Weekly Actions: April 18, 2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

As DT ramps up a nationwide deportation force, it is increasingly important that we (and our reps) stand strong in protecting *all* the citizens of our communities. Your rep may be talking the right talk when pushed, but what are they actually doing to help fight dangerous legislation and attitudes? This week, we’re asking you to research your rep’s stance and put some pressure on, if necessary.
 

Keep in mind that the staffer you speak to may claim that your rep is pro-immigrant, but unless those words are publicly documented and followed up by action, they’re just words. And if your rep is anti-immigrant, it’s even more important to make your voice heard. As of right now, 113 bills have been introduced related to the topic of Immigration in the 115th Congress. You can sort through them here. If your rep is serious about the issue, he/she should be on the record with press releases and a record of co-sponsoring legislation.
 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Research: Check the Issues section of your representative’s website to see if immigration is listed. If it isn’t, make a note to ask them why not, since the issues they list most likely reflect their priorities. Then, try searching for immigration in the website search bar.
    • Check for:
      • A well documented and clear public stance on immigration as well as info on public resources.
      • Bills introduced, co-sponsored, or supported.
      • Public statements condemning the travel ban and the ongoing immigrant obstacles and xenophobia perpetrated by the Trump camp.
  • Call: If you judge that your rep is doing a good job, call the regional office and thank him/her. Otherwise, start asking questions. If the office claims to be pro-immigrant, get them to prove it.
Bills:



Script:

Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’ve been checking Rep. _____’s website and I would like to know his/her stance on immigration. [reference any items missing from checklist above]
 

I would also like to urge Rep._____ to support HR 2043 and HR 1608 and to publicly speak out against the deportation threat to Maribel Trujillo who has no criminal record. Rep. _____ should be more public in taking actions to support all the residents of our community and stand up against random deportations of undocumented residents with no criminal record.

Additional Resources on Immigration:

 

While the controversial HB2 “bathroom bill” has been repealed in North Carolina, the compromise bill prohibits municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances until 2020. In a state where Republican legislators recently introduced new bills to ban same-sex marriage and to criminalize transgender people in public bathrooms, it is essential that we remain vigilant in protecting LGBTQ rights.
 

Unfortunately, the NCAA has responded favorably to the compromise, and the NBA, as well, is considering reinstating the All-Star game in North Carolina. Even more disturbingly, the Department of Justice has dropped its lawsuit against NC, despite clear arguments that the compromise doesn’t go nearly far enough in protecting LGBTQ rights. Several cities (New York, LA, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago, Cincinnati, Boston, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Burlington, VT, Portland, ME; Oakland, CA; Palm Springs, CA; West Palm Beach, FL; Wilton Manors, FL, and Portland, OR) and two states, California and Washington, have for now continued to ban non-essential tax-payer funded trips to the state, but they are being pressured by North Carolina to lift these bans.

 

Abroad, LGBT violence is far too common. Recent reports of over 100 men in Chechnya who have been detained and tortured, allegedly due to their sexual orientation, must be acknowledged and these acts condemned. Three of the detained men have been reported to be killed.
 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:

 

North Carolina:

  • Contact the Justice Department at 202-353-1555 and express your concern about them dropping the lawsuit (see script below).
  • Contact the NCAA, 700 W. Washington Street, P.O. Box 6222, Indianapolis, IN/ 317-917-6222 and ask them not to hold events in North Carolina until the state enacts policies that are truly non-discriminatory.
  • If you live in a city that currently bans tax-payer funded travel to NC, contact your mayor and urge him/her not to lift the ban.
  • Urge your friends in North Carolina to contact their state legislators and ask them to vote against HB 780 (Historical Marriage Act) and HB 562 (SB 668)

 

Chechnya:

  • Donate to the Russian LGBT Network, which is working on emergency evacuations of people at risk of being captured.
  • Write to key officials, with content provided here by Amnesty International
  • Contact U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley via web form and thank her for speaking out. Urge her to take leadership in investigating these human rights violations.
  • Contact the White House and ask the President to speak out publicly against this atrocity.

Script (Justice Department):
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m very disappointed that the Justice Department is dropping its lawsuit against North Carolina after the so-called compromise on HB2. Prohibiting municipalities to enact anti-discrimination ordinances goes against the very fabric of human rights established by the Constitution. This compromise continues to put the rights and safety of LGBTQ people at risk by allowing legalized discrimination, and in fact, preventing governing bodies from taking steps to assure non-discrimination.

For better or for worse, DT seems to be looking at adopting an aggressive foreign policy as a way of improving his popularity ratings. After earning some support from both sides of the aisle for his strike against Syria (which he ordered while eating “a beautiful chocolate cake”), Trump impulsively dropped the U.S.’s largest non-nuclear bomb, “the Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan. As Mic put it, “Trump seems to see foreign policy as an area where he can “win” — in contrast to his attempts at health care reform and a travel ban, which ended in embarrassing failures for the president. Now, Trump and his inner circle are continuing to ramp up pressure on North Korea with tweets and statements.” Military action has been threatened.

 
What is most disturbing is that these actions were carried out without Congressional approval!
 
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I am extremely disturbed at the President’s recent aggressive foreign policy turn, and I am against impulsive and reckless military action in Syria, North Korea, and elsewhere. I urge Rep./Sen. _____ to support HJ Resolution 75, the War Powers Act, which would prohibit the President from engaging in these kinds of actions without Congressional Approval. Bombing other countries should not be taken lightly, and should not be done as a way of creating a winnable issue or improving popularity ratings. Furthermore, if the President is suddenly so concerned about the fate of people in Syria, he should relax his policies and let more refugees into the country. I hope Rep./Sen. _____ will support HJ Res. 75, speak out against these military actions, and call for an increase in the number of Syrian refugees we can welcome to the U.S.