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Everything posted by André

  1. Lamp-bearers! Our lights are needed as the GOP’s attempts to function in the dark continue to stun and shame. The Republicans have continually tried to pass bills through unanimous consent in attempts to avoud personal responsibility for supporting bills that are a waste of time, a waste of money, and, worst of all, infringe upon states’ abilities to govern themselves. Their latest clandestine activity is holding short votes in violation to clear Senate procedure; stopping votes after 24 hours instead of the required 72. This is outrageous and, potentially, behavior worthy of censure and contempt. In the event that you need another reminder that the Republicans work for themselves and their own dark desires, they continue to skirt their responsibilities and continue to skirt the eye of the public. I say enough is enough. Time to dump, not just the republicans in Congress, but their leader in the White House as well. Let’s let hindsight rule in 2020.
  2. President Fitzgerald is proving himself less presidential each day. Just when we thought we knew that his cold heart was set against aiding those in need around the world, we get this surprise announcement that the president wants to allow white South Africans to gain easy access to American refugee visas, but he wants the South African government to redistribute private lands so that white South Africans can have more. I don’t think we need to dive into the historical context that makes this racist decree not only dangerous, but also scary. But we shall not cower in fear. No, we shall stand up and face this threat. We are the lamp bearers and will not settle for this ever-encroaching darkness. Now, more than ever, we must stand up and reject these seriously concerning actions by the republican party.
  3. I stand with my colleagues in their opposition to many of the dangerous and irresponsible proposals within the Republican proposed budget. In an effort to be a #lampbearer I want to make more available my recent speech from the Senate floor so that citizens can get a clearer picture of just how dangerous this budget can be. ” Mr. President, I stand today to second Stevenson IV, Stevenson V, and Stevenson VII. While I would love to say that 100% of water in this country is safe to drink, that sadly is not the case. In addition to the debacle of Flint, Michigan, there are people who depend on well water that need access to purification supplies and education. There are still an alarming number of lead pipes, more than ten million families. We know that lead can lead to stunted development and moderate to severe cognitive degeneration. We must keep funding initiatives to protect the tens of millions of families in this country that lack access to clean and safe water. That is why I support Stevenson Amendment IV. We are all in this together. This is most true when we think about the families. The family unit is the foundation of our society; but families do not live in isolation and no family is an island. Neighborhood and Community grants fund programming to that help build stronger connections between families, between people. They provide Americans all across the nation with health education, safe after-school activities (which we know is a top measure for reducing both drug use and teen pregnancy), opportunities to build skills, and provide support for local non-profit initiatives. This is why I support Stevenson Amendment V. Imagine a program that inspires tens of thousands of young people to ban together to create and improve communities across the nation, from restoring playgrounds, to helping rural citizens access food and medicine, to mentoring our children who are most at-risk, to helping our seniors continue to live strong, confident lives in their later years. Imagine that these tens of thousands of young people are not just having an imapct on the millions they directly and indirectly affect with their work, but also grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Know what I like about this vision exercise? We do not have to imagine it. We already have it: AmeriCorps. Why my colleagues across the aisle want to dismantle a cornerstone program that has lasted nearly a century, that has employed thousands, improved the lives of millions of citizens and communities across the nation, and is a quintessential representation of American values - I do not know. I do know that I and my Democratic colleagues will do all we can to stand in their way. This is why I support Stevenson Amendment VII.“
  4. Rally at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." Jesus' words, as most of them do, have multiple meanings. On the surface, of course, he is referring to himself, continuing from the previous verses, "For God sent His only begotten son and whoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." God's son, Jesus, is the Light of the world casting out the shadows of darkness. But let's really think about the implications of what He is saying here, that multiple meaning I referred to earlier. "Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed." What does that sound like to you? To me, it sounds like a former president who refused to release his tax returns and current president molded in that same image. Who makes decisions to advance himself at the expense of others. Who leads a party that continually attempts to circumvent the Constitution and the required procedural processes to obscure and hide their intentions from the American People. A party that has continued to try to bully and push their way around, working in their own interests instead of the American people's. A party that is happy to highlight a $1.50 a week raise for a hardworking everyday citizen while burying the news that their actions has led to billions of dollars being pocketed by corporations, who are all the while laying off employees while touting minimal wage increases. A party that takes credit for the accomplishments of the previous administration while ignoring the problems resulting from their hateful, ignorant, and irresponsible rhetoric. It is neither grand nor just to work in the darkness, behind the backs of your Constituents, it is evil, pure and simple. Unlike the 1920s, when republicans were allowed to run wild resulting in the Great Depression, the largest economic downturn in our country's history. We are headed in that same direction today. We have a Democrat-made economic boom being made less stable by irresponsible republican policies. We see a GOP takeover of Congress after they have successfully spent years working in the shadows and hiding from the light. We see our standing on the world stage, built up by a beloved Democrat president, being torn down by a brutish, shortsighted republican. But we now stand at an impasse, we can repeat our history or we can let our hindsight be 20/20. We can continue to let the republicans entrap us in their snare or we can stand up to them. We can continue to be dragged down the road shackled by the gop policies performed in backrooms and behind curtains or we can shine a light, demanding transparency from our leaders. Today, I announce that I am stepping up to be the lead light-bearer. Clearly, I am not Jesus, but He gives each and everyone of us the strength to be the light, to cast out darkness, to herald progress. As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve...you only need a heart full of Grace." I am asking that each of you accept that call to be great so that every person in every state, the District, the territories, our military bases, our space stations, and anywhere else that an American may be can know that we a are community that strives to be better, to be the best. I am asking for your trust, for your support as I run to lead our movement towards a better America. Change can only come if each and every one of us steps up and commits to saying no more will we be lied to and misled by the gop. We are the bringers of light and that's the real deal. We have the power to truly make America great for each and every person within its boundaries and that's the real deal. We have an opportunity to restore the faith of the world in American leadership and that's the real deal. If you were a "Never Trump" person, I cannot imagine you being happy with his lapdog and follower in President Fitzgerald, who made backroom deals, not to better serve the American People, but to serve himself. If you say you love this country and our Constitution, then you cannot be happy that the republican party continually tries to push policies and nominations through Congress in the dark of night instead of the light of day. If you say you care about our purple mountains majesty and our amber waves of grain and our oceans white with foam, then you cannot be happy with a regime that values corporations over the environment, over our health, and over our children's futures. If you are tired of the same old, same old, then I ask for your support. If you're ready for a government that truly values you, then I ask for your support. If you want a leader who builds up our country, who fights for each and every person, who is unafraid of the hard work it will take to ensure that we continue to live up the ideals of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwigth Eisenhower, and every other great American leader who made this country what it is today - than I ask for your support. I am not running for president for myself, I am running for each and every one of you. For the teacher here in Columbia wondering how she will pay for her kids' college. For the fisherman in Portland wondering how we will protect his industry and way of life. For the child in Phoenix who is wondering what kind of world will be left in just a few short decades. For the family in Springfield wondering who will fight for them in 2021 when, thanks to the republican tax scam, the minuscule tax roll backs for the middle and lower classes end while the tax breaks for corporations and the rich continue. For the farmer wondering how he will compete with the factory farms favored by republicans. For the veteran wondering why the country that they fought for has seemed to abandoned them and their comrades. I fight for you, America, and I will be honored to take that fight to the White House! Thank you! God bless you! And God bless the United States of America!
  5. It has come to my attention that the speech I delivered this morning in San Jose to the Santa Clara County Democrats has gone viral. One of my constituents has graciously transcribed it and shared it with me so those who cannot watch the video or hear the words may still be able to read them. ”Hello Fellow Democrats! And I also want to acknowledge the independents in the room with us this morning <mild whooing>. As well as the republicans who have seen the light <laughter>. You have all gathered here because you all believe in democracy. Today, we’re going to go out there and make sure each and every registered voter has their voice heard in today’s election! And, thanks to the foresight of Californians, we can even take the unregistered to the polls for same-day voting! Now, more than ever, California needs strong, consistent leadership. The same leader who was a part of California’s strong economic growth these past eight years. The same leader who stood up to president and deescalated the his attempt to commandeer the national guard. The same leader who has promoted unity, innovation, and strength. California, I implore you to elect Gavin Newsom to the office of governor! However, today’s contest is between more than just a democrat who’s a proven leader and a republican that was a part of a shamed administration that got us in two quagmires by lying to us and the world, no, today we are standing to ensure that the virtues of this fantastic country are upheld. While the republican president has time and time again - through his policies, actions, and even in this new information that he traded his endorsement for a position with Donald Trump - demonstrated that he cares only about himself, at the expense of all others in his way. My republican colleagues in the Senate and House have also shown that they are willing to lie down and do the president’s bidding instead of standing up for what’s best for the American public. Today, is about more than defeating an ineffectual former Secretary of State and her party of selfishness, today is about standing up and taking our rights in our hands and using our voice to reject republicans and their negligence. Today, we stand up and say no longer will the American people stay silent. Today, we show congress, the president, and governors across the nation that they work for the People, not for the lobbyists that they allow to grease their pockets! This is why I am here. This is why, my fellow Americans, we are here. California is going to be leadig the way in this Blue Wave that is about to sweep the nation. A Blue Wave that will ensure a future with safe streets, educational opportunities, true religious freedom, and an environment that we all can thrive in. So, as we drive buses and fill-in on shifts, as we continually help with paperwork and bring food & coffee to poll volunteers, we must remember why we are doing this. It’s not just to help Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom win, it’s to ensure a future where America is stronger than ever, remaining a leader in the world and in progress. So, let’s get out there and fight for our democracy!”
  6. Senator Jackson is pleased to announce his #BlueWaveTour where he will be traveling across the country, on his personal dime, to campaign for Democrats running for the US Senate. He will be holding rallies and meeting with residents of each state he visits. He says that he plans on hosting most events on college campuses and striving to ensure that he meets students and faculty at every stop he makes. The senator has also announced that he has signed a book deal. He will be using his experiences on the #BlueWaveTour to provide the foundation of this forthcoming book on the power of education of all kinds. He assures his constituents, and all Americans, that he will still be doing the People’s work - writing, reading, and evaluating legislation and policies for the continued success and progress of this great nation.
  7. Santa Barbara, Calif. - Sen. Jon-Anders Jackson of Maryland has flown to California to lend his voice to the governor’s race, holding several rallies across the state, north and south, inland and coastal. “I am here in California so that I may personally lend my support to Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom,” the senator said at a rally in downtown Santa Barbara. “The country needs unity right now and California needs healing. Gavin is the person that will keep California strong and our nation on its upward trajectory.” Sen. Jackson spoke for an hour to a crowd of several thousand people. His message centered on national unity and a resilient California. The East Coast senator also made a point to differentiate Lt. Gov. Newsom from his two top opponents, businessman Robert Barron and former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. “Mr. Barron, in my opinion, and the opinion of most of the nation, has disqualified himself with his treacherous and treasonous talk of secession. And Secretary Rice should, perhaps, focus more on her role on the NCAA FBS Playoff Committee than on reentering politics after being away for so long. While she does want to protect the Union, the positives end there. She would be just another lock-step republican; tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. Reduced services, reduced opportunities, reduced quality of life for anyone outside the 1%. California needs a leader who protects the rights everyone, not just those who line her pockets!” The senator ended his speech by giving the lieutenant governor a resounding endorsement, “California, the choice is clear. You can continue with a proven leader who has been a part of the team leading this state to new heights in Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom or you choose between a traitor and a lackey for the rich. I think the best choice is quite evident. Elect Gavin Newsom!” The senator says that he will continue campaigning in the state holding additional rallies in Sacramento, Palm Springs, San Diego, Anaheim, and San Jose.
  8. The senator is calling upon his colleagues to say enough is enough and to move on from a bill that impedes on the home rule of the District of Columbua and on the personal and religious freedoms of those residing and working in the Capital. Sen Jackson also condemns the extreme and hyperbolic language used by his colleage from Tennessee. His words not only insulted Sen. Jackson but many Americans of color across the nation. Sen. Jackson is also disappointed in the trite and childish act of use hyperbolic, uninformed comparisons in reasoned discourse, particularly on the Senate Floor.
  9. From Senator Jackson: I am happy to announce that my call for President Fitzgerald to rescind his nomination of Admiral Cabot was a successful one! I am happy for this win for all Americans; we, hopefully, will no longer have to worry about a Secretary of State who does not respect or acknowledge Congress as co-equal branch of government worthy. In his announcement, the president noted that the Admiral had a personal matter that arose. However, we know that if this was indeed the case, there would have been an announcement days ago when the calls for Admiral Cabot to appear were first made. Furthermore, I admonish the president for coming forward sooner if the Admiral truly had a personal matter to attend to that prevented his participation in Congressional hearings. I am concerned, however, about my Republican colleagues who continually pushed to have this nominee confirmed without any account to the American public about the type of Secretary of State that he would be. This shameful and unabashed attempt to put party before country is the reason why Americans see Congress as more divided as ever. We have the Democrats fighting to represent our constituents and make the best decisions on behalf the American people whereas our republican colleagues care for nothing more than trying to prop up a party that no longer stands for the ideals established so long ago by President Lincoln and his contemporaries when thy founded the Republican Party. I pray that these wayward souls find there way or that the American people take advantage of their ability to hold us accountable and vote out these senators who care more about their party than the American public.
  10. From the office of Sen. Jackson: ”It is both insulting and shameful that Admiral Chabot has remained silent throughout his entire confirmation hearing. What’s worse, now the republican party wants us to confirm him anyway. Has the GOP decided they want nothing more than to make a mockery of the Senate? Admiral Chabot has answered neither the hard questions nor the easy ones. Who on good conscious can vote to confirm him? We are here to represent our constituents so that we can make the best decisions possible for this great nation of ours. My lack of enthusiasm for Sec. Bateman is well-noted, but the secretary replied to every question and has made himself available for further public comment. While I disagree with him on many issues, we have a shared respect for the Senate and its Constitutional role to confirm presidential appointees. I not inly call on my colleagues to refuse a vote to the admiral, I call on President Fitzgerald to rescind the nomination.”
  11. From the office of Senator Jon-Anders Jackson of Maryland, a prayer for our nation. ”Oh Lord, thank you for your many blessings we see everyday, in our lives, in our nation, and in our world. Thank you for this nation, this United States, and freedoms and liberties and rights that you have allowed us to maintain. Lord, these are troubled times, we pray that you continue to be with us as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a country. We pray that you continue to strengthen our unity as a people and that your wisdom and light will reach every corner, from Guam to Maine, from Alaska to Puerto Rico, from the Chespeake Bay to the San Francisco Bay — let us all remember that we are a beautifully diverse and spirited people, united in community with one another. We ask this in Your Name. Amen.”
  12. I stand in solidarity wth Gov. Brown and the people of California. However, the president does indeed have the power to activate a state or territory’s national guard if necessary. The problem comes when the president chooses to do so without first consulting the governor, or, in the case of a rogue state government, offering steps between the present state and activating the national guard without the governor’s consent. In doing so, President Fitzgerald turned the proverbial dial “up to eleven.” For being the party of “small government” and “state autonomy,” Pres. Fitzgerald and his followers seem quick to take action into their own hands, hastily pulling the federal government into matters without fully reflecting on the consequences of doing so. We as a nation, and Gov. Brown and California, now need to deal with our present situation. Anger and disappointment have been expressed, now it is time for everyone to come together and try to reconcile. We want states that follow federal law, but we also want a federal executive who respects the states’ authority. Unity is the way forward. We are a country the size of a continent, we have fifty states, a federal District, and five populated territories, we have a history that dates all the way back to when the first humans crossed the Bering landbridge and have continually played an integral part in many major world events since the so-called Age of Exploration. The United States, against all odds, continues to be the strong world leader we all love and take pride in. The only way we have made it this far, and the only way we will continue onward and upward, is through strengthening our unity. Talking out our problems, finding common ground, and striving to be connected instead of “right.” We have it in us and I pray that we are able to let it grow and shine bright once again.
  13. I am proud to formally announce that I have joined the bipartisan Prayer Caucus. I see this as an opportunity to ensure true religious freedom in which every person may practice their faith in their homes, in dress, and their places of worship without fear of political or social backlash. I think of the words attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas, “Love must precede hatred, and nothing is hated save through being contrary to a suitable thing which is loved. And hence it is that every hatred is caused by love.” So, it is through love and recognition of the image of God in each person we meet that we truly attend the demands of being Christian. As a man of faith, I must stand against any directives that go against this call of radical love. But, as a man of faith, I am compelled to also seek to understand and heal those who choose to act in hate, even if it is a colleague in the Senate. It is crucial that we stand united in love - love of our Lord, love of our neighbor, and love of our country. With that said, I am equally as proud to be a co-founder of the new Rainbow Caucus. What can be more loving than turning to those who are suffering under uncertainty and literal danger — danger of being attacked physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially; danger of losing their homes, their jobs, and opportunities simply for being authentic to who they are and how they were made; and danger of being left high and dry between a party that seems to think they’re not worth protecting and another party that sees them only as a vote. No more shall we let the tyranny of hate reign supreme; with prayer, love, discernment, and humility, my colleagues and I in both caucuses will fight to ensure that every American feels free to be and to worship.
  14. Senator Jackson is appalled by Admiral Cabot’s choice to not respond to a single question posed to him during his confirmation hearing. In his silence, he shows a lack of respect for the Senate, his rank, the office of the Secretary of State, and the U.S. Constitution. The Democrats reached a balance with the President’s party to allow a Senate floor confirmation hearing instead of going through committee. In doing so, we honored our Constitutional responsibility to vet the president’s appointee as well as worked to ensure an efficient nomination process. Admiral Cabot, in his silence, is attempting to make a mockery of the Senate’s responsibility to confirm him. Why the party of the president, from Mr. Fitzgerald to the lowest ranking GOP member, may be okay with shirking the Constitution, I and my Democrat colleagues are not. We must speak out about this, not just among ourselves, but also to our constituents. America needs to see that we will not silently stand by and watch the republicans trample on the Constitution. I encourage everyone of my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, who love the Constitution and America to step up and denounce the silence of the Admiral.
  15. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of Constitutionality in our country. To serve among its hallowed ranks is to balance the powers of the government. Justice Kennedy served in that role resolutely and honorably; his writings and ability to drill to the heart of an issue will be greatly missed. I congratulate the justice on his retirement and wish him all the best as he begins his next chapter. Now, as the newly sworn-in President Fitzgerald looks to make his first Supreme Court nominee, I call for nomination process that looks beyond the typical partisan split and truly aims to ensure that the court remains above and beyond the typical political fray of Washington. I ask the President to put country before party. I would hope that he consults leadership from both, the Democrats and the Republicans, as he weighs the decision on who should fill Justice Kennedy’s seat. As always, I continue to pray for wisdom, patience, and justice in all things.
  16. This act aims to bring current the classification and treatment of inhabited U.S. territories.
  17. During his layover in Hawaii, Sen. Jackson had a chance to sit down with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the largest newspaper in the state. Exerpt from the article: ”Sen. Jackson, weary from his travels still had a spark of his trademark optimism in tired eyes. ‘God calls on us to love and care for our neighbor,’ he says, ‘how could I not visit Guam during this time? As a citizen, I could not stand by while Americans were threatened. As a senator, I have the ability to actually visit them, learn more about the issues facing them as a territory, and meet with aome of my personal constituents stationed on the island.’ The senator went on discussing how he prayed with Guamanians, brought packs of the famed, Marylander treat: Berger cookies for soldiers from his home state (and for this reporter), and met with local leaders. But when pressed about what he learned on his short trip, his face grew stern. ‘We too readily forget about our five inhabited territories and they know it,’ a fact he noted on his outbound trip to the island, ‘Guam and American Samoa are two of the top homes of soldiers and veterans, yet VA infrastructure on the islands is poor and the citizens have next to no say in deciding the leadership who can deploy their children to war.’ Unlike states and the District of Columbia, the five inhabited US territories, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands, do not have votes in the electoral college, the system that elects the US president. It should be noted that both major political parties do give each territory delegates within their primary systems. ’American Samoans are not even citizens, they’re merely considered ‘nationals’ and lack access to all the rights and privileges afforded to every other American. This is outrageous and egregious.’ The anger was tangible in voice of the senator. ‘How can they expect the rest of country to stand behind them in times of trouble when we so readily forget about them otherwise? This is why I am announcing that I will be using my time traveling back east to author a piece of legislation updating the status of our territories.’ When pressed for further details on what this meant, the senator remained quiet on specific ideas, saying that everything was still ‘in process’ and that the American public can expect a bill in coming days.