What to do this week of August 26, 2018

by Aug 26, 2018Opinion, What To Do This Week0 comments

Americans of Conscience Checklist

By Jen Hofmann

94 weeks down, 71 days (ten weeks) to midterm elections.

The AoC 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.

I value democracy.

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

Action 1: Encourage your elected officials to hold town hall meetings.

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

Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Can you tell me when [name] is holding town hall meetings in my area during the September 17-24 recess?

— If no meetings planned: It’s important for citizens to meet face-to-face with people who want our votes in November. 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.

Action 2: Please vote in your state’s primaries. It matters.

Arizona Tue, August 28 (early voting: 8/1-8/28)
Florida Tue, August 28
Massachusetts Tue, September 4
Delaware Thu, September 6
New Hampshire Tue, September 11
Rhode Island Wed, September 12
New York Thur, September 13

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 1: Speak up with Americans with disabilities. Oppose Kavanaugh. [h/t]

Call: Your two senators (look up). Today.

Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. I value equal opportunity for disabled people. Kavanaugh could undermine the federal regulations and programs, including health-care, that have advanced prospects and access for our neighbors with disabilities. America needs a fair and moderate Supreme Court judge who truly supports “equal justice under the law.” I urge [name] to vote against his confirmation.

Action 2: Advocate for survivors of abuse and sexual assault. [h/t]

Call: Or write your one House rep (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to support reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act before Sept. 30. Since its passage in 1994, this law has increased accountability for perpetrators and received bipartisan support for three previous renewals. [For GOP reps: I am appalled that not a single Republican has signed on as a co-sponsor.] I would like [name] to co-sponsor and vote for passage of H.R. 6545. [If your rep has co-signed, thank them for doing so.]

Action 3: Speak up in support of our Muslim neighbors. [h/t]

Write: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202

Call: (703) 418-1234 or Hyatt consumer affairs (800) 323-7249.

Script: I support our Muslim neighbors and insist that Hyatt Hotels cancel the annual conference of anti-Muslim hate group, ACT for America, on September 4-5. Failing to do so will affect my business with Hyatt in the future.  

Action 4: Support kids in school. [h/t]

Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], and I’m calling to oppose the Dept. of Education spending my tax dollars to arm teachers. Schools need #BooksNotBullets. I want [name] to block this dangerous agenda.

I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.

Democracy thrives when citizens elect people who represent their values.

Action 1: Protect the integrity of our vote.

Action: Learn how paid foreign “trolls” make us lose faith in democracy—and what to do about it. Watch this 3-minute video.

Bonus: Share the video on Facebook and Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmpWVuCb8s&feature=youtu.be

Action 2: Schedule a date with the voting booth.

Write: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 into your calendar.

(Have you taken our Midterm Pledge?)

Action 3: Advocate for preparing kids to recognize online misinformation.

Write: Your local school board.

Script: Copy/paste or print this letter.

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 perpetuate it. People who immigrate to the US make our country stronger and are entitled to basic respect.

Action 1: Speak up for people abused in US immigration detention. [h/t]

Write: Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase Bank

Script: By financing private prison companies, JPMorgan Chase Bank supports our administration’s unethical and harmful detention practices. [As an account holder,] I oppose profiting off vulnerable people, and I urge you to cut financial ties with GEO Group and CoreCivic. Thank you. [Name, address]

Address: 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y 10005.

Action 2: Speak up for our neighbors who travel. [h/t]

Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling about revelations that Customs and Border Protection officers are violating their own department’s policies by conducting invasive body-cavity searches. This is unacceptable. I want [name] to make a public statement opposing this practice and to take immediate action to protect our 4th Amendment rights. I echo human-rights groups calling for Congress to defund CBP.

Action 3: Support our neighbors in renewing their DACA status. (h/t)

The good news is that the DACA renewal process is still open for now, but our neighbors could nonetheless use help affording the application fee.

Donate: To United We Dream’s DACA renewal fund.

Action 4: Speak up for our fellow community members. [h/t]

Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling in support extending Temporary Protected Status to our neighbors from El Salvador, Haiti, and other countries. We need to keep these important members of our community. I would like [name] to extend TPS for all [state’s] residents. Thank you.

Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…

Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank neuroscientist and artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya for her new project, “Beyond Curie.” I appreciate you bringing to light the contributions of women in science. May it inspire many!

Address: Contact Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Thank podcaster and musician Griffin McElroy for donating more than $19,000 from sales of his “The Adventure Zone” podcast music album to RAICES. I appreciate you  for extending the reach of your joy and creativity to support dignity and legal representation for detained immigrants. Thank you.

Webpage: Contact Griffin McElroy

Good news

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


A federal judge rejected the administration’s attempt to dismiss two pending lawsuits challenging a citizenship question on the 2020 census.  

US Army reinstated dozens of previously discharged immigrant recruits.

Americans wrote over 250,000 comments objecting to the US Census citizenship question.


ME ruling: $3.5 million in held-up funds to be released to 120 candidates in state races.

IA law: Tribal ID cards to be accepted as valid forms of voter identification.

ME is the first state to pass ranked choice voting to better represent voter preferences.


The seven polling centers in Randolph County, GA will stay open after all.

Clarksdale, MS passed a fully-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance to protect its LGBTQ community from bias in housing, public accommodation, and employment.

Several Texas school districts provide bilingual teachers to support detained migrant children.

After ban on early voting was struck down, Florida college campuses set up early voting sites.

Chicago teachers ban pension’s investments in private prisons.


MTV’s VMAs brought attention to separated immigrant families by bringing them on the stage with rapper Logic/Bobby Biracial.

University of Scranton (PA) rescinds honorary degrees and renames campus buildings of those implicated in harming children.

Ruling: A private prison company can be held liable for forcing detained immigrants to work for as little as $1 a day.

CNN, following AP guidelines, has explicitly stated that they will not use the term “illegal alien”.

The cast and crew of “The Good Place” raised over $25,000 online to provide legal aid to immigrant children who have been separated from their parents.

Groups and organizations

Next year the Common Application will stop asking about students’ criminal histories.

Dream Riders is biking from Seattle to San Diego, advocating for a pathway to citizenship in the US. #Journey2Justice

FWD.us and GoFundMe launched a hub to help people support Dreamers facing the threat of deportation who need to renew their DACA protections.

Even behind prison walls, people are advocating for their basic rights.

News with heart

Lyft will provide people with free and discounted rides to the polls on November 6.

In Florida, volunteers serve their homeless neighbors with showers, new clothes, IDs, and voter registration.

A Tripadvisor collaboration offers outings to recently resettled refugees in NYC and northern CA to become better acquainted with their new communities.

See more good news at Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.

When I (Jen) asked Twitter for a limerick about Russian trolls and bots, hilarity ensued!

Spread the word

Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!

Tweet: Even when the news is overwhelming, it’s easy to speak up for a better America using scripts from @AoCChecklist: http://americansofconscience.com/8-26-2018/

Post on Facebook: Even when the news is overwhelming, it’s easy to speak up for a better America using scripts from the Americans of Conscience Checklist: http://americansofconscience.com/8-26-2018/

Print: Our Americans of Conscience Checklist flier and share at in-person events.


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