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20 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 108 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

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

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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: Empower those turning 18 before Election Day to register and vote.

Source: The Civics Center

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In at least 10 states, the number of young people turning 18 between now and Election Day exceeds the margin of victory in the 2020 presidential election in those states. The vast majority of young people who will be 18 by Election Day in November can register to vote now. 

Join The Civics Center in sending postcards to young voters and stickers to recent high-school graduates, or donate to support their educational voter-registration research and tools.


Action 2: Call for more ballot drop boxes in your state.

Source: AoCC

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Look up your state’s laws on the provision of ballot drop boxes, and see whether “drop box” is currently an option for your state.

If your state doesn’t allow drop boxes or is not specific about providing enough, Contact: Your local election officials [look up].

Script: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission recommends one ballot drop box for every 15,000-20,000 registered voters. Drop boxes have been found to increase voter turnout, and removing them is a form of voter suppression that disproportionately affects marginalized groups that have more difficulty getting to the polls. Will there be enough drop boxes to serve [COUNTY/TOWN]’s voters? [If yes, thank them. If no or unclear, urge them to follow EAC’s recommendations.]


Action 3: Urge federal department heads to expand voter registration now.

Source: Brennan Center

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Script: With voting rights threatened in many U.S. states, I am joining with the Brennan Center and more than 230 national organizations to urge you to implement President Biden’s executive order on promoting access to voting. Your department can play an important role in assisting Americans to participate in the electoral process. Act today to provide robust voter registration services to eligible Americans and invite designations by states as voter registration agencies under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Thank you.

Write: 

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Secretary of Health & Human Services
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20201

The Honorable Miguel Cardona
Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202

The Honorable Marcia Fudge
Secretary of HUD
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
451 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20410

The Honorable Merrick Garland
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530

The Honorable Isabel Guzman
Administrator
Small Business Administration
409 3rd St SW
Washington, D.C. 20416

The Honorable Deb Haaland
Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington DC 20240

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
301 7th St, SW
Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Denis McDonough
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20420

The Honorable Marty Walsh
Secretary of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210

The Honorable Janet Yellen
Secretary of Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 20220

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: Demand the immediate closure of a Navy base polluting O’ahu’s drinking water.

Source: Sierra Club of Hawai’i

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The U.S. Navy’s Red Hill Facility has leaked over 180,000 gallons of fuel since 1943, poisoning the drinking water supply and endangering the people, wildlife, and ecosystems of Oʻahu. In December 2021, the Navy was to suspend operations and defuel over 100 million gallons, but have yet to fulfill that obligation nor commit to a transparent timeline in response to the urgent situation.

Contact: President Biden via the White House contact form.

Script: Hi, I’m from [STATE] echoing Hawaiians’ calls to direct the immediate closure and defueling of the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill Facility. In solidarity with the people of O’ahu, we demand:

  1. A commitment from the Navy to defuel Red Hill by September 2022;
  2. Full transparency for all information and data—past, current, and future— regarding the status of the Red Hill Facility and the safety of local water;
  3. Department of Defense compensation to all residents, workers, schools, businesses, and government agencies for past and future costs incurred from aquifer contamination;
  4. Full community oversight in the cleanup and restoration of the current contamination of Kapūkakī and the groundwater aquifer below it; and
  5. Alternative fuel arrangements that do not threaten the water and foundation of life for other communities in Hawai’i and elsewhere.

Alternate: Sign the Sierra Club of Hawai’i petition (you will be automatically subscribed to their mailing list).


Action 5: Advocate for reparations for victims of Navy-contaminated drinking water.

Source: Steven Donziger and Sierra Club of Hawai’i

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Write: Dr. Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense of the Navy, 1000 Navy Pentagon, Washington, DC 20350-1200, and Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, 1000 Navy Pentagon, Washington, DC 20350-1200

Script: Hello, I’m writing from [STATE] in solidarity with Hawaiians and military personnel impacted by the Red Hill fuel leaks on O’ahu. The ongoing leaks have contaminated public drinking water and air, causing long-term illness related to toxic exposure. I am urging you to establish a fund to cover health expenses for the victims of the U.S. Navy’s negligence.


Action 6: Encourage federal action toward racial justice in the U.S.

Source: SisterSong

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Contact: President Biden via the White House contact form.

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [STATE] in support of reparations for those impacted by slavery in the U.S. We cannot wait for the Senate to approve a commission studying and developing reparations proposals to provide some measure of justice to Black Americans for enslavement and the continuing injustices it fostered. I’m asking you to work with supporting organizations and House sponsors of H.R. 40 to set up a reparations committee by executive order.

Alternate: Sign the Daily Kos/Human Rights Watch petition (you will be automatically subscribed to their mailing list).


Action 7: Offer material support to LGBTQIA+ aspiring Americans.

Source: Never Again Action

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Many asylum seekers flee violence and persecution due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. The journey to and arrival at the U.S. border often comes with a high risk of violence and discrimination—especially for transgender women. Never Again Action’s list of efforts help empower a kinder, more welcoming nation.

Donate to and/or share: Never Again Action’s list of organizations supporting our LGBTQIA+ neighbors.


Action 8: Advocate for permanent protection for Dreamers.

Source: United We Dream

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DACA turned 10 years old this week. While the program is well worth celebrating, its temporary protections are continually at risk of being overturned. President Biden and Congress can eradicate the threat of deportation to the young people who call this country home.

Sign: The United We Dream petition urging lawmakers to prioritize the safety of our community members (uncheck the box under ADD YOUR NAME to opt out from their mailing list).


Action 9: Call for an end to child detention in the U.S.

Source: Detention Watch Network

Join the 82 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

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Call: The Office of Refugee Resettlement at (202) 401-9246.

Script: Hi, I’m calling from [STATE] for an end to the detention of unaccompanied aspiring American children. Despite overwhelming evidence that unlicensed “Emergency Intake Sites” don’t provide the care and support kids need and create conditions that increase trauma and abuse, several facilities still remain operational. I am calling [again] to urge ORR to immediately shut down all detention sites for unaccompanied children and stop all plans to open new facilities.

Sign: The Action Network petition to President Biden, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (click Edit Subscription Preferences under ADD YOUR NAME and uncheck the box to opt out from their mailing list).

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 AG Sean Reyes (R–UT) for providing a legal framework for librarians and educators to support students’ First Amendment rights in the face of book bans and censorship.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: Office of the Attorney General, P.O. Box 142320, Salt Lake City, UT 84114

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Join the 103 Americans of Conscience who have added their names!

NameCityState
AndrewHoustonTX
CarolynPalo AltoCA
JacqueeLittletonCO
JLChesterfieldVA
VictoriaWatertownMA
NameCityState

Thank Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) and Patty Murray (D–WA) for urging President Biden to uphold federal abortion rights via executive powers.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use these addresses:
EW: ​​309 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
PM: 154 Russell SOB, Washington, D.C. 20510

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Join the 100 Americans of Conscience who have added their names!

NameCityState
AndrewHoustonTX
CarolynPalo AltoCA
JacqueeLittletonCO
JLChesterfieldVA
ElizabethCharlotteNC
NameCityState

Thank Sen. Alex Padilla (D–CA) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D–TX) for introducing the Hispanic Educational Resources and Empowerment (HERE) Act, which would address barriers to Latino students attending and graduating from college.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use these addresses:
AP: 112 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
JC: 2241 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515

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Join the 90 Americans of Conscience who have added their names!

NameCityState
AndrewHoustonTX
JacqueeLittletonCO
JLChesterfieldVA
ElizabethCharlotteNC
NickMilfordCT
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Good News

As Americans of Conscience, we celebrate!

Tribal

  • U.S. federal court rules in favor of Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribes, finding the state of SD acted in violation of the National Voter Registration Act on reservations throughout the state.
  • SCOTUS’s decision in Denezpi v. United States reaffirms the inherent sovereignty of tribal governments to prosecute crimes.

National

  • President Biden signs an executive order taking steps to protect the rights, equality, health, and dignity of LGBTQ people, including:
    • Protecting LGBTQ children and families from attacks on their access to health care.
    • Creating sample policies for states to expand access to comprehensive health care for LGBTQ patients, including suicide-prevention resources.
    • Addressing the impacts of state laws that target LGBTQ students.
    • Creating sample school policies for achieving full inclusion for LGBTQ students.
    • Reducing the practice of so-called “conversion therapy.”
    • Strengthening non-discrimination protections in the foster care system.
    • Support for older LGBTQ adults and youth in juvenile justice systems.
  • Congress passes and the president signs legislation to establish a National Museum of Asian American and Pacific Islander History and Culture.
  • House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021 at the Capitol reveals their findings to the American public in a series of televised hearings.
  • The FDA approves COVID-19 vaccines for kids under five years old.
  • Social visitation is reinstated for people in immigration detention.
  • U.S. commits to admitting 20,000 Latin Americans seeking refuge during the next two years. President Biden pledges to increase the number of seasonal worker visas from Central America and Haiti by 11,500.
  • Federal court allows educator Gregory Tucker’s civil rights suit to proceed regarding the misuse of religion to harm workers and justify discrimination.

State

  • AZ will continue to offer early voting opportunities.
  • CO requires new security measures for election systems and makes it a crime to threaten or encourage harassment against election officials.
  • LA: Court rules that the state’s congressional map is in violation of the Voting Rights Act and must be reworked by June 20.
  • MA: All state residents are now eligible to apply for driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status.
  • RI legalizes the possession, use, and growth of cannabis and will automatically expunge past cannabis-related convictions.
  • TX: Court temporarily blocks the state from invasively and unnecessarily investigating families of transgender children who have received gender-confirming medical care.
  • Kern County, CA’s Superior Court rules for the second time that the county’s oil and gas review violated environmental protection law.

Corporate/business

News with heart


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