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Days Until Election


5/28/20

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/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



POLICE BRUTALITY/RACIAL JUSTICE / #JUSTICEFORFLOYD:  George Floyd died after being knee-knee-choked by police officers in Minneapolis, even as he cried out that he couldn't breathe and a crowd watching shouted for them to stop. While the four officers on the scene have been fired, activists are calling for further action.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/26/george-floyd-minneapolis-police-officers-fired-after-public-backlash/5263193002/  Let's join Color of Change in 1.) calling on Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to block the officers from receiving their pensions, and ensuring that they do not become police officers again, and 2.) asking Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to bring charges against the police officers. Mayor Frey: Phone: (612) 673-2100, Mailing Address: City Hall, 350 S 5th Street Room 331, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Attorney Mike Freeman: Phone: 612-348-5550, Email: citizeninfo@hennepin.us, Mailing address: C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487.  Then, if we are white, let’s use this “to deepen our anti-racism work”: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcnX07hc%2APm8gUUGqTq4TxCwAWKNadg

HORRIFYING EDUCATION GAP DURING PANDEMIC:  According to a new survey, 4 out of 10 of the poorest children in this wealthy country are accessing remote learning as little as once a week or less during the current schools shutdown, sometimes for lack of a computer or high-speed wifi—or because their school is not offering any remote instruction:   https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/27/862705225/survey-shows-big-remote-learning-gaps-for-low-income-and-special-needs-children These appalling disparities between children from poor households and those of the middle class or wealthy are not tolerable, and we should not tolerate them.  Not only that, but our states are in a funding bind due to COVID and education cutbacks are in the works.  Let’s ask our MoCs to ensure enough COVID-relief funding so that states’ can keep teaching our kids and get more of them Internet access.  Let’s also send our states, cities, and school boards the results of this study and tell them that we regard them as negligent in their duties if they fail to educate our kids.

VOTER FRAUD:  We know that those on the right harp on voter fraud, but we also know that it is really a myth.  In fact, Trump’s own commission did not find widespread voter fraud and quietly disbanded.  https://apnews.com/f5f6a73b2af546ee97816bb35e82c18d/Report:-Trump-commission-did-not-find-widespread-voter-fraud  What is a problem, however, is voter suppression which the GOP uses to win elections.  https://www.businessinsider.com/leaked-audio-trump-adviser-republicans-rely-voter-suppression-justin-clark-2019-12  This makes the news of a “new conservative organization fighting to restrict voting in the 2020 presidential election” troubling indeed.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/27/honest-elections-project-conservative-voting-restrictions  Let’s tell our MoCs that we are counting on them to keep our upcoming elections free, open, and accessible to all. 

TELL NC GOVERNOR NOT TO KOW-TOW TO TRUMP AND RNC AND PUT PUBLIC HEALTH FIRST: Despite a current surge of cases, Trump and the RNC are demanding that North Carolina guarantee that there will be no restrictions on allowing 50,000 people to gather for the Republican National Convention in August. Let’s tell Governor Roy Cooper (919-814-2000; Twitter: @NC_Governor) that we expect him to put public health concerns before politics and protect the people of North Carolina, as well as the rest of the country, who will be affected when the attendees of the convention return to their own communities. 

THANK TWITTER FOR FACT-CHECKING TRUMP AND TELL BOTH TWITTER AND FACEBOOK TO DO MORE TO STOP SPREADING LIES:  Twitter finally took a stand against Trump’s lies about mail-in voting and directed readers to fact-checks, invoking a sharp rebuke from the White House. https://apnews.com/700c52aab0869253625b80255a397f19 and   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-threatens-social-media-companies-fact-checking-tweets/ Now we learn that Trump may sign an executive order regarding social media. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-twitter-trump/trump-to-sign-executive-order-on-social-media-on-thursday-white-house-idUSKBN2331NK  Let’s thank Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for taking this stand and urge Twitter to continue to provide evidence to debunk Trump’s lies. And lets lean on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to do the same. And while we’re on the subject of mail-in voting, let’s be sure to let our MoCs know that we expect them to fully fund the USPS and guarantee that every registered voter has the right to protect their health by voting by mail in November 2020.

TRUMP’S CRUELTY TO THE KLAUSUTIS FAMILY: Trump continues to inflict cruelty on the family of Lori Klausutis, a woman who died in 2001 while working for Joe Scarborough (when he was in Congress). She had an unknown heart condition, passed out, hit her head, and died in the office. Trump has taken to Twitter repeatedly to say that she was murdered by Scarborough and that it is a “cold case” worth opening.  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/romney-cheney-call-out-trump-repeating-baseless-conspiracy-theory-about-n1215646  Let’s contact our MoC (particularly in the GOP) to point out the unfitness of the POTUS as manifested in this bizarre cruelty. If we are on Twitter, let’s ask the founder @Jack to remove the cruel and baseless Tweets immediately as has been asked by TJ Klausutis, the widower of Ms. Klausutis.

PASS THE HEROES ACT: While the unemployment rate continues to soar, billionaires are continuing to get richer.  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/21/american-billionaires-got-434-billion-richer-during-the-pandemic.html  A far too large portion of the coronavirus already passed by Congress is being funneled to those who need it least. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/23/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-economic-response.html  and
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/21/american-billionaires-got-434-billion-richer-during-the-pandemic.html The HEROES Act, recently passed by the House, attempts to alleviate some of this discrepancy, but the Republican Senate is declaring it Dead on Arrival, preferring to focus on restricting liability claims against business, which now some Democratic MoCs are beginning to support. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/499639-democratic-unity-starts-to-crack-in-coronavirus-liability-reform-fight  Let’s tell our Senators that we expect them to pass the HEROES Act as it is written and that we are sick and tired of a system that is continued to be rigged in favor of billionaires and large businesses.

DISABILITY RIGHTS: The United Nations has put out a report that reiterates what those in the disability advocacy community have been saying for months; that disabled people are being left behind and more must be done in the Covid-19 response. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/05/1063242 The report, A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19, details ways in which disabled people are put more at risk during the pandemic, from living in poverty, to being abused and neglected, to receiving inadequate healthcare, to inaccessible education and information, among others. Additionally, it notes specific steps that can be taken to ensure that our pandemic response is inclusive. Let's contact our MoC and ask that they take the time to read the UN report and use the recommendations within to center disability rights as they write up and support legislation.

ACTIVISM SIGNAGE AND ACCESSORIES:  With a sizeable portion of proceeds going to important causes Dissent Pins is a collection of pins, cards, necklaces, earrings available for our purchase.  Recently, they’ve also added essential workers support yard signs.  Let’s take a look and back this effort:  https://dissentpins.com/

NEW FACES OF DEMOCRACY:  Since the 2016 election there have been so many of us working for change.  A new organization wants to introduce some of those people to us.  “New Faces of Democracy is a series of profiles of these modern day heroes, regular citizens from all walks of life, who are using their talents and skills to transform the political landscape. In these short profiles, you will hear their stories and learn about their missions. And if you want to get involved, some will even have action steps to help you get started. We all have a voice in our democracy and there are already paths in place to make it heard.”  Let’s take a closer look at New Faces of Democracy and sign up with them:  https://newfacesofdemocracy.org/#contact

COVID-19 COPING STUDY:  While they already have over 4000 participants, the University of Michigan COVID-19 Coping Study is still accepting people until May 31.  In order to qualify, we need to be age 55 or over and reside in the USA.  Let’s share this with those who fit the criteria and check it out and take the survey:  https://www.covid19copingstudy.com/

ELECTION/VOTING

2020 ELECTION CALENDAR: This resource is searchable by date and state -  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2020-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

REMINDER- CHECK VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS:   Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely--we don't want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’s check how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state's latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State

IMPORTANCE OF SECRETARIES OF STATE ON THE STATE LEVEL:  Thanks to Trump’s tirades against the Michigan Secretary of State, the importance of that government position is being validated.  This is the person who is ultimately the overseer of our state voting process.  Fortunately, MI’s Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson gave a timely, informative retort:  https://www.newsweek.com/trump-can-call-me-rogue-secretary-state-i-wont-let-lies-slide-opinion-1506400  There are several secretary of state elections coming up.  Let’s see what states those are and what we can do to help: https://politicalcharge.org/2020/05/27/2020-election-secretaries-of-state-races/

REGISTER SWING-STATE VOTERS REMOTELY: Voter registration rates have plummeted since the advent of the pandemic.  https://www.npr.org/2020/05/26/860458708/pandemic-puts-a-crimp-on-voter-registration-potentially-altering-electorate We can help change that! Let’s sign up for Vote Save America’s Adopt-a-State program. We’ll get trained in remote organizing and get plugged into voter registration efforts—remotely. There’s not a moment to lose! https://votesaveamerica.com/adopt-a-state/

PLAN AHEAD: GENERAL ELECTION POSTCARDS. We can help write 2 million postcards to voters in Wisconsin & Michigan for the Nov 3 election! We'll increase turnout & encourage mail-in ballots at the same time. The organization will send us postcards, addresses, and instructions for FREE! We provide $0.35 stamps and mail the cards in October. We can find out more and sign up at here.

HELP PA VOTE BY MAIL:  Trump is continuing to make false claims against vote-by-mail to discourage folks from using what could be a crucial tool to make their voices heard in November. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/05/26/trump-says-the-election-will-be-rigged-by-mail-in-voting-despite-research/#cd1353d1a7da  His insistence on politicizing this tool makes it less likely Republicans will give vote-by-mail the support it needs to work smoothly - and all the more important that folks who want to vote by mail request and get their ballots in early. Turnout Tuesday is holding virtual phone banks to reach out to Pennsylvania voters and help them request a vote-by-mail ballot. We can sign up to join them here.

VOTER REGISTRATION DURING COVID-19: New voter registration was soaring this year, and then plummeted when the pandemic hit.  https://www.npr.org/2020/05/26/860458708/pandemic-puts-a-crimp-on-voter-registration-potentially-altering-electorate Let’s contact friends and brainstorm some ways we can help register voters safely. Here are a few ideas to get us started:

STATE/LOCAL

MA: SUPPORT IMMIGRATION AND MAKE MASSACHUSETTS A SANCTUARY STATE:  Donald Trump has taken advantage of the pandemic to further his anti-immigrant agenda, threatening to withhold aid needed to deal with coronavirus to sanctuary cities and states and putting further restrictions on immigration and travel to the United States (https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/30/politics/trump-sanctuary-city-coronavirus/index.htmlhttps://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/25/trump-broaden-foreign-worker-bans-276510). We need to keep fighting too. Activists in Massachusetts are continuing to push the state legislature to pass the Safe Communities Act to make us a sanctuary state, and we only have until June 1st for the Public Safety Committee to act on the bill. Let's email or call our state legislators and the committee to tell them we want this bill to move forward, and participate in MIRA's Week of Action to spread the word on social media.

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

GET TRAINED TO VOLUNTEER VIRTUALLY FOR BIDEN: The upcoming 2020 Presidential Election will be crucial in deciding the fate of our country and our democracy. After 2016, we know we cannot be complacent, but must do everything possible to defeat Trump and get our country back on track. One way to start is to help Joe Biden's campaign which is looking for volunteers right now. We can click here to join an Action Center trainings (which will be offered 75 times between May 27 and November 1) and learn how to use our online organizing hub to volunteer virtually for Joe:  https://www.mobilize.us/joebiden/event/149561

RECLAIM OUR VOTE SUMMIT: “Our "COVID-19 and the 2020 Elections" webinar series launches with this two-day event that tackles what must be done to sustain momentum towards fair elections despite the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.  We believe that now, when things are so difficult and uncertain, is when we must build unity towards one essential goal - a fair and free election.”  Let’s join Center for Common Ground’s Reclaim Our Vote summit on May 30 and 31.  More information and sign up is here:  https://actionnetwork.org/events/covid-19-and-the-2020-elections-virtual-summit

MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING


Trump Administration is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During the Coronavirus - https://www.propublica.org/article/the-trump-administration-is-rushing-deportations-of-migrant-children-during-coronavirus

You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works -https://www.propublica.org/article/you-dont-need-invasive-tech-for-successful-contact-tracing-heres-how-it-works

Dr. Anthony Fauci: To keep churches safe, use masks, limit singing and wait to resume Communion - https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/05/27/dr-anthony-fauci-catholic-churches-masks-communion-covid-coronavirus

'The price you pay': Sweden struggles with 'herd immunity' experiment - https://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Sweden-herd-immunity-experiment-backfires-covid-15289437.php

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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






5/26/20

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/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



ESSENTIAL, BUT UNDOCUMENTED: “The roughly 2.4 million farm workers who plant and harvest America's produce have been deemed "essential workers" during the coronavirus crisis, which has plunged the economy into uncertainty and raised fears about food shortages.
But the "essential worker" label poses a dilemma for roughly half of those farm workers, whose work is both desperately needed and illegal.” https://www.businessinsider.com/immigrant-farm-workers-deemed-essential-but-feel-expendable-2020-5  Let’s make sure that our MoCs know that we want ALL essential workers looked after in the next COVID relief bill.  We count on these workers for our food.

OPPOSE ANOTHER ULTRACONSERVATIVE TRUMP JUDGE:  Instead of focusing on the pandemic or the economic crisis, Senate Republicans are pushing forward with confirming more of Trump's ultra-conservative judicial nominees. Last week, they held a hearing on the nomination of Cory Wilson to the 5th Circuit - in spite of Wilson's record of attacking the Affordable Care Act as illegitimate, support for restrictions on voting rights and opposition to reproductive rights. https://www.gulflive.com/news/2020/05/dems-question-moss-point-native-and-judicial-nominee-cory-wilson-about-past-partisan-remarks.html  Let's call our senators and tell them to oppose Wilson and other extremist Trump nominees and focus on dealing with the crisis at hand.

USDA CHAOS:  The Department of Agriculture (USDA) ignored ed the largest food distribution companies and nonprofits with experience feeding the poor on a large scale, instead giving $107 million in contracts to bring farm surplus to hungry Americans to a San Antonio event planner, an avocado mail-order company, a health-and-wellness airport kiosk company, and a trade finance corporation with little or no competence in this area; one of these contracts has been withdrawn: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/22/trumps-signature-effort-direct-farm-surplus-needy-families-abruptly-withdraws-large-contract-amid-criticism-programs-rollout/  As milk is dumped and crops ploughed under throughout the US, we need the USDA to fund experienced, competent organizations to distribute food to the millions of hungry Americans in need of assistance:   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/02/us-food-banks-coronavirus-demand-unemployment and https://www.vox.com/2020/5/9/21251895/food-banks-lines-pandemic Let's contact the USDA, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington DC 20250 or 202-720-2791.

YET ANOTHER ATTACK ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD:  A fight is brewing over an award of $80 million of Small Business loans made to Planned Parenthood nonprofits; seizing on any opportunity, Republicans now say that these separate nonprofits are too closely affiliated with the national organization to be eligible for PPP loans as independent entities, and they want Barr’s Justice department to investigate:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/23/planned-parenthood-sba-ppp-loans/ or https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/abortion/499272-senate-republicans-call-on-justice-dept-to-investigate-planned  We must urge our MoCs to defend Planned Parenthood.

TRUMP GOLFING AND TWEETING OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND:
As the death toll from COVID in the United States neared 100,000, Trump took to the golf course over Memorial Day weekend with no more significant national plan in place than he had in February. He also took to Twitter to foment conspiracy theories:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/23/trump-golf-course-coronavirus  and  https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/24/media/twitter-donald-trump-joe-scarborough-reliable-sources/index.html   Let’s contact Trump to say “you’re fired and ask our GOP MoCs why they continue to stand behind our unfit POTUS.

Correction: CENSURE TRUMP FOR WITHOLDING THREAT AND INSIST ON UNIVERSAL RIGHT TO VOTE BY MAIL: Trump is threatening to withhold funds from Michigan and Nevada, two states with Democrat governors for sending applications for absentee ballots to their registered voters, with the bogus accusation of encouraging voter fraud. Several states with Republican governors, such as Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia, have also sent their voters absentee ballot applications, and Maryland, which has a Republican governor, is actually sending everyone absentee ballots. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-threatens-cut-michigan-nevada-funding-mail-in-voting/Let’s call out Trump for his disgusting bullying in making voters choose between their health and their right to vote in our local newspapers and demand that Congress pass The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 (S. 3529). And let’s contact our own governor and ask them to follow the lead of these states in making sure everyone who wants one has easy access to an absentee ballot. 

COPING WITH COVID: The National Humanities Alliance would like our feedback. The following survey “provides you an opportunity to reflect upon your experience of the coronavirus pandemic and ways you may have drawn upon the humanities to help you navigate the many challenges involved.” Let’s help them hear why the humanities continue to matter — they’ll likely be able to use what they learn to lobby for vitally needed funding from Congress: https://nha.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_71bpP6Z8IBJxpCB

POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITY:  From one of our own:  I hope you're finding little joys to savor as we travel together (but separate) through this pandemic. One of those pleasures can be telling those in power exactly what you're thinking right now, and I hope these write-ups can help you with that. The online national version of the write-ups can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nFrMvaHrr8EMreoKMRFXUXOIQhQAIK6YeYuV577Utu0/edit?usp=sharing  Let’s write!

ELECTION/VOTING

2020 ELECTION CALENDAR: This resource is searchable by date and state -  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2020-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

REMINDER:   Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely--we don't want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’s check how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state's latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State

REPUBLICAN VOTER SUPPRESSION EFFORTS: Last week, Trump inaccurately accused Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state of mailing ballots to all of the state’s registered voters, falsely claiming that this is illegal, and threatened to withhold federal funds from both Michigan and Nevada if they expand vote-by-mail plans:   https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/20/nation/trump-threatens-funding-michigan-over-absentee-ballot-program/  Despite the lines in Wisconsin and the coronavirus pandemic, Republicans are doing everything they can to stop the movement toward mail-in ballots, ramping up their false claims of voter fraud—of which there is no evidence—and spending huge amounts on plans to suppress voter turnout in November:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/us/Voting-republicans-trump.html or https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/18/republicans-devote-20m-and-0000-people-into-efforts-to-restrict-voting  It is crucial that we lend our support to groups who are trying to counter this attempt to suppress the vote: one of many, many groups is Fair Fight https://fairfight.com/fair-fight-2020/  Let’s find the one we think is most effective and join!

HELP RETURNING CITIZENS GET REGISTERED TO VOTE IN FLORIDA: A federal judge has ruled against Florida Republicans' attempts to undermine the restoration of voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, saying that their requirements that returning citizens pay all fees and fines to be eligible to register to vote constituted a poll tax. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-judge-guts-florida-law-requiring-felons-to-pay-fines-before-they-can-vote/2020/05/24/a7f553ba-9c3a-11ea-a2b3-5c3f2d1586df_story.html or https://apnews.com/a91404d0db88bac1beb085f31d74c9df  Now the fight is on to get as much of this formerly disenfranchised population registered as possible before Election Day. Let's sign up to volunteer for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition or donate to their efforts to do so.

WOMEN DITCH MITCH:  Women’s March Action is taking on Mitch McConnell and ditching him in 2020.  Mitch McConnell has been a disaster for the country but worse for the Women of Kentucky.  This campaign & strategy will consist of postcard writing, text banking & phone banking ALL in an effort to DITCH MITCH! Postcard writing is the first step to reaching voters between now and November. This Women Ditch Mitch campaign will start with postcard writing to the 2.2 million women in Kentucky.  Let’s learn more and sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/women-ditch-mitch-postcards

DEMOCRATS VOTING FROM ABROAD: “If we are to have safe, healthy, and fair elections this year, Americans at home must make widespread use of mail ballots, while Americans abroad must have the ability to return their ballots securely via email or web portal.” Let’s call our Members of Congress to ensure we can email/upload our ballots from abroad! Script here for states that DO NOT allow emailed ballot returns: https://www.democratsabroad.org/support_ballot_returns_by_email_or_web_portal

SEND POSTCARDS TO RESTORE VOTING STATUS TO GEORGIA VOTERS: From one of our own: With crucial elections coming up this year, both sides know that turnout is more important than ever. Not surprisingly, voter suppression is in full swing, but we can help to combat it, with a simple postcard action to help restore voting status to purged Muscogee City, Georgia residents. We can sign up here to get a pack (25 or 50) of postcards/addresses sent to us.  https://forms.gle/QWPqAXJwYKqeV4Bt9
If we need postcard stamps, we can buy them here:   https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/coral-reefs-postcard-stamp-S_745104 
Every voter matters and every vote counts. Let’s help get out the vote today!

REACH KENTUCKY VOTERSPostcards to Voters' Campaign 200: Dr. Karen Berg for State Senate (SD26) has just launched. (Information about this special election at Ballotpedia. More about Dr. Berg at KarenForKentucky.comWe can help get out the vote for this June 23 election by requesting 5 addresses today. 

STATE/LOCAL

ALL: VOTING RIGHTS: Demanding vote-by-mail is not enough. Too many states have restrictive vote-by-mail rules that disproportionally disenfranchise voters who are young, minority, and/or female. Safe voting in a pandemic requires fair access to vote-by-mail, so we must all demand our state/district voting authorities to adopt these Four Pillars: https://www.democracydocket.com/2020/05/vbm-for-young-and-minority-voters/.

ME: MAINE VOTES 2020:  With one of the most important election seasons of our lives happening in the midst of a global pandemic, it is time to be as informed and prepared as we can. Maine starts off with its primary coming up on July 14, 2020, with the general election following on November 3. Fortunately, Suit Up Maine has prepared us an extensive Voter Guide, covering absentee ballots, registration, volunteer opportunities, voter protection and more. We can click here to see all the resources offered in our Suit Up Maine Voter Information guide, then get ready to vote, volunteer, and share this information with our friends on social media: https://www.suitupmaine.org/maine-votes-2020/

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

ACLU SMART JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WEBINAR:  The ACLU Smart Justice campaign has decided to host a digital day of action titled “Uniting for Pretrial Reform” in May. It will be online, and it will be throughout the day tomorrow, May 27th. Some of the sessions include a Q&A with ACLU staff, a tele-townhall with multiple legislators (on the topic of pretrial reform), a storytelling panel in the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be multiples ways to engage our elected officials.  Here’s a registration link to sign up! https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1415859446055/WN_Wb92iZkTRGmkTJlHepNcIg  We want to make sure that people feel their voices can be heard even during this new normal phase we currently we find ourselves in and that we advocate for the most vulnerable of us.  

JOIN PEN’S “UNITE AGAINST HATE ONLINE DAY OF ACTION: As the global pandemic rages through our society, assaults and hate crimes are on the rise. It has been painful to see a specific rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, as well as xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Black violence continue. It is time to stand up against hatred and demand a fair, just and compassionate society for all of us.  We can click here to join PEN America and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop,  tomorrow,  Wednesday May 27 for a day of online action to condemn this scourge; celebrate Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writers; and to raise our voices to call out hate in all its heinous forms: https://pen.org/event/united-against-hate-a-day-of-solidarity/

RECLAIM OUR VOTE SUMMIT: “Our "COVID-19 and the 2020 Elections" webinar series launches with this two-day event that tackles what must be done to sustain momentum towards fair elections despite the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.  We believe that now, when things are so difficult and uncertain, is when we must build unity towards one essential goal - a fair and free election.”  Let’s join Center for Common Ground’s Reclaim Our Vote summit on May 30 and 31.  More information and sign up is here:  https://actionnetwork.org/events/covid-19-and-the-2020-elections-virtual-summit

MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING


'Incalculable loss': New York Times covers front page with 1,000 Covid-19 death notices - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/24/new-york-times-front-page-1000-covid-19-death-notices


Putin Is Well on His Way to Stealing the Next Election - https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/putin-american-democracy/610570/

Trump Is Brazenly Interfering With the 2020 Election - https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/trump-out-open/611875/

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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





5/25/20

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 - regulations are still a moving target as some are extended or suspended, supposedly temporarily - it's difficult to keep track of. Ending soon are two items related to the National Environmental Policy Act - one from EPA, the other from Dept of Energy. The entire act was recently up for comment, you will remember. New - besides more COVID-19-related items, are Rodenticide review - yes, they're back. They do this every year. Also new - Endangered Mexican wolves. And USDA food policy relating to aid to farmers - will this round go to Ag-business again? Work requirements for food-stamp recipients, and more.




5/21/20

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/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



ASK CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO FOR MISUSE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS: In addition to the controversial Saudi Arms sales, and the recent firing of the State Department Inspector General, new reports have surfaced that Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo used taxpayer money to hold fancy dinners with a variety of business executives  and media influencers, ostensibly in preparation for a future political run. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/05/20/pompeo-scrutinized-for-lavish-government-funded-dinners-with-business-media-figures/#219067903a39. Let’s ask the House Oversight Committee and Office of Government Ethics for an immediate investigation and let’s demand Pompeo’s resignation.  

HEROES ACT:  We know that Trump and the majority of the Senate are against approving the House-passed Heroes Act and for a variety of reasons.  Workers, families, and states are still in dire need of support due to COVID-19.  The House bill reflects that need.  https://www.newsweek.com/heroes-act-stimulus-checks-stall-senate-dems-gop-clash-urgency-1505332  Let’s tell our senators that real people need real help and that our state’s budget is taking a beating and could use the same level of help that some corporations and industries received. 

TELL CONGRESS TO STOP THE FIRING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT INSPECTOR GENERAL: Trump’s latest firing of State Department Inspector General Stephen Linnick is another step on the dangerous path to dictatorship. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/15/state-department-inspector-general-fired-261536. Since law requires a 30-day notice before the firing actually takes place, Democrats in Congress should stop tweeting about how terrible this is and actually do something. Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, has a long list of ideas of things Congress can do. For starters, they can hold a hearing with the IG, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other related witnesses and blitz the media with the inappropriateness of this action. They can also take further action by threatening budget cuts until Linnick and Atkinson, the IG involved in the Ukraine crisis, are reinstated. Let’s look at Walter Shaub’s list, here, and then let’s demand that our MoCs take action. The future of our democracy depends on oversight. 

INSPECTORS GENERAL PROTECTION:  In recent weeks, the Trump administration has removed one inspector general after another from their positions. In comments to the press, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described inspectors general as "serving at the pleasure of the President," making it clear they simply don't understand the importance of having an independent watchdog for the public (https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/20/politics/pompeo-press-conference/index.html). Senator Chris Murphy and Rep. Jim Cooper have proposed the Inspectors General Independence Act (H.R. 6668) to protect inspectors general from being removed without real cause (https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/492095-two-democrats-roll-out-bill-to-protect-inspectors-general-from-politically). Let's contact our MoCs and tell them to support it.

CENSURE TRUMP FOR WITHOLDING THREAT AND INSIST ON UNIVERSAL RIGHT TO VOTE BY MAIL: Trump is threatening to withhold funds from Michigan and Nevada, two states with Democrat governors for sending applications for absentee ballots to their registered voters, with the bogus accusation of encouraging voter fraud. Several states with Republican governors, such as Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia, have also sent their voters absentee ballot applications, and Maryland, which has a Republican governor, is actually sending everyone absentee ballots. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-threatens-cut-michigan-nevada-funding-mail-in-voting/. Let’s call out Trump for his disgusting bullying in making voters choose between their health and their right to vote in our local newspapers and demand that Congress pass S3562, The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020. And let’s contact our own governor and ask them to follow the lead of these states in making sure everyone who wants one has easy access to an absentee ballot. 

SAVE THE POST OFFICE, SAVE THE ELECTION—PART I: Voting by mail is emerging as the best way for us to have a safe and secure election during the coronavirus pandemic. But there won’t be any voting by mail without the USPS. Unless Washington intervenes, the USPS will run out of operating funds by September. Trump says he’ll veto any bill that includes aid to the USPS. https://www.axios.com/trump-postal-service-squeeze-f08faad5-c1ec-43f9-b851-04c88ab3b6bb.html Let’s pressure our Members of Congress to fully fund the USPS and provide the resources necessary to vote by mail in November.
  
SAVE THE POST OFFICE, SAVE THE ELECTION—PART II: The US Postal Service enjoys a 90% public approval rating. But, inexplicably, the Trump/Republican regime is refusing to rescue it from running out of operating funds before September 2020. https://fortune.com/2020/04/27/usps-bailout-biden-trump/ The USPS is an essential part of our elections’ infrastructure, and its demise would kill our ability to safely vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. We need a drumbeat of media coverage of this state of affairs. Let’s contact one or more of the following and tell them to give this issue the urgent attention it deserves: our local TV news stations, local newspapers, regional newspapers-of-record, our favorite columnists, our local NPR stations, our favorite national newspapers. Contact info can be found through google searches.

TELL TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES TO STOP PARTICIPATING IN DEPORTATIONS: The group, Witness at the Border has been reporting that despite COVID, deportation flights to Central America are leaving every day from the airport in Brownsville, Texas. Over one hundred people deported to El Salvador have subsequently been killed, and many of those deported have tested positive for COVID, increasing the incidence of disease in these countries. The flights are arranged by Classic Air Charter and their subcontractors, and deportees are brought to the airport on TrailBoss buses. The Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice has launched a letter-writing campaign to all of these companies. Let’s check out their letter templates here, contact these companies, and share this campaign with our friends and networks. 

NAVAJO NATION HIGHEST RATE OF COVID PER CAPITA:  With only a fraction of the population, the Navajo Nation is now reporting more coronavirus cases per capita than New York, one of the initial epicenters of the outbreak in the United States.  https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/diversity-inclusion/498517-navajo-nation-under-strict-lockdown-with-highest  The Navajo Nation needs medical and community items as well as monetary donations.  Let’s ask out MoCs what they are doing about this.  We can also check out the list of items and/or donate at this site:  https://www.nndoh.org/donate.html

Correction:  GHOST GUNS:  3D-printed "ghost guns" are currently going largely unregulated - they don't meet the current legal definition of a firearm, which means they're not required to have serial numbers and you can purchase them or the kits to make them without being subject to gun control laws currently on the books.  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/14/senate-democratsghost-guns-256968  Democratic senators have introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act (S. 3743) to make sure these weapons have serial numbers and to keep them out of the hands of violent felons and domestic abusers. Let's contact our members of Congress and tell them to support the bill, and share this video from Giffords to spread the word about untraceable guns.

TELL ICE TO STOP USING COVID-19 TO FORCE FAMILY SEPARATIONS: ICE is taking advantage of COVID-19 by asking detained parents to sign a form that would allow children to be separated from them, released from detention, while their parents remain detained indefinitely.  https://www.newsweek.com/ice-accused-using-coronavirus-crisis-launch-family-separation-2-0-1505156 Immigrant families detained by ICE at the Berks, Dilley and Karnes detention centers have been asked to decide between indefinite detention and risk contagion by COVID-19 or risk being separated from their children. This cruel, disturbing and inhumane policy must stop now. We can click this link to email the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, and urge him to release these families during this pandemic: https://www.raicestexas.org/2020/05/18/action-to-email-secretary-wolf/

NURSES STILL AT RISK:  The National Nurses United conducted a survey of more than 23,000 union and non-union nurses across all 50 states and Washington DC about their working conditions between 15 April and 10 May; they found that 84% of nurses had not been tested for Covid-19, 87% are forced to reuse single-use personal protective equipment, and 72% of nurses have exposed skin or clothing while treating coronavirus patients:  https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/new-survey-results and https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/20/survey-finds-87-of-americas-nurses-are-forced-to-reuse-protective-equipment  Let’s demand that our MoCs mandate protection for these—and all—“essential” workers, or we can sign the Union of Concerned Scientists’ letter in support of the Every Worker Protection Act (H.R.6559) here:  https://secure.ucsusa.org/onlineactions/fvDDUmBr_UaOkchYfZK8Mw2

KANSAS SENATE RACE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT:  Democrats are looking competitive in seats across the country as we work to take back the Senate in November - including some unexpected opportunities. Republicans are desperately trying to recruit Mike Pompeo to run for the Senate in Kansas, with former Secretary of State and notorious anti-voting rights and anti-immigrant extremist Kris Kobach looking like a strong contender for the Republican nod and Democratic state senator Barbara Bollier outraising the GOP field as  a credible challenger. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/14/mcconnell-pompeo-kansas-senate-255451 Let's show Barbara our support by signing up to volunteer or donating to her campaign.

ELECTION/VOTING

2020 ELECTION CALENDAR: This resource is searchable by date and state -  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2020-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

REMINDER:   Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely--we don't want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’s check how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state's latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State

#VOTEPROCHOICE GEORGIA VOTER GUIDE: Georgia’s primary election is on June 9.  #VoterProChoice has issued their voter guide.  Let’s check it out: https://www.voteprochoice.us/voter-guide  We can also use their social media toolkit:  https://www.voteprochoice.us/partner-toolkit/

GET OUT THE VOTE POSTCARD GOUPS:  From one of our own:  Let’s use this list to find groups with whom we can get involved in getting postcards out to voters encouraging them to vote:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTd9UmW__Zqj89o4Df8qYhLOK5dimPxreYvGhM97wZ-l2Cj8DcfRD3a-JAJrQbgiIaB3kKOj525G9ul/pub?urp=gmail_link

STATE/LOCAL

ALL:  SAVE THE POST OFFICE, SAVE THE ELECTION PART III:  The US Postal Service is under two threats: (1) without help from Congress and the White House, it will be financially insolvent by September 2020; and (2) its Board of Governors is now almost completely controlled by Trump appointees. Trump, and the Republican party generally, is notoriously hostile to the USPS. https://www.axios.com/trump-postal-service-squeeze-f08faad5-c1ec-43f9-b851-04c88ab3b6bb.html Let’s contact our Secretaries of State  and our State Legislators   and tell them to (1) put heavy pressure on Washington to fund the USPS and keep it fully functioning for all Americans, and (2) develop contingency plans for safe, secure distance voting in November in case Trump and his Republican collaborators succeed in killing the Post Office.

CAPROTECT VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES LIVING NEAR POLLUTING OIL DRILLING SITES: Research shows that COVID-19 is heavily impacting communities living in high pollution areas. The cost of living in close proximity to oil and gas wells include risk of cancer, asthma, and preterm birth, but also risk of water contamination, oil spills and explosions. Now more than ever is the time to take steps to protect communities living near oil drilling sites. Assembly Bill 345 seeks to do just that.  Passing AB345 will create health and safety buffer zones by requiring a minimum setback distance between dangerous and hazardous oil and gas extraction wells and homes, schools, daycares, playgrounds, hospitals, and health clinics.  The passage of AB 345 will bring us closer to protecting children and families from the hazards of living near an oil and gas well. We can click here to find our Senator’s number, with key talking points to urge them to vote YES on AB345 and protect our community from the hazards of living near an oil and gas well:

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

TWITTERSTORM FOR VA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE VANGIE WILLIAMS TODAY: Twitter Warriors is doing a Twitterstorm for Virginia Congressional candidate Vangie Williams TODAY, Thursday May 21 at 8p.m. EST. Williams was the nominee in 2018, but did not win the seat, and is now running in the primary on June 23.  We can find out more about the primary on Ballotpedia here: https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_1st_Congressional_District_election,_2020_(June_23_Democratic_primary), read more about Vangie here:  https://ballotpedia.org/Vangie_Williams and on her webpage:
https://vangieforcongress.com/  If we decide to give Vangie our support, we can click here to find prewritten tweets to send out with just a few clicks:  https://t.co/r7dvJE49DS?amp=1

WEBINAR ON REGISTERING VOTERS DURING THE PANDEMIC:  National Voter Registration Day and Nonprofit Vote are hosting a webinar on Friday, May 22. The topic is “Navigating the new urgency and tactics around voter registration.” Let’s register and learn how we can help:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vdMvs1fiRmKB-qwHsYF_sw

ACLU SMART JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WEBINAR:  The ACLU Smart Justice campaign has decided to host a digital day of action titled “Uniting for Pretrial Reform” in May. It will be online, and it will be throughout the day on May 27th. Some of the sessions include a Q&A with ACLU staff, a tele-townhall with multiple legislators (on the topic of pretrial reform), a storytelling panel in the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be multiples ways to engage our elected officials.  Here’s a registration link to sign up! https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1415859446055/WN_Wb92iZkTRGmkTJlHepNcIg  We want to make sure that people feel their voices can be heard even during this new normal phase we currently we find ourselves in and that we advocate for the most vulnerable of us.  

MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING




The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus - https://www.propublica.org/article/the-trump-administration-is-rushing-deportations-of-migrant-children-during-coronavirus

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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