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Thursday, August 10, 2017

8/10/17

The Rogan’s List Team is on vacation through August 13, but because of the extension of the Senate calendar we have decided to run a smaller list during this time. We look forward to being back to the full list on August 14.

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1.      Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to miss the news that Trump has gone rogue from his own advisers and is sending scary bluster to North Korea via tweet: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/lawmakers-slam-trumps-promise-unleash-fire-fury-north/story?id=49099484 and http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/345838-foreign-relations-dem-north-korea-is-the-modern-day-cuban-missile-crisis. Some members of Congress from both parties have spoken up about this, but we need to be hearing from more of them. Please be in touch with yours to ask them to demand diplomacy, not nuclear brinkmanship.

2.     Democrats led by civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis have proposed a bill to restore the voting rights protections struck down by the Supreme Court (https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-06-22/house-democrats-move-to-restore-key-provisions-of-the-voting-rights-act). After the assaults on voting rights across the country since Shelby County v. Holder, it’s clear this legislation needs to be in place before the next election if at all possible. We can check out who has co-sponsored the bill here. If our reps are on board, let’s contact them and thank them. If they’re not, let’s contact them and ask them for an explanation. We can also sign this ACLU petition in favor of the legislation here.

3.     It’s temporarily out of the headlines, but the Trump administration’s voter suppression commission is still moving forward. Democrats in both houses of Congress have introduced the Anti-Voter Suppression Act (S. 1547/H.R. 3214) to nullify Trump’s executive order establishing the commission and to prohibit any of our money from being used to investigate the non-issue of voter fraud (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/07/12/democrats-aim-block-funding-trumps-election-commission/474045001/). Let’s check out the House and Senate versions of the bill to see if our members of Congress are co-sponsoring it, and contact them to thank them if they are and ask them to get on board if they are not.

4.     Congress needs to put safeguards in place to ensure that all citizens who are willing and able to serve in our military have legal protections to do so, regardless of gender identity. Congress could make this happen by including an amendment specifically protecting our transgender troops in the National Defense Authorization Act. Let's contact Senator John McCain ((202) 224-2235), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member Senator Jack Reed ((202) 224-4642), along with our own senators, and ask that they support adding language to the NDAA prohibiting bans against transgender service members. We can also sign CREDO Action's petition to Senator McCain: http://bit.ly/2vNXvZh.

5.      Ten state attorneys general demanded in June that the administration end the DACA program by September 5th or face litigation (http://cnn.it/2vERiiN). The deadline is less than a month away. Congress has introduced legislation to help preserve the program and protect DREAMers, yet both of those bills are stuck in committee (http://cnn.it/2vesIT7). Let's call the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (202-224-3744) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein ((202) 224-3841) and ask them to help move forward the DREAM Act of 2017 (S.1615). We can also call the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Chairman Raul Labrador ((202) 225 - 6611) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren ((202) 225-3072) and ask that they move forward the bipartisan BRIDGE Act (H.R. 496). Let's also make sure that our members of Congress are supporting both pieces of legislation. Finally, let's read through and sign MomsRising's letter to Congress in support of the DREAM Act: (http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Protect_Dreamers/).

6.     Across the country, kids as young as four years old are being humiliated and going hungry due to unpaid student lunch debts. The Department of Agriculture is requiring districts to adopt policies for addressing meal debts and to inform parents of them at the start of the academic year, and New Mexico has passed a law banning school meal shaming (https://apnews.com/affc45f314114094b01f1e649811c4ad). As Ashley Ford says, “we have enough money in this country to feed kids. We absolutely do. Every day we don't is another day we fail our humanity.” So let’s contact our reps and ask them to sign on to the bipartisan congressional effort to curb the worst of these shaming practices, the Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017. (You can see if they’re already on board here.). And if we haven’t already, let’s contact our local school boards to ask how student lunch debt is being handled in our communities, and if it’s not being handled right insist that these policies be changed, and call our state legislators (https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/) and encourage them to follow New Mexico’s lead and make school meal shaming a thing of the past.

7.      Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have launched an investigation into how our tax monies are being used to enrich Trump: "The committee's 18 minority members sent letters on Tuesday to the 15 cabinet departments and nine independent executive branch agencies, requesting documents on their spending at 'businesses owned by or affiliated with the Trump Organization'" (http://www.npr.org/2017/08/08/542296258/hill-democrats-launch-investigation-of-federal-spending-at-trump-businesses). If we are constituents of the Republican members of this committee, especially Trey Gowdy (R-SC), let's let them know that we'd really like their participation to give this investigation some bipartisan clout. All members of the committee are listed here: https://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/. Let's help get to the bottom of this!

8.      To ensure that any presidential pardons are disclosed publicly, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced the Presidential Pardon Transparency Act, HR3498, on July 27 (http://thehill.com/homenews/house/344024-dem-rep-to-introduce-measure-requiring-white-house-to-disclose-pardons). This bill currently has 24 Democratic co-sponsors (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr3489/details).  Let's thank our representatives if they are among the co-sponsors.  Let's contact our representatives who are not on the list to ask them to support the Presidential Pardon Transparency Act – this does not need to be a partisan issue. We can send thank you's to Representative Krishnamoorthi for introducing the bill to: Raja Krishnamoorthi, 515 Cannon HOB, Washington DC 20515 or via Twitter at https://twitter.com/CongressmanRaja. (Be sure to tag #RogansHeroes if you thank him by tweet!)

State Actions

1.     UT: Rocky Mountain Power wants to triple monthly charges for customers with solar panels. They are looking to implement the same changes that destroyed Nevada's blooming solar industry. The public hearing about this is scheduled for today (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865666906/Rocky-Mountain-Power-seeks-fee-hikes-for-new-solar-customers.html). Let's contact our state legislators and governor about this issue, as well as writing to the Utah Public Service Commission to let them know we oppose this proposed change and we want to see solar power supported, not marginalized. We can reach out to the Utah Public Service Commission, Attn: Chairman, Commissioner Thad LeVar, 160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City UT 84111 or by phone at 801-530-6716.

2.      MA: Attorney General Maura Healey, a progressive Democrat, has a legislative wish list that includes a bill helping eligible students recover their tuition from failed for-profit schools (S.112/H.627), a bill enabling the attorney general to advocate for the interests of electric and gas customers before the state Department of Public Utilities (S.1823/H.3387), a bill enabling the attorney general to bring civil violations of wage laws to court, reducing wage theft (S999/H.1033) and a bill to increase the penalties for corporate manslaughter (S.858) (http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2017/ag-healey-legislative-priorities.html). If we’re in Massachusetts, let’s contact our state reps (https://malegislature.gov/StateHouse/Contact) and tell them to support these bills.

Other Actions

1.     Organizing For Action will be hosting a call tonight (Thursday, August 10th) at 8pm ET, which will give an overview of their program, Rubber Stamp Rep. The program focuses on reps who have been acting as a "rubber stamp" for the Trump administration, regardless of where their constituents stand. Let's join the call and learn how we can help hold these reps accountable during the August recess: https://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/WM1FXO5UMYKBZHQ.

2.      For those of us who create Postcards to Voters: Good news! Dr. Phil Miller has won his legislative race in Iowa (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/democrats-vs-trump/early-iowa-tea-leaf-falls-against-trump-n791096). This is the third winning campaign in a row in which postcarders participated.  The prior three campaigns finished with unexpectedly close elections.  Right now, the seventh postcard campaign, for a city council seat in Phoenix, is underway.  Tony the Democrat has lined up 5 more campaigns after that for the current 4000 postcarding volunteers. We can commit to creating as few as 5 postcards for a campaign. Every postcard counts! If we are not signed up yet, let's consider participating. Let's also tell our friends who might enjoy participating. We can email Tony the Democrat to sign up at: Postcards@TonyTheDemocrat.org.  We can also find "Postcards to Voters" on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/TonyTheDemocrat.org/.

3.     Democratic state attorneys general like Maura Healey, Bob Ferguson, Xavier Becerra, Mark Herring and Douglas Chin are on the frontlines of the fight against the Trump administration. They’ve battled to stop the Muslim ban, preserve clean air and clean water, keep students safe from sexual violence on campus and more. The Republicans have responded by stepping up efforts to drive them out of office, ending a longstanding agreement by both parties not to target incumbent attorneys general during election season (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-republican-ags-exclusive-idUSKBN16Z1A5). We need to be prepared to defend the folks who are defending our rights. Let’s sign up for accounts here to get information about texting in support of Democratic attorney general candidates at https://wevolunteer.openprogress.com. And we can also donate to the Democratic Attorneys General Association: http://democraticags.org.

4.      The Resistance will ultimately be won by VOTING. Here's a reminder for us to refer to flippable.org, or sign up for their mailing list, to see what elections are coming up in our state. Flippable focuses "on state races, which play a huge role in national elections but are often overlooked. Information about these races is hard to find, and busy people don’t have the time to sift through it. That's where we come in." Whether it's for the school board or the state governor, the election will be listed here for our convenience: https://www.flippable.org/upcoming-elections/.

5.      Our collective effort to remove Bill O’Reilly from Fox News by targeting his advertisers was successful.  It is now time to do the same with Sean Hannity, who continues to use his platform to bash Democrats and help perpetuate false stories (http://www.newsweek.com/fire-hannity-effort-intensifies-646090). Let’s contact Hannity’s advertisers to tell them to stop funding the lies.  We want real journalism with real news, not spin.  Let’s use this to help us know who to contact:  http://firehannity.org/.

6.      “Team Internet is a decentralized group of volunteers who are working together toward a shared goal of maintaining Title II Net Neutrality. We’re combining people power with technology to build a volunteer network of bold activists who can hold their leaders accountable!”  We can sign up here:  http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/sign-up-text-team-internet/.

7.      Climate-change mitigation begins at home! For little or no cost, you can have your home assessed for energy efficiency and receive energy-saving benefits and services. In return, you’ll lower your carbon footprint and save money on utilities. Use this Google doc to find a program in your state: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v1j8p8MWZVW6Z0uCWhcYQvQdbwRWt3ES5BkYqhkaZqw/edit?usp=sharing.

Rogan’s List is a participant in and strategic partner of the Action Alliance,
            a loosely-federated group of organizations that, in the wake of the
2016 election, are sharing daily or weekly calls to action.
Other member sites are listed here: https://www.actionalliance.co/  --scroll down and click through and you'll find many more opportunities to make a difference.
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Rogan’s List is also part of RISE Stronger’s United States of Resistance


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