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85 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:

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: Support investigation of voting machine manufacturers.

Source: Free Speech for People

Call: U.S. Election Assistance Commission: 866-747-1471 (toll free) or 301-563-3919

Or write: U.S. Election Assistance Commission
633 3rd Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20001

Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to ask that you strengthen oversight of the testing process for voting machines. A 2020 investigation by a Texas election official showed that voting machine manufacturer ES&S was “self-certifying” software checks instead of allowing state officials to independently perform them. I’m asking the EAC to publicize a list of states affected by this insecure security procedure, and require independent software certification of all voting machines. Thank you.


Action 2: Encourage debate and end gridlock in the Senate.

Source: Brennan Center

Call: Your two senators — especially Republican senators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] to voice my support for amending filibuster rules. Elected senators have an obligation to represent their constituents and engage in democratic collaboration on issues. It is anti-democratic for a minority to block popular and bipartisan House-passed legislation. I’m asking [NAME] to support the “talking filibuster,” where senators would have to publicly explain their objections to proposed legislation. 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 3: Support Georgia’s Asian American community.

Source: Advancing Justice ATL

Last weekend, the Asian American community experienced traumatic loss. The Atlanta chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice is collecting donations to support those affected by these acts of violence and support crisis interventions.

Donate: To the victims and their families through AAAJ.

Sign: This community-centered statement from Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta and the Georgia NAACP.


Action 4: Advocate for freedom from gender-based violence.

Source: The Leadership Conference

Contact: Your two senators (look up).

Script: Hi, I’m from [ZIP], [CALLING/WRITING] to express my support for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. This bill, which was previously in effect from 1994-2018, ensures legal protections against domestic violence and gender identity discrimination, protects survivors from predatory billing practices, and introduces support programs for LTBTQ+ survivors. In response to the recent rise in domestic violence, I would like [NAME] to vote yes on H.R. 1620 when it comes to the Senate floor. Thank you.


Action 5: Advocate for nations unable to access COVID vaccines.

Source: AoCC

Contact: President Biden (contact form).

Script: I’m writing to thank you for making vaccinating Americans a priority and to ask you to help stop the pandemic worldwide. Rich countries are buying up vaccines, leaving 130 nations with none. We are all endangered by viral mutations. In addition to sharing with Mexico and Canada, I urge you to generously support global vaccination to give us all a future.


Action 6: Support housing security during the ongoing pandemic.

Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition

Write: Secretary Marcia Fudge, U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street S.W., Washington, DC 20410

Script:

Hello, I’m writing to express my support for the eviction moratorium, which has kept millions of people stably housed during the pandemic. Wrongful evictions risk lives, push families into deeper poverty, and undermine public health, so I am joining thousands of organizations and elected officials in calling on you to:

  1. extend the moratorium through the duration of the pandemic;
  2. make the moratorium’s protections universal and automatic;
  3. close loopholes exploited by some landlords; and
  4. direct federal agencies to enforce the moratorium’s protections.

Thank you.


Action 7: Oppose ID requirements for COVID vaccine.

Source: Project ID, Spread the Vote

21 million Americans have no ID and can’t get one due to closed DMV offices. Fears about line jumping aren’t a good reason to endanger us all.

Sign: Project ID’s petition allow vaccination without ID. (Go to petition.)


Action 8: Advocate against the criminalization of immigrant communities.

Source: Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project; NIPNLG

Call: Your two senators (look up).

Script: Hello, I’m calling from [ZIP] in support of amending the language in H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021. Immigrating people encounter a racist criminal legal system that disproportionately targets Black and brown communities. I support the bill, but am joining the growing chorus asking to remove criminal barriers from the Dream and Promise Act before voting yes. Thank you.


Action 9: Defend the constitutional right to seek asylum.

Source: Aldea – PJC

Call or Write:

Alejandro Mayorkas at (202) 282-8495 (DHS comment line) or

Alejandro Mayorkas 
Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Ln. SW
Washington, DC 20528

Script: Hello, I’m [CALLING/WRITING] from [ZIP] concerned that President Biden’s administration has already denied asylum to over 1,300 individuals, families, and children and deported them back to Haiti, even though the country is currently in a violent state of political and social turmoil. It is a constitutional right of people to seek asylum. I am joining bipartisan lawmakers in asking Secretary Mayorkas to fulfill the DHS’ responsibility and immediately approve TPS for all Haitians seeking asylum in the U.S. Thank you.


Action 10: Support our neighbors’ path to citizenship.

Source: United Farm Workers

Call: Your two senators (look up).

Script: Hello, I’m [CALLING/WRITING] from [ZIP] to support a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans working in agriculture. I am calling on [NAME] to vote yes on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) when it comes to the Senate floor, to establish a path to citizenship for farm workers, young aspiring Americans, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. Thank you.


Action 11: Oppose the impending deportation of a small business owner.

Source: Make The Road NY #FundExcludedWorkers

Call: ICE Deportation Officer King at (212) 863-3425 and Supervisory Deportation Officer Boyd at (212) 863-3511.

Script:

Hello, I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my support for the release of Edward Alonso Castillo from ICE custody. Alonso—who has a history of strokes and chest pain, and wears a cardiac monitor—qualifies for Fraihat release and recently won his stay of removal, yet ICE continues to hold him in detention. I am asking [NAME] to release Edward Alonso Castillo back to his family and community, so he may seek the medical care he needs.

Bonus: Sign the petition through Make The Road New York.

Call your senators

Calling our senators makes a difference, whether they are progressive or conservative. Regular communication with our elected officials keeps us engaged in democracy and reminds them of their duty to represent all of their constituents.

Look up your senators here.

Your script: State the ZIP code that you’re calling from (this identifies you as a constituent). Briefly express your opinion, being sure to identify specific bill numbers wherever possible. Always end with a thank-you to the staffer who took your call.

What we’re calling our senators about this week:

  • Paste bullet list of items here

Call your House representative

Calling our House reps makes a difference, whether they are progressive or conservative. Regular communication with our elected officials keeps us engaged in democracy and reminds them of their duty to represent all of their constituents.

Look up your House representative here.

Your script: State the ZIP code that you’re calling from (this identifies you as a constituent). Briefly express your opinion, being sure to identify specific bill numbers wherever possible. Always end with a thank-you to the staffer who took your call.

What we’re calling our House representatives about this week:

  • Paste bullet list of items here

Acts of Grati­­­­tude

Get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.


Tell Gov. Ralph Northam (D–VA) why you are grateful to him for restoring voting rights to returning citizens.

Address: P.O. Box 1475, Richmond, VA 23218


Tell President George W. Bush why you’re grateful to him for sharing his alarm over the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and for affirming the integrity of the 2020 election.

Address: P.O. Box 259000, Dallas TX 75225-9000

Good News

Decent people everywhere are speaking up and working together. Just look. #GoodNews

National

  • Congress passes and the president signs an extensive COVID-19 relief plan that will provide funding for:
    • -stimulus checks for individuals
    • -unemployment assistance
    • -state and local aid
    • -nutrition assistance
    • -housing
    • -tax credits for families and workers
    • -paid sick and family leave
    • -education and child care
    • -health insurance subsidies and Medicaid
    • -small business
    • -COVID-19 vaccines and testing
    • -rural hospitals
  • House passes the American Dream and Promise Act, which would provide Dreamers the opportunity to receive permanent resident status and eventual citizenship.
  • House passes the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would improve the current farm worker visa program and create a pathway to temporary protected status and later permanent resident status for agricultural workers.
  • House passes gun control bills to close background check loopholes and lengthen the amount of time authorities have to complete background checks.
  • Deb Haaland (Laguna and Jemez Pueblos) is sworn in as Secretary of the Interior, becoming the first Native American to ever lead a cabinet department in the U.S.
  • SCOTUS dismisses appeals over the previous administration’s “public charge” rule that would have made it harder for low-income aspiring Americans to obtain green cards.
  • Federal court mandates the appointment of an independent third party to oversee immigration custody releases following ICE noncompliance with orders to release medically vulnerable people from detention.
  • HHS and DHS terminate an 2018 agreement that intimidated would-be sponsors of immigrating children and then sign a new memorandum to promote safe and timely transfer of children to vetted sponsors.
  • Federal court rules that DOJ must temporarily suspend a rule preventing immigration courts from hearing valid claims of people facing deportation.
  • ICE states in a court filing that it is transitioning family detention centers to short-term centers meant to release aspiring Americans after no more than 72 hours.
  • Biden pledges 4 billion for vaccine access in less-affluent countries 
  • FEMA assists aspiring American children at the southern border with food and medical care.
  • USDA extends free meals to children through summer 2021.
  • The FCC provides monthly discounts on internet bills for low-income U.S. residents.
  • CDC reviews public-health guidance issued during the pandemic to ensure that all information is accurate and free from political interference. 
  • The Biden administration establishes the White House Gender Policy Council to advance equal rights and opportunity for women and girls and directs the Dept. of Education to review its gender equity policies.DOJ pledges to address hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

State

  • CA: Gov. Gavin Newsom grants nine pardons, one commutation, and 10 medical reprieves for incarcerated people.
  • GA Chamber of Commerce supports accessible voting and election integrity and transparency.
  • NM: Gov. Lujan Grisham signs a bill repealing a 1969 statute criminalizing abortion.
  • VA: Gov. Ralph Northam takes executive action to restore voting and civil rights to Georgians with felonies after their sentences are completed.WA Supreme Court voids most drug possession cases in the state.

Local

Corporate/business

Groups and organizations

News with heart


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