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California is in danger of losing a House seat after adding 2.3 million people


From 2010 to 2018, the state of California added about 2.3 million people according to new estimates released by the US Census. Its population, already the largest in the US, to close to 39.6 million. And California’s population increase of 6.2% has been greater than the 6.0% increase across the country.

Yet, due to the US’s complicated rules for giving states representation in Congress, California might soon lose one of its seats in the House of Representatives. Losing that seat would also mean the loss of a vote in the Electoral College, which determines the winner of presidential elections.

Since 1913, the number of representatives in the lower chamber of Congress has been capped at 435. While each state has two members in the higher chamber of the Senate, the number of its representatives to the House is determined by the size of a state’s population—though each state is automatically given one representative. (Populous California has 53 representatives, for example, and Alaska just one.)

Every 10 years, after the US government conducts its comprehensive census, the House’s representatives are reapportioned by state. For most, this doesn’t lead to a change. For those that grew much faster or slower than the country as a whole, it can mean gaining or losing power. Fast-growing Texas gained four seats after the 2010 Census as its population exploded. New York lost two seats. On average, after the 2010 Census, a House member represented about 700,000 people.


The number of seats in the House needs to be dramatically increased and more fairly distributed. That is a major fix for the both the Electoral College and the inequity of legislative power in the House itself.

Scared yet? Ted Lieu sends a red alert on Trump and nuclear first strikes


Scared yet? If so, support HR 669 / S 200 by Sen @EdMarkey and me. The bipartisan legislation prevents @POTUS from launching a nuclear first strike without Congressional authorization.


"Thursday's decision by Jim Mattis to leave the stifling, rapidly collapsing confines of Trump’s insane clown posse administration was always inevitable, but that hardly makes the psychological impact of his departure any less traumatic." - @TheRickWilson

Ayanna Pressley Will Get Her Dream Office Thanks To Fellow Rep.-elect Katie Hill


Ayanna Pressley's longtime dream has been to occupy the office once held by her "shero" Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to ever be elected to Congress. Pressley, who defeated a 10-term incumbent in the primary and in November became Massachusetts' first Black congresswoman, has often spoken about how Chisholm paved the way for women like her to serve the country.

This is why at the office lottery for freshman lawmakers, a high-stakes event that took place at the end of the congressional orientation last month, Pressley tried to channel Chisholm's good vibes as she drew her number. But the Democrat from Massachusetts' 7th congressional district wasn't so lucky, drawing the slot no. 38 out of 85, which left her with poor chances of getting to pick her dream office.

Enter Katie Hill, an incoming representative from California who was also one of the many women who pulled major upsets against Republican incumbents in the midterm election. Hill, from CA-25, offered to swap offices with Pressley because she knew how much Chisholm's legacy meant to her.

The former Boston city councilwoman tweeted Monday: "Wow! TY Mommy for the extra bday luck! We just learned my Congressional Office designation will be #ShirleyChisholm's former office. How's that for divine intervention, AND the selflessness of my colleague @KatieHill4CA who drew a better lottery# but still wanted me to have it."
In a retweet, Hill responded: "No doubt you’re going to do amazing things from that office — I am so excited to serve with you!"



A Rhode Island School District Is Sending Debt Collectors After Families Over Unpaid Lunches

A school district in Rhode Island wants its lunch money back—and has hired a private debt collection agency to go after parents to get it.


The chief operating officer of schools in Cranston, Rhode Island, recently sent a letter to parents warning them that the district had hired Transworld Systems, a private debt collector, to compel families with unpaid lunch balances to hand over the money, according to a local news report by WPRI.

A week’s worth of lunches in Cranston elementary schools costs $12.50. In middle and high school, that price goes up to $16.25. According to the school’s “unpaid lunch policy,” reported by ThinkProgress, students who do not have money for lunch can charge up to five hot meals. If at that point they do not repay their debt, they are fed a “sunny butter sandwich, fruit, and milk” instead of a hot lunch each day—though they are still charged the full lunch price. The policy also encouraged families to apply for free or reduced-priced hot lunches, which are available based on income.

In his letter, the Cranston school district COO, Raymond L. Votto Jr., argued that the step to hire a debt collector was a financial necessity for the district, which has amassed an unpaid lunch balance of $45,859 just since September. The district had previously required families to pay their full school lunch bill by the end of the school year, but many did not pay. Over the past two school years, the district’s unpaid balance lunch balance reached a total of $95,508, according to Votto. “The District lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue,” he wrote.

Transworld Systems will begin attempting to collect the debts on January 2, WPRI reports. Parents who do not pay—or who can’t afford to—could then be reported to national credit bureaus, affecting their credit score.


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