Tag: voting

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Brennan Center for Justice Working to Give Americans a Second Chance and Restore Voting Rights

justice lady Scott* Flickr tag

August 1, 2013 - JTMP strongly believes in working with the community and those who have made mistakes in their past and have paid their debt to society and are trying to move on with their lives. One of the issues we support strongly is the restoration of voting rights to felons, and one of our favorite groups is working very hard on this issue, the Brennan Center for Justice. They describe how there are "nearly 4 million disenfranchised Americans who have been released from prison and are living in the community, but are still denied the right to vote." Some states and the District of Columbia automatically give felons their right to vote back once they have paid their debt to society, but there are still 35 states holding on to antiquated prejudices and discriminations against members of the community who have made mistakes in their past, have atoned and paid their debt, and need to move on with their lives. In 2011, the Brennan Center for Justice supported the "Democracy Restoration Act", that called for federal legislation to restore voting rights in federal elections to felons. The bill was introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), but later died in committee. JTMP calls for the current US Congress to pick up the cause, and get a similar bill introduced and passed restoring voting rights to these disenfranchised Americans.

Read more about the Brennan Center for Justice and their efforts to restore voting rights on their website here.

Also, JTMP supports the "Ban The Box" campaign, meaning employers and others cannot ask if that person has even been convicted of a crime on job applications, housing, public benefits, insurance. loans and other services. Once a member of society has paid their debt, some time has gone by, and the crime is irrelevant to the job or situation, it is a matter of privacy and belongs in the past. It is merely callously and unnecessarily prolonging the punishment, and preventing that person from re-entering and being able to to get by in this society. Read more and get involved with the "Ban The Box" cause by visiting the BanTheBoxCampaign.org website.  (photo credit: Scott*/Flickr)


Ted Nugent: Suspend Voting Rights for Americans on Welfare


DEC 5, 2012 - In an editorial in the Washington Times, has-been musician and current conservative mouthpiece Ted Nugent calls for the revocation of an American's right to vote while they are "on welfare", yet graciously gives that right back if they "get off welfare". No mention if that covers corporate welfare, like oil corporation subsidies; JTMP is assuming that it doesn't. Nugent opined, "Let’s also stop the insanity by suspending the right to vote of any American who is on welfare. Once they get off welfare and are self-sustaining, they get their right to vote restored. No American on welfare should have the right to vote for tax increases on those Americans who are working and paying taxes to support them. That’s insane."

Nugent also says the path to prosperity and addressing the debt and deficit is to "slaughter the sacred cow of Social Security". Somebody must tell Ted that SS has nothing to do with the debt and deficit. Nugent wrote, "...we are never going to get our financial house in order until these sacred entitlement cows are not only poked, but slaughtered." Read the insane rant on Washington Times website here.

JTMP Reminds Everyone To VOTE Today

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NOV 6, 2012 - If there was any moment JTMP exists for, it is today...Election Day, and the magic of our precious democracy in action where it does NOT come down to Super PAC money, but it comes down to an American citizen walking into a booth and exercising their right to vote. JTMP spends 2 years between election cycles registering voters, urging young people to get informed and involved, and raising awareness on progressive issues we think are important and of course cool, music-activist news. Now it all comes down to this. We urge ALL Americans, from any political persuasion, and if you live in a "swing state" or not, to Get Out The Vote today and exercise your precious right and civic duty that many people have struggled and even died for you to have. Please, grab a friend or family member, and head out to the polls today and VOTE. Bring a book, snacks and water, and even a chair if need be if the lines are long. Get In Line and Stay in Line. If you are in a voting line by the closing time, they must let you vote.

Don't be discouraged if you don't live in a "swing state", because local elections matter. Your state Governor is very important, because many times they appoint the state secretary (think Katherine Harris) who controls the state's elections. The state Governor in many states appoint the state supreme court justices. Your state representatives, delegate and state senators are also very important, for they pass state laws that affect you directly, remember the "Stand Your Ground" and voter suppression bills being passed in many states. Your city council member affects if the park across your street gets cleaned up and fixed up, and if your schools are functioning well. Also, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate at the federal level are very, very important...and may dictate on how effective the President can implement his policy (think obstructionism). The Senate is involved with appointing US Supreme Court Justices. Every vote is important, and every vote should be exercised and counted no matter where you live. 

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To start your day, and get more information on how to vote, information on issues and candidates, and where and how to vote, JTMP recommends you start at the Project Vote Smart Website, and then visit the US government election website to find your state's board of election website. In some places, like DC, you can register to vote and vote the same day. If your address has changed and you forgot to update your address, you can vote on a "special ballot" in some cases. Bring your lease, deed, IDs, utility bills, paycheck stub, bank statement,  or something with your name and address on it, but don't be intimidated and make sure you vote. If you have tried everything and they aren't permitting you to vote, ask to vote provisionally or with a special ballot, and if your information checks out your vote will be counted later.

I will end with this: I call for increased funding for our elections. Including massive funding for 1,000s of "election centers" built in cities across our nation to handle the long lines and the movement to expand early voting. We should be making the process of voting EASIER (and quicker!), not harder.

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready Asks Voters to Support the Issue of Pre-Exisiting Medical Conditions

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OCT 22, 2012 - Pearl Jam's Mike McCready has made a video with filmmaker Jesse Dylan to ask voters to make a pledge on SignOn.org to support the issue of people with pre-existing medical conditions having access to affordable healthcare. On the Pearl Jam website they say:

"The truth is, everyone is better off when everyone is healthy. Especially those of us who have been dealt a rough hand – people with conditions or diseases like cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV, asthma or arthritis.

The insurance networks that control our doctor’s offices, hospitals and emergency rooms have a more difficult time-sharing our pro-health perspective. Not because they’re bad people, but because their focus is on profitability, and they haven’t found a way to be as profitable off of the sick as they are off the healthy. Which is not to say they aren’t profitable. 

We are a musician and a filmmaker, who are also fathers and businessmen, who are living with chronic illnesses. We know firsthand of what we speak. We were also friends with the late Jennifer Jaff who, through her organization Advocacy for Patients, fought tirelessly with insurance companies on behalf of chronically ill patients who had been denied payments or coverage. Our friend Jennifer imagined a day when her services would no longer be needed, when health care for all Americans would be seen as both good business and good values.  If you share this vision and these values, watch and share this little video we created as a tribute to Jennifer, and help elect a President this November who shares these values as well.


Jesse Dylan, Founder of Wondros, Filmmaker, inspired by his son’s illness to found Lybba, at lybba.org, creating compassionate communities of care to redesign healthcare for good, Mike McCready, Pearl Jam, Guitarist, living with Crohn’s disease"

Mike McCready is asking you to TAKE ACTION and sign the pledge to support the issue of people with pre-existing medical conditions having access to affordable healthcare. Also, check out this great new organization called LYBBA that is trying to "transform healthcare for good", and is creating an "open source health and learning network" to make healthcare better, more affordable, and reaching more people.   Watch the video below, and sign the pledge here."

Rolling Stones Get Political, Sing Against “Gloom and Doom”

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OCT 15, 2012 - One of the longest running bands ever, The Rolling Stones, just released a studio track that dabbles into "politics" in a way, and actually sounds pretty good. Keith Richards has come out with another great riff, and the whole band seems energized and the tune really rocks. The song is called "Gloom and Doom" and I came away after listening to it that they are alluding to conservatives in Europe and America that are crying "gloom and doom" unless we eviscerate entitlements. Mick has still got it, and sings about the economic hardships everybody is facing, and seems to break it down to a common way of looking at it and singing about getting a headache over it all. 

In a pretty cool "lyric" video for "Gloom and Doom" they just released (watch below) they fight back at the conservative's claim that "entitlements are making us broke", by pointing out  that unfunded billions have been spent on unnecessary wars singing, "Lost all that treasure in an overseas war, it just goes to show you don't get what you paid for." Then Mick and the boys take a swipe at the 1% singing, "Battle to the rich and you worry about the poor." In the third verse they even sing out against FRACKING saying, "Fracking deep for, but there's nothing in the sump!" Check out the new video below.


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