What to Do This Week of June 11, 2017

by Jun 13, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

31 weeks down, 73 weeks to mid-term elections. That’s 30% down!

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.

Did someone send you this? Sign up to receive this weekly checklist.


I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Action: Create an activism plan.

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


Action: Do self care.

Choose to go high. Do your best to refrain from awfulizing and catastrophizing. Things are scary, yes, but the lower you go, the harder it is to dig out and ultimately persevere. We need you well and rested. So, breathe—and channel your inner Michelle Obama.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Support equal rights for your LGBTQ+ friends and family.

Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ calling to express my support for equal rights for the LGBTQ community. My (share who you know is gay) is gay/trans/queer, and I want her/him/them to have the same access to housing and employment that I do. Can you tell me if _NAME_ plans to support The Equality Act of 2017? (Senate: S.1006 / House: H.R. 2282)

Note: If you are LGBTQIA+, please edit the script accordingly. We deserve equal rights.


I value progressive leadership in Congress.

Action: Donate once to support all progressive candidates.

Visit: It Starts Today

Donate: $4.68 a month covers a penny per candidate running for Congress in 2018. This allows you to support Democratic candidates all at once.


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

Action: Oppose the repeal of important protections from Obama’s 2nd term.

Call: Your two Senators (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ calling to express my concern about the Midnight Rules Relief Act. It’s unethical for regulations enacted at the end of a president’s term to be subject to different rules for repeal. Congress must be separate from the executive branch. Please ask _NAME_ to vote against S. 34.


Action: Advocate for consumer protection and safe banks.

Call: Your two Senators (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_, and am concerned about the House passing the Financial CHOICE Act. I think we need strong financial rights for consumers and solid integrity in our financial institutions, and this bill weakens both. I’m asking Sen. _NAME_ to oppose its passage in the Senate. Thanks.


Action: Advocate for integrity from the US’ highest office.

Call: All three MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ and am concerned that our president asked the FBI Director for loyalty and implied that he should stop the investigation of Michael Flynn. Is _NAME_ concerned about this? I expect integrity from our leaders. Could you please tell me what s/he is doing about this lack of integrity? (pause) Thank you.


I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Advocate for healthcare.

Call today. A Senate vote is imminent. Our pressure is working. Speak up for yourself and for those who cannot.

Call: Both of your senators, red or blue (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ calling to ask _NAME_ to fight for my right to affordable, quality healthcare coverage. Specifically, (list what you want). Ideas:

  1. No gender discrimination and no lifetime caps.
  2. Access to reproductive medicine without cost.
  3. Coverage for all pre-existing conditions.
  4. Cost less than $X per month per person.
  5. Comprehensive Medicare and Medicaid.

Most importantly, share why this is personally significant to you. Thanks!


Action: Insist on an open hearing of the Senate healthcare bill.

Call: Sen. Orrin Hatch, SFC office 202-224-4515; fax 202-228-0554

Script: I am calling Sen. Hatch in his capacity as the chair of the Senate Finance Committee. The Senate’s current approach to the healthcare issue appears secretive, manipulative, and undemocratic. Democracy thrives with discussion, cooperation, and compromise. As a consumer of healthcare services, I’m asking Sen Hatch to conduct open, public hearings on the Senate healthcare bill.

Wrap up: Please send your Senators an email with a copy of this script (lookup).


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Advocate for your governor to support the Paris Accord.

If you don’t live in: CA, CT, DE, HI, MA, MN, NC, NY, OR, PR, RI, VT, VA, WA.

Call: Your governor’s office (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from _TOWN_ and would like Governor _NAME_ to join the ten states that have created the US Climate Alliance. (Share why a liveable planet matters to you.) Will you please pass along my message? Thank you.


Action: Find out if your “aspirational recycling” contributes to contamination.

Read: Why recycling programs are failing.

Call: Your local collection service.

Script: I want to help make recycling more effective. Can you provide me with a list of the items our community actually recycles? (Ask any questions you have.)


I value honest media.

Action: Tell NBC what you think about hosting Newtown denier, Alex Jones, on Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. Be kind. Be clear. (Show scheduled for June 18)

Visit: http://www.nbc.com/contact-us


I believe in being a good citizen of the world.

Action: Offer up condolences to London’s mayor and apologies for 45 (hat tip).

Write: Send a postcard to Mayor Sadiq Khan, ℅ British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (or send an email)

Script: Share how you feel about the attack and write the condolence message that 45 could have, but didn’t. Name, State, Country


Action: Oppose the detention and persecution of gay men in Chechnya.

Call: Your one Representative (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ and deeply concerned about the welfare of gay men in Chechnya. As I’m sure you know, the government is imprisoning and torturing them and has killed at least three. A resolution moved to the House floor to assert their human rights. Will _NAME_ please sign H. Res. 351?

Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Ready for the fun part?


Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank State Representative Scott Sanford (R-TX) for his work in recognizing Armenian genocide, honoring its 1.5 million victims, and advocating for the Armenian community.

Address: Texas House of Representatives, PO Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768


Thank Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) for being the only Republican to support consumer protections and safer financial institutions by voting against repealing Dodd-Frank.

Address: 1105-C Corporate Drive, Greenville, NC 27858


Thank your governor if you live in CA, CT, DE, HI, MA, MN, NC, NY, OR, PR, RI, VT, VA, WA (lookup). Tell him/her that you appreciate his/her leadership, creativity, and priorities for a liveable planet. Thank you for upholding the Paris Climate Accord.

Address: Your governor’s office (lookup).


Thank Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for her clear criticism of the lack of debate over the Senate healthcare bill. I appreciate your advocacy for an open democratic process for deciding on such an important bill.

Address: 28 N. 8th St., Ste. 500, Columbia, Missouri 65201


Recommended reading

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

  • It’s not just how much money we spend on education, it’s how we spend it (NPR).
  • What DeVos said matters to LGB kids and kids with disabilities (NPR).
  • The psychology of dehumanization — and what to do about the trend (Vox).
  • What the special election results really mean for midterms (Cook Political Report).
  • James Comey on the gravity of Russian election interference (TPM).


Good news


Final action

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

Tweet: It’s all right here: simple, clear actions to , MoCs to thank, and some good news for a change: goo.gl/L4Tfms.

Email and Facebook: It’s all right here: simple, clear actions to , MoCs to thank, and some good news for a change: https://goo.gl/L4Tfms.

Be well and please keep taking good care of yourself. We need you in the flock and flapping for the long haul.