Suggestions/additions welcome. Don’t see your issue, event or organization? Send it to me.

Check out the article from one of our own (Glen Reed) about the myth of “paid protesters”: http://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/the-great-lie-about-paid-protesters/

And for those of you who need inspiration for postcards to write to 45, check out the suggestions from one of our own, under Reading. Carol Ballou sends a postcard to 45 every day!

My personal picks: See the Migrant Justice issue (1st item under New Items) and the petitions to urge the Vermont College System to go fossil fuel free and to strip Congress of their public health care plan (2nd and 3rd issues under Petitions); also see the suggested Reading at the very bottom for the ACLU’s guidance regarding cell phone searches at the border and a Slate article on cell phone security in general

Another scam alert: How a group of liberals got duped into paying $9,000 for fake documents they thought would end Trump’s presidency: https://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/how-donald-trumps-enemies-fell-for-a-billion-dollar-hoax?bftwnews&utm_term=.yf64eKr7V#.xnbj1K3zr

Red alert: Senators–even Democrats–are reporting they aren’t getting that many calls opposing Trumpcare. Maybe people are call weary, but we need to step it up. Call, call, call! (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

SUCCESSES/GOOD NEWS

 

NEW ITEMS REQUIRING ACTION in no particular order – there are a lot, but that’s because I know that people are interested in different things. Pick the issue that you’re most concerned about, and take action.

1 Urgent: ICE officials in Vermont have begun targeting leaders of the undocumented immigrant community and undocumented immigrants visiting the courthouse. Targeting leaders is a clear attempt to undermine resistance, while the decision to go after immigrants visiting the courthouse puts us all in danger by undermining the justice system. State Senator Tim Ashe, State Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, and US Senator Leahy have either denounced what appears to be an escalation on the part of the ICE (perhaps in retaliation for the AG’s decision to issue a guidance to local law enforcement – see below) and/or have indicated that they will institute an inquiry. https://twitter.com/TimAsheVT/status/843212590947979265 and https://twitter.com/MitziJohnsonVT/status/843079470143754240 and https://twitter.com/SenatorLeahy/status/843167188450197505 and   http://digital.vpr.net/post/ice-agents-arrest-dairy-worker-en-route-burlington-courthouse#stream/0 Also see http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/stop-stalking-local-courthouses-california-s-top-judge-tells-ice-n734621

  • Action: Call Vermont ICE director Jeff Curtis at 802-309-1205 and 802-309-1206 and the Boston Field Office at 781-359-7500
    • Script: I am a citizen resident of Vermont and I am requesting the ,release of Cesar Alex Carrillo, Jose Enrique Balcazar Sanchez, date of birth March 9, 1993 and Zully Victoria Palacios Rodriguez, date of birth May 14, 1993. They are valuable members of the Vermont community and positive role models for our community. [Add any personal information if you happen to know them.] They are assets and we can’t afford to lose them. Thank you.
  • Action: Contact your congressmen
    • US Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
    • US House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email
    • For State Senators and Representative, see http://legislature.vermont.gov/ if you live in the Rutland area, your Senators are probably:
    • Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I am deeply concerned by the arrest of Migrant Justice leaders by immigration officials in Vermont. It seems like these leaders were targeted by immigration precisely because they were working for the rights of undocumented immigrants. This is a shameful practice. Vermont’s dairy and farm industry relies on the work of these undocumented immigrants. These people make valuable contributions to our community. The individuals who were arrested should be rewarded, not penalized, for providing positive role models to their community. I urge the Congressman to do whatever he can to work for their release and to prevent actions like this from occurring in the future. Thank you!
  • Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message Script: I am an American citizen of Vermont and I am disturbed by the ICE arrests of immigrants visiting the courthouse. This tactic threatens to undermine the Vermont justice system. I urge you to condemn this practice and to do whatever you can to thwart it. Thank you!
  • Action: Contact Vermont Attorney General 802 828-3171 or civilrights@vermont.gov Script: I am an American citizen of Vermont and I am disturbed by the ICE arrests of immigrants visiting the courthouse and leaders in the immigrant community who were working with you to acquire visas for their community. These arrests threaten to undermine the Vermont justice system. I urge you to condemn this practice and to do whatever you can to thwart it. Thank you!
  • Action: Thank the officials who have either denounced the arrests or have indicated that they are instituting an inquiry

 

2. Sebastian Gorka, a top-45 aide, has been linked to a Nazi group. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/03/a_top_trump_aide_has_been_strongly_linked_to_a_nazi_group.html

 

3 Top-level Canadian health care providers who regularly travel to work in US hospitals are being barred entry. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/canadian-nurses-working-in-us-rejected-1.4026554

  • Action: Contact your congressmen
    • Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
    • Senator Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
    • House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email
    • Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I am deeply concerned by immigration officials stopping the entry of top-level Canadian health care providers into Michigan. These health care providers were providing critical care to US citizens and I don’t want to see this happen in my country or in Vermont. I urge the Congressman to take steps to ensure that we continue to have access to the best possible health care by ensuring the entry rights of commuters. Thank you!

 

4. 45’s travel policies are encouraging a drop-off in international student populations. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2017/03/trump_s_policies_are_starting_to_drive_away_students_from_other_countries.html

 

5 HR 985 – Fairness in Class Action Litigation – has passed the House. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/985 Here’s an article about why that’s a bad thing: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/7/1640988/-Banning-Class-Actions-Will-Not-Put-America-First?_=2017-03-07T06:15:50.402-08:00

  • Action: Contact your congressmen
    • Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
    • Senator Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
    • Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I urge the Senator to vote No on The Fairness and Class Action Litigation Act HR 985. This legislation makes it more difficult for individuals to come together and bring class action lawsuits to court in everything from civil rights to wrongful death cases. HR 985 is unfair to citizens who lack the personal wealth to seek justice and redress for injuries done by corporations. I urge the Senator to vote No on HR 985 and to show the country and Congress that the Senator is committed to protecting the welfare of the people rather than the power of corporate lobbyists. https://twitter.com/jkkowalski/status/842014164159717381

 

6 Jay Clayton, a Wall Street insider, is Trump’s nominee for chairman of the Security and Exchanges Commission. If he makes it through the Senate Banking Committee this week, he will appear before the full Senate for a vote.  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-sec-idUSKBN14N1Y9

Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know the Senator’s position on the nomination of Jay Clayton to Chair the Securities and Exchange Commission?

OPTION 1: OPPOSES CLAYTON’S NOMINATION

Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator [“Hernandez”] opposes the nomination of Jay Clayton.

Caller: That’s great! I’m calling to say that if Senator [“Hernandez”] truly believes, as I do, that Jay Clayton is unqualified to Chair the SEC, he/she should do everything he/she can to oppose Clayton’s nomination. This means making public statements or delivering a floor speech opposing Clayton’s nomination in an effort to prevent the wholesale takeover of our government by Wall Street.

I’m happy to hear the Senator opposes Jay Clayton’s nomination to the SEC. Thank you.

OPTION 2: SUPPORTS CLAYTON’S NOMINATION TO THE SEC

Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator Bob supports the nomination of Jay Clayton.

Caller: That’s terrible. What that means is Senator [“Hernandez”] is choosing to further enrich Wall Street and the wealthy few at the expense of working class Americans. When it comes to the financial security of ordinary Americans, the SEC is critical. We experienced firsthand what can happen when the SEC fails to hold Wall Street banks accountable – during the financial crisis in 2008, ordinary Americans lost more than $16 trillion and more than three millions households were foreclosed upon. And while that was happening, Jay Clayton was helping Goldman Sachs, and others, receive billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailout money.

Americans deserve an SEC chair who has a proven track record of putting the financial interests of Americans first, not Wall Street banks. Does Senator [“Hernandez”] put Americans first?

OPTION 3: DODGES / HAS NO POSITION

Staffer: Thank you for calling! I’m not sure if the Senator supports or opposes the nomination of Jay Clayton, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.

Caller: That’s disappointing to hear—the SEC is critical to the financial security of millions of Americans, myself included. Jay Clayton has spent his entire career helping Wall Street banks skirt the rules and rake in profits, including in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Jay Clayton is wholly unqualified to lead the SEC. Here are my concerns: We need an SEC Chair who has a proven track record of putting the financial security of ordinary Americans before the bottom line of Wall Street. I expect Senator [“Hernandez”] to publicly state his opposition to Jay Clayton’s nomination to prove that he/she is on my side.

Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the Senator.

Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information to let me know when the Senator has made up his mind. I’m eager to hear what he decides.

 

7. 45 has nominated Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture. Reasons why that’s troubling: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/01/some-sketchy-things-trunps-usda-pick-did-while-governor-georgia

 

8 Concealed Carry Reciprocity bills  (S 446/HR 38) have been introduced in both houses of Congress. If passed, this law would force each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state, overriding each state’s core public safety laws on who is too dangerous to carry guns in public or even to possess guns at all.  https://everytownresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Everytown-Concealed-Carry-Reciprocity-Cornyn-January-2017.pdf   While the NRA supports this legislation, law enforcement does not. (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)  https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/38/text and https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/446?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s.446%22%5D%7D&r=1

  • Action: Contact your congressmen
    • Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
    • Senator Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
    • House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email
    • Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I urge the Congressman to vote against S 446/HR 38, which would force each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state, overriding each state’s core public safety laws on who is too dangerous to carry guns in public or even to possess guns at all. Law enforcement does not support this law, and neither do I. It would make everyone less safe. The Congressman should vote against it.

 

9 HR34, the Safe Students Act, would “repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act, thereby allowing guns on school campuses, designated as Gun Free Zones, thus endangering students and making them less safe. The bill is falsely portrayed as a “Student Safety” measure.” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/34/text (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

  • Action: Contact your House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I strongly urge the Congressman to oppose HR34, which would repeal the Gun Free School Zone Act. Guns do not belong in schools. I want the Congressman to vote against HR34. Thank you.

 

10 HR 1452, the No TRUMP Act, has been introduced. It will keep our taxpayer $ out of Trump hotels. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1452

  • Action: Contact your House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I urge the Congressman to support HR 1452, which will keep our taxpayer money out of Trump hotels. Taxpayer dollars are meant to support US infrastructure like roads and schools. We’ve already seen the White House used as a platform to support the Trump family’s private enterprises. I would like the Congressman to support HR 1452 to demonstrate his commitment to reining in government corruption. https://twitter.com/jkkowalski/status/841304160825946114

 

11 Last week Representative Steve King made several statements defending white supremacy. Representative Pelosi has called for King to be removed from his position as chairman of a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. http://thehill.com/homenews/house/323923-pelosi-calls-on-gop-leaders-to-take-away-rep-kings-committee-gavel

  • Action: Contact your House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I am deeply concerned by Representative King’s white supremacist statements last week. I urge the Congressman to publicly condemn King’s statements and to follow Nancy Pelosi’s example in pushing for King’s removal from his position as chairman of a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. Thank you.

 

12 Charlotte, VT has passed a resolution saying President Donald Trump is in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. The resolution calls on the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate “whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump,” and town officials just sent a copy to Democratic Congressman Peter Welch.  https://vtdigger.org/2017/03/17/charlotte-sends-letter-welch-calling-trump-impeachment-investigation/

  • Action: Contact your House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I urge the Congressman to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of Donald Trump and, if there is, to initiate the proceedings. Thank you.
  • Action: Encourage your town to pass a similar resolution.

 

13 HR 367, the Hearing Protection Act, has been introduced. This “seeks to de-regulate gun silencers, allowing them to become easily accessible to anyone, while the gun industry protects lucrative easy access loopholes, allowing silencers and guns to be obtained easily, by anyone.”   http://www.toledoblade.com/Politics/2017/02/24/Gun-silencer-bills-could-spark-sales.html (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

  • Action: Contact your House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I urge the Congressman to vote against HR, 367, which would make it easier for people to obtain silencers and guns. Passing this bill would make everyone less safe. I urge the Congressman to vote against it. Thank you.

 

14 Environmental issues spotlighted by @BadHombresNPS

  • S145 has been introduced. Would require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to the economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness of the United States, and for other purposes. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/145?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s.145%22%5D%7D&r=1 It is currently with the committee on Energy and Natural Resources, of which Senator Sanders is a member.
    • Action: Call the Committee (202) 224-6163 Script: I am calling in regards to S145. The public lands in our district are incredibly important and requiring mining and drilling on them would put our National Parks and their local communities at risk. Our national parks and public lands are a national treasures, we must ensure the sanctity of our public lands for generations to come. I urge the Committee to vote against S145 to keep our federal lands adequately protected from aggressive mining activities.
    • Action: Call Senator Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment Script: I’m _____, a constituent of Senator ______. I am calling in regards to S145. The public lands in our district are incredibly important and requiring mining and drilling on them would put our National Parks and their local communities at risk. Our national parks and public lands are a national treasures, we must ensure the sanctity of our public lands for generations to come. I urge Congressman/woman ____ to vote against S145 to keep our federal lands adequately protected from aggressive mining activities. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1svtAh_gvlb-9NmyQ5CXtYKmCWxQ9cj8l4lP9fKt0yg0/edit
  • HR739 “This is our land act” has been introduced – Prohibit construction of new border barriers including walls or fences on certain Federal land https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/739
    • Action: Contact the Homeland Security Committee (202) 226-8417 Script: I am calling to express my support for HR739, This is our land act. It’s important to me that federal land not be subjected to unnecessary border walls. Thank you.
  • HR861 to eliminate the EPA has been introduced https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/861?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22h.r.861%22%5D%7D&r=1
    • Action: Call the subcommittee on the Environment (Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce) (202) 225-2927 Script: I am calling in regards to HR861. The EPA protects our air and water, provides funding for communities to maintain safe drinking water and ensures wastewater is treated appropriately. The EPA also ensures that business who do pollute are held accountable. Rolling back 40+ years of regulations will only damage our communities and our citizens. I urge the subcommittee on the Environment to vote against HR861 to keep our entire country’s water, land, and air clean and safe. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JrnvwpjXCNQ6Isc6UWwkIqpUyscodeubJOlqSV34keI/edit

 

15 Vermont is still stalled on the issue of passing legislation forcing presidential candidates to submit their tax returns. However, New Jersey has already passed legislation to do just this.  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/vermont/articles/2017-02-28/vermont-considers-public-tax-returns-for-presidential-bids and http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2017/03/17/nj-first-pass-presidential-tax-return-bill/99279418/ Meanwhile, House Democrats haven’t given up on obtaining his tax returns, despite past failures. H.Res.186 has been introduced to obtain financial information from 45, including his taxes. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/186?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22186%22%5D%7D&r=1

  • Action: If you haven’t already done so, contact your local senators and representatives to voice your approval for this legislation. To find them, go to http://legislature.vermont.gov/
  • Action: Urge your local community to pass a resolution encouraging the state to pass this legislation.
  • Action: Contact your House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Even if you called last time – call again. Peter Welch needs to know that he still has our support! Script: I am a constituent of the Congressman in Vermont and I would like the Congressman to vote in favor of H.Res.186 to obtain Trump’s tax returns. Thank you. (If you would like more language, especially if you’re going to call Representatives from other states, see script at https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resources-2/2017/3/12/house-resolution-186-demand-president-trumps-tax-returns )
  • Action: Contact the two members of Congress who can get 45’s returns by simply writing a letter:
    • Orrin Hatch (UT), Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance & Joint Committee on Taxation http://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-orrin or (202) 224-5251
    • Kevin Brady (TX), Chair of House Ways and Means (202) 225-4901
    • Script: I am deeply concerned by what appear to be conflicts of interest on the part of the president. I urge the Senator to send a letter demanding the president turn over his most recent tax returns. This is a national security matter, particularly as hostilities mount with nations like China, where the president appears to have a great deal invested. I would appreciate the Senator doing whatever he can to obtain these tax returns to ensure that the nation’s interests are protected.

 

16 Vermont Attorney General Donovan has released a guidance to Vermont’s law enforcement agencies regarding immigration enforcement. According to this guidance, local law enforcement may perform immigration-related activities only if they are authorized by state law to make a criminal arrest or if they receive express authorization from federal immigration authorities as per agreement. No such agreement exists at this time. However, immigration officials often submit requests to local law enforcement to detain individuals so that immigration officials can determine if the individuals will be taken into custody. Local law enforcement are under no legal obligation to carry out the request. Local law enforcement must be mindful of state and federal constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. If a person is held for longer than 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) without probable cause related to a criminal offense, this constitutes unlawful detention. The sharing of personal information regarding detainees is voluntary. The Attorney General has directed law enforcement to avoid dedicating time and resources to enforcing federal immigration law, to decline federal immigration detainer requests except under special circumstances, and to prohibit inquiry into an individual’s immigration status for the sole purpose of investigating and enforcing compliance with federal immigration laws. The Guidance also reviews the reasons why collusion between local law enforcement and immigration officials actually undermines public safety. http://ago.vermont.gov/focus/news/attorney-general-donovan-and-immigration-task-force-release-guidance-for-cities-and-towns-on-immigration-enforcement.php and http://ago.vermont.gov/assets/files/Consumer/Guidance%20to%20VT%20Cities%20and%20Towns%20re%20Immigration%20Enforcement.pdf

  • Action: Contact your local Sheriff/Chief of Police’s asking him/her to take a stand against anti-immigrant policies. To find your Sheriff/Chief of Police: http://www.usacops.com/ For Rutland, the Chief of Police is Anthony Bossi, 52 Washington St., Rutland, Vermont 05701, Phone: (802)773-1816.
    • Script: I am a citizen resident of ___ and I am calling/writing to urge the Sheriff/Chief of Police to follow the Vermont Attorney General’s guidance regarding immigration enforcement. Please do not waste our resources by doing the federal government’s job unless this is called for, as per the Attorney General’s instructions. Please decline detainee requests. Also, please follow the Attorney General’s advice and don’t violate the privacy of Vermont residents by sharing information about residents with immigration officials. The enforcement of immigration law should be left to the federal government and not transferred to local law enforcement. The costs are a drain on local resources and divert funding from more effective safety and crime prevention methods. By eroding trust and cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, public safety is also undermined. (from https://www.wall-of-us.org)

 

17 As mentioned above, S.79 has passed the Vermont Senate and House – it will prevent state agencies from collecting personal information that might be handed over to immigration officials or to officials building a registry. It received unanimous support from Senators. Unfortunately, 24 Representatives voted against it. http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/roll-call/2018/21 and http://www.vermontpressbureau.com/2017/03/15/immigration-issue-splits-house-gop-caucus/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

18 A previous newsletter discussed the DOJ’s decision to withdraw the guidance regarding transgender use of bathrooms. Since then, states have begun introducing transgender bathroom legislation http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/texas-arkansas-advance-anti-transgender-bathroom-bills-n734381 Let’s be proactive and stop this from even becoming a possibility!

  • Action: Contact your state Congressmen and the Governor

 

19 After submitting a budget that was DOA, Governor Scott has put a gag order on agencies, instructing them not to respond to the House’s request in coming up with a new budget. https://vtdigger.org/2017/03/15/house-seeks-governors-help-budget-administration-puts-gag-agency-heads/

  • Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message Script: I am one of the governor’s constituents in Vermont and I’m disappointed by the lack of leadership that he’s showing in developing a feasible budget. I expect him to some innovation and to cooperate with the legislature, regardless of party, in creating a budget that doesn’t require Vermonters to sacrifice the services that we pay for.

 

20 DAPL – Amnesty International documented several instances where the force used by law enforcement officers appears to have been excessive and a pattern of cases where people appear to have been excessively charged as punishment for or deterrence from taking part in future demonstrations against the pipeline.  http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/letter_to_gov_and_ag_of_nd.pdf

  • Action: Write to the governor and attorney general of North Dakota
    • Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakota, 600 East Blvd Ave, Bismarck, ND 58505-0100
    • Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General of North Dakota, 600 East Blvd Ave Dept 125, Bismarck, ND, 58505
    • Language: I urge you to take immediate steps to prevent human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples and their allies opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to ensure accountability for any past human rights violations. I am deeply concerned about the treatment of Indigenous Peoples and their allies by authorities, most recently in relations to the clearing of camps and the eviction of people near the pipeline construction site. Please drop all misdemeanor charges against all people related to the demonstrations; please review all felony charges involving same; please drop the felony charges for reckless endangerment against Israel Hernandez and Mike Fasig, who reportedly prevented an armed person from entering the camp and helped disarmed him before turning him over to law enforcement; please direct all law enforcement personnel operating in North Dakota to take the appropriate steps to prevent instances of excessive force during demonstrations in the future; please stop outfitting law enforcement in military and riot equipment in confrontations with peaceful demonstrators; and please open independent investigations immediately into cases of excessive or unnecessary force and make the results public. Thank you. (for this and additional language see: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/letter_to_gov_and_ag_of_nd.pdf )
  • Action: Learn more about these human rights violations by someone was there. Come to one of the TD Bank protests in Rutland from 10 am – noon on Saturdays and meet Rod, who was one of the allies who supported the Indigenous Peoples at the #NODAPL camp.

 

21. 45 has recommended that federal agencies look into rolling back vehicle emission standards. Vermont Attorney General Donovan has announced that he opposes this move and will fight it. http://ago.vermont.gov/focus/news/attorney-general-donovan-joins-coalition-of-attorneys-general-opposing-rollback-of-vehicle-emission-standards.php

  • Action: Thank the AG for fighting the rollback of vehicle emission standards, and while you’re at it, thank him for fighting the second Muslim ban and for his guidance to local law enforcement, instructing them not to waste time and resources doing the work of immigration officials. 802 828-3171 or info@vermont.gov

 

22. 45’s proposed budget is a nightmare. In addition to defunding critical agencies such as the EPA, he wants to completely cut funding for the NEA, PBS, Meals on Wheels, and other “groups” that provide jobs and basic services (FOOD!!!) and bring culture to the masses who would otherwise be denied access through lack of funds (I grew up in a trailer park with no cable – PBS was my window on the outside world). Meanwhile, 45 has already spent more on his weekend vacations than Obama did in an entire year, not to mention the cost of keeping his wife and child in NYC. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-familys-elaborate-lifestyle-a-logistical-nightmare–at-taxpayer-expense/2017/02/16/763cce8e-f2ce-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html?utm_term=.4c4939e5d526  Among the most disturbing comments that has been made by 45’s administration in relation to the new budget, consider the comments of Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, who has said that depriving children of federally-funded meals will not deleteriously affect their school performance. https://twitter.com/axios/status/842461464631885824  Here’s an article on why that is wildly, horribly wrong: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/04/public-schools-breakfast_n_6794012.html Also see https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/17/us/politics/fact-check-mick-mulvaney-trump-budget-director.html and http://www.self.com/story/6-ways-trumps-budget-cuts-hurt-all-americans and http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/donald-trump-budget-cuts-214926  Fortunately, Representative Peter Welch and Senators Sanders and Leahy have already condemned the proposed new budget https://twitter.com/PeterWelch/status/842436667638185984 and https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/appropriations-committee-vice-chairman-patrick-leahy-d-vt-on-president-trumps-skinny-budget-proposal and https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-trumps-budget

  • Action: Call the White House 202-456-1111 to express your displeasure with the proposed budget – be sure to mention how these programs have helped you in your own life
  • Action: For the highly motivated, call Senators from other states using this suggested script: http://thesixtyfive.org/theIssues

 

23 A previous newsletter recommended complaining about the United States Golf Association holding events on 45’s properties. Here’s a NY Times article about this action item, which was recommended by Wall-of-Us: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/us/politics/trump-golf-courses.html?_r=0 Now Wall-of-Us is recommending that we start targeting the sponsors. https://www.wall-of-us.org/weekly-acts-of-resistance/2017/3/12/action-1-stop-trump-from-using-the-presidency-to-promote-his-golf-courses

  • Action: Contact each sponsor and afterwards go to the wall-of-us link to indicate that you took action so that they can track what actions are generating the most interest among the resistance
    • American Express Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanExpressUS/?brand_redir=259459370846061 Twitter:  @AmericanExpress  CEO: Kenneth Chenault Email: chenault@aexp.com
    • Deloitte Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deloitte/ Twitter: @Deloitte CEO: Punit Renjen Email: prenjen@deloitte.com
    • Lexus Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexus/ Twitter: @Lexus
    • Rolex Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rolex/ Twitter: @Rolex
    • Sample Twitter Message: @[______________] pull sponsorship from USGA unless it boycotts Trump. #MoveUsOpen #WallofUs #BoycottTrump
    • Sample Facebook message: Why is [____________] still sponsoring the USGA, given its refusal to boycott Trump? Bi-partisan ethicists agree–it is wrong for Trump to use the presidency to promote his golf resorts. The USGA has also not denounced Trump’s disrespect towards women. As a major corporate sponsor of the USGA, your company is fueling unprecedented corruption and misogyny. Ask the USGA to boycott Trump or pull your sponsorship today!
    • Sample email: [_____], I am writing to express my disappointment in [______]’s sponsorship of the USGA, given its refusal to boycott Trump. First, bipartisan ethicists have concluded that it is an ethical violation for President Trump to continue to benefit from his businesses. Despite this, the USGA continues to hold key events at Trump resorts, including the upcoming US Women’s Open. The USGA has also not made any statements denouncing President Trump’s repeated disrespect towards women. By supporting the USGA, you are fueling unprecedented corruption and misogyny. I am encouraged that so many companies have shown courage and made public statements against Donald Trump. You are in a unique position to stand up for our democratic values. Your company claims that you value both transparency and inclusion, yet your sponsorship of the USGA contradicts that. I hope that you will make a public statement pulling your sponsorship of the USGA soon. Thank you, [___Your Name___] [___Your City/State___]

 

24 Eric Schneiderman, the NY Attorney General, wants to investigate Trump’s violations of the emoluments clause. His office is tallying public support nationwide.

 

25 The new FCC chair, Ajit Pai, has been a supporter of a free press.  He once said, “In my view, anyone who has the privilege of serving at the FCC—any preacher with a pulpit, if you will—has the duty to speak out whenever Americans’ First Amendment rights are at stake.” http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/media/322436-its-urgent-that-ajit-pai-voice-his-support-for-a-free-press Let’s encourage him reiterate his stance that government should not pressure media. (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

  • Action: Contact Ajit Pai 1-888-225-5322 or Pai@fcc.gov Script: I am calling to express my appreciation for Mr. Pai’s past support for the First Amendment. I urge him to continue to defend the First Amendment and to publicly speak out in defense of the press and to condemn attempts on the part of the government to pressure the media. Thank you!

 

26 Seventeen House Republicans are bucking the trend and calling for the House to investigate the causes and effects of climate change. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/house-republicans-climate-change-global-warming-trump/518430/ and https://costello.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/republican-climate-change-resolution-introduced-house

  • Action: Thank Ryan Costello (202) 225-4315 for standing up for the environment

 

27 Last week’s newsletter followed Indivisible’s advice in recommending that you call your senators to oppose a series of regulatory bills, including the SCRUB act. Indivisible has now posted a scripted focusing on the SCRUB act in particular. For the highly motivated, consider using this script to call senators outside of Vermont: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resources-2/2017/3/12/the-scrub-act-undermining-public-health-and-safety

 

28 The February 14 newsletter recommended that you call your senators to support S.26, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act. Indivisible has now posted a script if you didn’t call or if you would like to call again: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resources-2/2017/3/17/presidential-tax-transparency-act

 

29 The February 7 newsletter recommended that you call your senators to oppose the appointment of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Indivisible has now posted a script if you didn’t call or if you would like to call again: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resources-2/2017/2/7/combat-donald-trumps-arch-conservative-scotus-pick

 

PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC.

  • House Dems (@WhipHoyer) have put up a website where you can vote up or down on #AHCA w/ a map of US sentiment: resistrepeal.org  If you want to set yourself up to communicate directly with your Member of Congress through this opinion collection effort and other efforts, then register first at www.popvox.com to be linked with your members of congress.  Then your opinions on Rep.  Hoyer’s ACHA opinion gathering effort will be sent directly to your lawmakers.  You can also set up your Legislative Agenda so that your lawmaker will be able to lookup their constituents positions on issues. (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
  • Foreign assistance programs are amongst those that would be cut in Trump’s budget proposal. These programs help provide food, clean water, and education. CARE Action has a form letter that you can customize and send to your members of Congress, asking them to protect these programs: http://bit.ly/2mCLr5C (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
  • If we have personal stories about the effects of the proposed healthcare cuts, we need to send them to our local newspapers this weekend. Let’s also send a copy to each of our legislators. PLEASE. We need our newspapers across the country to be flooded with these stories as the House votes on this abysmal plan next Thursday. Our letters do not have to be perfect. They don’t need to be filled with facts. They need to be filled with our realities and our hearts. (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
  • Sign Rep. Kennedy’s petition to support his efforts to help protect the many people to rely on the ACA:  http://takeaction.joekennedyforcongress.com/petition/affordable-care-act/a/ (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
  • Send an email to your members of Congress urging them to vote to save the NEA https://www.votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/Campaigns/47344/Respond
  • Help ArtsUSA.org collect stories about the power of the arts! The former president of South Africa, F.W. DeKlerk, once told the U.S. Secretary of State that it was his cultural diplomacy visit to the U.S. that changed his ideas about a multiracial democracy. He subsequently released Nelson Mandela from prison and they began the country’s transformation. Send your personal story about how the arts helped you to rharper@artsusa.org
  • Actors Equity asks us to help them preserve dollars for the National Endowment for the Arts. Sign the petition:  https://members.actorsequity.org/savethenea/
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services  (IMLS) is the only federal agency that funds libraries nationwide. The IMLS is the main federal source for innovative library programs that support early literacy, workforce development, and community improvement through libraries. If this library program is cut – along with NEA, NEH, and PBS as proposed – the impacts would be felt in small towns and in big city neighborhoods. Let’s join EveryLibrary and use this form to contact our members of Congress today and ask them to preserve this n the next and future budgets. http://action.everylibrary.org/preserve_funding_for_the_neh_nea_and_pbs (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

 

THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Senator Shaheen has introduced legislation to investigate Russia’s English-language news outlet RT America for possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2017/03/senator-introduces-bill-to-investigate-russian-site-rt-news-236033

H196, a bill that would create a family and medical leave insurance program, has made it through the House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs and is its way to the the House Committee on Ways and Means http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/march/house-general-votes-out-family-leave-insurance-bill Unfortunately, word is that Governor Scott will veto it if it reaches his desk. https://twitter.com/nealgoswami/status/842795683400814598

 

There is a report that, on March 16th, the United States bombed a mosque in Aleppo, killing at least 50 citizens who were attending evening prayer. The US military has denied that a mosque was hit and is looking into the report of civilian casualties. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39299266 This report is concerning for three reasons: 1) If the mosque was targeted, this suggests a potential violation of the Geneva Convention, 2) If the mosque wasn’t targeted but was hit, this suggests a serious “mistake,” and 3) Escalation of this sort is indicative of 45’s instructions to push civilian casualties https://airwars.org/news/1000th-allegation/

HHS Secretary Tom Price says it should be up to states to regulate whether immunizations are required https://twitter.com/CNN/status/842193303240073216 Currently, that’s how it’s done—it’s up to each state to enforce immunization (or not). But states that don’t enforce immunization standards put our children at risk, while the studies suggesting a link between immunization and autism lack any scientific validity. And when people don’t get their children vaccinated, children who WOULD have been vaccinated (but are still too young) are put at risk (some die). Several states (including Vermont) have laws making it more difficult for people to get out of immunizing their children. But we should keep an eye out for proposals to make it easier for people to avoid vaccinations. http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/3/17/14958422/tom-price-vaccine-standards-states and http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/05/28/shumlin-vaccine-philosophical-exemption/28079499/

 

 

GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT

Want to help get GOP out of office – support their opposition

Concerned about 45’s proposed budget cut to Meals on Wheels – http://www.cvcoa.org/meals-on-wheels.html or http://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/  For an article regarding all of the good that this organization does see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/16/trump-budget-chief-says-meals-on-wheels-is-not-showing-any-results-hes-wrong/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.4995dbea038b 

Concerned about the threat to cut the NEA – Arts Action Fund http://www.artsactionfund.org/

Concerned about LGBTQ youth – Outright Vermont is a queer youth advocacy, education, and youth space based out of Burlington, VT. They work lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ or queer) youth (ages 13-22). https://www.facebook.com/pg/outrightvt/about/?ref=page_internal

Concerned about intersectional gender rights inside and outside prison, jails and detention centers – http://www.tgijp.org/

 

READING

ACLU’s guidance on your rights regarding cell phone searches at the border https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-future/can-border-agents-search-your-electronic-devices-its-complicated

Cell phone security in general http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/02/cybersecurity_self_defense_how_to_increase_security_on_your_smartphone.html

Carol Ballou: Every day I send a postcard to Trump. I appeal to his hubris, narcissism et al…more likely to get through if there is any possibility:

  • President, Paul Ryan’s health care bill could cost Vermont $200 million per year. It is much worse than Obamacare, even with all the flaws that law has. Tens of thousands of Vermonters would lose coverage and itwould be called Trumpcare. Your name would get attached to a real failure! That’s not good for you. Sincerely, my signature
  • President, Oh dear, things aren’t going too well for you. Ryan has proposed a bill that doesn’t keep your healthcare promises, but it gets called Trumpcare. Then your budget director puts out a budget with your name on it that slashes disease research, eliminates Meals on Wheels, gets rid of transportation grants and eliminates the program that helps pay home energy costs. People won’t be liking this and your name is attached. So sad.