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IMPACTING HOMELESSNESS IN THE KRV

 
I am extremely thankful to Tony Moors for coming to last week's meeting and filling us in on what's REALLY going on with homelessness in the KRV.  As someone who has been battling this, almost single handedly and on the front lines (and caves and bushes) for years, he knows what he's talking about.

Some takeaways: 
The money that has been funneled into the county to address this issue has clearly not made its way up here.  Most has been devoured in Bakersfield, and the rest, well, we'd need to dig into the Board of Supervisors finances to find out where it's gone.  And forget about getting the County to give us more staffing for our government center, where some of these individuals could go for basic services.

One of the biggest impediments for these individuals is government red tape.  Trying to wade through the paperwork, getting ID's that are stolen the next day, getting these people to Bakersfield to go to where the County offers services, are all huge road blocks for them getting help. Most give up and "go into the bush."

It's not a rumor that the city of Bakersfield has been "dumping" homeless individuals up here.  We can guess who's behind it based on what some of the new residents of our Valley say, but none can be confirmed because it's done in nondescript vehicles.  If we knew what to look for, perhaps we could "out" the situation.  But that would take some serious sleuthing.

The County and VA services have been, in Tony's words, "a joke."  We will not see aid from KC Behavioral Health or the Veteran's Administration, and in the past the CCS (College Community Services), who are all tasked with helping with the homeless, have been useless.  However, there is NEW leadership at CCS and with continued help from Flood Ministries, Tony is actually hopeful that things will start to improve.

Building a homeless shelter up here won't necessarily help the problem.  What would, is getting vouchers from the county for temporary housing/hotel rooms until permanent solutions can be arranged.  Also vouchers for buses, to help transport people to Bakersfield for services.

Some people simply will not be able to assimilate back into society.  Either due to mental health issues like PTSD, drug problems, and the like, they will remain where they are.  Tony regularly checks on these individuals to make sure they get what they need, or whatever he can provide, but they won't leave their caves and tents.

How can we help?
We can donate to Tony Moor's foundation, which is a real 501c3. As mentioned above, Tony does most of the boots on the ground work himself, and pays for much of it out of his own pocket.  You can make checks payable to "The Moors Family Foundation."  Tony can get us a 501c3 letter for our records.  I also know the bank account # at Fidelity bank if you need it.  Please email me separately if you want the information.

For a vast majority of the homeless, pets are a necessity, and they won't go into housing without their furry companions.  Next time you're at Costco, pick up a big bag of dog and/or cat food and call Tony to give that donation directly to him.  He will make sure it is distributed.  Again, message me if you want his contact #.

If you have warm clothing, sturdy backpacks, and used sleeping bags that are good for -40 degrees (no summer bags - they are pretty useless for sturdy outdoor use), you can take them to Webb Recycling in Lake Isabella.  This is where Tony has storage and refrigerators for distribution.  Hot meals are fed to the homeless several days a week in the back of Webb.  Tony says they always have use for eggs, milk, and bread, for starters. 

If you have contacts or connections within the County, someone who may be able to help us improve things and get us some funding, please let me know via email or private message. 

 

PAYING THE BILL

 
The public Impeachment Proceedings got underway this week with very impressive testimony from acting US Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent.  Both of these men have impeccable credentials and records and their testimony is, well, unimpeachable.  Much of what they were planning to say, many of us who have been following this quagmire already knew.  But right out of the gate, Taylor dropped what many see as a "bombshell."  Trump actually asking US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland - The Don's point person on the Biden-Ukraine situation - how the investigations were going.  Why is this little cell phone call important?  Because it proves that Trump had direct involvement in the quid pro quo with the Ukraine. 

Impeachment: How an Overheard Phone Call Could Damage Trump - BBC News

For those who watched the proceedings, you know how the Republicans reacted.  By scrambling, trying to dismiss and laugh off both of these witnesses testimony as "second hand" and "here say."  I, for one, enjoyed Devin Nunes's righteous indignation in his opening statements.  He looked kind of like a sweaty deer in headlights.  (You all right there, Devin?  Feeling a little clammy?  It is cold and flu season, you know.  Perhaps you should get checked out.)  Then there were the multitude of interruptions, mostly led by Rep. Jim Jordan, who was having a bad hair decade, for "point of parliamentary procedure," wherein the Republicans tried to demand the whistle blower be revealed, j'accusing Schiff of knowing who the whistleblower is, dammit!  (You really should stand when you throw a tantrum, Jim.)  This, to me, all reeked of desperation.  I loved that Adam Schiff just kept his cool and stayed above it all.

How did Donny react?  Well, he was "too busy," to watch the "witch hunt."  For someone who was too busy - with the president of Turkey, mind you, who was probably here to thank the Donster for pulling out of Syria and letting his troops begin a free reign of terror - Dum Dum knew quite a lot. 

Donald Trump "Definitely" Didn't Pay Attention to the Impeachment Hearing - CNN

So, maybe he's not technically watching the impeachment proceedings.  He was definitely soaking up the Fox News commentary and getting whispers in his ears from staffers all day long.  But that's neither here nor there.  Impeachment will keep rolling along with or without his attention.

Now, here's another possible wrinkle.  Our policymakers in D.C. are facing an inflexible deadline: a week from today, current federal funding will run out. Failing to act would lead to yet another government shutdown.  The Associated Press reported yesterday that a deal appears to be in place to kick the can down the road for a month, preventing the fourth shutdown in the Donster's short time in office.

A top House lawmaker announced Tuesday that Congress will pass a governmentwide temporary spending bill to keep the government running through Dec. 20, forestalling a government shutdown as the House turns its focus to impeachment hearings.

Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., made the announcement after meeting with Senate counterpart Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in hopes of kick-starting long-delayed efforts to find agreement on $1.4 trillion worth of agency spending bills.

The plan, at least for now, is for Congress to approve a stop-gap spending measure some time over the next week and send it to the White House for a presidential signature. It would delay the threat of another shutdown by a month.  But that still makes the deadline December 20th.  Will the impeachment proceedings be done by then?  And then of course, there's The Don, who may, or may not, decide to shut 'er down, depending on how the winds are blowing his mop that day.
 

I know it's got quite a few Dems in Washington worries, including Chuck Schumer, who told reporters, “I’m increasingly worried that President Trump will want to shut down the government again because of impeachment. He always likes to create diversions. I hope and pray he won’t want to cause another government shutdown because it might be a diversion away from impeachment.”  Well, thanks for that, Chuck.  If Donny wasn't toying with the idea before, he probably is now, if for no other reason than to watch you squirm.

So, what's next?  First, the staffer that Taylor mentioned, David Holmes, will be questioned privately on Friday. Publicly, former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who says Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani pushed her out of her position earlier this year, will testify.  But next week is when it gets really juicy, because Sondland will take the stand, and if he corroborates any of Taylor's testimony, it could seal Dum Dum's Impeachment fate.

I believe Trump will be impeached by the House.  I also believe that, based on what we've seen so far, not one of the Congressional Republicans will cross party lines and do the right thing.  Which means, impeachment will not pass the Senate and Donnherea will remain in office. 

I also don't believe that any of this, no matter how damning the testimony, will sway the devout Trumpers - or GOP leaders who salivate at the thought of getting their own agendas pushed through while Donny's in office (I'm looking at you, Mitch) - one iota.

Then why go through this?  If we know that there's no way in hell that McConnell et. al. will actually do their constitutional duty, then why even bother?  Because this needs to be on the public record.  It needs to become part of our history books.  Sometimes, often, public opinion isn't kind to people caught up in the midst of current events.  (I'm thinking of the McCarthy hearings in the 50's as just one example.)  But in looking back, I believe history will not be kind to those who "have Trump's back" in all of this, and will shine favorably on those who had the courage to pursue this and speak the truth. 

So we can continue to watch this unfold.  Watch the house vote along party lines to impeach.  Watch it fail in the Senate.  Watch Dummpkof gloat that he was totally exonerated - totally.  OUR job is to vote Democrat in the next election.  To help register and get Democratic voters to the polls in 2020.  To volunteer for and donate to Democratic candidates like Amy McGrath to oust people like Mitch McConnell and Christy Smith in CA25 so we can keep that seat blue, and change the face of DC.  To support the Democratic candidate for President no matter who wins the primary.  To keep our eyes on the prize: getting our country back and beginning to right a multitude of wrongs.

 

DEM DEBATES ARE NEXT WEEK

And in the midst of this impeachment circus, the Democratic candidates for President will try to keep their eyes on the prize for the next round of Democratic Debates, set for November 20th on MSNBC, with four female moderators: Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show"; Andrea Mitchell, host of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post.  They will be coming to us from Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

The latest little wrinkle is that two more somewhat high profile contenders, Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick, are flirting with joining the race.  Do they have a shot in hell at this point in the game?  Looking at both of these men, their qualifications are good, maybe even great, but certainly no greater than any of the others who have already been slogging it out for these last several months.  They had their chance to declare and didn't.  Declaring now just mucks up the works and won't amount to a hill of beans in the end.  What I'm saying is, unless you're Oprah, or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, or Jesus Christ himself, STAY OUT OF IT.

The 10 candidates who have qualified to debate next week are Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Tom Steyer; former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn; and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

The most interesting development in this debate will be NBC's real attempt at giving ALL the candidates equal speaking time.  Previous debates have been wildly lopsided, and NBC promises that:

Candidates will have 75 seconds to answers questions posed to them and 45 seconds for follow-ups at the moderators' discretion. Candidates should be able to respond if they're referred to by name by another candidate, but that will be at the moderators' discretion, the announcement said.  Candidates will have one minute and 15 seconds for closing arguments.

The debate will air live exclusively on MSNBC from 6pm to 8pm PST.  It will also stream on MSNBC.com and Washingtonpost.com as well as across mobile devices through NBC News' and The Washington Post's mobile apps.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 
Sun. Sept 15 thru Fri. Nov, 29, 2nd Annual Homeless Youth Sleeping Bag Drive, Sponsored by The Kern County Homeless Youth Committee   
Contract: Allyson Seal  aseals@gbla.org
Drop off locations
Kaiser Permanente Farmers’ Market "Market on the Hill"   
Saturdays from 9a-2p, 3700 Mall View Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93306 
  
“Haggin Oaks Farmers Market”
Sundays from 9a-2p, 8800 Ming Ave., Bakersfield, CA
 
Kern Bridges Youth Homes            
Monday-Fri. from 8a-5p, 1321 Stine Rd., Bakersfield, CA Inside Bldg A   
  
Office of Senator Shannon Groves (I know, but you don't have to interact with Groves - just drop off the sleeping bags.)
Monday-Fri. From 9a-5p, 5701 Truxtun Ave., Ste 150, Bakersfield

 
Friday, November 15, The Center's 8th Anniversary Celebration
5:30 to 8pm, The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, 902 18th Street, Bakersfield

The local LGBTQ community and allies are coming together to celebrate the 8th anniversary of The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity formerly know as The Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield @thecenterbak.
Please join us and be part of this BIG celebration! The Center has come a long way thanks to your support. Come celebrate and learn what the future holds for your The Center. Food, beverages (beer, wine, and soft drinks) will be served. The staff, volunteers and board of directors hope to see you there! Your support is what's makes The Center a HUGE success.
This event is FREE and open to everyone. For more information, Please contact The Center.


 
Saturday, November 16, Rides and Rods Toy Run benefitting Toys for Tots KRV
10am to 2pm, Kernville Saloon, Kernville

Entry fee is $20 to play a poker hand or a new unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more.


Monday, November 18, Last Meeting of 2019 for Stonewall Democrats of Kern County
6 to 8pm, Bill Lee's Bamboo Chopsticks, 1203 18th Street, Bakersfield
We'll tend to some brief election business, and then enjoy a traditional Chinese meal together.
Dinner is dutch treat. We need RSVP's to ensure our table has seats for everyone.
The following people are nominated for SDK's Eboard in 2020:
Chair-Whitney Weddell
Vice Chair- Melinda Summer
Treasurer-Ana huerta
Secretary-Ian Spark
At large-Ricky Perez
We will also be confirming Ricky Perez as the at large rep to finish out this term in 2019.
After this meeting, our final events of 2019 will include the Transgender Day of remembrance rallies on 11/20, and World AIDS Day in Bakersfield on 12/1. There will be separate event invitations for those events.


Wednesday, November 20, Public Benefits Conference
9am to 4pm, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, 615 California Ave, Bakersfield

Join GBLA and the Kern County Homeless Collaborative to learn about the following public benefits:
• CalWORKs
• CalFresh
• SSI/ SSDI
• General Assistance
• Medi-Cal & Medicare
• IHSS
• CAPI
MUST REGISTER TO ATTEND, SPACE IS LIMITED!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-benefits-conference-tickets-70926815013


Wednesday, November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance
4 to 6pm, multiple locations (see below)

We stand with our transgender family and friends and rise to memorialize trans people who have lost their lives to hate violence this year.
There will be FOUR LOCATIONS for this event. Pick the one closest to you and meet us there!
Location 1: Oswell @ Mall View
Location 2: Ming & Ashe
Location 3: Panama Ln & Wible
Location 4: TBD
We will have large banners at each location, and signs carrying the names
#weremember. This is a somber observance, so no need to bring anything else. If you are an ally of trans people, you are welcome at this event.
Free of charge.
Sponsored by Stonewall Democrats and Bakersfield LGBTQ+.


Wednesday, November 20, 5th Democratic Presidential Candidate Debates
6 to 8pm PST, MSNBC

The debate will air live exclusively on MSNBC from 6pm to 8pm PST.  It will also stream on
MSNBC.com and Washingtonpost.com as well as across mobile devices through NBC News' and The Washington Post's mobile apps.


Tuesday, November 26, World AIDS Day Resource Fair
9am, Self Help Federal Credit Union, 2100 H Street, Bakersfield

The World AIDS Day Resource Fair will take place before Thanksgiving festivities on November 26th, 2019. We want to share information with the community on current Kern County HIV statistics and promote healthy ways to prevent the spread of HIV (with promotion of PrEP/PEP). There will be HIV tests on-site, other health screenings, free haircuts, Food Bank Food Distribution, music and more!

Monday, December 9, UKDC Monthly Meeting
6 to 7:30pm, Piazza's Pine Cone Inn, Sierra Way, Kernville

Doors open at 5:30pm for refreshments and socializing - meeting begins at 6pm.  We will be welcoming Darus Stephens, newly declared candidate for Supervisor District One, and Deanne Shulman, who will be speaking about the RYLA program.  It's our last meeting of the year, so bring some holiday treats to share.


Saturday, December 14, Democratic Women of Kern Holiday Breakfast
9am, The Petroleum Club, Bakersfield

Join us for our annual Winter Breakfast to celebrate Democratic Women of Kern and look forward to 2020! Open seating, gorgeous buffet breakfast, wonderful Democrats from our community...come celebrate the holidays with us!  Limited number of tickets available.  Go to www.democraticwomenofkern.org to get yours! Ticket sales end December 7th.


Saturday, January 18, Women's March Kern County
10am to 3pm, Mill Creek Park, Bakersfield

Save the date and let's do this again!
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PO Box 796 Kernville CA 93238

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