Ask Michael Dell to Resign from the Manufacturing Council

***UPDATE August 16, 2017***

Trump shut down the Manufacturing Council after several CEOs quit.

Michael Dell was not among those quitting. (A meeting of the council was scheduled for later in the day, and it was widely expected that the council would disband on its own.)

Michael Dell’s silence is confounding. It doesn’t matter that he is a major Republican donor; many Republicans have issued strong statements condemning hate groups and Trump’s tacit endorsement of those groups.

If Michael Dell wants to continue attracting talent from Austin’s diverse workforce, he needs to condemn the president’s statements, and explain his decision to stick with the council when other CEOs were fleeing. Because no one wants to work for a leader who lacks moral clarity.

***Original post below***

In January, Donald Trump announced the creation of a Manufacturing Council to work with the administration’s efforts on job creation. The council consists of business leaders from a broad range of industries. It’s a largely symbolic council; they seldom meet, and it’s unclear, what, if any jobs have been created as a result. But symbols matter — especially now, when hate groups draw inspiration from Nazism and other dark forces of history.

In the aftermath of the white supremacist domestic terrorism in #Charlottesville and the Trump administration’s inadequate response, a diverse coalition of activists are pressuring the members of the council to resign. Austin-area Indivisible groups will join those pressuring these CEOs.

We have decided to start local with Michael Dell. As CEOs resign, we will move on to others.

This is a campaign that needs social media to be successful! Companies have staff specifically tasked with monitoring social media, watching out for negative tweets and comments about their brand in real time. Join us in creating a tidal wave of demands that Michael Dell denounce this administration’s tolerance for bigotry and hatred, and its cozy relationship with white supremacists and anti-Semites, and resign from the Manufacturing Council.

What you can do:

  1. Tweet @Dell and @MichaelDell, asking Michael Dell to resign from this council. Retweet others who are doing the same. (Suggested hashtags: #QuitTheCouncil #DitchDell.)
  2. Visit the Dell Facebook page and write a post with your concerns, and send them a direct message, too.
  3. Call Dell at 1-800-624-9897 and demand that Michael Dell leave the Manufacturing Council.

Ben Wikler of MoveOn has an insightful Twitter thread about why social media pressure works on brands and companies:

 

 

Take action TODAY to stop ACA repeal

The vote to repeal the ACA is now scheduled for TODAY!

If you can go to your representative’s office and make your case in person, today’s the day!

If you can’t, keep making calls!

Here are the changes to the bill demanded by the House Freedom Caucus that make it so much worse. Remember, this bill didn’t get a vote yesterday because some members thought it was brutal enough.

This bill is terrible and it’s getting worse. What moderates may not know is just how bad eliminating essential health benefits are.

  • Covering pre-existing conditions would only be on paper. Plans will not over basic services, even prescription drugs, that people need to treat their conditions to stay healthy.
  • Charging women more than men. No longer requiring plans to cover maternity care would mean that insurance companies would once again be able to penalize women and charge them more.
  • Removing Essential Health Benefits effectively obliterates out-of-pocket caps and reinstates annual and lifetime limits. Because annual and lifetime limits apply only to essential health benefits, insurers could once again put a cap on how much care one receives but not on how much people owe. Those with employer-sponsored coverage will be at risk too.

ASK: Vote no. We need every member to PUBLICLY oppose the health care repeal bill as soon as possible. We need people to publicly say they are going to vote no so when the time comes for them to vote we already have them on record so they will be less likely to flip.

Week of Action on ACA Repeal aka NO #Trumpcare

Update: Please RSVP for our Tuesday night conference call, where we’ll discuss ACA repeal

The Affordable Care Act faces a critical repeal vote this Thursday.

This is a do-or-die moment for the ACA. Exactly seven years to the day of the Affordable Care Act becoming law, the House of Representatives will be voting to repeal it and replace it with Trumpcare—a plan that would lead to 24 million Americans losing their health care.

We’ve put together some resources to help you speak with your member of Congress or their staff about the harm ACA repeal will do to Texans.

This week we need to call our members of Congress and demand that they reject Trumpcare.

Here’s a script:

I’m calling to ask Congressman _____ to oppose Trumpcare. According to the CBO, Trumpcare will result in 24 million Americans losing their health care over the next 10 years. It will mean higher premiums for many Americans, worse coverage options, and even millions of people with employer coverage will lose their coverage as a result of this bill. Trumpcare also cuts $880 billion in funding for Medicaid, which will result in 14 million Americans from working families losing their coverage. It does all of this in order to give a major tax cut to the wealthiest Americans, insurance companies, drug companies and other corporations like medical device companies. This is unacceptable.

If the staffer says the CBO score is bad: That is not true. The CBO is a well-respected, nonpartisan office that does cost estimates of major bills to make sure that the public and Members of Congress understand the full impact of bills like Trumpcare. Republicans and Democrats alike have relied on CBO estimates for decades and so there is no reason to believe its analysis is wrong. The CBO score is clear in that millions of Americans will lose coverage because of Trumpcare.

Will Congressman _______ commit, publicly, to voting against Trumpcare?

Use the following to add more local detail to your phone calls and emails:

How many Texans will lose their health insurance by 2026 as a result of Trumpcare, and how much more will it cost them?

Use this interactive map from the Center for American Progress to find out.

How many will lose insurance in your Congressional district by 2026 as a result of Trumpcare?

Download this table from the Center for American Progress to find out.

What’s the true cost of Trumpcare in your Congressional district?

Find your district’s fact sheet in this memo from the Democratic staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the impact of the potential ACA repeal on each of the 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia. (These numbers do not agree exactly with the previous table, likely due to differing methodologies.)

How will tax credits change for people in your county?

While some younger people may do slightly better under Trumpcare, costs will skyrocket for Texans in their late fifties and early sixties. Use this interactive map from the Kasier Family Foundation to find out.

If you want a more in-depth exploration from very smart policy wonks of all the horrible things this bill will do, listen to last week’s emergency ACA call with Indivisible, the Center for American Progress, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Families USA.

Organize a vigil at your member of Congress’ office

Millions of lives hang in the balance. The House vote this coming week is the first step towards enactment of this devastating Trumpcare bill. But you and your Indivisible group have the power to stop this.

Centex Action Network in Waco has organized vigils at Rep. Flores’ office Wednesday and Thursday nights this week, and they invite Indivisible groups from across Texas and the nation to hold their own vigils at their member’s offices this week.

UPDATE: Many more vigils are happening!

Is your group holding a vigil? Let us know and we’ll add it to the community calendar.

CBO Score on repeal is out P.S. we’re all screwed

The Congressional Budget Office score is out, and #Trumpcare will throw 14 million people off insurance by 2018, rising to 24 million by 2026. All for a savings on the deficit  $337 billion over 10 years (which is virtually nothing–the US budget for 2015 was $3.8 TRILLION).
 
Per the CBO:
  • Premiums would rise by 15 to 20 percent in the near term
  • 7 million people would lose their employer coverage
  • Increased deductibles and out-of-pocket costs
  • 25% cut to Medicaid by 2026 (still affects states like Texas that didn’t expand Medicaid)
  • The monthly health insurance premium for a single 64-year-old who makes $26,500 would jump more than 700% (from $1,700 to $14,600)
 
You know what to do! Start making those calls NOW:
 
Sen. Cornyn, 512-469-6034
Sen. Cruz, 512-916-5834
Rep. McCaul, 512-473-2357
Rep. Flores, 512-373-3378
Rep. Smith, 512-912-7508
Rep. Williams, 512-473-8910
Rep. Carter, 512-246-1600
Rep. Doggett, 512-916-5921

Reminder: Tell your Senators don’t confirm Betsy DeVos

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, may be the worst of them all. Of course, it’s hard to say in his cabinet of horrors. She was one of his first candidates for the cabinet in exchange for giving nearly $200,000 to the Republican National Committee and millions more to super PACs aiding Trump and GOP senators’ campaigns—including one founded by the Koch brothers this year.

She said, “collectively (it) is possible” her family has given around $200 million to Republican causes over the years. She has also donated to at least four of the senators who heard her initial testimony, and none of them recused themselves from the vote. “My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee,” she wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. “I have decided to stop taking offense,” she wrote, “at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return.”

DeVos and her husband have given hundreds of thousands to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group whose founder called the battle against LGBT rights a “second civil war,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group has also pushed so-called “conversion therapy” — discredited practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation — according to the Human Rights Campaign. Betsy and Dick DeVos, have spent heavily in opposition to same-sex-marriage laws in states all over the country.

She didn’t go to public schools, was never a teacher at public schools, didn’t have her children go to public schools and didn’t run a school district or state education agency, and is quoted as saying “government really sucks” and the public school system is “a dead end.” She once described education reform as a way to “advance God’s kingdom.” She supports diverting public funds to pay for kids to attend private, religious schools.

Under oath she said she wouldn’t enforce the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which requires that public schools provide children with disabilities a “free and appropriate” education just like other students.

She refused to promise that she would not privatize and stop funding from public schools.
She didn’t seem to understand very basic federal education laws.

She declined to say whether she believes that all schools receiving taxpayer funding — public, public charter, or private — should be held accountable to the same performance standards. She also declined to say whether such schools should be required to report suspensions and expulsions, and incidents of bullying and harassment, to the federal government.

She has no experience with college financial aid or management of higher education which is a huge part of her department.

Her only work in education has been to gut Detroit’s struggling school system which has turned their schools –including the private charters- into some of the worst in the nation.

If Trump’s voucher agenda moves forward, it is also possible that the federal government could send Title 1 funding, a $15 billion program that exclusively funds low-income public schools, to high-income private and religious schools.

Without great public education there is no hope for our democracy. We can already see the effects of schools failing to teach history, civics, critical thinking, math, science, and the arts as schools have become horribly underfunded in these last generations.

Watch this video of Tim Kaine asking her about policy https://www.washingtonpost.com/vide…

Call your Texas senators today and every and day and ask them to reject DeVos.

John Cornyn at (202) 224-2934
And Ted Cruz (202) 224-5922

Here is a link to the rest in case you’re not reading from Texas. Just put them in your phone’s contacts and it’s super easy to call every day. (Although if I ever see an incoming call from Ted Cruz I’m going to totally freak out.)

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

And a script from Indivisibleatx:
My name is ____ and I live in ____ I am calling to urge you to vote “NO” on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos has no training or experience in education and supports dangerous and unproven policies that would funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to private entrepreneurs. This is both unconstitutional and against the values of the millions of Texans who believe in the value of public education. Our children deserve better – vote “NO.”

And here is a works cited & other articles:

Out of options
School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next. https://news.vice.com/story/school-…

Betsy DeVos’s Accountability Problem https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/01/betsy-devoss-accountability-problem/513047/?utm_source=twb

Trump’s Pick for Education Could Face Unusually Stiff Resistance
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/us/politics/betsy-devos-education.html?_r=0

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Seems Unfamiliar With A Major Federal Education Law
Sens. Tim Kaine and Maggie Hassan were beside themselves at her confirmation hearing during a back-and-forth over students with disabilities.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/betsy-devos-trumps-education-pick-seems-unfamiliar-with-a-major-federal-education-law_us_587f7c0fe4b0c147f0bc01ea

Betsy DeVos: Donald Trump’s education secretary pick shows school vouchers are at the top of his agenda
http://www.vox.com/2016/11/23/13735102/betsy-devos-education-donald-trump

Trump education pick painted by Dems as unqualified http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/17/politics/betsy-devos-education-nominee-donald-trump/index.html?sr=twCNN011817betsy-devos-education-nominee-donald-trump0114PMVODtopLink&linkId=33507830

BETSY DEVOS, TRUMP’S BIG-DONOR EDUCATION SECRETARY
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/betsy-devos-trumps-big-donor-education-secretary

Questions and conflicts: Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s secretary of education choice, is surrounded by controversies
http://www.salon.com/2017/01/17/questions-and-conflicts-betsy-devos-donald-trumps-secretary-of-education-choice-is-surrounded-by-controversies_partner/

Trump’s Billionaire Education Secretary Has Been Trying to Gut Public Schools for Years
Meet Betsy DeVos, the anti-union, pro-voucher surprise nominee.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/education-secretary-betsy-devos-vouchers-michigan-trump

Tuesday is Texas Muslim Capitol Day

***Please see this post to for details on how to be a peaceful supporter for this event on Tuesday***

___

Y’all, I missed a lot of the news yesterday and this morning I was struggling to believe what I was reading.

I don’t know why I was surprised. When an autocrat tells you something, believe him.

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. – Masha Gessen, Autocracy: Rules for Survival

About 10 days ago Texas state Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R- New Braunfels) sent a letter to Muslim organizations across Texas demanding they fill out a poll about their beliefs. He followed it up with a forum on Thursday at the State Capitol called “Defending Against Radical Islamic Terrorism in Texas,” which featured controversial speakers, some of whom claim that Texas Muslims want to overthrow our government and institute sharia law, and that they have, “a different methodology for the destruction of Western civilization…”

All of this was leading up to Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Tuesday, January 31. It’s a citizen lobby and advocacy day that happens every legislative session, and many religious groups have similar lobby days throughout the session. In recent years the event has drawn nasty and angry protests and reactions from lawmakers.

In 2015, then-Representative Molly White (R- Belton), who was not re-elected, demanded that any Muslims who came to her office recite an oath of loyalty before her staff would speak to them. She also, weirdly, left an Israeli flag on her desk. Participants in the lobby day, including school kids,  were verbally harassed and spat at.

This year’s lobby day is happening in what is probably the most hostile climate for Texas Muslims since 2001. A couple weeks ago the Islamic Center of Lake Travis’ under-construction mosque burned. Last night the Victoria Islamic Center’s mosque burned.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m. there is an opportunity to show up and stand with Texas Muslims who are engaging in participatory democracy. “Peaceful protectors” will gather to create a buffer zone between the event’s participants during their morning program on the Capitol steps, and the counter protesters. Texas Muslim Capitol Day organizers hope to get at least 200 people as Peace Observers. Representatives organized by Rep. Celia Israel and other faith leaders are expected to join in the protective action.

This is a chance to stand, indivisible, with Texans whose rights are under attack.

CALL TO ACTION: Peaceful Protectors at Texas Muslim Capitol Day

On Tuesday January 31 at 9 a.m. there is an opportunity to show up and stand with Texas Muslims who are engaging in participatory democracy. This call to action is unique–this is not an “Indivisible” action or protest or rally. It’s a call to stand with marginalized members of our community as they engage in our democratic process.

BACKGROUND:

Texas Muslim Capitol Day is a biennial citizen lobby day taking place at the Capitol. This year’s lobby day is happening in what is probably the most hostile climate for Texas Muslims since 2001.

“Peaceful protectors” will gather to create a buffer zone between the event’s participants and the expected counter protesters during their morning program on the Capitol steps. Representatives organized by Rep. Celia Israel and other faith leaders are expected to join in the protective action.

This is a chance to stand, indivisible, with Texans whose rights are under attack.

From the organizers:

Code Of Conduct –

#1 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS – This is literally and figuratively the #1 rule. We are not there to engage, debate, one-up etc. We are there to form a human chain and act as a barrier. Any communication that might possibly need to happen between Peace Observers and Protesters will be handled by designated liasons.

#2 Remember that you are indirectly representative of the event and the community taking part – We are standing in solidarity with a marginalized community and thus we are not acting as individuals and we must consider the way our behavior could reflect on the people with whom we want to show solidarity.

#3 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

#4 Keeping #2 in mind, even amongst each other, please keep language, gestures, etc G-rated.

#5 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

#6 Keeping #2 in mind, please wear clothing with only G-rated messages (or no messages, obviously.)

#7 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

#8 Do not bring signs, banners, flags, etc. – This is NOT a counter protest.

#9 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

FAQ:

Q: What time do we meet up?

A: 9 a.m. in front of the Capitol (south steps). The morning program will end before lunch.

Q: Is there anything else I can do?

A: Nope! Just invite people to help and show up. Keep it simple.

Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Facebook