Wednesday, February 29, 2012

AFL-CIO March 1 Day of Action

The Arizona AFL-CIO is sponsoring a Day of Action on Thursday, March 1 to protest anti-worker legislation currently being considered by the Arizona Legislation. We encourage any PDA members who can make it to join in this demonstration at the capitol in Phoenix.

Here is information from the Tucson Citizen.

The Arizona AFL-CIO has organized a Day of Action for March 1. Four bus-loads of union members and supporters are descending upon the state capitol in Phoenix on Thursday.

But will this Thursday be Arizona’s “Wisconsin moment” or will union members politely wander the halls of the Legislature and ask the wingnuts legislators to play nice?

Annually, the AFL-CIO has a lobby day when unionists meet with lawmakers, but this year’s lobby day will have a twist– thanks to six anti-worker bills winding their way through the Arizona Legislature. After the four bus-loads of unionists go the capitol and say to people like Senator Frank Antenori (who wants to be our Congressman), “WTF?”, they will have a rally at 1 p.m. on the Arizona State Capitol, House Lawn, 1700 W. Washington St.

For the rest of this article, click here.

For more background information, check out these stories and videos from the Huffington Post.

Proposed Arizona Anti-Union Bills: ‘Worse Than Wisconsin’, February 16, 2012

Arizona Workers Mobilize As Legislators Debate Anti-Labor Laws, February 21, 2012

Calling and/or e-mailing your legislators is also a great way to be heard.

Achieving Affordable Health Care Forum in Tucson: Time to speak out for single payer

Advocates for a Universal Single Payer Healthcare System have an opportunity to speak out this coming Saturday, March 3 in Tucson.

"Achieving Affordable Health Care" is a free forum at UMC Duval Auditorium at the Arizona Health Sciences Center from noon until 5:00 PM. The event will feature Dr. Richard Carmona at 1:00 PM and interactive panel discussions with questions and answers from 2:15 to 5:00 PM.

It would be great see as many of PDA Tucson folks as possible show up and speak out for the most obvious and only humane solution -- Medicare For All.

Here is a link to background information on the event.

Here is a link to the registration form.

Economic & Social Justice Meeting on March 3

PDA Tucson's Economic and Social Justice Issue Organizing Team will hold its next meeting on Saturday March 3, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Ward 6 Council Office, 3201 E. First St.

For agenda and details, check out their page on this blog by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Occupy ALEC in Tucson-- and worldwide-- on Feb. 29

Is it time to finally say, "I'm mad as hell and not going to take this anymore?"

The Arizona Legislature (and other Republican-led Legislatures around the country) are attacking the citizens with anti-work bills and anti-student bills.

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich and Congressional Republicans are attacking women, immigrants, gays and Lesbians, unions, teachers, college students, the poor, reproductive health, public education, healthcare... the list goes on. They want to take away basic rights that we have taken for granted-- like the minimum wage and collective bargaining.

FIVE people have donated 25%-- $14 million-- to super pacs to elect more Republicans-- particularly a Republican President.

Are you tired of government against the people and for the corporations?

If you are "mad as hell", then join Occupy Tucson, PDA Tucson, and others for a demonstration against corporate rule.

Tucsonans-- and others around the world-- will be demonstrating against corporate control of our lives, big-money politics, and specifically against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-- the folks who gave us SB1070 and the anti-worker legislation in Wisconsin, Ohio, Arizona, and elsewhere.

Tomorrow, Feb. 29, come to the downtown public library at 4 p.m. for the demonstration. Bring your signs, noise-makers, and friends. Here's more information from Occupy Wall Street...

This Wednesday, Occupiers in New York, Oakland, Mexico City, and over 80 other cities [including Tucson] will take part in a coordinated National Day of Action to Shut Down the Corporations. Occupations have been preparing a variety of decentralized actions in response to Occupy Portland's call to target the American Legislative Exchange Council:

We specifically call on people to target corporations that are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The biggest corporations in America, like ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves only the interests of corporations and not people. They then duplicate and spread this corporate legislation in Washington, D.C. and in state legislatures across the country. The anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona are two recent and destructive examples of what corporations use ALEC to do.

See here for more about why we protest corporate power and how ALEC seeks to erode our democracy, undermine workers rights and attack unions, destroy our environment, obstruct efforts to address climate change, undermine public education, pursue destructive agricultural practices and fuel the prison industrial complex. You can also RSVP for the Occupy Wall St/NYC Facebook event. For national coverage, follow @F29PDX on Twitter.

Simultaneously, European trade unions have declared Feb. 29th a European Day of Action against austerity, following massive demonstrations against budget cuts in Greece, Spain, Belgium, and elsewhere. Decentralized actions in all 27 European Union nations and beyond will be "sending a clear message to the EU leaders: this imposed austerity is going to plunge Europe into a recession!"

The effects of the financial, economic and social crisis have reached unbearable levels in several countries. Faced with the extreme seriousness of the situation, European leaders are making the race for austerity their priority response. The crisis serves as a ready-made pretext to attack the European social model, justify cuts in wages and public services, weaken social protection, make the labour market hyperflexible, and attack trade union rights.

Thus, at a time when the European summit has to adopt a treaty plunging Europe into recession and job insecurity for the long haul, the European trade unions are saying “enough is enough” and putting employment, recovery, social justice and solidarity at the forefront of the discussions.

If you are not "mad as hell," check out the ALEC Exposed website here.

Supreme Court to decide liability of corporate 'people'

Corporations want free speech-- like people-- but they want protection from being sued. Hey, ya gotta take the seeds with the apple.

From the Huffington Post...

On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on whether corporations, like real people, can be held liable [check out the video on this link!] in American courts for international human rights violations.

The issue has divided four appeals courts over the past year and a half, as Democrat-appointed judges have uniformly voted for corporate liability while all but one Republican-appointed judge has come down for corporate immunity.

If that pattern holds in the Supreme Court, then the five justices appointed by Republican presidents will surely be hit with more accusations of pro-business bias: Having all voted in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to extend to corporations the First Amendment right of actual people to independently spend unlimited sums in this country's elections, they will in the current case have refused to hold corporations responsible, as real people are, for their roles in atrocities abroad.

That kind of application of corporate personhood would be enough to make a casual observer's head explode. [Click here for the rest of this article.]

Grijalva kicks off Congressional campaign in Tucson

Congressman Raul Grijalva celebrated his birthday and kicked off his Congressional campaign on Sunday, Feb. 19 at El Casino Ballroom in Tucson.

Hundreds of enthusiastic supporters cheered "Raul!" as Grijalva's daughter and local school board member Adelita Grijalva listed his Congressional achievements related to the People's Budget, immigration, job creation, public education, healthcare and the environment. The loudest cheer came when she shouted, "And he stopped uranium mining in the Grand Canyon!"

A diverse group of Grijalva supporters—including many local Democratic Party officials, politicians, and candidates—packed the historic ballroom. They danced to a mix of cumbia and rock oldies, ate Mexican food, signed candidates’ petitions, wrote checks, grabbed yard signs and t-shirts, volunteered to help his campaign, and cheered as he talked about progressive values and his two primary opponents.

Grijalva, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, is one of the most liberal members of Congress, and the standing-room-only crowd obviously agreed with his positions.

Grijalva has served the majority minority border district since 2002. Due to redistricting, the new congressional district (CD3) has changed shape but is still weighted in favor of minority voters and Democrats. To date, two Democrats and three Republicans have announced that they will run for Grijalva’s seat in 2012. (Image Credit: Janet Marcotte.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Uprising in Tucson with John Nichols of The Nation

John Nichols, The Nation Magazine author, MSNBC Contributor and author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, will be the keynote speaker at a special event sponsored by the Pima Area Labor Federation and Progressive Democrats of America Tucson Chapter.

Considering the Arizona Legislature's current attack on union workers, civil servants, workers under 20 years old, and workers who earn tips, this is a very important presentation.

Check out these two articles for more information about the current attack on Arizona's middle class:

Proposed Arizona Anti-Union Bills: 'Worse Than Wisconsin'

Arizona Workers Mobilize As Legislators Debate Anti-Labor Laws

Michael Moore says: "John Nichols recognized right away that the fight in Wisconsin was about a lot more than one state. It was the fight we had all been waiting for, the one where people say, 'We have had it!'"

Event orgainzers: Linda Hatfield, PALF Chair, and Phil Lopes, PDA Tucson Chair

Monday February 27th 6 to 8 PM
IBEW 570 - 750 S. Tucson Blvd Tucson, AZ 85719

Check out the PDA Tucson facebook event.

Exposing the Buried Costs of Energy

Check out the Social Justice Forum on uranium and coal mining on Navajo Nation and Hopi lands this Thursday, February 23 at the University of Arizona.

Return of the Navajo Boy starts at 3 PM in Crowder Hall at the School of Music. The second movie-- Power Paths-- is at 6 PM at the Center for Creative Photography - both on the University of Arizona Main Campus. You can park on the North side of Speedway and walk under Speedway to the music school.

Following Up Our Meeting with Rep. John Fillmore

Good Morning!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who came to last night's meeting for attending and especially participating. We certainly had a lively and productive session with Rep. Fillmore.

Secondly, Rep. Fillmore asked us to consider supporting his school district consolidation bill. Obviously, we need the text and a good discussion. The link to the bill is below:

Feel free to discuss the bill as you will. We will certainly make it an agenda item at the next IOT meeting: Saturday, March 3, Ward 6 Council Office, 3201 E. First. St., 10 AM - noon.

Please join us then!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Progressive Democrats of America Joins the 99% Spring

WASHINGTON - February 17 - Progressive Democrats of America is joining the 99% Spring. This spring we will help train 100,000 people across the country to participate in sustained non-violent, direct action in the spirit of Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez and other movement leaders. We will stand with the 99%, and begin to create an American economy that will work for all of us.

From April 9-15 we will gather across America in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country. We will organize trainings to:

1) Tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who’s responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it
2) Learn the history of non-violent direct action in the tradition of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, and
3) Get into action on our own campaigns to win change.

You can read more about 99% Spring here: and follow #99spring

We are at a crossroads as a country. We have a choice to make. Greater wealth for a few or opportunity for many. Tax breaks for the richest or a fair shot for the rest of us. A government that can be bought by the highest bidder, or a democracy that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

National Director Tim Carpenter explained, "Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is proud to join the 99% Spring mobilization. Working both inside and outside the Democratic Party we can build the necessary street heat to bring about the fundamental reforms we need to move this country to provide jobs and health care for all. We want an America that works for everyone".

Participating organizations include: Progressive Democrats of America, Jobs With Justice, National People's Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance,, the United Auto Workers, New Bottom Line, Service Employees International Union, The Other 98%, Greenpeace, Rebuild the Dream and many more.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Single payer healthcare and the 99%

Physicians for a National Health Plan, the Alliance for Global Justice, and PDA Tucson sponsored a public forum on single payer healthcare on February 13, 2012. If you missed it, check out this short video by PDA activist Allison McLeod.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

99% Meet Yourself-- Feb. 18

Occupy Tucson Presents 99% Meet Yourself: Come to an entertaining and informative day of events in downtown Tucson. Meet fellow members of the 99%, hear their concerns, join in the discussion, and ask questions. Visit information tables and learn about community, labor, and Occupy Tucson working groups.

Speakers: Sal Baldenegro; Gayle Hartmann from Save the Scenic Santa Ritas; Steve Valencia from Jobs With Justice; Billy Lolos from Occupy Tucson; and more

Music: Ted Warmbrand, Arianna Solare, the Raging Grannies, and more

When: Saturday, February 18, from 10am to 5pm.

Where: Jacome Plaza, "Library Park," at the Joel D. Valdez main library in downtown Tucson, 101 N. Stone @ Pennington

Volunteers Needed: to help set up/clean up, pass out literature at the information tables; please contact Will at

To help make Occupy Tucson buttons in time for this Saturday's event, go to the Gloo Factory Ink., 238 E. 26th St., South Tucson (call first to confirm they are there--520-740-0810--afternoons are best).

Raul Grijalva campaign kick-off-- Feb. 19


Live Music by Los Gallegos

5:30 PM – 8:30 PM

TUCSON, AZ 85713

Join us, and bring your friends and family for a night of FUN, FOOD and FRIENDSHIP in celebration of Raúl Grijalva’s ongoing service to US and our communities.

We can't kick off Raul's re-election without you!!

One of our goals this election year is to re-energize and grow our Progressive Democrat base here in Arizona. Through your help and promotion of this event and Raúl’s campaign, you can be instrumental in helping us achieve that goal.

We must turn back these Democrats In Name Only and Tea Party sympathizers aimed at serving corporate interests against the people's champion.

The community and our opponents will be watching. Let's be loud and clear and send them an unmistakable message. We need your presence to show the depth and strength of Raúl’s support as we launch our next campaign.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Information on the First Public Banking Conference

Here is the link to everything you need to learn about the first public banking conference sponsored by, of course, The Public Banking Institute:

Pleas circulate this information!

Arizona unionists fight back against anti-labor bills

The Arizona Legislature is considering four anti-union bills that, if passed, would make Arizona's labor climate "worse than Wisconsin."

SB 1484, SB1487-- eliminate payroll deductions for union dues.

SB1485-- outlaws collective bargaining.

SB1486-- prohibits public employers from compensating workers for union activities.

The Pima Area Labor Federation is holding a public hearing about these four bills on Friday, February 17, 2012 from 4 - 5:30 p.m. at the IBEW Local 570 Hall (750 S. Tucson Blvd.)

In addition, the Arizona AFL-CIO is holding a Day of Action to Protect Workers' Rights at the Arizona State Capitol (1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix) on Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Contact for information on bus transportation.

Above is a video depicting a demonstration in Tucson against the anti-labor laws. Below is Congressional Representative Raul Grijalva discussing these bills with MSNBC host Ed Schultz.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Should the State of Arizona 'move its money' and create a state bank?

Should Arizona create a state bank? Yes! It makes good economic sense for the State of Arizona's monies to be held in a public bank.

What are the benefits of creating a bank that would hold the state's monies and handle all of its official transactions? Just think of the fees that the state is being charged for current transactions and the interest that the banks are making from the state's holdings.

Would a state bank compete with other banks? No. A state bank would complement the services of regular banks and credit unions-- not compete with them. For example, a state bank would not offer services like checking or savings accounts, credit cards, or car loans to individuals.

The Progressive Democrats of America, Tucson chapter (PDA Tucson) will be hosting an important and very interesting program on public banking in Arizona on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

Our speaker will be Rep. John Fillmore, Rep., LD 23, which is most of Pinal County. Rep. Fillmore has been working on this issue for a long time and has recently attempted to introduce a bill into the current legislature to create the Bank of Arizona. PDA Tucson has had the opportunity to collaborate with Rep. Fillmore, and the experience has been a felicitous one for all concerned.

Although 15 states are looking into the creation of a state bank, North Dakota is the only one who has one. Here are two links about the Bank of North Dakota:

At PDA Tucson, we believe that the creation of a public bank will give us the economic driver to help all sectors of the state and truly move us out of the economic doldrums.

We also believe that this is a non-partisan issue. We are not alone in this pursuit; red states like Idaho, Vermont, and New Hampshire are moving along in this area as are blue states like Washington and California.

PDA Tucson believes that this issue is of consummate importance and would like to involve you as well as members of your organizations.

So please join us on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Ward 1 City Council
Office, 901 W. Alameda st., Tucson, AZ, at 6:30 PM.

Using the Bank for the Public Good: Short Film on Public Banking

Here is a very short video on public banking giving a Canadian perspective on the issue and on US!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Community Meeting on Public Banking of Arizona

We will be meeting with Rep. Fillmore (R., L. D. 23) on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Ward 1 Council Office, 901 W. Alameda St., from 6 PM on.  Rep. Fillmore needs to stay late at the legislature, so we may actually start around 6:30.  

Rep. Fillmore has introduced HB 2104 to create the Bank of Arizona.  He has collaborated graciously and successfully with PDA Tucson in writing this legislation.   

This meeting is for education and community dialogue.  Please join us and please invite your people in your personal circles. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Helpful Program. . . Maybe

Here is information about a program sponsored by Free Thought Arizona.  This program is NOT necessarily endorsed by PDA Tucson.  However, PDA Tucson members may find this session useful and informative. 
Sunday, February 19, 2012   10 am
Conservative Evangelicals in American Politics: Reflections from the Field by Dr. Karen SeatDuval Auditorium at UMC, 1501 N Campbell Ave - Free Parking on Sundays
Dr. Karen Seat specializes in U.S. religious history, American evangelicalism, and gender studies. Her book, “Providence Has Freed Our Hands”: Women’s Missions and the American Encounter with Japan (Syracuse University Press, 2008), examines nineteenth-century Protestant women's mission movements and their impact on American ideologies regarding gender, race, Christianity, and civilization. Her current research focuses on conservative Christians' engagement with American politics in modern American history. She teaches courses on American religious history and gender studies in religion.
Dr. Seat received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia.
9 am
Annual FreeThought Arizona meeting is at 9 am on this date - one hour before our February 19 speaker.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

State Banking Bill to be Heard in Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012

HB 2104, a bill to establish the Bank of Arizona, will be heard in committee on Tuesday, Feb. 7th. 
In our IOT meeting on Saturday, we will discuss the bill and our next steps. 
it is imperative for us to send emails to the committee members
The legislators most emphatically do NOT want one letter sent by all concerned people, so I cannot offer you a text to cut and paste. 
What I can offer you is below.  In it you will see:
1. a directory of the Employment and Regulatory Committee
2. a list of their emails
3. a list of bullet points (running onto a second page).
Please choose 4 or 5 bullet points and/or anything else you want to say and compose your email letter. 
Then send a copy of your letter to each representative on the committee. 
I don't think this endeavor will take too much time and it should be well repaid. 
Many thanks in advance,
Employment and Regulatory Affairs
 House of Representatives Standing Committee
  Members Position
Eddie Farnsworth Member 
John Fillmore Vice-Chairman
Sally Ann Gonzales Member 
John Kavanagh Member 
Justin Olson Member
Lynne Pancrazi Member
 Daniel Patterson Member
  Bob Robson Chairman
  Kimberly Yee Member

Email Addresses:

Farnsworth =  R
Fillmore =  R
Gonzales =  D
 Kavanagh =  R
 Olson =   R
Pancrazi =  Lead Democrat
Patterson =  D
Robson =  
R Yee =   R

Choose 4 or 5 points for your letter:

* A public bank is NOT socialism.  Socialism entails public ownership of all banks and thus the receipt of all profits.

* A public bank is wise, efficient stewardship of public resources.

* A public bank is the economic driver needed now because our financial situation is dire and received wisdom is not helping to ameliorate it.  

* A public bank can invest in the state, keeping capital within Arizona and assuring Arizona’s development.

* A public bank is more like a mini-Fed than a bank on the street corner.

* Public banking works best in partnership with private banks.  The Bank of North Dakota partners with over 100 local banks. 

* Capitalizing a public bank will NOT cost the taxpayer anything.

* A public bank can help individuals seeking small business loans, local governments, research for future state development such as alternative energy, agriculture, education, access to higher education, and even parks and Arizona heritage sites.

* Other states are considering creating public banks:  ID, VT, NH, and WA are making progress in this direction right now!

* Since 1945, the Bank of North Dakota has transferred $555 million in profits to the state general fund.