This Week

Below please find the actions the Valley Action group addressed at some of their monthly meetings. Please feel free to stay involved by continuing to address these issues by using the following information found in each action. We look forward to seeing you at next month’s meeting!

Action #1

Call to end child migrant prisons

 While the notorious Tornillo, TX tent city is finally closed, the Trump administration is rapidly expanding a similarly unregulated, "temporary" detention center in Homestead, Florida to imprison more children. The Homestead facility, which is run by a private company with a fraudulent past, has blocked lawmakers from visiting. Children detained there report enduring prison-like and abusive conditions. 

 

Senator Markey ((202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Senator Warren  (202) 224-4543 or  (413) 788-2690

Representative James McGovern (202) 225-6101 or (413) 341-8700

 

Senate Committee on Homeland Security - (202) 224-4751

- Ron Johnson, Chair and Gary Peters, Ranking Member

 

House Committee on Homeland Security - (202) 226-2616

-         Bennie Thompson, Chair and Mike Rogers, Ranking Member

 

Script:

 Hi, my name is ___________,  from _____________.

I'm calling to condemn the continued detention of thousands of migrant children nationwide, particularly in unregulated "temporary" shelters like the site in Homestead, Florida. I urge [Senator/Representative _______________] to call for the closure of facilities like Homestead and demand that unaccompanied minors seeking asylum be allowed to live with family or other sponsors without fear for their safety.

Thank you for your time and attention.

IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: Please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied.

 Action #2

Call to oppose military intervention in Venezuela

 On January 23, 2019, Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s lawful head of state, and the United States immediately announced its support. Guaidó’s announcement came just weeks after Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro began his second term in office. Maduro, who has been in office since 2013 and was reelected last year in what many analysts called a “sham election,” has faced mounting opposition in Venezuela due to the country’s ongoing economic crisis and famine. A week after endorsing Guidó, National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared to disclose plans to send 5,000 troops to Colombia during a White House press conference to announce stiff oil sanctions against Venezuela.

The United States’ quick declaration of support for Guaidó, sanctions of the Maduro regime, and threats of military intervention against Maduro will do nothing to help the thousands of Venezuelans who are suffering from hunger and economic instability. Indeed, some analysts fear sanctions against Maduro will only worsen the nation’s hyperinflation and fuel and food shortages. Despite Trump’s rhetoric about defending democracy in Venezuela, Bolton himself has framed intervening in the oil-rich nation’s affairs as a business opportunity.

 

Call your representatives.

 

Senator Markey ((202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Senator Warren  (202) 224-4543 or  (413) 788-2690

Representative James McGovern (202) 225-6101 or (413) 341-8700

 

Script: Hello. My name is ___ and I’m a constituent from _________. I’m calling to urge [Senator/Representative __________] to oppose military intervention in Venezuela and urge a diplomatic solution to the escalating political crisis. Thank you for your time and attention.

Action #3

Green New Deal: Call and thank our representatives

 On 2/8/19, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal resolution, which outlines a broad program to address the accelerating twin crises of climate change and economic disparity in our country, with a focus on justice for those frontline communities most impacted by both. In addition to the environmentally-focused requirement for net zero greenhouse gas emissions and infrastructure investment, the program also includes proposals for a federal jobs guarantee, the right to unionize, and universal housing and healthcare.

It is co-sponsored by Senator Warren and 10 other senators, as well as Rep. Jim McGovern, and 67 other US representatives.

 

Although unlikely to be taken up in the Republican-majority Senate, if House Democrats can pass this progressive resolution then it will be a key focus for the 2020 elections.

 

Call and thank your reps for introducing/co-sponsoring this.

 

Senator Markey ((202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Senator Warren  (202) 224-4543 or  (413) 788-2690

Representative James McGovern (202) 225-6101 or (413) 341-8700

 

Script: Hello. My name is ___ from [ZIP] and I’m calling to thank [Senator/Representative __________] for sponsoring/co-sponsoring the Green New Deal Resolution because it addresses both the environmental and economic crises impacting our country. I support the Green New Deal overall, but of particular importance to me are

Choose 2-3 from the following or state your own priorities:

  • net zero greenhouse gas emissions

  • a job guarantee and economic security

  • infrastructure and industry investments

  • secure access to clean air, water, and food for all

  • justice and equity for frontline communities most impacted by climate change.

And keep the pressure on the leadership -- email Speaker Nancy Pelosi; tell her you support the Green New Deal and want it made a legislative priority: https://www.speaker.gov/contact-us/

Action #4

Call AND Write to support LGBTQ youth

 Background:

 The Trump administration pressured the international 4-H youth organization to remove a policy welcoming LGBT members.

 There are more than 6 million members of 4-H, which is administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture - a part of the Department of Agriculture. 

 The policy had asked the local programs to “treat all students consistent with their gender identity and allow them ‘equal access.’”

But Heidi Green, the former chief of staff for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, requested the organization rescind the policy as conservatives and evangelicals protested it in the days after its announcement.

 Send postcard to Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250

 Postcard script: I’m writing to urge that you reinstate 4-H’s policies welcoming LGBTQ youth. Discrimination hurts kids and risks lives in this vulnerable community. Please uphold the American values of equality and fairness for all people.

 Call and ask your senators and representative to write Secretary Purdue ask them to write a letter to Secretary Perdue requesting the policy be reinstated.

 Senator Warren  (202) 224-4543 or  (413) 788-2690

Senator Markey ((202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Representative James McGovern (202) 225-6101 or (413) 341-8700

 

Script: Hello. My name is ___ from [ZIP] and I’m calling to ask [Senator/Representative __________] to ask Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue reinstate 4-H’s policies welcoming LGBTQ youth.

Action #5

Call & email to support LGBTQ rights the “Equality Act”

 Background:

 Today, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in the 30 states without explicit, uniform legal protections, meaning that they’re at risk of being fired, denied housing, and refused service simply because of who they are.

 The Equality Act (first introduced in the Senate 3 years ago) would add gender identity and sexual orientation to our nation’s non-discrimination laws in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. It would also enact much needed updates to our federal civil rights laws by adding protections against discrimination on the basis of sex where they are currently excluded, as well as modernize the public spaces currently covered to include retail stores, emergency shelters, and banks, and services such as transportation, pharmacies and legal services.

 Senator Warren  (202) 224-4543 or  (413) 788-2690

Senator Markey ((202) 224-2742 or (617) 565-8519

Representative James McGovern (202) 225-6101 or (413) 341-8700

 

Script: Hello. My name is ___ from [ZIP] and I’m calling to ask [Senator/Representative __________] to reintroduce The Equality Act. Right now, my LGBTQ neighbors are vulnerable to discrimination in housing and employment. We must extend reasonable and fair protections to all Americans.

 

ALSO, email House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to support the Equality Act as a legislative priority: https://www.speaker.gov/contact-us/

Action #6

ICE DETENTIONS AT BOSTON COURTHOUSE

Background

Rachael Rollins, the new Suffolk County DA, is blasting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for arresting an undocumented immigrant in a Boston courthouse this month when he showed up for an arraignment on cocaine trafficking charges.

ICE’s practice of arresting undocumented immigrants when they show up in state and federal courts for cases unrelated to their immigration status has infuriated judges, defense attorneys, and even police leaders and other prosecutors, who typically work with immigration officials on gang and drug investigations. The concern has been that the agency’s increasingly frequent presence in courts will cause people not only to fail to show up for criminal court hearings but will also deter witnesses from testifying and victims from coming forward with complaints because they fear they will make themselves vulnerable to deportation.

The new Suffolk County DA called state Attorney General Maura Healey immediately after learning of Barbosa’s capture to seek guidance on how to prevent ICE from arresting people in county courthouses.

A statement from Healey’s office reads:  “We believe that ICE arrests at our courthouses deter victims and witnesses of crime from coming forward and hurt efforts to establish trusting relationships between law enforcement and communities that are essential to public safety.”   But the Suffolk DA wants more from the AG’s office.

Call the Massachusetts Attorney General Civil Rights Division to ask for an ongoing commitment of resources as well as specific guidance on how to stop ICE from making Courthouse detentions of defendants with open cases or witnesses or other persons present on those cases.

CALL the Massachusetts Attorney General Civil Rights Division 

 

Dial: (617) 963-2917

 

Suggested Script:

 

Hello, my name is __________.  I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Attorney General Maura Healey. 

 

I know the AG believes as I do that that ICE arrests at our courthouses are not helpful for public safety.  They deter victims and witnesses of crime from coming forward, and they have other negative effects on the community. 

 

I want the AG to make a public commitment of resources to block ICE Courthouse detentions, and to prepare specific guidance on how to stop ICE from making Courthouse detentions of defendants with open cases or witnesses on those cases.

 Thank you.

 Action #7

RELEASE THE MUELLER REPORT TO CONGRESS AND PUBLIC

Background

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced transparency legislation to ensure that the work of Justice Department Special Counsels is made available to both Congress and the public. The Special Counsel Transparency Act requires that a Special Counsel submit a report directly to Congress and the public at the conclusion of an investigation, if the Special Counsel is fired or transferred, or if the Special Counsel resigns.

“The Special Counsel Transparency Act is about a simple, bipartisan principle: the public’s right to know. Our legislation would guarantee that every Special Counsel does a report complete with findings and evidence – and that it be directly disclosed to Congress and the American people. A report would be required whenever a Special Counsel finishes the investigation, is fired, or resigns; assuring that the results cannot be sealed or selectively censored,” Blumenthal said. “A Special Counsel is appointed only in very rare serious circumstances involving grave violations of public trust. The public has a right and need to know the facts of such betrayals of public trust. Our bipartisan bill makes it the default that the American people have access to the full story, putting in context any conclusions with findings and evidence.”

“Congress and the American people have a right to know how their government conducts business and spends tax dollars. Special counsel investigations are no different. I was encouraged to hear attorney general nominee William Barr place a high priority on transparency when asked at his confirmation hearing about Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, and there’s no reason to think that Mueller won’t be allowed to finish his work. This bipartisan legislation ensures that Congress and the American people have oversight of and insight into activities and findings of special counsel investigations under any administration,” Grassley said.

 

 

Senate Judiciary Committee 

Dial (202)224-5225

Suggested Script:

 

Hello, my name is __________.  I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Senators Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein in their capacity as Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

I want the Judiciary Committee to support and move forward on the Special Counsel Transparency Act.  As Senator Grassley (!) said, this bipartisan legislation simply ensures that Congress and the American people have oversight of and insight into activities and findings of special counsel investigations performed under any administration.  Access to that information is critical to build and support citizen’s trust in our government. 

 

Please forward this urgent request to Senators Graham and Feinstein and ask them to urge the committee to move forward on the Special Counsel Transparency Act.

 

Thank you.

 Action #8

EXPANDED BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR GUN PURCHASES

Background

Currently, background checks are mandatory for commercial gun sales but not for purchases made through private sellers, at gun shows, or online.

To fix this serious problem, the Senate and House have introduced legislation that would make background checks nearly universal.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has introduced the Background Check Expansion Act (S.42), along with 40 Democrat co-sponsors. And in the House Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) has introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 8, named to commemorate the 8-year anniversary of former Representative Gabby Gifford’s near fatal shooting.

The legislation would close the "gun show loophole" by mandating that all sellers run potential buyer information through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), including online and private sales. The bill maintains some exceptions for law enforcement officials, loans for hunting and sporting events, and for transfer between family members. Gun reform organizations estimate 20% or more of gun sales currently don’t include a background check, illustrating the clear need for the new legislation.

Public support for expanded background checks has risen to over 90%, proving now is the time for Congress to take action against rampant gun violence in our country.

 

Call the House and Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to move this legislation forward.

 

House Judiciary Committee 

Dial 202-225-3951

Suggested Script:

 

Hello, my name is __________.  I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Representatives Jerry Nadler and Doug Collins in their capacity as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.

 

The House needs to act- immediately-to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Public support for expanded background checks has risen to over 90%.  It is long past time for Congress to act.  The bipartisan legislation, HR 8 would close the “gun show” loop hole on background checks for private sales of firearms.  This commonsense legislation should become law.

Please forward this urgent request to Representative Nadler and Collins and ask them to urge the committee to move forward on this commonsense public safety legislation! 

 

Thank you.


 

Senate Judiciary Committee 

Dial (202)224-5225

Suggested Script:

 

Hello, my name is __________.  I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Senators Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein in their capacity as Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

The Senate needs to act- immediately-to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Public support for expanded background checks has risen to over 90%.  It is long past time for Congress to act.  The Background Check Expansion Act (S.42), would close the “gun show” loop hole on background checks for private sales of firearms.  This commonsense legislation should become law.

Please forward this urgent request to Senators Graham and Feinstein and ask them to urge the committee to move forward on this commonsense public safety legislation! 

 

Thank you.

 Action #9

Approximately 1.4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico will lose a substantial amount of their food benefits if congress and the White House do not approve more funding for the island's nutritional program.

 The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a Washington D.C.-based think tank, analyzed statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to find that Puerto Ricans enrolled in the Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico (NAP) — the island's version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — will begin to face deep food aid cuts in March unless the program receives more funding. According to the analysis, the maximum food assistance for a family of four could decline from $649 a month to $410.

 "This isn't money that Puerto Rico is using for some vanity project. It's not like a shiny new terminal at an airport. It's literally money for the most basic of needs — which in this case is food," Javier Balmaceda, a senior policy analyst at the CBPP and the analysis' author, told CBS News. 

The popular multi-billion dollar program operated by the USDA provides supplemental income to hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans so they can meet their nutritional needs. Unlike SNAP, funding for NAP can't expand to meet increased demand. Instead, it is funded through an annual federal block grant of about $2 billion. 

In October 2017, President Trump and Congress approved nearly $1.27 billion in additional NAP funding to help meet increased demand for food benefits following the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. In recent months, however, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and other Puerto Rican officials have lobbied Congress and the White House for more disaster aid funding for NAP. 

Based on his analysis, Balmaceda estimates that the disaster aid funding will be depleted in March. When that occurs, he said many of the 1.3 million Puerto Ricans enrolled in NAP will likely see cuts to their benefits, while approximately 100,000 people who enrolled in the program after the hurricanes struck the island could lose all of their assistance. 

Rosselló's $600 million request for disaster NAP funding has garnered bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, including from freshman Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, but the White House has strongly opposed it. When the amount was included in a Democratic-sponsored spending bill to reopen the government in January, the Trump administration called it "excessive and unnecessary," provoking scathing criticism from Puerto Rican officials and Democratic lawmakers. 

Balmaceda said the White House's characterization of the request is deeply flawed. "It is not unnecessary. It is quite vital and at this moment, critical because Puerto Rico is still recovering from the hurricanes," he said.

In a letter obtained by CBS News, Rosselló urged congressional leaders to include the funds in spending legislation to avert another government shutdown in the coming weeks. The governor also confirmed the broad ramifications of a lack of additional NAP funds outlined by the CBPP analysis. 

"Failure to approve the additional $600 million in NAP disaster relief for Puerto Rico would force us to reduce the program enrollment and decrease monthly benefit levels to a level below those in the states," Rosselló wrote in a February 5 letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Failure to approve the $600 million in NAP funding, the governor added, would cause an "excessive delay" in the island's efforts to stabilize its ballooning debt-crisis and prompt more Puerto Ricans to move to the mainland seeking better opportunities. 

Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, which represent's the island's government in the U.S., told CBS News Tuesday that Rosselló received a "commitment" from Schumer that Democrats will focus on including the relief funds in budget negotiations when he attended the State of the Union address on Tuesday as the New York senator's guest. Mercader said the governor's office is "optimistic" about getting enough bipartisan support in Congress to obtain the $600 million in NAP funds. 

The White House, however, has not signaled any change or reversal in its stance on Rosselló's request. 

Still, Mercader is hoping that statistics on the potential impact of the absence of further NAP funding can change some minds in the administration. 

"I think data can convince anyone," he said. "And we believe that the inequalities of the people of Puerto Rico are evident."

 

CALL the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE

 

Suggested Script:

Hello, my name is __________.   I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Chairperson Collin Peterson (507) 537-2299 / Ranking Member Mike Conaway (325) 247-2826 in his capacity as Chairman / Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

 

The House needs to act – immediately - to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico to avoid a food crisis.  Puerto Rico needs $600 million in disaster NAP funding to maintain benefits for Americans in Puerto Rico who are still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.  These people need NAP to meet their basic food needs.  Please urge the committee to immediately act to extend level funding of NAP.  Thank you.

 

 

ALSO CALL THE SENATE COMMITTEE on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry

 

Suggested Script:

Hello, my name is __________.   I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Chairperson Pat Roberts (202) 224-4774  /  Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (906) 228-8756 in his/her capacity as Chairman / Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.

 

The Senate needs to act – immediately - to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico to avoid a food crisis.  Puerto Rico needs $600 million in disaster NAP funding to maintain benefits for Americans in Puerto Rico who are still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.  These people need NAP to meet their basic food needs.  Please urge the committee to immediately act to extend level funding of NAP.  Thank you.

Action #10

“Stand Down” from Southern Border

BACKGROUND

In October 2019, President Trump launched the poorly named "Operation Faithful Patriot" by ordering 5,600 troops to the U. S. Southern border to prevent migrants from crossing the border with Mexico.  National Guard forces were ordered to the border in April.  In the State of the Union Address, the President said he has ordered a new infusion of 3,750 active-duty troops to the border to prepare for a “tremendous onslaught” of migrants in the “caravan”.  

 

These troops have very little to do because military troops are not law enforcement personnel.  They are not allowed to apprehend or interact with immigrants like border agents do. For the most part, they are laying barbed wire barriers and erecting tent facilities for themselves and the Border Patrol.

 

THE COST of the deployment of active-duty troops and National Guard forces to the Mexico border is estimated to reach $1  Billion by the end of this fiscal year, according to new figures released by the US Department of Defense.

 

Make calls to immediately stop this inappropriate use of our military troops.

CALL THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERAN’s AFFAIRS

Dial: (202)-225-9756

 

Suggested Script:

Hello, my name is __________.  I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Representatives Mark Takano and Phil Roe in their capacity as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affair’s.

 

The House needs to act- immediately- to stop the foolish and unfortunate use of our military to police our Southern Border.  The troops are not allowed to apprehend immigrants like border agents do.  And the U. S. Customs Border Patrol (the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country) is already performing that function well. 

 

ALSO! THE COST of the deployment of active-duty troops and National Guard forces to the Mexico border is estimated to reach $1 Billion by the end of this fiscal year, according to new figures released by the US Department of Defense.  Those tax dollars are better spent on rebuilding our national infrastructure, or for some other useful purpose.

 

Please forward this urgent request to Representative Takano and Roe and ask them to urge the committee to move forward to have our military Stand Down from our Southern Border! 

Thank you.


 

ALSO CALL THE HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

Dial: (202) 225-5021

 

Suggested Script:

Hello, my name is __________.  I am an American citizen living and voting in Massachusetts.  My phone number if you want to call me back is ____________.

 

Tonight I am calling to get a message to Representatives Elliot Engel and Michael McCaul in their capacity as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

 

The House needs to act- immediately- to stop the foolish and unfortunate use of our military to police our Southern Border.  The troops are not allowed to apprehend immigrants like border agents do.  And the U. S. Customs Border Patrol (the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country) is already performing that function well. 

 

ALSO! THE COST of the deployment of active-duty troops and National Guard forces to the Mexico border is estimated to reach $1 Billion by the end of this fiscal year, according to new figures released by the US Department of Defense.  Those tax dollars are better spent on rebuilding our national infrastructure, or for some other useful purpose.

 

Please forward this urgent request to Representative Engel and McCaul and ask them to urge the committee to move forward to have our military Stand Down from our Southern Border! 

Thank you.

Action #11

Urge Greyhound Bus lines to Protect Consumers’ Fourth Amendment Rights

 

Federal law currently allows Border Patrol Agents to enter intercity buses within 100 miles of national borders (an arbitrary distance that includes residences of over 2 million people in the US) in order to check citizenship/legal resident status of bus riders without a warrant or reasonable cause.  The Border Patrol does not need warrants, or to show reasonable cause for these arbitrary searches.  Allegations of racial profiling and unlawful search, violations of fourth amendment rights, have led to a class action lawsuit in California (ACLU/Cordova accuses Greyhound of violating state consumer protection laws barring unfair and unlawful business practices by allegedly consenting to racial profiling by law enforcement officers.  This is occurring despite Greyhound’s promise not to discriminate on the basis of race, skin color, national origin or language.  The suit seeks a court order barring the practice).

 

Greyhound has stated that its practice of allowing Border Patrol searches is in line with current law.  It also stated that it understood its customers’ concerns, and publically called on Congress to change the law, saying “it will support positive efforts [by civil rights groups] to do so.”  Greyhound has also recently provided information on customers’ rights on its website (although what I eventually found was a somewhat generic statement about their non-discrimination policy without mention of Border Patrol), with information providing phone numbers for customer complaints.  However, Greyhound has not taken further action to protect its customers, and has not been willing to refuse Border Patrol warrantless entry onto buses, stating that it neither coordinates nor supports the CBP’s actions, but asserts it is complying with the current law.  

 

The ACLU asserts that there is NO legal requirement for the company to let Border Patrol board its buses.  The fourth Amendment prohibits government agents from entering private property without consent or a warrant, and it protects everyone on US soil -regardless of citizenship- from being detained or searched without cause. According to the ACLU, by law, Greyhound is fully capable of saying NO to Border Patrol entering their buses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTION

Contact Greyhound Bus Lines CEO and request that Greyhound immediately stop allowing Border Patrol agents to board its buses without warrant or reasonable cause.

 

Write a postcard to:

         

                             Dave Leach, CEO

                             Greyhound Lines, Inc.

PO Box 660691, MS 470

Dallas, TX 75266-0691

Sample text:

 

Dear Mr Leach,

          I am writing to request that your company stop allowing Border Patrol Agents to board your buses without warrant or reasonable cause.  This practice has led to unlawful harassment, racial profiling, and illegal search, a violation of Fourth Amendment rights.  You have NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to allow this practice to continue.  Please start protecting your customers’ 4th Amendment Rights, and say no to unlawful searches and racial profiling.

Thank you,

[Your name, address, etc]

 

 

 

Our hope is that each person can find issues that are important to them throughout the pages on this website. This time can get overwhelming.

On this page, we highlight three actions to focus on for the week. If you have time for more, please take a look around to find other issues under the various web pages. 

Updated 1/17/19

 

At our January Valley Action Meeting we had A LOT of actions….Many of the actions fell under the category of “The Government Shutdown.” There are so many actions, I have linked to them here —all on the Government Shutdown Page.

Tell the Republicans to End the SHUTDOWN!

Calls to Senate sub-Committee re: Shutdown & Housing
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that, so far, 1,150 contracts with private landlords for Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) subsidies have expired so far amid the ongoing shutdown. If the shutdown drags on that number could rise into the millions. With landlords no longer receiving government assistance to subsidize rent from low-income recipients, the poor, including many elderly and disabled Americans, will be at risk of eviction. HUD has also had to suspend most of its routine enforcement activities, including mandatory health and safety inspections.

ACTION:
Call: Senate sub-Committee on Transportation, HUD
Chairwoman Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): (202) 224-2523
Ranking Member Jack Reed (RI): (202) 224-4642

Script: Hello. My name is ___ from [ZIP] and I’m calling Senator [Collins/Reed] in [her/his] capacity as [Chair/Ranking member] of the Senate sub-Committee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

I am very concerned that more than 1,000 private HUD contracts just expired due to the government shutdown, leaving some of our poorest neighbors vulnerable to eviction. I want the Senator to insist the Majority Leader hold a vote on legislation to reopen the government while continuing border security negotiations.

All sides agree that border security is important but the Republican leadership is holding the American people hostage, exposing citizens and the nation to grave harm, before even allowing negotiations to begin on what kind of border security our elected officials think is most prudent. That is no way to govern. Rewarding this kind of negotiating tactic would set a very dangerous precedent.
For more actions to end the government shutdown click here

Support the Release of an Activist in ICE Custody. #FreeEduardo

Immigration rights activist Eduardo Samaniego is being detained in precarious health and appears to have been targeted for his work. Samaniego has organized for immigrant rights locally, as well as on Beacon Hill, in Washington, D.C., and in Georgia, where he helped protest a 2011 law that bars undocumented immigrants from attending the state’s top universities — a policy that prevented Samaniego from attending the University of Georgia in Athens.

ACTION:
Sign the Petition: Petition by Pioneer Valley Workers Center.
Call:
ICE Field Director Sean Gallaghar at 404-893-1206
Assistant Director Kristen Sullivan: 404-893-1203.

Hi, My name is [Name] and I am from [town, Zip code]. I'm calling on behalf of Eduardo Samaniego Amaya alien registration number ("A" number) 206-862-839. I am asking that he be released from ICE Custody. He has deep community ties in both Massachusetts and Georgia, limiting his flight risk, and as a faith leader and student leader he poses no dangers to public safety.

Support Background Checks on Gun Sales

A bipartisan group in the House introduced a measure that would require background checks for all gun sales and most gun transfers. Currently, federally licensed gun sellers are required to run background checks on people who buy guns. The new legislation would also require private sellers to do so as well.
ACTION:

Call:
Congressman Jim McGovern - (202) 225-6101 or (413) 341-8700
Senator Edward Markey - 202-224-2742
Senator Elizabeth Warren - 202-224-4543

Script (For McGovern): Script: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to support background checks for all gun buyers as a step toward reducing gun violence in this country. I urge Rep. McGovern to support H.R. 8 to help make this happen.

Script for Senators: Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I’m calling to support background checks for all gun buyers as a step toward reducing gun violence in this country. I urge Senator [Warren/Markey] to support legislation mirroring the bipartisan House bill, H.R.8, introduced last week.


Please continue to look through our pages for other actions including sending Thank You notes.