Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PDA January Membership Meeting-- "Public Banking: Should Arizona Move Its Money?"

Following the Wall Street crash and the housing market collapse a few years ago, the Move Your Money campaign encouraged millions of Americans to take their money out of big commercial banks and hold the funds locally in credit unions and community banks.

Is it time for state governments to move their money?

Across the US, millions of dollars of taxpayer funds are held in big commercial banks and invested on Wall Street. If Arizona had a public bank, the state’s rainy day funds would be held and invested in Arizona.

Local investment of state funds translates into jobs and a stronger economy. An Arizona public bank could create jobs by investing in public works projects, can boost entrepreneurship by backing small business loans through community banks, can build our state’s future by helping finance college loans—and much more. Isn’t it time that Arizona invested in Arizona—instead of Wall Street?

Come to the January 23, 2014 meeting of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Tucson Chapter to learn how public banking can build Arizona’s economy and benefit Arizona’s citizens. Jim Hannley and Pamela Powers Hannley, newly appointed co-chairs of the Arizona Public Banking Coalition, will discuss the benefits public banking and what it would take to create a public bank in our state.

Special guest Tucson Councilwoman Karin Uhlich will describe the City of Tucson’s Move Your Money pilot project. In 2013, the City Council moved $5 million of the City’s rainy day fund from a big commercial bank to a community bank to encourage local business development.

PDA Tucson Chair Phil Lopes will update attendees on other progressive activities and issues. February 2014 marks PDA Tucson's third anniversary.

What: PDA Tucson General Membership Meeting
Where: Ward 6 Office, 3202 E. 1st St., in midtown.
When: January 23, doors open at 6:30 p.m., program starts at 7 p.m.

Light refreshments.  

Related Links:


Monday, January 13, 2014

PDA's Tim Carpenter on State of the Progressive Left

In late December, Tim Carpenter, executive director for Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), sat down with radio talk show host Thom Hartman to discuss next steps for the New Progressive Movement.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Sustainable Tucson: The Economic Imperative of Energy Efficiency, Dec. 9


Sustainable Tucson is hosting a four-part series on sustainability and energy efficiency. The next event is Monday, Dec. 9. Here is the information from Sustainable Tucson.


"The Economic Imperative of Energy Efficiency: Leading Tucson to More Jobs and a Robust Economy While Mitigating Climate Change" 
Monday, December 9th, 6:00 to 8:00 pm 
At Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, (doors open at 5:30) 
101 N. Stone, Downtown (free lower level parking off Alameda St)

This month, Sustainable Tucson brings international expertise and vision to our community to understand how our region can move to a much more energy-efficient economy while enabling a 100% renewable-energy-powered, and a more vibrant economy.

Tucson’s regional power system and economy can be planned to produce a vibrant economy AND mitigate the worst effects of climate change. In fact the components that can make this happen work in concert. Sustainable Tucson is proud to present two speakers with backgrounds and experience in transitioning from a carbon-intensive economy to one anchored by energy efficiency and powered by renewable energy.

John A. "Skip" Laitner is a resource economist who leads a team of consultants with his own group, Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates based in Tucson, Arizona. He served nearly 10 years as a senior economist for technology policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He won EPA's Gold Medal award for his contributions to economic impact assessments evaluating climate change policies. More recently, he led the Economic and Social Analysis Program for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a well-known think tank based in Washington, D.C. He has just returned from France where he works as the senior economist for a regional initiative that proposes to reduce energy requirements by half with renewable energy technologies powering all remaining energy needs.
Matthew T. McDonnell, J.D. is a regulatory and policy analyst with Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates. He has previous experience in the renewable energy finance industry and the utility regulatory process. He has worked with former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Paul Newman, providing policy analysis; and he has given testimony before the ACC. As a consultant, Mr. McDonnell has advised clients on a variety of energy projects including independent review of generation options analysis, prospects for municipalization, as well as, regulatory issues involved with the transmission and sale of electricity--in both FERC and ACC jurisdictions. Mr. McDonnell's clients have ranged from municipalities and energy firms, to public utilities and stakeholder groups.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Protest Low Pay for Fast Food Workers in Tucson on Dec 5

Across the US-- and here in Tucson-- citizens will be standing in solidarity with fast food workers who are demanding a living wage. The Tucson protest is at the McDonalds at Alvernon and Speedway. Here is the flyer . Here is a link to the Facebook event.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Can Public Banking Spur Economic Growth in Southern Arizona?

Tucson is one of the most impoverished cities in the country—for many reasons. The Arizona Legislature—driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and short-sighted, “small government” ideology—has routinely swept funds earmarked for counties and cities to “balance” the state’s budget or fund pet projects like lower corporate taxes.
Beyond the Legislature’s negative impact on Baja Arizona, the Tucson economy is not diversified enough. Manufacturing is nearly non-existent in Southern Arizona. There is an over-reliance on defense spending, University of Arizona spin-offs, tourism, low-wage service jobs, and growth/development. During the Great Recession, multiple income streams for our local economy were dramatically reduced or eliminated—resulting in the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of good-paying jobs due to budget cuts, business closures, and the housing market crash. People and jobs left the area.
In August, the Arizona Daily Star ran a week-long series on multiple aspects of poverty in Southern Arizona and just this week, the Star ran a story that stated Tucson was second only to Detroit in the proliferation of crappy, low-wage jobs. In a survey of 52 metro areas with over 1 million residents, Tucson was in the top 10 for job creation; the problem is that more than half of the projected 28,000 new jobs will pay less than $13.84/hour. (If you really want to be depressed, check out the list of Tucson’s fastest growing occupations here. None of these jobs requires a college education. Thanks to TREO’s efforts, telemarketer is #1. Thanks to Tucson’s ample supply of old folks, the next four most popular jobs are low-wage health/caregiver positions. We won’t break the cycle of poverty in this city with a jobs picture like this.)
So, we know that our city has big economic challenges. Now what?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Affordable Care Act (and Healthcare Reform)



The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and healthcare reform, in general, will be the focus of PDA Tucson's general membership meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Andrea Witte (the Connect the Dots Lady) will present the updated version of "The American Healthcare CrazyQuilt", which looks at how the US healthcare system evolved into the most expensive system in the world but still leaves millions of people uninsured. She also will discuss the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Eve Shapiro, local pediatrician and head of PDA Tucson's universal healthcare issue organizing team, will talk about single-payer, universal healthcare and why that should be our country's ultimate healthcare reform goal. The ACA is a step in the right direction but not the end of the road.

Concluding the healthcare portion of the program, Michal Goforth, executive director of the Pima County Access Program, will talk about local ACA outreach efforts and local implementation of the new healthcare law.

Rounding out the evening, PDA Tucson Chair Phil Lopes will discuss local and national initiatives of the Progressive Democrats of America.

The Nov. 14 meeting will be held at the Pima County Housing Center, 801 W. Congress St. The entrance faces Congress Street, but parking is on the North and East sides of the building. Doors open at 6 p.m.; program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Related Information:
Affordable Care Act Quick Reference Guide from Connect the Dots USA

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

UPDATE: Oct 16 PDA Tucson Fall Membership Meeting Postponed until Nov 14

Yesterday, I posted this story about the Fall Membership Meeting of PDA Tucson. The headline speaker was to be Congressman Raul Grijalva.

The Congressman had to cancel, so the PDA meeting is being postponed until Thursday, Nov. 14.

Here is a link to the event on Facebook. You can find updates on PDA Tucson's Facebook page or on this blog. 

We had hoped that Grijalva canceled because he was called back to DC to vote on lifting the shutdown and the debt ceiling, but given this afternoon's headlines that vote appears to be a distant dream.