Happy Tuesday, Resistance!
Apologies that our action plan is a little late this week, but happily there are still MANY opportunities to fight hatred and stand up for our democracy this week, so let’s get to it!
- Urgent Action: A group of activists is visiting our Maryland US Senators’ offices today to present input on SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch and urge Senators to vote against his nomination. The group is meeting at the Hart Senate building on Capitol Hill TODAY at 4pm. Sign up here to join!
- Our website is now live! Check out our snazzy new website at rockvilleresistance.org! Here you can find info about our group, news, updates on what we’re working on, and soon, a Resources page for key tools and strategies for all our topics. Huge thanks to Clay Fink and Karen Sultan for their help with this. Feedback is welcome! Please email me if you find any broken links, typos, or opportunities to improve. We also now have a Facebook page and Twitter feed. Like, follow, and share please!
- Special Meeting Sunday, April 2: Given that spring break is coming up during our usual monthly meeting week and there is A LOT going on next month that we want to stay on top of, we may move our group meeting up to April 2. Be on the lookout for an invitation to see if we would have a critical mass of participants. If so, we will look into booking another special guest speaker to join us. Suggestions welcome!
- Events: Check our our group calendar for a number of events this week and the rest of the month to get involved with.
ISSUE GROUP REPORTS
- Call to action: This is a big week for the health care fight, with a floor vote on the awful American Health Care Act (AHCA) expected Thursday. Please check this fantastic list of moderate Republicans who can be persuaded to vote against the AHCA. Contact them yourselves, and/or enlist your friends and family in their districts to apply pressure to vote against the bill!
- Important read: The Lessons of Obamacare by Ezra Klein in Vox is a long but extremely informative read guiding us through both the policies and politics of health care reform in America, illuminating how we got here and what faces us next.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
- Call to action: In response to the large number of protests since Trump’s election, more than a dozen state legislatures have introduced laws that would criminalize protest or authorize steep fines for blocking public spaces. Help the ACLU fight anti-protest legislation by donating to ACLU offices in the states that have introduced this legislation. And if you have family or friends in these states, urge them to call or e-mail their state representatives to oppose these laws. For information on states that have introduced anti-protest legislation, click here.
- In the news: Freedom of the press suffered another blow this week when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Japan, South Korea and China without the usual press contingent. “I’m not a big media access person,” Tillerson told Erin McPike, the only reporter allowed to accompany him on his plane. The transcript of her conversation with Tillerson, published on the conservative website Independent Journal Review, reveals that Tillerson doesn’t really understand his obligation to keep the public informed.
- Scientific data or PR?: Those educational photos and graphics that EPA used to post on its social media feeds disappeared shortly after Trump took office. Now the EPA is posting again – but with a difference. EPA has swapped education for PR, in a move to highlight Secretary Scott Pruitt’s industry-friendly moves.
ETHICS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
- Call to action: If you haven’t already, please sign the letter developed by our friends at Indivisible Montgomery calling on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to establish an independent commission to study Russia’s interference in our elections in 2016.
- Important Reads: Follow the coverage of yesterday’s House Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russia, here are some good analyses: Politico, NY Times, Washington Post (Spoiler: Turns out Trump was wrong about that whole “wire tapp” theory. Shocker!!!)
- What We’re Working On: Keeping in touch with groups involved in immigration issues – Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, MoCo Do the Most Good, Catonsville Indivisible, North Baltimore Indivisible, Anne Arundel County People Power.
- Call to action: Rockville is considering an ordinance that would limit Rockville Police from getting involved with ICE. Rockville Police by policy already do not cooperate with Federal authorities on immigration issues, so proposal would codify the policy into law. Please support this ordinance by signing this petition. Other ways to contact include calling Beryl Feinberg 240-314-8293 or Mayor Bridget Newton at 240-314-8291 and asking for them to support the ordinance to limit police involvement with ICE or emailing Mayorcouncil@rockvillemd.gov .
- Good News! Federal Judges in Hawaii and our state of Maryland (yaayyyyy!!!) have ruled against the most recent implementation of the Travel Ban, preventing the Executive Order from taking effect last Thursday as originally scheduled. The second legal rebuke of the substance of the ban offers hope that any similar actions the administration attempts will ultimately meet the same fate. Here are some good analyses of the issue: The Atlantic, Washington Post
- Call to action: This week we are focusing on support for Virginia House of Delegates Rep. Kathleen Murphy. Her seat is critical in the VA state house, as she is the 34th of 34 Democratic seats required to keep Republicans from being able to override Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s veto of their regressive legislation. Votes in her district have been decided by razor-thin margins! Donate to her campaign or contact Barbara Carley to sign up to help canvass for her.
- What We’re Working On: Planning out a strategy to support key races in Maryland and nearby states (VA, PA, WV) for 2017-2018 and plotting to take over the NRA…. stay tuned! 🙂
- Important Read: Another issue we’re following and getting involved with is redistricting efforts and legislation to end partisan gerrymandering. Read our group member Kevin Brady’s excellent report on the issue and get informed!
POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE. Inspiration and comic relief to get you through another week 🙂
- Republicans waking up? Has anyone else noticed a bizarre phenomenon in the news lately? After untold months of lock-step conformity, appeasement, and enabling of Trump’s every destructive whim from the Republican party, I’ve had a strange sensation lately encountering headlines like these. Could the tides be turning for reasonable Republicans (finally)?!?!?
- Republicans Break Ranks With Pledge to Fight Climate Change
- Capitol Hill Republicans Not on Board with Trump’s Budget
- Republicans Start Lining Up to Fight for the N.E.A. and N.E.H.
- Openly Testy, Republicans Reject the President’s Wiretap Claims
- Republicans skeptical about paying for wall as Trump releases budget
- When you call your reps this week, channel this five-year-old. If you’re having trouble staying fired up and wondering what to say when you call your elected officials this week, watch this video for a bit of inspiration. Five-year-old Brooke Blair channels all our hopes and frustrations as she tells British PM Theresa May to spend a little money and help poor people, and she’s “very angry”! She might be young, but she’s powerful, and has an adorable British accent to boot.
- A joke within a joke about the Trump administration. This hilarious satire in the Washington Post about Trump’s budget is an invigorating read on its own (“This budget will make America a lean, mean fighting machine with bulging, rippling muscles and not an ounce of fat”), but is made even more withering by the fact that the Trump administration posted a link to it in the official White House newsletter, thinking it was high praise. Trump may have pulled a fast one on America, but more and more these days, the joke’s on him!
Have a great week everyone!