Check out what's happening with our working groups:
Action: Medicare's enactment on July 30th 47 years ago was a huge economic reward to our country's retiring workforce. With their reduced incomes and increased susceptibility to physical ailments, retired workers were constantly in danger of getting sick, falling into frightful living conditions from high medical bills and becoming economic burdens on their children.
Medicare instantly offered health and economic security to millions of people 65 and over and their families. At the same time, by virtue of its large size and unified character, it has given us ways to study and improve the delivery of care.
Today, Medicare benefits and covered population need expansion rather then contraction as some of its vocal opponents are proposing. It's an efficient program that maximizes payments for care; its overhead costs are in the 2 percent range. In contrast, private health insurance companies easily spend 15 to 30 percent of our premium dollars on overhead. That's money spent on maintaining an army of gatekeepers to minimize payouts for care and to maximize insurer profits.
Education: The Curriculum Project has started! The goal is to create a one month unit of curriculum for high school government teachers to use to give students the tools to be able to understand and evaluate concepts such as corporate personhood and how that affects our democracy. A one hour presentation will also be created to present to high school and college classes when teachers invite Move to Amend to speak to their class.
The second Book Study group is meeting every second and fourth Thursday evenings. The book selected is "Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government--and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead" by David Rothkopf. The next meeting is Aug. 23, 2012 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The initial IRATE document was handed out at the Move to Amend Convergence in Oakland in July and was well received. A final draft has been released and is available on our website at www.scc-mta.org
Outreach: Applause and a wild THANK YOU to all the volunteers who spent many hours this past month tabling in an effort to pass resolutions in not one, but TWO upcoming City Council Meetings in both Campbell and Milpitas. Outreach was made to as many residents as possible collecting signatures, supporters, and new recruits in various locations throughout those cities. Happily, a letter to the editor appeared in the Campbell Patch in support of our efforts. Again kudos to those who are willing to reach out to the public and support move to amend one person at a time.
The Canvass Project was presented at the Move to Amend Nor-Cal! Regional Convergence on July 28, 2012 at a session led by our project lead, Pat. He reviewed his canvass questions and methodology to the group. Another way in which the Santa Clara County Move to Amend group demonstrates our strong leadership!
Communication: Our website continues to be updated with documents produced from our Core Documents project. Take a look at the revised Resource List and the new IRATE Document now available for your review. You can leave your feedback at the bottom of the document in the Comments section. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. Our website can be found at http://scc-mta.org.
Polling has become a topic of interest. Some discussion as to the usefulness of a poll has ensued. Research into the costs and feasibility are underway. Keep an eye out for more to come on this topic.
Resolutions: Much focus on the cities of Campbell and Milpitas was made this past month. By the time this reaches the press, we will have the results from the two city council meetings held in Campbell and Milpitas BOTH on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 to vote on a resolution to support an amendment that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
Process: The process group has been busy this past month. Several projects are underway.
One very important activity is developing a budget for our affiliate to determine the goals for a fundraising campaign. Each work group will provide a list of needs for the upcoming year and from that costs will be determined. The very good news is that we now have a treasurer identified to manage our funds.
A Cultural Proficiency Plan is underway. As Santa Clara County is one of the most diverse communities in the world, it is important that we understand how to reach out to all ethnicities. This effort will give us guidelines and actions for reaching out to all Santa Clara County citizens.
Our mission statement is also a popular topic. It will be reviewed at the August general meeting and hopes are that it will be approved. From that common mission, goals and a strategy will be developed to refine our activities this upcoming year.
Sep 10: SCC-MTA General Meeting, Casa Vicky in the house next to the restaurant, Julian & 17th Street. 6 pm (food), 7 pm (meeting).
Hear Ye Hear Ye
The Move to Amend Nor-Cal! Regional Convergence event was held in Oakland July 27 through July 29. This event brought together Move to Amend activists and supporters from throughout Northern California. It was a great conference filled with information and discussion.
Our Santa Clara County Move to Amend affiliate was applauded for our great turnout and contributions made to the event. We are an extremely strong affiliate with great momentum. Thanks to all for your contributions!
I AM IRATE!
Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, Attorney General of Massachusetts, 533 U.S. 525 (2001)
In Lorillard, the Supreme Court held that the Massachusetts regulations that prohibited smokeless tobacco or cigar advertising within 1,000 feet of a school or playground violated the tobacco corporation's first amendment free speech (commercial speech) rights.
Effect: Massachusetts state law regulating cigarette advertising was invalidated which gives corporations the right to target advertising tobacco products to children. The effect is that the tobacco industry can advertise in such as way as to target children in order to create more tobacco consumers.