Monday, January 30, 2017
Boy, there sure was a lot of activity going on last week! And there are not too many signs that it will slow down this week. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the different moving parts, our suggestion to you would be to pick 1 that is the most important to you and commit to it. However, if you are charged and ready to power through, we are stoked right along with you!
Here are some key points to keep in mind for this week:
This is the information from the Indivisible Guide Team:
- Today, Monday, January 30: The full Senate will proceed to a cloture vote on Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, to be Secretary of State. This is the last chance for Senators to stop this pal of Vladimir Putin and climate skeptic from becoming the leader of American foreign policy.
- Call your Senators and urge them to vote “No” on cloture for Rex Tillerson.
- Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31: The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be Attorney General. Jeff Sessions was rejected for a federal judgeship by the Senate in 1986 for being too racist, and he hasn’t gotten any better since. He’s spent his career making it harder for African Americans to vote, fighting against equal rights for women, minorities and LGBTQ people, and demonstrating consistent hostility to the rule of law and human rights.
- Call your Senators and tell them to vote “No” on Sen. Sessions’ nomination.
- Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of billionaire GOP fundraiser and anti-public schools advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the Education Department. HELP Committee Democrats continue to request additional hearings following DeVos' January 17 confirmation hearing at which she revealed how grossly unqualified she is to serve as Education Secretary.
- Call your Senators and tell them to vote “No” on Betsy DeVos’ nomination.
- Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination for former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be Secretary of Energy. Perry called for abolition of the department—then famously forgot which department it was—when he ran for President in 2012.
- Call your Senators and tell them to vote “No” on Gov. Perry’s nomination.
- Wednesday, February 1: The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee is scheduled to vote on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. Pruitt is an arch-enemy of the EPA, having sued it on 14 separate occasions. He’s spent his career taking the side of polluting private industries over the public’s health and our planet’s well-being.
- Call your Senators and tell them to vote “No” on Scott Pruitt’s nomination.
We are also seeing some items slipping onto the state docket that we also need to pay attention to. There is a proposal that will be voted on at the Capitol in Denver on February 9th. It was introduced on January 19th and it states that abortions will be a Class 1 Felony if it is passed. You can read about it here: CO HB1108
You can find out who your representative is in the Colorado State Legislature here: Find my State Rep
We also got some great advice from a member in our Facebook Group on how to protest against this proposed state bill:
"Hi. I'm a former journalist who covered reproductive health issues (among other beats) at the Statehouse.
Your best bet is to organize people to attend the hearing in person to pack the room. Keep an eye on the daily bill calendar to confirm the hearing has not been moved to a different date/location. It tends to happen with contentious bills. The anti-choice folk will be there in large numbers. Sadly, they are not persuadable or reasonable. I would not recommend trying to not engage with them.
Be sure to contact ALL the members of the committee via email, Twitter and/or Facebook and respectfully ask about their stand on the bill. Demonstrate your support of those who vote against it. They need the backup. It's going to be a rough legislative session.
On the flip side, be clear with those who support it that irrespective of their strongly held personal or religious beliefs, this bill has been overwhelmingly rejected by Colorado voters three times. The voters have spoken and it is not in the public interest to continue to litigate the matter.
Some of the most extreme members of Congress made their way into politics through their respective statehouses. Local activism is a great way to ensure we send our best and brightest to DC not those who snake charm their way through the system and are never held accountable (like Cory Gardner). Good luck!"
And here is a link to the House Committee that would oversee this bill: House Committee 8 of the 11 members are women, so that could prove beneficial for stopping this bill in its tracks. But we shouldn't assume it does. Our action is still needed! We will keep you posted as we determine what action will be taken. We may go to the Capitol as a group, and we will definitely let you know.
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We are so proud of your energy, love and support of our community!
The Indivisible Boulder Team