Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Join the Network for Public Education and Combat Betsy DeVos’s Agenda

Want to resist the democracy-destroying agenda of Department of Education head Betsy DeVos? Join the Network for Public Education.

Founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch, a historian of education and author of numerous books, including Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform and The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, it aims to protect and defend the nation’s public school system from the forces that would destroy it.

 

Visit the Network for Public Education’s web page:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org

 

See its agenda:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/about-npe/our-positive-agenda/

 

Join its grassroots network (scroll down to find your state):

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/grassroots-education-network-3/

 

Review its Toolkit that explains school privatization, and why it’s a problem:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/9121-2/

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/networkforpubliced/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@Network4PubEd

 

Donate to the Network for Public Education:

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/about-npe/donate/

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Ethics · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Never Stop Demanding That Congress Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia and His Violations of the Constitution

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

See the blog below.

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

Community Activism · Good News · Health Care · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Commit to the Long Haul, Because We Need You, Yes, You, to Help Un-Bork the Country

Commit yourself to the long haul, because that’s what’s needed to un-bork the country. 

Waking up on November 9 was tough and bewildering, and not just because Trump won. It was tough because many of us were shocked to discover that the Democrats—the opposition party—was weak and in piss-poor shape to reign in Trump and his minions.

All this was made exponentially worse by the behavior of the Republicans, who have consistently favored their party over the greater good of the country since the current Congressional session began.

Let’s be painfully honest. There’s only so much the Democrats can do when the Republicans own everything and show no interest in fulfilling their obligation to check Trump’s power. The Democrats are trying, and in many cases, trying valiantly to curb the worst excesses, but the Republicans hold all the cards right now (in 2017).

Do not lose sight of the fact that the Democrats are stepping up, and the Republicans are not.

Trump will leave eventually. We won’t take bets on when. But never forget that this does not end when he’s gone. In the immortal words of God, speaking at the end of the classic film Time Bandits (which you really need to see if you haven’t yet): You need to stay here and carry on the fight.

The good news of the 115th Congress, such as it is, is that sitting Congressional Republicans are showing us who they are–unfit to govern, and incapable of governing.

We need to remember this, take down their names, and work to remove members of Congress who rolled over and surrendered to Trump. We need to work to elect Democrats, and we also need to work to elect Republicans who are sane and responsible.

Yes, you read that right. You need to work sane, responsible members of the opposition party, too.

One of the big reasons this country is borked right now is that we’re polarized. We used to be able to tolerate, and even befriend, people who disagreed with us on key issues. Somehow, without any of us really noticing, too many of us lost this talent.

You can argue about the hows and the whys, but it’s a fact. One of the ways to fix it is to go out and befriend people who don’t think like you all the time, on everything, but who are responsible and sane and have backbones.

You’re probably thinking by now, “Yeah, but what one thing are you asking me to do?” Fair enough.

Read this past post about recruiting friends in red states to call their MoCs:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/04/01/recruit-your-red-state-friends-to-call-their-mocs-2/

Pay attention to the bits about cultivating friendships. Get to work, if you haven’t yet. Build up your network so you can support your red state friends during elections and perhaps help them ID and support sane Republicans (assuming the Democrats are feckless or the Republican candidate is actually better).

And be on watch for future posts about sane Republicans, and consider following those folks on SoMe.

In addition, look at your state and local reps. Do you see any sane Republicans? Keep tabs on them. Maybe support them. Certainly support them if their Democratic counterpart is feckless or worse.

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Vote with your Dollars

Start a 2018 Fund

Start saving two dollars a week to fund political actions that will shape the 2018 midterms.

It doesn’t have to be two dollars. You can save more if you want. If you’re struggling, find a sum you can comfortably set aside, even if it’s just a quarter.

If you start saving two dollars per week now, you should have about one hundred set aside when the 2018 primaries crest the horizon.

The point is to develop the habit of squirreling away something every week to support your political efforts. You can define ‘political efforts’ as broadly as you wish. You can draw on your stash to donate to Congressional candidates. You can give to Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or dozens of other worthy organizations that matter to you. Or you can use it as seed money for your own run for local office.

Budget for politics just as you’d budget for Christmas, or tithes, or a down payment on a house. Think long-term. Put away something every week, no matter how small.

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Donate to the Charities That Benefit from the Congressional Baseball Game

Donate to the charities that benefit from the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which will go on as scheduled despite the June 14 shooting.

By now you are aware of the incident, in which a man attacked the Republican Congressional baseball team as they practiced on an Alexandria, Va., diamond for the bipartisan match. House rep Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is the Republican majority whip, was shot in the hip and faces a long recovery. Two members of his security detail were among the four others injured by gunfire.

The Congressional baseball game is a Washington, D.C. tradition that dates back to 1909. Today, it benefits three charities: The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, and the Washington Literacy Center.

One way to show your support for the victims and for the Congressional players is to donate to one or all of these charities. If you live in Washington, D.C., consider volunteering with them.

Below the charities’ contact info we’ll repost the text of our entry on donating blood during the summer months. Scalise needed blood transfusions and he faces more surgeries on his road to recovery. Even if you don’t live near the capital, donating blood will help your community.

 

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington:

http://www.bgcgw.org

 

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/community/dreamfoundation/

 

The Washington Literacy Center:

https://www.washlit.org

 

Read a story on how the Congressional players will go ahead with the June 15 game, despite the shooting:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/15/politics/congressional-baseball-shooting/index.html

 

Text of the post on summer blood donation follows.

Please donate blood before and during the summer months, a time when donations tend to fall off sharply.

The Red Cross always needs donations of blood and platelets, but things get worse in the summer months, when schedules are disrupted by vacations and blood drives at high schools and colleges are not an option.

If you are a regular donor, please plan vacations with your donation schedule in mind, and try to recruit a friend or two to come and donate with you during the summer.

If it’s been a while since you gave, think about how and when to work a blood drive into your summer plans.

If you have never donated, find out if you are eligible, and consider whether it is something you feel you can do.

 

Find the Red Cross blood drive happening closest to you:

http://www.redcross.org

 

Read about how blood and platelet donations tend to drop severely–losing as many as 100,000–during the summer:

http://www.redcrossblood.org/news/nne/red-cross-urges-blood-and-platelet-donations-summer

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Public Education · Vote with your Dollars

Remember Philando Castile by Following His Example–Pay His Schoolchildrens’ Meal Debts

Carry on the good work of Philando Castile by doing what he did–pay for the breakfasts and lunches of kids in his school cafeteria who could not afford their meals.

Castile was shot and killed on July 6, 2016, by a police officer who pulled him over in greater St. Paul, Minnesota, for a broken tail light. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds,  live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. Her four-year-old daughter was in the car. Castile was 32. The officer who killed him was tried on second-degree manslaughter and other charges and found not guilty. He was fired the same day the verdict came down.

Castile was well-loved by the children at the J.J. Hill Montessori magnet school, a public school for pre-kindergarteners to fifth graders in St. Paul. The cafeteria supervisor would often pay for the breakfasts and lunches of students who could not afford their meals.

Inver Hills Community College professor Pam Fergus launched a fundraiser in his name: Philando Feeds the Children.

It’s on the YouGiving fundraiser platform. As of September 3, it had slightly exceeded its goal of $50,000, which was extended to cover the meal debts of the entire St. Paul public school system. The fundraiser will remain open into November.

If the scope of the fundraiser changes again we’ll update this page accordingly, and we will update it in November to note when the fundraiser closes.

Update, November 12, 2017: The fundraiser has been updated. Goal is now $999,999, and will help all public schools in St. Paul and beyond. As of this date it has raised more than $94,000.

 

Donate to Philando Feeds the Children:

https://www.youcaring.com/jjhillschoolandotherschools-914378

 

Read a piece from The Root on the fundraiser:

http://www.theroot.com/philando-castiles-legacy-of-helping-his-students-pay-fo-1798685076?utm_source=theroot_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

 

Read about the killing of Castile (warning–some links may show videos of the confrontation, and may show the aftermath):

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/philando-castile-shooting

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/21/what-the-police-officer-who-shot-philando-castile-said-about-the-shooting/?utm_term=.53018e4bb705

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/us/philando-castile-shooting-dashcam/index.html

Elections · Vote with your Dollars · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Support Arnold Schwarzenegger and Common Cause’s Campaign to Stop Gerrymandering

Help former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Common Cause organization raise money to pay for lawyers to argue against gerrymandering in an upcoming Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case.

Gerrymandering is a scourge upon our nation. After the 2010 census, Republicans managed to redraw many state maps to favor their party at the expense of the Democrats. This is 32 flavors of wrong, and it hobbles small-d democracy.

Schwarzenegger and Common Cause, a 47-year-old organization with many pro-ethics, pro-voting rights, and pro-democracy victories to its credit, have joined forces to raise $150,000 to underwrite the cost of hiring lawyers to argue against gerrymandering at SCOTUS in a case involving the Wisconsin legislature.

Schwarzenegger has agreed to provide matching funds for the campaign, which is being conducted on the Crowdpac platform.

See the Crowdpac page for the anti-gerrymanding fundraiser:

https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/207023/this-is-our-chance-to-make-gerrymandering-unconstitutional?source_code=homepage&ref_code=website

 

Read a May 2016 piece by the Brennan Center on the Wisconsin gerrymandering case:

http://www.brennancenter.org/blog/faceoff-starts-wisconsin-partisan-gerrymandering-case

 

Read various June 2017 news reports on SCOTUS agreeing to hear the case:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/19/533519165/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-wisconsin-gerrymandering-case

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/supreme-court-will-hear-big-wisconsin-gerrymandering-case.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-to-hear-potentially-landmark-case-on-partisan-gerrymandering/2017/06/19/d525237e-5435-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.93064a3a4972

 

Visit the Common Cause webpage:

http://www.commoncause.org

 

Learn its history and see its FAQ:

http://www.commoncause.org/about/our-impact/

http://www.commoncause.org/about/our-impact/faq/

 

See if Common Cause has an office in your state:

http://www.commoncause.org/states/

 

Like Common Cause on Facebook:

http://www.commoncause.org/states/

 

Follow Common Cause on Twitter:

@CommonCause