July 24, 2013 | 4:32 pm
Posted by Maya Paley
Honestly, if I have to hear or see one more radio, T. V., newspaper, or magazine discussing the “Royal Baby”, I might just give up and walk off a cliff.
Seriously? Is this really the most important news of the century? At this point, I’m just going to use the “Royal Baby” attention to try and get you to visit my blog and actually take some important actions that can truly make a difference. Below are some important legislative updates and I’ve even included easy to follow action items so you can turn off that T.V. or put down that magazine and do something today with the time you otherwise would have spent thinking about the “royal welcome” or how Queen Elizabeth feels about the new heir being a boy.
1) Military Sexual Assault: You probably have heard a lot about military sexual assault this year. Did you know that unwanted sexual contact in the U.S. military actually rose by 37 percent in 2012? That’s 26,000 people, both women and men, being sexually assaulted in our military.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has proposed the Military Justice Improvement Act (S 967) to change the archaic system that allowed commanding officers to investigate and prosecute assault cases among their troops. With S 967, professional military prosecutors will now be responsible for handling sexual assault cases. You can take action to help get the MJI Act passed by writing a letter to your Senator. (For those of you in California, Senators Feinstein and Boxer and are both Sponsors of the Bill so you can thank them for their support.)
At this link you can easily contribute to the fight against military sexual assault by writing a letter to your Senator.
Also, the following Senators really need a push so if you have friends in any of these states, please nudge them to call their Senators. This a bi-partisan issue. You’ll find that there are both Democrat and Republican Senators who have held out in supporting this Bill. We need to contact them today to get them to change their minds.
Senators not yet openly in support of the Bill (all of their contact info and this alert can be found at www.4vawa.org):
Arkansas: BOOZMAN, John
Colorado: BENNET, Michael F
Connecticut: MURPHY, Christopher
Georgia: ISAKSON, Johnny
Idaho: CRAPO, Mike
Idaho: RISCH, James
Illinois: KIRK, Mark
Illinois: DURBIN, Richard J
Indiana: COATS, Daniel
Kentucky: McCONNELL, Mitch
Louisiana: LANDRIEU, Mary L. <
Montana: BAUCUS, Max
Montana: TESTER, Jon
Nevada: REID, Harry North Carolina: BURR, Richard
Ohio: BROWN, Sherrod
Oklahoma: COBURN, Tom
Pennsylvania: TOOMEY, Patrick J.
Rhode Island: WHITEHOUSE, Sheldon
Texas: CORNYN, John
Virginia: WARNER, Mark R.
Wyoming: ENZI, Michael B
When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles military/defense legislation and say:
• I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________.
• I urge Senator [insert name] to co-sponsor S. 967, The Military Justice Improvement Act, which will hold perpetrators of sexual assault accountable for their actions and provide victims of military sexual assault access to safety and justice.
• Thank the staffer for their time.
2) Another action you can take, if you’re a California resident, is in favor or Assembly Bill 271, which would repeal California law that encourages poor women to be sterilized, and you all know from my last post how I feel about that! I’m not going to write a lot about it because you can read it all on this blog post by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell who authored the Bill and Social Justice Advocate Sandra Fluke at www.momsrising.org.
But to take action, click here to sign onto this MoveOn petition. See how easy I'm making this for you?
Yes, I admit that I’m being pretentious and maybe a tad self-righteous here. And I admit that I’m using the “royal baby” phenomenon to get you to read my post and take actions on important issues that require true civic engagement. But, I have no shame and, at the very least, I own up to it. If you agree, let me know. If you disagree, go back to reading your tabloids. I’m over it.
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