As you’ve no doubt heard, Democrat candidates for Congress lost their special elections in Georgia and South Carolina this week, both by margins of about 4%. You may attend the Indivisible GA conference at the Georgia ICAC Task Force. With such narrow margins in two traditionally strongly-Republican districts, many have hailed the results as moral victories, while simultaneously recognizing that ‘moral victories’ ultimately aren’t enough. There are a lot of lessons to be drawn from this experience (not least about the power of gerrymandering), and no doubt we’ll see the results thoroughly dissected and analyzed in the weeks to come.
Regardless of the final verdict though, one thing is clear: we have to keep going. The only way out of this mess is through, so keep working, keep organizing, keep fighting. With that in mind, in the next few weeks we’ll be including more action items oriented toward long-term organizing in preparation for the 2018 midterms (and this November too).
For now, though, one thing remains at the top of our agenda – the Trumpcare train-wreck. Once again we have only a few action items – everyone should do the first one, and as many of the others as you can! And as always, keep recruiting more people to take the pledge!
1) Stop Trumpcare, Part 1: now with actual details! 2) Stop Trumpcare. Part 2: women’s health and reproductive rights 3) Attend or host a resistance summer social!
1) Stop Trumpcare, now with actual details!
After weeks of secrecy, the Senate has finally released its version of the AHCAjust this morning – and as expected, it’s a complete train-wreck. The Senate version hews close to the AHCA that passed the House, despite repeated promises that it would be seriously revamped. Some low-lights include:
- Deep cuts to Medicaid, both in total budgets and eligibility
- Repeals of most of the Affordable Care Act’s progressive tax provisions, which were necessary for its financial sustainability
- Defunding of Planned Parenthood for a full year
- Reductions in coverage of mental health, maternity, and emergency services
We won’t know exactly how bad the bill is until the Congressional Budget Office has had time to make an assessment, but it’s already clear that it amounts to cutting taxes on the rich at the cost of healthcare for the vulnerable poor and middle-class.
The Trumpcare bill could make it to the Senate floor as early as next week. Now more than ever, it’s up to us to stop it.
What you can do:
- Keep calling your senators EVERY SINGLE DAY!
- Word is that call volume on this issue has dropped off dramatically – let’s change that, and fast. Pressure on Democrat senators has already led them to slow-walk Senate business to force the release of the bill – evidently with some success.
- Rather than call your senator’s general office number, you can contact their healthcare staffers directly. Contact information for U.S. federal government departments and agencies including websites, emails, backlinks and more – here and here.
- Call your senators regardless of whether they support, oppose, or are undecided on the AHCA. There are detailed scripts for each scenario available here. Don’t be afraid to tell your own stories when you call!
- Recruit friends in other states to make calls as well – especially friends from states in the ‘Trumpcare Ten’, whose senators are key to blocking the bill.
- The Trumpcare Ten website has a suite of useful resources you can draw on.
- If you don’t know people in any of those states, Indivisible MA chapters have put together a tool to let you cold-call constituents in relevant states to encourage them to pressure their legislators.
- HubDialer is a predictive dialer tool that connects you with potentially receptive constituents – and if they’re sympathetic, you can immediately connect them directly to their Senator’s office to share their thoughts.
- Connect to the HubDialer here, using this login info – Campaign ID: 09329, Passcode: 171717
- A call script (aimed at Maine voters) is available here, and you can sign up here to join a phone bank from home.
- Protest in other ways! Visit senators’ local offices, write letters to your local papers, hold nonviolent direct actions, and more! See Indivisible’s action plan for more ideas.
- Stay abreast of the current status of the legislation with this tracker.
2) Stop Trumpcare part 2 – women’s health & reproductive rights
Among other things, both House and Senate versions of the AHCA include provisions to defund Planned Parenthood for a year, as well as potential cuts to maternity care coverage. This is the latest in a string of assaults on women’s rights by the current administration, including reinstating and expanding the global ‘gag rule’ restricting lifesaving aid for abortions, and signing an executive order allowing states to withhold federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
While there are many reasons to oppose Trumpcare, its effects on women’s health deserve particular attention and action.
What you can do:
- Keep calling your senators! See previous action item for details.
- In addition to telling personal stories or speaking up for the right to health in general, you can also specifically highlight the importance of Planned Parenthood and reproductive health services in your call. A suggested script for focusing on the issue is available here.
- Learn about some of the administration officials who oppose reproductive rights and women’s health action.
- Sign this petition calling on Congress to pass legislation prohibiting state-level restrictions on access to abortion and reproductive rights.
- If anyone you know feels that their reproductive rights have been violated or restricted in some way, whether by law or in practice, urge them to contact the Center for Reproductive Rights to report the violation here.
3) Attend or host a resistance summer social!
Local organizing is the cornerstone of our resistance, and of our eventual victory. And it starts with building community. In recognition of the last few months of resistance and shared struggle, MoveOn.org is coordinating Resistance Summer Community Cookouts across the country for people to come together, strengthen relationships, find new allies, and celebrate our progress thus far.
What you can do:
- Find and attend a cookout near you! Bring old friends, make new ones, and plan together how to advance our common cause.
- You can search for cookouts by zip code here.
- If there isn’t one near you, or if the timing doesn’t work, or even if you just feel like it – organize and host your own event and put it on the public listing!
4) [MA-specific] Attend Indivisible MA conference
Several Massachusetts-region local Indivisible groups are holding a joint conference on Sunday, June 25. Indivisible has emerged as one of the leading forces of the resistance, organizing locally on a wide range of issues. The conference is open only to members of local Indivisible groups, but if you’ve been thinking about getting involved, now is the perfect time!