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So, I just got back from my little sister's wedding! It was FABULOUS!! Sorry this is SO late...but the travelling has been really hectic and John has been chatting online with his brothers who are both in Iraq, so he's had the computer for a while.

Anyway, I will have more time this week so I may be able to do an extra action diary mid-week...I'm calling this the World Cup edition in honor of some labor-related action items listed below, but also because the U.S. tied with Italy and so we've actually got a shot at getting to the next level. That's about as much as I know about it...John and I had an argument about the scoring. I don't think WE should have gotten a point for Italy scoring in their own goal...I think they should have gotten a point deducted. John says my logic is stupid. Eh, whatever! Anyway, let's all root for our team and be happy for whoever wins:)

But most importantly, let's all take some action!!

Voting Issues:

-- From Common Cause:

"Urge Reps. Hastert and Boehner to use their leadership positions to bring H.R. 9 to the floor "as is," and to ensure that H.R. 9 passes without amendment. Then use the same toll-free number to call your representative and urge him/her to fully support H.R. 9.

Rep's. Hastert and Boehner have been important allies in the effort to renew and restore the Voting Rights Act, and have indicated that they intend to bring H.R. 9 to the floor next week.  But they need to hear from you about the importance of bringing the Voting Rights Act bill to the floor and ensuring that it passes without amendment.

Last month, congressional leaders introduced a bipartisan bill to renew and restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). Passage of the bill, The Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 (H.R. 9 / S. 2703) is critical to ensuring that the VRA continues to combat discrimination effectively, and that the gains that have been achieved for minority voters are not rolled back.

While the House bill (H.R. 9) enjoys the support of more than 150 Republicans and Democrats and was approved by the House Judiciary Committee with overwhelming support (33-1), there is a small, yet vocal handful of representatives who have tried to delay or thwart the renewal of this cornerstone civil rights law.

On Monday, join civil rights activists from around the country in making a toll-free call (1-866-808-0065) to Reps. Hastert and Boehner, and don't forget to call your own Representative as well!!"

-- If you missed YKos then you missed the screening of The Big Guy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress. Well, Common Cause has a way for you to see the film! They are calling June 27th, National Clean Money Day! Here's what they have to say about why:

"Why "Clean Money Day"?  Because it's time to declare independence from wealthy special interests and usher in a new era where politicians are accountable to the rest of us.  This month, Common Cause and its allies are launching a national campaign to bring real reform to Washington, DC, by adopting "Clean Election"-style public funding of congressional elections. Under Clean Election reforms, candidates who agree to spending limits and swear off private money can qualify for limited public campaign funds, allowing them to run competitive campaigns without being beholden to lobbyists or special interests."
Click here to find a screening near you, or to create one yourself!! There are 50 parties scheduled already, help us reach 100!!


"A new voter suppression tactic has surfaced in Ohio. This time, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has implemented new rules making some legitimate voter registration activities punishable as crimes and severely restricting the ability of organizations, including People For the American Way Foundation, to register voters in historically disenfranchised communities. The new rules place hurdles in the way of any compensated voter registration workers returning voter registrations they collect to the organization sponsoring the voter registration drive - making it exceedingly difficult for organizations to keep the records necessary to follow up later to make sure these potential new voters actually make it onto the rolls.

The Ohio Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) has the opportunity to reject these changes at its meting on June 26. Send them, and Secretary of State Blackwell, an email telling them to remove these roadblocks to democratic participation." Sign the petition to Stop New Voter Suppression Tactics in Ohio!

Health Issues:

-- This one fits into two categories, health issues as well as environmental issues. A big thanks to OrangeClouds115 for this one!! From the Organic Consumer's Association:

USDA close to Approving 'FrankenPlums'

"The United Sates Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting public comments regarding the commercial approval of a Genetically Engineered (GE) plum variety, known as "C5." Not only would the approval of C5 be the first commercially released GE tree variety in the United States, but also the first GE fruit approved for human consumption. Approval of C5 will pave the way for more GE food and tree varieties, as well as guarantee the widespread genetic contamination of conventional and organic stone fruit varieties, including plums, peaches, cherries, and apricots." Click here to read more about the genetically engineered plums, and click here to sign the petition to the USDA!!

-- Click here and demand a vote on Stem Cell Research in the Senate!!

-- Tell your representative to protect health and safety programs from unelected "sunset" commissions!

-- Concerned about the disaster that is Medicare D? Well, the Stabenow-Kennedy bill will establish a standard prescription drug benefit administered directly by Medicare. Seniors who choose this option will have a modest deductible and co-payments for prescriptions, without any gaps in coverage. Stand with Senator Kennedy in cosponsoring the Kennedy-Stabenow Bill!

Fighting the Religious Right:

-- From People For the American Way:

"Losing in the Senate doesn't mean the Radical Right has given up their quest to pass legislation that would promote anti-gay discrimination. Between now and Election Day they will refocus their divisive efforts at the state level. PFAW will be on the ground in at least six states to fight these attacks."
Adopt a target state today!!

Labor Issues:

-- From John Edwards:

"Possibly as early as Monday - the Senate will vote on his bill to increase the minimum wage. This will be the only time the Senate takes up the minimum wage this year - and we have to make a strong showing of support.

Earlier this year, I was honored and excited when Senator Kennedy asked our online community for help in getting citizen co-sponsors for his bill. You delivered - big time. All across the country, hundreds of thousands of citizens stood up for workers on the low rung of the ladder -- the folks who have labored for ten years without an increase in the minimum wage.

Now we need one final push before next week's vote. I know you have friends and family who are as concerned about the divide between rich and poor as you are. Please forward the petition to them and ask them to sign."

You can also call or email your Senators as well!!

-- From the AFL-CIO:

"Too many coal miners have died already this year. President George W. Bush has nominated an industry executive with a troubling record on mine safety to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Please send the following message to urge President Bush to withdraw his nomination of Richard Stickler."

-- June 15th was International Justice Day and the World Cup is being held in Germany (for those of you hiding under rocks and NOT watching!), so the SEIU has set up some action items in honor of those: click here to take action around the world that will promote unions!

-- From United Farm Workers:

"Charles Krug-Mondavi workers are calling for a nationwide boycott of their company's products--Charles Krug and C.K. Mondavi wine labels--in an effort to save their jobs. They ask you to send an immediate e-mail to the company supporting their boycott.

Soon after Krug-Mondavi workers' latest United Farm Workers contract expired Dec. 31, 2005, the giant winery vowed to fire all the workers on July 1 and turn over operations to a land manager as a cost-savings measure. This is typical of this winery. Its workers have had to fight to keep their UFW contract, since they first voted for the UFW in 1975. The company has sternly resisted union representation." Join the Krug-Mondavi wine boycott & help save jobs!

Helping Democrats:

-- From the DNC:

We're building an entirely new kind of political party -- one where every single person matters as much as the next, where each one of us has the power to take our future into our own hands. Some people don't understand it, and some people don't believe it will work. But we believe in the extraordinary potential of millions of Americans united in common cause to make our country better.

So for the next few weeks we will show that the 50-state strategy has the financial backing of ordinary Democrats across the country, and we're going to do it in a new way -- we're going to count the number of people donating on our web site, and reveal the amount at the end.

Support the 50-state strategy by making your donation below, and watch the number of people climb as other Americans join you: Stand up and be counted!!

-- Co-sign the open letter to Lieberman telling him to promise to support the winner of the Democratic Primary! Connecticut members of Democracy for America will deliver the open letter with your signature to Sen. Lieberman's offices next week.

-- Also, get your Democracy Bonds today!!

Environmental Issues:

-- From Earthjustice:

"Fishermen along more than 700 miles of the West Coast face a devastating commercial salmon fishing closure this summer, owing to the of the collapse of the Klamath River's wild chinook run. Federal mismanagement of the river, a series of fish-killing dams, excessive water diversions, and poor water quality have taken a severe toll on this river system, which once supported one of the largest salmon runs on the West Coast.

Though this fishing closure will likely have dire consequences for commercial fishing families, as well as hundreds of associated businesses throughout the Northwest, appeals for help have not yet secured federal funds for these communities. Please take action immediately to help secure disaster relief for communities impacted by this disaster, and ask your senators to provide the leadership necessary to reverse the decline of the Klamath River and its salmon."

-- From the Center for Biological Diversity:

"The U.S. Forest Service just announced plans to relax rules that govern "predator control" in federal Wilderness areas and Research Natural Areas of our National Forests. The move would greatly expand the ways that wolves, coyotes, cougars, bears, foxes and other predators can be killed in these areas, and it signals a very disturbing shift in the way our public land is managed.

The proposed rule would permit aerial gunning and motorized vehicles in Wilderness areas to trap and kill predators and meet nebulous "wildlife management" objectives, which would be created by industry-driven "collaborative groups." The rule would also allow notoriously dangerous "M-44" cyanide guns to be used in Wilderness areas, even though these devises have accidentally killed thousands of family pets and non-targeted wildlife. Please take a minute to write the Forest Service and demand that it reverse this disastrous plan - and instead put its energy and resources towards ensuring these animals continue to grace the wild."Take action to protect predators in U.S. Wildlife areas!!

War & Human Rights Issues:

-- From Human Rights First:

"The Pentagon is currently deciding whether to include in its new detainee rules a baseline human rights standard that has governed the treatment of detainees for decades: the ban on humiliating and degrading treatment. This provision is part of the Geneva Conventions. By removing this part of the Geneva Conventions from the Army's own guidelines, the U.S. government will be signaling a dangerous shift in its principles.

You can help ensure that the United States continues to uphold the minimum standards of humane treatment."Ask the Pentagon to Keep International Human Rights Standards

-- Call for the closure of Guantanamo NOW!!

-- From Oxfam:

"On June 26, over 100 world leaders will gather at the United Nations to discuss ways to slow the global trade of small arms, which is contributing to conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. Currently, a letter is circulating in the House of Representatives asking the Secretary of State to support strengthening the guidelines on arms transfers at this meeting. Unless governments act to stop the spread of arms, more lives will be lost, more human rights violations will take place, and more people will be denied the chance to escape poverty.

Please call the office of your Representative and tell them to sign onto the letter being circulated by Representative Adam Schiff (CA). This is a quick and effective way to make your voice heard. Please call your Representative and then click here to tell us what they said!

To make it easier, here are some talking points for when you call:
- I am a constituent and I urge you to co-sign the letter on global standards on small arms transfers in the Program of Action circulated by Representative Adam Schiff. The letter urges the State Department to push for strong and specific export criteria as a supplement to the Program of Action. Guided by the US's own laws, such criteria would prevent transfers of weapons to areas where they will likely be used for human rights violations or destabilizing countries and regions.
- There are around 639 million small arms and light weapons in the world today. Eight million more are produced every year. Without strict control, such weapons will continue to fuel violent conflict, poverty and human rights abuses.
- Thank you for your time and I hope you will consider signing onto the letter."

Women's Issues:

-- From Planned Parenthood:

"Ohio State Rep. Tom Brinkman says he "would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned."1 But he's clearly gone above and beyond with the state abortion ban he's sponsoring. With absolutely no exceptions -- not for rape or incest, not even if the life of the woman is in jeopardy -- it's the most extreme ban of any we've seen so far.

It would even make it a felony to help a friend who's seeking an abortion travel to another state to get one. Tell Tom Brinkman that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to support prevention, not to risk women's lives to make a political statement."

These are all the items for today...take as much action as you can please, and if you have any items to add, please do so in the comments!

This is Crossposted at Street Prophets and at Action Alerts!

Originally posted to Elise on Sun Jun 18, 2006 at 02:57 PM PDT.

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