Act of Resistance 7-11-2018

This is cutting into writing time so I’m going to make this quick!

Last week I sent an email to the Democratic Party in the county where I live, volunteering for whatever they might need me for. Now, this is the second time I’ve done this, so I’m not actually expecting a response, but today I also sent them an application form to join as a member. I’ll be attending my first monthly meeting next Wednesday and plan to make it a recurring habit. I don’t know why I haven’t received responses to my calls to volunteer. Maybe they have so many volunteers they didn’t need me, or maybe they prefer volunteers who are members, or (and this is what I think most likely) in this rather Red county they don’t actually do a lot. I don’t know. But I’m going to get involved, find out, and do what I can to help elect Democrats in all offices.

I also called my Senators using scripts and info from this page on the I Called My Reps site. We need to do everything we can to block the SCOTUS nomination put forth by Trump. Brett Kavanagh is a threat to Roe v Wade and we need to take this very, very seriously. There’s also info on the above page for what you can do in the meantime, including supporting a Democratic Senate race in your state. This is very important. Not only because of the SCOTUS nom, but for the country as a whole for the next two+ years.

I also secured my absentee ballot for the August primary since I’ll be away from home on the day of the primary. I haven’t filled it out yet because I need to review a few candidates and decide who I’d like to support (Democrats of course, but which one!) I’ll do that tonight after the kiddos are in bed!

And last I shared information on Twitter, Facebook, and here on how to oppose this SCOTUS nomination. It may not seem like much, but if my posts or tweets get even one person to join the fight, then I’m happy with that result.

So find something you can do in the fight against Trump and get involved! Also, I’d love to hear from others what they have been doing to resist! Feel free to respond in the comments.

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Act of Resistance: 6-27-2018

Not going to lie, it’s hard to keep these letters going some days. After SCOTUS decision to uphold the Muslim Ban and siding in favor of the bigoted baker over the gay wedding cake, and knowing no one (okay, a few people) actually read the letters on my blog, and just feeling daily that there’s no winning with these people, it can be hard to continue.

But none of that is why I do it. I write letters because I need to hold my elected representatives accountable. I know they aren’t always going to do what I ask. I know some of them care more about their donors than they do their constituents. I know that GOP reps are NEVER going to listen to me. But if I don’t DO anything, I’m allowing them to operate unhindered. They need to know how we feel about the issues and if enough people speak out, things can change.

Slowly. Too slowly. But change does happen. And it won’t if we just sit around and be mad about it. We have to write, call, protest, run, share information, combat ignorance, and rest.

Rest is important. Last week I didn’t write letters. I did donate to Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages, a drive that’s raising money for RAICES which pays for lawyers and bond money for undocumented immigrants. It’s not much. It’s small. But it’s something. And in this landscape every act of Resistance helps.

And the biggest reason why I post my letters here and other actions is because it helps me when I see others resisting. When I see a bumper sticker or a T-shirt, or a blog post or Tweet it helps me keep going. Every protest brings tears to my eyes. Every community that bands together to stop unjust actions by this administration is balm to my heart.

So keep Resisting, no matter how small your act is. Because we need every single one to win. And we need to see them to keep going!

As always, see I Called My Reps for scripts and info. Most of my words came from these scripts.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I am deeply saddened by SCOTUS decision to uphold Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban. It is a deep scar on the fabric that makes up America and will be regarded in the future to an erroneous decision much as the determination that is was acceptable to inter Japanese citizens during WWII was. Please speak out against this decision and continue to do all in your power to fight for what is morally just in this country.

I ask you to support Senator Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act. The Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy is only harming families, adding a strain on the system, and causing incalculable emotional and physical damage to many of these young children. The fact that 658 children were taken from 638 parents during a two-week period in May, is unacceptable. This bill would ensure that families would only be separated in the most extreme circumstances, including situations where the child or children were at risk.

I ask that you support the opening of investigations into the DHS’s implementation of their zero tolerance policy for families at the border. Per journalists who are now touring facilites and writing stories about the policy, the practice of separating families is leading to children being jailed in detention facilities w/ limited access to fresh air, parents being arrested when they refuse to be separated from their children, and so many more horrific acts. These are horrific practices that are unacceptable, inhumane and need to be looked into ASAP. I am counting on you to push for investigations questioning these practices, and push for department and policy changes, to eliminate these acts.

I ask that you support Senator Corker’s bill S.3013 to limit the President’s ability to impose tariffs on the basis of national security. Trump’s most recent round of introduced tariffs are negatively impacting trade, international relations, domestic jobs and were justified using measures that were originally introduced for limited use/war time powers. Please support Senator Corker’s bill.

While I agree with the concerns about the efficacy of the UN Human Rights Council, I disagree with the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw entirely. We cannot influence the council’s decisions or stances if we are not part of the discussion. Please condemn Trump’s move in this regard.

Please push for Scott Pruitt’s resignation as director of the EPA. His ethics violations cannot be tolerated and if we do not condemn him now we are setting a precedent for all other officials of his stature in the future.

I ask that you take action on gun legislation stalled in the Senate including Senator Feinstein’s Age 21 Act changing the purchase age for assault weapons, and Senator Murphy’s S.2009\background check expansion act. The continuation of school and other mass shootings is a clear indication that action needs to be taken and taken now! I demand that you move forward with gun legislation and that you encourage your colleagues to do the same. I also ask that you strongly condemn Concealed Carry Reciprocity and vote against it should it come to the Senate floor.

I ask that you support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller as introduced by Senator’s Tillis, Coons, Booker, and Graham.

I ask that you vote against the Ronald Mortensen nomination to the State Department. Mortensen has been nominated to a position he knows very little about – he has little to no knowledge of refugees. Additionally, his demonstrated record of being anti-undocumented immigrant, could very well influence how he chooses to tackle refugee related-subjects.

I would like to know how you and the rest of the Senate plan to address continued support for Puerto Rico and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. I ask that you support hearings and investigations about how this situation could have been handled differently. I would also like to know how the government plans to handle 2018 hurricane efforts. Have things changed so that we do not experience the lax efforts we saw in PR in 2017?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I am deeply saddened by SCOTUS decision to uphold Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban. It is a deep scar on the fabric that makes up America and will be regarded in the future to an erroneous decision much as the determination that is was acceptable to inter Japanese citizens during WWII was. Please speak out against this decision and continue to do all in your power to fight for what is morally just in this country.

I would like to voice my opposition to the Farm Bill, in its current form. Forcing work requirements on SNAP recipients, when the majority of SNAP recipients do work, is an unreasonable requirement that limits options to others. I am opposed to this bill, and ask you to take a stand.

I ask you to support Senator Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act. The Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy is only harming families, adding a strain on the system, and causing incalculable emotional and physical damage to many of these young children. The fact that 658 children were taken from 638 parents during a two-week period in May, is unacceptable. This bill would ensure that families would only be separated in the most extreme circumstances, including situations where the child or children were at risk.

I oppose the House Budget Resolution that is attempting to repeal ACA and ask you to stand against it.

I ask that you support the opening of investigations into the DHS’s implementation of their zero tolerance policy for families at the border. Per journalists who are now touring facilities and writing stories about the policy, the practice of separating families is leading to children being jailed in detention facilities w/ limited access to fresh air, parents being arrested when they refuse to be separated from their children, and so many more horrific acts. These are horrific practices that are unacceptable, inhumane and need to be looked into ASAP. I am counting on you to push for investigations questioning these practices, and push for department and policy changes, to eliminate these acts.

While I agree with the concerns about the efficacy of the UN Human Rights Council, I disagree with the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw entirely. We cannot influence the council’s decisions or stances if we are not part of the discussion. Please condemn Trump’s move in this regard.

Please push for Scott Pruitt’s resignation as director of the EPA. His ethics violations cannot be tolerated and if we do not condemn him now we are setting a precedent for all other officials of his stature in the future.

I would like to know how you and the rest of the House plan to address continued support for Puerto Rico and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. I ask that you support hearings and investigations about how this situation could have been handled differently. I would also like to know how the government plans to handle 2018 hurricane efforts. Have things changed so that we do not experience the lax efforts we saw in PR in 2017?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Act of Resistance 6-14-2018

Hey there, Resistors!

Today I called my Senators about Senator Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act. I chose to call instead of email because this is a very important and time sensitive issue . Every minute we wait these kids are still in detention centers separated from their parents. Every minute we wait more kids are separated from their parents.  I urge you to make calls TODAY!

Here’s a link to a Tweet with a script for calling your Senators to ask them to support Feinstein’s bill: Keep Families Together Script

Here’s a link if you need help finding your Senators and their phone numbers: US Senators

Please, if you do one Act of Resistance this week, make it about this issue. (Though there are still plenty of important issues, so just resist where you can!) And phone calls mean more than emails. I know I send emails all the time, mainly due to phone anxiety and the huge list of issues I want to comment on. But phone calls on this are extremely important!

Thank you! And keep resisting!

Act of Resistance 6-6-2018

Today my letters to my representatives were virtually the same as last week other than I added in a part about how appalling it is the number of people who died in Puerto Rico after the Hurricane Maria. America failed to take care of her citizens and we should be ashamed.

For scripts and information go to I Called My Reps. Another site to keep up on what’s going on is What the Fuck Just Happened Today.

Now to get back to writing a super feminist book that Trumpers would just hate! See you next week!

Act of Resistance 5-30-2018

I’ve decided to change the headings to my blog posts to Act Of Resistance instead of Letters to My Representatives. Though most of the time these posts will in fact be letters to my reps, they aren’t the only acts of resistance I participate in, so I decided a heading change was in order.

This week’s post will encompass the last three weeks, as I didn’t post the last two.

On May 16th I wrote Postcards to Voters. This time it was for Jesse Salinas, running for Yolo County Clerk-Recorder/Assessor in California. Please consider visiting their site and getting involved. It’s an easy way to help increase voter participation. Here’s my tweet thread on how it works.

Postcards to voters

Last week I sadly didn’t do anything specific besides sharing information on Twitter and Facebook. It’s not enough, but some weeks that’s all you have to give and we need to allow ourselves a break now and then.

But we also need to understand that even small acts of resistance are needed right now. People tweeting about Roseanne Barr’s comments about Valerie Jarret forced Disney and ABC to cancel her show. Maybe they would have done it anyway, but I doubt it. If everyone had just ignored the racist and disgusting comments Barr made, ABC would have ignored them too. It’s not like they didn’t know who Barr was from the beginning. They hired her to do a reboot of the show even knowing pictures like this were out there:

Barr

This week I wrote to my representatives and the letters will be below. As always, the scripts came from I Called My Reps and you can find more info and scripts on their website. If you are so inclined, I know they are just a couple of people keeping that site up and it’s a lot of work, so visit their Ko-Fi and show them a little monetary support so they can keep this up!

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you vote against the Ronald Mortensen nomination to the State Department. Mortensen has been nominated to a position he knows very little about – he has little to no knowledge of refugees. Additionally, his demonstrated record of being anti-illegal immigrant, could very well influence how he chooses to tackle refugee related-subjects.

I ask that you condemn Secretary Nielsen’s comments about separating families at the border, during her 05/16 testimony in front of Senate Homeland Security. I also demand that you vehemently oppose the Trump Administration’s decision to expand on the existing policy to separate families at the border. I am also concerned and would like an open investigation into ICE’s practices of abusing young kids and teens in their care. This has been going on for several years, and Congress needs to stop overlooking their practices.

I ask that you condemn the Trump Administration’s decision to pull out of the Iran Nuclear deal based on false pretenses.  According to the IAEA and the Trump Administration’s own intelligence officials, there is no evidence of a nuclear program in Iran since 2009. They are in compliance with the terms of the 2015 deal, and Trump has been unable to clarify what he means by saying Iran is in violation of the “spirit” of the deal. This decision was a dangerous, carelessly thought-out decision by the Trump Administration made on false pretenses. It will absolutely create further chaos in the Middle East, and I expect you to condemn the decision AND any further military action that may occur in the area.

I ask that you demand Scott Pruitt’s resignation. The scandals that keep coming out of the EPA are absolutely unacceptable. Not only is he repeatedly committing ethics violations, he clearly doesn’t spend enough time doing his job, verses defending his job. Of course he’s not very effective at doing his job either.

I demand that you take action on the gun control legislation stalled in the Senate, including Feinstein’s Act 21 changing the purchase age for assault weapons, and Senator Murphy’s S. 2009 /background check expansion act. The continued epidemic of mass shootings is a clear indication that action needs to be taken now! I also ask that you publicly declare that you will not support Concealed Carry Reciprocity as it is rumored that the Senate plans to take up this legislation this summer.

I object strongly to Trump’s aims to target abortion education.

Please support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller, as introduced by Senators Tillis, Boons, Booker, and Graham. I fear Trump will attempt to end the investigation. The investigation has support from not only Democrats, but also prominent members of the GOP and we need to ensure that Mueller is allowed to do his work.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I ask that you condemn Secretary Nielsen’s comments about separating families at the border, during her 05/16 testimony in front of Senate Homeland Security. I also demand that you vehemently oppose the Trump Administration’s decision to expand on the existing policy to separate families at the border. I am also concerned and would like an open investigation into ICE’s practices of abusing young kids and teens in their care. This has been going on for several years, and Congress needs to stop overlooking their practices.

I ask that you condemn the Trump Administration’s decision to pull out of the Iran Nuclear deal based on false pretenses.  According to the IAEA and the Trump Administration’s own intelligence officials, there is no evidence of a nuclear program in Iran since 2009. They are in compliance with the terms of the 2015 deal, and Trump has been unable to clarify what he means by saying Iran is in violation of the “spirit” of the deal. This decision was a dangerous, carelessly thought-out decision by the Trump Administration made on false pretenses. It will absolutely create further chaos in the Middle East, and I expect you to condemn the decision AND any further military action that may occur in the area.

I ask that you demand Scott Pruitt’s resignation. The scandals that keep coming out of the EPA are absolutely unacceptable. Not only is he repeatedly committing ethics violations, he clearly doesn’t spend enough time doing his job, verses defending his job. Of course he’s not very effective at doing his job either.

I demand that you take action on the gun control legislation stalled in the Senate, including Feinstein’s Act 21 changing the purchase age for assault weapons, and Senator Murphy’s S. 2009 /background check expansion act. The continued epidemic of mass shootings is a clear indication that action needs to be taken now! I also ask that you publicly declare that you will not support Concealed Carry Reciprocity as it is rumored that the Senate plans to take up this legislation this summer.

I object strongly to Trump’s aims to target abortion education.

Please support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller, as introduced by Senators Tillis, Boons, Booker, and Graham. I fear Trump will attempt to end the investigation. The investigation has support from not only Democrats, but also prominent members of the GOP and we need to ensure that Mueller is allowed to do his work.

I want you to support Senator Markey’s Net Neutrality petition, and to also encourage House leadership to take up and support the petition. 60-80% of Americans do not support the roll back of Net Neutrality regulations, and I am one of those constituents. I expect you to take a stand for the rights of their constituents.

Please support the DACA discharge petition. An overwhelming number of Americans support a permanent solution for DACA recipients, with 9 in 10 Americans polled in January 2018 in favor of legal protections for said recipients. Now is the time to act and I support the discharge petition. I expect you to do the same.

I hope you and the House are working on the much needed Farm Bill, but be assured if it contains anything regarding work requirements for SNAP or increased production on forest lands I will not support it.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 5-9-2018

kept today’s letters short again. They were all the smae except in the letter to Moolenaar I took out the part on judicual nominees (House doesn’t vote on judicial nominees) and instead added:

I demand that work requirements for SNAP be removed from the Farm Bill.

Short and sweet. For more information and scripts visit I Called My Reps!

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you vote NO on Engelhardt (5th), Brennan (7th), Carson (10th), Nalbandian (6th), Scudder (7th), and St. Eve (7th) as Trump’s judicial nominees.

Please vocally and vehemently oppose Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and counter the lies he is telling. According to the IAEA there is no evidence of a nuclear program in Iran since 2009. They are in compliance with the terms of the 2015 deal, and Trump has been unable to clarify what he means by saying Iran is in violation of the “spirit” of the deal. Moreover, President Rouhani has already said he will not renegotiate . We cannot risk having Iran exit out of the deal entirely. It would be better to follow France’s plan of seeing the deal as one branch of a new accord, while also preserving the deal as is.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 5-2-2018

Today’s letters focused on only one issue: protecting Mueller’s investigation. I think this is an important issue not only because of Trump, but what it can mean for the future of our democracy. All three reps received essentially the same letter, though Rep. Moolenaar’s was worded slightly different as he is in the House and not the Senate and therefore can’t actually vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. But I do expect him to voice support for it and demonstrate to his Republican colleagues in the Senate that he expects them to support it as well. I know, I know, it’s asking a lot for A Republican to actually stand up for anything these days, but I have to try.

As always, feel free to sue my letter for your own, and scripts can be found at I Called My Reps though I added a bit this time from my own perspective.

Keep resisting!!

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to protect Robert Mueller as introduced by Senators Tillis, Coons, Booker, and Graham. Following the Senate Judiciary vote it is clear that there is bipartisan support for efforts to protect Mueller’s investigation. While McConnell has stated that the bill will not go to the floor I urge you to speak out, reiterate the results of the Judiciary vote, and do what you can to push the majority leader for a floor vote. Prominent members of the GOP keep reiterating that they believe in Mueller and want to let him do his work. If that’s true then please encourage your Republican colleagues to advocate for the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to be considered and voted on as soon as possible.

This act is not only in the interest of protecting the investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, but also in the interest of protecting our democracy in that no one being investigated in our government should have any power to disrupt that investigation. The American people deserve to know that their elected officials are not breaking the law and are here for the best interests of the American people, and not a foreign power or themselves. We need to take back the integrity of Washington, which has been absent for far too long. This is not just a Trump issue. It’s a vital vaccine for our democracy against corruption and abuse. And I think it’s high time we had a few more shots to fix things.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin