Tell Your MoC: Get Puerto Rico the Aid It Needs!

Three and a half million Americans in Puerto Rico are struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Most of the island remains without power or water; some officials predict that the electric grid may remain down for up to six months. There’s no cell service. Roads have been washed away or blocked by debris. At least sixteen are dead, and that’s just what’s known; many parts of the island are inaccessible and many people have been unable to get in touch with their friends and families.

The government has declared a state of emergency, but aid doesn’t get anywhere by itself. (Paul Ryan says that Congress is working on an aid package that should be ready in a few weeks …)

The federal government has recently waived the Jones Act, a nearly century-old law under which only ships registered in the United States may carry goods and passengers from one United States port to another. Under the Jones Act, foreign vessels had to pay punitive tariffs, fees, and taxes to bring American goods to Puerto Rico, or they could reroute to Florida and offload to an American ship, an expensive procedure. These extra costs are passed on to the consumer, making prices there on U.S. goods exorbitantly high: under the Jones Act, food is twice as expensive in Puerto Rico as in Florida.

But as Senators Feinstein and Harris have told the president, Puerto Rico needs more. It needs relief for the entire island, not just the parts covered by the existing disaster declarations. It also needs long-term relief that is not being planned for. Halfway measures won’t fix this problem.

Please thank Senators Feinstein and Harris and contact your members of Congress. 

SCRIPT: This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP]. Puerto Rico needs our help. I know that help is being given now, but there needs to be a long term relief and rebuilding plan that must include debt forgiveness. I disagree with the proposals for obscene amounts of spending for defense. I want us to nation-build Puerto Rico.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (email)
(415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841

Sen. Kamala Harris (email)
(415) 355-9041 • DC: (202) 224-3553

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (email): (510) 620-1000 DC: (202) 225-2095
Rep. Barbara Lee (email): (510) 763-0370 DC: (202) 225-2661
Rep. Eric Swalwell (email): (510) 370-3322 DC: (202) 225-5065


Our friends in Mexico City are recovering from a massive quake; and as Puerto Rico was recovering from Irma, it got hit with even greater force by hurricane Maria. Below are some aid agencies doing work on the ground to bring immediate relief to those affected by quake and hurricanes.

Some of the organizations based in Mexico may convert your donation into pesos, so be sure to check the currency.

Help Preserve All Votes

Voting is the bedrock of our democracy: if it can be broken, every other right we rely on can be taken away. Many IEB’ers are doing critical work registering voters and canvassing in swing districts. To make sure those hard-won votes are counted, we must improve the security of our elections.

Expert Jim Soper explains that “the foundation of election security is based on paper ballots and random hand counts of the ballots.” On August 24, the authors of California AB 840, originally intended to ensure a thorough vote audit, inserted last-minute amendments that exempt millions of vote by mail ballots from the manual tally.

Under the amended bill, approved by the California Assembly on September 15, 2017, no provisional ballots and only ballots counted before midnight on Election Day will be eligible for audit. Why does that matter? In 2016, about 4 million California ballots were still uncounted after Election Day.

What can you do?

First, please call Governor Brown’s office TODAY, and urge him to veto the bill.

  • Office number: (916) 445-2841 
  • What to say: My name is ____. I live at [zip code]. I’m opposed to AB 840 because it exempts millions of vote by mail ballots from the election audits. Please protect the election audits. I urge Governor Brown to veto the bill. Thank you.

Next? Sign up for the Second Annual Take Back the Vote National Conference. Over 30 nationally recognized election integrity leaders will convene in Berkeley to discuss the current crises in our elections. Among the speakers or guests are computer scientists, professors, lawyers, journalists and election officials as well as federal, state and local legislators. They’ll present their findings, answer questions, and organize a national effort to restore publicly verified democracy in the United States.

  • When: October 7 and 8, 2017; 10 AM – 6 PM both days
  • Where: South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street, corner of Ashby Avenue
  • More info and register here. Early bird discount: $40 for 2 days. No one turned away for lack of funds
  • Can’t make it? If you can afford, please donate. Volunteers and speakers are tireless but unpaid, and contributing their time.

Take Back the Vote

There’s more! ACLU’s People Power is launching a 50-state voting rights campaign. Kickoff events to campaign for voting rights tailored to each state are planned for October 1st. Find an event or sign up to host one! You’ve got more than 20 to choose from in the Bay Area.ACLU People Power voting launchFinally, want to work with IEB to organize around voting and election issues? Email us.

Sign it and then fix it, Jerry

Our State Assembly just passed SB 54, the California Values Act, and now it’s going to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for signature. It’s vitally important that the Governor sign this legislation to prevent the state’s resources from being used by federal ICE and deportation forces.

What to say:

It’s critically important the Governor sign SB 54. The California Values Act is the first of what I hope will be many efforts to focus California’s resources and efforts on protecting and serving Californians instead of on federal ICE and deportation forces.

Jerry should also consider taking a page from Governor Cuomo’s playbook and order state agencies to not ask about immigration status. Read more about SB 54 here.

Gov. Jerry Brown (916) 445-2841

Don’t take them from their homes

This cold-hearted administration has been unfailingly cruel to the immigrant families who bestow their work, their hard-earned money, their very lives upon this country they’ve chosen to be their home. But nothing, not the refugee and Muslim ban; not the ICE raids detaining and deporting thousands, leaving millions behind to live in fear—skip school, doctor’s appointments, court dates; not the discretionary deportation of a cancer nurse with four children. Nothing comes close to the absolute viciousness of ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We all know the story: brought here as children, grow up in our communities, stand poised to achieve and contribute so much more. Our country promised to protect them and instead the GOP is threatening to toss them out like garbage.

Our representatives in Washington are doing what they can to pass the DREAM Act and take away the president’s terrifying power over these young people’s lives. But that’s not enough. We also have to act locally to keep these Californians—some of the best and brightest—here at home. The state legislature must pass a robust version of the California Values Act (SB 54). ICE may not coordinate with any state or local agency. Please find your assembly person and ask that they not buckle under pressure from the California State Sheriffs’ association, but instead support a strong SB 54.

Autocracy Enablers Watch: Paul Ryan Edition

In the dead of the night, at the direction of Speaker Ryan, the House Rules Committee stripped out the AUMF repeal amendment submitted by Rep. Barbara Lee (the amendment had won near unanimous GOP support as well as unanimous Democratic support in the House Appropriations Committee). He substituted in much weaker language submitted by Rep. Cole (language which had never been debated let alone voted on). This means there will not be any debate this legislative session on whether this President gets to have unlimited war making powers in the Middle East.

Rep. Barbara Lee has been a tireless leader in the House these nearly 16 years on this critically important Constitutional issue.  It’s important that we support and thank her for this important work. Please call and say:

I am appalled by Speaker Ryan’s undemocratic removal of your AUMF repeal amendment. The amendment had won near unanimous support from your GOP colleagues on the Appropriations Committee.  The Constitution grants Congress the power to authorize and regulate military activities and Presidents do not get blank checks for endless war. Thank you, Rep. Lee, for your continued leadership on this important issue. Please keep it up!

Rep. Barbara Lee (email): (510) 763-0370 DC: (202) 225-2661

Let’s ask Senator Dianne Feinstein to add similar language to the Senate Defense Appropriations Bill to ensure that it gets some debate in the Senate. Please call and say:

I’m very worried that the executive branch’s impulsive, undisciplined, and unreliable approach to foreign policy is leading to escalated U.S. involvement in conflict abroad without strategy or accountability. I want Sen. Feinstein to reassert Congress’s Constitutionally mandated role of authorizing and regulating the military by amending the defense appropriations bill to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (email): (415) 393-0707
DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300

End Forced Arbitration

The most important thing we can do to protect employees against illegal treatment is end forced arbitration. A bill in the House is building momentum and Reps. Barbara Lee and Eric Swalwell have already signed on as cosponsors to H.R. 1374; Rep. Mark DeSaulnier needs to join them.

Rep. Mark Desaulnier (email); (510) 620-1000 DC: (202) 225-2095

Hi. My name is ___, my zip code is ___, and I’m with Indivisible East Bay.

I am asking Rep. DeSaulnier to cosponsor and speak out on behalf of H.R. 1374, The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2017. For too long, corporations have used unfair arbitration agreements to revoke employees’ constitutional right to their day in public court. Employees that have faced sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination have been denied the ability to seek justice and fair compensation for their hardships.

Background:  We were inspired by this post by CA-13 resident (and local badass) Susan Fowler.  There’s additional information on Arbitration Fairness from Sen. Al Franken, here.

Assembly Speaker Rendon Punts on Single Payer

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, under pressure from Governor Jerry Brown, announced late Friday afternoon that he would not advance SB 562, California’s single payer bill, in the Assembly. His decision to keep the bill in the Assembly Rules Committee has the potential to effectively stall the bill – which passed the State Senate on June 1st – for a year.

Rendon cited concerns about SB 562 being incomplete. The Speaker doesn’t seem to understand that we elect the state Assembly to create law. Especially given the uncertainty around health care at the federal level, it’s imperative that the Assembly perform their jobs and work to fill the gaps in SB 562.

Single payer healthcare would cover California’s three million uninsured, and ensure that those who gained insurance under the ACA could actually afford to use their care. Call Speaker Rendon and demand that he un-shelve SB 562. It’s more important now than ever that California lead the rest of the country by implementing compassionate and fair health care policy.

Call (916) 319-2063 (Sacramento); 5625293250 (district); email: assemblymember.rendon@assembly.ca.gov

Twitter: @rendon63rd; Facebook: Speaker Anthony Rendon

And ask your local Assemblyperson to publicly demand that the bill be advanced. Find your California Assemblymember here.

Sacramento event: Stop the Delay and Pass SB 562, Wednesday, 6/28, 11 AM. Meet at the intersection of 11th/L, outside Chicory, in Sacramento. More information here

“Thank you for calling. We want to hear from you…”

Thanks to Indivisible SF, we at Indivisible East Bay are using a new tool called Amplify. Find out who else is getting to know the staff at Representative Swalwell’s office or leaving a message for Senator Harris in Washington DC, stay up to the minute on important notifications and calls to action, track your progress, and cheer on your friends with this ingenious tool created by one of the members of ISF. To join the Indivisible East Bay team on Amplify and use the Amplify app:
1. Download Amplify from the Android or iOS app store
2. Open the app and tap ‘create new account’ or “sign up”
3. Click “Join a team,” enter the Indivisible East Bay team invite code 814-850-104
4. Cheer someone on and/or take an action!

Healthcare for millions is on the line

Time to leave it all on the field take it to the Senate floor…

Please call both your senators today and say:

Hi. My name is ___, my zip code is ___, and I’m with Indivisible East Bay. Why haven’t I seen the senator among the Democrats participating in delaying tactics on the Senate floor? I want her to do more to block the Republicans from rushing to a vote without time to understand how the bill will affect their constituents. That means slowing down Senate business now, and filibuster by amendment if the bill gets that far.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (email): (415) 393-0707
DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Fresno: (559) 485-7430
San Diego: (619) 231-9712

Sen. Kamala Harris (email): (415) 355-9041
DC: (202) 224-3553
Sacramento: (916) 448-2787
LA: (213) 894-5000
Fresno: (559) 497-5109
San Diego: (619) 239-3884

Background:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2017/live-updates/trump-white-house/gop-health-care-bill-the-latest-news-and-reactions/democrats-launch-delaying-tactics-to-bog-down-bill/

Use this guide to see how the bill will impact your future and submit your amendments using the link from here: https://indivisibleeb.org/2017/06/22/you-are-here-what-trumpcare-means-for-you-personally/

You Are Here: What TrumpCare Means For You, Personally

By Ann Daniels and Heidi Rand

The personal is political, but the political is also personal. The gleeful destruction of the Affordable Care Act by Trump and the Republican Congress isn’t just “bad for the country” – it’s bad for you. And yes, that does mean YOU!

oprah

Unless you’re a completely healthy zillionaire whose family members are all also completely healthy, you’re probably going to find yourself on this chart. See how the new law is likely to affect you and yours, and tell your story to your Senator when you call about the Senate bill:

Find yourself? We certainly all did! And that means it’s GO time … and remember, if the line is busy, our MoCs have said they count phone calls and emails the same.

“Hi. My name is ___, my zip code is ___, and I’m with Indivisible East Bay. I don’t need a response.”

Both Senators:
Thank you for fighting hard against the GOP’s efforts to deprive millions of Americans of healthcare in order to pay for a huge tax cut for the wealthy. Please continue to object to all unanimous consent requests until Trumpcare dies.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (email): (415) 393-0707
Sen Kamala Harris (email): (415) 355-9041


While our CA senators do their best to stop this bill, let these GOP senators know that their Actions Have Consequences and their YEA votes will mean you work (and fundraise) against them starting right now!

If you have friends or family residing in Nevada, Arizona, or Texas, please have them call these senators and demand NO votes on #TrumpCare.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (email): (775) 686-5770
DC: (202) 224-6244

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (email): (602) 840-1891
DC: (202) 224-4521

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (email): (956) 686-7339
DC: (202) 224-5922


After your calls are made, use Indivisible National’s ingenious tool to slow down the process, in effect filibustering the bill by submitting thousands of amendments. Fill out the form with your name and contact info – a copy of your amendment will be delivered to your Senators’ health care staffers and to Senator Schumer.