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2/20/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


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

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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





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