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16 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 133 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 121 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: Bolster the security of your local election office.

Sources: Center for Internet Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Join the 92 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Email: Your local election officials (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m a resident of [TOWN, ZIP] asking your office to do two things in preparation for November’s midterm elections:

  1. Address supply chain shortages today to prevent election disruptions. Paper supplies such as ballots and envelopes must be ordered much earlier than in previous election years. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency offers specific details.
  2. Sign up for the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s (EI-ISAC) free membership which outlines how to strengthen cybersecurity in preparation for November’s midterm elections.

Thank you for the work you do to administer free and fair elections.


Action 2: Oppose efforts to politicize or undermine the independence of state courts.

Source: Brennan Center

Join the 19 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

If you live in AL, AK, AR, CO, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, VA, WV, or WY

Look up the bills your state advanced during the 2022 legislative session.

Contact: Your two state legislators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m a resident of [TOWN, ZIP]. I oppose efforts to politicize or undermine the independence of our state courts. Specifically, [NAME OF BILL(S)] will undermine the ability of [STATE]’s judicial system to serve as an independent check on the legislature and governor. I ask you to vote no on this and any related legislation and to preserve the independence of all three branches of state government. Thank you.

If you live elsewhere: Donate to the Brennan Center to fund its efforts to protect elections and democracy.


Action 3: Get voters of color the ID they need to vote.

Source: Spread the Vote

Join the 37 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Requiring voter ID is a discriminatory barrier to voting. According to the ACLU, “Over 21 million U.S. citizens do not have qualifying government-issued photo identification, and these individuals are disproportionately voters of color.” Even when IDs are free, the documents needed to get an ID are not. Spread the Vote assists people in obtaining IDs.

Donate: to Spread the Vote (If you do, mention that you’re from AoCC!).

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 to protect our coasts and communities from oil spills.

Source: NRDC

Join the 129 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact:
Secretary Deb Haaland
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
or via the DOI contact form

and

President Joe Biden/Vice President Kamala Harris
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
or via the White House contact form.

Script: Hello, I’m contacting you from [STATE] in opposition to your five-year plan for offshore oil drilling. Granting any additional offshore leases to private fossil fuel companies will only serve to further harm our coasts, communities, and climate through the inevitable risk of oil spills and pollution. I am asking you to revise your five-year plan, remove all oil drilling lease opportunities, and invest instead in renewable energy. Thank you.

Alternate: Sign the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy petition (uncheck “Please send me updates about your work!” to avoid being added to the GCCLP mailing list).


Action 5: Support pollution standards in energy production.

Source: NRDC

Join the 103 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Contact:
EPA Administrator Michael Regan
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460

and

President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
or via the White House contact form.

Script: Hi, I’m contacting you from [STATE] in support of limiting emissions from the power sector, which contributes roughly ⅓ of carbon pollution. Even with recent U.S. Supreme Court carbon emission constraints, the EPA still has some authority. I’m calling on you to protect our climate, health, and future by limiting power plant pollution, expanding clean energy, and pushing the power sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2035.

Alternate: Sign the NRDC petition (you will be automatically added to their mailing list).


Action 6: Help people in Ukraine access critical HIV medication.

Source: Human Rights Campaign

Join the 2 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

HIV/AIDS treatments have come a long way in the past several decades. Yet in many healthcare systems, a lack of access leaves nations ill-equipped to absorb costs, transport medication, and connect people to the treatments they need. If you have unused and unexpired HIV medication, you can take simple, cost-free action to pass it on to a person in need in Ukraine and other countries.

Participate: Recycle your HIV medication through AID for AIDS.


Action 7: Advocate for abortion rights in your state.

Source: AoCC

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

Bodily autonomy is a fundamental human right. The lack of access to safe abortion will have a devastating impact on the health and well-being of pregnant people, and their families and communities.

If abortion services are available in your state (look up): 

Contact: Your STATE legislators and governor (look up). 

Script: Hi, I’m contacting you from [ZIP] to ensure that the rights of residents, abortion providers, and out-of-state clients are protected. Restricted access to this critical service is forcing people to cross state lines for medical care, and put themselves and providers at potential legal risk. I’m asking you to follow New York’s example and:

  • Increase confidentiality for abortion patients and providers; 
  • Prohibit disciplinary measures against healthcare practitioners who provide services to out-of-state patients;
  • Bar malpractice insurance companies from taking adverse action against providers; 
  • Block state courts from issuing subpoenas in connection with out-of-state abortion proceedings; and 
  • Prohibit the extradition of abortion providers to other states.

Action 8: Support people seeking critical reproductive care.

Source: AoCC

Join the 34 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Bodily autonomy is a fundamental human right. The lack of access to safe abortion is having a devastating impact on the health and well-being of pregnant people. Support organizations helping people access the care they need.

Donate: To your local practical support organization—regardless of the status of abortion services in your state—to provide medical and logistical support to people seeking abortion care.


Action 9: Empower yourself for reproductive health advocacy.

Source: AoCC

Join the 11 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Sign up for and attend: Abortion Access Front’s online Operation Save Abortion activism training day. Learn how to effectively support reproductive rights and bodily autonomy on Sunday, July 17th from 11am-6:30 pm. A recording will also be available after the event.

Donate: To the AAF to help build strong communities working for abortion access.


Action 10: Advocate for the protection of farm workers against extreme heat.

Source: United Farm Workers

Join the 232 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Farm workers are up to 35 times more likely to die from heat than those in any other civilian occupation, and climate change is worsening these conditions. Only California, Oregon, and Washington have heat protections in place. This lack of regulations forces farm workers to choose between their income and their health.

Sign: The United Farm Workers petition telling OSHA to pass emergency heat regulations (uncheck “I want UFW email alerts” to avoid being added to the UFW mailing list).


Action 11: Support aspiring Americans when they reach the Capitol.

Source: Sanctuary DMV

Join the 15 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

Anti-immigration Governors Abbott (TX) and Ducey (AZ) continue to transport volunteer asylum seekers from the southern border to Washington, DC. The DC community will soon be welcoming over 100 new families. Join volunteers at Sanctuary DMV in supporting our new neighbors with basic needs and personal hygiene supplies.

Act in solidarity: Donate hygiene supplies and other goods through the Sanctuary DMV wishlist. Donate funds via Paypal (preferred) or Venmo (@SanctuaryDMV) with the note ‘TX solidarity.’


Action 12: Advocate for the permanent closure of a private detention facility.

Sources: Free Them All VA and Detention Watch Network (DWN)

Join the 34 Americans of Conscience who have completed this action by checking the tally box!

In 2020, the private ICE facility ICA-Farmville, which has a history of human rights abuses, was blocked from receiving new transfers due to a massive COVID outbreak that claimed the life of a man detained there. ICE will soon be allowed to begin transferring people into the facility once more.

Take Action: Use this toolkit, complete with sample scripts and emails, to contact President Biden, ICE, and local elected officials and advocate for the permanent closure of ICA-Farmville.

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 Govs. Jared Polis (D–CO), Janet Mills (D–ME), Roy Cooper (D–NC), Steve Sisolak (D–NV), Tom Wolf (D–PA), Dan McKee (D–RI), and Jay Inslee (D–WA) for signing executive orders protecting abortion access and protecting patients and providers from out-of-state legal threats.

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

JP: State Capitol Building, 200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 136, Denver, CO 80203

JM: 1 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333

RC: 20301 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699 

SS: State Capitol Building, 101 N. Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701

TW: Office of the Governor, 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

DM: Office of the Governor, 82 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02903

JI: Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504


Thank Dr. Sydnee McElroy and Justin McElroy for sharing information about abortion and pregnancy-related healthcare in the wake of the Dobbs decision on their medical history podcast Sawbones.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: P.O. Box 54, Huntington, WV 25706


Thank President Joe Biden for creating Operation Fly Formula to import nearly 400 million bottles of baby formula from nine countries, invoking the Defense Production Act for baby formula manufacturers, directing the USDA to allow flexibility formula purchasing requirements for WIC families, and addressing formula price gouging.

If you’d like to mail your own personal expression of gratitude, use this address: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

Good News

As Americans of Conscience, we celebrate!

Progress on Issues featured in past Americans of Conscience Checklists

Reproductive Rights

  • On July 8, President Biden issued an executive order regarding abortion access that includes:
    • Ensuring safety for abortion patients and providers, including protecting mobile clinics deployed to provide care for out-of-state patients.
    • HHS updates to guidance clarifying physician responsibilities and protections under Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).
    • Convening private pro bono attorneys and organizations to provide legal representation to those lawfully seeking and providing abortions.
    • HHS expansion of access to emergency contraception and long-acting reversible contraception.
    • HHS Office for Civil Rights guidance clarifying HIPAA privacy rules.
    • Establishing an interagency task force on reproductive healthcare access.
    • FTC steps to protect consumer privacy when seeking information about reproductive and abortion care services.
    • HHS outreach and public education on abortion to provide reliable and accurate information about reproductive rights and access to care.
    • Addressing deceptive or fraudulent practices regarding abortion information.
    • Office for Civil Rights guidance for consumers on how to protect personal data on mobile apps.
  • The Biden administration affirms that the EMTALA requires doctors and hospitals to provide abortions in a medical emergency and the health or life of the patient is at risk, regardless of state law.
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland asserts that states cannot ban Mifepristone, an FDA-approved medication used to end pregnancy before 10 weeks of gestation.
  • CA: Legislature proposes an amendment to the state constitution enshrining reproductive freedom, to be voted on in November.
  • CO: Gov. Jared Polis signs an executive order adding protections for abortion seekers and providers, including people who have traveled from other states.
  • DE passes legislation ensuring access to abortion care and protecting providers and patients seeking services in the state.
  • ME: Via executive order, Gov. Janet Mills expands and safeguards access to abortion and protect patients and healthcare providers from legal liability.
  • MN: Unconstitutional abortion restrictions are struck down, including a requirement restricting abortions by physicians only. Registered nurses and certified nurse midwives may now  perform abortions.
  • NC: Gov. Roy Cooper issues an executive order protecting people seeking reproductive healthcare in North Carolina from extradition to other states.
  • NJ establishes a Reproductive Rights Strike Force, which allows authorities to take legal action against anyone who threatens or intimidates a person seeking an abortion in the state.
  • NV: Via executive order, Gov. Steve Sisolak protects out-of-state abortion patients and medical providers from prosecution and extradition.
  • PA: Gov. Tom Wolf signs an executive order prohibiting state agencies from taking part in investigations launched by other states over abortion services.
  • RI: Via executive order, Gov. Dan McKee safeguards individuals seeking abortion and reproductive health services from legal liability in other states.
  • WA: Via executive order, Gov. Jay Inslee prohibits state law enforcement cooperation with abortion-related investigations and approves $1 million for reproductive care clinics handling an increase in patients.
  • WI: Gov. Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul file a lawsuit challenging an 1849 state law banning abortions.
  • More than 90 district attorneys or other prosecutors from across the U.S. pledge not to prosecute individuals for seeking abortions.
  • 17 states initiate or implement policies to provide Medicaid reimbursement for doula services.
  • King County, WA Executive Dow Constantine signs an executive order prohibiting county executive branch resources from being used in investigations of any out-of-state abortion-related prosecutions.
  • People seeking abortions can use ineedana.com’s clinic checker to ensure they will visit a legitimate reproductive healthcare provider.
  • Chicago Abortion Fund shares their guide How to Talk About Abortion in Your Community.
  • Liberate Abortion provides a resource for reporters on ethical reporting regarding the Dobbs decision.
  • GLAAD publishes a media guide for including the LGBTQ+ community in abortion-related discussions and articles.
  • Forward Together creates a Reproductive Justice Media Reference Guide to reporting on abortion and the Latinx community.
  • Physicians for Reproductive Health develops resources for journalists reporting on abortion, including interview guidance related to personal stories of seeking or providing care.
  • A MO healthcare provider resumes offering emergency contraceptive services.
  • Celebrities use their platforms to raise money and advocate for abortion and other reproductive rights.
  • Just the Pill continues to offer medication abortion care in CO, MN, MT, and WY.

Tribal

National

State

Local

  • Over 500 students in Caddo Parish, LA register to vote.
  • The return of Bruce’s Beach to descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce receives unanimous approval from Los Angeles’s Board of Supervisors.
  • School board candidates who support inclusive, accurate education for public school students continue to win elections over candidates who do not.
  • Anti-censorship activists sue Llano County, TX for removing books from public libraries.
  • Students who change their name or pronouns in the Madison Metropolitan School District are protected from being outed against their will.

Groups and organizations

News with heart


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Housekeeping

  • Jen’s message: Read this week’s Inspiring Message.
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