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Million Mom March Marks 15 Years Fighting for Gun Violence Prevention

first_imgIt’s an image seared into the minds of mothers everywhere: a daisy chain of children being led out of a building, the dichotomy of sweetness and innocence against a backdrop of an unconscionable tragedy.Gun violence in America has become so commonplace that it’s mostly the mass shootings that break through the airwaves, shocking an almost unshockable society. When the victims are children, that shock becomes outrage. And when outraged mothers organize, mountains can move.Case in point: After five people, including three small children, were shot at a Jewish Community Center in California 15 years ago, Donna Dees, then a public relations associate for the Late Show with David Letterman, was so enraged that she gathered hundreds of thousands of fellow moms (and dads, grandparents, celebrities and other activists) to march on Mother’s Day 2000 in Washington, D.C. in the Million Mom March Against Gun Violence. Speakers included Rosie O’Donnell, Reese Witherspoon, Susan Sarandon, Roseanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, mothers of victims of the Columbine massacre, elected officials, surviving victims of gun violence themselves, and religious leaders across the country. Thursday marks the fifteenth anniversary of that monumental event—and they are still inspired, enraged and more coordinated than ever in their fight against gun violence as well as their push for common sense gun laws.“It was August 10, 1999, a beautiful summer day,” recalls Dees. “At the time, I was living in Short Hills, New Jersey but was on Fire Island that particular evening. And there was a shooting earlier that day at a JCC day camp in Granada Hills, California. I turn on CNN showing the little daisy chain of kids with officers leading them out of this Jewish Center. I had a visceral reaction.”That day, a white supremacist unloaded 70 gunshots at the day camp, wounding five, including three children.The gunman later murdered a postal worker who was delivering mail several miles away. After learning how disparate and ineffective American gun control laws are, Dees, whose children were then the same ages of the students who had been shot, thought she could use her PR experience and connections to help.“I had worked in news for many, many years,” Dees tells the Press. “I remember so many school shootings. I never took action. Always felt like there was Sarah Brady out there, doing her job,” she adds, referring to the gun control activist and wife of Jim Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was seriously wounded during an assassination attempt in 1981. He died last August, and she died in April after leading the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.But, after mass shootings, volunteer organizations often get overwhelmed with activists looking to help. Dees couldn’t get anyone to return her phone calls, beyond requests for monetary donations, which she was happy to supply. She wanted to do more.“I thought, ‘There must be mothers out here like me who are just completely outraged,’” Dees remembers. “So I went ahead and applied for a permit to march in Washington. I called it the Million Mom March, Mothers Day 2000.” With the rallying cry, “Looking for Few Good Moms to Mobilize for Common Sense Gun Laws,” a movement was born.With key sponsorships from companies like Dannon Yogurt and iVillage.com, the Million Mom March was held on May 14, 2000, on the National Mall outside the Capitol. Still working in a part-time job share for Letterman, Dees launched what ultimately became a mission that consumed the majority of her time. Between organizing the march and crossing the country talking to PTAs, church groups and legislators about the need for background checks on gun buyers, Dees worked tirelessly to enact change.She didn’t work alone. The MarchDees launched a whirlwind media tour that included press from NBC Nightly News, an Oprah Winfrey interview and spots on the Rosie O’Donnell Show. She found a captive audience of like-minded advocates who stepped up to donate time, money and support.“The march was a huge success,” Dees tells the Press. “Seven-hundred-fifty-thousand at a minimum were there and we were low-balling that figure because any exaggeration would be challenged by the gun lobby. They just kept pouring in.”Two stages had been set up at either edge of the Mall to accommodate everyone. Across the country, they had 77 sanctioned support marches, including 5,000 people in Oakland, Calif., on a rainy day. More than 5,000 in Chicago, Denver, Tucson, and Jackson, Mississippi. Ladies on a cold day in Juneau, Alaska, holding up signs.Dees did not plan on continuing a movement.“After the march, I don’t know why I foolishly thought I could go back to my life,” Dees recalls. She turned the database of activists over to the Bell Campaign and went back to the Late Show. But the movement didn’t leave her. With the 2000 Presidential election impending, Dees started educating voters about gun laws in their states and where their elected representatives stood on gun issues.“The days I wasn’t working at CBS, I would be on the road to meet with whomever candidate that wanted the media attention,” says Dees. “Right up until the election, I was working this crazy schedule. Right from the march, to campaigning.”In February of that year, Dees left Letterman to regain national control of the Million Mom March, which was in danger of collapsing from financial strain due to “too much interest, not enough resources,” according to Dees. The Million Mom March merged with the Brady Campaign, run by Sarah Brady, who died April 3.“Most people think Sarah got involved because her husband was shot,” Dees tells the Press. “But it was only a couple of years later when she was in Illinois, and they were in somebody’s pickup truck and her son, Scott, reached under the seat and got a gun. It was the same [type of] gun that the shooter of Reagan and Jim Brady used. And that’s what incensed Sarah.”Her son was 6 at the time. Sarah realized that if her son, who was aware of the dangers of handguns, wasn’t able to control his curiosity, she knew that would apply to other kids at that vulnerable age as well. That’s when she stepped up as an activist.“Because we didn’t have social media back then, Sarah probably didn’t know the impact she had on people when she spoke to them,” Dees says. “She would go back to her home in Washington or Virginia and have no idea that she’d just inspired five women in a certain congressional district to take on their congressman.”While the Million Mom March, in conjunction with the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, worked to educate voters and lobby for gun control legislation, they were out-organized and out-funded by pro-gun lobbyists such as the National Rifle Association. Still, the moms had some victories, such as stopping H&R Block from having an advertising partnership with the NRA. They staged protests and merged with other like-minded groups, such as the Protest Easy Guns in Virginia.They also faced crushing defeats, most notably, the failure to renew the assault weapons ban when it expired in 2004, a decade after it had first passed. The moms had lobbied for its renewal, but Congress never let it get to a vote. Despite the advocates’ high hopes, the Obama administration did little to advance gun control legislation, even after former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) was one of 13 people wounded in an Arizona shooting that killed six in 2011.Then came the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and six educators dead. Americans watched again as children were led out of their school building, hand-in-hand, an eerily similar daisy chain of senseless loss.“When Obama said it was the worst day of his life, many of us in the movement knew he meant it,” Dees recalls. “We knew. He had ignored the issue and now he had to do something.”Many believed that the massacre would lead to passage of long-sought gun control legislation, but just as the Million Mom March and the Brady Campaign saw increasing support, they also became the target of attacks to their credibility from the pro-gun lobby. A Long Island-based lawyer named Meg Farrell volunteered to help them fight back.“I told Donna on day one, Churchill once said: ‘A lie makes its way around the world before the truth has a chance to put one leg in its pants,’” Farrell said in an email. “So, with tactical precision I did the research, conducted the analysis and was there as a strategic legal consultant to ensure the narrative, commentary and MMM reference was reported with accuracy. The scores of women who volunteered for years advocating for gun control and gun safety deserved proper historical reference and recognition. And the accurate historical narrative alongside the official documents I obtained, also gave the Brady Campaign the ammunition…to clean up the disinformation campaign against the Million Mom March.” Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York View image | gettyimages.com Moms on The GroundDees credits the chutzpah and the camaraderie of her fellow women who created an atmosphere of tireless support that got the job done in nine months.She recruited fellow professional moms, stay-at-home moms, friends, neighbors, and what she calls “play-date” moms. The march featured dozens of speakers, including former U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola); Commack-native Rosie O’Donnell; Patti Nielsen, an injured teacher from Columbine; Dawn Anna, the mother of a slain student; and too many gun violence survivors to list, including Mindy Finkelstein, a 16-year-old camp counselor shot at the JCC day-camp in 1999.As many Long Islanders remember, McCarthy’s husband, Dennis, and son, Kevin, were both shot in the Long Island Rail Road massacre in 1993–a mass murder committed by Colin Ferguson, who killed six and wounded 19. Dennis died of his injuries. Kevin survived, but was severely wounded. McCarthy, a nurse at the time, was so outraged that she launched a campaign that propelled her to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she served the 4th district from 1997 until January of this year, when she retired after deciding not to run for re-election. Former Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice has since been elected to fill her seat.“When I finished speaking at the event…I was speaking to one woman’s husband who had asked her what she wanted for her anniversary and she said, ‘I want to go to Washington, I want to be a part of this movement to protect my child for the future,’” McCarthy remembers. “I tell you, my heart could have broken. There were so many stories like that, and it was just inspiring for me because I have to tell you trying to get anything done on gun violence in Washington has been quite difficult.”McCarthy, who Politico described as “the fiercest gun-control advocate in Congress,” worked tirelessly to close loopholes in existing gun laws during her tenure, but couldn’t re-enact the assault weapons ban, curb the sale of high-capacity magazines or ensure background checks for sales at gun shows. Still, she remains optimistic.“I think we’re in a much better place than we were certainly 15 years ago,” McCarthy tells the Press. “Do we know that it’s going to take time? Yes. But I’m more encouraged today than I’ve been. But many of us, especially those of us who have had personal tragedies in our lives, we’re not going to give up on this. I may not be in Congress, but I certainly plan on using my voice to reduce gun violence because most of us who got into this cause just didn’t want to see it happen to another family.“We’re not going to win every battle,” she continued. “I understood that. I’ve spoken about that as being an ICU nurse. I couldn’t save every patient, but that didn’t stop me from going back to work every day and doing the best I could to protect those patients that I could.” Together, these women collaborated to bring the disparate groups who supported the gun violence prevention movement together.“This movement is really about the women who came before me, the Diane Feinsteins and the Carolyn McCarthys–it’s really been propelled and worked on by these women who are very selfless and will do anything, any job, no matter how thankless it is–to move the issue forward,” Dees said. “And that’s where I find myself here on our 15th anniversary.”The core volunteer leadership of the original Million Mom March has decided to celebrate the anniversary with a “Moms in the House (as in House of Representatives)” Day in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 28, 2015. The goal is to reach out to the original MMM organizers to finish the job in Congress they started in 2000 by calling on supporters to help convince Congress to pass HR 1217, which was re-introduced with bi-partisan support to close the loopholes in the Brady background check bill.“Over the course of the next few months, we will be recruiting 535 moms from across the country to join us in Washington, D.C. on October 28 to tell each member of Congress it is time for them to expand Brady background checks to all gun sales,” says Martina Leinz, who represents the MMM/Brady chapters on the Brady Campaign board of directors. “It is time for them to put the health and safety of our children ahead of the greedy interests of gun manufacturers who want to keep the lucrative criminal market wide open.”The rallying cry is the same: Looking for a few good moms to mobilize for common sense gun laws. 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Space at Access as Jason moves on

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PREMIUMUse big data for JKN efficiency, deficit relief: Researchers

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Facebook Log in with your social account JKN JKN-insurance-deficit #BPJSKesehatan BPJS-Kesehatan BPJS health #health big-data #big-data health-insurance #healthcare Linkedin Researchers are urging the government to tap into big data to optimize the National Health Insurance (JKN) program, which has suffered financial deficits since its establishment.“Big data opens up an opportunity for us to improve the efficiency and quality of health services and solve various issues in the health sector,” SMERU Research Institute director Widjajanti Isdijoso said in a recent virtual discussion.Big data seeks to make sense of large, diverse and changing data sets to address issues and make predictions.One way to capitalize on big data is to use it to predict patients who have a high risk of high-cost, catastrophic diseases based on their economic, social and health factors, SMERU research and outreach deputy director Athia Yumna said during the discussion.Such predictions would help health facilities prevent costly diseases early and use more e… Topics : Googlelast_img read more

WITH TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPION AMERICAN PHAROAH LEADING THE WAY, SANTA ANITA-BASED CONNECTIONS GARNER NINE ECLIPSE AWARD TROPHIES

first_img–30– ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2016)–With Zayat Stables’ Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah a unanimous selection as Horse of the Year and top 3-year-old male, Santa Anita-based connections fairly dominated last night’s Eclipse Awards ceremonies at Gulfstream Park as no less than nine Eclipse Award trophies went to people and horses who were headquartered at The Great Race Place. Trained by Bob Baffert, Santa Anita-based American Pharoah became the nation’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.The following are those locally based horses and individuals that were recognized as the Thoroughbred industry’s finest:–HORSE OF THE YEAR, American Pharoah–THREE YEAR OLD MALE, American Pharoah                –OWNER, Zayat Stables                 –BREEDER, Zayat Stables                –TRAINER, Bob Baffert                –OLDER DIRT FEMALE, Beholder, who despite missing a much anticipated showdown with American Pharoah in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, breezed to her third lifetime Eclipse Award as she was undefeated in five starts last year. Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm and trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder is being pointed to the Grade I Vanity Stakes here on June 4.                –THREE YEAR OLD FILLY, Stellar Wind, who is owned by Hronis Racing and trained by John Sadler. A winner of last year’s Grade I Santa Anita Oaks, Stellar Wind is due to resume training at Santa Anita in March.                 –TWO YEAR OLD FILLY, Songbird. Undefeated in four starts for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Songbird was a near unanimous selection. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, she is being pointed to Santa Anita’s Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 6.                –TWO YEAR OLD MALE, Nyquist. Owned by Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist was perfect in five starts, culminating with an authoritative half length win in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The bay colt by Uncle Mo is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 15.                The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be run at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 and 5.last_img read more

David Warner slams Ashes hundred and his daughter can’t hide her joy. WATCH

first_imgDavid Warner is a lucky man. He had the chance to score a hundred in a Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, something that every cricketer hopes to achieve in his career. And that too after been given out. The Australian opener was a relieved man to get to his hundred after almost failing at the last hurdle.The 31-year-old was caught on 99 just before the drinks break but was reprieved when the TV replay showed debutant pacer Tom Curran had overstepped his mark to the delight of a bumper Boxing Day crowd at the MCG.Warner raised his hundred with a single on the next ball to add insult to England’s injury but he was unable to capitalise on the life, nicking James Anderson behind to be out for 103.Warner’s wife and daughter where among the 90,000 present at the MCG, cheering his every run and celebrating every stroke to the boundary. But it was David’s daughter, Ivy Mae Warner, who melted hearts on social media.Candice, her mother, posted a video on Twitter which has since gone viral, as Twitterati just can’t stop drooling over the sheer joy and innocence of the little one. She can be seen happy and proud in the video as she says “My daddy got a hundred!”Go daddy!!! #100 #Barmyarmy pic.twitter.com/M1rRIKV70d- Candice Warner (@CandyFalzon) December 26, 2017It was Warner’s 21st Test ton as he also completed 6000 runs in the format in just his 70th Test match. Warner’s knock helped Australia finish Day 1 of the fourth Test on 244/3.advertisementWhen asked about the scare, David Warner said that the first thing that came to his mind was “Crap!”. But he was a relieved man, when he was recalled and got to his hundred.”Getting recalled was obviously fantastic,” he told reporters.”It was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions between those two deliveries, that’s for sure.”David Warner describes the hectic sequence of events on 99 today at the ‘G… #Ashes pic.twitter.com/RCKuTMsjpT- cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 26, 2017The Australian opener loves his family and is very protective of them. Back in October, Warner posted a photo on Instagram of a man who was allegedly following him and his wife Candice at the supermarket and was even waiting for them outside his daughter’s dancing class.During the last season of the Indian Premier League, Waner’s daughters Ivy Mae and Indi Rae, were pictured next to a street-side shop, paying a lady after enjoying a lemonade.last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar reveals why he enjoyed batting against an attacking field

first_imgSachin Tendulkar, one of the biggest cricketing icons, revealed that the nature of a pitch never bothered him during his playing days and he in fact, enjoyed batting on whatever surface that was on offer.In an interview given to BBC on the sidelines of the Lord’s Test between England and India, Tendulkar said that he liked batting against attacking fields in Test cricket because that gave him the opportunity to score runs. He went onto add that when the field was spread out, no matter, how well the ball was timed, the fielder would cut it off.”It’s not about batting on flat surfaces, I enjoyed playing on surfaces that were given to us, more so when it was an attacking field.”I’d much rather have three slips and two gullies, because I know if I bat well and connect the ball well, it’s a boundary for sure. But when you have a deep extra cover and you’re trying to hit the ball as hard as you can, there’s no fun in it,” Tendulkar said. Sachin Tendulkar said that he liked batting against attacking fields (Reuters Photo)After the advent of T20 cricket, Test cricket has failed to attract eyeballs and generate the amount of interest that it used to in the earlier days. Even the first Test between England and India at Edgbaston failed to get people to the stands for the first two days. The crowd did turn up however, when the game got interesting.Sachin tried to come up with a dissection of audience reactions and called for better playing surfaces in the longest format of the game because flat and batting friendly tracks make the game boring.advertisement”The key ingredient of Test cricket is the surface that we play on. In T20Is and ODIs, the bowlers get tested all the time. In Test cricket, is it testing batters?””When you keep flat, dead surfaces, where the bowler thinks, ‘I have no chance, I’m going to stick to my channel’, and the batter thinks, ‘Okay, on this surface if I don’t do anything foolish, I (won’t) be out,’ that game is becoming boring, it’s becoming dull,” explained Tendulkar.The Edgbaston Test, which had a balanced surface, did end up attracting people in the third and fourth day as both the teams were well poised to win the game before Ben Stokes’ inspiring bowling in the first session of Day 4 gave the hosts a 31-run win and a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.Following the match, England captain Joe Root came out and said that this match should draw people into the stands if they are bored by red-ball cricket.”Test cricket can throw so many things at you. It fills you with confidence, winning the first Test. (Test cricket) shows it is so much more than skill, runs and wickets,” he said pointing to the head and hinted at the hosts holding their nerves.”This match is up there,” he said at the news conference. “Anyone who says Test cricket is dead can watch this…I’m really proud of the group. It sets up the series nicely.”last_img read more