What to do this week of November 19, 2017

by Nov 19, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Americans of Conscience Action Checklist

By Jen Hofmann

54 weeks down, 50 weeks to mid-term elections. It’s the checklist’s one-year anniversary!

This checklist features clear, hype-free actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. Additionally, we practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to 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: Stand with Native American tribes defending Bears Ears National Monument.

Read: The history of this sacred land.

Email: Your 3 MoCs.

Script: Dear Sen./Rep. [name], The president cannot un-designate a National Monument, only Congress can. Please protect Bears Ears National Monument and vote against any bill carving up this sacred land for profit.

Donate: Support the non-profit legal team opposing the Zinke/Trump land grab.

Action: Advocate for the rights of our hardworking, low-income neighbors.

Call: Your 2 senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about the Republican tax plan. I want to advocate for Americans making less than $30,000 per year. Increasing their tax rate while defunding important programs that support them is wrong. Estate tax rollbacks and breaks for private jet companies add insult to injury. Please tell Sen. [name] that I don’t want a tax break that hurts people in need. Thank you.

Bonus: Consider participating in Indivisible’s Nov. 27 Day of Action.

Action: Advocate for the safety of Americans of color by holding violent white supremacists accountable.

Call: Your 2 senators—Republicans especially (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to ask Sen. [name] to co-sponsor new legislation by Sen. Dick Durbin. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (S. 2148) holds white supremacists accountable, tracks data on violence, and helps prevent lethal events. With violent extremism on the rise, and the president cutting programs that prevent domestic terrorism, this bill is necessary to save lives. Does [name] plan to protect Americans and co-sign this bill?

Action: Advocate for better police training to serve sexual assault victims.

Write (again): Your chief of police (Google “chief of police [town, state]”).

Script: I am a resident of [town] writing to advocate for victims of sexual violence in our community. Research shows that rape victims’ memories are impaired by trauma, leading police to mistrust and discredit their accounts. To better serve and protect, I would like your department to use effective questioning that leads to justice. Certified training is available at no cost from End Violence Against Women International and benefits officers, sexual assault victims, and our community. I look forward to your response on this important issue.

Bonus: Edit this message as a Letter to the Editor in your local paper.

I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.

Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.

Action: Help voters get necessary ID to vote next fall.

Donate: to Spread the Vote. Your contribution helps vulnerable voters afford required ID, get transportation to and from the DMV, and apply for missing documents like birth certificates.

Action: Urge Shelby to act on transparency in campaign ad funding.

Write: Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration: Sen. Richard Shelby, 304 Russell SOB, Washington, DC 20510

Script: In the wake of the 2016 election, two bills have been introduced that would protect American voting from foreign influence. However, I noticed that the R&A committee has not moved on them. Please protect the integrity of our vote and move forward on S. 1989 (Honest Ads Act) and S. 1585 (DISCLOSE Act). Thank you.

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.

Read: Imprisoned Justice, an in-depth 2017 report on the conditions of two Georgia ICE detention centers. At minimum, please read the executive summary on pages 5-6.

Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… And again…

Acts of Gratitude

Ready? Grab your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail!

Thank Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for admirable leadership on behalf of all Americans. For being among the few Republicans publicly calling for Moore to step down. For showing Congress the importance of basic math in the tax bill. I appreciate your consistent willingness to act with integrity.

Address: 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330

Thank President Macron and Angela Merkel for their decisive actions to reverse climate change, in spite of Mr. Trump pulling out the Paris Agreement. As an American, I disagree with his actions and am making changes to reduce my personal impact on the climate. Thank you for your leadership for the good of all.

Address: President Macron, 55, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France

Address: Bundeskanzleramt, Bundeskanzlerin, Angela Merkel, Willy-Brandt-Straße 1, 10557 Berlin, Germany

Note: International mail requires $1.15 in stamps.

Thank Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) for introducing legislation that addresses violent extremism in the US. Many leaders are ignoring domestic terrorism and violent hate groups, and tolerance condones them. Thank you for advocating for accountability, prevention, and putting citizens’ well-being first.

Address: 525 S. 8th Street, Springfield, IL 62703

Recommended reading

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

  • Understanding America’s cultural free-fall (NY Times).
  • How to stop Russian political influence (New Yorker).
  • Inspiring interview with Jesuit founder of largest US gang-intervention program (NPR).

Good news

Final action

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

Tweet: Good news, gratitude, and clear steps to this week: https://goo.gl/Eo7AKw

Email and Facebook: Good news, gratitude, and clear steps to this week: https://goo.gl/Eo7AKw


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