Contact Federal Government Officials
- At a lunch meeting at the White House yesterday, Trump urged Republican senators to continue working on a health care bill and to not leave for their August recess until they passed a bill. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-idUSKBN1A40UX Let’s let our senators and the White House know that we want a good bill, not a fast bill. If the GOP has not been able to come up with a plan in seven years, a few more weeks will not be the right fix. The Indivisible Guide has a helpful resource, which details three different scenarios that could play out next in McConnell's fight to get rid of the ACA. We can read through, and then use the call script at the bottom of the page when we contact our senators http://bit.ly/2tHvwFM
- “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is shutting down an office that coordinates cyber issues with other countries, according to two people familiar with the plan, in a move that critics said will diminish the U.S. voice in confronting hackers.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-19/tillerson-is-said-to-shut-cyber-office-in-state-s-reorganization Considering what happened to our 2016 elections, this move seems dubious at best. Let’s call our MoCs to get this turned around. Let’s also voice our concern to Tillerson: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/u-s-department-of-state
- One of our big victories on a tragic election night in November was finally forcing notorious bigot Scott Garrett (R-NJ) out of Congress. Naturally, Trump wants him back in power, and has nominated him to lead the Export-Import Bank. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/17/scott-garrett-trump-export-import-bank-nominee-240639) Garrett’s nomination is in trouble for a variety of reasons, and attention from the public could help stop him. Let’s contact our senators, especially those of us whose senators serve on the Banking Committee, and tell them someone who doesn’t think gay people should serve in Congress shouldn’t get their support.
- The House last week passed the National Defense Authorization Act for this year, and included now-standard language preventing any recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimea. The Trump administration is criticizing this measure. (http://thehill.com/policy/defense/342069-house-passes-6965b-defense-policy-bill) We obviously can’t trust Trump in dealing with Russia, and our members of Congress need to know that. Let’s contact them and tell them that no matter what the White House says, we want them to make sure that provision is in the final bill.
- The news has broken that Trump had an additional meeting with Putin at G-20 in Hamburg; this time, for one hour and with only Putin’s interpreter, which is a break in US protocol: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-07-18/bremmer-on-trump-putin-meeting-charlie-rose-video and http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/342589-ian-bremmer-trump-and-putin-held-second-informal-meeting-during-g-20?amp Let’s walk and chew gum at the same time about health care and Russia and let our Members of Congress know that if Trump chooses to engage with Putin without staffers present and without his own interpreter, we have very significant issues that need attention.
- Trump has expressed a willingness to play dice with 1/6th of the US economy alongside the lives of our people:http://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/trump-on-senates-health-care-failure-let-obamacare-fail/ This is behavior wholly unbefitting a president. Please keep the pressure up with your Senators until we are at the end of the straight repeal effort and let Trump know what you think of his leadership: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
- The bi-partisan Credit for Caring Act (Senate bill: S1151; House bill: HR2505) would create a $3000 family caregiver tax credit. http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/341845-bipartisan-group-pushes-caregivers-tax-credit Let's tell all three of our MoC's to support the Credit for Caring Act. (S1151/HR2505)
- “Frustrated by delayed promises of citizenship from the U.S. military, and in fear of the Islamic State if he were deported back to Iraq, Ranj Rafeeq has given up the American Dream for a Canadian one.” Rafeeq, like many, many other foreign-born recruits like him, were promised fast-tracked citizenship here by the Pentagon, but it has not happened. Now many of them are here illegally and will be deported unless they follow Rafeeq;s lead: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/07/17/foreign-born-recruits-promised-citizenship-by-the-pentagon-flee-the-country-to-avoid-deportation/?tid=ss_fb&utm_term=.9f1a1e3a0421 Let’s contact our MoCs and the Dept. of Defense. We promised these young people something better. DOD: https://www.defense.gov/Resources/Contact-DoD/
- On Wednesday, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed HB 5277 into law, banning conversion therapy against LGBTQ youth http://bit.ly/2ubmcxB Let's send Governor Raimondo a "thank you" for protecting our young LGBTQ communities: Office of the Governor 82 Smith Street Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 222-2080
- Attorney General Jeff
Sessions has announced plans to expand civil asset forfeiture; a practice
that even conservative Supreme Court Justice has admonished, saying
"That system—where police can seize property with limited judicial
oversight and retain it for their own use— has led to egregious and
well-chronicled abuses,” http://theatln.tc/2trcxE9 This
bipartisan concern over governmental overreach should be put into action;
let's ask our MoC to speak out against Sessions's new directive to expand
asset forfeiture, and to work across the aisle to come up with a workable
solution. We can also contact the Department of Justice to let Sessions
know how we feel about his plans 202-353-1555 U.S.
Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001
- The House Appropriations subcommittee passed the spending bill, which included approximately $1.6 billion for Trump's border wall http://bit.ly/2vD9JR5 Let's give our representatives a call to make sure that do not allocate any funds for this wall. Let's also make sure that they know we do not support a government shutdown to intimidate any representatives into voting in favor of the wall http://politi.co/2vacUj2
- "Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) blasted Speaker Paul Ryan late Tuesday, saying the Wisconsin Republican "stripped" her Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) repeal amendment in the "dead of night.” Lee said in a tweet the move was "underhanded & undemocratic," adding "the people deserve a debate!" The measure was surprisingly backed by both Republicans and Democrats when it was voted into the House defense spending bill in late June." http://thehill.com/policy/defense/342666-dem-rep-stripping-war-authorization-repeal-underhanded-undemocratic Really, do we want an unpredictable president like Trump to have the authority to use deadly force without Congressional review? Let's contact Ryan and tell him we want that action presented for a vote: https://paulryan.house.gov/contact/
- CA: In Santa Rosa, workers at a waster management company have successfully organized and unionized. Now they are working with local groups to implement more environmentally friendly waste-recovery practices. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7148757-181/teamsters-advocating-for-better-sonoma. Let's take away from this that, with persistence, it is still possible to unionize in the USA and that workers are stronger when they do.
- If we flip 24 House seats in 2018, we reclaim it. To see how we can help, let’s check out Swing Left https://swingleft.org/
- From red state Texas comes this commentary in the Dallas News by Carl P. Leubsdorf outlining Trump's achievements during his first six months in office. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/07/17/outline-trumps-achievements-first-six-months-office We can send feedback to Carl Leubsdorf at this email address: email@example.com or write to: Carl P. Leubsdorf, c/o The Dallas Morning News, 508 Young St, Dallas TX 75202.
- From Strong Women Action Network (SWAN): The VA Pilot recently published an article titled “Virginia Republicans face the largest number of contested elections in over a decade” stating that 85 percent of Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates districts will host contested races. It notes that this is the most since the 2009 elections. Virginia is the first battleground state to be a proving ground for the resistance against the Trump agenda. What happens in the Virginia House of Delegates elections not only will affect issues close to home for many Virginians and the Virginia congressional district lines, but it will show the nation whether or not the resistance energy can translate into votes at the polling booth. There is a national effort to "Turn Virginia Blue" and with the help of Mobilize America and the Strong Women Action Network, we can make calls to support progressive candidates by joining a Facebook based phone bank this Saturday, July 22nd. These two groups are working together to make calls for many candidates including: Jennifer Foy, Danica Roem, David Reid, and others. They will provide you training and all the tools you need to help make a difference! Sign up here or email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Yesterday, defying White House wishes, journalist” Ksenija Pavlovic, a former political science teaching fellow at Yale who founded a news site called Pavlovic Today, used the Periscope app to stream audio of Wednesday's briefing.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/19/a-reporter-broke-white-house-rules-by-streaming-live-audio-of-an-off-camera-briefing/?nid&utm_term=.d1f76dcd2f7c She may be taken to court over this, but Ms Pavlovic knows that this kind of transparency is the American way. Let’s thank her: Twitter: @ksenijapavlovic or email: email@example.com
- Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in Denver at the 44th annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting. The American Legislative Exchange Council claims to be a nonpartisan group, but since their slogan is "limited government, free markets and federalism" we'd have to say that makes them right-wing. "DeVos has close ties to ALEC. She is the founder of the , which provides financial support to ALEC and has representation on ALEC’s Education and Workforce Development Task Force." In the wake of this meeting, we can expect this influential group to help push DeVos' ill-conceived school voucher schemes. Let's watch her next moves closely, as are the hundreds of protesters who showed up in Denver to protest! http://www.coloradoindependent.com/166344/betsy-devos-alec-protests
- Let’s stand with FWD.us, which “is mobilizing the tech community to promote policies that keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy, starting with fixing our broken immigration system and criminal justice reform” and tell Congress we stand with immigrants: https://www.fwd.us/stand-with-immigrants-rti-sl-clal
- Trump’s Voter Integrity Commission met today for the first time amid great skepticism and genuine distrust in the need or how it will be handled. http://www.npr.org/2017/07/19/537910132/amid-skepticism-and-scrutiny-election-integrity-commission-holds-first-meeting Let’s join the DNC in asking Trump to shut down this unnecessary commission: http://my.democrats.org/page/s/shut-down-trumps-voter-fraud-commission
Marches/events to attend/organize
- A helpful piece in FiveThirtyEight about when to trust unnamed sources: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/when-to-trust-a-story-that-uses-unnamed-sources/amp/
- A nice tip of the hat to resistance efforts with a special shout-out to Kansans: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/opinion/health-care-bill-republicans.html
3. Climate change is often not perceived as a threat until it threatens us personally. In Chile, many regard climate change as the greatest external threat. Everyone has been affected, directly and indirectly. "Chile's government is introducing a range of measures to help the country adapt to hotter, drier conditions — for example, better water conservation and fire prevention methods, and creating green spaces to help cool urban areas. To further raise awareness, there will be mandatory climate change classes in Chile's schools, from next year onward." We can read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/07/16/536896748/in-chile-many-regard-climate-change-as-the-greatest-external-threat Let's be aware that climate change is already having huge impacts on lives around the world. While we, in the US, have people arguing about the validity of the science, Chile has already reached a point where climate change knowledge must be mandatory in school.