Action items, October 2 – 9

Several of these items ask that you contact your Congressional representative(s).  Here’s a link with contact information.

What to Do This Week of October 2 – 9, 2017

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

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I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Advocate for the economic rights of our poorest neighbors.

Call: Or write your 2 senators

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about the Republican tax plan. I want to advocate for poor, hardworking Americans who need cuts more than corporations and people earning over $200,000 per year. Advantages like pass-throughs, estate tax breaks, and write-offs for charitable giving only benefit the most affluent. Please let [name] know I expect to see him/her support an ethical, fiscally-responsible tax plan that helps our struggling neighbors, not Trump Tower cronies. Thank you.

I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Spread the word that ACA health insurance open enrollment starts in 1 month. Since the president cut advertising budget by 90%, it’s up to us.

Share on Facebook: Use this link in English and this link in Spanish.

Share on Twitter: Retweet this image.

Action: Advocate for kids’ healthcare.

Call: All 3 MoCs (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and am calling because funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program lapsed this Sunday, Oct 1 which risks leaving 9 million kids without coverage. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to quickly reauthorize CHIP funding and protect kids’ health?

 

I believe in a government led by people of integrity.

Action: Advocate for a clear, swift rebuke of the president’s comments regarding San Juan’s mayor.

Call: Or email all 3 of your members of Congress.

Script: The president’s bullying of San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, on twitter is insensitive, antagonistic, and disgraceful, especially in light of the climbing death toll. I would like [name] to make a public statement condemning the president’s words and expressing support for our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

 

Action: Oppose cabinet members wasting taxpayer dollars on private jets.

Call: Or email all 3 of your members of Congress.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling about cabinet members’ use of private jets. I was pleased that Sec. Price stepped down for abusing this privilege. It’s come to light that Zinke has spent $12,000 to travel through the Caribbean on an oil executive’s aircraft, and Pruitt’s use of private planes has cost over $58,000. What is [name] doing to stop public servants from wasting taxpayers’ hard-earned money?

 

I believe in a woman’s right to safe, affordable reproductive care.

 

Action: Oppose House bill reducing access to abortion to 20 weeks.

Call: Your 1 House represetative — Rep. Rob Wittman.

Script: Hi. I’m calling because I oppose H.R. 36. Despite Republicans’ vision of a small federal government, this bill that invades the doctor-patient relationship, restricts women’s decisions, and violates Roe v. Wade. I would like [name] to vote no on H.R. 36 when it comes up for a vote this week. Thank you.

 

I believe in creating a healthy planet for future generations.

Action: Advocate for existing protections against the discharge of pesticides in waterways (h/t).

Call: Your 2 senators

Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] about the H.R. 953, already passed in the House and now in the Senate for approval. Protecting waterways from the discharge of toxic materials is essential for pristine habitat, healthy oceans, and clean drinking water. It is not a regulatory burden. I would like [name] to vote no H.R. 953. Thank you.

 

I believe in the Constitutional rights of speech, assembly, and press.

 

Action: Oppose DHS’ proposed social media monitoring of immigrants and citizens.

Call: Or email all 3 of your members of Congress.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express deep concern about the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed policy of monitoring social media of immigrants, their legal guardians, green-card holders, and naturalized citizens. This intrusive, anti-immigrant policy gives carte-blanche access to data that violates citizens’ 4th and 1st amendment rights. Evidence shows that it will not make our country safer. How is [name] opposing this overreach by DHS?

Comment by Oct 17: Write an original public comment on Regulations.gov especially opposing proposed changes 4 and 5 (regarding who is monitored and how).

 

I believe that open borders and a path to citizenship benefit America.

 

Action: Oppose border wall funding tied to Republican DACA fix.

Call: Your 2 senators this week.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to oppose the Republican SUCCEED Act (S. 1852). I do not—nor will I ever—support any bill that includes funding for a border wall with Mexico. I would like [name] to co-sponsor and vote for the Dream Act (S. 1615) instead. Thanks.

 

I support the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people.

 

Action: Advocate for water protectors’ right to legal representation by Oct 2nd.

Email: supclerkofcourt@ndcourts.gov.

Script: Visit Water Protector Legal for scripts. Your email can help.

 

I believe I am my neighbor’s keeper.

 

Action: Support any of these agencies bringing urgent assistance to Puerto Rico.

 

Action: Oppose escalation with North Korea.

Call: Or email all 3 of your members of Congress.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling about relations with North Korea. Our president don’t seem interested in avoiding conflict. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to address this growing concern?

 

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

 

Thank Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) for urging the president to stop dragging his feet and to enforce sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Thank you for your bipartisan cooperation and leadership on this important issue.

Address (JM): 2201 East Camelback Road, Suite 115, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Address (BC): 100 S. Charles Street, Tower 1, Suite 1710, Baltimore, MD 21201

 

Thank Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for continuing to work collaboratively on a bipartisan solution to shore up ACA. I appreciate your creativity, cooperation, and collegiality in finding solutions that work for Americans.

Address (PM): 402 E. Yakima Ave, Suite 420, Yakima, Washington 98901

Address (LA): 3322 West End Avenue, #120, Nashville, TN 37203

 

Thank Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) for holding Jared Kushner’s feet to the fire on his undisclosed email account. I appreciate your thoroughness and persistence in getting to the bottom of what happened in the 2016 elections, including the role the president’s son in law may have played.

Address (RB): 151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204, Asheville, NC 28801

Address (MW): 919 E. Main Street, Suite 630, Richmond, VA 23219

 

Thank OMB Dir. Mick Mulvaney for his memo reminding senior officials to honor their fiscal responsibility to taxpayers by choosing commercial travel over private charters—even when approved and within the law. I appreciate your respect for hardworking Americans.

Address: Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503

 

Recommended reading

Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.

  • Russia social media chaos campaign continues in real time (NPR).

  • A friend asked her about white privilege, she decided to be honest (YES Magazine).

 

Good news

 

 

Obama Administration numbers are in . . . looking GOOD!!

Courtesy of Fact Check.org: 

The numbers are nearly all in now. What they show about what really happened during the eight years that Barack Obama was president is sometimes different from what politicians claimed. 

  • The economy gained a net 11.5 million jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to below the historical norm. 
  • Average weekly earnings for all workers were up 4.1 percent after inflation. The gain was 3.7 percent for just production and nonsupervisory employees. 
  • After-tax corporate profits also set records, as did stock prices. The S&P 500 index rose 166 percent. 
  • The number of people lacking health insurance dropped by 15 million. Premiums rose, but more slowly than before. 
  • The federal debt owed to the public rose 128 percent. Deficits were rising as Obama departed. 
  • Home prices rose 20 percent. But the home ownership rate hit the lowest point in half a century. 
  • Illegal immigration declined: The Border Patrol caught 35 percent fewer people trying to get into the U.S. from Mexico. 
  • Wind and solar power increased 369 percent. Coal production declined 38 percent. Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel dropped 11 percent. 
  • Production of handguns rose 192 percent, to a record level. 
  • The murder rate dropped to the lowest on record in 2014, then rose and finished at about the same rate as when Obama took office.

Overall those are VERY good numbers.

Critics of the President can complain that the numbers could be better, and that opportunities were missed, but they have to be reminded that everything President Obama accomplished he did with the Republicans obstructing him every step of the way.

I can hardly wait to compare this to the final numbers on the Trump presidency.

Join us for showing of “Gerryrigged”

Join Northumberland Indivisible to view “GerryRIGGED: Turning Democracy on its Head”, a documentary from OneVirginia2021 at  the Northumberland Library:
 
  • Sunday, October 1
  • 3:00 PM
  • 7204 Northumberland Hwy (Hwy 360), Heathsville
Technology has made gerrymandering such an exact science that, in most cases, incumbents cannot lose and challengers cannot win.
 
Learn how non-partisan reform efforts now underway in Virginia and elsewhere can change this dangerous trend and return political power to the voters.
 
Bob Wilson, a volunteer with OneVirginia2021, will introduce the film and lead the Q&A afterwards. After a long and distinguished career developing systems and data services primarily for federal, state and local governments, Bob and his wife of 50 years, Bonita, retired to Reedville in 2003.

 

IMPORTANT: Committee to Investigate Russia

This is important.  A group of concerned notable Americans have formed the Committee to Investigate Russia.   Here is their statement of purpose:

Committee to Investigate Russia

The Russian Active Measures campaign aimed at the United States has been exposed. Using hacking, Twitter armies, and fake news, the Kremlin engaged in an aggressive effort to subvert the American democratic process. Now, only months into his term of office, the President and his staff are facing multiple investigations in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and by a Special Counsel for the Department of Justice.  

The Committee to Investigate Russia is a nonprofit, non-partisan resource provided to help Americans recognize and understand the gravity of Russia’s continuing attacks on our democracy. All relevant information is aggregated in one place to provide context and allow users to see the full picture of what Russia has done and will continue to do unless we start paying closer attention.

For generations, people have fought to protect democracy. Now it is our turn. 

In a video posted on the site, Morgan Freeman explains why and how our democracy is under the most serious threat in our history.

IMPORTANT: Local candidate forum, Sep 26, Northumberland High School

NAACP CANDIDATE FORUM

  • September 26, 2017
  • Northumberland High School
  • 7:00 PM

Candidates

House of Delegates

Mr. Francis Edwards

Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Richard Haynie (2nd District incumbent)

The Honorable James Long (3rd District incumbent)

School Board of Northumberland County

Ms. Mary Hooper (2nd District candidate)

The Honorable Gerald Howard (3rd District incumbent)

Rev. Carl Perez (3rd District candidate)

Indivisible Northumberland celebrates 230 years of the US Constitution

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Indivisible Northumberland observed this historic event at our meeting with a birthday cake for the Consitution, copies of the Constitution for everyone, and an inspiring reading of the Preamble by one of our members.

 

The Preamble to the Constitution is a short sentence consisting of a simple sentence with six dependent clauses inserted.  The clauses state the fundamental purposes for which the United States was founded.

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, let’s reprint the Preamble in bullet format to make very clear the six fundamental purposes of this nation.

We the People of the United States, in Order to:

  • form a more perfect Union,
  • establish Justice,
  • insure domestic Tranquility,
  • provide for the common defence,
  • promote the general Welfare, and
  • secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

There it is folks, the reason for our nation.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to judge each of our political parties, each of our political leaders, and each of our levels of government on how they are or are not living up to these fundamental purposes.

Action items, week of September 17

What to Do This Week of September 17, 2017

Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience

45 weeks down, 59 weeks to mid-term elections.

Many of these action items require contact with your Senator(s) or Congressional Representative(s).  Here is a link to contact information for them for those of us in Virginia and Virginia’s First Congressional District — Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D), and, Representative Rob Wittman (R).

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear, hype-free suggestions for action backed by well-considered research for Americans who care about democracy and justice. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.

Did someone send you here? Sign up to receive this weekly checklist.

I believe I can make a difference in our democracy.

Action: Recommit to an activism plan.

Complete the Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s pocket-sized version).

I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Action: Object to CBS’ 60 Minutes giving airtime to white supremacy.

Write: 60 Minutes, 555 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019-2985 (or email).

Script: Regardless of his place in history, I oppose your decision to give airtime to white supremacist, Steve Bannon. I consume media that value lives over views.

 

Action: Oppose DeVos’ dismantling protections for campus rape victims (hat tip).

Reports are that her office didn’t love all the calls last week. Too bad.

Call: US Department of Education, 800-872-5327. Be kind.

Script: Hi, I’m from [state], and concerned about Betsy DeVos’ efforts to weaken protections for survivors of sexual assault. I am calling to request keeping these protections in place. Thank you.

I believe in quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Action: Oppose the Graham-Cassidy plan to repeal the ACA.

Call: Your 2 senators (lookup).

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to express my opposition to the Cassidy-Graham plan to repeal the ACA. Congress needs to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it and leave millions of people without options. Thanks.

I believe in a government led by people of integrity.

Action: Advocate for two bills protecting the special counsel.

Call: Your 2 senators.

Script: Hi. I am calling because I approve of the special counsel investigation into Russia ties, and would like [name] to support two pieces of legislation that protect Robert Mueller from presidential dismissal. S. 1735 (sponsored by Sen. Graham) and S. 1741 (by Sen. Tillis). Will [name] use his/her influence to spark action on these stalled bills?

I believe in a woman’s right to safe, affordable reproductive care.

Action: Support women who choose to abort after losing everything to natural disaster.

Donate to transportation services and clinics:

I believe in the Constitutional rights of speech, assembly, and press.

Action: Kick Russian bots and fake news off Facebook (it’s easy).

Follow this step-by-step tutorial.
Bonus: Zap more bots. Share the link above on Facebook. #StrongerTogether

 

Action: Oppose arbitrary revoking of US citizenships without due process.

Call: Your 2 senators.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling with grave concern about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s amendment to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Are you familiar with it? (if no) It will allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to revoke the citizenship of any American based solely on the suspicion of committing a “belligerent act” against the U.S. This would not require a trial of any kind, which is dangerous. I oppose any effort to violate our right to due process.

Bonus: If you are (or know someone) in South Carolina, get on the phone. Stat.

I believe free, safe, and open voting is fundamental to a thriving democracy.

 

Action: Insist on addressing Russian use of social media to create chaos.

Call: Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express my concern about Russia’s successful efforts to create chaos through social media platforms like Facebook. This strategy affected the 2016 election, but also endangers midterms in 2018. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to address this foreign aggression?

 

Action: Oppose the partisan Voter Commission’s attempts to restrict voting rights

Call: Your state’s head of elections (use the list below the map to find your state’s elections office website ).
Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP], calling to ask that [name] refuse to cooperate with the president’s Voter Commission. I am one of a growing number of Americans who oppose this commission because we don’t trust its agenda or its leader.

I believe that open borders and a path to citizenship benefit America.

 

Action: Advocate to keep DACA youth here in the US, their home.

Call: Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Script: Hi. I am from [ZIP], calling to ask [name] to support a clean Dream Act that gives permanent legal status to DACA recipients without attaching funding for a border wall. Is [name] committed to supporting S. 1615 (Senate) / H.R. 3440 (House)? Will s/he co-sponsor it?

Bonus: If you’re in AL, AR, ID, KS, LA, NE, SC, TX, or WV, call your attorney general using this script.

 

Action: Thwart the next big ICE raid.

ICE canceled massive raid plans due to hurricanes. Use their delay to act.

Share this link on social media: How to respond to an ICE raid: https://unitedwedream.org/thank-deportation-defense-card-handy-phone/

I believe in peace.

Action: Oppose warmongering (hat tip).

Call: Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to express my concern about the president’s baiting of North Korea. Has [name] already publicly opposed his actions? (If no) I would like him/her to do this and to advocate for diplomatic solutions. (If yes) Will s/he co-sponsor H.R. 669 (Rep) / S. 200 (Senate)? Americans want diplomacy. Thank you.

Acts of Gratitude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.

 

Express condolences to the Mexican president. As your neighbors, we grieve with you for the precious lives lost in the tragic earthquake. We are sorry our president didn’t show appropriate sympathy. Please know that we in the US are praying for your people, the souls of those lost, and for recovery in your beautiful country.

Address: Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, Los Pinos, Mexico City, Mexico

Recommended reading

Thought-provoking, in-depth reading that’s worth your time.

 

  • “The only thing white supremacists are more afraid of than people of color, queer people, and black and brown skinned immigrants. . . is you.” (Groundswell)

Good news

 

Final action

If you found this checklist useful, please spread the word!

Tweet: Simple, clear, and drama-free, @inspiredjen’s Action Checklist keeps me focused every week: goo.gl/ogmtAv

Email and Facebook: Simple, clear, and drama-free, @inspiredjen’s Action Checklist keeps me focused on positive action every week: https://goo.gl/ogmtAv

 

Weekend events in Richmond for racial justice and against white supremacists

Dear VICPP Supporter,

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy wishes to call your attention to several opportunities in Richmond this weekend for hearing about racial justice and standing in solidarity with those want to see the Commonwealth of Virginia be a place that welcomes all, no matter their race, immigration status or religious preference. We encourage you to participate in one or more events that you feel comfortable with.

As an interfaith organization, VICPP brings together people from differing faiths, cultures and backgrounds, because the basic core beliefs of our religions are remarkably similar. All share some version of the Golden Rule, and all focus on justice and compassion for others.

Unfortunately there are times today when that message gets lost and we have to stand up for what we believe in. We have posted on the VICPP website some best practices for taking action using a faith-based strategy.

Events begin this evening with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Grace Street near Capitol Square. “We invite people from all walks of life to gather with us,” said Bishop Susan Goff of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Saturday will start with a prayer and “intention setting” service coordinated by Rev. Lacette Cross at Temple Beth-El, 3330 Grove Ave., at 6:30 a.m. I know this service will set a peaceful tone for the rest of the day.

Then VICPP, First Unitarian Universalist and the Richmond Peace Education Center are co-sponsoring a rally at the new Maggie Walker statue (at Broad and Adams streets) starting at 8:45 a.m. “The rally with celebrate our rich diversity as a city,” says Lana Heath de Martinez, VICPP’s Welcoming All Coordinator. Participants will then walk to Monument Avenue but will avoid direct contact with any white supremacists who plan to rally at the Lee Statue

Another of the events we want to invite you to is actually happening twice. My good friend Dr. Nancy MacLean, a Duke University history professor whom I know from my Chicago days, will be leading two “teach-ins” based on her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Nancy’s book has many Virginia connections, so this should be a very thoughtful complement to the other events of the day. You are asked to register if you plan to attend. The teach-ins will be held at 10 a.m. at Unitarian Community Church of Glen Allen, 11105 Cauthorne Rd., Glen Allen, 23059; RSVP here; or at 3 p.m. at First Congregational Christian United Church of Christ, 4310 Courthouse Rd., Chesterfield, 23832; RSVP here.

There will also be an “Intercultural Summit” Saturday morning at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church starting at 11:30 a.m. led by Bishop Shannon Johnson and Bishop Goff. This event costs $15 and will include lunch. Register here.

And a diverse coalition of organizations are sponsoring an afternoon event called Building a Just Richmond at the Math/Science Center, 2401 Hartman St., at 1 p.m. “Following a plenary with speakers and a panel, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from several facilitated workshops designed to build skills to advance a just Richmond.”

Finally, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1627 Monument Ave. will be open tomorrow as a safe space from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A different area congregation will lead worship every hour.

We are not expecting any of the craziness we saw in Charlottesville  – thank goodness. We do believe the variety of education, worship and public events offer a range of ways people can learn more about racism and stand up for a diverse and welcoming Virginia. Please join us at when you can.

As you know, VICPP has become a center to which people turn for information and guidance. With a small staff, we have felt stretched a little thin this week. Please accept our forgiveness if we’ve not returned your call or email in this busy and challenging time.

Please visit our website to contribute or sign up for our email list, and pass our information on to those in your faith community who would also support our mission.

With peace and justice,

Kim Bobo

Executive Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy