What to do this week of June 30, 2019
153 weeks down, 70 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: Engage your elected officials during this week’s Congressional recess.
Many Members of Congress will be visiting constituencies for Independence Day celebrations. Encourage them to hold town hall meetings as well.
Call: On Monday, your one House rep and two senators’ local offices (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Can you tell me when [NAME] is holding town hall meetings in [TOWN] during recess this week?
— If no meetings planned, add: It’s important for [NAME] to meet with their constituents. Can you let me know when they plan to hold the next town hall?
— If meetings planned: Thank you! I plan to be there.
▢ Action 2: Promote fair election districts. [h/t Brennan Center]
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling in response to the Supreme Court failing to end gerrymandering. I believe that politicians shouldn’t be able to choose their voters. Voters should be able to freely elect their representatives, and we need federal-level redistricting reform to prevent partisan gerrymandering.
— (For senators) I would like [NAME] to cosponsor the Fair Maps Act of 2019 (S. 1972).
— (For your House rep) I would like [NAME] to cosponsor the Redistricting Reform Act of 2019.
▢ Action 3: Empower first-time voters before 2020. [h/t Spread the Vote]
Spread the Vote and its Project ID initiative help citizens obtain IDs required for voting. More than three-quarters of Spread the Vote’s clients have never been able to exercise their right to vote due to barriers to obtaining ID. You can help your neighbors vote in 2020.
Donate: To Spread the Vote here.
▢ Action 4: Can we reach 3000 pro-voting actions?
Visit our Voter Empowerment Project page and complete the actions listed on Week 2 (this was the week with the fewest reported actions). Be sure to click the form to show which you completed. We’re already at nearly 2,200 actions–can we get to 3000?
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.
When Marshae Jones was shot, it tragically resulted in losing her pregnancy. AL authorities charged her (not the shooter) with manslaughter. She was released on bond last Thursday, but her legal case will continue.
Donate: To the Yellowhammer Fund (add a note that funds are for Marshae).
▢ Action 6: Support women seeking abortion services.
▢ Action 7: Advocate for your LGBTQ+ neighbors’ health. [h/t Human Rights Campaign]
Tell the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by Aug. 13 what you think of the administration’s proposal to remove nondiscrimination protections for gender identity from the Affordable Care Act regulations.
Submit a comment: On the Federal Register using these tips: 1) Introduce yourself, 2) State why you oppose the proposal based on your values, and, if applicable, 3) Share a personal story about about how you or a loved one are impacted by gender-based discrimination in health care. Review this article to personalize the points below. To be counted, comments must be unique and individual, not scripted.
- Up to 1.4 million transgender adults and 150,000 transgender teens ages 13 to 17 in the U.S. would be affected by the rule change, according to research by UCLA.
- Studies have shown that 56% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients and 70% of transgender patients have experienced discrimination from a healthcare provider, including refusal of care, harsh language, and physical roughness.
- Denial or delay of treatment can have long-term health impacts and even result in death.
▢ Action 8: Support family unity and due process for people detained by ICE. [h/t RAICES]
Children continue to be taken from their parents when they can’t meet bail and confined in deplorable conditions. Bail funds reunite families as they await proceedings and increase the chance of succeeding with their claims.
Donate: Donate to an immigration bond fund in your state.
▢ Action 9: Support legal assistance at the border. [h/t Lawyers for Good Government]
- Donate to get volunteer lawyers to the border.
- If you speak Spanish, learn more about how to remotely assist with intake to connect people with support.
- Donate frequent flyer miles to reunite families and get legal support to the border.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… Have you done any self care lately?
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Steve Sando, founder of Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food, for his principled response to inhumane border practices and donating to basic humanitarian relief. [Share why you appreciate companies that prioritize relationships with neighbors, customers, workers, and suppliers.]
Address: 1924 Yajome Street, Napa, CA 94559
Thank Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for bipartisan support and compassion for refugees. [Share why honoring the stories and struggles of refugees and affirming the legal right to asylum matters to you.]
TL: 1645 Corinth Ave, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90025
JN: 2503 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302
MD-B: 8669 NW 36th Street, Suite 100, Doral, FL 33166
ZL: 635 North First Street, Suite B, San Jose, CA 95112
Thank Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) for rejecting white supremacy and voting no on judicial nominees who refuse to endorse Brown vs. Board of Education (the landmark Supreme Court segregation decision). [Share why a judiciary that upholds equal rights matters to you.]
AK: 1200 Washington Avenue South, Room 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415
KH: 501 I Street, Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814
Thank Father James Martin, SJ for ongoing support and inclusivity for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. [Share why you appreciate people of faith showing love, respect, and welcome to all people.]
Address: c/o America Media, 1212 Sixth Ave, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10036
Thank Attorney General Aaron Ford for efforts to ensure that an estimated 77,000 returning citizens in Nevada are aware of new voting rights restoration laws. [Share why you appreciate proactive efforts to assist citizens in exercising voting rights.]
Address: 100 North Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- On June 17, the US Supreme Court dismissed the Virginia House of Delegates’ racial gerrymandering appeal.
- SCOTUS strikes down death row conviction of Curtis Flowers due to findings of prosecutor’s racial bias in jury selection.
- SCOTUS blocks the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census (for now).
- U.S. restores some monetary aid to El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to assist with health, education, and poverty alleviation programs.
- A federal appeals court unanimously finds 80-year-old Charles Ray Finch innocent of the murder for which he was convicted 42 years ago.
- With a permanent injunction, a federal court blocks the administration from tapping military funds to build a southern border wall.
- HI: Gov. David Ige signs law adopting universal mail-in voting (including prepaid postage!) for all Hawaiians.
- IL: Gov. JB Pritzker signs bill banning private immigrant detention centers in the state.
- KS: The state will allow residents to change the gender designation on their birth certificates to correctly represent their gender identity.
- MA: Federal judge issues an injunction blocking ICE from making civil immigration arrests inside courthouses in the state.
- ME: Gov. Janet Mills signs automatic voter registration bill into law.
- MD: State legislature passes law to automatically register to vote all residents interacting with agencies of state government.
- NV: Gov. Steve Sisolak signs bill unanimously passed by the state legislature prohibiting charging fees to families with youth in the juvenile justice system.
- NV: State legislature passes a sweeping set of pro-equality bills supporting health care, LGBTQ equality, access to the ballot box, reproductive rights, measures to prevent gun violence, and more.
- PA: Gov. Tom Wolf declares Juneteenth a state holiday.
- RI: Gov. Gona Raimondo signs bill passed by the state legislature that upholds abortion rights.
- RI: General Assembly eliminates “tampon tax” on menstrual products in newly passed state budget.
- WA: Gov. Jay Inslee signs a series of bills making it easier to register to vote, to encourage teens to pre-register, and to provide more information on campaign contributions.
- Boston Public Schools will provide free menstrual supplies to students in grades 6-12.
- Planned Parenthood of St. Louis will defy medically unnecessary pelvic exam rule for patients seeking abortion.
- Mayor Bowser of DC and Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles state that the cities’ law enforcement agencies will not engage in the administration’s civil immigration enforcement actions.
- Wakefair employees stage a walkout to protest the company’s product sales to detention facilities.
- Highlights for Children magazine speaks out against the administration’s family separation policy at the southern border.
- Bank of America will no longer provide financial services to companies engaged in the private prison industry.
- Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board publishes op-ed supporting accurate language when discussing the detention of aspiring Americans at the border.
Groups and organizations
- Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis stands by their decision not to fire a married gay teacher despite the school’s resulting expulsion from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
- Freedom for Immigrants publishes instructions on how to visit aspiring Americans in detention.
- Civil rights attorney Alphonso David is named new president of the Human Rights Campaign, becoming the organization’s first president of color.
News with heart
- The World Health Organization removes the inaccurate and stigmatizing language of “gender identity disorder” from its diagnostic manual.
- The UK bans advertisements depicting gender stereotypes, which have been shown to “lead to unequal gender outcomes in public and private aspects of people’s lives.”
- Canada outlaws whale, porpoise, and dolphin captivity for entertainment purposes.
- The Tennessee coneflower population rebounds, providing hope that the recovery of endangered species is still possible.
- Joy Harjo of the Muscogee Creek Nation becomes the first Native American poet to serve as national Poet Laureate.
- Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck wins Abel Prize for mathematics, the first woman to do so.
- Golden eagle chicks have been found in the Santa Monica Mountains for the first time in 30 years.
- Dominican-American slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo becomes the first writer of color to win the UK’s Carnegie medal.
- New Zealand institutes the world’s first “wellbeing budget” with goals to bolster mental health, reduce child poverty, support indigenous peoples, move to a low-carbon-emission economy, and flourish in a digital age.
- Aleida Ramos encourages guests at her quinceañera to register to vote in coordination with Jolt Initiative’s Poder Quince (Quince Power) campaign.
- Descendants of the Negro Mascogo people of northern Mexico gather to celebrate Juneteenth in the village of Nacimiento de los Negros.
- A research poll by Barnes and Noble College finds that 95% of registered college students participating in the study intend to vote in the 2020 presidential election.
- See more good news at Women in the World, Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
Do you know someone in need of good news and clear actions? Please share!
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