Rogan’s List is taking a long holiday weekend so that our contributors can be with friends and family. We will return on Tuesday – and we’ll be featuring actions to take on our Twitter account throughout the next few days, so please follow us!
Contact Federal Government Officials
1. The House is expected to vote on a "balanced budget" amendment after they return from recess (https://wapo.st/2J4YPLl https://bit.ly/2uzIqvw). It is expected that the amendment would have no chance of passing, since it would need Democratic votes then ratification by three-fourths of the states in the U.S., but it is likely that this is instead a strategy to make the GOP appear to be fiscally responsible. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has already noted that if spending were to be cut, "entitlements," or social services like Medicaid and Medicare, would be the programs to go (https://bit.ly/2nFxb19 Let's contact Speaker Ryan and tell him that we do not want him wasting Congress's time on this facade, and that he made his opinion on fiscal responsibility clear when he voted to pass a tax bill that added over one trillion dollars to the deficit. (Mailing address: 1233 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, DC 20515; Phone at (202) 225-3031 And let’s let our own members of Congress know we remember Paul Ryan’s plan, and we want them to vote against this if they don’t want to cut Medicaid and Medicare.
2. Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin believes he that was fired because he was an "obstacle to privatization who had to be removed" as the first step in a Trump administration plan to privatize the VA (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/david-shulkin-warns-of-privatizing-politicization-of-va-in-wake-of-firing/ Trump’s nominee to replace Shulkin, White House physician Ronny Jackson, may or may not be part of this plan, but we need to make sure our senators inquire closely into his intentions and oppose his appointment if he is willing to put the care of 9 million veterans into the hands of a private medical sector that has already shown itself to be greedy and inept.
3. As the March for Our Lives brings awareness of the need for common sense gun legislation into the forefront, we should also be supporting a repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), an NRA-backed law that prevents victims from suing gun manufacturers for wrongdoing (http://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/verify/verify-heres-why-gun-manufacturers-usually-cant-be-sued/65-531132867). Let’s tell our MoCs to support the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act (S1939/HR1033).
4. While we weren't paying attention, a "group of 22 GOP senators is reintroducing a controversial measure [The First Amendment Defense Act (S. 2525)] that would protect opponents of same-sex marriage from federal actions intended to curb discrimination” (http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/377418-gop-senators-reitroduce-bill-to-protect-those-who-speak-out-against-same-sex). Let's make sure our MoCs know we see this as condoning discrimination and we do not want it passed. We want all citizens to be protected equally.
5. Trump judicial nominee Gordon Giampietro has been caught calling birth control pills “an assault on nature” and “against God’s plan,” calling the Court’s decision to recognize marriage rights “an assault on the conscience,” and calling diversity “code for relaxed standards.” He’s also expressed opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/374083-trump-judicial-nominee-once-called-diversity-code-for-relaxed). These regressive, reactionary views have no place on the federal bench. Let’s make sure our senators know we want them to oppose his confirmation.
6. The head of HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity division, Anna Maria Farías, has ordered a halt to on-going fair housing investigations “until further notice,” effectively ending investigations meant to set precedent and to put other localities and developers on notice: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/28/us/ben-carson-hud-fair-housing-discrimination.html. This decision perfectly echoes HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s decision to strike the words “inclusive” and “free from discrimination” from HUD’s mission statement. Let’s tell Carson and Farias that we hold them responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act and investigating abuses: 202-708-1112 or HUD, 451 7th Street, SW, Washington DC 20410.
7. The House passed H.R. 620, which works against the rights of people with disabilities. However, there is currently bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate that would support disabled people by ensuring that those who qualify for long-term support services could get the help that they need through community-based services and programs, without having to resort to institutionalization as their only option (https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/05/19/lawmakers-wider-community-based/23731/). Let's contact our MoCs and ask them to cosponsor and support the Disability Integration Act of 2017 (S. 910/H.R. 2472).
8. It’s long past time that our government protect us from “surveillance capitalism” of the sort conducted by Facebook, Google, Equifax, and other data brokers (https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/26/opinions/data-company-spying-opinion-schneier/index.html). Let’s contact on our MoCs, state legislators, and state attorneys general to start regulating this unchecked industry.
9. The U.S. is home to many people who were born in other countries, then adopted as children by families in this country. Most of these children became naturalized U.S. citizens when their parents made application on their behalf following their formal adoptions. However, some parents did not. These now-adult adoptees are unable to leave the country, vote, get jobs and are susceptible to deportation (https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/adoption/). A bill that went into effect in 2001 took care of many of these children, however, it did not apply to adoptees who were over the age of 18 years when the law went into effect leaving an estimated 35,000 adoptees who were legally adopted by U.S. citizens but never obtained U.S. citizenship. There’s proposed legislation in Congress that would help resolve this issue: the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 (S. 2522; H.R. 5233). Let’s ask our members of Congress to support it.
Election 2018 – General
1. Rebecca Dallet is running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In their endorsement of her, the conservative Beloit News said, "Dallet has attempted to run on a message that citizens should expect the Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide cases without the political taint of partisanship. We think she's right" (http://www.beloitdailynews.com/editorials/20180319/dallet_best_choicefor_supreme_court) We can help Judge Dallet from anywhere in the country by following her on Twitter, donating, by signing up to phone bank or text bank voters at this link. Election Day is on Tuesday!
2. This week Postcards to Voters launched Campaign 66: Lori Berman for Florida State Senate (District 31) in an April 10 special election. Returning writers may text WIN to (484) ASK-ABBY which is (484) 275-2229. If we are new to this effective grassroots effort, we can email us to register: Join@TonyTheDemocrat.org.
3. Swing Left (swingleft.org) helps us find and commit to supporting progressives in our closest Swing District so that we can help ensure we take back the House in 2018. Flippable.org runs a PAC that will support Democrats running for state-level office in 2018. And now they're teaming up "to help you simplify your decision-making and direct your investments—including your time, energy and dollars— to the places and races that matter most. Each month we’ll highlight two key races in one state—shining a light on the critical elections where state and national politics intersect, and illuminating the role you can play in flipping key districts blue." Sign up for this new "State Spotlight" email newsletter here: https://swingleft.org/join?source=state_spotlight.
4. Countable has introduced The Voter Center, a digital homebase for all things voting. We can use it to register, find our polling station, recruit our friends and communities, figure out how to help our chosen campaigns, and find the nearest swing districts. Let's check it out and sign up at The Voter Center.
Election 2018 – By State
1. The folks at Save EPA, a volunteer organization made up of retired and former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, have launched the #BootPruitt Campaign. The Boot Pruitt campaign includes an ad campaign playing on President Trump’s favorite networks (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/environmental-groups-launch-ads-fox-friends-boot-pruitt/story?id=54071248). Here’s one from Sierra Club: https://youtu.be/D9dYLiCujaY. From the organizers: “With a diverse coalition of 11 progressive and environmental groups, this multidimensional national advocacy campaign will demonstrate why EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s toxic tenure at the EPA must end. His dirty dealings and reckless rollbacks have exploited and endangered Americans. He’s under multiple investigations for serious ethics violations and shown a penchant for luxury travel on the taxpayers’ dime. He is unfit for public office.” We can sign a petition to join this movement, and find lots of resources about why Pruitt should go, at https://www.bootpruitt.com.
2. Oklahoma teachers, who thanks to disastrous Republican fiscal policies are some of the lowest paid in the country, are set to walk out starting Monday (https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/29/us/oklahoma-arizona-teachers/index.html). But with 436,000 of the state’s children participating in the National Free and Reduced Lunch Program, the teachers want to make sure their students are getting cared for during a potential walkout. Let’s donate to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which is preparing and distributing food boxes for impacted families, here, and let’s share this list of resources for parents from the Oklahoma Institute of Child Advocacy here. And we can show solidarity with the teachers by following the Oklahoma Education Association on Twitter here and checking out the hashtags #oklaedwalkout and #OKwalk4kids.
Natalia Margolis, an engineer with Huge, has teamed up with United We Dream to release her new app, Notifica, for immigrants at risk of deportation (https://bit.ly/2mPuZT4 The app allows individuals to draft messages to their support network, such as family members, friends, and lawyers, which will then be sent out if the user clicks the alert button. If we are in need of the app, or if we want to help financially support its development, we can check out their website: https://notifica.us/
4. The Sacramento, California police were called to investigate vandalism; 20 bullets later, an unarmed 22-year old black man, Stephon Clark, was dead (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sacramento-determined-stephon-clark-s-death-not-be-vain-n861016 or http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-sacramento-protests-stephon-clark-shooting-20180328-story.html). We can join Black Lives Matter and the many others who are demanding a full investigation of the actions of the Sacramento police: Police Chief Daniel Hahn, (916) 808-0800 or Police HQ, 5770 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95822 and CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra, 916-210-6276or fax 916-323-5341 or PO Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.
5. Teachers across the country are following West Virginia's lead and taking action to get the salaries they deserve. In Arizona, the #RedForEd movement is launching a #TextForEd campaign, where they're aiming to text 40,000 voters and urge them to contact Governor Ducey and demand more funding for public education (http://tucson.com/news/local/gov-doug-ducey-signs-off-on-extended-education-sales-tax/article_21f014f3-cbab-5e5d-98e4-11ccb553af9b.html). ProgressNow Arizona has us set up so that we can help them do this outreach from anywhere in the country, and they are running a training in how to use their system today. We can sign up to help out at this link.
6. Conservative television outlet Sinclair media has instituted a new policy forcing their local anchors to issue promos suggesting that all stories reported by mainstream media outlets are likely to be “fake news.” As it turns out, many of the anchors at Sinclair stations are not happy about this and do not agree with it. http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/07/media/sinclair-broadcasting-promos-media-bashing/index.html Let's send our condolences and support to our local anchors: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stations_owned_or_operated_by_Sinclair_Broadcast_Group.
7. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has announced that he will not be pressing charges against the police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling last year (https://nyti.ms/2IZxaeG https://cnn.it/2DZFZlc Not allowing a case to be heard before a jury is a gross injustice, and a reminder that systemic racism and police brutality are still widespread. Let's contact Attorney General Landry and tell him that we find the lack of accountability and disregard for life unacceptable. Phone: 225-326-6079 E-mail: ConstituentServices@ag.louisiana.gov. Mailing Address: Post Office Box 94005 Baton Rouge, LA 70804. Twitter: https://twitter.com/AGJeffLandry.
8. A group of young Muslim American educators has created a new resource for fellow teachers, one from which the rest of us can also benefit. The goals of Teaching While Muslim are to contribute to the fight against discrimination, implicit bias and institutional racism; to create a platform that confronts the issues Muslims experience in public schools; and to develop a network for Muslim educators. Best of all, they offer workshops for teachers and students, and even lesson plans/curricular suggestions. Let’s support this excellent new initiative and help get the word out: https://www.teachingwhilemuslim.org/workshops/
A letter spread through the U.K. declaring April 3 as “Punish a Muslim Day” has been reportedly posted in many places in the U.S., leaving the American Muslim community in fear (http://www.wcax.com/content/news/Vt-school-community-concerned-over-Punish-a-Muslim-Day-477996473.html). Let’s make sure to reach out to our Muslim friends and neighbors and write to the mosques in our area to ask how we can best protect and stand in solidarity with Muslims against this violence.
10. When it allocated $1.6 billion for 33 miles of border wall in south Texas, Congress appropriately exempted the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. However the border well is slated to run through several other protected parcels of habitat for rare plants and wildlife including the National Butterfly Center (https://www.vox.com/2018/3/28/17152644/trump-border-wall-texas-environment-refuge-butterflies, which is currently joining several area property owners in suing the government for violation of their property rights. Let’s contribute to the Legal Defense to save this environmental treasure.
11. The only way to really prevent Facebook from building a profile of you to sell to others is to take the plunge and #DeleteFacebook (more info here: https://www.facebook.com/help/224562897555674/). For those of us who won't go that far, Mozilla has created a tool called Facebook Container to help limit the privacy intrusion. Facebook Container installs on the Firefox web browser in just a few seconds, and after that Facebook will run in a kind of walled-off sandbox, isolated from anything we do outside of Facebook. This tool doesn't stop Facebook from tracking everything done within Facebook, but does prevent snooping beyond there. So until we find an alternative social media platform that works for all of us, Facebook Container offers a bit of extra privacy, hassle-free. (http://www.ibtimes.com/mozilla-launches-facebook-container-extension-block-facebook-tracking-2666677)
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. MD: Maryland lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill (Senate bill 1048) that would automatically register residents to vote when they deal with certain state agencies, including when obtaining or renewing driver’s licenses. It would take effect on July 1, 2019. Let's read more details at The Baltimore Sun. The bill now heads to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk. Let's contact Gov. Hogan to let him know we support this bill, and make sure our legislators know if he vetoes it we’d like them to overturn it.
2. MA: The opponents of equal rights for transgender people in Massachusetts have released their first video in the campaign to overturn our non-discrimination laws (https://www.politico.com/newsletters/massachusetts-playbook/2018/03/20/trumps-mass-connection-baker-defends-hires-taxing-charlemont-256659). We need to make sure that we defeat their transphobic ballot initiative and secure fair and equal treatment for all in our state. Let’s pledge to defend transgender equality here, and sign up to volunteer to rally folks against transphobia in Massachusetts here.
1. We all know this has been a long haul and is far from over. Let's read Your Weekly Pep Talk! from Michele at Small Deeds Done for some words of encouragement: https://mailchi.mp/31df3c64b7ca/your-weekly-pep-talk.
2. Just this month, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that renewables have become Minnesota’s second-largest source of electricity, an example of what a state can accomplish if legislators lend their support. Rapid development and strong support in the state may help projects all across the country. Let's read about what Minnesota has accomplished at the NRDC.
3. “Why A Judicial Race in Wisconsin Is A Big Deal For Midterms,” - https://www.buzzfeed.com/mollyhensleyclancy/why-a-judicial-race-in-wisconsin-is-a-big-deal-for-midterms?utm_term=.cjVVgYQqV#.tvwpLbN3p.