Contact Federal Government Officials
1. “Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’” With headlines like these about Trump’s interconnections with Russia, it is hard to imagine what is coming in the Mueller investigation: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/28/us/politics/trump-tower-putin-felix-sater.html However, GOP Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis has proposed an amendment to curtail funding for the investigation after six months: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/28/mueller-investigation-republicans-russia-242108 Let’s let Rep. DeSantis know why we think his actions are shady: https://desantis.house.gov
2. During a press conference, Trump explained about his purposeful decision to announce the Arpaio pardon at the start of Hurricane Harvey because, “In the middle of the hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-finland-president-sauli-niinisto-meeting-live-updates/ The marriage of a despicable pardon with a deadly storm and the word “ratings” is really hard to swallow. Let’s remind Trump that he is POTUS, not the host of The Apprentice: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
3. Additionally on the Arpaio topic, White House adviser Tom Bossert has defended the Arpaio pardon as being “pretty straightforward”: http://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/trump-adviser-defends-arpaio-pardon-pretty-straightforward/story?id=49439894 We can share our perspectives on what we do and do not find straightforward about it with him: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
4. Amid noisy conflict over raising the debt ceiling (http://www.businessinsider.com/debt-ceiling-countdown-trump-congress-raise-2017-8 ), Republicans and conservative Democrats have joined forces to put forward the Social Security Commission Act of 2017 (H.R. 3423). This act would establish a 13-member commission, made up of seven Republicans and six Democrats, tasked with developing a proposal for ensuring Social Security’s solvency for the next 75 years. Congressional leaders would then fast-track the commission’s proposal without amendments, with limited debate, and with only a simple majority’s approval in the Senate. Its object would seem to be to justify and force cuts in Social Security: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3423/text We should tell sponsor Maryland Democratic Rep. John K. Delaney we oppose this act: 202-225-2721 (Fax: 202-225-2193) or 1632 Longworth House Office Bldg., Washington DC 20515
5. At a moment when everything seems urgent, we should make sure not to let the small but important steps be crowded out of focus. U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter and political scientist Norman J. Ornstein recently wrote a column about how holding our elections on Tuesday drives down turnout and recommended allowing citizens to vote on the weekend. Let’s read and share their words:
6. www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/08/05/fight-voter-suppression-move-election-day-to-weekend-slaughter-ornstein-column/537456001/. And then let’s contact our members of Congress and ask them to sign on to the Weekend Voting Act (H.R. 1094).
7. The FCC comment period regarding net neutrality closes today, August 30th. Let's brush up on the ins and outs of net neutrality http://bit.ly/2l6zvwd Then let's head over to the FCC to let them know why net neutrality is essential (click on "+ express" to submit a comment) http://bit.ly/2vdD70c
8. Trump has lifted the limits on military gear for police. While helmets and bulletproof vests can certainly be of great use to local police forces, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons, bayonets and armed aircraft are unnecessary, dangerous, and will only serve to heighten the tensions between police and local communities. Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions has brushed off concerns over local police forces having militarized gear as being "superficial" http://n.pr/2iB6Y11 Let's make sure Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice know how we feel about giving police military equipment, then give our own MoC a call to ask them when they plan on drafting legislation to stop the militarization of our local police. 5calls has scripts we can use as we call the DOJ and our MoC
9. Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to expire on September 30th http://bit.ly/2iwl2ZMLet's make sure our representatives know that we want them to make funding for CHIP a priority, and to get it approved before the deadline so that children across the U.S. do not see a drop in coverage. 5Calls has a call script we can use https://5calls.org/issue/recOlc0pl4JKvJA4H
10. Even Republicans can support helping the Dreamers, those immigrants without documentation who arrived here as children with their parents: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanProgressAction/videos/10154998004665847 We should not deport these young people, but rather create for them an honest pathway to citizenship. Let’s see how we can help: http://defenddaca.com/
11. "The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences," a statement read on the State Department's visa site.” These J-1 visas affect students, camp counselors, as well as work-based programs. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-trump-to-consider-cuts-to-cultural-exchange-visa-program/ This type of visa provides life-changing experiences for both the traveler as well as our citizens here who encounter them. Let’s join in with the American Camp Association in expressing our support for this valuable exchange program: https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/public-policy/current-action-alerts
12. From Postcards For America: 120+ Representatives signed a letter to 45 requesting him to abandon the #transban Transgender Military Ban. Is yours one? Write them a thank you postcard. Not one? Ask them why not. Let’s check the letter and look for our rep: https://gomez.house.gov/sites/gomez.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/The%20letter%20is%20avaliable%20here_0.pdf
13. Let's support Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) by encouraging our MoCs to support a bill they introduced. H.R. 669 would "prohibit the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike." https://www.abqjournal.com/1050952/trumps-nuke-option-needs-to-be-reined-in.html Let's tell our MoCs that they should support this bill, because we don't think Trump should have immediate access to nukes.
14. With Congress reconvening next week, let’s support the National Education Association’s campaign to protect public education and reject the Trump/DeVos/Republican agenda. That agenda would slash education funding by more than $9 billion, cut funding to poor and disadvantaged school communities and special education, eliminate 8,500 teachers, and increase college costs. It would also create a $250 million private school voucher program that would divert public funds from public schools. Let’s visit http://edadvocacy.nea.org/recess and follow the instructions under “Take Action Now!”
1. MO: Advocate for workers in Missouri aren’t letting the right-to-work-for-less attack on unions go into effect without a fight. They started a drive to give the voters a say on the recently passed SB 19, and they collected three times as many signatures as they needed to get it on the ballot next fall (https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Right_to_Work_Referendum_(2018)). Those of us in Missouri can get involved with this fight by signing up with We Are Missouri at this link:http://www.wearemo.org/get-involved/.
2. MA: Even in Massachusetts, there’s work to be done to stop commemorating the racist legacy of the Confederacy – there’s a Confederate memorial on Georges Island in Boston Harbor, put up by the Boston chapter of United Daughters of the Confederacy during the heart of the Civil Rights movement (http://www.wbur.org/artery/2017/08/16/boston-confederate-monument). The state has been considering what to do about this monument for some time. Let’s make sure they know we want it removed, and removed as soon as possible. We can contact the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages the site, by phone at 617-626-1250 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we can reach the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which must approve any changes to the site, by phone at 617-727-8470 and by e-mail at email@example.com.
3. TX: “Once Republicans lose Texas, they lose their path to the White House,” says the ambitious grassroots organization Battleground Texas, which is working to turn Texas purple, and ultimately blue. Let’s check out their website and sign up to help: https://www.battlegroundtexas.com/ More info here: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2013/08/02/texas-is-not-innately-conservative
4. ID: The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has rejected wolf-baiting as a form of hunting as reported by the Idaho State Journal. This appears to be a temporary decision so if we are Idaho residents, let's contact the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and our state senators to let them know that we oppose wolf-baiting. They won't know we care about wolves unless we tell them. Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, PO Box 25, Boise ID 83707 or call: 208-334-3700.
5. AZ: One of Trump's favorite senatorial candidates is republican Kelli Ward who is one of the challengers for Jeff Flake's (R-AZ) senate seat. We may recall that Trump does not like Flake who has been outspoken in opposition to Trump. Here's a little background from CNN. Let's keep our eyes on this senate race.
6. TX: If we have insurance claims because of hurricane damage, it's important to get those claims submitted before Fridaybecause of Texas legislation, HB1774. "The new law, set to take effect Friday, aims to crack down on frivolous insurance lawsuits. But House Bill 1774 also reduces the penalty fees that insurance companies face for late payments if the policyholder files a lawsuit." We can read more from the Texas Tribune. Let's alert our affected Texas friends and family in case they are not aware of the upcoming law change.
1. We know from watching the horrors of Hurricane Katrina that the most vulnerable people rarely get the government help they need during and after disasters. The Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund is a joint effort of progressive organizations dedicated to providing access to critical services—from first response and basic needs to healthcare and housing and legal aid--to the nearly a quarter of Houstonians living in poverty and the 575,000 undocumented immigrants in the Houston metro area: https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-3833118145683060992 Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies and the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline are trying to provide the particular help needed by the disabled in Houston: http://www.portlight.org/hurricane-harvey-announcement.html Let’s help these efforts.
2. “Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said Monday that he will represent any immigrant who faces deportation after seeking help during Tropical Storm Harvey.” http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/348340-houston-mayor-to-immigrants-if-you-face-deportation-for-seeking Let’s thank Mayor Turner for his commitment to humanitarianism: https://cityforms.houstontx.gov/component/rsform/form/31-contact-us-mayor or mailing address: City of Houston, P.O. Box 1562, Houston, TX 77251
3. HD Action Network, dedicated to organizing grassroots conservatives and supporting conservative campaigns and causes, is asking for views on the state of the conservative movement since Trump took office. Let’s help them out: https://secure.hdaction.network/survey
4. From RISE Stronger: Do you know Ruby-on-Rails? RISE Stronger needs web developers! Help develop web-based tools for the resistance while you build your resume and meet like-minded friends! Learn more & apply here: https://risestronger.org/volunteer/10
5. “In response to Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, our CEO Roddy Lindsay announced today that Hustle will be free from now until September 30th for any organization using Hustle for Harvey-related disaster coordination or fundraising.” If we are involved in this kind of work, let’s take a closer look at how the Hustle app, a grassroots mass-texting too, might be able to help us: https://medium.com/hustle/hustle-stands-with-houston-announcing-hustles-disaster-relief-efforts-for-houston-dca6c0a59221
6. From Together Rising: Together Rising stands with Texas. We know that they not only need our love and support now, but in the weeks, months and years ahead. Today, we made a $20,000 donation to the Houston Food Bank, and we are challenging all of us to do more for our brothers and sisters in Texas. We will match any donation you make up to $100,000. Every penny we receive from you will go to those suffering in Texas. Please let us not allow the fact that we cannot fix everything keep us from fixing something. Give a little with great love. That's how we heal the world. You can give HERE or Text TR4TEXAS to 41444 to get a text to make a tax-deductible donation.
1. Let’s join MomsRising in telling Congress to pass emergency funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Harvey/
2. Friends of the Earth are asking us to join them in telling Congress not to unfund the EPA: http://action.foe.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=22292
Marches/events/teleconferences to attend/organize
1. The march from Charlottesville to Washington, D.C. has begun. We can check here to see how we can join it at any point or other ways to be involved: http://www.cville2dc.us/
1. Black Lives Matter leader Deray Mckesson has written a letter to the late Jordan Edwards in Teen Vogue that is worth the read: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/dear-jordan-deray-mckesson-honors-jordan-edwards-life-in-this-powerful-letter/amp
2. “#BotSpot: Twelve Ways to Spot a Bot: Some tricks to identify fake Twitter accounts” - https://medium.com/dfrlab/botspot-twelve-ways-to-spot-a-bot-aedc7d9c110c
3. “Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump” - http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/