It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work! Between pushing Congress to pass legislation that helps Americans and working to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) to elect responsible, pragmatic leaders in 2018, there is a lot to do. Every little bit helps, so even if you can only do one action a week, keep it up!
Useful resource for finding your elected officials (save the numbers in your phone!!): myreps.datamade.us
Tips on effective communication with elected officials, see Chapter 4 Opportunity 4: Indivisible Guide: Local Advocacy Tactics that Work
1. Call your MoCs to pass the DREAM Act
We’ve been talking about this for months, and now Congress’ time is running out to pass legislation that protects DACA recipients ahead of its expiration. What does it mean if Congress doesn’t pass the DREAM Act? People who have only known America as home will no longer be protected from deportation, and they, their families, and communities will suffer as a result.
2. Call your MoCs and tell them to protect the Iranian nuclear deal
The President has been increasing his rhetoric against the Iranian nuclear deal that successfully blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and helped keep the US out of war. Starting January 11, the President will face legal deadlines to continue or scrap the deal. Congress has the power to act to re-certify the deal. Make sure your MoCs know that you want them to protect the deal and keep us out of war.
3. Call your MoCs and tell them that any infrastructure bills should not line the pockets of private investors
Generally when you hear about infrastructure spending, it’s a good thing. Repairing roads and bridges, updating our energy grid, and keeping our drinking water safe all bring great benefits to our communities and help our businesses thrive. The President and GOP leadership in Congress are expected to announce their infrastructure plan on January 11. Unfortunately, the plan is likely to include selling off assets (privatizing them) or cutting other critical programs to find funds for infrastructure. That money will then be sent to private companies twice: once when the government subsidizes private investment in projects through tax credits, and again through the tolls that private companies put in place to pay back their investment. Private companies work to make a profit. Governments work to benefit their people. We need to keep the two separate.
For more: Indivisible.org: Trump’s Billionaire Infrastructure Scam
Read: Chicago Tribune: Mixed Signals on Infrastructure Plan
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling because I’ve heard the President plans to work his proposed infrastructure plan largely through private businesses. Private businesses are in the profit-making business and don’t have my or my neighbors’ interests as a priority. Infrastructure work is needed to get basic work and life done in our country and should be done for the benefit of all, not the profit of few. My zip code is _____.”
4. Make sure you’re registered to vote
The deadline to register to vote in 2018 primaries is coming up, and varies by state. In Texas, your last day to register is February 5 ahead of the start of Primary early voting on February 20. Take a few minutes to verify that your voter registration is current, and that your address is correct.
5. Call your local school board to ensure your local schools are prioritizing voter education and voter pre-registration
Generation Z is the generation after millennials, born between 1998 and 2016. They are the next generation of voters, and the time to educate them on civic engagement is now! In Texas high school principals are deputy voter registrars and are obligated register their students. It is our place to press them to honor this responsibility.
Research: Voter Pre-registration laws by state
Read: Texas Tribune: Texas Schools aren’t registering high schoolers to vote
Say: “Hi, I’m a parent/teacher/citizen/student in your district, and I’m calling to understand what our schools teach students regarding voter education and voter pre-registration?” If they give you a positive response: “Great! That’s good to know. Our community and country rely on active, engaged citizens.” If they give you a negative response: “Oh, that’s unfortunate. Are there any resource limitations that are causing that not to occur? Is there any way I can help? As you know, our community and country rely on active, engaged citizens. We’re doing students and our town a disservice by avoiding this topic.”
6. Protect Americans’ Privacy
The Trump administration inherited massive surveillance authority that allows the government to sweep up Americans’ communications and sift through it without a warrant. The U.S. government already has a shameful history of particularly targeting activists and marginalized communities, and the FBI’s recent report framing so-called “black identity extremists” as potential terror threats only raises fears of targeting. The good news is that a key part of this authority is set to expire at the end of 2017, unless Congress extends it.
For more: Indivisible.org: Trump and Sessions Have the Power to Target and Spy on Activists and Communities of Color. We Can Stop That
Say: “Hi! My name is [name] and I’m a constituent calling from [part of state]. I’m calling because I’m concerned about Trump’s wide-ranging surveillance authority, and I want to urge Senator/Representative [name] not to reauthorize Section 702 of the FISA Amendments at the end of the year without closing the “backdoor search” loophole. In support of this reform, Senator/Representative should cosponsor the bipartisan USA RIGHTS Act from [for Senate: Senators Wyden and Paul, for House: Representatives Lofgren and Poe].”
For our Houston friends…
7. Impeachment March Houston
2018 will signify the end of the first year of Trump rule, punctuated by a direct attack on The People, including American families, civil rights and freedoms, our communities, our safety and security, government accountability, and our right to #Resist the vicious, anti-American, anti-democratic Trump-Pence Regime. Trump’s overreach into the lives of all Americans has relied on divisive rhetoric meant to crack the country in two, rob us of our savings, and obstruct justice at every turn.
This much is clear: The President is unfit for office.
On February 24, we are calling for our unfit minority President to resign his post and restore American policy to its previous mantle. This regime is a danger to us all. It must be removed in power so the United States can begin the healing process our country so desperately needs.
Join us Saturday, February 24, at noon at Houston City Hall as part of a National Impeachment Day in cities across the United States. Make a statement- no matter who you are- that autocracy and plutocracy will not rise to power and plunder in the United States of America.
March for The People. March for Freedom.
March for Impeachment.
Date: Saturday, February 17 at 12 PM – 3 PM
Location: Houston City Hall
More information can be found at the Facebook link.
8. March for Black Women HOU
Black Women!!!! We are a power like no other when we are joined together. We have suffered the most heinous maltreatment in this country and we are still here. Standing. Proudly. Let us gather together to celebrate each other. There is no one that understands us like us. We will celebrate the African Diaspora of womanhood in all the ways it exist. Experience the music and poetry of sisters from dynamic perspectives. Engage in the advancement of Black Lives. Connect.
This event is Black woman centered. We welcome all allies in support of black women. Be mindful that this is for us. This event will be continuously updated with artist and speakers who will be present at the march.
Date: Saturday, February 24 at 10 AM – 12 PM
Location: City Hall Downtown Houston
More information can be found at the Facebook link.
That’s it for this week. Remember to seek out folks who are actively working for your vote in local, state, and national elections. If there’s a candidate who you support, please volunteer for or donate to them. It will take ALL of us to elect officials who will work for We, the People. Have a great week!