12.05.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Tell the electors to reject Trump

There are numerous petitions urging electors in red states to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. It's very unlikely that this would actually happen - it's unlikely that any electors would actually vote against their pledge, let alone enough to shift the win from Trump to Clinton. Clinton has already conceded and President Obama has already (perhaps begrudgingly) welcomed Trump to the White House. So no one should get their heart set on this actually happening.

But hey, it is possible and it would be completely legal. There are 164 electoral votes that are supposed to go to Trump but could legally go to Clinton if the electors chose to vote their conscience. She needs 42 to win, but Trump would only need to lose 20 to cost him the presidency (and put the decision into the hands of the Senate instead). A lot of these are in traditionally "red" states, but this election was different. Many Republicans did not support Donald Trump. However, they also don't support Hillary Clinton. I don't think we should hold out for Clinton as our next president, but the truth is, anyone would be better than Trump at this point. So if the electors wanted to get together and elect someone else entirely, that would still be better (as long as it's not Mike Pence, yuck).



Even if there aren't enough votes to shift the election away from Trump, I do think that any electors that vote against pledge will be making an important statement against Trump. Donald Trump is neither qualified nor fit to be president. He ran for president on a platform of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia and lost the popular vote by over 2 million votes. More importantly, it would make an important statement against the legitimacy of the electoral college in general. The truth is, this system has outgrown its purpose and does not represent the will of the people. So if you want to keep fighting against Trump, I say go for it. So this is how you can do try to do that...


1. First, you can sign the petitions. 

To make Hillary Clinton president:
https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19

To abolish the Electoral College:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/abolish-the-electoral-6

Probably won't do anything, but eh, it certainly doesn't hurt.

2. Confirm whether your state's electors are bound by law or party pledge to cast their vote for a specific candidate. 

The following states have mandates requiring electors to vote the way they're expected to, or else risk of penalty: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. (In Maine and Nebraska, electors are required to vote according to the Congressional District method.)

3. Confirm whether your state went "red" or "blue." 

Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island all voted in favor of Hillary Clinton so these electors don't need to be convinced to vote against the pledge. (Of course, it doesn't hurt to thank or encourage them to vote the way they've pledged, if you want. You can find the full list of electors here.)

4. Find out who the electors are in your state and their contact information.

You can reach most of the electors through a form email on http://asktheelectors.org.

However, if you'd like to reach out directly, I tried to compile as much contact information for as many electors as possible. (Thank you to everyone who helped research this!)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ikDWnm6vIQqjg1gEswFnLiInReGvf0ruNskCA3CzoJ4/edit?usp=sharing

This is not a complete list but I will be updating it as I get more information. If you have the address, email or phone number of any elector on this list please get in touch!!


5. Find out the electoral process in your state. 
Generally, each state's Electors vote at their state capitols and the vote may or may not be open to the public. You can contact your state's governor or secretary of state to find out more about the proceedings.

ARIZONA (11 electoral votes)

Governor Doug Ducey
602-542-4331 (Phoenix)
520-628-6580 (Tucson)

Secretary Michelle Reagan (R)
602-542-4285

Elections Services office
602-542-8683

ARKANSAS (6 electoral votes)

Governor Asa Hutchinson
501-682-2345

Secretary Mark Martin (R)
501-682-1010

Elections Division
501-682-5070

GEORGIA (16 electoral votes)

Governor Nathan Deal
404-656-1176

Secretary Brian Kemp (R)
844-753-7825

IDAHO (4 electoral votes)

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter
208-334-2100

Secretary Lawrence Denney (R)
208-334-2300

INDIANA (11 electoral votes)

Secretary Connie Lawson (R)
317-232-6536

IOWA (6 electoral votes)
Secretary Paul Pate
515-281-6230

KANSAS (6 electoral votes)

Secretary Kris Kobach (R)
785-296-4564

KENTUCKY (8 electoral votes)

Secretary Alison Lundergan-Grimes (D)
502-564-3490

LOUISIANA (8 electoral votes)

Secretary Tom Schedler (R)
225-922-2880

MISSOURI (10 electoral votes)

Secretary Jason Kander (D)
573-751-4936

NORTH DAKOTA (3 electoral votes)

Secretary Alvin "Al" Jaeger (R)
701-328-2900

PENNSYLVANIA (20 electoral votes)

Secretary Pedro A. Cort├ęs (D)
717-787-6458
717-787-2500

SOUTH DAKOTA (3 electoral votes)

Secretary Shantel Krebs (R)
605-773-3537

TENNESSEE (11 electoral votes)

Secretary Tre Hargett (R)
615-741-2819

TEXAS (38 electoral votes)

Secretary Carlos Cascos (R)
512-463-5770

UTAH (6 electoral votes)

Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox (R)
801-538-1041

WEST VIRGINIA (5 electoral votes)

Secretary Natalie Tennant (D)
304-558-6000

WYOMING (3 electoral votes)

Ed Murray (R)
307-777-7378

6. If the proceedings are open to the public, GO! 

Make some signs, gather some friends, and go down there and show them that they need to vote their consciences and vote the will of the people - against Donald Trump. Even if they're not open to the public, you can still stand outside and make your feelings known.

7. Have hope. 

I still think it's very unlikely that we will see Hillary Clinton as our president. It's almost as unlikely that the electors will vote for anyone else other than Donald Trump. But it's still important to make our feelings on this subject known and ultimately reform the electoral college entirely.

For more information...

https://www.facebook.com/NARA.ElectoralCollege/
http://www.fairvote.org/faithless_electors
http://flipthe37.blogspot.com/
http://asktheelectors.org/



11.19.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Tell Paul Ryan about hate crimes & abuse


Speaker Paul Ryan was surprised to hear that there have been an uptick in post-election hate crimes and abuse. The rest of us are all too familiar with everything that's been going on now that a racist, misogynist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic bigot has been elected. 


He's so unaware of this, so Samantha Bee has suggested we all show him what he's been missing and #TellPaulRyan.

Write to him with your personal stories. (If you're lucky enough not have experienced any of this firsthand, print out an explanation of someone else's story. There are enough to go around.) Just let him know about all the hateful, racist, sexist, threatening events that have happened to you and people you know...

Mail them to:

Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515



You can also call his constituent hotline: 1-888-909-RYAN (7926)

Please don't be rude or disrespectful when you call. Just clearly let them know what has been happening to you and that you want Ryan - and the rest of the government - to take a stand against the hateful rhetoric that Donald Trump and Mike Pence has encouraged.




11.18.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Grab Your Wallet & Boycott Trump


The holidays are approaching... which means that shopping season is among us. This year many people are calling for a boycott of all products associated with Donald Trump or his daughter Ivanka Trump. Donald thinks he can grab women by the pussy? Now you're invited to #GrabYourWallet and spend your money elsewhere.

Shannon Coulter has created a spreadsheet of retailers that do business with the Trumps or otherwise supported Donald's campaign. Don't just stop shopping there - tell them why and ask them to stop working with the Trumps and remove all of Ivanka and Donald's merchandise from their shelves.

You can also boycott all of Trump's hotels, resorts, and other properties.

Let's also make an effort to support local businesses that are owned by immigrants, women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color and anyone who has been vocally against Trump.

Grab them where it hurts, their wallets!




11.17.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Periods for Pence & Tampons for Trump

Many women have a good damn reason to dislike Trump and Pence - because Trump and Pence are bad for women. Not only has Trump been accused of sexual assault many times (including the alleged rape of a child) but he's actually bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy." He has promised to overturn Roe vs. Wade and even spoke about punishing women who choose abortion. Pence has a history of legislative actions that harm women - including multiple bills that significantly increased restrictions on abortion and leading the charge to defund Planned Parenthood.

Women have started fighting back in a way for which women are particularly well suited -- with their periods.



Earlier this year women began trolling Governor Pence by sharing TMI details about their menstrual cycles.  In response to one of his more heinous anti-choice laws (one that forced women to endure high-risk pregnancies), women began calling his office to share graphic information about their periods in order to make the point that the government need not be involved in what they do with their bodies. The Facebook page "Periods for Pence" (now "Periods for Politicians") currently has over 86,000 likes.

Now Gabrielle Diekhoff, founder of Clitorally Zine and a contributor to Bust, has taken #PeriodsforPence a step further and started #TamponsforTrump. Women aren't just contacting Trump to tell him about their periods, they are sending them to him. Not literally of course (it is a federal offense to send real blood or other bodily fluids in the mail) but close enough... she is encouraging women (and men) to send tampons and pads and other "period paraphernalia" soaked in fake blood to Trump and Pence.

Some people are also sending photos of period-inspired art to Trump and Pence on Twitter and Instagram. Diekhoff admits that sending Trump and Pence tampons might not be the most productive method of protest (though it is certainly a good method of expressing frustration). She recommends also doing your part to help the women and other marginalized people affected by Trump and Pence's misogyny.

People have already been making donations to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that aim to protect a woman's right to choose in Mike Pence's name. Diekhoff recommends also donating menstrual products to those in need (like a women's shelter) or volunteering at a rape crisis center, for example.

If you'd like to send tampons or letters to Trump and Pence you can send them here:

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Office of Governor Mike Pence
State House, Room 206
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797

Find them on Social Media:

Find pro-choice resources where you can volunteer or donate - here

Contact your other elected officials - here





11.16.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Hope

It's been a week since we got the bad news and while some of us are starting to move on and feel better, many many people are still completely devastated and paralyzed with grief and fear. If you are struggling (or know someone who is) there may not be anything I can tell you to make you feel better.



But I want you to please try to hold on and have hope.

If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, especially following the election, here is a list of support groups, crisis centers, and hotlines. If you are not struggling, maybe you can help support these groups with your time or a donation.

11.15.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Contact the Government

There is a lot to do right now. Where do we start? Let's tell our elected (and appointed) officials how we really feel. We might not be able to prevent Trump from taking office, but we can make sure that all levels of government support the vision of America that we want. Trump wants to make America great again? Let's tell him - and anyone else who will listen - just how to do that. Tell the government what #theAmericawewant really looks like.

Contact Your U.S. Senator
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Contact Your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Contact Your State Governor
https://www.usa.gov/state-governor

Contact Your State Secretary of State
http://www.nass.org/about-nass/alt-roster-2016/

Contact Your State Legislator
https://www.congress.gov/state-legislature-websites

Contact Your Local Mayor
http://www.usmayors.org/meetmayors/mayorsatglance.asp

Contact Your County Executive
http://www.naco.org/counties

Contact Other Local Government Officials
https://www.usa.gov/local-governments

Contact the Supreme Court of the U.S.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/contact/contactus.aspx

Contact Your Local Federal Court
http://www.uscourts.gov/court-locator

Contact President Barack Obama
https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact 

Contact President-Elect Donald Trump
https://apply.ptt.gov/yourstory/
https://apply.ptt.gov/email/ 

Contact Hillary Clinton's Campaign
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/page/contact-us/

List of Government Programs (by Topic)
https://www.usa.gov/contact-by-topic

Index of U.S. Government Agencies (Alphabetical)
https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/a

More Info
https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials/


11.14.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Can Foster Campbell Save the Senate?

Unless you're in Louisiana, you might not have known that there is still one seat in the Senate up for grabs this election season. There is a run-off election in Louisiana happening on December 10th and it could make a huge difference. Right now, the Republicans control the Senate with a 52 majority. That means it will be near impossible for the Democrats to block any horrible bills that come out of the House of Representatives (which is even more Republican-dominated).

However, if Democrat Foster Campbell beats his opponent John Kennedy for the Senate on December 10th, then that means we will have a 51-49 Senate instead of a 52-48 Senate. That difference is actually kind of huge.



But there's not much time and Kennedy has a lot of support. Foster Campbell needs us right now. Please if you are in Louisana, VOTE FOR FOSTER CAMPBELL on December 10th! If you know any liberals or Democrats in the area, please spread the word. And everyone else, please donate to his campaign so he can try to reach as many voters as possible.

http://www.fostercampbell2016.com/

11.13.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Abortion

There are many groups of people who will be seriously harmed by Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Today I'm going to focus on one particular aspect of their platform that will affect many many women - women's health and reproductive rights. Donald Trump has vowed to put anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court. Mike Pence has a very ugly history of gross legislation that harms women.

So here are some small things we can do to try to offset that nastiness and support a woman's right to choose...

If possible, go ahead and make your donation in Mike Pence's name. Sometimes you can request that they mail him a certificate of donation. If you can, have it sent to Office of Governor Mike Pence, State House, Room 206, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797.


11.12.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Safety


You may have seen someone wearing a safety pin, but didn't know what it meant.

After "Brexit," many British people and immigrants were victim to racist and xenophobic attacks. Someone came up with a small way to show solidarity and support - a safety pin. Wearing a safety pin meant that you were an ally and that others were safe with you.

Over the last few days there have been a lot of reported hate crimes and attacks in the U.S. Unfortunately Donald Trump's hateful and racist rhetoric has given a lot of bigots the impression that it's totally okay to openly be a bigot now. So some people have adopted the #safetypin idea here in the U.S.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, wanting to show people that you're on their side is a good thing. On the other, much like signing a petition, this is really bare minimum kind of stuff. You don't get to just put on a pin and call it a day and think you're an ally. It takes a lot more than that. Now, I've been saying the last few days that it's okay if you're still mourning and aren't ready to leap into action. We all have to grieve in our own way and this is a fucking rough time. So if you're white and you want to show people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. that you're an ally - great, wear a safety pin, it doesn't hurt anyone to do that. If even one person feels a little bit safer walking down the street because they see your pin, then that's great. But it's temporary.

But if you're going to wear the symbol of an ally, you also have to actually be an ally. You have to also do the work. You have to call out racism when you see it. You have to educate those around you (and yourself). You have to fight to create actual change. You have to do the work it will take to fix this fucked up world.

It's not enough to show people they're safe with you. You have to help make this a nation where they can always be safe.

If you still need a little time to recover from the tragedy that was November 8th before you get out there on the front lines, that's okay. These wounds are fresh, but they will heal and when they do, if you want to be an ally, be an ally. Don't just sign a petition or write a blog post or wear a pin.

11.11.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Wishful-thinking and Petitions

I have so much respect for anyone who is able to go march and fight and protest already. I am just not there yet. I want so much to be on the front lines, but I physically and mentally just don't have it in me yet. I promise I will get there. Baby steps. For now, I am going to do what I can do from the comfort of my own home (fully recognizing the privilege I have in being able to say I have a home to feel comfort within).

 I have always kind of believed that signing petitions is a lazy and futile form of activism. It helps you feel better, pat yourself on the back that you helped, when all you did was write your name or click a box and it may or may not make any difference anyway. But since I am so emotionally spent that it's hard for me to even type this out, I absolutely do see value in petitions today. I would hope that everyone follows up their signing with some other form of action, but right now I don't have it in me either so I get it.

 The last few days, I've been fluctuating between uncontrollable sobbing, anxiety so intense I feel like I'm actually vibrating, paralyzing fear, and numbness. I am struggling to keep these moments of hope and inspiration going. So if signing a petition for an action that will probably never happen (but wow, wouldn't it be great if it did) makes us feel better, let's do it. Who knows... maybe it will actually work. It's improbable, but I never imagined that Donald Trump would be elected president, so clearly the improbable is not impossible. Sigh.

Anyway, here are some hail mary wishful-thinking attempts at making #TheAmericaWeWant...

Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19 
https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19
They are asking the electors to vote their consciences and the will of the people. Hillary Clinton won the Popular Vote which means that the people voted to elect her. The electoral college does not reflect that decision, but the electors can still vote their consciences and block Donald Trump from taking office.


Abolish the Electoral College
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/abolish-the-electoral-6
They are asking for the abolishment of the Electoral College. For the second time in recent history, the people voted for a President who did not get elected due to the Electoral College system. It has outlasted its usefulness and purpose. 

Appoint Garland Now (Senate Has Waived Its Rights)
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appoint-garland-now-senate-has-waived-its-rights
They are asking President Obama to exercise his constitutional right and duty to appoint a Supreme Court Justice. The Senate has the right to advise and consent, but their refusal to take any action on Judge Garland's appointment amounts to their waiving their right to do so. 

Investigate James Comey for Hatch Act Violations
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/investigate-james-comey-hatch-act-violations
They are asking James Comey to resign from his position as director of the FBI and for there to be an investigation into his violating the Hatch Act by attempting to influence the election. 

If you know of other petitions that you think might help (or might make us feel better) you're welcome to share them. However, I am personally not in favor of the petitions to impeach Donald Trump unless they also apply to preventing Mike Pence from taking his place. I am very unhappy at the prospect of a President Trump, but I fear a President Pence may be just as bad if not actually quite worse.


11.10.2016

#TheAmericaWeWant: Comfort and Self Care

Yesterday, the U.S. made the gross mistake of electing Donald Trump to be president. So yesterday I decided to take the #theAmericaWeWant pledge. (Actually yesterday, I invented #theAmericaWeWant pledge - that's right, it's totally made up, I'm literally the only person using this hashtag and that may never change but I don't care.)

I pledged to every day do something (anything, just one thing, no matter how big or small) to help make the America a better place, more like the America we want. Yesterday, day #1, I did literally the bare minimum - I made the pledge and shared it. Many of us are still reeling from the results so it might be difficult to jump into activism and "do-good-ing" already, myself included. So today, for day #2, I'm going to start off slow and focus on comfort and self care.

Yesterday at school, my teenage daughter witnessed a perky blonde girl approach a group of young women of color who were obviously very upset and angry about the election and tell them "don't worry! we're all gonna be fiiine!" They were understandably pissed off and told her that maybe she is gonna be fine, but they are not gonna be fine. I know this girl was just trying to cheer them up, but her approach was completely tone deaf. Sure, maybe we all are going to be fine, but they were right to be angry because they face greater risks and greater obstacles than she does. It's a lot easier for her to be optimistic. Their sadness and anger and fear is understandable and it needs to be let to run its course. The best way to be an ally is to listen, not speak.

11.09.2016

The America We Want

Today I woke up to the news that Donald Trump was going to be our new president. I was sad and scared and angry and confused. So many people in the U.S. are at risk under this new administration and I was at a loss for what to do to make the world make sense again.

I needed to shake that feeling of grief and turn that negative energy into something positive. So I'm asking everyone to pledge to do something today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Every day. For the next four years. And beyond. Do something to make America into the America we want.

Do something. Anything. Big or small. Make a donation to Planned Parenthood. Volunteer at an LGBT+ homeless shelter. Sit next to your Muslim neighbor on the bus. Call out that sexist joke your uncle made. Teach your children to stand up to bullies. Hug a friend. Something. Anything. Just do something every day.

Every day think of something you can do to make America #theAmericawewant.

Trump and Pence said they want to make America great again, but I don't want to be a part of a country that they think is great. That is not the America I want. But as tempting as it is to just pack my bags and move to Canada, I'm not going to abandon my friends who are Muslim or Jewish or People of Color or LGBT+ or members of any other marginalized group that will be hurt by "President Trump." I will fight for you. We can actually make America great. We are stronger together.

Will you join me?

Every day think of something you (and others) can do to give back or to help or support someone who may be hurt by the results of this election. Go on social media and share an idea or a link to an organization or event. Or just tell everyone what #theAmericawewant looks like to you.

(But please, don't post exploitative stuff like sharing photos of some homeless guy you just gave five bucks to. This isn't about patting yourself on the back for doing the bare minimum. This is about giving others hope for ways to not only survive the next four years, but thrive during the next four years.)