All, including 81% of Democrats, we hereby call upon the Democratic Party to adopt this amendment into the Platform of the Democratic Party

Thank you.

Joanne L. Tosti-Vasey, Ph.D.

PA-PLEO Delegate to the Democratic National Convention

Joanne standing in front of a bookcase holding up a sign saying "Rise" to action

Joanne advocating for Medicare for All. Help us advocate for this issue at the national convention through my GoFundMe account. See my PS.

PS. If you’d like to assist me and my friends to attend the Convention in Philadelphia, please check out my GoFundMe site at gofund.me/going2DNCnPhilly. This  will help in my ongoing advocacy for access to healthcare for all.  Thanks.

rosie-the-riveter

Send Us to the Democratic National Convention

rosie-the-riveter

We Can Do It!

I am an advocate of women’s civil rights and open, transparent governance in the United States and have been selected as a Pennsylvania PLEO (Public Leader/Elected Official) delegate representing Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention.

As a civil rights activist and an advocate for government transparency and access, I will be looking for and advocating for the following in the platform (which I believe in general both Bernie and Hilary agree with):

  1. Universal health care;
  2. Full Reproductive justice including access to abortions and birth control;
  3. A call for a paper trail on all voter ballots so that we don’t lose voters;
  4. Better access to voting ( same-day voting, mail-in paper ballots, no photo id, etc)
  5. Ending Violence against women;
  6. Non-discrimination in general; and
  7. Living wages and a call for a livable minimum wage tied to something like the Consumer Price Index.

I am trying to raise a minimum of $1,850 through GoFundMe to help two, possibly three of my friends and family participate in the convention with me as much as possible.  This will help defray the costs of both delegates (me) and non-delegates (friends and family) to participate in the convention activities.

It is very expensive to travel to and attend this convention.  The hotel room and food while we are in Philadelphia will cost us $3250.00.  And that doesn’t include the cost of travel from California and Washington and one other state where my activist friends live and work.  When you donate you will help those who are not otherwise able to attend to see democracy at work.

The convention is scheduled for July 24-29, 2016. Your donations through my GoFundMe campaign before this time will help us attend.

We are grateful for any funds you are willing to provide.  Thank you so much in advance.  We all appreciate it.

For government transparency, democracy, and fair treatment of all!

And one more time… Here’s the GoFundMe link.  Please donate and share.  We’d really appreciate it.

Thanks for your support!

https://www.gofundme.com/going2DNCnPhilly

Louis P. Tosti – My Dad, in Memorium

1923-2016

RIP “Little Iggi” – my nickname for my father when I was growing up and couldn’t pronounce “Luigi.” That was the name I heard my grandparents—”TiTi” and “Mommy T”—call him.  Born in 1923, he passed away late last Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  Here’s a memorial in pictures along with his official obituary.

baby picture of Louis P Tosti

Louis Peter Robert Tosti as an infant in 1923 in The Bronx, New York City

Picture of Louis P. Tosti as a toddler

Louis Peter Robert Tosti as an toddler in  the Bronx, New York City

picture of Mom and Dad at their wedding. Dad on the left. Mom on the right.

Mom and Dad at their wedding reception at Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA on December 29, 1951. Taken in front of the Hotel Chamberlain.

1953

Mom and Dad in the year I was born. Top Left – Martha, Top Right – Lou Bottom Left – Linda, Bottom Right – Joanne

1974

Mom and Dad in 1974

Joannes wedding Mama Ti Dad Mom Titi

My parents and grandparents at my wedding in 1975. L to R: Estherina Sera Pellegrino Tosti (aka Mommy T), Louis Peter Robert Tosti, Martha Magdelene Bowery Tosti, and Antonino Rocco Tosti (aka TiTi)

Lou Tosti October 2, 2011 IMG_9538

Dad at my Mom’s wake, October 2, 2011 in Richmond Virginia

Note: As these are family pictures, please do not copy  the pictures without our permission. You may, however, share this blog in its entirety if you wish.

His Obituary

Louis P. Tosti, 93, a 72 year resident of Yorktown VA passed away on June 14, 2016. The son of the late Antonino Rocco Tosti and Estherina (Pellegrino) Tosti was born in The Bronx, New York in 1923, studied Mechanical Engineering (B.S. 1944) at the City College of New York and [Master of Science] Administration [in Management Engineering] (M.S. 1972) at George Washington [sic] (my records say it was Georgetown) University in Washington, D.C. For 36 years, he worked for NASA at the Langley Research Center as an aeronautical engineer and retired in 1980. During his career, he helped develop advanced VTOL aircraft for the military and was a leader in the Scout Rocket Project, a cornerstone in the history of space exploration.

Following retirement from NASA, he assisted the elderly as a tax counselor, was treasurer of the Ruritan Club, a member of the Peninsula Sales and Marketing Exchange as well as the Hampton Roads Power Squadron. He enjoyed traveling, photography, ballroom and country dancing.

Lou was predeceased by his sisters, Myra T. Antonelli, Adele T. Stephenson and Vivienne T. Monteiro-Olivastro and his former wife Martha B. Tosti. He is survived by his five children Linda G. Tosti-Lane (Dave Tosti-Lane) of Brier, WA, Joanne L. Tosti-Vasey (Joe Vasey) of Bellefonte, PA, Mary J. Harley of Parkersburg, WV, Janet T. Baker (Michael Baker) of Bumpass, VA and Anthony B. Tosti (Andrea Gerwers-Tosti) of Simpsonville, SC; seven grandchildren Joshua Baker (Genie Baker), Genesa Benton (Justin Benton), Katharina Tosti, Raphael Tosti, Sophia Tosti, Julianna Tosti and Kenneth Vasey; four great grandchildren, Jack Baker, Olivia Baker, Gavin Benton and Jacob Benton and his beloved companion of 30 years Grace E. Hale.

A memorial service will be held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at Amory Funeral Home, 410 Grafton Drive, Grafton, VA, 23692. The family will receive friends following the service. A graveside service will be held at a later date to be determined at Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, King of Prussia, PA.