Weekly Resistance: How to Take Action Nov. 27-Dec. 3

2017 is quickly drawing to a close, and Congress is trying to push through as much as possible at the last minute. That requires constant vigilance and action on your part, but as you sit down to engage in activism this week, also take a moment to celebrate your wins. The coordinated work of people all over the country has driven victories large and small, proving that what you do matters.

Not sure who your senators are? You can find their contact information here. Need to reach your representative? You can find that information hereContact information for state and local officials is available here.

And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!

1. Net Neutrality is Number One

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is making good on his threat to repeal net neutrality regulations, which ensure that all data on the internet is treated neutrally and people have equal access to information. Imagine being able to block an unfavorable report about the telecommunications industry, or charging more for Netflix! And incidentally, the FCC just made a ruling that will gut local news organizations.

Know:

  • Right now, internet service providers are regulated under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, regulating them like utilities.
  • Repealing this status would allow the telecommunications industry to block, throttle and prioritize information — something that would disproportionately hurt websites and organizations publishing controversial material, or working with limited resources.
  • The rural United States, which already suffers from poor broadband penetration, would be disproportionately affected by this change. In a bitter twist, Pai and his supporters claim net neutrality hurts rural America by limiting broadband expansion.

Contact:

  • The Federal Communications Commission: Tell them that you oppose Pai’s proposed repeal of the Title II classification.
  • Your senators and representative: They can’t overrule the FCC, but they can pass legislation to defend net neutrality.

Act: On December 7, protesters will gather outside Verizon stores, because Pai worked for Verizon before joining the FCC. Another protest is scheduled for December 13 at FCC headquarters.

Consider signing the following Care2 petitions:

2. Say No to Unfair Taxation

The GOP tax bill passed the House, and now the Senate must pass its version to send it to a conference committee for reconciliation — a negotiated agreement that results in a single unified bill both houses can agree upon.

Know:

  • This bill is a tax cut for the rich that will raise taxes on the lower, working and middle classes.
  • It would contribute to a ballooning deficit, with steep cuts to health care and other areas of the budget to compensate.
  • The bill doesn’t enjoy universal GOP support, as some members of Congress are worried about issues that could harm their states and districts — like the repeal of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which allows people to deduct the taxes they pay to regional and state governments. It’s extremely popular, including among some Republicans.

Contact: your senators. Ask if they’re voting against the tax bill, and if they’re not, press them for details. You may wish to express concerns about what a budget deficit could mean for the future of the U.S., or what the tax bill might mean for you. Consider asking why the bill has clauses that appear designed to enrich the pockets of major corporations and the wealthy, but not the working class and small businesses Republicans claim to champion.

Act: Add your name to these Care2 petitions:

3. Defend Haitian Immigrants

The Trump administration’s latest move in the war on immigration is terminating the temporary protected status (TPS) of Haitian immigrants, granted after the 2010 earthquake. The government says the dangerous conditions following the earthquake have been resolved and claims that Haitian immigrants no longer deserve special consideration.

Know:

  • The U.S. government grants TPS to immigrants from regions where it would be unsafe to return due to environmental disaster, conflict, or other issues.
  • 50,000 Haitians in the U.S. have been granted TPS, which allows them to stay legally in the country without fearing deportation.
  • TPS recipients from Haiti and Central America play a vibrant, integrated role in the U.S. economy and society.

Contact: your members of Congress: Your senators and representative have the power to introduce or cosign legislation to support immigrants from regions like Haiti — where many people still live in temporary camps, infectious disease is a continuing threat and the poverty rate remains sky-high. Staying in the U.S. allows them to stay safe and contribute to public life.

4. Tell Local Officials: Divest From Dirty Money

If you’re feeling frustrated by federal politics, never fear: There’s still work you can do closer to home. And now is a good time to start thinking about where local agencies invest, because they’ll be developing the 2018-2019 budget before you know it. After all, it takes time to develop major policy proposals.

Know:

  • Your local government uses investments to generate returns for pensions and city operations, and also keeps funds on deposit at city accounts in banks. These institutions engage in similar investment practices, but they may be less than transparent.
  • It’s not uncommon for governments to invest in large funds that include a pool of investments with stable returns. Often those funds include fossil fuel or other unethical industries.
  • Divestment — the practice of pulling funds out of harmful industries — is a powerful tool for change. A recent divestment campaign in Norway was highly successful!

Contact: your local officials. Ask to view information about your government’s banks and investments. Specifically ask if your city or county has an investment ethics policy or divestment policy. You may find it helpful to contact the finance or accounting department directly, rather than an elected official.

Once you’ve collected information, request a sit-down with an official who works on the budget so you can make your case. It might include: switching to a local bank; pulling out of funds that include pooled investments in fossil fuels; and/or actively investing in socially good industries that still generate great returns, like green energy.

Act: Before you meet with city officials, audit your own banking practices and investments. Are there changes you need to make to be a more ethical investor?

5. Make the Census Count

The U.S. Census is a complex feat of coordination and engineering. Every decade the Census attempts to count every person in the country, providing an incredibly valuable snapshot of society. And it’s currently under threat.

Know:

  • Historically, the Census has remained primarily nonpartisan, with everyone recognizing a mutual benefit in collecting accurate, authoritative information.
  • Census information is used for activities like redistricting, determining federal benefits and administering a variety of social programs.
  • The previous Director of the U.S. Census, John H. Thompson, left suddenly in May, and was replaced by Acting Director Ron Jarmin. Now, President Donald Trump must nominate a replacement. The deputy director is not a confirmable appointee, and Trump has tapped a partisan man with no experience – and a history of supporting gerrymandering — for the role.

Contact: your senators. Tell them we need Trump to name a Census director so we can hold confirmation hearings now and keep the Census on track. Additionally, tell your members of Congress that you’re concerned about Census funding and want assurances that this key social effort will be properly conducted.

Act: Consider signing the following Care2 petitions:

Take on a mini-challenge: Planning to make a charitable donation this holiday season? Consider exploring local organizations and encouraging friends to do the same, whether you want to organize a day of service at work or give a big collective donation to the food bank.

Photo credit: Molly Adams

31 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you for the post.

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Deborah W
Deborah W7 months ago

DREAMWORKS features ...

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Winn A
Winn A7 months ago

R E S I S T !!!!!

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Freya H
Freya H7 months ago

All petitions signed, if not done so previously. I have been signing petitions left and right and catty-corner to protect net neutrality, and have contacted my elected officials. (I hesitate to call them my "representatives" as they rarely speak for people like me.) I have called my Senators urging them to oppose tRump's rotten tax bill. My cowardly "rep," whom I did not elect but who suddenly became my so-called rep thanks to gerrymandering - a serious problem here in Georgia - voted with party lines on that bill, so I let him know he's lost my vote next year.

RESIST, PERSIST, INSIST, REPEAT!

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Paulo R
Paulo R7 months ago

signed all, ty

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Brian F
Brian F7 months ago

Eric L Give Bernie a chance, before you bash him. Bernie is not part of the two part oligarchy.

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Y7 months ago

All signed. Thank you

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Ellie M
Ellie M7 months ago

ty

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees7 months ago

@Anne M "Norway is a great place to live, as it actually puts people before money... - That's very rare in this world.. - It sees the big picture,, why can't we ??"

Ignorance, complacency. Why do people continue voting for the lesser evil from the 2 party Oligarchy? One would think we the people would learn right? I mean come on there are still people that think Hillary is the solution or Bernie.

The Oligarchy has done well. Divide & Conquer! Even Care2 is playing it's rule in dividing rather than uniting us. What will it take? WWIII? Worldwide depression caused by the collapse of the dollar? A cataclysmic event that causes near extinction?

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Janet B
Janet B7 months ago

Thanks

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