Occupy Congressional District 2!

Friends -

I trust you have been as encouraged by the successes of the Occupy movement as I have.  The movement has, in a very short time, steered our national conversation to focus on jobs, economic justice, and fair taxation.  It has helped clarify the corrosive effects of income inequality and the corrupting influence of money in our politics.  "We Are The 99%!" is indelibly written in our national psyche. 

Please plan to attend an Occupy rally at noon on Monday, December 5 at Max Square in downtown La Grande.  People will gather all across Oregon's 2nd Congressional District to ask a simple question:  "Where's Walden?"
 

Congressman Greg Walden's constituents, the 99%, want to hold him accountable.  The demands of this Occupy Congressional District 2 action are simple.  First, that Congressman Walden announce to the media a public town hall to be held during the Congressional recess this December.  Second, that he commit to hold four more public town halls across the district by April 2012.  Finally, that he give the public at least three weeks notice of the date, time, and location for the town halls.

Congressman Walden should want to hear from his constituents.  Are five public Town Halls in the next few months really too much to ask? 

I hope to see you at noon on Monday, December 5, at Max Square along with your fellow 99-percenters!

Thanks,

Glen Scheele
Chair, Union County Democrats
541-975-4149

Occupy the Highway : )

UC Dems occupy the Highway

The Union County Democrats were occupied on Highway 82 doing their part to clean up America. The effort took the group about four hours. The weather was perfect and the trash buildup was not too bad. The Democrats clean up their adopted section of Highway 82 three times a year.

Occupy La Grande!

Union County Democrats
Occupy La Grande!

We are the 99 Percent

Over the past few weeks Occupy Wall Street has grown from a handful of protesters in New York City to a national mobilization of tens of thousands.

Demonstrations of more than 20,000 are occurring in New York. 10,000 people marched and filled Pioneer Square in Portland. More and more Occupy groups are organizing and demonstrating every day. And now... Occupy La Grande!

At noon on Thursday, October 13, Occupy La Grande supporters will gather in Max Square. Our focus is the same as groups all across the country: Jobs, Not Cuts; Fair Taxes on Everyone; Hold Wall Street and Corporations Accountable.

We plan to march to Congressman Walden's office on Washington Avenue. We'd like to know where Mr. Walden stands on Contract for the American Dream. The contract outlines policies that will help rebuild the American Dream -- investing in our infrastructure, creating 21st century energy jobs, investing in public education, providing Medicare for All, making work pay, securing Social Security, returning to fairer tax rates, ending the wars and investing at home, taxing Wall Street speculation, and strengthening our democracy.

We will then walk to Wells Fargo Bank and read the official statement of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. We want to highlight the increasing role that banks and other corporations play in buying elections and distorting democracy. We want to highlight how this influence benefits the wealthy and harms working families and the middle-class.

Please join us. Share this information and bring your friends. Bring your signs to help focus our message: Jobs, Not Cuts; Fair Taxes on Everyone; Hold Wall Street and Corporations Accountable!

Seminar: writing effective letters to the editor

Start Date: 
September 14, 2011 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Featuring Mike Shearer of the La Grande Observers' Editorial Staff

Date: September 14, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Place: SAC Annex 105 Fir, Downtown La Grande

Hosted by the Union County Democrats
Bring ideas, charged laptops, paper, pen and enthusiasm.

The purpose is to get tips for writing effective letters to the editor.

All are welcome to attend.

Senator Jeff Merkley Town Hall in Elgin

Start Date: 
August 30, 2011 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Senator Jeff Merkley is hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 1:30PM.

Senator Merkley will provide an update on his work in Washington, DC. He will answer your questions and invite your suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.

The meeting will take place in the Elgin High School Gymnasium at 1400 Birch Street in Elgin.

We hope you will plan to attend!

Democrats booth at the 2011 Union County Fair

Wasn’t it great to be out at the Union County Fair – meeting good friends, enjoying the passing scene, and admiring the creativity and industry of our neighbors? The Fair is an enduring celebration of our way of life and our community.

The Union County Democrats were proud to be a part of that celebration again this year. As we do each year, we asked fairgoers to speak out on their most important issues. We counted 2,081 votes in our straw poll. That’s a 50% increase over last year and a new record of participation! Here is a breakdown of the tally:

ISSUE

Votes

% of Total

Ending the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

401

19%

Improving Family Wages, Jobs, and Home Ownership

334

16%

Access to Quality Affordable Health Care for all Americans

312

15%

Access to Quality Education for all Americans

275

13%

Preserving Social Security and Medicare

220

11%

Tax Fairness for People and Corporations

204

10%

Preventing Another Financial Meltdown and Bailout

189

9%

Promoting Energy Independence and US Energy Jobs

146

7%

 

2,081

100%

Union County Democrats Clean Up

UC Dems Adopt a Highway

Union County Democrats spent a pleasant Spring morning cleaning their adopted section of Highway Highway 82. A group of Democrats met in town and carpooled out to their assigned 2 ½ mile stretch of Highway 82, just past Pierce Lane to Market. All went well in spite of the rain.

The Republican Assault on Social Security

The Republican assault on Social Security is driven by a conscious campaign of misinformation and disinformation. 

Social Security is perhaps the most successful and popular program ever enacted by our federal govenrment.  It has protected millions of workers and their covered family members against loss of income from the retirement, disability, or death of the wage earner. 

The insurance program is funded by payroll taxes and does NOT impact the deficit.  In fact, the Social Security trust fund can pay full benefits through 2037.  Even with NO changes, the program can still pay about 80% of all expected benefits going forward.

But deliberate misrepresentation of Social Security is allowing calls for severe cuts in benefits and raising the retirement age to gain traction.

For example, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama recently proposed increasing the Social Security retirement age "every several years" because "deficit reduction" is the top priority on the congressional agenda.

This fear-mongering about deficits is a favorite tool of Republicans to justify attacks on vital social programs they oppose.  They exploit the perception of crisis to strip funding from education, health care, nutrition, unemployment, assistance to families in poverty -- the list is endless. 

As citizens we must educate ourselves about Social Security.  You can start by reading an excellent fact-based response to Sen. Shelby at http://bit.ly/i16zSP.

2010 Fair Booth Straw Poll Results

We conducted an opinion poll of visitors to the Democrat's booth at the Union County Fair. Here are the results:

2010 Fair Booth Poll Results

COMMUNITY EVENT - Union County Book Club


New Union County book club studies Huck Finn

Carole Halvorson announces the "Books You Should Have Read in School, but missed" book club, beginning July 27, 6 p.m. at the Bohenkamp/Community Workshop Bldg in La Grande.  The Workshop is located at 1301 Adams Ave, La Grande, and the book club is open to all.


The first book to be discussed is Mark Twain's classic 
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  This book has been widely discussed and sometimes censored for its frank and uncomfortable treatment of race and status in our nation's recent past. 

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