What to do this week of December 3, 2017
Americans of Conscience Action Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
56 weeks down, 48 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.
Action: Make an activist self-care plan.
Especially after this hard week, go make a cuppa, grab a pen, and spend ten minutes with this worksheet.
I value equality.
Action: Support women in prison getting their GEDs.
As part of #GivingTuesday, followers of Chicago Books for Women in Prison bought 362 books for incarcerated women. Prison Culture wants to top it for the holidays. Let’s double book donations and stand with women who want a future.
Buy a GED book: From the wishlist of Chicago Books for Women in Prison.
Action: Oppose a tax plan that hurts not-rich Americans.
Note: The bill goes back to the House this week. Deep breaths!
Call: Your 1 House Rep (look up).
Script for red Reps: Hi. I’m a [Republican] constituent calling to strongly oppose the Republican tax plan which hurts low- and average-income Americans while helping the richest. Not only is it ill-conceived, I am angry that my tax dollar is paying for Rep. [name] to cater to his/her donors while shirking his/her obligation to observe regular order. S/he needs to show respect for the taxpayers who fund his/her salary. My future vote depends on Rep. [name] voting against this slapdash bill and returning to regular order.
Script for blue Reps: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP], and already know that Rep. [name] opposes the Republican tax plan–as do I. However, I am angry that my tax dollar is paying for Rep. [name]’s salary in Congress while s/he is tolerating Republicans’ refusal to observe regular order. I will count on Rep. [name]’s vote against this inhumane bill. However, I also want Democrats to stop being doormats and get a spine. What will Rep. [name] do to restore regular order in Congress?
Action: Stand with Native Americans and oppose “Pocahontas” slurs.
The president’s insistence on calling Elizabeth Warren this name is a profound offense to Native Americans, but especially during a ceremony honoring elders. Join me in righting a wrong by giving to a noble cause in the president’s name.
Visit: Native American Rights Fund
President’s address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500
Action: Advocate for a clean DREAM Act (Time to make noise).
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 get this a vote before December 15?
Action: Advocate for our youngest citizens’ health.
Call: Your 2 senators, red and blue (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The Senate is dragging its feet and putting the health of 9 million kids at risk. What is Sen. [name] doing to reauthorize CHIP funding?
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
Action: Advocate for easier registration to increase voting in 2018 election.
Call: Or write your Secretary of State (look up), click on your SoS’ website link.
Script: I’m a resident of [state] and want to know what my Secretary of State is doing to increase voter registration. (pause) A recent study of Oregon’s model showed that automatic voter registration increases voting participation. I would like to see our state copy Oregon’s safer, more effective registration at the time of getting a driver’s license. 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:
- oppose constitutional violations and inhumane treatment of immigrants by ICE, and
- provide caring outreach to detainees.
This daunting-but-vital issue needs our attention.
Read: Paper Butterflies: An account from a psychologist employed at the women’s ICE detention center in Austin.
Read: How ICE arrests at courthouses undermine safety and democracy (NYT).
Action: Advocate (again) for baby Mateo who was separated from his asylum-seeking dad by ICE and Customs & Border Patrol. The actions below are offered in collaboration with Pueblo Sin Fronteras (City Without Borders).
- Call: Sen. Kamala Harris at (619) 239-3884. I am calling to ask Sen. Harris to advocate for the reunion release of José Demar Fuentes and his baby son Mateo. This inhumane separation violates US immigration regulations.
- Call: The San Diego ICE field office at (619) 436-0410. I am calling to insist on the release and reunion of José Demar Fuentes and his son Mateo, as well as for the other three other fathers at the Otay Mesa Detention Center—Walter Ramirez, Carlos Batres, & Eric Matute. Thanks.
- Sign: The petition by Pueblo Sin Fronteras which is advocating for their reunion.
- Share: The petition above on Facebook and Twitter using #GiveMateoBack.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… We can do this.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Shawn Boburg, Aaron Davis, and Alice Crites at the Washington Post for exposing efforts to discredit the mainstream media. I [am a subscriber and] appreciate this caliber of your research and reporting. Thank you.
Address: The Washington Post, 1301 K Street NW, Washington DC 20071
Thank Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for holding Steve Mnuchin accountable for his overstated tax claims. Asking the Treasury Department’s inspector general to investigate whether there’s a secret analysis–or none at all–will shed light. In the chaos of the tax plan process, your tenacity, clear thinking, and analysis are very much appreciated. Thank you. Name, State, Party
Address: 2400 JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, MA 02203
Thank Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for being the only Republican senator interested in math. Your ‘no’ vote on the GOP tax bill was courageous and consistent with the party’s traditional concern for fiscal responsibility. Thank you for standing your ground. Name, State, Party
Address: Dirksen Senate Office Building, SD-425, Washington, DC 20510
Thank Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) for questioning the president’s unqualified judicial appointments. I am deeply concerned about the trend of inappropriate appointments. Because you are under pressure to approve the president’s picks, I want to thank you sincerely for your courage. I appreciate your commitment to selecting appointments that will serve justice and the American people. Name, State, Party
Address: B11 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- A heartening dose of hope: Hillary’s conversation with 5 world-changing young women.
- ACA enrollment for 2017 is still exceeding 2016 numbers! Thanks to you!
- The #GiveMateoBack petition has gone from 300 signatures to over 1,750 in a week.
- Americans of Conscience Action Checklist is featured in YES Magazine. 🙂
- In a win for transparency, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts.
- Hoping for more transparency as Donald Trump Jr. meets in closed-door session with the House next week.
- The president’s businesses have been ordered to retain records.
- The DNC will depose Sean Spicer about his work as election communications director and efforts to suppress voting.
- To avoid the impression of bias, Mueller dismissed a lead FBI agent this summer for expressing anti-Trump sentiments. #integrity
- A win for accountability in case against Conway for using her government position to illegally promote a candidate.
- Thousands of Alabamians have their voting rights restored thanks to some incredible volunteers.
- New York City council votes to ban paid LGBTQ “conversion therapy” for kids and adults.
- An investigation of Charlottesville violence will lead to changes in police policy.
- The Washington Post exposed secretive, anti-media organization, Project Veritas–which may lose its right to fundraise.
- Even the NY Times Editorial section recommended calling senators about the tax bill.
- A moving, creative demonstration in support of Dreamers.
- American Muslims and Jews stand together for a nation free of bigotry and hate.
- A transgender teen challenges discrimination in North Carolina and becomes one of Teen Vogue’s “21 under 21”.
- A lesbian mom retains parenting rights to adoptive child in VT court case.
- Neil B. (one of our own) rescued an owl this weekend and will help rehabilitate her injured wing.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, and What Went Right.
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