Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Location for the Blog

Hey folks, we made some pretty big changes over at Sum of Change.

If you have been checking in here to see our blog, you will want to bookmark a new address. From now on, all of our blogs will be posted at, in our Articles section. Please check it out, and let us know what you think of the new site design.


Friday, June 18, 2010

EMILY's List Announces EMpower

cross-posted from Sum of Change

On Thursday, June 17th 2010, EMILY's List announced a new program called EMpower. We were filming WIN's 21st Annual Women Opening Doors for Women, where Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY's List, announced the new program:

What is EMpower?
Twenty-five years ago, 25 women gathered in a basement, rolodexes in hand, to send letters to their friends about a network they were forming to raise money for pro-choice Democratic women candidates. Today, EMILY's List is one of the nation's largest and most successful political action committees. But the fight isn't over, and while the tools are different, the mission remains the same. It's time to EMpower the next generation of Democratic women. It's our time. EMpower is a place to network, to learn about candidates throughout the country, to collaborate, and to see our individual and collective impact make a real difference.
Learn More »

Thursday, June 17, 2010

CWA Endorses CA's Control and Tax Ballot Initiative

I do not typically think too much of endorsements, but this one is an exception:

Initiative could create tens of thousands of new jobs, billions in wages in California

(Oakland, CA) Today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 9415 announced its support for the California initiative to control and tax cannabis.

“The labor movement is coming together behind this initiative,” said Sally Venable, President of CWA, Local 9415. “With California’s state budget in disarray, and people out of work, it’s time to harness this incredible revenue stream and create tens of thousands of high quality, union jobs, by controlling and taxing cannabis in California.”

According to a study by the California Chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), a controlled and taxed cannabis market could create between 60,000 and 110,000 new jobs, and $2.5 – $3.5 billion in new wages for workers each year.

Last month, almost 100 workers in Oakland’s medical cannabis industry voted to unionize and joined United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 5.

UFCW Local 5’s Dan Rush, who oversees statewide ballots matters for the Union and who has been assigned by Local 5 to work full time on the campaign, said controlling and taxing cannabis could help save thousands of public sector jobs which are currently on the chopping block. “California is laying off teachers, firefighters, and nurses left and right,” Rush said. “Controlling and taxing cannabis will generate billions in revenue to help us save these vital services and jobs.”

Rush and CWA, Local 9415 join a broad and growing coalition supporting the Initiative, including medical professionals, law enforcement professionals, faith leaders, economists, and elected officials.

Similar to current alcohol and tobacco laws, the Initiative will give local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of cannabis to adults age 21 and older. The Initiative includes significant safeguards and controls: it will increase the penalty for providing marijuana to a minor, expressly prohibit the consumption of marijuana in public, forbid smoking marijuana while minors are present, ban possession on school grounds, and maintain the current law against driving under the influence.

California’s tax regulator, the Board of Equalization, estimates that marijuana taxes could generate $1.4 billion in revenue each year.

The California Legislative Analyst's Office states that in addition to generating new revenue, the Initiative would allow correctional and law enforcement resources to be redirected to more pressing needs. The LAO says that in addition to generating “a few hundred millions of dollars annually” it could also save “several tens of millions of dollars annually” and permit the “redirection of court and law enforcement resources.”

A summary of the Initiative’s fiscal benefits is available at:

A summary of the Initiative’s public safety benefits is available at:
This Union endorsement is sure to reinforce the message that we can create jobs in a time of economic turmoil with sensible regulations and a legal cannabis market along the lines of alcohol.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

David Waldman - Filibuster Reform at America's Future Now! 2010

cross-posted from Sum of Change

Thanks to our friend Jeremy Koulish, who spent the first half of this week filming and livetweeting the America's Future Now! Conference, we get to bring you some highlights from the event.

I wanted to get this next video out right away. As the health care debate dragged on and on, talk of filibuster reform came up with increasing frequency. Well, there is still plenty of talking left to do, but according to David Waldman, the Editor in Chief of Congress Matters and a Contributing Editor at Daily Kos, it's time to seriously start focusing it:

He also spoke to a question that is often asked, what about when Republicans regain control of the Senate?

And don't forget Democrats:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

[LIVE] DC4D Candidate Meet N' Greet

Tonight, at 6:00pm (EST) we are fortunate to be filming DC for Democracy's pre-endorsement candidate meet n' greet with numerous candidates for DC's Democratic Primaries. You can find bios on all the candidates that will be attending at our 2010 DC Primary Elections page.

Candidates confirmed to attend include:

U.S. Congressional Delegate
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (incumbent)
Norton is the longstanding incumbent for the position of D.C. Representative. For several decades, she has focused her political drive toward securing full representational rights for the District of Columbia in Congress... read more

Doug Sloan
Sloan is the current Democratic challenger for the U.S. Congressional Representative seat for the District of Columbia. A native Washingtonian. He owns a public affairs consulting firm, Sloan Consulting, LLC... read more

Mayor Adrian Fenty (incumbent)
Adrian M. Fenty was elected the fifth Mayor of the District of Columbia in November 2006... read more

Council Chairman Vincent Gray
Mr Gray was first elected as the Council Chairman in 2006 running on a campaign message of "One City"... read more

Leo Alexander
Leo Alexander chaired the public relations committee for the DC Federation of Civic Associations. Since 2005, he has served as an executive board member of the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights (DCCH)... read more

Council Chair
Councilmember At Large Kwame Brown
Kwame Brown was first elected to the City Counsel in 2004. He currently chairs the Committee on Economic Development... read more

Vincent Orange
Former Councilmember and current VP of Pepco, Vincent Orange is attempting to get back into politics... read more

Councilmember At-Large
Councilmember At Large Phil Mendelson (incumbent)
Phil Mendelson was first elected to the City Council in November 1998. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary... read more

Clark Ray
Clark Ray has served as Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation for DC, the Director of External Affairs for DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, a Neighborhood Services Officer, and in several offices in the Clinton/Gore administration... read more

Kelvin Robinson
Kelvin Robinson has held various senior-level positions within state and local government in Florida... read more

Ward 1
Councilman Jim Graham (incumbent)
Jim Graham was first elected in 1998, and re-elected in 2002... In his first term on the Council, Mr. Graham chaired hearings and an investigation that uncovered major fraud and theft at the Office of Property Management... read more

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith is a a D.C. native and long time resident of Ward 1, was an elected School Board Member and in 2007 became the Executive Director of DC VOICE... read more

Bryan Weaver
Bryan Weaver is a long-time community activist, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) serving in his fourth-term, and a communications professional... read more

Ward 5
Councilman Harry Tomas, Jr. (incumbent)
Councilman Tomas was first elected in 2006 and is Chair of the D.C. City Council’s Committee on Libraries, Parks, and Recreation... read more

Kenyan McDuffie
Kenyan McDuffie worked as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice... read more

Shadow Representative
Shadow Representative Mike Panetta (incumbent)
Mike Panetta has been the District of Columbia shadow representative since 2007. He started the District of Columbia Olympic Committee... read more

Nate Bennett-Fleming
Mr Bennet-Fleming was a staff assistant and intern in Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's office and has worked on numerous campaings... read more

Jon Kuhl
Mr Kuhl works as the Speaker and Congressional Affairs Manager at the Congressional Youth Leadership Council... read more

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

DC Residents to Vote for AG?

cross-posted from Sum of Change

Earlier today, the City Council for the District of Columbia voted to let DC residents decide on a possibly change in the way it chooses the Attorney General, according to WTOP.

Currently, the Mayor selects the AG for the state. In November, DC residents will vote on whether or not the AG seat should be on the ballot. The majority of states choose their Attorneys General by vote, with only nine states and the District appointing the AG (14 if you include American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).

Here is the list of appointed Attorneys General, according to the National Association of Attorney's General (NAAG):
*American Samoa Attorney General
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
*Northern Mariana Islands
*Puerto Rico
South Dakota
*Virgin Islands

Description from the about NAAG page:
[The AG] is appointed by the governor in five states (Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wyoming) and in the four jurisdictions of American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In Maine, the Attorney General is selected by secret ballot of the legislature and in Tennessee, by the state Supreme Court. In the District of Columbia, the Mayor appoints the Attorney General whose powers and duties are similar to those of the Attorneys General of the states and jurisdictions.

One has to wonder if this will have any impact on turnout in the DC election. Statehood is a top-of-the-list issue to DC voters, and they will likely find excitement in measures that are perceived as more power for your vote.

Monday, May 31, 2010

CNN Turkey: Israeli Flotilla Attack

CNN Turkey's coverage of the Israeli attack on a flotilla. They give some great background on this issue. I set the video to finish when the English part ends: