Thursday, July 12, 2007

Take This Last Chance for DFA Training!

What are you looking to do over the next year or so? Want to organize for universal health care? Want to campaign for your favorite Democratic Presidential Candidate? Want to manage your best friend's campaign for Congress? Want to just know what all your friends at DFA are talking about whenever election time approaches? Whatever you plan to do in politics, you need to learn how to be better at it by joining us at DFA Training Academy on July 21-22 in Irvine!

Oh yes, and I should say this. If you haven't registered yet, this is your last chance to sign up to attend! We're nearing our maximum attendance limit of 150, and the actual training is barely more than a week away. If you're in Southern California and you haven't yet signed up, take this last opportunity to learn how progressives can win, and how YOU can be a part of it!

Follow me down below to find out why you shouldn't pass up on this last chance to learn how to be a force for change in your community...

(Cross-posted at Obama OC and Trash Dirty Gary)

So what will we be learning about at DFA Training Academy? Take a look at the curriculum! Learn how to fund raise! Learn how to target voters! Learn how to use the media to your advantage! Find out all the new organizing tools available that are easier than ever to use! And find it all at the training academy!

OK, so there's plenty of serious stuff to learn. How much fun can one have here? Well, plenty! We have a very special social night ready for you on Saturday, the 21st. What do we have planned? Well, sign up for the training and get ready for a pleasant surprise! And oh yes, don't forget how much fun you'll have in meeting new progressive pals from all over Southern California! Who knows? Maybe you'll meet some neighbors who you never thought were also Democrats. ; )

So we have a great curriculum and a great chance to meet fellow local activists. Where the heck can one stay for the night? And what about food? Don't worry. If you're coming in from some far away location like Santa Barbara or San Bernardino or San Diego, there's a hotel room reserved just for you. And lunch is provided for Saturday AND Sunday. But again, this is only available for a limited time!

So what more can you ask for? You have a hotel room (if you need one). You have lunch plans. You have trainers ready to help you become a campaign rock star. And you have a whole lot of progressive activists who want to meet you. What more can you ask for? Take this last chance to sign up for DFA Training!

Trust me, you won't regret it. ; )

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another Groovy Surf City Independence Day!

(Cross-posted at Obama OC and Calitics)

History was made again yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Huntington Beach once again for the Fourth of July Parade. And once again, the OC Democrats had a fantastic time being a part of the largest Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River. And the party didn't stop when the parade ended, as local activists pitched up tent by the pier to wake up the neighbors, and let them know about the importance of next year's election. All in all, we all had a great time!

Follow me down below as I take you on a tour of the biggest and best party one could be at on the Fourth of July!

For twenty-five years, the Democratic Party of Orange County has been a part of the parade. And every year, we continue to delight the crowds with our rockin' music and jubilant marchers. This year's theme of our float was "Opportunity, Diversity, & Freedom", and boy could everyone see all that and more yesterday! We had young Democrats and long-time Democrats who are still young at heart. We had gay Democrats and straight Democrats. We had black Democrats, brown Democrats, and white Democrats. We had Democrats supporting Barack Obama, Democrats supporting John Edwards, Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton, and Democrats supporting other Democratic Candidates for President. And what brought all us Democrats together yesterday was that we're all part of the Democratic Party of Orange County, and that we all stand for the right of working families in Orange County to have that opportunity to succeed.

So who was there yesterday? Here I am (left to right) with our newest OC Democrat Mitch Star, the one & only Mike Lawson of The Liberal OC, and Elizabeth and Jason of Orange County Young Democrats (OCYD).

Here I am with (left to right) Garden Grove City Council Candidate Paul Lucas, Mitch, and Mike.

Here's Former State Senator & Current California Medical Association CEO Joe Dunn with some young Democrats as they prepare for the moment of truth.

Here I am with the great Vern Nelson, the fearless Orange County organizer for Healthcare for All California.

And here's the float in action!

Now all these great Democrats were a part of the parade, but they weren't the only Democrats busy in Surf City! Obama OC laid out some blankets on the beach by the pier, put up a canopy, and got to work registering new voters and letting others in the 'hood know about Barack Obama and the 2008 Election. We had over 30 new registrations yesterday, including a Republican and a Green who switched to Democrat because they've been inspired by Obama. And of course, we had dozens more come on over to our beach party, just to talk to us about the election and show their appreciation of us being out in the community.

OK, so a few of us Obama Girls did manage to get in the parade! ; )

And here's our great booth!

Oh yeah, and could we have possibly held a beach party at a better location than this? : )

Yep, I'd say that yesterday was a huge success for OC Democrats! At the parade, we let the community know that we're 454,000 voters strong and we're making a difference for working families in this county. At the beach party, Obama OC showed the folks by the pier that there are progressives who care enough about changing the same old politics of despair and destruction that we get out in the community and let them know that hope is still here. Now what could be more American than this?

Perhaps a terrific fireworks show? What the heck, why not! ; )

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Wake Up & Smell the Inferno

(Cross-posted from Calitics... This isn't exactly Dana specific, but it is an imporant issue that we need to press Dana on.)

Have you seen the weather report lately? I guess I shouldn't be surprised when I see this in the OC Register, but I am. Wow, it gets hot down here... But rarely THIS HOT!

People everywhere were beginning to seek relief Monday from a heat wave that will intensify over the next three days, with temperatures forecast to hit 105 degrees in some inland areas.

The worst heat will come Wednesday – the Fourth of July – says the National Weather Service. But by mid-afternoon Monday, the temperature had hit 99 in Mission Viejo and 96 in Placentia. In Palm Springs, it was 114.

The heat wave will be so oppressive the weather service has issued an "excessive heat" advisory for Wednesday and Thursday, meaning that temperatures will be high enough to cause heatstroke and dehydration.

Whoa! That's hot! But wait, why are we having more of these extreme heatwaves? We've had plenty of hot weather in Southern California before, but rarely this much reoccurring throughout the year. Wait, could this have something to do with it?

OK, OK, so we've heard all the rhetoric about climate change (aka global warming) causing more severe weather. We've heard all the warnings about future killer hurricanes, massive flooding, lethal heatwaves, and just all around more erratic weather. But wait, what if all of this severe weather isn't waiting for the future? What if we're experiencing the consequences of ignoring climate change now?

Remember seeing this in The Washington Post last August? Well, you should. Oh yes, and would you like some ice water to drink while reading this?

Heat waves like those that have scorched Europe and the United States in recent weeks are becoming more frequent because of global warming, say scientists who have studied decades of weather records and computer models of past, present and future climate.

While it is impossible to attribute any one weather event to climate change, several recent studies suggest that human-generated emissions of heat-trapping gases have produced both higher overall temperatures and greater weather variability, which raise the odds of longer, more intense heat waves. [...]

And researchers at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., reported this week that nighttime summer temperatures across the country have been unusually high for the past eight years, a record streak.

"It's just incredible, when you look at this thing," said Richard Heim, a research meteorologist at the center. He added that only the Dust Bowl period of the mid-1930s rivaled recent summers for sustained heat levels.

And my goodness, we're feeling the effects of this here in California! Look at all the wildfires burning around us. Check out the record-breaking heat in the Inland Empire. Even parts of the Bay Area may hit triple digits this week. We've had plenty of heat before in California, but never like this before.

OK, so it's extra hot this week. So what? It's perfect beach weather! Well, that or shopping in a nice, big air-conditioned mall. Well, that may be true. However, heat like this can also be deadly. Remember all the people who died in last year's heatwave?

Just take a look at some of the nasty health effects of this extreme heat. Bodies get stressed from the extra pressure on the circulatory system. And for people with circulatory problems, this extra pressure can be lethal. Heart-related illnesses escalate, leaving anyone with heart conditions extra vulnerable. And of course, anyone can be susceptible to suffering heat stroke. And if not caught in time, heat stroke can leave one dead.

So why again are we suffering from this extreme heat? The OC Register actually had a good article a couple of weeks ago that gave a good answer. Basically, it's the climate crisis finally crashing down upon us.

While experts debate the exact health effects of climate change, many scientists agree that a growth in heat waves is among the most inevitable. In many areas of the United States, Earth's rising temperature will increase the intensity, number and duration of heat waves in the summer and bring more winter precipitation as rain, said Paul Epstein, associate director for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School in Boston. [...]

Between 1970 and 2004, greenhouse gas emissions believed to contribute to rising temperatures increased 70 percent, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Scientists have been examining the effects of climate change since the early 1990s, Epstein said. "Finally we're seeing strong signs of it and some of them are way ahead of schedule."

So what can we do now? Aren't we doing plenty already to stop the climate crisis? What about that "Global Warming Solutions Act" that was signed into law last year? Well, the Governator has already been working on ways to weaken the implementation of that and other laws to please his corporate sugar daddies. Meanwhile in Washington, Congress is just now beginning to take some real action on finding solutions to the climate crisis. But of course, anything that Congress passes would have to get through George W. Bush, who still doesn't seem interested in finding any real solutions.

So what can we do? What can we do right now? Well, we can join Environment California in sending personal messages to our Representatives' iPods, urging them to take action on federal legislation to take on climate change. Send an email to Governor Arnold, and let him know that you don't appreciate him weakening the implementation of the climate change law that he had claimed as "his achievement" last year. Oh yes, and if you're healthy and able-bodied, do your best to only use the energy that you need. By all of us being more efficient with our energy usage, we're reducing our carbon footprint AND allowing people who really need that air conditioning to use it.

So go ahead, go to the beach! Just think about riding the bus there, or carpooling with friends. Jump in the pool! Just remember to keep the AC to a minimum when you're not in the house. And please, have a great Fourth of July holiday! Just remember that there are plenty of things we can do to prevent future Fourth of July holidays from becoming blazing infernos that none of us could ever enjoy. : )