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

Want to encourage voting? We’re forming a group to investigate ways to encourage local voting. Please contact me if you’re interested in participating. No experience needed.

UPCOMING EVENTS                                             

  • Thursday, June 1 at 6 pm Rights and Democracy meeting Leahy Center of Rutland Regional Medical Center

 

 

 

  • Wednesday June 7 Rutland Area NAACP 7-8:30 pm Fox room at the Rutland Free Library

 

  • Sunday June 11 LGBTQA+ March on DC – Please let me know if you hear of something local

 

  • Thursday June 15thfrom 6 pm to 8pm Vermont Farmers Food Center local food supper at Vermont Farmers Food Center – support local farmers

 

  • July 1 Rise up 5K – Please let me know if you hear of something local

 

SUCCESSES/GOOD NEWS

  • “Unlike criminal court, people fighting deportation in U.S. immigration courts are not guaranteed the right to an attorney. Nonprofits across the country often provide legal services for people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.”   These pro-bono services are the lifeline for many of these people, but the Trump administration has said that these lawyers must officially represent these immigrants, which they cannot afford. Fortunately, a U. S. District Judge has blocked this.” http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-ruling-idUSKCN18D2NV  from http://roganslist.blogspot.com

 

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 Representative Ted Lieu has called for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked after news broke that Kushner sought to open backchannel with the Russians using Russia’s own apparatuses in a manner that would be hidden from US officials. https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/867911916794122241

 

2 As mentioned above, Burlington’s mayor has committed to the campaign for 100% Clean Energy by 2050 http://www.sierraclub.org/ready-for-100/mayors-for-clean-energy

 

3 “Attorney General Sessions wants to double down on failed and racist policies from the War on Drugs era—but Congress can stop him. SUPPORT THE BIPARTISAN JUSTICE SAFETY VALVE ACT (S. 1127 AND H.R. 2435) We know that Jeff Sessions has a long record of racism, homophobia, hatred of immigrants, and disrespect towards women. He is also a leading opponent of commonsense reforms to mandatory minimum policies, preferring instead to keep chasing after the failed “tough on crime” approach of the 1980s and 90s. Even though crime is near record lows, Attorney General Sessions recently ordered prosecutors to go after the “most serious, readily provable offense” when prosecuting even low-level drug crimes. This is wrong. Mandatory minimums take discretion away from judges and are a major contributor to the mass incarceration that affects so many communities across America, especially communities of color. It also carries a significant cost to lock up non-violent offenders for decades—for both the government and for families. This approach doesn’t make sense, and an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose it. But Jeff Sessions wants to double down on it anyway. Fortunately, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would allow judges to impose sentences below the mandatory minimum in certain cases. This lets judges out of the handcuffs Congress put on them during the failed War on Drugs and would give communities relief from the mass incarceration that tears families apart. Most importantly, it puts judges in charge of sentencing—not Jeff Sessions. Call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support the Justice Safety Valve Act today.https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/reining-jeff-sessions/

 

4 “In February, a bipartisan group of Senators concerned about Trump’s pro-Russia statements cosponsored legislation to prevent Trump from unilaterally lifting Russia sanctions and imposing additional sanctions for interference in our election. An identical companion bill was introduced in the House. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has so far resisted efforts to move the bill forward. But Thursday, Corker indicated that he may advance the bill in June, subject to a request by Secretary of State Tillerson for “a short window” to improve the relationship with Russia. Since the bills were introduced, there have been several alarming developments within the Trump Administration regarding Russia.  General Michael Flynn, who was National Security Adviser before being forced to resign after it was revealed he lied about discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador, is under FBI investigation. Despite the revelations, Trump continues to defend him and it was recently reported he wants him back in the White House. Trump’s failure to expressly confirm the United States’ continuing commitment to Article 5 of NATO, providing for mutual defense, has unsettled our European allies and delighted the Kremlin. On Thursday, an administration spokesman said President Trump is looking at the future of Russian sanctions and “right now, we don’t have a position.” A president whose campaign is under FBI investigation for possible collusion with Russia to interfere in our election should not be able to unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia. If he did, it would look like a quid pro quo.” https://www.theloyalopposition.net/

  • Action: Contact your Congressmen
    • Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
    • Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
    • Contact US House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email
    • Script: I’m one of the Congressmen’s constituents in Vermont and I am asking him to support the 341/H.R.1059, the Russia Sanctions Review Act. A president whose campaign is under investigation for collusion with Russia should not be able to lift sanctions on Russia without Congressional approval. The way the president treated our NATO allies raises my concern that, whether on purpose or not, he is playing into Russia’s hands. Thank you.

 

  1. 45 is not honoring his promise to pay back money he makes from foreign governments. (from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/)
  • Action: Contact White House comment line 202-456-1111 (or send an email). Script: I’m from _TOWN, STATE_ and want the president to honor his promise to pay back money he makes from foreign governments in his businesses. People don’t like a president who breaks his promises.

 

6 Senators are using this week’s recess to gauge their constituents’ needs.

  • Action: Contact friends and family members in other states and ask them to contact their Senators, particularly their Republican Senators, to ask them to protect affordable, quality healthcare, listing specific concerns. Ideas:

 

7 “Pushback from Republican governors could help sink TrumpCare in the senate.” A growing coalition of governors “oppose TrumpCare’s cuts to federal funding for Medicaid expansion, which will slash funds by $880 billion over ten years.”

  • Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message Hi, I’m [NAME], a constituent from [City, Zip]. I’m calling because I’m concerned about TrumpCare passing the Senate. This bill endangers [state residents’] access to affordable health care. Republican governors from Ohio, Nevada, Michigan, and Arkansas have written a letter to the Senate to declare their opposition to the bill. I’m calling to ask [Governor NAME] to join this coalition of governors who are taking a stand against TrumpCare. Please ask the governor to speak out about how the bill could negatively affect [state] by endangering funding for Medicaid expansion. I would also like [Governor NAME] to publicly commit to upholding minimum coverage standards and fair rates for coverage in [state], even if the bill passes. Thank you for taking my call! (from http://thesixtyfive.org/home)

 

9 Executive Order 13792 threatens our national monuments.

 

9 Some legislation has been proposed to ensure voting rights.

 

10 Last week, 45 was rude to Prime Minister Duško Marković and pushed him out of the way.

 

11 During 45’s visit to Saudi Arabia, he arranged an arms deal. “Humanitarian groups have warned that the new Trump-backed sales are likely to be used against rebel factions in Yemen that the Saudi government sees as aligned with Iran.”   http://roganslist.blogspot.com and http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/23/rand-paul-saudi-arabia-arms-sales-238730

 

 12 “While the Trump administration continues to support a crackdown on “dangerous” immigrants so far as to appeal a ruling to the Supreme Court, what is it doing about the homegrown danger of extremism?  Far right, white supremacists continue to be the real terror base for our country. Three of our citizens were killed by white supremacists last week alone and nary a word from the White House:”  http://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2017/05/27/19041594/suspect-in-portland-hate-crime-murders-is-a-known-white-supremacist  and http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-richard-collins-stabbing-racism-page-perspec-20170526-story.html

 

13 Acts of gratitude recommended by http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

  • Thank Rep Walter Jones (R-NC) for voting for the release of 45’s tax returns. Americans appreciate you voting for transparency rather than party. Name, State, Party Address: 2333 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
  • Thank NY AG Eric Schneiderman for taking Exxon to task. Corporations that are complicit in global warming should be held accountable. Thank you. Name, State Address: Eric T. Schneiderman, Esq., Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, New York 12224
  • Thank Chellie Pingree (D-ME) for reminding Sec. Zinke that 45 does not have jurisdiction over national monuments; Congress does. Thank you for your advocacy for America’s people, monuments, and wild places. Name, State, Party Address: 2162 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
  • Thank Mark Meadows (R-NC) for his understanding of the risks facing Americans with pre-existing conditions. Thank you for honoring the memory of your sister and father in your advocacy for affordable healthcare for all Americans. Name, State, Party Address: 1024 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
  • Thank Rand Paul (R-KY) for opposing the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. Human rights and protecting national security are more important than a “good deal.” Thank you for your leadership. Name, State, Party Address: 1029 State Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101
  • Thank Mayor Mitch Landrieu for removing symbols of slavery and oppression from New Orleans’ public spaces. Our country is better for it and for your example Address: Mayor’s Office, 1300 Perdido St, 2nd Floor, New Orleans, LA 70112
  • Thank Dr. Christine Fair for standing up to a white supremacist. Racism and intolerance are never acceptable. Thank you for being so brave! Name, State, Party Address: C. Christine Fair, Georgetown Univ., 202 Mortara Bldg., Washington, DC 20057 Note: Christine has gotten a lot of hate mail, so send extra sparkles!

 

14 “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced HR351 to condemn the LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya.   http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/bipartisan-resolution-condemns-anti-lgbtq-violence-chechnya-n764151   The bipartisan bill now has 66 co-sponsors (50 D, 16 R).” http://roganslist.blogspot.com/ Vermont Representative Peter Welch is one of the co-sponsors.

  • Action: Contact your friends and family in other states and encourage them to ask their representatives to support HR351 to condemn the LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya (see https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hres351/details to find the names of the representatives who are already co-sponsors)

 

The follow issues were taken verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com

 

15 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not be hosting the annual Ramadan dinner at the State Department:  http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN18M2IE  And that President Trump used his Ramadan message as an opportunity to riff on terrorism, something George W. Bush managed not to do a couple months after 9/11:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ramadan-2017-trump-statement-terrorism-sentence-george-bush-september-11-a7758301.html  Let’s write to Secretary Tillerson to let him know that this is not the year to back away from hosting a Ramadan gathering: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520

 

 

16 Another US raid in Yemen has gone wrong. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/24/us-military-yemen-raid-al-qaida-civilian-deaths Let’s contact Jason Chaffetz and the House Oversight Committee to conduct a full review of this operation. Chairman Jason Chaffetz, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 2157 Rayburn HOB, Washington DC 20515 (Committee phone: 202-225-5074) Let’s also contact our own representatives if they are on this committee: https://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

17 Mitch McConnell has been holding secret meetings of Republicans only, refusing to convene any public hearings, and entirely shutting the Democrats out of the process of drafting a Senate response to the House’s disastrous healthcare plan:  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/21/mcconnell-obamacare-senate-repeal-238627  We must let him know, in no uncertain terms, that a Senate healthcare bill arrived at by these methods is illegitimate from the outset: contact McConnell at 202-224-2499

 

18 As Ramadan begins, let’s join DoSomething.org in sending letters of support to every mosque in the U.S.  Find out details here: https://www.dosomething.org/us

 

19 ProPublica reports that members of Congress, especially Republicans, are misleading the public about the GOP American Health Care Act: https://www.propublica.org/getinvolved/item/help-us-fact-check-members-of-congress-on-the-affordable-care-act ProPublica wants our help as it continues fact-checking members of Congress on health care legislation. Whenever we write to our senators or congressperson about the ACA or AHCA and get a response, let’s send the response along to ProPublica. Details here: https://www.propublica.org/getinvolved/item/help-us-fact-check-members-of-congress-on-the-affordable-care-act

 

20 The Senate will soon be voting on the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (S. 951). The RAA will effectively politicize regulations, making it easier for corporations to sidestep rules which have been put in place to keep us safe. For those of us whose MoC will be hosting townhalls, let’s make sure we’re asking about their stance on the RAA.

 

21 Senator Bernie Sanders introduced S1242 for a National $15 minimum wage: http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/25/news/economy/minimum-wage-bill-democrats/ The bill must now clear the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Members of this committee are:   https://www.govtrack.us/congress/committees/SSHR  The chairman, Lamar Alexander, determines whether or not further action is taken on this bill.  The quest for a $15 minimum will be a long one.  We need to make our voices heard at every opportunity to keep the momentum moving forward. Let’s write to Chairman Lamar Alexander, Committee on HELP, 428 Dirksen SOB, Washington DC 20510 and let him know that we support S1242.  (We can also call the HELP committee at 202-224-5375)

 

22 Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ted Yoho (R-FL) have sent a letter to the House Foreign Affairs committee chairmain Ed Royce calling for a full committee review of last week’s Saudi Arms’ deal. http://thehill.com/policy/defense/335193-lawmakers-demand-hearing-on-saudi-arms-sale  Let’s write to Ed Royce to let him know that we support a full committee review: Chairman Ed Royce, Foreign Affairs Committee, 2170 Rayburn HOB, Washington DC 20515.  (Committee phone number: 202-225-5021)

 

23 Sleeping Giants’ latest efforts to call out Google include e-mailing the SVP of Thought Leadership at Fidelity Investments regarding the upcoming Google shareholder meeting. Let’s use Sleeping Giants’ e-mail and Twitter templates to urge the SVP, Jeanne Thompson, to help hold Google accountable for still serving ads on Breitbart: http://bit.ly/2rpCbaY

 

24 Sean Hannity is losing advertising after peddling the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/sean-hannity-vacation-seth-rich  While Hannity is on vacation, we can write to 3 more of his advertisers to ask why they are associating their brands with his propaganda. 1) Bausch & Lomb, 1400 N Goodman St, Rochester NY 14609.  2) Zenni Optical, 448 Ignacio Blvd #332, Novato CA 94949. 3) Marie Callender, 27101 Puerta Real Ste 260, Mission Viejo CA 92691

 

25 Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) to Education Secretary DeVos at a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee hearing:  “I am shocked that you cannot come up with one example of discrimination that you would stand up for students.”   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/05/24/betsy-devos-schools-rejecting-black-and-gay-students-should-still-get-federal-funding/Let’s remind Sec. DeVos that federal employees have the obligation to hold up federal civil rights laws. Contact her here:   U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202

 

26 Trump’s budget proposal violates his assertion that he would not touch Social Security, when in fact Social Security Disability Insurance would indeed receive cuts: http://theatln.tc/2qga51U Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget Director, seems to be playing at semantics, arguing “Do you really think that Social Security Disability Insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so.” Let’s call Mulvaney to let him know that SSDI and Social Security are a package deal, and that we have no interest in getting rid of this essential program: 202-395-3080 (press 1 to reach the Office of the Director.)  We can also tell our MoC that we need programs to help support those of us who are differently-abled.

 

27 As Trump and the GOP argue that cutting taxes for the highest income earners will stimulate our economy, let’s also pay attention to what the data says: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/tax-cuts-dont-lead-to-economic-growth-a-new-65-year-study-finds/262438/ We can also cite this 65-year study as we contact our MoC regarding Trump’s budget proposal and tax reform. Direct link to study: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/news/business/0915taxesandeconomy.pdf

 

28 The federal government is set to run out of money to pay its bills even sooner than expected, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is urging the House to raise the debt ceiling before they go on recess for the summer. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/24/trump-administration-warns-tax-receipts-are-coming-in-slowly-government-could-run-out-of-cash-sooner-than-expected) We can’t afford to let the GOP play claims with the full faith and credit of the United States. Let’s call our reps and tell them we want a clean debt ceiling hike with no political brinksmanship as soon as possible.

 

29 There are many things to abhor in the President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Even though Congress has to approve the budget and will likely reject many of the items on Trump’s “wish list,” we should nevertheless be on the offensive. Here’s one item to fight against: “The White House has requested that Congress appropriate approximately $42 million to NEH for the orderly closure of the agency.” This is unacceptable. The National Endowment for the Humanities does so much for arts and education around the country. Read the NEH’s statement on the budget https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-05-23 and then call your MoCs to make sure they work hard to save this very worthwhile institution.

 

30 Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has called Black Lives Matter a terrorist group and has been accused of criminal wrongdoing over repeated abuses and deaths in his jail, is up for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security… but he’s suggested that that job may be in jeopardy after investigate reporting revealed he plagiarized some of this master’s thesis. (http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/politics/kfile-david-clarke-responds-plagiarism/index.html) Let’s call Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly at 202-282-8495 and tell him David Clarke’s record makes it clear he can’t be trusted with more authority. And then let’s stand with the people who think it’s time for leadership Milwaukee can trust and show support to his challenger, Earnell Lucas, by liking his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lucasformke.

 

31 Our own president cannot be trusted with national security intelligence. He shared information with Philippine President Duterte about the location of two of our nuclear submarines: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-fg-trump-philippines-20170524-story.html  Please contact your MoC, particularly if GOP, to share your concerns about the impact this will have on our security and the trust of our allies.

 

32 The Trump Organization is finding it “impractical” to track the necessary information to abide by the emoluments clause: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/527997/  and http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-failing-track-foreign-cash-his-hotels-n764061  Perhaps they are discovering why divestment is a good thing for the country after all?  Let’s contact our MoC to remind them how important it is to not further these conflicts of interest with our sitting president.

 

33 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has referred to poverty as a “state of mind”: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40048192  Let’s share our thoughts about that (particularly concerning childhood poverty, medical emergency poverty, death of a family member poverty) with Secretary Carson at: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20410

 

34 California governor Jerry Brown has (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-agreements-idUSKBN0O42IV20150519)  or is in the process of negotiating international agreements on measures to slow climate change, initating talks with Canada, Mexico, and China: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/california-engages-world-and-fights-washington-on-climate-change.html  He is also preparing for legal challenges to, for example, California’s tough auto emission standards, standards a dozen other states have adopted.  Let’s encourage all of our governors to follow Brown’s lead but let’s also get climate change and ways to combat it on the agenda of the National Governors Association (202-624-5300), which will hold its next conference in Providence, RI July 13-16.

 

35 Apparently either not aware of, or not caring about the Philippines’ abysmal human rights issues when President Duterte’s uses extrajudicial violence as a crime solution  (https://www.hrw.org/tag/philippines-war-drugs), Trump called Duterte to congratulate him on his successful drug war:  https://theintercept.com/2017/05/23/trump-called-rodrigo-duterte-to-congratulate-him-on-his-murderous-drug-war-you-are-doing-an-amazing-job/  Let’s remind Trump that this lack of due process is not looked upon kindly here at home, or anywhere else for that matter.

 

36 EPA Director Scott Pruitt says that satellite temperature measurements support his recent claim of the “leveling off of warming” over the past two decades. Scientists called out the EPA head by name in a paper just published in the Nature Journal. “After reviewing temperature trends contained in three satellite data sets going back to 1979, the paper concludes that the data sets show a global warming trend — and that Pruitt was incorrect.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/epa-scott-pruitt-climate-change-denial-scientific-paper-nature-scientific-reports-a7754871.html  The complete paper is available online here. http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02520-7 Let’s tell Scott Pruitt that we trust our scientists and we want to keep working towards solutions to slow and stop global warming.  Hands off our global warming protection laws!  Pruitt’s main line, 202-564-4700 or via Twitter @EPAScott Pruitt

 

37 Remember the lawyers who rushed to airports when Trump’s first Muslim ban came down? The Department of Justice is going after them. Specifically, the DOJ has ordered the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to stop providing legal services to immigrants facing deportation. A federal judge has, for now, stopped the DOJ from enforcing its order. https://www.nwirp.org/federal-judge-rules-in-favor-of-nwirp-and-grants-a-nationwide-temporary-restraining-order-protecting-nwirp-and-others-right-to-advocate-for-unrepresented-immigrants/ Let’s share this story on social media, and let’s tell Jeff Sessions that we believe in the Rule of Law—and that includes allowing vulnerable people to have legal representation in court. https://www.justice.gov/contact-us

 

38 Nestor is a 27-year-old DREAMer who has been at Stewart Detention Center in Georgia for nine months. Originally from South Carolina, he was full of life, a 5K runner, and a college graduate with honors. Now he is in medical detention, feeling lonely and scared. Nestor’s loving parents are not able to visit. While he awaits news about his health and his future in the US, let Nestor know he matters with a kind, colorful, encouraging, or funny postcard. (No money or gifts. Just hugs via mail.) Address: Nestor Daniel Avila Miranda, A# 204-631-097.P.O. Box 248,Lumpkin, GA 31815   Here’s the backstory on Nestor who arrived in the US at age eight with his parents:  http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/in-legal-limbo-former-appalachian-state-student-faces-dwi-charges/article_1642032a-deac-5727-8442-bcf60e09440e.html

 

39 Sean Hannity’s advertisers are responding to our emails, calls and letters by dropping Hannity’s show from their advertising.  http://fortune.com/2017/05/25/hannity-loses-advertisers-conspiracy-theory/  Now Hannity is going on “vacation.” http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/fox-news-sean-hannity-return-1202444145/  FoxNews is confident that Hannity will be back.  Let’s keep the pressure up by contacting 10 more of Hannity’s advertisers via their website contact page. We can ask them not to associate their brands with conspiracy theories and hate speech. 1) Harvest Right (scroll to bottom of linked page for online contact form) https://harvestright.com/ ,   2) Hisamitsu Pharmaceuticals (makers of Salonpas) https://www.hisamitsu.co.jp/english/contact.html , 3) Jenny Craig  http://www.jennycraig.com/site/contact/ , 4) John Deere https://www.deere.com/en_US/docs/html/secured/corporate/general_feedback_deerecom.html ,  5) Loan Depot  https://www.loandepot.com/about/contactus , 6) Publishers Clearing House http://pch.custhelp.com/app/ask , 7) UNTUCKit https://www.untuckit.com/pages/contact-us,  8) Astra Zeneca  https://www.astrazeneca-us.com/contact-us/other-requests.html,  9) Boehringer Ingelheim https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/contact-form, and 10) Mercedes Benz https://mercedes-benz.custhelp.com/app/ask

 

40 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering allowing robo-calls to go straight to our voicemail. http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/05/24/the_rnc_wants_to_be_able_to_leave_voicemails_without_your_phone_ringing.html  Here’s a notice of the public comment period (May 17 – June 2) with link to FCC comment form: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0418/DA-17-368A1.pdf  or write to: FCC, 445 12th St NW, Washington DC 20554 or phone 1-888-225-5322.  We also need to let all our MoC’s know that we do not want robo-voicemail in our lives!

 

41 Do you work in or have a background in tech? Are you interested in tech policy? If either of these apply to you, the RISE Stronger Science & Technology Policy Working Group could use your help!  This is a great opportunity to connect with other policy-minded individuals in your area of interest, help inform grassroots citizens, and contribute smart policy ideas to the resistance.  Please contact nick.anthis@gmail.com  if you are interested or have any questions. Thanks!  Nick Anthis, Lead, S&T Policy Working Group, RISE Stronger

 

42 Our efforts worked, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly agreed to extend temporary protected status (TPS) to make sure more than 50,000 Haitians immigrants did not face immediate deportation to a country they barely know (and some have never seen). But he only agreed to extend TPS for six months, rather than the 18 requested by the immigrants, advocates, and the Haitian government – and indicated he might not do so again. (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article151930167.html) Let’s call Secretary Kelly at 202-282-8495 and tell him we appreciate what he has done, but it’s not enough and we want him to keep the TPS in place when it expires in January.

 

43 Another Amazon/Breitbart tactic:  “Sleeping Giants is now raising funds to erect a billboard in Seattle urging Amazon to “stop funding bigotry” and sever links to Breitbart. “To date we have convinced more than 2,100 brands and organizations to remove ads from this extremist site,” the group’s fundraising page says.“Unfortunately, AMAZON remains one of Breitbart’s biggest advertisers, despite our repeated emails, tweets, calls and letters,” it adds.” The group said it has raised $7,251 of its $8,000 goal. Even employees of Amazon have asked Bezos to stop this advertising.http://thehill.com/policy/technology/334806-protests-over-breitbart-ads-strike-amazon-report. Let’s keep pushing Amazon to pull their ads from Breitbart. You can donate to the billboard project here https://www.youcaring.com/abillboardcompanyinseattle-827716  or you can contact Amazon and tell Bezos to pull their ads from Breitbart.  Amazon customer service Seattle 888-280-4331 or (888) 280-4331 or email at cis@amazon.com

 

44 On Monday, the Trump administration asked a federal appeals court to postpone for 90 days its ruling on a lawsuit that could determine whether the government will continue paying health care subsidies for low-income Americans.  As of now, the administration is committed only to paying May subsidies, and Congress has not allocated money to pay for them going forward. A delay would exacerbate the uncertainty that is already destabilizing the insurance markets just at the time insurers must set rates and decide on participation in the ACA marketplaces for 2018–and would surely play into the Republican narrative of the ACA’s “collapse.”
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/uncertainty-grows-trump-delays-health-care-decision-47576065  Congress and the White House seem to regard our health as a counter in their political game; we must contact our MoCs and the White House and insist that lives are at stake.

 

45 In yet another display of ignorance, Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised the fact they saw no protesters in Saudi Arabia, not realizing that it is illegal there and can be punishable by death.  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334513-commerce-secretary-praises-lack-of-protestors-during-trumps-saudi  Let’s let him know that it is because of Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record. Contact: US Dept of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20230

 

46 The president has appointed known climate-denier Daniel Simmons to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. http://billmoyers.com/story/koch-funded-appointees-stall-clean-energy/ We need to tell our MoC’s that we do not approve. This position requires someone who is a proponent of clean energy.

 

47 One of the National Monuments under review is Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine.  Gov. Paul LePage has been against this monument from the beginning and now refuses to have signs made while the review is in process. (The monument is open.) http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/22/lepage-administration-wont-install-road-signs-for-katahdin-national-monument/  Let’s tell Gov. LePage to do right by the American people and order the signs for this privately donated land. Gov. Paul LePage, #1 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333-0001.

 

48 Trump continues to ignore Turkey’s human rights abuses.  http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/05/22/trump_wants_to_ignore_what_s_happening_in_turkey_turkey_isn_t_making_that.html  Let’s contact the White House via hotline or email to let him know that we care about human rights in Turkey.

 

49 While abroad with President Trump in Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference in Riyadh without notifying US press: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/334470-tillerson-holds-press-conference-without-us-reporters-reports Let’s take a moment to remind the Secretary that it is this country’s citizens who employ him: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520

 

50 The US denied visas to gay men from Chechnya seeking asylum from imprisonment, torture and death.  Lithuania has started granted them asylum.  https://euobserver.com/lgbti/137976   Let’s thank Linas Linkevicius, the Lithuanian foreign minister, by writing to him in care of the Lithuanian embassy: Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, 2622 16th St NW, Washington DC 20009-4202.  Let’s also contact our MoCs to find out why we are not granting these visas from men who face certain death.

 

51 Hands Off is a campaign dedicated to stopping cuts to people’s health care, disability benefits, nutrition assistance, and other basic living standards in the upcoming congressional budgets.  We are asked to share our stories of how Trump’s pending cuts will impact us:  https://handsoff.org/

 

52 Winning back state legislatures is crucial to stopping Trump and the Republicans – it will help us win elections up and down the ballot by blocking attempts to restrict voting rights and making sure districts aren’t gerrymandered to help Republicans win more than their fair share of seats. One of the most important legislative elections in the country this year is in Virginia, where we have a chance to take back the General Assembly (http://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-cns-voter-id-0517-20170517-story.html). We can help turn out Democratic voters in Virginia by taking part in this postcard-writing campaign: www.postcards4va.com/.

 

53 During Trump’s visit, Saudi Arabia pledged to invest $20 billion in Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm led by Trump advisor Stephen A. Schwarzman, for American infrastructure projects. Not mentioned in the early news reports is that Blackstone is one of the nation’s largest purchasers of foreclosed single-family homes, operating them as rental housing and engaging in a new financing practice called “rental securitization.” Housing advocates warn that the trend toward a rental housing market dominated by global corporate investors could adversely affect tenants and communities. http://homesforall.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/corp-landlord-report-web.pdf and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-08/sec-probes-rental-home-values-backing-private-equity-bond-deals Let’s write to major news organizations and tell them that we want thorough coverage of Blackstone’s rental housing investments and what they might foretell about Blackstone’s “infrastructure” plans. that we want thorough coverage of Blackstone and what its “infrastructure” investments will consist of.  Contact 1)  CBS’s 60 Minutes: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/contact-information-08-07-1998/ 2) Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ask-the-post/post/how-to-contact-the-post-newsroom/2011/11/17/gIQAd0WJlN_blog.html?utm_term=.0ac19ee54942, and 3) New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/help/index.html

 

54 The Trump campaign is way out of compliance with federal finance laws. The campaign’s filings are plagued by “illegal corporate contributions, donations over the $2,700-per-election limit, anonymous gifts, double-counting, totals that should match but don’t,” according to this in-depth report: https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2017/05/fec-is-on-the-job-with-messy-2016-reporting-by-trump/ . Let’s post this report on social media, and let’s also thank the Reports Analysis Division of the Federal Elections Commission for staying on top of this: 202-694-1000 or Reports Analysis Division, Federal Elections Commission, 999 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20463.

 

55 The 2020 census has the potential to bring the next round of extreme pro-Republican gerrymandering—and one possible way it might happen is through the systematic undercounting of  local minority populations: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-18/unreliable-data-can-threaten-democracy . Let’s pressure our MoCs to adequately fund the Census Bureau so that it will have sufficient personnel and resources to properly count all of America’s households.

 

56 Puerto Rico, which is part of the U.S., but not a state, has non-voting representation in Congress and really need advocacy from other states in order to get heard.  Puerto Rico is currently in financial ruins and needs our help.  https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/05/16/statehood-way-out-puerto-ricos-fiscal-crisis Let’s contact all our legislators to urge them to support the stabilization of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis and statehood.

 

57 Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on Saturday said that he has been threatened with lynching following his call for President Trump’s impeachment.” He played some of the disgusting comments at his recent town hall. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/334417-congressman-threatened-with-lynching-after-calling-for-trumps Let’s give him some support and call in or write a note with some thanks and appreciation for him.  Contacts here:  2347 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515 / Phone: (202) 225-7508 or fax: (202) 225-2947 OR 3003 South Loop West, Suite 460, Houston, TX 77054 / Phone: 713-383-9234 or fax: 713-383-9202.  We can also comment on his Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/repalgreen  or tweet him:  @RepAlGreen

 

58 Rep. Devin Nunes seems unclear on the nature of his own recusal: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/334166-nunes-still-viewing-russia-intel-after-recusal-report?rnd=1495149439  Let’s remind him that there was a reason he needed to recuse himself: Longworth House Office Building, Suite 1013, Washington, DC 20515

 

59 While more states are banning conversion therapy, it’s important to bring this to a federal level, so that everyone, regardless of which state they’re in, is protected from this harmful practice. http://wapo.st/2psqAq7 http://nbcnews.to/2pgoDdU  Let’s ask our Representatives to cosponsor and support Rep. Ted Lieu’s Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 (H.R. 2119). We can also sign CREDO Action’s petition: http://bit.ly/2qHRM4C

 

60 Trump and Scott Pruitt’s EPA have reversed course on plans to pull chlorpyfiros, a brain-harming insecticide, off the market – putting the health of millions of children and farm workers at risk despite strong scientific evidence that the chemical is unsafe. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/health/pesticides-epa-chlorpyrifos-scott-pruitt.html) The comment period on this decision will last until June 5th. Let’s join the United Farm Workers in telling Pruitt to follow the science and put our health and safety first: http://action.ufw.org/page/s/epa5517comment.

 

PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC.

 

The follow suggestions were taken verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com

 

 

THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

 “We need to be aware that the EPA is replacing scientific information on its website with industry-friendly information.  We can no longer rely on the EPA site as a fact-based resource.” http://www.independent.com/news/2017/may/25/trumps-censorship-science/ (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

 

GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT

Two men were murdered by a white supremacist terrorist last Friday in Portland, Oregon, when they defended two Muslim young women whom the white supremacist was harassing on a train. A third man who also tried to help was critically injured. A campaign has been started to help the families of these heroes during this difficult time. GoFundMe is following the campaign to ensure that the funds reach their intended destination. https://www.gofundme.com/tri-met-heroes?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=tri-met-heroes For more information on this incident, see http://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2017/05/27/19041594/suspect-in-portland-hate-crime-murders-is-a-known-white-supremacist  and http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-richard-collins-stabbing-racism-page-perspec-20170526-story.html

Help South Carolina elect Archie Parnell (donate/volunteer). Election: June 20. Recommended by http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

Help Chechens escape by donating to the Russian LGBT Network. Recommended by http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

“Greg Gianforte’s victory less than 24 hours after assaulting a journalist for asking him a question sends a very frightening message to the media as they attempt to do their critical job of holding public officials accountable – especially in this time, where Trump and Steve Bannon paint the press as “the enemy.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/journalists-press-freedom-advocates-react-alleged-assault-reporter/story?id=47645384) Let’s send them a message of our own that we stand by them, and we’re outraged. Danny Carlson has set up a GoFundMe page to help Ben Jacobs replace the glasses that Gianforte broke – and Ben Jacobs asked him to direct all donations to the Committee to Protect Journalists instead. We can help them out by donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/help-ben-jacobs-buy-new-glasses.” From http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

 

READING

To fight hate, we need to know it. https://www.wired.com/2017/05/field-guide-far-right/?mbid=social_twitter_onsiteshare

As we work to start winning elections, it would be good to educate ourselves on gerrymandering http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/23/1665216/-New-Brennan-Center-report-details-just-how-strongly-redistricting-maps-favor-the-GOP-nationwide At the last Castleton Indivisible meeting, I asked the Vermont Democratic party chair, Faisal Gill, about his concerns regarding gerrymandering in Vermont. He indicated some concerns regarding Chittenden, which he is following up on. The Brennan Center is also following the issue nationwide, and has not identified Vermont as a problem area. https://www.brennancenter.org/redistricting-reform-tracker-state-bills But if you have any concerns, please do share them so that we can follow up.  Also see http://unrigthemap.com/

“Ramadan 2017: 9 questions about the Muslim holy month you were too embarrassed to ask” https://www.vox.com/2017/5/25/11851766/what-is-ramadan-2017-muslim-islam-about (recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

“Flabbergasted by the widespread and aggressive denial of climate change? The blithe disregard for expertise and relevant experience? The pervasive belief that the media are lying? This article offers a trenchant and historically informed view of how and why we ended up with an administration that rejects knowledge and truth. Hint: it didn’t happen overnight.” http://www.publicbooks.org/how-conservatives-waged-a-war-on-expertise/  (recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

To help us talk to people who don’t necessarily agree with our values, this book was recommended at the last Castleton Indivisible meeting (by a Democrat – collaboration for the win!): Voicing Our Values http://www.progressivemajorityaction.org/message_guide