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4/9/20

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/

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



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/2XlRUqOhttps://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/2UUyHuJhttps://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 jenna.lebel@libertymutual.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

ELECTION/VOTING

STATE/LOCAL

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/

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

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

READING/WATCHING


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/


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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







4/7/20

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/

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



HOSPITAL STAFF NEEDED IN NYC: New York hospitals are facing a desperate staffing shortage, Andy Slavitt, former ACA head for Obama informs us. If we are, or know any, Respiratory Therapists, RNs or Nurse Practitioners, the hospitals will pay for our flight, put us up in a hotel and pay us very, very generously. They also have enough PPE to protect us.  https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1246838768063205382 Slavitt’s ultimate idea is to form a brigade that will go from one hot spot to another, equipped with PPE, which this particular call promises to provide.  Also, for those getting their hours cut or being laid off, this is lucrative work.  Right now, this is the biggest crisis point for NYC and the rest of us can help out now, and hopefully, get assistance when out crisis hits worse. We can find out more and sign up here, then share with our friends on social media:  https://covid.nychealthandhospitals.org/Volunteer  We can also contact @AndrewSchwabDC   at @USofCare for information.

VOTE BY MAIL:  The RNC and the Trump Organization are beginning a major legal and political push against efforts to shift to vote by mail and make it easier for people to vote from home - very explicitly arguing that it would be bad for the Republican Party politically.   https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/03/trump-2020-election-legal-battle-coronavirus-162152 and https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-4-2020  We need to make sure coronavirus doesn't stop people from making their voices heard in November. Let's call our members of Congress and tell them we want them to push for more funding for the states to shift to vote by mail, and call our state legislators and governors and insist that they give people the option to vote by mail and make it easy for them to do so in the general election.

STATES COMPETING WITH THE FEDS:  After learning that the federal government was not going to help procure needed medical supplies to cover the COVID-19 crisis, the states have been competing with each other and, as it turns out, the federal government as well, which has been usurping states’ orders.  https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/03/31/nation/warren-feds-why-did-you-take-massachusettss-medical-supplies/ and https://www.denverpost.com/2020/04/04/coronavirus-colorado-polis-ventilators-fema/ and https://wfpl.org/federal-government-outbids-kentucky-for-medical-equipment-amid-shortage/  Let’s see if our MoCs can intervene and help create a national answer to this problem.

FARMWORKERS AND COVID-10-9:  From one of our own:  What would Cesar Chavez say?  Farm workers who are harvesting our food were left out of latest #COVID19 aid. They face huge risk & new economic burdens.   https://katu.com/news/coronavirus/how-coronavirus-threatens-seasonal-farmworkers-at-the-heart-of-the-us-food-supply  Email your Congressmembers to ensure these Essential Workers get the hazard pay they deserve. https://ufw.org/covidaction33120

RELEASE MIGRANT CHILDREN FROM DETENTION: Last week, a federal judge gave the administration until yesterday to release detained migrant children, whose imprisonment puts them at higher risk of contracting COVID. https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-03-31/trump-ruling-release-migrant-children-parents-coronavirus?. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Rosa DeLaura (D-CT) have sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Department of Justice (DOJ) Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review James McHenry, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan sharing their concerns about unnecessary confinement, the lack of social distancing in these facilities, and ORRs slow pace in reuniting children, who should not, by law be in custody for more than 20 days, with families and sponsors. https://delauro.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/delauro-murray-urge-trump-administration-ensure-unaccompanied-minors-are?fbclid=IwAR1gKsjpggu7sbh3jfhoHqEO_pcFF16OYamlTSrDnU7pInl7hxd65drpW4c. Let’s ask our MoCs to sign on to this letter and put pressure on ORR to follow the recent court ruling and release these children immediately. 

TRUMP USING COVID AS AN EXCUSE TO DENY ALL ASYLUM CLAIMS: A leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security has verified that DHS is now automatically expelling anyone who crosses the border and giving them no legal option to claim asylum, which is a violation of law and due process. https://www.propublica.org/article/leaked-border-patrol-memo-tells-agents-to-send-migrants-back-immediately-ignoring-asylum-law#181945. Let’s make sure our MoCs are aware of this flagrant violation of the law and ask them what they can do to stop it. 

PRESSURE CHARTER AIRLINES TO STOP DEPORTATION FLIGHTS: Classic Air Charters is one of the companies involved in arranging Swift Air and World Atlantic Airline flights from Brownsville Texas to Central America. Let’s contact these three airlines at the links above and demand that they stop participating in activities that put people’s lives at risk.  

BLOOD DONATION RESTRICTIONS: UPDATE: The coronavirus has taken a foothold in each state, and in order to follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, the Red Cross has canceled more than 5,000 blood drives. The U.S. is now facing a blood shortage (https://bit.ly/2Uab295). While the FDA has revised its restrictions on donations from men who have had sex with other men, it has still not lifted its discriminatory ban in its entirety. Let's contact FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and tell him that this unscientific, outdated rule needs to end and that we want him to lift the ban. We can reach him via e-mail: CommissionerFDA@fda.hhs.gov, on Twitter @SteveFDA or by mail to Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061 Rockville, MD 20852

DISABILITY HOTLINE: A group of disabled activists have joined together with support from the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies to create The Disability Underground Network. The Network's primary focus is operating the National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline, where disabled people across the country can call in and receive medical advocacy and/or mutual aid. Let's be sure to share the hotline number with those in our community to ensure that they are able to receive the help they need. National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline: (800) 626-4959, e-mail: contact@disabilityunderground.org

STOCK TRADING BAN:  Late last week, there were even more revelations about potential use of inside information on the stock markets by members of Congress. Senator Kelly Loeffler sold stock in an online travel company right before Trump announced a flight ban to Europe (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-03/georgia-senator-loeffler-did-quick-dump-of-travel-company-stock). Let's remove any doubt and call our members of Congress to tell them to commit to supporting legislation that bans senators and representatives from holding individual stocks while in office.

USING ZOOM? "Millions are staying home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Whether it’s for work, education, or recreation, people are flocking to Zoom for their video conferencing needs. But is Zoom safe?  For years Zoom has claimed to use end-to-end encryption to keep users' communications secure. It turns out the company misled users." Turns out they are not. https://www.zdnet.com/article/zoom-concedes-custom-encryption-is-sub-standard-as-citizen-lab-pokes-holes-in-it/  Sign this petition to tell the company to implement end-to-end encryption alreadyhttps://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-zoom-to-stop-putting-people-in-danger-during-the-covid-19-crisis

POSTCARDING ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES:  From one of our own:  Let’s work on these:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m6NeIQEhs6uYGiwLFet4RoKAHRNcl_OI13vlBYEjNhc/edit

NO-SEW MASKS:  The CDC is now advising we wear masks when we leave the house. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/03/826219824/president-trump-says-cdc-now-recommends-americans-wear-cloth-masks-in-public  We can make cotton masks from ordinary household items. Here are various versions: 

PROTECT OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS: Here's a crowdsourcing website where "Hospitals post the protective supplies they need. People, businesses, and other medical facilities ship or drop off directly to the hospitals in need." Anyone can use the site. Let's coordinate to get them what they need. https://protectanurse.com

HELP RESEARCHERS TRACK THE VIRUS: Given the failure of the Trump administration to track the coronavirus through widespread testing, researchers are seeking to track people who have covid-19 symptoms. https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/help-researchers-track-coronavirus-by-reporting-your-covid-19-symptoms While it’s true that this tracking data will be less robust than tracking through testing, researchers still believe they will gain valuable insights. Let’s learn more and help to crowdsource the pandemic at COVID Near You: https://scistarter.org/covid-near-you

FREE ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PARENTS: "So many creators of children’s books have risen to the call for help from teachers and parents during the COVID-19 crisis by creating online materials that will entertain, instruct, and inspire children and young people." The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has created a website that collects these materials. Let's give them a try! https://www.scbwi.org/digital-directory-for-remote-learning-resources/

GENERATION CITIZEN FAMILY ACTIVITIES: Generation Citizen offers programs and activities to “empower young people to become engaged and effective citizens.”  https://generationcitizen.org/about-us/mission-vision/ During this stay-at-home period, GC is offering “take action” activities for families to do together at home. Here’s an example:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k8_tRBu9QeefEXMHvK7m3WrvjawHi6GI/view Let’s keep informed of (and participate in!) these opportunities by “liking” their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/generationcitizen , and by signing up for their newsletter, https://generationcitizen.org/newsletter/ .

SUPPORT A HOSPITAL IN ITALY BY LISTENING TO A SONG:  This song is from Italy's most famous band in the 70's.  https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/international/9348718/roby-facchinetti-interview-rinascero-rinascerai-italy They have donated the copyrights to the hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy. Every click on the video means a gift, because YouTube pays the owner of those copyrights per click. In Bergamo hospital, 800 people died in one day alone. So, share this video as much as possible. Grazie! 

STANFORD UNIVERSITY COVID-19 STUDY:  Stanford University is asking us all to take part in an on-going survey about COVID-19. The information will be used to inform local and national responses, such as redirecting medical resources or improving policies and public guidance. Let's do this and pass along to others, too: https://med.stanford.edu/covid19/covid-counter.html

COVID-19 COPING STUDY:  The University of Michigan School of Public Health is seeking participants aged 55 and older to take part in their COVID-19 Coping Study.  “The purpose of this study is to find out how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is affecting the health and well-being of older adults in the United States. We hope to better understand older adults’ experiences, perspectives, and ways of coping during the crisis.”  We can sign up here:  https://umich.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2t6Pox3Lu9K4Sa1

ELECTION/VOTING

WI:  FIND DRIVE THRU, CURBSIDE VOTE SITES OR DROP OFF ABSENTEE BALLOTS: With last night’s late Supreme Court decision, Republicans have forced Wisconsin’s elections to be held today, Tuesday, April 7, despite Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order that restricts ”All "public and private gatherings of any number of people that are not part of a single household"   https://www.wpr.org/what-know-about-wisconsins-coronavirus-stay-home-order  Fortunately, Wisconsin Democratic Party has a guide to help us vote safer. When we click this link, we can find information on how we can vote using curbside or drive-thru options, as well as how we can drop off our absentee ballots in our town, village, or city. All ballots must be dropped off in-person before 8:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, April 7, at the latest, but some municipalities have earlier deadlines, as shown here. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by Election Day, Tuesday, April 7.  We can find Vote Safer information here: https://wisdems.org/voter-information-page/curbside-voting-information/

P2V ELECTION WATCH: Postcards to Voters' (P2V) volunteers wrote to Democrats across Wisconsin for Campaign 197: Jill Karofsky for WI Supreme Court. Unless the US Supreme Court rules otherwise, this election is set to proceed as scheduled. (More at Politico.) The race for WI Supreme Court is the primary reason that Republicans are so intent with holding the election as planned. (More at The Intercept). Thank you to everyone who wrote for and/or worked on Judge Karofsky's campaign. Let's watch the returns for this important election.

NEW POSTCARD CAMPAIGN: Postcards to Voters kicked off Campaign 198: Christy Smith for Congress, California District 25 (Simi Valley area). This May 12 special election will be held exclusively by mail. Let's request 5 addresses today for this important campaign.

NEED POSTCARDS? Postcards to Voters' flying banner and critter vote-by-mail designs are back in stock at P2V's Etsy store. We can order a set of 100 cards for $15. Sales help support P2V's operating costs. If we are looking for postcards, let's be sure to check these great designs.

STATE/LOCAL

ALL: ASK CITY GOVERNMENTS TO SAVE LIVES USING NYC BASED COVID-19 PLAYBOOK TO UNITE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES: As our cities face the onslaught of hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases, we can act now to prevent massive numbers of deaths in our most vulnerable at risk populations by using the New York City COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition (CRRC)’s Playbook. Our fragmented health and social services systems will need to quickly form partnerships to serve our most vulnerable at risk people, and this playbook can help guide us through it. We can help our cities save vulnerable lives, by coordinating healthcare, social services and more, when we check out The United States of Care COVID-19 Playbook, with its replicable goals, tactics and work streams, then ask our local government officials to read it and consider how best to use its tactics. https://unitedstatesofcare.org/covid-19/playbook-and-case-study-of-nyc-covid-19-coalition/

MI: HOMELESS MICHIGANDERS: Last week, the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, along with over 80 organizations across Michigan, sent a letter to Governor Whitmer, urging her to prioritize the homeless population as she takes action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to care for all Michiganders (https://bit.ly/2wlUOAQ). The letter points out that those who experience homelessness "are twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die."  The letter also notes five specific actions that can be taken to protect our homeless population. Let's read through the letter, then contact Governor Whitmer and Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, and ask them to work with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness to support homeless Michiganders. Governor Whitmer: P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909, 517-373-3400/517-335-7858. Director Gordon: 517-335-0267, gordonr3@michigan.gov

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS/COVID-19: Organizers from Oxfam AmericaMijenteRAICESNational Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Western North Carolina Workers' Center are joining together today, Tuesday, April 7th, to host a webinar on COVID-19 and the undocumented community. Presenters will "examine the impact of COVID-19 on undocumented people, what that means for the United States in terms of equity, justice, workers’ rights, and public health, and how communities are responding to the crisis." Let's sign up and learn how we can help support the undocumented community:  https://bit.ly/2wixcgt

READING/WATCHING



What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage - https://marker.medium.com/what-everyones-getting-wrong-about-the-toilet-paper-shortage-c812e1358fe0



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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





4/6/20

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.)

This week's list - the first two weren't posted on regulations.gov and are significant. The Community Reinvestment Act is closing. A host of proposed regs closing 4/6/2020 and a ton of Covid-19 updates - which may make some of the previous proposed regs moot.



4/2/20

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/

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



COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE: Members of Congress have begun discussing what will be in the next relief package, even as the White House rejects the idea of a fourth relief bill (https://cnb.cx/2yrinc9). Indivisible, the Sunrise Movement, Working Families Party, MoveOn, and others have created the People's Bailout which includes a set of specific policy requests, call scripts, and letter templates (https://peopleoverprofits.indivisible.org/). While this is a great start, it has left out the disability community, who were also neglected by Congress in the three previous relief billsLet's contact our MoC about the next relief bill using the People's Bailout hub to get started, then let's make sure to include the policy proposals recommended by The Arc in our calls and letters, and send out a tweet to our MoC.

TRAIN ONLINE TO BE A VOLUNTEER CERTIFIED NURSES AID TO HELP FIGHT COVID-19: As the fight against the Coronavirus escalates, Volunteer Certified Nurse Aides(CNA) can help take up the slack, allowing more RNs and MDs to focus on critical care. If we are interested in helping out, VolunteerSurge is ready to train and place 1,000 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). If we choose to sign up, we’ll get an online learning system with a Red Cross-licensed 40-hour CNA training program, and ADP's WorkMarket platform to match us with opportunities in communities all across the country. They will build a profile that includes our special skills and areas of interest, and pair us with a volunteer assignment that fits our needs. As the need for volunteers surges, we can scan postings in WorkMarket for assignments that touch our heart or inspire us. We can come together as a country, fight hard and save lives when we sign up to train as Volunteer CNAS here:  https://volunteersurge.com/ Thanks for answering the call!

CONTINUED UPREPAREDNESS: “. . .  after reports of the disease developing in China emerged at the end of December 2019, U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned Trump in January and February in classified briefings what was coming; he continued to downplay it. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked the administration to declare a public health emergency in late January to free up money to fight the coronavirus. But as late as February 24, Trump tweeted: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”” https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/march-31-2020  Now that COVID-19 is fully blossoming in the US, we learn that while our healthcare workers are running low or even out of PPE (personal protection equipment) we have been sending such overseas.  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-democratic-national-convention-scheduled/  Other countries, in similar binds, have stopped exports of medical equipment and supplies.   Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to impose a temporary ban on all exports of critical medical supplies.  https://dougcollins.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/collins-urges-trump-administration-ban-exports-medical-supplies-needed   It is becoming clearer that there is no one overseeing the supplies/needs of this essential gear. https://www.barrons.com/articles/federalize-the-medical-supply-chain-before-its-too-late-51585665386 and https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/hhs-holding-up-delivery-of-2000-u-s-ventilators-pentagon-says and https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/31/pence-task-force-coronavirus-aid-157806  Let’s join in that ask of Sec. Pompeo (https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/u-s-department-of-state) Then, let’s tell Pence to get this supply change fixed so it can save lives:  Vice President: Mike Pence, Comments: 202-456-1111, Switch Board: 202-456-1414, TTY/TTD:  202-456-6213

ZOOM CYBERATTACKS: As more people are staying connected for work, education, and socialization through videoconferencing, there has also been an uptick in "Zoom bombing," or cyberattacks through Zoom. The attacks range from racist, to pornographic, to host doxxing, and have earned a warning from the FBI (https://abcn.ws/2wVeL1t). While there are some measures we can take to prevent this from happening in the first place, it is also important that Zoom take responsibility for its platform's vulnerabilities and the company's inadequate handling of these attacks. Let's read through the account of Dr. Dennis L. Johnson, Jr., who experienced one of these racist attacks, check out his proposed solutions, and sign his petition: https://bit.ly/2URL89r We can also contact Zoom headquarters directly: 55 Almaden Boulevard, 6th Floor, San Jose, CA 95113, Phone: 1-888-799-9666, E-mail: info@zoom.us, and Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan @ericsyuan on Twitter. In the meantime, let's check to see what we can currently do to try to protect ourselves on Zoom: https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-prevent-zoom-bombing

REMOTE ORGANIZING: Swing Left has created a hub where we can find ideas and tools needed to beat Trump, turn the Senate blue, and flip state legislatures, all from home. We can write letters, call voters, attend trainings, host fundraisers, or join local virtual events. Let's check out Virtual Organizing and get to work: https://swingleft.org/p/virtual-organizing

PEOPLE WHO HAVE RECOVERED FROM COVID-19 NEDED TO DONATE PLASMA: Columbia is looking for volunteers who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood for treatment of others with this virus. To help out, we can send an inquiry through RecruitMe by clicking the "Do You Qualify" button: https://recruit.cumc.columbia.edu/clinical_trial/1929

SUPPLY/DEMAND OF PPE:   While our frontline healthcare workers struggle to save lives, without adequate protective equipment (PPE), they are not safe. In the absence of federal coordination there are organizations trying to fill the gaps. Protect A Nurse  aims to get PPE directly to them as quickly as possible, by connecting people and companies to help out healthcare workers that are putting themselves in harm's way to fight COVID-19.  When we click this link, we will find a US map. #GetUsPPE, Mask Match, and Find The Masks all help to coordinate, too. https://mailchi.mp/thedemlabs/findingppe  Let’s check these out and see how we can share these with people who can help or benefit.

ICE HAS PPE THAT HEALTHCARE NEEDS:  On the first day of California’s “shelter-in-place” lockdown, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents raided immigrant communities in Los Angeles. Different from other raids, they carried N95 medical masks to protect themselves from Covid-19. Also different from previous raids, the Ice agents broke state regulations that ordered everyone to stay home except to do “essential” activities necessary to survive (eg buying food or medicine).”  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/31/ice-raids-coronavirus-n95-masks Despite the US Surgeon General’s statement that N95 masks be reserved for frontline medical workers, ICE is using these and risking making the pandemic worse.  Let’s contact our MoCs and Trump saying that this is a misuse of life-saving equipment during a national emergency.

EPA SUSPENDS POLLUTION REGULATIONS:
In yet another ruthless attempt to use the pandemic to justify the Right’s agenda, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has indefinitely ceased enforcement of key industrial air and water pollution rules: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/489943-critics-blast-epa-move-as-license-to-pollute-during-pandemic and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/31/trump-epa-obama-clean-car-rules-climate-change On Tuesday, this took the additional form of rolling back the vehicle emissions standards that are key to the US’s attempts, such as they are, to prevent climate change: https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-03-31/trump-rolls-back-fuel-economy-standards  We have all seen the maps showing the dramatic effects on pollution worldwide as a result of reductions in air and car travel during this pandemic; let’s insist that the EPA not destroy this progress toward a greener future:  (202) 564-4700 or Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460.

ABORTION BAN ALLOWED:  Naomi Klein has predicted that “in times of crisis seemingly impossible ideas become possible” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=niwNTI9Nqd8&feature=emb_logo The only question is WHOSE ideas.  The governors and attorneys general of Ohio, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Alabama have demanded the closure of their states' abortion clinics, calling abortions "non-essential" medical procedures, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has now upheld Texas's abortion ban; since the 5th Circuit covers Louisiana and Mississippi as well, it is expected that their bans will be able to go into effect immediately as well: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/490415-appeals-court-allows-texas-to-implement-ban-on-abortion-during-pandemic These “temporary” bans are, pretty obviously, a calculated attempt to use the pandemic as an excuse to further the longstanding right-wing effort to ban abortion.  We should let the governors of Ohio, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Alabama know that we are not fooled by their rhetoric.

TRUMP WRESTS CONTROL OF RELIEF “OVERSIGHT”:  In a “signing statement” released Friday -  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-by-the-president-38/  - Trump made it clear that he intends to exert "presidential supervision" over the oversight committee responsible for doling out federal coronavirus relief money and over who is informed of the distribution of these funds; he also made it clear that he would reject a newly created inspector general questioning how Mnuchin chooses to dole out the bailout money:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/us/trump-signing-statement-coronavirus.html or https://thehill.com/policy/finance/490287-democrats-trump-set-to-battle-over-implementing-2t-relief-bill We must demand that our MoCs stop this latest executive power grab.

CORRECTION FROM POST ON 3/31: CALL TO RELEASE IMMIGRANT DETAINEES:  The New Sanctuary Coalition call script for people who aren’t faith leaders to ask jails to release detained immigrants can be found here. If we are faith leaders we can use this script instead. Detained immigrants have been released in Massachusetts and New Jersey, so we need to keep up the pressure. 

PROTEST ROLLBACK OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS: Just as dolphins are returning to previously polluted waters and the air in China is clearing, due to shutdowns caused by the pandemic, the administration announced a rollback of Obama era fuel efficiency regulations. https://apnews.com/98f311a6d4275334a9e4d3a804cd2e1a. This will ultimately cause more deaths from air pollution and exacerbate the climate crisis. President Obama stated in response to the announcement, We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial.” Since the automakers themselves have lobbied for a middle ground between Trump’s new rule and Obama’s, let’s contact, Ford, GM, Chrysler, and other auto makers by phone, mail, or social media and ask them to put the health of the planet before profits and keep the standards as close as possible to the Obama-rule levels. Let’s also ask our MoCs if they can do anything about this.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR INMATES AS A SOLUTION FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING: Instead of releasing non-violent offenders to lessen the potential of COVID-19 transmission, as many cities and states are doing, the federal government is putting inmates in solitary confinement for two weeks. https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/490537-federal-inmates-to-be-confined-to-cells-for-two-weeks-amid. This is unnecessarily cruel and amounts to torture. Let’s complain to our MoCs and to the Department of Justice  (202-353-1555; 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20530-0001; website form; Facebook; Twitter: @TheJustice Dept.

DONATE FOR FOOD RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVELIHOODS DUE TO COVID: The World Central Kitchen, in conjunction with Chefs for America, is on the frontlines in providing emergency. food relief for people who have lost their jobs during the COVID crisis. WCK has also been a key player in providing meals for refugees at the border. We can donate to them here

COVID-19: EMPOWER MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: Generation Citizen educates young people by engaging them in real, hands-on civic advocacy. While many of our students are out of school, Generation Citizen has programs to help them advocate for the public good in the face of this pandemic. Let’s learn more here:  https://mailchi.mp/generationcitizen.org/covid19 and here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScKiqL1KWtOCuUsUIxGG1uZ0qiSc817B5IvElFM6D8bbUSl5Q/viewform 

ELECTION/VOTING

WISCONSIN:  “Wisconsin has ordered residents to stay at home, shuttered non-essential businesses, and banned "all public and private gatherings of any number of people" — but is still planning to proceed with an election Tuesday [April 7] amid the coronavirus crisis.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/wisconsin-facing-heavy-criticism-plans-tuesday-primary-despite-coronavirus-n1173361  Today is the last day to request an absentee ballot:  https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/VoteAbsentee Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in person to vote next week.  Let’s make sure our votes count in next week’s 2020 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote

STATE/LOCAL

ALL:  HELP FILL MEDICAL STAFFING GAP BY SEND GOVERNOR CONTACT INFO TO CNA TRAINING GROUP:  VolunteerSurge is ready to recruit, train AND deploy 1,000,000 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to take up the slack in the days to come, allowing more RNs and MDs to focus on critical care.  They offer an online learning system with a Red Cross-licensed CNA training program, ADP's WorkMarket platform to match volunteers with opportunities, and other highly visible platforms to help the Health Care Provider entities manage this army of volunteers.  In order to start, 50 governors need to sign waivers letting nursing homes use fully online training and waiving the state exam, which isn't even being offered during COVID 19. Also at least some classroom training is required in each state, which doesn't work during the COVID 19 emergency. Because nursing homes must have new employees quarantine for 14 days before serving, regulatory barriers to on-line training need to go RIGHT NOW or they will run out of staff and we could have a public health disaster. If we have any connections to Governors' offices we can contact Jonathan Dariyanani at jonathan@cognotion.com 

CA: #ACTION - PRIVATE AND COSMETIC SURGERY CENTERS NEEDED TO LOAN VENTILATORS OR DONATE PPE: In California we have rapidly become inundated with sick patients and the need for ventilators and PPE is rapidly increasing. If we own or work in a private or cosmetic surgery center, or can forward this to someone who does, we can help out by loaning ventilators or donating PPE. We can fill out this USC led survey and the data will be used to collaborate with local health services and hospitals to provide additional resources if needed when possible: https://redcap.med.usc.edu/surveys/index.php?s=NJT7XRK7RX These extra ventilators will save lives !

NY: PROPOSED BUDGET:  Granted that New York, like every other state, has seen its revenues shrink dramatically as a consequence of the current pandemic, the budget Gov. Cuomo is proposing to pass on APRIL 1st is unconscionable, cutting hospital, education, and Medicaid funding and offering no moratorium on sky-high NYC rents; some have called it “obscene”:  https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics/ny-looking-at-hospital-budget-cuts-even-as-coronavirus-crisis-deepens/2347157/  or  https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/politics/albany/2020/03/30/new-york-state-budget-9-issues-watch-for-april-1-deadline-looms/2937824001/ All New Yorkers should immediately make their views known: Cuomo 518-474-8390 AND/OR Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins 518 455-2585 (fax 518-426-6811) AND/OR Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie 518-455-3791 (fax 518-455-5459).

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

WISCONSIN TEXT BANKING:  Join Supermajority in texting women voters the information we need to flex our political power at the polls. This is a fun way to make an impact from the comfort of your own home while in community with women from across the country! Sign up today for our Wisconsin Text Banks on Monday, 4/6! Let’s check out and learn how we can help:  https://www.mobilize.us/supermajority/event/264674/

READING/WATCHING




Party leaders agree with Joe Biden – the Democratic National Convention cannot proceed as originally planned - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-democratic-national-convention-scheduled/

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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