Rogan’s List for 05/26/2020

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

ESSENTIAL, BUT UNDOCUMENTED: “The roughly 2.4 million farm workers who plant and harvest America’s produce have been deemed “essential workers” during the coronavirus crisis, which has plunged the economy into uncertainty and raised fears about food shortages.But the “essential worker” label poses a dilemma for roughly half of those farm workers, whose work is both desperately needed and illegal.” https://www.businessinsider.com/immigrant-farm-workers-deemed-essential-but-feel-expendable-2020-5 Let’s make sure that our MoCs know that we want ALL essential workers looked after in the next COVID relief bill.  We count on these workers for our food.


OPPOSE ANOTHER ULTRACONSERVATIVE TRUMP JUDGE:  Instead of focusing on the pandemic or the economic crisis, Senate Republicans are pushing forward with confirming more of Trump’s ultra-conservative judicial nominees. Last week, they held a hearing on the nomination of Cory Wilson to the 5th Circuit – in spite of Wilson’s record of attacking the Affordable Care Act as illegitimate, support for restrictions on voting rights and opposition to reproductive rights. https://www.gulflive.com/news/2020/05/dems-question-moss-point-native-and-judicial-nominee-cory-wilson-about-past-partisan-remarks.htmlLet’s call our senators and tell them to oppose Wilson and other extremist Trump nominees and focus on dealing with the crisis at hand.


USDA CHAOS:  The Department of Agriculture (USDA) ignored ed the largest food distribution companies and nonprofits with experience feeding the poor on a large scale, instead giving $107 million in contracts to bring farm surplus to hungry Americans to a San Antonio event planner, an avocado mail-order company, a health-and-wellness airport kiosk company, and a trade finance corporation with little or no competence in this area; one of these contracts has been withdrawn: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/22/trumps-signature-effort-direct-farm-surplus-needy-families-abruptly-withdraws-large-contract-amid-criticism-programs-rollout/  As milk is dumped and crops ploughed under throughout the US, we need the USDA to fund experienced, competent organizations to distribute food to the millions of hungry Americans in need of assistance:   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/02/us-food-banks-coronavirus-demand-unemployment and https://www.vox.com/2020/5/9/21251895/food-banks-lines-pandemic Let’s contact the USDA, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington DC 20250 or 202-720-2791.


YET ANOTHER ATTACK ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD:  A fight is brewing over an award of $80 million of Small Business loans made to Planned Parenthood nonprofits; seizing on any opportunity, Republicans now say that these separate nonprofits are too closely affiliated with the national organization to be eligible for PPP loans as independent entities, and they want Barr’s Justice department to investigate:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/23/planned-parenthood-sba-ppp-loans/ or https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/abortion/499272-senate-republicans-call-on-justice-dept-to-investigate-planned We must urge our MoCs to defend Planned Parenthood.


TRUMP GOLFING AND TWEETING OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND:As the death toll from COVID in the United States neared 100,000, Trump took to the golf course over Memorial Day weekend with no more significant national plan in place than he had in February. He also took to Twitter to foment conspiracy theories:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/23/trump-golf-course-coronavirus  and  https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/24/media/twitter-donald-trump-joe-scarborough-reliable-sources/index.htmlLet’s contact Trump to say “you’re fired and ask our GOP MoCs why they continue to stand behind our unfit POTUS.


Correction:CENSURE TRUMP FOR WITHOLDING THREAT AND INSIST ON UNIVERSAL RIGHT TO VOTE BY MAIL: Trump is threatening to withhold funds from Michigan and Nevada, two states with Democrat governors for sending applications for absentee ballots to their registered voters, with the bogus accusation of encouraging voter fraud. Several states with Republican governors, such as Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia, have also sent their voters absentee ballot applications, and Maryland, which has a Republican governor, is actually sending everyone absentee ballots. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-threatens-cut-michigan-nevada-funding-mail-in-voting/Let’s call out Trump for his disgusting bullying in making voters choose between their health and their right to vote in our local newspapers and demand that Congress pass The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 (S. 3529). And let’s contact our own governor and ask them to follow the lead of these states in making sure everyone who wants one has easy access to an absentee ballot. 


COPING WITH COVID: The National Humanities Alliance would like our feedback. The following survey “provides you an opportunity to reflect upon your experience of the coronavirus pandemic and ways you may have drawn upon the humanities to help you navigate the many challenges involved.” Let’s help them hear why the humanities continue to matter — they’ll likely be able to use what they learn to lobby for vitally needed funding from Congress: https://nha.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_71bpP6Z8IBJxpCB


POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITY:  From one of our own:  I hope you’re finding little joys to savor as we travel together (but separate) through this pandemic. One of those pleasures can be telling those in power exactly what you’re thinking right now, and I hope these write-ups can help you with that. The online national version of the write-ups can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nFrMvaHrr8EMreoKMRFXUXOIQhQAIK6YeYuV577Utu0/edit?usp=sharing Let’s write!



ELECTION/VOTING


2020 ELECTION CALENDAR: This resource is searchable by date and state –  https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2020-state-primary-election-dates.aspx


REMINDER:Let’s make sure to regularly check our voter registration status. States are purging voters routinely–we don’t want to get caught off guard. Take 1 minute and check right now: I Will Vote  Then, let’scheck how to vote by mail in our state. Many rules have changed due to the pandemic and we may be able to vote with a mailed ballot. We can find our state’s latest voting rules here: How to Vote By Mail in Every State


REPUBLICAN VOTER SUPPRESSION EFFORTS: Last week, Trump inaccurately accused Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state of mailing ballots to all of the state’s registered voters, falsely claiming that this is illegal, and threatened to withhold federal funds from both Michigan and Nevada if they expand vote-by-mail plans:   https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/20/nation/trump-threatens-funding-michigan-over-absentee-ballot-program/  Despite the lines in Wisconsin and the coronavirus pandemic, Republicans are doing everything they can to stop the movement toward mail-in ballots, ramping up their false claims of voter fraud—of which there is no evidence—and spending huge amounts on plans to suppress voter turnout in November:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/us/Voting-republicans-trump.html or https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/18/republicans-devote-20m-and-0000-people-into-efforts-to-restrict-voting It is crucial that we lend our support to groups who are trying to counter this attempt to suppress the vote: one of many, many groups is Fair Fight https://fairfight.com/fair-fight-2020/  Let’s find the one we think is most effective and join!


HELP RETURNING CITIZENS GET REGISTERED TO VOTE IN FLORIDA: A federal judge has ruled against Florida Republicans’ attempts to undermine the restoration of voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, saying that their requirements that returning citizens pay all fees and fines to be eligible to register to vote constituted a poll tax. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-judge-guts-florida-law-requiring-felons-to-pay-fines-before-they-can-vote/2020/05/24/a7f553ba-9c3a-11ea-a2b3-5c3f2d1586df_story.htmlor https://apnews.com/a91404d0db88bac1beb085f31d74c9df Now the fight is on to get as much of this formerly disenfranchised population registered as possible before Election Day. Let’s sign up to volunteer for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition or donate to their efforts to do so.


WOMEN DITCH MITCH:  Women’s March Action is taking on Mitch McConnell and ditching him in 2020.  Mitch McConnell has been a disaster for the country but worse for the Women of Kentucky.  This campaign & strategy will consist of postcard writing, text banking & phone banking ALL in an effort to DITCH MITCH! Postcard writing is the first step to reaching voters between now and November. This Women Ditch Mitch campaign will start with postcard writing to the 2.2 million women in Kentucky.  Let’s learn more and sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/women-ditch-mitch-postcards


DEMOCRATS VOTING FROM ABROAD: “If we are to have safe, healthy, and fair elections this year, Americans at home must make widespread use of mail ballots, while Americans abroad must have the ability to return their ballots securely via email or web portal.” Let’s call our Members of Congress to ensure we can email/upload our ballots from abroad! Script here for states that DO NOT allow emailed ballot returns: https://www.democratsabroad.org/support_ballot_returns_by_email_or_web_portal


SEND POSTCARDS TO RESTORE VOTING STATUS TO GEORGIA VOTERS: From one of our own: With crucial elections coming up this year, both sides know that turnout is more important than ever. Not surprisingly, voter suppression is in full swing, but we can help to combat it, with a simple postcard action to help restore voting status to purged Muscogee City, Georgia residents. We can sign up here to get a pack (25 or 50) of postcards/addresses sent to us.  https://forms.gle/QWPqAXJwYKqeV4Bt9If we need postcard stamps, we can buy them here:   https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/coral-reefs-postcard-stamp-S_745104 Every voter matters and every vote counts. Let’s help get out the vote today!


REACH KENTUCKY VOTERSPostcards to Voters‘ Campaign 200: Dr. Karen Berg for State Senate (SD26) has just launched. (Information about this special election at Ballotpedia. More about Dr. Berg at KarenForKentucky.comWe can help get out the vote for this June 23 election by requesting 5 addresses today. 



STATE/LOCAL


ALL:VOTING RIGHTS: Demanding vote-by-mail is not enough. Too many states have restrictive vote-by-mail rules that disproportionally disenfranchise voters who are young, minority, and/or female. Safe voting in a pandemic requires fair access to vote-by-mail, so we must all demand our state/district voting authorities to adopt these Four Pillars:https://www.democracydocket.com/2020/05/vbm-for-young-and-minority-voters/.


MEMAINE VOTES 2020:  With one of the most important election seasons of our lives happening in the midst of a global pandemic, it is time to be as informed and prepared as we can. Maine starts off with its primary coming up on July 14, 2020, with the general election following on November 3. Fortunately, Suit Up Maine has prepared us an extensive Voter Guide, covering absentee ballots, registration, volunteer opportunities, voter protection and more. We can click here to see all the resources offered in our Suit Up Maine Voter Information guide, then get ready to vote, volunteer, and share this information with our friends on social media: https://www.suitupmaine.org/maine-votes-2020/



RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS


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 tomorrow, 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.


JOIN PEN’S “UNITE AGAINST HATE“ONLINE DAY OF ACTION: As the global pandemic rages through our society, assaults and hate crimes are on the rise. It has been painful to see a specific rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, as well as xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Black violence continue. It is time to stand up against hatred and demand a fair, just and compassionate society for all of us.  We can click here to join PEN America and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop,  tomorrow,  Wednesday May 27 for a day of online action to condemn this scourge; celebrate Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander writers; and to raise our voices to call out hate in all its heinous forms: https://pen.org/event/united-against-hate-a-day-of-solidarity/


RECLAIM OUR VOTE SUMMIT: “Our “COVID-19 and the 2020 Elections” webinar series launches with this two-day event that tackles what must be done to sustain momentum towards fair elections despite the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.  We believe that now, when things are so difficult and uncertain, is when we must build unity towards one essential goal – a fair and free election.”  Let’s join Center for Common Ground’s Reclaim Our Vote summit on May 30 and 31.  More information and sign up is here:  https://actionnetwork.org/events/covid-19-and-the-2020-elections-virtual-summit


MASS POOR PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY & MORAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON: “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!”  We can sign up here:  https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington



READING/WATCHING/LISTENING
From Camping To Dining Out: Here’s How Experts Rate The Risks Of 14 Summer Activities – https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/23/861325631/from-camping-to-dining-out-heres-how-experts-rate-the-risks-of-14-summer-activit
‘Incalculable loss’: New York Times covers front page with 1,000 Covid-19 death notices – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/24/new-york-times-front-page-1000-covid-19-death-notices
Donald Trump Is the Most Effective President Ever – https://www.theroot.com/donald-trump-is-the-most-effective-president-ever-1843607231
Putin Is Well on His Way to Stealing the Next Election – https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/putin-american-democracy/610570/
Trump Is Brazenly Interfering With the 2020 Election – https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/trump-out-open/611875/
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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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