Courage California in the News

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OUT OF NINE U.S. technology firms contacted by The Intercept  earlier this month, only one — Twitter — would rule out participating in the creation of a national Muslim registry, something Donald Trump has floated as a possibility. On Monday, 22 advocacy groups sent a letter to the other eight companies, urging them to take a stand.

The letter is signed jointly by a coalition including major progressive and human rights organizations: CREDO, Muslim Advocates, Color of Change, Courage Campaign, Democracy for America, #AllOfUs, Amnesty International USA, Asian Law Caucus, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Media Justice, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Faithful America, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Mijente, MPower Change, Presente, Sum of Us, Ultraviolet. Below is the version of the letter sent to Google. Copies are also being sent to Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Booz Allen Hamilton, SRA International, CGI, and Apple.

With much of North America still in the grips of a drought going back years, managing dwindling drinking water resources is a pressing topic. And in a year when bottled water sales in the United States are expected to exceed soda sales for the first time, Nestlé Waters—a water-for-profit poster child that dominates the bottled water industry, with multiple operations across the U.S. and Canada—is at the front lines of numerous battles being waged in local communities across North America. 

A group of environmental organizations subsequently filed a lawsuit arguing that the Forest Service had, for the duration of Nestlé’s expired permit, illegally allowed Nestlé to pipe water from the creek for miles over National Forest land. Strawberry Creek, a perennial waterway, has been running dry, said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign, a California-based progressive grassroots advocacy group. “It’s way below what it needs to be to be healthy to sustain the environment and the flora and fauna, and it only continues to get worse,” he said. “The rains we had last winter didn’t impact this area at all, and so, it’s not like things are on the upswing.”

The legal wranglings are far from over, however. The State Water Resource Control Board, which operates under the authority of the California Environmental Protection Agency, is believed to be reviewing Nestlé’s water rights to Strawberry Creek. The Forest Service is conducting an environmental review of Nestlé’s new permit application. And Courage Campaign attorney Rachel Doughty said in an email to AlterNet that an appeal of the district court's decision is “anticipated.”

Californians may be largely locked out of the Trump administration, but they are quickly forming the hub of what’s being called the Resistance.

With Democrats in the political minority in Washington, many Resisters feel it’s on them to protect what’s sacred, because politicians won’t be able to do it. They say it’s time to move beyond mourning Hillary Clinton’s defeat and start counter-attacking — quickly, because Trump takes office in less than six weeks.

“I’ve been signing petitions and donating money and calling congresspeople,” said Lori Koon, a San Francisco hairdresser who is hosting a Trump resistance meeting Monday at the salon where she works. “And that’s all good, but at this point, if I want to see the world shaped the way I want to, the little people like me are going to have to do it.”

She is leading one of the more than 60 small groups organized by California’s 1.3 million-member that are designed to brainstorm resistance ideas. Courage Campaign provides the framework on how to conduct a meeting, but it is up to the individual groups to riff on the ideas that fit into its Courageous Resistance campaign.

Change-making potential: California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, worries about how Sessions will decide what constitutes criminal behavior worth deportation. In a call to Courage Campaign activists this week, de León wondered whether it will be a “mom who has a taillight out?” Backed by a GOP Congress and president, Sessions’ power will be immense.

California’s state leaders, including Governor Jerry Brown, have promised to resist attempts by a Trump administration to alter state policies on climate change, organized labor and immigration. Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign, a progressive organizing group, hailed Becerra’s appointment, saying, “California can – and should – be the tip of the spear for state-based resistance to Trump and the Republican party’s inhumane vision for our country.”

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Story of Stuff Project and the Courage Campaign Institute filed their appeal on Thursday and are taking the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“For a leading global corporation that boasts its dedication to diversity and inclusion, Nike has done absolutely NOTHING to disassociate itself with Trump and his misogynistic presidential campaign,” Courage Campaign manager William Winters said in a press release Monday. “Even after Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women, Nike did nothing. And its silence is deafening.”

According to the Courage Campaign, more than 60,000 people have signed the petition for Nike to cut ties with Trump as of this week.

The California-based Courage Campaign is pushing Nike -- a longtime Widen+Kennedy client -- to abandon its Niketown store in Manhattan's Trump Tower. The effort calls on the shoe-and-apparel behemoth "to sever ties with Donald Trump by relocating their flagship NYC Niketown store out of Trump Tower when the lease expires in 2017."

Courage Campaign launched an online petition earlier this year, and now, in the wake of the recent sexual-assault allegations against Trump, is making a renewed push.

The Courage Campaign, CPD Action, CREDO Action, Democracy for America,, New York Communities for Change, Other98,, and Rootstrikers signed the letter to Schumer.

The Courage Campaign is an online movement aimed at raising awareness of issues like economic justice, human rights and corporate and political accountability. Tim Molina, one of the campaign creators, said they back Kaepernick's message.

"Patriotism isn't rising for a national anthem or following a flag, it is fighting to make this country the best country it can be," Molina said, "Black lives matter and the protest Kaepernick is doing, is just supporting that".


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