Trump’s first SOTU

Donald Trump gives his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 30, at 9pm Eastern | 6pm Pacific. Even if you hate the guy (and you should), somebody needs to listed to make sure he doesn’t announce any stupid new ideas (like drilling for oil on the moon, or requiring every citizen to genuflect and donate $5 every time the pass an Exxon station).

Our team will be listening in (and providing live color-commentary via twitter). And you can tune in with us! RSVP here and/or come back just before the speech starts Tuesday night and we’ll host a live stream of the speech, with running commentary from our team and a range of climate journalists, activists Climate Justice Warriors and more. 

Live Blog State of the Union hate Watching party


Trouble viewing the RSVP/Iframe? Click Here

What to watch for: the Pre Game.

Here’s some links and hot-takes before the big speech to give you an idea what to listen for.

Democrats cave on Dreamers, here’s why it’s bad for the climate.

Yesterday Chuck Schumer led Senate Democrats to abandon their bargaining position and re-open the government. For their vote, those Democrats got absolutely zero protections for Dreamers and only a verbal contract (worth the paper it’s printed on) that he’d allow a vote to protect Dreamers before February 8.

Let’s be clear: Schumer made a BAD deal. Voters, especially young people and independents, already blamed Trump and the Republicans for the shutdown. And as we explained in our last post, huge majorities of people favor action on DACA (just like they do on climate).

Also, as we explained last time, this was a critical litmus test vote for climate change. If we can’t trust Democrats and a handful of Republicans who ​say​ they back a wildly popular policy — in this case protecting nearly 800,000 young people from deportation, but the parallel​ to climate action are clear — ​to stand up and vote that way when given a chance, then we just can’t trust them.

And unfortunately that mushy middle where most politicians live has collapsed again. All but 16 hard-line Dream Heroes (not-coincidentally some of our most reliable votes on climate change) voted to re-open the government rather than be tagged as ‘obstructionists. If you’re angry and looking to do something today, I highly recommend the Dreamer Pledge website which lets you check how YOUR Senators voted, and contact them by phone, by emailing their senior staff directly, and by showing up at their offices.

The decision to re-open the government was not cut and dry: knowing when to end a shut down action never is. And there are some arguing today that the Democrats did the right thing by voting the way they did. There are more of us, however, arguing that the Democrats caved too soon, not only on Dreamers but on Health Insurance and everything else they supposedly “got” in this deal.

At the end of the day, the key issue is whether you believe you can “trust” Trump and his Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. And to be clear, I DON’T. McConnell has been the leading advocate for coal and other fossil fuels in the Senate for years, giving us in the Climate movement more chances than most to observe his duplicitous, double-dealing nature. But it was McConnell’s more recent promises to Senators Flake and Collins that he would hold voted on health care and immigration in exchange for their support of the tax cut that should have tipped Senators off. After all it was Richard Nixon, of all people, who said “With all the power that a president has, the most important thing to bear in mind is this: You must not give power to a man unless, above everything else, he has character.”

It’s doubly disappointing because for once the climate and environmental communities had done a great job of coming together in solidarity, with dozens of groups signing a solidarity letter and showing willingness to show up and shut things down in order to make progress on essential issues like immigration and climate change.

Reacting to the Democratic capitulation, Sierra Club’s executive director, Michael Brune, was unflinchingly critical: “Everyone in the Senate should have learned the lesson Senators Flake and Collins learned: you can’t trust Mitch McConnell. His promises are empty from the start.”

Let your Senators know you are willing to shut things down in order to open them up, and that you expect them to do the same. Click here to make a call with the Dreamer pledge team and stay tuned for more updates within 3 weeks.

Shut. It. Down. Dream Act Now.

There’s a principle in direct action called “shutting things down to open them up.” The basic idea is that since we know “power concedes nothing without a demand,” sometimes you have to shut something down in order to open up a conversation about the moral harm it creates.

This week, there’s a critical opportunity to demand Congress take action – or else shut down the whole government. And we need your help:

Congress has until Friday to pass a spending bill that will keep the government open — including the rogue deportation department called ICE — and we’re working in solidarity with a team that is demanding they say #NoDreamNoDeal and include a clean Dream Act. Anything less is a vote to fund the deportation of hundreds of our brothers and sisters who have lived here their whole lives.

Why is a climate action group working to pass the Dream Act? For two reasons:

  1. It’s about solidarity: In addition to being the right, moral thing to do, climate change and immigration ARE linked issues. As rising seas, extreme weather, and fights political and military create more and more refugees (including here in the US) we’re going to need smart, compassionate laws like the Dream Act. Just as important, these young undocumented Dreamers are essential to the fight to solve climate change — they’re showing up at protests, inventing better and cheaper solar panels, and doing the work we need young people to do.
  2. It’s a test for Congress: Climate change and the Dream Act have nearly identical political problems: huge majorities of voters support action, but Congress is slow to act. And too often, our so-called allies are quick to compromise and delay, when they need to stand and fight. We’ve seen this over and over again in the last 12 months as Congress, including Democrats who claim to be progressives, vote to confirm Trump’s nominees to the EPA, Department of Interior, FERC and other agencies. Just last month, the House Democrats stuck to their guns and refused to pass a spending bill without a Dream Act, but a handful of Senate Democrats buckled under pressure and gave Trump a victory (during which time he held a confused meeting about immigration, then made his infamous “Shithole” remark).We can’t let that happen again. We need to start sending the message to so-called progressive politicians that it’s not enough to talk tough about Trump and ask us to vote for you or your party. We need you to be willing to shut things down in order to make progress — just as we are.

Click here to host or join a #NoDreamNoDeal rally near you this week.
OR

Click here or call 202-224-3121 and tell your Senators and Representative not to vote for ANY spending bill UNLESS it includes a clean Dream Act (the free click to call tool is sponsored by our allies at United We Dream).

Here’s the back-story on the Dream Act

On September 5, Donald Trump repealed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. His decision strips children who were brought here illegally, called Dreamers, of their ability to live, learn, and work. Everyday Congress refuses to act 122 Dreamers lose their protection from deportation.

So this week thousands of us will rise up and demand that our Representatives and Senators across the country make a choice and support Dreamers and a clean Dream Act. Please join us at a Wednesday or Thursday action near you – click here for details and to RSVP. If there’s not one near you, there’s still time to organize a quick rally or photo event with friends. The more visibility we have—even small events—the stronger our voice.

We know that the public does not support the deportation of 800,000 immigrant youth who are doctors, lawyers, activists, and people who make our communities wonderful places to.

Join us to tell our government that we are not bargaining chips – a Clean Dream Act must be part of any spending bill: