UPDATE & ACTION: These next six days mark the end of the first one hundred days of the Trump administration - which also means there are as many as 1,360 days to go before his term comes to its eventual Constitutional end. Our job is a marathon to cut short those remaining days, to shed light in the dark corners this administration wants to hide, and to continue to put pressure on our elected officials that this is not normal and that they have to do their jobs with all the determination and dedication that a constitutional crisis demands. Because without their work, that’s exactly where we will be.
WHAT, WHERE + WHEN
Option 1 : Visit the offices of Senator Schatz, Senator Hirono, and Rep. Gabbard Federal Building at 300 Ala Moana (gather at 11:45am at Ala Moana/Makai side entrance)
Option 2 : Visit Rep Hanabusa's office at 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 1910. (meet at 11:45am on Fort Street Mall side across from Subway)
NOTE : Bring a photo ID
DO NOT give an inch on healthcare! We held off the GOP’s cruel healthcare proposal - an outrageous proposal to take basic services away from the people who need them most to fund tax cuts for the mega-weathy - and now they are threatening to up the ante and try to do it again, as early as this week! There can be no negotiating with the GOP on repeal-and-replace health care reform proposals. None! We need to send a loud and forceful message to all four members of our delegation that we expect them to stand firm against the GOP, protect and preserve the ACA, and stare-down the cruel and morally bankrupt ideas of their republican counterparts.
These aren’t people we can cut deals with. Yes, the ACA can be improved, and we want to see that happen. But that’s not what is on the table and none of our delegation can be fooled into deal-making in the hopes that it will result in improvements. We’re watching. We have their backs, and we expect them to have ours.
2- GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN:
This Friday, day 99 of the Trump administration, the government is slated to shut down if Congress cannot agree on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government operating. On Meet the Press on Sunday, Nancy Pelosi said, “The burden to keep the government open is on the republicans,” referring to their majority in Congress and control of the White House. Rumors persist that the Trump people will insist money for “border security” (a term that appears to be code for “the wall”) must be included in the CR. Our delegation needs to hear from us now that NO MONEY can be included for the wall and other “border security” measures, and that we expect them to stand firm against their GOP counter-parts as the deadline comes closer. If the government is forced to shut down, the damage is to the GOP, and we cannot be complicit in their inability to govern the nation.
3- IMMIGRATION, MUSLIM BAN, and MASS DEPORTATIONS
Jeff Sessions expresses “amazement” that a judge in “an island in the Pacific” can halt Trump’s Muslim ban —a judge Sessions voted for and who sits as a Federal judge in the 9th circuit. In a matter of three hours, ICE agents stopped, questioned, took into custody, and deported Juan Manuel Montes, a DREAMer supposedly protected under DACA. Reports continue to come in that local authorities within Hawaii are being co-opted to assist ICE agents in rounding up undocumented people, frightening our friends and neighbors to the point that they don’t report crimes and abusive relationships and now fear everyday activities like school and shopping. Our Members of Congress need to hear our loud opposition to these brutal tactics and the dog whistle politics that clearly support their actions. In 2012, when Mitt Romney said “No one ever asked to see my birth certificate,” we knew exactly what he meant. And in 2016, we know what Jeff Sessions meant and we know what this administration is trying to do. It’s racist, wrong, and unacceptable. Let our Members know that we expect them to use their voice and demand that local and state officials refrain from the use of local resources for ICE work. Don’t take these threats and insults quietly! Let everyone in Washington know that our federal judge in our #islandinthePacific knows exactly what’s at stake and that Hawaii is proud to lead the way for what’s right, what’s just, and what America was founded upon.
4- SANCTUARY CITY ACTIONS
Actions are moving across the state to establish sanctuary city/state status right here at home. We will demand that our Members of Congress lend their vocal support to these efforts that let Jeff Sessions know that his threats to retaliate against these cities and states will NOT be tolerated.
5- TALK STORY, OPEN DIALOGUE, & TOWN HALLS
Thanks to the terrific work of so many within the resistance movement (that’s each of you!), three of our four Members of Congress held public forums during their time home during the Congressional break. That’s not happening across the country, with many of our fellow resistors having to protest in front of their Members’ offices and question cardboard cut-outs. This week, let’s thank Senator Schatz, Congresswoman Hanabusa, and Congresswoman Gabbard for their respective forums and town halls. Let’s also express our good wishes to Senator Hirono (who had eye surgery during this break), and then let her staff know that we absolutely expect a Town Hall in May, when the next recess occurs.
But while we appreciate what they’ve done, let’s let them know we expect them to do better! The index card questioning at both the Schatz and Gabbard events is scripted, unnecessary, and does not allow for a meaningful exchange. Cong Hanabusa’s open mic event was respectful, productive, and engaging. While we thank them for meeting with us, let’s also remind them that we expect dialogue, not scripted questions and lectured answers, and that when they are home in May, we want to talk story.
And one last message to our Senators…
It is clear that our strategy to delay and stall presidential nominations has been wildly successful. While only two were stopped, the white-hot lights of our questioning and our persistence has flustered this administration. Currently, they’ve only sent 45 nominations to the Senate out of the hundreds that need to be approved (of which 22 have been approved.) When asked why they’ve not sent up more nominations, Priebus could not articulate a coherent sentence, much less a coherent answer. This WH isn’t sending up nominations because they feel bullied by the Senate Dems. Our message to our Senators: it’s working. Keep that pressure going and #persist.