The Retiree Advocate: August 2015
Welcome to the August 2015 issue of The Retiree Advocate, the monthly newsletter of the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA).
In This Issue:
- Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor
- March, 2016 ADVOCATE
- Climate Change Is Violence…NOW
- Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis: The Cost of Being a US Colony
- What’s Next in the Fight for Fair Trade?
- What’s Wrong with Europe?
- "Secret Memo": Primary Election Bad News for Developers and Landlords
- Initiative 735 Urges Congress to Amend the US Constitution
- Frank Irigon Receives National Award
- In Memory of Edie Koch
- Celebrate and Organize
Nelson Mandela was “the last great liberator of the Twentieth Century,” Pres. Obama said at his memorial service. Looking back at his life, it’s easy to be taken in by what Cornel West called the “Santa Claus-ification” of Nelson Mandela – depicting him as a kindly old man bringing racial harmony in the sack slung over his shoulder.
We’re not done yet! Sea Tac’s Proposition 1 passed narrowly, even after a recount forced by opponents. PSARA was asked by the Prop 1 campaign to testify at a Seattle Port Commission meeting to urge the Port to remain neutral in the law suit filed by Alaska Airlines, Washington Restaurant Association and airport food concessionaire Filo Foods in opposition to the wage increase.
PSARA’s Executive Board has committed to an aggressive goal for growth in 2014. Each of the twenty nine PSARA Executive Board members has committed to enlisting at least five new PSARA members in 2014. They will accomplish this goal by either recruiting new members or giving the gift of membership to someone(s) they know. (This monthly newsletter is a pretty nice gift!)
The 2014 legislative session begins with an all-too-familiar political landscape. We enter a second year of divided control of the two legislative chambers and a new governor still being tested by the opposition. State government has another year of a budget deficit and it is reluctant to fully fund public education as required by the state supreme court. And health and human services dread the approaching budget cuts.
Anita Nath and Mary Anderson are leaving the PSARA Executive Board for the time being.
PSARA has increased its presence in Olympia as we try to influence the direction of state policy and budget decisions. By contracting with PSARA member Pam Crone, a well known and effective lobbyist, we work with allied organizations to push a progressive agenda. But we can anticipate, with the Senate in the control of a very conservative Republican majority, that we will be opening the door for future sessions rather than winning major victories.
A couple weeks ago, as I approached the counter to make a purchase, the sales clerk blew her nose. Gross. The store was in the suburbs, so not covered by the Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Leave law. The young worker probably had to come in even with her obvious cold. Still, if another clerk hadn’t stepped in, I would have left the store without buying anything.
For more than two centuries we the people have struggled over fundamental questions of corporate power over us and our government. Boeing’s unjust threats of massive job losses and economic devastation brings this issue home once again.
January 1, 2014, marks the 20th Anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Yes, for 20 years we have been living under NAFTA, in some ways a more powerful NAFTA than when it started as corporations are finding new and clever ways to use the Investor-State chapter to sue countries for more gains.
I start my approach to healthcare from two very basic premises. First, healthcare must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the healthcare they need regardless of their income. Second, we must create a national healthcare system that provides quality healthcare for all in the most cost-effective way possible.