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Coffee Connect Newsletter • May 8, 2012

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I'm Proud to Be the Son of a Formerly Undocumented Immigrant

by Jose Gutierrez, Coffee Party Board of Directors

I'm Not Going "Back to Mexico," I was Born Here.

Jose, you are the son of illegal immigrants. Go home to Mexico and be the voice of reason there. GO HOME. We do not want you here.

The above words were part of an email I received in response to a blog I had written introducing myself to the Coffee Party community.  I wrote back to the man who sent it, and some of my response is below.  Since then, as the Coffee Party has begun to explore connecting communities as part of our strategic plan, I've decided to launch Coffee Party Immigration because I believe there is a need to address the frustration over immigration — from all perspectives. [MORE]

Connecting the Dots: Economics, "Citizens United" and Gay Rights

by Eric Byler, Coffee Party Board President

I have a fondness and an appreciation for Chris Matthews because he is thorough, factual, and so unmistakably and genuinely in love with the subject that he covers: politics.  I listened to the latest episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews, and I liked it so much that I might watch it as well.  The show covered three issues about which I'm very passionate.

One percent economic policy vs. 99 percent economic policy with guests Paul Krugman and Jon Heilemann.  Krugman makes the point that private sector employment has returned to levels before the Great Recession, but that public sector employment is way down because of One percent economic policies (austerity).  Krugman says unemployment would be at 7 percent if we had pursued 99 percent economic policies.  Heilemann points out that such policies were not attainable during the past three years because of fiscal conservatives in both the Republican and Democratic parties.  And Matthews adds that if Obama had tried to do more for jobs and the economy, it might have backfired on him, and no legislation would have been passed at all.

The "Citizens United" decision with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who, along with his Republican Lt. Governor, is pushing Ballot Initiative 166, directing Montana's Congressional delegation to move to amend the United States Constitution to clarify that corporations are not people, and that they cannot legally bribe our politicians and purchase our government.   Matthews asks Gov. Schweitzer if We the People have a chance against multi-national corporations and their representatives in Congress and on the Supreme Court. [MORE]

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On The Ground:
Lehigh Valley Coffee Party

by Robert Trotner, Lehigh Valley Coffee Party

In Lehigh Valley, PA, our local Coffee Party was launched in 2010 by Bill Bekkenhuis with about thirty members. I took over in June of 2010. We have had monthly events, most recently separate appearances by the two Democratic primary candidates for the United States Congress.

We are working on the following events:
  • A debate between the Republican incumbent and the Democratic General Election candidate.
  • A National Coffee Party Week event on June 3rd
  • An Independence day cookout
  • A discussion with a local realtor regarding the housing and foreclosure crisis on May 13th.
We have a publicist who makes phone calls and prepares flyers that are posted around the area to promote our local events.  [MORE]

Summer is Coming!

by Jessica English, The Bottom Line

Summer is coming… if you’re a fan of George R. R. Martin, you may be confused. I’ve only read the first book, but that’s not why I’ve got the season all wrong, Before I was introduced to Eddard Stark, and his, “Winter is coming” foreshadowing, I was a single mom facing down summer. Though I haven’t read the whole series, I feel that my summer is akin to Stark’s winter, but I’m not about to take a long sword to the heartless zombies in my narrative… instead, I’d like to spark an honest discussion about women’s work that goes beyond the usual media fueled fight.

This week in the news, we’ve been exposed to some supposed cat fight between a wealthy, white, privileged, stay-at-home mother, and a working woman. I admit I haven’t had time to read the details because, with only a couple of months left, I’ve been working my butt off. Besides, didn’t we go through this with Hillary and the cookie-baking thing in the 90’s? [MORE]

Coffee Party Radio Is On The Air

Coffee Party Radio not only provides live, original content, from the perspective of the 99%, it also offers you an opportunity to engage directly with the hosts, not only during each show, but also during the week leading up to it. 
Check out our schedule below for the days and time of our programming and call in and talk to the hosts!
Mondays 11 pm ET to 1 am ET
*Help Don line up content for the show by suggesting content here.
Thursdays 3 pm ET to 4 pm ET
*Help Jeanene line up content for her show by suggesting content here.
Saturdays 1 pm ET to 3 pm ET
*Help Egberto line up content for his show by suggesting content here.
Sundays 5 pm ET 5 to 6:30 pm ET
*Help Jessica find content for her by suggesting content here.

It's Time to Straighten Out Congress

by Billy Sears, Coffee Party Membership Director

On June 12th, filmmaker Jerrol LeBaron will be marching on Congress and hand delivering a petition to congress, as well as a copy of his documentary “Fools on the Hill" for good measure.  Each member of Congress will know how many constituents in their district signed the petition so that they can see these are issues everyone wants resolved.  We are pleased to partner with Jerrol and invite the Coffee Party communities to sign the petition, and also order his film “Fools on the Hill.”

To make an impact on Congress, we needs millions of signatures. Please help by forwarding this to all your friends.


Coffee Party Social Media Platforms

by Jessica English, The Bottom Line

Our Facebook page alone reaches more than a million people every day. It's an honor and a dream come true to connect with so many people using 99 Percent Media (media that most Americans can afford). It's a lot of fun too! But most of all, it's a huge responsibility. To compete with One Percent Media, we need more people like you to get involved.

We're not asking you to do anything you don't do already.  Only now, when you go on line, and find something that you think other people should read, you can share it with a larger community waiting to engage with you directly. 


Organizing Your Community

All politics is local, but Coffee Party national can help you get started by introducing you to thousands of people who live near you and share our values for civil, fact-based, and solutions-oriented deliberation — coupled with action on the issues of Wall Street Reform, Campaign Finance Reform, and Tax Code Reform.  Write to local@coffeepartyusa.com if you are interested.  Click here for more information.


America, Can We Have Coffee?

by Billy Sears, Coffee Party Membership Director

National Coffee Party Week announced for the week of June 3rd.

Coffee Party USA is striving to connect communities. Virtually, with Facebook, Scoop.it and Coffee Party Radio.  In person, with a network of half a million unique individuals spread across the country. During the week of June 3rd-9th, we want to work to connect our members on a deeper level.  Let’s get together and talk. Let’s get to know each other over a cup of coffee and discuss our concerns with the direction our country is heading.  [MORE]

Coffee Party Austin Lobbies for Constitutional Amendment

by Diane Owens, Coffee Party Austin

In October 2010, four local Coffee Party members organized Coffee Party Austin to both educate voters on the outsized influence of big money on Texas politics and to advocate for campaign finance and electoral reforms that will give voters a greater voice in state government. Last year our goal was to build public support for fair and clean elections and to advocate for public financing of state judicial elections.

This year Coffee Party Austin is working with local Move to Amend (MTA) and Occupy groups to lobby the Austin City Council for a resolution favoring a constitutional amendment and legislative remedies to reverse the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  Our members have also joined a state-wide coalition with Clean Elections Texas, Public Citizen Texas and Texans for Public Justice and others to lobby for more effective enforcement of state campaign ethics laws by the Texas Ethics Commission.


Support Coffee Party USA

"You can't save the world if you can't pay the rent."

Coffee Party USA is funded solely by membership dues and small dollar donations averaging between $18-$27. You would be amazed at what we are able to accomplish with free and low cost tools, but we do have overhead expenses related to our online advocacy

Book Club reviews Robert Reich's Beyond Outrage

by Barb Bull, Coffee Party Book Club

Several years ago, I had the satisfying experience of analyzing some important and confusing policy issue in an economics class. I must have demanded to know why the policy issue remained unresolved, now knowing that a clear solution was available because I remember my professor’s answer verbatim to this day: “Because we haven’t figured out the bumper sticker yet.”  More recently, I often find myself confused again like Alice in Wonderland about various policy issues. Are taxes too big or too small?  Is America a giant too big to be sustained by a weaker global economy or so small we’re in danger of being washed away by changing currents?  Once again an economics professor has taken the time to provide the data and the pathway to understanding what lies below the political confusion; and this time he has made significant progress toward some bumper stickers that we can use to get us to solutions.  [MORE]

Coffee Party Members Join Call to Unite Against "War On Women"

by Egberto Willies, Coffee Party Board Member

On April 28th it all came together. The work paid off. This was a real grassroots movement that had many organizations coordinating to effect a great rally. The War On Women is a non-partisan issue. Yet there was no Republican organization interest in participating. Democratic clubs like the Kingwood Area Democrats, trans-partisan organizations like our Coffee Party, and many other organizations were well represented.

Thanks to the work of many in Houston three buses and a van along with hundreds carpooling left Houston Texas to the Texas Capitol in Austin for the War On Women Rally.  [MORE]

Big Apple Coffee Party Takes on the Koch Brothers

by Lynne Glasner, Big Apple Coffee Party

Talk about the billionaire Koch brothers and their corrupting influence on our body politic is sure to spark anger and incredulity when the long list of their tactics is opened to scrutiny. A lively, informative, standing-room-only panel, held at the annual Left Forum in New York City on March 18, did not disappoint. Panelists included Lee Fang of United Republic.org, Ari Berman of the Nation, and Brendan Fischer of The Center for Media and Democracy, with J.A. Myerson of Truthout.org as moderator.

Sponsored by the local New York City affiliate, Big Apple Coffee Party, the panel, “The Koch Brothers: Their Path to Power,” also featured commentary from filmmaker Robert Greenwald and clips from his new full-length documentary, The Koch Brothers Exposed, which was officially released on March 28. The panelists honed in on the overwhelming impact of the Koch brothers’ money in setting the tone and policies on everything from college curricula and school segregation, to union busting and climate change denial, to name a few of their spheres of influence. In fact, it’s hard to find any area of radical conservative policy that does not bare their fingerprints.  [MORE]

The People, If Not the Courts, Will Reject Arizona’s SB 1070

by Eric Byler, Coffee Party Board President

The Justice Department has made its case against Arizona’s SB 1070.  Few Americans know that the Bush Justice Department confronted a nearly identical Law in 2007, and, they did a smarter job of handling it.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is right.  A challenge by the Department of Justice to Arizona’s ALEC-funded anti-immigration law without addressing the issue of racial profiling makes no sense at all.

However, it should not have come as a surprise to her.  The lawsuit that the Justice Department filed in 2010 was not based on the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution (our right as Americans to equal protection under the law regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation).  It was based on the Supremacy clause of the Constitution, which clarifies that our 50 states are part of a single country, and that the federal government has sole jurisdiction in matters such as foreign relations and immigration. 

I shot this video in Phoenix, AZ on May 30, 2010, a month before SB 1070 was blocked by a federal judge. The speaker, who later joined the Justice Department, makes a stronger argument here than the Solicitor General apparently did yesterday on both the argument the Justice Department chose, and, the one they chose to avoid.





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