archive

August 2017

Get Democrats on the Ballot!

Jan Schakowsky and our exciting team of progressive Democratic candidates need our help to circulate petitions and get on the ballot!  Every candidate, even incumbents, need to circulate petitions to appear on the ballot in 2018 and they need your help to do it!

Join us this week!

UPDATED 10/31

Sign up here to circulate petitions in Evanston

 

Action Steps 8/30/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 8/30/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Add Your Name

 

The president has threatened a government shutdown if he doesn’t get the funding to build the wall along the US/Mexico border as he boasted in his campaign—essentially threatening a tantrum if he doesn’t get what he wants, despite the fact that most Americans and elected officials don’t support the wall in the first place. Add your name to this petition aimed at making sure legislators know the public does not support the wall.

 

The president has also threatened to eliminate DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows undocumented residents who came to the United States as children to receive two-year, renewable permits allowing them to work in the country, contributing to our economy. In Illinois alone, elimination of the DACA program would result in over $2 billion annual losses to our state GDP—and that’s just a fraction of the $460 billion loss to GDP that would occur nationwide. Add your name to a petition to demand legislators protect DACA from white supremacists who would eliminate the program.

 

Grab Your Wallet

 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, local organizations are doing a giant’s share of work to ensure that residents displaced from their homes are able to have safe, dry shelter and vitals like food and clean water. The Houston Food Bank is one such organization, and they’re accepting donations so that they can more effectively respond to the needs of the tens of thousands of people displaced and affected by the hurricane. The Houston Diaper Bank is another great local organization working to ensure young children have hygienic, fresh diapers. Give what you can.

 

The president’s pardoning of former Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio sends a clear message to Latinx in Arizona: discrimination against them is perfectly acceptable to our commander in chief. Regardless of the message being sent by our president, there are local organizations working to protect and support the Latinx community and abused children who were negatively impacted by the former sheriff’s racist and illegal procedures. Take some time to learn about, then donate to, local organizations like Puente Arizona, which works for human rights, and Defenders of Children, which protects minors in abusive situations.

 

Get Involved

 

Common Cause is a nationwide organization dedicated to open, honest, and accountable government throughout our country. A major issue for the organization right now is fair elections, in particular ending dismantling gerrymandered district maps before the 2018 midterm election. Take a look at the resources and volunteer opportunities offered by Common Cause Illinois; lend some time to the pursuit of more fair, democratic elections in our state.

Action Steps 8/23/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 8/23/17


5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Get Trained


The organizers behind the Women’s March will be hosting a training webinar on Thursday, August 24, at 7 p.m., on the topic of Daring Discussions. The webinar aims to equip participants to dismantle white supremacy through embracing discomfort and having important, meaningful conversations with fellow community members of all backgrounds. Improve your skill set in this area by participating in the free webinar.


We’re all aware of the supreme importance of every eligible voter both registering to vote and exercising that right on election days. We’re just about a month away from National Voter Registration Day, which will take place on September 26. That means it’s the perfect opportunity to learn about how you and organizations with which you work can partner in efforts to help members of the community to register to vote. The National Voter Registration Day website has resources and training tools for becoming involved. Use your networks to help ensure every eligible citizen can exercise their right to vote in the next election.


Have you been interested in showing up to demonstrate for the resistance, but the events at Charlottesville earlier this month have caused you to second guess yourself? While it’s entirely natural to have concerns for your personal safety after seeing an event like Charlottesville, you can prepare yourself to participate in demonstrations and protests safely. Take some time to peruse and bookmark this great checklist resource from My Civic Workout, which provides sensible, easy-to-follow tips for before and during a protest, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth.


Raise Your Consciousness


Hateful rhetoric and the continued tacit presidential support for white nationalist groups and ideologies means it remains imperative for all of us in the resistance to learn how we can combat hate as we see it in our own communities. The Southern Poverty Law Center has updated their publication Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide, making it an incredibly timely and relevant resource. Spend some time perusing the ten strategies they lay out for decreasing instances of hate in our community.


Have you been hearing people—not just white nationalists, but conservative apologists of every ilk—talk about a so-called “alt-left” movement and the supposed “terrorist” Black Lives Matter movement? These are two fallacy arguments at work here. First, the argument that because an alt-right exists there must also be an alt-left is inherently false; the existence of one entity does not imply the existence of its counter. Secondly, even if some activists under the Black Lives Matter banner use violence, that does not mean the movement is inherently violent. These are two fallacies that have been spreading widely, ultimately making the vile worldview and actions of white supremacists seem less vile. Read up on why these attempts at dismissing the evil of white supremacy by constructing a false counterpoint are harmful, and prepare yourself to respond when you hear these arguments made.

 
 
 

Action Steps 8/16/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 8/16/17


5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Add Your Name


This past weekend’s gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, and the violence against and casualties of counter-protestors that resulted, is a clear demonstration that our country is still very much mired in our foundation in white supremacy and a legacy of racism. As you stand in solidarity with Charlottesville, consider signing this petition from Color of Change that calls for the removal of all Confederate symbols and monuments across the country. All of these symbols and monuments simply serve to preserve our culture of white supremacy; it’s hard enough to dismantle white supremacy as is, but even harder when images of that culture pollute our communities.


Whether or not you personally know someone who depends on the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, now is the time to speak up to elected officials and attorneys general across the country to demand that this vital program be maintained. Add your name to this petition from United We Dream, then share with family and friends information about what DACA brings to our country using the hashtag #DefendDACA. Use this link to share on Facebook, or this one to share via Twitter.


The FCC has extended the period for public comments regarding net neutrality. Net neutrality protections ensure that all internet traffic is considered equal and that internet service providers cannot make access to particular websites or services either faster or slower than others. The current administration and Republican majority have signaled an interest in overturning net neutrality—in essence allowing corporations to purchase “fast lane” access for their sites and products. Eliminating net neutrality would have significant negative impact on both access to information and intellectual freedom. Use this tool from the American Library Association to add your comments in support of maintaining net neutrality. Commenting is open through August 30.


Raise Your Consciousness


A number of major organizations in the resistance, including MoveOn, People’s Action, Color of Change, and Indivisible, will be pooling their efforts and expertise for a nationwide training call scheduled for Sunday, August 20, at 7 p.m. This call will explore white supremacy, its history, and its impact on America; opportunities to fight against bigotry and white supremacy; and strategies for talking to people in your life about white supremacy and to combat it in your community. The call is open to anyone, with registration available at this link.


While you’re contemplating the events at Charlottesville last weekend and the disgustingly milquetoast response from our commander in chief, now is a good time to revisit the difference between being non-racist and being anti-racist. This video from The Guardian, featuring award-winning author Marlon James, explores the difference, highlighting that only through anti-racist work can we actually dismantle the systemic oppressions and white supremacy inherent in our country.

 
 
 

Action Steps 8/16/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 8/16/17


5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Add Your Name


This past weekend’s gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, and the violence against and casualties of counter-protestors that resulted, is a clear demonstration that our country is still very much mired in our foundation in white supremacy and a legacy of racism. As you stand in solidarity with Charlottesville, consider signing this petition from Color of Change that calls for the removal of all Confederate symbols and monuments across the country. All of these symbols and monuments simply serve to preserve our culture of white supremacy; it’s hard enough to dismantle white supremacy as is, but even harder when images of that culture pollute our communities.


Whether or not you personally know someone who depends on the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, now is the time to speak up to elected officials and attorneys general across the country to demand that this vital program be maintained. Add your name to this petition from United We Dream, then share with family and friends information about what DACA brings to our country using the hashtag #DefendDACA. Use this link to share on Facebook, or this one to share via Twitter.


The FCC has extended the period for public comments regarding net neutrality. Net neutrality protections ensure that all internet traffic is considered equal and that internet service providers cannot make access to particular websites or services either faster or slower than others. The current administration and Republican majority have signaled an interest in overturning net neutrality—in essence allowing corporations to purchase “fast lane” access for their sites and products. Eliminating net neutrality would have significant negative impact on both access to information and intellectual freedom. Use this tool from the American Library Association to add your comments in support of maintaining net neutrality. Commenting is open through August 30.


Raise Your Consciousness


A number of major organizations in the resistance, including MoveOn, People’s Action, Color of Change, and Indivisible, will be pooling their efforts and expertise for a nationwide training call scheduled for Sunday, August 20, at 7 p.m. This call will explore white supremacy, its history, and its impact on America; opportunities to fight against bigotry and white supremacy; and strategies for talking to people in your life about white supremacy and to combat it in your community. The call is open to anyone, with registration available at this link.


While you’re contemplating the events at Charlottesville last weekend and the disgustingly milquetoast response from our commander in chief, now is a good time to revisit the difference between being non-racist and being anti-racist. This video from The Guardian, featuring award-winning author Marlon James, explores the difference, highlighting that only through anti-racist work can we actually dismantle the systemic oppressions and white supremacy inherent in our country.

 
 
 

Action Steps 8/9/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 8/9/17

 

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Make Some Calls

 

Do you have some time to spare on August 9th, 14th, or 15th? Those are the upcoming days when Niles Township Democrats will be phone banking for Illinois General Assembly SB1, an education finance reform bill that was vetoed by Gov. Rauner despite being evidence-based and in the works for two decades. Volunteers will gather at the Niles Township Democratic Organization in Skokie to call local constituents and urge them to ask their state legislators to override the governor’s veto. More information is on the sign-up form.

 

Grab Your Pen

 

Send a letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections this week to demand that our state withdraw from the voluntary Crosscheck partnership. Crosscheck is a system designed by Kris Kobach, now heading up the president’s election commision, that since 2005 has collected voter registration data including names, dates of birth, and the final four numbers of voters’ social security numbers. Despite the fact that this program includes gathering all this sensitive, private information, analysis of Crosscheck has demonstrated that the system results in millions of false positives--that is, instead of identifying actual voter fraud, the system produces unreliable data that has nothing to do with voter fraud. Yet this data is still used to purge voter rolls. Illinois voluntarily participates in the program, but a number of state officials have written a letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections to urge them to terminate the partnership later this month. Echo their sentiments in your own letter to the department, at 100 W. Randolph, Suite 14-100, Chicago, IL 60601.

 

Despite having heard from plenty of constituents that he should sign HB40 into law, Gov. Rauner is still equivocating on whether to sign or veto this bill that would preserve Illinois residents’ reproductive rights even in the event that federal legislation is rolled back. Use this ACLU tool to email the governor and demand that he sign into law a piece of legislation that impacts the lives of half the residents of this state.

 

Boots on the Ground

 

Have you amped up your civic participation since the 2016 election? Are you looking for additional ways to organize, work with like-minded resistance fighters, and overall better understand and navigate the landscape of civic action? Explore the resources from Act Local 2017, an initiative with partners from movements like Fight for $15 that will convene leadership training to take place in Fall 2017. It’s never too early to start planning your next big organizing move.

 

Get Informed

 

While the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is currently at an impasse, that doesn’t necessarily mean the issue is completely off the table. While we have a temporary respite from threats on our health care, take advantage of the appearance of the Save My Care Drive for our Lives tour bus in Chicago on Monday, August 14, at 12 noon at Daley Plaza. The bus, which has been traveling the country, features information and resources to ensure you’re informed about the Affordable Care Act, the medical coverage needs of Americans, and more.

Action Steps 8/2/17

5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9

 

Boots on the Ground

 

The Pink Angels for Planned Parenthood will have a presence outside of Lollapalooza this weekend, on both Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6, from 1-5 p.m. The group will hand out safe sex kits while showing support for Planned Parenthood and the vital health resources it brings to communities. Sign up to join the presence via the Facebook events.

 

Get Informed

 

The organizers of the Women’s March are determined not to have the momentum of the resistance slow during the Congressional August Recess. Rather, they’ve reclaimed the time as the August Reset—an opportunity to gain knowledge on issues like civil rights, reproductive rights, and worker’s rights, while gaining skills and resources to successfully lobby for the resistance to legislators. Check out their August Reset guide, which includes policy briefs on a range of topics as well as a useful worksheet for preparing for a meeting with a legislator.

 

You’ve probably heard plenty about how the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is a travesty for our schools and youth. If you’re not quite sure why her inexperience and her beliefs are so terrible for American education, or if you’d like a refresher on why, specifically, the conservation panacea for education, school vouchers, shouldn’t be a legitimate option, take some time to read “The Racist Origins of Private School Vouchers” from the Center for American Progress.

 

Raise Your Consciousness

 

On Thursday, August 3, from 6-7:30 p.m., Gallery 400 in Chicago will be hosting a conversation between Robyn Hillman-Harrigan of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter and Aislinn Borsini, Coordinator for Black Lives Matter Chicago. The two speakers will have a conversation focused on the relationship between space and power, with the gallery’s current exhibition, Black Light, as a backdrop. All are welcome at the event.


Are you concerned about continued attacks on the rights of transgender Americans by the president and by states across the nation? Educate yourself to better be able to support all transgender people in our community and our country. Start by exploring the National Center for Transgender Equality, which includes comprehensive information about trans issues as well as a place to sign up to receive local action alerts. Then spend some time watching episodes of We’ve Been Around, short films documenting the lives of transgender pioneers.