TUESDAY 01/23/18

FEDERAL:

Demand a Clean DACA Bill:

I think we’re all ambivalent about the outcome of today’s budget bill vote. It’s not a perfect bill by any stretch, but it does fund CHIP for the next six years and it ends the shutdown. Democratic support for the budget bill was also contingent on a promise from Mitch McConnell that the Senate have a vote on a DACA bill within three weeks. I think we’re all aware that the Republican Senate cannot be trusted to keep their promises, but this is where public accountability matters. If we remind our Senators that we’re watching them and that we want a clean Dream Act, it raises pressure on them to hold a vote. And as Joy Reid noted, the debate going forward is “about whether Republicans want to kick out DREAMers or not, and whether they want to end non-white immigration or not.” If the GOP doesn’t bring a DACA bill to the floor, then the whole shutdown drama starts again, but this time the GOP won’t be able to hold 9 million CHIP recipients hostage. So, let’s keep fighting for a clean DREAM Act. It’s going to be a long-term battle for the soul of this country, and today was just one skirmish in that ongoing contest.

Script:

I am calling from _______________ to urge Sen./Rep. _______________ to support a clean DREAM Act. The Dreamers have obeyed all the rules, have complied with the government in coming forward, and have actively contributed society. They are working and going to school and are paying taxes. Most of them have no memory of their lives in their home country. It’s time to do the right thing and provide Dreamers with permanent residency. The Dream ACT should be passed without conditions such as wasteful spending on a border wall. Thank you for taking my call.

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Net Neutrality Legislation (Federal Action):

(Adapted from Fight for the Future): 50 Senators from both parties have now apparently signed on as supporters for legislation that would undo the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, which means that the Senate is guaranteed to vote on the bill. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) gives our elected officials 60 legislative days to overturn the FCC’s corrupt repeal of net neutrality with a simple majority vote in the Senate and House. But time is running out quickly. If my calculations are correct, the FCC issued their new guidelines on December 14, which would give us until February 12 to secure a vote on net neutrality through the CRA. Net neutrality has broad bipartisan support--conservatives don’t want their views to be censored either--so there is some hope that something can be done.

Now that a vote in the Senate is apparently guaranteed, we need to flood Washington, DC with messages from constituents showing that Internet users are united against censorship, throttling, extra fees, and paid prioritization scams. Your calls to the Senate are most urgent, but please also call the House on this issue.

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from ___________ to urge Sen./Rep. _______________ to support pending legislation that would restore net neutrality regulations. The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules will allow Internet Service Providers to censor content, throttle or slow down web speeds for competitors’ content or other material they don’t like, and to impose paid prioritization scams on consumers that would make using the Internet far more expensive. This would stifle innovation and make it more difficult for small businesses to compete. Please support legislation that would overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. Thank you for taking my call.

 

Senator Richard Burr

Washington, DC: (202) 224-3154

Winston-Salem: (336) 631-5125

 

Senator Thom Tillis

Washington, DC: (202) 224-6342 

High Point: (336) 885-0685

 

HOUSE:

Rep. Virginia Foxx

Clemmons, NC (336) 778-0211

Washington, DC (202) 225-2071

 

Rep. Ted Budd

Advance, NC (336) 998-1313

Washington, DC (202-225-4531

 

Rep. Mark Walker

Greensboro, NC (336) 333-5005

Washington, DC (202) 225-3065

 

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STATE:

Judicial Gerrymandering Insanity Continues:

The NC GOP delayed their committee vote on judicial gerrymandering that was scheduled for today. The committee DID meet and they released their new judicial maps, after keeping them secret from Democrats and the rest of the pubic for weeks. I haven’t had time to analyze the maps (and I’m waiting for other experts to weigh in), but it’s clear that the GOP process for doing this is unethical at best. We do know that the judicial districts likely could be challenged on the basis of Article 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prevents racial gerrymandering of judicial--as well as legislative--districts. The maps they are trying to force through have not received any input from traditional stakeholders, including the NC Bar Association, District and Superior Court judges, relevant social organizations, and even the general public. The lawsuits related to gerrymandering have also cost the state $5.6 million that could have been better spent elsewhere. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility. The NC GOP’s actions today suggest that the public scrutiny they are already getting is getting to them. There were tons of cameras at the NCGA hearing, and today’s hearing was held against the background of yet another court ruling--this time in Pennsylvania--that pushed back against partisan gerrymandering. So we can fight this!

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from ___________ to urge Sen./Rep. ____________ to oppose the proposed new judicial maps. The process for rolling out these maps has been unethical and secretive and seems to have been designed to prevent the maps from receiving any kind of public scrutiny. There is also no evidence that the lawmakers proposing the new maps have considered whether their proposal follows Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which explicitly prohibits racial gerrymandering of both legislative and judicial districts. North Carolina taxpayers have already footed the bill for over $5 million dollars in legal fees for redistricting lawsuits, so please do not waste any more taxpayer money by approving judicial district that may not follow with the law. Please work against these judicial maps. We need to retain a separation of powers that would allow our judges to do their jobs without worrying about interference from the legislature. Thank you.

 

NC Senate

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/memberListNoPic.pl?sChamber=Senate

 

NC House

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/memberListNoPic.pl?sChamber=House

 

Find Your Rep:

http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx

 

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Thank Governor Cooper for Trying to Stop Offshore Drilling Off Our Coasts!

Our Governor, Roy Cooper has announced that he will sue the federal government if they go through with plans to allow drilling off of our coasts. Florida has already received an exemption from Trump’s executive order allowing offshore drilling, apparently because their beaches are better than ours--or maybe because Trump is buddies with Florida Governor Rick Scott (there’s that business about Mar-a-Lago, too). No matter what, we need to protect our coastlines and push our leaders to seek out alternative sources for energy--including solar and wind. I know that Governor Cooper’s office LOVES getting supportive calls, so please make this call and give them some positive reinforcement!

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent from ___________________ and I want to thank Governor Cooper for standing up for our coastlines by threatening to sue the Trump administration if they try to allow companies to drill for oil off our coastlines. Our beaches are just as nice as the ones in Florida--and just as deserving of protection. I also want to encourage Governor Cooper to continue pursuing alternative energy sources, including wind and solar that have significantly less of an impact on the environment. Thank you for taking my call.

Contacts for State Lawmakers:

Gov. Roy Cooper: 919-814-2000 or email: https://governor.nc.gov/contact-governor-cooper