Weekly Resistance: 5 Ways to Take Action July 30-Aug 5

Hello, gentle readers! I just got back from an amazing reproductive rights conference in Detroit, so I feel fired up and ready to take on the world this week — and I hope you do too.

One of the speakers at the closing plenary — Tiffany Dena Loftin, director of the NAACP Youth & College Division at the NAACP — made a comment that really resonated with me: She said it’s not enough to just talk to our friends and family; we have to get out there and expand our reach. Maybe for you that’s canvassing, phone-banking, showing up at a local government meeting or challenging a stranger who makes a racist comment on the bus. Reach out — you might be surprised by the community you build!

I’ve rounded up five actions you can take to make the world a better place this week, from small to large scale. Won’t you join me?

You can find information on how to contact your officials at all levels of government here. As always, if you haven’t had a chance yet, sign up for our newsletter and stay up-to-date on the latest!

1. Don’t Let Your Senators Waver on the Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is cause for an all-hands-on-deck alert. Do you know where your senator stands?

Know:

  • In order to defeat the nomination, we need every single Democratic vote — and some defectors.
  • Some Democrats in red states – like Joe Donnelly (Indiana) and Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) — could end up voting with the Republicans, as they did with the Gorsuch nomination.
  • Some Republicans — like Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Susan Collins (Maine) — could break ranks with their party, if pressured enough.

Act: Advocates are calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to take the time to review all Kavanaugh’s documents to learn as much as they can about the nominee. Join them in calling your senators to request a thoughtful, detailed vetting of the nominee — something people of all political parties should support.

2. Defend Clean Air Standards

The president has announced his intent to attack California’s clean air standards, which exceed federal guidance and have been adopted by multiple states concerned about the environment.

Know:

  • This environmental issue stretches beyond California — and even past other states that have picked up California’s standards. Because of the size of California’s auto market, these requirements have pushed auto manufacturers to clean up their act — and the whole nation benefits.
  • Remember the Volkswagen emissions scandal? Well, European auto manufacturers are at it again.
  • Older readers may remember a time when pollution was so bad in some parts of the U.S. that the air was thick with smog, and people were advised to avoid leaving their homes. Is that something we want to go back to?

Act: Contact your representatives. It’s time for tough nationwide fuel economy and emissions standards for the benefit of the country. And watch out: There’s almost certainly going to be a lawsuit over this.

Feel weird that many progressives have spent years fighting states’ rights and local control issues, like passing discriminatory ordinances, and now they’re doing the opposite? Note that states should have the right to exceed federal guidance — for example, by having tougher environmental standards, or adding trans people to anti-discrimination protections — but they shouldn’t have the right to undermine federal guidance, like giving funds to discriminatory adoption agencies.

3. Limit the President’s Nuclear Strike Capability

With the president issuing nuclear threats on Twitter, many people are concerned about the commander in chief’s ability to launch nukes with the touch of a button.

Know:

  • The president currently enjoys broad latitude over nuclear weapons capabilities, something that should be worrying no matter who is in office. Should anyone have the ability to launch a weapon that could kill hundreds of thousands of people and create a generation of health problems linked to radiation exposure?
  • Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Ted Lieu of California have introduced Senate and House bills that would limit “first strike” nuclear capability.
  • The current president made multiple alarming comments about nuclear weapons.

Act: Contact your members of Congress to ask them to support these bills. Though they currently have a low probability of passage, making people aware that you’re concerned may push them to take action.

4. Debunk Racist MS-13 Myths

There’s a lot of talk from conservatives about MS-13 and “dangerous immigrants,” but how much do you know about this organization?

Know:

  • MS-13 isn’t a highly organized gang controlled by powers in El Salvador. It’s actually highly decentralized, and the group started among Southern California youth who came together because they shared identities and experiences as children of refugees. Only about 10,000 people are active members, making it a relatively small gang confined to isolated areas.
  • People aren’t entering the United States with the explicit intention of joining MS-13. It’s homegrown, and the gang is primarily comprised of people already living in the United States — many of whom are citizens.
  • Restricting immigration won’t force MS-13 to dissolve. Socioeconomic pressures, lack of services, alienation and peer connections are much bigger predictive factors for gang membership. In regions where youth are provided with services and supports — and explicitly included as members of the community — gang membership is low.

Act: When you hear people of any political inclination repeating misinformation about MS-13, call a time out, stop them and issue a correction. If they’re concerned about gang activity in your area, talk about interventions that actually work — like empowering youth, promoting dignity and independence, and embracing people of varied backgrounds as active contributors to community life.

5. Help Wildfire Victims

Wildfire season is upon us, and several major blazes are threatening communities across the West. While donating to a victims’ fund might not feel like a big political act, it is. People who’ve lost everything experience an emotional — not just material — benefit from community support, including that from strangers they’ll never meet.

Know:

  • California and Oregon are both experiencing major wildfires in multiple spots — and in the case of the roaring Carr fire, these fires aren’t just damaging property: They’re killing people.
  • Wildfire victims often lack insurance coverage for fires, either because they can’t afford it or because they don’t realize that they may need special riders for fire coverage.
  • Wildfires affect animals, too, including both pets and wildlife.

Act: In Northern California, the Shasta Fire Relief Fund and Tri Counties Bank Fund are collecting donations, while Haven Humane Society is requesting both cash and in-kind donations – shopping for a shelter via online wishlist is a great way to safely dispatch in-kind donations. In Southern California, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services is on the front line.

More funds will likely emerge in coming days — take time to vet before donating!

If you can’t donate, there are other ways to help. Start by asking your local officials about their disaster plan and participating in disaster response training to ensure that people in your community will be ready if there’s a major incident.

Take Action Right Now

Join Care2 activists holding people in power accountable!

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo credit: Charles Edward Miller/Creative Commons

33 comments

Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE4 months ago

Thank you

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Debra G
Debra G4 months ago

Just drove through California from Oregon. Air quality and triple-digit heat down to Salinas was abysmal - brown skies, orange sun, poor visibility; itchy eyes and throat... I’m so grateful for the firefighters and what they’re putting up with. I’m not feeling so lenient towards the elected officials in Northern California - aside from their stupid wish to secede from the state and create “Jefferson”, they keep pushing the notion that climate change isn’t responsible for the massive, fast-moving fires, despite what experts say. These explosive fires are the new normal. Look at the tragic fire near Athens last week. And the ones in Scandinavia above the arctic circle. We must fight Trump’s attempt to roll-back the fuel standards.

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Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 months ago

noted

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Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

Noted

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R4 months ago

Thanks for posting.

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Lisa M
Lisa M4 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M4 months ago

Noted.

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Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

TYFS

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Anne Moran
Anne Moran4 months ago

Can't imagine not being able to go out, because the air quality is so bad.... - Hard to believe it happened in the U.S.

I thought before the president hit that button, it had to go through other people in gov... .- He didn't have solo decision...

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Alea C
Alea C4 months ago

I live in Florida, one of the most backward states in the Union, so my representatives don't care about anything except money and power. I wish I could move.

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