Weekly Actions: May 22, 2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

ACTION 1: Keep up the pressure on the Russia investigation and build the case for impeachment

ACTION 2: Protect our national monuments

ACTION 3: Speak out against public education cuts in Trump’s budget


As the news around Russia, Comey’s firing, and the internal workings of the White House gets weirder and weirder, we’re beginning to see some movement in the right direction. Due in part to intense public pressure, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein finally appointed a special prosecutor, Robert J. Mueller. This is welcome news; however, the special prosecutor role is limited in scope. We still need Congress to agree to an independent bipartisan commission to investigate some of the aspects of the Trump/Russia debacle that likely won’t be touched by a special prosecutor, rather than leaving those investigations to GOP-led House and Senate committees. For more information, read the Indivisible Guide’s coverage here.
 

HR 356, currently supported by all Democratic representatives, would establish an independent commission. However, given the House’s leadership, it’s unlikely that it would ever be allowed to come to the floor for a vote. Thus, supporters of HR 356 (all Democrats along with Republicans Walter Jones and Justin Amash) need to be urged to sign the discharge petition to force a vote on this important bill, and all other reps need to be urged to support HR 356.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

Script:
GOP REPS (Except Jones [R-NC3] and Amash[R-MI3]): Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I would like to urge Rep. _______ to support HR 356. We absolutely need to have an independent commission to assure that all facts are uncovered in a just and unbiased way. While the appointment of a special prosecutor is a good first step, the scope of this investigation is limited. Please put the good of your country before the good of your party and support the Protecting Our Democracy Act. I’m also concerned about potential obstruction of justice and the violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, both of which are impeachable offenses. We need to look at the facts carefully and take action in order to preserve the foundations of our democracy.
 
DEMOCRATIC REP (Plus Jones Jones [R-NC3] and Amash[R-MI3): Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I would like to thank Rep. _____ for supporting HR 356. While the appointment of a special prosecutor is a good first step in investigating the Russia debacle, the scope of this investigation is limited and it’s imperative that an independent commission is established. In light of this, I wanted to ask whether Rep _____ has signed on to the Swalwell-Cummings discharge petition, which could force a vote on HR 356 if enough reps sign on. Has Rep _____ signed this petition? If not, please urge him/her to do so. I’m also concerned about potential obstruction of justice and the violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, both of which are impeachable offenses. We need to look at the facts carefully and take action in order to preserve the foundations of our democracy.
 
HEAD OF LOCAL MUNICIPALITY: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I wanted to urge _____ to pass a local impeachment resolution, which urges Congress to investigate whether any of Mr. Trump’s actions warrant impeachment. Cambridge, MA and Charlotte, VT and even the city of Los Angeles have passed a resolution to this end. We should follow in their footsteps to help raise awareness and keep the pressure up. Violating the Emoluments Clause and obstructing justice are impeachable offenses and we need to do what we can to protect our democracy.

 

In the administration’s latest attack on the environment, Trump has signed an EO ordering the Department of the Interior to conduct a review of 27 national monuments. This move is ostensibly to ease wildlife protections in a nod to the extractive industries, which overwhelmingly pad the pockets of Republicans.
 

The public comment period is short, so please be sure to voice your objections this week! Your comments really do matter. Due, in part, to strong public opposition, Republicans were recently unable to rescind methane regulations for drilling on public lands. And the EPA has received over 55,000 comments against its plans to roll back environmental regulations.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Submit a Comment: Check out the list of national monuments here and write a comment here. My Civic Workout has excellent advice, along with some sample comments. If you have personal experiences with any of these monuments, be sure to tell your story. These monuments are designated for the public good, not for the good of corporations.
  • Call your MoCs: (script below)
  • Call your local reps: If you live in a state with one of these monuments, call your state Senators and Representatives and ask them to do everything in their power to protect these areas. Remind them of how much tourism these monuments bring to the state’s economy.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I’m outraged that the Department of the Interior is reviewing the status of some of our precious national monuments. These lands were designated to safeguard our natural heritage and to protect the habitats of native species; they should be for the enjoyment of all the American people and shouldn’t be another place for corporations to spoil. Additionally, these monuments contribute substantially to tourism and the local economies of these areas. Please do everything in your power to assure that these lands remain protected.

 

“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Slide
 

The Trump administration is scheduled to release its budget on Tuesday. Early reports have indicated cuts to basic living standards as well as huge cuts to the Department of Education, with money funneled away from public education into private, charter, and religious schools. Substantial cuts are expected for public after-school programs that serve low-income students, teacher training, arts education, international education, foreign languages, and more. In addition, education secretary Betsy Devos wants to end a popular program that forgives student loans after ten years of payment for students who work in nonprofits or public service.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Call your MoCs: (script and talking points below)
  • Follow/Support: DebtCollective.org (a new membership organization that leverages collective power by offering debtors a shared platform for organization, advocacy, and direct action) and RollingJubilee (a project that buys student debt for pennies on the dollar, and instead of collecting on it, abolishes it)
  • Read: Rise Citizen’s Guide to the Budget, a working document that details the cuts that are being considered.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I am appalled by the proposed budget cuts to the Department of Education and the reallocation of money toward private and charter schools; public money should be for public schools. I’m particularly distressed to hear that there are proposed cuts to after-school programs that serve low-income children, arts education and teacher training, as well as threats to end the public service/non profit student loan forgiveness programs. I urge the Senator/Rep. to do everything in his/her power to object to these misguided budget priorities.
 

Additional talking points:

 


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.