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

Useful information: You can check your Vermont voter registration at https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us/ (h/t @Vermont SOS)

“ From Indivisible Ventura:  “Why Do I Need to Call?  My Representatives Are All Democrats”  https://indivisibleventura.org/why-do-i-need-to-call-my-representatives-are-all-democrats/ Even if we know they see things the same way we do, they need our calls for tally reasons as well as encouragement and thanks.  Let’s call!” (h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Sunday Aug 27th at 1:30 pm Universal healthcare Rutland Vermont Workers Center coordinating meeting at UU Church 117 West St, Rutland (go around back and turn left at the top of the stairs)

 

 

 

 

  • Thursday Aug 31st at 6 pm Universal Healthcare Dinner – Vermont Workers Center is hosting a free dinner & discussion about local efforts for universal healthcare in Vermont – UU Church, 117 West St, Rutland (go around back and turn left at the top of the stairs) RSVP: kate@workerscenter.org or 802-825-8399

 

  • Saturday Sept 2nd 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/

 

  • Sunday Sep 3rd at 5:30-8:30 pm The Gathering: A Time for Reflection, Revival, & Resistance at Unitarian Church of Montpelier 130 Main St, Montpelier – Hosted by Vermont’s Justice for All: “This is the fourth installment of “The Gathering” series, by Repairers of The Breach. The Poor People’s Campaign tour is underway and we are growing a movement. Come and prepare for action with us! Live from Raleigh, North Carolina, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove co-host this monthly program to equip communities with resources for faithful reflection and public action on moral issues. The Gathering includes an introduction to a moral issue, immersion in freedom songs that inform how we engage the issue, an interview with folks directly impacted by the issue, and a theological engagement with the issue that names a specific call to moral action. September’s issue is LIVING WAGE in partnership with Fight For $15 on Sunday, Sept. 3. Bring the kids and the snacks and beverages you like.” https://www.facebook.com/events/113713119284805/

 

 

  • Tuesday Sept 5 at 6:30 pm Free screening: Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in Jeffords Auditorium, Jeffords Center, 233 South Street, Castleton University, Castleton, VT 05735 – “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This film, based on the phenomenal New York Times bestseller, tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.”

 

 

  • Thursday Sept 7 at 6pm Rights and Democracy Meeting at Leahy Center at Rutland Regional Hospital room CR B – RAD in a Box (w/ new folks)/Runaway inequality training
  • Saturday Sept 9 Rights and Democracy Movement Politics training in Montpelier – “To move from protest to power we need to get serious about impacting elections, either by running for office ourselves or support campaigns run by our allies in the movement. If you’d like to join our first day long movement politics training, fill out this registration form.  We will then follow up with a phone interview before accepting applicants.”
  • 27-29 Women’s Convention in Detroit – “The Women’s Convention will bring thousands of women, femmes and our allies of all backgrounds to Detroit from October 27 – 29, 2017, for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections. Tapping into the power of women in leadership as the fundamental, grassroots force for change, the Women’s Convention will bring together first time activists and movement leaders, rising political stars that reflect our nation’s changing demographics, and thousands of women who’ve organized sister marches, huddles, rallies and resistance actions, large and small, since January 2017. Participants will leave inspired and motivated, with new connections, skills and strategies for working towards collective liberation for women of all races, ethnicities, ages, disabilities, sexual identities, gender expressions, immigration statuses, religious faiths, and economic statuses.” http://www.womensconvention.com/ Tickets aren’t cheap, but there is a scholarship program.

 

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. (Commonly used contacts can be found here: https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-important-contacts/)

1 Thank Governor Scott for the above-mentioned commitment to lake clean-up.

 

2 “The White House has signed a guidance memo on how to implement Trump’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military. Defense Secretary Mattis will have 6 months to enact the changes once he receives the memo. On July 26, Trump announced in a series of tweets that the US military will no longer allow transgender troops to serve in any capacity, reversing the Obama administration’s July 2016 policy permitting transgender troops to serve openly. Trump’s claim that transgender troops’ service will “burden” and disrupt the military is at odds with both common decency and objective facts. A Pentagon-commissioned, nonpartisan RAND Corporation study found that providing gender confirmation treatment to transgender service people would have a minimal impact on the military’s combat readiness. Further, the report found it would cost between $2 and $8 million to provide gender confirmation services to transgender troops; while this amount sounds significant, $8 million is a mere 0.01% of the $598 billion that the US military spent during fiscal year 2015. In contrast, the military spends an annual $84 million on erectile dysfunction medication such as Viagra, 10x the annual cost of transgender medical care. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen has advocated for transgender troops to serve openly, stating: “Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require.” The legal status of Trump’s assault on transgender troops is also unclear, as is the military’s position on Trump’s tweet-based policymaking. The implications of this announcement for the roughly 6,000 transgender troops currently serving are also uncertain. However, it is clear that members of Congress must speak out firmly and strongly against this discriminatory policy.” https://5calls.org/issue/recHzG9yDRjiJi3nY

  • Action: Congressman Peter Welch 802-652-2450 or https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [city]. I’m calling to ask Rep. Peter Welch to denounce the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military. These dedicated Americans should have the right to serve their country even if they need special medical care. It is unacceptable for Trump, the Pentagon, and Defense Secretary Mattis to strip them of these rights. Thank you.

 

3 “Late on Friday, August 24th, while category 4 Hurricane Harvey barreled into Texas, Trump issued a presidential pardon of Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona and devoted aide to Trump’s birther crusade. Earlier this year, Arpaio was convicted for defying a court order which barred his deputies from conducting “immigration round-ups” — racially profiling Hispanics and detaining them on suspicion of their legal status. Trump defended Arpaio by saying he was “fired for doing his job.” However, Arpaio severely jeopardized the lives of those he was assigned to protect. Dozens of sex crimes cases (many involving children) were shelved in order to fund his racist raids on Hispanics. He housed inmates in brutal, unhealthy conditions such as outdoor jails in sweltering heat and chain gangs. Women inmates were denied menstrual products and those mentally ill were targeted for abuse, leading to higher than average suicide rates in his jails. Typically, pardons are issued for criminals who have accepted responsibility of their crimes, 5 years or more after their conviction, and with a recommendation from the Department of Justice. In Arpaio’s case, none of these normalities apply. Trump’s circumvention of the judicial process for Arpaio runs directly in contrast to Trump’s supposed policy of “law and order” and sends the message that corrupt, racist, dangerous cops are above the law. It is also further evidence that Trump will abuse his power to serve his personal interests and relationships, put the safety and well-being of minority communities in danger, and continue to embolden racists in and out of public office.” https://5calls.org/issue/rec2JN6CphzCivgTK

  • Action: Congressman Peter Welch 802-652-2450 or https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [city]. I’m calling to express my outrage that Trump issued a pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio. I ask that Rep. Peter Welch publicly condemn this blatant abuse of power and dangerous acceptance of corrupt, racist law enforcement officials. Thank you for your time and attention.

 

4 The GOP has been floating a deal to protect DACA in exchange for funding the southern border wall. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-house-daca-dreamers_us_599c6eade4b06a788a2c3b72 This is utterly unacceptable. This wall is a waste of money that will have devastating effects on the local ecology. And the beneficiaries of DACA are people, not bargaining chips. DACA in Vermont:

  • “In Vermont, DACA has allowed 42 young people to come forward, pass background checks, and live and work legally in the country. (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Number of Form I-821D,Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, by Fiscal Year, Quarter, Intake, Biometrics and Case Status Fiscal Year 2012-2017 (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2017).)
  • In Vermont, DACA recipients have had their protection renewed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security nearly 200 times. (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Number of Form I-821D,Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, by Fiscal Year, Quarter, Intake, Biometrics and Case Status Fiscal Year 2012-2017 (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2017).)
  • Ending DACA would cost Vermont more than $2.4 million in annual GDP losses. (Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Tom Jawetz, and Angie Bautista-Chavez, “A New Threat to DACA Could Cost States Billions of Dollars” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2017), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/07/21/436419/new-threat-daca-cost-states-billions-dollars/)”
  • The above data was taken from https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B1xJu9JxNTLzcmFaVVNFSHNndnc, which also includes nationwide and other state data (h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)

“Despite repeated campaign promises to the contrary, Trump now appears poised to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that grants protected status to undocumented immigrant children brought into the US by parents or other adults. Trump’s threat poses the most immediate danger to DACA recipients, but ten state Attorneys General have also endangered the program by threatening a lawsuit over its legality if the program is not terminated by September 5th. Because the Trump administration would not defend DACA in the event of a legal challenge, the program would likely not survive. Eliminating DACA would deprive the nearly 800,000 people protected by the program (often referred to as Dreamers) of jobs and access to education and put them at risk of deportation. Rescinding DACA would not only hurt DACA recipients but also damage our economy, reducing GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. Furthermore, the program is popular on both sides of the aisle. An April 2017 poll found over 75% of registered voters supported allowing DACA recipients to remain in the US, while over half supported DACA recipients ultimately earning citizenship. Now, it is up to Congress to defend DACA recipients against Trump and the AGs’ threats. On July 20th, Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act (S. 1615), a bipartisan bill which would grant legal status and a path to citizenship for DACA participants. Congress must quickly move to support and pass the DREAM Act to protect our Dreamers.” https://5calls.org/issue/rec1JDCdyFCYYYFu9

 

5 Proposed legislation S.1761, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, would ban 45’s proposed joint cyber initiative with Russia (h/t @funder).

  • Action: Contact your senators.

 

6 “Sinclair Broadcasting, a heavily right-wing leaning media company, has been working to acquire Tribune Media in order to expand its reach into households across the country. Already the nation’s largest TV broadcast company with stations in 81 markets reaching 38% of U.S. households, Sinclair’s potential $3.9 billion merger with Tribune Media would add to its roster another 42 stations, extending its reach to a colossal 72% of U.S. households. Though Congress imposed an audience cap of 39% on media companies, the FCC is reviving a technologically obsolete loophole called the “UHF discount” to help Sinclair proceed with its expansion. In 1985, to make up for the shorter range of UHF broadcasts, the FCC began to discount UHF stations by cutting their market size in half when calculating their national audience reach. The quality gap no longer exists thanks to the proliferation of digital TV, but the FCC plans to use the UHF discount to help Sinclair skirt past the broadcast ownership rule. The expansion of Sinclair’s reach is troubling due to the company’s frequent use of “must run” segments. The national company forces the local news stations they own to air segments produced by their national headquarters, often hosted by former Trump aide now Sinclair employee Boris Epshteyn, that are filled with extreme right-wing propaganda. This practice not only injects inaccurate and partisan rhetoric into the news media at a dangerously effective level, it also imposes excessive control over local news stations. The timing of the Sinclair-Tribune merger has also raised questions of quid pro quo. During the election, Sinclair-owned stations aired a disproportionate amount of positive coverage for Trump. Now, the Trump administration’s FCC Chairman is delivering regulatory roll backs to help Sinclair grow its enterprise.” https://5calls.org/issue/recXnlUnRP8e9piYb

  • Action: Contact Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman 202-418-1000 Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [city]. I’m calling in opposition to the merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media. The merger will expand Sinclair’s reach beyond its legal audience cap of 39% to a massive 72% of US households. The FCC should not bend rules or roll back regulations in order to grow Sinclair’s pro-Trump, right wing messaging. Thank you so much for your time.

 

7 “Immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), granting the President the authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those who “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the attacks of September 11th “in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.” Since 2001, the AUMF has been used as the legal basis for military action against a broad range of groups, extending far beyond those implicated in the September 11th attacks. According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 AUMF has been used in at least 14 different countries to justify military intervention. For 16 years, the executive branch has used this overly broad and outdated authorization to wage unending war against terrorism with little or no appropriate congressional oversight. In his speech to the nation on August 21st, Trump announced his strategy in Afghanistan but offered few details about an actual plan. In response, Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced a bipartisan AUMF to replace the over-broad AUMF currently in effect. The bill, which has a 5-year sunset period, would authorize military action against three specific terrorist groups (al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS/ISIL) and grant Congress some oversight powers in determining which individuals/groups to fight and where. The bill would also require the President to present a strategic plan to Congress about his plans to protect the US from three terrorist groups and provide regular status updates. If we are to proceed with military action in Afghanistan, the public deserves a clear understanding of the mission and desired outcome, and Congress must be able to hold the President accountable.” https://5calls.org/issue/recA07pwi1ELp71oL

  • Action: Contact your senators.
    • 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: Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [city]. I’m calling to express my support for the bipartisan Authorization for Use of Military Force introduced by Senators Jeff Flake and Tim Kaine. It is time to end the overly broad and outdated 2001 authorization and reintroduce appropriate congressional oversight of the fight against terrorism. I urge Senator Bernard Sanders to work towards accomplishing this necessary change. Thank you for all your hard work answering the phones.

The following items taken verbatim or nearly verbatim from http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

8 Action: Advocate for two bills protecting the special counsel. Call: Your 2 senators (lookup or leave message). Script: Hi. I am calling because I approve of the special counsel investigation into Russia ties, and would like [name] to support two pieces of legislation that protect Robert Mueller from presidential dismissal. S. 1735 (sponsored by Sen. Graham) and S. 1741 (by Sen. Tillis) both check the president’s power. Which does [name] support? (pause) Will [name] co-sponsor one or both of these bipartisan efforts? Thank you.

9 Action: Oppose corporate efforts to restrict access to birth control. Call: Or write your 3 MoCs (lookup or leave message). Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and concerned about the growing trend of tolerating religious exemptions for denying women access to birth control. This issue disproportionately affects women of color and women in poverty. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to oppose this trend? (pause) I want him/her to fight for women’s right to reproductive health, regardless of their employers’ beliefs.

10 Action: Support creation of energy efficiency programs in DoE and HUD (hat tip). Call: Your 3 MoCs (lookup or leave message). Script: Hi, I’d like to see [name] support S. 385/H.R. 1443, a bipartisan bill which would require the DoE and HUD to establish and maintain programs promoting and rewarding increased energy efficiency in manufacturing, machines, and buildings. Can I count on [name] to support commonsense energy bills like this?

11 Thank Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for calling to disband the “voter integrity” commission and encouraging Republicans to expand voting rights. We need leaders who affirm our common democratic values. Thanks for speaking up for all Americans. Address: Leo O’Brien Building, Room 420, Albany, NY 12207

12 Thank Paul Ryan (R-WI) for objecting to the president’s pardoning of Arpaio and asserting law enforcement’s role in protecting everyone in the US. Your dissent is refreshing and hopefully a sign of similar future leadership. Address: 1233 Longworth House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20515

The following items taken verbatim or nearly verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

13 On August 18, two (2) freshmen representatives, Adriano Espaillat (D-NY13) and Dwight Evans (D-PA2) introduced HR3660, the No Federal Funding for Confederate Symbols Act. In this piece in the Hill, they explain their reasoning:  http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/347887-remove-confederate-symbols-from-their-place-of-reverence-on  Thirty-four (34) Democratic representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr3660/details  Let’s ask our own representatives to support HR3660 if they have not already.  We can thank the bill’s sponsors at: 1) Adriano Espaillat, 163 W 25th St, New York NY 10027.  2) Dwight Evans, 7174 Ogontz Ave, Philadelphia PA 19138.

14 The Florida panther needs our help.  We have until Tuesday, August 29 to submit public comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding their determination on whether or not to remove the Florida panther from the Endangered Species Act. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/editorials/fl-op-editorial-florida-panther-protections-20170822-story.html We can send our emails of support for the Florida panther and maintaining its endangered status to: David Shindle at the FWS at david_shindle@fws.gov.  (We are out of time to send letters.)

15 Trump is threatening to shut down the government if Congress does not fund his wall.  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/347737-trump-not-backing-down-on-shutdown-threat-over-border-wall  Let’s tell our MoCs to stand up to him and make it clear that he can’t extort his way to a wall that the majority of Americans don’t want.

16 “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended Thursday that President Trump alter at least three national monuments established by his immediate predecessors, including two in Utah, a move expected to reshape federal land and water protections and certain to trigger major legal fights.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/24/interior-secretary-recommends-trump-alter-a-handful-of-national-monuments-but-declines-to-reveal-which-ones/?utm_term=.776d1607c1a0  Now, let’s make sure our legislators know that Trump’s attack on our wild spaces to help the fossil fuel industry is unacceptable and must be stopped.

17 Interior Secretary Zinke has recommended to Trump that some of the national monuments which were up for review have their boundaries adjusted http://reut.rs/2wsiv8A While Zinke will not recommend removing any national monument designations, shrinking the boundaries of the monuments could have a significant environmental impact. The Natural Resources Defense Council has a form letter that we can edit and send to our senators, asking that they protect our national monuments https://act.nrdc.org/letter/national-monuments-170822

18 “U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will recommend on Aug. 24 whether to eliminate or shrink nearly two dozen national monuments, creating the first major test for a 111-year-old law that gives presidents the power to protect swaths of public land.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-interior-monuments-idUSKCN1B00H7  Let’s let Zinke and Trump know that we want to protect ALL of our national park land and monuments.  Zinke:  https://www.doi.gov/contact-us

19 A new app for iPhone and Android users is make it even easier for dangerous people to get their hands on guns. TacSwipe, aka “Tinder for Guns,” is designed to let people buy and sell guns and gun accessories to strangers in their area – no questions asked (http://www.nibletz.com/usa/texas/dallas/tacswipe). The app provides no information for getting background checks, leaving it up to buyers and sellers to do the right thing, and of course does not prevent people under 18 from downloading despite the fact that in most areas you must be 18 to buy a gun. Let’s join the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in asking Apple and Android to reject this app: https://secure.everyaction.com/UDaIc8I_NE61-c_Bg02hNQ2?emci=496ef63b-af82-e711-80c2-000d3a1049cf&emdi=ab33226e-af82-e711-80c2-000d3a1049cf&fn.

20  MoveOn.org is taking a leadership role in organizing the Resistance, and they’re using the latest field tactics to do it. They’ve launched a volunteer texting team to make sure they reach out to as many of their members as possible when it’s time to take action. Those of us who are interested can learn more and become part of the team here: https://front.moveon.org/training/#.WYvQFlGGPIW.

21 From Postcards from Kate:  Evette Dionne writes the Our History series at Teen Vogue, exposing difficult but critical stories of history to the light, allowing us to reckon with them in real time. Read her recent illuminating piece on suffrage and civil rights, and then send her a card encouraging her work. Also, if you don’t already subscribe, now’s as good a time as any:  Address:  Evette Dionne, Teen Vogue, 1 World Trade Center, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10007

22 From Chop Wood, Carry Water:  Let’s all write a quick note to Amazon’s PR department and ask why their company is still advertising on Alt-right, Nazi-loving, Steve Bannon-run Breitbart. Remind them that 2600 other companies have taken a stand against hate and tell them that, PR-wise, fascism is NOT a good look for them.  Email here:  amazon-pr@amazon.com  or phone: (206) 266-1000 or mail:  410 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

23 “The goal of the ad isn’t to boost sales or drum up excitement on a new product launch, but to highlight the need to protect America’s public lands. Patagonia’s first, and perhaps last, advertisement taps into one of Patagonia’s core values of protecting and preserving our lands.”  https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/08/24/44-years-patagonia-released-first-commercial-clothing/#4d7b33c43c80  Let’s watch the ad:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCVNk0H9Erc&feature=youtu.be,  then let’s thank Patagonia:  http://www.patagonia.com/customer-service.html

24  Russian manipulation of the American electorate didn’t end after the 2016 election. “The same social media networks that spread Russian propaganda during the 2016 election have been busily amplifying right-wing extremism surrounding the recent violence in Charlottesville, according to researchers who monitor the activity.” https://www.propublica.org/article/pro-russian-bots-take-up-the-right-wing-cause-after-charlottesville Let’s tell our MoCs that this ongoing dynamic threatens our national security and ask them what they plan to do about it.

25   Trump’s Department of Labor is attempting to roll back Obama-era protections meant to help more than 13 million people get the overtime pay they deserve (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/27/534597018/labor-department-rethinking-obama-era-overtime-pay-rule). But they’re going to need to write a whole new rule to do it, and that means they have to listen to us now. Their changes are open for public comment until September 25th. Let’s join Rise Stronger and tell them to preserve the rule the final rule. You can submit your comments at this link: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=WHD-2017-0002.

26   Congress is considering legislation that would roll back common sense protections for the water we drink and the air we breathe and that keep our workplaces and our children safe (http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/03/the-coming-gop-assault-on-regulations-000351). Let’s join our friend and ally Jennifer Hofmann and tell our senators to oppose the Regulatory Accountability Act (S.951) and do whatever they can to prevent it from moving forward.

27 Trump’s ban on transgender service members is moving forward http://bit.ly/2wGTV3D It looks like Defense Secretary James Mattis will be using his discretion when deciding who to remove from the military. Let’s contact Secretary of Defense Mattis, asking that he keep in mind that our transgender service members are perfectly able and willing to serve, and that they should not be removed under the guise of “ability to deploy.” We can call the Department of Defense 703-571-3343 or mail Secretary Mattis directly: Secretary of Defense, 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1000 We can also contact Senator McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asking that he include language in the National Defense Authorization Act to protect our transgender troops: (202) 224-2235

28 Professor Daniel Kammen of Stanford tweeted out his letter of resignation to Trump as Science Envoy to the Department of State and it is a powerful letter: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/08/23/resignation-letter-sent-to-president-trump-spells-out-impeach/593943001/  It is of note that just as the starting letters of the paragraphs in the Arts Council resignation letter spelled RESIST, those in Kammen’s letter spell IMPEACH. Let’s take a moment to say thanks.https://gspp.berkeley.edu/directories/faculty/daniel-kammen

29   Here are two good files to tuck away.  From Postcards from America – 1)  1address labels (3 across/10 down) for all senators:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k1qCMVpKZpdDNDcFl4bExBVVk   and 2) address labels for all representatives: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0k1qCMVpKZpY3dwRHk3azVMR1U   These work well with Avery 8660 labels.  Let’s save these files to our device and use as needed.

30   We can send postcards of support to young people in Charlottesville VA to let them know that the hate they saw is not who we are as Americans.

https://www.facebook.com/Dearyoungperson-1444018689025308/   Write to: #dearyoungperson, PO Box 814, Charlottesville VA 22902. Let’s send our positive energy to Charlottesville.

31 Until now, in the last ten years only Burundi, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria have received “early warnings” by a UN committee regarding racist situations.  Today, the United States was added to that list.  “A UN committee charged with tackling racism has issued an “early warning” over conditions in the US and urged the Trump administration to “unequivocally and unconditionally” reject discrimination.”  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/23/charlottesville-un-committee-warns-us-over-rise-of-racism Let’s let our MoCs and the White House know that this is totally unacceptable and that they need to take all necessary steps to remove us from this early warning status.

32  One of the reasons that Trump’s evangelical team is sticking by him, and why he feels emboldened, is that they all have a strong belief in dominionism theology which seeks to form a nation based on Christian beliefs and principles. They firmly believe that God has chosen Trump to lead this change.  We’ve been warned about this before:  https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/bigots-racists-and-dominionist-christians-rejoice-in-trump-presidency/Content?oid=4318202  Even the Pope has spoken out against this and other fundamentalists:  https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/vatican-speaks-out-against-fundamentalism-again  Our MoCs need to know that we the people believe in an inclusive America that values diversity

33 Influential House Republicans like Rep. Jim Jordan are still threatening to create a global economic crisis by stopping Congress from raising the debt ceiling (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-18/house-conservatives-split-over-debt-ceiling-as-showdown-nears). Each day brings us closer and closer to the deadline and makes these games more and more dangerous. Let’s call our members of Congress and tell we want a clean hike of the debt ceiling as soon as possible. And let’s also tell them to support Senator Brian Schatz’s effort to eliminate the debt ceiling (http://thehill.com/policy/finance/345667-top-dem-seeks-to-abolish-debt-ceiling), so there’s never again a question over whether the United States will pay its bills. (And when we do, let’s tweet our support to Brian Schatz and tag it with #RogansHeroes!)

34 From Postcards for America:  “Black lawmakers are launching a “root out racism” campaign this week that they say is intended to hold the Trump administration accountable for its actions on race.”  http://thehill.com/homenews/house/347448-black-lawmakers-launch-root-out-racism-campaign-vs-trump Let’s take a look at some of the pending legislation supported by the Black Caucus and start showing our support, too!  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wLs5BRIFGjTDSuA6Ig2WrpZEPI-CczwItG7_Crw5uTo/edit

35 Riccy Perdomo, a young Kentucky mother of two, who has been protected as a Dreamer under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), has been detained and is scheduled to be deported.  When her family called ICE they were told that since Trump has been in office that DACA no longer exists.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/23/ice-detains-young-ohio-mother-who-has-legal-status/595355001/  In an updated story, her family cannot locate her as ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will not disclose her location:  http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/boone-county/family-says-they-cant-locate-nky-woman-detained-by-ice Let’s contact ICE on behalf of this young mom who has done nothing wrong.  She needs to be reunited with her family here.  https://www.ice.gov/contact

36 Idaho State Rep Bryan Zollinger shared on social media an article suggesting that Charlottesville mighthave been a Democrat-arranged ruse aided by Obama: http://www.postregister.com/articles/news-daily-email-todays-headlines/2017/08/18/rep-shares-article-saying-charlottesville-was-# And then he doubled down on the claim: https://www.yahoo.com/news/idaho-republican-insists-apos-apos-150318534.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma  Let’s let know Rep. Zollinger know what we think of this insidious form of conspiracy theory: https://legislature.idaho.gov/legislators/membership/2017/id4276/

37 From Postcards for America:  Charities continue to cancel events at Mar-a-Lago:  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/21/545090109/list-of-charities-shunning-trumps-mar-a-lago-resort-keeps-growing Let’s encourage some more to do the same: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h6Nqji_i8akAj6HhP3ifDnhtsdb3Z3JhHbOfmoJ5ec0/edit

38 “A prominent coalition of American rabbis has decided not to hold its annual conference call with the president to mark Jewish holidays, citing Donald Trump’s remarks on the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as supporting “those who advocate anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.”” http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/23/trump-rabbis-high-holy-days-telephone-call-241952  Let’s thank Rabbi Steven Fox of the Central Conference of American Rabbis which usually coordinates the call.  We can contact him here:  355 Lexington Avenue,  New York, NY 10017 or  (212) 972-3636.

39  Propaganda watch: A new Harvard study has found that (1) coverage by center-right to left-leaning media followed traditional professional news practices—but right-wing media stuck to “partisan-disciplined messaging” and the attention it got skewed to the very far right, and (2) mainstream coverage amplified Trump’s agenda over Clinton’s, giving prominence especially to immigration. https://cyber.harvard.edu/publications/2017/08/mediacloud Let’s google-search contact information for our favorite newspaper or other news organization and do the following: 1) send them the link to the Harvard study, 2) tell them to report on the study’s findings, and 3) tell them that propaganda is major issue and we want them to cover it regularly.

40 Lest we forget, Trump is still under investigation as is Russian interference in the 2016 election. Here’s an up-to-date timeline:  http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/  Now we learn that Trump thought it was the job of others to protect him from such investigation.  https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/22/16186502/trump-mcconnell-russia-scandal Let’s let our MoCs know that we want all investigations to continue and that our country cannot move on until these are completed.

After intense pressure following President Trump’s responses to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in mid-August, several of the president’s advisory councils have disbanded or seen their members resign. But one of the most troubling councils remains: Trump’s voter suppression commission. This commission’s entire premise is false, and intended to justify blocking access to the polls for people of color. (http://time.com/4736959/voter-fraud-trump-matthew-masterson/)  For these reasons, as well as the President’s refusal to unequivocally condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists, it’s time for the members to #QuitTheCommission. Let’s contact the remaining members of the commission and demand they stand against Trump’s cavalier attitude toward bigotry. We can find their contact info at this link: https://medium.com/@CAPAction/post-charlottesville-these-leaders-still-sit-on-trumps-voter-suppression-commission-bba7a5c925ec.

41 The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a program championed by Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton that helps millions of kids from low-income families get health insurance, is in trouble. It will run out of funding in a matter of weeks unless Congress acts to reauthorize it (https://www.statnews.com/2017/07/28/chip-medicaid-congress/). With all the deadlines Congress is facing in the next few weeks, we need to make sure they know we won’t let our kids slip through the cracks. Let’s call our members of Congress and tell them we don’t want to see any brinksmanship with CHIP, but we want them to secure continued funding to protect our children’s health care well beforeSeptember 30th.

42 In May, Senators Tim Kaine and Jeff Flake introduced bipartisan legislation which would require Congressional approval for “military force against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” http://bit.ly/2wALNkU Now, it seems, would be the time that we could especially use this piece of legislation, as Trump has announced that he will be increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. We can use the call script at 5Calls as we contact the Chairman Corker (202-224-3344) and Ranking Member Cardin ((202) 224-4524) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the bill is currently sitting https://5calls.org/issue/recA07pwi1ELp71oL Let’s also make sure that we’re contacting our MoC, asking that they cosponsor and support S.J.Res. 43: Authorization for Use of Military Force Against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Speaker Paul Ryan hosted his long-awaited Town Hall on Monday evening and acknowledged that Trump “messed up” on Charlottesville but he does not support censuring him: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/347427-ryan-says-trump-messed-up-on-charlottesville-rejects-censure  Let’s let Ryan know what we think about Trump’s remarks and the leadership he needs to be showing as Speaker of the House: http://www.speaker.gov

43  “The Trump administration’s decision to reverse a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in some of America’s most famous national parks, including the Grand Canyon, shows “the corporate agenda is king and people and the environment are left behind”  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/20/trumps-decision-to-allow-plastic-bottle-sales-in-national-parks-slammed The comments come after the administration ended a policy that allowed parks to ban the sale of plastic bottled water in an effort to curb pollution. The Guardian reports that: “The policy change came after just a few months of lobbying by the International Bottled Water Association, which began its campaign in January, after Donald Trump’s inauguration, and spent $80,000 arguing against the “bottle ban”. National parks fall under the Department of Interior’s umbrella, an agency now headed by the Trump appointee Ryan Zinke. One of Trump’s most recent appointments to the Department of the Interior is the deputy secretary David Bernhardt, a Colorado-based lawyer, previously with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who specialized in water-related litigation. Some lawmakers raised concerns about Bernhardt during his confirmation hearings, just a few weeks ago.”   Let’s tell the Department of Interior and Ryan Zinke that we want them to reverse this decision: US Dept of Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240 or call 202-208-3100.

44 The 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programs. “This program serves 1.6 million children from high-poverty and low-achieving schools with safe, quality afterschool programs that encourage literacy, STEM education and provide nutritious food.”  This initiative is set to be eliminated in Trump’s budget and it will negatively affect 1.6 million of our children.  https://newfoodeconomy.com/trump-budget-school-food-nutrition/  Let’s sign on to this letter from Save the Children asking this program be spared:  http://action.savethechildrenactionnetwork.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/

45  “The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government’s climate analysis into long-term planning.”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/20/the-trump-administration-just-disbanded-a-federal-advisory-committee-on-climate-change/?utm_term=.43ee5400770a Let’s let the White House and our legislators know that we value science and question the disbanding of this important group of scientists.  Contact:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

46  Sometimes, positive acts of resistance can help us keep up our endurance for the long haul. NPR is reporting that there are now at least twenty organizations who have canceled events at Mar-a-Lago http://n.pr/2x8QjFa and The Palm Beach Daily News is keeping an updated list of organizations who have withdrawn available http://bit.ly/2g2ADza Let’s use this list to send out some “thank you’s” from the Resistance. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way!

47 The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has released a document with “9 Steps to Dismantle White Supremacy and Islamophobia”:  http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/14546-cair-issues-9-steps-to-dismantle-white-supremacy-and-islamophobia.html  Let’s take a look and see which items we can be in action on right away.

48  No doubt some of us now have solar eclipse glasses we no longer need.  Many of these expire after three years so will not be good for the next US solar eclipse in 2014.  One option we may want to consider is donating them to Astronomers Without Borders who will pass them on to students in South America and Africa for the 2019 solar eclipse they will experience.  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-should-you-do-your-used-eclipse-glasses-180964584/#jxM3hb8zAAJSVrJ1.01  Let’s see what use we can make of our leftover glasses.

49  “The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast. The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season, and it has not relented in the first seven months of the administration. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the country and overseas. The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles said. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility. Without some legislative relief, though, at least 1,100 agents – for now – would not be eligible for overtime even as one of the agency’s largest protective assignments looms next month. Nearly 150 foreign heads of state are expected to converge on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/08/21/secret-service-cant-pay-agents-because-trumps-frequent-travel-large-family/529075001/    Our secret service agents should be paid. Let’s contact our senators and tell them to up their caps so they can be paid. We don’t want to be like Trump and not pay our dedicated workers. It’s not their fault that the trumps take way too many unnecessary trips.

50 The events in Charlottesville coupled with the fact there were only 4 documented cases of voter fraud in the last election harken back to a time of shame in our history when voter suppression prevailed and kept certain Americans without a voice in our government.  https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/debunking-voter-fraud-myth
Let’s email the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and tell them to disband the commission and use the funds to finance new auditable voting machines, more polling places, and making Election Day a national holiday:  ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov

51 A new rule being proposed by the Trump administration will slam shut the courthouse door on nursing home residents. Instead of being able to go to court if they are harmed during their stay in a nursing home, as they can now under Obama-era rules, residents and their families will be forced to submit to binding arbitration without recourse to review by a judge. Senators Franken (D. MN) and Wyden (D. OR) have been joined by 29 colleagues in calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services to withdraw this unjust proposal. A new rule being proposed by the Trump administration will slam shut the courthouse door on nursing home residents. Instead of being able to go to court if they are harmed during their stay in a nursing home, as they can now under Obama-era rules, residents and their families will be forced to submit to binding arbitration without recourse to review by a judge. Senators Franken (D. MN) and Wyden (D. OR) have been joined by 29 colleagues in calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services to withdraw this unjust proposal. Here’s how we can register our objections, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/08/2017-11883/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-revision-of-requirements-for-long-term-care-facilities-arbitration . Here’s how we can register our objections, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/08/2017-11883/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-revision-of-requirements-for-long-term-care-facilities-arbitration  Let’s also tell our MoCs that we want to see legislation introduced that will protect the rights of nursing home resident to sue in real courts of law.

52 From Chop Wood Carry Water: At this moment in our nation’s history, the Justice Department should be stepping up to protect our civil rights. The Trump administration has made it clear that’s not their priority once again by nominating Eric Dreiband for head of the Civil Rights Division – a man who has made a career of campaigning AGAINST civil rights (http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/01/politics/eric-dreiband-justice-department-civil-rights-lgbt/index.html). He is the wrong man for the job. Let’s make sure our senators know we think so, and that we want them to oppose his confirmation.

53 Started under President Obama, the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Community Partnerships, provides grants to communities and organizations to combat violent extremism, including white supremacy, through outreach. Trump has ended the CVE’s focus on white domestic terrorism, and the proposed federal budget would cut the program entirely in 2018. Let’s tell our MoCs (quoting Indivisible) “to require that the Countering Violent Extremism program retains its focus on white nationalism, that CVE grants are fully funded, and that a substantial portion of CVE grants are awarded to respond to the threat of white nationalism.”  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-budget-extremism-idUSKBN18J2HJ Let’s join Indivisible in demanding that the Trump/Republican proposed budget restore funds to the CVE:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/members-congress-enough-respond-white-supremacy/

54 It is not news that the Trump administration has done tremendous damage to public health and safety and to the environment.  In fact, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported at length in July on the tactics used to undermine the critical role of science in our democracy: http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2017/07/sidelining-science-report-ucs-7-20-2017.pdf  During July, 50 scientists and senior officials, among them whistleblower Joel Clement, have been quietly removed from their posts at the Interior department: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/zinke-moving-dozens-of-senior-interior-officials-in-shake-up/2017/06/16/11801d3a-5295-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html We need to tell the Mary L. Kendall, currently the deputy inspector general of the Dept. of the Interior (there being, of course, no IG), to investigate and end the censorship of government scientists: 202-208-5745 (fax: 202-219-3856) or Dept of the Interior, Office of the IG, 1849 C Street NW—Mail Stop 4428, Washington, DC 20240

55 More than 200 U.S. mayors have joined the Anti-Defamation League and United States Conference of Mayors in a new initiative to fight extremism and bigotry in America. Let’s make sure our mayors sign on, too. https://mayorscompact.org/

56 On Sunday night at the University of Texas – Austin, the university president ordered the removal of four Confederate statues: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/university-texas-removes-four-confederate-statues-overnight-n794411  Let’s send President Fenves a big “thank you!” for taking a stand against white supremacy. President’s Office: 512-471-1232or  president@utexas.edu or 110 Inner Campus Drive, Stop G3400, Austin, Texas 78712-3400

57 Sleeping Giants is asking that we focus our efforts on getting Shopify to pull their advertising from Breitbart. Let’s contact Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke , and ask him when he plans to end his financial support, through ad dollars, of hate speech and racism at Breitbart and The Rebel. We can reach him via e-mail tobi@shopify.com or on Twitter @tobi

 

PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC 

The following items are taken verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/

 

GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT (List of Vermont-based activism/political groups https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-activismpolitical-groups/ )

Recommended by Vermont’s Justice for All: This group is based on the Poor People’s Campaign that MLK was working on at the time of his death. https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/

Recommended by Vermont’s Justice for All: This group is associated with Rev. Barber, a civil rights work also working on the Poor People’s Campaign http://www.breachrepairers.org/

Recommended by http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/: Counteract Arpaio pardon by donating to grassroots justice organizations in his home state (in his name, if you wish). His illegal treatment of Latino people and neglect of abused children must be righted. Visit and donate to:

Recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/: “ As part of Black August, a traditional month of resistance in the Black community, the National Bail-Out Collective is once again asking for donations to bail out those in jail for lack of money: https://brooklynbailfund.org/national-bail-out-day-donate  Let’s contribute as much as we can to reduce the damage to individuals while we fight the money bail system.”

 

READING

Article about the HUGE profits of the chief executive officer of the largest hospital system in Vermont: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/21/pay-ceo-uvm-health-network-exceeds-2-million/ And the cost of healthcare to the rest of us keeps going up!

A case involving alleged racial profiling on the part of a Vermont police officer is being taken to the Vermont Supreme Court by the ACLU: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/20/suit-over-police-use-of-pot-sniff-test-goes-to-states-top-court/

Article about how we can help fund the arts through philanthropic investments: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/347301-another-way-to-fund-the-arts-in-america

Recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/: “Need some mental sustenance for continued resistance efforts? Why not join PEN America’s monthly “Read the Resistance” book club? PEN, an international literary organization that advocates for authors’ freedom of speech all over the world, is featuring a selected “written work of and about resistance” each month. This month’s selection is Timothy Snyder’s _On Tyranny_. PEN offers a brief description of the book and potential discussion questions, and hosts a live webchat for those who wish to participate. Let’s check it out!” https://pen.org/read-resistance-august-2017-tyranny/

Recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com/: “Ugly History Shouldn’t be Beautiful:  What Germany can teach the U.S. about remembering an ugly past without glorifying it” – http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2017/08/what_the_u_s_can_learn_from_germany_about_remembering_a_dark_period_of_history.html

“Many on the right seem to think that Black Lives Matter (BLM) should be considered a hate group because of their violent agency.  We know that is not true and there are many misplaced arguments against BLM.  https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/08/economist-explains-15?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fte%2Fbl%2Fed%2F  Let’s use the information here to learn more and better explain to our friends on the right.” (http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)