Climate emergency, solitary confinement, voter IDs, and more!
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- DECLARE CLIMATE EMERGENCYRep. Kevin McCarthy suggested that planting a trillion trees would be a good way to address climate change. At the same time, a group of Republicans in both the House and Senate introduced the Real Emergencies Act (S. 2118), to prevent President Biden from declaring a climate emergency. We are in a climate emergency. President Biden should absolutely be declaring one. We can’t understand why Republicans would oppose it. We are in a climate emergency. President Biden should absolutely be declaring one. Let’s tell our senators to vote no on this bill and please push President Biden to declare a climate emergency now. Oh, and let’s plant those trillion trees, too. (h/t)
- END SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
A recent report from Solitary Watch and Unlock The Box found that on any given day more than 120,000 are being held in solitary confinement in the United States’ carceral system, in spite of its cruelty and well-documented dangers. Last month, House Democrats led by Rep. Cori Bush introduced the End Solitary Confinement Act to put a stop to this practice at the federal level and incentivize state and local facilities to do the same, in keeping with a campaign pledge from President Biden. Let’s contact our members of the House and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation. (For those of us in California, we can also contact Governor Newsom and ask him to commit to signing the Mandela Act/Assembly Bill 280 into law.)
- VOTER ID FOR FREE
Voter ID laws have thrown into sharp relief just how many Americans are living without the basic identification documents they need to get jobs, housing, medical care, bank access and now the ballot box. 26 million of our fellow citizens are getting by without them. Pushed by the Project ID Action Fund, a coalition of Democrats led by Rep. Sean Casten is reintroducing the IDs for an Inclusive Democracy Act (HR 8821), which would eliminate the cost barrier to obtaining government IDs – creating a no-cost federal photo ID accessible to any American over the age of 14. Let’s use this tool from Project ID Action Fund to contact our members of Congress and tell them we want them to support this legislation. We can also consider a donation to their partner organization Spread The Vote, which is helping folks get ID directly.
- END ICE’S 287(G) PROGRAM: One of the ways that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) extends its reach across the U.S. is through the 287(g) program, in which ICE contracts with local agencies (often sheriffs and jails), enabling local officers to act on their behalf. This partnership not only creates opportunities for racial profiling and civil rights violations, but also sows greater distrust between local law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities. Let’s read through the ACLU’s report License to Abuse: How ICE’s 287(g) Program Empowers Racist Sheriffs and Civil Rights Violations, then let’s take action: We can send a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, and ask him to end the 287(g) program, or at the very least end contracts with any local agencies that have a history of civil rights violations: Hon. Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20500. We can also contact our MoC and tell them we want them to end federal funding for the 287(g) program.
- 60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARCH ON WASHINGTONA highlight of the Civil Rights Movement was the August 28, 1963, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. More than a quarter of a million people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and heard speeches from numerous leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech there. King’s son Martin Luther King III and others have organized the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 26, 2023. Let’s consider attending. (h/t Jewish Women International)
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