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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5/23/17

Contact Government Officials


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Contact the White House

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STATE & FEDERAL legislative rep phone numbers.

  1. While abroad with President Trump in Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference in Riyadh without notifying US press: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334470-tillerson-holds-press-conference-without-us-reporters-reports Let’s take a moment to remind the Secretary that it is this country’s citizens who employ him: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520

  1. New Orleans mayor Mitchell Landrieu was instrumental in the removal of some Confederate statues. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/confederate-statue-removals-part-orleans-mayor-legacy-47531639  He gave a very powerful and stirring speech about why Confederate monuments are being removed in his city. We can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/t0jQTHis3f4 or read it here:  http://pulsegulfcoast.com/2017/05/transcript-of-new-orleans-mayor-landrieus-address-on-confederate-monuments  Let’s thank Mayor Landrieu for this important form of leadership: City Hall, 1300 Perdido St, New Orleans, LA 70112

  1. Truth be told, resistance must begin at the state & local level. Organizations like flippable.org are working hard to flip state legislatures to blue, but to be successful, we all have to pitch in. It's worth knowing that the Resistance Manual https://www.resistancemanual.org/Resistance_Manual_Home has state-level sites -- we can just type our home state into the search window. Every state's site offers up-to-date, crowdsourced information on state legislation currently under consideration, when local elections are coming up, and a wealth of state-specific facts relating to current political issues (e.g. "Washington has 35 Planned Parenthood centers"). Let's make a point of calling our *state* officials (governors, mayors, etc.) to let them know we are paying attention to what they do: their actions are the most likely to affect our everyday lives. As the Resistance Manual suggests, "stay woke."

  1. In yet another display of ignorance, Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised the fact they saw no protesters in Saudi Arabia, not realizing that it is illegal there and can be punishable by death.  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334513-commerce-secretary-praises-lack-of-protestors-during-trumps-saudi  Let’s let him know that it is because of Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record.  Protesters are arrested there. 

  1. The family of Jordan Edwards has broken their silence, and they are now speaking up about what has happened: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jordan-edwards-family-speaks-out/ While the Justice Department has launched an investigation into the killing of Jordan, let's make sure that this story does not slip into the wayside, and that the former officer is held accountable for his actions  http://theatln.tc/2qDyN8G MomsRising has a form letter that we can send to District Attorney Faith Johnson, recommending specific steps that can be taken to ensure that this does not happen again: http://bit.ly/2qHpqHt

  1. The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release the score for the latest version of the AHCA this Wednesday, May 24th. The House Republicans are aiming to meet the budgetary limits required to be able to win with a simple majority vote in the Senate: https://bloom.bg/2qyiDjH Let's keep calling our MoC, letting them know that AHCA is NOT the answer we need in healthcare. We can also join Indivisible Guide's Facebook Live event at 8:30pm ET this Thursday to discuss the CBO score and it's implications: https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/

  1. David Bernhardt, an oil lobbyist who has been nominated to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, remarked last week during his Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing that following Trump’s policies would take lead over following climate scientific evidence.  We know that Trump is a climate change denier. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/interior-dept-nominee-trumps-views-outweigh-climate-science/story?id=47492689  Let’s tell the committee that we need someone in that office who believes in science, can stand up to Trump, and who can keep our federal natural resources safe:  https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/members

  1. The US denied visas to gay men from Chechnya seeking asylum from imprisonment, torture and death.  Lithuania has started granted them asylum.  https://euobserver.com/lgbti/137976   Let's thank Linas Linkevicius, the Lithuanian foreign minister, by writing to him in care of the Lithuanian embassy: Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, 2622 16th St NW, Washington DC 20009-4202.  Let’s also contact our MoCs to find out why we are not granting these visas from men who face certain death.

  1. The window for public comments on the opening of Bears Ears and other national monuments to Big Oil closes May 26th.  Friends of the Earth makes it easy for us to let Ryan Zinke and the Department of the Interior what we think: http://action.foe.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/

  1. Hands Off is a campaign dedicated to stopping cuts to people’s health care, disability benefits, nutrition assistance, and other basic living standards in the upcoming congressional budgets.  We are asked to share our stories of how Trump’s pending cuts will impact us:  https://handsoff.org/ 

  1. Each week in May, Practicing Sanctuary is offering a free webinar on sanctuary and solidarity.  Recordings of the sessions to date and the upcoming ones, as well as the Practicing Sanctuary Guide are available at https://www.practicingsanctuary.org/ 

  1. “Karl Oliver, a Republican state representative in Mississippi, last week said leaders in Louisiana who have removed Confederate statues and monuments from public property should be “lynched.”” http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/334526-miss-lawmaker-leaders-should-be-lynched-for-taking-down-confederate Let's tell Rep Oliver that his words are disgusting and that a government official should not be threatening anyone. Contact him here:  By mail:  Capitol Office, Room 400-F, P. O. Box 1018 Jackson, MS 39215 or by phone: 601-359-2430 or by email koliver@house.ms.gov

  1. Walter Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, appears to be Trump’s latest target.  The White House’s Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, has sent a letter attempting to shut down the OGE’s effort to inquire into waivers granted by the White House to ex-lobbyists now working in government: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/us/politics/trump-white-house-government-ethics-lobbyists.htm and http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334502-trump-moves-to-block-ethics-office-inquiry-into-ex-lobbyists-working  We should let the White House and the Office of Management & Budget (202-395-3080) know that we want a public accounting of the ex-lobbyists to whom Trump has granted waivers.  We might also tell Shaub that we applaud the persistence of the OGE either by phone 202-482-9300 or via email: ContactOGE@oge.gov

Other Actions


  1. Trump’s comments about the press have gotten more heated as his presidency has gone on: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/21/trump-threat-reporters-press-freedom  Let’s financially support quality journalism through subscriptions when we are able and then please pause to express your thanks to a journalist whose work you are relying on at this time.

  1. Winning back state legislatures is crucial to stopping Trump and the Republicans - it will help us win elections up and down the ballot by blocking attempts to restrict voting rights and making sure districts aren't gerrymandered to help Republicans win more than their fair share of seats. One of the most important legislative elections in the country this year is in Virginia, where we have a chance to take back the General Assembly (http://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-cns-voter-id-0517-20170517-story.html). We can help turn out Democratic voters in Virginia by taking part in this postcard-writing campaign: www.postcards4va.com/.

  1. Non-violent demonstrations are planned in over 90+ cities on Saturday, June 3.  #MarchForTruth  is scheduled “to demand urgency, transparency and an impartial investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and ties to the Trump administration.”  The growing list of march supporters is impressive:  https://www.marchfortruth.info/partners We can find a march close to us here:  https://www.marchfortruth.info/find-a-local-march/ and if there is none, find out how to organize one here:  https://www.marchfortruth.info/organize/

  1. GovTrack is a convenient way to keep track of what’s happening in Congress. The House of Representatives will be voting on 24 bills and resolutions this week.  Let's stay informed by checking them out using GovTrack: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/  Remember: bill titles can be deceptive so read the descriptions carefully.

  1. During Trump’s visit, Saudi Arabia pledged to invest $20 billion in Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm led by Trump advisor Stephen A. Schwarzman, for American infrastructure projects. Not mentioned in the early news reports is that Blackstone is one of the nation’s largest purchasers of foreclosed single-family homes, operating them as rental housing and engaging in a new financing practice called “rental securitization.” Housing advocates warn that the trend toward a rental housing market dominated by global corporate investors could adversely affect tenants and communities. http://homesforall.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/corp-landlord-report-web.pdf and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-08/sec-probes-rental-home-values-backing-private-equity-bond-deals Let’s write to major news organizations and tell them that we want thorough coverage of Blackstone’s rental housing investments and what they might foretell about Blackstone’s “infrastructure” plans. that we want thorough coverage of Blackstone and what its “infrastructure” investments will consist of.  Contact 1)  CBS’s 60 Minutes: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/contact-information-08-07-1998/ 2) Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ask-the-post/post/how-to-contact-the-post-newsroom/2011/11/17/gIQAd0WJlN_blog.html?utm_term=.0ac19ee54942, and 3) New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/help/index.html

Petitions to Sign


  1. In addition to making sure our Representatives have signed the discharge petition for the Protecting Our Democracy Now Act of 2017, we can also sign CREDO Action's petition: http://bit.ly/2rtjOBv Let's make sure our Representatives are placing country over party!

  1. The NRA and the gun lobby fought harder than anyone to get Donald Trump elected, and they're trying to reap their rewards... by making it easier to purchase dangerous gun silencers. This would make it more difficult for law enforcement to locate active shooters, and easier for criminals to escape. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2017/05/16/law-enforcement-leaders-join-gabrielle-giffords-in-gun-control-push/?utm_term=.c298997908c0) Let's join Gabrielle Giffords and Americans for Responsible Solutions and sign this petition telling Congress to reject deregulation of the sale of firearm silencers: http://action.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/page/s/may-silencers.

Learning


  1. The Center on Budget and Policy priorities offers two guides to the federal budget process: http://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-introduction-to-the-federal-budget-process and http://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-non-defense-discretionary-programs  We might need these soon!

  1. Now THIS is a commencement address:  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/opinion-10-commitments-live/story?id=47509773

  1. A small church pastor has some big questions:  https://revolsen.com/2017/05/17/an-open-letter-to-rev-franklin-graham-from-a-small-church-pastor/ 


Rogan’s List is a participant in and strategic partner of the Action Alliance,
         a loosely-federated group of organizations that, in the wake of the
2016 election, are sharing daily or weekly calls to action.
Other member sites are listed here: https://www.actionalliance.co/  --scroll down and click through and you'll find many more opportunities to make a difference.
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Rogan’s List is also part of RISE Stronger’s United States of Resistance










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