What to Do This Week of July 2, 2017
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.
Did someone send you here? Sign up to receive this weekly checklist.
I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.
Action: Create an activism plan.
- Decrease overwhelm: You can’t do it all, so plan your activism efforts with my Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version).
- Get Stance: This app makes calling elected officials easier and less stressful. Soon, it will have my actions right in the app!
- 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
- With 2018 in mind, Democrats created a commission to investigate Russian hacking and invited Republicans to participate.
- The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. #stopthisendlesswar
- Many states reject “election integrity” commission’s request for voter data.
- House committee issues a joint statement threatening subpoena for “Comey tapes.”
- Many MoCs, including Lindsey Graham, admonished the president for a tweet that was “beneath his office.”
- Senate committee passes aviation bill omitting the president’s goal of privatizing air traffic control.
- Macron and Schwarzenegger team up for the planet.
- Democratic senators have an impromptu gathering about healthcare on Capitol steps.
- Americans show up for the People’s Filibuster to protest healthcare bill.
- Kentucky’s medical professionals pen an open letter to Sen. McConnell on healthcare.
- Together, GA Republicans, local press, and environmentalists stopped corporate pollution.
- Rep. Cheri Bustos works alongside her constituents to understand their needs.
- US District Court orders Alabama to reform its prison system to decrease suicide rate.
- Nevada’s Republican governor approves 11 solar energy-related bills.
- WA’s Attorney General threatens to sue administration for ignoring Clean Air Act.
- Some states and cities’ residents are getting a pay raise this weekend.
- TIME asks the president to remove fake, framed magazine covers from golf courses.
- Google’s new search results now include a fact-checking sidebar.
- Twitter humorously reminds anti-tax Norquist of the benefits of taxes.
- Good news for one DACA Stewart detainee.
- This teen got free pads and tampons in her school as a normal human right.
- Teens responded creatively and lovingly to vandalism of a civil rights marker.
- George Lakoff tweeted me. (faints) And facebooked me! (faints again)
- Extra dose of super-good news is here at Peace is Loud.
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
Email and Facebook: If you want to avoid the political spin and double-talk and just find out what to do, check out Jen Hofmann’s checklist: https://goo.gl/jw6zM5
- A big thank you to the many people who suggested actions and gratitudes this week!
- To receive this message weekly, sign up here.
- Click if you have a question, correction, or action suggestion.
- To see archives of past Action Checklists, click here and scroll down.