From Senator Dianne Feinstein – Update on the American Jobs Act

Posted November 10, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Job Act

I had written to Senator Feinstein a while ago to urge her to support The American Jobs Act. Here is her considered response to me today, November 10, 2011:

Dear Adrienne:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for President Obama’s jobs proposal, the “American Jobs Act.” I likewise support the President’s jobs proposal, and I welcome this opportunity to respond.

As you know, on September 8, 2011 President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress to propose his new employment initiative, the “American Jobs Act.” This $447 billion plan aims to reduce unemployment and boost the economy by extending and expanding soon-to-expire payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance, as well as providing much-needed funding for major transportation and infrastructure projects. The bill would also provide aid to states to retain millions of teachers and first responders during difficult budgetary times.

Economists have projected this package, if implemented fully, would create as many as 1.9 million jobs nationwide, lowering the unemployment rate by one percent and increasing the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) between 0.7 – 2%. Please know that, like you, I believe Congress must do more to solve the nation’s persistent unemployment crisis. I believe that the potential for a double-dip recession requires that Congress take immediate, bipartisan action to help increase economic growth in the short term, while simultaneously reducing our national debt over the long run.

On October 10, 2011, the Senate voted on a motion to invoke cloture, a procedure used to advance legislation, on proceeding to consider the “American Jobs Act.” While a simple majority is required for a bill to pass the Senate, cloture requires a 60 vote majority. I voted to support the jobs bill and for cloture, but Senate Republicans uniformly voted against cloture for this bill and the motion was rejected by a vote of 50-49.

In light of this vote, Senator Reid has begun to introduce the “American Jobs Act” as a series of smaller bills. I am cosponsor of the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act” (S. 1723) and the “Rebuild America Jobs Act” (S. 1769), which are the first of the smaller bills to be introduced. While Senate Republicans uniformly opposed the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act” by a vote of 50-50, please know that I will continue to work with my colleagues to evaluate, and hopefully pass, the President’s plan.

Once again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep in touch on issues of importance to you. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator


Elections in Three States Today, November 7, 2011

Posted November 8, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Voting

If you live in Hamilton County, Ohio, or the state of Pennsylvania or California, there are elections today for local and state level issues. Please make your voice heard and vote.

More information is available at SmartVoter.

There are upcoming elections on November 15, 2011 for Alameda and Contra Costa, and Los Angeles County (City of Vernon) on November 22, 2011.

Now that you know about these upcoming elections, you have time to do your homework and go to the polls as an educated voter.

The next Organizing for American Glendale meeting is Sunday, November 20, 2011 at Panera at 2pm. See you there!

It’s the Year Mark

Posted November 7, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Voting

2008 Electoral Votes - Visit 270towin for more maps

The election for the President of the United States is on November 6, 2012, 364 days from today, November 7, 2011.  Even though that seems like a lot of time, it isn’t.  Now is the time to get that 270 number fixed in cement.

What is the magic number 270? It is the number of electoral votes needed for a candidate to win the Presidential election.  Wikipedia has an excellent article describing the Electoral College and how the President is actually elected.

It is possible to win the election by winning eleven states and disregarding the rest of the country. If one ticket were to take California (55 votes), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), and New Jersey (14) that ticket would have 270 votes, which would be enough to win. In the close elections of 2000 and 2004, these eleven states gave 111 votes to Republican candidate George W. Bush and 160 votes to Democratic candidates Al Gore and John Kerry. In 2008, the Democratic candidate Barack Obama won nine of these eleven states (for 222 electoral votes), with Republican John McCain taking a combined 49 electoral votes from Texas and Georgia.

Nevada is having their caucus on January 21, 2012.  In 2004, it was a Red state, in 2008 it was a Blue state – it’s important that Nevada stay a blue state, so yesterday was Phone Bank day, and we called people who had voted Democrat in 2008 to remind them to participate in the caucus.

What is a caucus?  A caucus is a gathering of neighbors who meet to discuss grassroots politics.  Caucuses are different than primaries because caucus participants do more than just support a candidate for president – they also participate in other party business such as electing delegates to the county convention and submitting resolutions to the party platform to be considered by the platform committee at the county convention.  Caucus participants do not vote by pulling a lever or filling out a ballot. Caucus participants express their support for the candidate(s) of their choice at a meeting open to all registered Democrats in their precinct.

If you would like to see more maps, please visit

The Importance of Voting

Posted October 17, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Voting

I have a seven year old son, Spane, who is now in third grade, and I must say is pretty smart. I take him to OFA meetings, and he was at the table with us at Unity Fest when we were registering voters. Today, on the way to school he asked me why it was so important to vote. Remember, he’s only seven years old, so I had to explain it to him in a way he would understand.

So, let’s say there are 100 kids in the third grade, okay?
Okay, are they all in the same room?
For this, yes, they are in the same room. Now, let’s say that the school wants to you to vote on something, okay? Vote A if you think that going from a green card to a yellow card should just be a warning, and vote B if you think that going from a green card to a yellow card should get you benched. Got it?
It’s already like B in the third grade.
I know, this is just to show. Okay?
Now, say that out of the 100 kids, 54 did not vote. How many kids voted?
Okay, now out of the 46 that voted, only 20 voted A. How many voted B?
Who won? What’s going to happen?
Well, B won, and going to yellow means being benched.
How many kids didn’t vote because they thought their vote made no difference?
So do you think if some of those who did not vote had voted for A that you would be only getting a warning?
Yeah! They should have voted! The A vote could have won!
So, do you think the kids who didn’t vote are sorry now?
Are you going to vote when it’s time for you to vote?

And there, explained to a child, is the reason why it is so important to vote. In this case, silence in not golden, the squeaky wheel does get the grease, and in this instance, the B wheel.

Unity Fest Was Grreat!

Posted October 16, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Events

Unity Fest was a great event. You couldn’t help tapping your feet with plenty of entertainment, and smile as the heavenly scent of diverse cuisines floated past your nostrils. There were plenty of public and community service groups, including Glendale Unified School District, Holy Family High School, YMCA of Glendale and many others. Our sister city, Ghapan in Armenia was there, too.

Since there was several high school students, we were able to register new voters, and they were excited to be able to vote in the 2012 election. We also had people want to join Organizing for America.

The meetings at Panera have been changed to every Sunday at 2pm. So, please come and join us next time.

Unity Fest, Sunday, October 16, 2011 12pm to 5pm.

Posted October 14, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Events

OFA Glendale is going to be registering voters on Brand Blvd. during Unity Fest. We would love it if you would join us.

Unity Fest is a free annual event that celebrates cultural diversity in Glendale. There will be food from all over the world, activities for this kids, and entertainment for all. Again, it’s a free event, so please bring the family. Parking is also free!

If you would like to volunteer for the table, please call Adrienne Boswell at (818) 627-6565 and let her know what time you would be able to volunteer.

You can click on the picture to download the flyer, and OFA will be on Brand at one of the service tables. Here is a map of the Unity Fest area and where OFA will be..

Below is a Google Map:

Meeting at Panera, Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 2 p.m.

Posted September 29, 2011 by arbpen
Categories: Meetings, Volunteering

We’re having our bi-weekly meeting at Panera in Glendale on Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 2 p.m. If you want to volunteer with us, we would be happy to have you. Panera is at 300 North Brand in Glendale.