The Bull's Eye: March 20, 2017

Welcome to the Bull’s Eye - your weekly newsletter with calls to action and updates from PA’s Account-a-bull Teams that help you stay aware of what your elected officials are doing and share clear actions you can take to voice your opinions and hold them accountable to representing you. 

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(1) Action-a-bull: (things to take action on) 

City Council

Indivisibull - Members of Congress

  • WednesdayCall Senator Tillis and ask him to build bridges not walls by voting FOR S.128 (The BRIDGE Act) and ask him to vote AGAINST S. 446 (Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017). These are the bills to focus on this week because they’re both before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Sen. Tillis is a member. Get caught up on these bills by reading our summary and then call Tillis to say you want him to vote AGAINST S. 446 and vote in SUPPORT of S. 128.  Senator Tillis’s DC office: (202) 224-6342

NC General Assembly

  • Thursday:Urge your House Rep to vote against anti-immigrant bill HB 63. Go the extra mile - share this with a friend in a red district in NC so they can call their state rep with the same message! The House Judiciary II Committee of the NC General Assembly is considering HB63, the “Citizens Protection Act of 2017” which would create harsher penalties for people who use fake IDs, strip undocumented people of their right to be released on bail post-arrest, withhold state and federal funds from municipalities who don’t comply with federal immigration law, and require the state Attorney General’s office to investigate anonymous allegations that governments are not enforcing immigration laws. Democratic and Republicans have concernsthe bill could be unconstitutional. Use this script tocall your NC representative andurge them to vote NO on HB 63.
    • Hi, my name is [NAME], and I’m a constituent calling from [CITY, ZIP]. I’m calling to urge to you vote against HB 63. This bill interferes with judicial authority and calls for undocumented immigrants to receive unequal treatment by the criminal justice system. If this bill is passed, it will likely lead to another expensive and embarrassing series of lawsuits. Please vote NO on HB 63.   

Durham Public Schools’ Superintendent Budget Proposal

  • Thursday at 6pm: Come to the Superintendent's Budget Proposal at the Cleveland Building (511 Cleveland St, 27702) to get informed about this critical budget process and show that we care about fully funding public education. Get caught up on the current DPS proposal on our website. We will be in touch with how you can help advocate for the extra money our schools need for this coming school year.

Mark your calendar - April 5th at 6:30pm at Motorco -PA Membership Meeting, Featuring Rep. Graig Meyer & Our Shot. Gather with the PA community to discuss our priorities and role in the current political movement, enjoy a drink and snacks and hear Rep. Graig Meyer on Durham's role in State Politics, Organizing, and Our Shot! Graig is a progressive leader in the N.C. General Assembly and a major organizer for progressives statewide. As a grassroots organization, PA is entirely driven by our members - members meet throughout the year to discuss our priorities, strategy and business. Start or renew your membership today  RSVP on Facebook.

(2) Note-a-bull (things to be aware of)

  • Sustaining Durham's Tree Canopy: Did you know this was an issue? It is. Many of Durham's trees are nearing the end of their lives - in 20 years, if we take no action our tree canopy will be far more sparse.  And let's not forget that tree are not equitably dispersed today - tree planting followed red-lining practices, so that historically black neighborhoods have fewer trees today. Read more about this issue and how to address it now. 
  • What Trump’s budget proposal means: Our team has written a summary to help you understand Trump’s budget proposal released last week, what happens to his proposal now, and how you can hold your members of Congress accountable for their spending decisions. Trump’s preliminary Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal describes the changes he would like to make to the federal government’s discretionary spending in the coming year. It includes major increases to defense spending and major cuts to things like research, diplomacy, the arts, housing, and more.
  • Congress barreling ahead with vote on American Health Care Act (AHCA): Despite concerns from both sides of the aisle about the bill’s effects, the House is expected to hold a floor vote on the AHCA this Thursday. Read our summary of the AHCA here. Both Rep. Price and Rep. Butterfield have rejected this replacement plan.
  • Announcing: The Durham Progressive Action Calendar - your one-stop place for all the ways you can show up for advancing a more just and equitable Durham and N.C.! Bookmark the calendar - submit events to be added - and share the link with your friends:  

(3) Applaud-a-bull

  • City Council members Schewel and Moffitt for championing forward looking policies that can sustain Durham's tree canopy while also spreading it more equitably across Durham neighborhoods.  
  • Senator Thom Tillis is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to create 2,500 more visas for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. The SIV program was established to help Afghans who assisted the US military in Afghanistan (e.g. by serving as interpreters) come to the United States. 

 Final thoughts:

  • The Indivisibull team is in the process of scheduling our first conversation with Senator Burr’s staff. If you’d like to join us in these conversations with Members of Congress (MoCs), fill out this survey. We will do all the planning and you can join to build your advocacy skills and make your voice heard!
  • Are you interested in working on one of the Account-a-bull organizing teams to keep track of how our elected officials are voting and leading, organizing actions and helping raise awareness in the community? If you have a couple of hours a week to commit to this work, you can join one of our organizing teams - email if you’re interested in learning more!

- Accountabull teams