Weekly Actions: June 27, 2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

ACTION 1: Pull out all the stops to keep fighting Trumpcare.

ACTION 2: Urge your Congressperson to vote NO on H.R. 3003, which punishes sanctuary cities.

ACTION 3: Support automatic voter registration bills S.1353 and H.R.2876.


Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) put it best when he tweeted “The CBO analysis of the disastrous Trump-McConnell health care bill gives us 22 million reasons why it should not see the light of day.
 

While the vote has just been delayed, and several conservative and moderate Republicans have come out against the bill, the party leadership has expressed confidence that this bill could pass through an intense “us vs. them” strategy. Therefore, we have to keep up the pressure, even on those Republicans who have come out against the bill, to make sure they don’t succumb to backroom deals, as well as continue to urge other GOP Senators to oppose this life-threatening legislation.

 

This LA Times article succinctly points out how the bill would be devastating to the poor and elderly, give insurance companies huge leeway in instituting lifetime caps, and make insurance unaffordable to people with pre-existing conditions. Senator Elizabeth Warren hit the nail on the head by calling the bill for what it is — blood money. We need to keep these arguments front and center in defeating this very “mean” bill. The Economic Policy Institute arrived at the following:

 


 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to vote against Trumpcare. [Insert two or three of the talking points above] This bill should go through the hearing process to make sure it is totally vetted. It should not be simply delayed so that backroom deals can be made.
 
[If your Senator is a Democrat] Please do everything in your power to fight this bill, including withholding consent and filibustering by amendment until hearings are agreed to and some of its glaring immoralities can be addressed.

 

 


 

Could someone please recite Lady Liberty’s words to Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who just introduced a bill (H.R. 3003) that levies penalties against cities who grant sanctuary to immigrants?
 
Sanctuary city status, while not legally defined and taking on many forms, at minimum sends a signal to local immigrants that the city is empathetic to their cause. You can read more about common practices in sanctuary cities here.

 

Arguably the greatest harm this bill inflicts is that it inflames the rhetoric that equates immigrants with criminals, a claim that is thoroughly refuted by the evidence. It also cracks down on municipalities’ efforts to take care of the members of their own communities, and it prevents immigrants in need from accessing public safety networks for fear of being deported.

 

This potentially unconstitutional bill, dubbed “No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act,” may be coming up for a vote as early as this week.

 

Bills:
H.R. 3003: No Sanctuary for Criminals Act: To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to modify provisions relating to assistance by States, and political subdivision of States, in the enforcement of Federal immigration laws, and for other purposes.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Call your Congressperson: Urge them to vote NO on H.R. 3003.
  • Read: Additional resources on immigration i.e. how the system works, obstacles immigrants face, tracking the latest bills by state, and locating local immigrant rights organizations can be found here.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling to urge Congressperson _____ to vote No on H.R. 3003, which punishes sanctuary cities. This bill implies two things: that immigrants are criminals, which is not only morally indefensible but contrary to evidence, and that providing sanctuary compromises public safety, which is fully inaccurate. In fact, the opposite has been shown to be true – anti-sanctuary bills actually compromise public safety by severing the delicate trust between a community and its police force, thereby negatively impacting community policing. Evidence already exists in Los Angeles and elsewhere that — given this climate of increased fear — immigrants, documented or not, are less likely to contact the police when in need.
 
With regards to criminality, the vast majority of immigrants (documented and undocumented) have no criminal record and pose no safety threat. Studies even suggest that immigrants commit fewer crimes than US-born citizens. Instead of wrongheadedly associating immigrants with crime, we should be focusing on fixing our broken immigration system. It is our moral duty to protect our neighbors, not betray them. I will be watching the congressperson’s actions on this bill very closely. Thank you.

 

Americans claim to love democracy and yet only 55.7% of the voting age population voted in the election that landed us Donald Trump. Among so-called “highly developed, democratic states,” we hover around the bottom 1/5th in voter turnout. Forget “America 1st” — we’re more like 28th!.
 
To reverse this embarrassing trend, one immediate and effective action we can take is to support the policy of Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). The reputable Brennan Center For Justice at NYU School of Law predicts this policy change alone could add 50 million eligible voters!
 


 

In 2016, Oregon was the first state to implement AVR. The results? It “shattered” its previous voter participation rates. Since then, momentum has taken off. There are now 8 states that have implemented this policy and 32 states that have introduced proposals this year! Moreover, two congressional bills were just introduced in June by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Robert Brady (D-Pa.)

Bills:
S. 1353: Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017: A bill to require States to automatically register eligible voters to vote in elections for Federal offices, and for other purposes.
 
H.R. 2876: Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017: To require States to automatically register eligible voters to vote in elections for Federal office, and for other purposes.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Call your MoCs: Urge them to support S.1353 and H.R.2876.
  • Lobby for State Bill: Find your state’s policy here; then call up your local reps and urge them to support AVR.
  • Read:
    • The Case for Automatic Voter Registration –The Brennan Center goes into greater detail about the arguments supporting this policy.
    • 3 Main Lessons of Psychology — Interestingly, AVR borrows from lessons learned in the field of psychology. The evidence is strong that when presented with a choice, most people stick to the default position. In other words, when people have to opt in for voter registration (the default is unregistered) people will be less likely to register. AVR, in contrast, makes being registered the default position, giving people the ability to opt out.

 

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I would like to ask Senator/Congressperson _____ to support S.1353/H.R.2876, the Automatic Voter Registration Bill. This bill has already been highly successful in increasing voting in several states. A true democracy depends on voter access and we should be making it as easy as possible for people to vote.

 
(Note: Voter registration is just one of the many problems with our election system. Another major issue is gerrymandering, or redistricting to tilt elections. We’ll cover this issue at length in the upcoming weeks.)
 


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.