Action of the day: let’s get three Republican senators to oppose Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, is phenomenally unqualified for the job.  She has no education policy background, has never taught, and has never attended public school or sought public education for anyone else in her family.  If three Republican Senators join the 48 Senate Democrats in opposing her during her hearing on January 31, the appointment will not go forward.

Below is a list of Republican Senators who have expressed doubts about DeVos.  Call at least one of them today to express your opposition to her nomination.

  • Susan Collins (ME) 207.622.8414
  • Lamar Alexander (TN) 615.736.5129
  • Lisa Murkowski (AK) 907.586.7277
  • Johnny Isakson (GA) 770.661.0999
  • Orrin Hatch (UT) 801.524.4380
  • Richard Burr (NC) 336.631.5125
  • Michael Enzi (WY) 202.224.3424
  • Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA) 202.224.5824
  • Pat Roberts (KS) 202.224.4774
  • Tim Scott (SC) 202.224.6121
  • Rand Paul (KY) 202.224.4343

Article of the day: read the Indivisible Guide to rebuilding the progressive movement from the ground up

It’s Inauguration Day.  The next four years start now.  Kick off Trump’s presidency by reading the Indivisible Guide, which offers a playbook for the progressive movement to rebuild itself from the ground up.  As the authors write,

The [guide] offer 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.

We believe that the next four years depend on Americans across the country standing indivisible against the Trump agenda. We believe that buying into false promises or accepting partial concessions will only further empower Trump to victimize us and our neighbors. We hope that this guide will provide those who share that belief useful tools to make Congress listen.

Action of the day: get involved with the Trump Cabinet Confirmations Blockade

If you’d like to learn more about Trump’s Cabinet nominees and take action against their confirmation, Pantsuit Nation Washington State has put together a guide to participating in the Confirmations Blockade.  They’ve synthesized information about the nominees, contact information for the Congressional committees in charge of approving them, and other links for learning more about the confirmation process.

Article of the day: 6 regulatory and legislative changes you might have missed this week

The other reason I find the “Trump is Hitler” narrative distracting is that it encapsulates many people’s fears about and strong dislike towards the Trump administration — but doesn’t actually point to any concrete action to take in response.  Activism is most successful when it focuses on specific, actionable policy changes.  Here’s a list of six regulatory and legislative changes that Republicans have proposed this week, via Berkeley PhD student Susanna Berkouwer.  Pick one and call your Congresspeople about it today.

  1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
  2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.
  3. Senate schedules six simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.
  4. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.
  5. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
  6. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department. For example, if FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule it.

Action of the day: take easy steps towards activism with My Civic Workout

If you’re also looking for ways to get involved beyond calling your representative, My Civic Workout is a great program to explore.  When you sign up with them, they’ll send emails a few times a week with 5-minute, 10-minute, and 30-minute activism “workouts” to help you get started.

Action of the day: sign up for text alerts from Daily Action

If you’re interested in calling your members of Congress more often, but are finding difficult to pick specific issues or find the time to call, Daily Action is here for you!  Sign up at their website or by texting DAILY to 228466, and they’ll help automate the calling process for you.  As they write,

 You will subsequently receive one text message every workday about an issue that we have determined to be urgent based on where you live. You tap on the phone number in your message, listen to a short recording about that day’s issue, and from there you’ll be automatically routed to your Senator, member of Congress, or other relevant elected official. In 90 seconds, you can conscientiously object and be done with it.