What to Do This Week of July 9, 2017

by Jul 10, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

35 weeks down, 69 weeks to mid-term elections. Let’s do 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. Timely issues are highlighted in yellow.

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I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Create an activism plan.

  1. Get the worksheet: Plan your activism strategy with my Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version).
  2. Get Stance: This app makes calling elected officials easier and less stressful.
  3. Remember: You are not alone. Thousands do this checklist with you each week.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Donate to medical and legal costs for Desirae, a Black trans woman.

She was beaten by 8 people, but thankfully survived. Help her heal.

Visit: https://www.youcaring.com/desirae-866376.


Action: Ask your MoCs to advocate for detained asylum-seeking youth.

Write: Your three MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: I am worried and upset that the US is detaining young kids for years because their asylum status is contested. America needs to be a place of refuge, and it is inhumane to lock up endangered kids. Will you please follow Sen. Casey’s lead and advocate to Sec. Kelly for their release pending court decisions? Thank you. Name, address (for follow-up)


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

Action:  Oppose Betsy DeVos’ Decision To Loosen For-Profit College Rules.

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

Script: I’m from [ZIP] and I am very concerned about Betsy DeVos’ decision to loosen for-profit college rules. I want students to be protected. I want colleges and universities to be evaluated based on how many graduates are able to pay back their loans–and if programs consistently fail these tests, they should lose access to federal student-aid dollars. Thank you.


Action: Oppose cutting funds for kids in special education.

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

Script: Hi. I’m concerned about cuts to services for kids in special ed programs. I believe we have a responsibility to fully support all learners. The Senate healthcare bill strips Medicaid funding which currently covers essential tools, staff, and screenings to give these kids a fair chance. I oppose the bill for many reasons, but this one is critical. (If it affects you directly, share why.) Thanks.


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

Action: Advocate for sanctioning Russia for hacking election and electric grid.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my concern for recent news about the hacking of US power plants. With Russia’s election hacking last fall as well, I’m concerned that our president and members of congress are not taking these threats seriously. I support strong sanctions against Russia. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to address these forms of foreign aggression? Thank you.


Action: Oppose Ivanka and Jared doing the president’s job.

Write: Your three MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: I am confused about why Ivanka Trump posted a photo of herself and Jared Kushner on twitter saying, “We…are looking forward to productive discussions at the G20 Hamburg Summit!” Aren’t discussions the president’s job? Why are the president’s unelected daughter and son-in-law doing the president’s job? This makes the US look bad. Name, address


I believe in the Constitutional right to free speech and press freedom.

Action: Advocate for press freedom and safety for journalists.

With growing hostility toward the press, reporters are receiving threats and news agencies are getting security. This is not normal.

Donate: These four organizations protect journalism and support press freedom.


Action: Oppose Sinclair propaganda on your local news.

Read: This short article about Sinclair’s intrusive FOX-like propaganda.

Call: Your local news stations. (Google: “contact [town] local news stations”).

Script: I’m a customer, concerned about propaganda on the news. Can you tell me if Sinclair Media is a parent company of [channel name]? I value excellent journalism and will stop watching your channel if Sinclair buys out (because Sinclair has bought out) your company. A free press matters to me. Thank you.


I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Register your opinion on health insurance on Regulations.gov by July 12.

Visit: Regulations.gov.

Script: Share how you think health insurance could be made more affordable for individual consumers and small businesses.


Action: Share your story about the affordability of prescription medications.

Visit: ProPublica.


Action: Advocate for a bipartisan solution.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and support healthcare for all Americans. We are tired of the power plays and divisiveness. I am calling to ask [name] to support a bipartisan effort on healthcare and to reach across the aisle for actual bipartisan dialogue on what solutions best serve constituent needs. Thank you.


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Protect marine sanctuaries.

Visit: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NOS-2017-0066

Comment: Explain why marine sanctuaries matter to you and to posterity.


Action: Oppose logging public land without considering environmental impact.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express deep concern for H.B. 2936. This bill attempts to expedite logging up to 30,000 acres–an area the size of Disney World–without considering environmental impacts. I’m concerned it empowers timber companies at the expense of public input, judicial review of projects, and Endangered Species Act protections. I oppose this unethical bill and want Rep. [name] to do the same. Thank you.


Action: Advocate for protecting people and the planet from pollution.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my concern about H.R. 637. The EPA’s mission is important to me, and we rely on the EPA to regulate the pollutants that are driving the climate crisis. It seems like Republicans think allowing corporations to pollute is more important than protecting citizens’ health. Is this true? I want Rep. [name] to block H.R. 637. Thank you.


I believe in election integrity.

Action: Advocate for reversing Citizens United.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and want to express my support for reversing Citizens United with H.J. Res 48. Corporate money in elections weakens the power of my vote and silences people in poverty. Can I count on Rep. [name] to co-sponsor this bill and vote to support it in the House?

Bonus: Donate to http://www.americanpromise.net/.


Action: Advocate for voting access and increasing security against hackers.  

Call: Your state’s election office.

Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [state] and support all citizens having a vote. I’m calling for two reasons. First, I’m concerned that legitimate voters will be purged using Crosscheck by Kobach’s panel. Can you tell me what [state] is doing to prevent this? Secondly, I’m thinking ahead to the 2018 elections. What is [state] doing to prevent hacking of our voting system or changing voter data? Before I go, will you please verify that I’m registered to vote? Thank you for your time.


I believe in being a good citizen of the world.

Action: Oppose escalation with North Korea.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling about relations with North Korea. Our leaders don’t seem interested in avoiding conflict, but rather appear to be escalating with threats and intimidation. We can’t afford to jeopardize lives over big egos. Can you tell me what Sen./Rep. [name] is doing to be a voice of reason?


Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…

Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R) for speaking out against the “bathroom bill” that would regulate which bathrooms transgender Texans can use. Thank you for your compassion toward the LBGTQ community.

Address: 7373 Broadway, Suite 202A, San Antonio, TX 78209


Thank Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) for protecting our environment and countering the president’s message on climate change. Thank you for hosting the first-ever global environmental summit with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement. I appreciate your leadership.

Address: Gov. Jerry Brown, ℅ State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814


Thank Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) for opposing the Senate healthcare bill. Thank you for speaking your conscience in spite of White House criticism and Super PAC ads. I admire your integrity in putting your constituents’ needs over party agenda.

Address: 8930 West Sunset Road, Suite 230, Las Vegas, NV 89148


Get well, Steve Scalise (R-LA). Wounded Republican is back in ICU and had a second surgery for an infection. Send well wishes and prayers for quick recovery.

Address: 8026 Main Street, Suite 700, Houma, LA 70360


Thank Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her message of encouragement and hope on Samantha Bee’s show. We’ve been growing a little tired, weary, (etc.), and your words were just what we needed to hear. Thank you.

Address: 317 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Recommended reading

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

  • A sobering, necessary take on Russia’s long game (Politico).
  • The real risks of using Crosscheck to “verify” voters (Rolling Stone).
  • The man behind the federal voter “integrity” panel (NY Times Magazine).
  • Democrats need a clear, compelling social contract to win (Medium).
  • A hopeful opinion about how everyday citizens influence governmental change (NYT).
  • A Republican muses on the importance of civility (The Atlantic).
  • Brain biology and why we’re addicted to news (Paste).


Please keep taking care of yourself: Remember why you’re engaged and what matters to you.


Good news


Final action

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

Twitter: Your voice matters. Use this list to counter the chaos in our country and : goo.gl/2ECgYQ

Email and Facebook: Your voice matters. Here’s the list you need to counter the chaos in our country: https://goo.gl/2ECgYQ



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