Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘election’

Feeding the World

Dear Gabriel,

As the election season builds to a finish here in the U.S., the farms across the developing world have been plagued by drought, with the often before seen results of hunger and despair for millions of people. Though they may be far away, you can make a difference for these millions. The decisions we take – or shirk – have real consequence, and not just at home. Today, you can take action designed to help end extreme world hunger forever.

Yes, of course we need governments to focus on the causes of extreme hunger and to help local farmers grow their way from dependency to self- sufficiency. But at FINCA, we don’t wait for governments to solve problems – we take direct action, and we invite you to join us today.

The U.S. State Department has confirmed what FINCA has witnessed for years. Although women in many countries frequently make up a majority of those working in agriculture, they are a tiny minority of land owners. Moreover, poor women are frequently denied access to credit, preventing them from hiring employees, buying seed and fertilizers, and expanding or improving the land that they work.

This is not just hurting women. It is strangling the economies of poor countries and the prospects of thousands of families struggling to escape poverty.

The exclusion of women from a full and equal role in farming leads to the loss of as much as 20-30 percent of crop yields according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). When so many families are just one drought from disaster, the marginalization of women farmers is not just a tragedy but a preventable scandal.

The FAO asserts that the equal access of women farmers to credit, farming tools and land rights, “could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by as much as 4 percent and reduce the number of hungry people in the world by as much as 17 percent, up to 150 million people.” That’s almost half the population of the United States.

And let’s be clear, the term “hungry people” is very literal. These are hard-working women, men and – far too often – children, whose ability to plan for a better future takes a distant second to planning for their next meal. It’s not right, it’s not necessary and, with your help, we can change this.

FINCA is not campaigning for equal access to credit for women farmers – we are providing it, making loans in rural communities from Mexico to Malawi that help women put food that they have sown and grown on the table.

As we stand on the verge of funding our one millionth microfinance client, you can stand with us.

Together, we can end the injustice of women farmers being denied access to life-changing credit solely because of their gender. By providing micro-loans, we can reap life-changing yields in agricultural output. Please help FINCA support women farmers today.

Thank you for your support,

Soledad Gompf
Vice President,
New Business Development

California Paying For Death

Dear Gabriel,

For the first time ever, California voters have a chance to replace the deeply immoral death penalty by voting YES on Proposition 34.

The poll numbers are tight and they indicate that Californians are ready to end the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. But before they make the right decision to vote YES on 34, we need to give them the facts about how — beyond the loss of life — the death penalty imposes a very real financial burden on our state.

To do our part, we are partnering with our friends at the YES on 34 Campaign to help them reach the seven million voters necessary to win in November.

We need all hands on deck to end the death penalty in California. Can you chip in $3 today to help the YES on 34 Campaign get its state-of-the-art phone bank campaign off the ground?

The YES on 34 Campaign’s volunteers have started calling through the voter lists to reach as many voters as possible. But if we raise enough funds, they will be able to launch a state-of-the-art phone banking program with technology that allows hundreds more volunteers to phone bank from their own phones anywhere in the state.

With about seven weeks left until Election Day, your contributions are crucial. If we are going to end the death penalty in California, we are going to do it through grassroots communication.

A recent editorial endorsement from the Sacramento Bee, which for the first time in its 155 years of service took a position to end the death penalty, summed up the need for educating our state’s voter on the facts around YES on 34:

In November, California voters will have a chance, through Proposition 34, to end the death penalty and replace it with a system of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. We urge you to vote for it. While capital punishment remains popular in California, polls suggest that a majority of those surveyed would accept ending the death penalty if it were replaced with a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Numerous longtime supporters of capital punishment have concluded our system can’t be fixed and are supporting Proposition 34 because of it.1

The money you contribute today to fund YES on 34’s state-of-the-art phone bank campaign will directly boost our chances to end the death penalty. One-on-one contact is the single most effective way to turn a “no” vote into a “yes” vote.

Chip in $3 today to end the death penalty in California.

Thank you for taking action.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Pennsyvlania Denying Right to Vote

Department of Justice Investigating Pennsylvania’s Voter Suppression Tactics

Pennsylvania’s new “voter I.D.” law could literally decide the fate of President Obama’s re-election.

It’s not the first time that Republicans have tried to suppress the vote — but in an election this close, it could be the tipping point that delivers the Presidency to Mitt Romney.

Help us reach 100,000 strong in support of the Department of Justice’s investigation of Pennsylvania voter suppression — Add your name >>

Gabriel — Republicans’ attempt to disenfranchise voters is just a shameless attempt to steal this election.

Even the Pennsylvania Republicans’ Majority Leader, Mike Turzai, boasted, “Voter ID…is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” We all remember what happened in Florida in 2000. We can’t let Republicans get away with disenfranchising nearly 1-in-10 voters in a critical swing state like Pennsylvania in 2012.

Help us fight it:

http://dccc.org/PA-Voter-Suppression

Brynne

Brynne Craig
DCCC Field Director

P.S. Do you have a Republican friend that claims these onerous voter I.D. laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud? Tell them the state of Pennsylvania just admitted in a court filing that they have no evidence of in-person voter fraud, then help us fight back.

The Real Mad Men

From Nation of Change
Op-Ed by Amy Goodman
3 May 2012

The Real Mad Men: Following The Money Behind TV Political Ads

Murdoch and the murder of Milly Dowler. What do they have to do with the 2012 U.S. general election? This year’s election will undoubtedly be the most expensive in U.S. history, with some projections topping $5 billion. Not only has the amount of spending increased, but its nature has as well, following the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allows unlimited spending by corporations, unions and so-called super PACs, all under the banner of “free speech.” This campaign season will unfold amidst a resurgent Occupy Wall Street movement launched globally on May 1, the same day the British Parliament released a report on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire charging that he is “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.” Now more than ever, people should heed the advice of the famous Watergate source, Deep Throat: “Follow the money.”

Most money in our elections goes to TV stations to run political advertisements. According to writers Robert McChesney and John Nichols in the Monthly Review, the amount of political ad spending is skyrocketing, such that “factoring for inflation, the 1972 election spent less than 3 percent of what will be spent on TV political ads in the 2012 election cycle.”

For just one relatively small race, a recent Pennsylvania congressional primary between Democrats, journalist Ken Knelly provided a comprehensive analysis of the local TV news coverage compared with the amount of political ads that ran on the same TV stations. Knelly’s headline says it all: “28 hours of political ads (and a few minutes of news).” More than 3,300 ad spots were run on the stations serving the predominantly Democratic district. Lost in the hours of ads, Knelly writes, was the “very occasional news report on the race,” and he said the reports contained very little substance.

How Knelly was able to probe these details is crucial. The Federal Communications Commission requires that TV stations maintain a public inspection file, and any member of the public can view it. Within the disclosures are the details of the political advertising purchases made, the amounts paid and what entity bought the airtime. Recent efforts have been made to compel these hugely profitable broadcast entities to publish these files online. The broadcasters have vigorously fought such efforts and, although they usually prevail in the industry-friendly halls of the FCC, have lost this battle. On Friday, April 27, the FCC voted 2-1 to require stations to transition from paper to online filing over a two-year period. ProPublica reporter Justin Elliot notes the files will not be provided in a standard format, and will likely not be searchable.

Most of the major U.S. broadcast networks lobbied against the new disclosure rules, including Fox Television, one of the crown jewels of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. media empire. Murdoch received a stinging rebuke this week with the release of a British Parliament report on the phone-hacking scandal that has racked his newspapers in Britain. The scandal exploded in 2011, when The Guardian reported that News of the World reporters had hacked into the voice mail of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler in 2002. While Dowler was still missing, reporters deleted some of her voice mails, which gave false hope to her family that she still might be alive.

Journalists, along with both a judicial inquiry and parliamentary hearings, have uncovered a culture of criminality behind much of the newsgathering facade at Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World newspaper in London. The parliamentary committee released its report this week, saying the Murdoch-controlled company “stonewalled, obfuscated and misled and [would] only come clean, reluctantly, when no other course of action was sensible.”

Read complete Op-Ed and other stories at Nation of Change.

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