What to do this week of September 10, 2017

by Sep 11, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

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.

Visit: https://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html.

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


Recommended reading

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).


Good news


Final action

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

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