Contact Federal Government Officials
1. Today, the House is expected to vote on H.R.8: Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (https://bit.ly/2XiJfmu). The bill would require background checks for every firearm sale, including private sales and sales made at gun shows. There is plenty of support in the House for this to pass, including 5 Republican cosponsors, but we have work to do to ensure that the Senate version, S.42, also passes. We can read through the argument for bipartisan, common sense gun regulation, put forth by two conservative lawmakers here, then let's contact our MoC and ask them to cosponsor and support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. Indivisible has more information and a call script we can use: https://indivisible.org/resource/hr-8-preventing-gun-violence If we wish, we can send our message by using this online form from Everytown for Gun Safety: https://act.everytown.org/letter/ask-congress-strengthen-background-checks
2. “The House passed legislation Tuesday to block President Trump’s emergency declaration at the southern border, marking an unprecedented congressional challenge to a president’s authority to invoke emergency powers.” https://thehill.com/homenews/house/431722-house-votes-to-overturn-trump-emergency-declaration The resolution now heads to the Senate where it must be voted on within 18 days. While the resolution is also expected to pass the Senate, it will likely not pass by a veto-proof majority. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/431526-border-rebuke-looms-for-trump Let’s put pressure on our Republican senators to stand up for separation of powers and the Constitution, and not to kowtow to this reckless, self-serving dangerous precedent. We can remind them that the majority of Americans do not believe this is an emergency, and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unsure of its legality. Let’s stay in touch with our Senators to let them know that we expect them to also reject Trump’s abuse of power.
3. Possibly as early as next week, the House could vote on H.R. 1, the promised “sweeping voting rights, campaign finance and ethics reform package.” https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/26/democrats-electoral-reform-bill-1188437 Let’s let our representatives know that we want them to co-sponsor and support this bill that will help so many of our citizens.
4. We can submit a comment to the Bureau of Land Management opposing oil drilling and exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, especially in view of the BLM’s recent Environmental Impact Statement which many find inadequate and incomplete in its assessment of how drilling will impact wildlife and climate change: https://www.audubon.org/news/report-arctic-drillings-environmental-impacts-deeply-flawed-critics-say The deadline for comments has been extended until March 13: https://act.350.org/letter/no-drilling-in-ANWR/
5. While the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge, much less ameliorate, the dire humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico border, it is apparently perfectly willing to increase the $139 million in humanitarian aid it has placed at the disposal of Venezuela’s self-appointed leader Juan Guiado. One, of course, would ensure that poor Central American asylum-seekers do not suffer inhumane treatment, while fearing the loss of their children, in American for-profit detention centers; the other is designed to inflame a Venezuelan political conflict, oust a president who offends Trump, and, no doubt, ensure access to Venezuela’s oil wealth: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/25/697638242/pence-on-venezuela-we-will-keep-standing-until-your-libertad-is-restored We must tell our MoCs to stop US incursions—even in the guise of aid—into Venezuela’s internal politics. Amnesty International is seeking emergency donations particularly to assist children and families seeking asylum in the US: https://donate.amnestyusa.org/page/26137/donate/1
6. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) has just introduced a revised Medicare for all bill, and already the health care industry and centrist Democrats are speaking against it. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/26/house-democrats-medicare-for-all-1189139 Let’s tell our MoCs that it’s time to join the rest of the world in providing a nationalized health care system that’s accessible and affordable, and this is surely a better way of spending our money than on corporate tax cuts or military intervention.
7. At a time when climate change information and concern is becoming deafening, one has to wonder at the ignorance that would cause Trump, instead of working towards our part of the solution, would create a White House panel to debunk the nation’s scientists’ own report. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/02/trump-presidential-climate-security-committee/ Sen. Schumer (D-NY) said he will introduce legislation to stop funding for any such panel. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-26/schumer-vows-to-defund-fake-white-house-panel-on-climate Let’s let our senators know that we agree with Schumer and want them to stop this charade.
8. “The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is running out of money and families are seeing up to a 70% cut in their payments.” The comedian Jon Stewart continues his advocacy for 9/11 responders and survivors who are in all 50 states and in 434 out of 435 congressional districts. He is urging us to ask our MoCs to support the bipartisan bill "Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund" to authorize full, permanent funding for the victims and families of the 9/11 attacks. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/431494-jon-stewart-9-11-responders-call-on-congress-to-fund-victim-compensation We can also sign this petition: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-needs-to-pass
1. Upcoming elections: https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar
2. There’s a special election on April 2, 2019, in Wisconsin for a seat on the state’s Supreme Court. Let’s help Lisa Neubauer, who is currently Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, defeat Brian Hagedorn, former chief legal counsel to Wisconsin’s infamous Republican Governor Scott Walker, and start shifting the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a more progressive direction. https://ballotpedia.org/Wisconsin_Supreme_Court_elections,_2019 Let’s sign up with Vote Forward, https://votefwd.org/ , and send letters to Democratic-leaning Wisconsin voters to urge them to vote. Even sending just five letters can make a difference!
1. The humanitarian group Grannies respond
https://www.granniesrespond.org/ has a project—writing letters to immigration detainees to lift their spirits and tell them that the outside world has not forgotten them. Instructions on what to write and where to send the letters are here: https://padlet.com/granniesrespond/letters Let’s send our love to dispirited people.
2. For Black History Month, a Loudoun County, Virginia elementary school played a runaway slave 'game' in gym class. Principal David Stewart sent a letter to the community on Feb. 12 recognizing and apologizing for the cultural insensitivity of the exercise. Let's read more at Loudoun Times-Mirror. We can contact Principal Stewart and the Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams to press for the changes to the curriculum that they claim to be making. Let's show LCPS that the nation is watching.
1. AR: Recently-filed state bill SB349 focuses on reading in schools by putting National School Lunch (NSL) funding on the line. Let's read more at myarklamiss.com. Let's contact our Arkansas State Senators to let them know we oppose this bill. We want to get reading scores up; cutting lunches is not the way to do it.
2. CA: Clean Money Rapid Responders were crucial in fighting the influence of undisclosed Money donors in our state elections. They played a key role in the passage of the historic California DISCLOSE Act (AB 249) in 2017 and major victories in 2018 like the Social Media DISCLOSE Act (AB 2188), the bill to restore Net Neutrality (SB 822). Now we can join the Clean Money Rapid Responders to continue fighting the dominance of Big Money by sharing Clean Money posts and actions on social media to continue the momentum by helping pass SB 47, the Petition DISCLOSE Act as well as the Issue Ads DISCLOSE Act and Publicly Owned Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems. When we sign up, we’ll receive occasional email alerts about important posts to share (if we’re on Facebook), tweet (if we’re on Twitter), recommend (if we’re on Daily Kos). We can be the first to hear and share breaking Clean Money news! If we have an email list, then we can sign up for the Email Forwarder Team, and at key times we'll receive a draft email to forward to our list for key timely actions. We can pick one or more of our Rapid Response teams here: https://www.yesfairelections.org/signup/rapid-response.php to get started. It makes a HUGE difference!
3. CO: On Thursday the 28th, the Colorado Senate will vote on The Youth Wellness Act, a bill in support of comprehensive sex education in Colorado public schools. "That means giving young people the entire spectrum of developmentally appropriate, medically accurate information," a position that has wide bipartisan support. Let's make sure the extremists who object to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ language in the bill don't get to force their views on everyone. We can contact our State senators and encourage them to support this bill, here: https://onecolorado.salsalabs.org/hb191132sexedactionalert/index.html
4. NJ: Sick of business as usual in our state with monied power brokers like George Norcross having far too much influence? Want to learn how we can work to change this corruption? South Jersey Women for Progress and other concerned organizations are hosting, “a stellar lineup of organizers, politicians and policy experts to discuss how NJ's notorious political system works and how it can be repaired. We will look at how what can be done to ensure a progressive, more transparent, more democratic path forward for NJ.” We can find out more and sign up to attend at the link below, or we can watch the live stream on the BlueJerseyNJ FB page. https://m.facebook.com/BlueJerseyNJ/ The event, on March 02, 2019 at 3:30 pm, will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill. 401 Kings Hwy N, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. For more information we can contact event organizers South Jersey Women for Progress here:
firstname.lastname@example.org We can sign up and find out more about the event here:
5. NY: In his budget proposal, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a $500 threshold for triggering lobbying requirements. Grassroots organizations and individuals that engage in even a bit of issue-based advocacy would have to register as lobbyists. Let's read more at The Intercept. If we are New Yorkers, let's contact Gov. Cuomo to tell him that we oppose this requirement in his budget proposal.
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. If we are elected women or self-identifying women activists, we can check out the free Power Through Education webinar series, presented by Rep19 and Vote Run Lead. Organizers inform us that presenters will include, “our country’s top thought leaders, elected officials and political experts.” We can for as many webinars as you would like. but some webinars are limited exclusively to elected women. All webinars will be at noon EST / 9am PST, starting on March 6. Information will be sent out prior to the event. We can find out more and register here. https://rep19.com/events
2. On March 15 there will be Youth Climate Strikes all over the world. Let’s keep an eye on this site for updates of where and when we can attend and help: https://www.youthclimatestrikeus.org/
1. Prepare for Mueller to Ghost - https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/mueller-trump-russia-report-ghost.html
2. Meet the Man Curbing Trump's Power Without Anyone Noticing (about Karl Racine, Wash. DC attorney general) - https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/02/23/karl-racine-profile-attorney-general-emoluments-lawsuit-trump-2020-225200
3. The Nation's Former Top Banker Thinks Donald Trump Doesn't Understand Basic Economics - http://time.com/5537309/janet-yellen-donald-trump-interview/