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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Tricounty DFA update: Voting Rights, Social Security Actions, Dean in Toronto & More
Hello Everyone!

Needless to say there is a lot more going on in the world than the Terry Schiavo case. Of course, that may well be the Republican plan behind their little midnight melodrama -- drive every other important story, like the second anniversary of their disastrous Iraq misadventure, the Social Security Privatization hustle, drilling ANWAR, or even World Water Day today (really a protest against the privatization of the world's water resources) from the headlines. So what seems genuinely urgent for this update?

1. Call For Your Voting Rights Wednesday
2. Confront Sweeney on Thursday over Social Security
3. Governor Dean speaks out in Toronto on the Democrats' message
4. The Next Battle For Democrats: taking back trade and jobs
5. World Water Day: privatization and the theft of our common resources
6. Real impact of the World Bank

1. New Yorkers For Verified Voting sent the following call for action this week; DFA groups across the state are supporting this effort and our Glens Falls group endorsed optically scanned paper ballots at our candidate forum recently.

"This week, we are coordinating with several state and national organizations in a large phone call-in campaign to local state Assembly and Senate representatives asking them to adopt paper ballot and optical scan systems
for New York State. ... we need to keep up the momentum we have built and once again let our legislators know that citizens want PBOS adopted as our voting system, and not touch screen DREs.

"This week, we ask you to GET ON THE PHONE AND CALL your state Assembly and Senate representatives and tell them again that as their constituent, you want them to support legislation calling for adoption of paper ballots and
optical scanners as our voting equipment choice in New York State. Even if you've contacted them already, please CALL your legislators again this week. We need a large volume of calls to be effective... Find out contact information for your state representatives: Find Your Reps

2. Confront Sweeney on Thursday the 24th Over Social Security

The In This Together Coalition on Social Security, a group of Working Family Party Members, Democrats and Labor Unions, are holding a combination press conference and protest in front of Congressman John Sweeney's Clifton Park office on Thursday at Noon and they need to get as large a crowd as possible. The event will protest the fact that Sweeney will not speak to constituent groups and answer citizen questions on Social Security. While demonstrating, they will also announce a Town Meeting on Social Security to be held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library; time and day TBA Thursday. This Town Meeting will be held whether Sweeney appears or not! This event should gather major publicity and call attention to Sweeney's and the Republican's effort to privatize America's successful social program. Sweeney's office is at 939 Route 146 in Clifton Park. For directions: Map
For information on In This Together: In This Together

3. Governor Dean speaks out in Toronto on the Democrats' message

Governor Dean spoke this weekend in Toronto to a convention of Democrats Abroad, which is hoping to register 2 million Americans living outside the US, most of whom are believed to be Democrats, to vote in the next election. Dean spoke on how we need to focus our message tightly. For more go to our blog, where I posted an except and link: Dean

4. The Next Battle For Democrats: taking back trade and jobs

David Sirota, a fellow at the Center For American Progress has written an important piece on Democrats and the coming national debate over the trade issue. As Democrats are increasingly become painfully and ruefully aware our support for globalization in the lost decade of the 90s crushed much of our party's base among working Americans. Sirota notes: "According to a study by the National Committee for an Effective Congress of the 88 congressional districts that shifted from Democrat to Republican from 1994 to 2000, 59 had average incomes below the national norm, and in 68, the percentage of residents with college degrees was below the national average. Many of these are the blue collar, working class districts ravaged by "free trade" deals that have shipped American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets." This is a "must read"
and we have to see to it this gets the attention deserves; please pass this one on.

5. World Water Day: privatization and the theft of our common resources

Social Security isn't the only privatization hustle out there. For instance, today is the UN's World Water Day. Water rights are becoming a big issue internationally, and sadly, a source of growing third world anger at the developing countries, including America. Access to water should be a basic human right, but, I suppose in this Lenten Season we should not need a reminder of man's capacity for inhumanity to his fellow man; just as on the Way of the Cross there the saints who gave Christ water and those didn't give a damn, so are there now for the least of those amongst us in the world community.
Water In Asia
Democracy Now

(Regular readers will note I am working on my framing!)

6. Real impact of the World Bank

Since we seem to be hitting privatization themes, I recommend this piece from the progressive Center For Economic and Policy research on bush's disgusting appointment of Paul Wolfowitz to the World Bank and how that institution's impact on economic development all over the world is not what is seems:

Thanks everyone!



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