122 weeks down, 85 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: Engage your elected officials at town hall meetings.
Call: Your one House rep and two senators’ local offices on Monday (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. Can you tell me when [NAME] is holding town hall meetings in [TOWN] during the current recess?
— If no meetings planned, add: It’s important for [NAME] to meet with their constituents. Can you let me know when they plan to hold the next town hall?
— If meetings planned: Thank you! I plan to be there.
▢ Action 2: Support congressional representation for all Americans. [h/t 51stDC]
Call: Your one House rep and two senators (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP], calling to encourage [NAME] to co-sponsor legislation that would give DC residents a voice in Congress. Can I count on [NAME] to support H.R. 51/S. 631? [If not, inquire about reasoning.]
Note: Our allies at Neighbors United for DC Statehood requested we reach out especially to Sens. Tom Udall (NM), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Bob Casey (PA), Gary Peters (MI), Jacky Rosen (NV), Jean Shaheen (NH), Maria Cantwell (WA), and Ron Wyden (OR).
▢ Action 3: Defend your right to freedom from warrantless search. [h/t RAICES]
Summary: Over 200 police departments in over 50 U.S. cities are sharing license plate activity with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Oppose sharing residents’ and citizens’ personal activities to the LEARN database.
Write: To your city government: mayor, city council, and/or chief of police. Also write your county government: commissioner and/or sheriff (Search for addresses).
Script: Use this letter/template to easily write multiple agencies.
I value equality.
Affirm the dignity of your neighbors from every religion, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, age, and ability.
▢ Action 1: Speak up for your hungry neighbors by April 2. [h/t FRAC]
Write: A comment on the Federal Register.
Modify this script: Comments are not counted if you cut-and-paste. Use the ideas below to get started.
The Agriculture Department has proposed new limits on states’ ability to waive work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, even when not enough jobs are available.
Last fall, Congress rejected this provision that would deny food to 755,000 people, many of whom work in low-wage, unstable occupations.
I want my tax dollars to assist my neighbors in need.
I support a robust SNAP program for adults because [share why you believe stricter time limits are harmful].
Cite SNAP strengths.
I oppose new SNAP rules that would increase hunger and poverty in communities across the nation.
State (not federal) government is best qualified to determine when local employment conditions warrant a change to work requirements.
▢ Action 2: Support permanent protection for vulnerable neighbors. [h/t NILC]
Call: Your one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP], and I believe that my neighbors from other countries need a clear pathway to permanent status. The Dream and Promise Act would provide this for millions of people. Can I count on [NAME] to co-sponsor H.R. 6?
▢ Action 3: Advocate for equality in the military. [h/t GLAD]
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to affirm the dignity of my transgender neighbors. The president’s discriminatory ban is set to take effect April 12, and Congress must act to stop it. Anyone who meets military standards should be able to serve, including our 15,000 transgender troops. I urge [NAME] to co-sponsor S.373/H.R.1032.
▢ Action 4: Protect healthcare for the most vulnerable. [h/t Little Lobbyists]
Call: Your two senators and one House rep (look up).
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to oppose Medicaid cuts in the administration’s budget proposal. Medicaid covers 1 in 5 Americans, many of them poor, disabled or elderly. I want my tax dollars to support vulnerable neighbors. Can I count on [NAME] to preserve this critical program?
▢ Action 5: A note on Kimba Ngana
In the last two AoC Checklists, we’ve included an action to write a note of encouragement to Kimba Ngana. Our friend, Susan K, let us know that he has been moved to a different detention center. If your letter is returned (or you want to send him one), here is his new address:
Folkston Processing Center
3026 Hwy 252
Folkston, GA 31537
Deep breath innnnnnn… Deep breath ouuuuuuut… Together, we can do anything.
Acts of Gratitude
Let’s get out our stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers to acknowledge those who choose bravery, kindness, and democracy before party.
Thank 12 Republicans for voting to oppose the president’s emergency declaration. Please also reject his veto. [Share why their support of democratic norms matters to you.]
- Roy Blunt 1001 Cherry Street, Suite 104, Columbia, MO 65201
- Lamar Alexander 3322 West End Avenue, #120, Nashville, TN 37203
- Susan Collins 68 Sewall Street, Room 507, Augusta, ME 04330
- Mike Lee 125 South State, Suite 4225, Salt Lake City, UT 84138
- Jerry Moran 3450 N Rock Rd, Building 200, Suite 209, P.O. Box 781753, Wichita, KS 67226
- Lisa Murkowski 800 Glacier Ave, Suite 101, Juneau, AK 99801
- Rand Paul 1029 State Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101
- Rob Portman 37 West Broad Street, Room 300, Columbus, OH 43215
- Mitt Romney 125 S. State Street, Suite 8402, Salt Lake City, UT 84138
- Marco Rubio 1650 Prudential Drive, Suite 220, Jacksonville, FL 32207
- Pat Toomey U.S. Custom House, 200 Chestnut Street, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Roger Wicker U.S. Federal Courthouse, 501 East Court Street, Suite 3-500, Jackson, MS 39201
Thank Gerald Baker, Wake County (NC) Sheriff, for separating local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement. [Share why you appreciate efforts to provide public safety for all community members.]
Address: 330 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27602
Thank Haven Coleman (12), Isra Hirsi (16), and Alexandria Villaseñor (13), U.S. Youth Climate Strike co-founders for organizing a national school walkout demanding adults address climate threats. [Share how you feel about young people harnessing their power to influence this vital issue.]
Address: (email) email@example.com
Thank Edward Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, for ending gun sales in 125 stores. [Share why you appreciate this decision.]
Address: Dick’s Sporting Goods, 345 Court Street, Coraopolis, PA, 15108
Here’s evidence that decent people are working together and speaking up. #GoodNews
- The federal investigation led by Robert Mueller is funded through September 2019.
- American support for immigration is at an all-time high.
- The House Judiciary Committee passes the VAWA Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 1585) out of committee and includes provisions that would strengthen protections for Native women.
- Ruling: The government is required to reunite an even greater number of families.
- Ruling: Asylum seekers can appeal fast-track deportations.
- Kirstjen Nielsen decided to extend Temporary Protected Status for South Sudanese people until Nov. 2020. DHS also extended TPS for people from El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua.
- AZ bill banning school lunch shaming passes the state House and moves on to the Senate.
- CA Gov. Gavin Newsom issues a moratorium on the state’s death penalty, citing moral reasons.
- NM expands background check requirements for private gun sellers.
- IA Supreme Court affirms the rights of transgender plaintiffs to leverage Medicaid to cover transition-related care.
- AZ Humanitarian groups provide aid to people migrating near the U.S.-Mexico border.
- CA is declared officially drought-free for the first time in seven years.
- Wake, Durham, and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina have cut ties with ICE.
- Latino advocacy groups created a legal fund for the families of undocumented residents arrested by federal immigration officials in six North Carolina counties.
- Dayton and Montgomery County, OH cut opiod deaths in half thanks to concentrated community efforts.
- A year after ending sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, Dick’s Sporting Goods stops selling guns in 125 stores.
News with heart
- Over a million students from 123 countries went on strike for the planet on March 15th.
- Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old climate advocate who inspired the global student strike, receives a Nobel nomination.
- Kylie Hunts-In-Winter, a 16 year old black belt and member of the Sioux Nation, teaches self defense to empower Native women.
- Belinda George, an elementary school principal, reads bedtime stories to her students via video.
- Toronto police visit local mosque just to ask if anyone needs anything and make sure everyone’s okay.
- In solidarity, Professor Nathan Alexander holds his student’s baby during class.
- A 50-year-old letter from Peanuts cartoonist, Charles Schultz, reminds us to “follow our own conscience and retain faith in our democracy”
- See more good news at Small Victories, Good Black News, and What Went Right.
Spread the word
Take a moment to help others feel hopeful and get engaged.
Tweet: The team at @AoCChecklist filters the news into clear, simple actions that keep me inspired. Join me in speaking up for democracy this week. https://americansofconscience.com/3-17-2019/
Post on Facebook: The Americans of Conscience Checklist filters the news into clear, simple actions that keep me inspired. Join me in speaking up for democracy this week. https://americansofconscience.com/3-17-2019/
Print: The Americans of Conscience Checklist flyer and share at in-person events.
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- Gratitude: Big thanks to JEditor and the Production Team, our Social Media volunteers, Research Sous Chefs, and Team Captains. Thanks tommy angel patrons whose support makes this publication possible.