Courage Campaign in the News

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Orange County Congressman Ed Royce, a targeted Republican, announced Monday he will not run for re-election in one of several seats Democrats hope to capture in 2018.

Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the left-leaning Courage Campaign, painted Royce’s announcement as a reflection of the political danger ahead for California Republicans.

“Rep. Royce knows that if he ran for re-election in 2018, he would lose,” Kurtz said in a statement, adding that it is “proof positive that Democrats are gaining momentum and ready to retake the House in 2018 with a wave election ... Let this be a clear message to all remaining members of California’s Republican congressional delegation: Your days are numbered, and come November, you will be out of a job.”

Nestle’s longstanding bottled-water operation in California sprang a leak this week after state regulators warned the Swiss business giant to drastically cut the water it pipes from the San Bernardino National Forest.

The notice follows a 20-month investigation by the State Water Resources Control Board sparked in part by public outcry over Nestle piping millions of gallons of Southern California spring water for its Arrowhead brand during a historic drought.

In 2016, a federal judge ruled that Nestle gave the U.S. Forest Service proper notice of its intent to renew a 1988 permit in a case brought by the Courage Campaign Institute and Story of Stuff Project.

Despite weeks of consternation from some California House Republicans, a dozen of them joined their colleagues to pass a tax overhaul Tuesday, saying it would give most of their constituents a tax cut even as it retained cuts to popular deductions. 

Hours before Tuesday’s vote, several activist groups rallied outside of Walters’ Irvine office.

“We will not rest while we have a chance to stop this thing,” Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based progressive group Courage Campaign, said before the vote. “We will not rest until the final gavel falls."

Groups, including the California-based Courage Campaign and “United We Dream,” are lobbying lawmakers today as part of a national day of action, seeking to pressure lawmakers into passing a fix by the end of the year. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris have called on Congress to take up the federal legislation, which includes a path to citizenship for some undocumented residents.

Courage Campaign joined with more than a dozen progressive groups in urging the Democratic National Committee’s post-2016 Unity Reform Commission to recommend the party end its superdelegate system.

“We urge the members of the Unity Reform Commission to recommend an idea whose time has come: to end the superdelegate system and create a fair, transparent, and inclusive presidential nomination process in which Democratic primary voters can rest assured their voices will not be overruled by well-connected elites,” the letter wrote.

In August, an FDA official reversed an earlier position and backed the company, saying the agency wouldn’t object to labeling bottled water from its sources in the forest as spring water. 

Two environmental groups, the Story of Stuff Project and the Courage Campaign, said the FDA wrongly reversed itself and urged the agency to thoroughly investigate. The FDA has said it’s reviewing the matter. 

Democrats are at war with themselves in California, where restless activists are challenging party leaders to resist all things President Donald Trump and move further left on health care, the minimum wage and populist issues.

"People are saying, 'why are you fighting Democrats, you really should be fighting Republicans?' In California, that's not the case," said Eddie Kurtz, president of the liberal group The Courage Campaign.

Dianne Feinstein has been a fixture of Democratic politics in one of the country’s most liberal states for four decades. But now, as she seeks a fifth full term in the US Senate at the age of 84, the state’s progressive wing isn’t looking for stability: It’s looking for someone who can more fully embody complete resistance to President Trump.

“The base is just sort of not gonna take it anymore as far as compromising our values,” said Eddie Kurtz, president of the Courage Campaign, a progressive group in California. “We’re sick of running on kinda, sorta what we want.”

Gun-regulation activists went to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s 48th Congressional District office in Huntington Beach on Monday to deliver 500 orange carnations and 58 white roses symbolizing the people injured and killed in the Oct. 1 mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.

Courage Campaign, a Los Angeles-based group that organized the effort, said it was calling on Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) to take action on gun safety legislation.

Every president since Jimmy Carter has released his tax returns while running for the country’s highest office, a post-Watergate acknowledgment that the American people might have an interest in knowing their president is not a crook. But President Donald Trump famously broke that tradition.

For many Americans, the break provided an unexpected civics lesson: that the ritual airing-out of each presidential candidate’s financial laundry isn’t mandated by the U.S. Constitution or statute, but by mere expectation.

“It turns out that this was just a voluntary agreement, not a law,” said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign, a progressive advocacy organization supporting the bill. “So there’s a very unique opportunity here to make it law.”

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