Americans of Conscience Checklist: Week of May 19, 2019

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

129 weeks down, 76 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: Empower more people to vote.

Call: Or write your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I value voting as a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. A Pew Center report shows that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats support automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, an election day holiday, and restoring the vote to returning citizens. To support expanding voting participation, I would like [NAME] to cosponsor the Voter Empowerment Act of 2019 (S. 549/H.R. 1275).
Bonus: If either of your senators is on the Senate committee on Rules and Administration, ask them to vote for the bill and encourage the committee chair (Roy Blunt, R-MO) to advance it.

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: Support a U.S. citizen facing 20 years for providing humanitarian aid. [h/t No More Deaths]

In a growing trend, DHS is detaining US citizens for providing humanitarian aid in the Arizona desert. Dr. Scott Warren faces 20 years. Call before May 24th to join No More Deaths’ national phone-in to insist on his release.

Call: Michael Bailey, Interim U.S. Attorney for Arizona at 520-620-7419.
Script: I am a citizen calling from [STATE] to urge U.S. Attorney Bailey to drop all charges against Dr. Scott Warren (docket #CR18-223-TUC-RCC). Given the crisis of death and disappearance of undocumented people on the border, humanitarian aid workers must be allowed to perform their life-saving work without government harassment and prosecution. I oppose the intimidation of aid workers. Thank you.
Sign: Petition to drop charges (Note: Unsub from MoveOn emails after signing.)
Bonus
: Donate to No More Deaths.

Action: Oppose funds for immigration enforcement. [h/t Detention Watch]

Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up). Especially Democrats.
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] calling to stand with immigrants’rights groups insisting on defunding ICE and CBP. I don’t want my tax dollar funding an agency that inflicts neglect, abuse, and fatalities on vulnerable people. What is [NAME] doing to ensure the president’s $4.5 billion disaster budget funds only aid and not more harm?

Action: Support the constitutional right to due process. [h/t ACLU]

Write: Your local law enforcement department head (police chief, county sheriff).
Script: Hi. I’m a resident of [TOWN] and share the concerns expressed by ACLU that imprisoning people without due process or probable cause raises serious constitutional concerns. There is higher risk of litigation and liability when law enforcement honors ICE detainers or “immigration holds.” I am requesting reassurance that [TOWN/COUNTY] does not engage in this practice. Thank you.

Action: Speak up for gun violence prevention. [h/t Moms Demand]

Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] because I believe gun violence is a public health crisis, one that impacts women, people of color, and people who are poor more than other groups. I want my tax dollar to fund research supporting its prevention. I’m asking [NAME] to vote for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 2740).

Action: Support your neighbors health and well-being. [h/t Food Research and Action Center]

Call: Or write your two state legislators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP] who values nutrition and health for all. The Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) assists people to overcome food insecurity and contributes to more stable homes and better education, I’m concerned that only [your state’s percentage on pages12-13] percent of eligible people in our state actually receive WIC benefits. I’d like [NAME] to propose new WIC outreach efforts to non-English speakers so that more [STATE] residents will live healthier lives.

Action: End corporate investment in private prisons/detention facilities. [h/t MomsRising]

Script: I’m a [citizen and/or Bank of America and/or SunTrust customer] concerned about continued investment in detention giants CoreCivic and GEO Group, companies that have documented histories of human rights abuses. [Share your personal reasons for opposing mass incarceration and/or immigrant detention.] I urge you to join Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase in cutting financial ties to these harmful enterprises. Thank you.

Addresses:
BoA: Brian Moynihan, President and CEO, 100 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC, 28255 or brian.t.moynihan@bankofamerica.com
SunTrust: William H. Rogers, Jr., Chairman and CEO, 303 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308 or bill.rogers@suntrust.com

Action: Support reproductive rights. [h/t Planned Parenthood]

Spread the word: Abortion is still legal in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, and everywhere else for at least six months until newly enacted bans and limits become effective, allowing for legal challenges as is happening in Ohio.
Donate: Alabama Women’s Center: One of only three abortion providers in the state and the only one providing services up to the state-mandated limit of 20 weeks.
Yellowhammer Fund: Provides financial help for AL residents seeking abortion services.

Action: Advocate for womens equality and health. [h/t MomsRising]

Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] because I believe menstruation is a normal body process. However, the many who lack access to hygienic menstrual products often suffer indignity, miss work or school, and even contract toxic shock syndrome from using makeshift products. The problem severely impacts Incarcerated women. I’d like [NAME] to co-sponsor the Menstrual Equity for All Act (H.R. 1882) to improve access to these essential items.

Action: Support child protection in Native communities. [h/t National Congress of American Indians]

Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to support equity for American Indian and Alaska Native children who are experiencing abuse or neglect and underserved by current prevention programs. The American Indian and Alaska Native Child Abuses Prevention and Treatment Act (S. 1329/H.R. 2549) would improve tribal access to federal resources and promote culturally-relevant prevention strategies. Can I count on [NAME] to co-sponsor this important legislation?

Action: Speak up with Native tribes about their land rights. [h/t National Congress of American Indians]

Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from (ZIP) because I value justice for Native tribes who persist in seeking return of land that was seized decades ago. Their cause finally moved forward when the House passed H.R. 375, which restores the Interior Secretary’s authority to move land into trust for all federally recognized tribal nations and reaffirms existing Indian trust lands. I’m asking [NAME] to co-sponsor this “Carcieri Clean Fix” in the Senate and advocate for its passage.

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 Stacey Abrams for working to empower all voters and ensure the protection of voting rights for all. [Share why overturning restrictive and discriminatory voting laws matter to you.]
Address: ℅ Fair Fight Action, 1270 Caroline Street NE, Suite D120-430, Atlanta, Georgia 30307

Thank Reps. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) for keeping America’s doors open to those seeking freedom. [Share your thanks for creating legislation that returns allowable refugee admissions to historic averages.]
Addresses:
JN:
2503 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302
ZL: 635 North First Street Suite B, San Jose, CA 95112
EM: 975 JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, MA 02203

Thank Jeffrey S. Chase and the Roundtable of Former Immigration Judges for condemning propaganda created by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. [Share why accurate immigration data and/or unbiased judges matter to you.]
Address: Blog: https://www.jeffreyschase.com/contact

Tweet: Thank you, @ACLU @FlorenceProject @NIJC @AAIUSA & @BrennanCenter for urging a Congressional hearing on “fusion centers” that target communities of color, marginalized communities, and people engaged in political speech. [Share why free speech and the concerns of marginalized communities matter to you.]

Good news

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

National

  • A bipartisan group of 36 Senators calls U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to account for crisis-level processing delays.
  • Retired immigration judges and former members of the Board of Immigration Appeals submit a letter to the Dept. of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review stating their offense at the EOIR’s “Myths vs. Fact” memo and calling for judicial independence.
  • The number of college-educated Mexican immigrants in the U.S. has risen by 150% since 2000.

State

  • GA: Gov. Kemp vetoes S.B. 15 that Project South asserts would have a disproportionately negative effect on students of color.
  • WA and seven other states have arranged for undocumented people to receive dialysis on a regular basis without using an emergency room visit.
  • TN: National Immigration Law Center (NILC) releases a toolkit to help communities develop emergency response plans to workplace immigration raids.
  • GA: Gov. Kemp signs election reform legislation that modifies the state’s policy of removing voters after they do not vote.
  • NV Governor Steve Sisolak signs into law a bill that lowers barriers to establishing polling places on Native American tribal lands.
  • FL: A federal judge orders 32 counties to print bilingual ballots in Spanish and English beginning with the 2020 Presidential primaries.

Local

  • Buffalo, NY: Legal aid clinic for the underserved western NY Native American community opened to assist with tribal legal questions.
  • Boise City Council (ID) votes to rename two city parks to honor its local indigenous heritage and local contributions of Idaho’s Native people.
  • Residents of Contra Costa County (CA) can now request a mail-in ballot by texting the elections office.
  • Rockville, MD will conduct 2019 mayoral election by mail ballot to increase voter turnout.
  • Somerville, MA city council votes to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections.

Groups and organizations

  • Spread the Vote opens two new chapters in WV to help people get IDs required for voting.
  • Vera receives $7M grant to expand Restoring Promise, an initiative to disrupt incarceration by replacing the punitive model with one rooted in human dignity.
  • Three civil rights groups join legal team representing Crystal Mason, who was sentenced to five years in prison because she cast a ballot when she did not realize she was ineligible to vote.