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Days Until Election


6/9/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


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PASS THE JUSTICE IN POLICING ACT: Democrats in both houses have introduced legislation that would “establish a federal ban on chokeholds, eliminate the legal shield protecting police from lawsuits, mandate the use of body cameras nationwide, ban military-style weapons for police and create a national database disclosing the names of officers with patterns of abuse.” It also would make lynching a federal hate crime. The bills are yet unnumbered. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/501636-democrats-unveil-sweeping-legislation-in-response-to-protests-of-police and https://www.npr.org/2020/06/08/872180672/read-democrats-release-legislation-to-overhaul-policing. Let’s tell our MoCs to support this bill and pass it immediately. 

RELIEF FOR UNEMPLOYED: Despite 20 million unemployed, only about half of the more than $3 trillion approved by Congress over four separate coronavirus bills has been obligated or committed, according to calculations by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; food banks; K-12 schools; community block grants for health facilities, child care centers, and services for seniors and homeless people; nursing homes; and an appropriation for PPE for firemen, among others, have received only a small fraction, if any, of the aid granted them by Congress: https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/06/08/cares-act-unspent-money-congress/ or https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Food-banks-other-key-programs-have-received-only-15324291.php  The delays may, as some say, be bureaucratic or the result of the inept leadership characteristic of this federal administration; either way, they are unacceptable and we must tell our MoCs so.

STOP ANOTHER ULTRACONSERVATIVE JUDGE:  The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted on party lines to advance Trump's nomination of 37-year-old Mitch McConnell and Brett Kavanaugh protege Justin Walker to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Walker is an ultraconservative Federal Society member who has publicly bashed the Affordable Care Act and has been extremely partisan in his brief tenure as a federal judge (https://thehill.com/regulation/501116-trumps-pick-for-dc-appeals-court-clears-senate-committee). The full Senate vote is our last chance to stop him. Let's make sure our senators know we want them to vote against Walker's confirmation.

INSIST THAT GOP POLITICIANS ACKNOWLEDGE A LONG-STANDING PATTERN OF RACISM IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: While a few Republicans like Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) are recognizing the importance of marching with demonstrators against racist police practices, https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2020/06/07/mitt-romney-marches-black/, many like DHS Deputy Director Ken Cuccinelli, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/501653-cuccinelli-says-outcome-would-have-been-the-same-if-george-floyd-were and Attorney General William Barr are insisting that George Floyd’s murder had nothing to do with systemic racism in law enforcement. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/07/us/politics/justice-department-barr-racism-police.html. If we have Republican MoCs, let’s educate them on the issue and ask them to publicly acknowledge that our systemically racist law enforcement system has been responsible for many black lives. And let’s also thank Senator Romney for marching for his principles. 

FOLLOWING UP FROM PROTESTS: Protests have continued to take place in all 50 states and around the world in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/07/george-floyd-protests-enter-third-week  If we have been able to attend a protest, let’s take a moment to thank the organizers. If we are white, let’s especially make sure that our presence goes beyond the protest or vigil and into community conversations with the police department where we live. This resource (8 Can’t Wait) can provide a platform for conversation about needed reforms in departments big and small: https://8cantwait.org/

JOIN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN PROTESTING FAMILY SEPARATION: To try to comply with the terms of the Flores Agreement, which mandates that children should not be detained for more than 20 days, ICE is giving families in detention the impossible choice of giving up their children, or signing forms that allows them to remain together in detention indefinitely. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/faced-choice-migrant-parents-ice-detention-refuse-separate-children-n1209841. RAICES is organizing a social media campaign protesting this inhumane and immoral policy. Let’s educate ourselves and join in with this toolkit.

ADVOCATE FOR REDIRECTION OF FUNDS FROM POLICE DEPARTMENTS: Last night the Minneapolis City Council voted with a veto-proof majority to defund the municipal police department and slowly transition to alternatives like unarmed public safety officers, social workers, and mental health professionals. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/06/07/vetoproof-majority-minneapolis-council-members-gives-support-dismantling-police-department. Across the country in cities large and small, residents are beginning to question the function and impact of law enforcement and whether alternative professionals might be better equipped to handle many current law enforcement functions, such as opiate abuse response and domestic violence. Let’s find out what’s happening in our own towns around this issue and join the conversation.  

ACLU APPS TO RECORD POLICE CONDUCT: The ACLU has developed apps that allow us to record police conduct in the states of AZ, CA, CO, GA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NJ, NM, NC, OK, OR, PA, VA, Washington, DC, and NY.  https://www.consumerreports.org/audio-video/how-to-record-video-during-a-protest/ Let’s visit this page and learn how to download an app: https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police/aclu-apps-record-police-conduct

JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR:  “The FBI is now investigating the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police during a raid at her home in Louisville, Kentucky.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-investigating-death-breonna-taylor-killed-police-her-louisville-home-n1212381  Her assailants have yet to be arrested and there is growing pressure to do so. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-06-08/breonna-taylor-celebrity-tweets-arrest-cops  Let’s add our voices and call the Louisville police department and mayor demanding that charges be made against the killers in this murder that should never have even happened.   Let’s call Louisville Metro Police Dept. 502-574-7111 and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: 502-574-2003

RACIAL EQUITY IN CORPORATE LEADERSHIP:  We see companies coming out with strong anti-racial statements; however, the words are not always put into practice within those companies. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chukaumunna/2020/06/08/ceos-speak-out-on-racial-injustice-but-get-your-own-house-in-order--starting-in-the-boardroom/#7d30c4237ea3  When pundit Ana Navarro received such a message from Macy’s, here is the one she sent back:  “Dear @macys, as your long-time customer, I really appreciate these words and letter from your CEO. I frequently shop at your stores in Miami and DC. Many of your customers and employees are People of Color. Solidarity matters. Allies -individuals and corporate- are so important. Now can you tell me what percentage of your Board of Directors is People of Color? I plan to ask this of every company I give my business to. Because representation and actions matter more.  Thank you.”  Let’s send similar messages to companies we deal with. 

MAPPING #BLM PROTESTS:  USA Today is attempting to map all the Black Lives Matter protests over the last couple of weeks.  https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/graphics/2020/06/03/map-protests-wake-george-floyds-death/5310149002/  Let's help get the word out and make sure all protests are included in this map. "This map represents an ongoing effort to track protests across America. If there's been a protest or demonstration in your area we've missed, please send your city, state, and a link to local coverage to protest@usatoday.com." 

FEAR OF VIOLENCE AT #BLM PROTESTS:  Some of the #BLM protests turned ugly, but most of those gathering to protest were peaceful. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/08/george-floyd-killing-police-arrest-non-violent-protesters   Guns Down America is tracking incidents anywhere in the country where guns were brandished or used for intimidation.  If we witnessed such, we are asked to report it here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfx0hR0WBpHIOXvDt03y9ZycG782t3RiJASjXfUz3g_HsbygA/viewform 

POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITY:  From one of our own:  We need to be thinking big right now and re-imagining what "normal" might be—in terms of policing, climate, immigration, and so much more. I hope these write-ups can provide just a bit of help. Here are this week's postcarding write-ups: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KJJ9QpRTaCtca7zHyfaNkG6z-PAVmfMjIj96in_phBw/edit?usp=sharing

HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY:  Historian Heather Cox Richardson has just begun a weekly FB Live series on the history of the Republican Party. Regardless of one's particular political persuasion, it is a fascinating look at the fundamental and continuing conflict of equality of opportunity vs protection of property. No proselytizing, just history. Take a listen: https://www.facebook.com/heathercoxrichardson/videos/305456300460134/

CALL BRONX DA TO RELEASE PROTESTORS NOW: Color of Change informs us that  hundreds of NYC protestors are being illegally detained in overcrowded conditions by the district attorney's office in the middle of a pandemic. We can click here (bit.ly/protectprotestersbronx) or call Bronx District Attorney's Office DA Darcel Clark at +1 718-590-2000 to demand she release the Bronx uprising protesters immediately! 

CHECK HOW WELL OUR LOCAL PROSECUTORS HOLD VIOLENT POLICE ACCOUNTABLE: Prosecutors who do not hold violent police officers accountable help keep dysfunctional systems going, but we can put a stop to this.  https://ashlandtidings.com/opinion/columns/herb-rothschild-jr-the-complicity-of-prosecutors-in-police-violence  We can use Color of Change’s “Winning Justice” tool to check out our local prosecutor and see how they have dealt with police violence, then vote them out if needed: https://www.winningjustice.org/search

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

PRIMARIES TODAY: Five states have primaries today. Let's click on link on the state name to see that state's Ballotpedia page for more information: a) Georgia; b) South Carolina, c) North Dakota, and d) West Virginia , and Nevada.  

FLIP A SENATE SEAT IN NORTH CAROLINA: If we're going to flip the U.S. Senate this fall, we will need to defeat Republican Thom Tillis in North Carolina. Tillis has an A+ rating from the NRA, rejects the science on climate change, and supports stripping health care away from millions of Americans... and he's in trouble against Democratic veteran and former state senator Cal Cunningham, who led him 43-41 in a recent poll. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/501089-poll-biden-leads-trump-cunningham-neck-and-neck-with-tillis-in-north  We can help him win by donating or volunteering for his campaign.

P2V ELECTION WATCH: Postcards to Voters' (P2V) volunteers will be watching Georgia primary election returns on Tuesday for Rhonda Taylor, a true blue Democrat running for State House, District 91. (Campaign 200.) Rhonda should be the Democratic candidate now that incumbent Democrat Vernon Jones has withdrawn from consideration after endorsing Trump. (More at ajc.com). Thanks to everyone who worked on Rhonda Taylor's campaign. 

STATE/LOCAL

CA: CALL OUR ASSEMBLY MEMBERS TO PASS ANTI CHOKEHOLD LAW:
It is time to put an end to violent police tactics like choke holds and carotid restraints  that have taken  the lives of Eric Gardner, George Floyd and far too many others.  https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-05/george-floyd-carotid-neck-hold-police Our State Assembly has taken a good step towards that this Monday with AB1196, which would eliminate the use of a chokehold or carotid restraint statewide by law enforcement. https://twitter.com/danielapardotv/status/1270049342766735360  We can find our Assembly member here (http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/), then call and tell them to support Assemblyman Mike Gipson’s AB1196 and stop chokeholds in our state.

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

RACISM WEBINAR:  Today, at 8pm ET, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is hosting a webinar entitled, “White People's Work to End Racism”.  This is a webinar for folks who are newer to racial justice work and folks doing the work of bringing new white folks in.”  We can learn more and register here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wzcZ4JWeRkGSlCktBXBmNA

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/

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

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING



Against the background of national protests and Trump’s incitement to violence, here are healing and inspiring words in the best tradition of American leadership from former presidents and Joe Biden:   
 “Hope” -  https://vimeo.com/425539239

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We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule




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