What to do this week of February 10, 2019
117 weeks down, 90 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.
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to oppose William Barr for Attorney General. The country needs a Justice Department dedicated to protecting civil rights for all Americans. William Barr’s track record shows he won’t. I’m asking [NAME] to vote against his nomination.
Call this week: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and oppose a border wall. I also oppose a so-called tech wall that increases surveillance of citizens with sensors, eye scanners, and drones. With ICE funding at a historic high and border crossing at a 17-year low, I want [NAME] to refuse any funding for a border wall, increased surveillance, or border militarization. Thank you.
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 your LGBTQ neighbors’ rights. [h/t HRC]
Call: Your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask [name] to reintroduce The Equality Act. Right now, my LGBTQ neighbors are vulnerable to discrimination in housing and employment. We must extend reasonable and fair protections to all Americans.
Bonus: Email House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to support the Equality Act as a legislative priority: https://www.speaker.gov/contact-us/
▢ Action 2: Speak up for LGBTQ youth. (h/t HRC)
Write: Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250
Script: I’m writing to urge that you reinstate 4-H’s policies welcoming LGBTQ youth. Discrimination hurts kids and risks lives in this vulnerable community. Please uphold the American values of equality and fairness for all people.
Bonus: Call or write your two Senators and one House rep (look up) and ask them to write a letter to Secretary Perduerequesting the policy be reinstated.
▢ Action 3: Advocate for a fair, impartial judiciary. (h/t NWLC)
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to oppose the nominations of Neomi Rao, Wendy Vitter, and Matthew Kacsmaryk to the federal bench. I support a judiciary that protects health care and civil rights for all. Can I count on [NAME] to vote against confirming these nominees?
▢ Action 4: Speak up with neighbors in need regarding Rx costs. [h/t AARP]
Call: Or write your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to ask [NAME] to propose legislation to reduce the high cost of prescription drugs. No one should have to choose between buying medicine or groceries. Can I count on [NAME] to address this growing problem?
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: Empower future voters.
Spread the Vote and its new Project ID initiative helps citizens obtain IDs for voting AND life. To support their work, we have an audacious goal to support future voters in 2019: 300 new IDs. Ready?
Donate: To Spread the Vote here.
I value decency.
▢ Action 1: Oppose ICE targeting high-profile people for deportation. [h/t United We Dream,
21 Savage is a Grammy-nominated artist, has been in the US since age 7, and is being held for deportation in the wake of publicly opposing ICE.
Write: Sean Gallagher, ICE Atlanta Field Office Director
Script: Release 21 Savage/Mr. Abraham-Joseph pending the decision of his 2017 application for a U visa.
Address: Atlanta Field Office, 180 Ted Turner Dr. SW Suite 522, Atlanta, GA, 30303
Bonus: Sign petition.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… One more time.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Stacey Abrams (D) for offering a vision of hope, unity, and justice for all Americans in her State of the Union response. [Share what you appreciate about her leadership in election reform.]
Address: 1270 Caroline Street, Suite D120-447, Atlanta, GA 30307
Thank Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-D) governor for rejecting false declarations of an immigration emergency and pulling most of her state National Guard members off the border. [Share why demilitarization and of humanitarian assistance matters to you.]
Address: 490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Thank Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), House Oversight Committee Chair, for his impassioned defense of the sacred right of all Americans to vote. [Share what the vote means for you, your neighbors, and our democracy.]
Address: 1010 Park Avenue, Suite 105, Baltimore, MD 21201
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- House Judiciary Committee holds the first hearing on HR1, the For The People Act.
- U.S. District Judge orders the Pentagon to stop discriminating against naturalized citizens who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army.
- Several lawmakers invite transgender active-duty and veteran service members to the State of the Union.
- Stacy Abrams becomes the first black woman to deliver the opposition party response to the State of the Union address.
- House Judiciary Committee hosts its first gun violence prevention hearing in 8 years.
- House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee holds the first hearing on DHS’ “Zero tolerance” policy of family separation at the U.S. and Mexico border.
- A record number of states pass legislation baning “conversion therapy” and pass trans-inclusive policies.
- MS: Mason-Dixon Polling shows broad, bipartisan support for legislation to update hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
- MO: Supreme Court announces bail reform.
- NM: Governor orders the withdrawal of the majority of the state’s National Guard troops from the U.S. border with Mexico.
- IL: Gov. Pritzker signs an executive order supporting immigrant and refugee rights.
- PA: Police now limited in flagging undocumented immigrants to ICE.
- NY: Hundreds of protesters took to the capitol in Albany to demand leaders advance the Here To Stay agenda.
- DC city council overrides mayor’s veto and votes to decriminalize Metro fare evasion.
- Sandusky, OH, will recognize Election Day as an official holiday instead of Columbus Day.
- A Utah high school drops its racist team name.
Corporate and organizations
- Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican County Commissioner Natalie Crawford use a Super Bowl ad in GA to advocate for election reform.
- Super Bowl LIII has the event’s first openly gay cameraman.
- Companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to address hiring bias.
- AI engineers are using inclusive design to create devices that help improve the lives of people with physical and cognitive challenges.
- Sandra Cisneros, Mexican American novelist, to receive PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature.
News with heart
- Candice Payne helps over 100 people in Chicago find warm shelter during the coldest days of the year.
- Pen pal programs involving immigrants in detention have taken off in recent months.
- Bob Kafka, an activist with ADAPT of TX, has successfully advocated for disability rights for more than two decades.
- According to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of Americans oppose major new construction of walls along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 81% support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
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