Week of February 18, 2018
It’s been a tough week. Let’s start with a message from Indivisible National:
We’re going to be honest… this week was hard.
When we sat down to write this email, we were ready to write all about recess, poke fun at Republicans, and get you pumped for 7 days of loud, bold action. We’re still going to do (some of) that, but we want to say something else first:
Our country is in a moral, political, democratic crisis.
Indivisible — and the thousands of groups across the country — was founded in reaction to the crisis of the election. And your work last year was in reaction to the crises repeatedly created by Trump and the GOP’s legislative agenda. But as each week passes, these crises compound on one another. At times, they feel insurmountable.
This week was one of the toughest weeks so far in the Trump era. 17 young people lost their lives in a horrific school shooting in Florida. And less than 24 hours later, Senate Republicans tried to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip for a mass deportation agenda written by a white supremacist. This all happened in just two days.
In the Trump era, it sometimes feels like our hearts grow heavier by the day. Trump and his enablers in Congress create real, deep trauma either through inaction or through attempting to advance harmful agendas. They refuse to pass laws to reduce gun violence, no matter how many lives are lost or how popular these bills are.
They refuse to pass laws to create a more humane, common sense immigration system that protects Dreamers from deportation and keeps families together. They choose big donors and white supremacy (oftentimes big donors who are white supremacists!) over their constituents each and every day.
Republicans created this crisis. Period. End of story.
This is their strategy: a relentless assault on our values, our sanity, and our people. They’re hoping that we let cynicism take over. That we begin to opt-out. That we stop resisting. This has been their strategy long before Trump became president.
But it’s up to us not to let cynicism creep in and take over. We have to take the anger, the sorrow, the outrage and turn it to action… just like we did in the weeks and months after the election.
HERE ARE SOME ACTION ITEMS TO FOCUS ON THIS WEEK:
This is a recess week, meaning there’s no action in Congress and no urgent items for phone calls. That’s why Indivisible is highlighting town halls and other actions aimed at MoC’s in residence. Check out our complete recess toolkit (resources, town hall questions, and a list of town halls) at recess.indivisible.org to get prepared to face your MoCs and ask the hard questions they have avoided for the past year. Both the House and Senate are on recess from February 17 to February 25. And Recess is a great time for letters to the editor. Find out how at our “Use the Press” page.
URGENT TOPICS INCLUDE:
DRECP. Last week we received disheartening news: the Department of Interior (DOI) announced plans to amend the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) to provide for more utility scale renewable energy development and mining access, while diminishing conservation measures in its Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA). For Samy Roth’s Desert Sun article, Trump administration opens millions of acres up to mining, click here. See more news stories and links at MBCA’s News Update on this topic.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The Morongo Basin Conservation Association (MBCA) has suggestions for those opposed to the DRECP amendments that will most certainly weaken the plan. They have been participating in the process since the beginning and if you want to learn more and/or sign a petition to slow the process – see below and go to their website: mbconservation.org. The website also has more information about submitting written comments.
ATTEND A MEETING:
Attend BLM Scoping meeting to state opposition to reopening DRECP.
WHEN: Thursday, March 1, 2018; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Joshua Tree Community Center – 6171 Sunburst Ave. in Joshua Tree
SIGN A PETITION:
Sign the petition at the MBCA table outside Joshua Tree Health Food store during the Saturday Farmers Market. The petition for your signature at the Farmers market includes a request to extend the 45-day comment period.
A RUSSIAN TROLL FARM. Thirteen suspects were indicted for interference in the 2016 U.S. election. This may be the most damning development yet in the Russian investigation; Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein called the charges “a reminder that people are not always who they appear on the Internet. The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote social discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed.” The 37-page indictment provides the most detailed description from the U.S. government of Russian interference in the election. (See Washington Post report.) The Mueller indictment confirms the validity of the charges of Russian interference and confirms the importance of Mueller’s investigation. Call Cook and harass him on this. Ask him to co-sponsor one of the bills that would protect Mueller from being fired (See details here.) Or he could express outrage that Trump hasn’t enforced the sanctions approved by Congress. Read Reuters report.
GUN MADNESS. Last December Rep. Cook voted to permit concealed carry license holders to conceal a handgun in other states, and a year ago he voted to reverse an Obama rule that would have increased oversight of gun purchases to certain persons with mental illness, which has been signed into law. (The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that passed the house in December has not yet been signed into law; it’s still being considered in the Senate.) And, as reported in the Washington Post’s compilation of NRA donations to MoC’s, Rep. Cook also has received $7,000 in donations from the NRA since 2012. Call Rep. Cook and ask him to support sensible gun control to prevent any more shootings like the one in the Florida high school last week.
SUPREME COURT TO ADDRESS DACA. The Supreme Court will meet behind closed doors Friday to decide whether to take up a lower court opinion that temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program. The fate of DACA and its roughly 700,000 participants is the subject of heated negotiations in Washington, where Trump, congressional Republicans and Democrats are searching for a way to allow the young undocumented immigrants to stay in the country while also addressing border security concerns. The Justice Department is taking the rare step of asking the Supreme Court to review the opinion — issued by a San Francisco-based judge — even before a federal appeals court has had a chance to weigh in. (CNN) Under normal circumstances, the Supreme Court disfavors parties from bypassing lower court proceedings and asking for direct review. What’s next for DACA? “The court hasn’t granted cert before judgment since 2004, and it hasn’t done so without a circuit-level ruling on the question presented since 1988,” said Professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law, a CNN contributor. (CNN)
Previous Action Alerts can be found here.