Time Until Election Day
202 weeks down, 5 weeks to the presidential election.
The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and respect. To stay engaged through challenging times, we practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration.
I value democracy.
Action: Oppose the president’s Supreme Court nominee. [Source: AoCC]
Call or email: Your two senators, regardless of party affiliation (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling/writing from [ZIP] to oppose the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court and am asking [NAME] to do likewise. Her limited experience and conflicts of interest make her unqualified for this position. Thank you.
I value voting as a foundation of a healthy democracy.
The clock is ticking down to the 2020 elections. The actions below ensure three things: that our votes are secure, that every citizen can vote, and that every vote is counted.
Action 1: Help voters affected by natural disasters. [Source: AoCC]
Action 2: Remember that your vote matters, especially locally. [Source: More than a Vote]
Local elections matter. We elect district attorneys, county prosecutors, sheriffs, and judges, and we can replace them if they fall short of their obligations to serve every community member. In local races like these, your vote makes a difference. Visit nonpartisan resources like Ballotpedia.org or Vote411.org to learn about which local candidates support your values.
Although 18- to 24-year-olds have traditionally had lower voter turnout, Generation Z, many of whom will be casting their first-ever votes in a presidential election, will make up 10% of the electorate in 2020. Welcome these voters to the democratic process by encouraging them to vote this election season.
If you know any college students: Send a new-voter care package! Include an absentee ballot request, an envelope to mail it in, two stamps, and a treat (if you need ideas, we hear college students love brownies and new earbuds). Visit link for details.
If you don’t know any college students personally: You can still encourage them individually by joining The Civics Center’s nonpartisan Postcards for Democracy initiative. Write postcards encouraging recent high school graduates to register and vote, or donate to support the project. You can even take part in a virtual postcard-writing party on October 7.
Sign up to be a poll worker. Click any of the links above for details.
Share on social media: This election season, America needs young people to sign up to be poll workers. Many states allow people as young as 16 to become paid poll workers, and bilingual workers are especially needed. Visit PowerthePolls.org or WorkElections.com to learn more.
Share on social media: You can support democracy by volunteering with the nonpartisan Election Protection 2020 Coalition. A variety of volunteer opportunities are available, including monitoring polling locations, connecting voters with legal professionals, and tracking disinformation online. Visit ProtectTheVote.net to learn more.
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.
Call or email: Your two senators, regardless of party affiliation (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask that [NAME] vote against confirming Chad Wolf as Homeland Security Secretary. Under his tenure as the acting secretary, COVID-19 has spread through detention centers, and the DHS has been accused of withholding intelligence about foreign interference in our elections, and sent federal troops into communities contrary to the wishes of local and state officials. Our communities are less safe with Chad Wolf at the helm. Please oppose his nomination. Thank you.
Action 6: Advocate for the rights of aspiring Americans. [Source: Americans of Conscience Checklist]
Call or email: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to insist that Congress put a stop to the administration’s inhumane policies toward aspiring Americans. The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act (S. 1243/H.R. 2415) would end the use of private facilities, set operating standards, increase oversight to eliminate abuse, and better protect the civil rights of immigrant detainees. I’m asking [NAME] to co-sponsor this bill. Thank you.
Action 7: Support deferring SCOTUS appointment after inauguration. [Source: National Women’s Law Center]
Call or email: Your two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask that the Senate follow its own precedent and defer confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after the inauguration. Whoever wins the election should select the new justice. Thank you.
Action 8: Protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19. [Source: Homelessness Law Center]
Call or email: Your mayor and/or city council members.
Script: I’m writing in solidarity with the National Homelessness Law Center to ask that [TOWN] provide individual housing units to encamped people, as indicated by recent CDC guidelines, or allow homeless encampments to remain in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure is needed to contain the virus and prevent hospitalizations among our vulnerable neighbors. Thank you.
Script: Hello, I’m [CALLING/WRITING] from [ZIP] to address the reports of human rights violations at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. In addition to multiple COVID-related deaths due to unsafe living and working conditions, recent reports allege ICE is performing unnecessary and unwanted hysterectomies without patient consent, and pregnant detainees lack access to specialist care. I am joining advocacy organizations in asking [NAME] to initiate an immediate and thorough investigation into conditions and medical care at ICE detention centers, and in particular the Irwin Detention Center.
Action 10: Support access to COVID-19 relief for everyone in the U.S. [Source: National Immigration Law Center]
Email: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hello, I’m from [ZIP] and want to express my strong support for a COVID relief bill that helps everyone in this country. Many immigrants are U.S. citizens, taxpayers, and essential workers, yet they were left out of the first relief package due to the bureaucratic complexities of their status. I am asking you to ensure immigrants are protected in the next COVID-19 legislative package by prioritizing the following:
- Ensure that all people who file taxes are eligible for stimulus rebates for themselves and their family members.
- Make sure that everyone has access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines (when available), regardless of their immigration status, income, or what state they live in.
- Ensure the safety and dignity of all workers, regardless of their immigration status, and automatically extend work permits and status for people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or temporary protected status (TPS).
Action 11: Support an aspiring American who spoke out against human rights abuses. [Source: Mijente]
Donate: Support for Pauline Binam.
Pauline Binam, a 30-year-old aspiring American from Cameroon and long-time U.S. resident, has officially been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after a last-minute stay of deportation. ICE had detained Pauline for nearly three years to await deportation. In that time she began to experience irregular menstrual bleeding and agreed to a minimally-invasive procedure. While she was under anesthesia, the surgeon removed one of her fallopian tubes—a major surgery that caused health complications and will likely impact her ability to conceive. Consider supporting Pauline financially as she is reunited with her daughter and prepares to testify before Congress in the future investigation into ICE medical abuses.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank President Nneka Ogwumike and all the players of the WNBPA (Women’s National Basketball Player’s Association) for their long-standing advocacy for racial justice, and the WNBA’s dedication to social justice in 2020 [Share why you appreciate using one’s platform to speak truth to power.]
Address: 1133 Avenue of the Americas, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10036
Thank Richard Johnson, CEO of Footlocker, for supporting voter turnout in partnership with Rock The Vote, by turning 2,000 stores into temporary voter registration sites. [Share why you appreciate voter registration efforts that target young people.]
Address: 330 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
Thank Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) for expanding financial support to tax-paying essential workers, including aspiring Americans, who have borne the brunt of the pandemic recession. [Share why you appreciate supporting all essential workers during the pandemic.]
Address: 1303 10th Street, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- Savanna’s Act, which mandates reporting on missing and murdered Native Americans, passes the House and heads to the president’s desk for signature.
- Congress unanimously passes the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act.
- House passes the CROWN Act to end natural hair discrimination.
- House passes the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
- House launches an investigation of political interference in CDC science publications.
- Federal court temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns.
- Settlement protects aspiring American kids from unproven allegations of gang affiliations used by the government to deny them their rights.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the first woman ever to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.
- House Oversight Committee investigates Louis DeJoy over claims he pressured employees to make campaign donations.
- Navajo Nation reports zero COVID-19 cases for the first time since March.
- Federal court rules that the administration must accept new DACA applications.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger will award grants to reopen closed polling places across the country.
- CA passes a law expanding access to the California Earned Income Tax Credit to eligible aspiring Americans.
- FL: 32,000 returning citizens are newly eligible to vote after Mike Bloomberg pays off their fines.
- MA voters can now apply for a Vote by Mail ballot online.
- MI: 625,000 essential workers in Michigan are eligible for free college.
- NJ lawmakers announce a 2021 budget that makes up shortfalls due to the pandemic by including a “millionaires tax” rather than implementing austerity measures.
- OH: Court blocks a plan to allow only one ballot box in each county.
- OH coronavirus cases drop after a statewide mask order.
- TX court orders the state to implement simultaneous voter registration–any online driver’s license renewal or change of address will also register the voter.
- Chittenden County, VT ends veteran homelessness.
- Albuquerque, MN creates a civilian department to respond to 911 calls related to homelessness, addiction, mental health, and other non-threatening issues.
- New Orleans bans the use of tear gas.
Groups and organizations
- The Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the Drug Policy Alliance release a guide to decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis.
- 220+ organizations ask Senate and House leadership to say no to any extra funding for CBP and ICE.
- Hamilton cast members perform a special voter encouragement song for When We All Vote.
News with heart
- 2020’s WNBA Community Assist Award is awarded to ALL WNBA players this year to recognize their “continued commitment, leadership, and collaborative efforts to promote racial equality and systemic change.”
- Activist Chase Strangio, ACLU Deputy Director for Transgender Justice, is named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020.
- Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi are named in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2020.
- The cast of Broadway’s “Come From Away” commemorates the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th.
- Pauline Binam, a U.S. resident since age 2, is pulled from a deportation flight following community pushback.
- 10-year-old Raghad Saleh reunites with her family after being stranded in Egypt for weeks.
- Carver, 5, sends a Baby Yoda doll to keep Oregon firefighters company on the front line.
- Sign up: Get the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Get inspired: Complete the Self-Care Worksheet.
- Stay focused: Complete the Action Worksheet (or Kelly Wooten’s artistic version).
- Share: Follow us and share the Checklist on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Merch: Spread the word with stickers, magnets, and more.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEB and the Production Team, Social Media volunteers, Research teams, and to the amazing angel patrons who make it possible.