But Democrats’ list of this year’s accomplishments encompasses an array of policy areas with a sweep that should warm the hearts of most liberal constituencies. Courage Campaign, an organization that reflects the party’s left flank, said 2016 capped the most progressive legislative session in California’s history.
Gonzalez, whose role as chair of the Appropriations Committee often puts her in disagreements with colleagues over which bills live or die, faces a steep political climb to win the necessary votes.
To spark support for AB 1066, she and more than 100 religious leaders, families and elected officials embarked on a 24-hour fast this week. Another 2,000 members from the Courage Campaign, a statewide liberal activist group, joined the effort, which concluded Wednesday with prayers and songs in a Sacramento church.
Activists have called Nestlé a lightning rod for much bigger issues, such as fears of water scarcity, which recent disputes in California have demonstrated. Last year, Courage Campaign launched a petition asking Nestlé to shut down bottling operations in the state amidst the historic drought, despite the company’s claims that its operations were not a contributing factor.
Meanwhile, a Desert Sun investigation found that Nestlé’s permit to use a four-mile pipeline that siphons water from Strawberry Creek in San Bernardino National Forest expired in 1988, and that the company was still paying just $524 a year for the millions of gallons it collects (the company drew 36 million gallons from Strawberry Creek in 2015, but some years it collected as much as 170 million gallons). Courage Campaign has since teamed up with the Story of Stuff Project and Center for Biological Diversity to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for allowing Nestlé to bottle water from the park, leading to an ongoing legal case.
In October three groups filed a lawsuit related to Nestlé’s operation at the creek: the Center for Biological Diversity, the state-based Courage Campaign Institute, and the Story of Stuff, a nonprofit known more for making socially conscious viral videos about consumerism.
Pushing a wheelbarrow filled with 350,000 petition signatures, concerned Californians gathered outside the capitol Tuesday to urge Gov. Brown and the California Water Resources Control Board to stop the potentially dangerous practice of using wastewater from oil drilling to irrigate California's crops.
The groups gathering the 350,000 signatures calling a halt to the controversial practice included CREDO, Care2, Food & Water Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, RootsKeeper, Center for Environmental Health, Breast Cancer Action, Center for Food Safety, Courage Campaign, and the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.
The Courage Campaign Institute, an arm of the California-based Courage Campaign, recently sent out an alarmed email about the Nestlé bottling plant opening in Phoenix:
I know, you can't make this up. Phoenix is one of the driest -- and fastest-growing -- cities in the world.
But Nestlé is so shameless -- and so obsessed with maximizing profits -- that they're willing to go anywhere and do anything, even if that means taking water from the heart of the Arizona desert....
Organizations like the Courage Campaign are also taking up the issue of race to expose its cynical use as a wedge issue in the presidential election. Continuing to build upon the solidarity, developing a shared analysis and a common strategic outlook can be the glue that binds these different parts into a powerful whole capable of forcing sustained transformational change.
The groups that urged the DNC to end superdelegates include Courage Campaign, Credo, Daily Kos, Demand Progress/Rootstrikers, Democracy for America, Center for Popular, Democracy, MoveOn, National Nurses United, New Democrat Network, the Other 98%, Presente, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, Progressive Kick, Reform the DNC, and Social Security Works.
More than a dozen progressive groups including the Courage Campaign and MoveOn are backing an amendment to eliminate superdelegates in future primaries. The amendment, which is sponsored by 50 of the rule committee’s 187 members, will come up for a vote on Saturday. It needs to garner support from at least 25% of the committee’s members to be brought to the convention floor next week.