Uncategorized

Are you registered to vote?

1. Remember, today is your last chance to register to vote in the upcoming VA general election, or update your registration!
2. EVENT: Tonight at 7 PM at Mary Baldwin University’s Francis Auditorium, there is a film showing of “13th: From Slave to Criminal With One Amendment.” This film examines the US prison boom and the systemic criminalization of African Americans.
3. CONTACT SENATORS: This Thursday, the Senate will vote on the Senate Republicans’ budget proposal for 2018 — which includes a devastating cut of $5 trillion in federal aid to Medicare and Medicaid. This is how the Trump administration plans to finance their “tax reform” plan — which is primarily tax cuts for the already rich. From 5calls.org: “Under normal Senate procedure, this sort of radical change would face opposition in the Senate due to the 60-vote threshold usually required to pass a budget (8 Democrats would have to join all 52 Republicans). However, Republicans are using the 50-vote threshold ‘budget reconciliation’ procedure to move them forward. The House 2018 budget resolution contains $203 billion in non-defense budget cuts which are also expected to largely come from Medicaid and Medicare. No matter what compromise is made between the two chambers, Congressional Republicans will undoubtedly target the health care safety net and endanger the most vulnerable among us.”
Contact our senators and tell them to defend Medicare and Medicaid.

  • 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 today to ask him to defend Medicare and Medicaid from the cruel cuts proposed in the Senate Republican’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal. Elderly and low-income Americans shouldn’t have to sacrifice their healthcare to make room for tax cuts for the already wealthy. Thank you.”
Uncategorized

Wednesday 10/17 Actions on Anti-Choice Bill

We’re a bit late getting this one out today, folks! Sorry about that!
1. CONTACT GOODLATTE: Goodlatte voted yes to pass the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” through the House. This would put a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, with the only exceptions rape, incest, and the life of the mother (not the health of the mother). Despite the name, the science on fetal pain indicates that the systems that allow one to feel and be conscious of pain don’t even develop until 28-29 weeks. This bill pretends humane concern but is anti-science and anti-choice. Tell Goodlatte you do not approve of his vote.

  • 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 Rep. Goodlatte today to express my strong disapproval of him voting yes on the so-called ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.’ This bill is not supported by science and is a thinly disguised attempt to strip away vital reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. I will remember this vote when I next visit the polls.”

2. CONTACT OUR SENATORS: Tell Senators Kaine and Warner to vote no on this bill when it reaches the Senate.

  • 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’m contacting Senator [NAME] today to express my concern over the so-called ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’ which has passed the House. It’s based on bad science and is bad for reproductive rights and health. Please vote NO on this bill. Thank you.”

3. REMINDER: Last day to register to vote in the upcoming election is fast approaching!!! Check to make sure you’re registered and have a valid photo ID!!!
4. EVENT: Postcard Party, Tuesday 10/17 at 9 AM at the French Press in Waynesboro — We’ll be meeting there to chat, writer letters and postcards to Democrat/liberal voters as part of Plus 3, and write to our elected officials. Please join us!
5. EVENT: Goodlatte Open Door Meeting, Waynesboro Public Library, Tuesday 10/17 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM — come give Goodlatte’s staff your letters, concerns, and feedback!

Uncategorized

Friday 7/28 Action Opportunities

1. (From 5calls.org) In late June, a group of 10 State Attorney Generals wrote a letter to Jeff Sessions demanding the administration to rescind DACA, the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that grants protected status to immigrant children brought into the US illegally by their parents. If DACA is not rescinded by September 5th, the AG’s are prepared to challenge the program in court, using the same legal approach that led to a 4-4 SCOTUS ruling on DAPA (parents) and a DACA extension. DHS Secretary John Kelly warned the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that if a legal challenge were to arise, the Trump administration would not defend DACA, and the program would not survive. Without DACA, nearly 800,000 young people would be at risk of deportation to countries they have never known, devastating their lives and installing fear throughout our immigrant communities. Kelly’s advice to lawmakers was to solidify DACA through legislation. On July 20th, Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status and a path to citizenship for DACA participants (also known as “Dreamers”). Bipartisan support has been growing over the years to protect Dreamers, with Trump himself reversing his hard line against the program soon after he took office. However, despite Trump’s words, the new administration has pursued partisan anti-immigrant measures. Congress must quickly move to support and pass the DREAM Act to protect Dreamers, and State AG’s must defend DACA instead of threatening legal challenges. Contact our Virginia Attorney General and ask him to defend Dreamers and the DACA program in our state.

  • Mark Herring: 804-786-2071 Contact form here.
    Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I’m contacting Attorney General Herring to express my serious concern about the legal challenge threatened by other State Attorney Generals to end the DACA program. Dreamers in school, in the workforce, or who are veterans contribute greatly to our society and should be given a path to citizenship, not deported. I urge Attorney General Herring to defend Dreamers and the DACA program in our state. Thank you.”

2. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to reject (45-55) the repeal without replacing the ACA. The next big Senate event is the vote-a-rama to push a “skinny repeal” (Source: NBC). Contact our senators to tell them to oppose this measure. We all deserve better healthcare and legislation-making than this.

  • 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 ask him to vote against a “skinny repeal” for the ACA. We all deserve better healthcare and legislation-making than this. Thank you.”

3. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems determined to return our country to the past when prosecutors and judges were required to impose mandatory minimum sentences, even for non-violent offenders. This was a key “weapon” in the failed War on Drugs policy pursued in the 1980’s, which jailed a disproportionate number of poor urban black and Hispanic Americans, swelled prison populations, placed state and local governments in the impossible situation of funding and managing overcrowded prisons, and deprived millions of the right to vote. Mandatory minimum sentencing, which has been recognized by conservatives and liberals alike as restrictive and destructive, will only harm another generation of poor Americans. The ACLU reports that African Americans are 4-5 times more likely to be convicted for drug possession, even though blacks and whites use drugs at roughly the same rates. More troubling still is that even after convicts have served their time, many cannot vote, obtain employment, get loans, or even rent apartments.

The downstream effects of mass incarceration on poor urban families and communities are nearly insurmountable. The response from legislators on both sides of the aisle has been a swift and clear “no.” Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Bobby Scott (D-VA3) have reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, [HR 2435] which allows prosecutors and judges to use their discretion to consider each case separately. The Justice Safety Valve Act is a crucial check on the unjust and regressive actions of the Attorney General. Contact Goodlatte to ask him to move this bill along and support it.

  • 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 in support of H.R. 2435 for House, the Justice Safety Valve Act. Prosecutors and judges should use their own discretion to consider each case, instead of imposing arbitrary mandatory minimum sentences that result in mass incarceration. Please tell the congressman to give this bill his full support. Thank you.”

4. UPCOMING EVENT: Saturday – Rally in Support of Transgender Rights and Healthcare

Saturday morning, from 10-12, we will be having a rally on the Augusta County Courthouse steps. It is a dual purpose rally, to show support for transgender people, especially those in the military, and to support healthcare for all. Please come join us!

5). UPCOMING EVENT – Saturday – Indivisible Staunton Public Meeting
Saturday from 3:45-4:45pm at the Staunton Public Library, we will be having our July Public Meeting to organize a resistance event. We had some great ideas at our last meeting and now’s the time to put them into action! There will also be an opportunity to train to register to vote. The process is very simple and only takes about 15 minutes. We will be in the meeting room at the library.

Uncategorized

1. From Rogan’s List: There’s been bipartisan criticism of Drumpf’s ridiculous idea of working with Vladimir Putin to stop future election hacking. But it’s not enough for members of both parties just to criticize him to the idea. Republicans have done that plenty. They need to actually take action and stop this from happening. Let’s all contact our members of Congress and tell them to use the appropriations process to bar the President from forming this “joint cyber-security unit,” and to instead provide federal assistance to states and localities to help secure out election infrastructure against future hacks.

  • 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 tell him to use the appropriations process to bar the President from forming this “joint cyber-security unit,” and to instead provide federal assistance to states and localities to help secure out election infrastructure against future hacks. Thank you.”

2. From 5calls.org: In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposal to roll back the Waters of the United States Rule, a 2015 rule that expanded the bodies of water covered by federal environmental protection laws under the Clean Water Act. The rule extended the environmental protections already provided to large, navigable bodies of water to the smaller waters that flow into them, like rivers, streams, and wetlands. The Obama-era rule was designed to clarify conflicting court rulings. Repealing the rule was a Drumpf campaign promise. Ending the Waters of the United States Rule removes Clean Water Act protections from water sources that supply drinking water to one in three Americans to provide regulatory breaks to big corporations. As the Environmental Law and Policy Center noted, “Rollback of clean water standards rejects years of work building stakeholder input and scientific data support, and it imperils the progress for safe clean drinking water in the Midwest.” Supporters of the Waters of the United States Rule also worry that this is the first step in a broader attempt to gut the Clean Water Act as part of the Drumpf Administration’s pro-business, anti-environment agenda. As we have too frequently seen, state and local jurisdictions do not always adequately protect and maintain water sources, and federal protection is needed to ensure that the water that families, communities, and businesses depend on remains clean and safe from pollution. Contact Goodlatte and tell him to oppose the planned rollback.

  • 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: http://goodlatte.house.gov/contact/email/
  • Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____. I am contacting Representative Goodlatte to tell him to oppose the EPA’s planned rollback of the Waters of the United States Rule. Ensuring clean water for all Americans is a national priority that requires federal support, and it is irresponsible to end a rule that protects 1 in 3 Americans’ drinking water sources. I urge him to fight against the elimination of the Waters of the United States Rule. Thank you.”

3. EVENT – Coffee and the Climate – Blue Mountain Coffees – 9-10am – 12 Byers St

One of the first steps we can take towards convincing the City of Staunton to adopt a comprehensive climate action plan is to meet individually with members of City Council and discuss with them our concerns. Over the next few weeks, Local and Vocal will be scheduling those meeting. Please join us as we meet with Councilman James Harrington to discuss our concerns and ideas and to listen to his in return. If you can’t make it to this one, please stay tuned for the meetings with other members of Council.

Uncategorized

Friday 7/7 Action Opportunities

1. Most of our healthcare related AOs have been focused exclusively on blocking the AHCA and BCRA, so this time we are including a step farther and including a request that our senators don’t just fight against those bills, but that they also fight to improve the ACA, and Medicare. Contact our senators and keep the pressure up.

  • 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’m contacting the Senator to thank him for opposing TrumpCare and to encourage him to pursue efforts to make the Affordable Care Act stronger. We still need to extend health care coverage to more Americans. This is an opportunity for Democrats to go on offense with better ideas such as a Medicare-for-All public option. The Republican plan to repeal the ACA is cruel and unacceptable, and the best way forward for the American people is to find a way to fix the ACA’s problems than introduce new ones. Thank you.”

2. Office of Government Ethics Director, Walter Shaub Jr., turned in his resignation on Thursday. The move follows months of clashes with the White House over issues such as President Trump’s refusal to divest his businesses and the administration’s delay in disclosing ethics waivers for appointees. [NPR articleNYT article]. Especially after Goodlatte made the news just after the election by trying to gut the House Ethics committee, it is important to contact him and tell him how important nonpartisan ethics oversight is to the proper functioning of government.

  • 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 Representative Goodlatte because I am concerned about the Office of Government Ethics. Non-partisan ethics are a basic tenet of democracy, and it is very telling that the Director of the OGE is leaving to join a non-partisan organization because he feels he could have more impact there. We have not forgotten that Goodlatte made the news just after the election by trying to gut the House Ethics committee. Having safeguards for ethics in our government is always vital, but in a presidency where the conflicts of interests and blithe disregard of established restrictions on emoluments and nepotism even more so. We are still watching and waiting for Representative to actually uphold the Constitution by holding Trump accountable. Thank you.”