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Save This Tool That Shows What Laws Your State Is Making Right Now in Six Key Areas

Bookmark a tool by OurStates that shows you what new laws your state might be making in six key areas: immigration, policing and protest, reproductive justice, voting rights, LGBTQ equality, and economic justice.

State legislators aren’t just the equivalent of the farm teams for the Democratic and Republican parties–they’re the farm teams for federal laws, too. Well-funded right-wing activist groups have attempted to pass weird, extreme laws on the state level before trying to get Congress to bite.

While there are web-based tools that show what your state legislature is doing overall right now, and tools that show what bills the states are considering on a single issue, there aren’t many that show what all 50 states are doing on more than one issue. In fact, what OurStates built might stand alone. It’s a project of StayWoke, a 501(c)4 organization devoted to pursuing justice and equality. Its planning team includes DeRay Mckesson, Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, and a whole host of smart, perceptive people who you’d be smart to follow on Twitter.

When you click on a category, it colors the U.S. map accordingly: States colored red are working on harmful laws; blue states are creating good laws; and grey states are not currently chasing anything on that topic.

Click on your state, and you’ll open a window that shows you everything it is doing on all six topics. It will describe the law and tell you if the bills are good or bad, as well as which party controls the legislature, what the law would do, and how close the bill is to becoming law.

If you scroll down, the OurStates page will give you a link through which you can find your state legislators’ contact information, as well as advice on how to speak with them.

 

See and use the nifty tool built by OurStates:

https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

 

Meet the StayWoke planning team and follow them all on Twitter:

https://www.staywoke.org/about/

 

Donate to StayWoke:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/staywoke-1

 

 

Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Help Someone Who Regrets Voting for Trump

 

You might know people who voted for Donald Trump. A good number of them are feeling remorse right now, and at least some of them might have said as much in front of you.

If you’re up for it, you can help your friends who voted for Trump and want to do something to push back.

If a regretful Trump voter opens up to you, don’t unleash your anger at them. Do not mock them. Do not try to make them feel bad or humiliate them. You will only make them double down on their choice, and you will lose them.

Instead ask, “Are you ready to do something about it?”

If the answer is “No,” or something along the lines of “I’m not sure,” back off immediately and completely. Do not hard-sell this, but you can bring it up again after a few weeks if they give you a natural opening when you’re talking casually.

If the answer is “Yes,” or “I think so,” ask them to use this web site to find their members of Congress (it will also give them their state representatives as well):

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org/

And ask them to download and read Call the Halls:

https://www.emilyellsworth.com/how-to-contact-congress/

Recommend that they get in the habit of calling their members of Congress to complain about this or that thing Trump just did, and asking their reps to fight back against it.

Explain to your friends that all Executive Orders are subject to Congressional approval, and can be nullified. If Trump signs something that your regretful friends don’t like, tell them that they can call their MoCs and ask them to make a law that stops the EO.

If it makes sense, give them this link to Vice‘s running tally of all the executive orders and laws that Trump has signed in 2017. They should find something here that they won’t like (make sure to tell them to take down the name and number of the document that’s bothering them) and would feel comfortable calling their MoCs for.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/all-the-laws-and-executive-orders-trump-has-signed-so-far

If you have a better idea of how your friends’ politics shake out, THEN maybe direct them to http://www.onethingyoucando.com or other resources that they might perceive as being left-wing or liberal-leaning.

When getting a regretful Trump voter started, it’s best to stick with Emily Ellsworth’s Call the Halls because it is a straightforward, nonpartisan resource and its author is a Republican from Utah.

Going forward, remain available to your friends. Don’t jump in to talk; focus on listening to them. Pay close attention to what they say so you can remember and suggest future actions that they could take to push back against Trump. Keep the focus on them and their needs.

If your conversations with regretful Trump voters rile you up or piss you off, bite it back as best you can. If you hit your limit, find a way to change the subject. If you can’t take any more and your friend won’t quit it, excuse yourself from the situation. It is important that you don’t show anger or contempt for Trump voters in front of your regretful friends. That could cause them to double down.

Also keep in mind that you should only do as much as you’re willing to do, and it is acceptable to do nothing. If you don’t think you can talk to regretful Trump-voting friends without snapping or shredding them, then don’t talk to them about this issue, and deflect any attempts to lure you in.

Going through the actions suggested above–responding to an ‘I think so’ or a ‘Yes’ with the web site resources–and then doing no followup of any kind whatsoever with your regretful friends is also OK. You planted the seeds. Sometimes that’s enough, and nature takes care of the rest.

The most important thing is to think through what you would do in this situation, figure out how much you are willing to do, and then stick to your plan.

Uncategorized

Follow Obama’s White House Photographer, Pete Souza, on Instagram

Follow Pete Souza, President Obama’s former White House photographer, on Instagram.

Normally we at One Thing You Can Do don’t bother recommending social media accounts beyond Twitter and Facebook. We don’t want to overtax you, and we don’t want to make you feel like you have to sign up for everygoddamnsocialmediaplatform ever spawned.

Pete Souza is forcing us to make an exception.

Souza’s Instagram account is a thing of beauty, and not just because he’s a top-notch photographer. He has a deep bench of photos from the Obama administration and boy, does he know how to use them. The drollery of his trollery is exquisite.

When Trump was photographed smiling next to a sullen Pope Francis, Souza posted a 2016 image of the Pope beaming as he shook hands with Obama. When film of First Lady Melania Trump smacking Trump’s hand away went viral, Souza posted an undated photo of the Obamas nonchalantly holding hands, his wedding ring in clear view. When Trump trailed the G7 members in a golf cart, Souza posted an image of Obama striding with the G8 in 2010.

And that’s just what he served up over a five-day span in May! The shade this man throws on the regular is enough to shield all the coffee plantations in Brazil.

Souza’s Instagram account is a treat and a national treasure. It is worth signing up for Instagram specifically to follow it.

 

Follow Pete Souza on Instagram:

@petesouza

Community Activism · Vote with your Dollars

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Support black-owned businesses, both in your community and across the country.

The Support Black Owned (SBO) website offers a search engine that will help you find black-owned businesses in your state.  Black-owned businesses are almost always small businesses of the sort that comprise the fabric of a community. When you need to buy goods and services, please check your state listing at SBO first and see if someone there can meet your needs.

 

See the SBO website (scroll to the bottom for the state links; they’re on the right):

https://www.supportblackowned.com

 

Like the SBO Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/SupportBlackOwned

 

Follow SBO on Twitter:

@SupportBlackOwn

 

Connect with SBO on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/3283815/

Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Save This Tool: It’s Time to Fight

Got another brilliant tool for you all to save and cherish. It’ll also appear on the Tool Box page soon.

It’s Time to Fight is goddamn excellent. Written by a political staffer who prefers to remain anonymous, it’s one-stop shopping for when you’re looking for more than one thing you can do. Want time-sensitive actions? It’s got em. Longer-term stuff? Yep. Forgot who your members of Congress are? It’s Time to Fight will help you find them.

Go here, click on what looks good to you, and start fighting:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

Bookmark it. Visit it often. And follow the author on twitter: @Celeste_pewter

Elections · GOOD UPDATE! · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Hala Ayala WON A Seat in Virginia’s State Legislature

YES YES YES! Hala Ayala won her race for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates! She defeated Rich Anderson, a four-term Republican incumbent.

Read more here:

http://www.insidenova.com/news/politics/prince_william/ayala-wins-st-district-seat-defeating–term-incumbent/article_22e3019e-c434-11e7-bb85-b3efe305948f.html

Original text of this post follows.

Support Democrat Hala Ayala, who is running for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates on November 7, 2017.

In addition to spotlighting five Virginia state-level candidates chosen by Flippable for the upcoming race in November, we at OTYCD are also devoting posts to six candidates chosen by 314 Action whose races fall in 2017. 314 Action is an organization that boosts hopefuls who have STEM backgrounds.

Ayala worked her way up from a service job with no benefits to serving the Department of Homeland Security as a cybersecurity specialist. She is the founder and former president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women. She helped organize Virginian efforts to appear at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017.

Ayala would expand Medicaid and defend Planned Parenthood. A former president of a local Parent-Teacher Organization, she supports universal pre-K, affordable college and university tuition, and efforts against bullying and discrimination. She would invest in public transportation and other infrastructure projects that could reduce traffic woes. She supports initiatives for paid family leave, paid sick leave, increasing the minimum wage, and ensuring equal pay for equal work.

 

See Ayala’s campaign website:

https://ayalafordelegate.com

 

See her Meet Hala page:

https://ayalafordelegate.com/about/

 

See her Issues page:

https://ayalafordelegate.com/on-the-issues/

 

Donate to Ayala’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/314action_ayala?refcode=314website

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AyalaforDelegate/

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@HalaAyala

 

See her 314 Action page:

http://www.314action.org/hala-ayala

 

See her Crowdpac page:

https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/212305/hala-ayala

 

See her Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Hala_Ayala

 

See 314 Action’s Endorsed Candidates page:

http://www.314action.org/endorsed-candidates/

 

Donate to 314 Action:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/314act?refcode=website&amounts=15,25,50,100,250,500,1000&amount=25&recurring=true

Community Activism · Elections · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Help Florida’s Ex-Felons Regain The Right to Vote

Help ex-felons in Florida regain the right to vote by supporting efforts to change a punitive state law.

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee shone a light on this issue recently. Florida is one of just three states that revokes ex-felons’ voting rights for life. As you read this, more than 1.5 million Floridians cannot vote. That amounts to roughly 10 percent of Florida’s adult population, and about 20 percent of all African-Americans living in the state.

Some Floridians hope to change the law. They need 700,000 of their fellow citizens to sign a petition that will place the question of restoring voting rights to ex-felons on the state’s 2018 ballot.

If you haven’t yet, see the Full Frontal With Samantha Bee segment:

https://www.miamirights.com

 

If you live in Florida, click the link below and sign the petition to place the question on the 2018 ballot. If you don’t, print out the PDF at the link below and send it to someone you know who does:

https://media.wix.com/ugd/b14935_60c594c5deec411dae612e7a324057c2.pdf

 

Donate to the Say Yes to Second Chances effort:

https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-182950647699273984

 

Read about the effects of the Florida law, and read about the people who are trying to change it:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/floridas-felon-vote-destroying-lives-and-wasting-taxpayer-dollars/2307853

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article95076927.html

https://www.wuft.org/news/2017/04/14/activists-push-for-ex-felon-voter-rights-restoration/

https://www.wuft.org/news/2017/04/14/activists-push-for-ex-felon-voter-rights-restoration/

 

Also, visit the Full Frontal with Samantha Bee website:

http://www.samanthabee.com

 

Follow Full Frontal With Samantha Bee on Twitter:

@FullFrontalSamB

 

Like the show on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/fullfrontalsamb

 

And check out the spiffy merch in the show’s online shop:

https://shop.tbs.com