Americans of Conscience Checklist
Week of August 5, 2018
By Jen Hofmann
91 weeks down, 13 weeks to mid-term elections. Baker’s dozen!
The August checklist has fewer actions so you and our team can rest up for fall. We feature clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We also practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged. Do one or do all, but please share.
I value democracy.
Guided by respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.
▢ Action 1: Make an activist self-care plan.
Make a cuppa, grab a pen, and spend ten minutes with this worksheet.
▢ Action 2: Do a little reflective reading.
Since the August AoC Checklists are lighter, take time for some uplifting reading.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Bolster your state’s election security before midterms.
Call: Or write your local election official (use this tool to look up).
Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [state] and am calling/writing to make sure our district is preventing security breaches in our voting systems. I’d like to know whether [region/county] has these 5 things?
- 1. Systems that count a paper ballot.
- 2. Post-election audits.
- 3. Systems upgrades that prevent intrusion and vote manipulation.
- 4. Voting machines without wireless connectivity.
- 5. Training for elections officials on security.
▢ Action 2: Vote in your state’s primary elections.
Choose a District Attorney who believes in people over prisons.
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: Stand with families seeking asylum in the US. (h/t)
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to stand with immigrants’-rights groups insisting on defunding ICE and CBP. Legitimate studies show that deportation does not deter border crossing. Separating families does not deter border crossing. Reunited families experience long-lasting trauma after reunion. I don’t want my tax dollar funding an agency that inflicts neglect, abuse, and fatalities on human beings. Can you tell me what [name] is doing about this?
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to work on repealing two laws dating back to the Immigration Act of 1929: Title 8 U.S. codes 1325 and 1326. These laws criminalize crossing the US border without authorization. Repealing them would decrease family separation and stop wasting taxpayer dollars on mass detention. I would like [name] to repeal these laws and restore humanity to our immigration policies.
▢ Action 3: Stand with the children and families ICE is separating. (h/t)
Write: The officials listed in this document and letter.
Script: Our nation has a moral responsibility to protect children and treat them with basic decency, regardless of immigration status. As a taxpayer funding this egregious neglect of duty, I want the inhumane practice of separating children from parents as an immigration deterrent to stop. I urge you to take action to reunite these families immediately. Sincerely, [name, state]
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… We can do this.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank the Immigrant Defense Project and Center for Constitutional Rights for visually mapping hundreds of ICE raids. Your work sheds light for advocates, legal providers, and journalists to expose the need for constitutional protections. We stand with you and aspiring Americans.
IDP: 40 W 39th Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10018
CCR: 666 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Thank the American Civil Liberties Union for suing 12 New Jersey school districts over discriminatory ID requirements for enrollment. Not only is this a violation of state law, but merely posting these policies online can have a chilling effect on enrollment of immigrant students. Thank you for advocating for our vulnerable neighbors.
Address 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York NY 10004
Thank you Maru Mora Villalpando, Community Organizer with NWDC Resistance, for bravery in the face of personal jeopardy. Just as you assure others during your continual efforts to draw attention to unjust immigration enforcement, please know that we stand with you. Thank you for your leadership and courage. [name, state]
Address: email@example.com (no mailing address available)
Donate to NWDC: https://www.nwdcresistance.org/donate
Thank the League of Women Voters of Metro Columbus (OH) for publishing a youth-oriented video guide on making phone calls to political representatives. Teaching concrete skills for active citizenry calms fears and helps constituents effectively communicate their concerns.
Address: 6500 Busch Boulevard, Suite 129,Columbus, OH 43229
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look.
- Ruling: DACA must be fully reinstated.
- Ruling: A lawsuit that demonstrates the discriminatory agenda of a census citizenship question may proceed.
- 4 Homeland Security Advisory Council Members resign in protest of the president’s family separation policy, calling it kidnapping and morally repugnant.
- Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein reported actions the Department of Justice has taken to combat security issues related to U.S. elections.
- Ruling: The president cannot cut off grants to Philadelphia because of sanctuary policy.
- A federal judge will appoint a special monitor to oversee conditions in which immigrant children are being held in the Rio Grande Valley.
- Bipartisan House Appropriations Committee voted to block DHS from using funds to prevent people fleeing domestic and gang violence from being eligible for asylum.
- Federal judge allowed a lawsuit against the current administration’s decision to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census to continue.
- Polls show overwhelming nationwide bipartisan support for automatic voter registration and restoration of voting rights to formerly incarcerated people.
- KY Medicaid recipients will have their dental and vision care benefits restored.
- TX judge orders minors transferred out of immigration detention facility due to abuse and over-medication.
- CA will require all counties to prepay postage for mail-in ballots beginning in 2019.
- MI Supreme Court ordered that an anti-political gerrymandering measure be included in the November ballot, rejecting a lawsuit to have it removed.
- CT voter registrations among 18-25-year-olds have tripled compared to four years ago.
- FL college students win federal judge’s ruling that allows early-voting sites on campus.
- MA legislature passes automatic voter registration with veto-proof majorities.
- CA automatic voter registration process added 259,000 newly-registered voters in 10 weeks.
- New York City prison inmates will no longer be required to pay to stay connected to families.
- Indiana town blocks construction of immigrant detention center in support of its Latino population.
- New York City libraries have partnered with New York cultural institutions to launched an initiative that opens the city’s cultural offerings to underserved communities.
- Philadelphia will no longer allow ICE access to its police reporting system.
News with heart
- Grandmothers (Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden) are traveling to McAllen, TX for an immigration protest on August 6.
- Volunteers all over the country are forming welcoming committees to help the traumatized families now reunited after ICE detention.
- Homeless shelter in WI holds drives to help the homeless population register to vote.
- See more good news at Small Victories, Marla’s Good News, and What Went Right.
Please share and spread hope
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!
Tweet: We need your voice speaking up for justice. The @AoCChecklist can help you find the words and speak up for our neighbors: https://goo.gl/LWfQey
Post on Facebook: We need your voice speaking up for justice. The Americans of Conscience Checklist can help you find the words and speak up for our neighbors. https://goo.gl/LWfQey
Print: Our Americans of Conscience flyer (updated logo!) to share at in-person events.
- Sign up: Subscribe to the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Stay inspired: Complete the Self-Care Worksheet.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to the JEBitor, Week 1 social media volunteers, the Research Sous Chefs teams, and to the amazing angel patrons who make it possible.