Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action January 7-13

Hello, gentle readers! We’re on to week three of the partial government shutdown, making it among the longest in history. Real stress is starting to show across the federal government as agencies run out of options for staying open. You need to make sure your lawmakers know how you feel about this, and that’s just the start of actions you can take this week.

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. It’s Time to Reopen the Government

Last week, the Democratic-controlled House successfully passed legislation that would restore funds and get many key components of the government running again. It did not include funding for the border wall.

The president and Republican leadership insist “no deal, no wall.”

Call your senators to tell them it’s imperative to take up the House bill, vote on it and send it to the White House for the president’s signature. Playing with people’s lives to score political points is dangerous — whether we’re talking about furloughed workers who may lose their homes and default on debt with no money coming in, people counting on tax refunds that can’t be sent out or dwindling reserves to fund initiatives like SNAP.

The longer the shutdown endures, the more damaging it will be for everyone — and the harder it will be to recover from.

2. No Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!

You may have missed it, but the Trump administration is making slow, steady steps toward opening up ANWR for oil and gas exploration — even after years of fights to protect this fragile and beautiful place. The Department of the Interior is moving the administrative part of the process forward, laying the groundwork to cut deals with oil companies.

The Bureau of Land Management just released a draft environmental impact statement exploring the possibility of oil and gas leasing along the coastal plain. Members of the public have until February 11 to read it and provide comments.

An effective comment must be a substantive one; “I think this is a bad idea” isn’t helpful, but citing a specific element of the plan and articulating why you’re opposed – “I’m concerned the agency has not adequately considered the impact on the following threatened species” — is. The government must consider and respond to substantive comments, and they can also be used in future litigation — if you bring up an issue the government fails to address, that may be usable in court later.

3. Take Time for Teachers

School districts across the country are hemorrhaging teachers, and it’s no wonder: The pay is low, and the demands are high. Last year saw a surge of teacher strikes in the #RedForEd campaign, but the problems they were addressing aren’t going away. Low pay has some teachers working second or third jobs to support themselves — and many are dealing with shortages in support staff because districts can’t attract and retain workers, while school facilities are crumbling around them.

Contact your state legislators and ask them to take action on teacher pay and deferred maintenance of school facilities. Your state’s students deserve the best: Investment in education pays off in the long term, and it’s an especially powerful tool for lifting people out of poverty.

4. Support Universal Background Checks

January 8 marks the eighth anniversary of the shooting that severely wounded Representative Gabby Giffords and killed six people. Congressional Democrats, with bipartisan support, have chosen it as an important symbolic moment to introduce a bill requiring universal background checks for gun purchases nationwide. The bill would apply to all gun purchases — including private sales — with some exceptions carved out, such as temporary use of weapons for hunting, to address concerns from critics.

Contact your representative to find out if they support the bill, and contact your senators to ask them to take it up in the Senate and bring it to a vote. Naysayers claim this is messaging legislation that won’t go anywhere; a similar bill died on the vine in 2017. Let’s prove them wrong.

97 percent of Americans support background checks. It’s time to make it law.

5. Affirm Abortion Access Now

The Supreme Court just relisted a case involving an Indiana law that bans race, sex or ability-based abortions — none of these are real things, by the way, they’re just anti-choicer political rhetoric.

Care2′s Robin Marty is the resident abortion expert around here, so stay tuned to her work — especially her upcoming book, “Handbook for a Post-Roe America,” which is out January 22. In 2017, she wrote a primer on what might happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned, specifically noting that some states have trigger laws that would instantly make abortion illegal, and she’ll have more updates as this situation unfolds.

What you can do right now: Find out your state’s status, and if your state doesn’t have a law on the books proactively affirming access to abortion, contact your lawmakers and ask them to start thinking about it. Contact your local abortion funds about donating or volunteering.

Take Action!

Join Care2 activists signing petitions about issues they care about; here’s a selection of recent petitions that are attracting a lot of attention from people like 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: Fibonacci Blue

43 comments

Carol C
Carol C8 days ago

Thank you for the helpful summary and links. Petitions signed.

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Emma L
Emma L10 days ago

thank you

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Loredana V
Loredana V11 days ago

All done! Thank you very much.

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danii p
danii p12 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p12 days ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p12 days ago

Thank you

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pam w
pam w12 days ago

THANK you for this!

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Peggy B
Peggy B12 days ago

TYFS

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Chad A
Chad A12 days ago

Thank you.

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David C
David C12 days ago

thanks

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