Week of February 20, 2017:
TAKE ACTION: See Your Members of Congress While They Are in Recess!
ISSUE: Congress will be on recess from Feb. 20-24, meaning that your representatives will be home! They need to know there are people living with HIV in their district who care about access to health care, reproductive rights, the social safety net, mass incarceration and racist policing practices, immigrant safety and rights, and who oppose the Muslim ban. TODAY: Make sure you will see them! Some are having a town hall meeting while they’re in town; lots of them are not. Contact them to find out if they are holding a town hall; and if not, set up a meeting. We’ve created a simple guide for you below, and if you’re planning a meeting we will support you all the way. Let us know here!
GET THE FACTS:
- Across the country, new and seasoned advocates and activists like you are organizing to target their elected representatives while they’re in recess, especially on the subject of their votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Learn more here.
- Indivisible has put together a Reclaim Recess Toolkit to help folks organize constituent-led town halls when your Member of Congress won’t.
- Read PWN-USA’s suggestions for scheduling and planning your meeting here.
- Choose a primary issue you’d like to discuss with your Member of Congress and read up on it before your meeting! Suggestions for U.S. House of Representatives:
- Suggestions for U.S. Senate:
- Find out if your Member of Congress is having a town hall meeting this week, and if they’re not–ask for one! 5calls.org makes this super fast and easy to do–check it out! If their staffer says there will not be a town hall, ask to set up a meeting.
- In some places, where elected representatives are not holding town hall-style meetings, activists are setting up “no-show” or “empty-chair” meetings the representatives are invited to, to demand to be heard. You can find out if any such events are being planned near you here.
- Gather a few local advocates and ask them to come to the meeting or event with you!
- If you plan to schedule your own meeting, let us know! We will send fact sheets and/or talking points on the primary issue you plan to discuss at your meeting.
- Report back from your meeting! Take a photo! Tag Positive Women’s Network – USA on Facebook and/or Twitter! Use the hashtag #ResistanceRecess. If you feel inspired, submit a blog post reporting on your experience to be shared through our website!
- Stay active! There are numerous grassroots organizing efforts happening on the ground across the country. Learn more here. You’ll find lots of great information and tips on MoveOn.org’s Sunday Ready to Resist calls – sign up to be on future calls and listen to recordings here.
- Text RESIST to 738-674 to stay updated on upcoming resistance actions near you.
TAKE ACTION: Become an Immigration Defender!
ISSUE: Over the past couple of weeks, ICE has conducted raids in at least six states. The ramped-up enforcement, following a xenophobic agenda set by a president who made scapegoating of immigrants a campaign platform, has understandably caused anxiety and panic in immigrant communities around the country.
GET THE FACTS:
- Learn more about the recent raids here.
- ICE arrested an undocumented Texas woman at the courthouse right after she received a protective order against her abuser–just one real-life example of how 45’s immigration policy makes our society less safe.
- Last week, reports surfaced that the administration was considering mobilizing 100,000 National Guard troops to round up undocumented people. While this has not happened yet, we need to be vigilant.
- It will be hard for the administration to deport as many immigrants as it hopes to without the help of local police forces–all the more reason we need to demand our cities be sanctuary cities. Learn more here.
- Commit to showing up to stand with and defend immigrants facing arrest. Join United We Dream‘s Here to Stay Network by texting “HereToStay” to 877877. You will be prompted to reply with your zip code and email, and will get notifications when there are cases to help with in your area.
- If you see a possible ICE raid happening, report it–but don’t spread rumors. If you hear of raids, confirm them before repeating or posting on social media. There have been many false alarms that have caused unnecessary and unproductive panic in immigrant communities. Learn more about how to help, not hurt, here.
- Is your city a sanctuary city? Call your mayor and/or city council member and tell them that local police should not be acting as immigrations agents, and that you support sanctuary status for your city. Check out the National Immigration Law Center’s Sanctuary City Toolkit.
TAKE ACTION: Protect Transgender Students from Discrimination in Public Schools
ISSUE: 45’s Department of Justice submitted a legal brief on Feb. 10 withdrawing the government’s objection to an injunction that blocked guidance that would require schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms corresponding with their gender identity. Though this doesn’t immediately change anything, since there was already an injunction, it signals that this administration intends to take a different position on transgender rights.
GET THE FACTS: Read more about the issue here.
- Send an email to the new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and tell him to do his job and protect young people from discrimination.
- Ask your local School Board to protect the rights of transgender students by allowing them to use the restroom of their gender identity and participate in all school activities accordingly. You can call, email or show up to the next School Board meeting and speak during public comment!