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The Advocates Agenda

A Congressional hearing Monday aired horror stories on the abuse of school kids according to ProPublica’s excellent coverage of the hearing. I watched it on C-SPAN and it was positively chilling to hear the Inspector General of the GAO give the report of his investigation. He and the parents who also testified revealed the abuse, injury and deaths of children, many with special needs, at the hands of public and private school personnel. This is an issue to which activists and advocates must pay attention. Congress has just begun the process with this first hearing. There will be more and there must be legislative intervention.

Education around the world — One.org‘s David Lane and Christina Holder are supporting high quality free education for every child via the “Big Read” petition drive.

Action agendas — CREDO Action‘s Kate Stayman-London has three agenda items on top. First is one that urges action towards the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bush-era torture and what role Dick Cheney played in making it happen. Second, Stayman-London encourages an e-mail to the EPA telling them to stand firm against Big Oil and Big Coal regarding regulating carbon emissions. Third, she shared a message from Dan Choi, an Army Lieutenant who is an Arabic linguist, who was discharged for being gay. He and many other people want President Obama to move to get the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy changed.

Webby Award — Rock the Vote‘s Heather Smith announced that her organization won the Webby Award. Enter a contest for the best five-word acceptance speech.

Howard Dean speaking at DNC eventImage via Wikipedia

Citizen lobbying — Democracy for America‘s Arshad Hasan announced first-round winners in the DFA Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition to find and send at least 30 activists to the biggest progressive event of the year: The Netroots Nation Convention in Pittsburgh, August 16 – 19. The debate on health care reform has already started in the Senate. Matt Blizek, Charles Chamberlain and Mia Moore are spearheading a drive to counter right-wing Republican Rick Scott’s efforts to scare Americans about a public option in health care reform. Governor Howard Dean has returned to DFA to take on health care reform as his next big cause. On May 26th there will be a free online citizen lobbying training session, “DFA Night School” with special guest, Governor Dean. Just sign up.

Health care reform agenda — President Obama’s old website Organizing for America still has the brilliant David Plouffe on board. The current effort is towards health care reform. Director Mitch Stewart prepared a petition of support for President Obama’s reform principles regarding the measure. They say that health care reform must achieve:

1) reduce costs, (2) guarantee choice, and (3) ensure all Americans have quality, affordable health care. And he set a hard goal for getting it done by the end of this year.

There is much to do for involved citizens. Many vulnerable people need our action. Stay connected; it feels good.

[Post date – May 20, 2009]

See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.

Carol Gee – Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.

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