Sunday, May 1, 2016

I want you to know how proud I am



Diane --

The progress we've made over the past seven years has been incredible. I want you to know how proud I am of the work we've done together.

We've come a long way since 2009, when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month and unemployment was on its way to 10 percent. Now, unemployment is 5 percent. In 2015, the auto industry had its best year ever. Over the past six years, America has created 14.4 million new jobs, including nearly 900,000 new manufacturing jobs after a decade of industry decline.

For the first time ever, more than 90 percent of Americans have health insurance. And in every single month since I signed the Affordable Care Act into law, American businesses have created jobs right here in the U.S. -- for a record 73 straight months of private-sector job growth.

Since I took office, we've cut our reliance on foreign oil by more than half, and we've tripled the power we generate from wind. America now generates 30 times more solar power than we did in 2009, and we are leading the world in the fight against climate change. That is progress.

We should be proud of what we've achieved together as a nation. This kind of progress is only possible because of people like you -- people who believe that America is greater when we stand together than when we are divided. It's because of organizers and volunteers like those at OFA, who don't stop moving forward, who keep working to make their communities better, that we're able to accomplish so much as a nation.

That work matters, Diane. And we need people like you to get involved.

OFA is one of the groups fighting for a better path forward for all Americans -- and you can add your name to say you'll join the fight.

The best community organizers -- the ones engaging their communities and doing the hard work of active citizenship -- remind us that what we have in common is far more important than what divides any of us. Because when people participate, when people get involved, that's when America works best. That's when change really happens.

Right now, cynics and obstructionists in Congress want to roll back the progress we've made by playing on fears and letting special interests write their own rules. We need to keep standing together, making our voices heard, so that we can continue investing in the future and build on what we've already accomplished.

Whether it's working on family and paid leave, early education, raising the minimum wage, or any of the other important fights we're facing, we're going to keep fighting. I've got nine months left in this office, and I'm going to squeeze out every last ounce of change I can with the time I have left. And I need you to get involved.

I hope you'll stand with OFA supporters in continuing the fight for change -- add your name today:

https://my.barackobama.com/More-Work-To-Do

Thanks -- I believe in you.

Barack Obama

















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Saturday, April 30, 2016

News you can share: Obamacare haters, transgender policies, and more

Organizing for Action


Diane, you're one of the best messengers we've got in this movement. Here's some recommended reading that's easy to share.

Obamacare Haters Still Not Giving Up, Still Totally Wrong
NY Magazine // Jonathan Chait


The Affordable Care Act has insured 20 million more Americans and come in so far under budget that Washington is spending less on health care now than it was expected to spend before Obamacare passed into law. And yet the ranks of Obamacare haters trudge on nonetheless, carrying the flame for a core tenet of the conservative credo that faithful adherents dare not abandon.

Transgender policies across the country: Where do they stand?
CNN // Holly Yan


A flurry of policies affecting transgender people has swept the country in recent weeks, leading to widespread protests, economic losses and a growing debate about equality and privacy.

Feds expand Medicaid coverage to most of those in halfway houses
USA Today // Jayne O'Donnell


"This is a positive step toward restoring faith in the notion that a previous bad act does not make a person irredeemable," says Adrienne Wheeler, director of the Justice & Accountability Center of Louisiana. The federal action "forges a path toward healing communities that may be plagued by substance abuse, poverty, and a lack of access to justice."

Mayors: Flint Could Happen to Us
Politico Magazine // Ben Wofford


Mayors of all political stripes say they've been placed in an untenable financial bind because of severely limited infrastructure dollars that once flowed freely from state and federal coffers.

Full court pressure
Reuters Graphics // Travis Hartman and Joan Biskupic


How long do Supreme Court nominees usually wait? In past confirmation battles, nominees sometimes have been subject to months of controversy, close votes and outright rejection. But in this case the Senate has simply refused to act on a president's choice.

Many More Republicans Now Believe in Climate Change
Scientific American // Evan Lehmann


The number of conservative voters who believe in climate change has almost doubled in the past two years, according to a new poll that attributes the rise in part to a lessening hostility toward the issue by Republican leaders. Forty-seven percent of conservatives now say the climate is changing, a leap of 19 points since the midterm elections of 2014, according to the survey released yesterday by Yale and George Mason universities.

An Update on What We're Doing to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands
White House Blog // Valerie Jarrett


Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns. ... That's why in January, President Obama outlined a number of new, commonsense steps that his Administration is taking to protect our children and communities from gun violence. Today, we are announcing important progress in implementing those steps.







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Friday, April 29, 2016

We are leading the way



'We've gone from the brink of another Great Depression in this country to our businesses creating more than 14 million new jobs. Our unemployment rate has been cut in half. Our deficits are down by two-thirds. Our high school graduation rates are the highest on record. Over 20 million more people now have health insurance. And people in this country are finally free to marry the person they love. And on the global stage, the vast majority of our troops are home today. And our country isn't putting our heads in the sand on climate change--no, we are leading the way to stop it.' --First Lady Michelle Obama



















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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Second chances

Organizing for Action
Diane --

It's National Reentry Week, a time when we shed a light on the resources needed to help those who were formerly incarcerated get another shot to join their communities in a positive way. In America, we believe in second chances -- that even if you make a mistake that lands you in jail, if you serve your time, you can still earn a second chance at the American Dream.

At least, that's the way it's supposed to work. But our criminal justice system is broken. Every year, more than 600,000 Americans get released from prison ready to make a new start, only to be met with often insurmountable obstacles. Getting a job, finding affordable housing, and getting access to both health care and education are all significantly harder. For too many, the system is rigged to fail.

Add your name to the fight to reform America's broken criminal justice system.

Our system is not supposed to make it easier to revert back to criminal behavior than to become a productive member of society, but it often does. Preventing relapses into crime is one of the most fundamental priorities of criminal justice, but with the system set up as it is today, too many Americans end up trapped in a cruel cycle of poverty and crime that weakens our communities.

That's why President Obama's administration has consistently taken steps to make our system fairer, smarter, less expensive, and more effective. From reducing barriers to employment, to increasing access to education for formerly-incarcerated individuals, the President continues to do what he can, where he can. But that's not going to be enough.

Some members of Congress have already been working on the issue, but if we're going to break down the very real barriers that stand in the way of citizens returning to society to become positive members of their communities, we need more of their colleagues to come to the table and pass a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill.

Join OFA supporters all over the country to call for a criminal justice system that lives up to our values. Add your name to be a part of this fight:

https://my.barackobama.com/Stand-For-Criminal-Justice-Reform

Thank you for your continued support,

Sara

Sara El-Amine
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

















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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fwd: My vote for president

Diane, we know what our values are -- now we just need to make sure we're ready to fight for them.

Answer President Obama's call. Say you're in before our deadline on Saturday:

http://my.democrats.org/Elect-Democrats

-------- Forwarded message --------
From: Barack Obama
Date: Tue, Apr 26, 2016
Subject: My vote for president

Friend --

In a few months, I'll be heading into the voting booth to cast my vote for the next President of the United States. And, like so many of you, I've spent this primary observing the candidates and the parties, and what they represent.

And I have to say, this has been a difficult period for the Republicans. They're trying to figure out what they're standing for -- whether they will be the party of building walls and surveilling neighborhoods, whether they will be the party that enshrines discrimination in our laws.

But the good news for Democrats is that we know what we believe. We believe that climate change is real and that we must do something about it. We believe in raising the minimum wage, and that women should be paid the same as men for doing the same job. We believe that our laws should reflect our heritage as a nation of immigrants. We believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, no matter their race or religion, gender or sexual orientation.

We have two fine Democratic candidates who, no matter their differences, share this same set of core beliefs that defines our party. And in November, we're going to make sure that one of them becomes our next president.

But first -- right now -- I need to know that you're in:

http://my.democrats.org/Elect-Democrats

Thanks,

Barack Obama





































 

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What are they afraid of?

Organizing for Action
Diane --

It's been 41 days since President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, fulfilling his constitutional duty. Over the past several weeks, Judge Garland has personally met with dozens of senators, and -- just as they have since the day the vacancy opened -- Republican senators are refusing to do their jobs and give the President's nominee a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote.

Senators have a key constitutional role to play in the nomination process, scrutinizing every nominee and preserving the integrity of the court. But their role also comes with the perfect forum to address whatever concerns they might have about Judge Garland's qualifications: public hearings. So if these senators have legitimate questions about his fitness for the Supreme Court, why not hold hearings and voice them?

Some of them have taken to arguing that "the people should decide" -- but that's exactly what they did when they elected President Obama. So why won't these senators hold a vote?

Say that Senate leaders should stop hiding behind excuses and give Judge Garland a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote.

They're skipping out on their jobs for a reason. I think Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, and their allies are afraid.

I think they're afraid the American people can see through their partisan political games. They're afraid that the American people will find out that Judge Garland is an experienced and reasonable judge who will fairly interpret the law. And they're afraid because they know that we don't want our leaders to resort to this take-my-ball-and-go-home brand of politics.

If they have a legitimate concern about this nomination, they should hold a hearing and ask some questions on the people's behalf. That's their job. And if they don't have any legitimate concerns, they should hold a vote -- that's their job too.

Raise your voice -- stand up for a fair hearing for Judge Garland:

https://my.barackobama.com/A-Fair-Hearing-For-Judge-Merrick-Garland

Thanks,

Jack

Jack Shapiro
Director of Policy and Campaigns
Organizing for Action

















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Saturday, April 23, 2016

News you can share: an OFA announcement, expanding health care, and more

Organizing for Action


Diane, you're one of the best messengers we've got in this movement. Here's some recommended reading that's easy to share.

Katie Hogan new chief of Chicago-based Organizing for Action
The Chicago Sun-Times // Lynn Sweet


Katie Hogan, a long serving member of the Obama team, will become the new chief of Organizing for Action, the Chicago-based offshoot of the Obama presidential campaigns which will likely have a role in his post-presidency.

Out Of The Horror In Oklahoma City, Merrick Garland Forged The Way Forward
NPR // Nina Totenberg


"We promised that we would find the perpetrators, that we would bring them to justice, and that we would do it in a way that honored the Constitution," Garland said, his voice cracking. To examine Garland's role, NPR spoke to key players involved in Oklahoma City and got special access to an oral history he made in 2013 for the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

Democrats are winning the Supreme Court fight over Merrick Garland. Big time.
The Washington Post // Chris Cillizza


Initially, public opinion was deeply divided -- largely along partisan lines, with Democrats on the side of a confirmation vote held before the end of the year and Republicans content with leaving the seat open until a new president took office. In March, opinion was moving toward the "vote this year" option.

Watch a Powerful Short Film That Takes Viewers to Everyday Places Changed Forever By Mass Shootings
The Trace // Olivia Li


"Speaking is Difficult" combines recent footage of 25 mass shooting locations -- a community college in Roseburg, Oregon; a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona, among others -- with audio of police scanners and 911 calls made during the attacks.

Immigrants, the Poor and Minorities Gain Sharply Under Affordable Care Act
New York Times // Sabrina Tavernise & Robert Gebeloff


The first full year of the Affordable Care Act brought historic increases in coverage for low-wage workers and others who have long been left out of the health care system, a New York Times analysis has found. Immigrants of all backgrounds -- including more than a million legal residents who are not citizens -- had the sharpest rise in coverage rates.

Study: Medicaid Expansion Encourages More Poor Adults To Get Health Care
Kaiser Health News // Phil Galewitz


"The results provide compelling evidence that states that expanded Medicaid did a very, very good thing for their citizens, because those who got coverage are now more likely to get medically necessary care when they need it," said Vernon Smith, a Medicaid expert and principal with consulting firm Health Management Associates.

In March, Earth's temperature deviated more from normal than any previous month
Washington Post // Jason Samenow


The planet had its 11th straight record warm month in March, but this month deviated from normal more than any that came before it, NOAA reported today. March's average global temperature was an unrivaled 2.20 degrees above the 20th-century average and 0.58 degrees warmer than March 2015, the previous warmest March.







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