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
CARES ACT FOUL-UP: “While wealthy Americans are not eligible for the comparatively measly $1,200 stimulus checks that are now being disbursed to many Americans, they are on pace to do even better. 43,000 taxpayers, who earn more than $1 million annually, are each set to receive a $1.7 million windfall, on average, thanks to a provision buried in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/shaharziv/2020/04/14/why-are-rich-americans-getting-17-million-stimulus-checks/#78490146665b The wealthy do not need another monetary break. Let’s tell our MoCs that we do not want to see anything in future COVID bills that does not help the people and small businesses that need real help.
PROTECTION FOR DR. FAUCI: It’s hard to imagine a worse time for Donald Trump to get rid of his leading public health experts. Even so, he retweeted a call to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci last week after Dr. Fauci indicated that earlier adoption of social distancing could have saved lives. We need to protect the folks who are protecting us, which is why Senator Ed Markey is introducing legislation to limit the President’s power to remove directors of national resource institutes or national centers under the National Institutes of Health. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/492682-dem-senator-to-introduce-bill-to-limit-trumps-ability-to-fire-fauci Let’s contact our members of Congress and tell them we support Dr. Fauci, and we’d like to see protections like the ones Senator Markey is proposing made law.
CONTINUED LOCKDOWN: Over the weekend, Trump praised protestors across many states who were protesting state lockdowns and demanding their freedom and a premature economic reopening. This took place as the death toll in the United States from COVID-19 topped 40,000: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/coronavirus-trump-says-some-governors-have-gone-too-far-lockdown-n1187596 Let’s reach out to our all our government officials to say that we expect decisions about easing restrictions to be made based on science and not on the whims of our authoritarian Pied Piper of anti-science mayhem.
ASK OUR MOC TO INVESTIGATE CONFISCATION OF HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Baystate Health Systems, a major health care vendor in Massachusetts, needed Congressional intervention to prevent an order of much needed health supplies from being diverted to the Department of Homeland Security. https://www.gazettenet.com/Baystate-Health-deals-with-FBI-Homeland-Security-to-get-PPE-33962011and https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/04/ppe-in-the-time-of-covid-19-medical-professionals-fend-for-themselves.html While a local Congressperson was able to intervene, it remains a question whether this is going on elsewhere and what can be done about it. Let’s make sure this issue comes to our MoCs’ attention and ask them to make sure that health care equipment goes to first responders, not to the Department of Homeland Security’s agenda of arresting, detaining, and deporting immigrants.
SUPPORT THE PAYCHECK GUARANTEE ACT, THE AUTOMATIC BOOST TO COMMUNITIES ACT, AND THE PAYCHECK SECURITY ACT: The Paycheck Guarantee Act, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) would allow employers affected by COVID-19 to receive a three month lump sum to cover employee wages, rent, utilities, and health insurance. The program would automatically be extended until the economy achieves a level close to what it was before the pandemic. https://jayapal.house.gov/2020/04/10/jayapal-announces-the-paycheck-guarantee-act/ Rep. Jayapal and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have also introduced the Automatic BOOST to Communities (ABC) Act that would provide recurring stimulus payments to Americans without adding additional debt. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbrett/2020/04/16/automatic-boost-to-communities-act-introduced-in-congress-that-includes-digital-dollar-by-2021/#3d8181f15130 The Senate has come up with the Paycheck Security Act, a similar bill introduced by Doug Jones (D-AL); Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Tim Warner (D-VA): https://www.alreporter.com/2020/04/20/jones-releases-paycheck-security-grant-proposals-to-help-businesses-keep-workers-on-payroll/. Let’s tell our MoCs to support these bills. Giving loans to small businesses is a good start, but it’s not enough. We must make sure to build in strong protections for our workers.
STOP SPREADING COVID BY DEPORTING IMMIGRANTS: Last week 75 migrants deported to Guatemala on a single flight tested positive for COVID. https://abcnews.go.com/amp/International/75-migrants-deported-guatemala-single-flight-tested-positive/story?id=70156471and https://wtov9.com/news/coronavirus/guatemala-us-deportations-driving-up-covid-19-cases? Let’s tell DHS (DHS: 202-282-8495; DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov; https://homelandsecurity.ideascale.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homelandsecurity/; Twitter: @DHS.gov)and our MoCs that we must halt all deportations until the COVID crisis has passed.
SPEAK OUT AGAINST REVERSAL OF POLICIES THAT DECREASED FAMILY SEPARATION: After the public outcry around unnecessary family separation in 2018, the policy that required fingerprinting any potential sponsors was reversed and more children were released to relatives in the United States. However, now that we are distracted by coronavirus, the hardliners are looking at reversing this policy, which will ultimately cause more children imprisoned and separated from their families. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/16/stephen-miller-hhs-family-separation-189784?. Let’s contact our MoCs and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS Comment Line–(1-202-205-5445); https://www.facebook.com/HHS/; Twitter: @HHS.gov) to speak out against this proposed change in policy, especially at a time when people in detention are at a high risk of getting sick. Let’s also make sure our networks know about this change by publicizing it in our activist groups and in local media.
FARM WORKERS EXCLUDED FROM CARES ACT BENEFITS: They may be “essential” to our survival, but farm workers are apparently expendable as far as the government is concerned; under the CARES Act, they are excluded from the economic stimulus others will receive: https://kboo.fm/media/80062-farmworkers-excluded-stimulus-benefits-guestworkers-may-be-left-without-well $9.5 billion is designated for the agricultural sector, but it is unclear whether any of that money will reach farm workers, 50% of whom are undocumented but all of whom pay taxes and are still at work planting and harvesting the food the rest of us eat. Let’s demand that our MoCs take action to protect these workers, or we can sign the United Farm Workers’ letter to our Congresspeople at https://act.seiu.org/onlineactions/-TnFKax9Bk2twoi7MR6qLw2
FOOD DESTROYED WHILE PEOPLE GO HUNGRY: Unbought eggs have been smashed, vegetables plowed under, milk dumped all over the country by farmers who cannot find buyers: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/business/coronavirus-destroying-food.html and https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-nyt-coronavirus-food-waste-20200413-x5n6sbmrh5an3cilo6hxozrkj4-story.html At the same time, demand at food banks has exploded and there’s a dearth of food for those who need it; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-pandemic-food-banks-us-unemployment-new-orleans/ Let’s demand that the federal government buy and redistribute this food. Surely the bulk packaging of food does not justify its destruction in the face of hunger.
KEYSTONE XL: A federal judge has revoked a water crossing permit for the Army Corps of Engineers, until they comply with regulations set in place by the Endangered Species Act (https://bit.ly/2XXjmvv, https://www.nrdc.org/media/2020/200415-0). While this is good news, it does not halt all work on the Keystone XL expansion, only those which cross bodies of water. This means that “man camps” will be set up in rural and tribal communities, putting local residents at greater risk of sex-trafficking, assault, violence against women, and of contracting Covid-19 (https://bit.ly/34OVrQh). Let’s continue to tell Montana governor Steve Bullock that while the risks posed by the pipeline and the man camps themselves are unacceptable, constructing a pipeline during a pandemic is unconscionable and we want all construction to be halted immediately: Governor Bullock directly: By mail: Office of the Governor, PO Box 20080, Helena MT 59620-0801, By phone: 406-444-3111, Toll Free: 855-318-1330, Fax: 406-444-5529
DISABILITY RIGHTS/ACCESSIBILITY: As more work continues to be done virtually, it is essential that we are not excluding the voices of disabled people, who account for roughly 26% of the adult population in the U.S. alone (https://bit.ly/2XSvxt9). Rooted in Rights has published exactly what we can each do to ensure that our virtual meetings are accessible. Let’s be sure to read through it, then share it with our family, friends, and colleagues: https://rootedinrights.org/how-to-make-your-virtual-meetings-and-events-accessible-to-the-disability-community/
VIRTUAL THANK YOU CARDS FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS: The Empower And Help Global Challenge students are making virtual thank you cards for our essential workers around the world, thanking them for working hard to keep us safe. We can click this link to see current cards and to add the name of an essential worker from anywhere in world. Empower And Help Global Challenge students will the make them a card, upload it and send us the link when it is ready: https://empowerandhelp.com/cards-of-hope/
POSTCARDING OPPORTUNTIES: From one of our own: Let’s remember that we may be physically isolated, but we are united in our desire positive change.
You can find this week’s postcarding write-ups here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H3vH9wT4ZvSbP3svDIp_CIvL0w-wVnJHHuRKqJ6O0l0/edit?usp=sharing
HOW TO VOTE BY MAIL IN EVERY SINGLE STATE: Voting my mail is becoming more of a necessity. Let’s check our own states and see what we have to do: https://politicalcharge.org/2020/04/10/how-to-vote-by-mail-in-every-single-state/
CHRISTY SMITH FOR U.S. CONGRESS: The next big electoral test during this pandemic is the runoff for the California 25th District House seat. It’s less than four weeks away, and a Republican super PAC has just announced they’ll spend more than half a million dollars attacking Democratic nominee Christy Smith to win it. https://www.rollcall.com/2020/04/16/gop-super-pac-enters-special-election-battle-in-california/We have to defend this seat and send a message to Trump and the GOP. Let’s help Christy win – we can sign up to make calls for her from home here.
REACH WISCONSIN VOTERS! Postcards to Voters‘ has launched Campaign 199: Tricia Zunker for Congress. Voters can mail in their ballots before or vote on May 12 for this special election for representation in the Wausau area. Let’s request 5 addresses today to remind Wisconsin voters of this important election.
MANY: PROTESTING STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS: In several states we’ve seen protests pop up over their governor’s stay-at home orders. While some protesters were following safe, protective guidelines, many others were not leading to a fear of increased COVID rates in coming weeks. https://www.newsweek.com/protests-against-stay-home-orders-around-country-photos-1499036 We know that people want to get back to normal and work and get the economy and lives back on track, but we also know that slow, steady and led by science is the way to make sure that more of us make it through safely. If our governors are following through on stay-at-home orders, let’s let them know that we support them. They are very aware of those who do not. If our governors are NOT doing a stay-at-home order, let’s ask them why: https://www.usa.gov/state-governor
MI: BALLOT PROPOSAL: From Fair and Equal Michigan: Not sure how to help Fair and Equal Michigan during Shelter at Home? Here’s some tips! 1.) Make calls on behalf of the campaign: https://bit.ly/2IYL8yP 2.) Email the link to the online petition to your contact list: https://fairandequalmichigan.com/sign 3.) Text the link to the online petition to your contact list: https://fairandequalmichigan.com/sign 4.) Share the Facebook post regarding our online petition to any group or page that you are a part of! 5.) Donate to the campaign: https://bit.ly/2XLyJa7 6.) Share your story with us: https://rebrand.ly/6o6rrjb If we haven’t done so already, and are Michigan residents, let’s be sure to sign the petition to put equal LGBTQ rights on the ballot in November, then let’s work our way through each of the listed actions.
MI: OPERATION GRIDLOCK: From MI Resistance: On April 15th, 2020, “Operation Gridlock”, an event organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, encouraged thousands of people to endanger public safety by blocking Lansing streets and gathering on the Capitol lawn. There, cheering them on were MI GOP State Representatives Matt Maddock and Julie Alexander, and State Senator Tom Barrett. That’s right, lawmakers defied the law they passed on April 7th, just to take some cheap shots at the Governor. We couldn’t express our anger better than this hospital worker who witnessed the protest while trying to get to work. Let’s let these taxpayer-funded, elected officials know that inciting people to endanger our lives is unacceptable: Rep. Julie Alexander (517) 373-1795, Rep. Matt Maddock (517) 373-2616, Sen. Tom Barrett (517) 373-344
Misinformation Goes Viral – https://medium.com/swlh/misinformation-goes-viral-1aad951e4492
COVID-19 Information from Actual Experts: Disaster Podcast. Check out “Patient Care Update with Dr. Joe Holley #4” on Apple podcasts. Useful information for patients and health care workers alike – https://disasterpodcast.com/2020/04/covid-19-patient-care-update-4-with-dr-joe-holley/
MY KIDS ask about COVID-19 & get answers from expert ANDY SLAVITT –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EhChTrSlPM
[Heather Cox Richardson’s] Letters from An American: April 19 – https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-19-2020———————————————————————————————-
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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