Americans of Conscience Checklist: Week of March 31, 2019

   March 31, 2019

-Submitted by Judy Sullivan, USH Social Justice Chair; Source:https://americansofconscience.com/

A gentle reminder The goal of activism isn’t for me to make a differece. Or you. The only way it works is when we endeavor to make a difference together. This week’s Checklist has 8 things we can do, offered in solidarity with multiple communities around the country speaking up for fairness, equality, and justice. If the news has you down, take a deep breath and think about where you want our nation to be in 5 years, or 10. What are you hoping for? Remember: other people share that dream. When you speak up, it’s with thousands who hope for a better future. Setbacks and disappointments are a normal part of the journey, but it is our combined effort that matters most of all in these challenging times. Let’s stick together.

124 weeks down, 83 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 equality.

Support the dignity of your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.

 Action 1: Support your Native neighbors impacted by extreme weather. [h/t GPTCA]

Recent severe blizzards and flooding in the Great Plains especially impacted tribal nations. Displaced families are struggling without water, power, and other critical resources.
Donate: To the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association’s GoFundMe campaign which allocates funds to tribes in Nebraska and North and South Dakota.
BonusDonate directly to a family that lost 5 homes and their business.

 Action 2: Advocate for survivors of abuse and sexual assault. [h/t Moms Demand Action]

Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to support the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, including gun access limitations for domestic abusers. It’s appalling that this important legislation has expired, and I would like [name] to co-sponsor and vote for passage of H.R.1585. [If your rep already co-sponsored, thank them.]

 Action 3: Close the gender pay gap. [h/t MomsRisingWomen’s March]

Call: Or write your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling because I believe in equal pay for equal work. All women, especially women of color, make less than men in the same jobs, despite existing legal protections. The Paycheck Fairness Act just passed by the House (H.R. 7) would close remaining loopholes and hold employers accountable. Can I count on [name] to support it when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote? [Thank them if they do and share why it matters to you.]

 Action 4: Support your neighbors’ health. [h/t Center on Budget]

Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] because I believe health care is essential for all people. The Affordable Care Act has saved countless lives over the past decade, and it needs protection and improvement. I’m asking [name] to co-sponsor H.R. 1884 to reduce premiums so more people can benefit and prevent future disruption to the health care system. [Thank them if they already have.]

 Action 5: Support our hungry neighbors in Puerto Rico. [h/t Mi Familia Vota]

The president is blocking food aid to Puerto Rico where nearly 43% of the population relies on food stamps.
Donate: To the Food Bank of Puerto Rico (Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico)

Call: Your two senators (look up) this week.
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to support relief for Puerto Rico. Our fellow Americans are starving due to the president’s biases and Congressional inaction. I’m asking [name] to show mercy toward our fellow citizens, support immediate passage of S. 572 to address the situation, and ensure Puerto Rico receives all promised financial support.

 Action 6: Secure a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. [h/t United We Dream]

Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to express support for extending a clear path to citizenship my neighbors protected by DACA, TPS, and DED. Recipients of these protections need stability, and so do their U.S.-citizen families, co-workers, and communities. I would like [name] to co-sponsor the bipartisan Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (DACA recipients) and the SECURE Act (for TPS and DED recipients). [Thank them if they already have–this is important.]

I value voting as a foundation of a healthy democracy.

We cannot assume 2020 elections will be fair. This section features actions to shore up election vulnerabilities in time for the next presidential election.

Action 1: Empower future voters. [h/t Spread the Vote]

Spread the Vote and its Project ID initiative helps citizens obtain IDs for required voting. We set an audacious goal to support 300 future voters this year. At $40 per ID, AoCC subscribers have already raised enough for 54 people to get IDs ($2,177.41)!  Want to help your neighbors vote?
Donate: To Spread the Vote here.

Action 2: Advocate for a simple solution to end vote hacking.

Although HB1 includes provisions for hand-marked paper ballots, we must take this issue to state-level voting officials. The clock is ticking down to the 2020 elections.
Write: Your state’s election official (look up) and two state legislators (look up).
Script: Dear [Name], The outcome of the 2020 election hinges on whether US voting systems are trustworthy. Hand-marked, paper ballots (HMBPs) are the gold standard for election security. While some congressional leaders and for-profit voting tech companies insist that high-tech alternatives to hand-marked, paper ballots are safe from hacking, they are not. [State’s] voters must be able to hand-mark their ballots (with accommodations for disabled people) and be able to verify their vote is counted. I look forward to hearing from you about how you plan to ensure [State] implements HMBPs well before the 2020 presidential election. Thank you.
Note: If your state already uses HMPBs, share how important it is to have HMPBs *and* to keep them.

Acts of Gratitude

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

Thank Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for co-sponsoring reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and being the first in his party to do so. [Share why preventing violence against women matters to you.]
Address: 1717 Langhorne Newtown Rd. Suite 400, Langhorne, PA 19047

Thank Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) for creating community and mentoring women of color who are new to Congress. [Share why you appreciate cooperation and solidarity.]
Address: 1904 3rd Ave., Suite 510, Seattle, WA 98101

Thank Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Gary Peters (D-MI) for scrutinizing the security and regulation of the US’ three largest voting machine vendors. [Express why you appreciate efforts to preserve the integrity of your vote.]

Addresses:
AK: 
1200 Washington Avenue South, Room 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415
MW: 919 E. Main Street, Suite 630, Richmond, VA 23219
JR: One Exchange Terrace, Suite 408, Providence, RI 02903-1744
GP: 124 West Allegan Street, Suite 1400, Lansing, MI 48933

Thank Sara Ansari, clothing designer and CEO/Founder of Artizara, whose recent fashion show featured the personal journeys and fashion traditions of girls who migrated to the U.S. as refugees. [Share why highlighting the stories of young women and immigrants matters.]
Address: 14286 Olde Highway 80, El Cajon, CA 92021 USA 

Good news

Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews

National

State

Local

  • Refuge Coffee in Clarkston, Georgia, “The most diverse square mile in America,” offers a safe place for refugees and their American neighbors to get to know each other.
  • Puerto Rico is considering a bill that would mandate 100% percent renewable energy by 2025.
  • Puerto Rico’s governor signs an executive order banning conversion therapy.
  • Students in Little Rock, AR will have access to bus passes this summer so that they may partake in free meals offered during summer break.
  • A school principal in Newark, NJ, installs washing machines and accepts donated laundry supplies so that students can have clean clothes and avoid being bullied.

Organizations

  • Freedom for Immigrants compiles a resource for journalists that advises on how to portray immigrants and amplify individual stories in immigrants’ own voices.
  • In honor of Trans Visibility Day (3/31), the Human Rights Campaign shares ways to support our trans neighbors.

News with heart