5/2/17 To-do List
Contact Government Officials
- The GOP healthcare proposal is as dangerous as ever, yet reports are coming in that Republican officials believe they have the votes needed for it to pass http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/331337-cohn-i-think-we-have-the-votes-for-healthcare Let's keep calling our Representatives to let them know that we oppose the AHCA. The 65 has a great call script available: http://thesixtyfive.org/home
- The House and Senate investigations of Russian influence in the election and the Trump administration are shoddy at best. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article147402654.html Let’ call Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein at 202-514-2101 to ask him how setting up the Special Commission on Trump Russia is going.
- Keeping track of the local battles over health care isn’t easy. Trump has apparently reached a “tentative” agreement this week with Florida Gov. Rick Scott to establish a low income pool to reimburse hospitals for the care of uninsured patients: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/us/politics/medicaid-expansion-trump-obama-florida.html Even when these pools are not characterized as outright “slush funds,” they are widely understood as providing an alibi for severe reductions in Medicaid coverage, as it seems they would do in FL. This is a local fight with major national implications on which we should weigh in. Rick Scott’s office number is (850) 488-7146.
- Trump himself is dominating the news cycle to the detriment of other important stories that need attention. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trumpbeat-10-lessons-from-the-first-100-days/ Child sex trafficking in America is one of those issues. Child sex trafficking is child rape. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) has introduced bipartisan legislation to combat the sex trafficking of children on the Internet. https://wagner.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/wagner-introduces-bipartisan-allow-states-and-victims-to-fight-online Let’s tell our MoCs to support the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017.” We can’t let Trump block the view to the real problems of the American people.
- Rep. Tom MacArthur, a supposed
“moderate” Republican from New Jersey, has negotiated changes to Trumpcare
that keep the bill alive by undermining ACA’s coverage guarantees for
people with pre-existing conditions. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/upshot/what-changed-in-the-health-repeal-plan-to-win-over-the-freedom-caucus.html) We can send him a
message that we are going to protect our health care and hold our elected
officials accountable if they don’t by pledging to donate to his potential
opponent, Obama White House national security aide and RISE Stronger founder Andy Kim,
at this link: https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/206479/white-house-national-security-expert-and-rhodes-scholar-considering-running-in-new-jersey-home-district-against-trumpcare-2-0-author.
- President Trump has ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to reevaluate the status of 24 national monument sites. The obvious reason for this action is to open up these sites to drilling, mining, etc. http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/05/01/antiquities-act-bears-ears Let’s write or call Sec. Zinke, but also write or call the governors and senators of each of these states. If we have any kind of connection to the state or federal representatives or newspapers in any of these states, let’s contact them too. Let’s tell them we want to spend our tourist dollars visiting these sites and ask them to pressure Sec. Zinke to keep protecting our national treasures. Her is the list of monuments under review, links to info, and all the relevant contact information. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BbG6TNwmyJf9P_x5fc78wUrA9nruRZHgsDT5q6y-zxE/edit?usp=sharing
- “More than 62 million girls around the world are not attending school. But through the U.S. government’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative, a multilateral effort is putting education technology and a future at their fingertips.” http://blogs.voanews.com/techtonics/2017/04/14/let-girls-learn-partners-bring-education-tech-to-rural-ghana/ Until yesterday, when Trump, in another blow to women, immediately and abruptly ended the program. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/331387-cnn-trump-ending-michelle-obamas-girls-education-program Let’s let our legislators know that we think this program is important for the future of our world.
- Trump wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post about how he kept his promises in the first 100 days: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/president-trump-in-my-first-100-days-i-kept-my-promise-to-americans/2017/04/29/ad1c9574-2cfd-11e7-a616-d7c8a68c1a66_story.html His version of reality differs from ours. Let’s take a moment to let him know what we think of his first 100 days: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
- There are some positive signs that the GOP is taking the Russia investigation more seriously: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-russia-investigations-20170430-story.html We need to continue harping on this with our MoCs.
- Chief of Staff Reince Priebus put a chill in the air on Sunday morning when he raised the specter again of revisiting libel laws: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/30/reince-priebus-libel-law-change-media-white-house Please send him a postcard to remind him of how much we value our free press: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500 And then, as you are financially able, please support the press outlets that we are relying on so heavily at this time to help us protect our democracy.
- Net neutrality is a very confusing,
but essential issue with many implications for us all.
The critical point is that, wherever we stand on the issue of net neutrality, leaving it vulnerable to the shifting tides of presidential politics -- which is how it currently stands -- would be bad for everyone. Senator Thune (R-SD) is proposing that Congress pass legislation to help stabilize the regulatory environment known as "net neutrality." Let's thank Senator Thune for sounding bipartisan enough to make the idea of a compromise feasible: (202) 224-2321. Let's tell our MoCs, too, that we want them to talk about this issue, which should not be decided by partisan politics.
- A bi-partisan Senate bill? Yes! Senators Marco Rubio and Elizabeth Warren have introduced a bill (S.952) to shut down access to the financial system for human traffickers. https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=6CB49782-FD44-4958-A961-3C930855EA75 Let's send postcards and emails to both of our Senators asking them to cosponsor S.952.
- Charmaine Yoest, anti-abortion leader, is Trump's nominee for a senior Health and Human Services (HHS) under Secretary Tom Price. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-names-anti-abortion-leader-charmaine-yoest-high-post-hhs-n752836 Even though our chances of stopping this appointment are slim, our MoC's need to hear from us to know that we object.
- Support Yellowstone National Park! Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is introducing legislation (S.941) to halt mining in Montana's Paradise Valley and Yellowstone. http://www.livingstonenterprise.com/content/tester-introduces-legislation-permanently-protect-park-doorstep Let's encourage Tester's fellow senator Steve Daines (R-MT) to join Tester in cosponsoring S.941 to protect Yellowstone: Sen.Steve Daines, 222 N. 32nd St., Ste. 100, Billing MT 59101
- The Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) is scheduled for a markup today . This legislation would dismantle Dodd-Frank consumer protections and ease regulations against Wall Street and big banks. There are a couple of calls we can make to voice our opposition. First, let's call the House Financial Services Committee, asking them to vote "no" on H.R.10. 5Calls has the phone number and a call script available: https://5calls.org/issue/recIY5BMUytUixNbV We can also call our own representatives to let them know that we do not support the CHOICE Act. Call scripts are available at the Indivisible Guide website: http://bit.ly/2qlxTAB
It is becoming increasingly clear that policies intended to address climate change also improve public health/ http://www.chgeharvard.org/sites/default/files/resources/CarbonFeeMA.pdf . The study looked at two bills in the Massachusetts legislature that would impose a fee on greenhouse gas emissions. Revenues from the fee would be rebated to households and businesses, and a percentage would go to a green infrastructure fund. The study found that, from 2017-2040, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants would save lives, reduce hospitalizations, and result in $2.9 billion in cumulative health benefits. Let’s tell our elected state officials to enact carbon fee & rebate legislation. They can use these Massachusetts bills as models: S.1821 An Act Combating Climate Change, https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S1821, and H.1726 An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Create Jobs, https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1726 .
- The Constitution is clear that only Congress may declare war. The president must obtain approval before any U.S. military action. In the aftermath of 9/11, Congress hastily passed a sweeping Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) allowing President George W. Bush to attack anyone connected to al Qaeda, anywhere, at any time. The AUMF never expired, and President Barack Obama stretched its limits to take military action against the Islamic State because that terror group is an offshoot of al Qaeda. However, President Trump bombed Syria in response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons, which was not connected to the Islamic State. It looks like Congress is looking to take responsibility for the war against ISIS by finally holding a debate and vote on whether to authorize any future military action. http://thehill.com/policy/defense/331103-bipartisan-push-grows-for-new-war-authorization Let’s urge our legislators to act on this so that President Trump does not undertake any new military operations without the approval of Congress.
- The “Fiduciary Rule” is an Obama-era consumer protection regulation scheduled to go into effect on June 9, 2017—and it’s under siege by the Trump administration. The rule requires financial advisors to act in their clients’ best interests when providing retirement investment advice. Alexander Acosta, Trump’s new Secretary of Labor, wants to delay and rescind the rule. https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-02-19/the-fiduciary-rule-and-you Let’s demand that he preserve it—middle class investors need to know that the professionals they turn to for help are acting solely in their best interests. Secretary Alexander Acosta, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20210, (866) 487-2365.
- LINK CORRECTION: It is customary for the president to welcome the winners of the Teachers of America to the White House for a family-filled celebration; it did not go well this year. Perhaps again, Trump was either not briefed on protocol or chose to ignore it. Our teachers deserve better. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/27/trumps-unusual-meeting-with-2017-teachers-of-the-year/?utm_term=.e8dbb552573c Let’s send postcards congratulating the teachers and let them know that WE appreciate them. More info here: http://www.ccsso.org/ntoy/State_Teachers.html?year=2017
- The NCAA has ended its boycott of North Carolina (http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/327148-ncaa-drops-nc-boycott-over-bathroom-bill) and, despite the introduction in Texas of at least nine anti-LGBTQ bills already this year, will not pull its games out of Texas (https://www.texasobserver.org/anti-lgbt-lawmakers-unveil-slew-of-religious-freedom-bills-despite-business-concerns/ ) Let’s call NCAA president Mark Emmert at 317-917-6905 and urge the NCAA to use its clout to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination across the country.
- Thousands and thousands of people are locked behind bars right now in the United States not because they are dangerous or have been convicted of crimes, but just because they do not have the money to make bail. (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/magazine/the-bail-trap.html) While the Obama administration was starting to push back against this practice, we cannot trust the Trump administration to keep up the fight. For this Mother's Day, groups organizing against mass incarceration are raising funds to bail out moms in jails across the country in time to spend the day with their families. We can support their work by donating at this link: https://nomoremoneybail.org/.
- For those of us who are looking for creative ways to fight back against Trump's agenda, check out Donald Donates. For each tweet that Trump sends out, we can respond by tweeting about which causes or campaigns we have contributed to, and the Donald Donates organization has automated the process: https://donalddonates.com/#/about
- Here’s yet another phone app to help you contact your legislators. It’s called Stance. https://www.wired.com/2017/03/want-congress-protect-privacy-clever-app-makes-call/ and is available for iOS and Android: http://www.takeastance.us/
- #MarchForTruth, set for June 3rd in Washington, D.C. with sister marches around the country, will be demonstrations to call for an impartial investigation into Russian interference in the US election and ties to the Trump administration. For more information and how we can set up sister marches on our cities, check here: https://www.marchfortruth.info/
- From Checklist for Americans of Conscience: “A wood-carved pole at the Oregon Country Fair is receiving pushback from members of Native American tribes.” http://www.wweek.com/culture/2017/04/25/members-of-native-american-tribes-say-oregon-country-fairs-story-pole-is-an-abomination/ It is time for us to help call out privilege and cultural appropriation of Native American culture. Call: Oregon Country Fair office 541-343-4298 or email the OCF board at http://oregoncountryfair.net/Pages/Contacts/Board.php Script: Hi! I’m calling to ask the OCF to listen to local tribes. Don’t raise the story pole this summer. Thanks. (Be polite.) Bonus: If you attend the Oregon Country Fair, this Native-written thread offers gentle, specific actions during the pole raising. https://www.facebook.com/nostorypole/posts/1298190143595621
- Trump’s immigration raids are terrorizing communities. http://www.businessinsider.com/illegal-immigrantion-criminal-records-trump-ice-2017-5 People need to know their rights, how to protect themselves, and what to do when dealing with immigration (ICE) officers. The National Immigration Law Center offers a multi-language Know Your Rights sheet: https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/ Let’s get it out there by posting, tweeting, emailing, and otherwise spreading the word.
- Another Fox executive is out amid the sexual harassment scandal. Fox News co-President Bill Shine has resigned. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/01/526429448/fox-news-president-bill-shine-resigns Let’s keep up the pressure on Fox to clean up their workplace ethics as well as their news. Time for facts, the real ones. Contact Fox News here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/01/28/contact-us.html
Petitions to Sign
- “It is absurd for Stephen Miller to work on issues that he has spent his life opposing in this case, women’s issues. How is a man who is openly antagonistic to feminism and who has vocally opposed efforts to address the pay gap supposed to be an advisor on women’s issues?” People for the American Way want us to let Congress know that we do not want Miller in the White House, much less working on women’s issues: https://secure.pfaw.org/site/SPageNavigator/action.html?survey_id=11962&autologin=true
- Let’s join Americans for Tax Fairness in telling Congress to end special tax loopholes for the fossil fuel industry: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/demand-environmental-sanity-demand-an-end-to-special-tax-loopholes-for-the-fossil-fuel-industry
- “How Trump Could Get Fired”: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/08/how-trump-could-get-fired
- After Trump’s odd comment yesterday about it, here is a good insight into Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. http://www.npr.org/2017/05/01/526388034/fact-check-could-andrew-jackson-have-stopped-the-civil-war-as-trump-said
- Want to learn how to track the influence of money and lobbyists on legislators? http://www.cio.com/article/3193564/analytics/maplight-data-analytics-helps-follow-the-money-in-politics.html