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31 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, take our top three suggested actions:

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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 120 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:

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: Verify your voter registration monthly through November.

Source: AoCC

Join the 127 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

In March, Texas voters trying to vote in their primary reported that their registration was canceled without notice or reason. An AoCC subscriber discovered her last name was misspelled, potentially disqualifying her vote. Don’t let your ballot be rejected. Commit to checking monthly, starting today.

Visit: Vote.org.


Action 2: Tell Congress to protect local election officials.

Source: Brennan Center

Join the 165 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Election workers are experiencing a historically unprecedented level of violent threats. More than three-fourths of election workers believe that these threats have worsened recently. Urge congress to protect these nonpartisan public servants using the Brennan Center’s email generator (uncheck the box labeled “By checking this box, I agree to receive periodic email updates from the Brennan Center” if you don’t want to receive emails).


Action 3: Oppose requirements to manually tabulate ballots in your state.

Source: AoCC

Join the 79 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: Your state legislators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m a resident of [ZIP] calling to ask you vote NO on any legislation that attempts to prohibit the use of ballot tabulating machines in [STATE] elections. Manually counting ballots is slow and error-prone, and the accuracy of ballot counting machinery can be verified with post-election risk-limiting audits. 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 4: Advocate for accessible, dignified air travel.

Source: Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Join the 47 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

The Department of Transportation is accepting comments on the difficulties and rights violations encountered by wheelchair users during air travel. U.S. airlines damage, lose, or otherwise mishandle an average of 29 mobility devices every day. Wheelchairs are often custom-made to a person’s individual needs, and mishandling can result in a sudden and complete loss of independence, bodily injury, or even death.

If you or a loved one are a wheelchair user, or if you support equity in travel, share your experience/opinion: On Regulations.gov by April 25, 2022.


Action 5: Protect the rights of LGBTQ+ youth.

Source: Human Rights Campaign

Join the 62 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: Your two STATE legislators (look up).

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [ZIP] because I care about the emotional and mental well-being of transgender youth in [STATE]. More than 100 new anti-LGBTQ+  bills have been introduced across the country since 2021, leaving over a third of our nation’s transgender youth at risk of losing access to gender-affirming care, and significantly increasing their risk of depression and suicide. Can I count on [NAME] to protect young transgender people from harmful legislation by denouncing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in [STATE]?

Be an ally: Visit PFLAG.org for LGBTQ+ community support and resources, and the National Center for Transgender Equality’s guide to being a good ally.


Action 6: Advocate for local independence from federal immigration enforcement.

Source: United We Dream

Join the 46 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact: Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, at (202) 282-8495 (DHS comment line) or by mail at
Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [TOWN, STATE] to support ending collusion between localities and federal immigration enforcement agencies. Protective, pro-immigrant policies are necessary for vibrant, healthy, and trusting communities—yet DHS agencies have historically perpetuated harm in the daily lives of aspiring Americans, through ongoing policing and prolonged, inhumane detention of community members. I’m joining more than 170 organizations in urging you to affirmatively terminate 287(g) agreements, as well as the so-called Secure Communities program. Thank you.


Action 7: Call for the closure of child detention centers.

Source: United We Dream

Join the 42 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Write: 

Sec. Xavier Becerra 
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

and

Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [STATE] because the U.S. is still operating three “Emergency Intake Sites” for aspiring American children. These “temporary” unlicensed facilities are reported to have unsanitary conditions, poor food, lack of outdoor access, and irregular access to clean clothing and bathrooms. Intake sites are not appropriate for children, and I’m asking [NAME] to take the following action to shut them down immediately in favor of community-based solutions and safer, more humane border policies:

  • Establish a safe and rapid process for keeping children together with trusted non-parental caregivers at the border,
  • Improve the reunification process to more quickly place children with family or sponsors in the U.S. by working with trusted community-based organizations,
  • Expand the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) network of small-scale, licensed care facilities for unaccompanied children, and
  • Proactively engage trusted, community-based nonprofits to open licensed, small-scale, homelike shelters.

Thank you.


Action 8: Advocate for clear policies around new, potentially-harmful technology.

Source: AoCC

Join the 33 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact:

Chris Magnus
Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20229
(877) 227-5511 (CBP INFO Center)

and

Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
(202) 282-8495 (DHS comment line)

Script: Hi, I’m contacting you from [ZIP] to express my concern about the unregulated use of robotic dogs at the border. While these machines have the potential to enable safer search and rescue operations, bomb threat investigations, and more, the ability to mount cameras and weapons to the robots exposes the risk of them being used against humans as a tool of surveillance and/or violence. I am calling on [NAME] to delay deployment of these robotic dogs until strict, humane guidelines can be outlined, defined, and enforced.

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 Gov. Spencer Cox (R–UT) and Gov. Eric Holcomb (R–IN) for vetoing discriminatory bills that would prevent transgender student athletes from participating in sports on the team that best aligns with their gender identity.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use these addresses:

SC: P.O. Box 142220, Salt Lake City, UT 84114

EH: 200 W. Washington St., Rm. 206, Indianapolis, IN 46204


Thank Sen. Susan Collins (R–ME) for committing to vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: 413 Dirksen SOB, Washington, DC 20510

Bonus: Thank your senator/s (find addresses here) if they have also committed to a “yes” vote for Judge Jackson’s confirmation.


Thank HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra for taking steps to protect transgender youth in TX and nationwide by releasing guidance regarding child welfare, healthcare, and patient privacy.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Hubert H. Humphrey Bldg., 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201

Good News

As Americans of Conscience, we celebrate!

Tribal

  • Haskell Indian Nations University in KS and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in NM work with the U.S. Dept. of the Interior to formally designate both as voter registration agencies under the National Voter Registration Act.

National

State

  • CA: Judge Patricia Guerrero is confirmed to serve on the California Supreme Court, becoming the first Latina to serve there.
  • IN state senate leadership opts not to pursue passage of a bill that would have banned inclusive and historically accurate lessons and activities in public schools.
  • IA: Court finds that a law criminalizing undercover investigations at factory farms, slaughterhouses, and puppy mills violates the First Amendment.
  • NC: A panel of state judges rules as unconstitutional a state law that discriminates against Black residents by prohibiting people convicted of felonies from registering to vote while they are still serving probation or parole.
  • NJ’s two remaining coal plants will be shut down, a key step towards the state’s carbon-free goals.
  • WY: With bipartisan support, the state’s legislature fails to pass a bill that would have banned historically accurate and inclusive curricula in public schools.

Local

Corporate/business

Groups and organizations

News with heart

Good news update on an AoCC action

In January, you and 354 people signed a letter to Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh urging the protection of non-citizen children doing farm work. We featured this action based on a report by Lawyers for Good Government finding that a lack of regulatory protections for child farmworkers is resulting in exploitation of children and dangerous working conditions. 

This month, I received a reply from Amy DeBisschop, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation. She shared that she had forwarded our letter to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour division. In addition, she expressed that her division shares our priorities and the importance of the safety of young workers. Our letter and its 355 signatures will be retained on file as the department considers its regulatory priorities.

Because the U.S. Department of Labor updates its regulatory agenda in spring and fall, we plan to follow up urging action on this issue and, in the meantime, seek out opportunities to collaborate with farmworkers rights groups. We haven’t achieved the end goal yet, but speaking up for the rights of young farmworkers makes our views known, and we plan to keep at it. Thank you for taking part in progress toward justice.


To Support the Checklist

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Housekeeping

  • Jen’s message: Read this week’s Inspiring Message.
  • Gratitude to the AoCC team: Pause a moment with me to recognize the entire AoCC team for their passion, time, and talent in service to a kind and thriving nation. April is National Volunteer Recognition Month, and the quality of our Checklist is thanks to the 28 incredible women and non-binary people who show up week after week in support of our goals and each other. Y’all absolutely rock.
  • Want to join us? We’re seeking volunteers for several positions in research and social media. Please send a message to https://americansofconscience.com/contact/ for details.
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5 Comments

  1. Thank you Jen and staff for all you do! Happy Volunteer Month!

    Just wanted you to know that I, and probably others, do not contact our Congresspeople or state legislators very often because they’re already working to enact what you’re proposing here.

    Also wanted to tell you that I love the new format for sending notes. So much easier, even though I used to be a secretary and am capable of sending separate notes/letters. It’s very handy.

    Take care. Be safe, be happy, live in peace.

    • I’m so glad that you like the changes we’ve made over the last few years! Like democracy, we’re a work in progress always.

      We believe that communicating with elected officials is part of our civic duty. Both parties urge their members to spend four hours daily calling donors to fundraise for the party. This means they’re spending most of each day not listening to constituent concerns. It is their staffers who take calls and tally citizens’ opinions — and we know that thank you notes get placed on the top of the pile. Consider, perhaps, the value of writing or calling to cheer them on for an action you support.

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