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Thursday, January 19, 2017

1/19/17  To-do List                                                            

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  1. Contrary to what was posted here earlier, Sen. Sanders’ office is NOT tracking full voice mailboxes for anyone.  Please accept my apologies for the misinformation.

  1. Yesterday's hearing showed Americans that Betsy DeVos is unqualified to serve as Secretary of Education. Ask your senators to tell the HELP committee that they will vote against her. Network for Public Education, an advocacy group started by Diane Ravitch, gives us an opportunity to send them a letter:  https://actionnetwork.org/letters/senators-must-commit-to-not-support-devos

  1. From My Civic Workout:  Maryland Friends! Did you ever feel a little jealous that all your Red State friends get to call and plead with their congressional folks to do the right thing?   Well, it looks like Senator Van Hollen is waffling on Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary. We don't need to tell you what a disaster she would be for public education, so please flood his office with calls. (Polite ones, please!)  You can call him at (202) 224-4654

  1. Join the National Education Association in telling Congress to NOT confirm DeVos for Education secretary:  http://edadvocacy.nea.org/nea/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=264253#.WHPq-_6xQZ5.facebook

  1. Russia hacked our election with the intention of putting Trump in power, according to our top lawmakers and our intelligence and law enforcement agencies.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein even said yesterday that Russian intervention changed the election outcome. Republican leaders have deflected calls for a bipartisan, independent investigation.  Now it’s our turn.  We need a special investigation.  NOW. Call the Office of the Attorney General: (202) 353-1555; Call your legislators:  https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials; Call the House Oversight Committee:  House Oversight Committee: (202) 225-5074

  1. Just 8 men now have the same wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people. Far from trickling down, income and wealth are instead being sucked upwards at an alarming rateWe need a political system that is accountable to all of us, not just special interests and the wealthy. It’s time to demand a changeIf you agree, click here and sign with OxFam to tell Trump and Congress that things need to change:  https://secure2.oxfamamerica.org/page/s/just-8-men

  1. Join the Environmental Defense Fund in opposing Scott Pruitt for the head of EPA.  We deserve an EPA Administrator who is guided by science, who respects America's environmental laws, and who values protecting the health and safety of all Americans ahead of the lobbying agenda of special interests.  https://secure2.edf.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&id=2866&page=UserAction&utm

  1. If you are interested in knowing why healthcare is so expensive, this might be an interesting read for you:  http://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/why-is-healthcare-so-expensive

  1. From RISE concerning Scott Pruitt for the head of the EPA:  Among other things, Pruitt denies climate change, has a history of fighting the EPA on its expenditures and regulations, & heavily supports the oil and gas industry. Specifically he has sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan and EPAs move to curtail the emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas linked to oil and gas.   Contact members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:  http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/members as well as your own senators: http://act.commoncause.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sunlight_advocacy_list_page .

  1. From RISE concerning the nomination of Tom Price for HHS Secretary:  Price adamantly opposes the Affordable Care Act (more on this coming soon) and plans to repeal without replacing it. He is a fierce opponent of abortion and a women's right to choose, holds a misguided belief that all women can afford birth control and therefore free contraception is an unnecessary component of the Affordable Care Act, and stands firmly against federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In 2015 he opposed legislation that would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against women taking birth control. Tom Price is also under question about stock investments he made in a medical device manufacturer that benefited from legislation he introduced.  Contact members of the HELP Committee:  http://www.help.senate.gov/about/members and your own senators, too:  http://act.commoncause.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sunlight_advocacy_list_page

  1. From Two Hours a Week:  Yet another billionaire has been tossed into the ring of cabinet positions. Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs executive, and current hedge fund and banking mogul will have his senate confirmation hearing this Thursday, January 19th.  Mnuchin earned his first fortune the old-fashioned way…he inherited it. And he has gone on to represent the worst of Wall Street greed, making billions off the housing crisis and ensuing foreclosures.  During the recession in 2009, he engineered the creation of OneWest Bank, a leader in foreclosing on seniors, and in communities of color, that profited him at the government's expense.  Steven Mnuchin's financial policies will do little for ordinary families and working class communities, and he will do lots to ensure the continued wealth of his wall-street cronies.  Not a good choice to oversee our Dept. of Treasury.  Contact the Finance Committee members:  https://www.finance.senate.gov/about/membership  and your own senators, too:  http://act.commoncause.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sunlight_advocacy_list_page

  1. With the possibility of some poor choices being made at the federal level, it is time to put pressure on our state governments to take on the bigger role of protecting our environment.  It is time to call out governors to ask that the states take the lead in fighting climate change, given that the federal government doesn't look like it's going to make it a priority.

  1. From Weekly Actions to Resist Trump (http://www.weekly-resistance.online/):  Call your governor and tell them you want the states to lead on climate action.  We can’t count on the federal government to act on this crisis. And #TheWorldCannotWait until 2021 for things to change.  Because “temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a threat…to human civilization.”  And we’re inaugurating a President who believes climate change is a “Chinese hoax" and is stacking his cabinet with Big Oil mouthpieces and science deniers.  Time to contact our own state government:  http://www.commoncause.org/take-action/find-elected-officials/

  1. “175 mayors from 42 states united on Wednesday to send a message: They will secure LGBT protections locally even if they're not advancing federally," as part of the bipartisan group Mayors Against Discrimination. Learn more about the organization here:  http://www.mayorsagainstlgbtdiscrimination.org/   Call/contact your mayor and urge them to join other mayors nationwide to take active steps in ensuring the protection of our LGBTQ communities.

  1. When the Standing Rock Sioux called for support, you stood with them, lifted their voices, and demanded that the administration take action. Today, because of this movement, the Army Corps of Engineers opened a public comment period as part of an environmental review. (http://www.kristv.com/story/34291363/federal-judge-allows-dapl-study-to-proceed)  Can you continue to stand with Standing Rock by submitting a public comment now via the Sierra Club?  https://sierra.secure.force.com/actions/National?actionId=AR0066309&id=\

  1. "Control of the House in 2018 will be decided by a handful of Swing Districts, places where the last election was decided by a thin margin."  Visit  https://swingleft.org/ to locate your nearest swing district and get information about action opportunities in your area. 

  1. When Donald Trump won the election, he promised to be a President for all Americans. 
    But so far, he’s assembled one of the most openly homophobic administrations in history
    And sadly, the inauguration is shaping up to be no exception.  Many of the religious figures Trump invited have used their influence to express hatred and discrimination toward the LGBT community.  Please join Equality PAC, which is dedicated to electing openly LGBT people and strong LGBT allies to the United States Congress, in telling Trump to reject anti-LGBT clergy from the inauguration: http://go.fightforequality.org/page/s/Stop-Anti-Gay-Pastors?

From My Civic WorkoutNot sure if protesting is for you? Going to the Women's March in DC or in your hometown? Check out our guide to protesting safely!  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B88YQqp--MevQzNKZ0ZoMDhBVzQ/view

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