Turning Bad News into Positive Action

Turning Bad News into Positive Action
-Submitted by Judy Sullivan, USH Social Justice Chair
Like many of you, I have been overwhelmed by all the negative stories that we are faced with each day. Some days I feel paralyzed by not knowing exactly what to do while wondering if anything I do can make a difference. 
A member of our congregation sent me the link to the Americans of Conscience Checklist which offers non-partisan action plans that offer precise instructions for simple tasks that we can do from home. I am attaching some general information about this site and will offer one or two “action opportunities” each week. 
 “I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the
something that I can do.”
                                                                    ~Edward Everett Hale
Americans of Conscience Checklist
In the Americans of Conscience Checklist , you get…
Clear, well-researched actions in support of:
  • Democracy and Constitutional freedoms
  • Voting access
  • Equality for all Americans
  • Respectful treatment of people who immigrate to the US
Acts of Gratitude to praise elected officials when they do something good for all people, no matter which side of the aisle.
Good News about our democracy and people doing kind things for each other.
A short reading list of quality articles.

Actions + hope = perseverance.

The AoC checklist helps you…
  • Feel more encouraged and less overwhelmed.
  • Tune out the noise and focus on what really matters.
  • Take action easily.
  • Make a difference even when you’re busy.
  • Feel purposeful and a little more at ease.
  • Continue engaging with your democracy for the long run.
I value showing respect for all people, no matter where they were born.
We oppose inhumane treatment of all people and the government agencies that perpetuate it. People who immigrate to the US make our country stronger and are entitled to basic respect.
Action: Stand with people detained in ICE facilities.
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] concerned about the lack of oversight in detention centers where thousands of families, many with small children, are housed. To increase oversight and stop further construction of lucrative immigrant prisons, will [name] commit to co-signing the DONE Act (S. 2849/H.R. 5820)? Thank you.
Action: Stand with children separated from their families.
Call: Your one House rep (look up). Even if they already agree/don’t care
Script: The administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy separates children from adults when they cross the border without authorizing documents or who (legally) present themselves as asylum seekers. I would like [name] to support two bills to stop this inhumane practice.
  • The Child Citizen Protection Act (H.R. 2508) would allow judges to decline any order separating a non-citizen parent from a citizen child. 
  • The HELP Separated Children Act (H.R. 5950) would require states to provide separated children with foster care through welfare agencies or community organizations and require DHS personnel to undergo child welfare training.
Bonus: Donate to legal representation fund for unaccompanied kids. (h/t)
Action: Stand with children and families being separated by ICE.
Write: The appointed officials listed below. (Print out copies of this letter.)
Script: Our nation has a moral responsibility to protect children and treat them with basic decency, regardless of immigration status. The inhumane practice of separating children from parents as an immigration deterrent must stop. As a taxpayer funding this egregious neglect of duty, I urge you to take full and immediate responsibility for ensuring children’s well-being and safety. Keep families together. Stop locking them up. Sincerely, [name, state] (h/t)
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Address: Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528 
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan 
AddressImmigration and Customs Enforcement, 500 12th St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20536
HHS Secretary Alex Azar
Address: Office of Health and Human Services200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201
Acting Assistant ACF Secretary Steven Wagner
Address Administration for Children and Families, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201
ORR Director Scott Lloyd 
AddressOffice of Refugee Resettlement, Mary E. Switzer Building, 330 C ST SW, Washington DC 20201