Contact Federal Government Officials
- NATIVE AMERICAN/WOMEN'S RIGHTS: According to the National Institute of Justice, 84% of indigenous women have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence. They also experience human trafficking and rape at high rates, and missing Native American women are also significantly under-reported (https://nyti.ms/2Uj4qSK). Three senators have introduced the bipartisan Not Invisible Act (S. 982) to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis in the U.S. (https://bit.ly/2IodbcL). The bill would create an advisory council composed of local, tribal, and federal members, who would look at data and make best practice recommendations to the government. Let's contact our senators and ask them to support this bipartisan legislation. We can also ask them to support three other bills to help fight the MMIW crisis: Savanna's Act (S. 227), SURVIVE Act (S. 211/H.R. 1351), and Studying the Missing and Murdered Indian Crisis Act (S. 336) (we can read more about those here).
- IRS FREE ON-LINE TAX
FILING: Days after some
lawmakers expressed frustration with a bill passed by the House this week
that would codify the IRS' partnership with tax-preparation software
companies, a group of Democratic lawmakers announced last week that
they are reintroducing legislation in the House (HR2297)
and Senate (S1194) to
instruct the IRS to create its own free, online tax-filing service. Let's
read more at The Hill. Let's
contact our MoC's to let them know we support an IRS free on-line tax
- DISABILITY RIGHTS: From the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN): "On April 24th, 2014, the FDA held a hearing on the use of electric shock torture at the Judge Rotenberg Center. After concluding that the JRC’s electric shock devices cannot be used without causing significant harm, the FDA began to work toward banning the devices. Five years later, we are still waiting for the ban. This April 24th, the disability community is marking the fifth anniversary of the hearing by hosting wait-ins across the nation to demand the immediate release of the ban on electric shock devices. Join us and make your voice heard at your local wait-in!" Let's check to seeif there is a wait-in nearby, and make sure we show up next week. Let's also keep calling/e-mailing our MoC and the FDA to tell them we are still waiting for them to #StopTheShock. We can find more resources and action items here.
- IMPEACHMENT: Impeaching Trump in the House of Representatives may seem risky, or even futile, but it would actually be an important step towards checking his frenzied rush toward autocracy, weakening his support base at home and tarnishing his brand abroad. . https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/politics/rashida-tlaib-impeachment-signatures/index.html Even if impeachment doesn't pass in the Senate, standing up to the ongoing assault on our democracy would also galvanize energy and support for the Democrats, and show them to be a real alternative for the clear majority of Americans who oppose the Trump regime. So let's tell our reps to co-sponsor the House resolution, bravely proposed last month by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Al Green (D-TX), which calls for an impeachment investigation
- BARR AND THE MUELLER REPORT: “A few of Barr’s previous employers are connected to key subjects in the [Mueller] probe. And some argue that, even if Barr didn’t break any rules, his financial ties to companies linked to aspects of the Russia investigation raise questions about whether he should—like his predecessor, Jeff Sessions—recuse himself.” https://www.newsweek.com/so-many-conflicts-so-little-time-1396435 Let’s bring this up with our MoCs and question their part in asking for Barr to recuse himself.
- FAMILY REUNIFICATION: Earlier this year, when they learned that the government could not find 29 deported parents, Together Rising raised the money and provided the people-power to go find them and bring them back to the States. They worked with Al OTRO LADOand worked to reunited the parents and their children. As of yesterday, all are reunited! Just look what we can do when we work together and do the parts we can do! Let’s keep giving to support the good work of Together Rising: https://togetherrising.org/
- CANDIDATE CLIMATE DEBATE: “We need to put climate change on the national political stage. One powerful way to do that is through a presidential primary debate dedicated to the issue. Holding a climate-centered debate would highlight the climate crisis at a time when more people than ever are tuned in to national politics – and force candidates to be explicit about their commitments to meet the scale of the crisis.” Let’s sign on and tell the Democratic National Committee that we want this to happen: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-the-democratic-national-committee-hold-a-climate-debate
- CANDIDATES FUNDING OPTION: If we want to donate to a campaign, but not really sure to whom, It Starts Here gives us the option of making a monthly donation that will be held until a presidential nominee is chosen, then the raised funds will go to that person. Let’s find out how we can do this: https://contribute.itstarts.today/dumptrump (They do the same for federal congressional candidates: https://contribute.itstarts.today/535)
- SUSPEND TRUMP’S SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS: Over 19,000 people have signed a petition calling for Twitter and Facebook to suspend Trump’s social media account after the deliberately released a controversial video geared to incite hate and violence by indirectly linking Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to the 9/11 attacks. https://thehill.com/policy/technology/438946-petition-to-suspend-trump-from-social-media-over-omar-video-earns-over-19k. Since the video, Congresswoman Omar has reported a significant increase in the number of death threats she’s received leading House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi to call for greater security. Let’s add our voices and tell Twitter and Facebook that politicians should not be immune to their policies of disallowing hate speech.
- PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT CHALLENGES LIPINSKI: Marie Newman announced that she is launching a second progressive challenge to Democrat Dan Lipinski, (D-IL) who has voted against Obamacare and is anti-choice. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/439111-progressive-dem-launches-second-challenge-against-illinois-rep-lipinski. Newman narrowly lost the primary in 2018. This is one more reason that we must speak out against the DCCC’s new policy of boycotting messaging firms that assist primary challengers to Democrat incumbents. We can call DCCC Chair Cherie Bustos 202-225-5905 and give donations directly to candidates we support instead of the DCCC. If we want to find out more about Marie Newman we can visit her website here.
- AMAZON AND CLIMATE CHANGE LEADERSHIP: More than 4,500 Amazon employees published an open letter to Jeff Bezos last week demanding the company do more to address climate change, saying leadership is "urgently needed." Let's read more at Business Insider. Let's contact Amazon from our own Amazon accounts to ask that they step up leadership on this critical issue.
- DEFANGING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE: The practice of granting 100% of a state’s electoral votes to the winner of the state’s presidential election *can* lead (as it did in Trump’s case) to the election of a president who did not receive the majority of the popular vote nationwide. It *does* lead to a preference by candidates for voters in swing states. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would change that. Each state that enacts the NPV bill pledges its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide. Fifteen states with a total of 189 electoral votes have enacted the NPV. The bill will take effect when enacted by states with 81 more electoral votes (for a total of 270). Common Cause has been mobilizing for the NPV, and just last month, three more states signed on to the Compact. Let’s learn more at https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/ , and let’s sign up with Common Cause’s campaign for the NPV, https://www.commoncause.org/our-work/voting-and-elections/national-popular-vote/
- LOUISIANA CHURCH BURNINGS: As we work through our respective emotions about the fire on Monday at Notre Dame in Paris, we have an opportunity to help closer to home following the burning of three churches in a Louisiana parish over the past couple weeks. The suspect has been charged with arson and hate crimes: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/438941-louisiana-church-arson-suspect-charged-with-hate-crimes If we can, let’s make a donation to help rebuild these churches: https://www.gofundme.com/f/church-fires-st-landry-parishmacedonia-ministry#campaign-members
- GEORGIA PUSHBACK: From one of our own: Now that the Masters Gold Tournament is over, the Governor of Georgia is expected to sign the Forced Childbirth Bill (H.B. 481), which bans abortion and makes a miscarriage an investigatable offense. BUT maybe we can change that. In fact things are starting to change just a weeee bit. Lee Daniels apparently wrote a letter to Kemp and the legislature asking them not to pass the bill, and Netflix is considering pulling out of the state. Money talks. And we can make it talk louder if we call and email and tweet the heck out of CEO’s companies doing business in the state. [Here] is the list I sent out before: Please reach out to at least 3 of them and say “if Georgia passes this bill and u continue to do business in https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hJeJo7Ke18nn0KHj4FD4r9-AqLjWkX_D6FtKC2mazkE a state that threatens the lives of women, I will no longer be able to support your product.” Feel free to send the list around. Time to make the money talk louder!
- MOST: PRESIDENTIAL TAXES: “The Democratic-led Illinois Senate voted Thursday to compel President Trump to release five years' worth of his personal income tax returns or be barred from appearing on the state's presidential ballot next year. The state is joining a movement of other Democratic states that aims to force the president to open up his personal finances by releasing his tax returns, something he stubbornly has refused to do and reiterated again this week.” https://www.npr.org/local/309/2019/04/11/712416456/illinois-senate-to-trump-show-your-tax-returns-or-be-barred-from-the-2020-ballot If we live in a Democratic state check and see if our state legislature has passed a similar resolution. If not, ask for one.
- MOST: CLIMATE CHANGE: While opponents are already campaigning for a repeal, Colorado is offering us all a model for controlling the fossil fuel industry. A new law, which the governor is expected to sign, shifts the focus from fostering development to regulating it, with an eye to public health and safety; it gives cities and counties more control over where oil wells go, adds members with environmental and public health expertise to the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and launches new rule-making about fossil fuel infrastructure: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/16/712877704/colorados-oil-and-gas-regulators-must-now-consider-public-health-and-safety Now that oil lobbyist David Bernhardt has been confirmed to head the Interior department, it is crucial that we urge our local legislators to follow Colorado’s example.
- FL - PROTECT PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDS: A bill in the Florida House would require school districts to share local referendum money with charter schools. The measure, proposed by the state House Ways and Means Committee, would allow Florida to withhold other sources of money from districts that don’t comply. Let's read more at Tampa Bay Times. Let's contact our Florida state representatives to let them know that we want our local referendum money to go to public schools only.
- KY: MCCONNELL GETS NEW FACTORY FROM RUSSIAN OLIGARCH: “Rusal, the aluminum company partially owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, announced plans to invest around $200 million to build a new aluminum plant in Kentucky just months after the Trump administration removed it from the U.S. sanctions list. The new aluminum plant, slated to be built in the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be the biggest new aluminum plant constructed in the U.S. in decades. Rusal will have a 40 percent stake in the facility. McConnell was among the advocates for lifting sanctions on Rusal, arguing that the deal with Treasury would maintain pressure on Deripaska personally without disrupting global aluminum supplies. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported the Treasury Department had allowed around $78 million worth of company shares to be transferred to a trust fund belonging to Deripaska’s children, despite a previous statement from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claiming that the oligarch’s children would “in no way benefit” from sanctions relief.” https://www.newsweek.com/company-russian-oligarch-millions-aluminum-plant-mitch-mcconnell-1397061 Let’s remember in 2020 when Mitch wants our vote that he brought a tainted business to our state. He took away sanctions from this Russian oligarch and Mnuchin lied and allowed monies to be returned to the oligarch’s children. Do we really want Mitch representing us?
- MO: STOP CONCEALED GUNS ON COLLEGE AND SCHOOL CAMPUSES: Our Missouri legislature is getting ready to vote on a bill, HR 575, that would force public colleges and private K-12 schools to allow hidden, loaded guns on their campuses. The bill forces public colleges and universities to allow guns onto their campuses and also allows guns on the grounds of private K-12 schools. Guns on campus put our students in grave danger and it is up to us to protect them. We can read the bill here: https://legiscan.com/MO/bill/HB575/2019 We can click on this link find out more and to tell our lawmaker to oppose this bill: https://act.everytown.org/sign/MO-Guns-On-Campus/ We can also find our Representatives’ contact info here, then call them to oppose the bill. http://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/default.aspx/leg_lookup.aspx
- NEW ENGLAND: At least 31,000 employees of the grocery chain Stop & Shop walked off the job across New England six days ago, after the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and management reached an impasse in negotiations; one of the main issues—no surprise here—is health care costs: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/15/stop-shop-strike-new-england-elizabeth-warren Let’s support this strike by avoiding Stop & Shop stores until they offer their workers a fair contract and check out the AFL-CIO website for more information and a petition we can sign: https://www.massaflcio.org/news/support-stop-shop-workers-heres-how
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
- WEBINAR ON STOPPING SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS: Whether we end up in an out-of-network emergency room during a critical health situation or unknowingly receive the services of an out-of-network anesthesiologist during a surgery, our families shouldn't have to bear the outrageous costs of out-of-network "balance bills" in these instances. Fortunately, some unprecedented, bipartisan opportunities has arisen to solve this problem in Congress. Several states have also addressed this issue or are currently examining solutions. We can learn more about efforts to solve the problem of surprise medical bills at the federal and state level by joining this Families USA Health Action Webinar: Addressing Surprise Billing in Congress and the States TODAY, from 2-3pm EST. https://cc.readytalk.com/registration For more information we can also check out Families USA's new analysis: Families Need Congress to Stop Surprise Medical Bills Now
- Elizabeth Warren has a Novel Idea: Tax Corporations on the Profits they Claim Publically - https://theintercept.com/2019/04/11/elizabeth-warren-has-a-novel-idea-tax-corporations-on-the-profits-they-claim-publicly/
- Trump passes on making U.N. racism committee nomination: The decision continues a U.S. withdrawal from international bodies and human rights priorities - https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/12/trump-un-committee-1272422