Courage California in the News

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A California group has started a petition calling for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to resign after past sexual assault allegations recently surfaced.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is under fire again, this time by an L.A.-based organization being funded, in part, by teachers unions.

A California organization is demanding Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson resign over allegations of sexual assault.

ANTI-KJ CAMPAIGN -- Just one day after announcing he won’t run for a third term, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson found himself the target of a drive by the progressive Courage Campaign -- which has mounted an online petition drive urging him to resign. The group cited charges of sexual abuse which date back two decades, and a recent video which has put the story into banner headlines.

Explicit, and tough -- That’s the tone of a letter from Courage Campaign’s Laura Levitt, a former social worker, in making the call for KJ to resign: “The video is chilling...A teenage girl sits on her hands and speaks to a Phoenix police officer in a gloomy room, describing sexual abuse.”

“Many people in Sacramento had been aware of her words and allegations, but had never seen her face before or heard her voice telling a first hand account of her story. We can’t keep ignoring these serious allegations of child sex abuse.

“It has never been more clear, in the face of these allegations, Kevin Johnson does not deserve to represent the people of Sacramento. And Sacramento cannot wait until next year for Johnson to step down. He should not be allowed to remain in office one more day!”

Using a permit that expired in 1988, Nestlé pumps millions of gallons of water a year from the San Bernardino National Forest in drought-stricken southern California.  

CCI launched a petition against Nestle’s water usage in the spring of 2015. According to Eddie Kurtz, executive director of CCI, the petition went viral and racked up 185,000 signatures. Combined with similar petitions from partner organizations, Kurtz said the total number of signatures has topped 500,000.

“The ecosystem in San Bernardino forest is being harmed,” said Eddie Kurtz, the executive director of the Courage Campaign Institute, one of three groups that filed the suit. “It’s not an environment that can afford to send its water to Nestlé to profit off of.”

The suit not only sheds light on the ethics and optics of bottling water during a historic drought. It also raises questions about the very idea of large corporations profiting off of what is widely considered a shared public resource.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Story of Stuff Project, and the Courage Campaign Institute filed the federal suit on Tuesday, calling for an immediate halt to Nestlé’s water pipeline at Strawberry Creek. The water is bottled and sold under Nestlé’s Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water brand.

An investigation by the Desert Sun in March found that while Nestlé, the largest bottled water company in the U.S., holds water rights to the area, its permit to transport water across the national forest expired in 1988. Since it has not been renewed, the U.S. Forest Service hasn’t examined the ecological impact of Nestle’s removal of tens of millions of gallons of water each year, the paper reported.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Story of Stuff Project and the Courage Campaign Institute. They are calling for the Forest Service to halt Nestle’s use of a pipeline that carries water from 11 wells out of the San Bernardino National Forest for bottling.

The suit, filed by advocacy groups the Story of Stuff Project, the Courage Campaign Institute and the Center for Biological Diversity, comes amidst an historic drought that has prompted policies requiring the state’s residents to cut personal water use. The plaintiffs argue that corporations shouldn’t get such unfettered water use while regular people have to cut back.

“Nestlé’s actions aren’t just morally bankrupt, they are illegal,” said Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the Courage Campaign Institute, in a statement. “Our government won’t stand up to them, so we’re taking matters into our own hands.”


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