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4/30/18

Contact Federal Government Officials

Find senator’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/RLiotu

Find representative’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/5i7SXC

Fax legislators for free:  Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php


********************************
Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.

1.     This week in Congress:  Our legislators are on recess and in their home districts. Let’s attend a townhall if we can: https://townhallproject.com/ 

2.    Every five years, the Farm Bill is renewed, offering usually bipartisan funding for agricultural, environmental and nutritional programs.  This year, the bill is so partisan, it passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on a party line vote and is now headed to the House floor.  Some examples of the harm this bill would do:  1)  encouraging profligate pesticide use by preempting state pesticide laws, weakening federal protections for wildlife and endangered species from pesticides, exempting pesticides from the Clean Water Act, expediting EPA approval of pesticides without agreed-to protections, and delaying EPA pesticide protections; 2)  adding work requirements to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), targeting food access for struggling families; 3)  weakening low-income children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools, allowing schools to instead buy junk food with no restrictions on added sugar, salt or fats; 4)  eliminating the Conservation Stewardship Program, leaving farmers with fewer resources and options to implement conservation on their farms; 5)  allowing mining and oil and gas drilling on agricultural conservation lands; and 6)  weakening protection of endangered species from logging.  The National Resource Defense Council gives more specifics on the bill at https://www.nrdc.org/experts/mae-wu/hyper-partisan-house-farm-bill-should-be-plowed-under.  Let’s tell our representative that we oppose the 2018 Farm Bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act (H.R. 2).  A vote is expected in early May.

3.    He spoke hoping the lawmakers would remember the needs of the less wealthy.  He invited a Muslim to deliver the opening prayer in October.   And now Father Pat Conroy, the House chaplain for the last seven years, will be leaving following Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) request for his resignation.  (https://www.npr.org/2018/04/27/606428892/ryans-dismissal-of-house-chaplain-sparks-outrage-and-suspicion)  Let’s write and thank Fr. Conroy, who will be leaving later in May, for his steadfastness in remembering the poorer amongst us and for his religious inclusivity.  The Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, Chaplain, U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Capitol, Room HB25, Washington, DC 20515-6655

4.    From Alt National Park Service:  Have you heard of H.R. 3144? A small group led by Republicans in Congress spearheaded a bill that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday. If the bill becomes law, it could lead to the eventual extinction of wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers—iconic species in the Pacific Northwest that the federal government is required by law to protect. House Resolution 3144 seeks to overturn multiple federal court decisions that protect endangered salmon and steelhead. It undermines bedrock environmental laws and forbids any action that might reduce power generation at Columbia and Snake River dams without an act of Congress—from spilling more water over dams in the spring to help endangered fish migrate, to studying the possibility of removing the four aging lower Snake River dams. Further, it mandates that salmon populations be managed based on a 2014 federal plan that was rejected in two court decisions as being illegal, for not doing enough to save the fish from extinction. Wednesday's vote advances the bill to the U.S. Senate. Please call your senators and tell them to vote “NO”!

5.    While some political action committees (PACs) do good, there are an increasing number of  scam PACs that shake down the public for political campaign contributions, and then spend little to nothing on political activity, instead using the money to enrich their founders. The dysfunctional Federal Elections Commission is doing little to protect the public from Scam PACs. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2018/04/scam-pacs-misleading-donors/ Let’s tell our MoCs that Congress needs to step in and stop these scams.

6.    “In letters to the chairpersons of two key committees, more than 40 House Democrats wrote Tuesday that they would strongly oppose the Education Savings Accounts For Military Families proposal [currently H.R. 5199] or any school voucher or privatization effort from being included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act.”  (https://www.stripes.com/news/democrats-fight-effort-to-divert-public-school-funds-for-military-families-to-private-vouchers-1.523791)  Let’s tell our representatives that we do not want this as a stand-alone bill or hidden within the National Defense Authorization Act.

7.    Should parents running for office be able to use campaign funds for childcare, so they can conduct their work as a candidate?  A candidate in New York has petitioned the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for just that.  Hillary Clinton is calling on the FEC to make it allowable.  (http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/385285-clinton-calls-for-fec-to-let-campaigns-use-funds-for-childcare)  We need more working parents in legislatures and this would help that happen.  Let’s add our voices:   https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/federal-election-commission

8.   The Environmental Justice Right to Know Act (yet unnumbered) is aimed at protecting workers in hair salons, nail salons, and agricultural settings from the pesticides and toxic chemicals that they may be exposed to in their jobs. (Description and link to text of bill: https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/harris-cortez-masto-introduce-legislation-to-shine-light-on-hazardous-occupational-exposures ) Let’s tell our senators that we care about the health and safety of poor and marginalized workers and we want them to pass this legislation.

9.    Perhaps no other group in Congress better represents the values of democracy, equality, justice than the Congressional Black Caucus. https://cbc.house.gov/issues/ Yet, “of the six top leadership positions [in the House of Representatives], only one is held by an African-American, Assistance Minority Leader Jim Clayburn. Congressional Black Caucus members make up nearly a quarter of House Democrats.” 
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/25/congressional-black-caucus-looks-to-seize-more-power-545945 Let’s tell our Democratic reps that we want more CBC members in positions of power in Congress.

10.  During a House committee hearing, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt conceded that he did know about and had given authority to his chief of staff to give raises to EPA employees; something Pruitt had previously denied (https://www.vox.com/2018/4/26/17285884/scott-pruitt-epa-congress-house-condo-phonebooth-travelhttp://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/385004-pruitt-epa-staff-was-given-authority-to-approve-raises-for-staffers). Let's continue contacting Pruitt and telling him it's time to resign: Phone: (202) 564-4700 Mailing Address: Environmental Protection Agency Office of the Administrator 1101A 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20460 or
https://www.epa.gov/home/forms/contact-epa, or on Twitter: @EPAScottPruitt

11.   An excellent suggestion from Jennifer Hofmann’s Americans of Conscience Checklist: “Thank four Republican members of the Senate Judicial Committee for voting for the bill (S. 1735) that protects special investigations of the president. It must be difficult to do something your party finds threatening, so I especially appreciate your leadership. Thank you for your service to our democracy.”  A) Sen. Chuck Grassley, 721 Federal Building, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309, B) Sen. Lindsey Graham, 508 Hampton Street, Suite 202, Columbia, SC 29201, C) Sen. Jeff Flake, 2200 East Camelback Road, Suite 120, Phoenix, AZ 85016, and D) Sen. Thom Tillis, 310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 122, Raleigh, NC 27601

12.  From forced labor (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/opinion/migrants-detention-forced-labor.html),  to family separation 
(https://www.npr.org/2018/02/27/589079243/activists-outraged-that-u-s-border-agents-separate-immigrant-families),  to rape and sexual abuse (https://theintercept.com/2018/04/11/immigration-detention-sexual-abuse-ice-dhs/),  to courthouse arrests (https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/03/15/ice-arrests-courthouses-are-disrupting-justice-two-lawsuits-claim/N7IhXiHlEuw3Qdz1XDlt4I/story.html) , the US treatment of immigrants and immigrant detainees is beyond deplorable and threatens the civil liberties of us all—including US citizens http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-citizens-ice-20180427-htmlstory.html. Let’s tell our MoCs that we expect them to face and fix these problems.

13.  Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) has suggested that the wave of Republican retirements from Congress may be due to fears of assassination:
 http://thehill.com/homenews/house/385219-republican-rep-worries-assassination-risk-prompting-lawmaker-resignations Let’s remind Rep. Brooks that there is a lot that Congress could be doing to strengthen laws to reduce gun violence: 

14.  Vice President Mike Pence will be speaking this week at the NRA convention in Dallas, a decision that has drawn criticism from many gun control advocates including actress, Alyssa Milano, who has started a petition on MoveOn calling this a “slap in the face to Americans hurting from gun violence." Adding irony to insult, no firearms will be allowed at Pence’s presentation. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/27/alyssa-milano-moveon-petition-mike-pence-cancel-nra-convention/559378002/. Let’s tell VP Pence that it’s divisive, hurtful, inappropriate and insulting for him to speak to the NRA, and he should instead use his leadership to finding common-sense approaches to curbing gun violence. We can use the White House comment line; write to him at Office of the Vice President, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20500; leave a comment on his Facebook page; or tweet @VP

15.  In another attack on First Amendment Rights, ICE has detained Manuel Duran, a journalist who has been covering protests on immigration policies. As an undocumented immigrant, he is now being held in Louisiana and threatened with deportation. http://www.newsweek.com/ice-arrests-manuel-duran-journalist-covered-protest-immigration-agencys-875279. The Southern Poverty Law Center and Free Press have been initiated a campaign to demand his immediate release. You can find out more and sign a letter here, or even better, contact the ICE regional community relations office CommunityRelations.NewOrleans@ice.dhs.gov, or (504) 310-8822.

16.  Trump’s Department of Agriculture has tried quietly to propose a new rule, misleadingly called the “Modernization of swine slaughter inspection rule”; it privatizes pork inspection, turns food safety over to untrained plant managers, and by allowing the unlimited increase in slaughter line speeds, puts public health, animal welfare, and worker safety at risk in an industry which already has worker injury rates 3 times the national average and illness rates 17 times higher:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/17/trump-administration-usda-swine-slaughter-rule-pigs-pork   Public uproar has led to two extensions to the comment period, the latest deadline is May 2.  To comment online, go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FSIS-2016-0017 ; by mail:  Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza III, Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700  All comments must include the agency name and docket number: FSIS-2016-0017.

17.  Serious concerns still plague preparation for the 2020 census: Providence RI was supposed to be one of four starkly different places where new digital equipment and counting methodologies were to be tested, but Congress’s refusal to provide funds has left Providence the single test site.  Moreover, Ron Jarmin, director of the Census Bureau, estimates that the inclusion of a citizenship question, at Trump’s insistence, will mean about 1 percent more people will fail to respond to the survey—that number sounds small, but it is greater than the population of many small states and, as Jarmin admits, the impact would be concentrated in minority communities: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/28/us/2020-census-test-rhode-island.html   We must push our MoC to intervene before this rigged census results in even greater inequalities in the US.

Election 2018 – General

1.     Postcards To Voters launched two (2) postcarding campaigns this weekend for candidates in deep red districts. 1) AL - Campaign 80: Juanita Healy for AL House District 4. 2) CA - Campaign 81: Dean Johansson for Yolo County District Attorney. If we are already volunteers, let's write 5 cards today. If we are new to the effort, we can sign up as a Postcards to Voters' volunteer here

2.    There are so very many reasons people don’t vote, even if they are registered.  This recent survey has some revelations.  (https://www.countable.us/articles/3884-poll-offers-answers-people-don-t-vote)  Let’s do our best to find ways to help get more people registered AND voting in 2018.

3.    Getting young voters engaged is key to making the “Blue Wave” happen. So, “Let America Vote [has] announced the launch of Cap, Gown, Vote! (CGV) — a national initiative in partnership with mayors across the country to increase voter registration among high school students.” So far, they’ve partnered with nine mayors nationwide. How can we become student ambassadors and help get the vote out at school? How do we get our mayors involved? Find out more here about this fantastic collaborative effort to register more new voters! https://capgownvote.org/about

Election 2018 – By State


1.     FL: Special elections May 1:  A) FL House of Representatives District 39. Let’s be voters for Democrat Ricky Shirah, https://www.rickyshirah.org/, and B) FL House of Representatives District 114. Let’s be voters for Democrat Javier Fernandez, https://javierforflorida.com/

3.      States with primaries or runoff elections in May:
MAY 8: Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.
MAY 15: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
MAY 22: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas
Check out your state primary date here:  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/us/elections/calendar-primary-results.html  Be ready to vote and make it a family affair. Take your young children and make it a teachable moment for our future voters.

Other Actions

1.     U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are conducting raids on Greyhound buses, without warrants.  (http://wapo.st/2Gi7GLr http://cbsn.ws/2ucnE4I). ACLU affiliates in ten states have penned a letter to Greyhound Lines, Inc., asking the company to change its policies and prohibit warrantless searches, as is their right under the Fourth Amendment. Let's join the ACLU in their push. We can sign a petition to Greyhound at this link. We can also reach out directly to ask Greyhound president and CEO Dave Leach and Senior Legal Officer Tricia Martinez to change their policies: 1) Dave Leach President and Chief Executive Officer Greyhound Lines, Inc. 350 N. St. Paul Street Dallas, TX 75201; 2) Tricia Martinez Senior Legal Officer Greyhound Lines, Inc. 350 N. St. Paul Street, Dallas, TX 75201 e-mail: Tricia.martinez@greyhound.com; 3) on Twitter @GreyhoundBus.

2.    "Safety Pin Box is a monthly subscription box for white people striving to be allies in the fight for Black Liberation. Subscriptions are a way to financially support Black woman and femme freedom fighters while completing measurable tasks in the fight against white supremacy."  Let's check this out and sign up for a sample task here: 

3.    Americans were once so determined to eliminate poll taxes we amended the Constitution to get rid of them. But politicians who want to suppress the African-American vote have brought them back in the form of voter ID laws.  (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-texas-voter-id-law-20170823-story.html). While we work to get those laws off the books, we can’t let folks be denied their rights because they can’t afford to use them. Let’s donate to Spread The Vote to support their work to get everyone the ID they need.

4.    “The Obama Foundation is looking to hire a diverse cohort of passionate, mission-oriented, and qualified interns to serve in our Chicago and D.C. offices. This internship is open to current undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to work in the United States.”  If we are, or know someone who fits this bill, here’s the application info for the Fall semester internship program:  https://www.obama.org/internship/

5.    Hate crimes are on the rise since Trump was elected and more and more of them are done explicitly in his name. Let's read up on what we can do if we witness hate or harassment, and consider making a donation to an organization that fights hate and hate crimes: ACLUSouthern Poverty Law CenterHuman Rights Campaign: Hate CrimesSafety Pin Box.

6.    If we, or our postcarding group, are looking for a weekly list of issues and writing opportunities, check out this week’s WhatIfKnits:  http://www.whatifknits.com/

7.    Because recreational use of marijuana is legal in Washington, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Mayor Jenny Durkan have moved to vacate past convictions and outstanding possession charges (http://fortune.com/2018/04/28/seattle-vacates-marijuana-possession-convictions/). Holmes notes it one small step "to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color,"  (https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/seattle-asks-judge-to-clear-hundreds-of-past-pot-convictions/281-546913584). Let's send both Attorney Holmes and Mayor Durkan a "Thank you!". Mailing address: City Attorney Pete Holmes 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2050, Seattle, WA 98104-7097 Phone: 206-684-8200 Mayor Jenny Durkan: P.O. Box 94749 Seattle, WA 98124-4749 Phone: 206-684-4000

8.   Fox News host Sean Hannity fancies himself as a protector against the “elites” but now we know he has been gobbling up low-income properties and evicting residents at much higher rates: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/27/sean-hannity-eviction-orders-georgia-apartment-complex Let’s let Hannity know what we think of his actions: Fox News, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036 

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

States

1.    MOST:  In the absence of federal action, seven governors (CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, RI, Puerto Rico) have now joined the States for Gun Safety Coalition to study gun violence as a public health issue. https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/04/25/7-governors-launch-unprecedented-effort-to-study-gun-violence-384339 The work will be done with the help of researchers from the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium. http://rockinst.org/gun-violence/researchers/ . Let’s contact our governors, https://www.usa.gov/state-governor , and tell them to join the coalition.

2.   CO: The Voter Registration Individuals Criminal Justice Act “would pre-register parolees so they would automatically be able to vote upon completion of their sentences,” https://www.courthousenews.com/colorado-bill-aims-to-register-10000-parolees-to-vote/ It was just voted out of the Colorado House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs last week. Let’s tell our state representatives to expand voting rights by passing this bill: find rep https://openstates.org/

3.   NH: Last Thursday, the New Hampshire House voted to abolish the death penalty, but Governor Sununu has stated that he will veto it (http://www.wmur.com/article/nh-house-votes-to-repeal-death-penalty-law-but-sununu-promises-veto/20074706). SB 593-FN has already been passed by the Senate. Let's be sure to contact the governor and tell him we want him to sign the bill: Office of the Governor State House 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301 Phone: (603) 271-2121 Fax: (603) 271-7680 We can also contact our state senator and representative and tell them that if Governor Sununu does veto the bill, they have our full support to override it: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

4.   OK: "The Oklahoma House of Representatives has approved a measure that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to reject same-sex couples on religious grounds," (http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/385228-oklahoma-house-approves-controversial-lgbtq-adoption-bill). SB 1140 had already passed the Senate, and it now heads to the governor's desk for her signature. Let's be sure to contact Governor Mary Fallin ASAP and tell her we don't want her to sign this discriminatory bill: Oklahoma State Capitol 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Phone: (405) 521-2342 Fax: (405) 521-3353

Reading/Watching

1.     " To better understand the history and current state of American diplomacy, Pulitzer-winning author Ronan Farrow interviewed every living Secretary of State for his book 'War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence.'" Let's listen to Stephen Colbert's interview with Ronan Farrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbpmel4_55M

2.    Amid the Opioid Epidemic, White Means Victim, Black Means Addict:

3.    Experts in authoritarianism advise us to keep a list of things subtly changing around us, so we’ll remember.  Amy Siskind is keeping that list for us. Amy writes, "In some ways this week felt normal as leaders of France and Germany visited the White House, and the leaders of North and South Korea met for a historic summit and spoke of the denuclearizing the peninsula. "  Let's review Amy Siskind's list week 76

4.    To help us see how our hard work really does help, here is our weekly dose of Small Victories:  https://mailchi.mp/peaceisloud/small-victories-what-can-happen-when-you-fight







4/27/18


Contact Federal Government Officials

Find senator’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/RLiotu

Find representative’s contact info here: https://goo.gl/5i7SXC

Fax legislators for free:  Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php


********************************
Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.



1.       Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee took a step toward protecting Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, by passing the Special Counsel Protection Act on a vote of 14-7. http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/384990-senate-panel-approves-bill-to-protect-special-counsel?rnd=1524755385/?userid=200565. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring this bill to the floor for a vote, because he doesn’t believe that Mueller will be fired.  Let’s remind Senator McConnell that 62% of Americans want a law to protect Mueller, and that the president has already threatened to fire Mueller many times. To refuse to bring the bill to the floor shows that he is prioritizing the interests of the Republican party over the interests of the country. We can call him at 202-224-2541 or use this form. We should also ask our own Senators to pressure Senator McConnell to change his mind using this 5calls script.

2.      On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/mike-pompeo-confirmed-secretary-of-state-senate-vote-1.4636716). Let’s be sure to check to see how our senators voted, then give them a call to either thank them for voting against Pompeo, or to hold them accountable for their “yea” vote:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2018/s84

3.      French president Emmanuel Macron’s speech to Congress this week warned of the dangers of succumbing to the politics of fear and anger, and asked the U.S. to maintain the Iran nuclear arms agreement and return to the Paris climate agreement. http://thehill.com/policy/international/384809-macron-rips-fear-and-anger-in-speech-to-congress. Let’s tell our MoCs that we agree with President Macron on all of these points, and ask them to work to turn this moment of goodwill between our two countries into concentrated action.

4.      "Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is proposing legislation aimed at putting an end to current payday lending practices by giving some banking services a new home: the U.S. Post Office. " (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/25/senator-gillibrand-wants-the-u-s-postal-service-to-offer-retail-banking.html)  Let's ask our senators to sign on as co-sponsors and get the Postal Banking Act (unnumbered as of yet) moving.  

5.      "The ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee [Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)] on Wednesday said that White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney should resign over comments suggesting he gave preferential treatment to lobbyists who had donated to his campaigns."  As Brown went on to say, "his comments reflect “the kind of ‘pay to play’ that understandably makes Americans furious with Washington, DC.”  (http://thehill.com/policy/finance/384853-top-banking-panel-democrat-calls-on-mulvaney-to-resign-after-lobbyist-remarks)  Let's chime in and also ask Mulvaney to resign: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/Office-of-Management-and-Budget or tweet him at @MickMulvaneyOMB 

6.      Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler has highlighted one major change we can make to help increase accountability for sexual harassment: ending forced arbitration agreements, which allow companies to keep illegal treatment of their employees quiet (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathleenchaykowski/2018/04/10/uber-whistleblower-susan-fowler-on-what-every-company-should-do-to-stop-harassment/#6f5c8036384a). Members of Congress have introduced legislation to ban forced arbitration on sexual harassment claims. Let’s check out the Senate and House versions of the bill to see if our reps are on board, and then call them and ask them to support this effort.

7.      The Department of Defense commissioned a study of sea level rise in low-lying coral atoll islands, which shows that “on the basis of current greenhouse gas emission rates, the...interactions between sea-level rise and wave dynamics over reefs will lead to the annual wave-driven overwash of most atoll islands by the mid-21st century,” 2030 by some reckonings: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/4/eaap9741.full  Despite the concerns expressed by its lead author—a scientist from the US Geological Survey—the DoD’s primary interest was not on the devastating effects of sea level rise on island infrastructure or the contamination of clean water except as it affects places like Roi-Namur Island in the Marshall Islands, part of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site: https://bit.ly/2GvG0Pk Trump’s DoD responded to this study by insisting that that blaming infrastructure damage from weather on climate change was "speculative at best and misleading.": https://bit.ly/2HugOhf Let’s make sure our MoCs demand that the Pentagon produce—and make public—the report Congress required this year assessing vulnerabilities to climate change over the next 20 years, including a list of the 10 most at-risk facilities in each service


Election 2018 – General

1.       On Wednesday, Postcards To Voters launched Campaign 79: Clark Mitchell for PA State House. The 48th State House District is in Washington County is where Conor Lamb won with 52.5% of the vote last month. If we are already volunteers, let's write 5 cards for Clark. If we are new to the effort, we can sign up as a Postcards to Voters' volunteer here

2.      If we are a Democrat running for office, or if we know someone who is, we can use ActiveResist to connect with our voters. With the Active Resist site, our campaign can designate a few on-line stories per day, and make a specific ask of our supporters -- primarily, follow the link and then click `like' or make a comment. Actual human activity on the stories translates to user engagement, causing Facebook, Twitter, etc., to promote those stories. We get better visibility for the news that a campaign wants people to hear, and also block out some of the chatter from the Russian bots. This service is free and we can find out more about it here: https://activeresist.com/about.html Then, we can sign up when we email them here: admin@activeresist.com



Election 2018 – By State

1.       MO: The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill, MO HB1554, which would legalize medical marijuana for many patients. Let's read more at WTHR. Let's contact our MO state legislators to let them know we support this bill. 


Other Actions

1.       "A new ‘extreme vetting’ proposal from the Trump Administration would force over 14 million people per year to provide their social media histories for tourist or immigrant visas to the U.S."  (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-visa/u-s-visa-applicants-to-be-asked-for-social-media-history-state-department-idUSKBN1H611P)  Let's use this form and talking points from Open Media to voice our concerns:  https://act.openmedia.org/nosocialmedia 

2.      The Department of Education 2015-2016 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) has just been released. The CRDC is an important tool used to ensure the protection of civil rights in public schools. Activist and policy analyst Samuel Sinyangwe has posted step-by-step directions on how we can use the CRDC’s data to see whether our local schools are discriminating against marginalized groups. Let’s check out his instructions, then use the information we find to start a conversation with the schools and administrators in our communities.

3.      The NRA has broken a fifteen-year fundraising record following the Parkland shooting (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43884698). Meanwhile, legislation to help regulate firearms at the federal level seems to have recently stalled (https://www.vox.com/2018/2/27/17053968/gun-control-debate-congress-parkland). While we should make sure our MoC are supporting legislation to regulate guns and ammunition, let’s also help by providing financial support to groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action, who show up to lobby MoC.

4.      New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof penned a devastating column on ICE’s brutal policy of separating asylum-seekers from their young children. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/opinion/family-separation-border-immigration.html The ACLU has filed suit against ICE. Let’s donate if we can, and at the very least, let’s spread the word. https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-challenges-trump-administration-practice-forcibly-separating-asylum-seeking-parents-and

5.      According to the Economic Policy Institute, teacher pay (accounting for inflation) fell by $30 per week from 1996 to 2015, while pay for other college graduates increased by $124.  Not surprisingly, striking teachers live in states with some of the largest pay gaps: 63 cents on the dollar in Arizona; 65 cents in Colorado; 67 cents in Oklahoma; 75 cents in West Virginia; and 79 cents in Kentucky. The EPI has posted a graph, showing the ratio of public school teacher wages to those of other college graduates and asked that we share this information via Facebook or Twitter:
https://www.facebook.com/EconomicPolicy/photos/a.10151281228111668.483825.100882346667/10156239247766668/  or pic.twitter.com/M5cjBWNDcL https://epi.org/145272.  Let’s support striking teachers all over the U.S., and distribute this graph as far and wide as possible.

6.      The March For Our Lives organization, which organized the huge rally in Washington DC on March 24, is continuing to encourage students to speak up against gun violence and other political issues affecting us all. They'd like to help anyone 13 years old or above learn how to set up an activism club at their school. Here's a basic description of the initiative, and a form where we can sign up to get more tips on setting up our own activism clubs: https://marchforourlives.com/local-action/ 



Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       This fall, voting rights will be on the ballot in Florida, where people will consider a constitutional amendment to restore the vote to 1.4 million people who lost it due to a Jim Crow-era felony disenfranchisement law. These folks are disproportionately people of color (http://floridapolitics.com/archives/262116-desmond-meade-voting-rights). Tomorrow, there will be a day of action held nationwide to phonebank and build support for this ballot initiative. Let's see if there's an event near us here, and if not let's sign up to all from home here.


States

1.       ID: The deadline to get enough signatures to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in deep-red Idaho is just days away, and the organizers are closing in fast on where they need to be (https://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/the-home-stretch-effort-to-put-medicaid-expansion-on-ballot-approaches-finish-line/Content?oid=10846352). With Medicaid under attack from Trump and the GOP, we have a chance to send a powerful message to the White House *and* help 62,000 Idahoans get health care. We can help them from anywhere in the country this weekend by making calls to recruit volunteers. We can join a virtual phonebank here, and contact reclaimidaho@gmail.com with any questions.

2.      MI: On Monday, Oil & Water Don’t Mix hosted Line 5 retirement parties across the state in recognition of the sixty-five years since the Enbridge pipeline was first commissioned (http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2018/04/activists_host_retirement_part.html). Continuing with the momentum created from the event, Oil & Water Don’t Mix is asking for volunteers to help with four action items this summer: tabling at various events, local candidate outreach, accountability for Snyder and Schuette, and the Mackinac Policy Conference Rally. Let’s sign up to help, and make sure that Line 5 is finally decommissioned.


Reading/Watching

1.       “Will America allow the suffering of black women to go unchecked, when we are leading the fight for so many others? Want to thank black women for defeating Roy Moore? For voting against Donald Trump? Protect us. Support us. Demand justice for Chikesia.” https://www.thecut.com/2018/04/chikesia-clemons-assault-waffle-house-video.html

2.      Democrats need to flip 23 seats in the fall to take back the lower chamber. Let's read this article in The Hill: Election experts see warning signs for GOP after Arizona election.  Let's keep doing what we are doing Rogan's Listers! It's working.