Metro DC DSA Weekly Update for July 7-13
What’s On This Week
Metro DC DSA Health Care Actions Hit Home for Wavering Senators
SSenators return from their patriotic break after this weekend, confronted by new variants of a basically unsellable mess of a repeal-replace medical care bill. Metro DC DSA and its allies will be waiting for them.
Some GOP senators got a pummeling at home; even if they carefully dodged town hall situations they were yelled at in Fourth of July parades. It tickles our socialist souls to see how firmly the idea of widespread, near-universal health care caught on with the public (primed by Medicaid and Medicare) after only a few years of the deeply compromised Affordable Care Act, a federal program much more loved than its synonym Obamacare.
Metro DC DSA plans to welcome those senators back with some home truths as they face an eventual vote on the bill, and with an array of planned actions, marches and vigils focused on some senators who seem troubled by the measure’s cruelty and its effect on their states. Many back home, for them, depend on medical services that would be cut or eliminated by the Senate version of the GOP House’s already savage attack on working families and the poor. We will make that point to them directly, where they live in DC.
Sunday is a big day. In preparation for our marches and candlelight vigils Monday and Tuesday evenings, DCDSA will provide training in your legal rights when engaging in a nonviolent action at 1:30 p.m. Our general body membership meeting is at 3:30 p.m., the agenda including a discussion of how to tweak our organization’s structure to make it more effective. After the meeting there’ll be a phone bank to boost DCDSA member support for the Monday and Tuesday actions, both of which latter will begin at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to check for updates directly at the Meetup site or the rolling Meetup calendar on our redesigned chapter website (where this Update also has a permanent location). For more information on these actions contact Aaron Marks, firstname.lastname@example.org or Austin Kendall, email@example.com
ON THE CALENDAR, DSA AND OTHERWISE… (check Meetup for more details)
Tue, July 11 Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee organizing and work session 6:30 p.m.
Tue, July 11 DCDSA MoCo Branch Happy Hour 5:30 p.m.
Tue, July 11 5 p.m. “After Piketty” discussion of book After Piketty: The Agenda for Inequality and Economics featuring: Ryan Avent, Heather Boushey, Brad DeLong, Darrick Hamilton, Elisabeth Jacobs, Annie Lowrey, and Marshall Steinhaum. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/
Sun July 16 Socialist Book Group 3 p.m.
Sun July 23 MARK CALENDARS NOW for Metro DC DSA picnic in Rock Creek Park 3-7 p.m. This event is particularly oriented toward families and kids.
If you missed it, the July issue of the monthly email newsletter, the Washington Socialist, with articles on national, regional and quite local issues, is available here.
VIEW ALL UPCOMING DC DSA EVENTS
More paths to information:
Maryland peeps – you can get an email once a week from our allies at Progressive Maryland with calendar items and activism news by clicking here. You can sample the goods here.
Baltimore comrades, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful calendar and tip sheet at http://
To keep up with progressive events in and around DC consult the invaluable calendar at the Washington Peace Center, http://washingtonpeacecenter.
AND SOME GOOD READS
Two good environmental justice reads from Andy Feeney
Toxic Chemicals in Microchip Manufacturing Exposing Countless Korean Women to Reproductive Hazards. In 1992, an industry-funded study found that in U.S. factories making semiconductors, women workers were suffering roughly double the normal rate of miscarriages, investigative reporter Cam Simpson reports in the June 19 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. Large U.S. electronics manufacturing companies responded within a few years by pledging to phase out the most dangerous reproductive toxics then in use, particularly a class of chemicals known as EGEs, or ethylene glycol ethers. A study funded by IBM found that women exposed to EGEs in the workplace experienced triple the normal rate of miscarriages, and additional studies over the years have linked work in microelectronics production to “fatal birth defects in the children of male workers, childhood cancers among the children of female workers, and infertility and prolonged menstrual cycles” among women. Semiconductor industry reforms in the late 1990s aimed at eliminating or reducing such hazards. But then most U.S. semiconductor manufacturing moved overseas, and the new safety procedures did not always follow.
Accordingly, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, there is reason to believe that as recently as 2015, significant exposure to EGEs and other toxic chemicals continued to be the lot of South Korean women in the microelectronic industry, who number more than 120,000 in any given year. Possibly in many smaller Asian microelectronics companies, both in Korea and elsewhere, exposure to EGEs still continues today. And a 2013 study of some 38,000 South Korean women in microelectronics, using national health-insurance data, found that they were suffering elevated rates of miscarriages and other reproductive disorders, just like women in the U.S. industry in the 1990s.
It may not only be EGEs causing the problem, however: in large Korean semiconductor factories, as many as 430 different chemical compounds are in use, and the composition of roughly two-thirds of them is “proprietary information” and thus unknown to health investigators. There’s a good chance your cell phone or computer may contain chips whose making contributed to reproductive health hazards: the two largest South Korean chip manufacturers, Samsung and SK Hynix, recently supplied 74 percent of the microchips sold worldwide. You can read more of this complex and well researched investigative report, which Ben Elgin, Winxsin Fan, Heesu Lee and Kanoku Matsuyama helped Cam Simpson to write: “American Chipmakers Had a Toxic Problem. Then They Outsourced It.”
Popular Science Investigates ‘How Global Warming Makes Storms Worse.’ Socialists interested in combatting global climate change and hoping to fight against Trump’s brand of climate denialism may be interested in the July/August 2017 issue of Popular Science. The main headline on the cover is “HOT!” with a kicker headline at the top saying “Weirdest. Weather. Ever.” Brief articles inside explore the links between warming ocean waters and more powerful hurricanes, provide a bar chart of generally rising global average temperatures dating back to the 1880s, explain how melting glaciers and Arctic ice caps affect the reflectiveness or albedo of the planet and in this way accelerate global climate change, and provide a snapshot profile of Heidi Cullen, chief scientist for the nonprofit media group Climate Central.
In an introductory note to this Popular Science issue, one in which he recounts his wife’s encounter with the effects of Tropical Storm Sandy, editor-in-chief Joe Brown adds: “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s climatologists concur that the planet is getting warmer. And that it’s our fault. With this worldwide fever will come furious weather events we haven’t yet endured and that are only going to get worse.” Yet PS readers can learn to live in this radically changing world, Brown continues, “as long as we don’t remain ignorant.” A short web search shows that this is not the first Popular Science issue to focus on the issue of climate change: the magazine has been running articles on the subject for many months. In the issue immediately previous, for instance, there’s “If you live in the South, climate change could kill your economy” …
More Good Reads from the July issue, including Bob Roman’s “DSA in the News.”
And evergreen Good Reads from last month’s Updates:
Nobody in DSA has ever agreed 100 percent with Joe Schwartz when he gets programmatic (but who does it better?). But that’s why we are a big-tent organization, and this is about how we maintain that status and extend our strength. http://portside.org/2017-06-
More from James Livingston on Universal Basic Income and the end of work — from The Baffler https://thebaffler.com/salvos/
From a DSA tweet and the New Socialist: https://newsocialist.org.uk/
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