What to Do This Week of May 14, 2017

by May 15, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

27 weeks down, 77 weeks to mid-term elections. Hanging in there?

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 and less stressful.


Action: Defend America’s libraries by May 19.

Visit: American Library Association

Complete the form: To send a letter to your senators.

Note: Uncheck the box “Subscribe to District Dispatch” to avoid extra email.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Oppose misogyny.

Write: Sen John Neely Kennedy (R-LA)

Address: SRB11, Russell Senate Building, Washington, DC 20510

Script: “Who appointed you to the United States Supreme Court?” is not an appropriate way to address a former acting Attorney General. Check your privilege, sir. America expects better of you.


Action: Speak up for asylum seekers enduring inhumane conditions in our country.

Donate: Project South is a legal and advocacy group targeting Georgia’s detention centers. Your support helps them advocate and litigate on behalf of the voiceless.

Visit: projectsouth.org


I support the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people.

Action: Stand with Native people in defending the sacred by May 26.

Visit: http://bearsearscoalition.org/action/

Sign: Include a personal message about why protecting Bears Ears National Monument matters to you.

Note: Select “Do not send me updates” if you don’t want extra email.


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

Action: Advocate for an independent investigation *and* a special prosecutor.

Call: Both senators, red or blue (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ and am deeply concerned about the firing of the FBI Director by Trump. I would like my senator to support both an independent commission and a special prosecutor. Thank you.


Action: Support independent investigative journalism.

Read: Mother Jones opposes 45’s efforts to block information from the public.

Donate: $15 per month to help this non-profit qualify for a substantial grant to investigate what he is currently concealing.


Action: Advocate for thorough vetting of 45’s federal court appointments.

Call: Your two senators, red or blue (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from _ZIP_, calling about Trump’s ten federal court appointments. I am asking Senator  _NAME_ to assure they are thoroughly vetted by the Senate, Aerican Bar Association, and approved in the home state of each senator. In light of recent events, this issue is vital to our democracy.


I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Voice your objection to the all-male senate healthcare group.

Write: Sen. Mitch McConnell, 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Script: Not everyone is at the table to discuss health care, Sen. McConnell. 51% of the US population is female. 37% is not white. 19% has a disability. More than 3% is LGBT. By these statistics, your committee should have six women, four minorities, two disabled people, and one gay person. A group of white, straight men could harm those excluded from the conversation. Please make it right.


Action: Support candidates who run against MoCs who support repealing ACA.

Visit: ActBlue.com has a creative way to support MoCs who favor healthcare.


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Tell the EPA not to roll back regulations by Monday, May 15, 12pm EST.

Visit: The EPA page and click the dark blue button (far right) “Comment Now!

Script: Share why you support protections for clean air, soil, water, people, and planet.


Action: Oppose the EPA’s waiving of regulations on the neurotoxin, chlorpyrifos.

Visit: EPA chlorpyrifos comment page by June 5. Click dark blue button on right.

Copy and paste this script:

I object to the denial of the petition to revoke tolerance for chlorpyrifos, a dangerous chemical that causes birth defects and neurological damage. The MSDS states, “Fetotoxicity and fetal developmental abnormalities were observed in a chronic ingestion study of pregnant mice . . . Effects reported in [human] workers repeatedly exposed include impaired memory and concentration, acute psychosis, severe depressions, social withdrawal, confusion, headache, speech difficulties, delayed reaction times, spatial disorientation, nightmares, sleepwalking, and drowsiness or insomnia.” Most farmers know to use less harmful, more effective chemicals to solve pest problems. All tolerances for this chemical should be revoked.


I believe in a vote for every American.

Action: Oppose the new, federal Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Read: This recent article and background on Kris Kobach’s past efforts to suppress voters in Kansas.

Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from _ZIP_ and am calling to express my concern about Trump’s new election integrity commission. Considering the lack of support for claims of widespread voter fraud, this panel is a huge waste of taxpayer money. What is _NAME_ doing to oppose this panel?


Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Here comes the good part.


Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for opposing Comey’s firing and advocating for a select committee to investigate 45. Once again putting country over party shows outstanding leadership.

Address: 218 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510


Thank Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) for saying it matters to have women at the table regarding health care.

Address: 154 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510


Thank Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for her initiative creating her own healthcare plans and reaching out to moderate Democrats. This is what democracy looks like.

Address: 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510


Thank Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Susan Collins (R-ME) for voting against the repeal of methane gas emissions protections. You are an example for your party on how to avert the climate crisis.

Address: Sen. Graham, 290 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (for others, see above)


Thank Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for questioning the value of Session’s plans for tougher sentencing for drug-related crime. Your advocacy for being “smart on crime” is appreciated.

Address: 361A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510


Thank Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for supporting an independent investigation after Comey’s firing. As a Dem/Rep/other, I admire your leadership and integrity.

Address: 522 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510


Recommended reading

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Are you getting away from the news and social media enough? Take good care of you.


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Final action

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

Tweet: I look forward to @inspiredjen’s Americans of Conscience checklist every week. Check out her latest: goo.gl/vEk9Tx

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Be well and please keep taking good care of yourself. We’re stronger together!