87 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.
If you only have 10 minutes
Complete our top three most pressing actions:
- Action 3: Oppose barriers to voting in your state.
- Action 5: Support Georgia’s communities hit hardest by COVID-19.
- Action 15: End inhumane child imprisonment.
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: Support America’s favorite government agency and fire DeJoy. [Source: AoCC]
Call: Both senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP], calling in support of the US Postal Service. Since DeJoy’s appointment to Postmaster General in May 2020, his internal changes have slowed mail, hurt taxpaying citizens and loyal postal workers, and risked compromising elections. I am asking for two things: One, to urge DeJoy’s replacement and 2. eliminate the burden of pre-funding USPS retirement by cosponsoring the USPS Fairness Act [S. 145/H.R. 695]. Thank you.
Action 2: Advocate for secure, trustworthy elections. [Source: Common Cause]
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling because now, more than ever, Americans need to have faith in our elections. The For The People Act will protect elections against foreign interference, expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and ensure nonpartisan redistricting. A majority of Americans support these reforms regardless of their political affiliation, proving that strengthening democracy is not a partisan issue. Can I count on [NAME] to cosponsor and vote for S. 1? Thank you.
Action 3: Oppose barriers to voting in your state. [Source: Brennan Center]
Voting rights are on the agenda in statehouses across the nation. In 43 states, elected officials have introduced at least 253 bills to further restrict voting rights. This Brennan Center bill tracker identifies all state bill numbers. Find yours.
Call: Your state legislator(s) (look up).
Script: Share your town or ZIP code to identify yourself as a constituent, and state your support for any bills that expand voting rights. If your state is considering restricting voting rights, state your opposition to these restrictions. End with a thank you.
If your state isn’t considering relevant legislation, consider a donation to Spread the Vote, which helps citizens obtain IDs in states with oppressive voter laws.
Action 4: Restore voting rights to returning citizens. [Source: Brennan Center]
Call: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] because I’m part of the bipartisan majority of Americans who believe that citizens who have served their full sentences should have the right to vote. The Democracy Restoration Act would establish a uniform standard for allowing those with criminal convictions to vote, and is endorsed by civil rights and criminal justice reform groups. Can I count on [NAME] to cosponsor and vote for S. 481? Thank you.
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: Support Georgia’s communities hit hardest by COVID-19. [Source: AoCC]
Southwest Georgia had more COVID deaths that almost any other area in the US. To support the pandemic response and immediate need for food by SOWEGA Rising, we’re collaborating with them this year. Thanks to AoCC subscribers, we’re $700 closer to our match of $1000! Join us in letting the people of Southwest Georgia know they aren’t forgotten and that their wellbeing matters to people around the country:
Donate: Go to sowegarising.org and click the DONATE button.
Note: Write in the comments that AoCC brought you.
Action 6: Support Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary
Call: Your two senators—especially Republicans (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling in support of Deb Haaland to be the first Native American to serve as Interior Secretary. She is a highly qualified candidate, but opposed due to concerns from the fossil fuel industry. Can you assure me that [NAME] will confirm her appointment?
Action 7: Support unhoused people with COVID-19. [Source: Eric Tars, AoCC]
Call or write: Your local mayor and city council (Search “contact [city] mayor/council”).
Script: Hi, I’m a [CITY] resident who values life. FEMA is reimbursing communities to place unhoused people with mild cases of COVID-19 in hotels for quarantine and basic care. Data from early in the pandemic shows that this approach improved health outcomes and saved hospital beds for the most seriously ill. I’m asking [CITY] to follow this humane practice. Thank you.
Action 8: Advocate for equitable vaccine distribution. [Source: AoCC]
Call or write: Your state governor (lookup) and state health director (search “contact [state] public health director”).
Script: Hi. I’m a [STATE] resident calling to express concern for people who are at high risk of COVID-19 due to living in crowded settings such as prisons, shelters, and detention centers. I’m asking that our state administer the vaccine to residents of these facilities at the same time the staff members receive it, as suggested by recent CDC guidance. Thank you.
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] because I believe women have a right to health care autonomy. The Hyde, Helms, and Weldon Amendments impose limitations that put millions at risk here and abroad, particularly women and girls of color. I’m urging [NAME] to join colleagues in the House and Senate who are asking President Biden to eliminate restrictions on abortion funding from the 2022 budget. Thank you.
Action 10: Protect tribal lands from pipeline destruction. [Source: Indigenous Environmental Network, AoCC]
Email: The President.
Script: In solidarity with Minnesota’s seven Ojibwe bands, I’m writing to ask that the President revoke the Enbridge Line 3 permit, which the U.S. government granted despite insufficient environmental impact assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers. Construction is already affecting wetlands and poses long-term harm to the traditional cultural wild rice that is a critical contributor to tribal economic security. Thank you.
Action 11: Feed hungry families. [Source: AoCC]
In the wake of severe winter storms, residents of Jackson, MS remain without clean running water, forcing reliance on expensive bottled water.
Donate: To the Mississippi Food Network to support bottled water distribution.
Action 12: Prevent religious discrimination against aspiring Americans [Source: UndocuBlack]
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] because I welcome diverse people coming to this country. The previous administration’s Muslim ban has been rescinded, and it’s time to prevent such harmful executive action in the future. I’m asking [NAME] to cosponsor the No Ban Act (H.R. 1177), which is part of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.
Action 13: Support the right to self-identify. [Source: ACLU]
Email: The President.
Script: In solidarity with my transgender and non-binary neighbors [or, as a trans/non-binary person], I’m asking that you issue an executive order that would allow [them/us] to obtain accurate IDs by removing the medical certification requirement and adding a gender neutral “X” designation. The ability to present an accurate ID prevents harassment and creates feelings of safety that cisgender people take for granted. Thank you.
With over 85 cosponsoring organizations, Detention Watch Network (DWN) has launched the #First Ten to #CommunitiesNotCages campaign which demands the shut down of 10 immigration detention centers during the first year of the Biden administration. These “First Ten” provides a roadmap toward ending the US’s inherently abusive, unjust detention system.
Sign: DWN’s petition.
Take Part: Use the #FirstTen to #CommunitiesNotCages Action Toolkit to spread the word on social media and/or participate in the National Week of Action.
Action 15: End inhumane child imprisonment. [Source: RAICES]
Experts agree that child imprisonment is traumatic, yet ICE and DHS have been indefinitely detaining thousands of unaccompanied children and families since the Obama administration. Most youth arrive at the border with the contact information for their relatives in the U.S. We echo RAICES’ recent statement calling for the Biden administration to end family detention.
Email: President Biden using this RAICES form. Feel free to adjust the subject line and message to more closely align with your opinion or personal experience.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Tell Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D–AZ) why you’re grateful to him for introducing legislation to ban privately owned prisons and end family immigration detention.
Address: 1511 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Tell Sen. Cory Booker (D–NJ), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–MA), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D–TX), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D–MA) why you’re grateful to them for re-introducing the Corrections Data Transparency Act to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons.
CB: 717 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
PM: 154 Russell SOB, Washington DC 20510
EW: 309 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
SG: 1620 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
AP: 1108 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Tell Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) why you’re grateful to him for introducing legislation to allow essential workers a path to permanent citizenship.
Address: 110 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
Tell Rep. David Cicilline (D–RI) why you’re grateful to him for introducing the Equality Act every year for the past six years.
Address: 2233 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Tell Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) why you’re grateful to her for introducing the NO BAN Act to prevent future administrations from banning people entry to the U.S. based on their faith.
Address: 2423 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- House passes the Equality Act, moving it to the Senate for a vote.
- House passes H.R.1, which will restrict gerrymandering, improve access to voting, and bring transparency to campaign finance.
- House passes the American Rescue Plan, a robust stimulus package which will provide various avenues of pandemic relief.
- House passes the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which will ban certain dangerous policing tactics and make it easier to hold violent officers accountable.
- The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe retains control of its lands as the Dept. of the Interior drops its appeal in the tribe’s land-in-trust case.
- SCOTUS declines to hear a 2020 election case regarding the legitimacy of certain PA absentee ballots.
- President Biden issues executive order initiating an eightfold increase in the U.S.’s yearly limit on accepting people seeking refuge.
- President Biden revokes the previous administration’s suspension of visas due to the pandemic.
- DHS will utilize a more fair version of the civics test administered to aspiring Americans seeking citizenship.
- Families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border can now choose to be reunified in the U.S. (with potential legal pathways to documented status or citizenship) or their country of origin.
- FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
- The federal government will deliver masks to communities hit hard by the pandemic via community health centers, food pantries, and soup kitchens.
- The Biden administration secures a supply of a recently authorized COVID-19 therapeutic treatment.
- National Institutes of Health researches long-term COVID-19 symptoms.
- The federal government anticipates having enough vaccine doses for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May, two months earlier than its prior assessment.
- President Biden calls on states to prioritize teachers and school staff members in COVID-19 vaccination schedules.
- IL eliminates cash bail.
- NM: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs a bill overturning a dormant ban on most abortion procedures, preserving abortion rights should there be changes made to Roe v. Wade.
- SC: Judge temporarily blocks a ban on abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy.
- TN: Judge blocks a law imposing abortion restrictions and unnecessary, unscientific requirements to access the procedure.
- Sitka, AK vaccinates everyone over 16 against COVID-19.
- Charleston, SC Sheriff Kristin Graziano ends her county’s enforcement partnership with ICE on her first day in office.
- Johnson & Johnson and Merck partner to ramp up production of the newly-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
- Brown University reaches an agreement with the RI AG’s office to improve its hate crimes reporting process.
- Costco increases its minimum wage to $16 per hour.
Groups and organizations
- Al Otro Lado monitors ports of entry in Tijuana for human rights violations and distributes re-entry information to aspiring Americans.
- Bethany Christian Services, one of the country’s largest adoption and foster care agencies, will provide services to LGBTQ parents.
- The Time’s Up Foundation, Me Too International, and the National Women’s Law Center launch the We, As Ourselves campaign to ensure that Black sexual assault survivors are believed, heard, and supported.
- 64 economies worldwide join the COVAX Facility, a global initiative to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines to those in greatest need.
- Jubilee Ministries works to find living-wage jobs for more than 100 Peoria residents under a grant funded by a Clean Air Act settlement.
- The American Physical Society, a physics organization, will not hold conferences in cities with racist policing records.
News with heart
- Advocates locate 105 children who were lost after being separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- About 700 people living in the Matamoros camp can finally enter the U.S. to seek refuge.
- All remaining families detained at the Berks center are released to pursue their asylum claims in the community.
- 5.6% of U.S. residents identify as LGBT, the highest percentage in the history of Gallup’s polling.
- An inaugural class of young women earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
- Christian Stone, 10, and family friend Abbey Meeker clean snow off of 80 hospital workers’ cars during a nor’easter.
- During Texas’s winter storm, delivery driver Chelsea Timmons finds shelter at Nina Richardson and Doug Condon’s home, where she stayed for five days.
- Huge Ma creates TurboVax, a COVID vaccination appointment-finding program.
- Danita Johnson is appointed D.C. United’s President of Operations, becoming the first Black woman to become president of a major league soccer team in the U.S.
- Customers who couldn’t pay cash in the middle of a cold weather power outage were permitted by H-E-B grocery store to leave with their goods at no charge.
- Ryan Sivley assists 98 stranded drivers amid Texas’s winter storm
- Frank Rothwell, 70, raises £640,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK by rowing across the Atlantic ocean solo, becoming the oldest ever person to do so.
- See more good news at Women in the World, Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
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