What to do this week of December 17, 2017
Americans of Conscience Action Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
58 weeks down, 46 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.
Make a cuppa, grab a pen, and spend ten minutes with this worksheet.
I value equality.
Action: Oppose the tax bill for the negative effects it has on women’s careers.
Read: This excellent Forbes article.
Script: The Republican tax bill hurts women, their educational options, and career choices. It would also decrease the number of female entrepreneurs. I want [name] to oppose this tax bill. I oppose a corporate tax reduction at the expense of our future. I’d also like Congress to withhold voting until Alabama has full representation. Thank you.
Action: Advocate for our youngest, most vulnerable citizens’ health.
Call: Your 2 senators’ local (not DC) offices (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It’s had 19 years of bipartisan support. The delay in authorizing its funding now puts the health of 9 million kids at risk. What is Sen. [name] doing to assure CHIP funding in [state]?
Action: Oppose anti-equality lifetime judicial appointments.
Write: Your 2 senators (local offices) (look up).
Script: Dear Sen. [name], I’m a constituent writing to express my opposition to several lifetime judicial appointments: Damien Schiff and Matthew Kacsmaryk for their well-documented histories of opposing women’s health, equality for LGBTQ citizens, and marriage equality, and Charles Goodwin for his ABA rating of “not qualified,” which identifies him as biased and unfit to serve. Thank you for voting against these nominees to support basic civil rights. Name, town, ZIP
Action: Stand with women who’ve been unwillingly touched, groped, and kissed by the president.
Write: Your 2 senators and 1 House Rep (local offices) (look up).
Script: Hi, I read that a congressional hearing has been requested by the many women who have been sexually harassed by the president. I would like [name] to allow this hearing to take place–and soon. Where does s/he stand on this?
Action: Advocate for the safety and lives of LGBTQ+ youth.
Amplify Lambda Legal’s efforts to retain net neutrality.
Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] because LGBTQ+ youth rely on the internet as a lifeline and safety net in intolerant homes and communities. Repealing net neutrality would risk lives. I want [name] to use a Congressional Review Act to pass a “resolution of disapproval” to reverse the FCC’s vote. Thank you. (hat tip)
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
Action: Help poor voters pay for documents required to get ID cards.
Action: Oppose your state’s voter ID laws.
Write: Your Secretary of State or state-level elections official (look up).
Write: Your state-level legislator (look up).
Script: Dear [name], I’m a resident of [town] and oppose our state’s voter ID law. Many citizens don’t have the time or money to get birth certificates and other paperwork, nor transportation to get an ID. The burden of gasoline, paperwork fees, and time off from work is essentially a poll tax on poorer Americans. Voting is a pillar of democracy. I want you to empower more people to vote through automatic registration, and stop making hardworking citizens jump through unnecessary hoops.
I value the ethical treatment of all people, regardless of immigration status.
Over the next year, the checklist will oppose constitutional violations and inhumane treatment of immigrants by ICE, and provide caring outreach to detainees.
Read: An update on ICE separation of children and asylum seekers (Adolfo Flores).
Sign: The petition by Pueblo Sin Fronteras which is urging ICE to reunite José and Mateo (and several other Salvadoran dads and children).
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for not confirming Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley to lifetime judicial appointments. Although it is likely difficult to oppose the president’s picks, Americans everywhere (including me) appreciate you standing up for American values. Thank you. Name, State, Party
Address: 721 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
Thank Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) for vowing to oppose 20-week abortion ban. Half of your constituents rely on a range of options in the event of an unwanted, forced, or risky pregnancy. Thank you for respecting women’s rights to their own bodies. Name, State, Party
Address: Office of the Governor, 508 Main Capitol Bldg, Harrisburg, PA 17120
Thank five senators for calling for the president’s resignation in response to misconduct.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Leo W. O’Brien Federal Office Building, 11A Clinton Avenue, Room 821, Albany, NY 12207
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 1 Church St, 3rd Floor, Burlington, VT 05401
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 161 High Street SE, Suite 250, Salem, OR 97301
Cory Booker (D-NJ) One Gateway Center, 23rd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102
Ron Wyden (D-OR) 707 13th St., SE Suite 285, Salem, OR, 97301
Thank AG Eric Schneiderman (D-NY) for leading the charge in suing the FCC over the repeal of net neutrality. Thank you for inspiring your colleagues across the country and for working so hard to protect Americans’ access to this vital utility. Name, State, Party
Address: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341
Thank Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) for his willingness to defend net neutrality. Your letter to Chairman Pai was a level-headed call to bipartisanship, collaboration, and legislative solutions. I appreciate your advocacy and leadership. Name, State, Party
Address: 3300 S. Parker Road, Cherry Creek Place IV Suite #305, Aurora, CO 80014
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- The neurobiology behind addictive social media (The Guardian).
- A glimpse into the president’s 2018 immigrations plans (Associated Press).
- Do you remember where you were when you heard that Doug Jones won the Senate seat last week? What a win on so many levels!
- The Black men and women of Alabama who voted overwhelmingly for Doug Jones.
- Thanks to grassroots efforts, many more people could vote in Alabama last week!
- Brett Talley’s nomination to a lifetime federal court position has been withdrawn from consideration in response to complaints of nepotism and racism.
- Another presidential pick steps down due to close ties with industry he would regulate.
- Five senators call for the president’s resignation.
- Transgender people will be allowed to enlist in the military (the president’s efforts to delay were blocked by a federal judge).
- At least four states are joining NY AG Schneiderman in suing the FCC over net neutrality.
- Native Americans, conservation groups, and Patagonia sue over Bears Ears NP decision.
- Southern Poverty Law Center is suing over unconstitutional ICE raids in Atlanta.
- The Dakota Prayer Ride & Walk highlights the Keystone threats to vital water sources.
- The women harassed by the president are asking for a congressional hearing, a sentiment echoed by over 50 lawmakers.
- Nikki Haley defends the president’s accusers.
- Strange Bedfellows Dept.: Charles Koch spoke in support of Dreamers and immigration.
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