NEXT MOVEON RUTLAND MEETING
Saturday, February 10 am to noon – in the Rutland Library (please note that this is a correction – the previous newsletter indicated that the meeting would start at 11)
- Postcard writing party to Paul Ryan
Afterwards, I believe some of us are going to the park at the intersection of Rte 7/4 to hold signs educating the public on the ACA.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS (from Carol Ballou)
- WED (2/8):
Join Live Webinar discussing Climate with Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 pm from your personal computer. All you need to do is register and you can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. To register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfXs2YLtvL_VhXDIdnNwRrZB7_khru1lpR3BgGNhW31rkjBrg/viewform
Join Justice for All for Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) Testimony (9am-11:30 am, State House Room 11) If you can’t make it, send a note to the House Judiciary Committee expressing your support for full implementation of the FIP Policy, FIP Training and expansion of model implicit bias policy and training and data race collection. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 828-2257.
Press Conference on Public Bank Commission Bill (12-1, Montpelier Statehouse)
- THUR (2/9):
Vermont Democrats and Rights and Democracy are advertising this event: This Thursday, the House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs is having a public hearing from 7-9 pm in Room 11 at the State House. They will be listening to testimony from Vermonters about the impact of a higher wage before they vote on the bill in their committee. Our goal is to pack the room with Vermonters who support raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2022 Raise the Wage Speakout (6:30-8:00pm, Montpelier Statehouse Room 11)
Black Lives Matter Weekend Kickoff (9:00am-1:00pm, Montpelier Statehouse)
Racial Justice Reform Omnibus Bill – Coalition Liftoff (9:30pm, Sweet Melissa’s, Montpelier)
- SAT (2/11)
Grand Opening – BLM VT Community Shop and Safe Space(5:00-8:00pm, 325 Main Street, Suite 4, Winooski)
Black Lives Matter Day March and Truth Education Action (2/12, Main St, Winooski, 5:00-7:00pm)
City of Seattle votes to divest from Wells Fargo to protest DAPL http://www.king5.com/news/local/seattle/protest-for-seattle-to-cut-ties-with-wells-fargo-over-dakota-access-pipeline/395337991 (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)
It appears that Trump is backing down on some of his efforts to enforce the travel to the United States from the Middle East https://twitter.com/propublica/status/826536269769539584 and http://www.cbsnews.com/news/white-house-says-new-guidance-exempts-green-card-holders-from-travel-ban/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=34045615 and http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/317897-iranian-baby-gets-to-enter-us-for-pro-bono-life-saving-heart
Trump’s government hiring freeze has been lifted from some positions in the VA http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/01/28/va-leader-exempts-many-jjobs-federal-hiring-freeze.html
GOP (Jason Chaffetz) has withdrawn support for HR 621, which would have sold off public land. https://www.instagram.com/p/BP_zOxEF0-Q/ and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/02/republican-selling-public-lands-bill-withdraw-jason-chaffetz (see issue #8 of our first newsletter).
Trump has halted plan to roll-back protections for LGBT federal workers (presumably in acknowledgement of anticipated public backlash) https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-considers-reversing-lgbt-protections-for-federal-workers/2017/01/30/06160150-e736-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html?utm_term=.392ecb14b631
Boycotts of Trump-related products (for a list of the companies see https://grabyourwallet.org/) appear to be behind decisions by Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to pull Ivanka Trump’s products http://www.businessinsider.com/ivanka-trump-disappears-from-neiman-marcus-website-2017-2 and http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/02/news/companies/nordstrom-ivanka-trump/
A boycott of Uber in response to 1) what appears to have been an act on the part of Uber to break the taxi cab strike being carried out in protest of the “Muslim Ban” and 2) the Uber CEO’s participation in Trump’s business council appears to be behind the CEO’s decision to leave this council http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/3/travis-kalanick-uber-ceo-resigns-trump-advisory-co/
NEW ISSUES REQUIRING ACTION
- Last week’s newsletter reported on the dangerous addition of Bannon to the NSC: Senator Leahy has introduced legislation to address this issue: The Strengthening Oversight of National Security Act will amend the National Security Act of 1947 to clarify membership at the senior advisory level of the NSC, ensuring that national security experts are the ones crafting national security policy. It does so by setting out in law limits to membership.
- The bill amends the National Security Act to specify the composition of the National Security Council. In addition to the current statutorily designated NSC members, the bill adds the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- The bill further establishes that the composition of the cabinet-level interagency forum for policy consideration and decision making to support the NSC will reflect the membership of the NSC with flexibility to add other Senate-confirmed members. Any exceptions must be one-time actions and notified to Congress within 24 hours.
- The bill requires the Consent of the Congress to add any non-Senate confirmed official except the National Security Advisor and Deputies, Homeland Security Advisor and Deputies, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, Counsel, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Assistant to the Vice President for National Security. The composition limitation applies to members and attendees. https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahy-joins-in-introducing-legislation-to-codify-membership-on-the-national-security-council
- Action: Call Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 to ask him to support this legislation
- Action: Contact the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to protest Bannon’s appointment https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/contact or (202) 224-4751
- Last week’s newsletter discussed Trump’s plans to move forward on the Dakota Access/Keystone XL pipelines
- Action: Brendan Lalor (https://www.facebook.com/events/433087930356498/ ) is organizing weekly protests outside the TD Bank in Rutland on Saturdays 10 am – noon. This is the activity I emailed about last week. The protest is intended to encourage TD Bank customers to withdraw their money from TD Bank, and to encourage TD Bank to withdraw its support from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). I have told the organizer that the Rutland MoveOn group is meeting during this Saturday’s scheduled protest, but that some of us would probably be interested in joining him in the future. Hopefully he will keep this going. http://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/group-protests-bank-investment-in-oil-pipeline/
- Action: Divest from financial institutions funding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)
- Step 1: Find out whether you have investments, savings, checking accounts, loans, or credit cards with any of the 17 financial institutions funding DAPL: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/how-to-contact-the-17-banks-funding-the-dakota-access-pipeline-20160929
- Step 2: If you do, write a message to these companies saying you’re planning to divest because you oppose DAPL. Use this tool to send a mass email: https://other98action.org/defund-the-dakota-access-pipeline/
- Step 3: Set up new account(s) at your selected replacement(s).
- Step 4. Call or visit each DAPL-invested institution and close your old account(s). Tell the person closing your account, “I’ve decided to close my account because I value our indigenous communities and a healthy planet. I hope your company will withdraw your lines of credit to DAPL.”
- Step 5. Post on social media when you’ve taken this step and/or report your total divestment here: http://www.defunddapl.org/defund.
- Note: These steps are offered to help simplify a complicated-but-vital process. However, it is not intended as financial advice. Please review the sources below and contact a financial advisor before making any major financial decision.
- Last week’s newsletter discussed the ban on travel from certain Middle Eastern countries and a failure on the part of officials to obey federal court orders temporarily halting the ban:
- New evidence is emerging indicating that this ban is targeting individuals with no connection to the countries in question https://twitter.com/kurteichenwald/status/826641291509452800
- New stories are emerging about the deplorable conditions suffered by the detainees, some of whom (including a baby) fell ill as a result http://www.laweekly.com/news/how-the-refugee-crisis-at-lax-unfolded-a-qanda-with-the-aclu-7879267
- Vermont’s AG has joined 15 other US AGs in filing brief supporting WA lawsuit against Trump immigration EO https://twitter.com/Wej12/status/828721045263761412
- Uber, Apple, Google and other tech companies support the Washington state AG’s lawsuit over the travel ban http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2017-02-06/uber-google-apple-among-tech-companies-opposing-trump-immigration-ban
- Trump has verbally condemned the judges who’ve halted the ban http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/experts-trump-undermines-judiciary-twitter-attack-judge-robart-n717626
- However, it appears that officials are now obeying the court ruling
- Senator Leahy has condemned Trump’s attack on the judiciary branch https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/comment-on-partisan-attacks-on-the-federal-judiciary
- Action: Email CEOs asking them to issue statements against the “Muslim Ban” http://adstrike.us/wallofus or https://www.wall-of-us.org/bac
- Action: Sign George Takei’s petition to let the Muslim community know you support them and oppose any policy targeting them based on their religion or national origin. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/882/936/102/?src=influencers&campaign=takei
- Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
- Senator Leahy has issued a statement indicating that Gorsuch must show that he is willing and able to stand up to Trump’s troubling attack on the judicial branch, criticizing the Republican’s block on a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, and criticizing Gorsuch’s record of “calling for important precedent to be overturned because it does not align with his [Gorsuch’s] personal philosophy” and Gorsuch’s apparently willingness to overturn Roe. V. Wade. Leahy criticized a rush to confirm Gorsuch and insisted that he be carefully questioned during his hearing. https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/comment-on-partisan-attacks-on-the-federal-judiciary and https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahys-first-senate-floor-speech-on-the-nomination-of-neil-gorsuch-to-the-supreme-court and https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/statement-on-the-nomination-of-judge-neil-gorsuch-to-the-supreme-court-of-the-united-states
- Senator Sanders has warned against the GOP use of tactics that would undermine the confirmation process and rush Gorsuch’s confirmation through http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/317967-sanders-gorsuch-needs-60-votes-to-pass-the-senate
- Action: Call Senators Leahy and Sanders to ask them to block Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court (from http://thesixtyfive.org/theIssues)
- Sanders: Local office 802-862-0697
- Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525
- Script I’m <______>, a constituent. I’m calling to let <Senator ______> that I want Democrats to block Judge Gorsuch’s nomination by any means necessary.
- Action: Sign petition telling Senate to vote “no” on Gorsuch: https://www.change.org/p/8736722/u/19255571
- Last week’s newsletter reported that the House voted to permanently ban taxpayer funded abortion
- Action: Sign petition to tell Senators to protect Planned Parenthood: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/protect_pp?t=1&akid=21466.10960890.2n0ujW
- Action: Participate in Physicians for Reproductive Health’s storytelling campaign. Tell your story at Voices of Courage (anonymous option). (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)
- Trump is considering more strategies for implementing mass deportations https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-circulates-more-draft-immigration-restrictions-focusing-on-protecting-us-jobs/2017/01/31/38529236-e741-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html?utm_term=.928e1c4b7687
- Action: Petition to protect child immigrants, DACA https://action.unitedwedream.org/petitions/keep-the-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca-program
- Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message
- Script: Please join local officials around the country in declaring that local police forces will not be used to round up illegal immigrants for deportation. Using our local police force to target immigrants makes Vermont less safe: Not only does it waste resources that should be used elsewhere, but it also discourages potential targets from reporting crime to the authorities. Moreover, the racial profiling that would probably be employed in order to carry out a deportation project is discriminatory and illegal. Please stand against discrimination.
- The House voted against SEC regulation of US, foreign companies involved in oil, gas, mineral extraction. This regulation required “extractive industry corporations, like oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments they make to foreign governments for access to natural resources.” http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/politics/oil-industry-regulations/
- Senator Leahy condemned the vote against the regulation which protected “Investors And The Public By Increasing Transparency To Discourage Massive Payments By Oil Companies And Others To Corrupt Foreign Kleptocrats…to permit oil, gas, and mining companies to continue making secret payments – involving billions of dollars – to corrupt foreign governments in exchange for access to their countries’ natural resources.” https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/opposition-to-the-resolution-to-kill-the-sec-resource-extraction-rule
- Action: Contact Sanders (https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment ) and ask him to vote in favor of SEC regulation requiring industry corporations (like oil, gas and mining companies) to disclose payments they make to foreign governments for access to natural resources.
- Congress has overturned the Stream Protection Rule, which restricted coal companies from dumping waste in streams “Now, the Bureau of Land Management Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, which would make our air cleaner by requiring oil and gas operators to reduce wasteful pollution, is under attack. Their weapon of choice is the Congressional Review Act (which allows Congress to roll back executive action taken during the past 60 legislative work days if a rule is thought to impose excessive costs, exceeds agency authority or is redundant). The Congressional Review Act erases recently finalized protections with little debate and zero public input.” http://www.vox.com/2017/2/2/14488448/stream-protection-rule and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-methane-idUSKBN15I27E?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social and http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/02/congress-federal-methane-flaring-rule/
- Action: Sign petition to protest use of Congressional Review Act to dismantle environmental protections https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1942&_ga=1.119273865.1673142491.1485804663
- Action: Join Live Webinar discussing Climate with Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 pm from your personal computer. All you need to do is register and you can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. To register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfXs2YLtvL_VhXDIdnNwRrZB7_khru1lpR3BgGNhW31rkjBrg/viewform
- A bill to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (HR 861) has been introduced in the House
- Action: Call your Representative (For me, this is Peter Welch local #: 802-652-2450)
- Script: I am one of the Representative’s constituents and I would like the Representative to vote against the bill to eliminate the EPA. Clean air and water isn’t a partisan issue. Thank you! (from http://theroseresistance.com/feed )
- Trump continues to attack the media:
- Journalists covering the inauguration protests who were arrested have been charged with felonies.
- Trump has verbally attacked news agencies, such as CNN and The New York Times, that provide negative press http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/318023-trump-any-negative-polls-are-fake-news
- Action: Sign petition protesting charges against journalists charged with felonies for covering the inauguration protests: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-attorney-channing-d-phillips-drop-felony-charges-against-journalists-who-covered-inauguration-day-protests
- Action: Sign petition encouraging the White House press corps to stand up against Trump’s efforts to divide and conquer them: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-the-white-house-3
- Trump has rolled back some of the sanctions on Russia https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20170202_33.aspx and http://www.salon.com/2017/02/02/president-trump-modifies-obamas-sanctions-against-russia/
- House Representative Maxine Waters has introduced legislation to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia and cyber-attacks https://waters.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congresswoman-waters-introduces-legislation-urging-investigation
- Congressional Democrats sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mattis requesting “Pentagon documents on file relating to National Security Advisor’s Flynn’s speaking engagements in Russia, and in any other foreign state” in connection to an investigation into whether “violated Pentagon policy and the Constitution when he accepted money from a Russian state television network for a speaking engagement” http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/flynn-violated-constitution-russia-speech-democrats/story?id=45200852
- List of Congress Reps for/against Independent Bipartisan investigation into Russian hacking, contacts & scripts: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets vote against the bill to eliminate the EPA /d/1SLVSrmstvfE1ri_dSiK-8vQQGc4uvcgavkrMqQ87x-k/pubhtml
- Action: Call your Representative (For me, this is Peter Welch local #: 802-652-2450)
- Script: I am one of the Representative’s constituents and I would like the Representative to support Maxine Waters’ legislation to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia and cyber-attacks.
- House voted to roll back rule intended to block guns from individuals suffering severe mental disabilities http://thehill.com/regulation/317634-house-republicans-block-obama-era-gun-rule
- Action: Sign petition to encourage Trump to take steps to ensure gun control http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/gun-control-now-1
- The USDA purged animal welfare information from its website https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/02/03/the-usda-abruptly-removes-animal-welfare-information-from-its-website/?utm_term=.fa7bff59e3fc
- Action: Sign a petition to urge the USDA to restore its tracking of animal abuse https://www.change.org/p/demand-that-the-usda-restore-its-puppy-mill-inspection-database
- The first newsletter reported on Cabinet appointments. This spreadsheet tracks the Senators’ votes: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/31/us/politics/trump-cabinet-confirmation-votes.html
- Action: Contact Senators to tell them what you think of their votes on the Cabinet (from Janie Feinberg)
- Last week’s newsletter reported on racial profiling and police work. See http://www.fairimpartialpolicing.com/
- Action: Send a note to the Vermont House Judiciary Committee expressing your support for full implementation of the Fair and Impartial Policing Policy, FIP Training and expansion of model implicit bias policy and training and data race collection. Email email@example.com call (802) 828-2257.
- Thank GOP senators who are doing the right thing (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)
- Thank two GOP senators voting against DeVos (source).
- Script: Thank you for standing up for quality education in our country by opposing the DeVos appointment. I’m grateful. Name, State
- Contact: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (email and address)
- Contact: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) (email and address)
- Thank Republicans for speaking out against Bannon’s appointment (source).
- Script: Steven Bannon is bad for our country. Thank you for standing up for reason. Name, State
- Contact: Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) (address)
- Contact: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) (email and address)
- Thank leaders for standing up equality (source) (source).
- Script: No matter what happens, history will always show your ruling on the side of justice. Thank you for your work on behalf of all Americans. Name, State
- Contact: Attorney General Bob Ferguson (email and address)
- Contact: The Honorable James Robart (email and address)
- Thank a Republican leader for speaking against djt (source).
- Script: Thank you for marching with us, and for using your conscience and your voice on behalf of all Americans. I admire your courage. Name, State
- Contact: Beth Fukumoto (R-HI) (email and address)
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Trump has made statements indicating that he wants to reinstate the use of and to reopen “black site” prisons http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/donald-trump-torture-waterboarding/
- Senators Sanders and Leahy have condemned this https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/-sanders-statement-on-torture and https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahy-joins-other-key-senate-leaders-in-writing-to-the-new-defense-secretary-and-cia-director
- The White House now seems to have abandoned a plan to reopen CIA black-site prisons: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/us/politics/black-site-prisons-cia-terrorist.html?_r=0&referer=
Trump signed an Executive Order to slash regulations: This order “will require that agencies cut two existing regulations for every new rule introduced and it will set an annual cap on the cost of new regulations. For the rest of fiscal 2017, the cap will require that the cost of any additional regulations be completely offset by undoing existing rules. But, the move does not cover independent agencies that crafted many of the rules required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the White House said. It also would not apply to rules mandated by statutes…. Certain categories of regulations will be exempt from this new policy, including those dealing with the military and national security.” http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-regulations-idUSKBN15E1QU
Trump has threatened to dismantle the Johnson Amendment, “a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt organizations [churches] from participating in political activities” https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/how-trump-is-trying-to-put-more-money-in-politics/493823/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/us/politics/trump-johnson-amendment-political-activity-churches.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region%C2%AEion%3Dtop-news&WT.nav=top-news
- Senator Sanders has condemned Trump’s plan to dismantle the Johnson Amendment https://twitter.com/berniesanders/status/827623296669724673
GROUPS TO FOLLOW/JOIN/DONATE TO
Concerned about the environment: http://sierraclub.org/
Concerned about refugees and/or the reimplementation of torture and “black sites”: http://www.amnestyusa.org/
Concerned about women’s reproductive rights: The Arizona-based ACLU is fighting a new law that allows men to block wives’ abortions and family members to sue doctors for performing abortions. They hope to sue before the law goes into effect this summer (source). Make a donation: https://www.acluarkansas.org/. (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)