Weekly Resistance: 5 Ways to Take Action Sept. 25-Oct. 1

Good morning, gentle readers! It’s been quite a weekend, with the president of the United States waging war on professional athletes for choosing to exercise free speech, followed by a wave of players choosing to kneel during the national anthem – and, of course, an epic dunk from LeBron James.

While the sports world reeled, politics kept moving at a breakneck pace, and there’s a lot of work to do — including further action on some familiar topics.

Want to find and contact your representative? You can also find your senators’ contact information here. Looking for local officials? This tool will help you locate them. Or you can find them in person at a town hall!

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1. Health Care

Republicans have until September 30 to force through major reforms to the Affordable Care Act through budget reconciliation — attaching a measure to the budget — and they’re trying their hardest. Your voice is critical right now — especially if you live in Alaska, Arizona, Texas, Kentucky or Maine. Your legislators need to know that you don’t support hastily assembled legislation being rammed through without adequate hearings, debates or cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, even if you dislike the ACA!

Know:

  • Republicans need just 50 votes to drastically alter health care as we know it, and they’re very close — even though just 24 percent of voters are enthused about the latest proposal.
  • The Graham-Cassidy amendment, the measure currently under consideration, would gut key provisions of the ACA – including converting Medicaid to a dangerous block grant funding system, dismantling the ten essential benefits and allowing states to do away with the ban on excluding people with preexisting conditions.
  • Be aware that even if they fail with budget reconciliation, Republicans will return to this issue again and again until they’re voted out of office. Store your protest signs somewhere handy.

Contact: your senators. If they’ve indicated they plan to vote no, thank them and offer a personal story, if you can, to illustrate why this is so important. If they’re on the fence, tell their staffers you hope they do the right thing, and provide some context from your life or that of a loved one. If they’ve said they’re a yes, tell staffers you’d like to see them reconsider for the good of their constituents.

SupportPlanned Parenthood of America and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Both groups include health care policy and access in their work. Locally, many nurse’s unions are also pushing for improvements to health care policy.

Write: Consider signing these Care2 petitions:

A protester waving a sign that says WE WERE BORN HERE SO WE HAVE THE AUDACITY OF EQUALITY

Photo credit: Monica D. Spencer

2. Puerto Rico

While it’s often neglected, Puerto Rico is part of the United States, and the territory is in urgent need of our help in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The storm devastated key public services, leaving the entire island without electricity.

Know:

  • Puerto Rico is in the depths of a debt crisis, owing $74 billion to bondholders alone. The territory has been unsuccessful in attempts to file bankruptcy or request assistance.
  • Before Maria even hit, the island faced an estimated $1 billion worth of damage from Hurricane Irma.
  • Puerto Ricans could be without electricity for weeks or even months.

Contact: your elected officials: Tell them you want Congress to support relief efforts, including funds, supplies and people to help the island recover. Also press them to take action on the debt crisis, which is creating an intense financial burden for the island at a time when funds and energy should be focused on restoring services.

Support: The UNIDOS fund is collecting donations for distribution to groups on the ground. You can also contribute to United WayCaritasHurricane Maria Children’s Relief Fund and Humane Society International.

3. Immigration

Trump’s travel ban expired on Sunday, and he replaced it with something potentially even more aggressive.

Know:

  • The original “Muslim Ban” was headed for the Supreme Court in October, but it has since cancelled oral arguments.
  • The new policy applies to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, with different types of restrictions based on what the White House terms inadequate “vetting.”
  • This list is “condition-based,” allowing the U.S. to add — or remove — countries in the future depending on whether they adhere to Department of Homeland Security guidelines.

Contact: your legislators. Tell them to support legislation like the DREAM and BRIDGE Acts, designed to help young people who immigrated to the U.S. as children without documentation. Ask them to consider working on more comprehensive immigration reform to help undocumented people come out of the shadows and safely participate in society.

Remind them that ease of travel facilitates economic and diplomatic growth, deepening ties between the U.S. and other nations, and that the cost of enforcing such measures can be extremely high. You may also wish to note that domestic terrorism remains a significant risk to U.S. security, and that the Trump Administration has cut funding to government agencies working on white supremacist violence and homegrown militias.

Support: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, UnidosUS and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, among many others, work on immigration issues, while the ACLU challenges questionable executive orders like this one.

Write: Consider signing the following Care2 petitions:

A protester holding a sign that says STOP RAPE CULTURE

Photo credit: Steve Rainwater

4. Campus Rape

Betsy DeVos is getting busy at the Department of Education, rolling back key rules from the Obama administration, including policies designed to make it easier to punish campus rapists. Republicans claimed the rules weren’t fair, so DeVos dropped them.

Know:

  • One in five women, and one in 16 men, experience sexual assault on campus.
  • Emma Sulkowicz highlighted the humiliation and infuriation of having to see her rapist on campus every day by carrying her mattress around with her for a year.
  • The Obama-era rules relied on Title IX to require campuses to take meaningful action on rape accusations.

Contact: This is when you can leverage states’ rights. If the federal government won’t protect college students in your state, your state legislature could step in. Contact your assemblyperson and senator, and ask them to work on legislation that would robustly address the campus rape epidemic. Encourage them to work with stakeholders, including college administrators, rape advocacy groups and victims/survivors to develop workable, effective policy.

SupportKnow Your IX provides outreach and education on campus sexual assault — and so do our friends at UltraViolet!

Write: Consider signing this Care2 petition:

5. Real Patriots Fly Commercial

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is in hot water for using government funds to charter private jets for work-related travel, but he’s not the only member of the Trump administration who believes in wasting taxpayer dollars on luxury travel.

Know:

Contact: your members of Congress. Ask them to pass legislation clearly outlining the circumstances in which elected and appointed officials alike can use taxpayer funds for luxury travel — including not just private jets ,but also business and first class tickets on commercial airliners.

Take on a mini-challenge: Find out if your community offers Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, training — it may be provided through your police or fire department. This training empowers ordinary members of the community with the ability to spearhead neighborhood emergency response and coordinate with responding agencies in a disaster. If your community doesn’t have CERT yet, talk to a local official about starting the program!

30 comments

Kelsey S
Kelsey S16 days ago

Signed all petitions

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Kelsey S
Kelsey S16 days ago

Thanks

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Brian F
Brian F20 days ago

Any politician, Republican or Democrat, who refuses to accept single payer universal healthcare, should be terminated immediately. Most people support single payer universal healthcare. Both corrupt corporate owned parties are in the pockets of our criminal healthcare industry. This is why we need Bernie Sanders as the next president, because he is honest, and not part of our corrupt two party system

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Freya H
Freya H20 days ago

I'm with you, Joan E.

All petitions signed, either now or previously. Contacted my Senators earlier about aid to Puerto Rico. Will research the best charity for relief.

Resist, persist, insist, repeat!

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Joan E
Joan E20 days ago

I like the sign the young woman has in the photo.

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RONALD Walker
RONALD Walker20 days ago

With all the trouble going in our country. Why are you worried about the NFL? Trump go to work and stop going out and work on your 2020 campaign 3 and half years early. You need to send in food water and water. How about some solar panels to help our people right now. The Air Force is very good at getting an airfield running. If you let the people do their job they will have it fixed before you can make another stupid statement!

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Cruel Justice
Cruel Justice21 days ago

I've had two deaths at the sanctuary, so I'm in no condition to even make an attempt at resisting.

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Anne M
Anne Moran21 days ago

No. 1 - Graham/Cassidy amendment is dead,, third strike, and they are out !! - Right on,, Obamacare lives !!

No. 2 - Pueto Rico is in dire straights,, they should have gotten help days ago.. - No water, power, food, etc. - I sure feel for them; hopefully chump will wake up and smell the sewage, when he visits in the next few days.. - They need to fix the tower at the airport,, so that commercial airlines can fly in, and pick up all those people who have been in line for days, waiting to get out, and get home.. - Also need cargo planes landing, and ships docking with supplies/water/food/generators.. - What's the hold-up ?? - Get cracking chump... - People are dying,, hurry, hurry !!

No. 4 - Get that broad outta there,, she has sht for brains...

No. 5 - Funny how power can go to someone's head; this guy thought he was
''too big'' to fly commercial; I hope he is made to pay every penny back, and then some.. - $300,000.00 could have bought an awful lot of water for those poor people in Puerto Rico..

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Brian F
Brian F21 days ago

Julian Assange is a hero who exposed the crimes the USA used to justify the Iraq war, and exposed Hillary and the Democratic party for the crooks they are who cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, which caused this fraud Trump to be elected.

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nancy C
nancy C21 days ago

Thank you

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