Weekly actions | Call to action

Week 35 Call to Action

We hope from the bottom of our hearts that your Hurricane Recovery has continued forward in a productive manner. We continue to be in awe of the tremendous efforts the city has made toward recovery, particularly those undertaken by our partner and allied organizations as well as the abundance of love and support from everyday Houstonians. But we know that there is still a lot of rebuilding to do across so many different areas.

 

This week’s actions feature renewed chapters in some familiar fights, including healthcare and immigration.

National Call to Action

  1. Graham-Cassidy Bill: TrumpCare by another name

  • Important Details

    • The legislative vehicle that Republicans are using to try to pass TrumpCare expires September 30th.

    • McCain has signaled his support for the bill making it a heightened possibility that the bill could pass if all other Republicans hold and with Pence as the tie breaker vote.

  • The Bill

    • Creates a per capita system that destroys Medicare.

    • Undermines existing protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

    • Cuts money for drug abuse treatment by allowing states to cut essential health benefits.

    • Issues block grants of money that deeply cuts financial support to states, limits the growth rate of funds to a much slower pace than cost growth of healthcare, completely eliminates accountability about where money is being spent.

    • Arbitrarily punishes blue states that expanded medicaid and rewards red states that did not with additional funding.

  • Indivisible explainer and call script is here. More in depth explainer from the CBPP here.

  • What National is asking

    • In the next 15 days we need to ramp up the pressure back to where it was at the height of the ACA fight.

    • Organize in-person office visits.

    • Organize a wave of calls.

  1. DACA/DREAM Act

  • Important Details

    • When Trump rescinded DACA he gave Congress 6 months (February) to pass a law and provide relief for DACAmented. As part of their relief, these folks gave up their information about where they live and work putting them in unique danger of deportation.

    • The last really serious attempt to pass the DREAM Act (which provides a pathway to citizenship for Undocumented) was during President Obama’s first term. It failed, and continued to fail because Republicans held it hostage to tougher border enforcement measures. This continues to play out as a negotiation between Republicans and Democrats about border security with DREAMers being leveraged as a bargaining chip. Democrats are failing to hold the line on a clean bill.

    • Republicans are trying bargain with Democrats for additional border enforcement funding (Border Patrol/ICE). This, combined with Kate’s law and the recently passed “Alien Gangs” bill would give these agencies enhanced capability to track, arrest and imprison Undocumented people with little evidence or oversight.

  • The Bill

    • DACA was the executive action that was recently rescinded. The DREAM Act is the bill that is currently in Congress. It’s important to know the distinction between them so we can make the right ask.

    • Enshrines the principles of DACA into law (rather than executive action) and creates a pathway to citizenship for childhood arrivals. Indivisible explainer here. The DREAM Act is the only bill that provides a pathway to citizenship. All others only reinstate deferred action or stop at providing workers visas/resident status.

    • Additional amendments or riders that increase funding for “border security” dangerously enhance these agency’s ability to arrest and imprison Undocumented people for years only to deport them after.

  • What National is asking

    • Call all of your MoC’s to bundle the DREAM Act with the NDAA, which is a “must pass” bill and to pass the DREAM Act as a clean bill.

  • Additional Resources

  1. Responding to the London Terror Attack

  • Important Details

    • Friday morning the London Underground train was bombed by a crude explosive device. Trump, of course, used this opportunity to talk about the Muslim Travel ban.

    • First and foremost we stand in solidarity with London, however this is not an opportunity for Trump to callously advance his xenophobic, islamophobic agenda. Indivisible explainer on the Muslim Ban here.

  • What you can do to push back on the Muslim Ban

    • Much of this is going to play out between the Executive and Judicial branches of the government. However, Congress does have options. We can ask the House MoC to co-sponsor the SOLVE Act (H.R. 1503) and Senate MoC’s to co-sponsor S. 608 and S. 549

  • Additional Resources

  1. Opposing Drilling in the Arctic

  • Important Details

    • [Senator John McCain] said, “As far as ANWR is concerned, I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon, and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades. This is one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world.”

    • An internal Interior Department memo has proposed lifting restrictions on exploratory seismic studies in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a possible first step toward opening the pristine wilderness area to oil and gas drilling. The document proposes ending a restriction that had limited exploratory drilling to the period from Oct. 1, 1984, to May 31, 1986.

    • “This is a really big deal,” Niel Lawrence, Alaska director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said. “This is a frontal attack in an ideological battle. The Arctic is the holy grail.”

  • What you can do to oppose further seismic exploration of the Arctic

    • Call your MoC’s to let them know you reject any additional seismic exploration of this pristine wilderness!

  1. Additional Regional Notes

 

State Actions

 

  1. Texas Rainy Day Fund

  • Important Details

    • According to the state comptroller’s office, Texas has the largest rainy day funds in the country at $10 billion. In order to tap those funds for Harvey relief, Texas Governor Greg Abbott would need to call a special session to have the legislature vote. So far, the Governor has said he does not plan on calling a special session. Well, it rained in Texas. A lot. Seems like the prime time to put those funds to good use.

    • For additional information review the following articles:

  • What you can do to help Texans

    • Keep calling your state MoC’s and Governor Greg Abbott’s office at 512-463-2000 to use the state’s rainy day fund to help Texans impacted by Harvey

    • Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling to urge them to push the Governor to call a special session in order to release some of Texas’ rainy day funds to go toward Harvey relief. Texans are in an hour of great need, and not tapping into the rainy day fund is irresponsible. [Tell your Harvey story] My zip code is ____.”

    • Say: “Hi, I’m a resident of Texas and I’m calling to urge Governor Abbott to call a special session to release some of Texas’ rainy day funds to go toward Harvey relief. Texans are in an hour of great need, and not tapping into the rainy day fund is irresponsible. [Tell your Harvey story] My zip code is _____.”

 

  1. Texas High Schools Failing to Register Students to Vote

  • Important Details

    • “Texas law has maintained that all state high schools must hand out voter registration applications to eligible students at least twice per year. But according to a new report by the Texas Civil Rights Projects and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, only six percent of high schools in Texas are asking for voter registration forms from the state.” [KRWG.org]

    • It is essential that Secretary Pablos take a more active roll in supporting these already over-worked principals. View the list of demands here.

  • What you can do to help Texans

    • Call or email Secretary Pablos at the following information:

    • Phone: (512) 463-5650 or 1-(800) 252-8683, Email: secretary@sos.texas.gov or elections@sos.texas.gov, Fax: (512) 475-2811

    • Say: Hello there, my name is ____ and I live in <your zip code>. I’m calling today because the Secretary of State needs to take a more active role in helping register high school students across the state to vote.

      Under Texas election code, high school principals, public and private, are required to register eligible students to vote two times a year. However, only fourteen percent of schools even requested voter registration forms, and zero private schools requested any. High schools are simply not complying with this law.

      We are petitioning the Secretary of State’s office to automatically send voter registration cards to the high schools instead of high schools requesting the cards themselves. We are asking that the Secretary of State enhance procedures that notify all Texas high schools of the need to comply with this law. We are also asking that the Secretary of State’s office create trainings for all Texas high schools in order to ensure all legal duties and administrative rules are clear. And we’re demanding that the Secretary of State enforce state law to ensure that all Texas high schools are in full compliance and that they register their students to vote.

  • Look here for additional information.

  1. Join Indivisible TX Lege and volunteer to help hold Texas State officials accountable

  • Important Details

    • The state of Texas is home to nearly 28 million people, with over 17 million eligible voters. Yet in 2014, only 12% of eligible voters in Texas voted for Governor Greg Abbott. Texas has some of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country, and as such, suffers from legislators who don’t work for their constituents.

    • It’s time to make a change in Austin! 2018 is just around the corner, so Texans need your help now. Join Indivisible TX Lege to work with Indivisible organizations across the state to hold our Texas state legislators accountable, and to elect responsible legislators in 2018.

  • What you can do to help Texans

Local Actions

  1. Attend our general meeting on 9/24

  • This month’s meeting will feature two elected education leaders in the Houston community and two candidates in the upcoming November election!

  • Please check out the event page on Facebook for more information!

 

  1. Continue working cleaning up neighborhoods most affected by the storm

  • Now that we’re a few weeks separated from the disaster much of the national media attention and dollars have moved on. Now it’s all the more important that we take care of each other. There are many communities that still need help! If you have time or energy, help is desperately needed in Lakewood, Meyerland, and Eastex. [enter at least two other hard-hit communities]

  • Check here for additional information on where to help!

Thank you everyone for all of your hard work. We’re in this fight together.
Solidarity!

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