Climate Change Committee
We have all seen movies and documentaries, read e-mails, gone to march’s and forums, had speakers at our meetings, and read information about Climate Change. For many of us it ends there. We expect the Federal Government to take care of this issue. But now that Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and has pushed back on every Climate Change initiative that President Obama started, we must step up. Cities and States, Universities and Non-profits are taking steps to combat climate change without the federal government.
Now is it time for Georgia to step up.
Atlanta has already joined the Sierra Club campaign Ready for100% in which they have pledged that all government buildings will be 100% renewable energy by 2025 and all residential by 2035. Small towns and counties around Georgia can contribute also. We may not be able to pledge 100% Clean energy by 2025, but there are things that we can do to conserve energy, water, and air. In Dawson County (which is 87% Red) we are developing a program to work with our local governments, businesses, and residential communities to do just this. We will be “test-driving” the program in Dawson County in January and February. Then we will work out the kinks and send a toolkit to as many people as we can. Local chapters of GFDW can help in this movement by taking the toolkit and implementing some of the ideas in their own city or county.
Please consider getting a few people from your chapter to join the Climate Change/Environment Committee to help with this initiative!
The GFDW Education committee completed a successful alliance with the Coalition to Keep Georgia Schools Local by defeating Amendment 1. Thanks to all the women in GFDW who contributed to this grass roots movement. They made countless phone calls, sent hundreds of e-mails, marched in parades and attended fairs, called legislators, engaged their churches, talked with parents and community leaders, met with local school boards, passed out fliers, and contributed in countless other ways. As famed columnist Dick Yarbrough said in his column, “it was the finest grass-roots movement I have ever seen in Georgia”.
But the committees work is not done.
The coalition is still in place and ready to continue its support of public education in Georgia. The name has changed to the Georgia Coalition for Public Education and has already met several times at the state capitol. They will be focusing on the budget for public education which includes another $166 M in austerity cuts along with passing on increased costs for transportation to local boards. There is also a bill which is being designed by Gov. Deal and Rep. Kevin Tanner which is aimed at helping challenged schools. Although it does not create opportunity school districts, this ALEC outlined bill does end in state charter schools and vouchers for children to attend private schools.
If you would like to become a part of this committee, please contact Bette Holland at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 706-265-4570.
- Healthcare Insurance Open Enrollment – NOW till Dec 15th!
It’s that time a year, time to sign up for health insurance for you and your family
As we behind to celebrate the holiday season let’s take the time to plan for a healthy 2018. Open Enrollment is underway and ends December 15. You can sign up for health insurance through the Insurance Marketplace or ask your employer when you can update your insurance through your company (it might be open now).
If you noticed that this year’s open enrollment period feels shorter, you’re correct. In addition to limited announcements surrounding open enrollments, the enrollment period this year is 45 days versus a longer span of around 90 days.
Healthcare is not a political issue; it’s about us as individuals and families taking care of our bodies and minds. Even though there are politicians on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country trying to restrict the healthcare access, we can’t fight against their rollbacks to healthcare access if we don’t care of ourselves first.
Use this open enrollment period to sign up for a new plan or make changes to your current plan. You can sign up for healthcare plans at https://www.healthcare.gov/get-coverage/
- No Copay Birth Control
Under President Obama’s administration, thousands of Americans gained access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill also eliminated the insurance copay for birth control, allowing over 62.4 million women to obtain birth control at no cost. In the first years this copay was eliminated, women saved over $1.4 billion. In October, the current administration made a decision through Health and Human Services to roll back the mandate under the ACA that required employers to include no copay birth control coverage in their healthcare plans. There is still time to take action before this decision becomes final. December 5th is that last day to leave a comment to Health and Human Services about the decision about birth control copay. Leave your comments at http://www.keepbcfree.com/, while you’re there you can send an invoice to Trump for the cost of your annual birth control costs.
- Tax Bill
On Thursday, Nov. 17, the House passed a Republican tax plan by a vote of 227 to 205 with 13 Republicans voting with Democrats. Now the massive tax bill will move to the Senate chamber, where Senate Republicans plan to include repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate. According to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the mandate would save more than $300 billion over a decade, but 13 million Americans would lose their coverage. The Senate is set to vote on this measure after Thanksgiving.
CALL TO ACTION: Call your Georgia Senator to oppose this bill:
Johnny Isakson: 202-224-3643 / 770-661-0999
David Perdue: 202-224-3521 / 404-865-0087
Or if you are more comfortable sending a text, use Resistbot to send a message to your congressman from your phone.
Whether you are calling or texting your Senator, here is a brief script to guide your conversation.
“I’m writing/calling to ask you to vote against the Republican tax plan. Bipartisan analysis shows that this plan actually raises taxes on many middle class families, raises insurance premiums, forces millions of people off their insurance and increases the deficit by over a trillion dollars, just to give corporations and the wealthy a permanent tax cut. This bill must be stopped.”
If you would like to join this committee, please contact Tarenia Carthens at email@example.com
Transportation Committee Report
In 2015 Georgia was reported to be 9thout of 51 states in travel time to work, with a mean of 28 minutes. We believe the travel time standard for Georgia may have changed since that year. Gwinnett Federation of Democratic Women should be keeping an eye on several bills that were proposed by Gwinnett legislators including:
· HB 6 was prefiled in the House on Nov15, 16. Representative Keisha Waite was the author but she is no longer a representative and another representative needs to author it this go around. The Georgia General Assembly Transportation Committee is considering Article 9 of Chapter 9 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 2 relating to the “Georgia Rail Passenger Authority Law,” so as to amend the authority’s name to the “Georgia Rail Passenger and High Speed Rail Facilities Authority…for the purpose of construction, financing, operation, and development of rail passenger service, high speed rail systems and facilities, and other public transportation projects within and without the State of Georgia.” If this bill finds a sponsor, it will help begin the alleviation of traffic congestion and bring Georgia citizens into the modern age of rail transportation. We need to encourage cheap and clean rail transportation throughout the state!
· HB 386 supports mass transportation and includes provisions for DeKalb County to levy a retail sales and use tax for providing public transportation through MARTA. It is sponsored by Gwinnett/DeKalb County’s Billy Mitchell. The Senate version, SB 261 “Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965”; provides for procedures, conditions, and limitations for imposition of additional retail sales and use tax in DeKalb County is authored by Gwinnett/DeKalb Senators Gloria Butler and Steve Henson.