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LGBTQ RIGHTS/POLICE IMMUNITY: While we celebrate Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace likewise protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation-- https://www.npr.org/2020/06/15/863498848/supreme-court-delivers-major-victory-to-lgbtq-employees --we must be aware that it simultaneously refused to reexamine the doctrine of “qualified immunity” that has shielded the police from lawsuits over their misconduct: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/15/876853817/supreme-court-will-not-re-examine-doctrine-that-shields-police-in-misconduct-sui And we should know that this ruling does NOT guarantee LGBTQ people freedom from discrimination by, for example, landlords or healthcare providers or any number of other non-workplace actors. For that, we must we urge our senators to adopt HR 5, the Equality Act, which would provide explicit, comprehensive, nationwide nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people.
STOP TRUMP FROM PUTTING FURTHER RESTRICTIONS ON ASYLUM: The Trump administration is proposing new asylum regulations, which are even more strict than those currently in place, likely resulting in making it impossible to gain asylum for many immigrants who are fleeing death threats and gang violence. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-asylum-rule-redefine-who-qualifies-for-refuge-on-us-soil/. Let’s read about the new regulations and make sure to submit a public comment on the federal register. Let’s also talk to our MoCs and ask if there’s anything they can do on the legislative end to expand access to asylum for those in dire need.
VOTE AGAINST EXTREMIST JUDGE JUSTIN WALKER: The Senate is expected to vote to confirm extremist judge Justin Walker to seat on the powerful DC Circuit Court. Judge Walker, a protege of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is known for his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and has been questioned for being both too ideological and too inexperienced. https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/501182-why-the-senate-must-vote-against-justin-walkers-nomination-to. Let’s read more about Judge Walker here and tell our Senators to vote no on his confirmation. We should make sure our Senators know that a vote for Judge Walker could end up compromising accessibility to health insurance for more than 135 million Americans.
2020 CENSUS: Completing the census is essential to the wellbeing of our country. It needs to be completed in a timely manner and the time will soon come when census workers will be contacting those who have not already filled out the short form. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/06/12/876432449/skipped-the-census-a-knock-on-your-door-may-be-coming-as-early-as-july Here's the timeline the government has set: https://2020census.gov/en/important-dates.html. There, it says that "Census takers will interview homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted" in the fall, but let's not assume this will catch everyone. Self-reporting is important, and happens very unevenly across the country, as we can see on this heat map: https://bit.ly/3d0sN0S. Let's fill out our census form and remind everyone we know to do so as well, here: https://2020census.gov
IMMIGRATION/CONCENTRATION CAMPS: An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) concentration camp in Adelanto, CA, operated by the GEO Group is spraying a toxic disinfectant numerous times each day in direct proximity to people who are currently being held there (https://yhoo.it/2Y1Emk3). Immigrants are experiencing blisters, bleeding, breathing difficulties, and other severe reactions to the disinfectant, HDQ Neutral (https://bit.ly/30KC62I). In Florida, at an ICE facility operated by the Glades County Sheriff's Office, immigrants are being exposed to Mint Disinfectant, and are suffering similar reactions. Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice and Freedom for Immigrants have sent a letter to officials with ICE and DHS, expressing their concerns regarding multiple complaints that they have received from immigrants inside these camps. They are also asking that all immigrants be immediately released from the Adelanto facility. Let's contact the Department of Homeland Security and tell them to either take appropriate and safe precautions to protect immigrants against COVID-19 in concentration camps, or to release all immigrants immediately: Phone: 202-282-8495 Email: DHSExecSec@hq.dhs.gov Twitter: @DHS.gov We can also use the email tool from United We Dream to send a message to ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence. Finally, let's be sure to share reports about the toxic exposure, as most mainstream news organizations have failed to pick up the story: https://yhoo.it/2Y1Emk3, https://bit.ly/30KC62I
FIND AND DEMAND REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS IN OUR COMMUNITIES: It is long past time for Confederate monuments to come down. https://abcnews.go.com/US/confederate-statues-memorials-removed-us/story?id=71200382 Fortunately, the Southern Poverty Law Center has an interactive map to help us achieve this, with 1,747 monuments, place names and other symbols of the Confederacy listed within the United States. We can click here to look up the location of Confederate monuments within our own communities and then demand that they be removed.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT PARTISAN ATTITUDES ON COVID-19 MAY BE CHANGING: “Throughout the coronavirus crisis, many Republicans have remained skeptical about the threat of Covid-19. But as the disease moves from urban Democratic strongholds such as New York into some of the rural and exurban areas that voted for Donald Trump, research suggests those partisan attitudes to the pandemic may be shifting. Coronavirus cases are climbing in Arizona, Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas. In Texas, hospitalizations for Covid-19 are up 42% since Memorial Day. In Oklahoma, health officials have expressed concern that a Trump campaign rally in Tulsa this weekend could contribute to the spread of the disease in a city that has experienced a recent rise in cases.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/15/first-thing-covid-19-skeptics-may-convert-virus-hits-trump-country-coronavirus-cases There must be some real concern about attending as those who do are required to sign medical waiver. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/502764-val-demings-trump-requiring-medical-waivers-good-clue-he-shouldnt-hold Let’s ask OK governor John Stitt to step in to support public health and cancel the rally: https://www.governor.ok.gov/contact/general-info/contact-governor/ or phone: (405) 521-2342
AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE ACTION FUND: Following the murder of George Floyd, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has committed to growing the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, with a goal of raising $25 million. “Our mission,” according to National Trust President Paul Edmondson, “is to draw attention to the remarkable stories that evoke centuries of African American activism and achievement, and to tell our nation’s full story.” Let’s learn more and donate here: https://savingplaces.org/african-american-cultural-heritage
TINY PRICKS PROJECT: Tiny Pricks Project is a public, textile-based project. There are already over 3,000 hand-stitched pieces made in protest of this presidency by participants from around the world. Each piece is donated to the collection. All are welcome to participate and for most it's been transformative. The project is on Instagram: @tinypricksproject, Facebook: Tinypricksproject, Twitter ; @tinypricks. All press and information on the website: www.tinypricksproject. Over 55k people follow the project on IG and it's been covered by everyone from Vogue to NPR. The physical collection will be exhibited in Boston, NYC, and Washington DC leading up to the election. Let’s learn more about this project and how we craftivists can become part of it: https://www.tinypricksproject.com/participate/
FREE DIVERSE LIBRARY PROJECT: Sarah Kamya, a resident of Arlington, MA, has launched the Little Free Diverse Library Project, https://www.instagram.com/littlefreediverselibraries/, in an effort to fill the Little Free Libraries, https://littlefreelibrary.org/ , dotting her town with books written by Black authors, many purchased from Black-owned bookstores. Let’s read about how she did it, https://www.boston.com/culture/local-news/2020/06/13/little-free-diverse-library-project-amplify-black-voices-through-books. We can support her project here, https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2N6G2DIBWQDIT and consider starting a Little Free Diverse Library Project in our own communities.
BLACK MONEY MATTERS: One United Bank is the nation’s largest black-owned bank. It is FDIC-insured, with offices in Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami; invests in urban communities; and offers affordable financial services to all. Let’s explore One United Bank’s website and consider opening an account: https://www.oneunited.com/
POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITIES: From one of our own: Here are the postcarding write-ups I did for this week. Please feel free to use/share/distribute. Please don't let the bastards push you to the point where you find yourself unable to speak your beliefs. Keep speaking out. Keep finding and expressing the words for your truths. Let’s write:
STAND UP TO RACISM: As a fundraiser for the Conscious Kid, “an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth”, t-shirts are now available: https://www.customink.com/fundraising/stand-up-against-racism Funds will support the Conscious Kid: Anti Racist Children’s Book Education Fund. Let’s check it out and support this worthy cause.
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
“DITCH MITCH” POSTCARDS—The Kentucky Women’s March needs volunteers to help them reach their goal of sending 2.2 million postcards to women voters in Kentucky, urging them to vote against Mitch McConnell. They send us the postcard kits for free; we supply postage. Let’s read more about this campaign and sign up to get a postcard kit: https://www.womensmarchaction.com/women-ditch-mitch-postcards
STATES: (ALL) Massachusetts is introducing legislation that would ban chokeholds, tear gas, no-knock warrants, and require police officers to intervene when a fellow police officer uses unnecessary force. https://www.wcvb.com/article/massachusetts-bill-would-ban-use-of-chokeholds-no-knock-warrants-by-police-officers/32861160. Let’s research what (if any) legislation is being proposed in our state and ask our state legislators to either introduce, sponsor, or pass similar legislation as soon as possible.
ME: SUPPORT BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES IN MAINE: If we are looking for actions to advance racial justice and equality, we can consider supporting Black-owned businesses in our state. Black Owned Maine has created a directory of Black-owned businesses with searchable listings, businesses organized by industry, and a submission form to add Black-owned businesses to the directory. We can find and share the Black Owned Maine website here: https://blackownedmaine.com/ We can also learn more about the site and its creators here: https://bit.ly/2BTkkj8
MI: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Last fall, a bipartisan group of legislators in the House passed a package of bills (HB 4980-4985) which would significantly improve the expungement process and expand eligibility for expungement in Michigan (https://bit.ly/2kvLZhO). Expungement is a crucial piece in improving the lives of formerly incarcerated people, by expanding employment and housing opportunities, among other benefits, and reducing the likelihood of recidivism (https://bit.ly/2m7gNWN). While the bills passed through the House quickly, they have stagnated since being referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety in November. Let's call the republican members of the committee and ask them to move these bills forward for a full Senate vote: Sen. Peter Lucido (chair) (517) 373-7670, Sen. Tom Barrett (517) 373-3447, Sen. Ruth Johnson (517) 373-1636, Sen. Jim Runestad 517) 373-1758
NY: JOIN RACIAL JUSTICE VIRTUAL DIALOGUE TONIGHT: Ready to demand that our nation and our state act to protect black people and all minorities from racism and police violence? We can join Candidates Joe Seeman (112 District Assembly) and Thearse McCalmon (49th District, State Senate) TODAY, Tuesday, June 16 at 7pm ET, to discuss the recent Black Lives Matter protests and how to create an America that works for everyone. We can click here to find out more and to join in: https://facebook.com/events/s/racial-justice-virtual-dialogu/293216528491124
VOLUNTEER TO ADOPT A BATTLEGROUND STATE FOR 2020 VICTORY: The election may hinge on six key states and a Vote Save America has just launched a strategy to win them. The Adopt a State Program is brand-new remote mobilization program that will help us directly support the work of organizers and candidates in these six key battleground states that will be most important to winning a progressive majority on Election Day—no matter where we live. After months working with the most effective state parties, political strategists, and progressive organizations on the ground in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to find out where we can help the most, they will only send us actions that will make a real impact. We’ll get first rate training to become part of the best group of digital organizers out there. This custom live training series will include four sessions on Thursday evenings in June, curated to help make us the most effective organizers we can be. When we sign up, we’ll learn the messaging that works best, and the remote and in-person opportunities that will help us make the biggest possible impact on the outcome of its races: https://votesaveamerica.com/subscribe/
JUNETEENTH ACTIONS/VIGILS/PROTESTS: JUNETEENTH MOBILIZATION: From Movement for Black Lives (M4BL): To honor our ancestors and to lay a path to freedom for future generations, we are calling for the SIX NINETEEN mobilization on Juneteenth weekend, June 19–21, 2020. We invite you to join us by taking action from home, in your community, or in Washington, D.C. This mobilization offers a spectrum of opportunities to take action. Wherever you join us, you are building the movement to shift resources from police who do not keep us safe, to community safety that actually works. And together, we will demand the resignation of Donald Trump, who has marshalled the forces of white supremacy to stoke the flames of racist violence in our country. Take action with M4BL as we organize the next wave of resistance for Juneteenth. Six Nineteen (a project of the Movement for Black Lives) has a national listing of Juneteenth (June 19th) events including events June 20-21. Let’s plan to attend or plan an event: https://sixnineteen.com/
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
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
Coronavirus 2nd Wave? Nope, The U.S. Is Still Stuck In The 1st One - https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/06/12/876224115/coronavirus-second-wave-nope-were-still-stuck-in-the-first-one
Trump might be remaking both parties' memberships - https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/trump-might-be-remaking-both-parties-membership-n1231032
The emotional impact of watching white people wake up to racism in real-time - https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/12/emotional-impact-watching-white-people-wake-racism-real-time-12839920/
Racial Injustice has Benefited Me - A Confession - https://www.holypost.com/post/how-racial-injustice-has-benefited-me
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