Say no to border wall construction, save Virginia from the GOP, insist on better journalism on trans issues, and more!
Contact all members of Congress:
- By phone: (202) 224-3121
- By email: democracy.io
- By US mail: Representatives / Senators
- By fax: Representatives / Senators
- By Resistbot: Resist.bot
Contact White House or other federal agencies:
- STRIKE BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION PROVISION IN SENATE DEFENSE BILLThe Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) currently includes language that would compel more border wall construction. However, before this becomes law the House must pass their own version of the NDAA and the final bill must be negotiated. Let’s tell our MoCs that we do not want to see our tax dollars spent on more border walls, and instead they should negotiate fair and humane immigration legislation.
- STOP THE REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER OF VIRGINIAEvery seat in both houses of the Virginia state legislature is up for grabs in the November 7, 2023, election. “If Republicans maintain control of the House and win control of the Senate, Virginia would become a Republican trifecta” — and the governor and legislature would be free to pass the Republican anti-reproductive rights, anti-LGBTQ+, pro-voter suppression, pro-gun violence, etc., etc. agenda with impunity. “If Democrats win control of either chamber, the state would remain a divided government” — and Democrats will be able to protect the progressive gains made in Virginia that started in 2017. Early voting starts September 22, 2023. The organization Vote Forward has five active letter-writing campaigns all targeted at getting progressive-leaning voters to the polls in Virginia. If every Rogan’s List subscriber writes just 5 letters each, we’d reach tens of thousands of Virginians. Let’s sign up and start writing today!
- INSIST THAT DHS PROVIDE HUMAN TRANSLATORS FOR ASYLUM-SEEKERS:The Department of Homeland Security is increasingly relying on Artificial Intelligence apps like Google Translate instead of human beings to translate for non-English speakers seeking asylum. As anyone who’s ever used these sites knows, they can often miss or wildly misinterpret key information. They also do not pick up on cultural context and sometimes cannot understand regional accents. With something as important as an asylum application on the line, people are required by law to have competent translation. Let’s tell DHS to stop this practice and assure that human translators are on hand to assist asylum seekers with their applications.
- SAVE LIVES—CARRY NARCANThe overdose-reversing drug Narcan (also called Naloxone) is now available for over-the-counter purchase. Nearly 280,000 Americans have died of opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2021. Narcan is easy to carry and administer, and won’t harm someone if it is given in error. We can now have it in our homes and carry it with us just in case we ever encounter someone who has stopped breathing. The only downside is that the cost—around $44—may be too expensive for some. Let’s (1) learn how to use Narcan to reverse opioid overdose; (2) if we can afford it, purchase Narcan to carry with us; and (3) tell our state and local officials that we want them to make Narcan available to the public for free.
- PUSH JOURNALISTS TO COVER TRANS ISSUES RIGHT
With trans people under assault and legislature after legislature passing bans on their care, the media’s coverage of issues concerning the trans community has frequently not lived up to the standard it should. The Trans Journalists Association has released its updated and expanded style guide to help cisgender editors and reporters cover these stories right. As we see harmful coverage on the trans community, let’s make sure we send this guide to the journalists involved so they have the resources to do their job well.
- SUPPORT MEASURES TO HELP IMMIGRANTS WORK LAWFULLYRecently 103 Democratic members of Congress wrote to President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas to encourage them to use “all all the tools available to provide stability to undocumented individuals and recently arrived asylum seekers, seeking to work lawfully, support their families, and contribute to the economy.” This would include providing better information on obtaining work permits, redesignating countries for Temporary Protection Status, and extending the use of humanitarian parole. All of these efforts would help reduce the current migrant shelter overload experienced by New York and other U.S. Cities. Let’s tell the White House and Secretary Mayorkas that we agree with what’s outlined in this letter and we’d like to see these proposals acted on as soon as possible. Let’s also see if our MoC signed the letter and thank them, or encourage them to speak out if they haven’t signed.
- ACTION TRAININGS ON HOW TO BE A HOUSING ADVOCATE
Housing affordability continues to be a nationwide economic challenge, with home prices reaching record highs in 60% of major markets in June. One of the crucial ways to address this crisis is to remove barriers to increasing the housing supply. YIMBY Action is hosting a series of training sessions this fall to help folks understand the housing shortage and learn how to be advocates for new housing in our communities. Let’s sign up for sessions on September 20th, October 4th, or October 18th.
- LET’S BE ENVIRONMENTAL VOTERSAs the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Summit convenes this week, and tens of thousands march in New York City for an end to fossil fuels, let’s remember that reducing climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions is a mission not only for the federal government, but for state and local governments as well. This means that, when it comes to developing and enforcing policies that are good for the climate, elections at every level of government matter. The Environmental Voter Project is working to build a pro-environment electorate that politicians cannot ignore. Let’s sign the pledge to be consistent voters and always prioritize environmental issues, and let’s see how we can help build voter power for our climate.
- SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIRS“But for all that book banners claim it is okay for the books they do not like to be sold, the reality is they are not okay with that either. In the last several years, there have been attempts to censor the materials made available at school book fairs.” The Scholastic Book Fair, around since 1981, will appear in 85,000 schools this year. But because they offer books deemed inappropriate by the Christian right, they are under attack. In fact, a competitor is emerging, seeking to displace the beloved institution, that is Scholastic Books. Brave Books, which is advertising itself using shock tactics calculated to outrage parents, is pushing conservative Christian books and the agenda to match. Let’s read more about this dangerous initiative, make sure our schools continue to host Scholastic Book Fairs, and that we continue to offer books that serve all our children.
- GET REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN OHIO OVER THE FINISH LINEIn August, we helped preserve the ability of voters in Ohio to amend their state constitution by majority rule, and in doing so, we made sure that the November 7, 2023 ballot question to enshrine reproductive rights in the Ohio constitution gets a fair shot at passage. Swing Left Peninsula and The Civics Center have teamed up in a campaign to register young voters in advance of this election. We can help! The clock is ticking, so let’s sign up *today* to write letters to young people in Ohio so they can vote this November—and in the 2024 presidential election!
- HELP A DEMOCRAT WIN REELECTION IN KENTUCKY
This November one of the most popular governors in the country is up for reelection – and as a Democrat in a deep red state, he needs our help. Governor Andy Beshear is being challenged by Republican Attorney General and Mitch McConnell protégé Daniel Cameron in Kentucky. Beshear has a strong record built on expanding access to health care, securing clean drinking water and funding for high-speed Internet, and creating jobs, including making Kentucky a hub for electric vehicle battery manufacturing. Meanwhile, Cameron has been caught up in scandal, accused of soliciting campaign donations from the executives of an organization under investigation by his office, and has been under attack for failing to hold former Governor Matt Bevin accountable for last-minute pardons and failing to charge the police who killed Breonna Taylor. Recently, pro-choice journalist Jessica Valenti has highlighted Cameron’s pledge to a local forced birther group to treat hormonal birth control as a form of abortion and criminalize it. Still, the race remains competitive. Let’s sign up to volunteer for Governor Beshear’s reelection campaign and consider a donation if we’re able.
- RESTORE A FAIR AND EQUITABLE IMMIGRATION COURT SYSTEM
A rule by the Trump administration took away immigration judges’ ability to manage their own docket and gave the courts authority to “administratively close” cases, eliminating procedural due process for immigrants and speeding up deportations. Now the Biden Administration is attempting to reverse this rule and make the hearing process more fair. Let’s review the proposal in the Federal Register and submit a public comment. We can get more information from the American Immigration Council.
- SEVEN ARRESTED TO SAVE PEPFAR AND THEY NEED OUR HELP
Authorization for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), credited with saving 25 million lives and changing the trajectory of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, is set to expire at the end of the month. But after a long history of bipartisan support and routine reauthorization every five years, PEPFAR is in trouble. Forced birther groups are rallying Republicans to oppose this extension, claiming PEPFAR funds are being used to promote abortion and LGBT advocacy – over the objection of anti-choicers working against HIV/AIDS overseas, who have made clear this is not the case. Congressional Republicans are now using this opportunity to pressure President Biden to reinstate the global gag rule preventing foreign organizations from receiving U.S. health assistance from providing information, referrals or services for abortion. Activists for global health are stepping up the fight for a clean reauthorization, with seven being arrested for occupying Speaker McCarthy’s office last Monday. Let’s tell our members of Congress we’re with the activists and we want to see PEPFAR extended now.
- REFORM ENVIRONMENTALLY UNSAFE MINING LAWS
The Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act, introduced by Raul Griljava (D-AZ), would reform mining laws that were set in 1872, a time when mining was considered the best use of public land and there were no environmental considerations or permitting requirements. In these times of increased climate crisis, let’s make sure our MoCs know that we cannot build a clean energy future on dirty mining laws. Let’s ask them to co-sponsor this important legislation and work to get it to the floor for a vote. We can find some talking points here from the Democrat side of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Earthjustice.org has more talking points here, and a template where we can write directly to our reps.
- EXPOSE BOOK BANSAs book bans in schools and libraries surge across the U.S., the problem is likely even worse than it looks: “Surveys indicate that 82-97% of book challenges—documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries—remain unreported and receive no media.” Denials of our First Amendment rights should not be allowed to happen in the dark. The American Library Association fights book bans and other forms of censorship, and provides resources to help us push back, including a form for reporting bans in our communities’ schools and libraries. Let’s check out this resource page and use it if we need it. We can also be sure to read the Association’s top 13 most challenged books of 2022.
- ID—DEMAND FUNDING FOR CRUMBLING SCHOOL BUILDINGSProPublica and the Idaho Statesman report that Idaho school districts—particularly poor, rural districts—have been unable to repair their crumbling, unsafe, not-conducive-to-learning school buildings because the bond-funding process requires the approval of a 2/3 supermajority of voters (Idaho is one of two states requiring such a high bond-issuance threshold), and because a state loan program imposes impenetrably high requirements. If we’re in Idaho, let’s share the link to the article (https://www.propublica.org/article/idaho-created-25-million-dollar-fund-to-fix-schools-no-one-is-using-it) with our state legislators and Governor Brad Little and let’s tell them our children deserve much, much better. Let’s tell them to lower the bond-funding threshold from supermajority to simple majority, and to reform the Public School Facilities Cooperative Funding Program so that it provides a real solution to the problem of Idaho’s unsafe school buildings.
- VA – MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE Encouraging people to make a plan to vote has been demonstrated to be a highly effective way to increase voter turnout. Vote Save America has an online tool we can use to make our own plan to vote. Every seat in the Virginia legislature is on the ballot in November, and Republicans are fighting hard to get a GOP trifecta (governor and both legislative houses in Republican control). Let’s not allow that to happen. Early voting starts the end of September. Let’s use Vote Save America’s tool to make our plan to vote, and let’s share it with our Virginia friends, family, and neighbors so they can make their plans, too.
- NY (NYC) – DRONE SURVEILLANCE TO BE INCREASED Like 1400 other police departments that, according to the ACLU, already use drones to respond to domestic incidents, wellness checks, and noise complaints, the New York Police Department has increased their use of drone surveillance. Lest we doubt who is the target of this increase, it came, naturally, just in time for the West Indian Day parade and the celebration of Jouvert. Mayor Eric Adams has said he studied the effective use of drones in Israel on his recent visit, a practice much criticized there and abroad. It is likewise being criticized here as a violation of privacy rights and possibly of the 2021 Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act—and as part of a “dystopian” turn in policing. We should tell Mayor Adams that we do not want further intrusive police surveillance.
- CA – CLOSE THE GENDER GAP IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE BY 2028Election cycle by election cycle, the organization Close the Gap has been steadily increasing the number of women serving in the California legislature. Less than a decade ago, 26 of California’s 120 lawmakers were women. Today, 50 women are serving. Twenty of them are Close the Gap recruits, including 14 women of color. Close the Gap recruits women who champion reproductive freedom, funding for public education, and combating poverty. Let’s explore the Close the Gap website to see how we can take action, support their work, and maybe even run for office ourselves! h/t
AND FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS
- LAST WEEK’S WINS
We’re in this battle for the long haul, so it’s important to acknowledge the victories we’re earning along the way. Here’s a summary of some of the best news from the last week from our friend and ally Jessica Craven at Chop Wood, Carry Water, including a huge turnout at the March to End Fossil Fuels, a trans person winning elected office in Tennessee for the first time ever, and the White House reversing a Trump-era decision and re-banning the transportation of liquefied methane gas by rail.
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