Monday, December 31, 2018

Tell Alex Azar and Kirstjen Nielsen: Let the children go. Stop sharing sponsor data with ICE


The petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reads:
"Stop helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement target and detain immigrants who apply to sponsor children in detention. End data sharing between the Office of Refugee Resettlement and ICE."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Tell Alex Azar and Kirstjen Nielsen: Let the children go. Stop sharing sponsor data with ICE.
Some believe that the greatness of a nation is determined by how it treats its children. By this measure, the United States is failing.
There are still more than 14,000 immigrant children in DHS custody, and instead of placing them with willing sponsors, the Office of Refugee Resettlement is making sure many of them stay behind bars. Over the summer, HHS Secretary Alex Azar and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen enacted a data-sharing agreement that weaponized ORR.1
ORR now shares the biometric and background check data of any person who applies to sponsor a child with ICE, preventing many family members from stepping forward for fear of being hunted down and detained by Trump's deportation force. Sens. Gillibrand, Hirono, Booker, Merkley, Feinstein and Blumenthal are calling on Azar and Nielsen to end this cruel policy. Add your name now to help turn up the pressure.
At the height of the family separation crisis over the summer, Azar enacted an ORR policy that forced potential immigrant sponsors and everyone in their household to go through an extreme vetting process and then shared the data it collected with ICE. As a result, ORR is now an extension of Trump's deportation force. Thousands of refugee children locked up in inhumane detention facilities are serving longer sentences because many people are too afraid to sponsor them.
The average stay in detention for unaccompanied minors increased from 40 days in 2016 to 59 days in 2018.2 The total number of children DHS and ORR are detaining at once is at an all-time high.3
The effects of detention on children are devastating. The trauma of being ripped from family members and forced to live in overcrowded camps and prisons can have debilitating lifelong effects on a child's health and well-being.
HHS says its focus is the health, safety and best interest of the child. Yet, the nation watched in horror as thousands of children suffered in isolation and inhumane conditions in the tent camps of Tornillo, Texas, without adequate access to legal services. ORR recently announced a minor change to its vetting policy, eliminating the requirement that household members of sponsors be fully vetted before a child is reunited with a parent or loved one.4 That is not enough. As long as ICE remains at the center of ORR’s reunification process, children will be in harm’s way.
Add your name now to help us and our friends at the National Immigrant Justice Center shine a bright light on the dangerous collaboration between ORR and ICE, and demand that Azar and Nielsen end it now.
Tell Alex Azar and Kirstjen Nielsen: Let the children go. Stop sharing sponsor data with ICE. Click the link below to sign the petition.
Nicole Regalado, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Victoria Bekiempis, "Refugee agency accused of helping deport relatives of migrant children," The Guardian, Nov. 28, 2018.
  2. Colleen Long, "The Trump Administration Reverses Its Policy on Migrant Children's Sponsors," TIME, Dec. 19, 2018.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Miriam Jordan, "Thousands of Migrant Children Could Be Released After Sponsor Policy Change," The New York Times, Dec. 18, 2018.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Tell Congress: Pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Support ALL Domestic Workers Bill of Rights 
Petition to Congress:
"Pass the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights immediately in the new Congress."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Eight states already have laws on the books protecting domestic workers, but being protected should not depend on where you live. That's why progressive champions Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Kamala Harris, working with our friends at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, plan to introduce the Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights as soon as the next Congress meets in January.2They clean houses. Care for seniors. Nurse the sick. Raise children. But the reward for the hard work of our nation's more than 2 million domestic workers is low wages, harassment, unsafe work conditions, discrimination and even abuse.1
We need to make sure that women, people of color and low-income workers are at the top of the Democratic agenda come January – which means speaking up right now while leaders are setting priorities.
Domestic workers often make less than the minimum wage and rarely get healthcare coverage or any sort of retirement plan. Without protection, their employers can hurl racial slurs or abuse, force them to work odd hours without breaks or sick days and refuse to protect their safety.3
The Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights helps in two ways. First, it would extend labor laws to domestic workers. They would get Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections, help in cases of discrimination or harassment, the right to overtime pay, and the ability to form unions.4
Second, the bill would extend essential new protections – like retirement savings, affordable health care, training and development and the right to meal breaks, rest breaks, paid sick days, federal agency protections, contracts on paper, privacy and knowledge about their schedules in advance. These powerful protections could set a new standard for all contingent workers, from Amazon warehouse "contractors" to ride-share drivers.5
Because domestic workers are exempt from basic labor laws, they are a target for abuse and exploitation. And because they are predominantly women of color in a white supremacist society they have a hard time getting the attention and help they deserve. The Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights must be at the top of Congress's list of priorities in January.
Tell Congress: Pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Click the link below to sign the petition:
- Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Bryce Covert, "The New Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Would Remedy Decades of Injustice," The Nation, Nov. 29, 2018.
  2. Ai-jen Poo, Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Kamala Harris, "Change begins at home -- and on the floor of Congress," Nov. 29, 2018.
  3. Covert, "The New Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Would Remedy Decades of Injustice."
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Tell Congress: resist far-right William Barr as attorney general

Tell the Senate:
"Reject William Barr's nomination as attorney general. His long record of right-wing extremist views combined with his anti-Mueller memo disqualify him."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Far-right William Barr must not become attorney general
Trump's government shutdown eclipsed some important news last week: His pick for attorney general, William Barr, wants to give him cover when it comes to the Mueller investigation.
This past summer, Barr argued to senior Justice Department officials that Robert Mueller cannot investigate Trump for obstruction of justice.1
Barr's memo would be disqualifying even if the rest of his record was spotless, but of course, as a member of team Trump, his record is deep on bigotry and intolerance. Trump's loyal Republicans are trying to present Barr as an old-fashioned moderate, but he's really just Jeff Sessions 2.0.2
Since no one asked Barr to write his memo to the Justice Department, it appears that he was actively trying to court favor with Trump by attacking Mueller.3 He essentially signalled that he would shut down a huge portion of the Mueller investigation – the part focused on whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice – with arguments that law professors say don't hold up. The news of the memo came right after news that Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker overruled Justice Department ethics officials and decided not to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. In short, Trump seems to pick attorneys general based on whether they will help cover up his alleged crimes.4
When it comes to Mueller, Barr is worse than Jeff Sessions, but he has an equally ugly record on everything else:

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Join us for a day of action in Phoenix - Environmental Day at the Capitol



It all started at Environmental Day at the Capitol 2018... The Sierra Club had arranged for small group meetings with each of our state legislators. Those of us from district 9 got to meet with Sen. Farley and Rep. Friese.  We were ushered into their offices where we were greeted warmly. After introductions, a few of us lobbied for upcoming bills - referring the legislators to one-sheets provided by the Sierra Club. At the end of each meeting, we thanked our hosts for their time. While shaking hands on the way out the door, I announced that I would be starting an advocacy group to support their efforts for the environment. That was the beginning of our environmental advocacy team!

To be honest, when I first heard of Environmental Day, I had no idea what it was. So I attended the Sierra Club's lobby workshop. That inspired me to organize our own Civics 101 lecture at Sustainable Tucson's monthly meeting, where we signed up the first few members of the advocacy team. We also encouraged S.T. members (and desktop activists) to sign up for the Request to Speak app online to gain input on bills in committee at the state legislature. Last year, we rallied against several bad bills that weakened regulations protecting the San Pedro from thirsty developments, among others.

A year ago, the advocacy team was just a seed of an idea. Now we are 57 strong. Recently a group of us met with US Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick for an Environmental Education meeting. Other S.T. members have formed a Zero Plastic Waste team. Two members of that team will attend Environmental Day at the Capitol on February 13th to urge our state legislators to repeal the law prohibiting towns from banning plastic bags.. 

The Sierra Club has some items that they would like us to address with our legislators. One-sheets on those bills are included in Environmental Day attendees' folders. Also included is a one-sheet that the Zero Plastic Waste team drafted on HB 2395!  Please, consider contacting your state Reps and urging them to support HB 2395 too.

If you would like to learn more about lobbying, please, attend Sustainable Tucson next meeting - Advocacy 101  at 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 12 at Ward 6 (details below.)  Check out Meetup for announcements of Sustainable Tucson meetings.

If you would like a ride on the free bus to the capitol, RSVP for a seat on the bus asap. It filled up fast last year. 

Environmental Day at the Capitol 
Organized By: Grand Canyon Chapter
Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 8:30 AM – 2 PM
RSVP

To reserve a seat on the free bus to the capitol, click on RSVP (link above) and then on "More Info" to sign up for the bus ride from Tucson.


Environmental Day at the Capitol 2018. Can you spot me in my teal shirt? 

Environmental Day at the Arizona Capitol is scheduled for February 13, 2019. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend for all or part of the day. We will be delivering a birthday card to legislative leaders and the governor with Five Cs for a Sustainable Future, hearing from speakers, and meeting with legislators in teams to discuss important environmental issues, bills, and more. No experience is necessary and training is provided. It is a fun, interesting, and meaningful day!

To find out more information or to RSVP, contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org. It is important let them know you will be attending, so they can connect you with a team to meet with your own legislators. In 2018, we had a record crowd. Lets see if we can top it in 2019! 

The Arizona Legislature will begin its session on January 14, 2019. It will kick off with a state-of-the-state address by the Governor and lots of introductions, especially from new legislators. While the Legislature is still a challenging body in which to advance environmental protection, we are cautiously optimistic that we can help stop more of the environmental harm there and perhaps even advance some positive environmental change.

Also, if you would like to stay informed about legislative issues throughout the session, please sign up for the Sierra Club's weekly legislative updates. They include information on bills, committee agendas, and actions you can take.

Sign up for Legislative Updates from the Sierra Club. (Note: condensed legislative Calls to Action are e-mailed to Sustainable Tucson's advocacy team and posted on Desktop Activist Tucson.) 

For more information contact Sandy Bahr at sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org or (602) 999-5790.

Get ready for Environmental Day at the Capitol

Are you ready to make a difference? Interested in helping to protect our air, public land, wildlife, and water? Promote clean energy? Please join us at Sustainable Tucson's February Meeting about State Government.

At our next meeting, Sustainable Tucson will cover the state legislator and some items to bring up at Environmental Day.  Sustainable Tucson's February Meeting about State Government

ADVOCACY 101


Where: Ward 6 office, 3202 E 1st St, Tucson, AZ 

(behind the Speedway Walgreens by the Loft Cinema)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sign the petition: Trump's CBP chief has got to go

Jakelin Caal Maquin died after CBP agents refused to give her basic medical care.
The petition to U.S. Border and Customs Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan:
"Resign now."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Kevin McAleenan must resign
CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has blood on his hands.

Recently, news broke of the tragic death of 7-year-old asylum seeker Jakelin Caal Maquin. She died of dehydration and cardiac arrest after CBP agents refused to give her basic medical care.1 No one should ever suffer a death like this. Yet so many immigrants have at the hands of CBP.2

CBP has a long record of corruption, using lethal force and abusing migrants in its custody.3 And with a Trump foot soldier like McAleenan at its helm, CBP's violence against immigrants is escalating. From separating immigrant families to tear gassing them, McAleenan is carrying out all of Trump's demands. He is dangerous, and he has to go. Jakelin is just the latest victim of CBP's racism and violence. In May, border agents brutally gunned down 20-year-old Guatemalan refugee Claudia Gomez Hernandez and killed transgender asylum seeker Roxsana Hernandez by failing to give her food, water and basic medical care.4,5 Like Jakelin, Roxsana died of dehydration and cardiac arrest. CBP tried to cover up Claudia's death, just like it did Jakelin's.

McAleenan's agents claimed that Claudia attacked them with a piece of wood, though video footage proved that there was no wood near the scene. Similarly, McAleenan kept Jaklin's death secret from the public and Congress for nearly a week. When the story broke, CBP agents tried to blame Jakelin's death on the negligence of her father, spinning a fake story about the poor health of the child.6 This horrific pattern of deception needs to stop now.

CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, but it operates with little government oversight. Since 2003, CBP agents have killed 97 people, including six children and more than 25 U.S. citizens.7 While the causes of death vary, the majority of killings were from bullet wounds, in many cases from shots to the back.8 To justify deadly force, CBP routinely claims that victims of its violence attacked agents. McAleenan used that same defense to justify Claudia's murder and most recently, to defend his agency's use of tear gas and rubber bullets to attack families and children attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.9

Enough. McAleenan is a ruthless Trump loyalist and enforcer who is violating the human rights of migrants and refugees, and empowering border agents to abuse and kill them with impunity. The only laws he respects are the ones that propel Trump's racist agenda forward.

Rep. Joaquín Castro is already demanding that McAleenan resign.10 CREDO activists called for McAleenan's resignation and projected images of Jakelin, Roxsana and Claudia on his home last night.11 Will you add your name now to keep the momentum going?

Kevin McAleenan has got to go. Click the link below to sign the petition.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/mcAleenan_resign/?t=8&akid=30957%2E3130208%2Ekw42ta

- Nicole Regalado, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Robert Moore and Nick Miroff, "Attorneys for father of deceased migrant girl say border agents did not provide water," The Washington Post, Dec. 19, 2018.
  2. Daniel Altschuler and Natalia Aristizabal, "Claudia Gómez González Wasn’t Killed by a Rogue Border Agent—She Was Killed by a Rogue Agency," The Nation, May 29, 2018.
  3. Sarah Macaraeg, "Fatal encounters: 97 deaths point to pattern of border agent violence across America," The Guardian, May 2, 2018.
  4. Annie Rose Ramos, "Transgender migrant from Honduras dies in U.S. custody, NBC, May 30, 2018."
  5. Altschuler and Aristizabal, "Claudia Gómez González Wasn’t Killed by a Rogue Border Agent—She Was Killed by a Rogue Agency."
  6. Anne Flaherty and Wil Cruz, "Border Patrol head didn't tell Congress about Jakelin Caal Maquin to avoid 'politicizing' girl's death, ABC, May 30, 2018."
  7. Altschuler and Aristizabal, "Claudia Gómez González Wasn’t Killed by a Rogue Border Agent—She Was Killed by a Rogue Agency."
  8. Macaraeg, "Fatal encounters: 97 deaths point to pattern of border agent violence across America."
  9. Nick Miroff, "Top U.S. border official defends use of tear gas, says walls are 'important tool'," The Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2018.
  10. Suzanne Gamboa and Gabe Gutierrez, "Congressman Castro demands top border official resign after migrant girl's death," NBC, Dec. 18, 2018.
  11. CREDO, "CREDO Action: Live Protest at CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan’s House.," Dec. 20, 2018.

URGENT CALL NOW: Senator Flake could swing the vote to stop Trump’s border wall



Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a short-term budget resolution to fund Homeland Security with over $5 billion in taxpayer money for Trump's border wall. The Senate will vote TODAY, as early as 10:00 am MST on whether to pass this bill — and as a constituent of Senator Flake, you have an important role in this fight: He could vote either way and decide its fate.

CALL NOW: Senator Flake must vote NO on this bad budget bill and refuse to fund Trump's border wall. DHS doesn't deserve even more of our taxpayer money — and certainly not for the needless, wasteful, and harmful border wall.

The only reason this budget bill is moving forward in Congress is because Trump is refusing to budge on his border wall obsession. The Senate already passed a short-term budget resolution that didn't include border wall funding. But because Trump has made crystal clear that he won't sign any funding bill — even threatening a government shutdown — if he doesn't get to spend our money on the border wall, Senators are flying back to the Capitol to vote on a new bill that includes $5 billion for Trump's wall.

Most people in this country are against the border wall, and it's easy to see why: The wall would not only be a tool of xenophobia, but it would devastate communities, nature, and history in Texas' Rio Grande Valley and other parts of the border region. Funding the wall would reward Trump for his brutal crackdown on immigrants throughout the country, including the cruel, unprecedented family separation policy that his administration spearheaded.

Senator Flake is wavering on this vote, and we have little time left to demand he votes NO: Call Senator Flake right now and demand he refuse this bad budget bill, which allocates billions of our taxpayer money for the wall.

The border wall is nothing more than a monument to Trump's ego, and if we don't act now, then he'll get his wish at our expense. It's up to us to force senators to do the right thing today and vote NO on Trump's border wall.

- Alessandra Soler, Executive Director, ACLU of Arizona

Contact Sen. Jeff Flake:

Tucson Office
F: 520-797-3232

Washington, D.C. Office
P: 202-224-4521
F: 202-228-0515
(Left a message here.)

Phoenix Office
P: 602-840-1891
(Left a message here)

Website: 

Sample script: 

Once connected, introduce yourself to the congressional staffer who answers the phone and say:

Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and my zip code is [YOUR ZIP]. Do not use my taxpayer money to fund the Department of Homeland Security as it asks for even more resources to build Trump's wall, detain families, abuse immigrant children, and terrorize communities. Thank you. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tell Congress: No holiday tax handouts for Wall Street


Petition to Congress:
"Americans resoundingly rejected Republican tax policy in November. Congress should block the Brady tax bill, which is full of holiday handouts for wealthy special interests and preserves the Trump Tax Scam's incentives for outsourcing jobs."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

No holiday tax handouts for Wall Street
The Trump Tax Scam's handouts for wealthy corporations proved so ineffective and unpopular that the bill contributed to historic blowout losses for Republicans in the recent elections, with the largest gains for Democrats in the House of Representatives since 1974.1
So, of course, Republicans have responded with a new bill full of tax-handout holiday gifts for rich and well-connected elites.2
House Republican Kevin Brady recently introduced a new tax package full of handouts for Wall Street, and Republicans are expected to move it forward as soon as Thursday.3 We can't let that happen.
It is a rotten holiday season for General Motors workers. The company announced a few weeks ago that it is cutting 15 percent of its American workforce and shuttering five manufacturing plants.4 The 2017 Trump Tax Scam provides tax incentives for companies to do just this sort of outsourcing.5
But instead of ending Trump's outsourcing incentive, Republicans are trying to make it a very happy holiday season for well-connected elites, financiers and special interests. And in last-minute changes to the bill on Monday, Republicans added even more special interest tax breaks and language repealing a decades-old amendment that prohibits nonprofits from engaging in political activities.
The new Brady tax package fails to repeal the worst of the Trump Tax Scam. In fact, it tinkers with a bill American voters soundly rejected at the polls. House Republicans are in such a rush to pass it without hearings or a chance for Democrats to adequately review its hundreds of pages that we are not even sure of the full extent of the damage it would do. But allies already know it "contains handouts and favors for narrowly tailored and wealthy special interests such as NASCAR race track owners, race-horse breeders, movie producers, venture capitalists, and paid tax prep companies."6
The end of year, lame-duck session of Congress creates intense pressure. Lobbyists press their advantage on members of Congress desperate to wrap up business and head out of town. We need a fierce response to make sure corporate Democrats stand strong and Republicans abandon their plans for yet more tax handouts for the wealthiest few.
Tell Congress: No holiday tax handouts for Wall Street. Click below to sign the petition:
-Josh Nelson, Co-Director, CREDO Action
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Harry Enten, "Latest House results confirm 2018 wasn't a blue wave. It was a blue tsunami." CNN, Dec. 6, 2018.
  2. Jeff Stein, "House GOP’s lame-duck tax package would cost $55 billion, CBO says," The Washington Post, Nov. 28, 2018.
  3. Americans for Tax Fairness, "51 National Groups Oppose New Brady House Tax-Cut Package," Nov. 29, 2018.
  4. Soo Youn and Jeffrey Kirk, "General Motors to lay off 15 percent of workers, shutter 5 plants in North America," ABC News, Nov. 26, 2018.
  5. Americans for Tax Fairness, "51 National Groups Oppose New Brady House Tax-Cut Package."
  6. Ibid.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Tell Congress: Support Sen. Sanders' "Stop Walmart Act"

Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with Rep. Ro Khanna, introduced legislation called the "Stop Walmart Act
The petition to Congress reads:
"Massive corporations like Walmart that do not pay a living wage to their employees should not be allowed to buy back stocks to reward wealthy shareholders. Support the 'Stop Walmart Act' now."
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►

Stand with Sen. Sanders: Support the Stop Walmart Act
When Donald Trump and Republicans enacted their $1.5 trillion tax scam late last year, they promised voters higher wages and more good-paying jobs. Instead, Trump's tax scam made the rich richer and failed to raise wages or create new jobs.
That's because, over the last year, massive corporations used the huge windfall to buy back their own stocks, propping up their own share prices and rewarding their wealthy investors. In fact, stock buybacks are expected to reach $1 trillion by the end of 2018.1
Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, has rewarded its shareholders with more than $120 billion over the last decade, including an additional $20 billion through 2019, while it continues to pay most of its employees poverty wages.2
Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with Rep. Ro Khanna, introduced legislation called the "Stop Walmart Act," to prevent wealthy corporations from buying back its stock unless it pays employees at least $15 per hour. If Walmart won't raise wages for its employees, we must stand with Sen. Sanders and pressure Congress to take action.
The Waltons, who own about 50 percent of Walmart stock, are the richest family in the country with a net worth of roughly $180 billion.3 In 2017 alone, Walmart made more than $13 billion in profits, yet 55 percent of its more than 1 million employees are food insecure, and the company's starting wage for full time workers is below the federal poverty line.4,5
According to the Roosevelt Institute, if Walmart redirected $10 billion of its stock buyback plan to raise wages, the average Walmart employee would see an hourly wage increase of more than $5.66, raising the starting wage for all employees to at least $16.66 per hour.6
Sen. Sanders' bill would prevent these outrageous buybacks by Walmart and other wealthy corporations by:
  • Ensuring all employees, including part-time employees, contractors and franchisees, are paid at least $15 per hour,
  • Allowing employees to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave; and
  • Prohibiting the CEO or highest paid employee from making more than 150 times the median company salary.7
With so many Walmart employees and underpaid workers across the country struggling to make ends meet this holiday season, we must stand with them and pressure Congress to support this critical legislation to stop Walmart's corporate greed and help lift millions of workers out of poverty. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for everything you do.
Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
References:
  1. Jamie Condliffe, "The Stock Market’s Next $1 Trillion Milestone: Buybacks," The New York times, Aug. 6, 2018.
  2. Emily Stewart, "Walmart is paying $20 billion to shareholders. With that money, it could boost hourly wages to over $15." Vox, May 30, 2018.
  3. Forbes, "The World's Billionaires," accessed Dec. 14, 2018.
  4. MarketWatch, "Annual Financials for Walmart Inc." accessed Dec. 14, 2018.
  5. Michael Sainato, "'They Obviously Can Afford to': Workers Call On Walmart To Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour," Common Dreams, Nov. 19, 2018.
  6. Lenore Palladino and Adil Abdela, "Making the Case: How Ending Walmart’s Stock Buyback Program Would Help to Fix Our High-Profit, Low-Wage Economy," Roosevelt Institute, May 22, 2018.
  7. Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders, "Summary of The Stop WALMART Act," accessed Dec. 14, 2018.

Demand companies hold the Plastic Industry Association responsible for their polluting practices

Plastic waste is filling our waterways and destroying our ecosystems. Yet the Plastic Industry Association is working to overturn local ordinances passed to fight plastic pollution. Put a stop to it!

Rather than address this problem, the Plastic Industry Association is working diligently to keep us reliant on disposable plastic products and these companies are supporting their efforts.

Burt's Bees, Ann Taylor, PepsiCo...
  • Ascena Retail Group -- apparel retailer (owner of Ann Taylor, LOFT, Justice)
  • Clorox -- consumer products (owner of Burt’s Bees and Britta)
  • Coca-Cola -- food and beverage products
  • PepsiCo -- food and beverage products
  • General Motors -- automotive products
  • Ford Motor Company -- automotive products
  • Milliken -- textile products
  • Newell Rubbermaid -- consumer products
  • SC Johnson -- consumer products
Each of these companies has pledged to make protecting our environment a priority, yet they're actively funding efforts that will expand the growing crisis of plastic trash filling our oceans and destroying marine ecosystems.1,2 

Demand companies hold the Plastic Industry Association responsible for their polluting practices.

Every minute, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck of plastic gets dumped into our oceans.3 In the United States, stores distribute 100 billion single-use plastic bags per year, many of which end up in our waterways.4

Rather than address this problem, the Plastic Industry Association is working diligently to keep us reliant on disposable plastic products, such as straws, bags, and Styrofoam containers -- known as single-use plastics.

Demand companies hold the Plastic Industry Association responsible for their polluting practices.

Fortunately for our planet, local communities across the nation are taking action.

Nearly 350 cities and towns have enacted local ordinances on plastics, such as plastic bag fees or single-use bag bans.5 These community-driven actions have been shown to keep plastic out of our oceans and litter off of our streets.6

But the plastic industry -- which is supported by member companies like Clorox, Coca-Cola, Ford Motors and others -- is spending big to thwart local work to reduce plastic pollution.7

Speak up to stop the plastic industry’s selfish attack on our oceans!

With the help of the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) draft legislation,8 the industry association has successfully banned plastic bag ordinances in 10 states -- where 70 million Americans live -- so local communities aren’t allowed to reduce plastic litter and environmental pollution.

These common household brands are actively supporting these efforts by funding the plastic industry.

Take action to demand nine major companies withdraw their support from an industry association that is actively promoting plastic bag pollution.

Some businesses have shown leadership, and their actions are true to their corporate values: Becton Dickinson, a medical technology firm, recently left the plastic industry after learning of their lobbying efforts on local plastic ordinances.9

If companies stop supporting Big Plastics as members, the industry will lose power. It's time for these companies to respect our local rights to protect and preserve our environment.

Do you agree?



- The SierraRise Team

References:
1. "Brand Owners Council," Plastic Industry Association, January 2017
2. "Better Industry. Better World," Plastic Industry Association, July 2017
3. James Pennington, "Every Minute One Garbage Truck of Plastic Is Dumped into Our Oceans. This Has to Stop," World Economic Forum, October 27, 2016.
4. "Plastic Bag Fact Sheet," Earth Policy Institute, October 2014.
5. Trevor Nace, "Here's a List of Every City in the US to Ban Plastic Bags, Will Your City Be Next?," Fobes, September 20, 2018.
6. Lorraine Chow, "Plastic Bag Bans Actually Work, Study of European Waters Shows," Ecowatch, April 5, 2018.
7. Justin Fay, "Pulling Back the Curtain: The American Progressive Bag Alliance," Minnesota Sierra Club, March 14, 2017.
8. "Act to Establish Statewide Uniformity for Auxiliary Container Regulations," American Legislative Exchange Council, 2017.
9. Steve Toloken, "Green Investors Push Plastic Industry on Bag Ban Policy" Plastic News, November 5,

Friday, December 14, 2018

Submit Your Letter of Opposition to Trump's Interior Department: Say NO to drilling in the Beaufort Sea and all our Ocean Waters

The Polar Bear Seas.

That's what they call the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, together home to most of Alaska's imperiled polar bear population.

The Beaufort is also the latest target of President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's unrelenting drive to hand over our Arctic wilderness and U.S. coastlines to his oil industry allies.

Drilling in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea would be extraordinarily dangerous — the risk of oil spills there is extremely high, and cleaning up spills in such rugged and remote waters is functionally impossible.

The Interior Department is formally accepting public comments on its risky drilling gambit until January. So we only have a few weeks to flood the Interior Department with thousands of citizen letters opposing drilling in the Beaufort Sea.

Take action now — submit your Letter of Opposition to Trump's Interior Department and say NO to drilling in the Beaufort Sea and all our ocean waters.
An oil spill in the Beaufort Sea would be disastrous for the Arctic's vulnerable wildlife, especially its threatened polar bear population and the region's many species of whales, seals, and sea birds.

And the Beaufort Sea sits right off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, itself a target of Trump's all-out oil drilling onslaught. A spill in the Beaufort could devastate the coastline of the Arctic Refuge, blanketing it with a deadly slick of toxic crude.
With the growing threat of climate change, which is warming the Arctic faster than any other part of Earth, America should be moving away from dirty fossil fuels and doubling down on clean energy.

Stop the Trump administration's new Arctic drilling plans — submit your letter today.

Last spring, thousands of NRDC supporters mobilized to send messages opposing drilling in the Arctic Refuge and Beaufort Sea. And NRDC and our allies filed a lawsuit in federal court to block this illegal oil drilling scheme, and that legal battle continues.

But Trump and Zinke are intent on moving ahead with their drive to drill in these pristine wild places. In addition to their destructive plans for the Beaufort, the Trump administration is about to release a disastrous five-year plan that will likely call for a massive expansion of oil and gas drilling along nearly all of America's precious coasts.

NRDC is prepared to fight offshore drilling on both these fronts and more. But in the meantime, please submit your Letter of Opposition to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke demanding that he halt his department's unrelenting push to open the Beaufort to oil drilling.

- Rhea Suh, President, NRDC

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Submit a PUBLIC COMMENT: Tell the EPA to reject Trump's disastrous Dirty Water Rule



The "Dirty Water Rule." President Trump's new move to give fossil fuel giants, factory farms, and other industrial polluters the green light to pollute thousands of vital rivers, lakes, and streams with no repercussions.

Trump's EPA just released its disastrous plan to gut the protections of the Clean Water Act that help prevent the pollution of drinking water sources for millions of Americans. It makes no scientific, legal, public health, or fiscal sense.

Tell the EPA to reject Trump's disastrous Dirty Water Rule and protect our swimming and fishing spots and sources of drinking water for millions of Americans. Be one of the 100,000 activists we need to stand strong for clean water protections.

The Clean Water Act was designed to protect lakes, rivers, streams, and other waterways across the country, and hold polluters responsible if they violate its requirements.

Trump's Dirty Water Rule will gut those critical protections, and threaten to contaminate our drinking water supplies and destroy important habitats for aquatic wildlife.

We've already seen enough devastating impacts from pollution and climate change on the nation's water resources as of late: Outbreaks of harmful algae in Lake Erie that contaminated drinking water for thousands in Toledo, Ohio... losses in the Pacific salmon population in the Pacific Northwest... drought in California and across the west... and unprecedented toxic algae blooms in Florida, which have killed millions of fish, and other marine wildlife, and led to a state of emergency in the Sunshine State. Hobbling the Clean Water Act will only add to this list.

And while slashing safeguards for clean water will impact ALL Americans, low-income communities and communities of color could be hit the hardest — exacerbating inequality in communities that are already disproportionately impacted by polluted water.

We must stop this no-holds-barred attack on our clean water. Call on the EPA to reject Trump's dangerous Dirty Water Rule immediately and help us reach our goal of 100,000 official public comments.

The Trump administration has been attacking clean water since Trump came into office, and NRDC has sued to protect it.

You can be sure that we'll continue to fight this outrageous assault on clean water — in and out of court — and any Trump administration attack on our environment and health.

Will you join us today and demand that the EPA protect clean water for all?

- Rhea Suh, President, NRDC