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“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”

Charles Dickens


As we celebrate the light of the season in our own unique and personal ways, let us keep hope in our hearts for a country that is whole, compassionate, and caring as we use our voice to help write a new American chapter, where human decency, truth, and integrity lead the way. Thank you for standing up for the most vulnerable, protecting children, speaking your truth, and leading by example. We are kind. We are generous. We are filled with hope. We are strong in our convictions for a brighter day!

THIS WEEK’S ACTIONS

Say no to Betsy DeVos’ proposed changes to Title IX regulations

Betsy DeVos has officially submitted her Title IX regulations that will harm the rights of sexual assault survivors, and make schools a more dangerous place. Now that the regulation has been submitted, we have 60 days to submit comments on the regulation, which the Department of Education is legally bound to consider. Comment period ends on January 29, 2019.

Submit official comment here

Learn more:

· Seattle Times: DeVos’ Title IX changes are open for public comment. Here’s how to weigh in. read

· Senator Murray Press Release: Joined by advocates and survivors of campus sexual assault, Senator Murray urges Education Secretary DeVos to withdraw the Title IX rule, encourages students and survivors to continue making themselves heard read

· Common Dreams: Critics warn ‘heartless’ new rules by Betsy DeVos will encourage schools to ‘be more complicit in sexual violence’ read

· Human Rights Campaign: Proposed rule change to Title IX would harm survivors of sexual assault

Read letter from twenty state attorneys general opposing transgender discrimination

Twenty state attorneys general, including our own Bob Ferguson, have sent a statement to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Secretary of Education Betsy Devos opposing their proposal to erase transgender identity from federal programs. As the letter notes, "There is no sound basis in science, policy, or law for taking such a drastic step backward.” States need to continue to resist this hateful proposal. Read the letter

Oppose human rights opponent Neomi Rao for DC Circuit Judge

Last week, the president nominated conservative lawyer and anti-regulation advocate Neomi Rao to fill Brett Kavanaugh’s vacated DC Circuit seat. The DC Circuit is regarded as the second most important court behind the Supreme Court because it directly reviews decisions and rules of federal agencies based in the nation’s capital. Currently, Rao is heading the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), where she has been described as an ally to the administration in stripping away federal government protections and regulations. On the Circuit Court, it is likely she would continue to focus on deregulation, at the expense of consumer rights and other protections.

More broadly, she has odd and troubling beliefs around human rights. She has repeatedly taken a strong position defending “dwarf-tossing,” where people with dwarfism wearing Velcro are thrown against a wall, arguing that opposition to this practice represents a misguided focus on human dignity that conflicts with the Constitution, personal freedom and American exceptionalism. She also has repeatedly criticized advancements in racial and LGBTQ rights, including the decriminalization of gay sex and the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act. Her fundamental beliefs - that unfettered individual freedom (including the ability to abuse and discriminate against others) is more important than protecting the rights of others - are dangerously extreme for one of our most influential Courts.

Please consider calling our Senators and asking them to oppose the nomination of Neomi Rao.

Suggested script: Hi, my name is [NAME], and I am a constituent from [CITY/ZIP]. I am calling to ask Senator [CANTWELL/MURRAY] to oppose the nomination of Neomi Rao to the DC Circuit Court. She has a concerning history of prioritizing “personal freedom” above human rights and protective regulations. I am very concerned that her anti-regulation beliefs will weaken or eliminate individual protections for everyone. Her discrimination toward the LGBTQ community is dangerous and extreme. Thank you for your time and attention. [IF LEAVING A VOICE MAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.

Murray: DC 202-224-2621; Seattle 206-553-5545 Cantwell: DC 202-224-3441; Seattle 206-220-6400

ACA open enrollment – don’t be left out

Key 2019 Open Enrollment dates

  • The 2019 Healthcare Open Enrollment Period runs from Thursday, November 1, 2018, to Saturday, December 15, 2018.
  • If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2019 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019

Cascade Medical in Leavenworth has help available for navigating insurance choices. Give them a call to set up an appointment, at 509-548-5815. Open enrollment ends this year on December 15. Don’t miss this important deadline.

On-line enrollment

WeCelebrate

A thank you celebration with

Rep. Kim Schrier, in Wenatchee, December 2!

The future looks bright for the 8th Congressional District.

Your Calendar

Free Health Clinic

Monday, December 3 * 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM * Cascade Medical Center * 817 Commercial Street * Leavenworth

The Upper Valley Free Clinic provides free medical care and dental consultation at the Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth. No appointment is necessary and patients are seen on a first-come, first-serve basis. Major dental work, including dental surgery, is not done at the free clinic, but patients can be referred to local partner dentists. The cost of care with partner dentists may be subsidized depending on the patient's income and specific situation.

The flu is no joke, but there is protection available. Get your flu vaccination for free at the Upper Valley Free Clinic Mondays 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Hours: 6:30 - 8pm Mondays, except for federal holidays. Click here to view the free clinic calendar.

Location: Cascade Medical Center, 817 Commercial Street, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Call the Upper Valley MEND office at (509) 548-0408 for more information or if you have any questions.

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Benevolent night at Munchen Haus for Upper Valley MEND

On Tuesday, December 4, The Munchen Haus and Icicle Brewing Company Community Partnership Team is hosting a benevolent night to support Upper Valley MEND at the Munchen Hause in Leavenworth. Come one, come all and enjoy great beer, brats, community spirit, and support those less fortunate in our community.

Benevolent night at South for Upper Valley MEND

On Thursday, December 6, South, in Leavenworth, is hosting an Upper Valley MEND benevolent night and you are invited. Ditch the dishes at home and enjoy some delicious drinks and lovely Latin-inspired food. 50% of proceeds will be donated to support those in our community facing hunger, homelessness or needing healthcare.

Environmental film: “The Human Element”

Sunday, December 9 * 1:00 PM to 3 PM * Wenatchee Community Center * Social Hall * 504 S. Chelan * Wenatchee

WE ARE A FORCE OF NATURE, AS WE CHANGE THE ELEMENTS, THE ELEMENTS CHANGE US


Renowned photographer James Balog (Chasing Ice) uses his camera to reveal how environmental change is affecting the lives of everyday Americans. Following the four classical elements - air, earth, fire and water - to frame his journey, Balog explores wildfires, hurricanes, sea level rise, coal mining, and the changes in the air we breathe. With compassion and heart THE HUMAN ELEMENT tells an urgent story while giving inspiration for a more balanced relationship between humanity and nature.

There is NO CHARGE for admission, instead we will have donation jars and make this a fund raiser to stop climate change. Light snacks will be provided.

350Wenatchee.org Facebook event page

Wenatchee Women+s March

Saturday, January 19, 2019 * 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM * Location TBD * Wenatchee

News You Can Use

· IFiberone: Colman Oil fined for spilling into Columbia River at Wenatchee read

· Southern Poverty Law Center: SPLC wins stay of deportation for journalist whose work challenged ICE read

· ACLU: My black son was sent home from first grade because of his natural hair read

· EarthJustice: EarthJustice calls on President Trump to listen to his own experts and act on climate change read