Action Alerts · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Support Spread the Vote, Which Helps Citizens Obtain IDs

Support Spread the Vote, an organization that helps citizens access the ballot by obtaining IDs that their states require.

Republicans have noticed that they are more likely to win when fewer voters turn out. For this reason, they have embraced anti-democratic (small d) moves such as placing restrictions and qualifications on access to the ballot. Requiring prospective voters to present specific forms of identification is a favorite of theirs.

Voter ID laws suck, and they constitute the modern version of a poll tax. It hits the poor, the working class, the elderly, the young, and minorities particularly hard.

Some lack the documents they need to obtain ID, and cannot muster the money needed to hunt down those documents. Some can’t get the time off work to stand in line at City Hall or the DMV to straighten things out. Some are college students, whose college IDs are not generally accepted, and who receive conflicting information about where they can vote (home or on campus).

Enter Spread the Vote. Its mission is to help people get the documents they need to access the ballot. According to its numbers, 21 million people lack a government-issued photo ID, and 31 states require some form of ID to vote.

By helping Spread the Vote, you help expand the pool of eligible voters and defeat bullshit obstacles thrown up by Republicans who find it easier to frustrate citizens rather than develop ideas and policies that people would want to vote for.

Spread the Vote is and has conducted state-specific projects in Virginia and Georgia, but its scope is nation-wide. Please encourage their good work in whatever manner you can.

 

See Spread the Vote’s webpage:

https://www.spreadthevote.org

 

Ask for its help with obtaining an ID so you can vote:

https://www.spreadthevote.org/vote/

 

Volunteer for Spread the Vote:

https://www.spreadthevote.org/volunteer/

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SpreadTheVoteUS

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@SpreadTheVoteUS

 

Donate to Spread the Vote:

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=58727f25f7e0ab8a674b88bb

 

Action Alerts · Ethics · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Tell Congress to Tell Trump to Fully Comply With The Emoluments Clause

Tell your House Rep that you want Trump to comply with the Constitution by fully and properly tracking the payments that his businesses receive from foreign governments.

A previous OTYCD post noted how Trump was in violation of the Constitution the day he took office, because of the Emoluments clause, which states that the president cannot receive gifts or payments from foreign governments. Having hotels and resorts all over the world–Washington D.C. included–with his name on them complicates the matter significantly.

In order to have a hope of complying, Trump has to track all the payments his many and varied business entities receive. Initially, his organization promised that it would donate all the profits it earned from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury.

Well, on May 24, the Trump organization said it was not going to do the full due diligence required to be in compliance with the Emoluments clause, evidently because it’s just too damn hard. In an eight-page pamphlet it sent to the House Oversight Committee, it stated:

“To fully and completely identify all patronage at our Properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand.”

Elijah Cummings, minority leader of the house committee, shot back with deserved anger, saying the pamphlet “raised grave concerns about the president’s refusal to comply with the Constitution.”

We at OTYCD are asking you to back Cummings up by calling your house reps and demanding that the Trump organization do everything it can to get right with the Constitution, even if it’s wildly inconvenient. The sanctity of the Constitution is more important than the “guest experience” at Trump’s properties.

If your house rep IS Elijah Cummings, call him to thank him for doing the right thing.

Otherwise, riff off of this sample script:

“Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code), and I am calling to ask you to demand that the Trump organization do everything it can to prove that its business entities are in compliance with the Emoluments clause of the Constitution. In late May, the organization said it would not do the work involved in confirming that its entities were respecting the Constitution because doing so might affect the quality of the “guest experience” at Trump hotels and resorts. Well, maybe Trump should have thought that through before he ran for president. The Constitution is priceless. The guest experience at Trump properties is not. If his guests have to suffer a little to ensure that the Constitution receives due respect, that’s a small price to pay, and Trump can eat it.”

 

Read about the Trump organization’s refusal to fully comply with the standards required by the Constitution:

https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/527997/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/05/24/trump-shows-he-wasnt-serious-about-shunning-emoluments/?utm_term=.b22e01bd7440

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-failing-track-foreign-cash-his-hotels-n764061

 

Read the eight-page pamphlet that team Trump prepared for the House Oversight Committee:

https://democrats-oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/Trump%20Org%20Pamphlet%20on%20Foreign%20Profits.pdf

 

Read Elijah Cummings’s rejoinder:

https://democrats-oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2017-05-24.EEC%20to%20Trump%20Organization.pdf

Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Help Americans for the Arts #SaveTheNEA

Sick of the attacks on the budget of the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA)? So are we, and so is Americans for the Arts, a 57-year old organization that’s on the case.

One of the more tiresome and obnoxious threats coming out of the Trump administration is its attack on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Like previous Republican administrations, it wants to zero out its budget. Like previous administrations, it cares not one whit for the good it does, or the value it provides us all.

Americans for the Arts is on the front lines of the fight to save the NEA. Founded in 1960, it is standing up for the federal agency’s work and for the transformative power of the arts. It deserves your support.

See the link below for a sample script you can use when calling your members of Congress to defend the NEA:

https://www.votervoice.net/ARTSUSA/Campaigns/47344/Respond

See the Americans for the Arts web page:

http://www.americansforthearts.org/about-americans-for-the-arts

Like Americans for the Arts on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/americans4arts

Follow it on Twitter:

@Americans4Arts

Donate to Americans for the Arts:

https://secure.artsusa.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=AFTA&WebKey=dced7381-1480-44b8-a371-39269bf4c68e&action=add&dnr_cst_key=&ObjectKeyFrom=F41B6E06-299B-4022-BE6F-0641BA87DE59&gft_src_key=e3097f34-633a-4d70-93e0-f6c36f75baa6&AFTAToken=08e6495f-2570-4c9a-9f4d-a2dfb2a2df32&AFTAToken=

…And for that matter, visit the NEA web site:

http://www.arts.gov

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/NationalEndowmentfortheArts

…And follow its Twitter account:

@NEAarts

Call Your Members of Congress · Stand Up for Civilization · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call your MoCs and Tell Them to Protect the National Endowment for the Arts

Call your members of Congress and tell them to defend the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from any attempts to defund or abolish it.

When Republicans gain control of the government, a few rusty old issues always come up. Abolishing the NEA is one of them.

Republicans inevitably claim that they want to kill the NEA to save money, but it only receives $148 million, which represents 0.004 percent of the federal budget.

We citizens get a lot for that meager sum. The arts stimulate the economy and have proven critical to reviving ailing cities and towns.

The NEA also does something that few outside the museum world appreciate: It backs indemnity agreements that allow U.S. museums to arrange for loans of art for exhibitions that they otherwise could not afford to insure. Remember the last blockbuster museum show you loved that had oodles of priceless canvases from Europe, or sculptures from Asia? If the NEA disappears, so do exhibitions like those.

The NEA does a lot of good with a small budget. It also represents a fundamental commitment to the arts and humanities that any nation must honor if it thinks of itself as civilized. French-born composer Edgard Varèse put his finger on it when he said, “Art is the highest expression and not a luxury–Where are the Egyptian bankers today? And Egyptian art survives.”

We know the Egyptians through their art. We know the Neanderthals through the images that they inscribed on the walls of caves. Art is how we speak to generations yet unborn. Art is what those generations will think of when they think of America. That’s why we need the NEA, and that is why we will always need the NEA. Don’t let Trump and Paul Ryan and his ilk kill it.

Sample script: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am asking (Senator/Representative Lastname) to fight against any attempt by the Trump administration to cripple or kill the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA is one of the best bargains in the entire federal government. It helps museums arrange blockbuster shows by backing indemnity agreements that allow for loans of priceless art. If we lost the NEA, we would all feel it, and we would feel it deeply.”

 

Ethics · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Follow Richard W. Painter and Norm Eisen on Twitter

Follow Richard W. Painter and Norm Eisen on Twitter–two former White House ethics lawyers who have been explaining Trump’s violations in real time since the election.

Richard W. Painter was the chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007. Norm Eisen played the same role for Barack Obama from 2009 to 2011. Both are involved with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit founded in 2003. CREW is the entity that filed suit against Trump the first instant they could for contravening the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

Both men have spoken out, consistently and speedily, on the many and varied ethics violations accrued by Trump since November 8, 2016. Both have since become active on Twitter (Eisen already was; Painter brought himself up to speed).

Following their feeds will by turns outrage you and keep you sane, in that you will see professional ethicists confirm that what Trump just did was indeed wrong and worth being angry about.

Follow Richard W. Painter on Twitter:

@RWPUSA

Follow Norm Eisen on Twitter:

@NormEisen

And heck, follow CREW on Twitter too:

@CREWcrew

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.

The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.

Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.

Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.

 

Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.

 

Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollaback-bystander-intervention-digital-training-tickets-33624094572

 

Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8L8vf0joWhQZE9WZHNtSnMxWk0/view

 

See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/our-work/trainings-workshops/

 

For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/max_heros_last_words_tell_ever.html

 

And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/02/after_portland_bystander_intervention_training_is_more_important_than_ever.html

 

Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Join the #MarchforTruth on June 3

Join the March for Truth on Saturday, June 3, a nationwide movement to demand a special prosecutor for the #TrumpRussia scandal, to see Trump’s tax returns, and to call for answers in general, and prosecutions if need be.

The #MarchForTruth was planned well before the May 9 firing of FBI director James Comey. As of May 9, the March for Truth had arranged events in 25 cities and was accepting contacts from groups who are interested in hosting sister marches. Organizing partners include the Town Hall Project, the Progressive Democrats of America, and local Indivisible groups, among others.

The goals of the march are 100 percent worthy and laid out on the event’s web site like so:

  • A special prosecutor must be named and Congressional investigations should be properly resourced and pursued free of partisan interests;
  • As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible;
  • Congress should require Donald Trump to release his tax returns to clarify his business interests and obligations to any foreign entity;
  • If crimes were committed or if collusion is discovered, it must be prosecuted.

If you can’t attend the march, support the march on social media by checking the #MarchForTruth hash tag and retweeting and reposting choice material you find there.

If you’re reading this weeks or even days before the march and you know you can’t make it, you can help by donating. The Comey firing is going to create a fresh wave of interest in the March for Truth. More interest means more people, and that means march organizers will need money to pay for cleanup, port-a-potties, volunteers, and other infrastructural needs. Dollars will help.

See the March for Truth website here:

https://www.marchfortruth.info

Find a sister March for Truth event near you:

https://www.marchfortruth.info/find-a-local-march/

Read background on how to organize a #MarchForTruth event:

https://www.marchfortruth.info/organize/

Like the March for Truth on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/marchfortruth/

Follow the March for Truth on Twitter:

@marchfortruth17

Donate to the March for Truth through CrowdPac:

https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/225084/march-for-truth-june-3rd-2017-d-c-la-nyc