Donald Trump threatened to veto the entire Corona Virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act if it included grant money to help the United States Postal Service. At the last minute, a bipartisan effort slipped in a loan to service, a vast change from the larger cash grant that congress originally agreed upon before the president made his threat. This loan with strict repayment requirements is less than a third of the money given to privately owned airline companies.
Conservatives have been threatening to privatize the Postal Service for decades. However, our postal service performs many vital and irreplaceable functions, especially in rural areas. There is a reason it is written into the Constitution. While private delivery companies have eaten into the USPS’s market share over the years, the Postal Service performs as the “Last Mile” for companies such as Amazon, UPS, and Fedex, getting packages to places that would not be profitable to service. Without the USPS people in rural areas could be cut off from cheap and effective deliveries. Republicans are already proposing removing the universal requirement to serve every area of the United States.
Now think about the fact that many states are relying on mail-in voting to combat the virus in an election year.
The USPS was already in financial trouble before the virus hit. Under normal circumstances the USPS pretty much breaks even on revenue and cost, the best outcome for a government service. However, the current law requires the USPS to pre-pay the pension and retiree healthcare costs of all its current workers and for 75 years in advance, not just the ones who are actually retired. When that law went into effect it dug a new hole under the USPS’ feet and since the service is not-for-profit, once the hole exists interest on the debt just keeps digging it deeper.
Now Crona has dealt another blow. The USPS has seen a 30% reduction in the types of mail that give them their highest profit.
Jim Costa has been hard at work in Washington with other Democrats fighting to direct federal support to those who need it most. While Trump and his republicans have been quick to promise aid to rich farmers, Costa has teamed up with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members to make sure money goes to the people in the Ag industry who are actually at the most risk, farm workers. While Republicans have been trying to cut worker protections to help industrial bottom lines, Costa is looking out for the workers who support our country.
Costa’s office may be closed to visitors right now but he and his staff can still be contacted. HisCongressional Website Contact Page ([link removed]) has details on all the ways you or any other constituents can reach his virtual office. You can also call by:
Dear Friends and Family of Senate District - 14,
As our state continues to address the current COVID-19 crisis, regular communication is more important than ever. In this message, you will find information related to the food assistance, what to do if you cannot pay rent, resources for mental health, and other important CARES Act updates. If you know of an important issue we should be discussing please contact me or my staff with your ideas.
FOOD ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE TO ALL
Part of being healthy is a balanced diet, which can be even more difficult during this crisis. If you are struggling and need help finding healthy food please contact my district office for help or use one of the resources below:
Central California Food Bank ([link removed]) : The Central Food Bank is working in partnership with community organizations and local schools to establish regular neighborhood food distribution centers during the crisis. 559-237-3663
Catholic Charities ([link removed]) : Families who are experiencing difficult economic times can come to Catholic Charities for help feeding their families, find diapers and other essential supplies. 559-237-0851
Fresno-Madera Agency on Aging ([link removed]) : If you are homebound and have no one to help you with groceries or meals, the Area Agency on Aging may be able to help have meals delivered to your home. 559-214-0299
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County: ([link removed]) The Boys & Girls Club of Kern County is offering meals to all children who are 18 years and younger. 661-325-3730
League of Dreams/Brooklyn's BBQ ([link removed]) : The League of Dreams/Brooklyn's BBQ is delivering family pack meals to families of disabled children and to the elderly in self-isolation. 661-829-7427
Emergency Food Pantry List ([link removed]) Food Link for Tulare County has made available a list of local food pantries that are open and ready to help. (559) 651-3663
RESOURCES FOR RENT RELIEF
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council ([link removed]) , one third of Americans did not pay their rent this month due to financial issues related to COVID-19.This data clearly shows that many families are struggling during this time to deal with the current financial situation. If you are struggling to pay rent, it is important to regularly communicate with your landlord about the problems you are experiencing and seek out ways to find additional resources. Below are a few references and referrals to help you navigate this difficult situation:
Rental Protection Executive Order ([link removed]) : Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order, effective April 1, which bans evictions for two months. To be eligible you must notify your landlord and provide backup documentation, such as termination notices or medical bills that explain your situation. The full executive order can be found here ([link removed]) .
Attorney General Bacerra's Emergency Eviction Consumer Alert ([link removed]) : ([link removed]) Following the guidance form the Judicial Council of California, State Attorney Xavier Bacerra released further guidance for tenants who are not able to pay their full rent. His advisory includes an approved notice of inability to pay rent ([link removed]) and the full eviction rule
([link removed]) . Check with your local city or local jurisdiction to see if your area has additional rules or ordinances that apply to your area.
Legal Assistance is available: If you are at risk of eviction and are looking for legal assistance regarding a potential eviction the State Bar of California has a database ([link removed]) to help you find help. This Legal Services Trust Fund provides a comprehensive list of organizations that are willing to help for free.
RESOURCES FOR MENTAL HEALTH
These times are difficult for everyone because of the Shelter in Place order. Things like depression and anxiety are normal feelings and there are resources available to help. If you or someone you know are struggling below are a few resources available.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: ([link removed]) NAMI is a nonprofit organization that is designed for consumers and families to seek treatment and help to treat mental illness. Their "Locate your local NAMI Affiliate ([link removed]) " database will help you find resources in your community for yourself and other family members.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): To help address feelings of loneliness or isolation SAMHSA is offering guidance on managing mental health during and after social distancing, isolation or quarantine in English ([link removed]) and Spanish ([link removed]) .
CA Surgeon General: The California Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has created a stress relief "playbook" ([link removed]) to use during the COVID crisis. In addition to guidance on how to care for yourself and others, links to state services ([link removed]) are provided to further help.
LET'S STAY CONNECTED
During this time we will be providing regular updates to the COVID-19 situation through newsletters, social media and on my website. For more current information please follow me on Facebook ([link removed]) , Twitter ([link removed]) or Instagram ([link removed]) . Over the last week we have provided real time updates on issues like the additional $600 available for Unemployment Insurance through the CARES
Act ([link removed]) or new regulations for COVID protection for agricultural workers and employers ([link removed]) .
Thank you for taking the time to sign up for these newsletters.
If you know anyone who would also like to receive these updates they can sign up here ([link removed]) .
Your State Senator,
Melissa Hurtado - SD14
Trump’s recent declaration of his intent to take away the World Health Organization's funding is just the most recent twist on the republican strategy of blaming all their failures on foreigners and foreign powers. The same racist foundation of conservativism that targets immigrants in our country is all too happy to paint a foreign villain. The Republican administration wants to try and place all the blame on China’s initially slow dissemination of information and the WHO’s sometimes vague messaging, hoping Americans will forget Trump wasting months and sentenced thousands to die with his incompetence and lies.
Now a new round of attack ads have started attacking Joe Biden for being soft on China. The ad uses a picture of Joe Biden standing next to an unnamed man by a chinese flag as it talks about Biden making secret deals with China. That man is actually Gary Lock, former Governor of Washington and a US ambassador, but he has chinese ancestors and that is all that matters for Republican eyes.
For months Trump insisted on calling Covid-19 “the Chinese virus”, focusing the danger on a racial identity while downplaying the impact on americans. Now he points to his early ban on travelers from China as a point of success, ignoring that he handed out so many exemptions to powerful corporations and organizations that the “ban” was only a political prop.
Then it seemed someone told Trump what the World Health Organization was. The conservative propaganda machine has now seized on one particular interview where a WHO official stumbled through awkward evasion when confronted with a question over Taiwan’s status as an independent nation. Since the People’s Republic of China reacts viciously to any suggestion of recognizing Taiwan’s independence and the majority of other countries don’t care enough to take their own stance, any organization not dedicated to exactly that issue has learned to avoid the matter like an electrified rail. Trump is now threatening to withhold money Congress appropriated for the organization, exactly how he blackmailed the government of Ukraine in his last impeachable scandal.
We cannot let anyone minimize or obfuscate the damage the Republican party did by slowing our response to this disease. Nothing that anyone else has done and nothing they may yet do can change that. Our president who failed us and the party that supported him must be held accountable.
Although we are not able to engage in person during shelter-in-place, there are many activities that we can each be doing to support our community from the comfort of our homes.
Reach out to your elected representatives and let them hear your stance on pressing issues such as the fate of the Postal Service and our Valley’s farm workers.
The California Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign is still organizing and supporting many activities. Contact the Coordinated Campaign today at .
Though it is a difficult time for many of us, the Fresno County Democratic Party must pay its monthly expenses to ensure that after this crisis, the office will reopen. The FCDCC has taken several steps to reduce expenses but would appreciate donations to cover ongoing expenses. Donations can be made through the ActBlue link on the web page fresnocountydemocrats.org ([link removed]) or by check address to: Fresno County Democratic Party, P.O. Box 5795, Fresno, CA, 93755.
Special thanks to the many Democrats that contributed time, labor and money to make the new HQ office a welcoming place to be proud of including Tony Canales and the Carpenters, Jeff Roberts and the Painters and Drywall Finishers, Brian Bobbitt, Natasha Moiseyev, Bob & Joyce Jones, Jeff Rosendale, and many others.
This is the final, but not official (still 15,730 ballots to count in 4 counties), delegate allocation for California.
Sanders Biden Warren Bloomberg Total
District Level 143 109 12 7 271
At Large 51 39 0 0 90
PLEOs 30 24 0 0 54
Total 224 172 12 7 415
Both Warren and Bloomberg got less than 15.0% statewide so no At-Large or PLEOs for either of them but Warren got 1 Delegate in 8 CDs and 2 each in CD 12 (Pelosi) and CD 13 (Lee) and Bloomberg got 1 Delegate in 7 CDs.
District-level Delegate Caucuses set for Sunday, May 24th (subject to change). Then the 271 District-Level Delegates will meet on Sunday, June 14th (subject to change), to confirm the 90 and 54 to fill out the voting Delegation for our National Convention in Milwaukee, set for the August 17th week (could go Virtual).
Sanders' 224 Delegates represents 54.0% of the total Delegation, so the Sanders campaign will decide on who the Delegation Chair for California is.
Sources including the California Department of Public Health recommend the following measures to minimize the spread of Covid-19:
* Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
* Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick
* Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough
* Cover a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue; wash your hands afterward
* Practice social distancing
* Follow the guidance from public health officials
Information and resources:
State government’s special public health page: [link removed]
County of Fresno: www.co.fresno.ca.us/departments/public-health/covid-19
Rep. TJ Cox’s Office:[link removed]
State Treasurer’s Office: www.sto.ca.gov
Hotline for seniors: 833-544-2374
Beware of scammers: Government agencies will not call and ask for your Social Security Number, your bank accounts or for any payment over the phone.
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new measure banning all evictions statewide. The ban will remain in effect until 90 days after the end of the state of emergency, and the only exceptions to the eviction protection are for individuals who threaten public health or safety.
The U.S. Census is under way. Complete your response online, by phone or by mail. This task is not only a civic duty but also crucial to shaping the way our government operates for the next decade. Visit [link removed] call 844-330-2020 (4 a.m.–11 p.m.).
Our newsletter is prepared by Francis Horan.
Can You Help the Democratic Party in Fresno County Today?
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