Activism

Resolve To Grab Back

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We are all hopeful that 2019 will be the year the law finally catches up to Donald Trump. And, don’t get us wrong, it will be something to celebrate. However, the process of undoing the damage his administration has wrought will take many years and continued public engagement. We must never go back to the complacency we felt during the Obama White House era.

Your first DGB of this year is to resolve to keep grabbing back throughout 2019 and beyond, taking no freedom or democracy for granted.

Greg Abbott, Stand Up

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Last week, the death of a seven-year-old girl in Customs and Border Patrol custody in El Paso made the news as it highlighted the cruelty of current treatment of migrants.

This Guatemalan child had a nearly 106 degree fever and succumbed to dehydration and shock. Few details have been released.

Your DGB for today is to contact Texas Governor Greg Abbott and demand answers and accountability from CBP. Use the handy “I want to share my opinion” button at the link below, because do we ever.

https://gov.texas.gov/contact

Cyntoia Brown

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When Cyntoia Brown was just 16 years old, she shot and killed a man in Tennessee who had taken her to his house for sex. She was tried as an adult on charges of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Learn more about Cyntoia’s story by watching the documentary Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, searching the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown, or reading this article.

Your DGB for today is to contact Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who is reviewing this case, and ask him to help Cyntoia.

https://www.tn.gov/governor/contact-us.html

Obamacare Open Enrollment

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Your DGB for this weekend is to get the word out about ACA Open Enrollment.

Petty McTrump has again tried to undermine statistical interest in the Affordable Care Act by refusing to advertise open enrollment periods on the healthcare marketplace. It’s up to us to spread the word. People have until December 15th to purchase a plan or qualify for a subsidized plan.

https://www.healthcare.gov/

#DGB #TBT Flint

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What will you be drinking today? Whatever it is, one thing you probably won’t be worried about is whether or not your water is safe to consume or cook with. Unless you live in Flint, MI.

The city is about ⅓ of the way through a lawsuit-mandated pipe- replacement project and at least one former official will stand trial on charges of manslaughter stemming from bacterial outbreaks. Insultingly, people are still receiving municipal water bills, at one point even being told to let their water run continuously in order to help “coat” the insides of new pipes.

At this point, residents have been victimized and lied to so many times, many will probably never trust the water again. Would you? Free bottled water programs were shuttered, but many people are still using bottled water. No one should have to be afraid to give their child a glass of water.

While nothing is going to undo the damage to an entire community, your DGB for this Thanksgiving Throwback Thursday is to spread some knowledge and resources.

Flint residents can both apply for free lead testing and for help with their water bill.

For insight into how this all happened, read The Poisoned City by Anna Clark @annaleighclark

Fair Fight Georgia

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Stacey Abrams effectively ended the race for Georgia governor. She didn’t concede, because there wasn’t a legitimate race TO concede, but Brian Kemp will become Georgia’s next governor.

Your DGB for today is to help Stacey fight the good fight by supporting her new nonprofit

https://www.fairfightgeorgia.com/

Because the voter suppression that happened in Georgia should NEVER happen again.


Pennsylvania Inmates Books

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A new policy disallows the sending of written materials to incarcerated individuals in Pennsylvania correctional facilities. In order to have access to reading material, inmates must first purchase a nearly $150 tablet and then pay a private company for e-books. Placing financial barriers on quality of life and the opportunity to rehabilitate and self-educate is, frankly, inhuman and inherently racist. The only people this serves are those who stand to profit from prisons or the selling of access to reading material.

Your DGB for this weekend is to read this article explaining the new policy, follow this site working to continue reading access, and send a message to the Pennsylvania DOC registering your concerns.


This Again.

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Your DGB for today is to see this Grab and this Grab and this one and this one and also this one. Oh, and this one and this one and this one and also this one.

Yet again, there has been another mass shooting. Use the resources linked in the above Grabs or just buy a Moms Demand shirt here. We find it’s a good conversation-starter.

Know Your Voting Rights

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Your DGB for today is to check out the particulars of voting in your state on this web site, and write down the number for the voter protection hotline on your arm in sharpie: 866-OUR-VOTE.

Make sure you know whether you need an ID, whether or not you’re registered, and where your polling place is. Even if you think you know the answers already, check again. All over the country, Republicans have been up to no good, purging voter rolls, enacting “exact-match” ID laws, and closing or moving polling locations. They are The Worst. If you suspect shenanigans on election day, call that hotline.

Best of luck, Grabbers.  It’s up to all of us, now.

Countdown to Midterm Elections: 5 Days


No Time for Despair: Climate Change

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Your DGB for today is to get in touch with your governor about what steps can be taken at the state level to combat climate change.

Scientists have long been sounding the alarm about climate change and politicians have often lacked the political courage to do what needs to be done to prevent catastrophe. That is, when they weren’t calling it a Chinese hoax or left wing hype. Now a report has come out from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which says in no uncertain terms that unless we take bold steps, like, NOW, we are in deep doo-doo.

We know that the Trump administration isn’t going to do anything about it. It has stripped the federal government of science positions and boards, strangled the EPA, deregulated industry, pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, and generally run roughshod over Mother Earth. In the face of such reckless behavior, states are taking up the cause. In September, 17 governors announced a bipartisan alliance with a set of policies aimed at fighting global climate change.

Your job is to get in touch with your governor. If he or she is part of the alliance (check here), tell them thank you! Politicians need to hear from constituents when they’re doing a good job, too. If he or she is NOT on the list, let them know how unhappy you are about that and why.

And if you, like many of us, get a panic attack at the impossible place we find ourselves in, read this excellent piece in Vox: https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/10/11/17963772/climate-change-global-warming-natural-disasters


Countdown to Midterm Elections: 27 Days


Rest in Power, Botham Shem Jean

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Your DGB for today is to support the movement and the activists who seek to end police violence against Black and brown folks. While the MAGA crowd was making fools of themselves by burning their own damned shoes to protest Nike, Colin Kaepernick, and human decency, yet another Black man was shot by a police officer for... *checks notes*... sitting in his own apartment. Botham Shem Jean was in his home when off-duty cop Amber Guyger either walked in or forced her way in (the story is ever-changing) and shot Jean once, killing him. And then she was allowed by the Dallas PD to leave the scene of the crime. It took three days to arrest her. None of this is right.

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, representing the Jean family, said, “I have to believe based on experience that her decision to use deadly force in the way that she did was influenced by the fact that she was standing in front of a black male and that our society has allowed law enforcement to use deadly force in unnecessary situations against black men with impunity.”

Here are some things you can do to support the movements aimed squarely at the systems that allows these killings to go on and fails to hold police properly accountable:

Support the Black Lives Matter organization:

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

Or  https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/6-ways-white-folks-can-support-the-black-lives-matter-even-if-you-cant-leave-your-house/

Check out Campaign Zero, which aims to end police violence:

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/

Get informed and involved with MappingPoliceViolence.org  

Become a part of an organization working to end the injustices that hold Black people back: https://colorofchange.org/

If you’re white, see these resources:

https://blog.fracturedatlas.org/resources-for-white-people-to-learn-and-talk-about-race-and-racism-5b207fff4fc7

It’s no longer (if it was EVER) ok to simply be non-racist and non-white supremacist. We have to be actively fighting racism and white supremacy. Make Botham Shem Jean’s death mean something - make a real difference.

Protest Wear

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Your DGB for today is to suit up for The Resistance.

You’ve probably heard that Nike has landed on Trump’s shitlist due to their embrace of spokesman Colin Kaepernick with their new Just Do It campaign.

https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/

In the flurry of hysterical sneaker-burning and buying that followed, you may have missed another company boosting a progressive movement. Levi Strauss & Co., which has never been embroiled in a child labor scandal, pledged $1 million to support activists trying to end gun violence. CEO Chip Bergh explained the decision:

"It's inevitable that we're going to alienate some consumers, but we can no longer sit on the sidelines and remain silent on this issue."

Signing up for email will earn you an extra 20% off and free shipping

https://www.levi.com/US/en_US/

You’ll need those jeans and sneakers for all the canvassing and protesting you’re sure to continue doing for the foreseeable future.

Find Out How Give Your 2 Cents Effectively

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Do you encounter Federal regulations in your daily work or play? Most of us do at one level or another. And because you have relevant background, education and/or experience do you sometimes find those rules are informed by outdated, even archaic, data and expertise? Well, there is something you can do about it.

The good people at The Brookings Institution have put together a handy guide for giving good feedback on Federal rules and rule changes. Our understaffed government needs all the solid, fact-based, information it can get right now. Your DGB for today is to read the article about participating in our democracy in this way here: https://www.brookings.edu/research/so-you-want-to-comment-on-a-regulation-heres-how/ You can download the guide here: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ES_20180809_RegComments.pdf

Then Grab back by giving an informed opinion.

 

 

Space Force

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Your DGB for today is to let Mike Pence (*sigh*) know that we would very much like for children to be returned to their asylum-seeking parents and maybe health care thank you, before we’d like a “Space Force.”

Today our science-denyin’ VP gave one of his patented disappointed-dad speeches about Trump’s proposed Space Force, which, as Dan Rather pointed out, sounds like “boys playing in a sandbox with their G.I. Joe's and model rocket ships, not a sober or coherent evaluation of the risks of military escalation in or on the final frontier.” If the Trump administration were serious about the mission (instead of just using as an excuse to test out “cool” new logos), it would have proposed increasing funding to the “space force” we already have

This brand new endeavor comes with an initial price tag of $8B. Yep, that’s “billion” with a “b.” While this administration can’t be bothered to turn the lights on in Puerto Rico, clean up the water in Flint, return scared little kids to their parents, or pay for life-saving GRS in the military, it can apparently ask for money to fulfil one rich asshole’s low-rent Buck Rogers fantasy. These priorities are all out of whack, so we’re asking you to let Pence and Trump and your own members of congress know what we’d prefer to see done with eight billion dollars.

 

Get Your Candidate on the Record About Science

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For reasons that are still somewhat mysterious to us at DGB, science has become completely politically polarized. Despite the fact that it’s an umbrella term that touches everything from food to fuel to smartphones, one side has come out staunchly against science as if it’s a placeholder term for witchcraft. But as the oceans fill with trash, temperatures rise, and the GOP administration continues to drill, dig, and burn, the stakes have never been higher. The organization Science Debate has been pinning down political candidates on their science policies for the past ten years. They need your help getting candidates to participate. Your DGB for today is to go to this website and find out what Science Debate is asking the candidates in this cycle: http://sciencedebate.org/sciencedebate-index.html

Go here to participate in an online petition to get your candidates motivated to respond: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/every-candidate-on-record-about-science?source=direct_link&referrer=group-sciencedebate

Or if you want to do things the old fashioned way, find your candidate here and send their campaign an email or phone call: https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_candidates_running_in_U.S._Congress_elections,_2018

We need politicians that understand how important this topic is and aren’t afraid to put their thoughts in writing.

 

Nia Wilson

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Your DGB for today is to read about Nia Wilson and #SayHerName.

On July 22, Nia Wilson and her sister, Lahtifa (Black women) were switching trains at a BART station in Northern California when a white man walked up to them and stabbed Nia, killing her. Although police eventually caught the suspect, who ran from the scene, it took them a whole day, sparking protests over the way Black victims are treated.

You see, when a Black person is murdered, the killer is less likely to be caught. A recent study found that, when a white person is murdered, police make an arrest about 63% of the time, compared with only 47% when the victim is Black. There is also extensive victim-blaming when a person of color is killed. Michael Brown was “no angel”, for example. In this instance, a picture of Nia Wilson holding a gun-shaped phone case was circulated.

Somehow, some way, we need to reject the idea that Black lives lost are less tragic. Read this Vox article about the phenomenon of distrust between law enforcement and communities of color and get Wilson’s story out using #SayHerName on social media.

https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/7/25/17613382/nia-wilson-murder-john-lee-cowell-bart

 

Make Your Carbon Footprint Just Ducky

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Your DGB for today is to check out the online ecological impact tracker, Ducky.

It’s been a long spring and summer (winter..fall...previous summer…previous spring...) here in the United States so if you need a mental break from the downfall of the Republic, maybe turn your attention to something less depressing, like climate change! Whether you are a noob whose efforts up to this point end at rinsing out the peanut butter jar before recycling it or an old granola-cruncher with a closet full of family cloth, there is something in the Ducky toolkit to help you decrease your environmental impact.

Start online by entering your footprint: https://footprint.ducky.eco/en/

Registering an account allows you to record your consumption habits and help yourself manage your footprint down to the smallest detail. It’s also totally free so it won’t impact your wallet. Ducky can also help you organize a workplace or classroom challenge so you can recruit others to Mother Earth’s hippie army.

Grab quack-er... we mean BACK and go to Ducky!

 

 

Find Your March

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Your DGB for today is to get ready to march to keep families together.

As you likely know by now, our government spent the last month separating children from their parents, siblings, and even loveys, at our southern border.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kids-toys-border_us_5b2a629ce4b05d6c16c99fd7

After weeks of claiming that they were helpless to stop the self-imposed humanitarian crisis, Trump signed an executive order yesterday that ended the policy. What the order didn’t do, however, was dictate how to handle the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents. No one is sure when, how, or even IF these kids, now spread in shelters across the country, will be reunited with their parents.

Find your local Families Belong Together march here:

https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together_attend1/search/

And take to the streets on June 30th.

 

World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day comes but once a year.

According to the United Nations, there are 69 million refugees in the world today. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the number of people currently living in the state of California and New York, combined. And even with the state of crisis ongoing in the United States, we are still in a pretty good position to help those fleeing to safety. There’s nothing better for the feelings of constant hopeless rage than doing something tangible for someone else.*

Rescue.org, suggests what you can do for those that have resettled in the United States here: https://www.rescue.org/topic/refugees-america#what-can-i-do-to-help-resettled-refugees

The Refugee Aid App shows people where they can get services and could always use a donation: http://refaid.com

UNICEF has several actions they are asking people to contact their representatives about: https://www.unicefusa.org/help/advocate

Yes, our government is putting children in camps. Yes, they left the Human Rights Council before being kicked out. Let’s show the world that Trump and his minions are not going to stop us from prioritizing human rights.

*Pretty much the entire reason DGB exists.

 

 

The US’s Immigration Policy is on Thin ICE

Your DGB for today is to call your elected representatives and demand they do something about ICE’s policy of removing children from their parents at the border and housing them in what looks like dog kennels.

This administration has decided that in an effort to make immigration to the US less appealing to brown people, they are going to remove kids - including babies - from their parents at the border. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Immigrant-families-separated-at-border-struggle-12938759.php These children are getting physically torn from mom and dad and then, according to Chief of Staff John Kelly, put into foster care “or whatever.” That should be disturbing to everyone with a heart.

It’s time for you to get on the horn to your senators and members of congress. Tell them we’re not okay with this kind of treatment of people simply asking for sanctuary. Whether or not it’s legal, it certainly isn’t ethical or moral to split up families as a deterrent to legal immigration.