Call your senators and oppose Trumpcare by asking them to support the revived bipartisan talks designed to shore up the ACA. Keep the pressure up until September 30. Call your MoCs and ask them to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands by waiving or temporarily suspending key parts of the Jones Act.
On Tuesday, September 26, Senate GOP leaders abandoned plans for a vote on the latest Trumpcare bill:
This is good news. But! Past experience has shown us that we can’t trust the GOP as far as we can throw them, and it’s not worth the effort to pick them up and throw them.
The deadline to pass Trumpcare is supposedly September 30. We say keep calling to fight this horrible bill, but in the form of urging your Senators to support the bipartisan talks led by Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, which are designed to shore up the ACA.
Scroll down for an updated script for your MoCs that addresses Puerto Rico, the USVI, and Trumpcare.
Many people deserve thanks for staying strong on fighting Trumpcare. The activists of ADAPT should appear at the top of the list. They literally put their bodies on the line to stop it. A total of 117 of them were arrested Monday, September 25 and more were arrested Tuesday, September 26 during a protest outside the Health and Human Services (HHS) building in favor of community integration–a policy that lets disabled people stay in their homes and neighborhoods rather than a nursing facility.
See ADAPT’s press release about the HHS protest:
You can help ADAPT by honoring their request for citizens to call the HHS and ask that its head, Tom Price, meet with the organization about community integration.
Here’s the number for Tom Price’s comment line: 202.205.5445
The link below is not explicitly labeled as a bail fund, but the money raised “will be used by ADAPT to cover the costs of activists from across the country as they continue to fight for civil rights and freedom for people with disabilities and older adults.”
Click it and give generously, please. As of 8:30 pm EST on September 26 they’d collected almost $62,000 against a goal of $80,000.
You can also donate directly to ADAPT here:
Got all that? Good. Now, here’s more on how to help the American victims of Hurricane Maria.
First off, you need to follow Celeste Pewter on Twitter. She’s on top of …damn near everything happening that you’ll want to yell at your MoCs about, and she provides call scripts to boot.
Her Twitter handle:
To stay on top of Puerto Rico, specifically, follow Nydia Velazquez, a House rep from Brooklyn who’s been all over this for a while now:
In particular, she’s seeking a one-year suspension of the Jones Act, which can complicate the timely arrival of aid via ship, and she’s seeking waivers of federal laws that require matching funds from disaster-afflicted areas. (Update: As of September 27, Trump agreed to waive these financial demands.) Puerto Rico cannot muster the funds because it is deeply in debt and cannot obtain credit.
See Velazquez’s letter:
And check out Diasporicans, a website for Puerto Ricans who live off-island. It has scripts for calling your MoCs to request help:
Also on the ball is Lin-Manuel Miranda, he of the Broadway hit Hamilton. Miranda is of Puerto Rican descent and is a solid champion of the island.
His Twitter feed will have faster updates on specific things you can do to help Puerto Rico:
Pinned to the top of his Twitter page is a link through which you can donate to the Hispanic Federation:
Another venue for donating to help Puerto Ricans is Puerto Rico Strong, which is a wish list of items that islanders need:
The One America Appeal has widened its scope to cover Maria, Puerto Rico and the USVI:
…and here is a piece from ColorLines that lists charities and organizations that assist Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or both:
Lastly, if you are in a position to consider planning a vacation off the U.S. mainland, think about taking a trip to Puerto Rico or the USVI once they’ve had a chance to recover. Tourism is vital to the economies of both. Going there to relax and spend money will help these places out.
Now here’s your new sample script that bundles Hurricane Maria relief with fighting Trumpcare 3.1:
“Dear Senator/House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I want to (thank you/express my opposition) to your position on Graham-Cassidy. I realize the bill is not likely to come up for a vote after all, but I am not willing to stop calling to ask you to say no to it until the September 30 deadline passes. I would also ask you to support the bipartisan talks to shore up the Affordable Care Act, which have been restarted by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray.”
I would also ask you to support efforts to aid Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Hurricane Maria. I would ask you to vote in favor of the notion of temporary lifting the Jones Act, which would allow ships carrying aid to reach the islands more easily. The Trump administration has declined to relax the Jones Act so far, but maybe they’ll listen if you and your colleagues approach them about this. I would also ask you to get behind efforts to make it easier for Puerto Rico and the USVI to borrow the money they’ll need to rebuild. Thank you.”
…now on to a larger point about fighting Trumpcare, which we first articulated a few days ago.
This is work. This is stressful. This is definitely not normal. And as noted above, the Republicans might not let September 30 be the actual deadline for Fucking Zombie Trumpcare.
The way to make this stop–really stop–is to vote out these asshole Republicans who are making us beg for our lives every couple of months.
Voting out these asshole Republicans means you have to do more than show up and vote when the time comes. You have to reach out to other people who know you and trust you and convince them to vote, too.
You’re going to want to start reaching out now, right now, in September 2017, so the pro-voting groundwork is well and firmly in place by the time the midterms come.
For more on this, read our past post, Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them:
Prepping to vote out these asshole Republicans also means taking breaks from your activism, and not just catch-as-catch-can breaks. Figure out what helps you recharge, figure out how often you can do that happy recharging thing in a week, schedule it, and stick to it. Come hell or high water or wolves at the door, stick to it. Claim your time, or reclaim it, as the case may be.
We still need to call about Trumpcare until the week ends, but please think about how you will give yourself some rest. No one can do the protest/activist equivalent of running flat-out for days on end, and no one should–that’s a recipe for burnout. Please manage yourself to avoid burnout. We need you to stay here and carry on the fight.
If you need more, or need a refresher, read the OTYCD post, Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.
And… sing along if you know the words…
The answer, as always, is:
Call, call, call.
Call, call, call, call, call.
Call like your life depends on it. Your life might not literally depend on it, but many others definitely do.
And yes, you have to call every day until Zombie Trumpcare 3.whatever is dead. That might mean calling every day from now until Saturday, September 30.
Call even if your senators are solid, front-line Democrats who get it and have always gotten it. Tell them thanks and tell them to keep holding the line.
Call even if your senators are brick-headed no-hoper Republicans. Be unfailingly polite, but make it damn clear you want them to vote against the new GOP health care bill. Yes, they’re not going to do what you want, and you know they’re not going to do what you want, and they know you know they’re not going to do what you want. But it’s worth it to tie up their phone lines with a deafening, all-encompassing wave of NO.
And if you’re not following the folks below, start. They will have news faster than we will, and will have instructions on how to fight back faster than we will:
Here’s the Trumpcare Toolkit, via Topher Spiro:
Read about Senator Graham’s quest to repeal Obamacare somehow, anyhow:
Read a Washington Post piece on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill: