action opportunities

Friday 5/19 Action Opportunities

1. We need Congress to convene a special select committee – like the Senate Watergate Committee – to guarantee public hearings, testimony, and reports while the special prosecutor investigation unfolds behind the scenes.  Appointing a special counsel is an important step, but Congress must now carry out its constitutional responsibility in our system of checks and balances. During this constitutional crisis, such a committee – like the Senate Watergate Committee – is the most certain next step to help restore faith in our democracy.  When the rule of law breaks down, individual rights are endangered. The public has a right to know the truth about Russian interference in our elections and the possible collusion of our president’s campaign – and the recent attempts to thwart the investigation. We need hearings, testimony, and reports to happen in public.  All Americans have the right to participate in our democracy, and transparency lets that happen. 

  • Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
  • Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
  • Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________.  I’m contacting Senator/Representative _________ to urge him to support the creation of a special select committee to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and President Trump’s attempts to thwart the investigation.  A special select committee can ensure the government accountability and transparency that are sorely missing right now from our Executive Branch.  As your constituent, I call on you to support the establishment of a select committee of Congress to investigation Russian interference in our 2016 election, possible Trump campaign collusion, and interference with the investigation.  Thank you.”]

2. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is not holding any public meetings on the national monument review, and the open comment period is suspiciously short — it runs only 15 days. Furthermore, when pressed about the accessibility of the online open comment period, Zinke said that everyone can access the internet. When others pointed out that many Native American families and communities don’t have internet access, Zinke blithely continued to claim that everybody had internet access. This is blatantly untrue and shows Zinke’s lack of concern for both accessibility and populations which would be most affected by the DOI’s review. Furthermore, the 15-day written comment period gives communities little time to organize, and is also biased against those whose primary language is not English.  Join Senator Martin Heinrich in calling for Zinke to extend the public comment period and hold public meetings about this issue. (Read Heinrich’s full letter to Zinke here.)

  • Phone, with employee directory: (202) 208-3100
  • Mailing address: Ryan Zinke, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington DC 20240
  • Email address: feedback@ios.doi.gov 
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is ______ and I am contacting Secretary Zinke today to express my deep concern over the short open comment period and lack of public meetings for the national monument review. A 15-day period is not sufficient time to receive comments from the public, and gives communities which would be affected little time to organize a response. Furthermore, the lack of public meetings disadvantages people without internet access, including poor people and many Native communities who do not have easy access to internet. Others have pointed out that this comment process is biased against people who come from an oral tradition or who do not use English as their main language or at all — such as many Native communities which the review would affect. In the interest of making this process fair and public, I urge Secretary Zinke to extend the open comment period and hold public meetings on the subject. Thank you.”

3. Ask Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Representative Goodlatte to join Senator Heinrich in sending Zinke a formal request to extend the open comment period and hold public meetings regarding the review of the national monuments.

  • Kaine: Washington DC: 202–224–4024, Manassas 703–361–3192, Roanoke 540–682–5693, Virginia Beach 757–518–1674, Richmond 804–771–2221, Abingdon 276–525–4790, Danville 434-792–0976, and his contact form is here.
  • Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
  • Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is ______ and my zip code is ______. I am contacting Senator/Representative ____________  to ask him to join Senator Martin Heinrich in calling for an extension of the 15-day public open comment period on the review of our national monuments. Additionally, Secretary Zinke must hold public meetings for this to remain truly open to the public. Currently, the written comment process is not accessible to people who would be most affected by the review. I urge ___________ to insist on an extension of the written comment period as well as public meetings to hear from people on the topic. The current process seems designed to be both rushed and biased against Native Americans. In the interest of democracy and keeping public issues truly public, please call on Zinke to change this process to take into account the complexities of the issue. Thank you.”

4. UPCOMING EVENTS – Saturday – Disruption Racism – 2:30-4:30 – Staunton Public Library
Join us for this important community discussion. Presented in conjunction with Staunton Action, a local group aimed at creating a productive learning environment for students of all backgrounds.  

“Disrupting Racism: Responding to Injustice” Co-presenters Greg Czyszczon and Steven Thomas will provide ways for people to recognize and respond to situations in which they encounter racial microaggressions and other kinds of racism.
 
Saturday – Where’s Bob? – 3:00-4:45  –  Staunton Public Library
SAW Action Movement will be taking video statements to be edited together and shared on YouTube. It is time to pressure Goodlatte on emoluments clause and other conflict of interest issues. As the head of the House Judiciary Committee it is within his job description to introduce Articles of Impeachment against 45.

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