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

Note: To streamline this newsletter for folks who want to focus on Vermont-related issues, I’ve made some changes. I hope this helps you focus on the issues “closest” to you.

New tool available: ACA Open Enrollment begins November 1 and ends December 15.  “Former Obama administration officials are launching an effort to sign people up for ObamaCare” http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/353718-ex-obama-officials-launch-group-to-sign-people-up-for-obamacare

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

 

 

  • Thursday Oct 12 Daughters of Corn Dance Troupe at 6 pm at Ackley Hall, Green Mountain College, 1 Brennan Circle, Poultney – Free event starring a dance troupe from Nicaragua, sponsored by Compas de Nicaragua, a non-profit organization that supports “women in action”, a group of 40 women who organize health and education projects in the impoverished settlement of La Primavera in Managua; and a farmers coop in La Paz, Carazo who carry out sustainable living projects. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/daughters-of-corn-dance-troupe/Event?oid=8251909 and http://www.compas1.org/

 

  • Saturday Oct 14
    • Rights and Democracy Movement Politics Training in Manchester – “9:30 am to 4:30 pm at location TBD: “To move from protest to power we need to get serious about impacting elections, either by running for office ourselves or supporting campaigns run by our allies in the movement. Join RAD Political Director Isaac Grimm, RAD Comms Director Shay Totten, Bennington Representative Kiah Morris & former Manchester Steve Berry for a training on how to build powerful grassroots electoral campaigns. If you’d like to join our day long movement politics training, fill out this application form.  We will then follow up with a phone interview before accepting applicants.  Training starts with a grounding in how we got to our current political situation, our long-term agenda, and a power analysis, and then delves how to build our base, the nuts & bolts of planning & executing a campaign, messaging & media, fundraising, and operating a field campaign.The training costs $50, or signing up as a $10/month sustainer (though we will of course accommodate for those who cannot afford that).”
    • TD Bank Rutland protests (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/
    • Translating Identity Conference at 9 am – 6 pm at Dudley H. Davis Center, University of Vermont, Free “Opening its doors to the public once more, the Translating Identity Conference (TIC) explores a wide array of topics in discourses regarding gender and transgender identities, expressions, communities, and intersections. The largest conference of its kind in New England, TIC is a free, student organized, non-profit conference that seeks to reach not only the University of Vermont & the Burlington community, but the nation as a whole. A one-day event, TIC has numerous sessions to choose from at any time, ranging from healthcare to law to education, that are directed towards people at all levels of inclusion in the trans and allied communities. This conference is a safe space for everyone to come, learn, and enjoy themselves! This conference is open to the national public, but space is limited. Please register as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.” https://www.uvm.edu/translatingidentity
    • John Brown Day 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at 100 Amsden Way, Woodstock VT. “VT recently became the first state to officially recognize abolitionist John Brown’s courage and sacrifice, by naming 16 October “John Brown Day.” The 16th marks the anniversary of Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and the Woodstock Social Justice Initiative is hosting a Brown celebration and anti-racism event in Woodstock on the 14th. Please join the WSJI for a day of workshops and performances centered on John Brown’s Green Mountain State connection and his legacy today. Attendees will learn about our region’s complicated history with abolitionism and white supremacy, as well as develop skills needed to fight against today’s  institutionalized racism.” http://www.vnews.com/Woodstock-Teachers-Wants-Vermont-to-Honor-Abolitiionist-John-Brown-11948823 and https://dailyuv.com/randolph-vt/921281?eventInstanceId=65818

 

  • Sunday Oct 15 at 1 pm Liberty Union Party Meeting at Food Co-op in Brattleboro

 

  • Tuesday Oct 17
    • Nel Noddings Talk at 4 pm, at Green Mountain College – Nel Noddings, an American feminist, educationalist, and philosopher, will be speaking at an event that is free and open to the public at Green Mountain College.
    • Making of a Racist – at 7pm at College of St. Joseph Library – Join the Rutland NAACP “in a discussion of the book The Making of a Racist by Charles B. Dew, professor of American History at Williams College in Massachusetts.”
    • Film: Wonder Woman at 6 pm at Castleton University, Campus Center Room 1787 with discussion of the history of comic book superheroes, emergence of female comic book superheroes, and the biography of Wonder Woman’s creator and his interest in BDSM

 

  • Thursday Oct 19 The Minority Experience in Southern Vermont at 6:30-8:30 pm at Riley Center, Burr and Burton Academy, Manchester, VT: “MoveOn Manchester, in conjunction with the Rutland Area NAACP, will be hosting a Forum on Race in Southern Vermont on Thursday, October 19th at Burr & Burton Academy. If you are a member of a racial minority who has a story to tell, ie. who has experienced racism first hand in your time here- or if you know of someone in the area who has- we are seeking to share your stories with the community. We want to begin a conversation about race in the area by giving voice to those who have been affected by racism, educating the larger community about the realities of being a minority resident in Vermont, and ultimately looking at ways that schools, towns and states can begin to improve policies and practices to address the effects of racism on our citizens.” https://allevents.in/bennington%20county/the-minority-experience-in-southern-vermont/119172625494327

 

  • Saturday Oct 21
    • 10:30 am Democratic Party Rutland County Reorganization at Leahy Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center
    • 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/
    • Divided by Diversity showing and panel at 7 pm, at Unitarian Universalist Church, 117 West St., Rutland City, hosted by Rutland NAACP – “Join us for a free screening of “Divided by Diversity,” followed by a Q&A discussion with a panel of film participants to include coaches, players and a host parent. In 2010, five student athletes from the Bronx, NY were accepted to attend a private Catholic school in Vermont. A school in desperate need of students and five teens in search of an opportunity to escape one of the worst crime areas in New York should have been a perfect match. Instead, the youths were met with resistance and conjecture that they had been recruited to prop up a failing basketball program. Feelings of entitlement and resentment, fueled by social media and helicopter parenting, grew to a xenophobic frenzy. “Divided by Diversity” tells the story of how these young men, along with their coaches, teammates and supporters, endured physical and verbal attacks as well as covert attempts to have them returned to New York. It also reveals many of the modern elements that are contributing to racial tension nationwide. View the trailer here: http://www.carltonefilms.com/divided-by-diversity.html This event is open and free to the public.” https://www.facebook.com/events/1921908431404745/
    • Vermont ACLU Annual Meeting at 1:30-7 pm, Alumni Hall, Vermont College of Fine Arts Campus, Montpelier – panel, reports, awards, cash bar, appetizers and music

 

  • Thursday Oct 26 Progressive Party Rutland County Meeting – at 7 pm at the Farmers Food Center at 152 West St, Rutland City – with Lt. Governor Zuckerman and Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman

 

  • Fri-Sun Oct. 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.

 

  • Saturday Oct 28
    • 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)
    • Halloween Parade – Rutland County Democrats invite everyone, regardless of party or politics, to join in a celebration of Freedom and Unity. Come with your posters and regalia celebrating inclusion and diversity, from your Women’s March pink hats to your Black Lives Matter t-shirts: from your climate and economic justice signs to your #NoBanNoWallNoRaids posters and your Progressive banners. This is about putting country over party, and celebrating the strength of a nation that’s built on diversity. Join us and show the power of our faith in Freedom and Unity!

 

 

 

  • Thursday Nov 2 – 13th film showing at 6 pm at Castleton University, 86 Seminary St., Castleton – “Join us for a showing of the film 13th, an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. The film will be followed by a moderated discussion with light refreshments.” https://www.facebook.com/events/514763572249405/

 

  • Wed-Thur Nov 8-9 Vermont Creative Network Summit in Montpelier, “Mark your calendar for the upcoming Vermont Creative Network Summit – a gathering of those working to advance Vermont’s creative sector. The Summit theme: Connect to Advance. The agenda for this year’s convening will focus on efforts to finalize key creative sector policy issues to forward to the governor and the legislature in January. Opportunities for networking, observing case studies, and skills building will all be included and are designed to sharpen awareness of the power of Vermont’s creative economy as a vital part of the state’s overall economy.” http://vermontcreativenetwork.org/about/conferences/2017-summit/

 

SUCCESSES/GOOD NEWS

 

VERMONT-RELATED ITEMS (Commonly used contacts can be found here: https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-important-contacts/; A list of Vermont-based activism/political groups can be found here: https://vtactivist.org/organizations/)

1 The Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union is dragging its feet on moving forward with an assessment on attitudes towards race and racism in students, faculty and staff.

2 “The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is tightening enforcement procedures after a state auditor’s report found that that the department had failed to follow up on certain violations.” https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/02/auditor-state-regulator-failed-enforce-environmental-laws/#.Wdoyl1tSzIU

  • Action: Thank the Department of Environmental Conservation for its careful audit of violations of state environmental laws and for following-up to ensure that these are addressed: 802-828-1556 or Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, Main Building – 2nd Floor, One National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT 05620-3520

3 As mentioned above, a dance troupe will be appearing at Green Mountain College on Thursday.

4 As mentioned above, Ben & Jerry’s has signed a historical contract to ensure the rights of dairy workers in its supply chain.

5 Senator Leahy “will donate campaign contributions he received from a top Hollywood producer in the wake of reports that he has a decades-long record of sexual harassment.” https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/06/leahy-donate-weinstein-funds/#.WdoyrVtSzIU

  • Action: Thank Leahy for donating campaign contributions from Harvey Weinstein and showing that he won’t be complicit with this behavior: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/

6 If you’re like me, you watched the coverage of the Las Vegas shooting—in which Vermont-native Sandy Casey lost her life—with a feeling of hopelessness: If nothing happened after Sandy Hook, nothing will ever happen. This is particularly concerning in light of news reports about Vermont students asking for guns and Rutland students threatening the lives of black students! http://www.wcax.com/content/news/Vermont-schools-troubled-by-a-rash-of-threats-449813903.html  Then I read this amazing thread by Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand, giving all of the reasons that this kind of thinking is not only based on faulty information, it actually makes me complicit with the gun industry and the mass murderers who take advantage of loose gun laws: https://twitter.com/shannonrwatts/status/915005381860036610

7 As mentioned above, Vermont Attorney General Donovan is challenging the “Legality of EPA’s Rollback of Clean Water Protections”

  • Action: Send your thanks to Vermont Attorney General T. J. Donovan 802-828-3171 or Vermont Attorney General’s Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

8 The Attorney General of Massachusetts is suing 45’s administration over its new birth control legislation. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/10/06/maura-healey-sue-trump-over-birth-control-regulation/FJVUW6dzLpuvohWrMdd5aK/story.html?s_campaign=bostonglobe%3Asocialflow%3Atwitter

  • Action: Contact Vermont Attorney General T. J. Donovan 802-828-3171 or Vermont Attorney General’s Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001 or civilrights@vermont.govasking him to join the law suit against “the federal government over newly issued rules giving employers the right to deny women birth control coverage by claiming religious or moral objections.”

VERMONT-RELATED READING/LISTENING:

Read and share this article on the role of climate change in the recent weather disasters, written by the son of one of our own! http://www.panews.com/2017/09/19/on-honor-and-courage-after-a-flood/

Read Rutland NAACP’s post about its fruitful meeting with Shelburn Police Chief Aaron Noble https://www.facebook.com/naacprutland

“Randolph Librarian, Privacy Activist Sues Equifax….West filed a small claims suit in the Chelsea court. Her complaint outlines why she feels Equifax’s response was inadequate and asks that she receive credit monitoring from a third party and for a longer period of time than Equifax was offering, which was a year….”I’m really surprised more people haven’t done this; it’s super-easy,” said West.” http://www.vnews.com/Randolph-Librarian-Sues-Equifax-12765388

“Parent company of Burlington Telecom bidder registers neo-Nazi site” https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/06/parent-company-burlington-telecom-bidder-registers-neo-nazi-site/#.WdoyoVtSzIU

In light of recent issues with racism at UVM (see last week’s newsletter), this incident is especially concerning: “UVM student facing charge over alleged racist threats” https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/06/uvm-student-facing-charge-alleged-racist-threats/#.WdoyqVtSzIU

Read/listen to this beautiful and heartbreaking contribution to the Young Writers Project about the high cost of “casual racism”: http://digital.vpr.net/post/young-writers-project-casual-racism-side-language-based-angst#stream/0

Listen to this discussion about the toxic algae blooms on Vermont beaches: https://vtdigger.org/2017/09/28/deeper-dig-pollution-politics-lake-champlain/#.Wdo2lFtSzIU (for action items, see previous newsletters)

Listen to this NPR discussion about records related to the civil rights movement in Vermont’s state archives: http://digital.vpr.net/post/vermont-archives-complex-history-states-civil-rights-leadership-emerges?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#stream/0

Read/listen to a report about racial profiling by the U.S. Border Patrol in Vermont: http://digital.vpr.net/post/broad-jurisdiction-us-border-patrol-raises-concerns-about-racial-profiling#stream/0

“A leading Vermont environmental group is threatening to sue the state, saying a proposed rule limiting rowing and sculling on Craftsbury’s Great Hosmer Pond fails to meet several requirements set out in state law.”  https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/04/green-group-threatens-state-suit-hosmer-pond-rule/#.Wdo41ltSzIU

Previous newsletters have discussed the case of an 8 year old boy who was allegedly lynched in Claremont, NH (and thankfully survived). The local school board have risen concerns about student plans for a related demonstration: http://www.vnews.com/Claremont-School-Board-discusses-racial-policies-in-wake-of-alleged-hanging-12907363

“Two prominent nuclear critics sent state officials sharply worded criticisms this summer of NorthStar Group Services’ proposal to buy and decommission Vermont Yankee. NorthStar and Entergy, the Vernon plant’s current owner, now want state regulators to throw out both of those documents.” https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/04/entergy-northstar-want-critical-comments-nixed/#.WdpB_FtSzIU

A march was recently held in Brattleboro to bring awareness to Vermont’s high rate of incarceration, particularly for blacks http://www.reformer.com/stories/freedom-march-working-to-reduce-high-prison-population,520313

NATIONWIDE ISSUES

ACTION ITEMS 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/)

9 Trump hasn’t implemented the new Russian sanctions has missed the deadline to issue guidance to identify Russian intelligence agents, and hasn’t appointed an official to protect our elections from cyberattacks https://twitter.com/SimonWDC/status/914546503372427265 and http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/trump-still-hasnt-gotten-around-to-appointing-someone-to-protect-our-elections-from-cyberattacks/

10 “Republicans are gearing up to attempt to ram tax cuts for millionaires and corporations through Congress on the backs of the middle class and low-income workers.” This tax cut would give “28 percent of Vermont’s tax cuts to millionaires even though they only make up 0.3 percent of the population—an average tax cut of $159,000 per millionaire of 7.1 percent of their income. Meanwhile, the 41.5 of Vermonters that make less than $45,000 would only get 7.1 percent of the total tax cut—an average of $320 per person or 1.3 percent of their income.”

https://www.indivisible.org/blog/weeks-indivisible-actions-october-1-7/ and https://www.trumptaxscam.org/

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

11 Write: Your 1 House rep (look up). Script: Dear [name], I would like you to support accountability and transparency in the ICE detention system. In taxpayer-funded immigration detention centers around the US, in-depth reports show that ICE imprisons asylum-seekers and treats people inhumanely (providing inadequate food, insufficient medical care, and subjecting people to solitary confinement). Reps. Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal’s Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, addresses these wrongs. I would like you to co-sponsor this legislation. Thank you. Name, address Note: Peter Welch is not yet a co-sponsor!!!

12 Action: Oppose House bill reducing access to abortion to 20 weeks. Write: Or email your 2 senators (look up). Script: Dear Sen. [name], I’m writing because H.R. 36 just passed in the House. This bill takes away weeks of abortion access guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, invades the doctor-patient relationship, and restricts women’s liberty. I want you to publicly oppose this legislation as it moves to the Senate and stand up for women everywhere. Thank you. Name, address

13 Thank Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith for introducing legislation to protect the rights and dignity of vulnerable asylum seekers and prevent abuses in ICE immigration detention centers. I am so grateful for your advocacy and leadership. Address (PJ): 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101 Address (AS): 101 Evergreen Building, 15 S. Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057

14 Thank Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Don Beyer (D-VA) for calling on WH counsel to revoke Ivanka Trump’s security clearance. I appreciate your action in light of her undisclosed personal email accounts used for governmental purposes. Integrity and credibility matter. Thank you for advocating for both. Address (TL): 5055 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 310, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Address (DB): 5285 Shawnee Road, Suite 250, Alexandria, VA 22312

15 Thank OMB Dir. Mick Mulvaney for advocating for fire-affected western states in your message to congressional leaders. I appreciate your highlighting their needs in addition to funding hurricane-affected areas.  Address: Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503

16 Thank Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) for their efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections systems. I appreciate your recent press conference warning state elections officials that Russia is continuing to sow chaos in American politics. Thank you for your leadership, continuing investigation, and bipartisan concern for our democracy. Address (RB): 151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204, Asheville, NC 28801 Address (MW): 919 E. Main Street, Suite 630, Richmond, VA 23219

17 Thank Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for advocating for a select committee to investigate gun violence and recommend legislative action to Congress. I appreciate your tenacity on this important issue, your bipartisan approach, and your encouragement of decisive action. Thank you. Address: 90 7th St #2800, San Francisco, CA 94103

18 Thank you, Chief Justice Ginsburg, for asking Neil Gorsuch, “Where did ‘one person, one vote’ come from?” I appreciate your service to our country and its Constitution. Address: Chief Justice Ginsburg, Supreme Court of the United States, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20543

The following items are taken verbatim or nearly verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/ – for which I’m now a contributor!

19 From Chop Wood/Carry Water:  In the last few years, we’ve made a lot of progress in improving the efficiency of our nation’s vehicle fleet.  The Obama Administration rolled out higher fuel economy standards under the Clean Air Act, which led to more efficient cars, improved technology like hybrid/electric vehicles, and less greenhouse gas emissions. These standards are now at risk – Trump’s EPA wants to roll them back. https://www.ecowatch.com/epa-clean-car-standards-2493242811.html  But they can’t do so without going through the rulemaking process, and the comment period is open NOW!  Take a minute to tell the EPA that you support fuel economy standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!!!!  Comment in the Federal Register here. (Use your own words–even one or two sentences will help!)

20 Without much fanfare, the Trump administration has been quietly rolling back gun control measures.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/the-trump-administration-has-already-been-rolling-back-gun-regulations/2017/10/04/5eaad7d6-a86b-11e7-8ed2-c7114e6ac460_story.html?utm_term=.73ccfb090f66  Let’s make sure our MoCs know that we want them to do whatever they can to keep us safe from guns.

21 The Senate Judiciary Committee vote yesterday moved the nomination of Eric Dreiband, to serve as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, to the full Senate.  More than 70 civil rights groups are objecting to him:  http://www.npr.org/2017/09/06/548985268/civil-rights-division-nominee-eric-dreiband-appears-before-senate-panel  Our senators need to know that we oppose Dreiband’s nomination and urge them to vote no.

22 H.R. 953, a bill that would undercut the Clean Water Act and make it easier for pesticides and toxic materials to leech into our oceans and drinking water, passed the House and is up for Senate approval (https://www.bna.com/pesticide-spraying-bill-n73014451519/). We need the Senate to strengthen, not weaken, environmental protections. Let’s contact our senators and ask them to publicly commit to opposing this bill.

23 Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) yesterday signed multiple measures to protect our immigrant friends and neighbors, including the “Dignity Not Detention” legislation prohibiting the state government from entering into new contracts with private companies seeking to detain immigrants for pay and blocking private property from being used to build new detention centers. This is a key step towards ending for-profit detention centers in California, and it’s the first law of its kind in the country (http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/05/jerry-brown-signs-california-immigration-bills-into-law/). Let us take this as a model for our states, and contact our state legislators and governors and ask them to pass legislation similar to SB29.

24 In one breath, the NRA said that it will support regulations on bump stocks, but in the next breath advocates for Congress to pass a national right-to-carry reciprocity, thereby gutting state laws, in the guise of making citizens safer.  http://www.newsweek.com/nra-seeking-more-guns-even-it-gives-bump-stocks-679148 Let’s let Congress know that we them to ban assault rifles, conduct extensive background checks, limit the number of guns a  person can own or much ammunition, and to create a national database to keep track of all this.

25 Lest we forget, there are still an ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in our election with new insights daily:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-04/russia-needed-help-targeting-u-s-voters-two-ex-cia-chiefs-say and http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sd-senate-russia-interference-collusion-20171004-htmlstory.html  Let’s let our MoCs know that we support these investigations and want them to create an independent commission (http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/353418-the-2018-midterms-are-coming-and-russia-is-ready)  that would “systematically catalogue the methods of Russian interference and then to recommend ways to counter and defend against them.”

26 With the GOP budget passing in the House, we need to step-up our fight to keep our Senators from slashing valuable programs. The Union of Concerned Scientists has provided a tool to help us contact our Senators with messages showing our support for the endangered programs, with photos of ourselves in the field or lab or visiting local landmarks that would be affected by budget cuts. https://secure.ucsusa.org/onlineactions/aJZWFEj-Y0quGSB2YnhI6A2

27 In case it was not already clear why Roy Moore has no place in the US Senate (Republican candidate in Alabama to replace Jeff Sessions), his Facebook page makes it crystal clear with hideous racist memes: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/353891-roy-moores-facebook-page-shares-messages-attacking-nfl-players-over-anthem If we live in Alabama, let’s join get out the vote efforts and talk with friends and family about what is at stake if he gets to go to the US Capitol. Then, let’s all contribute to his Democratic challenger Doug Jones as we are able:https://dougjonesforsenate.com

28 For our younger activists out there who may not be old enough to vote yet, there are still ways to get involved! Students for Science is an advocate group whose goal is “to empower young people to engage with and advocate for science in the public and private sectors” https://www.studentsforscience.org/what-we-do/ There are walk-throughs on how to start a Students for Science club at school, as well as how to advocate for good science education with our local school boards (including tips on public speaking)  https://www.studentsforscience.org/advocacy Let’s check it out and support activism at every age level!

29 For educators, Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance offers some great resources we can use to help empower our youth in their citizenship and activism. There are resource materials like film kits, lesson plans, and teaching strategies https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources For educators themselves, we can also register for their webinars, which cover topics such as bullying, bias, class, gender and sexual identity, race and ethnicity, religion, and activism. Let’s take advantage of these tools, then empower our young activists https://www.tolerance.org/professional-development/webinars

30 To put “representative” back into our democracy, we need to end gerrymandering, and that means an end to politically biased redistricting commissions. Canada started using independent commissions in 1955, and has been enjoying fairer elections ever since:  https://www.vox.com/2014/4/15/5604284/us-elections-are-rigged-but-canada-knows-how-to-fix-them  So let’s ask Eric Holder and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to include this in their strategic plan. Email the link to the Vox article to info@democraticredistricting.com, and use the subject line, “Independent Redistricting Commissions Work!”

31 “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reversing course on the Justice Department’s policy that a 1964 civil rights law protects transgender individuals from discrimination. In a memo to U.S. attorneys dated Wednesday and obtained by BuzzFeed, Sessions said that the Justice Department will no longer interpret Title VII of of the Civil Rights Act to mean that the law’s protections extend to discrimination based on gender identity.” We can read the full article at The Hill. Let’s be creative in our response to this and let’s all ask our employers what they are doing to protect LGBTQ workers and demand a written response.  Let’s start by contacting the head of human resources. Give them a commitment date for a response and hold them to it.  Let’s escalate if they do not respond by contacting the company president and/or CEO. We can also do this if we are shareholders of companies.

32 “In late September, Donald Trump released a tax plan that would give away massive tax cuts to the rich, including over one billion dollars in tax cuts for Trump himself. The last thing we need is for the tax code to be even more rigged in favor of millionaires, billionaires, and corporate insiders. Instead, we need to fight for a tax code that makes the economy work better for working families. Even more tax breaks for the super rich will undermine our commitment to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and make it impossible to invest in the middle class.”  Let’s take the Not One Penny pledge to “Not One Penny in Tax Cuts for Millionaires, Billionaires, and Wealthy Corporations”:  https://notonepenny.org/

33 Long a gun control advocate, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Twitter that he will match all donations to Everytown for Gun Safety.  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/04/mike-bloomberg-offers-to-match-every-donation-to-fight-gun-violence.html Let’s donate here:  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ab-everytown-default

34 As part of our struggle against prejudice, we need to ensure that we’re bringing more voices to the table. WeNeedDiverseBooks helps to promote children’s literature that reflects the diverse lives of all readers. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/hashtag-movement-book-weneeddiversebooks-publishes-first-anthology-n703606 Let’s check-out the resources they provide to see how we can promote diversity, whether we’re readers or writers. Writers, let’s also look around for conferences (like MadCap’s 2018 Writing Cross-culturally Workshop) and other resources to help us hone our skills to write stories that sensitively and accurately portray diverse lives.

35 An activist for Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen made headlines on Wednesday by appearing at a Congressional hearing on the Equifax data breach dressed up as Rich Uncle Pennybags from the board game Monopoly. This creative tactic drew public attention to an important issue while at the same time making a critical point about the increasingly oligarchic nature of American politics. http://www.newsweek.com/monopoly-man-made-appearance-equifax-and-wells-fargo-hearings-heres-why-677984 As the weeks go by, our energy flags along with our ability to capture the public’s interest. So let’s check out http://www.creativeresistance.org/ for ideas for protest art, music, poetry, flash mobs, puppets and more. Let’s create with purpose!

36 Facebook and Google have become the largest purveyors of news in the world. Yet both corporations are still failing to grapple with the growing problem of fake news, and seem reluctant to don the mantle of responsible journalistic standards that reputable publishers have worn for generations. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/10/5/16410912/illusory-truth-fake-news-las-vegas-google-facebook. So, let’s encourage them to “put on their grownup pants” by leaving them feedback about their News features here  https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/268228883256323 and https://news.google.com/news/headlines?hl=en.

37 “The Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general is reviewing Secretary David Shulkin’s 10-day taxpayer-funded trip to Europe in July, during which Shulkin and his wife spent time shopping and sightseeing in Denmark and the U.K.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/veterans-affairs-inspector-general-is-reviewing-david-shulkins-10-day-europe-trip/ Let’s write to Shulkin expressing our concern over this misuse of taxpayer funds (especially given that he’s an official overseeing Veterans Affairs, which has a history of mismanagement): David Shulkin, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420. Let’s also share our concerns with the VA Inspector General: 1-800-488-8244 (being sure to mention if we are a veteran or have family members who are veterans).

38 The Action Network is launching a letter writing campaign to ask our members of Congress to support a clean Dream Act (S. 1615). They have provided background information, talking points, and a link to connect us with our MoC: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/sign-and-send-a-personalized-letter-pass-a-clean-dream-act-bill

39 It took three airplanes on 9/11 to make airport security safer. It took one shoe-bomber to make flying safer.  It took seven Tylenol murder victims to change packaging protections for safer over-the-counter medications.  It took three deaths to ban lawn darts to make us safer. Our government has long been involved in helping to make citizens safer. Safety from guns, however, seems to be directly related to the influence of the NRA: http://billmoyers.com/story/todays-nra-price-freedom/   Yesterday, following the most deadly gun tragedy in the U.S., House Republicans voted 231 to 189 to block an up-or-down vote on creating a bipartisan Select Committee on Gun Violence, which would have bene charged with studying and reporting back common sense legislation to address the gun violence epidemic within 60 days.  https://pelosi.house.gov/news/press-releases/pelosi-statement-after-house-gop-blocks-vote-to-create-bipartisan-select  Let’s contact our reps and tell them that we want this to happen.  We want Congress to begin this process of safeguarding our lives against gun violence.

40 While we know that gun violence in our country is at historic proportions, Congress has time and again successfully blocked the CDC from researching the subject due to pressure from the NRA.  Accurate information is a great basis for public policy on guns. http://www.newsweek.com/government-wont-fund-gun-research-stop-violence-because-nra-lobbying-675794   Let’s contact our MoCs again and ask them to support H.R.1832/S.834—a bill that will fund $10 million for the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence prevention and firearm safety for the next five years. http://www.stophandgunviolence.org/sen-markey-bill-research/

41 It looks like the SHARE Act, which would loosen gun restrictions, has been at least temporarily stalled in the House, following the mass shooting in Las Vegas http://politi.co/2yEq0qv Still, let’s make sure that we let our MoC know that we will not be complacent, and that we expect them to take legislative action. If our representative is a cosponsor of the SHARE Act or Hearing Protection Act, we can also ask that they withdraw their support for the bills https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3668/cosponsors https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/367/cosponsors

45 Trump’s E.P.A. chief has held back-to-back meetings, briefing sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates, according to a320-page accounting of his daily schedule from February through May, the most detailed look yet at what Mr. Pruitt has been up to since he took over the agency.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/us/politics/epa-scott-pruitt-calendar-industries-coal-oil-environmentalists.html?emc=edit_nn_20171003&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=79344637&te=1 Let’s contact Pruitt and let him know he’s talking to the wrong people and he needs to meet with environmental groups to understand how to protect America’s most precious resources on our planet. Contact. Phone, 202-564-4700  or via Twitter @EPAScottPruitt or https://www.epa.gov/home/forms/contact-epa

46 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) have reintroduced the Affordable College Textbook Act (Senate bill S.1864; House bill H.R.3840). The proposed act aims to create alternatives to the rising prices of college textbooks in order to remove at least one obstacle from attending a higher education facility. The price of textbooks has risen 88 percent between 2006 and 2016, compared to a 63 percent increase of college tuition and fees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Let’s read the full story at The DePaulia.  Let’s tell our Senators to support S1864 and our representatives to support HR3840.

47 Trump’s proposed budget cuts funding for the National Cancer Institute by 19%. “During October, we raise awareness and encourage people to take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” Melania Trump said in a statement released ahead of the White House being illuminated in pink light Sunday per the Washington Examiner. But in Trump’s 2018 budget request titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” published in May, his administration slashed $1 billion from The National Cancer Institute in comparison to its 2017 allocation.  Let’s tell the White House and our MoC’s that we want the National Cancer Institute to be funded fully:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

48 Congress is considering legislation that would eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for tigers, rhinos, elephants and other species. This would seriously damage our country’s ability to ensure we are not contributing to the illegal wildlife trade (https://www.natlawreview.com/article/proposed-changes-to-endangered-species-act-pit-animals-against-industry). The World Wildlife Fund is organizing activists to contact Congress and ask them to protect the Endangered Species Act by voting no on H.R. 2603. We can join them in making our voices heard at this link.

49  “Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of more than 425 national, state and local endorsing organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This requires big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, not to live by their own set of rules.”  Let’s check this group out:  https://americansfortaxfairness.org/

50 Over the weekend as our Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was in China working on diplomatic overtures to North Korea, Trump tweeted this: “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…”  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-trump/trump-to-top-u-s-diplomat-dont-bother-talking-to-north-korea-idUSKCN1C61J0 Let’s write to Secretary Tillerson to ask him to stand up to our president’s foreign policy malpractice: The Honorable Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20520

51 In spite of Trump’s tweets to the contrary (and his dedication of a golf trophy over the weekend to those suffering in Maria’s wake)things are not going well in Puerto Rico: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/amp/rundown/first-tour-puerto-rico-top-general-calls-damage-worst-hes-ever-seen and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-survival/in-puerto-rico-acute-shortages-plunge-the-masses-into-survival-struggle-idUSKCN1C61SZ Let’s stay in touch with our MoC to insist that the waiver of the Jones Act be extended beyond the 10-day mark and that we mobilize our resources much faster to save lives.

52 This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security plans to mark up legislation for the border wall, titled Border Security for America Act of 2017 (H.R. 3548)  http://bit.ly/2fTVpy2 Meanwhile, Senator Cornyn has introduced a similar bill in the Senate: Building America’s Trust Act of 2017 (S. 1757). It is hard to imagine a larger waste of money, or greater symbol of white nationalism and isolationism. Let’s call our MoC, and make sure that they oppose both pieces of legislation.

53 “Since 1998, the National Rifle Association has donated $3,555,194 to current members of Congress.”  Let’s use this to see how much money has been given to MoCs from our state: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/nra-donations/  Let’s tell these recipients that while we understand their interest in the “right to bear arms”, that we also believe that all of us have a right to live and not worry about being shot going about our lives.

54 We knew that Trump does not believe in negotiation, but we now have further evidence of his disdain for those who would talk to the North Koreans: “A day after Tillerson said the US had direct lines of communication to North Korea and was ‘probing’ to find ways to resolve escalating nuclear tension between the two countries, Trump tweeted that his top diplomat should ‘save his energy’ as ‘we’ll do what has to be done!’ ‘I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” the president wrote. . . .’ ”: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/30/rex-tillerson-us-north-korea-direct-communication  No talking—but Trump is happy to flood the international market with high-tech weapons, exacerbating conflicts all over the world: in the first 8 months of 2017, the value of US arms sales, commercial and military, has doubled compared to the same period in 2016: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/29/trump-global-arms-sales-243282  We must stop this march toward militarization by flooding the Pentagon, and particularly the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (703-697-9709 or 2800 Defense Pentagon, DC 20301-2800) and the big arms dealers—Lockheed Martin (420 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10170 or (212) 953-1510), Boeing (100 North Riverside, Chicago, Illinois 60606 or 312-544-2000), and General Dynamics (365 Passaic St # 235, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662 or (201) 518-2325) —with the message that we do not want our country to arm the world.

55 Last week Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced legislation, the “Native Species Protection Act”, S1863, that would strip federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for animals and plants found in only one state. “Known as intrastate species, such imperiled animals and plants make up the majority of the 1,655 species protected under the Act. The legislation is backed by extreme anti-wildlife organizations that oppose the protection of the Utah prairie dog, an animal only found in Utah. In addition to ending protections for the prairie dog, the legislation would terminate protections for all 1,098 intrastate species, including 497 species in Hawaii, 234 species in California, 86 species in Florida and 20 species in Utah.” Let’s read this press release from the Center for Biological Diversity then contact our own Senators to let them know we oppose anti-wildlife S1863. If we are Utahns, let’s let our two Senators know that they are not representing us.

56 Representative Carolyn Maloney has introduced the Supporting Working Moms Act, or SWMA (H.R. 3255), which would amend the Fair Labors Act to include salaried employees in being provided reasonable break time for breastfeeding moms http://bit.ly/2g03hhE Currently, the law protects non-salaried workers, which leaves nursing mothers in professions like teaching to face incredible challenges when trying to find time to pump breastmilk throughout the work day. Let’s use the link above to contact our MoC and ask that they support this legislation.

57 Vets are a prime target for for-profit college recruitment. The V.A. is considering rolling back ethics rules that prevent their 330,000 employees from investing in for-profit colleges. The rules prevent possible conflicts of interest, including steering vets to colleges in which even high-level V.A. officials have a financial interest. Congress has recently opened inquiries into an increase of abuses of vets by for-profit colleges. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/business/veterans-affairs-ethics.html Let’s contact our MoCs to make sure the rules hold.

58 The Air Force Academy superintendent addressed cadets, faculty, staff and cadet candidates in the wake of racial slurs found written on the dormitory message boards of five African American cadets at the Academy’s Preparatory School. “If you’re outraged by those words, then you’re in the right place,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria. “That kind of behavior has no place at the Prep School, has no place at USAFA and has no place in the United States Air Force.” We can read the story from the Air Force Academy’s site.  We can send “thank you’s” for his leadership to: Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Superintendent, US Air Force Academy, 2304 Cadet Dr, Colorado Springs CO 80840.

59 Oklahoma officials are blaming the Trump administration for rising health-care premiums in the state after the administration missed a deadline to approve a key waiver for the state under the ACA. In a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, Oklahoma’s health commissioner rips the administration for missing a final deadline for a State Innovation Waiver, which would be used to lower premiums around the state. The waivers provide federal funds “to implement innovative ways to provide access to quality health care that is at least as comprehensive and affordable as would be provided absent the waiver,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Cline blamed the administration for causing higher rates for “thousands” of Oklahoma residents. “The lack of timely waiver approval will prevent thousands of Oklahomans from realizing the benefits of significantly lower insurance premiums in 2018.”  http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/353205-oklahoma-blames-trump-admin-for-higher-premiums?amp”  The ACA is law but Trump continues to try to implode the program by reducing the enrollment period, ordering long website maintenance on weekends, cancelling advertising and now rejecting the State Innovation Waiver for OK. Is our state rejection next? Let’s call our Governors and senators and ask them to speak up on supporting the ACA. These games are affecting the health and lives of so many American citizens.

60 Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator is threatening to use his executive power to undermine the Justice Department’s work enforcing anti-pollution laws. The EPA has, for decades, allocated funds to the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) of the Justice Department to litigate cleanup of Superfund sites. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/us/politics/scott-pruitt-epa-justice-department-funding.html  The Acting Attorney General of the Division is Jeffrey Wood, a former environmental counsel to Senator Jeff Sessions and others not friendly to environmental health.   According to the page with the organizational chart for the Department of Justice, “The mission of the Environment and Natural Resources Division is, through litigation in the federal and state courts, to safeguard and enhance the American environment; acquire and manage public lands and natural resources; and protect and manage Indian rights and property.”  Let’s contact Acting AG Wood and demand that he defend his Division’s need for continued level funding so that his division may fulfill its mission. We can call (202)514-2701 or use this link to contact: https://www.justice.gov/contact-us    Let’s also contact our MoC’s and ask them to make sure this line item of funding is made a permanent item in the EPA’s budget.    Let’s also make sure our local media aware of this proposed defunding, and ask them to report on how a Superfund site near us was prosecuted and litigated.

61 Carbon footprint reduction begins at home. Nearly every state has a no- or low-cost program for in-home energy audits, accompanied by no- or low-cost remediation of wasted energy. https://energy.gov/energysaver/home-energy-audits Let’s use this document to help us find home energy saving programs we can use in our state:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PAeVlsoWuRcLA90CpqEGvC_8RVvNEOYSrPwVrk7CnmE/edit

PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC

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

GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT

Rise Stronger: https://www.risestronger.org/sign_up  Create a free account to:

  • “Receive our United States of Resistance digest in your inbox every week;
  • Create a personalized People’s Calendar based on your zip and interests…plus get events sent directly to your phone;
  • Join your RISE Stronger state chapter and attend meet-ups;
  • Join and contribute to RISE policy working groups, issue-based discussion, and get call to action notifications.
  • Attend our members-only webinars and All-Hands On RISE Stronger monthly calls.”

VIEWING

Interview with psychologist Jonathan Haidt about the ways in which liberals and conservatives think differently (with implications for how we can cross the divide) http://billmoyers.com/segment/jonathan-haidt-explains-our-contentious-culture/ To take the questionnaire: http://www.moralfoundations.org/questionnaires

READING

“Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream” https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/heres-how-breitbart-and-milo-smuggled-white-nationalism?utm_term=.pqaV9EqBP#.inA6JnzmO

Disturbing story about violations of the elderly’s rights https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-the-elderly-lose-their-rights