Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

A Better Deal 2009

I’m at A Better Deal, for young people who are trying to navigate the economy in such troubling times.  We’ve told you these stats before:  youth have twice the unemployment than the rest of the country despite having twice the education, 1/3 of Millennials don’t have health insurance at all, and many more are under insured…

These are all things we’re talking about in the next two days at a Better Deal 2009.  Follow on Twitter #abd09 or here is the live stream online.  Or watch below.  I’m about to also upload the welcome remarks.

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

From Washington: Today's Press Conference for Young People

Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) held a press conference with representatives from several youth organizations in support of the Young Adult Health Coverage Act which allows young Americans remain on their health insurance plan until they turn 26.  

According to the Speaker

“Young adults are the most uninsured group in the country. They often lose coverage at age 19 when they graduate from high school or a few years later when they graduate from college. Once they enter the workforce, they face new obstacles to getting insurance. Today, they are speaking out and their voices are being heard. For many weeks, young Americans have added to the call to the chorus for reform. They have offered specific proposals about health insurance reform that works for everyone.

Our legislation answers their call by: ending discrimination based on pre-existing medical conditions, capping out-of-pocket costs, focusing on preventive care, investing in workforce training to boost the number of primary care doctors and nurses, creating a health insurance exchange to give Americans a better deal in the individual insurance market, and speaking personally, a public option in the House bill. Today, I’m pleased to announce that our bill will allow young people to stay on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday if they need it.

Our young people are our future. This is our opportunity to lay a foundation for growth, progress, and prosperity for our youth, and provide affordable, quality health care to every American. It is an opportunity we will not miss.”

The Speaker has been a consistent ally to the youth movement, frequently lending her leadership to issues that support my generation.  Reps. Van Hollen and Dahlkemper should be proud of their work on something so meaningful in the health care battle.  

Workshop kicks off 'Non-Military Vocations for Youth' project

( – promoted by peacearena)

We are very excited to be hosting a workshop on teaching peace in Oklahoma public schools, and with that workshop kicking off a program to provide alternatives to the pro-war messages and limited options offered to young people by recruiters in schools, malls and just about everywhere they go these days.

Here’s the text of our invitational flyer:

TEACH PEACE

WORKSHOP TO SHOWCASE ALTERNATIVES

TO MILITARY RECRUITMENT,

KICK OFF EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN


Monday, 8-10-2009, 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Joy Mennonite Church, 504 16th St, Oklahoma City

(corner of Lincoln and 16th, just south of Capitol)

Please join the Oklahoma Center for Conscience on Monday August 10 for a dynamic workshop on “counter-recruitment” or making sure youth have full information about the military and a wide range of options for constructive public service and caring careers. The recruiters have unprecedented access to students; we want to offer another view, and make sure their right for access to all the facts is honored.

The workshop will kick off a concerted effort in OKC and across the state to make sure our youth do not feel compelled to join the military for lack of other practical options and opportunities.

All are welcome. The workshop is free of charge; donations for our CR outreach is greatly appreciated. If you can’t make the workshop, but would like to donate, see www.centerforconscience.org

For more info, call 405-771-4743 or 405-615-2700. Or visit www.centerforconscience.org

Experienced CR activists from Fort Worth and Austin will share with us the resources and techniques they use to reach young people with an important message about the realities of war and military life. A report from the recent national CR conference will be part of the agenda.

Presenters:

Yvette Richardson is a U. S. Army veteran, who was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas from 1992 – 1997. While serving five years on active duty as a Military Police officer, she deployed to Honduras, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. When not serving as a client advocate for domestic violence victims, she works as a community activist in Fort Worth, Texas. She is co-coordinator of the counter-recruitment organization, Peaceful Vocations, and of CodePink Fort Worth. Yvette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Diane Wood is a native Texan, a community organizer in areas of social justice for the past 30 years, and a retired Registered Nurse. She is a co-coordinator of Peaceful Vocations, a counter-military recruitment group serving North Texas. She’s been involved in nuclear and anti-war issues, Central American issues, local poverty issues, and a local movement to stop urban gas drilling. Diane led a coalition to establish a shelter in Fort Worth for Central American Refugees, and was the director of the shelter. She recently founded a local coalition, The Texas Christian University Divest and Boycott Israel Campaign.

Hart Viges joined the Army in reaction to the events of 9-11. He was with the 82nd Airborne Div. in 2003 when they invaded Iraq. Shortly after returning in January 2004, he applied and received Conscientious Objector status. Hart is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and works with Nonmilitary Options for Youth.

Below is our press release and a flyer (with the text above) you can print — please feel free to share.

2009 CR Workshop flyer

2009 CR Workshop news release