Wells Fargo unveils annual meeting location, CEO pay raise

Wells Fargo, led by CEO Tim Sloan, is taking this year's annual meeting to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

By Mark Calvey  – Senior Reporter, San Francisco Business Times

Mar 13, 2019

Wells Fargo is heading back to Texas, telling shareholders Wednesday that this year’s annual meeting will be at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport on April 23.

The bank’s shareholder meeting, which will take place at 10 a.m. Central time at the Grand Hyatt DFW, will likely draw protesters and other critics of the bank, as has occurred in recent years. That’s spurred Wells to keep the annual meeting’s location secret until filing its proxy, sometimes choosing remote locations or venues that make it hard for large crowds of protesters to gather. The bank’s last annual meeting in San Francisco in 2012 turned into a two-day event triggering road closures and drawing thousands of protesters that required some attendees to step over a row of protesters chained together after passing through a police line. Presumably, that circus-like atmosphere won’t be allowed at the Dallas airport.

On Wednesday, Wells was eager to tout its Texas presence in deciding to bring the annual meeting to the Lone Star State for a second time in recent years. The bank’s annual meeting was held in San Antonio in 2014.

“We consider several criteria including transportation, availability of venue and Wells Fargo operations when planning corporate meetings,” said Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) spokesman Ruben Pulido. “We believe there is a benefit to holding our annual meeting in different locations to allow for the broader participation of our stockholders in those areas.

“We chose the Dallas-Fort Worth area, in part, because of our large base of operations in the state,” Pulido said. “Texas is one of our largest regions in the U.S. as it relates to retail branches, and we are the third-largest bank in the state.”

Wells said it has 5,800 employees as well as 175 locations and operations centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including several statewide leaders.

In addition to disclosing the annual meeting location, Wells also revealed in its proxy statement that CEO Tim Sloan got a 5 percent pay raise in 2018, earning $18.4 million in total compensation. He received $2.4 million in salary, $14 million in stock awards and $2 million in incentive awards, according to the bank’s proxy statement. In 2017, he earned $17.5 million, a 36 percent pay increase over 2016, the year in which he was named CEO. He took the reins after a scandal involving the opening of millions of accounts not authorized by customers came to light and led to the ouster of his predecessor John Stumpf

Sloan was grilled at a congressional hearing this week over the bank’s progress in recovering from a series of scandals under his leadership.

Wells Fargo saw its shares drop 25 percent in 2018, significantly underperforming its rivals and the Standard & Poor’s 500.

“In California, we’re going to get this done!”

AB857 carves out a special charter for city-owned public banks

Public Banking Inst

posted by PUBLIC BANKING INST | 8gb
March 14, 2019

CA AB857 press conferences

CA AB857 press conferences in Los Angeles and San Francisco

In dual press conferences Monday in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California legislators announced the introduction of AB857, a bill that would enable cities and regions to charter their own public banks and create a public banking network in the state. 

The announcement was made by California Assemblymen Miguel Santiago and David Chiu. In L.A., Santiago was flanked by L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson and dozens of advocates from the California Public Banking Alliance. PBI Chair Ellen Brown also joined in the fanfare.

Santiago explained the need for change:

“If there was ever a time to discuss how to use finances for the public good, this is it and this is now. Private corporations are not meant to do the business of public good which is why we need a public bank. [A public bank can] determine how to use our revenues in a way that is leveraged for the public good — [good that’s] determined by the citizens rather than some millionaire or billionaire.”

While the bill if passed will not actually create public banks, it will facilitate their creation by local governments. Full text of the bill is expected to be online by the end of the week, since amendments are still being processed.

The presenters repeatedly spoke to the tireless work of devoted advocates that brought this bill into being.

Organizer Trinity Tran with CPBA and Public Bank LA introduced the day’s purpose: “California is the fifth largest economy in the world and it’s time for us to take our money back. The answer for Wall Street exploitation is here.”

Watch the LA press conference here (Facebook link). 

Co-sponsor Chiu said in San Francisco, “We are here because Wall Street banks have failed us. … The public’s money needs to be used for public good. And it is time that our money is taken back and used for good.”

Watch the SF press conference here (Facebook link).

In a written statement reported in the Sacramento Bee, Chiu said that publicly owned banks would allow Californians to invest in institutions that fit California values:

“Time and time again, we have seen big banks invest our money in institutions most Californians are opposed to — oil pipelines, gun manufacturers, private prisons, and companies with unfair labor practices. This legislation allows us to take a first step towards ensuring the public’s money is used for public good.”

Wesson declared his support for the bill and predicted this change will sweep the whole country:

“Today we reject the idea that only one form of banking should exist. Today we reject the idea that there is no alternative to conventional banking. Today we reject the idea of supporting banks that ensure only a small percentage of people succeed, not the majority of people, not just in this city this state but throughout this country. Winds blow from the west to the east: it’s time to stand up and send a message to the rest of this country: We are going to vet this and, in California, we’re going to get this done.”

[Read the full Sacramento Bee article here]

[More coverage here: SCV NewsSan Francisco ExaminerSacramento Business JournalSF Weekly]

This is how to pay for the Green New Deal.

Go to the profile of California Public Banking Alliance

California Public Banking Alliance Mar 4, 2019

By Sylvia Chi

Dianne Feinstein, our Senator, had a viral moment on Friday, February 22, when a video circulated online of her lecturing Bay Area children about why she does not support the Green New Deal. The children were her constituents, on a visit to her office as part of an action coordinated with Sunrise Movement Bay Area, a youth-led climate movement. Sen. Feinstein told them, “There’s no way to pay for it,” and went on to detail how her decades of political experience informed her pessimism on the Green New Deal.

Sen. Feinstein presented the activists with a draft of her alternative resolution, which calls for the United States alone to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, far short of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s warning to limit global warming to 1.5°C. (Sen. Feinstein has since abandoned this resolution, and Senate Democrats have introduced a simpler “unity” resolution on climate change.)

In contrast, the Green New Deal proposal incorporates economic, industrial, and social justice policies to effect deep, systemic change to decarbonize the country in one decade. And as the name suggests, this type of massive transformation and government intervention has a precedent in the original New Deal, which rescued our country from the worst impacts of the Great Depression. As explained by economist Stephanie Kelton and others, the federal government paid for the New Deal’s massive public investments by exercising its financial sovereignty and creating credit via the Federal Reserve. Moreover, as public banking expert Ellen Brown has highlighted, during the New Deal, the federal government’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) lent over $2.5 billion in agricultural loans, backed vast infrastructure investments, and re-stabilized the economy through emergency loans to states and for disaster relief.

The Green New Deal relies on a network of public banks — like a decentralized version of the RFC — as part of the plan to help finance the contemplated public investments. This approach has worked in Germany, where public banks have been integral in financing renewable energy installations and energy efficiency retrofits. And it’s an idea that has taken root in California: last November, over 430,000 Angelenos voted in favor of amending Los Angeles’ city charter as a first step towards a public bank, and Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and Alameda County have completed a favorable feasibility study. Sen. Feinstein’s own state director, Jim Lazarus, is a member of San Francisco’s Municipal Bank Task Force, which just completed a year’s worth of research into public banking and is presenting the San Francisco Board of Supervisors a range of public bank models to choose from. The Board — of which Sen. Feinstein used to be a member — recently unanimously passed a resolution in favor of the California Public Banking Alliance’s state legislation for a new charter that will allow cities and counties to establish their own public banks.

How will local or regional public banks help pay for the Green New Deal? They will make low-interest loans for building and upgrading infrastructure, deploying clean energy resources, transforming our food and transportation systems to be more sustainable and accessible, and other projects. The federal government can help by, for example, capitalizing public banks, setting environmental or social responsibility standards for loan programs, or tying tax incentives to participating in public bank loans.

Most importantly, as one of the young activists in the video pointed out, the cost of inaction (or insufficient action) far outweighs the cost of implementing a paradigm-shifting program like the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal’s job training, research and development, retrofitting and infrastructure investments, and technology deployment will stimulate and make our economy more resilient and better adapted for the more frequent wildfires, storms, and heat waves we face right now.

Sylvia Chi is a member of Public Bank East Bay and chair of the legislative committee of the California Public Banking Alliance.

California Public Banking Alliance

We’re a coalition of public banking activists in California working to create socially and environmentally responsible city/regional public banks. LA: #YesonB

Good-Bye Electoral College? Popular Vote Movement Gaining Steam

March 14, 2019 by Common Dreams

It’s not just Democrats that see the virtue in reforming presidential elections

by Steven Rosenfeld

The main attraction of a national popular vote system is that it would change the way that presidential campaigns are conducted—moving them onto more of a national stage—and emphasize that every vote counted, no matter where it was cast. (Photo: AP)

The main attraction of a national popular vote system is that it would change the way that presidential campaigns are conducted—moving them onto more of a national stage—and emphasize that every vote counted, no matter where it was cast. (Photo: AP)

There’s new momentum around the National Popular Vote movement, where states will award Electoral College votes to elect the president based on which candidate has won the most votes nationwide—instead of today’s state-by-state winner-take-all system.

“It does have new momentum, because there was a [recent] period starting with the second Obama election when Democrats bought into this blue-wall theory” that their political party had a lock on the White House, said John Koza, a former Stanford University scientist who co-founded the National Popular Vote project in 2006.

The reform is based on states joining an interstate compact, a legally binding vehicle where states make agreements among themselves despite a national federal government. In this case, states, which the U.S. Constitution empowers to oversee its Electoral College process, agree to award their presidential votes to the national popular vote winner. As of early 2019, the project was two-thirds of the way toward reaching the threshold needed for a 270-vote Electoral College majority, but more states are poised to join.

Last week, Delaware’s Senate passed legislation to join the compact, and sent that bill to its House where it has passed twice before. In Colorado, where one legislative chamber was first to pass National Popular Vote (NPV) legislation in 2006, a compact bill recently passed both chambers and is heading to a governor ready to sign it. New Mexico’s Senate just passed the bill and sent it to its House. A bill currently has bipartisan support in Michigan and Oregon.

Currently, 12 states with 172 Electoral College votes have joined the compact (CACTDCHIILMAMDNJNYRIVTWA). Another 10 states with 89 Electoral College votes have bills in the legislative process (ARAZDEMEMINCNMNVOKOR). This first group of states is politically blue, while the second group, which until recently included Colorado, has some purple states—meaning both major parties are vying for governing power—and some red states.

The movement is not just borne of the frustration that national popular vote winners—such as 2016’s Hillary Clinton—are not being elected president. The Electoral College’s winner-take-all system of selecting presidential electors (who meet in mid-December to cast the votes electing the next president) has created a pattern where campaigns focus on a few swing states to the exclusion of most of the nation. Thus, Republicans in blue California and Democrats in red Texas do not cast presidential votes that count. In a popular vote system, every vote in every state and territory would matter.

There is a narrative in commentary circles that the National Popular Vote system would benefit Democrats, as evidenced by states that first adopted the reform—mostly coastal blue states—and noting that Colorado’s recent passage was on a Democratic party-line vote. However, Koza counters that perspective not really the full picture or correct, because state legislative chambers ruled by both parties have gravitated to the measure when the president was from the opposing party—just as those same parties took no action on the reform when they believed that their side would hold the presidency into the foreseeable future.

“The only reason it’s possible is that neither party can come up with a convincing explanation as to why it’s a systemic advantage or disadvantage,” he said, reflecting on the varying waves of support during the past 13 years. “There’s a lot of hand waving that goes on. But if you really press people, the Democrats, they got swept up on this blue wall theory [after Barack Obama won]. The truth is the Republicans in ’89 coined the term ‘Electoral College lock,’ because they were convinced they had a permanent lock on the presidency. Of course, the next two elections went to Bill Clinton. This is part of the self-delusion that both political parties engage in.”

Koza points out that legislative chambers in blue states took no action when Obama was president—whereas some GOP-controlled chambers did pass NPV legislation, or there were bipartisan majorities in single chambers sponsoring legislation to join the compact. However, single-chamber support didn’t necessarily lead to passage of the bill, leading some analysts to overly conclude that an NPV system would benefit Democrats.

“The attitudes of both parties have flip-flopped during the 13 years we’ve been working on this,” he said. “When we started, George W. Bush was still in office. Then, when there was the 2008 election, the very first roll call [votes] after that, we started getting a third of the Republicans [supporting NPV]. There was a roll call in Michigan, and there was one like it in Oregon and a couple of other places. Then after Obama won twice, the Democrats got into this notion that they had a lock on the White House.”

“None of these people [legislators] like to think that they are thinking about politics, but the fact is we couldn’t get it through the New York Assembly, which was Democratically controlled, couldn’t get it through Connecticut, and a couple of other places that were Democratic,” he said, citing the Obama years. “And then Republicans started getting interested, such as in Oklahoma. In Georgia, we had 47 of the 56 senators sponsor our bill, a supermajority of both parties, and it got out of committee unanimously in Georgia and Missouri. That’s obviously bipartisan, obviously Republican-controlled places.”

“And then the Trump election came along and then a lot of Republicans said, ‘Gee, this is working pretty good for us,’” Koza continued. “As you see now, more Democratic places are picking up on it. So parties have gone through three different phases of the moon.”

The main attraction of a national popular vote system is that it would change the way that presidential campaigns are conducted—moving them onto more of a national stage—and emphasize that every vote counted, no matter where it was cast.

“That is what we think is the single most important feature of this,” Koza said. “There would be no battleground states. Every voter would count equally across the country, and every voter’s vote would directly count toward his presidential candidate getting the most votes—or failing to get the most votes. But every voter’s vote would directly count toward his candidate. Right now, because of these state-winner-take-all rules, it not only creates this distortion where only a dozen states are battleground states, but it suppresses the minority’s vote in every state.”

The National Popular Vote compact is not the only measure seeking to address the nation’s founding documents and foundational strictures.

There are red-state-centered movements calling for a federal constitutional convention, which, if convened, could end up reframing elections, spending, reproductive rights and other major issues. Harvard University professor and former presidential candidate Larry Lessig has sued over the Electoral College’s voting rights inequities. TV commentator Cenk Uygur’s Wolf-PAC has called for a convention to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 campaign finance ruling, Citizens United v. FEC, prompting five states’ support.

However, the National Popular Vote compact is seen as the most expedient way to reform the Electoral College system—as opposed to passing a federal constitutional amendment or convening a constitutional convention.

In recent years, there have been notable developments concerning constitutional conventions; however, the momentum in these efforts has reversed course. The most successful campaign peaked a few years ago when 32 out of the 34 states needed passed legislation calling for a constitutional convention to write a balanced budget amendment. However, after scholars and others argued that a modern constitutional convention would likely spin out of control—and broach topics of interest to select donors and narrow partisan lobbies—four of those states have since rescinded their convention applications.

One can wonder if the National Popular Vote’s new momentum will be met by renewed vigor on the Article V front. While that scenario remains to be seen, the only certain thing that can be said about the prospect of using an interstate compact to bypass the Electoral College is should sufficient states join, the plan would be challenged in federal court.

Patrick Valencia previewed that challenge in a Harvard Journal on Legislation article, writing, “It is true that the Constitution allows state legislatures to bind their own slate of electors, but such action still must be compatible with the historical understanding of the electoral procedures in the Constitution, and thus must be consistent with the principles of process and product federalism.”

Koza, nonetheless, is optimistic that the country is edging toward a national popular vote presidential system, saying the reform’s legal language has not changed, has been widely vetted by legislators and legal counsel, and has come a long way in 13 years.

“It’s the exact bill it was for 13 years,” he said. “I don’t know that 13 years is a long time in terms of taking a totally new idea and getting it passed on the national level. I don’t know how many other things have moved quicker. Obamacare arguably took 100 years from when Teddy Roosevelt proposed health care for everybody, and even Obamacare didn’t get there. So in the context of the legislative and deliberative process, I think we are moving along nicely.”

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Articles ~ Alerts ~ Announcements, Fri., March 15 – Mon., March 18 + Save the Date (from Adrienne Fong)

Periodic Announcements

Please encourage groups you are involved in to post events on Indybay: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

Thank you to all who are posting there!

     Check Indybay for other events that might interest you.

ACCESSIBILITY: Please include Accessibility Information on events! 

CHILDCARE Please indicate if available for events. 

ARTICLES:

A. Editorial: Newsom’s suspension of the death penalty is bold — and just  – March 13, 2019

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Newsom-s-suspension-of-the-death-13686166.php?fbclid=IwAR1T7MI6fPXvAglUB2TNiw4DyVBsH3U7EZO_XsIEs5J4sY9ib0WLVyjmcmI

B. Hundreds of thousands prepare for global #ClimateStrike – March 13, 2019 

  See announcement # 2

C. Fearing For His Life – March 13, 2019

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/13/18253848/eric-garner-footage-ramsey-orta-police-brutality-killing-safety?fbclid=IwAR3s8RJIbToJvMZ2oBkb5UQwbFnVvTDplrdoB5pPKrvLPRwM_V7CCqd1pCA

D. 1.7 Million Students Attend Schools With Police But No Counselors, New Data Show – March 7, 2019

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/07/17-million-students-attend-schools-police-no-counselors-new-data-show

E. SF no longer has final say over police officer discipline — at least for now – February 20, 2019

4 – ACTIONS:

1. Support Microsoft Employees Who Refuse War Work

  SIGN: https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13620&tag=DP190307&track=DP190307

2. Protect Tenants Right to Organize

  SIGN: http://www.tenantstogether.org/campaigns/protect-tenants-right-organize?link_id=2&can_id=4d8abb95a7895a1648b41bfa1ad2bb3b&source=email-give-california-tenants-the-right-to-organize-support-sb-529&email_referrer=email_511302&email_subject=give-california-tenants-the-right-to-organize-support-sb-529

3. Hold the Trump Administration Accountable

  SIGN: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-congress-hold-the-trump-administration-accountable/?link_id=0&can_id=4d8abb95a7895a1648b41bfa1ad2bb3b&source=email-congress-votes-to-hold-trump-accountable&email_referrer=email_511875&email_subject=congress-votes-to-hold-trump-accountable

4. Tell Europe’s Biggest Public Bank To #StopFundingFossils

  SIGN: https://act.priceofoil.org/sign/EIB-stop-funding-fossils/?t=3&referring_akid=undefined

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Friday, March 15, – Monday, March 18

Friday, March 15

1. Friday, 9:00am – 1:00pm, Climate Justice Strike

2263 Santa Clara

Alameda

To elicit action towards the Green New Deal in the US, Alameda students will rally at City Hall and march to Crab Cove. Demonstrators will arrive at Crab Cove by 12:00pm, where there will be student speakers and activities.

Please join us for any portion of the event to support our students and the future of our world.

Wear green and blue to show your support for the Fridays For
Future Movement.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/363319737604866/

2. Friday, 10:00am – 12Noon, California Youth Climate Strike: San Francisco

Nancy Pelosi’s Office

90 7th St.,

SF

Join San Francisco youth as we strike for the Green New Deal and other necessary actions to solve the climate crisis. If you are unable to join us, consider organizing a strike, walkout, or other action on your campus! Learn more about our movement at youthclimatestrikeus.org

We, the youth of America, are striking because decades of inaction has left us with just 11 years (or less) to solve the climate crisis. We are striking because the necessary action to achieve the common-sense and vital goal of fighting climate change is not being prioritized. We are striking because marginalized communities across our nation —especially indigenous, black, and low income communities— are already disproportionately impacted by climate change, yet, few people in positions of power have acknowledged this reality, and even fewer have begun to confront it appropriately.

We are at a turning point in history. Our futures are at stake. We call for radical legislative action to combat climate change and its countless detrimental effects on the American people. We are striking for the Green New Deal, a fair and just transition to decarbonize the US economy, and other legislative action that combats the effects of climate change

Sponsor: California Climate Strike & US Youth Climate Strike

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/325603661416753/

3. Friday, 12Noon – 2:00pm Mothers on the March Against Police Murders – Nearly 130 weeks

Hall of Injustice

850 Bryant St.

SF

DEMAND POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

All are invited to join us  to demand that District Attorney George Gascon charge police officers with murder. Stand with ALL families who have lost loved ones to police murders. Since Gascon has been the DA in San Francisco, he has not charged any police officers.

Calling for Justice for:

Joshua Smith, Kenneth Harding Jr., Peter Yin Woo, Steven Michael Young, Dennis Hughes , Pralith Prolouring, Dale Stuart Wilkerson, Alex Nieto, Giovany Contreras Sandoval, O’Shaine Evans, Matthew Hoffman, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Alice Brown, Herbert Omar Benitez, Javier Lopez Garcia, Mario Woods, Luis Gόngora Pat, Jessica Nelson, Nicolas McWherter, Nicholas Flusche, Damian Murray, Keita O’Neil, Jesus Adolfo Delgado, Jehad Eid, and Derrick Gaines (killed by a police officer hired by SFPD)

The above named  all were killed by SFPD during DA Gascon’s reign – NOT ONE police officer has been charged! 

4. Friday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Forum: From West Virginia to Oakland: Teachers Strike for Public Education

PSL

2969 Mission St. (nr. 26th St.)

SF

$3-10 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds. 
Refreshments provided. Wheelchair accessible.

The ruling class has been on an offensive to privatize public education by closing schools, attacking teachers, and diverting funds to charter schools. Over the past year, we have seen teachers’ strikes across the nation win gains for themselves and their students. In Oakland, after a 7-day strike, teachers won major concessions from the district. How can we continue to build the movement to defend public education and why is it important to all workers? 

Join us for a special guest speaker from the Oakland teachers’ union to discuss their recent victory as well as presentations on the right to public education and the nationwide fightback movement.

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/03/06/18821708.php

5. Friday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Environmental Catastrophe & the REAL Revolutionary Solution

Revolution Books – Berkeley

2444 Durant Ave.

Berkeley

State of Emergency!

The plunder of our planet,

the environmental catastrophe,

and the REAL Revolutionary Solution!


We will show this excerpt from Bob Avakian’s talk Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution”
And discuss how to STOP capitalism-imperialism from destroying our planet!

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/598889503872051/

Saturday, March 16

6. Saturday, 8:00am – 5:00pm, Indigenous People March for Fossil Fuel Freedom! – 3 Day march (starts in Palo Alto, March is 3/15, 3/16 & 3/17)

   March will end in SF on Monday 3/17.

Saturday Day 1:

Starts at 8:00am”
Parking lot of PF Chang’s, 900 Stanford Shopping Center, Bldg. W, Palo Alto CA.

Sunday Day 2

On day 2 of our 3 day march we start in San Mateo at 8am.

On day 3 of this march we will start at 8:00am: 
1599 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco

  See announcement # 16

See Indybay for:

 Saturday details: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/03/09/18821776.php

 Sunday details:   https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/03/09/18821777.php

 Monday details:   https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/03/09/18821778.php   

    March ends in SF 12 Noon Rally at Wells Fargo Headquartes

Register here for details: oilywells.com/register-to-march/

34 mile walk.

Here is our Marcher Toolkit. We recommend reading it through to best prepare for the march.

Here’s an invitation to our slack. This is the best way to get updates about the march.

If you’d like to march yourself, please sign up here.

Idle No More SF Bay is calling Indigenous people to rise for clean air, water, soil and a sustainable future at The March for Fossil Fuel Freedom: A 34-mile Walk to Expose Oily Wells being organized by our friends at 350 Silicon Valley. 

The March is focused on Wells Fargo. Indigenous people have been invited to lead the march in prayer with other people of faith, similar to the Idle No More SF Bay Refinery Healing Walks. The women of Idle No More SF Bay who are signatories on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty have decided that this March will be the Spring Solstice action – more info about the Treaty here: www.indigenouswomenrising.org.

The demands of the March for Fossil Fuel Freedom are listed below. 
People may come to all or part of the March. Lodging and some meals will be provided. There will be an optional nonviolent direct action at the end of the March at Wells Fargo in San Francisco.

DEMANDS:
Stop financing Enbridge, builder of the proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline across Minnesota; 

Withdraw funding from all fossil fuel infrastructure, starting with projects related to tar sands oil (one of the most polluting sources of fuel); 

Work with communities and climate advocates to invest in clean energy alternatives and sustainable enterprises.

Divest from inhumane private prisons and detention centers… because healing our society goes hand in hand with healing our planet.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2346129798954019

7. Saturday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, High Voltage Women Book Launch

Bird & Beckett Books

653 Chenery

SF

Free

Refreshments

A Women’s History Month salute to “High Voltage Women”

We proudly announce Red Letter Press Books‘ publication of labor historian Ellie Belew’s latest book, “High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light,” the story of ten women who entered the utility’s male-dominated electrical trades beginning in the 1970s. 

Megan Cornish, the pioneer tradeswoman who was one of the pathbreakers at City Light, will present on this immensely inspiring true story based on her firsthand experience.

Sponsors: Freedom Socialist Party Bay Area, Radical Women U.S., Bird & Beckett Books

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/399306620834076/

8. Saturday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Building Sanctuary for Migrants Arriving in the Bay Area

Kehilla Community Synagogue ]

1300 Grand Ave.

Piedmont

Tickets: www.surjbayarea.org/events/building-sanctuary-for-migrants-20190316?fbclid=IwAR2NL3WB6tuIg3rafiH4I5OICjSo6IcxokvxH0Wsi4KsO4PHRKVqagBXkRs

Thousands of migrants are fleeing rampant violence and abject poverty, and are headed to the Bay Area. How do we open space for them? How do we strengthen existing organizations and networks who welcome migrants and asylum seekers to the Bay Area? How does defending sanctuary and asylum laws against Trump’s Administration contribute to the larger struggle against racism and white supremacy in the United States?

Join SURJ Bay Area, SURJ San Francisco, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, and the Kehilla Community Synagogue for an evening of solidarity and action as we:

-Learn about the experience of asylum seekers who have traveled as part of a caravan.

-Explore how white supremacy enables and perpetuates the current humanitarian crisis at the border and the increasingly militarized response by the US government.

-Learn about and sign up for direct, concrete ways to support those seeking asylum in the US.

Confirmed speakers include:

-Chris Lopez from School of the Americas Watch
-A representative from the Haiti Action Committee
-A representative from the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Attendees are encouraged to donate as they are financially able

 Donations will be given to Al Otro Lado and Enclave Caracol, organizations directly supporting migrants and migrant legal defense.

Al Orto Lado is a bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico. They also assist families with reunification in Mexico and work with non-custodial deported parents to ensure their rights as parents are protected in the United States family court system.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/865872820430237/

Sunday, March 17

9. Sunday, 9:30am – 11:00am, Women’s History Month – Shari Halliday-Quan

Unitarian Universalist Society – SF, MLK Room

1187 Franklin St.

SF

Women’s History Month invites us to explore the ways extraordinary women and everyday communities have cast off the oppressive limitations placed on them by wider society based on their gender. This celebration of transcendence continues today in the pursuit of gender justice, and this liberation work takes many forms: moving beyond the gender binary is one way that people, young and old alike, are getting freer.

Shari Halliday-Quan is this year’s ministerial intern at UUSF.

10. Sunday, 12Noon – 4:00pm, Tsuru for Solidarity – Help us send 1,000 cranes to Texas!

100 Montgomery St – in the Presidio

SF

Transportation Info:

The PresidiGo Downtown Shuttle provides FREE roundtrip service to the Presidio. The shuttle picks up at the Transbay Terminal or Embarcadero BART (Hyatt Regency exit)
If you are driving, be sure that you’re are driving to the Presidio (zip code 94129) not the 100 Montgomery that is downtown.

Accesibility:

Ramp access is available at the in the back of the building on Taylor Road between Sheridan Road and Bliss Avenue. This building is ADA compliant.

On March 30th, Japanese Peruvian and Japanese American incarceration survivors and allies will be staging a peaceful protest at at the South Texas Family Residential Center where some two thousand Central American women and children seeking lawful asylum are being confined.

Organizers are aiming to collect 10,000 tsuru (cranes) from around the world to hang around the fences circling the detention center as a show of solidarity in protest of the thousand of families separated and unjustly incarcerated. 

Our goal is to fold 1,000 cranes this Sunday! Bring your family and friends! 

No prior origami skills necessary! We will have folks onsite to help fold!

This program is held in conjunction with “Then They Came For Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties”, a special multimedia exhibit featuring imagery by noted photographers commissioned by the U.S. government’s War Relocation Authority

Sponsors: Then They Came For Me, Nikkei Resisters

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/263223504622348/

11. Sunday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm, Climate Change Decompression

Franklin Square

1800 Bryant St.

SF

Temperatures warming, ice caps melting, politicians dawdling, species dying… it seems every day climate change gives you another thing to feel hopeless about. But you are not alone!

Join the Climate & Environmental Justice Committee for our monthly Climate Change Decompression in Franklin Park on Sunday (we’ll meet on the grass near the playground in the SE corner of the park. We will be near a wheelchair accessible path but you may need to off-road a little to get to us).

We’ll be unpacking our feelings around climate change in a supportive, safe, environment, and sharing the things that give us hope. Potluck rules — have a snack, bring a snack, share with comrades.

Sponsors: DSA – SF

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/405450373613777/

12. Sunday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, From the Front Lines of Resistance with Cristina Palabay

Bethany UMC

1270 Sanchez St.

SF

This forum comes at a time when the humanitarian crisis in the Philippines is at an all-time high, even worse than under Marcos. Three priests were killed in the Summer of 2018 alone with over 200 activists slain during that year. Over 27,000 people have been executed on the streets and in their homes without trial in the War on Drugs. Cristina Palabay has come to the US on invitation by Amnesty International and ICHRP US International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines and in coordination with Malaya Movement. She’ll share how Americans are tied to these atrocities and what we can do to stop it. 

Cristina Palabay is the Secretary General of the Filipino human rights coalition called KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights). She is a Regional Council member of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development and an advisor to the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights.

Palabay has participated in numerous rapid response, fact-finding and humanitarian missions to document and investigate human rights violations, conduct advocacy activities and lead mass actions, and assist the victims of rights violations and their families. She has provided paralegal assistance to victims and kin in filing cases and complaints to courts and other redress mechanisms, initiated dialogues with government institutions and inter-governmental bodies, conducted lobby efforts for the enactment of various legislation for human rights such as the Bill for the Protection of the Rights of Human Rights Defenders

She is also known for her advocacy for women’s rights as among the founders and later on the Secretary General of the Gabriela Women’s Party. Palabay is also a lesbian activist, having been a Board Member of Kapederasyon,

Host: San Francisco Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines, Malaya Movement, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Phillipines

Co- Sponsored by many other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/430735437498928/

13. Sunday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Justice for Stephon Clark & Willie McCoy – We Need a Revolution

Revolution Books – Berkeley

2444 Durant Ave.

Berkeley

JUSTICE FOR STEPHON CLARK! JUSTICE FOR WILLIE MCCOY! THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS GUILTY AS HELL! WE NEED A REVOLUTION!

Discussion, and video on police murder and revolution from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, a speech by Bob Avakian

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/374744249744084/

Monday, March 18

14. Monday, 10:00am – 12Noon, Demonstration & Nonviolent Direct Action at Lockheed Martin

Meet at:

 the corner of North Mathilda Ave and West Java Drive

 Sunnyvale, CA

Join us at Lockheed Martin, the largest military weapons contractor in the world, to say no to nuclear weapons, no to war and no to war profiteering.

Bring banners, signs and songs!
Sponsored by Pacific Life Community, Catholic Workers, and Code Pink. 
For more information, call 650-366-4415.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/313231829549684/

15. Monday, 12Noon – 1:00pm, Free Chelsea Manning & Assange – Stop Government Attack on Journalist & Whistleblowers

SF Federal Building

70 7th St.

SF

The jailing of whistleblower and human rights activist Chelsea Manning is a threat to all people of the United States. She is being imprisoned again because she stood up for human rights and against the war crimes of the United States. After serving 7 years in jail the US government want to punish her again. She refuses to accept the Grand Jury’s right to interrogate her about Julian Assange who the US government wants to jail. She has already been interrogated by the US government authorities and this fishing expedition is only to further the attack on her for standing up for justice and human rights.


WikiLeaks has been an important resource for the people of the United States in exposing the systemic US intervention against the peoples of the world and the role of the corporations and politicians who have been involved in these crimes. The action to imprison Chelsea Manning must be answered by people throughout the United States and the world. Also labor and the trade unions must stand up for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. The attack on journalists and whistleblowers is attack on all democratic rights.

How to write to Chelsea (Info from Courage to Resist)

    Address:

       Chelsea Elizabeth Manning

       A0181426

       William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center

       2001 Mill Road

       Alexandria , VA 22314

Do’s

  1. Address letter exactly as shown

  2. Send letters or white paper

  3. Use mail service to send letters

  4. Include color drawings in your letters

  5. Sparingly send 4×6 photos

Don’ts

  1. Send cards, packages, postcards, photocopies, or cash

  2. Decorate the outside of envelope

  3. Send books or magazines

Sponsor: Bay Area Free Julian Assange Action Committee

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/03/14/18821908.php

16. Monday, 12Noon – 2:00pm, Final Rally: March for Fossil Fuel Freedom

Meet at:

Montgomery St. BART

SF

Join the culminating rally of the March for Fossil Fuel Freedom spotlighting “Oily Wells” Fargo with speeches, prayer, music and a performance by the San Francisco Mime Troupe. We’ll gather at the Montgomery St. BART plaza before marching a few blocks to bank headquarters.

Sponsors: 350.org + 11 Other Groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/350233775701310/

17. Monday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Candlelight Vigil for Stephon Clark

People’s Park

2556 Haste St.

Berkeley

A candlelight vigil to honor Stephon Clark on the anniversary of his death, to mourn his murder at the hands of the police, and to demand police accountability in matters of deadly force.

Sponsors: People’s Park Committee, Berkeley People’s Park

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2702541016452855/

18. Monday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, One Year Later! Take These Streets For Stephon Clark!

Meet at:

Sacramento Light Rail – Meadowview Station

Meadowview & Tisdale

Sacramento

It will be one year on March 18th, since the Sacramento Police Department took Stephon Clarks life!

WE ARE STILL FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE

BUT WE NEED TO TAKE A MOMENT TO COMMEMORATE HIM!

We will be marching from the Meadowview LightRail Station, where we held the first vigil for #StephonClark, and close to his home…to Meadowview Park on 24th and Meadowview Rd. (1.2 miles)

When we get to the park we will take a moment to remember him and lift his name.

Sponsors: Black Lives Matter Sacramento + 2 Other groups

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/394574064433995/

19. Monday, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Errol Chang’s Five Year Vigil & Memorial

384 San Pedro Ave.

Pacifica

Please join us for a candlelight vigil for Errol

It has been five years since Errol was murdered by the Pacifica Police and the Daly City SWAT team. It is important that we not forget who he was as a person, and also important not to forget the failed mental health system and over-militarized state violence that lead to his death.

In the five years since Errol’s death, we have continued to see the police and sheriff’s departments in San Mateo County execute its most vulnerable people, Yanira Serrano Garcia, Warren Ragudo and Chinedu Okobi to name a few. The District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe cleared all of the officers involved in all of these killings. How many more people must die? We ask our community to please join us and demand accountability

Sponsor: Justice For Errol Chang

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2010552892327967/

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~

SAVE the DATE

5th Year Alex Nieto Angelversary

 Thursday, March 21

 6:00pm

Bernal Heights

San Francisco

Amor for Alex Nieto: March 4, 1986 to March 21, 2014

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/621594534948401/

We were born the day our brother Alex Nieto was unjustly killed.

Join us on Thursday, March 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Bernal Heights to celebrate our community creativity and to learn about the final steps for the Alex Nieto memorial, which should be installed by August of this year, right in time for the new academic school year so that our students can finally learn truth! We invite all coalitions and community members, all loved ones to this important event. We will share soul and also provide the community with what we need from them so that we obtain the ultimate victory: posterity.

We will meet at the makeshift memorial site we have had for the past five years on the north side of the hill and share food, music, poetry, a lowrider bike show, y mas; then together we will walk over to the actual memorial site, where we will all share a moment of silence at 7:18 p.m., the moment that Alex Nieto was killed. From there we will hear some speeches from the family and community and update you all about the very important action you can take in these final stages of the memorial installation.

Once the memorial is established, community members will hike up to that mountain and pray like Alex did and look out over the beautiful view of San Francisco and be inspired by our community resilience. Students will travel up to that hill for field trips and to learn about the history and creativity of our community; they will write thousands of educational essays. Families will pilgrimage hands together and love each other at the place where Alex breathed his last breath. This will be a place of peace, of inspiration and amor.

DOJ Prosecuting Its Largest College Admissions Cheating Scheme Ever | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

MSNBC Published on Mar 13, 2019

50 people are being prosecuted after the DOJ uncovered a multimillion dollar alleged scheme funded by wealthy parents to bribe their children’s way into elite universities. Stephanie Ruhle is joined by Time Magazine Editor-at-Large Anand Giridharadas, Politics Editor for TheRoot.com Jason Johnson, and Republican Strategist Rick Tyler to break down if this story will do anything about a system that already favored the wealthy. »

Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc

Students are Striking for Action on Climate Change—a Truancy Everyone Should Applaud

March 13, 2019 by Los Angeles Times

Maybe, at least for a day, there’s more education to be found out in the street. Instead of studying history, it’s time to make it.

by Haven ColemanBill McKibben

A student with her face painted participates in a climate change protest organized by 'Youth Strike 4 Climate' in London on Feb. 15. (Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA-EFE / REX)

A student with her face painted participates in a climate change protest organized by ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ in London on Feb. 15. (Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA-EFE / REX)

Consider this a note explaining why one of us will be absent from school on March 15 — and why everyone else should applaud this truancy.

Beginning last August, a Swedish schoolgirl named Greta Thunberg went on strike from her classes, choosing instead to spend the days on the steps of the Parliament building in Stockholm. Her reasoning: If her government couldn’t be bothered to safeguard her future by taking action against climate change, it was a bit rich to demand that she spend her time preparing for a future that might not exist. Her protest soon spread across Scandinavia, Europe, Britain and Australia.

Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren have now participated worldwide, and the protest has drawn some prominent support: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on March 2, “I very much welcome that young people, school students, demonstrate and tell us to do something fast about climate change.” But of course others have been less understanding. During climate demonstrations in Australia, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “We do not support our schools being turned into parliaments. … What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

Lacking access to piles of cash, young people do what they can. And a strike is one such measure.

On Friday, many thousands of American students will be joining the school strike, so we’d like to lay out the reasoning behind it in more detail, in the hopes that people will view these protests with the seriousness they deserve.

It was 30 years ago that scientists first explained that burning fossil fuels was changing the composition of the atmosphere and driving the rapid warming of the Earth. That is enough time to educate a student all the way from preschool to a PhD, but it hasn’t been time enough for our politicians to learn how serious a climate catastrophe we are facing. The American government, in particular, is a study in inaction. Our federal government has reversed course on every effort to change laws and regulations. Our current president has taken steps to drop out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the only international effort to combat global warming. Young people see that their future is on the line, which is why they’ve been at the front fighting against oil companies, pipelines and fracking wells.

You don’t need to be much past first grade to know that when you’re in a hole you should stop digging. Or, in this case, drilling. It is time to replace fossil fuel energy with power from the sun and wind — and we have the cheap solar panels and turbines to do it. But America has become the largest producer of gas and oil in the world, and most politicians lack the courage to stand up to the industry. Both of us, for instance, worked last fall on a modest Colorado referendum that would have prohibited oil wells right next to homes and schools, only to watch fossil fuel companies outspend local activists 40 to 1 and narrowly defeat the measure.

So, lacking access to piles of cash, young people do what they can. And a strike is one such measure.

It’s not a stunt. A stunt is Australia’s now-prime minister bringing a lump of coal to parliament to pass around to his colleagues. A stunt is former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper literally drinking a cup of fracking fluid.

A school strike, instead, recalls some of the most pivotal moments in American history. In 1963, for instance, the Rev. Martin Luther King found that he had run out of adult volunteers to stand up to Bull Connor at the height of the civil rights battle in Birmingham. So, after much soul-searching, King asked the city’s schoolchildren to leave class and face the police dogs and firehoses. “Don’t worry about your children,” he told their frantic parents. “They’re gonna be all right. Don’t hold them back if they want to go to jail. For they are doing a job not only for themselves but for all of America and for all mankind.”

No one striking for the climate on March 15 will confront the immediate perils those brave schoolchildren had to endure. But just as they anticipated a future blighted by segregation, so today’s young people face a future blighted by environmental destruction. And so they must act.

It would be better, of course, if adults had taken the lead. Stopping climate change is their responsibility. But they haven’t. Though pretty much every politician has made it out of college, their education seems to have done them little good. Maybe, at least for a day, there’s more education to be found out in the street. Instead of studying history, it’s time to make it.© Los Angeles Times

Extinction Rebellion

International Highlights

Denmark – February 24

The small Scandinavian country is among the world’s top polluters, according to the Living Planet Report list. In Copenhagen Rebels marched through the city centre and protested in front of parliament, with posters and chants demanding that politicians acknowledge the truth of climate breakdown. The action attracted wide media coverage; a few examples are here and here (in Danish).

On the same day there was a similar action in Århus, at the City Council, with banners and singing. Rebels then proceeded to the oil depot at the harbour to make their voices heard there, and draw media attention. Together, the protests ensured that XR Denmark launched in style and made its mark.

Ireland – March 3

Dublin and Galway held Funeral for Humanity marches, mourning the many species already lost and demanding change, an appropriate message on World Wildlife Day. They got a good turnout despite the freezing rain, heard inspiring speeches and music, and shared great energy. More information including the extensive media coverage is on their Facebook page.

Spain – March 5

Rebels took to the streets on the main avenue in Madrid, whistling, juggling and banging pots beneath an Extinction Rebellion banner to create an entertaining disruption. The action, to draw attention to the ecological crisis and demand action from regional and national governments, can be seen here.

Netherlands – March 5 and 10

On March 10, in Amsterdam, 40,000 people participated in the biggest climate march in Dutch history, demanding stronger action on climate change. Extinction Rebellion NL were there and dropped a banner reading ‘Rise Up’, to applause from the crowd.

The previous week, Extinction Rebellion NL performed die-ins in Utrecht and Groningen, where Rebels dressed in animal costumes to acknowledge World Wildlife Day and draw attention to the current mass extinction. The action in Groningen happened to coincide with a visit to the area by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who was campaigning in the upcoming elections. In a region where fracking has left homes vulnerable to earthquake damage, Rutte’s visit drew many protesting against the exploitation of gas. Rebels joined with them to demand climate justice, and performed spontaneous die-ins in front of the Prime Minister, who was forced to step over the bodies of some Rebels. When confronted about government policies, he expressed concern over anything that might threaten jobs and drive residents to seek work in neighbouring countries – thus confirming the status quo. The action in Utrecht had a more upbeat atmosphere, sparking lots of interaction from shoppers and conversations with children.

Finland – March 6

Rebels gathered on the steps of the parliament in Helsinki to demand that the climate emergency is given prominence in upcoming elections. As Finland will take over the EU presidency in June, now is an especially crucial time to hold its government to account. Around 250 protestors from several environmental groups including XR took part, and eight Greenpeace protestors were arrested for climbing the pillars of the parliament house.

Italy – March 6 and 13

A Rebel dressed as a scuba-diver rode the subway in Rome to highlight the future submersion of parts of the Italian coastline by 2100, including outlying areas of Rome. The threat, highlighted in a study two years ago, has been in the news again – not because of climate but due to concerns about tourism and commercial routes. The scuba-diver’s protest provided a striking reproach about priorities. More photos and a video of this action can be found on the XR Rome facebook page.

In other Italian news, the call to action, signed by notable figures and published internationally in December, will now also be published in Italy. Many Italian academics and notable people have added their signatures and the letter will be released in simultaneous press releases in Rome and Milan, on Wednesday March 13 at noon.

Why Bernie Sanders thinks he can win California this time

Joe Garofoli March 12, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, greets supporters at the Navy Pier in Chicago on March 3.Photo: Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t conceding California in the Democratic presidential primary race to home state Sen. Kamala Harris. Far from it. Top Sanders campaign officials say he’s planning to have field offices and run commercials across the nation’s most populous state.

“We’re going to have a robust campaign in California.” said Ben Tulchin, Sanders’ San Francisco-based pollster, adding that “Bernie is extremely well-positioned” in California. “It will be a well-funded media and field campaign.”

A lot has changed in Sanders’ world since his 2016 presidential campaign, when he lost the California primary — and the Democratic nomination — to Hillary Clinton. The Vermont independent wasn’t well known then outside his home territory, so his campaign was largely focused on introducing him to voters, particularly in Latino and African American communities.

Now, Sanders is topping most polls among the “announced candidates” —as in, not including former Vice President Joe Biden or former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Roughly half his support comes from Latinos and African Americans, some surveys suggest. Sanders’ favorability rating among Latino voters is 59 percent, according to a recent poll — higher than the rest of the announced field.

That has Sanders’ campaign predicting he will do well in the early states with large numbers of Latinos, including California and Nevada. If Sanders can corral Millennial and independent voters as he did in 2016, “we think that’s a winning coalition in California and beyond,” Tulchin said.

Combine that with the $10 million that Sanders raised in the week after he announced his 2020 campaign, and his top operatives feel they’re in a much better position than last time to compete in big states like California.

Ah, but it is so early in the campaign. Everybody’s optimistic now. It’s just like spring training predictions in baseball. Everybody’s thinking World Series.

Here’s one sign that the Sanders campaign is far ahead of where it was the last time he ran for president. Then, pollster Tulchin wasn’t hired until October 2015, just four months before the Iowa caucuses. Now, we’re nearly a year away from the first voting, and Tulchin is already on the payroll.

Joe Garofoli is The San Francisco Chronicle’s senior political writer. Email: jgarofoli@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @joegarofoli

Photo of Joe Garofoli
Joe Garofoli

Follow Joe on:https://www.facebook.com/SFChronicle/joegarofoli

Joe Garofoli is the San Francisco Chronicle’s senior political writer, covering national and state politics. He has worked at The Chronicle since 2000 and in Bay Area journalism since 1992, when he left the Milwaukee Journal. He is the host of “It’s All Political,” The Chronicle’s political podcast. Catch it here: bit.ly/2LSAUjA

He has won numerous awards and covered everything from fashion to the Jeffrey Dahmer serial killings to two Olympic Games to his own vasectomy — which he discussed on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” after being told he couldn’t say the word “balls” on the air. He regularly appears on Bay Area radio and TV talking politics and is available to entertain at bar mitzvahs and First Communions. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and a proud native of Pittsburgh. Go Steelers!

New Mexico Legislature passes National Popular Vote and sends bill to Governor

The New Mexico Senate just passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 25-16 vote and sent the bill to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.  The bill is also now on the desk of Colorado Governor Polis. If both bills are signed, the National Popular Vote bill will have been passed by states possessing 186 electoral votes. The bill needs to be passed by states possessing 270 electoral votes in order to take effect. 
BACKGROUND The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  It would make every vote for President equal throughout the United States.  It would guarantee that every voter in every state matters in every presidential election. 

The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from “winner-take-all” laws that have been enacted at the state level. These laws award 100% of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each state. 
Because of these state winner-take-all laws, five of our 45 Presidents (including two of the last three) have come into office without having won the most popular votes nationwide.  

Another problem occurs in every presidential election, namely that presidential candidates have no reason to campaign in, or pay attention to, voters in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.   In 2016, almost all (94%) general-election campaign events were in the 12 closely divided “battleground” states where Trump’s support was in the narrow range of 43%-51%.  Two-thirds of the campaign events (273 of 399) were in just 6 states (OH, FL, VA, NC, PA, MI).  Almost all small and medium-sized states and almost all western, southern, and northeastern states were totally ignored.

In 2012, 100% of the general-election campaign events and virtually all expenditures were concentrated in the 12 closely divided “battleground” states where Romney’s support was 45%-51%.  Two-thirds of the events (176 of 253) were concentrated in just 4 states (OH, FL, VA, IA). 

It does not take an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to change existing state winner-take-all laws.  State winner-take-all laws were enacted by state legislatures under their authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”

These state laws may be changed in the same way as they were originally enacted — namely by action of the state legislature.

The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes was not the Founding Fathers’ choice.  It was used by only three states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (and repealed by all three by 1800).  Winner-take-all was never debated at the Constitutional Convention or mentioned in the Federalist Papers

Under the National Popular Vote bill, the national popular vote winner will receive all the electoral votes from the enacting states. The bill will take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes — enough to elect a President (270 of 538).  When the Electoral College meets in mid-December, the national popular vote winner will become President because the enacting states will provide him or her with at least 270 electoral votes.  Thus, the candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC will become President. 

A national popular vote for President is an achievable political goal that can be in place in time for the 2020 election. The bill has already been enacted into law in 12 states possessing 172 electoral votes.  It will take effect when enacted by additional states having 98 electoral votes.  The bill has previously passed one chamber in 11 additional states with 89 electoral votes and has been approved by unanimous bipartisan committee votes in two states with an additional 26 electoral votes. A total of 3,265 state legislators among all 50 states have endorsed it.