Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)
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White House contact: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
SCHIFF AND GRENELL: “House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff accused President Donald Trump's top intelligence official Tuesday of undermining "critical intelligence functions" by keeping Congress in the dark about organizational changes he's been implementing.” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/07/schiff-grenell-improper-overhaul-intel-community-172476 The last time there was a letter like this, it resulted in an impeachment. Let’s let Schiff know that we continue to support him: https://schiff.house.gov/contact
CALL CONGRESS TO ADOPT US OF CARE RECOMMENDATIONS: As Congress starts putting together more legislation to deal with the ongoing Coronavirus crisis The United States of Care, has 5 key recommendations for our Representatives to implement. 1) Treat front line workers as a protected class during this crisis. 2) Provide Americans the financial resources to stay at home and survive job loss, if needed. 3) Financially support health care institutions and protect individuals against surprise billing and large out of pocket costs. 4) Protect our most vulnerable, especially those with chronic conditions, living in close quarters and seniors. 5) Respond fully to pressing medical and public health Infrastructure needs. We can read their key points here, https://unitedstatesofcare.org/covid-19/summary-comprehensive-congressional-proposal-covid-1 , or check them out in more detail here, https://unitedstatesofcare.org/resources/united-states-care-covid-19-policy-agenda/ then call our legislators (202) 224-3121, and ask them include these key points in their legislation.
2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign, leaving Vice President Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-sanders/sanders-drops-out-of-u-s-election-race-setting-up-biden-battle-with-trump-idUSKCN21Q2AM Let’s take a moment to thank Senator Sanders for calling for unity in defeating Trump: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact and let’s support Biden’s campaign as we are able: https://joebiden.com/
TRUMP THREATENS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO): Threatening to pull the US funding that provides almost a quarter of the assessed contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO), Trump accused the WHO of being “China-centric” and of “missing the call” and identifying the coronavirus danger too late: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/07/829244345/trump-criticizes-who-and-threatens-to-pull-u-s-funding Given that Trump himself “missed the call” in January when his advisor Peter Navarro warned him-- https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/491490-trump-adviser-warned-of-coronavirus-threat-in-january –his capacity to blame others for the pandemic is breathtaking. Let’s make it crystal clear to the White House that his disinformation campaign is failing.
SAFETY AND SUPPORT FOR SUPERMARKET EMPLOYEES: The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and Albertson Companies (owner of Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel Osco, Pavilions, and more) are advocating together for getting “extended first responder” or “emergency personnel” status for supermarket workers. These designations will ensure that these workers are “prioritized for testing and provided personal protection equipment during the coronavirus outbreak.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/07/business/more-grocery-store-workers-die-employees-call-better-protection/ and https://www.albertsonscompanies.com/helping-you-through-covid-19/albertsons-companies-ucfw-launch-joint-effort.html Let’s contact our Members of Congress, our governors, and our state legislators and tell them that these workers are risking their lives to feed America, and we want them to be given the temporary designation of “extended first responder” or “emergency personnel” so they can get the protections they deserve from the coronavirus.
REPUBLICANS CHALLENGE VOTER ACCESS: According to the Washington Post, “President Trump and a growing number of Republican leaders are aggressively challenging efforts to make voting easier as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts elections, accusing Democrats of opening the door to fraud — and, in some cases, admitting fears that expanded voting access could politically devastate the GOP”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-gop-challenge-efforts-to-make-voting-easier-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/2020/04/04/61f889fe-75bb-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed an election overhaul plan, the need for which has become more than apparent since the pandemic: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/07/829320440/sen-elizabeth-warren-calls-for-national-voting-overhaul and https://medium.com/@SenWarren/protecting-our-elections-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-efd3da6dbcaf Let’s urge our MoCs to take up—and take seriously—this plan.
RACIAL DISPARITIES/COVID-19: As the nation continues its path towards the peak of COVID-19 cases, we are seeing black Americans contracting and dying from the virus at vastly disproportionate rates to white Americans (https://lat.ms/2XlRUqO, https://bit.ly/2UUVyGG). While some of the disparity can be attributed to the fact that many black people hold jobs that are now deemed essential, some additional factors include a lack of health insurance, inaccessibility of testing, underlying health conditions, and racial bias in the medical system. In order to address the many layers of systemic racism that have led to the deaths of so many black Americans, we must begin by collecting racial and ethnic data at all levels. Let's read through this letter sent by Senators Warren, Harris, and Booker and Congresswomen Pressley and Kelly, then join them in contacting Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. We can tell him that data must be tracked and reported immediately, to ensure that physicians and other health workers can work to mitigate racial disparities in the short term, while policy makers work to address systemic racism in the long term: Phone: 877-696-6775/202-690-7000, Mailing address: The Honorable Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201, E-mail: Secretary@HHS.gov
RACIAL DISPARITIES/COVID-19: The coronavirus is disproportionately impacting communities of color. For those of us who are white and therefore hold some amount of privilege and power, even during a pandemic, it is time to take action. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) has published a piece that details five specific actions we can take: 1.) Join a local group, 2.) Support community decarceration efforts, 3.) Interrupt racist stories about who is to blame, 4.) Protect elections, 5.) Participate in a Mutual Aid project or fund. Let's pick at least one action from the list, then use the resources that SURJ has provided to get involved: https://medium.com/@surj_action/5-anti-racist-actions-for-white-people-to-take-during-covid-19-1439e92696b3
COVID ASSISTANCE FOR TRIBAL NATIONS: From one of our own: The effects of the pandemic are not being experienced equally. Among other communities of color, native communities are not getting the equipment or resources that they need, in spite of being very vulnerable due to unequal access to health care, and poverty-driven health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Recognize that these are results of colonial harm. This is not the first time indigenous communities have been traumatized by global pandemic resulting from colonial power. While the COVID numbers surge, we cannot let history repeat itself. Please do all that you can to equalize the impacts. Thank you Christine Nobiss and Seeding Sovereignty for your work. Let’s tell our MoCs and sign here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sign-the-petition-to-congress-covid-19-demand-that-congress-expedite-funds-and-resources-to-tribal-nations
TELL CONGRESS TO FULLY ADDRESS DISABILTY CONCERNS IN NEXT COVID-19 BILL: Concern is growing that the needs of the disabled community during this crisis are not being sufficiently addressed, or even entirely left out in upcoming legislation. In response, a disability rights coalition, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Little Lobbyists, Autistic Self Advocacy Network and more, has come up with a list of key points for Congress to fully address in the next bill. We can read the key points here, then call our legislators to demand they act now to support and protect our fellow American with disabilities in the next COVID-19 bill: https://littlelobbyists.org/blog/2020/3/20/little-lobbyists-statement-disability-community-asks-for-covid-19-legislation
PROTECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS: Republican officials in multiple states are taking advantage of this pandemic to crack down on access to abortion. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/politics/coronavirus-abortion-texas-ohio/index.html Text Troop is reaching out to engage pro-choice voters about these attacks on women's rights. Let's sign up to join them here: https://www.openprogress.com/text-troop.
TRUMP GETS RID OF OVERSIGHT HEAD: In a typical move, Trump got rid of the Defense Department’s acting inspector general, Glenn Fine, who was chosen by the committee to head the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee; he did this by demoting Fine to deputy inspector general of Defense and replacing him as acting inspector general of Defense with Sean W. O'Donnell, the undoubtedly more friendly EPA inspector general: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/829136780/in-another-pushback-against-oversight-trump-removes-pandemic-inspector-general Two things are clear: first, the danger of the many, many “acting” positions Trump controls and, second, the powerlessness of the Accountability Committee, which Trump has already publicly dismissed: https://www.govexec.com/oversight/2020/03/trump-objects-pandemic-spending-oversight-congress-and-igs-still-have-authority/164219/ Congress must fight back and demand neutral oversight of our trillions of dollars, and we must demand that our MoCs act.
RESIST AND SPEAK OUT AGAINST ENCROACHING DICTATORSHIP: While we have all been stressing out about COVID-19, Trump has fired two Inspector Generals, Michael Atkinson, who brought the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s inappropriate dealings in the Ukraine to Congress’s attention, and Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general of the Pentagon, who was assigned to monitor the government’s spending under the recent $2 trillion CARES Act. Trump blatantly admitted that Atkinson’s firing was in retaliation for bringing the complaint to Congress, which he is required to do by law, and speculation is that Fine was removed because he has a reputation for taking his job seriously, and “might be the kind of guy who will make trouble.” https://www.lawfareblog.com/why-trumps-inspector-general-purge-not-national-scandal. Let’s ask our MoCs what they will pledge to do to make sure that there is effective and impartial oversight of the CARES Act, and ask them to hold hearings on these inappropriate actions.
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE: On Monday, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) began work on the Keystone XL pipeline extension, which is set to run through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska (https://bit.ly/2VdEpH6). Native American tribes have repeatedly spoken out against the pipeline, its threat to the environment, and its violation of treaties and tribal law. Let's revisit these explainers on the pipeline from the Natural Resources Defense Council: https://on.nrdc.org/2UUyHuJ, https://on.nrdc.org/2xd19Pq Then, let's support the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and tell Montana governor Steve Bullock that while the risks posed by the pipeline itself are unacceptable, constructing a pipeline during a pandemic is unconscionable and we want all construction to be halted immediately. We can use this form letter from the Sierra Club, or contact Governor Bullock directly: By mail: Office of the Governor, PO Box 20080, Helena MT 59620-0801, By phone: 406-444-3111, Toll Free: 855-318-1330, Fax: 406-444-5529
MASHPEE WAMPANOAG: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has ordered that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's reservation be disestablished and the land to be taken out of trust (https://wbur.fm/2wCaqAp). The action could have far-reaching consequences, not only in requiring the tribe to pay back taxes, close its court and police department, and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's complete inability to decide how to regulate its own land and natural resources, but it could also mean that the Interior Secretary could disestablish any tribe's land on a whim (https://wbur.fm/2UvU8lM). Members of the House, including Massachusetts congressional delegation, have sent a letter to Senators McConnell and Schumer, asking them to pass the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (H.R. 312) and a bill to amend the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act and broaden which tribes can be federally recognized (H.R. 375) (https://bit.ly/39QyJrB). Let's contact these senators, as well as our own, and tell them that we also want the bills to be brought to the Senate floor immediately. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: 322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, Phone: (202) 224-6542, Fax: (202) 228-3027. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, Phone: (202) 224-2541, Fax: (202) 224-2499
PROTEST CROWDED IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTERS AND SEND MESSAGES OF HOPE TO INMATES: While local and state law enforcement has been exercising their right to release large numbers of non-violent inmates to avoid overcrowding in prisons and maximize the ability to maintain social distancing, immigration detention centers remain crowded. The only “accommodations” that ICE has made has been to cut down on all visitors, making the lives of these people, the majority of whom have committed no crime except for being in the country without documentation, even more hopeless. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article241681601.html. Amnesty International has started a campaign called “Hope Can’t Be Quarantined,” which asks people to write letters and send inspirational messages of hope to people in detention. We can find out more and download their toolkit here. Let’s also keep putting pressure on our MoCs and on the Department of Homeland Security to release immigrant detainees. (DHS: 202-282-8495; DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov; https://homelandsecurity.ideascale.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homelandsecurity/; Twitter: @DHS.gov)
ADVERTISING ON FOX NEWS: From Sleeping Giants: In 2017, Liberty Mutual Insurance assured us their ads would never run on The O'Reilly Factor after we asked them not to sponsor a sexual harasser. In 2018, Liberty Mutual stopped advertising with Laura Ingraham after she used her show on Fox News to bully Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. "These comments are inconsistent with our values as a company, especially when it comes to treating others with dignity and respect,' they said in a statement. Today, we're reaching out to Liberty Mutual once again to ask them to stop running ads on Fox News entirely, as the channel pushes dangerous and lethal misinformation about COVID-19." We can contact Liberty Mutual CMO Jenna Lebel via email at email@example.com. Sleeping Giants has an email template we can use here.
FREE NYT SELF-QUARANTINE RECIPES: the NYT subscription Cooking section is free right now and offering recipes and ideas for quarantine cooking. Let’s check it out and see if we can add an interesting new meal while we SIP. https://cooking.nytimes.com/topics/self-quarantine-recipes
AUDIBLE HARRY POTTER FREE: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1), read by Stephen Fry, is free on audible. Let’s listen to it for the first time or again. We can find it here: https://stories.audible.com/pdp/B017V54W6O?ref_=pe_25733880_489583850
MOST: VOTE BY MAIL: Several states now allow voting by mail, but given the current pandemic it is becoming clearer that we need to make this in option in every state and for every election. It could be done on the national level, but voting is currently a state matter. Washington and Oregon utilize vote by mail successfully. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/holding-elections-amid-coronavirus-states-look-to-washingtons-vote-by-mail-system/ and https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2020/03/opinion-oregons-vote-by-mail-system-a-model-for-virus-proof-elections.html Let’s tell our state senators, representatives, and election officials that we want them to make this happen in time for the November election, if not before.
MA: CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS: Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for federal assistance such as FEMA or unemployment benefits, and their fear of ICE too often prevents them from seeking assistance for which they may be eligible. There are about 250,000 undocumented immigrants living and working in Massachusetts. Let’s read about MassUndocuFund, a relief effort to benefit undocumented pandemic victims, and consider donating: https://www.massundocufund.org/
DIGITAL RALLY FRIDAY: “We want to show our lawmakers and media outlets that we can join our voices to raise awareness and compel change…while still adhering to local stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations. We can only do this with your help!” DemCast and Indivisible PA is sponsoring a digital rally tomorrow, Friday, April 10 on Facebook and Twitter, 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST. Let’s check here to see how to join in: http://www.patogether.org/trumps-covid-fails.html
Is the Wisconsin Election an Omen of Things to Come? - https://politicalcharge.org/2020/04/07/is-the-wisconsin-election-an-omen-of-things-to-come/
Nancy Pelosi Named JFK Profile In Courage Recipient - https://www.wbur.org/news/2019/04/07/nancy-pelosi-jfk-profile-in-courage
This Is Trump’s Fault: The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures - https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/americans-are-paying-the-price-for-trumps-failures/609532/
Who Poisoned Talk Radio? - https://sojo.net/magazine/may-2020/who-poisoned-talk-radio
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