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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” and  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”.  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. Even Trump ally Senator Lindsay Graham proposed opening the government, but Trump and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell have refused to budge.  McConnell COULD bring this up for a vote, and override a veto, but refuses to do so.  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:

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."  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.  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”:   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.  Let’s let Cruz know where we live and that we are concerned.


Other Actions

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:

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:

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.” 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.

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.

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 (AmazonBarnes 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 -, B) Vietnam Vets - They’ll take almost anything and will pick up from you! -, and C) Habitat for Humanity - They'll take larger furniture, tools and building supplies -

State Actions

1.    ALL:  A number of states are proposing various bills that would allow various kinds of discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” 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).  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:

1.   A Literal Wall Expert Explains Why Trump's Wall Won't Even Work -

2.   Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low -

4.   What if the Obstruction Was the Collusion? On the New York Times’s Latest Bombshell -


Contact Federal Government Officials

1.   This week in Congress:  The House will consider seventeen (17) bills this week. The new Majority Leader's Schedule has not yet been updated but we can review these bills on  On Monday, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.1, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. (Source: Senate Floor Schedule) According to this update at this bill is provisionally dead due to a failed vote for cloture on January 10, 2019. We can check the Senate Floor Schedule daily for updates for the next day.

2.   This weekend was a roller-coaster news cycle with the New York Times breaking a story about the FBI opening a counterintelligence investigation against Trump (after he fired Comey) to explore whether he is a Russian asset and the Washington Post following up with a story about Trump’s efforts to block sharing content of his private meetings with Putin including taking an interpreter’s notes. Needless to say, Trump is reacting about as well as expected:  So, yes, the question has formally been raised as to whether the POTUS is a Russian asset. If we have Democratic MoC, let’s ask them to stay strong and speak out. If we have Republican MoC, let’s be in touch straight away to say that now is the time to decide which side of history they intend to be on and that we expect them to fulfill their oaths. For all our preparatory efforts in the event of Mueller’s firing, it does seem like we have reached a critical schism.

3.   As of press time on Sunday, the government shutdown continues with no end in sight:  It is now the longest government shutdown on record and 800,000 of our fellow citizens (and their families) are suffering because of it. In light of the Russia news over the weekend, it is easy to see Trump’s chaos in a different light. Let’s particularly be in touch with our Republican Senators (if we have any) to say that the time to stand up to Mitch McConnell is already in the rear-view mirror and we expect them to take action – their constituents are hurting. If we have Democratic Senators, let’s ask them to stay resolute.

4.   “Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today led a group of senators in introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 [S.66], an updated bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.”  Let’s make sure our senators are co-sponsors to this important legislation.  

5.   Senator Jon Tester (MT- D) gave a powerful speech last week regarding the shutdown which calls out his Republican colleagues for their obstruction:  Let’s thank Senator Tester for his clarity:

6.   James Hines of Sierra Club has reported, “I just got off the phone with several of the executive staff at the U.S. Dept of the Interior which oversees the National Park Service and other federal land management agencies. They tell me that the White House wants to keep America's national parks closed and not staffed for as long as possible. The reason is that this will allow mining and oil drilling companies to set up their operations in our national parks without any national park service personal oversight How sad is this, using America's national parks as a political game to get what the extraction industry both domestic and foreign companies to get what they want. @POTUS open and staff America's national parks.” Despite the shutdown, the Dept. of the Interior continues to issue permits:  Let’s make sure that our MoCs know that this is not how we want this to play out.  Save our national parks!

7.   Seven Republican Congressmen (yes, they were all men!) voted against allowing federal workers to receive backpay after the shutdown is over. If we live in their districts, (or perhaps, even if we don’t) let’s make sure to contact Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Glen Grothman (Wis.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Chip Roy (Texas) and Ted Yoho (Fla.) and express our disgust at their insensitivity to American workers. Let’s also remind ALL our Republican MoCs that we are holding them completely responsible for blocking and/or voting against legislation that would re-open the government.

8.   Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke planted a kind of bomb before losing his job. His appointee to the Interior Department's office for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, a Koch brothers crony named Daniel Jorjani, is quietly trying to enact new rules that would allow the department to simply ignore many FOIA queries ( Transparent government requires honoring the FOIA, and even if the management of our public lands isn't our biggest concern right now, rest assured that these proposed rule changes are a trial balloon, one that other government agencies will mimic if we don't challenge them now. Public comment is being accepted until January 28, and response thus far has been lackluster, so let's light 'em up! 

9.   Attorney General nominee William Barr has a troubling history of discrediting the rights of whistleblowers. He’s written that they are “an encroachment on executive power” and a threat to the executive’s constitutional authority. Let’s make sure to ask our Senators to insist that Mr. Barr clarify his position and commit to taking the Justice Department’s role in litigating claims of fraud against taxpayers seriously, including allegations of fraud by government entities, should he be confirmed as Attorney General. Crooked Media’s What a Day from last Friday includes additional warnings about Barr:

10. “Thousands of requests by men to bring in child and adolescent brides to live in the United States were approved over the past decade, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl.”  These were all legal.  Let’s ask our MoCs to amend The Immigration and Nationality Act to protect these young girls. 

11.  “With the partial government shutdown on the verge of becoming the longest in U.S. history, many housing advocates fear thousands of low-income Americans are at risk of being evicted. More than 1,000 government-backed housing contracts have already expired and potentially more will do so in the coming weeks. Since the shutdown began last month, approximately 1,150 federal rental assistance contracts have not been renewed due to funding lapses at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These lapses impact Project-Based Rental Assistance agreements between private property owners and the federal government. These landlords are contracted to house low and very low-income residents. The property owner charges tenants modest rents and HUD kicks in subsidies to make up the difference.”  The only “crisis” is the one that trump is creating by not signing a bill passed by the House that he promised his GOP Senators he would sign.  Tell trump to stop the #trumpshutdown.  

12.  The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has called for the removal of Representative Steve King (R-IA) from his committee assignments for his recent statements questioning why white supremacy is considered racist. Let’s contact our US House Reps and tell them that we support the CBC’s stance on King and demand that he be removed from his committee assignments.

13.“Mexican authorities uncovered another tunnel in Nogales, Sonora — across the border from Nogales, Arizona — which they suspect was used to smuggle drugs and people across the U.S.-Mexico border. It's the third time they have made such a discovery in less than a month, and comes amid President Donald Trump's demand for funding to build more physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. However, the vast majority of the drugs that he alludes to, including heroin, are increasingly caught at the legal ports of entry, which would be unaffected by the construction of additional physical barriers.”  We already know that a WALL can be crossed in many different ways. Technical security and more personnel is a better solution than a WALL.  We need to keep the pressure on our senators, governors and call the WH and tell Trump, NO WALL, there are better solutions. 

14. From one of our own:  We have a second chance to object to including the citizenship question on the Census by January 27. Submit comments and recommendations to 2020_Census_Comments@ or fax to (202)395–5806. You can keep it short and just say that the primary purpose of the US Decennial Census is to count all people as required by the constitution and adding a question on citizenship will make the data less reliable because people won’t return the form, will leave non-citizens off, or will lie.

15. From one of our own: [for other public comment info] This week in gov't shutdown - federal sites aren't being updated, including, and public meetings to discuss regulations are on hold though open comment periods are still working. directs you to look instead to Federal Register, which I did - looking specifically for the Medicaid State block grants threat (reduces funding) and the redefinition of The Waters of the United States - I searched by docket # and found nothing new, really - though some news articles. Here's this week’s list:

16. “A federal government shutdown might seem like a great way to save money: When agencies aren’t open, they aren’t spending tax dollars. But history shows us that closing the government actually costs more than keeping it open. Shuttered parks can’t collect entrance fees. Furloughed workers will ultimately get paid for not showing up to work. And the government will wind up having to pay interest on missed payments to some contractors.” Let’s get the country moving again. Let’s call the WH and tell them we can’t afford this shut down, it costs us all too much! 


Other Actions

1.    From one of our own:  The Mobile Medical team [of Immigrant Justice Now] in Tijuana requested 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 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:  

2.   NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner has the opportunity to take a full load of college courses this Spring from prison. Toby Annika Blauwasser has organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help with Reality's tuition and books. They have a goal of $3000, We can check it out here. If they have not yet reached their goal, let's contribute if we are able. We can stay up to date on Reality by following the FaceBook group "Friends of Reality Winner"

3.   While it should be no surprise to us that Trump continues to make his case for a border wall by spreading lies and misinformation, many people believe in the underlying stereotypes he’s perpetuating about immigrants. Let’s make sure to fortify ourselves with facts when talking to friends, acquaintances, or family members who are being swayed by commonly held beliefs by reading this important article from pbs that summarizes the government’s own data about drugs, terrorism, and illegal immigration.  

4.   The brutal murder of journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi happened over 100 days ago.  “An independent investigation into the murder by a credible international body will help to ensure separation from the political interests of any individual country, and will form a stronger basis for eventual accountability for his death.”  Let’s sign this joint letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres calling for an immediate investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi:

5.   Facing History and Ourselves whose mission is to “to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry”, has a number of resources we can use if we are middle or high school teachers, or we can share with teachers we know.  Let’s check them out here:

6.   From one of our own:  If we are looking for a good place to start with our postcarding group this week, here’s one to check out:

State Actions

1.    CA:  If sharing our address could put us in life-threatening danger, we may be eligible to register to vote confidentially. For more information, we can contact the Safe at Home program at (877) 322-5227 or visit  We can share this with our friends on social media. 

2.   KY:  Representative Jim Glenn needs our help. The House did not officially seat him on the first day of the 2019 Session, choosing to give credence to the objection of the losing candidate.  Glenn won his election in Owensboro over opponent DJ Johnson by one vote, a result that’s been certified twice. Rather than accept both the county clerk and the State Board of Election certifications of Glenn’s victory or the will of the people of his district, House leadership convened a committee to hear the election contest filed by losing candidate DJ Johnson. Here’s what Jim needs us to do: call our state representatives at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them to vote to accept the findings of both the County Board of Elections and the State Board of Elections who certified Rep. Glenn as the winner of the election in the 13th House District.  We cannot let this go unanswered. The stakes are too high.   Let’s call our state reps now at 1-800-372-7181.  Rep. Glenn needs us!

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.    The Indigenous Peoples March will be held on Friday, January 18, in Washington, D.C.  We can find more information here:

2.   Another Women’s March is coming up.  Whether we align ourselves with March On, or Women’s March Alliance, or WoMen for All, or with no group at all, we have an opportunity to make history and march once again on Saturday, January 19, 2019.  Let’s check with our favorite organization or local group and find out how we can help.


1.    Ten Counterproductive Behaviors of Well-Intentioned People:  Common mistakes made in social justice conversations and how to correct them -

2.   Where Does Illegal Immigration Mostly Occur? Here's What The Data Tell Us -

3.   The Exceptions to the Rulers:  When people of color enter elite spaces, they’re often attacked as undeserving charlatans. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is no different -