Actions 9/4 and 9/5

Monday

Defend DACA. Trump is likely to announce Tuesday that he’ll end DACA, destroy the lives of Dreamers. Let’s raise our voices now—everywhere we can and especially on Twitter, hashtag #DefendDACA—in one loud No. You can find suggested tweets to key members of Congress here. For more ways to fight back, see this useful list of actions from the Women’s March. And defenddaca.com is the clearinghouse for information and rallies

Permanent legal status is the only real protection for Dreamers, and there are two bipartisan bills before Congress, S.1615 in the Senate and H.R.3591 in the House, that will protect the future of these young Americans out of the hands of Trump and future presidents. See last Tuesday’s action for details and a script.

Tuesday

Celebrate Labor Day (one day late) by telling your Mass. legislators to support H.1033/S.999, an act to prevent wage theft and promote employer accountability. The estimated $700 million in wage theft that occurs here annually robs workers and their families of essential income and penalizes companies that abide by the law and are continually undercut by employers who cheat the system. This bill will give Maura Healey more tools to hold employers accountable when they violate wage laws, including the ability to bring wage theft cases to court for civil damages and to issue stop-work orders. Call or email your Mass. legislators and tell them to stand strong with workers by pushing for passage of H.1033/S.999. Please note: Sal DiDomenico sponsored this bill in the senate. If he’s your senator, you might choose simply to thank him for his leadership.

SCRIPT: Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [ZIP]. I’m calling to ask [LEGISLATOR’S NAME] to stand strong for workers by doing all s/he can to pass H.1033/S.999, an act to prevent wage theft and promote employer accountability. Employees are losing an estimated $700 million annually to wage theft, and companies that abide by the law are penalized when they’re undercut by competitors who cheat the system. This bill will give the attorney general the tools she needs to bring cases of wage theft to court. I appreciate the [SENATOR’S/REPRESENTATIVE’S] support. Thank you.


We stopped Trumpcare. Now we need to stop Congress from overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ban on the use of arbitration clauses to deny consumers their right to join class actions to sue banks and credit-card companies. Already passed by the House, the bill, S.J. Res 47, is likely to come up in the Senate this week. All Democrats are expected to vote against the repeal, so we’ll need to reach out again to friends in states with Republican senators. And the timing’s good—last week we found out that 1.4 million more fake accounts, many in states represented by Republicans, were opened by Wells Fargo, a company that used an arbitration clause for years to hide this illegal practice. Let’s urge our friends to tell their Republican senators not to let an outrage like that happen again. Here’s some wording they might use.

SCRIPT: Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY]. I’m calling to urge the senator to vote against S.J. Res 47, the repeal of the CFPB’s arbitration rule. Allowing consumers to take group action against financial institutions is a consumer right and a necessary check against predatory and illegal practices of financial institutions. Wells Fargo used an arbitration clause for years to get away with hiding their practice of opening fake accounts. Please do all you can to keep anything like the Wells Fargo scam from happening again. Thank you.

Actions 9/1

You can support S365, a bill to ensure that any future presidential candidate must submit his or her tax returns to appear on the Massachusetts ballot, by attending its hearing before the Joint Committee on Election Laws next Wednesday, September 6, at 1 pm. Testimony can also be submitted in writing to the Committee Chairs, Senator Anne M. Gobi and Representative John J. Mahoney. Address your email to Honorable Chairmen and Members of the Joint Committee. Pat Jehlen is the committee's Senate Co-Chair. If she represents you, it’d be a good idea to email Senator Jehlen as well.

Actions 8/30 and 8/31

Wednesday

Fight Trump’s transgender ban. The Trump administration’s directive banning the recruitment of transgender service members gives Defense Secretary Mattis discretion to determine whether those already in the armed forces can continue to serve and also allows him to advise the president at any time if a change to this policy is warranted. Please call the Department of Defense at 703-571-3343 and tell Secretary Mattis you want him to protect our transgender service members and rescind the ban. Please also call (202-224-2235) or email Senator John McCain, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senator Warren (202-224-4543), a member of that committee; thank them for their support for transgender members of the armed forces; and urge them to include language in the National Defense Authorization Act to protect our transgender troops.

Thursday

Let’s ask our senators to oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017. It's passed the House and will be taken up by the Senate. The measure delays by eight more years the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 air-pollution standards, which reduce the allowed amount of ground-level ozone from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. Ozone at 72 parts per billion is harmful to healthy adults exercising outdoors, and children are at much greater risk. The EPA projects their new standards will prevent 230,000 asthma attacks in children and up to 660 premature deaths. Besides delaying the change, The Ozone Standards bill also doubles—from every five to every ten years—the EPA’s mandated review of air quality standards in light of the latest science and allows the medically based health standards on which the Clean Air Act was founded to be weakened by consideration of polluter compliance costs. Call Senators Warren (202-224-4543) and Markey (202-224-2742) and urge them to strongly oppose S263. Senator Markey is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which will consider the bill. Please incorporate your own stories about health issues affected by pollution.

SCRIPT: Hi, this is [NAME]. I’m calling from [ZIP] to register my strong opposition to S263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act. It seriously delays the implementation of the EPA’s new ozone standards, designed to reduce the allowed amount of ozone below the levels at which they are dangerous. The bill also doubles the time period for reviewing standards and mandates that polluter compliance costs be taken into consideration. It’s a radical change to the Clean Air Act, which has been organized since 1970 around the principle that the EPA must rely on medical science to set health standards that will protect all Americans. I urge the senator to do everything he/she can to safeguard the Clean Air Act by opposing this bill. Thank you.

EE Actions for Week of 8/28

Under the Trump administration the environment is heavily at risk. The Indivisible Somerville Energy and Environment Lab is pleased to present just some of the ways you can help resist. For more info and actions you can take visit the Sierra Club or MCAN.

Comment on repeal of Clean Water Act of 2015

Scott Pruitt and the EPA are considering rolling back the Clean Water Act of 2015, which puts smaller tributary streams and rivers under the same federal protections as major waterways. These streams provide drinking water to millions of Americans and are connected to ground water supplies. Polluting them is polluting the major waterways.
Submit comments here.

Example Comment:

I am writing to urge you to uphold the 2015 Clean Water Rule defining Waters of the United States that are subject to protection under the federal Clean Water Act. Repealing this vital safeguard will put the health of communities throughout the nation at risk and undermine the water resources needed for economic development, recreation, wildlife, and quality of life.

These small headwater streams and wetlands are the source of much of our drinking water supply and are necessary for our rivers to be the recreational resources that support our communities' economies, and reduce the extremely destructive force of flooding.

This country has made significant progress in cleaning up polluted rivers, which has brought tremendous economic benefits. Just look at the cleanup of Boston Harbor and the economic engine that has created. This example is replicated in hundreds of towns and cities across Massachusetts and New England.

In many communities we are dependent on groundwater which is fed by storm water recharge, which depends on the existence of the streams and wetlands currently protected under the Clean Water rule. Reducing the current protections puts the drinking water of millions at risk.

This repeal would eliminate protections for up to 60% of streams and wetlands nationwide and jeopardize the health of drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans. The Clean Water Rule protects 20 million acres of wetlands and more than half of the stream miles across the country. Clean water is essential to our health, vital to all communities, and necessary for a robust economy. I oppose this repeal which will weaken commonsense safeguards that protect our water resources.

The Clean Water Act was designed to make all of our waters clean enough to fish and swim in. Which will benefit all Americans by boosting economic growth and allowing fir more access to clean water. A repeal of this act will make it much more difficult to achieve that goal. When this much is at risk we need stronger protections, not weaker.

Thank you for your consideration. [Your Name] [List relevant credentials]

Get your town to support increased renewable energy!

The Massachusetts Climate Action Network is seeking town elected officials to sign on to this letter to garner support for H2700, which would increase the commonwealth renewable energy mix percentage increase from 1% to 3%. Email your alderman, or other city/town representatives, and ask them to sign on to the letter. Once they have committed. send their contact info to faithsimon@massclimateaction.net and they will collect the signatures for the hearing on September 19th.

Script:

My name is [NAME] as a resident of [CITY] As you might know there is a bill (H2700)l this legislative session the the State House that aims the increase our Renewable Energy Portfolio by increasing the amount of renewable energy required to be provided by energy providers over time. It would require an increase of 3% per year as opposed to the current 1%.

This change, in conjunction with other similar energy policies in New England would accelerate compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act, create up to 37,000 net new jobs by 2030, and diversify our energy mix and protect consumers from increases in fossil fuel prices. What we are asking that you and other elected officials commit to signing the attached letter, which will be delivered to the Committee on Telecommunications and Utilities before the hearing on this bill. We want to show that the towns and cities of the commonwealth are also committed to combating climate change and increasing renewable energy jobs, Brookline has taken a step toward that with the roll out of the Community Choice Energy agreement this summer and this would be a good next step.

Tell your state reps to commit to voting Yes on carbon pricing!

Call your State reps and ask them to support H1726 and S1821 the two bills related to carbon pricing. These recently had a hearing with overwhelming support but have yet to be scheduled for a vote, the more reps that say they will commit to voting yes the more likely it will be brought to the floor.

Bonus credit: email the heads of the Utilities Committee and ask them to report out the bills favorably: Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov

Script

Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm calling from [CITY] I wanted to ask the representative to support H1726 and S1821, both relate to carbon pricing and would be incredibly beneficial to the Commonwealth. Thank you very much for your time

Actions 8/28 and 8/29

Congress is coming back next week. Time to retrieve those area code 202s in your speed dial!

Monday

Let’s tell our representatives to stand up for immigrants in the budget process. With Trump pardoning Joe Arpaio and threatening DACA, this fall looks like an even more dangerous time for immigrants. His 2018 budget calls for Congress to pour $23 billion of our tax dollars into ICE and Border Patrol agents, the wall, and detention facilities for his out-of-control deportation machine, and the House has already passed a spending bill with $1.6 billion for the wall. The Trump budget cuts vital investments in families and communities to pay for an anti-immigrant campaign designed to spread fear and tear apart communities. Urge Senators Markey (202-224-2742) and Warren (202-224-4543) and your representative to say no to deportation funding.

SCRIPT: Hi, this is [NAME]. I’m calling from [ZIP] about the upcoming budget negotiations. Specifically, I'm deeply concerned over what I've read about ICE raids, detention center conditions, border patrol abuses, and deporting peaceful, vulnerable people to dangerous cities. (Or mention whatever most troubles you) Our treatment of immigrants amounts to taxpayer-funded abuse, and the president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio makes it clear he will accept, even support, flagrant abuses. We need Congress to stand up for human rights. Please let the [senator/congressman or woman] know that I want him/her to cut funding to the deportation machine and vote no on any bill that funds this inhumane system. Will [NAME] commit to this? (pause) Thank you.

Tuesday

It's time to inundate Senators Markey and Warren with calls to cosponsor the Dream Act (S1615), a bipartisan bill that would grant permanent legal status to Dreamers who meet certain criteria. Yes, we've asked you to call about DACA before, but here’s the deal—they haven’t co-sponsored yet. And it’s critical to support this bill now, given the fact that DACA is under attack by Texas and nine other states who’ve threatened to sue if the administration doesn’t start phasing out the program by September 5. Word is, Trump's seriously considering eliminating it.

DACA status has increased recipients’ hourly wages by an average of 42% and given them the purchasing power to buy homes, cars, and other goods and services, which drives economic growth for everyone. It also allows young people to further their education and participate more fully in their communities, and that benefits us all. Let’s call Senators Warren (202-224-4543) and Markey (202-224-2742) and tell them we want them to support the bill and speak out in favor of DACA. There’s also a House bill, H.R.3591. Mass Reps. Capuano, Clark, Kennedy, and McGovern have co-sponsored. If you have a different representative, give him or her a call, too.

SCRIPT: Hi, this is (NAME). I’m calling from (ZIP) to urge the senator to co-sponsor S1615, the bipartisan bill that would grant permanent legal status to the many Dreamers who contribute so much to our communities and our economy. It’s critical to show support for the bill now to counteract the pressure on the administration, from Texas and 9 other states, to start phasing out the bill. I'm asking the senator to co-sponsor immediately, speak up for DACA, and encourage his/her colleagues to do the same. Thank you.