action opportunities

Thursday 7/27 Action Opportunities

1. (From 5calls.org) Yesterday, Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets that the US military will no longer allow transgender troops to serve in any capacity, reversing the Obama administration’s July 2016 policy permitting transgender troops to serve openly. Trump’s claim that transgender troops’ service will “burden” and disrupt the military is at odds with both common decency and objective facts. A Pentagon-commissioned, nonpartisan RAND Corporation study found that providing gender confirmation treatment to transgender service people would have a minimal impact on the military’s combat readiness. 

[…] The legal status of Trump’s assault on transgender troops is also unclear, as is the military’s position on Trump’s tweet-based policymaking. The implications of this announcement for the roughly 6,000 transgender troops currently serving are also uncertain. We do not even know if Trump will need to formally sign this policy into law. However, it is clear that members of Congress must speak out firmly and strongly against this discriminatory policy and the bizarre manner in which it was announced. Contact our Members of Congress and tell them that you support transgender troops, and you demand that they do too.

  • 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 the Congressman/Senator tell him that I support transgender troops, and that he needs to denounce Donald Trump’s recent Twitter announcement that the US military will no longer allow transgender troops to serve. Transgender Americans should have the right to serve their country while receiving the gender confirmation therapy they need. It is unacceptable for Trump to attempt to strip them of these rights in a series of tweets. As former Vice President Joe Biden said, ‘Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.’ Thank you.”

2.  If you would like and are able to give to or share information from advocacy groups on this issue, here are a few you can support:

3. (from 5calls.org) The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to advance the nomination of Damien Schiff. He will now be scheduled for a full Senate vote for final confirmation. Damien Schiff, Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, is infamous for his extremist opinions both in and out of the courtroom. On his anonymous blog, Schiff called Supreme Court Justice Kennedy a “judicial prostitute,” accused a California school district of “teaching ‘gayness’ in public schools,” and opposed both Lawrence v. Texas (the landmark Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized homosexual sex) and the legalization of adoptions by same-sex couples. During his time as a lawyer at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, Schiff argued for allowing unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns and argued against environmental protection laws including the Endangered Species Act. In a 2011 interview, Schiff claimed that the EPA treated American citizens “as if they were just slaves.” At the time, Schiff was representing an Idaho family that was suing the EPA for denying them a permit to build a house on a protected wetland. Schiff’s extremist views suggest there is no place for him in one of the highest courts in our country, and his own words demonstrate that he lacks the gravitas and restraint to serve on the Court of Federal Claims. Contact our Senators to ask them to vote against Schiff’s nomination.

  • 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.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting the Senator to express my concern about Damien Schiff’s nomination to the US Court of Federal Claims. Schiff has publicly espoused extremist views that are at odds with judicial precedent, and has consistently proved that he lacks the judgment and temperament to serve on a federal court. I ask that the Senator vote against his nomination. Thank you.”

4. Yesterday, Governor McAuliffe released the following statement in reaction to the Senate’s vote today in support of the motion to proceed on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
“Congressional Republicans once again are hastily working to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and rip away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans. This process has been negotiated in secret and there is no clear path forward. Both the House and Senate versions to replace the ACA would leave hundreds of thousands of Virginians without insurance, decimate our state budget, and severely impact our ability to provide quality health care coverage and long-term care for those who need it the most. On behalf of all hard-working Virginia families, I urge the Senate to reject any legislation repealing the ACA. Instead, let us work together in a bipartisan manner to improve the ACA, stabilize our private health insurance markets, and increase health insurance coverage for all Americans.”

Let’s thank McAuliffe for speaking up for healthcare.

  • Governor McAuliffe: 804-786-2211 Contact form: http://ow.ly/ZQ1f3094opb
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting the Governor to thank him for his statement denouncing the Senate’s motion to proceed on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I appreciate him not only working to protect the healthcare of Virginians with the ACA, but also being vocal in his opposition to the disaster that repealing the ACA would be. Thank you.”

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