A Pandemic, our President and the 2020 Elections

End result, we all need to demand that we have fair elections this November. The fight for vote by mail in all states that do not have it already is critical and we have to take action now in preparation for the upcoming election. Here are some key stories going on to stay informed.

The legal maneuverings on behalf of the GOP are a real thing. Trump will do whatever he can to make sure states do not mail every person possible a ballot. He is denying us the right to vote! And here is Trump’s name tag:

Suing you

Republicans plan to spend at least $20 million to combat voting rights lawsuits in 2020 The GOP just upped its legal budget for the 2020 election to $20 million.

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3 States Have Made It Easier to Vote By Mail In November. Trump Isn’t Happy.

Keep your eye on Michigan, New Hampshire and California for starters.

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THIS JUST IN FROM WISCONSIN: Elections Commission Approves Vote By Mail Plan. 2.7 million registered voters will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail.

Under the plan approved Wednesday, the state would send absentee ballot applications to nearly all registered voters in an effort to prepare for Wisconsin’s November election.

Roughly 62 percent of all votes in Wisconsin’s April election were cast by mail as voters heeded advice from both the state and federal government to stay home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Turnout for the November election is expected to double that of the spring election.

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What Republican activists are doing in preparation for November and Democrats take note!

Republicans recruit 50,000 volunteers to police “voter fraud” in November. Republicans return to “poll-watching” after court ends decades-long ban imposed after repeated intimidation efforts.

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How can you get involved? Check out the Indivisible Safe Voting Townhall  with Elizabeth Warren and many others.

We all know that Trump is lying about voter fraud. Note Twitter’s comments on Trumps Tweets – Unsubstantiated! Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has said that US president Donald Trump doesn’t stand a chance at winning the upcoming election – unless he turns to “cheating”. Our President is trying to openly cheat. We must stop him.

Please, get into this fight NOW!Activists And Ohio Lawmakers Rally Outside Supreme Court As Case Heard On Ohio's Voter Roll Purges

Thanks,

Sandra

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We Have to do More Than Vote!

We have a 160 days until Election Day and we all need to do more than simply vote. Yes, the mail-in ballot issue in various states is heating up as expected and the Republican National Committee (RNC) just filed a lawsuit against California to STOP the state from mailing absentee ballots to all voters ahead of the 2020 election.

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Please do what you can to stay informed, make sure your family and friends are registered to vote, donate (especially to down ballot candidates) and get involved with election activity that can happen at home. This includes text banking, raising dollars for candidates, writing postcards and much more. If you need help finding out how you can get involved, contact me directly.

We MUST save our democracy before it’s so destroyed, that we are not sure it can be resuscitated.

Stay safe,

Sandra

 

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Atty. Gen. William Barr, I Don’t Agree!

Earlier this week Atty. Gen. William Barr replied to a question asked by CBS’ Cathering Herridge with this response: ‘Well,’ he replied, ‘history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.’

HistoriaThis comment has haunted me ever since. And it’s been a very active and interesting week, but this quote keeps coming back with concern. If history is written only by the winners, we are all losers in the end. History should be written by the truth tellers, unbiased historians and those on all sides of the debate or issue.

So, if you missed this story, it’s in reference to Barr dismissing ALL charges against former national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn. OK, this is a decorated general who admitted to lying to the FBI. There’s more to this story and the US Government does not always get things perfect or things like counterintelligence investigations don’t always go as planned. But Flynn confessed and was found guilty!

Note that the full quote had a little more back story and does make his disturbing final slightly SLIGHTLY less frightening but it’s still a questionable quote.

If you got excited when Michael Flynn started the chant at the 2016 RNC, ‘Lock her up’, all of this likely equates to nothing to you. Barr’s quote this week didn’t even make you say to yourself ‘are people in our government really dictators, tyrants, or just plain overprivileged white guys who are trying to jam their fucking conservative menu of bad ideas down our throats’. But I hope that Barr’s comment caught the attention of many around our country who work outside of politics.

Let’s look back at history and see where this quote may have been pulled from and then taken in a new and scary direction by Barr.

First there’s this quote by Dan Brown, author of the DiVinci Code but with an inclusion from Napoleon:

‘History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’

And then there is this from Winston Churchill

‘History is written by the victors.’

There are other quotes, but to summarize these three, I take away the following;

  1. Barr is covering for Trump and many, if not all of his very questionable decisions (dismissing charges on a General who lied to the FBI???). We are clearly being warned by Barr’s quote that these guys will break and bend the law and then tell us their story whether is it true or not.
  2. I hear Dan Brown telling us to question history and the motivation of those writing it. Fact check what you’re reading and come to your own interpretation.
  3. And Churchill is simply telling the truth in his quote. Each day we can all be victors in our own lives and in our own battles. It’s NOT all about winning or losing. You win a war but both sides suffer millions of deaths, economies are destroyed, children are parentless, and there is endless pain and suffering. Really, who wins???

Here’s my note to Atty. Gen. William Barr, should he be reading this blog! There’s war and there’s politics, quit mixing the two together. The country is already extremely divided, and we have your boss to thank for this reality, so focus on doing your job and not ‘warring’. 

And this truthful quote…

Salt Sugar

Have a good weekend and as the country starts to open up, be safe,

Sandra

 

 

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Is Our Government Trying to Prevent Us from Voting by Mail in November?

We’re in the midst of a pandemic where not enough testing has been done in the US and no vaccine is in sight. And it’s an election year. That’s so frightening to me. In my lifetime, I honestly feel that this is the most important election in my lifetime.

I highly recommend listening to the May 11, 2020 podcast from Terry Gross at NPR; ‘How Protecting Voter Safety with Mail-In Ballots Became A Partisan Issue’. Ms. Gross interviews Emily Bazelon, Staff Writer for the New York Times Magazine who wrote a recent article entitled ‘Will Americans Lose Their Right to Vote In The Pandemic?’.

The podcast is very informative for all of us to understand the real complexities of what is happening NOW on the Vote by Mail issue.

Votebymail1

Here are some issues that concern me about what our government is doing or not doing;

  1. Trump opposes more funding for Vote by Mail saying on tv that we’d never have a Republican elected again with vote by mail. This is a LIE. There is NO DATA supporting this comment and he is spreading fear. Again.
  2. Trump is at war with the postal service at a very critical time. It seems like another strategy to help his own election by threatening the US Postal Service and preventing future funding that is much needed. Mail service in the US is down about 30% due to the pandemic but the post office has a 74% or higher (depending on the poll) favorability rating among Americans. They need help from the Federal Government.
  3. Louis DeJoy is our new postmaster general and will take office in June. DeJoy gave more than $2 Million to Trump and others in 2016. This is such a conflict of interest and DeJoy has NO BACKGROUND IN POSTAL SERVICES!
  4. Not having a wider offering of vote by mail will certainly put our health at risk, even in November.
  5. Tons of polling places have been closed in areas where there are more African American voters. If this DOES NOT feel wrong to you, rethink the pride we take in democracy and we are ‘ONE NATION UNDER GOD’.

Bottomline, we all deserve a well-run and organized election in 2020 even during a pandemic. There is STILL TIME. States need the right resources – NOW. If you are fortunate to be able to vote by mail, do follow the instructions to a T and remember to sign your ballot.

Stay informed and voice your concerns! #vote2020 #votebymail

Sandra

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20.6 Million CA Voters will be Mailed a Ballot for the November 2020 Election

Vote by mailIt happened today, in California at least, as Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered ballots to be mailed to the state’s voting population – 20.6 million people (and this number will grow) for the upcoming November election! For those who must vote in person, and hopefully you can quickly adapt to the new process of voting by mail, Newsom is imposing new, stricter rules.

This action marks the first time in California’s history that every registered voter is mailed a ballot.

Public health matters and NONE of us know what to expect in November. Why not plan ahead now for what is likely going to be a time where people are still infecting others with Covid-19?

Great job Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Say goodbye to long lines, the chaos that you at times you run into when trying to vote with address changes, different polling locations, etc. and unsafe situations posed by the pandemic.

If you are a disabled voter, show up in person. If not, please just fill out your ballot and mail it in. And you can track it every step of the way with emails and text messages. Plus you don’t even need a stamp.

Right now, this is only for the November 2020 election. But maybe California can join the five other states that have permanent all-mail elections.

California changed absentee voting rules in 2002 and allows voters to request permanent vote-by-mail REGARDLESS of the reason. You don’t need to be on vacation or have any other reason.

We’re still far away from everyone voting either in person or by mail, so enjoy the time saved and not only vote by mail but vote early!

If you need any CA State voting information, visit the CA Elections website.

Happy Friday all!

Sandra

 

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As Cities Open Up, We Need Hope IN Solidarity

On April 17, 2020, Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman shared important and encouraging words of hope at a very critical time in the pandemic. If you missed it, check it out it here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4QPftpS6O0

Pretty amazing!

Ms. Gorman is just now graduating from Harvard and is called ‘the next great figure of poetry in the U.S.’ In 2017 she made history by becoming the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America. She has spoken at the Library of Congress, the United Nations x Mashable Social Good Summit, WE Day, and venues all across the country. Yeah, she’s a native from Los Angeles, CA and prior to her national position she served as the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of L.A. and later the West.

These are the voices that will unite us as we wake up in a new tomorrow and take new steps in our changing world. Ms. Gorman, students from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, and many other young people who have witnessed the breakdown in our government while growing up with more social media channels than most of us had access to before cable TV invaded our homes. They are watching us mess up the environment, being lazy about getting to the ballot box, spreading hate and violence, suppressing immigrants and immigration and getting fooled in social media with all the fake news.

Sidebar: We should all kick the Facebook habit 90 days before the election!

These young voices are getting wise at the same time that many of us are fighting the system and growing tired.

Make way and have hope for a better tomorrow. Do wear your masks, for the safety of others.

Peace and 178 days until Election day!

Sandra

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My Political Pivot

Stay HomeGreetings from my ‘Stay Home’ in Los Angeles during what I hope and pray is the only pandemic I ever experience. First, condolences to all those that have lost a loved one anywhere in the world. Our hearts break for you.

A pandemic on top of the last four years being completely surreal with the most inept Administration ever in place in the US, it’s insane really. Over 40,000 lives lost in the US. No vaccine (yet). And honestly, no competent leadership at the very top. Thank you to the many take charge without it being partisan Governors and Mayors around the US.

I’ve revised my site to give me a place other than Facebook to share my political thoughts and concerns. And to widen my audience to extend beyond the wide circle of global family, friends and contacts who mostly share my same concerns. The international contacts worry for me, the progressive US friends scream and yell with me, others just ‘scroll up’ and the few remaining opposers get extra credit for staying in the game.

So here’s my reality, if I don’t get more of these thoughts out of my head, it’s going to be a rough 6+ months.

My ask: please share the links of any blogs posts that resonate with you on your social media channels. Thanks in advance!

And our reality…

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So we have 195 days to support a Democratic agenda, keep informed, fight for a few extra seats in the Senate, donate as much as we can as soon as we can, volunteer when and where possible and ABSENTEE VOTE. Thank you for whatever you can do until November 3, 2020.

Thanks and STAY SAFE!

Sandra

 

 

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How Watching ‘The Walking Dead’ Prepared Me for the Coronavirus.

For a number of years I was living in Lisbon, Portugal and I was feeling removed from being in America. I had been hearing about ‘The Walking Dead’ (and Game of Thrones) and seeing posts and comments by family (ok, one brother) and friends. I was a few years late to the show but found that the program aired weekly on my cable network in Portugal. Plus, TV is not dubbed in Portugal and subtitles are a good way to enhance language learning. So, I started watching ‘The Walking Dead’ and getting caught up. Strangely it made me feel a bit more plugged into my culture even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Go figure!

Well it’s a number of years later and to be honest, I don’t even know what season the show is in as I moved back to the states and eventually lost interest. I live in LA, so that is right up there with living in a real zombie apocalypse.

Like the rest of the planet, I am glued to the news to keep informed as to what is happening with the coronavirus. As we’re watching COVID-19 move around the globe and take its toll on lives, the health of way too many, the financial market, major annual events, many ongoing activities and overall, life as we knew it, I find myself thinking about survival and the safety of those I love.

Covid 19

The virus also makes me think about what I learned from watching ‘The Walking Dead’ and how if I was in the show, I’d work hard to survive.

  • Determine a safe place, clean it up and get prepared. Careful who you let into your compound because it’s just a matter of time before somebody leaves a back door open even if it’s a jail.
  • Hording will get you in trouble. When you have too much of something, people find out and eventually take some or all of it. And I never saw a Walking Dead episode where anyone was concerned about toilet paper.
  • Shop in the off hours. The idea is sneak in and sneak out. Fast. Have your list ready and don’t tip over the shelves with all the booze on it. That’s very dangerous. Walking Dead Shopping
  • When you’re out, don’t go down the center of all the activity. Find a way to avoid people and take the back or side road.
  • Figure out how to do things yourself. We won’t have time to plant a garden or build big stuff, but we can make more of our own food (and clean out the pantry) and bake stuff vs. running out for a pastry and coffee.
  • Rely on people you trust. If they show good judgement, you’re likely in good hands.
  • Ask yourself often, ‘is it worth it?’. Do you want a zombie to eat your face for something silly? I just put my gym membership on hold as I’ve been going a lot but it’s like a nightclub in the place. And sweaty.
  • We never know when the apocalypse will be over, so plan it being longer than expected. Just checked and the show is going into the 12th season.
  • And most importantly, if you are sick or think you are sick, avoid others. Do the right thing.

So, stay safe, take all the necessary precautions and I guess now people will get caught up on a lot of their shows as there are hundreds of original programs to watch today. I was curious what was going on with ‘The Walking Dead’ while writing this blog and bumped into this veryyyyyyy timely article. We can all keep ourselves safer with smart use of technology! ‘Walking Dead’ Writers Were Already Prepared for Global Pandemic

Lastly, COVID-19 information from the CDC

Yellow traffic sign

Sandra

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Are you attending Web Summit 2019?

Web SummitAs people from around the globe get ready to head to Lisbon, Portugal for Web Summit starting on November 4th, I’m excited to also be attending the conference this year. It’s been a few years since I was back in Lisbon but I continue to stay close to many in the startup community either through mentoring in a number of startup programs remotely or via on-going one on one mentoring and advising of a handful of start-ups from my time living and working in Lisbon. Additionally, I’ve met various startup contacts while they pass through Los Angeles or I pass through a city where these people are living, working, attending meetings or pitching.

Please reach out if you are attending the conference or will be in Lisbon during that time (or before). I’m very much looking forward to returning to my other ‘home’. See you very soon Lx!

 

 

 

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Independence Day – A Time of Reflection

Many of us around the US are packing our bags, filling our tanks or hitting the grocery and liquor stores to prepare for this well celebrated and much longed for holiday.

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. As my country appears to be going in the opposite direction on nearly every issue important to me, I thought I’d take a look at the Declaration of Independence to reflect on the words put together at such an important time in the history and evolution of my country.

The Declaration of Independence starts as follows…

‘When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.’

OK, I’m not sure if you’re thinking what I’m thinking but it almost feels like we need a new declaration to separate from our current President and his administration that seems to have ZERO concern for the citizens of this country. Does Washington care about providing healthcare to everyone? No. Does Washington care about our parks, rivers and monuments? No. Does Washington care about continuing to move gay rights to reduce hate, fear and discrimination against a growing population? No. Does Washington care about the children in our public schools or the educational content they have available to watch when they get home from school? No. Does Washington care about fostering good relationships with important partners like France and Germany? No. And…

161 Days! Yes, that is we have lived through with this current administration and as much as our President says he is getting a lot done, the real promising news is that it’s another LIE! He grabbed a stolen Supreme Court Justice seat, he just finally got a portion of his very seemingly unconstitutional Muslim Ban through the courts, he has signed countless Executive Orders to undo many good actions of Obama but there is a lot that he has not accomplished, that has been slowed down or delayed or that Americans are just RESISTING. Bravo #resistance.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE my country (USA!). I have traveled outside of the US since I was 16 (lots of passports ago), worked in international marketing for years and have lived in 3 different countries. I am proud to be an American and I will fight even harder for the country that I love. I am hopeful that Trump supporters are starting to see the reality of their vote and how their vote against Hillary was NOT a vote for a better America.

The truth is that many older white Americans in red states will lose their healthcare coverage or Medicare if they do not stand up against Trumpcare. Carrier is not creating more jobs. Jobs in the coal mines are few to begin with any they will have a limited life span. Hate crimes are up in this country and this should concern all of us. So Trump says one thing but the reality is nearly the opposite.

After 161 days of this President, we do have one thing that we have never had before in any other US Presidency. We have more transparency into a President and his chaotic staff than even before. 140 characters says a lot when a man is incompetent, hateful, cruel, rude, obnoxious, careless, inconsiderate, egotistical, and downright unprepared for such an important position. Continue to follow these Twitter rants for the most pathetic leadership example we may ever see. It’s embarrassing but we cannot stop Trump from being who he is and the entire world is aware now. If only he listened to Hillary and her famous tweet to him!

Delete your account

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So as you travel, spend time with family and friends or just relax and have a few days off, remember what is important to you and think about the near future of our country. None of us can sit back and let a few destroy the many. Resist/support/act where it is needed to protect those things you hold dear.

Be safe, have fun, enjoy the 4th and keep reflecting! And remember, love is all we need.

Big hugs all,

Sandra

 

PSS: Another quote from the Declaration of Independence that resonates with me.

‘He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.’

>>>And a few more tweets for those not on Twitter or reading the news!

Elizabeth Warren

Trump+MJ+tweet+CNN

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