What to do this week of June 3, 2018
Americans of Conscience Checklist
By Jen Hofmann
82 weeks down, 22 weeks to mid-term elections.
This checklist features clear 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 value democracy.
Action: Read two announcements from me (Jen) about:
- Insights from last week’s immigration-specific checklist.
- Exciting plans for the Americans of Conscience Checklist.
Action: Create an activist self-care plan to #persist.
Make a cuppa & spend 10 minutes with this worksheet. Your well-being matters.
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 our neighbors in Puerto Rico.
Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators: (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express my concern that an estimated 5,000 of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico died as a result of Hurricane Maria. This was considerably higher than the official estimate. I am asking [name] to ensure PR’s citizens receive the same protection and support as US state residents. What is [name] doing to support Puerto Rico’s recovery?
Action: Stand with our neighbors who want to serve in our military.
Call: Your one House rep and two senators: (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP]. Last year, the Department of Defense concluded there were no implications for readiness for transgender people serving in the military. Because of this, I would like [name] to support the amendment to the Defense Bill that would repeal the ban against transgender military service. Thanks. (h/t)
Action: Stand with DACA recipients and Dreamers.
Action: Oppose appointments of people who don’t value equality.
Call: Your two senators: (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to oppose the president’s appointments of several people who have failed to support for equal right in their careers. I would like [name] to vote no on:
- Kenneth Marcus for Department of Education’s office of civil rights.
- Ronald Mortensen for Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
- Ryan Bounds to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Britt Grant to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Thomas Farr to the US District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina.
- Patrick Wyrick to the US District Court, Western District of Oklahoma.
Action: Stand with poor people working for healthy people and a healthy planet.
Activists across the country are uniting to revive the Poor People’s Campaign originally led by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. In its fourth week of nonviolent direct action, PPC is asking its allies to support the brave people across the country who are peacefully putting their bodies on the line for justice.
Contribute: To the Poor People’s Campaign Legal Defense fund.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
Action: Bolster your state’s election security before midterms.
Call: Your state’s election official: (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [state] and am calling to ask two questions about our state’s voting. First, I’d like to know if [state] has applied for any of the $380 million in election security funding. [If not, when?] With midterms coming, it’s crucial to prevent security breaches in our voting systems. Second, how will those funds be used? [Listen for 5 things:]
- 1. Systems that count a paper ballot.
- 2. Post-election audits.
- 3. Systems upgrades that prevent intrusion and vote manipulation.
- 4. Voting machines without wireless connectivity.
- 5. Training for elections officials on security.
Action: Primary elections on June 5, 2018. Please help our democracy and vote.
California: Find polling place and possibility for early voting (set by county) here.
I value treating all people with respect, no matter where they were born.
We oppose inhumane treatment of all people and the government agencies that perpetuate it.
Action: Stand with separated families.
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to ask [name] to hold ICE accountable. ICE is causing lifelong developmental trauma in children by separating them from their parents. ICE is imprisoning legal asylum seekers for indefinite amounts of time with limited access to legal counsel and without periodic bond hearings. I don’t want my tax dollar to support an agency that inflicts neglect, abuse, and fatalities without consequences. I stand with immigrants-rights groups insisting on: 1. Keeping families together, and 2. Defunding ICE and CBP.
Bonus: Support legal representation for 60 detained kids and their families.
Donate here (click the gray “give now” button).
Action: Stand with M.D. Shams.
M.D. Shams is an asylum-seeker from Bangladesh who has been in ICE detention for three years. He’s a sweet man who loves cricket. Even detained, he is an ally to the other people in detention with him.
Let’s fill M.D.’s box with beautiful postcards and handwritten letters of support, encouragement, and kindness. Let him know his life matters to us.
Address: M.D. Shams Sudduha, A# 208270917, P.O. Box 248, Lumpkin, GA 31815
Action: Stand with Veronica (by June 10).
Two of the three women needing bond have been released thanks to generous donors! Their caravan sister, Veronica, is still in ICE detention, awaiting our help.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Marco Rubio (R-FL) for going against the president’s plans to ease sanctions on Chinese company, ZTE. Holding them accountable for sanctions violations is commendable, as is publicly disagreeing with the president. Thank you.
Address: 1650 Prudential Drive, Suite 220, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Thank Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for publicly supporting the Mueller investigation. I hope you’ll show further support bringing the bipartisan Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (S. 2644) to a vote. Thank you for putting integrity over party.
Address: 601 W. Broadway, Room 630, Louisville, KY 40202
Thank Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, for taking swift action in the face of racism by cancelling Roseanne Barr’s television after making a racist tweet. Thank you for using your position to represent the American values of civility and equality. I am grateful.
Address: abc.go.com/feedback or (818) 460-7477.
Thank Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), House Oversight Committee Chairman for rejecting Trump’s “spy” conspiracy. Saying on Fox News that “the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do” was a brave and significant thing to do. Thank you.
Address: 104 South Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
Thank Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) for advocating for increasing sexual harassment protections for congressional staffers and eliminating taxpayers’ burden in funding harassment settlements. I appreciate your advocacy.
AK: 1200 Washington Avenue South, Room 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415
RB: 1001 Cherry Street, Suite 104, Columbia, MO 65201
Thank Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) for introducing the Detention Oversight Not Expansion (DONE) Act. I share your view that increasing oversight of detention centers and preventing prison growth will help bring humanity to our country’s immigration system. Thank you. (h/t)
KH: 501 I Street, Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814
PJ: 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101
Thank Sen. Dianne Feinstein for mentioning Moms’ Equal Pay Day–May 30–the day when US moms’ pay catches up to dads’. I agree that it’s “outrageous” and am grateful you wrote the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 819) to make equal pay a reality for all. Thank you.
Address: 2500 Tulare Street, Suite 4290, Fresno, CA 93721
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look.
- DHS has agreed to renew Jessica Colotl’s DACA status and work permit.
- The pace of new voter registrations among young people is accelerating.
- Judge: Funding for national teen pregnancy prevention program must be reinstated.
- U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police may not search the area around a private home without a warrant.
- The “farm bill” that would have imposed work requirements on recipients of SNAP benefits failed to pass the House of Representatives. (For now.)
- MI’s civil rights law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- TN governor signed a bill ensuring teen “safekeepers” are not housed in adult prisons nor left to languish in solitary confinement.
- In AL, a record 70 black women are running for office.
- IL became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
- VA expands Medicaid, giving more people access to affordable health insurance.
- HI governor signs law banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth.
- NJ legislature passes bills to ensure that birth and death certificates reflect gender identity.
- MA ICE agents stop attempting to arrest people seeking legal status in courthouses.
- MD’s new law mandates revealing sponsors in online ads for state and local races.
- CT joins the National Popular Vote compact, one step closer to overriding the electoral college.
- People throughout the US rally to #KeepFamiliesTogether.
- MD Montgomery County Council plans to provide money for the legal defense of undocumented immigrants facing deportation.
- A lawsuit challenging a PA school district’s pro-transgender policy was rejected by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Aspen Dental opens its 450 offices for a day to provide veterans with free dental care.
- Kaiser Permanente pledged $200 million in impact investing to address housing stability and homelessness.
Groups and organizations
- Student leaders affected by gun violence built a coalition with the backing of The Brady Center Against Gun Violence.
News with heart
- In response to his letter, one AoCC subscriber’s local police chief assured him that they do track hate crimes, train officers to recognize hate crimes, and collaborate with diverse groups in Vancouver, WA.
- “Creating healing spaces & fighting hate, one halal taco at a time.” #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque
- Parkland drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, will receive a Tony award for inspiring students.
- Church members walk to Lansing on behalf of immigrant in sanctuary.
- Mamoudou Gassama climbed a 4-story building to save a child, was nicknamed “Le Spider-Man”, and offered French citizenship and a job by Macron.
- Irish women around the world returned home to support a woman’s right to choose.
- Two more women are out of ICE detention thanks to generous donors.
- When a soldier was killed in action, his Army family welcomed his baby daughter.
- Actress Jameela Jamil created @i_weigh to spotlight all the wonderful things women are besides their weight.
- 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!
Paper: Our new Americans of Conscience printable flyer to share in person!
Tweet: Do these 10 things to start feeling better about our country. #BeKind #Persist https://goo.gl/s28Hrf
Post on Facebook: I’m sharing these 10 easy things you can do to make our country better. Your voice matters and makes a difference. https://goo.gl/s28Hrf
- Sign up: Subscribe to the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Stay inspired: Complete the 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.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to Zee JEBitor, Week 1 social media volunteers, the Research Sous Chefs teams, and to the amazing angel patrons who make it all possible.