Suggestions/additions welcome. Don’t see your issue, event or organization? Send it to me.
“The protests in favor of preserving net neutrality are coming up on December 7th at Verizon stores: http://verizonprotests.com Let’s plan to attend as we are able or plan one if one is not near us.” h/t https://roganslist.blogspot.com
“Warning: free government grant scam making the rounds: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0113-government-grant-scams” h/t https://roganslist.blogspot.com
- Tuesday December 5 Rutland NAACP at 7 pm at Leahy Center, Rutland Regional Medical Center
- Saturday December 9
- TD Bank Rutland protests 10am-noon – 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
- Rutland City Committee of the Vermont Progressive Party Meeting at noon-1 pm at the Speakeasy Cafe, 67 Center Street in Rutland. All are welcome. We will discuss our priorities and actions/events that we may like to hold in 2018. Contact Glenn Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-287-0980 for more information.
- Sunday December 10 Rights and Democracy Annual Assembly 1-6 pm, free, at Lebanon High School, 195 Hanover Street, Lebanon, New Hampshire. RSVP: http://www.radvt.org/assembly2017
- Sunday December 17
- Restoring Civil Discourse 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, UU Church, 117 West St, Rutland – Justin Classen, Rutland County Progressive Party Chair, will be talking about the need for a return to civil discourse https://www.facebook.com/events/403061610114279/
- Nonviolence Book Club at 2 pm Northshire Bookstore Manchester – reading chapters 5-8 of Charles Eisenstein’s The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible
- Our own Fossil Free VSC had a great meeting with the Financial Committee of the Vermont Board of Colleges. The Board agreed to work on a plan for divesting in banks that invest in fossil fuels. Good job everyone!
- VT AG Donovan joined a court brief to protect women’s healthcare coverage https://twitter.com/VTAttorneyGen/status/935595607875604481 and https://vtdigger.org/2017/11/28/vermont-joins-in-supporting-contraceptives-coverage-mandate/#.WiK89FWnHIU
- James O’Keefe, a controversial conservative, spoke in Middlebury College last week. Despite rumors that he had been invited by a conservative group on campus, the college had never heard of the group that had supposedly invited him. His talk was sparsely attended by the public, suggesting that Vermonters just don’t have time for extremists peddling disinformation. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2017/11/30/okeefe-exercises-his-right-to-free-speech-without-disruption-in-middlebury?utm_content=buffer014ab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer and https://twitter.com/sevendaysvt/status/936397621840707586 and https://twitter.com/mokawa/status/936404464105394176 and https://twitter.com/sevendaysvt/status/935959705846992896
- Jared Kushner has been implicated by Mike Flynn, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/jared-kushner-michael-flynn-russia/index.html
- “Federal Judge Grants Permission To Subpoena Trump Organization on Emoluments” https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/936063307076825089
- See http://www.peaceisloud.org/small-victories/
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 Don’t forget, ACA Open Enrollment will end December 15th http://info.healthconnect.vermont.gov/Get_Started
- The enrollment period is abbreviated and advertising has been curtailed, so please help to get the word out to your friends and family! https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/dates-and-deadlines/ Note: It appears that the enrollment website will be closed every single Sunday between midnight and noon (ET) except December 10. https://twitter.com/philgalewitz/status/911305725154140163
- “We know that the budget for navigators (helpers) for the ACA was cut way back, but they are still out there. If we, or someone we know, needs assistance, here’s a tool we can use and share to find the help:” https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/en-us/widget/ From http://roganslist.blogspot.com
- “org is inviting us to become #ACAdefenders to help spread the word about this shortened ACA enrollment period. Let’s help: http://action.momsrising.org/signup/acadefender-2017 Once we sign up, we will get a link to an online toolkit that will have updates!” From http://roganslist.blogspot.com
- “Consider making a Craigslist post on your local Craigslist’s Community, General Community page, Free Furniture page, or on any page we think many people will look, like this one: https://syracuse.craigslist.org/com/d/get-covered-for-health/6374774380.html” from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/
2 Last week, I participated in a Rights and Democracy teleconference on criminal justice reform. Here are the action items that we were given:
- Action: Let’s keep an eye on this legislation, which is expected to be carried over into the next session:
- H 108 “An act relating to limiting drug-related criminal liability and civil forfeiture actions against persons associated with an approved safer drug consumption program” http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2018/H.108
- H 468 “An act relating to medication-assisted treatment at State correctional facilities” http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2018/H.468
- H 275 “An act relating to access to emergency buprenorphine” http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2018/H.275
- H 426 “An act relating to monetary thresholds for criminal penalties” http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2018/H.423
- H 167 “An act relating to alternative approaches to addressing low-level illicit drug use” http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2018/H.167
- Action: Let’s educate ourselves about the ACLU’s new campaign for criminal justice reform https://www.aclu.org/issues/mass-incarceration/smart-justice and sign their petition calling for fair and impartial policing in Vermont: https://twitter.com/ACLU_VT/status/930520830907478017
3 “Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George is throwing her weight behind an effort to create supervised injection facilities for street drug users.” George initially opposed safe injection sites. “Despite her qualms, the new state’s attorney assembled a commission of medical professionals, law enforcement and other stakeholders to study the idea. Following the commission’s recommendation, George said she believes the state should legalize safe injection sites. What changed her mind? George said that the commission presented her with an “overwhelming amount of research” demonstrating that these facilities reduce overdose deaths and needle-related infections; encourage users to seek treatment; and reduce public drug use. Studies have also refuted concerns that the facilities encourage drug use and increase crime.” https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2017/11/29/chittenden-states-attorney-calls-for-safe-injection-sites Unfortunately, Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson has expressed objections to safe injection sites. https://twitter.com/nealgoswami/status/935919537702260736 and http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2017/11/29/safe-injection-sites-needed-vermont-says-study-group/902666001/
- Action: Contact your Congressmen, asking them to support H108, the safe injection site bill (http://legislature.vermont.gov/). Safe injection sites save lives (150 lives in Vermont so far this year). They connect people to services, including drug treatment. And it’s much cheaper for Vermont taxpayers to provide safe injection sites than it is to pay for the ER to save patients who’ve overdosed. (Talking points provided on last week’s Rights and Democracy Criminal Justice Reform teleconference.)
- Action: Express your support for safe injection sites at http://dps.vermont.gov/contact or Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson, Department of Public Safety, 45 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05671 or 802-241-5000
- Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message to express your support for safe injection sites
4 As mentioned above, VT AG Donovan joined a court brief to protect women’s access to healthcare.
- Action: Thank AG Donovan for his work: 802 828-3171 or Vermont Attorney General’s Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
5 Vermont Republicans have committed to opposing a $15/hr minimum wage http://digital.vpr.net/post/vermont-republicans-take-aim-push-15-minimum-wage#stream/0 and http://digital.vpr.net/post/senate-president-tim-ashe-says-15-minimum-wage-personal-priority-2018#stream/0
- Action: Join the digital Raise the Wage Town Hall online this Tuesday at 7 pm https://www.facebook.com/events/129669531051432
6 The FCC’s proposal to roll back net neutrality will strike a heavy blow to Vermont. https://www.timesargus.com/articles/fighting-the-fight/ and http://digital.vpr.net/post/leahy-sanders-and-welch-all-agree-repealing-net-neutrality-will-damage-internet#stream/0 “Lest anyone think that ISPs won’t use paid prioritization (aka internet fast lanes) to make more money, note that Comcast has already started changing its public position in response to the FCC’s announced intention to repeal net neutrality rules (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/comcast-quietly-drops-promise-not-to-charge-tolls-for-internet-fast-lanes/)”. The proposal to roll back Net Neutrality is expected to be approved on December 14th in a 3-to-2 party line vote from the agency’s five commissioners:https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/21/565682679/fcc-unveils-plan-to-repeal-net-neutrality-rules h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/
- Action: Call/write your friends/family in red states and ask them to contact their members of congress urging them to preserve Net Neutrality. Indivisible offers these talking points: https://www.indivisible.org/resource/dont-let-trump-destroy-internet-protect-net-neutrality/
- Action: Share your concerns with the FCC commissioners are Ajit Pai, Chairman (Pai@fcc.gov); Mignon Clyburn (Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov); Michael O’Rielly (Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov); Brendan Carr (Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov); and Jessica Rosenworcel (Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov). They can all also be reached by phone at 1-888-225-5322, by fax at 1-866-418-0232, or by mail at Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554 (h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
- Action: “If it hears us and wants to, Congress can stop the FCC from ending net neutrality, whatever the vote of Ajit Pai’s committee. Consumer Reports urges us to call our MoCs and urge our leaders to save the internet for us all. It provides us with an easy link: https://action.consumerreports.org/netneutrality20171115call “ from http://roganslist.blogspot.com/
- Action: Apparently, “someone has been offering fake comments impersonating us and speaking out in favor of the FCC’s net neutrality move. The FCC refuses to help investigate this despite multiple requests by NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: https://medium.com/@AGSchneiderman/an-open-letter-to-the-fcc-b867a763850a We need to tell the FCC that the December 14 vote cannot go ahead until this situation is investigated and exposed. Contact: https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact” (h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
- Action: “Here are two more ways to make our thoughts about net neutrality known: A) Call the FCC’s customer service number at 888-225-5322. Leave a message with the simply saying you oppose any effort to weaken net neutrality, and B) Step 1: Go to com, Step 2: Click “express” (over to the right), Step 3: Tell the FCC that you support Net Neutrality” (h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/)
- Action: “From The Boston Globe: “Some of the biggest Internet providers want to make sure that once the Federal Communications Commission votes to deregulate the broadband industry, states won’t be able to set up their own, new regulations. Comcast and Verizon have both asked telecom regulators to make it clear that the FCC’s new policy on Net neutrality would preempt state and local regulations that might read differently. The request marks the industry’s latest step to weaken federal rules that regulate broadband companies like legacy telephone companies.” Let’s contact our state attorneys general to let them know that we do not agree with this federal overreach on states’ rights and that we expect them to respond to this threat with legal action against the FCC.” h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/
- Action: This is probably going to rankle for some after the recent debacle in Burlington, but here’s another suggestion: “Net Neutrality? What can we do? Let’s read this article from Motherboard: To Save Net Neutrality, We Must Build Our Own Internet “We must end our reliance on big telecom monopolies and build decentralized, affordable, locally owned internet infrastructure…There has never been a better time to start your own internet service provider, leverage the publicly available fiber backbone, or build political support for new, local-government owned networks. Net neutrality as a principle of the federal government will soon be dead, but the protections are wildly popular among the American people and are integral to the internet as we know it. Rather than putting such a core tenet of the internet in the hands of politicians, whose whims and interests change with their donors, net neutrality must be protected by a populist revolution in the ownership of internet infrastructure and networks. In short, we must end our reliance on big telecom monopolies and build decentralized, affordable, locally owned internet infrastructure. The great news is this is currently possible in most parts of the United States.” Let’s keep watch for updates from Motherboard and look for groups near us that may be interested taking on or advocating for similar projects. We can follow Motherboard on Facebook.” h/t http://roganslist.blogspot.com/
7 An alliance of Upper Valley faith groups that believes in universal healthcare is asking “area residents to write down and share their struggles and successes in finding access to health care coverage through Medicare, Medicaid and plans offered in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.” http://www.vnews.com/Seeking-Stories-of-Health-Care-Odysseys-14035758
- Action: By Monday, “visit unitedvalleyinterfaithproject.org and click on Stories Project and then on the Share Your Story button” to submit your story.
8 According to Seven Days journalist, John Walters, Governor Phil Scott announced last week that he thinks Vermont is spending too much money on education. https://twitter.com/jwalters7D/status/936321308446601217 According to Burlington Representative Barbara Rachelson, “We spend $143.6 million in #VT on corrections and $86.7 million on higher education.” https://twitter.com/BRVermont/status/936269115286851584
- Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message to ask him why he thinks our children aren’t worth more.
9 Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform (VCJR) have been “Getting some reports that #VT inmates at Camp Hill PA facility are sleeping in shoes and clothes to keep warm.” https://twitter.com/V4CJR/status/936360923966603265
- Action: If you have access to sources who can speak to this, please contact VCJR at @V4CJR or email@example.com
10 “Coaches who are running tryouts for winter sports at South Burlington High School this week are themselves being coached on how to respond if student athletes decide to “take a knee” during the national anthem before games. As the protests against racial injustice spread from the National Football League to local sporting events, high school and college officials are preparing for trickle-down. The First Amendment protects the protesters, and there should be no effort to suppress them, SBHS principal Patrick Burke and student activities director Michael Jabour wrote in an email Monday to coaches, officials and athletes. They also spelled out when school officials can cry foul: “Fans who do not follow our school’s expectations regarding appropriate conduct will be confronted and may face ejection from our events.”” https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/vermont-schools-prepare-for-more-kneeling-athletes/Content?oid=10683249
- Action: Let’s encourage our local school administrators to adopt a similar policy.
11 On Wednesday, Governor Phil Scott announced his plan for spending the nearly $19 million settlement to be paid by Volkswagen as a settlement for selling vehicles that “were designed to cheat air emissions tests.” Scot says the “’Funds will go towards projects that reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by replacing or repowering diesel vehicles with cleaner, innovative technologies.’” But his plan has already fallen under fire from environmentalists who claim that it’s a “scattershot approach that disperses only small amounts to various clean-energy projects,” including so-called “clean diesel,” which is a misnomer, since there’s no such thing as “clean” diesel. Among other things, “VPRIG is calling on the administration to invest the bulk of the money in electrifying public school buses across Vermont.” http://digital.vpr.net/post/environmental-groups-dubious-scotts-plan-volkswagen-settlement-money#stream/0 and https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2017/11/29/walters-one-small-step-on-volkswagen-settlement-funds?utm_content=buffer6a972&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
- Action: Read about the plan http://dec.vermont.gov/air-quality/vw and submit comments to https://anrweb.vt.gov/ANR/VWBMPForm/ or VW Environmental Mitigation Trust, Attn: Deirdra Ritzer, The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation
Air Quality and Climate Division, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, VT 05620, or firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax (802) 828-1250. “All public comments (verbal and written) will be made available to the public once the BMP is finalized.”
12 The federal tax legislation that passed Friday night/Saturday morning could result in as much as $4.5 million fewer dollars for Vermont to build affordable housing http://digital.vpr.net/post/vogel-tax-reform-and-housing#stream/0 But the good news is that the fight isn’t over. The House and the Senate still have to reconcile their two bills.
- Action: Urge your friends and family in red state to contact their Members of Congress.
- Action: Contact your Members of Congress urging them to demand that reconciliation of the tax scam be tabled if the Republicans want a budget vote. (And ask your friends and family in blue states to ask the same of their Members of Congress.) (h/t Matthew Chapman)
- Action: Adopt a swing district for the 2018 election and flip Congress. You can start with the current race in Alabama between Roy Moore, a pedophile, and Doug Jones, who prosecuted the murderers of the little girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. According to a new poll, Roy Moore is up 5 points on Doug Jones in the race for the Alabama Senate seat. http://thehill.com/campaign-polls/362305-poll-roy-moore-up-5-points-on-dem-opponent Let’s make sure that we’re talking to our friends and family in Alabama about the importance of voting for Doug. And let’s join a campaign to reach out to additional voters like this one through https://postcardstovoters.org/
13 Rights and Democracy is asking Vermonters to sign on their petition urging the “Senate to reject the nomination of Tom Pelham to a vacancy on the Green Mountain Care Board.”
- Action: Check out the petition and Rights and Democracy’s argument http://www.radvt.org/tags/_pelhamletter
ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT
Recommended by Sue: http://dismasofvt.org/rutland-dismas/ Dismas House provides housing for former inmates and helps them transition to life outside of prison. http://www.rutlandreader.com/second-chances-rutlands-dismas-house-provides-a-sense-of-community-for-former-inmates/
- Sue recommends participating in their monthly dinners: Members of the public prepare the dinner and then eat with the residents, enjoying friendly conversation.
Teaching black history through street art: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/street-artist-kasso-paints-black-history-at-middlebury-college/Content?oid=10441499&utm_content=buffer266b9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Commentary from a local on Trump’s efforts to block the proposed AT&T/Time Warner merger http://digital.vpr.net/post/oppenheim-blocking-big-deal#stream/0
What the federal government could do to lower drug prices: http://digital.vpr.net/post/report-heres-what-feds-can-do-cut-drug-prices#stream/0
Using children’s games to save endangered languages: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/can-saving-endangered-languages-be-childs-play/Content?oid=10679000
“How The Loss Of U.S. Psychiatric Hospitals Led To A Mental Health Crisis” http://digital.vpr.net/post/how-loss-us-psychiatric-hospitals-led-mental-health-crisis#stream/0
UVM Medical Center has faced several lawsuits for discrimination against people with hearing disabilities https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/23/seven-years-disability-discrimination-complaints-target-uvm-medical-center/#.WiKy2FWnHIW
An editorial on the recent report of inhumane treatment of Vermont inmates housed in Pennsylvania http://www.vnews.com/edit-vn-jrf-prisoner-vn-112917-14008307
On the empathy gap behind the horrifying treatment of Vermont inmates https://vcjr.salsalabs.org/matindocemail1_copy1_copy1_copy2/index.html
On the problems that college students face thanks to the rollback of protections overseen by the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau http://digital.vpr.net/post/what-upheaval-federal-consumer-watchdog-could-mean-students#stream/0
On the need to press for legislation to protect transgender individuals http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-generation-transgender-americans-wants-change-laws-not-just-minds#stream/0
On the existential crisis in some white male circles at the prospect of competition from women and people of color http://www.vnews.com/column-lange-vn-112917-14005943
NATIONWIDE ISSUES Commonly used contacts can be found here: https://mindsworth.blog/2017/07/14/vermont-important-contacts/ The following items are taken verbatim or nearly verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com (for which I’m a contributor).
14 “In the first 10 months of the 115th Congress, Republicans have introduced more than 80 bills that attack public lands, weaken environmental safeguards on those lands or turn over control to states and local governments. These attacks come despite the fact that the vast majority of voters across political parties support protecting and maintaining forests, national parks, monuments and other public lands and waters.” Bills are advancing in the House now: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/public-lands-11-29-2017.php Our representatives need to know how we feel about these bills.
15 Yesterday, House Republicans passed another bill to hand over protected lands to industry. H.R.3905 would allow toxic sulfide-ore mining in a particularly vulnerable habitat area. It’s been established that mining here would pollute the local watershed, but Congressman Tom Emmer’s bill would do just that (http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/government-and-politics/4367346-house-passes-bill-reopen-areas-near-bwcaw-copper-nickel). Let’s call our senators and let them know we oppose this and all other attempts to turn protected areas over to industry, and want the bill to go no further. We can find talking points here and see how our House reps voted here. (Via Calvin’s List)
16 Earlier this month the House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill, called the “SECURE American Energy Act” (H.R. 4239), that can only be described as an oil industry wish-list. H.R. 4239 would eviscerate one of the core provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the law that for more than 45 years has been the bulwark of conservation for many of our most iconic ocean species. The Protection Act works by placing safeguards on human activities, like offshore oil exploration, that harm whales, dolphins and other marine mammals. Simply put, H.R. 4239 would gut a whole lot of those safeguards. Let’s read more at EcoWatch and sign this petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to save the MMPA. Let’s also send emails and postcards to our representatives opposing HR4239 and specifying our support for the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
17 In July, the U.S. House of Representatives issued what the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) called a “death warrant” for 90,000 wild horses when it passed the “Stewart Amendment” to a 2018 spending bill that would allow for the destruction of wild horses and burros that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) considers to be surplus. The Senate has yet to weigh in on the subject, but if it concurs, the amendment could lead to the killing of more than 90,000 wild horses on the range and in holding facilities. AWHC is calling on Congress to reject the Stewart amendment in favor of appropriations language that would require the BLM to use non-lethal birth control to manage America’s wild herds, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. The Senate is expected to release its 2018 Interior Appropriations bill later this month. We can read the full story at EcoWatch. Let’s contact our Senators via email, postcard and their web contact forms to let them know we support non-lethal birth control to manage the wild herds, not slaughter.
18 Scott Pruitt continues to dismiss the need to combat climate change and to push forward with his efforts to roll back Obama’s Clean Power Plan (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/08/pruitt-says-alarming-climate-report-not-deter-replacement-clean-power-plan/839857001/). We have until December 15th to send our public comments to the EPA to tell them that they are opposing both science and the will of the American people. Let’s let them know we want more climate action, not less at this link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355-0002.
19 From Postcards for America: The National Park Service has extended the public comment period on raising the peak-season entrance fee proposal until December 22, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/11-21-2017-fee-proposal.htm We can comment here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=83652
20 From the Alt National Park Service: South Dakota is looking into revoking the Keystone pipeline permit after last week’s 210,000+ gallon spill. This is a relatively new pipeline and has already experienced three major leaks one just on the border with North Dakota and two in South Dakota in less than a 10 year period. Please call South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) member Gary Hanson and let him know you support revoking the Keystone pipeline permit because the operator violated its license by promising state-of-the-art pipeline construction. This promise was broken based on the continuous leaks/spills occurring in a short period of time. Please call and leave a voicemail at (605) 773-3201. The South Dakota PUC voicemail is now full. Please email the three commissioners at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
21 “FEMA paid a newly created Florida company for tarps to help the thousands of people left homeless after Hurricane Maria, but the company couldn’t deliver.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/28/puerto-rico-urgently-needed-tarps-delayed-by-failed-30m-fema-contract This is just another example in a long list of failures associated with this administration’s response to the hurricane. Let’s contact our MoC to demand effective aid and accountability.
22 From one of our own currently helping in Puerto Rico: The most needed donations from individuals are FOOD such as rice, canned beans, canned tuna, canned veggies and canned fruit. The only food that FEMA sends are snacks, such as Pringles, granola bars and juice boxes. It is up to the municipalities themselves to team up with non-profits or individual donors to supplement the snacks with REAL, substantial food. They know this will not be handed out forever, but it is still critical for survival at this point in time. To send donations of food to this particular group of people to pass out on your behalf, mail them in a box to: Escuela Superior Especializada Vocacional Agricola de Corozal, Pablo David Burgos Marrero, Barrio Abras Sector Mavilla, Corozal, Puerto Rico, 00783
23 The House Judiciary Committee voted H.R.38 (the NRA-backed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017) out of committee yesterday. It now goes to the full House for a vote. This will would allow permit holders to carry across state lines. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/29/house-committee-takes-up-nra-backed-concealed-carry-bill/903001001/ At a time when gun deaths are at the national forefront, this bill will do nothing to address gun violence issues, but will make them easier to transport. Our representatives need to hear from us and we need to be louder than the NRA.
24 Plans are underway to privatize healthcare for veterans, a move that could drastically undermine the quality of this care and its accessibility. So, it’s particularly troubling to learn that these plans are being developed without the input of veterans’ groups or Congressional Democrats. https://www.apnews.com/7f2afe3b340e4d6880d4f77f175a2e7f/VA’s-quiet-plan-to-widen-private-care-with-TRICARE-stirs-ire Let’s contact our MoC to protest the privatization of veteran healthcare.
25 Donald Trump has nominated Big Pharma executive Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Azar repeatedly raised the price of life-saving medicines, and his deep ties to an industry he would be charged with regulating make him an unacceptable choice. http://www.businessinsider.com/trumps-hhs-nominee-alex-azar-history-with-drug-pricing-at-lilly-2017-11 Let’s contact our senators and let them know we want them to hold Azar to the high standard they should have held Tom Price to and block his confirmation.
26 Only a few more days left to submit our stories of our use of birth control that Generation Progress will share with the Trump administration: http://action.genprogress.org/action/hands-my-birth-control
27 While Congressional Republicans rush to cut taxes for the wealthy and raise them on the middle class, they continue to fail almost nine million children and pregnant women who count on CHIP for their health care coverage. It’s been months since funding expired, and still no action on extending it. Even conservatives like Texas Governor Greg Abbott are pushing for Congress to release more money (http://www.ktsa.com/governor-requesting-funds-chip/). If we’ve already contacted our own reps recently to ask for action on CHIP, let’s contact our state governors and ask them to reach out to our congressional delegations themselves to keep these state-run programs in place and keep kids healthy.
28 Schumer cited the rising popularity of home genetic kits and ancestry services, such as Ancestry, 23andMe and MyHeritage, and said some of their terms-of-service agreements weren’t clear on just what companies could do with your genetic information. Here’s what many consumers don’t realize, that their sensitive information can end up in the hands of unknown third-party companies,” he said. “There are no prohibitions, and many companies say that they can still sell your information to other companies.” The senator said he was calling on the Federal Trade Commission to “take a serious look at this relatively new kind of service and ensure that these companies can have clear, fair privacy policies.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amp/senator-calls-more-scrutiny-home-dna-test-industry-n824031. Many of us use these services for searching out family connections for genealogy, and adoptees searching for bio families. We all deserve to have rights over our own DNA. Let’s support this action and thank Senator Schumer.
RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA
29 “A newly revealed incident reported by a USAID officer who is based at the American embassy in Uzbekistan is raising suspicions Russia may have been involved and could have had a hand in bizarre attacks targeting U.S diplomats in Cuba, according to American sources.” https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/uzbekistan-incident-raises-suspicions-of-russian-involvement-in-cuba-attacks/ Let’s contact our MoC to ask them what they’re doing to ensure that our diplomats are safe and that Russia’s role in this incident is investigated thoroughly.
30 The longest lasting effect of any presidency is the appointment of federal judges and Trump is filling the federal courts with ideologues, many of whom are unqualified for the bench. Because federal judges have life tenure, Trump has the ability to shape the federal courts for decades to come and many of his picks are deeply disturbing. There were more than 100 vacancies when Trump assumed office, more than twice the number when President Barack Obama was inaugurated. This is because Republicans had refused to confirm Obama’s nominees during his last two years in office. An additional 60 vacancies have opened in the last 10 months. It is estimated that even if he serves only one term, Trump will have selected about 30 percent of the federal judges in the country. Let’s read more at The Sacramento Bee. Let’s continue to contact our own Senators about unqualified nominees and we can also contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
31 Trump’s judicial nominee for Middle District of Alabama, Brett Talley, is beyond unqualified. He has never tried a case and has only practiced law for three years, was deemed “unqualified” by the American Bar Association, did not disclose of conflicts of interest, and although he has pledged his financial and political support for the NRA, he would not commit to recusing himself from any potential gun regulation cases http://bit.ly/2z0c130 Let’s contact our senators and make sure that they are taking these confirmation votes seriously, and that they oppose such an obviously poor choice for judicial nominee. We can also use Sierra Rise’s action tool to send a message or tweet to our senators: http://bit.ly/2nggqcu
32 “Donald Trump has started filling the ranks of the federal judiciary, and a single pattern has emerged: Few women. Few candidates of color. Ninety-one percent of Trump’s nominees are white, and 81 percent are male, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. But don’t think of this as a partisan issue. Our last Republican president, George W. Bush, went out of his way to identify minority candidates. Why? Bush recognized that a judiciary that more closely reflects the faces of the population tends to display a broader range of viewpoints. A diverse bench engenders more confidence than a uniformly whitewashed one.” http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Whitewashed-courts-12393461.php We must pay attention to both the state and federal appointments to our courts and let our Reps know that our judges should reflect the diversity of our country and the districts.
33 We can’t get used to Trump nominating people who are antithetical to the unit they are to work for. This time, it is Thomas Brunell for Deputy Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Brunell’s views on gerrymandering and redrawing congressional districts oppose democratic values. His appointment is a threat to election integrity and risks politicizing a non-partisan issue. Please appoint a qualified, experienced, and unbiased candidate. Call or email today: 1) Secretary Ross 202-482-2000 or WLRoss@doc.gov, and 2) Director DeStefano 202-456-1414 or John.firstname.lastname@example.org (h/t Americans of Conscience Action Checklist)
SEX/GENDER-BASED DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT
34 While current law specifies work-related breastfeeding practices, the wording is such that it includes only hourly workers. Senator Merkley and Representative Maloney have introduced the Support Working Moms Act, which would amend the Fair Labor Act to include break time for nursing mothers who are salaried executive, administrative, and professional employees, including teachers. This legislation would be essential for health policy and mothers in the workplace http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/swma Let’s call our MoC and ask that they support S. 2122/H.R. 3255. We can also use WeTweet’s tool to send a message on Twitter: http://www.wetweet.org/partners/usbreastfeeding/
35 While others in the federal government are willingly taking part in ethics investigations regarding allegations of sexual misconduct, in case we’ve forgotten, here’s the list of women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Let’s continue to tell our MoC’s that we want an ethics’ investigation into Trump’s behavior. We can write to the six member Senate Ethics’ Committee at 220 Hart Building, Washington, DC 20510 or call (202) 224-2981.
36 “Conyers, 88, who has stepped down as the ranking Dem on the House Judiciary Committee while during the House Ethics Committee, settled a sexual harassment allegation brought by a former staffer, leaving her on the payroll as a temporary employee and paying out just under $30,000. But members of Congress have said that the “due process” system is outdated and biased toward insulating the lawmaker from suffering penalties for misbehavior. “The whole system needs to have a comprehensive shift,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/11/26/lawmakers-call-for-swift-consequences-in-harassment-cases-but-are-divided-over-calls-for-resignation/?utm_term=.02b7177111c8 Democrat or republican, this cannot be tolerated. Our tax dollars have been paid to silence the victims and protect the perpetrators, all while we have children starving in American. Let’s call on our Reps to protect the staffers and put better processes and protections in place.
37 Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby (R) said on Monday that he did not vote for Republican nominee Roy Moore in the state’s Senate special election. “No, no, no, I voted absentee. I didn’t vote for him. I voted for a distinguished Republican write-in,” Shelby told reporters when asked if he would vote for Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. “Well, it’s not a good situation. I wish we had another candidate.” Shelby, like most GOP senators, endorsed Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in the primary. Let’s read the full article at The Hill. We Rogan’s listers always appreciate when our Republican senators do the right thing. Let’s send “thank yous” to Senator Shelby for voting for someone other than accused pedophile Roy Moore. Senator Richard Shelby, 2005 University Blvd Ste 2100, Tuscaloosa AL 35401 or we can use his website contact form.
38 Since 2004, HeadCount has registered 500,000 voters. Headcount is a giant team effort between musicians, concert promoters, and volunteers. They have street teams in most major cities, and affiliations with over 100 touring musicians including Dave Matthews Band, JAY-Z, Wilco, Phish, and the Dixie Chicks. HeadCount stages voter registration drives at concerts and run programs that translate the power of music into real action. Let’s check out HeadCount.org to find out more. We can also follow HeadCount’s efforts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
39 Representative Mia Love (R-UT) promised a “full-court press” on Trump to not expel nearly 60,000 Haitians who have lived in the U.S. under provisional legal residency for more than seven years. Love called the administration’s announcement that it will not renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that has allowed Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake to live in this country a “bad decision.” Love’s parents emigrated from Haiti in 1973 during a time of political repression. Love was born in Brooklyn, New York, two years later. We can read more at Deseret News. Let’s send notes of support to Rep. Mia Love, 9067 S 1300 West, Ste 101, West Jordan UT 84088-5582. We can also contact our own MoC’s to tell them to join Rep. Love in calling on the administration to renew the TPS.
40 Time is running out for DACA recipients, as Congress fails to pass any meaningful legislation to protect DREAMers http://politi.co/2jLpc0T While it is important to keep calling our MoC, we must also make sure that we are showing up in person to add to the pressure to pass a clean DREAM Act. Our Dream, a collaborative campaign focused on passing the DREAM Act, is asking that we sign up to host sit-ins at our MoC offices on December 4th and 5th. Let’s sign up and stand up for our DREAMers https://actionnetwork.org/forms/fight-for-our-dream
41 On Wednesday morning, Trump re-tweeted hateful anti-Muslim videos first posted by the British ultranationalist Jayda Fransen of the Britain First party. Trump was roundly condemned for doing so by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said, “Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people.” Parliament member David Lammy (Labour Party) said, “The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/us/politics/trump-anti-muslim-videos-jayda-fransen.html Let’s: A) Tell Twitter’s Board of Directors that it’s time to shut down Trump’s Twitter account because it is being used to spread the hatred and scapegoating of Muslims. https://investor.twitterinc.com/contactboard.cfm, and B) Tell Secretary of State Rex Tillerson it is his job to stop Trump’s Twitter fingers from wreaking havoc on American diplomacy. https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform , or write Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520, or call 202-647-6575 (Office of Public Engagement).
42 On Monday, during a conversation with Navajo military veterans, Trump offended all of us when he used the name “Pocahontas” as a slur. To make matters worse, Trump chose to hold this conversation in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was responsible for the Trail of Tears, which resulted in a tremendous loss of life and property for the Cherokee people. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361990-trump-calls-warren-pocahontas-at-event-honoring-native-american Let’s show our support for Native Americans by looking into the good work being done by the American Indian College Fund (http://collegefund.org/) and see what we can to help out. Let’s also send the Navajo Code Talkers Association our respect, thanks, and apologies at Navajo Code Talkers Association, Navajo Code Talkers Foundation, Inc., PO Box 1266, Window Rock, AZ 86515 / Tel: 928-688-5202 / Fax: 928-688-5204 / website: www.navajocodetalkers.org (For viewing: Navajo Code Talker Explains Role in WWII: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciFv_ONffdw)
43 Facebook continues to not step up to block discriminatory housing processes in their rental advertising as this exposé by ProPublica shows: https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-advertising-discrimination-housing-race-sex-national-origin Let’s share this piece on Facebook to make other users aware and let’s contact Facebook on Twitter @Facebook to register our disgust.
44 The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has launched a new tool called the SPLC Hate Tracker. This tool identifies and monitors trending topics among a network of far-right Twitter accounts in near-real time. Based on more than 1,000 accounts actively monitored by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, it creates interactive graphics to better understand the topics and images captivating the radical right. These accounts represent a range of extremists – from the conspiratorial fringes of mainstream conservatism to outright white supremacists – who regularly use Twitter as a tool to spread their propaganda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these users also participate in many conversations and topics that are popular among more “mainstream” communities. The data set goes back to August 15, 2016 and is updated every 30 minutes. Let’s take a moment to explore this new tool and share it with our family and friends.
MILITARY/DEFENSE/INTERNATIONAL AID/FOREIGN POLICY
45 We were already disturbed by Secretary of State Tillerson’s failure to fill key roles in the State Department, but now we’ve learned that he has fired “most of the department’s leading African-American and Latino diplomats.” http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/361783-state-department-wracked-by-departures-under-trump-report Let’s contact the State Department (https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform or 202-647-4000 or U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520) and our MoC to protest the dwindling numbers in the State Department and the increasing lack of diversity.
46 Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright tells us that there is a national emergency of diplomacy in the Trump administration State Department and that it is weakening us in many ways: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-national-security-emergency-were-not-talking-about/2017/11/29/9fddd7ba-d53b-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html?utm_term=.e630741320ea Let’s use this information to implore our MoCs to safeguard the State Department the best they can.
47 For the first time since June, a Russian fighter has flown near a US military jet in an “unsafe” manner. The “Russian fighter flew within 50 feet of a U.S. Navy reconnaissance jet over the Black Sea with full afterburners on, causing violent turbulence that knocked the American plane into a 15-degree roll.” http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russian-fighter-intercept-us-recon-plane-deemed-unsafe-51427970 Let’s ask our MoC what they’re doing to ensure that our military is as safe as possible in their interactions with the Russian military.
48 As we have learned from watered-down language in the media in relation to neo-nazis (using terms like “alt-right” instead), the words we use can have a significant effect on the public perception on a given issue, including creating a sense of normalcy where something is far from normal http://bit.ly/2i6h86V With this in mind, GLAAD is launching the “Drop the F Word” campaign to ensure that as journalists cover the court proceedings in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, that they use the term “religious exemptions” instead of “religious freedom” to accurately describe the issue. We can read more about the campaign and add our names to the list of people who promise to hold the media accountable for its news coverage here: https://www.glaad.org/DropTheFWord
49 The trial for the Inauguration Day protesters has begun, with medics, journalists, and legal observers being pressed with felony charges http://bit.ly/2zKOzqx The J20 (January 20th) defendants could face six decades in prison, some for doing so much as attending or witnessing a protest. To help spread the word about this case, and to support the defendants, let’s visit the Defend J20 Resistance website where they have primers, flyers, legal documents, and a link to the legal defense fund: http://defendj20resistance.org/ We can also send a “thank you” to Black Lives Matter, D.C. chapter, for their statement of solidarity (contact information in the link) http://bit.ly/2zMiZZI
50 On the same day that Colin Kaepernick received the 2017 Sport Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award (https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/30/colin-kaepernick-muhammad-ali-legacy-award), the NFL reached an agreement to fund player activism to the tune of $90 million. (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/362714-nfl-agrees-to-nearly-90-million-deal-to-fund-players-activism ) Let’s thank SI for their choice: 225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281 or ((212) 522-1212, and let’s tell the NFL to give Kaepernick a job: 345 Park Ave, New York, NY 10154 or (212) 450-2000
51 Rep. Jamie Raskin (D, MD) had introduced HR 4382, the Free Flow of Information Act, to protect journalists from being forced to disclose confidential sources: http://www.dbknews.com/2017/11/18/shield-law-journalists-confidential-sources-congress-bill-jamie-raskin-maryland-jim-jordan-ohio Let’s urge our MoC to support this legislation.
52 The ironically-named Project Veritas hired a woman to tell an untrue story to the Washington Post about being assaulted by Roy Moore – in the hope of discrediting all the accusers:https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/a-woman-approached-the-post-with-dramatic–and-false–tale-about-roy-moore-sje-appears-to-be-part-of-undercover-sting-operation/2017/11/27/0c2e335a-cfb6-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.fc7aa93927df and https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/27/washington-post-project-veritas-sting-report Thankfully, the not-fake-news Washington Post was having none of it and launched a counter-investigation about her unraveling claims. Let’s take a moment to thank WaPo editor Martin Baron for the work of his organization at this critical time in the history of press credulity: The Washington Post, 1301 K Street NW, Washington DC 20071
53 According to the AARP, 64% of workers aged 55 and over report age discrimination in the workplace. https://twitter.com/AARP/status/923527133695266817 Let’s educate ourselves—and our older friends and family—about age discrimination and what we can do to fight it https://www.aarp.org/work/employee-rights/info-02-2009/age_discrimination_fact_sheet.html
54 From Postcards from Kate: The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues and produces reports and cost estimates for proposed legislation. CBO is nonpartisan and a vital part of our checks and balances system. Most recently, CBO released the analysis of the GOP Senate tax bill, finding that it’s bad for the poor, raises taxes on the middle class and gives substantial tax breaks to millionaires and those earning $100K+ (big surprise). In addition, the bill would add $1.4 trillion to the national debt and make health insurance premiums rise, causing millions of Americans to lose health insurance. Read more here. Let’s thank the folks at CBO for bringing the realities of this bill and many others for the last 42 years to light! Address: US Congressional Budget Office, 441 D Street SW, Washington, DC 20515
55 Making financial donations can sometimes be confusing. Let’s check out Charity Navigator to get the inside look on what and how charities do with the funds given to them. The details and the rating system are helpful: https://www.charitynavigator.org/
56 Organizing for Action and Swing Left are continuing their series of webinars on how to effectively communicate and hold meaningful conversations. This is especially timely as we are in the midst of the holiday season, visiting friends and relatives who may hold views very different from our own. Let’s register for this series and learn how we can productively communicate http://bit.ly/2hy5FQK
57 Duty to Protect & Herd on the Hill are delivering copies of the book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President” & constituent letters to US Senators. Bill Moyers interviewed America’s leading psychohistorians, Robert Jay Lifton who wrote the forward: http://billmoyers.com/story/dangerous-case-donald-trump-robert-jay-lifton-bill-moyers-duty-warn/ We can be included as signatories, by signing here BEFORE November 29, 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/p7tZyEkru6rEl8Jh1
PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC taken verbatim or nearly verbatim from http://roganslist.blogspot.com
- Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos—one already debunked, the others dubious in their origin—posted in the UK by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, a virulently racist, far right party. She was delighted, claiming “I’m facing prison for criticising Islam. Britain is now Sharia compliant . . . . “; PM Theresa May was genteelly condemnatory, saying “Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions.”; Labor ministers were furious, calling for a cancellation of Trump’s upcoming state visit. But Trump, when asked in 2015 about his propensity for retweeting, was crystal clear: he said that he considered retweets endorsements: “You know, I retweet, I retweet for a reason”: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/29/trump-account-retweets-anti-muslim-videos-of-british-far-right-leader MPower Change and Linda Sarsour have launched a petition to be delivered to Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO, demanding that Twitter close Trump’s account: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-enabling-trumps
- Let’s also join MPowerChange in telling Twitter to stop enabling Trump’s anti-Muslim hate speech: https://act.mpowerchange.org/sign/twitter-trump-hate-speech/
- For the hunters and anglers among us who support conservation: One of the best tools to improve important habitat for big game species, like elk and mule deer, is in danger of being weakened. In 2015, Western sportsmen and women joined a grassroots effort to help develop plans to improve sage-grouse habitat, for the bird and the herd. Now the Department of Interior wants to undo these plans. Hunters and anglers understand that the connection between the health of big game species and the sage-grouse are inextricable. There has been too much work done to allow the Department of Interior to send the West backwards. Be heard for the bird! Hunters understand that elk, mule deer and pronghorn herds will benefit from these conservation plans. Speak up to keep these plans on track, edit and add your comment before December 1st here: https://online.nwf.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2454 Since 1936, the NWF has been at the forefront on issues concerning hunters and anglers, protecting and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat for all species. Conservation is non-partisan.
- Let’s tell policy makers why net neutrality is important to us: http://act.freepress.net/sign/internet_nn_story/
- None of us were woke enough to see this and we let it happen 13 years ago, but we are woke now. There is no such thing as a child prostitute, there are child predators. Cyntoia Brown was a teen victim who was sentenced to life in prison for trying to save herself. http://www.ajc.com/news/world/here-why-people-are-talking-about-cyntoia-brown-years-after-she-was-sentenced-life-prison-for-murder/EqX2COsOoVQw329pyr3l3H/ Let’s sign this clemency petition and be watchful for other ways we can help Cyntoia and others like her: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/free-cyntoia-brown
- It is hard to believe that Arctic drilling is part of a tax bill, but it is. “Big Oil has been fighting to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for decades, and every step of the way the American people have stood up and said NO. “ It is our turn to say “NO”: https://petitions.signforgood.com/StopArcticDrilling/
- “Foster care LOSES 88 CHILDREN every week. In 2017, the child welfare system has lost over 4600 children.” Let’s join in this petition from #4600 and Counting to address this growing problem. There are lives at stake. https://www.change.org/p/us-department-for-health-and-human-services-if-a-school-lost-1-child-every-week-what-would-you-do
- Libraries need net neutrality. Let’s join with EveryLibrary ‘s petition to keep it: http://action.everylibrary.org/netneutrality
ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT recommended by http://roganslist.blogspot.com
This holiday, we can send a girl to school for a year in honor of a friend or loved one. The International Rescue Committee can help us do that: https://gifts.rescue.org/product/education/year-school-girl