Send a comment to the EPA: Save the Clean Power Plan!

The Clean Power Plan would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and 3,600 premature deaths per year. But Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruitt is replacing this important climate action with a do-nothing plan that lets polluters off the hook. Replacing the Clean Power Plan is a double whammy for our communities: It will result in increased rates of respiratory illness and premature death while worsening climate change.

The Clean Power Plan is the strongest climate action our nation has taken to limit the carbon pollution from coal power plants. By moving to repeal the Clean Power Plan, Pruitt is doing the bidding of big corporations and polluters, putting their profits before the health and safety of our children and families.

The EPA has an open comment period on their plan to replace the Clean Power Plan and the deadline is February 26. We need to flood their inboxes to show Pruitt that we care about clean air.

Step 1:  Click this link to visit the comment site for this EPA rule repeal.  https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355-14998

Step 2:  Tell the EPA why we shouldn’t repeal the clean power plan.  It will result in additional respiratory illness and asthma.  It will lead to additional greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere.  It will signal that the country is more interested in propping up dirty fossil energy rather than supporting clean, renewable technologies.  It will threaten jobs in the renewable energy sector, which is growing at an incredible rate.

Step 3:  Submit your comment.  Easy as that!

 

Thanks to the Sierra Club for the content of Today’s CTA.

Oppose Dangerous State Gun Laws. Call Legislators today!

According to a recent Dayton Daily News article, there are about a dozen pieces of legislation pending at the Ohio Statehouse that would expand access to guns and their prevalence in our lives.  They are:

  1. HB373: Allow concealed carry weapons permitholders to carry hidden firearms in courthouses and government buildings.
  2. HB228 and SB180: Change the duty to retreat requirements to enable “Stand your ground” and shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases to the prosecution.
  3. HB201 and SB142: Eliminate the CCW permit program and allow anyone 21 or older to carry concealed weapons as long they don’t face other legal restrictions.
  4. HB142: Eliminate the requirement that CCW permitholders disclose that they’re carrying a weapon when stopped by police.
  5. HB79: Allow paramedics assigned to SWAT teams to carry weapons.
  6. HB233: Allow CCW permitholders who carry weapons into prohibited areas to only risk facing criminal charges if they refuse to leave.
  7. HB253 and SB208: Allow off-duty police officers to carry firearms in areas that are otherwise prohibited for CCW permitholders.
  8. HB310: Allow elected officeholders with CCW permits to carry weapons in government buildings.
  9. SB234: Bar landlords from banning tenants in subsidized rental properties from having firearms within the unit.
  10. SB81: Change the CCW permit rules for military personnel.
  11. SB122: Allow CCW permitholders to carry hidden guns in the Ohio Statehouse and its grounds.

In the spirit of the courageous and tenacious students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who are now advancing the safety conversation nationwide, let’s call our state Legislators and let them know we oppose efforts to loosen gun protections and make guns more prevalent in our daily lives.

Step 1:  Identify one or two of the bills above that you feel most passionate about.

Step 2:  Find your Legislator’s contact info from this link or this list.

Step 3:  Call, and speak from your heart about why these bills are wrong for Ohio, for our safety, for your grandchildren, or for whomever compels you to stand up and fight.

“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS] about [Piece of legislation].  I want Rep. [NAME] to oppose this bill because…”

 

Stop the Dodd-Frank Rollback in the Senate.

After this recess week, the Senate is expected to vote the week of March 5 on legislation that would lift some of the safeguards put in place after the financial crisis. House Republicans voted to gut the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law this past summer with legislation called the “Financial Choice Act.” Now, on the heels of a huge giveaway to the rich and corporations with the GOP Tax Scam, the Senate is back with its own version of Wall Street de-regulation in the form of the deceivingly-titled “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” (S. 2155).

The Wall Street reform law requires that the country’s largest banks be subject to responsible oversight, to safeguard against another crisis that the collapse of a large bank could cause. This new bill would lift those standards for all banks smaller than $250 billion, which means two dozen of the country’s largest banks—that together received $47 billion in TARP “bailout” funds—would escape the oversight intended to prevent another financial crisis. These are banks as big as the toxic subprime lender Countrywide. It also means that banks that are currently failing government “stress tests”—periodic checks to ensure that they won’t blow up the economy—would no longer have to undergo the current tests.

This new law would also make it easier for racial discrimination in mortgage lending to go unchecked, and erode consumer protections. The vast majority of mortgage lenders would be exempted from new data collection requirements passed after the subprime crash that are intended to protect against systemic racial inequality in lending—leading to an information vacuum that will hurt communities of color. On top of that, a number of key consumer protections put in place by Dodd-Frank to protect everyday homebuyers (such as guaranteed protection from surprise insurance fees and predatory loan terms that are only presented at the time of closing) would be repealed or eroded by this bill.

At this time of record inequality, it is absurd to think that what we need is a “financial reform” bill that favors banks over people and increases risk in our financial system. All MoCs—including Democrats—should have to answer for why they support a bill that will benefit Deutsche Bank and Barclays at the expense of working families.

Sherrod Brown is leading the charge against these rollbacks, but as usual, Rob Portman says, “Full steam ahead!”  Let’s call and thank Senator Brown, while reminding Senator Portman who he works for.

  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:  

Portman:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS] about S. 2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.  It repeals important safeguards that were put in place after 2008 to protect our country from another financial crisis. I recognize that in some cases, it makes sense to have different standards for community banks and credit unions. But this bill isn’t just about helping community banks. In fact, some of the banks that escape federal regulation under this bill took BILLIONS in bailout money after the 2008 crisis, and are currently failing stress tests designed to prevent future failures. Will you commit to me that you will oppose S. 2155?”

Brown:  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS] about S. 2155, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.  It’s my understanding that Senator Brown is leading the charge against this bill, because it deregulates big banks that took BILLIONS in bailout money after the 2008 financial crisis.  I just wanted to thank him for his leadership, and add my support for his actions.  S. 2155 will open us up to unacceptable risk as huge banks would be allowed to avoid sensible checks on the behavior that nearly took down the economy just 10 years ago.  Thanks, Sen. Brown!

 

Adapted from Indivisible.

 

Senate Republicans Block Relief for Dreamers. Call today.

Last week, the Senate took a series of immigration votes, purportedly aimed at providing relief for Dreamers. But only one of the four bills voted on, the McCain-Coons bill, would have provided relief for Dreamers, without requiring an expansion to Trump’s deportation machine. Republicans tried to push the White House immigration plan through, only to have it soundly rejected with 60 senators—both Republican and Democrat—voting against it. Unfortunately, McCain-Coons failed to move forward after Republicans blocked it.

The March 5 DACA Cliff is Fast Approaching. 122 DACA recipients are losing their protections every day, and starting on March 5 that number will rise to 1,200 per day. The Trump administration has already made clear Dreamers whose protections have expired will be subject to deportation immediately. Considering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has already started detaining parents dropping their kids at schoolchildren who are in the hospitallongtime members of the community, and leading activists, that is a threat we must take seriously.

Demand that your Member of Congress Support Dreamers, Not Trump. This recess, tell Turner and Portman that you demand that they pass immediate relief for Dreamers, before it’s too late. But make sure to tell them that relief must not require that Dreamers sacrifice their families in exchange. Trump wants more immigration agents, a $25 billion border wall, and to restrict family reunification. We can’t let that happen. Tell your MoC to support Dreamers, not Trump’s deportation machine.

  • Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script:

Republicans  –  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  Donald Trump, along with Congressional leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, have publicly stated support for making a deal that will protect Dreamers, yet Republicans have refused to support a clean bill that dies just that.  Your constituents are at risk of being deported to countries they have no knowledge of, with no support systems, and real risk of injury or death upon arrival.  Will you commit to me, your constituent, that you will stop covering for Trump’s racist policies by voting to protect Dreamers before the DACA cliff on March 5? 

Democrats  –  “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  It’s clear that Democrats are the only ones in Congress negotiating in good faith on providing relief for Dreamers. Republicans continue to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip to try to extract as many concessions from Democrats as possible. Will you commit not to vote for any deal that would enhance internal enforcement, restrict family reunification, or eliminate the Diversity Visa program?

 

 

Adapted from Indivisible resources.

Tell Our Members of Congress that Their Prayers are Not Enough

On February 14, 2018, a high school in Broward County, Florida, experienced a mass shooting when a former student used a legally-purchased assault weapon to kill at least 17 students. This marked the eighteenth mass shooting to that point in 2018.

Donald Trump and Members of Congress continue to extend “thoughts and prayers,” but it’s not enough. It is time for Congress to do something to stop this type of gun violence.

But instead, Congress is considering making mass shootings easier, not preventing them.

The gun lobby’s top priorities enjoy wide support in Congress. On December 6, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This legislation was a top priority of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and, if enacted into law, would cause a race to the bottom on gun safety standards. The Senate is expected to take up this same bill this year. We can’t let that happen.

Under this legislation, states would be required to recognize other states’ standards governing the possession of concealed firearms in public. This means that even though one state may have stringent regulations such as a permit or training requirement, that state would have to allow people from other states with lower standards – with perhaps no permit or training required at all – to carry concealed firearms without following the more stringent regulations.

This legislation would deprive states and localities from fully determining the appropriate gun safety protocols for their communities, and would allow the lowest common denominator to prevail. This will make concealed and loaded firearms more readily available at lower safety standards, raising the risk of gun violence for everyone.

For those reasons, every major law enforcement association opposes this bill because of its potentially disastrous implications for public safety. After all, this legislation would make it easier for more dangerous people, like stalkers, domestic abusers, and people who have committed violent crimes to carry loaded, concealed guns in more public places. This makes the risk of violence more imminent for all of us.

CONGRESS MUST REJECT THE NRA’S AGENDA

1.  Call Mike Turner at 202-225-6465 or 937-225-2843 and let him know you’re angry about his vote in favor of Concealed Carry Reciprocity.

Caller: My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I’m really disappointed that Rep. Turner voted in favor of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This is the NRA’s top legislative priority and will create a race to the bottom in gun safety standards.

Staffer: Thank you for sharing your concerns. Rep. Turner felt that this bill, along with the Fix NICS Act that it was combined with, would overall address gun safety in a bipartisan way that also protected the Second Amendment.

Caller: But we’ve seen over and over how the over-availability and lax regulations surrounding guns has caused mass shootings, terror and loss of life. This bill would force all states to recognize the lowest common denominator in gun safety regulations, even allowing people without a permit or training to carry a concealed firearm in public. This places us all at risk, which is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill.

Staffer: I’ll be sure to convey your concerns to Rep. Turner.

Caller: Thank you, please do. I’m alarmed that he would side with Trump and the NRA to weaken gun safety, and I’ll be taking this vote into consideration in November.

2.  Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353 or 513-684-3265 and demand he protect his constituents rather than tow the line for the NRA.

Caller: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].  I’m disturbed that H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House, and it’s essential that the Senate stop it from becoming law. Will Sen. Portman commit to voting against this bill when it comes to the Senate?

Staffer: Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns. The Senator will evaluate the legislation and make a decision at the time it comes up.

Caller: I’d like to see the Senator commit immediately to opposing this legislation. Particularly in light of the devastating mass shootings we’ve seen recently, it’s as important as ever not to weaken gun safety standards, and prevent firearms from falling into dangerous hands. This is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill.

Staffer: I’ll be sure to relay your concerns to the Senator.

Caller: Please do, I’ll be monitoring his statements and following up if I don’t see a commitment to oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

We have to end the madness. Call about gun violence today.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and his fellow Republicans have proposed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a bill that has already passed the House and is on to the Senate. These bills would require that citizens who are allowed to carry concealed weapons in their home states be allowed to carry their weapons in every other state. Under this legislation, residents of states that do not require concealed carry permits could travel to any other state and carry their concealed weapon without any permit. Law enforcement organizations, including the Law Enforcement Coalition for Common Sense, have opposed concealed carry reciprocity, noting that it would make it nearly impossible for police to confirm if a person with a concealed weapon is carrying the weapon legally. Additionally, Sen. Cornyn’s law would allow gun owners to sue police for even attempting to verify the status of their permits, according to The Trace and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Thirty-nine states require gun safety training for any concealed carry permit applicant, at least 30 states ban convicted domestic abusers from having gun permits, and 28 states bar convicted stalkers from having permits. Under the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, these popular common-sense gun control measures would be invalidated. Permitless concealed carry would become legal in every state. Republicans claim to respect state-level legislation, yet this is a blatant attempt to use federal law to contravene states’ gun control measures.

Today, one day after the 18th school shooting in this country this year, please call our members of Congress (once again) and demand they end the madness.

  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Script: 

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton, calling from [ADDRESS].

I’m calling to express my opposition S.446, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This bill would render state-level concealed carry restrictions meaningless, make it difficult for law enforcement to verify whether a weapon is legally carried, and essentially allow permitless carry across the country.  We have an epidemic of gun violence on our hands, as evident by the 18 school shootings so far this year.  You MUST OPPOSE this bill and stop the madness.

It’s the Home Stretch for Immigration Reform.

The Senate is turning its attention to immigration. With Republicans in control of both chambers, and a loose cannon in the White House egging on the most extreme among them, an open debate on immigration on the Senate floor could turn ugly quickly.

AN UNUSUAL PROCESS

Mitch McConnell plans to introduce a “shell bill”—basically a placeholder bill that will serve as a base for the final product. Republicans and Democrats will each have a limited number of amendments that they will use to offer different immigration proposals, and each of those will require at least 60 votes to pass. Democrats will try to pass as narrow a bill as possible, one that provides relief for Dreamers but that doesn’t concede too much on border security and immigration enforcement. Republicans will do the opposite, hoping to pull the bill as far to the right as possible.

It is unclear if any immigration proposal will get the necessary 60 votes needed for passage. And it’s possible that the debate could devolve into an amendments free-for-all, which means Democrats may need to defend against attacks against sanctuary cities, family migration, and efforts to expand Trump’s deportation machine.

THE OUTCOME WE WANT

We’re in this mess because Donald Trump unnecessarily ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program back in September 2017. As a result, the lives of 800,000 DACA recipients are now in grave risk. 122 DACA recipients are losing their protections every single day, and starting March 5, that number will jump to 1,200 a day.

We want a “clean” Dream Act, which provides relief for Dreamers but that does not further fund or expand Trump’s deportation machine. Short of the Dream Act, we need Democrats to push for as limited a bill as possible. It must include relief for Dreamers, but should not include the harmful, nativist provisions that the White House has proposed.

DEFENDING AMERICAN VALUES

While we want immediate relief for Dreamers, we will not accept just any bill. There are certain bright lines that we cannot sacrifice in exchange for relief for Dreamers. Some of the major ones include:

  • No Family Ban. You may hear Republicans refer to this as “chain migration,” but don’t be fooled. This is a family ban intended to prevent immigrants, mostly people of color, from reuniting with siblings, parents, grandparents.
  • No elimination of the Diversity Visa Program. As with family migration, Republicans are targeting the Diversity Visa lottery, a program designed to ensure that we maintain diversity in our immigration system. (Note: this is a merit-based program.)
  • No to Trump’s Border Wall. Democrats and immigration advocates are willing to work with Republicans on sensible border security provisions. However, the proposals that Trump and Republican hardliners are proposing are neither sensible nor would they be effective. Trump is demanding $25 billion for a wall that won’t work, and some Republicans are eager to give it to him however wasteful it would be.
  • No expansion to Trump’s deportation machine. In Trump’s first year in office, we’ve already seen immigration officers operate with near impunity. We can’t allow it to get worse by increasing the number of immigration officers, expanding detention facilities, allowing for expedited removal of immigrants, or eroding sanctuary policies.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP DREAMERS

It’s possible that we could get a breakthrough in Congress, especially as we approach the arbitrary March 5 deadline. We need pressure our Members of Congress to make sure we get a DACA fix that is consistent with our values and that doesn’t require Dreamers to sacrifice their parents in the process.

Demand a “clean” Dream Act. In your conversations with your Members of Congress, demand that they only pass a clean Dream Act, meaning a bill that provides relief for Dreamers but that does not expand Trump’s mass deportation force. Don’t let your Members sell out immigrants in a bad immigration deal.

  • Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
  • Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315

Caller: Hi! My name is [name] and I live in [part of state]. I’m calling to tell [MoC] that we need to pass a clean Dream Act, now. 122 Dreamers have been losing their DACA protections every day since Trump announced the end of the program back in September, and starting on March 5 that number will rise to over 1,200 a day. Dreamers are every bit as American as you and me, and by failing to act Congress is letting Trump and his deportation force enact the administration’s white supremacist agenda.
Staffer: Thanks for calling. The Senate will be voting on immigration legislation soon that will include provisions to protect Dreamers, as well as measures to enhance our border security.
Caller: Dreamers are not a bargaining chip to be used to advance Trump’s racist policies. Every Congressional leader AND Trump himself supports keeping Dreamers in America because it’s the only home they’ve ever known; Congress must keep the promise that we made to Dreamers when DACA was first started. I ask that [MoC] vote to permanently protect them from deportation and oppose the family ban, more ICE agents, and the border wall.
Staffer: I’ll pass your thoughts along to [MoC].
Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what [MoC] decides to do.

 

 

Thanks to Indivisible for today’s action!

Protect the Americans with Disabilities Act

***VOTE EXPECTED THIS WEEK***

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which Congress passed in 1990, is designed to provide people with disabilities equal access to employment, government services, public accommodations and businesses, and transportation services. Title III of the ADA requires businesses to proactively remove obstacles that prevent people with disabilities from accessing their establishments. However, businesses have resisted Title III for decades and have now pressured Congress to pass a law, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, to drastically limit Title III enforcement.

The ADA Education and Reform Act, H.R. 620, would eliminate all incentives for businesses to proactively ensure their businesses are accessible to people with disabilities. Instead, people with disabilities would have to notify businesses when their rights are violated, wait six months for the business to act to address issues, and only then bring the matter to court. The bill further exempts businesses from facing any penalties for noncompliance, as long as they can show “substantial progress” in fixing issues. Thus, people with disabilities could be forced to wait to access necessary services for months or even years while waiting for businesses to decide to comply with the ADA.

By shifting the responsibility of ADA compliance from businesses to people with disabilities, Congress is essentially destroying a key element of the ADA. People with disabilities already face substantial obstacles to full participation in public life even with Title III in place. It would be unacceptable to weaken this provision further.

Call this office:

Michael R. Turner       202-225-6465

Script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS].

I’m calling to urge Rep. Turner to oppose HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. It is unacceptable to make individuals with disabilities responsible for ensuring businesses comply with the ADA. This bill goes against the spirit of the ADA and will hinder full access to local businesses for people with disabilities.

Thank you for your time and attention.

 

 

Thanks to 5Calls for today’s Action!

Stand with Planned Parenthood against unethical staff at HHS

In less than a year, Scott Lloyd, a Trump appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services, has personally tried to block undocumented immigrant women from having abortions, including a 17-year-old who was raped. He’s been sued numerous times — each time, the court has ruled against him.

But just this week, we learned that Lloyd considered having a woman injected with drugs against her will to stop an abortion — an experimental procedure they’re calling “abortion reversal.” It’s a gross violation of human rights to inject someone with drugs they don’t want to try to stop them from having an abortion they decided to have. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists rightfully called it “unethical.”

We can’t allow extreme officials in Trump’s government to continue violating people’s rights and the rule of law. Today we call on Scott Lloyd’s new boss, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, to fire him immediately.

The claim that a medication abortion can be reversed is not in line with any accepted standard medical process whatsoever, and women’s health experts such as the highly respected American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have called it experimental and unethical.

We’ve long known that the administration would pursue an anti-women, anti-abortion, anti-reproductive rights agenda, but this is simply a bridge too far.

Being in power doesn’t mean you’re above the law. You can’t deny people their legal rights, and you shouldn’t violate their human rights by making life-changing choices about their health care against their will.

Visit:  

https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=22082&s_src=ScottLloyd_0218_Alert_c4_e2&s_subsrc=4NALz1808E1N1V&autologin=true

Sign the petition and add your own comments.

For more information, visit:

https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/pressroom/planned-parenthood-calls-on-alex-azar-to-fire-scott-lloyd-and-other-unqualified-officials

Tell Mike Turner: Dreamers need relief, now!

On March 5, the number of DACA recipients who lose their protections will skyrocket from 122 per day to more than 1,200 per day.  The president created a crisis for this community when he eliminated DACA protections in September of last year, and Congressional Republicans have dangled the fate of the Dreamers as leverage in several legislative negotiations.

Republicans could hold a vote today on a clean fix for DACA protections, and it would pass with overwhelming, bipartisan support in both chambers and with the approval of a clear majority of Americans.  Today, call Mike Turner and remind him of his responsibility to protect all his constituents.

Call: Mike Turner at 202-225-6465

Script:  “Hi, my name is [NAME], calling from [ADDRESS ]. I’m calling to urge Rep. Turner to SUPPORT a clean Dream Act.  We need a legislative fix to this problem the president created in September before thousands of innocent people are threatened with deportation per day.  I also urge Rep. Turner to publicly OPPOSE the harmful, un-American proposals from the Trump Administration with regard to ending family reunification, building a border wall, etc.  These only serve to rip families apart and close us off from the world.