We will not stop resisting

We were cautiously happy when we heard that Democratic leaders today struck a tentative deal with Trump to protect DACA recipients from deportation in exchange for increased spending on border security (but not a wall). We now wait for details, and are hoping to see a fast track to permanent citizenship for these young people.

A team from Stand Up SF met with Congresswoman Pelosi’s office this week. Here are the talking points we went in with, and the discussion that ensued. Many thanks to Kathleen who led the action for us, and to all the Stand Up SF volunteers who work behind the scenes to make these visits easy and productive, like our policy team and our Member of Congress trackers.

In other developments this week, the Justice Dept announced that none of the Baltimore officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray would face federal charges. This follows similar decisions in two other civil rights investigations this year where men died at the hands of police officers: Alton Sterling, a black man shot to death in Louisiana, and James Boyd, a mentally ill man shot to death in New Mexico. This is very disturbing, especially in light of Trump’s July remarks where he urged the police not to be “too nice” in transporting  suspects.

On the unfolding saga of Russia interfering with our elections, this week we learned that Russia used Facebook to organize anti-immigrant rallies on U.S. soil. This on top of using social media bots and fake accounts to spread fake news harmful to Clinton.

This week Congress also passed a bi-partisan resolution calling on Trump to condemn hate groups, in response to his “on many sides” shameful defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

I will close with something Charles Blow said so well:

“We, patriots, will not stop resisting this destruction. It is we who will Make America Great Again by trying to limit the damage Trump can do to us.”

Stand Up SF actions:

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has given preliminary permission for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin routinely destroying 11 types of records, including those related to sexual assault by guards, substandard medical care, overuse of solitary confinement, threats and physical assault by custody staff, and even death while in custody. The proposal is open for public comment through Friday 9/15. Here is an easy way to submit a comment.
  • H.R. 2810 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA) has passed the House and is up for a Senate vote soon. It authorizes $700B in war-mongering (base budget of $632B for the DoD and the national
    security programs of the DoE, $60B for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), $8B add’l requested for “other defense activities.”). We are concerned about dumping billions into defense while stripping critical programs from our citizens. Call both Senators about this (script).
  • And speaking of war, Trump has an itchy trigger finger and unrestricted power to launch nuclear weapons at will. S. 200 – Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 would require a congressional declaration of war in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack. Call and ask Senator Harris to cosponsor the bill (Sen Feinstein already has).

Troubled by the direction our country is taking? Come to our next monthly meeting and help steer and power our resistance!

Zombie TrumpCare rises again

It’s hard to believe, but Senate Republicans are trying to bring TrumpCare back from the dead again. Not much is known about the new bill (surprise, surprise) but we know it would once again destroy Medicaid. The GOP has only until September 30 to pass this toxic bill, and we know it’s going to be a tough fight, particularly as Senator John McCain has said he would support it. Get your dialing finger ready.

Trump is trying to torpedo the Affordable Care Act whether TrumpCare passes or not. His latest maneuver is to withdraw funding for the outreach necessary to promote the ACA and help Americans sign up — which especially affects the most vulnerable populations such as non-English speakers and those who don’t have Internet access. This is just the most recent attack on critical programs for Americans, and is sadly consistent with Trump’s budget priorities, which include cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, education, and Pell grants.

DACA recipients are still reeling from last week’s horrible announcement, and now the House is expected to vote this Tuesday on a bill that criminalizes immigrants, including those fleeing gang violence, and allows more of them to be detained and deported. It also affects vulnerable populations such as asylum seekers, TPS holders, and unaccompanied children. This is the kind of legislation that makes it easier than ever for ICE to terrorize immigrants and encourages others to turn away rather than offering support and demanding justice.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma is pounding Florida and Betsy DeVos is trying to remove sexual assault protections on college campuses.

There are a lot of places to direct your passion right now. Stay focused on the issues that matter most to you, and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

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Hopping mad about any of the above? Join us at Congresswoman Pelosi’s office this week to find out what she’s doing to make sure TrumpCare stays dead, and to protect Americans from Trump’s deadly budget cuts. If you can’t make it, submit your ideas for talking points to policy@standupsf.net.

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Bring a friend to our next meeting! Come to hear guest speaker Rafael Mandelman, President of San Francisco City College’s Board, talk about the resistance movement and how it’s shaping our communities in the Bay Area.

Stand Up SF September Meeting
Sunday, September 17th
2pm – 4pm
REGISTER NOW

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Kill TrumpCare and defend the ACA: Tell all three MoCs that you appreciate their efforts to defend the ACA and protect Americans’ health care. You can say “I want the [Congresswoman/Senator] to know that I appreciate her ongoing work to defend the ACA. I am counting on her to work against Graham-Cassidy, the latest version of TrumpCare, and want to know what she’s doing to offset Trump’s sabotage of the ACA, such as cutting funding for outreach.”
  • Defend DACA recipients: Tell all three MoCs that you want the Dream Act attached to every must-pass bill in Congress. (background and scripts)
  • Don’t let Congress criminalize immigrants: Call Congresswoman Pelosi and tell her to vote no on H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act. You can say “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in San Francisco. I am concerned that H.R. 3697 will make vulnerable immigrants who are trying to escape gang violence into ICE targets. Let’s not punish asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and others who are especially vulnerable. Please vote no on H.R. 3697.”
  • Protect Americans from dangerous budget cuts: Call both Senators and tell them to oppose any budget any resolution that makes cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, or SNAP, and doesn’t offset tax cuts with new revenue or closing loopholes. (explainer and script)

Actions with other groups

  • Tue 9/12: Protect San Franciscans from police violence. At this meeting, the San Francisco Police Comission will consider a proposal by Chief Scott to arm SFPD with Tasers. Come out and voice your concerns.
  • Wed 9/13: Join Swing Left’s monthly meeting to prepare to canvass and register voters in the red district of San Joaquin County. RSVP.
  • Protect voting rights: Join the ACLU’s national voting rights campaign. Sign up to send text messages and help recruit for this vital effort.

Thanks for all you do.

Laura

2 state seats, and other good news

We want to launch you into the weekend with some good news. On Tues, Dems flipped not one but two state seats in special elections, both in deep red territory. In NY, the Democrat beat 58-42 in a district Trump won 60-37 in Nov. That swing is both astounding and encouraging. In New Hampshire, the Dem won 52-48, despite Trump’s 51-44 victory last fall. While these are the first two seats to actually change hands since Trump’s election, Dems have consistently outperformed the 2016 presidential results in special elections across the country.

In more good news, this week the Supreme Court struck down North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering. They ruled that NC used race to draw two districts to advantage Republicans, and the two districts must now be redrawn before the 2018 election. In a state where 47% of the electorate voted for a Democratic Congressperson, but only 23% are represented by one, this is great news for our movement.

And yet another Federal appeals court ruled against Trump’s travel ban.

Finally, we don’t want to neglect scandal news! This week two more U.S. Intelligence agency directors stepped forward to say Trump also asked them to deny evidence of collusion.

In other big news items this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score on the House healthcare bill. This is the bill House Republicans passed before even bothering to look at the impact. The CBO analysis is just as bad as their report on the earlier version of the bill. The lowlights:

  • It would leave 14M more people uninsured next year and 23M more in 10 years.
  • In states that choose to opt out of current mandates, insurance costs could soar for those who are sick or have pre-existing conditions, while premiums would fall for the healthy.
  • Net premiums (after tax credits) would be much higher for older folks with limited income. A typical 64- yr-old who makes $26,500 would pay $16,000/yr, compared with $1,700 today. Almost a 10-fold increase!
  • At the same time, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation said that the House bill would cut taxes for high-income people by $230B over 10 years.

Senators Harris and Feinstein have both been very vocal about this immoral bill.

And speaking of immoral, Trump also released his first full budget proposal. (more info: 1, 2, 3, 4) While it seems generally accepted that the math is phony, the priorities are clear:

  • Over 10 years: Cuts Medicaid by $800 billion on top of TrumpCare’s $800B in Medicaid cuts. Cuts $72B from Social Security Disability Insurance, which covers over 10M people, and cuts $464B from food stamps and other core programs for working families.
  • Eliminates loan programs that subsidize college for the poor
  • Eliminates any federal health funding for entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood
  • Cuts $3.1B (18%) from energy research programs developing technologies like better batteries for electric vehicles or carbon capture for coal and gas plants to reduce emissions and combat global warming.
  • Calls for $1.6B to begin work on a wall on the border with Mexico (full cost estimated to be $22B-70B)

One big consolation is that Trump does not set the budget, Congress does. Trump’s budget is just a proposal. The House and Senate are each working on their own budget resolutions, which will likely be considered by the House in June, and later this summer by the Senate.

One final note: we had a fun and lively time at our social event tonight! Keep your eyes peeled for the next social event, we’d love to have you come!

Stand Up SF Actions through this weekend

Call all 3 Members of Congress about budget priorities (script)

Support Sen Feinstein’s request to sign these petitions:
#1 urges the Senate to vote no on Trumpcare
#2 demands that women should be part of the group of 13 Senators (all men) revising the healthcare bill

LOCAL ACTION for the environment: Call Sen. Scott Wiener and ask him to support AB 705: Script: “Hi, I live in California and I am a constituent. I’m calling to ask Senator Wiener to support Senate Bill 705, to phase out Styrofoam from food packaging in restaurants.”

Our movement is growing

I am writing to you still coasting from the high of our meeting this afternoon. What a great feeling to see so many new faces, hear so many thoughtful voices, and learn about what’s getting and keeping you all motivated for this fight.

Indivisible now counts almost 6,000 active groups nationwide, and that’s not even counting all the chapters of Sister District, ACLU’s People Power, and the dozens of other organizations that have sprung up since November. I heard loud and clear from our members, as well as representatives of other local groups who joined us today, that it’s time to start building coalitions, to unify and strengthen our movement.

You spoke with common sense and passion about the need for Stand Up San Francisco to continue focusing on what it does best — direct interactions with our Members of Congress to resist the Trump administration’s reprehensible legislation and nominees — while partnering with other organizations who are focusing on strategies for the 2018 midterm elections. We also heard a lot of good ideas about what it might look like to expand the definition of our actions with MoCs, to attempt to influence the Democratic Party’s platform and more. You’ve given us a lot to think about, and we’ll keep you posted as our plans develop.

We are so grateful to Action Leaders Sarah and Patrick for reporting on recent actions that they have led at Senator Feinstein’s and Congresswoman Pelosi’s offices. If you missed today’s meeting, you can check out their action reports in the MoC Office Action Reports folder of our Public Library. As a reminder, talking points we bring to those actions, as well as the action report summaries and our MoC tracker documents, can all be found in the Public Library.

We also heard from Mary Beth, one of our intrepid Policy Writers, about the experience she brings to the team who research and write the talking points for our actions. Sarah, Patrick, and Mary Beth are just a few of the terrific volunteers who make it possible for our group to do what we do. But we’re looking for more! We especially need help with recruitment, so if you have a few minutes this week, download our flyers and either print and post them around your neighborhood, distribute them at events, or post them on social media. Word of mouth really helps bring in new folks, as you saw today!

I was glad to remind everyone of the ground rules for our meetings, but one thing I didn’t mention was that Phyllis recently completed the Stand Up San Francisco Code of Conduct, which outlines the standards of behavior we expect our members to follow. Please familiarize yourself with it, and let anyone in leadership know if you have any questions.

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Save Our Democracy: A special counsel was an important step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. We need an independent commission. Call Congresswoman Pelosi and thank her for demanding one. Then call Senator Feinstein and tell her we need an independent commission, and we need it now. (background)
  • #HandsOff: Trump’s disaster-of-a-budget proposal should arrive Tuesday. While it won’t become law, it will kick off the budget negotiations. Don’t let Republicans cut vital programs for poor and working class Americans to pay for Trump’s wall. Tell all three MoCs #HandsOff programs for the elderly, school lunches for kids, food stamps, etc. If you are enraged by bloated military spending, this is your chance to call for cutting that, too. (details)
  • DEADLINE TOMORROW, MAY 22: SB 562, the Healthy California Act, is a single-payer health plan that would cover all Californians. It will be voted on by the Appropriations Committee on May 22. Please call Scott Wiener and let him know you support SB 562 and single-payer for California, or send a letter of support! (call script and letter template)
  • Act Locally: CA Senator Scott Wiener is holding open office hours on Saturday, June 3! If you’re interested in local action on behalf of Stand Up SF, contact Paul to discuss talking points. RSVP to Jeff Sparks to book time with Senator Wiener.
  • Extra credit: Trump is trying to deport 50,000 Haitian immigrants. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has until May 23 to decide whether or not to extend Haitians’ temporary protected status (TPS). If he terminates this protection, tens of thousands of Haitians who have lived, worked, and gone to school in the United States for over a decade will be deported. Contact Secretary Kelly and tell him to extend TPS for Haitians now.

Actions with other groups

  • Tue 5/23: Join MoveOn and local groups for a “die-in” to save the ACA at Senator Feinstein’s office. Learn more and register here.
  • Tue 5/23: Noe Valley Democratic Club is hosting a panel about local resistance groups, including ours! Paul will be appearing along with members of Action SF and others. 6pm, Noe Valley Ministry
  • Wed 5/24: ACLU hosts a Tele-Town Hall with key staff members to answer questions about their work on viting rights, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, and more. RSVP now.