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Days Until Election


9/3/20

NATIONAL ISSUES


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CORRECTION:  DEMAND RESIGNATION OF KENOSHA POLICE CHIEF AND SHERIFF: ACLU People Power is asking for support in demanding the resignation of Kenosha Police Chief Miskinis and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, after Jacob Blake was shot in the back 7 times by the police, and a 17-year-old white boy who killed two protesters was allowed to leave the streets, carrying his rifle. https://kstp.com/news/17-year-old-charged-in-kenosha-wisconsin-shootings-that-killed-2/5842071/Let’s contact the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission (kpfcommission@kenosha.org) to demand the resignation of Kenosha Police Chief Miskinis, and call Governor Tony Evers to demand the removal of Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth ((608) 266-1212). 

CARES ACT/PPP FRAUD:  “Over $1 billion in emergency coronavirus aid relief went to companies that "double dipped" and received multiple Paycheck Protection Program loans in violation of the program's rules, according to a preliminary analysis released Tuesday by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.”  https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/congressional-investigation-finds-over-1-billion-ppp-fraud-n1239001  If we remember, in April Trump “removed Glenn Fine, who had been doing the job of the Defense Department IG, thereby preventing him from serving as the chairman of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Fine’s IG peers had selected him to oversee more than $2 trillion in government stimulus spending.”  https://www.brookings.edu/research/watchdogs-at-large/  Trump continued to block oversight.  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-stimulus/trump-administration-is-blocking-covid-stimulus-oversight-government-watchdog-letter-idUSKBN23M2XD  We are left with the situation in which we now find ourselves.  The report House analysis shows just how important oversight is to the success of a program.  Let’s ask our MoCs what they will do to insure future oversight in matter of Congressional spending.

US REJECTS WORLDWIDE VACCINE EFFORT: “The U.S. announced Tuesday that it would not join an international coalition to find and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine worldwide due to the group's association with the World Health Organization.” : https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/09/01/us-wont-join-global-coronavirus-vaccine-effort-because-its-led-by-the-who/#6f493bc35876 or  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/coronavirus-vaccine-trump/2020/09/01/b44b42be-e965-11ea-bf44-0d31c85838a5_story.html  The Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility means to work with vaccine manufacturers to provide the world with speedy and equitable access to safe, effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved, and hopes to make 2 billion doses available worldwide by the end of 2021; 172 countries are currently engaged in talks about participating—but not ours. Protesting to Trump seems pointless, but not maybe protesting to Mike Pence, nominal head of the coronavirus task force, or FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn: Pence, 202-456-1111 or 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC 20500; Hahn, @SteveFDA or 888-463-6332 or 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993.  Or maybe we should contact the responsible agency, the Office of Vaccines Research and Review at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research (CBER): 800-835-4709 or 240-402-8010 or the same FDA address.

ENDANGERED WILDLIFE HABITATS:  The Trump administration has just launched another salvo against the environment, wildlife, and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — this time targeting critical wildlife habitats. Trump's Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are proposing to add a new definition of "habitat" under the ESA that, if finalized, will make it much more difficult to protect habitat critical for the survival and recovery of endangered species.  https://www.southernenvironment.org/news-and-press/news-feed/trump-administration-proposal-looks-to-weaken-endangered-species-act  The FWS is accepting public comments on the administration's reckless anti-wildlife proposal, but only until Friday. Please submit a comment today opposing this assault on imperiled species and their homes. Make sure to personalize it! (h/t)

TRUMP FORCES PAYROLL TAX DEFERRAL ON FEDERAL WORKERS:  In his continuing efforts to scam the American public and claim both to be offering pandemic relief and to be killing Social Security (which he imagines is popular with his supporters), Trump has announced that he will begin to defer the payroll tax withholding of a the lower-earning of 1.3 million federal workers for the remainder of 2020;  don’t be fooled, however--in January 2021, these workers will be on the hook for four months’ worth of the tax—and will be dunned interest if they don’t repay it expeditiously. The Chamber of Commerce and 30 similar groups, as well as innumerable businesses, have already said they oppose participation in a payroll tax deferral plan, but federal workers remain at Trump’s mercy:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/shaharziv/2020/09/01/second-stimulus-update-irs-notice-2020-65-trump-payroll-tax-deferral-starts-today-wont-eliminate-payroll-tax-unlikely-to-defund-social-security/#1cdf29e01af0 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/08/31/payroll-tax-trump-federal-employee/  Not only will this tax “relief” be essentially unusable by federal employees since it will have to be repaid, but, since it will have to be repaid, its effect on Social Security will be negligible. Trump’s threat to make the deferral permanent if re-elected is empty, unless Congress approves; nevertheless, we should protest the scam.   Let’s contact Trump’s henchman, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin: dcfo@treasury.gov or 202-622-2000.

USING FREE MEALS FOR CHILDREN TO FORCE SCHOOL OPENING:  About 20 million schoolchildren in the US are eligible for free lunches; another 2 million receive reduced price meals; the school lunch program is the second-largest nutrition assistance program in the country, after food stamps. When schools closed in the spring, the agriculture department allowed school districts to distribute meals to any child under 19; now, under great pressure from Congress and school districts, agriculture secretary Sonny Purdue has finally agreed that the program can continue through the end of 2020—but not through the entire school year: https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2020/08/meal-waivers-students-schools-pressure.html  Purdue had said that when schools returned to session, they would be required to resume serving meals only to students enrolled in their district—and to charge those not qualified for free or reduced-price meals; he pleaded agency poverty, despite additional funding from Congress and the fact that providing meals under the special rules has not cost more than the standard school program: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/us/schools-food-coronavirus.html and https://www.cbsnews.com/news/usda-free-meals-for-kids-schools-program-extended-as-children-start-school-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/  Let’s press Purdue to extend the free meals for kids program until the coronavirus is under control: 202-720-2791 or USDA, 1400 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC 20250 or feedback@usda.gov.

SAY NO TO GOVERNMENT’S PUSH FOR BIOMETRIC DATA FOR IMMIGRANTS: Trump’s latest proposed regulation would subject both undocumented and documented immigrants to a variety of invasive biometric data including DNA samples, eye scans, and voice prints, all in the name of “vetting.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/trump-immigrant-biometric-info-applications?. This is a clear violation of privacy that perpetuates the government’s ability to “surveil and target and communities, bring us closer to a dystopian nightmare.” Let’s make sure to organize against this regulation and submit public comments once it’s published in the federal register. Let’s also ask our MoCs to pass legislation preventing excessive collection of biometric data without due cause. 

CALL OUT WISCONSIN GOP FOR REFUSING TO PARTICIPATE IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENDING POLICE BRUTALITY:  After the shooting of Jacob Blake and the protests in Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers called for a special legislative session to revise use-of-force legislation and end no-knock warrants. The Republicans appeared at the session for less than 30 seconds, then adjourned, claiming they would craft their own proposals (including penalizing municipalities who direct funds away from police departments and increasing penalties for those who commit acts of violence against the police. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/gov-evers-calls-wisconsin-lawmakers-special-session-police-reform-gop-n1238863. The differences could not be more clear. If we live in Wisconsin, let’s tell our legislators we want real reform, not a perpetuation of the current system. If we live elsewhere, let’s research Wisconsin down-ballot legislative races and support challengers to the GOP legislators in power in whatever ways we can. We can give to candidates directly, or consider supporting one of the many community organizations in Wisconsin that are affiliated with the Movement Voter Project, who are working directly with their communities to effect change.

ELECTION/VOTING

19 EASY THINGS WE CAN DO TO GET OUT THE VOTE: Political Charge, whose newsletter is always full of excellent information on how to resist, knows we're all tired and busy, so they've prepared a guide of 19 easy things we can do to get out the vote. We can get our guide here and share with othershttps://mailchi.mp/d00a9496a621/political-charge

BIDEN PLATFORM GRAPHICS TO SHARE:  Biden’s campaign is in full swing: https://joebiden.com/  and https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-2020-campaign-364-5-million-fundraising-committees-august/ Let’s use these Biden platform graphics however we can: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bSdEPqWeyL1wMNw2k56wRJ9l6UYlMUQ0UPU-pPPpFFE/edit?usp=sharing 

HELP INCREASE BLACK VOTER TURNOUT IN 2020—The NAACP is looking for volunteers to call and/or text up to 20 infrequent Black voters in 12 battleground states in the final three weeks leading up to Election Day. “Research shows that nothing mobilizes our vote more than Black voters encouraging and reminding other Black voters to vote,” says the NAACP’s email blast. Let’s sign up to volunteer: www.naacp.org/volunteer

ADOPT A SENATE RACE.  Seventeen (17) of the thirty-five (35) senate races are rated (source: Ballotpedia) "solid," both Democrat and Republican, and we probably can't make a difference in these races. (but let's not let that stop us from trying!)  Today, let's take a look at the a) "Leans" and b) "Likely" rated races where our efforts and contributions can make a real difference. (Links on a Democratic candidate's name will take us to their campaign website.) a) Two (2) states lean Democrat: Alabama and Michigan, while four (4) races lean Republican.  1) AlabamaDoug Jones (D) is defending his seat from challenger Tommy Tuberville (R); 2) MichiganGary Peters (D) is defending his seat from challenger John James (R); 3) Arizona: Mark Kelly (D) is challenging incumbent Martha McSally (R); 4) Georgia-special election: In this open election, both Democrat and Republican candidates are challenging appointed incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R). We can review the list of candidates at Ballotpedia.  5) Kansas: Barbara Bollier (D) is competing against Roger Marshall (R) for this seat left open by Pat Roberts (R) ; 6) South Carolina: Jaime Harrison (D) is challenging incumbent Lindsey Graham (R); b) Three (3) races are currently rated as "likely," all of them held by Republican incumbents. 1) AlaskaAl Gross (I) has support from the national Democratic party and is challenging incumbent Dan Sullivan (R); 2) Kentucky: Amy McGrath (D) is challenging senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) (#DitchMitch); 3) Texas: MJ Hegar (D) is challenging incumbent John Cornyn. Because of the coronavirus, campaigns are unable to engage in their usual door-knocking efforts. We can volunteer remotely for a campaign, phone-banking or texting. Let's check out the volunteer opportunities for our adopted senate race and consider making a donation and/or buying some merchandise.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES—WOKE VOTE: Currently working in 20+ states.  organization Woke Vote builds Black political power through long-term engagement, training, and leadership development. And they’re hiring! Let’s check out these job opportunities, apply if we’re qualified, and spread the word: https://wokevote.us/jobs

MAKING A VOTING PLAN: As we continue to be champions in helping our friends, family, and neighbors make safe voting plans across the country, here’s another state-by-state guide we can share: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/2020-voting-guide.html

GET THE SENATE BACK: PHONEBANK TO PIVOTAL STATE, MONTANA: To win decisively in November, we must get the Senate back, and Montana, often overlooked, is one of the key states to help us do so. The Princeton Election Consortium rates it as one of the pivotal states most likely to reward our efforts, with popular Democratic Governor, Steve Bullock challengingly Trumpist Republican Steve Daines. https://election.princeton.edu/
We can sign up to phone back for Steve Bullock this weekend:  https://www.mobilize.us/mtdems/event/293026/ If we want to volunteer at another time, we can check out many other opportunities with Montana Democratic group 406 Votes here: https://www.mobilize.us/mtdems/

NC:  EARLY VOTING RESOURCES:  DemLabs teamed with Reclaim Our Vote to create the free “Early Voting Resources” solution for North Carolina which can be used on a phone without having to install any software. The solution uses free software from Glide Apps.  Let’s check this out and share:  https://earlyvotinglocations.glideapp.io/

STATE/LOCAL

ALL: TRUMP REFUSES TO JOIN WHO FOR VACCINE EFFORT: “The Trump administration said it will not join a global effort to develop, manufacture and equitably distribute a coronavirus vaccine, in part because the World Health Organization is involved, a decision that could shape the course of the pandemic and the country’s role in health diplomacy.  More than 170 countries are in talks to participate in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility, which aims to speed vaccine development and secure doses for all countries and distribute them to the most high-risk segment of each population.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/coronavirus-vaccine-trump/2020/09/01/b44b42be-e965-11ea-bf44-0d31c85838a5_story.html and
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-join-global-effort-find-covid-19-vaccine-72759157  Let’s call on our MOCs, our Governors and our Health department heads to pressure the WH to join efforts to vaccinate the world and rid us of COVID.

CA: PHONE BANK FOR PROGRESSIVE WOMAN OF COLOR STATE ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE: Even with strong Democratic majority in our state legislature, a lot of great bills get shut down - by Democrats. This session we lost strong bills on police accountability, and the environment, including a plastic bag ban. It’s time to get more progressives in the state House and we can start today by helping elect Fatima Iqbar-Zubair (www.fatimaforassembly.com)  mother, teacher and community organizer, primarying Dem Mike Gibson, heavily funded by corporate interests, particularly the Oil and Gas industry. The district includes Wilmington, Carson, Compton, and more, and contains 25% of CA's oil refineries. People here struggle with poverty and pollution, but Gibson is not on their side. Black Lives Matter, so let’s help people of this district elect someone who will fight for them: Fatima will be their voice.  We can sign up to phone bank here. We will get training and the support we need to succeed. https://bit.ly/septphonebanks

PA: ELIMINATION OF DROPBOXES:  From one of our own:  For your State Representative and State Senator - http://bit.ly/PAstatereps  - Hello my name is _____________, and I’m a constituent from __________. Please vote NO on HB 2626. This bill eliminates drop boxes and satellite offices. It also allows for out of county poll watchers clearing the way for outsiders to intimidate and harass voters at the polls. This bill will make voting unsafe, inaccessible, and insecure especially for black and brown Pennsylvanians who are more likely to be unfairly profiled and create a de facto voter ID when their eligibility to vote is unfairly challenged.

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

REGISTERED AND READY VIRTUAL RALLY WITH MICHELLE OBAMA:  When We All Vote is hosting a virtual rally today at 5:30pm ET with the former First Lady “to celebrate the accomplishments we’ve made so far, and chat about our upcoming weeks of action and provide you with resources and simple ways to organize in your community –– on and offline.”  Let’s read more and register here:  https://www.mobilize.us/whenweallvote/event/313022/
  
JOIN GOTV PHONE-BANK TO VOTERS OF COLOR IN VOTER SURPRESSION STATES: Reclaim Our Vote is phone banking to voters of color in voter suppression states, urging them to vote. Their data shows that 60-80% of those contacted, in person or by voicemails, will go on to vote. The calls are non-partisan, and our timing can be flexible, making as few or as many calls as we like between 9AM and 9PM in the states we call. We can click here to sign up for a one-hour training, offered every Monday at 7:30PM ET, then get ready to turn out the vote:

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

America Needs a CDC Whistleblower — Now - https://billmoyers.com/story/america-needs-a-cdc-whistleblower-now/

How Immigration Activism Group 'Witness At The Border' Tracks Hundreds Of Deportation Flights - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajl1rRa53Wg&fbclid=IwAR0Elyrze19G2rVMth05CWykRiMk-__DFOJr5DFM0ArAtMgU8sS-7OHvEiY

Facebook And Twitter Remove Russia-Backed Accounts Targeting Left-Leaning Voters - https://www.npr.org/2020/09/01/908386613/facebook-and-twitter-remove-russia-backed-accounts-targeting-left-leaning-voters


Can anything change Americans’ minds about Donald Trump? The eerie stability of Trump’s approval rating, explained - https://www.vox.com/2020/9/2/21409364/trump-approval-rating-2020-election-voters-coronavirus-convention-polls

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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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