Monday, July 31, 2017

Racial Justice & Incarceration



a4a Racial Justice Group

In the News & Bag Lunch Program on Incarceration

"At a cost to taxpayers of one billion dollars annually, Arizona has the sixth highest rate of incarceration in the United States, and the highest rate of incarceration of the neighboring western states,” so says Caroline Isaacs, at a July 18, Bag Lunch Presentation entitled:  “Advocating for Justice in Arizona Prisons and Reducing Corrections Costs.”  Ms. Isaacs, Program Director of American Friends Service Committee in Tucson, spoke to a gathering of 35 concerned citizens at The Good Shepard UCC in Sahuarita.  The Bag Lunch presentation was organized by  “action4racial justice” a local action group affiliated with the Green Valley Alliance 4 Action. 

Check out the GV News for articles and letters from a4a Action Groups:   

GV News Racial Justice In My View

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Communications Help






Communications has been doing a great job on a4a Facebook and the a4a Web Blog.

In order for the level of information you are used to, to continue, Communications needs backup help.

We need a few people who are willing to step up and post on FB and the Blog when the current editors are out of town, on vacation or just need a short break.  The jobs are fun and interesting.

If you are interested, please email Jean Vickers

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


from the

a4a Health Care Group




The "Skinny Repeal" of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a bait and switch, a Trojan Horse, a shell game. It's the lowest common denominator bill they can get out of the Senate (if they even can) and back to the House. If they leave it as is, it will torpedo the individual marketplaces, raise premiums 20% and cause 16 million children, women and men to lose their insurance (per the CBO). OR they might be able to add back odious portions of past bills such as terminating Medicaid Expansion, re-structuring Medicaid, deconstructing pre-existing conditions coverage and/or eliminating the Essential Health Benefits regulations. There will be crazy machinations all day Thursday. The Senate plans to vote on Friday.

First, contact Senator Flake's and Senator McCains's offices in Washington D.C. (See below) Then, call their Tucson offices. Insist that our Senators vote NO on any version of "Skinny Repeal" of the ACA. Call, Resistbot, tweet or email, but do as much as you can on Thursday and Friday. Identify yourself as a member of the Alliance4Action of Southern Arizona.

 Second, contact the offices of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME). (See below) Thank them for their principled refusals to support the Motion to Proceed on Tuesday. Tell them how much we are counting on them to be the grown-ups in the room. Ask them to vote NO on any "Skinny Repeal" and to lead the return to "regular order" and a bi-partisan effort to improve the Affordable Care Act.

Third, contact the offices of Governor Doug Ducey. (See below) Thank him for his support for the excellent AHCCCS program. Then let him know that no version of the House's American Health Care Act (AHCA) or the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), even with his suggested amendments, will be right for Arizona, especially for older, poorer and rural people.

EXTRA CREDIT:  Fire off a Letter to the Editor by Friday morning to the Green Valley News. Send to Dan Shearer at 

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
• 202-224-4521
• 520-575-8633

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
• 202-224-2235
• 520-670-6334

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)

Governor Doug Ducey
Phoenix: 602-542-433
Tucson: 520-628-6580

Other Actions for Thursday, Friday and Saturday

OFA (Organizing for Action) will be staging short drop-in visits from 8:00 to 11:00  Thursday and Friday mornings from the courtyard at Senator Flake's office (6840 North Oracle Road, Suite 150). Park legally and tell Security you have an appointment if asked. These visits are especially important. Carpool with a friend. You will be supported once you get there. Just go.

OFA and Planned Parenthood and LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) are sponsoring a Rally for Our Lives On the Line
Saturday, July 29, 2017 from10:00 to Noon
Rudy Garcia Park
5001 South Nogales Highway
Tucson, AZ 85706

Local ACT NOW Opportunity!  Please join a4a on Saturday, July 29th from 10 am to 12 noon at the Safeway on Continental!  We will have a table where we will be: 1) gathering signatures in support of the ACA to be delivered to our Senators  2) discussing current health care issues with people using a short survey form and 3) gathering signatures for the SOS (Save our Schools) petition.  We need your presence and help! Any questions, please contact Arlynne at 520-449-1422. Thank you! See you there!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summary of Vox on Healthcare Bills



a4a Health Group

Summary of Vox Care Article from 7/20/17 as presented at a4a meeting on 7/21/17:

On Tuesday, 7/25 Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will call for a vote on healthcare.  It is not clear to anyone, what exactly they will be voting on.   

Per Vox, there are four separate health care drafts floating around:

The Better Care Reconciliation Act

This is the first Senate Republican attempt at repeal and replace.  It was introduced in mid-June.  It ends Medicaid expansion and significantly scales back the tax credits for middle-income Americans who purchase private coverage. 

What the CBO says:   The BCRA would leave 22 million Americans without health coverage.  It would reduce the deficit by $722 billion because of its significant cuts to health coverage programs.

What’s next:  For this bill, not much.  This version was unable to get enough votes to move it through the Senate.  This is why there are so many other bills now circulating, building on the BRCA in hopes of gaining momentum. 

The Better Care Reconciliation Act 2.0

This is an updated version, which once again would allow insurers to reject people with pre-exiting conditions.  The version includes the Cruz amendment which was meant to win over conservatives who want to deregulate the health insurance marketplace.  BCRA 2.0 also kept certain Obamacare taxes on high income Americans and created a $45 billion fund to fight opioid addiction. 

What the CBO says:  We don’t know!  The Cruz amendment’s language makes it quite difficult for the CBO to analyze.  So no figures right now - although it is similar enough to the original BRCA to expect significant loss of coverage. 

What’s next:  Maybe a failed vote?  BCRA 2.0 does not currently have enough support to move forward.  Several Senators have said they will not support starting debate on this bill.  However, it remains the basis from which they are working on building another health care bill.  Just last night, there was talk about adding $200 billion in Medicaid funding into the mix, so BRCA 2.0 may be well on the path to becoming BRCA 3.0.

Better Care Reconciliation Act 2.0 minus the Cruz amendment

Here is where things start to get very confusing.  This version of the bill does have the Obamacare taxes and opioid funding from BCRA 2.0 but does not have the changes to the individual market (like the return of preexisting conditions).  This version seems to exist solely to be scored by the CBO, which hasn’t yet been able to score the very complex Cruz amendment. 

What the CBO says:  This bill would cause 22 million fewer people to have health coverage, according to a report released on 7/20/17. 

What happens next:  Nada.  This bill pretty much just exits to be scored by the CBO.

Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act

Finally, bill with its own name!  The ORRA was introduced on Wednesday.  It repeals Obamacare without a replacement plan and is often referred to as the “repeal and delay” option.  This bill repeals Obamacare’s coverage expansion in 2020, presuming Republicans would come up with a replacement by then. This bill would end the Medicaid expansion as well as the tax credits to purchase coverage in the individual market. 

What the CBO says:  The ORRA would cause 32 million Americans to lose coverage over the next decade.  This number would obviously change, however, if Republicans came up with a replacement plan after passing this repeal bill.

What happens next:  Maybe a vote?  The ORRA seems to be the mix of bills that could be debated on the Senate floor next week – if there is enough support among Republicans to start that debate.  

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of health care draft bills floating around, but none have so far gotten enough support to move forward.  That is why there are so many drafts in the mix right now.  The details of each are different, but the goal is the same:  find one that 50 Republican senators can agree on.

All that being said, it is a crucial time with a potential looming senate vote. We in a4a must KEEP OUR FOOT ON THE GAS PEDAL!  Please continue to repeatedly  write, call, visit and resistbot our senators.  Let them know we want a NO vote on any health care bill, and that it is time to move on and work in a bipartisan manner to repair the Affordable Health Care Act!  Remember, our resistance efforts do make a difference!!!  

ACT Now from Health Group



a4a Health Group





"Anyone who believes the Trumpcare vote next week is nothing to worry about is completely wrong." (Andy Slavitt on Friday)

Hideous side deals, potential amendments, political threats and arm twisting of the worst sort are happening this weekend. Senator Flake may have already caved. We do NOT want the Motion to Proceed to pass. Should it pass, the Vote-A-Rama of amendments will start up. No amendments can possibly change the BCRA, or any of its iterations, or the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (Repeal and Delay) into good or desirable policy. A "substitute amendment" strategy, where one of these options is slipped in as an amendment that supersedes all others,  becomes possible.

First, contact Senator Flake's Health Care staff in Washington D.C. (See below) Then, call the Tucson office. Insist that our Senator vote NO on the Motion to Proceed. Call, Resistbot, tweet or email, but do at least one before the vote. Identify yourself as a member of the Alliance4Action of Southern Arizona.

 Second, contact the offices of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). (See below) Thank them for their principled refusal to support the ORRA (Repeal and Delay) last week. Tell them how much we are counting on them to be the grown-ups in the room at this time. Ask them to lead the move to bi-partisan repair of the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Helen Heiden, Legislative Assistant for Health
• 202-224-4521
• 520-575-8633

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Other Actions for Monday and Tuesday
OFA (Organizing for Action) will be staging short visits from 8:00 to 4:00  both days from the courtyard at Senator Flake's office (6840 North Oracle Road, Suite 150). Park legally and tell Security you have an appointment if asked. These visits are especially important this time. Carpool with a friend. You will be supported once you get there. Just go or Click here to RSVP for a time to visit Senator Flake's office

Friday, July 21, 2017

CIH Book Discussion




citizen activists


Sunday, August 6, 2017
2:00 – 3:30 pm
Casa Community Center
780 South Park Centre
LaPosada Campus

Book Discussion

Fred Ginocchio will lead a discussion of two books that relate to each other.  We recommend you read at least one of these powerful books so that the discussion is meaningful.

Book One, A Colony in a Nation, Chris Hayes
America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a post-racial world, yet nearly every empirical measure―wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation―reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller, Twilight of the Elites, Chris Hayes upends our national conversation on policing and democracy in a book of wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis.
Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution? (

Book Two, Tears We Cannot Stop, Michael Eric Dyson

From the The New York Times:  Tears We Cannot Stop is a lament, originating from within the grieving heart of black America, aimed directly at white readers who are often too frightened or ashamed to look a man like Michael Eric Dyson in the eyes. I can only hope that others  will read and be changed by this book. It ends with a desperate plea for white Americans to rise up in defense of, and in solidarity with, our African-American brothers and sisters.  In response, I say simply:  Amen.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017



a4a Education Group

AZ Schools Now wants to ensure that all Arizonans recognize that strong public schools are the key to a strong, vibrant economy.
That’s why we’ve drafted the Strong Schools pledge and are asking Arizona voters to endorse it. Click on the link and sign the pledge.

Help us spread the word by using the fact sheets on our website to explain why you support an increase in revenue for K-12 public schools and a repeal of the voucher expansion.
  The a4a Education Group is supporting this pledge


Sunday, July 16, 2017



If everybody in a4a calls Senators Flake and McCain on the same day, we can sink the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” for good.

Tuesday, July 18th, is that day.

First, contact Senator Flake’s and McCain’s Health Care staff in Washington, D.C. (See below) Ask that the Senators vote NO on the “Motion to Proceed” for the BCRA. Call, Resistbot, tweet or email, but do one of these. Make some kind of statement. If you want more rationale:

•    Say that the numbers of sicker, older and poorer people who will lose coverage are wholly unacceptable.
•    Say that Arizona’s efficient Medicaid Program (AHCCCS) will get penalized and damaged.
•    Say that the Cruz proposal creates systems called “unworkable” by insurers.
•    Say that the cost shifting to states is unreasonable and overwhelming.

Second, contact the Senators’ Tucson offices.
Third, contact Governor Ducey to ask him to persuade the Senators to vote NO on the “Motion to Proceed.”

With all calls, identify yourself as a member of the Alliance4Action in Southern Arizona.

Senator Jeff Flake (R)
Helen Heiden, Legislative Assistant for Health
• 202-224-4521
• 520-575-8633

Senator John McCain (R)
David Bennett, Legislative Assistant for Health
• 202-224-2235
• 520-670-6334

Governor Doug Ducey
Phoenix: 602-542-4331
Tucson: 520-628-6580


Tuesday, July 11, 2017



a4a Leadership Team



When:   FRIDAY 7/21/2017
Time:     10:00AM
                 Green Valley 

Please do not park in Bank parking.
Park to the east side or in the dirt area behind KFC.  Parking also is available in the Safeway parking lot and there is a path on the south side of the market that goes up to the bank.

This meeting will feature presentations by the Health Care team and the Education team and we encourage everyone in town to attend.