Federal Action Alert – April 10, 2022

Produced by Coconino County Democratic Party and Democrats of the Red Rocks

THIS WEEK’S ALERTS:   

  1. Support legislation protecting the welfare of outdoor workers in dangerous heat extremes.
  2. Encourage our representatives to support Federal protection for our election workers.
  3. Thank our elected representatives for being strong supporters of environmental and environmental justice legislation in the past year.

Contact information for our elected officials is at the bottom of this alert.

A.  Urge support for the protection of essential workers in the face of climate change and extreme temperatures. Several bills have been introduced in both Senate and House that would require employers to provide basic health and safety measures for workers who labor outdoors under increasingly dangerous conditions of extreme heat, smoke from wildfires, and similar stressors. Many such workers – e.g. agricultural workers in fields, road and construction workers – provide essential services but do not receive even minimal protections like shade, water breaks, or limits on how high air temperatures can be before work is halted. Workers often suffer heat-related illnesses and even death. One relevant bill, HR 2193/S 1068 or the Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act, is named after a person who died after extreme heat exposure while working in agriculture. These health threats are highly relevant to Arizona workers in many settings, not just in the south but even in our own high-elevation summers.

Sample script for Senators Sinema and Kelly, and Rep. O’Halleran:  “My name is XXXX,  and I live and vote in YYYY, AZ.  Summer is coming, and I am deeply concerned about the health and welfare of many of Arizona’s essential workers – in agriculture, in road construction, and in other outdoor employment. I know there are several bills that have been introduced to require employers to provide basic protection from these dangerous conditions – bills like HR 2193/S 1068, and HR 5286/S 2510. I am asking you to please do all you can to move some of this legislation forward – for example, signing on as a co-sponsor of one or more of these bills. Our economy and society rely heavily on agricultural workers, workers who keep our roads and buildings in good repair, and other essential laborers working outside in increasingly dangerous high temperatures. As we move towards the extreme heat of summer in Arizona, I urge you to help protect the health and lives of our community members.”

B.  Elections are coming this fall (and here in Coconino County we have an election next month!) – but election workers have been under constant assault over the past couple of years. Federal protection from harassment and threats could make a real difference in keeping election workers safe and on the job as they do the hard work of administering our elections.  The Brennan Center has great background information on the intimidation that local election workers are facing, and on the potential for federal intervention to provide protection (How Congress Can Help Protect Election Workers | Brennan Center for Justice ).

Sample script (mostly borrowed from the Brennan Center) for Senators Sinema and Kelly, and Rep. O’Halleran: “My name is XXXX, and I’m a voter and constituent in YYYY, AZ. You know that unfounded allegations of election fraud have continued to circulate, and that especially here in Arizona we continue to see baseless charges that result in insult, threats, and intimidation against the officials who actually administer our elections. I believe we need immediate action to protect our local election workers against attacks. Recent reports showing the harassment and threats against election workers (even death threats and threats against their families) really concern me. These attacks could very well put the future of fairly administered elections at risk. I ask you to take action to defend election workers – steps that would: 

  • – prohibit the intimidation of election workers who are carrying out their duties;
  • – prohibit the publication of election workers’ personal information with intent to threaten or intimidate;
  • – establish address confidentiality programs to keep the personal information of election workers secure;
  • – provide physical and online safety training to election officials.

The people who keep our elections safe and preserve election integrity deserve to feel safe themselves – please work with your colleagues to draft and pass legislation that addresses this.”

C.  Thank our elected representatives for being such strong supporters of environmental and conservation legislation.  The League of Conservation Voters recently released its most recent Environmental Scorecard, a rating of legislators on their records in supporting important environmental and social justice bills of the past year. (You can find information on the Scorecard and the specifics of the scored legislation, and of lawmakers’ votes, here:  League of Conservation Voters Scorecard (lcv.org) )  Our senators, Kelly and Sinema, scored 97 % (voting for the LCV-recommended position in all but one of the 30+ scored bills), and Representative O’Halleran scored 100 %. While it is helpful to contact them on specific bills, it is also worthwhile to let them know that in general we appreciate their concern for environmental issues and for environmental equity (trying to reverse generations of environmental damage for marginalized communities).

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Sample voice or email to our people:  

“My name is XXX and I live and vote in XXXXX, Arizona.  I’ve contacted you before about climate change and other environmental issues. I recently saw that you received top/high ratings on the League of Conservation Voters’ annual Environmental Scorecard. I know it can’t always be easy to vote on the side of our environment and for environmental justice. But so many of these issues are absolutely critical to the future of Arizona and its people!  Thanks for your consistent support for a healthy future for our communities and our precious natural environment.” 

Sen. Mark Kelly: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly. 

Sen. Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327.  Email via her website at “http://www.sinema.senate.gov”  Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema .

Rep. Tom O’Halleran: Call (202) 225-3361 (DC) or email via website at https://ohalleran.house.gov/contact  Tag the Congressman @RepOHalleran 

Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.