By Doug Porter
The California legislature passed a ban on many uses of plastic bags back in 2014. Gov. Brown signed it and the American Progressive Bag Alliance, representing bag manufacturers, dumped $3.2 million to get signatures for a referendum on the November 2016 ballot. So now the law is on hold.
Not content with a simple up or down vote on the matter, the industry is now in the process of gathering signatures for a second measure mandating fees from grocery bag sales be used for environmental projects. If you think this sounds too good to be true for an idea ultimately emanating from the dirty energy industry, you’re right.
This second ballot item is aimed at punishing the grocery industry for backing the original statewide ban. What’s even worse is the sales spiel being used by this effort confuses the matter, implying that the 10 cent fee allowed for store-furnished shopping bags is lining the interests of “special interests” and “union bosses.”
The industry would also like us to believe that “confusing” regulations will lead to increased costs to consumers and businesses, and the “free market is the best arbiter of the container.” The 88 billion (with a B) plastic bags that are not recycled annually in the US are just an inconvenient fact.
And this isn’t just a California thing. Check out this excerpt from PRWatch.org:
A group calling itself the “American Progressive Bag Alliance” (ABPA), a trade group that has been funded by plastics manufacturers like Novolex, the Superbag Corporation, and Advanced Polybag, paid an unknown sum to ALEC to present a “workshop” to policymakers claiming that plastic bag regulations are “ill-advised and deliberately misleading legislation.” That presentation was at the December 2014 ACCE meeting in Washington, D.C.
APBA also paid to sit alongside local elected officials at the July 2015 ACCE conference in San Diego where the “model” resolution against plastic bag bans was drafted and adopted.
In December 2015, APBA also paid to send its policy chair, Philip Rozenski, to the ACCE meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he claimed to elected officials that plastic bags were actually good for the environment.
More than 100 cities and counties in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, bans in place. San Diego is one of many other California local governments considering bans.
The industry and its friends in ALEC have a “free market” solution for the local bans. They’ve crafted fill-in-the-blank legislation, already passed in Wisconsin, barring local governments from imposing plastic bag bans.
As noted in this column earlier in the week, signature gatherers are currently camped in front of local retail outlets. You may be told signing this petition will help “save the environment.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
News of The Donald – Too Many Jews?
Donald Trump supporter David Duke is at it again, with anti-Semitic attacks against Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Duke says Obama’s nominee is “a Jewish supremacist,” and the country won’t survive a “Minority-Dominated Supreme Court” that “basically gives Jews total veto.”.
From Media Mattters:
As Media Matters and other outlets have noted, Trump’s presidential campaign has received support from numerous white nationalist groups and leaders who have used his campaign to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. Trump has retweeted white nationalists, repeatedly declined to denounce former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke in an interview, and gave press credentials to a white nationalist figure who also interviewed Donald Trump Jr.
Duke is one of the country’s most infamous anti-Semites and white nationalists. He’s urged his followers to vote for Trump and volunteer for his campaign, saying Trump is “right” on “the crucial issues facing the United States and the world.”
During his March 17 radio program, Duke said Garland’s nomination demonstrates “the Jewish control of this country,” warning “you can count on” the current Jewish justices “to do whatever the Jewish agenda is, whatever the Jewish establishment wants.” Duke added that Obama, who is purportedly under “Jewish control,” “appointed a Jewish supremacist to be the guy on the Supreme Court, which basically gives Jews total veto over the Supreme Court.”
This is not to say that all Trump supporters are White Nationalists. But their enthusiasm for this man should be enough reason for people to question his aims.
News of the Donald – AIPAC Boycott
The Donald’s visit to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday has prompted a group of about 40 rabbis to announce a boycott of his speech.
From the Washington Post:
Some say they hear echoes of a painful past under fascism in Trump’s recent comments appearing to praise authoritarian figures such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and in the way that Trump stokes economic anger among his supporters. And they point to Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and his harsh rhetoric on illegal Mexican migrants as reminiscent of the anti-immigrant sentiment that greeted European Jews in generations past.
“These are the darkest days for Republican Jews like myself,” former George W. Bush speechwriter Noam Neusner wrote in a column this month in the Forward, a Jewish newspaper. He wrote that Trump “has built within our party the nearest thing America has ever seen to a European nativist working-class political movement. Such movements, to put it mildly, have never been good for the Jews or allies of free thought and the free market.”
News of The Donald: D9’s Gomez Says ‘Condemn Trump’
City Council candidate Georgette Gomez’s team has thoughtfully pointed out to me that she beat me to the punch in urging local elected officials to denounce Donald Trump’s “hateful and divisive rhetoric and policies.”
Last week she issued a statement to this effect and I have to wonder if it didn’t unconsciously influence me in my writing. So, mea culpa.
Here’s Georgette Gomez’s statement:
“We all have a responsibility to stand up against hate, division, and bigotry. Yet too many of San Diego’s leaders sit silent while Trump attacks our neighbors, our loved ones, and our communities.
“Mayor Faulconer needs to denounce Trump. Will Faulconer follow his endorsed candidate for President, Marco Rubio, and vote for Trump if he is the GOP nominee?
“The San Diego City Council and Board of Supervisors have not taken a stand on Trump’s hateful rhetoric either. I call on San Diego leaders to speak out against Trump’s plan to deport 11 million immigrants, his refusal to disavow the KKK, and his proposed ban on Muslims.
“San Diego should join the California State Senate which passed a resolution condemning Trump’s racism and hatred. San Diego should echo the St. Paul, Minnesota City Council, which denounced Trump’s ‘anti-immigrant speech’.
“This isn’t about politics. This is about standing up to hate, racism and division, and reaffirming San Diego’s pride in our diversity and strong immigrant communities.
“These are times that require action and conviction. San Diego leaders must condemn Donald Trump.”
Who’s next? Can I get an Amen?
Weekly Progressive Calendar: Upcoming in San Diego
Raise California’s Wage Signature Gathering
Saturday , March 19, 9am
SEIU Local 221
4004 Kearny Mesa Road
Info & Updates
The Raise California’s Wage and Paid Sick Days Act of 2016 will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020 and guarantee that every full-time worker will receive at least six days per year to care for themselves and their families. Our signature drive is up and running, but we need to work together to qualify for the ballot in November.
*Coffee and food will be provided
We will have an update on the campaign, a training on the rules and best practices for signature gathering, and then collect a pile of signatures for the initiative. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes!
Raise The Wage San Diego Precinct Walk
Saturday, March 19, 9am
8340 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
Info & Updates
Join us on the campaign to raise the minimum wage and provide earned sick days to all San Diegans!
Docent-led Tour of the Women of the Gaslamp Quarter
Saturday, March 19, 10:30am
(Also Tuesday, March 22, 1:30pm)
Meet at the Steps to the Lyceum Theater (Horton Plaza)
To reserve, email Docent Anne Hoiberg
Info: 858 245-1677 (A Women’s Museum of California event)
Join Anne Hoiberg for a walking tour of the Gaslamp Quarter District with stories of the women who lived in the district, the women who helped those living in the district, and the women who helped to “clean up” the district. Also a brief exploration of the 93 historic buildings in the Quarter. With a brief stop at the Sparks Galleryto hear the story of Ramona Wolf!
Heroines, Pioneers & Trailblazers
Guest Speaker – Dr. Joycelyn Elders – U.S. Surgeon General 1993-1994
Please join us for a gala brunch to celebrate some “ordinary” women (lesbian, trans*, and straight) who stepped up and did extraordinary things in the difficult early days of HIV/AIDS in San Diego and Tijuana. Their stories are some of the most compelling yet under-recognized chapters in our history. In appreciation of all who gave in so many ways, we will honor individuals and one group as our 2016 “Heroines, Pioneers, and Trailblazers.”
It’s Your Time, San Diego
Sunday, March 20, 1-3pm
3130 Moore St. (Old Town)
Info & Updates
(Hosted by Lori Saldaña for Mayor)
“It’s Your Time”, San Diego! Join us for an afternoon of San Diego “craft” music, with our own Kimm Rogers performing the song she wrote for our people-powered campaign to elect Lori Saldana as the Mayor for 21st Century that we deserve. Kimm is an expert at wordplay and her lyrics often contain meaningful twists and double entendres that aren’t apparent at first listen. In that way, her songs are a true reflection of her generous spirit as they keep giving you little gifts every time you hear them. She is one-of-a-kind and a real musical treasure.
Joining Kimm will be another San Diego Music Awards nominee, Charlie Imes, whose “laid-back, jazzy beach folk rock” captures our San Diego vibe. And we’re expecting other special guests!
This is is a free event to celebrate our people-powered campaign — It’s OUR Time to elect a Mayor for the 21st Century who works for ALL San Diegans!
Powerful Documentaries at the Malcolm X Library
Saturday, March 19, 4pm
‘The Amazing Nina Simone’
Sunday, March 27, 4pm
‘Free Angela and All Political Prisoners’
Malcolm X Library & Performing Arts Center
5148 Market St. San Diego
Sorry gang, no link available
Meet Ed Harris the Next Democratic Mayor of San Diego,
& District 9 Candidates, Georgette Gomez and Sarah Saez
Monday, March 21, 6:30-8:30pm
The Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)
4089 Fairmount Ave.
Info & Updates (Hosted by Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County)
For this month’s meeting former Councilmember Ed Harris, will be joined by two candidates for City Council District 9, Georgette Gomez and Sarah Saez.
Ed Harris, a retired Marine and longtime San Diego lifeguard, was appointed by Democratic and Republican council members to represent San Diego City Council District 2 when the seat became vacant in 2014.
He’s been a tireless advocate for lifeguards and has fought for presumptive health coverage against the Mayor. He’s now taking this fight to the ballot box. Come along and meet Democratic candidate for Mayor, Ed Harris.
Last May the club met to “Learn Why San Diego City Council District 9 is Important” and heard from all the potential female candidates at that time. On Tuesday March 15, the Central Area of the San Diego County Democratic Party met to consider six Democratic candidates vying for the Party’s endorsement. Only two candidates were found acceptable, our clubmembers Georgette Gomez and Sarah Saez.
Bernie’s Political Revolution- Here in San Diego !
Thursday, March 24, 6:30-9:30pm
IBEW Local 569
4545 Viewridge Ave, Suite 100
Info & Updates (Hosted by San Diego Progressive Democratic Club)
It’s time to bring Bernie’s political revolution to San Diego. Help us elect local progressives who share our vision. Join us to hear from candidates for San Diego City Council District 9 and then vote to endorse. This is a race where we can elect a true progressive. We also will be sharing ideas as to what local progressive causes we can support now to make a difference.
Orientation Chat: Learn & Mingle w/ Climate Game Changers
Thursday, March 24, 7:30-9pm
3513 Main Street, Chula Vista
Info & Updates
Are you considering becoming a member of SanDiego350 (or do you know someone who is interested)? Want to know more about SanDiego350 and what a member does? If you’ve ever considered getting more involved in environmental action or climate change action, this is for YOU! We’d love to meet you during this low-key Orientation Chat.
Learn more about our organization and activities in a low-key, welcoming setting. Meet members, ask questions, see how we are organized and what we’re doing, and explore opportunities for getting involved. It’s a FREE opportunity for you to learn about environmental issues (like traffic, pollution & asthma) that affect the South Bay and what YOU can do to help.
Teresa Gunn Performs “Teresa Joins the Pep Squad”
Saturday March 26, 7pm
Saville Theater, City College
1450 “C” Street San Diego
Info & Updates (Donation at the door)
Benefit for Street of Dreams Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational and creative support to high risk teen mothers living in urban San Diego
The Trailer Park Queen Show is presented in association with San Diego City College Alcohol & Other Drug Studies Department. The One Woman Show is an arts education program performance/workshop that demonstrates the importance of art as a primary prevention.
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything. (Hint, hint Hillary fans.) Unfortunately, my subscription to the psychic hotline has lapsed so if you don’t tell me or Facebook, etc., about your event it won’t get listed. See my email address below.
On This Day: 1902 – Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company. He was the first well-known performer to make a record. 1937 – Police evict retail clerks occupying New York Woolworth’s in fight for 40-hour week. 1963 – The Supreme Court handed down the Miranda decision concerning legal counsel for defendants.
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