What to Do This Week of February 19, 2017

by Feb 21, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

15 down, just 89 weeks to go before mid-term elections. Deeeeep breath…

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear, hype-free suggestions for action backed by well-considered research. If an issue doesn’t affect you, consider whether you would support this issue on behalf of other Americans, then act accordingly. Although diligently prepared, contents are subject to human error. Please do your own research.

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Act on your beliefs and values

I believe I can make a difference.

Create an activism plan.

Print out: the Americans of Conscience Action Worksheet and make a plan. Or use this adorable pocket version by the amazing Kelly Wooten.

Fight fake news.

Email or phone your public or academic library (lookup) (lookup).
Script: (Ask for library director): Hi, I’m a library patron and am concerned about the spread of fake news. Can you tell me if the library offers resources or programs to help _people/students_ judge the credibility of online information?  


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Protect Constitutional freedoms at the state level.

With Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General, Americans’ basic rights may be at risk (source).

Call: Both your state legislators (lookup).

Script: Hi! I am a constituent from ZIP. I am concerned about the expense and ineffectiveness of mandatory minimum sentencing in our state. I am asking for you to propose legislation to repeal this ineffective, often discriminatory practice. Thank you.

Support a new immigrant.

A thorough New York Times article presents ideas for making a difference. Choose one and take the next step.

Advocate for a filibuster for the Supreme Court vote.

Call: Both your senators (lookup).

Script: Hi! I’m a constituent from _ZIP_ calling to express my opposition to Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. He doesn’t represent the majority of Americans’ views, and Republican senators haven’t earned this stolen seat. I am asking _name_ to filibuster the vote.

Get Disney CEO to speak out against discrimination.

Email: Disney CEO, Robert Iger robert.a.iger@disney.com

Script: Copy and paste, “Disney’s brand is as American as mom and apple pie. That’s why I’m writing as a longtime fan to ask you to make a public statement against djt’s Muslim ban in any form. America’s strength is our diversity. Please speak out publicly against discrimination. Jasmine and Aladdin are counting on you.”

Or tweet him: @disney #BobIger As a key advisor to djt, please speak out against a Muslim ban in any form. #WallofUs #CEOsAgainstTheBan



I support the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people.

Support the Constitutional right to peaceful assembly.

Click: ACLU link here for a way to support Standing Rock.

This week: Call ND governor and demand he reject limits on free speech.


I believe in a government with qualified, trustworthy leadership.

Support a thorough investigation of Flynn’s Russia ties.

Call: Both of your senators. (lookup)

Script: Hi! I’m calling from _ZIP_. I’d like to know if _name_ supports an independent investigation into Gen. Flynn’s conduct with Russia. I’m requesting two things: 1st, to support SB 27. 2nd, given Attorney General Sessions’ ties with Flynn, is _name_ willing to willing to make a public statement insisting Sessions recuse himself from an investigation as required by the Department of Justice? (source, source, source)


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action 1: Protect the planet at the state level.

Call: Your governor’s office. (lookup)

Script: Hi! I’m a constituent calling from _ZIP_. I’m concerned about Scott Pruitt’s appointment to the Environmental Protection Administration. Since he will not pursue the planet’s interests, I’m asking _name_ to make a public statement about our climate crisis and support efforts in Oregon to reverse the trend. (source)

Action 2: Support a very special bumblebee.

Write: Sec. Ryan Zinke, ℅ Office of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240

Script: Use a postcard. Draw a bumblebee and add the caption: “Bees are not optional. List the rusty-patched bumblebee as endangered.” (source, source, source).


I believe in a woman’s right to safe, affordable medical care.

Stop Congress’ interference with the doctor-patient relationship.

Call: Both your senators. (lookup)

Script: Hi! I’m calling from _ZIP_ regarding HJ Resolution 43. This bill seeks to invade the doctor-patient relationship and prevent low-income women from making responsible decisions about their future. (Share personal story, if relevant). Can you tell me where _name_ stands on this important issue? (source)


I support accountability and oppose corruption.

Support legislation that prevents presidential conflicts of interest.

Call: Your three MoCs (1 representative and 2 senators) (lookup)
Script: Hi! I’m from _ZIP_ and calling about two issues related to presidential conflicts of interest. First, I support the proposed bipartisan bill that requires congressional approval of Russian sanctions. Secondly, I would like _name_to make a public statement of support for bills introduced recently in the Senate and House requiring the president to disclose and divest himself of financial conflicts of interest. Thank you.

Oppose 45’s actions that put national security at risk.

Call: Chairman, Sen Richard Burr (R-NC) DC: 202-224-3154 NC: 800-685-8916

Call: Vice Chair, Mark Warner (D-VA) DC: 202-224-2023

Script: Hi! I am calling _name_ regarding their role on the Senate Intelligence Committee. I am concerned by the president discussing classified national security information in an unsecured, open-air restaurant. Does _name_ plan to make a public statement or take corrective action on this risky behavior?

Oppose cabinet appointments that don’t represent your values.

Oppose Perry, Zinke, and Ross cabinet appointments.

Note: Ross vote is Feb 27, Zinke is March, and Perry is not scheduled.

Call: Your two senators  (lookup).

Script: Hi! I’m from _ZIP_ and am calling Sen ____ to express my opposition to three cabinet appointments coming up for a vote.

The first is Rick Perry for his ties to the oil industry. (source)

The second is billionaire Wilbur Ross who has deep financial ties to Russia. (source)
And finally Ryan Zinke who supports opening public lands to energy development (source).

How does _name_ plan to vote for these appointees? Thank you (or: I’m asking _name_ to represent my views with his/her vote).


Acts of gratitude

Thank senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for voting against Scott Pruitt for EPA.

Send a postcard to her address (here).

Thank Kamala Harris (D-CA) for standing up for immigrants (source).

Send a postcard to her address (here).

Thank CNN host Don Lemon for having chutzpah to stop mid-interview and oppose fake news and lies (source).

Send a note: Don Lemon, ℅CNN, 10 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10019

Call: 212-275-8030

Thank Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (email and address)
Thank Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) (email and address)
Script: Thank you for introducing your Presidential Conflicts of Interest bill in the _Senate/House_. I’m grateful for your efforts. This president must do what’s best for the country, not what’s best for his businesses around the world. #shepersisted Name, State

Thank Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) (address)
Thank Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL4) (address).
Script: Thank you for co-sponsoring bills to protect the National Security Council from political interference. Extreme partisans like Steve Bannon have no place on the NSC, so I’m grateful that you’ve taken a stand. Name, State, ZIP


Recommended reading

  • Me vs. We: 16-year political ideology cycle and a fascinating chart.
  • We have a year, at most, to defend American democracy (source).
  • The three potus/Russian scandals, summarized (source).
  • Why Russia hacking matters (source) and a case study (source).
  • How to frame a non-existent threat and make people fall for the lies (source).
  • 18 stories of immigration to the USA (source).
  • You only think you won’t get taken by fake news. Here’s how to recognize it and combat it (source) (source) (source).
  • FOX News in trouble with the Feds (source).
  • A dysfunctional White House revealed: Flynn, Bannon, and incoherence on national security (source).



  • A normal president doesn’t discuss confidential security issues in public (source).
  • A normal president doesn’t illegally delete communication (source).
  • A normal president doesn’t run a business during presidency (source).
  • A normal president doesn’t curry personal favors from foreign countries (source).
  • A normal president doesn’t call the media ‘the enemy’ (source).
  • A normal president doesn’t lie about attacks in foreign countries (source).
  • A normal president doesn’t run up taxpayers’ expenses (source).
  • A normal president avoids projects that increase taxes, invade private property, offend neighboring countries, and don’t solve the underlying issue.


Good news

  • 4 Republican senators vote against anti-worker Puzder (source).
  • Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) opposed Pruitt for EPA (source).
  • The Pope tweeted, “How often in the Bible the Lord asks us to welcome migrants and foreigners, reminding us that we too are foreigners!”
  • A win for voting rights in Georgia (source).
  • Federal judge fines Texas for dragging its feet in voter-fairness lawsuit (source).
  • Secretary Mattis upholds the role of the press in a democracy (source).
  • A church offers sanctuary (source).
  • MA introduces Safe Communities Act to protect Muslims (source, source).
  • Ellen pays off student debt for Sudanese immigrant teacher (heartwarming video).



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Final action

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We’re stronger together!