News

info for decisions

Posting current news related to our issues. Issues give you the background, the key talking points, and the actions that can improve our lives. Posts in NEWS are dynamic, providing new info on our issues and proposing actions we can take.  Sometimes the NEWS will be a photo or video that you can use. You can expect that some of these posts will show up in upcoming newsletters.

Our structure for NEWS

The nature of the NEWS is ever-changing.  If you can’t find an article that you read or picture that you saw, search on the CATEGORY  (HEALTH CARE, WATER, IMMIGRATION etc) to find it.  You can type health care in the search box on the right, and anything containing health care will come up, narrowing the posts that you will see.

Our CATEGORIES range from health care, clean water, jobs, and gun safety to ethics, immigration and more.  We post the important messages from many news sources.  We will encourage actions,  from getting out the vote to speaking with legislators to organizing peaceful protests.  We will provide sources for news articles where appropriate.

Feel free to share what you learn here with your friends on social media, in emails, during conversations.  To learn more about the issues we are facing, be sure to visit our ISSUES page, where we also provide key talking points for you to use.

TELL YOUR REPS to STOP ICE

It’s time to show our demands

WRITE WRITE WRITE I’m posting poem used at #LightsforLiberty, and it was fabulous for our topics (I spoke on why I took a seat on the ACLU Chapter in Collier County and the relationship of the current raids to the Holocaust; members of the NAACP joined me at the event).

Copy all or any part of the poem and send to the elected reps in SWFL. I’m including their emails, FB and Twitter addresses. NOTE: do not remove the mailto: in front of some of the addresses: use it in the email you want to send, just as I have formatted it

Contact Info for SWFL Reps

It’s very important that you tell them, again and again, how you feel. The poem is split into paragraphs. Send them however much you want to.

Emails, Facebook and Twitter addresses

  • mailto:mariodiazbalart.house
  • Byron.Donalds@myfloridahouse.gov
  • mailto:francisrooney.house.gov
  • passidomo.kathleen@flsenate.gov
  • mailto:rubio.senate.gov
  • mailto:rickscott.senate.gov
  • mailto:flgov.com
  • Bill.Mcdaniel@colliercountyfl.gov
  • Burt.Saunders@colliercountyfl.gov

Somali poem 

(British-Somali poet) 

Home

By Warsan Shire 

(British-Somali poet) 

no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well.

your neighbours running faster

than you, the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind

the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body, you only leave home

when home won’t let you stay.

no one would leave home unless home chased you, fire under feet,

hot blood in your belly.

it’s not something you ever thought about doing, and so when you did –

you carried the anthem under your breath, waiting until the airport toilet

to tear up the passport and swallow,

each mouthful of paper making it clear that you would not be going back.

you have to understand, no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.

 who would choose to spend days and nights in the stomach of a truck unless the miles travelled

meant something more than journey.

no one would choose to crawl under fences,

be beaten until your shadow leaves you,

raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of

the boat because you are darker, be sold,

starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,

be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,

make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten, stripped and searched, find prison everywhere

and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side with go home blacks, refugees

dirty immigrants, asylum seekers

sucking our country dry of milk, dark, with their hands out

smell strange, savage –

look what they’ve done to their own countries, what will they do to ours?

the dirty looks in the street

softer than a limb torn off,

the indignity of everyday life

more tender than fourteen men who look like your father, between

your legs, insults easier to swallow than rubble, than your child’s body

in pieces – for now, forget about pride your survival is more important.

i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun

and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home tells you to

leave what you could not behind, even if it was human.

no one leaves home until home

is a damp voice in your ear saying leave, run now, i don’t know what i’ve become.

home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well.

your neighbours running faster

than you, the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind

the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body, you only leave home

when home won’t let you stay.

no one would leave home unless home chased you, fire under feet,

hot blood in your belly.

it’s not something you ever thought about doing, and so when you did –

you carried the anthem under your breath, waiting until the airport toilet

to tear up the passport and swallow,

each mouthful of paper making it clear that you would not be going back.

you have to understand, no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.

 who would choose to spend days and nights in the stomach of a truck unless the miles travelled

meant something more than journey.

no one would choose to crawl under fences,

be beaten until your shadow leaves you,

raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of

the boat because you are darker, be sold,

starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,

be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,

make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten, stripped and searched, find prison everywhere

and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side with go home blacks, refugees

dirty immigrants, asylum seekers

sucking our country dry of milk,dark, with their hands out

smell strange, savage –

look what they’ve done to their own countries, what will they do to ours?

the dirty looks in the street

softer than a limb torn off,

the indignity of everyday life

more tender than fourteen men who look like your father, between

your legs, insults easier to swallow than rubble, than your child’s body

in pieces – for now, forget about pride your survival is more important.

i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun

and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home tells you to

leave what you could not behind, even if it was human.

no one leaves home until home

is a damp voice in your ear saying leave, run now, i don’t know what i’ve become.

Lights for Liberty Vigil toTake Down the Detention Camps

International vigils call for removing the detention camps along the US border.

Yesterday, July 12, 2019, resisters around the world in almost 1000 areas called for vigils to take down the deletion centers and reunite the families along the southern border of the US. Non partisan groups gathered, here in Naples, in Fort Myers, in Homestead (where busses came from across the county), in DC and more.

Cyndy Nayer (on the screen) talks about the Holocaust and why she is now a board member of the ACLU of Collier County during a vigil for migrants in detention facilities held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples on Friday, July 12, 2019. The vigil was one of many international events that made up Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps. Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA

Cyndy Nayer was asked to speak on why she is now serving as a board director for the Collier County chapter of the ACLU, and to share her knowledge about the Holocaust as compared to what is happening today. She related the larger history of the Holocaust, beyond the gas chambers, and told stories of meeting heroes in person: Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient who wrote Night and many other policy-level books about war and holocaust, and Whitney Harris, the last remaining Nuremberg defense lawyer who passed away in 2010.

We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
 Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate

In a room packed with prayers, candles, and music, attendees were moved to action.

“I was honored to have several members of the Youth Council of the NAACP Collier Chapter with me, to speak and to be witness to the love in the room at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Collier County. Together with these young women and men, we are developing Project Unity, educating vulnerable people in our community. To date, we have worked with 5 church groups, and more are on our list.”

Lights for Liberty July 12 2019 CENTER: LAURAH JEAN,President, with VP Geneve and Laura’s brother Joshua all members of the Youth Council of NAACP Collier County, and all actively working on Project Unity with Nayer.

ICE began their raids before 6am on July 12 in several areas of Collier and Fort Myers.

Project Unity: Protecting the Families in Our Community

Project unity will guide at-risk communities to know their rights against ICE, TPS

We will not let innocent people suffer because of the color of their skin or the country where they were born

We are mobilizing to educate and protect the members of the Haitian communities in SWFL. With the partnership of the the NAACP, ACLU and Legal Aid Service of Collier County, we have developed a program in which volunteers can use a one-page tool to coach residents in the TPS papers they must have. Additionally, we will offer the Haitian Churches of Collier a dropbox (cloud storage) of their own for copies of the required documents, in case ICE arrests a legal community member.

We launched a small program with the Haitian pastors of many of the churches in Collier and a few in Lee County. Starting with Pastor Paul of the Naples Haitian Church of the Nazarene, and his wonderful son John K Paul (CFO), who has become my working partner on this effort, we have pulled together great resources for the community.

Why It Matters

Our website says it all. WTF Action means we see it and we need to change it. Babies separated from mothers, immigrants in “dog pound” or “freezer,” all innocent people seeking a better life for their kids.

This is not the American Dream.  We  can no longer shake our heads.  We are inspired, frankly, by a hashtag.  

WTF Action. It tells you that we believe in the dream and we will step up to achieve it.  

Cyndy Nayer, Founder, Women Together for Action

Today some are criticizing Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for calling the cages of kids and separated parents “concentration camps.” But that’s exactly what they are: holding cells meant for 15-30 inmates that are concentrating large groups (as many as 200) with no facilities, no soap, toothbrush, not even a mattress, and being held in these diaper-less conditions for many more days than the law allows. That’s exactly what happened in Germany: hundreds of residents and detainees put into concentrated railroad cars where they had to stand for hundreds of miles (and where some died standing up), then into small barracks meant for 10-15, but stuffed with 75-100 or more.

I remember the first time I saw a grownup with numbers on his arm, the dad of one of my friends. The explanation was he “got it in the war.” My dad was a decorated war hero, so I’d heard many funny stories about the war… I started reading books, grabbing any Leon Uris book from the library and asking a lot of questions. My friends and I shared what we learned, and none of it was pretty. We never forgot.

On Our Partner List

The Haitian Community Alliance, a new organization that is the co-host of our event, has been instrumental in our development of the project. The president and treasurer of the Alliance and will be at the event to welcome folks and describe the Alliance.

Legal Aid Service of Collier County, providing legal and paralegal appointments to the community. Representatives will be at the community event on June 29, and sporadically through the coming days as we visit churches.

NAACP of Collier County is a partner who, through the national organization, initiated one of the court filings to prevent the removal of asylum residents. Our local chapter will be providing forms and handouts to the attendees. Several members of the Youth Council have been great help to our planning team and we expect they will share the stories of their families’ experiences leaving Haiti to find safety in America.

Collier ACLU members will also be in attendance, providing Know Your Rights information. The ACLU filed the court case that resulted in an injunction to halt the deportations.

Pastors of Haitian Churches in Collier and Lee have been invited.

We are also translating documents into Creole and Spanish for our guests. We will be launching into the Latinx community beginning the week of July 1.

Volunteers are needed to schedule for 2-hour shifts on days that fit their schedules. Please send a comment to women4action.org and we will respond as soon as we can.

Economic Impact of Environmental Pollution

We are continuing the updates of economic impact of the issues.  In each of these, you will see how the economy changes, who bears the heaviest burden, and how all the issues intersect to drive or inhibit economic growth and prosperity for all.

This post is about the environment in SWFL.  It shows the impact of pollution, sea rise and climate change in our part of the world.  

In this year, 2018, the hottest year on record for the last 10 years, the ten years before than, and the ten years before that, we have seen the enormous growth of red tide into a year-long display,  a highly unusual growth and size of blue-green algae, and, currently, some new “colors” coming into view. 

We know, after many long years of studying the blooms, that these are caused by warming waterways, unusual amounts of rain, longer hot seasons, runoff of fertilizers/pesticides/phosphates, and human and animal waste. 

Warmer waters, more pollution, new exotic species, and waste are all contributing to the levels of toxins from the various algae bloom in SWFL.

A Stunning Stat on Education

despondent young woman

Homelessness and School Support

This stat knocked us sideways.  Imagine this:  in NYC, 144,000+ children are homeless.  They live in shelters or with family members, often moving every few nights to a new site. The actual number is 114,659 students.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/nyregion/homeless-students-nyc-schools-record.html

How does that support good education outcomes?  It doesn’t.  This is a real-life example of social insecurity/ housing insecurity that has real-life impact on the success of the student and her lifelong ability to earn a living.

It’s part of the total support system of improving health and lives.  Called the Social Determinants of Health, #SDOH shows the impact of low level or missing determinants in health care.  Some of the points are home security, mental health support, secure job and wages.   We wrote about it here. 

Children need the security of the education and a safe home in order to succeed.  Switching domiciles, sleeping in shelters, or being removed from families are not moments of security.  The stigma and interruptions that are inherent in homelessness– even something as not being able to join an after-school program or sport– become messages of unworthiness to a growing child. 

Workers with Low Education Have Not Recovered from Recession

Excerpt from Brookings: The Great Recession inflicted economic pain on many American families, but its burden was not equally distributed. Ultimately, the brunt of the Great Recession was borne by those without the protection of postsecondary education. College raises average lifetime earnings, and it also helps insulate workers from economic downturns, providing economic security in the times they need it most. Finally, racial disparities have been less severe in recovery than in the worst years of the Great Recession, though differences in employment rates persist. For the American labor market to be truly healthy, it needs to work for all people—not just some.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/09/06/workers-with-low-levels-of-education-still-havent-recovered-from-the-great-recession/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=65767273

When we consider school policies, educational requirements, and post high-school education, we must test our ideas across a continuum of barriers that can lead to poorer outcomes.  Clearly, in the largest and most prosperous economy in the world, there is no place for homelessness, and even minus space for kids without home security.  

NYT Article Promotes Neighborhood as the Unit of Change.

neighborhoods matter in every child's future

No, starfish are not saved one by one.

Oct. 18, 2018

You’ve probably heard the starfish story. There’s a boy on the beach who finds thousands of starfish washed ashore, dying. He picks one up and throws it back into the ocean. A passer-by asks him what’s the point of that. All these thousands of other starfish are still going to die. “Well,” the boy responds, “I saved that one.”

Many of our social programs are based on that theory of social change. We try to save people one at a time. We pick a promising kid in a neighborhood and give her a scholarship. Social programs and philanthropic efforts cream skim in a thousand ways. Or they mentor one at a time, assuming that the individual is the most important unit of social change.

Obviously it’s possible to do good that way. But you’re not really changing the structures and systems that shape lives.

Maybe the pool story is a better metaphor than the starfish story. As a friend of mine puts it, you can’t clean only the part of the pool you’re swimming in.

neighborhoods as the unity of change
Thinking in neighborhood terms means radical transformation in how change is done.Martha Irvine/Associated Press

It could be that the neighborhood, not the individual, is the essential unit of social change. If you’re trying to improve lives, maybe you have to think about changing many elements of a single neighborhood, in a systematic way, at a steady pace.

One of the signature facts of the internet age is that distance is not dead. Place matters as much as ever, and much more than we ever knew.

Read More https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/opinion/neighborhood-social-infrastructure-community.html

Some research supporting the concept 

Low-income children who moved at birth from the low upward-mobility area of Seattle’s Central District to the high upward-mobility area of Shoreline earned, at age 35, $9,000 a year more than those who had made this move in their 20s.

Shoreline is 10 miles from the Central District.

In a classic study, the sociologist Eric Klinenberg showed just how important neighborhood is in determining who survives in a crisis. Klinenberg compared deaths in two Chicago neighborhoods during a heat wave in 1995. More than six times as many people died in North Lawndale as in South Lawndale, even though the two places are demographically comparable.

The fact is that human behavior happens in contagious, networked ways. Suicide, obesity and decreasing social mobility spread as contagions…

David Brooks, NYT 10.19.18

Thinking in neighborhood terms requires a radical realignment in how you see power structures. Does the neighborhood control its own networks of care, or are there service providers coming down from above? Do the local norms of interaction need to be changed? For example, do people feel it’s normal to knock on a neighbor’s door and visit, or would that be considered a dangerous invasion of privacy? Are there forums where the neighborhood can tell its collective story?


Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter

David Brooks has been a columnist with The Times since 2003. He is the author of “The Road to Character” and the forthcoming book “The Committed Life: When You Give Yourself Away.”

Florida Can’t Get ESSA Accountability Approved

School accountability fails a 3rd time

3rd Submission still fails the requirements

Florida officials have made yet another attempt to win approval for their federal education accountability plan, submitting revisions on both June 6 — a day after receiving a negative status update — and again Aug. 24 after the June proposal was not approved.

The key point of contention, according to a cover letter from Gov. Rick Scott, has not been the concerns over learning requirements for English language learners, as some civil rights advocates repeatedly have hammered to improve.

Related coverage: Civil rights groups urge U.S. Education Secretary DeVos to reject Florida’s latest accountability plan 

Rather, Scott noted, the state Department of Education has worked “extensively” with its federal counterpart in the area of Florida’s “acceleration measures.”

The state has sought to exempt students from grade level math exams in high school if they successfully completed the courses in middle school. It has provided data indicating that those students continue to perform well in advanced levels of math, and stated it does not want to change its model.  More…https://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/2018/09/12/whats-the-holdup-with-floridas-federal-essa-accountability-plan/

Brookings: Middle Class Is Falling Behind

middle class losing ground Brookings

The tax cut is not benefiting the middle class, but that’s only part of the story that began 20+years ago. Stagnating wages, new price increases for food and essentials, and low wages under the GOP administration are working to derail what little security middle class families have. 

See the chart below.  The misspell of Class in the headline came from Brookings — we all have an off day *smile*

Read more https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/10/16/the-middle-class-needs-a-tax-cut-trump-didnt-give-it-to-them/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=66739209

Brookings is a favorite resource of mine.  Considered a centrist research group, it provides many topics of discourse and they are as much competing as they are synced.  What that means:  Brookings is essential to considering the solutions to problems rather than focusing on partisan winning.  

Consequences of Unaffordable Care

unaffordable

We often speak only about the direct costs of care: health visits, cost of drugs, hospital stays.  

But it’s important to remember that the consequences are far more expansive than immediate costs.  The total costs stretch to all sectors of the economy.  

Economics affect all parts of our lives

Whether we are discussing clean water and climate change or education, immigration, and so many more issues, there is a cost to most of not all sectors our communities.  Often, there is a national cost that can be measured, too.  

It’s for this reason that we present our first chart for you:

When people can’t get care, or they can’t make enough to fund their deductible account, there are consequences.  Usually we focus on the direct problems of missing treatments, canceling physician appointments, or even missed days at work.  This chart tells quite a bit more about what happens when care is not received or paid for.  It’s a huge statement on the kinds of factors affected by unaffordable insurance. 

Krugman Calls out the Climate Deniers

There is no planet B

Oct. 15, 2018

Climate change is a hoax.

Climate change is happening, but it’s not man-made.

Climate change is man-made, but doing anything about it would destroy jobs and kill economic growth.

These are the stages of climate denial. Or maybe it’s wrong to call them stages, since the deniers never really give up an argument, no matter how thoroughly it has been refuted by evidence. They’re better described as cockroach ideas — false claims you may think you’ve gotten rid of, but keep coming back.

About those cockroaches: Details aside, the very multiplicity of climate-denial arguments — the deniers’ story keeps changing, but the bottom line that we should do nothing remains the same — is a sign that the opponents of climate action are arguing in bad faith. They aren’t seriously trying to engage with the reality of climate change or the economics of reduced emissions; their goal is to keep polluters free to pollute as long as possible, and they’ll grab onto anything serving that goal.

So the new strategy is to downplay what has happened…   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/opinion/trump-climate-change-deniers-republican.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20181016&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=0&nlid=63235332emc%3Dedit_t_20181016&ref=headline&te=1

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Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography. @PaulKrugman

Paul Krugman
Macroeconomics, trade, health care, social policy and politics.