What to do this week of September 30, 2018
99 weeks down, 36 days 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: Make an activist self-care plan.
Pour a cuppa, grab a pen, and spend 10 minutes with this worksheet.
▢ Action 2: Advocate for judicial integrity. Oppose Kavanaugh.
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask [name] to oppose Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. His misleading testimony, partisan bias, and unprofessional conduct make him unfit to serve America’s highest court. Given this demonstrated lack of integrity, I ask Sen. [name] to represent me in not supporting this nominee. Thank you.
▢ Action 3: Encourage your elected officials to hold town hall meetings.
Call: Your one House rep.
Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Can you tell me when [name] is holding town hall meetings in my area during the October 15-November 12 recess?
— If no meetings planned, add: 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.
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: Support Native women in achieving pay equality. [h/t NWLC]
Call: Or write your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to support equal pay for Native American women. Compared to white men, they are paid 58 cents for every dollar. This means Native American women must work an additional 269 days to make the same amount a white man does in a year. I want [name] to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1869/S. 819), to support Native American women in achieving pay equity. Thank you.
▢ Action 2: Support sexual assault survivors.
Calls to the national sexual assault hotline are spiking dramatically due to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony.
Donate: To the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network to support their important, lifesaving work.
Note: If you need support, you’re not alone. Call RAINN at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
For months, we’ve been advocating for safer, fairer elections, this month our sole priority is to show up for midterms. Let’s do this!
▢ Action 1: Check your state registration deadline and ID requirements. 30 state deadlines are imminent.
▢ Action 2: Check today and weekly that your name isn’t purged from voter rolls.
▢ Action 3: Pledge to vote.
▢ Action 5: Get a sample ballot (email not required) to check out your candidates’ records. Be sure to vet District Attorney candidates.
▢ Action 6: Check that your polling place is open and in the same place.
▢ Action 7: Offer (or request) a ride to the polls on your social media accounts. You never know who can’t afford the extra gas or who feels unsafe voting alone.
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: Support refuge for people starving and escaping persecution. [h/t RAICES]
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to express my concern about the administration’s decision to cap refugee admissionsat only 30,000 in 2019. The US has a moral and legal responsibility to respond to the surge of people displaced by war and famine. I would like [name] to both overrule the administration’s cap and instead work to match the target of 75,000 admissions recommended by refugee relief organizations. Thank you.
▢ Action 2: Give unaccompanied minors access to legal support.
The Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project helps unaccompanied minors and individuals through the US immigration process. With support from NextAmerica, they are raising funds to expand legal capacity.
Donate: To reach their goal: https://immigrant-justice-fund.causevox.com
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut…
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for choosing to give such courageous testimony despite personal cost. I am thankful for your service to truth and to our democracy. You are what makes America great. Be well and know that many, many hearts are with you.
Address: c/o Palo Alto University, 1791 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Thank Maya Berry, Executive Director of the Arab American Institute, for shining a light on the bureaucratic, technical, and political barriers that lead to underreporting hate crimes. Your analysis provides concrete ways that state, federal, and local agencies can improve accuracy in reporting–and make our neighbors safer. Thank you.
Address: 1600 K Street, NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC 20006
Thank Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) for her unfailing insistence that sexual assault can be stopped only when men listen and show up. Thank you for speaking bluntly and from the heart about this crime that renders so many silent or shamed. Your voice raises all of our voices. Mahalo.
Address: 300 Ala Moana Blvd., RM 3-106, Honolulu, HI 96850
Thank Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt Hotels CEO, for the recent policy change that bans hate groups at your hotels. I was among those who objected to an anti-Muslim group using your facility earlier this year. I’m grateful for your leadership and using your influence to lift others up. Thank you.
Address: Hyatt Hotels Corp, 150 North Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib may become America’s first Muslim congresswomen.
- Congress’s latest budget deal does not include ICE’s request for additional funding.
- Study: Students with DACA status experience smoother transitions into adulthood.
- New Federal law increases transparency by requiring senators and candidates to file campaign disclosure reports electronically with the Federal Elections Commission.
- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross must testify and address concerns that asking about citizenship status will result in fewer households taking part in the 2020 Census.
- Republican senators Flake and Murkowski support the FBI investigating claims regarding SCOTUS nominee.
- Ruling: Cities can’t prosecute people for sleeping on the streets if they have nowhere else to go because it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, which is unconstitutional.
- A lawsuit is allowed to proceed that addresses the president’s business conflicts of interest.
- CA: New “sloppy signatures law” notifies voters whose signatures can’t be verified and gives them eight days to fix the problem.
- MO: When residents update their addresses through the mail or online, officials must now provide voter registration information, too.
- Seattle Municipal Court judges will vacate convictions and dismiss charges for anyone prosecuted for misdemeanor marijuana possession prior to WA legalized marijuana.
- Hyatt CEO announced he’s banning hate groups and mentioned welcoming international travelers in a meeting with the current US president.
- Security software firm Symantec is providing a free service to ferret out false, lookalike websites that interfere with election campaigns.
- CEOs from Lyft, Walmart, Paypal, and other corporations ensure their employees have time to vote on November 6, and encourage other CEOs to do the same.
Groups and organizations
- In partnership with Immigration Advocates Network and Verizon, UnidosUS updates its mobile app to provide access to immigration tools, training events, and legal help.
- The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is making sure that hurricane-displaced voters know their options for voting in the midterm elections.
- After years of trying, Haverford College gets a polling place, making voting much more convenient for students.
News with heart
- Safiya Wazir, a 27-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, won the NH primary for a state house seat.
- Udoka Nweke, a gay Nigerian man held in immigration detention since 2016, has been released pending his asylum hearing.
- Californians are opening their homes to asylum seekers in response to the current administration’s policies.
- Many of Spread the Vote’s homeless clients are able to use their new IDs to search for housing and employment.
- Tulsa unveils a comprehensive plan to welcome and connect new immigrant residents with the community.
- Jimmy Fallon and Yara Shahidi make a Schoolhouse Rock-style voting PSA.
- Celebrity chef and “food first responder” Jose Andres spent a week in the Carolinas with a team chefs to feed thousands.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
Spread the word
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!
Tweet: Even when the news is hard to take, this checklist makes me feel hopeful for our country. Check out the @AoCChecklist: https://americansofconscience.com/9-30-2018/
Post on Facebook: Even when the news is hard to take, this checklist makes me feel hopeful for our country. Check out the @AoCChecklist: https://americansofconscience.com/9-30-2018/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flier and share at in-person events.
- Sign up: Get the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Get swaggy: We now have AoCC swag on Zazzle!
- Get inspired: Complete the Self-Care Worksheet.
- Stay focused: Complete the Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s artistic version).
- Share: We post actions and good news on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us and share.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to the JEBitor, Week 5 fill-in social media volunteers, the Research Sous Chefs teams, and to the amazing angel patrons who make it possible.