An Action A Day Keeps Autocracy at Bay
UPDATE: The silver lining to the 45’s presidency is, of course, the activism it’s inspired. To that end, there are now so many groups doing much of these same things, I’m going to archive this post and encourage you to join one of the following:
For writers: Postcard Avalanche FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/PostcardAvalanche/
For people with a little more time and inclination for face-to-face: https://peoplepower.org/
If you’re like me, the daily outrages are threatening to overload my capacity for impactful action. (For a comprehensive daily tally, visit the awesome site at What the Fuck Just Happened Today.)
So, in classic “break it down” fashion, every week I’m going to post just three things to do, focused on one issue each week (inspired by the content calendar from marketing). Basically, activism for the very busy.
(If you need post cards, addresses, and stamps in one convenient package, get them at www.resistance-postcards.com. “Sold” at cost. That way you get materials, stamps, etc. all in one package.)
FINAL POST: Week of April 17th. To my note above, I’m cutting and pasting the weekly call to action from Postcard Avalanche:
Campaign Fourteen, Apr. 17–19
We mail on Wednesday!
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Lovealanche: Representative Don Beyer (D-VA)
Address: 5285 Shawnee Road Suite 250, Alexandria, VA 22312
Message suggestions: “Climate science is real! Thank you for making it easier for the voices of those who support protecting the planet to be heard.” “Thank you for standing up against climate change deniers. We know our climate is changing due to human activity and we must now work on solutions to the problems we face.” “The more scientists who can be heard, the better. Thank you for providing climate scientists a way to fight back against the deniers of global warming.” “There is a lot at stake. We must not let this administration to subvert the truth about climate science by making inaccurate and misleading statements not supported by science or fact.”
Reason: In order to combat this administration’s embrace of climate change deniers, ranking member Rep. Don Beyer launched a project so climate scientists — the 97 percent who agree that humans are the primary cause of our warming planet — can correct inaccurate and misleading statements, making the facts a part of future hearings’ official records.
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Be-better-alanche: Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.
Address: 120 Bishops Way Room 154, Brookfield, WI 53005–6294
Message suggestions: “The internet has become such a fixed part of people’s everyday lives, the U.N. considers access to it a human right. But accessing it shouldn’t mean we have to give up our right to protections like the one you voted to take away.” “Real choice is when you allow the paying customer to opt out of having their personal information tracked, stored, and sold to the highest bidder by the ISP.” “I can choose not to visit a particular website but accessing the internet is only allowed through an ISP. My ISP can see everything I do online, starting dossiers on me and everyone in my family, including my kids. Why wouldn’t you let consumers have the option of opting out of this invasive breach in privacy?” “Many jobs require internet usage. Many schools require it. Many unemployment offices use it. Many doctors’ offices use it. It is inaccurate in this day and age to state that nobody has to use the internet. That is simply not true.”
Reason: During a recent town hall meeting, Sensenbrenner commented, in defense of his voting to scrap the FCC’s internet privacy rules, that “nobody’s got to use the internet”. But this just is not true in any meaningful way because it is difficult to do most things without accessing the internet. People use the internet for work, school, to pay bills, watch t.v., get directions, etc. While this was done under the guise of offering “choice” it is really a giveaway to the telecommunications industry at the expense of ordinary Americans who would have had the choice to opt out of such invasive tracking under the rules the Republicans just voted to take away.
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☆ EXTRA CREDIT ☆
1. Sean Spicer
Address: c/o The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20500
Message: “He was not using the gas on his own people?” “Holocaust centers?” Learn your history. Think before you speak. And, for goodness sake, stop being an anti-Semite.
2. President Trump
Address: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500
Message: Release your tax returns!
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Don’t forget we mail our postcards on Wednesday!
Week of April 10th. I took a break. It was Spring Break with the kids, and today is Passover. Sustaining outrage requires remembering what you’re defending (you know, family, a free press, diversity, ease of travel across borders, etc.). But I’m back!
For someone who vowed to cut spending, it evidently doesn’t include personal spending on the government penny. Here’s a short tally of “out of the ordinary” expenses:
- In his first 3 months of office, 45 has already spent $21 million OF YOUR MONEY on travel to his home in Florida. In contrast, Obama spent about $12 million per year. Fortune.com says each trip costs $10 million and notes that this is not normal.
- Protecting the First Lady and child costs US taxpayer $1 million per day. That’s $365 million per year. Over four years, that’s about $1.5 billion.
- Even his non-family staff costs more. Betsy DeVos has a security detail that costs nearly $1 million a month OF YOUR MONEY. That’s $12 million that could be spent on actually improving education.
So here are a few things to do:
- Sign the petition insisting that this “billionaire president” start living in the same place as his wife and son. You know, family values and all.
- Write (or use resistbot to fax) to your representatives to point out that the entire NPR revenue for 2016 was $216 million (and depending on how conservative you lean, 25% is from taxpayers (Fox) or 40% is from taxpayers (right-wing sources), which still maxes out at $86 million).
- I’m repeating this one from March 6th because it’s got national momentum: “Donate to Jon Ossoff, who’s running in a special election for the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who got promoted to Secretary of Health and Human Services. The worst thing the GOP could find on him was that he was in the Georgetown a capella group, The Chimes, and that he once dressed up as Han Solo. Sad!”
This tweet says it well:
And to leave on a positive note, LOVE this photo:
I aspire to that expression on her face.
Week of March 20th. Wow, I really don’t know where to start with this week. Trump embarrassed us all in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by refusing to shake her hands even after she asked politely. His hiring of Stephen Miller as senior policy advisor has emboldened the alt-right (or should that be the “alt-wrong”) and gives sustenance and validation to modern-day Nazis. In NW Portland at the Lucky Lab.
So despite the list of issues that in any normal time would individually be considered top of the list, not least the legislation wending its way through Congress. . .
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Repeal Affordable Care Act (VICTORY HERE!)
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one ends unions)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 622 Removing federal policing from National Parks turning over to local authorities.
… I feel compelled to focus on addressing hatred at its sources:
So here we go:
- Read about the 10 Ways to Fight Hate, from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Fax to your representatives your views on the bills above. FaxZero makes this easy: here for Senators, here for Congresspeople.
- Donate to Kim Weaver, who’s debating a re-run to defeat Representative Steve King, ultra-douchebag and KKK friend, most recently spewing truly hateful rhetoric that is causing people to cancel vacations to Iowa. You know it’s damn serious when people start canceling their vacations to Iowa.
Week of March 13th. Whether you’re a fat cat who doesn’t want to foot the eventual societal bill of an unhealthy populace or a person who just needs basic healthcare, fight the repeal of ACA/Obamacare, currently going through the house as HR370.
- Tweet your story with #saveACA. Or if you don’t use Twitter, write a note to Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine to thank them for opposing the repeal measure.
- Call 866–426–2631. Enter your zip code, and if you’re connected or get a voicemail message, calmly tell them what you think e.g. “Hello, my name is ____ and I am a constituent from zip code _____. I would advise all Congressmen and women to vote AGAINST HR 370. For representatives who vote to stop ACA, I will work to elect alternatives.”
- Planned Parenthood is becoming one of the bulwarks against a successful repeal. Create a $10 monthly donation in the name of your favorite person, or if you’re feeling snarky, in the name of Paul Ryan or Jeff Sessions or Mike Pence.
Also, don’t forget to send in your Ides of March postcard to the White House. It takes some time for physical mail to be inspected.
It’s a classic fox in the hen house: as Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) noted:
So lend your voice to those who are calling on Jeff Sessions to resign. For the week of March 6th: pick one —
- Call key Republicans, Jason Chaffetz, John McCain, John Cornyn, or Susan Collins to let them know Sessions is the wrong person to enforce the nation’s laws because, well, he breaks them. And then lies about it.
- If you can’t call, write them postcards.
- Donate to Jon Ossoff, who’s running in a special election for the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who got promoted to Secretary of Health and Human Services. The worst thing the GOP could find on him was that he was in the Georgetown a capella group, The Chimes, and that he once dressed up as Han Solo. Sad!
This week’s focus is on the core tenets of democracy, one of which is representative government. As you have seen, many lawmakers are now avoiding town halls because they’re afraid of difficult questions. So for the week of February 27th: pick one —
- Call your local office to request a town hall, especially if you live in a district with a Republican (or compromised Democrat) representative. Find your rep’s numbers either on their website (look for “local office”) or if you don’t know who your rep is, find him/her on GovTrack.
- Write postcards to Marco Rubio, Louie Gohmert, and Kevin Yoder, requesting face-to-face meetings with constituents. You can include a quote from Gabby Giffords: “Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”
- Donate to She Should Run, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to getting more women into office. Read why this is important.
And if you’ve got the time, find where your closest Town Halls will be taking place at the Town Hall Project.
This week’s focus is freedom of the press, on which #45 has declared war. For week of February 20th: pick one —
- Fill out the polls at Fox Nation and the Worst Survey in the World, the “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey.” For the latter, at the end, when they ask you for a donation and email address, feel free to use what Andy Borowitz suggested. Let’s let them know that the “silent majority” is more progressive than they think.
- Write a thank you note or tweet to the programming folks for Fox News anchors Chris Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org or https://twitter.com/FoxNewsSunday) and Shep Smith (email@example.com or https://twitter.com/ShepNewsTeam) for calling bullshit on the administration.
- Pay for that subscription. NYTimes, WaPo, WSJ, whatever floats your boat. The newspaper business model has changed radically, and they need your help.
And because I’m making postcards, I put together this one in honor of President’s Day:
I start off with a plea for decency and a condemnation of hate. So for the week of February 13th: pick one —