Responding with my Wallet: Donations Following House Passage of AHCA

Angry Image

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am disgusted that the House of Representatives passed that travesty of a bill, the AHCA, yesterday. While I know it has a long way to go to passage in the Senate, it still feels like a slap in the face the Congressional reps would put something like this together and pass it.

I’ve been angry since yesterday. I live in a blue state with a very blue rep (thank goodness for @RepRaskin) and blue Senators. When I’m mad about how Congress is acting, I have no one to call who doesn’t already share my feelings.

I was even more appalled watching @RepFredUpton, who was my rep when I was younger, putting forward an amendment to this bill that he knew did not give enough money to cover pre-existing conditions, even in high-risk pools. He has voted for many other bills that I do not agree with, but this might be his most striking vote. He can stand up for the health of our Great Lakes, particularly Lake Michigan (which is a point in his favor) but he can’t stand up for the health of his constituents? Many of my family members are still his constituents. Not all of them can access health insurance through an employer. Some of them, under this bill, would face exclusion due to pre-existing conditions. This is disgraceful.

I am mad. I felt like I did not have an outlet except for ranting on Twitter and a bit on Facebook. So I decided that my monthly donations this month would go toward pushing back against the GOP politically.

I donated through ActBlue.com to campaigns in swing districts. I also donated to VoteRiders.org. I felt it was important to push back against voter disenfranchisement. VoteRiders’ mission statement is noted below:

VoteRiders is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides practical assistance and information to ensure voters have the right kind of ID to vote in their state. VoteRiders is the leading organization focusing exclusively on voter ID.

Our current priority states, which have or are poised to enact stringent laws about which IDs are acceptable to vote, are: AL, AZ, FL, GA, IN, KS, MI, MO, ND, NH, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA and WI. Some of these states’ voter ID laws leave to others’ discretion whether a resident’s vote will count, or require documentary proof of citizenship to even register to vote. (Source: http://www.voteriders.org/what-we-do/)

I’m going to keep pushing. I’m going to keep showing up to say “This is not right! This is not ok!” I will not accept these things are normal. I will not condone them.

I am mad. And I’m going to do what I can to do something about it.

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Great Article: “What Calling Congress Achieves” – The New Yorker

Excellent read. Keeping this here as much for context as motivation.
On constituent activity: “We all do plenty of things without knowing if or when or how or how much they will work: we say prayers, take multivitamins, give money to someone on Second Avenue who looks like she needs it. So, too, with calling and e-mailing and writing and showing up in congressional offices: it would be good to know that these actions will succeed, but it suffices to know that they could.”

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/what-calling-congress-achieves

Donating to the Cause. March Edition – The Environment

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I committed to donating to worthy causes in 2017, feeling that it was necessary to put some monetary support behind efforts I feel align well with my values. I wrote a bit about the causes that I have decided to focus on in this post.

While one of my causes was protecting the Great Lakes and, by extension, promoting clean water efforts, I felt that it was imperative to focus on environmental issues this month. With reports that the Trump administration is planning to roll back critical environmental rules while also looking to severely cut the budget of the EPA, I can’t think of a better time to give to organizations focused on protecting our environment.

In the first two months of the year, I focused donations on some of the big names:

I also found an organization specifically focused on the Great Lakes, namely the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

But this month, I decided to donate to organizations specificially focused on the environment. A good article came out back in November 2016 discussing organizations to consider for donations. I chose three:

  1.  The Environmental Defense Action Fund (the active arm of the EDF to which I had previously donated; donations are not tax deductible)
  2. The National Resources Defense Council
  3. EarthJustice

I was particularly pleased by the NRDC’s website and its many calls to take action. I was able to sign a couple of pertinent petitions and get on the email list.

There’s only so much we can do, but something is better than nothing. Whether it’s calling and writing our representatives; attending town halls, forums, rallies, and marches; donating to charities; or joining local grassroots organizations, like the Indivisible movements, any action makes a difference. Even if it’s a small difference, a drop in the bucket, it’s one more than would have been there without you!

How to Get Out of the Cycle of Outrage in a Trump World

Great article here, reminding all of us to unplug often and take care of ourselves first and foremost. Good to have reminders that it’s not healthy to be constantly “on”.

https://journal.thriveglobal.com/how-to-get-out-of-the-cycle-of-outrage-in-a-trump-world-ffc5b2aa1b5f#.5waqasxhx

CNN’s “The Sixties”, Connections to Present Day

 

Just finished watching The Sixties “The Times They Are A-Changing” episode. Anyone with Netflix should take some time to watch this series. It’s an amazing history lesson, but the similarities between activities going on then – civil rights marches, women’s rights marches and movements, LGBT movements, Latino movements, environmental protection and climate change discussion – and now are powerful to reflect on.

Rachel Maddow touched upon the similarities of “then vs. now” politically when she discussed Barry Goldwater running for President on a platform that pushed for a more conservative agenda for Republicans, one that said there was a need for less government involvement in society. Goldwater’s famous (or infamous) quote says “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” This lead to extremist groups like the KKK endorsing Goldwater’s presidential bid, which in turn forced him to voice his disapproval of the group and rejection of their endorsement. (If this sounds like things we witnessed in 2016, congratulations, you’ve been paying attention).

Beyond the political similarities (like Nixon calling for a stronger “rule of law” during the turbulent year of 1968 – another great episode in the series The Sixties), the social activism during that period is something I had studied as part of my history lessons but I had not realized how many social movements were happening during that time. The women’s liberation movement discussed in “The Times They Are A-Changing” was fascinating to me. There they are in the ’60s discussing equal pay, the right for women to take charge of their reproductive health via family planning and birth control, and the long list of things women were not allowed to do before the movement (such as go to an Ivy League school, get a credit card or a bank account in her own name, or even serve on a jury). While we’ve overcome some of these hurdles, it’s astonishing we’re still arguing over reproductive rights and access as well as equal pay for equal work in 2016!

These are just some of my take-aways from watching this show. It’s worth viewing, both to remind ourselves that the United States has faced some of these present-day challenges before and also to remind us that some of these struggles have been going on for FAR too long.

We’ve come a long way since those days and yet clearly, as exemplified by recent days, have so much further to go.

Seen Shared on FB: Action Checklist

action-checklist_week-of-jan-22-2017

A friend of mine on Facebook shared a link to this action list, and I wanted to share it with anyone who was looking for various types of action you can take.

Not everyone will want to get this involved or will even agree with all the content but for those who are interested, I wanted to share.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FKXcRFOg5VS-UjCyH2jmgRTm-sQY_PB65Gxo-rwMT6A/preview