What to do this week of May 20, 2018
Americans of Conscience Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
80 weeks down, 24 (two dozen!) 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.
Note: To give us a lift, this week’s edition features only gratitude and good news.
Reminder: Next week the checklist takes its monthly break. We’ll be back on June 3 with some exciting new developments!
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Angus King (I-ME) for voting against Gina Haspel to lead the CIA. I appreciate your support of leaders with integrity.
DF: 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025
KH : 501 I Street, Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814
RW: 911 NE 11th Ave., Suite 630, Portland, OR, 97232
MH: 400 Gold Avenue SW, Ste. 1080, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
AK: 202 Harlow St., Suite 20350, Bangor, ME 04401
Thank the Reverends William Barber and Liz Theoharis of the Poor People’s Campaign for spearheading non-violent advocacy for the most vulnerable members of our society. In times of growing intolerance and greed, your leadership provides hope for us all.
Addresses on Twitter:
Poor People’s Campaign: @unitethepoor
Thank Del. Meagan Simonaire (R-MD) for advocating for LGBTQ equality. Banning “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth prevents suicide and gives them a more accepting world. I especially appreciate your sharing your coming out story to support this bill. Thank you.
Address: House Office Building, Room 156, 6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
Thank Christopher Wylie for blowing the whistle on Cambridge Analytica for alleged misuse of Facebook data. Thank you for speaking out about the undemocratic practices of your employer on behalf of all Americans.
Address on Twitter: @chrisinsilico
Thank FEC commissioners Caroline Hunter (R), Ellen Weintraub (D), Matthew Petersen (R), and Steven Walther (I) for ruling that candidates with children may use campaign funds to cover child care costs during a federal campaign. This will allow better representation in our democracy. Thank you.
Address: 105 First Street NE, Washington DC 20463
Thank Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) for promising to introduce a House discharge petition to the match the Senate’s recently passed net neutrality legislation. This issue affects the privacy and rights of every American. Thank you for your leadership.
Address: 2637 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Thank Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who joined with Senate Democrats to support a neutral internet for all Americans. Thank you for putting people over party.
SC: One Canal Plaza, Suite 802, Portland, ME 04101
JK: SRB11, Russell Senate Building, Washington, DC 20510
LM: 510 L Street, Suite 600, Anchorage, AK 99501
Thank Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and David Trott (R-MI) for endorsing a discharge petition to protect young people brought to the United States as children. They are Americans in everything but paperwork. Thank you for putting people over party.
JK: 440 South Warren St., 7th Floor Suite 711, Syracuse, NY 13202
DT: 625 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 204, Troy, MI 48083
Thank Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for demanding accountability from immigration authorities. Your bill requiring immigration and border agents to document all stops, searches, and interrogations would enforce a higher ethical standard. Thank you.
Address: Leo W. O’Brien Federal Office Building, 11A Clinton Avenue, Room 821, Albany, NY 12207
Thank Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) for prioritizing election security. As doubts about the integrity of our elections grow, it matters that you sent an expert to monitor voting in Broward County following concerns about ballot destruction. Thank you for doing the right thing.
Address: The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look.
- Formerly incarcerated individuals lead the national effort to secure voting rights.
- The national Black Mama’s Bail Out coalition raised more than $400,000 in time for Mother’s Day.
- Abdul, whose work for the US government endangered his life, is granted asylum and freed from unjust ICE detention.
- Representatives Grace Meng (NY-6) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-7) joined immigrant and refugee mothers for a Mother’s Day press call, asking Congress to match their words to actions when proclaiming family values.
- About 4,000 people were able to reunite with families and loved ones along the El Paso and Ciudad Juarez border this Mother’s Day weekend.
- Paul Ryan agreed to hold a classified election security briefing rather than an unclassified briefing.
- VT Governor Phil Scott signs mandate that all public single-use bathrooms be marked gender-neutral by July 1, 2018.
- US District Court Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas must comply with the National Voter Registration Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
- Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed legislation that would prohibit employers from considering salary history when hiring.
- Connecticut and Hawaii legislatures have passed bipartisan bills that close the gender gap in the workplace.
- Maine legislature voted to increase the payment rates for child care providers that serve families receiving child care assistance.
- The Sen. Rebecca Saldana-sponsored Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), SB 6002, passed with bipartisan support in the state Senate.
- Paulette Jordan became the first female gubernatorial candidate in Idaho. If elected, she will also be the first Native American governor in any state.
- MD Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan signed the Youth Mental Health Protection Act into law on Tuesday, making the state the 11th to ban “gay conversion therapy” for minors.
- ME voters overruled their legislators with a “people’s veto” to permit ranked choice voting for their June 12 primaries.
- CO’s November ballot will contain two issues that change the redistricting method to thwart gerrymandering and encourage competitive elections.
- LA House bill grants voting rights to some formerly incarcerated persons on probation and parole.
- Colorado is leading the way on hack-proof voting.
- Google is providing its free cyber attack shield to political campaigns, candidates, and political action committees.
- University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel has accepted Native American community members’ recommendations for increasing public and student awareness of the complicated history between the Native American community and the white population around Burt Lake.
- Cities across the country are addressing the affordable housing crisis by developing innovative programs and policy labs.
- Washington, D.C. Council unanimously passed the Student Fair Access to Schools Act, which reexamines the guidelines for out-of-school suspensions and encourages trauma-informed instruction.
- Formerly-homeless poet and writer Del Seymour founded Code Tenderloin, a nonprofit that seeks to rehabilitate, train, and find employment for the disenfranchised residents.
- After nine years of waiting—due to a rape kit backlog—Henrietta Sykes finally obtains some peace after a man is charged with the crime.
- Voters in North Carolina’s largest county ousted their sheriff last week and elected Gary McFadden. No longer will undocumented immigrants be arrested on unrelated crimes.
- Roman Catholic parishes in Texas are providing church-issued identification cards to undocumented immigrants not eligible for ID issued by the state. Local police have been officially given discretion to accept the church-issued cards as valid identification.
- A Florida man accused of plotting a mass shooting in a Jacksonville mosque was convicted of a federal weapons charge.
- Youth voter registration sets a record in Nashville.
News with heart
- We sent notes of gratitude to Azadeh Shahshahani and she sent this thanks.
- A four year old who calls himself President Austin and wears a cape hands out sandwiches to homeless people and asks them to “share the love.”
- See more good news at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, and What Went Right.
Spread the word
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!
Print: Our new Americans of Conscience flyer to share at in-person events.
Tweet: Need a lift? Practice gratitude and celebrate good news in this week’s @AoCChecklist. This is how we #persist. https://goo.gl/fDdm7r
Post on Facebook: Need a lift? Practice gratitude and celebrate good news in this week’s Americans of Conscience Checklist. This is how we #persist. https://goo.gl/fDdm7r
- Sign up: Subscribe to the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Stay inspired: Complete the Self-Care Worksheet.
- Nerd out: See archives of past AoC Checklists here and scroll down.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to the JEBitor, Week 3 social media volunteers, the Research Sous Chefs teams, and to the amazing angel patrons who make it possible.