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12/5/19

NATIONAL ISSUES




Fax legislators for free:

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS: Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee’s part of the Impeachment Hearings began:  https://apnews.com/fe334cf50d267b749874ddf1089ca6bd  and https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/live-blog/impeachment-hearing-live-updates-judiciary-committee-n1095001  Let’s be in touch with our MoC to say that we expect based on the preponderance of evidence that Trump will be impeached and removed from office. Let’s also take a moment to say thank you to the three distinguished professors who were invited by the Democrats to testify – they have comported themselves with great dignity and candor: 1)  https://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10257/Feldman and 2) https://law.unc.edu/people/michael-j-gerhardt/  and 3) https://law.stanford.edu/directory/pamela-s-karlan/

MIGRANT CHILDREN’S MEDICATION CONFISCATED AT THE BORDER: Doctors in Long Island reported two cases of migrant children who ended up in the Intensive Care Unit because their medication was confiscated at the border.  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-migrant-children/u-s-authorities-confiscate-migrant-kids-medications-at-the-southern-border-idUSKBN1Y72NV. This is not the first instance of inappropriate confiscation. In fact, this practice goes back years and a janitor who worked at a border detention facility has saved many of the objects taken from migrants and thrown away, photographed them, and put the photographs on exhibit. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2019-12-02/tom-kiefer-exhibition-el-sueno-americano?. We must tell our MoCs and DHS (202-282-8495; DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov; https://homelandsecurity.ideascale.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homelandsecurity/; Twitter: @DHS.gov) that this cruelty must stop. This is just one more reason that Congress must Defund ICE in the next round of budget appropriations. 

MORE SNAP CUTS IN THE WORKS:  The Trump administration has announced a plan that would cut food stamp benefits for approximately 750,000 people; the plan will make it harder for states to get waivers from a SNAP requirement that beneficiaries either work or be enrolled in vocational training and will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Dec. 5th;  presumably, it will then be available for our comment. This is only one of three proposals that the Trump administration is backing: one seeks to adapt “the types of government benefits that automatically qualify families for SNAP” and other changes the “approach to calculating standard utility allowances.” It is estimated that the 3 programs together would limit food stamps for 2.1 million households: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/472924-trump-administration-to-introduce-plan-cutting-food-stamps-for-750000  As far as this administration is concerned, poor people can either starve or freeze. Let’s comment, and let’s tell our MoCs that we expect them to fight for SNAP recipients.

ENDORSE RAICES’ IMMIGRATION REFORM MIGRANT JUSTICE PLATFORM: As Trump Administration imposes increasingly cruel Immigration policies, RAICES, in conjunction with several other organizations, is working to create comprehensive, just and humane Immigration Reform. Their Migrant Justice Platform proposes concrete governmental action, at home, on the southern border and abroad, with policies to free undocumented workers from fear of persecution, protect workers’ rights, and demilitarize and restrict border agencies. We can read the RAICES-sponsored  Migrant Justice Platform here, then, if we support it, endorse it and share it with our communities:  https://www.migrantjusticeplatform.org/endorse

STOP FACIAL SCANNING REGULATION: The administration is set to propose a new regulation that would photograph everyone entering or leaving the U.S. including U.S. Citizens.  This clear attack on fourth amendment rights reeks of “Big Brother” and violates privacy. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-privacy/u-s-homeland-security-proposes-face-scans-for-citizens-idUSKBN1Y62JO. Let’s make sure to speak out against this proposal when we talk to our MoCs and see if anything legislative can be done about it. Let’s also track this closely and make sure to make a public comment when it is published. 

THE SWELL CARE PACKAGE PROJECT:    The Swell Collective, whose mission is to inspire, equip, and amplify change agents, is seeking nominees and contributions to send out care packages to movement organizers, especially the unsung heroes.  Let’s help fund this initiative if we can:  https://swellcollective.org/shop/2020-swell-care-package-project  If we have a nominee in mind, we can click here:  https://airtable.com/shrDBuwjobl7Hol1W

LIBRARIES: EveryLibrary, an organization "dedicated to building voter support for libraries," has launched the Libraries 2020 campaign to help spread awareness for the good that libraries do across our country. Let's learn more about how libraries play a crucial role in our communities, then let's visit Libraries 2020 and use their click-to-tweets to help them build voter support and ensure that public libraries continue to be fully-funded.

NO JUDICIAL EXTREMISTS:  From Suit Up Maine:  The Senate will vote soon on a number of extremist and unqualified judicial nominees who are up for LIFETIME positions on the federal bench. Learn more about the worst of the worst and contact Senators Collins and King [and our GOP senators if we are on other states] and urge them to vote NO!  https://www.suitupmaine.org/extremist-judicial-appointments/

HEALTHCARE: As states like Ohio continue to restrict women's access to full healthcare, nationwide the Hyde Amendment has long been placing restrictions on low-income women (https://bit.ly/2Yo00Og). All Above All, a coalition of organizations fighting for women's rights, is encouraging us to be bold and push our MoC to repeal the Hyde Amendment. Let's check out their toolkit and use the e-mail template to contact our MoC here.

DISABLED STUDENT BORROWERS DENIED LOAN FORGIVENESS:  Apparently, the Education Department is not content with refusing 99% of the promised loan forgiveness applicants who are public servants (https://www.salon.com/2019/09/05/betsy-devos-education-department-rejects-99-of-applications-for-loan-forgiveness-program/), but it now turns out that it has similarly failed borrowers with disabilities As of this year, 365,000 disabled borrowers were potentially eligible for loan discharge but have gotten no relief, 225,000 of those had already defaulted on their loans; "People don't even know about this. They don't find out about it. Nobody tells you about it," said one eligible borrower; others cite the byzantine application process: https://www.wnyc.org/story/why-student-loan-borrowers-with-disabilities-arent-getting-the-help-they-deserve  We must speak up for students with legitimate claims for debt relief, before an entire generation is decimated by this $1.5 trillion debt: Sec’y Betsy DeVos, 800-872-5327 or U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202.

ELECTION/VOTING

2020 ELECTIONS: If we are looking for 2020 Election information or if we have some to share, we can check out Equal Vote Local’s BlueWave Database 2020. We can click here to find information about candidates, voting and more arranged by state. This editable document also allows us to add our groups and any candidates running for office:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ir8YGs1F0Lfayl6T7XR7tklnYrEk4VcEzTkPumLVWAI  We can also find out more about Equal here at their website:  https://www.equalvotelocal.com/

LEARN TO RUN PROGRESSIVE CAMPAIGNS AT THE MOVEMENT SCHOOL:  If we would like to learn to run a winning Progressive political campaign, we can apply to The Movement School for a 10-week distance learning program, structured around a campaign stimulation. Working with some of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s winning staff, we can learn to advocate for working class constituents, generate local solutions, and organize our grassroots communities. Organizers of color, those from working class backgrounds, and women are especially encouraged to apply and will make up the majority of accepted fellows.  We can find out more about The Movement School’s training to run successful Progressive Campaigns here, then apply if we are interested:  https://www.movementschool.us/campaignfellows

STATE/LOCAL

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

CLIMATE STRIKE: The climate crisis is accelerating and slowing it down will require our sustained attention and effort, and that climate strike we marched in back in September was just the beginning. On December 6th, as world leaders gather at the UN’s annual climate conference, young people across America will join a national #ClimateStrike to take the momentum from September to our elected officials’ doorsteps. Climate change is the biggest issue humanity has ever faced, so let's all pledge to help our kids tackle it, here: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/climate-strike  We can also join in Jane Fonda’s  Fire Drill Fridays:  https://firedrillfridays.com/

FLU SHOTS FOR DETAINED MIGRANTS: The group Doctors for Camp Closure (D4CC) has been trying to get flu vaccinations for people in CBP detention.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1263702860469475/permalink/1355046984668395/ They are being ignored, so that are planning an action. If we are in the Southern California area from Dec 9 through Dec 11, let’s sign up to protest: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNm81nXjIu4BLGLSJ2VDw9d0ec1t0c6XF88xGn6SLf0zKytg/viewform

PARTICIPATE IN DIRECT ACTIONS FOR IMMIGRATION JUSTICE ON DECEMBER 10:  Never Again Action is calling for two direct actions, to shut down the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, RI, and to shut down UMB Bank in Kansas City, which has a financial stake in the Wyatt facility. We can read here about the awful happenings at Wyatt, and also view the similarities between a picture of bottles collected from migrants and bottles collected from victims of the Holocaust. Let’s consider participating, telling our friends who live in these areas, or make a donation here.

IMPEACHMENT PROTEST: The impeachment hearings are moving forward full-steam with a transition to the Judiciary Committee:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment/u-s-democrats-set-the-stage-for-trump-impeachment-with-key-hearing-idUSKBN1Y613R  There are now 345 protests planned for the night before the impeachment vote (date to be determined).  Let’s make sure we are signed up for one (or organizing one if none of them are near us): 

READING/WATCHING

House Democrats have passed nearly 400 bills: Trump and Republicans are ignoring them - https://www.vox.com/2019/11/29/20977735/how-many-bills-passed-house-democrats-trump

How Auschwitz Christmas Ornaments Ended Up for Sale on Amazonhttps://www.wired.com/story/amazon-auschwitz-christmas-ornaments/



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We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule




12/3/19

NATIONAL ISSUES




Fax legislators for free:

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



(link correction) LGBTQ RIGHTS: Right now, there is a movement taking place across the U.S. to ban conversion therapy for minors at the state level (https://bit.ly/2qzNcb9). The American Medical Association (AMA) has also announced that they are supporting a U.S. ban on this widely discredited practice at both the state and federal level (https://reut.rs/2KSF1O5). Let's contact our MoC and ask them to work with both the AMA and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups to draft legislation that will ban conversion therapy at every level. We can use talking points drafted by the American Medical Association here.

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS: After whining about due process, Trump and his lawyers sent word that they will not participate in Wednesday’s hearing:  
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/white-house-will-not-participate-wednesday-s-impeachment-hearing-n1093821  Let’s let our MoC know that we expect them to show greater respect for the process than the president does and that the evidence makes clear that impeachment is needed.

IMMIGRANT ENTRAPMENT:  In a perverse coming together of the unchecked privatization of higher education and the determination of the Department of Homeland Security to entrap immigrants, DHS created a bogus college in Michigan; when foreign students applied there to get US visas—a usual process for international students—they were arrested and deported, some of them held in detention centers: 
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/29/783681028/an-elaborate-ice-sting-set-up-a-fake-college-to-lure-student-visa-fraud Having lured unsuspecting foreign students, DHS now claims they fraudulently applied for student visas and should, somehow, have known the college was bogus—despite its resemblance to the for-profit universities Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refuses to close or even sanction:
https://www.brookings.edu/research/betsy-devos-for-profit-colleges-education-america/  Let’s tell DHS what we think of their actions:  202-282-8495 or  https://www.dhs.gov/contact-us  -- and point out to DeVos that if bogus for-profit colleges were not ignored by her department, DHS might find this kind of entrapment more difficult:  800-872-5327 or U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202. 

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA): After refusing to negotiate the House-passed VAWA reauthorization (H.R. 1585), arguing against a provision which would preclude individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor stalking and/or domestic abuse crimes from purchasing guns (https://bit.ly/2Ka90k2https://bit.ly/2O4khU4) a group of Senate republicans have introduced their own reauthorization, S. 2920 (https://bit.ly/2L9ZmhV). The bill not only removes the firearm restrictions, but also the provisions for preventing discrimination of LGBTQ people in shelters, and would strip protections of Native American women (https://bit.ly/2LeyjSy). Let's contact our senators and tell them that we want them to pass the House version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act ASAP. If our Senator is among those who introduced the limited S. 2920, let's be sure to contact them and hold them accountable for attacking the rights of domestic abuse survivors.

TRUMP INTERFERES IN NAVY GALLAGHER CASE AGAIN: “A Navy official confirmed that Trump does have the authority to order the revocation of the awards, and that Spencer, accordingly, planned to rescind them. The news site Task & Purpose was first to report that the Navy's Regional Legal Service Office in San Diego had presented Navy Achievement Medals to four military attorneys involved in the Gallagher case.”
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/07/31/trump-orders-navy-rescind-medals-given-seal-eddie-gallaghers-prosecutors.html  “An attorney for Navy SEAL chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher also represents the Trump Organization, CNN has learned, just days after reports surfaced indicating the President is considering pardoning Gallagher of charges that could constitute war crimes.” 
 https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/24/politics/navy-seal-chief-eddie-gallagher-defense-team-trump/index.html Justice does not get served in this administration, if you have friends in the right places you get favors. It’s a QUID PRO QUO administration and the pattern is apparent in the Demands made to Ukraine.  Call your MOCs and ask them to support the impeachment process.  Call, write or tweet trump and ask him to let the military courts follow their own procedures and stop interfering for friends. 

STOP NEW FOOD STAMPS RULES:  New food stamp regulations proposed by the Trump Administration could cause millions of food insecure families to lose food stamps. What a wonderful way to kickoff the holiday season.  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-administration-proposal-could-cause-millions-lose-food-stamps-n1092866  While the comment period for these regulations closed yesterday, we can still contact Secretary of Agriculture: 1-202-720-2791 or feedback@usda.gov to express our concern. Let’s also ask our MoCs to put pressure on the administration to make sure that these regulations are not enacted. 

DHS LACKED TECHNOLOGY TO ACCOUNT FOR FAMILY SEPARATIONS: And for yet another, even more horrifying reason to demand the defunding of ICE, a recent report by the inspector general revealed that DHS knew it did not have tracking systems in place when it separated migrant families, which made reunification extremely difficult, and at times impossible. https://www.npr.org/2019/11/27/783513721/new-report-says-u-s-lacked-technology-to-account-for-separated-families. The report also notes that the administration aimed to separate five times as many families as they actually did, that the program cost nearly $1 million taxpayer dollars in overtime work, and that the practice persisted, even after an executive order was assigned to end the practice in June 2018. Let’s make sure that our MoCs know that we do not want to see any of our taxpayer dollars going to an agency whose policies have gone far beyond protecting our borders to cruel and abusive treatment of children and families.

FREE ONLINE SKILLS TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF FROM DEMLABS: If we, or our groups, are looking for ways to give our staff and volunteers the skills they need to be more effective activist and organizers, we can check out this these five  free online learning platforms DemLabs has organized for us. They have drawn together Best Practices training from Organizing for American, Midwest Academy and other highly experienced groups and put them in clear accessible formats for us to use.  We can click here for free, high quality, ready to use volunteer and staff online trainings on canvassing, phone banking, digital work, strategic planning and framing issues: https://demcastusa.com/2019/11/30/five-free-online-platforms-to-train-volunteers-activists-and-campaign-staff/

PROTECT DEMOCRACY IS LOOKING FOR STAFF: Protect Democracy, a cross-partisan team dedicated to preventing American democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government, is looking for new staff members. If we are interested in joining a group that has used the courts, media, legislatures to effectively shut down the Pence-Kobach Voter Suppression-oriented “Voter Integrity Commission,” challenged Trump’s  fake “Border Emergency” funding raid and is gearing up for new challenges, we can check out the organization’s information and position descriptions here. They are especially interested in people based in PA, TX, AZ, MI, WI, GA, NC and FL. If we’re in one of those states, we can include the state name in the subject line when applying:  https://protectdemocracy.org/x/jobs/

POSTCARDING ISSUES:  From one of our own:  You can find this week's postcarding write-ups here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v6S51cLbS-byILKK5hyrbuVBOf049w6O_Sjzf2yzSYM/edit?usp=sharing

ELECTION/VOTING

2020 ELECTIONS: If we are looking for 2020 Election information or if we have some to share, we can check out Equal Vote Local’s BlueWave Database 2020. We can click here to find information about candidates, voting and more arranged by state. This editable document also allows us to add our groups and any candidates running for office:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ir8YGs1F0Lfayl6T7XR7tklnYrEk4VcEzTkPumLVWAI  We can also find out more about Equal here at their website:  https://www.equalvotelocal.com/

STATES WITH OUTSIZE ROLES IN 2020 ELECTIONS. RollCall has compiled information for us by region. a) EAST: Maine and Pennsylvania. b) MIDWEST: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. c) SOUTH: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina. d) WEST: Texas. Let's read about our own region and/or state as we prepare for 2020.

POSTCARDERS WANTED. Postcards To Voters' experienced a Thanksgiving holiday slowdown. Tony the Democrat sent out a call to action: We need more volunteers to work on Campaign 185 for the Houston Texas runoff election on Saturday, Dec. 14.  Let's request 5 addresses today.

FREE VOTER ID INFO CARDS—The organization Vote Riders has wallet-sized cards with voter ID requirements for each of the 50 states and DC. The cards are available in English and Spanish. They will print and ship cards for free to registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Let’s click here to learn more and order cards: https://www.voteriders.org/get-involved/order-voter-id-info-cards/

STATE/LOCAL

FL: DEFEAT MATT GAETZ IN 2020: “Florida Democrats have identified 27,876 unregistered Democrats in Rep. Matt Gaetz's Congressional District. For just $1 you can send a return postage pre-paid voter registration form to one of them.” Let’s get these voters registered by chipping in here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fdp-votethemout

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

CLIMATE STRIKE: The climate crisis is accelerating and slowing it down will require our sustained attention and effort, and that climate strike we marched in back in September was just the beginning. On December 6th, as world leaders gather at the UN’s annual climate conference, young people across America will join a national #ClimateStrike to take the momentum from September to our elected officials’ doorsteps. Climate change is the biggest issue humanity has ever faced, so let's all pledge to help our kids tackle it, here: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/climate-strike  We can also join in Jane Fonda’s  Fire Drill Fridays:  https://firedrillfridays.com/

FLU SHOTS FOR DETAINED MIGRANTS: The group Doctors for Camp Closure (D4CC) has been trying to get flu vaccinations for people in CBP detention. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1263702860469475/permalink/1355046984668395/ They are being ignored, so that are planning an action. If we are in the Southern California area from Dec 9 through Dec 11, let’s sign up to protest: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNm81nXjIu4BLGLSJ2VDw9d0ec1t0c6XF88xGn6SLf0zKytg/viewform

IMPEACHMENT PROTEST: The impeachment hearings are moving forward full-steam with a transition to the Judiciary Committee:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment/u-s-democrats-set-the-stage-for-trump-impeachment-with-key-hearing-idUSKBN1Y613R  There are now 345 protests planned for the night before the impeachment vote (date to be determined).  Let’s make sure we are signed up for one (or organizing one if none of them are near us): 

READING/WATCHING


Lisa Page Speaks: ‘There’s No Fathomable Way I Have Committed Any Crime at All’ -

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against - https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

House Democrats have passed nearly 400 bills. Trump and Republicans are ignoring them. - House Democrats have passed nearly 400 bills. Trump and Republicans are ignoring them.

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We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule






12/2/19

On Mondays, Rogan’s List features a listing of proposed rule and regulation changes that are currently accepting public comment.  Commenting is the way to show government agencies how we feel about these proposed changes. Our comments also become part of a record that will be reviewed by courts if and when a reg change is contested. Courts use comments to judge whether an agency is acting arbitrarily and capriciously.

Organization

Closing Soon
Recent   
Section I - ICE, DHS, DOL, NLRB
Section II - everything environmental - EPA, BLM, DOE
Section III - Civil rights, housing, education, healthcare
Other: More on regulations (tracking the trackers/general information)  

(Note: After a couple of weeks items are moved from “Recent” and “Closing soon” into the Roman numeral sections. A note on regulatory processes: there are three stages - Notice, Proposed Rule, and Rule. There’s usually a time lag of a few months to a few years between them, and they must be published in the Federal Register before appearing on Regulations.gov. Comment time varies from 10 days to 2 months, sometimes with extensions.)