What to do this week of November 26, 2017

by Nov 26, 2017Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Americans of Conscience Action Checklist

Week of November 26, 2017

By Jen Hofmann

55 weeks down, 49 weeks to mid-term elections.

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 believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Action: Make an activism plan.

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

Action: Make an activist self-care plan.

Make a cuppa, grab a pen, and spend ten minutes with this worksheet.

I value equality.

Action: Oppose Facebook discrimination on the basis of race, age, wheelchair use, and religion.

Write: One Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Script: ProPublica has revealed that Facebook allows rental agencies to create discriminatory ads that exclude people based on race, age, wheelchair use, and religion. Bias in housing is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Please keep your word and bring your company into compliance with civil rights. (If applicable, mention you will stop buying ads if this continues.)

Action: Stand up for LGBTQ people by opposing several judicial appointments.

Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling to express my support for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Sen. [name] will soon vote on several lifetime judicial nominees who oppose equality for 10% of the population. Two of themJeff Mateer and Leonard Grasz—have a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Four others have long histories of discriminating against LGBTQ citizens: Sen. Mark Norris (TN-R), Michael Joseph Juneau, Kyle Duncan, and Justice Don Willett. I ask [name] to oppose these nominees.

Action: Advocate for a clean DREAM Act.

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 threat to other immigrants. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to support this?

Action: Help support Puerto Rico recovery.

Fellow citizens in PR have received less FEMA  help and fewer donations than either Texas and Florida.

Choose: Several ways to donate money, provide supplies, and volunteer.

Action: Oppose a tax plan that hurts Native people, the sick, and women.

Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m calling to oppose the Republican tax plan. Although I agree with the need for a simpler code, this plan would harm Alaska’s Native communities by permitting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It would increase medical costs for the most vulnerable Americans. It would also override a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. None of these issues are tax-related. I ask that Sen. [name] do two things: 1. vote against this plan, and 2. insist on regular order to create a tax plan that works for all Americans. Thanks.

I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.

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

Action: Win seats in 2018. Advocate for bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment.

Read: How voter suppression won the 45th presidency.

Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House Rep (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m calling to ask Sen./Rep. [name] to support the bipartisan bill S. 1419/H.R. 2978 (the Voting Rights Amendment Act). Gerrymandering silences minority groups, so preventing racial discrimination in voting matters to me. I would like [name] to support voting rights and co-sponsor this bipartisan bill.

Action: Oppose biased, partisan appointment to US Census Bureau.

Script: Dear Sec. Ross/Dir. DeStefano, Because the census is crucial to fair representation in Congress, I oppose the appointment of Thomas Brunell as deputy director of the US Census Bureau. Brunell’s views on gerrymandering and redrawing congressional districts oppose democratic values. His appointment is a threat to election integrity and risks politicizing a non-partisan issue. Please appoint a qualified, experienced, and unbiased candidate. Thank you. Name

Call or email this Sunday or Monday:

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.

Watch: Why asylum-seekers are risking their lives to come to the US. A powerful, insightful video from Vox.

Action: Advocate for baby Mateo, a one-year-old who was taken from his asylum-seeking dad by ICE and Customs & Border Patrol. The actions below are offered in collaboration with Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

  1. Read: Amnesty International report on the separation. And watch video.
  2. Call: Sen. Kamala Harris at (619) 239-3884. I am calling to ask Sen Harris to advocate for the release of José Demar Fuentes and his son Mateo.
  3. Call: The San Diego ICE field office at (619) 436-0410. I am calling to ask you to reunite José Demar Fuentes with his son Mateo, and to do the same for the other three other fathers at the Otay Mesa Detention Center– Walter Ramirez, Carlos Batres, and Eric Matute–who are currently separated from their children. Thank you.
  4. Sign: The petition by Pueblo Sin Fronteras (City Without Borders) which is advocating for their reunion.
  5. Share: The petition above on social media using #GiveMateoBack.

Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… One step at a time.

Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for using their influence to talk about gun safety. Many Americans want commonsense gun laws, but it can be unpopular to express this view. I am grateful you’re calling on the US government and NRA to act responsibly.

Address: Tim McGraw, P. O. Box 128138, Nashville, TN 37212

Address: Faith Hill, Sandbox Entertainment, 3810 Bedford Avenue, Suite 200

Nashville, TN 37215-2555

Thank NY AG Eric Schneiderman for his relentless pursuit of integrity and accountability. From getting the president’s charitable organization to admit self-dealing and shut down to collaborating with Robert Mueller’s investigation, you have shown exemplary leadership. Thank you for your commitment to the good of our country.

Address: Office of the Attorney General, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271

Thank Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for questioning a president’s role in a nuclear strike. I’m concerned about the unpresidential saber-rattling toward North Korea, and grateful for your decision to openly discuss this serious issue. As a [Dem/Rep], I appreciate your leadership, bipartisanship, and openness to legislative solutions to avoid nuclear war.

Address: Dirksen Senate Office Building, SD-425, Washington, DC 20510

Recommended reading

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

  • Thankfully recommitting to activism (NYTimes).
  • Bipartisan cooperationan unintended consequence of this presidency (Politico).

Good news

Final action

If you have a spare moment for one more action, would you kindly share this action list with other Americans of Conscience–red or blue? It might provide the help and support they need.

Tweet: If the state of the nation worries you, check out this list of sane, well-researched, and bipartisan actions: https://goo.gl/pTjPZW

Email and Facebook: If the state of the nation worries you, check out this list of sane, well-researched, and bipartisan actions: https://goo.gl/pTjPZW


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