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

You’re the best.

Things are not looking good for the Trump administration right now. Between the ongoing discoveries of their collusion with Russia to influence the election, the delayed vote on TrumpCare, and Trump’s approval ratings the lowest in history, they are not able to get much done. Today’s biggest news is that TrumpCare is just 1 GOP defection away from defeat.

All of this is because of YOU. You yelled about the need for the Russian investigation. You demanded a “no” vote on TrumpCare and sent in your personal stories in support of the ACA. And you have told your representatives to block this administration’s agenda, to keep Americans safe from Trump’s excesses — and those of his cronies. Across the country, people just like you are making the same demands, and it’s working.

Paul, Phyllis, and Laura, Stand Up SF leaders, hold signs that say 'We Rock!', 'It's working - thank you!' and 'You're the Best!''THANK YOU!

You should know:
Tomorrow, California lawmakers will vote on a bill to extend California’s most important climate law. AB 398 is meant to be an extention of the state’s Cap and Trade legislation, but environmental activists are very divided on whether our representatives should vote yea or nay. We in leadership are not prepared to tell you how to act on this one, but if the issue is important to you, we urge you to do some reading, make your decision, and call Assemblymembers Ting and Chiu with your request.

Meanwhile, there’s still plenty to do to protect our community and our country.

This week’s Stand Up SF actions:

  • Stop mass deportations: SB 54, The California Values Act, prevents state and local funds from being used for deportations. Call Assemblymembers Ting and Chiu and ask them to vote yes on SB 54. You can say “I urge you to support SB 54, the California Values Act, which protects the safety of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations and separate California families.”
  • Get face-to-face with Kamala Harris: Senator Harris has not yet held a town hall in the Bay Area! Call her office and ask that she hold a San Francisco town hall during the August recess. (script)
  • Fix our housing crisis: Senator Weiner’s SB 35, up for a vote this week, streamlines the development of new housing, including affordable housing. Don’t let it get held up by unworkable and unnecessary amendments! Call State Assemblymembers Ting and Chiu and tell them to vote for SB 35. You can say “I’m concerned about the number of homeless and displaced people in my community. Please vote for SB 35 to ensure that cities comply with existing requirements to build more housing, and more affordable housing.”

Actions with other groups

  • Tue 7/18: #KillTheBill! Join local Indivisible groups in the Bay Area for a Die-In at Senator Feinstein’s office to protest TrumpCare. This is part of a nationwide Indivisible campaign that is sure to get news coverage, so please sign up if you can make it!
  • Tue 7/18: Join our friends at Sister District for their CA-12 Mission Hub meeting and help flip Virginia blue! RSVP

Learning opportunity

Wed 7/19: Learn more about how you can protect the free and open Internet. Join FreePress.net and other activists on a strategy call. Sign up.

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.

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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.