Americans of Conscience Checklist
Week of July 1, 2018
By Jen Hofmann
86 weeks down, 18 weeks to mid-term elections.
This checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We also practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.
I believe in democracy.
Guided by respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.
▢ Action 1: Narrow your activism focus.
Overwhelm leads to fatigue. Complete the Action Worksheet this week.
▢ Action 2: Make an activism self-care plan.
Fatigue leads to giving up, so prepare to persist with this worksheet.
I value equality.
Stand with your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability. Out of many, we are one.
▢ Action 1: Stand with our hungry neighbors. (h/t)
Call: Your two senators (red or blue) or write their local offices (lookup).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express support for the Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill (S. 3042). I would like [name] to ensure it includes no amendments to weaken SNAP and that it gives our hungry neighbors the food they need. Thank you.
▢ Action 2: Oppose biased, unfit appointees to public service. (h/t)
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to oppose four nominees who discriminate against our LGBTQ neighbors: Sen. Mark Norris, Howard Nielson, Ryan Bounds, and Gordon Giampietro. America deserves unbiased, moderate public servants. Thank you.
▢ Action 3: Stand with seniors, poor families, and people with disabilities. (h/t)
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and don’t understand why congressional Republicans are shredding the social safety net for people in need. Shoring up a federal deficit should never come at the expense of our country’s most vulnerable. I want [name] to oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and SNAP in the 2019 House Budget. [Share why it’s important to you personally.] Thank you.
▢ Action 4: Advocate for unbiased SCOTUS nomination by July 9. (h/t)
Write: Your two senators (lookup).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and am asking you to consider only SCOTUS nominees with a solid history of upholding the rights of women, people of color, people with disabilities, our LGBTQ neighbors, Native Americans, aspiring Americans, and workers. I also expect you to do everything in your power to block extreme, biased, and unqualified nominees. Equality and fairness matter. Thank you.
I value fair elections and secure, convenient voting.
We’re gearing up for November 6! Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Urge eight states to apply for election security funds by July 16. (h/t)
If you live in CA, GA, Guam, ME, NV, PR, TN, WY
Erroneously added: DC, DE, MA, MD, NH, NJ, PR, RI, or VT
Call: Your state/local elections official (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling to express concern that [name] has not yet submitted a budget to apply for HAVA Election Security Funds. [State] has until July 16 to submit a budget, and I want [name] to make this a priority. Can you let me know what their plans are?
▢ Action 2: Ask a recent high-school graduate to register to vote. (h/t)
Email: Hi [name], I’m so proud of you for graduating and with summer here, it’s a great time to register to vote. Your voice matters more than ever. If you haven’t already, here’s a link that makes it easy: vote411.org
Text: I’m not sure if you’re registered to vote yet, but this site makes it easy: vote411.org Your voice matters more than ever.
▢ Action 3: Protect every American’s right to vote. (h/t)
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] and would like [name] to support the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 2978/S.1419) which ensures that every American can fulfill their responsibility to vote. Have they co-sponsored this bill? [If not, will they?] Thank you.
▢ Action 4: Help people register to vote. (h/t)
The VoterPal app helps people register to vote—especially the Latinx community and people of color.
Download the app: http://votolatino.org/initiative/voterpal/
I value showing respect for all people, no matter where they were born.
We oppose inhumane treatment of all people and the government agencies that perpetuate it. People who immigrate to the US make our country stronger and are entitled to basic respect.
▢ Action 1: End corporate investment in US immigration detention. (h/t)
Script: I’m [a Chase customer and] concerned about JPMorgan Chase’s continued investment in the detention giants CoreCivic and Geo Group. These companies ignore federal regulations, leading to abuse, neglect, and death for people in their facilities. I stand with my immigrant neighbors in opposing the practice of profiting off victims, especially when xenophobic policies are driving up detention. I urge you to cut financial ties immediately to stop keeping these barbaric companies afloat. History will remember the decision you make. Thank you. Name, address
Snail mail: CEO Jamie Dimon, 270 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y 10005
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
▢ Actions 2-7: A new game plan to stand with aspiring Americans.
Call: Your one House rep and two senators’ local offices (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to ask [name] to ensure that Congress…
- Sunday: Ends the unnecessary so-called “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. We should reinstate the Family Case Management Program and use more humane, less-costly check-in methods.
- Monday: Ends the practice of separating families as a deterrent to legal asylum and refuge. Reuniting families needs to be a top priority. Is [name] aware of the tech solutions available to meet all reunion deadlines?
- Tuesday: Stops funding abuse. With nearly 200 detention-related deaths and no accountability for safety and medical violations, ICE does not deserve further government funding. As a taxpayer, I don’t want another dollar spent on ICE or construction of more prison camps.
- Wednesday: Lowers immigration bond amounts. Under the current administration, bond fees are 3-25 times higher than before, keeping people in detention and families separated longer.
- Thursday: Welcomes asylum seekers no matter where they enter the country. Our country has a legal and moral obligation to protect people fleeing violence—even if they can’t get to a point of entry.
- Friday: Will expedite the processing of green cards and medical visas. Our neighbors and their families are living for decades without the certainty of permanent abode. Our communities need them.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… We’ve got this.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) for prioritizing the lives of children instead of maintaining a ‘decorum’ that perpetuates silence in the face of child internment. I am so grateful for your voice and leadership.
Address: P.O. BOX 1309, Torrance, CA 90505
Thank Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) for introducing anti-discrimination legislation in response to prevailing American values. Despite the current president’s bias and recent SCOTUS decision on the travel ban, I still believe in an America where everyone is free from discrimination. Thank you for looking ahead to a brighter future.
Address: 1105 N. Market St., Suite 100, Wilmington, DE 19801-1233
Thank Joshua Norman, pro football player, and staff writers of Star Trek Discovery for their public support of RAICES Texas. I’m inspired by you using your public presence to amplify kindness and humanity toward immigrant children and families.
Star Trek Discovery, ℅ CBS Entertainment, 51 W 52nd St., NY, NY 10019
Thank CBS reporter Gayle King for depicting the real people impacted by the president’s inhumane immigration policy, including those legally seeking asylum. Your reporting from the border helps Americans see and understand—and hopefully act. Thank you.
Address: CBS This Morning, 524 W. 57 St., New York, NY, 10019
Thank Republican Members of Congress for publicly opposing child internment in opposition to the current president’s priorities. Immigrants make our communities better.
Rep. Ralph Abraham: 2003 MacArthur Dr., Bldg. 5, Alexandria, LA 71301
Sen. Lamar Alexander: 167 North Main Street, Suite 1068, Memphis, TN 38103
Rep. Mike Coffman: 3300 S. Parker Road, Cherry Creek Place IV Suite #305
Aurora, CO 80014
Sen. Susan Collins: 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330
Sen. Bob Corker: 100 Peabody Place, Suite 1125, Memphis, TN 38103
Rep. Ryan Costello: 21 Market St #105, West Chester, PA 19382
Rep. John Curtis: 3549 North University Avenue, Suite 275, Provo, UT 84604
Sen. Steve Daines: 222 North 32nd Street, Suite 100, Billings, MT 59101
Rep. Rodney Davis: 2004 Fox Drive, Champaign, IL 61820
Sen. Jeff Flake: 2200 East Camelback Road, Suite 120, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look.
- People of conscience are creatively, non-violently challenging unjust policies:
- In front of the Senate building.
- From inside Congress.
- From wheelchairs.
- In front of the cameras.
- Publicly rejecting the camera.
- In the newsroom.
- In the streets.
- In their own businesses.
- At work.
- While dining out.
- Outside officials’ residences.
- In creative, intentional collaboration.
- Across religious differences.
- Standing with detained children.
- Outside detention facilities.
- From within federal agencies.
- Even without documentation.
- Our friend, MD Shams (right), received 60 letters and cards from us while he was in ICE detention. And now he’s out! Welcome to the US, MD! (Thanks, Susan K!)
- ICE targeted activist Maru Mora Villalpando for deportation, but a court rules she can stay and apply for citizenship.
- Federal judge issues nationwide injunction that temporarily halts splitting families at the border.
- 75% of Americans consider immigration a good thing.
- A new bipartisan bill calls for Puerto Rico to be admitted as a US state.
- SCOTUS: Law enforcement must obtain a warrant to access to individual cell phone location data.
- SCOTUS: Immigrants have a right to due process in relief from deportation.
- Joe Neguse could become CO’s first African American congressman.
- Jared Polis could become CO’s first openly gay governor.
- PA gov will sign bill banning discrimination against people with nonviolent criminal past.
- MA gov will sign a bill to increase minimum wage to $15/hr and require paid leave.
- CT prison has an inspired plan to keep young inmates from coming back.
- MN’s early voting law increases voting rates by 15%.
- Ruling: KS voter registration law requiring proof of US citizenship struck down.
- Ruling: VA lawmakers must draw new, fair voting district maps by October 30.
- Ruling: ID voter purges stopped temporarily.
- Ruling: IA women won’t have to wait three days for agency over their own bodies.
- Ruling: 123 detained asylum seekers in OR prison must have access to legal counsel.
- Philadelphia DA ends cash bail for some misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.
- Springfield (OR) City Council voted unanimously to end local jail’s contract with ICE.
- Williamson County (TX) Commissioners end agreement with CoreCivic and ICE at Hutto Residential Center.
- Josephine County (OR) Sheriff’s Office stops reserving beds at its facility for ICE.
- Major corporate leaders speak out strongly against child separation.
- Kairos (facial recognition tech) refuses a contract with US government.
- FOX News commentator quits over coverage of child separation practices.
- HKM Employment Attorneys offered pro bono services to any government employee refusing to separate immigrating children from parents.
Groups and organizations
- New website amplifies refugee voices amid immigration crackdowns.
- Vera Institute sees results with local governments to reduce solitary confinement.
- Conservative religious leaders are denouncing the president’s immigration policies.
- A librarian, a historian, and volunteers create a powerful map of ICE facilities.
News with heart
- Two NFL players went to San Antonio and gave toys to separated children.
- Married husbands reunite at last after separation by ICE. #lovewins
- Las Vegas women’s jail program celebrates first graduating class. And in NY too.
- Couple’s fundraiser to reunite migrant families breaks Facebook’s record, and organizers set a new goal—$25 million—for RAICES Texas.
- Gina Rodriguez sacrifices Emmy to fund an undocumented student’s education.
- 15-year-old helps a deaf and blind man during a flight.
Spread the word
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!
Tweet: It’s easy to speak up for equality and decency with clear, no-drama scripts from the @AoCChecklist. See this week’s edition: https://goo.gl/5bAVoT #ActionCuresFear
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