What to do this week of October 25, 2020

by Oct 26, 2020What To Do This Week0 comments

206 weeks down, 9 days 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 voting as a foundation of a healthy democracy.

The clock is ticking down to the 2020 elections. The actions below ensure three things: that our votes are secure, that every citizen can vote, and that every vote is counted.

Action 1: Get out the vote with our GOTV Challenge. [Source AoCC]

Use our 9-point GOTV checklist to reach out to apathetic voters.

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Action 2: Report voter intimidation and polling place problems. [Source: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law]

If you see or experience any type of voter intimidation at polling places or ballot drop locations, report it immediately. Every informed citizen can play an active role in making elections safer:

Call: Election Protection phone hotlines:

English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683);

Spanish/English: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682);

Asian Languages/English: 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683);

Arabic/English: 1-844-YallaUS (1-844-925-5287)

Submit an online report: SeeSay2020

Report to your local elections officials (look up). 

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Action 3: Help get out the vote with text-banking. [Source: HeadCount.org]

Text messaging is an effective way to encourage voting. HeadCount.org is hosting local and national nonpartisan Get Out The Vote text-banking events every day until November 2. Training is provided, and your personal information is never included in the texts, so you can participate anonymously from home. All you need is a web browser!

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Action 4: Spread the word about free and discounted rides to the polls. [Source: AoCC]

Lack of transportation was one of the top 10 reasons registered voters didn’t vote in 2016 (and was in the top three for younger voters aged 18-29). 

  • Spread the word that free and discounted rides to the polls are available. Both Lyft and Uber are offering half-price rides to polling places, but only on November 3. 

Check whether your local public transit companies, community groups, and voting rights advocacy groups are giving free or discounted rides to polls and ballot-drop sites, including on early voting days, then share links on social media.

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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 5: Protect civil rights. Oppose Amy Coney Barrett for SCOTUS. [Source: NAACP]

Call TODAY: Both your senators will be voting on her appointment Monday, October 26. Call them regardless of party to make your voice heard (look up). Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to join national civil rights advocates opposing Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Her published articles and legal opinions indicate an alarming willingness to overturn precedent and a narrow interpretation of civil rights. These tendencies present a grave threat especially to African Americans’ equal participation in society and the economy. I ask [NAME] to vote against her confirmation. Thank you. 

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Action 6: Support diversity in health care research. [Source: Black Women’s Health Imperative]

Consider enrolling in the All of Us Research Program. Typically white Americans are overrepresented in research studies, so National Institutes of Health in partnership with community and health organizations is seeking one million or more people from across the U.S. to advance medical research. Participants share information about their health, habits, and what it’s like where they live (with privacy safeguards). Researchers will look for patterns to learn more about what affects a broader array of people’s health to understand reasons why some diseases have a disproportionate effect on people of color.

Learn more herehttps://www.joinallofus.org

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Action 7: Support living wages for essential workers who keep America fed. [Source: United Farm Workers]

Write: Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250 or

Call: The USDA directly at 202-720-2791 (option 5) or

SignSign the petition to support UFW’s lawsuit.

Script: Hello, I’m [WRITING/CALLING] from [ZIP] to oppose the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to stop collecting Farm Labor Survey data. This information has been used for the past century to set wages for H-2A workers, maintain a fair pay structure, and protect more than 200,000 workers from detrimental pay cuts. I am joining United Farm Workers in calling for Secretary Perdue to readopt Farm Labor Survey data collection to ensure equitable pay for these essential workers who feed us. Thank you.

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Action 8: Support the release of aspiring Americans who’ve endured medical abuse. [Source: AILA and Immigration Justice Campaign]

Email: Your two senators and one House representative (look up).

Script: Hello, I’m from [ZIP] and I’m writing to express my concern over the medical abuse and human rights violations caused by Irwin County ICE Detention Center. Following reports of non-consensual, unhygienic, and invasive medical procedures, recent inspections by members of congress found conditions to be unsanitary, unsafe, and abusive. I urge [NAME] to join Reps Johnson, Ruiz, and Jayapal in calling for the closure of the Irwin County Detention Center and the release of detained individuals on humanitarian parole. Thank you.

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Action 9: Reject unnecessary requirements for family members trying to reunite. [Source: American Immigration Council]

Submit a Formal Comment in your own words by Nov. 2 on the Federal Register using these tips: 1) Introduce yourself. 2) State why you oppose the administration’s proposal to require family members of aspiring Americans to provide extensive financial documentation in order to sponsor their immigration to the U.S. If applicable, 3) Share a story of how familial immigration sponsorship has affected your family. Use the talking points below to personalize your response (scripted comments will not be counted).

  • Family-based immigration has been a foundation of our country’s immigration system for decades, and many current citizens can trace their citizenship history back to family members who made a new home in the U.S. and built up enough income to gradually bring their families to join them. (If this is true for your family, please share your story!)
  • New requirements would cause unnecessary obstacles for reuniting families.
  • While current regulations require an affirmation to financially support immigrating family members, the proposed changes will necessitate filing extensive financial documentation, making the process even more cumbersome and restrictive.
  • This change will do little to cut costs or save taxpayer money. Most non-citizens—including tax-paying green card holders—are ineligible for public benefits.

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Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

Thank Rep. Denver Riggleman (R–VA) for unequivocally denouncing a prominent, dangerous conspiracy theory. [Share why truth in politics is important to you.]

Address: 1022 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515

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Thank Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) for sharing his family’s personal abortion story. [Share why you appreciate truth-telling about the dangerous healthcare ramifications women face when they are prevented from making decisions about their own bodies and lives.]

Address: Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building, 477 Michigan Avenue, Suite 1837, Detroit, MI 48226 

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Thank Michael Horowitz, inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice, for shedding light on the administration officials who were responsible for the family separation policy. [Share why you appreciate investigation and transparency about national policy decision-making.]

Address: Office of the Inspector General, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

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Good news

Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews

National

  • Congress passes and the president signs Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, establishing national guidelines between Native tribes and the federal government in order to address crimes against Native Americans, especially women and girls.
  • SCOTUS rejects the administration’s request to limit access to medication abortion via mail during the pandemic.
  • Court orders the federal government to release 50 people per day from ICE’s Adelanto prison until the population decreases by 38%.
  • Two separate federal courts block the administration’s attempt to exclude aspiring Americans from the census.
  • Court blocks an increase in USCIS fees.
  • USPS will not implement a payroll tax deferral, finding it would negatively impact employees’ finances.
  • Federal appeals court rules that the president illegally attempted to use emergency powers to allocate funding for the construction of a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • USDA extends free meals for all students through the entire 2020-2021 school year.
  • Federal court formally strikes down the administration’s plan to slash access to food stamps.
  • Lawsuit settlement forces the USPS to reverse service changes affecting mail delivery and to prioritize election mail.
  • The Navy names a supercarrier after Doris Miller, the first time in U.S. history that an African American sailor receives the honor. 

State

Local

  • A Columbia, SC apartment complex receives free Wi-Fi through collaborations with the city, local organizations, and radio host Charlamagne Tha God.
  • Fulton County, GA court dismisses an attempt to purge 14,000 voters from the rolls ahead of the November 3 election.
  • Philadelphia relinquishes 50 vacant homes to community land trust following months of direct action by families experiencing homelessness.
  • Aurora, CO bans “no-knock” warrants in response to the murder of Breonna Taylor.
  • Over 2,200 more voters in Travis County, TX cast ballots on the first day of early voting compared to 2016.

Corporate/business

Groups and organizations

  • Postal Service workers take actions to resist recently implemented changes to USPS procedures that slow down mail delivery.
  • The Vera Institute and collaborators create the SAFE Initiative, a public defender system offering legal services to aspiring Americans facing deportation.
  • Volunteer lawyers with the Orders Project offer advice to military and National Guard members should they be given unlawful orders.
  • Al Otro Lado offers pandemic-safe breastfeeding and parenting classes for new parents denied their right to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

News with heart

Housekeeping

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