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2/4/20

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/



IMPEACHMENT TRIAL:  The Democratic House Managers made impassioned, convincing, and wise pleas in their closing remarks on Monday at the Senate Impeachment Trial and it is up to us as constituents to carry the force and clarity of their message to our Senators: 
https://apnews.com/568c14515d129e679f9d7b411974bb31  Let’s contact our two Senators on Tuesday to say that Trump has broken the law and violated his office and must be removed. Let’s ask at least five people to do the same and let’s give them the Capitol Switchboard phone number (202-224-3121) and simple language to use in their calls.

CALL OUT REPUBLICAN SENATORS FOR COVER-UP: Let’s make sure to tell Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (202-224-6665) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (202-228-3398) that we have no use for their specious half-baked explanations of why they refused to call for witnesses.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/02/01/impeachment-trial-lamar-alexander-explains-vote-against-witnesses/4620079002/ and https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/480863-murkowski-to-vote-against-witnesses-dashing-democrats-hopes-of-extending. And let’s tell every Republican Senator who voted for witnesses that we see their actions as perpetuating lawlessness and a complete disregard for the Constitution. And while we are at it, let’s not let Senator Susan Collins off the hook. It’s likely she voted for witnesses, only because she could do so without affecting the outcome. Let’s make sure to work hard to support her opponent in 2020. 

NEW ATTACK ON MEDICAID:  Trump has a new plan for decimating our health care: the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” allows states to ask for a waiver to end their traditional, open-ended Medicaid program and to place hard caps on how much money states and the federal government will spend on the poor and disabled.  This move would reduce health benefits for the millions covered by the Affordable Care Act: 
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/480984-democrats-face-uphill-battle-against-trumps-medicaid-overhaul or https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/health/medicaid-block-grant-trump.html   Democrats vow to fight this, but it’s unclear what they can or will do—especially if we do not press them to take action.  As important as contacting our MoCs, however, is ensuring that our state does not buy into this plan; we must stop our state legislators from making draconian cuts in Medicaid or from imposing work requirements, cutting provider payments or demanding new cost sharing and premiums—all of which they will now be allowed to do without federal consent.

LANDMINES, AGAIN:  The Trump administration has lifted a ban on the U.S. military's use of landmines outside of the Korean Peninsula; the White House said the ban “could place them at a severe disadvantage during a conflict against our adversaries" and this Trump finds unacceptable: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/31/801632498/trump-administration-loosens-obama-era-restrictions-on-land-mine-use or https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/02/01/land-mines-trump/ Apparently, it is of no concern to our government that UNICEF estimates that 15,000 to 20,000 people are killed or maimed by landmines every year, 1 in 5 of them  children:  https://www.unicef.org/french/protection/files/Landmines_Factsheet_04_LTR_HD.pdf  We need to tell the White House and, especially, the Department of Defense (703- 571-3343) that we will not tolerate the use, in our name, of a weapon that violates nearly all the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

FOOD STAMPS AND OUR MILITARY: “About 900,000 veterans and 5,000 active duty troops face cuts in their food stamp benefits beginning Thursday as $5 billion is automatically trimmed from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program for low-income families.”  https://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/10/29/nearly-1-million-vets-face-food-stamps-cut.html  The notion that our military and veterans qualify for food stamps should be a national embarrassment.  Then, to take away a benefit that helps them and their families survive, when they have given their all to us, is shameful.  Let’s tell all our MoCs that our military and veterans deserve way better than this.    

RACIST MASCOTS: Racist mascots are back in the spotlight with the Kansas City "Chiefs" having won the Super Bowl. From headdresses to the "tomahawk chop" with its accompanying chant, the game was rife with appropriation and imagery that normalizes racismFor the parents and educators among us, let's check out Teaching Tolerance's resources on lesson plans and conversations we can have that focus on Native American appropriation in sports:

READY-TO-GO POSTCARDING:  From one of our own:  Let's stay fierce and commit ourselves to demanding what is right and holding up a mirror to indifference and injustice.  Let’s use this list: 

PODCASTING TRAINING FOR WOMEN: “Millions listen to podcasts but not enough are hosted and produced by women. How can we fix this?  An exclusive Be Your Change workshop will train fifteen women to harness the power of podcasts for social good. Attendees will learn how to create and distribute their own podcast at this four day retreat in Arizona. DemLabs is offering two free scholarships.”  Let’s learn more here:  https://mailchi.mp/thedemlabs/podcastingretreat

ELECTION/VOTING

PRIMARIES/CAUCUS CALENDAR:  From Ballotpedia: 

New Hampshire (statewide)
Primary election
February 11, 2020
Wisconsin (statewide)
Primary election
February 18, 2020
Nevada (statewide)
Primary election
February 22, 2020
South Carolina (statewide)
Primary election
February 29, 2020

IOWA CAUCUS - FEB. 3. Iowa kicked off the primary/caucus season last night at 7pm CT. We can check NPR for results and analysis. 

PHONEBANKS FOR SUPPRESSED VOTERS—Reclaim Our Vote lets us make calls to voters who have been removed from the voter rolls in states throughout the South. Let’s sign up and help folks to re-register: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/reclaim-our-vote-signup

SEND SWING-STATE REPUBLICAN SENATORS PACKING: Indivisible’s Payback Project is “a comprehensive, four-pronged approach to make sure Republicans Senators are held accountable for their actions, their votes, and their enabling of Donald Trump.” We can sign up here for peer to peer texting in nine key states, persuading voters to work with their local Indivisible groups and flip their Senate seats blue: https://indivisible.org/payback-project-p2p  All levels of experience are welcome. Once we sign up, we’ll get all the material and support needed to reach our key voters!

GROW A PRO-ENVIRONMENT ELECTORATE—The Environmental Voter Project is looking for volunteers to help get pro-environment voters to the polls. Let’s sign up: https://www.environmentalvoter.org/get-involved

SUMMER 2020 INTERNSHIP, BOSTON, MA (UNPAID): “The Environmental Voter Project is looking for highly motivated undergraduates to join our selective Summer Internship Program. Interns will work closely with the Field Director and the Executive Director to learn about subjects such as field campaigning, nonprofit communications, and data analytics.” Let’s spread the word: https://www.environmentalvoter.org/jobs/intern

REGISTER-TO-VOTE EMAIL SIGNATURES—We can raise awareness of voting and help register voters every time we send an email by adding the following signature to our email messages: Register to vote. Sign up for election reminders. https://turbovote.org/ Let’s search “how to create an email signature” or follow the instructions on our email programs and apps and add a register-to-vote signature!

VOTING FOR EXPATS—Even if we’re US citizens living overseas, we can still vote in the primaries! Let’s visit Vote from Abroad so we can do so—and let’s share with our expat friends. https://www.votefromabroad.org/

TX:  From  #VOTEPROCHOICE : Are you or do you know an org in TX that endorses candidates? VOTEPROCHOICE is looking to partner with organizations and feature their endorsements in our TX Primary Voter Guide (available in English + Spanish). Please reach out to julielyn@voteprochoice.us

NEW POSTCARDING CAMPAIGN. Postcards to Voters (P2V) just kicked off Campaign 193: Ammar Campa-Najjar for Congress (CA-D50).The 50th Congressional District in Southern California presents a chance to pick up a seat that has been untouchable for nearly two decades. The ruby-red district hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress since 2000. Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar has a golden opportunity following the resignation of former incumbent Duncan Hunter. When P2V wrote for Ammar in 2018, he came within 3% of defeating Hunter and winning this seat! Let's request 5 addresses today.

STATE/LOCAL

MA: PASS CRUCIAL IMMIGRATION RIGHTS LEGISLATION—Tomorrow, Wednesday February 5, is the deadline to move the Safe Communities Act (S.1401/H.3573) https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/01/24/massachusetts-sanctuary-state-bill-safe-communities-act/, and An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility, (S.2601/H.3012), which allows undocumented people to get drivers’ licenses, out of committee. Otherwise, the legislative process starts all over again next year. Let’s call our state legislators and make it clear that we want these bills to be passed. Let’s also call the chairs of these committees: (For Driver’s License Bill: Joseph Boncore, (617) 722-1634; Eric Lesser (617) 722-1291; William Straus (617) 722-2400; and Adrian Madero (617) 722-2400. For Safe Communities Act: Michael Moore (617) 722-1485; Paul Feeney (617) 722-1222; Harold Naughton (617) 722-2230; and Alan Silvia (617) 722-2230) We can remind our legislators that the Family Mobility Act has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association and will make our community safer for everyone. Let’s also call Governor Baker (617-725-4005) and tell him to reconsider his decision to veto the bill if it should pass.  

WA: CANDIDATE TRAINING FOR UNION MEMBERS: If we are union members thinking about running for the city council, school board, or some other elected public office, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the national AFL-CIO, have a workshop just for us. The Path to Power: A Political Candidate Training Program, held on March 25-27th at the Painters District Council 5 Hall in Seattle, will help us get the tools, tip and training we need to win. We can learn more or apply by emailing Cherika Carter, Field Mobilization Director — ccarter@wslc.org. We can also learn more about The Washington State Labor Council at their website here: https://www.wslc.org/

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

REJECT THE COVER-UP MASS MOBILIZATION ON TOMORROW:
In response to the GOP cover-up of the president’s crimes, there will be a mass mobilization in many cities across the United States on Wednesday, February 5 – with more being added by the minute. Let’s plan to join or host onehttps://rejectthecoverup.org/

ATTEND LOVE NOT HATE EVENTS ON THE BORDER: FEBRUARY 14-17. Four days’ worth of activities are being planned for the weekend of February 14-17 as part of the witnessing actions on the border of Brownsville Matamoros. These include attending tent courts, witnessing deportations at the Brownsville Airport, vigiling at the courthouse, and participating in several protest rallies. Let’s see if we can attend and/or let our friends and neighbors know. The schedule is here. More information is available on the Witness at the Border Facebook Page. 

NATIONAL PILGRIMAGE TO CLOSE THE CAMPS—Tsuru for Solidarity, a non-violent, direct action project of Japanese American social justice advocates, is leading the planning of a gathering of Japanese Americans from across the country in Washington, DC, June 5-7, 2020. The purpose of the gathering is to express solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities under attack in the US. Attendees will bring 125,000 paper cranes (tsuru) to represent the Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in concentration camps by the US government during World War II. We can support the pilgrimage by holding “Tsuru Fold-ins” to bring to D.C. or to mail them to Tsuru for Solidarity by May 1, 2020To organize a fold-in, receive updates, register to attend and learn of other ways to participate, let’s visit: https://tsuruforsolidarity.org/2019/11/13/125000-paper-cranes-to-dc-in-june-2020-for-tsuru-for-solidaritys-national-pilgrimage-to-close-the-camps/

READING/WATCHING

From Brave New Films: “Trump does not tell the truth. We felt it was “in our national interest” to fix Trump’s [Super Bowl] ad and tell the truth….”  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMZNhBzfMsE



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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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