50 Dishes

We’re mixing it up! The Tuesday, June 20 meeting of 50 Ways-Rockbridge will be a community-building potluck! 50 Ways will provide Kenney’s chicken and a vegetarian main dish, you bring a friend and a side dish! The location (still to be confirmed) will be Richardson Park (the park next to Lylburn Downing Middle School.) We’ll send out all the details as soon as we have them nailed down, but mark your calendars now!

Climate Vigil

There’s a climate vigil this Wednesday, June 7 at 5:00 p.m. at 2 S Main Street in front of Old Courthouse in Lexington. Make signs and join other 50 Ways-Rockbridge members to share your concerns about climate change. More details here: https://50waysrockbridge.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/vigil-for-earth-after-trump-withdraws-from-the-paris-climate-accord/


From 50 Ways member Nathan Bowden:

Representative Jeb Hensarling is pushing for a vote this week on his sardonically named “Financial CHOICE Act.” Please call your representatives this week to demand that they vote against the bill.

There are many, many reasons to vote down this bill–talk to me if you have questions about it–but among them is that Hensarling is brazenly taking large sums of money from the payday-loan and title-loan industry (see quoted material below) in exchange for preventing federal regulators from busting up the industry’s “easy money” exploitation of people who have been trapped in its cycle of debt.

More on Hensarling:

“[S]ince he first ran for Congress in 2003, Hensarling, has received $1.3 million in political donations from commercial banks, $1.4 million from securities and investment firms, $1.4 million from insurers, and $703,304 from finance and credit companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

This helps explain why his legislation would weaken the CFPB to the point where it would be a consumer watchdog in name only. Hensarling’s decision to single out payday and title lenders for special favors appears to be similarly motivated.

According to the advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform, payday and title lenders spent more than $15 million on campaign contributions during the 2014 election cycle. The top recipient, with nearly $224,000 in donations from the industry, was the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The largest individual recipient, with $210,500 in payday and title loan cash, was — you guessed it — Hensarling.”

Read more about it here: http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-choice-act-payday-loans-20170530-story.html

Call Mick Mulvaney to Protest the Rollback of Birth Control Coverage

From 5 Calls (https://5calls.org/):


Since 2011 the ACA has required that female contraception, as a critical preventative service, must be covered by insurers without co-pay. This “contraceptive mandate” has extended affordable birth control to millions of Americans: today 55 million Americans benefit from coverage of preventive services, including birth control, with no out-of-pocket costs, saving Americans billions of dollars per year.

The existing coverage mandate gives exemptions to certain organizations that object to birth control for religious reasons, including houses of worship, certain religiously affiliated hospitals and universities, and ‘closely held’ private companies (recall the ‘Hobby Lobby’ Supreme Court case of 2014). Despite these accommodations, the Trump Administration is pushing further exemptions to the contraceptive mandate. The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing an “Interim Final Rule” entitled “Coverage of Certain Preventative Services under the Affordable Care Act” which goes much further in providing exemptions to the mandate. The draft rule makes the exemption available to *all* employers, including large, publicly-traded, for-profit companies, on the basis of religious beliefs or “moral convictions.” It makes the mandate optional for religiously affiliated organizations, and it creates an exemption for health insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to providing birth control.

This broad expansion of the exemption is in line with the Trump Administration’s record of seeking to roll back women’s healthcare and rights by undermining access to critical, affordable birth control. If this Interim Final Rule is published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the exemptions will immediately go into effect.

Call this office:

Office of Budget and Management, Mick Mulvaney

+1 202-395-3080

Why you’re calling this office:

This organization is driving legislation related to the issue.

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from Lexington, VA.

I’d like to leave a message for [Secretary Price / Director Mulvaney]

I’m calling to express my objection to the Interim Rule “Coverage of Certain Preventative Services under the Affordable Care Act.” This broad expansion of exemptions to the contraception mandate will erode access to preventative healthcare for millions of Americans. Any plan to publish this new rule should be abandoned, or at the very least, allow for a period of public comment.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.