What to do this week of January 20, 2019
114 weeks down, 93 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.
Part 1—Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP]. The president’s border proposal pits Americans and government workers against our immigrant neighbors. I am asking [NAME] to publicly reject his proposal and support three specific things: 1. to end the government shutdown that is hurting so many Americans. 2. to refuse even a single dollar to the president’s wall or a militarized border. 3. to create permanent solutions for DACA and TPS. Thank you.
Part 2—Call: Sen. Mitch McConnell. DC number: 202-224-2541 (We don’t call other people’s senators, but McConnell represents all Americans in his role as Senate Majority Leader.)
Script: As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell represents me. I am asking him to reject the president’s border proposal. Instead, bring to the floor bipartisan government funding bills passed in the House that support three specific things: 1. an end the government shutdown that is hurting so many Americans. 2. not a single dollar to the president’s wall or a militarized border. 3. the creation of permanent solutions for DACA and TPS. Thank you.
▢ Action 2: Be proactively kind.
It’s already been a tough couple of years for government employees. If you encounter people working through the shutdown, be extra gracious—particularly TSA agents who already have a tough enough job to do. Reach out to the federal employees and contractors in your life. Buy them a coffee and listen to how they are doing. Ask if there’s anything that they need. Especially, take a moment to express gratitude for the work they do. A kind word about the value of government service could be just the boost a they need to persevere.
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: Support reproductive rights. Oppose Barr. [h/t Planned Parenthood]
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to oppose William Barr for Attorney General. He stated that Roe v. Wade was decided wrongly. Under his leadership the government argued against abortion access in a case that later led to increased state-level restrictions. We can’t go back. Can I count on [NAME] to vote against his confirmation?
▢ Action 2: Protect healthcare for the most vulnerable. [h/t Little Lobbyists]
Call: Your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express concern that the administration wants to convert Medicaid to block-grant funding by executive order and bypass Congress. Medicaid covers 73 million of the most vulnerable Americans. I want [NAME] to issue a statement in support of keeping Medicaid as a federal program.
▢ Action 3: Support inclusion in the military. [h/t GLADLaw]
While the Supreme Court decides whether it will hear a case challenging the ban on transgender individuals in the military, help sustain advocacy for an inclusive military by supporting these organizations.
Donate: GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and National Center for Lesbian Rights
▢ Action 4: Support our neighbors with disabilities. [h/t ADAPT]
People with disabilities should be able to choose whether to receive long-term care services at home instead of an institution. ADAPT does incredible work urging Congress to pass legislation that guarantees this right.
Donate: To ADAPT.
I value decency.
▢ Action 1: Support vulnerable children.
Write: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Script: I believe that our nation has a moral responsibility to protect all children and treat them with decency, regardless of immigration status. The practice of separating children from parents is inhumane. Concealing data about actual numbers is unconscionable. As a taxpayer funding this egregious neglect of duty, I urge you to take full and immediate responsibility for righting this injustice.
Address: Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528 (address complete)
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 Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) for opposing a border wall and working to address root causes of current migration trends. [Share why you appreciate cooperation and bipartisanship on complex issues.]Address:17721 Rogers Ranch Parkway, Suite 120, San Antonio, TX 78258
Thank Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), the new chair of the reinstated U.S. House subcommittee on voting, for reactivating the protection of voting rights as a national priority. [Share why investigating and repairing voter security issues is important to you.]Address:1225 Lawton Street, Akron, OH 44320
Thank Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) for her determination to prevent the transfer of funds to ICE for the purpose of immigration detention. [Share why this matters to you.]Address: 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Two Federal judges block a rule change to the Affordable Care Act that would have allowed more employers to drop contraceptive coverage from benefits packages.
- House GOP leaders strip Rep. Steve King (IA) of all committee assignments due to racist comments.
- Federal judge rules against the Trump administration’s citizenship question on the 2020 census.
- Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal of a Montana law that limits political campaign contributions.
- TSA agents protest work without pay in Pittsburgh and urge Sen. McConnell to allow a vote.
- Mohasif Motawakil, a U.S. military translator from Afghanistan, is released from ICE custody thanks to the work of RAICES.
- IA: Gov. Kim Reynolds wants to amend state constitution to allow returning citizens to vote after serving their sentences.
- NY: Joins 19 other states enacting protections against LGBTQ discrimination.
- NY: Becomes the 15th state to ban conversion “therapy” for youth.
- CA: Teens sentenced to life without parole are now eligible for parole hearings after serving 24 years.
- TX: Republican governor defends Muslim party official as GOP faction seeks his ouster.
- NY: More than 50 criminal justice reform groups launched “days of action” to press lawmakers for sweeping criminal-justice reform.
- Program supports returning citizens with roommates in the Bay Area.
- Sikhs feed Federal employees affected by the shutdown.
- NC sheriff ends his county’s practice of keeping teens in solitary confinement.
- NYC added a third gender option to city-issued ID cards.
- LA: Thousands of Angelinos, students, and teachers strike for fully-funded, quality education.
- Bexar County, TX is terminating its contract to hold federal immigration detainees.
- In deep-red Stanley County, NC, 150 women and allies unite in first women’s march.
- LEGO Foundation awards Sesame Workshop $100 million grant for children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian crises.
- Facebook will commit $300 million to support local journalism.
- Netflix will not film teen drama “OBX” in NC to protest the state’s discriminatory “bathroom bill.”
- Mutual of Omaha agrees to end its discriminatory practice of denying long-term care coverage to residents taking HIV-prevention medication.
Groups and organizations
- Little League International issues a new rule banning racially derogatory, insensitive, and discriminatory team names.
- The Killers release a powerful film and song, Land of the Free, to highlight injustice on our shores.
- The Vera Institute and Georgetown University demonstrate the benefit of providing education to people in prison and harmful impact of withholding access to federal Pell grants.
News with heart
- Through his falafel shop, Syrian refugee Yassin Terou offers free meals to government employees.
- Soul2Soul Sisters receives a reparations donation of $200,000 from individuals who discovered that their ancestors owned slaves.
- Moving stories of the powerful impact of voting rights restored.
- Street singer gives voice to Venezuelans who have left their country.
- Florida Clemency Board symbolically votes to pardon the Groveland Four, teens who were falsely accused and convicted of rape in 1949.
- Owner of historic monastery offers shelter to asylum-seekers awaiting hearings.
- Overcoming shyness, 14-year-old Crista Ramos becomes the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit to prevent ending Temporary Protected Status for people from El Salvador.
- Keanu Reeves quietly supports children’ hospitals.
- A woman creates A Doll Like Me to support children with disabilities.
- A 1-year-old Japanese baby shows the world how to love our differences.
- 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!
Tweet: It’s not yet clear how long we’ll have the current president. While we wait for the truth, let’s speak up together to end the #governmentshutdown that is hurting so many Americans. Get this week’s @AoCChecklist: https://americansofconscience.com/1-20-2019/
Post on Facebook: It’s not yet clear how long we’ll have the current president. While we wait for the truth, let’s speak up together to end the #governmentshutdown that is hurting so many Americans. Get this week’s Americans of Conscience Checklist: https://americansofconscience.com/1-20-2019/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flyer and share at in-person events.
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- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEBi and the Production Team, our Social Media volunteers, Research Sous Chefs, and Team Captains. Thanks also to the amazing angel patrons whose continuing support makes this work possible.