Federal Action Alert – Week of July 4, 2021

FOR OUR SENATORS: SUPREME COURT ATTACK ON VOTING RIGHTS/END FILIBUSTER/PASS S1 AND S4.  

On Thursday, July 1, 2021 the US Supreme Court gutted one of the only remaining provisions of the Civil Rights Voting Act of 1965.  It upheld an Arizona law criminalizing the act of a non-family member or non-caregiver driving a ballot to a polling place. On the Navajo Nation, we know that many thousands of people live in remote areas with little access to transportation.  Post offices and polling places are very far away.  Arizona’s law is part and parcel of the Republican attack on minority voting rights and to suppress a solidly Democratic voting bloc.  The only way to “fix” the problem is by enacting the For the People Act (S1) and the John Lewis Voter Protection Advancement Act.  Our Senators support both acts but are unwilling to do what is required to pass the bills – namely reform or eliminate the filibuster.  

Sample voice mail for either Senator: “My name is XXXX and I live in XXXXX.  

I am disgusted by the Supreme Court’s decision a few days ago upholding the Arizona law criminalizing the act of driving a ballot to a post office or voting station if it is not a family member or a caregiver.  This hugely impacts, in fact, disenfranchises, many on the Navajo and Hopi Nations where people live very remotely from post offices and ballot stations.  Our last chance to defeat this assault on our democracy is now, by reforming or eliminating the filibuster and passing the voting rights protections in S1 and S2.  Please take action as the window for stopping these outrages is closing.  Thanks for listening.  

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,

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

FOR REPRESENTATIVE O’HALLERAN:  ON THE ENVIRONMENT

S 1251, The Growing Climate Solutions Act

Passed by the US Senate in June, 92-8. This bill lays out mechanisms for the US Department of Agriculture to assist farmers, ranchers, and private landowners in understanding, applying for, and qualifying for carbon credits for appropriate management of their working lands. It spells out criteria for third-party certifications and technical support for obtaining these; the objective is to lower barriers to participation for private landowners and land managers. Audubon and The Nature Conservancy both support passage of this legislation as an important climate-friendly program.

Now it is going to the House of Representatives for consideration; likely to be discussed in both of O’Halleran’s committees (Agriculture, Energy and Commerce). Contact Representative O’Halleran and ask him to support.

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

Sample script:

Hello – my name is XXXXXXX  and I am a voter and live in XXXXXXXXXXXX. I am writing to urge your support for a bill that recently passed the Senate and will be coming to the House – S. 1251, the Growing Climate Solutions Act. I believe that climate change is one of the most serious threats we face today – a problem that is magnifying all our other problems, from wildfire to water shortages to storms and disease outbreaks. Agriculture and the management of working landscapes – like ranches and forests in Arizona – have a lot to contribute in addressing climate change. This bill would help Arizona ranchers and farmers to get the technical assistance they need to benefit from carbon credit programs while continuing to steward the land and natural resources and open space we all treasure. This bill passed the Senate in June with massive bipartisan support – a 92-8 vote. I encourage you to lead the discussion of this bill in your committees – Agriculture; Energy and Commerce – and to work for strong bipartisan support for passage in the House.

HR 2021, The Environmental Justice for All Act

Bill summary (partial): This bill establishes several environmental justice requirements, advisory bodies, and programs to address the disproportionate adverse human health or environmental effects of federal laws or programs on communities of color, low-income communities, or tribal and indigenous communities.

Specifically, the bill prohibits disparate impacts on the basis of race, color, or national origin as discrimination. Aggrieved persons may seek legal remedy when faced with such discrimination.

In addition, the bill directs agencies to follow certain requirements concerning environmental justice. For example, agencies must prepare community impact reports that assess the potential impacts of their actions on environmental justice communities under certain circumstances.

Relevance: Introduced by Rep. Grijalva March 18; has been assigned to House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where Rep. O’Hallaran is a member. Bill has 65 cosponsors (all Democrats) but O’Halleran is not one of them.

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

Sample script:

Hello, my name is XXXXXX, and I’m a voter and live in XXXXXXX. I’m calling/writing to urge you to sign on as a co-sponsor of HR 2021, the Environmental Justice for All Act. We know that over the years so many damaging environmental impacts have fallen disproportionately on minority and low-income communities – toxic mining wastes on the Navajo Nation, poorly managed recycling and incineration facilities in Latino neighborhoods, many others. Now is the time to make sure that federal agencies pay more attention to environmental justice. This is especially important to me right now, as we are launching major investments in infrastructure, hopefully building more green energy facilities and other big federal projects. We need to be certain these new investments are not just good economically but are safe and not damaging to the people nearby. Please sign on as a co-sponsor and help HR 2021 to pass the House of Representatives.

Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.