While California Dreams–Our new newsletter

Because we’re committed to keeping Californians informed on the goings-on in Sacramento, here at Speak Out California we’ve launched a new weekly update called ” While California Dreams “. Our goal is to provide a regular summary of the key events and issues that have taken place in the state Capital during the past week.
If you aren’t already a subscriber to our site, please come join us and receive this newsletter by email each Saturday. If you already do subscribe, we hope you’ll send it along to your friends and like-minded progressives and have them join up as well. It’s free and designed to keep progressive awareness and activism alive through our highly acclaimed voter guides,action-alerts, frequent blog entries on key legislation, issues ,analysis and commentary and now weekly update.
With so much on the line, yet so little information being disseminated by the main-stream media, we join with other progressive on-line activists in trying to keep Californians informed and knowledgeable on matters which directly and significantly affect our state and our communities.
We hope you will find “While California Dreams” to be helpful and informative. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

A weekly update on the goings-on in Sacramento
For the week ending June 16, 2007

Key bills and issues we’ve been following during the
past week and beyond

This has been a pretty quiet week for the folks in the Capitol. After the flurry of activity with deadlines to move bills out of the house of origin now over, little happened on the floor of either house. But there was activity around the place.
Here are some of the highlights:
Health Care (for All)
Continuing the tradition of hype and fanfare, another movie-star came to Sacramento this week…One can’t describe him as having the physique of the Terminator (in his prime), but certainly Michael Moore came in with a loud bang and lots of ammunition in support of Senator Sheila Kuehl’s single-payer, universal health care bill- SB 840. In his trademark pulling-no-punches approach to documentary film production, he came out swinging against the health insurance industry, the true money-sucker in the health care problem, taking 30 cents of every health care premium dollar for its own “administrative fees” and profit.
Of course, the health insurance industry is fast at work trying to discredit Moore, yet again. But the message this time is too overwhelming for this film to be marginalized. Far too many Americans know the truth about our failed health care delivery system, so calling him all sorts of names to distract from the substance of his message in “Sicko” shouldn’t muffle his strong and powerful expose.
It remains to be seen if the groundswell from his effort will result in developing the real strategy of removing the profit-grinder (read insurance industry) from health care so that all Californians will have access to quality care—our right, not a privilege.
For more information on his visit and what he had to say check out these sites at:
and another fine piece from Julia Rosen at: www.workingcalifornians.org
On the budget
The first deadline for passage, June 15th, came and went with hardly a whimper. This is a date that is never followed and is over-shadowed in the press by the July 1st deadline which is rarely met these days in the overly-partisan world of Sacramento where a 2/3 vote for passage remains a dinosaur in the political arena. California is only one of three states in the country requiring a super-majority for its budget, sharing the distinction with Rhode Island and Alabama. Mighty company, indeed.
This is virtually the Republicans only chance to be relevant in the legislature and they work to extract every dime they can for their own pet projects and to have any relevance at all. Given that they don’t even agree with their own Governor on this, it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.
For some background on their present posturing on the subject, John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED’s “The California Report” has a good piece at:
Capitol Notes; www.kqed.org/weblog/capitolnotes/blog.jsp
California and the EPA on Global Warming
The Governor, playing the role of Global warming opponent to further contrast his brand of Free-marketeering from the President, has warned Washington and the EPA that he will be suing on behalf of the state if the EPA doesn’t timely grant California a waiver on our Greenhouse Gas measure passed in 2002. In a nutshell, the Feds have no desire to allow California to impose higher standards on the car manufacturers, thus paving the way for other states to join in and force those stubborn US companies to start reducing tailpipe emissions from cars (something we already have the technology to do—but for which the big auto-makers lack the political will). We passed a bill, AB 1493, the Gov. signed it and the EPA has refused to consider our request for a waiver, which is allowed by the Clean Air Act of 1978 and something we’ve been granted each and every time we’ve requested one since that time.
The Rest of the Story
Our blogging offerings for the week
During the past week, we’ve had several interesting blogposts on a variety of subjects including:
Budgeting for the Arts in our state
Computers as energy hogs
Funding further class-size reductions
Trying to reverse the “dumbing down” in the media
To read and comment on these entries, just go to: www.speakoutca.org/weblog/
We’ll be watching and reporting on the budget discussions which will be heating up in the days ahead. We welcome your comments and suggestions and hope you will send this newsletter to your friends and other like-minded progressives. We hope you’ll urge them to sign up to Speak Out California and keep the progressive voice alive!
Until next week,
Hannah-Beth Jackson and the Speak Out California Team