FEMA to Climate Deniers: "Get Your Own Sandbags."

THROWBACK POST: This is an oldie but a goodie that we shared with People Demanding Action members back in 2015. The sentiments are just as relevant today. It's past time to get politics out of the equation and embrace the "science" part of climate science.

March 18, 2015


By Elizabeth Warren, People Demanding Action                                      

In an astonishing act of bravado, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) announced its  plan to withhold disaster mitigation preparedness funds from those states whose governors refuse to acknowledge that things like hurricanes, droughts and other natural disasters are not simply “acts of God” but in fact directly attributable to the folly of men.

Here’s what’s cool about that:

FEMA is not saying that the agency won’t rush in and help disaster victims once tragedy has struck. What they’re saying is that climate change deniers can’t have their sandbags and deny they need them too.

Makes sense to me.

FEMA’s point is to make governors in high risk states—who continue to deny the reality of climate change— publicly admit that it does in fact exist if they want help preparing for its eventual fallout.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Not so for politicians, it would seem. Especially those with a serious stake in preserving the sanctity of fossil fuel worship and the campaign funds that go along with it.

These guys have a lot of political capital invested in maintaining the façade that “climate change” is nothing more than a left-wing conspiracy aimed at robbing hard-working multinational coal and oil company magnates of their God-given right to record obscene U.S. profits, move them to offshore accounts to avoid taxes, and use the entire Earth as their personal ashtray. 

As I see it, the five governors in question—Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Scott of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Greg Abbott of Texas and Pat McCrory of North Carolina—have some serious soul searching—and number crunching—in their futures as they consider what to do next.  

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It’s been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. If that’s true, then it’s high time that hand earned what it’s worth. And if Congress steps up and unflinchingly does the right thing by removing the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment—they could get it. Everyone remembers ERA as a relic from the 1970s. Women marched in the streets and burned their bras, inspired by Helen Reddy and Aretha Franklin telling them they should “roar” and get some “respect.”

These were the grandmas of the Lilith Fair crowd, and they were epically fierce. As we prepare to pay homage to America’s cradle rockers (of which, full disclosure, I am one) I think it’s only right to point out the gaping contradiction between the outpouring of national adoration we heap on mothers this one day a year—and how America’s laws treat them the other 364 days.


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My Story

I came almost reluctantly to politics--fresh from years in the trenches as a fierce defender of economic, social, and environmental justice. I am running for office because I believe with my whole heart that we're all in this together, that everyone deserves a chance, and that the laws of California (and the nation) should be a reflection of our shared values--not something written by and for a privileged few. I stepped up to run for Assembly because I believe I can contribute. I took a long look at how things run in California and realized that after living, working, raising a family and fighting “the machine” for many years, I had accomplished all I could as a “civilian” and to accomplish anything more, I needed a “backstage pass.”
In these uncertain times, California has a chance to lead America by example--but we can only do that if we elect people with the will to get it done. I have no plans for a political career--I just want to do my part to help solve some problems. And I can--with your help. I don’t claim to know it all--but I will do my homework, listen to my neighbors, and be your voice in Sacramento. Working together, we CAN improve our quality of life, strengthen our communities, and give our kids some hope.
THE BIRTH OF AN ACTIVIST My story is not remarkable--in fact, it’s like that of many Californians. I began my career as a newspaper reporter then freelanced as a writer and editor for magazines, PR clients and more. As the internet became a part of our daily lives, I evolved into working in digital media, blogging and working for online social justice organizations. Like many families, my husband and I were early casualties of the mortgage crisis. That was a pivotal moment.
We weren’t irresponsible people. We survived for a year before our funds ran out. Losing what little security we’d managed to amass left me determined to find out what the heck happened. My reporter’s instinct drove me to dig deep, and I learned more about banking and finance that I’d ever wanted to know. What I learned made me mad. The entire collapse--which was arguably orchestrated by Wall Street--was allowed to happen by the Congress we’d elected to look out for us. The same Congress that at the height of the mortgage crisis voted AGAINST allowing bankruptcy courts to forgive the “underwater” portions of mortgages for individual homeowners--even though that protection already existed for INVESTORS. The only ones not in on the joke were average people like us. What REALLY stung was learning how many members of our federal government actually profited personally.
That’s what turned me into an activist. I was trained by MoveOn and worked with grassroots activists (many were moms like me) from coast to coast. Nurses, teachers, factory workers, waitresses, clerks, retirees and stay at home moms--we all became overnight experts on legislation. We achieved our greatest win in 2016 when we stopped Congress from voting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a trade deal that would have made corporations more powerful than governments. That success led to me getting more involved in politics at the state level, becoming a delegate, and talking with neighbors who urged me to run for State Assembly in California’s 76th District (Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista and Camp Pendleton.)
I’ve been working and campaigning for a year now--longer than anybody in this race. All of our homework says I can win--but it’s not something I can, or should, do alone. This race has never been about me. It’s always been about US. All of us. We deserve a voice, and a chance. We CAN put power back in the hands of regular people. We can reshape our state government into one that trusts communities to make our own decisions--and then works with our communities to make sure we succeed. We can create a better quality of life for working families; we can make our communities stronger by helping people live where we work so we don’t lose hours a day to freeway traffic. And we can create hope--by investing in our kids, providing healthcare for all, respecting our veterans, caring for our elderly--the people whose shoulders we stood on and who now need our help to survive on fixed incomes in this cutthroat economy. We need to make sure our grandchildren will have a planet--one with air they can breathe and water they can drink. And where everyone is equal, everyone is valued, everyone is respected, and everyone is safe. We can create the California we want and it can stand as an example for America and the world. It’s genuinely within our reach. Together, we CAN make a difference!
My name is Elizabeth Warren. I’m a journalist, a wife, a mom, a sometime cook and a dog lover. A regular person. I listen. I learn. I work hard. And I’m asking for your vote.
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Elizabeth Warren Rejects Fossil Fuel Lobby

Since Day One of this campaign, California's own Elizabeth Warren has rejected big-money, deep-pocket lobbyists. You know the ones ... financial institutions, insurance providers and the fossil fuel lobbyists. Now she has officially denounced campaign donations from fossil fuel lobbyists by signing a candidate's pledge.

"I pledge not to take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry, and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits."

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Congress, Take Note: Disabled Rights are Civil Rights

This may not be the sexiest thing to write about these days, but I'd like to talk, for just a minute, about civil rights for those with disabilities, and why this issue matters so much to me.

In 1981 I was a college intern for our local newspaper. That was the year the U.N. declared "The International Year of Disabled Persons." IYDP, as it came to be called, was my "beat."

A number of local advocacy groups had been forming—many around specific conditions. That year, they decided there was strength in numbers and formed an Alliance of Disabled Persons. They organized strategically, lobbying for change. It was slow going.

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The Woman who had the Greatest Impact on my Life

As I reflect on International Women's Day and the many women so deserving of recognition, my thoughts go to my mother, Beverly, who died several months ago. She was my rock. Her perseverance taught me the value of sticking with things--no matter what. This is a modified version of the tribute I wrote that week. Whenever I need to be inspired, I reach into the well of memories I have of my mom. -- EW

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No Human Being Is Illegal


Members and supporters of the North County Immigration Task Force gathered to celebrate the birthdays of two of its central figures: Caroline Theiss-Aird, and Patricia Serrano. Rather than gifts, these leaders asked friends and neighbors in the community to contribute to support the work of the task force. 
 — with Marggie CastellanoCaroline Theiss-AirdTazheen Nizam,Elizabeth Warren for CA State Assembly 76 andTodd Warren at Aztec Brewery.

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SB 562 — Just what the nurse ordered!

Nurses.jpgOn the steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento with the San Diego contingent of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. As you may have heard me say in the past, the nurses take no prisoners when it comes to getting a task accomplished. They are steadfast in their support of progressive initiatives (they fought TPP and endorsed progressives in the election) and they can’t be bullied (or bought.) Healthcare for All has been a goal of the nurses for as long as I can remember. SB 562, the Healthy California Act (Sens. Toni Atkins/Ricardo Lara) will cover everyone—regardless of income or circumstance. To build support, the nurses have been rallying up and down the state and holding community education town halls to help residents understand just how GOOD it is!

On the day the bill was introduced in the Senate Health Committee, busloads of nurses and community supporters arrived from all over the state. Following a rousing rally (where they served us breakfast AND lunch!) we marched to the capitol. The hearing hall was awash in a sea of red scrubs, and the overflow spilled out onto the street and around the block. The well-funded lobbyists from Kaiser and the Chamber of Commerce didn’t stand a chance. SB 562 cleared its first hurdle that day, putting Guaranteed Healthcare for All Californians finally within reach! #CNA


Just got this urgent update from CNA--we need to make calls to the Assembly, asking them to invite the California Nurses to address them on SB 562. It's insane that CNA wasn't included as a vital part of this conversation in Sacramento! 
California Nurses Association -- SB562 supporter -- Wanted to give you a urgent update.
On Monday and Tuesday, a special committee of the California State Assembly will be holding a hearing on SB562. the committee has NOT invited the California Nurses Association to be part of that meeting but we're going to show up anyway.
Please call your Assembly Member to invite the nurses to speak. It's really easy to make a call directly to your Assembly Member by going to this link: https://go.ourrevolution.com/page/content/sb562
And if you can make it to Sacramento in person on Monday or Tuesday, please read the information below and RSVP.
The movement for Medicare for All in California continues! Join us in Sacramento on October 23rd and 24th to rally in support for SB 562 at the State Capitol during the Select Committee Hearing on Healthcare.
Instead of moving SB 562 forward, Speaker Anthony Rendon has blocked the democratic process by stalling the bill, and created a "Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage," with absolutely no legislative authority. The first select committee hearings will be held on these 2 days in Sacramento with apparently little time scheduled for public comment.
We will hold rallies on the North Steps of the State Capitol building from 11am – 12pm on both days to urge these legislators to move SB 562 forward without delay. Join us and bring a friend or two!
Need a ride there?
RSVP to join a bus from your area!

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Sometimes it's about having fun!

Toes.jpgAnnounced to friends and early supporters in March that I’d “stepped” into the Assembly race in the 76th District (which includes the beach cities of Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas) by making a bold statement with my toes, which were color-coordinated to our campaign colors of Democrat Blue and Environment Green! One savvy supporter noted that I should have worn flip flops. She’s right. My bad. Next time, for sure! #FlipThe76th

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My Labor Roots Run Deep


Even as we fight for a living wage (in 2017!) May Day gives me reason to be grateful as I reflect on the struggles of labor unions and the many advances they achieved for working people—the 40 hour workweek, sick pay, overtime, benefits, and more. This card belonged to my maternal grandmother, a lifelong Democrat who supported Indiana Senator Birch Bayh. (His son would go on to become Governor of the state.)

As a very young woman my grandmother worked in a factory. I grew up hearing how after she and my grandfather were married (they were 19 and 21) it took her several years to bear her first healthy child because the hours on her feet and conditions where she worked were so difficult she suffered multiple miscarriages. Thankfully, we have made progress, but there is still much to be done to protect workers’ hard-won protections and address the needs of working people in the new economy. #FightFor15


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