What to do this week of January 21, 2018
Americans of Conscience Action Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
63 weeks down, 41 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.
This is no longer optional, friends. Make a cuppa, grab a pen, 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, age, and ability. Out of many, we are one.
Action: Stand with Medicare recipients and oppose a $25 billion cut to their care.
Visit: AARP’s petition page.
Note: If you don’t want additional emails from AARP, unsubscribe immediately, or simply use their script to write your senators and House rep directly.
Action: Stand with Americans who are not male and/or white by opposing unfit judicial appointments.
Call: Your two senators (look up). Take the risk. These appointments are for life.
Script: I am calling to oppose the president’s nominees for lifetime federal judgeships, Not only are they mostly-male and mostly-white, I oppose pushing through ideologically-biased nominees without proper hearings. I join the 70+ civil rights groups who oppose Eric Dreiband. I also oppose Thomas Farr who Rev. Barber calls “moral poison,” and, according to Sen. Cory Booker, “has spent much of his legal career undermining civil rights and voting protections for people of color.” Americans deserve better. Please let [name] know that we deserve judges that will uphold the full freedoms of our Constitution, not a narrow-minded and racist agenda.
Action: Stand with women and LGBTQ Americans who want medical professionals to provide the care they need.
Write: Your two senators and one House rep—local office (look up).
Write: Acting Secretary, Eric Hargan, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201
Script: I oppose the plan that permits discrimination against women and LGBTQ Americans. The new office designated by the president threatens lives and violates the rights of Americans. Please use your position to further equality, a uniquely American value, instead of permitting discrimination under the guise of religion. A doctor’s job is to put patients, not ideology, first.
Action: Stand with Americans who are poor, disabled, and/or unable to work.
Write: Your state Medicaid director (look up here, scroll down for address).
Script: Dear [Name], I am deeply concerned about the CMS letter on 1/12/18 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 policy penalizes people living in poverty and with disabilities, risks their health, and cuts 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 America’s kids of every background and ability.
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to reject the appointment of Kenneth Marcus to head the Office of Civil Rights in the US Department of Education. I join with 200 civil rights groups in opposing a nominee whose ideologies align with those of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. American kids deserve leaders who champion their civil rights. Please ask [name] not to confirm this appointment.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Not sexy. Very important. Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
Action: Advocate for hack-proofing voting protections before November.
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about protecting the vote. Our democracy is vulnerable if we don’t learn a lesson from 2016 and protect ourselves. Russia-linked groups are actively hacking the Senate and seeking to control our midterm elections. 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 both assess their risks and enact proven measures that protect the integrity of our vote. Thank you.
I value showing respect to all people, no matter where they were born.
As our neighbors and fellow human beings, immigrants deserve basic respect and compassion. Immigrants make our country stronger and build our economy.
Action: Stand with your Salvadoran neighbors and help them stay here.
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: I am calling from [ZIP] to ask [name] to support Temporary Protected Status holders. The dangerous situation in San Salvador is due in part to US policy propping up a violent government. Deporting our neighbors to an unstable country or to Qatar as cheap, temporary labor is unconscionable. Keep TPS holders here where they bring skills, businesses, and jobs to our communities. I would like [name] to co-sponsor and support The SECURE Act [S.2144], giving TPS holders the dignity of legal and permanent residency in the US.
Bonus action: Donate to CLINIC to support the legal, legislative, and grassroots work of advocating for people with Temporary Protected Status (I’m sharing this action with their permission):
- Visit the CLINIC donate page.
- Under “Campaign,” select “State and Local Immigration Project.”
- Under “How did you hear about us?”, enter “Americans of Conscience Checklist.”
Deep breath innnn and ouuuut… Okay. You did the hard stuff. Now for the heart stuff. 🙂
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), for his honesty and courage in opposing the president’s concerning comments about Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations.
Address: 711 Hart Senate Bldg., Washington, DC 20510
Thank Rep. Al Green (D-TX) for his commitment to seeing the current president held accountable for his intolerant words and actions. While it may be too soon for impeachment to succeed, you are among the few elected officials standing up for our country’s integrity. I am grateful. Name, State
Address: 3003 South Loop West, Suite 460, Houston, TX 77054
Thank AG Xavier Becerra for using his position as CA Attorney General to defend the rights of immigrants and the civil liberties of Americans. Thank you for holding businesses accountable and working to create a safer, more civil society. Name, State.
Address: Office of the Attorney General, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.
- A passionate call-to-arms for people fed-up with abuse of power (The Guardian).
- Nine ways the president has changed America in one year (Marshall Project).
- What happens if the government shuts down (Indivisible).
- Hundreds of thousands of people came out to march–around the US and around the world–and stand up for women’s equality and against the president.
- Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) invited Cindy Garcia (whose husband DHS deported to Mexico) to be her guest at the State of the Union address.
- Eight constitutional- and democracy-advocacy groups advocate for transparent and rule-compliant US Census.
- One of the president’s own judicial appointees rules in favor of a deported Mexican woman’s return.
- US District Court ordered the State Department to respond to FOIA requests regarding the creation of the third Muslim ban.
- CA Attorney General tells businesses not to violate the law by divulging employees’ private information to ICE.
- “In the Torah, we are called 36 different ways to love the stranger, the orphan and the widow. We insist that Dreamers be recognized as the Americans that they are.”
- A solution for indebted millennials and communities without doctors, a CA school will provide a free medical education for those who agree to practice in the region.
- CVS Pharmacies bans edited photos that promote beauty products.
- Jeff Bezos donates $33 million to fund DACA student scholarships.
- Small consolation: Some companies are doing good things for employees with their tax break.
- Tax March held an event amplifying the voices of working, older, poor, and disabled Americans advocating for a tax bill repeal.
- Union membership is up across the US―even in some “right to work” states.
- Visionary leaders describe a world without prisons.
- The first active-duty gay couple marries at West Point. #LoveWins
- “Mama Warrior” aids children of detained and deported parents.
- US figure skater uses his platform to oppose VP Pence’s discriminatory views.
- A Sikh man receives kindness from a TSA agent while going through airport security.
- Namibian performer responds to the president’s comments with humorous travel video (includes swearing).
- See more good news at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, and What Went Right.
- I asked for good news from my twitter followers, and Roberta replied with this!
If you found this checklist useful, please spread the word!
Tweet: While congress works out their issues, your voice still matters. This week’s @AoCChecklist has a healthy dose of good news to keep you moving. Check it out here: https://goo.gl/3T4hru
Email and Facebook: While congress works out their issues, your voice still matters. This week’s @AoCChecklist has a healthy dose of good news to keep you moving. Check it out here: https://goo.gl/3T4hru
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