Like other sovereign nations, America spends more than it receives in taxes so that we can invest in our people, infrastructure, and economy. Those investments increase our national wealth—and future tax revenue. The shortfall is covered by investors who buy interest-paying Treasury bonds as a safe and certain way to grow their personal wealth.
The amount of debt owed to the bondholders is called the “national debt.” Republicans enacted a “Debt Ceiling Law” limiting the total size of the national debt and requiring that the limit be raised from time to time to pay for the expenditures that Congress has already enacted and authorized. Their goal was power to hold the economy hostage so they could slash the domestic social spending programs that they ideologically hate. No other nation in the world has such an insane and politically malicious law.
Congress now has to raise the debt ceiling. If it doesn’t do so, the Biden administration will have to either default on US Debt—with catastrophic economic consequences—or defy Republican sabotage by circumventing the stupid and unconstitutional debt ceiling law.
Contact the White House and your Members of Congress and tell them: No to the GOP debt ceiling scheme!
Tell Assemblymember Ting: Oppose Bad Power Bill AB 538
With California facing ever more severe and ever more frequent storms, it’s clear that we must pursue our state’s goals for reducing climate-disrupting pollution, including clean energy, with unwavering resolve.
Unfortunately, wavering is exactly what the state’s energy regulators have proposed to do. The state’s Independent System Operator, CAISO, and California energy regulators are moving down a path of transferring control of our power grid to a Regional Transmission Operator, or RTO, comprised of multiple states. Exactly what that path will look like is unclear, which is a problem when the stakes are so high.
AB 538 is the next step in this ill-considered plan. It’s scheduled to be heard and voted on in the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy today. We published a call script on Monday asking Asm. Phil Ting, who sits on that committee, to vote no on the bill.
Tell Assemblymember Ting: Vote NO on AB 538!
Final Week to Tell the City Capital Planning Committee: Make Climate a Priority
San Francisco has decent climate goals on paper, but we need the City to seek the funding to fulfill those goals. To build or refurbish infrastructure to protect our climate, it is necessary for the voters of the City to pass bonds. These bonds can be put on the ballot as soon as next year—if they receive the committee approvals they need. Three ideas for such bonds were endorsed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in December:
- A dedicated $300–500 million General Obligation bond for building decarbonization and to fund efficiency and electrification retrofits for existing residential buildings;
- An increase of $50–100 million in the upcoming affordable housing G.O. bond to fund the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund for Climate Action Plan-aligned housing investment;
- A dedicated $300–500 million transportation G.O. Bond to fund public transit, active transportation, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The SF Capital Planning Committee, an interdepartmental body, makes annual recommendations to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors on the city’s capital expenditures and plans. However, the committee hasn’t included any such ballot measures in its planning for 2024. The time is late, and the need is dire for the committee to consider one or more climate bonds.
Add your name to the SF Climate Emergency Coalition’s demand letter on climate bonds and make your voice heard.
Tax Day is not behind us: It’s October 16 this year
If you live anywhere in the Bay Area, your deadline for California and federal income taxes is October 16. In fact, all residents of 51 of California’s 58 counties—every county that was affected by this winter’s flooding—get this extension. This applies to both filing and payment. You don’t need to do anything; it’s automatic. Mission Local provides details.
Continue to support Pajaro farm workers through long recovery
The Major Disaster Declaration for California, including relief for the town of Pajaro, has been signed and FEMA has arrived. Senator Padilla has visited, promising to “pressure” the pace of Pajaro levee repair. Volunteers have continued to support rehabilitation efforts including a clean-up day. Most of the more than $200,000 raised by local mutual aid groups has been distributed. However, many challenges remain for the farm workers and other Pajaro residents who had to evacuate when the Pajaro River levee broke on March 11 and flooded their homes and fields.
While FEMA aid is critical and will be helpful, it’s not straightforward or convenient, nor does it include a significant portion of those living in Pajaro, because they are undocumented. While there is a California bill proposed to provide disaster aid to the undocumented, there is extremely limited state-provided help for them. The livelihood of all the farm workers remains at great risk.
To continue to help those who face a long and difficult recovery, many community groups are providing cash, clothing, food, and cleanup supplies to the victims of this disaster, and they could use your financial support:
- Center for Farmworker Families provides direct support to farmworkers (donation page)
- Santa Cruz Community Ventures Undocufund (the previous Campesina Womb Justice GoFundMe is directing remaining funds here)
- Raíces y Cariño
- Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan GoFundMe
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Community Foundation of Santa Cruz Disaster Fund
- Community Foundation for Monterey County Storm Relief Fund
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens.
Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, April 27, 7:30–9 PM. Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. Register here!
Cuatro de Mayo with Central Valley Matters: Thursday, May 4, 5–6 PM. Join us for this inspirational conversation with our community partners from California’s Congressional district 22. This virtual fundraiser benefits our friends in the Central Valley working in this critical part of California. Come learn how we can Win Together by Mobilizing Voters. RSVP on Mobilize.
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s image is an infographic from Americans for Tax Fairness.
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