Minds at Work #36

June 17, 2017
Every week seems to bring more heartache – from the attacks in London, the London fire, and this week’s mass shootings during a Congressional baseball practice and another in San Francisco – and the continued assault on our rights and government.
An aside:  when, oh when, oh when will we get to have a reasonable gun control debate and measures passed to help protect us in this country? It is far too easy for anyone to enact whatever is going on in their heads with the easy access to weapons that were created for war.  It shouldn’t be a political issue; it’s a HUMAN life issue.  Ok, rant over…
While the Russia investigation continues, we need to stay focused on two things this week: healthcare and upcoming run off elections.
ACTION:
Totally stole this header from 2 Hours a Week – who took it from the Washington Post (article linked in the title).  The Senate is working on the latest American Healthcare Act (TrumpCare) iteration behind closed doors, without discussion, without input from women or Democrats, and are close to forcing it through.  Pod Save America  and others think that the Republicans may have the votes they need – without this debate.  We need to put pressure on moderate Republicans to not support this bill (easy way to reach them via trumpcaretoolkit.org). If you live in a state with Republican Senators, your voice is key.  If you live in a state with Democratic Senators, put pressure on your them to resist through procedure.  Ask your Senator to filibuster by amendment (tools from Indivisible here) and bottle up the process through 2018.  The Indivisible Guide has tools for both Republican and Democratic Senators here: Stop TrumpCare in June: Action Plan.
These are the Senators who should receive extra pressure – Senators in very purple states, those who have many citizens who use the ACA, or those who are up for reelection: Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Dean Heller (NV), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Bill Cassidy (LA), Rob Portman (OH), Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO), Jeff Flake (AZ), Pat Toomey (PA) and Dan Sullivan (AK).  Please forward to your friends in these states!
If you haven’t seen the baller Sen. Claire McCaskill’s takedown of Sen. Orrin Hatch on this front, please watch.  She really illustrates how shady this is and how unprecedented.  Also note that she is up for reelection in a very red state; she’s one of the good guys fighting on the frontlines for all of us and we need to keep her in office.  Please support her campaign as she’s going to be in a tough race.
RUNOFF WEEK!
June 20 is finally here and we need to do whatever we can to get these races over the line.  These races are a bellwether of what we can do in 2018 so phone bank, donate, canvas if you’re in these states, but let’s get these guys in office!!
Jon Ossoff–Georgia: electjon.com
DATE of ELECTION: June 20
Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com
DATE of ELECTION: June 20
SWING LEFT:
Campaigns are already starting in various districts to swing Republican districts Blue.  We are going to do a shameless plug here for a friend of ours, Roger Dean Huffstetler who’s running for Congress in Virginia’s 5th District.  Please read up on him here and please donate as there’s a fundraise deadline on June 30.  Having known him for a decade now, he’s a leader, a listener, sensible, and cares and will be a great moderate progressive in a district that historically is red.  He worked for the fantastic trailblazer Seth Moulton (D-MA 6th) if that gives you any idea of his political leanings.  His dad grew up on a farm in the Piedmont, and he’s the first in his family to graduate from college.  He served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq, went to Harvard Business School on the GI Bill, started a tech company in Silicon Valley, and served as Seth Moulton’s Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill.  If you’d like more information on RD, please reach out to us at mindsatwork18@gmail.com
If you have candidates in swing districts that you’d like us to highlight, please email us and we’ll get the word out!
CHARITY:
This was so inspirational: Agnes Gund sold a Lichtenstein for $165M to create a fund that supports criminal justice reform and reduction in mass incarceration in our country.
Yep, we push this every time. Keep giving what you can, and find the organizations that matter most to you. Please tell us about organizations that you see doing great work or philanthropic events that are open to the public. We are always happy to share.
READING:
We found this article from The New Yorker fascinating in light of this week’s (and the continued) mass shootings.  A great read.
OTHER NEWSLETTERS:
These are two newsletters we love for information and action.
Small Victories – Your Weekly Dose of Positivity
e-mail smallvictories@peaceisloud.org
Wake Up to Politics by Gabe Fleishman
Follow Us on Twitter @mindsat_work
Between newsletters, we post a number of action items on Twitter. Please follow us and message us. It makes it easier to stay up-to-date.
***********************
Our daily dose of Hamilton: “I don’t wanna fight, but I won’t apologize for doin’ what’s right.”
***********************
Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.
To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work
Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.
Share ideas, take action, have hope.

Minds at Work #35

June 10, 2017

We are at a critical moment in history. It is hard to avoid getting caught up in the day-to-day drama of this administration and the frightening reality it has created for us, but we encourage you to step back and look at your role in the path forward. Are you talking to your friends and neighbors about your concerns? Are you taking the actions within your power, using your voice, vote and network to have as much positive influence as possible? When we see negative, harmful decisions lead to positive actions, we are reassured that our democracy and the overall state of humanity have not been completely compromised. Each of us have a role in that every day.

A few POSITIVES from recent weeks:

  • Following the decision to leave the Paris Accord, cities and statessigned on to uphold the regulations on a local level. Cities and states across our country are implementing composting programs, limiting greenhouse gas emmissions, and outlining environmental protections that will help ensure a future for our planet.
  • A special election in Fairfield, Connecticut shows how momentum is building. Not only did Kevin Kiley, the Democratic candidate, win a seat on Board of Selectman and defeat the sitting Republican, but he previously served as a Republican and has recently switched to the Democratic party.
  • Comey’s hearing shed light on Russia, Trump and our justice system. Trump is the first President Comey felt the need to document closely after every interaction. Watching Comey live was moving, elucidating, and frustrating all at the same time; at the very least, it builds momentum for the case against Trump as dishonest and obstructing justice.
  • The murder on the Portland train of two heroic men was definitely a low point of the past two weeks, and a lens with which to view the current state of our nation regarding racism, xenophobia and violence. The response from the victims’ families, however, revealed the beauty and depth of humanity. Even if you don’t have time to read this article, look at the picture.
  • Infrastructure Week was a bit of a flop, like all Trump-led initiatives to date. Read more details

ACTION ITEMS

CounterACTHate

Today, ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in the country, is holding protests across the country. Show them that we stand with our Muslim friends and neighbors on social media and in person. Use this guide for resources.

Fight Climate Change on Your Own

From TED, Al Gore’s 2006 talk gives us 15 ways to have a positive impact when the government turns it’s back on Global Warming. Send us your tips, too. We’ll add them to our website on a page dedicated to the environment.

Call/Copy/Share List of Senators who supported the Paris decision

These are the names of the 22 senators who supported the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement by signing a letter urging the Republican regime to do so. History will condemn them.

Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.),
John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Jim Risch (R-Idaho)
Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
Rand Paul (R-Ky)
John Boozman (R-Ark.)
Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
Luther Strange (R-Ala.)
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
David Perdue (R-Ga.)
Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

Join Other Newsletters

These are two newsletters we love for information and action.

Small Victories – Your Weekly Dose of Positivity

e-mail smallvictories@peaceisloud.org

Wake Up to Politics by Gabe Fleishman

http://www.wakeuptopolitics.com

 

Follow Us on Twitter @mindsat_work

Between newsletters, we post a number of action items on Twitter. Please follow us and message us. It makes it easier to stay up-to-date.

 

Support Upcoming Races

Support these races.  The Republicans are pouring millions into these – showing that they are nervous. Donate and make calls.  This is the beginning of creating change before 2018.

Jon Ossoff–Georgia: electjon.com

DATE of ELECTION: June 20

Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: June 20

 

Celebrate the victories at every level

Send us information on any local seats won by the Democratic Party. Celebrating these electoral victories sends the message that we can create change and will encourage others to run and support campaigns.

CHARITY:

Yep, we push this every time. Keep giving what you can, and find the organizations that matter most to you. Please tell us about organizations that you see doing great work or philanthropic events that are open to the public. We are always happy to share.

EVENTS:

National Call-In Day – Speak out against TrumpCare

On June 14, flood the phones and offices of your Senators. We have a limited amount of time to make it clear that TrumpCare is unacceptable and healthcare reform must provide affordable care for all Americans.

READING:

Articles

Visit Robert Reich on Facebook for the state of Washington during and after Comey’s trial.

Here, a truly American story about a child of immigrants who is running for Congress, from NBCnews.com.

For a look at how DeVos is supporting LGBTQ discrimination, read this article from the Huffington Post.

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “I think the first duty of society is justice.

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work

 

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.

 

Minds at Work #34

May 26, 2017

The last couple of weeks have been dramatic and, at many moments, traumatic. The one message we continue to hear from those we trust in media and government is to watch the issues that matter most to you. The Trump/Russia story, while very compelling and hopefully a path to some clear consequences for President Trump and his team, is an easy distraction from many other issues where we can more effectively #RESIST.

A few STAND OUTS from recent days:

  • Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester has left everyone feeling stunned and at a loss for words, other than to offer sympathy and condolences to the families of the many young people injured and killed. Our President, however, took to name calling. It was chilling to hear the other world leaders from France, Germany and the UK articulately express their sadness at this tragic event, and then hear our president use the term “evil losers” over and over again in a very rough, angry speech. He is on a world stage, currently in the Middle East attempting to build relationships with leaders in the Muslim world, and eyes are on him in these moments whether we like it or not.
  • Trump compromised our relationship with Israel and put our safety and security at risk in his careless handling of the ISIS leak to Russia. This article in Newsweekbetter explains Israel’s response.
  • Former CIA director John Brennan’s interview sheds light on contact with Russia during Trump’s Presidential campaign. Watch it hereon CNN.
  • Elizabeth Warren issued an insightful reaction to DeVos/Trump’s Education Budget. You can watch the video here from her Facebook page. 
  • Here’s a review of the budgetfrom NPR, which looks at the other areas of the budget, as well. This is a proposal and will need to go through Congress, so there will be changes before the final version, but we can all expect to be making a lot of phonecalls in upcoming months!

ACTION ITEMS

Support Upcoming Races

Support these races.  The Republicans are pouring millions into these – showing that they are nervous. Donate and make calls.  This is the beginning of creating change before 2018.

Jon Ossoff–Georgia: electjon.com

DATE of ELECTION: June 20

Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: June 20

Results for Rob Quist–Montana: http://robquist.org

DATE of ELECTION: May 25. Early results show Rob Quist behind Gianforte by a small percentage. Unfortunately, much of the state had voted early, meaning that they had already cast their votes before Gianforte bodychecked a reporter from the Guardian Wednesday night. He faces misdemeanor assault charges but may walk away with a win anyway.

Join with Hillary

Hillary has launched her new initiative, Onward Together, aimed at promoting progressive goals and helping people to organize and create change. She – and we – envision a better country for everyone. Click here to sign up.

Save National Monuments

From one of our readers:

Dear Friend to me and to the Earth — 

You can help to block Trump’s executive order to do the outrageous and unnecessary review of National Monuments. This will make it easier to submit your comments: To make your comment, just go to Regulations.gov using this link:

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Enter “DOI-2017-0002” into the search bar and click Search. Request to comment and fill out the comment box. (Note that you don’t need to give your name or contact info — which is optional.) Note the Deadlines – July 10!

In case it’s helpful — here’s what I wrote as my comment:

Keep all of our National Monuments intact as they are now!!! All of these places were designated after extensive public comment and due process. They greatly benefit local economies and are gifts to future Americans of all descriptions. And they represent the highest and most eternal American ideals, a tremendous boon to our heritage going back to Teddy Roosevelt.

Specifically, this comment is in support of Bears Ears in Utah, Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico, Grand Canyon- Parashant in Arizona, Cascade Siskiyou in Oregon, Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado, and Giant Sequoia in California PLUS all of the National Monuments on land and in Marine areas.

To be clear, I strongly urge the full protection and no shrinkage of ALL the National Monuments.

 

PROGRESS

We wanted to include a few action points from a breakfast we attended with Kirsten Gillibrand a couple weeks ago. She gave us many insights, but we will highilight a few ACTION ideas that will lead to PROGRESS.

Run for Office

Research the many roles you can play in politics, and if you are inspired to get more involved, run for the office you most want to hold. You do not have to start small/local and work your way up. If you want to serve your local community, run for City Council, but if you want to improve environmental issues in your state, run for Governer. If you are not up for running yourself, seek out candidates to support and host coffees, pass out postcards and campaign on their behalf.

Talk to people with different opinions

Have conversations across the aisle, even with Trump supporters. It helps. Maybe send Minds at Work or another resource to someone you know who voted for Trump, or who doesn’t seem informed on an issue that might be important to them. People might not change overnight, but surely we all know people who have changed their political views over the years. We need to make sure we are part of the conversation.

Use your network

This election was fought on social media, and that is still the battleground. We can follow the leaders, but we also have to use our own networks to impact change. Keep speaking up, sharing, liking, bringing humor and connecting with groups online and in person. It is making a difference.

Celebrate the victories at every level

We flipped two seats this week!

New York’s District 9 on Long Island

Democrat Christine Pellegrino has defeated Republican Thomas Gargiulo in the District 9 State Assembly special election, an upset in a district that Donald Trump won by 23 points in the 2016 presidential race. Christine was an elementary school teacher for 25 years before becoming more actively involved in politics during the 2016 Presidential election.

Congratulations, Christine!

In Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, a red part of the state where Trump won by 7%, Democrat Edie DesMarais won a State Representative seat. The first seat to flip from red to blue in 2017, many feel this is early evidence of how the tide is turning, a momentum that we hope will continue to the 2018 elections.

Congratulations, Edie!

CHARITY:

Yep, we push this every time. Keep giving what you can, and find the organizations that matter most to you. Please tell us about organizations that you see doing great work or philanthropic events that are open to the public. We are always happy to share.

 

EVENTS:

NGN Day 2017 – June 1 Nationwide

NGN Day is nationwide event created by The New Agenda, a leader in gender equality and career development for women. Join thousands of women around the country by attending interactive, networking events. Visit The New Agenda to find out more about NGN Day and Red Tents, an initiative to help women in communities gather and #resist.

Gillibrand Fundraiser in LA – June 1

If you are in Los Angeles and would like information on a fundraiser for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on June 1, please email us at mindsatwork18@gmail.com. It promises to be a fantastic event and if you haven’t heard Kirsten in person, she is not to be missed.  She has been at the forefront of the resistance and is practicing what she preaches and should be supported in 2018 and beyond.

 

READING:

This article from Salon is a great one to read to remind us why we are working so hard to resist, and what is now at risk since Trump came into power.

Books

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero is a memoir about Guerreros’ parents’ immigration to the US from Columbia, and later deporation. Guerrero remained in the US alone and lived with friends while finishing school.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander illustrates how the US prison system targests black people and creates a contemporary system of racial control.

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

 

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work

 

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.

 

Minds at Work #33

May 12, 2017

This has been quite a week – a wild mix of good vs. evil, hope and despair that leaves us feeling like we are in the midst of a real-life Marvel Comic. Rather than offer our own take on the status of the GOP healthcare bill and Trump firing Comey, we have some media sources to provide insights from some of our favorite experts speaking out and #resisting.

ARTICLES/VIDEOS

This interview with a former FBI agent is from the end of March. Pretty enlightening with accurate predictions.

Impact on Democracy, from the New Yorker

From Dan Rather on Facebook:

Future generations…

For complete lists each week of the subtle ways that authoritarianism is taking hold, follow Amy Siskind on Medium. 

ACTION ITEMS

Call Congress to demand a special prosecutor in Russia investigation.

This article on Bustle gives some tips and tools.

Here’s the DC switchboard number again.

202-224-3121

Regional numbers are often easier to get through and all calls are logged. You can find those on individual representative websites.

Resistbot

Text the word “resist” to 504-09

Then follow the instructions.

When it asks what you want to say, cut and paste this:

I am calling for an immediate independent investigation into President Trump’s ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin, in the wake of FBI Director Comey being fired.

The resistbot program will generate this letter to your Congressmen/women and send it for you. So easy. You can text “resist” to this text anytime you want to send something to them. Amazing.

Mailing against Healthcare Bill

If you are one of those people who loves a good mailing effort, this one is for Paul Ryan.

ATTENTION: Paul Ryan has turned off ALL of his public telephones & fax machines in response to protests.

So, let’s see what 67 million postcards looks like in his driveway.

Please start mailing postcards to his HOME:

PAUL RYAN

700 ST. LAWRENCE AVE.

JANESVILLE, WI 53545

Phone banks – see the websites of the upcoming races below

UPCOMING RACES

Support these races.  The Republicans are pouring millions into these – showing that they are nervous. Donate and make calls.  This article gives insight into the Montana race, where the Republican’s lead in the polls over Quist has narrowed from 13 points to 8 points in the last couple weeks. The GOP candidate, Gianforte, is a Trump supporter. This is a very good time to close the gaps and start the tide turning before 2018.

Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: May 16, June 20

Rob Quist–Montana: http://robquist.org

DATE of ELECTION: May 25

Jon Ossoff–Georgia: electjon.com

DATE of ELECTION: June 20

PROGRESS

One goal of Minds at Work is to remind everyone of the incredible work that is happening in spite of this agenda, and to encourage you all to continue to fight. Here are a few highlights:

  • Many Republicans are not taking the opportunity to hold Town Halls, afraid of what their constituents might ask about healthcare and other issues. To our delight, Democrats are going in their place. Read here about Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney’s Town Hall held in Republican John Faso’s neighboring district. Maloney had a seat reserved for Faso, who never made an appearance.
  • Our lawmakers are under close watch, and with the negative are many positive voices speaking out for change. Also, new tools and news sources are keeping us more informed than ever. For example, this new interactive tool from the New York Times was particularly helpful this week after the Comey firing.
  • Macron won the election in France. The pendulum will swing. In the meantime, we need to keep moving forward with all of our goals, and collaborate with those countries who are upholding our values. Emmanuel Macron, thank you for this message for scientists on climate change.
  • Women’s rights are human rights, and we have to remember that much of this backlash has developed in the face of progress. This article about an Australian politician breastfeeding in Parliament, and a picture of Times Square decorated for 50/50 Day, an event that envisions a future of gender equality, remind us to continue to speak up and recruit more voices.

 

CHARITY:

Charitable contributions and involvment continue to be high, and it is making a difference. CHOOSE a charity that you believe in and support by volunteering or contributing, and spread the word on social media. Here’s a very cool one we learned about recently. Please support and share!

A Women’s SuperPAC called One Vote at a Time is taking a team of female filmmakers to Virginia to make campaign ads for Democrats. And they’re going grassroots to do it.

Can you make a contribution today? crowdpac.com/c/onevote. Even a small donation makes a huge difference; we want to show the world the strength of our team, and there is strength in numbers. Our SuperPAC isn’t funded by billionaires; it’s people-powered, and we want YOU to be a part of it.

We also have a really cool opportunity to be seen by the Obama Foundation soon, so we’d like to get as many individual donors as we can in the next few days. Can you share our campaign with your colleagues and friends?

Thank you, immensely, for your support then and now. Together, we can support fight back, support female filmmakers, and TURN VIRGINIA BLUE!

EVENTS:

RussiaGate LA – May 13

If you are in Los Angeles this weekend, attend this RussiaGate March on Saturday, May 13th from 3pm-7pm. Here’s the link to the Facebook page for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/events/241279642944891/

NGN Day 2017 – June 1 Nationwide

NGN Day is nationwide event created by The New Agenda, a leader in gender equality and career development for women. Join thousands of women around the country by attending interactive, networking events. Visit The New Agenda to find out more about NGN Day and Red Tents, an initiative to help women in communities gather and #resist.

Gillibrand Fundraiser in LA – June 1

If you are in Los Angeles and would like information on a fundraiser for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on June 1, please email us at mindsatwork18@gmail.com. It promises to be a fantastic event and if you haven’t heard Kirsten in person, she is not to be missed.  She has been at the forefront of the resistance and is practicing what she preaches and should be supported in 2018 and beyond.

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “Every action’s an act of creation!”

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have h

Minds at Work #31

April 26, 2017

As we approach the first 100 days under our new administration, it is important to reflect on the PROGRESS we have made and give thanks to all of those who are working hard to protect our rights, our democracy and our world.

THANK YOU to everyone who marched over the weekend in the March for Science in Washington, D.C. and in sister marches around the country and the world. This march was crucial in showing that we will not let leaders dismiss scientific evidence in the interest of big business.

Also, a special thanks to everyone who campaigned on behalf of Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s special election. While he fell 2% short of the 50% needed to win the race outright, he is well-positioned for June and outperformed the polls’ predictions. We have just under two months to keep up the momentum (and the funding) towards a win on June 20th.

We have a long battle ahead to regaining the majority. To that end, we would like to continue to highlight groups that are doing great work at every level to get more Democrats on ballots, fundraise for candidates, and strengthen the resistance against the Republican agenda. Get involved at your local and state level, as elected officials start local and then move up.

ACTION ITEMS

Here are five ways you can have an impact in upcoming elections:

Join your local Indivisible team

Many local chapters have taken up the reins and are going strong. Go to a meeting and see how you can get involved. If you aren’t sure where to start, the link above will help you find your local group.

Join your local Democratic Committee

Join the Code Blue Team at www.codeblue.team

This organization is pounding the pavement, number crunching and recruiting teams to help fill every open spot on the ballot with qualified Democrat candidates and then get these candidates over the finish line.

Voter Registration Drives

Find out if your local Democratic Committee or another organization in your community is participating in a voter registration drive. Register Blue and Swing Left are two great organizations to follow and both organize local events to register voters and provide local information.  This is a great way to volunteer and increase the number of Democrats who make their way to the polls for every election. The percentage of registered Democrats who vote is lower than the percentage of Republicans, and while there are more registered Democrats overall, this doesn’t matter if they don’t vote! Here’s NPR’s quick snapshot from last March, before the Presidential election.

Upcoming races to support:

Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: May 2, May 16, June 20

Rob Quist–Montana: http://robquist.org

DATE of ELECTION: May 25th

Jon Ossoff–Georgia: electjon.com

DATE of ELECTION: June 20th

EVENTS:

The New Normal? Women, Media and Politics – April 27 and 28

The Gloria Steinem Initiative in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies is holding this event at Rutgers on April 27 and April 28.  You can watch the events live on Facebook here.  The speakers and panels promise to be enlightening and informative.  The livestreams begin at the start of each panel.  The livestream begins at 7 PM EST on April 27 and 8:45 AM EST on April 28.  In particular, make sure that you don’t miss GLORIA STEINEM LIVE on April 28 at 9 AM as part of the livestream.

50-50 Events nationwide on May 10th

To learn more about hosting a 50-50 event and start discussions on how to create a more gender-balanced world, visit the Let It Ripple website and watch the 20-minute film, “50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + Power.”

READING:

Inspiration

Read this article about the POWER of our RESISTANCE and a look at OUR first 100 days.

Immigration

One issue we must follow closely right now is immigration. While it has moved out of the spotlight a bit as the recent focus has shifted to Trump’s foreign policy, immigration laws and actions are creating real fear in our communities. Those who support strict immigration are acting out against immigrants and high numbers of refugees who had sought asylum in our country are leaving for Canada, no longer feeling safe here. Their fears are justified, as you can read in the article about Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year-old protected under DACA who was recently deported.

CHARITY:

Charitable contributions and involvment continue to be high, and it is making a difference. CHOOSE a charity that you believe in and support by volunteering or contributing, and spread the word on social media.

One of the best chances we have to shift attitudes and gain new supporters is to share stories – stories that inspire compassion and create tolerance. Nonprofits are invaluable in bringing these stories to the forefront. Our charity of the week is Sanctuary for Families, an organization that helps women who are victims of domestic violence overcome their abuse and find a path forward. Sanctuary also supports victims of sex trafficking and helps with immigration status and other legal implications for these women and their children.

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “Here, Sir, the people govern. Here they act by their immediate representatives.”

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.

Minds at Work #30

April 16, 2017

In this period of religious holidays, it is important to remember that we need a government that protects our freedoms – speech, religion, press, etc – as well as one that supports and protects its people – all people of all races, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds.

To that end, this is a special weekend edition of Minds at Work leading towards the election in Georgia’s 6th next week!  We need representatives in office who protect our freedoms and values.  We lost in 2016 but can’t be complacent during the special elections this year and into the midterms next year.  So please support and help in the following races.  The special election in Kansas last week wasn’t supposed to be close at all – and it was.  In Illinois, Democrats unseated a number of Republicans in local elections. This shows how this work isn’t futile.

Keep speaking out, sharing the facts, donating, calling and reaching out to friends and fellow patriots in the states where these elections are happening.  In two separate recent conversations with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill, they both spoke to the power of social media – if we share something with 20 people and they share with another 20 and so on and so forth, word spreads. But be responsible – spread REAL news sources, check your facts, and speak with respect, not condescension, to those with whom you don’t agree.  We won’t win over any minds by speaking down to those with another opinion.

RACES:

Georgia’s special election in its 6th district is TUESDAY, April 18.  THIS Tuesday. The Republicans are spending, spending, spending to fight off Jon Ossoff (electjon.com) as the race is extremely close.  Go to his website, make calls, donate, spread the word to those in that district you know.  Make sure they VOTE (and hopefully for Ossoff). This is one of the first tests in the post-Trump world and an important bellwether for 2018.  Don’t back down and keep it up!

Other upcoming races:

Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: May 2, May 16, June 20

Rob Quist–Montana: http://robquist.org

DATE of ELECTION: May 25th

READING:

This Washington Post article after the Kansas election was eye opening and a reminder that we need to keep up the work.

If the Kansas shift happened nationally, Democrats would have a stranglehold on the House

Nicholas Kristof wrote a fantastic op-ed entitled How to Stand Up to Trump and Win.  Worthy of a read as it breaks down what works and what doesn’t in resistance.  “But if “resistance” has a lefty ring to it, it can also be framed as a patriotic campaign to protect America from someone who we think would damage it.”

Lastly, we all can be inspired by this 16 year old who spoke up to and against Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) at his recent town hall.

CHARITY:

Keep your dollars flowing to Syria.  The humanitarian crisis there is unreal.  Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, White Helmets, etc.  Please help with what you can.

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?”

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.

 

Minds at Work #28

March 23, 2017

Today’s newsletter will be brief and focused on two pressing matters: the vote today on the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:

The House is expected to vote TODAY on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  The Republican “replacement” plan (the American Health Care Act) would leave a total of 52 million Americans uninsured by 2026.  It will also substantially increase premiums for older people, especially in rural areas, and with cuts to Medicaid, people living with severe disabilities will have far less support.  Call your representatives and tell them to keep the Affordable Care Act, not replace it with the American Health Care Act.  We are better off fixing and improving what we have rather than going backwards.

5 Calls makes it VERY easy to contact your representatives.  Or use Resistbot and have our texts faxed to your representatives to create a paper trail.

SUPREME COURT:

Judge Neil Gorsuch is currently undergoing his confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  No matter your opinion on whether or not he is qualified, no one should be appointed by Trump while he is currently under FBI investigation.  Senator Warren has called for this as well.  This is a lifelong appointment.  President Obama was thwarted from lawfully getting a hearing on his appointment – yet a man whose very election is in question and who is under investigation has a candidate currently going through the confirmation process.

Again, 5 Calls makes it very easy to contact your representatives as well as the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

RACES:

And a reminder of these upcoming races:

Jon Ossoff (electjon.com) is gaining momentum in Georgia.  This special election is April 18 – keep donating, making calls, spreading the word!  Here are some other upcoming special elections.  Click on the links to learn more about them, donate, phone bank, etc.

1) Rob Quist–Montana: http://robquist.org

DATE of ELECTION: May 25th

2) James Thompson–Kansas: http://www.votejamesthompson. com

DATE of ELECTION: April 11th.

3) Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: May 2, May 16, June 20

 

CHARITY:

A reminder to donate to Meals on Wheels – a program that helps feed 2.4M people EVERY DAY. You can donate here.  This program relies on a part of the federal budget that Trump is proposing to cut. Read about it here to better understand the impact.

 

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “I don’t wanna fight, but I won’t apologize for doin’ what’s right.”

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter!  Follow us @mindsat_work

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.

 

Minds at Work #27

March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  The parade in NYC will be going down 5th Avenue…right past the residence that costs taxpayers around $500K/day.  That was our transition into the budget!

THE LATEST IN TRUMPLAND:

Budget:

Trump’s budget plans were released yesterday and let’s just say that it’s an awful indication of his and his adminitration’s principles, priorities, and how they view us, the American people.  His Mar-a-Lago weekends (which have been every weekend so far) have cost us $3.3M/ weekend.  We are funding this billionaire’s (and his childrens’) lifestyles yet we aren’t expected to have access to healthcare (see TrumpCare/RyanCare), food, housing, the arts, a clean environment (and basics like running water), etc.  The NEA and EPA would be gutted and many programs would be cut up to 30% but of course there are increases for military spending and border security.  Not that we didn’t know this was coming as Pres. Bannon has made it his mission to dismantle the administrative state, but it’s still shocking to see it presented as “normal”.  Even many Republicans spoke out against it.  While a budget is usually completely dimantled by Congress who has budget oversight, it’s still a sign of how he thinks and views us and what’s important. And it’s not right.

Trump/RyanCare: 

The CBO came out with its report on the American Health Care Act and, as expected, yes it cuts the deficit but it will leave millions uninsured with premiums spiking.  Remember when Trump promised health care for all and that his plan would be “great”?  Please continue to call your representatives and ask them to keep the Affordable Care Act and just fix what’s already working rather than starting over with this awful, merciless plan (using your word against you, Ryan). Congressman Joe Kennedy had some apt and choice words.  

In other news…

Don’t get distracted by wire taps and tax returns (or lack thereof) and continue to pay attention to what’s really going on while Trump’s antics grab attention. He signed an executive order earlier this week “reorganizing” the Executive Branch (which basically allows heads of agencies to dismantle it).   You may have seen these lists going around social media, but just in case, here’s the legislation currently being considered by Congress:

  1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency
  2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
  3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
  4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
  5. HR 370 Repeal Affordable Care Act
  6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
  7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one ends unions)
  8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
  9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
  10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran

HR 610 is worth highlighting it basically starts the voucher rollout program, gets rid of the No Kids Hungry Act, and dismantleds the Elementary and Education Act of 1965 providing equal access to education.  Going to highlight that Steve King introduced this bill – add him to the list of those to vote out.

Pay Attention.  A reminder on two tools: 1) an easy way to do so is to use Countable – which will alert you to upcoming votes, help you contact your representatives, and then also tells you how they vote – so you can hold them accountable.  2) Use 5 Calls – the app shows you the issues of the day, you cliek on the ones you find important, and it connects you easily with the best people to lobby – whether your representatives, the heads of committees, etc.  3)  A few readers have brought to our attention ResistBot – it turn texts into faxes so you can have a paper trail with Congress.  Genius!  They all make it so easy!!

RACES:

Jon Ossoff (electjon.com) is gaining momentum in Georgia.  This special election is April 18 – keep donating, making calls, spreading the word!  A reminder for some other upcoming special elections.  Click on the links to learn more about them, donate, phone bank, etc.

1) Rob Quist–Montana: http://robquist.org

DATE of ELECTION: May 25th

2) James Thompson–Kansas: http://www.votejamesthompson. com

DATE of ELECTION: April 11th.

3) Archie Parnell–South Carolina: https://archieparnell.com

DATE of ELECTION: May 2, May 16, June 20

Governors:

There are 38 Governors to be decided between 2017 and 2018 with New Jersey and Virginia holding elections this year. These races are extremely important as right now, the Republicans control the majority of the states.  Here’s a handy breakdown. Of these 38 states, 27 are currently Republican.  Every battleground state outside of North Carolina is up for election and there are opportunities in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Colorado and Florida amongst others to turn the tide.  Start paying attention.

CHARITY:

Today we are highlighting Freedom House Detroit.  They had 60% of their funding cut by HUD for 2017.  It’s a program that provides services and support for refugees so the shift in political winds no doubt played a role in this.  Read more about Freedom House here as well as a link to donate.

In addition the Trump budget cuts Meals on Wheels – a program that helps feed 2.4M people EVERY DAY.  You can donate here.

READING:

This Washington Post article is a reminder to keep calling, writing, and meeting with our representatives.  They are hearing us and it is working. We know it’s only been a couple of months – and we have to keep this up for a few more years (hopefully shorter) – but please don’t get normalized. Keep resisting!  This is What It’s Like Answering All of Those Phone Calls

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “We’ll fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it.”

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.  Also, we are now on Twitter! Follow us at @mindsat_work. Looking forward to being in touch!

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.

 

Minds at Work #26

March 9, 2017

We hope that everyone had a fantastic International Women’s Day – whether you were striking, communing, wearing red in solidarity, or simply honoring and appreciating the women in your lives.

We wish we could start a newsletter claiming that not much has happened, but since Nov. 8, 2016, not a day goes by without something to protect, resist, or fight.

So here are the most recent action items… focused on health care and Russia.

TRUMPCARE: Size Matters

Well after seven years of promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with “something terrific” (quoth Donald J Trump), we finally received the Republican health care plan, the American Health Care Act, and let’s just say it’s not in any way better (unless your definition of better is a lower page count) or terrific, and in fact it’s much, much worse.  It’s an assault on women.  It will reduce overall coverage and increase premiums.   Many doctors, hospitals and insurers are against it.   But hey, it has rebuke from the left and the right so is uniting our country!

Senator Gillibrand shared her thoughts here and pasted below:

“Here are the top points you need to know about the Trump plan:

  1. It allows health insurance companies to charge older Americans more.
  2. It repeals the employer mandate, causing many families covered by their employers to lose coverage.
  3. It will take insurance away from millions of individuals and cripple state budgets by phasing out Medicaid expansion.
  4. It gives health insurance companies a tax break for CEO pay over $500,000.
  5. It defunds Planned Parenthood, leaving millions without access to breast exams, birth control, and pap smears.

We need to fight this terrible plan with everything we’ve got, because the stakes are literally life and death for millions of Americans.

Here are a few ways you can speak out:

  1. Call your members of Congress. You can dial the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224–3121.
  2. Tell your friends to call their members of Congress.
  3. Show up at your representatives’ town halls.
  4. Spread the word about this plan on Facebook and other social media.”

So PLEASE call your representative via 202-224-3121.  Also use the same number and ask for Paul Ryan’s office and tell him that you do not support this plan.

For those in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has organized a huge phone bank to call constituents in states where Republican senators might cross the aisle and help save the ACA. It’s all computerized and there’s a button that you can push to transfer the caller directly to the correct legislator’s office.

Here’s the Google doc link to sign up for shifts.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeSIui0Ol0Rft5-kC6aYkWVUQZDBY6QOVlwY7Eg-YgSjMpnkQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

RUSSIA:

Every day the plot thickens on this one. And the problem is that all of the investigations are being run by partisan Republicans, many of whom worked on the Trump campaign.  Rachel Maddow made a great point (and has been doing great investigative work here):  if Congress isn’t properly investigating due to their own partisan interests, it will be left to the press and the public.

We need an impartial investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  1.  Call and thank Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) for supporting and advocating for an independent prosecutor.  202-225-3906
  2.  Call Democratic leadership and ask that they demand an independent prosecutor: Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), 202-225-4965 and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), 202-224-6542
  3.  And from a reader who met with an aide in Senator Diane Feinstein’s office and received the following recommendations:
  4.  Demand a congressional and an independent investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.  Call the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Ask others in states represented by these members to call:  Iowa, Utah, South Carolina, Texas, Nebraska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Louisiana, California, Vermont, Illinois, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Delaware, Connecticut, and Hawaii.

RACES:

Going to continue to remind you to support Jon Ossoff (electjon.com) who’s the Democratic candidate running to fill Tom Price’s seat in Georgia’s Sixth District.  Support with money, phone calls, and canvassing if you can.

And let’s start educating ourselves on Kathryn Allen, a physician who’s running against Chaffetz in Utah’s 3rd Congressional district.  She might know that health care costs are more than the cost of an iPhone.  A PAC has been created to oust him.

CHARITY:

A reminder that so many of the battles ahead of us are to be fought in the courts – especially with a Republican controlled Congress.  Trump’s “update” to the Muslim ban basically just continued and worsened more of the same.  Hawaii became the first state to sue over Trump’s travel ban.   Continue to support the ACLU who has their work cut out for them to protect ALL of us.

***********************

Our daily dose of Hamilton: “The world turned upside down!”

***********************

Please continue to send us your ideas and feedback at mindsatwork18@gmail.com.  We appreciate any additions and corrections to keep our information as current and accurate as possible.

To subscribe, email us or follow our blog at mindsatworkblog.wordpress.com. You can read previous newsletters as well as find a number of resources and local events on the site.

Share Minds at Work with friends.  Join local groups.  Resist.  Persist.

Share ideas, take action, have hope.