What to do this week of October 8, 2017

by Oct 9, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

By Jen Hofmann

48 weeks down, 56 weeks to mid-term elections. Congress is on recess.

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.

Did someone send you here? Sign up to receive this weekly checklist.



I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Action: Create an activism plan.

Complete the Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version).

I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Oppose the third and newest discriminatory travel ban.


Write: Or email your 3 MoCs (look up).

Script: Dear [name], I am deeply concerned about the president’s new ban that adds a form with religion-specific questions to the already in-depth screening process. I support our constitutional rights and oppose any attempt to discriminate against immigrants, legal residents, and citizens based on race and religion. Please contact me with details about how you plan to respond to this latest offense to our democracy. Name, address


Action: Advocate for ICE oversight and humane treatment of detainees.


Write: Your 1 House rep (look up).

Script: Dear [name], I would like you to support accountability and transparency in the ICE detention system. In taxpayer-funded immigration detention centers around the US, in-depth reports show that ICE imprisons asylum-seekers and treats people inhumanely (providing inadequate food, insufficient medical care, and subjecting people to solitary confinement). Reps. Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal’s Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, addresses these wrongs. I would like you to co-sponsor this legislation. Thank you. Name, address

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

Action: Oppose House bill reducing access to abortion to 20 weeks.

Write: Or email your 2 senators (look up).

Script: Dear Sen. [name], I’m writing because H.R. 36 just passed in the House. This bill takes away weeks of abortion access guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, invades the doctor-patient relationship, and restricts women’s liberty. I want you to publicly oppose this legislation as it moves to the Senate and stand up for women everywhere. Thank you. Name, address

I believe in the Constitutional rights of speech, assembly, and press.

Action: Support quality journalism.

Counter the president’s undermining and criticism of the press with your dollars.



Action: Oppose DHS’ proposed social media monitoring of immigrants and citizens.

Write: Or email your 3 MoCs (look up).

Script: Dear [name], I’m writing to express deep concern about the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed policy of monitoring social media of immigrants, their legal guardians, green-card holders, and naturalized citizens. This intrusive, anti-immigrant policy gives carte-blanche access to data and violates citizens’ 4th and 1st amendment rights. Evidence shows that it will not make our country safer. Please share how you will oppose DHS overreach. Name, address.

Comment by Oct 17: Write an original public comment on Regulations.gov especially opposing proposed changes 4 and 5 (regarding who is monitored and how).


I believe that mass shootings can be prevented.

Action: Advocate for common sense protections.

Write: Or email your 3 MoCs (red or blue) (look up).

Script: Dear [name], The tragic events in Las Vegas make me feel [emotion]. I believe we can do better as a country to protect all people. Data shows that better laws prevent unnecessary deaths. Do you have the will and the courage to write them? Name, party, address


Deep breath innnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuut… One step at a time gets us closer to our goal.

Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith for introducing legislation to protect the rights and dignity of vulnerable asylum seekers and prevent abuses in ICE immigration detention centers. I am so grateful for your advocacy and leadership.

Address (PJ): 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101

Address (AS): 101 Evergreen Building, 15 S. Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057


Thank Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Don Beyer (D-VA) for calling on WH counsel to revoke Ivanka Trump’s security clearance. I appreciate your action in light of her undisclosed personal email accounts used for governmental purposes. Integrity and credibility matter. Thank you for advocating for both.

Address (TL): 5055 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 310, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Address (DB): 5285 Shawnee Road, Suite 250, Alexandria, VA 22312


Thank OMB Dir. Mick Mulvaney for advocating for fire-affected western states in your message to congressional leaders. I appreciate your highlighting their needs in addition to funding hurricane-affected areas.

Address: Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503


Thank Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) for their efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections systems. I appreciate your recent press conference warning state elections officials that Russia is continuing to sow chaos in American politics. Thank you for your leadership, continuing investigation, and bipartisan concern for our democracy.

Address (RB): 151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204, Asheville, NC 28801

Address (MW): 919 E. Main Street, Suite 630, Richmond, VA 23219


Thank Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for advocating for a select committee to investigate gun violence and recommend legislative action to Congress. I appreciate your tenacity on this important issue, your bipartisan approach, and your encouragement of decisive action. Thank you.

Address: 90 7th St #2800, San Francisco, CA 94103


Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for asking Neil Gorsuch, “Where did ‘one person, one vote’ come from?” I appreciate your service to our country and its Constitution.

Address: Justice Ginsburg, Supreme Court of the United States, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20543


Recommended reading

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

  • There’s more to defending immigrants than DACA, say Dreamers (NYT).
  • The question of environment and population (Vox).
  • Where does “intersectionality” come from? (TED).


Good news


Final action

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

Tweet: Congress is on recess, but we can still make a difference in our democracy: Ideas here: goo.gl/QzjEsA

Email and Facebook: Congress is on recess, but we can still make a difference in our democracy: Get ideas here: https://goo.gl/QzjEsA


This checklist is always ad-free and no-cost. Support its weekly creation on patreon or paypal.