From DAA Indivisible SCV’s Diana Shaw:
Our Steve Knight Town Hall will take place this Tuesday, 530pm sign in, 6PM start (get there a couple of hours earlier if you can).
Rancho Santa Susanna Community Center
5005 E Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley,
400 people, first come first serve
About Simi Valley
Simi is a conservative community, and so the Congressman might attract a more friendly crowd. This is all the more reason for us to show up in full force. As you know, check in is 5:30, start is 6PM. The location has a large capacity of 400, so you might get in if you come later, but to ensure entrance, come early. However, if you can’t gain entrance I have been told that there will be a great rally worthy of your participation outside. So, even if you can’t line up before 5:30, do make it your business to come. Our past efforts have born fruit and we have to let the Congressman know we still exist. If the outside rally at the Palmdale town hall was any indication, it will be well worth your time.
Town Hall Questions
It is OK to fashion your own question, to print your question and read your question aloud if you are called upon. You might change the congressman’s mind, but not likely. However, you are ensuring that his answer will be on record. Congressman Knight is very comfortable on stage. He may say something like “I know that issue, and I understand your concerns.” You should be ready to say: “Thank you, but how will you vote?” By the way, in case you think that your efforts are worthless, I checked which Republicans voted for their Gawd Awful Health Care Repeal…Knight’s name was not on the list.
View list here.
So, keep up the good work!
Below are some suggested questions, most from the national Indivisible leadership.
Suggested topics and related questions are below.
MEALS ON WHEELS
Team member Norm is concerned about Meals on Wheels. I suggested crafting a question like this: ‘Helping the elderly stay in their homes saves taxpayer money and is good for community stability. Yet the President’s budget could get rid of Meals on Wheels, a partially voluntary organization that does just that. Do you promise your vote will save Meals on Wheels?’ Norm might not be called upon, so if you like this question, make it your own!
Team member Wendy believes that “Steve Knight originally voted to repeal and replace. On the 2nd vote he was on the ‘did not disclose how he would vote list’. Not sure we should give him a pass for that.” I agree. But, if he made himself scarce on the second vote because of our pressure, good for us. We will never know, but he needs to know we are watching on this very important subject.
First, thank you for not voting for the recent repeal bill. Second, the White House wants to make the ACA repeal bill worse by taking away protections for people (like me/my family member, etc) with pre-existing conditions. They also want to end requirements for insurance companies to cover services like mental health care and substance abuse treatment. Will you commit to opposing any bill that would undo these consumer protections?
IF YOU ARE COVERED UNDER THE ACA:
I depend on the Affordable Care Act for coverage and I need there to be a plan I can access and that I can afford on the marketplace in California next year.
- Will you commit to opposing any action, such as cutting funding for subsidies, that would discourage insurance companies from offering plans next year?
- Will you commit to pressuring the Administration to make the Affordable Care Act work so that I have access to options for coverage next year?
- Will you commit to funding education efforts, like advertisements, so that I know when to sign up for a new plan?
A couple of members voiced their concern about the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Knight’s claim that ‘they can go somewhere else’ begs the question. Where, exactly? And why should poor women who depend upon health care in a community that has the highest mortality rates for children in Los Angeles county have to lose doctors they trust because people like this Congressman want to score points with the extreme right? I leave it to you to express your dismay to the Congressman, but Trump has already signed off on this new rule that allows state and local governments to stop distributing federal dollars for family-planning services, including contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening, to qualified health providers, irrespective of whether the providers also performed abortions. Still wondering if Knight believes women deserve a shred of dignity? In 2015 Knight co-sponsored at bill that would have, among many other intolerable possibilities, allowed employers to fire unmarried women for being pregnant, based upon the employer’s religious convictions.
I was shocked to learn the Russian government may have interfered in last year’s election. These actions shake the very core of our democracy as a free and open country, and challenge our most dear American values. We cannot allow an attack on our democracy to go unchecked. Will you defend America by supporting an independent investigation into Russian tampering in our elections, and co-sponsor the Protecting Our Democracy Act (H.R. 356)?
By increasing defense spending financed with huge cuts, Republicans are telling us they refuse to support programs that feed the elderly, educate our kids, or fund research into new cancer-fighting drugs. Can you guarantee you won’t vote to increase the defense budget at the expense of American families, and that you won’t vote to slash the programs that keep American families afloat?
- I don’t believe that Trump’s budget increases our national security, when he’s proposing devastating cuts to the State Department and USAID—the folks who secure the peace after our military wins a war. That’s why 120 generals and admirals signed a letter to insist that funds for diplomacy and development be paid for along with money for defense. Can you guarantee that you will not vote for a budget that undermines American security by slashing the State Department and foreign aid?
- I don’t believe that Trump’s budget increases our country’s security at home, when he’s proposing harsh cuts to worker safety standards, chemical safety, the cleanup of toxic waste sites, and the folks who protect our clean air and water. Can you guarantee that you will not vote for a budget that undermines the health and safety standards and environmental regulations that protect all Americans?
- I have elderly parents struggling to get by on fixed incomes. It’s unbelievable that Trump would try to eliminate programs like Meals on Wheels—a program that’s shown results by keeping elderly folks from going hungry. Will you guarantee you won’t vote for a single dollar more for defense at the expense of cuts to domestic programs?
- Donald Trump’s budget cuts $6 billion at HUD, which will undermine our ability to provide affordable housing for Americans who need it. This is just one example of many harsh cuts to domestic programs Trump has proposed. Will you commit to vote against a cut in domestic spending that will make things like housing less accessible for low-income Americans, while hurting the kids, veterans, and persons with disabilities?
- I [or family member] rely on some of the programs that Donald Trump is trying to cut or eliminate through his budget request. For example, my kids have watched PBS [or use some other program] for years, and now I hear it might get defunded. I think this is unacceptable. Will you commit to me, your constituent, that you will oppose any funding bill that makes unnecessary cuts to social programs like PBS, NEA, or EPA?
- I care deeply about keeping my country safe, but I don’t think that the plans Donald Trump has for his border wall and deportation force will increase our security or safety. Not only will they not make us any safer, but funding immigration enforcement will prevent us from paying for more important programs like education, housing, and meals on wheels. Can you commit to me, your constituent, that you will oppose the $3 billion request from the White House to fund the wall and mass deportation regime?
- I keep hearing of fathers, mothers, and children being separated by immigration officers. And, now Donald Trump wants to spend even more money on creating a mass deportation force. We already spend over $20 billion a year to detain immigrants and tear families apart. We should not be spending even more money on mass deportations when we are cutting funds for education, jobs and veterans. Can you commit to me, your constituent, that you will oppose any additional money to fund the wall and mass deportation force?
- Since day one of Donald Trump’s campaign for President, he said many hateful and racist things about immigrants. He has continued to offend and insult immigrants and refugees and has made them a target for his administration. Immigration officers are now terrorizing immigrant communities around the country, which only makes us less safe.What undocumented immigrant is going to call the police when they think they’ll be deported? Will you oppose any funding bill that instills even more terror in immigrant communities by voting NO on Trump’s request for an additional $3 billion for mass deportations and a wall?
- Donald Trump has given immigration officers free rein to go after immigrant families, which we’ve already seen has led to racial profiling and discrimination. Now he’s asking Congress to double the number of immigration officers. I think this will only make discrimination and racial profiling worse for [me, my family, neighbor, coworker]. Can you commit to me, your constituent, that you oppose the White House’s request for an additional $3 billion to fund the mass deportation regime?
- I’ve seen heartbreaking news stories on deportation of law abiding parents separated from their children. One mother who cares for her 3 year old with seizures is in detention, her child left behind. Another man was torn away from his family and left with no way to support himself in Mexico, hopeless and sleeping in a graveyard. How is causing such pain helping America? Why not come up with a bill to support a fast track to citizenship to save these families?
Congress has the authority to obtain the President’s tax returns, and I think it should. This isn’t about politics; it’s about public trust—and I want to be able to trust my President. Will you co-sponsor H.R. 305, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act? If not, why not?
The president’s popularity was at 34%, the news was filled with stories about his Russian connections, and his Secretary of State said we’re leaving Syria to the Syrians. Then the president lobbed 59 missiles at Syria. Nobody doubts that Assad’s forces are brutal killing machines. Neither could anyone be blamed for thinking that this attack was curiously convenient, which is precisely why the Constitution as well as the War Powers Act both give Congress power when it comes to acts of war. The American people need to trust that the President’s actions are strategic, not for the President’s ratings. We need Congress to exercise oversight. Will you promise to demand congressional oversight?
Donald Trump gave humanitarian reasons for launching strikes in Syria. But hypocritically, he has attempted to temporarily ban all refugees and to cut the number of refugees the U.S. will admit this year from 110,000 to 50,000, and submitted a budget that would slash humanitarian support for Syrian families in refugee camps. Will you publicly commit to opposing budget cuts to our refugee programs and to Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban?
Congress just repealed internet privacy rules on a party line vote. The only people who are happy about this are your Telecom donors. Your constituents won’t forget. What was your rationalization for supporting this?
The President’s FCC appointee wants to transfer jurisdiction of internet service providers to the FTC which is barred from regulating net neutrality.. This is the worst thing that could happen to small start up companies seeking to compete. But it is my understanding that further action from Congress could let the FTC regulate the Internet and ensure net neutrality. Will you pledge to act in support of net neutrality?
PLANNED PARENTHOOD RALLY
One final note: Planned Parenthood will be having a lunchtime rally at Knight’s SCV office at Noon, this Wednesday, April 19. I’ll be there. Hope you will, too.
Canceled in lieu of the Steve Knight Town Hall. (Revised April 17, 2017)