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…

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 3.59.47 PM

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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There’s no Time for Gloating but Remember the House Passing the American Health Care Act when you Cast your Next Ballot.

AHCASo the House did it today by just narrowly passing the American Health Care Act 217 to 213. It’s clear that this was completely strategic and a necessary ‘win’ needed by Trump & Co. I can just imagine the pressure put on certain Members of Congress (MoC) to get the needed votes.

It is not very likely that this American Health Care Act will clear the Senate but Trump REQUIRED a win at this point and he got it. Congress will be on a break next week and some members will really get beat up when they go home. I’m sure Trump and Ryan now owe these people big favors. Oh, the joy of politics!

And even if this bill is already facing a very uncertain future, Trump is talking (and tweeting) to his supporters and all they see is a President that said he would win and now to them, he has won. They have ALREADY forgotten about all the losses which do not require listing as most of us can rattle these off in our sleep.

So nobody should be gloating on any side of this issue as here is the reality;

  1. Our elected politicians just passed a bill with NO CBO Analysis. This is outright ignorance and really, it should not even be ‘legal’.
  2. Most MoC have not even read the bill as it was pushed through too fast. Again, totally outrageous and this shows just how politics is driving everything vs. parties and people working together.
  3. Tens of millions of Americans will lose healthcare. Period.
  4. Deductions will NOT go down.
  5. Premiums will NOT go down.
  6. The rich just got richer.
  7. ObamaCare is not DEAD (another Trump lie) and many parts of whatever we end up happening will have portions of what we know today.
  8. We continue to allow insurance companies to dictate way too much and impact the quality of real healthcare in our country

Difference betweenSo people on all sides of this critical issue could easily gloat as this could be perceived as a short-term win for the GOP and/or a longer-term win for the Democrats. But nobody will win if millions of Americans go without coverage. If only we could take a nation wide view and for all of us to remember the bill passing today when we go to the polls. This includes everyone. If you get screwed in this deal or if the deductions and premiums DO NOT go down as promised, remember this at the ballot box. Remind your family and friends when they go to vote as some people will forget who screwed them!

And if Medicaid and Medicare get crushed in this deal, remember this as well.

The Democratic Party is very focused on flipping vulnerable seats (check out Flippable if you are not plugged into them already) in upcoming elections and the health care issue has been a huge deal breaker for getting re-elected. Today will help the process of flipping seats but in the end, we only win if Americans have AFFORDABLE and AVAILABLE health care coverage.

What are your thoughts? How are you feeling? I welcome your comments. Thanks,

Sandra

@sandrasick

#AHCA

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Oh, What a Year!

As 2016 comes to a close, I am grateful for many things that came out of this year and I am concerned about others. But those around me are healthy, safe and sound and I find moments of optimism a mist all the ‘breaking’ news stories and tweets.
merry-christmasSo from my home to yours around the globe, may you have a peaceful holiday season surrounded by those you love and support. Here’s to a new year and whatever that holds individually. Find strength in the fact that the majority of people on this planet have good intentions and love vs. hate.

Peace and prosperity (of any kind),

Sandra

 

 

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Seven Notable Election-Related Podcasts

podcast-and-worldI admit, I am a podcast junkie and listen to a wide range of podcasts. As podcasts are very popular now, there are some amazing podcasts specific to the US election. How can there not be with so much almost unbelievable news and activity.

Here’s a list of recommended podcasts should you need some suggestions or a quick catch-up. Please share any others that you also enjoy. Happy podcasting!

  1. We’ll start with the amazing Fresh Air podcast from Terry Gross. A favorite for many and a very well-produced show. This is a must-listen to interview with some really good insight.

How Trump’s Candidacy Has Divided Conservative Media

2. Secondly, from WNYC, who creates a lot of great content, check out The United States of Anxiety. You’ll hear from real voters and take a look back at what got us, US voters, to this point in the election. It’s a podcast about real people living real lives in America and there are only 3 episodes available and all are worth hearing if you want to get a perspective from suburban America.

How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?

3. I’m not going to recommend just one podcast from Slate’s Political Podcast but nearly all of them! Pick any, you cannot go wrong!

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/gabfest.html

4. Again, anything from Trumpcast is worth a listen and this podcast is also produced by Slate.

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/trumpcast.html

5. And from The New Yorker, their Comment podcast. There are many great political/election podcasts in the recent months, but the most recent is worthy of a listen and it’s shorter.

Three’s a Crowd

6. FiveThirtyEight is another podcast focused on the election podcast and the podcasts are very informative. The most recent covers the rundown on the second debate.

A Late-Night Podcast to Recap a Very Strange Second Debate

7. Last but not least is an interesting little podcast from StoryCorp on a woman who ran for president 50+ years ago. In the 1964 presidential election, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona ran against Democratic incumbent Lyndon Johnson who had assumed office following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. LBJ won in a landslide, but there was another candidate in the race who has largely been forgotten by history: Mrs. Yetta Bronstein, a Jewish housewife from the Bronx!

Vote for Yetta and Things Will Get Betta

For those with a bit more time, here’s a bonus podcast worth a listen. These days, when Alec Baldwin is not playing Donald Trump on SNL, he also hosts a long-running podcast called ‘Here’s The Thing’. It normally is not very political, but the recent podcast features Bob Garfield. Each week, more than 400 radio stations across the country air “On The Media,” a program that takes a hard look at the boldfaced names in the headlines—and the smaller names in the bylines and this show is co-hosted by Garfield.

Radio Host Bob Garfield on Trump and Telemarketing

Enjoy some or all of this content and share the podcasts that you really enjoy. Here’s a list of the top News & Election podcasts if you are looking for other options;

Happy listening and make sure you and all your family and friends are registered to vote in the US election.

Sandra

@sandrasick

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