What to Do This Week of April 30, 2017

by May 1, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

25 weeks down, 79 weeks to mid-term elections. We’ve got this.

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear, hype-free suggestions for action backed by well-considered research for Americans who care about democracy and justice.

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Click if you have a question, correction, or action suggestion. With thanks!

Act on your beliefs and values below.

I believe I can make a difference.

Action: Create an activism plan.

  1. Get the worksheet: Plan your activism strategy with my Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version). Print either to get started.
  2. Get Stance: This app makes calling elected officials easier, less stressful, and more effective.

Priority Action: Vehemently oppose Trumpcare 3.

If you have Republican elected officials, call them asap (okay to leave a message). The GOP is working frantically to get something passed. This is not diplomatically worded because they’ll only listen if they think their job is on the line.

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from _ZIP_. If _NAME_ votes for a bill that removes any health coverage for any American, s/he will lose her job. Full stop. Healthcare is a fundamental human right. Not tax credits. Not health savings accounts. Actual care. For all Americans. Anything less than this, and I will work hard to make sure _NAME_ is out of a job at the very next opportunity. Thanks.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Reunite moms and kids for Mother’s Day.

Donate: Your donation releases non-violent moms from jail who simply can’t afford to pay bail.


Action: Support one or more of America’s 42 million immigrants.

Read: This list of organizations who aid and support immigrants in the US.

Choose: Pick a group or action from the list to support fellow, new Americans.


Action: Advocate for women’s equality.

Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m calling from _ZIP_ to ask _NAME_ to support SJ Res 5 and HJ Res 53. These allow American women equal rights under the law, a protection yet to be granted since it was proposed in the 1970s. Can I count on him/her to support this legislation?


I believe in a quality education for America’s youth.

Action: Advocate for student loan borrower protections. (Hat tip to Rogan’s List.)

31 MoCs support protections for student loan borrowers. Betsy DeVos does not.

Write: Betsy DeVos, U.S. Dept. of Ed., 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202

Script: With 1 in 4 student loan borrowers in default or delinquent on federal student loans, you need to address the sources of the student debt crisis. Please reverse your decision, reinstate protections, and support American growth.


I support the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people.

Action: Call out privilege and the cultural appropriation of Native American culture.

A popular, 3-day event made an “art story pole” offensive to the local tribes.

Read: If the term cultural appropriation is new to you, first read this and this.

Call: Oregon Country Fair office 541-343-4298 or email the OCF board.

Script: Hi! I’m calling to ask the OCF to listen to local tribes. Don’t raise the story pole this summer. Thanks. (Be polite.)
Bonus: If you attend the Oregon Country Fair, this Native-written thread offers gentle, specific actions during the pole raising.


I believe in a government led by qualified, trustworthy representatives.

Action: Advocate for a special commission to investigate 45-Russia ties.

Newly-confirmed Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein can approve a special prosecutor or commission, but has previously hedged on this action. Speak up.

Call: Dept. of Justice comment line 202-353-1555
Postcard: USDoJ, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001

Script: I am among the 58% of Americans who want an independent commission to investigate Trump-Russia ties. Trust in the four current investigations is compromised, and the Attorney General’s credibility is tarnished. Only an independent commission or special prosecutor will restore confidence.


Action: Oppose 45 running his business at taxpayer expense.

Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup). Blue or red.

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from _ZIP_, calling because I want to know why I my hard-earned tax money is sending Trump to Florida to play golf, paying for his kids’ security while they fly around the world to make him money, and funding Secret Service members staying in Trump’s hotels? This is not normal. It’s corruption. I’d like to know what _NAME_ is doing about it.

Bonus: Install the Don’t Pay Trump Chrome extension.


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Oppose using National Monuments for resource extraction and mining.

Call: Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior 202-208-3100

Script: Hi. I’m calling to oppose Trump’s executive order. (Mention any NMs in your state and) Bear’s Ears NM is (are) a treasure. National monuments are protected, citizen-owned land, and I oppose efforts to extract resources from them.


Action: Support funding for the Energy Star program.

Create: Make 3 postcards with a hand-drawn Energy Star logo.

Address: Your 3 MoCs (lookup).

Script: I’ve purchased (list appliances) with the Energy Star rating. Americans have saved over $300 billion in energy costs since this program was created. Don’t eliminate this important program in the upcoming budget.  

Bonus: Take a photo of your cards and post on social media with #energystar.


Action: Keep marching for climate and science.

Challenge yourself to walk somewhere—instead of drive—to reduce pollution.


I believe in a vote for every American.

Action: Advocate for automatic voter registration in your state.

Look up: Is your state among those proposing this legislation?

Call: Your state (not federal) legislator (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from _ZIP_, calling to express my support for automatic voter registration in our state. Can you tell me where _NAME_ stands on this issue? (Share a relevant story about registration hassles.)


I believe in being a good citizen of the world.

Action: Support the health of impoverished women worldwide.

45’s withdrawal from the UN Population Fund leaves women without basic care. You can help.

Donate: UN Population Fund

Bonus: Give in tribute to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520


I value my own well-being.

Action: Get better sleep.

Doing self care honors the legacy of the civil rights and women’s movements. Several activist Twitter followers shared how they sleep better at night. Choose one of their ideas or create your own.

  • Have tea and read a book before bed.
  • Work out in the morning.
  • Walk after dinner.
  • Turn off screens by 6pm.
  • News and social media blackout after dinner.
  • Set a daily timer to get ready for bed.

Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…


Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Justice Sonia Sotomayor for her dissent statement about a failure to apply the law evenly and the disturbing trend of using the “waistband excuse” to justify excessive use of force.

Address: SCOTUS, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20543


Thank Chief Justice Roberts for raising concern about 45’s abuse of power in seeking to strip naturalized citizens of their legal citizenship for trivial matters. Immigrants matter.

Address: SCOTUS, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20543


Thank Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for his leadership and integrity in calling attention to Scott Pruitt’s apparent violation of the Hatch Act.

Address: 170 Westminster St # 1100, Providence, RI 02903


Thank Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for speaking out in support for the rule of law and against 45’s anti-immigrant agenda. Immigrants’ rights are human rights.

Address: 90 State House Square, Hartford, CT 06103


Recommended reading

Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.

  • Escaping poverty takes almost 20 years with nothing bad happening (The Atlantic).
  • “At this perilous moment in America, the only victory to be had is…human connection.” (The Guardian)
  • My father spent 30 years in prison and I don’t want him to text me (Ashley C. Ford).
  • A moving TED talk about love and revolution by Pope Francis.
  • A weakened judiciary and weakened Congress isn’t a democracy, Mr. Trump.


Good news




Final action

If you found this checklist useful, please spread the word!

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Please keep taking good care of yourself. We’re stronger together!