Laura Shapiro

It’s personal.

My first protest was a pro-choice march I attended with my mother when I was in high school. Mom made sure I understood the impact of unplanned pregnancy on my physical and mental health, my economic stability, my relationships, and my future. As a bisexual woman, I was lucky to have a mother who made sure I had condoms in my wallet, and lucky to have access to hormonal birth control through Planned Parenthood throughout my youth.

Reproductive rights, sexual rights, and the rights to bodily and economic sovereignty are crucially, personally important to me, and my whole life I’ve been glad to have the freedom to choose. Roe v. Wade happened when I was five and I’ve lived in California since then, so I’ve never been denied access to birth control or an abortion. I’ve been able to live with a freedom every woman should have, but as the GOP chips away at our rights, fewer and fewer women do.

Last week, the House passed a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, falsely claiming that the fetus feels pain at this point. The cruel bill, which would force women to carry fetuses with fatal birth defects to term, is now headed for the Senate. Shortly after that, Trump announced a new Dept. of Health and Human Services rule that would allow employers to deny reproductive health coverage to anybody for “religious or moral” reasons. This will undermine contraceptive coverage in all health insurance plans, and is all about punishing women, and restraining our freedom.

It’s comforting to feel safe in California, with Senators Feinstein and Harris looking out for us. But Senator Feinstein has released no public statement on either issue. Make sure she knows what you want from her.

Take action now!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Join us THIS SATURDAY to meet a guest speaker from Swing Left and learn what you can do to help elect Democrats in 2018.

Stand Up SF October Meeting
Sunday, October 15th
2pm – 4pm
REGISTER NOW

Phyllis Ball

Trump’s Tax Scam is here

Republicans in Congress want to ram through tax cuts for millionaires and corporations on the backs of the middle class and low-income workers. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center analyzed their plan and found that 80% of the
cuts go to the richest 1%, 25% of taxpayers would actually see their taxes go up, and it would increase the deficit by $2.4 trillion by 2027. Trump’s own budget director admitted the plan will increase the deficit, which
makes it harder for other Republicans to say with a straight face that they’re not increasing the deficit they used to pretend to care so much about.

In the meantime the Trump administration has been out parroting a new talking point: that the majority of corporate taxes are passed on to workers (e.g. “paid for” by lower wages or lower hiring). This is a critical argument to selling their corporate tax cut. The problem is it’s not true. Their own report says only 18% of a company’s tax burden is borne by workers, which is in line with estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Tax Policy Center. Their response? Treasury pulled the inconvenient report from their website.

Senator Harris lambasted the GOP tax plan, and so did Senator Feinstein, who is using the hashtag #NotOnePennyMore.


Rachel led us in a very productive meeting with Senator Feinstein’s office this week. Mary Beth worked up our Talking Points, Kathleen took excellent notes that turned into our Action Report, and Gavrilah documented the event in photos. Thank you all for your continued commitment and great teamwork!


Alarmed about the direction our country is taking? Come to our next all-hands meeting! A guest speaker from Swing Left SF will tell us what we can do to win the House seat in 2018 in our neighboring district (CA-10…Tracy/Modesto). We’ll also be kicking off a broader discussion about our focus over the next
year, so don’t miss out. We want to hear from you!

Stand Up SF October Meeting
Sun, Oct 15th, 2pm – 4pm
Noe Valley Library
REGISTER NOW

Stand Up SF action:

Our emotionally stunted president is throwing schoolyard taunts at an unstable nuclear dictator and threatening to “totally destroy” his country. It is crucially important that our Senators uphold their constitutional responsibility to manage war, and to unequivocally deny Trump any authority to take us into a new war with North Korea. Call both Senators with this script.

Want to get involved in CA state legislation?

California is the sixth largest economy in the world, and the legislation it enacts often leads the nation. Dems have a supermajority in both houses, yet citizen engagement in CA state politics is almost non-existent. State  legislators face almost no demands for accountability from their constituents. As a result, many politicians are more responsive to the big business lobbies, while the progressive policy changes that we might support are lost.

A new group called CA StateStrong wants to change this. They are a project of Indivisible SF, and they believe that grassroots activism has the potential to make a big difference in CA policy, potentially rippling out to influence the whole nation.

If you are interested in getting involved at the state level, we encourage you to visit the CA StateStrong website, read the notes from their recent kick-off session (I found them informative), sign up for their email list (scroll to bottom) to get alerts and stay informed, and follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Laura Shapiro

Democrats are winning

I wanted to be sure you saw this interview with our Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, about the new Washington.

“We didn’t win the elections, but we’ve won every fight,” she said about the legislative agenda. “We’ve won every fight on the omnibus spending bill — you know the appropriations bills and the rest. You look at everything, they have no victories!”

Make no mistake, you are part of that. We are part of that.

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Here’s a fight it should be easy to win: getting aid to Puerto Rico. The island is an unincorporated U.S. territory — an area controlled by the United States government which is not part of the United States. In other words, it’s a colony. Puerto Ricans are by law natural-born citizens of the United States, and yet in his vile tweets this week, Trump is trying to paint them as yet another group of brown people who don’t deserve help, and even blaming them for the destruction they’ve experienced in this season’s dreadful hurricanes.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is comparing the situation on the ground in Puerto Rico to what they saw in Iraq after the US invasion. Millions are without food, water, and power while troops wait fruitlessly for orders to provide relief. Private aid organizations are trying to fill the gaps, but what’s really needed is a massive response from the government. And instead of sending help, and worse than being silent, the head of our government is firing off insults.

Meanwhile, the House will vote on its budget resolution this Thursday, and the Senate will mark up its resolution Wednesday and Thursday. These budgets cut critical services and would force deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security down the road. All to give massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations, and will destabilize our economy even further.

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Outraged? Bring your concerns to your MoCs at our upcoming actions. Can’t make it? Send us your top issues to take to the senators.

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And join our next all-hands meeting to meet a guest speaker from Swing Left and learn what you can do to help elect Democrats in 2018. We’ll also be kicking off a broader discussion about Stand Up SF’s focus over the next year, so don’t miss out. We want to hear from you!

Stand Up SF October Meeting
Sunday, October 15th
2pm – 4pm
REGISTER NOW

This week’s Stand Up SF actions:

  • Help Puerto Rico: Call all three MoCs and ask them to provide an emergency relief package for the victims of Hurricane Maria and to permanently rescind the Jones Act, an antiquated law that has made it difficult for supplies to reach the Island of Puerto Rico. You can say “Hi, my name is [name]. I’m calling from [city/zip code]. I am calling because I am very concerned about Puerto Ricans who are still without food and water. I am asking [MoC/Senator] to immediately pass an aid package to provide disaster relief to communities affected by Hurricane Maria, before the October recess. This package should provide adequate funding to respond to immediate needs, like food and water, as well as longer term needs like the years of rebuilding that will be required. She should push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico and request that matching funds requirements for relief be waived. [MoC/Senator] should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. Finally, please introduce legislation to permanently rescind the Jones Act so that aid can always reach our Island territories in times of crisis.”
  • Stop tax cuts for the rich: Call all three MoCs and demand that they oppose Trump’s tax scam. (script).
  • Deadline Monday for Net Neutrality: Ask both Senators to vote to fire FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who wants to kill Net Neutrality. You can say Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [zip code]. I am calling on [Senator] to vote against Chairman Pai’s nomination on Monday. He should not serve another five-year term on the FCC. The FCC plays a critical role in overseeing our communication infrastructure, and Chairman Pai’s actions are inconsistent with that mission. He has tried to roll back Net Neutrality, impacting the ability of average Americans to have equal and fair access to the internet. I am calling on [Senator] to vote NO on Chairman Pai. I will be monitoring the Senator’s vote on Monday.

Actions with other groups:

  • TODAY: Support voting rights with ACLU’s People Power. Attend a Let People Vote launch event in your neighborhood. RSVP now.
  • Tue 10/3: Curious about how we’ll pay for Medicare for All? Join People Demanding Action for a webcast featuring business leaders and health care experts to learn about the business case for Medicare for All. Sign up.
Phyllis Ball

We get to keep our healthcare

The latest GOP healthcare bill is dead. Whew! A huge relief! It is dead because of the pressure we put on those who represent us. 2,233 Indivisibles made 320,552 calls to constituents of the holdout GOP Senators! We were part of this! In addition, last week alone, Indivisibles with red Senators hosted 172 events at congressional district offices. This is a major victory. Even with a unified conservative government, attempts to hurt people can be stopped by constituents exercising their power. Go Indivisibles!

Happy we won? Consider making a small contribution to Indivisible so “the mothership” can help us win more. We believe Indivisible represents a pretty strategic and critical investment at this time.

Sadly, the fight isn’t over. Trump is deliberately sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, compressing Open Enrollment, slashing the outreach budget, putting out anti-ACA propaganda, cutting assistance to local organizations who help people enroll, and more. And insurers are already starting to jack up premiums as a result of Trump’s ongoing threats to end reimbursements for subsidizing lower-income customers as required by the law (called cost-sharing reductions). FL just announced a 45% increase.

Our next long fight will be about tax reform. Republican lawmakers this week unveiled a 9-page tax blueprint that reduces taxes on the highest earners and on businesses while closing almost no loopholes. It raises the lowest tax bracket, and creates what looks like trillions in new debt. The silence from deficit hawks has been deafening.

Tax policy is a statement of our national priorities. It tells us who we are. Public opinion is on our side, with recent polls showing that what Americans would like even better than a tax break is for government to spend more to educate their children, rebuild infrastructure, and provide health care and a safety net for the elderly, veterans and the poor. A fact-check of Trump’s tax speech this week shows we are in for an onslaught of misleading statements and downright lies.

This week wacko birther extremist Roy Moore won the GOP primary to take the Senate seat Jeff Sessions vacated. Who knew a single Senate candidate could make so many headlines. Moore is especially dangerous as he believes his personal religious views should supersede our civil laws, and far-right Christian religious culture should infuse our institutions. He is a zealous bigot against rights for gays and women among others. He is fact-challenged, was a columnist at the conspiracy-theory site World Net Daily, and just this week said there is sharia law in the US right now — “as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana.” He compared a congressman taking the oath of office on a Koran to doing so on Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” and said 9/11 was punishment from God. He also brandished a revolver at a campaign rally. Super cool! Some are afraid his election will start a trend. Let’s hope he doesn’t win the general election on Dec. 12.

Also this week it was revealed that six white house advisers including Kushner have been using personal email for official business (as well as disappearing messaging apps), and the FBI revealed it is investigating about 1,000 cases of white supremacist domestic terrorism.

Stand Up SF actions:

  • The Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced a new regulation that would allow the agency to collect info from immigrants’ Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram uploads, and search results. The proposed rule would also
    allow DHS to monitor the social media accounts of green card holders and naturalized citizens, and, according to an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, U.S. citizens who communicate with immigrants, File a public
    comment on this invasion of privacy.
  • Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who wants to repeal net neutrality rules, has to be re-confirmed by the Senate now that his term is up. This could happen any day. Call Senators Feinstein and Harris
    and tell them to vote NO on Ajit Pai for another term as head of FCC.
  • GOP House leaders say they will vote on a bill next Tues to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with doctors facing up to five years in jail for providing care. Call Congresswoman Pelosi and ask her to make sure all House Dems vote against this invasion of women’s rights.

Actions with other groups:

  • ACLU is going on the offense at the state and local levels to expand access to the ballot and make our democracy more representative. Their first step is to host events where volunteers can watch a “Let People Vote” Livestream
    Training that covers everything needed to immediately get to work locally to protect our voting rights. Sign up to host an event on Sun 10/1 at 4pm. If you decide to host an event, let us know and we will get the word out to Stand Up SF members!
  • Mon 10/2 5:30-8:30, The SF Immigrant Rights Commission is holding a special hearing on the latest travel ban.
  • Wed 10/4 6-9pm Mission: We are all invited to join Swing Left’s party and fundraiser at El Rio, 3158 Mission St in San Francisco. The event will feature David Chiu, CA State Assemblymember, Lucia Nuñez, CA-10 District Organizer for the CA Dem Party, and Dan Hoyle, an actor and writer who has entertained many of us at the Marsh Theater and elsewhere. The Swing Left organizers are putting together a build-your-own taco bar for us all to enjoy, and there will be a cash bar. RSVP so they know how much food to buy. They ask attendees to donate what you can ($10 – $20 – $50 – $100) either ahead of time or at the door. Funds support their effort to take back the House in 2018.
Laura Shapiro

TrumpCare hearing TOMORROW. Take action now!

Senators McCain and Collins have withdrawn their support from the Graham-Cassidy TrumpDoesn’tCare bill, which is estimated to rob coverage from over 20 million people. But the bill’s defeat is far from certain. We need to do everything we can to take it down, for Californians and for Americans everywhere.

The Senate Finance Committee will be holding a hearing on Graham-Cassidy tomorrow at 2pm ET. IndivisibleGuide is asking members to fill the hearing record with strong statements of opposition and stories of the devastating impact this would have on people, including people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. See below for your action.

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Meanwhile, there are just days left to stop EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt from repealing the Clean Water Rule and regulations on fracking, and the House is soon to vote on a bill that would weaken civil rights for people with disabilities. Those of you who attended our September meeting will remember a rousing debate on HR 620, where we discussed balancing the needs of small business owners with the rights of people with disabilities, and the hope that this bill would prevent frivolous lawsuits against business owners. Having analyzed the bill and the evidence on both sides, I feel that HR 620 places significant burdens on people with disabilities to instigate the enforcement of the ADA and protect their own civil rights, whereas it should be the responsibility of all public businesses to be in compliance with the ADA and accessible to all. I am certainly compassionate when a business is targeted for a lawsuit that is truly frivolous, or when they have already complied with the ADA, but the bill does nothing to prevent this. And vulnerable populations must be able to sue for their rights if necessary.

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Can’t make it to our Member of Congress office visits? Send us your top issues to take to the senators.

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Mark your calendar for our next all-hands meeting:

Stand Up SF October Meeting
Sunday, October 15th
2pm – 4pm
REGISTER NOW

This week’s Stand Up SF actions:

  • DEADLINE MONDAY: Save the ACA, save lives #1: Submit testimony for Monday’s hearing on the Graham-Cassidy bill by emailing GCHcomments@finance.senate.gov. Send letters, testimony, video links, photos, stories, etc. about how TrumpCare would devastate you or someone you care about. Please send a copy of your comments to our Senators as well (see the links in the sidebar). Comments to be submitted by 10:00 a.m. on Monday 9/25/2017.
  • Save the ACA, save lives #2: Use IndivisibleGuide’s calling tool to make a difference in red states. Call every day!
  • DEADLINE MONDAY: Protect our water #1: The Bureau of Land Management is taking public comments on the rollback of fracking protections. Find talking points here. Submit your comment here.
  • Protect our water #2: The EPA is taking public comments on its plan to repeal the Clean Water Rule, which protects our drinking water. Get talking points here. Submit a comment here.
  • Support civil rights for Americans with disabilities: Call Congresswoman Pelosi and ask her to vote NO on HR 620. You can say, “Hi, I’m [NAME] and I’m calling because I’m concerned about the civil rights of Americans with disabilities. H.R. 620 removes incentives for businesses to comply with the ADA, and places excessive burdens on individuals with disabilities. Please vote NO on H.R. 620.”

Actions with other groups:

  • TOMORROW: Join Indivisible Sonoma County downtown for a #KillTheBill sit-in to protest TrumpCare. Get details and sign up.