Courage Campaign in the News

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According to a report distributed by Reuters, public pension funds in at least seven states invest millions of dollars in the CIM Group that owns the Trump SoHo Hotel in New York City and pays a Trump company to operate it. CalPERS paid CIM $1,722,418 in management fees for the first three months of 2017.

Two public interest advocacy groups, Free Speech for People and the Courage Campaign, are organizing a campaign to get the pensions to divest from the Trump projects. They charge “The money used for this investment comes from mandatory deductions from the paychecks of public employees. These employees are thus forced to indirectly subsidize President Trump beyond the Constitution’s mandate of a fixed salary.”

Two legal advocacy groups sent petitions to half a million of their members and letters urging state officials who oversee the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the New York State Common Retirement Fund to reconsider their investments in CIM Fund III, which owns the Trump SoHo.
"The money used for this investment comes from mandatory deductions from the paychecks of public employees. These employees are thus forced to indirectly subsidize President Trump beyond the Constitution's mandate of a fixed salary," said the letters from Free Speech for People in Newton, Massachusetts, and Courage Campaign in Los Angeles.

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to heed the advice of its own scientists and end use of the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos, more than 200 residents of California’s farmworking communities today staged a rally outside the headquarters of CalEPA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, calling for an immediate statewide ban. 

Following the rally, a delegation delivered more than 167,000 petition signatures along with a letter signed by 75 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Californians. The petition was run by Care2, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Courage Campaign, CREDO, Friends of the Earth, and Pesticide Action Network.

Environmentalists who want Nestle to stop pumping tens of millions of gallons from a California creek, virtually for free, to sell it as bottled water, have sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for records on the multinational corporation.

California groups Story of Stuff Project and Courage Campaign Institute sued the FDA in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, in a federal FOIA complaint. They say the agency failed to timely respond to their Freedom of Information Act request for the records, and did not indicate whether, or even if, it will deliver the records.

Senate Republicans unveiled their plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. By Monday, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 22 million fewer people would have health-care coverage by 2026; a similar plan that the House passed was expected to leave 23 million Americans uninsured and increase out-of-pocket costs for the sick and elderly.

Following the election of President Trump, Jimmi Kuehn-Boldt of Palm Springs, Calif., began advocating for single-payer health care with the grassroots group Courageous Resistance. At 63, he doesn't expect anything to take effect before he's eligible for Medicare in a little more than a year, but he said he's worried about seeing care for others deteriorate if Republicans are successful.

Assembly Bill 42, authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would have made sweeping changes to California’s immoral bail system, changing a status quo that treats the wealthy like equals, and the rest of us like cattle. Yet every Republican and 14 Democrats voted to continue a system that is unfair, expensive and hurts poor communities.

The foundation of our justice system is that we are all “innocent until proven guilty.” Yet our bail system allows the state to detain people who have not seen a day in court, who demonstrate good behavior, and whom a judge has deemed a low risk for flight or criminal behavior.

Earlier this month, Feinstein came in for immediate criticism when, following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, she released a brief statement indicating only that Trump had called to inform her of the ouster and stating, “The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.”

Feinstein offered a far more critical assessment the following day, and she was one of the first Democratic senators to call for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor or resign. But her initial statement “really hit people the wrong way,” said Eddie Kurtz, president and executive director of the liberal advocacy group Courage Campaign. “It seemed like business as usual, and we’re not in a business as usual place.”

And Eddie Kurtz, president and executive director of the liberal advocacy group Courage Campaign, said it is “my job to make sure [the health care vote] isn’t a flash in the pan, that it is hung around these folks’ necks every way possible.”

The revelation comes from the Washington Post having obtained a transcript of a conversation between leaders of the House, including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), who drops this bombshell: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

Nyet, says Ryan and McCarthy, you are not supposed to take it literally because—now that the chat has gone public—they claim it was just a joke between the girls, pointing to the laughter that broke out among leaders (while failing to mention McCarthy's sober "Swear to God."). Not buying that explanation is California-based Courage Campaign Executive Director Eddie Kurtz, who says, "For once, it appears McCarthy told the truth."

Kate Connor, who leads the local Courage Campaign efforts, said numerous Valley residents have tried to meet with Nunes about local and national concerns, but have been met with resistance – so the group created a resistance of their own.

They’ve marched on Nunes’ offices in Clovis and Visalia since the November election.

“It is frankly pathetic that California Republicans are too afraid to meet with their constituents and discuss their concerns,” she said. “If our democratically elected representatives don't have the guts to stand face-to-face with their constituents and explain their decisions, then they shouldn't be voting to destroy our access to affordable healthcare or launch a war against our immigrant communities.”



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