Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Support Miry’s List, Which Assists Refugee Families Who Settle in Southern California

Want to help refugee families who have just arrived in America? Check out Miry’s List, which provides new arrivals to southern California with basic needs.

Miry Whitehill-Ben Atar launched Miry’s List in July 2016 after encountering a Syrian refugee family of five, with five-year-old twins and a five-month-old, who had just come to California and needed baby gear and groceries. After getting them set, she realized that she had unwittingly found a gaping hole in the social safety net, and created Miry’s List to fill it.

As of February 2017, Miry’s List had completely taken care of the needs of 60 refugee families in southern California. It is in the process of becoming a 501(3)c organization.

 

Join Miry’s List:

https://www.miryslist.org/give

 

See the current Miry’s List roster of families needing help:

https://www.miryslist.org/lists

 

Donate to Miry’s List:

https://www.miryslist.org/donations

 

Like Miry’s List on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/miryslist

 

Follow Miry’s List on Twitter:

@miryslist

Community Activism · Elections · Good News · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Hooray! We Defended Delaware’s Trifecta!

Update: Congratulations! Stephanie Hansen won her Delaware race, preserving its Democratic trifecta. Thanks to all who helped make this happen, with a double helping of thanks going to former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Democratic party claims only six “trifectas” nationwide–states where the party controls the governorship, the state senate, and the state house.

Delaware is one of the six, and it is in danger of losing its trifecta.

Do you live in Delaware? Do you have friends and family who do? Help elect Democrat Stephanie Hansen to the Delaware State Senate on February 25.

Bethany Hall-Long vacated the seat, in the 10th state senate district, when she rose to the post of Lieutenant Governor. If Hansen fails, the Democrats’ 40-year hold on the state senate would end.

Hansen faces two rivals: Republican John Marino, and Libertarian Joseph Lanzendorfer. Flippable reports that the 10th district is competitive, and could be nail-bitingly close. Hall-Long won by just 267 votes in her last race.

 

Learn more about the special election:

http://delawarestatenews.net/government/candidates-key-senate-seat-spar-debate/

 

Donate to Stephanie Hansen’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/keepdeblue

 

Sign up to phone bank (make calls for) Stephanie Hansen (yes, you can do this even if you don’t live in Delaware):

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/phonebank-for-stephanie-hansen-delaware-state-senate-special-election-registration-31671724982

 

Like Stephanie Hansen’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/StephanieHansenForSenate/

 

Read Flippable’s take on the Delaware senate race here, and learn about other upcoming state-level elections:

https://www.flippable.org/upcoming-elections/

 

 

 

 

Escape Your Bubble

Escape Your Bubble: Follow Rick Wilson on Twitter

Escape your bubble by following Rick Wilson on Twitter.

Wilson is a Florida-based political consultant who has worked primarily for Republicans, producing television for Senate candidates, governors, and the like. He gained new prominence during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he turned the full force of his vitriol on Trump and his supporters. Suffice it to say his vitriol is concentrated, deadly, and goddamn entertaining.

Obligatory warning, with apologies for bonking you all on the head about this fact: Wilson holds at least some different political beliefs than you do. That means he’ll sometimes say things and do things that don’t match your beliefs, and which might piss you off well and thoroughly. That’s ok. Really, it’s OK. You’re being asked to look at what he’s doing and support what you like, not endorse every last little everything he does. He understands the danger of Trump–that’s the key thing. One of the reasons this country is so borked right now is we’re fiercely polarized and, in avoiding jerks who disagree with us, we end up avoiding decent people who happen to disagree with us. That’s got to stop if we want to make things better.

 

Follow Rick Wilson on Twitter:

@TheRickWilson

 

Bonus: Read his articles at The Daily Beast, which include this:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/04/10/the-trouble-with-trump-s-white-house-is-donald-trump

Call Your Members of Congress · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality

Defend Net Neutrality and Keep the Internet a Level Playing Field for All

Call your members of Congress and tell them to fight any Republican and Trumpian efforts to dismantle net neutrality, which ensures that the Internet remains freely open to all, regardless of how much money you have or the type of content you produce.

Tech types, free speech advocates, and others have long defended net neutrality, a bundle of concepts that together ensures that the Internet is freer and fairer for all by requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to treat all content equally.

For example, net neutrality policies ensure that rich companies cannot pay extra to have their sites load faster than their less wealthy challengers in the marketplace. It also prevents ISPs from deliberately slowing down the load times of sites by content providers who compete with them.

Defenders of net neutrality had successfully fought off many attempts to destroy it, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had favored it under Obama. Unfortunately (and I’m sure you’re so surprised) Trump appointed Ajit Pai, one of net neutrality’s keenest enemies, to head the FCC. One of the first things Paid did was prevent nine companies from offering discount high-speed internet service to poor people.

The Trump administration has also announced that net neutrality is officially in its sights. (Scroll down for a NYT story on this and for other background pieces on net neutrality.)

Incidentally, this is a different issue from that affected by H.J. Res 86, which takes away Internet privacy protections from consumers. They’re only related in the sense that Republicans and Trump are favoring the wishes of companies over the needs of ordinary people.

The Republicans and Trump will have a harder time trying to dismantle net neutrality. Apple and Google have been active defenders, as have entities such as the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF). In other words, there’s greater awareness of the need for net neutrality and its champions have more experience with fending off attacks. But we need to come to their aid now.

If we don’t, the Internet will go from a level playing field to one that favors wealthy, well-known companies over under-funded upstarts.

Important: Before you call, check the site below. (You might need to scroll down a bit). It will show you how all your members of Congress stand on net neutrality–in favor, undecided, or against. Learn where they stand, then add a line at the end of this script thanking them for standing up, urging them to defend net neutrality, or asking them to change their minds.

 

https://www.battleforthenet.com

 

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, state). I am calling to ask Senator/House Rep. (Lastname) to do everything possible to defend the notion of net neutrality from those who want to destroy it. If net neutrality goes away, it will create two Internets–one for the well-connected and wealthy, and a slower, shabbier version for everyone else. Please stand up and reject any attempts to wreck net neutrality, whether it comes from Ajit Pai, head of the FCC, or your Congressional colleagues, or Trump. Thank you.”

 

 

 

Read how the Trump administration plans to target net neutrality soon:

Read about how Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is against net neutrality:

More about what the loss of net neutrality means, and why big Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook, Apple, etc., should be up to defend it:

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-net-neutrality-silicon-valley.html

 

And more, from the same source, on how to defend net neutrality. Short answer: “Raise hell.”:

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-defend-net-neutrality.html

 

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

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Thwart a Constitutional Convention by Electing Democrats to State Legislatures

Thwart any plans the Republicans might have to call a Constitutional Convention by helping to elect Democrats to state legislatures–your state’s, and other states. 

You know the importance of electing Democrats at all levels–federal, state, and local. You’ve read our blog posts on state-level legislative elections, and you might have done something to help. But there’s another reason to stay alert to state legislative elections, both in your state and in other states, and work to ensure that Democrats get elected.

The country can call a Constitutional Convention if two-thirds of the states band together and ask for one. Such a convention would allow its members to amend or even rewrite the Constitution.

What’s the problem? In order to call a Constitutional Convention, 34 states would have to  pass bills in their own legislatures to ask for one. A total of 38 states are needed to pass any measures cooked up at the convention.

As of mid-2017, 32 states have Republican-controlled legislatures, and 24 of those states have Republican “trifectas”–Republican governors AND a Republican-controlled legislature. Democrats have only six trifectas, and six more legislatures are split.

Worse, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative think tank, has been steadily working toward changing the state legislative landscape to open the door to a Constitutional Convention. It’s agitating for a balanced budget amendment–which would prevent Congress from passing a budget that increases the national debt.

To lay it out plainly: If a Constitutional Convention happens anytime soon, it will be dominated by Republican-leaning states, and will almost certainly be dominated by measures that reflect Republican and conservative points of view. They could write amendments that bans gay marriage, or abortion. They could augment the second amendment in a dangerous way. Heck, they could rewrite the first amendment to curtail protests. They could get up to all sorts of nasty shenanigans. That’s not to say their amendments will convince 38 states to vote in favor, but still.

You can thwart this in many ways.

First, learn which party, if any, controls your state legislature, and assess the strength or weakness of the party’s control.

If your state is controlled by Democrats, learn how to strengthen the party’s control by increasing their numbers. This might mean spending time or money on electing, re-electing, and defending state candidates who need your help.

If your state splits control between the parties, see what you can do to broaden and boost Democratic control. Again, this might mean spending time or money on electing, re-electing, and defending state candidates who need your help.

If your state is controlled by Republicans, you will want to commit time and money to increasing the number of Democrats, especially if your state has a Republican trifecta.

If you want to help affect legislatures beyond your state, target states with Republican trifectas and do your damnedest to break them.

 

Learn about upcoming state elections through Flippable:

https://www.flippable.org

 

 

 

Read about Constitutional Conventions, the modern pro-convention movement, and what’s at stake:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/21/a-constitutional-convention-could-be-the-single-most-dangerous-way-to-fix-american-government/?utm_term=.5eaf6cce9a8e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-surprisingly-close-to-a-new-constitutional-convention-bad-idea/2017/04/06/f6d5b76a-197d-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html?utm_term=.bbdac53be324

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/01/_liberals_and_conservatives_are_teaming_up_to_call_a_new_constitutional.html

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wisconsin/articles/2017-05-31/republicans-push-constitutional-convention-measures-forward

http://wuwm.com/post/wisconsin-could-become-30th-state-demand-constitutional-convention#stream/0

 

Check this Wikipedia page to see which party, if any, controls your state legislature:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislatures

 

Read about how Republicans now control many state legislatures:

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/after-winning-7-more-seats-gop-dominance-state-legislatures-all

 

Community Activism · Good News · Health Care · Thank You Actions

Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.

For your own sanity’s sake, plan periodic breaks from fighting Trump and his ilk.

With so much going on, it might be tough to convince yourself to step away and rest. But you must if you want to fight Trump and the Republicans effectively. No, really. You’ve heard people say ‘This is a marathon, not a sprint’? It’s not a bunch of yap-yap. You can’t go the distance if you don’t slow down to grab some water every now and again.

You need to sit yourself down and plan these respites, and you need to commit to them. Blocking out one day a week where you disengage from the news and from social media to do something you like–be it hiking, knitting, reading, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer–put it on your calendar and don’t talk yourself out of it.

If you’re having trouble giving yourself permission to take one day off a week, then let us at OTYCD tell it to you straight:

 

“We, your friends at the One Thing You Can Do blog, are telling you, our faithful reader, to unplug and chill out completely once a week. We are giving you formal permission to do so.”

 

Print it out and tape it to your mirror, or your computer monitor, or staple it to your forehead–whatever it takes to get through to you.

If you won’t listen to OTYCD on this, follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter and subscribe to her Weekly Activism Checklist newsletter. She’s a fire-breathing evangelist for self-care.

 

Follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter:

@inspiredjen

 

Sign up for her Weekly Activism Checklist:

https://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Hofmann-463228547169366/