What to Do This Week of July 2, 2017

by Jul 3, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

34 weeks down, 70 weeks to mid-term elections. Deep breath! Here we go!

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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I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Action: Create an activism plan.

  1. Decrease overwhelm: You can’t do it all, so plan your activism efforts with my Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version).
  2. Get Stance: This app makes calling elected officials easier and less stressful. Soon, it will have my actions right in the app!
  3. Remember: You are not alone. Thousands do this checklist with you each week.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Oppose the ban against Muslims, despite SCOTUS ruling (hat tip).

Write: Your 3 MoCs at a local office (lookup or leave message).

Script: I’m a constituent from [ZIP], concerned about discrimination against Muslims immigrating to the US and the SCOTUS ruling. I am asking you for two things: 1. To extend the definition of family to include grandparents, fiancé/es, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces. 2. To pass stronger anti-discrimination and sanctuary resolutions so that liberty and welcome may prevail. Name, address

Bonus: Read this infographic.


Action: Advocate for constitutional freedoms.

Write: NRA, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 (or call 800-672-3888)

Script: The right to bear arms is a guaranteed constitutional right, as is the freedom to peacefully assemble. I oppose the new ad implying that peaceful marches and progressive ideas are anti-American. (If you are an NRA member, please mention this.) Americans are our neighbors, not enemies. I look forward to donating to an anti-gun organization this week in the NRA’s name.

Bonus: Report this video to YouTube as violent.


Action: Oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to mix church and state.

Contact: Send an email to all three MOCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: I’m from [ZIP] and am very concerned about the Supreme Court’s recent decision to use taxpayer funds for church expenses. I do not want our country to abandon its longstanding constitutional protection of separation of church and state. I oppose government funds going directly to any house of worship. Please tell me what [name] is doing to address this issue.


I believe in election integrity and oppose voter fraud and suppression.

Action: Advocate for transparency and the right to vote. Do this today.

Call: Your governor’s office (lookup) and Secretary of State (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP] calling to express my concern about the federal election integrity commission. Vice Chair Kobach’s history of voter suppression makes recent letters requesting citizen data deeply concerning. Don’t let him steal our votes. Please join with other states and refuse to comply with this invasive request.


Action: Advocate for Republicans for joining 2016 election hacking panel.

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

Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my support for the new House panel that plans to investigate the Russian hacking of the election. Safeguarding future elections isn’t a liberal or conservative issue, it’s a democracy issue. Democrats have invited Republicans to participate in this panel, and I would like [name] to do so. Can you please convey my message to her/him?


I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Oppose making healthcare deals in exchange for McConnell’s “candy.”

Look: If your senators are mentioned in this article, call them today.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about healthcare. I know that Sen. McConnell is offering money to sweeten deals to get 50 votes.Our health isn’t for sale. Please tell Sen. [name] his/her constituents are relying on him/her to support excellent healthcare for all people, not a tax cut for the wealthy few. Thanks.


Action: Advocate for open debate instead of secret healthcare deals.

Email, call: 202-224-2541, or fax: 202-224-2499

Script: I am calling Senator McConnell in his role as Senate Majority Leader. I am concerned that the secrecy and speed of the AHCA bill don’t serve the American public. These hasty actions are hurting your party. I would like Sen. McConnell to slow down the process and have open, collaborative hearings that address the needs of all Americans.


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Oppose a 10-year delay in enacting air pollution regulations (Hat tip).

Contact: Send an email to all three MOCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Dear [MOC], I am concerned about the Ozone Standards Implementation Act (S263 (Senate) / HR806 (House). I support protections enacted by the EPA and the Clean Air Act. The OSI Act would disable the clean air standards that make people safer. We need emission reductions and toxin mitigation from industry. (If you have family, friends with lung issues or allergies, mention this.) I’m counting on you to work to protect my family’s health and stop this bill. Your actions on this issue affect my vote at the polls. Thank you.


Action: Advocate for safer coal mining practices and protect miners’ rights.

Write: Your three MoCs (lookup). Especially WV and KY.

Script: I’m from [ZIP] and would like Sen./Rep. [name] to support S. 854 / H.R. 1903, the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2017. If we’re going to use coal in the US, we need better investigation, expanded whistleblower protection, and to protect miners’ rights to refuse hazardous work. I would like [name] to co-sign this bill. Thank you.


Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… We can do this.


Acts of Gratitude

Lots this week! Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Just before she went into surgery for cancer, she spoke out against the senate healthcare bill. Thank you for using your position for good. Wishing you a thorough recovery.

Address: 300 Ala Moana Blvd., RM 3-106, Honolulu, HI 96850  


Thank Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) for his “birds and bees” talk with senators and insisting that maternity care remain part of the GOP health bill. Advocacy with a sense of humor is vital in a democracy. Thank you (hat tip).
Address: 5555 Hilton Ave., Suite 100, Baton Rouge, LA 70808


Thank Brian Karem for reminding Sarah Huckabee that journalists’ job is to ask questions and provide the public with answers. Thank you for questioning the White House accusations of fake news and asserting the important role of the press.

Address: Montgomery County Sentinel, 22 W. Jefferson Street, Suite 309, Rockville, MD 20850


Thank Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal for their creative legislation to keep Americans safe while reducing prison costs. I appreciate your progressive leadership.

Address: (C.B.) One Gateway Center, 23rd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102

(R.B.) 90 State House Square 10th Floor, Hartford, CT, 06103


Thank Cheri Bustos (D-IL) for her innovative idea to meet with constituents on the job in order to better understand their needs and to create legislation that supports them. Your servant leadership is an inspiration!

Address: 1009 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515


Thank Caitriona Perry, Irish RTÉ reporter, for showing the world Trump’s ‘bizarre’ behaviour in the Oval Office. We’re sorry he he’s such a creepy guy and made you uncomfortable. I appreciate you bringing this interaction to light.

Address: Caitriona Perry, c/o RTÉ, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, IRELAND

International postage: $1.15


Recommended reading

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

  • The far-right’s plan for America is to suppress the majority (Slate).
  • The president is failing his “basic duty to defend the country” (CNN).
  • An interesting glimpse into relations between Congress and the president (Vox).
  • Dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency (ThinkProgress).
  • The difference between benevolent and hostile sexism (The Atlantic).
  • Photos protest banning grandparents from immigration (twitter).
  • A fun, 5-min interview about how I (Jen Hofmann) got started in political action (ELA).


Making room for your emotions is an act of resistance. Pause a moment to notice how you feel.


Good news


Final action

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

Tweet: If you want to avoid the spin and find out what to do, check out @inspiredjen’s checklist: https://goo.gl/jw6zM5

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