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 give them 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:
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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Standing Up For Science

The camaraderie at the recent San Diego #ScienceMarch was undeniable. And the signs! One thing you can say for progressives—we are CREATIVE.  Everyone from Einstein to Bill Nye the Science Guy was depicted somewhere! Two of these ladies rode down on a bus with me and some of our North County organizing leaders. It was a great day for science, and an even better one for humanity. 


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North County Bernie Delegation

At the North County Bernie Delegation election, 2016. Progressive Dems vied for limited spots at the DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN PHILADELPHIA. Yours truly was fortunate to earn a spot on a standing committee. Now it’s time for ALL progressives to unify—we MUST do that to turn things around. The alternative is too scary to contemplate. #FlipThe76th


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The People's Summit, Chicago, 2016

Remembering the FIRST People’s Summit, June, 2016, when I met one of my personal she-roes: RoseAnn DeMoro of National Nurses United. (Nurses get things DONE!) The nurses fought tirelessly to Stop TPP (my personal issue for nearly 3 years!) And now, thanks to them we have a bill on the table, SB 562, the Healthy California Act, that will guarantee healthcare to every Californian! That’s something to write home about! (Note to supporters: nothing is implied by this photo, the lady was simply gracious enough to pose with me.)


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Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona...

With my PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) family, at the last annual leadership retreat held in Winslow before the 2014 death of beloved founder Tim Carpenter. Tim would be proud to know that PDA played a key role in the last election, and is now soldiering on under the leadership of Donna Smith (featured in the film, “Sicko.”) PDA is a true champion of Healthcare for All.  #PDARocks 


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