Thursday, November 15, 2012


Ove Overmyer
Question: What would you do if you could get the undivided attention of Washington lawmakers? What priorities would you ask them to focus on in the 113th Congressional Session? Here are a few suggestions. Believe me, I have a ton of other things on my list but we can start here, can't we?

End Bush Tax Cuts for those making over $250,000.00

Don't believe Mitch McConnell when he says taxing the rich is wrong for the country. Under President Clinton he taxed the rich and it turned the country around, brought down the debt and the economy took off. It didn't hurt our country then and it won't hurt our country now. The GOP doesn’t want to raise taxes on the rich for one simple reason—they do not want to piss off their big donors. The middle class have been paying more than their fair share for far too long. It's about time the rich pay their fair share.

Make a Dent in Childhood Poverty

As Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, one in five of the nation’s children are living below the poverty level. One in 45 is homeless. This is a national disgrace and it exists because of willful policy decisions by local, state and federal lawmakers. We can do better.

Invest in Public Services

Our state and local governments are in crisis and need assistance until people are back working and paying taxes. Without additional funding, our public safety, our health needs, our children’s education and our state’s ability to retain and attract new businesses will continue to suffer. Now is not the time for austerity—invest in what made America great in the first place—its people.

Overturn Citizen’s United

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, on Jan, 2010, the US Supreme court ruled that corporations and unions can not constitutionally be prohibited from promoting the election of one candidate over another candidate. This is single-handedly the worst decision ever handed down by the U.S Supreme Court.

Don’t Hold Hurricane Relief Hostage

When Hurricane Irene struck America last year, House Republican leader Eric Cantor shocked the nation by threatening to hold disaster relief funds hostage to his partisan pettiness. Cantor demanded immediate spending cuts to offset the emergency aid, even though he had made no such demands when he was cheerleading huge tax breaks for the wealthy, or subsidies for oil companies.

Cantor eventually relented under pressure, but only after leaving millions of Americans pummeled by the storm wondering for days whether they would get help, or be left to fend for themselves. Don't let House Republicans do this again. Send John Boehner and Eric Cantor a message, and demand they pledge right now not to block aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Reform the U.S. Senate Filibuster

Far too often, we've seen good ideas stall in the Senate because a single Senator can stop everything without a single word uttered on the Senate floor.
In a few short weeks, we can reform the filibuster. But it won't be easy. And it's going to require that the American people speak with one, clear, loud voice. Take action now: Tell your Senator to fix the filibuster.

Pass Workplace Equality Bill (ENDA)

A Colorado congressman who’s set to become the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House is pledging to take the lead on perhaps the most high-profile piece of pro-LGBT legislation: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said during a Washington Blade interview on Tuesday that he intends to become the chief sponsor of ENDA following the retirement of gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who’s championed the bill since 2007.

“I plan on introducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the next session,” Polis said. “Across our country, gays and lesbians face discrimination in the workplace and lose their jobs and their livelihood. It’s wrong and it’s got to end. People shouldn’t be fired in this country just because of who they date in their private life.”

In addition to taking the lead on ENDA, Polis said he’ll remain the chief sponsor of another pro-LGBT measure called the Student Non-Discrimination Act — legislation based on Title IX that would prohibit the bullying and discrimination of LGBT students in school. It’s about freakin time.

Repeal DOMA

Passed in 1996, DOMA enshrined into US law the discriminatory notion that marriage is somehow only between a man and a woman. It also said that states that don’t allow marriage equality don’t have to recognize same sex marriages from other states denies loving married couples over 1,000 legal rights and privileges that straight couples enjoy.

On February 23, 2011, the Obama administration determined that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and announced they would not defend it in court.

This is a big step forward but in the meantime, the law remains on the books until Congress repeals it. Do it now.

-Ove Overmyer

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