Monday 9/21: Thwart the monsters amongst us – 5 actions to take today!

Action #1 – When did pushing through judges become more important than helping hungry constituents? Pass COVID relief NOW!

Trump is a big fan of bribery, so understandably, he wants a “chicken” of some sort in every American’s “pot” before the election – “I support actually larger (relief) numbers than the Democrats.” So why isn’t McConnell, his lickspittle-in-chief, sitting down with Pelosi to hammer out details to serve the urgent needs of their constituents? What could possibly be more important?

(9/17/2020) “The Senate has confirmed six of  President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees in the past 30 hours,” tweeted Vanita Gupta, of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “These are lifetime appointments that McConnell’s pushing through instead of the HEROES Act & other crucial legislation.” Anisha Singh, of Planned Parenthood, called on the Senate to halt upcoming votes, noting that two of the latest pushed through for Illinois are threats to people’s health, rights and bodily autonomy. Her full statement is here.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to remind [her/his] fellow legislators to get their priorities straight and pass H.R. 6800 – HEROES Act already! Americans are suffering. Americans are going hungry. Americans are becoming homeless. WHAT IS GOING ON?!? (or use black2thefuture’s terrific script here. Or do both!)

Contact your senator: https://whoismyrepresentative.com  (put in your zip code)

  • Not sure about what the Heroes Act is? Here’s a nice explainer here.  (The House passed their version on May 15th and the same GOP who slipped a $135 BILLION dollar giveaway to the wealthy into the CARES Act, are embracing austerity (Hey, remember that “skinny” bill?) for the rest of us.

Action #2 – Tell GOP senators not to install a replacement for RBG until a new president is seated. Get your friends and family to help!

  • Here’s the list we handed out at Ventura’s RBG vigil, which includes the seven more hapless fools to the list traveling around the internet. Mailing addresses and suggested scripts included. Pull out your most patriotic postcards, colored pens and get creative! (Don’t tell DeJoy but postcard stamps cost 35 cents.)
  • Here’s an easy-to-remember address to share. (tinyurl.com/Postcards-to-Hypocrites.)
  • WE ALL HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN GOP-controlled states! Ask them to hammer their senators’ offices with calls (1-844-846-8344). Then, they should write some pithy postcards too, as their particular weaselly hypocrite is probably on this list. Make sure they add a note like this: I AM YOUR CONSTITUENT! (tinyurl.com/Postcards-to-Hypocrites.)
  • Whenever possible, choose higher-effort over lower-effort ways to reach your legislators. If you find ignoring texts easy, so do they. (Rogan’s list) “One activist said that her rep told her that one well written letter is more impactful than all the petitions and Resistbots and form letters sent.” So call and talk to a real staffer and write a physical letter. Then postcards. Then emails. Then texting, and petitions only to people who aren’t sociopaths or who are shortly up for election.

Action #3 – Ask all levels of government to pass a declaration that racism is a public health crisis.

(Of the 121 deaths of children from COVID-19 betwen Feb. 12th and July 31 of this year, 78% were children of color. 45% were Hispanic, 29% were Black and 4% were non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native.)

On Sept. 3, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) introduced H.R. 8178Anti-Racism in Public Health Act, a bill that would formally identify systemic racism as a public health crisis in the United States.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced the matching Senate bill S.4533. The bill would create a National Center for Anti-Racism within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop anti-racist federal health policies and programs within the CDC’s Center for Injury Prevention and Control focused on preventing violence by law enforcement.

  • Rep. cosponsors here. (Brownley and Carbajal have NOT signed yet.)
  • Sen. cosponsors here. (Harris and Feinstein have NOT signed yet.)

Minimal script for Rep./Sen.: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. to cosponsor and promote (Rep. H.R. 8178)/(Sen. S.4533) – Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2020.

Contact: https://whoismyrepresentative.com  (put in your zip code)

Then call your state legislators, your governor, your county officials, and your city officials (Vta, Ojai, Ox, Simi, Cam, TO, Moorpark, PH, SP) and ask them to make declarations using these bills as a starting point –  “to provide for public health research and investment into understanding and eliminating structural racism and police violence.” Pewtrust.org has a great article on what makes an effective declaration and we can always contact these cities, counties and states that are way ahead of us.

Action #4 – Addition to “Help Wanted”

Original Post here.  This is an addition to the 3rd task:  Email Bill Gates (media@gatesfoundation.org) and Michael Bloomberg (mbloomberg@bloomberg.net) and contact Tom Steyer through his web form (https://www.tomsteyer.com/contact/), and ask them to form a network of wealthy progressives to pay off these fees and allow 774,000 disenfranchised voters the right to cast their ballot. Your letter can be simple and short.  Proposed script: (make it sound like you.)

Dear Mr. __

I’m know you’re interested in a just and fair election. Despite the Florida voters’ clear intent to restore the vote to former felons, the GOP-controlled legislature added on a Jim Crow-style requirement, recently upheld by the Florida Circuit Court of Appeals, continuing their disenfranchisement until they paid off all fees and fines. Florida’s records are so disorganized, many can’t determine what they owe, but if they guess wrong and vote, they could go back to jail and many can’t afford to pay at all. This is not how America is supposed to work.

We need your help. Former CA Gov. Schwartzenegger offered to sit down with officials to help reopen polling places. The right to vote is being held for ransom in Florida. Please, would you network with others with similar power and  make a deal with the governor to restore the dignity of the vote to over 770,000 people?  

Thank you for your consideration.

Action #5 – Tell your legislators you support the “I am Vanessa Guillén Act”

On Wednesday, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)  introduced legislation named in On Wednesday, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)  introduced legislation named in honor of Army Spec. Vanessa Guillén, that would change the way the military deals with sexual assault and harassment allegations. The bill (text here) would create a chief prosecutor offices within the military branches that would investigate these kinds of accusations and make recommendations for prosecution. It would also create a confidential reporting system for harassment and categorize sexual harassment as a distinct crime under military law. Service members would be allowed to file for damages if their case was negligently handled or an assault led to injury or death. (List of legislator supporters here. (Brownley is in, can’t find Carbajal) Also includes specific list of changes.

Minimal script for Rep./Sen.: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. to cosponsor and promote the “I am Vanessa Guillén” Act.

Contact: https://whoismyrepresentative.com  (put in your zip code)

More important actions you can take!

(From Indivisible National:) Here are a few things that elected officials and candidates can do right now:

  • Reading: 9/12/2020 – Statement by Patrisse Cullorss, Executive Director, Black Lives Matter Global Network in Response to Pat Robertson’s Comments on the Black Lives Matter Movement
  • Petition: Movement for Black Lives calls for “Congressional leadership to ensure that future action prioritize our communities over corporation and pushes back against the use of militarization in our communities as a response to this crisis.” Sign petition here.
  • Jacob Blake: Sign the Color of Change petition to demand the officer who shot Jacob “Jake” Blake in broad daylight is held accountable for attempting to take Jake’s life.
  • End “Qualified Immunity: Tell your representative you expect to see their names on the cosponsor list for  H.R.7085, the Ending Qualified Immunity Act. Under qualified immunity, government officials, including police officers, can only be sued if they “knowingly violate the law”. This much lower standard prevents many police officers from being held accountable in court.
    • Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to cosponsor H.R. 7085– the Ending Qualified Immunity Act
      • (Check herefor your rep.  – Brownley and Carbajal have NOT cosponsored this bill  yet.)
  • Resolution against Police Brutality: Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN-5) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) have introducedresolution in the House of Representatives condemning police violence. Call your representative and demand that they co-sponsor the resolution and speak out publicly about the need for the House to pass it without delay.
    • Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to support the Omar-Pressley resolution to condemn police brutality.
      • ( Brownley and Carbajal have NOT cosponsored this bill yet.
  • Stop taking money from police unions: Join Color of Change in the No Cash From Cops campaign, in asking our local, state, and federal officials to donate any police union campaign donations that they have received to bail funds and mutual aid organizations and to publicly commit to rejecting these funds in the future. Call, email, and tweet at them.
    • Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] I want to know if [___] has consigned the Color of Change pledge to refuse to take political donations from police unions or sheriff associations. Furthermore, is [___] willing to donate any contributions you have taken in the last year to Black-led community-strengthening initiatives.
  • Contact information for officials, from city to the feds, here.

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