Action Alerts · Community Activism · Public Education · Vote with your Dollars

UPDATED: Pay the Meal Debts of Students at Your Local K-12 School and Ask Your State Legislature to Pass an Anti-Lunch-Shaming Bill

Call a local K-12 school in your area and ask if you can pay off the school lunch debt of a student or two. Also, find out if your state has an anti-lunch-shaming bill and if it doesn’t, ask your legislature to pass one.

 

Low-income families sometimes struggle to pay the school lunch bills of their children. Hungry kids have trouble learning, but some poor kids suffer worse than a missed meal. Some have suffered the indignity of having their breakfast or lunch taken from them and thrown in the trash. Sometimes this happens in sight of their classmates.

 

In extreme cases (scroll down for a New York Times article that relays these incidents), students who owe are forced to clean cafeteria tables. The arm of a child in Alabama was stamped with the phrase “I Need Lunch Money.”

 

Being poor isn’t good or bad; it just is. No child should be made to feel shame over not having as much money as their fellow students, or made to suffer socially because their parents fell behind in their school meal payments or simply forgot.

 

One way you can fight back is to call a K-12 school near you and ask if you can pay the bills of students whose families are in arrears. Odds are there’s at least one school in your city or town that has unpaid school meal bills. A 2016 report by the School Nutrition  Association states that roughly 75 percent of responding districts had at least some student meal debt by the end of the school year.

 

This is an admittedly imperfect solution, as it lets the government off the hook for funding a service that minor children should be able to expect, but it does help where help is needed.

 

You can also ask your state legislators if your state has an anti-lunch-shaming bill on the books, and if they don’t, you can ask them to pass one.

 

First, find your state legislators by plugging your zip code into this web tool:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org/

 

Then look up their biographies on your state legislature’s web site and see if either your state senator or state house rep or both sit on any education-related committees. If they do, it is extra-important for you to pursue this matter.

 

Ask your state reps to pass a bill like the Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act, which New Mexico’s governor signed into law in April. It appears to be the first bill of its kind passed by an American state. It outlaws any techniques that have the effect of shaming students, and it asks schools to work with parents to satisfy meal debt or get them on a federal school meal assistance program.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

GOOD UPDATE: A Seattleite by the name of Jeff Lew has made it his mission to combat lunch debt and school practices that shame children whose parents have trouble paying for meals.

 

His GoFundMe is a clearinghouse for schools in need, and it lets you start a campaign on behalf of a school near you:

https://www.gofundme.com/raise-funds/erase-lunch-debt

 

You can also show support by following him on Twitter:

@biglew8

…and following his dedicated Twitter account for the cause, which is admittedly a work  in progress as of May 28:

@LunchDebt

 

 

Read this 2016 Atlantic piece on unpaid school meal bills:

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/02/unpaid-school-lunch-bills/460509/

 

 

See the particulars of the New Mexico anti-shaming law:

https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=S&LegType=B&LegNo=374&year=17

 

 

Read this New York Times piece on the New Mexico anti-shaming law:

 

See the School Nutrition Association report that states that three-quarters of districts who filled out the survey had outstanding student debts (scan for the paragraph with the phrase “unpaid student meal debt” in bold):

https://schoolnutrition.org/NewsPublications/PressReleases/SNANationalSurveyRevealsIncreasedEffortsToPromoteStudentConsumptionOfHealthyChoices/

 

 

Read about that incident in Alabama where a kid’s arm was stamped with the phrase ‘I Need Lunch Money’:

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/06/gardendale_elementary_student.html

 

 

See more proof that school lunch-shaming is, sadly, a thing:

Some Schools Shame Students When Their Parents Can’t Pay For Lunch

http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/children-shamed-so-parents-will-pay-the-school-lunch-bill/

 

 

Read about recent efforts by individual citizens to settle unpaid student meal debt:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donors-unite-nationwide-to-pay-off-kids-school-lunch-debt/

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Senate Bills, Federal · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your Senator to Support S. 2095, an Assault Weapons Ban Bill

Call your Senators to support S. 2095, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 bill.

 

In 1994, Congress passed a law that banned 18 semi-automatic weapons, including the AR-15 rifle. Despite widespread public support for it, Congress let the law expire in 2004.

 

Since then, America has suffered several deadly shootings in which the killers used semi-automatics: Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the attacks on the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2017, the especially deadly attack on concertgoers in Las Vegas in 2017, the incident a rural Texas church that same year, and most recently, the Valentine’s Day 2018 murders at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In most cases, the killers were legally free to buy the firearms they later used to destroy so many American lives.

 

In November 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduced S. 2095, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. It would outlaw ownership of numerous types and brands of semi-automatic firearms, including the AR-15.

 

Statistics show that gun massacres–attacks in which at least six people were killed–fell during the decade that the assault weapons ban was in place.

 

See this Washington Post story about experts’ call to reinstate the ban and scroll down for the graphic supporting this point. It reflects an 183 percent increase in gun massacres and a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths following the expiration of the law:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/15/its-time-to-bring-back-the-assault-weapons-ban-gun-violence-experts-say/?utm_term=.ca09501ccec7

 

Feinstein’s bill hasn’t progressed since she introduced it last fall. The GovTrack page on the bill gives it a Skopos prognosis of 11 percent.

 

We at OTYCD recommend that you call your Senators and ask them to move the bill forward (also, scroll down to see our standing note about supporting gun safety laws).

 

Important: Do either of your Senators sit on the Judiciary Committee? Then it’s extra-important for you to call and voice your support for S. 2095. The Judiciary Committee will decide if the bill will proceed to the Senate floor.

 

See the list of Senate Judiciary Committee members (Feinstein is the Ranking Member):

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

 

Sample call script: “Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to support S. 2095, which would update and renew the assault weapons ban that Congress allowed to expire in 2004. Since then, the country has suffered most of the bloodiest attacks in its history–Sandy Hook, the Pulse nightclub attack, the Aurora movie theater shooting, the Las Vegas shooting, the church in rural Texas, and the tragedy that killed 17 at the high school in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day. Statistics show that after the ban lapsed, gun massacre events rose by 183 percent, and deaths in gun massacres rose by 239 percent. It’s time we reinstate the ban on these especially deadly weapons. Please look at Feinstein’s bill and support it.”

 

 

See the GovTrack entry on S. 2095, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s2095

 

 

See a New York Times interactive story on how the perpetrators of several shootings obtained their weapons. It has been updated to reflect how the suspect in the Parkland, Florida incident got his weapons:

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest restraint on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.

 

We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

 

Action Alerts · Choose Your Core Four · Uncategorized

See This List of Sitting House Reps With ‘A’ Ratings from the NRA, So You Can Vote Them Out in November

See this list of sitting members of the House of Representatives, as of early-to-mid 2018, who have ‘A’ ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA), so you can vote them out. 

 

The NRA is a foul, malign influence on America and on American politics. Because of it and its rabid supporters, too many members of Congress are afraid to back common-sense gun laws.

 

We at OTYCD are sick of it all.

 

On February 15, 2018, Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) tweeted a list of all sitting members of the House of Representatives who have earned ‘A’ ratings from the NRA.

 

An ‘A’ rating means the Congressperson supports and votes for legislation that the NRA likes, and fights legislation it doesn’t like. (It is possible to earn an A- or an A+ from the NRA, but we haven’t broken the grades out that specifically for the 23 Congresspeople cited below.)

 

We at OTYCD have augmented Spiro’s list by adding links to the Ballotpedia page for each district, so you can see which Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and other third party candidates are running against these House reps.

 

We have explicitly named any Democratic challengers to whom we have devoted or will devote check-out-this-candidate blog posts.

 

Click the Ballotpedia links and scroll down to find the challengers so you can click on their names and learn more about them.

 

Also! If you live in any of these Congressional districts, take note of the primary dates, which vary for each state (the general election, in all cases, is November 6, 2018).

 

Then match the primary dates against any away-travel plans for 2018.

 

Will you be out of town on the Tuesday when the primary happens? Please wrangle an absentee ballot for yourself.

 

 

Republican Mimi Walters, representing California’s 45th district. Seven Democrats will run in the June 5, 2018 primary. It is a “Top-two” primary, in which only the top two vote-getters move on to the general. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_45th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Rodney Davis, representing Illinois’s 13th District. Five Democrats will run in the March 20, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois%27_13th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Leonard Lance, representing New Jersey’s 7th District. Seven Democrats and one other Republican will participate in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean R.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey%27s_7th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Scott Taylor, representing Virginia’s 2nd District. Six Democrats and another Republican will run in the June 12, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Peter Roskham, representing Illinois’s 6th District. Seven Democrats will compete in the March 20, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois%27_6th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Bruce Poliquin, representing Maine’s 2nd District. This is a crowded field, with six Democrats, four Independents, and a Green Party member all appearing in the June 12, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Maine%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Jason Lewis, representing Minnesota’s 2nd District. Two Democrats have committed to the August 14, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Tom MacArthur, representing New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. Two Democrats and a member of the Constitution Party will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican John Faso, representing New York’s 19th District. Seven Democrats plus an Independent are in the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_19th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Ryan Costello, representing Pennsylvania’s 6th District.

Update March 25, 2018: Costello announced his retirement. This CNN story notes his change of heart and speculates it might have something to do with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court striking down the state’s gerrymandered map and mandating the use of a fairer map in November’s elections:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/24/politics/ryan-costello-pennsylvania/index.html

 

Two Democrats, including Chrissy Houlahan, will appear in the May 15, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania%27s_6th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

See OTYCD‘s post on Chrissy Houlahan:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/03/22/support-chrissy-houlahan-democratic-candidate-for-a-pennsylvania-house-seat-in-2018/

 

Republican David Young, representing Iowa’s 3rd District. Seven Democrats are running in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Iowa%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Frank LoBiondo, representing New Jersey’s 2nd District. He has announced in November 2017 that he was retiring. Four Democrats and three Republicans will be on the primary ballot on June 5, 2018. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Democratic.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_Jersey%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Will Hurd, representing Texas’s 23rd District. Five Democrats and an additional Republican have committed to the March 6, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/Texas%27_23rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Jeff Denham, representing California’s 10th District. Seven Democrats and two Independents will compete against Denham on June 5, 2018 in the top-two primary, which sends the top two vote-getters to the general election. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_10th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Stephen Knight, representing California’s 25th District. Knight will face seven Democrats in the top-two primary on June 5, 2018. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_25th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Ed Royce, representing California’s 39th District. In January 2018, Royce announced that he would not run again. Eight Democrats, including Mai Khanh Tran, will appear on the June 5, 2018 top-two primary ballot, as well as five Republicans and two Independents. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Lean Democratic.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_39th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Carlos Curbelo, representing Florida’s 26th District. Four Democrats will run in the August 28, 2018 primary. (District residents take note–late August means late summer. If you think you’ll be away on vacation on August 28, please see about getting an absentee ballot.) The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Florida%27s_26th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican David Valadao, representing California’s 21st District. As of mid-February 2018, there’s only one Democrat running in the June 5, 2018 primary. If no other candidates show up, she and Valadao will advance to the general election. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_21st_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican John Katko, representing New York’s 24th District. Five Democrats have committed to the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Republican.

https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_24th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Mike Coffman, representing Colorado’s 6th District. Four Democrats and another Republican will run in the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado%27s_6th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Rod Blum, representing Iowa’s 1st District. Four Democrats will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Iowa%27s_1st_Congressional_District_election_(June_5,_2018_Democratic_primary)

 

 

Republican Erik Paulsen, representing Minnesota’s 3rd District. Three Democrats are running in the August 14, 2018 primary. (District residents take note–mid-August means late summer. If you think you’ll be away on vacation on August 14, please see about getting an absentee ballot.) The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Republican Barbara Comstock, representing Virginia’s 10th District. A total of eleven–yes, eleven–Democrats are in the June 12, 2018 primary, as well as an additional Republican. The Cook Political Report rates the race as a Toss-up.

https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_10th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Include one or more House of Representative challenger candidates in your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

Also see the Ballotpedia home page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

Donate to Ballotpedia ($18 corresponds to the cost of a single article):

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

Like Ballotpedia on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia?ref=br_tf

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

 

A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.

 

We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Marches and Protests

Join the National School Walkout Planned for Friday, April 20, 2018, the Anniversary of the Columbine Shooting

Join the National School Walkout planned for the morning of Friday, April 20, 2018–the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

 

The Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida spurred action never before seen.

 

Students who grew up under the pall of the 1999 Columbine shooting, and grew up with school drills that taught them what to do if an armed assailant attacked their classroom, are totally goddamn sick of it all and are determined to change things for the better.

 

The latest action is a nationwide American school walk-out protest planned for April 20, 2018.

 

Organizers of the National School Walkout are asking participants to wear orange and walk out of their schools at 10 am in their time zones, sit outside, and protest peacefully.

 

If you are a teacher or a school administrator, please plan for the protests and please consider joining your students. At the very least don’t forbid them from protesting and don’t punish them for doing so.

 

If you are not in school or you can’t physically participate for some reason, follow and boost the #nationalwalkout hashtag on social media.

 

 

See and sign the Change.org petition that supports the nationwide event:

https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-national-high-school-walk-out-for-anti-gun-violence

 

 

Follow the event’s Twitter feed:

@schoolwalkoutUS

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Enough! Join the National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to Protest Congress’s Failure to Pass Gun Safety Laws

Join the National School Walkout planned for Wednesday, March 14, 2018 to protest Congressional inaction on putting common-sense gun laws in place.

 

Organized by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, it calls for students, teachers, administrators, staff, parents, you name it to walk out of classrooms at 10 am in your local time zone for a total of 17 minutes–one for each person who died in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida.

 

Find your nearest walk-out event via the link below:

https://www.actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/enough-national-school-walkout

 

Learn how to host your own school walk-out event on March 14:

https://actionnetwork.org/events/2ccf3c6cba8165cf409a1de000a14ee0202b45bd/edit

 

Visit the Facebook page for Enough!: National School Walkout and indicate if you’re interested or going:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1767175080245694/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.

 

We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Join the March for Our Lives Event in Washington D.C. on March 24, 2018

Join the March for Our Lives event in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

 

The outburst of anger following the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS) in Parkland, Florida was swift, stark, and startling in its ferocity and  eloquence.

 

Several students spoke out, on the spot and on social media, against a political culture that lets the whims of the National Rifle Association (NRA) take precedence over enacting common-sense gun safety laws that could have prevented the attack or at least reduced the effectiveness of the weapon the shooter used.

 

One of the many protest events arising from the Parkland shooting is March for Our Lives, planned by MSDHS students for Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

 

The event’s mission statement states its focus as prompting Congress to write and pass bills that improve gun safety:

 

“School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing.  The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.  No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

 

 

Sister marches in other locations around America are in the works. See the full (evolving) list on the March For Our Lives Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/marchforourlives/events/

 

 

If you can’t physically attend the D.C. event or one in your area, please spend some time on March 24 following and boosting the #MarchForOurLives hashtag on social media.

 

 

Also, you can donate to the GoFundMe for the D.C. march. As of February 24, 2018, it had reached $2.3 million of its then-stated $2.8 million goal. (The goal has been met several times and increased several times; we at OTYCD are betting the GoFundMe will still be live by the time this posts.)

https://www.gofundme.com/8psm8-march-for-our-lives

 

 

And you can also show support by buying Merch for the March from the #MarchForOurLives store. The proceeds will underwrite the event:

https://represent.com/store/marchforourlives

 

 

See the march’s home page:

https://www.marchforourlives.com

 

 

See its mission statement:

https://www.marchforourlives.com/mission-statement

 

 

Read a CNN op-ed by Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and one of the organizers of the march:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/15/opinions/florida-shooting-no-more-opinion-kasky/index.html

 

 

Like the March for Our Lives Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/marchforourlives

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@AMarch4OurLives

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest restraint on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.

 

We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Elections · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Support and Join the Broward County Schools’ February 21 Walk-out to Protest America’s Lax Gun Laws and Its Lack of Mental Health Care Offerings

Support and join the students in Broward County, Florida schools’ walk-out to protest America’s lax gun laws and the lack of effective mental health care treatment. It takes place at noon EST on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

 

On February 14, 2018, we heard the sickening news about the shooting at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

 

A total of 17 students and staff died at the hands of a former student who we will not name here because we want to keep the focus on the victims and their needs.

 

It was the third-deadliest school shooting on record.

 

But this shooting was different, and it might, at long last, break the death grip that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has on Congress and America’s political system generally.

 

The victims themselves spoke up, on site and on social media, blasting the inaction that allowed the shooting that happened and calling it out in eloquent, emotional, pointed words.

 

Seventeen-year-old senior David Hogg took the breath out of all who heard or read his words: “We’re children. You guys are the adults… Please, take action. Ideas are great… But what’s more important is actual action… saving thousands of children’s lives. Please, take action.”

 

The survivors and their neighbors and friends across Broward County, Florida, are taking action.

 

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at noon Eastern Standard Time, students across Broward Country will stage a walk-out to protest toothless gun laws and the piss-poor mental health treatment options on offer in America.

 

Please show your support for the students however you can.

 

If you live in Broward County, Florida, consider joining the walk-out or helping the kids in some way. Maybe bring pizza and bottles of water. It happens at lunchtime, after all.

 

If you are a teacher or a school administrator in Broward County, Florida, join your students who walk out, or at the very least, don’t stop them.

 

If you are students elsewhere in America, see if you can arrange a walk-out for noon your time, whatever time zone you’re in.

 

If you are teachers or a school administrator elsewhere in America, support any students who want to stage their own sympathy walk-outs, and consider joining them.

 

Also maybe see about getting the protestors lunch, if the walk-out overlaps the normal lunch time at your school. Maybe a local restaurant will donate food and drinks.

 

If you can’t physically join a walkout on Wednesday, follow the #DouglasStrong and #NeverAgain hashtags on social media, and spread the word about the walk-out campaign.

 

We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, once again, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We cannot assume our politicians know the right thing to do and will do it.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA. We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is goddamn unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

So, we at OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Scroll down for a Washington Post piece on the on-the-spot eloquence of the young Parkland survivors, and also for a full list of the victims.

 

But one more point. Those kids at Parkland said what needed to be said, in the language they needed to use–stark, fierce, unflinching.

 

But they should not have had to do that. No one should have to do that.

 

The scariest thing that American high school students should face is figuring out what they’re going to do with themselves after they graduate.

 

Honor Parkland by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

 

Read about the heart-piercing eloquence of the survivors of the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School attack:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-students-at-floridas-douglas-high-are-amazing-communicators-that-could-save-lives/2018/02/16/b059bd1c-1333-11e8-9570-29c9830535e5_story.html?utm_term=.d80c20a7f6ec

 

 

All 17 victims of the shooting are now identified. See the list:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/15/us/florida-shooting-victims-school/index.html

 

Also follow Never Again MSD on Twitter:

@NeverAgainMSD

Call Your Senators · Senate Bills, Federal

Call Your Senators About CHIP, DACA, and the CR, January 19 Edition

Call your senators about renewing CHIP and passing DACA with no strings attached.

 

The continuing resolution (CR) drama continues. The bill passed the House of Representatives last night, moving it to the Senate.

Congress must pass the CR before end of business today to avoid a government shutdown.

 

Other reminders and recaps:

 

CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It covers the medical needs of about nine million American children. Passed in 1997, it expired on September 30, 2017.

 

Donald Trump deliberately left those covered by the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hanging when he pulled the plug on it last year (something he did not have to do) and gave Congress until March to act.

The people in the DACA program are often called the “Dreamers.” Their parents brought them to America when they were small; they are Americans in every respect except that they lack citizenship documents.

 

Damn near everyone agrees that Congress should fund the doctor bills of poor kids and should not kick out people who’ve lived in America for most if not all of their conscious lives. The GOP is dithering on the first, and Trump and his white supremacist toadies in the White House are mucking with the second.

 

 

Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted some observations on the evening of January 18. Here are some selections:

 

I’ve just talked with a handful of members of Congress and several other staff members. The chances of a government shutdown are now completely unpredictable. More here shortly. Follow if interested. 1/

 

Word is Trump was required to negotiate with the Freedom Council [sic] to get them support a Republican-only CR with CHIP and no DACA in it. Freedom Caucus apparently committed. 3/

 

Word is there are a number of Senate Rs (at least 3) that won’t vote for the CR as is. They plan to try to add DACA in a bipartisan amendment. 4/

 

Never underestimate the personal politics of a shut down. House is on recess next week. One Congressman reminded me that many have overseas travel & family trips planned. Senate is here next week any way. Expect them to be more willing to vote no if they don’t like the bill.6/

 

Back to the House deal. Freedom Caucus votes came at a price and that price seems to be quick life of defense caps with a conservative immigration bill— rejecting the bipartisan Senate compromise on DACA.

 

This would mean no domestic caps lifted. No reasonable DACA. I way that gets through the Senate. This is the closest I can get to surmising to where Trump is on the issue. 10/

 

 

When the bill came to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned before  rather than work into the night. Independent Maine Senator Angus King objected, as relayed in this tweet from Senate D [Democrat] Floor Watch (@DSenFloor):

 

Sen. McConnell asked consent to adjourn until 11AM tomorrow. : I object. I don’t understand why we’re adjourning when we’re in this urgent situation. We can vote tonight on cloture and have an entire day tomorrow to work on this matter.

 

 

Also on January 18, Ben Wikler (@benwikler) had several things to say about the CR mess:

 

The fact that the GOP’s strategy is still to pass a CR with entirely GOP votes in the House is so dumb. They’ll need 60 votes in the Senate to avert a shutdown. They’ll also need 60 votes in the Senate to *end* a shutdown.

 

A bill that can get to 60 in the Senate will also be a bill that draws significant D support in the House. So Ryan’s bright-red strategy will have to end. He’s just delaying an inevitable compromise. People say Trump acts like a toddler, but he’s not the only one.

 

They’ve convinced themselves the public will blame a shutdown on Dems, leading to Dems caving. So they’re triggering a shutdown. Which is a profound misread. They apparently still think Dems believe the 2018 electorate will look like the 2010 electorate, instead of like 2008.

 

There’s no reason for CR after CR. And last week, it seemed like the CR era was going to end. Trump told Graham and Durbin he liked their DACA deal, right up until his pet racists got him riled up and started ranting about shitholes. That’s when everything derailed.

 

 

Others have pointed out that if the shutdown happens, it will coincide with the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. Make of that what you will.

 

We’re going to point you to the January 17 calling script by Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter), who you should follow on Twitter (you are, right?).

It doesn’t mention anything about the CR–just CHIP and the DREAM Act.

You will want to call just your Senators:

 

 

To stay on top of things we at OTYCD recommend following the Twitter feeds of:

 

Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt)

Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro)

Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

And the aforementioned Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter)

 

They will have news and links throughout the day.

Call Your Members of Congress · Health Care

Call Your MoCs and Ask Them to Re-Authorize CHIP

This OTYCD entry originally posted in October 2017.

Call your MoCs and ask them to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers about nine million American kids.

Note: This information was originally part of a multi-purpose post published on September 29. We’ve reworked the post and reposted it as a separate, dedicated item so it can continue to circulate until CHIP is reauthorized. Apologies to subscribers, who will receive this as a ‘new’ post.

The latest deadline for the Senate to pass Trumpcare was September 30. That happens to be the same day that the CHIP program expired. Passed under the Clinton administration, the law provides for a program that delivers health coverage to American children in need.

Congress missed the deadline to re-up the 20-year-old law, meaning that funding will stop until the law is reauthorized. About nine million children could suffer disruptions in their health coverage or lose it entirely while waiting for Congress to act.

Here’s a sample script to use when calling your MoCs. As always, please check their websites and social media feeds before you call to see if they have said anything about the expiration of CHIP, and thank or shame them accordingly.

“Dear Senator/House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I am asking you to do whatever you can to reauthorize CHIP, the 20-year-old program that provides health insurance to roughly nine million children. As you are probably aware, CHIP expired on September 30, cutting off funding for the program. Please reauthorize CHIP as soon as possible, and urge your colleagues to do so. Thank you.”

 

Read about CHIP and its importance:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/childrens-health-insurance-program-congress/526008/

http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2017-archive/september/ada-aapd-urge-congress-to-reauthorize-chip

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/352863-governors-to-congress-stabilize-insurance-markets-reauthorize-chip