Sunday, January 1, 2017

Previous Action Items


Take Action Now Archive contains previous Action Items posted on the Hanover Democratic Committee website.  Take Action Now is a new resource to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.  Watch for weekly action items in your inbox, on the HDC webpage and on Facebook.  Future TAKE ACTION NOW posts will be updated weekly on Sundays.  Scroll down to see all action items.  This archive began January 11, 2017.  


Take Action Now 
Previous Action Items: 




Take Action Now
6-25-17

Take Action Now is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

Action 1. Fight the GOP “healthcare” bill.  Make no mistake, the AHCA is a tax relief for the wealthy bill, not a healthcare bill.  It cuts $1.2 trillion from healthcare spending and gives that as tax relief mainly to the wealthy.  The images of people with disabilities being pulled from their chairs by Capitol police while protesting the bill outside Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday is a metaphor for the cruelty of this legislation.  The very lives of many people with disabilities depend on a strong Medicaid program, which the AHCA would gut. Call Senators Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) to thank them for fighting against this bill and ask them to use all options, including submitting amendments (see Action 2), to stall the vote.

Call the more moderate GOP senators and try to  persuade them to vote no:

Lisa Murkowski AK 202-224-6665
Susan Collins ME 202-224-2523
Shelley Capito WV 202-224-6472
Rob Portman OH 202-224-3353

Action 2.  Fight some more.  One way the AHCA bill can be stalled is if Democratic senators submit amendments…thousands of amendments, which will take time to discharge.  Write your own amendment by telling your health care story to be read into the record at https://www.ouramendments.org  to help our senators stall this bill.

Action 3.  Attend a Trumpcare sit-in.  Protests against the AHCA are being organized, often by Indivisible, all over the country.  Check-out this Google doc to see what is close.  The document is updated as events are added.



Action 4. Protect the integrity of our elections. In testimony to the Senate foreign Relations Committee last week a Department of Homeland Security official testified that people connected with the Russian government tried to hack election related equipment in 21 states, apparently breaching several, prior to the November election. The Intercept reported that Russian intelligence attacked a voting software supplier and sent phishing emails to about 100 local election officials just before the election. Bloomberg reported that the Russians tried to change voter data in Illinois and accessed a campaign finance database in another state.  According to the Washington Post, last Tuesday former director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the “scale and scope” of Russian interference was unprecedented. In the meantime Trump continues to deny any Russian interference.  According to Bloomberg, some states cooperated with federal authorities in investigating the extent of the cyberattacks more than others. 

Write your state delegate (Chris Peace if you are in the 97th district, which is east of Rt. 301 in Hanover or Hyland Fowler if you are in the 55th district west of Rt 301) and ask if they believe that the Russians conducted a cyberattack on state voting infrastructure and, if so, ask that they make a public statement to that effect and outline what they are doing to ensure the integrity of the Virginia election this November.  Please stress that this is a real threat to our election integrity and is more worthy of their attention than their voter suppression efforts.




Action 5. Protect our national monuments, including the newly beloved Bear Ears. Trump signed an executive order that threatens 30 national monuments by opening them up to drilling, mining and fracking, which would endanger neighboring water systems and destroy viewscapes and ecosystems.  Please send a message to Department of Interior, Secretary Ryan Zinke and ask that he not carve up our monuments for immediate profit, but that our monuments be preserved intact for future generations. Remind him of the economic damage that these extraction operations would do to towns depending on tourist and recreation dollars.  Use the public comment email link feedback@ios.doi.gov to express your opinion.



Take Action Now
6-18-17

Take Action Now is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

Action 1. Unite behind our candidates.  Democrats had great candidates in the primary who ran a spirited campaign.  A big thanks to all who were willing to serve.  Now it is time to work hard to support our slate because we all know we need each candidate to serve as a buffer between Washington and Virginia.  Check out the candidates’ websites, sign up for updates, volunteer and/or contribute.

Ralph Northam  http://ralphnortham.com
Justin Fairfax  http://www.fairfaxforlg.com
Mark Herring  https://herringforag.com

Action 2.  Recommit to nonviolence.  In the wake the tragic shootings this week in Alexandria and mindful the other 153 mass shootings and 7000 gun deaths this year alone it is a good time to reflect on the Resistance and its commitment to nonviolence.  We need to prepare for the politicization of the shooting in Alexandria. While we don’t need to defend ourselves, after all we are the voices for sensible gun checks and for more extensive mental health care, we need to guard against being silenced by the criticism.  New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote, “While rhetoric should never promote violence, it needn’t be timid.” Also, as we are being attacked it is important to remember the sentiment in this paraphrase of Martin Luther King’s words in Montgomery: we are out to defeat injustice and not our neighbors who may be unjust. 

In that spirit, call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and express sympathy for those injured or traumatized by the violence in Alexandria and add your support for sensible gun laws and access to mental health care.  Please note that the AHCA would limit access to mental health care by cutting Medicaid funds and by allowing states to not include it as an essential benefit. 

Action 3. Support public education.  PBS is scheduled to air a three hour documentary called Schools, Inc., which the Network for Public Education calls “anti-public education propaganda”.  This film espouses the Cato Institute philosophy of eliminating public education and anti discrimination laws.  Call PBS (703-739-5000) and ask that they also air Diane Ravitch’s rebuttal film, Backpack Full of Cash.  To read more go to:  https://wp.me/p3bR9v-2sM

Action 4.  Help save the internet. The nonpartisan group Free Press is joining with internet retailers Amazon, Etsy & Kickstarter to push back against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to end net neutrality in a major internet event on July 12.  Go to http://act.freepress.net/signup/internet_nn_july_12/?t=5&akid=6489.9887905.ROgEMJ for more information and to sign up.

Action 5. Talk about Kansas.  The Kansas experiment of cutting taxes to promote economic growth has been a huge failure marked by years of slow growth and devastating cuts to state services.  The Brookings Institute outlines three lessons from that experiment that congressional Republicans should note before trying the same experiment on a national level.  As Brookings reports, First, tax cuts won’t boost growth.  Second, special tax rates for businesses will surely generate tax sheltering and revenue losses, but will not produce  much new business activity.  And, third, most importantly, when Americans see what their tax dollars buy, they choose higher revenues and more government spending over lower taxes and draconian program cuts.  These lessons matter all the more because the tax and spending proposals made by President Trump and the House GOP bear important similarities to Brownback’s policies in Kansas.”  Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and tell him that massive tax cuts for the wealthy will harm the economy, not help it.  Trickle down economics has never worked. Tell him and your Republican friends about Kansas.







Take Action Now
5-14-17


Action 1.  Protect our democratic institutions.  The U.S has never had a political campaign accused of colluding with a hostile foreign government as Trump’s is.  Now Trump fired the man in charge of the investigation, FBI director James Comey.  Trump fired two other law enforcement officials, Preet Bharara, and Sally Q. Yates, who were leading Trump investigations.  Taken together these firings raise the possibility of obstruction of justice, an impeachable offense, but even if the acts are deemed legal, they are contrary to the norms of democracy. Disempowering institutions like the Department of Justice, the FBI and the free press is what dictators do. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is further eroding these institutions. He stated he would recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his involvement with the campaign and his lies to the Senate about his contacts with Russia, but he was involved with Comey’s firing and possibly will be involved the hiring of his replacement.  It is unacceptable for anyone involved with the accused campaign to be hiring the investigator.

Call Congressman Rob Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and insist that he stop defending Trump’s undemocratic actions, that he support the appointment of an independent special prosecutor and that he work to seek Sessions’ resignation or impeachment.

Action 2.  Send a message to the Department of Justice.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath at his Senate confirmation hearings about his contacts with the Russians.  Because of that he agreed to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, which he has not done because he was involved in the firing of James Comey, the lead investigator.  Sessions lied to the Senate about Russia and then to the American people about his recusal.  He does not deserve to be our top law enforcement official and he should resign or be impeached. 

Trump used newly appointed deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, to provide a flimsy excuse for Comey’s firing.  At Trump’s request Rosenstein wrote a memo saying that Comey deserved to be fired because he was too mean to Hilary Clinton.  Even Trump backed away from this nonsensical pretense, but now Rosenstein’s reputation is flawed.  

It is clear that Comey was fired because the Trump-Russia investigation was getting too hot.  Now Trump and Sessions will hire the new FBI director.  This new director’s independence and judgment will be questioned and he/she will be hampered by the fact that the boss, Jeff Sessions, has not recused himself from the investigation as promised. The new director will serve under veiled threats that if the investigation does not please Trump, he/she will be fired.

Call the Department of Justice Hotline (202-353-1555) and leave a message that Sessions should resign because of his lies to the Senate and to the American people.  It is untenable that he have any role in the hiring of the new FBI director.  Also, Rosenstein lost credibility by allowing himself to be used by Trump, so he must appoint a special prosecutor.

Write postcards to the Deputy Attorney General, The Honorable Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530-0001 and convey the message that Sessions must resign and Rosenstein must appoint a special prosecutor.

Action 3.  March for an independent investigation on Russia.  This march will press for an independent prosecutor for the Russia-Trump investigation.  It will be Sat, May 20, 12pm-8pm at the White House. Details at:  https://www.facebook.com/events/172687636591057/

Action 4.  Discover the power of resistbot. If you text the number 504-09 and type the word “resist” as the message, Resistbot will text you back and, using the zip code you enter, will walk you through sending fax messages to your representatives.  Test it out and follow the prompts to send this, or another fax message to Senators Kaine and Warner.  “During his Senate confirmation hearing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said under oath, ‘I did not have communications with the Russians.’  This is false and, because of his involvement with the Comey firing, we know that he has not recused himself from the Trump-Russia investigation as he promised.  Please seek Democratic support in the House to impeach Sessions under Article II Section 4 of the U.S. constitution for lying to the Senate and to the American people.”

Action 5.  Develop a strategy to stay sane despite Trump.  In the articles below Deepak Chopra and Robin Chancer, discusses tactics for staying focused, grounded and sane in these difficult times.







Take Action Now
5-7-17


Action 1.  Fight Trumpcare.  Ben Wikler, Washington director for MoveOn argues that what happens immediately to House members who voted for the AHCA will shape what happens in the Senate.  He suggests a highly visible “political firestorm”, because the Senate Republicans will be watching.  It needs to look like Congressman Rob Wittman, who voted for Trumpcare, committed “political suicide”. Members of Hanover Take Action Network held a protest at Congressman Wittman’s Mechanicsville office just hours after the vote.  

Attend additional protest rallies to hold Congressman Wittman accountable. One will be held at Wittman's Mechanicsville Office (6501 Mechanicsville Turnpike) on Saturday, May 13th at 3 pm. Invite any media contacts you have to attend and post your participation on social media.

Sign up to be part of a vigil being held during office hours during the recess at Wittman's Mechanicsville office: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FbvBhzYTS7XEgV-s40tNPR7s0mUbIYa3Q2JaMFatZIM/edit?usp=sharing

Flood Congressman Wittman ‘s phones (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) to tell him you are disappointed he ripped healthcare coverage from 24 million people. 

Write letters to the editor explaining how Wittman’s vote harmed low-income citizens, the elderly, those with disabilities and those with preexisting conditions (most Americans have at least one).

Action 2.  Protect Virginia’s Coast.  President Trump recently signed an executive order reversing an Obama moratorium on offshore drilling.  Proponents of offshore drilling say it will spur economic development, while opponents say the environmental risks outweigh the benefits.  According to the Washington Post on 5-1-17, Congressman Rob Wittman co-signed a bill that would require lease sales off the Virginia coast and suspend environmental reviews until 2022, while allocating a percent of the revenue from the lease sales to the state.  Wittman says that the problems that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 could be avoided.  Analyses of that catastrophe show that some of the causes were human error and it is impossible to eradicate that risk.

Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) to express your opposition to this bill.  An accident would be catastrophic for the Virginia environment, for wildlife and for the Tidewater economy.

Action 3.   Address Trump’s disability.  In his column on 5-3-17 archconservative George Will wrote a scathing rebuke of Trump’s inability to think or speak clearly and cites the dangers of placing America’s vast military power in the hands of such a mind.  “It is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him unfit to take the nation into military conflict.”

Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and, if nothing else, read Will’s words. 

Write postcards to Congressman Wittman at 6501 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Suite 102, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 to express your concerns about Trump’s bellicose threats and disregard for diplomacy.  Postcards will be available at the May HDC meeting, the Women’s Coffee and the Men’s Forum, so come prepared with your messages.


Action 4.  Protect Virginia’s mountaintops. According to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Dominion Resources wants to remove the tops of 38 miles of mountains to build the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.  These ridges would be reduced by 10-60 feet (the equivalent of a five story building).  Dominion says they will replace the mountaintop, but this will be in Virginia’s oldest timberland and it is impossible to replace a 100 year-old tree.

Call Governor McAuliffe (804-786-2211) and ask him to fight this plan by denying water permits for the pipeline.


Action 5.  TAN feedback report.  Last week, TAN asked for feedback on our performance to date and promised an anonymous report of that feedback.  We did not get as many responses as we had hoped.  Can it be that not many read all the way to Action 5?  That is certainly possible, but the answers we did get were positive.  Several said it helps to have  issue background and contact information together at their fingertips.  Some mentioned that having a succinct telephone script is useful.  One person liked the mix of local, state and national actions.  Taken together, it looks like TAN is still meeting its goal of guiding Hanover Democrats toward strategic acts to protect our democracy and we will persist in our efforts.  One good suggestion that emerged is to post the Action Items to your email and/or social media pages, note when you completed one and discuss how it went.  That will increase TAN exposure and friends can keep friends motivated. Thanks to those who responded. 


Take Action Now
4-30-17


Action 1.  Keep protecting the ACA.  Yes, this was item number one last week, but although the vote this week was cancelled, it may come up again this week and Congressman Wittman’s office makes a daily tally of the calls they get.  As of Friday afternoon, they had no calls supporting their horrid new bill and many against it.  Wittman has not taken a public stand on the new bill.

Even if you have never called before, call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and tell him not to rip healthcare coverage from 24 million people.  Ask him to repair the ACA, not replace it.  All you have to say is, “I want Congressman Wittman to vote no on the ACHA” and your vote will be tallied in the right column. If you have called before, keep calling.

Action 2.  Prod the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Last week, news sources including Business Week and MSNBC reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation on the Trump-Russia affair is stalled.  The Chairman, Richard Burr, was accused of not signing subpoenas required for upcoming hearings.  There has been some movement on looking at Russia’s interference in the election, but an unwillingness to investigate collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  Tell committee members we expect them to make progress without partisan obstruction.  Americans need to be able to trust the outcome of this investigation.  

Call and say you are calling because of the senator’s membership on the Senate Intelligence Committee:
Richard Burr, Chair        202-224-3154 or 800-685-8916
Mark Warner, Co-chair  202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314
James Risch                                    202-224-2752
Susan Collins                     202-224-2523
Roy Blunt                            202-224-5721
James Lankford                202-224-5754
Tom Cotton                        202-224-2353
John Cornyn                      202-224-2934
Diane Feinstein                 202-224-3841
Ron Wyden                                    202-224-5244
Martin Heinrich                202-224-5521
Angus King                                     202-224-5344
Joe Manchin                       202-224-3954
Kamala Harris                   202-224-3553


Action 3.   Defend our national monuments.  The Antiquities Act protects federal lands from exploitation.  President Trump ordered the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to review the national monuments for possible drilling, logging or mining. 

Call Secretary Zinke (202-208-3100) and ask him to respect that our national lands are there for the benefit and enjoyment of all Americans, not simply for the profit and exploitation of a few.

Action 4.  Extend a warm, Hanover welcome.  Signs that say, “No matter where you are from, we are glad you’re our neighbor” in three languages are cropping up all over Hanover.  You can order yours at: https://www.facebook.com/welcomeourneighbors  

Action 5.  Give TAN feedback.  As TAN wraps up its fourth month of publication, it is a good time to take stock of how we are doing.  Please email info@hvadems.com to answer the following questions and give open-ended comments.  We will summarize the results next week without giving any identifying information about the source.
·        How often do you use TAN action items?
·        Are the TAN items helpful in your advocacy decisions?
·        Are you being as active as you thought you might be after the election?
·        Can TAN better meet your needs? 

·        Is there a need for TAN going forward?








Take Action Now
4-23-17

TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

Action 1.  Protect the ACA, again. Senator Jenn McClellan, speaking to the Blue Moon Bash on 4-19-17, urged Hanover Democrats to increase the pressure on Congressman Wittman to protect our values.  The HDC will continue to fight to protect the right to affordable healthcare coverage. 

News reports indicate that Congressional Republicans will try again next week to repeal and replace the ACA so Trump can have a “win” in his first 100 days.  Their plan, even worse than the original Trumpcare, is to allow states to opt out of requiring coverage for the essential health benefits coverage (such as maternity care, prescription drug and mental health care coverage).  States could also ask to waive the requirement that people with preexisting conditions not be charged more for insurance, as long as the state creates a state-run high risk pool.  The high-risk pools that some states had before the ACA were underfunded and resulted in exorbitant fees that pushed many off coverage.  This plan would also phase out Medicaid expansion.

Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and plead with him not to abandon those with the greatest need for coverage.  Ask him to repair the ACA, not replace it. 

Action 2.  Protect the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Trump budget proposes slashing the NOAA budget by 17%.  These cuts would eliminate funding for external research, costal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience” projects.  Trump campaigned for more infrastructure spending, but cutting funds for satellites and ships is counter to that promise.  The loss of these programs would hit Virginia, especially our coastal regions, particularly hard.

In honor of the Science March and Earth Day, Call Congressman Wittman  (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and insist he protect the NOAA budget.

Action 3.   Support our diverse military.  President Trump nominated Tennessee Senator Mark Green, MD to serve as Secretary of the Army.  According to the Huffington Post, Green sponsored anti-LGBTQ legislation and was recorded last year in a speech to the Tea Party saying that transgender people have a mental disorder.  To have such a leader would be disrespectful and possibly dangerous to the many LGBTQ people serving in the US Army.

Call Senators Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) and ask them to oppose Mark Green’s confirmation as Secretary of the Army.

Action 4.  Learn about a problem on the rise.  The Hanover Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA) is hosting a Human Trafficking Presentation and Panel on Tuesday, April 25 from 9-11 am in the Administration Building Board Room at Hanover Court House.  Hanover’s proximity to I-95 makes the county vulnerable to trafficking activity.  For more information and to register see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/human-trafficking-presentation-and-panel-tickets-33057684424



Action 5.  Educate your neighbors about OneVirginia2021.   Make sure our vote counts and our voice is heard by working to end gerrymandering.  OneVirginia2021 is asking for volunteers to staff the polls in 2-hour shifts on primary election day, June 13.  They will provide training and materials.  To learn more and sign up go to: https://www.onevirginia2021.org/participate/work-the-polls/





Take Action Now


4-9-2017


TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

Action 1.  Fight corruption.  While all eyes are focused on the Trump-Russia affair and now, Syria, many in this administration are violating long-standing ethical standards with their myriad of business connections.  In normal times the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations would be investigating. 
Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and Senators Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) and ask that they advocate for the House and Senate oversight committees to begin investigations on the ethical violations and potential corruption.

Action 2.  Hold Trump accountable for the Syrian airstrike.  In 2013 100 members of Congress wrote a letter to President Obama saying that it would be unconstitutional for him to order a military strike in response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons without congressional approval.  Congressman Wittman signed that letter. Trump just did what they told Obama would be unconstitutional. 
 Call Congressman Wittman  (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and ask that he speak out about Trump’s unconstitutional act.

Action 3.   Advocate for single payer healthcare.  The fate of health care coverage is unsettled.  The president announced he would just wait for the ACA to implode, but Pence is trying to strike a deal for a plan that would be even worse than the original Trumpcare.
 Many on the left, including Bernie Sanders, argue this is the time to advocate for single payer coverage (Medicare for All), while others think energy should be spend improving the ACA and protecting it from Republican sabotage.  We need to work toward both.  Here is some background on the single payer plan.
 Write Letters to the Editor advocating for this.  This is good groundwork for our candidates in the 2018 midterm and 2020 elections.

Action 4.  Advocate for improvements to the ACA. Healthcare again…who knew, health care is complicated?  We need to be informed and vigilant.  Here are three articles with cautions about potential Republican sabotage and concrete suggestions for improving the ACA.

Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and Senators Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) to push them to sponsor improvements to the ACA.

Action 5.  Enjoy Spring Break. TAN will not publish on 4-15-17.  We hope you enjoy a much-deserved break.  If something big does happen that week, you have your responsible news sources, the phone numbers of all your local and national representatives in your phone (or in the archives on the HDC web page), tips on writing LTE’s and practice with countless phone scripts.  You are nimble, able activists.  Persist.





Take Action Now

4-2-2017


Action 1.  Demand that the House Intelligence Committee force their chair, Devin Nunes, to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia Affair investigation and that they reschedule the public hearings he cancelled.  Nunes’ behavior in defending Trump has damaged the credibility of the House investigation.  The senior Democrat, Adam Schiff, requests we call the individual members of the committee.
Call all the members of the committee below and say you are calling in their capacity as a member of the House Intelligence Committee and ask that they pressure Nunes to recuse himself. 
House Intelligence Committee Members:
  • Devin Nunes, Chair  202-225-2523
  • Terri Sewell  202-225-2665
  • Eric Crawford 202-225-4076
  • Adam Schiff   202-225-4176
  • Jackie Speier 202-225-3531
  • Eric Swalwell  202-225-5065
  • Jim Himes  202-225-5541
  • Thomas Rooney  202-225-5792
  • Ilena Ros-Lehtinen 202-225-3931
  • Mike Quigley 202-225-4061
  • Andre Carson  202-225-4011
  • Frank Lo Biondo 202-225-6572
  • Peter King 202-225-7896
  • Elsie Stefanik 202-225-4611
  • Michael Turner 202-225-6465
  • Brad Wenstrup 202-225-3164
  • Trey Gowdy  202-225-6030
  • Joaquin Castro 202-225-3236
  • Mike Conway 202-225-3065
  • Will Hurd  202-225-4511
  • Chris Stewart 202-225-9730
  • Denny Heck  202-225-9740
Action 2.  Protest the EPA’S refusal to ban chlorpyrifos (Lorsban), a pesticide widely used on fruits and vegetables.  The Obama administration proposed a ban on Lorsban in 2015 based on studies that show the pesticide posed risks to farmers and children.  Children exposed to the chemical prenatally were found to have small, but measurable differences in brain function.  EPA director, Scott Pruitt, rejecting his agency’s own science, announced this week that he will overturn the proposed ban. 
  •  Call the EPA (703-308-8068) and protest this decision
Action 3.  Ask Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act.  April 24th is the day women catch up with their male counterparts with pay from the previous year.  On that date the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to deter wage discrimination, will be introduced in the House.  Everyone gives lip service to equal pay, but Congressman Wittman can do something about it by co-sponsoring this bill. 
Action 4.  Help expand Medicaid in Virginia.  The ACA is the “law of the land” for the foreseeable future.  Some hard working, low income Virginians are locked out of the insurance market because Virginia did not expand Medicaid, but Virginia can expand Medicaid with no additional cost to the state because Virginia’s hospitals have agreed to pick up the state’s 10% tab.  Before April 5, email your delegate and senator and insist that they vote to support the Governor McAuliffe’s initiative to expand Medicaid.                         
Action 5.  Get ready to march.
                 


Take Action Now
3-28-17

TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

Action 1.  Shut down confirmation hearings until FBI investigation is complete.  Join with Senator Elizabeth Warren and call for a suspension of all Senate confirmation hearings until the results of the FBI criminal investigation of the Trump campaign are reported.  This includes the confirmation hearing for Neil Gorsuch, nominee for Supreme Court Justice.  This president has no right to be making lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court, if he or his team colluded with the Russians to interfere in our elections.
·      Also oppose Gorsuch on his own merits He supported corporations over employees including in the Hobby Lobby decision, which allowed employers to deny health insurance coverage for birth control and he supported decisions that gut education for children with disabilities, threaten the environment and endanger safe food and medicine.  He defended Bush-era torture policies when he was at the Justice Department.
·      Call Senator Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Senator Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) and ask them to oppose Gorsuch’s hearings and his confirmation. 

Action 2.  Celebrate, but stay watchful.   Take time to celebrate our success in saving the ACA.  Congress complained about the avalanche of calls they received and the Washington Post estimated the calls ran 35-1 against Trumpcare.  Congressional offices definitely tabulated the calls. Good work; your calls were effective!  Thanks!
·      Trump now advocates letting the ACA implode, but it is likely he will take steps to insure that it does.  It is a good time to write Letters to the Editor warning of Trump’s deviousness.

Action 3.  Protect Virginia’s water.  Governor McAuliffe added amendments to a bill that would place a delay on Dominion Power closing their heavy metal laden coal ash ponds until it is determined if their methods provide adequate protections for the surrounding ground water.  The General Assembly will consider these amendments on April 5.
·      Email your delegate and senator and ask that they vote to support the governor’s amendments and protect Virginia’s water.                         
o   Buddy Fowler Delbfowler@house.virginia.gov
o   Chris Peace Delcpeace@house.virginia.gov
o   Ryan Mc Dougal district4@senate.virginia.gov
o   Jennifer McClellan district9@senate.virginia.gov
o   Siobhan Dunnavant district12@senate.virginia.gov

Action 4.  No silent spring. Neonic pesticides increasingly endanger bees that are required for pollination of crops.  Sign this petition to ask world leaders to ban neonic pesticides and protect our bees and our environment.  https://actions.sumofus.org/a/we-don-t-need-bee-killing-pesticides-to-feed-the-world-1/?akid=28677.62477.sG2Vl7&rd=1&source=fwd&t=2

Action 5. Don’t let Trump age you.  Trump’s communication style, the lies, gaslighting, verbal abuse and manipulation, are all intended to confuse and demoralize the listener. Chronic stress from this kind of constant verbal assault fatigues and ages us.  In order to persist for the long term we need to distance ourselves emotionally from his rhetoric and practice self–care. 


Have an Action Item or Event to share? 
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Take Action Now   
3-20-2017

TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

Action 1. Demand the president’s income tax returns.  Americans assume the president is hiding something by refusing to release his tax returns.  Is he hiding debts to and/or business entanglements with foreign, perhaps hostile, governments?  We need to know.

The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation can require the president to release his returns to them and then they can release their findings to Congress. 

·      Call the Joint Committee on Taxation (202-225-3621) and insist they demand to see the president’s tax returns and release their findings to Congress.
·      Call Congressperson Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595), Senator Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Senator Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) and ask them to insist that the Joint Committee on Taxation demand to see the tax returns. 

Action 2.  Protest budget cuts.  No one will benefit more from the 29% cut to the State Department and diplomacy programs and the 35% cuts to the Treasury Department’s international assistance programs than Russia and China.

In a meeting on March 13th with members of Hanover Women Concerned for our Country, Congressman Wittman said he supports “soft power” and is opposed deep cuts to the State Department.  He noted that he receives a daily tally of calls to his office. 
·      Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) to demand he keep his commitment to fund the State Department and other foreign aid programs.

Action 3.  Fight the wall. Remember that Mexico was going to pay for the wall?  That was an alternative fact. 

It will take about $21 billion and there are current budget requests for $5.6 billion for building the wall and $2.9 billion to jail and deport immigrants. 
·      Leave a message opposing the building of the wall and aggressive deportation actions on the Department of Homeland Security comment line (202-282-8495) or fax a message to 202-612-1976.
·      Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and ask him to oppose funding the wall and the aggressive deportation initiatives.

Action 4.  It matters who represents the US at the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  The US State Department announced that Lisa Correnti, a Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM) officer, is a US delegate.  The Southern Poverty Law center labeled C-FAM a hate group for its opposition to reproductive rights and its support of laws that restrict the rights of LGBTQ people.  The Heritage Foundation, a leading anti-LGBTQ group that advocates cutting all grant programs managed by the Office on Violence Against Women, will also be represented.  This is a slap in the face to the 4 million people worldwide who marched at the Women’s Marches.
·      Write a message on the State Department comment board (https://register.state.gov/contactus/ ) saying that these delegates do not represent American values and undermine our leadership in the world.

Action 5. Ask Congressman Wittman to live up to his word.  Congressman Wittman says he supports the environment.  Yet, he did not sign the “Republican Climate Resolution”, a statement by 17 Republican House members in which they acknowledge man made climate change and pledge to support research and mitigation measures.  These congresspersons’ challenge to decades of conservative conspiracy theories and climate change denial is huge. 

·      Call Congressman Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and ask him to sign this statement.




TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

03/12/2017

Action 1.  Learn why the Republican plan to replace the ACA is not good.

Action 2.  Partner with faith communities.
  • Many churches around the country are planning to provide services and sanctuary for immigrants who otherwise might face deportation and separation from their families.  Please speak with your faith community  so we can see if there are resources in Hanover for our immigrant population.
  •  The Legal Aide Justice Center has held 2 legal clinics to help immigrants know their rights and to execute powers of attorney.  If your church is interested in sponsoring such a clinic, let TAN know and we will try to  facilitate.
Action 3.  Save our planet.  The environment is under assault from so many directions it is hard to know where to start to protect it.  Here are some concrete actions.

Action 4 The planet again, because it is going to take all of us.   If you do nothing else this week, call the Environmental Protection Agency (202-564-4700) and say Secretary Scott Pruitt is wrong.  Tell them you believe in science and science says climate change is real and man-made. It is unacceptable to have the head of EPA be a climate-change denier.

Action 5. Stand up for Net Neutrality.  Ajit Pai, the new Federal Communications chairperson has signaled a desire to end the policy of net neutrality for the Internet.  If this sounds familiar it is because in 2015 millions fought for net neutrality and won.  Now it is time to fight again because without net neutrality large multinational companies would control the access to and cost of the Internet, likely resulting in increased costs and slower speeds for families and businesses.  The Internet needs to be classified as a utility so we can retain important consumer protections.




TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

 03/05/2017
 Action 1.  Support responsible journalism.  On Feburary 24th the White House excluded reporters from The New York Times, CNN, Politico, BuzzFeed and the majority of foreign press reporters from a news briefing.  Most of these sites had been critical of President Trump and doing investigative reporting on the Trump-Russia affair. Other outlets, incuding NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, the Washington Times, One America News Network and Breitbart were allowed to attend.  This is an outrageous and unprecedented attempt by the White House to bully the press, who Trump called the “FAKE News media” and the “enemy of the people” during his Orlando rally on Feb 18th.  
·      Contact the following and insist all responsible media boycott any future briefings, if even one media outlet is barred.
1.    White House Correspondents’ Association (202-266-7453)
2.    ABC News jori.arancio@disney.com.
3.    Bloomberg 212-318-2000
4.    CBS News 212-975-2888
5.    Fox News irena.briganti@foxnews.com
6.    McClatchy 916-321-1860
7.    Reuters 646-233-4870
·      According to MediaMatters Fox News is “unbalanced” and promotes conspiracy theories and race baiting (e.g., promotion of “birther” conspiracy and climate change denial) and Politifact rated 60% of the claims by Fox, Fox News and Fox Business personalities and their guests to be false.  Yet, TAN members frequently find Fox playing to captive audiences in local doctors’ and dental offices and in gyms.
1.    If this offends you, politely speak up and ask to talk to the person responsible for choosing the channels.  If that is not possible ask the receptionist to take a message requesting that the TV be switched to another channel.  Some have chosen to boycott venues that won’t turn off Fox.
2.    Report back to TAN any local commercial outlets (fast food venues, etc) that play Fox routinely, so we can craft a strategy to address those. 
·      Read and share this Guide from the Atlantic on recommendations for the media to deal with the lies of the Trump administration. https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/11/a-reflexive-liar-in-command-guidelines-for-the-media/508832/

Action 2.  Persist in demanding an independent investigation of the Trump-Russia affair.  This week we learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions misled the Senate Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearings by denying that he had contacts with the Russian government and that Trump son-in-law turned advisor, Jared Kushner, also met with the Russian ambassador just as the Obama administration was sanctioning the Russian government for meddling in the U.S. election. 
 Also, this week Congressperson Rob Wittman voted against a bill that would require the president to release his taxes.  When pressed on the need for an independent investigation, Wittman staff member, Joe Schumacher, wrote in an email communication on 3-3-17, “As was discussed at the meeting, Rep. Wittman would like for the Congressional Oversight Committees, in the House and Senate, to be given an opportunity and time to fully investigate.”  Yet, the House Oversight Committee website on 3-3-17 does not list this as one of its investigations and its calendar shows no scheduled hearings. 
 On March 1, the House Intelligence Committee did release the parameters for its investigation into Russian interference, but the chair of that committee, Congressperson Devin Nunes, was a member of the Trump transition team and recently threatened journalists covering the story.  He actions show he cannot be an impartial investigator.
 As former President George Bush said this week the American people deserve answers. 
·      Call Congressperson Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-6595) and explain that you are disappointed in his vote that keeps Trump’s conflicts of interest hidden and explain why an independent investigation is essential. Ask his help in getting Rep. Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation.
·      Call Senators Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) and Kaine (202-224-4024 or 804-771-2221) to emphasize that the new developments mandate an independent investigation and ask them to pressure Attorney General Sessions to resign.

Action 3. Train and volunteer
·      The ACLU is starting a grass roots organization, People Power, to resist the Trump agenda.  They are offering Resistance training and volunteer opportunities on March 11 at 5 pm (go.peoplepower.org).
·      The Sacred Heart Center in Richmond has multiple programs to serve Latino immigrant community and provides training and volunteer opportunities http://shcrichmond.org/en/volunteer/
·      Please share with those who may need this service:  "Legal Aide Justice Center, in collaboration with Sacred Heart Center, will be holding a Legal Clinic in Richmond, VA on 3/9 to assist immigrants in giving Power of Attorney. …Power of Attorneys normally would cost $500-$1000 and we don't want this cost to stop families from preventing catastrophic consequences in an emergency situation. It is very important that the Power of Attorney be in place before physical detention occurs. It is much more difficult to perform the Power of Attorney once detained. Please share this information with people who may need these services or anyone who wants to help.” Where: Sacred Hearts Center1400 Perry St Richmond, VA 23224When: Thursday 3/9 6:30PM -8:30PM

Action 4.  Support voting rights.  The first sign on how the Sessions Justice Department will address voter suppression laws is not promising.  On Feb. 27th the Justice Department abandoned its long-standing argument that the strict Texas voter-ID law is intentionally designed to suppress minority votes, although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has already ruled this law to be unconstitutional.  The court estimated that more than 600,000 Texans eligible to vote did not have the required ID.  The case will go forward, but without the Justice Department’s support on this key issue.  This signals a shift from the Obama administration, which doggedly fought these state voter suppression laws.  Our supporters kept some bad bills from passing in the VA General Assembly this year, now let’s get to work at the national level.
·      Call the Department of Justice comment line (202-353-1555) and demand that the department protect the Voting Rights Act and fight the voter suppression laws emanating from the various states. 
·      While you are on the line, mention that Attorney General Session’s lying under oath during his confirmation hearing about his contacts with the Russian government requires his resignation.

Action 5. Let’s repeat until they get it right. The Hanover Board of Supervisors has backed away from raising new revenues from any source other than development proffers for roads.  This strategy encourages overbuilding just to keep the roads repaired. 
·      Call or email your supervisor (http://www.richmond.va.lwvnet.org/Hanover.html ) and tell them that there are not enough revenues to sufficiently fund county services. Hanover County has the lowest property tax rate in the region. It was lowered during the housing boom and never corrected.  Tell them to raise the property tax rate so that our fire/ems, sheriff's department, schools, roads, and social services will have enough funding. Tell them you would support a meal's tax to support these services, as well.

TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.

02/26/2017
 Action 1.  Stand with immigrants and refugees. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced enforcement guidelines this week that will greatly increase the number of undocumented immigrants who are subject to deportation.  This will likely split families, increase anxiety and exacerbate distrust of law enforcement in immigrant communities, cost billions of dollars, expand the size and intrusiveness of government and deplete the workforce in some key industries. Also, the Trump administration said it will announce plans for a new travel ban this week.
·      Follow Project 1461’s action items to support undocumented immigrants (https://www.project1461.org/daily-call-to-action/now-more-than-ever-protect-undocumented-immigrants
·      This United We Dream Deportation Defense Card outlines rights and gives advice on dealing with ICE in 5 languages. Share via email and social media and download the card and the hotline phone number (1-844-363-1423) to your phone http://unitedwedream.org/thank-deportation-defense-card-handy-phone/
·      Support and volunteer with an organization like the International Rescue Committee, (rescue.org), which helps refugees survive and recover.  They have a Richmond office. 
·      Call Congressperson Wittman (804-730-6596 or 202-225-4261) and tell him you oppose the deportation surge and the travel ban. You don’t want 4 billion in your tax money going into hiring new ICE agents or 12 billion going to build the Mexican wall. 

Action 2. Meet with Senator Kaine’s staff in Ashland.  On Wednesday, March, 1, Senator Kaine’s staff will hold office hours at the Ashland Branch Library from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  You are encouraged you to make an appointment (tyee_mallory@kaine.senate.gov), but walk-ins are honored too. 
·      Thank Senator Kaine for fighting against the most egregious cabinet nominees
·      Ask him to support an independent investigation with a special prosecutor of the Trump-Russia affair and the president’s many conflicts of interest.
·      Tell him your personal healthcare stories and ask him to fight to save Obamacare.          

Action 3. Tell Congressperson Wittman (804-730-6596 or 202-225-4261) you oppose US House Bill 610 This education bill before the House of Representatives would damage public education by siphoning off money for voucher programs.  It would be particularly harmful to students with disabilities, students living in poverty and English Language Learners.

Action 4.  Support your local library.  Republicans are proposing to de-fund IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services).   Local politicians look at the total population against the number of library card holders to determine funding.  Make sure your card is current! http://www.pamunkeylibrary.org

Action 5.  Demand to see his taxes. The White House comment line (202-456-1111) is open again.  The president says only the media want to see his tax returns.  Call, point out that you are not with the media and demand that he release his taxes.  If he is not hiding something, there is no reason not to release.  Save the number in your speed dial.

·      Call Congressperson Wittman (804-730-6596 or 202-225-4261) and insist that he support efforts in the House to force the president to release his taxes.



Take Action Now

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy. Take heart from Margaret Mead’s belief that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.


02/18/2017

  Action 1.  Can you hear us now, Buddy?
·      During this session of the General Assembly Buddy Fowler supported gerrymandering, voter suppression, and keeping women from accessing healthcare. For example, he voted against redistricting reform three times, despite bi-partisan support in the House and Senate and extensive citizen input to do this.
·      Buddy & Dale Hargrove Alderman, Buddy’s aide told our members they are only hearing about these issues from people in Ashland. Call Buddy's office (698-1055) and send him a postcard (General Assembly Building, P.O. Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218) signed with your name and district name, letting him know that you are disappointed in the positions he took during this session and that people in your district are involved and watching.

Action 2.  Demand a nonpartisan, independent investigation of the Trump-Russia affair
·      Congressman Rob Wittman is refusing to address the threat to our national security that Flynn and other White House and Trump campaign officials’ relationship with Russian officials poses. Call Congressman Rob Wittman's office (804-730-6596 or 202-225-4261) and tell him he must demand a full investigation into the White House's relationship with Russian officials.
·      Call the Department of Justice comment line (202-353-1555) and insist that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recue himself from any criminal investigation involving the Trump-Russia affair. 

Action 3. Get to know your Board of Supervisors
·      Who is your supervisor? Find out what district you live in and find your supervisor:  http://www.richmond.va.lwvnet.org/Hanover.html  
·      For a first action, call or email your supervisor and let them know that there are not enough revenues to sufficiently fund county services. Hanover County has the lowest property tax rate in the region. It was lowered during the housing boom and never corrected. Contact them and tell them to raise the property tax rate so that our fire/ems, sheriff's department, schools, roads, and social services will have enough funding. Tell them you would support a meal's tax to support these services, as well.
·      Here's a link to a recent letter to the editor about this issue in the Mechanicsville Local: 

Action 4. Protect Mother Earth
·      Thank Senators Kaine and Warner for voting against Scott Pruitt for Secretary of the EPA.
·      Track bills of concern in Congress, such as the one to eliminate the EPA and the one to gut the Endangered Species Act at www.govetrack.us.
·      Support community solar development in Virginia (SB 1393).  This bill passed the Virginia Senate and is now before the House.  Call Delegates Peace (804-698-1097) and Fowler (804-698-1055) and encourage their support.

Action 5.  Save our healthcare.
·      Congressman Wittman is a co-sponsor of H.R.277 - American Health Care Reform Act of 2017 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/277/text ) a bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act.  While we appreciate the congressperson’s willingness to “replace” rather than simply repeal the ACA, Take Action Now has serious concerns about this bill.  This plan utilizes Health Savings Plans, tax deductions, Association plans and a high-risk pool for people with preexisting conditions.  The Health Savings Plan and tax deductions will provide little or no help for low-income families.  The costs of the high-risk pool may be prohibitive for many.  There are no prohibitions against women being charged more for the same coverage and no requirement for maternity or contraceptive coverage.  The bill severely limits insurance coverage for abortions. 

·      Congressman Wittman’s website has a letter on healthcare that outlines five principles he will follow in crafting new healthcare policy.  Please read what he is thinking and then email your stories, concerns and ideas to the email address at the bottom of the letter (ACAIdeas.VA01@mail.house.gov). Follow this link to the letter (http://wittman.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1143) 





Week 6:  Take Action Now

“Nevertheless she persisted”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren, after she attempted to read a letter from Coretta Scott King
TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy. Let’s follow Senator Elizabeth Warren’s example and show the Senate Majority Leader that we, too, will persist in fighting for justice. 

02/12/2017
 Action 1.  Redistricting, again.  Three good redistricting bills passed the Virginia State Senate and have gone to the House of Delegates (SJ 290, SJ 231 and SB 846).
·      Call Buddy Fowler (804-698-1055) on Monday, Feb 13  and ask for a vote on these three bills in the full House Privileges and Elections Committee. Encourage him to support them.
·      Attend the House Privileges and Elections subcommittee on elections (9th floor Appropriations room) where these bills will be heard on Tuesday, Feb 14 at 7 am. 

Action 2.  Oppose Virginia HB 2000
·      Call Senators McDougle (804-698-7504), McClellan (804-698-7509) and Dunnavant (804-698-7512) on Monday.  Insist that they oppose HB 2000, which would deputize state and local law enforcement to act as federal immigration officers.  This bill passed the House of Delegates and is now before the Senate.  Many law enforcement experts argue that bills like this create distrust of law enforcement in our immigrant communities, which makes policing more difficult and the public less safe. 
·      Attend the Senate Courts of Justice committee meeting.  The Senate Courts of Justice committee scheduled a hearing on HB 2000 on Monday, Feb. 13 at 8 am in Senate Room B.  Senator McDougle serves on this committee.
·      Sign a petition against the bill at:

Action 3. Prepare to run for office.  We need you!
·      If  you haven't been involved in community leadership roles, now is the time to begin getting involved for future elections. Start with the Emily's list training, and become involved in your local committee and local civic organizations.
·      Emily’s List is offering training for pro-choice candidates who are considering running for office. (https://www.emilyslist.org/pages/entry/run-for-office)
·      Slate has a comprehensive list of resources for candidates (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/01/a_guide_to_resources_for_running_for_office.html )

Action 4. Support a new progressive group. VA-01Hanover Women Concerned for our Country has formed with the goal of informing the public of Congressperson Rob Wittman’s policy endorsements and to publicly hold him accountable for representing the interests of his constituents.   
Eleven members of the group met with Joe Schumacher, a Wittman staff member at the new Mechanicsville office on February 7.   Members of the group expressed dismay for Wittman’s continued support for character-challenged Donald Trump and their concerns about the repeal of the ACA, the immigrant ban, the hostility to science and the environment, the hostility toward the courts and individuals in the Justice Department, threats to the free press and the negative impact of the border wall.  They resolved to have continued dialog with Wittman’s office.
·      Like VA-01 Hanover Women Concerned for their Country ( https://www.facebook.com/VA01HanoverWomen/ https://www.facebook.com/VA01HanoverWomen/) on facebook to follow their posts and future plans.

Action 5.  Take care of yourself so you can persist. Here are two good articles on surviving the madness.



Week 5: Action Now

“The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.”  Jon Stewart



TAKE ACTION NOW is a resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.  As Jon Stewart suggests, worry and resistance are stressful, so beginning this week TAN will include periodic tips on taking care of each other and ourselves.

02/06/2017

Action 1.  Welcome Rob Wittman to Mechanicsville.  Congressperson Rob Wittman opened a district office at 6501 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Suite 102, Mechanicsville.  The phone is 804-730-9597 and the aide in charge is Christine Whitehouse.  Please call or stop by to share your concerns. 

 Action 2.  Get politics out of the National Security Council. In an unprecedented move, Trump appointed Steve Bannon, chief political strategist, to serve on the principals’ committee of the NSC while demoting the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Security Advisor.  As former executive director of Breitbart News, Bannon described his media outlet as a platform for the “alt-right” a group associated with white nationalism and anti Semitism.  According to Mother Jones, Bannon’s radio show promoted “unfounded claims and conspiracy theories” that targeted Muslims.  

·        Call Congressperson Rob Wittman (202-225-4261 or 804-730-9597) and insist that he support a bill sponsored by Congressperson Stephanie Murphy, (D FL) to prohibit anyone whose job is primarily political from serving on the NSC.
·        The Senate Committee on Homeland Security (202-224-4745) is tabulating calls and emails about Bannon’s appointment.  Call 202-224-4745 or follow this link https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/contact to tell the Senators that we don’t need someone who believes conspiracy theories on the NSC. 

Action 3. Help Spread the Word. 
·        Forward the Take Action Now eblast to your friends who may not receive it and plan to work together on action items.

·        The Hanover Democratic Committee facebook page is updated frequently with news and action items. If you are on facebook, “like” it: https://www.facebook.com/HanoverDems/  Then, on right hand side, scroll down and "invite your friends to “like this page." “Share” items with your friends. Some are reluctant to be “political” on social media, but Take Action Now believes that educating friends about issues is never inappropriate.  For some people, facebook posts may be the only exposure they have to responsible journalism.

Action 4.   Defend the Right to Vote.  Trump’s claims of voter fraud are baseless and dangerous.  They give cover to state legislators, like our very own Buddy Fowler, who want to suppress voting rights.

·        Read and share this article

·        Call Buddy Fowler (804-698-1055to object to his legislative sponsorship of and support for voter suppression efforts, such as such as HB 1428 and HB1430. Tell him to stop attacking our voting rights when there is little to no evidence of voting fraud.
·        Use 5calls, a cool automated dialing tool, to reach representatives on issues of concern to you. https://5calls.org


Action 5.  Take care of yourself   We love you and realize our action requests can be stress inducing.  Do what you can, but still live your life.  Below is Parker Palmer’s timely 2-3-17 facebook post about balance.


“"Sometimes," says Mary Oliver, "I grow weary of the days with all their fits and starts." Apparently, she's been reading my mind. Recently, it's been all fits and starts for me: the White House starts something, and I have a fit!
It happened again last night on MSNBC, when a presidential adviser made up another "alternative fact" to justify the refugee ban. This time it was about "two Iraqis [who] came...to this country" as "the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre." http://tinyurl.com/jhyq6uk Unfortunately, this is one more on a growing list of "facts" that have "not yet gone through the formality of taking place." There was no "Bowling Green massacre."
How to hold all this? There is "the fierce urgency of now" that MLK, Jr., spoke about—the fierce urgency of slapping down lies and the evil that can flow from them. But there is also the need for perspective, for taking the long view so we can stay engaged with urgent matters over the long haul.
Jon Stewart recently said, “The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.” I laughed hard at that one, because I’ve been wearing myself down for the past few weeks trying to stay ahead of the tsunami of #$%@& coming from D.C. At 78, I can’t afford to age any faster than I am!
So this weekend, I'll read and re-read “The Poet Dreams of the Mountain.” I’ll follow Mary Oliver’s advice to “take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.” If I can embrace the fierce urgency of now that's part of being a good citizen AND the very long view that comes from immersing myself in the natural world, I think I’ll do better as a citizen and as a human being.”

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Week 4: Take Action Now

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment, US Constitution

TAKE ACTION NOW is a new resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.  In an overwhelming week, let’s focus on our most fundamental rights as outlined in the first amendment.  If we loose these rights, it will be harder to fight for everything else.

01/29/2017

Action 1.  Oppose the ban on immigrants.  Call our Senators Mark Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) & Tim Kaine (202- 224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and Congressperson Rob Wittman (804-443-0668 or 202-225-4261) tell them to oppose the unlawful ban on immigrants based on religion and insist they vote against Jeff Sessions, an immigration extremist, for Attorney General.  If Trump bans Muslims from 7 countries today, who will he ban tomorrow?  This action will have a particularly devastating effect on Virginia.  Green card and H1 visa holders from the affected countries are not likely able to travel outside the US.

Call Gov McAuliffe (804-786-2211) and Attorney General Herring (804-786-2071) and ask them to continue the efforts they began today to protect Virginia.  Support the ACLU (ACLU.org), which has already filed suit and been granted an injunction on behalf of some of those detained at airports today.

Sign White House petitions below urging repeal of the executive order that bans refugees and cancels visas and green cards: 
Action 2. Support Responsible Journalism. The new administration is attacking the free press, bedrock of democracy.  Six reporters were charged with a felony “Rioting or inciting a riot” charges for reporting on the violent protests in Washington at the Jan 20th inauguration, verifiable facts like inauguration crowd comparisons have been challenged as falsehoods, journalists and news organizations have been bullied and on Jan 26th in a telephone interview with the New York Times White House strategist, Steve Bannon, called the media the “opposition” saying it should, “Keep its mouth shut”.  

Follow news sources that fact-check every word coming from the White House and avoid those that will not call out lies or repeat falsehoods as though they were true.  A New York Times headline called out a Trump lie this week and the Washington Post, The Nation, Mother Jones, Pro Publica, Talking Points Memo and The Guardian have been careful fact checkers.  The responsible media need your support and your subscriptions to continue their work.  Please subscribe and consider giving a subscription to a teacher or a school, if you are able.

Action 3. Refuse to live in “1984”.
  • Read/reread George Orwell’s 1984 and/or Phillip Roth’s The Plot Against America, then pass the books on to someone who may not have read them.  For a nonfiction perspective try Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt. 
  • Write letters to the editor calling out White House lies and propaganda (or write about the other critical issues of concern to you). Trump continues to lie about the size of the inauguration crowd and voter fraud, his press secretary supports his lies and Kellyanne Conway calls these “alternative facts”.   Write the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Richmond.com, Contact Us, Letters to Editor), The Mechanicsville Local (mkinser@mechanicsvillelocal.com), The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star (pjenkins@freelancestar.com ), The Herald-Progress (hpeditor@lcs.net ) 

Write the Washington Post (letters@washpost.com ), The New York Times (letters@nytimes.com ), The Wall Street Journal (TAN has a prize for the first opposition letter published in the WSJ) (wsj.ltrs@wsj.com )

Save these links for your future letters.  Here are tips for letter to the editor writing (http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Letters-to-the-Editor )

Action 4.  Work effectively. There is a lot of energy in the Trump resistance.  An anonymous top Senate staffer advises the most effective acts are face-to-face interactions with elected officials followed by phone calls.  Petitions and on line emailing are far less effective.

The staffer recommends 6 calls a day, 2 each to (DC and local office) to our two Senators and our Representative.  If that seems a lot, know that Republican calls tend to outnumber Democrats 4-1.  When you call ask to speak to the staff member in charge of whatever you are calling about, e.g., healthcare.  The local offices may not have a designee for all topics, but talking to any staffer is better than leaving a message. 

Make your message personal, “I am an educator.., A single mother worried about…, “etc.  Pick 1 or 2 topics for each call and make a specific ask.  “I want the Senator to vote for…”  It doesn’t matter if they get sick of you; it’s their job and our right to make our voices heard.


Action 5. Call our Senators Mark Warner (202-224-2023 or 804-775-2314) & Tim Kaine ((202) 224-4024 or 804-771-2221) and tell them to oppose the remaining Trump cabinet nominees. Our Senators need to know we are backing them in their fight. Make separate calls for each nominee:

  • Rep Tom Price's nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services (opposes Medicaid and women’s reproductive rights and has serious ethical issues)
  • Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General (he has a long racist history, is weak on voting rights and doesn’t see grabbing women’s genitals as sexual assault, is an immigration extremist)
  • Steve Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury (foreclosure king)
  • Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor (under his tenure his company paid millions to settle suits on pay to managers, no friend of minimum wag)
  • Scott Pruitt for EPA (climate change skeptic)

Action 6Celebrate Success!  Please thank Senator Jennifer McClellan and the HDC Black Caucus whose leadership helped defeat SB1055, a bill that would have restricted citizens’ first amendment right to assemble.  Also celebrate the hundreds and hundreds of Hanoverians who joined the Women’s March in Richmond and DC, who lobbied at the General Assembly and who rallied for health care at the Capitol.  

Week 3: Take Action Now

01/22/2017  
“Donald Trump is dividing the American people…To divide people based on race, a color, a sexual orientation, it’s just wrong.”  Congressperson John Lewis


Action 1Get to "know" your State senator and track bills they can influence.   Hanover is represented in the Virginia State Senate by Ryan McDougle (SD 4), Jennifer McClellan (SD 9), and Siobhan Dunnavant (SD 12).  
1. Find out who represents you at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.  
2. Keep up with their activities by checking out their web page and signing up for their newsletterwww.ryanmcdougle.comhttp://www.jennifermcclellan.com/ and www.senators4va.com/member/senator-siobhan-dunnavant
4. Put your State Senator’s phone number and email address in your contacts for fast access.  For Ryan McDougle (SD 4) go to: http://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/memberpage.php?id=S69, Jennifer McClellan (SD 9) go to: http://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/memberpage.php?id=S104, and for Siobhan Dunnavant (SD 12) go to:http://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/memberpage.php?id=S97

Learn to use the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) to track bills or Virginia legislators’ votes.  Try the Lobbyist in a Box feature to track up to five bills and learn when action will be taken on them at lis.virginia.gov <http://lis.virginia.gov/>

Use the tools above to track and oppose SB1055 in the Virginia General Assembly.  Like current Republican bills in five other states, this bill would criminalize peaceful protesters and constrain First Amendment rights.  Call your state senator.

Action 2.  Attend Lobby Day at the Virginia General Assembly on Jan 23 and support a number of good causes:

·      Lobby for fair redistricting with OneVirginia2021  Details and sign-up at http://onevirginia2021.org/events/onevirginia2021-lobby-day/  or join a group appointment at Delegate Fowler’s office (General Assembly Building, Room 810) at 10:00 am.  If you want to car pool for the group appointment, meet at the Martin’s parking lot in Ashland at 8:30 on Monday morning.

·      Lobby with the Virginia Conservation Network to advocate for environment-friendly policies at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  Registration and details at http://bit.ly/2h6zvY1.

·      Join with the Women’s Equality Coalition to lobby for women’s reproductive healthcare and women’s equality  See http://www.naralva.org/get-involved/take-action.shtml  and click “Sign-up for Women’s Equality Coalition Lobby Day”.

Author Nancy Finch created Lobbying for Dummies as a helpful guide for effective Lobbying!  


Action 3.  Phone bank for OneVirginia2021  OneVirginia2021 is looking for volunteers to call constituents in key districts before a critical committee vote on fair redistricting on 1-23-17.  Email director@onevirginia2021 to volunteer or get more information.

Action 4.  Call Congressperson Wittman (202-225-4261) and insist he to take a stand against the Republicans’ War on Ethics.  In their first act of the new Congress, House Republicans tried to hobble the Office of Congressional Ethics, then the Senate rushed to confirm Cabinet nominees before ethics officials could vet their financial documents and Trump refused to follow the counsel of ethics experts and divest of his businesses.  The Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, Jr., spoke out against Trump’s plan and now is being hauled into a House investigation and threatened by White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.  Tell Wittman you support Shaub’s free speech rights.

Action 5. When in doubt, sue. Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union said, "Much of what President Trump is proposing is flat-out illegal" and the ACLU told Trump they will,  “See you in court” to defend civil rights.  The ACLU is a bi-partisan organization with 200 staff attorneys and a long history of defending rights in the courts.  Go to aclu.org to take “The Peoples Oath” to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, to sign up for “breaking news” from the ACLU, to volunteer and/or to join the organization.  The breaking news is that the ACLU filed Freedom of Information requests with several federal agencies on Inauguration Day to obtain Trump’s financial documents in order to better track any conflicts of interest.

Week 2: Take Action Now


1/15/2017


 Show up. Dive in. Persevere."  Barack Obama Farewell Address 

TAKE ACTION NOW is a new resource from the Hanover Democratic Committee to guide citizens toward strategic acts to protect our democracy.   With the start of the Virginia General Assembly session, the primary focus this week will be “Protect Virginia.” The action items from last week will be archived on the HDC website.
 01/15/2017

Action 1.  Get to “know” your Delegate  Hanover is represented in the House of Delegates by Buddy Fowler and Chris Peace.  Find who represents you at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.  Keep up with their activities by checking out their web page and signing up for their newsletter (http://www.buddyfowler.com/ or http://chrispeace.com/ ) 
Find what legislation they are sponsoring in 2017 at Richmond Sunlight  (https://www.richmondsunlight.com/legislator/hffowler/ orhttps://www.richmondsunlight.com/legislator/ckpeace/)
Put your Delegate’s phone number and email address in your contacts for fast access.  For Buddy Fowler go to:http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php?id=H0259    For Chris Peace, go to: http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php?id=H0194

Action 2. Insist that Delegate Fowler vote for fair redistricting.  Delegate Fowler sits on the House Privileges and Elections – Elections subcommittee.  In past years redistricting reform died in that subcommittee.  Call, visit and/or email Delegate Fowler to urge him to vote for fair redistricting (General Assembly Building, Room 810, 804-698-1055, DelBFowler@house.virginia.gov ).  Read how OneVirginia2021 and Fowler differ at http://www.hvadems.com/hanover-democratic-committee-news/492-del-fowler-you-got-it-all-wrong, then let him know you are concerned and watching.  

Action 3. Lobby for fair redistricting with OneVirginia2021  President Obama spoke to the importance of ending gerrymandering in his farewell address.  Join OneVirginia’s lobby day at the General Assembly on January 23 to advocate for fair redistricting in Virginia.  Details and sign-up at http://onevirginia2021.org/events/onevirginia2021-lobby-day/

Action 4.  Lobby with the Virginia Conservation Network on Conservation Lobby Day to advocate for environment-friendly policies on Monday Jan 23 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  Registration and details at http://bit.ly/2h6zvY1

Action 5.  Call our Congressional representatives to ask what they plan to do about Trump’s decision not to divest of his business interests. Many ethics experts believe that Trump’s decision not to divest of his foreign business holdings may violate the “emoluments clause” of the Constitution. See: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2017/01/11/oge-director-warns-trumps-plan-insufficient/?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=40521922 andhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/12/7-questionable-claims-donald-trumps-lawyer-made-while-detailing-his-business-plan/?utm_term=.3782da4a50de
Call Senator Kaine (202-224-4024), Senator Warner (202-224-2023), and Congressperson Wittman  (202-225-4261) to ask how they will handle this constitutional question and insist that the first step toward resolution is for Trump to release his income tax returns.  Because Trump chooses to ignore the advice of ethics experts, he must be more transparent in demonstrating he is in compliance with the law.
Action 5  If you can, call rather than email your representatives. This article explains why it may be more effective to call rather than email your representatives. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/us/politics/heres-why-you-should-call-not-email-your-.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share


Week 1: Take Action Now

01/11/2017

Action 1.  March on Monument Solidarity event with the March on D.C., Saturday, January 14 from 1-3 pm starting at the Lee Monument, Richmond.  See details at https://.facebook.com/events/1813664695577966  or email questions to MarchonMonument@gmail.com

Action 2.  Rally To Save Our Healthcare with Governor McAuliffe, Senator Kaine, Congressperson Scott and Congressperson McEachin on Sunday, Jan 15, 2017 at the Virginia State Capitol Bell Tower (Intersection of North 9th Street and Franklin Street).  Doors open at 1:30 pm. Get details at http://vademocrats.org/event/rally-save-healthcare-w-kaine-mcauliffe-scott-mceachin/

Action 3.  Save Politifact in the Richmond Times-Dispatch  The Richmond Times-Dispatch announced it will discontinue Politifact at the very time we most need to verify the statements of our leaders.  Write (300 E Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23219) or email (letters@timesdispatch.com) and say you want the RT-D to continue Politifact.  In this “post truth” age we need all the fact-check tools available.

Action 4.  Insist that Trump’s appointees be vetted by the Office of Government Ethics before their senate hearings.  It is unprecedented that cabinet nominees have hearings before the ethics review process is completed.  See wall-of-us (http://wall-of-us.org) for background and action items.  The Virginia senators will play an important role in this.  Call Senator Kaine (202-224-4024) and Senator Warner (202-224-2023) and tell them to demand the hearings be delayed until the Office of Government Ethics finishes their work. For additional information go to  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/2017/01/07/e85a97ee-d348-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.3db486f95a98

Action 5.  Urge Congressperson Rob Witman not to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Call (202-225-4261) or email (wittman.house.gov, click contact) to tell Wittman not to take away our healthcare. If the Republicans repeal the ACA, wealthy individuals and businesses get a huge tax cut, but people who loose their subsidies will spend far more for insurance.  After repeal, the Republicans have no intention of coming back to their base to raise their taxes to pay for a replacement plan.  There will be no “replace”.  Tell Wittman how repeal will personally affect you and those you know.  Tell him no repeal without replacement.  Good links for additional information: http://prospect.org/article/how-democrats-can-defeat-repeal-obamacare and http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/opinion/the-health-care-plan-trump-voters-really-want.html?_r=1


Have an action Item to share? Write: info@hvadems.com