What to do this week of June 17, 2018

by Jun 17, 2018Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Americans of Conscience Checklist

By Jen Hofmann

84 weeks down, 20 weeks to mid-term elections.

This checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We also practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.

I believe in democracy.

With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.

Action: Encourage your elected officials to hold town halls in July.

Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Can you tell me whether [name] is planning to hold town hall meetings during the June 30-July 8 recess?

  • If no meetings planned: Can you let me know when s/he plans to meet with his/her constituents?
  • If meetings planned: Thank you—I plan to be there.

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 with pre-existing conditions.

Call: Your House rep, red or blue, and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about the Affordable Care Act. I oppose any effort to strip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The ACA ended this discrimination for 52 million Americans, but the current administration wants to bring it back. Please assure me that [name] wants to protect all their constituents from discrimination.

Action: Stand with seniors, families, and people with high medical expenses.

Call: Your two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my concern about HUD’s continuing plan to explore rent hikes. This would put housing security at risk for already economically vulnerable people including seniors, families with children, and people with high medical expenses. I want my tax dollar to support my neighbors in need. I am asking [name] to defend our vulnerable citizens and oppose efforts to strip funding from this essential program.  

Action: Stand with Native Americans to rebuild tribal homelands.

Call: Your two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to vote yes on H.R. 1491. This bill has just moved out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. It would put 1,400 acres in trust for the Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to use for housing and economic development and has bipartisan support. Can I count on [name] to vote yes when it comes to the Senate floor? (h/t)

I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.

Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.

Action: Make sure you’re still registered to vote.

With the new Supreme Court ruling on Ohio’s purge of voter rolls, better to be safe than stranded this November. (h/t)

Check: Confirm you’re still registered to vote: https://iwillvote.com/

Bonus action: Ask 10 friends to check their registration at the link above.

Action: Bolster your state’s election security before midterms.

Call: Or write your state’s election official (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [state] and am calling/writing with two questions about voting. First, I’d like to know if [state] has applied for any of the $380 million in election security funding. [If not, when will they?] Second, how will those funds be used? [Listen for 5 things:]

  1. Systems that count paper ballots.
  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: Stand with teens who want to vote and can’t afford ID.

Donate: Help teens get ID so they can vote in this November’s election. This action is coordinated by our allies at Spread the Vote. #TeenTheVote

Action: Stand with a mom jailed for voting.

Texas mom Crystal Mason voted in the 2016 election, unaware that doing so was illegal while on parole in her state. Her penalty was a whopping five-year prison sentence.

Donate: To Crystal’s legal fund to appeal http://www.gofundme.com/2p6d338

I value showing respect for all people, no matter where they were born.

We oppose inhumane treatment of all people and the government agencies that inflict it. People who immigrate to the US make our country stronger and deserve basic decency and respect.

Note: Our Immigration Game Plan breaks up actions this week–2 per day–Mon-Fri.

Monday Action 1: Oppose “DACA compromise” immigration bill by June 22.

Call: Your one House rep and two senators, especially Republicans (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to oppose the Goodlatte immigration bill. It hurts farmworkers, will deport more Dreamers, and keeps children in detention longer. This bill also funds a border wall, and I don’t want my tax dollar to pay for this. Can you assure me that [name] will not support this bill? (h/t, h/t)

Monday Action 2: Stand with all people seeking refuge in the US.

Sign: Petition from the Anti-Defamation League urging the Senate to vote no on hate-group member Ronald Mortensen for Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. (h/t)

Tuesday Action 1: Oppose expansion of ICE detention facilities.

Call: Your three MoCs, especially Republicans (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP]. I just learned about the so-called tent city in Tornillo, Texas built to house 450 immigrant children. I do not want my tax dollar paying for this. I want [name] to stop all further construction of immigrant prison camps by co-sponsoring the DONE Act (S. 2849/H.R. 5820). Can I count on this?

Tuesday Action 2: End criminalization of immigration.

Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: I am calling because I want [name] to put an end to the president’s “zero tolerance” policy, which makes border crossing a crime and forces families apart. Asylum-seekers and refugees used to be released while their cases were pending. They are here legally. What is [name] doing to end this policy?

Bonus action: CA residents, sign this petition from Mijente. (h/t)

Wednesday Action 1: Call for an end to family separation.

Call: Your two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to oppose the practice of separating families as an immigration deterrent. It is amoral and traumatizing to willfully separate children from their parents, documented or not. I’d like [name] to support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act (S. 3036). Thank you.

Wednesday Action 2: Stand with a gay man facing a life sentence in Nigeria.

Write: The following members of Congress (Call them if you’re a CA resident).

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915, Los Angeles, CA 90025
  • Sen. Kamala Harris 312 N. Spring St., Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Rep. Paul Cook 34932 Yucaipa Blvd, Yucaipa, CA 92399

Script: Hi. I am writing about Udoka Nweke, a 29-year-old man who fled anti-LGBTQ violence in Nigeria and sought legal asylum in the US. He has been in an ICE detention facility in your district for over 16 months and has attempted suicide due to deteriorating mental health. He faces 14 years in jail or a death sentence if deported to Nigeria. I urge you to advocate for Udoka’s release on bail to receive treatment. (h/t)

Sign: Collaborative petition advocating for Udoka’s release to ICE field director.

Thursday Action 1: Advocate for oversight in ICE facilities.

Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling with concerns about detained people in ICE facilities are not receiving adequate medical care. I would like [name] to demand investigation into reports showing a failure to provide basic care and deaths in detention. What is [name] doing to hold ICE and DHS accountable? (h/t, h/t)

Thursday Action 2: Stand with domestic violence survivors seeking asylum.

Call: Your one House rep and two senators: (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about Jeff Sessions disregarding international human rights law and turning his back on domestic abuse survivors. We must provide refuge to women and children who are violated or threatened with death—especially when local authorities won’t protect them. What is [name] doing to reinstate asylum for victims of domestic violence? (h/t)

Bonus action: Sign the petition demanding Jeff Sessions reverse his decision to refuse asylum to people fleeing domestic violence. (h/t)

Friday Action 1: Prevent deportation of longtime community members.

Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP, calling to ask [name] protect people here in the US on Temporary Protected Status. Specifically, I would like them to co-sponsor the SECURE Act (H.R. 4253/S. 2144) that would defer deportation of these longtime community members. Thank you. (h/t)

Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Here comes the best part!

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Sheriff John Tharp (Lucas County, OH) for speaking up about homelessness and the need to decriminalize poverty. Calling attention to root causes and myths about crime and homelessness will lead to change. Thank you for using your office for good.

Address: 1622 Spielbusch Ave., Toledo, OH 43604

Thank Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for moving to curb executive branch overreach by limiting President Trump’s authority on tariffs. I appreciate your bipartisanship and leadership on this issue of international import. Thank you.


BC: 100 Peabody Place, Suite 1125, Memphis, TN 38103

HH: 228 Federal Building, 220 East Rosser Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501

PT: US Custom House, 200 Chestnut Street, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19106

MW: 180 West Main Street, Abingdon, VA 24210

LA: 167 North Main Street, Suite 1068, Memphis, TN 38103

Thank Fox News reporter Shep Smith for valuing facts and calling out lies when he sees them. Blind obedience does not make for a healthy press. Thank you for calling attention to this administration’s untruthful propaganda.

Email: Foxreport@foxnews.com

Thank Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) for spearheading the effort in Congress to debunk misinformation about transgender military service members. Your level-headed, science-based understanding of the medical needs of transgender persons honors the patriotism and sacrifice of all who serve. Thank you.

Address: 29 Crafts Street, Suite 375, Newton, MA 02458

Thank Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) for condemning current immigration policies, including the separation of families, and laying out the steps Congress must take to reform our immigration system. I appreciate you and your lifelong commitment to justice.

Address: 100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 1920, Atlanta, GA 30303

ThankFirst Person,” PBS Digital Studios’ digital exploration of gender identity and sexuality, “What it’s like to be queer and undocumented.” I appreciate you telling these  important stories. Thank you.

Address: Public Broadcasting Service, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202

Good news

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





Groups and organizations

  • Voto Latino is rolling out a new campaign to register 1 million voters to engage and empower Latinos in politics by 2020 election.
  • To reflect the realities of slavery, curators are restoring a room at Jefferson’s Monticello that likely belonged to Sally Hemings.
  • Steve Benjamin takes office as the first African American president of the US Conference of Mayors.
  • Dr. Patrice Harris is the first black woman president-elect of the American Medical Association.
  • University of Memphis accepts Folds of Honor scholarship for children and spouses of fallen service members as full tuition payment.

News with heart

Please share this week’s edition

Tweet: With headlines this heartbreaking, it’s tempting to look away. The @AoCChecklist makes it clear and easy to advocate for a better America. Here’s this week’s edition: https://goo.gl/YAN9Ys

Post on Facebook: With headlines this heartbreaking, it’s tempting to look away. The Americans of Conscience Checklist makes it clear and easy to advocate for a better America. Here’s this week’s edition: https://goo.gl/YAN9Ys

Print: Our Americans of Conscience flyer to share at in-person events.


A note from Jen:

We need 3.5% of the US population engaged in peaceful advocacy before things will change. That’s why I’ve set a goal to double the number of AoC Checklist subscribers by this November–to do out part. To accomplish this, we need your help. Sign up to become an AoCC Ambassador to spread the checklist further!