“Wake up, America!” #BLM protests & other antiracist, anti-fascist & pro-democratic things to do…

Mar. 5: We have so much work to do & nobody’s slowing down…

We’ve posted events happening today and this weekend below. Check out our action list here for more!

Join the fight to Protect Our Power: http://more.vote/protectourpower​. Hill article here.

Continue reading ““Wake up, America!” #BLM protests & other antiracist, anti-fascist & pro-democratic things to do…”

Thurs 3/4: Romney’s TRUST Act is a “Trojan Horse” to cut seniors’ Social Security benefits!

Seriously. A lot of Democratic senators fell for this!

Minimal script for senators who voted FOR the Trust Act amendment in the 2021 budget: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [Feinstein] to make sure that Sen. Mitt Romney’s TRUST Act, which could endanger Social Security, is NOT included in the final COVID relief bill. Sen. [Feinstein] voted for this amendment to the 2021 budget. Perhaps [he/she] did not appreciate how it would circumvent legislative norms for changing Social Security and would allow cuts to be made to benefits without regard to how they would affect [his/her] constituents who depend on them.

Minimal script for senators who voted AGAINST the Trust Act amendment in the 2021 budget:: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Sen. [Padilla] for voting against Sen. Mitt Romney’s TRUST Act, as an amendment to the 2021 budget, and to ask him to speak out against it being included in the COVID relief bill. This malicious amendment could endanger Social Security by allowing cuts to be made to benefits without regard to their human impact.

The amendment was voted into the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget as  S. Amdt. 803 to S. Con. Res. 5. Senator Feinstein voted “YES” and Senator Padilla voted “NO“. Find your own senator’s vote here.

Note: If you haven’t made this call yet on adding unemployment tax relief and automatic stabilizers to the American Rescue Plan, do it at the same time.

Continue reading “Thurs 3/4: Romney’s TRUST Act is a “Trojan Horse” to cut seniors’ Social Security benefits!”

Wed 3/3: Wanted: Postcard writers! D.C. statehood and stopping deportation flights.

Action #1: Washington D.C. is a living, breathing, racial and civil rights injustice and we need to fix it!

A member is printing up several thousand postcards!!! JOIN IN! If you’re unfamiliar with the hundreds of years that DC residents have been denied statehood, along with the rights we take for granted, like representation along with taxation, the ability to make laws without federal interference, and being able to call up the National Guard when they need it, here’s our post with lots of information and great videos. (Also 51 for 51 and DCstatehoodcoalition.org ) Both the House and Senate have reintroduced bills to fix this, H.R.51 & S.51WashingtonD.C. Admission Act. Another important bill – H.R.1 – “For the People Act, declares, amongst many important voting reforms, “…that DC residents deserve full Congressional voting rights and self-government, which only statehood can provide.” (full text) (endorsements).

We need to get all Democratic representatives and senators onboard both bills as cosponsors quickly as possible! And the filibuster should be eliminated, at least for bills like this. There’s no reason the basic rights of the citizens of Washington DC should be held hostage to whether or not 60 Democrats are elected to the Senate.

DIRECTIONS:

Continue reading “Wed 3/3: Wanted: Postcard writers! D.C. statehood and stopping deportation flights.”

Tues – 3/2: The American Rescue Plan could use a couple of extra lifeboats…

Remove taxes on unemployment payments and add automatic stabilizers!

H.R. 1319 – The American Rescue Plan Act, is popular and full of great things for a country struggling with survival and rebuilding during this pandemic, but a couple of things would make it even better. (No, we’re not talking about the $15 minimum wage…that’s not happening in this bill, unfortunately.) It’s already passed the House, so we need to ask the Senate to amend it with some additional items.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Sen. [___] to add some important features to the H.R. 1319 – The American Rescue Plan Act to help struggling Americans.

  • Zero out taxes for unemployment checks for this entire pandemic period. The IRS code excludes government payments made “in connection with a qualified disaster in order to promote the general welfare.” What is the point of a $1400 stimulus check if people just have to send it back to the IRS?
  • Add automatic stabilizers to tie federal aid to economic conditions, so people don’t suffer waiting for new legislation to extend benefits if it becomes necessary.
  • (For GOP senators only) Zero out Pay-Go. This bill is an emergency measure that I, along with the rest of your constituents are expecting you to work together with the Democrats to make happen.
Continue reading “Tues – 3/2: The American Rescue Plan could use a couple of extra lifeboats…”

Mon 3/1/21: H.R.1/S.1 – For the People Act of 2021: The most important bill for our democracy is still the first one.

And we don’t have much time.

Latest anti-democratic news from the Nazi-symbol stage at CPAC: “As local and state Republicans seek to narrow access to the polls, Trump, who tried to force officials in Georgia to steal the election for him, called on the GOP to outlaw mail-in and early voting to ensure “honest elections” and made racially motivated insinuations about irregularities in Detroit and Philadelphia. He demanded citizen tests for ballot access, said voting should only take place on Election Day and called for independent judges to be barred from adjudicating election disputes.

H.R.1/S.1, first introducted in 2019, is a collection of reforms to campaign finance, voting rights, and government ethics for ALL THREE BRANCHES of government, including the presidency and the judiciary. After Trump’s real-time master class in corruption, we need this bill’s stronger guardrails more than ever. “Norms” are no longer good enough. H.R. 1 is an important first step towards building an equitable and functional democracy, along with the D.C. statehood bill and H.R.4 – John Lewis Voting Rights Act, without which we can’t achieve any of our other progressive goals.

(This helpful video below, from 2019, is a great conversation with the bill’s author, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD-3). Short explainer videos from him on this bill here.)

Minimal script for Reps: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Rep. [___] for cosponsoring and supporting H.R. 1 – the For the People Act and I urge [him/her] to work to swiftly pass this legislation. PASSED 3/3/2021

Continue reading “Mon 3/1/21: H.R.1/S.1 – For the People Act of 2021: The most important bill for our democracy is still the first one.”

Friday 2/26: #FilibusterFriday! Both the $15/hr. wage and H.R. 5 – the Equality Act are in danger in the Senate.

The filibuster means that Mitch McConnell is still in charge.

We have less than 2 years before the next election and we have a lot to fix NOW! The GOP will use the 60-vote minimum of the filibuster to block progressive legislation from advancing in the Senate, keeping that chamber’s reputation as the most powerful force for structural racism in American life.” (Great filibuster explainer video at the bottom of post.)
Today’s victims:

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to cosponsor and support HR 5 – The Equality Act and if necessary, remove the filibuster for this vote (even with a mini-nuke or carve-out), and for any other legislation that ensures equal civil rights for all Americans. The majority of voters want LGBTQ community members to be accorded the same rights and responsibilities as every other citizen. Allowing a minority to use the filibuster to maintain a legacy of human rights violations and discriminatory practices against a specific group of taxpaying Americans is both anti-democratic and morally wrong.

Continue reading “Friday 2/26: #FilibusterFriday! Both the $15/hr. wage and H.R. 5 – the Equality Act are in danger in the Senate.”

Thurs 2/25: Quick Action to stop utility shut-offs!

Email letters to Senate staffers to add a utility shutoff clause in the American Rescue Act.

Those Texans with multi-thousand-dollar power bills are just the tip of the utility debt iceberg. People who’ve been barely hanging on financially during this pandemic will be facing huge debt (“arrearages”) of their own when their local or state moratoriums lapse and months of utility bills come due. This will cripple the nation’s economic recovery as well as create dangerous conditions for COVID to exploit.

Create some quick emails to your senator’s legislative aides to ask that they support adding a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs that also addresses arrearages to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Staffer contact information is below.

SUBJECT: Please sign Dear Colleague Letter to stop utility shut-offs & address arrearages! 

Hi [STAFFER’S NAME];

I am [YOUR SENATOR’S NAME]’s constituent and part of the nationwide #NoShutOffs coalition to stop utility shutoffs during COVID. In the wake of the Texas outage crisis and the dozens of deaths, we NEED you to please pass a shutoffs moratorium and address the arrearages crisis in the next COVID package to save lives across the country. 

Our ask: Please sign onto a Dear Colleague letter to pass a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs and address arrearages in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The deadline to sign-on is at noon, Friday, 2/26.To sign on, please contact Ben Schreiber at Sen. Merkley’s office: ben_schreiber@merkley.senate.gov or 202-558-8563.

Thank you so much for all you do!

[YOUR NAME]

Continue reading “Thurs 2/25: Quick Action to stop utility shut-offs!”

Joe Biden said “…no one who works 40 hours a week in America should still live below the poverty line.” We agree. Call your senators today!

Action #1 – Tell your Senator that $15/hour minimum wage raise needs to be part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Whether this issue affects you personally or not, please make the calls because we are indivisible, and our country is in deeper trouble than we may realize…

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to fight to keep the $15/hr. minimum wage increase as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

More script if you want it: A true rescue plan leaves no one behind. However, previous pandemic relief bills have given little relief to our minimum-wage essential workers, while handing out forgiveable loans and sneaky tax breaks for the wealthiest and corporations. Fully a quarter of us are now either jobless or earning poverty wages. There are food bank lines like from the Great Depression and a looming eviction crisis. The stress and inequity of living on the edge of financial disaster are destabilizing our country. A real rescue plan needs more than sporadic checks, welcome as they are. It must include true structural change – an hourly minimum wage that allows full-time workers to live in dignity and take care of their families’ needs, while boosting local economies hardhit by the pandemic. Despite dire predictions from the GOP, a UC Berkeley study found that minimum wage increases had no substantial impact on employment or hours. And more importantly, Americans from both parties, support the $15 minimum by a large margin. If this is truly an American Rescue Plan Act, make it count for us.

Continue reading “Joe Biden said “…no one who works 40 hours a week in America should still live below the poverty line.” We agree. Call your senators today!”

Mon-Tues: Three quick environmental/ environmental justice actions!

Although this week has a very important bill – H.R. 5 – the Equality Act, we’re not starting there. Our representatives, Brownley and Carbajal, have already cosponsored this bill, so we’re moving on to environmental legislation. You can add your thanks for their support of H.R.5 in any of the calls below. Legislators, like most people, like to be noticed for doing the right thing. (Check here for your own reps. on the cosponsor list. Note – there are zero GOP cosponsors.)

Action #1: Call your senator to support Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination to become the First Native American Secretary of Interior.

Continue reading “Mon-Tues: Three quick environmental/ environmental justice actions!”

Today is #FilibusterFriday! Call your senators!

Tell them WE EXPECT THEM to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enact bold structural reform on every issue we care about.

This is a great filibuster explainer:

We have less than 2 years before the next election and we have a lot to fix NOW! Mitch McConnell isn’t blocking every Democratic-sponsored bill from reaching the Senate floor, so we should be able to make progress, right? No. The GOP will use the 60-vote minimum of the filibuster to block progressive legislation from advancing in the Senate, keeping that chamber’s reputation as the most powerful force for structural racism in American life.” While both parties have used the filibuster, it has been weaponized to a greater extent than ever before by Republicans in order to kill landmark pieces of legislation that the majority of Americans want, from civil rights bill like voting access, to gun violence prevention, the Dream Act, Medicare-for-all and more.

Washington DC statehood is another victim. The GOP is so fearful that a new minority-majority state would create two Democratic senators, this blatant vestige of systemic racism in the heart of our nation will remain until we get 60 Democratic senators or the filibuster is dropped. (Call scripts for legislators and postcard campaign information here.)

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to remove the filibuster and get on with passing the bills the majority of Americans want. Civil rights bills like H.R.1 – For the People, H.R. 5 – the Equality Act and H.R. 51- Washington DC Admision Act. Commonsense gun legislation. Legislation to address climate change, childcare, immigration and healthcare. Yes, I understand the risks you think we are taking, but we see greater risks to democracy in never getting these bills passed. We will NOT accept [him/her] coming back to us in two years saying there was nothing [he/she] could do to advance issues important to us because of an self-mandated procedural relic of the Jim Crow era. We know better now, and so does [he/she].

Continue reading “Today is #FilibusterFriday! Call your senators!”

Help Texans affected by the weather crisis!

Tweet link in header here. UPDATED 2/20/18 – New resources and donation sites for Oklahoma and Louisiana as well.

Donations for Texas

The Fight For Equity Continues!

Donate here. The Austin Area Urban League continues its emergency donation drive for the housing insecure communities of Austin, Texas.

As we continue to see unprecedented and harsh weather conditions that put our housing insecure population at risk. We have launched the #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign with the support of our fellow community-focused organizations committed to aiding in this emergency support. Together, with your help, we can provide shelter, food, water, clothing, and more this week! Show how you spread the love by donating your desired amount, sharing this page link to your network, and tagging the AAUL with the hashtag #LoveThyNeighbor

Other Resources

Continue reading “Help Texans affected by the weather crisis!”