Contact Federal Government Officials
1. “The Trump administration separated thousands of migrant children from their parents and then lost track of them after they were released from custody — long before the practice of family separation became formalized under the administration's “zero tolerance” policy last year.” https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/a3bweb/the-trump-administration-lost-track-of-thousands-of-migrant-children-separated-from-their-parents These families left all they knew for a hopeful chance at a future. We did not do what we should have done. We’ve also learned that money is being made on these asylum-seekers: https://mailchi.mp/9a634a852c44/profiting-from-immigration-detention Let’s ask our MoCs for an investigation and a fix to this devastating human rights injustice.
2. The government shutdown is now in its 28th day and the ramifications are increasing. It is costing so many so much. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/01/15/government-shutdown-2019-five-ways-federal-shutdown-wastes-money/2573961002/ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds the key. Let’s continue demanding he bring this to a vote that will surely pass. Contact: https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/officelocations
3. As if current policies favoring deregulation and lowering environmental standards aren't enough, EPA referrals for criminal prosecution are at their lowest since 1988, due to the administration’s gutting of the agency’s investigative unit. https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/425361-epa-referrals-for-criminal-prosecution-lowest-since-1988-report. Let’s talk to our MoCs and ask what they can do to make sure that polluters don’t get away with violating the minimal regulations we still have in place.
4. The House voted 362-53 to disapprove Trump’s lifting of sanctions on three Russian companies; https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/425864-house-votes-262-53-to-disapprove-trump-lifting-of-sanctions-on however, the same resolution fell three votes short in the Senate. https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/chuck-schumers-campaign-block-russia-sanctions-relief-comes-short and https://www.apnews.com/93e38e1cbc174e808c2902a90adc0505 So, the same group that will not vote to end the shutdown is willing to lift sanctions on companies implicated in the Russian investigation. Let’s thank GOP Sens. John Boozman (Ark.), Susan Collins (Maine), Tom Cotton(Ark.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), John Kennedy (La.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.), the Republican Senators who broke ranks and voted with the Democrats, but let’s also tell all our Republican Senators to stop enabling the president from doing things that are impacting American livelihood and demand that they support a bill to reopen the government immediately.
5. The maddening “doublespeak” continues as now Trump lawyer extraordinaire Rudy Giuliani would like us to believe that he never said there was no collusion with Russia:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia/trump-lawyer-giuliani-shifts-on-collusion-cant-say-if-campaign-tied-to-russia-idUSKCN1PB1P3 When we are contacting our MoC about the shutdown, let’s let them know that we are paying keen attention to the Russia story with concern and disgust.
6. Ex-coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler is being considered by the Senate for confirmation as head of the EPA. When asked whether he agreed with the conclusions of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, Wheeler said he couldn't answer because he had not been fully briefed on the report; "That's unacceptable," responded Sen. Ed Markey, D-MA),"You're looking to be confirmed as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency . . . . and you. . . haven't had enough time yet to review whether or not there's an extra level of urgency to this problem.”:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/16/climate-clash-democrats-grill-epa-nominee-andrew-wheeler-wednesday/2539053002/ Wheeler’s opposition to environmental regulation and his efforts to roll back pollution standards are widely-known; climate change, in Wheeler’s view, does not constitute the “greatest crisis” facing the EPA:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/16/andrew-wheeler-climate-change-trump-epa-hearings We must contact our senators and urge them to vote against Wheeler’s confirmation on the grounds that he has not only demonstrated his ignorance to the Senate but lied about the effects of deregulation.
7. The Disability Integration Act (now numbered S117), was reintroduced earlier this week. This bill helps fight for the independence of all people, including the disabled. We can read more at InsuranceNewsNet Let’s ask our senators to co-sponsor and support S117.
8. Yet another GOP representative has used racist language. Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) in the House yelled “Go back to Puerto Rico!” while Rep. Cárdenas (D-CA) was speaking. https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/house-floor-erupts-go-back-puerto-rico Let’s ask our representatives for the same removal from committee assignments and at least a disapproval resolution.
9. “As the Trump administration demands funding for a border wall to stop illegal immigration, a new study finds that for the seventh consecutive year, visa overstays far exceeded unauthorized border crossings.” https://www.npr.org/2019/01/16/686056668/for-seventh-consecutive-year-visa-overstays-exceeded-illegal-border-crossings Let’s tell our MoCs that if they are concerned about the number of undocumented workers, let’s use the correct research to work on the right solutions.
10. “The State Department is calling back its furloughed diplomats next week after shifting money to payroll from other accounts, but the returning employees will still have to wait to get their retroactive pay, officials said Thursday. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/shutdown-hits-us-diplomats-overseas-state-department-calls/story?id=60403477 This picking and choosing who is coming back and who is staying out is wrong. Please call your senators and ask for a no confidence vote to remove Mitch and proceed with a vote to open all government.
11. The advocates of business-as-usual are pumping out a steady stream of screeds deriding the Green New Deal as economically unrealistic (for example:
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/green-new-deal-comes-with-real-trade-offs-feds-kashkari-says-2019-01-15), while ignoring the fact that climate science has told us we have only 12 years to renounce our carbon-belching ways. Our situation is a bit like that of a person standing on the beach, watching an approaching tsunami while the guy next to you whines about the path to high ground being rocky and steep. We could all wait for someone to pave a highway to safety for us, but that would take far too long, so instead let's tell our reps and senators to join AOC, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and others in supporting a Green New Deal. We can't afford NOT to do it. https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal/#afford
1. As the wildly abnormal gets normalized around us, let’s think about small ways to keep key issues front and center: lapel pins, bumper-stickers, signs in yards and windows, emails to friends and family to express concern about shutdown and Russia, letters to the editor of our local paper, etc. Let’s also make sure that we are taking breaks and focusing on self-care in these hard times!
2. “Let’s take a quick look at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, otherwise referred to as the House Intelligence Committee. . . which is "charged with conducting oversight on the U.S. intelligence community and making sure that their activities are abiding by the Constitution and established laws. That includes the CIA, FBI, DEA, NSA, Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Homeland Security, the intelligence agencies of the 5 branches of the military, and 5 other agencies.": https://politicalcharge.org/2019/01/15/what-does-the-house-intelligence-committee-do/
3. Activists who work for well-being causes can significantly change our world for the better. However, activism can be a stressful process -- so it's vital for activists to manage stress well by investing in their own well-being while they're working for the well-being of others. CWB Senior Scholar Paul Gorski has developed these resources to help people overcome activist burnout:” https://wellbeing.gmu.edu/resources/thriving-activist
4. “Netflix has decided not to film its forthcoming teen drama “OBX” in North Carolina largely because of the remaining anti-LGBQT clause in that state’s House Bill 2. That’s the so-called “Bathroom Bill,” which says that transgender people can only use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates.” https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/television/2019/01/11/netflix-won-film-obx-north-carolina-due-bathroom-bill/VYlNaItwOLv1XpBMq4PDgM/story.html Let’s thank Netflix for standing up against hate: Netflix Corporate Headquarters 100 Winchester Circle Los Gatos, CA 95032
1. CA: Voting is a vital part of being a citizen, but registering to vote should not put us in danger. Now a new state law has just made registration safer. If sharing our address could put us in life-threatening danger, we may be eligible to register to vote confidentially. For more information, we can contact the Safe at Home program at (877) 322-5227 or visit www.sos.ca.gov/registries/safe-home/. We can also spread voter registration safety by sharing these links with our friends.
2. IA: Governor Kim Reynolds is proposing a constitutional amendment lifting the state's felon voting ban. The felon voting proposal, if approved, would overturn a ban on felon voting that former-Governor Terry Branstad enacted through executive order in 2011. Let's read more at Des Moines Register. Let's contact Gov. Reynolds to let her know that she has our support, then contact our Iowa state legislators to ask that they support this measure.
3. KS: In her first official act, Governor Laura Kelly signed an executive order reinstating the protections for LGBT workers that were eliminated by former-Governor Sam Brownback in 2015. The order is limited to executive branch agencies under Kelly’s control. Let's read more at The Wichita Eagle. Let's thank Gov. Kelly for her efforts and let our Kansas state legislators (State House, State Senate) know we want them to step on this issue as well.
4. VA: Virginia could be the State that gets us to the 3/4 States needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment! It passed on the Senate floor, 26-14, but faces an uphill battle going forward into the House. Speaker Kirk Cox indicated early on that he'd send the resolution to the friendly Rules committee. He did not. He instead sent it to the Privileges and Elections Committee, chaired by Del. Mark Cole. Mark Cole said early in the process that he'd give the ERA a "fair" hearing in his committee. He is now publicly backpedaling on that promise. To make matters worse, the word on the street is that House Republicans have made a deal with the national Family Foundation for $1,000,000 to "kill" the ERA. It’s up to us to help SAVE the ERA! Using the contact info below, we can call, email, or send a postcard to the following: A) Tell Speaker Cox to: "Send the ERA resolution directly to the House floor for a fair vote." Speaker Kirk Cox, Pocahontas Bldg., Rm. E605, 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219 or DelKCox@house.virginia.gov or (804) 698-1066, B) Tell Del. Mark Cole to: "Give the ERA resolution a full and fair hearing in the Privileges and Elections Committee." Delegate Mark Cole, P&E Chair, Pocahontas Bldg, Rm. E202, 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219 or DelMCole@house.virginia.gov, and C) to the Committee members: (Tap on “The Committee” icon) and their Contact details https://www.ratifyera.org/virginia?utm_source=so or (804) 698-1088 Let’s turn up the heat and pass the ERA!
5. WY: Governor Mark Gordon has requested that $21 million be added to the supplemental budget to diversify economy, protect wildlife and state lands from invasive species and predation, and better support local governments. We can read more at SweetwaterNOW. Let's contact Gov. Gordon to let him know that wildlife protection is one of our priorities. Let's contact our Wyoming state legislators to ask them to support Gov. Gordon's request for wildlife protection funding.
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. The #TrumpShutdown, the longest in U.S. history, continues unabated. Trump could end this by dropping his foolish wall funding demands, McConnell could end this by passing the same clean spending bill passed by both houses in December, then letting the Senate override a veto. Both have dug in their heels, but we’ve seen public pressure shift stubborn stances before and we can ratchet this pressure up. Let’s help turn on the heat by joining the #TrumpShutdown Twitter storm TODAY, Wednesday, January 16 at 8pm Eastern Time. Action Together Network’s Twitter Warriors have put this together and made it easy for us to join in. When we click on this link, we will find prewritten tweets that we can send out with just a few clicks. Every tweet counts, so let’s get busy!
2. The Indigenous Peoples March will be held on Friday, January 18, in Washington, D.C. We can find more information here: https://indigenouspeoplesmovement.com/
3. If we are looking for a truly inclusive Women’s March this weekend, inclusive from the top to bottom, let’s check out March On and join in: https://www.wearemarchon.org/jan2019/
1. Studies show that countries with more women in government have healthier populations - https://www.businessinsider.com/more-women-in-government-the-healthier-a-population-2019-1
2. For First Time in Recent History, a US Military Service Is Working Without Pay - https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/15/first-time-history-us-military-service-working-without-pay.html
3. Impeach Donald Trump - https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/impeachment-trump/580468/