DOJ

Leave the Census Alone

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Your DGB for today is to tell the Census Bureau to ignore the DOJ.

Latest in a long line of terrible ideas coming out of Jeff Session’s Keebler Elf Tree, recently the Dept. of Justice sent a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau requesting that a question be added to the survey regarding the takers’ citizenship. The American census is an important tool in everything from allocating Federal funds to Congressional representation. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that it exists to count eligible voters (keeping in mind that figure would exclude children and teenagers under 18) and the Supreme Court has already ruled that undocumented people should be accounted for when apportioning representation. This is just a back door method of suppressing the participation of certain folks, by scaring them out of answering surveys and will likely make the census more expensive to administer. Read more about the issue here and here.

The handling of the matter is still up in the air at the Census Bureau. Here is the feedback page on the Bureau website: https://www.census.gov/acs/www/acs-feedback.php?intcmp=acscmsrt, Please take a moment to tell them you think the DOJ’s instruction is wrongheaded.

And of course let your Congressional reps know how you feel as the 2020 Census questions will be submitted to them soon for approval.

 

Dump Dreiband

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Your DGB for today is to oppose the nomination of Eric Dreiband to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

As we’ve come to expect, Trump has nominated yet another unqualified individual whose career appears antithetical to the position needing to be filled. Besides being a privileged white dude, Dreiband spent much of his career at Jones Day defending corporations from employment discrimination lawsuits. You know, helping the real underdogs in America.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eric-dreiband-doj-civil-rights-trump_us_59b0230be4b0b5e53102fb4a

The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned him on Wednesday in a rushed session, barely having enough time to scratch the surface of his views and record. He managed to denounce the KKK, but unless this guy is going to break with his spectacularly xenophobic boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on pretty much every other issue, he’s not the person to head the Civil Rights Division.

You’ll contact your Senators using Resistbot or Countable and tell them the Civil Rights Division isn’t actually for dividing up Civil Rights.

 

Not Today

Your DGB for today is to help protect the LGBTQ+ community from Trump’s horrific regime.

Wednesday produced an endless stream of horrific news that sends our country's progress in equality back a decade. First, Trump tweeted out some semi-coherent crap about kicking trans men and women out of the military. Then, later that night we heard that the Department of Justice weighed in on a case they weren’t even involved in to say that sexual discrimination in the workplace is ONLY discrimination if it’s because the person is male or female, and if they happen to be fired because they are gay, well then, they are just shit out of luck.

What we want you to do today is to stand with our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and do everything we can to fight against Trump’s plans to undo all of Obama’s work. If you haven’t already, become a card carrying member of the ACLU. Their website also includes a petition to sign to protect our Trans Servicemembers. You can also refer to our previous Grab about how to support the community by flying the rainbow flag in your yard or getting a Hate Has No Home Here sign.

Whatever you do, we all need to be ready to go to bat for our friends, loved ones, and ourselves. It is a non-stop deluge of awful news, but we have to tell them “Not today. Not ever.”

 

Women’s March From NRA to DOJ

Your DGB for today is to participate in or support the Women’s March action on July 14th and 15th, protesting the National Rifle Association and their recent video.

In late June the National Rifle Association aired a chilling video which appears to slyly encourage its membership to take up arms against protesters and the left. On its own, the video is inflammatory - but against the backdrop of a culture of violence embraced by our own president and perpetrated disproportionately against women and People of Color, it is downright terrifying. The Women’s March decries this video and the racist double standard represented by the NRA’s silence in the face of Philando Castile’s death. Therefore it is organizing a march on Friday starting on the steps the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA and ending 17 miles later at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC. It also plans an event at the DOJ on Saturday. We encourage you to participate if you can, donate a few bucks, or at least signal boost the march on social media.

If you do attend, please be safe. We don’t want to be alarmist, but gun-related protests may bring out gun-carrying counter-protesters. Keep your wits about you.

By the way, if you are starting to feel worn out from all this political action, we get it. We REALLY do. Check out our blog on how to combat protest fatigue.  Finally, if you are short on sign ideas, we humbly submit DGB’s very own all-purpose protest poster, here.

Fight the power, Grabbers. We’re standing right with you.

 

Educate Yourself on Disability Advocacy

Your DGB for today is to familiarize yourself with the most common ADA violations, the reporting process, and other ways to support the disabled community. Whether you have a disability or are looking to be a better ally, this will arm you with the tools you need to be an advocate.

Most of us will experience some kind of disability in our lifetime. This may be congenital, the result of a chronic illness or injury, or just part of the aging process. Despite how prevalent disabilities are, coupled with the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is now almost 17 years old, many challenges exist for those with both visible and unnoticeable disabilities. These setbacks result in higher unemployment and higher poverty rates for the disabled community.

There is a wealth of specific ADA compliance information here but, for a short lesson on common transgressions, read this article.

Next time you see an issue with non-compliance, follow the instructions on submitting a complaint to the Department of Justice here.

Every disenfranchised community needs strong allies. Maybe the thought of pointing out a bathroom non-compliance issue to a restaurant manager makes you nervous, but step outside of your comfort zone and speak up. This is a great article on being an ally to people with disabilities.

 

Fight Private Prison Immigration Detention

Your DGB for today is to contact the Department of Homeland Security and urge them to follow in the footsteps of the Department of Justice and stop the use of for-profit prison immigration detention centers.

In mid August of this year, the DOJ announced a decision to end government contracts with private prisons, citing poor prisoner treatment, denial of basic human rights, and ineffective oversight. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, later directed his Homeland Security Advisory Council to evaluate whether the agency should discontinue their use of private detention centers as well. At the end of November, the Council recommended phasing out private contracts. Secretary Johnson now has to decide whether to act on this conclusion or leave the matter to the next Secretary; Trump nominee Gen. John Kelly.

Today we want you to tell the office this can’t wait. You can either email (dhsexecsec@hq.dhs.gov) or call (202-282-8221) the Office of the Executive Secretary and say “I am a concerned citizen calling to urge Secretary Johnson to act on the recommendation of the Advisory Council to end immigration detention privatization before the incoming administration takes office.”

Human rights can’t get stuck in political limbo.