This past New Year‘s Eve was one of the worst nights of my life. That’s the night my father died waiting for an ambulance that never came.
Around 1am, my father was having trouble breathing, so I called 911. The nearest fire station is just one mile from our house in DC, at most a 5 minute drive. Firefighters arrived in just ten minutes, but no ambulance. I watched my father struggle to stay alive as we waited for Emergency Medical Services. And waited. And waited.
The ambulance that finally came 40 minutes later wasn’t even from DC — it had to come from another state entirely. By the time it arrived, my father was already dead.
Despite this, the DC Fire Department is charging my family $780 for an ambulance it never sent. I started a petition on Change.org demanding they waive the fee — will you click here to sign?
So why did my father die waiting for an ambulance when there’s a fire station just a mile from our house? It turns out that on New Year’s Eve, nearly one third of DC’s firefighters called in sick, meaning ambulances sat empty in fire stations.
Long response times are a huge problem for ambulances, firefighters and police in cities all over America. The DC fire department needs to see that it can’t just let my father die and then take my family’s money.
My father was only 72 years old, a retired Air Force Veteran. He did not have to die on New Year’s night. And my family certainly shouldn’t be charged money for the reason he did.
Click here to sign my petition demanding that the DC Fire Department waive a $780 fee for an ambulance that never came to save my father.
Durand Ford, Jr. Washington, DC
PS: If you’ve ever had to wait too long for an ambulance or other emergency services, tell us your story in the “Reasons for signing” comment section on the petition.
Weekly Address: The President and First Lady Extend a Holiday Greeting and Thank our Troops for their Service
In this week’s address, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and thank our brave troops and their families for their service. The President and First Lady ask the American people to visit JoiningForces.gov to find ways to honor and support our veterans and military families, and say that we must all come together, as we always do, to care for each other during this holiday season.
Watch President Obama’s weekly address.
Weekly Wrap Up
On Sunday, President Obama traveled to Newtown, CT, and spoke at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the shooting and their families. “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change,” he said. “We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”
On Monday, we published a list of resources specifically designed for parents and guardians to provide guidance on talking to children after a traumatic event. Get more information here.
On Wednesday, the President delivered a statement from the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House, where he discussed his commitment to reducing the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day. “We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides,” he said. “There’s no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts. But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing.”
On Friday, President Obama recorded a message for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence using We the People. “I just wanted to take a minute today to respond and let you know: we hear you,” he said. The President reiterated his support for legislation to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, as well as measure to ensure that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to get their hands on a gun. He also discussed an effort he’s asked Vice President Biden to lead — to come up with a comprehensive set of proposals to help keep our children safe.
While annoying attitudes about the Middle/Lower Class and the Poor linger we must all press on … educate motivate and recruit potential voters to put better Representatives for the People in Congress in 2013 – 2014 … not to mention better Governors; all of whom should do the People’s Business not for a small group of benefactors !
In January of 2009, Joe Biden said the middle class was left out of the last economic boom in America and now suffer because of it and President Obama supposedly initiated a task force to improve the quality of life for the American Middle Class. ** Many such comments have been made by several administrations over the last several decades.
I think the best advice is not to impose federal programs/regulations that work toward transforming the middle class into the rest of a society that denies itself nothing regardless of the ability to pay for it. To truly help the middle class, start by reducing and limiting federal subsidies for the less fortunate and completely eliminate them for the lazy. At the same time scrap tax & investment programs only the upper crust can take advantage of. Reward fiscal responsibility by leveling the playing field (make the words “equal opportunity” mean something again).
Promote individual responsibility to mortgage only what can be repaid, applaud the ability to recognize the difference and put on a pedestal the integrity to put both in play.
Government cannot create jobs or wealth. You have seen first hand how command economies have run the rest of the planet into the ground while America became the envy of the world. What’s happened to us is corruption. Corruption with the size and scope to turn Freedom and Liberty asunder.
Harry, I am the Middle Class…. but it’s not a measure of my wealth – rather it’s a mind-set and it’s what’s in my heart. I rarely think about being rich because deep down inside I do believe it’s not possible to get that way without at some point wrongfully taking advantage of others and/or breaking the rules BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE POOR EITHER FOR EXACTLY THE SAME REASON. I don’t want to lead… I don’t want to follow…. I don’t want anything to do with politics. All I want is to be left alone to peaceably be responsible for myself and no-one else unless I see fit and I despise the desires of government to treat me otherwise. I am not your enemy nor am I an enemy of anyone… however you Sir, have proven a thousand times over to be mine.
I read and re-read your comment and while I believe what VP Joe Biden said is true; it is obvious that you do not and if I may take it even farther you sound like a Ron Paul supporter who I feel… let me say that again … whom I feel is an isolationist deep down and some other things that really have no place here. I believe, the government is there when the People cannot do for themselves and if you have watched listened and heard what happened while George Bush was President you might side with me though he did prove without a doubt, he had absolutely no control of the government. The idea that “he and his people” waged 2Wars 2huge Tax cuts without a pay for then decided to wait until the very last-minute as Americans prepared to vote in 2008 Presidential election to let us know quite vaguely that our economy was at risk. I know I was not alone -wondering and sensing something was wrong and while Hank Paulson held several pressers telling everyone that we need $$ because our Countries economic stability was about to collapse or was and that taxpayers had to help the banks etc. because they were too big to fail and we cannot tell you how the money will be used or how much -which really meant that the Private Sector had done something and it wasn’t good. The damage done need government intervention … maybe not the way Hank Paulson& George Bush handled it but the tangled weave woven of our monetary system is not only a national problem but an international one which is still at risk … you may not have felt it …I did …my state government started laying off people and while it was not given a lot of PR … I have to say way too many co-workers working for the state lost half if not more of their 401S ….and the climb up was slow . The House of Bush lost its credibility by waging 2Wars and giving his rich friends 2 tax cuts and a lack of regulation by an unqualified 8yr tenure of spending …This could not have been recalibrated by the market or private sector … because they were the problem right they didn’t figure it in … bankers etc. org like country wide did some awful things and that dragged not just the middle class it managed to create ”the new working poor” unable to pay their housing mortgages …and though folks in the know say people should not have gotten into loans they could not afford a lot more to that story than meets the eye… BofA knows and so does country wide … Sir, there are at least 300 million people in the US of A and the Government thank goodness is there to take up where others cannot …I like and want FEMA,FDA regulations regulating food,FAA, the dirty air and water available for ALL Americans because I know I cannot regulate these things. I am happy our Government takes care of those things and let us not leave out Teachers, Firefighters, EMTS or the Police … all usually government jobs. I am not a States Rights believer. I still cannot believe any state would and should privatize such important jobs …and to know that in this yr. of 2011,people who don’t or cannot pay for the protection of their homes or belongings gets absolutely no service while their house burns down is far beyond my understanding of any libertarian ideology and as far as corruption? I still feel like America got raped by our fellow Americans by the financial system and those JOB Creators the banksters abused their power and while VP Biden is your enemy he and President Obama has been our savior in my eyes. The governing body has had to put aside the status quo for trying something new, pushing, promoting a balanced call to action … Unfortunately, the status quo is far more acceptable than doing the right thing … We can all see that by tuning into the rhetoric from Republicans and the Tea party who just tried to take our economy and our Democracy down again. I am certain that we are our brothers keepers and with the right balance….
Capitalism will live on, hopefully in lower case c; If we have learned anything it is that absolute power can create absolute corruption …like banksters and anyone affiliated should be warned and our future better when the proper amount of regulations are implemented … so that AIG, BP, the Massey mine and disaster like it are regulated …and the keystone pipeline as well. I believe we need a Congress that is concerned about our fiscal issues but who don’t forget the past and the damage done … Republicans seem bent on the status quo and VP Biden and President Obama want ALL Americans to do well- I support that. It is all about balance … just think if in President Obama’s first few months or 2yrs in, Congress had acted for the good of ALL Americans instead of Republicans deciding to take the President down, or those blue dogs and yes some clintonites held grudges …imagine if all these members of Congress had done what we taxpayers actually pay them to do – put People over Profit, Country over Political Party. No task forces no filibusters no personal BS – I wager more regulation but balanced and a respect for the People’s vote in 2008- I do not live in an isolationist country though we all have the right to privacy. I would say that income inequality, racism, the war waged on worker and women’s rights are the enemy of mine
No, quite the contrary…. the middle class has indeed been kicked in the teeth for nearly 5 decades. Year after year, decade after decade the middle class has lost ground to the wealthy and yet forced to pay more for the poor because government tries to feed, clothe and house them yet at the same time turns it’s back on corrupt manipulation of the economy. Both sides of the political aisle in the US have been equally vile and corrupt for a long long time. Until we address this and rid ourselves of it, we will never be able to right ourselves. Arguing Democrat vs Republican nonsense is just the rhetoric used to feed the fire… to keep your focus off all the criminal intent between Washington and business. There’s nothing wrong with honest Democrat/Republican doctrine/values. What’s going on today has little to do with with either and it’s time we grow up… face it…. and do something about it.
There are plenty of laws to provide for a decent and civil society as long as we are willing to enforce them. The problem today with asking our government to capture and punish the bad guys is that many in government ARE the bad guys. USA Today reports that 57 members of Congress are included in the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans. In fact the report says that in all, Congress holds 249 millionaires. Interesting that both Republicans and Democrats pretty evenly make up the list and gee what a surprise to find out that most of them amassed their wealth after taking office. We know these guys are all just astute investors/businessmen because they’ve told us so. There’s no taking advantage of non-public market information going on in Washington. This is America – remember…. the land of equal opportunity for all who are willing to work.
Well, having read this response means you really did not read mine. I was agreeing that the Middle Class has suffered for quite some time. If I remember, you are against task forces to remedy the issue. I believe we agree on some of the issues but clearly disagree at how those issues can and should be dealt with.
I lean left. I believe that I am my brother’s keeper and as a person of colour it is in my own best interest to make sure that not only are minorities treated like others … with respect, equality and access to all the same opportunities to move up because it makes America an even better place and as far as Democratic or Republican rhetoric? there is a stark difference … getting money out of Washington if that is your main interest means starting on the local level. The status quo pays but it starts in your State where the best or most promising get courted. I have no problem with the idea …”getting money out of Washington” what I do take issue with is how folks act like it just started and blame President Obama for the ills of at least 20yrs of destruction having come to bear on his watch. I am upset Bush was allowed to skate without so much as a question … when did the bs really start ,why didn’t you implement a pay for the 2Wars waged 2Bush Bonus dollars . I read your comment …my question is … did you feel this much about it for the nearly 5 decades you state we have been kicked in the teeth for? I watch various pundits on cable yelling screaming and then blame the Obama Admin …where were they during the House of Bush… and unlike some I have no problem with that 1-2% of self-made million/billionaires who have tried to give back I do take issues with the Cantor, Boehner and McConnell’s clearly having a positive upward agenda for the 1-2% but not for the Mid-lower classes …like I said I have no problem with capitalism with a small c. I agree Congress is sometimes vile, greedy and speaks for the 1% … but that is usually when Republicans are out of control like Bush. I support President Obama but am not very happy with conservadems , conservative members of Congress , Tea Party members or Republican Governors throwing us under the bus – Ask a Republican … what kind of an America are they trying to move us into when they live ,love and push income inequality … class warfare – and just so you know … folks are willing to work yet those JOB Creators keep offshoring jobs making life unequal as more opportunities dry up.
HIM: I have no further comment other than to wish you a Merry Christmas.
ME: Thank You … and A Happy New Year to you …
2012 is nearly over, and what a year it has been.
In the same year that we saw devastating levels of deportation and even more families torn apart, we also saw the White House issue administrative relief for DREAMers, and immigrant rights voters reelect the President on a mandate of finally passing immigration reform.
The President got the message—and so did Congress.
We must seize this moment. Humane, comprehensive reform is just on the horizon and the only way we will ensure that it becomes reality is by holding our leaders in Congress and in the White House accountable.
Ask family and friends to take part in the fight to pass real reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans.
If we all take action to build our strength, we can make sure that by this time next year we will have the reform we’ve been fighting for. Send a card to your friends and family today!
Thank you, and Happy Holidays,
Donna De La Cruz Reform Immigration FOR America
P.S. If we each invite one more person to join in, we will increase the power of our movement by over one million people. Send a card today!
|As we gather with family and friends to share old memories and make new ones, everyone at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture wishes you and yours the happiest of holidays.We also offer our prayers and hopes for good health and prosperity for the New Year.
Since we broke ground in February of this year, the construction at our site is proceeding full-steam ahead. In early 2013, the steel will start to rise,forever changing the landscape of the National Mall in Washington, DC. In the days ahead I promise to keep you fully informed of our progress.
Finally, let me thank you for the support and commitment you have made to the Museum. You helped make 2012 a truly exciting year. I believe 2013 will surpass it, as together we speed toward the Museum’s grand opening in 2015.
Thank you again. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
For approximately ten years, activists have diligently worked to protect British Columbias Sacred Headwaters. In order to prevent oil corporation Royal…
I want to thank you for making 2012 an exciting year of progress for the Museum.
It has been a busy, productive year.
Of course, the biggest event over the past 12 months was our groundbreaking in February. It was marked by a special ceremony attended by President and Mrs. Obama, and featured speeches by the President and other dignitaries. This event stands as one of our major milestones and accomplishments thus far.
Today, our future site on the National Mall is a hive of activity. The bulldozers, backhoes and other construction equipment are drawing a lot of attention from people visiting the Capitol, the national monuments, and the museums that line the Mall.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are knowing that in 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will open its doors and take its place among the great family of Smithsonian institutions — provided we continue to progress on schedule.
Your support is vital to the Museum. Now, before we ring in the New Year, I hope you will consider making a special year-end contribution and help ensure we stay on schedule. Remember, your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law — so, while you are helping the Museum, you are benefiting with a tax deduction, too.
You may want to consider becoming a Charter Member, if you have not done so already — it is a great program with some nice premiums. Regardless, however, we are genuinely grateful for your support and contribution to the Museum!
Let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the best in the coming year. Thank you for your kind generosity to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture — and for making this dream a reality.
|P.S. Please take a moment right now and make a tax-deductible contribution to help build our Museum. If you are not already a Charter Member, you can join right now. Or you can simply support the Museum with a generous contribution. Either way, we truly appreciate your commitment. Thank you once again.|
A Sunday Kind Of Love
Time after Time Album - My funny Valentine
Someone to Watch Over Me
Everyone’s struggling in this economy—some of us more than others. Can you afford even a small donation to make 2012 a little bit brighter for someone less fortunate than yourself?
Not all of us can afford to give this year. So if you can afford to help, your contribution is more important than ever. Here are two things you can do:
1. Since Aug. 1, 1,300 BCTGM (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers) members in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been locked out of their factories by American Crystal Sugar. The company has hired replacement workers and continues to refuse to return to the bargaining table.
What’s special about this game is that the AFL-CIO is working with the players to fill the stadium with people—particularly union members—who have lost their jobs, plus local youths and members of the military. It costs $12.50 to donate a ticket.
Can you help? Click here to donate one or more tickets. (If you live near Carson, Calif., or can make it to the game, you can also purchase tickets for the game here, using discount code UNION to save 20 percent.)
Whichever of these campaigns you choose, your donation will have an immediate, tangible impact on people’s lives in the New Year.
Thanks for all the work you do.
The NW is either experiencing climate change …it’s Winter and not a snow flake in sight let alone real cold air. I guess all that nasty hot air coming from the mouths of Teapublicans running for President has raised its ugly head of lies I mean skewed, maybe manipulated information they all seem to be giving to Americans, has flowed toward us. We have yet another day and night filled with wicked weather with odd high temperatures, the wind has yet to calm down and the rain is washing away foundation, which is so northwest weather but can do much damage. So, be careful out there.
Given all that is happening in the World a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. is so appropriate right about now. People are dying for the right to speak freely, for a better life and human rights …no one speaks to life’s struggles better than MLK jr and as we move into a New Year let us all find keep or continue the audacity to have hope to change and work hard to give Barack Obama a second term.
“Human Progress is neither automatic nor inevitable even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” – MLK Jr.
Other News …