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

Pre-meditated murder

Today the Senate approved $15 billion for victims of Harvey as part of a deal between Trump and congressional Democrats that will also raise the federal borrowing limit and keep the government open until Dec. 8. The House is expected to vote on it tomorrow. With Hurricane Irma barreling down on Florida, it is expected to pass. Republican leaders are fuming at the surprise move by Trump. They also were hoping to extend government funding for a longer period so they could avoid additional votes before mid-term elections.

While Trump’s move will offer relief to Harvey victims, he has taken many other steps that will increase the human suffering from future storms:

  • Just days before Harvey pummeled Texas and Louisiana, he signed away the requirement that future building must comply with the tougher flood standards set by President Obama. He did this despite the evidence that flood standards are outdated. Houston alone saw three “500-year” floods in the past three years.
  • He proposed devastating cuts to climate change research as well as huge subcuts to programs that collect data and model storms.
  • He directed the EPA to revisit (that is, loosen) vehicle efficiency standards, despite the fact that about a third of the global warming pollution created in the US comes from transportation. And doesn’t it just seem incredibly antiquated to defend gas guzzlers?
  • He ordered the evisceration of the Clean Power Plan, which was to cut carbon pollution by nearly a third from the dirty power plants that account for 40% of our nation’s carbon footprint.
  • He created a “red team” to challenge the conclusions reached by climate scientists across the globe over decades of research. The red-team approach makes sense in the military and in consumer companies, where you have to make assumptions about the opponent’s plans. But climate science is well understood, with massive consensus on the link between carbon dioxide and climate change. The link is as certain as the link between smoking and lung cancer. One science professor called the red team plan a “dumb
    idea” that’s like “a red team-blue team exercise about whether gravity exists.
  • He has assigned one of his former campaign managers to screen EPA grants for the words “climate change.” The EPA spends half of its ~$8B budget on grant awards.
  • Add to this list Trump’s better-known offenses like putting climate deniers in cabinet positions, expanding fossil fuel development and extracting the US from the Paris climate accord.

The Nation calls this fossil-fuel expansion and climate denial ‘pre-meditated murder.

Earlier this week Trump also rescinded Obama’s DACA policy that let undocumented kids who arrived in the US before they were 16 apply for two-year renewable amnesty. DACA recipients must have a spotless record to be eligible for the program, and about 9 out of 10 are working taxpayers. Trump gave Congress six months to come up with legislation before the plug is pulled on DACA. While this puts 800,000 young people in fear of being deported to a country they’ve never lived in, there is some hope. A recent NBC News poll shows that 64% of Americans support DACA, and 71% want to offer undocumented immigrants who are already working here a chance to  apply for legal status. So the public opinion tide is turning.

In addition, 700 business leaders from across the country signed an open letter calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act or similar legislation, including CEOs from Amazon, AT&T, eBay, Microsoft, Wells Fargo and many other household names. And in a separate letter, 1,800 community leaders including numerous governors, 130 mayors, 200 state legislators, and a host of faith, legal, community, and law enforcement leaders called on Congress to enact legislation that “replaces fear and uncertainty with permanent protection for Dreamers.”

Attorneys general from 15 states have filed a lawsuit against the administration over DACA. Our Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, plans to file a separate suit since about 1/4 of DACA recipients live in California.


If you live in San Francisco and want to change the course of this country, we invite you to join us.

Come to our Sept monthly meeting!
Sunday Sept 17th, 2-4pm
Noe Valley Library
451 Jersey St, San Francisco
Register now!


Stand Up SF actions:

  • We need more, not less, funding for programs that keep communities safe in the face of catastrophes like Hurricane Harvey. Call all 3 MoCs and say ““My name is ___ and I am a constituent. I am calling to ask the Senator, as she gets ready to vote on a spending package, to please vote “no” to any bill that would cut the funding for agencies and programs that help communities prepare for and respond to disasters—including funding for FEMA, NOAA, NASA, and the EPA.”
  • Trump just nominated anti-science climate denier Jim Bridenstine to run NASA. Bridenstine is not a scientist, and he has an ugly history of anti-science rants. On the House floor in 2013, he demanded President Obama apologize for spending NASA money on studying climate change. NASA’s earth sciences division is at the forefront of climate change research, and its satellites provide critical data on weather events like hurricanes. Call Senators Harris and Feinstein and oppose Bridenstine. “My name is ___ and I am a constituent. I am calling to tell the Senator that NASA needs to be run by someone who respects science, not someone who rejects science. Please oppose Jim Bridenstine as head of NASA. He is a climate denier.”
  • One of the most effective tools for winning the fight for DACA youth is to gather personal stories. if you have a personal story about how DACA has helped you or someone you know, share it with Senator Harris, who is
    a champion of immigrants, here on her special form.

Actions with other groups:

Take action for American workers and DREAMers

I hope you’re all managing to stay cool and hydrated through this record heatwave. While we swelter, the people of Houston are struggling to recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey. And yet most mainstream media failed to connect the hurricane to climate change. And though Trump was all smiles to Harvey survivors in his Houston visit yesterday, he’s trying to connect aid to those survivors to debt ceiling legislation, holding survivors hostage to a lengthy, bitter fight in Congress.

Meanwhile, over 124,000 Texans stand to be deported if Trump rescinds DACA, of the over 700,000 who could face deportation. But there’s good news on that front: activist pressure has caused Trump to waver on his decision. It’s critically important that we keep the pressure on over the weekend. Trump is likely to announce his plan on Tuesday.

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Tomorrow is Labor Day, and I want to talk a little bit about what that means. Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contribution of our workers to the well-being of our country. You might not know it, but you have the labor movement and union organizers to thank for your weekends, overtime pay, minimum wage, and safe conditions in the workplace, among many other critical protections most Americans take for granted. Over the past several decades, economic security has been eroded as middle- and lower-income worker wages have stagnated while wages among the top 5% have skyrocketed. Economic justice is one of Stand Up San Francisco’s core principles, and as such, we must fight against the Trump administration’s continued evisceration of key protections for workers, such as his intent to take away overtime pay and his failure to support raising the minimum wage.

On Labor Day and throughout this week, take action for American workers. You’ll see several options below.

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Help kick our recruitment efforts into overdrive

To increase our impact and our sustainability, Paul, Phyllis, and I are determined to grow Stand Up SF and bring new people into volunteer and leadership roles. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  1. Join us at the Noe Valley Farmers Market next Saturday, September 9th, where we will be promoting our group and asking folks to sign up. Contact Paul for details.
  2. Share our blog with your friends! Did you know we have a blog? Back-issues of our email newsletters can now be found on the Stand Up San Francisco website. Our emails are one of the best ways to learn about what we do, and now it’s easy to share them with your family, friends, and colleagues.
  3. Bring a friend to our next meeting! We’ll be reporting on recent interactions with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, and our guest speaker is Rafael Mandelman, President of San Francisco City College’s Board.

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

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Protect overtime pay: The Trump administration is threatening to strip overtime protections from millions of workers by revoking Obama’s 2016 expansion. Submit a written comment to the Department of Labor to defend current federal overtime protections. Use CREDO’s form for background and to submit your comment.
  • Raise the minimum wage: Call Senators Feinstein and Harris and thank them for sponsoring S. 1242, The Raise the Wage Act, to raise our national minimum wage to the barely-livable $15/hr. You can also ask what else the senators are doing to make sure this bill passes.

Actions with other groups

  • TOMORROW: Support Bay Area workers at the Oakland Labor Day March, sponsored by NorCal Fight for 15. Get details.
  • Be ready to rally for DACA: Sign up for Bay Resistance text alerts by texting “RESIST” to 41411. You’ll be notified of urgent actions to protect DACA or protest its repeal.
  • Tell the media to connect the dots: write a letter to the editor to a national newspaper telling them to mention climate change when referring to Hurricane Harvey. 350.org has talking points and tools.

Learning opportunity: Check out videos and articles on the history of the American Labor movement and learn

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

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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

This is America

On November 9 of last year, many Americans woke up to an America they did not recognize, did not know. Yesterday’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a grim reminder of the America that people of color in this country have always known, an America that has persisted despite hard-won civil rights gains, an America that is founded on white supremacy. The electoral college that propelled Trump to victory was created to bolster the federal power of agrarian, slaveholding states, and now we all have to live with the implications of that legacy. If we are horrified by the violence we saw yesterday, we must face it. If we want to create a country that is better than this, we must not turn away from the country we have. This is a moment to hold ourselves accountable. For those of us who are considered white, this is our mess to clean up. We can do better. We must do better.

Some of you have been fighting for racial justice a lot longer than I have, and to you, this is not news. Others might benefit from learning more about how systemic racism is built into the structure of our society, by design, and what we might to do dismantle structural racism and rebuild America. You should know that as a leader of our group, and as a person who benefits from white privilege, these lessons inform every action I take and every action I ask you to take. And although what we do in this group matters, the struggle for justice can’t be won through political and legislative action alone. As we were reminded yesterday, this is a culture war, and it will be fought in the streets and in living rooms as well as in congress and in the voting booth.

If you’re wrestling with strong feelings today, and you want to stand with vulnerable communities in Charlottesville and here in San Francisco, you can join a candlelight vigil tonight at 24th and Mission or City Hall.

At our next meeting, you’ll hear comments from Indivisible Charleston about how they are dealing with the repercussions of Charlottesville in their region. You’ll also get reports from our recent actions, including an informal conversation with Congresswoman Pelosi’s staff.

Meanwhile, it may be recess, but there’s plenty to do.

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Black women make 63 cents for every dollar a white man makes. Call Senator Harris and thank her for crafting the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would end the pay gap for Black women. You can say “I’d like to thank Senator Harris for her work to create the Paycheck Fairness Act. As a constituent, I want her to know that I appreciate her standing up for Black women’s rights and for economic and racial justice.”
  • It’s already mid-August, and none of our MoCs have held a town hall yet. Call both senators and ask for a town hall in San Francisco. You can say “Hi. My name is ___, my zip code is ___, and I’m with Stand Up San Francisco. We’re more than a week into the senator’s state work period and I’m concerned that I haven’t heard anything yet about her plan for a town hall. Please schedule a weekend town hall soon. I want to make plans to attend.”
  • Deadline 8/15: Say no to Exec Order 13795, “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” which would potentially open up 4 national marine sanctuaries in California to oil and gas exploration. Make a comment to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and tell them to protect our coastal ecosystems, local wildlife, and California’s economy (instructions and points to include).

Actions with other groups