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39 weeks to Midterm Elections

The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We are a big tent for all people who want a kinder, flourishing nation.

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In this edition of the AoC Checklist:

Contact your senators

Check the box if you made contact–whether for one issue or all–so we can count your action. Contacting your senators’ staffers with multiple concerns is more efficient for both of you. They don’t mind, but be sure to contact both progressives and conservatives. They need to hear from you.

Look up your senators here.

Join the 89 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Your script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] calling/writing about several issues. I’d like Sen. [NAME] to:

Contact your House representative

Check the box if you made contact–whether for one issue or all–so we can count your action. Contacting your representative’s staffers with multiple concerns is more efficient for both of you. They don’t mind, but be sure to contact both progressives and conservatives. They need to hear from you.

Look up your House representative here.

Join the 83 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Your script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP] calling/writing about several issues. I’d like Rep. [NAME] to:

I value demo­­­­cracy

With respect and collaboration, we work to create a nation that welcomes all people, expands freedoms, and upholds the Constitution. Each citizen must be able to freely and fairly elect those who represent their values.

Action 1: Stop congressional insider trading.

Source: AoCC

Join the 126 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact:
Nancy Pelosi (House Speaker)
Phone: (202) 225-4965
1236 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515

Chuck Schumer (Senate Majority Leader)
Phone: (202) 224-6542
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Script: I value democracy and oppose corruption, so I support an end to congressional insider trading. The [HOUSE SPEAKER/SENATE MAJORITY LEADER] sets the ethical bar for our nation. While Americans struggled, 54 elected officials profited from non-public information, and senators’ holdings typically outperform the market. Previous laws have proven toothless and allowed Congress to cash in on the housing market crash and pandemic. I urge you to support proposed legislation requiring members of Congress and their families to divest or put stocks into a blind trust. Thank you.


Action 2: Enforce the 4th Amendment and end government surveillance.

Source: Brennan Center

Join the 80 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Write: The chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees (Note: in their capacity as committee leaders, these members of Congress work for all Americans, not just their constituents, so address your letter to them as committee officials).

The Honorable Dick Durbin 
Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC 20510 

The Honorable Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jerry Nadler 
Chair, House Judiciary Committee 
2138 Rayburn House Office Building 
Washington, DC 20515 

The Honorable Jim Jordan
Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee
2142 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Script: I am joining more than 50 civil rights groups in urging you to hold hearings on the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act (H.R. 2738, S. 1265). This bipartisan bill will prevent the government from accessing Americans’ private information without a search warrant simply by buying location data and other types of sensitive information from data brokers. This practice evades our 4th Amendment protection from unlawful searches. Please schedule hearings on this important bill in the 2022 session. Thank you.


Action 3: Restore voting rights to people in prison.

Source: The Sentencing Project

Join the 86 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

If you live in any state except ME or VT: Contact your state legislators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m a resident of [ZIP] calling to ask you to follow the lead of Maine and Vermont, and pass legislation that restores voting rights to people currently in prison. More than five million Americans are denied the right to vote because of felony convictions, and people in prison represent about 25% of that number. Every citizen deserves the right to cast a ballot. Thank you.

If you live in ME or VT, yours is one of the only two states that already allow eligible people in prison to vote. Thank your Secretary of State or Donate to the Sentencing Project here.


Action 4: Ensure that you’re registered to vote in your state’s primary elections.

Source: League of Women Voters

Join the 156 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

The 2022 primary elections are nearly here. Check your voter registration status at Vote411.org, and use Ballotpedia to look up your state’s primary election dates and see who will be on your ballot for Congress and state offices.

I value equality

Support the dignity of your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.

Action 5: Advocate for identity-affirming opportunities for transgender youth athletes.

Sources: ACLU, ACLU of Indiana, Human Rights Campaign

Join the 55 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: Your STATE legislators (look up).

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [ZIP] in opposition to any legislation that restricts and excludes transgender youth from participating in sports. Sports provide opportunities for young people to learn leadership, teamwork, self-esteem, discipline, and community, and reinforce acceptance and camaraderie among peers. I’m asking [NAME] to oppose harmful trans-exclusionary policies and ensure [STATE] supports the well-being and safety of all youth, regardless of how they identify.

Bonus: Use the map at the bottom of the Legislative Tracker on Youth Sports Bans to select your state and mention your opposition to that specific legislation, if applicable.


Action 6: Encourage the investment of state recovery funds into long-term equity initiatives.

Sources: Wesley Tharpe, CenterOnBudget

Join the 45 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: Your STATE legislators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m contacting you from [ZIP], advocating for long-term investments in a more equitable future. Instead of using our federal relief funds for tax cuts or one-time projects, we can work to reduce racial and economic inequities through subsidized job programs, affordable housing initiatives, behavioral health services, high-poverty school aid, and more. I’m asking [NAME] to use [STATE]’s recovery funds to invest in new or expanded initiatives that improve the lives of people in low-income communities.


Action 7: Advocate for meaningful climate action.

Source: NRDC

Join the 145 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: President Biden via the White House contact form or at President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500.

Script: Hello, I’m writing from [STATE] to express my concern for the future of our shared planet. As you know, we are currently deep in a climate emergency, and the U.S. must take immediate action to avoid climate catastrophe. I am asking your administration to reduce emissions by at least 50% by the end of the decade, and pass strong legislation that:

  • includes meaningful climate action, 
  • creates high-quality clean energy jobs, 
  • supports communities that have historically been hit first and worst by climate impacts,
  • ensures safe, lead-free drinking water for all, 
  • cleans up dirty power plants, and
  • accelerates our transition to a 100% clean-energy future.

Thank you.


Action 8: Call for the protection of public waters from destructive drilling practices.

Source: Indigenous Environmental Network

Join the 104 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: President Biden via the White House contact form or at President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500; and Secretary Haaland at The Honorable Deb Haaland, Secretary, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [STATE] in support of an end to offshore drilling. At a time when the climate crisis is nearing catastrophe, we must protect our public waters from the destruction of oil and gas drilling, which disproportionately harms low-income communities and communities of color. To protect the nation from catastrophic climate impacts, and to ensure this administration continues to meet its historic commitments to environmental and racial justice, I am joining climate and environmental justice organizations in urging you to: 

  • immediately reject the bids or suspend the offshore leases under Lease Sale 257 in the Gulf of Mexico, 
  • stop all remaining offshore lease sales planned in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and 
  • issue a new five-year offshore lease plan that includes no new leases after the current five-year plan expires this year.

Thank you.


Action 9: Hold the president accountable to his campaign promises of a welcoming and inclusive nation.

Source: United We Dream

Join the 78 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: President Biden via the White House contact form.

Script: Hi, I’m contacting you from [STATE] to express my continued support for compassionate immigration reform. ​​Nationwide, millions of aspiring Americans—many of whom have risked their lives as essential workers throughout this pandemic to keep us safe, fed, and healthy—continue to live with the threat of detention and deportation. I’m calling on you to honor your campaign promises and protect immigrant communities by establishing a constitutional asylum system and providing a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans in our communities.


Action 10: Advocate for the rights and dignity of our Muslim neighbors.

Source: No Muslim Ban Ever

Join the 72 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: President Biden and Vice President Harris via the White House contact form.

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [STATE] to express my concern at the lack of progress following the repeal of the so-called Muslim Ban. In the five years since the previous administration’s ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim countries, countless aspiring Americans have been denied asylum, immigration interviews, or work or medical visas, and many families separated by the order have yet to be reunited. It is crucial that the Biden-Harris administration fulfill its promise to right the wrongs of the previous administration’s racially-driven travel bans and use the full extent of your authority to:

  • Issue clear guidance regarding the next steps for applicants denied under the Muslim and African Bans,
  • Immediately and automatically reconsider, reopen, and expedite all immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications subject to the Muslim and African Bans that have not yet been granted, including those denied between FY17 and FY20,
  • Grant humanitarian parole to those who won the diversity visa lottery from FY17 through FY22, and
  • Issue State Department guidance to all consular staff that makes clear that unifying families is a core element of the State Department’s mission.

Acts of Grati­­­­tude

Signatures to the forms below will be printed with a letter of thanks from Americans of Conscience, and mailed to the recipient 2 weeks after the Checklist publication date. Your information will not be stored after that date.

Thank NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci for his steadfast commitment to public health in the face of personal attacks.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: Office of the Director, NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806, Bethesda, MD 20892-9806


Thank Rep. Grace Meng (D–NY) for introducing legislation to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: 2209 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515

Good News

As Americans of Conscience, we celebrate!

Tribal

National

State

  • AL: Court blocks the state’s newly drawn congressional map for violating the Voting Rights Act.
  • CA: Gov. Gavin Newsom takes steps to dismantle the nation’s largest death row prison and shift the state’s focus to rehabilitation.
  • NJ requires Asian American history to be taught in public schools.
  • RI enacts bills to address the opioid crisis through the decriminalization of buprenorphine and other measures.
  • WI: Appeals court reinstates ballot drop boxes in time for the state’s February primary election.

Local

  • Richmond, CA city council secures a deal to stop exporting coal and petcoke from the city’s shipping terminal.

Corporate/business

  • Pfizer and BioNtech initiate a clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Omicron variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines for adults aged 18-55.
  • Farming conglomerate Monsanto pleads guilty to pesticide-related crimes and will pay $12 million in fines.

Groups and organizations

  • Local non-profit Saba Grocers Initiative helps Oakland convenience and liquor store owners increase communities’ access to healthy foods. 
  • Ford Foundation launches a grant program focused on advancing disability rights.
  • The Southern Border Communities Coalition urges Congress to investigate alleged shadow police units who violate human rights laws and cover up wrongdoing by U.S. Border Patrol.
  • Over 1,300 doctors, healthcare professionals, and scientists sign an open letter to Spotify urging the platform to address and prevent the spread of medical, vaccine, and other scientific misinformation.
  • U.N. passes a resolution condemning any denial of the Holocaust and urges all nations and social media companies “to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion.”
  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance distributes 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses across 144 countries, among other vaccinations.

News with heart


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Housekeeping

  • Jen’s message: Read this week’s Inspiring Message.
  • Gratitude: Big thanks to our editor Jennifer Brunton, to our team of writers and researchers, and to our happy gnome farm of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram volunteers. Thanks also to our amazing patrons and donors who make creating the Checklist sustainable.
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2 Comments

    • Thank YOU, Jennifer! Be sure to click the checkboxes when complete. This lets us know what kind of impact we’re having toward our goal of a kind and thriving nation. Be well!

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