Americans of Conscience Checklist, Week of January 6, 2019 Posted on January 9, 2019 by Linda Clark Submitted by Judy Sullivan, USH Social Justice Chair Americans of Conscience Checklist, Week of January 6, 2019 By Jen Hofmann 112 weeks down, 95 weeks to the presidential election. The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged. The seeds of truth 2018 was hard. Even people who’ve been justice advocates for decades told me this. It was a year of devastation and heartbreak. There’s no sugar-coating it. And yet, even in this bleak period of our country’s story, the seeds of truth are taking root. Awed, we notice how the newly-arrived members of the House of Representatives better reflect our nation’s people. Now we are represented by more women, Native, biracial, Muslim, and bisexual people. Time and again, even when our calls for change go unheeded, our judicial branch upholds Constitutional values. A strategic investigation of our current president’s actions perseveres–even when the outcome is yet unclear. Even if the foundation is shaken, the bones are still strong. Hope is not lost. As we reenter from winter festivities and consider the year ahead, it’s important to reflect. As you are able, take time for the two tools mentioned in the Checklist this week to consider your own well-being and your priorities in 2019. Our democracy–and our future–will be better for your voice and presence. I value democracy. With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people Action 1: Make an action plan for 2019. Complete the Action Worksheet to get inspired and focused. Action 2: Make a self-care plan for 2019. Spend ten minutes with this worksheet to stay inspired throughout the year. Action 3: Advocate for bipartisan cooperation and voting rights. [h/t Brookings] Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up). Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Now that the 116th Congress has begun, I would like [name] to know my top two priorities. First, I would like [name] to cooperate in a bipartisan manner. Second, I want [them] to support restoring the integrity of our vote. (House rep only: Can I count on [name] to support H.R. 1?) . I value equality. Stand with your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability. Out of many, we are one. Action: Speak up for neighbors impacted by the government shutdown. [h/t News and Guts] Call: Your two Senators and one House rep (look up). Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask that [name] support efforts to end the shutdown without funding a border wall. A shutdown during tax season impacts our poorest neighbors, who file early for refunds to pay debts and make major purchases. Can you tell me what [name] is doing to support [their] constituents without funding a wall? I value decency. Our nation has a moral and legal obligation to welcome people seeking asylum and refuge. We support showing decency toward this vulnerable community. Action: Support accountability from U.S. immigration agencies. [h/t ACLU] Call: Your two Senators and one House rep (look up). Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling because I find it unacceptable to detain children in overcrowded, substandard facilities. It is unacceptable that two children died in U.S. custody. It is unacceptable to use my tax dollar to jail children and families. What is [name] doing to ensure DHS, ICE, and Customs and Border Patrol are investigated and held accountable? Acts of Gratitude Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail. Thank Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO, for donating their $10M corporate tax break to benefit the planet. [Share what this action means to you and why it matters]. Address: Patagonia, 235 W. Santa Clara St., Ventura, CA 93001 Thank members of No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes for risking personal freedom to save lives in the southwest desert. [Share your gratitude for bravery to protect lives in the face of personal harm.] Address: ℅ Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 E. 22nd St., Tucson, AZ 85711 Thank comedian Samantha Bee for shedding light on cruel border policies, and raising funds for humanitarian immigration efforts. [Share your appreciation for tackling complicated issues through humor and compassion.] Address: ℅ AGI Entertainment Media & Management, 150 East 58th St.-19th Floor, New York, NY 10155 Thank three Kansas state senators for following their moral compass. Changing party affiliation to support equality in our communities and oppose division in our country is courageous. [Share why you admire this decision.] Address for Sen. Barbara Bollier, Sen. Dinah Sykes, and Rep. Stephanie Clayton: Kansas State Capitol, 300 SW 10th St., Topeka, KS 66612 Good news Decent people everywhere are doing kind and just things. #GoodNews National Thanks to extensive bipartisan cooperation, the First Step Act—which will bring more justice and dignity to our communities—is now law. The newly-passed, bipartisan Improving Access to Maternity Care Act brings better care to communities across the nation. The Supreme Court upholds a blockon the current president’s asylum ban. People fleeing domestic violence and gang violence may once again apply for asylumin the U.S., overturning the administration’s policy. The current administration announces a plan to ease onerous security requirements for sponsorsof migrant children, increasing chances for reunification with family members. State CA expands overtime pay for farmworkers. WA Department of Corrections and unions facilitate preferred entry for female inmates into paid apprenticeship programsafter completing their sentences. LA teachers oppose tax breaks for Exxon and work to strengthen fundingfor school districts. News with heart Texas school bus driver Curtis Jenkins bought a Christmas presentfor every student he drives to school. Michigan Nurses Association members cancel $8.9M in medical debtfor 9,200 people. A bootstrap project to feed one family ends up feeding the world. “There are times you have wreckage all around you, but you can still win something.” Benedict College awards an honorary degreeto Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, to recognize her social justice work in the wake of her son’s murder. After 23 years in prison, Tyra Patterson is shining a light for othersimpacted by the criminal justice system. Community members serenade and feed hundreds of migrantsreleased by ICE over the Christmas holiday at a Greyhound bus station in El Paso, Texas. Throughstories and pictures, the New York Times shares the lives of several migrant families reunited after long separations at the border. The 2018 national teacher of the year is organizing a 24-hour “teach-in”for migrant children at a detention camp in Tornillo, TX. Three trans Latinx women start their own beauty shop co-opin response to discrimination. .