blank space

Days Until Election


7/16/20

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: 



GUARANTEE PUBLIC ACCESS TO COVID-19 DATA: The Trump administration recently announced a new method for collecting COVID-19 data that would bypass the CDC and instead require hospitals to send all information to a central database run by the Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/cdcs-politicization-extremely-dangerous-for-americans-says-its-former-head and  https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-nyt-covid-cdc-data-trump-20200715-aizxwwrqlbaufjsjig3rlvx7qy-story.html.  Four former CDC heads do not agree with this decision.  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/14/former-cdc-chiefs-trump-agency-guidelines-360527  Considering Trump has continually tried to downplay data and wish this virus away, public health experts legitimately fear that scientific researchers and the public will lose access to transparent data. Let’s make sure that HHS (202-205-5445; https://www.facebook.com/HHS/; Twitter: @HHS.gov) knows that we know about the change in data collection and ask them what they are going to do to make sure this data remains transparent and accessible. Let’s also ask our MoCs what they can do to make sure that COVID-19 data is not hidden or sanitized as the election approaches. 

PPE SHORTAGE?  “The US could soon face another shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and run out of items like gloves, goggles, and body bags.  Health and Human Services Department documents obtained by NBC News show that national bodies in charge of distributing such equipment have vastly depleted stocks.”  https://www.businessinsider.com/us-could-face-new-ppe-shortage-coronavirus-surge-2020-7  and https://www.wwnytv.com/2020/07/14/calls-grow-trump-administration-aid-ppe-production-amid-shortage/ Due to the lack of a national response to COVID, this is already an issue, but reports are it will get worse as the surge continues.  Let’s ask our MOCs what they are doing to address this urgent need.  States should not be competing against each other and the federal government for needed supplies. 

RELEASE VOL. 5 OF THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT:  The 5th and final report of the senate intelligence committee contains material that is highly indicative that the president is a true national security risk.  The report was sent to the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for review on May 15.  https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/498031-senate-panel-submits-final-volume-of-russian-interference-probe-for  If this material is released before the congressional break in August, it may be the quickest way to end this national nightmare.  The Senate committee sent the report to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, directed by a Trump supporter, John Ratcliffe, for redaction. THE ODNI IS SITTING ON THE REPORT.  Let’s consider this direct campaign: Contact John Ratcliffe and ask for the expedited release of Vol 5 of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report: Mailing Address: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Washington, DC 20511 Phone Number: 703-275-3700 (public affairs line)

COVID-RELATED EVICTIONS AND HOMELESSNESS: “We have never seen this extent of eviction in such a truncated amount of time in our history. We can expect this to increase dramatically in the coming weeks and months, especially as the limited support and intervention measures that are in place start to expire. About 10 million people, over a period of years, were displaced from their homes following the foreclosure crisis in 2008. We’re looking at 20 million to 28 million people in this moment, between now and September, facing eviction”.  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/10/looming-evictions-may-soon-make-28-million-homeless-expert-says.html  The need for another COVID-relief bill is so necessary, yet the Senate is sitting on the House-approved HEREOS ACT (H.R. 6800).  Let’s contact our Senators to find out just what exactly they ARE going to do to aid Americans.

COVID MEDS AND PROFIT-MAKING:  From one of our own:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must do more to ensure access to potential Covid-19 treatments, including remdesivir. There is a law (28 U.S.C. § 1498) which allows federal agencies to take control of industry owned patents using a tool known as government patent use.  https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/02/powerful-law-gives-hhs-right-to-control-remdesivir-manufacturing-distribution/  How much of our taxpayer's money has gone to Gilead Sciences for the development of remdesivir? There should be NO PANDEMIC PROFITEERING! Gilead will soon begin charging outrageous prices of more than $3,100 to treat a typical Covid-19 patient with private health insurance. We need that price to be the price of manufacturing cost of $1.00/day.  Let’s call or write Secretary Azar to invoke the law (28 U.S.C. § 1498): 202-690-7000 or write to Secretary@HHSGov   

POSTAL SERVICE SUFFERING: “Postal Service officials, bracing for steep losses from the nationwide shutdown caused by the virus, have warned they will run out of money by the end of September without help from Congress. The service reported a $4.5 billion loss for the quarter ending in March, before the full effects of the shutdown sank in.” However, “Mail deliveries could be delayed by a day or more under cost-cutting efforts being imposed by the new postmaster general. The plan eliminates overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers and says employees must adopt a “different mindset” to ensure the Postal Service’s survival during the coronavirus pandemic.”  https://apnews.com/59c25efd4d325c4895f8ba85517f9bfd  In addition to the havoc this could cause for business and personal uses, it’s easy to see how this could affect people’s ability to safely vote by mail during the pandemic! The House passed $25 billion for the postal service in the HEREOS ACT (H.R. 6800) two months ago!  Let’s ask our Senators what they are doing to address this need to continue the Post Office successfully.

FAULTY DATA FROM SBA ABOUT PPP LOANS:  Lest you think there is any trustworthy agency left in Washington, “A [Washington] Post analysis of data on 4.9 million loans released last week by the Small Business Administration shows that many companies are reported to have “retained” far more workers than they employ. . . . in some cases, the agency’s jobs claim for entire industries surpasses the total number of workers in those sectors. And for more than 875,000 borrowers, the data shows that zero jobs were supported or no information is listed at all. . . .” https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/14/ppp-job-claims-sba/  or https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-07-13/ppp-data-errors-coronavirus and https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/7/13/21320179/ppp-loans-sba-paycheck-protection-program-polling-kanye-west  This is our tax money and we have a right to see it responsibly allocated; let’s tell the SBA so: US Small Business Administration, 409 3rd St, SW, Washington DC 20416 or 1-800-659-2955 or  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY RULE:  The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) would like to prohibit federal employees from adequate union representation, and the knowledge and experience this brings, at hearings related to discrimination or workplace harassment; the “Official Time” rule would mean that union reps would not be guaranteed official time to work on EEOC complaints, a move that would upend 40 years of precedent and might, in fact, violate the statute establishing the commission: https://www.govexec.com/management/2019/11/eeoc-plans-cease-providing-official-time-union-reps-government-wide/161340/  We have until July 31 to tell the EEOC what we think; the Action Network makes commenting easy:  https://actionnetwork.org/letters/official-time-in-federal-sector

POMPEO AND HUMAN RIGHTS:  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to unveil a long-awaited but as yet unfinished human rights report from the Commission on Unalienable Rights, presumably to show the world that the Trump administration still believes in them, contrary to all appearances: https://www.wnyc.org/story/mike-pompeo-to-release-human-rights-report  The plan is to announce the report with some fanfare in Philadelphia on July 16, 2 weeks before the public comment period is over--suggesting the seriousness with which our comments are taken: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/07/pompeo-human-rights-report-coronavirus-lgbtq-fears-350806  or https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/us/politics/pompeo-state-human-rights.html or https://theweek.com/speedreads/924214/critics-question-pompeos-true-intentions-ahead-human-rights-report  There is no sign of this report to date in the Federal Register.  Perhaps we should let the Commission know directly what we think constitute “unalienable” rights: commission@state.gov

NURSING HOMES IN DANGER:  Mitch McConnell is using COVID as a way to (following many states) slip federal immunity from lawsuits for owners of nursing home into law.  He
has stated he wants to bring this bill to the Senate floor. Even before the pandemic many nursing homes “had been unable or unwilling to meet basic health, safety and staffing standards set by the federal government. Nursing homes, critics say, owners could use immunity to evade long-standing liabilities. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/08/nursing-home-immunity-laws/ and https://khn.org/news/as-congress-weighs-covid-liability-protections-states-shield-health-providers/   Let’s write to our MOCs objecting to this bill.  If we are in a state that already has such provision, work to cast light on what it means for our elderly. A discussion could be made as to whether immunity should cover caregivers or owners of homes or both. 

STOP ICE FROM HOLDING A “CITIZEN’S ACADEMY”: ICE’s latest plan to misuse of our taxpayer dollars is to launch a “Citizen’s Academy” in September in Chicago, as a pilot for a national model to “teach” civilians about firearms familiarization and targeted arrests. https://news.yahoo.com/ice-to-launch-citizens-academy-to-teach-civilians-about-targeted-arrests-172430342.html. Immigration and civil rights activists rightly fear that exposing civilians to ICE's xenophobic propaganda will encourage people to rat out their neighbors, in a time when we are supposed to be addressing racism, not perpetuating it. Think, Hitler Youth?  Let’s spread the word and raise our voices in a huge public outcry, ask our MoCs what they can do to stop this program, and if we live in Chicago, let’s get in touch with our Mayor and local officials and tell them we do not want this in our city.

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

FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS—ELECT DEMOCRATS: Blue Ripple Politics has compiled a list of local, state, and national Democratic candidates who welcome internship and volunteer help from college and high school students. Let’s look at the list and get involved: https://blueripplepolitics.org/blog/summer2020

REJECTED PRIMARY BALLOTS: An NPR analysis has found that in the primaries held so far this year, at least 65,000 absentee or mail-in ballots have been rejected; they arrived past the deadline, usually through no fault of the voter. This number constitutes only around 1% of the vote in most states, but that number could be critical in a close election in the fall, particularly if, as expected, the coronavirus increases absentee and mail-in ballots: https://www.wnyc.org/story/signed-sealed-undelivered-thousands-of-mail-in-ballots-rejected-for-tardiness  No surprise, young, black, and Latinx voters are likely to be most at risk for rejection.  Fair Fight https://fairfight.com/, Spread the Vote  https://www.spreadthevote.org/ Rock the Vote https://www.rockthevote.org/ and the other organizations listed here https://www.bustle.com/p/8-voting-rights-organizations-to-know-before-the-2020-elections-roll-around-13156367 all work on voter rights and education.  Let’s get involved before it’s too late!

GET VOTE BY MAIL INFORMATION FOR ALL 50 STATES: With the pandemic still raging, and voter suppression on the rise, the safest way to vote is by mail. The procedures vary from state to state, but finding out how to vote by mail in our own state, or sharing accurate voting information for voters from other states, just got much easier, thanks to Postcards to Voters’ new website. Postcards to Voters offers us a page with all the link and information we need to sign up for Vote By Mail in all 50 states: https://www.postcardsforamerica.com/vote-by-mail.html. We can also find postcards for each downloadable from PfA photo albums:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/postcards4USA/photos/ The information is also here in this  GoogleDoc: https://pc2a.info/50StatesVoteByMail

FLIPPING THE SENATE: As more state primaries are in the rear-view mirror, the path to flipping the Senate to blue becomes clearer. Let’s give as generously as we can to as many campaigns as we can (including Democratic Senator Doug Jones in Alabama whose seat we need to keep):

MAINE: Sara Gideon: https://saragideon.com/
ARIZONA: Mark Kelly: https://markkelly.com/
COLORADO: John Hickenlooper: https://hickenlooper.com/
NORTH CAROLINA: Cal Cunningham: https://www.calfornc.com/
IOWA: Theresa Greenfield: https://greenfieldforiowa.com/
SOUTH CAROLINA: Jaime Harrison: https://jaimeharrison.com/
MONTANA: Steve Bullock: https://stevebullock.com/
GEORGIA: Jon Ossoff: https://electjon.com/
TEXAS: MJ Hegar:  https://mjfortexas.com/
ALABAMA: Doug Jones: https://dougjones.com/splash
MICHIGAN:  Gary Peters https://petersformichigan.com/

VOTEFORWARD NEEDS OUR HELP:  VoteFoward is reaching out to parents. They want to celebrate and recognize all of the parents out there—the role models, protectors, and providers of the next generation.  They are inviting us to help build a stronger democracy together.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fDWtun8Qqg  Parents or not, let’s join The Big Send and start writing letters to underrepresented voters to encourage voter turnout this November from our home:  https://votefwd.org/bigsend

STATE/LOCAL

MOST:  TELL SCHOOLS TO USE RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES IN THEIR REOPENING PLANS: Trump and Betsey DeVos are pushing to open schools, even though
 Increasing evidence about the risks of indoor transmission and the rising infection rates in many parts of the country, suggest that it is way too early to safely reopen schools. However, pushed by Trump and Betsey DeVos, some districts are leaning towards doing so. For the ones that are going to open anyway, here’s a site that tries to reduce the risks as much as possible. Safer buildings, policies and procedures are all discussed here. We can check out strategies to reduce school opening risk here and demand our districts implement the ones that will keep our schools safe, and only reopen once that safety can be assured:

IA: HELP QUALIFY INVEST IN IDAHO K-12 INITIATIVE FOR THE BALLOT: Idaho has failed to invest in education for several decades, and the results, outdated textbooks, overcrowded, underfunded classrooms, underpaid teachers and staff, deprive our children of the education they need to succeed in this world. With the “Invest in Idaho” K-12 Initiative, sponsored by Reclaim Idaho,  https://www.reclaimidaho.org/our-reclaim-story we can start to turn things around by giving our schools the support they need to succeed. Our signatures are needed to help qualify this initiative for the ballot and we can click here,  https://www.reclaimidaho.org/,  fill out a form to then DocuSign the petition, then share this info with our Idaho friends. We can also read the full petition: here https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59533b4a6a49630a96e933f6/t/5f0b621845628c2a5530b56e/1594581529562/Education+Initiative.pdf, and, if we have more questions check out this FAQ page: https://www.reclaimidaho.org/faq

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

LEARN TO ENGAGE LATINO VOTERS:  With Latino voters projected to make up 13% of the November electorate, earning their support will be a key factor in beating Trump, and electing Democrats nationwide. To help us learn more about how to engage these key voters, Field Team 6 https://www.fieldteam6.org/ is presenting a one-hour live virtual event TODAY at 8pm Eastern Time. Political scientist, MSNC contributor, and regular political analyst for Telemundo, Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto will join Dr. Linda Lopez, CEO of Impact Strategies with 20 years of expertise in government, philanthropy, and private sector partnerships. We can sign up here:  https://www.mobilize.us/ft6/event/281437/  Then, if we like, volunteer to phone bank or text potential voters in key states with Field Team 6 https://www.mobilize.us/ft6/

LEARN DIGITAL ORGANIZING BASICS: The Campaign Workshop is offering a series of free workshops this summer, starting with Let's Get Digital w/ Sophie Thurber on July 30. In this workshop, we will learn digital fundamentals and find creative ways to engage with our targeted groups, using different platforms, creating a strong online presence and integrating digital communications into our strategies. We can learn more and sign up for the Campaign Workshop’s Digital Organizing webinar here:

TRAINING TO WIN 2020: “Got Covid Blues? Ready to pivot to virus free, online electoral action? Training to Win 2020 has got you covered. We're here to help you navigate pandemic-induced challenges in traditional grassroots and field organizing, to boost the total number of voters reached and volunteers recruited in 2020.”  We can learn more and sign up for this August 1st (10:00am to 1:00pm PDT) free virtual training here:  https://www.mobilize.us/training2win2020/event/287118/

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

How To Find Out What Causes A Company Supports Before You Shop - https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/where-does-money-go-shopping-tools

How “abolish ICE” helped bring abolitionist ideas into the mainstream - https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/7/9/21307137/abolish-ice-police-immigrant-black-lives-matter


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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





No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.