Contact all Federal Members of Congress(includes contact info and links to social media)https://www.contactingcongress.org/
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White House contact: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
HOSPITAL STAFF NEEDED IN NYC: New York hospitals are facing a desperate staffing shortage, Andy Slavitt, former ACA head for Obama informs us. If we are, or know any, Respiratory Therapists, RNs or Nurse Practitioners, the hospitals will pay for our flight, put us up in a hotel and pay us very, very generously. They also have enough PPE to protect us. https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1246838768063205382 Slavitt’s ultimate idea is to form a brigade that will go from one hot spot to another, equipped with PPE, which this particular call promises to provide. Also, for those getting their hours cut or being laid off, this is lucrative work. Right now, this is the biggest crisis point for NYC and the rest of us can help out now, and hopefully, get assistance when out crisis hits worse. We can find out more and sign up here, then share with our friends on social media: https://covid.nychealthandhospitals.org/Volunteer We can also contact @AndrewSchwabDC at @USofCare for information.
VOTE BY MAIL: The RNC and the Trump Organization are beginning a major legal and political push against efforts to shift to vote by mail and make it easier for people to vote from home – very explicitly arguing that it would be bad for the Republican Party politically. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/03/trump-2020-election-legal-battle-coronavirus-162152and https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-4-2020 We need to make sure coronavirus doesn’t stop people from making their voices heard in November. Let’s call our members of Congress and tell them we want them to push for more funding for the states to shift to vote by mail, and call our state legislators and governors and insist that they give people the option to vote by mail and make it easy for them to do so in the general election.
STATES COMPETING WITH THE FEDS: After learning that the federal government was not going to help procure needed medical supplies to cover the COVID-19 crisis, the states have been competing with each other and, as it turns out, the federal government as well, which has been usurping states’ orders. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/03/31/nation/warren-feds-why-did-you-take-massachusettss-medical-supplies/and https://www.denverpost.com/2020/04/04/coronavirus-colorado-polis-ventilators-fema/and https://wfpl.org/federal-government-outbids-kentucky-for-medical-equipment-amid-shortage/ Let’s see if our MoCs can intervene and help create a national answer to this problem.
FARMWORKERS AND COVID-10-9: From one of our own: What would Cesar Chavez say? Farm workers who are harvesting our food were left out of latest #COVID19 aid. They face huge risk & new economic burdens. https://katu.com/news/coronavirus/how-coronavirus-threatens-seasonal-farmworkers-at-the-heart-of-the-us-food-supply Email your Congressmembers to ensure these Essential Workers get the hazard pay they deserve. https://ufw.org/covidaction33120
RELEASE MIGRANT CHILDREN FROM DETENTION: Last week, a federal judge gave the administration until yesterday to release detained migrant children, whose imprisonment puts them at higher risk of contracting COVID. https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-03-31/trump-ruling-release-migrant-children-parents-coronavirus?. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Rosa DeLaura (D-CT) have sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Department of Justice (DOJ) Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review James McHenry, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan sharing their concerns about unnecessary confinement, the lack of social distancing in these facilities, and ORRs slow pace in reuniting children, who should not, by law be in custody for more than 20 days, with families and sponsors. https://delauro.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/delauro-murray-urge-trump-administration-ensure-unaccompanied-minors-are?fbclid=IwAR1gKsjpggu7sbh3jfhoHqEO_pcFF16OYamlTSrDnU7pInl7hxd65drpW4c. Let’s ask our MoCs to sign on to this letter and put pressure on ORR to follow the recent court ruling and release these children immediately.
TRUMP USING COVID AS AN EXCUSE TO DENY ALL ASYLUM CLAIMS: A leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security has verified that DHS is now automatically expelling anyone who crosses the border and giving them no legal option to claim asylum, which is a violation of law and due process. https://www.propublica.org/article/leaked-border-patrol-memo-tells-agents-to-send-migrants-back-immediately-ignoring-asylum-law#181945. Let’s make sure our MoCs are aware of this flagrant violation of the law and ask them what they can do to stop it.
PRESSURE CHARTER AIRLINES TO STOP DEPORTATION FLIGHTS: Classic Air Charters is one of the companies involved in arranging Swift Air and World Atlantic Airline flights from Brownsville Texas to Central America. Let’s contact these three airlines at the links above and demand that they stop participating in activities that put people’s lives at risk.
BLOOD DONATION RESTRICTIONS: UPDATE: The coronavirus has taken a foothold in each state, and in order to follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, the Red Cross has canceled more than 5,000 blood drives. The U.S. is now facing a blood shortage (https://bit.ly/2Uab295). While the FDA has revised its restrictions on donations from men who have had sex with other men, it has still not lifted its discriminatory ban in its entirety. Let’s contact FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and tell him that this unscientific, outdated rule needs to end and that we want him to lift the ban. We can reach him via e-mail: CommissionerFDA@fda.hhs.gov, on Twitter @SteveFDA or by mail to Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061 Rockville, MD 20852
DISABILITY HOTLINE: A group of disabled activists have joined together with support from the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies to create The Disability Underground Network. The Network’s primary focus is operating the National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline, where disabled people across the country can call in and receive medical advocacy and/or mutual aid. Let’s be sure to share the hotline number with those in our community to ensure that they are able to receive the help they need. National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline: (800) 626-4959, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
STOCK TRADING BAN: Late last week, there were even more revelations about potential use of inside information on the stock markets by members of Congress. Senator Kelly Loeffler sold stock in an online travel company right before Trump announced a flight ban to Europe (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-03/georgia-senator-loeffler-did-quick-dump-of-travel-company-stock). Let’s remove any doubt and call our members of Congress to tell them to commit to supporting legislation that bans senators and representatives from holding individual stocks while in office.
USING ZOOM? “Millions are staying home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Whether it’s for work, education, or recreation, people are flocking to Zoom for their video conferencing needs. But is Zoom safe? For years Zoom has claimed to use end-to-end encryption to keep users’ communications secure. It turns out the company misled users.” Turns out they are not. https://www.zdnet.com/article/zoom-concedes-custom-encryption-is-sub-standard-as-citizen-lab-pokes-holes-in-it/ Sign this petition to tell the company to implement end-to-end encryption already: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-zoom-to-stop-putting-people-in-danger-during-the-covid-19-crisis
POSTCARDING ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES: From one of our own: Let’s work on these: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m6NeIQEhs6uYGiwLFet4RoKAHRNcl_OI13vlBYEjNhc/edit
NO-SEW MASKS: The CDC is now advising we wear masks when we leave the house. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/03/826219824/president-trump-says-cdc-now-recommends-americans-wear-cloth-masks-in-public We can make cotton masks from ordinary household items. Here are various versions: https://twitter.com/RyanHaarer/status/1246246671551311872; and http://blog.japanesecreations.com/no-sew-face-mask-with-handkerchief-and-hair-tie; and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html
PROTECT OUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS: Here’s a crowdsourcing website where “Hospitals post the protective supplies they need. People, businesses, and other medical facilities ship or drop off directly to the hospitals in need.” Anyone can use the site. Let’s coordinate to get them what they need.https://protectanurse.com
HELP RESEARCHERS TRACK THE VIRUS: Given the failure of the Trump administration to track the coronavirus through widespread testing, researchers are seeking to track people who have covid-19 symptoms. https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/help-researchers-track-coronavirus-by-reporting-your-covid-19-symptoms While it’s true that this tracking data will be less robust than tracking through testing, researchers still believe they will gain valuable insights. Let’s learn more and help to crowdsource the pandemic at COVID Near You: https://scistarter.org/covid-near-you
FREE ONLINE RESOURCES FOR PARENTS: “So many creators of children’s books have risen to the call for help from teachers and parents during the COVID-19 crisis by creating online materials that will entertain, instruct, and inspire children and young people.” The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has created a website that collects these materials. Let’s give them a try!https://www.scbwi.org/digital-directory-for-remote-learning-resources/
GENERATION CITIZEN FAMILY ACTIVITIES: Generation Citizen offers programs and activities to “empower young people to become engaged and effective citizens.” https://generationcitizen.org/about-us/mission-vision/ During this stay-at-home period, GC is offering “take action” activities for families to do together at home. Here’s an example: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k8_tRBu9QeefEXMHvK7m3WrvjawHi6GI/viewLet’s keep informed of (and participate in!) these opportunities by “liking” their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/generationcitizen , and by signing up for their newsletter, https://generationcitizen.org/newsletter/ .
SUPPORT A HOSPITAL IN ITALY BY LISTENING TO A SONG: This song is from Italy’s most famous band in the 70’s. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/international/9348718/roby-facchinetti-interview-rinascero-rinascerai-italyThey have donated the copyrights to the hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy. Every click on the video means a gift, because YouTube pays the owner of those copyrights per click. In Bergamo hospital, 800 people died in one day alone. So, share this video as much as possible. Grazie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5DhJS5hGWc&app=desktop
STANFORD UNIVERSITY COVID-19 STUDY: Stanford University is asking us all to take part in an on-going survey about COVID-19. The information will be used to inform local and national responses, such as redirecting medical resources or improving policies and public guidance. Let’s do this and pass along to others, too: https://med.stanford.edu/covid19/covid-counter.html
COVID-19 COPING STUDY: The University of Michigan School of Public Health is seeking participants aged 55 and older to take part in their COVID-19 Coping Study. “The purpose of this study is to find out how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is affecting the health and well-being of older adults in the United States. We hope to better understand older adults’ experiences, perspectives, and ways of coping during the crisis.” We can sign up here: https://umich.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2t6Pox3Lu9K4Sa1
WI:FIND DRIVE THRU, CURBSIDE VOTE SITES OR DROP OFF ABSENTEE BALLOTS: With last night’s late Supreme Court decision,Republicans have forced Wisconsin’s elections to be held today, Tuesday, April 7, despite Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order that restricts ”All “public and private gatherings of any number of people that are not part of a single household” https://www.wpr.org/what-know-about-wisconsins-coronavirus-stay-home-order Fortunately, Wisconsin Democratic Party has a guide to help us vote safer. When we click this link, we can find information on how we can vote using curbside or drive-thru options, as well as how we can drop off our absentee ballots in our town, village, or city. All ballots must be dropped off in-person before 8:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, April 7, at the latest, but some municipalities have earlier deadlines, as shown here. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by Election Day, Tuesday, April 7. We can find Vote Safer information here: https://wisdems.org/voter-information-page/curbside-voting-information/
P2V ELECTION WATCH: Postcards to Voters’ (P2V) volunteers wrote to Democrats across Wisconsin for Campaign 197: Jill Karofsky for WI Supreme Court. Unless the US Supreme Court rules otherwise, this election is set to proceed as scheduled. (More at Politico.) The race for WI Supreme Court is the primary reason that Republicans are so intent with holding the election as planned. (More at The Intercept). Thank you to everyone who wrote for and/or worked on Judge Karofsky’s campaign. Let’s watch the returns for this important election.
NEW POSTCARD CAMPAIGN: Postcards to Voters kicked off Campaign 198: Christy Smith for Congress, California District 25 (Simi Valley area). This May 12 special election will be held exclusively by mail. Let’s request 5 addresses today for this important campaign.
NEED POSTCARDS? Postcards to Voters’ flying banner and critter vote-by-mail designs are back in stock at P2V’s Etsy store. We can order a set of 100 cards for $15. Sales help support P2V’s operating costs. If we are looking for postcards, let’s be sure to check these great designs.
ALL:ASK CITY GOVERNMENTS TO SAVE LIVES USING NYC BASED COVID-19 PLAYBOOK TO UNITE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES: As our cities face the onslaught of hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases, we can act now to prevent massive numbers of deaths in our most vulnerable at risk populations by using the New York City COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition (CRRC)’s Playbook. Our fragmented health and social services systems will need to quickly form partnerships to serve our most vulnerable at risk people, and this playbook can help guide us through it. We can help our cities save vulnerable lives, by coordinating healthcare, social services and more, when we check out The United States of Care COVID-19 Playbook, with its replicable goals, tactics and work streams, then ask our local government officials to read it and consider how best to use its tactics. https://unitedstatesofcare.org/covid-19/playbook-and-case-study-of-nyc-covid-19-coalition/
MI: HOMELESS MICHIGANDERS: Last week, the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, along with over 80 organizations across Michigan, sent a letter to Governor Whitmer, urging her to prioritize the homeless population as she takes action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to care for all Michiganders (https://bit.ly/2wlUOAQ). The letter points out that those who experience homelessness “are twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die.” The letter also notes five specific actions that can be taken to protect our homeless population. Let’s read through the letter, then contact Governor Whitmer and Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, and ask them to work with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness to support homeless Michiganders. Governor Whitmer: P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909, 517-373-3400/517-335-7858. Director Gordon: 517-335-0267, email@example.com
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS/COVID-19: Organizers from Oxfam America, Mijente, RAICES, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Western North Carolina Workers’ Center are joining together today, Tuesday, April 7th, to host a webinar on COVID-19 and the undocumented community. Presenters will “examine the impact of COVID-19 on undocumented people, what that means for the United States in terms of equity, justice, workers’ rights, and public health, and how communities are responding to the crisis.” Let’s sign up and learn how we can help support the undocumented community: https://bit.ly/2wixcgt
This Is Our (Caring) Revolution – https://onbeing.org/programs/ai-jen-poo-this-is-our-caring-revolution/
5 Ways Small Actions Have Huge Power– https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/mental-health/2018/09/10/5-ways-small-actions-have-huge-power/
What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage – https://marker.medium.com/what-everyones-getting-wrong-about-the-toilet-paper-shortage-c812e1358fe0
If Technology Can’t Save Us, What Will? – https://teacherinastrangeland.blog/2020/04/05/if-technology-cant-save-us-what-will/
Praise Song for the Pandemic – https://www.theworkofthepeople.com/praise-song-for-the-pandemic
We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule
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