The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
– Alice Walker
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TRUMP TAX FRAUD: As David From tweeted on Sunday, “You can read Trump’s tax returns two ways: either Donald Trump is the greatest tax cheat in US history – or he is a financial desperado hopelessly in debt to God knows who & needs every dollar he scams from Secret Service golf car rentals just to pay the electricity bill.” We do know that he paid far less in taxes than most of us in the country. Many of us struggle and live from paycheck to paycheck, but still pay our fair share. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethcohen/2020/09/28/lock-him-up-how-president-trumps-tax-returns-could-put-him-in-prison/#7ef6184d6ca8 It is time for REAL tax reform that does not favor the wealthy or corporations. We all need to pay our fair share, including the wealthy and corporations. Let’s tell our MoCs that if they do not see this need, we will work to vote them out.
FALSE COVID INFORMATION BEING PROVIDED: “The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has grown increasingly concerned that President Donald Trump, pushed by a new member of his coronavirus task force, is sharing incorrect information about the pandemic with the public.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/redfield-voices-alarm-over-influence-trump-s-new-coronavirus-task-n1241221Let’s make sure to get our COVID information from those who have not been tainted by loyalty to Trump.
TELL OUR REPS PASS THE TRANSPARANCY IN EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIAL FINANCES ACT: Trump’s over $300 million In debt leaves him vulnerable to whomever volunteers to help him get rid of it, particularly foreign agents seeking to influence public policy in their favor. This important information hidden in his tax returns is vital to our country’s security and the American public should have known about it long ago. In fact, Congresspersons Katie Porter and Max Rose have already written a bill that would ensure that we are informed about these matters before they become such a serious security risk. In the bill, The Transparency in Executive Branch Official Finances Act (H.R. 5433), the President, Vice President, and any candidates for these offices must disclose their tax returns for the last five years. Also high level officials must disclosure any financial arrangements with foreign countries and penalties for payments from such countries, their affiliated organizations, or foreign nationals are set out. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5433The bill is still in committee. Let’s contact our representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and to do what they can to pass this much needed bill.
“PERCEPTION HACKS” & THE ELECTION: The NYT, among others—many of them, local outlets—reported on the latest of the seven hacks into US government entities in the first two weeks of September; This week’s is a hack into Tyler Technologies, which does not tally votes but is used by election officials to aggregate and report them in at least 20 places. Initially this appeared to be a simple ransomware attack, in which data is made inaccessible until ransom is paid, but some of Tyler’s clients — the company wouldn’t say which — saw outsiders trying to gain access to their systems last Friday night. According to the NYT, with only a month till the election, “federal investigators still do not have a clear picture of whether the ransomware attacks clobbering American networks are purely criminal acts . . . or Trojan horses for more nefarious Russian interference.” The Times points out that “ . . . a few well-placed ransomware attacks, in key battleground states, could create the impression that voters everywhere would not be able to cast their ballots or that the ballots could not be accurately counted — what the cybersecurity world calls a “perception hack.””: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/27/technology/2020-election-security-threats.html or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gtvQ4-28Pk We need our MoCs to make sure the DHS, the FBI, and the US Cyber Command work fast to prevent these attacks—in July, the Brennan Center already bemoaned the insufficient funds for election security: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/last-chance-secure-2020-elections. But we ourselves need to ensure that our boards of election publicize widely any and all meddling; let’s let them know we’re watching.
TRUMP’S TAX NIGHTMARE: On Sunday night, the New York Times broke a significant story after having access to Trump’s tax returns and he is more broke, more in debt, and more deceptive than we could have dreamed. This is a summary of takeaways without NYT subscription needed: https://apnews.com/article/ruth-bader-ginsburg-courts-donald-trump-7e1d23d1e381ae3e0be6cb293338c05e (name of link does not match content) Let’s share the news on social media, send Trump a postcard calling for his resignation (The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20500), and double down on our get out of the vote efforts in the month ahead.
TELL SENATORS TO VOTE NO ON THE CONFIRMATION OF CHAD WOLF FOR DHS SECRETARY: After serving as DHS Secretary illegally for almost a year, the Senate is finally held a hearing on his confirmation and there was little resistance https://www.rollcall.com/2020/09/23/senate-gop-eases-wolfs-path-to-becoming-homeland-security-secretary/despite Wolf’s role in sending DHS troops to Portland and the numerous ICE abuses at detention centers that have happened during his watch, most recently the allegations of sterilization of women at the detention center in Georgia and his refusal to testify after being subpoenaed by the House. The confirmation vote is scheduled for this Wednesday, September 30. Let’s tell our Senators to vote NO.
ASK ATTORNEY GENERAL, DHS SECRETARY, AND DOD SECRETARIES, AND GOP LEADERS TO FORMALLY DECLARE THEY WILL SUPPORT A PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER AND RECOGNIZE THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION: Trump continues to seed doubt in our electoral process and has refused to state whether he will concede if he loses the election. While Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are trying to assure the American public that there will be an “orderly transition of power,” https://apnews.com/article/election-2020-hillary-clinton-elections-joe-biden-voting-fraud-and-irregularities-f3faaa31349b9613d761a1760a42763b, now is the time to get these leaders to formally assert that they will support the winner of the election so that Trump knows he can’t get away with trying to stage a coup if he loses. House Democrats are starting this process by officially asking the Attorney General, (202-353-1555; 950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20530-0001; website form; Facebook; Twitter: @TheJustice Dept.) and the Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security (202-282-8495; DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov; https://homelandsecurity.ideascale.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homelandsecurity/; Twitter: @DHS.govand the Department of Defense (1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1000, https://www.defense.gov/Ask-Us/, 703-571-3343) that they will support the November 3 election results. Let’s join in this call by contacting the AG, DHS, and DOD Secretaries, and also try to get a similar formal declaration from our Republican MoCs and state leaders.
SEND POSTCARDS TO JILL BIDEN TO ASK TO TAKE DIRECT ACTION TO END THE REMAIN IN MEXICO PROGRAM (MPP) AS A FIRST LADY’S INITIATIVE: In December 2019, Dr. Jill Biden visited the Matamoros refugee camp and expressed dismay and heartbreak about what she saw. Migrants have recently sent over 600 postcards to Dr. Biden, asking her to use her influence to make sure this program is ended during Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, if he should get elected. https://riograndeguardian.com/deaconess-please-write-to-jill-biden-to-urge-an-end-to-mpp/. Now, organizers are asking Americans to also write postcards in support of the effort, with the goal of delivering 2000 postcards from each state by 2021. Let’s find out more about how we can join this effort by checking out The Postcard Project.
YOUNG DEMS RALLY FOR RBG: “With a group of young people across the country, we have organized a protest to stop Ruth Bader Ginsburg from being replaced before we have a new President. May her memory be a blessing. We’re calling it the McConnell v. Justice Rally.” Let’s support this fantastic group of up-and-coming young Dems by helping them get to the Supreme Court in DC. We can contribute here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mcconnell-v-justice-rally
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Last week, a Kentucky grand jury issued no indictments over the murder of Breonna Taylor after she was killed in her home by police executing a no-knock warrant. Rather, they indicted one officer over stray bullets that endangered neighbors (https://n.pr/2Gccx2a). Conflicting laws including Stand Your Ground, Castle Doctrine, and the legality of no-knock warrants have created a stalemate in which accountability of the officers is difficult at best (https://bit.ly/2YoSvb1). In order to reach any amount of justice for Breonna’s death, Black Lives Matter Louisville has assembled a list of demands, along with an Invest/Divest strategy that could be implemented nationwide. Let’s read more, then contact local officials and tell them that we support these demands. We can find contact information and detailed actions here. Then, let’s ask our MoC at the federal level to support the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act in the Senate (S. 3955), which would ban no-knock warrants across the country, and the Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120/S.3912), which would ban no-knock warrants as well as police use of chokeholds.
DISABILITY RIGHTS: Earlier this month, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a report calling for an end to the sub-minimum wage for disabled people (https://bit.ly/3cEQCNq, https://bit.ly/30cFMc8). While the program was originally intended to prepare people for employment, it has instead given employers an opportunity to take advantage of people with disabilities, with no real transition to careers where they can earn fair wages. Let’s contact our MoC and tell them that the disability community deserves dignity and integration in our society, and that they can help make this happen by ending the sub-minimum wage. Specifically, they can either co-sponsor and support the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582), or they can introduce new legislation to end the discriminatory practice of paying disabled people less than minimum wage.
POSTCARDING OPPORTUNITIES: From one of our own: Please use/share/distribute as you see fit. And, please keep writing to voters as well as those currently in power! We need to address what’s going on now—and also need to fight for a Trump-free future. Click here:
ELECTION – GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)
FIND OUT HOW EXACTLY TO VOTE EARLY IN STATES THAT ALLOW IT: With the election nearing, many of us are eager to vote as soon as we can, and in 40 states and DC, we can vote early. Each state has its own rules, deadlines, and procedures, so it may seem hard to sort out what is right for us. Now we can check to see if our state has early voting and, if it does, find all the information we need to vote as soon as we can. Over 860,000 people have already cast their votes, https://www.newsweek.com/over-860000-americans-have-already-voted-compared-fewer-10000-this-point-2016-1534452 let’s join them as soon as we can and flip this country Blue! Let’s click here to find state specific information on how, where, and when we can vote: https://earlyvoting.com
POSTCARD TO PA VOTERS: Write postcards asking voters in Pennsylvania to sign up for vote-by-mail. Order your postcard kit from Blue Wave Postcard Movement at: https://www.bluewavepostcards.org/campaigns/win-pennsylvania.
POSTCARDS TO CLIMATE VOTERS: Write 25 letters to climate voters with the Sierra Club. Get your package at: https://act.sierraclub.org/actions/National?actionId=AR0265436&id=7013q000001b4haAAA
ELECTION – SUPPORT CANDIDATES
PHONE VOTERS FOR DR. BARBARA BOLLIER IN KEY MONEYBALL WINNABLE KS SENATE RACE: Kansas 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/ Currently former State Legislator Dr. Barbara Bollier is tied in a tight race: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/kansas/ and needs our help to get the voters she needs to win. We can sign up to phone bank with Flip the West and get the detailed information, training and support we need to be effective: https://www.mobilize.us/flipthewest/event/312030/ Phone banks run every Tuesday morning (10:00am Pacific) and Wednesday afternoon (4:00pm Pacific), so we can find a time that works for us.
GO NORTH CAROLINA! Let’s help get North Carolina voters to the polls by writing postcards with Postcards for NC for mailing on Oct. 10. We can order postcards from them or use our own. We’ll be writing for down-ballot Dems. Let’s help this campaign reach more voters by requesting some addresses today.
TEXT BANK FOR SENATE CANDIDATES: Postcards for America has pulled together all the links to volunteer to Text Bank for Senate Candidates. Let’s check it out and help: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ids7CXignyhcvfy5UI0tpFs4Xe-AjWGY9T4g_mrezdc/edit
TEXTBANKING FOR MJ HEGAR: “MJ Hegar is running in Texas against Senator John Cornyn. This one is an uphill battle, but if you like supporting underdogs who could knock off a really Big Dog, you might want to shoot some texts into Texas for Hegar.” Here’s how: https://demvolctr.org/resources/textbanking/textbanking-hegar/
ELECTION – REGISTERING VOTERS
POSTCARD TO PENNSYLVANIA: Lift Every Vote is contacting over 108,000 PA households where everyone in the house is inactive or unregistered. This means that either everyone has fallen off the rolls by not voting, or they’ve been purged, or, they have all moved, and the new residents haven’t yet registered. They need to do this quickly. The cards are cheap; they involve a relatively small amount of writing. Any of our team leaders can help walk folks through the process of buying them, and moving onto our workspaces. Let’s sign up to help them meet their goal: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/19RDremjBwh8_bceddxU5nzBK-qjiROrw549ZvApgwg8/viewform?edit_requested=true
REGISTERING RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADS: The Civics Center’s nonpartisan Postcards for Democracy initiative is now sponsoring efforts to write postcards encouraging recent high school graduates to register and vote, or donate to support the project. We can even take part in a virtual postcard-writing party on October 7. Let’s sign up here and see if we can help: https://thecivicscenter.networkforgood.com/projects/108775-postcards-for-democracy(h/t)
ELECTION – OTHER
VOLUNTEER TO HELP PROTECT THE VOTE: As the election heats up, so does voter suppression efforts around the country, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) https://www.dscc.org/ is stepping up to help keep our election fair and safe. The DSCC is looking for our help staffing voter protection hotlines, observing the polls or being election workers during Early Voting and on Election Day. When we sign up, we will get the training we need and be connected to a battle ground state the needs our help. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/181qq5C45VH8C-QMBCuxux_5xRiE3kDWDtIwk5bibGxs/viewform?edit_requested=true
MORE ELECTION MEDDLING: Despite being the wealthiest country in the world, only private funds, apparently, will guarantee fair elections; the Republicans don’t want to grant funds to the struggling states in a coronavirus relief bill, but they also don’t want anyone else to help defray local election costs. The conservative Thomas More Society has filed lawsuits in federal courts in 4 swing states — Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin —demanding restraining orders to stop localities in those states from using election administration grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to improve safe and secure access to the polls for all of its registered voters—that is, to fund ballot drop boxes, additional polling places, prepare election employees, etc.– claiming these grants violate legal guidelines empowering states, not localities, to implement elections: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/25/us/politics/elections-private-grants-zuckerberg.html or https://trendingscroll.com/short-of-money-to-run-elections-local-authorities-turn-to-private-funds/ Let’s find out whether our localities have received these grants and make it clear to our local reps that we support their use in administering our elections. And while we’re at it, let’s tell the Thomas More Society what we think of their cynical election meddling: 312.782.1680 or fax: 312.782.1887 or 309 W. Washington Street Suite 1250. Chicago, IL 60606 or email@example.com.
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
Why We Must Ignore Trump’s Dumpster Fire– https://politicalcharge.org/2020/09/28/why-we-must-ignore-trumps-dumpster-fire/
Tribal nations face continued voter suppression: A new book explains barriers at the ballot box – https://www.hcn.org/issues/52.10/ideas-election2020-tribal-nations-face-continued-voter-suppression
ProPublica’s Pandemic Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts – https://www.propublica.org/article/propublicas-pandemic-guide-to-making-sure-your-vote-counts
Senator Klobuchar Has Had Enough – https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=JqYYkTsEqBw&feature=youtu.be
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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