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Action Items

Where does Trump stand on violent anti-Semitism?

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky

In the wake of the horrendous shooting attack in the synagogue near San Diego, California, on the last day of Passover, we have to consider whether President Donald Trump is capable of leading our country in any meaningful way to combat an upsurge in anti-Semitic violence. Trump’s response to the shooting, in which an avowed white nationalist wielding an AR-type assault rifle killed one woman and injured the Poway synagogue’s rabbi and a young girl, was to do three things: He tweeted the usual “thoughts and prayers” to those affected. He assured the injured Rabbi Goldstein that “I have a son-in-law who’s Jewish, a daughter that’s Jewish ….” And he stated, “I love Israel.”

But what else do we need to know in order to see the bigger picture?

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NJ Voting Security at Risk

Dear BWNJ Activists,

As you may be aware, our current voting machines have no "paper trail".  The Sequoia AVC Advantage Machines are 1980 vintage computer technology and produce no record of each ballot.

The good news is that all the counties are about to buy new machines since our current machines are aging out. The bad news is that there is no transparency to this purchase.

Right now, it seems that most counties are favoring a machine that will print a 3" wide 'receipt' of the voters’ choices as marked by the voter on a touch screen.  This receipt will be used for audits of each election, and any recounts. This is an improvement, to be sure, and as voting activists, we welcome the addition of a paper trail.

However, this is not the system recommended by security experts.  The machines that print a voter 'receipt' can be hacked, and half of voters, in a trial at a real polling place, did not check the paper receipt, while the half that did, checked theirs’ for an average of 3.9 seconds on an 18-contest ballot.  (See summary of the study here)  In addition, this system is more expensive. 

The system recommended by security experts is a hand-marked paper ballot counted by an optical scanner at the polling place. The hand-marked ballots are kept in a tamper proof box for later auditing and they are the ballot of record.

This is an area where local level political activism can make a difference.

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Medicare for...How Many? The spectrum of Democratic healthcare bills

By Andrew Sprung
Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, has a message for elected officials and candidates. While healthcare policy debates often revolve around expanding coverage to the uninsured, 90% of the country is insured -- and most voters are concerned primarily with the high cost of care:

it’s the candidates who can connect their plans and messages to voters’ worries about out of pocket costs who will reach beyond the activists in their base. And the candidates aren’t speaking to that much, at least so far.   

That claim is based mainly on Kaiser polling, which finds that 48 percent of voters worry about paying their health care bills, and half of people who are sick have trouble paying their medical bills.

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A grassroots, progressive organization seeking solutions through community

BlueWaveNJ has become a respected grassroots organization recognized for the know-how and energy of its thousands of committed volunteers and supporters.

Our working groups, conferences, marches and special events have mobilized voters and coalitions to demand positive change from our legislators at the state and federal level in such critical areas as health care, the economy, marriage equality, the environment, education, electoral reform and sensible gun control. We have held major conferences on gun violence, stem cell research, Middle East peace, diversity and commercial sexual exploitation of children, and our nation’s growing health care crisis. We have distributed thousands of educational flyers, circulated petitions,  and written hundreds of letters and directly lobbied legislators and officials demanding that they save Social Security, protect net neutrality, restrict corporate media concentration, promote alternative energy production, provide universal health care, promote “clean elections,” install reliable voting machines, ensure quality education for all, and pass marriage equality legislation. We have also trained thousands of volunteers who help elect progressive leaders at local, state, and national levels. 

Join us as we continue our fight in areas like electoral reform, social justice, and economic justice.