Farewell, America

Originally published in Moyers & Co., Neal Gable calls upon the media to bear true witness to what is happening since the election of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016, and the consequences that result:

“…[T]he disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled white Americans, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us.

We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.”

Central Oregon Coast NOW

No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently.

memorial The sun sets behind the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country…

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Watch “Michael Moore in Trumpland”!

This video cost $4.99 through either Amazon or iTunes but should be well worth the 70 minutes of showtime.

And remember to vote and vote wisely on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

 

Central Oregon Coast NOW

trumplandIf you’re still on the sidelines when it comes to this election, or if you’re feeling conflicted about voting for Hillary, or if you love Michael Moore’s films and are a strong Hillary supporter, then I strongly encourage you to take an hour and 10 minutes right now and check out “Michael Moore in Trumpland”. No one else has made the unique and persuasive arguments Michael Moore is making in “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” — and  you’ll want to hear what Moore has to say and share it with your friends and family. If you’re in need of a “pick-me-up” today, this is the movie for you.

You can get it on iTunes here.Or you can get it at Amazon by clicking here.Both of them, are letting people buy it and OWN it (not just “rent” it) for under five bucks.

So if you’re feeling fed up by this election and…

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Elections Have Been Certified: I Won!

IT’S OFFICIAL!

Today I received a letter from the Centre County PA Elections Office. This letter was sent to all newly elected and re-elected officials that ran for public office in the 2015 Municipal and County elections.

Here’s the letter:

scan of the official Centre County Office of Elections certification letter

Election Certification Letter

Attached to the letter was a black and white xerox copy of the “Certificate of Election” that will officially be presented to me on Monday evening, January 4, 2016.  At this re-organizational meeting of Council, I will be Continue Reading

Tosti-Vasey Bellefonte 2015: Vote for a Change in Leadership

 Picture of Tosti-Vasey yard sign

Joanne Tosti-Vasey’s yard sign. Created by local artist Mary Vollero. The former Garman Opera House is pictured in this sign.

On May 19, 2015, I won the Democratic primary election for Bellefonte borough’s West Ward seat against a 32-year incumbent by almost a two-one majority. He won the write-in vote on the Republican ticket.  So we are having a ” do-over” contest in the General election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

I have been very active all summer and fall campaigning for this seat.  Talking to local businesses. Attending house parties (the big Open House Party is being held this coming Sunday at a local art studio), door knocking, and putting out yard signs all around town.

In addition to these direct contact events, I also attended a debate at the end of September held by the Centre County League of Women Voters. And answered their Voters’ Guide questionnaire that will be included in a county-wide voters guide that will be sent to the public about a week before the November 3rd election.

Then on October 11, I was interviewed by Jeremy Hartley, a reporter for the Centre Daily Times.  We discussed how my campaign is going, my background and thoughts on major issues for the town, parking in Bellefonte, development of the downtown and waterfront areas of town, attracting residents and investors, affordable housing, and the budget and expanding the tax base.  The video of this interview was taped by C-NET, our local cable television station.  C-NET gave me permission to distribute this tape. So here it is for your viewing.

Take a few minutes to hear what I had to say and why I’m running for borough council. If you are local and want to learn more about me in a fun venue, come to Mary’s Open House on Sunday, October 25. And then come out and vote for me on November 3 if you live in Bellefonte’s 3rd Ward. Regardless of where you live, you can also volunteer/donate – email me at tosti-vasey@pobox.com and we’ll fit you in!

Thanks!

Team Tosti-Vasey 2015 General Election Open House

Open House

Mary’s Pink Church

October 25, Sunday, 3:00-5:00

picture of Mary's Pink Art Church

Mary Vollero’s Pink Art Church and Studio located in Unionville, PA. For more information on this art gallery/studio, go to http://MarysPinkChurch.com.

Meet the Candidates:
Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Bellefonte Borough
Michael Pipe, County Commissioner
Mark Higgins, County Commissioner
Amanda McCartneyRegister of Wills

Coffee & cake & tea & cookies

RSVP not needed. Come one, Come all!

LOCATION: Unionville, Centre County, PA
Old 220 and Rattlesnake Pike
GPS: 180 Union St., Julian, PA 16844
Park behind church, near Community Center.
Cross foot bridge. Enter at red door.

For more info about Mary’s Pink Church, go to http://maryspinkchurch.com

If you’d like to let me know you are coming, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/883094305122567/

Joanne Tosti-Vasey for Bellefonte Borough Council

On May 19, 2015, I will be standing outside my precinct polling place asking my constituents to vote for me in the 2015 Primary for a seat on the Bellefonte Borough Council representing the 3rd (or West) Ward.  There are three seats for this section of town with one seat being elected for a four-year term starting on January 1, 2016.

There are two people — myself and a 32-year incumbent — running on the Democratic ticket. There is no one running on the Republican ticket. So I am running both a regular primary campaign on the Democratic side and a write-in campaign on the Republican ballot.

Volunteers on both sides of the aisle are writing letters, door knocking, and making calls on my behalf.  Click here, here, here, here, here, and here for links to the letters to the editor that have so far appeared in the Centre Daily Times endorsing my campaign for Bellefonte Borough Council. Thanks everyone.

As part of the campaign, I was interviewed by C-NET, our local cable access TV network on April 25.  The following clips are from that interview broken down by question.

Question 1: Why are you running?

Question 2: How should Bellefonte Council deal with developing a town budget?

Question 3: How do you see Bellefonte dealing with affordable housing?

Question 4: Thoughts on the development of the Garman and Cadillac sites

FYI, the Garman and Cadillac buildings, aka “The Mews,” is the downtown development project.  This project will renovate the Cadillac Building (designed by Anna Wagner Keichline, Pennsylvania’s first female registered architect) and build a new building on the former site of the Garman Opera House and the Hotel DoDe into a set affordable housing units. There has been a lot of controversy about this project including how decisions were made in selecting the developer and how the community and historic preservation were ignored during the process.

 

Question 5: Courthouse v. Town

With legal issues surrounding the Courthouse, how do you raise the town above that? How do you let people know that Bellefonte is more than just the Courthouse and the people involved in it?

 

Question 6: Should Bellefonte become part of the Centre Region?

Centre County is divided into seven planning regions. The Centre Region is where State College and the Pennsylvania State University are located.  It is the population center of the county.  Bellefonte is part of the Nittany Valley Region.

Question 7: Economic Development of Bellefonte’s Downtown and the Waterfront Districts

Q8: Tell us about yourself

In answer to this question I talked about my community organizing and community policy background and how that qualifies me to serve as a member of the Bellefonte Borough Council.

AND NOW: Get Out and Vote!

So… if you live in Pennsylvania, remember to vote on Tuesday, May 19. Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

If you live in Bellefonte’s 3rd (West) Ward, please vote for Joanne Tosti-Vasey.  If you are a Democratic, I am number 2 on the Borough Council section of the Democratic ballot; please fill in the bubble next to my name on your ballot. If you are a Republican, please write in “Joanne Tosti-Vasey” in the Borough Council section of your ballot.

Help make a difference in your community. VOTE!

STATE COLLEGE: League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum for May 2015 Primary

This is an article about the Centre County League of Women Voters’ Spring Primary Candidates’ Forum.  It was held on Wednesday April 29.  I was one of the candidates participating in the forum.  A larger portion of this article in the Centre Daily Times covers the race for Bellefonte Borough Council.  And you will see a couple of photos of myself debating my incumbent opponent.

STATE COLLEGE: Candidate forum including shines spotlight on upcoming primary | CentreDaily.com http://www.centredaily.com/2015/04/29/4725701/candidate-forum-shines-spotlight.html

The Sexism Is Everywhere, But Handling Hillary Clinton With Kid Gloves Isn’t Feminist; It’s Sexist

Erin Matson

No woman in the public eye symbolizes the tremendous change in opportunities for women more than Hillary Clinton. It is not in spite of this, but because of this, that she inspires passion and deep ambivalence. People love her, or people hate her. The media reports on and questions her style as if the entire credibility of constitutional democracy might rest on her cleavage, her hair, her pantsuits, her scrunchies, and now, her logo.

On substance, feminists are frequently told to judge her by the sexual mores of the man she married. Someone has yet to credibly explain how judging a woman by the actions of her partner, rather than her own actions, is feminist.

In the 2008 elections, the Democratic Party failed to treat Hillary with the respect she deserved. She was surrounded with calls to get out of the race while she was still ahead in the primary.

As one of my mentors…

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Home-Stretch Election Rallies

vote button

Go Vote Button

It’s the home stretch. Candidates and volunteers are working overtime to get people out to vote on Tuesday, November 4. As part of that effort, prominent politicians are canvassing the country to assist candidates running for the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, and state Governorships.

Pennsylvania

In my home state of Pennsylvania, President Barack Obama came to Philadelphia to stump for Tom Wolf (D) on Sunday November 2. He is running for Pennsylvania Governor to replace the current Tea Party Governor Tom Corbett (R). I’m so looking forward to a victory tomorrow for Tom Wolf (see some of the reasons why here). It will be a win for the environment, for women, LGBTQIA people, low-income individuals who can’t access healthcare, and for better jobs and wages for everyone in the state.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire the fight is not to replace a right-wing slate of elected officials, but to retain and reelect the four progressive women leading that state – Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Representative Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2), and Representative Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1). New Hampshire is the only state in the nation to have women in 100% of the top leadership positions in the state. And prominent female politicians have come to the state to stump for them. On October 25, it was Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) stumping for her colleague Senator Jeanne Shaheen. And on Sunday, November 2, while President Obama was stumping for Tom Wolf, Former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton came to Nashua, NH to support these four women’s reelection efforts.

I was there at both events. I blogged about the Warren event last week. Today, here’s the Clinton event.

picture of NH Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen with Hillary Rodham Clinton standing on stage at a GOTV rally in Nashua, NH on Nov. 2, 2014

NH Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen with Hillary Rodham Clinton

About 1000 people gathered at Nashua Community College in Nashua, NH. The lineup of speakers was quite interesting. Except for State Democratic Chair Ray Buckley, every speaker was a woman – something I’ve never seen in a political event or rally before. Here are the speakers in order of their appearance:

Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s granddaughters singing the Star Spangled Banner

Picture of Caraline and Elle Shaheen singing The Star Spangled Banner

Caraline and Elle Shaheen singing The Star Spangled Banner

Chair Ray Buckley calling on the NH electorate to not only vote for the Democrats at the top of the ticket, but to also vote for the Democrats all the way down the ballot.

picture of NH Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley

NH Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley

He gave a rousing speech on the problems that NH had when Republican Bill O’Brian was leading the General Assembly and how the mostly female Democratic leadership turned the state around through bipartisan cooperation once the Republican party became the minority party two years ago. Here’s that speech:

 

Then the line-up of female political leaders began. Each talked about why NH is doing better now, how their bipartisan efforts have improved the economy of New Hampshire, and what has been protected in the state for women’s reproductive justice and pay equity, children’s and adults’ public and college education, marriage equality, access to health care for all and job restoration. Here are those speakers:

House Speaker Terri Norelli

NH House Speaker Terri Norelli

NH House Speaker Terri Norelli

State Senator Peggy Gilmour

Picture of  State Sen Peggy Gilmour

NH State Sen Peggy Gilmour

State Senator Peggy Laskey

Picture of NH State Senator Bette Laskey

NH State Senator Bette Laskey

Executive Council Member Debora Pignatelli

Picture of NH Executive Council Member Debora Pignatelli

NH Executive Council Member Debora Pignatelli

And then the headliners:

US Representative Ann McLane Kuster

Picture of US Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2)

US Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2)

Governor Maggie Hassan

Picture of NH Governor Maggie Hassan

NH Governor Maggie Hassan

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Picture of US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH)

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH)

And finally, Hillary Rodham Clinton!

Picture of Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton

In introducing Hillary, Senator Shaheen put forth this zinger that brought a roar from the crowd:

“She traveled 956,000 miles as Secretary of State – that’s nearly as many miles as Scott Brown traveled looking for a Senate seat to buy.”

Due to the low battery on my video camera, I was not able to record the speeches of the keynote speakers. After the video camera died, Hillary focused on women’s and family issues. Since I could no longer videotape the event, I took a few notes. Here’s some of Ms. Clinton’s additional remarks:

“Women are not just half the population.”

“Women’s rights are on the front line of rights around the world.”

“Equal pay is not just a women’s issue. It is a family issue.”

“Fear is the last resort of those who have run out of hope.”

“If you vote, you can elect these women who will lead New Hampshire and the rest of the country [for the better good of all].”

In addition, the Manchester Ink Link compiled several quotes from Hassan, Shaheen, and Clinton. You can see them here.

You Gotta Vote!

So no matter where you are – in Pennsylvania, in New Hampshire, or anywhere else in the country – consider the impact of who your next Governor or US Senator or US Congressperson may be. Do not vote based on fear. Vote for the candidates who will protect middle-class income, education for all, access to healthcare, marriage equality, the environment, and reproductive justice.

GET OUT AND VOTE on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. You can find out where and how to vote in your state here (courtesy of the League of Women Voters). Thanks.

 

Collage of pictures taken during the Hassan/Shaheen/Clinton rally in Nashua, NH on Nov. 2, 2014

Collage of pictures taken during the Hassan/Shaheen/Clinton rally in Nashua, NH on Nov. 2, 2014