What to do this week of June 3, 2018

by Jun 4, 2018Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

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:

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?

Bonus: Donate to Proyecto de Apoyo Mutuo Mariana and support community-stabilizing work in PR. See accolades and uplifting video. (h/t)

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.

Read: This thorough summary of four bills under consideration if GOP leaders get a discharge petition passed and learn how you can help. Hint: Vote. (h/t)

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.

[Urge them to address any that are omitted.] Thank you for your time. (h/t & h/t)

Action: Primary elections on June 5, 2018. Please help our democracy and vote.

Alabama: Find polling place here. Bring Photo ID to vote.

California: Find polling place and possibility for early voting (set by county) here.

Iowa: Find polling place here. Bring ID to vote.

Montana: Find polling place here. Bring ID to vote.

Mississippi: Find polling place here. Bring Photo ID to vote.

New Jersey: Find polling place here. Bring ID to vote.

New Mexico: Early voting May 8 – June 2. Find polling place here. Bring ID if voting for the first time.

South Dakota: Find polling place here. Bring Photo ID to vote.

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.

Donate: Post bond before Veronica’s asylum hearing on June 11. (h/t)

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

Good news

Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look.





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.

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


Note: This checklist is always ad-free and no-cost. If you’re able, consider supporting Jen’s time on patreon or paypal.