Not just in Odessa TX – 6 mass shootings today!

10 dead, 38 wounded in 6 separate mass shootings, all on just this one day across the U.S.

By Roger Straw, August 31, 2019
Odessa PIO: Five dead, more than 20 injured in mass shooting
Odessa TX: Five dead, plus the shooter; more than 20 injured in mass shooting

The big one today was in the oil-rich Permian Basin of west Texas.  We learned that yet another young white guy massacred 5 innocents, wounded 21 others, and got himself killed in Odessa, Texas today.  [UPDATE 9/1/19 10am PT: Death Toll In West Texas Shooting Rampage Now At 7. “The death toll from a mass shooting in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa has risen from five to seven, according to Odessa Mayor David Turner.  The mayor said that at least 18 remain injured”  PBS.org

That one – the big one – made all the BREAKING NEWS segments on tv and the internet today.

But no one is reporting that this guy didn’t act alone.

Well, yes, he was most likely a “lone” shooter in Odessa.  But there were five other mass shooters out there on this Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Here’s the raw data from massshootingtracker.org :

date killed wounded city state
8/31/2019 1 4 Chicago (West Englewood) IL
8/31/2019 6 21 Odessa TX
8/31/2019 2 2 Philadelphia PA
8/31/2019 0 4 Moncks Corner SC
8/31/2019 0 4 Frederick MD
8/31/2019 1 3 Charlotte NC
1-DAY TOTAL 10 38 Across the U.S.

Even to our OWN ears, our calls for sensible gun legislation are sounding like a broken record.  I can hardly stand to call out #NEVERAGAIN, again!  What, another street protest?  Another vigil?  Another letter to Congress to DO SOMETHING!?

The echos are still ringing from Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy just this summer.  And from Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe and Parkland last year.  It gets too many to list, but we can’t forget Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora…  See a database of all the mass killings 1982-2019 on MotherJones.com.

The temptation is to NOT cry out again.  We feel as though it’s of no use.  Another few days and we’ll see the sentiment die down, and Congress can take no action.  Again.  Sigh….

Despair has a sister — apathy.

I hope YOU aren’t feeling as defeated as I am tonight.  I hope you will write to your congressional representative, to the newspaper, to the NRA.  This has GOT to stop!


Want a headache?  Here’s the entire troubling list of mass shootings in 2019, 340 mass shootings in just 243 days so far, totaling 401 killed and 1330 wounded.  (Mass Shootings Tracker lists all shootings where 4 or more people are SHOT (not just those where 4 or more are killed).

date killed wounded city state
8/31/2019 1 4 Chicago (West Englewood) IL
8/31/2019 6 21 Odessa TX
8/31/2019 2 2 Philadelphia PA
8/31/2019 0 4 Moncks Corner SC
8/31/2019 0 4 Frederick MD
8/31/2019 1 3 Charlotte NC
8/30/2019 0 10 Mobile AL
8/30/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
8/29/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
8/26/2019 4 0 Pembroke Pines FL
8/25/2019 3 4 Hobbs NM
8/25/2019 1 3 Chicago (Chatham) IL
8/24/2019 1 3 Lynn MA
8/24/2019 0 7 Temple Hills MD
8/23/2019 0 4 Dublin GA
8/23/2019 1 3 St. Louis MO
8/23/2019 3 2 Houston TX
8/22/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
8/22/2019 2 2 Columbia SC
8/20/2019 0 4 Atlanta GA
8/18/2019 0 4 Kansas City MO
8/17/2019 0 4 Kansas City MO
8/17/2019 2 2 Newport News VA
8/17/2019 0 6 Houston TX
8/15/2019 2 3 Montgomery AL
8/15/2019 0 5 Philadelphia PA
8/14/2019 1 5 New Manchester WV
8/14/2019 0 6 Philadelphia PA
8/13/2019 2 3 Tacoma WA
8/13/2019 0 4 Greenwood MS
8/12/2019 3 1 Hickory NC
8/12/2019 2 2 Riverside CA
8/11/2019 0 6 Chicago (Garfield Park) IL
8/10/2019 0 4 Richmond VA
8/10/2019 0 4 San Francisco CA
8/9/2019 0 4 Houston TX
8/9/2019 0 4 Chicago (Marquette Park) IL
8/8/2019 2 3 Irvington NJ
8/7/2019 2 2 St. Louis MO
8/6/2019 4 0 Stone Mountain GA
8/6/2019 0 4 Detroit MI
8/6/2019 1 3 Suitland MD
8/5/2019 4 0 San Antonio TX
8/5/2019 0 4 Brooklyn NY
8/4/2019 0 4 Grenada Co. MS
8/4/2019 10 27 Dayton OH
8/4/2019 1 3 Memphis TN
8/3/2019 1 7 Chicago (Lawndale) IL
8/3/2019 0 7 Chicago (Douglas Park) IL
8/3/2019 22 24 El Paso TX
8/2/2019 2 3 Suffolk VA
8/2/2019 3 1 Pomfret MD
7/31/2019 3 1 Elkhart IN
7/30/2019 3 1 Rosenberg TX
7/30/2019 0 5 Haskell OK
7/30/2019 2 2 Southaven MS
7/30/2019 0 5 Columbus OH
7/28/2019 0 4 Chicago (Lawndale) IL
7/28/2019 5 2 Lake Hallie WI
7/28/2019 1 5 Philadelphia PA
7/28/2019 4 12 Gilroy CA
7/28/2019 0 4 Washington DC
7/28/2019 0 4 Uniontown PA
7/27/2019 1 11 Brooklyn NY
7/27/2019 1 3 Wichita KS
7/26/2019 1 3 Kennewick WA
7/25/2019 3 1 Albemarle NC
7/25/2019 4 2 Los Angeles CA
7/23/2019 2 2 Pembroke Park FL
7/21/2019 0 4 Washington DC
7/21/2019 0 4 Chicago (Lawndale) IL
7/20/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
7/20/2019 0 7 Chicago IL
7/20/2019 0 4 Clairton PA
7/18/2019 1 3 Chicago (Garfield Park) IL
7/17/2019 1 3 Lubbock TX
7/16/2019 0 4 San Antonio TX
7/15/2019 2 2 Baltimore MD
7/15/2019 0 4 Atlanta GA
7/15/2019 1 3 New Orleans LA
7/14/2019 0 4 Chicago (Garfield Park) IL
7/13/2019 0 7 Philadelphia PA
7/13/2019 1 4 Chicago (Gresham) IL
7/11/2019 0 4 Houston TX
7/8/2019 2 2 Washington DC
7/7/2019 0 5 St. Louis MO
7/7/2019 0 6 Flint MI
7/7/2019 0 4 Wichita KS
7/7/2019 0 4 Chicago (Englewood) IL
7/7/2019 0 4 Albuquerque NM
7/7/2019 0 4 Chicago (Englewood) IL
7/6/2019 5 0 St. Louis Co. MO
7/6/2019 0 4 San Jose CA
7/6/2019 2 2 Saint Clair Shores MI
7/6/2019 0 4 Charlotte NC
7/5/2019 1 3 Reno NV
7/5/2019 0 6 Boston (Roxbury) MA
7/5/2019 4 0 Gravette AR
7/5/2019 0 5 Chicago (Woodlawn) IL
7/5/2019 0 4 Brooklyn NY
7/4/2019 1 3 Fresno CA
7/4/2019 0 4 Rockford IL
7/4/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
7/4/2019 1 3 Chicago (Humboldt Park) IL
7/3/2019 2 3 Cinco Ranch TX
7/2/2019 0 4 Washington Park IL
7/2/2019 0 4 Wellston MO
7/1/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
6/30/2019 0 5 Yucaipa CA
6/30/2019 2 2 Dallas TX
6/30/2019 0 4 Oakland CA
6/30/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
6/30/2019 0 6 Bay Shore NY
6/29/2019 0 4 Houma LA
6/29/2019 0 4 Hartford CT
6/29/2019 0 7 Baton Rouge LA
6/29/2019 0 5 Chicago IL
6/28/2019 0 7 Atlanta GA
6/28/2019 1 3 Auburn WA
6/28/2019 0 5 St. Paul MN
6/28/2019 0 4 Paterson NJ
6/28/2019 0 6 Hamden CT
6/27/2019 0 7 Atlanta GA
6/26/2019 0 4 Milwaukee WI
6/26/2019 1 3 Akron OH
6/24/2019 2 2 Philadelphia PA
6/23/2019 5 0 San Jose CA
6/23/2019 0 5 Columbus OH
6/23/2019 1 3 La Jolla CA
6/23/2019 3 1 Abbeville SC
6/23/2019 1 10 South Bend IN
6/22/2019 0 4 Hampton VA
6/22/2019 0 4 South Philadelphia PA
6/22/2019 1 4 Baltimore MD
6/21/2019 5 0 Santa Maria CA
6/21/2019 1 3 Saginaw MI
6/21/2019 0 4 Richmond CA
6/21/2019 0 4 Chicago (Parkway Gardens) IL
6/20/2019 0 10 Allentown PA
6/18/2019 1 4 Newark NJ
6/18/2019 0 4 San Antonio TX
6/17/2019 0 5 Memphis TN
6/16/2019 1 5 Philadelphia PA
6/16/2019 0 6 Des Moines IA
6/16/2019 1 6 Louisville KY
6/15/2019 4 0 Des Moines IA
6/15/2019 0 4 Shreveport LA
6/14/2019 4 0 Wyalusing PA
6/12/2019 1 3 Charlotte NC
6/11/2019 2 2 Savannah GA
6/11/2019 0 4 Aurora CO
6/9/2019 1 3 Cleveland OH
6/9/2019 1 3 Henning TN
6/9/2019 0 4 Buffalo NY
6/8/2019 5 2 White Swan WA
6/8/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
6/7/2019 0 5 Austin TX
6/6/2019 1 3 Chicago IL
6/5/2019 0 4 Santa Rosa CA
6/2/2019 1 3 Dallas TX
6/1/2019 0 5 Atlanta GA
6/1/2019 0 5 Allendale SC
6/1/2019 1 3 Macon GA
6/1/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
6/1/2019 1 3 Portsmouth VA
6/1/2019 0 4 Chicago IL
5/31/2019 1 3 West Covina CA
5/31/2019 13 5 Virginia Beach VA
5/30/2019 0 5 Robbins IL
5/29/2019 1 3 Reserve LA
5/29/2019 3 2 Cleveland TX
5/27/2019 1 5 Trenton NJ
5/27/2019 2 2 St. Louis MO
5/27/2019 0 5 Washington DC
5/26/2019 1 3 Stockton CA
5/26/2019 0 5 La Crosse VA
5/26/2019 1 3 Fort Lauderdale FL
5/26/2019 1 3 Washington DC
5/26/2019 2 3 Chicago IL
5/25/2019 3 2 Detroit MI
5/25/2019 0 5 Oklahoma City OK
5/25/2019 1 9 Chesapeake VA
5/25/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
5/25/2019 0 9 Trenton NJ
5/20/2019 0 4 Columbus OH
5/20/2019 2 2 Tulsa OK
5/20/2019 1 4 Alexandria LA
5/19/2019 0 5 Portland OR
5/18/2019 0 4 Omaha NE
5/18/2019 2 4 Winston-Salem NC
5/18/2019 1 4 Cascilla MS
5/18/2019 1 5 Long Beach CA
5/18/2019 2 2 Cedar Rapids IA
5/18/2019 1 8 Atmore AL
5/18/2019 1 6 Muncie IN
5/17/2019 1 3 Sacramento CA
5/16/2019 0 4 Cleveland OH
5/15/2019 0 4 Huber Heights OH
5/15/2019 2 2 Appleton WI
5/15/2019 0 4 Saint Rose LA
5/14/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
5/13/2019 4 1 St. Louis MO
5/13/2019 0 4  New Orleans LA
5/12/2019 0 4 Paulsboro NJ
5/11/2019 0 4 Effort PA
5/10/2019 0 6 St. Louis MO
5/10/2019 0 5 Philadelphia PA
5/8/2019 0 4 Indianapolis IN
5/7/2019 1 8 Highlands Ranch CO
5/5/2019 0 6 Oceano CA
5/5/2019 1 4 North Bergen NJ
5/4/2019 1 4 Stockton CA
5/4/2019 0 4 Indianapolis IN
5/4/2019 0 4 Wilmington DE
5/4/2019 1 4 St. Louis MO
5/3/2019 1 3 Dallas TX
5/3/2019 0 5 Baltimore MD
5/3/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
5/1/2019 1 3 Boston MA
4/30/2019 2 2 Raymond KS
4/30/2019 2 4 Charlotte NC
4/28/2019 4 0 West Chester OH
4/28/2019 0 4 Birmingham AL
4/28/2019 0 6 Los Angeles CA
4/28/2019 1 7 Baltimore MD
4/28/2019 0 7 Nashville TN
4/27/2019 1 3 Jackson MS
4/27/2019 1 3 Jackson MI
4/27/2019 1 3 Poway CA
4/26/2019 0 4 Hugo OK
4/22/2019 4 0 Fort Worth TX
4/22/2019 2 2 Cleveland OH
4/21/2019 0 4 Philadelphia PA
4/21/2019 0 4 Los Angeles CA
4/20/2019 0 7 Memphis TN
4/20/2019 0 4 Corpus Christi TX
4/19/2019 0 4 Wichita KS
4/18/2019 0 4 Louisville KY
4/17/2019 3 1 London OH
4/16/2019 1 3 Germantown MD
4/14/2019 1 3 Vallejo CA
4/14/2019 0 4 Stockton CA
4/14/2019 2 2 Miami-Dade FL
4/14/2019 1 3 Upland CA
4/13/2019 0 4 Moreno Valley CA
4/12/2019 0 4 Carbondale IL
4/12/2019 3 2 Phoenix AZ
4/11/2019 1 3 Los Angeles CA
4/11/2019 1 3 Baltimore MD
4/9/2019 1 3 Kansas City MO
4/7/2019 0 6 Wilmington DE
4/7/2019 0 4 Shreveport LA
4/7/2019 0 7 Winston-Salem NC
4/7/2019 2 3 Indianapolis IN
4/6/2019 0 6 Chicago (Englewood) CO
4/6/2019 0 4 Tallahassee FL
4/4/2019 1 3 Panama City FL
4/4/2019 3 2 Stockbridge GA
4/2/2019 0 4 Hermanville MS
4/2/2019 0 5 Covington KY
3/31/2019 1 4 Atlanta GA
3/31/2019 0 7 North Charleston SC
3/31/2019 1 4 Chicago (East Garfield Park) IL
3/28/2019 0 4 Baltimore MD
3/25/2019 0 5 North Las Vegas NV
3/23/2019 0 7 Phoenix AZ
3/23/2019 1 5 San Francisdo CA
3/19/2019 0 4 Nashville TN
3/19/2019 2 4 Phoenix AZ
3/17/2019 1 3 Rochelle GA
3/17/2019 0 4 Augusta GA
3/17/2019 0 4 Las Vegas NV
3/16/2019 1 3 Camden NJ
3/15/2019 2 3 Mobile AL
3/14/2019 2 2 Missoula MT
3/13/2019 1 3 Harvey IL
3/11/2019 0 4 Paterson NJ
3/10/2019 0 4 Shreveport LA
3/10/2019 1 4 Denver CO
3/3/2019 0 4 Oakland CA
3/3/2019 0 6 Chicago (South Shore) IL
3/2/2019 1 4 Pine Bluff AR
2/28/2019 1 3 Oakland CA
2/28/2019 4 0 Joliet IL
2/22/2019 2 2 Birmingham AL
2/21/2019 2 2 Elizabethtown TN
2/21/2019 1 4 Baltimore MD
2/21/2019 2 2 Houston TX
2/20/2019 0 4 Covington TN
2/18/2019 4 0 Cedar Springs MI
2/17/2019 2 2 Henderson TX
2/17/2019 1 5 New Orleans LA
2/17/2019 0 5 Evansville IN
2/16/2019 4 1 Clinton MS
2/15/2019 3 1 Nevis MN
2/15/2019 6 6 Aurora IL
2/14/2019 2 2 Jacksonville FL
2/11/2019 5 0 Blanchard TX
2/9/2019 0 4 Petersburg VA
2/7/2019 1 3 Cleveland OH
2/6/2019 1 3 Brooklyn NY
2/4/2019 2 2 San Antonio TX
2/4/2019 0 4 Washington DC
2/4/2019 0 4 Baton Rouge LA
2/3/2019 4 0 Palm Springs CA
2/3/2019 2 5 Chicago (West Garfield) IL
2/2/2019 0 4 San Diego CA
2/2/2019 2 2 Grand Prairie TX
1/28/2019 2 4 Houston TX
1/27/2019 0 5 Birmingham AL
1/26/2019 1 3 Newark NJ
1/26/2019 5 0 Livingston Parish LA
1/26/2019 0 4 Albany GA
1/26/2019 0 5 Indianapolis IN
1/25/2019 1 4 Gaston NC
1/24/2019 4 1 Rockmart GA
1/24/2019 4 1 State College PA
1/23/2019 5 0 Sebring FL
1/20/2019 0 4 Miami FL
1/19/2019 3 2 Houston TX
1/19/2019 3 2 Jacksonville FL
1/19/2019 0 4 Lebanon PA
1/19/2019 0 4 Chicago (West Garfield) IL
1/19/2019 1 4 Gaffney SC
1/17/2019 3 1 Owensboro KY
1/16/2019 3 1 Palmdale CA
1/16/2019 1 5 Jacksonville FL
1/15/2019 1 4 Little Rock AR
1/14/2019 1 3 Odessa TX
1/13/2019 1 5 Phoenix AZ
1/6/2019 0 4 Roswell NM
1/6/2019 0 4 Fairfield CA
1/6/2019 2 2 Cache OK
1/4/2019 3 2 Hurt VA
1/4/2019 3 4 Torrance CA
1/4/2019 1 3 Houston TX
1/3/2019 1 3 Yuma AZ
1/2/2019 1 3 Jonesboro AR
1/1/2019 0 5 Tallahassee FL
1/1/2019 0 5 Columbia SC
Total of 340 mass shootings to date: 401 1330
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    Trump administration to relax restrictions on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas

    The oil and gas industry are split on the rollback

    This 2017 photo shows pumpjacks operating in the western edge of California's Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield. (Brian Melley/AP)
    This 2017 photo shows pumpjacks operating in the western edge of California’s Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield. (Brian Melley/AP)
    The Washington Post, By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Aug 29, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it plans to loosen federal rules on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change.

    The proposed rule would reverse standards enacted under President Barack Obama that required oil and gas operators to prevent the release of methane in new drilling wells, pipelines and storage facilities.

    It also challenges the notion that the federal government has the authority to regulate methane without first making a detailed determination that it qualifies as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

    If successful, that change could hamper the ability of future administrations to enact tougher restrictions on methane. Already, the Trump administration has taken several steps to limit the government’s ability to regulate other greenhouse gases in the future, including in a recently finalized rule curbing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

    “EPA’s proposal delivers on President Trump’s executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. “The Trump administration recognizes that methane is valuable, and the industry has an incentive to minimize leaks and maximize its use.”

    Methane is a significant contributor to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, though it is shorter-lived than carbon dioxide and is not emitted in amounts as large. It often is leaked as companies drill for gas and transport it across the country, and methane emissions are more than 80 times as potent as carbon dioxide emissions over the short term.

    Scientists have projected that the world needs to cut its overall greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by mid-century to avert catastrophic effects from global warming.

    According to the EPA, methane accounted for more than 10 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities as recently as 2017. Nearly a third of those emissions were generated by the natural gas and petroleum industry.

    U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 — and it couldn’t happen at a worse time

    “What they’re tackling is whether methane can lawfully be a regulatory pollutant,” Erik Milito, vice president of upstream and industry operations for the American Petroleum Institute, said in an interview. “We have a strong consensus that federal agencies need to follow the letter of the law. They did not do that, and they are going back and correcting that.”

    Anne Idsal, assistant administrator​ of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said the administration is confident that methane emissions from oil and gas companies will continue to decline over time, even without the current regulations.

    “Methane is a valuable resource,” Idsal told reporters in a call Thursday. “There’s every incentive for industry to minimize any type of fugitive methane emissions, capture it, use it and sell it down the road.”

    The agency estimates that the proposed changes, which will be subject to public comment for 60 days after they are published, would save the oil and natural gas industry $17 million to $19 million a year.

    But several of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, Shell and BP, have opposed the rollback and urged the Trump administration to keep the current standards in place. Collectively, these firms account for 11 percent of America’s natural gas output.

    In a statement Thursday, Shell U.S. President Gretchen Watkins reiterated the company’s support for national limits on methane, noting that Shell has pledged to reduce its methane leaks from its global operations to less than 0.2 percent by 2025.

    “We believe sound environmental policies are foundational to the vital role natural gas can play in the energy transition and have made clear our support of 2016 law to regulate methane from new and modified onshore sources,” she said. “Despite the administration’s proposal to no longer regulate methane, Shell’s U.S. assets will continue to contribute to that global target.”

    The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the rollback.

    Idsal said the agency will continue regulating volatile organic compounds, which are also released during oil and gas operations, rather than methane directly. Such limits could cut down on the amount of methane released in the process. Milito noted that by 2023, 90 percent of oil and gas facilities will have to install technology curbing volatile organic compounds.

    In September, the Interior Department eased requirements that oil and gas firms operating on federal and tribal land capture the release of methane.

    Environmentalists threatened to fight the Trump administration’s move in court.

    Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity, an advocacy group, called the proposal reckless, saying it shows “complete contempt for our climate.” She said that even the Obama administration’s efforts to limit methane emissions were modest, given the significant amount that escapes into the atmosphere each year.

    “The Obama rule was like a Band-Aid on a gaping wound,” Siegel said. “The Trump administration is so fanatical that they couldn’t even live with the Band-Aid. They had to rip off the Band-Aid.”

    The Obama administration’s push to impose the first limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in 2016 came shortly after the EPA found that emissions were on an upswing at a time when booming U.S. shale oil and gas drilling had dramatically driven down the prices of domestic natural gas and global oil alike.

    Ben Ratner, a senior director at the advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund, said in an interview that rolling back the regulations could reward bad actors in the industry. Given that many major players had embraced limits on methane, Ratner said, it made little sense for Trump officials to ease such restrictions.

    “It’s more of an ideological reaction to regulation of any climate pollutant by the federal government,” he said.

    Steven Mufson contributed to this report.

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      Indivisible’s two year plan to beat Trump and save democracy

      [Editor: Indivisible continues to do a great job – creatively and persistently resisting the Trump administration and building toward a more progressive future.  Find your local Indivisible group here.  My local group is Vallejo-Benicia Indivisible (on Facebook).  Contribute to Indivisible here.  Download the Indivisible 2.0 Guide.  More Benicia Independent coverage of Indivisible.  – R.S.]

      How we will beat Trump and save Democracy…

      Indivisible’s 2-year plan to beat Trump and save Democracy – 6/6/2019

      Close your eyes for a minute and imagine this: it’s 2021. Trump lost and an inspiring progressive takes office. Democrats held the House and retook the Senate.

      On day one, the new Congress passes sweeping democracy reforms to roll back decades of Republican attacks on our democracy. We smash voter suppression and expand voter access, end gerrymandering, take on money in politics, admit new states, and take back the courts. In short, we unrig the rules and put democracy back in the hands of the people. Then we turn to a major progressive legislative agenda – immigration reform, climate change, health care, and more.

      We can have the inclusive democracy and progressive change we’ve dreamed of. We’re so close. How do we get there?

      Indivisible may have gotten started to resist Trump, but we know that the problem we’re facing is bigger than Trump. Everywhere we look, Republicans are trying to rig the rules to stay in power – and to lock the American people out. They know in a real representative democracy they’ll lose – so they’re breaking democracy.

      That’s why we have to beat Trump, but we can’t stop there. We have to save our democracy. We can do both, but we have to start now.

      How do we beat Trump?

      1. Play defense and weaken Trump. Defend against Trump’s attacks, particularly those targeting immigrants – defunding hate in the upcoming budget in September is the biggest fight against Trump’s agenda of the year (more information here), and anti-immigrant attacks will be a key part of his strategy for 2020. We’ll also push back on Trump’s crimes – and ask Democrats in Congress to begin impeachment investigations.
      2. A constructive primary. We have so many exciting and energizing candidates in the Democratic primary! Together we can ensure the primary candidates offer the strongest possible alternative vision to Trumpism, and that the ultimate nominee is a strong, well-vetted, progressive candidate. Indivisibles (and presidential candidates) across the country have already set the tone by signing the Indivisible Pledge commiting to a constructive primary and to support the ultimate nominee.
      3. Take back the White House (and the Senate!) After the primary, we all need to come together to knock doors, make calls and register voters–if we do the work, together, we can beat Trump.

      How do we save democracy?

      1. Set the stage for democracy reform. The anti-Trump resistance must grow into a pro-democracy movement to build support for a game-changing reforms after Trump is gone. We need to get Democrats on the record to support bold reforms now, in 2019, so that they’re ready to move that agenda in 2021. We’ll start by focusing on eliminating the filibuster (see why here!).
      2. Pass our democracy agenda on day one. If we win the White House, Senate and House, we finally have full agenda setting power. The new Democratic congress must eliminate the filibuster in order to get anything done. Then it should immediately pass other democracy reforms, including admitting new states, expanding voting rights, ending gerrymandering, and more.
      3. Make long-term change. With a real representative democracy, we can finally enact other critical progressive legislation, from immigration reform to climate change to health care.

      For more information on getting involved with this plan, you can reach out to your Indivisible Organizer here.

      Share...

        In Benicia: Targeting the Mayor and other incivilities

        By Roger Straw, August 27, 2019

        A call-out on trash politics in my home town

        Roger Straw, The Benicia Independent

        Oh, where to start?  I’ve needed to write about this for a loooong time.

        Back in 2007, I met City Councilmember Elizabeth Patterson, who had announced her candidacy for Mayor.  She seemed bright, and I was looking for something to do in my recent retirement.  So I volunteered to help.

        Elizabeth is now a three-term mayor in Benicia, due in large part to her own energetic campaigning and exemplary leadership and service on the Council.  But you can’t get to be Mayor three times all on your own.  The community has risen to support her, volunteered, rallied, chipped in financially, and organized to get out the vote.

        And yet, consistently over all these years, one very loud voice has publicly targeted and trashed our Mayor in the local newspaper and online media.  The frequency of invective (definition: insulting, abusive, or highly critical language) on the Forum Page of our paper has caused any number of residents to unsubscribe.  And one can only guess how many residents have chosen NOT to run for public office lest they be publicly and repeatedly abused.

        That mean-spirited voice has not been entirely alone.  The usual political spectrum of varying opinions, indeed the common dualism of right and left, has surfaced here.  The variety is welcome, and mostly positive, but we have seen a number of disrespectful voices as well, some less subtle than others.  Even some of the Mayor’s colleagues on Council have occasionally seemed to express distaste rather than simple opposing opinions of substance.

        Why?  It’s not all about this particular Benicia mayor.

        Governing.com recently published a fascinating article, “Targeting the Mayor” which relies on a new study published in the journal State and Local Government Review.  The study “finds that most mayors contend with verbal hostility or physical intimidation at rates above those of the general workforce.”  And mayors who are women are abused more often than others.

        “In all, 79 percent of mayors reported at least one form of “psychological abuse,” which the survey defined to include harassment, being demeaned or receiving threats. Disrespectful comments or images on social media were by far the most frequent means of abuse. Nearly half of mayors similarly experienced harassment, while 13 percent reported threats of violence directed toward them.

        “…While it’s not at all surprising that mayors encounter negativity, some face much more frequent offenses than others. The only factor that predicted both psychological abuse and physical violence was gender, with women more than twice as likely to experience such incidents as men….”

        Mayoral abuse may be common, but it’s not right.  And gender bias may still motivate many, but it should have no place at City Hall or in our public discourse.

        It is time that Benicians take on civility in our local politics as an issue to be faced openly and dealt with publicly and persistently.

        The local newspaper must begin to assert it’s journalistic prerogative, taking responsibility to ban not only libelous content and trash talk, but also to specifically end the long-standing targeting of individuals.

        Editorial responsibility is NOT censorship.  Mary Susan Gast wrote a beautiful explanation of this in her 2018 letter to the Benicia Herald editor:

        As individuals and groups we are free to speak our beliefs and opinions to anyone who will listen; that’s freedom of speech. Freedom of the press is freedom from interference by the government in reporting.  Freedom of the press is not an author’s right to have his or her works published by other people.  As the journalist A.J. Liebling has said, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”  Legal historian Lucas A. Powe offers further clarification:  “Freedom of the press gives the printer or publisher exclusive control over what the publisher chooses to publish, including the right to refuse to print anything for any reason. If the author cannot reach a voluntary agreement with a publisher to produce the author’s work, then the author must turn to self-publishing.”   [from The Fourth Estate and the Constitution:  Freedom of the Press in America, 1991]

        And it’s not just the newspaper and social media.

        In 2020, Benicia will enter into another round of electoral campaigns.  There was some trashy advertising by organized labor and Valero Benicia Refinery in our last election, repeatedly targeting one candidate.  Benicia’s Open Government Commission has proposed strengthening the public campaign finance ordinances to help guard against undisclosed outside corporate interests influencing our elections.

        Stronger city ordinances will help, but I doubt they will be enough.  In an era dominated by a trash-talking President, how can we expect our neighbors — individuals or corporations — to exhibit civil behavior during a consequential election?

        Well, we can.  And we must.  The candidates themselves can help.  Each candidate in next year’s contest should highlight the need for civil discourse and respectful exploration of differences of opinion.  Every candidate forum should begin with a moderator’s call to civil discourse and a shaming of trash politics.  Churches, civic organizations and local political groups could weigh in.  And yes, during campaign season, our local editors will need to be up to the challenge.

        Let’s make Benicia a city with politics that make us proud!

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