Do you know why I‘m certain the republic will survive? Because I know what you are capable of. You are going to rise to this challenge. You are going to do things you never expected you’d do. You will vote. You will volunteer. You will contribute. You will march. You won’t stop.
(Walter Schaub, former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics)
Contact all Federal Members of Congress
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White House contact: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
JUSTICE FOR BREONNA: Months after Breonna Taylor was murdered in her home by police officers conducting a no-knock raid, a Kentucky grand jury has decided against any indictments over her death. https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/09/23/914250463/breonna-taylor-charging-decision-to-be-announced-this-afternoon-lawyer-says) Instead, one officer has been indicted for endangering three people in a neighboring apartment with stray bullets. Let’s be sure to follow the lead of local organizers, particularly Black Lives Matter Louisville, in their six demands: 1) Immediately fire and revoke the pensions of the officers that murdered Breonna, ). Divest from LMPD and invest in community building, 3) Immediate resignation (or impeachment) of Mayor Greg Fisher, 4) Metro Council ends use of force by Louisville Metro Police Department, 5) A local, civilian community police accountability council that is independent of the mayor’s office and LMPD with investigation and discipline power, and 6) The creation of policy to ensure transparent investigation processes. We can find more details, along with contact information here (click “Read more” on the page for details): https://action.justiceforbreonna.org/sign/BreonnaWasEssential/# For those of us with the means, let’s also contribute to the Louisville Community Bail Fund to help support local activists: https://afgj.salsalabs.org/louisvillebailfund/index.html
RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA: As Laurence Tribe, American legal scholar who is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at the Harvard Law School, tweeted on Tuesday, “The meticulously reported works by Michael Schmidt and Peter Strzok make clear that Trump has succeeded in preventing any real investigation of what Putin has on him and how he became Putin’s useful idiot — a Russian asset in the Oval. Reelecting Trump would put Putin in control.” We always knew it was Russia and we are gaining a greater insight into what has happened over the last four to five years: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/september-22-2020Let’s make sure our MoCs know that we will work to get those who support this out of office as soon as possible.
Correction: PUBLICLY REMIND GOP SENATORS ON TWITTER OF WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINATION IN 2016: Yesterday we published a Google doc featuring what key Republican Senators said in 2016 about why a Supreme Court Justice shouldn’t be confirmed so close to the election. Here’s an updated document with more Senators’ comments and their Twitter handles. Let’s remind them on Twitter of exactly what they said, call them out for their hypocrisy, and demand that they delay the nomination until 2021 in order to let the American people decide through their vote who gets to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, just as they claimed was the only fair course of action in 2016. Let’s also share this document widely with our networks and post it in public places so the entire country is aware of their hypocrisy: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nnuQNpD4vPB4hjcpGDf_h-dYd0iVgR41DzJUs1frEQQ/edit?usp=sharing
CHAD WOLF CONFIRMATION: Earlier this month the GAO determined that Chad Wolf was serving illegally in his position as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/14/gao-chad-wolf-ken-cuccinelli-ineligible-dhs-395222 Trump has now put forth Wolf as the nominee for the position. Let’s remember that under Wolf’s leadership ICE has been continually reckless and harmful to so many immigrants in detention. He is the one who sent federal officers to Portland to quell the situation. Now we’ve learned that he and other DHS officials have tried to influence intelligence. Wolf is not the kind of person needed in that position. After not showing up at his scheduled hearing last week, he showed up yesterday and, not surprisingly, backed his DHS. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/acting-department-homeland-security-secretary-chad-wolf-set/story?id=73173301Trump appointees are notorious for saying one thing and doing another. Let’s make sure our Senators and know we oppose him.
CONGRESS NEEDS TO HELP HUNGRY CHILDREN: “A critical tool for fighting child hunger is set to expire at the end of the month, despite persistent need among millions of children due to the pandemic. . . According to research from the Brookings Institution, the program led to a 30 percent drop in food insecurity among low-income children in the week following the disbursement of benefits, reaching an estimated 2.7 million to 3.9 million kids.” https://thefern.org/ag_insider/while-congress-fiddles-a-critical-tool-to-address-child-hunger-is-about-to-expire/ Unless Congress extends this before the end of the month children in the USA will starve needlessly. Let’s let all our MoCs know that this, along with a passage of a substantial COVID-relief bill for regular citizens, not corporations or the wealthy, is a much better use of their time than in-fighting.
TELL COLLINS AND MURKOWSKI TO USE INFLUENCE TO SWAY GOP SENATORS: Susan Collins likes to play the moderate when her vote isn’t needed, but let’s not forget she voted for Kavanaugh and voted against impeachment. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/20/murkowski-opposes-moving-forward-with-supreme-court-nomination-418910. Let’s tell Murkowski (202) 224-6665 and Collins (202) 224-2523 that it’s not enough for them to take a personal stand against the ethics of choosing a Supreme Court Justice so close to the election. They should do everything in their power to publicly persuade their Republican colleagues that pushing through a successor less than 50 days before a presidential election, especially since they refused to confirm a vacancy that had been open 8 months before an election last time is hypocritical, unethical, and reflects badly on the Republican party.
ENCOURAGE MORE WHISTLEBLOWERS TO COME FORWARD IN DOCUMENTING ICE ABUSES: Last week, nurse Dawn Wooten blew the whistle, alleging that women in ICE detention center in Irwin County Georgia are being sterilized without their consent. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/16/913398383/whistleblower-alleges-medical-neglect-questionable-hysterectomies-of-ice-detaine. Never Again Action and RAICES have teamed up on a campaign to encourage more employees who work for ICE to come forward and blow the whistle on nationwide abuses of inmates. Let’s check out their toolkit and get involved.
SHOW UP AT SENATORS’ LOCAL OFFICES ON FRIDAY AND DEMAND THEY POSTPONE THE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE PICK: Indivisible is asking groups to mobilize this Friday, September 25 and show up at senators’ local offices to demand senators not vote to confirm a new justice until after Inauguration Day. We can check out their event toolkit, and their website to attend a local event on Friday and participate in other useful SAVE SCOTUS actions.
COVID FUNDS MISUSED: Despite an ongoing shortage of PPE, apparently the Pentagon used taxpayer money from the CARES Act intended for masks, swabs, and other medical supplies to pay instead for jet engine parts, drones, body armor, and military uniforms; moreover, they often directed this money to large corporations already receiving Payroll Protection Program money from the federal government: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/22/covid-funds-pentagon/ or https://abc17news.com/politics/national-politics/2020/09/22/washington-post-pentagon-used-funds-for-coronavirus-response-supplies-for-jet-engine-parts-body-armor/ Let’s tell Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the undersecretary in charge of DoD acquisitions what we think of this misuse of funds during a pandemic that has now killed 200,000 people in this country: 1-844-872-4681 or Dr. Mark T. Esper, Secretary of Defense, 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1000 and Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), 3010 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-3010
A TRUMP NOMINEE, ANY NOMINEE: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that Trump should get to choose a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, regardless of whether he wins in November: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/22/mitt-romney-supports-holding-a-vote-on-trumps-supreme-court-pick-this-year.html Despite his words to the contrary in 2016, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has likewise fallen into line with Mitch McConnell’s plan to hold a hasty–maybe lame duck–confirmation vote in the Senate: https://www.postandcourier.com/news/despite-2016-vow-lindsey-graham-supports-trump-choosing-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-successor/article_89725b3e-fa8d-11ea-bc2a-a742a921ff9d.html We have yet to hear that any Republican vote might be effected by WHO the particular nominee is. Let’s remind our senators that evaluating the credentials of a SCOTUS nominee, not acquiescing to a presidential preference, is their job.
IMMIGRATION/FORCED STERILIZATION: On September 14th, Dawn Wooten, a nurse at an ICE concentration camp in Georgia, filed a whistleblower complaint alleging forced sterilization among detained individuals (https://n.pr/3cpzkn7). This is yet another means of exacting genocide on immigrants in the United States, as defined by the United Nations. For those of us who have not yet done so, let’s call our members of Congress, and tell them that we want them to contact the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security and urge him to conduct an investigation immediately. We can also ask the Inspector General directly: Mr. Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Washington, DC 20528. Phone: 202-981-6000. Let’s also learn about how we can support organizations on the ground in Georgia, and contribute to the safety of Dawn Wooten as she has taken great risk in filing her whistleblower complaint: https://bit.ly/3kIkHhS
NEW “SPOT THE TROLL” QUIZ: Two professors have come up with a quiz that helps us more clearly see how to identify troll accounts on social media. “Spreading wrong or deliberately false information online often starts with fake accounts. A post is then shared by real people who feel the posts speak to their personal or political beliefs. Linvill and Warren have identified millions of such posts since the 2016 election where U.S. officials uncovered efforts by Russians to sow disinformation on social media.” https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/story/can-you-spot-the-troll-how-to-beat-clemsons-quiz Let’s take the quiz and learn: https://spotthetroll.org/
ELECTION – GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)
CA—FOR DISPLACED VOTERS: California has prepared a Displaced Voters Fact Sheet for those displaced by wildfires or other emergencies. Let’s consul it and share so everyone can vote: https://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/pdfs/votesafe-displaced-voters.pdf
VOLUNTEER NOW! There are so many ways we can help achieve the four top priorities of the 2020 election: (1) to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House, (2) to flip the US Senate to Democratic control, (3) to keep and expand the Democratic majority in the US House, and (4) to end extreme Republican gerrymandering in the states. Let’s sign up with one or more of the following and get to work:
- Joe Biden’s website: https://joebiden.com/
- Swing Left: https://swingleft.org/p/super-states
- Sister District Project: https://sisterdistrict.com/
- Reclaim Our Vote: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/reclaim-our-vote-signup
ENGAGE ONE MILLION YOUNG VOTERS: The youth environmental activists at the Sunrise Movement have a postcard campaign to get one million young voters in key swing states to go to the polls. Generous donors have made it possible for us to order 100 postcards and stamps on a pay-as-you-can basis. Let’s order our postcards today and start writing to get out the youth vote! https://postcards.sunrisemovement.org/
WRITE VOTER TURNOUT LETTERS—Vote Forward’s The Big Send is a campaign to send letters to Democratic-leaning voters in key states and urge them to vote. The goal: 10 million letters! Let’s sign up and start writing from the comfort of our own homes: https://votefwd.org/bigsend
WRITE POSTCARDS TO GET DEMOCRATS TO THE POLLS: “Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.” https://postcardstovoters.org/ This is something easy and impactful we can do from home. Let’s sign up and start writing: https://postcardstovoters.org/volunteer/
SPLC POWER HOUR: Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will continue to sponsor virtual phone banks weekly on Thursdays giving us the ability to encourage voters in the South get out the vote, recruit people to work the polls and to register to vote. Scripts are provided. We can read more and sign up here: https://www.splcenter.org/splc-power-hour
ELECTION – SUPPORT CANDIDATES
GET INFORMATION MATERIAL TO SUPPORT DEM CANDIDATES IN EVERY STATE: If we are looking for information on good candidates to support, Postcards for America https://www.postcardsforamerica.com/ has all the information we need on Democratic Candidates for House, Senate, Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State for all fifty states. With prewritten tweets, Facebook posts, website and donation links, and colorful postcards, there is much we can use to get our candidates over the finish line. We can click here for links to follow and support Democratic candidates and download printable postcards for each one as well: https://www.postcardsforamerica.com/all-dem-candidates-postcards-tweets–posts.html
DIY BIDEN SIGNS: From one of our own: Here is the link to high res files, so you can have your own 24×18 yard signs made: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1nugIA7lGejlKyS7e4CPrmwWY0MeTER9I
TEXT FOR JAMIE HARRISON IN KEY MONEYBALL WINNABLE SC SENATE RACE: If we are looking for a race where our efforts can have a big impact, we can check out Jamie Harrison’s South Carolina Senate race against Lindsey Graham. South Carolina is a “Moneyball State”, where flipping a small amount of voters Blue in a tight race can lead to a Democratic Senate, according to calculations by the Princeton Election Consortium. https://election.princeton.edu/2020/08/09/whats-more-important-than-a-presidential-probability/ We can check out Harrison’s campaign here. https://jaimeharrison.com/then sign up to text, and get the detailed information and help we need to be effective here. https://demvolctr.org/resources/textbanking/textbanking-harrison/ Let’s get busy and turn the Senate Blue!
2020 SENATE PRIORITY RACES: From Your Weekly Pep Talk & Action List -“Jonathan Zucker, first CFO and second CEO of ActBlue and founder of It Starts Today (www.itstarts.today), has assembled n incredibly helpful list of 2020 Senate Priority races, based upon a combination of electoral chances and current support. If you want to support candidates but are trying to figure out which races you should focus on, this is your resource! Check it out here: https://contribute.itstarts.today/2020_priorities/contribute Important: if/when you donate via the 2020 Priorities, your donation will go to the nominee.”
MORE DIRTY TRICKS: Regardless of how one feels about the Green Party, in particular, or third parties, more generally, it is clear that the Republicans are at work trying to split the Biden vote in November’s election by working to get the Greens on the ballot: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/22/us/politics/green-party-republicans-hawkins.html It is equally clear that the Democrats want the Greens off the ballot and that they hope third party candidates will have less impact than they did in 2016: https://apnews.com/477f1db3b18163a429ab4b3f418f60d4 Before we assume, like last time, that Biden will inevitably win, so a doomed third party vote is inconsequential, let’s think twice and consider both the voting statistics from 2016 and the arguments put forward by 170 environmentalists who urge us not to vote Green this time: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-green-voters-diane-maceachern
REPUBLICANS FOR BIDEN: “In an era when voters are increasingly skeptical of national politicians and media, your voice matters more than ever. From now until Nov. 3, help us place 500 op-eds in local papers across America written by Republicans who support Joe Biden. If you want to write an op-ed, we can help you through the writing process/ show you how to submit it to your local paper. If you’ve already written an op-ed, we want to help amplify it!” Let’s get the word out about this fantastic initiative. We can sign up to write an op-ed, here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQqxlPcwnH_zyMmzGTXDnTg-r27d1PZYLKQxLtt3BcGCVSNQ/viewform
ELECTION – REGISTERING VOTERS
HELP TO GET PEOPLE REGISTERED TO VOTE: “The act of voting is a centerpiece of our American democracy. But before you can vote, you must be registered to vote. A conservative estimate from the Pew Charitable Trusts indicated that just over 1 in 5 eligible Americans are not registered to vote. The way we will win elections is by getting our candidates more votes. So the first place to start is by helping fellow Americans get registered.” Let’s see how we can help: https://politicalcharge.org/2018/03/10/15-ways-you-can-help-get-more-people-registered-to-vote/
ELECTION – OTHER
DONATE: Giving to the Biden/Harris campaign https://joebiden.com/ is obvious—and definitely important!—but we have many options for applying our donations impactfully this election season. Let’s check out these campaigns and consider donating what we can:
- National Democratic Redistricting Committee: https://democraticredistricting.com/
- Blueprint by Swing Left: https://blueprint.swingleft.org/
- Movement Voter Project: https://movement.vote/
- Reclaim Our Vote: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/reclaim-our-vote-signup
POLL WORKERS: Power to the Polls is working on getting 250,000 healthy, low-risk people signed up to be poll workers this election. Currently, poll workers are disportionately over 60 years old, placing them at greater risk during the pandemic. Let’s join Power to the Polls to not only take this burden off of older individuals, but also become more engaged citizens and work to decrease long wait times on Election Day. We can learn more about being a poll worker, and sign up here: https://www.powerthepolls.org/about
TAKE OR ANALYZE PHOTOS OF PRECINCT RESULTS TO PROTECT THE VOTE: With so much at stake in the next election, many of our votes need protection from hacking and interference with voting equipment. If we are looking for ways to help defend election integrity, we can check out the Protect Our Votes (POV) Photo Finish project, which will publish and compare election night precinct tallies with the final results. At the end of election days, precincts print their results on poll tapes and post them on doors or windows for all to see. To help preserve the integrity of these results, we can take their photos, then post them on POV website. If we don’t take photos, we can still help by comparing these pictures with the final counts. POV will publish this info and any significant differences on their Photo Finish Results page. This kind of transparency will help shine a bright light on possible tampering. We can sign up to photograph poll tapes or to compare them to the final results here, then share this information with our friends on social media: https://www.protectourvotes.com/photo-finish/
DEMOCRACY CARE PACKAGES: Many of those we know are feeling very stirred up and motivated following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg but don’t know how or where to get started. With their permission, let’s deliver democracy care packages… 10 stamped postcards, 10 addresses for Postcards To Voters, and instructions/deadline for the campaign being written for (greatly simplified from what is sent by PTV: like “write this exact text…”). We can also include phone numbers for our Congressional Reps and an inspiring RBG quotation.
SUPPORT WISCONSIN DEMS AND WATCH A REPLAY OF VIRTUAL PRINCESS BRIDE: Many of us may have missed the live virtual Princess Bride last week, but now we can “chip in any amount to get access to an exclusive replay of The Princess Bride Reunion with a script read by the original cast, special guests, and a wonderful Q&A session hosted by Patton Oswalt! Anything you donate will be used to ensure that Trump loses Wisconsin, and thereby the White House.” Let’s do this and have some fun, too: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/princess-bride-reunion-replay
FL – RACIAL INJUSTIC LEGISLATION: Florida governor Ron DeSantis has proposed legislation, the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” that, if passed in the next legislative session, would impose draconian (and possibly unconstitutional) punishments on both cities and individuals involved in the struggle for racial justice: https://www.flgov.com/2020/09/21/governor-ron-desantis-announces-the-combatting-violence-disorder-and-looting-and-law-enforcement-protection-act/ and https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/09/21/watch-live-gov-ron-desantis-speaks-from-polk-county-sheriffs-office/ It is crucial that those of us who live in Florida make it clear to our state legislators that their support of this act will lose them our vote.
SCOTUS NATIONAL ACTIVIST CALL: “Indivisible is hosting an emergency SCOTUS National Activist Call when Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee.This is your chance to hear from Indivisible leadership and our policy experts on how we are preparing to fight back against Trump and his Republican enablers once they push through a SCOTUS pick in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing.” Let’s sign up here to keep up to date and informed: https://act.indivisible.org/signup/scotus-emergency-natl-call/
ACTIVISM 101 WEBINAR: Jess Craven, of Chop Wood Carry Water, is continuing her Activism 101 sessions! Activism 101 is a free, one-hour (ish) webinar for folks who have very little to no experience with activism and/or political action. It’s a survey course with one goal: to give those who are furious and sickened by the state of our, bite-sized actions they can take to help vote Trump out, flip the Senate, win a bunch of down-ballot races, and basically make good things happen in November and beyond. Workshop will be led by Jessica Craven who is a mom, veteran activist, elected member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee, legislative chair of her Moms Demand Action chapter, and the author of daily actions email “Chop Wood, Carry Water.” Let’s grab a few friends and inquire about times: firstname.lastname@example.org
WOMEN’S MARCH ON OCTOBER 17: “The Women’s March organization is planning a nationwide protest next month [Oct. 17] opposing President Trump and his move to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.” https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/517603-womens-march-planned-for-october-to-protest-trump-filling Let’s sign up and be part of this action: https://act.womensmarch.com/signup/march-october
Majority of Americans, including many Republicans, say wait for election to replace Ginsburg – Reuters poll – https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN26B0TN
Democrats Need a Plan. Fast. -Here’s how they can apply maximum pressure, brand the process as the illegitimate farce it is and lay the groundwork for desperately needed reform – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/21/opinion/ruth-bader-ginsburg-senate-democrats.html
Trump Preached White Supremacy in Minnesota, America Barely Noticed – https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-white-supremacy-racehorse-theory-1064928/
Sustaining Police Free-Schools Through Practice- https://issuu.com/ggenyc/docs/gge_police-free_schools_toolkit__formatted
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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