ISSUE 03|  February 13, 2017

Congress is in recess February 18-26th and members will be back home in their districts. This is an important time to make your voice heard.

U.S. House Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Diane Black were forced to answer tough, direct questions from their constituents at their district town halls in Utah and Tennessee, respectively, this week. Hold your local representatives accountable at their upcoming in-person events.  The Town Hall Project 2018 is maintaining a list of these events. Attend often and vocally!  

The Indivisible Guide has a searchable directory of local Indivisible action groups. Join one in your area, and follow Indivisible on Twitter to learn about the actions that groups are taking across the country.  

If your representatives are already mostly doing what you’d like them to do, keep showing up at their town halls but also adopt a red district nearby. We’re switching into long-term activism mode now.

TAKE ACTION.

Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, will begin his Senate confirmation hearings on Thursday. Not only is he is staunchly opposed to significant increases in the minimum wage, he is considered fundamentally anti-labor and anti-union — most notably evidenced in his glib suggestion that robots would be a preferable replacement to human workers. Four Republicans on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions have declined to commit to backing the nomination: Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Call the committee members — especially these four — and let them know you strongly oppose the nomination of a Labor Secretary who won’t protect the rights of workers. Remind Collins and Murkowski that passing someone you don’t intend on voting for on the floor is not good enough this time. Urge them to vote “no” and prevent this nomination from reaching the full Senate floor.

Republicans by Rank
◦ Lamar Alexander, Tennessee: (202) 224-4944
◦ Johnny Isakson, Georgia: (202) 224-3643
◦ Bill Cassidy, M.D., Louisiana: (202) 224-5824
◦ Pat Roberts, Kansas: (202) 224-4774
◦ Michael B. Enzi, Wyoming: (202) 224-3424
◦ Rand Paul (KY): (202) 224-4343
◦ Todd Young, Indiana: (202) 224-5623
◦ Lisa Murkowski, Alaska: (202) 224-6665
◦ Richard Burr, North Carolina: (202) 224-3154
◦ Susan Collins, Maine: (202) 224-2523
◦ Orrin Hatch, Utah: (202) 224-5251
◦ Tim Scott, South Carolina: (202) 224-6121

Democrats by Rank
◦ Patty Murray, Washington: (202) 224-2621
◦ Al Franken, Minnesota: (202) 224-5641
◦ Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin: (202) 224-5653
◦ Tim Kaine, Virginia: (202) 224-4024
◦ Bernie Sanders, Vermont: (202) 224-5141
◦ Michael F. Bennet, Colorado: (202) 224-5852
◦ Christopher S. Murphy, Connecticut: (202) 224-4041
◦ Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire: (202) 224-3324
◦ Robert P. Casey, Jr., Pennsylvania: (202) 224-6324
◦ Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts: (202) 224-4543
◦ Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island: (202) 224-2921

The White House is not QVC! Call the Office of Government Ethics and lodge a complaint against the President regarding his tweets about Ivanka’s brand and Kellyanne Conway’s “commercial” (her words as Sean Spicer would say). Office of Government Ethics: (202) 482-9300, extension #5.

Call your reps and demand an investigation into Michael Flynn’s illegal communications with Russia. The Trump administration needs to learn that they are not going to get away with incompetence and illegality like this. Call your senators and representatives and ask them to open an investigation into Flynn’s Russian communications. Here are some sample phone scripts from Indivisible.

The House voted to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission. The Commission was created in response to the 2000 election when our electoral process failed, and the Supreme Court chose the president instead of the voters. The 2016 election saw several allegations of fraud, misconduct, and foreign influence and it makes no sense to eliminate an agency that should be investigating those issues. The EAC also supports states in making voting easier. Eliminating it is part of the ongoing Republican campaign to make voting harder for poor people and people of color. Call your representatives in Congress and let them know you do not support the elimination of the EAC. Here are some sample phone scripts from Indivisible.

Show up for immigrants. Reports are coming in fast that ICE raids are becoming more frequent, especially in sanctuary cities. Sign up for the #HereToStay Network to know when and how you can show up for immigrants.

Anonymously ask an amazing woman you know to run for office through She Should Run.

TAKE CARE.

Get a free “Nevertheless, She Persisted” sticker when you sign up for NARAL Pro-Choice America membership.

Laughter is the best medicine. If you’re feeling down about having a clown as president, watching someone make fun of him can lift your spirits. Turn off the news for an hour and watch some political satire. SNL has been on fire post election. Samantha Bee (TBS, Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m. ET) and Seth Meyers (NBC, weeknights, 12:30 p.m. ET) have always got your back when it comes to laughing to keep from crying.

Nothing is more important than showing up in person, but sometimes it can be really draining. When you go to one of those town halls mentioned above, make a night of it! Practice self-care by bringing a trusted friend with you, and planning time to decompress over a cup of tea afterwards. If you’re nervous about attending events, give yourself something to look forward to after!

Take extra good care of your friends who are immigrants. The heightened rhetoric and unpredictability of Trump’s administration are making this a very scary time for our friends and neighbors. Check in with them, take them a meal, or leave them a nice note simply stating that you are happy they are here. Most importantly, when you hear your Trump-supporting friends and family members spouting Trump’s rhetoric and lies, make your support for immigrants loud and clear. You never know who is reading your post, or overhearing you on the train or in the office, and who will appreciate your support or notice your silence.

It’s Black History Month! Support a black-owned business. Treat yourself to a meal out, or a shopping trip at a local black-owned business, buy a book by a black author, see a film or a play by a black filmmaker. Give them a good online review and recommend them to your friends. It’s self-care and supporting your community at the same time.

If you can afford it, help a teacher fund their classroom. DonorsChoose.org is a crowdfunding site that shouldn’t have to exist, but will probably be even more important in the future. In the longer term, we have to fight for public schools, and for adequate resources for kids and their teachers, but no one should lose out in the meantime, and even a little bit of cash helps.

Read during your lunch break. Or any break. Whether you’re devouring Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist: Essays or Joel McHale’s hilarious and self-aware memoir Thanks for the Money—two of my most recent reads—it’s a few minutes away from your screen(s) and the resulting anxiety they bring. If you’re not familiar with your local library, now’s a great time to get to know it—plus librarians are fantastic people who know everything and would love to share that knowledge with you! If you’re more of an audiobook type, get a free 30-day trial to Audible.com. Lauren Graham reads her memoir, Talking As Fast As I Can, or if you want light romantic YA, try It’s Not Me, It’s You! by my good friend Stephanie Kate Strohm.