Chop Wood, Carry Water 1/24
Hi, all. Happy Tuesday.
I know. Not happy. The multiple, seemingly relentless shootings over the last few days have been like a punch in the gut. Repeated punches, in fact. It’s brutal. Even I—a fairly upbeat person—wanted to stay under the covers this morning.
But I got up—not only because I have a kid and a dog and a job working for y’all—but because nothing will change if we throw up our hands and resolve to remain in a fetal position. Of course all of us can and will do that some of the time, but progress will only come from our refusing to accept this ungodly situation, and by our expressing that refusal through continuous noise and action.
I, for one, will be making a lot of noise and taking a lot of actions today. I hope you will join me.
Remember, Americans have been through many other times of extreme difficulty and sorrow. Black and Indigenous Americans, in particular, have endured almost unthinkable suffering and hardship. Yet there have always been brave citizens among us who persisted, prevailed, and worked to make life better for their community and their country. Most of them would not have chosen the times they lived in. But, finding themselves there, they rose to the occasion as best they could, with often historic results.
We, as people with more privilege than many, must stand strong and do the same. It’s hard, and painful, and exhausting. But we are up to the task. We have to be.
So let’s persist one more time. Eventually we will prevail together.
Call Your Senators (find yours here) 📲
Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is ______.
Since I called yesterday to demand an Assault Weapons ban there’s been yet another mass shooting—this time in Half Moon Bay, California. Americans are reeling and traumatized from the staggering number of mass shootings that’ve occurred so far this year. Thirty-nine now! They all have one thing in common—assault weapons. Will the Senator sign on as a co-sponsor to Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban Act, S. 25, and will s/he make passing it a top priority? [If yes thank. If no or non-committal add:] Then may I ask how many lost lives it’s going to take? Surely at some point we’ll hit a number where even Senator ____ will have to get behind this bill. May I ask what that number is? [I know this is tough talk, but we’re beyond being polite at this point. Please push for an answer.]
Call Your House Rep (find yours here) 📲
Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is _______.
I know the House GOP has introduced a bill, H.R. 21, that would require President Biden, if he wants to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to also lease more public land to oil and gas companies.
This is a crazy, backwards plan. It will literally raise gas prices and worsen the climate crisis. Lawmakers supporting it are obviously hoping to boost fossil fuel profits at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers. It’s shameful. I oppose HR 21 and so should the Congressmember. Thanks. [H/T and petition]
Extra Credit ✅
Before the election, Republican leaders in both the House and Senate declared their intentions to hold the debt ceiling hostage to demand cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. This would be a disaster. Failure to increase the debt ceiling would wreck the global economy, producing a recession or even depression, and would weaken America’s standing in the world.
President Obama attempted to negotiate with Republicans in order to raise the debt ceiling in 2011. Those negotiations yielded an agreement that prolonged the Great Recession, led to the downgrading of the United States’s credit rating, and nearly resulted in cuts to Social Security and Medicare. America is a democracy―we should not allow government-by-hostage-crisis to become routine.
President Biden, you must make it clear: Raising the debt ceiling is the basic minimum that we expect from Congress. There can be no negotiation over a necessity.
Stay strong. Don’t try to negotiate, as both former President Obama and you, as Vice-President, tried in the past with disastrous consequences. Demand a clean debt ceiling increase and hold fast until you get it!
Get Smart! 📚
Simon Rosenberg is doing two new presentations of his incredible With Democrats Things Get Better webinar this week. If you haven’t seen it I can’t recommend it highly enough. The upcoming webinars are on:
Wednesday, January 25th 8pm ET - RSVP here
Thursday, January 26th 1pm ET - RSVP here
If you haven’t seen this I can’t urge you to attend strongly enough. You’ll feel incredibly good about our party and the work you’re doing when it’s done. Seen it before? No worries! This webinar is new and updated each time they present it so even if you’ve seen it in the past it is full of new data and insights.
Spread the Word! 📣
This week House Republicans will vote on a bill that would block efforts to help lower gas prices for families even as Big Oil sets new profit records. It’s the latest attempt by the House Republican majority to raise costs on middle class families.
Give 💰 and Win Races! 🗳!
You’ve probably heard of Sister District, the wonderful organization which, along with the States Project, is pretty much saving the country by helping us flip state legislatures. Part of the way it does that is by fundraising for grassroots groups doing year-round organizing work in critical swing states through a program called State Bridges.
Today Sister District is holding a State Bridges event for Virginia, where we have critical races coming up in November. It’ll feature Tram Nguyen, co-Executive Director of New Virginia Majority, and Joshua Cole, former Virginia Delegate. It’ll be moderated by Sister District's AMAZING Co-Founder & SVP, Gaby Goldstein. It’ll be informative and inspiring, and you absolutely won’t be forced to give money in order to attend. So come! Virginia’s elections will be crucial, and these folks know more about how to win them than pretty much anyone.
[to all 3 reps] [H/T] [Quick send text SIGN PZNNBO to 50409]
Americans are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We want an assault weapons ban and we want one now.
Banning assault weapons saves lives. The 1994 federal assault weapons ban, which lasted until 2004, reduced the risk of a person in the U.S. dying from a mass shooting by 70%. Both the number of deaths and the number of annual incidents decreased significantly.
Time and time again, assault weapons are used in the deadliest mass shootings in America. Between 2009 and 2018, assault weapons accounted for 25% of death and 76% of nonfatal injuries in mass shootings. They are uniquely lethal, allowing the most murders in the shortest amount of time. They are weapons of war and have no place on our streets.
Congress must act NOW and enact a federal assault weapons ban. If they fail to act, they are letting their constituents down ruinously. History will judge them harshly for it.
Other countries have taken decisive action to ban assault rifles and have seen drastic reductions in gun violence. We MUST do the same. Enough is enough. Do this now. Thanks.
OK, you did it again! You helped save democracy! You’re amazing.