Americans of Conscience Checklist: Week of April 7, 2019

-Submitted by Judy Sullivan, USH Social Justice Chair; Source: 

Wins for democracy

Sometimes justice isn’t an overwhelming, exciting win. Sometimes it is people working for transparency and truth. You’ll be pleased to know this is happening right now, however quietly. Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform authorized subpoenas for the full Mueller report, on White House security clearances, and two cabinet officials regarding the racially-motivated census citizenship question. Three subpoenas intended to reveal what is true. What is worth celebrating is that these efforts directly counter the current administration’s efforts to spin false stories. They are three small steps toward healing our democracy.

If you have Democratic representative in the House, now would be a great time to tell them how much you appreciate this pursuit of truth and transparency. Letters like these go to the top of the pile and are sure to encourage!

Let’s speak up for and with our neighbors this week.


— Jen Hofmann

125 weeks down, 82 weeks to the presidential election.

The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and respect. To stay engaged through challenging times, we practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration.

I value democracy.

With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.

Action 1: Defend the privacy of our disabled neighbors. [h/t Talk Poverty]

Call: Or write your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to support privacy rights for disabled people applying for Social Security benefits. The administration’s new budget proposes monitoring people’s social media accounts as part of determining eligibility. Since the SSA’s own analysis finds fraud in only 1% of disability payments, this practice would invade privacy and waste limited resources. I’m asking [NAME] to publicly denounce invading citizens’ privacy and hold OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and SSA Commissioner Nancy Berryhill accountable.
Bonus: OH and PA residents, thank Sens. Sherrod Brown and Bob Casey for leading public opposition.

Action 2: Support prevention of hate crimes. [h/t Muslim Advocates]

Write: FBI Director Christopher Wray, FBI Headquarters, 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20535-0001
Script: Dear Director Wray, I am greatly concerned about increasing violence by white nationalists against houses of worship. I support stricter enforcement of existing law to address to this public safety threat. I urge you to meet with religious leaders who wish to advocate with you directly in the near future. My neighbors’ lives are [or my life is] at stake. Thank you

Action 3: Defend the right to read in prison. [h/t Books to Prisoners, Prison Book Program]

Last week, the Washington Department of Corrections banned nonprofits from sending free, used books to prisoners to prisons.
SignBooks to Prisoners’ petition which they’ll present to the DOC.

Action 4: Advocate for equality in the military (before April 12). [h/t GLAD]

Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to affirm the dignity of my transgender neighbors. The president’s discriminatory ban is set to take effect April 12, and Congress must act to stop it. Anyone who meets military standards should be able to serve, including our 15,000 transgender troops. I urge [NAME] to co-sponsor S.373/H.R.1032.

Action 5: Support reliable and verifiable election systems.

Verified Voting’s mission is “Safeguarding elections in the digital age” and they support hand-marked paper ballots. Donating helps communities around the U.S. strengthen their election security.
Donate: To Verified Voting.

Action 6: Support the release of transgender asylum seekers from jail. [h/t RAICES, Santa Fe Dreamers Project]

Twelve transgender women are eligible for release from Cibola County Correctional Center, but need to post bond. The Santa Fe Dreamers Project is working on their cases directly.
DonateTo SFDP’s bond fund for their release.

Action 7: Insist on impartial courts and judges. [h/t AILA]

Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling about immigration judges. When their performance appraisals are connected to case quotas, they are vulnerable to political interference and manipulation. Our country needs independent judges in our courts. I would like [NAME] to support and co-sponsor the Immigration Court Improvement Act of 2019 (S. 663).

Action 8: Support a path to citizenship for our neighbors. [h/t ACLU]

Sign: ACLU petition to support a path to stability for Dreamers, DACA, TPS, and DED recipients. (Uncheck boxes if you don’t want future emails from ACLU.)

Action 9: Oppose family detention and deporting unaccompanied minors. [h/t LIRS, Congressional Hispanic Caucus]

Write: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Edit the AoCC letter, print three, and send.
Note: Letter above edited to reflect Neilsen’s resignation.

Acts of Gratitude

Let’s get out our stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers to acknowledge those who choose bravery, kindness, and democracy before party.

Thank Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) for introducing the Immigration Court Improvement Act of 2019. [Share why you value impartial judges.]

MH: 300 Ala Moana Blvd., RM 3-106, Honolulu, HI 96850
CCM: 400 South Virginia Street, Suite 902, Reno, NV 89501
JM: 500 Liberty Street SE, Suite 320, Salem, OR 97301

Thank Joaquin Castro, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, for his clear objections to Sec. Nielsen’s letter and request to meet with her. [Share why you appreciate holding the president’s cabinet members accountable.]

Address: 727 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd, Suite B-128, San Antonio, TX 78206

Thank Tricia Newbold, security administrator, Office of Administration (White House), for providing the U.S. House Oversight Committee with information about security clearance irregularities that could threaten national security. [Share your appreciation for putting public safety over personal interest.]

Address: c/o Edward H. Passman, Passman & Kaplan, P.C., Attorneys at Law, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036

Thank Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) for sharing her personal story of domestic violence to support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. [Let Rep. Porter know what sharing her personal story means to you].

Address: 2151 Michelson Drive, Suite 195, Irvine, CA 92612

Good news

Here’s evidence that decent people are working together and speaking up. #GoodNews




Business, groups, and organizations

  • Motel 6 settles a second lawsuit for racial profiling and violating customer’s privacy and will stop sharing customer’s information to ICE.
  • The ACLU’s “Rights for All” campaign begins with the goal of getting all presidential candidates on the record about their support for civil rights and civil liberties.
  • UC Irvine has increased its Latino student populations to 34% and increased the six-year graduation rate to 95%.

News with heart