Attend the February Audit Committee Meeting of the Putnam County Legislature

Monday, February 27 at 6:30 pm

Tonight at 7:30 at the Putnam County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Ave, Carmel, NY 10512, Room 318

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Defend Our First Amendment Right to Protest

Sunday, February 26th

(Adapted from 3NoTrump & actionnetwork.org)

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(Photo: Freedom House)


Protesting has been one of the most effective ways we’ve been able to get our voices heard. Since the election, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets, and (in contrast to what might be emphasized in some media) 99% of these protests have been peaceful and appropriate. 

Lawmakers in ten states (Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan*, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota** Virginia, and Washington) have recently proposed laws that would make it a serious crime to assemble in groups and express political dissent.  (Read more from The Washington Post and NPR)

For people who live in states (listed above) currently considering anti-protest legislation:

(1) Call your State Senator and Representative. You can find your state reps here.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m disturbed by the bill aimed at silencing protesters, which directly threatens our democracy. Our right to protest is a fundamental First Amendment right. Please vote against this bill.

(2) Use the Weekly Resistance automatic calling tool to contact the governor’s office if you live in one of the above-named states. They have a script you can use, or you can use the one above, just changing the words “vote against” to “veto.”
 

For those living outside these states:

(3) Protect Yourself:

-- WhatDoIDoAboutTrump has compiled a number of excellent resources to use if your safety and livelihood is being threatened by your activism.

-- Have a look at some good advice for protestors.

--  Take note of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Digital Security Tips for Protestors

(4) Keep Protesting: This Protest Calendar will help you find events nearby so you can keep resisting. Let’s take these anti-protest bills as a sign that we’re being seen as a threat! The resistance is working.

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**North Dakota’s bill, which went as far as to allow a motorist to run over a protester blocking a highway, as long as the act “wasn’t intentional,” has been voted down and *Michigan’s bill has also been tabled, for now. However, it may still be useful for Michigan and North Dakota people to voice opposition to this type of legislation and thank the people who killed it in case these bills come back.


Support Our Right to Healthcare

Saturday, February 25th

Today there are rallies all over the country in support of the ACA and universal healthcare.  The closest one to Philipstown is at 10am at the Brooklyn office of Congressman Donovan (details here).

You can still speak out on healthcare without leaving home.

  • The Dept. of Health & Human Services has proposed new rules around the ACA. There is a public comment period until March 7th on rules that will increase premiums, reduce benefits, reduce networks, and increase deductibles. 

    Add your comment, then share this link everywhere to encourage other folks to do the same: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CMS-2017-0021-0002 
  • Paul Ryan has said he plans to have the House vote on repeal before the Easter recess in early April. 45 has said a replacement plan is coming in March.  A draft of the House Republican repeal package was published yesterday on Politico. A Kaiser Health Tracking poll on the ACA released yesterday shows 48% of Americans favor the ACA, with 42% opposing it. 


    Tell Paul Ryan that a majority of Americans favor keeping the ACA. 


    Since Ryan has blocked his office phones and fax numbers, and is turning away people who show up to deliver petitions, people are mailing post cards to his home address and district offices saying NO to defunding Planned Parenthood, NO to repealing the ACA, and NO to privatizing Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security! 

    Home
    Paul Ryan, 700 St. Lawrence Ave., Janesville, WI 53545

    Washington, DC Office
    233 Longworth HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515, Phone: (202) 225-3031 Fax: (202) 225-3393

    BTW: Paul Ryan apparently lives in his office when in Washington (read more)

    Kenosha Constituent Services Center
    5031 7th Avenue Kenosha, WI 53140 Phone: (262) 654-1901 Fax: (262) 654-2156 

    Janesville Office
    20 South Main Street, Suite 10, Janesville, WI 53545, 1-888-909-RYAN (7926) Phone: (608) 752-4050 Fax: (608) 752-4711 

    Racine Office
    216 6th Street, Racine, WI 53403, Phone: (262) 637-0510, Fax: (262) 637-5689

  • Tell our Members of Congress that you stand behind them in supporting the ACA.

    Use the script at 5 Calls, it is UNBELIEVABLY easy.


    Contact Senator Chuck Schumer


    Washington DC Office
    322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
    Tel: (202) 224-6542, Fax:  (202) 228-3027

    Albany/Capital District Office
    Leo O'Brien Building, Room 420, 11A Clinton Avenue, Albany, NY 12207
    Tel: (518) 431-4070, Fax:  (518) 431-4076 

    Peekskill
    One Park Place, Suite 100, Peekskill, NY 10566
    Tel: (914) 734-1532, Fax:  (914) 734-1673
    senator@schumer.senate.gov, Email form



    Contact Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

    Washington, DC Office
    478 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
    Tel. (202) 224-4451, Fax (202) 228-0282

    Albany/Capital District Office
    Leo W. O’Brien Federal Office Building, 11A Clinton Avenue, Room 821, Albany, NY 12207
    Tel. (518) 431-0120, Fax (518) 431-0128

    Hudson Valley Office
    PO Box 893, Mahopac, NY 10541
    Tel. (845) 875-4585, Fax (845) 875-9099

     Email form



    Contact Representative Sean Patrick Maloney

    Washington DC:
    1027 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
    Tel: 202-225-544, Fax: 202-225-3289

    District Office:
    123 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, Newburgh, NY 12550
    Tel: 845-561-1259, Fax: 845-561-2890

     Email form


Fight Fake News! Stay Informed

Friday, February 24th

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

Action for Today:

You only think you won’t get taken by fake news. Here’s how to recognize it and combat it:

- Read "Why Students Can't Google Their Way To The Truth" from Education Week
- Read "Fighting Fake News: How Libraries Can Lead The Way On Media Literacy" from American Libraries Magazine, published by The American Library Association.

And have a look at this great infographic from the Harvard Library's Research Guides:


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Source: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/fake


Demand Sessions recusal on #TrumpRussia / #FlynnGhazi

Thursday, February 23

(Adapted from The Loyal Opposition's Daily Call To Action)

Support Senator Chuck Schumer's call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations into Michael Flynn or the President & his campaign team’s interactions with Russia. This is clearly a case where recusal is appropriate, so much so that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for AG Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation related to the broader Russia investigation.

Despite Flynn’s initial denial to the FBI that he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, the DOJ and FBI do not plan to indict Flynn on the premise that, when pressed in his FBI interview, Flynn said he could not remember for certain. Given the flimsy pretext for the FBI not pursuing the matter, there is significant concern that the decision to not prosecute was based on Attorney General Sessions’ long involvement with Flynn, Trump and the campaign. Furthermore, DOJ guidelines mandate that the AG recuse himself from an investigation or prosecution if he has a political relationship with any person involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or who would be directly affected by the outcome. 

Action You Can Take Today:

Call Senator Schumer and thank him for calling for Sessions to recuse himself.  

Call Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Maloney, and ask that they publicly call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations into Michael Flynn or the President and his campaign team's interactions with Russia. If either has already made a public call, please make sure to thank them.

*If you don’t already have their numbers in your phone, you can get them by entering your zip code in the Congressional Contact Info tool on the Loyal Opposition's website.


Join the Beacon Artists Union's Art for Aleppo project

Tuesday, February 21

From the organizer:

artforaleppo.jpg

OPEN CALL TO ARTISTS

Postcard Art Show in support of the Children of Aleppo

In response to the overwhelming sentiments toward the horrific news and video surfacing around the atrocities in Aleppo, particularly in regard to the children affected, we would like to initialize an open call for artists from around the world to respond.

The intention of this call is to allow visual artists an outlet to express themselves around the Syrian crisis and to raise awareness and funds to aid in the effort to provide Syrian children emergency care, food and water.

As artists ourselves and considering the reactions by other artists to this tragedy, we felt that this call to action might be a way to give voice to the community in order to raise awareness and hopefully have the potential to heal in some way. Additionally, any sales or donations will go toward the Save the Children Syrian Children's Relief Fund.

For details or questions please visit: artforaleppo.org   info@artforaleppo.org

Read more

Tell Congress: Don't Let Trump Defund the Arts!

Saturday, February 18th

(Adapted from freepress.net & Rogan's List - please share widely)


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“George Washington”
by Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

The Trump administration has introduced a budget that would cut all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities: organizations that promote innovative and creative expression, cultural and artistic understanding, and scholarly research as a basis for an informed democracy.

Join with PEN America, Daily Kos and other allies to help protect the arts and humanities.

Urge Congress to reject any budget that defunds the NEA and NEH:

Sign the petition.

Call your members of Congress.

If your senators and representative aren't saved in your phone yet, text your zip code to 520-200-2223. You'll immediately get a text back with everyone's contact info, INCLUDING your STATE senator and assembly member. 

We need an informed democracy now more than ever, as well as access to artistic outlets to help us get through these tough times. To cope with the administration’s hate, we need art’s power to communicate — and foster cultural understanding and empathy.


Defunding the NEA and NEH would essentially kill these organizations.  Meanwhile, Trump is spending the third weekend in a row vacationing at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida — and each of these trips is costing taxpayers approximately $3 million.

Some perspective: The combined budget for the NEA and NEH is $148 million.1 

Trump's hypocrisy is nauseating.


Supported by these organizations and many more like them:

PEN America Daily Kos Asian American Arts Alliance
Dramatists Guild of America The Other Stories Podcast Community of Literary Magazines and Presses
People Demanding Action Watchdog.net The Zero Hour
Left Action The Nation Free Press Action Fund
Brave New Films RootsAction.org People For the American Way

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1. "Trump's Mar-a-Lago Getaway Could Cost Taxpayers More Than $3 Million," Politico, Feb. 3, 2017: http://act.freepress.net/go/16666?t=6&akid=6105.10656497.HE6v0k




Subscribe to a political podcast and stay informed

Friday, February 17

Subscribe to a good political podcast to hear interviews and commentary on a wide variety of subjects and become more knowledgeable.

Some suggestions:

The Majority Report with Sam Seder - Sam can be enjoyable and funny too!
Our American States from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Current episode: The Security of American Elections.
Indivisible from WNYC and Minnesota Public Radio. National broadcast about 45's first 100 days in office.
Nerdcast from Politico. Self-described as geeking-out on 45 and the new politics of Washington.
Poliical Gabfest from Slate. Stephen Colbert says "Everybody should listen to the Slate Political Gabfest." 

More great options at podbay.fm


Support Real News and Real Journalism

Thursday, February 16

(Adapted from Daily Acts of Resistance and emails by Bill Moyers)

We truly need an independent press right now.  

Action You Can Take Today: Please consider subscribing to print and online news, and donating to organizations that support independent journalism.

Here are a few active subscription options, you could pick one, two, three or more, or you can always find others you prefer.

  • The Washington Post, which played a big role in uncovering information leading to Michael Flynn's resignation.
  • The New York Times, which is continuing to vigorously investigate 45's ties to Russia.
  • The Guardian, which is always ahead of the rest with breaking news.
  • The New Yorker, making us laugh every day thanks to the fearless Andy Borowitz.

 Also consider donating to non-profit organizations that support real news:

  • ProPublica — Founded 10 years ago by a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica is a nonprofit investigative news site based in New York City. In 2010 ProPublica was the first online publication to win a Pulitzer Prize and has earned two more since, as well as a long list of other prestigious awards.
  • The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) — An early player in the nonprofit investigative space, CPI has been around for close to 30 years. Its reporters have won dozens of journalism awards, including a Pulitzer in 2014, for its investigations of money in politics, national security, health care reform, business and the environment.
  • The Center For Investigative Reporting (CIR) — Founded 40 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area, CIR is a nonprofit that has partnered for years with other outlets to reach a wide audience in print, on television, on radio and online. It collaborates with PRX Radio to produce Reveal, the investigative radio program and podcast. The Reveal website is now home to all of CIRs investigative content.
  • Frontline — Launched more than 30 years ago, Frontline is television’s most consistent and respected investigative documentary program. Its documentaries are broadcast on PBS and are available online, along with original reporting.
  • Mother Jones — Mother Jones, founded in 1976, is a reader-supported, nonprofit news organization headquartered in San Francisco with bureaus in Washington, DC and New York City. The site includes investigative reporting as well as general reporting on topics including politics, climate change and education.
  • Real Clear Investigations — Real Clear Investigations, which launched last fall, is the new nonprofit, investigative arm of Real Clear Politics. It is mostly an aggregator of investigative reporting, but has also begun conducting original investigations.
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) — ICIJ is a nonprofit offshoot of the Center for Public Integrity that began 20 years ago. It is a global network of more than 190 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries who work together to investigate cross-border issues including crime, corruption and abuse of power.
  • Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) — IRE is a grass-roots, nonprofit, membership organization that has been providing tips, training and conferences for investigative reporters since 1975. Its blog, Extra! Extra! showcases a wide variety of watchdog journalism.

Attend the Rules Committee Meeting of the Putnam Co Legislature

Wednesday, February 15 at 6:30 pm

Attend the February Meeting of the Rules Committee
of the Putnam County Legislature

Meeting is in Room 318 of the Putnam County Office Building, located at the intersection of Routes 301 and 6, in Carmel, NY

Agenda:

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Read more

TweetSheetTuesdays: I Can See Russian Interference From My Porch

Tuesday, February 14

(Adapted from TweetSheetTuesdays and Daily Acts of Resistance)

Keep the pressure on Congress to investigate 45’s ties to Russia: 

The overnight resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, highlighting his private discussion of U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador in the month before 45 took office, shows how important it is to continue to investigate 45’s ties to Russia.

US investigators have now corroborated some of the communications detailed in a dossier containing allegations that Russian operatives have compromising personal and financial information about 45.

Action you can take today

  • Tweet members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and tell them to investigate.

  • Thank NY Rep. Jerry Nadler for pushing for an investigation of Trump's conflicts of interest and ties to Russia.

    1. You can call him at: (202) 225-5635, (212) 367-7350, (718) 373-3198

      Here's your script:

      "Hi, my name is NAME and I'm calling from TOWN/CITY/STATE. I don't need a response, I just wanted to tell Rep. Nadler how grateful I am for the leadership he's showing in calling for an investigation into President Trump's conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia. Thank you so much."

    2. You can tweet him at https://twitter.com/RepJerryNadler

      Sample tweet (via Eve Fox of Daily Acts of Resistance):

      Thank you @RepJerryNadler for your leadership on this. Trump's conflicts threaten national security - there must be a thorough investigation https://t.co/SmdKVDMllO — Eve Fox (@evefox) February 10, 2017

  • Urge Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chair of the House Judiciary committee to launch an investigation per Nadler's request.

    1. You can call him at: (202) 225-5431, (540) 432-2391, (434) 845-8306, (540) 857-2672, (540) 885-3861

      Here's your script:

      "Hi, my name is NAME and I'm calling to urge Rep. Goodlate committee to launch an investigation into President Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia without further delay. This is not a partisan issue, it's a matter of dire national security that requires immediate attention. Thank you for taking the time to pass along my comments."

      They'll probably ask where you're calling from - you can just say you're not a constituent but are calling with regards to the Representative's role as Chairman of the Judiciary committee.

    2. You can tweet him at https://twitter.com/repgoodlatte

      Sample tweet (via Eve Fox of Daily Acts of Resistance):

      @RepGoodlatte you MUST launch a full investigation into Trump's conflicts of interest & ties to Russia. It's a matter of national security. — Eve Fox (@evefox) February 10, 2017

  • Contact the House Judiciary Committee to urge the same.

    1. You can call them at: (202) 225-3951

      Here's your script:

      "Hi, my name is NAME and I'm calling from TOWN/CITY/STATE to urge the committee to launch an investigation into President Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia without further delay. This is not a partisan issue, it's a matter of dire national security that requires immediate attention. I am very grateful to Rep. Nadler for his leadership on this topic and urge the committee to act ASAP. Thank you for taking the time to pass along my comments."

    2. You can tweet them at https://twitter.com/HouseJudiciary

      (via Eve Fox of Daily Acts of Resistance):

      @HouseJudiciary why aren't you investigating Trump's conflicts of interest & his ties to Russia? Please do so immediately. @RepJerryNadler — Eve Fox (@evefox) February 10, 2017


Action Resources You Can Use Now

Monday, February 13

So many people are organizing that the resources for action just get better and better every day.  Here are a few favorites you can try out:

Other useful resources include contact info for our elected officials: 


Tell the NYS DOT: No Oil Trains On The Hudson

Sunday, February 12

Lynchburg-crude-oil-train-derailment-viaWaterkeeperAlliance-732x250-650x222.jpg

(Pictured: April 2014, Lynchburg, VirginiaA CSX train—made up of CPC-1232 model tank cars that have been called more protective than faulty DOT-111 cars, and traveling at low speeds on a flat stretch of track—derailed, spilling a fireball of Bakken crude oil into the James River. Link to article) Photo via Waterkeeper Alliance.

U.S. Department of Transportation is asking for feedback on proposed restrictions on trains that carry crude oil along its shore. Public comment period is open now and will continue through February 28th.  Read about it in the Highlands Current.

The docket number for the proposed rulemaking is PHMSA-2016-0077, and the petition will be available at regulations.gov.

Trains are not the only delivery methods for crude which affect the Hudson Valley.  Pipelines and oil barges also at issue.  For an in-depth look, read David Heron's chapter on this topic, Transporting Oil to Refineries, from his ebook The Fossil Fuel Story.

(Thumbnail image credit: Wikipedia)


Take a Stand on the Dakota Access Pipeline

Saturday February 11

(Adapted from freepress.net #NoDAPL)

On Tuesday, the President said that he didn't think people cared much about the Dakota Access Pipeline, and that he "hadn't received one call about it".

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Since we’re not sure the White House switchboard is back up and running but we are sure he checks Twitter all day, click here to tell Trump that the Dakota Access Pipeline isn’t just controversial: It’s unacceptable.

If you want to join a rally, they are going on all over the country, every day - find one on the #NoDAPL Action Hub.


 

Read more

Support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017

Friday February 10

(adapted from The Loyal Opposition Daily Call to Action)

Action for Today: Support The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017


Urge our senators and representative to support and cosponsor The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017.

The legislation is currently under consideration in both the House (H.R.371) and the Senate (S.65) and would require the President to divest financial assets which create a conflict of interest.

Unlike all previous presidents, President Trump has declined to do so and instead has created a revocable trust in favor of his sons to run his business, an arrangement deemed inadequate by ethics experts. The details of the arrangement are not public and he has even failed to provide a copy of the documents he asserts separate him from his business to the Office of Government Ethics. In the three weeks since his inauguration, numerous conflicts have arisen, including the Department of Defense renting space in NYC’s Trump Tower and the Saudi government doing business with the President’s Washington D.C. hotel, and most recently tweets linking his policies to his daughter's business interests, and more.  

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