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6/29/18 

Hundreds of thousands of us will be gathering tomorrow, June 30, to protest the changes in immigration policy, particularly the cruel separation of children (like this: https://goo.gl/HzDFw4)  from their parents. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/28/immigration-families-belong-together-rally-washington-dc-protests/738997002/ 
There is at least one rally in every state.  Let’s show up and be counted:   


Contact Federal Government Officials


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

or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

 
********************************
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.       When a sitting president condemns the media as “the enemy of the people” as Trump did in South Carolina this week, and when the former Breitbart star also said this week that he “can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists”, one has to wonder if the fatal shooting at an Annapolis, MD newspaper office is just a coincidence.  Although Yiannopoulos claimed his remark was made as a taunt, nonetheless, journalists died.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/06/28/milo-yiannopoulos-confirms-his-gunning-down-journalists-comments/743561002/  Again, the time for thoughts and prayers has long passed.  It is time to double up our calls to all our MoCs for commonsense gun laws so that people can be safe in their everyday lives. Let’s also be very aware of how words are being used and abused.

2.      In a sudden decision on Thursday, ICE announced that immigrants in detention who face deportation hearings in New York City will have to be heard through video or audio conferencing instead in person in court. Lawyers representing detainees claim ICE is “using the presence of a protest group that recently demonstrated in front of an entrance as a pretext to curtail immigrants' rights”—although the protest did not disrupt any workings of the court.  NYC, always a Trump target, is the first city to provide all detainees pro-bono legal representation: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/ICE-Suspends-In-Person-Deportation-Hearings-at-NYC-Immigration-Court-486758801.html  We must let ICE know that we will not let them use legal protest (nor legal representation) as an excuse to deprive detainees of due process: in NYC, (866) 347-2423 or 601 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001 or in DC, 1-802-872-6199, 500 12th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024  Let’s tell our MoCs, too, that we do not agree with this.

3.      While our first reaction to filling a Supreme Court Justice position might be to want our MoCs to follow McConnell’s plan of not doing so during an election year, we really do not want to make such inappropriate use of power the norm in Congress.  However, a better tactic and one that we could follow no matter who is in the Oval Office, is that no Supreme Court Justice should be approved while a president is under investigation.  Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has suggested that to the other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/06/bookers_question_how_can_trump_pick_supreme_court.html  Let’s tell our MoCs that we support this approach.

4.      We need to remember that this border crisis that Trump refers to is of his own making.  The data do not jive with what he says or does.  http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/us/politics/fact-check-trump-border-crossings-declining-.html Perhaps this notion of “fixing a problem I created” resonates with his base as him being tough and effective, but we know better.  We need to encourage our MoCs to enact legislation to return our immigration policy to what it was before “zero tolerance” and invasive ICE/border patrol behavior.  Then, encourage them to find a true bipartisan solution.

5.      Yesterday, the Senate easily passed their version of the Farm Bill 86-11.  It now goes to reconciliation with the House version with cuts and requirements for SNAP (food stamps) being the contentious issue as the Senate’s version has none.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-28/senate-passes-farm-bill-opening-fight-with-house-on-food-stamps  Let’s tell our MoCs that we do not want SNAP cuts or work requirements.  Most people who receive SNAP help are already working. 

6.      In a Massachusetts court case against the Judge Rotenberg Center's (JRC) use of electrical stimulation devices/graduated electronic decelerators (ESDs/GEDs) on disabled children and adults, the judge ruled in favor of the JRC (http://www.wcvb.com/article/judge-sides-with-school-that-uses-electric-shocks-on-its-students/21971406). In the article, the FDA is cited as saying that they are still reviewing comments on the proposed ban on ESDs, though they neglect to mention that the comments closed more than two years ago (https://bit.ly/2tBMGaO). Let's contact FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and tell him that two years is more than enough time to go over comments, and that we need the FDA to implement the ban on ESDs now: We can reach him via e-mail: CommissionerFDA@fda.hhs.gov, on Twitter @SGottliebFDA or by mail to Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Commissioner of Food and Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061 Rockville, MD 20852. We can also contact Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and ask him to do the same: HHS, 200 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20201 or 877-696-6775, or on Twitter @SecAzar. Let's also check out the action items available at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

7.      Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) urged the Justice Department to swiftly finish the investigation into Russian election interference, saying that the probe has “torn” the American people apart. He urged the department to present evidence of any wrongdoing by President Trump, if they possess it. “There’s an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied,” Gowdy said. “I think right now all of us are being denied. Whatever you’ve got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart.” http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/394579-live-coverage-rosenstein-fbi-director-face-lawmakers Let’s remind Trey that he investigated Hillary for 2 and 1/2 years at the taxpayer’s cost of 7.8 million dollars. He came up empty!  In just one year Mueller has issued more than 12 indictments and has several guilty pleas.  Tell Tray to leave Mueller alone to finish his work.  Tweet @TGowdySC

8.     Our best hopes on the GOP for blocking the President’s Supreme Court pick are most likely Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Senator Collins, especially, has a pro-choice voting a record and a rating of 83% by NARAL. http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Susan_Collins_Abortion.htm. Senator Murkowski has only a 14% rating from NARAL, but she has been a supporter of planned parenthood. http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Lisa_Murkowski_Abortion.htm.  Let’s contact Senator Collins (202-224-2523) and Senator Murkowski (202-224-6665) and tell them that the women of the country are depending on them not to vote for any Supreme Court Justice who will overturn Roe vs. Wade. We should also ask them in the matter of fairness, to abide by the McConnell rule and delay the vote until after the midterm elections.

9.      Judge David Porter is the latest addition to a list of extremist judges who received a hearing from the judiciary committee despite the objection of a home state senator, https://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/13731637-74/pittsburgher-david-porter-testifies-ideology-wont-be-a-factor-as-federal-judge, and Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) is continuing to process nominations even when a home state senator objects. When Obama was president, Senator Grassley honored the “blue-slip” process and refused to consider any judge a home-state senator objected to. Let’s contact Senator Grassley (202-224-3744, https://www.facebook.com/grassley/, Twitter: @ChuckGrassley) and tell him that it’s an insult to our democracy and to his own integrity as a Senator to change the rules just because his party is now in the White House. We should also tell him he can show some true leadership and respect for democracy by refusing to hold hearings for the new Supreme Court nominee until after the the special counsel investigation is over.

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.       We've got our next chance to flip ​a House seat in a special election for the Ohio 12th Congressional District on August 7th, where young county official Danny O'Connor is the Democratic nominee against Republican Troy Balderson, a longtime member of the extremely conservative state senate (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/ohio-special-election-emerges-democrats-next-best-chance-stun-gop-n883916). Let's do what we can to help! Postcards to Voters is writing postcards to get out the vote for Danny O'Connor, and we can sign up to help here. We can also make calls with the campaign to help them identify their voters - the virtual phone bank is linked here, and instructions and scripts can be found here.

2.      Andrew Janz, a Democrat won a spot on the CA ballot for congress in November against Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes has raised millions to keep his seat. Even if you aren’t a CA resident, Nunes is an issue for all of us. If you can donate 5 bucks to his campaign, here is the link.  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/janz_donate_bs

Election 2018 – By State

1.       Upcoming voting dates and deadlines:

June 29
Minnesota
Early voting begins
Primary
June 30
Vermont
Early voting begins
Primary
June 30
Wisconsin
In person absentee voting begins
Primary
July 2
Georgia
Early voting begins
runoffs
July 2
Alabama
Voter Registration Deadline
Runoffs
July 3
Tennessee
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
July 6
Wyoming
In person absentee voting begins
Primary
(source:  by date:  https://goo.gl/gjFv2u by state:  https://goo.gl/7gTzvE)

Other Actions

1.       “Advocates say the fastest way to help immigrants separated from their children: Post their bail.”  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-what-it-costs-to-free-one-immigrant-from-detention-2018-06-20  Let’s help by donating to this worthy cause through this FB page that has already gathered so much attention and praise:  https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/posts/10156004958409678  All money goes to RAICES

2.      Justice Kennedy is retiring. What happens next will redefine our country for generations to come. We all need to act to save our constitutional rights, starting with the right to choose (https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/27/politics/anthony-kennedy-retires/index.html). Let’s sign up for alerts from Demand Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, People for the American Way, and Alliance for Justice, who are organizing on judicial nominations. This would also be a great time to donate to Democratic Senate candidates, both challengers like Kyrsten Sinema, Jacky Rosen and Phil Bredesen, and incumbents like Senators Bill NelsonClaire McCaskillSherrod Brown and Heidi Heitkamp. And we can sign up to text for Beto O’Rourke against Ted Cruz here.

3.      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is giving away free “Persist” stickers that include our state on it.  Let’s find more info here and sign up for one:  https://my.elizabethwarren.com/page/s/state-persist-sticker-giveaway-a

4.      The products we use every day during our morning routine -- shampoo, deodorant, hair gel -- can create plumes of emissions as we go about our day. Let's read about this in the Colorado Public Radio article: "Why Your Deodorant Puts The Stuff That Comes Out Of Your Tailpipe To Shame." We can use the link in the article to listen to Matthew Coggon, an atmospheric scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences in Boulder, as he tells Colorado Matters about his work measuring these emissions from our bodies.

5.      People all over the country are getting fed up with ICE’s strong-armed tactics and many places local officials are cancelling deals to detain immigrants.  https://nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/migrant-shelters-ice-contracts-counties.html  Let’s ask our own local officials to follow suit. 

6.      ACLU has a do-it-yourself (DIY) fundraising platform we can use. Whether we have a birthday coming up, a road race we’ve been training for, or another special event in our life, we can use Team ACLU to rally our network around our big day while raising funds and awareness for the civil rights issues we’re passionate about. We can start our campaign at Team ACLU here

7.      We have helped Together Rising raise over $3.5 million and they are closely monitoring what's happening on the ground at our southern border and are working to distribute the funds where they will have the greatest impact on the families.  In addition to given, there are volunteer opportunities across the country. You can check them out here:  https://bit.ly/2tOJt6U

8.     A 6-year-old boy from Atlanta raised $3,000 for separated families through a lemonade stand and an accompanying “GoFundMe page.”  http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/394343-6-year-olds-lemonade-stand-raises-13k-for-migrant-kids  As the hot weather intensifies and our kids look for things to do over school vacation, let’s duplicate this effort across the country.

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       Today, June 29, at senator’s offices around the country, “lawyer moms around the country are organizing to gather at our senators’ offices and deliver an open letter stating our opposition to the current federal policy of separating migrant children from their parents.  Each of us would do anything to keep our children safe. Each of us swore an oath to defend the Constitution. We will not let this unconscionable practice stand on our watch. Join us. Let's make some noise.”  More info here at Lawyer Moms of America: https://www.facebook.com/events/1308273125973346/

2.      Today, June 29, 1-2pm EDT, the National Immigration Law Center is presenting a webinar on “The Muslim Ban Decision & Family Separations/Family Detention”.  We can use this link to RSVP:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6615756358483207169

3.      Tomorrow, June 30, thousands across the nation are organizing with the theme “Families Belong Together” to demand Trump:  A) Immediately reverse the “zero-tolerance” policy which created this crisis, B) Reunite migrant children with their families., C) We will not tolerate trading children in cages for indefinite family camps, and D) Donald J. Trump and members of his administration will be held accountable for this horror. Let’s find an event to attend or create our own here: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/ If we want to catch a bus to the DC event, we can find info here:  http://rallybus.net/families-belong-together-dc/

4.      On Tuesday, July 31Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden will be coordinating grannies, friends and allies on a 6-day road trip from New York City to Texas, holding rallies along the way with the hope that a message of basic human decency can overcome fear and inhumanity.  We can rally with them or join the caravan at any of these stops:  A) Tuesday July 31: Reading, PA, B) Wednesday Aug 1: Pittsburgh, PA, C) Thursday Aug 2: Louisville, KY, D) Friday Aug 3: Montgomery, AL, F) Saturday Aug 4: New Orleans, LA, and G) Sunday Aug 5: Houston, TX.   On Monday Aug 6, they will reach their border destination, still to be announced because the situation is so fluid. We can learn more, join or start our own caravans here. We can also follow on Facebook or Twitter Let’s build a movement of caring and kindness that rises above politics… and reunite and free migrating families.   Go, Abuelas/Grannies!

States


Find elected state officials: https://openstates.org/


1.       MA: The Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders will be deciding whether she will file an appeal against a court ruling which allows the Judge Rotenberg Center to continue its use of electrical stimulation devices on disabled individuals (http://www.wcvb.com/article/judge-sides-with-school-that-uses-electric-shocks-on-its-students/21971406). Let's be sure to contact Secretary Sudders and urge her to file an appeal. We can cite the UN Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, which found "that the rights of students at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center have been violated under the United Nations Convention against Torture."  Email address: marylou.sudders@state.ma.us Mailing address: 1 Ashburton Place, 11th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02108 Phone: 617-573-1600 Fax: 617-573-1890

2.      OH: Ohio House Bill 658  would require teachers to report children who may be transgender to parents. The bill requires any government agent (which includes teachers) immediately report to all parents or guardians if a child "demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite the child's biological sex" or exhibits symptoms of gender dysphoria, which is when someone identifies with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. The Ohio Education Association, a teachers' union that represents more than 124,000 Ohio teachers, opposes the bill. Let's read more at Cincinnati.com. If we are Ohioans, let's contact our state legislators to let them know that we are opposed to HB658. Let's protect our kids! 

Reading/Watching

1.       “A Supreme Court Vacancy: Your Moment of Zen” - https://politicalcharge.org/2018/06/28/a-supreme-court-vacancy-your-moment-of-zen/

2.      “Here’s a map of shelters where immigrant children have been housed” - https://www.revealnews.org/article/heres-a-map-of-shelters-where-immigrant-children-have-been-housed/

3.      Justice Kennedy retires and yes, it’s bad. Celeste Pewter tells us how we can fight and why we MUST defend EVERY Senate seat and WIN at least two more. Action plans in the thread. Note she uses a common, salty expletive at the start, so please avoid this thread if that disturbs you.   https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1012035043919736833.html








6/28/18 

Contact Federal Government 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.       The Senate was scheduled to vote on their bi-partisan version of the Farm Bill today, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S.3042).  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) may have stalled the bill’s progress, however over an amendment regarding trade with Cuba.  https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/27/marco-rubio-cuba-senate-farm-bill-657545  The Senate version is less punitive than the House version. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-agriculture/2018/06/27/senate-farm-bill-amendment-debate-begins-265531 Let’s let our senators know that we want SNAP benefits to be kept and without harsh work requirements and we want pesticides to be kept safe. 

2.      Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement yesterday presenting an issue we hoped not to have to face yet.  In response to news, Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) is insisting that the Senate invoke the McConnell argument used to deny a seat to Merrick Garland and wait until after the 2018 elections before voting on a new Supreme Court Justice. http://thehill.com/homenews/394492-feinstein-senate-should-follow-mcconnell-standard-wait-to-vote-on-supreme-court.  Let’s tell our Senators that we agree with Sen. Feinstein, and that the American people deserve the right to weigh in with their votes on the direction of the country before another Supreme Court nomination is considered.

3.      The Ryan immigration bill failed in the House yesterday in a 121-301 vote showing its general disfavor for various reasons.  https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/27/trump-house-republicans-immigration-bill-678816  Let’s take the time to thank our reps who voted against this and encourage them to keep working for a commonsense bill that

4.      Yet another report reinforces that Trump's citizenship question on the census could lead to a huge undercount - meaning areas with high immigrant populations will lose out on representation in government (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trumps-census-citizenship-question-lead-massive-undercount-needy-children-report-says-040119964.html). Let's keep fighting against it. We can submit a comment to the Commerce Department opposing the citizenship question here, and we can call our members of Congress and tell them to block the question.

5.      In growing numbers, activists are calling on Congress to step up and abolish ICE. Now, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) is introducing legislation to do just that (http://thehill.com/homenews/house/393938-dem-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-abolish-ice). Let's tell our members of Congress ICE has lost our trust, and we need to eliminate it and start over (https://5calls.org/issue/abolish-ice).

6.      In news surprising no one who has paid attention to North Korea over the last fifty years, they are making upgrades to their nuclear reactor in spite of the “pledge” made with Trump at their summit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/27/north-korea-nuclear-reactor-upgrades-summit-pledges  Let’s let Secretary of State Mike Pompeo know that the mission is not accomplished and that this is going to take a lot more attention and actual diplomacy:   
https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform  or U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520

7.      This Independence Day, next Wednesday, let's fight for real American values and on behalf of families who have been separated due to Trump's zero tolerance policy. "On June 29, MoCs will fly back to their home districts for July 4 recess. Many of our elected officials will tweet about their love of country and march in Independence Day parades while turning a blind eye to the Trump Administration’s attacks on immigrant families. We need them to take action." Let's plan a #FamiliesBelongTogether event they can't ignore. Indivisible has some helpful instructions on how to execute such an event, here:   https://www.indivisible.org/resource/familiesbelongtogether-recess-action-toolkit/

8.     From one of our own:  Shortly after the 2016 election, the efforts to get Steve Bannon out of his prominent position included lots of folks sending postcards to the White addressed to "President Bannon," in order to poke Trump's ego by revealing that someone else was calling the shots. It might be a good idea to do that now with Stephen Miller, who is probably more dangerous than Bannon and has clearly been the architect of both the Muslim ban and the increasingly cruel border policies. I know getting rid of Miller, or getting Trump annoyed with him, will not solve anything, but it might throw sand in the gears, be a bit of resistance. 

9.      In a system that has shown no respect to them or their parents, children who have been separated from their parents, and are now in detention facilities, are forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning in a language they do not understand as a sign of respect to our country.  https://www.bustle.com/p/migrant-children-separated-from-their-parents-are-being-forced-to-recite-the-pledge-of-allegiance-9580411  Let’s tell our MoCs that this irony, or as someone referred to it, this “calculated sadism” must not continue. 

10.  Satellite images from last week show that North Korea is making numerous improvements to the infrastructure at a nuclear research facility, according to a new study. The images, obtained by North Korea analysis outlet 38 North, come just weeks after President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement that called for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.  http://thehill.com/policy/international/394326-satellite-images-show-north-korea-upgrading-nuclear-research-facility. Let the WH know that we aren’t fooled by the PR stunt with North Korea. Let’s tell the WH that Trump’s photo op did nothing to keep us safer from Nuclear attack. 

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.       Postcards4VA is a grassroots initiative to flip Virginia blue by writing postcards to friends, neighbors, and voters throughout the state asking them to vote. For the 2018 Congressional midterm election, they are challenging volunteers to Write 180 postcards to help flip Congress 180 degrees.  We know that our postcards work to increase turnout.  Let's read more and sign up to write 180 cards, by ourselves or by having a postcard party, at Postcards4VA.org  We can write postcards from any state.

2.      As voting gets suppressed, it's vital to get mobilized to get more voters, and help them get registered with the proper IDs. This DemLabs StoryMap lists twenty resources and links to State Elections Boards. http://bit.ly/DemLabs_YourVoteCounts

Election 2018 – By State

1.       Upcoming voting dates and deadlines:

June 27
Rhode Island
Filing Deadline
June 29
Minnesota
Early voting begins
Primary
June 30
Vermont
Early voting begins
Primary
June 30
Wisconsin
In person absentee voting begins
Primary
July 2
Georgia
Early voting begins
runoffs
July 2
Alabama
Voter Registration Deadline
Runoffs
July 3
Tennessee
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
July 6
Wyoming
In person absentee voting begins
Primary
(source:  by date:  https://goo.gl/gjFv2u by state:  https://goo.gl/7gTzvE)

2.      OR:  Introducing FLIP OREGON, 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/FlipOregon/

3.      PA:  Introducing FLIP PENNSYLVANIA, 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:  
4.      WV:  CORRECTED ADDRESS: Introducing FLIP WEST 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 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/FlipWV/

Other Actions

1.       Amid the very bad judicial news on Tuesday came some good news – a federal judge has ordered the end to family separation and, in addition, has ordered the reunification of separated families: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-aclu/us-urges-judge-not-to-require-reuniting-of-immigrant-families-idUSKBN1JM2JA  This is good news but it is not hard to imagine how this administration will wiggle around it and drag their feet while the trauma continues. Let’s get our bodies into the streets on Saturday to make it clear that we are not losing steam about the government kidnapping children:   https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/  And let’s each commit to inviting five other people to join us.

2.      The Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the state of California, and for anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" that often pretend to be women's health clinics (https://www.npr.org/2018/06/26/606427673/supreme-court-sides-with-california-anti-abortion-pregnancy-centers). California had passed a law requiring these centers to clearly announce the fact that they are not really health clinics, and that actual clinics with the full range of medical services are available free of charge elsewhere. By striking down California's law, the Supreme Court has signaled to anti-choice forces everywhere that they are free to undermine women's health by pretending to advance it. We can't undo the Supreme Court's decision, but we can take this moment to offer/renew our support for real women's health clinics by supporting Planned Parenthood (https://www.plannedparenthood.org/). We Shall Overcome.

3.      In another decision yesterday, the Supreme Court on ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that those public service workers—teachers, cops, nurses, firefighters, etc.—who are non-union members but nonetheless share in the wages, benefits, and protections negotiated in a collectively bargained contract cannot required to pay their fair share for the cost.  Justice Elena Kagan, summarizing her dissent, said “The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this nation’s law — and in its economic life — for over 40 years. . .. it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.”  
https://www.npr.org/2018/06/27/606208436/supreme-court-deals-blow-to-government-unions.  We must lend our support to groups like the National Education Association, Fight for $15, Jobs With Justice, the Economic Policy Institute, People’s Climate Movement, SEIU, Working Families Party, AFT--Am. Federation of Teachers, and others who are fighting this assault on the unions.

4.      Vanessa Otero, the creator of the now-famous media bias chart, tell us how our food diet and our media diet need special attention.  http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/junk-food-and-junk-news-the-case-for-information-fitness/  Let’s use this guidance to help us improve our media diet.

5.      Ethel Kennedy, the 90-year old human rights advocate and widow of Bobby Kennedy, “will participate in the "Break Bread Not Families" hunger strike [in protest against President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.] The protest was organized by several activist groups including the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights non-profit and a number of prominent people are participating in the strike.”  http://thehill.com/homenews/news/394349-ethel-kennedy-joins-hunger-strike-against-trump-immigration-policies  Let’s consider joining the fast and thank Ethel Kennedy for her continued work in human rights.  We can reach her through Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights which is led by her daughter, Kerry:  info@rfkhumanrights.org or 1300 19th St. NW #750, Washington DC, 20036

6.      Postcards To Voters has released a new postcard design, now available from Amazon. The "Flying Banner" design features a banner and block that can be used for candidate and date information as well as a blank, uncoated side that's perfect for any letter or design we create.  A set of 100 postcards is $15 with free shipping included.  We can purchase them here.  The original "Be a Voter" design is also available for $13.50 for a set of 100 here.  Purchases of these postcards will help with this all-volunteer organization's operating costs.  

7.      After being held in a county jail awaiting trial for over a year, whistle-blower Reality Winner pleaded guilty in a plea deal to retaining and transmitting a document to an online news organization. She will serve a five-year prison sentence, compared to the 10 years she faced when she was indicted under the Espionage Act. Winner is the source behind a June 2017 Intercept story detailing National Security Agency reporting on Russian phishing attacks targeting U.S. state election officials.  Let's read more at The Intercept.  We can follow and support Stand With Reality, an effort led by Reality’s mother Billie Winner-Davis, friends of Reality’s, and dedicated volunteers and supporters. 

8.     The Florence Project is working with multiple indigenous children in AZ who are deaf and do not speak. These children were separated from their parents, do not know ASL and are low literacy. If we or anyone we know is a gestures expert or another expert who could assist in communication, let’s contact them:  https://firrp.org/who/contact/

9.      Sanctuary Homes, a project of Hand in Hand and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, has created a Playdate Protest Action Guide to help us organize protests at ICE offices and detention centers across the country. The Playdate Protest brings local families together in creative protest of family detention and ICE's cruel treatment of immigrants. Let's check out the guide, then organize an event in our own community. 

10.  Standing Rock water protectors are being convicted for their demonstrations in protesting the Dakota Access pipeline's route through sacred ground (https://bit.ly/2IxMxto). Let's make sure that these activists are not forgotten; we can check out the Water Protector Legal Collective for updates on the cases as they proceed through court, and we can also donate towards their legal funds.

11.   As we look for ways to help immigrants currently in crisis, we can refer to this state by state list of immigration resources.  We can also refer to this list of detention facilities where the children are currently being held. If we have additional information about a facility near us that has immigrant children who have been separated from their parents, we can send it here and it will be added to this List.  Email: postcardsforAmerica@outlook.com  We also need to get both photographs and DNA on these children, so a database can be formed and used to reunite them with their families.  We can ask our local congressperson, or governor to facilitate gaining access to make this happen.

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       Today, June 28, in Washington, D.C., mass civil disobedience action against the family detention policy at the border sponsored by Women’s March and partners. More info here:   https://www.endfamilyseparation.us/

2.      Today, June 28, in Brownsville, TX, families, advocates, and allies will hold a rally beginning at 11am in the park across the street from the Brownsville Federal Court, where immigrants are being prosecuted en masse for crossing the border into the United States.  More information here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1834781589914906/ and here:   https://www.aclutx.org/en/events/families-belong-together-rally-border

3.      Tomorrow, June 29, at senator’s offices around the country, “lawyer moms around the country are organizing to gather at our senators’ offices and deliver an open letter stating our opposition to the current federal policy of separating migrant children from their parents.  Each of us would do anything to keep our children safe. Each of us swore an oath to defend the Constitution. We will not let this unconscionable practice stand on our watch. Join us. Let's make some noise.”  More info here at Lawyer Moms of America: https://www.facebook.com/events/1308273125973346/

4.      Tomorrow, June 29, 1-2pm EDT, the National Immigration Law Center is presenting a webinar on “The Muslim Ban Decision & Family Separations/Family Detention”.  We can use this link to RSVP:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6615756358483207169

5.      On Saturday, June 30, thousands across the nation are organizing with the theme “Families Belong Together” to demand Trump:  A) Immediately reverse the “zero-tolerance” policy which created this crisis, B) Reunite migrant children with their families., C) We will not tolerate trading children in cages for indefinite family camps, and D) Donald J. Trump and members of his administration will be held accountable for this horror. Let’s find an event to attend or create our own here: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/ If we want to catch a bus to the DC event, we can find info here:  http://rallybus.net/families-belong-together-dc/

States


Find elected state officials: https://openstates.org/



1.       All:  The Rhode Island State Senate just passed H2612, a bill that would prevent the president from being on the ballot if he doesn’t release his tax returns in a vote of 34-3. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/rhode-island-bill-would-keep-trump-off-2020-ballot-unless-he-releases-his-tax-returns/ar-AAyZn19?ocid=sf. If we live in Rhode Island, let’s contact our state reps  and ask them to pass this bill and get it on the governor’s desk. Those of us in other states can ask our state legislators to introduce similar legislation.

2.      OH: Two representatives have introduced H658, a bill that would require teachers, therapists and other mandated reporters to inform parents if teens approach them with issues related to gender identity or gender dysphoria. Therapists and teachers who did not comply with the law would face a felony charge. https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/06/26/bill-would-force-schools-report-trans-and-gender-nonconforming-kids/733835002/. While framed as a bill about “parental control,” this bill risks the safety and well-being of children whose parents do not support or understand transgender issues. Let’s join the Ohio Education Association and Equality Ohio in telling our state legislators that we strongly oppose this bill.

Reading/Watching

1.       From John Pavlovitz, writer, pastor, and activist, “So, Now You Want Civility?” - https://johnpavlovitz.com/2018/06/26/so-now-you-want-civility/

2.      “The resistance ramps up as pro-immigrant direct action breaks out nationwide” - https://wagingnonviolence.org/2018/06/nationwide-direct-action-breaks-out-family-separation/

3.      “Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism” - https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375

4.      "'ICE is Everywhere': Using Library Science to Map the Separation Crisis" - https://www.wired.com/story/ice-is-everywhere-using-library-science-to-map-child-separation/