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7/31/18 

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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 Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut to wealthy Americans by allowing taxpayers to account for inflation while determining capital gains tax liabilities, the New York Times reported on Monday.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-capitalgains/trump-administration-eyes-capital-gains-tax-cut-for-wealthy-ny-times-idUSKBN1KK2GL  The last tax cut, passed by Congress this session, also concentrated on the wealthy and corporations with threats of cuts to the safety net.  Let’s let our MoCs know that if any of them are party to cuts to the safety net that we will vote them out.  Let’s also remind the White House all that is not getting done because of tax cuts to the wealthy.

2.      Yesterday, Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions created a Religious Liberty Task Force.  “Sessions' task force will aim to ensure the Justice Department is upholding the executive order President Trump issued in May 2017 ordering the executive branch to protect religious freedoms. It will do so "in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations,” according to the attorney general.””   https://www.bustle.com/p/a-religious-liberty-task-force-has-been-created-heres-what-we-know-9928710  Under the guise of liberty, this task force seeks to protect conservative Christians.  Let’s let Sessions and our MoCs know that there are plenty of other group of people in this country who could really use some liberty and protection.

3.      As it is becoming more widely recognized that the U.S. has a frightening rate of maternal mortality, one of the most important things we can do is to find out the causes of maternal injury and death, so that we can come up with effective solutions. California has been doing this since 2006, when it established the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, and formed a maternal morbidity review committee to look at the details surrounding each case of maternal death, and has since cut its maternal morbidity rate by half (https://www.npr.org/2018/07/29/632702896/to-keep-women-from-dying-in-childbirth-look-to-california). There is already bipartisan legislation that has been introduced, which would provide funding for a maternal morbidity review committee in each state. Let's make sure that our MoC are ready to cast a vote in support of the Preventing Maternal Act in the House (H.R. 1318), and the Maternal Health Accountability Act in the Senate (S. 1112). 

4.      In order to thoroughly vet Brett Kavanaugh as a SCOTUS nominee, it is essential to examine his record from when he served as judge, and also, importantly, in his role as a member of the Bush administration (https://wapo.st/2mTPUT8https://bit.ly/2NX6w8e). This push for transparency is important so that our senators may have a better understanding of Kavanaugh and whether he is the best person to serve on our Supreme Court. Let's make sure that we are not only calling our own MoC to tell them we support this examination of Kavanaugh's record, but let's also contact the Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure that they fully investigate his record before they decide whether to let the nomination proceed to a full Senate vote. We can find a call script and phone numbers at 5Calls: https://5calls.org/issue/judiciary-committee-review-kavanaugh-documents

5.      Trump had an extra-disturbing rant on Twitter this weekend about the press: 
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/399421-trump-calls-media-very-unpatriotic-for-reporting-on-government   His actions are the hallmark of an authoritarian. Let’s let our MoC know how despicable this is but more importantly, let’s each pause to say thanks and offer support to 2-3 journalists whose work we are relying on.

6.      Today is the FINAL day to submit a public comment in opposition to Trump's proposed gag rule, which would stop funding from going to health care providers who even talk to women about the option of having an abortion. This rule would deny millions of women, disproportionately poor and women of color, from getting basic care (http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180728/family-planning-gag-rule-debated-in-advance-of-public-comment-deadline). Let's join Planned Parenthood in making our voices heard. We can find out how to comment at this link: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/blog/what-is-the-domestic-gag-rule.

7.      As if there weren't enough guns on America's streets already...."Do-it-yourself, downloadable guns are incredibly dangerous. And a State Department special exemption would allow a company run by a self-proclaimed anarchist to post its gun blueprints online in the form of files that can be sent directly to a 3D printer to print guns on demand." Let's use Everytown's form to send a message to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and tell him this dangerous idea should be on a permanent no-fly list:   https://act.everytown.org/sign/stop-downloadable-guns/

8.     Don't be fooled by Trump's false narrative about Americans' hostility towards immigration. Clear majorities of us support both the right to immigrate to the U.S. and providing a path to citizenship for those who do so (https://theconversation.com/americans-are-not-as-divided-or-conservative-on-immigration-as-you-might-think-99058). When speaking with our MoCs, or with other citizens, remember: "Only conservative whites were happier, less angry, less sad and felt more at home in response to restrictive treatment. Everyone else fared better when told that their state was considering adopting policies that welcomed immigrants."

9.      While the GOP tried to use “trickle down” again on us with the tax cut, once again it did not work out that way.  Most companies did not allow that to happen, again.  https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/30/eye-popping-payouts-for-ceos-follow-trumps-tax-cuts-747649 Let’s tell our MoCs that it is time to move on from trickle down and enact some tax reform that truly helps the middle class.  If they can’t do it, we will elect people who can and who are not beholden to big money interests. 

10.  Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved seven more of Republican regime's judicial nominees, including four to federal appeals courts. Eleventh Circuit nominee Justice Britt Grant was considered in yesterday's (Monday's) full Senate session.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already cancelled most of the senate's August recess. They will be out the week of Aug. 6 and back to Washington on Monday, Aug. 13. (Source: The Hill.) We can anticipate that they will be working to confirm more judicial nominees. Let's read more about the ones that just passed the committee at Courthouse News. We need to continue to let our senators know of our opposition to the most extreme nominees.

11.   Caterpillar is the latest company to raise their prices on products as a result of the administration’s tariff policies. http://thehill.com/policy/finance/international-taxes/399476-caterpillar-to-raise-prices-due-to-trump-tariffs-on.  And farmers themselves, as well as several Republican Senators, are opposed to the administration’s plans to spend $12 billion of taxpayer money on a bailout to make up for lost income. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/24/trumps-12-billion-aid-for-farmers-risks-unintended-consequences.html. Let’s tell our MoCs to pass legislation to stop the tariff wars and work on assuring long-term stability to our agricultural community.

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.       It's been a long summer going door-to-door in the Florida heat, but thousands of activists devoted to strengthening democracy are doing just to that to make sure ending felony disenfranchisement wins at the ballot box in November (https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/07/19/a-long-hot-summer-of-building-support-to-grant-felons-the-right-to-vote/). Let's help them out. Tonight, we can take part in a nationwide virtual phonebank to rally supporters for Amendment 4 starting at 5:30pm Eastern. We can sign up here:
https://secure.everyaction.com/7qG9FiWLj0O_F5Hq63txXw2?group=21&role=238585&shifts=34730&location=620. And if we can't make it tonight, we can sign up to phonebank any time here or join their text team here.

2.      From RollingStone: "The Hateful 8: Meet the Biggest Bigots On the Ballot in 2018." From holocaust denial to racism and homophobia, these men have loud opinions – and they want your vote! Let's stay aware of these bigots and support the Democrats running against them, especially if they are in our states/districts.

3.      The BlueWave Candidate database is now complete at the Federal and State levels. We can use it to find Resistance Candidates to support locally and wherever else we want. We can check out their social media, volunteer, donate and spread the word about them to our friends too! Kudos to Edward Smith of Equal Vote Local and everyone who helped him put this this valuable resource together!  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gVTxDYgGNgzvCgUveNvHfwHvTG4pFuxSIRSmTBJStIE/htmlview#gid=0

Election 2018 – By State

1.       Upcoming voting dates and deadlines:

July 31
Kansas
Early Voting begins
Primary
August 1
Arizona
Early Voting begins
Primary
August 2
Oklahoma
Voter Registration Deadline
Runoffs
August 2
Tennessee
Election date
Primary
August 6
Wyoming
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary (postmark)
August 6
Alaska
Early Voting Begins
Primary
August 6
Kansas
Early Voting ends
Primary
August 6
Ohio
In person absentee voting ends
Special-12th congressional district
August 7
Kansas
Election date
Primary
August 7
Michigan
Election date
Primary
August 7
Missouri
Election date
Primary
August 7
Ohio
Election date
Special-12th congressional district
August 7
Washington
Election date
Primary
August 9
Connecticut
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 9
Hawaii
Early Voting ends
Primary
August 10
Wisconsin
In person absentee voting ends
Primary
August 10
Wisconsin
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 11
Delaware
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 11
Hawaii
Election date
Primary
August 12
Rhode Island
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 13
Alabama
Voter Registration Deadline
Municipals
August 13
Arkansas
Early Voting ends
State Senate Dist 8
August 13
Minnesota
Early Voting ends
Primary
August 13
Vermont
Early Voting ends
Primary
August 14
Vermont
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 14
Wisconsin
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 14
Connecticut
Election date
Primary
August 14
Minnesota
Election date
Primary
August 14
Vermont
Election date
Primary
August 14
Wisconsin
Election date
Primary
August 14
Arkansas
Election date
State Senate Dist 8
August 15
Massachusetts
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 17
New York (state)
Voter Registration Deadline
Primary
August 18
Florida
Early Voting Begins
Primary
(source:  by date:  https://goo.gl/gjFv2u   by state:  https://goo.gl/7gTzvE)











Other Actions

1.       Sixteen-year-old Jody Bell, who will be a senior this fall at Greenwich High School (CT), has designed an online resource to help immigrant children and teenagers learn how to prepare for the possible deportations of parents or guardians. Bell participated in a "12-week mini-MBA" program for girls at the new Connecticut-based organization Girls With Impact. Bell was among the first group of graduates.  She launched her website, In Case of Deportation, this month. Let's read more at APNews. We can send a support email to Jody through her website here. Let's make sure others know about this important resource.

2.      Lori Stegmann, a Republican commissioner in northwest Oregon says she can no longer stand by the party because of Trump's "racist tactics."  Stegmann changed her political affiliation to become a Democrat.  Stegmann said, ""I have not changed but the Republican party clearly has...There’s too much at stake in our country right now and we have to speak out..." Let's read more at USA Today. We can read more about Lori and find her email/phone contact information at the Multnomah County website.  We can send postcards of support and welcome to: Commissioner Stegmann (District Four), 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 600, Portland, OR 97214.

3.      From Sleeping Giants:  Uhhh what?? Why is Spotify is streaming Alex Jones' Infowars? Help us find out!  "If you are talking about being KKK and doing that kind of stuff, I think it's pretty obvious that we don't want you on the service," said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on stage in May 2018.  So this must be an oversight...right?  Here's the email for Seth Farbman, Spotify's CMO:
seth@spotify.com

4.      From Herd on the Hill:  Are you frustrated that your Members of Congress are refusing to hold town halls, not answering their phones, and letting voice mailboxes fill up? Do you want to make sure your Member of Congress considers your views?  Herd on the Hill volunteers visit the DC offices of your elected officials, taking you with us through your messages and calls. Let’s check this out and use it:  http://herdonthehill.org/

5.      The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is asking that if we currently have DACA or have had it in the past, or know someone who fits that bill, that we let them know that NILC has teamed up with United We Dream, Center for American Progress and Professor Tom Wong from the University of California, San Diego to conduct a survey on how having DACA has affected those who’ve received it and the communities where you live and work.  It only takes 10-15 minutes. Please take a moment to complete the survey: http://bit.ly/2018dacasurvey.
6.      Any information submitted through the survey will be entirely confidential. 

7.      As Midterms are approaching, some of us are asking how we can sustain momentum and keep our activist groups going. Resistance School is offering a free online training that could help. In it, Instructor Michael Blake will help us learn how to build coalitions using the unique expertise of many individuals and sustain movements over long periods of time. We can click here to preview the course and then sign up if we like.
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       Movement Voter Project is holding two calls today, Tuesday July 31 to let people know how they can plug into becoming house party hosts and donor organizers! More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1051862484963388/  We can join one of these calls to get more involved!  We can register for one of the two times here: 
9am PST/ 12pm EST: Register here  OR 6pm PST/ 9pm EST: Register here

2.      The immigrant-led activist group Cosecha is calling for us to take the next step, with a national day of action to end cooperation with ICE today, Tuesday, July 31st, demanding cities, counties, companies and all institutions stop working with them. Let's get involved. We can learn more here: http://www.lahuelga.com/abolishice#copy-of-call-to-action and we can check out the #WeWillNotBeComplicit Action Guide at this link.

3.      The Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden caravan is leaving NYC today, July 31, heading to McAllen, TX to protest the crisis at the border.  Caravans are starting up all over the country to join in and meet up on Aug 6 in McAllen.  We can find a caravan near us or create one ourselves for our area:  https://www.granniesrespond.org/ridewithus  If we can’t go, let’s follow their progress here:  https://www.facebook.com/granniesrespond/

4.      On August 4, March for Our Lives, Road To Change, and National Organization for Change are marching on the NRA.  The main march will be in Fairfax, VA at NRA headquarters.  We can find more information here:  https://www.marchonnra.org/ and we can find an even here:  https://www.marchonnra.org/findmymarch  If none are near us, we can register an event here:  https://www.marchonnra.org/regevent

States


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


1.       MANY:  “Election machine manufacturers have resisted meaningful oversight from both states and Congress about their security practices, and have actively deceived the press about the use of remote monitoring software on election equipment in the past,”  https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/russians-are-targeting-private-election-companies-too-and-states-arent-doing-much-about-it   Let’s contact our state election officials to ask how they are safe-guarding our votes and if we all have a paper ballot backup everywhere in our state:  https://www.nased.org/members/

Reading/Watching

1.       “Social Justice Is a Form of Worshipping God” - https://sojo.net/articles/social-justice-form-worshipping-god


3.      “Paper ballots are hack-proof. It's time to bring them back” - https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/06/25/paper-ballots-hackproof-bring-them-back-glenn-reynoldscolumn/416652001/