Sen. Menendez, GAAME Act, overseas voters, and more!
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- SENATOR MENENDEZ AND THE RULE OF LAWAs Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey faces federal bribery, fraud, and extortion charges, he has stepped down from serving as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as required by the rules of the Senate Democratic caucus. Democratic lawmakers are increasingly calling for his resignation. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are accusing the very same Justice Department of “weaponizing” (example) against the four-times indicted, twice impeached defeated former president Trump, and, in the process, are putting the lives of prosecutors and FBI agents and their families at risk. The contrast between the parties couldn’t be starker. Let’s thank our Democratic Members of Congress for respecting the rule of law and for supporting the people and institutions charged with upholding it.
- SUPPORT GUARANTEED ACCESS TO ARTS AND MUSIC IN EDUCATION (GAAME ACT)The GAAME Act (HR 969/S 364) would help schools to expand arts and music education programs for low-income students by allowing them to use federal funds to hire certified arts and music educators, and purchase instruments and supplies. Many studies have noted the importance of the arts in children’s education, and some of the reasons are summarized in this report from the Brookings Institution. While affluent families often have the funds to allow their children to pursue the arts as an extracurricular activity, lower-income families do not have that luxury. While this bill currently only has support from Democrats there should be no reason it could not be a bipartisan effort. Let’s ask our MoCs to sponsor this initiative, if they haven’t already done so, and then bring it to the floor for a vote.
- MAKING A PLAN TO VOTEStudies show that urging voters to make a plan to vote can increase voter turnout. When we make a voting plan, we decide in advance of an election things like what time we’ll be voting, where we’ll vote, whether we’ll vote at the polls or by mail, how we’ll get to the polls, whether we need a ride, whether we have the necessary voter ID, and whether we need to take time off to vote or find childcare. Vote Save America can help us make a voting plan. Let’s explore this webpage and bookmark it for when we need to make our own plan to vote—and we can subscribe (it’s free!) for more voter info.
- ATTENTION OVERSEAS VOTERSFrom a reader: Ciao from Italy to all you Rogan’s list fans & followers! If you know anyone living or studying abroad, especially if they’re voters in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah & Virginia – tell them to be sure to request their overseas absentee ballots from https://votefromabroad.org There’s still time (barely) for them to get their ballots – unfortunately most of the states above require that completed ballots BE RETURNED BY POSTAL MAIL!! So, time is of the essence. This is important because our overseas votes can be the margin of victory in tight races! Let’s get the word out!
- TEAR UP BLUE SLIPS, MOVE FORWARD ON JUDGES
After a strong start, President Biden and the Democratic Senate have officially fallen behind Trump in their pace of judicial confirmations. Most of the remaining vacancies without nominees are in states with at least one Republican senator, and progress on them will be stymied by the continued respect for the arcane tradition of blue slips. Let’s join progressive groups in calling on our senators to tear up blue slips for good and move forward on putting as many judges on the bench as possible.
- FL – NEED TO REQUEST ABSENTEE BALLOTS“Due to the passage of Senate Bill 90 in 2021, which revised certain sections of the state’s election laws, voters now have to renew their request for a mail-in ballot after every General Election cycle for future elections…Voters who update their request for a mail-in ballot now will be valid until December 31, 2024.” Those of us in Florida planning to vote by mail should contact our county election office immediately. There are a number of important municipal elections coming up!
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