Tuesday, March 28, 2017


On Sunday I spent the day in Binghamton at the NYPAN conference. It was a full day of cheering ourselves on about progressive values and learning from each other. I found it to be quite the antidote to the horribleness that has permeated our government.

A few highlights in case you missed it:

Several health care providers and experts explained the details of the New York Health Act. This program would allow everyone in NYS to have low cost, comprehensive, no deductible, consistent access to health care. Period. Health care is a human right. Not a privilege. Perhaps if our state paves the way for this single-payer kind of program, more states will see how it works and get on the bangwagon. Important point to remember: "No one should have to hold a chicken BBQ fundraiser to pay for their child's cancer treatments."

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, gave an impassioned speech during lunch about where our society is going with Besty DeVos as the new Secretary of Education. (She was late to the conference because she was busy in Ithaca helping contingent faculty at Cornell and IC with their union negotiation plans). In her speech, Weingarten reminded us what DeVos did to Michigan education (think vouchers and failing charter schools) and encouraged everyone to step up and support our public education system.

There was a knockout lineup of candidates and elected officials who each shared what running for office was like for them. Just a few of the awesome leaders were Tompkins County Legislator Anna Kelles, Trailblazers PAC initiator Leslie Danks Burke, and Conrad Taylor, age 19, Binghamton's youngest elected official. The panel was light-hearted and honest, and I appreciated their insights on what it takes to run for office.

There was much more to the day, including a presentation from the Energy Democracy Alliance about where we stand with solar energy and how we can move NYS forward. Arun Chaudhary, videographer for the Bernie Sanders Campaign, made everyone laugh with his entertaining slideshow about what works in candidate promotion. Zephyr Teachout spoke about the disaster that Trump is and how much work we have ahead of us.

Overall, it was a jam-packed day of progressive ideas and hope for the future. NYPAN grew out the Bernie Sanders campaign, so it's only right that Bernie was there himself. Well, he was certainly there in spirit, as the love for him and his ideology sprouted from every corner of the conference. Here's hoping we progressives can leave this day of empowerment and make more positive change for New York and our country. 

This Week in the House - March 27

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Every Saturday, the Majority Leader of the House, Kevin McCarthy, whose slogan is "A new day for American Conservatism," posts the schedule of Bills and Resolutions that the House will consider in the following week.

Monday, March 27:
1) H.R. 1117 – To require the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to submit a report regarding certain plans regarding assistance to applicants and grantees during the response to an emergency or disaster (Sponsored by Rep. Vicky Hartzler / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

2) H.R. 1214 – Disaster SAVE Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

3) H.R. 654 – Pacific Northwest Earthquake Preparedness Act of 2017 (Sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

Tuesday, March 28:
S.J.Res. 34 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Flake / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Wednesday to Friday, March 29 to 30:
H.R. 1430 – Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

H.R. 1431 – EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Lucas / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)