Start your week with May Day
May Day has many meanings across the world and in the United States. In the Northern Hemisphere, May 1 marks the day equidistant between an equinox and a solstice and a day to celebrate spring. In the U.S. it is also the day of several holidays:
- International Workers Day – A type of Labor day celebrated in America since 1904 to honor the contribution of workers, particularly workers from around the world. A national protest “Day Without Immigrants” is scheduled for today to raise awareness about the importance of immigrant workers in our communities and economy.
- Law Day – Proclaimed by Eisenhower in 1958 to remember the struggles of workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions and celebrate justice and the liberties provided for by the United States Constitution
- Loyalty Day – First celebrated in 1921 during the Red Scare and intended as a replacement for International Workers Day because it was socialistic in origin, and recognized by proclamation by every president every year since Eisenhower for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom, calling on schools to fly the American flag on buildings and the American people to observe the holiday.
Although these holidays were once political symbols of contrasting beliefs (socialist versus capitalist), they all celebrate some of the same ideals in essence — the benefits of our free nation, the opportunities and struggles of the people who come here or are born here, who built and continue to build a great nation.
We are all immigrants
Our national heritage is the quilted fabric of a nation of people hailing from different nations of origin — some generations ago, some just days ago. We all benefit from the freedoms afforded to us by the Constitution, and we all contribute to this great nation through the work we do in our jobs and in our struggles to maintain freedom and justice in our land. That’s why we encourage everyone to spend time today honoring our immigrant friends and neighbors, standing in support of them, their families, their hard work and their struggles. Find out what you can do by scrolling down to the actions below.
- Saturday, May 6, 1:00-4:00p: Monumental March for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase.
Utah Dine Bikeyah is staging a Monumental March on the State Capitol Steps this Saturday to show local support for our Utah monuments. Large crowd numbers are critical for this event, so please come with your family, friends and neighbors!
- Wednesday, May 17, 12:00-1:00p: “Community Lobbying 102: Intro to the State Legislature“ – Let Action Utah introduce you to key community lobbying tools to impact policymaking in our state with a tour of the State Capitol and information about the state legislature, interim session and state legislative session. Details and RSVP here.* Please note that our May 2 event, “Elections, Candidates & Delegates and Finding Your Voice” has been postponed until fall as Action Utah leadership and members dive into a variety of great interim initiatives.
Last week was another big week as Trump filed an executive order to review our national monument designations, Congress attempted to revive the American Health Care Act with an even worse version, Utahns around the state marched for climate action, Sen. Mike Lee waged war on Net Neutrality in favor of corporate interests and immigrants around Utah and the nation face continued threats by ICE and the Trump administration. Here’s what you can do about it this week.
1. STAND WITH IMMIGRANTS. Do you know that immigrants make up nearly 10% of state’s population in Utah? Take the spirit of yesterday’s March for Solidarity in Salt Lake City and today’s “Day Without Immigrants” to heart and be a true ally.
- Get informed – Read this ABC News article to learn why immigrants are essential to the American economy and workforce. Read this PBS News Hour article about how, despite rhetoric from the Trump administration, half of the immigrants targeted by ICE have had only traffic infractions or no criminal record at all. And read this Business Insider article about how the Supreme Court is now hearing the case of a woman whose citizenship was revoked for a minor infraction. SHARE THESE ARTICLES on social media to help other people get informed.
- Ask your MoCs to stand with immigrants – Tell your members of Congress that ICE is splitting up families across the nation and right here in Utah, taking mothers away from their children — even disabled and very young children. Ask your MoCs to make a statement that this is immoral, unethical, not what Utah needs and must stop. Find contact info for your U.S. Senators and Representative here.
- Send a postcard to congressional leaders through RISE UP (Reform Immigration FOR America) – Fill out this online postcard form (listed on our Petitions, Petitions! page) to send a quick postcard to your MoCs, then spread the word to others to do the same by tweeting:
Immigrant communities are under attack! Help @RI4A protect them: http://bit.ly/2nQD2Qj #RiseUp
- Get to know immigrants – Join an event in your community to get to know and understand the immigrant families working and living around you, such as one of Utah Islamic Center’s weekly “Meet the Muslims” events on Friday evenings (join Mormon Women for Ethical Government there on May 19) or next week’s Burundi Cultural Night.
- Write an immigrant mama – Immigrants are afraid and struggling in today’s political climate. Reach out to an immigrant mother for Mama’s Day by sending a note of solidarity and support through Presente.org’s online letter form, trending on our Petitions, Petitions! page now.
- Join our Immigrant Allies Team – Get alerts about local UT events and press conferences to help rally community members to the aid of immigrants and deportees in our own communities. Join by clicking here.
2. STAND WITH NATIONAL MONUMENTS. Last week Trump signed an executive order to “review” over two dozen national monument designations, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase, threatening to rescind Bears Ears designation and dramatically reduce Grand Staircase. The order and review ignore the majority of Utahns who want to see our national monuments kept in place and years of local input, including input from the Tribes, on Bears Ears before its designation as a national monument last December.
- URGENT: Tune in to KUER’s “The Takeaway” today at NOON TODAY and CALL IN! NPR show “The Takeaway” will be focusing on Bears Ears National Monument TODAY, featuring Rep. Rob Bishop. Tune in to KUER (90.1FM) at noon and CALL IN to make a comment.
- Saturday: Mark your calendar for the Monumental March for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase – Utah Dine Bikeyah is staging a Monumental March on the State Capitol Steps this Saturday, May 6th from 1-4p. A large crowd of supporters is critical for this event, so plan to come and bring your families, friends and neighbors!
- Plan ahead for Zinke’s visit to Utah, Week of May 8th – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is rumored to be coming to Utah next week (week of May 8th). Please stay tuned for updates and plan to attend meetings/events while he is in town — whether in Salt Lake or in Southern Utah. It is important to have a large presence of monument supporters wherever Zinke goes.
- Sign petitions – If you haven’t already, sign Utah Dine Bikeyah’s petition to #StandWithBearsEars and The Coalition for Preservation of Grand Staircase’s petition to #StandWithGrandStaircase, then SHARE THEM on social media.
- Share public support for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase on social media – Please help bring attention to these excellent editorials by sharing them on Facebook (tag @SecretaryRyanZinke) and tweeting them on Twitter (tag @SecretaryZinke and @action_utah so others can like and retweet) along with your comments of monument support!
– Salt Lake Tribune editorial: “Utah’s national monuments have already justified themselves” – This outstanding editorial addresses many of the untruths that opponents to Bears Ears are spreading. Share it far and wide!
– LA Times editorial: “Leave the National Monuments Alone” “The people need to remain awake, and they need to fight to ensure that neither the Trump administration nor the fossil fuel-friendly congressional leadership succeeds in this assault on our shared national heritage.”
– Salt Lake Tribune: “Op-ed: Hatch doesn’t tell the Truth about Bears Ears” Partisan rhetoric overshadows facts in the public lands debate.
– Bears Ears Coalition: “Letter to Secretary Zinke Regarding Bears Ears ‘Review’” After 100 days, a letter to Zinke by the Tribes has gone unanswered while Zinke meanwhile promised to complete his review of Bears Ears within 45 days.
3. STAND UP FOR HEALTHCARE. Washington insiders and analysts agree: the American Health Care Act is still dead in the water. So why continue to try and revive it, and why rework at bad bill with amendments that make it even worse? 24 million Americans are still under threat of having their healthcare taken away by the AHCA, and the most recent amendment threatens to remove care from millions more by removing the preexisting conditions requirements through state waivers.
- Contact your MoCs and let them know you are opposed to the American Health Care Act, still. Ask them to stop wasting time and taxpayer money on a bad bill. Find contact info for your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative here.
- Sign petitions like this one and this one by Moms Rising and use MoveOn’s online letter form to tell your congressional representatives your healthcare story, all listed on our Petitions, Petitions! page.
Utah, your voices are being heard in Utah and across the nation. Keep up the good work of speaking out and getting involved. Civic engagement is the best way to impact policymaking that improves our communities. We’re proud of all you are doing!
Andrea & Katie
Co-Founders, Action Utah