Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Thank You Actions · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Follow Other Democratic Members of Congress on Social Media

Are you a fan of California Senator Kamala Harris? How about New Jersey Senator Cory Booker? Or Minnesota House rep Keith Ellison?

Trolls target the social media postings of these and other popular Democratic members of Congress online, making nasty comments on their Facebook pages and their tweets.

You already know that you should not call members of Congress who do not represent you. They do not listen to citizens who live outside their legislative area. But you can support Democratic members of Congress you like, but who don’t represent you, by following them on social media. 

Liking and sharing their posts helps get their message out. While you should still pay the most attention to your own reps’ social media accounts, following other Democrats online lets you know what those like-minded folks are saying and doing.

Learning what they are doing readies you to call your own reps and ask them to support what those out-of-state Democrats are doing. You can indirectly help Democrats you like by asking your own Congressional delegation to join forces with them on specific bills and actions that matter to you.

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

Learn How to Be a Silent Trump Protestor

 

Not everyone can afford to be out and proud opponents of Trump. Spouses, bosses, grown children, religious leaders, caregivers, and others we depend on can make it difficult and dangerous for us to express our views freely and honestly.

A November Medium piece by Patti Mulligan outlines five ways to protest Trump without taking to the streets or battling trolls on social media.

To find it, search for ‘5 Ways to be a Silent Trump Protestor’ under Mulligan’s name. (Attempts to post the link here aren’t succeeding, sorry.)

The good news is, if you’re a regular reader of OTYCD, you’re already doing at least some of the things she recommends.

Her five actions boil down to:

Donate to worthy causes that fight Trump, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Lambda Legal, Black Lives Matter, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign;

Call your Congressional delegation often, even daily, about issues that matter to you, and ask them to act;

Sign up for newsletters from web sites and digital organizations that are devoted to helping you push back against Trump, such as Wall-of-Us;

Listen to reputable political podcasts, such as Keepin it 1600 and NPR’s Code Switch;

And take care to cheer on and support your friends who can afford to protest Trump in public.

 

 

View story at Medium.com

Action Alerts · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Help John Oliver Keep Up The Great Work By Subscribing to HBO

Support the work of John Oliver and his team at Last Week Tonight by subscribing to Home Box Office (HBO) and telling HBO that you signed on specifically to get his show.

Comedian John Oliver, alumnus of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, has done powerful and impressive work before and since the election of Donald Trump. If we manage to save net neutrality, he and his #GoFCCYourself campaign will deserve a big slice of the credit.

While the 2016 presidential campaign was still live, Oliver called attention to the madness of the presidential primary process and asked us to reserve February 2, 2018, as the day to ask our legislators to fix it. (Yes, we will write a post to remind you of that, but there’s no harm in marking your calendars if you haven’t already.)

He’s aimed his guns at income inequality, payday loans, the rank injustices of the prison system, student debt, civil asset forfeiture, and dozens of other vital issues.

You’ve learned a lot from him, admit it. So forgive us for asking, but do you watch his segments for free online, or do you subscribe to HBO?

If you don’t, well, it’s past time for you to subscribe to HBO. And when you do, please go out of your way to tell HBO that you signed up specifically because it runs Last Week Tonight, and you want Oliver and his team to carry on with their good work.

 

Sign up for HBO, with or without cable:

http://www.hbo.com/order/get-hbo.html

 

Once you’ve done that, contact HBO and tell them you subscribed expressly to support John Oliver and Last Week Tonight:

http://www.hbo.com/about/contact-us.html

 

Follow Last Week Tonight on Twitter:

@LastWeekTonight

 

Like the show on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LastWeekTonight

 

Follow John Oliver on Twitter:

@iamjohnoliver

 

Read about Last Week Tonight‘s #GoFCCYourself campaign and how effective it’s been:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2017/05/09/john-oliver-may-have-helped-spur-150000-comments-fcc-net-neutrality/101480100/

http://deadline.com/2017/05/john-oliver-donald-trump-fcc-net-neutrality-ajit-pai-1202086601/

https://news.fastcompany.com/to-support-net-neutrality-john-oliver-just-helped-crash-the-fccs-website-again-4036955

http://theweek.com/speedreads/697291/john-oliver-sounds-warning-siren-net-neutrality-summoning-internet-horde-that-saved-before

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-net-neutrality-john-oliver-20170508-htmlstory.html

 

Read about how the efforts of John Oliver and Last Week Tonight have boosted other worthy anti-Trump and pro-democracy causes:

http://www.poynter.org/2016/propublica-is-seeing-a-surge-in-donations-after-john-olivers-trump-segment/439254/

http://lastnighton.com/2016/11/15/john-olivers-last-week-tonight-trump-segment-spurs-donation-increase/

 

 

 

 

Postcard Campaigns · Save These Tools

Stock Up on Postcards and 34-cent Stamps

Stock up on postcards and 34-cent stamps.

When a Congressional representative from another state does something that delights you or annoys you, don’t call their offices.

Jamming their lines only makes it harder for their own constituents to get through, and they only listen to their own constituents.

Instead, see if you have friends in that state and urge them to contact their reps. Help them find their reps’ contact info if they need it (See the first blog post, ‘Self-advocacy 101: Find Your Congressional Representatives’, for tools to help you do this.)

If you still want to say something to the out-of-state rep that made you happy or mad, send a postcard. Your opinion will show up in a physical way while leaving the rep’s phone lines free.

It also sets a price on your emotions: OK, you’re mad, but are you 34 cents’ worth of mad? Yes? Then have at it.

Good ‘happy’ example: Sending thank-you postcards to Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, Jack Reid, and John McCain for calling for a bipartisan investigation of the Russian hacking scandal.

Good ‘mad’ example: Sending a postcard to Ohio governor John Kasich, asking him to veto both of those Ohio anti-abortion bills.

IMPORTANT: When you write your postcard message, you need to leave room for your name and your full address. This is per Emily Ellsworth, author of Call the Halls. Initials and a zip code are NOT enough. If your postcard lacks a full address, the MoC’s office folk will probably trash it. If you can’t fit your address and your message on a postcard, best to send an email or a letter instead.

Here is a link through which you can purchase postcard stamps:

se/uspsProductDetailMultiSkuDropDown.jsp?categoryNav=false&navAction=push&navCount=0&atg.multisite.remap=false&categoryId=buy-stamps&productId=S_117604

This “Fanciful Flowers” stamped card is the closest thing to a pre-stamped postcard that the USPS sells:

https://store.usps.com/store/browse/uspsProductDetailMultiSkuDropDown.jsp?categoryNav=false&navAction=push&navCount=0&atg.multisite.remap=false&categoryId=cards-envelopes&productId=S_222110

 

Many venues sell postcards. If you live in a touristy area, you’re set–try your local Visitor’s Center and souvenir shops.

You can also try stationery and paper goods stores; museum gift shops; big pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS; and any place that sells tchotchkes, knick-knacks, keepsakes, and assorted shelf-clutterers.

The Norman Rockwell Museum Store sells postcard versions of his Freedom of Speech painting for a buck each (Item no. P057):

http://store.nrm.org/stationery/postcards/freedom-of-speech-postcard.html

The first action that the Women’s March organizers asked in their 10 Actions/100 Days campaign is to send a postcard to your senators about the issues that matter most to you, and say how you will fight for them. They included a postcard design that you can download and print:

https://www.womensmarch.com/100/

 

If you’d like a fine, subtle, albeit pricey way to troll Trump, stock up on postcards of Titian’s painting of Danae.

Danae is a mortal princess from Greek mythology who was impregnated by the god Zeus when he visited her in the form of–no joke–a golden shower.

Here’s the link through which you can order the Danae postcards (warning–the company is in the UK, so the postcards and the shipping will be on the expensive side of things):

Danae

And here is the story of Danae:

http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Danae/danae.html

 

And if you’re crafty, visit Michael’s or A.C. Moore and buy card stock, paper cutters, and rubber stamps and make your own postcards.

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Think: What Three Things Are Most Important to You?

A lot has happened since the inauguration. Too much, really. And that’s just what Trump and his minions have done or tried to do–that doesn’t even get into the misinformation that’s been floating around, and the various calls to action that are well-intentioned but wrong.

You can’t stay on top of everything. It’s physically impossible. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to stay on top of everything. (Can you imagine all the stuff we at OTYCD have to let go, in the interest of limiting ourselves to one fresh post a day?) You need to conserve your energy for what you are best-equipped to fight.

You need to sit down and figure out which three things are most important to you.

 

Is it fighting the effects of climate change?

Protecting access to abortion?

Pushing back against voter suppression?

Defending net neutrality?

First Amendment issues?

Keeping public schools strong?

Defending laws that safeguard our air and our water?

Supporting the protestors at Standing Rock?

Doing your damndest to make sure that black lives matter?

Sheltering and assisting immigrants?

Protecting LBGTQ rights?

Stopping the government from selling public lands for a pittance?

Upholding the Paris agreement?

Standing up for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities?

Defending Obamacare?

Resisting cuts to Medicare and Medicaid?

Fighting attacks on American muslims?

Defending and extending mental health care services?

Protecting the rights of the disabled?

Undoing the damage of gerrymandering?

 

…those are just some that leap to mind. We cut eighteen more, and we probably didn’t name at least three dozen that matter to you.

But that’s the point. It’s worth sitting down and list as many political topics as you can. Then go through them and figure out which three matter most to you.

Embrace those three. Learn all you can about them. Become an expert.

Do something every day to advance at least one of the three. Rotate through them so that your attention to each balances out over time.

Trust that others will step up and cover the rest of the things that matter to you.

Fight for your three things as doggedly as you want others to fight for what you had to relinquish for sanity’s sake.

 

 

 

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

 

Call for Suggestions

Call for Suggestions: Thank-you Thursdays

Call to all readers, followers, and fans of OTYCD: We’d like to start a weekly feature, Thank-you Thursdays, to recognize members of Congress and others who step up and do the right thing.

Examples could be:

Thanking Cory Booker for testifying against Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearings as attorney general–possibly the first time a sitting senator has testified against another sitting senator

Thanking all the members of Congress who went to their nearest international airports to help constituents affected by the Muslim ban

Thanking Starbucks for pledging to hire 10,000 refugees at its stores worldwide over the next few years

 

The post would go up every Thursday, with new material at the head of the list.

 

If you have ideas that could work for this list, please email them to

One Thing You Can Do (all lower case, all one word) @gmail.com