MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
LET YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES KNOW that you want them to act NOW in support of immediate extra U.S. funding for the U.N. High Commission on Refugees. This is the least the United States can do to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Europe as refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and northern African countries seek safer lives for themselves and their children.
Click on your representative's name
for a link to their website.
Ed Royce 39th District
305 N. Harbor Blvd #300, Fullerton, CA 92832
Ken Calvert 42nd District
100 Avenida Presidio #A, San Clemente, CA 92672
Mimi Walters 45th District
3333 Michelson Dr., #230, Irvine, CA 92612
Luis Correa 46th District
2323 N. Broadway, Suite 404-1, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Alan Lowenthal 47th District
100 W. Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
Dana Rohrabacher 48th District
101 Main St., #380, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Darrell Issa 49th District
33282 Golden Lantern #102, Dana Point, CA 92627
Senator Kamala D. Harris
B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Senator Dianne Feinstein
331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Only the U.S. Senate can approve treaties - Our country has not yet approved several that our delegations helped write. Let Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris know that these need to be moved back onto the Senate agenda! (Click on senators' name above to link to their websites.)
International treaties and conventions not yet ratified by the Senate:
* Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
* Convention on the Rights of the Child
* Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
* Law of the Sea Treaty
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) actually prevents abortions;
U.S. withdrawal of funding is the wrong move, for the wrong reasons
On April 3, 2017 the Trump administration announced that it would discontinue its financial support of the United Nations Population Fund, the UN agency that provides health and reproductive services to women around the globe. The reason given was that UNFPA promotes the use of elective abortions by China to enforce its population policies. However, in punishing UNFPA for its work in China the United States is effectively dooming girls and women in other developing nations to unintended and unwanted pregnancies as a result of war-related rape, culturally sanctioned child marriage, female genital mutilation and related health trauma, such as fistula.
In 2015, the UN Population Fund prevented an estimated 4.4 million abortions and 12 million unintended pregnancies by providing contraception and reproductive health services to 18 million women.
Let your Congressional representative know that you do not support withdrawal of U.S. funding for UNFPA—call or write today.
Make a personal donation right away—
the UNHCR needs our help:
Send what you can to:
USA for UNHCR, PO Box 97114, Washington, D.C. 20077-7282
As you watch the news these days, does it ever occur to you to think how you would cope if you and your family were displaced like those who are struggling to reach safety in Europe, or stranded in the refugee camps of the Middle East?
How many miles could you walk, carrying a child and your remaining few possessions, not knowing when you would eat another meal or even be offered a little water?
Think of abandoning the career you had loved—maybe you were a teacher or a doctor, owned a shop, or were a skilled craftsman—will you ever find such work again? Will you ever see your own home again?
We Americans have so much—now, more than ever, it’s a good time to reach out to help those who have lost everything. Please get out your checkbook now and send your donation to the address above.
To visit its webpage click on the emblem.
CEDAW stands for Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is a United Nations Treaty that was created on December 18, 1979. It was signed by President Carter in 1980 and went into effect on September 3, 1981. As of 2015, CEDAW has been ratified by 187 of 194 UN member states. The United States has not ratified it.
CEDAW has a concrete and three-dimensional view of equality. It does not consider equality in formal and legal terms only, but takes it a step further by ensuring that laws and policies are in effect to maintain equality between women and men, that all necessary arrangements are put in place that will allow women to experience equality in their lives. Finally, CEDAW holds States accountable not only for their own actions, but also for eliminating discrimination by private individuals and organizations.
Articles of CEDAW
Article 1: definition of discrimination against women
Articles 2-5: the full range of measures the State must take to eliminate discrimination and achieve gender equality
Article 6: trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution
Article 7: public and political life
Article 8: international affairs
Article 9: nationality
Article 10: education
Article 11: employment
Article 12: health care
Article 13: economic and social life
Article 14: rural women
Article 15: equality before the law
Article 16: equality in marriage and family life
Articles 17-22: the CEDAW Committee and the reporting process
Articles 23-30: ratification, reservations and other procedural matters
-Information contributed by Rupsi Burman
Cities for CEDAW is a national grassroots campaign to implement CEDAW in US Cities. The campaign was launched in March 2014 by Committee on Status of Women, New York, Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) and The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women (DOSW) to secure 100 cities with resolutions or ordinances in place by 2016.
The Cities for CEDAW Program has 3 components:
Several Cities in the US namely San Francisco, Los Angeles, Louisville have ordinances in place. For more details click on the following resources:
You’d probably be astonished—and discouraged—to know how much damage is being done to the earth’s oceans. It’s not just overfishing, or dumping of plastic products (yes, those single-serving water bottles we can’t seem to do without, among other things) that form huge islands of slowly rotating garbage: the Atlantic and Pacific gyres. It’s also the big pharmaceutical companies scraping the ocean floor, hoping to find the next wonder drug in marine life but raking up everything else in the process. It’s the new drilling and mining technologies, largely unregulated but with potentially devastating environmental impacts. It’s the use of sonar technologies which have been found to be disorienting, if not deadly, to large marine mammals. Up and down the food chain, human activity is interfering with the natural cycles of marine life.
The notion that the high seas belong to everyone—and no one—“freedom of the seas”—dates to the 1600s. Meant to ensure safe passage for ships engaged in commerce, today it is understood to mean that the ocean’s riches can be taken by whomever gets there first. In the past several years we have seen a number of countries that border the Arctic Circle claim rights to the sea floor well beyond the internationally recognized 200-mile limit. And that’s just one example of many.
In June, the United Nations passed a resolution to begin work on a treaty to protect biodiversity on the high seas. In addition to setting aside protected marine sanctuaries in international waters and creating procedures for required environmental impact studies, the treaty will establish mechanisms to ensure transparency—that the world public is kept informed about proposed and ongoing large-scale projects including fishing, seabed mining, and research.
Skeptics will argue that such a treaty would be unenforceable; indeed, even laws currently on the books (two examples are those which
prohibit slave labor on fishing boats and those which require that fish be sold as what they actually are, and not intentionally mislabeled) have proven difficult to enforce over such a vast area as the world’s
high seas and its many thousands of ports. Enforcement would certainly pose a global challenge, but former opponents such as Norway and the United States are now actively supporting such a treaty.
It’s true that this resolution marks the beginning of complicated negotiations that could take years—but we can’t really wait that long, and that’s where UNA advocacy comes in. Public opinion worldwide could help the process move more quickly. Express your support on Twitter or Facebook at #highseas, and discuss the issue with your family and friends.
Further, our elected representatives (even those serving California’s coastal state and Congressional districts) may not have this movement on their radar yet. Drop a letter or an email today to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, as well as your Congressional representative and your local state senators and assemblypeople: ask them to look into, and then to support, development of a comprehensive and enforceable high seas treaty. Finally, it may be that as work on the treaty begins in earnest, worldwide mass public demonstrations of support will be necessary.
As time goes on, we’ll keep you posted on other ways that you can help.
WHAT DID YOU DO,
WHEN THERE WAS STILL TIME?
Imagine it’s 2034—just twenty years from now. Your grandchild, born in 2014, is now twenty and visiting you for a week. Although it’s November, the weather in Orange County is still hot and sultry. The two of you have finished dinner and you’re sitting outside, hoping for a little breeze as the sun goes down. No one has air conditioning any more, and the house is hot and stuffy. Your back yard, once lush and green, is dry and ugly—grass brown and brittle, flowering plants long since dead. Only the prickly-pear cactus in one corner seems to thrive on the drought conditions that have been constant for the past quarter century. Mandatory water rationing has been in force nearly as long. Sometimes you find yourself daydreaming about when you were twenty yourself, and could take a shower—a long one—every day if you wanted to.
“Grandma,” he turns to you in the fading light. His expression is serious; even sad. You think you know what’s coming, and you’ve been dreading it. “Before I was born, say back at the turn of the century—before the planet reached the CO2 tipping point—what did you do to prevent it from going that far?”
“The truth is, not enough. None of us did. Your grandpa and I were the first in the neighborhood to buy a hybrid car so we wouldn’t use so much gasoline and oil. We only went grocery shopping once a week, and I rode my bike to work. We were careful to cut back on gas and electricity use in the house, and as you know we even had solar panels installed on the roof. They’re still up there, and they still work.”
I took a deep breath, and went on to say what I had never admitted before. “But even if everyone did all they could, the fact is that individual efforts would never have been enough. We needed stringent government policies that would have reined in the largest polluters, but the polluters were so powerful, and the policymakers were so fearful of taking them on, and we--the ordinary folks—were so passive, that nothing significant happened. And then, in April 2014, CO2 was measured at over 400 parts-per-million for the entire month. That was a first, and now people consider that to have been the tipping point. April, 2014—just a month before you were born. I’m so very sorry.”
The young man shifted in his deck chair and looked at me with that same sad expression. “If you could do it all over, what would you have done differently, Grandma?”
“I’d have been rousing other ordinary folks like me to make their voices heard, putting the power of the people behind policies like taxing the big polluters for their carbon dioxide emissions, their dumping waste products into the waterways, and such. I’d have been out in the streets demonstrating for an end to extreme fossil fuel extraction technologies, like fracking, and by every means possible I would have let our elected officials know that they’d be turned out of office at the next election cycle unless they supported such policies!”
“I’m convinced that citizen action could have made a difference while there was still time. Phone calls to our state and federal representatives; emails and letters to their offices; sit-ins at their offices and mass demonstrations at visible places downtown; letters to the editor of our newspapers, blog posts and use of other social media. Boycotting the products of the big polluters, pressure for divestment of oil stocks by universities and retirement funds. Oh, there’s a great deal we could have done. But it was easier to slide along, pretending that the changes would be ones we could live with. Just…not thinking about it.”
* * *
The moral of the story is: it’s not quite too late—but it soon will be. Take some action to make your voice heard. Send your elected representatives (see list below) the following simple message, and add your own thoughts and concerns to it:
CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL:
PUT A PRICE ON CARBON
SUPPORT A FEE AND DIVIDEND POLICY
or A STRONG NATIONAL
CAP-AND-TRADE POLICY NOW!