What to do this week of January 13, 2019
113 weeks down, 94 weeks to the presidential election.
The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and respect. To stay engaged through challenging times, we practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration.
I value democracy.
With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.
▢ Action 1: Make an action plan for 2019 (if you haven’t yet).
Complete the Action Worksheet to get inspired and focused.
▢ Action 2: Make a self-care plan for 2019.
Spend ten minutes with this worksheet to stay inspired throughout the year.
I value equality.
Support the dignity of your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.
▢ Action 1: Speak up for our neighbors facing eviction. [h/t NLCHP]
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express alarm that more than 1,000 private HUD contracts just expired due to the government shutdown, leaving some of our poorest neighbors vulnerable to eviction. I want [NAME] to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations.
Bonus: Call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and ask him to hold a vote on reopening the government.
▢ Action 2: Support our neighbors’ safety. [h/t HRC]
Call: Your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to support background checks for all gun buyers as a step toward reducing gun violence in this country. House reps: Will [NAME] co-sponsor H.R 8 to help make this happen? Senators: Can I count on [NAME] to propose legislation mirroring the bipartisan House version introduced last week?
▢ Action 3: Support the dignity of hungry students. [h/t FRAC and Talk Poverty]
Write: Your two state legislators (look up).
Script: I’m concerned about the harmful impact of school lunch debt. Some districts have policies that deny food or humiliate students in front of their peers. I’d like [state] to follow New Mexico’s model and pass the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights. [Share why students need caring environments and/or how this affects you personally.] Thank you.
I value voting as a foundation of a healthy democracy.
Each citizen must be able to freely and fairly elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Support American citizens who have no representation or vote. [h/t DC Statehood51]
Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi, I am a constituent from [ZIP], concerned that residents of Washington, DC have no voting voice in Congress, despite paying taxes like all other citizens. I would like [NAME] to support DC statehood and the rights of the 700,000 Americans who live there. (House reps only: Will [NAME] co-sponsor H.R. 51?)
I value decency.
Our nation has a moral and legal obligation to welcome people seeking asylum and refuge. We support showing decency toward this vulnerable community.
▢ Action 1: Support the release of an activist in ICE custody. [h/t NILC]
Immigration rights activist Eduardo Samaniego is being detained in precarious health and appears to have been targeted for his work. #FreeEduardo
Sign: Petition by Pioneer Valley Workers Center.
▢ Action 2: Advocate for reopening the government without wall funding.
Call: Today. Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I would like to see the government reopen, but without funding a wall with our tax dollars or disaster relief money, or a “tech wall” that involves surveillance of citizens. I want our nation to respect its laws to provide refuge and asylum to people in need. What is [NAME] doing to pass a budget without border wall funding?
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. Let’s thank some good people doing positive things for our communities!
Thank Mayor Jim Darling (R) for sharing honestly about how a border wall would negatively impact your community. [Share why you appreciate Republicans focusing on compromise and/or publicly disagreeing with the president].
Address: 1300 W Houston Ave #220, McAllen, TX 78501
Thank Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) for supporting an end to modern-day debtors’ prisons by questioning counties’ authority to count jail debt as a court cost or fine. [Share why you support fairness in fines that disproportionately impact low-income citizens.]Address: Missouri Attorney General’s Office, Supreme Court Building, 207 W. High St., P.O. Box 899, Jefferson City, MO 65102
Thank Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) for demanding answers from the FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs for their 13-day delay in announcing the disappearance of a Native teen. [Share why supporting the rights and protection of Native women matters to you.]Address: 2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201, Billings, MT 59101
Thank Governors Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and Tony Evers (D-WI) for banning discrimination against LGBTQ people as one of their first acts in office. [Share your fair treatment of all gender identities and sexual orientations matters to you.]Addresses:
GW: P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, MI 48909
TE: 115 East State Capitol, Madison, WI 53707
Thank reporter Julia Ainsley for your article fact-checking the administration’s false and exaggerated claims about the number of known terrorists stopped at the southern border. [Share why reporting the truth and/or immigration matter to you.]Address: NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10112
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Congress’s first Native American women, Reps. Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, embrace after being sworn into office.
- The House rules package passed by the 116th Congress bans employment discrimination against LGBTQ staffers and jobseekers.
- Congress passes legislation to improve the process for congressional employees to report sexual harassment, hold lawmakers financially responsible, and increase transparency.
- Two Muslim women are sworn in as new members of the U.S. Congress on the Quran.
- Congressional rule change allows head scarves, religious headwear on House floor.
- Judge blocks ICE from conducting raids on Cambodian immigrants.
- Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) will introduce legislation that halts presidential emergency declarations used to force funding of unnecessary projects.
- ND: Ruth Buffalo becomes the state’s first Native woman to be a legislator (unseating the legislator/author of ND’s voter ID law).
- WA: Gov. Inslee plans to pardon thousands convicted of minor marijuana possession charges.
- FL: 1.4 million Floridians are now eligible to vote and can register online at registertovoteflorida.gov.
- MI and WI: Governors sign executive orders protecting LGBTQ state workers & beneficiaries from discrimination.
- MA: Spikes deterring the homeless are removed from underneath a bridge in Arlington.
- MI: Equal pay is now law.
- NY: Under a new law, all new and renovated restrooms must have changing tables in both women’s and men’s rooms.
- MD: Courts will allow parents concerned about deportation to designate guardians for their children.
- CA: A new law gives farmworkers overtime pay after 9.5 hours and double time if working on a seventh consecutive day.
- CT: Federal employees affected by the shutdown get help collecting unemployment benefits.
- Eligible Denver residents can now apply to have marijuana convictions expunged.
- Multiple incoming reform-minded prosecutors took office this month.
- Dallas DA promises that petty criminals will not be punished “because they’re poor.”
Groups and organizations
- 150 civil society groups call on the administration to end the inhumane asylum ban.
- Golden Globes display inclusion and women’s empowerment.
- Women in entertainment industry celebrate one year anniversary of the Time’s Up movement.
- National Women’s Law Center publishes Let Her Learn, a free toolkit for parents, students, and educators to change policies that treat girls of color unfairly.
News with heart
- TN Gov. Haslam grants clemency to Cyntoia Brown. (This is huge. Let’s pause a moment to honor her and all the people who’ve worked for her freedom more than 15 years).
- A homeless veteran cleans up the Vietnam Memorial during the shutdown.
- Muslim youth clean up national parks during government shutdown.
- Global Cafe, an international food hall in Memphis, TN founded by an immigrant, offers authentic, affordable dishes prepared by refugee food entrepreneurs from different countries.
- San Francisco therapist offers compassion and care to families released from ICE detention.
- Adam and Amber Briggle, members of Parents for Trans Equality Council, write a moving letter to trans and non-binary young people.
- Canada vows to receive one million more immigrants and refugees.
Please help spread the word
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share this week.
Post a tweet: Check out the clear actions, encouraging news, and good people to thank this week from @AoCChecklist. https://americansofconscience.com/1-13-2019/
Post on Facebook: Check out the clear actions, encouraging news, and good people to thank this week from Americans of Conscience Checklist. https://americansofconscience.com/1-13-2019/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flyer and share at in-person events.
Note: If you’re near Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Jen is one of the guest speakers at the Salem Womxn’s March on Saturday, January 19, 2019. Come rain or shine!
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.
Note: The AoC Checklist is always ad-free and no-cost. If you’re able, please support Jen and this full-time effort on patreon or paypal.