Suggestions/additions welcome. Don’t see your issue, event or organization? Send it to me.
Top priority: See action items 1, 3, and 4, and the upcoming events for a protest in front of Rutland Regional Medical Center today (sorry for the late notice!).
“For those who run #resistance Facebook groups, some new tools have just been issued for our use. Let’s try them out: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/22/facebook-group-admin-tools/” (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
- Monday Jun 26 8 – 9 am and 5 – 6 pm Rutland MoveOn TrumpCare Protest – in front of Rutland Regional Medical Center, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thursday June 29 from 5:30 pm until the food is gone Vermont Farmers Food Center local food supper at Vermont Farmers Food Center – “Vermont Farmers Food Center (VFFC) will be offering a locally sourced meal with seasonal produce every Thursday evening the rest of June & July starting at 5:30 pm until food is gone at VFFC on 251 West Street, home of the Vermont Winter Farmers Market in Rutland. The VFFC goal in serving this meal is to provide an opportunity for more of the Rutland community to experience & enjoy the freshness & better taste of locally grown produce in season. The weekly dinner provides an occasion for eating local food as an experience in community and the French concept of terroir, the belief that it does matter where our food comes from, and we do appreciate the hard working farmers providing us with real life giving nourishment. The $5 price for entrée is reasonable priced because our farmers are generous in their donations. Our farmers need to make a living so we need to pay them for the healthy food grown and used for these meals. Thank you to all the farmers, volunteers and supporters who are participating in helping VFFC build on our strengths as a resilient community. We have accomplished much at VFFC but we still have far to go. Thank you for being there with us. Vermonters spend only 7% of our food dollar on Vermont products. We can do better. For your own good health, try to use & eat more Vermont produce whenever you can.” From Kathleen Krevetski (who is featured in the most recent Rutland Reader)
- Thursday June 29 at 6pm Rutland Rights and Democracy at Leahy Center Rutland Regional Medical Center
- Saturday July 1
- 10am-noon – TD Bank Rutland protests continue (we’re on the corner, at the apex of the streets – if you’re looking directly at the stand-alone booth or at the side of the building you may not see us) https://www.facebook.com/events/782080125284082/
- 12 pm orgResistance Summer pot-luck picnic on Lake Dunmore. All area resistance groups are invited! Branbury State Park, 3570 Lake Dunmore Rd, Brandon, VT 05733 We have the the screened in west shelter on Lovely Lake Dunmore reserved for our gathering. You do need to pay an day use entrance fee to get into Branbury State Park: $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for kids. Please bring a hearty side dish or dessert to share and your own beverage. We will provide paper products and meat and meat-less items to grill. The shelter is surrounded by grass, and swimming in Lake Dunmore is allowed! Please bring yard games, swim suits, beach accessories and folding chairs. If the weather is nice we certainly will be outside. Looking forward to meeting you! RSVP: https://act.moveon.org/event/cookout_attend/12034
- Virtual Rise up 5K – https://localraces.com/rise-up-5k/rise-up-5k-burlington-vt $45 fee. Registrants receive race shirt and bib. Can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym or on the track. Or you can join a Rise Up group run in your area being organized on these Facebook Event pages (https://www.facebook.com/pg/riseup5k/events/). 100% OF NET PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THESE BENEFITING CHARITIES:
- Women’s Rights: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.| The Center for Reproductive Rights
- Climate Change: Natural Resources Defense Council
- Immigrants’ Rights: The National Immigration Law Center
- LGBTQ Rights: The Trevor Project
- Civil Rights: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation| The Southern Poverty Law Center
- Sunday July 2 Impeachment March – http://www.impeachmentmarch.org/sister-marches.html
- Sunday July 9 at 1:30 pm Vermont Worker Center Healthcare as a Human Right Meeting – location TBD
- July 12 – 15 Vermont 350 Rutland Pop-up https://twitter.com/Justice4AllVT/status/877249636225994753 More details to come
- Thursday July 13 at 7pm Rutland NAACP at Leahy Center Rutland Regional Medical Center
- Thursday July 20 at 9 am Hearing on Proposed 12.7% Blue Cross Blue Shield Rate Hike2nd Flr Board Rm, City Ctr, 89 Main St, Montpelier
- Tuesday July 25 at 5pm-7pmCastleton Indivisible Pot-luck dinner
- Aug 12th – Rights and Democracy will be holding a state-level Town Hall with a panel discussion on economic and social justice location is the Vermont Food Center more info here: http://www.radvt.org/rutland_democracy_summer_town_hall
- Vermont Governor Scott has called on Congress to “preserve the progress & gains we’ve made in expanding coverage” in healthcare http://governor.vermont.gov/press-release/statement-governor-phil-scott-us-senate-health-care-bill
- “City of Burlington publishes deleted EPA climate change data” http://vermontbiz.com/news/june/city-burlington-publishes-deleted-epa-climate-change-data
- “#BTV officials said a new policy protects undocumented residents & shields the city from Trump administration cuts.” https://vtdigger.org/2017/06/13/burlington-passes-new-fair-impartial-policing-policy/
- Citizens for Ethics is suing 45 for destroying public records. https://www.citizensforethics.org/press-release/crew-sues-president-trump-presidential-records/
- Disappointed though we are by Ossoff’s loss in Georgia and Parnell’s loss in South Carolina, Democrats went up ~18 points. Parnell also lost, but Democrats went up ~17 points. This is a huge shift! The GOP had to throw tons of cash into a Georgia race that should have been a cake walk. Democrats are making tremendous gains in just six months! https://twitter.com/cmclymer/status/877352952620392448
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs has backed down from a proposal to reduce veterans’ benefits http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/shulkin-backs-off-individual-unemployability-trump-budget
- “19 states have passed resolutions supporting Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United – that’s halfway to 38 needed to ratify.” https://twitter.com/RepTedDeutch/status/875783584900157440
- “Ivanka ordered to testify over accusations she copied Italian shoemaker’s design” http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/339331-ivanka-ordered-to-testify-in-dispute-over-shoe-design
- For more good news, see http://www.peaceisloud.org/small-victories/
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 “Indivisible is imploring us to submit amendments to the disastrous healthcare bill released finally by the Senate Republicans. Our amendments will go to Chuck Schumer and Senate staffers for use in the “vote-a-rama,” during which ANY Senator can submit as many amendments as he or she wants. Every amendment takes time to be introduced and voted on, so the thousands Indivisible hopes to collect will greatly slow down the process. Indivisible reminds us that “McConnell and Senate Republicans can still blow up Senate rules and cut off the amendment process. But to do that they’ll have to go on the record literally silencing the victims of TrumpCare in their own states, which they really don’t want to visibly do.” Let’s give Democrats as much ammunition as possible to fight TrumpCare!” (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
- Action: Check it out here: https://www.ouramendments.org/
2 A public hearing will be held on July 20th about Blue Cross Blue Shield’s proposed 12.7% rate increase.
- Action: Submit testimony about how rate hikes will affect you: https://www.workerscenter.org/healthcare/share-your-story
3 Repeat from previous newsletter (I’ve heard that it’s worth to call your Senator back to let him know that you still care and that you are still watching him): “There are two main ways that your Democratic Senator can fight back against Trumpcare:
- Withhold consent. Your Democratic Senator can slow down Senate business, in part by “withholding consent.” The rules of the Senate are so complicated that Senators have to regularly consent to waiving some of them so that they can actually get work done. That includes shortening time for debates, expediting consideration of amendments, and scheduling committees. Your Senator can slow the Senate down to a crawl and focus attention to TrumpCare by withholding his or her consent on legislative business.
- Filibuster by amendment. Republicans are using a special process called “reconciliation” to jam through TrumpCare. This means they only need 51 votes, instead of the usual 60, to pass it. But the trade-off is that they have to allow an unlimited number of amendments. Any Senator can file as many amendments as they want and then call them up for a vote on the Senate floor during a period called “vote-a-rama.” Democratic Senators can and should plan thousands of amendments and keep them going until Republicans agree to have public hearings on the bill.
“Your Senator might act like they can’t do this out of some unspoken rule of Senate courtesy. But this is no ordinary time in the Senate—we have to pull out all the stops to stop TrumpCare.” https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/withholding-consent-filibuster-amendment-call-script/
- Action: Contact your Congressmen
- Caller:Hello! My name is [name] and I’m calling from [place in state]. Am I correct that [Senator] opposes TrumpCare, the American Health Care Act?
- Staffer:Yes! [Senator] is totally opposed.
- Caller:I’m glad to hear that. Can you tell me what [Senator] has done so far to oppose it?
- Staffer: [Senator] gave a speech on the floor recently that talked about the bill’s impact in our state. She’s listened to many constituents and heard their personal stories. She’s encouraged her colleagues to let us read the bill or have hearings on it. And yesterday she did an epic tweet storm.
- Caller:I’m afraid it’s going to take more than talk and tweet storms to stop this terrible bill. We have to slow this process way down and call attention to the terrible bill Republicans are trying to jam through in total darkness. We have to use every tool available. Does [Senator] intend to withhold her consent on all Senate business until we have hearings and a complete CBO score?
- Staffer:Withholding consent doesn’t actually buy us that much time. It would only delay things by 30 hours.
- Caller:I’m not just talking about refusing to agree on shortening debate time on TrumpCare or other bills. I’m talking about withholding consent on amendments, placing holds on nominations, and objecting to all unanimous consent requests until there are hearings and a complete CBO score. Will the [Senator] do that?
- Staffer:Well, [Senator] thinks that could backfire. We’re trying to work together with Republicans on on other important issues, like investigating Russian interference in our democracy.. Withholding consent could make that more difficult.
- Caller:Of course we want to know more about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. But 23 million Americans’ healthcare, including [coverage loss in state, find here] is important too. That’s what’s at stake. This is the most important thing right now and the issue the Senator needs to be focusing on. I don’t think anything else is worth healthcare getting ripped away from millions of Americans.
- Staffer:I’ll let [Senator] know of your thoughts.
- Caller:Please do. I expect her to use every tool she has. That also includes offering as many amendments as it takes to draw out Senate debate on this bill during vote-a-rama.
- SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE: FILIBUSTER BY AMENDMENT
- Caller:Will [Senator] prepare hundreds or thousands of amendments to offer during vote-a-rama?
- Staffer:I’m not sure what you mean. Vote-a-rama only lasts a night or so.
- Caller:That’s because both parties have always agreed to end it. [Senator] can file thousands of amendments—and then call each of them for a vote—so that debate is prolonged long enough to leave Republicans with no choice but to agree to hearings and a complete CBO score. Along with her colleagues, [Senator] can and should let the Republicans know they will offer amendments into the July 4 recess or longer, holding the floor with amendments as long as it takes to guarantee Americans can read the bill, see a CBO score, and that the Senate has hearings.
- Staffer:Again, the Senator thinks that could backfire. There are other things we want to work on, as well.
- Caller:That’s terrible. Like I said, this is the most important thing happening right now. I expect [Senator] to get in the arena for her constituents. The stakes are too high to leave any tool at her disposal unused.
- Staffer:I’ll let [Senator] know of your thoughts.
- Caller:Please do. If she isn’t using these tools, that means she’s not doing everything in her power as a Senator to stop TrumpCare. I expect her to use every tool she has. That includes withholding consent and offering as many amendments as it takes to get a hearing and a CBO score. Please take down my contact information so you can let me know when [Senator] decides to play hardball.
4 Repeat from previous newsletter: Ben Wikler, the Washington Directory of MoveOn, has identified the Senators most susceptible to persuasion regarding the passage of the AHCA. https://twitter.com/benwikler/status/872918918419165185
- Action: Contact your friends/relatives in these states and ask them to contact their senators to: Demand public hearings, Insist upon the inclusion of the health care initiatives that the AHCA is cutting, Protest the intentional efforts to sabotage the ACA, Protest the passage of a bill that will result in anyone losing coverage and/or will not guarantee people with pre-existing conditions won’t see higher premiums, and to protest any bill that eliminates funding for Medicaid. (To strengthen your argument, see how much premiums would increase and how many people would lose health coverage in each state under TrumpCare. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/impact-of-trumpcare-by-state/) (And if your friends need tips for what to say on the phone, see the sample script https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/stop-trumpcare-senate-call-script/)
- TN – Lamar Alexander 202-224-4944
- WV – Shelley Moore Capito 202-224-6472
- LA – Bill Cassidy 202-224-5824
- ME – Susan Collins 202-224-2523
- TN – Bob Corker 202-224-3344
- AR – Tom Cotton 202-224-2353
- AZ – Jeff Flake 202-224-4521
- CO – Cory Gardner 202-224-5941
- SC – Lindsey Graham 202-224-5972
- NV – Dean Heller 202-224-6244
- AK – Lisa Murkowski 202-224-6665
- OH – Rob Portman 202-224-3353
- Action: Write sample letters to the editor, send them to your friends in the above states, and ask them to send their own stories into their local papers.
- Action: Apparently, if you type “Friends in Tennessee” into Facebook, you’ll get a list of residents in Tennessee to call to ask them to contact their senators about the AHCA.
- Action: For the extra dedicated, here’s the contact information for the Senate staffers assigned to healthcare com/staffers/ and https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/
5 “Migrant Justice’s march to Ben & Jerry’s Vermont facility to demand that the company join the Milk With Dignity program as promised, was a success; Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim stated that they are “ready to go.” http://bit.ly/2sYtrZv However, two of the farm workers who led the march were arrested and detained on their way home, then turned over to ICE http://bit.ly/2tWcNqL” (from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
- Action: Ask that ICE use their discretion, and release Esau and Yesenia:http://bit.ly/2t2vv34
- Action: Send a Letter of Support, using the format and guidelines offered by Migrant Justice: http://bit.ly/2tBCXQd
6 Russian sanctions have indeed hit a roadblock in the House. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/338673-house-republican-stalls-russia-sanctions-bill
- Action: Contact Congressman Peter Welch 802-652-2450 or https://welch.house.gov/contact/email and ask him to do whatever he can to ensure the passage of Russian sanctions. Make sure you mention that you are a constituent.
7 “Philando Castillo. Alton Sterling. Michael Brown. Amadou Diallo. 12-year old Tamir Rice. And just week, Charleena Lyles, a pregnant Seattle woman. Each was a precious human being – Philando, a beloved son, brother, boyfriend and cafeteria worker who served hundreds of children; Alton, a beloved father of five, nephew, and son known in his Baton Rouge community as “CD Man”; Michael, a college-bound 18-year-old beloved by his parents, family and friends; Amadou, a beloved 23-year-old son and Guinean immigrant who aspired to be computer programmer; Tamir, a beloved 12-year old son, brother and sixth grader who loved to swim, draw, and play basketball; Charleena, a beloved mother of four – shot to death by the police. In each case the officer was not charged. Why? Because the legal standard established by the Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor is that reasonable use of force by an officer must be viewed from the perspective of what appeared reasonable in the moment of its application – not 20/20 hindsight. Or, as Trevor Noah said this week on the Daily Show: “What they are basically saying is, that in America, it is officially reasonable to be afraid of a person just because they are black.” This week all-of-us must fight for criminal justice reform by recognizing every black family affected by these killings.”
- Action: Sign Color of Change’spetition to halt severance talks between Philando Castille’s killer and the police department that hired him, and to get alerts from Color of Change. (from wall-of-us.org)
The following items are taken (mostly) verbatim from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/:
8 Insist that our elected representatives condemn acts of violence against Muslims.
- Write: A postcard/letter/email to your three Members of Congress (lookup). Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [town, ZIP] and heartbroken about the increasing attacks on Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs in our country. Worse, our president refuses to acknowledge these events publicly, giving the impression that it’s okay to hurt fellow Americans because of their religion. I am writing to ask Sen./Rep. [name] to use her/his media channels to loudly and clearly condemn these attacks when they happen. Even if our president fails to set a good example, your constituents need to know you are offended by and oppose this violence. Thank you. Name (and address, if you want a reply).
9 Advocate for the rights of Americans and for civility toward immigrants.
- Call: Your governor’s office (lookup). Script: I am deeply concerned about ICE’s increasing aggression in our communities throughout the state. In Virginia, for example, ICE is stopping legal citizens to ask for proof of citizenship because of how they look. This creates a hostile environment for citizens and immigrants–and makes us all less safe. I am calling to request that Gov. [name] contact Homeland Security Sec. Kelly and express his/her desire to “insure domestic tranquility.”
10 Advocate for open, frequent press briefings.
- Read: What we lose if the president curtails press briefings more than he has.
- Call: The White House Comment line 202-456-1111 (or email). Script: Hi. I am concerned about the lack of open press briefings at the White House. I think a free press is essential to our democracy. I would like open, televised briefings from the president on a regular basis. Thank you.
- Call/email: A news outlet you subscribe to or watch (list).
- Script: Hi. I’m a subscriber/viewer and am concerned about the lack of open press briefings at the White House. I think a free press is essential to our democracy. Can you tell me what [org] is doing about this issue?
11 Advocate for patients’ rights against corporate abuse this week.
- Call: Your one representative (lookup or leave a message). Script: Hi! I’m from [ZIP] calling about HR 1215 which intends to strip patients’ rights and increase medical corporations’ protections from lawsuits. When it comes to medical neglect, abuse, and malpractice, patients rights need to come first. Does Rep. [name] support violating the 7th Amendment of the US Constitution? Please ask him/her to vote against HR 1215.
12 Curtail gerrymandering.
- Call: Your one representative (lookup or leave a message).Script: I’m from [ZIP] and support fair voting and efforts to stop racially discriminatory gerrymandering. Although this issue is going to the Supreme Court, I’m calling to ask you to support HB711 to address this issue legislatively.
13 Resist new federal-level efforts to weaken election oversight.
- Visit: 2 Hours A Week (awesome resistance allies!) Follow their excellent script on opposing federal-level voter suppression in the proposed Election Assistance Termination Act.
14 Inform your Members of Congress of the US maternal death rate.
- Call: Your senators (Congressman Welch is already co-sponsoring the House version of the bill)
- 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/
- Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to express my concern about the maternal death rate in the US. I [am/would like to be/have a child who will be] a mother, and a report from ProPublica shows that American women die in childbirth more than in any other developed nation. I’m sure [name] shares my concern. (pause) Would s/he be willing to co-sign legislation to prevent these unnecessary deaths? The bill is the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act ( 1112). Thank you.
15 Oppose US forces violating human rights in in Yemen.
- Call: Your three Members of Congress (lookup or leave a message). Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP] and deeply disturbed by the AP report showing US forces are complicit in the torture and disappearances of detainees in Yemen. The story shows that US forces are questioning Yemenis, possibly after they’ve been tortured, and giving questions to Emirati officials who may ask them under torture. This is unconscionable and un-American. I am asking Sen./Rep. [name] first to speak to house/senate leadership about this issue, and secondly, to introduce legislation that requires “interrogation assignments” to require a classified briefing of Armed Services committee. Thank you.
16 Send a note to our friend Nestor Avila, a DREAMer in ICE detention. Nestor’s volunteer told me he is so happy to hear from people and has gotten more mail in the last month than he has in his whole life. That’s thanks to you. He’s recently been put in solitary confinement because of his depression. He could use encouraging, funny, or colorful notes to lift him up, and also receive marker- or crayon drawings too (which he hangs on the walls). Send no money or gifts. Just hugs via mail. Address: Nestor Daniel Avila Miranda, A# 204-631-097, P.O. Box 248, Lumpkin, GA 31815
17 Acts of gratitude:
- Thank Amy Paulin, NY State Assemblywoman, for sponsoring legislation that bans child marriage in NY. Thank you for your advocacy on this issue. Congratulations on your measure becoming law! Address: 700 White Plains Rd. Suite 252, Scarsdale, NY 10583
- Thank Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) for meeting with Sec. Kelly to discuss recent events where ICE officers have randomly stopped American citizens to ask about their legal status. I appreciate your honest, collegial way of handling this concerning issue. Address: Common Ground for Virginia, P.O. Box 1475, Richmond, VA 23218
- Thank Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, for standing up for civil rights. Banning CA state-funded travel to four additional states which passed discriminitory legislation against LGBTQ Americans is powerful way to send an important message. I appreciate your leadership and advocacy for equality. Address: AG Xavier Becerra, CA Department of Justice, Attn: Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
The following items are taken (mostly) verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/:
18 Trump is holding a campaign fundraiser at a Trump hotel and Obama’s lead ethics attorney Norman Eisen has said that the Trump is “becoming more and more brazen in his efforts to monetize the presidency.” https://apnews.com/403df3f1298a46d2b00d38789d32d80c/Trump-using-Trump-hotel-to-hold-Trump-re-election-fundraiser Please write to the Office of Government Ethics to express your concerns: https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/Organization/Contact%20Us?opendocument
19 The Senate healthcare proposal continues the attack on Planned Parenthood http://bit.ly/2rVFlnN Planned Parenthood provides medical care for those most in need, yet the GOP bill would strip Medicaid reimbursements from the organization for a full year. Let’s call our Senators and let them know that we will continue to oppose any legislation that attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Those of us who prefer call scripts modify the one offered at 5calls: https://5calls.org/issue/recDhWOMQEoPN6mlr
20 Thanks to the response of tens of thousands of concerned citizens, the Department of Health and Human Services will no longer be removing a question from a federal survey regarding LGB older adults who participate in programs funded by the Older Americans Act http://read.bi/2tCismy Still, the follow-up question regarding transgender seniors is set to be removed. Let’s give the Department of Health and Human Services a call and let them know that we do not want them to erase our transgender community 1-877-696-6775 (press 5)
21 The New England Coral Canyon’s National Monument is now under review by Ryan Zinke’s Interior department. https://www.ecowatch.com/zinke-coral-canyons-2445601093.html Let’s tell the Ryan Zinke and the Interior Department we want to keep this monument, and all the others under question, as is. They are irreplaceable national treatures. Ryan Zinke, US Dept of Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240
22 Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has selected a CEO of a for-profit lender to run the student loan system. This information was absent from the release about A. Wayne Johnson. http://thehill.com/homenews/news/338737-devos-picks-ceo-of-for-profit-lender-to-run-federal-student-loan-system Let’s let DeVos know that this is unacceptable; like putting the fox in charge of the hen house: https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/index.html?src=ft
23 In a controversial decision, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has delisted the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear from the Endangered Species Act opening these bears up to trophy hunting. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/22/533965856/after-42-years-yellowstone-grizzly-will-be-taken-off-endangered-species-list We can use the Sierra Club’s tool to send a note to Ryan Zinke and the Dept. of Interior: https://goo.gl/USQbVQ This decision reverts control of the Yellowstone Grizzlies to the states in which they reside: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. If you have friends or family in these states, let’s ask them to tell their state legislators and governors to protect the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear.
24 Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions may be demanding a return to the most destructive policies of the failed War on Crime, but there’s still a bipartisan majority in Congress in favor of effective criminal justice reform, and we need to show them we still want them working together for change. Senators from both parties have come together to introduce the Fair Chance Act, which would bar federal employers and contractors from asking applicants about their criminal history until the final stage of the process. This will help make sure the formerly incarcerated get a fair shake at finding employment. (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/labor_and_unions/Booker-Republicans-introduce-federal-ban-the-box-legislation.html) Let’s join our Action Alliance partners at 5 Calls and urge our senators to help move this bill forward: https://5calls.org/issue/recGvA40wQuE7Irp4
25 We know that neither scientific expertise nor ethics matter to Trump and his minions, but it’s apparently time, again, to let Scott Pruitt know that both matter to us. The head of the EPA this week dismissed nearly all of the members of the Board of Scientific Counselors, a body charged with reviewing and advising EPA research departments on their scientific methodology: http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-epa-dismisses-people-charge-scientific-integrity/ As has been the case with the ACA, Trump and his appointees continue to sabotage the programs or agencies they can’t outright abolish. Pruitt’s EPA phone number is 202-564-4700.
26 Here’s an opportunity to help another Congressional district turn blue! “Oklahoma’s 75th House District was re-opened after the Republican who won in November’s election was forced to resign in the wake of a personal scandal. Karen Gaddis was the Democrat on the ballot then and she’s back campaigning hard for the Special Election July 11th.” Let’s help by postcarding! Details here: http://mailchi.mp/ind-d6/postcards-to-oklahoma-voters-ok
27 The Trump administration’s slide towards a dystopian relationship with the press is going further down by the day: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/06/22/white_house_press_conference_no_camera_notice_is_not_reportable_white_house.html Let’s ask the White House Correspondents’ Association to not show up for these games: http://www.whca.net/contact.htm
28 In April, the Government Accountability Office issued a report stating that: “Of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27 percent).” https://theintercept.com/2017/05/31/the-numbers-dont-lie-white-far-right-terrorists-pose-a-clear-danger-to-us-all/ We can read the full report here: http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/683984.pdf Let’s contact our Members of Congress to let them know that we think this is a danger that needs to be addressed. Then let’s tell the White House the same thing: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
29 The Philando Castile case and the shooting of Charleena Lyles are horrific reminders that police reform is needed in the United States. One of the ways this can be started is through consent decrees between police departments and the Department of Justice. Back in April, however, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of the Justice Department’s police reform activities and consent decrees. Let’s give Sessions a call and tell him that we support consent decrees and expect him to stop delaying the ones which should already be in place. 5calls has more information, a call script, and phone number: https://5calls.org/issue/recE23p05mKPjWrzC We can also read more about the consent decrees and reform efforts which are taking place in select cities within the U.S.: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/04/politics/jeff-sessions-consent-decree-roundup/index.html
30 The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, chaired by John Thune (R- SD), has rejected Trump’s proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers. http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/338620-senate-to-reject-trumps-air-traffic-control-plan-in-aviation-bill Let’s write in support of the committee’s decision: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, 512 Dirksen SOB, Washington DC 20510.
31 Let’s write to “Dear Abby” – not to ask for advice, but to give some! [Wednesday was] National ASK Day – encouraging parents to simply ask if there are unsecured guns in places where their kids spend time. [Wednesday], the “Dear Abby” column gave this horribly tone-deaf advice, telling a parent to mind her own business to avoid being “off-putting.” http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/2017/6/21/1/mom-searches-for-right-approach-to?utm_source=dearabby-twitter&utm_medium=socialmarketing&utm_campaign=social Please ask “Dear Abby” to retract this deadly advice and use the platform to give life-saving advice to parents. Always ask if there are guns in the homes where children spend time, and how the guns are stored. There are too many grieving parents in this country who wish they could go back and do that. Address: Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069
32 “We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.” Let’s join Campaign Zero and see how we can help make this happen: https://www.joincampaignzero.org
33 Months after abruptly firing half of our U.S. attorneys, Trump has finally begun the process of replacing them. He has announced names he would like to fill eight of the 93 open positions. http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/06/12/trump-us-attorney-nominations-239457 Given Trump’s pattern of demanding loyalty to himself above loyalty to the rule of law from government officials, it is crucial that the Senate not just rubber stamp these nominees. Let’s call our senators and make sure they do not vote to confirm any U.S. attorneys unless they affirm under oath that they have made no promises of loyalty or special treatment to the administration in exchange for their position, and that they will put the law first.
34 Representative Sean Patrick Maloney and 35 other Members of Congress sent a letter to the Indonesian ambassador in response to Indonesia’s government-sponsored violence against the LGBTQ community http://bit.ly/2qNYB4s Let’s thank Representative Maloney for speaking out 202-225-5441 We can also check the letter to see if our MoC signed it, then thank them as well http://bit.ly/2rJD6n8
35 House representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced H.Res.395 yesterday which reaffirms the leadership of the United States in promoting the safety, health, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons. The resolution has 62 co-sponsors already. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/395/cosponsors We can read the full text of the bill by clicking the “text” tab at the top of the cosponsor list. Let’s contact our own representatives and ask them to support HRes395 if they have not already. (Welch has done so – so consider thanking him.)
36 The 85th Annual Meeting for the United States Conference of Mayors will take place this weekend, June 23rd-26th. Among the issues to be discussed is the 100% Renewable Energy in American Cities resolution. Let’s see if our mayors have already committed to supporting this resolution, then give a call to either thank them for doing so, or ask that they vote to support the resolution http://bit.ly/2oxWlyy We can also edit and send Sierra Club’s form letter http://bit.ly/2tNtFjt
- Take a CNN survey about whether or not 45 should be investigated for obstruction of justice http://www.cnn.com/partners/ios/pages/poll/6_15_survey.html?lf-poll
The following items were taken verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/:
- Mc Caskill (D-MO) wants to know if we approve of Trumpcare. Let’s tell her: http://action.clairemccaskill.com/p/dia/action4/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=10523
- Stabenow (D-MI) wants us to add our names to her petition against the GOP healthcare plan: https://stabenow.bsd.net/page/s/Vote-No-On-Trumpcare
- “The U.S. Senate votes next week on the just-announced, incredibly damaging “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” This bill would plunge tens of millions of moms, children, and families into crisis, end Medicaid as we know it, and devastate our economy.”Let’s join MomsRising in telling Republicans to stop attacking our families: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/stop_attacking_families/
- Petition from Win Without War to South Korean President Moon to promote further diplomacy with North Korea:http://act.winwithoutwar.org/sign/support-diplomacy-not-war-north-korea/
- The morning of the Alexandria shooting, the House was preparing to hold a hearing on a bill that would in part make it easier to buy gun silencers. They’re trying to sneak this in with an unrelated bill. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/gun-silencer-restrictions-house-jeff-duncan-239440) This would threaten public safety and make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs. Let’s join Gabby Giffords and Americans for Responsible Solutions and send a message to our members of Congress that we want them doing more to keep us safe from gun violence, not less: http://action.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/page/s/share-act
GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT
Stand alongside PBS and Vermont PBS today by taking three immediate actions (recommended by Mary Droege of Castleton Indivisible).
- Make an investmentin YOUR LOCAL station, Vermont PBS
- Visitorg/ to learn more and contact your lawmakers
- Like, follow, and sharecom/valuePBS and visit Facebook.com/VermontPBS
Consider supporting Wall-of-us.org, which provides many of the useful suggestions that I include in this newsletter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wall-of-us
“Arnold Schwarzenegger has partnered with Common Cause to fundraise for a top-notch legal team for the Supreme Court gerrymandering case coming out of Wisconsin. He has started a crowdfunding effort and will match all donations. We can find more information about this and donate here: https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/207023/this-is-our-chance-to-make-gerrymandering-unconstitutional” (recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
“White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America” by Joan Williams Here are links to two interviews with the author (recommended by Castleton Indivisible):
Concerns regarding efforts of Conservative state governments to call Constitutional conventions (to add new Amendments to the Constitution!) came up in the last Castleton Indivisible meeting. Here is an article on the subject: https://psmag.com/social-justice/how-conservatives-could-rewrite-the-constitution
Update on the steps for implementing the new legislation on creating a Racial Justice Oversight Board in Vermont: http://mailchi.mp/f45d2700a1f2/updates-from-justice-for-all
Recommendations from wall-of-us.org:
- “Check out Shaun King’sseries on police brutality. (10+ minutes)
- Readthis article about how the special elections still paint a good picture for Democrats. (5 mins)
- Take a walk and listen tothis podcast from our friends at FiveThirtyEight, who give the bigger picture and historical perspective. (25 mins)
- Readthis article by Steve Phillips, founder of Democracy in Color, and get pumped up when you see that our base is growing. (5 mins)”
- “The collapse of the American identity–how it happened and what we can do (NY Times).
- How Republicans and Democrats became political enemies (NY Times).
- What happens in Mexico when the US deports Mexican citizens (Washington Post).
- Russians have Americans’ drivers license info and SSNs (Time).
- What to do about North Korea (The Atlantic).”
Recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/: “Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it”: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/authoritarianism-trump-resistance-defeat