What to Do This Week of February 12, 2017
Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience
We have 90 weeks until mid-term elections.
The intention of this weekly document is to make clear, hype-free suggestions for action backed by well-considered research. If an issue doesn’t affect you, consider whether you would support this issue on behalf of other Americans, then act accordingly. Although diligently prepared, contents are subject to human error. Please do your own research.
Act on your beliefs and values
I believe I can make a difference.
I believe in equal rights for all Americans.
Action 1: Protect Constitutional freedoms at the state level.
With Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General, Americans’ basic rights may be at risk (source).
Call: Both your state legislators (lookup).
Script: Hi! I am a constituent from ZIP. I am calling to ask whether our state tracks data on police violence and hate crimes.
— If they’re not sure, ask if they’d be willing to call back with info.
— If not, say: “With Sen. Sessions’ appointment to Attorney General, I am concerned about eroding rights. I would like _name_ to propose legislation that would keep accurate data on hate crimes and police violence in our state. Thank you.”
Action 2: Speak out against the ban on immigration and refugees.
My buddies at Weekly Resistance make it really easy.
Action 3: Support detained immigrants.
Donate: Help provide legal representation of peaceful, asylum-seeking immigrants and prevent extended detention in sub-par facilities (source).
Action 4: Represent detained immigrants.
Action: With a deficit of legal representation for peaceful immigrants, the American Immigration Council needs volunteers to defend the rights of immigrants. Training provided.
Click for more info: http://immigrationjustice.us/.
I believe in integrity and reject corruption.
On January 6, an official report of the CIA, FBI, and NSA assessed with high confidence that Vladimir Putin ordered a 2016 campaign to undermine public faith in the US democratic process. Thankfully, three Senate and House bipartisan committees are now examining Russia’s actions.
Action: Support investigation of Russian interference in US elections.
Call: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
- Chair, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) 202-224-3154
- Ranking Member, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) 202-224-2023
Call: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) 202-225-2523
- Ranking Member, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) 202-225-4176
Call: Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
- Chair, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972
- Ranking Member, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) 202-224-2921
Script: Hi! I’m calling in regard to _name’s_ role on the _committee name_. I strongly support his work on resisting attempts to “move on” from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. I am looking forward to learning the outcome of the committee’s findings.
I believe in a quality, taxpayer-funded education for America’s youth.
Action: Connect with a teacher.
Do you know a teacher? Reach out to them and listen. Don’t give advice or vent, just listen to what’s on their mind in the wake of DeVos’ confirmation. Ask how you can support them.
I support the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people.
Action 1: Support the water protectors at Standing Rock.
djt (AKA “45”) recently said that he’s gotten “no calls” complaining about the Dakota Access Pipeline (source).
Script: By failing to do an environmental study on the impact of the DAPL pipeline under Lake Oahe, we are violating a sacred agreement and legal treaty rights. I oppose this action and am asking for the environmental study to proceed.
Action 2: Support the economy of Molokai, HI.
Stand up for the little guy. A land-owning board is changing a small business’ lease, risking Molokai’s local economy and well-being of native Hawaiians.
Call: RW Meyer Ltd.’s board at 808-553-3828 (if you live in OR or HI–a divide-and-conquer strategy).
Script: Hi! I’m calling because I read the news about plans to change the lease for Molokai’s historic mule rides. We hope you’ll have a change of heart and find a solution that works for all. (Be kind and respectful.)
Call: Rep. Lynn DeCoite 808-586-6790 (If you live in the other 48 states).
Script: Hi! I’m calling because I’m concerned about the future of Molokai’s mule rides. Although I’m not a constituent, I’m hoping that Representative DeCoite can assist in finding a solution that works for everyone. Thanks!
I believe in a government with qualified, trustworthy leadership.
Action 1: Advocate for transparency and oppose corruption.
Sign the White House petition insisting 45 release his tax returns. It’s already got 600,000 votes. Can we make it a million by February 19th?
Action 2: Support presidential tax transparency legislation.
Call: Your three MoCs (1 representative and 2 senators lookup).
Script: Hi! I’m from _ZIP_. I am calling to request that _name_ publicly support the Presidential Tax Transparency bill introduced in the _Senate or House_ (S.26 or H.R.305)_, requiring disclosure of the three most-recent years of tax returns. I do care about President Trump’s tax returns and conflicts of interest. Thank you.
Action 3: Oppose legislation that makes corruption easier.
Companies that extract oil and other resources abroad should not be allowed to bribe those countries’ officials and cover it up (source).
Call: Both your senators (lookup).
Script: Hi! I’m a constituent from ZIP. Do you know how _senator_ plans to vote on overturning the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule? I’m concerned because overturning it would make corruption easier for oil companies and increase poverty in other countries. I am asking my senator to defend Section 1504 and stand up against corruption and poverty.
Only two more! You can do it! ❤
I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.
Action: Use a gallon less.
The climate crisis is created by human behavior. As a human, you can change behaviors that reduce oil production and keep warming below 2* (source). Commit to using a gallon less per week.
Choose: a behavior from this list.
I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.
Stay alert to healthcare jargon.
Pay attention to the rhetoric changes regarding the ACA/Obamacare:
- from “repeal” to “replace” to “repair”
- from healthcare to “health insurance”
- from coverage to “access”
Republican leaders now understand that many Americans don’t want their coverage to disappear, but using weaselly language puts a different spin on ideas that favor the rich and reduce actual care. The devil is in the details. #staywoke
Just a little reminder to breathe and keep taking care of yourself. If we get tired and burned out, he wins.
Acts of gratitude
Research shows practicing gratitude has numerous health benefits. If you’d like, take time to express your thanks to people making a difference and showing courage.
Standing up for the judicial branch
Write: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), 1128 Lincoln Mall, Suite 305, Lincoln, NE 68508.
Script: Thank you so much for speaking out in support of America’s judges. There are no “so-called” judges. I appreciate your leadership! Name, State (source)
Speaking up for women’s access to reproductive care
Write: Isabella Lövin, SE 103 33 Stockholm, Sweden and/or
Lilianne Ploumen P.O. Box 20061, 2500 EB The Hague, The Netherlands
(use $1.15 in stamps on each letter or postcard).
Script: Thank you for your leadership in response to my country’s regrettable “gag rule.” Please accept my gratitude and extend my thanks to leaders whose actions support women’s choices everywhere. Name, State, Country (source, source)
Supporting presidential tax transparency
Write: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (address), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) (address), and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) (address).
Script: Thank you for introducing your Presidential Tax Transparency bill in the _Senate or House_. I’m grateful for your efforts to obtain President Trump’s tax returns and those of future presidents and nominees. Name, State
Advocating for ethics and integrity
Write: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), 367 Valley Brook Ave., Lyndhurst, NJ 07071.
Script: Thank you for recommending a way forward to releasing Trump’s tax returns. Transparency is important! Name, State
- Civics 101: Majority rules and minority rights (source).
- The judiciary is America’s emergency brake (video).
- George Lakoff interview (video), and what we, the majority, can do (Lakoff).
- The shame of American detention centers (source).
- 45’s plans are not good for the economy (source).
- What happened to the biggest scandal in Washington? (source).
- Note how hard Breitbart works to defend 45’s tax opacity–and his spokeswoman to evade the issue. In the end, Wikileaks may do the job.
This is #NotNormal
- A normal president doesn’t use his position to publicly shame a company for refusing to carry his daughter’s product lines (source).
- A normal president’s aide doesn’t publicly promote the president’s daughter’s product lines (source).
- A normal president’s wife doesn’t use her position to promote her own product lines (source).
- A normal president doesn’t hide money in offshore tax havens associated with money laundering and the Russian president (source).
- A normal president’s office is not leaking this level of detail about infighting and incompetence (source).
- Canadian visitors to the US are not normally turned away at the border (source).
- New, legal immigrants to the US do not normally head straight to Canada for asylum (source).
- A normal president doesn’t yell, “See you in court!” while in a courtroom.
- A normal president understands how the judicial branch works to uphold constitutional rights (source).
- A normal president reads executive orders before signing them (source).
- A normal congress thoroughly vets cabinet appointments and makes room for dissent (source, source).
You made it! Deeeep breath! Now for the good news: it’s not all going south.
- The immigrant and refugee travel ban was blocked a second time (source).
- Silencing Elizabeth Warren backfires on the GOP (source).
- A new lawsuit could force 45 to release his tax returns (source, source).
- The first step toward impeaching 45 began this week (source).
- More Republicans are breaking with 45 (source).
- Evangelical leaders denounce 45’s Muslim ban (source).
- In response to the immigrant ban, NY’s Museum of Modern Art installed Muslim art in solidarity (source).
- Five retailers stopped carrying products featuring the president’s brand (source).
- NC’s governor got his powers back (source).
- The people are “making life miserable” at town halls (source) and speaking up for affordable health care (source).
- Patagonia protests efforts to reverse Obama’s land-protection legacy (source).
- Melinda Gates stands up for access to reproductive care (source).
- Close to home: The Yemeni brother of my local falafel stand owner made it safely to the US this week. He has been working for fourteen years on his application and spent several days in the Dubai airport after the EO was signed. What a joy and relief for his family and our community that he is finally here!
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Thank you! We’re stronger together!
The above checklist is the hard work of Jennifer Hoffmann