Blog

action opportunities

Monday 8/14 Action Opportunities

1. UPCOMING EVENT – Tuesday – Goodlatte Open Door Meeting in Waynesboro, 11:30-1pm

There is so much we need to talk to Goodlatte about this month. In addition to what happened this weekend in Charlottesville, tomorrow, August 15th, is the five year anniversary of the first young immigrants being able to submit DACA applications for immigration relief. Now, under Trump, DACA and TPS recipients face the unthinkable prospect that they could be ripped from their homes, with DACA facing a major threat as early as next month. Please come out to ask Goodlatte to work against the groups, not target immigrants, protect our healthcare, and any other issues about which you are passionate. This meeting is in the middle of the workday, so if you have any letters or messages you’d like to send Bob, please email them to us and we will hand them off. If you can be there, we urge you to come in person.

2. Contact Senators Kaine and Warner and Representative Goodlatte to ask them to demand that President Trump fire Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller immediately.
They are white supremacists. They are traitors to this nation. These men should not be in positions of power in the White House.

  • 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
  • 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 [Representative/Senator] __________ today to ask him to demand that President Trump fire Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller immediately. They are white supremacists. Especially after this last weekend, we cannot sit by and allow white supremecy in the White House. They are traitors to this nation. These men should not be in positions of power, and I ask that you do everything in your power to pressure for their immediate removal from their jobs in the White House. Thank you.”

3. If you are moved to do so, and are able, here are two crowd funding campaigns to which you can donate to help cover medical bills of the injured from this last weekend in Charlottesville:

Updates

Statement on Charlottesville Terror Attack (with crisis resources)

trigger warning: non-graphic discussion of violence, injury, death, terror attack

This Saturday, protesters gathered for a counter-demonstration against the white nationalist “alt-right” in Charlottesville. Solidarity events were held in Staunton and elsewhere for those unable to attend.

The Charlottesville events converged in a march in the afternoon, with protesters chanting and carrying signs. The mood was exuberant, defiant, even jubilant as hundreds joined together to support racial justice and equality in the face of hatred.

That mood changed to terror when a car rammed into protesters in a hit-and-run that left many injured. The injured were transported to the hospital and police took statements from witnesses. Tragically, one person was murdered in the attack. One of our coordinators was on the scene but was not seriously injured.

Today, we witnessed a terrorist attack that shows the lengths some will go to in the name of hatred and white supremacy. We also witnessed a huge police presence with riot tanks and cops arriving before ambulances and medics. That caused an even greater sense of panic on the streets, the response too focused on force at first and not aid.

However, we also saw the strength of the bystanders, street medics, emergency personnel, those who shouted warnings, and everyone who helped the victims. We saw the power of hundreds of people uniting against hatred, putting their own safety on the line.

We are powerful when we stand together. That power scares these white supremacist terrorists. They want to frighten us — silence us with violence. If you’re scared right now, we are too. But we won’t stop fighting.

In the wake of this, we ask that you:

  • Not share photos of the victims or articles containing those photos
  • If you share articles with images of blood, violence, etc. please add a content note as this can be triggering to trauma survivors
  • Reach out to your support systems — family, friends, etc. — if you’re feeling scared or helpless
  • If you are privileged, reach out to your minority friends to check in and let them know you’ve got their backs
  • If you witnessed the attack, please contact the authorities to give a statement
  • Crisis hotline if you need it: 1-800-273-8255 or 775-784-8090

SAW Action Movement will be holding a vigil for the victims at Men’s Green Thumb Park from 6 – 8 PM.

action opportunities

Monday 8/7 Action Opportunities

1. Join us this afternoon for Moral Monday 6-7pm at Men’s Green Thumb Park. Gather at the intersection of Rt 11 and Rt 250 and your protest signs. Bring a friend, bring your family, bring your desire to effect change.

2. (From 5calls.org) On August 1st, the New York Times revealed details of an internal Department of Justice document they obtained that describes plans by the Civil Rights Division to crack down on university ‘affirmative action’ policies. In the document, the department is seeking lawyers to investigate and potentially sue universities for discriminating against white applicants (“intentional race-based discrimination”) in their admissions processes. Typically, the Educational Opportunities Section of the DoJ handles university matters, but due to reported unwillingness by these career civil servants/education experts to reverse course on civil rights, the political appointee staffed Civil Rights Division will handle this project. This new affirmative action project falls in line with other actions taken by Jeff Sessions and the DoJ that attack civil rights and equal opportunity for minority American populations. The continuing systemic racial discrimination and oppression in our society often makes it harder for young people of color to obtain the same educational resources as their white counterparts. Affirmative action admissions programs allow students from these disadvantaged backgrounds more balanced access to higher education. The Supreme Court has also ruled that a diverse student body has its own educational benefits, allowing universities to use race as an admission factor. While many white students have criticized and waged lawsuits against affirmative action, claiming unfair rejections in favor of “less qualified” students, the statistics simply don’t line up. In fact, white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action policies. University ‘legacy’ policies also grant admission to students from predominantly white families, regardless of their performance level. A glaring example of this practice is Jared Kushner’s acceptance into Harvard to the surprise of many of his teachers who thought he was not qualified. (His father also donated $2.5M to the school.) Contact the Department of Justice to speak out against this injustice.

  • -DOJ phone: 202-353-1555; online contact form here.
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting the Department of Justice to express my serious disapproval of the Department’s plans to investigate and sue universities because of their affirmative action admissions policy. This is clearly another attempt by this Department to deny equal opportunity to minority Americans in order to perpetuate white privilege, and I demand this project be shut down immediately. Thank you for your time and attention.”

3. Here’s a familiar refrain… contact Goodlatte to tell him we want an in person town hall this congressional recess.

  • 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 Congressman Goodlatte to make a request for an in person town hall this August. He has the rest of the month in congressional recess, when he is supposed to be doing work in his district, and I want to talk to my Congressman. Please contact me with the date this August that he will be holding a face-to-face town hall meeting. Thank you.”
action opportunities

Sunday 8/6 Action Opportunities

1. Voter registration will play a key role in the Virginia state elections and the 2018 elections. We are organizing door to door voter registration and other events. To be able to register more than 25 people, you need to be certified. It’s a simple process that involves watching a 15-minute video and filling out a form. Even if you’ve been certified in the past, you will still need to re-take the certification after July 1st of this year. Go to this link to watch the video and then fill out the form if you’d like to help us register voters this year.

2. It seems like we never find anything to thank Rep. Goodlatte for in these action items, but we’ve found two bipartisan pieces of legislation which he has cosponsored. HR 3530 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. Hemp is one of humanity’s oldest, fastest-growing crops and is a vital renewable resource. Once grown across America, its production dropped with the criminalization of marijuana use. While hemp comes from the same cannabis sativa as marijuana, it is a different strain entirely and typically cannot be used as a drug. What it can be used for is products including paper, clothing and textiles, paint, insulation, food, biodegradable plastics, biofuel, and animal feed (check out Forbes here for more info). Removing industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act makes common sense and environmental sense. Let’s contact Goodlatte to thank him for signing on as a cosponsor of HR 3530.

  • 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 Congressman Goodlatte to thank him for cosponsoring HR 3530, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. I believe this bill would allow us to more easily make renewable and biodegradable products, and is a good step towards decriminalizing marijuana in general. The congressman’s stances on environmental policies are important to me and will affect my vote. Thank you.”

3. From OneVirginia2021: Politicians are asking for campaign donations, but do they oppose gerrymandering? Please send OneVirginia’s script to the campaigns of each of these candidates:

Some campaigns have a contact form to fill out; others will let you simply copy and paste OneVirginia’s message into your email and hit send. Please let us know what responses you get!

  • Suggested script: “Gerrymandering is toxic to our democracy and has led to legislative gridlock in Virginia. Voters should choose their representatives and not the other way around. Legal experts agree that it will take a constitutional amendment to end the practice of political gerrymandering in Virginia. Will you vote for a constitutional amendment that prohibits political gerrymandering in Virginia? This issue is very important to me – I will only support candidates who don’t support gerrymandering.”
action opportunities

1. EVENT: Do Your Job, Bob! protest and office relay 10-12

We will gather in front of Bob’s Staunton office for a Do Your Job, Bob! protest from 10-12 this morning.D During the protest, we’ll also go up to Bob’s office one by one and spend about 10-15 minutes per person dropping off letters and voicing our concerns in a relay before coming back down to the protest and sending the next person up. We hope to see you there!

2. (From couchactivism.org) The bipartisan Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 stated there would be no discharge of pollutants from a point source (a pipe or ditch) into navigable waters without a permit, and provided government funding to construct new systems of waste disposal. And in this capacity, the law has been successful. This landmark law, however, largely exempted runoff from agricultural fields and irrigation ditches. As a result, pesticides, manure, and other pollutants have flowed into streams, rivers, and eventually lakes and bays. Enter, the Clean Water Rule of 2015. The Clean Water Rule, which was first proposed in 2014, sought to clarify the legal jurisdiction of the federal government under the Clean Water Act. In doing so, it expanded protection for two million miles of streams and 20 million acres of wetlands. One of the main problems the rule is designed to address is the runoff of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilized farm fields. High nutrient levels in downstream waters can impact drinking water, and they can also lead to spikes in algae growth that produce low-oxygen “dead zones.” The law is currently stayed nationwide (aka, has a hold on it.). Those in support of this repeal say the 2015 protection is too costly. Some landowner and agricultural groups have lambasted it as an overreaching infringement of private property rights and an onerous burden on farmers and ranchers (in spite of the fact that the rule does not change agricultural exemptions, nor does it regulate farm ponds, puddles, groundwater, erosional features, or most ditches). And then there’s climate deniers. The 2015 rule was widely criticized by industry — including fossil fuel producers, manufacturers, and agribusiness — as well as by Republican lawmakers, who called the rule an example of overreach by a federal agency. President Drumpf signed an executive order in February, directing the EPA, which issued the original rule in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, to “review and reconsider” the rule, paying special attention to the definition of “navigable waters.” (from ThinkProgress).

The 30 day public comment period is now open. Submit your comments here and spread the word on social media.

3. With the August congressional recess, we have a whole month to press Goodlatte to hold a real, in person town hall. Contact him specifically to once again ask for a town hall.

  • 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 Congressman Goodlatte to make a request for an in person town hall this August. He has the rest of the month in congressional recess, when he is supposed to be doing work in his district, and I want to talk to my Congressman. Please contact me with the date this August that he will be holding a face-to-face town hall meeting. Thank you.”