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From one of our own:  I just spoke with Cameron Onumah, whom many of you know works with Senator Feinstein. I asked Cameron what we as citizens could do right now to support Dr. Blasey. He said that we should call our senators to tell them "Women are watching." He said that this is a message that goes beyond Democrat or Republican, and brings the situation outside of their chambers. For those here in California, we know our senators understand this. If you know people in another state, this is a message they can communicate to their representatives - Women Are Watching.   [Let’s use this tracker from Indivisible to see where senators stand and start making calls: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IhksP1EBXbIxirXRILNBOjTH89drJp8im3d2ELnvlSg/edit#gid=1913565360]


Now, back to our regularly scheduled Thursday!




on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays allowing our followers extra time
to spend working on campaigns.


“This week, it’s time to become as effective as possible when you are communicating with other potential voters so they become committed voters for the candidates you care most about. It’s time to get some training.”  Let’s find out how and try to improve our pitch to voters:  https://politicalcharge.org/2018/09/18/7-weekends-left-until-midterms-challenge-for-the-week/

If we are not sure where to start looking for information about candidates, issues, etc., we can check out the League of Women Voters’ website:  https://www.vote411.org/

We can also help by writing with Postcards to Voters:  https://postcardstovoters.org

It’s time for boots on the grounds!





9/19/18 

Contact Federal Government Officials


Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Fax legislators for free: 

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

 
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Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.



1.       Our pressure helped to postpone the Thursday Kavanaugh vote and now there will be additional hearings on Monday.  While there was talk that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would also be part of the hearings, given the harassment she has received, including death threats and needing to move out of her house and hiring security (https://www.businessinsider.com/brett-kavanaugh-accuser-receives-death-threats-moves-out-of-house-hires-private-security-2018-9) she wants the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh first. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/us/politics/christine-blasey-ford kavanaugh-senate-hearing.html  Let’s let our senators know that we agree with Dr. Ford. 

2.      Even if there were not enough reasons before, the news about the accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is evolving by the hour and may be different when this list is published: 
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/407119-the-memo-kavanaugh-firestorm-consumes-political-world  but let’s take action as needed by contacting our own Senators to let them know that serving on the SCOTUS is not a right and that we can do better than Kavanaugh. Let’s also call the White House comment line (staffed by volunteers) to ask Trump to withdraw the Kavanaugh nomination: 202-456-1111

3.      In a strange juxtaposition, the Kavanaugh allegations are playing out at the same time that the Violence Against Women Act ( HR 6545) is up for reauthorization.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-violence-against-women-expire-20180913-story.html  Let’s tell our MoCs that we want the VAWA reauthorized and we don’t want Kavanagh.  It is past time that #MeToo overrules #boyswillbeboys.  The midterms are coming and we will vote for candidates who respect and value all of us.  As Small Deeds Done tells us, it’s not a blue wave coming, it’s a pink one! 

4.      “Senator Mazie Hirono thinks Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is not telling the truth about the sexual assault he allegedly committed as a teenager. She thinks he wasn’t telling the truth to the Judiciary Committee when he claimed not to remember any sexual misconduct by a judge he clerked for who was forced to resign last year after allegations from more than a dozen women.”  https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/18/brett-kavanaugh-sexual-assault-allegations-senate-hearings-mazie-hirono-interview-220064  Now with the accusations against Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, we all need to let our senators know that we, too, have significant doubts that he would serve us well as a Supreme Court justice.

5.      Trump’s decision to declassify several documents related to the Russia investigation amounts to a serious abuse of power, according to former AG Eric Holder. John McLaughlin, who was the Acting CIA Director under George W. Bush, agrees that this "probably qualifies as the President’s most serious assault on the Justice system yet." https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/407214-eric-holder-trump-releasing-docs-on-russia-probe-is-dangerous-abuse. Let’s ask our MoCs how they can continue to let the president put his own self-interests above the national security of the country and ask them when they are going to recognize and speak out publicly about the numerous ways justice has been obstructed.

6.      The Trump administration has decided on the number of refugees that the U.S. will allow into the country for the upcoming fiscal year: a dismal 30,000 people, down from 45,000 this year, and 115,000 in 2016 under the Obama administration.  (https://n.pr/2pho4RWhttps://wapo.st/2QFE1Oj). Following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement, Kevin Appleby, senior director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies stated that “Congress should exercise its oversight responsibility and push back hard on this low number through every tool at its disposal.” We agree. Let's contact our MoC and tell them that we know the U.S. is capable of supporting far more refugees in our country, and we want them to do everything in their power to do so. We can also hold Secretary Pompeo accountable by telling him exactly how we feel about the Trump administration's abandonment of those who need help: State Department Office of the Secretary Phone number: 202-647-4000 Address: United States Department of State 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520 Twitter: @SecPompeo

7.      The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program has enabled people with disabilities to transition out of institutions, in order to live in less restrictive environments, become more independent, and integrate into their communities:   http://bit.ly/2E2h0ml http://kaiserf.am/2s7cL31 However, in 2016 the program was never renewed, and now states are set to lose federal funding for the program. Months ago, Republican and Democratic members of Congress introduced : EMPOWER Care Act (S. 2227/H.R. 5306) which will reauthorize the Money Follows the Person Demonstration Program. Last week, the House passed the bill out of committee, and it will now proceed to a full House vote. Let's be sure to contact our representative and tell them we want them to support H.R. 5306.

8.     In addition to cutting SNAP benefits, another issue with the House version of the farm bill is that it restricts local communities from banning dangerous pesticides in their own localities. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/over-60-local-officials-call-on-congress-to-protect-local-authority-to-restrict-toxic-pesticides-in-the-farm-bill-300711843.html. Let’s make sure to tell our MoCs to reject Section 9101 of the House Farm Bill. Communities should have the right to protect their residents from substances that have been scientifically proven to be harmful to public health.  

9.      The ACLU is warning that Congress is pushing to add the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 (H.R. 6401/S. 2836) to the Federal Aviation Agency Reauthorization Act. The amendment, according to the ACLU, would permit the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department to spy on drones without a warrant—including drones being used by media organizations for their reporting.  https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/privacy-and-surveillance/congress-poised-give-trump-administration-powerful Let’s tell our MoCs to oppose this bill—we don’t want any president, to have the power to warrantlessly spy on journalists and activists.

 Election 2018 – General

1.       Over 1.4 million Floridians with past convictions are permanently barred from voting, even after completing their full sentence. Florida is 1 of only 4 states in the country with this broken system. Amendment 4 fixes it by restoring the eligibility to vote to 1.4 million Floridians who have served their time and paid their debts.  Second Chances is looking for groups anywhere to help them get the word out by hosting call parties on Saturday, September 22nd from 1pm - 4pm ET to talk to Florida voters and urge them to vote YES on Amendment 4.  Hosting a Call Party is easy and fun! All we need is a space with WiFi and a few friends to get started. Second Chances will help us recruit attendees, and provide materials, training and support.  We can 1) find a call party near us and RSVP today!, 2)  host a calling party, or 3) make calls from home. 

2.      Those of us who have been using Resistbot to contact our elected officials know how easy, convenient, and effective it is. Now our favorite bot has even more functionality! One of the latest features: checking our voter registration status! DM “check” to @resistbot on Twitter, or text “CHECK” to 50409 on your cell, and Resistbot will walk us through it. Easy as pie.

3.      Ted Cruz’s senatorial campaign has sent hundreds of thousands of mailers seeking donations that are meant to look like official county summons. The brown envelopes read “SUMMONS ENCLOSED-OPEN IMMEDIATELY” in large black letters, and have a return address of “official county summons.” Let's read more at Newsweek then make sure that our Texas family and friends are aware of this deceptive tactic. 

4.      Postcards to Voters Campaign 108: Aftab Pureval for Congress, is still open.  This Cincinnati-area district was recently updated from “Lean Republican” to “Toss-up.” We have an opportunity to flip this seat! Let's write 5 postcards to Ohio voters. We can sign up as new volunteers here.

5.      College kids can get and file absentee ballots so they can vote in their home elections, but apparently it is difficult for them to know where to buy stamps.  https://wtop.com/local/2018/09/why-college-students-dont-vote-absentee-they-dont-know-where-to-buy-a-postage-stamp/  Let’s find some creative ways to get stamps to our away-from home student voters.

Election 2018 – By State

1.       Upcoming voting dates and deadlines:  by date:  https://goo.gl/gjFv2u   by state:  https://goo.gl/7gTzvE

2.      An election guide from Postcards for America:  In this Google doc (updated regularly), each State shows ALL Democratic Candidates running for Congress, Governor, Lt Gov, Attorney General, Secretary of State (if applicable) with links to their websites and Twitter. Each has a link to a Twitter Thread, a Shareable Facebook Post and a Document. For most States, there are also Links for Voter Registrations, Absentee Ballots, Early Voting & Voter ID, Age Requirements and being a Poll Worker.  Let’s check this out and use and share it:   


3.      FL:  Governor Rick Scott claims to have hidden his finances in a blind trust, but reporting now shows that 41% of his investments are mirrored in his wife's investment portfolio, which he can see. This unlikely coincidence just happens to make it very easy for Scott to engage in self-dealing as governor. Also, both of their portfolios are managed by a very cozy network of friends and former employees.(https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2018/09/13/scotts-blind-trust-mirrors-hundreds-of-investments-also-held-by-wife-607026). Now that Scott wants to be a US Senator, his mass of potential conflicts of interest are a concern for all of us, so let's give him a call (850-488-7146) and tell him to clean up his act.

Other Actions

1.       Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has come forward with an accusation of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: 
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/18/we-cannot-have-a-rapist-on-the-us-supreme-court   Let’s send bright colorful postcards (that do not require opening and are clearly not hate mail) to her with words of gratitude for her courage: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Palo Alto University, 1791 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA, 94304

2.      ""It’s impossible to miss the parallels between the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing of 2018 and the 1991 confirmation hearing for Justice Clarence Thomas," Hill wrote. "In 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee had an opportunity to demonstrate its appreciation for both the seriousness of sexual harassment claims and the need for public confidence in the character of a nominee to the Supreme Court.  "It failed on both counts.""  
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/09/18/anita-hill-new-york-times-op-ed/1344542002/ We were not as woke in 1991 as we are now and Anita Hill did this alone without the support of so many as there is now for Dr. Christine Ford.  Let's send postcards of thanks to Anita Hill for her courage and our apologies for not knowing how to help her at the time.  Address:  Dr. Anita Hill, Heller-Brown Building, 374, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02453

3.      The New York Times has put together a useful resource list of ways to help people impacted by Hurricane Florence: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/15/reader-center/how-to-help-hurricane-florence-victims.html

4.      Political spending by "dark money" organizations aims to influence voters and elections while keeping the influencers identities secret.  If that seems like a perversion of democracy, then let's study ProPublica/Issue One's hard-won (and hard-hitting) work to expose those secret donors and identify concrete measures to shine some light into those dark corners. https://www.propublica.org/nerds/shedding-some-light-on-dark-money-political-donors

5.      From Project Lifeline:  Did you show up to a #familiesbelongtogether rally this summer? What are you doing now about the deplorable conditions of detention those children and 130,000 more a year suffer? Get informed and stay involved with Project Lifeline. NBC just covered the effort!  https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-border-crisis/not-our-watch-lawyers-fight-keep-trump-dismantling-migrant-child-n910391     Please share our Sept 28/29 events with all your Texas friends. 
https://projectlifeline.us/how-to-help/  And for those of you not in Texas with compassionate children, do the #declarewecare challenge on the website! 

6.      From one of our own:  Y'all know that North Carolina and its people are deep in my heart. For some folks on the east coast- as well as others further inland as flood waters rise and flow- this is the second time in two years that they've found themselves underwater. While the needs are many, cash donations allow organizations to help meet immediate needs. Please consider a donation to one of the following: A) American Red Cross redcross.org, B) Samaritan's Purse samaritanspurse.org, C) Presbyterian Church Disaster Relief pcusa.org, D) United Methodist Church- NC Conference nccumc.org, E) Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina lumbeetribe.com, and F) SBP- Disaster Recovery and Resiliency sbpusa.org

7.      It's really hard to keep up with the news these days. Especially when there is so much fake news around. Here's how we can tackle this problem, quickly! "PolitiFact, the largest political fact-checking newsroom in the country, is starting a newsletter that will deliver our best fact-checks to your email, Monday through Friday. Stay in the loop and separate the fact from fiction with PolitiFact Daily!" https://politifact.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=7fcd21cd74d3867be10c01899&id=b0ba8cd5e9

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       From Twitter Warriors:  Please join our twitter storm (Wed. Sept 19, 8 PM EST) to tweet about #HurricanceFlorence, the huge impact #AnimalAgriculture has on climate change. We need to #ActOnClimate to save our planet and humanity. To do this we are advocating to introduce more plant-based diet. Click on link to join the event on Facebook:  https://bit.ly/2pdLzvb"

2.      From the Sierra Club: Late in 2017, Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke opened the Arctic Refuge to oil leasing. Now, they're rushing to drill in the Refuge before a new administration can reverse their deeply unpopular decision -- and the next few months are crucial. Join us on Wednesday September 19, 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET for a national webinar on how to protect the Arctic Refuge from drilling. Register here.

3.      The Women’s March is planning protests on September 20 and September 24 in Washington DC to declare public support for Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and call awareness to the numerous reasons Kavanaugh would be an abhorrent choice for women’s rights. We can find out more at www.cancelkavanaugh.com and also donate to the effort if we can’t personally attend.  

4.      She the People, a network to advance the political power of women of color for progressive goals, is kicking off a 3-year initiative with a summit on Thursday, September 20 in San Francisco. Registration is open to the public. Let’s go!  https://www.shethepeople.org/#summit-section

5.      From Saturday, September 22 to Saturday, September 29When We All Vote will celebrate a week of action. Communities across the country will host voter registration events throughout the week in cities big and small with the help of volunteers like us. On September 23, Michelle Obama will be hosting the Las Vegas event and on September 28, she will host the Miami event. We can sign up to volunteer or RSVP for one of the events at When We All Vote. Let's look for an event near us. 

6.      On September 22 there will be a protest at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in Florida in commemoration of the first anniversary of Hurricane Maria:   http://thehill.com/latino/401578-trumps-mar-a-lago-to-be-greeted-with-massive-protest-on-hurricane-maria-anniversary    Let’s put this on our calendars if we will be nearby.

7.      The 2018 March for Black Women will occur in Washington, D.C. on September 29 and New York City on September 30, with sister marches all over the country.   Let’s fine more information here:   https://www.blackwomensblueprint.org/march-for-black-women  and here: https://www.facebook.com/events/187741818714062/  Let’s learn how to start a sister march/townhall here:  https://www.blackwomensblueprint.org/town-halls-sister-marches

States


Find elected state officials: https://openstates.org/


1.       AZ: Joseph Kezele, the president of the Arizona Origin Science Association and a staunch believer in the idea that enough scientific evidence exists to back up the biblical story of creation, served last month on the committee tasked with revising the state's science curriculum standards on evolution. Let's read more at Phoenix New Times.  If we are or know parents of children in the Arizona public school system, we need to be aware of what our children are being taught and we need to plan how we will monitor and correct anti-science information given to our children.

2.      MI: In June, we learned that the Michigan Department of Education would be implementing changes to social studies standards, as recommended by a highly partisan focus group. The changes would remove references to the NAACP, KKK, Roe v. Wade, the fight for LGBTQ rights and the rights of other minority groups, climate change, and would include teaching “how the expansion of rights for some groups can be viewed as an infringement of rights and freedoms of others.” Due to public outcry, the public comment period has now been extended to September 30th (https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/public-outcry-delays-michigan-social-studies-standards). Let's take the time to read through the proposed changes, then leave a comment on those changes here.

3.      TX: The Federal Elections Commission said Ted Cruz’s fundraising letter is not illegal since in small type at the bottom of the return address it mentions Cruz, 2 lines below “Travis County Official Summons,” but the letter, sent to 10s of thousands of Texas voters and marked “SUMMONS ENCLOSED-OPEN IMMEDIATELY,” is, at the very least, misleading and manipulative:  https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/407098-fec-cruz-campaign-didnt-violate-rules-with-fundraising-letter-labeled  The campaign claims to have received no complaints; perhaps we who want to renounce Cruz’s slimy tactics--should change that: 713-353-4330 or Ted Cruz for Senate, PO Box 25376, Houston, TX 77265.

Reading/Watching

1.       Anita Hill: How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/opinion/anita-hill-brett-kavanaugh-clarence-thomas.html

2.      Although this was published before Dr. Christine Ford became public, it explains the psychology and risk behind anyone coming forward in our highly misogynistic system:  https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/brett-kavanaugh-assault-accusation-confirmation-hearing.html

3.      American Democracy Is In Crisis by Hillary Clinton - https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/american-democracy-is-in-crisis/570394/

4.      Three Virginia sheriffs are being sued for refusing to take inmates out of Hurricane Florence’s path. The suit accuses them of irresponsibly ignoring mandatory evacuation orders. Between the three law enforcement officials, nearly 2,500 inmates were left in the storm’s path. Let's read this article at LegalReader






9/18/18 


on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays allowing our followers extra time
to spend working on campaigns.


“Now is the time to make sure as many voters as possible are registered so they can vote for your candidates. Many states set a deadline of one month out from the general election by which voters need to be registered, so getting folks signed up is a huge priority for September.”  Let’s check this out to get ideas how:  https://politicalcharge.org/2018/09/11/8-weekends-left-until-midterms-challenge-for-the-week/

If we are not sure where to start looking for information about candidates, issues, etc., we can check out the League of Women Voters’ website:  https://www.vote411.org/

We can also help by writing with Postcards to Voters:  https://postcardstovoters.org

It’s time for boots on the grounds!