Weekly Update December 6th, 2015

See you this Wednesday!!!
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Join us December 9th at 7pm for our Holiday Potluck at Kulwicki Park Brooks Pavilion.  

If you can bring a dish to share, please contact us to let us know at southwestdems@gmail.com
Hope to see you there!

RSVP here.

Make a contribution here.

December 9th at 7pm

Kulwicki Park Brooks Pavilion
10777 W Coldspring Rd, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53228
Join our Democratic Ambassador Program

Democrats believe in the power of community. We know that as long as we can get our message out and get voters to the polls, we can win. That’s why our neighborhood ambassador program is so important. We’re creating one-on-one relationships, neighbor-to-neighbor to ensure local voters know about upcoming elections, candidates and issues. And it isn’t a one-way communications tool. It also allows us to hear directly from the community as to the issues they care about most. A good ambassador understands the character and demographics of their neighborhood, listens to the community and connects year-round with their neighbors to promote the idea that we are all in this together. We know that relationship-building is our best chance for increasing Democratic turnout and performance in local, state, and federal elections.

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Former President Jimmy Carter's Cancer is Gone!

"My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones. I will continue to receive regular three-week immunotherapy treatments of pembrolizumab," Carter said in a statement.

Carter, 91, first revealed the news in front of a Sunday School class he was teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.

13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.
How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment
By Michael Waldman

"A fraud on the American public." That’s how former Chief Justice Warren Burger described the idea that the Second Amendment gives an unfettered individual right to a gun. When he spoke these words to PBS in 1990, the rock-ribbed conservative appointed by Richard Nixon was expressing the longtime consensus of historians and judges across the political spectrum.

Twenty-five years later, Burger’s view seems as quaint as a powdered wig. Not only is an individual right to a firearm widely accepted, but increasingly states are also passing laws to legalize carrying weapons on streets, in parks, in bars—even in churches.

Many are startled to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t rule that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own a gun until 2008, when District of Columbia v. Heller struck down the capital’s law effectively banning handguns in the home. In fact, every other time the court had ruled previously, it had ruled otherwise. Why such a head-snapping turnaround? Don’t look for answers in dusty law books or the arcane reaches of theory.

So how does legal change happen in America? We’ve seen some remarkably successful drives in recent years—think of the push for marriage equality, or to undo campaign finance laws. Law students might be taught that the court is moved by powerhouse legal arguments or subtle shifts in doctrine. The National Rifle Association’s long crusade to bring its interpretation of the Constitution into the mainstream teaches a different lesson: Constitutional change is the product of public argument and political maneuvering. The pro-gun movement may have started with scholarship, but then it targeted public opinion and shifted the organs of government. By the time the issue reached the Supreme Court, the desired new doctrine fell like a ripe apple from a tree.

The Second Amendment consists of just one sentence: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today, scholars debate its bizarre comma placement, trying to make sense of the various clauses, and politicians routinely declare themselves to be its “strong supporters.” But in the grand sweep of American history, this sentence has never been among the most prominent constitutional provisions. In fact, for two centuries it was largely ignored.

The amendment grew out of the political tumult surrounding the drafting of the Constitution, which was done in secret by a group of mostly young men, many of whom had served together in the Continental Army. Having seen the chaos and mob violence that followed the Revolution, these “Federalists” feared the consequences of a weak central authority. They produced a charter that shifted power—at the time in the hands of the states—to a new national government.

Read More at The Brennen Center for Justice.

We've come so far since the 1st DemTEAM training, and I'm proud to have been a part of it as well as the opportunity to play a role in the others. With that said, there's an opportunity to learn about what it takes from people who run campaigns as well as candidates and those who have gone on to elected office. If you ever thought about getting involved, here's your chance!

When: Friday January 15th and Saturday January 16th
Where: Milwaukee Area Labor Council

Cost: $30 for participants paid upon acceptance at http://www.actblue.com/page/demteam.

Scholarships: Available based on need. Email our Training Coordinator at chris@milwaukeedems.orgto apply.

Application Instructions: Please complete this application online through this form.

Contribute just $5 a month to become a sustaining member
GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns
By Khorri Atkinson

Senate Republicans rejected a bill that aims to stop suspected terrorists from legally buying guns, on Thursday.  The vote came a day after at least 14 people were killed during the San Bernardino massacre in California by two suspects, including a woman said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Forty-five senators voted for the bill and 54 voted against it. One Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, crossed party lines.

The measure would have denied people on the terrorist watch list the ability to buy guns.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the legislation, argued that former President George W. Bush initially proposed the legislation in 2007, and the Obama administration also supports it. 

“If you need proof that Congress is a hostage to the gun lobby, look no further than today’s vote blocking a bill to prevent known or suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives,” she said. “Congress has been paralyzed by the gun lobby for years, while more and more Americans are killed in mass shootings. The carnage won’t stop until Congress finds the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and protect the nation.”

The NRA did not respond to a request on Friday for comment. But the gun rights lobby group told MSBC last month it wants to ensure that Americans who are wrongly on the terrorist list are are afforded their constitutional right to due process.

However, the bill would allow people to legally challenge a denial by the Justice Department to purchase a firearm, if they believe they were mistakenly placed on the terrorist watchlist.

The GOP-controlled Senate refusal to pass new gun control measures came weeks after the Washington Post reported that suspected terrorists had successfully purchased more than 2,000 guns from American dealers between 2004 and 2014, even though law enforcement is notifiedwhenever someone on the FBI’s watchlist attempts to purchase a firearm.

Also on Thursday, the Senate failed to pass another bill that would have expanded background checks to gun show and online firearms sales. The measure would also prevents convicted felons and the mentally ill from having access to weapons.

The four Republican senators who are running for president — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham — all voted against both gun control measures. 

Jessica Mackler, president of the American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic group, blasted the presidential hopefuls, saying that Americans should “keep in mind how their representatives addressed gun violence: cowering in inaction in the face of repeated, senseless tragedies in our communities.” 

Originally posted at MSNBC.
Copyright © 2015 Southwest Regional Democratic Organization, All rights reserved.

Founded in 1952, The Southwest Regional Democratic Organization is the official DemocraticParty of Milwaukee County regional unit for the following areas: Zip Codes 53129, 53130, 53132, 53214, 53219, 53220, 53227, 53228, the part of the City of Greenfield in 53221 and the entire Village of West Milwaukee.

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