Protect Our Public Lands: Take Action Before July 10th

Thursday, July 6th

We're coming to end of the public comment period on Trump and Ryan Zinke's unprecedented review of our national monuments. They're talking about rolling back these designations and putting these shared spaces in jeopardy. (Read more.)

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Make sure the Interior Department hears from you before July 10th.​

Action You Can Take Today

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Try A Little Pre-Holiday Reading: 45's Conflicts of Interest To Date

Monday, July 3

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

Some Talking Points for the Fourth of July

We all know that Trump, unlike previous presidents, has not made his tax returns public. We also know that he did not really divest from his businesses properly and continues to profit from them.

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Comic by Tom Toles

Most of us probably don't have a full grasp of the nature and extent of Trump's conflicts of interest. This serious article spells them all out and explains why they are a problem. Get yourself a long cool drink before reading, because it's a long, long list: https://www.justsecurity.org/42728/mixing-politics-business-master-list-trumps-conflicts-interest/


Election Integrity Commission? New York Says No.

Saturday, July 1st

(Adapted from Rogan's List and NewYorkUpstate.com)

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Trump's Election Integrity Commission, which will meet in July and is chaired by Mike Pence, with Kansas anti-immigrant gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach as vice-chair, is requesting full voter rolls, including names and party affiliations, from every single state.  They claim that the purpose of the group is to "promote fair and honest Federal elections", however most of the commission members believe that voter fraud is rampant and that voting guidelines need to be more stringent. In other words, it's really a voter suppression commission. (Read more.)

The commission is now seeking data from all 50 states that includes voters' first and last names, dates of birth, political parties (if available) and the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Officials in at least 24 states have said they won’t turn over all voter roll data and in at least five states they’ve made it clear they won’t turn over any, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced yesterday that New York will not comply with a request for voter data. 

Action You Can Take Today

Contact the Governor and thank him for standing up against this farce.  

By mail:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

By phone: 

1-518-474-8390

Online: 

Contact form here.

If you live in a state other than New York, you can reach out to your secretary of state or election board and tell them you want them to stand up too: https://www.rockthevote.com/get-informed/elections/contact-sos/.

You can use this script: https://twitter.com/Celeste_pewter/status/880531418350198784


Resistance is Patriotic: Tell the NRA to Stop Their Anti-Democratic Rhetoric

Friday, June 30th

(Adapted from Rogan's List & Women's March)

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In a chilling, shameful misrepresentation of the #resistance, the NRA has gone a step too far in their newest video ad that barely stops short of promoting violence.  As we are reminded by Vox, the NRA "has a very long history of using apocalyptic, paranoid rhetoric about the collapse of American society in order to sell people on the notion that they need to act now to preserve their gun rights." 

They seem to have forgotten that protest is a form of patriotism, and that Americans have the right to free speech.  The Women’s March has penned an open letter to NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, which states in part, "Mr. LaPierre, before the Second Amendment was the First Amendment. The advertisement released by the NRA is a direct attack on people of color, progressives and anyone who exercises their First Amendment right to protest. At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in racially charged incidents and violence motivated by hate speech, it is unconscionable for a powerful organization like yours to unashamedly peddle an "us versus them" narrative. You are calling for our grassroots, nonviolent resistance movement to be met with violence." (Read more.)

Action You Can Take Today 

The NRA needs to hear from all us, we the people, that provocative propaganda like this is not only unacceptable, it is downright dangerous. Tell them at https://contact.nra.org/contact-us.aspx.


Election 2017: Sign a Nominating Petition Today

Philipstown Democrats are carrying nominating petitions this week for Town and Country-level races. Help us get these candidates on the November ballot.

Candidates for Town Offices:

Richard Shea. Town Supervisor 

Michael Leonard, Town Councilman 

John VanTassel, Town Councilman

Candidate for County Sheriff:

Robert Langley

We are also carrying petitions for delegates and alternates for the 9th Judicial District Convention.

If you are a registered Democrat and would like to sign, please contact us at philipstowndems@gmail.com or through the contact form on our website.

Thank you. 

 

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Dual Department of the Interior Action: Protect the Grizzly Bear & Coral Canyons

Saturday, June 24th

(Adapted from Rogan's List, EcoWatch, EarthJustice and NPR)


A grizzly mother and her cub in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park.
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

In a controversial decision, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has delisted the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear from the Endangered Species Act opening these bears up to trophy hunting.  This is a mistake. "Grizzly bears are the slowest reproducing mammal on the planet, and a population decline can take decades to reverse," Derek Goldman of the Endangered Species Coalition says in a statement emailed to NPR.  "Therefore," he continued, "we have been calling on Fish and Wildlife Service and the states to develop adequate management plans for grizzly bears before any delisting is finalized. We will closely review the final rule to ensure there are adequate protections for grizzly bears."

You can use the Sierra Club's tool to send a note to Ryan Zinke and the Dept. of Interior: https://goo.gl/USQbVQ  

While you're at it, you might want to mention that Zinke should continue to protect national monuments such as the Coral Canyons and Seamounts National Monument, which is off the coast of New England and is the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.


NOAA OKEANOS EXPLORER PROGRAM, 2013 NORTHEAST U.S. CANYONS EXPEDITION SCIENCE TEAM

Coral Canyons is now under review for drilling by Zinke's department.  As noted by EcoWatch, "In April, Trump signed an executive order to aggressively expand drilling in protected waters off the Atlantic and Arctic oceans....The monument, which consists of 4,913 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the New England coast, was designated by President Obama last September to protect critical ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea corals, whales, sea turtles and deep-sea fish."  

Zinke recently told Reuters that the development of America's protected federal lands could help the country become a "dominant" global energy force. "There is a social cost of not having jobs," he said. "Energy dominance gives us the ability to supply our allies with energy, as well as to leverage our aggressors, or in some cases our enemies, like Iran." (Read more.)

Tell the Ryan Zinke and the Interior Department that we want to keep this monument, and all the others under question, as is. They are irreplaceable national treasures.  

Write: Ryan Zinke, US Dept of Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240


The EPA Must Be Able To Do Its Job: Remind Director Pruitt

Friday, June 23rd

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(Adapted from Rogan's List and other sources)

What Really Matters: Our Environment

There is bipartisan support for the EPA in Congress. As reported by Buzzfeed, "Republicans and Democrats came together [last week] to jointly attack the Trump administration’s proposal to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by $2.4 billion, or 31%, next year."  Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nevada) told Pruitt during the hearing “You may be the first person to get more than you asked for, because, quite frankly, as many people have made the point, nobody is standing on the rooftops begging for dirty water and dirty air and dirty soil and those sort of things." (Read more in Mother Jones.)

Action You Can Take Today

Let Congress know that you agree that slashing the EPA budget will not benefit the American people. Bonus: You can use a new app, Stance, to leave a message for your representative, even if their voicemail is full. Try it out at: http://www.takeastance.us/

And more:

Less than two weeks ago, Director Scott Pruitt's EPA dismissed 12 scientists from a major scientific review board, and is looking to replace them with members who come from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate. More foxes in charge of the henhouse. Tell Pruitt his actions are unacceptable and counter to what the American people want from the EPA, which is exactly what his agency's name says: Environmental Protection

  • Write to:  Scott Pruitt, EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, MC 1101A, Washington DC 20460
  • Call him at: 202-564-4700
  • Send an email to: Pruitt.scott@Epa.gov

 


It's STILL All About Healthcare: Thank Our Democratic Senators For Their Efforts

Thursday, June 22nd

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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Emotions and actions continue to run high about the secretive Senate health care process.

As reported today in The Guardian, "The Senate’s 142-page proposal, unveiled on Thursday, would eliminate or reduce key benefits provided by Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act; lower taxes for the wealthy; strip funding from the women’s reproductive health provider Planned Parenthood; and dramatically cut and restructure Medicaid, America’s public health insurance program for low-income and disabled Americans....Experts believe the legislation could leave millions of Americans without health insurance, and could have a stark impact on vulnerable populations such as people recovering from addiction, ageing middle-class baby boomers, and women and children."

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats held the floor recently to shine light on the flaws of the male-only, closed meetings, as reported by Reuters this week: "Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said that the closed-door Republican meetings on healthcare amounted to "the most glaring departure from normal legislative procedure that I have ever seen."

"Republicans are writing their healthcare bill under the cover of darkness because they are ashamed of it," Schumer charged. The resulting legislation would likely throw millions out of health insurance, he said, while granting "a big fat tax break for the wealthiest among us."

Action You Can Take Today

Although it is sometimes unbearably boring to keep calling and writing to the same people all the time, they still need to hear from you, all the time.  

  • Please thank our Senator Chuck Schumer for navigating these unprecedented times.
    You can find his contact info here: http://www.philipstowndemocrats.org/senator_chuck_schumer

  • While you're at it, thank our Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for her stand on protecting our healthcare too.  
    You can find her contact info here: http://www.philipstowndemocrats.org/senator_kirsten_gillibrand

 


Tell Secy of State TIllerson: Russia is Not Our Friend in the Cybersecurity Business

Wednesday, June 21st

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has indicated that he would like to work directly with the Russians on issues of cybersecurity – even after the Russians used cyber methods to influence our election: http://www.newsweek.com/russia-us-cyber-security-tillerson-627379  

Russia has orchestrated many kinds of cyberattacks on other nations. As reported in Wired this week, "In a public statement in December, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, reported that there had been 6,500 cyberattacks on 36 Ukrainian targets in just the previous two months. International cybersecurity analysts have stopped just short of conclusively attributing these attacks to the Kremlin, but Poroshenko didn’t hesitate: Ukraine’s investigations, he said, point to the “direct or indirect involvement of secret services of Russia, which have unleashed a cyberwar against our country.” (The Russian foreign ministry didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.)"

The Trump Administration needs to get the message: Russia is not a friendly partner.

Action You Can Take Today

Let Tillerson know that we do not need to invite the fox to the henhouse: 

  • Write to him at: US Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
  • Fill out a "Contact Us" request form online: https://register.state.gov/contactus/
  • Call the US Department of State: 1 (202) 647-6575

Protect Equal Opportunity Employment

Tuesday, June 20th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

With Pride Week coming up, it seems appropriate to focus on some LGBTQ+ related issues.

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The Trump administration continually works to erase our LGBTQ+ community. The Department of Commerce has released their 2017 Equal Opportunity Employment statement, and language protecting sexual orientation and gender identity is gone. (Read more: 
http://bit.ly/2sFlkRM).

Action You Can Take Today

  • Give the Department of Commerce a call and let them know that you value our LGBTQ+ community, and expect them to do the same: (202) 482-4883 
  • You can also send an e-mail to express your thoughts on the matter to publicaffairs@doc.gov 
  • While you're at it, call our members of Congress about this as well.  We value everyone.

What's Going On in the House of Representatives? This Week's Bills!

Monday, June 19th

(Adapted from Rogan's List and GovTrack

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House Bills and Resolutions, week of June 19th

It's a busy week in the House, 19 bills and resolutions are on the House calendar for the coming days.  Take some time to look into them, and call our Congressman to let him know how you feel about any or all of them.  Apparently, call volumes are trending lower, presumably because people have dialing fatigue, but it's still the best way to let members of Congress know what their constituents think -- don't give up!

Jun 12, 2017
(week of)
House

H.Res. 385: Expressing gratitude for the heroic actions of the United States Capitol Police and other first responders in the attack on Members of Congress on June 14, 2017, and ...

This simple resolution was agreed to on June 15, 2017. That is the end of the legislative process for a simple resolution.

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 625: REPORT Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 1551: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the credit for production from advanced nuclear power facilities.

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 1282: DHS Acquisition Review Board Act of 2017

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 1393: Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2017

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 1654: Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 1873: Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2866: Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2131: DHS FIRM Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2132: Traveler Redress Improvement Act of 2017

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2190: Streamlining DHS Overhead Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2283: DHS MORALE Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2353: Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2484: Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2834: Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2842: Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2847: Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2742: Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act

Jun 19, 2017
(week of)
House

H.R. 2857: Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act

Once bills are scheduled for floor action they typically have enough support to pass!

Want more info? Here are some easy lookups:


For Father's Day: Some Good News

Sunday, June 18th

(Adapted from Jen Hofmann's Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience)

Good news

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Tell Congress: Support the Agricultural Worker Program Act

Friday, June 16th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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America relies on undocumented workers to make our agriculture industry work - 70% of all the farm workers who put food on our tables are undocumented. We need to be sure that these folks have some protection from Trump, for their sake and for the sake of everyone in this country who eats. Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein and Luis Gutierrez have proposed the Agricultural Worker Program Act to protect farm workers from deportation and put them on a path to legal status if they show consistent employment and meet certain other criteria.  (Read more.)

Join the United Farm Workers in asking our own members of Congress to sign on to this bill:

http://action.ufw.org/page/speakout/immig617


National Senate Call-in Day for Healthcare

Wednesday, June 14th

(Adapted from Rogan's List and Indivisible)

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The Senate is trying to do what the House of Representatives did in May: jam through its TrumpCare bill in secrecy, without public hearings, without a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, and without knowing its full impact on American families.

The Senate is trying to do what the House of Representatives did in May: jam through its TrumpCare bill in secrecy, without public hearings, without a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, and without knowing its full impact on American families.

TrumpCare bill (American Health Care Act, or AHCA) would strip coverage from at least 23 million people and cut Medicaid by $800 billion, in order to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. It would also undermine critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, defund Planned Parenthood, and raise premiums for American families.

Action You Can Take Today

All day on June 14th, call our US Senators and tell them to reject TrumpCare and the Senate Committee's closed-room deal to take health care away from 23 million people. Get started at: 
https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/stop-trumpcare-senate-call-script/

Contact information:

Bonus Action

Once you've called our senators, you can join the ACA Defenders in making sure folks in key states call their senators too here: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMiCjyVEprsCak0eifPbNorKx-C86ygqSasdbbLaA4gX874g/viewform

 


Support the Public Theatre

Tuesday, June 13th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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Apparently corporate sponsors only like art when it behaves itself. Both Delta Airlines and Bank of America have withdrawn their funding from NYC's Public Theatre, which is staging a production of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.

Why? In this interpretation of the play, Julius looks a lot like Trump, and the other characters are recognizable analogies for contemporary political figures as well. And we know what happens at the end of the play, right?

Was this interpretation of the play meant to "provoke and offend," as the spokesperson for Bank of America said? Obviously. That was the role of the original play, too.  This production has been the target of criticism in recent days from right-leaning outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News, which may have had an effect on the decisions by Delta and Bank of America to stop advertising. (Read more.) 

That's part of what art does -- it makes us think.

Losing funding from these big companies is likely to be a major blow, and the Public Theatre could use our help. 

Actions You Can Take Today

  1. Support this edgy and timely production of a classic play by making a donation at: https://www.publictheater.org/en/Support/Donate-Now/ 

  2. Contact the advertisers asking them to reconsider their decision: 

    Bank of America:  http://www.corporate-office-headquarters.com/bank-of-america-corporation and Delta:  http://www.corporate-office-headquarters.com/delta-airlines