Members of Congress
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For the Week of April 6, 2020
🔷 Our next Group Meeting will be on Sat. April 11, 3:30-5:00. Once again, it will be online, via Zoom. Rest assured that we are taking significant precautions to ensure the security of the meeting, following recent hacking attempts at public Zoom meetings. One of the changes will be that we are asking you to pre-register if you would like to join the meeting. We may ask for some basic identifying information. Look for a confirmation email with a link just for you, then please join the call a few minutes early to ensure that you are logged in on time.
- How to do Get Out the Vote during the Shutdown (Swing Left letter writing, phonebanking)
- State Representative Gael Tarleton will join us from 3:45-4:15 for a wrap up on the legislative session in Olympia and what has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be an opportunity for questions. To save time, you can ask them ahead of time when you register.
Note, if you’re unable to attend Saturday’s meeting, Rep Tarleton will be presenting similar material via the Washington Indivisible Network Monday April 6 at 7:30. You must register here to attend that meeting.
🔷 Please remember to fill out your Census form! The more people that fill them out online, the less effort and expense will have to be spent on in-person followup, which has been made much more difficult because of COVID-19. It just takes a few minutes!
You can fill out your 2020 Census form online here. (Have your 12-digit census ID handy. This is found in the materials mailed to you or left at your door.) If you or anyone you know is not able to respond online, it can also be done by phone. The Census is safe to fill out and the confidentiality of the information you provide to the Census Bureau is protected by federal law.
🔷 Postcards to Voters Update
In-person writing sessions are cancelled for now but there are a couple of ways that you can still do this important Get Out the Vote activity (although you should obviously not do it if you feel even slightly sick). There are plenty of races that need attention right now.
- If you have not worked with Postcards to Voters before, you will need to sign up at https://postcardstovoters.org and go through their registration process.
- You can write postcards independently, ordering supplies and addresses online.
- You can write postcards at home and participate in Elizabeth Standal’s virtual postcard party, as a way to boost morale and build community. You would need to order supplies online, with the option of having Elizabeth order the addresses for you. If you are interested in that, please email her at email@example.com for more information.
- Supply Guide:
- Postcards via Postcards to Voters website: https://postcardstovoters.org (check the “Templates” tab for options to print at home on cardstock, or check the “Postcards” tab to order cards online)
- Postcards via MyPostcard: https://postcardstovoters.mypostcard.com/
- Postcards and stamps via Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/search?q=postcards%20to%20voters
- Postcard stamps via USPS ($0.35 each). Order online from the USPS website: https://store.usps.com/store/results/stamps/0-35/_/N-9y93lvZ14e06w2
- Note that online orders work with Chrome but not Firefox.
- Stickers. Online stores that have a lot of sticker options include Amazon and Target.
- NOTE that according to NPR, the coronavirus can live on hard surfaces for up to 3 days (for cardboard, 24 hours) under typical indoor conditions. For this reason, after you get your items, we recommend setting them aside for 3 days before writing on them, for the safety of you and your family members. As always, wash hands and surfaces and avoid face-touching. More info here: The New Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For 2-3 Days – Here’s How To Clean Them
🔷 Self-care is particularly important in these trying times. Apart from the obvious recommendations to eat healthy food (but not too much!), get enough sleep and some daily exercise, it’s also important that we think about our mental health.
- This article explains very well what many of us may be going through. We hope that you will find it helpful.
- Our friends at the Washington State Indivisible Podcast also have this previously recorded Q&A session with therapist and Indivisible leader Jennifer Young, which may answer some of your questions about coping with anxiety and depression in the current situation.
🔷 Here are your 3 actions for this week.
✊ Action 1 – [You, especially if you are in the science field] Tell the EPA Why Restricting Science Is Disastrous to Our Health and Environment
From the Union of Concerned Scientists
As the country is understandably focused on the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has chosen this moment to release its long-planned proposal for the restricted science rule (also referred to as censored science).
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule would arbitrarily exclude or give less attention to many scientific studies—including thousands of public health and epidemiological studies—that the agency can use to make informed policy decisions under major public health and environmental laws.
The EPA announced it was opening a 30-day comment period (April 17th deadline) for the rule and that they would not be holding any virtual public hearings.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and other groups submitted requests for an extension of the comment period given this pandemic. The EPA has refused. Given EPA’s failure, UCS will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, April 14. There are two ways that you can help.
- Provide a written comment to the EPA before the April 17th deadline. You can use their guide to help shape your comment.
- Provide oral testimony during the Union of Concerned Scientists’ virtual public hearing on April 14th – register to attend here, and use the UCSUSA guide to help shape your comment.
⭐️ Extra credit: If you are a public health professional and are unable to write a comment right now but still want your voice to be heard, we recommend going to the Federal Register docket, and providing a short statement that includes stating your role in the field, that you would have liked to provide a comment, but you do not have the ability to do so as you are focusing on addressing the pandemic, and that 30 days during this time of crisis is insufficient and has hindered your ability to participate. Of course, please use your own language and reasoning that is appropriate for you.
🤔 Why is this important? EPA must address public comments to a rule, AND should this rule be adopted, legal challenges to it are extremely likely, and your comments are tremendously valuable in that process.
🐥 Did you take action? Click here to be counted!
✊ Action 2 – [Members of Congress] Call for a People’s Bailout
Congress has now passed three coronavirus-related response bills. While these bills have temporarily filled in important gaps in our paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, and health care systems, they are grossly insufficient given the magnitude of the current crisis. What’s worse, in return for helping people who are desperately in need of support, Trump and his Republican allies demanded hundreds of billions of dollars in unaccountable corporate bailouts.
This crisis isn’t over and soon Congress will likely have to pass at least one additional response package. We need to continue demanding that any coronavirus response legislation puts people’s needs ahead of corporate profits — in other words, we need a People’s Bailout. Specifically, we’re asking Congress:
- Protect our democratic processes while protecting each other.
- Make health the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions.
- Provide economic relief directly to the people.
- Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives.
- Make a down payment on a regenerative economy, while preventing future crises.
These principles are backed by over 500 groups and were introduced in a letter from Reps. Dingell, Ocasio-Cortez, Jayapal, Pocan, and Lee in the House and Senators Markey and Duckworth in the Senate.
Congress must fix the gaps in the previous bills, and make sure that the response to both the outbreak and the likely recession that will accompany it make both less likely to happen in the future.
Indivisible National has developed an easy tool that you can use to send an email to your representatives using their template or your own words. Use this link to email your House representative and both of your senators with one click:
🐥 Did you take action? Click here to be counted!
✊ Action 3 – [You] Help gather signatures for an Eastside PUD
You may have heard that there is a campaign to set up a Public Utility District on the Eastside to replace Puget sound Energy. We have heard about it at several of our in-person meetings and have been able to help to gather signatures to get the proposal on the ballot in November. They need 35,000 from registered voters by the end of June. Because of the COVID-19 virus shutdown, signature gathering has had to stop but there is now a way that you can help the campaign to reach their goal from your home.
If you are willing to sign, collect signatures from your immediate family, and/or a few neighbors or friends (while practicing appropriate social distancing), please email Volunteer Coordinator, Barbra Chevalier (firstname.lastname@example.org), with your name and mailing address. She will then mail you a petition along with a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope and email you instructions for gathering signatures. We need petitions returned by June 15; the petition does not have to be completely filled with signatures before you return it! If you have any family or friends who would be willing to do the same, please share this email with them, or direct them to Barbra.
Detailed information about the campaign, including a map of the proposed district, along with answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on the campaign website at: https://ekc-pud.org
🐥 Did you take action? Click here to be counted!
Compiled by Jennifer Ho
Not everyone is able to take preventive measures due to various circumstances (medical, financial, ability). We encourage as many as possible to take whatever action they can within their ability, to assist however they can those who are struggling, and to help mitigate the risk for our vulnerable populations. As much as possible, use official sources of information and do not pass along information unless you’re very confident of the source.
Also, keep in mind if ordering delivery service, if you’re feeling even slightly unwell, include a note to your delivery person to leave your order outside your door as a courtesy to their health.
- King County Public Health
- WA State Dept of Health, CDC, WHO
- COVID-19 Fact Sheets (multiple languages)
- Full List of WA news sites with no paywall for COVID-19 coverage
- ✅ The Seattle Times
- ✅ The News Tribune
- ✅ KUOW Public Radio
- ✅ Crosscut
- ✅ KNKX Public Radio
- ✅ Northwest Public Broadcasting
- King County Library System – access paywalled news sites with your library card – KCLS Facebook post
- What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19
- Supplies List (buy only what you need for 14 days)
- Enroll for health coverage:
- Ask Your Pharmacies About Prescription Home Delivery
- Employment Security for Affected Workers and Businesses – WA employment security department
- Employment Security Scenarios and Benefits Chart – WA employment security department
- Support local business – #SpendLikeItMatters! – Intentionalist
- Support local business – Ongoing list of Shops, Services & Restaurants with deals to keep their revenue stream going – King5
- Donate to local food banks in WA
- Donate to the Seattle Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund to “provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak”
- Volunteer to deliver community mutual aid support in the Puget Sound area – mutual aid solidarity network
- Or donate to the fund to deliver community mutual aid support in the Puget Sound area
- Donate blood to assist with shortages – BloodworksNW, RedCross Blood donation
- Contact large organizations (including your own employers) and call on them if they are not already doing so to protect income for hourly and wage workers/contractors/vendors, update paid sick leave policies, and support gig workers:
🐥 Did you take one of these actions? Click here to be counted!
Calendar of In-Person, Online, or Recorded Events:
- The Stranger’s list of live-streamed events for our area.
- Town Hall’s digital versions of some events
- NPR list of virtual concerts
- 15 Broadway plays-and musicals you can watch on stage from home
- Seattle Times online concerts, shows and more from Seattle and elsewhere
- London’s National Theatre will stream a free play every Thursday night (don’t forget the 8 hour time difference!)
Save the Date:
- Sat Apr 11, 3:30 – 5:30 pm IE Group Meeting April – ONLINE
- April 22-24 – Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary goes online
- Sat May 2, 9:30 – 11:30 am Cities Climate Action Webinar: Focus on Buildings, organized by local People for Climate Action groups
- Sat May 9th 3:30 – 5:30 IE Group Meeting (location tbd)
- May 11-15 – Filing Dates for Elected office including Precinct Committee Officer.
- Date tbd: , Eastside Democrats Dinner, Hilton Bellevue – Registration now open – Join the Indivisible Eastside table!
… and More:
- Donate to Indivisible Eastside on our Website
- Check out the Indivisible Eastside logo wear store at www.cafepress.com/IndivisibleEastside.
- Join Postcards to Voters and write from home
- Email hello@IndivisibleEastside.com with ideas for the newsletter, questions about how to become involved, and ideas for long-term projects you’d like to be involved in.
- Forward this email to a friend!
- 📄 Indivisible Eastside 2020 Resources
- 📄 Indivisible On Offense Guide
- 🔧 Washington State District Finder
- 📆 US Senate Calendar, US House Of Representatives Calendar
- 🔧 Take Action Network to organize and track your Activism.
- 📆 The Stranger’s Resistance Calendar
- 🔊 The Daily – a 20 minute Podcast from the New York Times.
- 📄 Crooked Media – What a Day