Tickets are now available for AADC’s “Catch the Blue Wave” Fundraiser Gala on Sunday, September 23rd from 2 to 5 pm featuring Delaine Eastin. Buy your $50 tickets now. Click HERE to get your tickets. More details in the flyer below.
Jessica Morse — running for Congress in California’s 4th district — has an impressive resume for anyone, regardless of their gender or age. She was on the ground in Baghdad as a development professional, an advisor to the Commander, US Pacific Command (PACOM) where she was integral in strengthening US-India defense relationship using renewable energy and worked to counter terrorist threats in South Asia. Morse also has more federal budget experience than some sitting members of Congress, having overseen billions of dollars in the global foreign aid budget at the State Department and later the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She has a Master’s Degree from Princeton University where she focused on nuclear non-proliferation.
Yet despite this impressive experience and the strong support of former supervisors (like ourselves) from USAID and the Department of State, Morse has been subjected to unfounded accusations, gleefully picked up by some media outlets that she has somehow overstated her accomplishments. The underlying assumption being that of course no person — or woman — her age could have had the responsibilities and accomplishments that she is touting. As former direct supervisors for Morse at USAID, and the State Department, let us be clear — her record is as impressive as it sounds. We want to add our voices of support to the clear endorsement delivered by her PACOM boss, retired US Navy Captain David Cutter.
“While working in Baghdad in the middle of the most intense period of the war’s conflict, Jessica was a leader in USAID’s development mission. She worked tirelessly,” said Ambassador Dawn Liberi, former USAID Mission Director to Iraq. “She was not in a European capital or the Tropics — she was aggressively supporting her country’s freedom in a war zone. It was not an academic exercise but a matter of national security. She did her job with integrity, honor and skill.”
“During her time at the Department of State, Morse successfully coordinated management of $25 billion in federal funds through the Congress and with the many different U.S. governmental departments and agencies engaged in Iraq’s reconstruction and recovery,” said Dirk Dijkerman, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Office of Foreign Assistance, Department of State. “Morse was an excellent Iraq Country Coordinator — an official government role in which the individual helps to ‘manage’ the Government’s budget.”
As a reminder, here’s what retired Captain Cutter wrote, “Jessica Morse, leading CA04 rival to Tom McClintock, was an innovator at US Pacific Command. Yes, Jessica Morse was an adviser to the Commander, US Pacific Command (PACOM), a four star Admiral, and yes, Jessica Morse did rewrite PACOM’s US India Defense Strategy incorporating an innovative multi-agency initiative.” For more information, see the FAQ page on our website: www.morse4congress.com
Jessica also worked in USAID’s budget office, by the time she left, she was responsible for coordinating roughly half of the agency’s annual budget of roughly $20 billion. This is significant, impressive, and should be reported accurately. She described her work on behalf of the American people in this capacity accurately, despite her opponents and their surrogates suggesting otherwise. It’s not complicated and not wordsmithing.
These impressive accomplishments and the support of her superiors on the ground speak for themselves. Morse proved to us that she has the tenacity, intelligence and she materially contributed to advancing our national security priorities. She will do the same for the priorities of the people of the 4th Congressional District.
That experience will serve her, and the communities she represents, well in Congress. For more information, see the FAQ page on our website: www.morse4congress.com
Donald Trump is publicly considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the person leading the Department of Justice investigation of possible criminal actions by Donald Trump and members of his presidential campaign, as well as the efforts to conceal those activities.
It’s also possible that, rather than firing Mueller, Trump will obstruct Mueller’s investigation by issuing blanket pardons of key figures being investigated, firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (the person overseeing Mueller), or taking other actions to prevent the investigation from being conducted freely.
Any one of these actions would create a constitutional crisis for our country. It would demand an immediate and unequivocal response to show that we will not tolerate abuse of power from Donald Trump.
Rallies will begin just hours after national events are triggered:
Click on the link above, enter your zip code, to find a “No One is Above the Law” event near you.
1) Write to the Placer County Board of Supervisors. Mailing Address: 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn, CA 95603 and request that the County allow the public 120 days (CEQA comment period is only 30 days) to comment on the large and complex Sunset Industrial Area/Placer Ranch Project Draft Environmental Impact Report.
2) Ask that Crystal Jacobsen, Project Manager: 530-745-30385, email@example.com to put you on the mailing list for all hearings and publications associated with Placer Ranch/Sunset Industrial Area activities.
3) Organize with fellow AADC citizens, Audubon, Sierra Club, California Native Plant Society and Save Auburn Ravine to express your concerns at upcoming hearings on the environmental impact report (EIR). What is your “hot button” – wildlife, farmland loss, water (American River water will service this project), urban sprawl, smart transportation, climate change? We’ll invite you to our meetings if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In late Spring, 2018, the County will release for public comment, the Draft Environmental Impact report on the 8,900 acre, 13.9 square mile (proposed) Sunset Industrial Area/Placer Ranch (SIA/PR) development in western Placer County.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors has expended over $5,000,000.00 of our taxpayer dollars on consultant and staff time to promote the building of nearly 6,000 homes and 9,356,000 square feet of large mixed-use developments, commercial uses, universities, industrial manufacturing, corporate campuses, institutions, entertainment venues and businesses on farmland and wetland within the proposed SIA/PR.
The purpose of the SIA/PR project is to stimulate growth and accommodate economic expansion. There are big questions that the Placer County community who value the unique and precious character of Placer County must ask the Board of Supervisors: “what are we doing?” and “why are we doing it?”
Certainly there is a critical need for affordable housing in our community; however, this project will not address that need as it is specifically designed to attract “talented” primary wage earners. Only 10% of the housing proposed for development will be affordable to people of median, low and very low income, while 54% of Placer County residents are of median, low and very low income.
The proposed SIA/PR site is primarily farmland and wetland with soil classified as “important” by the California Farmland Mapping Project. Conversion of the farmland to urban uses will increase CO2 generation from the project site to an order of magnitude 70 times higher than existing levels. Farmland preservation, more than any other management activity has the single greatest impact in stabilizing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by the proposed project during construction through build out would predominantly be in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Operations-related GHG emissions also include mobile sources, such as employee and resident- related vehicle trips, as well as emissions associated with increased energy demand the extent of which will be revealed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
The flooded agricultural fields in western Placer County are attractive to wading birds, water birds and gulls. Waterfowl, grassland passerines and shorebirds have shown steep population declines in recent years. The SIA/PR is home to the threatened, listed or protected burrowing owl, golden eagle, Swanson hawk, white tailed kite, short-eared owl and Ferruginous hawk and provides habitat for the tricolored blackbird which the CA Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2015, advanced for listing as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.
The proposed development is in western Placer County, located strategically on the Pacific Flyway and hosts a range of suitable and critical habitats for migratory birds for waterfowl, raptors and shorebirds who reside, stopover and winter.
Given the proximity to riparian creek corridors, special-status plant, mammal and amphibian species occur in the SIA/PR project area. Implementation of the proposed project will result in disturbance or take of special- status species or disturbance or removal of suitable habitat for these species or interference with wildlife movements.
Aquatic features identified in the project area include vernal pools, riverine/riparian areas, marshes, and ponds. The SIA/PR project will remove, fill, or hydrologically interrupt wetlands identified in the project area and affect jurisdictional waters.
The SIA/PR is within the vernal pool recovery area established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Disturbance and destruction of vernal pool ecosystems and the complex web of life that they support (including four species of threatened native bees, aquatic species including the fairy shrimp). In addition, there are tributaries in the SIA/PR that feed Auburn Ravine where the community is working to restore runs of salmon and steelhead. The State has declared that all perennial streams are critical habitat for Central Valley Steelhead survival.
Grasslands and pastures within the SIA/PR are important for raptors and terrestrial land birds in providing the large expanses of habitat rich with insects needed to support their wintering populations in which are represented in abnormally large numbers in Western Placer as compared to the Central Valley as a whole.
Riparian areas within the SIA/PR provide critical habitat for arboreal landbirds. Flocks of migratory songbirds, including Dusky Flycatchers, Townsends Warblers, Townsend Warblers and Black-headed Grosbeak have been observed along Auburn Raving tributaries within the SIA/PR.
Although the property proposed for development is private land, the Placer County Board of Supervisors is the project “applicant” for the SIA/PR. It is also the authority that will decide the EIR should be certified and whether the SIA/PR should proceed to build out. Existing taxpayers have borne the more than $5,000,000. cost to advance this project for Ca’s largest developers incl. Angelo Tsacopulous and Eli Broad, the Auburn Indian Community among other individuals and corporations with whom the County has executed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU).
The County proposes to recover public funds as development permits are issued. There is no mechanism in the MOU for fund recovery if there is no project approval. Will public tax dollars spent to advance the SIA/PR be reimbursed to taxpayers through allocations to libraries, human services and parks serving existing taxpayers or will the funds be recycled into the PR/SIA project to support the vast infrastructure system needed to support 15,000 new Placer County residents? Will traffic generation, population growth and transformation of agricultural lands to suburban sprawl and high density urban uses significantly and inalterably affect the quality of life that we know?
References: Jones and Stokes Important Migrant and Wintering Bird Concentration Areas of Western Placer County, May 2003.
Jackson, Louise, UC Davis 2012, American Farmland Trust
On January 15 in Auburn at the General Gomez ARTS & Events Center, marked the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The program, “Passing the Torch” consisted of multi-cultural and multi-generational presentations of music, poetry and community voices.
The Rev. Gerry Paulsen, New Faith (UCC) kicked off the event with a welcome followed by Mignon Geli, Native American Flute Player. Loren Nakai, from Sierra Native Alliance, welcomed in the spirits with salutations to the North, South, East and West.
MC Anthony (Old Ghost) Harper, an activist and singer/poet, related the importance of the work we all need to do to keep Dr. King’s dream alive for our children. He reminded us that there are powerful voices trying to divide us. We must keep focused on what’s truly important and that’s the power of love.
“Passing the Torch” presentations offered an opportunity to hear the voices from people working with organizations who are doing work in the community to continue Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of peace, justice and equality. The torch was passed to hear voices from Doris Romero Baccala and Tomas Evangelista, California Dreamers (DACA); Travis Lang, Sierra Native Alliance; Jack Kohler, On Native Ground; Eddie Barraza, YES Program and Auburn Hip Hop Congress and Millee Livingston, SFUU Social Justice Committee.
The torch was passed to Pastor Clay Rojas, Prison Families Aftercare; Jen Gomes, Volunteers of America-Homeless Shelter; Veronica Blake, Placer Community Foundation-Housing; Shelley Rogers, Coalition for Auburn & Lincoln Youth (CALY); and Ken Toketumi, Forgotten Soldiers Program.
The torch continued to be passed to Jennifer Montgomery, Placer County Supervisor, District 5, Sacramento Women’s March; Carly & Madeline Cramer, Placer County Youth Commission; Rev. Casey Tinnin, Loomis Basin Congregational Church, LGBTQ Youth; Jeanie Young, Auburn Co-Op and Rocky Zapata, Auburn Hip Hop Congress.
Lisa Joseph Boch, Natalie Zapata and J Ross Parelli voiced their experiences of intersectionality in their own lives and how white privilege can blind us to others in our society.
Pattiey Leftridge, D. Pierre Butler and Lisa Joseph Boch had everyone singing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. Pierre offered an original reading sprinkled with quotes from Maya Angelou. The Children’s Choir, some from Growing Peace Camp, sang a rousing rendition of “What Can One Little Person Do” with the audience chiming in on the chorus.
Closing remarks by Stan Padilla, local artist and activist, encouraged us all to keep moving forward. We marched to the downtown Auburn Fire Pit with signs made by the children. Stan Padilla offered a closing blessing. Lisa Boch led the group in song with Neena McNair and the Native Women’s Drum Group.
The MLK Organizing Committee, Millee Livingston, Rocky and Natalie Zapata, Leslye Janusz and Lisa Joseph Boch give special thanks to Mary Jane Popp of KAHI for the opportunity to publicize the event on her January 12 noon program; Coco and David Burns from the General Gomez ARTS & Events Center and to Dave Deckman for managing the sound . And thank you to Depoe Bay Coffee Co. for the refreshments; Pat Malberg, former Congressional candidate, District 4, for the Birthday Cake; the MLK Refreshments Committee; to Aurora Sain, Auburn Journal reporter and to Auburn Community members for their energy, time and donations to make this event uplifting, this year and for years to come.
“America was a great force in the world, with immense power and prestige, long before we became a great military power. That power has come to us and we cannot renounce it, but neither can we afford to forget that the real constructive force in the world comes not from bombs but from imaginative ideas, warm sympathies, and a generous spirit.” — Senator Robert F. Kennedy, at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, April 24, 1968