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.

——

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.

——

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

SF stands against hate. Meanwhile…

As I write this, police in Berkeley have deployed tear gas against counter-protesters who jumped the barricades in Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, and many are fleeing the scene, while some exchange blows. Others are being arrested.

My emotions are mixed. I can understand why the people of Berkeley felt they had to defend their city against Nazis and the KKK, and I am angry that the police are responding with force. I am saddened that the clash of ideas so often leads to violence, even as I recognize the emotional and physical violence enacted by white supremacy, and wonder every day, every hour, how to stop it. I am annoyed that Patriot Prayer will no doubt spin this weekend’s events as an impingement of their First Amendment rights. And I am relieved to have had a peaceful, celebratory day in San Francisco yesterday myself.

Federal and local authorities bent over backwards to provide a peaceful environment for yesterday’s “free speech rally”, and Gibson responded by trying to move his event to Alamo Square Park. When that didn’t work, he retreated out of the city, ultimately holding a “press conference” in an obscure wooded area in Pacifica. San Franciscans rejoiced at driving hate from our city without exchange of blows. I squirmed a little internally as I always do when I find myself on the same side as the police.

Yesterday in San Francisco, it was almost possible to forget the events of Friday afternoon: Trump pardoning loathsome racist Joe Arpaio and banning transgender people from the military, and the southern US prepared for a massive hurricane just weeks after Trump rolled back flood protections. While rainbow flags flew among a predominantly-white crowd at SF City Hall, the nation took giant steps backward, enshrining institutional racism, homophobia, inequity, and insecurity. At least Sebastian Gorka is gone?

three young women at the Civic Center counter-protest, holding signs saying Make America Kind Again, Unite Against Hate, and White Silence = White Violence

——
Summer recess is drawing to a close, and we have a lot of work to do.

We’re sending a delegation to Senator Harris’ town hall this week, to demand that she continue to protect Americans from the worst depradations of this administration, and to ensure the Russia investigation continues unimpeded. If you’re registered to attend, you’ll be receiving talking points shortly.

Meanwhile, mark your calendar for our next general meeting, Sunday, September 17th at 2pm with special guest speaker Rafael Mandelman, President of San Francisco City College’s Board.

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Protect immigrant kids: Trump is threatening to rescind DACA. Call all three MoCs and thank them for co-sponsoring the DREAM Act to protect kids who have grown up in the US from being deported. Tell them how important this issue is to you and make sure they stand strong. (script and call tool)
  • Stop fracking: The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments on the withdrawal of fracking rules. Send a personal message to Secretary Zinke demanding that all protections against fracking are maintained.
  • End lengthy and unfair drug sentences: Call California legislators and ask them support SB 180, the Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancement Act (RISE) Act. The RISE Act would repeal the three-year sentence enhancement for prior drug convictions. (background and script)

Actions with other groups

Schumer: We’re ready for single payer

Just a few hours ago, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that single payer health care is “on the table”, along with other options like making Medicare available to people over 55. This is huge news: we said we wanted single payer, and Senate Democrats are listening. As Paul Hessinger quoted at our meeting yesterday, “If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”

While Schumer is optimistic that the GOP’s latest disaster of a healthcare bill (repeal everything, replace with nothing) will not pass, Sen. Mitch McConnell is not going to stop. Even if you’ve already spoken up on this issue, make sure you check off all six items on Phyllis’ to-do list to stop TrumpCare.

——
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will testify at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, as the Russian collusion case continues to heat up. Unfortunately, the Trump camp has made a bargain with the committee to hold that hearing in private, so we are not likely to learn what is unveiled there anytime soon. Senator Feinstein sits on the Judiciary Committee, so we’ll be continuing to monitor the case and encouraging her to protect our democracy by ensuring that all wrongdoing is ultimately brought to light.

——
Two weeks ago, I asked you to make calls to reform our predatory and unjust bail system here in California. This week, Senator Harris has unveiled a bipartisan bill (co-authored with Senator Rand Paul) that seeks to reform or replace the practice of money bail nationwide. The Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 creates incentives for states to overhaul or throw out their money bail systems, aiming to ensure that all people, rich or poor, who are accused of a crime receive fair treatment under the law. The bill has been endorsed by the Center for American Progress, the NAACP, the ACLU, and many other organizations working to repair our broken criminal justice system. It’s great to see I’ll be asking you to make some calls about this legislation this week.

——
Following a spirited and inspiring general meeting yesterday, our members enjoyed beer and munchables on Phyllis’ sunny back deck. We’re grateful to those of you who came out, shared your passion, and raised a glass with us. Special thanks to Suzanne, who stood up at our meeting to share a very personal story about how she came to dedicate her life to improving people’s health, and how that fuels her activism today. We’re grateful also to our guest speaker Susan from Democracy Action, who provided some great ideas about using technology to motivate voters in other districts, and told a great story about registering new citizens to vote in Oakland (see Actions with other groups for how you can get involved. Thanks also to Patrick, who led our action to Sen. Harris’ office last week.

——
This week’s Stand Up SF actions

Actions with other groups

  • Tue 7/25: part of Litquake, SF’s literary festival: “A Bunch of Bad Hombres: Immigrant Writers Respond to Trump” RSVP
  • Thu 7/27: Join NARAL Pro-Choice America for a webinar on activism for reproductive freedom. Sign up.
  • Thu 8/3: Join Democracy Action to phone bank for Democratic candidates in two key states. Get details and sign up.

Learning opportunity

At our meeting yesterday, Gordon shared information about The People’s Revolution, a coalition of grassroots organizers and activists who have created a progressive platform to ensure racial, climate, and economic justice, democracy, and health care for all. They’re recommending we ask our MoCs to pass eight pieces of legislation aimed at these goals. Stand Up SF leadership will be evaluating the bills, but you can get a head start here. Interested in the People’s Platform? Tell us what you think!

Saying yes to progressive wins

Resistance means saying “no” a lot. But, as people who value social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, it feels more in character for us to say “yes”. There’s no better way to say yes to our values, and earn big wins for progressive causes, than by acting locally. California’s laws become models for the whole nation, so when you take action on state-level or even city-level issues, you’re not just helping your neighbors: you’re showing the whole country how it’s done. So today, we’re going to focus on local action.

I want to talk to you about a cause that’s dear to my heart: reforming our criminal justice system, which disproportionately targets and penalizes people of color and the poor. Today there’s local action we can take on the bail system, and it comes from the ACLU of Northern California.

The money bail system lets private corporations cash in on human suffering. Access to wealth is what currently determines who gets out of jail. People who can’t afford to pay bail stay locked up while they await trial; others desperately plead guilty or pay a bail bonds agency for pre-trial release. Costly bail bonds agreements put people on the hook for payments even if the district attorney dismisses the case or a court finds the defendant not guilty of the crime. Poor people have to sit idly in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes years while their cases move forward.

In May, our California lawmakers voted on legislation to overhaul our state’s money bail system. CA Senate Bill 10 and Assembly Bill 42 would make sure that California stops locking people up simply because they cannot afford to pay bail. Both bills prioritize services to help people make their court appearances and curb the state’s overreliance on money bail. The Senate approved SB 10 with bipartisan support, but AB 42 stalled in the Assembly. See below for your request to Assemblymembers.

——

The July recess is winding up tomorrow, leaving only two more weeks for Republicans to pass TrumpCare before experts say it’ll be dead in the water. This fight is still not over, but the biggest battles will be waged in districts with Republican Senators who remain undecided or who plan to vote no. Paul has reached out to our friends at Indivisible Charleston, asking how we can support them during this last critical push. Meanwhile, if you want to be inspired, check out #SitInSaveLives on Twitter for photos, videos, and reports from the protests last week, many by seniors and people with disabilities.

Our next meeting — and happy hour!
Saturday, July 22
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Noe Valley Public Library, with drinks to follow at Phyllis’ house nearby
REGISTER NOW

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Fix unfair bail laws: Call Assemblymembers David Chiu and Phil Ting and say: “Thank you for supporting bail reform, standing up for justice and California families, and voting YES on AB 42, the California Money Bail Reform Act of 2017. Please also vote YES on SB 10!”
  • Take action for campaign finance reform: AB 1089 sets limits on campaign contributions. Call Assemblymember Phil Ting and say: “Hi, I live in California and I am a constituent. I am calling to ask you to vote YES on AB 1089, to close loopholes in California’s campaign finance laws and protect us from unlimited special interest spending.” Then call Assemblymember Chiu and thank him for sponsoring the bill.
  • Ban toxic chemicals: This week, Scott Pruitt – the anti-science head of Environmental Protection Agency – has ignored his own agency’s recommendations and reversed the ban on chlorpyrifos, the toxic agricultural pesticide known to damage the nervous systems of infants and children. Call Governor Brown and tell him to ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Actions with other groups

  • Tue 7/11: Join ACLU People Power at a phone bank to support CA SB54, the California Values Act, to protect immigrants from mass deportation. Sign up.
  • Tue 7/11, 6pm: Kick ICE out of Oakland! Join ACLU People Power at an action at Oakland’s City Hall. Raise your voice for immigrants. RSVP now.
  • Wed 7/12, 6-9pm: Cervezas for Civics fundraiser for Generation Citizen – an organization that empowers young people to become engaged and effective citizens. RSVP for drinks and lively conversation.