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Days Until Election


7/14/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)

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REOPENING SCHOOLS: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos took to the Sunday shows to share her anti-science views on reopening schools in the COVID era:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/13/betsy-devos-schools-reopen-fall We know that Trump wants the illusion of a autumn back-to-school normalcy to appeal to his base, but we also know that any child’s life lost is one too many.  Let’s contact our MoC to say that we must be guided by science when it comes to the education and lives of our children.

STOP ICE: In an incredibly ill-advised attempt to improve its public image, ICE is apparently trying to pilot a "Citizens' Academy," a six-week course "on immigration enforcement, which will include training for citizens on how to arrest undocumented immigrants."  https://www.newsweek.com/ice-launching-citizens-academy-course-how-agency-arrests-immigrants-1516656 Needless to say, the idea of ICE using private citizens to spy and report on their neighbors is a very bad idea. Let's call our members of Congress to insist they put a stop to this "Citizens' Academy." 

PUSH SENATE TO REVISIT 2013 PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP BILL: In 2013, a bipartisan Senate “gang of eight” pushed through a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented residents in the U.S. and protect the dreamers. The bill got 68 votes. Presidential nominee Joe Biden has promised to make immigration reform a top priority on his agenda https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/506942-democrats-see-immigration-reform-as-topping-biden-agenda, but with Trump refiling to end DACA, and ICE going rogue with deportations and arrests, we can’t afford the luxury of waiting. Let’s tell our Senators, and let’s also tell turncoat Lindsay Graham (202-224-5972), who was one of the key proponents of the bill, that we want them to introduce and pass legislation to protect the dreamers and provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented members of our community now.
 
STOP ICE FROM TRANSPORTING COVID-POSITIVE PATIENTS:
This disturbing report from The Marshall Project documents how ICE has consistently violated safety protocols by transporting COVID-positive patients to other states and deporting them to other countries, risking the health of everyone they come into contact with and spreading the epidemic around the globe. https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/07/10/how-ice-exported-the-coronavirus?  
Let’s contact our MoCs and ask them what we can do to stop this practice. Let’s also spread this report widely so that our communities know what is being done in our name.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NEW ASYLUM RULES DUE TOMORROW: Reminder--public comments on the new asylum rules are due tomorrow, July 15. Immigration advocacy groups are saying that it's fine to make more than one comment as long as we are taking a slightly different tack. Also, we should make sure to upload documents in support of our arguments, as it's important to give the DHS a lot of information to read through, which they must do before proceeding with the rule. Let’s make sure to submit a comment. We can find more information here.

GRATITUDE TO LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN: Citing “bullying, intimidation, and retaliation by President Trump, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman retired from the military last week.  He was a key witness in Trump’s impeachment, having witnessed and reported to his superiors his national security concerns about the “quid pro quo” phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President  Zelensky. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/07/08/lt-col-alexander-vindman-who-testified-against-trump-announces-retirement-from-the-army/ During his testimony, Vindman expressed his belief in America’s commitment to the rule of law by famously telling his worried father: “Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.” https://www.businessinsider.com/vindman-impeachment-testimony-sends-emotional-message-father-2019-11 That Vindman, a refugee, Army colonel, and Purple Heart recipient with twenty years of honorable military service.   https://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-alexander-vindman-army-nsc-veteran-trump-ukraine-2019-10  is not “fine for telling the truth” is a testimony to how much we have lost. Let’s send a note of thanks to Vindman through his lawyer, David Pressman, Jenner & Block LLP, 919 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022-3908, or dpressman@jenner.com.

PANDEMIC HAZARD PAY FOR GROCERY WORKERS: The New England, New York, and New Jersey grocery chain Stop & Shop had been paying its union hourly workers a 10% pandemic hazard increase, but abruptly stopped doing so last week.  https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/employees-to-call-on-stop-shop-to-restore-hazard-pay-amid-pandemic/2154593/ and https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news/hampden-county/union-asking-stop-shop-to-reconsider-discontinuing-hazard-pay-for-employees/ These workers are still on the frontlines and still at risk. Let’s contact Stop & Shop’s Chief Executive Officer, President, and Senior Vice President and tell them to reinstate the 10% hazard pay immediately, https://elliott.org/company-contacts/stop-shop/. We can also sign this petition:  https://ufcwlocal1445petitions.org/.
FAUCI SIDELINED BY TRUMP: Undoubtedly angered by the fact that Americans place far greater faith in the words of public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci than they do in his wishful thinking about the coronavirus, Trump is trying desperately to silence or discredit him:  https://abcnews.go.com/US/white-house-seeks-discredit-fauci-memo-leaked-reporters/story  Fauci has been prohibited by the administration from many public appearances, on TV and elsewhere: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/full-transcript-of-face-the-nation-on-july-5-2020/  As Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Michael Caputo of HHS is responsible for approving press requests to interview Fauci; let’s insist on our right to hear from reliable sources about a pandemic that puts our lives at risk:  Michael.Caputo@hss.gov Let’s also tell our MOC’s to tell Trump to stop this attack. While we are at it, let’s send a thank you to Dr. Fauci for telling us the scientific truth: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health,  31 Center Drive MSC 2520 Building 31, Room 7A03 Bethesda, MD 20892-2520, Director: Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. (301) 496-2263 (phone) (301) 496-4409 (fax) Email: AF10r@nih.gov

FRACKING FAILS; CLIMATE DAMAGE RISES:  One effect of the pandemic has been the (no doubt, temporary) collapse of the fracking industry as oil prices have plummeted: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/28/business/chesapeake-energy-bankruptcy/index.html  But while we may celebrate the demise of a filthy, polluting method of oil extraction, this collapse, which mostly takes the form of chapter 11 bankruptcies, leaves in its wake tremendous environmental damage—unplugged methane leaks and other “maintenance” problems--that these companies refuse to address: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/climate/oil-fracking-bankruptcy-methane-executive-pay.html  According to the NYT, “The federal government estimates that there are already more than three million abandoned oil and gas wells across the United States, two million of which are unplugged, releasing the methane equivalent of the annual emissions from more than 1.5 million cars.”  The EPA has already made its unwillingness to regulate methane clear-- https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5ym38/the-epa-is-deregulating-one-of-the-most-climate-destroying-greenhouse-gases  or https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29082019/methane-regulation-oil-gas-storage-pipelines-epa-rollback-trump-wheeler  Let’s turn to our state environmental agencies and Congress to demand that these companies clean up their mess—before they spend their bonuses and kill our planet.

POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITY:  From one of our own:  Let's pay attention and speak out together to make our voices heard. ICE "camp" for "good" citizens; threats to education and public health workers; mail-in ballots; the Breathe Act; and let's not forget Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Let’s use/share/distribute in any way we can:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DL8CD30_VXqiMT2-yJFoiWOUNGuWa5yflMOx73PKEOQ/edit?usp=sharing

SUPPORTING LOCAL & INDEPENDENT NEWS: Nowadays it’s even more important to read and fund local/independent journalism. Rising autocracies everywhere, including in the US, want to control our understanding of reality, which is why they are trying so hard to stifle the news outlets holding them to account (https://t.co/IC8RxwmKLZ). As citizens we have a duty to be informed, and right now that means using (and paying for or donating to) the news sources that dare to tell us the truth: https://knightfoundation.org/features/localnews/

USE COURSE SWAP SITE TO HELP INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STAY HERE: Trumps latest punitive policies force International Students to leave if they are enrolled in an online only program. To stay they must be in program that includes in-person classes. While several institutions are challenging this in the courts, students are scrambling to find in person or hybrid classes that will allow them to remain here and continue their educations.  https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/507039-17-states-sue-trump-administration-over-foreign-students-rule  Now Support Our International Students has come up with an inventive solution, an international students course swap  where students help each other stay on the country by finding eligible classes. If we are International Students looking for an eligible class, or want to help out, we can search for classes and connect with fellow students, or donate our spot in a class that someone else might need. They also have resources, including potential solutions for schools, emails to send to schools and faculty, talking points and contact information for Congress, legal information and more.  We can click here to find an eligible course, or offer one to student in need: http://sois.us/

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

REACH OUT TO EDUCATORS: Action for Better Citizens (abc Vote) is a non-partisan group reaching out to college educators to ask them to talk to their students about the importance of voting and get them registered to vote during or adjacent to class. abc Vote has created a website of voting action and resources to help educators do this. Let’s check out their website then share the link to those folks who could use it: https://abcvote.org/

WRITE NOW TO GET OUT THE NOV. 3 VOTE! Indivisible Chicago Alliance has organized for volunteers to write postcards to swing states. Already over 25,000 volunteers have written over 2 million postcards. The organization will mail us the postcards and addresses we need. We get to choose from 2 messages and 10 states. We provide the labor, stamps and mailing of the postcards in October. Let's sign up today at Postcards to Swing States to help the blue wave!

LET’S MESS WITH TEXAS: What will happen if Democratic voters in Texas come out in force in 2020? They could potentially tip the state to Biden, giving him 38 Electoral College votes. They could potentially flip the Texas House of Representatives and prevent extreme Republican gerrymandering for a decade. Blue Action Democrats, and their campaign FLIP the Texas House, are building off of the work of Beto O’Rourke, which put 17 state house districts into play. Democrats need to flip only 4 seats to get a majority in the Texas House. Let’s visit the websites of Blue Action Democrats https://www.blueactiondems.com/  and FLIP the Texas House https://flipthetxhouse.com/ to see how we can help.

FLIP MICHIGAN: If Democrats out-vote Republicans in this state, Biden could win 16 Electoral College votes and extreme Republican gerrymandering could end for a decade. All 110 seats in the MI House of Representatives are up for election in 2020. If Democrats flip just four seats, they’ll have the House majority there.  https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_House_of_Representatives . Let’s sign up with the Michigan Democratic Party and move that needle! https://michigandems.com/

FLIP PENNSYLVANIA: If enough Democratic voters go to the polls in PA, they’ll deliver 20 Electoral College votes to Joe Biden and flip the entire state legislature Blue, ending extreme Republican gerrymandering for a decade. Democrats need to flip four state senate seats and nine state house seats to control the state legislature. Let’s help make it happen—we can sign up at Turn PA Blue, https://turnpablue.org/, Sister District Project: https://sisterdistrict.com/pennsylvania/, and/or Swing Left: https://swingleft.org/p/pennsylvania

STATE/LOCAL

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

FREE ACTIVISIM 101 WEBINAR:  Activism 101 is a free, one-hour (ish) webinar for folks who have very little to no experience with activism and/or political action. It’s a survey course with one goal: to give those who are furious and sickened by the state of our, bite-sized actions they can take to help vote Trump out, flip the Senate, win a bunch of down-ballot races, and basically make good things happen in November and beyond. Workshop will be led by Jessica Craven who is a mom, veteran activist, elected member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee, legislative chair of her Moms Demand Action chapter, and the author of daily actions email “Chop Wood, Carry Water.”  Let’s grab a few friends and inquire about times: cwcwdailyactions@gmail.com  

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

‘Please Tax Us’: Dozens Of Millionaires Urge Governments To Tax The Rich To Pay For Coronavirus Impact - https://www.forbes.com/sites/isabeltogoh/2020/07/13/please-tax-us-dozens-of-millionaires-urge-governments-to-tax-the-rich-to-pay-for-coronavirus-impact/#5ab686426cc8

Mary Trump’s Book Shows How Donald Trump Gets Away With It - https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/mary-trump-book-psychoanalysis-enablers.html



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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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