Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action December 3-9

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: lame-duck season! Congress is acting fast to finalize business before the session ends, and Republicans are hoping to slip some doozies past you. Stay on the alert, and make sure you voice gets heard — whether you’re calling legislators or visiting their offices in person.

This week, pay special attention to immigration: The situation along the U.S.-Mexico border is evolving rapidly, and some legislators are hoping that constituents won’t notice their sleights of hand.

I rounded up a few ways you can take action this week on issues that matter to you. Consider recruiting a friend to join you; many hands make light work, and many voices are hard to ignore.

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. Last Chance to Oppose Public Charge

The Department of Homeland Security’s proposal to ban entry to the United States for people who might become a “public charge” –  using benefits like Medicaid, SNAP and cash assistance — has over 100,000 comments on the Federal Register.

That’s because a lot of people are very concerned about the implications of this rule, which could punish immigrants who have lawfully used public benefits, exclude people who might need them in the future and harm those in households with mixed immigration status –  like children who are citizens and parents who are lawful or undocumented residents.

The last day to comment on this cruel rule is December 10. Lots of organizations have developed toolkits to help people craft unique comments, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Food Research and Action Center, International Rescue Committee and the National Association of Community Health Centers. They’ve got facts and sample text you can use.

Feel intimidated? Remember, anyone can submit a comment to the Federal Register — and lots of advocacy groups are writing highly technical comments, so you don’t need to stress the nitty-gritty. Indicating negative sentiment with a few brief sentences or paragraphs can be powerful. Furthermore, if the government decides to move ahead with the rule and organizations want to file suit, comments like yours could be incredibly valuable for their case.

Consider rounding up some friends for a group comment-drafting party!

2. Don’t Let Manchin Undermine the Green New Deal

A tide of energetic first-term Democrats are decking the halls this holiday season, and many are talking up the Green New Deal. They want action on the environment — especially on climate change — because they feel it’s in the best interests of their constituents, the country and the planet.

But with the House and Senate reshuffling committee memberships, some are concerned about the possibility of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) leading Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He’s a conservative Democrat, and his history on environmental issues is not great. These legislators would like to see someone a little more invested in the environment — and a little less in the pockets of Big Coal — in that role.

What can you do? Contact your representative and senators to express your support and ask them to join the Green New Deal if they haven’t signed on yet. And tell them you’d like to see Democrats reevaluating who they want in this critical leadership position, as this committee can become a choke point for key environmental legislation.

3. Not One Penny for the Wall

Congress is headed for a budget showdown as Democrats and Republicans wrestle over the finer points of funding the government. One element is the question of how much funding — if any — to throw at Trump’s racist, ludicrous, wasteful, ineffectual and, frankly, offensive border wall proposal. Republicans want $5 billion. Democrats say they’ll compromise on a smaller number to ease a budget bill through.

We say the right number is $0. This project is a boondoggle waiting to happen, with significant technical issues that make it nearly impossible to execute. The naked racism involved is awful, and it’s not in keeping with the country progressive Americans want to build. Plus, it’s bad for the environment.

This project should not be allowed to go forward, so call your representative and senators and tell them to hold their ground, even if the president does threaten to veto over it. This is too important.

4. Protect Mueller and the Russia Investigation

Events in the Russia investigation are getting wilder by the week, although Care2′s Kevin Matthews is trying to help you keep pace with the latest. Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort can’t stop lying, and Republican political strategist Roger Stone is trying to weasel out of liability. Meanwhile, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted that he lied to Congress in the course of its investigation. Lies, lies and more lies!

The only thing that’s holding these people accountable is Robert Mueller, the special counsel charged with investigating the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. Mueller needs to be able to take his time as he tracks down all the parties involved and collects information about their roles in the campaign and the controversy.

But that’s Trump’s worst nightmare.

The Acting Attorney General, Matt Whitaker, has expressed hostility to Mueller’s investigation, joining other Republicans clearly eager to undermine Mueller’s work. Democrats have said they want to introduce legislation to protect the integrity of the investigation, but they’e being stymied by Republican leadership. It’s time to call your federal elected officials — again — to remind them that you want to see the Mueller investigation through to its conclusion, whatever that might be.

5. First Step? Not So Fast

At first glance, the bipartisan First Step Act – endorsed by the president, even! — sounds like a good idea. It includes reforms to sentencing practices and adds teeth to existing human rights regulations, like bans on shackling pregnant prisoners. But critics say there’s more than meets the eye. Rather than ameliorating racial disparities in the prison system, it may just replicate them.

It’s a bad bill, and the public needs to speak up about it.

Specifically, this bill is proposing something similar to California’s equally poisonous bail reform legislation: the use of automated risk assessment tools to determine whether someone could serve time at home or in another, less-restrictive way.

Evidence shows that these tools are racist and inaccurate, potentially setting people of color up for discrimination. Meanwhile, it feeds the home monitoring industry, which generates profits for telecommunications companies at the expense of communities unwillingly turned into surveillance pods.

It may be tempting to say that we should take what we can get; bipartisan support is rare these days, and this may be the best thing on offer. But this could be a mistake. Parts of this bill would entrench problems with the prison system rather than addressing them, and some advocates say we can do better. Call your federal legislators, and urge them to resist rushing this legislation through for a “win.”

Take Action Right Now

Join Care2 activists like you signing — and creating — petitions to stand for good and raise their voices about issues they care about. I’ve rounded up a few of my recent favorites for you:

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

 

Photo credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr

34 comments

Loredana V
Loredana V7 days ago

Petitions already signed, thank you.

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Marija M
Marija M8 days ago

Tell Trump - what? He doesnt listen...

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara8 days ago

stay safe in dark nights

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara8 days ago

wrap up well

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara8 days ago

th

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L8 days ago

thanks

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Olivia M
Olivia M8 days ago

Thank you

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Brian F
Brian F8 days ago

Obama gave us a horrible Republican healthcare plan instead of Medicare for all, criminalized whistle blowers, bailed out Wall Street and got $400,0000 as a reward, did nothing when Israel committed horrible crimes and caused massive harm to the Palestinians. Obama was a black mascot for Wall Street. It was the horrible failed neo liberal policies of Obama which gave us this crook Trump. Both parties are corrupt. This is why we need Bernie Sanders.

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Anne Moran
Anne Moran8 days ago

No 4 - Seems like the investigation had been going on, and on, and on for years.. - When the hell is it going to end ?? - Surely,, Mueller must have something by now...

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Peggy B
Peggy B8 days ago

TYFS

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