109 weeks down, 98 weeks to the presidential election.
The AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and decency. We practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration to stay engaged.
Spread the light this season: Below are our suggestions for how to do good while giving for the holidays. When you choose among these action options, you can print out the receipt and wrap it up as a gift for someone you love.
I value democracy.
With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.
▢ Action 1: Purchase quality journalism for your loved ones.
Give the gift of quality journalism and trustworthy news. Consider:
- Christian Science Monitor weekly
- The Guardian weekly
- The Atlantic monthly
- YES Magazine monthly
I value equality.
Stand with your rainbow of neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability. Out of many, we are one.
▢ Action 1: Give people behind bars opportunities for self-improvement.
Donate: Cash or donate requested books to the Prison Book Program. (We’ve already purchased over 80 books this December!)
▢ Action 2: Support the education of a literacy justice advocate.
We featured Jamarria Hall in Good News for his efforts to sue Detroit Schools for the right to literacy. Jen had the honor of meeting him at the YCBA 100 Summit in San Francisco. Let’s support his next semester’s fees in college.
▢ Action 3: Support youth advocates with complex needs.
Little Lobbyists work to expand the rights of all America’s kids with special needs.
▢ Action 4: Give clean, lead-free water to Flint residents.
Donate: Give to the Flint Water Fund through the United Way of Genesee County. Click the red bar at the top.
I value secure, convenient voting and fair elections.
Democracy thrives when all citizens can freely elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Protect our constitutional democracy.
Support non-partisan advocacy and legislation that strengthens our democracy.
Donate: To the Brennan Center here.
I value showing hospitality to all people, no matter where they were born.
People who immigrate are fellow human beings whom we treat with respect and decency. We oppose inhumane treatment and vilification of people who immigrate and the government bodies that perpetuate it.
▢ Action 1: Give direct aid to people deported by the US.
Recently-deported people are vulnerable and are left with nothing.
To Kino Border Initiative here. https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/humanitarian-aid/
▢ Action 2: Provide legal representation for vulnerable, unaccompanied children.
With a legal representative, people seeking asylum have statistically higher chance of their claims succeeding.
Donate: To Raices’ LEAF fund here.
▢ Action 3: Support reuniting moms and their kids.
Give 360 support: legal, bond payment, emergency housing, clothing, food and more to reunite families.
Donate: To Immigrant Families Together here.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Sens Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for longstanding pursuit of reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. [Share why trauma-informed screening and community-based alternatives to detention for at-risk youth matter to you.] Addresses:
- CG: 120 Federal Building, 320 6th Street, Sioux City, IA 51101
- SW: 170 Westminster St., Ste. 200, Providence, RI 02903
Thank the American Friends Service Committee for organizing an interfaith protest at the San Diego/Tijuana border this week. [Share why you appreciation interfaith action against inhumane immigration policy.]
Address: 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Thank Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for your bipartisan effort to grant Temporary Protected Status for eligible Venezuelans. [Share why bipartisan immigration efforts matter to you.] Addresses:
- BM: One Gateway Center, Suite 1100, Newark, New Jersey 07102
- MR: 1650 Prudential Drive, Suite 220, Jacksonville, FL 32207
- DD: 230 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 3892, Chicago, IL 60604
- PL: 199 Main Street, 4th Floor, Burlington, VT 05401
Thank Reps. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Ted Deutch (R-FL), Dave Trott (R-MI), John Delany (D-MD), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for demonstrating bipartisanship is possible through co-sponsorship of a bill addressing climate change. [Share why you appreciate bipartisan efforts to solve complex problems facing our nation.] Addresses:
- DT: 625 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 204, Troy, MI 48083
- CC: 696 1st Avenue North, Suite 203, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
- FR: 3299 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 105, Naples, FL 34112
- TD: 7900 Glades Road, Ste. 250, Boca Raton, FL 33434
- JD: 9801 Washingtonian Boulevard, Suite 330, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
- BF: 1717 Langhorne Newtown Rd. Suite 400, Langhorne, PA 19047
Decent people everywhere are doing kind and just things. #GoodNews
- U.S. withdraws 2,200 troops from the Administration’s border mission.
- In 2018, “How to vote” was the most searched “how-to” question.
- New surveys show that black voters and Latinx voters participated more in 2018 midterm elections and measurably influenced outcomes.
- A new study shows that one in six U.S. health care workers are foreign born, a number that has remained stable for a decade.
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will pay her interns at least $15/hr, departing from norm.
- UN member states adopt the Global Compact for Migration, the first-ever agreement on a common approach to international migration, providing all migrants with safe access to basic services.
- A federal court in San Francisco temporarily blocks the Trump administration’s new asylum ban.
- The U.S. Supreme Court protects lower court rulings that states cannot defund Planned Parenthood by withholding Medicaid payments.
- Ruling: Arizona must pay legal costs after groups successfully challenged its former governor’s executive order prohibiting DACA recipients from obtaining drivers’ licenses.
- Since its launch in 2012, Fight for $15 has collectively created a $68 billion raise for 22 million low-wage workers.
- “Public charge” regulation comment period yielded 210,000 comments—most in opposition. (We helped accomplish this!)
- Legislation to address maternal mortality and ensure maternal health has passed the House and now moves on to the Senate.
- AZ ruling: Legislation struck down that sought to eradicate the Clean Elections Act.
- HI approaches homelessness as a health issue and receives approval to use Medicaid to connect people to housing.
- MI ruling: Iraqi detainees ordered to be released and U.S. government will be sanctioned for methods used to hold people indefinitely.
- NM is suing CBP for building a section of border wall on land that belonged to the state.
- NC: Governor Roy Cooper orders workplace accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding state employees, the first protections against pregnancy discrimination in the state.
- NY: Jury awards transgender woman punitive damages against a county jail for violating her constitutional rights.
PA may end its death penalty.
- Denver Public Library supports immigrants and refugees with citizenship, English, and art classes, providing a model for other localities.
- Two more newly-elected North Carolina sheriffs end agreements to divert local resources to ICE.
- A program in Portland, OR experiments with intergenerational living to ensure affordable housing for foster families and seniors.
- Brooklyn NY District Attorney helps people erase their low-level marijuana convictions.
- New York City sets the country’s first minimum pay rate for Uber and Lyft drivers to ensure drivers’ rights to a living wage.
- Out magazine appoints transgender activist Raquel Willis as executive editor.
- Marriott employees end the largest hotel worker strike in U.S. history after the company agreed to wage increases and protections against sexual harassment and assault.
Groups and organizations
- Honoring National Human Rights Day, the National Immigrant Justice Center shared ways they protected human rights in 2018, including fighting indefinite detentions, reuniting families, and freeing transgender asylum seekers detained at the border.
- The Anti-Defamation League publishes a groundbreaking online mapping tool to inform readers about hate in their communities.
News with heart
- 97-year-old civil-rights pioneer Rosanell Eaton was honored this week after her passing. She successfully challenged North Carolina voting restrictions all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her life is an inspiration.
- Mary Golda Ross, the country’s first Native American female engineer, will be featured on the new $1 coin.
- Hundreds of faith leaders gather at the U.S.-Mexico border fence to advocate for the rights of migrants.
- December 6th marked the 153rd birthday of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude.
- Religious leaders gathered in San Diego in support of migrants’ rights to enter the U.S. with a press conference and march to border.
- See more good news at Good Black News and What Went Right.
Spread the word
Know someone who could use some good news and clear actions? Please share!
Tweet: Need a boost? This week’s @AoCChecklist is full of good news for our democracy. Encouragement in 3… 2… https://americansofconscience.com/12-16-2018/
Post on Facebook: Need a boost? This week’s Americans of Conscience Checklist is full of good news for our democracy. Check it out here: https://americansofconscience.com/12-16-2018/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flier and share at in-person events.
- Sign up: Get the weekly Americans of Conscience Checklist here.
- Share: Follow us and share the Checklist on Facebook and Twitter.
- Merch: Spread the word with our stickers, magnets, and more.
- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEBitor and the Production Team, our Social Media volunteers, Research Sous Chefs, and Team Captains. Thanks also to the amazing angel patrons whose support makes it all possible.
Note: The AoC Checklist is always ad-free and no-cost. If you’re able, please support Jen and this full-time effort on patreon or paypal.
THANK YOU, JEN ! Your message is reinforcing for those of us laboring (somewhat) alone for criminal justice and mental health. I do appreciate hearing your news about immigration and Native American progress ($1 coin). May the New Year be kind and affirmative to you and your organization.