Contact Federal Government Officials

Find senator’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/RLiotu

Find representative’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/5i7SXC

Fax legislators for free:  Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php

********************************
Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.

1.       As expected, the FCC repealed net neutrality yesterday. However, it is expected that it will now move to the courts and to Congress.  https://www.wired.com/story/after-fcc-vote-net-neutrality-fight-moves-to-courts-congress/  New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, announced that he will lead a multi-state legal challenge to stop the rollback: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-internet-lawsuits/new-york-state-ag-to-sue-over-net-neutrality-reversal-idUSL1N1OE1U4  This means we citizens need to turn our attention to a legislative solution.  If we live in CA, DE, HI, IA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NY, OR, PA, VA, VT, or WA, let’s thank our attorneys general for being part of this lawsuit.  If we live elsewhere, we need to call our attorneys general and tell them to get on board.  In addition, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is leading the Senate in reversing the FCC vote using a procedure called a Congressional Review Act: https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senator-markey-leads-resolution-to-restore-fccs-net-neutrality-rules Let’s ask our senators to co-sponsor or at least back this resolution.

2.      While the tax bill has undergone numerous changes in the conference committee, it still repeals the ACA's individual mandate, and opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling http://nyti.ms/2BZZ99O Maine senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has expressed concern about the funding of ACA's subsidies, but she seems to be missing the point that if there is no individual mandate, the insurance market will be completely destabilized and subsidies would not be enough to offset the harm done http://bit.ly/2jWBC3l  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-TX) says he is a no vote unless the child tax credit is expanded.  It looks as if the tax may come out of the conference committee today and then be voted on early next week by both the Senate and the House.  In addition to continuing to call our own MoCs, let's be sure to use Indivisible's peer-to-peer calling tool to connect with constituents in Alaska and Maine and ask them to call on their senators to oppose the GOP tax bill 

3.      The people of Alabama deserve to be fully represented in the Senate, especially as major legislation is voted on http://wapo.st/2C6LzBK Let's call our senators and ask them to hold off on voting for the tax bill until Doug Jones has been seated. We can use the call scripts available at Indivisible https://www.indivisible.org/resource/tell-republican-moc-vote-no-trump-tax-scam/

4.      The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has published a report on "How Fear and Toxic Stress are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health" for immigrants in the U.S. http://kaiserf.am/2zcFFk0 Let's read through the findings, then refer to the data as we call our MoC and demand that they pass the Dream Act (S. 1615/H.R. 3440)

5.      Over a year since his election, Trump still cannot admit that Russian wrongdoing in our government is, and has been, a real thing.  He cannot bring himself to enforce the sanctions against Russia that were voted on by Congress and his State Dept. has yet to spend the allocated dollars to address Russia and ISIS.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/donald-trump-pursues-vladimir-putin-russian-election-hacking/?utm_term=.89f7c7f14cbd  Then, we learn that Trump’s daily briefings do not include much about Russia so he doesn’t get upset:  http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-derails-daily-briefings-if-they-cover-russian-meddling-2017-12 Whatever Putin has over Trump must be big.  Let’s tell Trump to get on with working for us or get out of the White House:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/

6.      The push for a clean Dream Act by Dec. 22nd continues! We ask that everyone please promote the national call-in day TUESDAY , December 19, by driving calls to Congress in support of the passage of the bipartisan Dream Act before the holidays.  For those of you in priority states and districts, we also ask that you please sign on to letters calling for the passage of the Dream Act by the end of the year and reach out to key House Republicans. More details can be found here:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cqG76OEtkL84Ek5LPuvEc98oBKBHb8RK8OVDirJHPN0

7.      Despite their assurances to the opposite last Spring (http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/326444-kelly-we-wont-separate-families), there have been increasing numbers of children being separated at the border when their families cross from Mexico and some of those are part of a complaint filed with Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS).  https://www.buzzfeed.com/adolfoflores/new-complaint-accuses-dhs-of-systematically-separating  Let’s contact DHS and tell them we do not agree with this treatment of these children who are clearly no threat to our country.  https://www.dhs.gov/contact-us

8.     Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a stirring op-ed for the Washington Post about what Puerto Rico needs from our government at this time:
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-is-what-puerto-ricans-need-from-the-government-right-now/2017/12/13/fc03ccca-dfb3-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html?utm_term=.3db43f275f5b As we continue to keep up a steady drumbeat with our MoC about the tax bill and DACA, let’s not leave Puerto Rico out of our comments to them. Let’s also consider holiday donations as we are able.

9.      In an extremely unusual case, “Fourteen former national security, intelligence, and foreign policy officials who have served at senior levels in Republican and Democratic administrations recently wrote an amicus brief as part of a lawsuit brought against President Donald Trump's campaign and Roger Stone, his longtime confidant.”  http://www.businessinsider.com/unusual-russia-brief-lawsuit-trump-roger-stone-2017-12 The Russian involvement story has touched so much of our lives.  Let’s watch this case, but also let our MoCs know that we want this dealt with so we can get back to running our country ourselves. 

10.  “During the Obama administration, the Pentagon issued directives for the military to adapt to climate change, which it labeled a national security threat.” But the Government Accountability Office reports that the Pentagon is falling behind on plans “to prepare its overseas installations for climate change.” 
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/364760-watchdog-pentagon-taken-few-steps-to-prepare-overseas-bases-for-climate-changeLet’s contact our MoC to ask them what steps they’re taking to ensure that our military is keeping climate change in mind as it prepares for security threats.

11.   “A survey conducted for the Interior Department found that 35 percent of its employees say they were harassed or discriminated against in the last year.” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blames the problem on the culture established during the Obama administration, but it certainly isn’t helping that the current president is sexually harassing female senators via Twitter. http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/364893-interior-survey-harassment-discrimination-common-among-workers and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/12/12/trump-sends-sexually-suggestive-and-demeaning-tweet-about-gillibrand/?utm_term=.8697abe531a9 Let’s contact our MoC to ask them to ensure that all federal agencies are taking sexual harassment seriously and providing their employees with appropriate training and support.

12.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “was created in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, for two reasons: to protect consumers of financial products — virtually every American — from being ripped off by financial predators and to help avert large-scale crashes and bailouts.”  It has returned over 12 million dollars to consumers, to us.  Trump wants to eliminate this watchdog agency, however it is doing just what the American people need done:  http://www.dailyjournal.net/2017/12/14/why-all-americans-should-want-a-strong-consumer-financial-protection-bureau/ We have the opportunity to share our experiences with the bureau to help illuminate its importance:  https://story.consumerfinance.gov/tell-your-story/s/tell-your-story

Election 2017/2018

1.       Postcards to Voters just launched Campaign 36 for Phyllis Hatcher, the only Democrat running for a Georgia state senate seat in District 17. The Special Election is January 9, 2018. Right now, we can text Abby the Address Bot with a simple HELLO to (484) 275-2229 and she can help returning writers receive addresses. She will also help new volunteers to start their easy registration. For returning email-only postcarders, addresses are available via email for this campaign.  If we are new emailers, we can sign up by emailing: JOIN@TonyTheDemocrat.org  Here's a chance for us to begin our participation in Election 2018 with five (5) postcards to Georgia voters.  Remember: this is the team that just wrote to every Democratic household in Alabama! 

 Other Actions

1.       The deadline to enroll in the ACA for health insurance is today (Unless you live in CA, WA, CO, MN, NY, MA, RI, CT, or DC).  Sign up here:  https://www.healthcare.gov/ Make sure family and friends know, too!

2.      As we have seen in Georgia and Alabama, our elected officials are not always as supportive of free and open elections as they should be. Luckily, here's a source that's collects this info. "In 2018, Let America Vote will monitor state legislatures across the country and will fight against schemes aimed at making it harder for people to vote. As elected officials support voter suppression bills, we add them to the “Voter Suppression Hall of Shame.” Here are some state officials who are working to make it harder for people to exercise their right to vote in 2018. We must continue to hold them accountable for their actions." Have a secretary of state or other official who should be reported? We can do that here, too. http://www.votersuppressionshame.com

3.      “Ivanka Trump’s brand is about to open a store in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, marking her second foray into brick-and-mortar commerce in the U.S. The move follows a tumultuous year for the first daughter’s brand, which became more polarizing to consumers after the election of Donald Trump. Ivanka Trump, who serves as a White House adviser, has been walking the line between policy and business since her father was elected president. Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, which handles her trademarks, has continued to seek expansion opportunities, while Trump hotels in Washington and Vancouver each operate an Ivanka Trump trademarked spa. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/ivanka-trump-store-is-said-to-open-thursday-in-new-era-for-brand.  Let’s continue our boycott of the Ivanka’s products and her new store.

4.      We are all fans of Ady Barkan, the new father (and ALS patient) who confronted Senator Jeff Flake on an airplane and challenged him to vote against the GOP tax scam bill https://theintercept.com/2017/12/08/republican-tax-bill-medicare-disability-jeff-flake/ :   To really show our thanks for his bravery and persistence, we should consider supporting one or both of Barkan's projects at the Center for Popular Democracy: Local Progress and Fed Up. Local Progress aims to create a nationwide support network for local progressive politicians (http://localprogress.org/what-we-do/why-local-progress/), while Fed Up promotes full employment and increased transparency and accountability for the Federal Reserve (http://whatrecovery.org/).

5.      Promote justice—empower Black women! The Cut has a list of organizations that could use our support:  A) The Collective Political Action Committee, Building Black Political Power, https://collectivepac.org/ (helped elect Doug Jones), B) Higher Heights, investing in Black women’s political leadership, http://www.higherheightsforamerica.org/C) Woke Vote, young grassroots organizers in the South registering voters and canvassing for Blue campaigns, https://www.wokevote.us/home/ (helped elect Doug Jones).  See this article for more: https://www.thecut.com/2017/12/black-women-turnout-roy-moore-doug-jones.html

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       The Women’s March is hosting a series of anniversary events around the country to kick off their 2018 get-out-the-vote agenda,  “Power to the Polls”, with their main event being held in Las Vegas, NV on January 21, 2018.  http://www.newsweek.com/womens-march-will-storm-las-vegas-trump-inauguration-anniversary-748110  “This anniversary event will kick-off a national voter registration and mobilization tour targeting swing states to register new voters, engage impacted communities, harness our collective energy to advocate for policies and candidates that reflect our values and collaborate with our partners to elect more women and progressives candidates to office.  Stay tuned for more information and RSVP here for updates.”

States

1.       ALL:  39 of 50 states hold elections to choose all or some of their judges. This coming fall, 27 of those states will hold elections for seats on their highest courts. The Brennan Center for Justice has analyzed seven 2016 state supreme court elections and primaries;  they conclude that several of the 2017 races will likely be dominated by special interest spending, a large part of it secret money from groups that do not disclose their donors. The Brennan Center will monitor all state supreme court contests this fall and will issue periodic analyses in the lead-up to Election Day;  this research and data will be available on the Center’s supreme court elections page. Their press release identifies the states of particular concern and explains why:  https://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/new-analysis-2016-judicial-elections-see-secret-money-and-heightened-outside-spending  This influx of money into judicial elections has dire effects on the judgments meted out by the courts:  
http://www.wnyc.org/story/money-is-flowing-into-state-supreme-court-races-study-says We ourselves need to keep a close eye on these elections, and we need to urge our state officials to guarantee that judicial elections are not tainted by negative campaigning and that voters, litigants, and potentially even judges are not kept in the dark about possible conflicts of interest.

2.      FL: Fracking! The Florida Legislature is currently considering [FL] Senate Bill 462 and [FL] House Bill 237 which could determine the future of hydraulic fracking and other similar techniques in Florida. John Hall and John Hushon, guest columnists for the Herald Tribune and veterans of the oil and gas industry, spell out why they support a ban on fracking in Florida. They write, "The subsoil conditions in Florida strongly suggest that migration of toxicity to aquifers is a substantial risk even if there are no “accidents” or “spills” — yet national data suggests that more than 10 percent of all fracking procedures result in spills. And national data also suggests that well water drawn from within one mile of a fracking well contains above acceptable toxicity. We simply cannot risk this." Let's read the full article at Herald Tribune.   These bills would prohibit all forms of “advanced well stimulation treatments,” meaning no high-pressure injections aimed at cracking the bedrock in search of black gold. Acid fracking – similar to hydraulic fracturing, with chemicals subbed in for water pressure to break through the rocks – is also expressly banned in the bills. (Source: Florida Politics) Floridians, we need to write to our Florida state representative in support of HB237 and our Florida state senator in support of SB462. These bills will be considered starting in the January 2018 session. Let's make some noise against fracking before the session even starts. 

Reading/Watching

1.       Evangelical whites may have voted for Moore, but not evangelical blacks: 

2.      “…for less than the cost of the Republican tax plan, Congress could eliminate child poverty in the United States. Twice.”  https://talkpoverty.org/2017/12/12/u-s-eliminate-child-poverty-cost-senate-tax-bill/

3.      This week we have some follow-ups related to actions we've seen previously on Rogan's list.  This week: a) ABA-rated "unanimously not-qualified" Brett Talley has been withdrawn as a candidate for a lifetime judicial appointment (Source: NPR)   b) "Transgender children are part of Satan's plan" judicial nominee Mateer has been withdrawn as a candidate for a lifetime judicial appointment. (Source: The Hill) c) Controversial industry-compromised Michael Dourson has withdrawn his nomination for a EPA appointment to regulate toxic chemicals  (Source: NBCNews) d) The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Department of the Interior’s 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims across 1 million acres of public lands adjacent to the Grand Canyon. (Source: Center for Biological Diversity). e) A Democrat won in Alabama! Let's focus on the House and Senate in 2018. (source: NBCNews).  We are seeing the results of our hard work and dedication. Let's prepared to feel refreshed and energized for 2018. We are making a difference.






Contact Federal Government Officials

Find senator’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/RLiotu

Find representative’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/5i7SXC

Fax legislators for free:  Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php

********************************
Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.

1.       Less than 12 hours after the Democrat defeated Republican Roy Moore, at least five senators have called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to seat Jones immediately and delay a final vote on the legislation until he is sworn in. Such a request by Democrats is not without precedent, as they afforded their Republican colleagues such a courtesy in 2010 when they held the majority, allowing former Republican Senator Scott Brown to take his seat after he won a Massachusetts special election. Following that election, then–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "We’re going to wait until the new senator arrives until we do anything more on health care." We can read more in Newsweek. Let's call both of our Senators to ask that the tax bill vote be delayed until Jones is sworn in.  If we are Alabama voters, we need to be particularly loud in contacting Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL).

2.      Today, the FCC will vote on the question of ending net neutrality--despite the fact that Chairman Ajit Pai has been informed of potentially millions of fraudulent public comments made about this issue, that Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has called on the Commission to pause and investigate: 
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/10/fcc-commissioner-urges-fraud-investigation-ahead-net-neutrality-vote  and that those whose names have been used without their knowledge or permission ostensibly to oppose net neutrality have written protesting their misrepresentation: (https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2017/05/26/victims-demand-fcc-remove-fake-anti-net-neutrality-comments/#6529f1376e79 It is unclear who is hacking the comments or to what end, but that the comments to the FCC have been meddled with seems clear to everyone: 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2017/06/01/fake-net-neutrality-comments-found-both-sides-fcc-issue/102389708/  We must call on Congress to denounce this corruption of one of the few processes by which we can make our voices heard.

3.      Congressional Republicans have reportedly reached a tentative deal on a final version of their reverse Robin Hood tax scam, and we could see votes as soon as next week. This could be our final opportunity to make sure they know that hiking taxes on working families so that they can cut them on the wealthy is unacceptable  (http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/politics/republican-tax-plan-deal/index.html). Indivisible is bringing back their peer-to-peer calling tool to help make sure key Republican Senate votes hear our voices. Let’s join them in helping connect our fellow progressives with their reps at this link: https://www.trumptaxscam.org/calls-to-kill-the-tax-scam/.

4.      Our last chance at keeping this tax bill from arriving on Trump’s desk next week is to make the public outcry loud enough that even the willfully deaf Republicans hear us. Let’s call all our representatives yet again and impress on them our opposition to a partisan tax bill that would fatten the rich, worsen inequality, decimate our schools and our healthcare, lead to severe cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, and increase the deficit.  If we harbor any doubts about the effects of tax cuts like those in this bill, check out the impact of Kansas’s “Brownback” tax cuts: https://www.npr.org/2017/10/25/560040131/as-trump-proposes-tax-cuts-kansas-deals-with-aftermath-of-experiment

5.      Now that the voters of Alabama have declared accused sexual predator Roy Moore unfit for office, it's time to redouble our calls to pass the same verdict on the P-grabber-in-Chief. Are we to accept the idea that what isn't good enough for Alabama is supposed to be good enough for the whole country? We should join with the 100+ MoCs who are calling for a full investigation of the accusations of sexual assault/misconduct leveled against Trump by 18+ women. Call your MoCs and thank them for joining the call (if they have) or tell them they'd better (if they want women and their allies to vote for them). https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/12/16766800/democratic-congress-members-trump-investigation-women

6.      On Tuesday morning, Trump sexually harassed Senator Kirsten Gilibrand for the world to see as he sent out a tweet implying that Senator Gilibrand was willing to trade sexual favors for political donations http://bit.ly/2z8QlA9 Let's contact our MoC and demand that they take action against this abhorrent behavior. We can ask that they at least open an investigation into Trump's sexual misconduct, and/or call for his resignation.

7.      “President Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is facing allegations of insider trading related to the sale of his shares in the Bank of Ireland several years ago.” http://www.newsweek.com/wilbur-ross-accused-insider-trading-bank-ireland-745421 Let’s contact our MoC to ask them what they’re doing to ensure that our Commerce Secretary isn’t financially benefitting from his term in office.

8.     Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued a rare rebuke Tuesday of two of President Donald Trump's most controversial judicial nominees, urging the White House to rethink the picks. Grassley told CNN that he is advising the White House to "reconsider" the nomination of Jeff Mateer, who was selected to become a federal judge in Texas. He said the White House "should not proceed" on the nomination of Brett Talley, whom Trump picked to become a federal judge in Alabama. Let's read more at CNN.  We Rogan's listers have been taking action against these two nominees and now we have some power behind our next calls. Let's call our Republican senators and tell them to join Grassley in asking for these nominees to be withdrawn for consideration.

9.      Remember the Equifax breach earlier this year?  It seems that people to took the strident step of freezing their accounts are now having trouble getting health coverage via the ACA:  http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/12/13/credit-report-freeze-could-trigger-insurance-enrol  Let’s tell our MoCs that some kind of waiver needs to be given to those of us who thought we were doing the right thing at the time. 

10.  On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Leonard Steven Grasz, nominee to be a circuit judge for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, by a vote of 50-48; Grasz was rated as "not qualified" by the American Bar Association (ABA).  Not that Trump cares: the administration notified the ABA in March that it was ending its long-standing practice of inviting its independent Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary to review the professional qualifications of nominees to the lower federal courts on a pre-nomination basis:  http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/364515-senate-confirms-controversial-trump-nominee-in-tight-vote  On Wednesday, however, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that two of Trump’s court nominees—Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley (who has withdrawn)—will not be forwarded for confirmation.  Like Grasz, Mateer was found “unfit” by the ABA, and both he and Talley have celebrated discriminatory groups or policies publicly: 
11.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/two-controversial-federal-judge-nominees-will-not-be-confirmed-senate-republican-says/2017/12/13/e3876ffa-e02e-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html  Maybe we should let the Senate Judiciary Committee know how we feel about the judicial nominees to date. Current members are listed here:  https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members; Grassley can be reached at 135 Hart Senate Office Building. Washington, DC 20510. Phone: (202) 224 - 3744. Fax: (202) 224-6020

12.  The House and Senate are both working on bills to re-write higher education law  The House version, H.R. 4508,  was passed in committee on Tuesday and now goes to the full House.  As in other legislation, there is much doing away of Obama-era protections, but is streamlining some other elements.  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2017/12/house_education_committee_approves_higher_education_overhaul.html Let’s keep an eye on this as it works its way to Trump’s desk.  There seems to be something for everyone to like and to dislike. 

Election 2017/2018

1.       Postcards to Voters proudly tells us that 6,376 of our closest, newest friends (and many of their own friends, families, groups, and clubs) mailed 347,709 fully-handwritten election reminder postcards to get out the vote. We wrote to every Democratic household in Alabama! If we haven't joined already, let's check out Postcards to Voters and join the fun in 2018. We only need to write 5 postcards to make a difference. Email: JOIN@TonyTheDemocrat.org   

 Other Actions

1.       From one of our own:  “Friendly reminder that, for most states, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th is the last day to sign up healthcare through the ACA exchange (aka Obamacare).
Unless you live in CA, WA, CO, MN, NY, MA, RI, CT, or DC -- if you need to switch healthcare plans or - if you're like me and don't have an employer, school or parent paying for your healthcare for the first time ever, head over to https://www.healthcare.gov/ by Friday.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SyFA9O-6Iw  If you don't need to sign up for healthcare, be a friend and share this video with someone who might.

2.      Christmas may not be so merry this year for kids in Puerto Rico, so Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame) is organizing a toy drive for them. The goal is to deliver 10,000 gifts to kids in Puerto Rico on Three Kings Day., January 6, 2028. Gifts start at five dollars. We can find out more about how to contribute here:  https://www.toysrus.com/toys4PuertoRico

3.      From one of our own: "Today media is already erasing the work black folks and especially black women did to win “unwinnable ruby red” Alabama. Don’t let them get away with it...Call out every single instance of it you see, please! It’s part of our work to disrupt a white supremacist narrative which yes, is what erasing black peoples work and giving unearned credit to others, is." One place we can start is here, with NBC's Jonathan Allen, who credited white women, stating "Fifty-eight percent of Alabama women voted for the winner, Democrat Doug Jones, including 35 percent of white women, according to exit polling," yet Allen fails to point out the staggering statistics that while the majority of white women (63%) voted for Moore, 98% of black women voted for Jones:  http://nbcnews.to/2nWTpf9 http://wapo.st/2BjXYpe Let's contact NBC and Jonathan Allen, and let them know that this kind of reporting is unacceptable; we will not stand for the erasure of black people. Twitter: @NBCNews, @jonallendc, E-mail: jon.allen@nbcuni.com , Online form for NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10285339/t/contact-nbc-news/

4.      From Nasty Women Action Network:  "The numbers don’t lie. One great way to thank Black women for their hard work and votes [in Alabama] tonight? Give to Higher Heights for America (https://www.facebook.com/HigherHeights4/), an org helping more Black women get elected to office. http://www.higherheightsforamerica.org/ " 

5.      From Postcards from Kate:  WOOHOO!! THANK YOU, Alabama, for helping to "bend that moral arc a little closer to that justice" last night. We're all celebrating with you!
Watch Doug Jones' victory speech here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9AY1KtIDYI  And then send the entire campaign staff a special congratulatory thank you card!   Address:  Doug Jones Campaign Chairman Giles Perkins, Staff, and Volunteers, Doug Jones Campaign HQ, 4500 5th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222

6.      Another way to honor the African-American voting bloc in Alabama for getting Doug Jones elected and flipping this deep-red Senate seat to blue is to donate to one or both of these organizations that worked so hard to get the vote out on Tuesday:  A) Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, http://alnaacp.org/ and B) The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women’s Roundtable, #PoweroftheSisterVote, http://www.unitycampaign.org/power-of-the-sister-vote

7.      The World Bank has announced that it “will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change.” https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/12/uk-banks-join-multinationals-pledge-come-clean-climate-change-risks-mark-carney If we’re employed by companies with investment portfolios, let’s encourage them to follow suit.

8.     If we need some ideas for holiday gifts, this might help - “The Progressive’s Guide to Book Giving—for Every Personality: - http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/the-progressives-guide-to-book-giving-for-every-personality-20171213

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize


States

1.       ALL:  The FBI found that hate crimes in the United States have increased to a point not seen in recent history. However, it turns out we can only guess at how dangerous Trump’s America really is, as the Bureau relies on voluntary participation by law enforcement to gather its data and many law enforcement agencies do not submit statistics (http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/politics/hate-crimes-fbi-2016-rise/index.html). Let’s make sure we know the full scope of the problem. We can contact our governors, state legislators and mayors and ask them to confirm whether our state and local law enforcement agencies are submitting hate crimes data to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, and if they are not what can be done to ensure that they do so.

2.      CT:  Huge budget cuts crippled outreach that lets people know when,  how and where to sign up for the ACA, so Indivisible ACA Signup Project is spreading the word through social media.  They have only 26 days to get 26 more supporters.  We can help them reach their goal to set off a Thunderclap, a social media flash mob message blast. We can click, add our social media support on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.  THEN cut, paste and share:  https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/64859-colorado-enrollment-alert  Find out more about how Thunderclap helps grassroots organizing here:  https://www.socialworkhelper.com/2013/10/02/thunderclap-can-help-grassroots-organizing/amp/

3.      CO:  Huge budget cuts crippled outreach that lets people know when,  how and where to sign up for the ACA, so Indivisible ACA Signup Project is spreading the word through social media.  They have only 3 days to get 30 more supporters.  We can help them reach their goal to set off a Thunderclap, a social media flash mob message blast. We can click, add our social media support on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.  THEN cut, paste and share:  https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/64859-colorado-enrollment-alert  Find out more about how Thunderclap helps grassroots organizing here:  https://www.socialworkhelper.com/2013/10/02/thunderclap-can-help-grassroots-organizing/amp/

4.      FL: attention registered voters in Florida! Here's a petition really worth signing. "1 in 10 Florida adults is banned from voting because of a past conviction. Florida is one of only four states that permanently takes away their vote. We need 270,745 more Florida registered voters to sign this petition by February 1st, 2018 to put an initiative on the ballot that would restore their ability to vote." Let's help make that "blue wave" happen! Those of us who don't live in FL can help get the word out by sharing the petition on social media: https://florida.ourstates.org

Reading/Watching

1.       Thanks to Unearthed, Greenpeace UK’s award-winning journalism project, we finally know how much federal land could be at stake in Trump's rush for more drilling:  https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2017/12/05/area-protected-land-larger-california-risk-drilling-trump/

2.      “My beliefs as a conservative evangelical teenager were dogmatic and fervent — until they weren’t. Now I know there was never any place in that faith tradition for someone like me.” - https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomiobaro/i-used-to-be-a-conservative-evangelical-now-i-see-theyre?utm_term=.yrwd9weK3#.mqdQa08kO

3.      Why Doug Jones’ win is so remarkable – written only days before the election:  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/12/can-doug-jones-get-enough-black-voters-to-win/547574/

4.      Even the BBC picked up on the USA Today editorial: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42328467 






Contact Federal Government Officials

Find senator’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/RLiotu

Find representative’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/5i7SXC

Fax legislators for free:  Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php

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Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.

1.       The FCC will vote tomorrow on their proposal to scrap net neutrality, taking away Obama-era protections for a free and open Internet. While the Republican appointees are a majority on the commission and are likely to prevail, we still must take advantage of this last opportunity to make our voices heard (https://www.wabe.org/atlantans-protest-pending-repeal-net-neutrality/). We can use this script from 5 Calls to contact FCC chairman Ajit Pai and make sure he knows we want net neutrality to remain in place: https://5calls.org/issue/defend-fcc-net-neutrality.

2.      We can also contact our members of Congress to let them know that if the FCC does abandon net neutrality, we want them to pursue legislative solutions ASAP.  We can ask our Representatives in the House to sponsor or promise to vote for HR4585, preventing the FCC from relying on the many proven fake comments submitted in support of killing a Net Neutrality. Federal Law requires the FCC to consider public comment before making this decision, and HR4585 would prevent them from using patently fake ones i their rush to ram this through. We can read more about the bill here:  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4585

3.      Jimmy Kimmel, whose young son recently had heart surgery, does a wonderful job of explaining the value of CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) for nearly 9 million children:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqulWPljawo&app=desktop He encourages us to call our MoCs to ask that Congress set aside the tax bill long enough to pass legislation to continue this valuable resource for our children before time runs out. Lots of parents are worried about this:  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/12/569953391/parents-worry-congress-wont-fund-the-childrens-health-insurance-program

4.      “More than 50 female members of Congress want House leaders to investigate alleged sexual misconduct by President Donald Trump before he was in the White House.”  https://www.voanews.com/a/congresswomen-want-trump-sexual-misconduct-probe/4159958.html On Tuesday, some of them held a press conference: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisPolitics/videos/1823721567659325/  Let’s show these women our support and ask our own MoCs to join in if they have not already done so.  Then, Let's join these congresswomen and tell Chairman Gowdy ((202) 225-6030) and Ranking Member Cummings ((202) 225-4741) that we want the Oversight Committee to open an investigation ASAP. Rep Cummings has already positively responded and asked Rep. Gowdy to begin this immediately. Here is the list of the women who signed:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=17rr_MB5dMyO-JXYxfcggoyFmP3k6ZJn_

5.      Following the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against trump, five senators have called for Trump to resign http://politi.co/2BUhoxs The White House's response has been to say that the "American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory" http://wapo.st/2BVUzts Trump's being elected President does not excuse him from repercussions for his actions. Let's call our senators, representatives, and state governors, and ask that they acknowledge and support the brave women speaking out about Trump's sexual misconduct, and call for Trump's resignation.

6.      The Treasury Department is releasing false information regarding tax bill.  http://www.businessinsider.com/treasury-report-trump-gop-tax-reform-bill-analysis-2017-12  Let’s contact Treasury to say that we expect more than propaganda from them.  https://www.treasury.gov/connect/Pages/contact-us.aspx

7.      With so very many things tossed into the tax bill, it is hard for anyone to know all that is in it.  Most people did not realize that a provision that “Sen. John Cornyn slipped an obscure tax break for pipeline giants into the GOP tax bill, he wasn't just helping major Republican Party donors, he was also potentially helping 16 of his congressional colleagues. Together those 16 lawmakers — 13 Republicans, three Democrats — own multimillion-dollar stakes in the special investment vehicles that stand to benefit from Cornyn’s amendment.” http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/tax-bill-john-cornyns-fossil-fuel-provision-would-personally-enrich-republican  Again, let’s let our legislators know that we want them to use this tax bill to improve the lives of all our citizens, not just the wealthy.

8.     The tax bill conference committee is scheduled to meet today.  Much work has been going on behind the scenes to appease all the elements which is highly unlikely: http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-republican-tax-reform-bill-poll-numbers-underwhelm-2017-12  and http://politi.co/2C5UDrt  Let’s keep on our MoCs to make sure that any tax bill does not take its toll on the workers and the middle class while giving permanent breaks to large corporations.  A large deficit is does not have to happen if large corporations would pay their share.  A vote is expected to take place next week, so let's use this time to visit our senators' and representatives' offices. MomsRising has provided a letter that we can take with us, which details how detrimental this tax plan would be for moms across the country:   http://action.momsrising.org/signup/tax_delivery/

9.      Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) contributed an op-ed piece to The Hill calling on the Senate to reject unqualified nominee Brett Talley for a lifetime judicial position in federal district court in Alabama. Talley lacks the most basic qualifications and experience to serve as a federal judge. He has practiced law for only three years. He has never tried a case, and he has never argued a motion or presented a witness in court. The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Judiciary unanimously rated Mr. Talley “not qualified” – making him only the fourth nominee to receive such a rating in the past quarter century. Talley has never tried a case, and he has never argued a motion or presented a witness in court. Let's read the whole piece at The Hill then call our Senators to demand that they say "no" to this unqualified nominee.  Let's call about Talley even if we have called before.  Let's be annoying about Talley. We may not be able to stop most of the egregious nominees but stopping Talley may be in reach because of the depth of his lack of qualifications.

10.  In speaking about Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley, “Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he’s told President Trump to “reconsider” two controversial judicial nominees. “  http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/364504-grassley-tells-trump-not-to-proceed-on-two-judicial-nominations  Since Grassley is now agreeing with us, let’s thank him and tell him that want him to keep protecting the unbiased nature of our courts.

11.   Hate crimes are on the rise in Trump’s America, with the FBI seeing an increase in the annual number of hate crimes reported to them for the first time since they started collecting data in 1992 (http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/politics/hate-crimes-fbi-2016-rise/index.html). Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation to try to keep us safe from those that commit them: The Disarm Hate Act (S.1324/H.R. 2841), which would prohibit Americans convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes at the state and local level from buying or possessing guns. Let’s make sure our members of Congress know that this is the kind of action we want them to see against hate, not tweeting platitudes. We can check to see if our senators and representatives are already co-sponsoring the proposal here and here, and contact them to thank them or to ask them why they haven’t signed on.

12.  One of the most powerful conservative lobby groups, ALEC, “is considering a resolution recommending that Congress repeal the 17th amendment, adopted over 100 years ago to allow citizens to directly elect their U.S. senators instead of state legislators.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-08/corporate-revolt-has-business-group-at-a-crossroads-over-climate  Let’s contact our MoCs to make sure that they oppose any measure that would deny our rights to directly choose our senators. And let’s do our part to flip state governments blue, so that conservatives don’t have the majority they would need to call a constitutional convention.

Election 2017/2018

1.       We are all so happy that Doug Jones won yesterday, but as Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn, said on Twitter yesterday, “Make a deal with yourself -- If Roy Moore wins today, you’ll do everything in your power to take away GOP control of Congress in 2018. And if Doug Jones wins today, you’ll do everything in your power to take away GOP control of Congress in 2018.

2.      Progressive energy is building for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, and now we're told that a record-smashing 391 Democratic candidates for state & local races have registered and are raising campaign funds like crazy (https://www.vox.com/2017/12/11/16748716/chart-democrats-2018-midterms-elections). To channel our energy into a true Blue Wave, though, we need to start helping these folks get organized, raise awareness, engage with voters and, yes, raise money. Let's find a campaign in our own district/state to support! Unsure where to look? Start with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee:  https://races.dlcc.org/

 Other Actions

1.       For most all states, this Friday is the last day to sign up for ACA health insurance. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/12/569981749/deadline-is-friday-for-most-aca-insurance-sign-ups-with-important-exceptions  If we or someone we know needs to sign up, let’s do it!  Sign up here:  https://www.healthcare.gov/

2.      Military Times has a survey about allowing transgendered people into the military.  https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/12/11/tell-us-do-you-support-a-court-ruling-to-allow-transgender-recruits-to-join-the-military/ Let’s take it.

3.      The Southern Poverty Law Center is looking for volunteer attorneys, law students, and fluent bilingual speakers of English & another language. Volunteers are needed to help protect the right to due process for immigrants detained in the Southeast. Both remote and on the ground efforts needed. Mentorship and training is provided. More info available at http://bit.ly/2l50icZ

4.      Part of fighting back against centuries of systemic racial oppression includes doing what we can to make reparations https://policy.m4bl.org/reparations/ http://theatln.tc/2j2mgr4 Last year, Seattle-based artist Natasha Marin created "Reparations," a website and Facebook group, which connects people of color who need help or services, with white people who are able to satisfy those services or offer help http://bit.ly/2aAaHJ5 From the Reparations website, "I invite People of Color to ask for what we need to feel better, be happier, be more productive by posting in this space. These may be both material and immaterial requests.  I invite people who identify as White to offer services or contributions to People of Color in need of time, energy, substantive care, and support," http://www.reparations.me/about For those of us who would like to participate, let's take advantage of this opportunity to ask for or offer help. We can visit the Reparations website, or the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reparations.me/

5.      MassMutual is adamant that they do not support the Senate campaign of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican accused of preying on teenage girls. However, they donated $15,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) which did support Roy Moore. “MassMutual does not support – nor will we ever support – Mr. Moore’s campaign,” the company added in their statement last week. Let's read the article at boston.com. If Roy Moore has won the Alabama seat, let's contact MassMutual to let them know that we consider any donations from them to the RNC to be verification their support for Roy Moore and child molesters.  MassMutual, Attn: Roger William Crandall, Chairman, CEO, & President, 1295 State St, Springfield MA 01111-0001.  If we have insurance with MassMutual and Roy Moore wins, we may want to consider finding a new insurance company. If we do change, let's be sure to tell them why: we don't support companies that support pedophilia. 

6.      Surprisingly, the powerful conservative lobby group, ALEC, has “scrapped a measure declaring that climate change is not a risk after opposition from Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.” And “Exxon Mobil Corp. has agreed to regularly disclose analyses of the impacts to its business from climate change and policies meant to fight it.”https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-08/corporate-revolt-has-business-group-at-a-crossroads-over-climate and http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/364435-exxon-to-disclose-climate-change-risks Let’s thank Exxon and Chevron for doing the right thing here http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/company/contact-us/email-us and https://www.chevron.com/about/contact/email-chevron

7.      Roland Martin, one of the most important Black voices in the media, has just had his show News One Now cancelled. After the loss of Melissa Harris Perry and Tamron Hall, it's beyond time to speak up. Whitewashing airwaves is a serious problem as media markets consolidate into fewer, richer whiter hands. When that happens, stereotypes remain unchallenged and serious issues remain unaddressed. We can join Color of Change in protesting this by adding our voices here, thanking Roland Martin for all he has done and calling on multimedia companies to invest in his and other Black-led media programs.  http://bit.ly/2yU9zte

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       In DC today: “Republicans are pushing hard to pass this tax bill fast, whether the American people want it or not. THIS WEDNESDAY, leaders from the Women's March, Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, and others will come together to say NO to Trump's brazen attempt to steal from the poor and middle class in order to enrich himself and Republican donors. We are going to stand up and fight for health care, for women's economic rights, against crushing student debt, and for a fairer, more equitable nation.:  Sign up here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSccXhs6Dr8H9n79phw6hUmmJtMJUkJbLunLriCnaoT0IeMvZQ/viewform

2.      With the upcoming 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, nationwide vigils and events are being held to end gun violence.  Let’s find one here, or start one:  http://foundation.newtownaction.org/2017/11/01/2017-nationwide-vigils-events-endgunviolence/

States

1.       KY - Kentucky State Representative Dan Johnson has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenager. Despite calls for his resignation, Johnson refuses to step down. Mac Brown, chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said in a statement this week that the sexual abuse story was "extensively sourced" and that Republicans "once again find ourselves in a position where we must call for him to resign, this time, from the Kentucky General Assembly." Mary Nishimuta, executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party, called on Johnson to step down immediately on Monday. "This is indicative of a corrupt culture in Frankfort that the Republican Party continues to accept," she said. "Kentucky’s families deserve better.” And Republican House leaders, including Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, said in a statement that the latest allegations were "shocking" and that Johnson should resign. The group said the "victim’s statements, made on the record in her own name, are compelling and deeply troubling."  Let's read more at the Courier-Journal. If we are Kentuckians, let's call on our Kentucky State Representative to call for an immediate investigation into the abuse allegations since Johnson refuses to resign.

Reading/Watching

1.       “Here’s How to Find Out If Your Elected Officials Are Blocking Constituents on Facebook and Twitter” -  https://www.propublica.org/article/how-to-find-out-if-your-elected-officials-are-blocking-constituents-on-facebook-and-twitter

2.      “Understanding the Evangelical obsession with Israel” - https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/12/11/understanding-evangelical-obsession-israel

3.      With Doug Jones’ win yesterday, we all know how we helped, but massive voter turnout and the organizing behind that is a major, and very encouraging story. We can read this tweetstorm from Al Giordano about how the NAACP and several other groups carefully orchestrated an outstanding GOTV effort. We can learn from this for the next elections as we continue to flip this country Blue!  https://mobile.twitter.com/AlGiordano/status/940657094050615297