What to do this week of November 12, 2017

by | Nov 12, 2017 | General | Comments

Americans of Conscience Action Checklist

By Jen Hofmann

53 weeks down, 51 weeks to mid-term elections.

This checklist features clear, hype-free actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. Practicing gratitude, self-care, and celebration helps us stay engaged. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.

I value equality.

Stand with your neighbors of different genders, religions, races, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, economic statuses, ages, and abilities. E pluribus unum.

 

Action: Advocate for the health of our youngest citizens.

Call: Your 2 senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and am calling about funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It appears that the Senate is dragging its feet and putting the health of 9 million kids at risk. Can you tell me what Sen. [name] is doing to reauthorize CHIP funding before Thanksgiving?

 

Action: Advocate for a clean DREAM Act using budget leverage.

Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House rep, red and blue (look up).

Note: This bill must pass by Dec. 15, 2017.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and am calling about the Dream Act. We need to ensure that Dreamers can go to school, work, and serve in the military—but not in exchange for a border wall or increased deportation of other immigrants. I am asking [name] not to proceed with congressional budget business until passing a clean Dream Act. Will [name] stand with the 25 reps already doing so?

 

I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.

Democracy thrives when all citizens are able to freely elect those who represent their values.

 

Action: Oppose a federal judge nominee who supports voter suppression.

Call: Your 2 senators today (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling because I would like [name] to oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the US District Court. His history of defending voter suppression and making voting harder makes him an inappropriate choice for this position. Please ask [name] to defend democracy and oppose Farr’s appointment. Thanks.

 

Action: Oppose the influence of religious money in politics (hat tip).

Call: Your 2 senators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] concerned about efforts to allow tax-exempt religious organizations to influence political issues and campaigns. The House version of the tax bill would strip the Johnson Amendment of its protective strength, allowing big money to gain a greater hold on our political process. I would like the Senate version of the tax bill to not include this provision. Thanks.

 

Action: Advocate for a bipartisan bill proposing paper ballots.

Script: Dear Sen. [name], I support the bipartisan SAVE Act introduced by Martin Heinrich and Susan Collins. With 21 state elections databases targeted last year, I trust the R&A committee will address the safety of our national voting systems by considering safer, hack-resistant paper ballots. Please do all you can to help S. 2035 proceed. Thank you.

Write: The two chairs of the Senate Rules and Administration committee.

Chair: Sen. Richard Shelby, 304 Russell SOB, Washington, DC 20510

Ranking member: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 302 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510

 

Action: Advocate for American citizens without Congressional representation.

Write/email: Your 1 representative and 2 senators (look up).

Script: I am a constituent from [ZIP] and want to express my support for the almost 700,000 residents in Washington DC. For years, DC residents have been seeking statehood and voting senators and representatives in Congress. To give our fellow citizens a voice in midterm elections, the time to act is now.

 

I value the ethical treatment of all people, regardless of immigration status.

Over the next year, the checklist will feature actions that focus on ICE. Specifically, we will:

  1. oppose constitutional violations and inhumane treatment of immigrants by ICE, and
  2. provide caring outreach to detainees.

This daunting-but-vital issue needs our attention.

 

Action: Understand people seeking asylum in the US.

Read:

  1. Threatened, kidnapped, extorted: Who seeks asylum in the US.
  2. AG Sessions’ plans to imprison all asylum seekers.

 

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and (of course) sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Elaine Duke, Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security, for not bending to pressure to eject people in the US with temporary protected status. Our country is a place of refuge, and I appreciate your leadership in continuing to consider the needs of people from unstable nations.

Address: The Honorable Elaine C. Duke, Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528

 

Thank Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) for speaking in opposition to the inaction of fellow congresspeople and their failure to protect the American public from gun violence. I sincerely appreciate your unflagging advocacy for commonsense protections.

Address: 136 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510

 

Thank the five attorneys general opposing the rollback of the ACA’s birth control mandate. I appreciate your recognition of women’s equality, including access to vital medication. Thank you for your vocal legal advocacy for women’s rights.

  • AG Xavier Becerra Office of the Attorney General, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
  • AG Matt Denn Delaware Department of Justice, Carvel State Building, 820 N. French St., Wilmington, DE 19801
  • AG Eric Schneiderman Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341
  • AG Brian Frosh Saint Paul Plaza, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
  • AG Mark Herring Attorney General’s Office, 202 North Ninth Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

Thank Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for retaining the blue slip process to approve judicial appointments. In an era of contentious political relationships, your decision is a mark of good leadership. I thank you for continuing to honor this bipartisan tradition.

Address: 135 Hart SOB, Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Recommended reading

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

  • The tech-savvy champion for paper ballots (The Atlantic).
  • Kris Kobach’s “voter integrity” database is completely hackable (Pro Publica).
  • The good that happens when every detained immigrant has a lawyer (Vox).

 

Good news

 

Final action

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

Tweet: Your voice matters. Here are 7 things you can do this week to speak up for positive change: goo.gl/Z7m1FG

Email and Facebook: Your voice matters. Here are 7 things you can do this week to speak up and make a positive difference: https://goo.gl/Z7m1FG

 

Housekeeping

This checklist is always ad-free and no-cost. If you’re able, support Jen’s time on patreon or paypal.