- [URGENT] Support the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock
- Pressure Trump to resolve conflicts of interest
- Flood the GOP’s 100-day plan of action survey!
- Ask Cambridge to drop charges against Cleon Hodge
- Set up a donation list to support progressive non-profits
Once again, try to get to as many of these as possible over the next week. And get your friends to take the solidarity pledge as well!
[Useful Resource] If you’d like to be involved with calling reps but have issues with anxiety or feel nervous about it, check out this useful guide!
[MIT campus] For a simple way to fulfill this week’s pledge commitment, come and join us for a phonebanking session on Thu, Dec 1, 11 am – 2 pm, at the Latino Cultural Center (W20-001). Please come by for as much time as you can spare! It’s high-energy, fun, and there will be people on hand to help if you’re unsure of what to do. The phonebanking will focus on Standing Rock, as the most pressing of this week’s issues (see below!), but you can join us to work on other action items as well/instead if you prefer.
1) [URGENT] Support the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock
The Army Corps of Engineers and ND Governor have threatened to ‘evict’ #NoDAPL water protectors on Dec 5. At the same time, over 2000 unarmed US military Veterans for Standing Rock will be “deploying” to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Dec 4 to provide peaceful protection against militarized police actions. Tensions are high and this week is a critical juncture in the Natives’ struggle to protect their rights and the Missouri River, source of clean water for millions of people.
Call the White House, Army Corps of Engineers, other representatives, and investors to ask them to stand up for Standing Rock. By calling you can support and protect the peaceful water protectors from the threat of eviction, and speak out against militarized police action and the construction of the pipeline. Scripts and contact information are here and will be updated throughout the week as events unfold.
In addition, donations to the Sacred Stone and Red Warrior Camps are still welcome. You can also still send supplies from the wishlist, but Native leaders have requested that you only send winter clothing if it is extremely high quality winter boots or sleeping gear (see the Sacred Stone Camp FAQ for more info).
2) Pressure Trump to resolve conflicts of interest
Donald Trump has an unprecedented number of conflicts of interest, partly due to his extensive business holdings (the extent of which remain unclear), and partly due to his apparent lack of understanding of what actions are traditionally taken by the president-elect, such as the creation of a blind trust. Conflicts of interest are dangerous: Trump’s business partners, interests, and debts will impair his ability to make impartial decisions for the good of the United States, in turn posing a serious risk of corruption and even a threat to our national security.
Presidential Accountability Act – Rep. Katherine Clark (MA) has introduced a bill to force US Presidents to resolve conflicts of interest before assuming the office. Existing law prohibits federal office holders from engaging in government business when they stand to gain profit, but the POTUS and VPOTUS are currently exempt. Contact representatives and ask them to publicly voice their support for this bill. Scripts for calling here.
Emoluments Clause Resolution – Senator Ben Cardin (MD) introduced a resolution on Tuesday based on the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This clause limits employment by federal employees during their time in office. Contact senators and ask them to co-sponsor this resolution, and urge them to publicly speak out about the importance of preventing conflicts of interest. Scripts for calling here.
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has yet to respond to the letter from all 17 Democratic committee members requesting the committee investigate Trump’s conflicts of interest. Call your representative or contact the committee directly and urge them to review the president-elect’s conflicts of interest. Scripts and contact information here.
Read, share, donate! – The Sunlight Foundation (a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all) is keeping a useful, continuously updated list of Trump’s potential conflicts of interest. Donations are tax-deductible.
3) Flood the GOP’s 100-day plan of action survey!
Trump has released a survey asking for feedback on his 100 Day Plan of Action. Let our voices be heard! We may not completely change his policies, but we could at least nudge them away from the most threatening and destructive ones.
Vary your answers where possible. Don’t just answer “not important” or “no opinion” to everything or your response may be discounted – mark the least egregious or regressive items as more important. For more details, see here.
DO NOT use your primary email address unless you want to receive a lot of emails trying to sell you Trump-Pence memorabilia!
4) Ask Cambridge to drop charges against Cleon Hodge
Last month in Porter Square, a man named Cleon Hodge bumped into a plain clothes police officer. Hodge allegedly put his hands up after finding out the man was an officer, and as a result was frisked and detained with no reason given. Two women intervened, one legally recording the encounter and another allegedly trying to grab the officer, and they are now facing possible charges for interfering with an officer and assault. The Cambridge Police Department has issued a statement backing the officer, and Cambridge mayor Denise Simmons has made a neutral statement.
If you find this situation unacceptable, then voice your concern:
Contact the Cambridge City Mayor and other officials to express support for dropping all charges against Hodge and the two women. Scripts and contact information here.
Attend the next Cambridge City Council meeting on December 5th at 5:30PM, and make a public comment.
5) Set up a donation list to support progressive non-profits
If you didn’t do this last week, please take a bit of time to set it up this week!
Non-profit organizations working toward social change are going to face serious (and expensive) challenges over the next four years, and donating now allows them to budget for these challenges. Sending money cannot be a replacement for action, speaking out, and the hard work of organizing. But donations make it easier for trusted, experienced nonprofits to achieve results. Recurring donations are especially convenient and give the nonprofit a steady stream of support that can lead to better budgeting and planning for year-round projects.
We have curated a list of non-profits that are especially in need of regular donations. We hope that you will join us by supporting the causes you feel most strongly about.
That’s all for this week. Thank you for dedicating real time and effort to standing with us for real progress. And don’t forget to share your commitment and actions with friends, both online and in person!
If you have questions or suggestions, or would like to get more involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We especially welcome suggestions for potential action items!
Until next week,