What to do this week of November 18, 2018
105 weeks down, 102 weeks to the presidential election.
Happy 2nd anniversary, Americans of Conscience! The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged.
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.
▢ Action 2: Speak up with and for Native women. [h/t]
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script for House reps: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express concern about the epidemic of missing and murdered Native women. H.R. 6545, the Violence Against Women Act, restricts gun ownership by domestic abusers. Can I count on [name] to co-sponsor and support it?
Script for senators: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to express concern about violence against Native women and want the Justice Department to collect data and report on this terrible epidemic. S.1942, Savanna’s Act would do this. Can I count on [name] to co-sponsor and support it?
▢ Action 3: Defend Mashpee tribal land rights. [h/t]
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling about the Mashpee tribe’s homeland in Massachusetts. I want the federal government to fulfill its established commitment to preserving ancestral land rights for the Mashpee and all native peoples. I’m asking [name] to represent me by acting quickly to support the Mashpee Reservation Reaffirmation Act (S. 2628/H.R. 5244) as a co-sponsor.
▢ Action 4: Support neighbors to renew their DACA status. [h/t]
Although a federal court ruled that DACA was wrongly terminated, some eligible recipients are confused, and not all can afford the renewal fees.
Share: Amplify clear instructions via social media.
Donate: To the DACA Renewal Fund.
Write: 7-Eleven CEO, Joseph DePinto
Script: I [am a 7-Eleven customer and] object to your company participating in the persecution of immigrants. Racially profiling people violates the Constitution, as Motel 6 recently learned. I urge you to stop raiding franchises, racially-profiling employees, and helping ICE terrorize our communities
Address: 7‑Eleven, Inc., 3200 Hackberry Road, Irving, TX 75063
I value voting as a foundation of democracy.
All citizens have a right to freely and fairly elect people to represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Advocate for fairness in voting.
Write: Your state-level elections official (look up).
Script: Dear [name], Voting is the foundation of our democracy. In the wake of midterm elections, I’m concerned that our state could be doing more to count every ballot, prevent compromised elections results, and make voting more accessible to all [stateians]. I’d like to know your plans to improve voting in the 2020 elections. Thank you. [Name, address]
I value showing hospitality to all people, no matter where they were born.
People who immigrate are fellow human beings deserving of respect and decency. We oppose inhumane treatment and vilification of our neighbors and the government bodies perpetuating it.
▢ Action 1: Speak up for detained moms and their children. [h/t]
Write: ICE Deputy Director, Ron Vitiello.
Script: I’m writing in solidarity with the American Immigration Council (AIC), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Dilley Pro Bono Project, and Amnesty International, urging ICE to release five mothers and their children, as well as 33 other families in prolonged detention at Dilley. Refusal to release asylum seekers wastes taxpayer dollars and violates U.S. obligations under human rights and refugee laws. ICE must stop detaining legal asylum seekers in indefinite detention with their children and instead release them to await asylum hearings according to former protocols.
Address: ICE, 500 12th St., SW, Washington, D.C. 20536
▢ Action 2: Oppose kids’ and workers’ exposure to pesticides. [h/t]
Call: Or write your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and concerned about the president’s agenda to roll back pesticide exposure protections for farmworkers. I would like [name] to do two things. First, support legislation that upholds lifesaving rules from rollbacks, such as the Senate-passed version of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 (PRIA 4). Second, reject the House version of PRIA 4 in Section 9119 of the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) that fails to protect children, workers, and consumers from exposure and poisonings.
▢ Action 3: Support legal representation in immigration cases.
Email: Your state’s governor (look up) and two state legislators (look up).
Script: Dear [name], I’m deeply concerned about the current federal administration’s efforts to deprive people of legal protection. From asylum seekers to green card holders, our neighbors contribute much to our communities, but are vulnerable to discriminatory and arbitrary arrest. As a leader in [state], I ask that you protect all our residents through access to legal representation in immigration cases. Please review the NILC report for guidelines: (https://www.nilc.org/exec-authority-to-support-protect-immigrants/). A program that provides universal legal representation protects our neighbors and makes our communities better. Thank you.
▢ Action 4: Oppose inhumane, taxpayer-funded incarceration. [h/t]
Call: Your one House rep and two senators: (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP]. I’m calling because the budget for ICE detention and enforcement has jumped by nearly a billion dollars in two years. Locking up people indefinitely in dangerous facilities is not only unethical, it wastes my tax dollars. Less-costly, effective strategies to manage asylum seekers exist. I’m outraged that DHS keeps funneling money from its other departments and circumventing congressional approval to cover ICE’s budget overruns. It must stop. I want [name] to make defunding ICE a priority and hold DHS accountable for its gross miscarriage of justice.
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 Arnold Schwarzenegger for hosting a summit to end gerrymandering across the country. [Share why redistricting by non-partisan commissions matter to you.]Address: c/o Fitness Publications, Inc., 3110 Main St., Ste 300, Santa Monica, CA, 90405-5354
Thank April D. Ryan for holding power to account and calling out bigotry from our highest office. [Share why it matters to oppose bullying of journalists of color.]Address: c/o American Urban Radio Networks, 938 Penn Avenue, Suite 701 Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Thank State Senator Nikema Williams (D-GA) for standing with her constituents to insist their votes be counted, and for enduring arrest as a black woman. Your principled bravery in the face of injustice is a beacon for all who believe in equality. [Share how her story inspires you.]Address: 305-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, GA 30334
Thank Fr. Ruskin Piedra for his spirit in action to provide immigration legal services in Brooklyn since 2003. [Share why providing legal assistance to asylum seekers is meaningful to you.]Address: 545 60th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Midterm election participation is estimated at 49.2%— the highest in over 100 years.
- According to estimates, 31% of 18 to 29 year-olds voted in 2018, up from 21% in 2014.
- Midterm election results suggest that the power of the NRA may be diminishing.
- Mitt Romney (Senator-elect of UT-R) wrote an op-ed defending freedom of press.
- Federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s temporary order preventing the president from ending the DACA program.
- The next Congress will include a record 102 women in the House of Representatives; the previous record was 85.
- MI voters approved an independent commission to handle redistricting to thwart gerrymandering.
- OR voted to reject a measure to restrict state funds for abortions.
- ND: Ruth Buffalo became the first Native American Democratic woman elected to the North Dakota legislature.
- TX: 19 Black women were elected to judgeships at the midterms.
- IL: Newly elected representatives vow to protect immigrants and push for immigration reform. CO, MI, and MO voters passed anti-gerrymandering redistricting measures.
- CO governor pardons 23 people.
- NV voters passed a measure to make voter registration automatic.
- MD became the 18th state to approve same-day voter registration.
- NC voters elected civil rights attorney Anita Earls to the state Supreme Court.
- MI voters approved Proposal 3, which enacts major election reforms.
- LA County will stop collecting old juvenile detention fees from families of incarcerated youth.
- NYC passed legislation that aims to deter NYPD abuse, prevent unnecessary police encounters, and increase transparency when interacting with the public.
- Oakland, CA experiment is helping immigrants stay in their communities by providing them attorneys in court free of charge.
- Voters in Baltimore, New York City, and Denver approved measures to establish or strengthen public financing of campaigns.
News with heart
- With smoke posing a public health threat, Mask Oakland distributed free N95-particle grade masks among communities of disabled and homeless people and outdoor workers.
- There’s a new oasis for homeless teens in Tacoma, WA.
- It only took two years for Katie Fahey to break up gerrymandered Michigan.
- Michelle Obama speaks up to destigmatize miscarriage and infertility.
- Luis Valdez’s play, “Valley of the Heart” depicts two immigrant families in California during World War II, with relevance for today.
- Becoming a US citizen was this 106-year-old’s dream when she took the oath on Election Day.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
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