I lost, But We Won

13466522_10100253676015059_8234610603933303786_nI lost my campaign for Democratic National Committee (DNC) member. But we won at the Iowa State Convention. We even won in California, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington at their State Conventions.

Thank you everyone who volunteered for me and donated money to me. You really did help me get many votes at the convention. Thank you! It was a lot of work.

I am proud to say that my campaign stayed positive and never spoke negatively towards my opponent, we never called up delegates to spread negative messages.

While I campaigned I spoke about who I am and what I planned to do. I spoke about my values. I am proud to have run a positive campaign for the DNC.

Our convention was as usual dramatic and drawn out. It was about a 19-hour event that began at 9am and ended around 3am.

During this exciting and dramatic convention, we won more seats on the State Central Committee, we held our national delegate count, and had many victories on the platform.

  • Calling for single-payer health care
  • Support of the death with dignity act
  • Protecting LGBTQIA elders against discrimination
  • Support of insurance coverage for transgender related healthcare
  • Support of equal human rights for Palestinians and Israelis
  • Support of Palestinian statehood/UN membership
  • Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Opposition to fast-tracking trade agreements
  • Support of tuition-free state colleges/universities
  • Calling for 100% renewable energy by the year 2025

576601cf42050.imageFollowing four separate votes the convention decided to abolish superdelegates. The last vote was round midnight when a petition was submitted to remove the superdelegates plank to make the platform silent on the issue. However, this was another win for us when the motion failed on a voice vote.

In California, the State Democratic Convention called for the elimination of caucuses and most superdelegates.

The convention passed a resolution that takes away the voting status of Democratic governors and members of Congress. However members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) would remain superdelegates and be tied to the vote of their constituency.

At the Missouri State Democratic Convention, more Bernie Sanders delegates showed up than Hillary Clinton delegates. Making Missouri another Bernie state. Bernie had 681 state delegates which equals 37 pledged national delegates and Hillary had 644 state delegates which equals 34 pledged national delegates.

Texas Democratic delegates wave signs as the party's state convention wraps up the final day with a breakfast tribute to Lady Bird Johnson, voting on platforms and resolutions and declaring national delegates on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Factions of the delegates were still proponents of Bernie Sanders despite the majority of the group supporting Hillary Clinton. (Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)
Texas Democratic delegates wave signs as the party’s state convention wraps up the final day, voting on platforms and resolutions and declaring national delegates on Saturday, June 18, 2016. (Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)

Progressives and Bernie delegates adopted a platform that reflects Bernie Sanders’ message at the Texas State Democratic Convention.

  • Banned lobbyists from becoming superdelegates
  • Limited the number of superdelegates to no more than 10% of the total number of delegates
  • Adopted a resolution to make the minimum wage $15 for non-tipped jobs, and to make tipped jobs start at $7.25 per hour.

10812111_GNebraska’s State Democratic Convention went a bit further with voting to abolish superdelegates to electing an anti-pipeline activist and Bernie Sanders supporter as the Party’s State chairwoman.

They even approved a resolution that calls on superdelegates to base their votes at the Democratic National Convention on the results of Nebraska’s March 5th presidential caucus.

In Washington, the Democratic Convention voted to officially endorse Bernie Sanders.

Sources:
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Join the Revolution & Elect Tom Fiegen to the U.S. Senate

Source: Tom Fiegen for U.S. Senate
Source: Tom Fiegen for U.S. Senate
I am supporting Tom Fiegen for U.S. Senate to represent Iowa and unseat incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley!

Tom is a former Iowa State Senator and Democratic Caucus Chair in the precinct of Clarence, Iowa, and bankruptcy lawyer. Tom has taught economics at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa for 10 years.

Tom Fiegen is running for U.S. Senate because he wants to restore and protect the working class from billionaire special interests, overturn Citizens United, protect our environment, and make college affordable. He also wants to protect and expand the grown-local farm movement and move away from GMO/Chemical mono industrial agriculture. Tom is a champion of labor unions, he has fought for a living wage, and creating the opportunity for workers to form unions (Fiegen)

1443062598Tom Fiegen on the issues:

  • Wall Street Reform –
    • Re-enact Glass Steagall and break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions.
    • The Federal Reserve, must eliminate its internal conflicts of interest, provide stricter oversight, and insist that the banks its support serve the economy in a way that works for everyone not just a few.

I want to fix the bribery of politicians in the guise of campaign contributions. […] People throw around the reference to Citizens United, but the problem is much more systemic and ingrained than that. – Tom Fiegen (Sainato)

  • Climate Change –
    • We must transform our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels, and towards energy efficiency and sustainability.
    • Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized and we need to accelerate technological progress in wind and solar power generation.
  • Student Debt –
    • We need to make higher education free to every qualified student and we need to refinance, reform, and reduce the loan burden to people who have already graduated.

  • Prescription Drug Cost –
    • Medicare and Medicaid needs to be able to negotiate for lower drug prices.
    • We need transparency on the cost to develop new drugs.
  • Small-Farm Revolution –
    • Institutions like schools, hospitals, and universities need to locally source their food.
    • Shift from supporting GMO/Chemical mono industrial agriculture to supporting/promoting/subsidizing local healthy fresh sustainable food production.
All issues information from: WWW.FIEGENFORUSSENATE.COM 

CSIOSc2UcAAdyxyTom Fiegen is the only U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa that has formally endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States of America. Tom showed his support for Senator Bernie Sanders at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner, in his introduction of 150 words however according to Tom Fiegen his declaration of support for Sen. Sanders was removed (Sainato).

Around the stage they [Iowa Democratic Party] had tables for dinners that were $1000 a plate. The outer ring, where I was, had tables for $120 a plate. For people and students who could afford [to sit] there, they [Iowa Democratic Part] sold them bleacher seats for $50 a ticket. […] The thing that insulted me with the people on the bleachers, is they put up barricades so those people couldn’t mingle with the people at the tables. It gave very much the impression that they were second class citizens. – Tom Fiegen

Therefore, when Tom took the stage he was holding a Bernie sign and wearing a Bernie sticker, his announcement like this led to an uproar and standing ovation from the hall.

I wanted to communicate to the party machine people and the people at the $1000-a-plate tables that Senator Sanders’ campaign is a political revolution, that I am part of that revolution, and we intend to remake not only our party, but our democracy and our country, and that there are more of us than them. – Tom Fiegen

Join me in supporting Tom Fiegen as he runs for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate and elect him to help Sen. Sanders in the White House!

Go here to volunteer or donate to his campaign!

Proud Progressive Democrat

Logo275I am proud to be a progressive Democrat and I support the “Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).” PDA was founded in 2004 to seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites-with policies that serve the public interest, not just private interests (www.pdamerica.org)

“As the second-longest-serving Democrat in the House of Representatives, I know what I am talking about when I say that no one has worked harder on the issues protecting Social Security, fighting for a full employment economy and national health care both inside and outside the Democratic Party, than PDA.” – Representative John Conyers

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and their allies have shuck up the political status-quo on issues ranging from the Iraq War, voter rights, protecting Social Security, a full employment economy, national healthcare and economic justice.

PDA stands in line with many if not all of the same positions I hold. For instance, stopping global warming, providing healthcare for all, fighting for human rights and economic justice.

PDA agrees that we must provide a living wage, extend unemployment benefits, expand earned income tax credits, food and childcare assistance, and housing vouchers, just to name a few.

business-case-for-single-payer-39-638Specifically, PDA supports, H.R. 676 – the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which was originally sponsored by Rep. John Conyers and co-authored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. The bill would provide a national healthcare plan that would supplant the deficiencies of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  • The bill would replace private insurers and recoup administrative savings amounting to billions each year.
  • The plan would be publicly financed replying on progressive financing and would be privately and publicly delivered by health care workers and hospitals.

“The global evidence is very clear: single-payer financing systems are the most equitable and cost-effective way to assure that everyone, without exception, gets high-quality care,” said Dr. Robert Zarr, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, a nonprofit research and educational group of 19,000 doctors nationwide. (PNHP)

 

epa-trendsPDA supports, H.R. 3242 – the Save Our Climate Act. The bill would provide a fee levied on the carbon content of fossil fuels at the first point of sale.

  • The tax would begin at $10/ton on carbon dioxide content and increase by bellow 1990 levels.
  • The tax will create a shift in behavior so that oil usage in 2021 will be 19% lower than 2005 usage.

 

PDA supports, “The Inclusive Prosperity Act,” the Robin Hood Tax. The bill would impose a tax on the trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives and currency – essentially a sales tax on Wall Street trades.

  • The bill would impose a tax of 0.5% on the trade of stocks – 50 cents on the purchase or sale of $100.00 worth of stock – and a lesser rate on trading of bonds, derivatives and currency.
  • The bill will also help limit the reckless short-term speculation on the market that threatens our financial stability.

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PDA supports, H.R. 2212 – the Democracy Restoration Act, introduced by Rep. John Conyers. The bill would establish a federal standard that restores voting rights in federal elections.

  • This bill would create a uniform standard across the country in federal elections.
  • It would strengthen democracy by creating a broader and more just base of voter participation.
  • It would aid law enforcement by encouraging participation in civic life, assisting reintegration, and rebuilding ties to the community.
  • The bill would facilitate election administration by streamlining registration issues and eliminating the opportunity for erroneous purges of eligible voters.
  • It would also eliminate the confusion about who is eligible to vote.

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Another priority that both I and PDA support is full federal LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) equality. For instance, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and similar acts to provide equal workers’ rights and employment opportunities, housing, public accommodations, credit access, education, marriage and all federal programs.

Supporting the PDA, does not mean that I am endorsing any candidate that the PDA may endorse. It just means that I support the ideals of the PDA and many of the issues they are working on.

You can also add your support and join the PDA here: www.pdamerica.org 

 

Problem Facing America: Politics are not focused around Young Americans

In the United States, our politics on both sides of the aisle is not on the side of young Americans. Republicans claim the only way to grow the economy and secure a future for young Americans is to cut our domestic spending programs. Democrats claim the only way to grow the economy and secure the future for young Americans is to continue the same old policies pushed forth again and again. In the end, everything stays the same.

2015-02-18-EarningsbyLifeCycleHere’s the facts from the past 40 years via the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA found that a typical employee, has the largest income gains between the ages of 25 and 35. However, the unemployment rate of 18 and 34 years old peaked at more than 13% in 2010 (doesn’t include underemployment or discouraged workers). While the average income increase for median earners fell to zero between the ages of 35 and 55. Finally, they found that incomes decline (“negative growth”) between ages 45 and 55.

During the recession, lower-wage industries constituted 22% of losses, but 44% recovery growth and higher-wage industries constituted 41% of recession losses, however only 30% of recovery growth, noted by the National Employment Law Project.  this caused an economic and perhaps even social crisis for young Americans are trying to enter or attempt to enter the workforce. Many of these young Americans are trying to get their first job to use their money to sustain themselves as they face the many challenges they have thrust upon them once they graduate high school. Many of them even use these jobs to help pay for their own education or to feed themselves while they are enrolled in college.

Now, they are not getting these jobs. Instead they are going to the people who before the recession were in middle-wage and higher-wage industries. These were people who had already made a life for themselves in many cases. Leading to young Americans with no avenue to work to start their lives to those who had good jobs now taking the jobs that use to go to young Americans just starting out.

Now, looking specifically at the jobs that were lost during the recession, Pew Research Center made some great points. the largest declines were in specialty trade contractors, construction 319, 800 jobs and local government, education 266,800 jobs. The largest gains have been in health care 1,481,400 jobs and food services and drinking places 1,385,400 jobs. Looking at these numbers you may notice that the second largest growing industry post-recession is also one of the industries that has the lowest pay and the least benefits for their employees.

2015-02-18-WhoOwestheMostAnother striking statistic, is the total amount of student debt owed, $1.3 trillion. Even further, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average amount owed for each graduate has risen from less than $10,000 in 1993 to more than $30,000 in 2013. With the bottom 25% of households owing 58% of student debt and the top 10% owing only 3%, according to the Pew Research Center.

Republican Message:

The new Congress is controlled by the Republican Party (GOP) and they could act on these issues and take meaningful actions. Instead, they seem to be focused on repealing Obamacare (ACA), rollback of immigration reform, and destroy agencies that protect the environment, consumers, workers, and taxpayers.

20141108_gdm333_10Specifically, on immigration the U.S. House took a vote of 236-191 on funding the Department of Homeland Security to February 27, until President Obama reverses his executive order on undocumented immigrants. The vote was poised at killing the President’s effort to enforce policies that limited deportations of people who aren’t criminals or serial immigration violators. One amendment to that bill even went as far as ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA stopped over 600,000 young undocumented immigrants from being deported and allowed them to work legally.

Progressive Confront:

Progressives have a plan to confront the Republican’s and the Democrat’s standard. The progressive plan is to regulate Wall Street, transform the U.S. global tax and trade policies (oppose TTP), enforce a progressive tax rate, curb perverse CEO compensation policies, revive anti-trust, equal pay for equal work, raise the minimum wage, paid sick leave, free community college (President Obama’s plan), 21st century infrastructure (President Obama’s plan), end the outrageous amounts of money in politics (Citizens United), and take advantage of the Green Energy Industrial Revolution.

international-maternity-leave-timeline-2013The plan includes supporting progressive legislators. Thus, people who disagree with the status quo should stand with U.S. Senators taking the lead on these policies such as Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Jeff Merkly, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. It also means standing with the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the U.S. House, who are driving the same ideas.

Fundamental change comes only when the oppressed make it impossible to sustain the old order. – Robert Borosage, Campaign for America’s Future

In Mika’s Opinion:

Young Americans are our future, thus politics needs to take a major turn towards that which will benefit them. Right now, young Americans are turned off by both political parties.

Why? Could it be that both political parties have not spent much time focusing on the needs of young Americans? Could it be that both political parties are stuck in their same old ways, pushing their same old proposals?

This is why I believe in the progressive plan, the plan for our future, that includes and focuses on young Americans. That recognizes the need to take a turn and make changes. The plan includes some of the old proposals that are still relevant for today but recognizes that we are in the 21st century and need 21st century solutions. The progressive plan even will tackle social issues that many young Americans want to see dealt with. Many of these issues are not even seen as issues by many young Americans but are for older Americans and still are being debated within the two major political parties, which also turns off young Americans

It’s time we realize that immigration isn’t a side issue, it’s a national priority.marriage_equaltiy_3_0

It’s time we realize that women’s issues are not side issues but a national priority.

It’s time we realize that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) rights are not side issues but a national priority. 

 

*Source: Campaign for America’s Future*

*Source: Politico*

 

It’s time for Congress to Act on Climate Change!

ClimateAction1It’s sad that in 2014, we have more than 130 members of Congress that deny the science on climate change. They even deny what 97 percent of scientists agree on, which is that climate change is real. 

Here are the facts:

  • The sea level has rose over 6 inches in the last century and in the last decade the rate has nearly doubled. 
  • Global temperatures have increased since 1880 with most of the warming occurring after 1970 and the last 10 years have been the warmest. 
  • The oceans are absorbing most of the increased heat, with the oceans warming about 0.30 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
  • The ice sheets are shrinking. Greenland lost 36-60 cubic miles of ice per year between 2002 & 2006 and Antarctica lost about 36 cubic miles between 2002 & 2005.
  • Arctic sea ice is melting. 
  • Glaciers are retreating everywhere including in the Alps, Himalayas, and Rockies. 
  • We are having more extreme weather and the number of record high temperatures has been increasing while the number of record low temperatures are decreasing. 

*Source: NASA Climate Change

ClimateAction

 

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The climate change deniers in Congress refuse to open their eyes and wake up. They refuse to protect the environment for my generation and generations to come.

This is why I stand with the 31 United States Senators who led an overnight session a couple of weeks ago urging their fellow colleagues to act on climate change. I also stand with President Barack H. Obama and his plan to combat climate change.

President Obama’s Plan to Combat Climate Change:

  1. Put limits on how much carbon pollution power plants can create
  2. Double the production of clean energy by 2020
  3. Prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change.

I urge you to stand up and take action on the climate! Please stand up with me and hold our elected officials accountable. Go here to help out: #ClimateAction