NEA Issues–Social Security Offsets Click Here
This 4th of July, Americans have something truly powerful to celebrate. Social Security expansion has become the official position of the Democratic Party.
And this is entirely thanks to you!
Later this week, the Democratic Party Platform Committee will vote to finalize the 2016 party platform and expanding Social Security tops the list.
This is a huge win for millions of Americans who rely on Social Security each and every day – seniors, veterans, disabled workers, children and surviving spouses whose incomes aren’t keeping up with rising out-of-pocket costs.
So this 4th of July, when you’re speaking with your Paul Ryan-loving cousin at the family BBQ, you have the facts on your side:
– Social Security isn’t going broke;
And, all we need to do is ask the wealthy to pay their fair share and we can extend the lifespan of the Social Security trust fund and expand benefits for millions of Americans.
Just a few years ago, the accepted wisdom in Washington was that in order to save Social Security, we needed to cut benefits and raise the retirement age. Now, we have President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders and over 90% of Senate Democrats on our side.
You have completely changed the national conversation away from cuts and toward expansion. And with 79% of likely voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – on our side, this is a fight we can win.
Let’s tell Washington politicians where the American people stand: Expand, don’t cut Social Security!
CARA Alert – June 15, 2016
A publication of the California Alliance for Retired Americans
TELL THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO MAKE MEDICARE FOR ALLPART OF THEIR PLATFORM!
While the nation’s primaries come to a close, the national debate on how to fix our broken healthcare system continues. Please join the Campaign for a Healthy California, National Nurses United, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Progressive Democrats of America and Healthcare-NOW! to call on the Democratic Party to include Medicare for All in the official Democratic Platform, which will be voted on at their convention July 25-28.
The United States spends over 2½ times what other industrialized countries spend on healthcare – and while they cover everyone, we still have millions who cannot afford medications or go to the doctor when they need to. We know 58% of all Americans support and 81% of Democrats support Medicare for All. Those numbers tell us that Medicare for All should be a part of the Democratic Party platform—but it will only happen if we make our voices heard!
Here are 3 steps you can take to get Medicare for All included in the official Democratic Party Platform:
1. Sign our petition to tell the Democratic Party that it’s time to support healthcare for all!
2. Submit your written testimony/story to the Democratic Platform Committee on why they need to include Medicare for All in the official Democratic Platform here.
3. Send your video testimony/story on why we need Medicare for All via Skype to the Democratic Platform Committee here.
Strong collective action is the best way to build a better healthcare system that includes all of us. Please sign our petition today! Thank you for taking the time to make your voice heard!
LA COUNTY DRUG TAKE BACK ORDINANCE FAILS!!!!
PHARMA WINS THIS ROUND
After months of delay tactics by big PhARMA, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted on the drug take back ordinance yesterday. Instead of passing the ordinance, the Board voted to monitor Walgreens’ pilot project (where they will do take back in a limited number of their pharmacies) and see how it goes. The Board of Supervisors will then review this pilot in November and possibly reconsider our original ordinance at this time. To say we are disappointed with this is an understatement. First, not everyone gets their prescriptions filled at Walgreens. And even if they did, there is no guarantee that there will be a Walgreens near them. If the Board of Supervisors thinks this will give us some clear indication of how a larger drug take back program in LA County would work – they are sorely mistaken. This “compromise” is clearly the workings of PhARMA to undermine a real drug take back effort – which they do not want. But we will not give up. We will continue to support drug take back efforts in counties around the state and continue to talk with the LA Supervisors to urge them to move behind this terrible decision. A big thank you to all of the CARA folks who called and met with Supervisors and who attended the many hearings in LA. Let’s take a deep breath and then continue the fight….. Onward!
A couple articles covering this issue in LA (please note how much lobbying money was spent by big pharma):
REGISTER FOR A CARA TOWN HALL FORUM
COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU IN SEPTEMBER 2016
CARA will soon celebrate our 13th Anniversary. This year, we are doing something a bit different. Instead of 3 Regional Conventions (we hold statewide conventions in odd years, and regional conventions in even years), we will be hosting 14 Regional Conventions/Town Hall Meetings. Because 2016 is such an important election year, we want to give CARA members throughout the State an opportunity to attend a local event where you can learn about important election issues, meet the candidates running for key offices, sign up for our Seniors Vote 2016! Project, and of course celebrate our work during the year and set priorities for 2017. This year we have 15 Regional Conventions/Town Hall Forums planned across the state. You can register for one (or more if you want) for the town hall event in your area. Click here to register. All events are $10 and include continental breakfast, box lunch, and more. We look forward to seeing you in September at the Town Hall nearest you.
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Tell senators to do their job and vote on Supreme Court nominee
One-fourth of the GOP caucus—including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley—have announced that they will meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, currently chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But that’s not enough. Keep the pressure on! The Constitution is clear: It is the duty of the President to nominate Supreme Court justices and the duty of the Senate to provide “advice and consent”—to hold a hearing and take an up-or-down vote. Click on the “take action” button and tell your senators to do their job.
ESSA negotiated rulemaking committee meets again
The committee charged with negotiating regulations to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) met again this week to discuss “supplement, not supplant” funding and student assessments. The “neg reg” committee includes two voting members nominated by NEA: California teacher Ryan Ruelas and Wisconsin paraeducator Lynn Goss.
Much of the discussion thus far has revolved around inclusion of students with disabilities and English-language learners in academic assessments, English language proficiency assessments, and alternative academic standards and assessments for the students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. If the committee does not reach consensus—often the case with negotiated rulemaking—the U.S. Department of Education will go through the usual process: drafting rules, publishing them in the Federal Register, revising them in response to comments, and then issuing the final regulations, which in this case Congress would get to review.
NEA and eight other leading education groups sent a letter this week urging the U.S. Department of Education “to refrain from defining terms and aspects of the new law that Congress gave communities the flexibility to determine.” Remember: to help educators advocate for implementing ESSA effectively, NEA has created a repository of online resources: nea.org/essabegins. Check it out!
House could take up child nutrition legislation this spring
Reauthorization of child nutrition laws is still on the minds of lawmakers, as evidenced by the Senate Agriculture Committee’s passage of a bill earlier this year. Potential House action this spring could include cuts in community eligibility, an option adopted by more than 18,000 schools across the country that is “a powerful tool that allows school districts to target nutrition benefits to children in high-poverty schools,” according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). With community eligibility, high-poverty schools provide free meals for all students instead of processing applications from individual students.
Click on the button and tell Congress to take action on NEA’s priorities: preserving the current guidelines for healthy school meals, improving training for school food service professionals, and strengthening programs that provide meals for kids when school is out.
Cheers and Jeers
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|Republicans have wasted little time declaring war on seniors.
The new GOP plan to gut the Affordable Care Act will give massive tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the poor, elderly and sick. It does this by raiding $346 billion from the Medicare trust fund to pay for giveaways to the wealthy, and in turn intentionally weakens Medicare’s finances.
Immediately after Election Day, Paul Ryan “justified” his plan to gut Medicare by saying, “because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.” Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth. ACA has in fact extended the lifespan of the Medicare Trust Fund. But the GOP’s plan is a self-fulfilling prophecy: Weaken Medicare in order to destroy the program through privatization.
We must stand united! Sign the petition to Congress demanding they reject any Republican “healthcare” plans that destroy Medicaid, weaken Medicare, and enrich the wealthy at the expense of of the poor, elderly and sick.
The bill removes protections that limit the amounts health insurance companies can charge older Americans. This would be particularly devastating to people in their fifties and early sixties, who aren’t yet eligible for Medicare.
The bill also threatens the financial security of millions of families due to cuts in Medicaid. About 10 million seniors are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid―with Medicaid covering the majority of long-term nursing home costs for low-income seniors. Cuts to Medicaid would deprive millions of seniors of needed nursing home coverage, forcing families to scramble to either make up the difference or provide in-home care instead. The bottom line is that this bill would make insurance more expensive and lower quality for millions of Americans―starting with seniors.
Together we must fight any attempt to destroy Medicare and Medicaid―threatening the healthcare and financial security of millions of Americans.
This Thursday, millionaires and billionaires will stop paying into Social Security. To shine a spotlight on this unfair policy, Social Security Works is joining with Social Security Champion Bernie Sanders for a national day of action.
Sign the pledge today! Pledge to call your Senators this Thursday, February 16th and tell them that millionaires and billionaires should pay into Social Security at the same rate as the rest of us—and that doing so would allow us to expand benefits. We will send a script and a reminder Thursday.
Right now, the way we fund Social Security―a regressive practice that only applies to the first $127,200 of a wage earner’s income―contributes to wealth and income inequality in the U.S.
A millionaire won’t pay anything into our Social Security system for at least the last ten and a half months of the year. This is because our Social Security system is primarily funded by payroll contributions (or FICA). Once the FICA cap of $127,200 is reached, millionaires and billionaires stop paying into the system, while the vast majority of Americans continue to pay in on all of their salary.
Stand with Senator Bernie Sanders and Social Security Works. Pledge to call your Senators this Thursday and tell them to “scrap the cap” on Social Security payroll contributions and demand the wealthy pay their fair share.
Social Security benefits provide critical financial stability to seniors, children, surviving spouses and veterans. It is outrageous that Republicans―at the behest of their Wall Street backers―continue to call for cuts to Social Security based on a future projected shortfall to the trust fund when all we need is to ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share!
Sign the pledge today. Join Social Security Champion Bernie Sanders in calling on Congress to “scrap the cap” and require millionaires and billionaires to pay into Social Security at the same rate as the rest of us.
CARA Alert – February 27, 2017
A publication of the California Alliance for Retired Americans.
CARA’ Presence felt around the State during PRESIDENT’S WEEK Congressional RECESS
DON’T CUT OR PRIVATIZE MEDICARE, MEDICAID OR SOCIAL SECURITY
During the Week of Feb 17 – 24th, CARA sponsored or participated in dozens of events at key Congressional offices to protest GOP proposals to cut and privatize Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA, and Social Security. Some events drew hundreds like the candlelight vigil at McClintock’s office, the march to Rohrabacher’s office, and the rally in front of Denham’s office. Other CARA folks held meetings with Congressional staffers like those at LaMalfa’s office, one with Khanna’s staff and a meeting with Feinstein’s staff. There was an informational picket in front of Issa’s office and congregational flyering after services in Valadao, Nunes and McCarthy’s offices. This is just a small sampling of the events that took place this past week in California. Needless to say, they were all AWESOME and proved that people are mad about these proposals and willing to take to the streets and take on their Representatives. Responses from some of the Congressmembers called us “anarchists”, or “paid agitators”, but this did not deter a single protestor. The crowds were diverse, unified, and energized – and sent a very clear message to members of Congress – DON’T CUT OUR SOCIAL INSURANCE PROGRAMS!!! CARA will be planning our next steps to keep the heat on.
Thank you to everyone who attended one of the many events around the State. If you were unable to go to an event – you can check out some of the photos, videos and press from these events on the CARA website at www.californiaalliance.org.
But our work is far from over. Congress plans to take up some of these GOP proposals in the weeks following this recess. We must keep the pressure on – so don’t stop calling, writing, emailing and faxing your Congressional representatives. Here’s how:
TODAY and EVERYDAY:
Get Loud by Phone, Mail, or Online:
866-828-4162 (toll free switchboard in D.C.)
THE HEALTHY CALIFORNIA ACT (SB 562-LARA)
On Wednesday, February 22nd, CARA joined Senator Lara and the Campaign for a Healthy CA to celebrate the introduction of the Healthy CA Act that would provide guaranteed health care to every Californian regardless of age, employment status, immigration status, income, ethnicity: EVERYONE IN and NOBODY OUT! Hundreds of folks rallied to celebrate the introduction of this bill. This legislation comes at a critical time – as Congress attempts to derail and defund the ACA, cut and privatize MediCAL and Medicare, we in California are going to fight to improve health care and finish the job that the ACA began, so that we can be the first state to guarantee health care for everyone – without the insurance companies, while saving money and eliminating deductibles and co-payments.
We have a unique window of opportunity to pass SB 562. The word must get out quickly! To that end, the Campaign for a Healthy CA is rolling out Train the Trainer sessions to get leaders trained to spread the GOOD NEWs and get others to engage in the campaign. The first trainings are happening on March 4th in Glendale, Corte Madera, and San Francisco. If you would like to become a Trainer – and help train the next batch of leaders, these trainings are for you! Here are the training locations, times, and numbers to rsvp (you must rsvp to get in as space is limited!):
March 4th SB 562 Train the Trainer Events:
Glendale: 10am – 1pm, CNA, 225 W. Broadway, 5th floor, RSVP to http://bit.ly/2kJlrHy
San Francisco: 9am-12pm, SEIU 1021, 350 Rhode Island, RSVP to http://bit.ly/2kJlrHy
Corte Madera: 1pm – 4pm, Corte Madera Community Center, 498 Tamalpais Dr.
RSVP to http://bit.ly/2kJlrHy
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: UPCOMING CARA STATEWIDE EVENTS:
(all in Sacramento)
THURSDAY, MAY 25TH: CARA LOBBY DAY IN SACRAMENTO/10:30-2:30PM
THURS. AND FRI. MAY 25TH & 26TH: CARA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY IN
TUES. AND WED. SEPT 26TH & 27TH: CARA 14TH BIENNIAL CONVENTION
You can contact CARA at:
CARA, 600 Grand Ave. #410, Oakland, CA 94610
NORTH: 510-663-4086 • 510-663-4099 (fax) • email@example.com
SOUTH: 714-488-5488 • Vishnu.firstname.lastname@example.org
TOLLFREE 1-877-223-6107 • www.californiaalliance.org
CARA Alert – November 11, 2016
A publication of the California Alliance for Retired Americans
Honor our Veterans!
Shocked, sad, confused, and ready to fight?
Many CARA members have been calling to express their fear, sadness and dismay over the outcome of the national election. We will definitely have our work cut out for us to protect the programs we depend on from proposals to privatize, voucherize and cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pensions, housing and more. But CARA is nothing if not resilient – and we must be ready to build our movement and fight like we never have before. We must look at this as an opportunity to build coalitions, rally our forces, and engage the public in the important debates.
At the State and local level, we faired a bit better. Many of the state ballot measures that CARA supported passed, and those we opposed were defeated. Of the 4 state ballot measures CARA highlighted on our slatecards this election, 3 passed – Prop 51 (funding for K-12 schools and community colleges), Prop 55 (extending the tax to high income earners to pay for schools, health care and other social programs), and Prop 59 (to put California on record opposing the Citizens United case). The 4th measure we supported – Prop 61 (California Drug Price Relief Act) was defeated after the pharmaceutical lobby spent over $120 million dollars threatening consumers and vets with misleading and false ads. CARA will continue to fight big Pharma. We will also be developing our legislative agenda for 2017, so stay tuned for information in future CARA Alerts.
A big thank you to everyone in CARA who distributed our slate cards, talked with voters, worked on phone banks and other GOTV efforts, volunteered at the polls and who voted. California will need to be a beacon for the rest of the country and lead the way on the issues important to seniors and working families. Onward!!
STOP THE TPP DURING THE LAME DUCK SESSION
Call Congress on November 15th, 16th, or 17th
There is speculation that President Obama will try to bring up the TPP for another vote before he leaves office. In order to stop that vote from happening, CARA is part of a national effort to raise our voices against the TPP.
On November 15th, 16th, & 17th, we would like you and everyone you know to call Congress and urge your Representative to Vote NO on the TPP. The toll free call-in number is 1-888-659-7351. If you would like more information and talking points, go to http://stopthetpp.org/call-congress/.
Get cash back for your online shopping AND raise money for CARA!
The California Alliance for Retired Americans is thrilled to announce our new cash back website which rewards members and friends for their online purchases AND generates donations for CARA.
This new site, powered by the National Nonprofit Network, offers our members’ cash back rebates at more than 1,100 of the Internet’s most popular retailers. Some examples of participating stores are:
In addition to the cash back available, the National Nonprofit Network posts deals and coupons from online stores almost every day. Shoppers can use these coupons to save even more! With the holiday season upon us, sign up for this easy way to buy gifts, and get cash back for yourself and for CARA.
Here’s how easy it is for you to save money and to raise money for CARA at the same time:
- On the address bar of your computer enter: nnn.freecashbackmall.com/CARA
- Click on JOIN FREE. Enter your email address and ZIP Code.
- A welcome letter will appear on the screen with your user name and temporary password.
- In the box on left side of screen, click Member Profile. Complete your Member Profile. There are just two required fields (with asterisk), one is your email address and the other is ZIP/Postal Code. This is also where you would create your new password although it is not required. You may continue to use the password provided when you created your account. Click on the SUBMIT button to save your changes.
- Select Stores to search for the merchandise or service you want to purchase and you will be provided a list of online vendors to choose from and compare. You can also search for a specific company you are interested in.
- Stores and cash back are subject to change. See nnn.freecashbackmall.com/CARA for a current list of stores and cash back rebate amounts.
- Start shopping!
Take advantage of this special benefit right away!
Go to: nnn.freecashbackmall.com/CARA and enroll today!
Tell your senators: do your job, give Court nominee a vote
President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. “Americans are counting on the Senate to do its job by considering the president’s nominee, hold a hearing and a vote,” said NEA president Lily Eskelsen García. “This is a duty that both political parties always have fulfilled. Never in our nation’s history has a Senate majority said they refuse to consider or vote on anyone nominated by the current President.”
The Constitution is clear: It is the duty of the President to nominate Supreme Court justices and the duty of the Senate to provide “advice and consent”—to hold a hearing and take an up-or-down vote. Click on the “take action” button and tell your senators to do their job.
Tell Congress to invest in our students and fund ESSA
The NEA-opposed GOP budget proposal for FY2017, narrowly approved by the House Budget Committee, would slash nearly $900 billion in funding for domestic discretionary programs—like education, health, and infrastructure—and cut Medicaid, which provides healthcare to one-third of our nation’s children, by $1 trillion.And while this budget is unlikely to go much further, it shows how hard educators must continue to push to ensure Congress actually increases the investment in our students’ education.
As states and school districts begin implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), it is essential for Congress to increase Title I funding, especially to help the students most in need. Click on the “take action” button and urge Congress to give the Labor-HHS-Education bill a bigger share of the budget in FY2017.
Hearing on Social Security offsets to be held next week
In an important development in the continuing fight to repeal Social Security penalties for public servants, a House subcommittee will hold a hearing on March 22 to examine the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). These laws unfairly penalize and reduce Social Security benefits earned by educators and other public employees. NEA and educators have long seen repeal of these laws as an issue of basic fairness and continue fighting to end the penalties.
Click the “take action” button to urge Congress to support legislation to fully repeal the GPO and WEP penalties. And stay tuned for more in the next edition of Education Insider.
Cheers and Jeers
|Last Spring — thanks to your hard work — over 90% of Senate Democrats went on record supporting Social Security expansion. Now we have a chance to do the same in the House.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) has introduced House Resolution 393, which supports protecting and expanding Social Security, and she already has 107 co-sponsors!
Rep. Schakowsky recently appeared on The Zero Hour with our friend and radio host Richard “RJ” Eskow to discuss her efforts in the House to protect and expand the retirement security of millions of Americans.
Click here to join Social Security Works and The Zero Hour in supporting Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s House Resolution 393 to protect and expand Social Security and listen to Rep. Schakowsky’s recent radio interview.
In her interview, Rep. Schakowsky discussed why Social Security is so critical in this presidential election year:
“As we head into this actual election year, I wanted to remind people how important Social Security is in the lives of Americans. We’re talking about 60 million Americans who rely on Social Security including 43 million retirees, 9.5 million veterans, 9 million people with disabilities, 4.4 million children who are relying on Social Security; without which, many of those people would be living in abject poverty.”
Right now, 43 out of 46 Senate Democrats and two out of three Democratic presidential candidates are on record in support of expanding, never cutting Social Security. If we can increase our numbers in the House, we can demonstrate overwhelming support for expansion within the Democratic Party.
Recent polling shows that 79% of likely voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – support expanding Social Security benefits and paying for it by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. Rep. Schakowsky’s resolution is a major opportunity for our elected officials to stand with millions of Americans and say loud and clear: Expand, don’t cut Social Security!