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Resolution in Opposition to Cuts in Social Security

We have adopted the following Resolution in Opposition to Cuts in Social Security. The full text is below. At our last meeting it was urged that our members take this resolution to their LD and County Democratic organization to seek adoption.

As we edge closer to this issue being taken up in Congress, it’s especially important to send our representatives a message.
There is no guarentee that our Democrats in Congress will not compromise. Please consider introducing and advocating the adoption of this resolution at your next County or LD meeting.

In Solidarity,
Judith Shattuck, Chair
Washington State Progressive Caucus

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Resolution in Opposition to Cuts in Social Security

Whereas the current cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) applied annually to Social Security benefits and other government programs already fail to account for the higher inflation seniors experience due to their disproportionately higher health care costs; andWhereas the proposal to subject COLAs to a so-called “chained” CPI (consumer price index) would result in an estimated 0.3% yearly reduction in those COLAs, amounting to an average annual reduction of about $130 per Social Security recipient, and a 9.2% reduction (almost $1400/year) by the time current 65-year-olds reach age 95; and

Whereas the concept of a chained CPI is based on the false premise that, as prices rise, consumers will simply shift their purchasing to less expensive goods and services, while many expenses unavoidable for seniors, such as drugs, health care services, food and property taxes, continue to rise inexorably; and

Whereas, in addition to over 56 million Social Security recipients, there are more than 15 million SSI and VA beneficiaries and military and federal civil service retirees who will be affected; and

Whereas the impact of those reductions will be greatest on those who begin to draw benefits at an earlier age (e.g., military and disabled), and on those who live the longest – typically women who have outlived their other sources of income, depleted their assets, and rely on these benefits as their lifeline to financial stability; and

Whereas generations currently coming of age (a) will have reduced lifetime earnings due to the ongoing recession, (b) will face unprecedented levels of student loan debt and are highly unlikely to ever have defined benefits pensions (and research has shown that 401(k) programs fail to sufficiently prepare Americans for retirement), and (c) will therefore be even more dependent than current retirees on adequate funding of Social Security and realistic COLA calculations; and

Whereas Social Security can be made solvent for at least 75 years, and its benefits increased, by the simple expedient of subjecting all earned income to the FICA tax; and

Whereas cutting Social Security and other safety-net programs would seriously jeopardize the American social contract that has been in place since the New Deal; and

Whereas two-thirds of poll respondents over 50 (Democrats, Republicans and Independents) have said they’ll be less likely to support anyone who backs President Obama’s proposal to implement a chained CPI, which will result in severe negative repercussions for our Party in 2014 and 2016 if implemented; and

Whereas the Washington State Democratic Central Committee adopted, on April 27, 2013, a Resolution based on substantially the same factual assertions set forth above and concluding by urging our state’s Democratic Congressional Delegation to refuse to pass a budget that includes cuts to Social Security and other benefits by implementing a chained CPI;

Therefore, be it resolved that we are in full accord with our State Democratic counterparts and specifically call on our own Democratic Representatives and Senators to refuse to support any budget proposal that subjects COLAs in Social Security and other programs to a chained CPI; and

Be it further resolved that, going forward, we will refuse to endorse or support any federal candidate that either votes for or advocates for cuts to Social Security, and that all candidates seeking our endorsement or support should be made aware of this policy.

Adopted June 25, 2013, by King County Democratic Central Committee;
Adopted July 9, 2012, by Washington State Progressive Caucus

Coal Train petition

WE the People have the potential power to ask for a more comprehensive EIS review on coal mining, transport, and export, but we have to act (again) NOW! Because Coal Backers are becoming successful with moving along their “narrow” EIS.

That’s why I signed a petition to The Washington State House, The Washington State Senate, and 4 others.

Please sign this petition? It only takes a second or two.  Click here:

http://signon.org/sign/limited-environmental?source=s.em.mt&r_by=593792

In Solidarity,
Judith Shattuck, Chair
Washington State Progressive Caucus

Action Alert: ask your rep to support the Back to Work Budget

The House of Representatives is going to vote on Paul Ryan’s latest budget Thursday.
 If we want to stop this wrongheaded proposal, now is the time to act.
Call your Representative!  Ask him/her to support the Back to Work Budget, the budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Main Switchboard  (202) 224-3121
Judith Shattuck, Chair
Washington State Progressive Caucus,

Action alert: contact House members to help overturn Citizens United

Please take the following actions. After clicking on the links contained within the text you’ll need to wait a moment for it to open and then click on.

In Solidarity,

Judith Shattuck, Chair
Washington State Progressive Caucus
www.waprogressives.org

From: wpc@washclean.org
Subject: Time to Act on HJM 4001

Contact Your State House Members NOW!

HJM 4001 calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to the states to overturn the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous decision – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has been placed on 2nd reading by the House Rules Committee. Now it just needs to be voted out of the House by March 13. Here’s where you come in – contact your legislator now and urge him/her to vote for HJM 4001.

Take Action HERE.

If your legislator’s name appears below, click on the name and thank him/her for sponsoring HJM 4001 if you haven’t already.done so.

Pedersen, Hope, Carlyle, Goodman, Kagi, Sells, Van De Wege, Haigh, Springer, Lytton, Tharinger, Jinkins, Hunt, Cody, Morrell, Ormsby, Hudgins, Pettigrew, Moeller, Upthegrove, Reykdal, Fitzgibbon, Ryu, Liias, Roberts, Maxwell, Sawyer, Riccelli, Farrell, Pollet, Moscoso, Santos, Hansen.

Thank you,

Alice Woldt,
Executive Director, Washington Public Campaigns (www.washclean.org)
Lobbying Work Group Co-ordinator, WAMEND (www.wamend.org)

Share your stories with Senator Murray, Friday Feb 22

SOLVE THE BUDGET PUZZLE: SHARING OUR STORIES WITH REPRESENTATIVES
People’s Forum to “Protect Human Needs – Cut Pentagon Spending.”
Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave. Seattle, WA
Friday, Feb 22, 7 TO 8:30 PM 

PARKING AND LIGHT REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED

This will be a free, public event where members of our community will share short, powerful stories about the impacts of the economic crash in their own communities. Our goal is to advocate for more funding for job creation, green energy, education, health care, and other human needs.

The event will be a powerful, action producing forum. As you may know, Sen. Murray is the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, has made public statements supporting cuts to the Pentagon while protecting human needs spending……. She is now in a powerful leadership position, and our local efforts have a real opportunity to shape the outcome of the ongoing Federal budget negotiations.

Groups that have come together for the initial delegation and now this forum include The Church Council of Greater Seattle, The Faith Action Network, American Friends Service Committee, Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, GI Voice, Green Party of Washington State, Rainier Valley Neighbors for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 92, WA State Progressive Caucus, and West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice.

I hope you’ll be able to join us on the 22nd!

 

Petition to WA Congressional Delegates concerning H.Res 733

The petition below is urgent.  Please sign and pass it along to your LD mailing list.  Send the signed petition to chair@waprogressives.org the caucus so that it can be forwarded to our congressional delegation.
In Solidarity,  Judith Shattuck, Chair, Washington State Progressive Caucus
We, the undersigned elected and appointed PCOs in Washington State support and affirm the Deal for All resolution in the US House of Representatives:

The Deal for All resolution, H.Res 733, which additional Members will cosponsor through the end of the year, advocates four key policies that have built the middle class, expanded the nation’s economy and must play a significant role in any future budget negotiation:

(1) No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits;

(2) Must contain serious revenue increases, including closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing individual income tax rates for the highest earners;

(3) Significantly reduce defense spending to focus the United States Armed Forces on combating 21st century risks; and

(4) Promote economic growth and expand economic opportunity by including strong levels of job-creating Federal investments in areas such as infrastructure and education, and by promoting private investment.

For more information: http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/deal-for-all/ We ask that our representatives in Washington DC sign onto this resolution and support moving our country towards true prosperity and a Strong America. Signed:
Name                                                                    PCO (precinct name, LD and CD)

Urgent! Call our Senators about the 2013 Defense Authorization bill

Last Friday I met with our Senators Washington DC staff via video-conference as a member of a delegation of  faith, union and NGO leaders.  Our goal was to convey to our Senators a desire to sustain Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all safety net programs and make cuts to the military budget.  This request was met with a positive response.  Senator Murray’s office indicated a willingness to bring troops home from Afghanistan earlier than the present time table.

I will be important to keep reiterating this message.  The Senators need to know we have their backs if we expect them to stand strong.  To that end, there will be a prayer vigil tomorrow, Dec 21 at noon at Federal Building on 2nd Ave. in Seattle.

As early as tomorrow the House of Representatives may vote again on the 2013 Defense Authorization bill, which provides $552.2 billion for the “base national defense” and another $88.5 billion for Afghanistan and other overseas contingency operations.

You may remember that earlier this month, the US Senate passed its version of the Defense Authorization bill by 98-0. One reason, some of the Senators may have voted in favor of the bill was because it contained a Merkley amendment, calling for an accelerated withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The bill went to conference and the Merkley Amendment has now disappeared. For the highlights of the 2013 NDAA that has just come out of conference, please use this link and check it out.

http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=f679d36d-0994-4768-80be-78296d325e2d

As well as continuing the war in Afghanistan, it is beyond outrageous that the Congress is about to authorize another $640.6 billion for the military, at the very moment that they are trying to squeeze social security and other vital programs because the federal government is so short of funds.

With vote imminent we encourage everyone to call today!   Senator Murray  202-224-2621  and  Senator Cantwell 202-224-3441

The message should ask for the reduction of the military budget, Afghanistan troop withdrawal, and maintainence of social safety net programs.  Ask them to stand strong.  As Democrats we want them to understand these points are not negotiable.

Thanks for all you do.
In Solidarity,
Judith Shattuck, Chair
Washington State Progressive Caucus