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5/21/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

Fax legislators for free:

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



ASK CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO FOR MISUSE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS: In addition to the controversial Saudi Arms sales, and the recent firing of the State Department Inspector General, new reports have surfaced that Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo used taxpayer money to hold fancy dinners with a variety of business executives  and media influencers, ostensibly in preparation for a future political run. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/05/20/pompeo-scrutinized-for-lavish-government-funded-dinners-with-business-media-figures/#219067903a39. Let’s ask the House Oversight Committee and Office of Government Ethics for an immediate investigation and let’s demand Pompeo’s resignation.  

HEROES ACT:  We know that Trump and the majority of the Senate are against approving the House-passed Heroes Act and for a variety of reasons.  Workers, families, and states are still in dire need of support due to COVID-19.  The House bill reflects that need.  https://www.newsweek.com/heroes-act-stimulus-checks-stall-senate-dems-gop-clash-urgency-1505332  Let’s tell our senators that real people need real help and that our state’s budget is taking a beating and could use the same level of help that some corporations and industries received. 

TELL CONGRESS TO STOP THE FIRING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT INSPECTOR GENERAL: Trump’s latest firing of State Department Inspector General Stephen Linnick is another step on the dangerous path to dictatorship. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/15/state-department-inspector-general-fired-261536. Since law requires a 30-day notice before the firing actually takes place, Democrats in Congress should stop tweeting about how terrible this is and actually do something. Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, has a long list of ideas of things Congress can do. For starters, they can hold a hearing with the IG, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other related witnesses and blitz the media with the inappropriateness of this action. They can also take further action by threatening budget cuts until Linnick and Atkinson, the IG involved in the Ukraine crisis, are reinstated. Let’s look at Walter Shaub’s list, here, and then let’s demand that our MoCs take action. The future of our democracy depends on oversight. 

INSPECTORS GENERAL PROTECTION:  In recent weeks, the Trump administration has removed one inspector general after another from their positions. In comments to the press, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described inspectors general as "serving at the pleasure of the President," making it clear they simply don't understand the importance of having an independent watchdog for the public (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/20/politics/pompeo-press-conference/index.html). Senator Chris Murphy and Rep. Jim Cooper have proposed the Inspectors General Independence Act (H.R. 6668) to protect inspectors general from being removed without real cause (https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/492095-two-democrats-roll-out-bill-to-protect-inspectors-general-from-politically). Let's contact our MoCs and tell them to support it.

CENSURE TRUMP FOR WITHOLDING THREAT AND INSIST ON UNIVERSAL RIGHT TO VOTE BY MAIL: Trump is threatening to withhold funds from Michigan and Nevada, two states with Democrat governors for sending applications for absentee ballots to their registered voters, with the bogus accusation of encouraging voter fraud. Several states with Republican governors, such as Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia, have also sent their voters absentee ballot applications, and Maryland, which has a Republican governor, is actually sending everyone absentee ballots. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-threatens-cut-michigan-nevada-funding-mail-in-voting/. Let’s call out Trump for his disgusting bullying in making voters choose between their health and their right to vote in our local newspapers and demand that Congress pass S3562, The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020. And let’s contact our own governor and ask them to follow the lead of these states in making sure everyone who wants one has easy access to an absentee ballot. 

SAVE THE POST OFFICE, SAVE THE ELECTION—PART I: Voting by mail is emerging as the best way for us to have a safe and secure election during the coronavirus pandemic. But there won’t be any voting by mail without the USPS. Unless Washington intervenes, the USPS will run out of operating funds by September. Trump says he’ll veto any bill that includes aid to the USPS. https://www.axios.com/trump-postal-service-squeeze-f08faad5-c1ec-43f9-b851-04c88ab3b6bb.html Let’s pressure our Members of Congress to fully fund the USPS and provide the resources necessary to vote by mail in November.
  
SAVE THE POST OFFICE, SAVE THE ELECTION—PART II: The US Postal Service enjoys a 90% public approval rating. But, inexplicably, the Trump/Republican regime is refusing to rescue it from running out of operating funds before September 2020. https://fortune.com/2020/04/27/usps-bailout-biden-trump/ The USPS is an essential part of our elections’ infrastructure, and its demise would kill our ability to safely vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. We need a drumbeat of media coverage of this state of affairs. Let’s contact one or more of the following and tell them to give this issue the urgent attention it deserves: our local TV news stations, local newspapers, regional newspapers-of-record, our favorite columnists, our local NPR stations, our favorite national newspapers. Contact info can be found through google searches.

TELL TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES TO STOP PARTICIPATING IN DEPORTATIONS: The group, Witness at the Border has been reporting that despite COVID, deportation flights to Central America are leaving every day from the airport in Brownsville, Texas. Over one hundred people deported to El Salvador have subsequently been killed, and many of those deported have tested positive for COVID, increasing the incidence of disease in these countries. The flights are arranged by Classic Air Charter and their subcontractors, and deportees are brought to the airport on TrailBoss buses. The Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice has launched a letter-writing campaign to all of these companies. Let’s check out their letter templates here, contact these companies, and share this campaign with our friends and networks. 

NAVAJO NATION HIGHEST RATE OF COVID PER CAPITA:  With only a fraction of the population, the Navajo Nation is now reporting more coronavirus cases per capita than New York, one of the initial epicenters of the outbreak in the United States.  https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/diversity-inclusion/498517-navajo-nation-under-strict-lockdown-with-highest  The Navajo Nation needs medical and community items as well as monetary donations.  Let’s ask out MoCs what they are doing about this.  We can also check out the list of items and/or donate at this site:  https://www.nndoh.org/donate.html

Correction:  GHOST GUNS:  3D-printed "ghost guns" are currently going largely unregulated - they don't meet the current legal definition of a firearm, which means they're not required to have serial numbers and you can purchase them or the kits to make them without being subject to gun control laws currently on the books.  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/14/senate-democratsghost-guns-256968  Democratic senators have introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act (S. 3743) to make sure these weapons have serial numbers and to keep them out of the hands of violent felons and domestic abusers. Let's contact our members of Congress and tell them to support the bill, and share this video from Giffords to spread the word about untraceable guns.

TELL ICE TO STOP USING COVID-19 TO FORCE FAMILY SEPARATIONS: ICE is taking advantage of COVID-19 by asking detained parents to sign a form that would allow children to be separated from them, released from detention, while their parents remain detained indefinitely.  https://www.newsweek.com/ice-accused-using-coronavirus-crisis-launch-family-separation-2-0-1505156 Immigrant families detained by ICE at the Berks, Dilley and Karnes detention centers have been asked to decide between indefinite detention and risk contagion by COVID-19 or risk being separated from their children. This cruel, disturbing and inhumane policy must stop now. We can click this link to email the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, and urge him to release these families during this pandemic: https://www.raicestexas.org/2020/05/18/action-to-email-secretary-wolf/

NURSES STILL AT RISK:  The National Nurses United conducted a survey of more than 23,000 union and non-union nurses across all 50 states and Washington DC about their working conditions between 15 April and 10 May; they found that 84% of nurses had not been tested for Covid-19, 87% are forced to reuse single-use personal protective equipment, and 72% of nurses have exposed skin or clothing while treating coronavirus patients:  https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/new-survey-results and https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/20/survey-finds-87-of-americas-nurses-are-forced-to-reuse-protective-equipment  Let’s demand that our MoCs mandate protection for these—and all—“essential” workers, or we can sign the Union of Concerned Scientists’ letter in support of the Every Worker Protection Act (H.R.6559) here:  https://secure.ucsusa.org/onlineactions/fvDDUmBr_UaOkchYfZK8Mw2

KANSAS SENATE RACE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT:  Democrats are looking competitive in seats across the country as we work to take back the Senate in November - including some unexpected opportunities. Republicans are desperately trying to recruit Mike Pompeo to run for the Senate in Kansas, with former Secretary of State and notorious anti-voting rights and anti-immigrant extremist Kris Kobach looking like a strong contender for the Republican nod and Democratic state senator Barbara Bollier outraising the GOP field as  a credible challenger. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/14/mcconnell-pompeo-kansas-senate-255451 Let's show Barbara our support by signing up to volunteer or donating to her campaign.

ELECTION/VOTING

2020 ELECTION CALENDAR: This resource is searchable by date and state -  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2020-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

REMINDER:   Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely--we don't want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’s check how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state's latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State

#VOTEPROCHOICE GEORGIA VOTER GUIDE: Georgia’s primary election is on June 9.  #VoterProChoice has issued their voter guide.  Let’s check it out: https://www.voteprochoice.us/voter-guide  We can also use their social media toolkit:  https://www.voteprochoice.us/partner-toolkit/

GET OUT THE VOTE POSTCARD GOUPS:  From one of our own:  Let’s use this list to find groups with whom we can get involved in getting postcards out to voters encouraging them to vote:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTd9UmW__Zqj89o4Df8qYhLOK5dimPxreYvGhM97wZ-l2Cj8DcfRD3a-JAJrQbgiIaB3kKOj525G9ul/pub?urp=gmail_link

STATE/LOCAL

ALL:  SAVE THE POST OFFICE, SAVE THE ELECTION PART III:  The US Postal Service is under two threats: (1) without help from Congress and the White House, it will be financially insolvent by September 2020; and (2) its Board of Governors is now almost completely controlled by Trump appointees. Trump, and the Republican party generally, is notoriously hostile to the USPS. https://www.axios.com/trump-postal-service-squeeze-f08faad5-c1ec-43f9-b851-04c88ab3b6bb.html Let’s contact our Secretaries of State  and our State Legislators   and tell them to (1) put heavy pressure on Washington to fund the USPS and keep it fully functioning for all Americans, and (2) develop contingency plans for safe, secure distance voting in November in case Trump and his Republican collaborators succeed in killing the Post Office.

CAPROTECT VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES LIVING NEAR POLLUTING OIL DRILLING SITES: Research shows that COVID-19 is heavily impacting communities living in high pollution areas. The cost of living in close proximity to oil and gas wells include risk of cancer, asthma, and preterm birth, but also risk of water contamination, oil spills and explosions. Now more than ever is the time to take steps to protect communities living near oil drilling sites. Assembly Bill 345 seeks to do just that.  Passing AB345 will create health and safety buffer zones by requiring a minimum setback distance between dangerous and hazardous oil and gas extraction wells and homes, schools, daycares, playgrounds, hospitals, and health clinics.  The passage of AB 345 will bring us closer to protecting children and families from the hazards of living near an oil and gas well. We can click here to find our Senator’s number, with key talking points to urge them to vote YES on AB345 and protect our community from the hazards of living near an oil and gas well:

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

TWITTERSTORM FOR VA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE VANGIE WILLIAMS TODAY: Twitter Warriors is doing a Twitterstorm for Virginia Congressional candidate Vangie Williams TODAY, Thursday May 21 at 8p.m. EST. Williams was the nominee in 2018, but did not win the seat, and is now running in the primary on June 23.  We can find out more about the primary on Ballotpedia here: https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_1st_Congressional_District_election,_2020_(June_23_Democratic_primary), read more about Vangie here:  https://ballotpedia.org/Vangie_Williams and on her webpage:
https://vangieforcongress.com/  If we decide to give Vangie our support, we can click here to find prewritten tweets to send out with just a few clicks:  https://t.co/r7dvJE49DS?amp=1

WEBINAR ON REGISTERING VOTERS DURING THE PANDEMIC:  National Voter Registration Day and Nonprofit Vote are hosting a webinar on Friday, May 22. The topic is “Navigating the new urgency and tactics around voter registration.” Let’s register and learn how we can help:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vdMvs1fiRmKB-qwHsYF_sw

ACLU SMART JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WEBINAR:  The ACLU Smart Justice campaign has decided to host a digital day of action titled “Uniting for Pretrial Reform” in May. It will be online, and it will be throughout the day on May 27th. Some of the sessions include a Q&A with ACLU staff, a tele-townhall with multiple legislators (on the topic of pretrial reform), a storytelling panel in the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be multiples ways to engage our elected officials.  Here’s a registration link to sign up! https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1415859446055/WN_Wb92iZkTRGmkTJlHepNcIg  We want to make sure that people feel their voices can be heard even during this new normal phase we currently we find ourselves in and that we advocate for the most vulnerable of us.  

MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING




The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus - https://www.propublica.org/article/the-trump-administration-is-rushing-deportations-of-migrant-children-during-coronavirus

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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


5/19/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

Fax legislators for free:

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



CONTINUED FIRING OF INSPECTORS GENERAL:  Trump continued a spree of firing Inspectors General on Friday evening with the firing of State Department IG Steve Linick who was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It was first thought that Linick was exploring possible misuse of staff time but on Monday the news broke that Pompeo might have pushed through a Saudi arms deal that Congress had objected to:  https://apnews.com/f51c0e82de0f10a9b7eb0dc53f1533d7  Let’s remind our MoC that their job includes oversight of the President and that allowing firing of Inspectors General at the pace that Trump has been going is a complete abdication of their duties.  Let’s also sign this from Project On Government Oversight demanding that “Congress must pass protections for Inspectors General now so a President can't just fire an IG because he feels like it.” https://pogo.quorum.us/campaign/25669/ 

TELL SENATORS TO SUPPORT IMMIGRANT JUSTICE PROVISIONS IN THE HEROES ACT: The latest coronavirus relief bill, the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives contains a number of provisions that would help immigrants, a population that has been left out of the previous relief bills. The act would “shield unauthorized immigrants working in essential fields from deportation and make them eligible for federal stimulus funds as well as clear the way for more foreign health care workers to help fight coronavirus in the US. It would also deliver additional health care benefits to immigrants who are eligible for Medicaid and require immigration authorities to release people from immigration detention where possible.”https://www.vox.com/2020/5/15/21257361/heroes-act-coronavirus-bill-immigrants. However, it still does not help to reinstate due process for refugees stranded at the now-closed border who are trying to claim asylum. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it’s being proclaimed dead on arrival. However, the Senate will be under pressure to craft their own legislation, so let’s make sure to tell our Senators that we want to see these provisions along with due process for asylum-seekers included in their next relief bill.  

COVID RELIEF FOR FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY?  “Fossil fuel companies and coal-powered utilities in the US are set for a potential bonanza under federal government plans for a bond bailout, part of the rescue package for the coronavirus crisis.” 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/12/us-fossil-fuel-companies-coronavirus-bailout-oil-coal-fracking-giants-bond-scheme  Let’s tell our MoCs that this is not what we had in mind for relief for companies; mom and pop companies really need this help.  Let’s also tell our senators to cosponsor the Resources for Workforce Investments, not Drilling Act (S. 3611).  We can also sign this:  https://actionnetwork.org/letters/rewind-fossil-fuel-bailouts

BLOCK EXTREMIST & UNQUALIFIED JUDGES:  “For all the extravagant projects of the Donald Trump presidency, and for all its flamboyance and bluster, his makeover of the judiciary – a quieter project that has been ratcheted forward by a network of quieter people – may prove to have the longest and most far-reaching impacts on the daily lives of Americans.”  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/28/donald-trump-judges-create-new-conservative-america-republicans  Let’s use this guide from Suit Up Maine to learn about some of these nominees and follow the call to action with our own senators and in our own circles:  https://www.suitupmaine.org/extremist-judicial-appointments/

EMERGENCY COMMUNITY SUPERVISION ACT:  Our failure to adequately protect vulnerable populations behind bars from coronavirus is costing lives. Last month, Andrea Circle Bear, a 30-year-old woman serving a 26-month sentence, died from COVID-19 in federal  custody just weeks after giving birth while on a ventilator (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/federal-inmate-who-gave-birth-while-ventilator-dies-coronavirus-n1194946). House Democrats have included a measure to protect people like Andrea in their version of the next relief package - the Emergency Community Supervision Act (S. 3579/H.R. 6400), which mandates the release of inmates who are pregnant, have underlying health issues and are 50 or older and limits the use of pretrial detention and in-person supervised release. Let's join the ACLU in calling on Congress to make sure these provisions are part of the final version of any future coronavirus relief bill.

PROTEST ICE’S RENEWED FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY: With calls and court orders for ICE to release children more quickly to avoid ongoing violation of the Flores Act, which mandates that children be held for no more than 20 days, ICE is now giving families in detention the option of releasing their children or staying together in detention indefinitely. Due to COVID concerns, many families are taking the option to save their children, even if it means not knowing if they will ever see them again. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/family-separation-back-migrants-u-s-mexican-border-say-advocates-n1208186. This is beyond cruel and it must be stopped. All detainees who do not pose a risk to public safety should be released immediately and children should be kept with their families. Let’s demand that our MoCs do something about this immediately.   

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico has been hit with several environmental disasters including devastating hurricanes and earthquakes, and have received inadequate support from the federal government. The island has been neglected, and therefore unable to recover after each crisis. Now, they have been hit with the Covid-19 pandemic, and no stimulus money until June, leaving many residents unable to provide food for their families. https://www.npr.org/2020/05/13/854734386/mam-im-still-hungry-in-puerto-rico-child-hunger-becomes-a-flashpoint  Let's get in touch with each of our MoC and tell them that our treatment of the U.S. territory and its people is abhorrent; we need them to prioritize funding and support for Puerto Rico and to work with its government officials to ensure that Puerto Ricans receive the support that they need.

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH:  On Saturday evening, President Obama gave a commencement address for high school seniors all across the country who are not able to participate in their high school and college graduations:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta5anRPf8rQ Earlier in the day, he gave another version of the speech to the historically black college and university (HBCU) graduates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spIxSlUPVRc Let’s take a look if we haven’t seen them already and take a moment to thank President Obama for his stirring words: https://barackobama.com/contact/   or P.O. Box 91000, Washington, DC 20066

DEMAND THAT MCDONALD’S PROVIDE PAID SICK AND FAMILY LEAVE: ACLU People Power is instigating a campaign to demand that McDonald’s provide paid sick and family leave to their employees, so that they’re not faced with the hard choice of coming to work when they or their loved ones may be experiencing COVID symptoms. We need to tell McDonald’s that their currently policies are not only dangerous to their workers; they’re dangerous to the people they serve. Let’s call McDonald’s Now. ACLU has the phone number and a call script here. 

GHOST GUNS:  3D-printed "ghost guns" are currently going largely unregulated - they don't meet the current legal definition of a firearm, which means they're not required to have serial numbers and you can purchase them or the kits to make them without being subject to gun control laws currently on the books.  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/14/senate-democratsghost-guns-256968  Democratic senators have introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act (S. 3743) to make sure these weapons have serial numbers and to keep them out of the hands of violent felons and domestic abusers. Let's contact our members of Congress and tell them to support the bill, and share this video from Giffords to spread the word about untraceable guns.

PROTECT THE APPARENTLY EXPENDABLE PEOPLE WHO PERFORM “ESSENTIAL” WORK:  Unbeknownst to most of us, striking sanitation workers gathered outside the New Orleans headquarters of Metro Service Group, a waste disposal company that has a $10.7 million annual contract with the city to collect trash, to demand hazard pay and protective gear during the pandemic; after they were fired, a major city vendor signed a deal to replace them with prison labor at a lesser wage:  https://www.nola.com/news/coronavirus/article_336a7742-93d3-11ea-a344-1bdefd47e647.html  We can join our voices to theirs and demand that ALL “essential” workers be protected: Metro Service Group, 504-520-8331 or 9641 Old Gentilly Rd, New Orleans, LA 70127.  Then, let’s make sure our local workers are getting what they need, too.

STAY SAFE: With many places reopening despite the fact that there is no cure for COVID, it is important to know the risks. Here’s a good, accessible piece by an immunologist with real tips on how to stay as safe as we can given the circumstances:  https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them  Let’s read and share with family and friends. 

HARVARD ETHICS CENTER PUBLISHES GUIDE TO SAFE REOPENING: As states and cities feel increased pressure to reopen, there is a pressing need to do so safely and not trigger a massive second wave of Coronvirus in our communities. To aid and advise these reopenings, Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, has released a new report, “Pandemic Resilience: Getting it Done.” We can click here to find detailed guidance on the levels of testing and tracing needed to reopen different communities across the US, based on disease levels in distinct locales., then ask our state and local communities to apply these guidelines to keep us safe. https://www.pandemictesting.org/  We can also check out their earlier report on the same site, the  “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” which calls for massively scaled up programs of testing, tracing and supported isolation (TTSI) as a means to safely re-open the U.S. economy after COVID-19 closures.

USE WHO APPS TO PREVENT, CONTROL AND MANAGE COVID-19:  The world Health Organization (WHO) has launched 2 different COVID-19 smartphone apps for healthcare workers and the general public. The WHO Academy app provides health workers with information on COVID-19 resources and guidance developed by the WHO as well as training and virtual workshops to support efforts to care for COVID-19 patients safely and effectively. A survey of healthcare workers found that many felt that they lacked sufficient information about infection prevention and control measures (including the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and case management. The WHO Info app is designed to provide updated and accurate COVID-19 information to the general public as well as details on WHO efforts to combat COVID-19. We can learn more about these apps here, then download them on for Apple or Android devices. We can also share this info with healthcare workers and friends on social media:  https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-05-2020-launch-of-the-who-academy-and-the-who-info-mobile-applications

POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITIES:  From one of our own:  As always, I hope these make speaking your truths a bit easier. Please use/share/distribute as you see fit:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hcJ3MxkpewKbggHSS_P5jSim7AZyxB0MvnnumC9jKEA/edit

ELECTION/VOTING

REMINDER:   Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely--we don't want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’s check how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state's latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State

COVID AS AN ELECTION ISSUE:  “Americans should oust President Trump from the White House and elect a leader who will support – rather than undermine – public health experts who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic, British medical journal The Lancet says in a newly published editorial.”  https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/15/856733300/replace-trump-and-bolster-the-cdc-a-leading-medical-journal-urges  Let’s digest this info from this prestigious source and add it to our rationale for support the Democratic candidate. 

FLORIDA VOTING RIGHTS RESTORATION:  When Florida passed a ballot initiative restoring the vote for formerly incarcerated people in 2018, it was considered the biggest victory for voting rights in decades. But Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican legislators have undermined it by insisting that folks pay all court-related fines, fees and restitution before they can have their rights back - and then failing to set up the system they promised to allow them to do it or to get relief if they can't afford it.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-florida-felons-must-pay-court-debts-before-they-can-vote-but-with-no-system-to-do-so-many-have-found-it-impossible/2020/05/13/08ed05be-906f-11ea-9e23-6914ee410a5f_story.html If we're in Florida, let's contact Governor DeSantis and our legislators and demand they do what they promised and set up a system so folks can determine what they owe and where it can be paid or get relief from these obligations. And all of us can donate to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition's fund to help returning citizens who can't afford it pay their fees and fines here.

GA SENATE RACE:  It's looking more and more like both Senate seats in Georgia are in play in November. After polling suggested that Senator David Perdue would be in a close fight with the Democratic frontrunner, the Cook Political Report changed their race rating from Likely Republican to Lean Republican (https://secure.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/56180). Investing in Georgia could help us flip the Senate and win the White House. Let's contribute to ActBlue's Georgia Senate Democratic nominee fund.

PA:  VOTE BY MAIL:  Pennsylvania’s primary is on June 2, due to COVID-10.  “Mail-in ballot applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 26, 2020. If a voter has already applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot, they do NOT need to reapply.”  Let’s make sure we get our mail-in ballot and vote:  https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx

VOTE BY MAIL IN FLORIDA: Organizing Together 2020:  https://organizing2020.com/ needs volunteers to call Floridians and get them signed up to vote by mail. The phone-calling takes place May 30. Let’s sign up to make calls:  https://www.mobilize.us/florida2020/event/272361/

OREGON PRIMARY TUESDAY:  Oregon is the only state with a primary remaining on Tuesday, May 19 after other states postponed theirs.  As of last week, turnout via mail voting was on track to reach the same high levels as 2016. (Source: The Oregonian). We can review the races and candidates at Ballotpedia.

HAWAII DEM PRES PRIMARY FRIDAY: The Democratic Party announced on March 20, 2020, that it would hold its primary election entirely by mail in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: Ballotpedia) If we are Hawaii voters, let's be sure to return our ballots by Friday, May 22. 

SUPPORT A TRUE BLUE DEM IN GA:  Postcards to Voters has just launched Campaign 200: Rhonda Taylor for Georgia State House, District 91. Incumbent Democrat Vernon Jones endorsed Donald Trump last month, then resigned, then retracted his resignation. (We can read more at The Hill.) This is a Democratic district; the winner of the primary will represent the district. Let's request 5 addresses to #ElectRhonda

ORGANIZING A LOCAL VOTER REGISTRATION POSTCARD CAMPAIGN: There are six basic steps to organizing a local postcard voter registration campaign: (1) deciding whom to target (for example, those in our municipality who will be 18 by Election Day); (2) getting a voter list and determining how many people to send postcards to; (3) ordering postcards and stamps; (4) recruiting volunteers; (5) writing up a script and instructions; (6) distributing materials to volunteers and following up with them. Often the sticking point is getting a voter list. The National Conference of State Legislatures has information on access to voter lists in all 50 states. Let’s see what our state requires and launch our own postcard voter registration drive in our own communities:  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/access-to-and-use-of-voter-registration-lists.aspx

STATE/LOCAL

ALL: GUIDANCE FOR OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN FRAMEWORK—The Trump administration tried to bury this, but the Associated Press got ahold of it and made it public. This is the CDC’s guidance for opening up America during the pandemic. Let’s send it to the decision-makers in our communities, at the town and city level all the way up to our Governors: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6889330-Guidance-for-Opening-Up-America-Again-Framework.html

ALL: HOSPITALS REFUSE TO DISCLOSE INFECTIONS AMONG WORKERS:  From cafeteria staff to doctors and nurses, hospital workers around the country report failures by management to notify them when they have been exposed to co-workers or patients known to be infected with COVID-19; while some medical centers trace the contacts of every infected patient and worker, alert them, and offer guidance, but others, by policy, do not contact workers who have been unknowingly exposed: https://khn.org/news/hospital-workers-complain-of-minimal-disclosure-after-covid-exposures/  We need to join the Health Professionals and Allied Employees and the SEIU by insisting that our local hospitals inform their workers if they (or by extension, their families--and us all) are at risk.

SD: INDIGENOUS RIGHTS: Governor Kristi Noem is continuing to fight against Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe leaders (https://cnn.it/2LCKTuD). Meanwhile, the Oglala Sioux Tribe ordered a temporary lockdown after two residents tested positive for Covid-19. Let's contact the governor and tell her that instead of focusing on checkpoints, she should be giving Lakota people the support they need to be prepared for Covid-19; we want her work with Lakota leaders to provide more test kits, PPE, hospital beds, and anything else that tribal leaders deem necessary: Mailing Address: Office of the Governor, 500 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, S.D. 57501, Phone Number: (605) 773-3212, Fax Number: (605) 773-4711, or Email here.

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

ACLU SMART JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WEBINAR:  The ACLU Smart Justice campaign has decided to host a digital day of action titled “Uniting for Pretrial Reform” in May. It will be online, and it will be throughout the day on May 27th. Some of the sessions include a Q&A with ACLU staff, a tele-townhall with multiple legislators (on the topic of pretrial reform), a storytelling panel in the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be multiples ways to engage our elected officials.  Here’s a registration link to sign up! https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1415859446055/WN_Wb92iZkTRGmkTJlHepNcIg  We want to make sure that people feel their voices can be heard even during this new normal phase we currently we find ourselves in and that we advocate for the most vulnerable of us.  

MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

'Something we've never seen before': Scientists still trying to understand baffling, unpredictable coronavirus - https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/05/18/coronavirus-symptoms-lung-damage-why-covid-19-virus-is-so-contagious/5206229002/

Ousted whistleblower warns US is heading toward “darkest winter in modern history” - https://www.vox.com/2020/5/14/21258727/rick-bright-whistleblower-darkest-winter-modern-history

Coronavirus takes more than Native Americans' lives. Killing our elderly erases our culture - https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/coronavirus-takes-more-native-americans-lives-killing-our-elderly-erases-ncna1189761


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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





5/18/20

On Mondays, Rogan’s List features a listing of proposed rule and regulation changes that are currently accepting public comment.  Commenting is the way to show government agencies how we feel about these proposed changes. Our comments also become part of a record that will be reviewed by courts if and when a reg change is contested. Courts use comments to judge whether an agency is acting arbitrarily and capriciously.

    Organization

Closing Soon
Recent   
Section I - ICE, DHS, DOL, NLRB
Section II - everything environmental - EPA, BLM, DOE
Section III - Civil rights, housing, education, healthcare
Other: More on regulations (tracking the trackers/general information)  

(Note: After a couple of weeks items are moved from “Recent” and “Closing soon” into the Roman numeral sections. A note on regulatory processes: there are three stages - Notice, Proposed Rule, and Rule. There’s usually a time lag of a few months to a few years between them, and they must be published in the Federal Register before appearing on Regulations.gov. Comment time varies from 10 days to 2 months, sometimes with extensions.)

Probably most important the misnamed "Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science" is closing as is Coal Ash Disposal, there are a couple of days to sign up for the Consumer Product Safety Commission meeting on setting priorities for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.  Also closing - biometric data collection on undocumented immigrants. Also closing FEMA management of medical resources (this has been in the news a lot) and small but significant - redefining the word "healthy" on food to include more fat.



5/14/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

Fax legislators for free:

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



HEROES ACT – NEXT COVID RELIEF BILL: “Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that more relief spending by the government may be necessary to avoid a prolonged economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”  https://www.newsweek.com/extra-600-unemployed-workers-would-extended-under-democrats-heroes-act-proposal-1503786  The Heroes Act (not yet numbered), which may be voted on tomorrow in the House does just that.  Let’s tell our MoCs that we support this bill and the only changes to be made should help workers. 

TESTING FOR COVID:  The Trump White House’s insistent unpreparedness for the pandemic resulted in the lack of proper supplies, nationwide testing/tracing, and many more deaths than should have happened.  Even now, with the states each taking their own approach, we are way behind the rest of the world.  For example, Michigan is hoping to test 450,000 (of approx. 10 million people) in May. https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/michigan/2020/05/12/michigan-gov-whitmer-goal-is-to-test-450000-residents-for-virus-in-may/  While China was less than truthful at the beginning of this crisis, there was a small cluster of new cases in Wuhan over the weekend and now they’re planning to test eleven million people over the next ten days. https://reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN22N24F?  Let’s contact our MoCs and ask for stepped up nationwide testing and tracing to help us understand this and move on. 

DEMAND CDC REOPENING GUIDELINES BE USED AND THEIR COVERUP INVESTIGATED: Health experts and the CDC labored long and hard to come up with the best Guidelines for Reopening America while keeping as many of us as safe as possible under such circumstances, but the Trump Administration ignored it and hid it away from the American people. https://apnews.com/2f538853489ab577a8d57abc59e2c112
Fortunately, the entire document has been leaked to the Associated Press and we can read it here:  https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6889330/Guidance-for-Opening-Up-America-Again-Framework.pdf  After reading  the CDC Guidelines for Reopening America, let’s call our MoCs to demand implementation and an investigation into why and how this life saving plan was shelved.  Let’s also ask our local officials to adopt these recommendations, since we can no longer rely on the federal government to act on them.

OIL AND GAS BAILOUTS:  The Trump administration is taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to try to bolster the fossil fuel industry, calling for a bailout of oil and gas companies. https://www.ajc.com/blog/jamie-dupree/airline-bailout-begins-trump-urges-aid-for-oil-and-gas-industry/vGY2n2LUTdX4i5J5MBN1IM/  Federal assistance should be going to help out folks who've lost their jobs, not fossil fuel CEOs. Senator Jeff Merkley and Rep. Nanette Barragan have introduced the REWIND Act (H.R. 6707) to stop oil, gas and coal companies from getting access to stimulus funding and stop the Trump administration from loosening regulations on fossil fuels during this crisis. Let's join 350.org in asking our members of Congress to support this legislation.

SECOND LOOK ACT:  Coronavirus is hitting folks behind bars hard, creating new hot spots across the country. Social distancing was always going to be difficult in prisons, but it's a particular challenge in the United States due to the size of our incarcerated population/. https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/coronavirus-sweeping-through-massive-us-prison-population  Senator Cory Booker and Rep. Karen Bass have introduced the Second Look Act (S.2146/H.R. 3795) to create a sentence review procedure that will help folks who have served more than a decade in federal prison and pose no threat to public safety rejoin society. 

DEMAND THAT ICE STOP USING COVID AS AN EXCUSE TO NOT RELEASE MIGRANT CHILDREN TO SPONSORS: The Flores Settlement mandates that unaccompanied migrant children only be held for 30 days, but ICE is using COVID as an excuse to hold onto many teenagers so they can deport them on their 18th birthday. https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-05-12/trump-officials-coronavirus-refuse-releasing-migrant-kids?. Let’s call our MoCs and ask them what they are going to do to make ICE stop this illegal practice.

TRUMP’S EFFORT TO KILL THE USPS:  Continuing his blatantly partisan political appointments and determined to privatize (if not kill) the postal service, Trump has now named an unqualified political donor named Louis DeJoy as the new Postmaster General; DeJoy has never worked at the USPS, but he has met Trump’s criteria—he has donated at least $2 million to the Trump campaign and to other Republicans since 2016.     https://www.npr.org/2020/05/07/851976464/new-postmaster-general-is-top-gop-fundraiser  One of the leading employers of women and non-white workers in the US (https://about.usps.com/strategic-planning/cs09/CSPO_09_087.htm ), the USPS was headed by Megan Brennan, the first female Postmaster General, appointed in 2015. Given the Bush-era burden placed ONLY on the USPS—that the agency pre-fund all employee retiree health benefits for 75 years into the future, which accounts for 80% to 90% of the USPS’s current revenue losses—and given the effects of the pandemic, Brennan predicts that the USPS may close by the end of summer: https://fortune.com/2020/05/07/usps-postmaster-general-louis-dejoy-us-postal-service-trump-democrats/ Trump calls the USPS a “joke,” but we know it may be critical to a fair election in November.  Let’s inform Congress and the White House that the post office is far too important right now to be headed by a partisan political lackey.

TELL ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO WEAR MASKS: Now that there have been positive cases of COVID-19 in the White House, all staffers are required to wear masks. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/white-house-require-staffers-wear-masks-west-wing-n1204551. However, Trump, Pence, and many GOP Senators are still refusing to set an example by wearing masks, themselves. While one could argue that they have the right to decide whether or not to protect themselves, wearing a mask protects the health of others around you, and not wearing a mask is basically a statement that you don’t care whether or not others might get potentially deadly germs. Let’s tell the White House and our MoCs that we expect every single person in government to wear a mask to show their caring and concern for the people in our nation.

#JUSTICEFORAHMAUD: While Travis and Gregory McMichael have been arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, there is still a long way to go in achieving justice for Ahmaud and his family. We can start by joining the NAACP of Georgia in demanding that Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Waycross Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill resign for their extreme bias in refusing to bring charges against the McMichaels: Mailing address: Jackie Johnson District Attorney Glynn County, 701 H Street, Box 301, Brunswick, GA 31520. Phone: (912) 554-7200. George E. Barnhill, District Attorney, 306 Albany Avenue, Waycross, GA 31501. Then, let's check out these actions items at Showing Up for Racial Justice and ensure that we are supporting the work of anti-racist organizations in Georgia and elsewhere: https://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/justiceforahmaud.html

MICHAEL FLYNN CASE/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Judge Emmet Sullivan slowed Attorney General William Barr’s assault on the rule of law by pausing the dropping of charges against Michael Flynn… who pleaded guilty:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/12/michael-flynn-case-justice-department-dismiss  Let’s take a moment to thank Judge Sullivan for standing up for the values of our nation and the rule of law: https://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/content/dcd-court-location

FUND VOTE-BY-MAIL—The coronavirus pandemic is a threat to safe, in-person voting in the 2020 election. Stand Up America notes that we need at least $4 billion for vote-by-mail, expanded early voting, online voter registration, and other reforms to protect our vote in 2020. Let’s use SUA’s tools to call our Members of Congress and demand funding for vote-by-mail: https://www.standupamerica.com/page/why-we-need-vote-by-mail/

KROGER 'HERO" PAY: From Sleeping Giants:  Kroger is ending "Hero Pay" for its in-store employees in 6 days. "Hero pay" is just $2 an hour above their base pay, which is not a lot for a company that brought in $121 billion in revenue last year [https://bit.ly/2xXWwZU]. The pandemic isn't over, so why is Kroger ending hazard pay? Here's what else you need to know: The average Kroger employee makes just $24,912/year. The CEO and other executives are all still working from home (he makes $12 million/year). Kroger isn't requiring its customers to wear masks in locations where it is not required by law. Unbelievable. Let's send a message to Kroger that this isn't ok. Contact: Klare Williamson, Corporate Communications Manager: Klare.Williamson@Kroger.com. We can find an email template here.

STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF THE POST OFFICE—US Mail Not for Sale is a campaign of the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. The campaign’s goal is “to preserve affordable, universal mail service for all—without regard to where they live, age, nationality, income, or race.” Let’s go to the website to sign up, take action, and download resources: https://usmailnotforsale.org/

ELECTION/VOTING

REMINDER:   Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely--we don't want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’s check how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state's latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State

ADOPT A SENATE RACE: Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz frequently uses Twitter to implore folks to “adopt a Senate race”:   https://twitter.com/brianschatz/status/1258583884368801792 (by donating money, volunteering, getting the word out). During COVID, key GOP Senate races have been narrowing towards good news for Democratic contenders:  https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/496898-gop-senators-worry-trump-covid-19-could-cost-them-their-majority Let’s take Senator Schatz up on his ask and engage with some key races to the extent we are able by supporting one of the Democratic primary candidates. The Ballotpedia links take us to a full page of information about that state's senate primary including a list of candidates.

              MAINE: Incumbent Susan Collins (R): Primary July 14Maine Ballotpedia

ARIZONA: Incumbent Martha McSally (R): Primary Aug. 4Arizona Ballotpedia. Note: Mark Kelly is the only remaining Democrat in this race. https://markkelly.com/

NORTH CAROLINA: Incumbent Thom Tillis (R): Democrat Cal Cunningham won this primary on March 3. (NC Ballotpedia) We can contribute to him at:  https://www.calfornc.com/

IOWA: Incumbent Joni Ernst (R): Primary June 2Iowa Ballotpedia. From The Hill: Ernst lead evaporates in Iowa Senate race

SOUTH CAROLINA: Incumbent Lindsey Graham (R): Primary June 9SC Ballotpedia. Note: Jaime Harrison is the only remaining Democrat on the ballot. https://jaimeharrison.com/. A top SC donor who previously backed Graham, now backs Harrison. (Source: Post and Courier

MONTANA: Incumbent Steve Daines(R): Primary June 2Montana Ballotpedia.

COLORADO: Incumbent Cory Gardner (R): Primary June 30. Colorado Ballotpedia

NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY—The organization National Voter Registration Day ordinarily works with organizations. But now, they have a program for us to help as individuals. This year’s National Voter Registration Day is September 22. Let’s sign up so we can be informed of events, tools, and resources and help register voters even if we aren’t members of an organization:  https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/individuals/

INCREASE COLLEGE STUDENT VOTING: Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice has a campaign called Ask Your College to Ask Every Student. It provides us with the resources and tools we need to ask colleges to commit to engaging students in voter participation. We don’t have to be UUs to participate! Let’s sign up and get the Action Kit:  http://uusj.net/wp1/ask-your-college/

JOIN BETO FOR TEXAS VIRTUAL VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES, 5/18 and 5/21: Powered by People is holding 2 Virtual Phone Banks with Beto O’Rourke to get new to Texans folks registered to vote in November. We can join them to call Democrats that just moved to Texas in the past 12 months and make sure that they get registered and ready to vote!  Flipping TEXAS will be key to winning the white house in November, so let’s get busy. We can click here to sign up for a Virtual Voter Registration Drive/Phone Bank today! Phonebank #1:  5/18, 6:30 pm CT, Personal computer needed:  https://act.betoorourke.com/event/voter-registration/34367/signup/ Phonebank #2:  5/21, 6:30 pm CT, Personal computer needed:  https://act.betoorourke.com/event/voter-registration/34366/signup

STATE/LOCAL

ALL: CAUTION YOUR GOVERNOR ABOUT RE-OPENING: Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that “reopening the country too soon could turn the clock back and lead to suffering and death that could be avoided.” Yet the majority of states that are starting to lift social distancing restrictions haven’t even met the most basic White House benchmarks.  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/12/anthony-fauci-senate-testimony-coronavirus-251233. Let’s tell our governor not to consider any baby steps towards re-opening our state until these minimum benchmarks are met. 

ALL: REQUIRE CORONAVIRUS VACCINATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE: The anti-vaxxers are already spreading disinformation about a vaccine for the coronavirus, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/technology/coronavirus-vaccine-disinformation.html and https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01423-4  If and when a vaccine becomes available, it should be required for public school attendance, just like the vaccine for polio and other diseases. It can take a very long time for legislation to wend its way through state legislatures; it makes sense to ask our state legislators to start introducing bills about a coronavirus vaccine now. Let’s do so! 

CA: USE THIS MAP TO FIND FREE FOOD FOR CALIFORNIANS: There is an alarmingly high level of food insecurity throughout the state right now. Job losses, reduced work hours and school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it hard for Californians to both pay bills and feed their families. To help people find free food resources, LA Controller Ron Galperin has released a “Food for Californians” map of 1,800+ food banks, food pantries and emergency food centers that serve every California county so that anyone seeking assistance during the pandemic can quickly and easily find nutritious sustenance. In addition to free food resources statewide, the map shows the locations of nearly 500 grocery stores in L.A. County with special shopping hours for seniors, individuals with disabilities and the immunocompromised. We can check out the “ Food for Californians” map here and forward it to family members, friends and anyone we know who may find it useful:  https://lacontroller.org/data-stories-and-maps/foodforcalifornians/

GA: HATE CRIME LEGISLATION: Georgia remains one of only four states in the U.S. that does not have any hate crime laws (https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/laws-and-policies). While the House passed legislation to change this last year, the bill has stagnated in the Senate (https://bit.ly/2WqHMw8). Let's contact our state senators and ask them to pass H.B. 426 and S. 166 immediately.

MA: RANKED-CHOICE VOTING: Donald Trump is in office despite having lost the popular vote, with many having voted for a third party in 2016. Advocates for ranked-choice voting argue that it can stop the spoiler effect of third parties, allowing more voices in the electorate without leading to candidates winning in spite of the majority of the electorate opposing them. Advocates are looking to spread ranked-choice voting around the country - including bringing it to Massachusetts with a ballot initiative that would establish it as law. https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/01/07/massachusetts-weighs-instant-runoff-vs-plurality-electoral-system Unfortunately, with COVID-19 reformers are having difficulty getting the signatures they need to put ranked-choice voting on the ballot. Massachusetts voters can help by signing the petition for ranked-choice voting electronically at this link.

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

DIGITAL RALLY AGAINST GUNS AT MICHIGAN PROTESTS:  Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer has come in for a lot of flack for her rigid Stay-Home/Stay-Safe program and her caution for opening the state.  There have been some gun-brandishing protests at the state Capitol with another planned for today.  Today we can join SWIM (StateWide Indivisible Michigan) in a digital rally to hold gunners at the Lansing, MI protests accountable for their actions. It’s illegal and it’s called Brandishing a Firearm.  The toolkit they prepared includes sample Facebook and twitter posts, letters to the editor, news article links and more. Everything messengers need to participate in a digital storm today, May 14th from 9a – 2p ET.  Here’s the link to the toolkit: 

LEARN HOW TO SPOT CONSPIRACY THEORIES:  Today, May 14 at 12 noon MDT, we can join Vanessa Otero of AdFontes Media and the creator of the Media Bias Chart, to learn more about recognizing conspiracy theories.  We need to register here for the Zoom event:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqduisrDwjHNMUE9EnFaQ4FYOvgLcCACoK 

ACLU SMART JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WEBINAR:  The ACLU Smart Justice campaign has decided to host a digital day of action titled “Uniting for Pretrial Reform” in May. It will be online, and it will be throughout the day on May 27th. Some of the sessions include a Q&A with ACLU staff, a tele-townhall with multiple legislators (on the topic of pretrial reform), a storytelling panel in the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be multiples ways to engage our elected officials.  Here’s a registration link to sign up! https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1415859446055/WN_Wb92iZkTRGmkTJlHepNcIg  We want to make sure that people feel their voices can be heard even during this new normal phase we currently we find ourselves in and that we advocate for the most vulnerable of us.  

MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

Do the State Shutdowns Violate the U.S. Constitution? - https://thebulwark.com/do-the-state-shutdowns-violate-the-u-s-constitution/


Fox News is telling its employees to work from home for at least another month while its TV hosts push for businesses to reopen - https://www.businessinsider.com/fox-news-closed-while-on-air-talent-push-reopen-2020-5

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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