Medical neglect by the US Border Patrol causes the death of a migrant teen, Carlos Vasquez

On May 19, 2019, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year old Guatemalan migrant was taken into custody by US Border. Last week, a video obtained by ProPublica shows Border Patrol officials held the sick teen, who had already been diagnosed with a 103-degree fever by a nurse, locked in a concrete cell without any medical attention where his condition worsened. He died by the next morning and his body was not discovered until his cellmate alerted guards. 

Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) acting commissioner at the time, John Sanders, called Carlos’ death a “tragic loss.” However, this damning video shows that guards ignored him despite an obviously ill Carlos, writhed in pain, vomited blood, and collapsed on the floor where he lay for four-and-a-half hours until his cellmate notified guards when he discovered Carlos’s collapsed body in the morning.

“Why is a teenaged boy in a jail facility at all if he is sick with a transmissible illness? Why isn’t he at a hospital or at a home or clinic where he can get a warm bed, fluids, supervised attention and medical care? He is not a criminal,” said Dr. Judy Melinek, a San Francisco-based forensic pathologist who reviewed records of Carlos’ death at the request of ProPublica.

Carlos crossed the border along with 144,000 other migrants. Once in custody, he was separated from his adult sister to be processed at the McAllen processing center. That warehouse was already beyond capacity. When a nurse diagnosed Carlos with possible flu given his high fever and chills, rather than take him to a hospital and notify his sister, he was put into isolation to avoid contaminating other held migrants.

Children and teenagers crossing the border illegally without parents or guardians generally must be placed with the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours. But in May, HHS and CBP were at overcapacity.

In a spot check soon after Carlos died, the DHS inspector general reported that a third of the 2,800 unaccompanied minors in CBP custody in the Rio Grande Valley had been there longer than 72 hours.

Why are any children or people seeking asylum in cages as if they were inmates? Also, the agency held Carlos for six days, though the agency is supposed to transfer children within 72 hours. Within 72 hours? That is not acceptable.

The entire legal framework of the processing and holding of migrants is unacceptable, unethical, and a human rights violation as designated by the United Nations. More information as to the laws and regulations can be found here.

The question must be asked:

WHY ARE CHILDREN SEPARATED AT ALL?

The border situation has changed since Carlos’ death. As reported by ProPublica:

  • CBP now has 250 health staffers at its facilities across the Southwest
  • Border Patrol cells have largely emptied out since July.
  • HHS is building out its shelter capacity from 15,000 beds to 20,000, with emergency influx facilities that can handle thousands more.
  • The number of migrants crossing the border has declined sharply due to the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which sends them to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities while U.S. courts consider their immigration and asylum claims.

John Sanders resigned soon after Carlos’s death, citing unprepared agencies and an unresponsive Congress that allowed children in custody to suffer in harsh conditions

“I really think the American government failed these people. The government failed people like Carlos,” Sanders said. “I was part of that system at a very high level, and Carlos’ death will follow me for the rest of my life.”

When I say RIP, I mean Rest In Power. Carlos’ and other kids’ deaths and abuse and trauma should not be in vain. When will Congress respond?

Kamala Harris’ departure signals bigger campaign policy issues and undermine our votes

We vote because we have a voice. That voice may not win out but our democracy is based on the constant struggle to make this “a more perfect union.” That’s why so many of the ills of society could be amended: to make way for the African American voice, to make way for the voice of women. That is what our vote should be. That is at the heart of how our system works and why we critique it to make it better.

Right now the biggest obstacles for a fair election are:

  • Election security: given 2016, not to mention issues in other close elections, foreign government interference and our own methods of counting votes needs major security beef ups.
  • Voter Suppression: not everyone is able to vote, which Stacey Abrams is tackling;
  • Gerrymandering: which manipulates how votes are counted giving an unfair political advantage to one party, the GOP in this case, that therefore ensures the other party’s voice is never heard
  • Special interests: the money driving candidates and elected officials.

This last issue of money is the major factor of what has driven Senator Kamala Harris out of the presidential race. Whatever you thought about Sen. Harris as a candidate, her departure was abrupt, and her voice was crucial, especially in an election where the black electorate is heavily coveted and she was a black and South Asian woman that gave voice to that community — the very demographic being wooed.

If money is the sole determining factor in elections, then it will continue to reflect the economic gaps based on racial inequalities. The only other minorities left are Sen. Corey Booker who is struggling to stay in the game, and Julián Castro, a candidate already active in the black and Latino communities and in touch with the issues of the times, who had to drop out but now is back in for the next debate.

That Castro was forced out so early is also a sign of inequity. While the black population may be the target of candidates, Hispanics are projected to be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the U.S. electorate when voters cast their ballots next year. 

The majority of viable presidential candidates are primarily those who do not resemble today’s America, such as two white male billionaires, a white man who is a career politician, a white man who may identify with LGBTQ community but openly has no issues with big money in campaigns; and the white supremacist favorite as per polls (can we do away with “alt right”), Tulsi Gabbard. 

Who remains do not represent those who are part of the most coveted voting demographics and those who did no longer have the national stage for 2020.

That points to systemic issues here, folks.

1) One part is the overt sexism. There always needs to be caution to view every situation or individual through the lens of an -ism but not only has the 2016 election clearly showed sexism but as early as last month, one-third of voters say they don’t believe in female leadership as per a recent voters’ poll by Ramussen.

Castro today echoed this in a video he tweeted after Sen. Harris’s announcement about the media’s double standards that worked against her campaign from the start. Whatever other issues her candidacy may have had, as even Sen. Amy Klobuchar pointed out in the last debate: Women are held to a higher standard (like this LA Times’ op-ed which cites Sen. Harris’s apparent lack of qualifications in a race where Pete Buttigieg is soaring — whose sole political qualification is that he has been a mayor since 2012) and women of color doubly so. This isn’t to say one needs decades of qualifications nor that Buttigieg isn’t qualified, it simply means Sen. Harris, with actual decades of experience, is held to a higher standard by the media and voters.

2) Campaign finance needs an overhaul. This is an obvious issue when two billionaires are able to buy their way onto the next Democratic debate while qualified candidates who polled reasonably well with voices that need to be heard on the national stage have been forced to exit.

3) Castro also pointed out another issue that cripples diverse candidates: the order of the Democratic primaries which take place in states like Iowa and New Hampshire that have predominantly white populations.

“I think there’s a narrative that emerged early in this campaign cycle that in order to win, candidates needed to appeal especially to white working class voters in the Midwest,” Castrol said. “I actually believe that in addition to the white working class in the Midwest, we also need to be able to appeal to diverse communities [in cities in the battleground states.]

Election security, the electoral college, gerrymandering, and voter suppression are outside the scope of voters other than voting in reps who will fight for reforms or for the judicial appointees that will overturn these systemic issues. The electoral college is a Congressional issue so indirectly it depends on whom you vote for.

Castro, Warren, and Sanders have publicly stated that they will not accept big money for their campaigns. Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, has not accepted money from lobbyists, political action committees and executives in the fossil fuel industry.

Only one candidate has actively addressed this issue and who, you guessed it, has a plan: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (This is not an endorsement.) Here’s her statement to get big money out of politics and her very specific plan to get it done. Warren isn’t to be trifled with given she has already single-handedly conceived of and established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency that helps protect the little guy from Wall Street’s schemes.

No doubt that Sen. Harris will be a success in other capacities. She may become our next Attorney General. She will continue making her mark in the Senate and is going to kill it at the impeachment hearings — and has promised Trump the same.

But we can’t overlook or not examine what’s happening and why if we want this campaigning process to improve. AND we must elect the reps who will support such improvements — campaign finance reforms, the order of the primaries, a push to eliminate or revise the electoral college. Otherwise, it’ll be a vicious cycle as candidates we want can’t progress and others do who may be poorly qualified or can be bought. Such a system doesn’t reflect our choice nor our values we strive for and with poor leadership, no matter who wins, we all lose.

There was corruption in Ukraine: on the part of Guiliani, his associates, and GOP Congressman Devin Nunes

Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Getty

On Nov. 21, Daily Beast broke this story that Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell read and submitted in the impeachment inquiry: Lev Parnas, the indicted Giuliani associate, helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for the Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018. U.S. government funds — $57,000 of our tax dollars — paid for Nunes and three of his aides to travel to Europe from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018. Nunes is the minority ranking member of the Intelligence Committee and has been driving the GOP messaging, stance, and defense of Trump regarding the impeachment inquiry.

It was confirmed today on Nov. 22 by the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, that Nunes will likely face an ethics investigation into the claims.

Why should this matter? For one, Nune is overseeing an investigation into corruption in Ukraine, which he himself abused power to investigate. It is a conflict of interest at best and outright corruption. Impeachment is serious and the crimes for which a president can be accused strike at the very heart of our democracy. Such manipulation and tampering undercut our need to ensure a fair impeachment inquiry and trial.

Two, you, as a taxpayer, need to know where your money is going and that your political representatives are not using it for their personal gains, such as overseas trips and entertainment unrelated to political office.

In 2018, he used political donations to pay for nearly $15,000 in tickets to Boston Celtics basketball games as well as winery tours and lavish trips to Las Vegas, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission and two nonpartisan watchdog groups.

Three, corruption left unchecked increases the harm to our communities because our reps are no longer working for us but for the highest bidder, and the system of law is weakened. Nunes has long been under scrutiny for his abuse of office in using taxpayers’ dollars for personal use since at least 2018. Instead, he became the House Intelligence Committee chairman and Trump’s foremost supporter and has sought to obstruct all inquiries for Robert Mueller’s investigation and Congress’s impeachment investigation.

In turn, his name has grown as much as his PAC. Nunes’ own PAC, New PAC, has raised $7 million, almost four times as much as the $1-2.5 million he has raised in previous years. There’s no way of knowing whether its due to the favors he curries by supporting Trump that led to such a meteoric fundraising rise because of how intransparent PACs are but it’s worth noting.

report by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center and Issue One, released Thursday, spotlighted the various ways members of Congress use leadership PACs to “subsidize lavish lifestyles on their donors’ dimes.”

Campaign Legal Center

All of this speaks to bigger systemic issues voters need to know is the dire need to reform the regulations and laws of PACs:

  • The House Ethics Committee rarely enforces the ban on the use of leadership PACs for personal use.
  • The Federal Elections Commission has not issued clear directives on whether or not the funds can be used for personal matters.
  • The CLC and Issue One report cited numerous trips by Congress members to Las Vegas. Why?

The person with the most trips to Vegas: Devin Nunes.

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: FOLLOW UP ACTION to June 26, 2017 Town Hall

Federal Action: Support Disarm Hate Act H.R. 2841 and S. 1324

Similar to current federal background check procedures for domestic abusers, these companion bills would prevent individuals convicted of misdemeanor hate-related violence and intimidation from obtaining a firearm -as they present a greater risk to commit more violent crimes.

Download: Disarm Hate Act: Letter of Support to Sen. Feinstein

Call your Congressional Representative and both U.S. Senators to support the  Gun Violence Prevention Order of 2017  – H.R. 2589 & S. 1212

Mirrored after California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order passed in 2014, this law temporarily prohibits individuals from purchasing a firearm or ammunition where evidence shows an individual may become violent and allows law enforcement immediate warrants to temporarily seize firearms from potentially violent people for 30 days to a maximum of 3 years. Under a higher burden of proof, a court can also remove firearms or ammunition already in the possession of an individual in question. This law is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, introduced to congress on May 24, 2017 and is in the first stage of the legislative process.

  • U.S. Senator Feinstein –  (202) 224-3841
  • U.S. Senator Harris – (202) 224-3553

Call your State Senator (Sen Jerry Hill) to support the Disarm Hate Act (AB 785)

Hate crimes have surged in recent years as per FBI reports. These crimes are precursors to more serious crimes. This legislation puts a 10 year firearm prohibition on individuals convicted on a misdemeanor hate crime. It will be on the Governor’s desk in July.

  • State Senator Jerry Hill –  (650) 212-3313 and (916) 651-4013
  • Governor Jerry Brown – (916) 445-2841

More information on our gun panel reform will be available on our website this week and in a follow-up newsletter. 

Get Involved with your local chapter of The Brady Campaign to turn our current gun culture around!www.bradycampaign.org/ca

To join the San Mateo Chapter, email Karen Arntzen at smc@bradymail.org

Obama continues his unprecedented pardons and focus on criminal justice reform with a pardon for Chelsea Manning

President Obama continues his streak of pardons and commutations with a pardon for Chelsea Manning, freeing her in five months rather than 2045. Manning is the army intelligence analyst who made Wikileaks popular.  Pres. Obama could have also just saved her life given she had twice attempted suicide and faced what the Times calls “an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at a male military prison.”

obama-commutations1The President and his DOJ staff have been on a roll. On Dec 19, he pardoned 78 people and granted another 153 commutations — the most acts of clemency granted by a US president in a single day. SO far, the President has pardoned and lessened the sentences of more people than the previous 12 presidents prior to him combined.

This fast and furious wave of pardons is warranted given fears that President-elect Donald Trump and his administration will dismantle Obama’s clemency initiative, which has resulted in the early release of 1,176 drug offenders. In addition to his ban on solitary confinement for juveniles, his directive to not renew contracts for private prisons, and his recently published Harvard Law Review 56-page article on criminal justice reform, it seems as if the President’s post-presidential professional life may be revealing its focus: our broken criminal justice system.

Given that the US has the largest number of prisoners in the world despite holding just 5% of the world’s population, Pres Obama would be a welcome and powerful ally in the fight for criminal justice reform. Nearly 1 in 4 adults in this country are imprisoned. The mass incarceration system is driven by racism, favors the wealthy, and is nothing but a swinging door that fosters a life behind bars. The criminal justice system is steeped in history of racism, is driven by profit, and criminalizes poverty and drug addiction continuing such inhumane treatment as solitary confinement. The time for reform has long past and legislators may finally pay attention if a political force like President Obama champions the cause.

Meanwhile, California continues its quest to reduce prison populations. California’s prisoner reductions came from a court order to cut prison populations after a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found that conditions inside the state’s prisons — which were 200 percent over capacity — violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The state has passed some initiatives, such as Prop 47 in 2014, which released about 4,500 in its aftermath by reducing some felonies, like drug crimes and nonviolent property theft, to misdemeanors.

But that did nothing except shift the problem from state to local jails. The underlying roots of this issue (and see “13” by Ava DuVernay on Netflix for an in-depth look) such as racism, LGBT bias (like how transgenders such as Manning are viewed, convicted and treated), drug rehabilitation programs, mental health facilities, and focusing on reform over retribution for nonviolent crimes and youth have not been seriously addressed by legislation. With civilian Obama and the tide shifting to a greater focus on mass incarceration, the tides may be shifting. If not, we must make them shift.

On MLK Day, let your remembrance be in action

On Martin Luther King’s Day we might make the mistake that today is a day where we simply remember a courageous hero of humanity but if anything, this is a day where we must reflect and act. Dr King was, as he himself said, on the shoulders of hundreds of years of resistance and thousands of people who made sacrifices, who did small acts daily — or even once in their lifetime — that resulted in a societal shift. People who had families, who were sole income providers, who didn’t have the mental or emotional or economic reality or sometimes, even the interest, to be a part of the Civil Rights Movement yet still did so by merely living their life with inclusion and justice. Justice isn’t simply in a court, it is how you act towards your fellow human beings daily.

I just saw “Hidden Figures” with my daughter and learned three things. One, those women were heroes as much as anyone but so were their parents and spouses and bosses who chose not to live as society demanded, either as part of patriarchy (at that time when women weren’t working much) or as part of the white male class. True, they didn’t have the same repercussions for going against the grain but without them — the boss, the judge, the husband, the boyfriend, the parents — there would have been no forward movement.
 
Two, there is a long way to go. I live in the Bay Area and my spouse works in the heart of Silicon Valley. I still rarely see African Americans. If STEM is to work, we have to start in the area where I focus: early childhood. If children don’t have access to the education and school books and resources, they cannot hope to compete in high school or for college to become scientists or engineers. We can’t just have programs that start at the intern level. It’s too late by that time.
 
MLK Poor Peoples Campaign Poster 1968
Three, in order for the above to happen, we must focus on economic progress. Anyone who lives in a city and takes its public transportation as I did for 20+ years knows which stops has which demographics sadly, and it is almost always along economic lines as much as ethnicity lines. We have a long way to go. Dr King’s last campaign was the Poor People’s Campaign. He knew even before the term was coined about intersectionality. You cannot have racial or gender justice without economic justice, and the two must be advanced simultaneously.
Without economic stability and opportunity, there was little hope for African Americans to advance, indeed for anyone whether they be black, undocumented immigrants, or women. The degree of advancement an individual can achieve of course has to do with systemic bias as much as anything. After all, if the legal system and law enforcement are against you at every step, there is little hope for recourse. In “Hidden Figures,” had the judge not granted Mary Jackson the right to attend an all-white school — granted, it was only at night — but if he had not allowed that, no amount of courage on her part as an individual would have sufficed.
Together with eradicating systemic obstacles, in order for change to come to areas like Silicon Valley, there must be more resources devoted to education, job training, child care (so parents can get to the schools and jobs they need to advance), and economic initiatives. It must all happen together as we work on all fronts, and on the fronts where we can — promote whom we can, give where we can, lend a fellow parental hand where we can. 
 
As neighbors, co-workers, supervisors, friends, acquaintances, we can all do our part. A movement is not just a protest or march. It is the thousands of daily acts that reinforce the changes we seek towards greater societal equality.
 
Although just this year I began formally working in policy and legislation, I’ve worked in social justice my entire adult life. I keep Dr. King’s quote in my home and on my Facebook profile page as a reminder in my work in public policy as well as in my life that it doesn’t take much but it does take participation. Listen and engage. How will you engage?

Don’t blame Trump supporters. Democracy didn’t fail us. We failed us. Apathy, selfishness, and a dash of sexism got him elected.

Don’t blame Trump supporters. Democracy didn’t fail us. We failed us. Apathy, selfishness, and a dash of sexism got him elected.

[originally published on Medium 11/14/16]

For the past year, I’ve worked vehemently on something more than the Hillary campaign: Get Out the Vote. Through interviews that led to videos, researching for stories, and plain old canvassing, I met more than a few Trump supporters. They always planned to vote even if it was more an anti-status quo rather than a Trump vote. They did their civic duty and made their voice heard.

They were energized through direct meetings in churches and schools and wherever else, they posted memes and messages on Facebook like liberals did after the election but did so when it meant something because whatever else, they did not want Hillary to win. They never lost sight of the goal:

Michael Moore in his prophetic, and best analysis of the outcome predicting Trump’s win, said it succinctly months ago:

…if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide.But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote…And therein lies the problem for November — who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long,

The people who handed him this election is not rural America, it was not white women, it was almost half this country who didn’t vote. 49.4%.

Sure, protest now but where was that energy for Get Out the Vote? I rarely debated Trump supporters about voting. There was no lack of warning about what a Trump win could mean or lack of calls for mobilization during the campaign reminding voters that he had a real shot at winning — and all that happened was “eh I’m not thrilled with her.”

The only people I actually debated about voting itself were “liberals” and “progressives” still sore about Sanders or were sore that there was no third party or who thought all the sexist talk wasn’t a big deal because some other right or issue was all that mattered to them, screw all else.

No facts in the world could make them see the process through which third parties can become a reality or that it takes voting to dissolve the electoral college, because in addition to mass mobilization, what you need above all is a majority of Congress and President who is open to those reforms. Given the odds, not voting was a vote for Trump and would set those kind of agendas back even further.

Meanwhile no such debates happened in Trumpland. They galvanized. Some of them did believe in climate change but put that aside for the greater good. Some of them were appalled by his behavior but put that aside to get him elected for all else he represented. You can say they put it aside due to racism or selfishness but the selfish argument swings both ways.

If one believes Trump supporters are sexist, voting him in despite his misogyny, then I wouldn’t put those who didn’t vote due to soreness about the Democrats so far behind. After all, not voting, not participating in the political process most definitely won’t change a party. It is sexist to pit this election as a “replacing a 40 year old black man with a 70 year old woman” (as per Chris Rock in this past week’s SNL) without keeping in mind — especially if you are a minority or woman about to be radically affected — that the 70 year old woman has 40+ years of public service experience who, whatever else she may be, would not be on board with racist, sexist, xenophobic policies and would keep to Obama’s agenda. To boot, she had progressive watchdogs like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who she made political deals with and would make her toe the line so there’d be a real shot at ensuring a Democratic party was its progressive ever.

And by the way, the alternative to that “70 year old white woman” is an even older white man who would, and has, put forth a Cabinet and policies that would work against every progressive, social justice, women’s rights agenda. If that’s not sexist then that is dangerous stubbornness and that is the other side of the coin of the dangerous stubborn ideology of the most ardent Trump supporter.

Bottom line: on November 8th we had two choices. Whosoever did mobilize, whosoever voted even if they weren’t thrilled about him spoke up, and won. Democracy didn’t fail us; we failed us.

“Our Voices”: 97% of Planned Parenthood’s services offer primary healthcare, breast cancer screening and prenatal care. Here are the stories of those using #PPMM.

At last, the video is up! This first video needed fundraising but thanks to donations from supporters like you, we have the funding to launch an entire campaign that will show how Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is ensuring everyone, every family, every child gets the healthcare they need. Whether it’s showing people how to navigate the AHA system to buy health coverage or providing services, like breast cancer screenings or prenatal care, PPMM is here for its community just as so many clinics across the country are there for their communities despite all formidable healthcare costs and challenges.

In the bigger picture, having access to affordable clinics eases the financial and other burdens placed on ERs, which should not be handling things like colds, and ultimately reduces healthcare costs for everyone. PPMM isn’t just for those who need it but for all of us.

Almost at the finish line for Banyan’s PPMM Video Project!

We are almost at the finish line, folks! An immense, heartfelt thanks to all the people who have supported us so far! WOW. THANK YOU!  We only need  $1,200. That means 10 people donating at $120 each or 20 people donating $60 each — or some combination thereof depending on your budget.

Go directly to paypal.com and send your donation, as a Gift, to amisha@amisha.tv. (As wonderful as Causevox was — and it’s highly recommended to nonprofits — we migrated out to save some fees.)

To answer some FAQ about giving: you can now pay via Paypal by credit card (small fee) or bank account (no fee) through Paypal’s super secure service. But yes, you must first sign up, for free, to Paypal to do so.

If you do not want to sign up to Paypal, contact me at amisha@amisha.tv, and I will send you the address where to mail a check.

This is a tangible gift. Your money ensures a woman gets prenatal screening for a healthy delivery — the United States has the most infant mortality rate among industrialized nations because of lack of access to proper healthcare. You can change this!

Your money ensures an STD is stopped in its tracks by someone who gets a free STD test and is treated.

Your money ensures an entire family gets primary care, that a woman gets a breast cancer screening, that those who are uninsured are able to pay or are assisted in navigating the Affordable Care Act or their state program to ensure they get the right insurance for their needs.

Not one cent goes to anything else but what we are talking about: fundraising to ensure these services keep going.

THANK YOU!!

Major event: after 3 years, launching Banyan with a healthcare video project that needs your help!

It’s hard to know how to help when there is so much negative news around. It’s hard to know which organizations to trust when you want to donate time or money. So Banyan will take that guesswork right out. Working with smaller nonprofits with big impact, Banyan wants to raise funds for content, like videos or PSA’s or presentations, that will enable a nonprofit to get to that next step whether it be in donors, donations, or awareness campaigns.

Banyan needs your help to get off the ground with the first project. Donating as little as $25 will ensure hundreds of thousands of people will get the healthcare they need in northern California and Nevada. Go to http://banyan.causevox.com/ for more information and to donate.

Banyan Productions from Banyan Productions on Vimeo.