Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday 12/17 Call to Action

Monday 12/17

1. ACA
On Friday night a Texas judge threw out the Affordable Care Act and health care protections for millions of Americans. During the midterms, Republicans ran their campaigns saying they would make sure insurance companies covered pre-existing conditions, but we knew they were lying. This ruling plays right into the Republican agenda of limiting access to healthcare. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration said it wouldn’t defend the law that has protected Americans with pre-existing conditions expanded coverage to millions more. Now is the time to thank our Senators, House Democrats, and Attorney General (aren’t you glad we have a democratic AG?) for saying they will work to appeal this ruling and protect our health care. It’s important to note that Friday night’s ruling on the ACA should not impact health insurance coverage for 2019. You can enroll until January 13 in Minnesota. 
The part of "repeal and replace" Republicans never liked was the "replace" part. The Republican health care position is to let insurance companies charge as much as they like and cover as little as they like.”

 A Potent Remedy for Evictions: Obamacare.

2. Border wall and possible Government Shutdown
Stephen Miller and his painted on hair has touted that the Trump administration is “absolutely” willing to shutdown the government over the border wall.
“Trump said last week he would be "proud" to have a shutdown to get Congress to approve a $5 billion down payment to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. But the president doesn't have the votes from the Republican-controlled Congress to support funding for the wall at that level.”

Congress faces a deadline of midnight Friday to pass legislation funding seven agencies ― including Homeland Security ― or else the third partial government shutdown of 2018 will occur. It’s not yet clear how Congress will try to stave off a shutdown, or whether President Donald Trump will get the $5 billion in funding for border security he says is needed for his signature.” (Thank you D.R.)

3. Almost 15,000 Migrant Children Being Held at Shelters
I’m devastated to hear about seven year old Jakelin Caal Maquin’s death while in the custody of Border Patrol Agents. I’m disgusted to read that this country has almost 15,000 children being held in almost capacity shelters. We have got to figure out how right these wrongs. 

Read what Senator Smith had to say about visiting two detention centers. 
Months after the government erected a tent city in the desert, most of what happens inside the encampment remains hidden, even from curious neighbors in the nearby town of 1,600 residents. The only images of the minors in the camp, standing outside in an orderly line or playing soccer, have been released by the Department of Health and Human Services.”

4. Zinke is gone (some good news!).
The guy who is currently facing 17 ethics investigations is leaving the administration. 

There is a lot happening this week. Check out upcoming events: 

Hey MN03! You have a town hall event with your new Congressman, Dean Phillips, today! Get there early!
Monday, December 17th, 6:30
Oak Grove Elementary School
1301 W. 104th St

Protect Mueller Petition Delivery on Tuesday, December 18th

Now is a great time to catch up on some podcasts. Here are some good ones. Happy listening!
Anything by Crooked Media
Rachel Maddow’s podcast, Bagman
Chris Hayes’ podcast, Why is This Happening?…/why-is-this-happening-with-chris-hayes
More Perfect (a podcast about the Supreme Court)…/radiolabmoreperfect/season-one
Whistlestop (a podcast about the history of presidents)
Smith (202) 224-5641 
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday 12/10 Call to Action

Monday 12/10

There is a lot happening with with the Mueller investigation and Individual 1, as well as departures from the White House. Try and stay focused in all the chaos.

Our Senators need to know that we will not support the United States involvement in the conflict in Yemen. Senator Chris Murphy along with Senators Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee are trying to “force the Senate to vote on a resolution that says this President and this administration cannot continue to engage in the conflict in Yemen without a declaration of war from Congress. Our legislation, which cleared a major procedural hurdle Wednesday and is working its way through the Senate under the 1974 War Powers Act, would require the administration to pull its support from the Saudi coalition until it gets that declaration of war.”
“It's time for us to end our disastrous engagement in Yemen, and it's time for Congress to reclaim its role as the body with the sole authority to declare war. We can start by deciding to end our involvement in the war in Yemen.”

Mass Shootings
Sensible gun laws are something we demand after the new year. Everytown For Gun Safety has come out with a report on mass shootings from years 2009-2017. It’s a bit of a long read but worth the time. 
“Policymakers across the country should address the gaps that make it too easy for dangerous individuals to arm themselves. This includes requiring background checks on all firearm sales, temporarily removing firearms through Red Flag Laws, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and restricting the purchase, possession and manufacture of high-capacity magazines.”

EPA to roll back clean water protections
Here we go again. There is more action underway by this administration to roll back rules that protect communities and save lives. This administration is working to eliminate the 2015 Clean Water Rule which protects waterways and shields people from droughts, floods, and hurricanes. This measure also worked toward cleaning up large bodies of water, like the Chesapeake Bay. This is not ok. 

William Barr’s nomination for attorney general
Barr's nomination also has been met with concern by civil rights and criminal justice reform advocates, who point to his hard-line views dating back to the early 1990s.
"William Barr's record suggests he will follow Jeff Sessions' legacy of hostility to civil rights and civil liberties," said Faiz Shakir, the American Civil Liberties Union national political director. "Barr must commit to defending the rule of law and civil rights, not serving as a political arm of Trump's anti-constitutional agenda."


Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday 12/3 Call to Action

Monday 12/3

Now is a break “glass scenario” emergency for getting people enrolled in the ACA. Deadline for MN is January 13, but many states have a deadline of 12/15. Spread the word. 

It doesn’t seem like much was accomplished between Xi and Trump, even though both said their meeting was highly successful. Trump is threatening to blow up NAFTA to blackmail Congress into signing his new trade agreement. 
“The U.S. and China emphasized different results from Sunday’s high-stakes meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, with the split highlighting how much of a gap needs to be overcome over the next three months.”

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One while returning to Washington from Argentina, Trump says: “I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly.”
Seeking to gain leverage with skeptical lawmakers to approve the revised trade pact, Trump says Congress “will have a choice” as it considers the agreement he signed with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Friday during the Group of 20 summit.”

Thousands of acres of wetlands in northeastern Minnesota are in danger, and only the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can save them. These two agencies must rule on federally required permits related to water quality and wetlands. What’s at risk? Up to 7,694 acres of wetlands located in a region that supports the highest quality, diverse wetlands in Minnesota. 960 acres will be directly destroyed by PolyMet (in itself a huge loss), an additional 6,700 could be harmed indirectly by mining activities.”

I look forward to the day when our country’s leader is fighting for this planet again. 
“Trump’s reason for rejecting the overwhelming evidence for climate change has been to cite his “natural instinct” for science. In a Washington Post interview this week, he said, “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers.”

Indivisible Guide has some tips on how to respond to Trump’s atrocities at the border.


Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday 11/26 Call to Action

Monday 11/26

What an ugly news weekend it has been. I’m tired of seeing what the new “lows” look like for this country. 

Sunday afternoon border patrol agents fired tear gas at people, children, who are seeking asylum. They have the right to seek asylum. This is taken from Immigrant Families Together, “If that enrages you, the Senate is in session tomorrow and both chambers are in session starting Tuesday. Start working the phones. Express your indignation that people are being harmed in this way. Ask your reps where they stand on budget allocations for DHS and ICE. Force them to answer what they’re going to do about this human rights crisis.”

Looking for resources to help those in the caravan besides just phone calls to your rep? Check this out. Thank you KMP!

Last Tuesday, Trump declared his loyalty to Saudi Arabia and suggested he wasn't overly concerned about what the U.S. intelligence community finds. The world is "very dangerous" and Khashoggi's murder shouldn't affect America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, he argued.
Graham is arguing the opposite. "We cannot have a normal strategic relationship with somebody this crazy," Graham told me. Graham said "everything would be on the table" to punish Saudi Arabia, including blocking arms sales.”

When Russia has Trump in their pocket, and post-Khashoggi Trump is unlikely to say anything, now would be the time for something like this to happen. 
Russia has fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries. Two gunboats and a tug were captured by Russian forces. A number of Ukrainian crew members were injured.”

Thanks to Senator Smith for drawing attention to what MN will suffer from under the changing environment. 
"Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances," the highlighted section of the report says. 
It also warns that corn is especially "vulnerable," which is ominous for Minnesota as the state is a major corn producer (and 1st in the U.S. for sweet corn, according to AgMag). 
"The Midwest is projected to have the largest increase in extreme temperature-related premature deaths" according to at least one prediction model, the report notes.”
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wednesday 11.14 Call to Action

Wednesday, November 14th
Indivisible 2.0
Did you know that last week’s midterm elections had the highest voter turnout in 50 years? Democratic candidates had the most pick-ups since shortly after Watergate and President Nixon’s resignation. Across the United States, 317 districts moved to the left. Ballots are still being counted in many contests, so the number of wins could go even higher. It feels good, right? Our hard work has helped to change the playing field. We have so many more tools at our disposal than we did this time two years ago. What should we do to keep this momentum going? Well, Indivisible has come up with a new guide to help us do just that.
Starting in January our approach will change. The last Indivisible guide focused solely on defensive tactics. The new guide will provide a three-pronged approach.
Democrats have a nice majority in the House. This means that we have partial agenda setting power in Congress. Of course, without the Senate many of the bills Democrats propose will probably not become law. But this is a great time for us to create a progressive plan that can be implemented if/when Democrats win again in 2020. Our new roll going forward is to make sure our members of Congress are creating legislation that supports the ideals we find important. The next two years will be our time to showcase to America what Democrats stand for. Let’s show voters that we have a different vision for our country than Trump and the GOP.
Congress has a constitutional duty to provide oversight. As we all know, current GOP members of Congress have failed at this task. With our new majority in the House we will finally be able to do something about it. The sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, family separation, Russia, emoluments, unethical cabinet members. We can investigate all the things! Our job will be to make sure our members of Congress do so.
We’ve been doing this for two years, so this should be easy. The GOP members of Congress want to make Trump look successful before the 2020 election. To do so, they will try to cut deals with Democrats to push legislation. Our new defensive roll is to make sure that our members of Congress stand up for our progressive values.
In addition to this guide for federal government, Indivisible will be creating a guide for state legislature as well. Changing government at the state level is how we will succeed in the long term. During the Obama administration, Democrats lost 1000, state legislator seats. We got 300 of those seats back last Tuesday and we need to work over the next two years to get the rest (and more!)
The first 100 days of the new Congress will be the most important as far as pushing our elected officials to set a progressive agenda. The legislation created during this time will most likely be the bills that we can pass in 2021. That means that we will need to be ready to hit the ground running in January 2019. The next month and a half will be our time to plan for that. The first bill will most likely be a pro-democracy reform bill, including voting rights, gerrymandering, election security, holding elected officials accountable, and getting money our of politics. January 3rd will be a country-wide day of action, so keep your eyes peeled for events near you.
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators:
Governor Dayton-
Sign up for news here: Music video by performing It's A New Day. (C) 2008…

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday 11/12 Call to Action

Monday 11/12

Thank you to the veterans who have bravely served our country. We honor you. #neverforget

Last week the American College of Physicians published a paper about reducing firearm injuries and death. On cue the NRA tweeted, “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.” 
A couple of days later, the Centers for Disease Control published new data indicating that the death toll from gun violence in our nation continues to rise. As the NRA demanded that we doctors stay in our lane, we awoke to learn of the 307th mass shooting in 2018 with another 12 innocent lives lost to an entirely preventable cause of death — gun violence.
Every medical professional practicing in the United States has seen enough gun violence firsthand to deeply understand the toll that this public health epidemic is taking on our children, families, and entire communities.
It is long past time for us to acknowledge the epidemic is real, devastating, and has root causes that can be addressed to assuage the damage. We must all come together to find meaningful solutions to this very American problem.”
Many in the medical profession are tweeting back at the NRA for the senseless tweet. You can see some of their responses in this article. Beware, some of the images are graphic.
The Thousand Oaks shooter used a high-capacity magazine that, in 2016, California voters banned anyone in the state from possessing, but implementation of the law has been blocked by a lawsuit brought by the NRA and other gun rights advocates.”
When our newly elected officials take office in January, let’s make sure we make sensible gun laws a priority. 

California is battling a deadly wildfire and the current leader of this country has attacked and threatened to withhold aid. “The current fire siege is a tragic showcase of how multiple trends can combine to a deadly result, with climate change serving as a threat multiplier. The crisis is far from over, and depending on how the Santa Ana winds get on Sunday through Monday, the situation may yet worsen in some areas.” Let’s let our MOC know that California deserves federal aid, despite what Trump tweets.

If you’ve been wondering about ways you can help with making sure every vote gets counted in Georgia, check this out.

Come January when Democrats are in the majority, let’s make them fight for us. “Rep. Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on Sunday promised that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker would be the first witness newly empowered Democrats call to testify when they take control in January.” 

I’m ending on a good note, because we need to relish in some of the amazing things that have happened with the midterm. High fives Minnesota!!
 Peggy Flanagan becomes the highest ranking indigenous woman ever elected in Minnesota with her win as lieutenant governor.”

Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators:
Governor Dayton-

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday 11/9 Call to Action

Hello! Did you see all the fantastic things that happened last Tuesday? All the hard work over that past two years paid off. We elected some fantastic leaders who will spend their time in office making Minnesota a better place for everyone. TPOM’s original intention was to take a break for a few months to catch our breath and get ready for the next two years. It has become apparent that our current administration is not going to let us do that. So going forward, we will will continue to post two to three days a week to keep you up to date on important issues. Come January, we will be full steam ahead in our fight for good government.
Last night, across the country citizens came together to protest Trump’s latest attempt to stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Despite the cold, snowy weather, hundreds of Minnesotan’s gathered to show their support for the rule of law. The protest at Representative Erik Paulsen’s office was showcased on the Rachel Maddow show. Watch that here:…/sensing-trump-threat-widespread-pro…
The protest on the steps of the state capitol got coverage in the Start Tribune.…/…/…
CD2Action has a nice review of the evening at the Capitol.…/…
Thank you to those of you who were able to get out and brave the cold to show support for protecting Mueller.
Beloved Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg fell at work yesterday and fractured three ribs. Thankfully, it appears she will recover. Read more about that here:…/ruth-bader-ginsburg-fractu…/index.html
If you have any leftover postcards, why not send Justice Ginsberg your get well soon wishes.
Here is her address:
Justice Ruth Ginsburg
The Supreme Court of the United States
One First Street N.E.,
Washington, D.C. 20543
Another mass shooting has occurred merely days after the last one. In fact, there have been 307 mass shootings since the beginning of the year. That number is unbelievable and despicable. The latest tragedy occurred at a country music bar in California and many of the patrons there that night had also been at the Las Vegas shooting one year ago.…/shooting-california-thousand-oaks…
When our new leaders start working in January, we must insist that they find solutions to this terrible problem. Let them know today of your expectations so they can prepare ahead of time and hit the ground running in the New Year.
As I am writing this post, there are news reports of an active shooter in a North Carolina school.…/active-shooter-reporte…/275-612930965
Some good news to finish out this post. House member Melissa Hortman will be Minnesota’s next Speaker of the House. I think we can be confident that she will be great in this new leadership roll. Congratulations Speaker Hortman!…/4526801-minnesota-democrats-pick-ne…
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators:
Governor Dayton-
"Take Back The Power" by The Interrupters from the self-titled album, out now! Order on iTunes: Order CD's,…

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thursday 11/8 Call to Action

Thursday 11/8

Get your marching boots, warm coats, hats and mittens, signs, and flashlights ready for this evening. 

No one is above the law. Today we are going to show up and show Trump that we the people are going to hold him accountable, and we expect the Special Counsel Investigation to continue. 
If you haven’t already RSVP’d to this march, do so here. It’s tonight at 5 p.m., with various marches around the state.

Now that Whitaker is the acting attorney general he should recuse himself since he wrote an opinion piece back in 2017 saying this investigation is a witch hunt. 
“Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.”

Maybe you feel like filing a complaint against Whitaker for his opinion piece he wrote and how that affects his ability to lead the DOJ and oversee the Mueller investigation?

Let’s let our MOC know we haven’t forgotten about H.R. 3654 and S. 1735, and we want them passed. 

Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators:
Governor Dayton-

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

ELECTION DAY 11/6/2018

This is it. Today is the day we have been working towards since November 8th, 2016. As Steven Beschloss said, today’s vote will decide if we are a country that believes in kindness, decency, humanity, honesty, women, people of color, facts, science, education, healthcare and democracy. Today’s vote will tell the word whether we reject cruelty, corruption, criminality, racism, hatred, lying, nepotism, white nationalism, and Trump.
The Power of Many was created by two devastated moms who felt the need to act, to do something, anything to put a road block in front of this terrible administration and our complicit members of Congress. Since then we have grown and we’ve joined multitudes of grassroots resistance groups working hard across the state. Together, we have formed a community of ideas and support. We have, without a doubt, let our leaders know that we expect them to work for the people (even if they don’t). We have picketed, called, emailed, tweeted, shown up, spoken out and spread the word. I am certain that resistance groups like ours are the impetus for this “Blue Wave”. We have made a difference!
No matter what happens today, I want you to know how thankful I am for all of you. Thank you for fighting for the ideals that make America so wonderful. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. No matter what happens today, realize that our fight is not over. We have so much left to do. Like Robert Frost said, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”
The Secretary of State’s website has all the information you need to get your vote on. You can figure out where to vote and even get a sample ballot so you can do your research ahead of time.
Fun Fact: Minnesota voters can register in person when they vote. Please bring a valid ID, a bill that states your address, or a registered voter to vouch for you. Vote! Vote! Vote!
Here is an article from MPR that lists where candidates stand on important issues.…/minnesota-voter-guide-english-ele…
If you are not working today, you can still help get out the vote.
Do you want to watch the results of today’s election with kindred spirits? Many candidates will be having election night parties. Check out their Facebook pages for more information.
Amy Klobuchar
Tina Smith
Julie Blaha
Steve Simon
Keith Ellison
District 1 Daniel Feehan
District 2 Angie Craig
District 3 Dean Phillips
District 4 Betty McCollum
District 5 Ilhan Omar
District 6 Ian Todd
District 7 Collin Peterson
District 8 Joe Radinovich
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators:
Governor Dayton-
Thanks for this song, D. R. It's a perfect anthem for the day. VOTE! RESIST!
"Justice Choir" is a new song from Peter Mayer that will be included on his upcoming CD. It makes a great "get out the vote" anthem!