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

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

 

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

Support the Efforts of Let America Vote

Support the efforts of Let America Vote, which fights attempts to make it harder for Americans to cast a ballot.

It’s disturbing to think that any political party in the United States sees lowering voter turnout as a positive strategy, but that is exactly the current attitude of the GOP. They have noticed that their candidates do better when fewer people come out, and they have pursued policies, such as voter ID legislation, which make it harder for people to vote.

The election of Donald Trump promises to make things worse. Losing the popular vote by three million votes clearly wounded his ego, so much so that on May 11 he launched the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Its co-leaders are Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a notorious fan of laws that restrict access to the ballot.

We need to push back against voter suppression, hard and often. Two out of five eligible citizens did not vote in November 2016. In order to strengthen democracy and undo the damage of Trump and the Republicans, we need to encourage non-voters to come out and exercise their rights–not just for presidential elections, but for primaries, mid-terms, and special elections. Trump fans and devoted Republicans have no interest in fixing the larger problem. We need to invite and recruit citizens who rarely or never vote.

Let America Vote helps the cause by fighting attempts to make it harder for people to vote. This takes the form of fighting restrictive bills and laws; questioning purges of voter rolls; and fighting those who try to intimidate voters.

 

Visit the Let America Vote page:

https://www.letamericavote.org

 

Learn about restrictive voting laws that might apply in your state:

https://www.letamericavote.org/states/

 

Read Let America Vote’s statement against Republican Karen Handel’s fundraising email that cited her outrage over citizens of Georgia’s 6th District gaining more time to register to vote:

https://www.letamericavote.org/news/2017/jason-kander-statement-karen-handels-outrage-eligible-georgia-voters-allowed-register-vote/

 

Read its statement on Trump’s task force on voter fraud:

https://www.letamericavote.org/news/2017/let-america-vote-statement-executive-order-creating-task-force-investigating-voter-fraud/

 

Like Let America Vote on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/letamericavote/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@Let_AmericaVote

 

Apply to intern with Let America Vote:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc8QCrO26Rw_ciCPQSrfNEG8DuCCoZLAASK_ZsCIJ_s1YzAow/viewform

 

Volunteer to help Let America Vote:

https://secure.letamericavote.org/page/s/get-involved

 

Donate to Let America Vote:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/lav-main?recurring=true

 

Read about Trump’s voter fraud commission, the reputation of Kris Kobach, and the GOP’s inclination to suppress the vote:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/05/kris_kobach_is_leading_trump_s_vote_fraud_commission_that_s_terrifying.html

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-gops-stealth-war-against-voters-w435890

 

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Ask your MoCs to Do Right by the 2020 Census

Ask your members of Congress to fully fund the 2020 Census and ensure that it has a competent, non-partisan director.

The resignation of John H. Thompson, the U.S. Census Director, was easy to miss. It happened the same day that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Thompson quit because he felt the 2020 census was being woefully underfunded. His final day on the job will be June 30.

The government uses the census to allocate resources in vital areas such as education, law enforcement, and housing. The census can also change how Congressional districts are drawn, with states gaining or losing house reps based on their populations.

A look at Trump’s campaign rhetoric, cabinet choices, and overall governing style shows his contempt for facts and for gathering accurate data, regardless of the aim. A look at the FY2018 budget shows that the only resources the Trump administration is keen about allocating are those bound for the military. And as for reshaping the Congressional district maps? That’s only of interest to Trump and friends if it means creating more Congressional Republicans, or eliminating Congressional Democrats, or both.

The 2020 census will guide policy and shape the Congressional map for the next 10 years. We have an obligation and a duty to ensure that it’s fully funded and that it’s guided by a good, upstanding director.

Please call your members of Congress and ask them to give the U.S. Census the funds that it’s asked for, and to choose a competent, nonpartisan director.

Sample script: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code), and I’m calling to ask (House Rep Lastname) to support full funding of the 2020 census and to back a competent, nonpartisan choice for its new director. The census is a huge project, and an important one. It gathers data that helps determine which Americans get which resources for a decade to come. It also has the power to reshape the Congressional map, creating and eliminating them as needed. Please do what is needed to ensure the success of the 2020 census, and please push back against any poor choices that the Trump administration might make.

 

Read about Thompson’s resignation, and the implications of that:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/departure-us-census-director-threatens-2020-count

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/11/527990617/u-s-census-bureau-director-john-thompson-abruptly-resigns

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/us-census-director-resigns-amid-turmoil-over-funding-of-2020-count/2017/05/09/8f8657c6-34ea-11e7-b412-62beef8121f7_story.html?utm_term=.4d4bdec3465d

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/census-watchers-warn-of-crisis-if-funding-for-2020-count-is-not-increased/2017/04/17/e6cc170a-20d6-11e7-a0a7-8b2a45e3dc84_story.html?utm_term=.b87ae3453624

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Stand Up for Civilization · Vote with your Dollars

Help All Out Help Gay Men in Chechnya Escape to Safety

Help All Out, an organization devoted to LGBTQ rights, help gay men escape torture and persecution in Chechnya.

Chechnya is a region of Eastern Europe that is heavily Muslim. On April 1, the Russian paper Novaya Gazeta broke the news that Chechen authorities had rounded up more than 100 gay men, detaining them in camps, and torturing them. As many as three might have died.

When asked about the actions, a spokesperson for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reportedly said, “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic… If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

The All Out Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that is partnering with the Russian LGBT Network to evacuate gay men from Chechnya. They have met their initial fundraising goal but it wouldn’t hurt to add your donation.

 

Donate to All Out’s fund to help gay men escape persecution in Chechnya (note–donations are NOT tax-deductible):

https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya/

 

Read a New York Times report on the Russian newspaper story:

 

Read a Guardian op-ed about the situation in Chechnya:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/13/gay-men-targeted-chechnya-russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Learn How to Help Charlottesville, the Target of Deadly Protests by Neo-Nazis

Learn how to help Charlottesville, Virginia, which was the target of neo-Nazi protests that turned deadly this weekend.

In case you missed it or need to catch up, here are some articles on what happened in Charlottesville. In essence, neo-Nazis didn’t just have a routine protest. They tried to have what they saw as a coming-out party for their noxious ideas. Many showed up to counter-protest:

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138246/charlottesville-nazi-rally-right-uva

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16139328/charlottesville-protesters-riot-violence

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/state-of-emergency-in-va-after-white-nationalist-rally.html

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/live-coverage-victim-of-charlottesville-car-attack-was–year/article_a3cf7b72-e437-5472-8025-43147acf3d34.html

 

The site of the Unite the Right rally was chosen to protest the recent decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The area where it stands was recently renamed Emancipation Park. (The statue is still there but will be sold.)

We will give specifics on how to help the people in Charlottesville shortly, but the most important thing you can do, in our opinion, is to work to remove pro-Confederate monuments, wherever they are. Do you have one where you live? Now is the time to start a movement to get rid of it.

Petition your mayor, your city council, your selectmen, whoever runs the place where you live. Celebrations of treason do not belong anywhere in America. When asking for their removal, call them what they are–celebrations of treason.

And also be clear–you don’t just want these monuments removed, you want them destroyed. Smashed to pieces. Reduced to scrap metal. As noted above, Charlottesville intends to sell its Robert E. Lee statue.

Now, think–who is going to buy it? Particularly now that it’s been the focus of such a horrible event? If it is bought, it will live on to inspire more neo-Nazis. No. No. It and the rest of these foul symbols have to be turned into slag.

German Lopez at Vox sums up the power of the act of removing Confederate monuments in a piece titled Kentucky Mayor Responds to Charlottesville by Doing Exactly What White Nationalists Don’t Want. Read it here:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/12/16139142/charlottesville-va-protests-lexington-mayor

See also these tweets from the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Gray:

I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.

The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.

And once you read the story, send a thank-you to Mayor Gray, by post or tweet, because you know he’s getting shit rained on him by committed assholes, and his city could be targeted by them for protest.

 

Send a thank-you postcard here:

Mayor Jim Gray

200 E. Main St.

Lexington, KY, 40507

 

Send a thank-you tweet to the mayor:

@JimGrayLexKY

 

Related to thanking Mayor Gray–another good way to show support for communities that remove Confederate statues is to reward them with your dollars. Plan your next vacation there, and tell the tourist board why you chose their area.

Here’s the website for the Lexington, Kentucky tourist board:

http://www.visitlex.com

 

And below is the website for the tourist board of New Orleans:

http://www.neworleansonline.com

 

Its mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has been carting away Confederate monuments, and he gave a moving speech on why it needed to be done.

 

Read the text of Landrieu’s May 2017 speech:

And here’s the tourism website for Charlottesville, Virginia:

https://www.visitcharlottesville.org

 

Update: In the early hours of August 16, 2017, the city of Baltimore hauled away its Confederate monuments. Thank them by considering a vacation to Baltimore. Here’s the city’s tourism website:

http://baltimore.org

 

Now, here are some specifics for supporting Charlottesville and the people who protested the neo-Nazis.

An Alaskan member of the Democratic Socialists of America has set up a GoFundMe to pay medical and funeral expenses of fellow members who were struck by the Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., evidently of Ohio (his car had Ohio plates). He killed a 32-year-old local woman, later identified as Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured. He is in custody and faces murder charges.

The fundraiser has hit its initial goal of $75,000 and its subsequent goal of $100,000. Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, it had hit its third goal of $125,000, was closing in on $150,000, and was still open to accept donations. Update to the update: At 8 pm EST, it had passed $165,000 and was still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $178,000 and still open. Update October 8: The tally is at $198,111 and still taking donations.

https://www.gofundme.com/medical-fund-for-comrades-in-cville

 

 

One of the photos that went viral showed a young black man being beaten with poles by white supremacists. The man has since identified himself as 20-year-old Deandre Harris. He suffered a head injury, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth.

His friends and family have created a GoFundMe to cover his medical expenses. As of 3 pm EST on August 13, it was almost four-fifths of the way to its $50,000 goal. (Warning–there is a graphic shot of a bloodied Harris on the page):

https://www.gofundme.com/i-was-beaten-by-white-supremacists

Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, the campaign had met its goal and stood at more than $105,000. It remains open to take donations. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: Past $107,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $137,000 and still open.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $166,055.

 

A local woman, Felicia Venita Correa, has set up a separate GoFundMe for Heather Heyer. It has hit its $20,000 goal:

https://www.gofundme.com/our-sisters-keeper-heatherheyer

Update: The Heather Heyer campaign closed after collecting just over $225,000. Please direct your giving efforts to one of the related open GoFundMes.

 

More GoFundMe campaigns have since been set up to aid the victims of the motor vehicle attack, some for all the injured and some for individuals. Since the initial reports on the day of the incident, we have seen subsequent reports that count more than 19 injured. As of August 14, we have yet to see a list of names of the injured.

A GoFundMe started by Unity C-ville, a community group, had reached its $50,000 goal and had tallied more than $65,000 by 4 am on August 14. It remains open. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: It’s past $92,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $109,000 and still open.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $175,555.

https://www.gofundme.com/united-cville-victim-relief

 

Update, 8 pm EST August 14: Here are more GoFundMe campaigns for Charlottesville victims of the motor vehicle attack:

 

For 20-year-old Natalie Romero. She is still hospitalized with a skull fracture and other wounds and does not have health insurance. Her goal is $120,000 and it’s at almost $110,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $131,000 and still open. Update October 8: At $154,125 and still taking donations.

https://www.gofundme.com/natalie-romero-medical-fund

 

For Marcus Martin, who saved his fiancé by pushing her out of the path of the car. He suffered broken bones and torn ligaments and won’t be able to return to his job as a landscaper for a while. His goal is $40,000, and it’s approaching $25,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $56,000 and still open.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $61,480.

https://www.gofundme.com/marcus-martin

 

Heyer’s was not the only death connected to the protests in Charlottesville. Two Virginia State Police troopers–Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-pilot Berke M. M. Bates, died when their police helicopter crash as they patrolled the events from the air. Read about the accident:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/36123329/helicopter-crash-near-charlottesville-rally-kills-two-virginia-cops

We have looked for online fundraisers for the families of the troopers and have not seen anything yet. We will update this post accordingly if we learn of one.

 

Here also is the link to the Anti-Racist Legal Fund for Solidarity C’ville. Update: As of 9 pm EST on August 14, the campaign had collected almost $150,000, well above its $50,000 goal. Though the campaign is still open, its page says the legal fund is now set and to please direct your giving to medical needs:

https://fundly.com/solidarity-c-ville-7-8-anti-racist-legal-fund

 

Many branches of Indivisible have planned local events to show support for the anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Look here to see if there’s one near you:

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/stand-in-solidarity-with-charlottesville/search/

 

Here are links to other articles that list Charlottesville-area charities and organizations that were involved in the counter-protests, are helping with the aftermath, or are the types of entities whose very existence annoys neo-Nazis:

View story at Medium.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-support-anti-racism-organizations-in-charlottesville-76190

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-help-the-victims-in-charlottesville-right-now-76195

 

The pinned tweet at the top of Sara Benincasa’s page leads to a Medium article with more  C’ville nonprofits you can help:

@SaraJBenincasa

 

…and here’s the Twitter handle for Indivisible Cville, where we found several of these links:

@IndivisibleVA05

 

Lastly, an idea. Please consider wearing something purple to the next protest that you attend. Purple was Heather Heyer’s favorite color. She should not be forgotten. This is a way to remember her and to bring her spirit to future protests.