Criticism and Thanks
Take a few minutes today to send a postcard or two to people you wish to hold accountable for something or whom you wish to praise. You may have your own ideas, but in case you need any suggestions, here are a couple to choose from:
Tsk Tsk Tsk:
1. The mayor of Pasadena, TX - Johnny Isbell - infamously addressed a Latino council member Cody Ray Wheeler as “Boy” during a council meeting on Monday. The mayor was defiant and unapologetic. You can read about it and see a video of the exchange here. In the current climate, it probably wouldn’t hurt ol’ Johnny to know that there are people across the country who see what he does and don’t like what they see. Write to: Mayor Johnny Isbell, City Hall, 1211 Southmore, Pasadena, TX 77502:
2. Rep. Devin Nunes is basically acting as Trump’s wingman in his so-called “investigation” into All The Shenanigans. Write a complaint to Nunes at one of these three addresses (good to mix it up).
For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow:
1. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA15) has been outspoken against the AHCA, saying that it would cause hardship for many. He deserves thanks for speaking the truth about the AHCA and for defending Americans’ right to health care. Write to: The Hon. Charlie Dent, 2082 Rayburn House Office. Building, Washington, DC 20515.
2. Washington State Attorney Bob Ferguson filed suit against Trump over the first executive order halting immigration from certain countries. He is an outspoken critic of Trump and a champion of American values. Thank him: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 1125 Washington Street SE, PO Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100.
Voting rights are generally played out on the state level. There are a number of states considering legislation which will make it either easier or more difficult for citizens to vote. For example, a bill has been introduced into the Texas House which would enable voters to register on election day, while West Virginia has an upcoming bill which would require Voter ID. Voter ID laws are generally thought to have a chilling effect on the Democratic vote.
Getting to the Truth About Russia
It seems clear that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is in over his head. It’s time to stop messing around. There is legislation in the House and Senate which calls for the appointment of a non-partisan, independent commission for the purpose of investigating Russian interference with our election. Our action today is to contact our representatives in Washington and ask them to support these measures.
Good News Update!
On March 20, we contacted Homeland Security and our Senators to ask them to protect the rights of DACA recipients, in particular Daniel Ramirez and Daniela Vargas. They are now both released on bond after an intense public lobbying campaign. You helped!
United We Dream has an active petition to oppose the Budget allocation of $3 billion additional funding for Homeland Security for sundry nefarious purposes, including The Wall. You can read more and sign the petition here.
1. That Man’s Tax Returns
There is a Resolution in Committee in the House - H. Res. 186 - which would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to release to the House copies of Trump’s tax returns for the last ten years, as well as other information relating to his finances.
Call your Member of Congress to ask him/her to co-sponsor H.Res. 186.
More information here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/186
2. Neil Gorsuch
In order for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, his nomination will first have to clear a filibuster. There will have to be 60 votes in favor of “cloture,” which means cutting off debate and ending a filibuster.
Here’s an article in Politico which explains a bit more about the procedure.
Contact (phone, fax, or email) your Senators (regardless of party) and ask them to vote “NO on cloture” for Gorsuch.
Urgent - House Voting TUESDAY
Last week, by a narrow partisan vote, Mitch McConnell’s S.J. Res. 34 passed the Senate. This legislation is a rollback of broadband privacy rules; the FCC will no longer be allowed to prevent large Internet providers (e.g. Comcast) from collecting data from their customers, without their permission, and selling it to third parties. Some object that this is fair, as Google and Facebook are allowed to gather and sell data. Internet providers, however are not comparable to websites or search engines: many of us have no choice when it comes to selecting providers, and providers are in a position to collect more, and more personal, data than individual search engines or sites. Moreover, this legislation also blocks the FCC from introducing such regulation in the future, permanently compromising our privacy and turning our internet use into a cash cow for our providers.
The House will vote Tuesday, March 28, on this measure, which is known in the House as H.J. Res. 86.
Call your Member of Congress and ask them to OPPOSE H.J. Res. 86 and to support and preserve the FCC broadband privacy rules.
There are some talking points from Indivisible in this script.
Congress contact info here: www.house.gov.
At a Republican Congressman’s Town Hall this past weekend, we learned that this guy’s dream (presumably shared by a number of his fellow party members) is to make America a place where tax revenue is 100% derived from consumption tax - i.e. he wants us to have completely regressive taxation. Not all Republicans are as extreme as this, but now that Trump”care” has gone the way of the dodo, they’re going to be getting geared up to pass the Budget and start in on overhauling our tax system. Their main aim seems to be to whittle away spending in certain areas to free up megabucks to hand out in the form of tax relief to the very rich. They’re going to be on the trail of finding other ways to annex the money they thought they were going to save from axing health care.
Call, or write to your House representatives and Senators to let them know that you’ll watching their actions closely in the upcoming days to make sure that any taxation “reform” is of the Robin Hood variety, and NOT of the Sheriff of Nottingham kind.
Contact info for House and Senate here.
Finally we have something to celebrate! The GOP health care legislation has slunk away into the shadows, for which we are all truly thankful. But it’s not over yet; if this country is to truly have affordable, universally available health care, the only way it’s going to happen is to move to some kind of a single-payer system. There is no country in the world where a system based on market forces provides quality health care for all its citizens regardless of income. The Republican notion that the market would force prices down and make everything better for everyone is pure ideological fantasy. Health care is infrastructure - like roads, bridges, the army, the electricity grid, it is too complex and costly for citizens to have to negotiate their own access.
1. Send a postcard to your House Representative expressing your relief that the AHCA fizzled out. Ask them to put all their efforts into moving the USA to a single-payer system. Health care is infrastructure.
2. Send a postcard to Trump saying that the AHCA was not remotely what he promised during his campaign. Ask him to get a Democrat to draft the next piece of legislation.
Contact info for White House and Congress here.
Keep Hammering Health Care
Trump is gambling on the hope that his party will vote in favor of the American Health Care Act rather than keep Obamacare. We can’t let that happen! They may vote tomorrow. Let’s keep calling our Congressional Representatives to say:
Call all of your representative’s phone numbers. Call early. Call often. If you have a Republican Congressperson who is known to oppose the AHCA, please be sure to THANK them and ask them to stick to their guns. Here is a list, but keep in mind that some of them may be in opposition because they want to repeal without replacing. If you have a Democratic congressperson, call or fax Paul Ryan or some other GOP member of Congress.
Congressional contact info here: www.house.gov.
Free fax to Congress here: https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
In the light of recently uncovered information which suggests that associates of Trump conspired with Russian operatives to influence the election against Hillary Clinton, the time has come to DEMAND that an independent prosecutor or bipartisan select committee be appointed to investigate these matters.
If a foreign power has colluded with a presidential candidate to win him the election, our independence and our democratic values are at risk.
Contact your Senators via phone, mail and/or fax to demand the appointment of an independent prosecutor or bipartisan select committee to investigate the Trump-Russia connection.
All Week: the Budget and ACA
The health care vote is TODAY. If you have time to call your House Rep. one more time this morning, please do so! Ask them to vote NO on the American Health Care Act.
Senate contact information here. House contact info here. Send free faxes here.
Today: Russia - the Magnitsky Act
The Magnitsky Act targets specific Russian individuals responsible for the death/murder in prison of Sergei Magnitsky and other civil rights violations. Magnitsky was a lawyer engaged in uncovering a huge fraud perpetrated by Russia officials. The Act was passed by a bipartisan landslide in both the House and the Senate in 2012. The Act is very important in that it goes after not only a corrupt regime but after the individuals who perpetuate and benefit from the rot in the system. 60 Minutes has a piece on the Act.
It’s not unreasonable to suppose that Putin et al would like the Act to be repealed. We do not want this to happen, nor do we want to see Putin continuing to suppress his critics.
All Week: the Budget and ACA
Links to White House, Senate, and House contact info on Speak Out page of www.thetenminuteactivist.com