Thursday, February 27, 2020

ACTION: PASS A STAND-ALONE CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY BILL

Telephone
CONGRESS: PASS A STAND-ALONECORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY BILL  

ACTION ONE: CALL YOUR SENATORS

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR WYDEN AND MERKLEY:

My name is [–] and I’m a constituent from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am calling because…
It is outrageous that Trump wants to pay for fighting the Coronavirus by taking funds out of the Low-IncomeHeating Assistance Program and the Ebola response program. Congress must leave these funds along and quickly pass a stand-alone funding bill to tackle the Coronavirus.

ACTION TWO: CALL YOUR HOUSE REPS

Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Find out here. 

SAMPLE SCRIPTS FOR REPRESENTATIVES:

My name is [–] and I’m a constituent from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am calling because…
It is outrageous that Trump wants to pay for fighting the Coronavirus by taking funds out of the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program and the Ebola response program. Congress must leave these funds along and quickly pass a stand-alone funding bill to tackle the Coronavirus.

BACKGROUND:

America is unprepared to tackle Coronavirus because of Trump’s cuts to the CDC’s budget and his shuttering of the National Security Council’s and the Department of Homeland Security’s global health security teams. 
Trump is scrambling, asking Congress for $2.5 billion to address Coronavirus. But instead of using the system Congress has for funding emergencies, the White House wants to take $37 million from the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program and $535 million from the Ebola preparedness program to fund emergency work on the Coronavirus.    
Never mind how cruel it is to cut heating funding in winter ($37 million would heat homes for 750,000 families), or how foolish it is to stop work on the Ebola virus. Taking money crucial programs is also unnecessary.  
Congress has a special system for funding emergencies that is outside the usual budget process. There doesn’t need to be a battle about transferring money among accounts. Emergency funding is also tightly tied to addressing the emergency. It cannot be diverted to other programs if there is a surplus.  
This looming funding fight is unnecessary just as we face a real emergency. Congress should pass a stand-alone emergency Coronavirus spending bill. Quickly.  
  

SOURCES: 

Trump has already hamstrung the US Coronavirus response 
CDC official warns that Coronavirus epidemic in US is inevitable: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/25/health/coronavirus-us-american-cases/index.html 
Administration response to date: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/02/what-we-know-about-the-trump-admins-response-to-coronavirus.html 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

ACTION: SUPPRESSING THE CENSUS SUPPRESSES VOTES

Telephone
SUPPRESSING THE CENSUS SUPPRESSES VOTES 

ACTION ONE: CALL YOUR SENATORS

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR WYDEN AND MERKLEY:

My name is [–] and I’m a constituent from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am calling because…
The integrity of the Census is vital to protect fair elections and full representation.  I am asking the Senator to demand only a secure system be used to electronically collect census information.  I am also asking that he support an update to the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act.  No campaign should be allowed to subvert the Census.  Everyone must be counted.   Thank you. 

ACTION TWO: CALL YOUR HOUSE REPS

Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Find out here. 

SAMPLE SCRIPTS FOR REPRESENTATIVES:

My name is [–] and I’m a constituent from [city], Oregon [zip code]. I am calling because…
The integrity of the Census is vital to protect fair elections and full representation.  I am asking the Representative to demand only a secure system be used to electronically collect census information.  I am also asking that he/she support an update to the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act.  No campaign should be allowed to subvert the Census.  Everyone must be counted.   Thank you. 

ACTION THREE: TAKE ACTION IN 2020

Plan to call Congress with Indivisible Oregon on a weekly basis.  Set goals for your election work in 2020.   Swing Left holds regular letter writing parties. You can sign up at: Take Action Now.  If you are in the Portland area, join Indivisible Oregon letter writing parties with Swing Left/Vote Forward . You can also contribute to Swing Left Fundraiser. We are all in this together. 

BACKGROUND:

The 2020 Census would seem to be one of the most basic, mundane exercises of government.  Count how many people live here, and where they live.   
But the consequences of that count are far-reaching.  It determines the distribution of federal dollars and the number of congressional seats and electoral college votes for each state. 
The Census Bureau hopes to conduct the count primarily on-line.  Their IT contractors have admitted that Russians have already hacked the website.  
Paper forms can’t be hacked, but the Republicans don’t see an accurate census as important in a functioning democracy.  Rather, they see an opportunity to skew the numbers to their benefit. 
The RNC is mailing Trump campaign surveys that look like official Census forms, even using the heading “2020 Congressional District Census”.  The concern is that people will fill out this propaganda survey thinking that it’s the actual Census form. 
Republicans have shown little interest in preventing Russian hacking.  Also, they are openly engaged in an on-going campaign of confusion and disinformation intended to undercount and disenfranchise entire communities. 
Tell your MOC’s that to protect fair elections and full representation, they must work to provide stronger safeguards to ensure the integrity of the Census.

SOURCES: