action opportunities

Wednesday 9/27 Action Opportunities

1. The humanitarian crisis in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria continues to worsen, but the Department of Homeland Security will not waive the Jones Act to allow foreign vessels to bring aid. This despite waiving the act twice earlier this month — for Texas and Florida. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are U.S. territories and need all the help they can get. One thing we can do is sign and share this petition to the DHS to waive the Jones Act and allow Puerto Rico and the USVI to get the help they need.

2. Another thing we can do is ask our members of Congress to join Senator John McCain in calling for a repeal of the Jones Act. In a letter to the DHS, The Hill reports, McCain wrote, “It is unacceptable to force the people of Puerto Rico to pay at least twice as much for food, clean drinking water, supplies and infrastructure due to Jones Act requirements as they work to recover from this disaster […] Now, more than ever, it is time to realize the devastating effect of this policy and implement a full repeal of this archaic and burdensome Act.”

  • 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 [NAME] today to urge him to join Senator John McCain in calling for a repeal of the Jones Act, which is currently preventing foreign vessels from bringing aid to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The DHS waived the Act for Texas and Florida but has not done so for the two territories. This Act does nothing to protect us and in fact does the opposite. In the senator’s words, ‘Now, more than ever, it is time to realize the devastating effect of this policy and implement a full repeal of this archaic and burdensome Act.’ Thank you.”

3. Republicans have 4 days to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill — which would strip healthcare from millions. This bill would end the Medicaid expansion and leave folks with preexisting conditions out in the cold. We ask you to commit to contacting our senators on this issue from now until the 30th. Let’s make sure they hear from us every day about this through Saturday.

  • 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’s office to express my deep alarm and anger at the Graham-Cassidy bill, an even harsher attempt to gut the ACA which would leave people with preexisting conditions without coverage. I am thanking the senator for opposing this bill and asking that he do everything within his power to prevent its passage. Thank you.”

3. UPCOMING EVENT – Thursday, 9/28 at the Staunton Public Library from 6-8
Beyond Resistance: Visioning a united community: 
It is time to acknowledge resistance fatigue and develop a new battle plan. Come contribute to the planning process and fan the flames of democracy. Help create a larger community vision and leave with bold and clear action steps.

4. UPCOMING EVENT – Saturday – March for Racial Justice – Washington DC
The bus will leave from the Staunton Mall parking lot at 6am. Please arrive early. Make sure to pack food and plenty of water. If you take medications please remember to bring them with you. If you still need to submit payment for your seat you can either mail it to PO Box 875 Fishersville VA 22939 or submit through PayPal at this link.

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