Nightly Actions for Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Table of Contents Special Request - Thom Tillis

Today, a member of Indivisible Charlotte, NC reached out to me with a special request. It seems that the people of North Carolina have been unable to reach their Republican senator, Thom Tillis, for the last month. The members of Indivisible Charlotte have tried everything--phone calls, letters, waiting outside his office, and he won't respond. They have even created a gofundme to raise money for them to take out a full page ad in the Charlotte Observer telling Tillis to hold a townhall.

This is unacceptable. Americans should not have to raise thousands of dollars just to get the attention of their senators. Senators have a duty to listen to their constituents' concerns and represent them in Congress. They work for us.

People of North Carolina, I feel your pain. Here in Pennsylvania, we have been having the same problem with Senator Pat Toomey. I have a few suggestions for you based on my research and what I've observed here in PA. So, if you're a North Carolina resident, please read through the list below and reach out to Invisible Charlotte on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteIndivisible/) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/IndivisibleCLT) if you would like to help them out. If you're not in NC, but you have a senator who's MIA, these suggestions might help you, too.

Everyone, even if you aren't in NC, please consider donating to the gofundme to help our fellow Americans reach out to their missing senator. We're all in this together, and it's important that we support each other in the resistance, no matter where in the country we live. Donate here:

  • Alert the media. Here in PA, our Tuesdays with Toomey protests have made the local and national news multiple times. The attention they received prompted Senator Toomey to accuse those visiting his office every Tuesday of being "paid protesters." But, hey, at least we know we got his attention! Write letters to the editor of your local newspapers. Contact national news outlets via email and social media. Let them know what's going on and what you've been doing.
  • Send postcards. Postcards are a quick and easy way to get the attention of a member of Congress. Plan a postcard avalanche in Charlotte. Buy a postcard that has something to do with North Carolina (I got a pack of PA postcards on Amazon), write a short message ("Hey, Tillis, pick up your phone!"), and address it to Senator Tillis. Then, take a photo of your postcard and share it on social media. Be sure to tag Tillis so he sees it. Here's a photo of the one I sent to Senator Toomey on Valentine's Day:

  • Hang flyers. When your pet goes missing, you print out flyers and hang them all over the neighborhood, right? Do the same with your missing senator. You can print flyers at home, or print large posters at your local print shop. Put his face on it with something like, "MISSING: Republican Senator Thom Tillis. If found, contact Indivisible Charlotte." Hang them around the Charlotte area, take photos and post them on social media. Also, share them with the local media.
  • Hold your own townhall. If Tillis won't schedule a townhall, schedule one yourselves. Next week is the Congressional recess, when all members of Congress will leave Washington and head back home. Rent out a large venue and invite as many locals as possible, then invite Senator Tillis. Tell him you'll be waiting to share your concerns with him. You should also invite the media so that they can report on whether or not he makes an appearance. Take lots of photos and videos of the event and share them with the media and social media (don't forget to tag Tillis). If he doesn't come, discuss important issues with each other, and record it so that you can share it everywhere.
Good luck, guys! I hope you can get Tillis to listen to you.

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45's Ties to Russia - Flynnghazi

Today, the New York Times reported that 45's campaign aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence during the 2016 campaign. Phone records and intercepted calls show that the communications happened around the same time that evidence was discovered that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election. Senators from both parties have demanded an investigation 45's Russian ties, and the chaos after National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's resignation has created the first breach in relations between 45 and the Republican Congress.

This situation, which is being called "Flynnghazi" on social media, may be the first step in bringing down 45's administration. Here's how you can help get the investigation going.
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Steve Bannon, National Security Council
Steve Bannon is the white nationalist, neo-Nazi, former Goldman Sachs executive, climate-denying advisor to 45 whose fingerprints are all over everything from the Muslim ban to the administration’s war on climate science. Recently, 45 stepped over the country's top intelligence experts and appointed Bannon to the National Security Council (NSC). Legislation has already been introduced in both the House and the Senate to protect the NSC from Bannon and others like him. Sign these petitions to help get him off of the NSC.
Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's record indicates an open hostility towards the essential purpose and functions of the EPA. He's leading the charge to kill the Clean Power Plan in court, and he mocks climate science as "speculative guesswork," all while raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry. One Republican Senator, Susan Collins, announced today that she will vote no on Pruitt. If more follow her lead, there's a chance he won't be confirmed. Here's how you can help block him.
Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education
Newly-confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was one of the most contested of 45's nominations due mostly to her lack of any education experience and plans to privatize public education. Here's how you can help keep her in check.
  • Protect Title IX. DeVos has left the door open for rolling back Title IX, which is essential to ensuring that our schools are free from discrimination and violence. Use the phone numbers and script at the following link to call her office and tell her to protect Title IX:
  • Drop Glenn McCoy. Cartoonist Glenn McCoy compared DeVos to six-year-old Ruby Bridges, the first black child to enter a segregated school against threats on her life. McCoy copied a Norman Rockwell painting of Bridges bravely standing up to segregation in the 1960s South and replaced her with Secretary DeVos, a wealthy political crony facing protests for wanting to decrease access to public education and make it harder to discipline rapists on college campuses. Sign this petition to tell the New York Times, the Washington Post, and every other U.S. newspaper to drop McCoy:
Other Cabinet Nominees/Members
  • Andrew Puzder, Labor Secretary: Today, Puzder's nomination was withdrawn, less than 24 hours before his confirmation hearing was supposed to happen. Take a moment to celebrate this victory! Then, sign this petition to tell 45 to nominate a Labor Secretary who is committed to helping the working class, not just CEOs: http://www.pattymurray.com/act/tell-president-trump-put-hardworking-americans-first
  • Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget: Mulvaney wants to get rid of Social Security and Medicare, he called the 2013 government shutdown "good policy," and he blocked emergency relief funding for Hurricane Sandy victims because it wasn't paid for with spending cuts. The vote to confirm Mulvaney is scheduled for tomorrow. Use this form to email your senators and tell them to vote no: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/vote-no-on-rep-mick-mulvaney-for-office-of-management-budget
  • David Friedman, Ambassador to Israel: Friedman is a financial and political supporter of Israeli settlements, he opposes the formation of a Palestinian state and has advocated for the Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory to other countries. He denies the existence of Palestinian refugees, has demonized and attacked Jewish peace activists, and has supported discriminatory policies towards U.S. Muslims. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is scheduled to begin hearings on Friedman tomorrow. Use this form to email your MoC and tell them to oppose him: https://secure.afsc.org/onlineactions/rRWvXYNQK0-hYmZTt7KB8A2?emci=c05db8b5-9ef3-e611-80c3-000d3a125feb
  • Jeff Sessions, Attorney General: A group called Operation Rescue recently congratulated Jeff Sessions for his confirmation and offered to assist him with research and documentation. Operation Rescue is led by Troy Newman, who has advocated for the murder of abortion providers. Sign this petition to tell Sessions that there is no role for Operation Rescue or Troy Newman in the Department of Justice:
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  • 45's Florida Rally: Today, 45 Tweeted that he's planning a rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Florida this Saturday at 5pm. Members of the resistance may want to consider meeting him there for a counter-rally.
  • National Strike: The national strike is scheduled for tomorrow. If you're not able to take the day off from work or school, see the image below for other ways you can support the nationwide day of resistance:

  • Remind Our Representatives: A Facebook event is calling for Americans to remind their representatives that they work for us from February 18th to 28th. You can participate from anywhere. All you have to do is fax or email a copy of the Oath of Office to your MoC. Learn more and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/252249908565053/
  • Congressional Recess: Next week is the Congressional recess, when MoC leave Washington, D.C. for their home states. This is a good time to get together with other members of the resistance and plan to visit your MoC at their offices or attend townhalls. The Women's March on Washington team has started their "Hear Our Voice" campaign to help people meet up in time for the recess. Find an upcoming meeting near you here:
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Even though a federal court ruled against 45's unconstitutional Muslim ban last week, the ban has still not been permanently rescinded. The affect of the ban is being felt in communities all over the country. Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center released their annual census of hate groups and other extreme organizations, which found that the number of anti-Muslim hate groups nearly tripled in 2016. We must stand with Muslims and immigrants in our community to combat the hate from 45's extremist agenda. Here's how you can help.
  • Join a webcast. Tomorrow at 3pm ET/12pm PT, the National Iranian American Council is holding a webcast live on their Facebook page to discuss how you can organize locally to check 45's power and defeat the Muslim ban. Learn more and RSVP here:
  • Sign a petition. Join Senators Richard Blumenthal, Bob Casey (the good one from PA), Chris Coons, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Claire McCaskill in signing this petition to demand that 45's administration rescind the executive order imposing the ban:
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  • Affordable Care Act: Congress and 45 have already begun work to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This would threaten the lives of millions of LGBTQ people by removing protections against discrimination and allowing insurers to deny coverage for domestic partners, limit or deny coverage for gender transition services, and limit preventative services like pap smears, mammograms, and prostate exams based on an individual's sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or recorded gender. Use this form to email your MoC and tell them to protect healthcare access for LGBTQ Americans:
  • Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood has published a new article outlining which groups of Americans will be most hurt by Republican MoC's plans to "defund" them. These groups include people with low incomes, people of color, and people who live in rural areas. Use the links below to share this article on social media and spread the word:
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  • Petition - Dakota Access Pipeline: 45 recently signed an executive order to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In response, a large group of military veterans are returning to Standing Rock, and they have vowed that the DAPL will not be built on their watch. Sign this petition to demand that CNN, NBC, and CBS broadcast the hundreds of U.S. veterans protesting the DAPL: https://actionsprout.io/92044C/initial
  • Joe Manhin: As a leader of the Senate Democrats, Manchin has voted for more of Trump's cabinet than any other Democrat. He even voted for Jeff Sessions for Attorney General and Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary. Now, according to The Washington Post, Manchin was part of a Senate leadership meeting where senators asked Bernie Sanders to stop activists from holding Democrats accountable at townhalls. Sign this petition to tell Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democratic leaders in the Senate to remove Joe Manchin from leadership:
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  1. FYI - There's a lot of concern on social media about the Florida rally. A lot of folks are worried about agitators posing as "protestors" and then inciting violence. You might research that and give your readers a heads up.

    1. I'm seeing a lot of rumors with no confirmation of the source, so I don't know what to think about that, honestly.