What to Do This Week of July 23, 2017

by Jul 24, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

37 weeks down, 67 weeks to mid-term elections. Dig deep.

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.

Let’s turn the news into 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.


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Advocate for a path to citizenship and oppose corporate detention profits.

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

Script: I am calling about corporate involvement in deportation. A recent report showed some contracted companies run detention centers that violate basic human rights and fail to meet federal standards. ICE’s aggressive tactics are increasing numbers which worsens conditions. Also, deportation charter flights are a cash cow for airlines, and are rife with abuse. I am outraged that my tax dollar is funding corporations that violate human rights, waste money, and are linked with the Trump campaign. I know immigration is a complex issue, but I look to [name] to speak up against unnecessary deportations and hold corporate contractors to the highest standards. What is [name] doing to address aggressive deportation and create a path to citizenship?


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

Action: Advocate for H.R. 1614: Student Loan Refinancing Act

Write or Call: Your 1 Rep at a local office (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] and want to express my support of the Student Loan Refinancing Act H.R. 1614. It will allow nearly 44 million Americans to refinance their student loans and bring down the long-term cost of a college degree. Can I count on his/her support?  Thank you.


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

Action: Advocate for Jeff Sessions to step down. (Action retracted based on input.)

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

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling because I want Jeff Sessions to step down. This is not just because he spoke about the campaign to a Russian ambassador, but because he withheld this information from Americans, actively lied about it, and appears to show no remorse. Thanks.


Action: Oppose the border wall whose site preparations have begun.

Call: Or write all 3 MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] and oppose the 2018 budget funding a $2.1 billion border wall. Please don’t let threats of a government shutdown force a compromise on this bad idea. Can I count on [name] not to approve budget funding on this wall?


I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Advocate for fixing ACA instead of repealing.

Call: Your 2 Senators, red or blue (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I am calling because I want good, affordable health care and am tired of watching Republicans fail over and over because they’re not listening to constituents. I want [name] to start fighting for fixing what’s not working in the ACA. I want to see Senate bipartisanship and transparency in this process. Thank you.

Bonus action: Tweet McConnell: A refresher for @SenateMajLdr: This is how to pass a healthcare bill. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DEy5u5nXcAEI5yd.jpg


I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Support the Marine Oil Spill Prevention Act.

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

Script: Hi. I’m calling to ask [name] to support S. 74 (Senate) / H.R. 2261 (House) that protects our coastal and marine environments. Sponsoring the Marine Oil Spill Prevention Act provides NOAA and the Coast Guard with the resources to prevent and address oil spills like the BP Gulf Coast spill. With the potential of relaxed restrictions on offshore drilling, this bill is even more vital.


I believe in voting access and election integrity.

Action: Get local on voting access.

Click: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-laws-roundup-2017

Note: whether your state is attempting to restrict voting access.

Look up: your state legislator: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

Script: I am concerned about voting access in [state]. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to ensure that voting is fair, free, and open?


Action: Advocate for restoring faith in America’s voting system.

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

Script: Hi. I’m calling with two concerns about voting. First, Russia’s attack on our elections was wrong. I want [name] to act decisively to prevent hacking, changing voter data, and the use of social media bots as we approach the 2018 midterm elections. (pause) Second, The Kobach commission undermines America’s faith in the voting system and still has no stated purpose. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to oppose stricter voting laws and to keep voting fair, free, and open?


Action: Oppose forcing people pay to vote.

Call: Your 1 Rep (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and concerned about H.R. 2090, requiring all citizens to provide ID before voting. Some Americans can’t afford two hours off work to get to a distant center. This law amounts to a poll tax penalizing the poorest Americans. Can I count on [name] to vote against supposed Election Integrity Act?


I believe in a woman’s right to safe, affordable medical care.

Action: Protest taking $213M from effective teen pregnancy prevention. (hat tip)

Email: Health & Human Services Sec. Tom Price at Secretary@HHS.gov

Script: I’m writing because the US teen pregnancy rate is at an all-time low thanks to our effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. The recent HHS decision to defund it two years ahead of schedule jeopardizes young women’s futures, increases costs, and risks raising the teen pregnancy rate to previous levels. I want to see funding reinstated. Thank you. Name, state, ZIP

Bonus: Carbon copy your three MoCs.


Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… We can do hard things together.


Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Maxine Waters (D-CA) for using creativity to force financial transparency on an opaque administration. Thanks also for encouraging Republicans to do the same. Integrity is an American–not partisan–value.

Address: 2221 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515


Thank Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) for calling for scrutiny of Ivanka Trump’s security clearance. May many more join your efforts.

Address: 1119 Longworth H.O.B., Washington, DC 20515


Thank three Republican senators for putting their foot down on outright repeal of ACA. Thank you for listening and your compassion for the needs of Americans.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito 172 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington,

DC 20510

Sen. Susan Collins 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Sen. Lisa Murkowski 522 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510


Send well wishes to John McCain as he faces treating a brain tumor. Mention something about him you admire or appreciate.

Address: 2201 East Camelback Road, Suite 115, Phoenix, AZ 85016


Recommended reading

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

  • We have 1-3 years. That’s it (Salon).
  • How Russia recruits Americans and is increasing spy efforts (CNN).
  • America’s voting systems are not ready for midterm elections (The Guardian).
  • Excellent summary of voter suppression dangers (5calls.org)
  • Silencing civil servants, stifling science, squandering taxpayer money, and spurning communities in the face of imminent danger have never made America great (WaPo).

Take a moment to notice what self-care you need. Rest, relax, and then resist.


Good news


Final action

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

Tweet: More than an activist to-do list, @inspiredjen’s checklist is inspiration and encouragement for #TheResistance: goo.gl/uJuwC9

Email and Facebook: More than an activist to-do list, Jen Hofmann’s Americans of Conscience brings inspiration and encouragement to #TheResistance. Check it out:  https://goo.gl/uJuwC9


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