Hope you all enjoyed a peaceful Easter and/or Passover to those who celebrate, and a restful spring break for those who got one! I’ve been traveling with the kids so am just now catching up on my #Resisting… thanks for your patience 🙂 If you have sent me an email or Slack message recently in need of a reply and have not heard back, hang tight – I’ll get there! And if you don’t hear from me within a few days, feel free to send it again.
LOTS happening this week as always, and lots of reason for hope these days, so here is your weekly action plan!
- Our next group meeting is this SUNDAY 4/23 from 2-4pm. All our usual spaces have been booked up, so I am still working on confirming the location, but have a couple of options in the works and will send an email to confirm the place ASAP. Will be convenient to the Rockville/Potomac area as always. If each issue group can send one representative ready to report out on your activities, that would be great. And we will have a couple of guest presenters from local government and other organizations to give updates on happenings in Annapolis and opportunities to collaborate with resistance groups across the state. See you there!
Freedom of Information
- Call to Action: Stand up for evidence-based public policy by attending the March for Science on Saturday in Washington, D.C. Marchers will call upon government officials to use the best available scientific information when making decisions, and they’ll speak out against the elimination or distortion of research data already occurring at EPA and other agencies. The day’s activities begin with a rally and teach-ins at 9 a.m., followed by a march through the city streets. More information here. For those in District 8, our rep Jamie Raskin is hosting a pre-march breakfast at Busboys and Poets in Takoma Park, you can sign up here.
- In the news: The recent announcement that the Trump administration will not release White House visitor logs is an affront to the public’s right to transparency in government. And it is a particular blow to the reporters who rely upon that information to understand what special interests might have the president’s ear. Last week, a coalition of open government groups called upon the White House to reverse its decision and make these records available to the public. Read the letter here.
- What we’re working on: Just before Congress adjourned for recess, the House passed two bills – the HONEST Act and the EPA Scientific Advisory Board Act — that could undermine the use of real science at the EPA. Those bills now move on to the Senate, which will likely vote on them soon after Congress returns from recess on April 24. We’re keeping watch on the legislative calendar and will let you know when these bills are scheduled for a vote. Get ready to call your senators and demand they vote no!
- Call to Action: The next big special election coming up is for Montana’s House seat vacated by Trump appointee Ryan Zinke. The Democratic candidate is bona fide singing cowboy Rob Quist, who has earned the support of Bernie Sanders and Tom Perez. Donate $3 or whatever you can spare to support his election on May 25 and work towards flipping the House!
- In the news: It’s ELECTION NIGHT in Georgia’s Sixth District, where Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is running well in the lead for the US House seat vacated by Trump appointee Tom Price. Ossoff needs 50% plus one vote to win the seat outright, otherwise it heads to a runoff in June. Predictions say Ossoff may fall just shy of what he needs tonight, but it’s a nail-biter! Check the headlines tomorrow morning to see the final outcome…Whatever happens, an election like this in a deep red district is a YUGE wake-up call for Republicans, and an equally huge motivator for Democrats across the country heading into 2018.
- What we’re working on: The 2018 group will be monitoring upcoming special elections in 2017 and sending out word to the group on candidates we endorse and actions we recommend. Here’s a great special election timeline from the NY Times. We’re coordinating with groups like Sister District and Swing Left to stay on top of how we can be most strategic in taking back the US Congress and state governments coast to coast.
Ethics & Conflicts of Interest
- Call to Action:When Donald Trump was running for president, he promised to release his tax returns once the IRS completed its audit. Earlier this year, Trump broke that promise when he announced he did not have any plan to release his tax returns. His excuse? He said no one cared. If you care … CALL Your Senators and Congressmen! Congress has the oversight power to require the Treasury to release Trump’s tax returns. Ask your reps to support the “Presidential Tax Transparency Act” (S 26 in Senate HR 305 in House – Congressmen Sarbanes and Raskin are co-sponsoring)
Call to Action: Make your voice heard through the EPA public comment process if you are concerned about the rollback of environmental regulations. Public comment is always called for when regulations are changing. The Environmental Protection Agency is now calling for public comment on the proposed rollbacks in regulations.
POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
Though the dangers and setbacks our democracy faces are still great, April has been a good month for the Resistance, especially locally, and I’m hopeful it’s a trend that will continue and grow in the coming months and (if needed…) years. It will be small victories, step by step, for as long as it takes – that’s how we win this fight. Here are a few highlights of some good news – which, don’t forget, is because of YOU! Keep it up!
- Alt-right messiah Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council and is rumored to be on his way out of Trump’s inner circle. Good riddance to him and his racist, nationalist, nihilist ideologies.
- As Maryland’s general assembly wrapped up its 2017 legislative session this month, environmental advocacy group CCAN (Chesapeake Climate Acton Network) called it “without a doubt, the best session in legislative history for combating climate change and promoting a clean energy future in Maryland.” Victories include the fracking ban and clean energy jobs act. Our state government also passed protections for Planned Parenthood services and paid sick leave, among many other legislative victories critical to fighting the Trump agenda at the state level. Go Maryland!
- GOP congressional reps faced continued intense pressure and pushback from their constituents during this congressional recess, signaling that the Resistance is not going away! We are keeping up the heat on elected officials and reminding them not to threaten our healthcare, rubber-stamp Trump’s corruption, or sell our economy to billionaires. Let’s hope they heed this wake-up call.
In other news, Melissa McCarthy brought her sublime brilliance back to SNL as “Spicey” – in dark times, humor keeps the spirit well!
Finally, I KNOW we can’t hang our hopes on the impeachment fantasy, but it’s still gratifying to know that serious legal scholars feel there’s already a strong case to make for it. Here’s a great article and associated podcast from Slate on what exactly impeachment is and how Trump has already put himself at serious risk of it.
Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday, have a great week!