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.
Contact Federal Government Officials
1. Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue introduced the RAISE Act back in February, and received Trump's endorsement earlier this month (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/02/trump-legal-immigration-reduction-bill-241249). This legislation would significantly reduce the number of refugees admitted to the United States each year, and would overhaul the immigration process, converting it to a points-based system where the most educated, wealthiest individuals gain priority (http://bit.ly/2u0XTjb). Time Magazine has created a tool based off of the points-based system to allow us to see if we would qualify for legal immigration to the United States here: http://time.com/4887574/trump-raise-act-immigration/. Let's check it out, then give our senators a call to tell them our results and ask that they oppose the RAISE Act (S. 354). (You can also share your results on Twitter – be sure to @ your senators and tag #RogansHeroes!)
2. Anticipating that this or any future president might try to pardon himself, Representative Al Green (D-TX) has introduced H.J. Res 115 prohibiting presidential self-pardons (http://www.houstonpress.com/news/rep-al-green-wants-to-outlaw-presidential-self-pardons-9648732). Let's tell our representatives to support H.J. Res 115. We can thank Congressman Green for his leadership on this issue: Al Green, 2347 Rayburn HOB, Washington DC 20515.
3. Trump's Justice Department has made it clear they are not on the side of those purged from the Ohio voter rolls for failing to vote or verify their address. They are reversing the Obama administration’s position that Ohio’s voter purge is illegal (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/trump-administration-sides-ohio-purging-voter-rolls/. We must let Jeff Sessions know we are appalled at his department’s decision to turn the right to vote into a political game: 202-353-1555 or U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001.
4. Private prisons are plagued by security breaches, overcrowding, mistreatment of prisoners and misuse of funds. They account for 20 percent of our federal prison and detention population—but they manage to escape the same level of transparency and accountability as government-run prisons because they claim to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Let’s contact our MoCs and tell them to support S. 1728, The Private Prison Information Act of 2017. Introduced this week by Senator Ben Cardin (http://correctionalnews.com/2017/07/27/criminal-justice-groups-support-private-prison-information-act/), the bill would subject private prisons to the same FOIA requirements as prisons run by the federal government.
1. CA: Many California cities are trying to shun companies that build Trump's wall (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-border-wall-20170808-story.html). Let's support these efforts and contact our local city governments to ask how they will be vetting companies going forward. Let's tell them and our city councilors that we want them to ask all bidders about the bidder's work on Trump wall and to reject companies that are so engaged.
2. NM: BP just found a significant source of natural gas in New Mexico to frack (https://www.ecowatch.com/fracking-new-mexico-2470949793.html). Let's work together to keep this from going any further. We can start by contacting our state legislators (https://nmlegis.gov/Members/Find_My_Legislator) and Governor Susana Martinez (http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx) to tell them to stop BP from fracking this new find. We can also ask New Mexico gubernatorial candidates like Michelle Lujan Grisham, Jeff Apodaca, Peter DeBenedittis, Joseph Cervantes and Steve Pearce what they would do to stop fracking if they’re elected.
1. The fight to stop Keystone XL is now before the Nebraska Public Service Commission. This is our LAST chance to submit public comments opposing the pipeline project, with the comment period closing TODAY, August 11th at 5:00PM Central (http://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/attorneys-for-landowners-dominate-questioning-in-first-hours-of-keystone/article_003342b9-a091-55af-8461-b1677d5c7563.html). Let’s join the Sierra Club and submit our comments at this link: https://sierra.secure.force.com/actions/National?actionId=AR0074452.
2. Trump’s Labor Department is attempting to undercut the overtime pay rule put in place by the Obama administration, a protection that benefits 12.5 million American workers (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/27/534597018/labor-department-rethinking-obama-era-overtime-pay-rule). Let’s join People for the American Way, Democracy for America and other progressive groups in letting Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta know that he should be looking out for us, not big corporations. We can send a message at this link: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-dept-of-labor-protect-overtime-pay-for-millions-of-working-people-2?source=Overtime_201707_PFAW.
3. With all of its 100 House of Delegates seats up for re-election *this* November—less than 90 days away!—Virginia is the focus of groups like Flippable (https://www.flippable.org/virginia-house/) and Sister District (https://www.sisterdistrict.com/sister-races-2017/) that are working to get a Democratic majority elected to that powerful state’s lower legislative chamber. In addition, VoteRiders (http://www.voteriders.org/webform/contact-voteriders/) seeks to enfranchise Virginia voters by helping them get the IDs they need to vote. Let’s check out the websites of these groups and see how we can be part of turning Virginia blue.
4. Congress is on recess. If we’re looking for ways to act locally or participate more effectively in town halls, the Indivisible Team has a great series of short, user-friendly videos to bring us up to speed: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/make-the-most-of-august-recess-videos/.
5. From Postcards from Kate: The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the Interior Department's decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/02/appeals-court-upholds-endangered-species-protection-great-lakes-gray-wolves/534783001/). This is a small victory, and more battles loom, but let's thank Ralph Henry, the Humane Society's director of litigation, who argued the case and won this round. Ralph E. Henry, Jr., Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University, 600 New Jersey Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20001.
6. Student, staff, or faculty at a college or university? The Southern Poverty Law Center released an excellent new guide yesterday "on how to respond when speakers associated with the growing white nationalist, or “alt-right,” movement, appear on campus”: https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/08/10/splc-releases-campus-guide-countering-%E2%80%98alt-right%E2%80%99. We can download the detailed and helpful guide here: https://www.splcenter.org/20170810/alt-right-campus-what-students-need-know. Here's a good sample: "Denying an alt-right speaker of... spectacle is the worst insult they can endure. While there’s nothing wrong with peaceful student protests against a hateful ideology, it’s best to draw attention to hope instead. Hold an alternative event – away from the alt-right event – to highlight your campus’ commitment to inclusion and our nation’s democratic values." In other words: when they go low, we go high and protect *everyone's* 1st Amendment right to free speech.
7. Amid the noise (& the “fire and the fury”) it can be easy to lose sight of the very big picture of what is at risk with such an authoritarian and unfit president, but this Washington Post poll brings it into focus quickly: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/346000-poll-about-half-of-republicans-would-back-postponing-2020-election-if-trump. With three weeks left in summer, let’s take a moment in gratitude to take stock of your vital contributions to the resistance and then please think about what you need to do to restore and recharge your well-being. We know that there are difficult times yet to come, and it’s important to thank our fellow resisters (and ourselves!) for not losing sight of what is at stake and for seeing that our republic is dependent on activated people.
Marches/events to attend/organize
1. The Indivisible Team is partnering with United We Dream to defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). On Tuesday, August 15th, we will be standing up with immigrants across the country, showing support for immigrant youth. We can march, organize at our local City Halls, and meet with our members of Congress as they are on recess. Let's see if there is already an action event planned nearby, and if not, host one: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/defend-daca.