If you have additions/recommendations for this newsletter (including issues you want handled) please let me know.
NEXT MOVEON RUTLAND MEETING
February 11 at noon – Glenn is working on getting a room at the Rutland Library
- Postcard writing party to Paul Ryan
ACA EDUCATIONAL SIGN-HOLDING EVENT
Last Saturday, Carol Ballou hosted an ACA educational event in front of the hospital in Rutland. We held signs to educate passersby about what the ACA actually does, ramifications of repeal, and Planned Parenthood spending. It was a success! We got some supportive honks and waves. Carol is planning another event, possibly at another location in order to broaden our reach.
Facebook page Indivisible Rutland
MoveOn Rutland resources (starting with newsletters) have been added to www.Mindsworth.blog. Please let me know if you’d like to post any information here. I will rename the section if we choose a different name.
SUCCESSES (since this is a new section, I’m including more than just the past week)
- Defeated Republican efforts to reorganize the Ethics Oversight Committee
- Republican Congressmen have been deluged with phone calls – At least we’re obstructing their day-to-day office management
- Media is becoming increasingly willing to challenge the falsehoods distributed by tRump’s administration
- Protests regarding ban on travellers from 7 Middle Eastern countries drew media and Congressional attention to a critical problem (see below)
NEW ISSUES REQUIRING ACTION (taking just 1 action helps!) (Note: It’s been suggested that the Media is incorrectly identifying some of tRump’s actions as Executive Orders when they’re actually memoranda. I’ve stuck with calling them “Executive Orders.” My apologies if that’s not correct in every instance.)
ACA Enrollment ends today
- Action: If you haven’t signed up, do so
- Action: The White House phone appears to have been turned off. So, write tRump a letter:
Addressed to: Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Content: Don’t make America sick again! Improve Obamacare – don’t repeal it!
(from Carol Ballou)
tRump signed an Executive Order to halt travel to the USA for individuals originating from 7 Middle Eastern countries – Ban excludes places of origin for 9/11 terrorists (countries where tRump has business), countries on list have generated 0 fatal terrorist attacks on USA soil since 1970s, and refugees are primarily women and children http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/05/16/women-and-children-now-make-up-the-majority-of-refugees/ and http://people.com/politics/donald-trump-refugee-muslim-ban-terrorist-attack-us-statistics/
- White House overruled DHS to apply Executive Order against Green Card holders
- Several federal courts placed a stay on the Executive Order
- It appears that several officials are ignoring the federal courts’ decision and continuing to enact the Executive Order. tRump has suggested that this was due to computer glitches. According to the Washington Post, his excuse is either incorrect or false. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/01/30/trump-points-blame-elsewhere-for-weekends-chaos-around-entry-ban/?utm_term=.621c76970fab
- Acting national Attorney General Yates stated that no attempt should be made to attempt to defend tRump’s order. She was then fired and replaced by Acting AG Boente, who has ordered staff to defend the order. https://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/acting-attorney-general-orders-justice-department-not-to-def?utm_term=.panzg1WWk8#.xfBVpJAAW1
What’s already being done by your representatives:
- Senators Sanders and Leahy and Representative Welch have condemned the Executive Order. Sanders and Leahy were at a vigil on the Supreme Court steps last night to protest this order. https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahy-sanders-and-welch-issue-joint-statement_on-president-trumps-move-to-halt-refugee-resettlements-in-vermont-and-across-the-country
- Senator Leahy has condemned the firing of Acting Attorney General Yates https://twitter.com/frankthorp/status/826289501689565184
- Governor Phil Scott has condemned the Executive Order http://governor.vermont.gov/press-release/official-statement-governor-phil-scott-president-trump%E2%80%99s-executive-order-restricting
- National legislation was brought forward in the Senate to rescind the Executive Order and to limit executive authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this bill, the president will not be able to unilaterally ban groups of immigrants. Unfortunately, GOP wouldn’t allow a vote on the legislation. I have been unable to verify if that means that it’s “dead.” http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=5E9C9FAC-46B1-4158-8F93-970234D89F06 and https://twitter.com/mattwhouse/status/826193953087033344
- Senator Maggie Hassan is looking into why DHS was overruled by White House regarding Green Card-holders (DHS apparently recommended that Green Card-holders shouldn’t be subject to the ban, but White House overruled that recommendation) https://twitter.com/senatorhassan/status/825559761190019072 (Note: You can look at Twitter even if you don’t have a Twitter account)
- Senators Duckworth and Durbin are calling for an investigation into the DHS’ execution of the Executive Order, including allegations that “legal permanent residents were detained at Chicago O’Hare International Airport Saturday “for long periods of time with no access to legal counsel” and allegations that “CBP Officers and potentially other Department personnel, failed to comply with a temporary restraining order.”” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senate-democrats-donald-trump-department-homeland-security_us_588e26cae4b0b065cbbca5d6
- House Representative Lofgren is bring forward legislation to amend “the Immigration and Nationality Act stating that the government cannot reject people for entry based solely on their religion or nationality” and to defund the Executive Order. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/house-democrats-executive-order-refugees_us_588f5e6ee4b08a14f7e712dd?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004
- Washington state Attorney General has announced a lawsuit over tRump’s Executive Order https://twitter.com/AP/status/826131079333629952
- Attorney Generals from 15 states, including Vermont, condemned tRump’s Executive Order http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-trailguide-updates-democratic-attorneys-general-from-15-1485723316-htmlstory.html
What you can do:
- Action: Join Rise Up and Stand! Solidarity Vigil with Our Muslim and Refugee Community in Montpelier on Wednesday at 6 pm https://www.facebook.com/events/1706735692951277/ (Note: You can view this link even if you don’t have a Facebook account)
- Action: Sign two petitions calling on Congress to reject this Executive Order http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/reject-trumps-muslim and http://petitions.moveon.org/americasvoice/sign/tell-congress-to-rescindraci
- Action: Call Leahy and Sanders
- Sanders: Local office 802-862-0697
- Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525
Script: I am one of the senator’s constituents in Vermont. I would like to thank him for condemning tRump’s discriminatory ban on travel for individuals originating from certain Middle Eastern countries. I would also like to ask him to support Senator Feinstein’s legislation to rescind the order and limit tRump’s ability to unilaterally ban immigrants.
Second call: I am one of the senator’s constituents in Vermont. I would like to thank him for condemning tRump’s discriminatory ban on travel for individuals originating from certain Middle Eastern countries. I would also like to ask him to look into allegations that officials denied legal counsel to legal residents and ignored the federal judges’ orders to stay execution of this illegal Executive Order. This infringement upon the judicial branch constitutes a threat to our separation of powers and amounts to a Constitutional crisis.
- Action: Count your House Representative (If it’s Peter Welch his local number is 802-652-2450
Script: [If Peter Welch or other representative who has condemned Executive Order] I am one of the representative’s constituents in Vermont. I would like to thank him for condemning tRump’s discriminatory ban on travel for individuals originating from certain Middle Eastern countries. I would also like to ask him to support representative Lofgren’s legislation to amend “the Immigration and Nationality Act stating that the government cannot reject people for entry based solely on their religion or nationality” and to defund tRump’s Executive Order.
[If representative hasn’t condemned Executive Order] I am one of the representative’s constituents in Vermont. I would like to ask him to condemn tRump’s discriminatory ban on travel for individuals originating from certain Middle Eastern countries. I would also like to ask him to support representative Lofgren’s legislation to amend “the Immigration and Nationality Act stating that the government cannot reject people for entry based solely on their religion or nationality” and to defund tRump’s Executive Order.
- Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message
Script: I would like to thank the governor for his opposition to tRump’s discriminatory ban against travellers from seven Middle Eastern countries. I am asking the governor to follow through on his commitment to equality by making Vermont a sanctuary state to immigrants and refugees.
- Action: Contact White House. (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/ )
Note: White House has shut down its phone lines
Script: I oppose the executive order banning entry to the US by green card-carrying residents, dual passport-holding residents, legal citizens, and vetted, peaceful refugees. This action is unconstitutional and unamerican.
Tweet: @realDonaldTrump How foolish it looks for a POTUS to prevent legal residents + peaceful immigrants from entering the USA.
- Action: Consider contacting other Senators
Thorough list of US Senators’ positions on Muslim ban. Has referenced public positions, contact info, and re-election year.
(from Jed Pauls)
House voted to permanently ban taxpayer fund for abortion http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/24/politics/house-approves-bill-barring-taxpayer-money-for-abortions/
- made already existing Hyde Amendment permanent and bars insurance from paying for abortion
- does allow exceptions for cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life in danger
- Action: Call Senators Leahy and Sanders to ask them to vote against HR 7
- Sanders: Local office 802-862-0697
- Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525
Script: I’m , a constituent who is appalled that the House passed HR.7. Women deserve to make their own medical choices and I want to protect legal access to safe abortion by voting NO on HR.7. I expect my senator to stand up for women’s reproductive rights, and will be watching closely.
tRump has changed the make-up of the National Security Council – he gave White Supremacist Steven Bannon “a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/us/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-national-security-council.html?_r=0
- Senators Sanders and Leahy and Representative Welch have called for the removal of Bannon from the National Security Council. Welch has also signed a letter to tRump calling for the removal. http://digital.vpr.net/post/leahy-sanders-and-welch-denounce-bannon-appointment#stream/0
- Action: Call or use online comment form to contact
Script: I am a constituent of the Senator in Vermont. I am concerned about the appointment of Bannon to the National Security Council and the downgrading of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. According to 50 U.S. Code § 3021, the council shall consist of “the Secretaries and Under Secretaries of other executive departments and of the military departments, when appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.” This transformation of the National Security Council makes the USA less safe. I would like to thank the Senator for verbally opposing the reorganization of the National Security Council. What other steps will the senator be taking to ensure that the law is followed and this appointment is submitted to the Senate for approval?
tRump is moving forward with Standing Rock/Keystone XL pipelines –
- Senator Sanders has condemned plans http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/recent-business/sanders-statement-on-executive-orders-to-advance-keystone-xl-and-dakota-access-pipelines
- Action: Sign petition asking Congress to Require Trump to prove he has no Dakota Access Pipeline conflicts of interest http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/provide-proof-the-president?source=homepage
- Action: Send a letter to the Army Corp of Engineers submitting your concerns regarding DAPL and its impact on “tribal treaty rights, natural resources, cultural and sacred places, socio-economic concerns, environmental justice, and the health and wellbeing of those downstream who rely on our drinking water” https://actionnetwork.org/letters/submit-your-eis-comment-to-the-army-corps?source=twitter&
- Add your name to the list at Defund DAPL (http://www.defunddapl.org/) if you’re one of the thousands of Americans taking your money out of banks that fund DAPL and Keystone XL (from https://www.resistance365.com/single-post/2017/01/27/Day-76-Yes-Were-Still-Resisting-the-DAPL)
- Have friends in Canada? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he supports the Keystone XL revival, so tell them to contact him and state their opposition https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/world/canada/canada-justin-trudeau-keystone-xl.html (from https://www.resistance365.com/single-post/2017/01/27/Day-76-Yes-Were-Still-Resisting-the-DAPL )
tRump is moving forward with plans to build a wall between Mexico and US – prohibitive cost to USA for construction/maintenance, and detrimental to ecosystem
- Leahy has condemned plan https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/statement-of-senate-appropriations-vice-chairman-patrick-leahy-on-president-trumps-executive-order-on-the-wall
- Action: Call: National House Representative
For me, this is Peter Welch local #: 802-652-2450
Script: Hi, I’m a constituent from _ZIP code_ and would like to know if _elected official_ has publicly opposed building a wall on the Mexico border. I’m concerned not just about the expense to Americans and relations with Mexico, but for the numerous endangered species this project would harm. (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/.)
- Action: Sign petition telling Congress not to fund the wall http://petitions.moveon.org/americasvoice/sign/tell-congress-dont-fund-1?source=none&fb_test=0
tRump has threatened to send the “feds” to address Chicago’s crime problem https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/824080766288228352
- Based on population, Chicago actually had a lower murder rate in 2016 than ~ 7 other cities. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/u-s-cities-experienced-another-big-rise-in-murder-in-2016/
- Thus, tRump’s “warning” is being interpreted as a racist targeting of a predominately black community and a “threat” that he’ll impose martial law, thereby setting a dangerous precedent. (Note: Federal officials are already “on the ground” in Chicago – FBI, ATF, DEA, etc.) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/27/donald-trump-maybe-i-ll-invade-chicago.html
- tRump’s declaration follows on the heels of the Department of Justice releasing a report showing that Chicago’s Police Department routinely employs excessive force and racially discriminatory practices http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/13/us/chicago-police-federal-investigation/
- A recent study finds that Vermont police unfairly target minorities http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2017/01/09/study-vermont-police-stop-data-show-racial-disparities/96345458/ and Vermont ranks highest in the nation at a rate of 1 in 14 African American males in State Prisonhttp://justiceforallvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/The-Color-of-Justice-Racial-and-Ethnic-Disparity-in-State-Prisons-1.pdf
- Action: Sign petition for “a Constitutional Amendment that eliminates all reference to slavery from the Vermont State Constitution. We are also calling on legislators to provide appropriate funding to implement effective transparency into the criminal justice system. Grants must also be funded to provide resources for racial justice organizations for research, training and education. Vermont must make racial profiling illegal. Legislators should integrate Racial Impact Assessments into the law making process. Anti-bias training for all law enforcement officers must be expedited. Anti-bias policy and training must be implemented for all of the remainder of justice system personnel immediately. It must be enforcedly mandated that race traffic stop, use of force, plea, sentencing and other metrics related data be made publicly available to the fullest extent the law permits. It is imperative that law enforcement civilian oversight (with a community reporting apparatus, independent investigative, and prosecutorial and decertification powers) be implemented to reinforce trust and legitimacy in communities of color and increase overall public safety. S.W.A.T. or other heavy-handed punitive policing tactics to address suspected drug crimes must be prohibited and replaced with use of data-driven and community oriented policing. Racial disparities in Vermont touches additionally upon access to housing, educational institutions, access to healthcare, employment and various aspects of the political process. It is for this reason that we are asking that the Governor appoint a Racial Justice Oversight Board with the responsibility of administering a program that continuously assesses, reviews and addresses racial disparities in Vermont.” https://www.change.org/p/vermont-racial-justice-reform-and-constitutional-amendment-that-removes-all-reference-to-slavery-from-vermont-constitution
ACLU collecting signatures as part of its FOIA request regarding tRump
- Action: Add your signature https://action.aclu.org/secure/trumpFOIA (you don’t have to join ACLU or donate to do this)
Gag order on government departments – tRump allegedly placed a gag order on several government departments, including HHS, USDA, etc.
- Senators Leahy and Sanders sent a letter protesting the alleged gag https://twitter.com/MaggieJordanACN/status/824379139226484742
- Action: Sign petition protesting gag order on government agencies http://action.dccc.org/petition/trump-epa?utm_source=sp27653648&utm_medium=email&sc=sp27653648&refcode=sp27653648&firstname=Carol&lastname=Ballouemail@example.com&zip= (from Carol Ballou)
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
tRump signed Executive Order to consider reinstituting Enhanced Interrogation (torture) and Black Site Prisons
- Senators Leahy and Sanders have condemned plan https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/comments-of-senator-patrick-leahy-d-vt-on-reports-of-draft-executive-order-to-review-interrogation-policies-and-revive-black-site-prisons and http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/recent-business/sanders-statement-on-torture
National Legislation: H.R. 482/S. 103 – Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017 – This will:
– defund HUD collection of data regarding community racial disparities and disparities in access to affordable housing
– remove regulations enforcing Fair Housing Act of 1968
National Legislation: H.R. 669 and S. 200, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. This legislation would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congressman-lieu-senator-markey-introduce-restricting-first-use-0
tRump considering an Executive Order to look into “voter fraud” http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/politics/trump-calls-for-major-investigation-into-voter-fraud/
- There is almost no evidence of voter fraud.
- There is, however, evidence for suppression of minority voters by Republicans using Crosscheck, an initiative which deleted voters with matching names (looking only at first and last names). This targeted minority voters, who are more likely to share names than non-minorities. http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/
- tRump could be laying groundwork for imposing voter id laws, which already exist in several states, across the country. These laws discriminate against impoverished individuals who do not have ready-access to the required documents, the required funds, or transportation to obtain the voter IDs.
Efforts to suppress peaceful protest in other states https://theintercept.com/2017/01/19/republican-lawmakers-in-five-states-propose-bills-to-criminalize-peaceful-protest/
Unconfirmed report that USA citizens (you read that correctly) who come into the country are now being questioned about their religion and social media contacts, and having their passports (“temporarily”) seized https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/825861626351984640
GROUPS TO FOLLOW/JOIN
https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org/ – Calling upon Congress to pass a resolution calling for the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of Donald John Trump, President of the United States.
https://www.not-up-for-grabs.org/ – includes links for several resources, including Indivisible, govtrack.us, and so on
https://swingleft.org/ – Identifies the right-wing district nearest you and provides resources for you to help the district swing left in the next election
https://5calls.org/ – Sign-up to receive recommendations for five calls you can make every day to influence your representatives (it’s worthwhile even if you decide not to call every day because it will help you keep up to date on urgent issues)
https://dailyaction.org/ – Sign-up to receive one text message every workday about an issue that we have determined to be urgent based on where you live. You tap on the phone number in your message, listen to a short recording about that day’s issue, and from there you’ll be automatically routed to your Senator, member of Congress, or other relevant elected official. Takes 90 seconds each day.
Weekly Action Checklist – Sign-up to receive weekly checklists of actions to take – http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/
Welcome Rutland http://www.rutlandwelcomes.org/ – held rally in Rutland on Saturday to protest ban on travel from Middle Eastern countries. This is the group involved with supporting refugees in Rutland (two families have already been settled).
Rights and Democracy http://www.radvt.org/ – held rally in Burlington on Sunday to protest ban on travel from Middle Eastern countries
Indivisible Vermont has a Twitter account: @IndivisibleVT and they’re currently trying to add followers.
Council on American-Islamic Relations https://www.cair.com/ – Raising a Constitutional challenge to tRump’s ban on travel from 7 Middle Eastern countries.
GROUPS TO DONATE TO
http://www.voteriders.org/ – Help people get the documents they need to obtain voter IDs.
National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/ (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/ )
ACLU https://www.aclu.org/action – Note that they were responsible for bringing the cases to federal court in order to place a stay on enacting tRump’s Executive Order regarding travel to the USA from the Middle East.
Support the water protectors at Standing Rock – See http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/people-arrested-at-standing-rock-protests-fight-for-their-legal-rights
To donate to legal fees: https://fundrazr.com/d19fAf (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)
http://earthjustice.org/ – they are support the lawsuits to fight DAPL