Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)
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White House contact: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
TRUMP/COVID: On Sunday, President Trump indicated that he thought holding the line at 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States would be a “very good job”: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/trump-says-keeping-us-covid-19-deaths-to-100000-would-be-a-very-good-job Let’s let our MoC know that we expect them to stand up to a president who shows so little regard for our lives.
COVID LEGISLATION GAPS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED: The first three COVID-19 bills started the relief process for our country. Congress is now on recess through at least April 17 and more likely through at least the end of April, although Senator McConnell has indicated that they will monitor the situation and could return earlier. Members and their staff are already working remotely on a fourth bill. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/30/824150299/house-looks-at-4th-coronavirus-aid-package-pelosi-says-she-wont-get-test Let’s tell all our MoCs that we want them to continue supporting all Americans who need help during these unparalleled times.
LEGISLATIVE REMOTE VOTING: The House and Senate have a lot of work ahead to get us through this pandemic, with talk already beginning about what will go into the next relief bill. It's going to be hard to do without either putting the lives of our elected officials at risk or reducing their accountability by relying on things like voice voting, which is why members on both sides of the aisle are calling for Congress to adopt remote voting to get us through the crisis. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/23/congress-remote-voting-coronavirus-144119 Let's call our representatives in Washington and tell them we want them to make this transition until the worst is over.
TELL JAILS TO RELEASE IMMIGRANT DETAINEES: Immigrant detainees, who are in crowded situations with limited access to sanitation are at high risk for COVID-19, and infections have already been reported. https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2020/03/24/immigrant-detainees-are-sitting-on-a-covid-19-time-bombfirst-infection-reported/. The New Sanctuary Coalition is calling on people to make direct calls to jails. They have a script and a small list of detention centers they are targeting. We can also use this site to contact the corrections departments and individual facilities in our state. Let’s put pressure on the jails now to release detainees, as well as other non-violent incarcerated individuals.
RELEASE MIGRANT CHILDREN FROM DETENTION: Four migrant children have tested positive for COVID-19 and a judge has ordered the government to “make continuous efforts” to release them from custody. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/us/coronavirus-migrant-children-detention-flores.html. Let’s ask our MoCs to prioritize this issue and put pressure on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to comply. We can also contact these organizations directly. (HHS Comment Line: 202-205-5445; https://www.facebook.com/HHS/; Twitter: @HHS.gov; ORR: 202-401-9246; Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, Mary E. Switzer Building, 330 C ST SW Room 5123, Washington, DC 20201.
RESIST DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ATTACKS ON CIVIL LIBERTIES: The Department of Justice has asked Congress for “coronavirus emergency powers,” which among other things would allow them to detain someone without trial. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/21/doj-coronavirus-emergency-powers-140023. This is a scary attack on our civil liberties from an administration that has already tried to broaden executive power. Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has warned us to remember our long history of governments using emergency powers to curtail civil rights and called the request abhorrent. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/aoc-slams-reported-doj-effort-indefinitely-detain-people-during-emergency-n1166031. Let’s make sure our MoCs know that we’re aware of this backdoor effort to restrict our civil liberties and insist that they stand strong in rejecting these changes.
SUPPORT AMAZON, INSTACART AND WHOLE FOODS WORKERS STRIKE: Workers at Amazon and Whole Foods are going on strike due to unsafe health conditions related to COVID and unsupportive paid leave policies. https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/30/amazon-warehouse-whole-foods-workers-strike/. At Whole Foods, the CEO, John Mackey, has asked workers to donate their paid time off to a sick bank, rather than cut into his or the corporation’s profits. And Whole Foods is owned by Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, is one of the richest people in the world. https://www.businessinsider.com/whole-foods-ceo-employees-donate-vacation-coronavirus-report-2020-3. Let’s contact Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods and tell them we support their workers’ very reasonable demands and we will seek other delivery options until these demands are met.
NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has ordered that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's reservation be disestablished and the land to be taken out of trust (https://wbur.fm/2wCaqAp). The action could have far-reaching consequences, not only in requiring the tribe to pay back taxes, closure of its court and police department, and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's complete inability to decide how to regulate its own land and natural resources, but it could also mean that the Interior Secretary could disestablish any tribe's land on a whim (https://wbur.fm/2UvU8lM). This will benefit many as we follow the money: https://democracylabs.kumu.io/pandemic-land-grab First, let's contact Secretary Bernhardt and tell him that this needlessly cruel act is a mistake and he should reverse his decision. Mailing address: Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington DC, 20240, Phone: (202) 208-3100. Then, let's contact our senators and tell them that we want them to pass the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (H.R. 312), which has been stalled in the Senate since last year. We can find a sample letter to send to our senators here: https://www.heron-hill.org/post/disestablish-reservation-land
HEALTH & SAFETY FOR INCARCERATED PEOPLE: The pandemic is an especially terrifying prospect for people who are currently incarcerated. Close quarters and unsanitary conditions means that there is an increased risk of COVID-19 spreading throughout jails and prisons. Essence has published a resource where we can find No Kids in Prison and Community Justice Exchange's demands to increase the safety and health of incarcerated people. Let's check it out, then contact our city and state officials and tell them that we expect them to take these demands seriously to ensure humane treatment and promote public health.
COMPLETE THE CENSUS ONLINE: The US Census happens every ten years and the data are used for so many programs on which we rely. The data gathered determine the amount of funding a community receives (for schools, hospitals, fire departments, etc.), how a community plans, and its representation in government. https://www2.census.gov/about/partners/general/2020-faqs.pdf Whether we’ve received the mailing with our Census code, we can complete it online in a short amount of time. Let’s all make sure we do this to make sure we are counted: https://my2020census.gov/
SAVE THE USPS: The current crisis is pushing the United States Postal Service to the edge: all they got in the stimulus package was a $10 billion loan, rather than a grant of $25 billion as was requested. Trump, who has wanted to privatize the USPS for a long time, had a hand in that: https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/politics/national-politics/congressman-says-trump-directly-involved-in-removing-stimulus-funds-for-postal-service/65-b6d16a3b-c10e-4404-acaf-f8b245145567 We cannot let this issue fall out of sight, not least because a functioning USPS is vital to our elections. Let's call our electeds to ask them how they'll ensure the future of our public, treasured, and efficient postal service.
COVID-19 RESOURCE HUB: From Pod Save the People: "Today we launch #WhileAtHome, a resource hub for anyone impacted by COVID-19. Get tested. Find grants & loans. Tools for teachers. Find job or apply for benefits. Organize. Tips for parents. Repair your small business. Volunteer. & much more." Let's check it out: https://whileathome.org/
SOURCE PPE, MEDICAL, AND SANITATION SUPPLIES FROM OUR SCHOOLS: A New Jersey School district just collected all PPE, gloves, masks, goggles, medical supplies, as well as anti-bacterial wipes from every science department, nursing office, school security, school district building and grounds crew. Partnering with local colleges, their 3D printing lab is also making face shields. https://twitter.com/ZywickiR/status/1243168019691589641?s=19 and https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/ct-oak-oprf-ppe-donation-tl-0402-20200330-6g64b4qmwngrdklxcbtistskqm-story.html and https://www.telegram.com/news/20200323/central-mass-schools-donate-medical-supplies-to-hospitals Let’s see if our schools can help gather and donate medical supplies too!
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS: If we need to order books to help keep our minds occupied while we're home, let's consider ordering from an independent bookseller. Independent booksellers are struggling during this time. We can read this uplifting story about how readers put Powell's bookstore employees back to work at KATU. We can find our local independent booksellers at IndieBound.org
BECOMING A "SHOPPING ANGEL" FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T SHOP FOR THEMSELVES: The threat of coronavirus puts many older people and folks with compromised immune systems in an impossible spot - it's dangerous for them to be out of their homes, but there are some things they just can't live without. A pre-med student in Nevada has responded to this by creating "Shopping Angels," a network of volunteers to pick up their groceries for them (https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/17/us/coronavirus-student-volunteers-grocery-shop-elderly-iyw-trnd/index.html). Let's join the Shopping Angels on Facebook, and promote the service to those who want to help and those who could use it: https://www.facebook.com/shoppingangelsinc/.
GE WORKERS DEMAND THAT THE COMPANY MANUFACTURE VENTILATORS: Workers at General Electric are demanding that the company rehire laid-off employees to manufacture desperately needed hospital ventilators, and improve protections for employees against the coronavirus. https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2020/03/30/labor-unions-demand-ge-make-ventilators-using-laid.html Let’s 1) contact H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and CEO, General Electric Company, 5 Necco St, Boston, MA 02210; 617-443-3000, and tell him to support the workers’ demands on both counts, and 2) thank the workers’ union for advocating for the manufacture of ventilators and express support for the health and safety of GE’s employees. https://www.iue-cwa.org/contact
THERAPIST PROVIDES COPING SKILLS FOR THE CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE: A therapist who has seen many patients understandably anxious about the coronavirus has put together a list of her best advice for coping with this difficult time. We can read through this to find strategies and coping skills that work for us, then share this info with family and friends who are interested: http://www.sfu.ca/olc/blog/my-ssp/mental-health-wellness-tips-quarantine
COVID-19: HOW TO BE SAFE AND RESILIENT: Northeastern University is offering a free online course, accessible to everyone, described as a “‘one stop shop’ of credible, digestible collection of skills to help manage and survive the pandemic.” We can find the course and other information, here: https://news.northeastern.edu/coronavirus/how-to-be-safe-and-resilient/
VIRTUAL POSTCARDING PARTIES: Let’s get together with our postcarding friends on Zoom or some other virtual online platform and write some postcards: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rxbqxGfel8aArHHkgZc74Tlb0hlf0NwATSx368cf8tY/edit?usp=sharing
VOTE BY MAIL: Now we know that the GOP is fearful of election results with more user-friendly voting reforms. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/30/trump-republican-party-voting-reform-coronavirus Voting-by-mail makes a lot of sense, particularly under pandemic conditions. From Postcards for America: Here is a web site that sets out rules for voting by mail in each state, along with links to request vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots. Request vote-by-mail status now, and you won't be in a quandary if we're still social distancing in November. And if you have a vote-by-mail ballot, you're much less apt to wind up missing the election if an emergency of some kind arises (car trouble, sick cat, food poisoning...). Let’s check it out here: https://www.postcardsforamerica.com/vote-by-mail.html
14 PRIMARIES POSTPONED. New York is the latest state to postpone its primary, moving it from April 28 to June 2. (CBSNews.com). We can check out a summary on all 14 states at CNN. If we are voters in these states, let's mark the rescheduled date on our calendars.
ENCOURAGE VOTE BY MAIL. The Postcard To Voters' campaign to reach every Florida Democrat not yet signed up for Vote By Mail (VBM) continues. The current campaign is to reach voters in diverse and populous Miami-Dade County. (#FLDemsVBM) Let's request 5 addresses today to support this campaign.
ALL: URGE STATE LEADERS TO FOLLOW UNITED STATES OF CARE PRIORITIES CHECKLIST: Andy Slavitt, Obama’s former ACA head, now runs United States of Care, a task force on battling the Coronavirus in the US. They have just released their Best Practices guide, aimed at all Governors, but especially those in states not fully hit by the virus yet. We can read this COVID-19 Priorities Checklist then press our state leaders to take actions: https://unitedstatesofcare.org/covid-19/priorities-checklist-for-state-leaders/
CA: RELIEF FOR UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: Undocumented workers are among the hardest hit during the Coronavirus crisis, but now there is some aid available for who have lost their jobs or income as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, Legal Aid at Work has compiled a list of relief funds. They also have information on legal rights on their page and all of the information is available in Spanish as well. We can check out these financial and legal resources for undocumented workers then share through social media, concerned groups, or wherever we think can spread the message: https://legalaidatwork.org/blog/relief-funds/
MI: BE A VOLUNTEER: The State of Michigan has created a website where we can all find ways to help pitch in to fight against COVID-19. From former healthcare workers, to blood donors, to community members willing to pitch in time, there is something that we can do. For those of us who are at-risk and in need of help, we can also visit the website to request assistance. Let's check it out and learn how we can each help: http://michigan.gov/fightcovid19
NY: MOUNT SINAI COVID-19 PLASMA PROJECT—Mount Sinai Hospital needs plasma donations from those who have recovered from covid-19. The hospital will use the antibodies to treat critically ill patients with the disease. If we are in NY and have recovered from covid-19, let’s see how we can donate our plasma and perhaps save lives: https://inside.mountsinai.org/blog/mount-sinai-to-begin-the-transfer-of-covid-19-antibodies-into-critically-ill-patients/
How the Pandemic Will End - https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/
What Coronavirus Actually Does to the Human Body - https://laughingsquid.com/what-coronavirus-does-to-human-body/
Dr. Fauci Answers Trevor’s Questions About Coronavirus: The Daily Social Distancing Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A3jiM2FNR8&feature=youtu.be
The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/28/trump-coronavirus-politics-us-health-disaster
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