Contact Government Officials
- Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have called on Attorney General Sessions to resign because he weighed in on the firing of Comey after recusing himself from anything related to the Russian investigation: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/fbi/333035-dem-senator-on-sessions-i-think-he-should-resign Let’s contact our own MoCs about Sessions and then write to Sessions to ask for his resignation: US Dept of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20530 and call the Dept of Justice Comment Line (a voicemail system) at 202-353-1555.
- Twenty Attorney Generals from Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Delaware, Minnesota and Washington, D.C worked together to write a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to ask him to appoint special counsel in the Russian investigation: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/20-state-attorneys-general-call-for-special-counsel-for-russia-probe/ If our AG is among those involved, please reach out to him/her to say thank you, if our AG is not, let’s ask why. Contact information can be found here: http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag.php
- It was the EPA's National Vehicle and Fuels Emissions Laboratory engineers who discovered how VW was cheating on emissions and worked with California and Department of Justice to get more that $25B in settlement from VW. It also sets all the air pollution and GHG gas standards for all vehicles and engines and provides assistance to the states. It is regarded by the industry and emissions world as the gold standard emissions lab. The Trump budget in effect cuts lab operations by 99% and employees by over $50% -There is a real possibility it will close. Its loss would be harmful for us all. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k1qCMVpKZpOVF4aFF3M3c4SXM Let’s make sure that our MoCs know that we know how important this lab is.
- House Representatives are headed back to D.C. this weekend, but that's no reason to stop holding them accountable for how they voted on the health care bill that is now in the Senate's hands. Considering many of them did not dare hold a town hall this week, why don't we ask them our questions over the phone? Our own words are always best, but we can use the great questions here as a basic script: https://www.paybackproject.org/sample-town-hall-questions/
- Earlier this week, VP Mike Pence spoke at the first-ever "World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians," a meeting with a name that obviously points to its religious bias and worldview. At the meeting, Pence made the outrageous claim that "no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ." He followed up with what, given the Islamophobic stance of the White House, is more than a veiled threat to the Middle East: naming "radical Islamic terrorists," he connects them with the "onslaught against our faith" "in the very ancient land where Christianity was born." https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/05/11/vice-president-mike-pence-speaks-world-summit-defense-persecuted-christians. Whatever our faith, this rhetoric should alarm us. Not only does it ignore the principles of the separation of Church and State and "America's historical relationship with Islam,” but it draws on the extreme right-wing rhetoric of the Islamophobes around Trump "who mimic the controversial ideas in the Harvard historian Samuel P. Huntington’s book _The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order_. Two decades ago, Huntington argued that the superpower rivalry of the Cold War was being replaced by a clash between the West and entire cultures, notably the Islamic world and Asia." This paranoid and hawkish thinking is unacceptable and not what America is about, as this article describes for us: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-trump-teams-holy-war-and-the-remaking-of-the-world-order Let's call or write the White House and tell Pence he should stop perpetuating such dangerous and misinformed ideas. The safety of the U.S. and the whole world is at stake. 202-456-1111 or https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
- Trump is contradicting everything that Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and even Vice President Mike Pence have been spinning about the reasons behind and process of Comey’s firing. http://www.factcheck.org/2017/05/trump-fire-comey/ and http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/opinion/krauthammer-political-murder/KAbbmSmET2dyAOzg8ZTAsK/ Let’s continue calling, emailing, and writing to our MoC about this crisis and consider writing to Pence at the White House to ask why he is allowing himself to be used by Trump in this way: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
- Constitutional lawyer, Lawrence Tribe says the Comey firing and trump's statements are cause for impeachment. "Harvard professor and constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe on Thursday called President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey "staggering" and said Trump obstructed justice by asking for Comey's loyalty. "That is, clearly, on it's face obstruction of justice," Tribe said on MSNBC on Thursday, referring to reports that Trump asked Comey for his "loyalty" at a private dinner." http://thehill.com/homenews/news/333080-lawrence-tribe-high-crimes-in-trumps-firing-of-comey Just another reason to put the pressure on McConnell and demand an Independent Investigation. Let's keep the pressure on and keep calling. DEMAND SPECIAL INVESTIGATION Mitch McConnell needs a wake up call. Flood his phone lines. 202-224-2541 (DC); 270-781-1673 (Bowling Green); 502-582-6304 (Louisville); 859-224-8286 (Lexington); 606-864-2026(London); 859-578-0188 (Fort Wright); 270-442-4554 (Paducah)
- Welcome back Prison Nation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on Friday ordering federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” in low-level drug crimes. This memo, which requires prosecutors who wish to pursue a lesser charge for these low-level crimes to seek permission from a U.S. attorney, assistant attorney general, or some other supervisor, supercedes Eric Holder’s previous instructions that gave prosecutors and judges discretion in charging nonviolent drug offenders with crimes carrying the mandatory minimum sentence. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/12/528086525/sessions-tells-prosecutors-to-seek-most-serious-charges-stricter-sentences Some say this move will take our country, where 1 in 5 of 2 million incarcerated people are imprisoned on drug charges, back to the “law and order” 1980s. We must let the Dept of Justice (https://www.justice.gov/contact-us ) know that we support the recent efforts to slow mass incarceration that Sessions seems determined to thwart.
- To celebrate Mother's Day, the National Partnership For Women and Families' WeTweet.org has helped launch the #MomsDontNeed campaign. This campaign focuses specifically on women's issues, from contraception, to paid family and medical leave, to workplace fairness. Wetweet has created sample tweets for each issue, and will connect us with our Representatives and Senators, so that we can tweet each MoC about the issues that matter to us. Let's get started! http://www.wetweet.org/mothers-day/index.html
- We cannot allow Trump to keep pushing the boundaries of our democracy, without there being consequences. Unfortunately, Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already dismissed the option of a special investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with Russia: http://wapo.st/2pG97Yo Let's let our Senators know that we support them using any means in their power, including shutting down basic Senate business, to push for an independent prosecutor and/or commission.
- The Hill is reporting that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling for the Protecting Our Democracy Act (H.R. 356) to be brought to the House floor next week: http://bit.ly/2plzZ3M / https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/356 This legislation would require a bipartisan group of experts to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Should House Speaker Paul Ryan refuse to bring the legislation to a vote, Pelosi is threatening a discharge petition. With enough signatures, the petition would force a vote on the legislation. Let's call our Representatives and ask them to support the Protecting Our Democracy Act if they haven't already. Let's also let them know that if it comes to it, we want them to sign the discharge petition as well.
- Pledge loyalty to our country? Absolutely! A president asking a government employee to pledge loyalty to him?? Not appropriate. One does not run a government the way one runs a business. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/333062-report-trump-demanded-comeys-loyalty-at-dinner-in-january Let’s let White House know that pledging loyalty in this way is not at all acceptable, much less presidential: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
- "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed on Thursday a declaration acknowledging the threat posed by climate change to the Arctic and indicating the need for action to curb its impact on the region." This is encouraging news but it is restricted to climate change in the Arctic. We all know that climate change is all consuming for this planet. http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/333085-tillerson-signs-declaration-recognizing-climate-change Let’s thanks Secretary Tillerson for his move in the right direction and encourage him to continue to give Americans and world leaders confidence that the USA will follow global recommendations to restrict the growing impact of global warming on the planet. Write him here: The Honorable Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520
- “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” tweeted Trump at 8:26 a.m. on May 12, 2017, quite likely in violation of 18 U.S. Code 1512b. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-fbi-idUSKBN1881YJ Let’s contact our MoCs and the Department of Justice and tell them we want an investigation into whether Trump is knowingly using intimidation or threats against Comey or others with an intent to hide testimony or evidence in an official proceeding. Let’s contact Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001 or DOJ comment line: 202-353-1555 or DOJ contact form: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice
- That Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach--a voter fraud crusader, able, despite his best efforts, to unearth only six instances of fraudulent voting in Kansas but nonetheless committed to making it harder to vote—has been named by Trump as the vice chair of his new commission to investigate the “integrity of [U.S.] elections” is nothing if not revealing. In addition, Kobach has been successfully sued four times for voter suppression, according to the ACLU. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-voter-fraud-commission-vice-chair-kris-kobach-voter-suppression-sued-four-times-a7732346.html In the middle of the FBI and Senate investigations into the Russia/Trump meddling in the 2016 election, this is particularly ironic. Perhaps we should tell the White House that we, indeed, want the integrity of our elections examined—by a credible commission, as interested in the demonstrable problem of voter suppression as the largely discredited one of voter fraud.
- Tony the Democrat is back with an opportunity to write postcards to 5 (or 10 or 15) voters in South Carolina’s upcoming Special Election in the 5th District. Send an email to this address to receive instructions and addresses: Postcards@TonyTheDemocrat.org
- An MIT Professor and his team in the MIT media lab have come up with Nifty Fifty, an innovative way to encourage us to reach friends and family in other states to ask them to engage in political action: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/articles/fed-up-call-congress-fifty-nifty-will-help/ and https://www.fiftynifty.org And even if we do not ultimately use this tool, whom can we be connecting with in other states to ask for their engagement at this critical time?
- Over 200 black professors penned an open letter to the graduates of “The students defied the presence and rhetoric of 45’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, as she attempted to complete her speech. The graduates turned their backs, literally, on DeVos as she offered her remarks to the chagrin of the college’s administration gathered on the stage.” https://cassiuslife.com/2922/bethune-cookman-graduates-open-letter/ Let’s take the time to seek out some of these letter-writers and than them.
- A wise bumper sticker once said, “The most radical thing we can do is introduce people to one another.” Especially people who disagree. Let’s explore the Living Room Conversations project and seriously consider organizing a conversation of our own. http://www.livingroomconversations.org/
Petitions to Sign
- Shame on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) for holding the country’s top women’s golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
- ell Congress to pass the "Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act" to lower drug prices and rein in abuses by pharmaceutical corporations: https://www.signherenow.org/petition/rx-drugs/baldwin/
- A number of progressive groups--#AllOfUs, Demand Progress, Alliance for Quality Education and others—are calling on Senate Democrats to refuse to continue business as usual until an independent special prosecutor is named to investigate the Trump/Russia ties and the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Let’s join in: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/Comey_Shutdown
- “If you’re not worried about FBI Director James Comey getting fired, this man might change your mind.” https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/two-dead-canaries-in-the-coal-mine/526230/
- Our weekly edition of “The United States of Resistance” from RISE Stronger: https://www.risestronger.org/newsroom/comey-you-re-fired-russia-you-re-hired
- Our weekly dose of “Small Victories”: http://www.peaceisloud.org/blog/small-victories-issue-1