Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Office of Public Liason

I know that the cynics out there will assume this to be a waste of time and even I realize that I am unlikely to get a personal phone call from President Obama in response to a message from me. However, it is my understanding that SOMEONE reads the mail submitted through the Office of Public Liason, which was established as part of Whitehouse.gov in January. I haven't had a chance to check everything out, but there does appear to be a wealth of information and of course the email page.

At the least, it appears to be a more direct way to get your voice heard.

And here is the rest of it.

SB 328-Illegal debt collection prevention

From Attorney General Kroger:


Attorney General



March 24, 2009

Dear friends,

We have a great opportunity to protect Oregon’s consumers. The House will vote on SB 328 on Thursday. If approved, this bill will protect Oregonians from abusive debt collection tactics.

We need your help to make this happen.

Complaints about debt collection agencies have been on the Oregon Department of Justice’s Top 10 Consumer Complaint List since 2001, and complaints are on the rise. In Oregon, unfortunately, there is currently no state agency able to enforce illegal debt collection practices. Senate Bill 328 would close this loophole by giving the Attorney General the authority to hold debt collection agencies accountable when they violate the law, just like any other industry.

Earlier this month SB 328 was passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate. Last week the House Consumer Protection Committee sent a strong pro-consumer message by sending it to the House Floor with a unanimous recommendation in favor of passage. Now the bill is headed for a vote.

Similar legislation has been defeated twice before by powerful lobbying interests. This year may be different but your legislators need to hear from you. The lobby is mobilized and is intent on defeating SB 328.

Please contact your legislator and urge them to support SB 328. You can locate contact information for your representative, or email them directly using this link.

Thank you so much for helping the Department of Justice do more to protect the citizens of our state.


John R. Kroger

Attorney General of Oregon

One note: Even though this is a senate bill, it has already passed there and is coming up for a vote in the House and so it is our representatives that need to hear from us.
And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Safe Schools passes Education Committee

In a year that is going to to be almost nothing but suck-ass for students, of any age, it is nice to get some good news. K-12, community members, and college students from all over Oregon have been working on this for a long time. Now we need to make sure it passes the House vote.

From BRO:

After a hugely successful Day of Action on Friday, it's official: The House Education Committee has passed the Oregon Safe Schools Act! In a 9 to 1 vote, committee members approved the bill for a full vote from the House.

That means that in as little as a few days, the House of Representatives could vote on House Bill 2599. Now, more than ever, your legislator needs to hear from YOU!

Contact your Representative today!

Email your Representative TODAY and tell them to vote YES on House Bill 2599! Tell them that ALL youth deserve to grow up free from intimidation and harassment in school.

Even if you've previously sent a message. Even if you were one of the over 300 fair-minded Oregonians to stand up for Oregon youth at the Capitol on Friday. Your Representative needs to hear from you TODAY!

Click on the BRO link above to send a message to your reps in Salem.

And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day

Somehow I don't know why I am surprised at the overall lack of coverage for the fact that, not only is this Women's History Month, today is International Women's day, now in its 99th year (although it took the UN 67 years to recognize it). Yesterday, a meeting took place in Monrovia of many of the top women leaders in the world. Here is some of what they had to say:

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female head of state, saluted the distinguished gathering of political and business leaders, saying: "You motivate us, you inspire us, you encourage us to continue."

Sirleaf took power in the west African nation ravaged by 14 years of back-to-back civil wars, and her Finnish counterpart Tarja Holonen was quick to point out that women played a leading role in healing war wounds.

She said experience showed that the role women play "in conflict resolution and reconciliation in post war is very vital. This country Liberia is a good example of that."

Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean, originally a Haitian refugee, echoed the theme that women were the best guarantors of peace.

"I'm telling you: give women the means to react and you will see less violence, you will see the end of sickness and illiteracy because women never forget that life is the most precious thing.

"Exclude women and you will fail," Jean added at the Monrovia gathering, which will debate the future of women.

And from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon:

"Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstances, by any political leader or by any government," said Ban.

He revealed that around the world, one woman in five has been a victim of rape or attempted rape, and that in some countries one woman in three has been beaten or subjected to some kind of violent act.

"Violence against women is an abomination. I'd like to call it a crime against humanity," he said.

Damn skippy.

And here is the rest of it.