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10/31/18 

Contact Federal Government Officials


Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Fax legislators for free: 

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/

 
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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.       Trump is throwing scary shiny objects at the midterms as he gets more desperate to please his base with blatant racism. His newest effort is claiming that he wants to remove birthright citizenship, protected by the 14th Amendment, with an executive order which is unconstitutional:  
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/413803-gop-lawmaker-blasts-trump-birthright-citizenship-is-protected-by-the  Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) responded by saying that he would introduce Congressional legislation to outlaw birthright citizenship. https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/413832-graham-to-introduce-legislation-ending-birthright-citizenship.  Amidst our Get Out The Vote efforts for the midterms, let’s let our MoC know that we will not stand for this authoritarian garbage.

2.      Called a “political stunt” by a former Customs & Border Protection chief and a “fear war” by others, Trump will deploy 5200 more troops to join National Guard members at the Mexican border—bringing the total to more than the number of US troops currently in Syria and Iraq, the Wall Street Journal notes; these are ostensibly to protect us against the ever-dwindling “invasion” of poor people traveling in caravan from Central America, who are currently 1000 miles from the US border and not likely to arrive there for several weeks: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46026050 The post-Civil War “posse comitatus” measure bars the US military from using its capabilities to enforce US domestic laws — including immigration laws — unless Congress specifically authorizes it to do so, but these soldiers will be armed and they will cost us, the taxpayers, hundreds of millions of dollars to purportedly  “harden” the border against these dangerous "invaders": 
https://www.vox.com/2018/10/29/18026646/military-border-caravan-immigrants-trump-caravan.  Let’s tell Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen that we see through their clumsy, if expedient, fear-mongering: 202-282-8495 or Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20128. Let’s also understand that this, too, is an empty, pandering to his base prior to next Tuesday’s election.

3.      “Most members of the migrant caravans come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – three countries devastated by violence, organised crime and systemic corruption, the roots of which can be traced back to the region’s cold war conflicts.  Experts say that alongside those factors, climate change in the region is exacerbating – and sometimes causing – a miasma of other problems including crop failures and poverty. And they warn that in the coming decades, it is likely to push millions more people north towards the US.”   
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/30/migrant-caravan-causes-climate-change-central-america   Climate change is a factor in the caravan.  Our own citizens in some coastal areas are already seeing rising seas and will be forced to move inland. We must encourage congress to create hard laws to combat climate change. Laws that can’t be changed by executive orders.  Let our Reps know.

4.      If we didn’t know before, we certainly know now—from Trump himself, no less—that the US is fueling Saudi Arabia’s military, enabling it to starve children and kill civilians in Yemen.  https://www.newsweek.com/us-has-enabled-saudi-crimes-years-could-jamal-khashoggis-murder-change-1180842   Before the devastation reaches the threatened "biblical" proportions, we need to plead with our MoCs to support the Yemen War Powers Resolutions, H.Con.Res. 138, and S.J.Res.54,. These privileged resolutions, which will come before Congress in the next weeks, would end U.S. military involvement in the Saudi and UAE-led war in Yemen.  

5.      If the House version of the Farm Bill is passed by the U.S. Senate later this fall, 155 local governments across the country would have their local laws restricting the use of pesticides overridden by the federal government. This is a ban on bans – to benefit the pesticide industry. Let's read more at WYPR (an NPR station). We can read more of the Farm Bill itself and its amendments at the Senate Agriculture Committee. Let's contact our Senators to let them know that we object to the ban on pesticide bans in the Farm Bill and want that language removed.

Election 2018 – General

1.       Link correction:  President Obama speaking in Detroit last week:  https://www.clickondetroit.com/michigan-elections/president-obama-speaks-at-democratic-rally-in-detroit

2.      Today (Wednesday, Oct. 31) is the last day to mail in-state postcards to get out the vote. The final three Postcards To Voters' campaigns launched for the Midterms are:  1) NY: Campaign 132: Jim Gaughran for State Senate. 2)FL: Campaign 133: Gillum and Taddeo 3) ND: Campaign 134: Heidi Heitkamp for Senate. Other campaigns are still open as well. Let's request 5 cards if any of the remaining campaigns are in our own states and we can get them out today. Writing with Postcards to Voters is not just a midterm activity. New campaigns for up-coming special elections will be launching. If we've been postcarding for the midterms, let's make a plan to keep up the habit throughout the year. 

3.      As we come to the mailing deadline for Postcards To Voters campaigns, let’s turn our attention to what can be done before Tuesday: local honk and waves for candidates in our districts, phone banking, text banking, canvassing, one to one connection with friends and family, driving people to the polls, etc. Resources from The Last Weekend can help focus our energy: https://thelastweekend.org

4.      Young people nationwide are going to walk out of class on November 6th and head to the polls to vote en mass. We can promote and support this effort by using the hashtag #WalkOutTheVote in our social media posts and encouraging our friends and family members to spread the word! www.walkoutthevote.org

5.      The American Association of People with Disabilities (AADP) has a Voter Resource Center to help get out the disability vote. Let’s take a look and share it: 

6.      If we’re in the Washington, DC, area, we can be volunteers to staff a voter hotline to assist voters across the country. The Democratic National Committee is hosting the hotline and provides training. Let’s click here for more info and to sign up:  https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/protectthevote/event/37972/

7.      Mad Libs for the election:  https://madlibs.headcount.org/

8.    In a glimmer of good news, there is a chance to get avowed White Nationalist Steve King out of his Congressional seat in Iowa as his opponent, JD Scholten, closes the gap in the week before the election: 

9.      North Carolina needs phone bankers and we can help out from home. All the materials we need are right here to make the phone calls that can make a *HUGE* difference in these critical races to break the Supermajority in North Carolina. When we click on this link, we will get instructions on how to use the Virtual Phone bank link, along with information on the candidates and a access code to get us started:   https://sites.google.com/openprogress.com/texttroopwiki/home/texters/NCIP

10.  Florida Needs Help!  756,000 Democrats received Vote By Mail ballots and we need to call or text to remind them to get those ballots turned in asap. Sign up to text:  https://goo.gl/forms/FgngcJc8HINM4now1 or to sign up to make phone calls, email rita@arccd.com for instructions.

Election 2018 – By State

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

2.      ALL:  If we are not sure where to start looking for information about candidates, issues, etc., we can check this out:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NCYjsm3xKb79z19Gx7PWt5Zs9lkLiTqglHBHYs9mlX8/edit

Other Actions

1.       The president’s response to the recent shooting in Pittsburgh that was clearly motivated by anti-Semitism was to blame the media for being the true enemy of the people. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/29/donald-trump-pittsburgh-reaction/1804708002/. Even if we were to put aside the numerous ways his statements have fueled the flames of racism, to make this comment at this time, rather than putting his focus on expressing heartfelt sympathy for the victims and loudly and definitively denouncing white nationalism, a move he refused to make both directly after Charlottesville and on its one year anniversary.  https://www.vox.com/2018/8/11/17679108/donald-trump-unite-the-right-nazis-white-suppremacy. Over 30,000 people signed an open letter published by Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish organization that is working for justice for all, telling the president he was not welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounced white nationalism https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/10/29/he-is-not-welcome-here-thousands-support-pittsburgh-jewish-leaders-calling-trump-denounce-white-nationalism/, but in his usual display of callous insensitivity, the president is going anyway. Let’s honor the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting by joining with or donating money to Bend the Arc, which is sponsoring a number of ways to take action. We can find out more here.

2.      As a reminder, the New York Times is counting on us to help them identify pre-election mis-information:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/17/technology/disinformation-tipsheet.html

3.     Another little glimmer of good news for those of us rage eating carbs – Ben and Jerry’s has a new flavor honoring resistance: 

4.      Now, with our electoral system and voting rights under constant attack, it is important to know who our allies are. For over 50 years, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has used legal advocacy, litigation, and education to protect elections and extend voting rights to traditionally disenfranchised populations. Let's help one of the country's staunchest pro-bono organizations to keep helping us:   https://lawyerscommittee.org/project/voting-rights-project/

 Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       Tonight, we can join in Equal’s Twitterstorm in support of the student walkout the vote effort.   When we click on the following link, we will find prewritten tweets to send out with just a few clicks.  https://www.facebook.com/events/2109903992671921/?ti=cl

2.      January 19, 2019 is the date of the third Women’s March with the main event to be held in Washington, D.C. with sister marches all over the country.  Let’s find more information here:  https://www.womensmarch.com/2019

States


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


Reading/Watching


2.      The labor market is booming, why aren’t your wages? - https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/10/26/the-labor-market-is-booming-why-arent-your-wages/

3.      What Will Conquer Hate? What Will Combat Trump, and Trumpism? - https://markinreport.com/2018/10/28/what-will-conquer-hate-what-will-combat-trump-and-trumpism/





10/30/18 


on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays allowing our followers extra time
to spend working on campaigns.


If we need a spirit-lifter and some authentic encouragement, let’s listen to President Obama’s speech in Detroit last week.  This is why we are doing what we are doing:  https://www.clickondetroit.com/michigan-elections/president-obama-speaks-at-democratic-rally-in-detroit  

Now let’s get to work!  The election is one week away!

If we are not sure where to start looking for information about candidates, issues, etc., we can check out the League of Women Voters’ website:  https://www.vote411.org/



10/29/18 

Contact Federal Government Officials


Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Fax legislators for free: 

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/

 
********************************

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.       This week in Congress:  The Senate is now on recess till after the Midterm Elections except for the Senate Judiciary Committee which is holding confirmation hearings during a Senate recess, over the objections of the minority party. We can read more at NPR. The House is out of town until after the midterm elections, returning to Washington DC on November 13.  

2.      In a highly unusual and disturbing move, “Trump’s Interior Department, headed by Ryan Zinke, wants to destroy records such as proposals to help endangered species recover and proposals for protecting where the animals live. The request is part of a proposed massive purge of Interior records that also includes records about oil and gas leases, timber sales, dams and land purchases.”  This would include records from every agency within the Interior Department, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others. This content would normally be kept and preserved by the U.S. Dept of Interior. https://www.dcreport.org/2018/10/23/zinke-destroy-interior-department-records/ and https://altgov2.org/doi-records-destruction/  Let’s A) use this email address:  request.schedule@nara.gov  for a public comment against this change. The deadline for comments is November 26, 2018.  (Indicate we are writing about action DAA-0048-2015-0003 and we are asking National Archives to deny  Zinke's request so that these records are kept as they should be), and B) contact our MoCs asking them to investigate and stop this  massive destruction of records that normally are kept for historical purposes  (reference the National Archives ID number is DAA-0048-2015-0003) 

3.      We all know that voter suppression is rampant, but that voter fraud is not.  Between voter purges, changes in voter ID rules, and closing/moving polling places, voter suppression will remain a factor in the election next week.  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/2018-midterms-and-specter-voter-suppression/573826/  Let’s ask our MoCs to pass legislation that would both safeguard and promote voting by all legitimate voters.

4.      The gun lobby’s claim good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun needs to be exposed for the lie that it is. In fact, four of the people wounded in the shooting were armed police officers. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/us/active-shooter-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting.html. Earlier this week, a man with a history of violence and questionable mental health shot two African Americans in a Kroger’s grocery store. http://www.wdrb.com/story/39355392/accused-kroger-shooter-had-history-of-mental-illness-and-racist-comments. While federal law prevented him from owning a gun, the fact is that guns are so readily available, made it easy enough for him to obtain one. Let’s once again ask our MoCs when they are going to take strong preventive measures to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of those poised to commit hate crimes and other acts of violence, and let’s remind them that we are going to vote only for people who will take a strong stand on gun control.

5.      Trump has nominated Aurelia Skipwith to head the Fish and Wildlife Service.  “The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) told The Guardian it was unlikely that Skipwith would improve the situation, calling her "utterly unqualified" because she had no training in either wildlife management or fisheries.  "Aurelia Skipwith has been working in the Trump administration all along to end protections for billions of migratory birds, gut endangered species safeguards and eviscerate national monuments," CBD government affairs director Brett Hartl said.”  https://www.ecowatch.com/monsanto-executive-fws-wildlife-2614834727.html  Let’s tell our senators to not confirm Skipwith. 

6.      From Below the Fold:  #transgender rights have been all over the headlines. . . But the most recent story of this administration targeting transgender people is only the latest in a long line of attempts to roll back their rights. Catch this week's episode of #belowthefold to hear about those past attempts, my theories on why they keep targeting such a small harmless part of the population and I even give a quick definition of transgender in case you have been too embarrassed to ask:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EryRpc5SPI  Now, let’s use this information to ask our MoCs (federal and state) what they are doing to protect our fellow citizens.

7.      From one of our own:  Here is a listing to help us keep track of calls for public comment that are ending soon.  Here’s the newest – for the Week ending November 2:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aNDWpQnzWWTRi3PJIKWdA4kx4Is9QQWb/view

Election 2018 – General

1.       With the deadly gun violence in the past week, let’s make sure that we choose gun sense candidates when we vote next week.  Here’s how we can find them:  https://gunsensevoter.org/

2.      Have questions/concerns about any stage in the voting process, including casting a vote at the polling station? "The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count." AND they have a number of toll-free hotlines we can call for help: "866-OUR-VOTE (administered by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law), 888-Ve-Y-Vota (administered  by the NALEO Educational Fund), 844-Yalla-US (Arabic/English) – administered by the Arab American Institute, and 888-API-VOTE administered  by APIAVote & Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC)." We can volunteer for or donate to them, too! https://866ourvote.org/about/

3.      This awesome political campaign ad, https://youtu.be/88yjagTmjjw , features eight amazing Democratic women running for Congress: MJ Hegar (TX 31st), Chrissy Houlahan (PA 6th), Gina Ortiz Jones (TX 23rd), Elaine Luria (VA 2nd), Amy McGrath (KY 6th), Mikie Sherill (NJ 11th), Elissa Slotkin (MI 8th), and Abigail Spanberger (VA 7th). But it can’t be aired on TV because of campaign finance laws, unless it is sponsored by another group like, ahem, the Democratic party.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/us/politics/campaign-ads-midterm-elections.html Let’s make it go viral by sharing on social media, and let’s tell the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to get it on the air: 

4.      This is it! This Tuesday, Oct. 30, will be our last day to mail postcards to voters in states other than our own. If we are current volunteers, let's request 5 addresses for one of the still-open Postcards to Voters' campaigns, including three (3) new ones: 1) TX: Campaign 129: Beto O'Rourke and Eric Holguin. 2) CA: Campaign 130: Josh Harder for Congress. 3) NE: Campaign 131-Machaela Cavanaugh for State Legislature. New volunteers can text JOIN to 484-275-2229

5.      While we hope that the next month's midterm elections will show 2018 to be the Year of the Woman, we won't succeed without understanding and addressing the confounding factors that face many voting women who are married.  https://theconversation.com/will-women-vote-for-women-in-2018-it-depends-on-if-theyre-married-78562 and/or politically conservative  https://theconversation.com/republican-women-are-just-fine-thank-you-with-being-republican-104762 Knowing about these factors can help us in many ways, whether we're talking to friends, canvassing to GOTV, or framing concerns to our MoCs.

6.      Here's a super helpful and quick reference from Political Charge of what to do if we encounter a problem while voting! (Hint: speak up and ask for help at the polls or through a hotline.) Let's save this to our phones so we have it handy: 

7.      We all know that turnout is crucial. Well, here’s a way to increase it, sending letters to unlikely/disengaged Democrat voters in districts that have close races. Unlikely voters who receive letters asking them to “Please Vote” are significantly more likely to vote, by more the 3 percentage points (that’s a lot).  We can check out Vote Forward for races to write for here. https://votefwd.org/  We can write on our own or throw a letter writing party. Here’s how one group did it:  “If you plan to have a party and send more the 50 letters you will need to get approved for additional names a day in advance. We each hand wrote a letter, then photo copied a bunch of them so all we had to do was add the salutations to personalize each letter-we’ve been able to send out close to 1,000 letters this way.”

8.     Let’s double-check if we are registered and where we are to vote:  https://www.whenweallvote.org/  Then, let’s check out how we can help:  https://www.whenweallvote.org/volunteer/


10.  With the Senate race in Nevada so tight, here’s a way we can help from home. Field offices are hard at work and super low on snacks for canvass volunteers as they sprint into GOTV. It's still hot here and salty/sweet snacks are in dire need! If we want your $$$ to directly help a campaign, buying an item off their Amazon wish list is the way to do it! The Rosen/Heller race is going to be a nail-biter, so keeping volunteers motivated is critical. We can find the wish list here: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/KSPRCID1UQ6S/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2

Election 2018 – By State

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

2.      ALL:  If we are not sure where to start looking for information about candidates, issues, etc., we can check this out:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NCYjsm3xKb79z19Gx7PWt5Zs9lkLiTqglHBHYs9mlX8/edit

Other Actions

1.      Events that we would have focused on for weeks at a time have happened daily over the past week. We might feel disoriented and overwhelmed as we try to right the ship. Please seek support and reach out to those in your circles who are also reeling. Then, let’s dig very deep and find the strength to give everything we have over the next eight days: phone banking, text banking, Postcards To Voters, helping candidates local to us, reaching out to friends and family, making financial donations, sign-holding, and driving people to the polls. Let’s set ambitious goals for ourselves (and write them down) and then blow right past them in the week ahead.

2.      Our hearts are broken after the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/10/27/heavy-police-presence-near-synagogue-in-squirrel-hill/  We may send a note of sympathy to this congregation at: 5898 Wilkins Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217 and let’s consider a donation: https://www.gofundme.com/tree-of-life-synagogue-shooting

3.      The man who killed eleven people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend, claimed he did so because of the organization’s support for HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) an organization that supports immigrants and refugees in the U.S. and around the world. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/man-reportedly-opens-fire-near-a-pittsburgh-synagoue-1.6595493. Let’s make sure that the shooter and others who share his white nationalist platform know that we will not be intimidated by donating to HIAS in the memory of these victims.

4.      There is a growing consensus that Trump’s rhetoric and behavior is responsible for a good amount of the ever-growing tension and hate crimes we are seeing.  Last week alone, a mail-bomber pin-pointing liberals, a murderer with a gun in grocery store because he couldn’t get into a black church, and a murderer wanting to kill Jews.  https://theintercept.com/2018/10/27/here-is-a-list-of-far-right-attackers-trump-inspired-cesar-sayoc-wasnt-the-first-and-wont-be-the-last/ and https://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2018/10/26/how-trumps-psychology-of-hate-unleashed-the-magabomber/#6ecd68f81046  Let’s use this:  Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide to help in our communities. 

 Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       January 19, 2019 is the date of the third Women’s March with the main event to be held in Washington, D.C. with sister marches all over the country.  Let’s find more information here:  https://www.womensmarch.com/2019

States


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


Reading/Watching

1.       Multi-task:  Prepare for the Lame Duck Session While You Get Out the Vote - https://demwritepress.com/2018/10/26/multi-task-prepare-for-the-lame-duck-session-while-you-get-out-the-vote/

2.      Sally Yates gave her sharpest criticism yet against Trump: 'Is all of this a momentary detour? Or has our country lost its way?' - https://www.businessinsider.com/sally-yates-on-trump-white-house-dnc-speech-2018-10

3.      Our weekly dose of Small Victories:  https://mailchi.mp/peaceisloud/small-victories-this-moment-calls-on-us-all