Weekly Actions: September 18, 2017

Action 1: Stop Trumpcare 3.0: Keep Calling Your Senators!

Action 2: Demand Immigrant Justice: Speak out against HR 3697, Motel 6’s cooperation with ICE, and the suspension of DACA hearings.

Action 3: Protect Title IX regulations that protect people from sexual assault.




Action 1: Stop Trumpcare 3.0: Keep Calling Your Senators!

Last week, we asked our senators not to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, which is no better than previous versions of Trumpcare. It puts caps on Medicaid, allows states to waive essential benefits, and undermines protection for people with pre-existing conditions. It’s extremely important to keep calling your senators in order to block Trumpcare 3.0, as Republicans are building momentum to try to pass this bill before September 30th, since they’ll need only 51 votes if they meet this deadline. We need to act now!

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your Senators–Early and Often: Check out the Indivisible website for background on the bill, and key calling strategies. If your Senators are Democrats, ask them to withhold consent on all Senate business in order to run out the clock before this can be passed, using this calling script. If your senators are Republican, use this script to hold them accountable for their past Trumpcare votes. There are also special scripts for key senators in Tennessee, Ohio, Arizona, Alaska, Maine, and West Virginia. Some talking points:
    • The Senate committed to a bipartisan process after the last repeal failed, and we want to see that process enacted.
    • Over 50% of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. Repealing it will not be a “win” for the American people. Remind them that the last repeal attempt had the support of only 12% of the population, and this one is not very different.
    • Any bill that is proposed should undergo due process, be vetted by the CBO and go through a hearing process. It should not be rushed through.
  • Use this calling tool from Indivisible to directly reach voters in Red States so they can call their Senators. Republican senators must be pressured to vote against the bill and Democratic senators must be urged to stall Senate business and run out the clock until the September 30th deadline passes.

Action 2: Demand Immigrant Justice: Speak out against HR 3697, Motel 6’s cooperation with ICE, and the suspension of DACA hearings.

There are three important immigrant justice actions to take this week:

(1) Last week, the House passed H.R. 3697 , which was framed as a way to expedite the deportation of people involved in gang activity. However, the bill was written in an extreme manner, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to label petty and nonviolent crimes as gang activity, regardless of how long ago these activities took place. Anyone who harbors another undocumented immigrant could also be considered a gang member.

According to the National Immigrant Justice Center, Under this bill, people–including children–who have never committed or supported a single criminal act could be deported simply because of where they live or with whom they spend their time. The bill as written is so extreme that it will have a chilling effect on fundamental freedoms of association. H.R. 3697 was unquestionably drafted to target young Central American men and women for deportation, without regard to whether such deportation will return them to persecution or death.  The bill now goes to the Senate. Click here for more information on this bill and its impacts.   

(2) From our action alliance partners at Rogan’s List: According to this article in Newsweek, Motel 6 is reporting undocumented immigrants to ICE. A Supreme Court decision in 2015 states that law enforcement officials cannot require hotels to furnish guest information, so the corporation is clearly doing this voluntarily. At least 20 people have been arrested in Arizona over the past few months. Update: We have received word that due to public pressure, they have stopped cooperating. Thank you for your calls.

(3) Despite all the pressure on both sides of the aisle about doing something to reinstate DACA, the Senate Judiciary Committee has indefinitely postponed a hearing on the Dream Act, and the chair of the House Judiciary Committee has proclaimed that he won’t talk about DACA until “border security” is addressed. 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your Senators: Tell them to vote NO on H.R. 36975 Calls has an excellent script here.
  • Contact Motel 6 Corporation: G6 Hospitality, 4001 International Parkway, Carrollton, Texas 75007 / 972-360-9000 and tell them not to cooperate with ICE (see script below). Also contact Motel 6 Spokespersons: Tom Bodett, Tom Bodett Ad Agency, PO Box 268, Putney, VT 05346 (tbodett@gmail.com) and Steven Arcieri, Arcieri & Assoc., 305 Madison Ave, New York NY 10165 / 212-286-1700 (steven@arcieritalent.com )
  • Call the Senate Judiciary Committee: 202-224-5225, as well as individual Judiciary Committee members and ask them to reinstate hearings on DACA as soon as possible and move the DREAM Act out of committee.

Bill: S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017: A bill to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain individuals who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.

SCRIPT FOR MOTEL 6: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I was appalled to read in Newsweek that Motel 6 is cooperating with ICE and giving them the names of undocumented immigrants who stay at their hotels. Many people have come to this country because they are fleeing persecution and might be met with death if they are deported. The Supreme Court stated in a decision in 2015 that hotels are not required to furnish the names of their guests. I would like to ask Motel 6 to immediately stop engaging in this practice, and I will spread the word to everyone I know and on social media not to stay at any Motel 6 hotel, due to this immoral practice.

SCRIPT FOR SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:

Hi, my name is _____and I’m calling from _____. I was very disturbed to hear that the Judiciary Committee has indefinitely postponed hearings on the DREAM Act. There has been support on both sides of the aisle to enact legislation to assure that these hardworking people, who came here as children and know no home other than the U.S., can stay in the country. According to a recent poll by the Brookings institute, nearly 2/3 of Americans want the Dreamers to be able to stay. Please expedite these hearings and get this legislation out of the committee.


Action 3: Tell the Department of Education not to overturn Title IX regulations that protect people from sexual assault.

The Washington Post lists 29 ways that Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has hurt education, but one of the worst has been her threat to overturn Title IX regulations that help protect people from sexual assault.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call the Department of Education: We are syndicating this 5 Calls action to address this issue.
  • Contact Universities: Universities have the ability to do more than they’re federally mandated to do. Reach out to any university where you previously studied and urge them to keep their current policies in place, regardless of whether the Title IX regulations are rescinded.


 

The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
but if you’re short on time, you can leave a message or video below.



Weekly Actions: September 13, 2017

Action 1: Stop Trumpcare 3.0: Don’t let the Senate pass the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Action 2: Ask your MoCs to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients. 

Action 3: Shame MoCs who helped remove chemical safety rules.




Action 1: Stop Trumpcare 3.0: Don’t let the Senate pass the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Republicans in the Senate have been quietly crafting a third bill to repeal Obamacare, which they intend to roll out this week. Senator John McCain, whose “no” vote defeated the last Obamacare repeal attempt, has indicated that he supports this bill, which may give the Republicans the votes they need.

Unfortunately, this bill is no better than what has previously been proposed. In short, it puts caps on Medicaid, allows states to waive essential benefits, and undermines protection for people with pre-existing conditions. For more information about the bill, check out Indivisible’s resource here and/or read this excellent article from Vox.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your Senators: If you need a script, check out this one from 5calls.org. Remind them that the Senate committed to a bipartisan process after the collapse of the last repeal attempt and that the failure to repeal Obamacare is not a “loss” but a “win,” given that the majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act.  Also ask them to make sure any bill goes through due process–hearings, scoring by the CBO, etc. It should not be rushed through Congress simply so Republicans can “save face” at the expense of the wishes of the American people.
  • Spread the word on the upcoming Obamacare sign-up period: DT has cut outreach funding by 90% in an attempt to sabotage the system. This link can help people find assistance in their local area, and this link from out2enroll specializes in helping the LGBTQ community get coverage.  Members of the action alliance have also developed this graphic, which can easily be shared on social media:

Bill: Graham-Cassidy Bill 

Script (from 5calls.org): Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY].

I’m calling to express my strong opposition to the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Any plan that eliminates Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans is unacceptable. The American people want a bipartisan approach to repairing the ACA, not a repeal for it.

 


Action 2: Ask your MoCs to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients. 

Last Tuesday, Donald Trump called for a suspension of the DACA program, removing legal protections for approximately 800,000 people, but leaving open a six-month window during which Congress could act to protect Dreamers. Despite calls for action from both sides of the aisle, strong advocacy will be needed to actually get a bill through Congress, particularly since legislators are divided on how much protection they’re willing to give. There are three current proposals, described here. The most generous and far-reaching of these is the Dream Act, which currently has wide support in the House, but only nine co-sponsors in the Senate. Additionally, some Republicans are trying to bargain passage of the Dream Act in exchange for border wall funding, and others would like to see the program end completely.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your MoCs: Ask them to support the Dream Act and the Bridge Act, and ask your senators to sponsor the Dream Act, or thank them if they are already a sponsor. Tell them you want to see this act passed independently. It should not be tied to ineffective and wasteful border wall funding. If you need a script, use this one from 5calls.org.
  • Call key legislators: (or reach out to people in their districts to get them to call). Use this toolkit from Indivisible to let them know how much money their state will lose if DACA is repealed.
  • Reach out: to your state legislators and ask them to join these 18 states (CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, KS, MD, MN, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OK, OR, RI, TX, UT, and WA) in enacting legislation that permits undocumented residents to attend state universities.
  • If you are an attorney: Consider volunteering for a DACA clinic.
  • Read: Indivisible has good resources. The Associated Press has compiled a fact check on DACA.

Bill: S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017 | S 128/H.R. 496 The Bridge Act of 2017

Script (from 5calls.org): Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY].

[IF CALLING SENATE]: I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to take immediate action and pass S. 1615, the DREAM Act. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect the Senator to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.

[IF CALLING HOUSE]: I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to take immediate action and pass H.R. 3591, the American Hope Act. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect Senator _____ to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.

[IF CALLING COMMITTEE]: I’m calling to ask that the committee immediately schedule a hearing to move forward with [S. 1615 for Senate Committee/H.R. 3591 for House Committee]. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect Congress to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.


Action 3: Shame MoCs who helped remove chemical safety rules

On Thursday, a handful of police and EMTs injured by the chemical fire at Arkema chemical plant sued Arkema for their negligence in preparing for Harvey. However, the fire and explosions at the plant also endangered the health of residents in the surrounding area, contaminating the air with harmful chemicals. What’s most infuriating is that, in addition to Arkema’s negligence in adequately preparing for Harvey, they actively (and successfully) worked to kill safety rules that could have prevented or mitigated such a catastrophe (rules which would have  taken effect March 14th) with the help of Texas politicians, Congressional Republicans, and the Trump administration.

The lawmakers who sacrificed their constituents’ safety in exchange for huge campaign contributions from the chemical lobbying industry need to be shamed, especially in light of recent events. With the increasing frequency of high-intensity storms (exacerbated by climate change) and the high volume of nuclear power and chemical plants in unstable areas (five of Arkema’s six plants are on the coast!) there should be consequences when our representatives endanger us in exchange for money. Our government must do everything in its power to protect us from extreme safety hazards and impose proper safety regulations to help mitigate catastrophe when natural disasters or other threats loom.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Shame MoCs who put profits over safety: Check if your MoCs co-sponsored H.J. 59 or S.J. 28,  legislation introduced in a push to help block the chemical safety rules. (See the co-sponsors of H.J. 59 here and S.J. 28 here.) If so, call them to express outrage.
    • Read: David Sirota’s piece to see more info about the $652,000 that Texas lawmakers who backed H.J. 59 have received from the chemical industry.
  • Write/Call/Tweet Scott Pruitt (202) 564-4700; pruitt.scott@epa.gov; @EPAScottPruitt.)
    • Tell him he owes Texas an apology for blocking the Obama-era chemical safety rules. Let him know that:
      •  We aren’t fooled by arguments by the chemical lobby that releasing the names of chemicals stored at the plant could aid terrorists. If terrorists were to attack a plant, knowing the chemicals stored there would help officials protect the public, and not knowing them would endanger us further.
      • We know about the $50,000 from the American Chemistry Council that went into the Association which supported his campaigns, and which he chaired during his time as a state official (For more on this, click here.)
  • Research the regulations in your state: Find out what hazards would be posed by a natural disaster in your state and whether your state has safety plans and regulations to protect you in place. If not, call your state senators and demand that they step it up.

Bill: H.J.Res.59 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act”.

Script: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling because I’m outraged about the events at the Arkema chemical plant during Harvey, which endangered and sickened emergency responders and residents of the surrounding area. I know that Senator/Rep _____ co-sponsored legislation (mention H.J. 59 or S.J. 28) that pushed to overturn important chemical safety rules and that Senator/Rep _____ has received [amount of money, if you can find it – Sirota’s article, above, lists amounts for many senators] money from the chemical industry, and I’m disgusted by his role in the events that transpired. He/she certainly does not have my vote anymore. Please tell him/her that I hope he will start standing up to chemical lobbyists and supporting regulatory safety rules that will protect his constituents in the future, instead of selling them out. 

Continue reading Weekly Actions: September 13, 2017

Weekly Actions: September 5, 2017

Last week, we all called our MoCs and asked them to speak out about the dangers of Trump’s executive order, which allows the Department of Defense to transfer military equipment to the police. (Read more about the problems with this executive order, as explained by a retired police major, here.) This week, we’re asking you to fight this executive order at the state level, by asking your state to introduce legislation that prevents local police from receiving certain types of military equipment. This was done successfully in Montana, with legislation that can be used as a model for other states. (Read more about this here.)

Bills: HR 1556–Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act: To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Defense to make certain limitations on the transfer of personal property to Federal and State agencies, and for other purposes.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Research: Go to the Project Muckrock website to see how much money your local police department has received from the Department of Defense and what it was used for. If you believe the equipment gained is inappropriate for the needs of your town, reach out to your local police chiefs and municipal representatives.
  • Call your state legislators: Ask them to introduce a bill similar to the Montana bill, which can be found here. You can find contact information for your state legislators here.
     

    To continue working on this issue on the federal level, use this 5calls script to contact the Department of Justice and also ask your MoCs to support legislation to stop militarizing law enforcement. HR 1556 the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act has already been introduced, and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) has stated that he will introduce similar legislation in the Senate. Point out that this initiative already has bipartisan support.

  •  

    In response to the attempt to sabotage the Russia investigation by attaching an amendment that limits the time and scope of Special Prosecutor Mueller’s investigation to a spending bill, we are syndicating this important action from 5calls.org. In addition to calling the House Rules Committee main number, consider calling the individual members of the House Rules Committee, listed here, especially if one of them is your representative. Also, please reach out to people you know in these districts and ask them to call their reps.
     

    Despite covering the catastrophic situation in Houston almost 24-hours a day, mainstream media channels have been virtually silent about its connection to climate change. In fact, it can be tempting to remain silent, lest one be accused of “politicizing the situation.” However, as author and activist Naomi Klein warns, silence at this point will only result in greater catastrophe, as – if we don’t examine the accelerants of this disaster – we won’t be able to take steps to prevent future calamities.
     

    In the words of Klein, “Nobody is saying that climate change caused this storm [Harvey]. What we’re talking about are what are the superchargers of this storm, the accelerants that took what would have been a disaster, in any situation, and turned it into this human catastrophe.” She says now, in the midst of these flooding disasters, is the time to talk about climate change because it’s “precisely when the enormous human and economic costs of inaction are on full public display. If we fail, if we hesitate out of some misguided idea of what is and is not appropriate during a crisis, it leaves the door wide open for ruthless actors to exploit this disaster for predictable and nefarious ends.” (Watch Klein’s interview on Democracy Now/read her piece here.)
     

    Let’s break the media bubble and talk about climate change within our circles.
     

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     


    The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
    but if you’re short on time, you can leave your MoC a message below.



    Weekly Actions: August 29, 2017

     


    ACTION 1: Save DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program)

    It has been speculated that Trump will attempt to end the DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came here as young children the chance to remain in the country. Let’s speak up to save DACA. (We are syndicating this action from Indivisible, the National Immigration Law Center, and United We Dream.)

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

     

    ACTION 2: Condemn the Pardon of Joe Arpaio

    As Hurricane Harvey crashed down on Texas, Trump pardoned controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted of using racial profiling to randomly detain Latinos suspected of being undocumented. Adding insult to injury is Trump’s utter disregard of the law and standard judicial process. While pardoning Arpaio for his racist actions is plenty alarming on its own, pardoning someone who has not accepted responsibility for their crimes or served any part of their sentence also constitutes a dangerous new precedent, and there is speculation Trump could try to pardon people he’s associated with in the Russia probe.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

     

    ACTION 3: Speak out against militarization of the police

    Yesterday, Trump issued an executive order that would allow local police departments to buy military equipment from the U.S. government. As dangerous as this is given that we’re already facing rampant police violence and racially-motivated shootings of citizens most notably in places like Ferguson, MO, and Minneapolis, MN, it’s made even more so by the context in which the executive order was signed. Militarizing the police right after pardoning Joe Arpaio and speaking out in support of white supremacy post-Charlottesville shows us exactly the kind of society Trump wants to create. It’s imperative that we speak out loud and clear and ask our MoCs to do the same.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs: Ask them to speak out against the militarization of the police.

    SCRIPT: Hi my name is_____ and I’m calling from_____. I’m calling because I’m appalled by Trump’s recent executive order allowing the police access to military weapons. I think it’s imperative that we put up loud, vocal resistance to this and work to pass legislation that promotes common sense policing measures like anti-bias training, body cameras, data collection, and oversight, especially in light of the rampant police violence and shootings of citizens that we are facing in the country in Ferguson, Minneapolis, New York, and other places.

     

    [For Democratic MoCs, add: I’m scared that Trump’s executive order in combination with his remarks post-Charlottesville and his pardon of Arpaio is leading us towards a fascist society and we need to do everything in our power to stop this trend before it spirals further.]

     

    Please ask Senator/Rep_____to speak out loudly and clearly against the militarization of the police and work to pass legislation that helps to curb the police violence that is already rampant within our society.

     


    The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
    but if you’re short on time, you can leave your MoC a message below.



    Weekly Actions: August 22, 2017

     


    ACTION 1: Demand that Congress formally censure the president for his support of Nazis and white supremacists.

    Even the President’s own staff was shocked when at a press conference geared to address infrastructure, the president continued to assert that in Charlottesville, “there were some very fine people on both sides,” making it clear that his short statement denouncing racism, which did not come until two days after the demonstration, had been forced upon him and didn’t represent his genuine despicable views.
     
    While many Republican leaders have been quick to denounce racism and bigotry in general, very few have called out the president for his tacit approval of hate crimes and hate speech, as indicated in this spreadsheet. It’s time for Republicans to speak out.

    Bills:
    H.Res. 496: Condemning and Censuring President Donald Trump

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Ask your Congressperson to support H.Res. 496, which censures and condemns the president for his response to Charlottesville.
    • If you have Republican MoCs, check whether they’ve formally called out the president here. If they haven’t, urge them to do so.
    • Ask your Senator to introduce a formal companion resolution to H.Res. 496 that censures and condemns the president.

    Script:
    Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____ . I’d like to thank _____ for issuing a formal statement condemning the President for his post-Charlottesville remarks/I would like to ask _____ to formally call out the President for his remarks post-Charlottesville. I’m very distressed that the President of our country called neo-Nazis and white supremacists “fine people” and that he has equated hate-inspired acts of terror and violence with civil-rights inspired actions of peaceful protestors. It is not enough to simply denounce racism and bigotry generally – the President must be censured for these actions. Thus, I hope Rep _____ will co-sponsor and support H. Res. 496, which formally censures the President for his remarks/Thus, I would like to ask Senator _____ to introduce and support legislation that is comparable to H. Res. 496, which formally censures the President for his remarks. [For Republican MoCs, add: I hope that Rep./Senator _____ will see his/her way to being on the right side of history and morality, rather than compromising American values by putting party over people.]

     

     

    ACTION 2: Insist that the president fire Gorka and Miller and all other staff with ties to white supremacist organizations.

    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    This week, we are syndicating this excellent action from our friends in the Action Alliance.
     
    URGE FOR THE REMOVAL OF GORKA AND MILLER FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

    ACTION 3: Encourage charities to stop holding events at Mar-A-Lago and other Trump properties.

    While most Republican leaders have been slow to condemn Trump for his inappropriate reaction to the Charlottesville events, many facets of mainstream America have been quick to protest. After several CEOs resigned from the President’s Advisory Councils, the President was forced to disband these groups. The entire Arts and Humanities Committee also resigned, and several artists due to receive Kennedy Center Honors this year stated that they wouldn’t attend the ceremony, after which the President decided not to attend.
     
    But perhaps more importantly, in moves that hurt DT in the place that matters most to him–his wallet– 20 charities have cancelled fundraising galas at DT’s Mar-A-Lago club, most within the past week. As discussed by our action alliance partners at Save U.S., there are a few remaining charities who are sticking with Mar-A-Lago or are undecided, and it’s time to put pressure on them to take a stand.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

     

    THE MESSAGE: (please personalize, if you can, so they don’t get a lot of identical messages):
     
    I am urging you to follow the twenty other charities who recently canceled events at Mar-A-Lago, due to the President’s remarks condoning the actions of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Continuing to hold events at a place that benefits the president financially amounts to tacit approval of racism and bigotry, which will reflect badly on your organization. However, by refusing to hold events there, your organization can send the President and the United States a clear message: that racism and bigotry will not be tolerated.
     
    While we understand that you may have already placed a large deposit on the venue, you can still take the moral high ground by issuing a public statement and resolving not to hold any future events at Mar-A-Lago or other Trump properties. I sincerely hope that you will consider the values your organization stands for, and schedule your event at another venue, both now and in the future.

     


    The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
    but if you’re short on time, you can leave your MoC a message below.



    Weekly Actions: August 14, 2017

    Click on each action for details and scripts:

    ACTION 1: Demand unequivocal action to protect people against hate crimes instigated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis

    ACTION 2: Urge diplomacy and stop escalation with North Korea

    ACTION 3: Protect our air and water from deregulation


    There are no words to describe the horror of what took place in Charlottesville this weekend: a rally by white supremacists that turned violent and ended with a car deliberately running into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, injuring 19 and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Not surprisingly, the president limited his remarks to “condemning violence on many sides,” a move that delighted the Nazi party and infuriated KKK leader David Duke, who publicly declared that it was his base that got DT elected. Later, a White House spokesperson attempted to clarify the President’s remarks by directly mentioning the white supremacy, but as of the time of this post, we still have not heard directly from the Tweeter-in-Chief.
     
    [Update: After much criticism, Trump finally made a statement.]
     
    And while directly naming domestic terrorism caused by white supremacists for what it is would be an important first step, and one taken by many Congresspeople on both sides of the aisle, simply stating this is not enough. We are following the call from the American Federation of Teachers, asking “the president, the Justice Department and the FBI to conduct real, transparent investigations into terrorism from white supremacists. We call on elected officials and law enforcement from all 50 states to use all of the resources at their disposal to keep our communities safe. People in America need to know that laws will be enforced to protect them. White Americans get to presume the laws will protect them; people of color, Jews, Muslims, and queer Americans deserve that peace of mind as well.”

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs: Ask them what they are planning to do to assure that all Americans of every race, religion and sexual orientation will be protected from white supremacists and to take action against the domestic terrorism instigated by these dangerous groups.
    • Attend a solidarity event/vigil: Find events here.
    • Support people in Charlottesville: See this list of organizations to support.
    • Join the Color of Change campaign to stop your credit card company from processing donations for hate groups.

    Script:
    Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. Like the rest of the country, I am sickened and appalled at what happened in Charlottesville this weekend. We should live in a country that protects all of us, regardless of color, religion or sexual orientation. [If you have a personal story that relates to this issue, tell them.] I would like to know what specifically Sen./Rep._____ is doing to fight white supremacy and take action to protect against hate crimes and domestic terrorism. (IF THEY MADE A STATEMENT, ADD: While I thank you for your statement, lip service is not enough. I will be watching Sen./Rep.’s_____ actions very closely on this issue.

    As if Charlottesville wasn’t enough drama for one week, the President’s reckless political posturing on North Korea, where he promised that any further testing of nuclear missiles near Guam would be met with “fire and fury” put fear into the hearts of all Americans, and led to calls for restraint and diplomacy by many lawmakers, including some Republicans. While we’re on to DT’s methods of trying to distract us from the Russia investigation, threatening nuclear war is way over the top. As with many of his actions, this should cause any thinking person to question whether someone this seemingly unhinged should have access to the nuclear codes and the ability to put his finger on the button.
     
    Even sicker was the President’s call to the mayor of Guam, where he promised that thanks to his efforts, tourism would increase once this all blows over. While we echo the President’s hope that “this will all work out,” we condemn the recklessness that has put us this close to nuclear catastrophe.

    Bills:
    S. 200: Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017: Prohibits the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.


    H.R.669: Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017: Prohibits the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.


     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs:
    • Reach out to Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis (703-571-3343) to express your concern.

      Script (for MoCs):
      Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m very concerned about the situation in North Korea and I would like to ask Sen./Rep._____ to demand congressional approval before any military action is taken and to vote against military intervention, especially if nuclear weapons are involved. We cannot afford this escalation. I would also like Sen./Rep._____ to join his/her colleagues in signing a letter sent by 62 representatives to Secretary of State Tillerson urging diplomacy and restraint. Everyone loses in a nuclear war. Finally, I hope that Sen./Rep._____ will speak up in support of S. 200/H.R. 669, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, which would prohibit the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless Congress had declared war. This act has been backed by Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Joe Biden, and the Council for a Livable World, among others and is a common-sense check on any President’s power. However, the urgency of passing this bill has increased in light of the current administration’s rhetoric and the escalating situation in North Korea. Please tell the Senator to support this bill.

      Script (for Tillerson and Mattis):
      Hi, my name is _____. I’m very concerned about the situation in North Korea and I would like to urge diplomacy and restraint, rather than calls for war. Everyone loses in a nuclear war, so please use your influence to urge the President to back off on his dangerous rhetoric.

      DT and his GOP cronies in Congress have been very effective in their war against the environment. Most recently, the House passed the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which delays the implementation of regulations enforced by the Clean Air Act. The bill is now on its way to the Senate and may be voted on soon.
       
      Also, as if limiting clean air is not enough, the EPA is now trying to repeal the Clean Water Rule.

      Bills:
      S. 263: Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017: Amends the Clean Air Act by revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) program.


       
      HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
       

      • Call your Senators: Ask them to vote against S. 263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act.
      • Submit public comments on the EPA Clean Water Repeal here. You can find information and talking points here.
      • Script:
        Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I am calling to ask Senator_____ to vote against the Ozone Standards Implementation Act. Repealing regulations designed to keep our air clean and our environment healthy is a short-sighted measure aimed to put corporate profits ahead of the concerns raised by global climate change. We need to keep our Ozone layer (what’s left of it) intact. We are already very far behind when it comes to taking steps necessary to ensure our continued survival on this planet, and we absolutely cannot afford to go backwards. Please vote against this bill.


        The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
        but if you’re short on time, you can leave your MoC a message below.


    Weekly Actions: August 9, 2017 (On Immigration)

    Click on each action for details and scripts:

    ACTION 1: Speak out against the immigrant and refugee fearing RAISE Act

    ACTION 2: Support Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian and Central American refugees.

    ACTION 3: Stop funding for the border wall and attempts to punish sanctuary cities


     

    The latest in the Trump politics of division is a push for the RAISE ACT. It would cut in half the annual number of immigrants let in by the United States, cap refugees at 50,000 (fully ignoring our obligation to help during the greatest migration crisis since WWII), and impose a skill-based merit system for deciding who gets in.
     

    As CNN reporter Jim Acosta pointed out, this bill stands in direct opposition to the values proclaimed on one of our most cherished icons, the Statue of Liberty. Recall that many of our ancestors arrived on these shores with no English and limited technical skills. This bill has also received criticism for ignoring the contributions of farmworkers and favoring applicants who already have English-speaking ability over those with family connections.
     

    In light of the ongoing refugee crisis, we should be making it easier for people to seek asylum, not harder (especially given our status as world economic superpower). Let’s stand by the values proclaimed by the Statue of Liberty and urge our senators to oppose the RAISE Act.

    Bills:
    S. 354: RAISE Act [Govtrack shortened summary] Proposed significantly reducing several rarely-discussed provisions of U.S. policy that encourage legal immigration.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your Senators: Ask them to vote against the RAISE Act.

    Script:
    Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’d like to ask Senator _____ to vote against S. 354, the RAISE Act. In light of the refugee crisis in Syria and what the UN has called the greatest migration crisis since WWII, limiting the number of immigrants and refugees we take in, which is already abysmally low, is morally indefensible. I also have concerns about prioritizing skilled English-speaking applicants over those with family connections. Under this law, most of our own ancestors would not have been able to immigrate! Please tell Senator _____ to vote against the RAISE Act and lobby for a more humane immigration policy that, as the Statue of Liberty states, welcomes the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

     

    What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)? As summarized by Politico, “The TPS program is one of several forms of relief the U.S. has given to foreigners over the years when their homelands were struck by natural disasters or armed conflict. The program allows nationals of the affected countries to remain in the U.S. and receive work permits until the disaster or unrest in their home country abates.”
     

    Despite requests by experts for an 18 month extension of TPS, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended TPS for 60,000 Haitians (whose homes were devastated by violence and natural disasters) through January 22, 2018 only. As reported in Farm Worker Justice, the decision has also led to increased uncertainty for TPS holders from other countries, such as El Salvador and Honduras. For more, watch coverage by Centro Presente, an immigrant rights advocacy group, here.
     

    Finally, as if the crushing uncertainty placed on these people’s lives by the DHS deadline weren’t enough, Republicans have also proposed legislation (H.R.2604) that would make it more difficult to protect refugees through TPS. Let’s do everything in our power to stop them. As the Statue of Liberty states, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…”

    Bills:
    H.R. 2604: TPS Reform Act of 2017: Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to revise the criteria for designation of a foreign state as eligible to have its citizens be given temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States.”

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs:
      • Ask them to vote against H.R.2604, the TPS Reform Act of 2017, which would make it harder to establish legal Temporary Protected Status (TPS), to protect people such as Central American refugees, often women and children, fleeing violence.
      • If your MoC is a Democrat, ask them to introduce a bill strengthening TPS, honoring the 2016 Democratic Party Platform, which states:
        • We should ensure due process for those fleeing violence in Central America and work with our regional partners to address the root causes of violence. We must take particular care with children, which is why we should guarantee government-funded counsel for unaccompanied children in immigration courts. We should consider all available means of protecting these individuals from the threats to their lives and safety—including strengthening in-country and third-country processing, expanding the use of humanitarian parole, and granting Temporary Protected Status.
    • Sign this Petition: Send a message urging Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, to extend and expand TPS.

     

    Script:
    Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m concerned about the administration’s plan to end Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for people in Haiti and other Central American countries, who fled violence to get here and whose lives are still likely to be in danger if they return. I’d like Sen/Rep. _____ to work on expanding TPS for these individuals. I’d also like to ask Sen./Rep. _____ to vote NO on the proposed legislation H.R. 2604, which makes it harder for individuals to receive temporary protection status.

     

    When Congress comes back to session in September, one of the most pressing orders of business will be to pass a budget, and the one on the table includes funding for the border wall. (The stopgap budget measure passed in May did not include funding for the border wall, much to the President’s chagrin. However, in July, the House approved a $1.6 billion down payment for the wall as a rider to a bill on Pentagon spending, despite considerable opposition from both sides.)
     

    Meanwhile, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced a bill that would fund the wall, as well as punish sanctuary cities. As Forbes magazine points out, the wall is an ill-advised approach to addressing immigration problems and would be a waste of taxpayer resources.

    Bills: S. 1757: A bill to strengthen border security, increase resources for enforcement of immigration laws, and for other purposes.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs: Ask them to reject any budget that includes funding for a border wall. Also ask your Senators to vote NO on Senator Cornyn’s bill, S. 1757.
    • Read: On the eve of the 2016 election, the NY Times published an op-ed by author Tom Vanderbilt titled The Walls in our Heads. It included a byline that read,
      “The idea that we can solve problems by building physical barriers is a persistent human fantasy.”
      It’s well worth a read or re-read.

    Script:
    Hi my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I am strongly opposed to any budget that includes funding for Trump’s border wall. Reasonable people agree this would be a waste of taxpayer resources. We should be directing our money to human needs in our country like improved access to education and health care.
     

    [FOR SENATORS] I’m opposed to S. 1757, which calls for border wall funding and punishes Sanctuary cities. State and local police departments need to gain the trust of all their residents in order to assure safe communities, and requiring police to detain people simply for ICE’s purposes will lead to a decrease in reporting of crimes, and therefore, a decrease in overall safety. Please vote against S. 1757 and against any version of the budget that contains funding for the border wall.

     

    Weekly Actions: August 1, 2017

    Click on each action for details and scripts:

    ACTION 1: Stand strong against Trump’s attempts to interfere with the Justice Department

    ACTION 2: Speak out against Trump’s explicit support of police brutality

    ACTION 3: Resist the administration’s attempt to curtail LGBTQ civil rights


    Trump continues to swing away at decorum, decency, democratic norms, and a little thing called the Constitution.
     

    He is now reportedly trying to remove Jeff Sessions and replace him with someone who will fire special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible illegal ties between Trump’s election campaign and Russia. While Sessions is certainly not an Attorney General with an agenda we support, he did recuse himself from the Russia investigation, and as such cannot fire Mueller. If Trump manages to either fire him or bully him into resignation, the president could then force Congress to go into recess and use this period to appoint someone (without Congressional approval) who would not recuse himself from the investigation and would thus be able to do Trump’s bidding. This would mean limiting the scope of the Russia investigation and firing Mueller. While a recess appointment could be blocked if Congress does not go into formal recess but instead holds pro-forma sessions, Trump still technically has a small loophole: If the House refuses to grant Consent to the Senate to adjourn, Trump can cite disagreement between the House and Senate over the adjournment time period and then adjourn them for whatever time period he sees fit. Additionally, even without a forced recess, Trump could potentially use the Casual Vacancies Act to appoint a temporary Attorney General.

     

    Trump’s bullying of Sessions is unprecedented and the reasons behind it display deep contempt for the separation of powers in the Constitution. Sally Yates, deputy AG under the Obama administration, (whom Trump fired for objecting to the Muslim ban) argues that this behavior threatens the integrity of the entire Justice Department.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs: Ask that they go on the record with public statements and take on any actions within their power in the service of ensuring that the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation remain fully independent of any White House meddling.

    Script (MoCs):
    Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I’m very concerned about the president’s bullying of the Attorney General and about rumors that he will be replaced during a recess appointment by someone who will fire Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller. I would like Sen./Rep._____ to release a public statement warning against such actions. I’d also like for Sen./Rep. _____ to do everything within his/her power to ensure the President of the United States doesn’t get away with obstruction of justice. The president is clearly trying to overstep his power, and Congress needs to be vigilant in making sure that the Justice Department remains independent and that the checks and balances of the Constitution remain in place.

     

    It’s hard to be shocked anymore by what comes out of this president’s mouth–or his twitter account–but last week, he managed to raise (lower?) the bar by encouraging police to be rough with people taken into custody. Perhaps even more disturbing was the cheering from the audience.
     

    When the commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful country welcomes violence against protesters and people taken into custody (nevermind innocent until proven guilty), it’s difficult not to contemplate the emergence of full-on American fascism. A fascist state depends on an authoritarian, brutal police force. Also, bear in mind that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has correlated with a strong rise in hate crimes. And we haven’t even mentioned Trump’s remarks against immigrants, Mexicans, and women. Put it all together and a distrubing image begins to emerge.
     

    At a time when the saliency and palpable frequency of police violence and killings, especially against communities of color, is such a huge issue facing our communities, the president actually has the nerve to call for more violence, not less. Something needs to be done. Let’s tell our local police departments to work on curbing police brutality, not exacerbating it.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

     

    There were two threats to LGBTQ rights this week:

     

    The pushback against the transgender ban has been welcome, with many Republican Senators, including John McCain and Orrin Hatch, supporting the right of transgender individuals to serve in the military. US Defense Chiefs have also said they will not make any changes until an official directive is issued.
     

    However, there has been little public reaction from lawmakers against the DOJ amicus brief. Currently, Title VII explicitly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, but is less clear about sexual orientation. This is is something that Congress can and should fix now.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your MoCs: Ask them to sponsor or cosponsor legislation that would revise Title VII to ensure that its language explicitly prohibits discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Script (MoCs):
    Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I’m very disturbed about the president’s latest attacks on the LGBTQ community, despite candidate Trump’s campaign promise to support amending the Civil Rights Act to explicitly include protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I would like Sen./Rep. _____ to support legislation that explicitly amends the language in Title VII to make sure that LGBTQ individuals are fully protected against discrimination.
     

    Furthermore, I am strongly opposed to the president’s call for a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. Though the president alleged that a high cost for transgender medical services had some effect on his decision, in fact, the military spends 5x more on just Viagra. Regardless, civil rights are simply not something we can put a price tag on. I ask that Sen./Rep. _____ publicly condemn any legal attacks on the LGBTQ community and use his/her position of power to work for full rights, recognition, and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals in our diverse country.


    The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone, but if you’re short on time, you can leave your MoC a message below.


    Weekly Actions: July 26, 2017

    Click on each action for details and scripts:

    ACTION 1: Fight the attempts to revive Trumpcare

    ACTION 2: Defend our First Amendment right to boycott

    ACTION 3: Oppose legislation that allows for fast-tracking of pipelines and unsafe nuclear waste disposal.


    Not surprisingly, Trumpcare has made one last attempt at revival and the Senate has just approved a motion to debate, with all the Republicans voting to proceed except Collins (Maine) and Murkowski (Alaska). It is still unclear exactly what bill will be debated. Last night, they defeated one of three possible proposals: the revised BCRA with the dreaded Cruz Amendment. However, debate will continue, with two additional repeal proposals likely to be voted on. This includes a scaled down version of health care repeal that is more likely to appeal to moderates and which could later be scaled back up in conference with the House.

     
    It is more important than ever to pressure your senators, as well as the key swing senators below. Let them know that you are watching to see how they vote on the actual bill, whatever it turns out to be. Remind key swing senators that this is not about getting a “win.” Instead, it’s about taking care of the American people whom they were elected to serve, at least 22 million of whom will lose health insurance under the plans in question — plans whose approval estimates range from 12% to 27%. Also remind them that voting on a new bill now — which would not have time to be analyzed and scored by the Congressional Budget Office and vetted to the American public — constitutes a serious breach in our Democratic system.
     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your Senator; then call the key Senators below: Most of the time you can leave a message and not have to identify yourself as a non-constituent. If an aide asks for your information, remind the Senator that the fate of all Americans is in their hands.
    • Contact other Senators who may still be persuaded to vote no: The nine Republicans who voted against the BCRA last night were: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bob Corker (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Dean Heller (R-NV). (Note: some of these, like Paul and Lee, voted NO because the bill wasn’t conservative enough.) Other Senators like McCain and Flake (Arizona); Cassidy (Louisiana); Hoeven (North Dakota); and Gardner (Colorado) are also seen as possible NO votes due to past positions they’ve taken. These lists compiled by the New York Times, and Trumpcaretoolkit.org give more information.
    • Sign up with Indivisible to make calls to progressives in key red states and ask that they call their senators.
    • Call your governor: Ask them to join the chorus of these brave governors (Democrats and Republicans) who have spoken out against the health care bill and to put pressure on your state’s senators to vote against it. Call to thank them if they’ve already spoken out against it.
    • Attend an Our Lives on the Line Rally in your area this Saturday, July 29.
    • Script:
      I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to vote NO on any version of the Senate Healthcare Bill that includes cuts to Medicaid and causes a large number of people to lose their insurance, which all of the plans on the table currently do. Even the scaled down version of the bill would raise premiums by eliminating the individual mandate, resulting in exactly the opposite of what health care repeal was meant to accomplish. I’m also concerned that provisions that are not in the American people’s best interests will be added back in during conferencing if a “skinny” version of the bill is passed, and for this reason, Senator _____ MUST vote no on any version of the healthcare bill. I also hope that Senator _____ will vote NO on any plan to repeal now/replace later. [FOR KEY SENATORS: INSERT CUSTOMIZED SCRIPT ADD-ON for each person listed below.] The Senate should work on a bi-partisan solution to the problems with the ACA, rather than allowing the president to deliberately sabotage it by threatening to withhold subsidy payments and ending contracts that provide assistance for people signing up. [FOR DEMOCRATIC SENATOR]: Please do everything you can to stall a vote on any version of Trumpcare by adding amendments.

      Customized Script Add-Ons for Key Senators:

      • Dean Heller, Nevada. (202) 224-6244: I am extremely disappointed that Senator Heller voted for the motion to proceed after expressing opposition to the bill, but I want to thank him for voting against the BCRA. Polls have shown that the majority of people in Nevada are opposed to Trumpcare, and I’m proud that Governor Sandoval has taken a strong stance against the Senate bill. Please ask him to stand with the governor and vote NO on any version of the Senate healthcare bill.
      • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska. (202) 224-6665: I wanted to thank Senator Murkowski for voting against the motion to proceed and against the BCRA. Additionally, I hope that Senator Murkowski will stand by her statement that defunding Planned Parenthood would be a non-starter and reject any version of the healthcare bill that does this. I know that she stands in opposition to the Repeal only option, and the Medicaid cuts, which would be disastrous, so I sincerely thank her for that and urge her to stand strong in this opposition and refuse to be bought by any “skinny” version of the bill that could be scaled up during conferencing..
      • Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia. (202) 224-6472: I am extremely disappointed that Senator Capito voted for the motion to proceed after expressing opposition to the bill and I am outraged that she voted for the BCRA. West Virginia has the highest number of people on the Medicaid expansion program, and scaling back Medicaid would be devastating to our state, especially given its older and rural population. Even if extra money is allocated to combat opioid addiction, this money is not nearly enough. and as the Senator has said, if people can’t access treatment because of cuts to Medicaid, then more money for treatments doesn’t help.
      • John Portman, Ohio. (202) 224-3353: : I am extremely disappointed that Senator Portman voted for the motion to proceed after expressing clear reservations to the bill and am outraged that he voted for the BCRA. Governor Kasich stands in opposition to Trumpcare, and I hoped Senator Portman would stand with him. 700,000 people in Ohio have coverage thanks to Medicaid expansion, so any bill with cuts to Medicaid must be rejected, regardless of whether extra money is allocated to combat opioid addiction. If people can’t access treatment because of Medicaid cuts, more money for treatment doesn’t help. Please urge Senator Portman to vote NO on any other versions of the Senate bill.

      A very scary bill, which has both Democrat and Republican co-sponsors, has been introduced in the House and the Senate. The bill prohibits persons and organizations from boycotting companies that do business with Israel. Violations could result in civil fines of up to $250,000 or criminal penalties that could reach to a 1 million dollar fine and 20 years in prison.
       
      While we take no position on whether or not to support this particular boycott, we (and the ACLU) see this as a direct violation of the First Amendment. Boycotts are a way that people can make their voices heard; they were a key part of bringing about civil rights in the 1960s. In these dangerous times of encroaching fascism, setting any precedent that restricts boycotting can create an irreversible slippery slope. Once such a precedent is established, what could prevent a bill from being introduced that punished the Sleeping Giant campaign against Brietbart News or the Grab Your Wallet campaign against Trump products?
       
      Democrats, as well as Republicans, need to be told that supporting Israel cannot supersede people’s right to stand up for their beliefs, whatever they might be. As Americans, we must be allowed to exercise our First Amendment Rights.

       
      HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
       

      • Call your MoCs. If they are among the Senators and Representatives sponsoring the bill, ask them to consider withdrawing their sponsorship–and their support. If they do not have a position yet, ask them to vote no on any bill that makes any boycott a felony.
      • Script:
        Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling to urge Sen./Rep._____ to vote against the Anti-Israel Boycott Act. Protecting our diplomatic relationship with Israel cannot supersede individuals’ First Amendment rights to protest non-violently. Passing this bill would set a dangerous precedent, especially with a President who called the Constitution a really bad thing for the country. Please vote no (withdraw your sponsorship/reconsider your position) on this very dangerous bill.

        Two dangerous environmental bills are also currently before the legislature. H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, allows for the relaxing of regulations regarding the safe disposal of nuclear waste, and S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, would enable fast tracking of pipelines. These bills may be voted on as early as this week.
         
        H.R. 3053: 49 organizations sent a letter to Congress, opposing the passage of H.R. 3053, which aims to put in place temporary nuclear waste storage facilities before finding a permanent solution. This interim storage plan is exceedingly dangerous, as it would result in a massive increase in the transport of nuclear waste throughout the country, impacting nearly 100 million Americans on route, as well as leave open the possibility of permanently putting waste in places that are not equipped to handle them. The bill also tries to revive the Yucca Mountain project, which advocates storing nuclear waste on Yucca mountain in Nevada, which not only is on tribal land but is also on an earthquake fault. This project was defunded by the Obama administration, but the Trump administration is attempting to revitalize it. For more about H.R. 3053, read the linked pages and see this document.
         
        S. 1460: As Food and Water Watch puts it, S. 1460 would “speed approval of exports of liquefied natural gas, give FERC new authority in approving pipelines, and authorize hundreds of millions of dollars to explore for methane hydrates. On top of that, the “Renewables” section of the bill doesn’t even mention solar or wind energy!”

         
        HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
         

        • Call your Rep about HR. 3053
        • Call your Senators about S. 1460
        • Script for H.R. 3053:
          Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m asking Rep. _____ to oppose HR 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act. It is dangerous and irresponsible to implement interim storage for nuclear waste without a permanent solution in place, and the relaxation of important environmental reviews and safety regulations cannot be taken lately given the dangers of nuclear waste. This bill would preempt state and local rights and oversight. I am very concerned about the effects of massive nuclear waste transportation so close to areas where Americans live. Furthermore, any attempt to revive the Yucca Mountain project – which would advocate for the storage of nuclear waste on an earthquake fault line – must be nipped in the bud. Please urge Rep. _____ to vote NO on this bill.

          Script for S.1460:
          Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m asking Senator _____ to oppose S. 1460. We need an energy policy that allows for due diligence in determining the environmental impacts of pipelines, and we should be shifting our priorities to renewables, rather than fossil fuels, in light of the impending dangers of climate change. Please urge the senator to oppose this bill.


          The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
          but if you’re short on time, you can leave a message or video below.


    Weekly Actions: July 18, 2017

    Click on each action for details and scripts:

    ACTION 1: Celebrate the momentary collapse of Trumpcare!

    ACTION 2: Speak out against gerrymandering and advocate for reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act

    ACTION 3: Support the “Do No Harm Act” in exercising religious freedom and respecting civil liberties.


    Our first action this week was going to be calling on key swing senators to oppose Trumpcare, but luckily – thanks to all your hard work – the fight is won! For now, that is.
     


     

    So take a moment to rejoice – you deserve it. But do stay vigilant. Be ready to call your MoCs again the moment a new iteration of Trumpcare surfaces – we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, let’s continue to be vocal in our communities as we seek to win the battle of ideas.

     

    Thanks to your calls and a massive upswell of protests across the country, including a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the so-called “Election Integrity Commission,” which had a not-so-hidden agenda to make it harder for people to vote, is holding off on asking states to provide voter-roll information! [Read more of our past coverage here.]
     

    However, another insidious way to disenfranchise voters is through highly politically motivated redistricting, or gerrymandering.
     


     

    The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law has excellent resources on explaining the ins and outs of gerrymandering. Read 7 Things to Know About Redistricting and check out their redistricting landing page for the latest research, commentary, and litigation on redistricting.
     

    The reason this matters is because, as recent research from the Brennan Center states: This decade’s congressional maps are consistently biased in favor of Republicans. In the 26 states that account for 85 percent of congressional districts, Republicans derive a net benefit of at least 16-17 congressional seats in the current Congress from partisan bias. This advantage represents a significant portion of the 24 seats Democrats would need to pick up to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.
     

    In short, this is a major roadblock in taking back control of the House in 2018 and the White House in 2020.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    Note: We were going to have you submit a comment about voter privacy and gerrymandering to the Election Integrity Commission but can no longer advise leaving direct comments because it was reported by the Washington Post that the administration made commenter’s sensitive information public without redaction. (Yes, this is moral corruptness and/or incompetency of the current administration in full effect.)

     

    Freedom of religion is one of the pillars of our American system. Indeed, it’s the first line of the first amendment to the constitution. But what are we as a society to do when a fundamentalist baker, citing his religion, refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple?
     

    Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) have introduced the Do No Harm Act, which is an amendment to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
     

    Bills: H.R. 3222: To amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to protect civil rights and otherwise prevent meaningful harm to third parties, and for other purposes.

     

    As stated by the press release: The Do No Harm Act would clarify that no one can seek religious exemption from laws guaranteeing fundamental civil and legal rights. It comes in response to continued efforts across the country to cite religious belief as grounds to undermine Civil Rights Act protections, limit access to healthcare, and refuse service to minority populations.
     

    According to Protect Thy Neighbor, a project of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (another longstanding American tradition enshrined in the first amendment), the Do No Harm Act has support from over 80 groups, including the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, and various health, LGBTQ, and religious groups.

     
    HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
     

    • Call your Rep: Ask him/her to cosponsor HR 3222 and to work hard for its passage. If your rep is already a cosponsor, call to say thanks. A full list of current cosponsors can be found here.

    SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____ . I’m calling to ask Congressperson _____ to cosponsor and support HR 3222, the Do No Harm Act, which amends the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to ensure that no one’s civil rights are infringed upon in the name of religion. The United States is a wonderful, pluralistic and diverse country, where everyone’s rights need to be respected. Religious freedom is not a rationalization to discriminate.