Voting Is Our Super Power! Help Register Voters!

Power to the Polls: Jo Ann of the Voters Registration Team on the job at the Copper Mountain First Saturday Pancake Breakfast.

Indivisibles,

It’s Jo Ann from the IMB Voter Registration Team. Do you agree that it’s really crucial to get out the vote? Do you have a little extra time? Do you have some good ideas about where we can register voters? The team needs more members to do voter registration tabling from 29 Palms to Yucca Valley. We are working on doing more events and locations to register voters.

If you are interested, please come to the next Indivisible Morongo Basin meeting on 2/6/2018. Voter registration training at 5pm, and team breakouts at 6, followed by discussion. If you can’t make the meeting, reach Jo Ann through contact@indivisiblemb.org for more info and to schedule tabling training. #PowerToThePolls !!!

Register online at indivisible.turbovote.org

Report From Women’s March 2018 And Reception

Six hundred marching in Bishop, 1200 in Palm Springs – women aren’t stopping in the California deserts!  Indivisible Morongo Basin member Gayle provides a report-back from the 2018 Women’s March and reception in Yucca Valley:

Hi-Desert communities of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley, Wonder Valley, Twentynine Palms, Flamingo Heights, Landers came together in a strong show of solidarity at the anniversary of the global Women’s March held in hundreds of cities and communities across the country.

The local march was organized by the Morongo Basin Democratic Club and attended by enthusiastic members of Indivisible Morongo Basin and community members inspired to make their voices heard on a variety of issues, most notably getting the vote out for the midterm elections and protecting the environment as well as disdain and frustration over the threat to democracy, human rights and the environment underway in the nation’s capital.

Creative signs and American flags waved by upwards of 150 participants entertained a constant flow of motorists, many of whom cheered and honked their support at the major intersection of Highway 62 and State Route 247 in Yucca Valley.

The Women’s March was held on the first anniversary of the worldwide rally that erupted in protest on the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Sheriff’s Deputies on hand to keep order in case of incidents (there were none) said the local march was the only one held in San Bernardino County.

The Morongo Basin Indivisibles hosted a reception at the Yucca Valley Community Center following the rally. An estimated 50 members and guests enjoyed light refreshments and shared their personal journey toward awareness and participation in democracy.

Signs of the Times: Women’s March 2018 in Yucca Valley

A year ago the hi-desert turned out in numbers that stunned locals for the first Women’s March in Yucca Valley.  Yesterday, Saturday, Nov. 20, the desert turned out again, with over 100 smiling resisters lining the Highway at Old Woman Springs – cold and wind notwithstanding!  It’s been an incredible year!  Thanks to the Morongo Basin Democratic Club for organizing this inspiring anniversary event and to everyone who contributed and turned out.   Below are some signs of the times, courtesy Gayle A.:

Call to support S.1400, The Safeguarding of Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act

Efforts to repatriate tribal property are hitting roadblocks within the Trump administration.

The Trump administration is refusing to take a position on a new cultural protection bill that expands on the legislation calling for the return of tribal items to their rightful place.

“These cultural items are continuing to leave and go across the seas to be sold”, says Governor Kurt Riley, a tribal leader, of the Pueblo of Acoma. Members of the Trump administration want to wait for the results of further study as tribal leaders are calling for immediate action. Given the ongoing sales of sacred cultural items in international markets, Governor Riley could think of no good reason to wait for the Government Accountability Office study, a process that could take many months to complete.

At the same time, Secretary Zinke has put a hold on a key advisory panel that was established by Congress to ensure compliance with the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act. The NAGPRA review committee is in limbo while the Interior department conducts their own review.

But Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) said the freeze in hindering efforts to return sacred items to their rightful place. Without clear U.S. law or policy, officials in France, where tribal items are regularly picked up for auction, have refused to return such items.

In hopes of addressing impasses at the international level, Udall and other lawmakers are pushing for passage of S.1400, the Safeguarding Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act. The bill bars the export of items that are otherwise covered in the U.S. by NAGPRA and other cultural protection laws.

Repatriation is extremely personal for tribes and their citizens. They are able to utilize NAGPRA to reclaim ancestors that were removed — sometimes inadvertently but in many cases, not — from their resting places. Items used in ceremonies and other practices can also be repatriated under the 1990 law. But once any items leave the U.S., it’s virtually impossible to get them back.

The STOP Act enjoys bipartisan support — six of the nine co-sponsors are Republicans. While the Trump administration’s silence on the bill might not hinder passage, it isn’t helping either, advocates argue.

Script:

Call our Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and call Representative Cook and say,

Hi my name is (NAME) and I am a constituent from (city,zip) I’m calling today to ask (SENATOR OR CONGRESSMAN) to support S.1400-The Safeguarding of Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act. The bill bars the export of items that are otherwise covered by NAGPRA and other cultural protection laws.

 

I am concerned that the Trump administration is refusing to take a position on this bill and that Native American cultural items are continuing to leave the U.S and go across the seas to be sold.

Indivisibles Alert Community On Potential Impacts Of Tax Reform Bills

Our Tax Scam Action Team got out the word on the Republican tax bill in Yucca Valley on Sunday Nov. 26.  Team member Gayle reports back:

Seeking to inform, alert and raise awareness on tax reform bills currently wending their way through Congress, members of Indivisible Morongo Basin, a nonpartisan citizens’ group advocating for integrity in government, gave motorists a crash course on the potential impacts of the tax plans on Sunday morning at the busy intersection of Highway 62 and Old Woman Springs Road.

Motorists slowed to read messages printed on signs held aloft by organizers who urged residents and visitors alike to “Get the Facts” and  “Call your Senators.”

“We want to alert the community that many of the programs we depend on are in serious jeopardy,” said one of the organizers, Beth Sheffield.  “The fate of Medicare, Social Security, education, the environment, healthcare, California, and even our way of life are all hanging in the balance,” she said.

Unfolding in a sequential fashion, like retro Burma Shave signs planted by the side of country roads in the 40s and 50s, the signs cautioned “Beware the Washington Tax Scam’ and declared the so-called tax reform will cut taxes for the rich and raise taxes for the middle class.

“We had a very good, interested response,“ said Sheffield, noting honking, waves, questions, and even cheers coming from vehicles waiting at the stop light.

The sequence ended in an urgent call to “Get the Facts” and offered more information on the group’s website at indivisiblemb.org.

On the Highway, Burma-Shave style!

Washington Tax Scam: Bad for You, GREAT for Corporations!

Join us to protest Paul Cook’s Tax Scam this Sunday, Nov. 26 in Yucca Valley!

Republicans in Congress are pushing a tax bill that is BAD for the people of the desert and of California.  With this Tax Scam, families making $75,000 or less each year will end up paying MORE taxes to fund tax cuts for people making $500,000 and up.  Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security will take big hits to fund permanent corporate tax breaks.  “Trickle-down economics” didn’t work the last time they tried it, and it won’t work this time, either.

Non-Partisan Analysis Shows The Tax Scam Will Overwhelmingly Benefit The Top—And Raise Taxes On The Middle Class.

The Senate Republican tax bill is being sold as a “gift to the middle class”—but it actually raises taxes on 94 million American families, all to give its biggest tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.  Incomes below $100,000 essentially get nothing or face a tax increase by 2027.  (Analysis based on data from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which is the neutral referee on tax legislation the way the Congressional Budget Office is for other legislation.)

Tax Cuts For The Middle Class Are Temporary.  Tax Cuts For Corporations Are Permanent.

Republicans are passing the Tax Scam through the Senate using a special process called reconciliation, and to meet the requirements of reconciliation Republicans have chosen to let the tax cuts they say are good for the middle class expire. When they do, families will see their taxes go up – so the tax cuts they’ve planned for corporations can be permanent.

Don’t believe Congress would ever let cuts for the middle class expire?  They’re doing it right now with funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  This program insures nearly 9 million children from low-income families who otherwise would not have health insurance.  It expired on September 30, 2017, and Congress has done nothing to fix it.

The Tax Scam Adds $1.5 Trillion To The Deficit.

After years of decrying deficits as an existential threat to our country, Republicans are now changing their tune and letting their tax cuts for the rich add to the deficit. They say these tax cuts will magically pay for themselves by spurring new economic growth. But there’s no evidence to suggest that that’s true. In fact, when the non-partisan Tax Policy Center took into account new growth—a “dynamic” analysis that Republicans consistently say is missing from the debate—TPC found that the bill still adds $1.3 trillion to the deficit.  And as the deficit grows, Republicans will then insist on cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to make up for it.

When Kansas experimented with a similar tax plan it crashed their state’s economy. Revenue plummeted—counter to the expectation that tax cuts would “pay for themselves and then some”—and the state was forced to close schools early to close the budget gap. The legislature eventually reversed the tax cuts, all while Kansas lagged behind the rest of the country.

Donald Trump And His Family Will Be Some Of The Biggest Beneficiaries Of The Tax Scam.

Trump has been claiming for months that he won’t benefit from the Tax Scam, but we know for a fact that isn’t true. Two of the biggest changes Republicans want to make—repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and repealing the estate tax—would give Trump, Ivanka, and Don Jr. billions of dollars in benefits.

 

The Republican tax bill is designed to allow the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on their income now, and avoid paying taxes on their wealth later. There is no other reason that Republicans would spend over $800 billion of taxpayer money to repeal the AMT and the estate tax.

P.S.:  Our own Representative Paul Cook also personally benefits!

Paul Cook’s Congressional salary is $1754K, so he also directly benefits from the tax scam that he voted for!

March With Us In the Palm Springs Pride Parade!

Our sister group Courageous Resistance Palm Springs and Other Desert Cities has invited Indivisible Morongo Basin to join their contingent in the Pride Parade on Sunday November 5.  Let’s carry our IMB banner and show we’re proud to join our brothers and sisters in resistance!

Meet in front of Joshua Tree Health Foods at 9 a.m. to carpool to Palm Springs.  Bring hats and water and wear tee shirts and/or bandanas.  Individual signs are welcome.  More info:  323-493-2257.

If you’re already in Palm Springs:  The parade begins at Tachevah and ends at Amado traveling on N. Palm Canyon Dr. The parade staging area goes from Vista Chino to Tachevah.  Courageous Resistance is the 180th out of 200 units. Therefore, it is likely that this unit will not start marching till about 11:30 am. Therefore, we will assemble in the staging area 11:15 am; look for group number 180.   If you want to watch some of the parade stand south of Tachevah and walk north when it’s time to assemble.

The worldwide theme for 2017 is VIVA LA VIDA. Live Life…and celebrate that you live life as you please. Parade details here.

REMEMBER:  Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday 2 a.m. on November 5th!

Immigration Team Update!

It’s been a busy period for the IMB Immigration Issues Team. Team Co-Leads Yolanda and Deborah were able to meet some of the released Adelanto Hunger Strikers (thank you so much, Indivisibles, for your invaluable assistance to the Bond Fund with contributions and sharing! together, we have made a difference!).

The team quickly organized a rally held October 6, calling on Representative Paul Cook to support a clean DREAM Act. We tried to invite Representative Cook to attend, but his email inbox was full!

Beautiful afternoon in Joshua Tree

Even without the congressman, we had a solid group of about 35 people in Joshua Tree on a Friday afternoon, standing up with our DACA recipient brothers and sisters, and there was lots of support from passing cars. Thank you to those who showed up, and to those who shared their support! A local DACA recipient came by and thanked us for the action and the moral support. It’s gratifying to know that you’re making a difference, and we’re so happy to show our solidarity with these young people.

Trump chicken flies in for DACA rally. Thanks, Indivisible San Bernardino!

Team Co-Leads were also able to see Senator Kamala Harris speaking at a jam-packed DREAM Act rally organized by CHIRLA and the student chapter of KRC at UC Irvine October 11. Senator Harris is an inspiring speaker, and the rally was fun and very loud! We were proud and happy to stand with the DREAMers, “chin up, shoulders back,” as Senator Harris put it.

Senator Kamala Harris at DACA rally at UC Irvine.

The only sour note was that some pro-Trump, anti-immigration counter-demonstrators were there, too…these particular people are familiar to Indivisible members, since they have exercised their First Amendment rights as loudly as possible at several demonstrations we’ve attended, including at Adelanto Detention Center and San Bernardino. This time, it appeared that they were encouraged to leave by police, although we weren’t close enough to hear exactly what transpired. We note that every time they have been present at a rally, they have been hugely outnumbered! And so it goes.

Supporting the DREAMers at UC Irvine

See more pictures and video of the rallies in Joshua Tree and at UC Irvine on the IMB Facebook page.

Bellicose Rhetoric: North Korea and Congressman Cook

Last weekend, President Trump took to Twitter to threaten North Korea, this time tweeting that Rex Tillerson is “wasting his time” with diplomacy and that he’ll instead “do what needs to be done.” It’s a clear threat of war and Congress can’t let it slide.  But here’s what our congressman, Paul Cook, had to say about North Korea in his 10/3/17 newsletter:

North Korea continues to insist on destabilizing the world with its reckless testing of military missiles, development of nuclear weapons, and bellicose rhetoric threatening its neighbors and the United States. It has shown a constant willingness to violate United Nations resolutions at the expense of the starving North Korean population. Congressman Cook is maintaining a close watch on North Korea through his positions both on the Foreign Affairs committee as well as the House Armed Services committee. We will continue to support any possible diplomatic efforts while also ensuring our military is equipped and ready to meet any threat that North Korea may pose.

Indivisible National urges you to ask our congressman the following:

Congress, and not the President, has the constitutional responsibility to decide when and where we go to war. From Syria to North Korea, it’s clear this administration doesn’t think it needs to come to Congress if it wants to use new military force. As a Member of Congress, it is your responsibility to make sure Congress asserts its constitutional role. Will you co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, making explicit that Trump cannot launch a nuclear strike absent a declaration of war from Congress? Will you also co-sponsor CONYERS BILL, defunding any preemptive military force against North Korea absent congressional authorization?

Rally in Joshua Tree October 6 to Support DREAMers!

Hey Paul Cook! Support our DREAMers!

Indivisible Morongo Basin will be rallying in Joshua Tree on Friday October 6 to ask Paul Cook to support the DREAM Act and keep DACA youth in the USA, their home!

The rally will meet from 5 to 6:30 pm at Highway 62 and Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree.

The bipartisan DREAM Act is legislation that will provide a path to citizenship for young people who were brought to the US as children. These young people have already passed background checks, and are currently in the military, in school and/or working. When President Trump rescinded DACA, he set in motion a process that will deport these upstanding people who only want to stay as productive members of society in the only home they’ve known.

More info at the Action Meeting on Tuesday, October 3 (did you register yet?) but get started now making a sign so we can stand up together for all members of our community!

Rumor has it the Trump Chicken might fly in for the occasion!

Tell Paul Cook that supporting the bipartisan DREAM Act is the right thing to do!