What to Do This Week of July 30, 2017
Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience
By Jen Hofmann
38 weeks down, 66 weeks to mid-term elections. And your voice matters.
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. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.
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I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.
Action: Create an activism plan.
- Get the worksheet: Plan your activism strategy with my Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version). Print either to get started.
- Get Stance: This app makes calling elected officials easier and less stressful.
I believe in equal rights for all Americans.
Action: Oppose cutting housing aid for poor Americans.
Write: Ben Carson U.S. HUD, 451 7th Street S.W., Washington, DC 20410
Script: Hi. I oppose cutting $7 billion to the Department of Housing & Urban Development. I believe in an America where we take care of each other. I am happy to see my tax dollar support people who rely on housing programs like Section 8. I’m most upset that these cuts would give tax breaks to America’s richest. I would like [name] to oppose efforts to cut HUD funding and instead support Americans trying to succeed.
Action: Advocate for equal rights for transgender Americans.
Bonus: Donate to Lambda Legal to defend the rights of LGBT Americans.
Action: Advocate for the rights of Americans to foster and adopt.
Script: Hi. I’m calling to express my support for S.B. 1303 / H.R. 2640 which prevents discrimination of LGBT Americans who want to foster and adopt children. Would [name] be willing to co-sponsor this bill?
I believe that quality healthcare is a human right.
Action: Advocate for bipartisan cooperation to fix the ACA.
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express how releived I am that the ACA was not repealed last week (say why). I would like to see [name] work collaboratively with both parties to fix what’s broken in the ACA so that healthcare stays affordable without sacrificing coverage. Can you tell me if [name] is committed to bipartisan cooperation?
I believe in quality education for America’s youth.
Action: Oppose cutting the U.S. Department of Education’s budget.
Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] and want to express my concern over possible cuts to the Department of Education’s budget. With environmental dangers and global competition, we can’t risk the next generation to being poorly educated. Teachers need excellent training and support. College graduates need relief from debt. Can you tell me what is [name] doing to support education for all of America’s kids and fight cutting the Dept of Education budget?
I believe in a government led by qualified, trustworthy representatives.
Action: Advocate for Jared Kushner stepping down.
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling to say that Jared Kushner has hidden too many details about his past and shouldn’t be trusted with security secrets. House Intelligence committee and Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees have all raised concerns about him. What is [name] doing to push for revoking Kushner’s clearance and stepping down from his official role?
I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.
Action: Keep Congress from interfering with federal agencies’ ability to regulate.
Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling about the Regulatory Accountability Act, S951. This bill would handicap federal agencies trying to protect us and our environment and I want to preserve the power of federal agencies to enact regulations as needed. I OPPOSE the RAA, and ask [senator] to do the same. (hat tip)
I believe in a vote for every American.
Action: Advocate for Americans who have no representation.
Imagine our Congress with four more Democratic Senators and several more Representatives. Millions of Americans are counting on us to speak up.
Script: Hi. I am a constituent from [ZIP] and support full Congressional representation for over 4 million US citizens in Washington DC and Puerto Rico. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to ensure all citizens have a voice and equal representation in Congress? (Pause.) The time has come for DC statehood and a voting voice for Puerto Rico. Thanks.
I support protecting citizens’ wealth.
Action: Advocate for retaining your right to hold banks accountable.
Script: With the recent passage of the H.J. Res 111 in the House, I’m concerned that Congress wants to limit my right to fight wrongdoing by banks. As a consumer, I want [name] oppose repealing this law. When this resolution moves to the Senate, I want him/her to protect my right to hold banks accountable. Thanks.
I believe in being a good citizen of the planet.
Action: Advocate for supporting sick, starving Yemeni children.
Email: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and concerned about Yemen. Because of the US-supported Saudi Arabian bombing campaign, 80% of Yemen’s children are in danger of dying from war, cholera, or malnourishment. I believe we cannot ignore this humanitarian crisis. We have a responsibility to use our resources to help alleviate suffering. Can you tell me what [name] is doing about this dire issue?
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Remember that you are not alone.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain, and Lisa Murkowski for their role in preventing the repeal of the ACA. (Share how this made your life better.) Name, state.
Address (SC): 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330
Address (JM): 2201 East Camelback Road, Suite 115, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Address (LM): 510 L Street, Suite 600, Anchorage, AK 99501
Thank Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for expressing clear support for transgender Americans and opposing discrimination against servicepeople.
Address: 104 Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Thank Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker for legislation that will prevent discrimination against transgender military servicepeople.
Address (KB): 478 Russell SOB, Washington, DC 20510
Address (CB): 359 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Thank your blue Senators for continuing to fight for healthcare.
Thank Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) for managing cancer treatment and voting to save the ACA. I’m keeping your recovery in my thoughts and prayers. Name, state.
Address: 730 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510
Thank Sens: Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for introducing the Dream Act of 2017. I appreciate your bipartisan collaboration and support of DACA youth. This legislation builds bridges not walls.
Address (LG): 290 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Address (DD): 711 Hart Senate Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Address (JF): Senate Russell Office Building 413, Washington, D.C. 20510
Address (CS): Senate Russell Office Building 413, Washington, D.C. 20510
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- Over 2,000 people endured long waits and high heat for basic health services (NYT).
- A disillusioned ICE agent speaks out (The New Yorker).
- The racist history of private school vouchers (Center for American Progress).
- The legal landmine that is the president’s transgender ban (Politico).
Taking good care of yourself is an act of resistance. Every conversation. Every hug. Every deep breath. Every full night of sleep empowers us to create justice today.
- The Senate failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yessss!
- House approves Russia sanctions package, 419-3 and restricts president’s power.
- Senate passes their own Russia sanctions bill, 98-2.
- Seven Republican senators reject ACA “repeal without replacement.”
- Four senators–two Republican, two Democrat–are working to support DACA youth.
- The president’s base is shrinking.
- In response to backlash, ”voter integrity” committee promises privacy.
- Not one, not two, but 16 lawsuits challenge the “voter integrity” committee.
- Justice Department reaches a settlement with opioid manufacturer.
- Boy Scouts’ chief apologizes for president’s political speech.
- Massachusetts will not assist ICE in deportation proceedings.
- Oregon passes a law granting women full reproductive health services.
- Automakers and European countries plan to phase out diesel and combustion engines.
- Austin mayor invites trans Americans to apply to police force if kicked out of the military.
- A Baptist college turns down $3M donation instead of disbanding campus LGBT group.
- Jeb Bush calls out Republicans who’ve been silent on Russia probe.
- Pedro Hernandez is released from Riker’s Island.
- Even more good news at Peace is Loud.
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