Call to Action
TAKE ACTION making sure the FCC and Chairman Pai know that they should not repeal rules that protect competition and a free press. Read more
C2A The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is doing everything it can to clear the way for Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s TV takeover—setting up a $3.9 billion merger that would allow the pro-Trump propaganda machine to reach 72% of U.S. households. Last week, they repealed the Main Studio Rule, a longstanding regulation that required local TV and radio broadcasters to have local studios. Thanks to the FCC, your local stations can now be run out of a mega-corporation’s distant headquarters.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION If you’re wondering why the FCC and Chairman Pai are giving preferential treatment to Sinclair, it’s simple—the sweetheart deal is the outcome of a backroom negotiation with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner during the election. The agreement was a classic quid pro quo: deliver positive coverage of Trump, and in exchange, the administration will deliver 72% of American households’ televisions.
Beyond broadcasting only positive news about the Trump administration, Sinclair is the same company that:
- Defends blatant anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic content under the guise of free speech.
- Forces every station it owns to air must-run segments including the “Terrorism Alert Desk,” which aims to label any action by Muslims as terrorism.
- Was fined by the FCC for violating U.S. law—an incident former FCC Comissioner Michael Copps cited as an example of how Sinclair has tried to “run over lines” and rules historically.
The FCC, chaired by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, has been peeling back decades-old policies that protect competition and a free press in order to deliver on Kushner’s promise to Sinclair and flood the airwaves with pro-Trump propaganda.
On November 16, the Commission is voting on the repeal of yet another decades-old regulation, in order to facilitate Sinclair’s merger with Tribune Media Co.
- Right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group snubs FCC, gets away with it (Salon)
- ‘Classic Propaganda’: Sinclair Broadcasting Pushes Aside Fox News to Become ‘Trump TV’ (Common Dreams)
- Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News (Mother Jones)
- Sinclair Requires TV Stations to Air Segments That Tilt to the Right (New York Times)
- CAIR: Sinclair Broadcast Group Backs FL Host Who Attacks Jews, Muslims, Mormons (CAIR)
TAKE ACTION by telling Congress to protect women and families by rejecting tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Use the following link to tell your Representatives to reject tax the House tax plan. Read more from the National Women’s Law Center.
C2A On November 2, 2017, House Republicans released their tax plan — and it is absolutely terrible for the average American and families. While so many across the country are struggling to make ends meet, this plan gives massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION This tax plan would give massive tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthy. Republicans in Congress are proposing to take tax benefits away from low-income children, make it harder for workers to pay for child and dependent care expenses, raise taxes on women and families with serious, costly medical conditions, and slash vital programs and services that families rely on for a basic standard of living. Our tax policies should lift up women and their families, not further stack the deck in favor of the wealthy and corporations. Under this dangerous plan, families lose out twice: they benefit little (if at all) from the tax cuts, and down the line, programs that support families will be on the chopping block to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
- Winners and losers in the GOP tax plan (Washington Post)
- READ: The Republican tax plan (CNN)
- Six Charts That Help Explain the Republican Tax Plan (New York Times)
Three easy calls about Mueller. Scripts provided from 5Calls. More info below.
- Senator Feinstein (202) 224-3841 or (415) 393-0707
- Senator Harris: (202) 224-3553 or (415) 355-9041
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren: (202) 225-3072 or (408) 271-8700
- Rep. Ro Khanna: (202) 225-2631 or (408) 436-2720
- Rep. Anna Eshoo: (202) 225-8104 or (408) 245-2339
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from _____.
Script for calling the Senate:
I’m calling to urge Sen. [Feinstein/Harris] to support S.1735, the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act, and make a public statement that the firing of Special Counsel Mueller by Trump would be completely unacceptable. It’s the duty of Congress to serve as a check on Trump and prevent him from sending our democracy into a tailspin.
Script for calling the House:
I’m calling to urge Rep. _____ to make a public statement that the firing of Special Counsel Mueller by Trump would be completely unacceptable. It’s the duty of Congress to serve as a check on Trump and prevent him from sending our democracy into a tailspin.
Read More: Demand Congress Oppose a Mueller Firing
Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team have issued their first indictments in their investigation of Russia’s 2016 electoral interference. On Monday, October 30th, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, a former Manafort business partner, were ordered to surrender to federal authorities. Even before Manafort and Gates were formally charged, Trump surrogates like Roger Stone, Sebastian Gorka, and Jeanine Pirro had already begun demanding Mueller’s resignation. Even the Wall Street Journal editorial board joined the preemptive call for Mueller to resign, stating that the investigation should instead shift focus to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
In Congress, Republicans have hinted they want to wind down their own investigations of Russian collusion by the end of 2017 and have shifted current investigations toward Hillary Clinton. Clearly, Republicans are doubling down on their loyalty to this troubled administration and are attempting to diminish, obscure or outright kill the investigations of Trump’s Russia ties. This obstructionism must be met with a clear, unequivocal commitment by Congress to let Mueller do his job. Without making clear that Trump will face consequences, legally or politically, for possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 elections, they are essentially giving Trump the green light to continue to abuse his power and end Mueller’s investigation.
Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have introduced bipartisan legislation to limit Trump’s ability to fire Mueller, providing the investigation the protection it needs from an unpredictable president. As Mueller’s team pursues action against criminal perpetrators in the Russia investigation, every member of Congress must allow the legal process to proceed to its natural conclusion.
Submitted by Stephanie Minor
TAKE ACTION by signing the Food Empowerment Project petition or calling the corporate headquarter offices for Safeway, Albertsons, and Raley’s to oppose their policy of restricting leases on grocery store properties even after they have vacated a facility.
Sign the petition and call:
- Safeway: 877-723-3929
- Albertsons: 877-276-9637
- Raley’s: 916-373-3333
“I am calling to log a comment against a Safeway policy that sometimes puts restrictive deeds on its former properties and prevents other grocery stores from moving in, sometimes for 10 years or more. This has impacted community health. I would like Safeway to end this policy immediately.”
These companies establish policies that do not allow the properties to be used as grocery stories for another chain. This policy has left many urban downtown areas without any grocery stores, instead forcing poorer residents to buy more packaged and ready-made foods for higher prices. These restrictions could be in effect for up to 15 years in some cases.
Stephanie shared how this is impacting her personally, “I included Raley’s because of a relevant situation in my own San Jose neighborhood. We had a Nob Hill at Santa Teresa and Bernal for almost 20 years before it closed. They had built a newer fancier on Santa Teresa and Snell, about 3 miles away- It’s about an hour walk from the old store. The community of Santa Teresa and Los Paseos has been fighting about this closure for almost a year now using mostly Nextdoor to organize. The shopping center, because it is now desolate at night, is becoming unsafe for the surrounding neighborhoods. The community has held meetings with our councilmember, Sergio Jimenez, the property management company, ROIC, and Raley’s. Raley’s owns the property for another 2 years and the best offer we have received is they may put in an Express-type ready-made food store. Your members in South San Jose’s Santa Teresa and Los Paseos neighborhoods can verify.”
I strongly support the vehicle efficiency standards set by the EPA for 2017-2025. These standards will reduce dangerous tailpipe emissions, protect our health, save consumers money, decrease oil dependence, create jobs, and help address global warming. Please don’t roll back these important standards!
TAKE ACTION by writing to:
- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
USEPA Headquarters, William Jefferson Clinton Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 20460
- NHTSA Executive Director Jack Danielson
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
In August 2012, U.S. federal agencies finalized a new set of standards to increase fuel efficiency and cut global warming pollution. The standards are expected to double the efficiency of the average vehicle by 2025 and save consumers $1.7 trillion dollars at the pump. At the same time, these standards will significantly reduce oil use and cut carbon pollution by more than 6 billion metric tons – more than the entire emissions from the United States in 2010.
Specifically, the standards:
- Set fuel economy and global warming emission targets, based on vehicle size, for new cars and trucks sold in the U.S.
- Increase in stringency every year.
- Come in two phases: 2012-2016 and 2017-2025.
- Were supported by automakers, unions, national security groups, and environmentalists.
EPA made a regulatory commitment in 2012 to have a mid-term evaluation of the 2017-2025 Clean Car Standards. A mid-term report was issued in July, 2016, and there was a period for public comment. In November, 2016, the EPA Administrator proposed to move forward with the Clean Car Standards, and there was another period for public comment. In September, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to re-evaluate the determination made by the previous administrator. A final ruling needs to be made by April 2018 about the standards for model years 2022-2025.
The 45-day official public comment period has just closed, but we can still voice our concerns.
- Fact-checking the Trump Administration’s Claims about EPA’s Vehicle Standards
(Union of Concerned Scientists)
- California steps up fight against Trump over clean car standards (Sacramento Bee)
I oppose the Trump Administration rules, released October 6, that limit women’s access to contraception as a part of their preventative care through the ACA. Contraception IS a basic, preventive health care that every woman should be able to access, regardless of her economic status. Birth control has had such a dramatic positive impact on women and families in this country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named it one of the top ten public health achievements of the past century. Please continue to allow insurance to cover contraceptives as part of preventative care.
TAKE ACTION by making a public comment before Dec. 5, 2017, on the two rules issued by Trump on October 6. These rules allow employers to limit access to contraception in their preventative insurance coverage. One rule allows exemptions to coverage on moral grounds and the other rule allows exemptions on religious grounds.
Read the rules on the Federal Register:
- Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act
- Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act
Relationship to Environmental Issues
The recently published book “Drawdown” by Paul Hawken offers a vetted list of the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming. Family Planning is #7 on this list. (Find this book at the San Jose Public Library, IndieBound, Amazon.)
A controversy arose after the Obama administration decided birth control was part of the preventive care that insurers must cover under the ACA. When that mandate was initially implemented in August 2012, it required all health insurance offered by employers to cover at least one of the 18 forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Since then, savings on the birth control pill have accounted for more than half of the drop in all out-of-pocket prescription drug spending, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Since 2012, limited exceptions and accommodations have been carved out for houses of worship, nonprofits with religious affiliations and closely held for-profit companies. Such employers have been able to opt out of providing the contraceptive coverage and instead have their insurance company pay for it by notifying the insurer, a third-party administrator or the federal government.
On October 6, 2017, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, released two interim final rules addressing religious and moral objections to the coverage of contraceptives under the preventive services requirement of the ACA, as well as accommodations for those objections. The interim final rules are effective October 6, but the administration will accept comments on the rule until December 5, 2017
The rules depart dramatically from the position the Obama administration took on the contraceptives issue. The Obama administration asserted a compelling governmental interest in women having seamless access to contraceptives, without cost sharing, through the insurance plans that otherwise covered their health care. […]
You can contact your Senators and Representatives through phone (call 1-844-6-RESIST), email (http://democracy.io), or text (text “Resist” to 50409).