On July 23, 5 banks have to decide whether to renew three major loans to Enbridge for Line 3, or walk away. Help them decide.

Don’t make grandmothers do all the heavy lifting here!

  • Action #1: Call Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
  • Action #2: Email Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
  • Action #3: Grandmother letter-writing campaign to Dr. Jill Biden
  • Related action: Call to legislators and email to Biden here.

Action #1: Call Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3

There is an actual deadline. On July 23, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America & Royal Bank of Canada have a major decision to make: renew $4.6 billion in loans to Enbridge, or walk away from Line 3.

Join in “Stop the Money Pipeline’s” well-designed campaign to contact any or all of their CEOs here. You can fill out their form and they’ll even dial the numbers for you automatically.

They’ve helpfully included tips for making your calls more effective and a short script to get you started.

Action #2: Email Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3

Continue reading “On July 23, 5 banks have to decide whether to renew three major loans to Enbridge for Line 3, or walk away. Help them decide.”

WTH, Olympics? Four issues we want to talk to the manager about…

  • Action #1: “Natural form of the head.” Whose head are we talking about exactly? #BlackGirlsDon’tSwim
  • Action #2: Ask the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to find their heart for Sha’Carri Richardson
  • Action #3: Ask the President of the International Olympic Committee to do better for Brianna McNeal.
  • Action #4: Have Gwen Berry’s back.
  • Action #4a: New petition to IOC sponsors from Color of Change – Companies must denounce IOC Rule 50

Not all the actions below target our usual suspects of state and federal legislators. But, like the actions of our politicians, international events like the Olympics can have profound effects that empower or disaffect Americans. So, being “indivisible,” when something bad, or really dumb occurs, we try to figure out what we can do about it.

Action #1: “Natural form of the head.” Whose head are we talking about exactly? #BlackGirlsDon’tSwim

We are pretty sure that the International Swimming Federation (FINA), which casually declined to certify a swim cap that accommodated Black hair, is now searching desperately for a face-saving exit strategy. In fact, by the time you read this, they may have already done so, as they just issued a statement: “FINA is committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage. FINA is currently reviewing the situation with regards to ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusivity and representation.

Although FINA will allow these caps for recreational and teaching purposes, not seeing Black athletes wearing this inclusive accommodation in competition and on the medal podiums, continues the disenfranchisement of Black children and adults from swimming pools, and the literally life-saving benefits that learning to swim conveys.

Contact: If they don’t figure out how to reel this back in soon, write FINA here: sportsdep@fina.org

Continue reading “WTH, Olympics? Four issues we want to talk to the manager about…”

We’re on fire and fossil fuel companies are fanning the flames. Now that this “darkness has been exposed to light,” this is our chance. Demand change now!

(Image from video here.)

This post is dedicated to Lytton, a tiny town in British Columbia, Canada, whose 250 residents experienced temperatures equal to Death Valley’s, before it was consumed by fire. It’s also dedicated to the hundreds of people in normally temperate places who died from a “heat domethis week and to those who won’t survive this weekend as the heat moves eastward. (great article here)

Action #1: Contact Joe and tell him to do the job we sent him to do.

Contact: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Dear Joe,

Continue reading “We’re on fire and fossil fuel companies are fanning the flames. Now that this “darkness has been exposed to light,” this is our chance. Demand change now!”

At the end of Pride Month – it’s time to rinse off some of that rainbow-wash.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

Hey, corporations! Do you want to be considered “people?”

(theskimm) “Nine years after the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, gay rights activist Gilbert Baker created and paraded the first rainbow flag. Fast forward to June 2021: corporations (think: Walmart, CVS, AT&T) started adding rainbow colors to their logos on social media. The move is an attempt to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month. But LGBTQ+ activists say this show of solidarity by some companies is just a front since their corporate policies show a different side to their supposed activism. And are accusing them of rainbow-washing.

Citizens United turned soulless corporations into “people” who can support things, like Pride Month and Juneteenth. Well, it’s time to remind a bunch of CEO’s that there are social rules to being “real people” – like defending and protecting their friends. Every kid knows that Pinocchio only became a “real” boy after he risked everything to save his father. Need a more grownup example? How about this – if you say you’re a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, don’t give political donations to homophobes. So easy!

(Note: If you and your family/friend circle haven’t started calling your senators on passing the Equality Act, go here.)

CVS Health

Continue reading “At the end of Pride Month – it’s time to rinse off some of that rainbow-wash.”

Using our influence for good – supporting LGBTQI+ people at home and abroad.

(Image by Tom Morris as part of the LGBT Free Media Collective coordinated by Wikimedia LGBT and WikiQueer)
  • Action #1: Yes” on S.393 – The Equality Act.
  • Action #2: Tell your legislators to support H.R. 1201/S.424 – International Human Rights Defense Act
  • Action #3: Call the chairs of the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committees directly.

Action #1: Call your senators, and make sure your friends and family members call theirs. 75% of Americans say ‘Yes” to S.393 – The Equality Act.

As we near the end of another great Pride month, it’s easy to forget how very recent some of our LBGTQ+ rights are – the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in Obergefell v. Hodges just six years ago, on June 26, 2015, making us one of 29 countries with marriage equality. Then the Trump administration showed us how fragile some of our progress was, banning transgender personnel from serving in the military and excusing those claiming religious beliefs from treating fellow Americans with dignity and fairness. (List here.) Even with Trump removed, our LBGTQI+ community still faces harrassment and discrimination that effect their mental, physical and economic wellbeing. Just this year, GOP-controlled legislatures, ignoring the will of 75% of Americans, passed the largest number of repressive anti-LGBTQ+ bills since 2015. As a result, CA’s attorney general just added five more states to the state-funded travel ban list.

But what about that recent Supreme Court decision that employers can’t discriminate against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity? It doesn’t apply to small businesses that employ as many as one in six Americans. Plus, it doesn’t protect access to housing, prevent denial of services or settle the question of who can use which restroom. (link to tweet here)

The H.R.5/S.393 – the Equality Act would amend existing federal civil rights laws – including the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 – to extend protections for LGBTQ Americans, extending protections on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also protect those with special needs. 48 out of 50 Democratic senators are already on board. If you have one, thank them. For those with friends and family in red states, you need to get your friends and family on the phone, every day, giving a piece of their mind to their GOP senators. Every day.

Minimal script for cosponsoring senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Sen. [___] for supporting S.393 – the Equality Act. It’s past time to recognize the essential humanity of all our citizens and remove this last bar to equal treatment of our LGBTQI+ community.

Continue reading “Using our influence for good – supporting LGBTQI+ people at home and abroad.”

Two actions to take today!

Action #1. SURJ – Tell your state senator that you support the VISION Act (AB937) Deadline – Friday! 

Send an email of support for the VISION Act (AB937). (Text here.) It’s passed through the Assembly, and now needs a boost through the Senate.

Human Rights Watch has endorsed the VISION Act, as it would enact the following reforms: 

  • build on recent criminal legal system reforms by prohibiting local and state agencies from conducting immigration arrests and from assisting or facilitating immigration arrests, which includes prohibiting ICE transfers;
  • prohibit California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) parole agents and county probation officers from collaborating with ICE to funnel individuals who are on parole into immigration detention; and
  • ensure that refugees and immigrants are treated equally by prohibiting state agencies, local agencies, and courts from using immigration status as a factor to deny or to recommend denial of placement in a diversion program, rehabilitation program, credit-earning program or class, or mental health program.

Here is a sample letter you can cut and paste to create your email. Try to use your own voice as much as possible.

To contact your state senator:

  • Senator Limon (District 19) here,
  • Senator Stern (District 27) here.
  • Not sure who that is? Enter your address here.

SURJ VC works in solidarity with the ICE Out of Ventura County Coalition and the VISION Act aligns with our demands locally for the Sheriff to stop voluntarily cooperating with ICE. If you are interested in joining SURJ and their work around immigrant justice, email them at surjvc@gmail.com.

Action #2: SURJ – Vigil to Stop the SoCalGas Compressor Construction today! (4-6pm!) 1550 N Olive St, Ventura

Facebook link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1227345751017400/

Video from April 24, 2021

Continue reading “Two actions to take today!”

It was Groundhog Day for states’ rights and Black voter suppression in the Senate. Call your senators.

“States’ rights” was the political battle cry that maintained and expanded slavery, as our country itself expanded. It was heard again in the Senate yesterday to reject S.1 -“For the People Act,” in favor of a wave of new state laws being described as the return of Jim-Crow.

During a 1858 debate with Abraham Lincoln, Sen. Stephen A. Douglas (IL) stated: “I will stand by that great principle of states’ rights, no matter who may desert it. If each State will only agree to mind its own business, and let its neighbors alone, there will be peace forever between us. We in Illinois tried slavery when a Territory, and found it was not good for us in this climate, and with our surroundings, and hence we abolished it. We then adopted a free State Constitution, as we had a right to do. In this State we have declared that a Negro shall not be a citizen, and we have also declared that he shall not be a slave. We had a right to adopt that policy. Missouri has just as good a right to adopt the other policy…

In 2021, constitutional amendments forbid outright disenfranchisement, but hundreds of voter suppression bills targeting minority populations are being pushed through state legislatures in response to both Trump’s loss and S.1 – For the People Act. This legislation would guarantee every voter equal access to best-practice procedures for fair, transparent, and accurate elections and district creation.

But here is comes…Susan Collins (R-ME): “S. 1 would take away the rights of people in each of the 50 states to determine which election rules work best for their citizens.”

Continue reading “It was Groundhog Day for states’ rights and Black voter suppression in the Senate. Call your senators.”

The UC Board of Regents is once again voting on the very bad idea of UC Health contracting with discriminatory religious hospitals. Urgent email! They vote on Wednesday!

We say “NO” (AGAIN!) to discrimination in UC health care, and “YES” to the high-quality, evidence-based care that all patients expect and deserve.

A mechanical voice but a good, short overview.

A little more than a year ago, we asked people to email the University of California Board of Regents, as they were planning to partner up the UC San Francisco Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals, with Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital chain that uses religious directives to openly discriminate against women, disproportionately affecting women of color, LGBTQ patients, and those seeking end-of-life care, in order to help resolve a bedspace problem. We, the people who demand the separation of church and state in our health care, said “NO!,” and the Board backed off, then. But since then, the ACLU has discovered that every single UC Health center has contracts that impose harmful non-medical restrictions on care.

On Wednesday, the regents are going to vote on a policy which would allow UC Health, the university division that oversees six health centers 20 health professional schools, and the medical education more than fifty percent of our state’s doctors, to normalize the process of affiliating with Catholic or other entities with discriminatory religious restrictions, despite the fact that contracting with such organizations is in clear violation of CA’s constitution and state laws.

The Regent’s draft policy being voted on has guidelines that would prevent these affiliate hospitals from actually gagging UC professionals’ from counseling their patients and prescribing treatments they feel are in the patients’ best interest, at least for now… However, they are absolutely unable to ensure that those professionals can actually perform those treatments at these facilities, as hard experience shows that the Conference of Catholic Bishops will place their Ethical and Reigious Directives (ERDs) over doctor/patient decisions, even at the cost of human life.

Reading between the lines of Point #3 of the draft policy, the authors anticipate the bewilderment, humiliation and possible endangerment that people will face upon being denied legal health care on the grounds that what they need is considered “intrinsically evil.” This includes women seeking abortions, miscarriage treatment, contraception or sterilization, LGBTQ+ patients seeking gender-affirming surgeries and the terminally ill seeking euthanasia (legal since 2016).

Each University location contracting with healthcare organizations that have adopted policy-based restrictions on care must develop and implement a process to inform UC patients, faculty, staff, and trainees: (i) about such restrictions at sites to which they may be referred or assigned; (ii) that such referrals or assignments are voluntary; and (iii) and that information about alternative sites for care, practice, and training will be provided upon request.

The paragraph ends on how to relocate people who need such “restricted services,” resulting in a “stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services, and public accommodations.”

Each location must also develop a process to transfer patients who need restricted services to a UC or other location where the services can be provided.

It’s also a dry reminder of how dangerous their religious strictures are, as these facilities have to “relocate” women suffering from miscarriage emergencies, because the best practices to save their lives would be construed as an abortion by their ERD rules. The is modern “separate, but definitely not equal accommodation,” and we don’t accept it.

Action #1 – EMAIL the UC Board of Regents to oppose any UC-system health care affiliation with any religious, anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ hospital. 

Write them an email to tell them that this discussion of whether or not to allow this trojan horse of discrimination into our health system should be an easy “NO”. Use whatever of the attached sample script makes sense to you. Make it as personal as you can, by adding any stories how this type of discrimination could have or did affect you, family member or an acquaintance.

Sample email script:

(Put in “Subject” line): DRAFT Regents Policy on Affiliations with Healthcare Organizations that Have Adopted Policy-Based Restrictions on Care

Continue reading “The UC Board of Regents is once again voting on the very bad idea of UC Health contracting with discriminatory religious hospitals. Urgent email! They vote on Wednesday!”

D.C. statehood is in the Senate on Tuesday, 6/22! Pile on! YES on S.51!

Juneteenth celebrates freedom. But what is freedom to an American without the full rights of citizenship? The +700,000 residents of DC are still waiting for an answer.

  • Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, June 16, 2021
    • Today’s bill making Juneteenth, when the last slaves got word that slavery had ended, a federal holiday has unique meaning for the District of Columbia because the slaves here were the first, not the last, to be freed.  The reason, of course, is that the District was and is a federally controlled jurisdiction.  The District celebrates the emancipation of slaves here on April 16 every year.
    • Juneteenth should remind Congress that it’s time for the first to be freed to finally become equal to other Americans.  The House understands that with its passage of the D.C. statehood bill.  So does the Senate, with a hearing on our D.C. statehood bill scheduled for next Tuesday, June 22.
    • With the President, the House, and the Senate all believing that the residents of their nation’s capital should in every way be equal to other Americans, we rejoice this Juneteenth knowing that we are close to adding the 51st star to the flag.”
  • From Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office Emancipation.dc.gov
    • One result of the intense struggle over slavery was the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, passed by the Congress and signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The act ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation, and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality that we commemorate every April 16, DC Emancipation Day.
    • Though the Compensated Emancipation Act was an important legal and symbolic victory, it was part of a larger struggle over the meaning and practice of freedom and citizenship. These two words continue to be central to what it means to be a participating member of society. We invite you to think about what these concepts have meant in the past and what they mean to you today...”
  • Statement by then-Rep. Mike Pence in 2007:

On Tuesday, June 22, the issue of DC statehood will appear before the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. During the House Oversight Committee hearing in April, GOP representatives presented such bizarre requirements for statehood on live TV, we despaired for the teaching of American civics. Assuming a repeat from the Senate’s own GOP fabulists, you may want to create your BINGO cards now with the help of “6 collossally Stupid Arguments against DC Statehood” and or other resources provided below. Or use ours.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to [thank Rep./Sen. [___] for being/ask Rep./Sen. [___] to become] a cosponsor of Sen. – S.51Washington, D.C. Admission Act and ending this example of racial injustice in the very heart of our nation. Freedom without full rights, including taxation without representation, is not true citizenship. I’m joining Rep. Holmes, Mayor Bowser and 2007’s version of Mike Pence in recommending the immediate correction of this historic wrong.

Continue reading “D.C. statehood is in the Senate on Tuesday, 6/22! Pile on! YES on S.51!”

Thank our Board of Supervisors for their LGBTQ+ Pride Month Proclamation!

Ventura County resisters – anti-LGBTQ+ groups and people are targeting this post by Supervisor LaVere because our County Supervisors approved the flying of the Pride flag last week.

Please don’t feed these trolls! Use your keyboards to support and thank our supervisors for doing the right thing! Knowing that we have their back encourages them to do more!

  • Send a quick email to the Board of Supervisors at Clerkoftheboard@ventura.org.
  • Put “June 22nd Item Not on the Agenda” in the SUBJECT line
  • Write a simple “thank you” message for the board unanimously supporting the LGBTQ+ Pride Month Proclamation and for raising the pride flag last week.

These messages go to all the supervisors and are read into the record at the next meeting. Please share with Ventura County friends and encourage them to do the same.