Congressman Mark DeSaulnier Denounces New Federal Tax Law

Congressman DeSaulnier Town Hall 1-15-2018

During his January 15 Town Hall held at the El Cerrito Community Center, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) specified that the new federal tax plan strongly supported by House and Senate Republicans is a scam to benefit corporations and the wealthy while sacrificing the well-being of middle-income and lower-income Americans.

Introduced by El Cerrito Mayor Gabe Quinto and County District I Supervisor John Gioia, the self-described second most liberal member of Congress focused on the tax reform law throughout his delivery to constituents.

“This is the worst piece of legislation I have ever seen,” DeSaulnier told the overflow audience. “Congress is the most dysfunctional institution I have ever been associated with, and will only change if the minority party gets back in control.”

To support his statements, the Congressman articulated how the new tax law has reduced the tax rate for corporate profits from 35 percent to 21 percent, while sacrificing labor considerations by prioritizing capital investments over work.

Congressman DeSaulnier maintains that the 70,000-page setup of the tax plan defies even the understanding of tax professionals.

The Town Hall delivery also highlighted campaign finance, elimination of the individual mandate that weakens Obamacare, and potential cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Eliminating the Electoral College is one additional issue the Congressman favors, stating that current conditions mandate updates to the Constitution.

Congressman DeSaulnier recounted his work in the House, including co-sponsorship of a bill that requires Congressional approval for pushing the nuclear button and support for fixing the DACA program.

In respect to locally based issues, DeSaulnier called for increased safety protections for workers and held that devaluing work while extolling capital investment is a problem in corporate culture. The Congressman also referred to his work with Richmond Mayor Tom Butt to keep the Richmond Post Office open.

Despite current political challenges, Congressman DeSaulnier retains a glimmer of hope, stating, “We’ve been through challenges like this before”.

DeSaulnier’s district includes most of Contra Costa County.

More information on Congressman DeSaulnier’s Town Hall is available at EAST BAY TIMES: Congressman denounces new federal tax law at El Cerrito town hall, the source of this information.



New Legislation Introduced to Protect Net Neutrality in California

Net Neutrality Concept

Ushering in the new year is legislation introduced on January 3rd by Sen. Scott Wiener that targets the protection net neutrality in California.

In response to the recent FCC ruling to remove the net neutrality guarantee of a free and open Internet, California is now counted among states that are seeking ways to secure net neutrality within their jurisdictions.

The legislation proposed by Senator Wiener is co-authored by ten state assembly and senate legislators as a manner of ensuring that telecom companies who offer services in California comply with net neutrality principles.

Sen. Weiner’s proposal is one proposed bill to ensure a free and open Internet in California. Sen. Kevin de Leon is another proposed legislative item.

Substantive legislation is still in process, with the intent of effectively utilizing the state’s authority to require that businesses relying on the state infrastructure or state funding to operate within California maintain free and open Internet access.

As state legislatures formulate bills to ensure net neutrality for their residents, state attorneys general are joining public interest groups and members of Congress to challenge the FCC in federal court. Attorneys general maintain that Congress has the ability to reverse the FCC’s recent federal ruling within 60 legislative days using a simple majority.

Towards that end you can contact your member of Congress now to save net neutrality on the federal level.

For more information on the California legislature’s move to ensure net neutrality for Californians, refer to ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION: California Introduces Its Own Bill to Protect Net Neutrality, the source of this information.

Nurses Continue to Promote Single-Payer Healthcare in California

California Nurses Association

A tenacious and highly vocal push towards a California single-payer healthcare system continues as the California Nurses Association (CNA) stridently demonstrates in favor of Healthcare-for-All at the state Capitol. CNA uses dramatic and impacting tactics to advance the single-payer cause. “Shame on you” chants in Capitol hallways and banners regularly unfurled in the Capitol rotunda continuously assail lawmakers as reminders that the push towards single-payer is not going away.

The union also has an impressive social media presence. Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro counts over 29,000 Twitter followers who receive exposure that amplifies the single-payer issue, mobilizes protesters, and draws crowds.

Some, such as Mike Madrid, Republican principal of the public affairs firm Grassroots Lab, are of the opinion that aggressive promotion is non-productive. “The politicians are afraid of these angry intense grass-roots activists,” says Madrid. “Using fear and intimidation as a tactic in the legislature usually doesn’t get you too far.”

Madrid is also of the opinion that the CNA’s aggressive advocacy for a single-payer health system reflects the current intense political polarization seen around the country — as well as conflicts among members of left-leaning causes.

While the Assembly Democratic caucus has condemned what they called CNA “bullying tactics”, others view CNA’s creative drive to be an earnest and heartfelt tactic that assertively promotes much needed medical coverage for Californians.

CNA tactics do seem to get sought after results, aided by the union’s sizable membership. Joanne Spetz, Health Workforce Research Center Director at UC San Francisco, maintains that much of CNA influence is due to union membership in many areas of California that includes most or all registered nurses.

Many consider CNA, founded in 1903, as always having been assertively enthusiastic in representing its views.

The California Nurses Association, affiliated with National Nurses United, validates its actively determined approach to issues as effective in holding lawmakers accountable to critical issues.

“We’re going to demand that the legislature legislate and move this bill,” states Michael Lighty, director of public policy at California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. 

For more information on the California Nurses Association see CaliforniaHealthline: The Union That Roars: Nurses Aren’t Giving Up On California’s Single-Payer Push, from which this information was gathered. California Healthline correspondent Ana B. Ibarra contributed to this report.

Local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Maintain Net Neutrality

local internet providers

If you’re looking for a non-monolithic internet service provider in the environment of a non-neutral internet, there are some alternatives. is one.

The CEO of Sonic, Dane Jasper, has a reputation of being an avid proponent of net neutrality, and of privacy for his customers. In step with the end of net neutrality, Sonic has recently expanded its gigabit fiber service to include more areas of the East Bay in Oakland, Albany, Kensington, and El Cerrito at a price of $40/month.

Hopefully, as its customer base increases, Sonic will continue to expand its conscientious service to more East Bay areas.

Other local ISPs include:

If interested in a net-neutral local ISP, contacting these options may be the answer.

Please comment below if you know of any local ISPs not listed.

This information was provided in El Cerrito Nextdoor.