What to do this week of January 7, 2018
Americans of Conscience Action Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
61 weeks down, 43 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: Turn over a new leaf.
Even though we can’t solve every issue in the news, your voice matters in a democracy—especially now. Resolve to speak up in new ways this year. For support in this…
Action: Make an activist self-care plan.
Spend a few minutes with this worksheet so you have fuel to persist.
I value equality.
Stand with your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability. Out of many, we are one.
Action: Oppose a wall that symbolizes racism and intolerance.
Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House rep (look up).
Note: Blue MoCs need to be reminded that a wall is not on the table.
Script: Hi. I am calling about the president’s demand for an $18 billion wall in exchange for protecting DACA youth. I want to be clear: his idea is wasteful, ineffective, and offensive to American values. I want [name] to refuse fund any aggressive immigration tactic including a wall, 10,000 new ICE agents, and more stringent asylum requirements in exchange for Dreamers’ futures.
Action: Advocate for Puerto Ricans as if you didn’t have electricity for 100+ days.
Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP], calling to ask if 1.5 million [Staters] had no electricity for 100 days, would [name] find that acceptable? Can you please tell me what [name] is doing to restore power to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico?
Bonus: Support the Maria Fund.
Action: Advocate for medical care for those in need—without strings.
Write: To the local office of your 2 senators and 1 House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m concerned about the president’s plan to make people work for Medicaid coverage. I want my tax dollar to support my neighbors in need. Disabled Americans, pregnant women, and elderly people shouldn’t have to work to receive medical care. Does [name] believe in the value of a social safety net? If so, will s/he commit to opposing the president’s plans?
Action: Oppose a federal judge appointee with a history of condoning race-based voter suppression. A second time for 2018.
Call: Your 2 senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP]. It appears the president has renominated Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the US District Court. His history of defending voter suppression and targeting Black voters makes him unfit for this position. I would like the Senate to conduct a second hearing and for [name] to oppose Farr’s appointment. Thanks.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
Action: Advocate for weekend voting to make it accessible for working people.
Write: House Committee on House Administration leadership
Gregg Harper, 2227 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Robert Brady, 2004 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Script: I’m a voter from [State], writing to express my enthusiasm for weekend voting which reflects 21st-century Americans’ needs and increases participation. I would like you to use your position on the House Administration committee to bring the Weekend Voting Act (H.R.1094) to a vote. Thank you.
Bonus: Write your own House rep to express support (look up).
Action: Advocate for paper backups on all voting machines.
Write: Senate Rules and Administration leadership
Richard Shelby, 304 Russell SOB, Washington, DC 20510
Amy Klobuchar, 302 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
Script: I am a voter from [State], writing to express my support for the bipartisan Secure Elections Act (S. 2261). Providing voting paper trails in elections increases voter confidence, improves audits, and decreases hacking risks. Please use your position on the SSRA Committee to bring this bill to a vote. Thank you.
Bonus: Write your 2 senators to express support (look up).
I value the ethical treatment of all people, regardless of immigration status.
In 2018, the checklist focused on opposing constitutional violations and inhumane treatment of immigrants by ICE, and providing caring outreach to detainees.
Action: Reach in to an ICE detention center to encourage a fellow human.
Write: Sherpa Duk, A# 208-603-576, P.O. Box 248, Lumpkin, GA, 31815
Note: Thanks to volunteer Susan K., we have a chance to bring some light and encouragement. Sherpa is a Nepali man who, according to Susan, has been “on a long, long journey” and “feels worn down.” Send Sherpa a letter or card with stories, drawings in marker or crayon, or heartfelt messages to lift his spirits. (Send no money or gifts.)
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for calling Dan Scavino for an interview about communications with Russia. I appreciate your pursuit of truth through the Senate Judiciary Committee in spite of Chairman Grassley’s lack of meaningful focus. History will look kindly on you for seeking accountability. Thank you. Name, State.
Address: 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Thank Ro Khanna (D-CA) for calling for limits on the president’s powers to initiate a nuclear attack. Requiring congressional approval can make Americans safer. Thank you for your leadership. Name, State
Address: 900 Lafayette Street, Suite 206, Santa Clara, CA 95050-4966
Thank Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D-WA) for investigating Motel 6’s practice of reporting guest names to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Companies that discriminate based on race should be held accountable. I appreciate your initiative on behalf of equality for all people. Thank you. Name, State
Address: PO Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100
Thank your own senators and/or representative. If they did something noteworthy, bipartisan, or generally awesome, say so. You never know when a kind word might make a difference (look up).
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- Read this if you need a solid reminder that people are still kind: Sarah Silverman’s response to a twitter troll (CBC).
- Call it a 50% win: The commission that “started as a tragedy and ended as a farce” has been disbanded by the president. Voter “fraud” investigations will continue under DHS.
- The US Senate swears in 2 Democrats, bringing the headcount to 49-51.
- The US Senate now has the highest number of female senators in history.
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg just hired clerks through 2019.
- Despite of damaged stadiums, Puerto Rico’s baseball season starts anyway.
- PBS did an incredible documentary on asylum seekers and featured baby Mateo.
- David Clarke’s twitter account was temporarily suspended for violent messages.
- Hollywood’s Time’s Up mobilizes resources for working-class women speak up about sexual harassment.
- In lawsuit, women gain increased access to birth control prescriptions.
- Another confederate statue comes down, this time in Memphis.
- Transgender Americans are starting to fill out applications to enlist.
- North and South Korea are sitting down for talks about the coming Olympics.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, and What Went Right.
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- To see archives of past Action Checklists, click here and scroll down.