What to do this week of May 5, 2019
129 weeks down, 78 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 work to create a nation that welcomes all people, expands freedoms, and upholds the Constitution.
▢ Action 1: Make a self-nourishment plan.
We can’t support others for the long haul without taking care of ourselves. Make a better plan using this worksheet from Jen.
▢ Action 2: Urge your state to spend its election security money.
Call: Or write your state elections official (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [STATE] and am calling/writing to find out how and when your office will use its Help America Vote Act funds to address national voting security concerns. Our priorities should be bolstering elections cybersecurity and switching to hand-marked paper ballots before November 2020. Can you say if these are your priorities and when your office will use the HAVA funds? Thank you.
I value equality.
Support the dignity of your neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.
▢ Action 3: Give the gift of freedom for Mother’s Day. [h/t National Bail Out Collective]
Moms don’t deserve to sit in jail just because they can’t afford bail. We can give them love, freedom, and time with their kids on Mother’s Day.
Donate: To National Bail Out.
▢ Action 4: Support readers and learners in prison.
The Prison Book Program is a volunteer-run nonprofit that sends free books to people in prison in 44 states. They send thousands of books each year to incarcerated people who respond with touching letters about how much this support means.
Buy requested books online: Wellesley Bookstore or Amazon.
Fund shipping costs: Donate here.
▢ Action 5: Advocate with your LGBTQ neighbors for equal protection. [h/t ACLU]
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], and I value civil rights for all. The House Judiciary Committee just passed the Equality Act, which extends reasonable protections to me/my LGBTQ neighbors from firing, eviction, and denial of public services. Can I count on [NAME] to support H.R. 5 when it comes to a vote?
▢ Action 6: Speak up for a living wage for all. [h/t Robert D. Bullard]
Call: Or write your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] because I believe full-time work should sustain families/me. I’m asking [NAME] to support the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582/S. 150) and break the cycle of poverty. New research indicates that raising the minimum wage would improve millions of children’s lives through better nutrition, as well as lower risks of homelessness and adult suicide. Can I count on [NAME] to co-sponsor H.R. 582/S. 150?
▢ Action 7: Oppose charging application fee to asylum seekers. [h/t AILA]
Call: Your one House rep and two senators—red or blue (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I object to imposing asylum application fees on people fleeing persecution and danger. Not only is this amoral and inhumane, the American Immigration Lawyers Association says the president’s plan “contradicts international law” and still “fails to ensure orderly processing.” What is [NAME] doing to stop the president’s asylum fee and instead heal the root causes of life-threatening conditions in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador?
▢ Action 8: Support asylum seekers’ access to legal support. [h/t CLINIC]
Write: Or email your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Dear [NAME], Last week over 650 faith-based organizations released a statement opposing the president’s “remain in Mexico” policy. The so-called Migrant Protection Protocols endanger already-vulnerable families and prevent them from accessing meaningful asylum resources. I urge you do do everything possible to oppose the “remain in Mexico” policy and the MPP. Thank you.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Marnie Fienberg for honoring the loss of her mother-in-law in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting by building a movement of interfaith community and solidarity at Passover. [Share your gratitude for the courage to restore community after tragedy.]Address: 2 for Seder, c/o Jewish Community Center, Squirrel Hill, 5738 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Tweet thanks to Mimi Dywer, journalist, for her investigative report about how ICE targets Bangladeshi kids and detains them as adults. [Share praise and gratitude for her investigative journalism.]Comment: On the article tweet here.
Thank Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Tom Carper (D-DE) for forming the Senate’s first Environmental Justice Caucus. [Share why you value addressing the unequal impact of climate threats on low-income communities and communities of color.]Addresses:
CB: One Port Center, 2 Riverside Drive, Suite 505, Camden, NJ 08101
TD: 230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3900, Chicago, IL 60604
TC: 301 North Walnut Street, Suite 102L-1, Wilmington, DE 19801
Thank Democracy Now! for coverage of the U.S.-coalition led massacre of Syrian civilians in Raqqa. [Share why you appreciate coverage that illuminates the use of our tax dollar for inhumane military and foreign policy.]Address: 207 W 25th St., New York, NY 10001
Congratulate Texas Civil Rights Project for stopping a discriminatory TX voter purge and winning the right to challenge again in the future. [Share why you value empowering people to vote.]Address: 1405 Montopolis Drive, Austin, Texas 78741
Thank Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff, journalists, for early, comprehensive, and persistent coverage of the administration’s inhumane family separation policies. [Share why you value ugly truth in journalism.]Addresses:
JA: ℅ NBC Studios, 4001 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
JS: ℅ NBC Studios, 2425 Olympic Blvd 5000 West, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Decent people everywhere are speaking up with and for each other. Just look. #GoodNews
- Federal appeals panel upholds the decision that CA has the right to refrain from assisting with federal immigration enforcement efforts.
- Thousands of children may still be separated from their parents, but a new ruling sets a six-month timeline to reunite families.
- Ruling: Statements critical of the government are protected under the First Amendment, even when made by non-citizens.
- In the wake of the Mueller report, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) insists on a classified Senate breifing by DHS, FBI, and Cyber Command about ways to protect the 2020 election.
- Central FL’s homeless population has dropped by 11% in the last five years, fueled by its “housing first” philosophy.
- NJ is demonstrating that bail reform works, and other states are beginning to follow its lead.
- NY Office of Court Administration issues new rule curtailing the ability to arrest immigrants in state courthouses without warrants.
- VT is committed to the bumpy road of attracting more diverse residents.
- MI: Three-judge federal panel rules that redistricting in 2011 was so partisan that it constituted an illegal gerrymander and orders special elections in nearly three dozen districts in 2020.
- IN passes legislation to safeguard the rights of incarcerated parents.
- FL new voter registrations are double what they were at this time four years ago.
- GA: new laws will strengthen election security and protect the rights of voters to cast provisional ballots.
- GA: Automatic voter registration passed in 2016 has caused new voter registrations to surge.
- VA: Elections department holds its first-ever educational expo for voters with disabilities, demonstrating the state’s accessible ballot options.
- Five cities are expanding bike share programs for underserved communities.
- Boston mayor will continue to support the Immigrant Defense Fund.
- Rival gangs unite in Denver to confront violence and poverty.
- Amazon and Walmart pilot a program to allow shoppers to use SNAP benefits for online grocery purchases.
Groups and organizations
- National Immigrant Justice Center report details alternative approaches to immigrant incarceration.
- CLASP and the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers release a guide on addressing and preventing retaliation and immigration-based threats to workers.
- App called “Annie” uses algorithm to suggest where to resettle refugees for the best outcome.
- The Agricultural Justice Project certified its sixth business, Soul Fire Farms, which won an award for its commitment to environmental standards and fair treatment of workers.
News with heart
- Philando Castile’s mom Valerie donates $8000 to settle lunch debts that would have kept high school seniors from graduating.
- Chicago Native youth create First Nations Garden as a safe space for people to gather, heal, grow, and learn.
- On the anniversary of the 1992 LA riots, Rodney King’s daughter launches a scholarship fund to support black fathers in building better relationships with their children.
- After so much uncertainty and danger, ten trans women win their asylum cases and start new lives in the U.S.
- To confront the toxicity of white nationalism, a coalition of faith leaders share one prayer.
- See more good news at Women in the World, Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
Please help us reach more caring Americans
Good people want to speak up. Sharing this list helps them and helps our communities too!
Tweet: When times are hard, we stick together. Use this week’s AoCChecklist to speak up with the many people the president is hurting. You’ll feel better. #westicktogether https://americansofconscience.com/5-5-2019/
Post on Facebook: When times are hard, we stick together. Use this week’s Americans of Conscience Checklist to speak up with the many people the president is hurting. You’ll feel better. https://americansofconscience.com/5-5-2019/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flyer and share at in-person events.
- Support: If you count on our clear actions and inspiration to persist, read more about how you can support this work.
- Volunteer: Tonight, Jen is hosting a volunteer info session to share about opportunities to join our amazing team. Learn more here.
- Gratitude: Sending a huge shout out to our amazing volunteers: JEB and the Production Team, Social Media teams, Research Sous Chefs, and Team Captains make the hard times better. Thanks also to the amazing angel patrons whose support makes it all possible.