What to do this week of June 9, 2019
132 weeks down, 73 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.
▢ Actions 1-6: Ensure that every American can vote in 2020.
Click here for the second week of the Voter Empowerment Project: https://americansofconscience.com/empower-more-people-vote/
I value equality.
▢ Action 7: Support access to all medical and reproductive options.
Script: I am from [ZIP] and a constituent. I believe that access to all reproductive and medical procedures is an issue of basic human rights. 70% of Americans believe abortion should remain legal. As my elected official, I expect [NAME] to represent my views and respect the rights of any person with a uterus. [Add an illustrative personal story if appropriate.] Thank you.
▢ Action 8: Support lifesaving programs for people living in poverty. [h/t Talk Poverty]
Submit a public comment to OMB by June 21, 2019 on the administration’s plan to redefine the poverty line.
- Impact on real people: This proposed change will result in a continuously lowering threshold and will cause millions of people losing access to government assistance programs like Medicare, free school lunch, Head Start, SNAP benefits, rental assistance, and many others.
- Inaccurate model: The different measures suggested by the administration (the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCEPI)) rise more slowly than the current measure, the CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which will create a lower threshold for the poverty line, and over time it will get lower and lower compared to the current calculation.
- Ill-advised plan: If the administration plans to change how the poverty line is calculated, then it should follow recommendations of economists and use a calculation that accurately reflects the expenditures and cost patterns of the poorest Americans, which neither the current nor the proposed measures do.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank the League of Women Voters Education Fund for creating vote411.org, an online tool to help voters make decisions based on nonpartisan presentation of candidates and positions. [Share why you value objective tools that empower voters.]
Address: 1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000,Washington, DC 20036-4508
Thank actress Busy Phillips and NYU law professor Melissa Murray for appearing before Congress to testify about threats to Americans’ reproductive health. [Share why you appreciate using personal influence to advocate for basic rights.]
BP: c/o Gallery Books Publicity Department, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
MM: c/o NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012
Thank Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) for demanding that DHS and CPB immediately investigate the recent deaths of five children in CBP custody. [Share why you value holding this administration accountable for its treatment of vulnerable children and families.]
JN: 201 Varick Street, Suite 669, New York, NY 10014
ZL: 635 North First Street Suite B, San Jose, CA 95112
PJ: 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101
MS: 927 East Baltimore Avenue, East Lansdowne, PA 19050
Thank six Republican House Representatives—Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Fred Upton (R-MI), Don Bacon (R-NE), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Will Hurd (R-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA)—for joining Democrats in passing the American Dream and Promise Act. [Share why you appreciate bipartisan efforts to support young people’s futures.]
MDB: 8669 NW 36th Street, Suite 100, Doral, FL 33166
FU: 350 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 130, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
DB: 13906 Gold Circle, Suite 101, Omaha, NE 68144
CS: 4573 South Broad Street, Hamilton, NJ 08620
WH: 1104 West 10th, Del Rio, TX 78840
BF: 1717 Langhorne Newtown Rd. Suite 400, Langhorne, PA 19047
DN: 402 E. Yakima Ave, Suite #1000, Yakima, WA 98901
Thank Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley and City Manager Shelley Dickstein for balancing the rights to free speech and to public safety in a way that united their community. [Share why you appreciate this principled response to public demonstrations of hate.]
Address: 101 West 3rd Street, Dayton, OH 45402
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Supreme Court declines Department of Justice request to speed up review of its DACA challenge (for now).
- In bipartisan effort, the House passes bill to protect Dreamers.
State and local
- CT: State finds that licensing all drivers, regardless of immigration status, may lead to safer roads and proves a model for other states.
- CO and ME: Govs sign legislation banning so-called “conversion therapy” for youth.
- MO: State judge rules that the state’s only abortion provider will continue to provide services.
- NC: State legislature fails to override governor’s veto of anti-abortion bill.
- NH: Becomes the 21st state to outlaw the death penalty as conservative views change.
- NY: Lawmakers approve a series of election reforms including ten days of early voting and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds.
- TN: Court of Appeals rules that a group has no case to preserve two Confederate monuments.
- A new elementary school in Mountain View, CA, will be named after Jose Antonio Vargas, the founder of Define American.
- Comcast drops ties to conservative lobbying firm ALEC under shareholders’ pressure for transparency.
- JPMorgan Chase will pay $5 million to male employees who were discouraged from taking the paid parental leave allowed by the company’s policy.
Groups and organizations
- Human Rights Campaign and other groups launch Project THRIVE, a national campaign to strengthen equality and inclusion practices and policies for LGBTQ youth.
- Paper highlights the importance of urban green space for public health, especially in cities, low-income neighborhoods, and communities of color.
- The Monument Quilt comes to DC to provide voice and healing for survivors of sexual violence and change how culture thinks and talks about sexual violence.
- PolitiFact organizes a free Mueller Report Book Club to encourage Americans to read it.
News with heart
- Concerned citizens are developing six-pack rings that feed wildlife rather than harm it.
- Eric Hemenway, director of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, wins a Michigan Humanities Award for his work in bringing indigenous history into his classroom.
- José Adolfo Quisocala, award-winning Peruvian youth, starts a student bank which enables disadvantaged children to earn money by collecting recyclables.
- Pastor uses church reader board to spread love and acceptance in his community.
- Tom Rice, 97-year-old veteran, recreates his D-Day parachute jump to commemorate the event’s 75th anniversary.
- See more good news at Women in the World, 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!
Post a tweet: Doing this week’s 6 voting actions could make you feel a lot better about the 2020 election: https://americansofconscience.com/empower-more-people-vote/
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Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flyer and share at in-person events.
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- Gratitude: Big thanks to the Production Team, our Social Media volunteers, Research Teams. Extra HUGE thanks to our four Team Captains who juggled usual tasks with training our new volunteers!