PPDC supports H. Res. 998 to condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force

 

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN, in whose district the George Floyd killing took place), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduce H. Res. 988 to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force.

The resolution states

That the House of Representatives—

(1) condemns all acts of brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers and calls for the end of militarized policing practices;

(2) supports strengthening efforts to eliminate instances of excessive use of force, and conduct stringent oversight and independent investigations into instances of police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force, and hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable, including—

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PPDC supports End Qualified Immunity Act

END QUALIFIED IMMUNITY ACT

US Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) will co-lead with Justin Amash (L-MI) the effort to pass the End Qualified Immunity Act, which would eliminate a “permanent procedural roadblock for plaintiffs” that thwarts them from “obtaining damages for having their rights violated.”

Ever since Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1871, individuals have been able to sue state and local officers for infringing on their constitutional rights. But in 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government officials were entitled to qualified immunity from civil-rights lawsuits, if their actions didn’t violate “clearly established” rights.

Ending qualified immunity would “restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights." At the same time, it would also provide a powerful incentive for municipalities (who are generally responsible for paying out judgements and settlements) to restructure their law enforcement agencies and adopt policies and practices that curtail abuses of power. Those measures could include implementing de-escalation tactics and revising use-of-force standards, as well as firing and blacklisting rogue agents.

Abolishing qualified immunity does not mean that anyone who files a civil rights lawsuit would automatically win their case against an officer. Instead, it would eliminate a barrier that arbitrarily prevents juries from hearing and deciding cases on their merits.

Click below to read the Amash/Pressley letter to Congress.

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PPDC signs on to CA Young Democrats resolution on police reform

 

The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club (PPDC) stands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and peaceful protests against police brutality. The brutalization and killing of George Floyd, along with many others over the decades, including the 601 people killed by LAPD and LASD in Los Angeles County, cannot stand unchallenged. As a taxpayer-funded service, police departments must treat our communities of color with respect and be accountable for use of excessive force.

PPDC joins the California Young Democrats (CYD) in calling for institutional changes to our criminal justice and legal systems. We also join CYD in calling for the Democratic Party to “cease accepting campaign contributions and financial contributions from organizations that protect the status quo [proactively defending institutional policies within police departments that allow peace officers to avoid accountability for wrongdoing] of policing and seek to disrupt the meaningful work of police and criminal justice reform.”

PPDC supports the right of protesters to speak out against police brutality, and we urge all police departments to use restraint in protecting the safety of the protesters and the broader community. We also strongly urge everyone who has been affected by this national trauma to participate in the Census, register to vote, and ultimately vote for change in November.


Preserve Ballona Wetlands

PPDC signs on to the following LACDP Ballona Wetlands resolution

Resolution on Preserving the Ballona Wetlands Reserve

Whereas, while more than 90 percent of California’s coastal wetland ecosystems have been destroyed, the type of habitat found at the Ballona Wetlands Reserve is the rarest of our remaining coastal wetlands, 640+ acres on the Los Angeles coast were acquired by the State of California in 2003/2004 for preservation using $140 million, mostly from Wildlife Conservation bond funds, and the reserve is public land dedicated for protection of ecologically sensitive species; and

Whereas, flora and fauna found at the reserve include endangered and imperiled species such as the California Gnatcatcher, White-tailed Kite, California Least Tern, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, El Segundo Blue Butterfly and the Lewis’ Primrose; some species are year round residents of Ballona while some bird species migrate from as far away as the Amazon River and Arctic Circle; this ecosystem has abundant flora and fauna, including rare species and a high diversity of pollinators; and

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Were You Born in a Bad Year?

L.A. Progressive article written by PPDC board member Ted Vaill

I was born on the day Hitler visited Paris after the collapse of France in World War II. Not a great day in world history. Two decades later, I was facing an order to report for induction in the U.S. Army to defend my country in the Vietnam War, which then was just ramping up.

Many Americans have faced what I did during their early adult lives. Many of us who fought in the Vietnam War were only made “adults” when the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 after it was argued that “if you are asked to fight and die for your country, you should be given the right to vote.”

If you were born in the American colonies in the 1750s, you were faced in 1776 or 1777 with making a decision re whether or not to join the rebel patriots fighting the British forces controlling their American Colony.

If you were born in the American colonies in the 1750s, you were faced in 1776 or 1777 with making a decision re whether or not to join the rebel patriots fighting

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The 2020 Election: Can Democracy Be Saved?

by Ted Vaill (VP, Malibu Dem Club; PPDC board member) and Jon Katz (President, Santa Monica Dem Club)

Election Day, November 3, 2020, is less than six months away. What will the world be like by then? Will the Covid-19 virus be contained? Will there be a fall spike upward of the virus? Will Americans be allowed to leave their homes to vote? Will we all vote by mail? Will we be able to vote at all?

Most importantly, what can Progressives do to insure that the Tyrant Trump is not reelected? What can we do to flip the Senate as well? We can dump Trump and elect Biden or whomever, but without a Democratic majority in the Senate starting in January 2021, a full recovery from the virus and of our democracy will be crippled.

We can dump Trump and elect Biden or whomever, but without a Democratic majority in the Senate starting in January 2021, a full recovery from the virus and of our democracy will be crippled.

Here is what we need to do:

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Personal Freedom v. Public Health Police Power

L.A. Progressive article written by PPDC board member Ted Vaill

Under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, the federal government has the power to regulate interstate and foreign commence, but the 10th Amendment and 200 years of case law give each individual state government the primary authority to control the spread of dangerous diseases within its jurisdiction, including the authority to make public health emergency decisions, such as setting quarantines and making business restrictions.

Here is what a state governor can do:

[Click here to read the rest]


Coronavirus and Trump: Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor written by PPDC board member Steve Cron
in response to Elle Feldman’s letter in the 3/26 issue of the Palisadian-Post

 

Dear Ms. Feldman,

I agree that we’re all facing an ominous enemy in the Coronavirus, and that we all need to stand together and find our common ground. If you had ended your letter to the editor after the first few paragraphs, I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you. But, you had to politicize your call for community action by praising Donald Trump’s leadership, and therefore, once again, I feel compelled to respond.

You say that Trump “is leading the charge.” If leading the charge means ignoring all scientific input from January until last week, then you’re right. Instead of heeding the call from public health officials for equipment and medical preparation at the early stages of this pandemic, Trump “led” us by doing nothing for two months, other than claiming that those who raised concerns about his cuts to emergency preparedness were perpetrating a hoax.

In early January, when real American leaders were calling for the federal government to produce new medical and safety equipment, Trump praised his

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Rep. Lieu's statment on COVID-19 CARES Act

 

REP LIEU STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY RELIEF BILL

Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

"We are living through truly challenging times. COVID-19 is a grave threat to our nation. The United States now has the most COVID-19 cases in the world...."

For more click here:

https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-lieu-statement-passage-coronavirus-emergency-relief-bill

 


The World Takes a Timeout

L.A. Progressive article by PPDC board member Ted Vaill

Most Americans have not experienced what all of us are experiencing now. Almost all public events have been suspended or cancelled, schools are shut down, and people are working from home and not their offices. Elderly people with preexisting health problems are most at risk, and children the least, so Gramma cannot come over to babysit. There is a worldwide timeout going on.

Those of us old enough to be alive during World War II or the Korean or Vietnam Wars have experienced something like this. Young men were going off into battles raging in Germany, Okinawa, Korea or Vietnam, not sure if they were going to come home to their families.

There will be no March Madness to distract us, or a concert or play that we absolutely cannot miss. We are stuck at home, wondering what to do.

During the early days of the Vietnam War, I was a Navy lawyer stationed at Camp Pendleton and I went out to an advanced Marine Corps base and wrote wills for 50 or so Marines about to head into combat in Vietnam. I believe that perhaps half of those wills were probated within the next year or so. Many of those young Marines knew that there was a fairly good chance that they would not come home alive or in one piece.

Read the rest here:

https://www.laprogressive.com/pandemic/