Contact Federal Government Officials
1. Due to the absence of a senator, yesterday’s vote on Thomas Farr’s confirmation to be a district judge in North Carolina was postponed until next week. https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/farr-vote-delayed-in-senate Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has gone on record saying he will vote against the nomination. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/29/senate-confirms-farr-judicial-nominee-1027236 While it seems that this nomination will now fail, it behooves us to continue to contact senators to ensure that fate. Despite objections from numerous civil rights groups on his long-standing record of racism and voter suppression, two days ago, Susan Collins (R-ME) once again disclosed her plans to vote for him, but now she is again saying she is undecided, as is Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Let’s contact these senators and make sure to reach out to our friends in Maine and Alaska to ask them to contact Senators Collins (202-224-2523) and Murkowski (202-224-6665) and insist that anyone they confirm to the judiciary should be on record for encouraging voting not suppressing it. This delay in the vote gives us time to rally the Senate against this champion of voter suppression. We can also use the information from Indivisible Ventura: https://indivisibleventura.org/2018/11/29/thurs-11-29-vote-postponed-lets-use-this-unexpected-gift-wisely/
2. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 63 to 37 to bring to the floor a resolution (SJRes54) brought by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) that would limit presidential war powers in Yemen, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis—but not, to the dismay of many, CIA Director Gina Haspel--tried to dissuade them by arguing for the importance of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/senate-to-hold-vote-to-advance-measure-to-end-u-s-support-for-saudi-war-in-yemen/ Next week the Senate will vote to proceed to the bill by a simple majority vote. We need keep up the pressure on our senators, first, and then our representatives to end our unconstitutional complicity in the war on Yemen.
3. As the number of children held in the immigrant detention center in Tornillo, Texas, has continued to grow, with more than 1300 teens arriving since mid-October, the facility has become significantly understaffed and out of compliance with Federal policy, which mandates one mental health worker for every 12 children. The current ratio is 1/50.
https://www.apnews.com/0c62b088c27147b0a6055d1e8394a3af. Even more appalling, the center has waived the requirement that workers undergo an FBI background check, which puts residents’ safety at risk. https://www.apnews.com/0c62b088c27147b0a6055d1e8394a3af The total cost to taxpayers for this abomination is projected to be $430 million. Further troubling is the fact that no one on the inside of these places is permitted to talk about what it is like. https://www.texastribune.org/2018/11/28/tent-city-texas-migrant-children/ Let’s tell our MoCs now that we want policies that mandate fair and humane treatment for these children that’s in accordance with basic human values as well as federal law, that we want more transparency, and that we do not want our tax money spent on mistreatment of immigrants.
4. In a story that broke on Wednesday, it appears that despite the court order not to, that the Trump administration is continuing to separate families. https://www.propublica.org/article/border-patrol-families-still-being-separated-at-border-after-zero-tolerance-immigration-policy-reversed Let’s let our MoCs know that it is past time to investigate this family situation.
5. Trump seems to think, in the words of Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), that the presidential pardon power is a "personal tool" that Trump can use to protect "himself and his friends"—at the moment, Paul Manafort, who is charged with conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice and has been convicted on eight felony counts: https://abc7ny.com/politics/trump-says-he-is-still-considering-manafort-pardon/4787780/ Let’s make it clear to the White House that pardoning Manafort would be a "blatant and unacceptable abuse of power," as one senior member of the Senate intelligence committee put it.
6. “Global temperatures have continued to rise in the past 10 months, with 2018 expected to be the fourth warmest year on record. The warming trend is unmistakable and shows we are running out of time to tackle climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which on Thursday published its provisional statement on the State of the Climate in 2018. The WMO warned that, on current trends, warming could reach 3C to 5C by the end of this century. “The recent IPCC report also showed that we still have hope. We have 12 years to move the needle and any leader who comes to COP24 unprepared to step up and take action needs to read the WMO report and understand it’s time to stop talking and start acting on climate – while we still have the chance.”
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/29/four-years-hottest-record-climate-change In January, the Dems will control the House. We will need to be diligent in calling our MoCs daily to ask for climate control laws to save our planet. In addition, these laws should restrict any president from altering them at his whim. Before January, however, the following bills have been introduced and are just sitting in both the House and Senate: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WZURkJEiw3mdwBJSYji0b1q-GrIANWG3 Let’s tell our MoCs that we want them to co-sponsor them and get them passed yet this session.
7. Although we have had plenty of bones to pick with Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) over the past two years, his insistence on legislation to protect Special Counsel Mueller is having the effect of holding up votes in the Judiciary Committee which is a powerful lever in Trump’s court-packing efforts: https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/418802-senate-panel-cancels-votes-on-trump-court-picks-amid-flake-standoff Let’s thank Flake for putting country above party:
https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-jeff or on Twitter @jeffflake
8. On that topic, after a Senate proposal to vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller was blocked by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Jeff Flake, (R-AZ), a member of the judiciary committee vowed not to confirm any judiciary nominees until a vote on protecting Mueller was taken. https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/418802-senate-panel-cancels-votes-on-trump-court-picks-amid-flake-standoff. The Judiciary Committee has cancelled all their upcoming votes until “a deal with Flake” could be reached. Meanwhile Republican leadership are whipping their members, ostensibly to make sure that they have enough votes to defeat the bill. Let’s make sure to tell Senator Flake (202) 224-4521, that the only deal he should be making is a deal to protect the special prosecutor, and let’s make sure to tell on our own Senators one more time that we are waiting for them to put country before party. They should vote to protect justice, not to obstruct it.
1. Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup is in a December 8th runoff election to be Louisiana’s next Secretary of State. We can help get out the vote for this important role by writing 5 postcards today for Postcards to Voters' Campaign 139: Gwen Collins-Greenup for LA Sec. of State. The special runoff election is next Saturday, Dec. 8 so we need to get our cards out right away. This is the first P2V campaign for Louisiana so let's be sure to let our Louisianan friends and family know about this opportunity to make a difference. If we are new to postcarding we can text JOIN to (484) 275-2229. If we are returning writers, we can click: http://m.me/AbbyTheAddressBot (or text YES to (484) 275-2229.) If we are unable to text, we can email them at: Join@TonyTheDemocrat.org
1. A professor (who studies the Holocaust) at the Teachers College of Columbia University found swastikas spray-painted in the hallway of her office: https://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/columbia-swastika-graffiti-1.24034975 Let’s send postcards of support to her: Professor Elizabeth Midlarsky, Teachers College, Columbia University, 328 HMann, 525 West 120thSt, New York, NY, 10027
2. A new day is dawning in our climate change fight, and it's coming from the next generation via the Sunrise Movement. This is a truly grassroots, youth-powered organization that focuses on driving climate policy through mass mobilization. Right now, there is a 2-week window, before Congress breaks for the holidays, and Sunrise is using it to push for the establishment of a select committee to support its Green New Deal. Can we attend their planned mass actions on Dec. 10th in D.C. or San Francisco? If so, great! If not, we can still support these actions with our dollars and our voices: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/gnd/
3. Believing in science and using the Trump tax cut for good, in response to the recently published Climate Assessment Report, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario announced that the company would be donating the $10 million it saved this year with the Trump administration's tax cuts, to "groups committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis," https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-28/patagonia-donates-10-million-trump-tax-savings-to-green-groups Patagonia has consistently offered financial support to grassroots organizations dedicated to protecting the planet, donating 1% of their sales since 1985 through their 1% for the Planet campaign, and donating 100% of their sales on Black Friday 2016. Let's contact CEO Rose Marcario and offer our gratitude and appreciation for her continual leadership in the fight to protect the environment and to combat climate change: CEO Rose Marcario Patagonia Corporate Office Headquarters Patagonia, Inc. 259 W. Santa Clara St. Ventura, California 93001 Corporate Phone Number: 1-805-643-8616
4. Our shopping habits can have a serious impact on the environment. In his piece on online shopping vs. local shopping, and the effect that freight traffic has on our infrastructure and environment, Miguel Jaller explains how we can make a conscious effort to make more environmentally-friendly choices during the holiday season. Let's read through, and commit to taking steps towards reducing our own carbon footprint this year: https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/12/21/16805324/black-friday-2018-amazon-online-shopping-cyber-monday-environmental-impact
5. “After years of steady decline, the number of U.S. children without health insurance rose by 276,000 in 2017, according to a Georgetown University report released Thursday.” https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/29/671666280/number-of-u-s-kids-who-dont-have-health-insurance-is-on-the-rise Let’s make sure that we and our families are signed up for health insurance, then offer to get help for family and friends who may need our assistance.
6. ACA Enrollments have begun, but Trump has shrunk the enrollment period and quashed outreach efforts, so it is up to us to spread the word. Fortunately, ACA Signups has made it simple for us to help. When we click on the link below, we’ll find state-specific shareable posts in English/Spanish promoting Open Enrollment in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The last two comments are links to the Google docs containing those same graphics for us to download, share, and use as cover photos. Link to a public post in this group ---- comments contain a public, shareable post for each of the states and DC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2468746626684978/permalink/2547544592138514/
7. “Sinclair Broadcast Group, a right-leaning broadcasting company, reportedly provided more than 100 of its local TV news stations with a "must run" segment that included a staunch defense of the US's use of tear gas against migrants at the US-Mexico border on Sunday.” https://www.businessinsider.com/sinclair-group-tv-stations-air-must-run-anti-migrant-rant-2018-11 Let’s all send sympathy cards to our local Sinclair stations sharing our concern that they are not able to determine their own broadcasting based on facts.
1. AZ, FL, HI, ID, IA, LA, MN, MS, MO, NY, NC, OK, TN, VA: Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) bills were introduced in these state legislatures in 2018. AVR has been shown to significantly increase the number of registered voters: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/automatic-voter-registration Let’s contact our state senators and representatives and tell them to co-sponsor these bills. Bill numbers here: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/automatic-voter-registration-bills-2015-presentFind state legislators: https://openstates.org/
2. AR: Fight voter suppression in Arkansas! State Representative Charles Blake (D-House District 36) has filed an automatic voter registration (AVR) bill. People will be automatically registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles, unless they request not to be registered, https://katv.com/news/local/arkansas-lawmaker-files-bill-to-automatically-register-voters-at-dmv . AVR has been shown to significantly increase the number of registered voters. https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/automatic-voter-registration If we’re in Arkansas, let’s tell our state reps to co-sponsor HB 1004, the Voter Integrity Security Act, and let’s tell our state senators that we want a similar bill filed in the State Senate. Find legislators: https://openstates.org/
3. FL: A Miami-based political committee has proposed a constitutional amendment that would ban possession of "assault" weapons in Florida if approved by voters. The proposal, backed by the committee Ban Assault Weapons Now (BAWN), was posted on the state Division of Elections website this month. We can read the text here. The proposal will need at least 766,200 valid signatures to get on the 2020 ballot. We can read more at Florida Politics. To find out more about how we can help and support this effort, we can contact Gail Schwartz, Chairperson of BAWN, at (305)647-2666. We can also follow Ban Assault Weapons Now on Facebook.
4. OH: The Ohio House recently passed HB 228, an extreme version of a "Stand Your Ground" law that will make our communities less safe and take local control away from cities and municipalities to pass life-saving gun regulations. This extreme and dangerous bill is opposed by the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, the NAACP, and many others. Recent research estimates that a similar law in Florida resulted in an estimated 4,200 additional gun deaths. When we click this link, we can help stop the dangerous bill and save lives by contacting our Ohio State Senators to oppose SB 180 and HB 228. https://ceasefireusa.salsalabs.org/OhioSYG/index.html
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. FamiliesBelong.org is holding demonstrations across the country this weekend, December 1 -2, to protest the border crisis. Contrary to what the administration would have us believe, the number of illegal border crossings are the lowest they’ve been in years. The current humanitarian crisis at the border was avoidable and is this administration’s own doing. Due to the dramatic slowing of asylum hearings and staffing cuts, there has been an accumulation of migrants at the border, many of whom are women and children seeking safety, many seeking to reunite with their families that are in our country already. Instead we are acting in a manner antithetical to our American values, not offering the possibility of asylum to people in danger, asylum they are legally entitled to. Instead we have fortified the border with armed soldiers, we are tear gassing women and children and threatening to close our borders completely, closing our hearts to the plight of these people in a manner completely lacking in compassion; a complete denial of our American values and the American Dream. We are also now learning that family separations are still quietly taking place. https://apple.news/AZYpA7huBTx6KhP-H_bgyvA This is not who we are. Join FamiliesBelong.org as we tell the administration to #StopTheTears and to approach the border situation with compassion and in a manner consistent with our American values and with international law. Find a rally near you or sign up to host one here: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/stop-the-tears
2. From ADAPT: ADAPT is calling for a Day of Action on December 4th in support of the Empower Care Act (Money Follows the Person) [H.R. 5306/S. 2227]. Use the attached flyer on the Empower Care Act to email, text, tweet, visit local offices, protest, rally, press conference, etc. & repeat. .so we can keep freeing our people from institutions with Money Follows the Person (MFP), the massively effective federal program that ADAPT helped invent. At a minimum include your name and contact information with the flyer when you send it or drop it off.
3. If we are interested in Electoral Politics. Movement Technology. Grassroots Organizing. Digital Strategy. Capacity Building, we can check out Roots Camp, where all of these facets of our movement meet. Held from November 27-December 2 in Baltimore MD, it’s a chance to be a part of an “unconference” where participants design all sessions and leaders from all parts of the movement – organizers, campaigners, data directors, have a dynamic exchange of ideas. This year, they’re looking at how to practice a more inclusive politics and thinking about ways that we can transform our democracy so that our people win and collectively thrive. They’re interested in expanding understandings of what justice looks like for all our people, and equipping our leaders with the skillsets, tools, and frameworks to take this on and thrive. We can learn from one another, dream up new ideas, make lasting connections, and strengthen our networks. The conference aims to be inclusive, and there are several ways to defray the cost of attending. If we would like to find out more, including information about travel stipends, or volunteering in exchange for admission costs, we can check it out here: https://www.wellstone.org/events/rootscamp-2018
4. EmpowerandHelp and The Swell Collective have gotten planning underway for a wellness and community engagement retreat for community organizers in April of 2019, venue and location TBD. The retreat will give those of us in need an opportunity for a weekend away to focus on resilience building activities, personal intention and goal setting, and “in real life” collaborative social networking with others in the movement. We can sign up here to stay in the loop or get involved: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYVFWZy-t1N0OcKknDdwegFnUpt-RQWzE7jrNpL74Nuj0Wew/viewform
1. Linguist George Lakoff on what Democrats don’t understand — and Republicans do — about how voters think - https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-ol-patt-morrison-george-lakoff-20181128-htmlstory.html
2. Here's Why More American Farms Are Going Bankrupt - https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolombo/2018/11/29/heres-why-more-american-farms-are-going-bankrupt/#24d0e92265a7
3. This episode of Ana Marie Cox’s podcast, With Friends Like These, features a great interview with Rebecca Traister – worth a listen: https://crooked.com/podcast/leading-and-leaving-the-mama-grizzlies-an-analysis-of-the-2018-midterms-with-rebecca-traister/