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2/20/18


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.       Out of respect for the Parkland shooting victims, Trump was apparently counseled to stay off the golf course this weekend while in Florida. He took to Twitter instead and made it even more obvious that he is not going to defend our nation against the Russian attacks:  https://apnews.com/8f6e1fd141da4efdb1efc880d03aae1e  Trumps refusal to enact the Russian sanctions will only encourage the Russians.  Let’s be in touch with our senators to express outrage about the lack of appropriate response to the indictments and encourage them to co-sponsor  the DETER Act (S. 2313) which would automatically impose severe sanctions on Russia if Putin interferes in our elections.

2.      In 1996, the NRA goaded Congress into effectively blocking gun violence research.  “Infuriated by CDC-funded research suggesting that having firearms in the home sharply increased the risks of homicide, the NRA goaded Congress in 1996 into stripping the injury center's funding for gun violence research – $2.6 million. Congress then passed a measure drafted by then-Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) forbidding the CDC to spend funds "to advocate or promote gun control." http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-gun-research-funding-20160614-snap-story.html  Imagine if this were to happen with any other cause of death. Let’s contact our MoCs and insist that the Dickey Amendment be repealed.  We have a right to know what is happening. 

3.      While the House passed H.R. 620: ADA Education and Reform Act, a rollback on the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is not clear whether there would be enough support in the Senate to clear the 60 votes needed to pass the bill http://bit.ly/2EFiUJX Still, let's be sure to call our senators and make sure that they oppose the ADA Education and Reform Act. Disability and civil rights groups fear the bill will weaken incentives for businesses to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which mandates equal access to public accommodations.  We can use the call script available at 5calls:  https://5calls.org/issue/americans-with-disabilities-act-ada

4.      EPA Chief Scott Pruitt claimed in a recent article in Time Magazine that he has to fly first class because people in coach have been mean to him. http://time.com/5158661/scott-pruitt-first-class/. Recently, Pruitt spent $1,641 on a first-class seat from Washington to New York, and a total of $58,000 on non-commercial flights. Meanwhile, the President wants to decimate the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology and slash funds for prosecuting environmental crimes and administering clean air and water programs. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/02/12/trump-budget-seeks-23-percent-cut-at-epa-would-eliminate-dozens-of-programs/?utm_term=.934782030355. Perhaps this is why people are being mean. Let’s tell Mr. Pruitt that we want him to spend our taxpayer money on protecting the environment, not on his wasteful transportation habits.(202) 564-4700; Pruitt.Scott@epa.gov; Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EPAScottPruitt Twitter: @EPAScottPruitt.

5.      According to Federal Judicial Court nominee Gordon Giampietro, criminals come from public schools, birth control is an assault on nature and gay marriage opens the doors to polygamy. Let's read more about him at Urban Milwaukee then contact our Senators to let them know we oppose this extremist anti-LGBTQ candidate. 

6.      FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has cleared the regulatory path for Sinclair Broadcasting, a giant television conglomerate and vocal Trump mouthpiece, to buy Tribune Media. This deal would put Sinclair into 72% of US households, but thanks to the hard work and diligence of US Representative Frank Pallone, the FCC's Inspector General has agreed to investigate Pai's close connections with Sinclair and any favorable treatment Pai may have provided. http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/fcc-ig-agreed-to-investigate-pai-handling-of-sinclairtribune/282776   Let's send a word of thanks to Congressman Pallone for pushing the FCC to take a much-needed second look at this sweetheart deal:  https://palloneforms.house.gov/contact/

7.      ultraviolet has prepared a February Congressional Recess toolkit for us called “Women Grab Back:  Fighting for Justice in the Trump Era”.  https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.weareultraviolet.com/images/20180214-UV-recess-toolkit-web.pdf Let’s use it!

8.     From one of our own:  These are the 80 bills currently in Congress. All of them propose commonsense gun safety reforms. Not a single one is being acted on by our GOP- and NRA-controlled Congress. Your task: use this doc to Resistbot and tweet the names of the bills to GOP members of Congress. Going further, at the marches this month, make 80 signs with the names of the bills. List names of victims on the back. Shame Congress for not doing more when the legislation's just sitting there waiting to be passed.  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IrXrSlA-OR6hPCDZCt93UHGAa-75omkdPkEOmrCeONg/edit#gid=859455503  Please share with your groups!

9.      The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is making what’s been dubbed an unofficial visit to India to promote his family’s real estate projects. But he’s also planning to deliver a foreign policy speech on Indo-Pacific relations at an event with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Indian newspapers have been running full-page, glossy advertisements hyping his arrival and the latest Trump Tower project under the headline: “Trump is here — Are You Invited?” The ads also invited home buyers to plunk down a booking fee (about $38,000) to “join Mr. Donald Trump Jr. for a conversation and dinner.” News that the Trump Organization would be offering buyers in the Trump Tower the chance to meet the president’s son sparked criticism of potential conflict of interest, and the fact that Trump Jr. will be giving a foreign policy speech while on a private business trip complicates the matter further, ethics expert said.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/trump-jr-to-give-foreign-policy-speech-while-on-unofficial-business-trip-to-india/2018/02/19/37d00c37-d9e8-40c4-934b-0a26b8160dcd_story.html?utm_term=.c5f07864066e   Jr. is peddling the trump business on our tax dollars. Secret service dollars will be used to protect him while he sells condos in India for his dad and delivers a foreign policy speech. He’s not part of the WH staff. Let’s contact the White House and tell Trump to stop mixing his family business with government. Stop wasting our tax dollars and filling your pockets.

10.  Redlining was outlawed years ago.  “Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts.”  https://apnews.com/ae4b40a720b74ad8a9b0bfe65f7a9c29 Time to let our MoCs know that this needs to be addressed and fixed.

11.   “Hundreds of federal political ads — including those from major players such as the Democratic National Committee and the Donald Trump 2020 campaign — are running on Facebook without adequate disclaimer language, likely violating Federal Election Commission rules, a review by ProPublica has found.”  https://www.propublica.org/article/i-approved-this-facebook-message-but-you-dont-know-that  Let’s tell our senators to get behind the Honest Ads Act (S. 1989).  It’s been sitting in the Senate Rules and Administration Committee since October.  Let’s scroll down this page to see the committee members we also need to contact:  https://www.rules.senate.gov/

Election 2018 – General

1.       State election officials, including many secretaries of state, have just been briefed by national intelligence agencies about the ongoing threat of interference in US elections by foreign powers. https://www.npr.org/2018/02/19/586968070/election-heads-straddle-the-line-between-sounding-the-alarm-and-being-alarmist One election official commented that he feels obligated to "straddle the line between sounding the alarm on the issue and being alarmist," for fear of eroding public trust in elections. Well, preserving trust in the voting process assumes that the process itself is free & fair, so with the White House recklessly ignoring the proven problem of foreign meddling, let's tell our election officials that they need to keep pushing the intelligence community to provide them with the information they need to safeguard the linchpin of our democracy. http://www.e-secretaryofstate.com

2.      We know that voting for MoCs who do not receive funds from the NRA is important, but so is how they vote on gun-related legislation which we can see here: 
https://www.npr.org/2018/02/19/566731477/chart-how-have-your-members-of-congress-voted-on-gun-bills  Let’s use this information to make good choices during our upcoming elections.


Election 2018 – By State

Other Actions

1.       Feeling moved and lifted up by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida like David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Emma Gonzalez? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/19/florida-shooting-students-push-gun-control  Let’s send notes of gratitude and encouragement to them: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 5901 Pine Island Rd, Parkland, FL 33076 and then let’s follow their lead! Here are some ways we can get connected to gun violence social actions upcoming on March 14th, March 24th, and April 20th: 

2.      Women’s March Youth EMPOWER group is looking for “seasoned organizers to support the courageous youth organizing of this event as coaches. Each coach will join a coaches training call and be paired with at least two youth organizers to support.”  If we can help, let’s sign up here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1msLHioGyr6dRtKihV5IEE34__bhDyeO7Z41ByDAkcds/viewform?edit_requested=true

3.      State attorneys general have been on the front lines of the legal fight against the Trump administration, and this November we have an opportunity to add to their ranks. Governing Magazine considers nine attorney general seats to be in play this fall – seven of which are currently held by Republicans (http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-2018-attorneys-general-races-states.html). Let’s help elect more Democrats to this crucial and under-publicized position. We can donate to the Democratic Attorneys General Association here: https://democraticags.org/

4.      For far too long, the NRA has seemed like an all-powerful, unstoppable force, stopping all efforts at gun control, but Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, tells us that thinking that way is part of the problem. She recommends that we read this twitter thread, by ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis, on liberal fatalism to see how we can begin to think and the act differently to enact effective gun control in our country: https://twitter.com/AlecMacGillis/status/964984035628986368

5.      The NRA has a well-stocked supply of arguments and talking points to deflect serious discussion of meaningful Gun control, but people are starting to answer back. A veteran and gun owner gives a powerful, strongly supported point-by point-refutation of many of their claims in this Facebook post by his sister, Calista Kline. We can read this and draw from these arguments in our gun control discussions: 

6.      On February 14th, a coalition of organizations coordinated their efforts to provide a month of Bail Outs, in observance of Black History Month and International Women's Month. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people are incarcerated, without convictions, because they cannot afford bail. Black Love Bail Out works to provide bail money for those who cannot afford it. We can help bring Black Love Bail Out to our local communities; let's check out the toolkit available at https://nomoremoneybail.org/#top 

7.      In solidarity with their Florida counterparts, high schoolers in Kalamazoo, MI have created a petition asking for gun reform:  http://michiganradio.org/post/65000-and-counting-sign-kalamazoo-students-petition-responsible-gun-control Let’s sign it:  https://www.change.org/p/students-fighting-guns-since-adults-won-t

8.     From Suit Up Maine:  Good, practical steps we can take so we do not contribute to false information:  https://www.suitupmaine.org/not-stop-spread-false-information-social-media/

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       On Wednesday, February 21st at 12 PM, there will be a rally to support Gun Safety Reforms in front of the Old Florida Capitol. Yet another assault weapon has been used as a tool of destruction in order to commit mass murder. We want these weapons and large capacity magazines banned in the state of Florida. Senate Bill 196 and 1476 are sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee and has yet to be heard. We call to place these, and other Gun Reform Bills on the agenda and give it a fair hearing! #HeartheBills Parkland students and State Representatives will speak. We can find out more about the event, and how to join in here:

2.      After years of hard work by a broad coalition of activists, late last month Washington’s governor Jay Inslee rejected an application to build North America’s largest oil train terminal in Vancouver (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/371254-washington-gov-rejects-proposed-oil-by-rail-train-station). Now STAND.earth and the folks who helped earn this victory are coming together to host a webinar on the lessons they learned we can apply to future fights with Big Oil and big corporations. The event will be held at 3pm Eastern on February 21st, and we can sign register to take part at this link.

3.      We can sign up to attend the February 27th “Until Freedom Comes: A Comprehensive Bail Out Toolkit Webinar” here:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/167d0c71442e1989c5b9141539e44ee6

4.      March 3rd, Black Lives Matter: Houston and Houston Rising are hosting March for Black Women in Houston, TX.  Details here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/314975859009519


States

1.       ALL: “There have been more than 290 shootings on school campuses in the U.S. since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012 according to Everytown For Gun Safety, an advocacy group. Incidents were classified as school shootings when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on campus, as documented in news accounts. This includes events that did not target students or teachers, like suicides, misfires and other activity.”  http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-school-shootings-since-newtown/ Guns don’t belong in elementary schools, colleges or universities. Take a look at the map and see how many of these school shootings were in your state, then call your Reps and ask for sensible gun laws.

2.      MOST:  While gun advocates might like you to believe otherwise, facts have shown that gun violence is lowest in states with strict gun laws. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/nyregion/florida-shooting-parkland-gun-control-connecticut.html  Only five states (CA, CT, OR, WA, and IN) have a “red flag” law that allows the courts to confiscate people’s guns if they are deemed to be a threat. http://time.com/5165221/gun-control-law-states-florida-shooting/. Let’s contact our state legislators and ask them to introduce “red flag” legislation in our state. We can find our legislators’ contact information here: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

3.      FL: Florida's Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) has put forth two proposals in particular that would strip away significant religious freedom protections that have been a vital part of Florida’s constitution for more than 130 years. 1) Proposal 4 would fully repeal the No-Aid Provision of the Florida Constitution, which ensures that taxpayer dollars do not fund religion. 2) Proposal 45 would effectively repeal the Uniform Public Education Provision, which ensures that public dollars fund public schools that serve all our students and are not funneled into private and religious schools. Let's read more at Americans United. Though the CRC is likely to pass these proposals when it convenes for a final vote in May, it is enormously important for commissioners and members of the media to know that there is strong and coordinated opposition to these proposals. Let's take a look at the list of public hearings here and make a plan to attend if we are able.

4.      MD: A state bill, HB0511, in the Maryland House of Delegates would require all institutions of higher education in the state to form “hate-bias” prevention programs and reporting systems that would be tracked by the state legislature. We can read more about it at The College Fix.  If we are Maryland residents, let's contact our own delegates to let them know we support HB0511.  If we are in other states, we can contact our own state representatives to ask how they are addressing hate-bias at state colleges and universities and point to Maryland's bill as one part of the solution.

Reading/Watching


1.       Yesterday, we had a piece from the NY Times on how Russian bots and trolls work: https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000005414346/how-russian-bots-and-trolls-invade-our-lives-and-elections.html. Here's a new exclusive piece on how these bots and trolls ACTUALLY tried to interfere in state-level politics. We hope this investigative piece by Denver Post reporter John Frank is followed up by journalists in other states: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/19/colorado-russian-trolls-twitter-new-analysis/ 

2.      Suit Up Maine has come out with a “Victories and Good News Roundup” to show us that we are getting things done!   https://www.suitupmaine.org/victories-good-news-roundup  








2/19/18


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.       This week in Congress. Both the House and Senate are scheduled for state work periods this week.  If we can, let's show up at their local district offices and attend any town halls they may be having.  We can also use this Recess Toolkit from Indivisible:  https://recess.indivisible.org/

2.      Over the weekend, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Emma Gonzalez called for action on gun control and called out politicians who took money from the NRA in a powerful speech (https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/17/us/florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech/index.html). Gun control activists are launching a new campaign that heeds her call and aims to make the NRA’s endorsement radioactive. #NoNRAMoney features two petitions, one allowing candidates to publicly reject NRA support, and the other for voters to vow to oppose any candidate who takes NRA money. We can take the pledge, and ask candidates to take it, at https://www.nonramoney.org

3.      Newsweek reported this week that a woman mailed a check for thoughts and prayers to her Republican Congressman. http://www.newsweek.com/woman-mails-thoughts-and-prayers-check-809846. The photo has gone viral. Let’s send Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and any of our own MoCs who receive NRA contributions a check for thoughts and prayers and with a strong message that we will not vote for any representative who prioritizes NRA funding over the lives of children. If we’d rather not use real checks, we can print these postcards that look like checks:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/16m3veYhtk5CnJsFDSqyqGxSj5m9r86Yo/view  We can find out which of our MoCs receive contributions here. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/nra-donations/?utm_term=.9ca312b931f1

4.      “The National Rifle Association has a financial chokehold on much of Congress. It’s one of the main reasons why, in the wake of mass shootings such as the ones in Parkland, FL, Sutherland Springs, TX, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Bernardino, and Sandy Hook, we remain unable to pass commonsense gun laws.  In the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, two representatives–Representatives Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Tim Walz (Minnesota)–have donated previous NRA contributions to gun violence protection groups.  Now, MoveOn members across the country are petitioning their fellow lawmakers to join them.”  Let’s see how much our MoCs have accepted and find a petition to sign:  https://front.moveon.org/has-your-member-of-congress-received-campaign-support-from-the-nra/#MI

5.      An extremely under-reported story is the number of civilian deaths resulting from U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, which has reached an all-time high under the current administration. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-civilian-deaths-syria-iraq-middle-east-a7649486.html. We need to express our outrage and insist on greater transparency and ask our MoCs to pass H.R. 700, which subjects the National Security Council, who are responsible for making decisions about drone strikes to Freedom of Information Act requests. More information can be found from this excellent op-ed: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-samdani-civilian-deaths_us_5a81ec3ee4b0580d3d6d5659.

6.      From Families USA:  Members of Congress will be home this week for recess: Use our toolkit to let them know you're holding them accountable to defend #healthcare in 2018 and ask for a #DreamActNow http://bit.ly/2o9Qnkg 

7.      “Earlier this week, EPA announced that its National Exposure Research Laboratory in Las Vegas would close. Fifty employees will have to either relocate to another EPA office in Cincinnati, Ohio or Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, or leave EPA altogether by Sept. 30, 2018. But Pruitt is not planning dramatic shuttering of big offices to reduce EPA. Rather, this administration will embark on “workforce reshaping” to weaken the EPA to rubble. Ever since embarking on his campaign, Trump has saved his most virulent attacks for the EPA, paradoxically one of the most effective federal agencies of the past 50 years. At first, Trump did not even know the correct name of the agency he sought to condemn, telling Sean Hannity that “The Department of Environmental…I mean, the D-E-P is killing us environmentally, it’s just killing our businesses.”  The key to stopping further slides in EPA’s effectiveness will be if Congress ceases to authorize this administration to “reshape” the “workforce” by including millions of dollars in incentives for retirement while continuing to allow the agency to maintain its effective hiring freeze.  http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/374167-the-79-million-plan-to-gut-epa-staff  Let’s pressure our Reps in Congress to authorize the funds to keep the EPA working for all of us and stop the “workforce reshaping” that Pruitt and Trump want to use to destroy the EPA and our natural resources for business gains.

8.     As soon as next week, the House will vote on H.R. 3299, a bill that would give the green light to payday lenders to charge debt trap-level interest rates to low-income consumers (https://www.consumerfinancemonitor.com/2017/11/20/house-financial-services-committee-approves-madden-fix-bill/). Consumer advocates and 20 state attorneys general have warned that this bill is dangerous.  Let’s tell our House members we expect them to listen to them and vote no. We can call or use this tool from Americans for Financial Reform to e-mail.

9.      In Florida, it is easier to buy an AR-15 assault rifle than a handgun. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/us/ar15-mass-shootings-guns.html. While one has to be 21 to drink or buy a handgun, one can buy an AR-15 at age 19. Congress instituted a 10-year ban on assault rifles in 1994, but the Republican-controlled Congress let the ban expire in 2004. It’s time to tell our MoCs that no one’s rights are impinged by a ban on these dangerous weapons that have no other use than to kill people.  Let’s ask our senators to co-sponsor and support S.2095:  Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.  It is time to reinstate this ban and save lives. 

10.  In a bit of irony, the “Secret Service confirmed Thursday that those attending President Trump’s Friday speech to the National Rifle Association in Atlanta must leave their guns outside.”  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/330973-secret-service-no-guns-at-trump-nra-speech#.WoY5iLgmrL8.twitter  Let’s let the White House know that the same instructions should be followed for schools, movie theaters, shopping center, and all other public places, too. 

Election 2018 – General

1.       Even if we think we already know, let’s take this quiz from iSideWith.com to see how we align with political parties and candidates.

2.      Postcards to Voters continues its first primary campaign with Campaign 54 for Marie Newman, Democrat for Illinois congressional district 3.  It’s time for a True-Blue progressive like Marie Newman to hold this seat in Congress. We can help by writing 5 postcards to voters in IL03 to get out the vote. Returning writers may text WIN to (484) ASK-ABBY which is (484) 275-2229 and get addresses right away, 24/7 with an emailed courtesy copy for added convenience. If we are new to this effective grassroots effort: Email:  Join@TonyTheDemocrat.org  OR text JOIN to (484) ASK-ABBY.  If we have any friends or relatives in or near Chicago, let's be sure to tell them about this campaign.

3.      The special election for Kentucky House District #89 will be held on February 27th, and the Democrats have nominated university librarian and progressive activist Kelly Smith to face off against Republican Robert Goforth. Smith is running to fight back against education funding cuts and privatization and wants to push for everyone to pay their fair share (http://www.richmondregister.com/opinion/brosi-kelly-smith-emerges-for-th-district/article_35a6abc8-082c-11e8-b6eb-1fd646f6dc57.html). Let’s help her out! We can sign up to write postcards for her BY TOMORROW with #PostcardsToVoters. Find instructions here.

4.      Eleven sitting lawmakers have used campaign funds to pay membership dues to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The FEC (Federal Election Committee) bans lawmakers from spending campaign money on personal expenses, but it does allow for those funds to be used on “membership dues in an organization that may have political interests.” The general counsel at the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center told McClatchy the key question is how lawmakers view their NRA membership as it relates to their office and if they would be a dues-paying member if they weren't an elected official. Are they saying they would not be a member of the NRA if they weren’t an officeholder?” he told McClatchy. The NRA has spent over $1 million on elections in the 2018 cycle, according to Open Secrets. It also spent $30 million to back President Trump in the 2016 presidential race.  
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/374214-eleven-lawmakers-have-used-campaign-funds-to-pay-nra-dues-report  Let’s be sure to check out who we are electing in November and make sure they aren’t paying the NRA membership fees with campaign dollars or taking NRA contributions.


Election 2018 – By State

1.       KY:  There is a special election today Kentucky House District 49, so let’s make sure we cast our ballots for Linda Belcher (http://kycir.org/2018/02/12/in-special-election-bullitt-county-voters-face-very-different-choices/).

2.      MS:  Special election tomorrow for those of us in Mississippi’s House District 60.  Let’s get out and vote for labor activist Morris Mock (https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/4-run-for-vacant-mississippi-house-seat-in-rankin-county/).  

Other Actions

1.       Former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has pledged to match all donations to Everytown for Gun Safety. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/04/mike-bloomberg-offers-to-match-every-donation-to-fight-gun-violence.html?__source=sharebar|facebook&par=sharebar. Watch 14-year-old Parkland, Florida high school student Emma Gonzalez’s amazing speech https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/17/us/florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech/index.html and then double your impact by donating now to this common sense gun control activist group. https://everytown.org/

2.      Short, but important piece by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on three things we can do right now to fight gun violence:  https://medium.com/@ChrisMurphyCT/three-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-fight-gun-violence-b666c6f52c5e Let’s all do them. 

3.      Students at Pelham (NY) High School walked out of school Friday morning to ask Congress to act following the deadly shooting in Florida. High schoolers in Pelham watched the shooting unfold in the high school in Parkland, Florida, and say they now wonder if their school could be next. http://westchester.news12.com/story/37527508/pelham-high-school-students-stage-walkout-after-florida-shooting  #MENEXT is now a powerful Twitter hashtag.  The #MENEXT movement now has a Facebook page growing in larger numbers everyday with students across the country posting their faces with the same hash tag sign the students at Pelham used in their protest. It’s a powerful statement to see those faces with that hashtag.  You can “like and follow” the FB page at the link.  Adults in most cases are encouraging students with other post of news articles in favor of sensible gun laws. As always there are a few trolls. Let’s encourage this powerful movement.  https://www.facebook.com/menext2018/

4.      From one of our own:  Charlotte, NC is preparing a bid to host the 2020 Republican National Convention. I have started a Petition on Change.org, asking them to scrap plans on hosting the RNC and to withdraw any bid that may have already been made - until the Republican Party pledges to extend full equality and dignity to all LGBTQ citizens of America.  Please sign my Petition here and share it across all your social media networks https://www.change.org/p/charlotte-mayor-vi-lyles-charlotte-nc-just-say-no-to-the-rnc

5.      “As outrage after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting hits a fever pitchEverytown for Gun Safety (which reportedly received some $750,000 in unsolicited donations immediately after the attack) has released a “five-action plan”—called Throw Them Out—to kick out lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby and to energize supporters ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Everytown is also organizing 200 vigils around the country.”  https://www.vogue.com/article/everytown-throw-them-out-action-plan-congress-gun-lobby-parkland-florida-shooting  Let’s join this effort and work this plan.

6.      Russian bot activity increased significantly after Parkland. They are poised to control any story as soon, or even before, it breaks. Now we have a chance to fight back.  We can sign up with Active Resist, choose campaign or causes we want to follow.  Then, we’ll get notified when our candidate or cause needs likes and comments to boost visibility on Social Media Platforms. This way, real people instead of bots, will be amplifying the message and getting control of the narrative. We can read more about how Active Resist works here:  https://activeresist.com/about.html  We can sign up here: https://activeresist.com/register.html  If we are running for office, we can also sign up for this free service by agreeing to play nice during primaries and sending an email to admin@activeresist.com

7.      Students are stepping and demanding laws to protect them from gun violence. If we are a student who wants to become involved, or if we know such a student, we can check out Students Demand Action, a new group from Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action:  http://act.everytown.org/sign/join-students-demand-action

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       This year, on February 24, working people and our allies will join together to demand an end to an economy that’s rigged against working people and defend the freedoms that Dr. King fought and died for, like the freedom from want, the freedom from hate, the freedom to vote, the freedom to join together in strong unions. On Feb. 26, the Supreme Court will hear a case that involves whether public-sector workers can be forced to join or otherwise financially support their workplace's unions as a condition of employment. (Source: Washington Examiner) Ahead of this care, the AFL-CIO is sponsoring the Working People's Day of Action. We can read more about it and find an event near us at itsaboutfreedom.org

2.      The survivors of the Parkland shooting are turning their anger into action, and they are organizing a march on Washington D.C. on March 24 to demand action against gun violence (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/florida-teen-shooting-survivors-announce-march-washington-demand/story?id=53178265). We can commit to marching with them in D.C. or in our own communities and supporting their efforts at their websiteon Facebook or on Twitter.

3.      Network for Public Education is calling “for mass action on April 20, the anniversary of the horrific shootings at Columbine High School. We urge teachers, families, students, administrators and every member of the community to engage in acts of protest in and around their schools. Create actions that work best in your community.  Organize sit-ins, teach-ins, walkouts, marches–whatever you decide will show your school and community’s determination to keep our students safe.”  https://networkforpubliceducation.org/2018/02/join-us-day-action-stop-gun-violence-schools/

4.      We’ve seen over the last few days how powerful the voices of the students who survived the horrors of school shootings can be, and how this generation of students is taking the lead in the fight for common sense gun control (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/02/17/we-last-mass-shooting-florida-students-might-tipping-point-gun-debate/347992002/). Young people are coming together to schedule a national school walkout at10:00am on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, to demand action against gun violence. Let’s support their efforts. We can find them on Twitter here and on Facebook here.

5.      One of our own is attempting to create a spreadsheet of all the gun reform events being held around the country.  If we are aware of any not on this list, please follow the instructions in red on the spreadsheet so the list can grow.  Click here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fbpir2Mz83LiOkDV75iL6QKv720OhnMrsxNxlMl2hwE/edit#gid=0

States

Reading/Watching

1.      
Experts in authoritarianism advise us to keep a list of things subtly changing around us, so we’ll remember.  Amy Siskind is keeping that list for us. Amy writes, "Another mass shooting shook the country and left Trump and his regime flat-footed ahead of bombshell indictments unsealed by Mueller against Russians on Friday"  Let's review Amy Siskind's list week 66.


3.      And, as usual, our weekly dose of Small Victories:  https://mailchi.mp/peaceisloud/small-victories-joyful-protest?e=86890239c4