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The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training

The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Is A Collection Of 5-training-programs-in-1 To Help You Get Strong, Lean And Confident In No Time. Click Here!

 

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training Manual.Everything you want to know about strength training for women in an easy-to-understand format.

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training Exercise Glossary.A visual overview of the movements you will be doing during your training shot in beautiful, high quality HD.

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training Video Library.With 90 minutes of high-quality HD video, we show you all of the exercises, give you the exact tips and cues to make sure you’re performing them correctly.

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training Programs.Three different 16 weeks training programs perfect for any ability level, and perfect for any woman who wants to get stronger, leaner, healthier, and feel like a million bucks!

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training Progress Tracker.Tracking progress is absolutely critical to your long-term success. Simple and easy-to-use, you’ll be able to keep track of exactly what you’re doing every workout so you can see your progress over time.

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training Getting Started Guide.This Getting Started Guide is an absolute lifesaver as it helps you know exactly where to start, and walks you through the entire program step-by-step.

BONUS: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Conditioning.This guide brings a little sanity to the cardio and conditioning discussion. It gives descriptions and examples of the differences between high intensity interval training (HIIT) and moderate intensity cardio (MIC) and tells you what’s best for you.

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BONUS: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Nutrition – Super Shakes.This super shake guide shows you how you can make a quick, tasty, and healthful shake in just minutes. The shakes are broken down into two categories, snacks (~250 calories) and meal replacements (~450 calories).

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BONUS: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Core Training – Body Weight Edition.This Core Training Guide breaks down exactly how you should be training your core, and the types of movements that should be included in your program.

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Optional: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Good Nutrition Manual

We’re sure you’ve heard it before, but you can’t out-exercise a bad-diet. That’s just a recipe for a disaster.

That’s why we asked Dr. Cassandra Forsythe to write an accompanying Guide to Good Nutrition.

Dr. Cass (as we like to call her) is a brilliant, pragmatic nutrition expert and not one of those self-proclaimed “experts” either… she happens to be a registered dietitian (RD), certified sports nutritionist (CISSN), and holds a PhD in exercise science and nutrition. And if that weren’t enough to make you say dang…

She frequently speaks at various seminars and conferences in regards to female nutrition.

It’s safe to say, if anyone is an expert on female nutrition, it’s her.

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How we care for our veterans

If you watched last night’s debate, there was a lot of talk about war in places like Iraq and Syria, but very little about how to care for the men and women who serve after they return home.

Today is Veterans Day — a fact that went unmentioned during the Republican debate. And that’s important, because the truth is that while planes and tanks and guns are a cost of war, so too is taking care of the service members who use those weapons and fight our battles.

Last year, as chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I authored and passed the most comprehensive veterans’ legislation in decades, reaching across the aisle to team up with Sen. John McCain. Amid reports of unacceptable wait times and calls to dangerously privatize veterans health care, we actually authorized funding for 27 new medical facilities and hired more doctors and nurses to care for the surging number of veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After two wars over 14 years, never before have so few been asked to do so much for our country. I voted against the Iraq War, which I think will go down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders we have ever seen, but I have never wavered from my commitment to caring for the women and men who served, and continue to serve, in that conflict.

You may not have heard much about it from the Republican candidates last night, but how we care for our veterans is going to be a central issue this election. The Koch-connected Concerned Veterans for America is prepared to spend untold millions of dollars supporting the privatization of veterans’ health care. And almost every Republican candidate running for president supports their plan to place the profits of private corporations over the promise made to our veterans.

I believe we should take a different approach — that we should stand with the majority of veterans who believe we should continue strengthening the VA. Now I want to know that you’re with us.

Sign my petition if I can count on you to help me continue fighting against the Koch-connected plans to privatize veterans’ health care.

This issue is very important to me and it’s why I am so happy to receive so many letters from veterans who appreciate my work on their behalf.

People like Hilary from Polk County, Iowa who wrote to our campaign saying, “Bernie Sanders is the only candidate with a track record of fighting for veterans and veterans’ rights. I know as president he won’t send my brothers and sisters in arms into needless wars and for those that have served our country, he will ensure that they have access to the benefits and health care they earned through their service.”

And Peter from San Diego, “Retired Navy. Like [Bernie’s] stand on taking care of veterans. If you can’t afford to take care of veterans you can’t afford to fight a war.”

And also Jack from Massachusetts, “I’m a disabled Marine combat veteran, Bernie has always supported veterans with deeds and not just hot air. I’d love to have a President like that.”

I will always fight for Hilary, Peter, and Jack. And if we all stand together, we can protect and strengthen the care we provide for everyone who has served our country.

Sign my petition opposing Republican plans to privatize veterans’ health care.

The United States has spent trillions of dollars sending our young men and women to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely we can come together to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs has the resources needed to care for them when they return.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

TRANSCRIPT: Foreign Press Center Briefing with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Senior Official for APEC Matt Matthews

FOREIGN PRESS CENTER BRIEFING WITH DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE AND SENIOR OFFICIAL FOR APEC MATT MATTHEWS

TOPIC:  PREVIEW OF APEC 2015

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2015, 10:30 A.M. EDT

THE WASHINGTON FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.

MR ZIMMER:  Good morning.  Welcome to the Foreign Press Center.  My name is Mark Zimmer.  I’m one of the Media Relations Officers here.  We’re very pleased to welcome you this morning to a pre-brief of the APEC 2015 meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Matthews. 

Before we start, I’d like to take a moment to mention International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.  That’s today, November 2nd.  I don’t have to tell this group about the importance of a free press as part of every vibrant democracy regardless of location or culture.  This commemoration, which the UN General Assembly initiated in 2013, reminds all of us of our responsibility to prevent violence against members of the media and to ensure accountability for those who do commit violence.  The United States Government commends all of you for your role in promoting free speech, and we recognize the importance of journalists being able to do their work without fear.

With that, let me please welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Matthews.  He will have some opening remarks, and then we’ll take questions.  I will moderate that session.  We’ll welcome colleagues in New York as appropriate.  Thank you.

MR MATTHEWS:  Good morning.  I’m very happy to be here with you all to just preview a few items in the lead-up to our APEC senior officials meeting, the APEC ministerial, and of course, the APEC leaders meeting, which will conclude our APEC year. 

I think as all of you know, APEC is a critical piece of our economic architecture in the Asia Pacific region, and we see it as the premier organization for advancing free and open trade and investment.  It’s also used to foster cooperation in promoting sustainable and equitable growth.  One of the most important parts of our Rebalance agenda is for shared prosperity in the region, and APEC contributes directly to that agenda.  There are a number of things that go into it, but APEC basically is structured to help regional integration, stability, and to support rules conducive to U.S. economic competitiveness both for us and the region as a whole.

There are a couple of reasons why APEC really does work and works effectively.  Number one, it’s the institution in the region that we use where we can cooperate on freer and more open trade and investment.  It’s the right environment for holding those discussions.  We have the right experts together both from government and from business to create substantial and workable, practical measures that help move us forward in that area. 

It’s also a good institution for capacity building.  The United States participates in that, but so do other economies in APEC.  And the purpose of that capacity building is to make sure our participatory economies in APEC or developing countries have the capabilities that enable them to take advantage of the trade liberalization that we move forward on in APEC.

And, lastly, I’d say that it’s key to ensuring economic growth that is sustainable and that benefits everyone.  That’s a key element in the themes that you’ll hear time and again during the Philippines’ year, is inclusive growth.  It’s really something that APEC has been working on for some time, but it is being highlighted during the Philippine host year. 

So, we see APEC being able to move forward on all these fronts because it’s an incubator for new ideas, for innovative approaches, and for tackling challenges in the region that other folks haven’t thought of or tried before.  That’s facilitated, as I said, by the level of frank and open discussion that we can have in APEC.  And we can have that kind of frank and open discussion because it’s an organization that’s based on consensus, and the outcomes that we reach are non-binding except inasmuch as each and every member economy commits to doing the things that we all have agreed make sense to do, that we all agree will expand trade, will create greater prosperity, and create benefits across our economies.

So what you’ll see over time is each and every economy coming to a conclusion, coming to a consensus within APEC, and then going home and doing the things they need to do to make those proposals fact, to make them real, to actually open their economies in ways that actually have spurred growth in the region.

I believe that APEC not only has but will continue to play essential role in enabling agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and those of the WTO by helping economies envision and prepare for high-standard rules-based economic systems throughout the region.  I think one perfect example of how APEC has done that is in the area of environmental goods and services. 

So I just thought I’d highlight it for you because this year is the year in which all economies have committed to implementing commitments to either reduce tariffs on 54 items in the environmental goods and services list to below 5 percent or zeroing them out completely.  That’s an amazing step forward, and it’s a step that inspired the WTO to try to pick up a similar process.  And it’s moving forward now on a global framework.

So, again, incubator of ideas, effective means of communication within APEC where we have open discussions and plenty of time to examine the consequences of what a policy move might mean, then consensus and moving forward on it to implementation and providing that idea for others in the global economic community as a point of reference and, perhaps, adoption as in the case of environmental goods and services.

So that environmental goods and services list and the implementation of it is one of the real key highlights for deliverables this year.  But there is much more on the APEC agenda, and first and foremost I would say is work on digital economy.  This is something we’ve been working on for the past couple of years and we’re continuing to prepare it to ensure that the internet and the dissemination of new technologies that have led to rapid change is, in fact, possible within the APEC environment. 

What does this really mean for us?  It means that the internet needs to be open for markets and for free flow of information.  The free flow of information is critical to firms making rapid and accurate decisions.  So anything that prevents the free flow of information on the internet really is an impediment to growth.  It’s an impediment to prosperity. 

So we’re supporting a discussion in APEC that looks to identify those barriers and, as we move forward not only just this year but in the years to come, to thinking about ways we can move forward of dealing with the digital economy as a major trade issue for APEC, one that will allow us to address barriers in an effective way across the board.

The goal here, of course, is to make sure that we have a 21st economy in the Asia Pacific that continues to drive growth for the globe, and we’ll do that by making sure that we’re on that cutting edge, that we’re taking advantage of all the tools and all the benefits that the internet has that we can apply to our economic systems.

Another thing, of course, moving forward is work on the free trade area of the Pacific.  There is a study going on now and … working chapters are being developed by various economies.  That is something that will be progressing year by year as we look at ways of even broadening out the degree of integration within APEC.

There’s also, as I said, a key agenda on prosper – maintaining prosperity through sustainable, healthy, and resilient communities.  So what are we talking about there?  In APEC, we’ve come up with practical applications for dealing with marine debris.  There are better programs going out now where cities are undertaking very pragmatic programs that will take debris, waste material, and turn it into energy – just a creative and effective and economically viable approach.  Again, we’re doing it as an example, not only to the Asia Pacific region, but for the globe as well.

Fossil fuel subsidy reviews – we’re taking a look in APEC at those fossil fuel subsidies and asking each economy to take a clear look and ask themselves whether it’s delivering economic benefit or is it perhaps counterproductive.  And in those cases where they identify a counterproductive subsidy – that means a subsidy that doesn’t work to that – the goal that we have in mind or that – or there are other policy options that might be more efficient.  Folks are then encouraged to pursue those other options. 

On the environment, we’ve got a number of initiatives but, of course, first and foremost was the environmental goods and services agreement.  And I’d just highlight for you, in terms of environment, that the reason why that’s important is we are encouraging businesses and encouraging economies to adopt the best available technologies that allow us to grow, but to grow greener by reducing our carbon footprint.  One key way to do that is by zeroing out the tariff, cutting the tax on those items so that businesses are more likely to adopt those technologies sooner and on a broader scale.  That means that we can grow and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time.  But in addition to that, we’re also doing work on electric vehicles and, as I said, we’re doing this fossil fuel subsidy study.  So there’s that element on environment.

Again, there’s an element covering health.  And in health, we’ve done work on both reducing the barriers – or not reducing but at last identifying barriers to trade in health care products.  Again, looking forward, what we’ve got in mind here is this:  What we’re trying to do is improve the health outcomes in each and every economy, and one of the best ways of doing that is to take a look and see where are the tariff rates inconsistent with that goal?  Where are they so high that they’re actually preventing good health care products from getting to consumers who need them?  And, ultimately, what we’ll try to do is work together with our other APEC economies and come up with approaches of how we can reduce those barriers.

But another thing that we’re doing is working in public-private partnerships on infection prevention and the control that is working in conjunction with the global health security agenda.  

And a third area of work in APEC, which is very important and which requires private sector assistance – and one reason why APEC is so effective is it brings the private sector together with government – is to take a look at innovative medical products and take a look at the kind of global standards we’re adopting in applying them.

I’ll give you a following-up area for work that we’re doing, is in women’s economic empowerment.  Here, the most basic thing we’re trying to achieve is ensuring that each and every economy in APEC grows at its optimum level, but the only way you can really do that is by ensuring that women have a full right to participate in the workforce and to contribute to our economic growth. 

So in a broad range of measures, both on – by identifying policy frameworks that can facilitate and encourage full participation of women in the economy through a digital dashboard, and through a number of other specific measures, including this year we had one on transportation – women and transportation, which took a very clear look at this key node, making sure that women have safe transportation systems to get them to and from work, to make sure that that doesn’t become a barrier to their participation in the workforce.  And as a kind of ripple effect, allow economies to say, okay, that’s the way it worked in transportation; are there other areas in our economy that are, unbeknownst to us or without us having really thought through them, creating barriers that we didn’t intend but are in fact there?  As we take a look at the policy settings, we can say here are things, practical things, we can do to make sure that there’s nothing that stands between a woman and her desire to participate in that economy and generate income for her family and help that economy grow.

So one last thing I would mention to you is our work on disaster preparedness.  This is something that was particularly poignant, I think, for the Philippines here because the Philippines, of course, is subject to as many if not more disasters than any other economy in APEC, whether it’s volcanoes, whether it’s earthquakes, whether it’s typhoons.  But all economies in APEC to some degree or other have to handle these kinds of challenges.  And what we want to do, particularly in APEC, is make sure that we’re coordinating in ways that, number one, ensure that we can get humanitarian goods to and from any disaster zone as efficiently and effectively as possible.  This means over time dealing with the customs regulations and restrictions that might slow down that process.  Our goal here is to make sure we alleviate suffering as much as we possibly can, as soon as we possibly can.  And a second element of the APEC’s work on disaster preparedness is, again, I think unique to APEC because it takes a look at what happens after you’ve dealt with the immediate humanitarian crisis:  What about getting our supply chains back in business?  What about getting our businesses back up and running?  What about making sure we have resilient energy systems that can be either sustained through a disaster scenario or be returned to service as quickly as possible?  We’re looking at all those kinds of elements within the framework of discussions in APEC.  So I think you can see we have a really broad agenda, but it’s focused on delivering economic improvement and greater prosperity and greater equity throughout the system.

So I think with those opening remarks, I’ll just open it up.

MR ZIMMER:  Thank you.  Please identify yourself and your outlet.  If any guests in New York come to the microphone, we’ll recognize them.

Please, in the middle here.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  Welcome to the Foreign Press Center.  I have a question about India.  India has applied for membership of APEC and Philippines said it’s considering it.  What’s U.S. position on that?

MR MATTHEWS:  I don’t believe that there’s any active consideration within APEC for expanded membership at the current time.  From time to time, countries and economies will register interest and – at present, though, there’s been no significant discussion along those lines.  But at a future date, those things may be reviewed and we will see where they go.

One thing I would suggest is for any economy that’s interested in APEC, a great way to start is to go into – identify sub-fora or working groups that work on particular areas across our APEC agenda that are of particular interest to them and apply as a guest to send experts in to participate, both to help understand how APEC works and to get a better understanding of how we process and turn out good outcomes that help APEC be that organization that pushes for leading-edge and innovative ways of expanding a more open and free trade and investment environment.

MR ZIMMER:  In the middle here, please.

QUESTION:  Hi, I’m Alexander Panetta from the Canadian Press.  So there will be a new member of APEC this year – Canada has a new prime minister in two days.  So I’m just wondering whether there are any plans for either a bilateral or a pull-aside with Canada’s new Prime Minister Trudeau and any issues that might be priorities for the United States in dealing with a new government.

MR MATTHEWS:  Well, Canada has a new prime minister and we welcome the prime minister into the APEC family, but Canada is not a new member.  And Canada is a very significant and important member of APEC, one which we work with very closely.  We anticipate having a tremendous amount of continuity in the APEC agenda and that Canada, if it does have new priorities that it would like to raise or address, I’m sure we’ll be hearing from the prime minister and his team when we go into the ministerial and leaders agenda period during these discussions coming up.  But nothing’s been raised as of yet that I’m aware of.

MR ZIMMER:  Thanks very much.  Let’s go to the side here, please.

QUESTION:  My name is Varughese George.  I have a follow-up question on India.  I’m from India, The Hindu newspaper.  India has already been an observer since 2011 and President Obama, when he visited India last year, did say that the U.S. would support India’s membership in APEC.  So are you suggesting that there is no forward movement at all on that – India’s request for membership?

MR MATTHEWS:  I think it’s just important to be very careful and accurate about describing the President’s comments.  The President has welcomed India’s interest in APEC, and I think that speaks for itself.  We are welcoming your interest.  We welcome India’s examination of what APEC’s all about, but we have not entered into a discussion and I don’t believe India is formally pressing for actual membership now in APEC.  And remember, keep this in mind, APEC is an organization that’s consensus-based.  So each and every member of APEC has to agree to an expansion of APEC membership, and no discussions in APEC this year have focused on that topic – just so you’re focused on that, okay?  You’re welcome.

MR ZIMMER:  We’ll do the front and then we’ll go to the back, please.

QUESTION:  Thank you, Matt.  Rita Cheng from Central News Agency, Taiwan.  Every year the U.S. delegation will meet with the Taiwan’s counterpart during the APEC.  I wondered is there any meeting confirmed during this year?  And any other topic that you will be discuss with Taiwan’s counterpart? 

And also, not every country in – of APEC has been included in TPP.  I wonder the America – how America and in what way will put the – cooperate the TPP (inaudible) with the – like the region’s economic framework?  Thank you.

MR MATTHEWS:  Okay, I’m not sure if I got all of that.  But first and foremost, Taipei is a full member in APEC – Chinese Taipei is a full member in APEC, and it works across the whole APEC agenda with every other economy in APEC and we work with Chinese Taipei in those various sub-fora and working groups, in senior official meetings that I participate in with, and of course during ministerials and even the leaders meeting.  So I think you can anticipate that, just as in prior years, Chinese Taipei will be an active participant in all those elements and we look forward to that.

MR ZIMMER:  In the back, please.

QUESTION:  Good morning.  My name is Adam Xu from Voice of America, Mandarin service.  I have two questions.  You mentioned the U.S. will support the discussion on the free flow of information on the internet.  I’m wondering:  Do you have a list of participants in the (inaudible) or is this discussion going to be carried out?  And can you elaborate on the focus of such discussion, and what are your expectations?

And my second question is about the South China Sea.  Given the recent tensions in South China Sea, is it going to be on the agenda in the APEC discussions?

MR. MATTHEWS:  Thank you.  So, on digital economy, right now we’re at an early stage in the APEC process on discussing the digital economy and digital trade issues, so I would say that this is essentially a working-level process.  But both at ministerial and, I believe hopefully, at the leaders level there will be acknowledgement that this is an important issue that has to be discussed and engaged in, but it primarily has to be engaged at this working level to make sure we kind of start to flesh out all the different specifics that we think are critical to ensuring that we have a free and open internet that supports future economic growth.  So I guess that’s where I’d say we’re on that one.

And I have nothing for you on the South China Sea, except I would just reiterate that APEC is an organization that focuses on economic issues. 

MR ZIMMER:  How about on the side for this one.

QUESTION:  Hi, 21st Century Business Herald.  About TPP, some trade experts told me that among the TPP members in the ASEAN countries, Malaysia will be the one, the country that will face a lot of challenge during the TPP ratification process in terms of the prime minister’s challenge from his own party and from parliament.  So is this the case, or do you optimistic about the ratification process of TPP in Malaysia as there will be a trade minister session in the APEC?  Thanks.

MR MATTHEWS:  Well, I am optimistic about ratification of the TPP agreement by all the participating economies.  It doesn’t mean that it won’t take a lot of work.  Even in our own country we anticipate it’s going to be a major effort to make sure we do a good job of explaining the actual outcomes of TPP and what the benefits are.  But we remain optimistic and I think we remain optimistic across all the participating economies. 

MR ZIMMER:  In the middle, please, then we’ll go to the back.

QUESTION:  Hi, Maria Garcia, Notimex, the Mexican news agency.  As – Mexico as a member of APEC has started ambitious economic reforms.  Do you think that the Mexican model could be – to what extent the Mexican model could be regarded as a model for other members of the APEC?

MR MATTHEWS:  Other members of APEC?  Well, I would say this, that we have a very broad agenda of issues in APEC, and I would say it’s probably fair to say that almost every economy participating in APEC has at some point introduced innovative ideas or good policy suggestions that get discussed by APEC and ultimately adopted by APEC.  And Mexico, of course, is one of them.  But it’s part and parcel of the way in which we operate, so particularly in every host year whenever an economy decides to host, they have a chairmanship role which allows them to help highlight issues that they think are of critical importance, and they naturally do this in consultation with other economies.  But it does give them a chance to provide some additional input. 

But even in non-host years every economy has the ability to introduce at working levels at the senior official level new ideas that they think will help all the economies at APEC to grow more effectively.  And Mexico has participated in that and they are an active and helpful player in helping us move towards a more liberal and open system.  So I can only say thank you to Mexico.

MR ZIMMER:  All the way in the back, please.

QUESTION:  Hi, I’m Marion with NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation.  I have two questions about two major economic developments in the region this year, first of all the TPP and then also economic uncertainty coming out of China and the resulting financial market volatility.  And I’m wondering if those two things would specifically be on the agenda for the leaders’ summit.  TPP, I assume, would definitely be a focus in the trade minister summit, but I’m wondering if there would be a sort of separate TPP meeting at the leaders’ level as well. 

QUESTION:  Well, there’s been no decision, I think at this point, on whether or not there will be a TPP sidebar meeting at the ministerial or at the leaders’ meeting, but I refer to USTR on that.  As we get closer to the date they may have something more for you on that. 

In terms of China, China is pursuing a broad-based economic reform agenda.  It’s a challenging process of shifting the growth model – one dependent on investment and exports to domestic demand – and it’s a natural process you would anticipate that when you go through a major economic policy transition like this that issues will arise.  They seem committed to the process.  I think though the IMF and other economies understand their commitment and are supportive of their commitment to that reform process. 

MR ZIMMER:  Do we have more in the back?  (Inaudible.)

QUESTION:  Thank you very much.  My name is Tatsuya Mizumoto from Jiji Press.  About digital economy: so, are you discussing about cyber security?  And then about TPP, I know you have no TPP agreements, so what kind of the impact you will have to (inaudible) by this?

MR MATTHEWS:  Okay, cyber security does get raised in certain fora within APEC, and – but it’s – we have a pretty strong economic focus for the discussions.  So what you want to do is make sure that you have systems in place that preserve trade secrets, that preserve the integrity of business information, et cetera.  You want to make sure that economies are protected against potential economic downside of cyber hacking, et cetera. 

But I’ll get back to you with more detail that would probably help you, because I don’t have the specifics in front of me but I’d be happy to give you more information on that in a follow-up.

And then your second question was?  I’m sorry.

QUESTION:  (Off-mike.)

MR MATTHEWS:  Yeah.  So APEC’s agenda is separate – TPP is a separate negotiating group of economies.  They’re all APEC members, but it’s done separately.  So we’re not driving the APEC agenda based on what happens in the TPP negotiations.  The APEC agenda keeps moving forward on trade liberalization processes regardless.  So – but obviously, we all welcome the successful conclusion of the TPP, but it won’t directly affect the APEC discussion process.

MR ZIMMER:  Do you have a short follow-up?

QUESTION:  Yes, I want to follow that, so on the TPP.  But I think as – to your final (inaudible) that you are going to write a TPP standard to – in the APEC area, right?  So —

MR MATTHEWS:  Right.  So there are two things.  There’s a free trade agreement of the Pacific discussion group, which basically is starting to flesh out what chapters in an APEC-wide agreement might look like.  That discussion process will go forward, and is going forward, and chapters are being worked on by individual economies who have raised their hands and volunteered to help contribute.  And I guess that’s what I can tell you.  That’s an ongoing discussion process and ongoing drafting process.  That continues. 

MR ZIMMER:  Any final questions?  Okay.

QUESTION:  I am Grigory Dubovitskiy, Russian news agency RIA Novosti.  Are you aware of any plans, maybe possible, to discuss any questions with Russian delegation on the sidelines while SOM meet, maybe you aware of what level it could be?

MR MATTHEWS:  I don’t know about – and I can say to you that I meet with the Russian delegation for the senior officials level on a regular basis and at every SOM basically – and my predecessors did.  So those discussions continue because we have points of discussion that need close communication on a regular basis.  And my team that does APEC issues is, of course, working with our counterparts in the Russian delegation to APEC.  As for more senior-level meeting schedules, I don’t have the specifics for you on that.

MR ZIMMER:  One here, and then a final couple in the back.

QUESTION:  Two quick follow-up questions.  Alexander Panetta, again, from the Canadian Press.  Can you give an example or two of some of the environmental goods and services you’re talking about, and what a change in tariffs might mean or an elimination of tariffs might mean in terms of their proliferation?  That’s the first follow-up.

And the second thing I wanted to ask was, if I understand correctly, that you don’t know yet whether there might be a meeting with the new Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada?

MR MATTHEWS:  Well, I’d refer you to the White House on their scheduling of bilateral meetings for the President during the period of the leaders’ meeting. 

As for your other question on environmental goods and services, well some obvious ones that come to mind that are covered are wind turbines and solar panels – things that you’d say just – inherently you’d say anybody who wants to operate more greenly and wants to generate green power will want to make sure we can get those products to every market in APEC with the lowest tariff possible, if not zero tariff, so that a greater number of firms and a greater number of households can actually adopt the use of those technologies to reduce their energy intake and their carbon footprint.

MR ZIMMER:  Okay.  Maybe one more after this one.

QUESTION:  All right, thank you.  Rob Gentry with TV Asahi.  I had a follow-up on your question about – on your point about reducing tariffs for health care products.  Is it tariffs or is it also non-tariff barriers that you’re interested in on that? 

And then as a general question for the leaders’ meeting, what does the U.S. hope to have in terms of discussion on currency in the region, in terms of its effect on trade?  Thanks.

MR MATTHEWS:  So for healthcare products let me just be clear, we’re in very early stages of discussions on health care products.  Really what we’re doing at this current stage in APEC is agreeing to kind of identify barriers.  But one other thing that I’d like mention to you that we’re doing with regard to healthcare products in APEC is having private sector and governmental cooperation on helping to identify substandard health care products that can enter the market or even fraudulent ones, and then making sure each economy has effective means of taking those substandard products out of the pharmaceutical system to make sure we’re not delivering products which don’t help improve the health outcomes for our citizens.  But so we’re really at an early stage on that healthcare initiative, and we’re not to the point of, I think, identifying tariffs or talking about tariff reductions but just basically doing a study of the overall picture on barriers.

And I’m sorry, what was your other question?

QUESTION:  Currency.

MR MATTHEWS:  Currency.  I can’t give you anything on that.  I don’t know that there’s – yeah, I just don’t have an answer for you on that one.

MR ZIMMER:  Do we have a final question?  Over here, one more.  Last question, please.

QUESTION:  Sorry, it’s still a follow-up to the TPP.  I just wondered, is that like the similar, that during the APEC the discussion group will have a meeting and any country who would like to join the TPP, that they will have the chance to talking about that?  It’s something like that?  Thank you.

MR MATTHEWS:  Yeah, well, thanks for that question.  I don’t believe it’s envisioned right now.  Remember, every economy that’s in the Trans-Pacific Partnership at present is focused on one thing.  It’s getting from the conclusion of the negotiation to ratification within their own system, and that’s precisely where the United States is.  So our focus is completely dedicated to preparing everything we need to do to get ratification by the U.S. Congress.  And until we get that done, we’re not really going to be focusing on other economies.

We welcome the interest of other economies in APEC who are interested in TPP, but we just have to tell folks, please understand our focus right now is getting to ratification.

MR ZIMMER:  Okay, we appreciate Mr. Matthews joining us this morning out of his busy schedule.  We appreciate your joining us.  We’ll see you next time.  Thank you.

# # #

Planned Parenthood raided

Officials from Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration have raided Planned Parenthood health centers across the state, demanding the confidential records of women who visited the health centers, including ultrasound records.1 The news is especially alarming for a state with an extensive history of criminalizing abortion.

And the raids came just three days after Gov. Abbott announced that the state will end the one remaining source of government funding for Planned Parenthood—funding to provide health care for families earning less than 19 percent of the federal poverty level, or $3,760 for a family of three.2

In total, seven states have eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood since the summer.3 And the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a special budget bill to defund Planned Parenthood that cannot be blocked in the Senate using the filibuster, which is how we’ve stopped other bills attacking the organization.4

The attacks on Planned Parenthood are relentless. We did not budget for this big of a fight—and we need to keep fighting. Will you chip in $3 right now? 

Yes, I’ll chip in to help MoveOn fight to defend Planned Parenthood.

Here’s our plan to fight back: 

  • We’ll turn up the heat on vulnerable Republican senators running for re-election next year by holding events outside their in-state offices and running powerful social media campaigns targeting them for waging a war on women.  
  • We’ll run a hard-hitting media campaign to expose the attacks on Planned Parenthood for what they are: propaganda designed to close down health clinics and ban abortion. 
  • We’ll ramp up campaigns in the next set of states where Republicans are going after Planned Parenthood funding.

We simply cannot allow anti-abortion extremists to destroy an organization that helps so many people—or to roll back women’s rights and access to health care. Can you chip in $3 now to join MoveOn as we fight to save Planned Parenthood?

Click here to chip in and stand with Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is under an all-out assault. But our fighting back has made a huge difference, including helping stop bills to defund Planned Parenthood in the U.S. Senate. Specifically:

  • I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., where I met in person with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid to bring them 1.2 million signatures from MoveOn members and key partners supporting Planned Parenthood.  
  • We flooded Senate offices with 10,000 phone calls.
  • We ran ads highlighting how Planned Parenthood has helped individual MoveOn members. 
  • We partnered with Planned Parenthood to organize 138 rallies and other visibility events across the country on #PinkOut Day last month. 
  • And, on the state level, we supported numerous MoveOn members in leading petition campaigns and other organizing to stop their states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

Now, we need to show that attacking Planned Parenthood is a political loser and will cause vulnerable Republicans running for re-election next year to lose support among women. We know this strategy can work because Planned Parenthood is enormously popular. And we’ve used this strategy before and won: The Republican War on Women is a big reason why Todd Akin and Mitt Romney lost their elections in 2012.

We can beat back the worst attacks on Planned Parenthood, but we can’t do it without you. Will you chip in $3?

Click here to help MoveOn stand with Planned Parenthood.

Thanks for all you do.

–Anna, Victoria, Bobby, Manny, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Texas Orders Health Clinics to Turn Over Patient Data,” The New York Times, October 23, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307983&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=1

2. “Texas Is Hell-Bent on Ending Reproductive Health Care Access for Poor Women,” Slate, October 19, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307984&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=2

3. “Planned Parenthood Probes Find No Wrongdoing, But The Damage Has Been Done,” The Huffington Post, October 9, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307985&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=3

4. “House passes bill to dismantle key parts of Obamacare,” USA Today, October 23, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307986&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=4

 

Want to support our work? MoveOn member contributions have powered our work together for more than 17 years. Hundreds of thousands of people chip in each year—which is why we’re able to be fiercely independent, answering to no individual, corporation, politician, or political party. You can become a monthly donor by clicking here, or chip in a one-time gift here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

The MoveOn 2016 Presidential Forum

Dear MoveOn member,

I’m excited to share that MoveOn is hosting a 2016 Presidential Forum—with questions from MoveOn members like you, and answers from Democratic presidential candidates.

MoveOn has invited all of the Democratic candidates, and Senator Bernie Sanders is the first to confirm he’s in.1

To pull this off well—and reach millions of people with substantive conversation about some of the most important issues we face—we need your help asking critical questions that matter to the American people.

Will you ask the Democratic candidates for president a question? Just follow our simple instructions for how to make a 30-second homemade video of you asking your question—and it could be selected for the MoveOn 2016 Presidential Forum and answered by the participating candidates!

Yes, I’ll submit a question by video!

I’ll submit a question—but not right now. Follow up with me later this week.

Here’s how this will work:

  • We’ve invited every Democratic candidate—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Lawrence Lessig. Already, Sen. Sanders has confirmed his participation.
  • You and other MoveOn members submit questions for the presidential candidates—and your story about why that question is important to you—via video. Click here to do that now. The deadline to submit your video question is Monday, October 26, at 11:59 p.m. local time.
  • You’ll have an opportunity to weigh in on the questions you most want to hear the candidates answer.
  • We’ll sit down with every candidate who participates in the MoveOn 2016 Presidential Forum, sharing the top questions, pressing them for thoughtful, detailed responses, and filming their answers.
  • We’ll make a one-hour video special and stream it for the entire MoveOn community to watch and comment on together. And we’ll post all the selected questions and answers online for the public to view.

This is the only online forum or debate scheduled so far—with the potential to reach millions of people on their phones and computers. And 100% of the questions are coming from the grassroots, not from media networks or political parties.

Click here to submit your question for the candidates now—using our easy-to-follow instructions for making a video on your computer or smartphone.

Fifteen million people tuned in to the first Democratic presidential debate—the most for any Democratic debate ever. That’s nearly 50% more people than tuned in to the most-watched debate of the highly contested 2008 presidential primary.2

And more people streamed the Democratic debate online than streamed the earlier Republican debate on the same network.3

It’s clear that the American people want to hear from the candidates. But we’ve got to do this ourselves. Right now, there are just three more Democratic debates before the first contest—the Iowa caucuses on February 1. And all three are on weekends (one is on a holiday weekend and one is the weekend before Christmas)—not exactly times when lots of Americans are thinking about politics.

As a Washington Post columnist wrote after the first debate, “Quite frankly, America could benefit from watching a wider variety of people asking a bigger range of questions, period.”4

That’s what the MoveOn community can deliver.  

Will you make a 30-second video with your question for the candidates? (We’ll show you how; it’s easy.)

Yes, I’ll submit a question now.

Instead of emails and name-calling, this race should be about expanding Social Security benefits so that our seniors can live with dignity and peace of mind, and ensuring students can graduate from college with zero debt. It should be about unleashing American investment and ingenuity to tackle climate change by keeping fossil fuels in the ground. It should be about confronting systemic racism and ending mass incarceration so that every community can thrive.

In July 2007, all eight Democratic candidates for president (including Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Biden) participated in MoveOn’s Virtual Town Hall, which focused heavily on the Iraq War, climate change, and health care. Months later, MoveOn members voted to endorse then-Senator Barack Obama, and 1 million members volunteered for the campaign. Today, our community is more than twice as large as it was then—meaning we can and must do more to change our country.

What’s your question for the candidates?

Click here to submit your question now.

Or, click here to get a reminder to submit your question later this week. The deadline to submit your video question is Monday, October 26, at 11:59 p.m. local time.

Thanks for all you do.

–Victoria, Joan, Milan, Ben O., and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Democrats Add Candidate Forum Amid Criticism Over Debate Schedule,” Time, October 21, 2015

http://time.com/4080763/democratic-debates-moveon-forum/

2. “Democratic Debate Draws Over 15 Million to CNN, a Record for the Party,” The New York Times, October 14, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307870&id=134019-30141796-w7tja6x&t=8

3. Ibid.

4. “Where were CNN’s black and Latino debate moderators all night?” The Washington Post, October 14, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307871&id=134019-30141796-w7tja6x&t=9

 

Want to support our work? MoveOn member contributions have powered our work together for more than 17 years. Hundreds of thousands of people chip in each year—which is why we’re able to be fiercely independent, answering to no individual, corporation, politician, or political party. You can become a monthly donor by clicking here, or chip in a one-time gift here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 

FACT SHEET: Advancing Shared Values for A Better World

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 23, 2015

 

FACT SHEET: Advancing Shared Values for A Better World

 

Today the President hosted His Holiness Pope Francis at the White House and thanked him for the ways in which he is inspiring people around the world to embrace justice, mercy, and compassion, particularly toward those who have been marginalized.  The President and Pope Francis discussed their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues, including our moral responsibility to provide refuge for people who are forced to flee from their homelands; the belief that we have an obligation to seize the historic opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation; the conviction that all members of the human family have equal value and infinite worth and should have the opportunity to realize safe and productive futures for themselves; the belief that reconciliation can happen not only between people but also between nations; the conviction that we must secure the unalienable right of all people to practice their faith according to the dictates of conscience, standing against those who would target people for violence, persecution, or discrimination based on their religion; and the duty to manage the resources of the earth today in such a way that will allow our children and grandchildren to live their lives abundantly tomorrow.  

 

To mark this historic meeting and advance these shared values and objectives, the President is pursuing the following initiatives:

 

Solidarity with People in Crisis

 

The human toll of the world’s humanitarian crises is staggering.  Over 100 million people around the world are beset by conflict, food insecurity, and natural disasters.  Around the world, the people at greatest risk include religious minorities and people persecuted for their political beliefs.  In the Middle East alone, 36.5 million people require humanitarian aid due to the conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.  South Sudan and Yemen are on the brink of famine.  In an instant 750,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the Nepal earthquake, and families and communities in West Africa are still recovering from the social and economic impacts of Ebola.  We have a collective responsibility not only to help those in need, but to work together to address the root causes of conflict and to ensure that all people have access to economic opportunity.  The United States has a long history of assisting people in times of crisis.  As the world’s largest humanitarian donor, the U.S. Government has provided over $6.5 billion in life-saving food, healthcare, water, and shelter this year, not including our response to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.  United Nations (UN) appeals have surpassed $19 billion in 2015, and have received only 40 percent of the required funding to address basic humanitarian needs.  The United States urges the international community to contribute more robustly to UN humanitarian appeals and to non-governmental organizations responding to these crises, and work together to coordinate assistance.  

 

·         Providing Refuge to the Most Vulnerable:  Since its founding, the United States has offered freedom and opportunity to refugees fleeing the world’s most dangerous and desperate situations.  The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program reflects the core values of the United States and our strong tradition of providing a safe haven for the oppressed.  In response to the historic levels of refugee displacement around the world, the United States intends to increase the number of refugees the nation resettles annually, up from the 70,000 level of recent years.  In Fiscal Year 2016, the United States aims to admit at least 85,000 refugees, including at least 10,000 Syrian refugees.  In Fiscal Year 2017, the United States projects further expanding the program to a minimum of 100,000 refugees.  In order to broaden access to the program, the United States will also expand the number of processing locations to include Erbil, Iraq, and work to add other locations with high numbers of refugees and other displaced persons.   

 

·         Helping Support Syrians:  The United States is committed to providing humanitarian relief to those in crisis, including Syrians displaced within their own country, and those sheltering in neighboring countries.  As the single largest donor to address the Syrian crisis, we are committed to continuing to provide relief to Syrians, and on September 21 announced an additional $419 million in humanitarian assistance.  Since the beginning of the crisis, the United States has provided over $4.5 billion in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict.  This assistance provides healthcare, food, water, and basic necessities to people suffering in all 14 Governorates of Syria and with nearly $2.3 billion directly supporting Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

 

·         Protecting Minorities in the Middle East:  In Iraq and Syria, where ISIL has brutally targeted minority groups in particular, including religious minorities, the United States is leading a global coalition that seeks to degrade, defeat, and ultimately destroy ISIL.  Beyond the military campaign, we are working to enable minorities and other displaced individuals to return to their homes in areas reclaimed from ISIL.  On September 15, the Department of Defense approved up to $75 million for relief supplies to help address immediate lifesaving needs for displaced Iraqis, including minorities.  The Administration has appointed a Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia, who will help ensure that the urgent needs of these communities are taken into consideration in our military and humanitarian planning, and our multi-pronged efforts to assist in the return of these communities to their ancestral homes are implemented as expeditiously and efficiently as possible.  The United States is advocating for international stabilization assistance to address the specific needs of minority-populated areas reclaimed from ISIL.  We are working to create greater security for minority communities as part of our overall security assistance to the Government of Iraq, and will support the integration of these communities’ self-defense units into the formal national security architecture in cooperation with Iraqi and Kurdish authorities.  The United States is also designating a Special Coordinator for Iraq’s Minorities, based at U.S. Embassy Baghdad, providing a high-level U.S. advocate for minority communities to support the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups in formal security structures, post-ISIL reconstruction, and reconciliation programs.  The United States, alongside over 50 countries and numerous NGOs, participated in the September 8 Paris Conference on Victims of Religious and Ethnic Violence in the Middle East, which recognized a pressing necessity to protect and preserve those communities and cultures threatened in Iraq and Syria.

 

·         Conference on Religious Minorities in the Middle East and South and Central Asia:  The protection of religious minorities is not solely the province of governments.  Civil society, including faith-based groups, has an important role to play as well.  With this in mind, the Department of State will hold a conference on the Protection of Religious Minorities in the Middle East and South and Central Asia this winter.  The conference will bring together civil society and religious leaders with senior government officials to focus on mobilizing additional resources and developing practical steps to protect vulnerable religious communities, both those in areas currently convulsed by war, and those who remain vulnerable in countries still at peace.  No society can truly succeed unless it guarantees the rights of all its peoples, including religious minorities.

 

·         Promoting International Religious Freedom:  Promoting and protecting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.  In recognition of the increasingly important role that religion is playing in international affairs, and of the core importance of freedom of religion and conscience as a universal human right, the State Department is expanding training for its diplomats on how to monitor and advocate for religious freedom through both regional and Washington-based training opportunities.  Concurrent with the visit of Pope Francis to the White House, the first in a series of regional conferences on religious freedom for diplomatic personnel is taking place in Bangkok, Thailand, and additional conferences will be scheduled for other regions over the next couple of years.  The State Department is also working to expand content on protecting and promoting religious freedom around the world in training for mid and senior level career diplomats.  The United States will continue to stand for the universal right of all people to practice their faiths in peace and in freedom. 

 

·         Cooperation with Cuba on Haiti Health Care:  Pope Francis was instrumental in encouraging talks that led to the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement, and we will continue to seek his support as we proceed with the bilateral relationship.  As President Obama said, “The Pope’s moral example shows us the importance of pursuing the world as it should be, rather than simply settling for the world as it is.”  The United States and Cuba share common interests, among them the health and welfare of the people of Haiti.  U.S. and Cuban medical professionals collaborated during the USNS Comfort’s stop in Haiti, including working together at a Catholic hospital.  As with our previous cooperation on Ebola, this provided a unique opportunity to engage with Cuban medical professionals and to discuss opportunities for future cooperation.  This cooperation demonstrates how our continued normalization of relations with Cuba can help us advance our interests in the Americas.

 

·         Helping At-Risk Youth in Central America:  Pursuant to a competitive awards process, the Department of Labor is making a $13 million grant to Catholic Relief Services for a project in El Salvador and Honduras providing critical skills to youth at risk of joining gangs so that they can instead join the workforce.  The four-year program, called Youth Pathways – Central America, will provide training and employment services to approximately 5,100 low-income individuals ages 14 to 20 who reside in communities with high rates of violence.  In addition, nearly 2,000 of the youths’ family members will benefit from training and holistic support services.  This award is at the heart of President Obama’s $1 billion request for the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America.  This strategy will aim to address the root causes of migration in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala and focus on three major pillars:  prosperity, governance, and security.

 

Promoting Sustainable Development

 

This year marks a pivotal moment for global development.  Global leaders will be gathering for three key negotiations – on development finance, a new development agenda, and climate change – which present the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to investing in a better future for the world’s children, and to ensure that all people are free from want and are able to live with dignity.  

 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):  World leaders will gather in New York this week to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals – which sets out a vision and shared commitment by 193 countries to pursue a common path to reducing poverty and increasing opportunity over the next 15 years.  This Agenda represents an ambitious forward-looking vision to eradicate extreme poverty, expand peace and good governance, combat inequality and discrimination, and raise the living standards of the most vulnerable.  It enshrines our moral responsibility to ensure that all people have access to economic opportunity, the tools they need to change their lives, and the dignity that is possible when people can imagine and realize a productive and safe future.  The pursuit of these goals could dramatically reduce poverty, and reflects a commitment to live up to the ideals and aspirations of all of our people and is grounded in a commitment to local ownership and shared responsibility. 

 

Ending Extreme Poverty:  If we marshal our political will, we have the tools, knowledge, and technologies necessary to end extreme poverty within two decades.  There is progress upon which to build; aggregate poverty rates are now falling for every region of the world, and there are 700 million fewer people living in extreme poverty today than in 1990.  Nonetheless, the challenge is still enormous, with 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty.  But if the international community accelerates progress and achieves critical turnarounds in some of the most challenging environments, we believe that we can reduce that number by one billion by 2030.  The development policy of and major development initiatives led by the United States are built on the premise that fighting extreme poverty and fostering sustained and inclusive growth, equal access to opportunity, and open and fair governance are one and the same mission.  To further sharpen that mission, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released this week its new Vision for Ending Extreme Poverty that sets forth our definition of extreme poverty; our understanding of what has driven progress; an analysis of pertinent trends and challenges; and a strategic framework for USAID’s ongoing commitment to this mission.  Its release takes place at an important historical juncture, when we enjoy a growing bipartisan consensus in the United States on the importance of development, the support and engagement of the American people in support of development, and leadership from civil society, our NGO sector, the faith community, foundations, and the private sector.  On September 22, USAID hosted an event with religious leaders and other stakeholders, entitled, Faith Works:  Partnering to Advance Peace, Prosperity, and Development Around the World.  At the event, senior administration officials and religious and civil society leaders discussed their vision for ending extreme poverty, the importance of the papal visit to this goal, and the role that faith-based, development and humanitarian relief organizations play in advancing peace and prosperity around the world. 

 

Protecting our common home

 

In Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si, he calls for action at every level to protect our common home:  globally through treaties and cooperation among governments; nationally through incentives, legislation, and regulation; and at the local and community levels.  As Pope Francis says, “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change… I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.  We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”  Later he states, “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications:  environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods.  It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

 

President Obama is committed to meeting this challenge by finding viable and just solutions to address the erosion of our planet’s ecology, in particular climate change, in ways that also protect poor and vulnerable populations.  The President believes we have a moral obligation to leave future generations a planet that is not polluted or damaged and recently said, “On this issue, of all issues, there is such a thing as being too late.  That moment is almost upon us… That’s what we have to convey to our people — tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.”  During President Obama’s first year in office, he made a pledge that by 2020, America would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels if all other major economies agreed to limit their emissions as well.  To reinforce this commitment, in June 2013, the President launched the Climate Action Plan, which consists of three pillars: cutting carbon pollution in America, preparing the United States for the impacts of climate change, and leading international efforts to combat global climate change and mitigate its effects.  The President will continue to take steps to put the plan into effect, including by implementing America’s Clean Power Plan, which establishes the first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants, the single biggest source of carbon emissions in the United States; increasing access to clean energy for all Americans; achieving an economy-wide target to reduce emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025; and by working with leaders throughout the world to reach a durable and ambitious agreement at this year’s climate conference in Paris.  In addition, the Administration will pursue a host of other domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change.

 

As we take steps to address climate change through federal action, the Administration is also working with the growing number of non-governmental leaders and organizations that are promoting climate resiliency at home and abroad.  Today, the Administration highlights a few of those collaborative efforts:

 

Promoting Climate Resiliency Around the World:  Today, the Administration is announcing that Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will join the Climate Services for Resilient Development (CSRD) initiative as a contributing partner.  The CSRD is an international public-private partnership that USAID launched this summer with seven other founding partners:  the American Red Cross, Asian Development Bank, Esri, Google, Inter-American Development Bank, the Skoll Global Threats Fund, and the U.K. Government.  The vision of the partnership is to identify the most effective means to create and provide, for the public good, climate data that is timely and useful, as well as information tools and services that are driven by needs and demands identified by end-users.  This partnership relies upon the strengths and resources of public, private, philanthropic, and non-governmental organizations, multilateral institutions, and academic communities.  CRS will capitalize on its extensive partner base, which includes other religious and non-religious organizations and direct links to farmers and extension services, to realize demand-driven climate services that meet adaptation needs and help to bridge gaps between technical climate information and local development challenges.  In addition, CRS will leverage their existing climate resources and programs to scale tools and information in support of CSRD’s work.  CRS’s multi-stakeholder approach – which unites research, public, private, and non-governmental sectors – will facilitate shared learning and the diversity of perspectives necessary for success in the provision of climate services.

 

Advancing Climate Justice and Preparedness at Home:  An array of federal agencies are taking new steps in partnership with non-governmental organizations, including diverse faith-based and community groups, to promote environmental justice and climate resilience at home.  The Climate Action Champions Interagency Working Group (IWG) is developing a webinar and other tools to share information with faith-based and community organizations, particularly in the local and tribal communities that were selected through a competitive process in recognition of their strong commitment to cut carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.  Faith-based and community organizations, including Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a national network serving low income and vulnerable people, plan to work through local affiliates in these communities to use the IWG’s tools to convene conversations about ways to support the goals of the initiative.  Also, over the next year, the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJIWG) will collaborate with CCUSA and other non-governmental organizations to increase awareness of the impacts of climate change in overburdened and underserved communities, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will work with faith-based and community organizations to make disaster preparedness information more accessible to vulnerable populations and to increase all-hazards preparedness planning for houses of worship

 

ENERGY STAR at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with more than 1,500 diverse congregations, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist congregations, and with nonprofits and community groups, to save money and prevent pollution through increased energy and water efficiency.  These organizations have committed to protect the environment and enhance their financial health through continuous improvement of energy performance in their respective facilities, and to educate their staff and community to aid in preserving the environment for future generations.  EPA has provided dedicated webinars and focused technical support for a wide array of organizations, including GreenFaith, Interfaith Power and Light, Christian Reform Congregations, Seventh Day Adventists, Blessed Tomorrow, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Archdiocese of Chicago.  EPA has also worked with the Evangelical Environmental Network and other religious bodies to develop its ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations.  In addition, EPA has collaborated with nonprofit and community groups including Esperanza Capacity Institute, Green for All, ecoAmerica, and the Chicago Salvation Army.  EPA’s ENERGY STAR also assisted in planning a 2015 White House Champions of Change event that focused on climate change, where leaders from the Islamic, Evangelical, Hindu, Catholic, Jewish, and Baptist traditions were among those recognized for greening their communities and educating others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change.  During the past year, ENERGY STAR helped develop the EPA’s new “Food Stewardship Challenge” to help congregations and communities “feed people, not landfills.”  This initiative is important for the environment because as wasted food decomposes, it converts to methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

 

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will expand Resilience AmeriCorps in collaboration with Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), an existing AmeriCorps VISTA sponsor.  The Rockefeller Foundation will provide continued training and technical support, with the expansion also leveraging the expertise of other Federal partners, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the EPA.  The Resilience AmeriCorps program recruits, trains, and embeds AmeriCorps VISTA members in communities across the country, where the effects of climate change are often most acutely felt, to help communities develop preparedness plans and assist local leaders as they plan for and address the impacts of extreme weather events.  CNCS, the federal agency which administers AmeriCorps, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, Cities of Service, NOAA, EPA, and DOE launched Resilience AmeriCorps in July.  On August 20, CNCS and its partners announced the selection of ten pilot locations for the first cohort of Resilience AmeriCorps.  Through the expansion announced today, AmeriCorps VISTA members will be placed in five to seven additional locations to help communities with significant immigrant and refugee populations become more resilient.  These AmeriCorps VISTA members will develop plans to meet the needs of immigrant communities during disasters, including improving language access to necessary services and reducing other barriers to support. 

 

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