A blog about life on the margins of America and the world: about life in the rooming houses and rented rooms, in low income jobs, on unemployment rolls. The writer will share personal experiences, both recent and more distant and comment on spiritual, economic and other matters. This blog is heavily influenced by the Catholic Workers Movement. Please share the posts you like and follow us by email or subscription.
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Sunday, March 27, 2011
Move Over Tea Party!
Under the title Springing Forward I recently got this email about Washington State political developments:
It’s been an exciting few months. Fuse members have turned out in force for two major rallies in Olympia, sent thousands of emails and attended dozens of town halls asking legislators to close unfair tax loopholes. We stood up to A.G. Rob McKenna’s conservative, anti-health care agenda, and we helped efforts to stop predatory lending and transition away from dirty coal power plants in Washington.
During this flurry of organizing and activism, it’s important to step back for a moment and look at the big picture, as well as the impact we’ve made so far.
Fuse has four basic goals. We work to: 1) Engage more people in the political process, 2) Help progressive campaigns communicate more effectively with the public and the news media, 3) Increase collaboration between progressive groups, and 4) Increase leadership and accountability with elected officials.
When we put all of these together, we can do big things here in Washington. And that’s exactly what has happened over the last few months. Here’s what we have accomplished recently:
Seeking to support the progressive energy generated in Wisconsin, we coordinated a solidarity rally in Olympia on February 26 that drew 2,500 people. Hundreds of Fuse members and MoveOn activists joined a strong labor turnout at the rally, which attracted ten times as many people as the Tea Party gathering on the same day. The rally generated outstanding news coverage, including this story on KING 5: http://fusewa.me/fa8ksZ
We continue to coordinate the progressive community’s response to our state’s fiscal crisis. We are helping organize the Our Economic Future coalition, which includes a comprehensive media, lobbying, and field program.
"We don't believe that cutting nurses and teachers and firefighters is going to help rebuild our economy, and that's really what we need to be focused on right now."
- Collin Jergens, Fuse Communications Manager, KING 5, 2/26/11
Fuse members played a major role in the Rally to Protect Our Future that drew 1,500 people in Olympia on March 17, just three weeks after the February 26 event. Organized through the Our Economic Future coalition, our rally urged legislators to take a balanced approach to the budget shortfall, including closing tax loopholes and raising new revenue. The rally generated outstanding news coverage, including this story on KOMO 4: http://fusewa.me/eRJCw1
Legislation and Policy
Working with our partners in the environmental community, we are close to achieving a major victory in an early shutdown of the dirty TransAlta coal plant. This landmark deal would accelerate the transition away from coal at TransAlta and dramatically reduce toxic pollution in our communities.
Working with economic justice groups, we helped defeat conservatives’ attempts to repeal critical protections against loan sharks and predatory lending. These consumer protections will prevent sleazy payday lenders from creating a debt trap for desperate borrowers.
We’re disappointed to report that a bill that would finally bring oversight and accountability to fake pregnancy centers in Washington did not come up for a vote this year. We will continue to work with our partners at Planned Parenthood to ensure women have access to safe and accurate medical care in Washington.
We were also unable to pass common-sense ballot measure reforms, including requirements that signature gatherers sign the back of their petitions. Improving the integrity of our ballot initiative process will remain a priority in our legislative work next year.
We launched LivingGreedy.com in February, a well-received parody of LivingSocial, Groupon, and other daily discount sites. Instead of coupons, we offer weekly “deals” to trade in unjust tax loopholes to fund education, health care, and other services. You can check out the site and trade in the tax giveaway for Wall Street Banks in order to fund Basic Health for 50,000 working families here: http://fusewa.me/eQNmDk
We have helped generate more than 165 news stories since the beginning of the year, including:
Tacoma News Tribune story about Attorney General Rob McKenna’s health insurance reform lawsuit:http://fusewa.me/hZWfYj
We showed up in force for the King Conservation District election again, helping give the progressive candidate Eric Nelson more than 50 percent of the vote in a four-way race. This victory tested a remarkably cumbersome online voting system, and Fuse members once again blocked the efforts of anti-environmental activists to gain control over the conservation district board.
While there is much left to do, all of these remarkable accomplishments would not have been possible without your continued activism.
We truly appreciate all that you do,
Aaron and the entire team at Fuse
Fuse is the state’s largest progressive organization - people creating change online, on the ground, and on issues that matter. Together for Progress Join us at fusewashington.org