Calls to Action 

 Our Calls To Action are easy ways you can make a difference.  Only vetted, official TWW NoVA items will appear below.  Please bookmark this page as it will be updated frequently.

 
 

 Sign a Petition and Call your Members of Congress to Speak Out in Support of DACA

Posted 07/17/2017

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program to protect undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. when they were only children. For many of those protected by DACA, the U.S. is the only home that they have ever known. And now, their ability to stay here is being threatened.

For more information:  https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/14/15966356/daca-dreamers-trump-amnesty

Support DACA by signing this petition and also calling your members of congress. Urge them to publicly support DACA.

Please sign this petition:  https://action.unitedwedream.org/petitions/keep-the-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca-program?bucket

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Don Beyer -- 8th District

DC Office: (202) 225-4376 or Alexandria Office: (703) 658-5403

https://beyer.house.gov/contact/

Gerald E. Connolly --11th District

DC Office (202) 225-1492 or Annandale Office: (703) 256-3071

http://connolly.house.gov

Barbara Comstock - 10th District

DC Office:  (202) 225-5136 or Loudoun Office Phone: (202) 225-5136

https://comstock.house.gov/contact

 

If your House Rep is not listed above, go here

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

#KillTheBill -- take action to stop the Senate from moving forward their awful health care bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and critically damage Medicaid. 

Posted 07/17/2017

We know that we keep asking you to call about health care, but until the Senate stops this bill we need to persist. Decent healthcare is so important to millions of people and the bill is moving through the Senate.  They have changed the bill to try to win hard right wing votes, but it’s just as bad as it was.  See:  https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/senate-health-bill-cant-be-fixed

 

Mitch McConnell wants to bring the bill to a vote this week.  All the Democratic Senators are opposing the bill.  Here are Kaine’s and Warner’s most recent statements:  (https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-statement-on-latest-version-of-senate-republican-health-care-bill-).  (https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=BFDF5878-103F-4DAF-8DEF-1E1221C5CBBE)  Two Republicans (Paul and Collins) have said they will oppose the “motion to proceed” to a vote.  If one more Republican votes no, the bill will be dead.

 

So, call or email our Senators (Warner and Kaine) to thank them for their opposition, get your friends in other states to call their Senators, and show up on Tuesday, July 18 at 12 noon at the Russell Senate Building (C and First Streets, NE, Washington DC) to bring your friends’ voices to their Senators:  http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/attend-tuesday-killthebill-event/3664

 

And if you’re on twitter, follow and retweet #KillTheBill and #ProtectOurCare

 

Contact Senators Warner and Kaine and insist that they vote “no” to the Financial Choice Act which dilutes consumer protections and restrictions upon Wall Street.

posted 07/17/2017

On June 8, the Republican sponsored Financial Choice Act (H.R.) 10 passed in the house with a vote of 233 to 186.  It is now moving to the U.S. Senate.   While there has been a good deal of press that this bill won’t clear the Senate, we can’t be over-confident with the narrow GOP  v.  Dem margin.

The “Wrong Choice Act” (H.R. 10), not named or numbered yet in the Senate would roll back the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and the bill would re-expose consumers, investors, and the public to dangerous financial practices, including many that contributed to the 2008 recession, subprime lending, and failures of numerous Wall Street financial houses which resulted in more than eight million Americans losing their jobs, nearly eight million Americans losing their homes, trillions of dollars in lost family wealth, and trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts.

As explained by the Center for Responsible Lending, the Financial Choice Act recently passed in the House of Representatives would, if also passed by the Senate,

1.     Eviscerate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which has returned nearly $12 billion to 29 million Americans harmed by illegal financial practices.

2.     Prohibit the CFPB from enforcing the law or issuing any regulation for payday, car title, or similar small dollar loans, which are notorious for triple digit interest rates and pulling borrowers into destructive debt traps. Payday and car title loans drain nearly $8 billion in fees each year from the most financially vulnerable Americans. These loans often directly target communities of color, military service members, and seniors.

3.     Forbid the CFPB from issuing its proposed rule that would prohibit forced arbitration clauses with class action bans.  Class action bans routinely deny consumers their day in court to remedy financial abuses they have suffered.  

4.     Eliminate most CFPB supervisory authority, making it impossible for it to detect abuses.

5.     Repeal the CFPB’s authority to stop unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices

(UDAAP) in consumer finance. UDAAP authority was the reason why a case could be made against Wells Fargo for engaging in an egregious fraudulent accounts scam.

6.     Subject the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to partisan politics by making the director easily removable by the president, putting them and other financial regulatory agencies’ funding at the mercy of congressional appropriators, disregarding the long-standing practice of independent funding for banking regulators.

7.     Prohibit information in the CFPB consumer complaint database from being made public. This public database, like that of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is an important resource for Americans to understand and avoid consumer abuses.

8.     Make another foreclosure crisis more likely by weakening the commonsense rule that lenders verify borrowers’ ability-to-repay.

Call/E-Mail Tweet:   (Tweet length messages in bold.)

https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress/members

https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/senators

Suggested text for Senators:   “Please vote “no” to the Senate version of the Financial Choice Act which would roll back necessary financial reforms put in place by Dodd-Frank.”

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

 

Submit a public comment to Protect our National Monuments by July 10th

Posted 07/10/2017

This past April, Trump issued an Executive Order (13792) directing the Secretary of the Interior to review designations of national monuments made since 1996. It specifically attempts to undermine the designations of our most recent presidents -- Obama, Bush, & Clinton. Trump is looking to rescind the designations or reduce the size of sites in order to open up more federal land to drilling, mining and other development.

Trump also issued a separate Executive Order (13795) directing the Secretary of the Interior to review certain Marine National Monuments and is looking to open up those marine locations to offshore drilling.

Per federal rules, the Department of the Interior must allow for public comment. Make your voice heard and submit a public comment here:

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

(the “Comment Now” button is in the upper right corner of the page)

Tips when commenting:
-- Use your own words
-- Mention a specific monument (or monuments) by name
-- Tell your story—your personal connection to the monument(s)

-- Do NOT include personally identifiable information (like email, address, or phone) because “your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time”

For more information:

https://wildlifemanagement.institute/outdoor-news-bulletin/may-2017/trump-executive-order-targets-national-monuments-antiquities-act

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13792

(Caveat: Wikipedia is open for anyone to edit, BUT it has been surprisingly reliable and readable.)

 

Call on your School Board Members to Speak Out to Protect Healthcare

Posted 07/10/1017

I know that we have already made many, many calls to protect the Affordable Care Act. Here is a new angle that you may not have considered & one that may cut across party lines. The National School Boards Association (NSBA), an advocacy group for school boards across the country, calls on everyone to help protect Medicaid funding. They informs us that, “Medicaid funds help school districts provide critical health services to ensure that students receive a quality education; services such as: speech-language pathology; audiology services; occupational therapy; school psychology services; assistive technology devices; nursing services; orientation, mobility and vision services; personal care services, and psychiatric services.”

For more information:

https://www.nsba.org/newsroom/medicaid-funding-cuts-jeopardize-critical-school-based-health-programs

Contact YOUR local school board member(s) and ask if they support the position of the NSBA and if they have acted to oppose Medicaid cuts that impact students. Although our Virginia senators are on record as opposing the Republican plan, we should also hold our locally elected officials to account for their actions on this issue.

Fairfax County School Board:

https://www.fcps.edu/school-board/school-board-members

Loudoun County School Board:

lcsb@lcps.org

https://www.lcps.org/Page/1629

Arlington School Board:

school.board@apsva.us

https://www.apsva.us/contact-the-school-board/

Prince William County School Board:

https://www.pwcs.edu/cms/one.aspx?pageId=690983

Alexandria City Public School Board:

https://www.acps.k12.va.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=572

City of Fairfax School Board:

http://www.fairfaxva.gov/government/school-board

Falls Church City School Board:

www.fccps.org/board/

 

Ask US Reps to Oppose HR 495, the  so-called “Protection of Children Act of 2017”

Posted 7/10/2017

HR 495 undoes many of the protections enacted through the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, designed to provide meaningful access to the legal process for children with legitimate claims for relief. The Act will result in the wrongful repatriation of child survivors of horrific trauma such as sexual assault and human trafficking. The majority of these children come from the “Northern Triangle” of Central America, the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.  The violence in these countries has steadily increased as result of transnational gang activity.  El Salvador and Guatemala, for example, have the highest murder rates among children in the world.  Gangs forcibly recruit children and those that refuse are tortured and killed.  The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are unable to ensure citizen safety.

Join the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’, the Tahirih Justice Center, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS),  American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and many other groups dedicated to the protection of children in opposing this heartless bill.

https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/USCCB-MRS-Letter-on-H.R.-495-and-H.R.-2826-6.13.17.pdf

http://www.tahirih.org/pubs/statement-submitted-to-the-u-s-house-of-representatives-committee-on-the-judiciary-opposing-h-r-495-the-protection-of-children-act-of-2017/

http://www.aila.org/advo-media/aila-correspondence/2017/house-judiciary-committee-on-markup-of-hr-495

https://www.hias.org/blog/hias-statement-house-judiciary-committee-hr-495-protection-children-act

The House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 495. The bill now awaits a full vote on the House floor. Call your member of Congress to oppose this bill.

Suggested script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [ADDRESS].

I'm calling to urge Rep. [NAME] to vote against HR 495, the so-called Protection of Children Act of 2017. Not only would this bill strip unaccompanied immigrant children of their rights to counsel and weaken the ability to identify children at risk of trafficking, but it also wastes taxpayer money and government resources on the cruel and unnecessarily long detention of these children. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

For more information:

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/339203-protection-of-children-act-or-protection-of-traffickers-act

 

https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/USCCB-MRS-Letter-on-H.R.-495-and-H.R.-2826-6.13.17.pdf

 

http://www.aila.org/advo-media/aila-correspondence/2017/house-judiciary-committee-on-markup-of-hr-495

 

Contact Information:

Don Beyer -- 8th District

DC Office: (202) 225-4376 or Alexandria Office: (703) 658-5403

https://beyer.house.gov/contact/

 

Gerald E. Connolly --11th District

DC Office (202) 225-1492 or Annandale Office: (703) 256-3071

http://connolly.house.gov

 

Barbara Comstock - 10th District

DC Office:  (202) 225-5136 or Loudoun Office Phone: (202) 225-5136

https://comstock.house.gov/contact

 

If yours isn’t listed above, find your U.S. Representative here:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

Call, Write, Tweet your Members of Congress to support the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017

Posted 6/25/2017

The "Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017" was introduced in the House on the 12th of June and in the Senate on the 14th. It's an important bill because it "could add 50 million eligible new voters to the rolls," efficiently and easily.

How? Under the plan, when a citizen interacts with a government agency — for example, to get a driver’s license, apply for public services, register for classes at a public university, or become a naturalized citizen — they are automatically signed up to vote, unless they decline. An individual’s information is electronically transferred to election officials, increasing convenience for voters and the accuracy of information in state databases. We know that the key to a functioning democracy is an engaged electorate!

For more information: https://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/members-congress-introduce-legislation-modernize-voter-registration

Let's ask our MoCs in both houses to support this bill. There are 2 versions of this bill -- one originating from the Senate (S.1353) and one originating from the House (HR 2840). (Note: Having two parallel bills is a common Congressional practice.)

Our Democratic Representatives (Beyer and Connolly) are co-sponsors of the House Bill, but none of our Republican ones are (Comstock, Whittman and Garrett). Neither Kaine nor Warner are Senate Bill co-sponsors. Ask your MoCs to co-sponsor and to vote YES.

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

For your House Representative,

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 
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Tweet Senators Kaine and Warner to stand up for constituents against Trumpcare.  Tweet Senators in other States as well or ask friends and family to do so.

Posted 6/25/2017

We already know that Senators Kaine and Warner are on our side in the fight to protect healthcare, but they also need to know that we stand behind them. Show them your support publicly!

Copy and paste:  “.@MarkWarner @SenKaineOffice Stand up for constituents like me during the health care debate” Link below takes you to a Twitter log-in page:

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=.@MarkWarner+@SenKaineOffice+Stand+up+for+constituents+like+me+during+the+health+care+debate.+pic.twitter.com/gY9T9U8cp0&utm_medium=email&utm_source=healthcarec&utm_content=4+-+Make+sure+Senators+CUSTOMDATASETslugsena&utm_campaign=20170620acasenatorstweetemail&source=20170620acasenatorstweetemail

Find Senators/Representatives Twitter Handles:  Use the search function at top right of page to find the Twitter handle you are looking for:

https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress/members

https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/senators

 

Contact the Arlington School Board and Arlington County Board to tell them to STOP the unreasonable searches for drugs being conducted at our public schools

Posted 6/25/2017

Just a couple of weeks ago, Patrick Murphy, the superintendent of Arlington Public Schools, confirmed that sweeps to search for drugs were being done at all Arlington Public High Schools. Under the guise of protecting our children from drugs, police for Arlington County are coming into schools with dogs to search the entire school without any suspicion or specific knowledge of wrongdoing.

This is an egregious infringement of  students’ privacy and we must act now to protect our children, who are being treated like criminals. These unreasonable searches break down the trust and sense of community that we want to develop with our children and in our schools, and they also exacerbate the school-to-prison pipeline that is already a problem in Virginia as a whole.

Currently, the searches are being done in the evenings. However, once this pattern of behavior has been established as acceptable, it can easily be escalated to justify more and more intrusive searches. Anything from unannounced searches during the day for drugs to identifying and seizing undocumented students.

For more information:

https://www.arlnow.com/2017/05/25/just-in-police-dogs-to-search-schools-as-aps-addresses-drug-problem/

https://jefferson.apsva.us/pta/pta-agendas-minutes-2015-16/ccpta-meeting-canine-searches-representative-memo-to-pta-president/

https://jefferson.apsva.us/pta/pta-agendas-minutes-2015-16/searches-student-rights-faqs/

Call and write to the Arlington School Board and the Arlington County Board to tell them that these sweeps must stop and to revise their school policies so that they are in line with the state guidance on students searches put forth by the Virginia Attorney General. Furthermore, if they are actually concerned about the wellbeing of students, then they need to develop real and effective programs to counter drug use. This involves building trust with students (not breaking that trust down) as well as creating safe and supportive environments.

Arlington School Board

https://www.apsva.us/school-board-members/

Phone: 703-228-6015

Email: school.board@apsva.us

Arlington County Board

https://countyboard.arlingtonva.us/

Phone: 703-228-3130

countyboard@arlingtonva.us

Please point to the guidance published by Virginia’s Attorney General as a model for what Arlington Public Schools should adopt. Searches by school administrators should be done only when there is reasonable suspicion, and searches by law enforcement should only be done based upon probable cause and, when required, with a search warrant.

Model Memorandum of Understanding (see bottom of page 4 regarding searches): https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/sites/dcjs.virginia.gov/files/publications/law-enforcement/virginia-school-law-enforcement-partnership-model-memorandum-understanding.pdf

 

SAVE HEALTH CARE -- TrumpCare is back.   

Posted 06/12/2017

While the Senate hasn’t had any health care hearings, and hasn’t realised a bill, reports indicate that they are planning on introducing a health care bill very similar to the terrible House bill and rushing a vote through -- possibly before the Fourth of July!  Some of the “moderate” Republicans who had previously expressed concerns about the House bill are now saying that they could go along with it with only minor changes.  The media has been focused on other issues, and phones in Congress have stopped ringing off the hook.  We need to call them and make sure that they know that.we care about health care.

Call Senator Warner and Senator Kaine to tell them that any health care bill that slashes Medicaid and leaves millions of people uninsured is unacceptable.  

Senator Tim Kaine:  DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

Senator Mark Warner:  DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

Then call three friends or family members with Republican Senators (especially in AR, AK, AZ, CO, LA, ME, NV, OH, PA, SC, TN, or WV),and get them to call.  See: https://www.trumpcaretoolkit.org/

For more info:  http://www.cbpp.org/blog/reported-medicaid-expansion-compromise-would-have-almost-the-same-effect-as-house-bill

And for up-to-date info on what’s  happening, check out Andy Slavitt (former Obama health care leader) on twitter:  https://twitter.com/ASlavitt

 

Fairfax Residents -- Contact the Fairfax County School Board to urge them to remove the name of a Confederate general -- J.E.B. Stuart -- from one of the most diverse schools in the county.

Posted 06/12/2017

JEB Stuart was a US Army officer who betrayed his country and resigned his commission in order to fight for the Confederacy.  See: https://www.civilwar.org/learn/biographies/j-e-b-stuart   The school was named for him in 1958, in the midst of the desegregation battles in Virginia.   The school teams are called the “Raiders” and the image of the mascot originally included a Confederate flag (which has since been removed).

 

In response to student and community requests to change the name, the school board set up an Ad Hoc Committee to study the issue last year.  Because of the the intense disagreement among members, they submitted multiple reports: https://www.fcps.edu/department/region-2/renaming

The most passionate voices in favor of changing the name have been students of color, who have spoken out about the hurt it causes them to have this name on their school.  Many community members and alumni are also deeply supportive, and have committed to fundraising to offset the costs of the name change.

 

The school board is scheduled to vote on this issue June 22.  Fairfax residents (and Stuart alumni) should contact them to weigh in with all of the FCPS School Board Members:

 

Ilryong Moon: IMoon@fcps.edu

Ryan McElveen: rlmcelveen@fcps.edu

Megan McLaughlin: momclaughlin@fcps.edu

Jane Strauss: jkstrauss@fcps.edu

Patricia Hynes: pmhynes@fcps.edu

Tamara Derenak Kaufax: tdkaufax@fcps.edu

Karen Corbett Sanders: klcorbettsan@fcps.edu

Dalia Palchik: dapalchik@fcps.edu

Elizabeth Schultz: elschultz@fcps.edu

Thomas Wilson: tawilson1@fcps.edu

Sandy Evans: ssevans@fcps.edu

 

See also: Mitch Landrieu’s speech on removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/opinion/mitch-landrieus-speech-transcript.html

 

Tell your senator to vote NO to S. 951, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (RAA), a burdensome regulation process that puts Americans at risk for public safety hazards.

Posted 6/5/2017

Overwhelmed by the many highly publicized, deplorable actions taken by the current administration, it would be easy to overlook the RAA, a bill that would impose nearly insurmountable barriers before any new public safeguards proposed by our federal agencies could be adopted. This dangerous bill prioritizes corporate profits over public protections and paralyzes the regulatory process, making it even harder for the government to keep American consumers and workers safe.

For example, this proposed law requires all agencies to adopt the cheapest regulations for corporations, not the regulations that maximize benefits to the American public. It drowns agency regulators with 53 new rulemaking requirements before putting new rules in place. It requires agencies to do a complex analysis of ANY alternative proposal, allowing special interests to delay regulations by proposing impractical options that then must be rigorously analyzed. It forces federal agencies to hold trial-like hearings for new regulations. These “adversarial” hearings,a discredited form of rulemaking that allows corporations to cross-examine ‘witnesses,’ will lead to enormous regulatory delay and dysfunction. And finally, it politicizes currently independent commissions by subjecting them to White House interference.  Read more:  https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/raa-worst-bill-youve-never-heard/?utm_content=buffer30602&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Some Republicans in Congress thinks it’s acceptable to undermine our public safety in order to give corporations more leeway over federal regulatory processes. They hope that this bill won’t get attention, that’s why they’re pushing it through so quickly. The RAA has already passed in the House, and out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs so we need to make sure Senators hear from us NOW. We must act quickly to make sure Congress knows it is NOT OKAY to shut down new health and safety standards. Requiring formal rulemaking is a thinly veiled attempt to halt regulation. Tell your Senator to OPPOSE S.951 Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (RAA). https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/951/text

Suggested Script: “Hello. My name is ______, and I am your constituent. Today, I am calling to ask you to oppose the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017. I am concerned Congress might undermine the processes of independent agencies working on our health and safety. The regulation process is already lengthy and provides for public input, yet the RAA may allow corporations to delay rules they don’t like. Will you commit to opposing the RAA?”

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact (select “Homeland Security” as your topic)

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact (select “National Security” as your topic)

 

Call your House Representative to OPPOSE the dismantling of Dodd-Frank

Posted 05/29/2017

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill this June 7th that would dismantle the 2010 Wall Street reform legislation, known as the Dodd-Frank Act. This law created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency committed to protecting consumers and making sure that banks, lenders, and other financial institutions treat you fairly. Dodd-Frank imposes important rules to rein in the kind of Wall Street speculation that crashed the economy and caused millions of people to lose their jobs, homes, and savings. It also seeks to rewrite the Shareholder Proposal Rule, taking away crucial rights of shareholders to hold companies accountable for risky behavior that harms consumers, workers and the environment.  Make sure your member knows you oppose Rep. Hensarling’s Financial CHOICE Act. Call or visit your members’ district office to voice your opposition.

 

Calling scripts can be found here:

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/oppose-choice-act/

 

(This C2A was taken from Indivisible.)

 

Stand Up Against Mass Incarceration & SUPPORT the Justice Safety Valve Act

Posted 05/29/2017

In response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' memo in favor of mandatory minimum sentences, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to allow judges and prosecutors to use their discretion, rather than having to adhere to minimum sentences. Call your Members of Congress to urge them to support the Justice Safety Valve Act (S.1127 for Senate/ H.R. 2435 for House).

For more information:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/senate-moves-forward-with-bill-to-rein-in-jeff-sessions-w482927

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?p=ContactPage

For your House Representative:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Suggested script (taken from 5Calls):

“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY/TOWN]. I’m calling today in support of [S.1127 for Senate/ H.R. 2435 for House], the Justice Safety Valve Act. Prosecutors and judges should use their own discretion to consider each case, instead of imposing arbitrary mandatory minimum sentences that result in mass incarceration. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones. [IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]”

 

Contact Members of Congress to Oppose Trump’s Budget

Posted 05/29/2017

This week, Trump released his proposed budget for federal fiscal year 2018 (which begins on October 1, 2017).  This budget is an all out attack on American families.

Trump is proposing billions of dollars of cuts to Medicaid -- on top of the over $800 billion cut already included in the Republican health care plan.  He wants to cut federal funding for SNAP (food stamps) by $193 billion over the next ten years, severely harming the 40 million people, especially children and elderly, that rely on SNAP to put food on the table. Trump’s budget also zeroes out programs that help the most vulnerable among us like Meals on Wheels, Afterschool and Summer Programs and international food aid. Trump’s budget takes a hatchet to everything from low-income housing programs to support for women in abusive relationships and working family tax credits like the Child Tax Credit to our nation’s environmental, diplomacy and development agencies that increase safety and stability. He would cut funding for health research through the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion -- which would force critical research on diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's to be stopped in mid-stream. He cuts these programs so he can boost military spending and pay for pet projects like his wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and massive tax cuts for corporations and the richest individuals.

This is very scary-- but none of it will become law unless Congress acts.  Call your Senators and member of Congress to say: OPPOSE the Trump budget-- and any budget that slashes Medicaid and nutrition programs, cuts funding for health research, shifts costs to states and localities, and endangers our safety and stability by slashing support for global diplomacy and development.  (This second part is important because Trump’s budget is so bad that no one thinks it will be passed in exactly this form.   So, it’s easy for members to say they won’t support the Trump budget.  But we need to make sure they also don’t support any budget that includes these harmful elements.)

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Sen. Kaine has come out against Trump’s proposed budget:  https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-statement-on-president-trumps-budget

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?p=ContactPage

Sen. Warner has come out against Trump’s proposed budget:  https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/5/sen-warner-on-president-trump-s-budget

For your House Representative:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

Rep. Connolly has come out against Trump’s proposed budget:

https://connolly.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1001

 

Rep. Beyer’s has come out against Trump’s proposed budget:  http://beyer.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=595

Here’s Rep. Comstock’s statement about Trump’s proposed budget:  https://comstock.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-comstock-statement-administration-s-proposed-fy-2018-budget

Suggested Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY/TOWN]. I’m calling today to express my concerns about Trump’s proposed budget. I have read [Senator or Representative]’s public statement and I want to thank [him/her] for that statement. In addition, I want [Senator or Representative] to know that I am particularly concerned about [ISSUES YOU CARE MOST ABOUT]. I want the federal budget to not make any cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, NIH funding, shift costs to states and localities, or cut federal revenues [ADD IN ANY OTHER ISSUES YOU CARE ABOUT]. Thank you for your time.”

 

For more information:

http://www.cbpp.org/press/statements/greenstein-trump-budget-proposes-path-to-a-new-gilded-age

http://www.nea.org/home/70238.htm

http://www.clasp.org/news-room/news-releases/trumps-budget-request-a-devastating-assault-on-ordinary-americans

https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/24/trump-budget-nih-fda/

 

We need Net Neutrality – help save access to the internet from big business!  Write to the Federal Communication Commission and oppose their revision of net neutrality regulations.

Posted 5/21/2017

What is net neutrality? It’s the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content regardless of the source, without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. So for example, you should be able to use your Verizon wi-fi while streaming Netflix without additional ISP fees or being relegated to streaming at a slower speed. ISPs are the internet’s gatekeepers, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper position. The FCC Chairman wants to replace the agency’s strong rules with “voluntary” conditions that no ISP would ever comply with.

In a 2-1 vote along party lines on May 18th, the FCC's Republicans, led by former Verizon attorney and current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, voted to propose a new review of the net neutrality rules adopted in 2015. Pai’s goal is to destroy the legal foundation that supports current net neutrality rules. In 2015, at the end of a lengthy rulemaking process, the FCC reclassified broadband as a Title II telecommunications service and issued net neutrality rules on that basis. Pai wants to reclassify broadband as “information services”, which will allow internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast or Verizon to block access to websites or apps, meddle with loading speeds, and allow them to charge content providers higher rates for apps and websites that pay extra.

The commission, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, will spend the coming months drafting new rules likely to fundamentally reshape the internet, giving greater latitude to broadband providers—mainly cable and wireless firms. The new rules which will lead to new proposed legislation could put pressure on Congress to come together on compromise legislation but we need to ensure our MoCs understand our needs as consumers.

There will be a 90 day period between the May 18 vote and the creation of draft legislation. Make yourself heard regarding implementing the changes stemming from proceeding 17-108 at  https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express and call your MoC to remind them that supporting the FCC’s revisions supports big business.

Additionally, tell your MoC to reject attacks on net neutrality. Here's a sample script for you to use during your call: “Hello. I'm calling to urge Sen. _______ to reject any attacks on real Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is essential for protecting free speech, organizing, business and innovation. I will not stand for any attacks on Net Neutrality or my rights as an internet user.”

Senator Tim Kaine:   DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

Senator Mark Warner:  DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/VA

Here’s FCC’s statement: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-proposes-ending-utility-style-regulation-internet

For a deep dive into this issue, go to:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/05/why-losing-title-ii-means-losing-net-neutrality-and-privacy

For more information about the process of rulemaking at FCC, go to:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/05/prepare-take-action-defend-net-neutrality-heres-how-fcc-makes-its-rules

 
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Rally and Wear Orange on June 2nd, National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Posted 5/22/2017

This June 2nd is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. People across the country will Wear Orange – a color that demands to be seen – to send a powerful message that there is more we can do to stop gun violence. Join the music and rally in Old Town Alexandria on Friday at 7pm with guest speaker Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam or the rally on the National Mall, Saturday, June 3 with Moms Demand Action and others. More local events are happening all week.

Upload your photo to #WearOrange and join the Movement.

To learn more or find an event near you, go to: https://wearorange.org/

 

Begin now to oppose passage of the ACHA in the U.S. Senate

This week the pricing from the Congressional Budget Office is due for the current version of this bill in the Senate. The publication of the cost-estimates will likely contribute to more public discussion of the ACHA.  While there does not appear anything to vote on at present, now is the time to continue our dialogue with Senators Kaine and Warner about our opposition to the Senate’s passage of this bill. The time for calling will come; now please register your concern in writing so that our senators are reminded of our concerns as they work on the Senate version of this bill.  

On May 12, Senator Orrin Hatch, staunch opponent of the ACA wrote in his capacity as Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance to a select audience soliciting input on the ACHA from individuals and organizations on the expansion of consumer-driven health savings accounts, Medicaid, tax credits to purchase health coverage or funding to stabilize states’ individual markets.  It is important to weigh in with the opposition as well, remembering to remain on-topic regarding finance issues.  Please write to the Senate Committee on Finance or our Senators at:

HealthReform@Finance.senate.gov

Senator Tim Kaine:  https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact (select “Healthcare & Affordable Care Act” as your topic)

Senator Kaine’s position:  https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-urges-trump-administration-to-stop-playing-politics-with-american-health-care-system  and https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-statement-on-house-passage-of-trumpcare-bill

Senator Mark Warner:  https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactpage (select “Healthcare Reform” as your topic)

Senator Warner’s position on some aspects of the bill:  https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/bloghome

 

Call ICE to ask for the immediately release Liliana Cruz Mendez

Posted 05/22/2017

Liliana Cruz Mendez, a mother of two U.S. citizen children, was detained on Thursday, May 18 at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Washington Field Office in Fairfax, Virginia, during a regularly scheduled check-in. Her past record shows nothing more than a driving infraction from 2013. According to CASA, she is currently being held at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.

For more information, see

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/salvadoran-mom-of-2-detained-by-ice-in-fairfax-no-criminal-record-advocates-say/2017/05/18/afcbe0ce-3bec-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82_story.html?utm_term=.e2a7509c0d51

Call ICE to ask for the immediately release Liliana Cruz Mendez A 099 539 956

Suggested script:

“Hi, my name is _____ and I am a resident of ______. I am calling to urge you to immediately release Liliana Cruz Mende A 099 539 95.

Liliana Cruz Mendez is a mother of two and has been living in the United States for the past 11 years. She has nothing more than a traffic infraction on her record. Liliana has complied with your scheduled check-ins and knew of the great risk she was taking when she decided to once again comply in presenting herself before you. After her check-in today, you detained her and you are now holding her at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. I strongly urge you to not tear this family apart.”

 

In addition to calling ICE, you can also call your member of congress to urge them to speak out in support of Liliana Cruz Mendez. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/VA

Note that Senator Kaine, Senator Warner, and Rep. Connolly have already spoken out in support of her. When calling them, please thank them for their public support.

 

All Call Mocs, especially senator warner, to support their call for a special prosecutor or ask them to demand a special prosecutor

Posted 5/15/2017

If you already know about the issue and the need for a special prosecutor, skip to the scripts.  If not, continue reading for background information!

As many of you already know, the timing of James Comey’s firing is very concerning.  (For more information: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/james-comey-fired-fbi.html?_r=0)

We need to make sure that all of our reps are demanding a special prosecutor. Why a special prosecutor?  A special prosecutor is the only one who can make criminal charges -- independent commissions can only subpoena and get information, and the rules for special commissions are setup by Congress.

Here’s more information on the different types of investigations: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/heres-how-an-independent-investigation-into-trump-and-russia-would-happen/2017/05/10/7dc6bb8a-35a2-11e7-b373-418f6849a004_story.html?utm_term=.b95ecea87cab

For those who prefer audio here’s a 7-minute interview with Robert Ray, former prosecutor who served as independent counsel for the Whitewater Investigation. http://www.wnyc.org/story/special-prosecutor-or-independent-commission-how-russia-investigations-can-continue/

 

Both Senator Kaine and Senator Warner have spoken out and said that we need a special prosecutor. House Representatives Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly have also called for a special prosecutor.  

Please call to support them.

Suggested Script:

“My name is ________ and I am a constituent.  I live in __________, VA.  I am calling because I wanted to thank Senator/Congressman ___________ for saying that we need a special prosecutor.  I agree that the timing of James Comey’s firing is very concerning and now more than ever we need to push for this.  Please continue to do everything you can to push for a special prosecutor.”   -- This call is especially important for Senator Warner because he is the Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and because he may be getting negative feedback from the conservatives in VA.

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactpage

Don Beyer -- 8th District

DC Office: (202) 225-4376 or Alexandria Office: (703) 658-5403

https://beyer.house.gov/contact/

Gerald E. Connolly --11th District

DC Office (202) 225-1492 or Annandale Office: (703) 256-3071

http://connolly.house.gov

District 10 folks, Barbara Comstock has called for an independent investigation but has not gotten specific about what kind of investigation needs to take place.  Please urge her to call for a special prosecutor.  

Suggested script:

“My name is _______ and I am a constituent.  My address is ______.  I am calling because I wanted to let Congresswoman Comstock know how I feel about the Russian investigation.  I am deeply concerned about the timing and context of James Comey’s firing, and I think more than ever we need to not just demand an independent investigation but a special prosecutor.  I urge Congresswoman Comstock to call for a special prosecutor.”

Barbara J. Comstock -- 10th District

DC Office: (202) 225-5136 or Sterling Office: (703) 404-6903

http://comstock.house.gov

If you don’t know your representative, you can look it up here:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

Call your senators to oppose the "working families flexibility act" (h.r. 1180 / s.801) 

Poste 05/15/2017

The bill, passed by the House on May 2, 2017, offers non-exempt employees a false choice between time and money by proposing that they be allowed to choose paid time off rather than time-and-a-half wages. However, the legislation puts all the power in the hands of the employer, not the employee.  

For example, the employee can bank 160 hours of comp time, but is not guaranteed the right to use them when they need it, for example, to care for a sick family member or to schedule surgery.  Instead, the employer has the right to take 13 months to schedule the employee’s leave. Furthermore the legislation allows the employer to unilaterally pay workers for any comp time that has been banked beyond 80 hours. And should an employer go out of business or bankrupt, the employee would be left with no recourse to recover the value of the lost comp time.

This law sets the stage for employers to push workers into taking comp time instead of overtime pay. Although coercion is illegal, this legislation leaves the coerced employee only the option of bringing a costly lawsuit against their employer, because it denies the worker the right to use more cost effective administrative remedies through the US Department of Labor. The employer no longer has to pay time and a half for overtime worked under this scheme. Then, they completely control when the employee can actually use the banked comp time. Any delay in paying an employee is a huge benefit to employers, since it is akin to receiving an interest free loan from your employees. The end result of this legislation is that workers will be pressured into working longer hours for less pay.

The NYT editorial board called this legislation, “An Invitation to Wage Theft”:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/opinion/overtime-pay-bill.html?_r=0

A full explanation of how this legislation is intended to erode the basic guarantees of the Fair Labor Standards Act is put forward here:

http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/work-family/other/an-empty-promise-the-working-families-flexibility-act.pdf

Suggested Script: “Hello. My name is ______, and I am your constituent. Today, I am calling to ask you to oppose the Working Families Flexibility Act, which will not result in greater flexibility for workers, and is sure to guarantee them lower wages.”

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: 202-224-4024 or Manassas Office: 703-361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact (select “Taxes” as your topic)

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: 202-224-2023 or Vienna Office: 703-442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactpage (select “Taxes” as your topic)

 

In honor of mother's day, call your member of congress and senators to ask them to co-sponsor the pregnant works fairness act (2.1101 / h.r. 2417

Posted 05/15/2017

This newly introduced legislation has bi-partisan support, which is nearly unheard of these days, but needs lots of co-sponsors in order to put pressure on leadership to give it a hearing and move it forward.

In spite of current legal protections, many pregnant women are denied even modest accommodations that will make it possible for them to continue working, such as being able to sit down at a cashier’s station or keep a water bottle with them.  This problem is most likely to affect women in jobs like retail, food service, and health care -- who also often don’t have paid leave and can’t afford to miss work.  The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will require employers to make the same sort of reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers that are already made for employees with disabilities.

For more information, see: http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/workplace-fairness/pregnancy-discrimination/fact-sheet-pwfa.pdf

Suggested script:  “Hello. My name is ______, and I am your constituent.  I’m calling to ask ___(insert your MoC)___ to co-sponsor the  Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S.1101 or HR 2417)..  This bill has bi-partisan co-sponsors, and would require employers to offer pregnant workers the same sort of reasonable accommodations that they would provide to a worker with disabilities.”

For Senators --

Senator Tim Kaine:

DC Office: (202) 224-4024 or Manassas Office: (703) 361-3192

https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact (select “Workforce & Labor” as your topic)

Senator Mark Warner:

DC Office: (202) 224-2023 or Vienna Office: (703) 442-0670

https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactpage (select “Women’s Issues” as your topic)

For Representatives --

Don Beyer -- 8th District

DC Office: (202) 225-4376 or Alexandria Office: (703) 658-5403

https://beyer.house.gov/contact/

Barbara J. Comstock -- 10th District

DC Office: (202) 225-5136 or Sterling Office: (703) 404-6903

http://comstock.house.gov

Gerald E. Connolly --11th District

DC Office (202) 225-1492 or Annandale Office: (703) 256-3071

http://connolly.house.gov

If you don’t know your representative, you can look it up here:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

Re-entergize & inspire & take care of ourselves

Posted 5/7/2017

Activism needs energy, hope, inspiration and renewal!  We’ve all responded to flash points of urgency in the many weeks since the current administration took office.  Many of us are tired and struggling to stay engaged, even as our commitment remains firm.  As we gird ourselves for the long, hard battle which lays before us we must take care of ourselves and sustain our energy so we can continue to be engaged and energized to fight for, among others, health care, civil rights, environmental safety and the liberties that our Constitution guarantees us the right to enjoy. The C2A Team wished to craft a different kind of Action Call this week, one which might encourage and support us to take care of ourselves, nurture our souls, recover our resolve and replenish.  Before you pick up that phone to call a legislator, write a postcard, send an e-mail, we ask each of you try to undertake at least one of these actions this week to take care of yourselves:

  1. Connect with others and ask for support, such as an opportunity to vent.

  2. Post a picture on the TWW NoVA FB page of an animal in your life now or in the past whom you loved.

  3. Post a brief  thumbnail sketch of someone you admire (can be nameless) to honor them and share how they persevered about something hard.

  4. Light a candle somewhere in service to warriors for causes everywhere.  Light one for yourself.

  5. Post a picture of something or someone you find inspiring.

  6. Post something funny, but please not mean-funny. (We need some humor to get through hard times.)

  7. Share something you LOVE -- a song, a video, a picture, a poem, a book, photos of your child(ren).

  8. Share the name of a TV show or movie that you are watching. (Something to distract us.)

  9. Take a tech break. Unplug for an afternoon and free yourself from the constant demands of texts, social media and email.

  10. Engage your hands. Knit, bake, scribble with crayons, play with watercolors, whatever. Just make something.

  11. Hit the sack early with a good book.

  12. Share with us on the TWW NoVA FB page one of your ideas for re-energizing.

 

sign petition to open u.s. borders to syrian refugees seeking safe asylum

Posted 04/16/2017

Right now we are in the middle of a Joint Resistance Recess, organized by MoveOn.org, Indivisible, and other known grassroots groups. It started April 7th and continues until April 23rd. We are asking that folks find their legislator’s town halls and pressure them to talk about Trump’s Taxes, Independent Russia Investigation, HR 356 Protecting our Democracy Act, and Healthcare.  As you probably already know, even though we had a recent victory with healthcare, Trump and the Republicans have said that they will try again, so we need to stay on it.  MoveOn.org has a list of events happening on their website as well as a great list of resources in preparing for these townhalls.  You are also encouraged to start your own event if you don’t see one near you.

 

Here is the website for the resistance recess:

https://www.resistancerecess.com/event/resistance-aprilrecess/

 

 

immigrantS and muslims are welcome

Print out a sign.  Post it in your window.

Trump is threatening refugees, immigrants, and Muslims and it's up to us to speak in one fearless voice:  NEVER.  Not on our watch.  Please pring the sign that works best for your and then fill out a short survery to let us know how many and where you hope to hang them.  Give some neighbors.  

Posted 1/29/2017

 

read the indivisible guide

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

Written by a group of former Congressional staffers, this guide offers a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents. The guide is intended to be equally useful for stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve.