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SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE THREATENED IN NEXT COVID BILL: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed Thursday that the proposed Republican coronavirus relief package will include Mitt Romney’s TRUST ACT, which McConnell described as "a bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Senate Democrats"; the TRUST ACT would initiate a highly secretive process that could result in the dramatic cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits the Republicans have long had in their sights--and is opposed by Social Security Works and others: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/23/how-upcoming-stimulus-legislation-could-affect-your-social-security.html 30 Democrats have supported this act. We must urge all of our MoCs, especially our senators, to oppose any mechanism that could cut Social Security or Medicare in the midst of a pandemic. Yet another example of this administration’s efforts to exploit a health crisis to pass unpopular legislation.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT CUTS AND EMPLOYER LIABILITY PROTECTION: The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, slated to rise to $10/hour in January; some states have higher minimums: https://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx The idea that someone working for $10/hour, say, or $400/week in gross income, can survive in this country on the 70% of their wages Republicans want to grant them or that they will opt not to return to work because they briefly receive more in unemployment than they did while working is obscene. To the extent that the latter is true, it does nothing but expose the unconscionable wages now federally guaranteed and, in particular, the abysmal wages paid “essential” workers, whom we applaud but do not ensure a living wage; https://www.business.org/finance/accounting/average-salary-of-essential-workers/ The Republicans want to limit the liability of careless employers while punishing workers who may not return to work for fear of infection. We must urgently demand that our MoCs oppose any pandemic relief bill that ends the $600 unemployment “bonus” and grants legal immunity to employers who put their workers at risk.
EVICTION CRISIS DUE TO COVID: Because the next COVID-relief bill is yet to be a reality, evictions are once again becoming real as the federal moratorium blocking them expired. “People of color are especially vulnerable. While almost half of White tenants say they’re highly confident they can continue to pay their rent, just 26% of African-American tenants could say the same.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/27/how-the-eviction-crisis-will-impact-each-state.html and https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Senate-Republicans-unveil-HEALS-Act-kicking-off-15437813.php It is now time to negotiate the bill with the Democrats. Let’s tell our MoCs that we want another, longer moratorium on evictions and we want it fast.
FOREIGN INFLUENCE ON ELECTION: “Voters should be on high alert for foreign interference in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, the U.S. counterintelligence agency chief said on Friday in a rare warning that the public should screen information, check online sources and report suspicious actions.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-counterspies-idUSKCN24P29W Let’s be especially careful in our choice of information sources and let’s also contact our MoCs to ask what they are doing to make sure our elections are safe and reliable.
ILLEGAL TENURE OF ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY HEADS RESPONSIBLE FOR PORTLAND OCCUPATION: The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 provides rules for the temporary filling of vacant executive agency positions that require presidential appointment with Senate confirmation; under the act, an acting officer may serve in a vacant position for NO LONGER THAN 210 DAYS, with adjustments to be made if the President submits a nomination to fill the position and under other specified circumstances. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf along with his deputy Kevin Cucinelli, Mark Morgan of the Border Patrol, and other DHS leaders are all well beyond this 210-day limit, with no permanent nominees in sight: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/07/22/trumps-actions-portland-are-controversial-man-spearheading-them-might-be-doing-so-illegally/ and https://medium.com/@officialandrewbnguyen/the-acting-heads-of-the-trump-administration-threats-to-our-democracy-756871a53263 Leaving aside the legality of their assault on protesters, the constitutionality of their very positions ought to be a subject of grave Congressional concern; let’s make it one by insisting that our MoCs raise it on the floor.
GOOD TROUBLE FOR REP. JOHN LEWIS: If we haven’t had a chance to see Rep. John Lewis’ casket pulled across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, it is worth the watch: https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/07/26/john-lewis-procession-edmund-pettus-bridge-vpx-rs.cnn Let’s honor the amazing commitments of his 80 years of life with our own commitment – like writing 80 Postcards To Voters or making 80 phone calls for a political campaign. We can also check out the actions here: https://indivisibleventura.org/2020/07/20/mon-7-20-in-honor-of-john-lewis-wake-up-america-wake-up-for-we-cannot-stop-and-we-will-not-be-patient/
SENATOR TOM COTTON: Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton referred to slavery as a “necessary evil” in an interview: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/26/tom-cotton-slavery-necessary-evil-1619-project-new-york-times Let’s call on Cotton to resign: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/?p=contact or on Twitter @SenTomCotton
GOP SENATOR USES PROFANITY DIRECTED AT TEACHERS: Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said, during a Monday evening interview with Fox News, that those who oppose schools' reopening "can kiss my a**," despite many educators and teacher's unions raising serious concerns about returning to the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.newsweek.com/gop-senator-says-they-can-kiss-my-teachers-unions-oppose-school-reopenings-over-covid-1517766 GOP Kennedy was cursing our parents and teachers while ignoring the dangerous situation our families and educators are in during this pandemic. We are at risk of losing educators and families by demanding they go back to the classroom in the middle of a pandemic. Let’s tell Kennedy to stop disrespecting Americans with his profane language and let the school decisions be made by the educators relying on science. Tweet him here. @JohnKennedyLA
DOCUMENTARY ON IMMIGRATION NEARLY CENSORED BY ICE: Last week, the New York Times reported that a new Netflix documentary, Immigration Nation, scheduled to air on August 3rd, was nearly blocked by ICE for containing information that did not show the agency in a positive light. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/23/us/trump-immigration-nation-netflix.html and https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshwilson/2020/07/25/upcoming-netflix-documentary-immigration-nation-reportedly-almost-blocked-by-ice/#4a42e6127996. The producers of the film were threatened and told not to air the film until after the 2020 election. If we have Netflix, let’s make sure to watch this film and then speak out to our MoCs on the horrors of what we see, asking them one more time to stop appropriating funds to an agency gone rogue. (And if we don’t have Netflix, let’s still talk to our MoCs about defunding ICE and making sure that the truth is told and not censored.)
SUPPORT NATIONAL FACE MASK MANDATE: As the US continues to head in the wrong direction in containing COVID, 79% of Americans now support a national face mask mandate. https://thehill.com/homenews/coronavirus-report/509177-majority-say-they-support-national-face-mask-mandate-poll. Let’s tell the White House to start taking leadership, and let’s ask Congress to pass a law.
STOP ICE PRACTICE OF SHELTERING MIGRANT CHILDREN AT HOTELS BEFORE EXPELLING THEM: Before COVID, unaccompanied minors who crossed the border were referred to the department of Health and Human Services and placed in detention centers that provided schooling and access to legal representation. Since March, while more than 10,000 beds in government shelters remain empty, ICE is spending our taxpayer dollars to put children sometimes as young as 1 year old, in hotels with minimal supervision. In doing so, ICE is creating a shadow-system where there is no way to track accountability, before being immediately expelled to their home countries. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/migrant-children-hotels-texas-arizona/. This is child abuse, and just one more reason why we must insist on defunding ICE. Let’s share this story far and wide and continue to pressure our MoCs to do something to make these practices stop. We can also sign this: https://txcivilrights.org/act/congress-investigate-the-illegal-detention-of-children-and-asylum-seekers-at-secret-hotels/
DONATE TO HELP REFUGEE CAMP VICTIMS OF TROPICAL STORM HANNA. While the 1300 asylum-seekers at the refugee camp in Matamoros, was spared the worst of the brunt of Hurricane Hanna, many tents and school supplies for the children were severely damaged. https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/texas-news/hannas-rain-flooding-remains-biggest-threat-in-south-texas/2413409/. Let’s consider donating money to Team Brownsville which is committed to assuring safe and dignified living conditions to these asylum-seekers as they wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard.
HELP THE MARICOPA DEMS: On July 23, the Democratic headquarters in Arizona's most populous county burned down in a suspected arson. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix-breaking/2020/07/24/fire-damages-arizona-democratic-party-headquarters-building-phoenix-overnight/5501305002/
We can help the Maricopa County Democratic Party recover and get what they need for the upcoming election by contributing here: https://maricopadems.org/recoveryfund/
100 WAYS TO GET READY FOR ELECTION DAY: 100 days before Election Day, the League of Women Votershas put together an awesome list of 100 actions we can take before November 3. Let’s check it out: https://www.lwv.org/blog/100-days-and-100-ways-get-ready-election-day
WHAT IF TRUMP REFUSES TO ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE 2020 ELECTION? Indivisible has a plan called Protect the Results— “a coalition of voters ready to mobilize if Donald Trump refuses to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.” Let’s join the coalition: https://protecttheresults.com/
POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITIES: From one of our own: As we direct our energy into November's election, let's also keep an eye out for the issues we can address now. Many victories are possible if we look for opportunities to make them happen. You can find this week's postcarding write-ups here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Gpbs_EKI09iEo7jsrW6M8V6OIQEwf2jID4pjmtjtT40/edit?usp=sharing Let’s write!
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
VOTER TURNOUT: We are less than 100 days out from the 2020 general election, and we can celebrate by participating in The Big Send to encourage voter turnout across the U.S. A collaboration of organizations including Swing Left, Democracy in Color, Indivisible, Flippable, and others have created and are supporting this effort. The goal is to send out ten million letters before the election and right now, we're at 2.83 million. Let's register and write some letters to get out the vote: https://votefwd.org/bigsend#register-user
VOTER/PATIENT TURNOUT: Healthcare professionals are recognizing and responding to the need for patients to get involved in the voting process (https://cnn.it/3hGe2D4, https://nyti.ms/2WXE7G4). Understanding the link between health policy and the care that patients receive, doctors founded VotER, which registers patients in healthcare settings to vote. For those patients who are in the hospital during the election, Patient Voting facilitates emergency absentee voting. For those of us in the medical field, let's check out both of these resources and learn how we can help our hospitals, offices, administration, and staff get involved in voter registration efforts.
MAKING CAMPAIGN VIDEOS: The use of videos as a part of campaign strategy is very effective. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/content-marketing/political-ads-video-content-influence-voter-opinion/ So many campaigns do not have the budget to hire professionals to make these, but there are ways to address this. If we or someone we know is currently working on a campaign, we can direct them to DemLabs. DemLabs offers free or inexpensive help to progressives to get their message out. Here is one example: https://thedemlabs.org/2020/07/23/how-to-create-your-own-campaign-videos-for-free-at-home/
WRITE FREE GET OUT THE VOTE POSTCARDS TO INCONSISTENT VOTERS: To win in November, we need a big turnout, with every Democratic voter we can get ready to go. Now MomsRising has a simple, free way for us to help get out the votes we need to win and get our country back on track. We can sign up now to write 10 postcards to registered voters who haven't always voted on Election Day in the past. In August, we'll get a packet of 10 pre-addressed, pre-stamped postcards along with some quick instructions. All we need to do is write a quick note of encouragement (they provide sample messages) and send them back with the prepaid return envelope provided so that they can be stored until it's time to drop them in the mail before the November election. We can find out more and sign up to write our 10 postcards here: https://action.momsrising.org/survey/2020_GOTVpostcards_2nd?
ADOPT A KEY STATE WITH DEMCAST AND HELP GET OUT THE VOTE: With under 100 days to the election, it’s time to focus our efforts where they count the most. DemCast has picked 14 key states where our activism will have the greatest impact. Concentrating on one state makes for more effective activism and we’ll get to be part of an effective nationwide team. When we sign up, we’ll get trained on digital advocacy, content to share on social media, and more. We can click here to adopt one of DemCast’s Focus14 swing states, and get the tools to make a big difference in 2020: https://demcast.com/focus14/
HELP RE-ELECT ANDY KIM (NJ): From one of our own: If you want to help re-elect Rep Andy Kim, sign up to get your postcards! We've been raising funds and got enough to get about 60,000 postcards printed and they will be mailed to infrequent Dem voters in CD 3.
Let’s help if we can!
CA: VOTE BY MAIL PREP: CONFIRM ADDRESS, CHECK REGISTRATION AND MORE: With Election Day less than 100 days away, and the pandemic unchecked, it’s time to get ready to vote by mail. All California voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot with prepaid postage for the General Election. To make sure we get our ballot and that it gets counted, we can 1) double-check our voter registration: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/? 2) confirm our mailing address 3) sign up for ballot tracking notifications: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status/wheres-my-ballot/ and 4) plan to mail in our ballots by October 20, two weeks before Election Day so they will arrive in time to be counted. If we are unable to vote-by-mail, we can still visit our local polling place for safe in-person voting and same-day registration.
ABOLITION ACTION ZAPS: From Showing Up for Racial Justice(SURJ): Join us July 29th as we launch five Wednesdays in a row of weekly Abolition Action Zaps, where we will take action together on new and pressing campaigns each week to get feds out of cities, #FreeThemAll, #DefundThePolice and ICE, and demand justice as part of Black and people of color led campaigns for collective liberation. If you have been in the streets for Black Lives Matter, and you want to keep momentum up, join SURJ for this COVID-Safe Action hour from your home. Register at bit.ly/AbolitionActionZap to join us this Wednesday July 29th at 11amPST/2pmEST.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Democrats: Packets sent to Trump allies are part of foreign plot to damage Biden - https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/23/democrats-letters-to-trump-allies-are-foreign-plot-to-damage-biden-380217
A note to all my fellow white folks trying to get a quick anti-racism education - https://megaphone.upworthy.com/p/a-note-to-all-my-fellow-white-folks
100 Days To Go: The Light at the End of a Very Dark Tunnel - https://politicalcharge.org/2020/07/27/100-days-to-go-the-light-at-the-end-of-a-very-dark-tunnel/
Fauci tells MarketWatch his one big lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic — and why he won’t fly or eat out - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/anthony-fauci-tells-marketwatch-i-would-not-get-on-a-plane-or-eat-inside-a-restaurant-2020-07-24
Herd immunity works—if you don’t care how many people die - https://fortune.com/2020/07/27/herd-immunity-coronavirus-covid-sweden/
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