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Contact Federal Government Officials

1.       “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday postponed a vote on attorney general nominee William Barr by one week after Democrats raised concerns about how Barr will handle special counsel Robert Mueller's report once he completes his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”  Let’s make sure our senators know that we do not want Barr in this position.  Indivisible tells us why and gives us talking points:

2.      The Senate advanced the dangerous S1 on a vote of 74-19. This bill would allow states to set laws forbidding companies from receiving contracts if they participate in the boycott against Israel. Regardless of our positions on the Middle East BDS movement, this is a very dangerous precedent against the First Amendment rights of free speech, as noted by the ACLU. Several Democratic Senators voted to advance debate, and others (notably presidential contenders Kamala Harris and Cory Booker) chose not to vote. Regardless of how our Senators voted, let’s lobby hard against this dangerous bill. We need to remind our Senators that boycotts were key in enabling the civil rights movement and ending apartheid in South Africa, and every individual and company in the U.S. should have the right to boycott whom and what they will without sanctions.

3.      Trump has nominated Neomi Rao to fill Brett Kavanaugh's seat on the D.C. Circuit Court, a lifetime appointment ( Rao has a number of disqualifying stances and has been working in the Trump administration as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which has focused its efforts on deregulation. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the People for the American Way have both come out against Rao's nomination. Let's contact our senators and tell them that we want them to oppose Rao's nomination to D.C. Circuit Court. We can read more and use the call script available at 5calls:

4.      Representative Anthony Brown (D-MD) has introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 717) which would raise the minimum age for purchasing assault-style weapons ( While many of us may prefer an outright ban, this is an important first step in safe, common sense gun regulation. Let's contact our representatives and ask them to cosponsor and support this bill.

5.      While the partial government shutdown has at least temporarily ended, contractors with the federal government are still suffering, as they will not receive back pay for the thirty-five day shutdown ( To help secure this back pay, legislators in the House and Senate have introduced the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act (H.R. 678/S.162). We can read more about the bill here, then let's contact our MoC and ask them to cosponsor and support this legislation ASAP to ensure that federally-contracted employees are not left behind.

6.      Germany, Europe's biggest nation, is pushing hard to make itself carbon-neutral by committing to shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 ( They already use renewable sources for 41% of their electricity, so we have no excuse for being so far behind. With a Green New Deal supported by at least 9 presidential hopefuls (Kirsten Gillibrand just chimed in), now is the time to start telling our MoCs today that tomorrow's children need the GND today.

7.      Just like last year, Trump's proposed budget for 2019 aims to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. However, this time he is also trying to kill the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which provides almost all federal funding for libraries. In the same budget, Trump demands $18 billion for his border wall, which is over 34X the total funding for all 3 institutions, combined.   The House of Representatives refused to go along with this obscenity in 2018, so let's make sure they do the same this year

8.     “Southeast Asians who fled from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in the late 1970s and early 1980s became the largest refugee community ever resettled in the United States. Refugees of decades-long war, bombings, and one of the worst genocides of the 20th century, Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs) encountered many challenges during their initial resettlement, including high rates of poverty, post-traumatic stress disorder, and poor educational outcomes. Youth growing up in impoverished neighborhoods and failing schools sometimes turned to gangs and crime as a means of survival.”  Some of these young people got in trouble with the law, often minor infractions, but they are now being deported to a county they cannot remember. and  Some MoCs are asking this policy to be reexamined:  Let’s ask our MoCs to support these folks to whom we promised a better life. 

9.      Claiming they will alleviate “the poverty and the starvation and the humanitarian crisis” currently gripping Venezuela, Trump’s treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and his national security advisor John Bolton (flaunting a TV-ready notepad on which was written “5000 troops to Columbia”) announced sanctions on Venezuelan oil imports to the US, the single largest importer of Venezuelan crude; imports from the state-owned PDVSA are allowed but payment will be impounded by the US government rather than go to Maduro’s government—described by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as “the Maduro crime family.”  The only  consequence that interests the US government is, it seems, in boosting Juan Guaido, who last week declared himself Venezuela’s rightful interim president; Rubio claims the “money for oil will now go to [the Venezuelan people] through the legitimate government of Guaido,” though his legitimacy is questionable at best:  or Let’s urge the White House and our MoCs to stop this US-backed coup and instead join Mexico, Uruguay, the Vatican, and the UN in their neutral efforts to help find a solution to Venezuela’s political crisis. 

10.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has tapped Stacey Abrams to give the State of the Union Democratic response: Let’s thanks Senator Schumer for this wise choice: and let’s make sure to watch or listen next Tuesday evening.

11.   The apartheid tactics of the Israeli government, the occupation of Palestinian territory, and the authoritarianism of Benjamin Netanyahu have led to a decline from 33%  to 19% in the share of liberal Democrats more sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinians in the past 3 years;  apparently in response, a new group, the Democratic Majority for Israel, plans to wage a campaign to remind elected officials about what they insist are the party’s shared values and interests with Israel; they also are planning an “early states project,” meant to organize pro-Israel Democrats in the first nominating states to lobby the party’s presidential hopefuls.  Some suggest the new group is nothing more than the Democratic wing of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac):  Its head, Democratic strategist Ann Lewis, singled out the two new Muslim house members, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, claiming that they are “dominating the press, the media. And they aren’t going to be able to get anything done.”  Perhaps we should see which of our MoCs have allied themselves with this group and let them know what we think.


1.       Special elections in February—16 and counting! They’re occurring in Minnesota, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Connecticut. If we’re in these states, let’s check here to see if these elections are taking place in our district, and if they are, let’s get them on our calendars and vote for Democrats/progressives. Every election at every level of government matters!

Other Actions

1.       Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, a self-described Democratic centrist, is considering running for the Presidency as an independent 3rd-party candidate, a move that is sure to take votes away from Democratic candidates opposing Trump.  Let’s contact Schultze and implore him not to do this, for the good of the country. Let’s remind him what third-party candidates do to an election.  If he wants to run, he should throw his hat in the ring with the other Democrats.

2.      If we are supporters of Julian Castro’s presidential bid, we now have an opportunity to join his campaign. They are looking for “experience in all areas, not just political campaigns”, and offer “fair hiring practices, a safe work environment, providing benefits, paying a fair wage for work, and supporting workers’ rights to organize.” If we are not interested in a paid position, we can also sign up to volunteer.  We can find more information in this link, including specific positions, locations and application procedures:

3.      We know it is hard to keep up with all the Russian intervention news, so here is an excellent and informative site that tracks, documents, and summarizes each of the indictments and plea bargains in the Russia investigation. Teri Kanefield is a non-fiction YA/popular author with an extensive knowledge of law, so she does a great job explaining it all for the rest of us. Bonus: there’s another link on her page, a “list of possible crimes committed by Trump and his family and associates based on the guilty pleas, indictments, top tier newspaper reporting, and public statements made by possible defendants.” We can follow her on Twitter, too.

4.      Jurisdictions in nearly every state are using voting machines that are more than 10 years old—increasing the potential for problems like broken-down machines and longer voting lines, according to the ACLU: Let’s contact our federal, state, and local representatives and tell them that we want them to appropriate money to invest in new election equipment before the 2020 elections.

5.      If we are involved in an advocacy campaign, we can learn more about Power Mapping, a tool to help us understand our political landscape. The Campaign Workshop tells us more about the process, “Power mapping is a very useful advocacy tool especially when you and your organization have limited time and resources. Power mapping can be used to target the key decision makers or influencers needed most to achieve policy wins, allowing you to map those with voting and decision-making power over an issue you are advocating for.”  We can learn more about how to put our power map together here:

6.      We all know the danger of third-party candidates in elections.  We can help to offset the possibility by getting involved right now in volunteering for our favorite Democrat, whether local, state, or federal, and learn the ropes of campaigning. Then, after the primaries, we’ll have some great experience under our belts so we can work to put a Democrat in the Oval Office in 2020. Let’s read these articles about how to volunteer for a political campaign: ; ; and then let’s go out and do it—by contacting the Democratic party:  or by using this tool:

7.      The race is on to find homes for Florida's greyhound racing dogs!  Now that the race tracks must close by the end of next year, hundreds, even thousands of retired racers will need homes.  Several organizations state- and nationwide are making it their mission to get them all placed. We can read about one such South Florida organization in this article at CBS Miami. Greyhounds tend to have calm, sensitive temperaments.  We can read more about them in The Sun Sentinel. We can find more organizations from which to adopt a greyhound at the National Greyhound Association. If we plan to adopt a dog in the next few years, let's consider adopting a retired racing greyhound and let our friends and family know about this option.

8.     Both Fox and Friends and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that most Americans do not care about the Russian investigation. and  Fox and Friends asked people to email them if they do care.  Let’s do it:

9.      From Chop Wood/Carry Water:  While professing respect for human rights, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase continue to fund GEO Group and CoreCivic; the biggest operators of private prisons and immigrant detention centers. Sign this petition to let Jamie Dimon (Chase) and Timothy Sloan (Wells) know that their customers and potential customers are not afraid to align our money with our values. If Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase don’t take action, we will -- by pledging to, and/or encouraging others to, break up with Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase and switch to banks that actually respect our communities instead! 

State Actions

1.       The rate of arrests for homicides carried out with guns is low and dropping, and are lowest of all when victims are persons of color, according to “Shoot Someone In a Major US City, and Odds Are You’ll Get Away With It,” a year-long investigation by journalists: Let’s share a link to the article with our mayors and city councilors, and let’s tell them we want them to put up the necessary resources to reverse this trend.

2.      We know that Trump is crying voter fraud, but we know that the biggest voter fraud is really voter suppression.  Congress is finally taking a look at this.  Most of the voter laws come from the states.  Let’s take a look at these recent actions in AZ, KY, MI, NY, VA,WI and help where we can:

3.      FL: Identical Florida bills SB 332 (State Senate) and HB 49 (State House)  would require state and county corrections facilities to provide certain feminine health care products in common housing areas and in medical care facilities. It also includes restrictions on male correctional employees and requires documentation of pat downs and cavity searches when conducted by a male guard. We can read more at If we are Floridians, let's contact our state legislators to ask them to support these bills for incarcerated women's dignity. 

4.      VA: The Virginia Senate has approved legislation that would make it easier to bring a gun to a place of worship. The bill now heads to the Virginia House. We can read more at Although we expect that Gov. Ralph Northam (D) would veto this bill, let's stop it from ever arriving at this desk by contacting our VA state delegates to let them know we are opposed to it as well.

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize


1.       Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 70% tax on the super-rich is more popular than Trump's tax cuts, new poll shows -

2.      Six Things White People Can Do To Reach Friends and Family Members to End Racism -

3.      Canada now brings in more refugees than the U.S.:  For the first time in the history of the United Nations refugee program, the U.S. has slipped behind another country -

4.      The Supreme Court Case That Enshrined White Supremacy in Law:  How Plessy v. Ferguson shaped the history of racial discrimination in America -


Contact Federal Government Officials

1.     The House will consider thirteen (13) bills this week. The new Majority Leader's Schedule has not yet been updated but we can review these bills on  On Monday, the Senate will again resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.1, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. (Source: Senate Floor Schedule) Per this bill is provisionally dead due to a failed vote for cloture on January 14, 2019. We can check the Senate Floor Schedule daily for updates for the next day.

2.     The government shutdown finally came to a close on Friday but has been punted down the field for three weeks:   Let’s thank our Democratic MoCs for being resolute throughout and let our Republican MoCs know now that we the people will not stand for another shutdown in three weeks.

3.     Before a congressional committee can begin its work, it needs a quorum-ready roster of members.  Whether it is a stalling tactic, a power grab, or obstruction, the Republicans have yet to name members to the following crucial committees:  A) Ethics, B) House Administration, and C) Intelligence.  Let’s ask Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy what the hold up is.  There is a lot of work to do.  Contact:

4.     Trump has given a bipartisan congressional committee three weeks to present a compromise on the matter of his Wall; if they fail to present a “compromise” he likes, he threatens another shutdown or an emergency declaration, which would, in theory, allow him to draw wall funding from the military or some other source:  He is clearly hoping the rank-and-file Democrats on this committee will fold.  The folks who do this work do not want a wall.  We must tell our representatives and senators we expect them to stand firm and refuse to waste $5 billion of our tax dollars that could go to health care, education, environmental protection, or the alleviation of poverty on Trump’s vanity project.

5.     After seeing Fox News’ spin on the story, Trump began tweeting about rampant voter fraud in Texas.  However, a clearer reading of the issue, again shows his willingness to be led by the wrong sources.  While we cannot change his TV viewing habits, we can let our MoCs know that we know that the real voter fraud in this country looks more like voter suppression. 

6.     Beginning January 26, asylum-seekers who come to the San Ysidro port of entry will be sent back to Tijuana with a notice to appear in court in San Diego; on their court dates, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will transport them to immigration court, but due to the backlog in U.S. immigration courts of more than 800,000 cases, asylum-seekers currently have to wait months or even years to see a judge; the Department of Homeland Security said the “expedited” cases of the asylum-seekers affected by the new policy should have to wait no more than a year.  This is *not* a bi-national agreement with Mexico.   We must call our MoCs and tell them not to bargain with the safety of asylum-seekers and immigrants and make sure DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen knows what we think: 202-282-8495 or Sect of Homeland Security, Washington DC 20128.

7.     Today is the last day to submit a comment on the change in Title IX regulations. These changes would make it much harder for victims of sexual assault to bring charges against perpetrators. Let’s make sure to go to the federal register and submit a public comment. For other upcoming public comment deadlines, we can click here:

8.    The children are speaking and begging us to save the earth.  Greta Thunberg, age 16, spoke on behalf of the children of the world at Davos 2019 last week:  Let’s make sure our MoCs know that even if the current administration is anti-science that the world is counting on us to do our share. 

9.     As Mueller’s investigation continues, it becomes ever more important to tighten any possible loopholes that would prevent justice from being served. To help ensure a fair outcome, we can tell our Reps to support House Joint Resolution 8, an amendment to the Constitution limiting the pardon power of the President. Congressman Steve Cohen, the bill’s author, declares, “Presidents should not pardon themselves, their families, their admin or campaign staff. We can find out more about this proposal here, including whether our Representative has cosponsored it yet.  Let’s check this from Postcards for America for more info and ask our representative to support this:

10.  While all the noise from the White House is about the violent danger of immigrants, a study shows that all the extremist killings in the US last year had links to right-wing extremism.  Let’s ask our MoCs to divert their efforts to where the danger truly is evident. 

11.   Immigrant rights activist Eduardo Samaniego has been in ICE detention for over 100 days and recently had to be transferred to a mental health facility due to abuse he’s suffered while imprisoned. On Friday, Eduardo was denied due process in court and forced to accept “voluntary deportation.” Ironically, Eduardo would have been covered by the bipartisan supported Dream Act of 2017, which never came up in Congress for a vote. As Eduardo’s legal team ponders its next steps, let’s make sure to keep calling ICE Atlanta Field Director, Sean Gallaghar: (404) 893-1206 and Asst. Director, Kristen Sullivan: 404-893-1203 and ask for Eduardo’s immediate release. We should also write to DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, 800 K Street, NW #1000, Washington, DC 20528. We should make to sure to reference Eduardo’s A number (A#: 206-862-839). We can also sign a petition and those of us who are faith leaders can sign a letter. Finally, we can donate to Eduardo’s emergency fund here.

12.  Polls are showing that most Americans would like to see Trump’s tax returns made public. Yet the new House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Richard Neal (D-MA) is not making this a priority, claiming that the move must be carefully planned to avoid legal challenges. While there are likely truths to this statement, Neal is not known for being progressive, and may need to be pushed to get things in motion. Let’s contact our House Reps. and ask them to put pressure on Chairman Neal to put things in process to make Trump release his tax returns as soon as possible. We can also contact Neal directly at 202-225-5601.

13.  Whatever one might think of Nicolas Maduro or his recent election, two things are clear: Venezuela is in the midst of a crisis, and the US has learned nothing from its previous disastrous interventions in Latin American politics; first, Trump formally recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó who unilaterally declared  himself interim president at demonstrations yesterday in Caracas, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied Maduro’s “legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata”and refused to comply with Maduro’s ejection of US personnel, and, finally, a senior administration official told reporters that all options are on the table--and we know what that means--if any actions are taken against Americans, U.S. interests, or violence against Guaidó, prompting an equally belligerent retort from Russia:   We might suggest to Trump and Pompeo--#SecPompeo or 202-647-4000 or Dept of State, 2201 C St, NW, DC 20520--that they respect Venezuelan sovereignty and stay out of  Venezuelan politics rather than try to manipulate them for US ends.


Other Actions

1.   On Day 33 of the government shutdown, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson along with the heads of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Air Line Pilots Association sounded their alarm over air safety; on Day 35, the FAA was forced to slow air traffic for safety reasons, snarling national and global air travel. On Friday, Nelson issued a statement celebrating the end of the government shutdown; it concluded this way: “To all Americans: if there is anything this shutdown has taught us, it should be that labor rights matter. We must work together to improve rights for working Americans. Our democracy depends on it."  This is indeed the lesson to be learned! Let’s express our gratitude to the Association of Flight Attendants: 501 3rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 or 202-434-1300 or 1-800-424-2401

2.   Democrats won the House in 2018, but it's time to start thinking about the 2020 elections! "We can unseat Trump while electing Democrats in all of the most important races facing our country. It's about winning the White House and the Senate." Who's "we"? Well, us! Swing Left is a grassroots organization that "helps you find the most impactful things you can do to help Democrats win the most important elections." On February 2nd and 3rd, they're launching the 2020 election season by encouraging us to find the nearest SwingLeft 2020 Kickoff House Party (or host one ourselves). Let's find out about their game plan, and how we can help swing those seats, here:

3.   “In a letter to employees headlined “Difficult Changes”, the BuzzFeed founder and chief executive, Jonah Peretti, said the company would reduce headcount by 15%, or about 250 jobs, to around 1,100 employees globally.  At the same time, Verizon said it would trim 7% of headcount, about 800 people, from its media unit, which includes HuffPost, Yahoo and AOL. Another signal of distress came on Friday when Warner Media announced it would close its digital investment arm, WarnerMedia Investments.  Excellent News reporting has been our savior during this administration. If your bank account can afford it, please support a reliable online news source and get a subscription. 

4.   If we are still looking for places to donate extra items, we can donate them to Foster Care Closets for foster parents. These closets consist of donated items meant to offset the costs of new clothing and other necessary belongings for children in care. Many of them offer used clothing, toys, furniture and baby accessories. If we, or people we know, have some of these things to donate, they will serve a good purpose here:

5.   The expected and welcomed diversity in the Democratic presidential candidates is beginning to show.  We must be extra careful this year to be positive about who we support and to refrain from bashing candidates that do not meet our exact expectations.  Let’s also remind our personal and online friends that refraining from bashing candidates will make us all stronger.  We can peaceably let the primary season play out helping the candidates we choose to help. 

State Actions

Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.    From MoveOn:  As you've likely seen, Donald Trump announced a deal with Congress to end the government shutdown and reopen the federal government for three weeks with no funding for Trump’s wall.  This is a great win, and it’s due to the grassroots pressure we were able to leverage. After checking in with partners and allies, we’ve made the strategic decision to cancel our January 29 Day of Action events.


1.    Roger Stone’s Arrest Is the Signal for Congress to Act:  Robert Mueller is looking for crimes. It’s up to legislators to safeguard the country -

2.   Trapped in a hoax: survivors of conspiracy theories speak out -

3.   How conservative ‘supersharers’ drove fake news in the 2016 election -

4.    Pelosi Statement on Special Counsel Indictment and Arrest of Trump Campaign Advisor Roger Stone -