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CENSUS DEADLINE CHANGED: “The Census Bureau has halved the time it has for combing through data from 2020 census results in a verification process that weeds out duplicate responses and finds people who never responded — a step experts say is key to an accurate count. Under pressure from the Trump administration to end the count early, the agency will conclude all enumeration efforts on Sept. 30, and then comb through data before wrapping up the whole process by Dec. 31 — half the time the agency originally anticipated after delaying its initial schedule because of the pandemic.” https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/24/shortened-census-schedule-cuts-data-review time/ and https://www.npr.org/2020/08/29/905846761/the-census-scales-back-a-critical-step-checking-its-own-work COVID has significantly made this decade’s census-taking much more difficult. There is growing concern that this hastened deadline will adversely affect results and be completed under this administration rather than the new one in January. Let’s let our MoCs to support reinstating the October 31 response deadline or extending it so that all Americans can be counted.
NATIVE AMERICAN VOTING RIGHTS: Voter suppression of Native American is nothing new. https://daily.jstor.org/suppressing-native-american-voters/ Because of the current issues with the postal service, many Native Americans could find themselves disenfranchised. https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/21261058/vote-by-mail-native-americans-voting-rights-covid-reservations-ballot The Native American Voting Rights Act (H.R. 1694), which would improve Native access to the ballot box and require tribal consultation in changes to voting laws, has been sitting in committee for over a year. Let’s join the Lakota People’s Law Project, and contact our representatives to ask them to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act: https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/pass-navra
FDA MAY RELEASE INCOMPLETELY TESTED VACCINE: Trump desperately wants credit for the release of a (preferably, American-made) covid-19 vaccine before the presidential election in November; under pressure from the administration, FDA commissioner Steven Hahn announced Sunday that a vaccine could be granted emergency approval before completing Phase 3 human trials, designed to test for safety and efficacy: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/30/fda-covid-19-vaccine-fast-track Already criticized for overstating the efficacy of convalescent plasma treatments, Hahn is now garnering serious pushback from scientists and public health experts for his new announcement—not to mention fielding Trump’s paranoid accusations against the FDA. We must let Hahn know that we, the public, do not want a vaccine until we know it works and is safe—and that we think it dangerous (and foolish) to feed the worst fantasies of the “anti-vaxxers”: @SteveFDA or (888) 463-6332 or 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002.
FAKED SCALISE TWEET: Exploiting the fact that activist Ady Barkan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ady_Barkan), who suffers from ALS, depends on a computerized artificial voice, senior Republican representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) doctored an exchange between Barkan and Joe Biden in an effort to make Biden seem anti-police and then posted the false exchange on Twitter; Scalise has been reprimanded by Biden and by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had his tweet flagged as “manipulated media” by Twitter, and has taken down the tweet. But he has not apologized, to the disabled or otherwise, for hijacking the assistive technology on which Barkan relies; instead he insists that his claim in the tweet is, despite everything, accurate: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/514361-pelosi-biden-slam-scalise-for-video-that-doctored-activists-words Let’s tell Scalise what we think of his falsification at (202) 225-3015 or 2049 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515–and urge our representatives to issue a collective reprimand.
COVID HERD IMMUNITY?: The president’s new, trusted adviser on the pandemic is Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution who endorses a Sweden-style approach for America that would protect specific vulnerable populations, like those in nursing homes, while largely allowing the coronavirus to spread unchecked through other sectors of society. He’s making progress, as is evident in Trump’s latest changes in testing and in his rhetoric. That approach, tried by Sweden, has proven an abysmal failure. https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/514412-report-trump-task-force-adviser-pushing-for-herd-immunity-strategy Let’s protest to Mike Pence the appointment of someone with NO public health expertise to the taskforce he supposedly heads: 202-456-1111 or Office of the Vice President, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20500. Let’s alsocontact our county and state health directors; and our governors and ask them to tell the WH that Sweden tried this, and it didn’t work. We don’t know enough about this disease to spread it to everyone. We are just learning about reinfections and young people developing serious issues months later.
DETAINED IMMIGRANT FAMILIES IN DREADFUL CONDITIONS AFTER HURRICANE LAURA: Witness at the Border and Democracy Now is reporting that these immigrant-prisoners are experiencing subhuman conditions at LaSalle and Jackson Parish correctional centers in Louisiana. https://www.democracynow.org/2020/8/31/headlines/jailed_immigrants_in_louisiana_report_unlivable_conditions_in_ice_jails_after_hurricane_laura and https://latinacomunica.com/2020/08/30/immigrants-at-ice-detention-camps-in-louisiana-denounce-unlivable-conditions-after-hurricane-laura/ Prisoners report that the two facilities, which are housing children as well as adults, are flooded with urine and feces, and have no electricity or access to clean food and water. Let’s call our MoCs and tell them to investigate and put a stop to these inhumane practices and conditions. Let’s also call ICE (866) 347-2423, and the LaSalle Correctional Center (318) 992-1600 and demand that these inmates be released now.
DEMAND RESIGNATION OF KENOSHA POLICE CHIEF AND SHERIFF: ACLU People Power is asking for support in demanding the resignation of Kenosha Police Chief Miskinis and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, after Jacob Blake was shot in the back 7 times by the police, and a 17-year-old white boy who killed two protesters was allowed to leave the streets, carrying his rifle. https://kstp.com/news/17-year-old-charged-in-kenosha-wisconsin-shootings-that-killed-2/5842071/. Let’s call the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission to demand the resignation of Kenosha Police Chief Miskinis (844-966-0055) and Governor Tony Evers to demand the removal of Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth (855-880-2155).
DEMAND ARREST OF POLICE WHO SHOT BREONNA TAYLOR: Five months after Breonna Taylor was killed by the police, no charges have been filed against her killers. https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/experts-obstacles-charging-police-breonna-taylor-case-72167563. Let’s join MoveOn’s campaign to call Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (502) 429-7134 and ask him stop delaying the investigation and charge police officers Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove with murder. We can find more information and report on the outcome of our call here.
SUPPORT THE POST OFFICE: The Post Office woes continue and are not being addressed, much less fixed. “In Chicago, postal employees say backlogged mail is stacked so high in some facilities that workers barely have space to walk by. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, mail handlers tell NBC News first class and priority mail is still running several days a week behind schedule on average.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/despite-dejoy-s-vows-halt-changes-serious-problems-persist-postal-n1238666 Here are some things we can do: 1) contact your US senators to support the Delivering for America Act (S. 4527/H.R. 8015), 2) contact the USPS Inspector General at https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint or USPS OIG, 1735 North Lynn Street, Arlington, VA 22209-2020 and encourage on-going investigations, 3) join in with a coalition of groups that has launched the #USPSBlue campaign, and is asking everyone to tie a dark blue ribbon around their mailbox (or around a tree in front of their home, or onto a mail slot or apartment mailbox) to show that you stand with the USPS and its thousands of employees. Once you’ve done this, share on social media using hashtags #USPSForever, #SavetheUSPS, and #USPSBlue, and 4) Learn more ways to help at https://www.savethepostoffice.com/, https://www.riseandresist.org/savethepostoffice, and https://www.apwu.org/savepostoffice
TELL VERIZON NOT TO SPONSOR THE BORDER SECURITY EXPO: Every year, ICE and Customs Border Patrol holds a “Border Security” Expo to demonstrate and sell the latest equipment used to terrorize immigrants at the border and BLM protesters in our city. The next expo will be in March in San Antonio, Texas and Verizon is the chief corporate sponsor. https://www.bordersecurityexpo.com/. MoveOn and WinWithoutWar are sponsoring a campaign to tell Verizon to stop sponsoring militarization and abuse. We can sign their petition here, and we can take a further step of contacting Verizon corporate headquarters 908-559-2001 and expressing our concerns directly. If we’re Verizon customers, let’s make sure to tell them that we will switch our provider if they keep enabling CBP militarism.
19 EASY THINGS WE CAN DO TO GET OUT THE VOTE:
Political Charge, whose newsletter is always full of excellent information on how to resist, knows we’re all tired and busy, so they’ve prepared a guide of 19 easy things we can do to get out the vote. We can get our guide here and share with others: https://mailchi.mp/d00a9496a621/political-charge
INCREASE DEMOCRATIC VOTER TURNOUT IN SWING STATES: The Big Send is a project by Vote Forward to send 10 million voter turnout letters to underrepresented Democratic voters in 2020 swing states. If we are already writing letters, let’s contact five friends and ask them to join us. If we’re not writing letters yet, let’s sign up and get started. Sign up is here: https://votefwd.org/bigsend and a descriptive video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Vkzb_Dm2M
COLLEGE-AGE VOTERS: With so many colleges conducting classes online, and so many students taking gap years for viral or financial reasons (or both), it can be challenging to figure out how, where, and when to register to vote in the November election. All in to Vote’s state-by-state guides and Campus Vote Project’s FAQs for student voters are resources that can help college students plan to vote. Let’s check them out, and share with the college students in our lives! (h/t)
FLIPPING THE SENATE: There are 63 days until the election and as Mitch McConnell continues to show his true colors with attention anywhere but on the pandemic: https://www.wkyt.com/2020/08/31/watch-sen-mcconnell-at-keeneland-for-major-thoroughbred-industry-announcement/ flipping the Senate becomes ever more imperative. Let’s give as generously as we can to as many campaigns as we can (including Democratic Senator Doug Jones in Alabama whose seat we need to keep):
- MAINE: Sara Gideon: https://saragideon.com/
- ARIZONA: Mark Kelly: https://markkelly.com/
- COLORADO: John Hickenlooper: https://hickenlooper.com/
- NORTH CAROLINA: Cal Cunningham: https://www.calfornc.com/
- IOWA: Theresa Greenfield: https://greenfieldforiowa.com/
- SOUTH CAROLINA: Jaime Harrison: https://jaimeharrison.com/
- MONTANA: Steve Bullock: https://stevebullock.com/
- GEORGIA: Jon Ossoff: https://electjon.com/
- TEXAS: MJ Hegar: https://mjfortexas.com/
- ALABAMA: Doug Jones: https://dougjones.com/
HELPING OTHERS MAKE A VOTING PLAN: As we continue our campaigning and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts by doing things like writing Postcards To Voters, let’s also take a moment to make sure our friends, family, and neighbors have accurate information about voter registration, vote-by-mail, and safely returning ballots: https://www.nbcnews.com/specials/plan-your-vote-state-by-state-guide-voting-by-mail-early-in-person-voting-election/
GOTV POSTCARD CAMPAIGNS FOR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES: There are now a bunch of flippable Senate races on the list of GOTV postcarding campaigns! And, as ever, there are also postcarding campaigns for Congress, State Houses, and local races. Pick one and join the fun! https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTd9UmW__Zqj89o4Df8qYhLOK5dimPxreYvGhM97wZ-l2Cj8DcfRD3a-JAJrQbgiIaB3kKOj525G9ul/pub?fbclid=IwAR0dOn3Eyi4tUiECTq8wK8_BYeX6xou1S2l_Iw53xnxMLblFxyIx9ul4hvwThere is also info here about where to get postcarding supplies.
REACH OTHERWISE UNREACHABLE RURAL VOTERS OF COLOR IN KEY STATES: Through its Reclaim Our Vote Billboard Campaign, the Center for Common Ground is raising $150,000 to rent 100 billboards along major roads and highways in rural counties in NC, GA, TX, AZ, FL, SC, AL, and MS. Each billboard will publicize essential voting information to voters who are difficult to reach by phone, text, or mail, and are often neglected by conventional campaigns. If we’re able, let’s donate $10 and help turnout voters whose votes some want to suppress: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/billboard-campaign
SEND GOTV LETTERS TO DEMOCRATIC VOTERS IN KEY STATE AZ: Arizona is a key, winnable state in the November elections, and Blue Revolution working with Vote Forward is launching a massive GOTV drive to turn this state Blue. Using personalized letters to Democratic voters, we can remind them to vote in this, the most important election of our lives. With a goal of sending 100,000 letters, they are looking for us to send as close to 1000 letters as we can. Letters will be emailed to us, then we’ll print, personalize, stamp and mail them in October. Trump cannot win without Arizona, so let’s make sure he loses here and we get our country back on track. We can click here to learn more and sign up to write letters to AZ Democratic voters: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HBMtWAUDREE3bEOyjZVb329LPhXqnyM-SRaoinyGYh8/viewform?edit_requested=true
CALL TO HELP PURGED DEMOCRATIC WOMEN VOTERS RE-REGISTER IN FL: The election is heating up and we need every Democratic vote we can get. Now is the time fight back against Voter Suppression hard and Field Team 6 is ready to help us start. Tomorrow, September 2, we can join them in calling women purged from Florida’s voter rolls and help them to re-register. Let’s get busy and turn Florida Blue!https://www.mobilize.us/ft6/event/308952/?
Twitter Removes Claim About CDC And Covid-19 Coronavirus Deaths That Trump Retweeted – https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/08/31/twitter-removes-claim-about-cdc-and-covid-19-coronavirus-deaths-that-trump-retweeted/#1bf3c7b43178
Why You Should Stop Freaking Out About the Election – https://politicalcharge.org/2020/08/31/why-you-should-stop-freaking-out-about-the-election/
We Survivors of Authoritarianism Have a Message America Needs to Hear – https://eand.co/we-dont-know-how-to-warn-you-any-harder-america-is-dying-26ff80912391
Trump, Portland mayor blame each other after deadly shooting – https://apnews.com/6706c916dc6a156b9847baca437a91de
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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