What can you do? Some. Call your congressional representatives and express your views. Even if you know they won’t agree, someone keeps track of the numbers. Be polite and specific about your support or opposition on a particular bill, resolution, or issue.
Here are a few actions that I did today to get you started. The top one is very time-sensitive in the US since the vote is tomorrow (Friday).
Ok, on with the armchair activism…
1. Don’t Bundle Minimum Wage Increase with Huge Tax Giveaway for the Rich
Call your Senators now (800-459-1887) and ask them to oppose H.R. 5970. The vote is soon so there’s no time to email! H.R. 5970 is bad because:
- It will raid our treasury of billions of dollars to help 8,000 rich families get richer.
- It will hurt millions of hard-working families and low-income workers who cannot afford to trade a few dollars increase in their paychecks if the tradeoff is cuts and reductions for federal programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, veterans programs, children’s health, senior services and unemployment insurance, which will leave them with fewer resources after the increase.
- It will hurt millions of workers in food service and other jobs where they rely on tips. Women, young and old, single and married, make up 70% of the “tipped” workers, and in seven states where they are guaranteed a minimum wage, the minimum will be frozen and they will see no raise.
Our message to Senators: “If you, like the bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress, care about increasing the minimum wage, which has been frozen for almost a decade, then vote against H.R. 5970 and insist that it have a free standing vote and not be tied to the estate tax giveaway.”
(NOW – National Organization for Women)
2-A. H.Con.Res. 450 – Ceasefire and Multi-Party Negotiations
The Lebanon-Israel war needs addressing by the US – and not by sending more bombs! I would remind Israel of the “eye for eye” tradition, which was an ancient limiting function with regard to vengence. As an American, I am de facto in a weak position for moralizing these days, so I would only point to the religious tradition. I would remind all peoples of the book that compassion, care, and justice toward one’s neighbor are fundamental.
So…would everyone please just stop it? (It’s worth a try)
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has introduced a resolution that calls on President Bush to appeal to all sides for a cessation of hostilities in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict and to commit the United States to multi-party negotiations. The resolution initially had 20 co-sponsors. 14 new members have singed on as cosponsors.
Write to your member today to tell them that as their constituent, you demand that they seek a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. Ask them to sign on to H.Con.Res.450 today!
If your representative has already signed on, thank them for doing so.
(Progressive Democrats of America)
2-B. H.Con Res. 450 – Another Way to Contact on Lebanon/Israel
The United States bears a special moral responsibility in this crisis as the only nation that can bring an end to the violence and relieve the humanitarian catastrophe. The current policy of delay only leads to more unnecessary civilian deaths in both Lebanon and Israel. Ongoing conflict in Lebanon is also likely to have great consequences for the region, the world and the safety of our nation and its allies. Congress needs to step forward and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities by passing H.C.R. 450.
Click here to send a message in support of an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon:
(Act for Change / Working Assets)
3. Emergency Contraception Plan B – Freedom for Family Planning AND a Drastically Reduced Abortion Rate
Religious and political extremists are shamelessly claiming to represent all religion and even all “moral values.” We know there is nothing moral about depriving women of reproductive health care and contraception. There is nothing moral about denying women the right to make private, family decisions, according to their own faith and conscience.
If the Food and Drug Administration would finally approve the emergency contraceptive Plan B for pharmacy sales, nearly half of of U.S. unintended pregnancies could be prevented. Many politicians talk about prevention–here’s a practical way to do something about it!
For almost three years, the FDA has pandered to right- wing interest groups and delayed pharmacy sales of Plan B. Many medical organizations and the Food and Drug Administration’s own panel of experts have concluded that the drug is safer than aspirin for over-the-counter use.
The pro-choice religious community thinks our government can do better. Tell the FDA: Using birth control is the responsible and moral thing to do. Children deserve to be born to families prepared for parenthood.
Don’t let extremists take away our rights and freedoms!
(Religious coalition for Reproductive Choice)
4. Urge Congress to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
It may not seem a big thing compared to these others…. but Americans owe a large debt to horses. I’m not a vegetarian, but everyone has their limits.
Horses are Friends, not Food. (Nod to “Finding Nemo”)
Last year, more than 90,000 horses were butchered to be served on dinner plates in Europe and Asia. Tens of thousands more of America’s horses were exported from the U.S. and slaughtered in other countries. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act would prohibit the transport, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of any horse to be slaughtered for human consumption.
Sign this petition now and urge your representatives to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act!
(Care2 – Make a Difference)