What to do this week of October 21, 2018
102 weeks down, 15 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: Be a poll watcher/worker on November 6. [h/t]
Be a friendly face to your neighbors on election day: Details here.
▢ Action 2: Support everyone paying their fare share.
Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling about the recent report that revealed the president has evaded paying millions of dollars in taxes. We all need to pay our fair share. Can you tell me how [name] is holding the president accountable for his dishonesty?
▢ Action 3: Encourage your elected officials to hold town hall meetings.
Call: Your one House rep 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 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 your neighbors’ health.
Spread the word online: Enrollment for health insurance starts Nov 1. Get ready to sign up!
▢ Action 2: Support Native American kids.
A controversial federal court ruling has weakened the Indian Children Welfare Act. Protect the rights of Native American children from involuntary removal from their families and tribes.
Donate: To the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
▢ Action 3: Support Black voters.
LaTosha Brown is doing incredible things to inspire people to vote through Black Voters Matter. Support her work and our neighbors’ participation in the voting process.
▢ Action 4: Support our neighbors with disabilities. [h/t]
Contact: Your congressional candidates, challenger and incumbent (look up).
Check: Their current position.
Script: Hi, I’m a voter from [ZIP] who supports the right of people with disabilities to receive long-term care services at home rather than in an institution. It’s more humane and cost-effective when the decision rests with an individual needing care. Can I count on [name] to co-sponsor the bipartisan Disability Inclusion Act (S. 910/H.R. 2472) if (re)elected?
▢ Action 5: Advocate for a fair, impartial judiciary. [h/t]
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP]. Because I value equality for all Americans, I oppose the nominations of Chad Readler and Eric Murphy to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Both men exhibit a lack of commitment to equality and health care. The nominees’ home state senator is voting no on their confirmation. I am asking [name] to represent me in doing the same.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
With two weeks to midterms, these are the most important things to do:
▢ Action 1: Offer a ride to the polls. Post on social media or group text. You never know who can’t afford the extra gas or feels unsafe voting alone.
▢ Action 2: Mini-canvass. Ask 3-5 friends whether they’re planning to vote on November 6. Peer pressure motivates.
▢ Action 3: Get a sample ballot to check out your candidates’ records. Be sure to vet District Attorney candidates. (This tool asks for your email, but it’s not required.)
▢ Action 4: Check your state’s registration deadline and ID requirements.
▢ Action 5: Pledge to vote.
▢ Action 6: Check today and weekly that your name hasn’t been purged from voter rolls and that your information is accurate.
▢ Action 7: Check that your polling place is open and in the same place.
▢ Action 8: Know what to say if turned away. If you’re turned away at the polls, you have a legal right to a provisional ballot. Ask for and complete it. If also denied a provisional ballot, report this to 866-OUR-VOTE.
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 in danger.
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express my concern about the president’s threats to close our southern border. The U.S. has an international agreement to offer asylum and refuge to people in grave danger. What is [name] doing to ensure this commitment is upheld?
▢ Action 2: Speak up for immigrant children’s well-being by Nov 6. [h/t]
If your citizenship status is secure, please do this action. The current administration wants to allow ICE to hold children in detention indefinitely. They also want to set up and oversee their own family detention centers.
Comment: Click the dark blue “Comment Now!” button on Regulations.gov. Please personalize the suggested language (no cut/paste) and submit by November 6:
I oppose the government’s proposal to end the Flores Agreement because I value the dignity and well-being of all people, especially vulnerable, migrant children in U.S. government custody. Detaining people is expensive and wasteful. I do not want my tax dollar to fund indefinite detention, fewer legal protections, and unregulated custody of minors. I want the Flores Agreement upheld to reduce and limit detention of children.
▢ Action 3: Oppose passenger harassment on Greyhound. [h/t]
Write: Dave Leach, CEO, ℅ Greyhound Lines, Inc, P.O. Box 660691, MS 470, Dallas, TX 75266-0691
Script (please personalize): It’s come to my attention that Greyhound is allowing Border Patrol to board its buses without a warrant to harass passengers going to work and school. Please commit to basic respect for all your passengers and stop this practice immediately. [name, state]
If your citizenship status is secure, please do this action. The U.S. government seeks to pull green cards from anyone accessing vital public assistance.
Comment: Click the dark blue “Comment Now!” button on Regulations.gov. Please personalize this suggested language and submit by December 10:
I oppose the implementation of a policy restricting green cards from families who use public assistance. This regulation would violate my state’s right to provide benefits to families in short-term crisis and increase federal meddling in local issues. I object to depriving more than 40 million children of food, health care, and shelter. I want my tax dollar to support and show basic decency toward aspiring Americans,
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Here comes the good stuff.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) for leading bipartisan efforts to prevent suicide within Native American communities through the Native American Suicide Prevention Act. Culturally relevant collaboration that responds to the unique needs of tribal communities is the best way to understand and prevent suicide. Thank you for your advocacy of this approach.
Address: 2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201, Billings, MT 59101
Thank actress Laverne Cox for shining a light on the challenges trans people face every day. I appreciate how you raise awareness of violence and discrimination against trans people. You are a role model and positive example of surviving and thriving.
Address:c/o PH Entertainment Group, 2728 Thomson Ave.,Long Island City , NY 11101
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- A majority of Americans plan to vote in midterms next month, breaking a 50-year slump.
- Ruling: Students defrauded by colleges may gain leverage in debt forgiveness.
- For the first time ever, a female Commanding General leads the U.S. Army Forces Command.
- ND: A tribal government official will be present at every reservation polling place to issue a tribal voting letter that includes name, date of birth, and residential address.
- Despite federal court ruling, 7 states and the U.S. Department of the Interior commit to uphold the Indian Children Welfare Act (ICWA).
- MO: Ruling that election officials must offer alternatives for voter identification at the polls.
- VT: A record 92.5% of residents are registered to vote, thanks in large part to the state’s new automatic voter registration system.
- WI: To increase low-income voter participation, 500 volunteers share info about voter ID.
- GA: On the first day of early voting, GA voters turned out in record numbers, with three times more people than the last midterm election.
- TN: Found to be violating equal protection and due process, TN must reinstate fine-related driver’s license suspensions and halt future suspensions.
- Ninety cities, counties, and the state of Vermont now officially celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday in October.
- The number of cities passing trans-inclusive, non-discrimination laws has increased seven-fold.
- NYC created a gender neutral option (“X”) for birth certificates; during the signing, actor Asia Kate Dillon acknowledged that the ceremony was occurring on tribal land.
- Grassroots activists from California to New Jersey are persuading local governments to end jail contracts with ICE.
- The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore will issue ID cards that the police have agreed to recognize.
- The Denver Immigration Legal Services Fund granted $377,000 to agencies providing assistance with immigration-related legal issues.
- Penn State law students in the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic served as advocates for families about to undergo credible fear interviews.
- La Crosse (WI) Municipal Transit is offering free bus service on Election Day.
- Uber and Airbnb have each asked the SEC for a rule change to allow them to distribute stock to the drivers and property hosts who make their platforms possible.
- Human Rights Campaign celebrated the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day (NCOD) on October 11.
- Puentes Bridges offers a powerful cultural exchange between between Wisconsin dairy farmers and immigrant employees.
- The U.S. Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services issued a report with guidance for serving separated families.
- That’s Normal blog wrote a glowing review of the AoC Checklist!
- An elementary school surprises their janitor on National Janitor’s Day.
- A line of jewelry creatively highlights the problem of gerrymandering.
- Hamilton star Javier Munoz partnered with Spread the Vote so Puerto Rican voters in Florida have the proper ID to vote.
- Blending traditional ideas and mental health, Zimbabwe’s grandmothers are healing depression on a “friendship bench.”
- Starbucks announced a backup child care benefit policy that will subsidize employees’ child care needs.
- Georgia attorney Marty Rosenbluth perseveres as a lone lawyer serving detained immigrants in Lumpkin, GA.
- The Open Society Foundation’s latest exhibit, Open Walls, portrays the strength and beauty of migrating people.
- After Irish students collected 22,000 signatures from around the world to support asylum for their classmate Nonso Muojeke, the Irish government permitted him and his family to stay.
- A “beacon of hope” will stand at the US-Mexican border to welcome people into the US.
Spread the word
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!
Tweet: Every week, this simple checklist helps me speak up and stay inspired. Check out this week’s @AoCChecklist: https://americansofconscience.com/10-21-2018
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- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEB and the Production Team, our Social Media volunteers, Research Sous Chefs. Thanks also to the amazing angel patrons whose support makes it all possible.