Contact all Federal Members of Congress
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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/
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:
- Add a “register to vote” signature that will automatically appear on our emails with a link to online voter registration portals like TurboVote https://turbovote.org/ or Vote.org https://www.vote.org/ or Vote411 https://www.vote411.org/
- Contact our local League of Women Voters https://www.lwv.org/about-us/membership-local-leagues and offer to organize, with their assistance, a postcard voter registration campaign in our community.
- Ask our local public library to add a “register to vote” link to its homepage.
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.html; https://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.
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
Some Countries Have Brought New Cases Down To Nearly Zero. How Did They Do It? - https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/05/23/861577367/messaging-from-leaders-who-have-tamed-their-countrys-coronavirus-outbreaks
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
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