Sandra Fluke to Speak in Indian Wells Thursday

The Planned Parenthood Riverside County Inaugural Dinner & Fundraiser will be featuring Sandra Fluke, the courageous law student who came forward to testify before the U. S. Congress regarding birth control and who was later reviled by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, et al. as the speaker at the event.

There is a rather hefty price tag for most occupiers for this event, but it is for the important cause of raising funds for Planned Parenthood, who is fighting against a continuing assault on women’s reproductive rights in the ongoing War on Women and should be well worth it.

It will be held at the Miramonte Resort & Spa at 45000 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, see:  Planned Parenthood Fundraiser

“Motherhood by Choice, Not Chance”

This year marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade and there will be a Roe v. Wade Anniversary Commemoration at the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. Wed, Jan 22nd at 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM. A broad coalition of partners, invites you to celebrate the Roe v. Wade ruling with a Film Screening of “Motherhood by Choice, Not Chance,” directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman. The showing of this important film is sponsored by: ACLU, Democratic Women of the Desert, Democrats of the Desert, Equality CA, Occupy Coachella Valley, Palm Springs NOW (National Organization For Women), Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Stonewall Democrats, and Veterans for Peace. If you have an organization that may wish to sponsor, have your board approve it, then notify OCV (we will pass it along to the key organizers) Please use this link to RSVP so they have a sense of how many to plan for.

Sign up for movie: “Motherhood by Choice, not Chance” at:  

See flier roe_v_wade1

“Girl Rising” Coming to Inland Empire Theater May 13

The Older Women’s League (OWL), San Bernardino League of Women Voters, and Catalina’s List are sponsoring and promoting a screening of the film “Girl Rising” at the Regal Movie Theater at 450 N. “E” Street in San Bernardino on May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information:

Download the flier:  Girl Rising

Go to:

Call 909/882-4057

Townhall with Congressman Raul Ruiz: One Occupier’s Impressions

I recently went to a town hall meeting in Banning that Ruiz was scheduled to attend.  I had been alerted to it by an email from the progressive caucus in Congress who were wanting people to go and ask representatives to sign on to the pledge to vote against any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  So I went in order to do that and to bring up two other pressing issues, even though it was raining cats and dogs and I still had to get my trash out.

Ruiz began the meeting by telling a little “story” about his “humble beginnings,” then opened up the discussion for the city councilmembers, then to the audience.  Several people spoke up about the social safety net, jobs, VAWA, etc. (and one crazy individual who urged him to vote for the Keystone Pipeline of all things (!) at which I groaned audibly). I had my hand up for a long time but he ended the discussion with only two of us waiting to be called upon.

I had chimed in earlier with regard to the social safety net letting him know I had a letter for him to sign pledging that he would vote against any cuts to SS, Medicare, or Medicaid, to which he was dismissive, offering to “shake our hands” and “look us in the eye” instead of signing a pledge, so I think he was trying to avoid being pressed on it or any issue because he rather pointedly skipped over me, choosing instead to spend the remaining time telling another anecdote from his childhood about a mango and how it “taught (him) an important lesson.” I was a little too annoyed to pay much attention, so the lesson was lost on me–something self-congratulatory about how unselfish he is. . . (though obviously not when it comes to self-promotion over hearing from his constituents).

At the end of the meeting, I walked up and said, “Since you didn’t let me speak I am leaving you these documents” and he made excuses about time constraints, asking me what organizations I was with.  I answered “several” mentioning the email alert as well as Occupy, at which he took almost a visible step backward and directed me to leave my papers with his Head of Staff, Greg Rodriguez, who took down my name and email address.  The documents consisted of that pledge letter, along with the question I was going to ask regarding the TPP letting him know I am outraged at the way our government and  the corporations have been conducting negotiations in secret, urging him to get the TPP documents and look at them, along with a copy of the “We the People Amendment” which has just been introduced into congress—the one we need to get behind because it is the one that MTA has sponsored which addresses both corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.”

I don’t have much confidence in Ruiz—I first met him at a fundraiser when he was running for office and I find him self-aggrandizing and evasive and my experience at this townhall meeting confirmed this impression.  Hopefully he will come through on issues like Social Security, corporate “personhood,” and the TPP, but personally I don’t think he is much of a leader–I think he will roll over to whatever the White House wants in the end.  I get the strong vibe that he doesn’t want to be associated with anything too “controversial;” if he was that slippery with regard to making a firm commitment about Social Security to a room full of older adults, I think he would have been speechless regarding the TPP.

We will have to make sure he really feels the pressure and see how he votes—hopefully he won’t turn into another Joe Baca/Barack Obama who says one thing and does another.  I’m glad at least he voted for VAWA, but WE NEED TO LET HIM KNOW HE NEEDS TO JOIN THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS along with Grayson, Mark Takano, Raul Grijalva, and the few others who have spine enough to take on not only the Republicans but the White House over issues that count.

V-Day: 1 Billion Rising!

V-Day a Success!

Supporters of V-Day gathered at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs on Valentine’s Day to speak out about the global oppression of women and its effects, joining together to express our grief and outrage.  Dr. Debra led us off with a blessing and a smudging, creating a sacred space, followed by a reading of Eve Ensler’s powerful poem, “RISING, written in Kerala for the women of India who lead the way,” and a speak-out.

Then we marched to Frances Stevens Park where there was a reading and signing of the Women’s Declaration of Independence, aka The Declaration of, by, and for Women, hand-printed on a huge parchment.

The Declaration of, by, and for Women

After the signing of the Declaration, we rang bells, blew whistles, and played drums, tambourines, and shook rattles in a dancing march through Village Fest, chanting “End Violence Against Women!” on our way, with support of people in the crowd, particularly one woman who wanted her picture taken with us as she had come out in support of 1 Billion Rising! to Crystal Fantasy, where we danced and drummed in a rhythmic finish into the night.

MLK Rally/Memorial

Veterans for Peace, Move-to-Amend, OCV, Move On, and Progressive Democrats of America organized a Rally/Memorial to recognize MLK Day and the Third Anniversary of the Citizens United Decision on 21 January 2013 at Frances Stevens Park in Palm Springs, CA

Tom Swann, President of the local VFP chapter, made the opening remarks

Local musicians Richard Finn and Carolann Bouldin performed various songs including “I Come and Stand at Every Door,” Pete Seeger’s adaptation of an old folk melody and “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, with updated lyrics by Carolann Bouldin

A good crowd was in attendance and signatures were gathered on petitions to abolish corporate personhood

The Laughing Yogi spoke, lifting everyone’s spirits

A number of local speakers participated

The keynote speech was “Peace or Profit: Violence as Commodity”

Dr. Debra Savitt led the group in a meditation in remembrance of victims of violence, while bells were rung every 10 seconds to symbolize each life, and a wreath was dedicated to the victims of violence

This non-partisan event was co-sponsored by Veterans for Peace, Move On, Progressive Democrats of America, Occupy Coachella Valley, and Move to Amend Coachella Valley.