Contact Federal Government Officials
1. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT/GUN REGULATION: As the House prepares to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1585), the National Rifle Association (NRA) has announced that it will be docking grades for lawmakers who vote in favor of the legislation (https://bit.ly/2HJ9SMT, https://bit.ly/2U2nlpK). The bill includes red flag provisions, which would help keep firearms out of the hands of those who commit domestic violence; a bipartisan safety measure which the NRA opposes. For those of us with Republican representatives, let's be sure to call them and tell them that we expect them to support VAWA, with its red flag provisions, and to prioritize their constituents over the NRA. For those of us with Democratic representatives, let's check to see if they have cosponsored the bill yet. If they have, we can thank them, but if not, let's ask them what's stopping them.
2. IMMIGRATION: “Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will ask Congress for the authority to deport unaccompanied migrant children more quickly, to hold families seeking asylum in detention until their cases are decided and to allow immigrants to apply for asylum from their home countries, according to a copy of the request obtained by NBC News.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/dhs-ask-congress-sweeping-authority-deport-unaccompanied-migrant-children-n988651?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma Let’s tell our MoCs that we do not want any money spent on any of these initiatives. We want money spent to help process these cases faster and more humanely.
3. HEALTH CARE: First, it was just protections for people with “pre-existing” conditions, but now the Trump administration insists that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in the courts, and the Justice department concurs: https://www.npr.org/2019/03/26/706869835/trump-administration-now-says-entire-affordable-care-act-should-be-repealed We should seize this moment when the Republicans are making clear their disdain for our health and well-being to urge our MoCs to support Representative Pramila Jayapal’a (D-WA) Medicare for All Act (H.R.1384). Indivisible has provided all the information about this act we might need: https://indivisible.org/resource/tell-your-member-congress-support-medicare-all
4. BERNHARDT NOMINATION: By August 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service had completed a comprehensive study finding that the much-used pesticides malathion and chlorpyrifos are so toxic that they “jeopardize the continued existence” of more than 1,200 endangered birds, fish and other animals and plants; the NY Times reports that instead of tighter regulation of these chemicals, the Department of Interior, largely at the behest of then-deputy David Bernhardt, blocked the release of this report: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/435828-trumps-pick-to-lead-interior-dept-stepped-in-to-block-study-on Zinke was bad, but Bernhardt is worse. We must implore our senators TODAY to block his confirmation as secretary of DOI. We can also sign the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) petition: https://www.nrdc.org/stop-david-bernhardt
5. DISABILITY RIGHTS: Representative John Katko (R-NY) has introduced the Marriage Access for People with Special Abilities (MAPSA) Act (H.R. 1529) to protect Supplemental Security Income benefits for couples with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities, who marry. Right now, couples may have to choose whether to get married, or risk losing their benefits, since they are required to report their combined income (https://bit.ly/2F8pZBl). Let's call our representatives in the House and ask them to support this legislation.
6. VOTING MACHINES: “Four senior senators have called on the largest U.S. voting machine makers to explain why they continue to sell devices with “known vulnerabilities,” ahead of upcoming critical elections. The letter, sent Wednesday, calls on election equipment makers ES&S, Dominion Voting and Hart InterCivic to explain why they continue to sell decades-old machines, which the senators say contain security flaws that could undermine the results of elections if exploited.” https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/27/senators-security-voting-machines/ Let’s contact our senators and raise this issue with them, too. We do not need to knowingly sabotage our elections.
7. NET NEUTRALITY: The Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644), which restores Net Neutrality, has made it out of subcommittee. https://www.cnet.com/news/democrats-hit-the-gas-on-net-neutrality-bill/Now it is up to us to get it passed and Free Press has several ways we can help, including calling lawmakers, sharing on social media, collecting petition signatures, writing a letter-to-the-editor meeting with our rep's office and more. When we click this link, we can volunteer to help pass the bill: https://act.freepress.net/survey/internet_volunteer
8. TRUMP’S FED RESERVE NOMINEE: According to many prominent economists, Steven Moore, Trump’s expected pick to lead the Federal Reserve has a dangerous record of making decisions that manipulate and threaten the healthy functioning of the economy solely for political purposes. In addition, Moore owes the IRS $75,000 in unpaid taxes. https://www.npr.org/2019/03/27/707312764/economists-forecast-stephen-moore-wouldnt-be-good-for-fed-post. Let’s get our MoCs on board now and call for a strong rejection of Moore, based on partisanship, bad economics, and a clear disregard of the American taxpayer system.
9. TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN: The House voted yesterday to condemn Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/436235-house-votes-to-condemn-trumps-transgender-military-ban. Let’s thank the 5 Republicans who voted with all the Democrats. Let’s also ask our Senators to do what they can to force a vote to condemn this in the Senate.
10. AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: (CORRECTION) The Department of Justice is now siding with a Texas District Court that ruled last December that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and must be repealed. Previously, they only wanted to allow insurance companies not to cover pre-existing conditions and to charge higher premiums. https://www.axios.com/justice-trump-court-affordable-care-act-unconstitutional-ab8bf281-65fc-4b91-8606-d1f3f65818d6.html. Let’s tell the DOJ (202-353-1555) that we see this decision as reckless and insensitive to the health care needs of millions of Americans who depend on the ACA. And let’s tell our MoCs that we want them to do everything they can to assure that every American has health care, which includes considering how to implement Medicare for all.
11. DREAM ACT: On March 12, the House re-introduced the Dream and Promise Act, HR6. Let's read more at The Hill. The bill currently has 224 Democratic co-sponsors. Let's contact our representatives to let them know we support HR6.
12. RED FLAG GUN LAWS: After the tragic suicides of gun violence survivors, even Republican Senators are willing to consider passing Red Flag Laws that would get guns out of the hands of likely offenders. http://fortune.com/2019/03/26/red-flag-laws-senate-gun-control/ Everytown has made it easy for us to contact our lawmakers and push for real reforms but we must act now. We can click this link to connect with our Senators and tell them to pass Red Flag Laws now: https://act.everytown.org/call/call-your-senators-red-flag-laws-now We can read more about Red Flag Laws on the state level here, then call our state legislators to demand Red Flag Laws for our states too: https://everytownresearch.org/red-flag-laws/
13. LEGALIZE CANNABIS: The Marijuana Justice Act, S597, would make cannabis legal on the federal level and get rid of marijuana possession charges nationwide. Let's read more at Wikileaf. Let's contact our Senators in support of S597.
1. APRIL ELECTIONS: “So far in April, there are 29 elections scheduled. If one of these is in your district, make sure you vote! For everyone else, please share this with your network to spread the word in order to increase awareness and turnout!” Let’s check this out: https://politicalcharge.org/2019/03/28/elections-in-april-2019/
2. WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT ELECTION: Swing Left is hosting a national call night this Sunday, March 31st, where participants will be phone banking for Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice nominee Lisa Neubauer. Once we register, Swing Left will provide training materials and an invitation to a webinar, so we can be fully prepared to make those calls. Let's sign up:
3. NEW POSTCARD CAMPAIGN: Let's help Postcards To Voters reach registered Democrats in Frisco TX with Campaign 150: Cleveland and Parna for City Council. Frisco is one of the fastest growing cities in America where a majority of its new residents are Democrats. However, the City Council is comprised entirely of Tea Party people. With our help, we can give Stephanie Cleveland and Mukesh Parna a winning edge on Saturday, May 4th. Let's request 5 addresses today.
1. FACEBOOK AND WHITE NATIONALISM: While Facebook has not always done the right thing, this week “Facebook is banning white nationalism and white supremacy from its social network following criticism that it had not done enough to eliminate hate speech on its platform.” https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-bans-white-nationalism-after-pressure-civil-rights-groups-n987991 Let’s thank Facebook for this positive move and encourage them to be more proactive in the future: 1 Hacker Way Menlo Park, CA 94025
2. CAMPAIGN HELP: “Campaigns can be devastated by opponents pretending to be volunteers and donors. These ten free background research services help reveal the truth. It's advisable to first test the accuracy of a service first by querying it about a person you know. Make sure to conduct your research in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines.” Let’s check out these resources that could help campaigns: https://mailchi.mp/thedemlabs.org/backgroundchecks
1. AZ: BILL TO PURGE EARLY VOTERS: “Republican lawmakers are moving to effectively strip the word “permanent” from laws that allow voters to enroll on the permanent early-voting list. Foes say all this does is throw another hurdle in the path of voters. Some testimony suggested the bill would immediately dump more than 200,000 from the early voting list if it becomes law. “We think the word ‘permanent’ should mean something,” Sandy Bahr, chapter president of the Sierra Club, told lawmakers. https://tucson.com/news/local/bill-progresses-to-purge-some-from-permanent-early-voting-list/article_80302516-f010-58c3-9562-166291cb9596.html Please call your Reps and let them know this is not a good idea. Ask them why they are suppressing the Vote in AZ.
2. FL: INCREASE VOTER REGISTRATION: Former Tallahassee Mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum has launched Bring It Home Florida, a grassroots organization that seeks to boost voter registration in the state in order to help elect Democrats to local, state and federal offices. We can read more at The Hill. Let's check out Bring It Home Florida and sign up for email updates to find ways we can support the effort.
3. MA: CONVERSION THERAPY BAN: The Massachusetts House recently voted 147-8 on a bill banning conversion therapy on issues of sexuality or gender identity for minors. https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/03/massachusetts-house-votes-to-ban-conversion-therapy-for-minors.html. Now the bill heads to the Senate. https://www.wcvb.com/article/senate-to-take-up-house-passed-lgbtq-conversion-therapy-ban/26944970. Republican Governor Charlie Baker says that he is inclined to support it, but he may be facing pressure from conservative constituents who oppose the bill. Let’s make sure that our State Senators vote for this bill in a timely manner, and let’s call Governor Baker (617) 725-4005 to let him know that we support a ban on this abusive practice and expect him to sign the legislation.
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. EARTH HOUR: Tomorrow, Saturday, March 30 at 8.30PM to 9:30PM local time, is Earth Hour where millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for one hour to show their steadfast commitment to protecting nature. Let’s learn more here: https://www.earthhour.org/
2. POOR PEOPLES’ CAMPAIGN: Dozens of states are organizing bus tours from late March to mid-May to hear the stories of the 140 million poor and low-income people who are too often ignored and bring attention to impacted communities. These tours are about breaking the isolation of impacted communities and bringing us together to fight for our demands. Let’s sign up for an event near us and be a part of this leading up to the Poor People’s Campaign Moral Action Congress in June. https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/events/ Fight poverty, not the poor!
1. Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/28/confronting-racism-is-not-about-the-needs-and-feelings-of-white-people
2. Barbara Bush: Did she still consider herself a Republican? 'I'd probably say no today.' - https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/27/barbara-bush-blamed-trump-heart-attack-leaving-gop-the-matriarch/3270187002/
3. US denied visas to women trying to participate in UN women's conference: report - https://thehill.com/policy/international/435126-us-denied-visas-to-international-women-trying-to-participate-in-un
4. I went undercover to expose the US, Australia gun lobby - https://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/americas/2019/03/undercover-expose-australia-gun-lobby-190325120818734.html