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2/27/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

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/



STAY INFORMED AND TAKE ACTION ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:  As news and misinformation about the Cornavirus spreads, it is helpful to remember a few key points. As Heather Cox Richardson reminds us this is a “pandemic but not a deadly pandemic.” Many will get sick, but we are not all going to die from this. So, let’s carry on. Here are ways we can be smart, prepare and take action:

FUNDING FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:   "For the United States, the answers are especially worrying because the government has intentionally rendered itself incapable. In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is—not just for the public but for the government itself, which largely finds itself in the dark.”  https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/31/coronavirus-china-trump-united-states-public-health-emergency-response/  Although it has been deemed too little, the “White House earlier this week put forward a $2.5 billion request as the virus spreads around the world and officials warn of eventual spread in the U.S. Only half of the request was new money.”  https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/484772-mccarthy-white-house-coronavirus-funding-request-a  Senator Chuck Schumer has released a detailed proposal for fighting this pandemic, we can read it here and learn about it here:  https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/484679-schumer-requesting-85-billion-in-emergency-funding-on-coronavirus  Let’s call our MoCs and the White House to demand that his proposal be approved and implemented  now. 

SPEAK OUT AGAINST ENCROACHING FASCISM: Trump’s ouster of National Security Director Maguire, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/02/21/trump-replacing-spy-chief-maguire-after-russia-briefing-stirs-uproar/4830237002/ his recent remarks that Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor should recuse themselves from any case related to his administration https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-says-sotomayor-ginsberg-must-recuse-themselves-cases-related-him-n1142651 along with his accusations of bias against Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over the Roger Stone trial https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/23/roger-stone-judge-berman-jackson-117066 are simply exacerbating an incredibly scary pattern where those in government who disagree with the current administration is accused of disloyalty, discredited, and often in danger of losing their job. It certainly isn’t helping that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni Thomas is compiling a list of “disloyal” government members. Let’s ask our MoCs what they are planning to do about this return to McCarthyist tactics and remind our Republican MoCs that their blind support of a rogue president is leading us down the road to facism. 

DISABILITY DAY OF MOURNING: From the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN): "In the past five years, over 600 people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents. Every year on March 1st, the disability community gathers across the nation to remember disabled victims of filicide–disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers." Let's use this time read through the Anti-Filicide Toolkit and learn about what filicide is, how we can prevent it, and what to do if it happens in our community. Then, for those of us who are able, let's sign up to host a Day of Mourning vigil in our area; ASAN has a guidebook to walk us through the process, step-by-step.

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AT THE BORDER: A new report by Physicians for Human Rights has reaffirmed what we already know: that the separation of children and families at the border constitutes torture (https://bit.ly/2TlNrRc). This torture, combined with previous trauma from their home countries and the inhumane conditions and cruel practices of concentration camps in the U.S. will impact the mental and physical health of these families for their entire lives. Let's be sure to send a copy of the report to our MoC and highlight the recommendations listed at the end of the report. Then, let's revisit this list of things we can do to help children and families at the border: 

THE ORGANIZERS’ ORGANIZER: We all know and work with some effective organizers and we so appreciate their worth.  Let’s take a little time to get to know one of the best and use this experience to gain some fuel for what lies ahead. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, “When I asked how to get organized - I was told two words. Heather Booth.” Let’s watch Heather Booth:  Changing the World on Amazon and be prepared to be wowed:  https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Booth-Changing-World/dp/B084GCM8MX/ Then, let’s share the link.

DISABILITY VISIBILITY PROJECT: Last minute call: "The Disability Visibility Project will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with a series of stories: #ADA30InColor. Disabled Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) 18 years and older in the United States are invited to submit a short pitch for an essay...Twelve submissions will be selected for publication. These 12 essays/videos (1000-2000 words or 15 minutes) will be published throughout the month of July on the Disability Visibility Project website and each selected person will receive $250 for their work." For those of us who qualify, let's check out the essay themes and guidelines on the Disability Visibility Project website here. The deadline for submissions is tomorrow, February 28th.

ELECTION/VOTING

PRIMARIES/CAUCUS CALENDAR:  https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar

CORRECTION - KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN VOTER-PURGED:  We can use Resistbot to check our voter registration status. After we do so, Resistbot will check our status monthly and alert us if our status has changed. https://resist.bot/guide Let’s activate this service by texting vote to 50409.  Then to check on voter status, enter 'check' and Resistbot will ask for your birth date, followed by asking you to verify your state and house number. 

LET'S GET READY FOR SUPER TUESDAY: Next Tuesday, March 3 is "Super Tuesday," the day when fourteen (14) states will hold their presidential primaries. (more about Super Tuesday at Wikipedia.) If we are in one of these states, let's click on link to review our relevant information at Ballotpedia. a) Alabama; b) Arkansas; c) California; d) Colorado; e) Maine; f) Massachusetts; g) Minnesota; h) North Carolina; i) Oklahoma; j) Tennessee; k) Texas; l) Utah; m) Vermont; n) Virginia.  If we have friends/family in any of these states, let's send them the link to info for their state. If we are in one of these states, let's post this information on our social media along with a site where we can re-check our voter registration: Vote.org

GOTV TEXTING OPPORTUNITY FOR SOUTH CAROLINA:  Black Voters Matter (BVM) is seeking texters to help get out the vote in Saturday’s South Carolina primary.  working on a texting workflow to share info about their Campaign Against Fear to Black voters throughout SC. We can help text by signing up at rr.team/BVM-Texting.

DEMAND MEDICAL RECORDS FROM DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Apparently following Trump’s lead, several Democratic candidates for president are refusing to make public their full medical records—a departure from a routine that has been followed for decades by members of both parties. 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-a-historically-old-presidential-field-candidates-refuse-to-release-health-records/2020/02/23/a39045f8-5407-11ea-9e47-59804be1dcfb_story.html Let’s tell these candidates that the American public deserves to be fully informed about their health and their ability to do the job, and that we do not appreciate Democrats normalizing the Trumpian practice of hiding medical records:

2020 PROM CHALLENGE: “The Prom Challenge is a program created by When We All Vote and MTV with the aim to get more students registered to vote. The program will recognize 20 high schools across the country who are integrating voter registration into their schools in the most creative and impactful ways. Schools can submit an application detailing how they are recruiting voters and winners of the competition will receive up to $5,000 for their prom.”  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michelle-obama-shares-1980s-prom-photo-igniting-promchallenge-student-voting-2020-02-18/  Let’s make sure that all our high school teacher, staff and student friends are aware of this.  More information and application here:  https://mtvprom.whenweallvote.org/

HELP FLIP KEY STATES AND REVERSE GERRYMANDERING - PART TWO: Political Charge   informs us  that this year is our chance to take control of several state legislatures, in a vitally important census year. If we control the state legislatures, we can stop Republican gerrymandering there, since whoever is in charge of state legislatures after the November election will be drawing the district maps that will be in place for the next decade. For inspiration, we can look to Virginia, which has dramatically improved voting rights since gaining control of the state government. Here are the remaining states to support.
  • NC: We broke the Republicans’ supermajority in the House and Senate in 2018, and in 2020, we have a chance to take control of both chambers. Winning four to six more seats will turn our State Legislature Blue! We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://www.ncdp.org/action
  • PA: Chipping away at the Republican majority, we are now in striking distance of flipping the House and the Senate! We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://www.padems.com/
  • TX:  With a massive effort to flip the Texas House; even Beto O’Rourke is pitching in . It’ll be competitive, but it is possible – Cook Political Report has rated this as only “Lean Republican.” So let’s go big, and turn the House Blue! We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://www.texasdemocrats.org/action/
If we’re outside of these states, we can help out by joining with the following groups that are highly focused on organizing in these states. Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Flippable’s Target States, Swing Left Super States, Emily’s List Target States,  Sister District State Strategy and The National Democratic Redistricting Committee Electoral Targets.

DEFEND OUR MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE: Swing Left has created a House Defense Fund to support the re-election of House Democrats in swing districts who are vulnerable because they supported impeachment. Let’s support this effort by giving what we can, and/or asking others to give:   https://secure.actblue.com/donate/defendhousedems

REPUBLICANS PLAN TO MEDDLE IN SC PRIMARY: Rush Limbaugh set “Operation Chaos” in motion when he urged Republicans to vote for Clinton not Obama in the 2008 primaries; now some tea party Republicans are urging South Carolina Republicans to vote for Sanders in Saturday’s primary, on the assumption that he can best be red-baited in the general election:  https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/upstate-gop-leaders-plotting-to-meddle-in-sc-democratic-primary/article_f1e7abd2-4788-11ea-aa9f-33a1d262994c.html or https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/us/south-carolina-primary-operation-chaos.html  In 22 states at least one party holds open primaries, where party affiliation is not a requirement for participation: https://ballotpedia.org/Open_primary If we live in an open primary state, it is critical that we call on our state legislatures to close the primaries and that we make as public as possible—letters to editors or op eds in local newspapers, radio call-ins—the likelihood of primary meddling.  Like gerrymandering and voter suppression, the open primary has become an all-too-handy way to skew the vote.

ELECTION RESULTS: Postcards to Voters volunteers wrote for two campaigns in Kentucky that had special elections on Tuesday, Feb. 25. a) Campaign 189: Rachel Roberts for State House. Roberts won this seat with 64% of the vote; she will be the first woman to hold this seat! (more at WCPO/Cincinnati) b) Campaign 191: Bill Redwine for State House. Redwine did not win this seat. He received 44% of the votes to Republican Richard White's 56%. (Source: WSAZ) Thank you to all the volunteers who worked to get out the vote for these special elections.

JUST LAUNCHED: POSTCARD CAMPAIGN: Postcards to VotersCampaign 197: Jill Karofsky for Wisconsin Supreme Court. (jillforjustice.com) This 10-year term will shape the future of Wisconsin as the Wisconsin Supreme Court will likely hear cases about gerrymandering, voting rights, women's access to healthcare, the climate crisis, and more. In addition, Donald Trump's allies want to use the state Supreme Court to rig Wisconsin for Trump in November. As Wisconsin could be the pivotal battlefield state for the whole country, it's absolutely critical to defeat Donald Trump's endorsed candidate, Dan Kelly, who has shown he is always willing to do whatever right-wing interests want. Let's request 5 addresses to support this campaign today. 

STATE/LOCAL

OR: CLIMATE ACTION—OREGON REPUBLICANS SHIRK THEIR DUTIES: As they did last year, Republicans in Oregon’s State Senate refused to show up for work, denying a quorum and preventing a vote on a state climate change bill. https://katu.com/news/local/a-sad-moment-for-oregon-gov-brown-asks-gop-lawmakers-to-return-vote-on-climate-bill A quorum is 20 members on the Senate floor—Democrats were short just one Senator. Let’s join the Democratic Party of Oregon and elect Senators who will do their job: https://dpo.org/ .

TX: LEGAL HELP NEEDED AT THE BORDER: Many Texas corporate attorneys, including some who even voted for Trump, are volunteering their services to help migrants at the border in order to make sure they have due process. Currently less than 5% are represented by attorneys. Legal help that can be done remotely is also needed. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/immigration/2020/02/26/i-am-the-frontline-lawyers-from-big-firms-are-wading-into-border-chaos-to-help-asylum-seekers/ If we have legal expertise, let’s contact the Texas Civil Rights Project and find out how we can help. 

TX: #VOTEPROCHOICE VOTER GUIDE:  Texas Primary elections are on Super Tuesday, March 3, and reproductive freedom is in danger in Texas. The #VOTEPROCHOICE Voter Guide empowers voters to identify the candidates up and down the entire ballot who will champion reproductive freedom.  Let’s use and share the guide: https://www.voteprochoice.us/voter-guide  as well as the social media toolkit that accompanies it:  https://www.voteprochoice.us/partner-toolkit/

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS

#TheIdesOfTrump: On March 15, together let's make history by sending 1 million postcards to Donald Trump telling him he is fired.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBq9GTAtsyU&feature=youtu.be

Light UP America: Mark your calendar for March 15 at dusk, and follow Vigil for Democracy to stay updated: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vigilfordemocracy and Instagram.com/VigilForDemocracy and Twitter.com/vigil4democracy. This is not another march or rally. It’s a thoughtfully designed non-violent direct-action campaign, put together by seasoned activists. While you wait, read George Lakey’s book How We Win, or browse his org’s website: wagingnonviolence.org

READING/WATCHING


How to Win the Democratic Nomination if there is a Contested Convention - https://politicalcharge.org/2020/02/21/how-to-win-the-democratic-nomination-if-there-is-a-contested-convention/


How Russian Trolls Operate - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmpWVuCb8s

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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





2/25/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

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/



ELECTION SECURITY AND RUSSIA:  Our own intelligence is muddying the situation regarding Russian interference in the 2020 election and its goals in sowing division within the country.  https://apnews.com/a55930e0a02d2e21d8ed2be7bc496a6f  McConnell is sitting on several election security bills not allowing them to be brought to the floor for a vote.  Let’s call McConnell to do his job ((502) 582-6304, (859) 224-8286, (859) 578-0188, (606) 864-2026, (270) 781-1673), then call our own MoCs to tell them the same.

PUERTO RICO DISASTER RELIEF: While still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was hit in early January with earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks. The Trump administration has not only placed severe restrictions on relief aid for the earthquakes, but it has still not distributed all the funds from Hurricane Maria (https://reut.rs/2wLeOgdhttps://nyti.ms/2Vdm66u). The House has passed a supplemental relief bill (H.R. 5687) to allocate emergency aid funds to Puerto Rico, but it has significant Republican opposition. Let's call our senators and urge them to either take up the House-passed bill, or draft one of their own to ensure that Puerto Ricans are given relief ASAP.

BE AWARE OF THIS CENSUS SCAM: Don't be taken in by these fake but official-looking forms being sent out nationwide by the Republican Party, which are really seeking donations and our information. Forewarned is forearmed: 

IMMIGRATION COURT CHAOS: “Shrouded in secrecy, the immigration courts run by the U.S. Department of Justice have been dysfunctional for years and have only gotten worse. A surge in the arrival of asylum seekers and the Trump administration’s crackdown on the Southwest border and illegal immigration have pushed more people into deportation proceedings, swelling the court’s docket to 1 million cases.”   https://apnews.com/7851364613cf0afbf67cf7930949f7d3 Let’s use the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) link to contact our MoCs in support of court reform to remedy this:  https://www.aila.org/takeaction#/46

DEPORTATION DEFENSE NETWORK: Notifica is an app by United We Dream for immigrants who want to be prepared in the event of a raid, roundup, or detention. The app sends a secure message to people in your support network. Let’s learn about Notifica here: https://mashable.com/2017/03/14/notifica-app-undocumented-immigrants/ and let’s download it and spread the word: https://notifica.us/

SUPPORT THE NATIONAL REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT: The National Refugee Protection Act (H.R.5210) would require the United States to take in at least 100,000 a year from Central America prevent the government from forcing people to apply for asylum in other countries they passed through. It would stop the policy of charging people who cross without documents with a criminal offense, reverse the policy that bars people fleeing domestic or gang violence from obtaining asylum and require our government to appoint lawyers for migrant children. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/opinion/sunday/immigration-trump-refugees.html. Let’s tell our MoCs to get this bill out of committee and pass it into law. 

SAVE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN DETENTION FROM BEING REMOVED TO ANOTHER STATE: “Cosecha Massachusetts leader, father, and beloved community member Nelson Fuentes is currently in detention, facing deportation. https://www.wmur.com/article/man-from-guatemala-set-to-be-deported-after-illegally-re-entering-us/30572695. Nelson recently filed an appeal, automatically granting him a two week “stay of removal” and beginning a month-long period in which he can use more legal avenues to fight his case. Now ICE is trying to move him to another state—away from his partner and infant daughter, his legal team, and all his community support. They are abusing their power and creating obstacles in the small window of time that Nelson and his community have to fight his case in the courts. Call ICE now and tell them to stop Nelson Fuentes's transfer! 781-359-7500, dial 3 and ask for Jennifer Hood. Nelson’s A# is 206-801-944. More information can be found on Movimiento Cosecha’s Facebook Page. 

STOP FAST-TRACK DEPORTATIONS TO UNSAFE THIRD COUNTRIES: As terrible as the MPP (Wait in Mexico) Program is, the government is on track to replace it with something even worse: The PACR Program allows the government to process asylum applicants within 10 days and then deport them to a designated “safe” third country, depriving them of due process. Not only is Guatemala, a country where Central Americans from other countries are being deported, unsafe--immigrants who are being flown out shackled in the dead of night often have no idea where they are being sent, or how to seek asylum in the 72-hour window they are allotted, if they should choose to go that route. Let’s make sure to read this important article from the Washington Post:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/remain-in-mexico-deportation-asylum-guatemala/2020/02/20/. and then let’s call our MoCs and demand an end to both MPP and PACR.  

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a blistering dissent in a recent case and accused her conservative colleagues of putting their thumb on the scale of the Trump administration: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/23/politics/sotomayor-dissent-supreme-court/index.html  Let’s take a moment to thank Justice Sotomayor for speaking out:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/contact/contactus.aspx  and let’s contact our MoC to echo her concerns.

TRUMP’S UNION-BUSTING ESCALATES:  Last Thursday, Trump quietly granted Secretary of Defense Mark Esper the power to strip collective bargaining rights from the 750,000 civilian employees of the DOD,  many currently represented by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest union representing federal employees; Trump’s memo to Esper claims that a unionized Defense Department workforce could pose a threat to “national security”: 
https://www.govexec.com/management/2020/02/trump-administration-publishes-memo-could-end-defense-unions/163237/ and https://www.afge.org/take-action/campaigns/the-secret-memo/   Before Esper decides to exercise this new power, let’s defend these workers by lending our support to the AFGE which is urging our MoCs to support legislation to stop Trump’s effort to end unionization: 
https://www.afge.org/article/afge-urges-congress-to-prevent-trump-from-ending-unionization-at-dod/  And let’s tell the DOD what we think using the only method they make possible, writing to 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000.

FIRST GREYHOUND, NOW COACH:  Greyhound will not longer allow Border Patrol agents to board busses without a warrant.  https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/2/22/21148698/greyhound-customs-border-patrol-cbp-warrantless-searches
Let’s send some thanks to Greyhound on their Facebook page or on Twitter:  @GreyhoundBus to help offset the heartless right wing rhetoric.  Then, it is time for us to make the same ask of Coach Lines.  https://www.concordmonitor.com/concord-coach-nh-bus-search-bor-32862971  Let’s reach out to Coach to ask that they do the same as Greyhound.  To speak with an Information Center Agent, we can call 1-800-639-3317, or 603-228-3300. Or we can send postcards to:  Concord Coach Lines, 7 Langdon Street, Concord, NH 03301 Or we can email:  info@concordcoachlines.com

ELECTION/VOTING

PRIMARIES/CAUCUS CALENDAR:  https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar

VOTE AT HOME:  Skip the lines. Vote at home. Mail ballots let voters decide when and how they vote. Voters can now find vote-at-home details and the forms they need using a free mobile app: https://ci8np.glideapp.io/  Let’s check out how DemLabs and Vote at Home (VHA) collaborated on this project and share the information with others:  https://mailchi.mp/thedemlabs/voteathomeglideapp

WORK FOR THE MOVEMENT VOTER PROJECT (MVP): MVP channels 100% of donated funds to grassroots community organizing groups working to further progressive causes. They’re hiring for three positions: State Advisor (North Carolina), Senior Donor Organizer/Advisor (NY or Southern Region), and House Party Coordinator (remote). Let’s apply and/or spread the word: https://movement.vote/jobs/

SHIFT THE COUNTRY:Shift the Country PAC has launched with a mission to help democrats win the US Senate, hold the US House, and get the electoral college votes to win the White House. We're specializing in rural America. It's not the democratic party's strong suit - so we're bringing a fusion of engagement, persuasion, and amplification to make shift happen.”  Let’s follow their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ShiftTheCountry/ and sign up for some of their upcoming trainings and events:  https://www.eventbrite.com/o/shift-the-country-24947731177

KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN VOTER-PURGED—We can use Resistbot to check our voter registration status. After we do so, Resistbot will check our status monthly and alert us if our status has changed. https://resist.bot/guide Let’s activate this service by texting vote to 50509.

HELP FLIP KEY STATES AND REVERSE GERRYMANDERING: Political Charge informs us that this year is our chance to take control of several state legislatures, in a vitally important census year. If we control the state legislatures, we can stop Republican gerrymandering there, since whoever is in charge of state legislatures after the November election will be drawing the district maps that will be in place for the next decade. For inspiration, we can look to Virginia, which has dramatically improved voting rights since gaining control of the state government.  Let’s check out these opportunities: 
  • AZ: Both House and Senate are within 2-3 seats of switching to a Democratic majority. Flipping a chamber would also mean ending the current Republican trifecta, control of the governorship and both state legislative chambers.  We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://www.azdem.org/ 
  • FL: We just need to flip 3 seats to break the Republicans’ Senate majority, and doing so would break the Republican trifecta in the state.  We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://www.floridadems.org/
  • IA: Republicans currently have a trifecta, but we could break that by flipping 4 seats in the state House. In 2018 we decreased the Republican majority to put us in strong contention for this flip. We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://iowademocrats.org/
  • MI:  In 2018, we decreased the Republican majority to put us within 4 seats of taking majority control of the House. Let’s flip those 4 seats and turn the State House Blue! We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://michigandems.com/
  • MN:  Back in 2016, the Republicans flipped the Senate. But in 2020, it’s our opportunity to flip it back to the Democrats by winning just 2 more seats. Also, if we flip the Senate, Democrats will have a trifecta. We can get involved with our local Democratic Party efforts to flip our State Legislatures here: https://www.dfl.org/action/
If we’re outside of these states, we can help out by joining with the following groups that are highly focused on organizing in the state. Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Flippable’s Target States, Swing Left Super States, Emily’s List Target States,  Sister District State Strategy and The National Democratic Redistricting Committee Electoral Targets.

P2V ELECTION WATCH. On Tuesday, Feb. 25, Postcards to Voters' (P2V) volunteers will be watching returns for two (2) Kentucky House seat special elections: a) Campaign 189: Rachel Roberts; b) Campaign 191: Bill Redwine. Our thanks to all the volunteers who wrote for these two campaigns.

FLORIDA VOTE BY MAIL. Postcards to Voters continues their outreach to Florida Democrats not yet signed up for vote by mail (VBM) with a campaign for Miami-Dade County. Of the 600,000+ registered Democrats, only 102,272 are enrolled in Vote By Mail. Imagine how many additional, habitual Dem voters we're going to help who will be a big part of Florida's big, blue win in 2020! (#FLDemsVBM) Volunteers previously wrote to a smaller, targeted list of Miami-Dade voters; this campaign will reach the full list. Let's request 5 addresses today for this important campaign.

NEW POSTCARD CAMPAIGN! This weekend, Postcards to Voters launched Campaign 195: Harold "Howie" Hayes for PA State House, District 18. (Bensalem area) This special election will take place on Tuesday, March 17. Republicans have held this seat since the 1970's; it is the second-most Democratic district in the state held by a Republican. Let's help the district flip this seat (#FlipPAHD18) by requesting 5 addresses today. 

STATE/LOCAL

MI:  ABSENTEE BALLOT: “Michigan residents have time to recast their absentee ballot if they already voted for a candidate who dropped out of the presidential primary since early voting began in late-January.”  https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/02/what-happens-if-i-voted-for-someone-who-dropped-out-in-michigans-presidential-primary.html  If our candidate has dropped out and we’ve already voted, let’s take advantage of this opportunity to change our primary choice.

MI: EXPUNGEMENT: Last fall, a bipartisan group of representatives introduced a package of bills (HB 4980-4985) which would significantly improve the expungement process and expand eligibility for expungement in Michigan (https://bit.ly/2kvLZhO). Expungement is a crucial piece in improving the lives of formerly incarcerated people, by expanding employment and housing opportunities, among other benefits, and reducing the likelihood of recidivism.  (https://bit.ly/2m7gNWNhttps://bit.ly/2l3z7jb). While the bills passed the House with bipartisan support, they have not made any movement since early November, when they were referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Let's contact the Republican members of that committee and urge them to schedule a hearing and move these bipartisan bills forward: Sen. Peter Lucido: (517) 373-7670, Sen. Curt Vanderwall: (517) 373-1725, Sen. Tom Barrett: (517) 373-3447, Sen. Ruth Johnson: (517) 373-1636, Sen. Jim Runestad: (517) 373-1758

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

READING/WATCHING


The 100 Million Project, the Knight Foundation’s study of the 100,000,000 eligible voters who don’t vote -  https://knightfoundation.org/reports/the-100-million-project/


The Authoritarian Reflex: Pippa Norris puts America’s flagging democracy in global context - https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2020/03/feature-the-authoritarian-reflex

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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





2/24/20

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.)

This week's list - new - Gulf of Mexico region-wide oil and gas lease sales on all federal holdings (with some named exceptions), waiving laws for the border wall across several states - neither taking comment so action is to write to representatives:





2/20/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

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/



DEMAND THAT CONGRESS TAKE MEASURES TO REIGN IN TRUMP’S POWER: Since his acquittal by the Senate, Trump has gone even more rogue than usual (if that can be believed), demanding that all cases generated from the Mueller investigation be thrown out https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia/trump-calls-for-all-cases-stemming-from-mueller-probe-to-be-thrown-out-idUSKBN20C1RG. Let’s tell our Republican Senators that their actions have enabled the death of our democracy and ask all our MoCs what they are going to do now to stop Trump’s executive overreach. 

DEFUND ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR, It’s unlikely that AG William Barr will respond to the 2000 prosecutors and former DOJ employees calling for his resignation, so Indivisible is proposing a course of action we can all get behind. Let’s tell our MoCs to publicly support “investigating Barr's ongoing misconduct and demand that they defund Barr’s office until he and all other Trump appointees at the department recuse themselves from any investigation of prosecution relating to Trump or any Trump’s co-conspirators.” We can remind them that it’s essential to our democracy to have an independent judiciary and a fair judicial process. We can get more information on the Indivisible website here.

TRUMP’S PARDONAPALOOZA: On Tuesday, Trump went on what Rick Wilson described as a “pardonapalooza” – giving pardons and commutations to an odd assortment of convicted criminals including Rod Blagojevich:  https://apnews.com/0aefe46218f914a2adb5d4e68ffc5bb0  Then on Wednesday, the lawyer for Julian Assange of Wikileaks asserted that Trump offered Assange a pardon in exchange for refuting Russian involvement in the hack of the DNC:  https://apnews.com/3934adc00f38667b267345b8628e4f12  It is clear that Trump has not learned the lessons that GOP Senators hoped he might. Let’s be in touch with our MoC to say that he is out of control and we expect them to speak out.

DISABLED IMMIGRANT CHILDREN FORCED TO WAIT IN MEXICO IN VIOLATION OF MPP’S OWN PROTOCOLS: Four families with disabled children including one with a life-threatening condition were denied entry to the U.S. last week despite rules that exempt them from the MPP (Wait in Mexico Program). CBP turned down requests for entry for three days in a row despite appeals from a physician. https://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/feds-deny-families-passage/article_6d5ef456-5296-11ea-8909-931da3f6a113.html. Let’s make sure our MoCs are aware of this situation and ask them to intervene.

END VIOLATIONS OF CONFIDENTIALITY FOR IMMIGRANT YOUTH IN PSYCHOTHERAPY: Unaccompanied immigrant children held in US detention centers must undergo psychotherapy through the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). In 2018, ORR began requiring its therapists to share their confidential psychotherapy notes with US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE has been using those notes to deny asylum to some of these children. The American Psychological Association (APA) is protesting this practice. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/02/sharing-therapy-notes Let’s support the APA’s efforts by calling on:  1) ORR to stop this practice: Jonathan H. Hayes, Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement, 330 C Street SW, Room 5123, Washington, DC 20201, or 202-401-9246, 2) US Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201, or 1-877-696-6775)  and our Members of Congress to investigate this practice, and 3) ICE to release any immigrants who have been denied asylum as a result of this practice: Acting Director Matthew T. Albence, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 500 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20536

HARRIET TUBMAN ON THE 20-DOLLAR BILL:  It’s been a year since the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act (H.R.1083/S.872) was introduced in Congress to honor the abolitionist.  Last June, the Woman on the Twenty Act (H.R.3082)  was introduced following a May 22nd Financial Services Committee hearing where Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the change will never happen under a Trump Administration:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/harriet-tubman-20-dollar-bill-2020-release-delayed-trump-administration-treasury-secretary-steve-mnuchin-2019-05-23/  Let’s contact all our MoCs to let them know that we want these bills passed and the 20-dollar bill changed. 

SUPPORT CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION—Plastics are a leading contributor to greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. H.R. 5845 and S. 3263, the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, will reduce single-use plastics, improve local recycling efforts, and prevent plastic waste from winding up in the ocean. https://www.surfrider.org/coastal-blog/entry/federal-break-free-from-plastic-pollution-act-introduced Let’s tell our MoCs to co-sponsor H.R. 5845 and S. 3263.

POVERTY IN THE U.S.:  Despite tweets of a great economy, too many people in our country live in poverty.  https://poverty.umich.edu/about/poverty-facts/  Following in the footsteps of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. William Barber continues his work on the Poor People’s Campaign.  http://www.thecharlottepost.com/news/2020/01/23/local-state/poor-people-s-campaign-leader-takes-on-national-crisis-of-social-ills/ Let’s find ways to stay in touch with this group and support their work:  https://www.facebook.com/anewppc/, https://www.breachrepairers.org/news, and let’s be planning for the June 20, 2020 Mass Poor People's Assembly & Moral March on Washington:  https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june2020/

NATIVE AMERICAN VOTING RIGHTS: North Dakota’s voter ID law requires voters to show ID with their residential street address. But many Native Americans living on reservations do not have residential street addresses and so could not vote. Plaintiffs sued in federal court and, last week, won a victory for voting rights. North Dakota is now required under court consent decree to recognize tribal IDs, and ensure that Native American voters without a residential street address can vote. https://campaignlegal.org/press-releases/secretary-state-agrees-settle-voter-id-lawsuits-entering-consent-decree-north-dakota and https://publicintegrity.org/politics/voting-settlement/  Let’s send a message of thanks and, if we’re able, make a donation to the organizations that represented the plaintiffs: Native American Rights Fund,
https://www.narf.org/contact-us/ ; Campaign Legal Center,

CORONAVIRUS/RACISM: Since the outbreak of Clovid-19, the coronavirus, racism and xenophobia have proliferated against people of Asian descent across the globe (https://lat.ms/37zzODehttps://bbc.in/2SJECBT). While individuals are being targeted with everything from microaggressions to overt attacks, businesses are also being impacted, with some having to close because of the sharp drop in sales. (https://cnn.it/327AwXahttps://bit.ly/2SH6vdR). Let's all make sure we are checking our own actions, and speaking with our family, friends, and neighbors about what is happening. Then, let's make sure we are supporting Asian-owned businesses in our communities. We can also follow Boston's lead and organize a Dim Sum Brunch in our area.

ELECTION/VOTING

PRIMARIES/CAUCUS CALENDAR:  https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar

FLIP THE SENATE: The Payback Project launched shortly after Trump's so-called acquittal by Senate Republicans. The project targets 10 vulnerable Republican Senators, and they're asking for our help in a texting campaign to reach out to voters. They ask volunteers to participate in a texting training webinar, and there's one coming up on Feb. 20. We can sign up here:  https://indivisible.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PkZPG7FcQU6pg3X-FXZrwA

TX: FREE CAMPAIGN TRAINING WORKSHOP IN HOUSTON THIS SATURDAY:
Time to get ready for the Elections! If we are a candidate, campaign staff or local leader, the National Democratic Training Committee and the Texas Democratic Party has a free, one day Blue Bench Campaign Training workshop just for us! This Saturday, February 22nd, we can attend a free in-person training focusing on fundamental aspects of campaigns or growing our organization including fundraising, communications, digital strategy, and field operations. During the training day, there will be 3 different audience groups Candidates, Campaign Staff, and Local Leaders. Each group will move through four 80-minute sessions covering different skills relevant to their audience in field, fundraising, communications, and digital strategy.
We can find out more, including the day’s agendas, and then sign up for this free Campaign Workshop here:  https://traindemocrats.org/event/houston-texas-2-22-2020/

WVFREE CAMPAIGN TRAINING WORKSHOP IN CHARLESTON THIS SATURDAY:  Time to get ready for the Elections! If we are a candidate, campaign staff or local leader, the National Democratic Training Committee and the West Virginia Democratic Party has a free, one day Blue Bench Campaign Training workshop just for us! This Saturday, February 22nd, we can attend a free in-person training focusing on fundamental aspects of campaigns or growing our organization including fundraising, communications, digital strategy, and field operations. During the training day, there will be 3 different audience groups Candidates, Campaign Staff, and Local Leaders. Each group will move through four 80-minute sessions covering different skills relevant to their audience in field, fundraising, communications, and digital strategy.  We can find out more, including the day’s agendas, and then sign up for this free Campaign Workshop here:  https://traindemocrats.org/event/charleston-west-virginia-2-22-2020/

STATE/LOCAL

MA: RESPONDING TO IMMIGRATION RAIDS: The Trump administration is cracking down on municipalities with sanctuary policies protecting immigrants. Boston is among them. https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/02/14/swat-like-immigration-officers-are-in-boston-ready-to-cooperate-with-ice-arrests A rapid-response hotline, 617-863-7783, has been set up for reporting raids. If we live in the Greater Boston area, let’s put the number in our cell phones in case we ever have to use it.  We can also share this chart:  https://www.facebook.com/welcomeprojectSomerville/photos/rpp.146980652019799/2967618579955978/

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

READING/WATCHING

Trump’s latest pardons show how quickly he’s normalizing corruption - https://www.vox.com/2020/2/19/21142836/trump-blagojevich-kerik-milken-negron-debartolo-pardons-corruption

U.S. judge sides with migrants in Arizona case against Border Patrol - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-judge-sides-migrants-arizona-case-against-border-patrol-n1139101

Lawyer: Assange was offered US pardon if he cleared Russia - https://apnews.com/3934adc00f38667b267345b8628e4f12


Florida can't bar felons from registering to vote over fees and fines, court rules - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-cant-bar-felons-from-registering-to-vote-over-fees-and-fines-court-rules/
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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