Feb 042014

On Jan 30, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would delay crippling flood insurance rate hikes for middle-class homeowners across the country, including nearly half a million policyholders in Louisiana, and Sen. Mary Landrieu’s leadership on this issue was critical in shepherding the bill through the process.

“Senator Landrieu brought together a strong coalition of Republicans and Democrats to push for reform to the Biggert-Waters Act, which is imposing disastrous flood insurance premium increases for middle-class families in Louisiana and across this country,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “As this bill now heads to the House, we hope the leadership in that chamber acts quickly to help the millions of Americans who could face financial ruin if they delay.”

On her Senate web site, Senator Landrieu urges us to contact House leadership and ask them to pass the bill.

 Posted by at 8:17 pm
Jan 302014

A super PAC backing David Vitter’s run for governor is working behind the scenes to ensure corporate special interests have even greater sway in Louisiana elections by fighting to end the state’s $100,000 limit on individual donations.
“If you think there isn’t nearly enough money in Louisiana politics, then David Vitter is the candidate for you,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “His super PAC lawyers are trying every tactic they can imagine to help Vitter’s corporate special interest donors dump millions into the effort to install him in the governor’s mansion.”

The Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a super PAC run by D.C. lawyer Charlie Spies that is supporting Vitter, petitioned the Louisiana Board of Ethics to rule the state’s $100,000 contribution max unconstitutional, a decision the board declined to take last week. During his remarks to the board, Spies raised the threat of a federal lawsuit and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to be paid by Louisiana taxpayers.

The board responded that Spies should take the issue up with the state legislature and lobby to repeal the law, but lawmakers are unlikely to support such legislation. Fellow Republican state Sen. Jody Amedee told the Times-Picayune, “I cannot imagine why someone would need to donate more than $100,000.”

The Fund for Louisiana’s Future has already raised $1.5 million with the $100,000 limit.

For more information about Vitter’s record, visit www.vitterforgovernor.com.

Thanks to the Louisiana Democratic Party for sharing this information.

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jan 292014

The New Jim Crow Task Force, based at the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, is working to reduce the rate of incarceration of Louisiana’s citizens, particularly non-violent offenders.  Northshore Democratic Women’s Club member Bonnie Schmidt is co-facilitator of the group. The task force has been actively meeting and studying the issues behind mass incarceration for over a year. As we reported in this week’s Club newsletter, now they are taking action.

  • Bonnie and others attended a House Committee Informational meeting on January 21 in Baton Rouge on the legalization of marijuana for medical use.  Anita Dugat-Greene wrote a full report on the Task Force’s blog, Equal Justice Louisiana.
  • On Thursday, January 23, the ACLU and the Pelican Institute presented Safe and Fair Louisiana: A Panel Discussion on Criminal Justice Reform. To a crowd of over 200 people at the Abita Springs Town Hall, panelists Marjorie Esman of the ACLU, Kevin Kane of the Pelican Institute, and Judge Ricky Wicker of the Louisiana Sentencing Commission discussed the challenges of reform and how citizens can move the discussion forward.  See Anita’s full report for all the details of this important event.

Congratulations to Bonnie and to Sandra Slifer of the St. Tammany League of Women Voters, who worked together to do such a great job of putting the Abita Springs panel discussion together.

The next meeting of the New Jim Crow Task Force will be on Sunday, February 23. Details will be on our calendar as the event approaches.

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jan 282014

Senator Mary Landrieu has a petition calling on Gov. Bobby Jindal to take the Medicaid Expansion money.  Senator Landrieu says:

Our governor may not like the president, but this is not about the president. It’s about providing health coverage for 240,000 Louisianians who work 40 or 50 hours a week, but still make too little to qualify for assistance in the new marketplace — and too much to qualify for Louisiana’s current Medicaid.

The Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to “opt out” of Medicaid expansion put our most vulnerable citizens at risk. It threw them into a gap in the law that was supposed to provide them with the insurance they need. Bobby Jindal’s politically-motivated refusal to accept the money weakens our state and puts lives at risk.  Thank you, Senator, for standing up for Louisiana’s working poor.

Sign her petition here.

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Oct 102013
Club member, Ann Porter, forwarded some great ideas from NewOrganizing.com about how to get women to run for office and how to support them once they’ve made the decision to run.

Ask a woman to run for local office. Here’s how:

  • Make the ask . . . more than once. After asking sincerely in person at least once, be creative — maybe send a singing telegram, or write it on a cake, or put it on a billboard that she passes regularly. However you need to do it, just get it done.
  • Help her make inroads with a local political party. Local party support is often key to getting elected even at the local level, so offer to be her wing-person when she goes to local party events and meetings, and introduce her to relevant people you may know.
  • Support her as she runs for local office. Knock on doors, host a fundraiser, get everyone you know to vote for her for county council/school board/water commission.
  • Help her succeed. When the zoning board meetings run late into the night, offer to help with any personal needs she might have, from errands to pet care to family stuff.
  • Encourage her to pursue higher office. After she’s done such a great job as a local elected official, chances are that you won’t be the only one pushing her to run for state legislature or Congress.
  • Repeat steps one through five until we have gender parity and then some in congress.
 Posted by at 8:45 am