We can stay up-to-date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule.
Out beyond Trump’s horrible military ban for transgendered service members, there is a new effort to roll back healthcare protections as well: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/445511-advocates-vow-to-fight-trump-rollback-of-transgender-protections We can submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services via this helpful website from the Transgender Law Center: https://protecttranshealth.org/
Over 2,000 migrant children, many of whom were separated from parents or other relatives, are being housed in a detention facility in Homestead, Florida. Because the facility is considered a privately run “emergency influx facility,” the government is arguing that it is not subject to the provisions in the Flores Act, and as a result, children there are incarcerated for an average of 58 days (the Flores Act limit is 20 days) before being released to a sponsor. Part of the problem is that sponsors who are undocumented are being detained and deported, leaving the children without a place to go. This private for-profit facility is costing taxpayers $750/day, compared to $250/day it costs to detain individuals in government-run facilities. https://www.afsc.org/blogs/news-and-commentary/why-its-time-to-shut-down-homestead-detention-center. The American Friends Service Committee has been working with other interfaith groups to provide a consistent witness presence at the site, an a larger action is being planned in Homestead for Father’s Day, June 16. We can help by donating money, and telling our MoCs to support (HR 1069/S 397) Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act and (S388) the Families Not Facilities Act. These bills would assure that all facilities complied with the Flores Act and they would also bar sharing information with ICE that could lead to the detention and deportation of sponsors in the community. We can also put pressure on banks that are financing private prisons.
Now that Mueller himself has made it very clear that his probe did not exonerate Trump (https://www.apnews.com/94323cfc164c4759ba6bf84ad2a46203) and that his work is done and the process should continue in the proper venues, it is important that we listen to and support Michigan GOP Congressman Justin Amash who has doubled-down on his statements about the Mueller Report, AG Barr’s actions, and the need for impeachment hearings to move ahead: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/445786-amash-accuses-barr-of-deliberately-misleading-the-public-on-mueller-report If we have Republican MoC or Democratic MoC who have not come out in favor of impeachment hearings yet, let’s ask them to follow Amash’s lead. If we have Democratic MoC who has come out in favor of impeachment hearings, let’s say thanks.
HONORING HARRIET TUBMAN:
The Trump administration is refusing to follow through on putting Harriet Tubman’s image on US currency: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/22/politics/mnuchin-pressley-harriet-tubman-20-dollar-bill/index.html . Let’s let Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin know that we see through this transparent effort to uphold Trump’s racist agenda: https://home.treasury.gov/utility/contact And let’s use this as an opportunity to support causes that honor Ms. Tubman’s life work. Here are some suggestions:
· NAACP, https://www.naacp.org/
· Higher Heights, http://www.higherheightsforamerica.org/
· Woke Vote, https://wokevote.us/
· Tubman, https://www.tubman.org/
· End Slavery Now, http://www.endslaverynow.org/
CAMPAIGN HELP:Getting your message heard is hard when campaigns are strapped for cash and unaware of new ways to communicate online. Learn how to reach and persuade more people with free, innovative apps widely used in business, but not well known in politics and advocacy. If we are in D.C. on June 7, let’s check out the “Hands-on Workshop: Five Free Campaign Apps” by Democracy Labs: https://www.facebook.com/events/352783585382573/ If we can’t make it to D.C., let’s contact Dem Labs for help with our campaign: https://thedemlabs.org/
BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP FOR CHILDREN OF MARRIED LGBT COUPLES:
A child born overseas to a married American may be entitled to American citizenship. But that child is less likely to receive birthright citizenship if his/her/their married parents are an LGBT couple. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/u-s-appeals-ruling-granted-gay-couple-s-son-citizenship-n1002916 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/24/my-wife-had-our-baby-abroad-us-says-he-isnt-american/?utm_term=.8a55843d8305. Let’s tell our MOCs that this discriminatory policy is unconscionable, and that we want them to sponsor and pass legislation guaranteeing birthright citizenship equally to all children born overseas to a married American.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler has the authority to request the documents on Brett Kavanaugh’s past judicial thinking that Republicans deliberately concealed during Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing. These documents could show bias on the abortion issue that would force Kavanaugh to recuse himself, should a challenge to Roe v. Wade head to the Supreme Court: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-jerry-nadler-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-roe-v-wade-blumenthal-20190524-kinsrg2fczfhfg6vdhkasu2b74-story.html. Let’s put pressure on Nadler to obtain those documents. We can contact him at 202-225-5635 and https://nadler.house.gov/contact/
SUPPORTING ABORTION ACCESS GROUPS:
There have been some new and well-meaning efforts to support people in obtaining abortion care while some states move swiftly to make it illegal. These efforts can have the effect of duplicating preexisting efforts and diluting the power of people who have been building a strong network together to ensure abortion access is there for all of us. For decades, local abortion funds have been helping make sure access remains open and they have learned a lot along the way. We can help by making a donation to an established group: https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/#funds
Only scientists and schoolchildren seem to be willing to call the state of the global climate a “crisis”. Trump and his lackeys, on the contrary, are escalating their war on climate change science and renewing their efforts to deregulate fossil fuel pollution. Here are some highlights: the US refused to sign an international communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it made no allusion to climate change; National Security Council officials have recently been told to “strip references” to climate change from their speeches; the U.S. Geological Survey is changing its methodology to project the impacts of climate change only through 2040 instead of through the end of the century when these might actually occur; Trump hopes to create a new climate review panel headed by William Tapper, famous for claiming that “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler” and for challenging the science of man-made climate change; and, this summer, the EPA plans to undo critical regulations limiting vehicle tailpipe and power plant emissions: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/even-steve-bannon-thinks-trumps-latest-climate-change-plan-is-too-extreme and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/27/us/politics/trump-climate-science.html Let’s tell the EPA (202-564-4700 and https://www.epa.gov/home/forms/contact-epa ) what we think about their continuing climate denial and, perhaps more importantly, let’s write to our news sources to demand they acknowledge the climate crisis in their coverage.
2020 ELECTION CAMPAIGN VIOLATION:
Three Florida radio stations are planning to broadcast 2-minute segments of Trump’s speeches every hour of everyday up until the 2020 election https://thehill.com/homenews/media/443732-florida-radio-stations-to-broadcast-trump-speeches-every-hour-until-2020 which is in direct violation of FCC rules which require giving all candidates equal time. Let’s complain to the FCC [esupport.fcc.gov or (888)225-5322, option 4]
"Not one single voting rights question was asked during the presidential debates in 2016. Not one single question. Voting is one of our most fundamental rights, yet voter suppression and gerrymandering continually threaten our democracy." (quotation from petition below) So let's tell the Democratic National Committee to include voting rights in the upcoming debates! We can sign the petition here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sign-the-petition-tell-the-dnc-to-include-voting-rights-in-the-debates?source=2019VotingRightsinDebates_VRA&referrer=group-voter-rights
In a Tuesday statement, Planned Parenthood said it would have to close its last abortion clinic this week because Missouri’s health department is "refusing to renew" its annual license to provide abortion. If the license is not renewed by May 31, that closing would make Missouri the first state to have no functioning abortion clinic since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/planned-parenthood-missouri-last-abortion-clinic-says-it-may-lose-its-license-this-week-exclusive-2019-05-28/ Let’s join Missouri women in letting Dr. Randall Williams, Health & Senior Services director, know what we think of his department’s unconscionable delaying tactics: Williams (573) 751-6001 (Debbie Mebruer, Executive Assistant) or Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 912 Wildwood, PO Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570, (573) 751-6400. We can also support Planned Parenthood’s Missouri lawsuit here:
STOP LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTING AS ICE AGENTS:
287(g) agreements allow local law enforcement to take on certain duties of ICE agents.
nationwide, and, after creating 49 of the current 78 agreements, the Trump administration is pushing for more. Right now, we have a chance to intervene, as all of these agreements are due to expire on June 30, 2019. We can use this link to check out the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)’s toolkit on how to end 287(g) and prevent the continuation of immigration enforcement at the hands of local law enforcement: bit.ly/287g-toolkit
PLEDGE TO REJECT COLLEGES IN STATES WITH SEVERE ABORTION LAWS:
As restrictive and punitive abortion laws are being passed in several states, some potential college students are refusing acceptance to colleges in those states. If we are future college students, or know some, we can join this action to let colleges in those states that we will not be applying as long as these laws are in place. We can check out this link to find out more about pledging not to attend college in states with restrictive abortion laws and then share this information with our friends on social media: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/my-college-my-choice
We can also read more at this link. https://nyp.st/2I6bbTZ
AMY SISKIND'S LIST:
Experts in authoritarianism advise us to keep a list of things subtly changing around us, so we’ll remember. Amy Siskind is keeping that list for us. Let's review the latest one: Amy Siskind's Weekly List.
GET OUT THE VOTE!
Postcards to Voters volunteers write to Democratic voters year-round to get out the vote for local and special elections. Let's check out Postcards to Voters today. If we are already volunteers, let's request 5 addresses for one of the open campaigns.
STATE SPECIFIC ISSUES:
CA: JOIN HUMAN IMPEACHMENT BANNER TO RALLY DEMOCRATIC LEADER SUPPORT
If we want to speak out about impeachment, we can join a peaceful, family-friendly, no-cost, pro-impeachment event in San Francisco on Saturday, June 1, hosted by IndivisibleSF.org and organizer Brad Newsham. We hope to gather at least 5,000 people at Ocean Beach in SF to form a giant human banner spelling out the word, “IMPEACH” which will be photographed from above by a helicopter. California Democratic Party officials, MoveOn, and several Democratic Presidential Candidates will be in town that day, and this is chance to show them strong support for Impeachment. We can find out more about joining this human impeachment banner by checking out these links: https://www.facebook.com/events/480297136237064/ and
We can also amplify this on social media using the hashtag #ImpeachOnTheBeach
CT: MAKE PRISON PHONE CALLS FREE: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, a Democrat who grew his personal fortune through the telecommunications industry, is stonewalling a bill, CT state bill HB6714, that would establish Connecticut as the first state in the nation to make phone calls from prison free for incarcerated people and their families. We can read more at The Intercept. The legislation was approved Tuesday by the Legislature's Appropriations Committee and heads to the full General Assembly. (Source: USNews & World Report.) Let's contact our CT state legislators and Gov. Ned Lamont to let them know that we support HB6714.
NY (& OTHERS) VOTING RIGHTS: A dangerous new kind of voting machine has been introduced in several states. This voting system has the capacity to mark votes onto paper ballots *after* the voter votes! This opens up dangerous pathways to fraud and must be stopped. A protest is being planned in New York, where this machine is currently being considered. If we live in New York, let’s consider attending this action on June 6. Let’s also contact our State Election Commissioners (40 NORTH PEARL STREET, SUITE 5, ALBANY, NY 12207-2729; (518) 474-6220); Email: INFO@elections.ny.gov) and demand that they reject the Dominion ICE voting machine. Those of us in other states should contact our Board of Elections and find out if these machines are being considered.
TX: PROTECT FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: Environmental activists, indigenous protesters, landowners and others who damage or “impair or interrupt” operations of oil and gas facilities will be charged with a felony under a bill, state bill HB3557, finalized and approved by the Texas Legislature. That’s despite public pressure, protests and legislative attempts to soften penalties in the industry-backed bill, which now heads to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk, where it is expected to become law. Let's read more at Texas Observer. If we are Texans, let's contact Governor Abbott to let him know that we oppose HB3557.
Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, has written an easy-to understand Twitter thread on exactly why it's dangerous that AG Barr has just been granted authority to selectively declassify national security-related intelligence. The news barely made a wave, but we should understand what's really happening here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1132706393805475840.html or https://twitter.com/waltshaub/status/1132706393805475840