What to do this week of December 9, 2018
108 weeks down, 99 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: To 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.
Spread the word on social media: Enrollment for health insurance ends this week — December 15. Sign up today!
▢ Action 2: Advocate with people impacted by mass incarceration. [h/t, h/t]
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my concern about the harmful effects of mass incarceration, especially on people of color. The bipartisan First Step Act (S. 3649) would reduce mandatory sentences for minor drug crimes and support rehabilitation. Can I count on [name] to co-sponsor this important legislation?
Bonus: Call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and ask that the First Step Act be brought to the Senate floor for a vote before recess.
▢ Action 3: Speak up for students who have been sexually harassed. [h/t]
The Department of Education has proposed rule changes that weaken Title IX protections for students who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
Comment: Click the green “Submit a Formal Comment” box at the Federal Register site by January 28. Since cut-and-paste messages are not counted, please personalize your objections using this comment guide by NWLC.
▢ Action 4: Support the safety of Native women. [h/t, h/t]
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to express concern about violence against Native women. I want the Justice Department to collect data and report findings to address this epidemic. Savanna’s Act just passed unanimously in the Senate, can I count on [name] to save lives by voting to support it?
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Restore your vote.
If you have a conviction in your past, use the link below to find out how to restore your right to vote. If you know someone who has a prior conviction, reach out kindly with this link to say how much their participation in our democracy matters.
▢ Action 2: Support voters with disabilities. [h/t]
Voters with disabilities encounter many difficulties when they try to vote, and their participation lags behind the general population as a result. AAPD encourages Americans with disabilities to participate fully in the political process and works to protect their voting rights.
Donate: To AAPD REV UP (Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power) Campaign.
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: Speak up for green card holders by December 10. [h/t, h/t, h/t, h/t]
**The comment period closes tomorrow. Please do this action if your immigration status is secure.
Comment: Go to Regulations.gov. Click the dark blue “Comment Now!” button. Personalize the reasons below to be sure your comment counts.
- I oppose a policy refusing citizenship to families who have used public assistance.
- The “public charge” rule would prevent people from working and supporting their families.
- The “public charge” rule would deny people over age 61 a future.
- This regulation would violate my state’s right to provide benefits to families in short-term crisis and increase federal intrusion into local issues.
- Immigrants strengthen our communities and our economy, contributing billions in taxes.
- I want my tax dollar to support and show decency toward aspiring Americans.
- Even the Department of Homeland Security found the rule change could have serious public health and other consequences.
- The proposal itself lists many negative consequences to the country as a whole, including several related to public health.
- I do not want this rule to be implemented.
▢ Action 2: Support congressional oversight of ICE spending. [h/t, h/t]
The president is insisting on funding for a wall. Congress extended their deadline by two weeks to decide on ICE and DHS funding.
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. I do not want to pay for a border wall, a border fence, or incarcerating families seeking asylum. I want [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. Thank you.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Let your belief in a kinder future fuel you.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) for her on-the-ground advocacy at the border on behalf of women, children, and LGBTQ asylum seekers. [Share why you appreciate Rep. Jayapal’s intervention to protect the legal and human rights of asylum seekers.]Address: 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101
Thank the New York Times for changing their lens to reflect the humanity of people seeking to immigrate by replacing the word “illegal” with “undocumented” in a recent headline. [Share how stopping the practice of describing people as “illegal” respects the humanity of your friends, neighbors, and fellow human beings.]Address: 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Thank Sherrilyn Ifill and Janai Nelson of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for their intersectional and tireless defense against current federal government threats to the equality and humanity of many Americans. [Share why the civil rights of Americans is important to you.]Address: 40 Rector Street, 5th floor New York, NY 10006
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Elizabeth Kimber is the first woman to lead the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.
- Nancy Pelosi and John Sarbanes promise to pass DREAM Act and to work toward comprehensive immigration reform.
- Transgender people may continue to serve in our military since a federal judge denied the administration’s request to reverse the ruling that blocked their ban.
- Ruling: Federal judge finds the president’s asylum ban “inconsistent with the law”.
- Indian children will retain protection from abuse since appeals’ court stayed a ruling that the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 is unconstitutional.
- No charges will be filed against people seeking asylum arrested at the U.S. border.
- MI voters approved constitutional amendment creating independent redistricting commission.
- KS will swear in its first two openly LGBT state lawmakers.
- KY considers restoring voting rights to citizens who have completed sentences for felony convictions.
- MA Medical Society adopts practices to provide better, more inclusive care for LGBTQ individuals.
- PA counties will purchase voting machines that leave a verifiable paper trail by 2020.
- OR Gov. Brown’s budget includes pre-paid postage on ballots and an expansion of automatic voter registration.
- TX 61% of Texans oppose a US Mexico border wall.
- Minneapolis City Council budget redirects money to community-driven public safety programs.
- As a result of September ruling that US cities cannot criminalize sleeping outdoors, changes are underway to accommodate homeless neighbors.
- DC City Council passes bill banning “pay-to-play“ campaign contributions from large government contractors.
- Minneapolis agencies work together to transition homeless residents to permanent housing.
- NYC Council passes bill requiring returning citizen to be informed of their voting rights and provided with voter registration forms.
Groups and organizations
- HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools partnered with First Book and Chronicle Books to offer educators free copies of “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.”
- The bisexual flag turns 20 this year.
- 800 faith leaders from 34 states signed a letter to Congress opposing the President’s request for a massive increase in border spending.
- Immigration activists urge JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to stop financing private prison and immigrant detention companies.
News with heart
- Two New Yorkers forgive $1.5 M in medical debt of strangers.
- Maryland governor approves a scholarship for Black students in honor of hate-crime victim, 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III.
- Ryan Murphy will fund 2020 campaigns of people running against anti-LGBTQ political candidates.
- California nurse, deported to Mexico, won her appeal to return to the U.S.
- Not in the headlines: French protesters dance in the streets to a brass band à la Bastille. Wait for the wave.
- See more good news at Good Black News and What Went Right.
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