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5/31/18


Contact Federal Government Officials

Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

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.    “After the failure to repeal the healthcare law last year, the Trump administration is weighing two controversial new rules to loosen regulations governing health plans. One would expand the availability of short-term coverage plans that last less than a year. The other would make it easier for self-employed Americans and small businesses to band together to form so-called association health plans.  Altogether, more than 95% — or 266 of 279 — of the healthcare groups that filed comments about the proposed association health plan regulation expressed serious concern or opposed it, the Times analysis found. Not a single group representing patients, physicians, nurses or hospitals voiced support in the public comments for the two Trump administration proposals. The Trump administration has not indicated when it will finalize the proposed new insurance regulations.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-insurance-opposition-20180530-story.html   We must continue to be diligent and remind our MoCs that we want to protect and improve the ACA, not dismantle it piece by piece. 

2.   On Tuesday, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) as a guest on Fox News said of misnamed “Spygate”, “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got…” 
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/29/gowdy-fbi-informant-spygate-trump-611600  Let’s take a moment to thank Congressman Gowdy for valuing truth: https://gowdy.house.gov/contact  

3.   “The Post recently asked 100 security experts - a panel put together from across government, academia and the private sector - whether state election systems are sufficiently protected against cyberthreats. Ninety-five said no.”  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-midterm-elections-security-20180524-story.html This is a national issue that needs reparative attention before the midterm elections in November.  Let’s ask our MoCs what they are doing to safeguard our election systems.

4.   The Journal of Urban Health has published analysis which shows that approximately 4.6 million children live in a home with unlocked, loaded guns (https://www.thetrace.org/rounds/study-american-children-unlocked-loaded-gun-storage/). Meanwhile, a meta-analysis of available research shows that Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws, are the most effective policies, reducing suicide and unintentional injuries and death. However, there are no CAP laws in place at the federal level, and 23 states do not have CAP laws. Let's read more about CAP laws here, then call our MoCs and ask them to introduce legislation to address children's access to firearms.

5.   The Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act (S.2937) will protect children who have been abandoned at home or at school after their parents have been arrested or detained by US immigration authorities. Let’s read about the protections this bill will provide here, https://www.smith.senate.gov/content/sen-tina-smith-leads-23-senators-calling-protect-minor-children-left-alone-when-parents-are , and here, https://roybal-allard.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398452  and let’s tell our MoCs we want to see this passed.

6.      Thomas Farr has a record of not only defending racist voter suppression laws, but actually participating in efforts to suppress black voters.   (http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article211659684.html). Donald Trump wants to give him a lifetime appointment as a federal judge, where he’ll have tremendous power to continue putting up barriers to the voting booth. Demand Justice is organizing folks to pressure their senators to vote against them. Let's join them. We can find talking points in this script from 5 Calls.

7.      This past weekend, it became public that the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) has recommended a review of Scott Pruitt’s decision to roll back an Obama-era policy on auto emissions; the independent group, made up of researchers and scientists, called for a review of the EPA’s justification for changing this rule, and a review of a number of other EPA policy rollbacks: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/389691-epas-internal-advisory-board-recommends-investigating-science  Let’s join the SAB in calling for all 44 members to consider these issues, something on which they will formally vote Thursday:  @EPAScottPruitt or Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 1101A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460 or 202-564-4700.

Election 2018 – General

An election guide from Postcards for America:  In this Google doc (updated regularly), each State shows ALL Democratic Candidates running for Congress, Governor, Lt Gov, Attorney General, Secretary of State (if applicable) with links to their websites and Twitter. Each has a link to a Twitter Thread, a Shareable Facebook Post and a Document. For most States, there are also Info & Links for Voter Registrations, Absentee Ballots, Early Voting & Voter ID, Age Requirements and being a Poll Worker.  Let’s check this out and use and share it:  

1.       Indivisible Project, our most focused and best organized grassroots political action organization, has introduced its 50-State Political Program. This is a detailed plan for getting progressives elected this November, and Indivisible needs both donations and volunteers to implement it. Let's have a look at their strategy for winning 73 key elections in 13 states, then step up in every way we can to help. Remember, the only way to stop the cruel and rampant abuses of power polluting our public life is to kick out the abusers. More here: https://www.indivisible.org/blog/announcing-50-state-political-program/

2.      Michigan is among several states where democracy will be on the ballot in November, thanks to the "Promote the Vote" initiative to amend the state constitution. The initiative would allow no-excuse absentee voting, protect a secret ballot, add audits for election results and make it easier to register (https://www.wxyz.com/news/political/spotlight-on-the-news/spotlight-on-the-news-the-campaign-to-promote-the-vote-the-future-of-the-mi-state-fairgrounds). We can help expand voting rights in Michigan from anywhere in the country. You can sign up to phone bank from home at this link

Election 2018 – By State

1.    Voting dates and deadlines this week:

May 31
Vermont
Filing Deadline
June 1
New York (Federal)
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
June 01
Alaska
Filing Deadline
June 01
Kansas
Filing Deadline
June 01
Wisconsin
Filing Deadline
June 01
Wyoming
Filing Deadline
June 2
New Mexico
Early voting ends
Primary

2.   Eight states have primaries next week.  Let’s Use this info to make our plan to vote & then share with friends in the state:









3.   CO:  Introducing FLIP COLORADO, a Facebook group dedicated to winning elections! It's part of a 50-state project that came out of the success of FLIP ALABAMA in helping to get Doug Jones elected by squeezing every possible vote out of the state. We can join here, get some new ideas and meet new folks. Together we can turn our beautiful state the Bluest it’s ever been, so let’s start getting our country back, state by state! We can check the group out, then, if we like it, join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/FlipColorado/

4.   MD:  Introducing FLIP MARYLAND, a Facebook group dedicated to winning elections! It's part of a 50-state project that came out of the success of FLIP ALABAMA in helping to get Doug Jones elected by squeezing every possible vote out of the state. We can join here, get some new ideas and meet new folks. Together we can turn our beautiful state the Bluest it’s ever been, so let’s start getting our country back, state by state! We can check the group out, then, if we like it, join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/FlipMaryland/

5.   OK:  Introducing FLIP OKLAHOMA, a Facebook group dedicated to winning elections! It's part of a 50-state project that came out of the success of FLIP ALABAMA in helping to get Doug Jones elected by squeezing every possible vote out of the state. We can join here, get some new ideas and meet new folks. Together we can turn our beautiful state Blue, so let’s start getting our country back, state by state! We can check the group out, then, if we like it, join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/FlipOklahoma/

6.   VA:  Introducing FLIP VIRGINIA, a Facebook group dedicated to winning elections! It's part of a 50-state project that came out of the success of FLIP ALABAMA in helping to get Doug Jones elected by squeezing every possible vote out of the state. We can join here, get some new ideas and meet new folks. Together we can turn our beautiful state the Bluest it’s ever been, so let’s start getting our country back, state by state! We can check the group out, then, if we like it, join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/FlipVirginia/

Other Actions

1.    On Tuesday, Fox News anchor Shep Smith used two minutes of time to lay waste to the “Spygate” garbage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwLdVU5Tc3E   Let’s take a moment to thank Mr. Smith for valuing truth: Shep Smith, Fox News, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10036    

2.   Ice cream anyone???! MoveOn.org has been in the resistance business for 20 years. Now, they're working on a "Resist and Win" campaign, "focused on ending GOP control of the House and electing progressive candidates at the state and local level, as well as supporting candidates in key gubernatorial and Senate races." If we can make a monthly contribution to MoveOn, we'll be entered into a lottery for a year's supply of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. No contribution is required to enter, but......karma and all that:  https://act.moveon.org/donate/stand-with-ben-and-jerry

3.   Although there are many challenging and chaotic things going on along many fronts, let us pause and take note that Roseanne Barr’s show was canceled on the same day that Missouri Governor Greitens resigned. The guardrails may not be where we want them to be, but we have proof that there still are some. Let’s take a moment to thank ourselves and our favorite fellow resistors for seeking liberty and justice for all.

4.   A recent report has showed that Russian malware has infected more than 500,000 routers and network-attached storage devices (https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/05/fbi-tells-router-users-to-reboot-now-to-kill-malware-infecting-500k-devices/). The FBI is asking that we reboot our routers, consider disabling remote management settings, update to stronger passwords, and make sure we have updated to the latest version of firmware: https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180525.aspx

5.   From Alt National Park Service:  Thank you, Lowe's Home Improvement! Home improvement retailer Lowe's will soon be ridding all of its stores of products carrying a toxic chemical known to cause cancer. The company announced Tuesday it will soon phase out all products, including paints and paint thinners, that contain the toxic chemical methylene chloride. The change will occur throughout its global market by the end of the year. [https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/05/30/lowes-paint/654702002 ]  Let’s thank Lowes:  1000 Lowe's Blvd., Mooresville, NC  28117 or (704) 758-1000

6.   Many of us have our Congressional representatives on speed dial but are looking for other ways to take direct action while we urge politicians to act. For those of us, we can continue calling congress AND … digitally volunteer to join Amnesty International’s Troll Patrol, exposing abusive tweets toward women. https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/troll-patrol #callcongressAND

7.   “Parents from the Florida community where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a local high school are forming a political action committee to take on candidates backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA),”  http://thehill.com/homenews/389907-parkland-parents-form-super-pac-to-go-up-against-nra-candidates  Let’s donate to this new PAC and encourage their efforts:  http://famsvarpac.org/

8.   Red Robin Restaurants Thanks Teachers:  Teachers eat free at Red Robin on June 5. Red Robin would like to thank teachers for their dedication with a FREE* Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries. Choose from one of FIVE Tavern Double Burgers! No purchase is necessary. Just show your valid school ID and enjoy your meal on Red Robin: https://www.redrobin.com/teachers.html. Let’s tell our teachers everywhere about this special offer. They deserve a free meal out ! 

9.   While technically a non-profit, “The NFL should not be able to deny a qualified player because of his political views while taking public money to subsidize their business profits.”  Let’s join in this petition to the NFL to no longer blacklist Colin Kaepernick and check out the other recommended actions as well:  https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/state-ags-investigate

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.    On Friday, June 1st, We Belong Together, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MomsRising, MamasConPoder, ACLU, United We Dream, MoveOn, and many others will host actions across the country demanding a stop to the practice of separating children from their families and protection of the human rights, as well as the safety and well-being, of all children with no exceptions (including unaccompanied minors and children in detention).  We can see if there is an event near us here: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/families-belong-together  and we can find more information and a toolkit here:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/18Di1XrNkn6ogwS-GxKYJOBAS7zPK6VYiXVv0rqwgJRs/edit?ts=5b0c0bd0#

2.    This weekend, June 1-3, “People around the country are coming together with a simple message: there's more we can do to end gun violence.” Let’s check here to find a Wear Orange Weekend” sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety event near us:   http://act.everytown.org/event/wear-orange-2018/search/

3.    Rallies, on June 14, in support of the missing immigrant children are being coordinated all over the country.  “The March for Stolen Children is a peaceful event. Everyone participating in this event will be required to abide by all applicable laws and lawful orders of authorities." We can use this link to create a rally near us:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFqhCwGsoZOua_tompfPhoPmi0Qx9je3iAskumf3ZhflhvWg/viewform

States

Reading/Watching

1.    “Democrats are never going to win the news cycle from Trump. He’s an attention-grabbing genius. But they can, and must, out-organize him, out-run him, out-register him and out-vote him.”  -  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/opinion/midterms-trump-democrats.html


3.      “Trump is Winning His PR Battle with Mueller. So What?” 






  


5/30/18

Contact Federal Government Officials

Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

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.    Our legislators are at home right now.  Let’s try to find them at their offices or at a townhall or at a meeting or in a coffee shop.  Let’s ask them what they are doing to keep immigrants families together, whether they will commit to refusing any money from the NRA and gun manufacturers, and to oppose the House Farm bill changes to SNAP, and any other issues important to us.

2.   While we were quickly able to determine the number of fatalities in hurricanes that hit the continental US last year, it apparently was not quite as big a concern to do the same for Puerto Rico where we are now learning that the death toll may have been as high as 5000 people.  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/29/615120123/study-puts-puerto-rico-death-toll-at-5-000-from-hurricane-maria-in-2017  In this respect, as well as many others, the disaster assistance that Puerto Rico, an US territory, received was not at all on par to what was received by continental US states.  It is time to tell our MoCs that our territories need the same protection as our states. 

3.   The Interior Department is planning on easing regulations on sport hunting in Alaska national reserves. The new rule would allow bear cubs to be killed along with their mothers, caribou to be killed while swimming, and wolves and their pups to be killed in their dens (https://to.pbs.org/2LnNtU0https://wapo.st/2J165r6). Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke argues that this is merely a move to align federal regulations with Alaska state law, while others say that the rollback would allow for cruel and inhumane hunting practices. The proposed rule has a 60-day open comment period which began last week. Let's make sure we leave a comment opposing the rule here

4.   The US is shutting its borders to Latin American refugees fleeing violence—while also contributing to that violence by allowing American-sourced guns to reach south-of-the-border criminal cartels. https://www.thetrace.org/rounds/mexico-homicides-american-guns-forum/ Let’s tell our MoCs that we’re not happy with this state of affairs and we want them to stop the flow of American guns to Mexico and other Latin American countries.

5.   Most of the known white supremacists are out of the White House, but Steve Miller is still there as a speech writer and immigration enforcer.  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/stephen-miller-trump-adviser/561317/  Let’s tell the White House that it is time for him to go as well.  He does not represent the kind of America we are. 

6.   While the Senate and House have both passed bills (H.R. 4924/S. 2952) to address sexual harassment in congress, the Senate version has some problematic provisions (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/24/senate-harassment-bill-reaction-607731). Civil rights organizations including the ACLU, National Women's Law Center, and others, have sent a letter to the Senate addressing these concerns. Let's read through the letter, then, as the bill goes back to the House for reconciliation, let's contact our MoC and tell them that we support the House version of the bill and want the final bill to be as close to it as possible.

7.   Britt Grant, who is on Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist in spite of having only served as a judge since last year, has been nominated for a spot on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (https://abovethelaw.com/2018/05/more-judicial-nominations-from-president-trump-and-more-judicial-emergencies/). Grant has a record of defending unconstitutional restrictions on the right to choose and undermining the Voting Rights Act, along with fighting collective bargaining for public sector workers. Let’s make sure our senators know this is the sort of ultraconservative record we don’t need in our federal courts.

8.   “Judges appointed by Republican presidents gave longer sentences to black defendants and shorter ones to women than judges appointed by Democrats, according to a new study that analyzed data on more than half a million defendants.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/us/politics/black-defendants-women-prison-terms-study.htmlhttps://scholar.harvard.edu/files/cyang/files/cohen_yang_march2018.pdf?m=1525793200 Let’s tell the Federal Judicial Center about this study and urge the Center to provide continuing education courses for judges to put an end to sentencing bias. Contact: Jeremy D. Fogel, Director, Federal Judicial Center, Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, One Columbus Circle NE, Washington, DC 20002; 202-502-4160

9.   There is complexity to the #WhereAreTheChildren aspect of the anti-immigration efforts of the Trump administration, but we have clarity that tearing children away from their parents as families seek asylum here is not the answer. If we are postcarders or letter writers, here are officials we can share our perspective with about #EndFamilySeparation:   https://drive.google.com/open?id=144T4WfVhxm-ghKBJOOJjDnW3cD95nlOF

10.  Aside from the NRA political action committee (PAC), NRA Political Victory Fund, studies show that the majority of US citizens favor gun reform measures including “ universal background checks, stronger measures requiring accountability by gun dealers unable to account for missing guns, a test that demonstrates safe and lawful gun handling for those legally allowed to carry a concealed gun, improved reporting of people disqualified from owning a gun due to mental health criteria, gun prohibitions for people with temporary domestic violence restraining orders, and laws that create a civil process for families to petition the court for temporary removal of a firearm from those deemed to be at serious risk for harming themselves or others.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-guns-opinions/most-u-s-gun-owners-support-stronger-gun-laws-idUSKCN1IT1Q6  Simultaneously, “Physician members of the American Medical Association are pushing the nation’s largest doctor group to back an “unprecedented” number of measures designed to curb gun violence and coax Congress into action.”  https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2018/05/27/ama-pushes-unprecedented-gun-control-agenda-as-congress-dithers/#1a4640a669ef  Let’s tell our MoCs that it is time for them to work on this important life-saving issue.

Election 2018 – General

An election guide from Postcards for America:  In this Google doc (updated regularly), each State shows ALL Democratic Candidates running for Congress, Governor, Lt Gov, Attorney General, Secretary of State (if applicable) with links to their websites and Twitter. Each has a link to a Twitter Thread, a Shareable Facebook Post and a Document. For most States, there are also Info & Links for Voter Registrations, Absentee Ballots, Early Voting & Voter ID, Age Requirements and being a Poll Worker.  Let’s check this out and use and share it:  

Election 2018 – By State

1.    Voting dates and deadlines this week:

May 30
Arizona
Filing Deadline
May 30
Utah
Last day to change party affiliation
Primary
May 31
Vermont
Filing Deadline
June 1
New York (Federal)
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
June 01
Alaska
Filing Deadline
June 01
Kansas
Filing Deadline
June 01
Wisconsin
Filing Deadline
June 01
Wyoming
Filing Deadline
June 2
New Mexico
Early voting ends
Primary

2.   CA:  With Election Day less than a week away, there is a real danger that NO Democrats will advance to the runoffs in three key primary races in  CA-39, CA-48, and CA-49. With our Jungle Primary system, only the top two vote getters will advance to the general election, so we MUST boost the Democratic turnout. Fortunately Flip the 14 and the Courage Campaign, two organizations with active field and digital campaigns in California are partnering to help push a Democrat into the top two. We can help by signing up to volunteer with their texting program today.  We can sign up to make phone calls with Courage Campaign here:  http://act.couragecampaign.org/signup/California_Counts_phonebank_F14/  We can sign up to text, phone or email with Flip the 14 here:  https://www.flipthe14.com/text  We can sign up to email people we know in these districts, using Voter Circle here: 
https://votercircle.com/c/california-counts/join  Let’s Flip these districts Blue!

Other Actions

1.    Many are wondering how we can help refugee children.  Together Rising is having a love flash mob to raise funds to have at least 60 of these children have legal representation instead of having to face a judge alone to determine their fate.  We can find out more about the situation and how to donate:  https://momastery.com/blog/2018/05/29/emergency-love-flash-mob-for-the-children/

2.   Some of us, too, wonder how we can help these unaccompanied refugee children by bringing them into our homes for safe keeping.  Checking with our local foster care agency to ask if they participate in a such a refugee program would be a good step.  We can also check here for frequently asked questions about the program:  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/unaccompanied-children-frequently-asked-questions  and here, too:  http://www.sharedjustice.org/most-recent/2017/4/25/providing-a-home-foster-care-for-unaccompanied-refugee-children

3.   With so much political turmoil going on in our country, it's easy to lose track of important local issues like the quality of our schools. The National Education Association wants to remind us that a better world can start with better schools, so let's use their simple School Opportunities Checklist to help the NEA direct its efforts to shape schools that will best educate our future decision-makers. http://pages.email.nea.org/your-school-checklist

4.   Last month, the Department of Education released data on racial disparities in every school and school district in America. This report clearly indicated that discipline disparities are growing for students of color (https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/04/24/discipline-disparities-grow-for-students-of-color.html), Since the Trump-DeVos Education Department wants to do less rather than more about correcting these disparities, it’s up to us. The activist Samuel Sinyangwe has created a step-by-step guide to determine how big any given school’s disparities are. Let’s check it out here, look up how our local schools are doing, and if we’re not satisfied contact our school boards, school districts, and parent-teacher organizations to ask what they’re doing to create change.

5.    act.tv has created this nice little video, “How to Defeat Authoritarianism.” Let’s watch it and then share on social media: http://act.tv/v/17303/

6.  Following a racist tweet by Roseanne Barr, ABC has cancelled her show. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/roseanne-barr-attacks-valerie-jarrett-with-racist-tweet-2018-05-29   Let’s thank ABC for their quick and appropriate response to racism.    Contacts:  http://abc.go.com/feedback or 77 W 66th St, New York, NY 10023 or (800) 230-0229 or @ABCNetwork or https://www.facebook.com/ABCNetwork/

7.    Student leaders from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, Columbine, and neighborhoods impacted by gun violence across the country have joined together to form Team ENOUGH, backed by The Brady Center Against Gun Violence .This new youth-led group will focus on student engagement on the issue of gun violence prevention and ways to continue momentum for change, including voter education, community empowerment, and advocacy. Team ENOUGH will convene individual leaders and other youth-focused organizations on a national platform.  If we are a student, or know one, ready to get involved, we can find out more and join in here: https://www.teamenough.org/

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.    The ACLU People Power campaign is organizing #FamiliesBelongTogether rallies this Friday, June 1. The rallies will take place at immigration enforcement offices around the country to protest the Trump administration’s inhumane practice of separating children from their parents as they seek refuge at our borders. Let’s sign up to attend a rally:   https://map.peoplepower.org/ Further reading: 

2.   June 1st has been designated the National Day of Action for Children.  There will be protests around the country concerning the new Homeland Security policy which separates undocumented children as young as one year old from their parents--even legitimate asylum seekers--at the border, and puts them, according to John Kelly  “in foster care or whatever”: http://www.businessinsider.com/john-kelly-family-separation-policy-illegal-border-crossing-2018-5  For more information, we can check here: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/families-belong-together

3.   This weekend, June 1-3, “People around the country are coming together with a simple message: there's more we can do to end gun violence.” Let’s check here to find a Wear Orange Weekend” sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety event near us:   http://act.everytown.org/event/wear-orange-2018/search/

4.   Rallies, on June 14, in support of the missing immigrant children are being coordinated all over the country.  “The March for Stolen Children is a peaceful event. Everyone participating in this event will be required to abide by all applicable laws and lawful orders of authorities." We can use this link to create a rally near us:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFqhCwGsoZOua_tompfPhoPmi0Qx9je3iAskumf3ZhflhvWg/viewform

States

1.    MI: Three voter ID bills (HB 6046HB 6047HB 6048) have been introduced to the House which would likely increase voter suppression (http://aclumich.org/article/we-cant-afford-voter-suppression-michigan). Let's be sure to call our state reps and ask them to oppose these bills. We can also use ACLU of Michigan's website to edit and send a letter to our state representative: https://action.aclu.org/send-message/mi-discriminatory-voter-ID-bills

Reading/Watching

1.    We should be interested in Katherine Stewart's account of Project Blitz, “the latest attempt by religious extremists to use the coercive powers of government to secure a privileged position in society for their version of Christianity":
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/opinion/project-blitz-christian-nationalists.html 

2.   To defeat the NRA, reform our democracy with these practical steps, argues Adam Eichen, in this article: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/how-ultimately-defeat-nra-ncna877316 Eichen is the co-author with Frances Moore Lappe of the book Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want (Beacon Press 2017).

3.   In case we aren’t yet entirely clear about what’s at stake in the corporate giveaway Trump calls a “tax reform,” we should take a look at the data the NY Times has published. “This year, publicly traded corporations in the United States had to begin revealing their pay ratios — comparisons between the pay of their chief executive and the median compensation of other employees at the company. The results were predictably striking”:  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/25/business/ceo-pay-2017.html
Here’s the Times’ analysis of this data:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/25/business/highest-paid-ceos-2017.html