Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Good News · Thank You Actions

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey Is Awesome. Show Her Some Love.

Show some love to Maura Healey, the Democratic state attorney general of Massachusetts, who is up for re-election in 2018.

Healey is still in her first term, having been elected in 2014, and she is a standout. Previously, she was the Chief of the Civil Rights Division under her predecessor, and she led the state’s challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

She was a solid state AG already, but since Trump’s election, she has been a tireless defender of laws, norms, and civil rights.

She was among the earliest of the AGs to sign on to the lawsuit to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump promised to kill.

She has also been in the forefront of suing the Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education to allow Obama-era laws to take effect that would allow students who were cheated by colleges to discharge their federal loan debts.

Healey has also announced that she will sue Equifax over its egregious breach that compromised the personal information of roughly 143 million Americans.

Healey is up for re-election in 2018. It’s unclear if she will run for re-election; it’s possible she’ll want to challenge Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker for his post.

Regardless, Healey deserves your support on social media at the very least.

 

See the Massachusetts Attorney General’s website:

http://www.mass.gov/ago/

 

See her own website:

http://www.maurahealey.com

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MauraHealeyMA

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@maura_healey

 

See her page on the website of the National Association of Attorneys General:

http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag/massachusetts/maura-healey.php

 

Read various stories about her lawsuits against Equifax and the Department of Education, and the lawsuit in defense of DACA:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/equifax-data-breach-massachusetts-attorney-general-to-sue/

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2017/09/06/massachusetts-suing-daca/

http://www.wbur.org/radioboston/2017/07/06/maura-healey-devos

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

Join the Resurgent Left and Support Its Candidates for Office

Join the Resurgent Left, a non-connected PAC, and consider supporting its candidates for office. 

Here’s the number one reason why you should get on board with the Resurgent Left: They believe in the 50 State Strategy and they’re committed to making it work.

From a March 27 blog post on the Resurgent Left site, titled The 50-State Strategy Manifesto:

“We can win seats, we can help candidates up the ballot, and we can put full-court pressure on Republicans. And there’s principle here: if the Republicans want any seat, at any level of government, anywhere in the United States, they should have to fight for it. That’s what democracy is about. It is incumbent upon us to make them fight for it. Make them scratch and claw for county clerk seats. For school board seats. Mayor and city council. State representative.

Even if we’re wrong and we cannot win any seats in these states we’ve assumed to be forever red, it’s still worth it to put pressure on Republicans in every corner and make them spend their money to retain seats. It still means they’ll have less resources to spare in purple and blue states.

We cannot afford to hand over seats at any level of government. No more of that. From now on, it’s full court pressure. Win or lose, it’s time to give it our all.”

 

Yes, please. If the Democratic National Committee won’t embrace the 50 State Strategy, we’ll have to do it for them.

 

See the Resurgent Left’s web site:

https://www.theresurgentleft.org

 

Read its origin story:

https://www.theresurgentleft.org/our-story.html

 

Read about its handpicked candidates for office:

https://www.theresurgentleft.org/our-candidates.html

 

Donate to the Resurgent Left:

https://www.theresurgentleft.org/donate.html

 

Volunteer for the Resurgent Left:

https://www.theresurgentleft.org/volunteer.html

Community Activism · Vote with your Dollars

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Support black-owned businesses, both in your community and across the country.

The Support Black Owned (SBO) website offers a search engine that will help you find black-owned businesses in your state.  Black-owned businesses are almost always small businesses of the sort that comprise the fabric of a community. When you need to buy goods and services, please check your state listing at SBO first and see if someone there can meet your needs.

 

See the SBO website (scroll to the bottom for the state links; they’re on the right):

https://www.supportblackowned.com

 

Like the SBO Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/SupportBlackOwned

 

Follow SBO on Twitter:

@SupportBlackOwn

 

Connect with SBO on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/3283815/

Action Alerts · Community Activism

Read This Moving Piece On the Challenges Ex-Evangelicals Face

Read Where Do Ex-Evangelicals Come From?, a moving, insightful piece on the challenges and baked-in difficulties of leaving an evangelical Christian community.

Christopher Stroop is an ex-evangelical who writes the blog Not Your Mission Field. His June post provides a cogent look into the evangelical mindset, and why it is so incredibly tough and traumatic for those raised in an evangelical community to leave it. (This relates back to politics in that evangelicals and fundamentalists embraced Trump in overwhelming numbers; the rigidity of their worldview is a feature, not a bug.)

If you have friends who have left or are trying to leave an evangelical community, it will help you see what they’re up against (it’s a lot). It also offers advice on how to help them in their journey out. Key passage here:

 

“With respect to those you may know who may be thinking of leaving, or who are leaving, or who have recently left, offer them your care, empathy, and support. Listening to them is more important than anything you can say to them, but do let them know that there is meaningful life outside fundamentalism, and that they do not have to give up faith in Jesus or Christianity altogether in order to leave behind the toxic fundamentalist variety. It is my firm conviction that we must validate both religious and non-religious paths out of fundamentalism. Finally, in order to reach and help those you do not know personally, do what you can to highlight ex-Evangelical and ex-fundamentalist voices and stories so that those who are doubting or looking for a way to leave can become aware of the possibilities and of the resources available to them. For many of us, knowing we’re not alone and connecting with others are key to healing.”

 

Read Where Do Ex-Evangelicals Come From?:

Where Do Ex-Evangelicals Come From?

 

Visit his web page:

https://chrisstroop.com

 

Donate to Christopher Stroop:

https://www.patreon.com/cstroop

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@C_Stroop

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Support the Work of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

Support the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization that is tracking right-wing and white supremacist hate groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, and other worthy causes received a lot of attention in the months following Trump’s election. While the SPLC hasn’t exactly been neglected, it should receive more attention.

The SPLC, headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, has been fighting hate and bigotry since 1971. Its most famous successes might be a series of lawsuits that effectively bankrupted the Ku Klux Klan. It tracks hate groups of all sorts, and its Hatewatch pays particular attention to far-right groups and white supremacists.

Its #ReportHate website function lets you tell them about hateful incidents you have witnessed. Its HateMap lets you see where hateful groups might be operating near you. It creates documentaries, lesson plans, and related materials that teach how to fight bigotry. It runs the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery.

 

Visit the SPLC website:

https://www.splcenter.org

 

Read its excellent guide, Responding to Everyday Bigotry:

https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

 

See its Hatewatch page:

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SPLCenter

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@splcenter

 

Donate to the SPLC:

https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=463

 

 

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

Look Into the Voting Records of Your State-Level Reps

Set aside some time to look into the voting records of your state house rep and your state senator, and figure out if they’re people who you can support.

Can you name your state-level house rep and senator? Could you do so before November 8, 2016? No worries, none of us at OTYCD could either.

If you don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are, go to the link below and plug in your address and zip code to get their names:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Once you have their names, google them. See what they’ve voted for, and what bills they’ve sponsored. Also pull up their state legislative biography pages and see what committees they’re on.

Do they represent you well? Dig deep into what you find, and give yourself time to think about it all. State-level politics allows for less ideological rigidity. It doesn’t guarantee it, but it allows it. Conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans are extinct on the federal level, but there are some at the state level. Stay alert. The folks who call themselves Democrats may not match your values, and those who call themselves Republicans could well be the better choice.

You need to get acquainted with the voting records and overall performance of your state-level reps so you’re better informed when it comes time to vote.

If you’re like us, you followed this procedure when you found yourself in the voting booth and faced with the need to pick a state-level rep:

Is this person a Democrat?

Has this person done anything embarrassing, awful, or glaringly incompetent?

If the answers are “yes” and “no” respectively, they get the black check. If not, no.

That strategy is no longer good enough. Schedule some time to really learn who your state-level reps are, and learn if they’re people who you can get behind.

If they are, think about what you can do to support them when they run again, be it donating, door-knocking, putting a sign on your lawn, whatever.

If they’re not, start scouting for candidates who you can support.

Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Think About Which House Reps to Support, or Oppose, in 2018

Think about which incumbent members of the House of Representatives you want to support, or oppose, in 2018.

The strength, and the bane, of being a member of the House of Representatives is you have to run for re-election every two years. If you won your seat in a special election, as Greg Gianforte did in Montana, you have less time than that before you have to go a-stumping again.

Now’s the time when you should think about which members of the House of Representatives you want to throw time and money behind.

Here’s the good news: Mid-terms traditionally favor the party that’s out of power.

Here’s the better news: Democrats are PISSED by Trump and his bullshit, and the Republicans in Congress and their bullshit, and are super-motivated to chuck the latter out of office. FiveThirtyEight, in an article we’ve posted a link to below, posits that the Democrats can retake the house without making overtures to Trump voters.

Tackle this question by starting with your own House rep. Is he or she a Dem? Is he or she doing a good job? Plan on giving them your time and money.

Is your House rep a good Dem, and vulnerable to being primaried, or likely to face a Republican challenger? Plan on giving them even more time and money.

Is your House rep a Republican? If he or she is sane, and responsive to the needs of their district as a whole, consider helping.

If your House rep is an asshole Republican, plan on devoting time and money to his or her opponent.

If your House rep is a good Dem in a super-safe district or a Republican who’s unlikely to be defeated, throw some support to vulnerable Dems.

Tom O’Halleran, of Arizona’s First, might need you. He’s a rookie in a pale blue district. Same again for Stephanie Murphy of Florida’s Seventh; Jacky Rosen, of Nevada’s Third; Carol Shea-Porter, of New Hampshire’s First; and Josh Gottheimer, of New Jersey’s Fifth.Tim Walz, of Minnesota’s First, could use you, too. Elected in 2006, he’s in a tossup district that went for Trump by five points.

Alternately, you could target Republican incumbents. Steve Knight, of California’s 25th, and Darrell Issa, of California’s 49th, are vulnerable. So too is Mike Coffman of Colorado’s Sixth, Jason Lewis of Minnesota’s Second, Will Hurd of Texas’s 23rd, and Barbara Comstock of Virginia’s 10th.

Now let’s go over what form support can take. Yes, set aside some money to donate. Yes, buy and display a lawn sign or a bumper sticker. Yes, join a postcard GOTV campaign. Yes, set aside time to phone-bank. And go out on the appointed day and vote, and bring eligible friends and family with you!

For the house race that affects you directly, we at OTYCD are asking you to become fluent in the backstories and the platforms of your preferred candidate. Become an expert in House Rep Lastname or Challenger Lastname. Embrace them. Become an evangelist for them. Be ready to sell your friends and family on that person for your district.

If you can, start now. Learn what you need to know at your leisure, while we’re still in 2017. Review the material at night before you go to bed. Figure out how to express your support for House Rep/Challenger Lastname in your own words, with feeling. THAT is what convinces other people to vote–an authentic, heartfelt endorsement from someone they know and trust.

Work on it. It’ll be worth your time.

 

See the Wikipedia page on 2018 House of Representative elections:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections,_2018

 

Read the FiveThirtyEight piece on how Democrats don’t need Trump voters in 2018:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-dont-need-trumps-voters-to-retake-the-house/?src=obsidebar=sb_1