Travels to Our Nation's Capital
I was in Washington D.C. last week helping my wife support a bill sponsored by Rep Judy Chu that would provide acupuncture to veterans, active-duty military and their families, and seniors. Congresswoman Julia Brownley, who is on the Veteran’s Committee, was one of the members who graciously received us in her office on a very busy day. As an aside, I would encourage everyone to visit their representative’s office if you can, when travelling in Washington. It’s educational for children, and you can get passes to observe floor deliberations from the public gallery. Members of Congress are YOUR representatives, and the tradition of constituents visiting offices is alive and well. I was struck during our door-knocking by how many offices had nicely printed cards on the door saying words to the effect, “Welcome Smith or Jones Family visit.”
My trip coincided with the Republican Senate voting on their mean-spirited health care plan. It turned out they didn't have the votes to prevail so they delayed the vote until after the July recess. I think we all continue to be stunned that a bill that is breathtakingly selfish ... that provides a tax break to the very wealthy while threatening to take away healthcare from as many as 22 million Americans ... that is only supported by 17 percent of the population ... that has been produced in secrecy without public hearings or bipartisan give and take ... continues to be discussed as serious public policy. Even conservative columnists like Charles Krauthammer and George Will note the recently emerged public opinion consensus of the American public in favor of universal access for healthcare. But that is the reality of this administration and the current Republican Party. It was interesting to see that a group of Governors, whose states collectively had more than two million newly covered citizens under Medicaid expansion, has been acting in a bipartisan way to resist the Republican plan.
Ventura County and the Paris Climate Accord
Last month, Ventura County has joined California, eight other states, and 125 cities, collectively representing 120 million Americans, in expressing the will to follow the Paris Climate Accord. Supervisors Bennett, Zaragosa, and Parks voted yes, Supervisor Long abstained, and Supervisor Foy voted no on the resolution, which declares that the county government will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris agreement goals, and registers the county as a signatory to a letter indicating that it still supports the agreement.
Tom Tibor and Cathy Osgood presented one of our scholarships to Rio Mesa graduate Mia Hamemik, and I presented the other to Frontier School student Maria Aceves. Maria and Mia are wonderful awardees, and I am sure we will all enjoy meeting them at our July 6 meeting. Thank you to Carol Cressy and the Scholarship Committee for their hard work in making these worthy selections ... and thank you to the Club members for supporting this community-minded program.
Upcoming Club Activities
There are many activities coming up this summer. On July 15, our Club will be staffing a booth as usual at the Camarillo Fiesta. Thank you to Jim Paulson who has put together a slate of volunteers for the occasion. In addition, we will be supporting the County Democratic Party by staffing their booth at the Ventura County Fair on August 9. Rumor has it that the Kennedy Legacy Dinner on September 24th will have a great group of speakers ... so get your tickets early!
I look forward to seeing you all this Thursday for our meeting. Roman Pinal from the UFW will be our speaker. Their Oxnard office recently suffered fire damage, so we are planning to pass the hat for them at the meeting. In addition to our UFW featured speaker, Christine Brown has asked to speak about SB54 and would like to encourage our Club to endorse the bill. In accord with the By-Laws, the Executive Board has agreed that the issue may be put to a vote at our July meeting.