Menendez must go, UAW strike progress, 988 Lifeline, and more!
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- MENENDEZ MUST GO
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has been indicted on new charges, accusing him of accepting bribes from a foreign national and acting as an agent of the government of Egypt. Menendez has refused calls by more than half of Senate Democrats and virtually every Democrat of influence in New Jersey to resign. Enough is enough – he cannot go on serving under these conditions. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) has said he supports a vote to expel Menendez from the Senate. Let’s contact our senators and tell them the time to take that step has arrived. We can also call Menendez directly demanding he step down, donate to his primary challenger Rep. Andy Kim, and if we’re in New Jersey contact our Democratic county party chairs to urge them to deny Menendez the influential party line if he insists on running for re-election.
- IMPROVE THE 988 SUICIDE AND CRISIS LIFELINELast year, the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Line was replaced with the three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, an easier phone / text number to remember for people in crisis. It’s an improvement, but there’s more to be done. The 988 Implementation Act and the Local 988 Response Act of 2023 are bipartisan bills in Congress that, if passed, will (1) connect callers to the call center closest to them geographically so help can reach them sooner; (2) provide funding for community-based mobile crisis teams; (3) address the shortage of mental healthcare providers; (4) require all health insurance plans to cover crisis services; and more. These bills are not yet numbered, but we can still ask our U.S. Representatives to co-sponsor Congressman Tony Cardenas’ 988 Implementation Act and Local 988 Response Act of 2023, and we can ask our U.S. Senators to sponsor companion legislation in the Senate.
- FORD JUST LOST KENTUCKY TRUCK
We’re seeing big developments in the UAW Stand Up Strike. Last week GM made a huge concession to avoid labor actions against them being expanded, agreeing to bring “joint venture” electric vehicle battery plants under the deal. These facilities do not have to be part of the deal, and this development is a huge step towards a just green transition. Meanwhile, Ford has been refusing to budge, leading the union to start a surprise strike of an additional 8,700 workers at their profitable truck plant in Kentucky on Wednesday evening. Let’s continue to show our solidarity! We can use this tool from More Perfect Union to push the CEOs of Ford and Stellantis to follow GM’s lead on fairness in EV manufacturing. We can also find instructions and toolkits for community canvassing at Big Three auto dealerships here, and see where we can join workers on the picket line here.
- GET FREE ONLINE TRAINING TO ORGANIZE FOR MEDICARE FOR ALLAs Medicare for All remains a key goal for many of us, we can see that it will take a lot of organizing to make it happen. Working together, we can raise awareness in our communities and pressure our leaders to fight for it as well. It’s been a long struggle and now could be the time to sharpen and refresh our organizing skills and keep our knowledge of the healthcare system up to date. So, if we are interested in becoming better organizers for Medicare for All and understanding how the healthcare system works, we can check out Healthcare NOW’s crash course training, a weekly online series. It’s also possible to just take individual classes as desired. We can find out more about Medicare for All Organizer training and then sign up if we would like here.
- A SOOTHING OLD SONGThese days, when the world seems so dark with grief, loss, anger, blaming, sadness, and pain; when it’s hard for us to be our best; maybe it’s a good time to turn to a soothing old song. Here’s one we might start with: let’s listen.
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