Federal indictment, AI and deep fakes, F*CK BANS, and more!
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- FEDERAL CHARGES FOR A FORMER PRESIDENTOn June 8, 2023, Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president to be indicted for federal crimes. In this historic moment, we may feel many things. Gratitude for the rule of law. Sadness that our country must face this. Concern at what the future may hold. Most of all, let’s remember that the rule of law is not self-executing. It depends on the commitment of voters to elect caring leaders of integrity who will faithfully uphold it as they carry out each and every one of their official duties. Let’s all commit to voting in every election, up and down the ballot. We can get started here.
- JOIN IN A TEACH TRUTH DAY OF ACTION JUNE 10
The Zinn Education Project has long sought to ensure our kids learn the hard truths of American history, and for the last two summers, they’ve organized teachers across the country at historic sites to speak out against anti-history education bills and recommit to teaching the truth. With censorship on the rise in our schools they’re set to do it again: tomorrow, June 10th will mark the third annual #TeathTruth Day of Action nationwide. Let’s check here to see if there’s a Teach Truth event near us tomorrow, or take part in one of their alternate actions if we can’t make it.
- THE DANGERS OF DEEP FAKES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
The DeSantis campaign’s use of AI-generated images of Trump with Dr. Fauci in an ad otherwise comprised of real clips and the RNC’s use of a 100% AI-generated response video to Biden’s reelection announcement has sparked conversation about how this new technology will be used in political campaigns to come, and in particular the risks of “deep fakes” in political advertising. The advocates at Public Citizen are leading the charge, warning of how highly-realistic but fabricated images, audio and video in campaign ads could be used to manipulate the electorate, and are calling on the Federal Election Commission to issue a rule banning or severely restricting the use of AI in political campaigns. In addition, state legislators in Washington have pushed through legislation requiring clear disclosure whenever media has been manipulated is used for election campaigns, and Senators Klobuchar, Booker and Bennet and Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY) have introduced the REAL Political Ads Act to require a disclaimer on political ads to that use images or video generated by AI. Let’s try to get ahead of this problem. We can urge the FEC to listen to Public Citizen’s call for new regulations on the use of AI in political campaigns, and ask our state lawmakers to follow Washington’s lead and our federal representatives to move forward on the REAL Political Ads Act (H.R.3044).
- PHONE BANK FOR DEM VOTER TURNOUT IN SANTOS’ DISTRICTIf we want to get the House back and get George Santos (NY-03) out of office, Field Team 6 can help us start. We can join their phone bank on Saturday, June 24 from 7-9p ET/4-6p PT to make sure that we have a strong Democratic turnout for the election. When we sign up, we’ll get training and the use of an autodialer to make our efforts more effective, then start calling voters in NY -03, making sure they are registered and know how to vote from home if they want to. We can find out more here and sign up to phone eligible voters in George Santos’ District (Ny-03) with Field Team 6.
- F*CK BANSVote Save America, a progressive organization which focuses on civic engagement, has launched its F*ck Bans Hub. The Hub offers ways to get involved and fight back against bans on gender-affirming healthcare and other attacks on the LGBTQ community, bans on abortion, and reproductive healthcare. There are resources on how to get help if we are among a targeted community, information on how to donate to or volunteer with organizations that provide help, and opportunities to phone bank or canvas to turn state legislatures blue. Let’s check out the F*ck Bans Hub, and choose at least one opportunity to help protect our LGBTQ community and maintain or regain access to abortion in every state.
- ALL – PROTECT ERIC AND THE ACCURACY OF VOTER ROLLS Virginia is now the eighth state to ditch the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), the highly regarded, bipartisan center which secures our elections by updating voter rolls and helping voters get accurate information. ERIC has been the focus of recent right-wing attacks, and the hope on the right is that these states will be the first of many to sever their ties with ERIC, thereby enabling voter fraud. We need to pay attention to pending efforts to withdraw from ERIC in our states, and consider joining Common Cause in their petition drive to condemn these withdrawals.
- NY – GOOD CAUSE EVICTION
In an unstable housing market, tenants often end up on the short end of the stick. Housing advocates are pushing to respond by enacting good cause eviction requirements – giving tenants the power to challenge evictions that are arbitrary, retaliatory or discriminatory. New York has been considering a good cause eviction measure that would also put a cap on rent increases, requiring landlords to justify rent hikes greater than 3%, following in the footsteps of California, New Jersey and St. Paul, Minnesota. With the session ending this week, it does not look as though that legislation will be passed this time around. Let’s contact our state legislators and Governor Hochul and let them know we’re disappointed with the lack of results and we want them to make good cause eviction protections a reality as soon as possible.
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