CHIP covers 9 million kids, why hasn't Congress renewed it?!

November 20, 2017

Congress still has not renewed CHIP - the Children's Health Insurance Program, an important state and federal program that covers 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women each year. Despite having two years to renew CHIP, Congress blew the September 30th deadline. CHIP is currently languishing in limbo-land while the states run out of money to pay for it -- which is very bad news for the kids and moms who rely on it.

CHIP is actually a popular program which has enjoyed largely bipartisan support since it was enacted in 1997 but the Republicans are attempting to hold it hostage in yet another attempt to destroy Obamacare. Sigh.

Please call your members of Congress to urge them to reauthorize CHIP immediately. Pregnant moms and sick kids really can't wait.
1. Find your Senator's number here.

2. Here's your script - feel free to revise or use your own words and it's always helpful if you can personalize your comments with your own relevant experience:

"Hi, my name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR TOWN/CITY. 

I'm very concerned that Congress has not extended the CHIP program that provides health insurance to 9 million children - and 370,000 pregnant women each year. These families do not know if they will continue to have coverage and it's likely to run out soon. For the pregnant women, this may mean they do not have coverage when they need it most - like when they give birth! Many of these children are also sick or suffer from chronic conditions.

Congress has had two years to reauthorize CHIP and there's no excuse for failing to renew it when millions of children's lives are on the line. I urge the Senator to do everything possible to ensure that it gets renewed before the end of the year if not sooner.

Thank you for taking my call."

3. Hang up and call the other Senator. Then repeat with your House Rep - find his/her number here.

4. Please share! And I encourage you to tweet and post at your members of Congress about this, too.

Trump Wants to Hike Entrance Fees to National Parks. Say NO!

October 26, 2017

The latest outrage. Trump administration wants to increase entrance fees at our most popular national parks DRAMATICALLY. Entry at these parks currently costs $25 or $30 per vehicle, no matter the season. Under the new rates, entrance would cost $75 per vehicle during the five-month peak season.
Per-person entry fees which are currently $10-$15 would rise to $30 during peak season.

When you're trying to cut taxes for the 1%, I guess you've gotta stick it to the 99% to make up the difference...

Submit a public comment now to say you're opposed to making it harder for anyone who is not wealthy to enjoy these national treasures that are owned by all of us and are supposed to be there for EVERYONE to enjoy.

You can read the full fact sheet here. More on this from NPR. 

Click here to submit your comment. There's a sample comment below but I encourage you to use your own words. 

Please spread the word - the deadline to weigh in on this bad idea is November 28th.


SAMPLE COMMENT---------------------------

I urge you not to raise park entrance fees in this dramatic fashion as it will have the unfortunate effect of making it harder for working class and poor Americans to enjoy our national treasures which are owned equally by all of us, regardless of income level.

While I fully support efforts to fund the backlog needed for maintenance at our national parks, this is not a good way to get there as it will disproportionately hurt lower income Americans.

Please reject this misguided plan.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Don't Let Them Repeal the Clean Power Plan

October 16, 2017

Scott Pruitt, head (enemy) of the EPA, just advanced Trump's Dirty Power agenda by formally filing a proposal to repeal Obama's Clean Power Plan. This is a TERRIBLE IDEA as the Clean Power Plan represents our best chance at reversing climate change by reducing carbon pollution from power plants. Pruitt's repeal would be a blatant giveaway to his close friends, the coal industry and other big polluters who will undoubtedly use some of the money the profits they would reap from it to help fund Trump's re-election campaign. Shudder....

BUT. The government must accept public comments on their proposed repeal before they can move forward with this insanity. 

So YOU need to comment. Publicly.

Here's what you do:

1. Go to: (this is the specific docket you need to comment on - that long string of numbers at the end is important)

2. Write your comment. I encourage you to use your own words but here's a draft you can edit if you like:

I'm writing to state my objection to Administrator Pruitt's proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan which would be a disastrous, immoral and short-sighted decision that will seriously harm public health and threaten the future health of our planet. 

Regardless of what Trump says, climate change is real and it is happening all around us right now (to wit, the off the charts destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the record temperatures, brutal wildfires, and unprecedented melting of the polar ice caps...) The Clean Power Plan is one of the most effective tools we have to fight climate change and protect the air we breathe.

Please do NOT put our environment and our health at risk - protect the Clean Power Plan and focus your efforts on reducing power plant pollution and the dire threat of climate change.

Thank you for your time and attention.

3. Click "Continue". On the next page, review the preview of your comment and if it looks, good, at the bottom, mark the checkbox by their disclaimer and hit "Submit." If you'd like, you can enter your email on the next page to get a "receipt" of your public comment.

4. Spread the word. Share this on Facebook and Twitter. Share it via email. Share it via text. The deadline for public comments is December 15th so it's up to all of us to speak out in deafening volume before then. You're welcome to retweet what I shared below or write your own posts/tweets.

Facebook post:

Important Deadline TODAY for NYS Democrats

October 13, 2017

I know you're not all in New York State but for those of you who are, you need to make sure you are registered to vote as a Democrat (just being a registered voter will not cut it) by COB today, 10/13/17, if you want to cast your vote in the Democratic Party primary next June.

If you're not sure you're a registered Democrat, you can check your status quickly here:

If you're not a registered Dem but would like to help decide which candidate takes on the Republican challenger or incumbent next November, you can register here:

And you have to do it TODAY or you can't vote in the primary come June 2018.

Please pass it on to any New Yorkers you know.