11/23 – Continuing actions this week!

Update! We, along with 68 other CA groups, made the national news!

(theHill)A coalition of nearly 70 California progressive grassroots groups urged Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) either to call for the “swift passage” of both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act by the end of this month or to resign. (Letter attached at the bottom of this post.)

  • Action #1: Dear Senator Feinstein, it’s time to drop the filibuster for the “Freedom to Vote Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act.” And postpone your holiday until AFTER the BBB Act is passed.
  • Action #2: Dear Governor Newsom, We need you to step up for solar…
  • Action #3: Write a comment to protect DACA recipientsDEADLINE November 29 at 11:59 pm EST

We’ve just had another infuriating episode of #WhiteTearsWin. Kyle “Property over People” Rittenhouse walked away with 2 dead and one permanently damaged body in his wake, along with what Anthony Huber’s parents stated is “the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.” Hopefully his victims’ families will be able to sue him for damages in a civil trial, but that’s cold comfort. If an action comes from this, we will bring it forward.

Meanwhile, we need to take a moment to focus on some wins (see our header above), and the work we need to do next. Some of these you can do during business hours today or Monday, and all have an component you can do this weekend.

Action #1: Dear Senator Feinstein, it’s time to drop the filibuster for the “Freedom to Vote Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act.” And postpone your holiday until AFTER the BBB Act is passed.

We know from early on in our Indivisible movement that Feinstein will move if enough people flood her office with comments. (Yes, she was ready to rubber-stamp that horrid Jeff Sessions as Attorney General before we’all found out.) So make her phones ring in every office, it really only takes minutes to contact them all and say the short phone script. (Program your phone to save time! “MOC” = “Member of Congress”) Then fill up her email box over the weekend and make ourselves HEARD!

  • Write Feinstein an email/letter. Tell her what our country’s slide towards authoritarianism means to you and your family.
  • Call your legislators – H.R.4064/S.2155 – Prevent Election Subversion Act – Protect Election Workers from harrassment and intimidation.
  • Call Feinstein and other senators to urge them to sign both the “Freedom to Vote Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”
  • Call the White House
  • Email Joe.

(Scripts and contact information are included for all the actions above.)

Add-on to all calls to senators for the Build Back Better Act:

Minimal script: I want to add that I’m thrilled that the Build Back Better Act has passed in the House. I want Senator [___] to pass in the exact same form in the Senate as soon as possible. This is so important for America’s future, we want the Senate needs to delay any holiday break until it’s done.

Action #2: Dear Governor Newsom, We need you to step up for solar…

We know Indivisible helped Newsom beat his recall. We should be able to influence him on this. 

Thanks to all of you for helping us kill AB 1139 the bill to kill rooftop solar in California. We think you already know this happened. We were successful in killing it. 

Now the bad news is the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is poised to do the exact same thing. Kill rooftop solar in California and justifying it on the lie that there is a cost shift. Its a lie and now proven by this study that shows rooftop solar, if its not killed, will save California $120 billion over the next 30 years. So not only is rooftop solar not a cost shift but it is a cost savings for everyone.

But the CPUC has been a captive agency for the utilities for a long time and does not care about protecting Califronia from the wildfires and blackouts and high energy costs all caused by the utilities, they want to protect utility profits and are poised in the next weeks to kill rooftop solar. 

Governor Newsom is the decider. Our governor absolutely tells CPUC what to do. And thus far Newsom has said nothing to stop what the CPUC is already indicating they will do.

We cannot get to 100% clean energy without rooftop solar. We need much more not less than we already have.

Minimal script: I’m calling from _____ and I’m calling to ask Governor Newsom to oppose the utility profit grab to kill rooftop solar. Stand up to the utilities and keep rooftop solar growing so that millions of working and middle class people can get solar.

Action #3: Write a comment to protect DACA recipientsDEADLINE November 29 at 11:59 pm EST

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services published a proposed rule for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to protect the program from future legal challenges. According to the NY Times, a federal judge in Texas ruled in July that the DACA program was unlawful because the Obama administration “had not taken the proper steps in establishing the program, running afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act.” DHS has consequently continued to accept renewals but has not approved any new applications for the program. This new rule would go into effect after the administration considers public input during the 60-day comment period.

According to United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country, the rule would be helpful but falls short of laying out a pathway to citizenship and ensuring work permits. There is a 60-day comment period on Regulations.gov

HOW TO COMMENT!

  • The rule is here: https://www.regulations.gov/document/USCIS-2021-0006-0001
  • You write your comment here. USE YOUR OWN WORDING! Identical comments will be ELIMINATED!!!
  • You can post anonymously if you wish.
  • You can read other people’s comments here. Trumpers/White Nationalists have already posted a lot of xenophobic Throw them all out!!! ones, so don’t underestimate how essential it is for us all to work on this.

United We Dream encourages comments which:

  • support and expand eligibility for DACA which provides deportation protection and work permits for nearly 600,000 Dreamers;
  • advocate for a clear pathway to citizenship so Dreamers can live in this country without the stress of biannual renewals and fear of deportation;
  • include work authorization into the DACA protections, to ensure DACA recipients aren’t blocked from obtaining work permits in the future.

Here are some great articles to read about why DACA is so important to us, as well as them.

For those who’ve watched “NCIS” on TV, you may be familiar with Gibbs’ Rule #5 – “You don’t waste good.” We who work at our citizenship fair with these smart, hardworking and often bilingual DACA recipients know how lucky our country is to have them.

  • (American Progress) Why DACA Matters: DACA continues to be a lifeline for its beneficiaries, their families, and communities across the nation.
  • (Pew Research Center) Americans broadly support legal status for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children
  • (cmsny.org) DACA Recipients are Essential Workers and Part of the Front-line Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as Supreme Court Decision Looms (Article from 2020)
  • (American Progress) A Demographic Profile of DACA Recipients on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Response
  • (PBS) What ending DACA could cost the U.S. economy

Deeper dive here.

Letter to Senator Feinstein from 69 advocacy, civic and environmental groups in California.

November 23, 2021
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC  20510

Dear Senator Feinstein,

We, the 69 undersigned advocacy, civic, and environmental groups in California representing over 150,000 of your constituents, ask that you, publicly and by the end of November, call for the swift passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We further ask that you clearly and unequivocally call for abolishing or providing a voting rights exception to the Senate filibuster, which is being used to block consideration of both bills. If you are unwilling to take these steps to protect our democracy, we ask that you resign and allow Governor Newsom to appoint a successor who is willing and able to fight for the survival of our country.

We and many other groups have written to you a number of times throughout the year. We have been in regular conversation with your staff, both in California and in Washington, DC. Our members have called, written, and demonstrated. We have done this because our democracy is in grave danger. 

We have repeatedly made the case that Republicans all over the country are passing laws at the state level which will obstruct people’s right to vote, will allow the intimidation of voters, will gerrymander districts in order that politicians may choose their voters rather than being chosen by them, and will give Republicans the ability to reject election results they don’t like. The passage of these new laws is being accompanied by a purge of responsible election officials nationwide and by the deliberate escalation of violence meant to intimidate officials, from school boards to state houses. This is in addition to a relentless propaganda assault: the “Big Lie” that maintains that Donald Trump was cheated out of the 2020 election. The sum of these efforts puts the survival of our nation as a democracy in extreme peril.

We are grateful that you were a co-sponsor of the For the People Act, the predecessor to the Freedom to Vote Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We were likewise grateful for your statements in support of both bills, including your statement on March 19, which read in part:

I don’t want to turn away from Senate traditions, but I also don’t believe one party should be able to prevent votes on important bills by abusing the filibuster.

The Republican party has prevented votes on the For the People Act, on the Freedom to Vote Act, and on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Meanwhile, the Senate Democratic leadership has missed deadline after deadline. In August, the census was finalized. Shortly afterwards, Republicans began gerrymandering Congressional districts. In state after state, they have ensured that Democrats will be mathematically prohibited from winning elections, even when their total number of votes cast statewide far exceeds that of their opponents. We are headed toward permanent minority rule over much of the country and therefore over Congress and the presidency – a minority rule which will make a mockery of the idea that citizens have the right to determine how they are governed.. And yet, despite your professed unwillingness to let Republicans prevent votes on important bills, you have refrained from naming the solution: the filibuster must not be allowed to stand in the way.

We recognize that passage of these democracy-saving bills will take the votes of all fifty Democratic senators. We realize that you cannot deliver those votes, nor do you control the process for moving the bills forward. But you have a voice. You are the most senior Democrat in the Senate, with a long and admirable record of achievement, whose voice carries weight with the public and with conservative Democratic senators. We implore you to not let our nation’s democracy die without even a fight. 

The stakes could not be higher. President Biden was right when he described this as our greatest challenge since the Civil War – our survival as a nation depends on it. And we are out of time. If the New Year arrives without voting rights protected, all will be lost. As historian Heather Cox Richardson recently wrote:

If we do not pass a voting rights law that stops voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, dark money, and election subversion, our democracy will die. Not in centuries: now. The 2022 election will just pronounce the corpse.

Senator Feinstein, we need you to step up, now. We need you to call for the swift passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. And we need you to clearly and unequivocally call for abolishing or providing a voting rights exception to the Senate filibuster so that this may be accomplished. We need you to step up and fight for our democracy and for the United States of America. If you can’t or won’t, please step aside so that someone more willing can take your place.

Sincerely,

  • 13 PAGES Indivisible
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