We Applaud You, Senator Sanders: Proposition 61


El Cerrito Progressives applaud you, Senator Bernie Sanders, for supporting Proposition 61 and taking a stand against the exorbitant cost of pharmaceuticals in our state and in our nation. The measure would prohibit the State of California from paying more for drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which pays the lowest prices in the nation. This Proposition takes a stand against corporate greed.

While opponents stoke fears that passage of 61 will lead to price fixing and higher drug prices, bold leadership by nurses’ and doctors’ organizations as well as progressives, including Bernie Sanders, are willing to act on measures that will put the brakes on outlandish profits for Big Pharma at the expense of taxpayers and their lives.

Drug companies are spending close to 100 million dollars to defeat the proposition. And where is the California Democratic Party? The party didn’t take a stand for or against Proposition 61. Why the ambivalence? This could well be the influence of corporate donations and heavy lobbying on the part of former Democratic Party legislators such as Assemblyman (Assembly person, Fresno) Henry Perea. Mr. Perea now directs field operations in California, Arizona and Nevada for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, better known as PhRMA.

If we follow the money, there need be no ambivalence about Measure 61. El Cerrito Progressives join Bernie Sanders and the Yes on 61 Campaign to manage state drug costs.

Op-Ed Bernie Sanders: Stand up to Big Pharma greed. Vote yes on Proposition 61



To more accurately view the current struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribes against the Dakota Access Pipeline we must first look into the rich history of Native American civilization. Today’s images of Lakota warriors on horseback in traditional clothing charging a line of law enforcement officers are reminiscent of historical Native American claims to the land of the Lakota People.

Think of your land being invaded; your sacred ancestral grounds ruined; your identity ravaged and abused. The Lakota People and other tribes of the Sioux Nation stand in fighting the invasion of their lands by the Dakota Access Pipeline. To see Standing Rock as a home to be respected is to stand with those who struggle to maintain their tribal lands.

Native American tribes throughout the United States and the world have a long and distinguished history of quietly conducting successful movements that oppose the extraction of natural resources. Standing Rock is but the latest chapter in the long story of indigenous tribes standing for their sovereignty while resisting centuries of elimination, subjugation, and dispossession imposed by territorial accumulation driven by greed.

Disrespect and disregard for indigenous territories are as historical as the United States itself. Since 1968 the American Indian Movement (AIM) has continuously called on the US government to honor treaties signed during the initial conquests of Native American tribes. Active dissent from tribes in response to the denial of treaty agreements has consistently been met with militarized resistance, rather than negotiation.

The struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline stands in the foreground against the backdrop of historical disregard for tribal treaty rights and human rights. In standing against the pipeline the Standing Rock Sioux are demanding that the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie be honored and that their land and water be protected.

The people of Standing Rock have endured centuries of oppressive aggression. Their roots in Lakota land and history ground them in strength, legacy, obligation, and determination to preserve what defines their existence as a people.

As a civic-minded, progressive group that cares about community action, El Cerrito Progressives stand with the people of Standing Rock in their effort to preserve ownership of their land.

To find out how you can stand with Standing Rock, click here:

10 Ways You Can Help the Standing Rock Sioux Fight the Dakota Access Pipeline