Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Complete Text of H. B. 2104, Establishing a Public Bank in Arizona

Please note this link to the entire text of HB 2104, introduced by Rep. John Fillmore.  If you are attending our IOT meeting on Saturday (2/4, Fronimo's, 10 AM - noon), please print out a copy for yourself.   

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Clean/Fair Elections IOT Re-activation

This IOT has been on hold pending moving ahead as events dictate; it is now time.  Several of you worked on the re-districting mapping project; that chapter is closing, pending DOJ approval.  Sure did stir up the Repubs.

Here are the items to discuss and develop strategy on , as I see it:

1.  Saving (?improving) Az. Clean Elections.  The legislature will be trying to forward a referendum to neuter it.
      http://www.azadvocacy.org/.   http://www.cleanelections101.com/

2. Election integrity.  Risner and Brakey are moving again with the lawsuit re the RTA election and its fraudulent features.  The court gave a favorable decision this week; much more to follow.

3. Open Primaries.  Being pushed by Paul Johnson and others, who have a substantial numbers of signers for their initiative, but with many more to go.     http://www.azopengov.org/.  

4. Citizens United: the movement to amend the constitution, going like a tidal wave, with  many  groups moving on it.  Sen. Sanders also has a bill pending.
  http://www.unitedrepublic.org/.   http://www.movetoamend.org/.   http://www.unitedforthepeople.org/http://www.publiccampaign.org/.

5. Fair Elections Now, SB 750 and HR 1826: a public/private funding bill to limit the amount of funds ($100 limit per person per candidate per election).  Donations from in-state only plus many other good features.
  http://www.fairelectionsnow.org/   http://www.acrreform.org/.   http://www.publiccampaign.org/  

That is a full but important plate of issues.  After discussion, we would want to see who would want to take the lead on an item and push for effective action to promote the issue.  We may want to focus in on less than 5, depending.  Check out some of the websites; I hope I have them down correctly.

I'd like to see regular meetings at this point, once monthly, with sub-groups meeting in between.  I'd favor a Saturday late am (about 10 or 11) to avoid conflicts in the evening weekday slots with other meetings or work, but would be open to other possibilities

As to a place, either one of the City Council offices, if available, or a restaurant with a side room;  Fronimo's on Speedway comes to mind.

Please give me feedback as to your preferences, and also if you wish to remain on this IOT.  Thanks for your consideration.

Rick G.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tucson Weekly LTE, Jan 5th, re Occupy Tucson

The Occupy Movement Serves as a Reminder of Injustice

The recent disparaging Guest Commentary regarding Occupy Tucson managed to take up considerable column space and managed to completely ignore the key issues that drive the movement.
The key issues were outlined by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in May 2011 in a now-classic Vanity Fair article, "Of the 1 Percent, by the 1 Percent, for the 1 Percent." In short, massive amounts of money flows from the very wealthy (the upper 1 percent) and many large corporations (most of which pay no income taxes) into the pockets of the politicians, who then write laws to benefit their paymasters. The current stalemate we now see serves their purposes just fine, as the current laws favor the further accumulation of wealth and profits while shortchanging the citizens of funding for basic needs.
In fact, the majority of citizens are still fairly stable economically, including myself, but an ever-increasing number are suffering from a loss of jobs and poverty (one of four in Tucson). And with unexpected layoffs, even in the health-care industry, one never knows whether he or she may be next. There goes the income, the health coverage and, frequently, the home.
There is nothing that bothers aspiring and elected establishment politicians more than a persistent and highly visible reminder of the above facts and the need for a massive political housecleaning in the upcoming elections. So, do not go away, Occupy Tucson, as well as the hundreds of others in our country.
Raymond Graap

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Critical Time to Get Active for Energy Standards

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is the elected arm of government that regulates how utilities manage their billing, their projects and their support for transition to a renewable energy environment and more energy efficiency in both production and use. Arizona has had some of the most aggressive standards in our nation for energy efficiency, the EES, (22% improvement by 2020) and for renewable energy goals, the RES (15% increase by 2025). We can be proud of these standards. But they are under siege.

The current, conservative Republican dominated, commission has allowed considerable slippage in the requirements of the utilities to meet these standards. The standards are achieved by creating incentives to consumers to become more efficient and to install renewable energy sources, like solar power, on our homes. Our utilities have proposals in the works to significantly lower their rebate rates for solar installations and to decrease their efforts in promoting energy efficiency. This is a travesty. These are the major things that we can do as individuals to help redress climate change within our communities. Our future and our childrens' futures are at stake.

So here are some things that you can do this week:

1.   Participate in a workshop at the ACC this Friday, January 6, 2012, hosted by
Commissioner Paul Newman, on "Presentations and discussions regarding deregulating
the Electricity Market - Understanding the Full Economic Perspective and Consequences,
Including Externalities".
START TIME: 10:00 a.m., Hearing Room, Arizona Corporation Commission,
at 1200 West Washington, 1st Floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85007, or watch in on line.

2.  Attend the next public hearing of the ACC on January 10, 2012 at the same location & speak in
favor of no changes or greater efforts on behalf of the utilities to promote renewable energy and
energy efficiency. If you can't go, you can call in your comments during the meeting.
Call Shaylin Bernal at (602) 542-3931 for instructions on calling.

3.  Write a letter to each of the 5 commissioners at the ACC and ask them to support and expand
funded efforts in support of energy efficiency. Address is above.

This is a great and very important opportunity for us as citizens to participate very directly in government decision making. Let's make the most of it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Economic and Social Justice IOT Meeting

We will be discussing an Economic Program for the Team and its implicaitons for PDA Tucson.  Your participation is essential.  2012 will be a Big Year!

 Saturday, January 7, 2012, Fronimo’s Greek CafĂ©, 3242 E. Speedway Blvd. , Tucson, AZ  85716.   10 AM - noon!   It opens at 10 AM!
Please Join Us!