Tag Archives: California

‘A Win in Our Fight for Net Neutrality’: Industry Loses Another Attempt to Block California Law

“This is big,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, “because when the FCC rolled back its open internet policies, states stepped in.”

By Andrea Germanos  Published 4-22-2022 by Common Dreams

Net Neutrality protest at Google HQ in 2010. Photo: Steve Rhodes/flickr/CC

Open internet defenders cheered this week after a federal appeals court rejected an industry-backed petition to block enforcement of California’s net neutrality law.

Internet service providers (ISPs) wanted a hearing before all the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after a three-judge panel of that court in January upheld that the law could go into effect. Continue reading

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Thousands of Sutter Health Nurses Stage 1-Day Northern California Strike

“We’re tired of being ignored and left without the resources we need to care for our patients,” explained California Nurses Association.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 4-18-2022 by Common Dreams

Nurses and healthcare workers at Sutter Health’s Solano Medical Center in Vallejo, California participate in a one-day strike on April 18, 2022. (Photo: California Nurses Association/Twitter)

Thousands of nurses at 18 Northern California Sutter Health hospitals and medical facilities on Monday began a one-day strike to protest what their union called the healthcare provider’s refusal to address “proposals about safe staffing and health and safety protections” amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 8,000 members of California Nurses Association (CNA)—a National Nurses United (NNU) affiliate—and CNA-affiliated Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union are participating in the action, according to NNU. Continue reading

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‘Unscientific and Unlawful’: Biden EPA Will Not Regulate Rocket Fuel Chemical in Water

“The Trump EPA gave perchlorate a pass; it was a bad decision then, and it’s a bad decision now,” said one environmental advocate.

By Julia Conley.  Published 4-1-2022 by Common Dreams

Public health advocates said Thursday that they plan to resume litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency after the Biden administration announced it would uphold former President Donald Trump’s decision to not regulate drinking water levels of a chemical used to make rocket fuel and explosives.

Former President Barack Obama’s administration proposed limits for perchlorate after finding in 2011 that drinking water for 16 million people may have unsafe levels of the contaminant, which poses a risk to the development of children and fetuses. Continue reading

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California Bill Would Allow Citizens to Enforce Assault Weapon Ban

“If Texas can use a law to ban a woman’s right to chose and to put her health at risk, we will use that same law to save lives and improve the health and safety of the people in the state of California,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

By Kenny Stancil. Published 2-18-2022 by Common Dreams

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday endorsed legislation that would allow private citizens to enforce the state’s ban on assault weapons.

California’s new bill mimics a Texas law empowering private citizens to enforce the state’s draconian abortion ban by suing anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Continue reading

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International Support Grows for Mexico’s Lawsuit Against US Gun-Makers

“I feel very encouraged because this means that what we are doing as a government is worth doing,” a Mexican official said. “We are confirming that the missing link in this whole equation of illicit trafficking is the gun companies.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 2-1-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: WFXB

In a big boost to the Mexican government’s historic federal lawsuit against American gun-makers, 13 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, two countries, a coalition of attorneys general, and numerous advocacy groups on Monday filed or joined amicus briefs supporting Mexico’s litigation, which seeks to hold weapons manufacturers accountable for the violence they facilitate.

Law.com reports attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon joined an amicus brief filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey urging a federal court in Boston to deny the gun-makers’ motions to dismiss the suit. Continue reading

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Progressives Vow to ‘Fight Like Hell’ as California Single-Payer Bill Withdrawn

“We are not gonna give up on our patients,” said California Nurses Association president Sandy Reding. “We are there when they take their first breath, we are there when they take their last breath. We will prevail.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-31-2022 by Common Dreams,

Advocates for A.B. 1400, California’s single-payer healthcare bill, pose for a photo at one of the numerous automobile caravan rallies promoting the measure. (Photo: National Nurses United)

California progressives on Monday expressed shock and outrage as a bill that, if passed, would have delivered single-payer healthcare coverage to the nation’s most populous state was withdrawn from a highly anticipated floor vote in the state Assembly.

Minutes before A.B. 1400—the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act—was scheduled for a floor vote in the California State Assembly, co-author Ash Kalra (D-27) pulled the measure from consideration. Monday was the last day for the bill on the legislative calendar. Continue reading

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More Than 8,000 Kroger Grocery Workers Strike in Colorado

The strike began a day after a report showed 14% of Kroger workers have experienced homelessness in the past year.

By Julia Conley.  Published 1-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Chimi Chi/Twitter

On the heels of a new report showing significant financial insecurity, including homelessness, among workers at Kroger grocery stores, more than 8,000 of the chain’s employees in Colorado went on strike Wednesday to demand fair wages and better healthcare benefits.

Amid a recent wave of successful strikes at companies including John Deere and Kellogg’s, the work stoppage is taking place at nearly 80 King Sooper grocery stores, which are owned by the Kroger Company, across the Denver metropolitan area. According to the Colorado Sun, 10 additional stores in Colorado Springs could also go on strike in the coming weeks. Continue reading

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Caravans Across California Set to Hit the Road as State’s Single-Payer Bill Advances

“Single-payer healthcare is long overdue, and while we push for Medicare for All nationally, California can lead the way by enacting CalCare.”

By Brett Wilkins  Pubished 1-7-2022 by Common Dreams

Single-payer healthcare advocates prepare to participate in an April 16, 2020 auto caravan in Ukiah in support of A.B. 1400, also known as CalCare, which would provide all California residents with medically necessary care with no co-pays, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket costs. (Photo: Bob Dass/Flickr/cc)

As a bill to deliver single-payer healthcare to Californians is set to advance to a state legislative health committee next week, more than a dozen automobile caravans will take to the streets of cities and towns across the Golden State on Saturday to promote and show support for what could be a first-in-the-nation universal care program.

The proposed legislation, A.B. 1400 or CalCare, would provide all medically necessary healthcare to every California resident, regardless of immigration status, with no co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs.

A related bill, Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 11, that was introduced Wednesday by Assemblymembers Ash Kalra (D-27) and Alex Lee (D-25)—two of A.B. 1400’s primary sponsors—would fund CalCare via a gross receipts tax, payroll tax, and a personal income tax on high earners.

On Thursday, A.B. 1400, which had previously stalled due to questions over how it would be funded, was approved by the Assembly Rules Committee—with strong Republican opposition—and will advance to the Health Committee next week.

At least 15 California caravans are planned for Saturday, from San Diego in the south to Eureka in the north. California Nurses Association (CNA) will host a rally and car caravan to the state Capitol in Sacramento.

“A.B. 1400 and ACA 11 provide Californians a clear understanding of what they can expect from a truly publicly financed, single-payer healthcare system and allows them to decide for themselves if they are better off paying for the most expensive healthcare in the world with the worst outcomes of any wealthy nation or guaranteed healthcare for all with CalCare while reducing overall healthcare costs,” Kalra said in a statement.

“Those that profit off the immoral status quo may not like it, but I am confident that the vast majority of working and retired Californians will see the benefit of significant cost savings as we remove debilitating insurance costs, out-of-reach prescription drugs, and arbitrarily high hospital fees,” he added.

Mike Bonin, who serves on the City Council of Los Angeles—one of more than two dozen municipalities supporting the bill—said in a statement that “single-payer healthcare is long overdue, and while we push for Medicare for All nationally, California can lead the way by enacting CalCare.”

“Unanticipated medical expenses should not doom people to bankruptcy, poverty, or homelessness,” Bonin continued, noting that A.B. 1400 “would offer healthcare coverage to three million uninsured Californians. As we have done with the minimum wage and the fight against the climate crisis, California can lead and show what’s possible.”

Oakland City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Sheng Thao said that “in Oakland, we know health disparities overwhelmingly impact our BIPOC communities in East and West Oakland. As cities across the state work to end health disparities we need California to step up and reaffirm that healthcare is a human right, that nobody should go bankrupt because they are sick, and that our health system prioritizes patients over profit.”

“They can do this by passing AB1400 this year to expand quality, affordable healthcare to every Californian,” she added.

Stephanie Roberson, CNA’s government relations director, said that “in 2022, we already have one guarantee: out-of-pocket healthcare costs for Californians will continue to sharply rise. This time, let’s guarantee Californians can get the care they need without going into medical debt, starting a GoFundMe campaign, or going homeless or not paying for food or heating bills instead.”

Activist Ady Barkan, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), noted that “our whole society has been profoundly disrupted by the Covid pandemic because we have built a healthcare system that prioritizes profits over people, and private wealth over public health.”

“Our state leaders must listen to our cities—large and small—who bear the brunt of our healthcare crisis and deliver guaranteed health care for all through A.B. 1400,” he added.

While then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, supported single-payer legislation in the past and called for such a program while campaigning for governor, he has not taken a position on CalCare.

“I don’t know how to do it, because it’s never been done,” Newsom said of single-payer during his gubernatorial run in 2018. “But I believe it can be done. And if any state can prove it, we can. I’m willing to tackle this.”

In addition to the 26 cities and Santa Clara County—home to San Jose—that support the bill, groups including the California Democratic Party, the California Labor Federation, CNA, Public Citizen, and various local chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) back the measure.

“Guaranteed single-payer healthcare for all people regardless of citizenship status would have made my family’s life much more stable and safe when we were undocumented immigrants,” Dr. Haemin Cho, secretary and co-chair of the Progressive Democrats of America’s San Francisco chapter—a supporter of A.B. 1400—told Common Dreams. “CalCare is the best thing we could do during this crippling pandemic to ensure all families are safe from financial ruin due to illness. It can save lives and stabilize our economy.”

Lee, the legislation’s co-author, lamented that “despite being the richest country in the world, the United States is still the only country in the developed world without a system of universal healthcare.”

“The pandemic has made evident that tying your healthcare to employment isn’t just antiquated, it’s dangerous,” he added. “Now is the time to realize healthcare is a human right—and California will lead the way with CalCare.”

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
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More Than 130 Groups Call on CFTC to Shut Down ‘Dystopian’ Water Futures Market

“In this time of global-warming-induced drought in California, the last thing we need is to gamble on our precious water resources.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 12-20-2021 by Common Dreams

Drought conditions, at a filtration pond, in Campbell, CA 2014. Photo: Tyler Bell/flickr/CC

Warning Wall Street against commodifying what has been treated since ancient history as “a common right for everyone,” more than 130 civil society groups on Monday demanded that federal regulators shut down the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s water futures market.

Food & Water Watch organized the petition, which was sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a year after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) opened the world’s first market for water futures contracts, based on water rights in drought-plagued California. Continue reading

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‘Solidarity Forever’: 40,000 Kaiser Workers Set to Strike to Defend 700 Fellow Union Members

“An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us,” said one nurse and labor advocate.

By Julia Conley.  Published 11-18-2021 by Common Dreams.

Kaiser nurses and other health care workers rallied September 28. Photo: Labor Notes/Daniel O’Donnell

Tens of thousands of nurses, technicians, and other healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California staged a walkout Thursday in sympathy with about 700 engineers who have been on strike for two months, calling on the company to offer the employees a fair contract and, advocates said, demonstrating the power of labor unions and solidarity between workers.

About 40,000 workers represented by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare West (SEIU-UHW), Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 29, and International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 20 will go on strike from 7:00 Thursday morning until 7:00 Friday morning. Continue reading

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