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9/10/19


NATIONAL ISSUES




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IMPEACHMENT:  President Trump is now saying that the efforts to have peace talks with the Taliban are “dead” after he purportedly called off an invitation to host their leaders at Camp David: https://apnews.com/bf2b42d5e86d466ab5f434d0f646bc72   We are in a situation where it is unclear whether we should believe the account of the President or the version we are hearing from the Taliban. This is not acceptable in any way. With a growing number of incidents involving alleged corruption and abuse of power, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/08/us/politics/impeachment-investigation-trump.html, a majority of House Democrats now support impeaching Trump. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and these ten notable Democrats are still holding out. Let’s tell them, especially if they are our representatives, that for the sake of our democracy we can’t keep letting these abuses of power go unchecked. To continue to do nothing is to give tacit agreement that this behavior is normal and acceptable.  Let’s let our MoC know that we expect them to move swiftly towards impeachment before more damage is done domestically and internationally.

BAHAMAS:  On Sunday night, Bahamians were forced off a ferry boat after the boat reportedly received a last-minute call from Customs and Border Protection. These people were fleeing the devastation of Hurricane Dorian: 
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/09/hundreds-of-bahamians-evacuees-ordered-off-boat-due-to-lack-of-us-visas    Normally, as Miami-based reporter @BrianEntin reports on Twitter, Bahamians can travel to the US with a Bahamian passport and a printout showing a clean police record. On Sunday, Bahamians trying to evacuate to the US on a ferry were told they had to disembark if they did not have a visa to enter the US.  https://twitter.com/BrianEntin/status/1170853692934971393?s=20 Why did US Customs and Border Patrol suddenly change their tune? Let’s let our MoC know that we are morally obligated to be good neighbors to those suffering in the Bahamas and should not be creating barriers to their safety and survival.

ATTACKS ON SCIENCE:  Trump’s scribble on the Hurricane Dorian map has gotten a lot of attention; we should be more alarmed by two directives that have come to light from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warning staff—including NOAA meteorologists—not to contradict Trump, even if he purveys false scientific information and spreads unnecessary alarm in places not threatened by the storm:  https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/NOAA-staff-told-not-to-contradict-Trump-14422206.php  Like all of Trump’s attacks on science, this one appears to have been willingly undertaken by one of his sycophants, acting administrator Neil Jacobs.  Let’s tell NOAA that we are alarmed and angry that under Trump even the weather forecasts are politicized: 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 5128, Washington, DC 20230 or (828) 271-4800 or webmaster@noaa.gov.

REPARATIONS: The Movement for Black Lives has released a Reparations Now Toolkit, which is a comprehensive resource detailing the history of chattel slavery in the United States, exploring why reparations are necessary, and looking at case studies of different kinds of reparations. The toolkit also includes numerous activities, where participants can use their creativity and critical thinking skills to gain a better understanding of the toolkit material and case for reparations. Let's explore the Reparations Now toolkit, and work through it with our friends and peers. We can also contact our Representatives in the House and ask them to support H.R. 40, which "establishes the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans...and recommend appropriate remedies."

DEFUND HATE WEEK: In the next couple of weeks, Congress will be finalizing government appropriations including budgets for ICE and Customers and Border Patrol (CBP). This week Indivisible.org is launching a targeted campaign calling for massive cuts to these agencies with strict guidelines on how the funding can be used.  Let’s check Indivisible’s website for resources for action we can take--phone calls, social media, letters to the editor, town hall visits and more. 

STOP DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LEGAL IMMIGRANTS ON PUBLIC BENEFITS: Trump recently announced an executive order that would increase the government’s ability to deny green cards to immigrants if they’ve been enrolled in public benefit programs. https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/457077-trump-administration-releases-final-public-charge-rule. The rule is scheduled to go into effect next month. This could prevent numerous people from receiving necessary life-saving services. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) has introduced a bill that would prevent federal funds from being used to implement the rule. Let’s tell our MoCs to support HR3222, No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act of 2019. 5calls.org has more information and a calling script here.

GUN CONTROL: According to the American Psychological Association, our problem with mass shootings cannot be blamed on mental illness. We are only 5% of the world's population, but we suffer 31% of all mass shootings because we have nearly half of the world's civilian firearms (https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2019/08/gun-violence-mental-health). Let's emphasize this atrocious fact when we tell our MoCs to push harder for common-sense gun laws and better funding for research into gun violence as the public health menace it so clearly is.

MENSTRUAL HYGIENE FOR IMMIGRANTS: A lawsuit filed by 19 states accuses the Trump administration of not providing adequate sanitary products to girls in ICE custody, leaving them to bleed through their clothes and unable to clean themselves. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-immigration-migrant-children-border-lawsuit-period-tampon-latest-a9081341.html “Period. The Menstrual Movement”, a nonprofit organization, 
https://www.period.org/, seeks to raise $28,000 for a campaign that will purchase and distribute tampons and sanitary pads to women and girls at the Texas border who have been denied entry in Mexico. (Unfortunately, there is no way to deliver period products to people in US concentration camps.) If we are able, let’s donate to this effort: 

AID FOR THE BAHAMAS: Here's a great list for those of us trying to figure out the best charities to donate to. Collated by Celeste Pewter:  https://medium.com/@Celeste_pewter/how-to-help-those-impacted-by-hurricane-dorian-1a7516a0dbde  Let’s find a good way to help.

SANCTUARY SYNAGOGUES: “Mikdash: The Jewish Sanctuary Movement”
 https://www.truah.org/campaign/mikdash-the-jewish-sanctuary-movement/  is an initiative of T’ruah https://www.truah.org/ , a human rights organization of North American rabbis and Jewish communities. Through Mikdash, Jewish congregations can become sanctuary synagogues and offer legal support, housing, financial help, and other assistance to those facing deportation and other immigration challenges. If we are members of Jewish communities, let’s work with the leadership of our synagogues to join Mikdash. Congregations can contact Rabbi Salem Pearce at spearce@truah.org for more information.

POSTCARDING:  From one of our own – Here are this week’s issues/addresses write-ups for postcarding:  
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rREZjNSn0U24KuDkDg2vvNN-_dzMOXsFU6fGQ2BWZA4/edit   Look them over and choose the ones that speak to you. 

BLACKROCK INVESTMENTS AND THE AMAZON FIRE:  It seems that Blackrock Investments is almost singlehandedly responsible for the fires in the Amazon. Read how here and here:  https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/follow-money-amazon/597319/ Then let's do a couple of things: First, let's use the contact them form here and them why they think this is OK.  Second, let's ask our money manager (if we have one) if any of our money is in Blackrock stocks. If so, let's take whatever financial hit it is and take it out.  (h/t Chop Wood Carry Water)

RESTRICTIVE BOOK ACCESS FOR PRISONERS:  Even though many studies show that access to books can reduce recidivism, many states have severely restricted or even eliminated prisoners’ access to reading materials.  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, for example, has banned over 10,000 books including works by Alice Walker, John Grisham, Jenna Bush Haeger and Bob Dole.  We can click here to ask House and Senate Judiciary Committees to hold hearings on book restriction practices in prisons:  https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-congress-stop-the-largest-book-ban-in-america

WAYS TO PROMOTE THE CLIMATE STRIKE:  If we are looking for more ways to get involved with the upcoming Climate Strike on September 20, Katie Eder, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Future Coalition has several ideas for us to check out. We can click here to find an informative Climate Strike video, website, social media toolkit, parents’ webinar, ways to donate if we are able to, and more:

PENDING CUTS TO FOOD ASSISTANCE:  “The Trump administration is once again proposing significant cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food assistance to 40.3 million low-income people each month. Trump has tried to slash funding for SNAP in the federal budget every year since he took office, but Congress has rejected the cuts each time. In July, he released a proposed rule change that would allow him to do an end run around Congress to cut food assistance to 3.1 million people—including 44,000 Mainers—and to eliminate school meals for more than 500,000 children by ending automatic enrollment of children in SNAP families in free and reduced-cost school meal programs.”  While this source originates in Maine, the general information and actions we can take can be easily tailored to our state:  https://www.suitupmaine.org/save-snap/

WEAKENING FUEL STANDARDS:   The Trump EPA wants to weaken existing fuel efficiency standards by finalizing the SAFE rule in September. As of today, Canada and 6 major auto manufacturers have signed an MOU agreeing on standards that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers money.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/22/automakers-snub-trump-to-side-with-climate-crisis-says-obama-era-official  The holdouts are Toyota, Chrysler & GM—do we own any of their products? If so, we can email them from their “contact us” links on their websites. If we don’t own cars made by these companies, we can email them anyway! 

EDUCATION—AMERICAN SLAVERY AND ITS LEGACY: If we have not done so already, let’s read the New York Times’s outstanding reporting, The 1619 Project, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html (If we aren’t subscribers, we can read it through our local public library.) There’s a video, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrfV7w3EyGI Then, let’s make sure that our public schools properly teach this subject to our rising citizens. Let’s forward “The 1619 Project Curriculum” 
https://pulitzercenter.org/lesson-plan-grouping/1619-project-curriculum to our state’s Board of Education and tell them that we want this curriculum taught in our public high schools. We can use this resource to look up contact information for our state’s Board of Ed: 

GRATITUDE TO THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE NEWSPAPER: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize, in April, for its coverage of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. The newspaper’s staff decided to donate the entire $15,000 Pulitzer award to the Tree of Life Synagogue for the building’s repair and renewal. https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2019/09/04/Post-Gazette-newsroom-donates-Pulitzer-monetary-award-to-Tree-of-Life-congregation-jeffrey-myers-keith-burris-john-robinson-block/stories/201909040150 Let’s express our congratulations and gratitude to the newspaper’s editor and publisher:  1) Keith C. Burris, Executive Editor, 412-263-1606; kburris@post-gazette.com, and 2) John Robinson Block, Publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Block Communications, 405 Madison Ave, Ste 2100, Toledo, OH 43604

FOLK ART FOR THE RESISTANCE HAS US IN STITCHES: “’Tiny Pricks’ is an ongoing community project in which participants stitch quotes by Trump into antique textiles to create a material record of his presidency.”
 https://www.speedwellprojects.com/ We can see samples in this video narrated by the project’s originator Diana Weymar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt-xSpGyYws An exhibition of the Tiny Pricks Project will be on view September 14-November 3, 2019, at SPEEDWELL Projects, 630 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101. Here’s the press release: 

ELECTION/VOTING

NORTH CAROLINA:  It’s Special Election Day in North Carolina in NC09 and NC03:  https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/460449-gop-faces-must-win-race-in-north-carolina  If we are in North Carolina let’s make sure we get to the polls (and bring friends and family) to turn out for Dan McCready (NC09) and Allen Thomas (NC03) for Congress.

POSTCARDS TO VOTERS' TUESDAY ELECTION WATCH! Volunteer postcard-writers will be watching polling exit results for two congressional special elections in North Carolina: 1) Campaign 166: Dan McCready for CD09.  2) Campaign 169: Allen Thomas for CD03. We can join other watchers at the Postcards To Voters' Facebook page to watch as returns come in.

GET OUT THE LOUISIANA VOTE! With no Republican challenger, the winner of the Democratic primary for Louisiana State Senator will win the position. The incumbent's challenger previously had to resign in disgrace. Postcards To Voters' Campaign 170: Re-Elect Ed PriceLet's request 5 addresses for valuable Louisiana voters today. If we are new to Postcards To Voters, we can find out more and sign up here.

RURAL VIRGINIA VOTERS NEED ENCOURAGEMENT! With many rural voters lacking high-speed internet access and relying on mail, our postcards just might have the greatest impact.  Postcards4VA.com has teamed up with
VirginiaGrassroots.org to reach these critical voters as we work to flip Virginia blue. Let's sign up to write postcards. If we are Virginians, let's tell our family and friends about these great organizations and look for ways to participate.

NEW YORK VOTER REGISTRATION: To vote in the state's 2020 primary elections, voters must be registered as either Democrat or Republican by October 10th. This deadline is very early, to prevent voters from switching parties to sabotage primary elections. If unsure about registration status, try the NYS Voter Lookup tool 
https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/ or contact a local election office.

STATE/LOCAL

MI: 2020 Budget/Mental Health: From MI Resistance: In the past, Michigan had one of the most advanced public health systems in the country. However, Medicaid expansion led to a General Fund support reduction for mental health, because it was believed that Medicaid could cover it. But Medicaid only covers 20 mental health visits per year. There are barriers to signing up for Medicaid and not all are eligible. Any costs not covered by Medicaid have been passed on to County Mental Health systems.  Our systems are near collapse. The need for more funding is urgent (https://bit.ly/2m7FrGJ). Let's tell the Michigan GOP to support budget increases for county community mental health: State Senators Ruth Johnson (MI-14): 517-373-1636, Pete Lucido (MI-8): 517-373-7670, Jim Runestad (MI-15): 517-373-1758, and State Reps Mike Mueller (MI-51): 517-373-1780 and Tommy Brann (MI-77): 517-373-2277   

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE: “On September 20, three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, young people and adults will strike all across the US and world to demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis. Millions of us will take the streets to demand a right to a future, and we’re inviting you to #strikewithus
Find a strike near you to attend on September 20 on the map . . .  If you don’t see an event in your area, organize one! We’ll provide everything you need to get started in planning something in your community, so no experience is necessary.”  Let’s check out more here:  https://strikewithus.org/  (scroll down page to see map of locations)  If we are outside the U.S., let’s check out this site for opportunities:   https://globalclimatestrike.net/

WE THE PEOPLE MARCH:  Needless to say, a lot has transpired during the two weeks of Rogan’s List hiatus. Let’s be inspired by our siblings in the UK, Hong Kong, and Russia who have taken to the streets in support of democracy. The We The People March (organized by Amy Siskind of The List) is Saturday, September 21 in Washington DC. The March is looking for volunteers to house people coming from other states to DC, as well as leaders to put together marches in cities across the country. Check out the website to find local marches or buses headed to DC. If you can, make a donation to help the marchers:  https://wethepeoplemarch.org

READING/WATCHING



 ‘Can’t feel my heart:’ IG says separated kids traumatized - https://apnews.com/63e7e47666914bf79eff7366e8eb411b

Ijeoma Oluo: 'I am drowning in whiteness' - https://www.kuow.org/stories/ijeoma-oluo-i-am-drowning-in-whiteness


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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





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