Major policy up in the air
Two weeks ago major changes to health care were up for debate and failed to get enough votes in the House. Although no policy changes have been announced neither the moderate nor Tea Party philosophies have changed, legislators late last week claimed the Affordable Care Act repeal may be revived. Meanwhile, cuts have been proposed for the National Institute of Health in Trump’s budget.
In addition, the White House put out executive orders last week stripping protections for clean air and clean water. Polling shows how deeply unpopular these anti-stewardship executive orders are across the nation. Yet the Department of Energy banned any verbiage relating to emissions and climate from their lexicon and the House of Representatives passed a bill that denigrates science and hampers our ability to use the best science to protect clean air and clean water.
With major policy up in the air on so many fronts at once, what is an ordinary person to do? Action Utah is here to provide you with easy actions YOU can take to impact policy at the state and national level. Our Weekly Actions are listed below. Plus, find daily and urgent actions listed on our website, Facebook and Twitter.
Plan ahead for these great events and others, listed on our Calendar page.
Saturday, April 8, 8:30a-2:00p – Real Women Run Training Workshop, St. George Area Chamber of Commerce. For community members wanting to get more involved, current and potential campaign managers and political candidates in Washington, Kane, and Iron Counties. Be part of a nonpartisan conversation and get practical training. Find your voice and pursue leadership roles. Also see the Spring Training workshop April 22 in Salt Lake City.
Saturday, April 15, 10:00a-1:00p – Trump Taxes March, Salt Lake City. The election may be over, but the question remains: what is Donald Trump hiding in his tax returns? Activists across the country will be rallying on Tax Day, calling on Donald Trump to act transparently and release his tax returns.
Action Utah is busy planning several ways for our members and the general public to come together and get informed and engaged. Please mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more details to come!
Sun. April 23 – Action Utah Volunteer Meeting – Interested in becoming more involved with Action Utah? We have many volunteer opportunities for passionate individuals who can commit a small amount of time every week to helping others learn about and engage in state and national issues. Click here to request information about this event.
Tues. May 2 – Action Utah Community Meeting, Salt Lake – Our quarterly community meeting will focus on how our state political system works, how to become a candidate, how to become a delegate and how to find your political voice in your activism and beyond. With Pat Jones (CEO of Women’s Leadership Institute and former state legislator), Holly Richardson (writer, activist and former state legislator), and others. More details to come!
Wed. May 17 – Action Utah’s “Interim Intro to the State Legislature” – Did you know that Utah State Legislators meet at the State Capitol every third Wednesday throughout the year after the state legislative session is over? Action Utah will introduce interested community members to the state legislative process, the legislative session, interim and the state legislative website during the May Interim Session. This is a great way to improve your community lobbying skills, whether from home or on the Hill. Stay tuned for more info!
Upcoming – Action Utah Community Meeting, Utah County – For any community members in Utah County and nearby interested in learning more about our state political system, how to become a candidate or delegate in Utah and how to find your voice in activism and/or candidacy. With Holly Richardson (writer, activist and former state legislator). More info to come!
1. Ask Governor Herbert to protect clean air in our state and beyond.
Last week, Donald Trump continued his assault on stewardship and clean air protections by signing an executive order to gut the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan was designed as a commonsense way for the U.S. to reduce harmful pollution from power plants and encourage the development of clean energy. Doing away with the Clean Power Plan will harm American’s health and economy and only benefits corporate polluters. If Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt get their way, American families will pay the price. The Under2 Coalition is a diverse group of governments around the world who are doing their part to meet the emissions reduction goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement — including ten U.S. states. By joining the coalition, UT can help achieve similar outcomes as the Clean Power Plan.
- Ask Governor Herbert to join the Under2 Coalition to protect clean air, save lives, save Americans billions in health care costs and even more in energy bills, create millions of jobs and honor the Paris climate agreement. Call Governor Herbert at (801) 538-1000 or send him an online message by clicking here.
2. Protect Bears Ears through social media. Although our state and federal legislators continue to push the repeal of the Bears Ears National Monument, they also continue to ignore the will of the Tribes and a majority of of Utahns, plus the support the monument has received from people across the country who visit our national monuments and national parks and support our booming tourism industry.
- Keep the fight alive by sharing the following articles far and wide on social media. Be sure to use hashtags #StandWithBearsEars and #BearsEars on all social media. For Twitter, address @SecretaryZinke and @POTUS in your calls for them to protect the National Monument and to heed the talking points below.
“Opinion: Bears Ear Needs to Keep National Monument Designation” by veteran Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw, United States Marine Corps (retired). Talking points: Bears Ears brings veterans solace and healing.
“Interior Secretary Zinke Should Measure More Than Just Local Support When Weighing Bears Ears And Other National Monuments” from National Parks Traveler. Talking points: Zinke should look at the broad and far-reaching support Bears Ears has earned, not just the voices of a few of the locals. Also, many of American’s great protected areas once faced opposition, but are now widely cherished.
“Utah visit is defining moment for Interior Secretary Zinke” by David Jenkins, president of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship. Talking points: Secretary Zinke should meet independently with all sides of the Bears Ears issue and not allow monument opponents to control what he sees and whose voices he hears during his trip to Utah, Bears Ears enjoys broad bipartisan support and represents a big part of the Republican Party’s conservation legacy.
1. Support funding for the National Institutes of Health in the national budget. Trump’s budget proposes a 20% cut to the NIH, the organization in charge of medical research in every state in our country and across the world, to enact a massive reorganization the White House says will boost job creation in America. But as NPR puts it: “Funding from the National Institutes of Health flows to more than 2,600 institutions around the country and creates more than 313,000 full- and part-time jobs, according to a 2016 study. So it’s not obvious how slashing billions from the NIH budget, as the Trump administration proposes, will bring more jobs to America.” Last week, Ann Romney spoke out strongly against the budget cuts, stating that a lack of funding means “…no new treatments, there will be no new drug therapies. Progress in medicine will come to a halt.”
- Contact your MOCs (Members of Congress) to support full funding for the NIH. Remind our congressional reps that NIH funds are crucial for public health and for jobs.
- Spread the word about Ann Romney’s opposition to the NIH cuts by sharing this article on social media.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (UT01) – D.C. (202) 225-0453, UT (801) 625-0107
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT02) – D.C. (202) 225-9730, UT (801) 364-5550
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT03) – D.C. (202) 225-7751, UT (801) 851-2500
Rep. Mia Love (UT04) – D.C. (202) 225-3011, UT (801) 996-8729
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Find out here.
2. Oppose Trump’s wall. Not only is Trump’s Wall damaging to our relations with Mexico and deeply unAmerican in its anti-immigrant symbolism, it is an expensive economic mistake with a price tag of $21.6 billion (that’s nearly $2 million per mile). And who’s going to pay for it? Mexico. Just kidding — we are. A portion is already in Trump’s proposed national budget, and Trump has floated ideas to tax imports from Mexico so that Americans (yes, Americans) can pay for the rest. Another problem: the wall would cross Native American tribal land.
- Call on your Members of Congress (MOCs) to oppose funding for Trump’s Wall in the national budget. District 2 constituents: Representative Chris Stewart is the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, the entity that can approve (or deny) funding of Trump’s Wall. Last Friday at his Town Hall meeting in Salt Lake, Rep. Stewart confirmed his support of the Wall. Please let Rep. Stewart know how his constituents feel. All UT constituents — let your legislators know that $21.6 billion dollars would be much better spent on meaningful programs that truly protect America’s health, security, economy and well-being.
- Also: ask your MOCs to support the rights and sovereignty of indigenous people by opposing the wall at the Mexican border, which harms relations with neighboring Mexico and impacts the Native American tribe whose land it would cross by infringing on the sovereignty of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
3. Stand up for Science: Oppose the HONEST Act. This deceptively titled BAD BILL effectively prevents the EPA from using the weight of scientific evidence to protect public health and the environment. Specifically, the HONEST Act would make the unscientific and inefficient requirement that all raw data be made available to the public before a federal agency could use it. In addition, this bill makes industry trade secrets available upon request, a factor which could discourage the private sector and academic researchers alike from providing scientific information to the EPA. The House passed the HONEST Act last week. Now it moves on to the Senate for consideration.
- Call on our U.S Senators to stand up for scientific integrity and oppose the HONEST Act. For talking points, please click here.
- Contact your U.S. Representative to hold them accountable for their vote on the HONEST Act this week. ALL FOUR OF UTAH’S CONGRESSPEOPLE voted to pass the HONEST Act. For talking points, please click here.
We look forward to meeting you in person in May!
With so many in-person Action Utah get togethers coming up, we hope to get a chance to meet with each one of you. Be sure to mark your calendars for great ways to increase your community lobbying know-how. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us with feedback any time — we love hearing from our members!
Andrea & Katie,
Co-Founders, Action Utah