117 weeks down, 90 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.
With respect and collaboration, we create a government for the people, by the people.
▢ Action 1: Support civil rights for all. Oppose Barr. [h/t Lambda Legal, NAACP]
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to oppose William Barr for Attorney General. The country needs a Justice Department dedicated to protecting civil rights for all Americans. William Barr’s track record shows he won’t. I’m asking [NAME] to vote against his nomination.
▢ Action 2: On Tuesday, oppose border wall funding and surveillance of citizens. [h/t RAICES, United We Dream, EFF, Oregon Indivisible]
Call this week: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and oppose a border wall. I also oppose a so-called tech wall that increases surveillance of citizens with sensors, eye scanners, and drones. With ICE funding at a historic high and border crossing at a 17-year low, I want [NAME] to refuse any funding for a border wall, increased surveillance, or border militarization. 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 1: Support your LGBTQ neighbors’ rights. [h/t HRC]
Call: Your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask [name] to reintroduce The Equality Act. Right now, my LGBTQ neighbors are vulnerable to discrimination in housing and employment. We must extend reasonable and fair protections to all Americans.
Bonus: Email House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to support the Equality Act as a legislative priority: https://www.speaker.gov/contact-us/
▢ Action 2: Speak up for LGBTQ youth. (h/t HRC)
Write: Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250
Script: I’m writing to urge that you reinstate 4-H’s policies welcoming LGBTQ youth. Discrimination hurts kids and risks lives in this vulnerable community. Please uphold the American values of equality and fairness for all people.
Bonus: Call or write your two Senators and one House rep (look up) and ask them to write a letter to Secretary Perdue requesting the policy be reinstated.
▢ Action 3: Advocate for a fair, impartial judiciary. (h/t NWLC)
Call: Your two Senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to oppose the nominations of Neomi Rao, Wendy Vitter, and Matthew Kacsmaryk to the federal bench. I support a judiciary that protects health care and civil rights for all. Can I count on [NAME] to vote against confirming these nominees?
▢ Action 4: Speak up with neighbors in need regarding Rx costs. [h/t AARP]
Call: Or write your two Senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to ask [NAME] to propose legislation to reduce the high cost of prescription drugs. No one should have to choose between buying medicine or groceries. Can I count on [NAME] to address this growing problem?
I value voting as a foundation of a healthy democracy.
Each citizen must be able to freely and fairly elect those who represent their values.
▢ Action 1: Empower future voters.
Spread the Vote and its new Project ID initiative helps citizens obtain IDs for voting AND life. To support their work, we have an audacious goal to support future voters in 2019: 300 new IDs. Ready?
Donate: To Spread the Vote here.
I value decency.
Our nation has a moral and legal obligation to welcome people seeking asylum and refuge. We support showing decency toward this vulnerable community.
▢ Action 1: Oppose ICE targeting high-profile people for deportation. [h/t United We Dream,
21 Savage is a Grammy-nominated artist, has been in the US since age 7, and is being held for deportation in the wake of publicly opposing ICE.
Write: Sean Gallagher, ICE Atlanta Field Office Director
Script: Release 21 Savage/Mr. Abraham-Joseph pending the decision of his 2017 application for a U visa.
Address: Atlanta Field Office, 180 Ted Turner Dr. SW Suite 522, Atlanta, GA, 30303
Bonus: Sign petition.
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuuut… One more time.
Acts of Gratitude
Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
Thank Stacey Abrams (D) for offering a vision of hope, unity, and justice for all Americans in her State of the Union response. [Share what you appreciate about her leadership in election reform.]
Address: 1270 Caroline Street, Suite D120-447, Atlanta, GA 30307
Thank Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-D) governor for rejecting false declarations of an immigration emergency and pulling most of her state National Guard members off the border. [Share why demilitarization and of humanitarian assistance matters to you.]
Address: 490 Old Santa Fe Trail Room 400, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Thank Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), House Oversight Committee Chair, for his impassioned defense of the sacred right of all Americans to vote. [Share what the vote means for you, your neighbors, and our democracy.]
Address: 1010 Park Avenue, Suite 105, Baltimore, MD 21201
Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews
- House Judiciary Committee holds the first hearing on HR1, the For The People Act.
- U.S. District Judge orders the Pentagon to stop discriminating against naturalized citizens who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army.
- Several lawmakers invite transgender active-duty and veteran service members to the State of the Union.
- Stacy Abrams becomes the first black woman to deliver the opposition party response to the State of the Union address.
- House Judiciary Committee hosts its first gun violence prevention hearing in 8 years.
- House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee holds the first hearing on DHS’ “Zero tolerance” policy of family separation at the U.S. and Mexico border.
- A record number of states pass legislation baning “conversion therapy” and pass trans-inclusive policies.
- MS: Mason-Dixon Polling shows broad, bipartisan support for legislation to update hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
- MO: Supreme Court announces bail reform.
- NM: Governor orders the withdrawal of the majority of the state’s National Guard troops from the U.S. border with Mexico.
- IL: Gov. Pritzker signs an executive order supporting immigrant and refugee rights.
- PA: Police now limited in flagging undocumented immigrants to ICE.
- NY: Hundreds of protesters took to the capitol in Albany to demand leaders advance the Here To Stay agenda.
- D.C. city council overrides mayor’s veto and votes to decriminalize Metro fare evasion.
- Sandusky, OH, will recognize Election Day as an official holiday instead of Columbus Day.
- A Utah high school drops its racist team name.
Corporate and organizations
- Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican County Commissioner Natalie Crawford use a Super Bowl ad in GA to advocate for election reform.
- Super Bowl LIII has the event’s first openly gay cameraman.
- Companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to address hiring bias.
- AI engineers are using inclusive design to create devices that help improve the lives of people with physical and cognitive challenges.
- Sandra Cisneros, Mexican American novelist, to receive PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature.
News with heart
- Candice Payne helps over 100 people in Chicago find warm shelter during the coldest days of the year.
- Pen pal programs involving immigrants in detention have taken off in recent months.
- Bob Kafka, an activist with ADAPT of TX, has successfully advocated for disability rights for more than two decades.
- According to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of Americans oppose major new construction of walls along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 81% support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
- See more good news at Small Victories, 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 some good news? The @AoCChecklist has that—and well-researched actions to keep you empowered and engaged. Here’s this week’s edition: https://americansofconscience.com/2-10-2019/
Post on Facebook: Need some good news? The Americans of Conscience Checklist has that—and well-researched actions to keep you empowered and engaged. Here’s this week’s edition: https://americansofconscience.com/2-10-2019/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flyer and share at in-person events.
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- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEB 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.
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Please comment below
When you complete any action this week, to share about it in a comment below:
- Which action(s) did you do?
- How did it go?
- What did you learn?
Not only will it be encouraging to see what we did together, but one commenter (maybe you!) will be chosen at random this Friday, and I’ll personally donate $100 to the charity of your choice.
Yesterday I emailed my Senator, Pat Toomey asking him to have a heart and make an “extraordinary effort” to return all the separated migrant children to their parents.
I also wrote to PA Governor Wolf and once again asked him to close Berks County family detention center.
I’ve made calls to my senators and house rep. Sadly, I live in Missouri.
I don’t see any action items that address the health of our planet. I see this as the biggest threat.
Thanks for putting this list together.
Hi Carrie! We don’t really know which call will be the proverbial straw, so I’m glad you continue to speak up! It really matters!
The AoC Checklist covers the issues: voting, immigration, and equality. We do include environment actions when they overlap with one of those three. However, there are many organizations nationally and globally doing an excellent job advocating for sustainability.
I donated to “Spread the Vote.” I am grateful for Jen’s comments that we can’t do this alone. Each week, Jen’s comments are encouraging and uplifting, and deeply appreciated.
I use resistbot to contact my senators about the weekly actions you suggest. I will be making some calls too. I learn about hopeful and essential legislation that is being proposed through your weekly emails. Having a checklist of managable actions helps me stay positive. I learn about other organizations and groups doing similar work and that provides new opportunities to help. Thank you!!
I wrote all of the letters this week!
I’m still a little anxious about making phone calls but I will set the intention tomorrow to handle at least one of the calls in this to-do. I understand this work is very important to do.
I signed up to be a penpal to a person in detention. Very grateful to you for letting me know about this opportunity!
Today I called my senators (I’m lucky to live in Massachusetts with Markey and Warren) about the judicial nominees and Barr. I also wrote a letter to my State Senator who happens to be the Republican minority leader asking him to co-sponsor our Ranked Choice Voting bills. I try to do at least 2 actions every day as well as my ongoing task of writing postcards encouraging Florida Dems to Vote By Mail. I particularly appreciate your section on Good News and Acts of Gratitude – so important to lift our spirits!
I wrote most of the thank you suggestions and also to the Atlanta ICE field director about 21 Savage. I also wrote to the Greyhound CEO from last week’s checklist and some of the Acts of Gratitude suggested there. Sometimes I just take the address given and write my own message of gratitude instead of on the specific topic suggested. I usually don’t write to my senators or my Rep on the suggested topics because they are all progressive and are already doing the right thing most of the time. So as a solidly blue state writer, I especially appreciate the prompts that are to other recipients. I also am a big fan of the new and improved Good News section. Bravo Checklist writers! Thanks for all you do.
I write letters to my Senators and House Rep every week. I appreciate Jennifer’s guidance with the scripts, and personalize them. I also frequently check the box that I’d like to receive a response on my Senators/House Reps websites. I’m grateful to receive consistent, clear e-mail responses from Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Patty Murray, and House Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. After writing to them for quite some time now, I really appreciate their continued efforts and accomplishments. I can tell, despite the circumstances, that they are empowered to continue fighting for a better world. And that means a lot to me.
I’m reminded of my Grandmother who passed away from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She always used to say: “Attitude is Everything.” I think that says a lot about her character and her spirit. Even though she passed away, in some ways, I feel like I’m living for the spirit of my Grandmother.
Thanks to an action item on the AoC Checklist, I made a pen-pal friend with a man who is incarcerated in solidarity. He has said that my correspondence with him has made a real difference in his life. I’m always empowered to hear from him, and (despite the circumstances) his spirit and good attitude always comes through his writing. He is in prison for a non-violent crime, but he spoke out for harsh conditions in prison and they put him into a cell the size of a parking space.
Big thanks to Jennifer and her team for putting the AoC checklist together. It really helps me stay connected and informed.
This morning I called my two senators from Oregon asking them to oppose the nomination of William Barr for Attorney General.
I live in Texas and have reconciled myself to being the “voice of one calling in the wilderness.” Senators Cornyn and Cruz may not vote the way I think they should but it will not be from my lack of notifying them.
Here is what I have done today:
🔥Resistance. Every. Day.🔥
Called Senators Cornyn and Cruz:
I’m calling to oppose William Barr for Attorney General. The country needs a Justice Department dedicated to protecting civil rights for all Americans. William Barr’s track record shows he won’t. I’m asking you to vote against his nomination.
Thank you note to Stacey Abrams: Thank you for offering a vision of hope, unity, and justice for all Americans in your State of the Union response. It is easy to slide into despondency under the daily onslaught of putrefaction from the current administration. Your voice of reason gives hope and courage to many of us. Thank you.
Address: 1270 Caroline Street, Suite D120-447, Atlanta, GA 30307
I called my senator to oppose William Barr and speak up regarding Rx costs. I encouraged my rep to oppose border wall funding, and emailed Speaker Pelosi to support the Equality Act.
I agree with Carrie, it would be cool to see environmental actions.
Appreciate all you folks are doing!!
I wrote to my senators to oppose William Barr as AG, and to my representative to oppose a border wall. I’m going to tackle the LGBTQ items next. I remain so grateful for this weekly list of doable tasks! Thank you for all the work you do.
I’ve just contacted both my senators about William Barr’s nomination… looking forward to working through the action checklist with you all this week 💪🏼
I contacted my senators and representatives regarding prescription medication costs.
I’ve been feeling discouraged calling my intransigent representative. This week, I focused on thanking Rep Cummings and Gov Grisham and writing to ICE on behalf of 21 Savage and Sonny Purdue regarding 4Hs LGBTQ policy. Writing (instead of calling and getting the same canned replies) was reinvigorating.
from postcard writer in Virginia:
1. I always do “Acts of Gratitude” first. Makes me feel happy. Can we have lots more of those? It’s a way to encourage and support people doing good things.
2. I phoned my U.S. rep (Mr. McE): Pls. oppose border wall funding; oppose increase ICE budget; introduce/support Equality Act or similar legislation.
3. I phoned my 2 U.S. senators (K,W): Pls. oppose Barr; support Equality Act or similar legislation; oppose Vitter, Rao, Kocsmaryk.
4. I wrote USDA Perdue: Pls. reinstate 4-H to be a welcoming place for LGBT! youth. My dad worked USDA D.C. office, and I mentioned that.
5. I wrote ICE director Atlanta: Pls. release Mr. Abraham-Joseph 21-Savage, and wrote on petition for him.
6. I write a lot of postcards for Sarah H-P ‘s group in California. Do you know them? They write-up LOTS of issues every week one can write/call about.
7.THANKS a bunch !! for the AoC actions ! Keep up the good work! It will pay off….the “Trump dam” is cracking.
I called my congressman and both senators about not wanting my tax money going any militarization/wall of the border. The staffer answering my congressman’s phone made a point of repeating “no wall” before taking all of my contact info. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) has been diligent about getting written replies to constituent concerns, and I expect a full explanation of his position in follow-up to tonight’s call. I left messages for my senators. So…Thanks for this opportunity to coordinate action this Tuesday.
So many actions! I became a Precinct Chair this week!
wrote to each of the great leaders who acted from truth and respect a letter of gratitude for their courage and devotion to doing what is right and respectful of all…will do calls as well after a hopefully good nights rest and thanks to all of you who work with aoc and those who respond in kind in their gardens of life
I donated $40 to Spread the Vote – enough for one new ID for Project ID. I know it’s just a small thing, but every little bit counts. Thanks for telling me about this org!
I decided to write a postcard to Sonny Perdue too! It’s too bad that an organization like 4-H would be pushed by this administration to backtrack on welcoming LGBT youth. We need youth interest in organizations like 4-H and there’s no reason to attack vulnerable kids.
On Monday I called my Senators offices to oppose William Barr. As so often happens, I only reached voice mail. But I left messages, and was sure to include my full name and address, to make sure they knew I was legitimately a constituent.
Today I called both Senators (voicemail again) and my Rep to oppose funding for a wall real or virtual. The staffer was sympathetic, and promised to pass on the message.
I learned (once again) that Sometimrs I have to push myself to make calls, but I always feel better when I do.
Cindy! You’re our winner! The Random Number Generator chose comment #24 out of 26–yours!
I’ll be in touch by email with details so that we can donate $100 to the charity of your choice. Congratulations!
I called my Congressman about the Equality Act and his office said it was currently circulating for co-sponsors and should be re-introduced very soon.
I did ALL of the actions yesterday because it was my birthday and I decided that (among other things) what I wanted to do for my birthday was make a difference in our current political climate!
Thanks for this checklist that made that easy 🙂
Today I emailed my Representative and Senators asking them to co-sponsor the bill granting the right to vote in federal elections after incarceration (action 8). My state is good about restoring voting rights, but this really ought to be uniform across the country.