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9/12/19


NATIONAL ISSUES




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FEDERAL JUDGE CONFIRMATION: From Act 4 Progress: Steven Menashi, a White House aide with a record of denouncing feminism and diversity, is on track to become a LIFETIME federal judge. His confirmation hearing is being rushed through. Why? Menashi has a history of denouncing women's marches against sexual assault, dismissing education about multicultural awareness and accusing a major LGBTQ group of exploiting the brutal murder of a gay student for political ends (https://cnn.it/2k7rOGK). Let's call our senator today and say this man should not be confirmed for all of the above.

GUN REFORM: Following six deaths due to vaping, the Trump administration is moving to ban flavored e-cigarettes to protect children:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-vaping-trump/trump-administration-announces-plans-to-ban-flavored-e-cigarettes-idUSKCN1VW2AJ  Let’s let our MoC know that we expect the same level of protection when it comes to the risk of our children being killed in a mass-shooting. Let’s also let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell know that we expect him to call a vote on HR8:  https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/

URGE MUNICIPALITIES TO END THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH ICE: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered the city to end any cooperation with ICE and remove all ICE detainees from the city jail. https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/atlanta-mayor-orders-city-to-end-relationship-with-ice-remove-all-detainees-from-city-jail/85-591481219?. Let’s thank her at (404) 330-6100, on Facebook, Twitter (@KeishaBottoms). Let’s also check with our own mayors to see what they have done to protect our immigrant communities and ask them to follow Mayor Lance Bottoms’ brave stand. 

STOP FAMILY SEPARATION OF BAHAMIAN REFUGEES:   After feeling Dorian, 12-year-old Bahamian girl has been separated from her family and put in detention.  Her mother has been told she has to apply to claim her, a process that can take longer than the time she is permitted to stay here and with documents that probably have been destroyed.  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article234933792.html.   The trauma that children in detention are facing is serious and long-lasting.  https://apnews.com/63e7e47666914bf79eff7366e8eb411b.  Let’s urge DHS (202) 282-8000; DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov;  https://homelandsecurity.ideascale.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homelandsecurity/; Twitter: @DHS.gov
to reverse their position on TPS and ask our MoCs to intervene in reuniting this girl with her parents as soon as possible. We have to stop putting kids in jail.  

TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS) FOR BAHAMIANS: It has been reported that the Trump administration will not grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Bahamians following Hurricane Dorian.   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/trump-admin-will-deny-temporary-protected-status-bahamians-who-fled-n1052561 Meanwhile, thousands of people have been displaced, shelters in the capital, Nassau, are at capacity, and searches continue for survivors (https://bit.ly/2k8S5EGhttps://nyti.ms/2k9TQS0). Let's join the Black Alliance for Just Immigration in asking for TPS, which would help Bahamians currently in the U.S., and for loosened visa requirements to those who are seeking refuge from the Bahamas following the hurricane. We can ask our MoC to put pressure on the Trump administration, and we can contact acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan: The Honorable Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC  20528 Phone: 202-282-8000

ADOPTEE DEPORTATION: “Many of us know someone who was adopted from another country. Over 500,000 children have been adopted by American families since the end of World War II. But many of our adopted family members, partners, friends, and co-workers did not have their U.S. citizenship secured when they were children.”  The Adoptee Citizenship Act (H.R. 2731 / S.1554) will both provide citizenship to those legally adopted by U.S. citizens and create a path to citizenship for those already deported.  https://wamu.org/story/19/05/15/adoptees-at-risk-of-deportation-bring-fight-to-washington/ Let’s join Adoptees for Justice and tell our own MoCs to support this bill.  Let’s also sign THIS PETITION. These signatures will be delivered by Adoptees For Justice, an adoptee-led organization.

GROCERS ASK CUSTOMERS TO STOP OPEN CARRY IN THEIR STORES: “Meijer and Aldi have become the latest supermarket chains to ask their customers to stop openly carrying firearms in their stores. “The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority, so we respectfully request that our customers do not open carry firearms at Meijer,” the chain, which operates throughout the Midwest, tweeted on Monday afternoon.”  https://thehill.com/regulation/business/460769-aldi-and-meijer-ask-customers-to-stop-openly-carrying-guns-in-their   Here are the gun policies for the 30 largest U.S. retailers:  https://thehill.com/policy/finance/460336-here-are-the-gun-policies-for-americas-largest-retailers  Let’s support and frequent companies that have banned open carry and, if we live in an open carry state, let’s  ask our favorite stores to do the same.  Let’s also ask our legislators to make it legal for these companies to completely ban open carry in their stores.   
While we are at it, let’s join Moms Demand Action:  https://momsdemandaction.org/

URGE TRANSPARENCY FOR ALL IMMIGRATION COURT PROCEEDINGS IN NEW TENT COURTS ON THE BORDER: Tent courthouses are being set up on Homeland Security property in order to speed up adjudication, and blocking the proceedings from the public, the press, and legal observers. https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-09-11/trump-administration-bars-access-to-immigration-tent-courts. Whatever is left of immigration justice is due to witnesses watching, and now they are being blocked. Let’s contact our MoCs and raise our concerns.

MISUSE OF TAX DOLLARS:  The U.S. military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have cost more than $6 billion to operate since opening nearly 18 years ago and still spend more than $380 million a year of our money, despite currently housing only 40 prisoners. A whistleblower complaint, filed by a former senior attorney there, alleges “gross financial waste" and "gross mismanagement":  
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/11/759523615/guant-namo-court-and-prison-have-cost-billions-whistleblower-alleges-gross-waste  As aid to the Bahamas (and to Puerto Rico) falters, as we are told there is no money for immigration judges or lawyers—or soap and toothbrushes for immigrant children—as the education system fails, the infrastructure falls apart, the number of those without medical insurance grows, the natural world is decimated, and so on—perhaps we need to point out to the White House and the Pentagon (703-571-3343 or 1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington DC 20301-1400) that we can think of hundreds of better ways to spend our money.

VOTING WITH OUR WALLETS:  Goods Unite Us has spent thousands of hours vetting companies' political expenditures in federal elections. We'll tell you what we know about the donations made by the organization and its senior employees along with each company's exclusive Campaign Finance Reform Score.”  Let’s check into this and spend wisely:  https://www.goodsuniteus.com/#/

REVIEW DEBATE FUNDAMENTALS AND PLAY DEBATE BINGO: As tonight’s Presidential Debate takes place, we can review the fundamentals of debate using Urban Debate’s materials to evaluate the reliability of media sources, analyze media coverage and then apply what we’ve learned to play Debate Bingo. These materials can also be used in classrooms or in our political groups to increase awareness of this process. We can find Urban Debate materials on understanding political debate and its contexts here, along with everything we need to play Debate Bingo and engage in tonight’s debate: https://urbandebate.org/what-we-do/democracy/

STUDENT LOAN FOREGIVENESS:  Many debt-ladened students enter public service with the intent of eventually applying for the student loan foregiveness program often associated with those positions.  However, it turns out that an upgrade of the program is denying most all applications.  https://www.npr.org/2019/09/05/754656294/congress-promised-student-borrowers-a-break-then-ed-dept-rejected-99-of-them  Let’s ask our MoCs if is what they have in mind for the program and tell them that we want the program fixed so that students CAN use the program as originally presented.

FREE SEMESTER TO BAHAMIAN STUDENTS:  Hampton University said Thursday that it was partnering with the University of the Bahamas to offer a tuition-free semester, as well as room and board, at its Hampton, Va., campus for students displaced by the storm. Students will have the option to stay at Hampton after the semester is over, while paying university tuition and fees.”  https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/460212-historically-black-university-to-offer-free-enrollment-room-and  Let’s thank Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey, for this generous move:  presidentsoffice@hamptonu.edu

ELECTION/VOTING

VOTER TURNOUT:  Obscene amounts of money were expended to ensure the “bellwether” victory of Republican Dan Bishop--the man who brought us North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ “bathroom bill”--in the special election for the 9th Congressional seat in NC; Bishop won by not quite 4000 votes or a little over 2% of the votes cast, enough to avoid another recount but a very slim margin:   https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/460794-republican-pulls-off-critical-win-in-north-carolina-special-election  If ever there were an argument for the importance of voter registration and turnout, this might be it.  Let’s get people to the polls by joining forces with local efforts like Stacey Abram’s New Georgia Project (http://newgeorgiaproject.org/the_cost_of_registering_the_unregistered/) or national ones; Bustle (https://www.bustle.com/p/8-voting-rights-organizations-to-know-before-the-2020-elections-roll-around-13156367) and Reclaim the American Dream (http://reclaimtheamericandream.org/organizations-vote/) both offer lists of national organizations working on voting rights, voter suppression, and/or voter registration.

WHY VIRGINIA MATTERS:  https://youtu.be/YrxbUODU8S0  Visit 
Virginiagrassroots.org to see a sampling of the coalitions formed throughout Virginia to make this happen.  Come canvass, phonebank or postcard with us!

STATE/LOCAL

GA:  CLOSING POLLS:  Polls have been closing in an alarming rate in Georgia and throughout the South, after the Supreme Court reverted oversight of voting changes to the states. Some Georgia counties now have only one polling place to serve thousands of voters. An alarming number of these further underserved precincts are majority African American, low income or both.  https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/precincts-have-closed-across-georgia-and-nation-since-court-ruling/  We can read more about this recent report of unfair access to the polls, then call our Representatives and demand more polling places for these overburdened areas. Public outcry has reopened closed polling sites and the past and we can do it again!

NC: DEMAND SPEAKER MOORE RESIGN FOR DISGRACEFUL CONDUCT:  From Act For Progress: The North Carolina House Republicans used the nation's day of mourning to call a surprise vote, after telling the Democrats there would be no votes in honor of September 11. While representatives were out at memorials, these Republicans overrode the Governor's veto of the budget, with nearly half the members absenthttps://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234962017.html Let’s call and demand NC Speaker Tim Moore resign in disgrace for this manipulation of a sacred day, lying to fellow legislators to override the Governor’ veto and utter dishonesty of his political scheme. Legislative: 919-733-3451 / Main: 704-739-1221 

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 also have access to this Climate Strike Arts Kit:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xwo8dPjzjJFNHLC-REojFTUBRTK1PrwOS5L4E-I4Hj0/mobilebasic?urp=gmail_link

WE THE PEOPLE MARCH: Nine days to go until the We The People March in Washington DC with many sister marches available too: 
https://www.wethepeoplemarch2019.org  Let’s get our bodies out in the streets to stand up for democracy.

READING/WATCHING

Students and Teachers Are Writing Wills in Case They Are Killed in a School Shooting - https://www.teenvogue.com/story/students-teachers-writing-wills-in-case-killed-school-shooting

What White Feminists Get Wrong about Black Women - https://www.patheos.com/blogs/steelmagnificat/2019/06/9246/


Trump denies asking Mulvaney to pressure federal agency on hurricane claims - https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/11/trump-mick-mulvaney-hurricane-dorian-claims-1489686

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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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