Rogan’s List for 10/29/2020

27 mins read

10/29/20

Talk is cheap, voting is free; take it to the polls. – Nanette L. Avery

NATIONAL ISSUES

EXPRESSING GRATITUDE: As we wind down towards a handful of days until November 3rd and with uncertainty about what will follow, let’s pause to take a moment to say thanks to those who have walked with us over the past four years: an organizer, a friend, a journalist, a politician, a neighbor. An email, a text, a postcard, a tweet – let’s express some gratitude.  


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.php
Senate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Purchase stamps, postcards, and other mailing supplies: 
https://store.usps.com/store/

White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house


COURT REFORM: With the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a large portion of the Senate, Trump has appointed three justices to the Supreme Court and over 200 federal judges in lower level courts (https://n.pr/3jBOrvVhttps://bit.ly/2TKcgap). This will have a decades-long effect on our judiciary system in the U.S. and it serves as a reminder that our activism needs to take on all branches of government. For those of us who are unfamiliar with what activism looks like in the courts, let’s read through the Center for American Progress’s Structural Reforms to the Federal JudiciaryThis is a long, but essential read to get us prepared for the work ahead. Then, let’s check out Demand Justice’s four key court reforms, and use their action tool to email our senators and tell them that we want to see legislative efforts to reform our courts.

 TORTURE IN ICE FACILITY:  Cameroonians in the Adams County Correctional Center, a CoreCivic concentration camp, are being tortured by ICE officers, forcing them to either sign or fingerprint deportation orders (https://bit.ly/2TKjaMR). These asylum seekers have escaped a country which tortures its own citizens and is so abusive that even the Trump administration cut trade benefits to the country. Let’s contact our MoC and tell them that we expect them to take action to stop torture in these concentration camps, and let’s demand that they take action to #AbolishIce and protect human rights for all immigrants being held in the U.S. 

SHUT DOWN IRWIN COUNTY DETENTION CENTER AND STOP HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES: Last week, “The Squad” Reps. Pressley (D-MA); Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY); Omar (D-MN) and Tlaib (D-MI) sent a letter to the UN Commission on Human Rights asking them to launch an independent investigation of the Department of Homeland Security’s Human Rights Abuses at the Irwin County Detention Center, where immigrant women were being sterilized against their will. https://tlaib.house.gov/media/press-releases/tlaib-ocasio-cortez-omar-pressley-lead-call-international-investigation-0. The letter was signed by several other Congresspeople and a large list of legal and human rights advocacy organizations. Project South has put together a toolkit that frames this action as part of a larger campaign to shut down the Irwin County Detention Center as a first step toward abolishing ICE. Let’s check out this resource and also ask our MoCs to support a full investigation into the medical neglect & human right abuses, to shut down the Irwin County Detention Center, and release all immigrants detained there. 

 RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT CONDITIONS IN REFUGEE CAMP IN MATAMOROS AND END MPP (WAIT IN MEXICO) PROGRAM: Oh Mercy, a short documentary film scheduled to be released later this fall, depicts the deteriorating and desolate conditions of the refugee camp in Matamoros, Mexico, where months have morphed into years as asylum seekers wait to have their cases heard across the border in Texas. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, these families have no choice–if they go back to their countries (which is what our government wants them to do) they will be killed. https://www.valleycentral.com/news/oh-mercy-short-film-sheds-light-on-plight-of-migrants-at-matamoros-tent-encampment/Let’s watch the three-minute trailer for this documentary, and then let’s send the link to the Biden campaign and to all our MoCs, asking Biden to make ending MPP a priority if he wins the election, and demanding that our MoCs do something immediately to end this cruel assault on immigrant justice.

CONTINUING POST OFFICE PROBLEMS: “Empty mailboxes, uncounted ballots, late medication, missed rent payments – those are among the real-world impacts of the struggles of the U.S. Postal Service.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/20/usps-complaints-mail-delivery-predate-furor-over-cost-cutting/5606887002/We know that DeJoy and the Board of Governors are part of the problem and we have already reached out to them for assistance.  If we have, or know of, specific postal issues, let’s send a complaint to the USPS Office of Inspector General:  https://www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint

TRUMP CONTINUES ATTACK ON CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE:  Erik Noble, a former White House campaign data analyst and climate change skeptic, who was recently appointed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) chief of staff, removed Craig McLean from his post as NOAA’s acting chief scientist:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/27/climate/trump-election-climate-noaa.html or  http://nasawatch.com/archives/2020/10/former-nasa-chi.html  A critic of Trump’s false reporting about Hurricane Dorian in the fall of 2019, McLean had had the audacity to ask the new Trump-appointed staff to endorse NOAA’s scientific integrity policy, according to which fabrication, falsification, and the political manipulation of research data is prohibited;  McLean was immediately replaced as chief scientist by Ryan Maue, a well-known climate change skeptic, who has challenged connections between climate change and extreme weather events, most recently the California wildfires: https://distincttoday.net/2020/10/28/trump-administration-fires-top-noaa-scientist/  Trump’s attacks on science will not end with the election, whatever its outcome.  We must continue to protest NOAA’s repudiation of climate change science: 828-271-4800 or 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 5128, Washington, DC 20230.

 OTHER

 30 DAYS OF THANKS:  In November, Americans of Conscience Checklist(AoCC) is doing 30 Days of Thanks to express gratitude and suggest donations to the numerous organizations we’ve been amplifying the last four years. We’re doing this to focus our energy while we wait for election results to come in.  If we want to thank these groups, too, be sure to follow AoCC on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) to give them the recognition they deserve.  Let’s learn more and sign up:  https://americansofconscience.com/

ELECTION/VOTING

 ELECTION – GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)

 AT THIS LATE DATE, USE DROP BOXES OR VOTE IN PERSON:  For millions of voters who considered using the U.S. Postal Service to cast their ballot for the Nov. 3 election, it’s time to find a backup plan, election administration and postal experts say. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign internally switched its language to voters this week, encouraging them to submit ballots in person or at a secure drop box, according to campaign officials, rather than through the mail.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/10/27/usps-delays-election-day/and https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/27/mail-in-ballot-voting-432913 If our plan was to mail our ballot and you haven’t yet, here’s the new plan: get your gear on and vote in person or drop your ballot in a secure drop off box. Mail delays make it too late to use the postal service for your ballot return. Get out and VOTE. 

 PHONE AND TEXT BANKING TO GET OUT THE VOTE: There’s just a week left before the election, and while poll numbers look good, we want to make sure the margin of victory is so big that there is no way Republicans can steal the election or claim voter fraud. Let’s check into GOTV opportunities with Swing LeftIndivisibleTogetherfor2020ACLU’s People PowerVote Save America,  Open ProgressPeople’s ActionTexas Democratic Party, and Back To Blue PA and make some last minute texts and phone calls. 

 DISABLED VOTERS:  We should all, disabled or not, memorize this number: 866-OUR-VOTE is the Election Protection hotline from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, created explicitly to ensure all Americans, including the disabled, have an equal opportunity to vote.  During the 2016 election, 83% of polling places posed at least one impediment for voters with disabilities; hopefully, 2020 will be better.  But those of us with disabilities, or friends or family members with disabilities, would do well to check this guide from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/28/928607616/heading-to-the-polls-if-you-have-a-disability-heres-what-to-know

 WRONG BALLOTS SENT TO PA VOTERS. HELP THEM SEND IN RIGHT ONES: Almost 30,000 voters in Allegheny County, PA received the wrong ballots. The right ones are on the way, but these voters need to be told that new ones are coming and will have to be returned promptly. We can help out by signing up to call them here: https://urj.tfaforms.net/462  We will then receive a script and a list of voters to contact. Every vote counts, so let’s get busy!

 WEST WING GOTV SPECIAL NOW FREE:“With only one week left until Election Day, HBO Max is reminding everyone of the power of their vote by making A WEST WING SPECIAL TO BENEFIT WHEN WE ALL VOTE available for free viewing for non-HBO Max subscribers at hbomax.com/votebecause. The special is available to watch for free now until the end of the year.”  https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/HBO-Max-Offering-Free-Viewing-of-A-WEST-WING-SPECIAL-20201027  Let’s watch and share:  hbomax.com/votebecause

ELECTION/VOTING

 ELECTION – GET OUT THE VOTE (GOTV)

 AT THIS LATE DATE, USE DROP BOXES OR VOTE IN PERSON:  For millions of voters who considered using the U.S. Postal Service to cast their ballot for the Nov. 3 election, it’s time to find a backup plan, election administration and postal experts say. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign internally switched its language to voters this week, encouraging them to submit ballots in person or at a secure drop box, according to campaign officials, rather than through the mail.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/10/27/usps-delays-election-day/and https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/27/mail-in-ballot-voting-432913 If our plan was to mail our ballot and you haven’t yet, here’s the new plan: get your gear on and vote in person or drop your ballot in a secure drop off box. Mail delays make it too late to use the postal service for your ballot return. Get out and VOTE. 

 PHONE AND TEXT BANKING TO GET OUT THE VOTE: There’s just a week left before the election, and while poll numbers look good, we want to make sure the margin of victory is so big that there is no way Republicans can steal the election or claim voter fraud. Let’s check into GOTV opportunities with Swing LeftIndivisibleTogetherfor2020ACLU’s People PowerVote Save America,  Open ProgressPeople’s ActionTexas Democratic Party, and Back To Blue PA and make some last minute texts and phone calls. 

 DISABLED VOTERS:  We should all, disabled or not, memorize this number: 866-OUR-VOTE is the Election Protection hotline from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, created explicitly to ensure all Americans, including the disabled, have an equal opportunity to vote.  During the 2016 election, 83% of polling places posed at least one impediment for voters with disabilities; hopefully, 2020 will be better.  But those of us with disabilities, or friends or family members with disabilities, would do well to check this guide from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/28/928607616/heading-to-the-polls-if-you-have-a-disability-heres-what-to-know

 WRONG BALLOTS SENT TO PA VOTERS. HELP THEM SEND IN RIGHT ONES: Almost 30,000 voters in Allegheny County, PA received the wrong ballots. The right ones are on the way, but these voters need to be told that new ones are coming and will have to be returned promptly. We can help out by signing up to call them here: https://urj.tfaforms.net/462  We will then receive a script and a list of voters to contact. Every vote counts, so let’s get busy!

 WEST WING GOTV SPECIAL NOW FREE:“With only one week left until Election Day, HBO Max is reminding everyone of the power of their vote by making A WEST WING SPECIAL TO BENEFIT WHEN WE ALL VOTE available for free viewing for non-HBO Max subscribers at hbomax.com/votebecause. The special is available to watch for free now until the end of the year.”  https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/HBO-Max-Offering-Free-Viewing-of-A-WEST-WING-SPECIAL-20201027  Let’s watch and share:  hbomax.com/votebecause

3)    Scrutineers and Reclaim Our Vote have another option for documenting poll tapes. We can sign up for next (Oct 23) training here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-quick-election-protection-action-nearly-everyone-can-and-must-do-tickets-125761212171  

4)    Count the Vote project from SMART Elections is working to protect and verify the election results.  Co-Sponsors include DemCastUSA and Democracy Counts who did an explanation video here: https://youtu.be/vsUi10giixo& a Free App! We can sign up for Wednesday trainings here: https://www.mobilize.us/smartelections/event/353962/   

5)   ValidateTheVoteUSA.org is seeking volunteers in the 10 swing states and 4 senate states to photograph the poll tapes on the evening of Nov. 3, to make sure the vote count is accurate. So the election is not stolen.  We are targeting the 10 swing states: FL NC SC TX WI MI GA PA OH TN, and the 4 senate states: Montana Maine AZ CO.  They need volunteers in these states for just one hour after voting closes. It’s easy and there is a short training. We can sign up here:  https://validatethevoteusa.org/register-to-volunteer  

LAWYERS NEEDED:  “We The Action was founded on the fundamental premise that lawyers have the power to do good. None of us can change the world alone. But if each of us gives an hour here or there, we can do some pretty extraordinary things together.” https://wetheaction.org/our_visionWe the Action is seeking lawyers who can get involved and protect the vote.  We can share this with our lawyer friends and, if we are a lawyer, we can sign up here:  https://wetheaction.org/2020  (h/t)

 PROTECT THE RESULTS:  What if Trump refuses to accept the results of the election?  Protect the Results is a large coalition of groups including Indivisible, Common Cause, Greenpeace, ProgressNow Colorado, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, Women’s March, and many others, working to mobilize on Nov. 4 if necessary.  Let’s visit the Protect the Results campaign site and register to mobilize at https://protecttheresults.com/.

 BE PREPARED TO STOP A COUP: As Election Day approaches, it’s important to prepare for a scenario where Biden wins and Trump refuses to recognize the results of the election and continues with his enablers to grab power. Choosedemocracy.ushas a number of important resources and tactics every one of us can take to stop a coup. These include signing a pledgewriting now to election officials in our town to make sure that they pledge to count every vote, and attending an action on November 4 to protect the results of the election. We can also sign up for a Zoom training, and/or read 10 things we need to know to stop a coupLet’s check out these important resources and a make a plan to take action if Trump tries to hold onto power illegitimately. 

DECIDE ON LAST MINITE DONATIONS WITH DECISION MATRIX TOOL: As Election Day draws near, last minute requests for funding increase. If we are having difficulty deciding where to donate, we can check out this online tool. Answering a few simple questions can help us give where it matters most to us: https://idlewords.com/panic_decision_matrix.htm   

STATE/LOCAL ISSUES

 VOTING RULES & DEADLINES:  All of the voting rules and deadlines for all states are listed in one convenient place, thanks to NPR’s special series “2020 Election: Secure Your Vote”:  https://www.npr.org/2020/09/14/909338758/map-mail-in-voting-rules-by-state  If we have any doubts ourselves or if we need to make sure others know the rules, we can easily check or forward this information.

 BALLOT TRACKING:  Most states have a way we can track our ballot to make sure it was accepted and will be counted.  Three states do not:  Mississippi, Missouri, and Wyoming. If we are in those states, we need to contact our local election office and inquire.  The rest of us can use this to check online:  https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-track-your-absentee-ballot-by-state   

 BALLOT CURING:  If we learn that our absentee ballot has not been accepted, if we live in one of 28 states, we have the opportunity to “cure” our ballot.  https://www.vice.com/en/article/3azxe8/help-voters-fix-rejected-ballot-curing-volunteer  Let’s make sure to follow up so, if needed, we can “cure” our ballot in time to count. 

 LOCAL & STATE ELECTIONS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT: It is vitally important that we vote in every election, every year, not just every four years when the president is on the ballot. This is especially true as we face federal courts that are increasingly hostile to causes we hold dear. State and local elected and appointed officials will increasingly be the places we turn to as we work over the years for a federal judiciary that prioritizes democracy. Let’s never miss another election. Let’s sign up for election reminders at: https://turbovote.org  

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS/TWEETSTORMS

 HOW TO BEAT AN ELECTION-RELATED POWER GRAB:  Choose Democracy is sponsoring a series of workshops with activist, sociologist George Lakey.  “There’s a chance that a desperate Trump will respond to a narrow victory by Biden by declaring the election fraudulent, urging his base to support his continued Presidency. This training will share the most important things to know and practice in order to be ready for that possibility.”  We can sign up here:  https://choosedemocracy.us/trainings/#.X5mrO4hKiyJ

 WHAT IF TRUMP LOSES AND REFUSES TO CONCEDE? Journalist Van Jones clearly lays out the problem, the procedures, and what we, the people, can do if Trump loses the election and refuses to concede. Let’s watch his TED talk, share it, and get involved with the organizations he mentions in his video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZWRhLW7Y8w  

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

 The Plot to Kidnap Me – https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/plot-kidnap-me/616866/

 Barrett’s Confirmation is NOT the End – https://politicalcharge.org/2020/10/27/barretts-confirmation-is-not-the-end/

 Voters’ Guide To Election Security In The 2020 Presidential Campaign – https://www.npr.org/2020/10/27/927807674/voters-guide-to-election-security-in-the-2020-presidential-campaign

 Amy Coney Barrett’s Judicial Philosophy Doesn’t Hold Up to Scrutiny– https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/originalism-barrett/616844/

$80 million dark money group tied to Trump Supreme Court advisor, Leonard Leo – https://www.citizensforethics.org/reports-investigations/crew-investigations/80-million-dark-money-group-tied-to-trump-supreme-court-advisor-leonard-leo/


We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The Housepublishes 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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