Contact Federal Government Officials
1. Yesterday, the Disability Integration Act (yet unnumbered) was reintroduced in the Senate. “The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is the next step in building a fulfilling and sustainable world for persons with disabilities” https://www.csindy.com/TheWire/archives/2019/01/11/independence-center-to-host-watch-party-for-disability-integration-act and http://www.disabilityintegrationact.org/ Let’s ask our senators to cosponsor and support this important bill that will help so many.
2. The nomination hearing for William Barr as US Attorney General began yesterday. While he said he will not interfere with the Mueller investigation “without good cause”, one has to wonder who gets to define that “good cause”. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/jan/15/trump-live-latest-news-updates-us-politics-today-william-barr-shutdown Let’s ask for a more direction answer to that question, then let’s also use the advice from Chop Wood/Carry Water and ask the Senator[s] to oppose William Barr for Attorney General unless he pledges to release the full text of Mueller's final report to the public. Or recuses himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation completely. He's just way too compromised on this issue and it worries me, considering the stakes.
3. Trump claims he wants to build a wall to keep Americans safe. Meanwhile the shutdown continues to threaten our safety with each passing day. TSA shortages are threatening our airline security. And many federal workers don’t have the funds to pay for needed medication. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/federal-worker-forced-ration-insulin-because-government-shutdown-n958066?fbclid=. Even Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham proposed opening the government, but Trump and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell have refused to budge. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-temporary/trump-rejects-senators-proposal-for-temporary-government-reopening-idUSKCN1P81LU. McConnell COULD bring this up for a vote, and override a veto, but refuses to do so. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/425469-mcconnell-senate-wont-override-trump-veto-on-shutdown-fight We need to let McConnell and our senators know that this obstructionism, at the expense of unpaid federal workers and people’s real safety and health for some bogus “national emergency”, is not acceptable to voters and to open up the government now. McConnell, 317 Russell Senate Off. Bldg., Washington DC 20510 or 202-224-2541 or FAX 202-224-2499.
4. From Herd on the Hill: CALL TO ACTION: We want your letters! Write to us about how the shutdown is hurting you • your family • your friends • your community • your town • your colleagues • your pocketbook • your company • your country. We will hand-deliver to your Representatives and Senators in the days ahead. Here’s how: https://stampslicked.org/
5. Newly-elected Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Monday called for conservative Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to resign from the House because of his remarks questioning whether white supremacy is "offensive." “I think he ought to step aside and I think Congress ought to make it very clear he has no place there,” Romney told CNN’s Manu Raju on Monday. He said King “ought to resign and move on and let someone else who represents American values take his seat,” adding “he should find a different line of work." https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/425308-romney-calls-on-steve-king-to-resign-after-white-supremacist-comment Now all we need is for the GOP to call out Trump for all his racist statements about all “fine people” marching in Charlotte, all the Mexican rapists, and insulting a gold star muslin family. Let’s ask GOP members of Congress to denounce Trump’s rhetoric and racist language.
6. Immigration Rights activist Eduardo Samaniego, who has been in detention for over 80 days, has another hearing tomorrow, January 17th. In response, actions have been planned today at ICE offices to demand his immediate release from detention. Let’s make sure to contact ICE officials where he’s being held in Georgia, and Secretary of DHS Kirstjen Nielsen and demand that they free Eduardo now. More information and scripts can be found in this free Eduardo toolkit put out by the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.
7. Last weekend a congressional delegation traveled to Puerto Rico to see for themselves what is really happening, or not happening, there following the devastation from the 2017 hurricane, Maria. What they saw was worse than they anticipated. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/congressional-delegation-visits-puerto-rico-today-2019-01-12/ Let’s remind all of our MoCs that we want them to address the needs of Puerto Rico now and do something so that kind of neglect will not happen again.
8. In the critical opening round of a battle that will probably end in the Supreme Court, a federal judge has ruled against the Commerce department’s attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Turns out, according to the NY Times, that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross spent months campaigning to get the DoJ to ask for the inclusion of the question, and “In sworn testimony, the department’s senior civil-rights official conceded that census data was not necessary to enforce the Voting Rights Act,” although that was the excuse used for the inclusion of the citizenship question. The American Civil Liberties Union called the judge’s ruling a “forceful rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to weaponize the census for an attack on immigrant communities”: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/425379-federal-judge-rules-against-census-citizenship-question We, too, can rebuke this attempt to undermine the census by Trump and his allies by contacting the White House and Ross: : @SecretaryRoss or (202) 482-2000 or Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20230.
9. Last Friday, several Republican senators introduced legislation, S104, to permanently end government shutdowns by creating an automatic continuing resolution for any appropriations bill, allowing the federal government to remain open even when budget agreements break down. Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) has sponsored this bill in every Congress since 2010. We can read more at CBSNews. This bill has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Let's contact our Senators in support of S104 to keep it moving forward.
10. On Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that he does not think that most people outside of Washington are concerned about the Mueller investigation. https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-january-13-2019-n958141 Let’s let Cruz know where we live and that we are concerned.
1. MedGlobal has partnered with Immigrant Justice Now in Tijuana and they are requesting chewable multi-vitamins for all the malnourished children that are waiting for their asylum request numbers to be called by CBP. They will then have to enter the frigid ICEBox for 5-7 days as their claims are processed. Immigrant Justice Now is also using some of your donations to make this cruel process less harmful. We are helping to build their immune systems & going to give them thermal underwear sets & thermal socks to wear as they enter our immigration system. Please donate to help us bring dignity & humanity to this malicious immigration process, even $5 will make a difference: https://www.immigrantjusticenow.org/donate/
2. If we don’t already subscribe, it is time to check out Political Charge’s daily blog for people who care about what's happening in our government and have a bias for action. Check it out here and sign up: https://politicalcharge.org/
3. Gillette has been getting some pushback for its recent ad that speaks out against toxic masculinity, including calls to boycott its parent company, Proctor and Gamble, for being too “politically correct.” https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/gillette-best-men-can-be-ad-draws-activist-praise-right-wing-ire-1.1198471. Let’s thank Gillette for taking this stand and let them know we have their back. We can reach them on Facebook, Twitter, or on their website contact page. Let’s also tell them that we’d like them to stop advertising on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show.
4. From Postcards from Kate: Today we're thanking NYTimes reporter Trip Gabriel for the interview that finally got Rep. Steve King (R-IA) stripped of his committee assignments by the same party which overlooked his incendiary comments for years. Link to article here. Contact: Trip Gabriel, Reporter, New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue,
New York, NY 10018.
New York, NY 10018.
5. Attention university faculty and administrators: here's a specific action item for us. As we all know, Trump could care less about the arts, and would like to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities. Only too clear, also, is the administration's lack of interest in a liberal arts education. So, it's time to reach out to the new Congress -- our best hopes lie with them. Here's an excellent guide for how universities can advance their case with our elected officials. Some of this advice, offered by the Modern Languages Association (the largest association of literary scholars in the world), applies to any professional or educational group/institution who'd like to get Congress' ear, so it's worth a read. https://action.mla.org/policy-building-relationships-with-the-new-congress/
6. Jesse Duquette, whose political cartoon "The Daily Don" is published only on Facebook and Instagram, now has a compilation of the best of his work available for pre-order through our favorite booksellers (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or through our local book source). Called "The Daily Don: All the News that Fits Into Tiny, Tiny Hands," this book will be available in April, 2019. We can read more about Duquette's daily project at The Globe and Mail. We can follow "The Daily Don" on Facebook and find it on Instagram. Duquette's satire is a good companion to Amy Siskind's list.
7. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. They have compiled resources to help us make more informed decisions. Do we know what's in our tap water? What about our shampoo? What’s lurking in the cleaners underneath our sink? What pesticides are on our food? Let's check out EWG's Consumer Guides for more information on our particular areas of concern and bookmark the site for future reference.
8. If we're KonMari-ing your home, or just doing a post-holidays purge, here are some great places to DONATE STUFF! A) Give Back Box - Fill up any leftover boxes you have and amazon will ship for free to get your items to those in need - www.givebackbox.com, B) Vietnam Vets - They’ll take almost anything and will pick up from you! - www.pickupplease.org, and C) Habitat for Humanity - They'll take larger furniture, tools and building supplies - www.habitat.org/restores/donate-goods
1. ALL: A number of states are proposing various bills that would allow various kinds of discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/14/christian-nationalists-bills-religious-freedom-project-blitz? Let’s make sure to research whether our state is considering any legislation that allows discrimination against religious minorities or the LGBTQ community and speak out/organize against it.
2. VA: Yesterday, the Virginia Senate voted to approve the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/virginia-senate-passes-era-resolution-by---vote-now/article_efc17fd3-3ca2-5cd9-8b9c-1fdecb1002f8.html Now, it is on to the House. Let’s all call our reps and let them know that we support this historic vote in the affirmative!
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. The #TrumpShutdown, the longest in U.S. history, continues unabated. Trump could end this by dropping his foolish wall funding demands, McConnell could end this by passing the same clean spending bill passed by both houses in December, then letting the Senate override a veto. Both have dug in their heels, but we’ve seen public pressure shift stubborn stances before and we can ratchet this pressure up. Let’s help turn on the heat by joining the #TrumpShutdown Twitter storm TODAY, Wednesday, January 16 at 8pm Eastern Time. Action Together Network’s Twitter Warriors have put this together and made it easy for us to join in. When we click on this link, we will find prewritten tweets that we can send out with just a few clicks. Every tweet counts, so let’s get busy!
2. The Indigenous Peoples March will be held on Friday, January 18, in Washington, D.C. We can find more information here: https://indigenouspeoplesmovement.com/
1. A Literal Wall Expert Explains Why Trump's Wall Won't Even Work - https://www.ecowatch.com/trumps-wall-wont-work-2625987846.html
2. Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low - https://www.npr.org/2017/12/05/568546381/arrests-for-illegal-border-crossings-hit-46-year-low
3. The Teens Will Save Us - https://medium.com/@dinachka82/the-teens-will-save-us-af5448b4ddfd
4. What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell - https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-if-obstruction-was-collusion-new-york-timess-latest-bombshell