Human Rights Activism Opportunities

  • What Can YOU Do To Support the #Medicare4All Movement?

    What_can_you_do_medicare4all.pngDesmond Tutu famously said, “Hope is being able to see the light despite all of the darkness.” 

    And it sure has been dark lately. But this month, as historic hurricanes and earthquakes added a new level of panic to an already frightening political landscape, the announcement of Bernie Sander’s Medicare for All bill was a much needed bright spot. 

    The significance of this announcement is getting lost in the mainstream media news cycle, so let’s lay it out here: This is the beginning of a major movement for a progressive idea that even just a few years ago was still seen as radical in the U.S. but now it actually has a chance at becoming law. It is an idea that will save lives, help counter growing income inequality, save us all money in the long run, and bring us up to speed with other first world nations. It embodies so much of what we stand for as progressives, and that’s why we need to get ready for the long and arduous battle against special interests with power and money to make sure it succeeds.

    We’re including links to groups and organizations you should get involved with in the show notes, but right now - other than the hashtag #Medicare4All and the videos Bernie is putting out - there is no formal, interactive, fancy campaign page to send you to yet.

    So, today’s activism is going to be a little different than usual. Today, we aren’t going to send you somewhere else, or tell you to call people (that should be a given), we’re just asking you to ask yourself: “What can I do?” when it comes to the fight for Medicare for All.  

    Maybe you’re part of a church or synagogue or mosque where you have discussion groups. If so, ask them to have discussions about healthcare and Medicare for All. 

    Maybe you go to every single town hall your politician hosts - and the ones they don’t. Make sure you, your friends and family attend together and put pressure on those politicians to support Medicare for All. 

    Maybe you have a personal story to share about you, a family member or friend, that illustrates just how much we need a single-payer system in this country. If so, make a video and share it or write about it in a letter to the editor of your local papers - or both.  

    If you want to start small, have your friends listen to this episode and then organize a get together to talk about it. Try a few different groups of friends or family, and be sure to include those who might not agree with you. 

    Maybe you’re a great organizer. You can pull together regular Medicare for All support rallies at the statehouse or in front of your representative’s local office and invite local action groups, doctors and nurses, and community leaders to take part. 

    Perhaps you’re the kind of person who always knows the right people. If you have access to politicians or influential public figures in your community or beyond, use those connections, engage those people on this topic and see if you can convince them to be an ally in this fight in a public way. 

    Of course, these are all just examples of things you could do. You might come up with something completely different. But all we’re asking is for you to take the time today to think about what you can bring to the table. Each one of us has something to offer in this fight and you don’t need to wait for a campaign to tell you what to do to start making progress. This issue effects every single one of us and it will only be won with a major, overwhelming grassroots movement. That’s you. 

    There are few opportunities to make such significant, lasting change in this country. So after listening to this show today, make a list of at least 3 things you might be able to do, long term, to help Medicare for All become law. Then, call into our voicemail line at 202-999-3991 to share your ideas and inspire others. Together, we can do this.  

    So, if you believe healthcare is a human right, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about identifying what you can do to support Medicare for All via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    TAKE ACTION

    What are the top 3 things you can personally do to contribute to the movement to support #Medicare4All?

    Call the voicemail line at 202-999-3991 and tell us your ideas to inspire others

    Read the details of Sen. Sanders’ Medicare for All bill

    Some other ways to get involved: 

    Our Revolution groups (Sen. Sanders’ action organization) 

    Health Over Profit (nonprofit grassroots org fighting for Medicare for All)

    Fight4Medicare.com (grassroots #Medicare4All action campaign) 

    Social Security Works (nonprofit defending our social programs) 

    Truth Out “Medicare for All” Series (independent media outlet looking to focus on Medicare for All coverage)

    MoveOn.org Petition (do NOT let signing this be all you do!) 

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Bernie Sanders's new Medicare-for-all plan, explained (Vox)

    The Political Genius of Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill (The Nation)

    Bernie’s “Medicare for All” actually is the pragmatic health care solution (Salon)

    The Loss of Morality in America’s Healthcare Debate (Washington Post)

    Sanders's Bill Electrifies Growing Single-Payer Movement (truth-out)

    "Medicare for All": A Uniting Call to Action in the Age of Trump (truth-out)

     

    Posted September 29, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1136: Doing the Right Thing After Exhausting All Other Options (Medicare for All)

  • Tell Congress: Dreamers are #HeretoStay. Pass the #DreamAct NOW via @UNITEDWEDREAM

    DJd9xZ9XgAE3K8w.jpgYou know what’s at stake and you understand the immorality of Trump’s decision to end DACA. So, we're going to cut right to the chase: This is what you can do right now and over the next 6 months to defend DACA recipients and all Dreamers in the United States.

    Go to WeAreHeretoStay.org. This campaign site is powered and updated by United We Dream, the first and largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. The “Take Action” tab on the website is a one-stop-shop for the most effective actions you can take to defend Dreamers, and includes critical resources for those now at risk and information about the impacts of this cruel decision. 

    As you might expect, the primary focus of this campaign right now is an immediate and clean passage of the Dream Act of 2017. No border militarization amendments, no bargaining-chip political maneuvers, just a clean passage of a bipartisan sponsored bill to save 800,000 people from being forced to leave the lives they’ve built and, for many, the only home they’ve ever known.  

    You can put pressure on Congress to do this by clicking the “Call Congress” action button on the  action page at We Are Here to Stay dot org. There you’ll find phone numbers and call scripts for the key decision makers: House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Representative Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Representative Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho.

    To add more pressure, you can also click the “Tweet at Congress” button and use the campaign’s tool to flood vulnerable Republicans in Congress with tweets demanding that they stand on the right side of history and pass the Dream Act without amendments. 

    The action page also has an “Attend an Event” button that will bring you to a comprehensive, searchable map with rallies and events happening around the country and hosted by various organizations. Find one near you ASAP so you can join. This page also provides the ability to sign up to host an event, as well as a list of members of Congress - Republicans and Democrats - that are potential targets for your actions. 

    The more pressure we put on Congress right now, the more likely we are to avoid a gap in protection for young immigrants. All of these actions must continue to happen until the Dream Act is passed. Time is of the essence, so we urge you to go to WeAreHeretoStay.org right now, get familiar with these actions, sign up for updates and share the resources. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #HereToStay when sharing.

    The decision to end DACA has wreaked havoc on hundreds of thousands of our neighbors, friends, coworkers and classmates. If you or someone you know is impacted and having a hard time in the wake of this news, please check out the mental health resources and the mental health emergency toolkit available at WeAreHeretoStay.org. You can also RSVP for the campaign’s community calls about health insurance and workplace rights for DACA recipients by texting "DACACall" to 877- 877.

    So, if protecting people from Trump doing the bidding of white nationalists is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Telling Congress to Pass the Dream Act Now via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Take action right now & sign up for updates at WeAreHereToStay.org

    You can also call and tweet Congress with DreamActToolkit.org

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    The Dream Act of 2017 (National Immigration Law Center)

    Black, Undocumented And Fighting To Survive (Huffington Post)

    How Higher-Education Leaders Are Fighting for DACA (The Atlantic)

    Relatives of Undocumented Children Caught Up in ICE Dragnet (Mother Jones)

    The White House Isn’t Sharing Dreamers’ Info With ICE, But Another Threat Looms (Mother Jones)

    DACA Pits Trump Against His Own Administration (The Atlantic)

     

    Posted September 12, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1132: 800,000 hostages (Immigration and DACA)

     

  • STOP TRUMPCARE via @IndivisibleTeam and TrumpcareToolkit.org

    Kill_the_bill.jpgJust because it feels like everyone knows how utterly awful this dressed-up bill of tax cuts for the wealthy is, doesn’t mean it won’t become law. The pure fact that it is a reconciliation bill was a strategic way to get this through the Senate with only 50 Republican votes. 

    Thankfully, it looks like they’re coming up a little short. 

    After the Congressional Budget Office released their report revealing that this Senate bill is no less cruel than the House bill, a few Republican Senators are showing reservations. Those reservations must be cemented into “no” votes. And to do that, those Senators need to hear from you. 

    As of the air date of this show, Mitch McConnell has postponed the vote until after the July 4th recess. That means we have time on our side, and a big point to make on America’s birthday.

    The Center for American Progress Action Fund has created a website listing the fifteen Republican Senators who are most likely to vote against Trumpcare, along with their phone numbers and the ability to Tweet at them with a graphic showing the number of people in their state that will lose coverage if the Senate bill passes. Go to TrumpcareToolkit.org to check it out and take action. 

    For more detailed information on what this bill will do and call scripts to help you get the message across to your Senators, head over to IndivisibleGuide.com. Their Stop Trumpcare toolkit has been updated to provide all of the details and resources you need to fight against the Senate bill. These resources also include a layman terms explainer on why the bill STILL fails people with pre-existing conditions by allowing backdoor discrimination. And that’s important, since the architects of this bill are working hard to mislead the public on that very point. 

    If the lines are busy, try using one of our favorite calling tools: Stance. Stance allows you to record your message and delivers it directly to your Congressperson’s phone lines when call volume is low. 

    And finally, if you can, show up at your Congress person’s local office and go to town hall meetings. If your Congress person isn’t hosting a town hall, then consider hosting a citizen-lead town hall and invite your Congress person. This tactic has proven to be effective mostly because being represented by an empty chair is never good optics for a Congress person dodging their constituents. Go to TownHallProject.com or visit your congress person’s website to see if there is a town hall near you during the recess.  

    I probably don’t need to remind you, but I will, that Medicaid as we know it is on the line. Affordable coverage for those who actually need it is on the line. Lifetime coverage caps and limitless out of pocket expenses will return. Even quality employer sponsored insurance coverage is at risk. So please take action right now. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say millions of lives are at stake. 

    So, if you’re fed up with attacks on the most vulnerable among us to pay for tax cuts for the rich, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about STOPPING TRUMPCARE via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Call & tweet at the 15 Senators most likely to vote against Trumpcare with Trumpcare Toolkit 

    Get info and call scripts on Trumpcare from Indivisible Guide's Stop Trumpcare Toolkit 

    Find a Town Hall with TownHallProject.com

    EDUCATE YOURSELF 

    CBO Analysis Endangers GOP Health-Care Bill (The Atlantic) 

    The Latest: 5th GOP senator opposes debate on health bill (MSN.com)

    Senate GOP health-care bill's tax cuts would be a big boon for the rich, analysis says (CNBC)

    The most devastating passage in the CBO’s report on the Senate health bill (Vox)

    The Senate Health-Care Bill Is Morally Indefensible (The Nation)

    Republicans Spent the Weekend Lying Their Faces Off About Health Care (The Nation)

    Police drag away protesters in wheelchairs from Mitch McConnell’s office (Salon)

    Sean Spicer: America Either Passes GOP Plan or Adopts Single Payer (The Ring of Fire)

    Opinion: The GOP says its healthcare bill will protect those with preexisting conditions. Um, no it won’t (LA Times)

     

    Posted June 27, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

    Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1116: An enormous tax cut for the rich disguised as health care

     

  • Learn How to Effectively Fight & Report Hate in Your Community via @SPLCenter

    SPLC.jpgThe recent horrific events on a train in Portland, Oregon have left us all unnerved. And while there is kindness and love in this story, there is also the reminder that this is not an isolated incident. Across the country, hate groups have been rising and growing in their ranks for the last decade, and having Trump in the White House has only emboldened them.

    If you’re feeling helpless in trying to stop the neo-nazis, white nationalists and other extremists advocating for violence and white supremacy, you should know there are solid steps and actions you and your community can take.  

    Seven years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center produced the publication Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide.” Despite its age, it is still extremely relevant. The guide sets out ten principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities. Read it. Share it. Discuss it. Practice it. 

    If you witness or are the victim of a hate crime, first, call the authorities. Then, help Southern Poverty Law Center monitor these incidents by submitting the details in a form on their website at SPLCenter.org/reporthate. You can also use the hashtag #ReportHate to share the link to this form with others and call out hate crimes on social media.

    And finally, Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog monitors and exposes the activities of the American radical right with articles about the latest news and headlines regarding hate crimes and hate groups, as well as updates on the organization’s pending law suits. One of the more recent articles highlights the disturbing surge in frequency of noose hate crime incidents, including two incidents in and near the African American History Museum in DC.  

    Look, this is not the kind of news most people seek out. This is a dark, viscous side of our country that the privileged among us can easily pretend does not exist. But we have to push past feeling uncomfortable and get to the part where we ask ourselves what we can do to counter the message of hate. Go to SPLCenter.org to educate yourself and gather the tools we all desperately need to take up this fight. 

    So, if standing up for each other and fighting hate is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Learning How to Effectively Fight & Report Hate in Your Community with Southern Poverty Law Center via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.

     

    TAKE ACTION

    Read and share SPLC's "Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide"

    #ReportHate crimes to SPLC at splcenter.org/reporthate 

    Stay informed about hate-fueled incidents across the country via SPLC's Hatewatch 

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    SPLC Hatewatch: Headlines for 6/7/2017 (SPLC Hatewatch)

    Defiant Alt-Right “Patriots” Encounter Portland’s Simmering Anger After Train Killings (SPLC Hatewatch)

    As Hate Crimes Rise, The Trump Administration Blocks Funding to Fight Domestic Extremism (Right Wing Watch)

    Why Taking Down Confederate Memorials is Only a First Step (The Conversation)

    Protest in the Era of Donald Trump (Huffington Post)

     

    Posted June 7, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.

     

    Hear Best of the Left Edition #1110: The rise of hate in America (White Supremacy)