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2011 April

Columbia Democrats Board Elections

On April 26, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Kaley Hanenkrat

Elections for the 2011-2012 Columbia University College Democrats Board will be on Wednesday, April 27th at 9pm in Satow on the 5th floor of Lerner. V&T dinner will be provided and we will have both vegetarian and vegan options. We’d love to have high participation in the elections, so please consider attending or voting absentee!

- The application packet of all of the candidates is available here.
- If you would like to vote in the election, you must have attended two events or the campaign trip. If you are not on this list, you need to register to vote. You can register to vote by emailing the Council of Elders at demselders@gmail.com with two events that you have been to. Please do so by noon on Wednesday, April 27th.
- If you wish to vote in elections but cannot be in attendance, you may vote absentee. To do this, you must be a registered voter and must submit your absentee ballot request by noon on Wednesday, April 27th. You must submit your completed absentee ballot by 8:30pm on Wednesday, April 27th to demselders@gmail.com

If you have any questions, please email the Columbia Democrats Council of Elders at demselders@gmail.com.

 

Raising Women’s Voices

On April 14, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Marybeth Seitz-Brown

Last night I attended an incredible event the Dems cosponsored called Raising Women’s Voices, where several women’s health advocates elucidated relevant parts of the new-ish healthcare bill for young women.  They unpacked several confusing aspects of the bill, like the concept of “aging out,” state run plan exchanges, and advancements for women.  Below is a condensed “What I Learned” package, all nice and kitchen-table-bonding-with-your-parents-like.

Aging Out: Before healthcare reform, citizens could no longer be covered by their parents’ plans after a certain age (usually around 23).  This “aging out” time has been bumped to age 26, regardless of dependent and even marital status.  (Yes, this means that married citizens can still be on their parents’ health care plans as long as they’re under 26.  But sorry, spouses! No mama and papa health care for you!)

State Run Exchanges: Basically, under the new law, the government has set up a system in which you can shop for more affordable or better health care plans in an exchange setup (exchange as in a commodity market, not exchange as in something that involves a trade in of one insurance for another, or hipster gear).  These exchanges will require that each state set up a website and telephone hotline to help individuals and small business purchase qualified health plans.  There is also now a better standard for what these plans have to offer as a minimum.

Things That Affect Us Lady Folk:  While sadly birth control is still not mandated for free coverage because it’s not considered “preventive” (read: things that make me do this), there are advancements for women in the healthcare bill.  First, being a women is no longer considered a pre-existing condition; that is, gender rating is now illegal.  (Yay!)  Maternity coverage is mandated.  (Yay!) Birthing centers are covered by insurance.  (Yay!) And “some preventive services” will be covered for women. (Uh…what?)  Bad things: abortions still can’t be federally funded or subsidized, many birth control options are not covered or covered enough, and abortion coverage is separated from overall health coverage (meaning you have to send two separate checks for each service for each billing period, an unnecessary obstacle), and community health centers that provide abortion services cannot receive federal funding.  So boo, boo, and double boo to those.

As Janine blogged earlier in the year, there is still a fight against reproductive choice for women being waged furiously by the right in many states.  Health care reform is far from perfect (and hopefully far from over), but it’s important to know what our new rights are, limited though they may be.

Sign the petition (http://www.raisingwomensvoices.net/contracpt-is-preventn-petition/) to get involved!

 

 

Obama’s Failure?

On April 7, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Dylan Glendinning

One of the few things that both the left and right can agree on these days is that President Obama’s first term in office has been largely unsuccessful. Democrats point to his inability to take advantage of a Democrat-controlled Congress and Republicans point to a rising deficit and increased role of government. Fox News (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouKJixL–ms) gripes about everything he does, and even Bill Maher is unhappy with him (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZg4_ufmTQ0&feature=related). They, along with millions of Americans who were inspired in 2008 by his message of “Hope” and promise of “Change,” are disappointed in our President so far, and this disappointment was tangible in last November’s midterm elections. Obama’s inability to follow through on many of his campaign promises regarding the closing of Guantanamo Bay, immigration rights, gun control, energy policy, and increased jobs have left many bitter, and surprisingly, have shed some doubt onto the president’s reelection in 2012.

 

While I myself am disappointed, I think many overlook his successes and the environment in which he has been working. President Obama entered office in the midst of one of the worst recessions our country has ever faced, inheriting a huge debt from George Bush Jr., two (or one and a half) major wars abroad, and a growing reliance on oil. Despite this, President Obama passed a stimulus bill (which is already being paid back by many car (i.e. GMC) and financial companies (i.e. AIG) with interest, the Affordable Health Care Act (providing healthcare to millions of Americans), and other progressive policies like the repeal on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He brought the employment rate down to the lowest it has been since 2007, he saved the economy from the brink of depression, and created more private sector jobs in 2010 then were created during the entire Bush administration (http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/10/08/its-official-more-private-sector-jobs-created-in-2010-than-during-entire-bush-years/). Besides other civil rights accomplishments including hate crimes on sexual orientation now prosecutable through the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and significantly increasing the funding for the Violence Against Woman Act, Obama has repealed the Bush restrictions on stem cell research, established the Consumer Protection Bureau (to protect Americans against credit card companies), appointed the first Latin American to the Supreme Court, and even has issued tax cuts for up to 3.5 million small businesses to help pay for employee health care coverage (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/obama-signs-bill-on-student-loans-health-care/).

 

Obama has not been great, and has let down many; but he has done a lot more than people think. Maybe he is to blame for trying to be bi-partisan and not slandering the right (although they are really asking for it), maybe he hasn’t been singing his praises as much as he should, and maybe if he stayed in line with the mud-slinging politics of the time he wouldn’t be faced with the prospect of losing his bid for reelection. Should we really hate someone though who is trying to unite two polar opposites, who refuses to stoop to the level of his critics, who has done so much in such a volatile and impossible environment? He has his faults, but I think the least we can do is give him a second chance. I’m not giving up hope yet.

 

Executive Board Elections: Applications

On April 7, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Kaley Hanenkrat
VOTE DEMOCRATS!

Vote for a new board! Run for a new board!

Hello dearest Dems!

It’s that time of year again. The weather is (slowly) getting warmer, people are heading outside again, and elections are happening!

The Columbia University College Democrats will be holding elections for the 2011-2012 Executive Board on April 27th at 9pm in the Satow room in Lerner. Dinner will be provided too! We will be posting a list of eligible voters along with voter registration and absentee voter forms in the next week or so. Please keep an eye out for that!

If you’re interested in running for the board, please see the applications below. Each has the description of the position and the application in a Google Doc. To download the application, click on the position, click on “File” on the toolbar, go to “Download As” and pick your document format. To run, you must submit your completed application by 11:59pm on April 24th by emailing it to demselders@gmail.com.

If you have any questions about the positions, voting, or elections, please feel free to email the Dems elders at demselders@gmail.com.

Board Positions

- President

- Vice President

- Secretary

- Treasurer

- Membership Director

- Media Director

- Events Coordinator