Actions for the week of May 14

Federal Actions Needed

Stop the Haspel nomination for CIA Director

Congress heads back to work on Monday, and Gina Haspel’s confirmation is at the top of their (and our) agenda. The first hearing on her nomination for CIA Director is Wednesday, May 9, and the whole world will be watching. While there’s much that’s being hidden about Gina Haspel’s long career at the CIA, what we do know is chilling. She personally helped torture detainees in a secret CIA-run prison, and then later destroyed the evidence. And the agency is standing behind her, refusing to release more information to the public in what Senator Martin Heinrich called “a full-on propaganda campaign”.

We cannot allow a war criminal to lead the CIA. Here’s how we’re going to #BlockHaspel:

This Week on Capitol Hill

The farm bill vote in the House is coming the week of May 14th. If it were to become law, this bill would result in over 2 million people losing their food assistance because of new work requirements attached to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or, food stamps). You can read our resource here to get up to speed, then use the call script at the bottom to tell Representative Rob Wittman  to oppose H.R. 2, the House farm bill  (contact info for Wittman at this link).

Upcoming Events — Indivisible Northumberland

Sunday, May 20 – Monthly meeting at Northumberland Library at 3pm.  Agenda to be provided.  Please send any agenda items you would like to see covered to, or this account.

Thursday, June 7  at 6:30 at the Library we will have a discussion of the pros and cons of the candidates so come prepared to lobby for your favorite.

Lynching in America: Museum opens in Montgomery, Alabama

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, is now open.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.

Visit the website.

Update, April 29: Response to KKK recruiting efforts in Colonial Beach

Please put Thursday May 3, 6:30 PM, Northumberland Public Library on your calendar and try to make it.

We were going to have a GOTV postcard party as our First Thursday event/activity but after the Westmoreland News/KKK flyer debacle, the Steering Committee member have decided to instead show a PBS documentary from 2015 “Klansville, USA” about the resurgence of the KKK in a North Carolina county. We will start at 6:30 pm. The information may, or may not be in the Northumberland Echo since the deadline had passed before the decision.

If you don’t know about this, here are the details:

Response to KKK recruiting flyer

Some of us met today with a cross-section of clergy, NAACP and Indivisible from Lancaster, Westmoreland and Northumberland counties called together by Dr. Rev. Williams of Mount Olive Baptist to sort our what to do in response to the underlying issue that the KKK is recruiting in the Northern Neck. All were appalled that none of our elected officials have said anything about it. There will be a gathering by Westmoreland Indivisible at the Mayor’s office in Colonial Beach tomorrow (Monday, April 30) at noon.

ACTION ITEM: Call Wittman, McDougle and Ransone about their lack of response.

There is a letter going out from the Baptist Ministerial Association . We will make sure it circulates when released.

Voting news

We have 205 inactive voters who are strong democrat, lean democrat, independent, unknown or no data available in Northumberland County. That means that if they show up to vote in the primary, they will only get a provisional ballot. We will be having postcard parties to let them know before the May 21 deadline. More info on Thursday.

If Trump fires Mueller: Take to the streets!!!!

Donald Trump is publicly considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the person leading the Department of Justice investigation of possible criminal actions by Donald Trump and members of his presidential campaign, as well as the efforts to conceal those activities.

It’s also possible that, rather than firing Mueller, Trump will obstruct Mueller’s investigation by issuing blanket pardons of key figures being investigated, firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (the person overseeing Mueller), or taking other actions to prevent the investigation from being conducted freely.

Any one of these actions would create a constitutional crisis for our country. It would demand an immediate and unequivocal response to show that we will not tolerate abuse of power from Donald Trump.

Our response in the hours following a power grab will dictate what happens next and whether Congress—the only body with the constitutional power and obligation to rein Trump in from his rampage—will do anything to stand up to him.

That’s why we’re preparing to hold emergency “Nobody is Above the Law” rallies around the country, in the event they are needed.

If Trump fires Wittman, we on the Northern Neck will demonstrate at Rob Wittman’s Tappahannock office at 508 N. Church Lane, Tappahanock.

If Mueller is fired before 2pm, meet at Wittman’s Tappahannock office the same day at 5pm. If he is fired after 2 pm, meet the next day at Wittman’s office at 12 noon.

March For Our Lives: Kilmarnock, March 24

March For Our Lives in Kilmarnock
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC.  
Show your support for their efforts and safety by marching in our own community.  
Plan to meet on Saturday, March 24 in the parking lot of Chesapeake Commons prior to the 10AM march (that’s the Peebles parking lot).  
Bring your chants and signs and be ready to march on the side walks of Main Street to the parking lot of Grace Episcopal Church. 

Pre Event Sign Making Party
Plan to gather for a sign making party (around 5:15 PM) at the warehouse of 35 South Main Street ( in back of Pearl Boutique) on Sunday, March 18 after the LDC Forum.  Sign making materials will be provided.  

Let’s do our part in  demanding that their lives and safety of our children, our families,  our citizens,  become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

All are welcome.  Let our collective voices, the voices  of the March For Our Lives movement be heard. 

You are invited: Candidates’ Forum, March 18

The three candidates for the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s First Congressional District will be at a candidates’ forum:

  • Sunday, March 18
  • 3:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Lancaster Community Library, 15 Town Center Circle, Kilmarnock VA

Each candidate will make a four-minute opening statement and a three-minute closing statement.  The candidates will be asked questions that have been submitted from throughout the First Congressional District; two minutes apiece for their answers.

The candidates will be available after the forum for one-on-one conversations.

Candidates are (in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Edwin Santana, Stafford County

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  • John Suddarth, Hanover County

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  • Vangie Williams, King George County

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Join Indivisible and Progressive groups to Wave Goodbye to Rob Wittman:

  • Saturday, February 24

  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM

  • In front of Wittman’s Mechanicsville/Hanover office

  • 6501 Hwy 360 (Mechanicsville Turnpike); Suite 102; Mechanicsville VA

Make your own signs to Wave Out Wittman — there’s a Blue Wave coming to sweep him out in November 2018!!

Dept of Justice releases indictments against Russian and American individuals and several companies that interfered with US elections

Breaking news as of 2:30 PM, Friday, Feb 16.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein held a press conference on Friday afternoon to announce special counsel indictments of Russian firms and individuals who interfered in the 2016 election. Included in the indictment were the Internet Research Agency, also known as Glavset, an organization based in St. Petersburg that specializes in creating fake accounts on social media and generating false news stories supported by pop-up fake news sites.

According to the charges the defendants not only posed as U.S. citizens while operating social media pages and groups designed to impact the election, but some of them traveled to the United States in the process to collect information and …

Some defendants, posing as US persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign …

The indictments include a charge of “conducting information warfare against the United States” along with charges connected to a conspiracy.

The conspiracy had as its object impairing, destructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means, in order to enable the Defendants to interfere with US political and electoral processes, including the 2016 presidential election.

Here is a link to the 37-page indictment.

We will post more information later.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to claim Russian meddling in our elections is “a hoax . . . a witch hunt.”

Action items for the week of February 4 – 11, 2018

FIRST ACTION ITEM:  Contact the FBI, tell them you support them, not Trump.

The attacks on the FBI by Congressional Republicans and by the Trump White House are just another in a series of attacks on our fundamental national institutions.  Anyone who cares about this nation should be appalled at these actions.

What can you do?  Try this.

FIRST.  Call and write your local FBI office, tell them you have faith in their professionalism and integrity.

Richmond VA FBI office:

Address:  111 Greencourt Rd, Richmond, VA 23228
Phone:  (804) 261-1044

SECOND.  Make a donation to the FBI Agents Association College Memorial Fund.

THIRD.  Contact your Congressional representative and demand that he/she denounce Rep. Nunes and the Trump White House for their attacks on the FBI.  Follow up by submitting your letter as a letter to the editor of your local paper.


Americans of Conscience Action Checklist

Week of February 4, 2018

A special request
Next week’s checklist will suggest sending valentines to show some love to specific people. If you have the time and resources, consider picking up (or making) 10-20 valentines for next Sunday. This might be a great activity for crafty kids and teens.

64 weeks down, 40 weeks to mid-term elections.

This checklist features clear, hype-free actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. Additionally, we practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged. Urgent actions are highlighted in yellow.

This is the first week the Research Sous Chef volunteers contributed to the checklist. I’m so grateful for their time, patience, and diligent work. We—all of us—are stronger together.

I value equality.

Out of many, we are one. Stand with your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.

Action: Stand with people at risk of religion-based discrimination.

Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House rep.

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling about the US Dept. of Health and Human Services new division that condones discrimination against our own citizens. The denial of medical treatment is unconscionable and risks our neighbors’ lives. I don’t want providers who discriminate to receive governmental compensation. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to address this?

Bonus: Donate to Lambda Legal which represents people affected by this new HHS policy.

Action: Stand with Dreamers who call America home.

Call: Your two senators and one House representative. A deal is near.

Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] about the president’s anti-immigrant agenda. People who immigrate to the U.S. from other countries bring new jobs, create new business, and enrich our communities. I want [name] to support the Dream Act (S.1615/H.R. 3440), family unification, and no funding for a wasteful wall or surplus border staffing. Thank you.

Action: Stand with at-risk pregnant women and young families to ensure health.

Call: Your 2 senators. (This bill already passed in the House.)

Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to ask Sen. [name] to support S. 1829 and reauthorize funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. This voluntary, evidence-based program has shown strong returns on investment for individual families and society more broadly. Will s/he commit to restoring funding and supporting our vulnerable neighbors?

Action: Stand with Black Americans by advocating for slavery history education.

Write: Your local school board.

Script: Dear Board of Ed., For Black History Month this year, I would like the board to consider evaluating the current curriculum for America’s history of slavery. Recent research by the Southern Poverty Law Center showed that the average high school senior cannot answer basic questions about this painful period in our country’s history. Please review the SPLC’s report and consider the importance of preparing our students for leadership. Thank you.

Action: Stand with Americans who are poor, disabled, and/or unable to work.

Find: Virginia’s Medicaid director’s address:

Department of Medical Assistance Services
Attn: Director’s Office
600 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Director:  Dr.  Jennifer Lee

Write: Dear [Name], I am deeply concerned about the CMS letter on 1/12/18 allowing states to deny medical care to vulnerable citizens. With a majority of Medicaid enrollees already working, in school, or medically unable to work, compliance enforcement is an unnecessary waste of taxpayer money. We must take care of our neighbors in need. This new policy penalizes people living in poverty and with disabilities, cutting them off from a powerful poverty-reducing program. I entreat you to continue providing Medicaid to all [Staters] who need it. Thank you for your consideration. Name, town.

I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.

Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.

Action: Oppose using the inaccurate, unsecure Crosscheck system in your state.

Search: Virginia uses the Crosscheck system .

Write:  Virginia State Electoral Board.

Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, First Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

Script: Dear [name], I am a resident of [town] and am writing to request that [State] become the 9th state to exit the Interstate Crosscheck System. Its history of purging legitimate voters, leaking citizens’ data–including social security numbers–and creating fraud false-positives jeopardizes an essential tenet of our democracy: the vote. Please serve your state by choosing a more secure, less-partisan option. Thank you.

Action: Get ready for the 2018 election. Make a note of your state’s next primary.

Search: Virginia will hold primary elections on June 12, 2018

Record: The primary date in your calendar, set a reminder, and add the national election too (Nov 6).

I value showing respect to all people, no matter where they were born.

People who immigrate to the US make our country stronger and build our economy. As our neighbors and as fellow human beings, they are entitled to basic respect and compassion.

Action: New action to stand with Salvadoran dads separated from their children by ICE and CBP.

Update: The work of Pueblo Sin Fronteras (Town Without Borders)  has led to a tiny ray of hope for reuniting asylum-seeking dads and their children. In collaboration with the legal advocacy group Al Otro Lado (To the Other Side), PSF is raising funds to post bond and reunite all four dads with their children.

We can help: Read their story, donate if you can, and share widely.

Action: Oppose an invasive new ICE program of tracking license plates.

Call: Your 2 senators and 1 House rep.

Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my concern about ICE’s plans to install license plate readers to track and photograph US citizens and immigrants. I understand that [name] is limited in impacting this department’s practices, but this technology risks violating citizens’ privacy and increasing anxiety in our communities. This is not the direction I want for my country. What can [name] do to reign in ICE overreach?

Acts of Gratitude

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

Note: Next week, we’ll be sending valentines. If you have the time and means, purchase or make 10-20 valentines for next Sunday’s checklist.

Thank Sheriff Stacey A. Kincaid (D-VA) for terminating an agreement with ICE to hold inmates beyond the duration of their jail sentences to enable possible deportation. I am also grateful that ICE must now produce a court-issued criminal detainer to hold any person. I appreciate your decision to respect and protect the precious few rights of undocumented people. Name, State, Party

Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22030

Thank Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for her commitment to bipartisanship and dialog. I’m especially grateful for your recent efforts to gather senators of both parties and find a solution to keep 800,000 Dreamers stateside. In times of increasing polarization, your leadership is even more remarkable. Thank you. Name, State, Party

Address: 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330

Thank Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) for continuing to advocate for funding community health centers across the US. I appreciate your commitment to supporting this vital resource and urging Congress to care for their neighbors. Name, State, Party

Address: 2000 Market Street, Suite 610, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Thank Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) for signing a petition to add a measure restoring voting rights to formerly-incarcerated people to the Florida ballot . Thank you for recognizing that the right to vote is not a partisan issue, and for working to enfranchise Floridians who have become contributing members of society. I’m grateful you believe in second chances. Name, State, Party

Address: 12851 SW 42nd Street, Suite 131, Miami, FL 33175

Thank Scott Pruitt (R) for choosing to protect the world’s largest salmon habitat in Bristol Bay, AK, to ensure the livelihood of the fishing industry, and to uphold the highest environmental standards in mining. I am deeply grateful. Name, State, Party

Address: ℅ EPA, Office of the Administrator 1101A, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460

Thank Netherlands Ambassador Henne Schuwer for sharing information with the CIA and NSA about Russian interference in American elections. As an American who values the integrity of free and fair elections, I thank your government for its support of our citizens and revealing this information for investigation. Name, State

Address: Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

Recommended reading

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

  • Calling out racism effectively, and why it’s good for your health (WaPo).
  • How wobbly is our democracy? (NY Times)

Good news

Decent people everywhere are speaking up, doing good, and working together.



  • Two Alabama Republicans introduce a law that would abolish civil forfeiture before criminal conviction, allowing citizens to keep their private property until proven guilty.
  • A Mississippi school bans corporal punishment.
  • The US Senate failed to take away women’s reproductive choices and criminalize health care providers.