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Many newspapers, including New York Times and Washington Post require subscriptions, but without one we can see a few articles each month.  We can also check with our local libraries to find out how to get online access through them.


1.       “A deeply divided Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday set a vote for Sept. 20 on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court after Republicans blocked Democrats' attempts to subpoena documents and witnesses.”  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/13/brett-kavanaugh-vote-set-after-democrats-fail-issue-subpoenas/1289666002/  We need to contact members of this committee daily to ask for a postponement until all the records are available and all investigations have been concluded.  Committee members:  https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members  or via Twitter: @JudiciaryDems @ChuckGrassley @senorrinhatch @LindseyGrahamSC @JohnCornyn @SenMikeLee @SenTedCruz @BenSasse @JeffFlake @MikeCrapo @SenThomTillis @JohnKennedy  Let’s let our Senators know that there are enough red flags about this nominee that the vote should not proceed at this time.  We can also send emails to other senators and to the key legislative aides who focus on the judiciary: 

2.      The NY Times reports that 12,800 immigrant children are currently being held in detention centers in the US, more than 5 times the 2400 children being held in May 2017; Trump’s plan is to increase the size of his “tent city” in Texas:
https://www.thecut.com/2018/09/over-12-000-migrant-children-are-being-detained.html or https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/us/migrant-children-detention.html  And to take $10 million from FEMA, even as hurricane season begins, and give it to ICE to fund more detention beds:
 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/11/femas-budget-cut-10-million-support-ice-documents-show/1274723002/  In addition to our own MoCs, we must protest both to the White House and to ICE: Acting Director Ronald Vitiello, 888-351-4024 or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 500 12th St., SW, Washington DC 20536

3.      The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have revoked a policy which required immigration officials to send notices when a visa or green card application was missing information or if the application contained an error (https://bit.ly/2QlleYq). These notices gave applicants the opportunity to correct those errors before a decision was made regarding their case. Instead, it will now be up to each official's discretion to first send out a notice or outright deny an application. Let's contact USCIS and ask them to continue to send out Requests for Evidence (RFE's) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID's) to visa and green card applicants: Phone: (800) 375-5283 Twitter: @USCIS.  Let’s also ask our MoCs to address this legislatively.

4.      As Hurricane Florence approaches our shores, the head of FEMA, Brock Long, is under investigation for using official cars for personal purposes. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/13/trump-fema-administrator-under-investigation-821231. Meanwhile, it’s been uncovered that the administration transferred $10 million in FEMA funds to build up ICE. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/11/femas-budget-cut-10-million-support-ice-documents-show/1274723002/. And adding insult to injury, the president just blatantly refuted the nearly 3,000-person death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, claiming that this number was inflated by the Democrats to make him look bad.   https://apnews.com/f51508e6c9794ceb91aeb5acf89adcb5/Trump-turns-back-to-Maria,-falsely-says-Dems-inflated-toll   Republicans, especially those running for office, have been quick to refute the president’s faulty claims, but once again, they’re doing nothing of substance to make sure that FEMA funds are used to help hurricane victims, not detain and deport more immigrants. Let’s contact the White House and our MoCs and tell them we’re tired of rhetoric without action. These FEMA funds must be restored immediately and Congress should conduct a thorough investigation into how 2,975 American citizens were allowed to die.  

5.      The deadline for submitting comments on whether there should be a citizenship question on the 2020 census is this Monday, September 17. Let's make sure to send in a comment, if we haven't already. We can get talking points from the League of Women Voters and access the comment form here

6.      Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed immigration judges to show no sympathy in adjudicating cases, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/sessions-new-immigration-judges-sympathy, drawing justifiable outrage from the union that represents judges and former judges. Dana Marks of the National Association of Immigration Judges stated that Sessions’ directive is “a political statement, which does NOT articulate a legal concept that judges are required to be aware of and follow.” Let’s remind AG Sessions (202-353-1555; 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20530-0001; website form; Facebook; Twitter: @TheJustice Dept.) that he should not be making what Marks claims are “one-sided arguments made by a prosecutor,” and he should stop trying to subvert the legal system in order to promote his own political views.

7.      Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) has introduced the E. Scott Pruitt Accountability for Government Officials Act of 2018 (not yet numbered), would subject senior government officials to up to five years in prison if they use their public office for private gain, as Pruitt was accused of doing before he resigned in July. We can read more at The Hill. The bill has not yet been assigned a number but we can read the text here. Let's tell our own Democratic representatives to support this bill.

8.     Link correction: “The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere. Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions were costly and burdensome. If implemented, the proposal would recoup nearly all the costs to the oil and gas industry that would have been imposed by the Obama-era regulation. The E.P.A. estimated that rule would have cost companies about $530 million by 2025. The E.P.A. estimates that the proposed changes would save the oil and gas industry $484 million by the same year.” 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/climate/methane-emissions-epa.html  and http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/405971-trump-set-to-weaken-methane-rules-report  Let’s tell our Reps and our governors to put pressure on the EPA and oil companies to do their part for clean air and a clean planet. 

9.      Link correction:  We hoped getting rid of Scott Pruitt would help, but in the course of two weeks, the Trump administration has taken a crucial step toward de-emphasizing the benefits to human life and health of environmental regulation in their calculus when the EPA announced that it would “rethink” limiting mercury emissions by coal-burning power plants--https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/climate/epa-mercury-life-cost-benefit.html and shortly thereafter, said they were going to weaken the regulation on methane emissions--http://theweek.com/speedreads/795212/epa-reportedly-close-weakening-rules-emissions-methane or https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/climate/methane-emissions-epa.html  Environmental Integrity lists EPA regulatory rollbacks--http://www.environmentalintegrity.org/trump-watch-epa/regulatory-rollbacks  and Harvard has a tracker so we can keep up on their status--http://environment.law.harvard.edu/policy-initiative/regulatory-rollback-tracker/   As this degradation of our environment continues, let’s make sure the EPA knows we’re watching: Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, 202-564-4700 or @EPAWheeler or EPA,  Mail Code 1101A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460. 

10.  A new “statutory enforcement” report from the US Commission on Civil Rights concluded that “Because of the depth of voting discrimination that continues across the nation today, citizens need strong, proactive federal protections—in statutes and in enforcement—for the right to vote”: 
https://www.usccr.gov/pubs/2018/Minority_Voting_Access_2018.pdf  The head of the commission, Catherine E. Lhamon, called the present state of discrimination against minority voters “enduring and pernicious”: 

11.   On Thursday, Trump took to Twitter in what might be his most grotesque set of claims yet -- including that Democrats inflated the death toll in Puerto Rico: https://www.apnews.com/f51508e6c9794ceb91aeb5acf89adcb5/Trump-turns-back-to-Maria,-falsely-says-Dems-inflated-toll   Let’s be in touch with our MoC to say that he is unfit to serve and let’s write to him directly to ask for his resignation: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500. Let’s also call the White House comment line and leave this same message with one of the volunteers: 202-456-1111

 Election 2018 – General

An election guide from Postcards for America:  In this Google doc (updated regularly), each State shows ALL Democratic Candidates running for Congress, Governor, Lt Gov, Attorney General, Secretary of State (if applicable) with links to their websites and Twitter. Each has a link to a Twitter Thread, a Shareable Facebook Post and a Document. For most States, there are also   & Links for Voter Registrations, Absentee Ballots, Early Voting & Voter ID, Age Requirements and being a Poll Worker.  Let’s check this out and use and share it:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NCYjsm3xKb79z19Gx7PWt5Zs9lkLiTqglHBHYs9mlX8/edit

1.       Florida is one of only 4 states that bans convicted felons from voting for life. One might think that having a criminal record implies poor judgment for a voter, but that's not guaranteed, just as lacking a criminal record is no guarantee that a voter has good judgment. Let's strike a blow for fairness, and against arbitrary disenfranchisement, by asking Florida to restore voting rights to over a million Floridians here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-to-support-restoring-the-eligibility-to-vote-to-14-million-americans-in-florida-2

2.      If we are on Twitter, EqualVoteLocal has ongoing tweetstorms for candidates we can join.  Let’s check them out and bookmark this page:  https://www.equalvotelocal.com/upcoming-tweetstorms

3.      On Wednesday, Postcards to Voters launched Campaign 108: Aftab Pureval for Congress, Ohio District 1.  "Aftab" means "sunshine." This district was recently updated from “Lean Republican” to “Toss-up.” We have an opportunity to flip this seat! Let's help bring some sunshine to this Cincinnati-area district by writing 5 postcards. We can sign up as new volunteers here.

4.      Writing a personal note to a fellow voter is one of the most effective actions we can take to encourage voter turnout this year. NeedToVote.com will mail us a packet of 10 postage paid and pre-addressed notecards. We can request the cards here.  They request a donation after we've submitted our information but that is not necessary to receive the cards. Let's participate and tell others.

5.      Apparently, it isn’t only Mick Mulvaney who is worried about the Senate. Majority leader Mitch McConnell said this to Louisville reporters on Tuesday: “Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and Florida. All of them too close to call, and every one of them like a knife fight in an alley; I mean, just a brawl in every one of those places”: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/406071-mcconnell-election-will-be-very-challenging-for-senate-republicans  Maybe these dire predictions are part of a cagey strategy to scare GOP voters to the polls, but even if it is, we need to prove them right in November: join the ACLU or Postcards to Voters (https://postcardstovoters.org/ ), phone or text to encourage fellow citizens to vote, find the Get Out The Vote group in our area, and check out the Indivisible website (https://www.indivisible.org/ ) for local and national actions.

Election 2018 – By State

1.       Upcoming voting dates and deadlines:  by date:  https://goo.gl/gjFv2u   by state:  https://goo.gl/7gTzvE

Other Actions

1.       Those seeking a meaningful way to mark 9/11 should know about 9/11 Health Watch, an organization that makes sure the first responders to the disaster get the health care they need. "Even with the passage of the “James Zadroga, 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” in 2010 and the law’s reauthorization in 2015 there is still much that needs to be done to ensure the Federal Government’s proper and continued long term commitment to the health and well-being of 9/11 responders, survivors and their families. The Act provides for monitoring, medical treatment and compensation for those exposed to and made sick by toxic exposures that resulted from 9/11. We need to make sure the programs the Act created live up to their promise." This group should not have to exist, but there is clearly a need for it. Let's donate to them if we can: http://www.911healthwatch.org

2.      From Michigan Support Circle (a division of Immigrant Families Together):  This family left their home country and made the dangerous journey to the US. They arrived at the border but they were detained and separated. The little boy was taken from his parents with no explanation and flown, alone, across the country from family members in May. Finally, he was recently reunited with his father. He feels afraid that he could be taken away again. He still feels sad that this happened. This family has been through so much. We are asking for your help. The little boy just had a birthday and loves Paw Patrol, Lightening McQueen, and dinosaurs. He loves practicing numbers and colors and is learning some English already. Please check out the list we made for them. Scroll all the way down - there are some $5 items! Purchase something if you can or please share the list with sympathetic friends. Thank you!  https://www.amazon.com/baby-reg/fredyandfamily-immigrantfamilyinneed-ift-msc-august-2020-alexandria/2WFSLQEDO4UG7

3.      Open enrollment starts Nov 1. Let’s help people get health care coverage! The Republican/Trump administration has shortened the open enrollment period and virtually done away with advertising campaigns and enrollment support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA; Obamacare). We can help people get the coverage they need. Let’s sign up for the ACA Signup Project and start sharing information in our communities. Homepage: https://www.acasignupproject.com/  Signup page:  https://www.acasignupproject.com/sign-up-to-get-involved  

4.      The NAACP has started a new campaign, the Power of Five, to help motivate us to increase voter turnout. "This election season, we are asking everyone to give us 5: Register 5 new voters- Do this before the deadline. Ensure that 5 people get to the polls- Ideally the folks you have registered. Volunteer – 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days- Make sure we have the highest Turn Out Ever!" Let's sign up to get involved here.

5.      ProPublica wants to know about our experiences with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  They want to know how the law affects us, whether we’re a person with a disability, caretaker, business owner, architect or contractor. We can read more and send our stories to ProPublica here.  Our stories are important; let's tell them.

6.      As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas, Trump trumpets his “unsung success” in responding to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, insisting that “Democrats” somehow rigged the independent report showing a death toll of nearly 3000 to make him “look as bad as possible.”  In Puerto Rico, where the report was solicited and been accepted by the governor, blackouts remain common, almost  60,000 homes have makeshift roofs not capable of withstanding a Category 1 storm, and 13 % of municipalities lack stable phone or internet service:
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-rejects-hurricane-maria-death-toll-puerto-rico-57796278 and https://www.npr.org/2018/09/12/646997771/fact-check-puerto-rico-was-an-incredible-unsung-success  Let’s offer our support to efforts to address energy needs in PR in a sustainable way--https://resilientpowerpr.org—and do everything we can to ensure that Trump doesn’t repeat this “success” in the Carolinas.

7.      While some prisons in the Hurricane Florence target area are being evacuated, 650 inmates at the MacDougall Correctional Institution in South Carolina are not going anywhere. https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17850586/hurricane-florence-south-carolina-prison-evacuation. Let’s contact South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster (803) 734-2100 and tell him we are disgusted that he would risk the lives of people in his jurisdiction by not issuing evacuation orders.
   
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       She the People, a network to advance the political power of women of color for progressive goals, is kicking off a 3-year initiative with a summit on Thursday, September 20 in San Francisco. Registration is open to the public. Let’s go!  https://www.shethepeople.org/#summit-section

2.      From Saturday, September 22 to Saturday, September 29When We All Vote will celebrate a week of action. Communities across the country will host voter registration events throughout the week in cities big and small with the help of volunteers like us. On September 23, Michelle Obama will be hosting the Las Vegas event and on September 28, she will host the Miami event. We can sign up to volunteer or RSVP for one of the events at When We All Vote. Let's look for an event near us. 

3.      On September 22 there will be a protest at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in Florida in commemoration of the first anniversary of Hurricane Maria:   http://thehill.com/latino/401578-trumps-mar-a-lago-to-be-greeted-with-massive-protest-on-hurricane-maria-anniversary    Let’s put this on our calendars if we will be nearby.

4.      The 2018 March for Black Women will occur in Washington, D.C. on September 29 and New York City on September 30, with sister marches all over the country.   Let’s fine more information here:   https://www.blackwomensblueprint.org/march-for-black-women  and here: https://www.facebook.com/events/187741818714062/  Let’s learn how to start a sister march/townhall here:  https://www.blackwomensblueprint.org/town-halls-sister-marches

States


Find elected state officials: https://openstates.org/


1.       CA: From Together We Will - San José: California State Teacher's Retirement System (CalSTRS) has promised an update to its investigation about divesting in for-profit prison companies CoreCivic and GeoGroup at its next Investment Committee Meeting on September 20th. They've refused to include supplying corporation General Dynamics in this investigation. Teachers please: 1. CALL or EMAIL CalSTRS at Phone: 800-228-5453 or 916-414-1099 or ExternalAffairs@calstrs.com. 2. SIGN the petition by Educators for Migrant Justice. 3. ATTEND the CalSTRS meeting. 4. SPREAD THE WORD - teachers don't want their pensions supporting for-profit prisons! 

Reading/Watching

1.       Grassroots GOTV Campaign Sends 283,000 Handwritten Postcards To New Yorkers Ahead Of State Primary - http://gothamist.com/2018/09/12/postcards_to_voters_2018.php

2.      On The Sidelines Of Democracy: Exploring Why So Many Americans Don't Vote - https://www.npr.org/2018/09/10/645223716/on-the-sidelines-of-democracy-exploring-why-so-many-americans-dont-vote

3.      The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high - https://www.epi.org/publication/teacher-pay-gap-2018/






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