What to do this week of January 14, 2018
Americans of Conscience Action Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
62 weeks down, 42 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.
Take a deep breath and spend ten minutes with this worksheet.
I value equality.
Stand with your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, geographic area, age, and ability. Out of many, we are one.
Action: Stand with immigrants who call America home.
Call: Your two senators and one House representative (look up). A deal is near.
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] about the president’s wasteful and unAmerican policies concerning immigrants. It’s wasteful to build a 350-mile, $18 billion wall with taxpayer dollars and entice new border agents with higher wages while lowering employment standards. People who immigrate to the U.S. from other countries bring new jobs, create new business, and enrich our communities. I want [name] to support a clear path to citizenship, starting with the bipartisan and clean Dream Act (S.1615/H.R. 3440). Thank you.
Action: Stand with Americans of Haitian, Salvadoran, and African descent.
Call: Your two senators and one House representative (look up).
Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP] calling to ask [name] to make a public statement opposing the president’s comments regarding Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations. Some of [name’s] constituents are from or descended from these places and would appreciate knowing s/he welcomes them.
Action: Stand with Americans who are poor, disabled, and/or unable to work.
Write: Your state Medicaid director (look up, scroll down for address).
Dear [Name], I am deeply concerned about the CMS letter on 1/12/17 allowing states to deny medical care to vulnerable citizens. With a majority of Medicaid enrollees already working, in school, or medically unable to work, compliance enforcement is an unnecessary waste of taxpayer money. This new policy penalizes people living in poverty and with disabilities, cutting them off from a powerful poverty-reducing program. We must take care of our neighbors in need. I entreat you to continue providing Medicaid to all [Staters] who need it. Thank you for your consideration. Name, town.
Action: Stand with LGBTQ Americans for their equal rights.
Script: Dear Sen. [Name], All Americans deserve to go to the bank, choose a home, keep a job, raise a child, and receive medical care without fear of discrimination. With 46 cosponsors, I request that you use your Senate Judiciary Committee role to keep The Equality Act (S. 1006) moving. Thank you.
Write: Sen. Chuck Grassley, 135 Hart SOB, Washington, D.C. 20510 (Chair)
Write: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 331 Hart SOB, Washington, D.C. 20510 (R. Member)
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
Action: Advocate for hack-proofing voting protections while there’s still time.
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about protecting the vote. Our democracy is a sitting duck if we don’t protect ourselves from Russia-linked groups actively hacking the Senate and seeking to control our midterm elections. Time is short. I would like [name] to make election security a priority, especially by co-sponsoring the bipartisan Secure Elections Act [S.2261] that allows states to assess their risks and implement proven measures that protect the integrity of our vote.
Action: Advocate for a company-wide holiday on election day.
This fantastic idea comes from Wall of Us. See details there.
I value basic respect for all people, no matter where they were born.
As fellow human beings, immigrants deserve basic respect and compassion. Immigrants make our country stronger and build our economy.
- Action: Support the grassroots efforts of young advocates.
United We Dream has been doing an incredible job of raising awareness, demonstrating, and speaking up for undocumented people in the US. Check out their work and consider donating to support them on this long, difficult road.
- Action: Reach into an ICE detention center to encourage a fellow human.
Write: Sherpa Duk, A# 208-603-576, P.O. Box 248, Lumpkin, GA, 31815
Note: Sherpa is originally from Nepal. Last week, Susan K. (our connection to Sherpa) told him some people would be sending him letters–and he smiled. Want to send more and let him know he matters? Have your kids do drawings in marker or crayon, or send Sherpa a letter with stories and encouraging messages to lift his spirits. (Send no money or gifts.)
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… We can do hard things.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Reps. Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) for their bipartisan cooperation in creating The RAISE Family Caregivers Act. Families everywhere congratulate you on its passage in both houses. Name, State
Address (SC): 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330
Address (TB): 30 West Mifflin Street, Suite 700, Madison, WI 53703
Address (GH): 2214 5th St., Suite 2170, Meridian, MS 39301
Address (KC): 4144 N. Armenia Ave., Suite 300, Tampa, FL 33607
Thank Caroline Bays, City Counselor of Watertown, MA for taking a knee during the inauguration ceremony of the Watertown Town Council. Your gesture touched me deeply. Thank you for using that moment and your position to advocate for the silenced and equality for all citizens. Name, State
Address: Councilor Caroline Bays, 149 Main St., Watertown, MA, 02472
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- Why 2017 was the best year in history (NYT).
- Democrats keep winning in Indiana and Alaska because they’re listening to rural Americans.
- In December, six senators introduced a bipartisan bill to protect American elections from foreign hacking.
- A win for transparency, Mueller is requesting that the president testify under oath.
- The US Supreme Court will hear a case on discrimination in TX redistricting.
- A federal judge delays DACA ending due to pending court case, allowing Dreamers to submit requests.
- A 2018 report showed the US prison population dropped for the 7th consecutive year.
- Judges found the NC partisan gerrymander plan unconstitutional, and ordered the state legislature to block its use and submit a remedial plan by January 29.
- Puerto Rico introduces a “shadow delegation” in bid for statehood and congressional representation.
- The first tribal recognition bill in decades passes both houses, grating formal status to six tribes in Virginia.
- In a letter, 100 US CEOs appealed for protection of Dreamers.
- An incredible collaboration helps kids organize around important issues.
- Americans raised over $160,000 for the Moore victim whose house burned to the ground.
- Colin Kaepernick’s courage is contagious.
- Actress Taraji P. Henson will produce and act in a film telling the 1955 story of Emmett Till.
- A US Army veteran objects to being pushed off Ohio’s voting rolls while serving.
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- To see archives of past Action Checklists, click here and scroll down.