For the week of June 11, 2017
Wow, what a week! There’s a lot going on with Comey/Trump/Sessions, but this week we MUST focus on protecting the ACA first and foremost. So if you only have time for 1 action this week, act to oppose the AHCA!
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
- Call your Senators to voice your opposition to the AHCA
Last week, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell fast tracked the AHCA using something called Rule 14, which puts the bill up for a vote as soon as the bill is final. That means it bypasses committee hearings, review, and debate by the full Senate. And, it’s still up in the air if the AHCA meets reconciliation requirements, which would allow it to be passed by a simple majority with no filibuster option. It’s clear that Senate Republicans don’t want the public to know what’s in the bill, and that’s because it’s bad for our citizens.
Targeted calls are happening on Wednesday, June 14. We encourage you to call Wednesday, and every other day when you can spare 10 minutes. Stopping the AHCA is gravely important!
For more: LA Times: While you watched Comey Hearing, Senate GOP moved to cripple Health Care
See how your state will be impacted by AHCA: Indivisible Guide: Impact of Trumpcare by State
Read: Indivisible Guide: Is your Republican Member of Congress Lying About Trumpcare?
Ask to speak with Health Legislative Assistants: List of Assistants for Many Senators
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator _____ and I’m calling today because I’m deeply concerned that the Senate is planning to vote on the AHCA before having committee hearings and review. Health care impacts one-sixth of our economy, and it literally is a life or death issue for many Americans. We need to make sure we get this done right, not fast! Why does Senator ____ think it’s good idea to push a bill through without fully understanding how it will impact their constituents? [Tell your personal health care story] I understand that 23 million Americans will lose health care coverage if this bill passes. Why does Senator ____ support that? (or thank the Senator for opposing it) My zip code is _____.”
Share your story: Send your personal healthcare stories to IndivisibleHouston@gmail.com
- Counter Islamophobia
This weekend, anti-Muslim protests were held across the country. The protestors claim that Sharia Law forces female genital mutilation. While we absolutely agree that female genital mutilation is an awful practice that should be stopped, it’s important to understand that Islam DOES NOT call for FGM. Take some time to learn about the Islamic religion, and share something you learn with friends and family.
Learn/Teach: PBS: Teacher’s Guide – Basics of Islam
Read: Collegiate Times: Islam: Understanding the Misunderstood Religion
Be social: Use #CounterACTHate and share these tweets, Facebook posts, and images
Contribute to organizations who help women at risk of FGM: CNN: Help Stop Female Genital Mutilation
- See if your Representative voted in favor of big banks over citizens
The House passed HR10, the Choice Act, last week, which rolls back many of the financial regulations implemented following the financial meltdown of 2008. Find out if your Representative voted for big banks over the American people, then call them to let them know how you feel about it. Most importantly, remember their vote when they ask for your vote in 2018.
Roll Call: govtrack.us: HR 10 House Votes
- Call your MoCs to support an independent commission to investigate the 2016 Presidential election
Comey’s testimony in Congress last week made it more clear that partisan politics are clouding (potentially even obstructing) the Russian investigation. And because folks are buzzing about impeachment, we’ve included Indivisible’s guide on impeachment so you can learn more about the process.
Read: NY Times: Trump-Comey Feud Eclipses a Warning on Russia: ‘They Will be Back’
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative ______ and I’m calling to urge the Senator/Representative to call for an independent investigation of Russia’s interference in our presidential election. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing, it’s an American thing and we need our elected officials to put country over party. My zip code is _____.”
Impeachment Information: Indivisible Guide: Impeachment Process
- Attend a Juneteenth celebration
Juneteenth celebrates the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery in the United States. Celebrate freedom for ALL this Juneteenth, and learn how you can help continue to push for more equality in America.
Houston’s Juneteenth Celebration: juneteenthfest.com
How to Celebrate: http://www.juneteenth.com/howtocelebrate.htm
Watch: 13th Trailer – Documentary on mass criminalization and the American prison industry. Now streaming on Netflix.
Donate: The Sentencing Project – working for a fair and effective US criminal justice system
Texas State Actions
- See which items are on the docket for the Texas Legislature’s special session
Greg Abbott pulled the proverbial trigger last week and called for a special session of the Texas legislature, with 20 items on the agenda. The session starts July 18, and includes the bathroom bill, women’s health restrictions, and school choice (vouchers). Plus, it’ll cost Texas taxpayers $800,000 extra.
List of special session items: CNN: Texas Special Legislative Session
Read: Texas Tribune: What to Expect in a Special Session
- Ask your state MoCs to work the special session without pay
The special session wouldn’t have been needed if Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick hadn’t sat on legislation that’s needed to fund several state agencies. He is irresponsibly holding Texas legislators and tax dollars hostage to push his hateful, harmful agenda.
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling to urge them to work the special session without pay. I understand the session will cost Texas taxpayers $800,000 which could have otherwise been used for the good of Texas citizens. This is outrageous and NOT what an effective government looks like. Alternatively, the Senator/Representative could push Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick to personally pay for the session. My zip code is ____.”
- Call your state MoCs to oppose SB6, the bathroom bill
We’ve written extensively about this one, and thought Abbott might leave it out of the Special Session, but no such luck. The bathroom bill bullies transgender kids, and will hurt the Texas economy. It has got to be stopped.
For more: Elite Daily: How Merely Introducing Anti-LGBTQ Legislation Harms LGBTQ Youth
Read: Becoming Nicole – a book that tells the story of a transgender girl and explains the complexities of gender and policy
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling to urge them to vote against the bathroom bill, SB6, in the special session. It’s a harmful, hurtful bill that targets our most vulnerable children. On top of that it’s bad for the Texas economy. I urge the Senator/Representative to vote AGAINST it. My zip code is _____.”
- Keep up opposition to SB4. Houstonians – call your city council person to urge them to join the SB4 lawsuit
This week a federal judge in San Antonio called part of SB4, the show me your papers bill, unconstitutional. That’s a great first step, and we need to keep up the vocal opposition to SB4 to make sure the public knows how bad it is. Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner has asked the City Council to vote on joining a lawsuit over SB4, the show me your papers bill. Make sure your city council person knows that you do not support the unconstitutional, racist legislation that will hurt our community.
Read: San Antonio Current: Federal Judge Calls a Critical Part of Texas Sanctuary Cities Crackdown Unconstitutional
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Councilperson _____ and I’m calling to ask them to vote to join the lawsuit against Texas over SB4. It’s unconstitutional, amounts to overreach, and will hurt our community. My zip code is ____.”
Sign the petition: Protect Immigrant Communities Now
Keep up the great work everyone, and don’t forget to take time for self care when you’re feeling worn out! And let us know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions on how to make these actions more useful or topics to include in the future.