THURSDAY 02/01/18

FEDERAL:

Push Back Against Trump’s North Korea Threats:

They didn’t get the biggest headlines, but Trump’s threats against North Korea are incredibly serious. Pundits gave those comments a pass because he didn’t give Kim Jong Un a silly nickname, but there is mounting evidence that Trump is considering an attack on North Korea. His (ultimately rejected) first pick as Ambassador to South Korea was jettisoned in part because he worried privately when Trump stated his intentions of pursuing a “bloody nose” attack against North Korea. Congress technically has the Constitutional power to declare war, although recent presidents have usurped that privilege, often by unilaterally engaging in military attacks. Trump’s impulsive make this a significant risk. Let’s demand that Congress assert its authority to declare war and work to de-escalate Trump’s threats against North Korea.

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent from ________________ calling to urge Sen./Rep. _________________ to speak out against Trump’s expressed desire to engage in a “bloody nose” attack against North Korea. Such an attack would only provoke a much larger response and would potentially lead to the loss of thousands of lives. The sanctions against North Korea are working. In fact, Congress urgently needs to enact legislation that prohibits the use of funds to launch combat operations against North Korea, unless it specifically authorizes the operations. Only Congress has the Constitutional authority to declare war and rather than launching into a dangerous and deadly conflict, we as a country need to ensure that we are going to war only as a last resort. Thank you for taking my call.

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Oppose the lifetime appointment of Thomas Farr:

The Thomas Farr confirmation vote is still in process, so I’m bringing this call back. Given Farr’s record in defending voter suppression and other attacks on civil rights, this an absolute travesty. If confirmed, Farr will have a lifetime appointment as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Farr has worked for decades to intimidate and disenfranchise black voters. He was likely involved in a scheme in which Jesse Helms’ campaign sent over 100,000 postcards to African-American voters, incorrectly telling them they were ineligible to vote and threatening them with jail time if they attempted to cast a ballot. He also participated in the creation of North Carolina’s voter photo ID law, which was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for discriminatory intent. In addition, he helped the GOP-controlled NCGA create the 2011 electoral maps that were rejected as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because of racial gerrymandering. Farr is also very young and likely would be on the bench, interpreting federal law for decades.

Script (Senate only):

Hi. I’m a constituent calling from ______ to urge Senator _______ to oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to a lifetime appointment to the United States District Court. Mr. Farr has a history of opposing workers, civil and voting rights. Specifically, he has supported legislation that would intimidate and disenfranchise black voters and even helped create North Carolina’s voter ID law, which was struck down by the courts. Finally, he was involved in designing the 2011 electoral maps that were rejected by the Supreme Court because of racial gerrymandering. I want Senator ________________ to oppose the nomination of Thomas Farr to the federal bench. Thank you.

 

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:

North Carolina voters got a significant victory in the courts today when a federal district court judge reinstated judicial primary elections for Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. While this does not restore primaries for Superior and District court races, it is an important check against the GOP’s attempts to control judicial races. We can probably expect the NC GOP to be riled up like a hornet’s nest for the next few days, so it’s possible that they may start making noise about passing the gerrymandered judicial maps.

Script:

Hello, I am calling from _____________ to urge Sen./Rep. ______________ to oppose any legislation that would result in gerrymandered judicial districts. The courts have already ruled that our legislative districts were gerrymandered with “surgical precision,” and this would be yet another attempt to silence the voices of North Carolina voters. I am also opposed to any attempt to revise the state constitution to allow lawmakers to appoint judges rather than keeping that right in the hands of North Carolina citizens. Thank you for taking my call.

Fix the Class-Size Fiasco Bill by Supporting SB 703:

Short sessions don’t have a lot of action, so I’ll keep this call going. If you have any recommendations about other state calls, post them in the comments (or by email) and I’ll be happy to develop scripts around them. The bill that mandates reduced class sizes but doesn’t fund them, has created huge problems in many schools. Sen. Jay Chaudhuri has introduced SB 703, which would mitigate some of the biggest concerns about the class-size mandate, providing schools with greater flexibility when it comes to staffing K-3 classrooms and ensuring that schools will continue to be able to keep their art, music, and PE teachers. It’s not a perfect fix, but it will help. There is plenty of evidence that shows that student performance improves when they take art, music, and PE. Art can help develop critical thinking skills, while music reinforces math skills, for example. If you have children or family members in elementary school, you can be especially persuasive here.

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from __________ to ask Sen./Rep. ____________ to support SB 703, which helps to provide some flexibility to address the mandates for lower class sizes in K-3 classes. While reduced class sizes are beneficial, the NCGA did not provide schools with adequate funding, and the result is that many schools will no longer be able to afford dedicated art, music, and PE teachers. SB 703 offers greater flexibility to schools in meeting enrollment caps so that they can keep offering students a well-rounded educational experience. Please support it. Thank you.

Note:

Apex Elementary School’s PTA has a longer letter that you can use, if you want to send an email to your lawmakers:

http://apexespta.weebly.com/advocacy.html

And here is a fact sheet from the Wake County PTA:

http://www.wakepta.org/uploads/1/2/6/6/12665306/k-3_class_size_mandate.pdf

 

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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HOMEWORK:

Find Your Precinct, Get Involved:

Starting February 5th, The Forsyth Democratic Party will start its Annual Precinct Meetings. This is big - the start of the BLUE WAVE that will crescendo with Victory on November 8, 2018. Find out where and when your district meeting is here:

http://www.fcdpnc.org/pm_2018

 

If you’re not sure which precinct you live in, you can look that information up here: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/pplkup/

 

Getting involved in your precinct is absolutely crucial and will allow you to take an active role in reaching out to voters in your community to encourage them to come out and vote in 2018. It’s February now, and the primaries--and the general election--will be here much faster than we realize.

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