Call to Action
TAKE ACTION by sending messages to Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski asking them to vote NO on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Both senators accept email from non-constituents.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION to help write a personal message pleading them to vote AGAINST his confirmation to the US Supreme Court.
- Brett Kavanaugh’s track record (POLITICO)
TAKE ACTION by focusing on our activism for the November 2018 election.
1. Attend a volunteer training at the Democrat Volunteer Center (DVC) by Indivisible South Bay (ISB). Learn the various options for canvassing, postcard-writing, phone banking, texting, and fundraising volunteer activities:
- Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10AM-12:30PM
- Saturday, August 18, 2018, 10AM-12:30PM (tentative)
- Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 6:30-8:30PM
- Saturday, August 25, 2018, 10AM-12:30PM
2. Sign up with the DVC to volunteer between now and November 6, 2018.
3. Attend a postcard writing event at the DVC (960 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303).
- Monday, August 6, 2018, 7-9PM (for Julia Peacock, CA 42, to defeat NRA-funded Ken Calvert)
- Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 10:30AM-1PM (for TJ Cox, CA 21, and maybe one other)
- Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 10AM-noon
4. Volunteer to phonebank at the DVC. No need to RSVP. Drop in to help make a difference. Training and scripts will be provided.
- Monday, August 6, 2018, 2-7PM
- Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 2-7PM
Details: DVC August Calendar
5. Sign up to write postcards at home.
- CA 1 Audrey Denney to defeat Republican Doug LaMalfa
- CA 21 TJ Cox to defeat Republican incumbent David Valadao
- CA 22 Andrew Janz to defeat Republican Devin Nunes
- CA 42 Julia Peacock to defeat Ken Calvert
Join us Sunday afternoon, Aug. 5, online or in person at the San Jose Peace & Justice Center, to watch the Netflix standup special “Nanette” by Hannah Gadsby. Afterwards, we’ll discuss. RSVP via Facebook.
From the New York Times:
“Nanette (is) packaged as comedy but evolves into a searing critique of that medium when, midway through her set, Gadsby announces that she’s quitting stand-up. A lesbian from conservative Tasmania, she is done mining past trauma for jokes. Instead, Gadsby launches into a shrewd and impassioned dissection of misogyny, homophobia, art history and especially comedy.”
After the show, we will discuss its impact on ourselves and our activism, in person, but also reading and responding to posts in this listing.
We’ll have popcorn to share – feel free to bring a shareable to eat or drink!
Children are always welcome at TWWSJ events.
- Can Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette Bring Queer Storytelling the Attention It’s Due? (Marielle Mosthof at Slate, 7/20)
- Comedians Explain Why Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Nanette’ Is So Groundbreaking (Alison Stevenson at Vice, 7/13)
- Sara Schaefer and Sabrina Jalees on How Nanette Will Change Stand-up (Vulture, 7/2)
- The Transformative Comedy of Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette”: An Autostraddle Roundtable (A.E. Osworth at Autostraddle, 6/29)
- The Comedy-Destroying, Soul-Affirming Art of Hannah Gadsby (Melena Ryzik at New York Times, 7/24)
- Nanette Isn’t a Comedy Show. It’s a Sledgehammer. (Hannah Gadsby at Elle, 7/26)
Can you write five letters to Ohio TODAY to help flip a U.S. Rep race to blue? I just came across this organization yesterday and tested it out myself before passing this along. Easy! Scripts! Short letters! Proven to help get people to the polls! But you have to start THIS MORNING! Here’s what you do:
1. Go to votefwd.org and enter your email and some info. Do this RIGHT NOW because they need some time to confirm that you’re a real person!
2. Once they approve you, you’ll get an email with five names and addresses of registered Democrats who voted in ’12 and ’16 but not ’14 (last midterm election).
3. You send them a letter asking them to vote and mail it ASAP! The special election (for Danny O’Connor in Ohio #12) is next Tues, Aug. 7th.
Thanks! This is kind of like PostcardsToVoters.org (who actually RAN OUT of addresses for Danny’s campaign because so many people wrote!) but a little different. Interesting strategy. Let’s write some letters!
1. URGENT GUN ISSUE. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to use/tweak mine:
To State Department,
I urge you to stop the special exemption allowing functioning guns to be downloaded and 3-D printed on demand. This is insane, as this provides guns to anyone, including those who couldn’t pass a background check such as terrorists, felons, and domestic abusers. Furthermore, guns would be printed entirely in plastic, so metal detectors won’t catch them. I cannot imagine the destruction this would unleash in society. I’m begging you to use common sense and stop this madness. Thank you.
2. Contact your CA State Assemblymember to vote yes on AB 931, which will update California’s deadly use of force standards – call to action provided by member Danae C.
“I am contacting you as your constituent to respectfully urge your support for important legislation to keep California communities safe. AB 931 will save lives by ensuring that police only use deadly force against civilians when absolutely necessary. Studies show that officers in departments that have adopted such policies kill fewer people and are less likely to be killed or assaulted in the line of duty.”
CA State Assemblymember:
- Kansen Chu: (510) 440.9030
- Evan Low: (408) 446-2810
- Marc Berman: (650) 691-2121
- Ash Kalra: (408) 277-1220
Under AB 931, police would only be allowed to use deadly force if there were no reasonable alternatives available and if there was an imminent threat to the officer or another person’s safety.
Police kill more people in California than in any other state. In 2017, officers shot and killed 162 people in California, only half of whom were armed with guns, and killed more than 20 others using other types of force. Of the 15 police departments with the highest per capita rates of police killings in the nation, five are in California: Bakersfield, Stockton, Long Beach, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino. Police in Kern County have killed more people per capita than in any other U.S. county.
AB 931 will update California’s deadly use of force standards, which are woefully out of date, to prevent Californians’ unnecessary deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Studies show that officers in departments that have adopted such policies kill fewer people and are less likely to be killed or assaulted in the line of duty.
- PROTECT THE PEOPLE (ACLU)
This letter was delivered to CalSTRS this morning with 341 unique signatures from members all over the state, from over a dozen unions.
To: CalSTRS Administration
P. O. Box 15275
Sacramento, CA 95851-0275
Dear CalSTRS administrators:
We the undersigned, contributing members of CalSTRS, demand an immediate, comprehensive report on the strategies and results of CalSTRS’ “engagement” with CoreCivic Inc. and the GEO Group. If you have no data on any benefit from this “engagement,” then shares in these companies must be sold immediately. Multiple news reports and investigations have documented the suffering of immigrants held in for-profit prisons owned by these two companies. GEO group and CoreCivic have used teachers’ money — our money — to profit from the separation of families at the border.
CalSTRS’ policy includes twenty-one “Risk Factors” in determining investments. CoreCivic Inc. and the GEO Group violate several of these factors including “Respect for Human Rights,” “Respect for Civil Liberties,” “Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Disability, Language, or Social Status,” and “Worker Rights.” And yet substandard medical care at Adelanto Prison, owned by GEO group, has led to permanent disability and even death of immigrants being held there (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Adelanto Prison was deemed the “Deadliest Prison of 2017” (Detention Watch Network, 2017). Inmates — immigrants awaiting asylum — went on hunger strike multiple times last year to protest the lack of medical care and the multiple year backlog in getting their cases heard (KQED, 2018). As teachers who have worked all our lives to serve children and families, that CalSTRS invests our money in corporations which profit from the destruction of communities — oftentimes the communities we serve — is appalling.
The morality of investing in for-profit prisons is being increasingly scrutinized. New York and Philadelphia recently divested from both GEO Group and CoreCivic, liquidating $48 million and $1.2 million, respectively. Our own University of California system has also already divested $25 million from for-profit prison corporations. CalSTRS’ stated policy of “engagement” over “divestment” sounds noble, but what has this “engagement” actually accomplished? How is it being measured? At what point are the methods and operations of for-profit prisons acceptable? Could this “engagement” be better described as enabling corporate wrongdoing?
Simply put, we do not want our retirement funds used to support this unconscionable system. We urge a full and transparent report, with actionable metrics that show progress over time, on CalSTRS’ involvement with these companies since initial investment. This report should be posted on the CalSTRS website and included in the quarterly newsletter. Should “engagement” with these companies not change their practices, these stocks and any others with similarly destructive practices must be divested.
We have a choice — to help move towards a socially responsible model of investment as a whole, or to propagate the status quo. Make no mistake. This is our money, and we do NOT want it used to line the pockets of businesses that undermine the families and youth we work for.
Very truly yours,
A TWWSJ member wrote the letter, led the effort to collect signatures from […]
It’s only Tuesday, and we already have a month of issues to address. Help our nation by starting with these 3 actions.
1. VOTE IS WEDNESDAY 7/11/18 — Call on senators to oppose the nomination of Brian Benczkowski to head the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Call senators and ask them to vote ‘NO’ on the nomination of Brian Benczkowski (Bench-Cow-Ski) to head the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Benczkowski previously worked for Jeff Sessions in the Senate and served as head of the Trump transition team at the DOJ. He has no prosecutorial experience. He represented Putin-allied Alfa Bank which has been accused of a secret computer connection with the Trump Organization. All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have written a letter saying his nomination should be withdrawn.
Despite these objections, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Benczkowski’s nomination and the full Senate is likely to vote on it this coming week. Benczkowski would be in a position to replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if the campaign that House Republicans are waging to replace him succeeds.
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841 or (415) 393-0707
- Sen. Kamala Harris: (202) 224-3553 or (415) 355-9041)
2. Call your senators to demand they oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh spent 12 years on the D.C. Circuit appeals court, where he repeatedly issued extremist opinions. While the Supreme Court is intended to be apolitical, Kavanaugh also has a history of partisanship, even participating in the drafting of the Kenneth Starr report that laid the groundwork for Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
Kavanaugh’s history of advocating for positions that are outside of mainstream beliefs are deeply troubling. His position that a sitting president should be shielded from criminal and civil action makes clear that Trump is attempting to subvert checks and balances to avoid accountability for his actions.
3. Call Gov. Brown’s office and urge him to speak up regarding the reunification process proposed.
- Phone: (916) 445-2841
- Fax: (916) 558-3160
- Email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/
Six Democratic governors signed a letter Friday to Trump officials, saying they were “deeply concerned that wholly inadequate resources and procedures are in place to ensure children and parents are reunified safely and securely.”
The letter also states that during a June 29 meeting with governors’ offices, administration representatives “shared that reunification may include the placement of separate children with any long-term sponsor,” including long-term foster care.
“If true, this interpretation appears to blatantly ignore the terms of the court order,” the letter reads. Read the whole thing:
- Governor: Trump officials view placing migrant kids in foster care equal to family reunification (The Hill)
Thanks for all you do. It matters.
CONTINUE OUR ADVOCACY PARTY!
“If you are one of these folks who is watching cable news at your cocktail parties with your friends and you are saying ‘civilization is collapsing’ and you are nervous and worried, but that is not where you are putting all your time, energy and money, then either you don’t actually think civilization is collapsing … or you are not pushing yourself hard enough and I would push harder.” —Barack Obama
This week’s actions come from, or build on, Sunday’s TWWSJ VIP (Virtual/In-person) Advocacy Party. Pick any or all to start this week off right!
TODAY’S ISSUE: Call for a fair, unbiased judiciary, and defeat Trump’s SUPREME COURT pick.
What you can do:
1. Expect Trump and the GOP to move quickly to fill Kennedy’s seat ASAP! The folks at Indivisible have created a document outlining a 2-step strategy for trying to block Trump’s Supreme Court nomination. Basically, it comes down to ensuring that *all* Democratic senators oppose whomever is nominated, and trying to convince moderate Republicans to add their dissent, and then, in November, winning as many Senate seats as possible. In short: pressure the Senate and GET OUT THE VOTE. The document has specific scripts, depending on whether you’re in a blue state or red. Read it and encourage your friends in other states to read and act on it too.
- The 2-Step Strategy to Win the Supreme Court Fight (Indivisible)
2. Call your Senators and demand that no Supreme Court Justice be approved while a president is under investigation. Or you can use this script from YouLobby to argue that there should be no confirmation hearings until after the election:
“Hello, I’m ___________ from ___________. I’m very concerned about the new opening on the Supreme Court. We need a moderate justice. The Supreme Court’s decisions have a major impact for future generations on important issue surrounding abortion rights, LGBT rights, affirmative action, voting rights, and campaign finance. Senate Majority Leader McConnell set the precedent in 2016 of holding a vacant Supreme Court seat open during an election year to allow the American people to vote before a new justice is confirmed. Please do everything in your power to hold up any Trump nominee confirmations before the midterm elections. Thank you.”
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841 or (415) 393-0707
- Sen. Kamala Harris: (202) 224-3553 or (415) 355-9041)
3. Already done what you can on the Supreme Court issue? Then call your Senators to oppose other biased, extremist, unfit appointments to the judiciary. Americans of Conscience suggests calling about these six nominees who discriminate against our LGBTQ neighbors: Sen. Mark Norris, Kyle Duncan, Howard Nielson, Ryan Bounds, Gordon Giampietro, and Michael Brennan.
4. Not a judiciary fight, but having to do with VOTING: California is one of seven states and two territories that has still not applied for election security funds, which are grants that states can use to do things like: replace voting equipment that only records a voter’s intent electronically with equipment that utilizes a voter verified paper record; upgrade election-related […]