Let’s keep steering straight ahead
Utahns, last week was another crazy week of ups and downs as the roller coaster of 2017 careens along. Steve Bannon was kicked off the National Security Council (yay!), Congress voted to strip Title X clinics of funding, removing essential healthcare for women across the United States (boo!), the GOP went ‘nuclear’ to pass Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court (backlash?), Devin Nunes stepped down as chairman of the House Intelligence Russia probe (but appointed
another Trump loyalist and campaign member, Mike Conaway, to replace him), Trump ordered an enormous missile attack on Syria that may or may not have been constitutional (are we at war?) and the FBI revealed they are not only investigating who paid for 15,000 people to troll the internet and disseminate fake news but also whether Trump’s team actively helped the Russians hack the election (didn’t I see that on Homeland?).
In Utah, the Chair of the state Republican Party, James Evans, called Chris Stewart’s constituent town hall attendees “thugs” (what?), the ICE deported a single mother from Draper who is a devout Mormon and caretaker of her disabled son and 86-year old mother (heartbreaking), and Mitt Romney got busy planning a Senate bid to replace Orrin Hatch (…).
Meanwhile, executive orders continue to pour out of the oval office (um, overreach?), the latest two repealing rules that protected women from sexual harassment and pay disparities (to Make America Great Again) and that protected all Americans from serious air and water pollution, despite the fact that this is deeply unpopular and that 50% of the U.S. population already lives in unclean air (sigh).
What is an ordinary Utahn to do?
Pick your causes. Follow them. Learn about them. Share news about them. And most importantly TAKE ACTION on them. Scroll down for a list of things you can do this week to impact state and national policy. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter to for daily and urgent calls to action.
Three marches are fast approaching to help you speak out for (or against) the things that matter to you. Click here for more details about the marches.
- Trump Taxes March – April 15
- March for Science – April 22 (Earth Day)
- People’s Climate March – April 29
Upcoming Action Utah Events!
Mark your calendars for these great opportunities to come together and get informed and engaged. Stay tuned for more details to come!
Sun. April 23, 5:00-6:30p – AU VOLUNTEER! Meeting, Pizza Nono, Salt Lake – Interested in becoming more involved with Action Utah? Come find out what exciting initiatives we are working on at Action Utah this year and how you can help. 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. This is an informational and volunteer sign up session. Click here to RSVP.
Action Utah members got together last week in St. George to write letters of thanks to state legislators. Thanks for the pictures — and keep up the good work!
Tues. May 2, 7:00p – AU Community Meeting: “Elections, Candidates and Delegates, and Finding Your Political Voice”, Salt Lake – Action Utah continues to keep you informed and engaged! Our next community meeting features excellent presenters who will teach us how our elections system works in Utah, how to become a candidate at any level of government, how to become a delegate and how to find your political voice in your community activism or candidacy. All Utahns welcome! With Pat Jones (CEO of Women’s Leadership Institute and former state legislator), Holly Richardson (writer, activist and former state legislator), Alan Seawright of Zion Politics and others. More details to come!
Wed. May 17 – Action Utah’s “Community Lobbying 102: Interim Intro to the State Legislature”, State Capitol – 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? This is called Interim Session. 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 day. This is a great way to improve your community lobbying skills, whether you are taking actions from home or on the Hill. Stay tuned for more info!
Upcoming – Action Utah Community Meeting: “Becoming Candidates and Delegates and Finding Your Political Voice”, 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!
Governor Herbert responded directly to a petition we put out by making a public statement not to use the National Guard as part of Trump’s deportation forces. Thanks to everyone who signed!
1. Stand with Immigrants and Refugees! Here are multiple ways you can help people and families in our own Utah communities.
- Join our Action Utah Immigrant Allies Team – Action Utah is working with several community organizations to help immigrants under the threat of deportation and refugee families impacted by the new immigration policies. Contact us if you want to be alerted about attending rallies, peaceful protests, press conferences and taking other actions to be an ally.
- Take Action – Action Utah has posted several calls to action on different ways you can stand with immigrants and refugees. Simply click here, here, here, here and here for lots of ideas.
- Join the March for Solidarity on April 30th in Salt Lake City to show your support for immigrants and speak up for better immigration policies.
- Consider donating to this fundraiser for Teresa, the Draper woman who was deported to Colombia last week. Donations will go to cover her legal fees, setting up in Colombia and insurance and medication for the disabled son she had to leave behind in Utah.
- Say thanks to Governor Herbert – On March 30th the Governor’s office responded directly to a MoveOn petition we posted and you signed by Ciriac Alvarez, a DREAMer in SLC. Read the letter and thank Gov. Herbert for publicly stating his concerns about the constitutionality and financial impacts of of using the National Guard to help ICE do deportations by clicking here.
2. Keep Bears Ears in the public eye. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is rumored to be coming to Utah to learn more about the debate around Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments. Let’s continue to remind him and our Utah leadership that Bears Ears NM is what the majority in Utah want, it’s what the Tribes want, and it’s what people around the country want.
- Sign this NRDC petition to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to save Bears Ears National Monument, trending now on our Petitions, Petitions! page.
- Spread the following articles and videos far and wide on social media (and be sure to use the hashtag #StandWithBearsEars)
– An OpEd in TIME by Earthjustice attorney Heidi McIntosh “Gutting America’s National Treasures in Unlawful and Unwise.” [Share on Facebook or Twitter.]
– An Utah Ch 4 TV interview with Mark Maryboy and Cynthia Wilson of Utah Dine Bikeyah. [Share on Facebook or Twitter.]
– An OpEd in the New York Times by respected legal experts John Leshy and Mark Squillache about how the Antiquities Act has done more than any other law to create America’s conservation legacy, including bringing us Bears Ears National Monument. [Share on Facebook or Twitter.]
– A video by “Climbers for Bears Ears,” a group of climbers and friends living and working in southern Utah who are encouraging everyone to speak up in support of BENM. [Share on Facebook or Twitter.]
3. Ask our MOCs to pursue a Bears Ears Land Trust Exchange. A non-partisan issue around Bears Ears and Grand Staircase is School Trust Fund land, which provides supplemental funding for our state public schools. In the 1990’s state legislators realized the lands inside Grand Staircase National Monument were not ideal for generating sales proceeds for schools and did an exchange that netted an extra $300 million! Let’s ask our Members of Congress to do the same with Bears Ears, no matter what happens with the National Monument, to create a win-win situation for legislators and children across Utah.
- Click here for more information.
1. Stand up for your causes in the federal budget. Washington insiders say that’ Trump’s federal budget is DOA, but that doesn’t mean that programs you care about will get the funding they need. Budget cuts are a top priority this year, which sounds like a great idea until you consider what budget items may be up for consideration for cuts. Now is the time to start speaking out in support of the programs you care about. Here are some ideas:
- Stand up for affordable housing (HUD and HOME)
- Stand up for the arts (NEA and NEH)
- Stand up for the public health and biomedical research (NIH)
- Oppose funding for Trump’s Wall
2. Take action on issues that matter to you by 1-2 open calls to action listed on our website, such as:
- Stand up for science by opposing the HONEST Act
- Ask Gov. Herbert to protect clean air in Utah and beyond
- Protect the free press
- Ask your MOCs to demand a special prosecutor and independent investigation of White House ties to Russia
Mark your calendars!
Be sure to mark your calendars for all of Action Utah’s upcoming community events:
- Find out how to become a volunteer April 23
- Learn about elections, candidates, delegates and finding your activist voice May 2
- Join us for Community Lobbying 102 at the State Capitol May 17
We look forward to meeting up in person soon!
Andrea & Katie
Co-Founders, Action Utah