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Speak out CA: we are a sanctuary

Deadline: NOW and ongoing – On the eve of launching his re-election campaign, the Threatener-In-Chief announced that the administration would “begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

Leave aside for a moment that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may or may not have been about to launch such an effort; and that if they were, Trump just blew their cover. How would such an operation work? The answer, say people who’ve looked at ICE staffing, budget, and past history of deportations, is that ICE could not possibly achieve anything like this goal.

That’s not the end of the discussion, though. We need to make sure that Trump doesn’t try to commandeer state and local forces to assist any federal effort. As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed, under SB 54, the California Values Act – also known as California’s “sanctuary state” law – “California has the right … to refrain from assisting” federal immigration authorities. Various cities and counties in the East Bay have also declared themselves to be sanctuary jurisdictions.

In other words: Trump can’t pull this off without help. Let’s make damn sure that California and the East Bay don’t provide the help to make it happen.


What you can do:

Tell our state and local elected officials you want them to stand by the sanctuary laws, and against the Trump administration’s storm trooper tactics.

On the state level, Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra have expressed support for the state’s sanctuary laws. Tell them you want them to issue a statement that California will continue to enforce its law and refuse to assist ICE/CBP enforcement.

  • Governor Gavin Newsom: email; 916-445-2841
  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra: attorneygeneral@doj.ca.gov; 800-953-5335 [select English or Spanish, then press 0]

Locally, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made a name for herself by warning the city’s immigrant community about threatened raids in 2018, and has said she’ll “continue to stand for” Oakland’s values – although she hasn’t said what that means. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin has also previously spoken out against Trump’s callous immigration policies. 

Tell them you want them to stand by what they’ve said and ensure that no local funds or resources are used in cooperation with ICE/CBP:

Don’t live in Oakland or Berkeley? Other East Bay locations are also sanctuary jurisdictions, or have local elected officials who’ve expressed strong opposition to the administration’s immigration enforcement. Wherever you live, tell your local government that you want them to speak out and to refuse to cooperate with the Administration’s anti-immigrant, fear mongering policies.

Photograph, “California Governor Signs ‘Sanctuary State’ Bill“, by Marco Verch

Tell our MoCs: support Medicare Negotiation legislation

Deadline: NOW! – Unless you’re a magical unicorn who never gets sick, and you’ve never seen any drug ads, you know: Prescription drug prices are crazy high in the United States. It isn’t just anecdotal opinion: they really are much higher in the U.S. than in other high-income countries, and Americans spend more on prescription drugs than residents of other countries. You might think that the government, as the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the world (through Medicare Part D), would use its bargaining power to get lower prices for patients. You’d be wrong: they are not allowed to do that.

Now, the Democrats have introduced the bicameral Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act, a set of bills that would give Medicare the power it needs to effectively negotiate with drug companies and bring drug prices down. In the House, Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduced H.R. 1046; as of this writing, Reps. Lee and DeSaulnier have cosponsored it, but Rep. Swalwell has not. In the Senate, Sherrod Brown introduced S. 377; as of this writing, neither Senator nor Feinstein nor Senator Harris has cosponsored.

What you can do:

1. For more information, read Indivisible National’s page about how the bill would work, why arbitration isn’t good enough, and more.

2. Call your Members of Congress and tell them to reject bills that use arbitration to bring down drug prices, and to cosponsor the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act.

What to say to your Representative: 

My name is ____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay.  Please reject bills that would use arbitration to bring down drug prices.

  • Do you live in CA-11 or CA-13, represented by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier or Rep. Barbara Lee? Say also: Thank you for cosponsoring H.R. 1046, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act.
  • Do you live in CA-15 (Rep. Eric Swalwell)? Say also: Please cosponsor H.R. 1046, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act.
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier: (email); (510) 620-1000 • DC: (202) 225-2095
  • Rep. Barbara Lee: (email); (510) 763-0370 • DC: (202) 225-2661
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell: (email); (510) 370-3322 • DC: (202) 225-5065

What to say to our Senators: 

My name is ____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay.  Please reject bills that would use arbitration to bring down drug prices, and cosponsor S. 377, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act.

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (email); (415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841
  • Sen. Kamala Harris: (email); (415) 981-9369 • DC: (202) 224-3553

 

Money tablet” graphic by tOrange.biz 

 

 

 

 

Make the candidates speak out

Deadline: through June 26, and even after – Do you have a favorite Presidential candidate yet? Do you know where the candidates stand on the big issues – and if you do, do you know it from their own statements?

Many of the candidates, to our dismay, haven’t taken a stand or enunciated a plan on some of the major issues facing us: climate change, endless war, women’s or LGBTQ+ rights, and more. We know: you’d probably vote for Godzilla over the Current Occupant. But we’re betting you’d rather make a more refined decision.


What you can do:

Let’s call (or email, or tweet, or your platform of choice) them on it.

Step one: Check what they say – or don’t say.

Below you’ll find a list of some of our top priorities – not meant to be exclusive! – and a list of the candidates’ websites. Do some cross-referencing. Start with your own favorite candidate, if you have one, and move on to others from there: What do the candidates say about your key issues, in how much detail, and how easy is it to find? A general rule for candidates’ sites: the easier something is to find on a site, the more important it is to the candidate.

Step two: Tell the candidates what you think.

To say what we all know: Candidates have been known to change their positions based on pressure. Are you pleased with the priority they’re giving your issues and what they’re saying? Thank them. Have they failed to address an issue? Demand that they address it, and tell them what you hope they’ll say. Have they taken a position you don’t like? Tell them. Especially tell the candidates if their position, or lack of a position, makes the difference between you supporting them, opposing them, or considering supporting someone else. After all, it’s all about getting your vote!

We’ve made it easy for you to contact the candidates. Click on their names in the list below to get to their campaign websites, which have ways you can contact them; we also list their campaigns’ facebook pages and twitter accounts.

Step three: Get your friends involved.

Got friends who don’t like the Current Occupant? Of course you do! Invite them to join you in the research. Encourage each other to speak up. You don’t even have to favor the same candidate to all support the work of pushing the candidates to take positions you want on the issues you care about.

And use your own social media. Try this cool tool from Indivisible National: you record a video telling the presidential candidates what you want to hear from the debate stage, and they’ll format and subtitle it and send you a link that you can spread by email and on your social media.

Step four: Let us know how it’s going!

We’d like to know who you’ve contacted on what issues, and if you hear back from them. Email us at info@indivisibleeb.org


Our (non-exclusive) list of priority issues, in alphabetical order:

  • Climate change
  • Cybersecurity
  • Economic justice
  • Education
  • Election security
  • Endless war
  • Healthcare
  • Immigration
  • Impeachment
  • Incarceration
  • Judiciary
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Reproductive rights
  • Science and technology
  • Social justice
  • Voters’ rights
  • Women’s rights


The
candidates, in alphabetical order (their names are links to their campaign websites).

 

Graphic “Debate picture” by Blok Glo

 

 

East Bay Hella ❤ Impeachment

Inform, inspire, and activate – that’s what Indivisible East Bay and Alameda4Impeachment (A4I) did at the Summer Impeachment Pop-Up in Oakland on June 15, 2019. One of over 140 events called nationwide by MoveOnBy the People, Indivisible National, and many other partners, the focus was to urge the House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Whether you joined us or not, don’t miss these images – more wonderful photos than we could fit into this article – taken by Mary DeShaw, a volunteer photographer with Pro Bono Photography; and videographer Lis Cox’s video recap of our event. Also check out Raw Story’s read-out from around the country.

Quanah Brightman, of United Native Americans, opened the event with a stirring Blessing. 

#Impeachtrump protest June 15 2019, Photo by Mary Martin DeShaw, Pro Bono Photos
Quanah Brightman, United Native Americans, offered an opening blessing, photo by Mary DeShaw

Jain Thapa, Representative Barbara Lee’s district staffer, addressed the gathering with prepared remarks, expressing Lee’s regrets that she wasn’t able to attend and delivering Lee’s thanks to A4I and IEB for their steadfast efforts to build awareness of the need for an impeachment inquiry. Thapa specifically called out as valuable A4I’s work and leadership in encouraging local City Councils to adopt Impeachment Resolutions.

Many people stepped up to read and record short portions of the Mueller Report. Members of Indivisible SF classed up the event by appearing in Hamilton costumes! (Photos by Mary DeShaw).

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At education and take-action stations, A4I and IEB members answered questions about impeachment and provided handouts urging people to call their Representatives (see the call script below). A4I/IEB member Larry created an “Impeachment Tree” participatory poster, on which dozens of people stuck “peaches” and “leaves” about corruption, abuse of immigrants, incompetence, criminality, attacks on democracy, and more. Contributions included “Encouraging DOJ to defy subpoenas,” “Taking babies from mamas & daddies,” “Using the WH and the gov’t as a personal ATM – stealing our future,” and more.

Impeachment Tree
Impeachment Tree, photo by Heidi Rand

A4I’s “Impeachment is Patriotic” banner was an ideal selfie-station backdrop, particularly for Angela Jarman, who appeared in her Lady Liberty costume.

Lady Liberty at Impeach Trump event
Lady Liberty, photo by Heidi Rand

Folks’ signs got right to the point! (Photos by Mary DeShaw).

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You can keep fighting for the next step to stop Trump’s unconstitutional power grab!

What you can do:

  1. Get Informed & Inspired! Sign up at ImpeachmentGuide.com to learn more about how you can join the movement to impeach Trump
  2. Read more about impeachment at this article written jointly by Indivisible East Bay and Alameda4Impeachment.
  3. Take action! Check out our recent articles for more info and actions you can take NOW:


What to say:

My name is ____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. Please use the full extent of your oversight and investigative powers to get to the truth and hold Trump accountable, including opening an impeachment inquiry.

  • Do you live in CA-13, represented by Rep. Barbara Lee? Say also: Thank you for cosponsoring House Resolution 257.
  • Do you live in CA-11 (Rep. Mark DeSaulnier), or CA-15 (Rep. Eric Swalwell)? Say also: Thank you for speaking out publicly in favor of an impeachment inquiry! Please cosponsor House Resolution 257.
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier: (email); (510) 620-1000 • DC: (202) 225-2095
  • Rep. Barbara Lee: (email); (510) 763-0370 • DC: (202) 225-2661
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell: (email); (510) 370-3322 • DC: (202) 225-5065

 

Photographs by Mary Martin DeShaw, of ProBono Photography, and Heidi Rand.

IEB needs YOU to volunteer!

Updated June 20

Everything got you down? Join the club. No, literally – join us! Come on out and spend some quality time with your fellow ticked-off resisters. We are terrific company, and together we make a difference!

Here are a couple of FUN opportunities in early summer 2019:

Pride!

This is the real thing, folks, SF Pride Parade! June 30 in, of course, San Francisco. We’re joining forces with other Indivisibles, to make it even greater. Join our contingent at 10 AM, at the intersection of Steuart St. and Don Chee Way. Wear your Indivisible East Bay t-shirts if you’ve got ’em! Here’s the Eventbrite page with the info – and watch the IEB newsletter and our facebook page for more details as we get them.

We need people to:

  • Hold the Indivisible banner in shifts
  • Carry Justice Is Coming banners in shifts
  • Act as monitors
  • Bring signs!

To help out, or for more info, email us at info@indivisibleeb.org and/or join the #ieb-pride-2019 channel on Slack.

Celebrate the Fourth the IEB way!

Show your resistance colors by volunteering at Indivisible East Bay’s booth at the fun-tastic City of El Cerrito/worldOne Fourth of July Festival on Thursday, July 4, 2019, 10 AM to 6 PM. All you need is a basic familiarity with Indivisible and a friendly smile, and our experienced IEB members will help you with anything else. Non-El Cerrito folks welcome, kids welcome, friends welcome, folks with disabilities welcome (the event is wheelchair accessible) – you get the idea, everyone is welcome. We especially need volunteers between noon and 4 PM. To sign up for shifts or if you have questions, email Outreach co-lead Toni at tonihenle@gmail.com or message her on IEB’s Slack: @toni_henle. Read more (and see great photos from last year!) at our article.

 

Summer Impeachment Pop-Up [see our article about this great event!]

Pitch in to help IEB and co-hosts Alameda4Impeachment at our Impeach Trump event in Oakland on Sat. June 15, 1-3 PM, on the plaza outside 1301 Clay St., Oakland. We’re planning a fun, creative and family-friendly event to inspire, inform, and activate people to urge the House to open an impeachment inquiry.

  • Help us unload and set up in 30-minute shifts from 11 am until 1 pm; and clean up & tear down at 3 pm.
  • Spread the word on social media – follow IEB on facebook and share our event. On twitter, follow A4I and IEB — and RT our posts. At the event, post your great photos of the activities with the hashtag #ImpeachTrump. Also tag @IndivisibleEB 
  • Feed the resistance: bring some peaches to share as snacks! 

To help out, or for more info, email us at alameda4impeachment@gmail.com and/or join the #impeachment channel on Slack.

Photograph of IEB’s July 4th booth by Heidi Rand

No two ways about it: watch the debates!

Deadline: June 26 (but get your RSVPs and party invites out earlier) –

There are so many Democratic presidential candidates, the Democratic National Committee is limiting the first debates to a “mere” 20 of them over two nights, based on requirements that are even stricter than their original winnowing criteria. As of this writing, it looks like those 20 candidates are – in alphabetical order – Bennet, Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, De Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Gillibrand, Harris, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Ryan, Sanders, Swalwell, Warren, Williamson, and Yang.

Go to a debate watch party!

Do you think politics are more fun with a crowd? Then get a ticket for one of these debate watch parties! But act fast – tickets are going like hotcakes!

  • IEB Debate Watch, First night (June 26): Join IEB to watch the first debate at the Side Room at the Rialto Cinema, 10070 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, Wednesday, June 26 at 5 PM. You can get yummy food and drink (including beer & wine) from their cafe and watch with great company! Space is limited to 20 guests, and some tickets are already claimed, so be sure to sign up (and if you’ve signed up and can’t make it, please let us know; there will be people who’ll want your seat). Email info@indivisibleeb.org with any questions. FREE. Please note: this event is for Weds. June 26 only. 
  • Everett & Jones, Jack London Square, First night (June 26): Join Swing Left East Bay at E&J BBQ, 126 Broadway, Oakland, Wednesday, June 26, 6 PM (but they advise early arrival). RSVP here but please note: RSVP’ing does not guarantee you a seat. FREE. Please note: this event is for Weds. June 26 only. 
  • The New Parkway Theater, June 26 AND June 27 (BOTH NIGHTS): The New Parkway features food and drink and couches or cafe tables. Buy tickets for June 26 (first night) or June 27 (second night) or both! $7 regular, $6 students/seniors. 474 24th Street, Oakland.

Watch on your own/host your own party

Can’t make it to a party? Don’t like crowds? Prefer your own food? You can watch or stream live on June 26 and 27, 6-8 PM Pacific Time. Or invite friends over and have your own debate watch party! Here’s a great resource from Indy National.

Take the pledge

No matter who you watch with – or even if you watch by yourself – don’t forget to take the Indivisible Pledge. And make sure all your friends take it too:

  • Make the primary constructive.
  • Rally behind the winner.
  • Do the work to defeat Trump.

Scroll down on that page to see if your favorite candidate has taken the pledge – if they haven’t, tell them they need to!

Ask a questionIndivisible Pledge

Want to participate in the debates? Yes, you can! NBC News, which is broadcasting the debates, is asking: “Do you have a question for the 2020 candidates? What would you ask at the first debate?” Send them a question on their website and they might choose it and ask it at one of the two debates.

Don’t let them make the poor poorer

Action deadline: June 21, 2019 –

Scroogy McScroogeface never gets tired of thinking of ways to make the poor more miserable, more hungry, or just plain poorer. The latest from the Administration That Decency Forgot: changing the way the poverty line – which is used to determine who qualifies for benefits like food aid, health care, Head Start, and more – is adjusted annually for inflation. Need we say, the change would not be more generous to those in need. In fact, it looks like over time, millions of people could lose benefits they need to survive. Analysts say the proposed change is economically unjustifiable. We say it’s rotten through and through.

What you can do:

You have until Friday June 21, 2019 to submit comments. You have several options:

  • Submit your comments online on the Office of Management and Budget’s website form. Note that on this website you do NOT have to provide your name or contact info, so if you want to talk about something personal anonymously, you can do that. You also have the option to submit a comment for someone else – you can tell the story of someone who needed government benefits to live, for example.
  • You can also use this form on the Federal Register website to submit comments. Note that this doesn’t appear to offer the option of anonymity.
  • You can fax comments to Nancy Potok, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget, 202-395-7245.
  • You can email comments to Statistical_Directives@omb.eop.gov with the subject line “Directive No. 14”

For more info and ideas about what to say, here’s a good, straightforward summary of what the proposal does and the problems with it. If you want lots more information, the Coalition for Human Needs offers a general comment guide and extensive background information, comment guides and further resources.

IEB attends the CA Democratic Convention

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By Kristen Law

For the first time in over 20 years, the California Democratic Convention was held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center from May 31-June 2, 2019. The convention had both statewide and nationwide importance for the Democratic party: on a statewide level, the delegates had the task of choosing the next state party chair (after a series of lawsuits were filed against the party and the previous chair, Eric Bauman, for discrimination, sexual harassment, workplace bullying, and more). And nationwide, with California’s 2020 primary now on “Super Tuesday,” presidential candidates are taking California more seriously than in the past; and many candidates attended and spoke at the convention.

I had the good luck to attend as a delegate representing Region 5, since Representative Mark DeSaulnier appointed me to help promote progressive thinking in the state party. I had the opportunity to join thousands of other delegates and guests in caucus meetings, meetings with the candidates for the California Democratic Chair, and general sessions, including speeches from 14 Democratic presidential hopefuls; and to stand in a two-hour line to vote for the new chair of the California Democratic Party. I also got to hug “Auntie Maxine” Waters, which made the cost of admission and long lines worth it.

Rusty Hicks, a labor leader from Southern California, garnered 57% of the votes to become the new California Democratic Chair. I supported Kimberly Ellis, a local Bay Area activist, who finished second with 36%. Ellis would have been the first woman to lead the state party in more than 30 years and the first Black woman to chair the organization. She drove a progressive agenda and I heard rumors that the party establishment breathed a sigh of relief because of Ellis’ support of publicly financed elections.

It was exciting to have 14 presidential candidates address the delegates about their platforms and how to remove the current occupant from the White House. Overall the narrative was pushed further left than expected – perhaps because of California’s spot in the primaries. Hot topics in many of the speeches included climate change, women’s rights, health care for all, immigration, education, getting corrupt money out of politics and much more. John Delaney and John Hickenlooper were booed off stage.

We also heard from numerous Californian elected officials, including Governor Gavin Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and many more. Pelosi was met with shouts of “impeach” throughout her speech – shouts that got louder as she discussed the Mueller Report.

The convention was filled with progressive demonstrations and tabling. Two of my favorites: Planned Parenthood was promoting Project X, their campaign to protect and expand health care, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project asked for support on SB 233, the Immunity from Arrest Law.

Without multiple clones, it was impossible to get to every event – thankfully the California Democratic Party has posted videos and results online!

  • You can watch the General Session videos at this link.  
  • You can find the floor packet, resolutions passed, legislation endorsed, rules changes, and training materials at this link.

The next convention is just a little over five months away in Long Beach (November 15-17). I’ve been told that this one will be focused on endorsements; details coming soon!

 

Kristen Law loves her Richmond community and when she is not working as a Community Engagement Specialist or teaching and practicing yoga you can find her snuggling her pets, saving butterflies or testing vegan recipes. She was one of the founding members of Indivisible East Bay and co-leads the CA-11 team.

 

Resistance is patriotic!

Meet new people and show your red, white and blue resistance colors by volunteering for an hour or two at Indivisible East Bay’s booth at the fun-tastic City of El Cerrito/worldOne Fourth of July Festival on Thursday, July 4, 2019, 10 AM to 6 PM.    

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You don’t have to be an expert! All you need is a basic familiarity with Indivisible and a friendly smile. There’ll be experienced members at every shift, so if you’re unsure what to say you can listen for a bit to get into the swing. Got an hour? Perfect! Got two? Even better! Don’t live in El Cerrito? No worries, everyone is welcome! Bring a friend or three, and children are more than welcome too. We especially need volunteers between noon and 4 pm. To sign up for shifts or if you have questions, email Outreach co-lead Toni at tonihenle@gmail.com or message her on IEB’s Slack: @toni_henle.

At last year’s booth we spoke to many people eager to learn about Indivisible and hungry for suggestions about how they could take action against the Trump agenda. We’ll engage fair-goers with fun activities like taking their picture in a resistance-themed frame that they can post to social media or by sending a message to their representatives. Before or after your shift, you can explore other booths, check out the music, and of course eat corn dogs and other yummy food at the Food Court, only steps away from our booth.  

We welcome volunteers with disabilities – the event is wheelchair accessible, and our booth will accommodate wheelchairs.

Photos of IEB’s 2018 July 4th booth by Heidi Rand

Next Stop Hunger Games?

Deadline: yes, right now – How many things are wrong with this picture? The administration continues to detain migrants and refuse to let them apply for asylum; takes children away from their parents and leaves them in vans in a Texas parking lot for nearly two days; allows the border patrol to confiscate migrant kids’ medicine; and now says there are so many kids in detention it can’t afford to take care of them, so it’s going to cut back on – or just completely cutactivities for unaccompanied children “that are not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety.” That includes things most humane people consider necessary, like legal aid, and others you could make a good case for, like English classes and recreation. Presumably the plan now is to let the kids sit in cages (or vans?) until it’s time for them to go by themselves to court, where they can’t speak or understand the language. Or maybe we’re headed straight for the Hunger Games?

To quote Rep. Barbara Lee:

By defunding English classes and legal aid, this administration is depriving child migrants of tools that are critical for navigating their asylum cases. But cutting recreation on top of that? This is cruelty for cruelty’s sake.

Rep. DeSaulnier has also criticized the administration’s heartless treatment of the children in U.S. custody; and Senator Feinstein has introduced a bill, which Sen. Harris has cosponsored, to protect immigrant children.


What you can do:

Call your Members of Congress NOW and tell them to scream bloody murder about this inhumane treatment of small, defenseless human beings, and to continue to do everything they can as legislators to protect all those crossing our borders.

What to say:

My name is _____, my zip code is ____, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I want ____ to do everything in his/her power to keep this administration from spending my money to militarize the border, separate families, and treat migrants in custody inhumanely. The decision to cut services for unaccompanied minors is just the latest outrage. This needs to stop.

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (email); (415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841
  • Sen. Kamala Harris: (email); (415) 981-9369 • DC: (202) 224-3553
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier: (email); (510) 620-1000 • DC: (202) 225-2095
  • Rep. Barbara Lee: (email); (510) 763-0370 • DC: (202) 225-2661
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell: (email); (510) 370-3322 • DC: (202) 225-5065

 

“Abandoned soccer ball at refugee camp”, photo by Max Pixel