Fall 2016 Newsletter

Introducing the California Trade Justice Coalition!

Dear friend,

Thanks for your incredible dedication to building a strong, just and sustainable economy!

Because of your hard work and the efforts of our growing coalition, the tide is turning against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Not only do both major presidential campaigns oppose the TPP, the vast majority of Congressional Democrats, increasing numbers of Republicans, and an ever-growing base of Americans are calling on elected leaders to VOTE NO on the TPP during the ‘lame duck’ period of Congress.

Unfortunately, all indications are that proponents plan to introduce the TPP in the House of Representatives soon after the November elections, right when accountability for their votes is at the lowest. In preparation, we’re locking down “NO” votes among congressional leaders (see update below) and gearing up with our partners for a wave of actions to mobilize Americans against this corporate power grab (see more on our #StopTPP Nov. Call-in Action below). Please support our efforts with a contribution today.

Lastly, we’re excited to announce the formal launch of the California Trade Justice Coalition! We’re particularly pleased to welcome our founding Advisory Council members: the Alliance for Democracy, the California Labor Federation, Food & Water Watch, Global Exchange, the Sierra Club, and the United Steel Workers – District 12.

Together, we’re not only building a coalition that’s strong enough to kill bad trade schemes like the TPP, but also has the power and vision to advance a pro-active, trade justice agenda that raises living standards among nations and communities.

We look forward to defeating the TPP with you, and building a better future for us all.

Aaron Lehmer-Chang
Executive Director
California Trade Justice Coalition
An affiliate of the Citizens Trade Campaign

California Congressional Update

Thanks to the hard work of our allies and members, the California Trade Justice Coalition’s recent organizing efforts have yielded positive results, with three U.S. congressional representatives in Northern California announcing their opposition to the TPP

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Dist. 12): Following many months of organizing and a meeting with her staff, the House Democratic Leader announced her opposition to the TPP as it is currently written in late July, and reiterated her stance on national television. While she has yet speak out against a “lame duck” vote on the TPP, her public opposition has helped other reps follow suit. 
  • Rep. Mike Thompson (Dist. 5): In partnership with labor and environmental allies, the CTJC met with Rep. Thompson in August, where he affirmed his opposition to the TPP. Over the Labor Day weekend, Thompson spoke at the North Bay Labor Breakfasts where he said: “The TPP that’s before us now is not good trade policy. The TPP doesn’t protect American jobs, it doesn’t protect workers in foreign countries, it doesn’t protect our environment, and it’s just terrible on the issue of currency manipulation.”
  • Rep. Doris Matsui (D6): In a statement published in the Sacramento Bee, she wrote: “I oppose TPP as written and I’m concerned that the provisions to protect workers and the environment are not strong enough. We must address unfair practices like currency manipulation and abuses of the investor state dispute settlement system.”

Finally, the CTJC is refocusing our efforts in the coming weeks on Rep. Susan Davis (D53), who has yet to come out against the TPP. Her constituents are strongly against the pact and local organizers have been working hard to get her to stand against this corporate power grab that puts profits before human rights, access to affordable medicine, food safety, labor rights and the environment.

As part of the national day of action against the TPP on October 1st, canvassers from diverse backgrounds came together to collect signatures and raise awareness among Rep. Davis’s constituents. On October 26th, we are inviting folks in Rep. Davis’s district to join us for a conference call led by activist and “cancer thriver” Zahara Heckscher of Cancer Families for Affordable Medicine and CTJC Lead Organizer Will Wiltschko.Zahara was recently arrested outside Rep. Polis’ office for protesting the TPP. The call will brief local activists on how they can best get involved in the fight against the TPP and what our upcoming actions are. Click here to register today!


Rock Against the TPP San Francisco

As the White House readies a final desperate push for the unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, large crowds turned out for the “Rock Against the TPP” tour stop in San Francisco onSeptember 9th as part of a nationwide tour of large-scale concerts, teach-ins, and protests featuring high profile musicians and celebrities (seeevent photos and a video of Dead Prez performing).

The packed San Francisco concert at Regency Ballroom featured performances by hip hop icons Dead Prez, former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, Grammy winners La Santa Cecilia, local favorites Audiopharmacy, and a wide range of other notable performers. The teach-in that followed also brought together a diverse panel of local and national leaders, who made a powerful case against the TPP (watch teach-in here). In partnership with Fight for the Future and many local partners and allies, the CTJC co-organized a Rock Against the TPP concert and teach-in San Diego, and held actions targeting local Reps. Scott Peters and Susan Davis (see more on her above).

The Rock Against the TPP tour has been drawing large crowds across the country all summer, with previous stops in Denver, San Diego, Seatte, and Portland amplified by well-known artists including Talib Kweli, actress Evangeline Lilly, punk band Anti-Flag, Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba, comedians Hari Kondabolu and Eric Andre, and ANTI-records songwriter Jolie Holland. The final stops are scheduled for Pittsburgh on November 3rd and Washington, DC on November 30.

#StopTPP November Call-in Action

The TPP is NOT dead. Despite immense, bipartisan opposition, the White House is more determined than ever to force a post-election, “lame-duck” vote on the deal. That is the unique moment in the political calendar when representatives are least accountable to their constituents.

America’s largest labor unions, online advocacy groups, and environmental and public interest organizations are gearing up to flood Congress with #StopTPP calls November 15-17. We cannot allow a sneaky vote on the TPP during the “lame duck” session of Congress.

Join our Thunderclap action to let everyone know about the call-in days and keep the pressure on our elected representatives

More About California Trade Justice Coalition News

California Trade Justice Coalition News is a quarterly publication of the California Trade Justice Coalition (CTJC), an affiliate of the Citizens Trade Campaign. The CTJC is a new coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, public health, immigrant rights, human rights, pro-democracy, and socially conscious business leaders — all committed to building a strong California economy that works for all.

PUBLISHER: Aaron Lehmer-Chang, ED

CONTRIBUTORS: Will Wiltschko, Lead Organizer, Alexander Lyons, Policy Intern, Tony Peng, Multimedia Intern
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California Trade Justice Coalition
436 14th Street, Suite 1216
Oakland, CA  94612