What to do this week of February 11, 2018
Americans of Conscience Action Checklist
65 weeks down, 39 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.
Decent people everywhere are speaking up, doing good, and working together.
- U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania must realign their gerrymandered districts prior to the 2018 national elections.
- In a vote for more transparency, U.S. Congress personnel office must regularly report and publish sexual harassment settlements.
- The new budget will provide a lot of health care, including restoring therapy services to Medicare recipients and closing the “donut hole”, funding CHIP, community health centers, and veteran hospitals, among others.
- The new budget also included funds to rebuild Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands’ infrastructure and electric grid and refund depleted Medicaid.
- 18+ state AGs are suing Betsy DeVos for failing to protect students snowed by fraudulent, for-profit “colleges” (CA, CT, DC, DE, HI, IA, IL, MD, MA, MN, NM, NY, NC, OR, PA, RI, VT, VA, WA).
- One of our AoCC subscribers got a personal note from her SoS sharing that all 15 of Arizona’s counties voted to exit Crosscheck in December and start using non-partisan, pro-voting ERIC system.
- Both Ohio houses passed a bipartisan bill that changes the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional districts and, if approved, will remedy the state’s gerrymandered system.
- 80,000 Maine residents signed a petition that will put ranked-choice voting on the ballot this June.
- NY state senators introduce 13 (13!) bills to increase voter turnout.
- AL judge orders all incarcerated people with mental illness out of solitary confinement.
- 4 states have introduced legislation to provide menstrual supplies to women in prison.
- Trulia now allows people to find housing in communities with local laws protecting LGBTQ people from eviction and discrimination.
Groups doing good
- American Federation of Teachers delivers 80,000 report cards evaluating Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos’ first year in her role.
- Episcopal Diocese of Washington passes a resolution to use “feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God” in its Book of Common Prayer.
- 17 Jewish groups call for presidential advisor Stephen Miller’s firing.
- DC city council rejects shutting down the city for a “giant tank parade.”
- DC city council approves public financing of city office campaigns, potentially limiting the power of wealthy donors.
- 4 people of color are running for Superior Judge in San Francisco.
- A Chicago good Samaritan tweets asking for 10 volunteers to help shovel seniors’ driveways. 46,000 likes later…
- One man’s insistence on speaking Hawaiian in court leads to big changes in Hawaii.
- In response to their anti-immigrant sentiment, Jennifer Mendelsohn is revealing public figures’ pasts through genealogy research.
- Two gay veterans celebrate 25 years together. #lovewins
- Barbados Postal Service honors their 100-year-old residents in commemorative stamps.
- Sacred Blood “brings together mothers on the opposite ends of Chicago’s violence.”
- A conscientious soul gave up his job at MT Dept. of Labor to protest demands to release information to ICE. Then twitter-peeps donated enough to tide him over.
- I suggested that WI folks on twitter call their Governor’s office to insist he hold elections to fill three state legislature seats. People made so many calls that his staff stopped answering the phone. #yourvoicematters
- When she reached out to her local school board asking to evaluate US slavery history curriculum, one of our MI subscribers got a warm reply from the local board who then shared the request with her district superintendent.
- My twitter followers share all their good news, beautiful photos, and puppies.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, and What Went Right.
Acts of Gratitude – Valentine Edition
Get out your heart stickers and stamps for some extra gratitude this week. Share photos of your cards on twitter!
Thank Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for opposing Stephen Miller’s role in the negotiations over immigration and working in a bipartisan way. Thank you.
Address: 508 Hampton Street, Suite 202, Columbia, SC 29201
Thank Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for seeing through the RAISE Family Caregivers Act that the president recently signed into law. Thank you for addressing the needs of caregivers, along with aging people and people with disabilities who receive care and want to stay in their own homes.
Address (SC): 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330
Address (TB): 633 W. Wisconsin Ave, Suite 1920, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Thank T-Mobile for their Super Bowl advertisement and its message of racial equality. In these contentious times, I appreciate your company’s choice to use those 60 seconds to uplift and inspire.
Address: T-Mobile Customer Relations, P.O. Box 37380, Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380
Thank the Audi Car Company for choosing to support women’s equality in their Super Bowl ad. I appreciate your heartwarming message.
Address: 2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive, Herndon, VA 20171
Thank Coca-Cola for acknowledging gender-neutral pronouns in your Super Bowl ad. You made a difference by elevating the visibility of non-binary people in America.
Send to: The Coca Cola Company, PO. Box 1734, Atlanta, GA 30301
Thank Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) for developing a bipartisan immigration bill that protects Dreamers without funding a wall. I appreciate your bipartisanship and standing up for our neighbors. Thank you.
Address (JM): 2201 East Camelback Road Suite 115, Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Address: (CC): 1105 North Market Street, Suite 100, Wilmington, DE 19801
Thank Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his response to the president’s comments on El Salvador, Haiti, and African nations. I agree that each person has dignity and deserves respect, no matter their race, ethnicity, or other circumstances of their birth. Thank you.
Address: 2201 East Camelback Road Suite 115, Phoenix, Arizona, 85016
Thank Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for your sustained effort to protect Dreamers. I appreciate you telling their stories and why they should be celebrated as part of the American family. Thank you for your leadership.
Send to: 90 Seventh Street, Suite 2-800, San Francisco, CA 94103
Thank Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) for demanding full transparency from Health and Human Services. I am grateful to you for holding this department accountable for its responsibilities to Congress and the American people. Thank you.
Address: 104 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Thank Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) for guaranteeing eligibility for state-funded Medicaid for all New Yorkers. I appreciate your concern and compassion for our neighbors, regardless of immigration status. Thank you for your leadership.
Address: Governor of New York, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224
Thank Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) for opposing the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. I share your concern that it will lead to an inaccurate count of constituents, reducing their representation in congress. Thank you for your leadership.
Address (IRL): 4960 SW 72 Ave, Suite 208, Miami, FL 33155
Address (MDB): 8669 NW 36th Street, Suite 100, Doral, FL 33166
Thank Sen. Tim Kaine for insisting on the release of a memo outlining the president’s legal authority to wage war. As a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, I appreciate you using your position to bring this information to light. It is vital for Congress to maintain authority over any act of war. Thank you.
Address: 919 East Main Street, Suite 970, Richmond, VA 23219
Thank Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) for introducing the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act. I thank you for working across the aisle to prevent foreign intrusion and protect the integrity of our vote.
Address (MR): 402 South Monroe Street, Suite 2105E, Tallahassee, FL 32399
Address (CVH): B40C Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Thank your state Attorney General if they’re one of 18 AGs defending students from fraudulent, for-profit “colleges” by suing Betsy DeVos. Thanks for using your position to stand up for what is right.
Write: Your state Attorney General (find mailing address in links below) in
Thank your own 2 senators and 1 house rep for something good they did that you admire or appreciate (or love!). (look up)
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 people vulnerable to predatory and discriminatory lenders.
Call: Your 2 senators (look up); 12 Dems are voting the wrong way.
Script: Hi. I’m calling about The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I can’t understand why Mick Mulvaney would dismantle an agency that has given $12 billion in restitution to 29 million consumers in 6 years. I expect my government to protect me and my neighbors from predatory and discriminatory lenders. So, I am asking Sen. [name] for two things. First, I would like them to hold Mulvaney accountable for this failure to protect consumers. Second, when S. 2155 goes to the floor, I would like them to oppose it. Dodd-Frank protects Americans. Thank you.
Action: Stand with young, pregnant women in immigration detention.
Write: HHS Secretary, Dept. Health & Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201
Script: Dear Sec. Azar, I’m writing about Scott Lloyd, Director of Refugee Resettlement. Any person who blocks women’s access to legal abortion and legal council does not respect the law. His attempts to intervene during one woman’s abortion is outrageous and unacceptable. Please show common decency and dismiss Scott Lloyd. Thank you. Name, address.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Action: Oppose a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Write: Secretary Wilbur L Ross, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20230
Or email: WLRoss@doc.gov
Script: A citizenship question on the 2020 Census is unreasonable. Your reasoning for it is a thinly-veiled re-wording of the president’s unfounded claims about fraudulent voting by undocumented people. Mr. Ross, citizenship data is already collected by the American Community Survey. Changing the Census will cost the American taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars and create measurably worse results. It will deny countless people appropriate representation in Congress. Beyond pleasing the president, no agenda could be worth spending money on duplicate work, especially while basic funding and leadership needs in the Census Bureau go unmet. Reconsider. Thank you.
I value showing respect for all people, no matter where they were born.
People who immigrate to the US make our country stronger and build our economy. As our neighbors and as fellow human beings, they are entitled to basic respect and compassion.
Action: Help Salvadoran dads reunite with their children.
We owe the good news of baby Mateo’s release to the hard work of legal advocacy group, Al Otro Lado (To the Other Side) in collaboration with Pueblo Sin Fronteras (Town Without Borders). Their next step is to do the impossible: Raise $10,000 each in bond for Mateo’s dad, José, and three other dads, Eric, Carlos, and Walter. Together, we can help reunite them with their children.
Donate: Give what you can and pass it on.
Action: Oppose ICE entering courthouses, schools, and places of worship.
Call: Your 1 House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling to express my concern about ICE’s new directive to make arrests inside of courthouses, and ICE’s their pushing the limits around officially ‘sensitive locations’ like hospitals, churches, and schools. I would like Rep [Name] to co-sponsor the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act (H.R. 1815).
DC folks: Attend a DC training about asylum rights and how to advocate for protecting them. We need you.
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Lovers of democracy unite! Share this week’s Americans of Conscience Checklist with all your Valentines. https://goo.gl/7dJhv8
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- Stay inspired: Complete the Activist Self-Care Worksheet.
- Stay focused: Complete the Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s artistic version).
- Connect: If you have a question, correction, or action suggestion. With thanks!
- Nerd out: See archives of past AoC Checklists here and scroll down.
A sincere request from Jen:
Creating this weekly checklist is my passion. I love using my research, writing, marketing, and communication skills to uphold our country’s values. I love being able to help you find hope and the words to speak up even when things are bleak. Together, we are making a difference and effecting changes big and small.
I am determined to continue doing this at least until 2020. However, it’s a pickle trying to run a full-time business and spend 20-30 hours per week on the checklist. It’s important to me to keep this ad-free and no-cost. So, I’m humbly requesting help. If you love the checklist and are able to help, I’d like to reach my next patreon goal of half-time support.
This will give me some breathing room to persevere. If you aren’t able (and I totally get what that’s like), please share the checklist. It’s more helpful than you know. I’m truly grateful either way.