On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. Here are 3 actions you can take on #DayWithoutAWoman:
1. Do not engage in paid & unpaid work
2. Avoid spending money (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses)
And here’s another idea. Use the following pictures as memes on your social media posting on March 8. And use the hashtag #ADayWithoutAWoman. The mosaic is my collection of all of these memes. The rest are the individual memes created by the Women’s March.
A Day Without A Woman
Support Each Other
Environmental Justice = Gender Justice
Gather Your People
Individual Memes for Your Use
Support Each Other
Gather Your People
Environmental Justice = Racial Justice
Environmental Justice = Gender Justice
Environmental Justice = Economic Justice
Consult Your Community
We Honor the Legacy of the Movements Before Us. #DayWithoutAWoman
It’s the 21st century, and white supremacists are controlling the White House. After World War II, the nation was “great” because the United States had defeated Nazism during World War II. Less than a century ago, neo-Nazis are a key component in leading the country.
Steve Bannon, de facto president, has received a great deal of press, including posts in this blog. Readers of Breitbart.com learned about the high “black crime” and the “Muslim hordes” beating down the gates of “Western civilization.” Readers also learned that women who use contraceptives are ugly, but that’s another story.
Senior advisor Stephen Miller made a huge name for himself on last Sunday’s talk shows by explaining that the supreme power of and last word in U.S. government is DDT—a position of czar. College roommate of Richard Spencer, a major white supremacist leader, Miller fiercely advocates for “ethno-nationalism,” a way of claiming the superiority…
Do you know what’s in the US Constitution? Do you know what oligarchy or anarchy mean? Are you, in essence, a political junkie? Here’s a quiz from Women.com that can answer some of these questions for you.
Vote Local. In my case, from top to bottom, this year it’s mostly women!
The idea of having a man who, at minimum, disparages women and people of color, in his campaign for the White House is discombobulating. And dangerous to our society. I am one of many (in all likelihood the majority of voters) who will not be voting or supporting Donald Trump in November.
Why? I don’t want a racist and sexist despot in the White House.
In a blog on Nel’s New Day called Trump Loses with Blacks, Women; Nel points out some of the inner workings of Trump— the man, his campaign, and the “can of worms” that his potential leadership of this country could bring forth.
What particularly strikes me in this expose is Donald Trump’s retrograde idea of parenting and women’s “place” in life. Among these is his idea that parenting is solely the responsibility of women. His parental leave policy not only is discriminatory towards men, it’s minimalist in its depth and would result in an expanding economic disparity between educated white men and just about everyone else.
As Rebecca Traister reports in her 2015 article in the New Republic, a lack of federal policies supporting paid parental leave for both men and women hurts individual families as well as our society. She also points out that sexist maternity leave policies result in increasing disparity among our citizenry. She says:
“The United States and its corporate structures were built with one kind of worker—frankly, with one kind of citizen—in mind. That citizen wage-earner was a white man. That this weakness is being addressed by employers faster than it is being addressed by Congress contributes to the widening of the class chasm. Policies that account for the fact that women now give birth and earn wages on which their families depend—and, for that matter, that men now earn wages and provide childcare on which their families depend—should not be crafted by individual bosses or corporations on a piecemeal basis that inevitably favors already privileged populations. They should be available to every American. But until we see a large-scale, national refashioning of family leave, the economic fates of childbearers will be left in the hands of the private entities that employ them.”
Definitely not Trump’s view of America. But it is mine.
We need a person in the White House and people in Congress who believe in a compassionate and caring family-friendly workplace and community. We need people who will craft a strong and national egalitarian family leave policy for all. For women. For men. For LGBTQIA people. For single as well as married parents and adult caregivers. And for people regardless of color or source and amount of income.
So in November, I will vote for people running for policy-making positions who can fit this bill. Here in PA, they are all women – a first for me. That’s Hilary Rodham Clinton for President, Katie McGinty for the US Senate, and Kerith Strano Taylor for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District. And at the state level, it’s Melody Fleck for the 171st PA House District (the same seat I ran for in 2008 when I was the only woman on my ballot that year).
Something just happened to my draft blog. I just lost everything from 10 am until 6:30 pm. I’ll post the pictures I took later, but all of the text is gone!
This morning, my credentials were once again unavailable. Mitch Kates, PA’s Political Director of the Pa Democratic Party, once again scrambled and found a delegate pass for me by 12:30 today; I picked it up and headed to the Wells Fargo Center at 2 pm.
On the Convention Floor
So first, I just got a selfie with Madeline Albright!
Madeline Albright and me!
These are not all of the speakers, just highlights of the ones that started speaking after 6:30 pm. To make sure I don’t lose this again, I’m publishing this as I add new content. So please keep coming back. Thanks.
The Women of the US Senate
Madeline Albright and me!
Barbara Mikulski – MD. I was the first. I wanted to have more to have our voices heard. One of them was Hillary Clinton.
Patty Murray – WA. Hillary and the Senate women are calling upon the FDA to make decisions based on science, not politics.
Debbie Stabenow -MI. I was with her in Bejing when she said, “Women’s Rights ate Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”
Maria Cantwell – WA. Hillary is for paid sick leave
Amy Klobuchar — MN. It was too noisy to hear what she said.
Claire McCaskill –MO. She was with me when I was getting cancer treatment
Jeanne Shaheen — NH. It was again too noisy to hear what she said.
Kirsten Gillibrand -NY. Hillary believes that if you don’t stand up and fight, who else will? She’s continuing to stand and fight.
Tammy Baldwin – MO. I am a strong advocate for healthcare and healthy families. So is Hillary.
Mazie K. Hirino – HI. I’m an immigrant. She understands our families and us
Elizabeth Warren – MA. Hillary knows how to fight back against dangerous bullies. Śhe fights back
Barbara Boxer -CA. We worked together on the environment. And when Ground Zero occurred, she made sure they (first responders) got the care they needed. And when Super Storm Sandy hit, she reached out to the people who were affected. We as the women of the Senate, therefore, we stand with Hillary.
He is the Governor of New York. He eloquently talked about coming together as one. “E Pluribus Unum.” United, we are one.
We must be smart and strong.
For the sake of the 90+ people killed each day, we must break the NRA gridlock.
We need to have Economic Justice – equal pay for equal work and paid sick leave.
The future of America needs to be decided by the voters, not by the monied. Overturn Citizens United.
Everyone should pay their fair share.
Onward to victory!
Due to a low battery, I’m temporarily signing off until Chelsea and Hillary come on and will attempt to recharge. Back in a bit.
Chelsea Clinton, All Grown Up!
Our daughter Charlotte is two years old, and she just loves face-time with Grandma. Our son Aden is 5.5 weeks old.
Whenever Mom was away for a while [when I was a kid], she left dated messages for me. I treasured then. At dinner, they’d listen to me first. They cared about my thoughts. That feeling of being valued is the calling of my mother’s life for everyone.
Another thing she taught me is that public service is about service.
I saw her fight for universal health care. We all know she failed. But she still felt she could make a difference and got back to work. Because she never forgets for whom she’s working.
For first responders
For women around the world to be safe.
For all in need.
She has a heart full of love. She’s spent her entire life for us.
She knows that
Women’s Rights are Human Rights
LGBT Rights are Human Rights
So everyone watching, she’ll make us all proud as the next president of the US.
And here she is!
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Madeline Albright and me!
Madeline Albright and me!
Thank you, Chelsea, for becoming the woman you’ve become.
On Tuesday night I was glad to see my Explainer-in-Chief was still explaining. We have heard both from the man from Hope – Bill and from the man of Hope – Barack Obama.
I want to thank Bernie Sanders. Bernie inspired millions of Americans, particularly millennials. Thank you for your focus on economic justice. We wrote the progressive platform together; let’s make it work together.
Our founders embraced the truth that we are stronger together.
Just as with the founders, it is up to us. We need to work together to grow together.
Donald [Trump] has taken the Republican party from Morning in America to Midnight in America. FDR said it best. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself. ”
We will not ban any religion.
We have the most tolerant and generous young people in the work
Freedom, Justice, and Opportunity. We should be most proud of these words and ideas.
Don’t believe anyone who says “I alone can fix ít.” Those words are dangerous. Hasn’t he [Donald Trump] forgotten our troops, our first responders, our teachers, our police, our entrepreneurs…?
Twenty years ago I wrote “It Takes a Village.” Working together is what I mean by a village.
My father worked in Scranton for 40 years. My mother told me to do whatever you can do for however long you can. She taught me that you have to change both hearts and laws. Like, every child with a disability has a right to go to school. We changed our laws to make this happen.
I focus on policy to make these things happen.
Over the last four days, you’ve met some of the people who inspired me. The child who wore a brace. The first responders who got sick after 9/11. I will continue carrying your stories to the White House.
I will be the President for all – Democrats, Republicans, Independents.
A barrier has fallen today with the first woman elected as the presidential nominee.
I believe that the economy thrives when the middle class thrives.
We will pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United
I believe that Wall Street should never be able to overturn Main Street
I believe there is climate change.
If you share these beliefs, this is your campaign. Join us.
If the minimum wage should be a living wage, Join us.
If you believe in affordable healthcare, Join us.
If you want to expand Social Security, have equal pay, and protect a women’s right to reproductive healthcare, JOIN US.
Whether it’s a trade job or a college education, we should make this happen.
If doing paid family leave or getting quality child care is dealing the “women’s card,” then deal me in!
Keeping our country safe is important. So I support the control of Iran’s nuclear weapons program without a single shot. I support Israel’s right to exist.
Our president should respect the service of all of our members of the armed forces, including Tim Kaine’s and Mike Pence’s sons – both Marines. That’s not true of Trump.
I’m not here to take away your guns. I just want to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. We need common-sense gun laws.
We also need common-sense treatment of people of all races. Let’s give our support to our police to make them safe as well.
We will protect all rights. Civil Rights. Women’s Rights. Immigrant Rights. Disability Rights. LGBTQ Rights. Veteran’s Rights…
None of us can do it alone. Progress is possible. I’ve seen it when people who have fallen who get back up. I’ve even done it myself.
We need to stand up to bullies. We’re drawn together when we work together.
Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine
And finally to end the convention, we had the traditional balloon drop. Balloons large and small.
Hope you enjoyed this week as much as I did!
Yours Truly watching the balloons drop from the ceiling of the Wells Fargo Center.
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).
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!
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Joanne L. Tosti-Vasey, Ph.D.
PA-PLEO Delegate to the Democratic National Convention
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.
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):
Universal health care;
Full Reproductive justice including access to abortions and birth control;
A call for a paper trail on all voter ballots so that we don’t lose voters;
Better access to voting ( same-day voting, mail-in paper ballots, no photo id, etc)
Ending Violence against women;
Non-discrimination in general; and
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.
Progressive commentary from Gainesville, Florida, once called the Berkeley of the South. Potano was the chief of and the only known name of the Native American tribe inhabiting the area around what is now Gainesville at the time the Europeans arrived.
“It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” – Harvey Milk
Learn more about the state laws being introduced and passed around the U.S. that is limiting Women's rights. Did you know that the Women's Equal Right Amendment from 1983 still needs to be ratified by 3 more states before it goes into effect?