What to do this week of November 10, 2019
172 weeks down, 51 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 equality.
Support the dignity of your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.
▢ Action: Advocate for federal judges who value equality for all Americans. [h/t National Women’s Law Center]
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hello, I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling because I believe that Americans depend on judges who respect citizens’ basic dignity and fundamental right to equality. I oppose confirming federal judge nominees Steven Menashi and Sarah Pitlyk who support exclusion and discrimination. I urge [NAME] to vote no during their confirmation proceedings. Thank you.
▢ Action: Advocate for equality for LGBTQ+ Americans.
Write: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, 601 West Broadway, Room 630, Louisville, KY 40202.
Script: I am writing to express my support for protecting all Americans against discrimination. Majorities in every state support protections for LGBTQ people in housing, public accommodations, and employment. Almost 200 days ago, the House passed bipartisan legislation to ensure these protections federally (HR 5) which currently has 46 Senate cosponsors. As a public servant for all Americans, I ask you to bring the Equality Act (S 788) to the Senate floor for a vote immediately. Thank you.
▢ Action: Advocate for a path to legalization for farmworkers who feed America. [h/t United Farm Workers]
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hello, I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling because I am strongly in favor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. A majority of farmworkers in America are not permanent citizens, and this amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act would provide these workers and their families with a path to legal citizenship, while reducing costs for growers. I would like [NAME] to support those whose labor feeds Americans by cosponsoring H.R. 4916. Thank you.
▢ Action: Demand an end to discriminatory policies. [h/t CAIR National]
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hello, I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my continued outrage over the president’s Islamophobic travel ban. The policy specifically targets countries with primarily Muslim citizens, and it fuels anti-Muslim biases, incidents, and hate crimes in America. I’m asking [NAME] to publicly reject this discriminatory program and any expansions to it, and to join Sen. Coons’ efforts to nullify the administration’s racist executive order.
I value democracy.
With respect and collaboration, we work to create a nation that welcomes all people, expands freedoms, and upholds the Constitution. Each citizen must be able to freely, fairly, and securely elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action: Advocate for federal Ranked Choice Voting [RCV] legislation. [h/t FairVote.org]
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m a constituent from [ZIP], and I believe congressional elections would be fairer if they used ranked-choice voting. The Ranked Choice Voting Act would encourage civil campaigning and increase voters’ trust in elections. Can I count on [NAME] to cosponsor H.R. 4464? Thank you.
Bonus: Contact your two senators (look up) to ask them to introduce companion legislation to H.R. 4464 in the Senate.
▢ Action: Support RCV in state and local elections. [h/t FairVote.org]
If you live in MA, MN, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OR, or VT, your state has introduced RCV legislation. Contact your two state legislators (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m a constituent from [ZIP], concerned about how [STATE]’s elections can be truly representative. Ranked-choice voting, or RCV, guarantees that the winner of an election always gets a majority of the popular vote, instead of merely a plurality. Jurisdictions that use RCV are already saving taxpayers money and strengthening underrepresented communities. I am asking you to support the pending RCV legislation in [STATE]. Thank you.
If you live in any other state: Make a tax-deductible donation to FairVote.org.
▢ Action: Help election officials better serve voters in their communities. [h/t TheElectionBuzz]
Contact: Your state election official (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [TOWN, STATE], writing to make sure you’re aware of a free resource that increases voter participation. Districts around the country used the tools, templates, and webinars at ElectionTools.org to estimate polling place needs, create pocket guides for voters, and prevent long wait times on election day. I urge you to use these tools to encourage voter engagement for the best possible participation in 2020. Thank you.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Apple CEO Tim Cook for leadership in addressing the California affordable housing crisis. (Share why you appreciate corporate action that supports the basic needs of employees, customers and neighbors.)
Address: One Apple Park Way, Cupertino, CA 95014
Thank Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) for advocacy and action on criminal justice reform. (Share why you appreciate releasing non-violent citizens to their families and neighborhoods.)
Address: 2300 N Lincoln Blvd # 212, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Thank Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for continuing to advocate for immmigration justice. (Share why you appreciate holding immigration authorities responsible for people in their care.)
KH: 11845 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 1250W, Los Angeles, CA 90064
RB: 90 State House Square 10th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- House unanimously approves the Dignity in Aging Act, extending funding for programs that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities as they age.
- House votes to establish a process for public hearings during its presidential impeachment investigation into potential illegal activity.
- Federal court temporarily blocks the administration’s rule requiring aspiring Americans to acquire U.S. health insurance within 30 days upon arrival in the country.
- Federal court overturns the administration’s so-called “conscience rule,” which would have allowed health care workers to opt out of performing abortions or other procedures due to religious or moral objections.
- The president must pay $2 million in settlement of a civil lawsuit for persistent violations of charity law.
- House Committee on Homeland Security holds a hearing on the detrimental impact of ICE’s worksite raids in Mississippi communities.
- The Wiyot Tribe regains the entirety of Duluwat Island back from Eureka, CA.
- The Snoqualmie Tribe purchases the Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie Falls, reclaiming the area as its sacred land.
- MI: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs a bill to automatically try people 18 and younger as juveniles, ensuring that children and teens’ due process is responsive to age.
- NC court requires legislative districts to be redrawn as the current maps constitute a partisan gerrymander.
- OK: Over 450 returning citizens are released from incarceration in the largest single-day commutation in U.S. history.
- PA legislature authorizes up to $90 million in funding to replace outdated voting machines and facilitate mail-in voting.
- VA : Redistricting efforts to avoid racial gerrymandering ensure the results of November 2019’s elections fairly represent current demographics.
- Striking Chicago Public School teachers win a contract with city officials that includes resources for thousands of homeless students in Chicago.
- Memphis, TN’s annual Thanksgiving dinner for people in need will continue with community support following logistical challenges.
- Memphis dedicates the first rainbow crosswalk in Tennessee to the LGBTQ community.
- New York City adopts ranked-choice voting (RCV) in city elections, raising national awareness of pro-democracy voting strategy as the 2020 primaries approach.
- Universal City, TX City Council votes unanimously to block a private company from planning a detention center for children.
- Apple announces a $2.5 billion donation to increase affordable housing in Silicon Valley.
- LEGO launches Braille Bricks for children to learn Braille.
- IKEA replaces styrofoam packaging with compostable mushroom-foam.
- Australia’s women’s national soccer team will receive equal pay and benefits to the men’s national team.
Groups and organizations
- ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties files a class-action lawsuit demanding access to counsel for people seeking asylum subject to the administration’s so-called Migrant Protection Protocols.
- Christians from a wide range of theological and political views launch the Golden Rule: 2020 initiative to encourage dignity and respect in political discussions.
- Jewish LGBTQ organization Keshet offers free printable yartzeit (memorial) candle stickers for November 20th’s Transgender Day of Remembrance.
- Climate Science Legal Defense Fund releases a guide for climate scientists facing political harassment and legal intimidation.
- Over 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a climate emergency and outline steps to address it.
- Al Otro Lado holds a free legal workshop in Tijuana on November 11 for individuals who have been unjustly deported from the U.S.
- Hundreds of activists demand drivers licenses for aspiring Americans in a protest at the statehouse in Trenton, NJ.
News with heart
- Ghazala Hashmi is elected as a VA state senator, becoming the first Muslim American woman to hold an elected position in the VA legislature.
- Regina Romero is elected mayor of Tuscon, AZ, becoming the first woman and first Latina to hold the office.
- Safiyah Khalid is elected to the Lewiston, ME city council, becoming the first Somali-American to serve on the council.
- Danica Roem wins reelection as a VA state delegate, becoming the first transgender person to win reelection to a state legislature.
- 21-year-old Tay Anderson wins election to the Denver School Board, becoming the youngest elected official in Colorado state history.
- Abrar Omeish is elected to the Fairfax County, VA School Board, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve on the board.
- Nadia Mohamad is elected to the St. Louis Park, MN City Council, becoming the first Muslim woman and the first Somali-American elected to the council.
- Lynn Fitch is elected Attorney General of Mississippi, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the state.
- Washington Nationals’ Sean Doolittle boycotts the White House World Series celebration, citing his devotion to equality and opposition to the administration’s harmful policies and rhetoric.
- French universities offer vegetarian, environmentally friendly meals as part of the Lundi Vert (Green Monday) movement.
- According to The Sentencing Project, major police departments around the country are arresting fewer people for minor offenses.
- Girls win all five top prizes at the Broadcom Masters STEM Competition for the first time in history.
- The street in front of NASA’s DC headquarters is renamed Hidden Figures Way in tribute to Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, the African-American mathematicians integral to the early success of the space program.
- Artist Glenn Kaino and Olympian Tommie Smith create With Drawn Arms, an art installation commemorating Smith’s 1968 protest of racial oppression at his Olympic medal ceremony.
- Over 600 volunteers and the owner of a heat-seeking drone cooperate to find six-year-old Ethan Haus and his dog, who had been missing for about 10 hours in 30-degree weather.
- Grace Brett becomes the world’s oldest street artist at 104 after joining a team of “guerrilla knitters.”
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