What to do this week of September 10, 2017
Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience
By Jen Hofmann
44 weeks down, 60 weeks to mid-term elections. Small steps, deep breaths.
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: Recommit to an activism plan if you’ve slowed down lately.
It’s not you. It is pandemonium. Complete my Action Worksheet to get clear-headed, inspired, and active again. We need your voice.
I believe in equal rights for all Americans.
Action: Oppose DeVos’ dismantling protections for campus rape victims (hat tip).
Call: Department of Education, 800-872-5327.
Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP], and I’m concerned about Betsy DeVos’ efforts to dismantle Title IX (nine) which would weaken protections for survivors of sexual assault. I am calling to request keeping these protections in place. Thank you.
Action: Oppose efforts to weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Call: Your 1 House rep (lookup).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], and I am calling to express my concern about possible changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act. H.B. 620 would restrict litigation rights, allow businesses to delay accessibility compliance, and make disabled people responsible for reporting non-compliance. I want [name] to advocate for civil rights and vote no when this bill comes up for a vote in the House.
Action: Support victims of rape by advocating for better police training (hat tip).
Write: Your chief of police (Google “chief of police [town, state]”).
Script: I am a resident of [town] writing to advocate for victims of rape in our community. New research shows that rape victims’ memories are impaired by trauma, leading police to mistrust and discredit their accounts. Fortunately, training is available for law enforcement to conduct effective questioning that leads to justice. Certified courses are available at no cost from End Violence Against Women International. To better serve and protect, I would like your department to offer this training for the benefit of officers, rape victims, and our community. I look forward to your response on this important issue.
Bonus: Edit and submit this message as a Letter to the Editor in your local paper.
I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.
Action: Oppose the new plan to repeal the ACA (it’s ba-aack!).
Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my opposition to the Cassidy-Graham ACA repeal plan. Congress needs to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it and leave millions of people without options. Thanks.
I believe free, safe, and open voting is fundamental to a thriving democracy.
Action: Advocate for the US Census to support fair representation and elections.
Call or write the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
Rep. Trey Gowdy (202) 225-6030
2418 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Rep. Elijah Cummings (202) 225-4741
2163 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Script: Hi, my name is [name], and I’m concerned about the lack of permanent leadership at the Census Bureau and inadequate testing in preparation for the 2020 Census. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to support census leadership and success in his role on the House Oversight Committee? (If not, ask for follow up.)
I believe in a quality education for America’s youth.
Action: School is back in session. Help equip classrooms with small donations.
This site is essentially a GoFundMe for America’s classrooms. A few dollars goes far!
I believe that open borders and a path to citizenship benefit America.
Action: Advocate for the economic benefits of DACA this week.
Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup).
Script: If DACA is repealed, [state] will lose $[lookup amount]. Congress has several options to prevent this from happening. Can I count on [name] to support the Dream Act S.1615 (Senate) -OR- American Hope Act H.R. 3591 and
Bridge Act H.R. 496 (House)? (pause) Thank you.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… One small step at a time gets us there.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for refusing a blue slip to oppose the nomination of conservative Justice Stras to the 8th Circuit Court. This is a powerful procedural move and helps hold Republicans accountable. Thank you for your creative leadership!
Address: 309 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Thank 5 state governors for their bipartisan cooperation. I appreciate your calling on Congress to stabilize the health insurance exchanges and continue subsidies for poorer Americans. I admire your cooperation, leadership, and foresight.
Addresses: Govs. Charlie Baker (R-MA), Bill Haslam (R-TN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Steve Bullock (D-MT), and Gary Herbert (R-UT).
Thanks, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), for your bipartisan message that gerrymandering is a threat to Democracy. I appreciate your advocating for the US Supreme Court to uphold the lower Federal Court’s decision that redistricting in WI violated our Constitution.
Address (J.M.): 2201 E. Camelback Rd, Ste. 115, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Address: (S.W.): 170 Westminster St., Ste. 200, Providence, RI 02903
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- The president chose the Democrats’ debt ceiling proposal over Republicans’ counter-offer. Everyone is baffled (BBC, NYT, WaPo).
- How Russia is infiltrating our social media and what to do about it (Slate).
- How to talk to the working white class (Slate).
- The world’s newest marine sanctuary off Easter Island now protects 142 species.
- Mueller’s Russia investigation keeps digging. The president’s aides are next.
- Despite president’s downplaying of domestic terrorism, US Deputy AG is paying attention and taking action.
- For the fourth time, the Circuit Court rules against the president’s unconstitutional ban.
- Since last November 15,000 women have expressed an interest in running for office.
- Virginia opts for paper ballots over touch-screen voting machines.
- Illinois becomes the 10th state to adopt automatic voter registration.
- With refreshing bipartisan cooperation, five governors advocate for ACA stabilization.
- Two human rights groups sue the president over trangender military ban.
- Women are leading the resistance in pro-Trump country.
- 15 states and DC sue over DACA decision.
- US Catholic bishops speak up for DREAMers.
- Microsoft and Apple speak up for DREAMers.
- University of California sues the president over DACA.
- Think Halloween candy: Mars has committed $1B to stop the climate crisis.
- The five living ex-presidents team up to support Harvey victims. Touching video.
- Harvey relief funding approved.
- Southwest Airlines flew a plane full of adoptable animals to make room for Harvey pets.
- Between businesses and stars, over $177M has been donated to Harvey relief efforts.
- Hairstylist group lifts spirits giving free haircuts to people in Harvey shelters.
- JetBlue and American lowered faires to $99 for Irma evacuees.
- Chicago officer convicted for using unreasonable force.
- Best Buy pulls Kaspersky antivirus products amid security questions. The US Senate may not be far behind.
- Free press reigns. Charges dropped against reporter who questioned Tom Price.
- See even more good news at Peace Is Loud.
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