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12/5/18 

Contact Federal Government Officials


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

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1.    After Senate leaders received an update yesterday from CIA director Gina Haspel regarding the role of the Saudi Crown Prince in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Senator Lindsey Graham said that the smoking gun is “a smoking saw” and Senator Bob Corker said that a jury would convict in the prince in thirty minutes:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-cia/top-senators-briefed-by-cia-blame-saudi-prince-for-khashoggi-death-idUSKBN1O32BR  Let’s let our Senators know that we expect them to stand up to the White House and Secretaries Mattis and Pompeo who have been equivocating in the worst ways.

2.   Even though there enough votes to pass a bi-partisan criminal reform legislation, McConnell (R-KY) is in no hurry to bring it to a vote.  https://www.apnews.com/bd7558cc2c674a169ea4fedf66071fed  Let’s tell our senators to pressure McConnell to bring this important legislation forward. 

3.   Earlier this week, Trump condemned his former attorney Michael Cohen for cooperating with special prosecutor Robert Mueller, stating that he deserves a long prison sentence, while at the same time he praised Roger Stone for refusing to testify. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-03/trump-says-cohen-deserves-prison-time-for-unrelated-crimes , a move that has led to concerns about witness tampering, which is a clear obstruction of justice.  https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/18124097/trump-roger-stone-robert-mueller-manafort-plea-deal. If there was ever a time to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it’s now. Let’s keep leaning on our MoCs to pass S 1741/HR 3771, the Special Counsel Integrity Act.

4.   All of the leaders of the G-20 Summit except for Trump promised to work together to fight for climate change. https://www.axios.com/g20-leaders-pledge-fight-climate-change-except-trump-39bd120b-ae64-422e-b563-d8424a88a19e.html  As the recent UN report has given dire warnings that this issue cannot wait, and our administration’s own report, released on the day after Thanksgiving in order not to draw too much attention to it is also predicting significant damage to both the economy and the environment due to global warming:     https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/25/climate/trump-climate-report.html, we need to press our MoCs that the time to act is now. For starters, let’s ask them to commit to the Green New Deal and especially remind Democrats that we worked to elect them to make change, not continue the status quo, especially around an issue as crucial as the environment.

5.   “West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin famously used a rifle to shoot a climate-change bill in a 2010 campaign ad, vowing to take “dead aim” at the landmark cap-and-trade legislation.”  As Manchin is a supporter of coal production and fuel, he seems an odd choice to be the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-04/green-nightmare-coal-loving-manchin-may-get-energy-panel-perch  Let’s tell our senators to encourage Sen. Schumer to appointment someone more fitting for the position.

6.   The Sunrise Movement's push for a Green New Deal is so much more than just an environmental initiative. Yes, they are pushing for the creation of a congressional committee devoted to addressing climate change, but not just with environmental regulations. By tackling issues like campaign finance reform, job creation policies/incentives, energy rules, and income inequality, with a focus on how those seemingly disparate factors affect climate change, the Green New Deal is evolving into the kind of comprehensive force that can define us as Progressives, and which we can then use to show the world who we are, and the kind of world we're trying to create. It all starts with getting that Select Committee for a Green New Deal started, so let's call our reps and tell them to join the 18 others who have already signed on to a better future! https://www.sunrisemovement.org/call-my-rep

7.   Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos's changes to Title IX, which would remove protections for sexual assault survivors, and create larger barriers for reporting harassment and assault, are now open for public comment (https://politi.co/2FUfp3e). Let's use the information at Hands Off Title IX to learn how to write an effective comment, then let's visit the Federal Register to leave our own comment on the proposed changes.

8.  From one of our own:  Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, (H.R. 7173) was introduced last week. Go here to find out more— 
https://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-act/. We’ve been working for ten years to get this bill introduced!!!!! It will be re-introduced in the new congress. If you go to the link there is a list of things that folks can do to move it forward.

Election/Voting

1.   Run for Something is a non-profit, founded less than two years ago, dedicated to helping "young diverse progressives ... run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future the folks we support now could be possible members of the House, Senate, and maybe even President one day." 
      https://runforsomething.net/candidate/candidate-support-system/ And they've been remarkably successful. Let's take a moment to thank some of these candidates for running. "Our folks changed their lives to run for office — and win or lose, they improved their local communities for the better." We can look up candidates and send them a thank-you note, here: https://runforsomething.net/thank-a-run-for-something-candidate/

2.   We can help get out the Democratic vote in Virginia for Postcards to Voters' Campaign 141: Christian Worth for Delegate. The Virginia House of Delegates is currently at 51 Republicans to 49 Democrats. If this seat can be flipped, it will be 50-50 and force a power sharing arrangement between the two parties. Although this district is solidly Republican, turnout will be the deciding factor in this Tuesday, Dec. 18 election. Let's write 5 cards to Virginia voters today and let our Virginia family and friends know about this voting and postcarding opportunity.

Other Actions

1.    Last month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that undocumented survivors of violence and trafficking who apply for legal status in the United States will now be placed in deportation proceedings if their petitions are denied (https://bit.ly/2zEnGCz). This means that survivors of domestic violence and trafficking will be risking deportation by simply applying for citizenship or other protected status in the United States. Let's join the National Immigrant Justice Center in asking the USCIS to rescind this policy: Phone: (800) 375-5283 Twitter: @USCIS

2.   Facebook is problematic, but many of us still want to use it for our activism. While we can’t stop Facebook from keeping track of our every click, we can better control what it is that Facebook puts before our eyeballs by adding an extension to called Social Fixer. Among many other things, Social Fixer can hide “sponsored” stories—that is, ads—in our newsfeeds. We can read more about it and download here:  https://socialfixer.com/index.html

3.   Both in Wisconsin and in Michigan, lame-duck Republican legislatures are racing to wrest power from incoming Democratic governors and other newly-elected officials by narrowly limiting their ability to undo the legislative actions of previous GOP administrations: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/12/4/18123784/gop-legislature-wisconsin-michigan-power-grab-lame-duck  Those in Wisconsin and Michigan will bear the brunt of this battle, but we can back them up by letting the current governors know that we are not fooled by these tactics and expect them to veto attempts to tie the hands of those whom the people chose in this last election:  govgeneral@wisconsin.gov or Office of Gov. Scott Walker, 115 East Capitol, Madison, WI 53702 or (608) 266-1212; governorsoffice@michigan.gov or Gov. Rick Snyder, PO Box 30013, Lansing, MI 48909 or 517-373-3400.

4.   If people are looking for ways to help the desperate asylum-seekers at the Mexican border, here’s a very useful site from the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice for those who have serious time and/or resources to offer; it describes the needs of Annunciation House in El Paso and FM4 Paso Libre in Guadalajara and includes applications: https://uucsj.org/volunteer/us-asylum/

5.   Color of Change reminds us that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents are still boarding Greyhound buses without warrants, then questioning passengers about their immigration and citizenship status. If a person is unable to provide documentation on the spot, they are removed from the bus and detained. By allowing CBP to conduct warrantless searches on their buses, Greyhound is aiding in Trump’s deportation machine that’s tearing apart families and wrecking communities.  According to the ACLU, this is  a clear violation of these families’ 4th amendment rights, and Greyhound has the ability to stop this. So far, they have refused to do so. Greyhound needs to implement policies to prohibit Border Patrol agents from boarding their buses without a warrant or unless they're at a border crossing.  We can join Color of Change in calling for Greyhound to stop cooperating with this inhumane system when we click on this link:  https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/Greyhound_BorderPatrol

6.   The story of election fraud in North Carolina gets more grotesque with each day:
https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/419561-woman-admits-to-picking-up-absentee-ballots-in-north-carolina  Whether we live in North Carolina or not, let’s let the governor know that the eyes of the nation are on NC: https://governor.nc.gov   and that we expect democracy to prevail.

7.   Many of us have relied on the 2016 Indivisible Guide to help us use our constituent power to defend our values, our neighbors, and our democracy. Now, with the Democratic pickup of the House, Indivisible has released a new guide: Indivisible on Offense.  Let's review the new guide and bookmark it for future reference.

8.  This holiday season, Just Detention International, a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention, invites us to join them in reminding prisoner rape survivors that they are not alone or forgotten. We can submit our messages online here and they will make sure our message reaches a survivor behind bars in time for the holidays. Let's take a couple minutes to send some encouraging words to people who need them. There's no limit to the number of messages we can write, and they'll make sure that each one gets delivered to a different survivor. 

State Actions

1.    MI and WI: In Michigan and Wisconsin, Republicans are responding to their loss of top statewide offices in last month’s elections by rapidly trying to undercut the Democrats about to take office. Let's read more at The Atlantic. If we are residents of either of these states, let's contact our state legislators ( Michigan state legislature;  Wisconsin state legislature) to let them know that we object to these power grabs. 

2.   MI:  From one of our own:  Call your Michigan senator and Governor Rick Snyder ((517) 201-2258) now. Tell them to oppose Senate Bills 1238 through 1242, because they threaten Michiganders’ voting rights.

3.   NH:  Today, on Dec 5, the New Hampshire Legislature will be electing NH’s Secretary of State. Bill Gardner has held the position since 1976, but his re-election is in trouble now because he participated in Trump’s sham Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity chaired by infamous voter-suppressor Kris Kobach. With Democrats now in control of both houses of the NH Legislature, it is possible to replace Gardner with Colin Van Ostern as Secretary of State. Ostern “is running on a platform of modernizing the Secretary of State’s office while eliminating efforts to suppress votes.” 
 http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/11/new-hampshires-gardner-may-lose-office-for-enabling-trump.html If we are in NH, let’s contact our state legislators and tell them to elect Ostern for Secretary of State. https://openstates.org/

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.    From the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI): "Last month the Department of Homeland Security released a rule change proposal that could dramatically change the face of US immigration. If implemented, it would have devastating effects on the lives of Black immigrants and their children. Join our discussion as guest, Patrice Lawrence with the UndocuBlack Network addresses how “public charge” will specifically impact black immigrants while Jackie Vimo with National Immigration Law Center will describe how the law transforms immigration law." The webinar will take place today, Wednesday, December 5, at 7:00pm ET. Let's register here.

2.   If we are a first time Democratic woman candidate running in 2019 or 2020 this free short training, 5 Steps to Launch Your Campaign, THIS Thursday, December 6 at 1pm ET is for us!  We can join Atima Omara, a veteran campaign staffer, a former state house candidate, and the President & Founder of Omara Strategy Group, for a FREE Training & Live Q&A.  Sign up/RSVP here:  https://bit.ly/2UeDzIX And if we know someone who could benefit from the training, we can share this link with them!

3.   From Your Weekly Pep Talk & Action List:  The folks at Resistance Labs are already looking toward 2019… and they’re looking for people to join them in three different webinars next week to help them brainstorm! The first relates to uncontested races; the second relates to community and community engagement; and the third asks what “big ideas” we haven’t tried yet but should.  This is a great opportunity to join free events that are sure to be interesting – and might be a place for you to kick around some ideas and learn about some that others are trying. Go to these links to sign up:  A) December 11 - Contest every race: 
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lBfz1k-XTaeH0dDnVg6jiw  Community. B)  December 12 - workshop: 

4.   Whether we align ourselves with the Women’s March or March On, we have an opportunity to make history and march once again on January 19, 2019.  Check with your favorite organization or local folks to help or to find out what is happening.

Reading/Watching

1.    Conservatives In Kentucky, Liberals In Massachusetts Try To Bridge Political Divide - http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/11/28/conservatives-kentucky-liberals-massachusetts-politics

2.   We broke down what climate change will do, region by region - https://grist.org/article/we-broke-down-what-climate-change-will-do-region-by-region/








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