Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekly Steps of Activism

The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States is a scary and horrific thing for many of us. He and his cabinet, full of unqualified and unsuitable candidates, threaten civil rights, voter rights, climate control, health care, public education, social security, the first amendment, foreign relations, free press, and the values of most good and decent people everywhere. We must resist his actions to destroy the fabric of democracy and the security of our citizens. In an effort to do that, each week I share some acts of resistance and steps of activism you can take. Here are this week’s:

The Google doc “We’re His Problem Now” has a website now, The 65. Each week, a call to action is posted. I often re-post here what I think are the most important calls, but bookmark out the site and check it regularly yourself! This week’s call to action is to:

Demand That Congress Oppose Trump’s Muslim Ban

Friday, Trump signed an executive order barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. As a result, green card holders and holders of valid visas were detained at airports across the country. As a constituent, I want to do everything in power to fight for the rights of immigrants, who make our nation great. I expect to join the public outcry and make it clear to the Trump Administration that will not participate in legislating or approving funding for an extremist and xenophobic agenda. How is going to stand up to this unconstitutional order and other attempts to violate immigrants’ rights?

Make the Call

Speaker of the House: Paul Ryan – (202) 225-3031
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Senate Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell – (202) 224-2541
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Senate Minority Leader: Chuck Schumer – (202) 224-6542
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Democratic Leader: Nancy Pelosi – (202) 225-4965
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For maximum impact, please call your State Representatives!

Please also continue calling your senators to protest Betsy DeVos’s confirmation (her hearing is tomorrow).

HIGH ALERT: Word is Senator Toomey (R-PA) might vote no on DeVos. If you’re a resident of PA, call! People are getting through to his Allentown office 610-434-1444. Also try his Philadelphia office 215-241-1090.

Note: If your senator sits on the Education Committee, refer to the committee when you call. If not, simply refer to the senator. COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Alexander (TN), Enzi (WY), Burr (NC), Isakson (GA), Paul (KY), Collins (ME), Cassidy (LA), Young (IN), Hatch (UT), Roberts (KS), Murkowski (AK), Scott (SC), Murray (WA), Sanders (VT), Casey, Jr (PA), Franken (MN), Bennet (CO), Whitehouse (RI), Baldwin (WI), Murphy (CT), Warren (MA), Kaine (VA) & Hassan (NH)

Script:

I’m <______>, a constituent. I’m and I want to stop Betsy DeVos’s confirmation. DeVos doesn’t have an education degree or even teaching experience. Rather, she’s a powerful donor who advocates for school choice, which is useless without regard for school quality. Instead of specializing in pedagogy or curriculum, DeVos’s skillset is commandeering public funding for private education. She was a key player in shaping the Michigan charter school system, which is severely lacking in oversight, demanding little accountability for how tax dollars are spent or how well students are educated. I don’t want to see the same thing happen nationally, and I expect to take a stand for quality education. America’s students and teachers deserve better than DeVos!

5Calls.org is another site that eases the daily confusion over whom to call about what. Simply enter your zipcode and you’re given several topics to choose from, prioritized by importance, the names and numbers of people to call, as well as scripts. The goal is to make five calls a day. It takes about five minutes. Do it. You can also subscribe to weekly email alerts from 5Calls.

These were the topics that 5Calls suggested I call about this week:

Stand Up to Trump’s False Claims of Voter Fraud
Oppose Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education
Say NO to a Border Wall
Stand Up for Immigrants and Refugees
Stop the Silencing of Government Scientists
Speak Out For Environmental Impact at Standing Rock
Oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act
Prevent the Confirmation of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General
Stop Scott Pruitt from Leading the Environmental Protection Agency
Block Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services

I’ve saved my senators’ phone numbers in my phone and continue to make calls to them often about these issues and others of concern. I encourage you to do the same! Spend five minutes in the morning and calls your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Mark your calendars: Saturday, April 15. Let’s protest again and show Trump that the people DO care about his tax returns.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing to #ResistTrump. Last weekend I went to the women’s march, over the week I called my senators every day (not always able to get through or leave a message, but I try ever day), I made sure I was following both senators on FB so I can more easily stay abreast of what they’re up to, I looked up how they’ve voted so far on Trump’s cabinet choices and then I spread that news on FB which is helping to mobilize at least a few people to join me tomorrow at a rally at Chuck Schumer’s home where we, his constituents, are going to put more pressure on him to more adequately represent us. I may go to a rally this evening to support a resolution from the Panel for Educational Policy’s to oppose Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education. What about you?

27 comments… add one
  • avatar

    redhead January 30, 2017, 1:26 pm

    I’ve been calling my republican house representative, as well as our governor, Bruce Rauner’s office. IL senators are both democrats, so I’m spending more time on the Republicans. I also compiled their statements regarding the immigration ban and sent them to my network to keep my friend circle up to date on who is saying what. And I’m keeping an eye on our Chamber of Commerce’s position on these evolving political issues.

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    • kmtthat

      kmtthat January 30, 2017, 1:38 pm

      Oh, I can call Bruce too!

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      • avatar

        redhead January 30, 2017, 5:37 pm

        Awesome! His office tracks calls, so the more of us who call, the better. Thanks!

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  • kmtthat

    kmtthat January 30, 2017, 1:34 pm

    Wendy, thank you for continuing to post these. I was in Canada over the weekend and every person I met asked me how the atmosphere is here in the U.S. and if I’m upset/afraid. I was dreading coming back and seeing what horrors this week will unfold. The thing I find myself struggling with is how to feel like I have an impact. In Chicago, I’m very fortunate that my elected officials tend to be on my side of the fence, so while I know I can make calls to thank them not sure what else I can do. I am doing my second shift as a clinic escort on Saturday and am looking for other ways to get involved.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 30, 2017, 1:43 pm

      Keep making calls to thank them! They tally the number of calls they receive — even for support and thank you —and for what specific issues, so it keeps the pressure on them and let’s them know what is of most importance to their constituents.

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    • avatar

      Marisa January 30, 2017, 6:57 pm

      I’m in Ann Arbor, and so sometimes it feels a little less relevant for me, too (we have two Democrats for senators, despite our miserable governor). But I’ve started to feel good about calling them, too. They’re not loud enough, they’re not angry enough, they’re not doing enough, in my opinion! Gotta keep them strong.

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  • avatar

    Vathena January 30, 2017, 1:45 pm

    Hard to believe it’s barely been a week since the Women’s March. My outrage has now fully overridden my phone anxiety and I’ve been making lots of phone calls. My call time is now a part of my daily schedule. I’ve also joined several groups and started one, to stay abreast of all the resistance actions. The Facebook group I started is for like-minded neighbors, and Virginia’s state elections are this November, so we’ll be fighting to get more Democrats into office here. I’m planning to volunteer for the Democratic campaign for Governor and canvas in neighboring districts.

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  • Portia

    Portia January 30, 2017, 4:41 pm

    Thanks for doing this, Wendy. Right now, it’s this site, Dan Rather, and Celebrity Gossip Academic Style that are getting me through this dark time.

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  • avatar

    chopsticks January 30, 2017, 4:48 pm

    Thanks, Wendy! I participated in the women’s march last weekend. Last week I called both of my senators to cancel the confirmation vote for DeVos.

    This weekend I was in FL otherwise I would have gone to Dulles to protest – as a former LPR who naturalized in VA only a year ago, I’m horrified at the way the green card holders are being treated there, and I’m super proud of how Senators Kaine and Warner, and my own house rep, Donald Beyer, have been showing up and speaking out.

    My husband and I are moving to Seattle in a month, so I’ve joined a neighborhood action committee there and they are calling on folks to call their senators to delay the confirmation votes of Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions so that they can be recalled to ask them questions about Trump’s executive orders on immigration. Those votes are tonight and tomorrow morning – since I’m on an airplane for several hours now, I sent them emails through their websites and will call them when I land. I am also going to start calling my WA reps, since I am legally a constituent there, also.

    Feb 1, I will begin making monthly donations to the ACLU.

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  • avatar

    domo January 30, 2017, 5:57 pm

    Obama stopped processing refugee applications from Iraq (in 2011) for six months.
    (Carter also invalidated visas issued to Iranian citizens during the Iran hostage crisis, most of you may be too young to remember that) What did you all do then?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 30, 2017, 6:30 pm

      Oh yeah, totally the same thing.

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse January 30, 2017, 7:05 pm

      Hey domo…what did you do? Needlessly post some extraneous facts that don’t really apply? Do you care that people and families are being separated? Do you care that when “other” people lose their rights, yours are closer to being lost as well?

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    • avatar

      dmarie January 31, 2017, 11:30 am

      Well I wasn’t even born yet for the Iran hostage Crisis so I did nothing and I didn’t agree with the refugee processing hiatus either but frankly it doesn’t hold a candle to what is happening now.

      I’m not sure what your point is. I didn’t agree with everything Obama did but even if they were equivalent (to be clear, not even close) you can’t say well we did this wrong thing before so you can’t be mad now. That doesn’t make any sense.

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  • avatar

    Anonymousse January 30, 2017, 7:03 pm

    I’m terrified that this is all smoke and mirrors for the real show….Trump is going to actually take over our democratic government and this will be a full on fascist dictatorship. There’s a good article on medium right now about the potential coup in the works.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 30, 2017, 7:17 pm

      There’s no doubt in my mind that that’s what’s coming.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Marisa January 30, 2017, 7:05 pm

    I was at the Women’s March in D.C. (what a great first trip to the capital!). Last week I streamed to Shaun King’s talk at the University of Michigan on the drive home from D.C. (http://oami.umich.edu/um-mlk-symposium/events/shaun-king-livestream/), made some calls (not enough, though), passed some resources onto friends and my parents (plus my dad marched in TWO local women’s marches, so I’m proud of him for getting involved), protested DAPL and the Muslim ban in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and started getting better organized with a group of like-minded acquaintances. Whew. This week, gonna make calls about something every day. And make some donations. And go to an emergency town hall meeting to #resisttrump.

    Thank you, Wendy, for your commitment and your energy!

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  • mylaray

    Mylaray January 30, 2017, 7:57 pm

    In my state, a new anti-abortion bill is trying to make waves and when I (and many others) called to express my disapproval and disregard for women’s rights, etc, the office was truly astonished that there were this many women (and men!) against this type of law. Ugh, they really have their heads up their asses.

    I’m trying to do what I can but to be honest I’m a bit disillusioned. Especially when I think of the struggles that will directly impact my family. I live in a very liberal city and I’ve heard more gross comments about women, minorities, immigrants, etc in the past week than the entire election cycle.

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    • freckles

      Freckles January 31, 2017, 10:12 am

      This is a great reminder to stay active at the state level. I’ve been so focused on Trump and the national level that I forget the state level can be just as important.

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  • freckles

    Freckles January 31, 2017, 10:20 am

    I went to the Women’s March last week. I’ve started reading the Economist and the Washington Post, to stay more well informed by reputable news sources. I’m going to start calling my national and state representatives about issues I care about. I admit I haven’t called yet because all of my representatives are blue. And my friend who works on the Hill says when she takes calls, as soon as she finds out someone is not a constituent, she stops listening. Which discouraged me from calling any R reps. But this is a good reminder that I can still call mine to thank them. Or push them to do more. And I can still call other Congresspeople I think? Especially if they’re on a committee? Does anyone know how that works? Can I call even if I’m not a constituent?

    I’m also going to start donating to the ACLU, which I’ve always admired, and now love even more. And I signed up at swingleft.org (saw that here!) and there’s a swing district right next to mine that I plan on helping out with when the time comes.

    Despite all this, I still feel powerless. I worry that no matter how much we protest or fight or push back Trump and Bannon will still do what they want. Especially with a Republican Congress who doesn’t seem to have any balls to ACTUALLY fight back. (Which I know means we need to fight like hell at midterms). But until then I need to try not to let my pessimism override my will to fight and stay active.

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    • freckles

      Freckles January 31, 2017, 10:21 am

      Also I am DEFINITELY doing the 5calls thing. What a fantastic resource!

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  • avatar

    dmarie January 31, 2017, 11:32 am

    I live in PA and I tried to call Toomey about the confirmation hearing. I wasn’t able to until after I left work and everyone of his voicemails were full. I’m hoping that’s a good sign. At least we know people are calling.

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  • Miel

    Miel January 31, 2017, 7:00 pm

    Wendy,
    and really all of you here,
    I’m Canadian but living in the US now as a student (and planning on spending my life here, becoming a permanent resident and citizen eventually). I’m outraged at everything that Trump does and I want to help. I’m planning on starting a recurring donation to Planned Parenthood and ACLU but that somewhat doesn’t feel enough.

    My question is: do you feel it’s my place as a non-citizen to call my local well… representative? I’m not a voter… I’m not even a permanent resident… But I live here… I just don’t know what I can do since well… elected representative are not there to represent me, and being part of the democratic system is one of the perks of being a citizen. I’m just wondering if calling would be a good thing, or lying/being honest about being a non-citizen while talking to them. I’m just really conflicted about this and what I should do.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 31, 2017, 8:19 pm

      Call! You can say you’re a current resident, planning to become a permanent and a citizen eventually. The person you speak with, if you’re lucky enough to get a real live person on the other end on the phone, will let you know whether your voice “counts” in the sense that its added to a tally.

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  • avatar

    Patrick February 2, 2017, 11:23 am

    there is a website called fighttrump.co which allows you to check which issues are close to your heart and then what actions you can do to make your voice heard. I recommend checking it out.

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