California’s Fracking Regulatory Bill: Less Than Zero

don't frack california

Lauren Steiner: Regulations can neither prevent nor mitigate the disastrous consequences inherent to fracking. We need to keep the carbon in the ground.

How Not to Govern Through Crime: Insights on Bullying

bullying

Jonathan Simon: While bullying has long been a noted feature and minor concern of childhood and schooling, the emergence of a distinctive government-rationality around crime in recent decades, has led to laws that compel schools to treat bullying more like a real crime and law that make it a crime.

A Capitalism for the People

luigi zingales

John Peeler: We need a capitalism in which no firm is too big to fail, in which corporations serve the public interest, and in which every person has a solid foundation for living a productive life..

How Do We Improve Public Schools?

plunging education

Elizabeth Walters: I believe that the education that can be received in public schools is the heart of the American dream.I believe that instead of starving those schools, we should work to improve them.

The Myth of California’s Death Penalty

Cut-This

James Clark: Out of more than 900 men and women sentenced to die in California only 13 have ever been executed. Victims’ family members are dragged through decades of appeals and hearings while they wait for an execution that rarely comes.

Private Prisons Spend Millions to Put More People in Jail

private prisons

Andrea Nill-Sanchez: In Arizona, 30 of the 36 legislators who co-sponsored the state’s controversial immigration law that would undoubtedly put more immigrants behind bars received campaign contributions from private prison lobbyists or companies.

Restrictive Immigrations Measures Dying

film-clip

Seth Hoy: The legislative graveyard got a little bit bigger this week as lawmakers in Mississippi pronounced a series of restrictive immigration measures dead.

States Playing with Enforcement-Only Fire Likely to Get Burned

anchor-baby-wide

Seth Hoy: Perhaps if state lawmakers listened to their constituents and considered the economic consequences, they might realize that playing with enforcement-only immigration is a surefire way to burn down your state’s economy.

Legislators Intend to Burden States with Costly Immigration Litigation

State Legislators for Legal Immigration member, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA)

Seth Hoy: A group of state legislators, State Legislators for Legal Immigration, presented two measures intended to prevent the American-born children of undocumented immigrants from automatically becoming citizens

State Legislators Attempt to Turn Back Clock to Antebellum South

Michele Waslin: It is clear that this is not a legitimate attempt to pose a Constitutional question. The ugliness and viciousness of the language invoked throughout today’s press conference signal the true intentions of the legislators.

Will Local Lawmakers Take the Immigration Enforcement Bait?

immigrant bait

Seth Hoy: As local lawmakers begin to lay the groundwork for next year’s legislative agenda, some conservative legislators are attempting to prioritize immigration enforcement ahead of efforts to jump-start flagging economies.

Three Overlooked Propositions

Paul Hogarth: California voters are already filling out their absentee ballots. While they vote to pass Prop 19 and “no” on Prop 23, it’s important for them to also vote “yes” on Prop 24 and 25 – but most importantly, “no” on Prop 26. If we don’t get the word out, it could pass.

When Will the Homophobic Bullying Cease?

Boston vigil

Rev. Irene Monroe: Anti-gay bullying is not to be endured or tolerated. And it must be stopped by us all — and at all levels, from our legislators to our educators.

Florida Legislators Oppose Proposed Anti-Immigration Legislation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Seth Hoy: Bipartisan opposition to Florida’s proposed anti-immigrant legislation is a rare example of those who actually prioritize policy over politics.

Bell Officials Earned Thousands for One-Minute Meetings

bell meeting

Marian Wang: More revelations in the city of Bell overpaid officials controversy. On top of it all, the state has found that Bell illegally raised property taxes. Legislators are considering plans to refund some $2.9 million to residents.

George Lakoff’s Majority Vote Budget Initiative

Majority Vote

Midnight came and went and for the 23rd time in the past 24 years, California State Legislature once again missed another budget deadline, underscoring the need for voters to say “Yes” to the Majority Vote Budget Initiative, which would lead to California’s budget being approved by a majority vote.

Education Activists Need Strategy Beyond Marches

School crunch

Randy Shaw: Activists can use mass action to pressure legislators and the Governor to redirect excessive spending on prisons and other wasteful programs to education, but there is no chance this year of getting enough Republicans to win the necessary two-thirds legislative votes.

A Political Strategy to Get Rid of California’s Two-Thirds Rule

petitioning

the campaign to repeal two-thirds has to be about the status quo, and whether California can afford to continue its budgets the way it’s been done. Talk about public health clinics shutting down, more teachers getting laid off, and more unemployed people.

How Pharma and Insurance Intend to Kill the Public Option, and What Obama and the Rest of Us Must Do

Olympia Snowe

I’ve poked around Washington today, talking with friends on the Hill who confirm the worst: Big Pharma and Big Insurance are gaining ground in their campaign to kill the public option in the emerging health care bill. You know why, of course. They don’t want a public option that would compete with private insurers and [...]

A Simple First Step Towards Universal Health Care

kennedy-baucus

The New York Times reported Saturday morning that a major split between Senator Ted Kennedy – back on the Hill as he fights brain cancer – and Senator Max Baucus over the shape and form of universal health care. Kennedy, long a proponent of a single-payer system, is teeing up against Baucus who is negotiating [...]

Los Angeles Single-Payer Advocates Are Seen and Heard

Lt. Governor John Garamendi speaking at LA rally.

On Monday, April 6, the final regional White House meeting on healthcare reform took place in Los Angeles. Like the meetings held in Dearborn, Michigan; Burlington, Vermont; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Des Moines, Iowa, single-payer advocates were shut out of the discussion and gathered outside the event in order to make their voices heard. The [...]

Paths From the Swamp of Substandard Health Care Toward a Single-Payer System

obese-health-care

There is a consensus that, in terms of health care reform, we are at a watershed moment that comes around only ever decade or so. It is imperative that some form of inclusive, affordable, and quality health care be legislated now or we will all suffer the consequences of delay. This article is intended to [...]

Rally for Real Health Care Reform in Los Angeles

healthcare

With the final White House Forum on healthcare scheduled Monday, April 6, in downtown Los Angeles, advocates of single payer/guaranteed healthcare have one more opportunity to shake up what has become a dreary conventional wisdom about the presumed acceptable parameters of the debate. Hundreds of nurses, doctors, healthcare and labor activists will rally at 9 [...]

Ending the Annual Budget Impasse Ritual

terminator

The California budget process is broken due to the requirement for a two-thirds vote to pass the budget. I would like to suggest a different procedure that preserves the minority protections of the two-thirds requirement while encouraging negotiation and ensuring that there definitely will be a budget passed. Proposal: If no budget passes by the [...]

Schwarzenegger Acting the Tough Guy to Cover for His Weakness? Both Houses of California Legislature Meeting This Morning—But Don’t Hold Your Breath

I was at the Governor’s press conference yesterday afternoon to see and hear directly his announcement that he would veto any bills sent to him before a state budget is passed. You can read his remarks in their entirety as dutifully transcribed by the Governor’s press office and published on these pages yesterday.

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