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2/6/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


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

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IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Trump was acquitted on both counts in the Senate yesterday:  https://www.npr.org/2020/02/05/801429948/not-guilty-trump-acquitted-on-2-articles-of-impeachment-as-historic-trial-closes  Let’s reach out to our respective Senators to say either thank you (for voting to convict) or you made the wrong choice (for voting to acquit). If our Senator(s) voted for acquittal and is up for re-election this cycle, let’s also add that we will work to ensure that they are not re-elected.

BILL TO LOWER DRUG PRICES:  In his State of the Union on Tuesday evening, Trump implored Congress to “to pass bipartisan legislation to “dramatically” lower the cost of prescription drugs.” https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/481533-trump-calls-for-bipartisan-bill-to-dramatically-lower-drug-prices  The good news is that the House already has and it is awaiting action in the Senate:  https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/2/5/21123917/state-of-the-union-democrats-chanting-hr3-bill  Let’s contact our Senators and remind them that Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act ( H.R. 3) is just waiting for their approval.

BLACK LIVES MATTER AT SCHOOL WEEK: This week is the third national Black Lives Matter Week of Action, a "national movement organizing for racial justice in education." The demands of BLM Week of Action include: 1.) End zero tolerance, 2.) Mandate Black History and ethnic studies, 3.) Hire more black teachers, and 4.) Fund counselors not cops. Let's learn more about the week of action at the Black Lives Matter at School website, then, for the educators among us, let's use the activities and lesson plans available in the 2020 Curriculum Resource Guide to help educate our students about racial justice and community activism. If we are not educators, let's still encourage our local schools to participate in the week of action.

WHITE SUPREMACY ON SPOTIFY: From Sleeping Giants: For over two weeks, activist groups have been flagging up the podcast of Patrick Casey, leader in the American Identity Movement (previously Identity Evropa) on Spotify. Spotify hasn't responded. Maybe if all of us send an email we'll hear back? Help us put it on their radar. We got everything you need right here: Contact info: Dustee Jenkins, Head Of Global Communications and PR, Email: dusteej@spotify.com. E-mail template available here.

IOWA AND THE DNC:  First, there was the Iowa primary debacle, which has raised the spectre not merely of mismanagement, vote rigging, and obfuscation but, more importantly, of the dangers of cellphone apps and Internet voting; if it did nothing else, it reinforced the necessity of paper ballots: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/05/802883801/lessons-learned-from-the-iowa-caucuses-and-danger-signs-ahead  Beyond this, Tom Perez’s leadership of the DNC is being seriously called into question based on his nominations for the 2020 Democratic Convention committees: https://readsludge.com/2020/02/05/bloomberg-surrogates-have-seats-on-dnc-rules-committees/  Then there are the DNC rules, used to exclude all remaining non-white candidates from the debate stage but suddenly changed, apparently to accommodate the inclusion of white billionaire Mike Bloomberg: 
https://www.newsweek.com/tomperezresign-trends-2020-democrats-accuse-dnc-chair-changing-rules-michael-bloombergs-benefit-1485545  None of this serves us as Democratic voters; if we hope to win this election, we must insist that the DNC show us and the country that it is fair, democratic, and transparent in its operations: #TomPerez or 202-863-8000 or 430 South Capitol St. SE, Washington DC 20003 or comment page at https://democrats.org/contact-us/.

MITT ROMNEY:  Utah GOP Senator Mitt Romney voted to convict Trump on Article 1 of the impeachment articles:  https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2020/02/05/mitt-romney-break-with/ While we may not agree with Romney on policy, let’s take a moment to thank him for doing the right thing siding with his country, and not party, and crashing the narrative that this was solely partisan: https://www.romney.senate.gov/

STOP NATIONAL ARCHIVES FROM DESTROYING RECORDS ON IMMIGRATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY: The White House is giving the National Archives permission to delete thousands of records on treatment of immigrants in detention facilities and environmental issues including endangered species, offshore drilling inspections, the safety of drinking water, and documents related to the  “enforcement (or non-enforcement) of health, safety and environmental laws and regulations.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/opinion/archives-document-destruction.html. Let’s make sure to tell our MoCs that we expect strong oversight on this issue and that they must find funds to keep our records intact, lest we slip even further into fascism and planetary catastrophe. 

SUPPORT HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI FOR SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: Last night at the end of the State of the Union Address, Speaker Pelosi calmly and methodically tore up her copy of Trump’s speech in front the TV cameras, claiming, “he shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech.”  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/05/nancy-pelosi-unleashes-on-trump-after-state-of-the-union-110825.  Pelosi has received some backlash for her action, so let’s support her by contacting her office (202) 225-4965 or sending her a message on Facebook or Twitter.@SpeakerPelosi. 

NOMINATE ADAM SCHIFF FOR A PROFILE IN COURAGE AWARD: Despite the Republican Senate’s complicity in the impeachment cover-up, we can nominate House Intelligence Committee Chair and Lead Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff for his relentless diligence, determination, and perseverance in speaking truth to power. If we haven’t watched his “Midnight in America” closing argument, let’s watch it here. And then let’s nominate Congressman Schiff for a Profile in Courage Award by going to this link. The deadline is February 15. 

DEMAND THAT JUDGES SERVE INDEPENDENTLY OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: According to Ashley Tabbador of the National Association of Immigrant Judges, one of the reasons that immigration cases are backlogged is because the judges are employees of the U.S. Attorney General which has established quotas and deadlines, making it difficult for judges to take the time to do their job as an impartial arbiter of justice. https://www.npr.org/2020/01/29/800938026/immigration-judges-association-argues-for-courts-independent-of-attorney-general. Judge Tabbador recently gave testimony on this issue to the House Judiciary Committee. Let’s contact the chair of that Committee, Jerry Nadler, as well as our own Representative and ask them to support legislation that would allow immigration judges independence from the political agenda of the Justice Department.

SUPPORT THE RESISTANCE REVIVAL CHORUS:  The Resistance Revival Chorus is working on their first album, This Joy. Their music and mission is infectious:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dom2Na_6pdU and https://www.topic.com/the-rebirth-of-resistance-choirs  Let’s follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ResistanceRevivalChorus/ and subscribe to their newsletter to keep up with their activities:   https://mailchi.mp/402f49bd4157/rrc#header  If we want to start our own local chapter, we can use their  toolkit:  https://medium.com/@resistancerevivalchorus/resistance-revival-chorus-tool-kit-260ed7438977

REJECT THE COVER-UP PROTESTS:  If we attended one of the over 300 #RejectTheCoverup protests on Wednesday evening, let’s take the time to share photos on social media and thank the organizer of the one we attended.

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

US SENATE BATTLEGROUNDS.  Ballotpedia has identified these seventeen (17) senate seats:  a) ALABAMA. Democrat Doug Jones is up for re-election in this red-leaning state. b) ALASKA: Republican Dan Sullivan is running for re-election. As of now, no Democrats have filed to run in the primary in this red state. c) ARIZONA: Republican Martha McSally has been in this seat (formerly John McCain's) since 2019. Ballotpedia lists this special election as a "toss-up." d) COLORADO: Republican Cory Gardner has held this seat since 2015 in this toss-up race. e) GEORGIA: Republicans Kelly Loeffler (Special Election info) and David Perdue are both up for re-election in this historically red state. f) IOWA: Republican Joni Ernst is running for a second term. Iowa leans red. g) KANSAS: Republican Pat Roberts has held this seat since 1997 and is retiring after his 4th term. Kansas leans red. h) KENTUCKY: Republican Mitch McConnell is now finishing his 6th term (since 1985). Kentucky has been historically red. #DitchMitch. i) MAINE: Republican Susan Collins is wrapping up her 4th term. Ballotpedia expects her race to be a toss-up. j) MICHIGAN: Democrat Gary Peters seeks his 2nd term in this blue-leaning state. k) MINNESOTA: Democrat Tina Smith has held this seat since 2018 when Al Franken resigned. Minnesota trends blue. l) MONTANA: Republican Steve Daines seeks a 2nd term in this red state. m) NEW HAMPSHIRE: Democrat Jeanne Shaheen seeks her 2nd term in this blue state. n) NEW MEXICO: Democrat Tom Udall is retiring at the end of this second term. NM trends blue. o) NORTH CAROLINA: Republican Thom Tillis is seeking a second term. This race is expected to be a toss-up. n)  p) TEXAS: Republican John Cornyn is seeking a 4th term in this red state. If we are voters in these battleground states, let's get to know the Democratic primary candidates now. If we are not in one of these states, let's consider "adopting" a senate seat to support.

LAWYERS NEEDED TO PROTECT THE VOTE—The Voter Protection Corps is “building a state-by-state playbook to combat both intentional voter suppression tactics and disenfranchisement caused by insufficient planning.” The Corps is recruiting legal volunteers to help anyone who is eligible to vote to register, vote, and have that vote counted. Let’s read more and join the Voter Protection Corps: https://www.voter-protection.org/#get-involved

NEVADA CAUCUS - FEB. 22.  Nevada uses caucuses to select candidates. We can read about the process and how to participate at Las Vegas Sun. We can find our precinct caucus locations and early voting information here. This year’s caucus will start at noon on February 22. If we are Nevada voters, let's make a plan to participate.

SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY- FEB. 29.  South Carolina will be the fourth and final state to hold a Democratic primary election in February. If we are SC voters, we can find all the information we need at South Carolina Election CommissionLet's make a plan to vote.

FIND ELECTION INFORMATION AT EQUAL VOTE LOCAL WEBSITE: As the election season gears up, there is so much to keep track of and now we have a handy way to do it. Equal Vote Local National has just unveiled their 2020 electoral calendar. We can click here to find elections listed in chronological order, color coded by voters, candidates and officials. We can also check out their state by state map which contains information for each state about candidates, media outlets, board of elections, state legislative contacts, progressive groups, election calendars and voter information: https://www.equalvotelocal.com/

STATE/LOCAL

CA: FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE ALL YEAR WITH MONTHLY CLIMATE ACTIONS:
We still have a chance to prevent the worst aspects of climate change, but only if we act now. Fortunately, LA Forward has put together a guide of 1 personal and 1 political action we can take each month to fight climate change. With a focus on real systemic change, we can help slash emissions and keep warming down. Even if we live outside of Southern California, there are actions we can take. We can find more information, get the Climate Action Guide and sign up for monthly email updates to fight climate change here: 

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

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

Fact-checking Donald Trump's 2020 State of the Union address - https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/feb/05/fact-checking-2020-state-union-address/



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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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