Americans of Conscience Checklist: Week of May 12, 2019 Posted on May 14, 2019May 14, 2019 by Linda Clark -Submitted by Judy Sullivan, USH Social Justice Chair; Source: https://americansofconscience.com/ 128 weeks down, 77 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: Advocate for equal protection from discrimination. [h/t ACLU] There will be a full House vote this week on the Equality Act. Call: Your one House rep, red or blue (look up). Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], and I value civil rights for all. The Equality Act is up for a vote this week, and I am asking [NAME] to support it. All citizens should be protected from firing, eviction, and denial of public services. Can I count on [NAME] to vote yes on H.R. 5? ▢ Action: Advocate with your LGBTQ neighbors for housing protection. [h/t HRC] Write: Or email your two senators and one House rep (look up). Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I support housing access for all. Right now I/my LGBTQ neighbors are more likely than other people to be denied a mortgage or have rental inquiries ignored. The Fair & Equal Housing Act (H.R. 2402/S. 1246) protects against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and I’m asking [NAME] to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation. ▢ Action: Speak up for patient-centered health care. [h/t National Women’s Law Center, National Center for Transgender Equality, Transgender Law Center] Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up). Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to advocate for a health system that centers patients who need care. The administration’s so-called Conscience Rules undermine this principle by expanding permission for individuals and institutions to refuse services to people in need of care. A system based on provider preference rather than patients will cause harm to me/my family/many vulnerable people. I would like [NAME] to publicly oppose these rules and introduce legislation to overturn them. Bonus: Call or write your two state legislators (look up). Script: Hi, I’m a constituent in [ZIP] alarmed by the administration’s new so-called “Conscience Rules” that expand health care providers’ ability to refuse care. I’m asking [NAME] to introduce legislation to protect vulnerable communities and require providers in our state to disclose in advance the services they do and do not offer. Additionally, I’d like the state to educate us about how to navigate this new system and plan for our care. Thank you. ▢ Action: Support a humanitarian response at our southern border. [H/T RAICES] Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up). Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and calling as part of the Defund Hate campaign. I would like [NAME] to oppose the president’s supplemental funding request. Passing it would use $4.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to maximize harm to people arriving at the border by building and expanding deadly immigration jails. This is not a humanitarian response. [NAME] must publicly oppose and reject the president’s request. Thank you. ▢ Action: Support people’s right to a lawyer. [h/t RAICES] In Texas, ICE’s Karnes Detention Center is preventing RAICES from meeting with individuals detained, denying them their right to legal aid. Call: Deborah Achim, Deputy Field Office Director, 210-283-4723. Script: Hi. I’m a taxpayer from [STATE] calling to ask you to restore legal access to people detained at Karnes. Thank you. Acts of Gratitude Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail. Thank Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for re-introducing the Exercise and Fitness for All Act to reduce barriers that disabled Americans face in accessing fitness facilities. [Share why equal access to physical and emotional wellness opportunities matters to you.] Addresses: TD: 230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3900, Chicago, IL 60604 BC: 2000 Market Street, Suite 610, Philadelphia, PA 19103 RB: 90 State House Square 10th Floor, Hartford, CT, 06103 Thank Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox manager, and team members Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez, and Hector Velazquez for their solidarity with Puerto Rico hurricane survivors by declining to participate in the team’s White House visit. [Share why you appreciate those who use fame to highlight injustice.] Address: c/o Boston Red Sox, 4 Jersey Street, Boston, MA 02215-3496 Thank Eva Longoria for speaking out against the treatment of refugee families seeking to enter the U.S. [Share your appreciation for using fame to highlight injustice]. Address: Eva Longoria Foundation, 2708 Wilshire Blvd. #369, Santa Monica, CA 90403 Thank Pat Shanahan, Acting Secretary of Defense, for saying publicly that the military should move away from the border to focus on its primary missions. [Share why you appreciate his honesty.] Address: 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000 Good news Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews National ACLU challenges the administration’s decision to halt bond hearings for asylum-seekers.Government Accountability Office report urges federal agencies to consult tribal leaders so that Native voices shape infrastructure that affects their health, culture, and sovereignty.Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan questions border troop deployment.10 transgender women seeking asylum win their immigration cases.Congress approves over-the-counter hearing aids, reducing cost and hassle for those who need them. State and local AZ: Democratic congressional members ask Homeland Security to appoint crisis coordinator to assist migrant families.OH: Bipartisan panel unanimously rules as unconstitutional the state’s current congressional district map and orders that it must be redrawn before the 2020 elections.CA: Appeals court upholds a law prohibiting prosecution of children younger than 16 as adults.VA: Gov. Ralph Northam will no longer sign any legislation that imposes new mandatory minimum sentence requirements.Thirteen states are developing strategies to address prison reform.Albuquerque city council approves $250K in humanitarian aid for asylum seekers.NYC becomes the first major U.S. city to make phone calls free for people in custody. Corporate/business GEO Group, a for-profit private prison company, wrote to the SEC that its business model was in jeopardy due to protests and divestment.LEGO Group introduces bricks with studs that correspond to Braille letters and numbers to make learning Braille reading easier.Volkswagen launches an initiative with disability communities to ensure accessibility in the design and functionality of its autonomous vehicles.More than 200 leading companies join the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition in support of the Equality Act.In response to feedback of exclusion, Sweetgreen and Amazon Go reverse their cashless purchasing policies. Groups and organizations Slay the Dragon, a documentary, shows the effects of gerrymandering.National Lawyers Guild condemns secret U.S.-Mexican list of journalists and advocates documenting and providing humanitarian aid at the border.Black Latinas Know seeks to affirm the experiences of Black Latinas within Latino/a/x studies.Southern Borders Community Coalition compiles a list of partner organizations helping immigrant families across the southern border and in Mexico.Fortune Society supports returning citizens in preparing for the job search process.