What to do this week of December 2, 2018
107 weeks down, 100 weeks to the presidential election.
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 democracy.
With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.
▢ Action 1: View our Spread the Light Holiday Checklist.
Click: View the wish list of our justice allies.
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: Advocate with veterans waiting for GI benefits. [h/t]
Call: Or write your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Check: Go here and here to see if your MoC is a Veterans’ Affairs Committee member.
Script: I’m calling from [ZIP] because I’m disturbed that the Veterans Administration is not yet paying expanded benefits under the Forever GI bill that went effective in August. Veterans count on those housing and education payments and are struggling. I’d like [name] to make a public statement insisting we honor our commitments to veterans. [Committee: I’d also like [name] to make sure the Veterans’ Affairs Committee resolves this situation quickly.] Thank you.
Bonus: Donate to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s Rapid Response Referral Program, which gives assistance to veterans in crisis because of the delayed GI bill payments.
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script for House reps: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to support removing barriers to future success for people convicted of minor crimes. The bipartisan Clean Slate Act (H.R. 6677) would automatically seal the official records for non-violent federal drug misdemeanors. Can I count on [name] to co-sponsor and support it?
Script for senators: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to support removing barriers to future success for people convicted of minor crimes. The Clean Slate Act that’s been introduced in the House would automatically seal the official records for non-violent federal drug misdemeanors. Can I count on [name] to introduce a Senate version?
▢ Action 4: Advocate for veterans experiencing homelessness. [h/t]
Contact: Your local mayor (look up).
Check: Whether they’ve joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.
Script: Hi. I’m a constituent who is concerned about the high number of homeless veterans in our community. I’m asking [name] to join the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in order to access resources and make this important effort a priority. Thank you. Name, address
▢ Action 5: Support incarcerated trans people. [h/t]
Compared to the straight cisgender population, LGBTQ+ people face increased criminalization and, once imprisoned, experience greater abuse.
Donate: Support LGBT Books to Prisoners with a purchase or financial contribution.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Express your support for fair voting.
Call: Or write your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] and am excited to hear that the House plans to bolster voting rights next year. We need a bipartisan effort that ensures every American can vote and that no one is left out. I trust this will be [name’s] priority in 2019 as well, correct? Thank you.
I value showing hospitality to all people, no matter where they were born.
People who immigrate are fellow human beings whom we treat with respect and decency. We oppose inhumane treatment and vilification of people who immigrate and the government bodies that perpetuate it.
▢ Action 1: Support humane treatment of asylum seekers. [h/t]
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to oppose the use of excessive force at our border. Tear-gassing people is a violation of international law. These families are only exercising their legal right to apply for asylum. What is [name] doing to stop this practice immediately and instead offer refuge?
Bonus: Read this excellent article with additional ideas to support asylum seekers.
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. DHS should not be allowed to funnel money from its other departments and circumvent congressional approval to cover ICE’s budget overruns. When the current budget resolution expires on December 7, I would like [name] to support a clean, short-term continuing resolution without extra enforcement funds so the next Congress may debate the appropriate budget and oversight for DHS.
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 Julia Roberts for amplifying Choose Love, a store that educates people about the global refugee crisis and sending refugees the things they need. [Share why refugee rights and needs are important to you.]
Address: c/o Creative Artists Agency, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Thank Dr. Christopher Lehman for illuminating the history of African-American women in academia and recognizing Ruby Cora Webster, St, Cloud State University’s first black graduate. [Share why honoring historically underrepresented people matters to you and those you love.]Address: Ethnic and Women’s Studies, Ruby Cora Webster Hall 205, 720 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498
Thank the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal for boosting awareness of human rights and immigration law by adding RAICES on their list of best legal Twitter accounts. [Let the ABA know why immigration law is important to you.]Address: 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654
Thank Gianfranco De Girolamo, former Department of Justice attorney, for resigning in protest of the administration’s attack on immigration judges. [Share why you believe in due process and judicial independence in light of inflammatory immigration rhetoric.]Address: c/o Los Angeles Times, 2300 E. Imperial Highway, El Segundo, CA 90245
Thank Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) for opposing Thomas Farr’s appointment and supporting fair, unbiased candidates for our federal courts. [Share why putting principles over party matters to you.]Address: 1301 Gervais Street, Suite 825, Columbia, SC 29201
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Ruling: A neo-Nazi publication has no first amendment right to harass private citizens.
- SCOTUS ruling: OR plaintiffs can sue the federal government over its climate change policies.
- Ruling: Policy blocked to keep lawful immigrants from enlisting in the military.
- Ruling: The administration’s attempt to ban asylum claims blocked.
- Administration backed away from plans to deport pre-1995 immigrants from Vietnam.
- Chief Justice John Roberts affirmed the independence of the U.S. judiciary.
- Politicians are prioritizing the housing crisis and shelter for the most vulnerable.
- There’s a rainbow wave of openly gay or transgender state legislators.
- Stacey Abrams allies filed a lawsuit calling for reforms in Georgia’s election procedures.
- NY: Catalina Cruz became the first former Dreamer elected to NY State Assembly.
- RI: Secretary of State will continue to push for early voting.
- IA: Governor Kim Reynolds is considering restoring voting rights to returning citizens.
- NYC considers fining cashless restaurants to remove barrier to service.
- Washington and Lee University will rename building to commemorate its first black graduate.
- Alameda County, CA eliminates most criminal fines and fees.
News with heart
- Private landowner returns land to Ute tribe.
- South Korean-born student Jin Kyu Park is the first DACA recipient to receive a Rhodes Scholarship.
- Separated by the travel ban, Iranian families reunite at a U.S.-Canada border library that straddles Vermont and Quebec.
- Volunteers enter Mexico to feed and clothe stranded asylum seekers.
- Rabbis lead a pilgrimage to the border to protest treatment of asylum seekers.
- Former juvenile offender’s Books to Incarcerated Youth program donates thousands of nonfiction guides to help youths plan their post-detention lives.
- Congressional members of opposing parties visit their peers’ districts to learn about each other’s communities.
- Philadelphia Eagles star Malcolm Jenkins organized a $50,000 donation by football players to bail out nine Philadelphians who were awaiting trial but too poor to post bail.
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured its first gay kiss.
- 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!
Post a tweet: If you’re concerned about how the current administration is treating people at our border, open this week’s @AoCChecklist and use our scripts to speak up for decency. #UseYourVoice https://americansofconscience.com/12-2-2018/
Post on Facebook: If you’re concerned about how the current administration is treating families and children at our border, open this week’s Americans of Conscience Checklist and use our scripts to speak up for basic decency. #UseYourVoice https://americansofconscience.com/12-2-2018/
- Sign up: Get the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Share: Follow us and share the Checklist on Facebook and Twitter.
- Merch: Spread the word with our stickers, magnets, and more.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEB and the Production Team, our Social Media volunteers, Research Sous Chefs, and Team Captains. Thanks also to the amazing angel patrons whose support makes it all possible.