What to Do This Week of July 16, 2017

by Jul 17, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

36 weeks down, 68 weeks to mid-term elections. Take a big stretch and… 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. 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: Input requested for our own August recess.

Next month, my weekly Action Checklist will have 7 actions–one for each day–to lighten the load during the vacation/back-to-school month. Knowing which issues are most important to you helps me plan. The normal list of 12-17 weekly actions will continue through July and will be back in September.

Take my 3-question survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AugustRecess.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Oppose law enforcement violence against Black Americans.

Visit: Note where your town ranks on mappingpoliceviolence.org.

Call: Your city council member (Google “city council” + city).

Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [city] and would like to know what we’re doing to decrease police violence against our Black residents. (If they don’t know) I’m deeply concerned about this issue. Could someone contact me with information?


Action: Advocate for our 12,800 transgender servicepeople.

Write: Sec. Jim Mattis, 1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1400

Script: I support our transgender troops. All military servicepeople who want to serve our country deserve respect, not delays.


Action: Stand up for DACA kids.

Visit and sign petition to support immigrant youth: https://goo.gl/LbnuWz.

Bonus: If you are in AL, AR, ID, KS, LA, NE, SC, TX, TN, or WV, call your Secretary of State to protest his efforts to deport DACA kids.


Action: Show support for the community center in Dallas hit by arson.

This center supports Black GBTQ men with HIV. Show your support with a love note and words of encouragement.

Address: Kirk Myers, 2311 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215


Action: Advocate for women’s equality in military service.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and support equality for women in military service. Is [name] aware that women in the US Merchant Marine Academy do not get Title IX (nine) protections? With numerous sexual assault scandals in recent years, I want [name] to support women’s rights by co-sponsoring S. 1506 (Senate) / H.R. 3157 (House). Thanks.


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

Action: Oppose DVos’ attempt to dismantle protections for campus rape victims.

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

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP], and I’m concerned Betsy DeVos is considering dismantling Title IX (nine) and protections for survivors of sexual violence. Where does [name] stand on Title IX and campus sexual violence? (pause) Can I count on his/her support of S. 856 (Senate) / H.R. 1949 (House)? Thank you.


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

Action: Speak truth to power about dishonest leadership.

It’s too soon for impeachment, but this message can help turn the tide of public opinion.

Call: Or write your three MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and am deeply concerned about the secrecy of our president, his advisors, and cabinet. Even if nothing technically illegal has happened, public trust has been violated by repeated lies. Can you tell me what [name] is doing about this? (pause) I would like him/her to support S. 27 /  H.R. 356 for an independent commission to investigate our administration. Thanks.


Action: Oppose the appointment of torture supporter, Steven G. Bradbury.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling because I would like [name] to stand with Sen. Tammy Duckworth and oppose Steven Bradbury for attorney in the Trump Administration. We need moral, moderate candidates. Those who work to violate civil rights and support torture are too extreme for our government. Thanks.


Action: Oppose healthcare plan exemptions for Members of Congress.

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my outrage that senators would exempt themselves from the same healthcare plan they plan to impose on the public. Not only is this unethical, but the optics are awful. I want [name] to publicly oppose this exemption and strip it from the bill. Thank you.


Optional Action: Let McConnell know his healthcare bill has consequences.

Call: 202-224-2541

Script: Like many other Americans, I find the Senate healthcare bill unconscionable. If the Senate succeeds in repealing and replacing Obamacare with this bill, I plan to boycott Kentucky bourbon in favor of the fine bourbons from Oregon and Washington state. (Hat tip: Dr. Jerry M.)


I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Advocate for healthcare cooperation and oppose new Senate bill.

View: Summary of new (as of 7-14) Senate healthcare provisions.

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

Script: Hi. I’m calling to oppose the new Senate healthcare bill. If premiums increase 40%, I will be paying $[amt] per month. My family/I cannot afford this. Without insurance… (share impact and use emotion.) I am asking Sen. [name] to work with Democrats to fix the ACA, not repeal it. Thank you.


Action: Support House Dems’ ACA improvements.

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

Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my support for House Democrats’ new efforts to fix the ACA. Republicans’ efforts to dismantle the ACA and constant changes are making insurance more expensive and the industry less stable. Will [name] work with moderate Democrats to put solutions over politics?


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Oppose bill that will increase dependence on fossil fuels (hat tip).

Call: Your two senators this week (lookup or leave message). A vote is imminent.

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] and very concerned about S. 1460, the massive energy bill being rushed through the Senate. It’s opposed by conservation, water, farming, and even industry groups because it increases our country’s dependence on fossil fuels. I want to see Sen. [name] oppose this outdated bill and focus on clean, renewable energy. How does Sen. [name] intend to vote?


I believe in election integrity.

Action: Win seats in 2018. Advocate for bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment.

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

Script: Hi. I’m calling to ask Rep. [name] to support the bipartisan bill called the Voting Rights Amendment Act. It matters to me because the bill prevents racial discrimination and improves transparency. I would like [name] to support voting rights and co-sponsor this bipartisan bill. Thanks.


I believe Americans are entitled to privacy.

Action: If you like slow-loading Internet and blocked sites, don’t do this action.

Write: To the FCC on their comment page. Choose proceeding 17-108.

Script: When I pay for Internet service, I expect protection from data discrimination, privacy invasion, and access restrictions. FCC Chairman Pai’s proposal risks my rights as a citizen. Corporations won’t do the right thing. I want the FCC to uphold all existing Title II net neutrality rules. Thanks.


I believe in my tax dollars doing good.

Action: Oppose spending $2.1 billion on a border wall with Mexico.

Call: Or write all three MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] and understand that funding for a $2.1 billion border wall is in the 2018 budget. I want to be clear that I will never, ever support this. I want my tax dollar to support things like schools, bridges, medical care, public housing, and food stamps, not a border wall. Especially since a wall won’t solve the drug trade problem, violates sacred Native lands, and puts 93 endangered species at risk. Does [name] support a taxpayer-funded border wall?


Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…


Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Sen. Lindsey Graham for speaking out about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russians. Your tenacious grilling of FBI director nominee Christopher Wray revealed that election interference should be reported to the FBI. Thanks. State, party
Address: 290 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Thank Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) for her ingenious way of highlighting discrimination. Her proposal requires citizens claiming more than $150,000 in tax deductions to pass a drug test. I appreciate your advocacy for equality for the poorest Americans.

Address: 2252 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515


Thank Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor, for posting the EPA’s deleted climate science data and forcing the current administration to face climate facts. I appreciate your leadership.

Address: City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602


Thank Brigitte Macron. Mme. Macron, Je suis desolé que notre président soit brut et dégoûtant. Je n’ai pas voté pour lui. Merci pour votre hospitalité et grâce.

(I am sorry our president is rude and gross. I didn’t vote for him. Thank you for your hospitality and grace.)

Address: 55, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France

International mail requires $1.15 in stamps.


Recommended reading

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

  • 10% of Americans can’t vote because they can’t satisfy requirements (Time).
  • This is a must-read if you’re white (On Being).
  • How to stand up to Trump and win (NY Times).
  • Mueller can’t do it all. We still need a special commission (HuffPo).
  • Why this climate scientist survived a fall into a glacial crevasse (Washington Post).
  • How you (yes, you) are contributing to extremism (The Atlantic).


Good news


Final action

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