Rogan’s List for 04/30/2020

20 mins read

NATIONAL ISSUES

Contact all Federal Members of Congress(includes contact info and links to social media)https://www.contactingcongress.org/
Fax legislators for free:Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.phpSenate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/
Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: https://store.usps.com/store/
Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/
White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house

INSIST THAT THE NEXT CORONAVIRUS RELIEF ACT PROTECT WORKERS, NOT BUSINESSES: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who thinks it’s ok for states to apply for bankruptcy has a different take on businesses. McConnell says he will not support any bill that doesn’t include business liability protections. So far, House Leader, Nancy Pelosi is holding firm on making sure that the next relief bill’s focus is on workers, not businesses. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/495302-pelosi-democrats-will-not-back-business-liability-protections-in-cares-act.  Let’s tell our MoCs that we agree with Pelosi’s stance. We want to see a bill that addresses the priorities laid out in Senator Warren’s Worker’s Bill of Rights. 
MEATPACKERS FORCED TO WORK DESPITE VIRUS OUTBREAK:  We know Trump likes his hamburgers, but it is outrageous that he has finally decided to actually use the Defense Production Act NOT to manufacture lifesaving medical equipment but to force meatpacking employees, regardless of the protection offered (or not offered) them, to resume work despite the covid-19 outbreaks that have shut down their plants; the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, representing 1.3 million food and retail workers, said Tuesday that 20 food-processing and meatpacking union workers in the U.S. have died of the virus while an estimated 6,500 are sick or have been exposed to another worker who tested positive: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/04/donald-trump-meat-plants-executive-order and https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-coronavirus-trump-slaughterhouse-meatpacking-20200429-34sj5c3neray7jrylc7l3pnnfm-story.htmlLet’s tell the White House what we think of Trump’s immoral decision to force these “essential” workers to work in virus-infested packinghouses.

UNFETTERED AID TO CORPORATIONS: The Federal Reserve will effectively lend $500 billion to large corporations by buying their bonds. When the Fed altered the design of the program so as to exclude direct corporate lending, they conveniently made this aid exempt from the rules passed by Congress and sidestepped the CARES Act requirement limiting dividends, executive compensation and stock buybacks; likewise, as now planned this program does not require these companies to maintain certain employment levels—this, even though one of the stated goals of the Fed’s monetary policy is to maintain maximum employment:  https://www.stripes.com/news/us/500-billion-bailout-plan-for-large-companies-has-no-requirements-to-preserve-jobs-or-limit-executive-pay-1.627715 or https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/23/doggett-whitehouse-corrupt-tax-provision-cares-act-column/2998466001/or  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/28/federal-reserve-bond-corporations/ To let the Fed’s Board of Governors know what we think, call 202-452-3000 or email https://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/contactus/feedback.aspx


ANOTHER TRUMP QUID PRO QUO:  Trump suggested that financial aid to states and localities facing the prospect of making deep cuts to essential services like education may be contingent on their rolling back sanctuary policies for immigrants.  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/28/trump-states-bailout-sanctuary-cities-215507Let’s contact our members of Congress and tell them it’s outrageous for Trump to attempt to use this crisis to “I would like you to do us a favor though” his way into imposing his anti-immigrant agenda – and we want them to say so publicly.


SENATE RETURNING FOR MORE JUDGES:  The Senate is returning to session next week – and in the midst of this pandemic, they’re continuing to rush through Trump’s extremist conservative judicial picks.   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/us/politics/senate-republicans-judicial-nominees.htmlor https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mcconnell-s-focus-when-senate-comes-back-will-be-judges-n1194776 Let’s 1) contact our senators and tell them in no circumstances should they do anything that supports the GOP packing of our courts during this national emergency, 2) read and share this Guardian article on the consequences of that court-packing, 3) support Democratic Senate challengers like Sara GideonCal CunninghamMark KellyBarbara BollierTheresa Greenfield or Steve Bullock to ensure that we’re in position to block future Trump judicial appointments or confirm Democratic appointments next year and 4) sign up with and follow Demand Justice to stay engaged with this fight.


PRISONERS AND COVID:  Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in our prisons, jails and detention centers. This is dangerous for the incarcerated, and for the communities they’re in – staff are exposed and spreading it outside the prison walls. Epidemiologists have estimated that unless more is done, these outbreaks could lead to the COVID-19 death toll nearly doubling in the U.S. (https://www.npr.org/2020/04/28/846678912/a-ticking-time-bomb-advocates-warn-covid-19-is-spreading-rapidly-behind-bars). The Sentencing Project is calling for prisoner releases and more resources allocated to stopping the spread behind bars. Let’s use this tool they’ve created to ask our lawmakers to follow their recommendations.


STOP SPREADING COVID BY TRANSFERRING AND DEPORTING DETAINEES: After an outbreak of COVID-19 at detention centers in the northeast, ICE transferred many immigrants by plane and bus to a facility in Texas, resulting in another wave of the virus. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/ice-immigrant-transfer-jail-coronavirusAnd ICE also continues to deport people who are sick. Currently, 20% of the COVID-positive population in Guatemala consists of deportees from the U.S. Let’s tell the Department of Homeland Security (202-282-8495; DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.govhttps://homelandsecurity.ideascale.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homelandsecurity/; Twitter: @DHS.gov)to stop all deportations until the crisis has passed and release all detainees who are not a public safety risk immediately. Let’s also bring up the issue with our MoCs and show them this graph, which indicates that the majority of immigrants currently in detention have no criminal convictions. 


VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence visited Mayo Clinic and disregarded their mask policy: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/politics/mike-pence-mayo-clinic-mask/index.htmlLet’s take a moment to let Pence know that disregarding the policy is not leadership and that he had no right to risk the patients and staff there: On Twitter @VP or The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500


COVID-19/NAVAJO NATION: Tribal nations have consistently received inadequate funding and resources from the federal government, with at least 1 in 4 Native Americans living in poverty. This has put the Navajo Nation in a uniquely dismal situation as they are being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, ranking just behind New York and New Jersey in number of positive cases. https://bit.ly/2W7vNlThttps://bit.ly/2KAUKRjhttps://n.pr/3bUOQXj Meanwhile, most state health departments are not even tracking Native American coronavirus cases in their demographics (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/24/us-native-americans-left-out-coronavirus-data). Dr. Debbie Reese, educator and founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature, has compiled a vetted list of ways we can help Native people in the southwestern U.S., including contributing to relief funds and mobile pantries. Let’s work our way through the list. We can also consider donating masks to elders of the Chinle Chapter here. Finally, let’s contact our state MoC and governor and demand that Native Americans be explicitly included in our racial demographic data.


MOTHERS DAY IS MAY 10—GIVE THE GIFT OF THE POST OFFICE: We can show our appreciation for the moms in our lives while supporting the post office by ordering gifts from the USPS Store. We can choose from Earth Day coasters, backpack and messenger bags, framed commemorative stamps, tote bags made of retired mailbags, card sets, and more. Let’s go shopping: https://store.usps.com/store/home


SUPPORT THE POST OFFICE BY WRITING POSTCARDS OR SUPPORTING POSTCARD GROUPS:  We can support the Post Office and keep the Blue Wave going in several ways. We can join a well-established group to help get out the Democratic vote like Postcards to Voters,  or influence policy with Postcards for America, start our our Zoom postcard club, or support an existing group by donating supplies to them. One such group on Maui has leveraged their little, rural group into a powerhouse postcard-writing machine!
These productive writers depend on stamp donations to keep up their good work. One dedicated member has written over 7,000 postcards herself – but couldn’t do it without the stamp donations. Their goal is to write 20,000 GOTV postcards this year and with 10,000 donated, they are halfway there, with 10,000 more to go!!! If we are able to donate, we can help the Maui Postcarders and the Post Office out by buying Forever postcard stamps at  usps.com https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/coral-reefs-postcard-stamp-S_745104 and sending them to group leader Heather Wittenberg at  1787 Wili Pa Loop #7, Wailuku, HI 96768.


ELECTION/VOTING


HOW TO VOTE BY MAIL IN EVERY SINGLE STATE:  Voting by 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/


EXPANDED VOTE BY MAIL IN EIGHT STATES:  Several states have temporarily changed their absentee/voting by mail rules to accommodate the pandemic. Let’s check them out:  https://politicalcharge.org/2020/04/27/checking-in-on-the-8-states-that-just-expanded-voting-by-mail/


FREE VOTING POSTERS: Promote the Vote 2020 “provides free posters for download so anyone can spread the work and get out the vote!” They’re beautiful. Let’s take a look and start sharing: https://vote2020.fyi/work



STATE/LOCAL


ALL:  DEMAND LENIENCY IN UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS FOR HIGH-RISK WORKERS: As several states prepare to loosen restrictions and allow some businesses to open, despite contrary advice from health care experts, employees in Iowa and Texas will lose unemployment benefits if they don’t feel safe enough to go back to work. https://www.businessinsider.com/iowa-tells-workers-return-to-work-or-lose-unemployment-benefits-2020-4and https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/san-antonio/news/2020/04/28/what-texas–phased-reopening-will-mean-for-unemployment-benefitsLet’s tell the governorsof these states that it’s unconscionable to ask someone to choose between their health and a paycheck, and let’s also ask our MoCs if something can be done. 


MANY:  COVID AND SNAP:  “States have jumped on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s options to provide emergency SNAP (food stamp) supplements and ease program administration during the pandemic to deliver more food assistance to struggling families, help manage rising administrative demands, and ensure that participants maintain much-needed benefits.”  https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/most-states-are-easing-snap-participation-rules-many-have-opted-to-provideLet’s check the interactive map in this piece and see what benefits our state is using.  Then, let’s thank or question our state officials.   


MI: ENVIRONMENT: From Michigan Sierra Club: “Each year in the spring, the Michigan Sierra Club organizes a lobby day for our activists to descend upon the State Capitol and rally legislators around Sierra Club priority legislation. However, because the Michigan Capitol building is closed in response to COVID-19, we are moving to instead host a Virtual Lobby Day of Action on May 14th, 2020 — a lobbying event entirely through electronic means.” Let’s sign up to attend and take part in a lobbying day that’s accessible even for the introverted among us. We can e-mail, call, and post on social media, encouraging our lawmakers to pass the Polluter Pay (HB 4212/SB 116) and Public Trust Water Protection (HB 52905292) bills. 



RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS


“VIRUS FREE VOTING” DIGITAL RALLY: Today, Thursday, April 30, from 6-8PM EST, activists across the country are organizing a stealth #VirusFreeVoting digital rally. If you want to participate in one of the many ways they’ve made available, please check out this toolkit. It’s awesome! You can make a video (DemLabs shows us how:  https://mailchi.mp/thedemlabs/flipgridvotebymail), take a selfie, or prepare to deluge twitter with posts in support of Vote by Mail and Postal Service funding.  But remember, post nothing until tomorrow between 3-5 PST or 6-8 EST!! (h/t Chop Wood Carry Water)


POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN: A NATIONAL CALL FOR MORAL REVIVAL: “The second of our digital mass meetings will be today Thursday, April 30, at 8.30pm ET/ 5:30 pm PT. Please join us for the Poverty Amidst Pandemic: Everybody’s Got A Right to Live Digital Mass Meeting, featuring testifiers from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.”   Let’s learn more about this Facebook Live event:  https://www.facebook.com/anewppc/posts/2886584201437736


GET FREE DIGITAL ORGANIZING TRAINING TODAY FROM THE NDTC: Whether we’re running for office, working on a campaign, or building our local party’s or organization’s infrastructure, having a strong digital strategy is integral to meeting our campaign’s needs from fundraising to field strategy to communications. To develop or sharpen our skills, we can join The National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) today, April 30, from 2pm-3pmEST for a free virtual live training on “Digital Organizing: How to Engage and Activate your Audience.” During this digital strategy session, we will learn how to build, engage, and activate our audience online, including writing calls to action. We can sign up for the NDTC’s free Digital Organizing Training here, and an email with directions and login information will be sent prior the virtual live training.https://traindemocrats.org/event/digital-organizing-how-to-build-engage-and-activate-your-audience-online-3


ACLU SMART JUSTICE CAMPAIGN WEBINAR:  The ACLU Smart Justice campaign has decided to host a digital day of action titled “Uniting for Pretrial Reform” in May. It will be online, and it will be throughout the day on May 27th. Some of the sessions include a Q&A with ACLU staff, a tele-townhall with multiple legislators (on the topic of pretrial reform), a storytelling panel in the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be multiples ways to engage our elected officials.  Here’s a registration link to sign up! https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1415859446055/WN_Wb92iZkTRGmkTJlHepNcIg  We want to make sure that people feel their voices can be heard even during this new normal phase we currently we find ourselves in and that we advocate for the most vulnerable of us.



READING/WATCHING/LISTENING
CREW Requests FEMA Records on Coronavirus PPE Seizures – https://www.citizensforethics.org/foia/fema-coronavirus-ppe-seizures/
The Real Reason to Wear a Mask – https://medium.com/the-atlantic/the-real-reason-to-wear-a-mask-e6405abbc484
On living through a pandemic… – https://medium.com/@bobpritchett/on-living-through-a-pandemic-5c6ea0d2ec06
How We Will Beat COVID-19 – https://www.covidexitstrategy.org/
‘Allostatic Load’ is the Psychological Reason for Our Pandemic Brain Fog – https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/n7jap8/allostatic-load-is-the-reason-you-feel-anxious-stressed-from-isolation
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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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