Day 248: Provide and Demand Help for Puerto Rico

From our friends at Indivisible:

Demand Congress provide immediate emergency disaster relief to Puerto Rico. Before really digging in on TrumpCare and the current state of play, we wanted to express that our thoughts are with the 3.5 million people of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are American citizens and they deserve the same protection and federal support as any other American city or state. Right now the island remains under water, without power, and at least ten are dead. Congress must act THIS WEEK to provide emergency disaster relief to the Island. Demand that Congress do it, starting with calling your Representative.

And, if you can, please make a donation to Unidos to help people on the ground right now. The fund will be managed by the Hispanic Federation, a leading Latino nonprofit organization with more than 25 years of experience in providing disaster-relief assistance to Latinos in the United States and Latin America. One hundred percent of the proceeds will help hurricane victims and the recovery efforts through fellow community and civic organizations in Puerto Rico

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Jim Augustine
Day 247: Submit Testimony to Stop Trumpcare

The senate finance committee has asked for comments on on Graham Cassidy by 10am PST and 1pm EST on Monday, September 25th. All-of-us must share our personal stories about how devastating this bill would be.

Here’s how: Email GCHcomments@finance.senate.gov by 1pm Monday. Here is a suggested script from our friend Jen @ Jen Hoffman’s weekly checklist, but feel free to use your own.

Script: I/my family rely/relies on quality, affordable healthcare. Because of this, I oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill. My story with [Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, disabilities, affordability, etc.] is… I would like to see a bipartisan Congressional effort to improve the ACA, not repeal it.

Sincerely, [name]
[town, state]
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Jim Augustine
Day 244: How you can stop TrumpCare from a blue state

From our friends at Indivisible:  "Normally, we try not to send too many emails each week, but zombie TrumpCare is back and we don’t have a lot of time to stop it. The latest bill (“Graham-Cassidy”) is just the Senate’s latest version of TrumpCare by another name: it destroys Medicaid, hurts those with pre-existing conditions, attacks women’s health, and much, much more.

Mitch McConnell is moving the bill quickly… mostly under the radar. And he’s almost got the votes. Graham-Cassidy was sent to the Congressional Budget Office last week for a score.  But don’t be fooled, we won’t have a full score or understand exactly how many people this bill will hurt before it comes to a vote. McConnell is also whipping votes and rearranging the Senate calendar to make room for one final push before the rules of reconciliation expire on September 30th.

This is the biggest threat yet. Republicans who were a “no” vote last time around are wavering. Senator McCain has said he’d follow his Governor’s lead and, yesterday, Arizona Gov. Ducey came out in support of Graham-Cassidy. And Senator Collins of Maine, previously the most firm “no” vote, is still undecided, as is Senator Murkowski of Alaska.

How you can stop TrumpCare from a blue state.

Your tireless (and loud!) constituent power killed TrumpCare in July. And now, millions of people are depending on you to do it again. But if you live in a state with two Democratic Senators who oppose the ACA, you may be asking yourself: what more can I do? How can I influence persuadable Republicans in red states who may be on the fence?

Well, we have an answer! We’re bringing back the blue state/red state calling tool from the last healthcare fight.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here to sign up to make phone calls from our peer-to-peer dialing tool. You’ll get an email confirmation with a login, password, and URL to sign into our system. Once signed in, you can start making calls immediately -- and we’ll give you a script to make it as easy as possible!
  2. Next, you’ll call a voter in a key state with a swing Republican Senator. These folks are your friends—they attended the Women’s March, they’re standing up to #DefendDACA, and/or fight for progressive causes.
  3. You explain how they have power now. You’ll remind them why the continued fight against TrumpCare is so important—and why they have particular power in this moment.
  4. You ask them to use their power. You’ll ask them to call their senator in opposition to the bill, and to share their own reasons for opposing it.
  5. The tool connects them to their Senator’s office. The call tool will allow you to automatically patch them through to the Senators’ district offices.

It’s super easy: more than 1,000 Indivisibles in blue states made 100,000 phone calls to constituents in our target states in the final two days before the healthcare vote in July. And we won. We can win this time, too.

Sign up now to use our game-changing calling tool to help move Senators in key red states from the comfort of your home in a blue state. The call tool is LIVE! and you can start making calls immediately to residents in red states. Once you have a login, you can come back and make phone calls at your convenience from 9am to 7pm Eastern every day until we kill this bill.

Your support could help us make tens of thousands of calls in key states.

After you’ve made a phone call, we have one last ask.

We got a bargain price (13 cents per minute, per phone call) from the calling tool vendor, but in order to fund the hundreds of thousands of phone calls we need to make, it’s going to cost a lot of money. We’re trying to raise $30,000 to fund these calls targeted to residents in six key states: Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia, where the most persuadable Senate Republicans are.

If you can chip in just $26, you will fund 40 five-minute conversations between blue states to constituents in these six target states to emphasize the devastating impact TrumpCare would have and ask them to call their Senator on the spot. The last time we used this tool, it worked. We decided today to pull out all the stops once again and your support will allow us to fund thousands more constituents to pressure their Senators.

You’ve fought TrumpCare from the beginning, but now it’s really time to turn up the heat. From town halls in February recess to defeating it in the Senate in July, you’ve shown your constituent power at every step of the way. Republicans know that constituents don’t want TrumpCare to pass which is why they’re trying to pass this bill with as little attention as possible.

With your help, we won’t let them get away with it.

Thank you, as always, for fighting with us.

In solidarity,
Indivisible Team

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Jim Augustine
Day 243: Support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF) is a federal bill (HR 2640, S.1303) that opens up more foster and adoptive homes by restricting federal funding to states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of potential parents, as well as the sexual orientation or gender identity of foster youth. Contact your Congressperson
and your Senators to ask them to cosponsor it.

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Jim Augustine
Day 241: Save the Affordable Care Act... Again!

We're hearing that the Senate is only a few votes away from passing the Graham-Cassidy bill. It is time to mobilize!

What is it:
 Graham-Cassidy contains all the harmful cuts of previous GOP health bills, and will kick millions of people off of health insurance. 

  • Cutting health coverage and raising premiums and out-of-pocket costs for millions
  • Slashing Medicaid, converting the traditional Medicaid program to a per capita cap, and ending the expansion
  • Allowing states to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions

Graham-Cassidy takes the basic structure of the BCRA (previous GOP healthcare bill) and makes it worse. It keeps all the underlying Medicaid cuts. It keeps the ability for states to use waivers to further destroy Medicaid.

It also takes the money that the ACA uses to subsidize exchange plans and the Medicaid expansion and turns it into block grants for states to broadly use on health initiatives – not necessarily insurance starting in 2020. Of course, the block grants will start out about 16 percent smaller, and grow slower than expected inflation, which exacerbates the cuts over time.

Worse, the formula distributing the grants is designed to punish states with generous health systems by biasing them toward states that didn't expand Medicaid, have low levels of exchange enrollment. All states will take large cuts over the long term.

Oh, and the grants disappear entirely after 2026.

What to do?

You should call both your Senators and Representatives. To find contact info for your reps and Senators look here: www.callmycongress.com.

Call Script: 

"I'm upset that the Senate would even consider passing Graham-Cassidy. I'm concerned about its long-term caps on Medicaid, and its block grants, which cut federal health spending.

[If you have a story here – this is a good place to put it]

"Can I count on Senator Y to work on a bipartisan bill to improve the ACA and reject Graham-Cassidy, which would destroy large portions of the U.S. Health system?

Amplify on Social Media

Tweet at your senators urging them to oppose Graham-Cassidy: Find your senators’ Twitter handles. https://www.socialseer.com/resources/us-senator-twitter-accounts/ 

Share this tweet and this Facebook post about the ways that Graham-Cassidy is just as bad as previous repeal bills the Senate has already rejected https://twitter.com/FamiliesUSA/status/908677312727707648

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Jim Augustine
Day 240: Help Turn Virginia Blue Part 3

Jennifer Carol Foy is a proud public defender, progressive, and lifelong Virginian. She’s served her community by fostering children over 8 years. e started the Foundation for Foster and Orphan Children, a nonprofit committed to building better futures for orphan and foster children. Support her candidacy here.

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Jim Augustine
Day 238: Support Child Care for All

Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott have introduced “The Child Care for Working Families Act,” which guarantees affordable child care for low-income and middle class working families. The bill will provide parents with affordable, flexible, and quality child care options and creates sustainable jobs. Contact your Member of Congress and your Senators to ask them to sign on!

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Jim Augustine
Day 236: "Speed Date" Progressive Candidates in New York Oct. 5!

1460 invites you to “speed date” progressive candidates.
 
When:  Thursday Oct. 5, 6:30-8:30 pm
 
Where:  Gramercy, Manhattan, New York (full address supplied upon RSVP)
 
What: “Meet“ progressive candidates via Skype who are running to turn the Virginia and Washington state legislatures blue this fall!  Candidates will Skype into our event, speak briefly, and be available for questions.  Afterwards, we will ask attendees to make gifts on site via the web to those candidates they found appealing.
 
How Much:  We are asking attendees to pledge $100 to attend.  That night you can choose to whom to make gifts.  All gifts go directly to the candidates.
 
Questions/RSVP:  info@1460daysofaction.org
 

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Jim Augustine
Day 235: Stop Betsy DeVos, Save Title IX

Last week, Secretary DeVos chose to protect rapists and tip the scales in favor of sexual assault perpetrators by calling for an overhaul of Title IX sexual assault protections on college campuses. Title IX is essential in protecting each student's right to equal access to education and an educational experience free from violence. As evidenced by this latest announcement, the leadership of this Education Department has consistently demonstrated failure to ensure access to education for all. This latest attack is especially egregious, because it is veiled in false intentions to uphold the interests and needs of survivors. The tactics that DeVos is using are the same ones that rape apologists have used to silence survivors of sexual violence for decades.

We must not allow Betsy DeVos to turn back the clock to a time when rape was blatantly swept under the rug. Now is the time to fight back. Survivors: we believe you, we support you, and you are not alone. We will continue to fight with you. Allies and advocates: make your voices heard and stand up for survivors. Call the US Department of Education at 202-401-3000 today!

Link to action page; http://endrapeoncampus.org/dearbetsy/

 

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Jim Augustine
Day 233: Support the Dreamers

United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.  They write:  "Our powerful nonpartisan network is made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. We organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status."  Consider supporting them with a gift here.

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Jim Augustine
Day 232: End Global LGBTQ Persecution NOW! March on Sunday 9/10

A Rally in Advance of the 2017 United Nations General Assembly

https://m.facebook.com/events/1773296712969716

From September 12 - 20, the United Nations General Assembly will convene their annual meeting. Join us two days earlier, on Sunday, September 10 to call the attention of the delegations to the persecution of their LGBTQ citizens that scores of member states, on almost every continent, are pursuing or permitting. We plan to rally in solidarity with the global LGBTQ community and demand that the United Nations' own Universal Declaration of Human Rights be respected and recognized as applying to LGBTQ citizens. Speakers with experiences as immigrants, asylum seekers and asylees, and representatives from human rights organizations will share their stories.

Internationally, LGBTQ people are increasingly facing violence and persecution from either the state, religious institutions acting in the name of the state, or extra-judicial mobs operating with impunity from the state. Even in countries that have signed on to the 2006 General Assembly declaration of LGBT rights, not enough is being done to ensure that LGBTQ people are protected within their borders.

As activists and people of conscience worldwide watch in horror as LGBTQ people are rounded up, detained, imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured, and murdered, it is imperative that the United Nations take a forceful stand in denouncing these horrific acts and demand that member states protect LGBTQ citizens from the mob violence that is too often the result of their anti-LGBTQ policies. It is equally imperative that the United States and other signators of the declaration of LGBT rights adopt less restrictive and less onerous asylum policies and procedures in order to adequately address the unique traumas that persecuted LGBTQ people can be forced to endure.

Finally, it is also imperative that the moral, ethical Americans take a forceful stand on all of these issues, as our current presidential regime possesses neither the ethical understanding nor moral strength necessary to ensure that the United States continues to strive to live up to its ideals in order to truly be a beacon for global human rights.

Co-Sponsored by:
@RUSA.LGBT
@sosVenezuela2014
@venezueladiversa
Spectrum Uganda Initiatives

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Jim Augustine
Day 231: Spread the Word About ACA Enrollment

The Department of Health and Human Services announced massive cuts to Affordable Care Act marketing. Advertising will be cut from $100 million (2017 sign-ups) to $10 million for 2018. Grants to roughly 100 nonprofits, or "navigators," that help people enroll in health plans offered by the insurance marketplaces will be cut from $63 million to $36 million.

Help by spreading the word that ACA enrollment will last only 6 weeks this year. Enrollment takes place at https://www.healthcare.gov/.  Please share and re-post.

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Jim Augustine
Day 230: Support the Raise the Wage Act

From our friends at 5 calls: Democrats in both the House and Senate have introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2017 (S. 1242 / HR 15) that would raise the minimum wage by roughly a dollar a year until it reaches $15 in 2024. Thereafter, further increases to the minimum wage would be dictated by median wage growth as opposed to new legislation, the slow process through which it is currently done. The bill would also implement other ideas to address increasing income inequality such as the gradual elimination of sub-minimum wages for young people, people with disabilities, and tipped workers (restaurant workers and others in the service and hospitality industry).

Many lawmakers assume that minimum wage jobs are held by young people without major financial responsibilities, but the reality is that the majority of these job holders are adults and the primary breadwinners of their household; 62% are women and 6 million of them are mothers. Nearly three-quarters of Americans support raising the minimum wage. Nineteen states have already done so, and another 19 cities in red and blue states alike have increased the minimum wage to $15/hour. Under the Raise the Wage Act, nearly 30% of all American workers would see higher wages, including more than 40% of African American workers and a third of Latino workers.

Not only would increasing the minimum wage be the right thing to do for American workers and families currently struggling to make ends meet, it would greatly benefit the US economy. Consumer spending would increase, and the need for taxpayer funded public-assistance programs would decrease. Congressional support for the Raise the Wage Act is at an all time high with 30 co-sponsors in the Senate and 163 co-sponsors in the House. The time for Congress to act is now.

Call this office: House Committee on Education and the Workforce

202-225-4527

Why you’re calling this office:

This organization is driving legislation related to the issue.

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from New York.

[IF COMMITTEE]: I'm calling to ask that the committee schedule a hearing to discuss the Raise the Wage Act [S. 1242 / HR 15]. Nearly three-fourths of the American public support an increase to the minimum wage, and Congress must do its part and work towards achieving that goal.

[IF CONGRESS]: I'm calling to express my support for the Raise the Wage Act, [S. 1242 / HR 15]. Raising the minimum wage is necessary to combat poverty and income inequality in this country, grow the US economy, and create a better future for American families.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

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Jim Augustine