5/3/17 To-do List
Contact Government Officials
- Jimmy Kimmel’s healthcare story about his newborn son’s heart condition is touching and revealing of so many concerns we all have. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/video/2017/may/02/tearful-jimmy-kimmel-baby-ordeal-opening-monologue-video We have healthcare stories, too. Let’s make sure we tell those stories to our legislators so they can see what these changes in the ACA will do to our families and us.
- Even if we don’t have a compelling healthcare story, we know that we can keep pushing to get better care for more people. The efforts to repeal and replace the ACA seem to be coming to a head. http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/331478-gop-struggles-to-find-obamacare-repeal-votes Let us all reach out to our MoCs with our concerns.
- Trump is considering moving Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Jr. on to a high post at the Department of Homeland Security although Clarke has referred to Black Lives Matters as a terrorist group and has also made anti-Muslim overtures: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/331139-trump-considers-sheriff-who-called-black-lives-matter-terrorists-for If his name sounds familiar it might be because of this news story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/ct-wisconsin-dehydration-death-20170501-story.html Let’s remind Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly that Clarke is not suited to serve in this role: Department of Homeland Security, Washington DC, 20528 (there is not a street address)
- Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made light of the dropping of 59 Tomahawk missiles on Syria by saying it was in lieu of “after-dinner entertainment” when Xi visited Trump: http://time.com/4762582/wilbur-ross-syria-airstrike-after-dinner-entertainment-donald-trump/ Let’s remind Secretary Ross that bombs are not entertainment: Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20230
- Trump’s Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue proclaimed (and has had confirmed) new rules that free public schools from the requirements put in place by the Obamas' “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” Perdue wants to “make school meals great again” by allowing schools, starting next year, to discard the calorie, fat, or sodium requirements of the 2010 legislation and ignore its mandate to increase offerings of fruit, whole grains, vegetables, and nonfat milk: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/us/politics/nutrition-rules-school-lunches-michelle-obama.html Let’s take a moment to share your thoughts with him: US Dept of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20250. Then, let’s also act locally to make sure the schools in our districts continue to put the health of our children ahead of putting “special interests back on the school menu.
- While a tentative budget has been agreed upon to keep the government funded through September, it is still vulnerable to policy riders before it is finalized. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/legislative-process-101-policy-riders/ Let's call our representatives to ensure that they do not support any spending bills with dangerous policy riders. Call script: https://5calls.org/issue/recdrtW8ihk7eOJrH
- Bernie Sanders and other Democrats introduced the clean energy "50x100" Act (S.987) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/100-percent-clean-energy-bill-introduced-outside-capitol/ Let's ask our two Senators to cosponsor S.987 and a clean energy future.
- Bills are in the legislature to remove the deadline to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/5/text and https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-joint-resolution/53 Most people think this is already the law. We need to use the links to check to see if our MoC's are cosponsors. If they are not, we can let them know we would like them to cosponsor SJ.5 and HJ.53 and finally set the stage for ratification of the ERA.
- Govtrack.us is a great website to find information about bills in the legislature. Here's a list of the current "hot" bills with links to more information about each of them. Sometimes the names of the bills are misleading. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/#hot Let's browse the list to see if any of our personal "hot" issues are among them. If so, let's tell our MoC's which ones we support.
- Donald Trump is trying to push through a tax plan that massively cuts taxes for the wealthy – including possibly saving tens of millions of dollars for Trump himself. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/28/us/politics/trump-savings-tax-plan.html But it’s hard to know exactly how much Trump is planning on cutting his own taxes, since we still haven’t seen his tax returns. Let us keep up the pressure on Congress to make sure we see Trump’s taxes before he gets to weigh in on ours by calling on our reps to support a discharge petition to force action on the Presidential Tax Transparency Act. We can find details and scripts at this link from Indivisible: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/presidential-tax-transparency-act/.)
- After a devastating earthquake in 2010, over 50,000 Haitians who were in the United States at the time were given permission to remain here due to the disastrous conditions in their country. President Trump has indicated that he may not extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians - which would put thousands of people at risk for deportation back to Haiti, where they will almost certainly face poverty, hunger, and illness. (http://www.nbc-2.com/story/35147474/haiti-refugees-hope-for-immigration-extensions) Let’s send a message to our elected officials and ask for them to fight to keep these protections in place for Haitians – we can do so as part of an effort led by HIAS at this link. https://www.hias.org/take-action-haitians-facing-deportation
- Congress wants to allocate 120 million dollars to offset the protection costs for Trump and his family. 60 million of those funds will be allocated to the Secret Service, of which 23 million will be used for outfitting trump tower with equipment including renting space in the building from Trump and for the frequent the Mar-A-Lago weekend trips. The other 60 million is to reimburse NYC and Palm Beach for law enforcement services used to cover these costs. Let's ask Trump to use Camp David to reduce these ridiculous costs. We already pay security costs for the White House and Camp David. We taxpayers can't afford his lifestyle. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-protection-secret-service-costs-2017-5 Let's call and email Trump to use Camp David. Let's tell Congress that we can't afford all these vacations and a second residence for his family. White House: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 and/or Phone 1 (202) 456-1111 or Phone 2 (202) 456-1414
- Voter ID laws 1) lower voter turnout rates for racial and ethnic minorities, and 2) favor more conservative candidates. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/how-voter-id-laws-discriminate-study/517218/ Let’s learn where our states stand on voter ID laws here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx . Then, let’s demand that our state representatives reverse these undemocratic laws. We can do so as individuals, and also as members of Indivisible chapters and other mobilizing groups.
- Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue on May 1 was so compelling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmWWoMcGmo0 Please let’s send a thank you to Kimmel for showing this kind of leadership in sharing his family’s story and standing up for other families: 6834 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
- And more on healthcare…. a repeal/replace vote may take place as soon as this week. The Freedom Caucus is apparently content with the new revision of Trump’s health care bill; it is less clear what moderate Republicans might do: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/04/the_freedom_caucus_has_put_moderate_republicans_in_a_corner_over_trumpcare.html Among other things, this revision would allow states to waive out of providing the 10 “essential health benefits” currently required under the ACA. The Service Employees International Union, a labor union representing almost 1.9 million workers in over 100 occupations in the United States and Canada (SEIU) is one of many groups urging us to tell Congress to vote NO by calling 866-426-2631. The ACLU provides phone numbers and a useful script for callers: https://www.aclu.org/feature/oppose-aca-repeal
- The hearings for Trump's travel bans will be May 8th in Virginia (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/donald-trump-travel-ban-federal-appeals-court-case-237084 ) and May 15th in Washington (http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/04/hawaii-trump-travel-ban-appeals-court-review-237135 ) In response to these hearings, there will be a #NoMuslimBanEver Campaign from May 8th-15th. During this time, let's all organize, discuss, and take direct action against discrimination and xenophobia. Detailed action items and resources can be found here: https://nobannowallnoraids.wordpress.com/action/nomuslimbanever/ )
- It appears to be a very close race in the June 20th Georgia run-off election with Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican candidate Karen Handel. It is possible to flip this House seat! http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/331513-ossoff-handel-in-dead-heat-in-ga-race Phone banking will resume around the second week of May for everyone. No matter where we live we can sign up for phone banking and to get email updates, visit https://electjon.com/volunteer/
- United to Protect Democracy, a non-profit is suing the Trump administration to protect civil servants from alleged intimidation preventing them from performing their government jobs as Trump's new appointees take their positions. "The nonprofit wrote in the complaints that its mission "is to protect our democracy from descending into a more autocratic form of government." http://www.npr.org/2017/05/01/525960279/trump-administration-is-sued-over-alleged-intimidation-of-federal-workers We can check out this group for updates on their work and progress, or make a donation here: https://unitedtoprotectdemocracy.org
- Played hooky? It’s not too late to catch up! The Resistance School’s four sessions are available online: https://www.resistanceschool.com/#resist. Let’s check out the readings, too!
- On Tuesday (5/9) at 1:30pm Eastern/10:30am Pacific, Lawyers for Good Government is sponsoring a new webinar series/podcast, Resisting Injustice, launched in connection with the 6-month "anniversary" of our group's founding. The first episode will feature Ezra Levin, co-founder and Executive Director of Indivisible who will share his experiences with Indivisible so far, talk about current priorities & action items, and answer a few questions from webinar attendees. Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3823425624152732418
- Remember the story pole to which Natives objected, but the Oregon fair was going ahead with anyway? Well, the fair voted not to do it after all! http://www.wweek.com/culture/2017/05/02/oregon-country-fair-votes-not-to-raise-story-pole-after-complaints-from-native-americans/ Let’s thank the fair for responding in a respectful manner: Oregon Country Fair office 541-343-4298 or email the OCF board at http://oregoncountryfair.net/Pages/Contacts/Board.php
Petitions to Sign
- Let’s join VoteVets in their effort to have Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross resign after he joked that President Trump's decision to launch 59 missiles into Syria was "in lieu of after-dinner entertainment" while he entertained the Chinese President at Mar-a-Lago. Here’s what VoteVets said, “Neither we, nor war, are entertainment for Ross and his rich friends at Mar-a-Lago. While it might have served him fine as a CEO, Ross' cavalier attitude about life and death make him wholly unqualified to represent this country at home and abroad.” Sign here: http://action.votevets.org/page/s/wilbur_ross
- Despite all the progress we’ve made for LGBTQ people, since the moment he walked into the White House, Trump has laid out a hateful, damaging agenda aimed at undoing that progress, including talk of an anti-LGBTQ executive order this week. But we’ve come too far to turn back now. It’s time to show that love still wins – Let’s join Sen. Murray and add our names to call on Congress to pass the .: http://www.pattymurray.com/act/its-time-to-pass-the-equality-act
- “Why Evangelicals are ’Splintering’ Politically”: http://www.npr.org/2017/05/02/525452958/why-white-evangelicals-are-splintering-politically
- “To mark the 100th day of Trump’s presidency, we’ve assembled in mostly alphabetical order some of the people and institutions—progressive and conservative, American and foreign, principled and self-interested—who are teaching Donald Trump that the president of the United States doesn’t always get his way.” https://redux.slate.com/cover-stories/2017/04/who-has-kept-trump-from-destroying-american-democracy-so-far.html
- “Catholic leader calls Trump healthcare plan 'unconscionable'” https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2017/05/02/catholic-leader-calls-trump-healthcare-plan-unconscionable/
- Apparently, Trump’s grasp and appreciation of history has been impaired for some time: http://www.golfdigest.com/story/details-details-donald-trump-has-plaque-at-his-golf-course-commemorating-civil-war-battle-that-never-happened