Bigotry rising, reproductive rights declining, and guns everywhere: Civic action to-do list for 5-7-18

3. Antisemitism and racism are on the rise...

In America people of all races, religions, and genders should be able to live lives free from discrimination, hate, and violence, and yet in the last few weeks we have seen both local elected officials and candidates for United States Congress and Senate speak vile, hate-filled, anti-Semitic rhetoric. As hate crimes in the U.S. and Europe are increasing, it is more important than ever to stand up against anti-Semitism and bigotry. One way to take action is to encourage your local law enforcement agency to submit accurate hate crime data to the FBI so we can better understand the problem and form tailored solutions - eighty-eighty percent of participating jurisdictions reported zero hate crimes in 2016, including 70 cities with populations over 100,000 residents. You can also call your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act of 2017 (NO HATE Act), a bill that provides grants to help local law enforcement submit their crime information to the FBI.

2. Reproductive rights are on the decline...

A woman’s constitutional right to privacy allows her to make her own decisions about her own reproductive choices. This precious right is at danger and we must be vigilant about protecting it. Just last week the Iowa legislature passed the most extreme abortion restriction to date, making it illegal for a woman to terminate a pregnancy after only six weeks (so early in a woman’s pregnancy that she may not even realize she is pregnant).  Take time before the primaries and general election this year to learn about the candidates for state legislative seats in your district and vote for the candidates who share your values on a woman’s right to choose. 

1. ...and guns are everywhere.

Young people in this country deserve to live without the fear of gun violence, and yet, over 800 teens between the ages of twelve and seventeen have been killed or injured by a gun this year. Over the weekend protests raged outside of the NRA convention demanding action - it is up to each of us to stand up to the gun lobby and our elected officials and demand change. Every United States Representative is up for re-election in November, call his/her office and say you will vote them out unless they co-sponsor legislation to reduce gun violence in our country.