A sincere thank you to all the Indivisible Eugene members who participated in the Tax March on April 15, and special thanks to those who took extra time to volunteer in making this event a success! If you marched yesterday, too, share your favorite photos on Facebook and Twitter using #TaxMarch to show how strong our movement is.

Sat. April 22nd: March For Science Eugene 12:00-2:00 pm at University of Oregon Memorial Quad.  Join scientists, activists, and concerned citizens to stand and march for science, research, investigative integrity, and the environment! (Ally Event- hosted by March for Science)A sincere thank you to all the Indivisible Eugene members who participated in the Tax March on April 15, and special thanks to those who took extra time to volunteer in making this event a success! If you marched yesterday, too, share your favorite photos on Facebook and Twitter using #TaxMarch to show how strong our movement is.

  • Tues. April 25: Resist Trump Tuesday 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Federal Courthouse, 405 E. 8th Ave., Eugene
  • Sat. April 29: March for Climate & Safety 1:00 – 2:30 PM, Federal Courthouse, 405 E. 8th Ave.
  • Thurs. May 25th: Doomsday Clock’s It is 2-1/2 Minutes to Midnight Lecture Series Portents and Parallels 6:15–7:00 pm at Tsunami Book Store, 2585 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97405  In brief lectures, area academics discuss some aspect of their field of knowledge that sheds light on our current political climate.The lectures are free, with a suggested donation of $3-5 to cover overhead for use of the space. This lecture is by: Luke Habberstad, Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at the University of Oregon Lecture title: “Secretive Rulers and Leaking Officials: The Case of Early Imperial China”
  • Go to any events from above that you can.  Being visible and working together is what the resistance to this regressive agenda is all about.
  • The Member Support Team is interested in your tips for survival and sanity for inclusion in this newsletter.  Please send us an email!
  • Call your Members of Congress every day! We recommend 5calls.org or Countable if you want an easy guide.
    • Call our MoC’s and ask them to demand that Congress fulfill its traditional role.
    • Encourage our MoCs to do anything they can to support the border wall lawsuit.  Hold Congressional hearings about it if they can.  Get expert testimony on record.
    • Encourage our MoCs to fight this in Congress any way possible. Call Rep. DeFazio to urge him to continue to support HB 676, a Medicare for all bill.
  • Follow our public Facebook page where you’ll find other ally events as well. We encourage you to share your thoughts and information as well.
  • Help organize INDIVISIBLE Eugene.  If you want to help organize this effort, we welcome your energy! There are lots of ways to contribute. Send an email to Member Support to let us know you’re interested. The next step will be talking with Member Support to help you figure out which team you would like to join.
  • We participated on Sat. April 15th in the Eugene Tax Justice March hosted by Taxes for Peace Not War.  We have a video and some pictures here and here. Over 500 people attended to make this a true statement!  We encourage you to hashtag your online photos with #TaxMarch. Great job to the Event Team and Member Support Team for getting Indivisible Eugene there!
  • On Wednesday April 19th we hosted the Doomsday Clock’s It is 2-1/2 Minutes to Midnight Lecture Series Portents and Parallels. Gina Herrmann, Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon gave a wonderful lecture titled “Models of fascism and anti-fascist resistance from World War II.” Gina Herrmann was well received and invited stimulating conversation and questions afterward.  Do Mi Stauber, Gina Herrmann and Lin Woodrich are pictured here. We thank all those involved with making this series possible!
  • On Sunday April 23rd the Organizing Team will meet at our semimonthly meeting to discuss upcoming events and to complete a questionnaire sent from Indivisible Oregon.
  • Kira Lehman from the Social Media Team donated her time to help format and add graphics to this newsletter.

 

TITLE X FUNDING FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Trump quietly signed a bill that reverses an Obama-era rule that prevented states from withholding Title X Family Planning funds from health providers that also provide abortion, including Planned Parenthood.  The effect of this will be to make it more difficult for low-income families to afford family planning services, like contraception.  Federal funds are already prohibited from paying for abortions directly.
The bill passed in Congress with Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, and was then signed by Trump without media present.  This likely shows some political vulnerability on this issue, as it can turn into a motivating factor for voters on the left in the 2018 midterm elections.
Ron Wyden has a long record of both initiating and supporting legislation to protect Planned Parenthood funding. Peter DeFazio has held a position of uncompromising support in the form of position statements, legislation, rallies and other public events over several years. Jeff Merkley has also taken a strong stand in support of continued legislation. Oregon’s only Republican representative has not been supportive of Planned Parenthood’s funding.
SOURCES: Huffington Post, Rochester First, Vice News
ACTION: Call our MoC’s and ask them to demand that Congress fulfill its traditional role.

BORDER WALL LAWSUIT BASED ON ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: “A US congressman and environmental group have filed the first lawsuit targeting Donald Trump’s plan to build a 30ft wall on the US-Mexico border. The suit, brought by Congressman Raúl M Grijalva of Arizona and the Center for Biological Diversity in the US district court for Arizona, seeks to require the government to undertake a comprehensive environmental impact analysis before beginning construction. Such a review would probably take several years to complete, delaying indefinitely the fulfillment of one of Trump’s signature campaign promises.” Oregon’s MoCs have taken an active and strong stand on the proposed wall. In late March, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joined 22 other in introducing legislation to rescind President Trump’s executive order to construct a border wall and ramp up deportations and detentions of undocumented immigrants. Congressman DeFazio has made numerous statements on the House floor denouncing the border wall proposal. Sen. Merkley joined Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the on the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations to meet with Mexican government officials during a visit to Mexico City. Building the wall is a bad idea because it’s expensive and wouldn’t keep drugs out. “A wall will not protect us from an infiltration of drugs. The way drugs come into America, most come in through the commerce so it’s coming through the port itself.” “We know they’re using drones and we know they know how to get over walls so that’s not going to help.” The wall could cost in “excess of $21 billion.” “That’s resources we could be using for better technology.” The senators agreed that money would be better spent increasing security by improving technology.
SOURCE: The Guardian
ACTION: Encourage our MoCs to do anything they can to support the lawsuit.  Hold Congressional hearings about it if they can.  Get expert testimony on record.

FEDERAL PAYMENTS TO HEALTH INSURERS UNDER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Trump has said he might withhold federal payments to health insurers under the Affordable Care Act. He has stated publicly, in a Wall Street Journal interview, that the chaos this would cause in the healthcare industry would be his leverage to force Democrats to negotiate with him on health care reform. He completely ignores the fact that this would cut people off from life-saving health care in the mean time, so he’s using people’s lives as bargaining chips in a political game. Major medical and insurance groups have written a letter to Trump urging him not to withhold funding, as it would destabilize health insurance markets and cut people off from access to health care. Major medical and insurance groups have written a letter to Trump urging him not to withhold funding, as it would destabilize health insurance markets and cut people off from access to health care. DeFazio, “Of course it would save money because when you take healthcare away from 24 million people, you have money, at least on the budget, but then emergency room costs go up and rural hospitals go broke,”
SOURCES: The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The World
ACTION: Encourage our MoCs to fight this in Congress any way possible. Call Rep. DeFazio to urge him to continue to support HB 676, a Medicare for all bill.

GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN APRIL 28: A government shutdown will occur Friday, April 28 if the Senate can’t agree on a proposed spending bill. Republicans are trying to use the bill to attack sanctuary cities, fund a border wall, and reduce support for many federal agencies. Democratic leadership, while trying to reach a compromise to pass the bill, refuses to back down on some items. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer insists that the border wall “is a non-starter”.
DeFazio also assured audience members that even though government funding is set to run out next Friday, Democrats would not compromise on key issues to avoid another shutdown.
“We got a one week extension while they try to figure something out but there’s a number of issues that the president wants in there that Democrats are telling them no: ‘no, we’re not defunding planned parenthood and no, we’re not going to support your stupid wall.’”
SOURCE: US News
ACTION: Call senators. Wyden and Merkley to let them know your opinions on the compromises being proposed.

TRUMP’S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY: Sean Spicer was on the defensive Monday about Trump’s decision to stop publicly releasing White House visitor logs, as well as his continued refusal to
publish his tax returns (which motivated last week’s rallies). A few weeks ago Senate bill S 721, the MAR-A-LAGO Act, was introduced, which would require public visitor logs to be maintained (with specified exceptions). Our Senators have not yet spoken on this bill (though both have called on Trump to release his taxes). While Ron Wyden is calling on the President to release his tax returns, saying “ We’re taking the gloves off to knock off the secrecy,” Greg Walden maintains his support for the President’s choice not to do so. Regarding Tax Reform, Wyden pushes for real tax reform rather than what which would solely benefit the wealthy. Various lawmakers across the country consider strategies to push for the release of Trump’s tax returns. Meanwhile, the Office of Government Ethics reports being “inundated” with questions and complaints about the Trump administration..
SOURCE: The Hill
ACTION: Write to our Senators and ask them to demand more transparency from the Trump Administration.

NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
In environmental news, Senators Merkley and Wyden recently called upon the Senate Appropriations Committee leaders to dedicate adequate funding to cleaning up National Guard sites across the U.S. Meanwhile, people are preparing nationwide to celebrate this Earth Day, April 22, by participating in the March for Science. The Environmental Protection Agency, as well, is currently inviting public comments on their website.

The Indivisible group in Medford was recently captured on NPR, speaking to Representative Greg Walden of Oregon’s second district. Following his key participation in crafting the GOP’s previously proposed healthcare bill, Mr. Walden has further supported President Trump in his refusal to release his tax returns, as well as his stance on immigration. Angry crowds questioned Walden on these items in the Dalles and Hood River, urging him to reconsider. Meanwhile, Senator Wyden continues to meet with crowds which have been described as “more subdued”, but have focused on many of the same topics. “It’s clear from the strong turnouts so far at this year’s town halls that participatory democracy is alive and well throughout Oregon,” Walden said. Wyden was also recently seen on KTVZ answering questions about his views on Korea, China, Gorsuch, and tax reform. “It’s no ordinary time in politics” headlines an article which overviews the current political climate in relation to Oregon’s representatives, including Senators Wyden and Merkley, as well as Representative Walden.
SOURCES: Oregon Live, NPR

 

Learn more about The History of Self Care from Jen Hofmann’s Newsletter
Background: I’d mistakenly thought that self care was a pithy new-age trend. Actually, the concept originates over fifty years ago during the civil rights movement, when taking care of and claiming one’s own body was an act of resistance. Self-care was part of the women’s movement as an expression of female sovereignty. What those brave men and women knew then serves us today: nourishing oneself allows us to keep fighting oppression. Today, when we claim authority over our well-being, we honor that heritage as Americans. Where there is injustice, self care is still an act of resistance.

Our Continued Mission:
As a local Eugene chapter of the national Indivisible movement we stand together to support and hold our Members of Congress accountable to resist this administration’s regressive agenda. We value inclusion and fairness, and resist negative rhetoric.We get our message to our Members of Congress through our presence at Town Hall meetings, rallies at their offices and member involvement including targeted phone calls and postcards. We are non-violent and lawful in our actions.
Click to see our Thankful Thursday article by Kristin Bruckner