Friends,

It’s been quite a week again in Trumpland. These last couple days, hearings for the Russia investigation have gotten into full swing. We’ll be bringing you more on that next week, but this week we’re taking a break from that whole affair to focus on something even bigger – climate change.

Last week’s big headline was of course Trump’s withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement. This week, therefore, we have one major action item on climate change, along with three smaller items. Do as much of the first one as you can, but don’t forget the others as well! (Note that the 4th one is very urgent!)

1) Defend our climate

2) Keep helping to #FlipThe6th!

3) Don’t forget about healthcare!

4) [URGENT][Boston-local] Stop the deportation of Francisco Guardado!

Meanwhile, keep recruiting more people to take the pledge as well!

—–

1) Defend our climate

Last week, Trump announced that the US will formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement – our best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change and ensuring a safe future for ourselves and our children. The withdrawal is a gross abdication of US leadership (especially since the US is the biggest carbon polluter in history) and has drawn widespread international condemnation. While some analysts argue that formal withdrawal may be better than staying in the agreement as nominally-participating climate deadbeats, there’s no doubt that this is a body blow to our hopes of keeping the world within the so-called ‘safe limit’ of 2 degrees Celsius.

In the absence of federal leadership, it now falls to us to keep our climate livable. Numerous states are stepping up to fill the void – California, New York, and Washington have led the way in reaffirming their commitment to the Paris climate targets, and many others have followed, including Massachusetts. Just this week, Hawaii became the first state to formalize that commitment in law. Thousands of cities, companies, and other organizations have joined in as well, with a formal statement recently released.

What you can do:

  • Call your governor and ask them to reaffirm your state’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, if they haven’t already done so – or better yet, ask them to sign on to a formal statement, such as We Are Still In.
  • Companies and investors have a big role to play here as well – while governments make the rules, it’s often up to companies to actually implement them.
    • Hundreds of companies have already expressed their support. If you work at or are otherwise connected with a major company, consider asking your employer if they’ll join in.
    • In particular, most of the CEOs on Trump’s various advisory councils have yet to speak up about the withdrawal, except for Elon Musk (Tesla) and Bob Iger (Disney), who have both stepped down in response. Check this list (or the Wall-of-us version here) to see where these CEOs stand, and pressure them to speak up! You can call their companies or post on social media – major corporations like these pay close attention to their Twitter and other public feeds.
    • Similarly, major investors can have an enormous influence here – large investors just successfully passed a shareholder resolution forcing Exxon to take better account of climate change in their business plans. If you have retirement savings or other investment accounts with a major fund (e.g. Vanguard, Fidelity, State Street, etc.), tell them you’d like them to speak up, both publicly and in shareholder meetings.
  • Universities in particular have a duty to set a good example here, and indeed many university leaders have likewise spoken in support of Paris. Hundreds have signed on to the We Are Still In statement, and earlier this week Ivy League university presidents joined many others in declaring their formal support. If you’re affiliated with a university that hasn’t stepped up yet, ask them to do so as well!
  • While there’s not much Congress can do directly about US participation in the Paris Agreement, it’s still worth making our voices heard – especially since formal US withdrawal won’t happen until the day after the 2020 election.
  • Finally, think about how you individually can reduce your carbon footprint. While climate change is very much a systemic and structural problem, every bit of individual action still helps! Check out this useful list of simple things you can do.
  • For more information and ideas, check out Indivisible’s detailed guide.

2) Keep helping to #FlipThe6th!

The Georgia 6th District special election is on June 20 – that’s in under two weeks! With last week’s news, it’s worth noting that Republican candidate Karen Handel supported Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, while Democrat Jon Ossoff spoke out against the move. All the more reason to take back the seat!

What you can do:

  • Donate to the campaign, or better yet, volunteer!
  • If it seems like we’re giving a lot of attention to this one race, there’s good reason for that:
    • The race is incredibly close and could be our first major electoral victory of the Trump era
    • It’s great practice for building organizing capacity for future electoral campaigns
    • As we saw with the Obamacare repeal vote in the House, which passed by just four votes, every single seat really counts!

3) Don’t forget about health care!

Speaking of health care – with so much else in the news, don’t forget that the abominable AHCA is still lumbering its loathsome way through the Senate. Senate Republicans are reportedly optimistic about the bill’s chances after fresh meetings this week, and they may push for a vote before the end of this month. For the sake of the 23 million who would lose access to health care and the millions more whose costs would skyrocket, we have to stop them!

What you can do:

  • Stay abreast of the current status of the legislation with this tracker.
  • Keep calling your senators (and possibly your governor too)! For details, see our previous ‘Defend our Healthcare’ action item.

4) [URGENT][Boston-local] Stop the deportation of Francisco Guardado!

Francisco Rodriguez Guardado is a father of two and a janitor at MIT. He’s lived in the US since 2006, mostly in Chelsea and the greater Boston area. Francisco is facing an ICE deportation hearing next week. Support the campaign to halt his unjust deportation, led by SURJ Boston, Jobs With Justice, Chelsea Collaborate, Mijente and other groups.

A little more about Francisco (information courtesy of SURJ Boston) – his children are US citizens, aged 10 and 5, and another child is on the way. In addition to working at MIT, he runs his own carpet cleaning company. He is a member of his children’s school parent committee, of the community organization Chelsea Collaborative, of the church Tabernaculo biblico seguidores de Jesus, and a union member of 32BJ SEIU (Service Employees International Union) at MIT. Mr. Rodriguez pays his taxes and contributes to his community, church, children’s school, and workplace. There is no reason for ICE’s attempting to deport him other than his immigration status.

What you can do:

—–

That’s all for this week – as usual, keep encouraging people to take the pledge, and please share any thoughts or questions with us at solidarity@mit.edu!

 

Yours in solidarity and resistance,

Solidarity MIT

solidaritypledge.com

 

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