Category Archives: Uncategorized

Register and Vote THROUGH Election Day

There are many posts out there stating that there is a “cut off” date prior to November 6th to register to vote – THAT IS WRONG!

Here’s the SCOOP:

Napa County (American Canyon, Napa, Yountville, St Helena, Calistoga, etc.!) is a vote by mail county.

If you register to vote by October 22nd, your ballot will be mailed to you at home.  You can register AFTER that – up to and including November 6th – but will only be able to get a ballot at one of the Voting Centers.  Check out the details here. YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT!!!

You can register to vote on a paper form or online.

You do NOT need a driver’s license or ID.

You can pop your mail in ballot in an USPS mail box – NO POSTAGE REQUIRED.

You can pop your mail-in ballot into a Drop Box – locations here.  (Not very well marked – you will need to be persistent to find.)

You can go to a Voting Center beginning October 27th – locations and hours here.



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Flip the 14

Flip the 14’s Plan to Take Back Congress Starts in California

The time to take back Congress is NOW.

Democrats need to retake 24 seats to flip the U.S. House of Representatives, and the path to victory starts in California.

Republicans hold 14 California congressional seats and they continue to support Donald Trump against the interests of our state and their constituents. Although, nationwide, Hillary Clinton won in 23 Congressional Districts currently held by a Republican, winning those districts will not be enough. We CAN and MUST do better. It’s time to expand the map of winnable seats in California and it’s time to Flip the 14.



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Congressman Thompson: Preventing Gun Violence

 

 

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Dear Friend,

The last two weeks have been tragic as we grapple with the deaths of 17 students and teachers in Parklsign up for updatesand. We have also been uplifted and inspired by the young people who push to prevent gun violence. It is another send me a messagereminder that the majority of Americans want Congress to come to the table and take action.

There are solutions. This year, I introduced a bill that would create a Select Committee to study gun violence so we have recommendations on the best policy map forward. Yet Republican leaders won’t give it a vote. I also introduced bipartisan legislation that will improve and expand our background check system by closing loopholes, an idea that again, a majority of Americans support. No vote was held on this bill. And throughout my career, I’ve worked to help improve our mental health system, repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow the Centers for Disease Control to study gun violence. These are simple and commonsense proposals, yet Republican leaders have refused to act.

Please know that my fight to keep our children and communities safe will not stop. Thank you to the many in our district and across our nation who have spoken up and spoken out. Your voices are heard and I am fighting to take action to prevent gun violence.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,
Mike Thompson
Mike Thompson
Member of Congress
OFFICE LOCATIONS
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
231 Cannon Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3311
Fax: (202) 225-4335
NAPA DISTRICT OFFICE
2721 Napa Valley Corporate Dr.
Napa, CA 94558
Phone: (707) 226-9898
Fax: (707) 251-9800
VALLEJO DISTRICT OFFICE
420 Virginia St., Suite 1C
Vallejo, CA 94590
Phone: (707) 645-1888
Fax: (707) 645-1870
SANTA ROSA DISTRICT OFFICE
2300 County center Dr., Suite A-100
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: (707) 542-7182
Fax: (707) 542-2745


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Fund Young Democrats to go to Democratic Convention

We have 11 new Young Dems that would like to attend the Democratic Convention next month. As you are probably aware attending the convention is very expensive. Prohibitively expensive in fact as it can be more than $1000 per person. We have created an ActBlue donation page
Please help them begin their careers in supporting their wish to become a part of the Democratic future.
Thanks for your support,
G. Anthony Phillips, Chair

Napa County Democratic Central Committee
415-309-1235

ncdcc15@gmail.com



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Phone Bank to kill Republican Tax Scam

Hello Dedicated Volunteers

We need your help to stop the Republican Tax Scam. The Senate will try to vote on the bill this week. If we can delay for 7-10 days they will run out of time.

HOW CAN YOU HELP.

1. CALL FROM HOME – Send Ruth Rubanowitz <ruthrubanowitz@gmail.com> a note and she will send you a PDF file that has many pages of AZ names. She will also include what pages you should call. Call those pages using this script – click here.

2. HOST A PHONE BANK – We need phone banks Wednesday Nov – mid December. If you can open your home or know of a location where we can have a phone bank. send Linda Hemenway <whatisworking@gmail.com> a note. We can get you paper lists and scripts for your phone bank. If you have never hosted before we can send someone to help you.

3. INVITE YOUR FRIENDS – If everyone can bring along one new person to a phone bank  we can double our outreach.

SPECIAL NOTE

To everyone who called to defend the ACA  –  remember how wonderful it felt to know they had dropped the bill, and how proud you were to have been a part of that fight. Please help us again.

To everyone who didn’t make calls and wish they had – you have a second chance to get involved. Every call matters.

The ACA fight and the TAX fight are the same fight. We have to work really hard for the next 1-2 weeks. I know it is asking a lot, but I also know we can make a difference.

Forward…

Linda Hemenway
Sonoma County Chapter Lead
Organizing for Action



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Detailed Tax Bill Analysis by Joint Committee on Taxation

This is an excerpt from the extensive article from the Joint Committee on Taxation.  To read the full article, click here.

The amended tax bill that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hatch released on November 14 is even more skewed to the wealthy than the bill he released on November 9,[1] estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) show, and its tilt would worsen over time.[2] The original bill provided by far the largest benefits to high-income people, and many middle- and lower-income households would end up worse off.[3] Under the amended bill, in 2025 (when most of its provisions would be in place), high-income households would get the largest tax cuts as a share of after-tax income, on average, while households with incomes below $30,000 would on average face a tax increase. By 2027, when many of its provisions would have expired, those at the top would still get large tax cuts, but every income group below $75,000 would face tax increases, on average. Yet despite raising taxes on millions of middle- and lower-income households, the bill would add $1.5 trillion to deficits over the decade due to its large tax cuts for high-income households and corporations.



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Initial Analysis of GOP Tax Bill

The Bill is H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Full text is here: https://waysandmeansforms.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bill_text.pdf

Section by section summary: https://waysandmeansforms.house.gov/uploadedfiles/tax_cuts_and_jobs_act_section_by_section.pdf

Notable Groups that immediately came out opposed:

  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Association of Realtors expressed strong concern, still reading bill
  • The National Federation of Independent Business
  • Club For Growth
  • Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
  • Third Way
  • National Farmers Union

Topline arguments based on what we know thus far:

  • Overall, this is a tax bill that raises taxes on individuals in order to lower taxes on corporations. Republicans will argue the corporate cuts will generate economic growth and wage increases, but both are false promises. Two of the most credible, objective economic assessments of the bill’s framework show that, in the long-run, growth will actually be lower due to the large increases in the deficit. The White House’s promise that corporate rate cuts will wind up in the hands of workers has been widely contested and disproven.
  • Maintaining the top rate at 39.6% does little to change how regressive the bill is. The top 1 percent of earners will still see a massive tax cut, thanks to repeal of the AMT, repeal of the estate tax, lower taxes on non-corporate business ownership, and lower taxes on corporate profits, which disproportionately benefits shareholders as opposed to workers.
    • Under the plan, income above $1 million would be taxed at 39.6 percent. Current law applies that rate to income above $400,000 ― so even though the plan keeps the top bracket, it still represents a tax cut for high earners.
  • Republicans will sell their doubling of the standard deduction as a boon to the middle class, but they aren’t talking about how they take away personal exemptions, which nullifies most of that benefit and actually, on net, raises taxes for many in the middle class, even when child tax credit increases are factored in.
  • Even though the home mortgage deduction and property tax deduction are preserved to some degree, many families will lose the ability to write off mortgage interest and property taxes,
    because losing the ability to write off state income taxes will mean they can’t get past the now higher standard deduction threshold.
  • By shrinking the pool of taxes that are available to deduct, fewer taxpayers will be able to take advantage of itemized deductions altogether, including for mortgage interest and charitable
    giving. That will affect middle-class families in every district and every state. For details on the share of itemizers by congressional district, see this report.

Things to focus on:

  • The bill scraps state-and-local income tax deduction (SALT), but preserves property-tax
    deduction with a $10K cap for now

    • Data: Brady Tax Plan with Partial SALT Elimination Would Raise Taxes on Middle-Class
      Homeowners by as Much as 26%
    • Tax bill proponents will argue they are preserving the middle-class portion of the SALT
      deduction. But families earning $50,000 to $99,000 will, on average, lose half the value
      of their state and local tax deduction.
    • Under a property tax-only deduction, states that collect a relatively large share of their
      tax revenue in the form of income taxes, which tend to be more progressive, would be
      disadvantaged. For example, New York, Maryland, Kentucky, Oregon, and
      Massachusetts get more than 30% of their revenue from individual income taxes,
      whereas seven states do not collect income taxes at all.
  • Corporate rate cut is permanent in GOP tax plan – dropped to 20%
    • Lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% and eliminates the corporate AMT allows businesses to immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments in depreciable assets other than structures made after September 27, 2017, for at least five years.
      Corporations already do not pay their fair share in taxes and there is no reason to believe that corporations will invest more in America if the corporate income tax is cut.

      • Corporate tax cuts will mainly benefit shareholders and CEOs – not workers.
  • Repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax
    • In 2005, $31 million of the $35 million Trump paid in taxes was under the alternative minimum tax. These are the only tax returns released by Trump. Without the AMT, Trump would have paid much less.
    • The AMT does not affect the middle class. It exists to ensure upper earners pay their fair share. Only 0.2% of household making $50-$100K, and only 1.9% of households making
      $100-$200K pay the AMT. But 62.4% of households making half a million to $1 million per year would see their taxes cut by a removal of the AMT.
  • Doubles the exemption from the estate tax now, and repeals it after 6 years
    • This would double the amount of wealth not subject to the tax, and institute a full repeal in 2024. The law currently applies only to estates transferred at death worth more than $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for couples. By delaying a full repeal, House lawmakers may be signaling to their Senate colleagues that they’re open to keeping the tax in some form.
  • Repeals medical expense deduction
    • More than 9 million Americans deducted roughly $87 billion in medical expenses on their tax returns in 2015, according to the latest Internal Revenue Service data. Article
    • Taxpayers who do qualify for medical deductions are often facing serious and costly health issues requiring services or treatments not covered by insurance. Often they aren’t eligible for Medicaid.
  • Repeals student loan interest deduction
    • Currently, you can deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest paid in a given year.
  • Included Excise tax on endowments – a cost that will get passed on to students and families putting their children through college
  • Their bill makes it harder for families to adopt by Repealing both the credit for adoption and the exclusion for adoption assistance programs from an employee’s income
  • Eliminates the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC)
    • According to the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition the nmtc has leveraged over $80 billion in public-private investments and created more than 750,000 jobs in some of our country’s
      poorest neighborhoods and towns
  • Repeal of deduction for moving expenses
  • Repeal of employer-provided child care credit
  • Repeal of American Opportunity tax credit for certain higher education expenses – they replace it with a less generous Hope scholarship Credit or Life Learning Credit
  • Elimination of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) – a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.
  • Drops from 7 tax brackets to 4
  • Preserves the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and maintains the home mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes up to $500,000 – providing tax relief to current and aspiring homeowners.
    • So, big corporations get a big permanent tax cut but middle class family in high cost area loses some mortgage deduction?
    • Also eliminates mortgage deduction on second homes.
  • They’re making DARK money political spending tax deductible, by repealing the Johnson amendment – which currently prevents churches and other tax-exempt entities (all C3s) from
    participating in political campaigns. Implication of repeal.

    • So while Republicans are crowing about religious liberty, they’re also allowing the Koch Brothers and other billionaires who bankroll groups to write off those millions of dollars in
      purely political spending.
  • Creates a new one-time tax on overseas profits set at 12% for cash holdings and 5% for illiquid holdings, a provision meant to force companies to repatriate overseas profits. Creates a new 10% tax on U.S. companies’ high-profit foreign subsidiaries, calculated on a global basis, but active overseas profits wouldn’t otherwise be taxed.
    • That is a huge tax cut on overseas earnings of U.S. companies.

Other Intel

  • Doubles standard deduction
  • Doesn’t touch ACA mandates
  • U.S. companies would, generally, no longer pay taxes on their active foreign income, a move corporations and Republicans say is important in a competitive international landscape. To prevent companies from shifting profits abroad, the bill creates a new 10% tax on U.S. companies’ high-profit foreign subsidiaries, calculated on a global basis.
  • It does expand the child tax credit to $1,600 from $1,000
  • Maintains 401k system
  • Maintains charitable deduction- Because of the larger standard deduction, fewer people would have a tax incentive to make charitable donations.
  • Maintains Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)


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Thompson releases fire recovery guide for Napa and Sonoma residents

Thompson releases fire recovery guide for Napa and Sonoma residents

Atlas Fire
The top of Green Valley Road on Thursday following the Atlas Fire.

“Our district pulls together in tough times,” Thompson said. “We’ve overcome challenges before by working together, and we will do so again. Should you need anything, my staff and I are here to help.”

Fires in Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties have burned more than 250,000 acres and destroyed more than 6,000 homes. More than 30 people are confirmed dead and hundreds are unaccounted for.

Information on various resources is available to fire victims at mikethompson.house.gov/FireRecovery.



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Where to Get Fire Information

I copied this from Debbie Alter-Starr‘s facebook page:

I like A LOT of information during disasters so here are my hot tips – no pun intended for emergency info locally.

In my opinion, the best way to stay informed with greater frequency and greater detail than Nixle reports provide, at all hours of the day. is to make sure you are on Facebook as well and “FOLLOWING” as “FIRST in your Facebook news feed, the following Facebook pages:

https://www.facebook.com/NapaCounty/
https://www.facebook.com/993thevine/
https://www.facebook.com/cityofnapa/
https://www.facebook.com/Town-of-Yountville-Local-Governme…/

Nixle website– if you aren’t signed up for their messages by cell phone or email: https://local.nixle.com/city/ca/napa/. Go there and chose the city/county feed you want. While Nixle remains your very best source for evacuation notices at the moment that they are made, that’s their primary focus. I like more information in addition to these notices.

I think it’s a very good idea to join Facebook even if you never have before because there is a MUCH MORE info on Facebook pages than you will find on websites or nixle.
Even the County of Napa updates Facebook more than they do their website, etc. City of Napa website has a lot of good information – most groups though seem to focusing on updated their facebook pages only with breaking news.

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER
The phone number for emergency information for the public that can be called that is often busy during the day but not busy at after 5pm is 707-253-4501. See also the physical location for emergency information center: http://www.countyofnapa.org/Pages/Content.aspx?id=4294989366. I don’t recommend calling this number in the daytime while you can for example in Yountville jjust go downtown to get information in person but after hours it is very nice to know there is a place to call. You can leave messages on their machine for a call back. They have bilingual staff.

PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETINGS today (THURSDAY) – they will be live-streamed on the County of Napa Facebook page above:

4pm in English at NVUSD Auditorium (corner of Jefferson and Lincoln Ave in Napa – the 2-story building.) All are welcome -but you can just watch it over your internet.

6pm in Spanish at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

For ongoing information tune in to 1440 KVON A.M. Radio. KVYN’s FM station is not working so this AM station is for now KVON and KVYN both. They often have call in options (call in on air to 707-252-6222.)

Hope this all helps!

I’m adding:  Air Quality Map – Enter your zip code



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Providing the platform for progressive action in the Napa Valley