#SenateFail: Fossil Fuels got bailed out, we got sold out

We call it a #SenateFail: It’s been more than a month since the House passed a $3 trillion COVID relief package called the HEROES act. But the Senate has failed to so much as hold a hearing – and chose instead to go on a 2-week, 4th of July vacation.

Since they took off for summer break, new cases of the virus are spiking all over the country, with more than 3 million US cases diagnosed so far. And thanks to demands from House oversight panels, we learned this week that fossil fuel corporations got their dirty hands on at least $3 billion of taxpayer money intended to help keep workers afloat.

Please join us TODAY to make sure senators feel massive pressure to get it right when they come back in session on July 20 by taking up the HEROES act and making sure bailouts help people and essential workers, not polluters:

  1. Call your senator by dialing toll-free 1-833-868-8109;
  2. Send an email to your Representative and Senators asking them to take action!
  3. Tweet at your Senators using these free tools from Greenpeace.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell decided it was time for a break while Coronavirus cases are skyrocketing, and without taking action to address systemic racism and Police brutality, protect essential workers, help struggling families or fund public schools. At a moment when senators should be doing their jobs, it’s a colossal #SenateFail.

When senators go back to DC, they will have less than two weeks to extend unemployment insurance, provide financial relief to struggling families, support essential services, including public schools, COVID testing and contact tracing, and ensure that every vote is counted in the November election. 

Taking up the HEROES act, and improving it, is a great place to start. There’s already some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support. And by adding in protections like the REWIND act to stop further fossil fuel bailouts, they can make it stronger!

While they are on vacation, Congress need to hear loud and clear that we expect them to get back to DC and do their jobs. Can you join us and take action today?

Make DC the 51st state – and win climate justice

This is one of my ideas that sounds crazy, but it’s actually really not: Make DC the 51st and deliver climate justice for all.

Like how a Green New Deal that ends fossil fuels would create jobs, rebalance the economy on behalf of millions of working Americans and stop climate catastrophe. Or how chocolate + peanut butter are two great tastes that taste better together. DC statehood is actually a simple, just, good idea – that actually might be a key to solving the climate crisis.

I’ll explain more, but if you’re already on board – Sign here to tell Congress: Make DC the 51st state, and deliver climate justice for all.

Here’s the simple facts: More than 700,000 people, most of them black and brown, live in the District of Columbia. They vote, pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, and are responsible for maintaining the roads, safe drinking water, breathable air, and police that serve and protect every member of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House — but they get no vote in Congress, have no say in federal policy, and cannot even stop armed federal troops from attacking their citizens. They are the very definition of “taxation without representation” which the founders of America fought a revolution over.

But this Friday, June 26, Congress will vote on whether to make DC the 51st state for the first time since 1993. And if they vote to approve DC statehood, we could gain more than a 51st neighbor and ally – we could get 2 more votes in the US Senate to affirm a Green New Deal, and end to fossil fuels, and a real, just, response to the climate crisis.

The fight for DC statehood became all the more urgent this month. On June 1, Donald Trump sent federal troops into DC neighborhoods to round up nearly 200 people protesting police violence in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and hundreds of other Black people across the country

While Trump has been clear he hates DC statehood, his actions may have galvanized the new the civil rights movement, and lent new urgency to our cause.

Sign and send the petition to your member of Congress: Demand they pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

D.C. residents serve on juries, in the U.S. military, pay taxes, and work hard to build safe, strong communities where they live. But they have no vote on any decisions our Congress makes every day.

And that’s too bad for the climate, as well as civil rights. In the last few years DC has banned plastic bags, considered an aggressive carbon tax, and shut down coal plants and gas pipelines. These people are our allies in the fight for climate justice – and we’ll never have a better chance to add 3/4 of a million votes in favor of our values than right now.

There’s more energy now than ever in Congress to ensure DC residents have direct representation federally. A few weeks ago, the House Oversight Committee voted in favor of legislation supporting DC statehood, and H.R. 51, the Washington, DC Admission Act, has over 223 cosponsors. 

This Friday, the full house will vote on H.R. 51 to recognize DC as the 51st state, and we must ensure that lawmakers pass this overdue civil and climate rights bill for DC residents.

Sign and send the petition: Urge Congress to pass the Washington, DC Admission Act to enact DC statehood.

Rise up with us for black lives Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, Black communities in Texas finally received the news that they were free. 

Juneteenth (June 19th) is a day that honors Black freedom and Black resistance, and centers Black people’s unique contribution to the struggle for justice in the U.S. This Juneteenth is a rare moment for our communities to proclaim in one voice that Black Lives Matter, and that we won’t tolerate anything less than justice for all our people. 

Join us on the #SixNineteen mobilization on Juneteenth weekend, June 19–21, 2020. Take action in front of the White House, in your community, or at home. 

We’ve been proud to endorse the demands of the Movement for Black Lives and work in solidarity with black leadership in communities all over the US where we live. Now, we are called into action again as part of the Juneteenth mobilization to support these three demands:

  1. Defunding of police;
  2. Investment in Black communities; &
  3. The resignation of Donald Trump. 

You can support these demands by joining us in DC, in your home community, or from your home. We want everyone to be safe, and we want you to engage in action that matches your level of experience and ability in this moment. But we are asking everyone, including you, to show up this weekend in solidarity.

Click here to see if there’s a local event in your area, and if not, sign up to host one in accordance with the principles laid down by the Movement for Black lives.* 

Right now, uprisings are taking place in all 50 states, and more than two-thirds of Americans agree that police violence is systemic. We haven’t experienced mass mobilizations like this since the uprisings led by courageous Black folks in Ferguson and St. Louis. These actions include small towns, as well as major cities in both red and blue states.The energy is sustained and escalating. The Movement for Black Lives is alive and vibrant – and we are a part of it.

Juneteenth is our next opportunity to rise together. Will you join us in action this weekend?

* If you want to show up, in person, online, or in DC you must do so in accordance with these rules: 1. We Keep Us Safe. 2. Respect Black Leadership. 3. Find Your Lane. 4. Make All Black Lives Matter. 5. Change the System. Learn more about the principles and the plan at the six nineteen website

Defund Police, invest in communities

All over the Country and around the world, people continue to surge into the streets and speak out online in response to the police murder of George Floyd Breonna Taylor, and so many more. In response to peaceful protest against racist police violence, militarized police forces have responded with batons, tanks, tear gas and worse; all to protect capitalism and property instead of actual human, black, lives.

As many of us speak out in or communities at home, Congressional leaders are coming together to form a national response as well – and we need your help to push them to include bold, abolitionist demands when they do.

Will you join Congresswomen (and squad leaders) Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, us, and many others to demand divestment from police and investment in our communities?

Since the 1960s, America’s racist system of over-policing and mass incarceration has grown out of control. The U.S. now spends close to $200 billion per year on police and prisons. At the same time Black communities are over-policed and over-incarcerated, they’ve been shut out of wealth and property ownership, which is why the racial gaps in wealth and health are so terrible. After centuries of economic injustice and environmental racism, Black people are now six times more likely to die from the coronavirus than white people.

We’ve partnered many times with Poor People’s Campaign in the last few years, and when we do, Rev. Barber always reminds us: To truly achieve justice, we must focus both on “who” and “what” oppresses and kills Black people in this country.

Trump’s racist, fascist rhetoric is dangerous and hurtful. But violent anti-Black racism has been built into our country since its founding, and simply removing Trump will not stop it or make us safe. Initially formed as slave patrols, police have always existed to maintain control rather than safety or justice.

We’re seeing that all too clearly right now, as militarized police forces use expensive equipment and weapons to terrorize protesters. Meanwhile, cities are setting curfews to instill fear and criminalize our constitutional right to protest. All to maintain the unjust status quo and delay justice. Could there be a clearer demonstration that this system is rotten at its core?

Sign now to tell leaders at all levels of government: We must divest from police and invest in our communities!

I know calls to DefundPolice can sound extreme. Many of you have emailed me back in response to our earlier messages expressing unease with the policy, or fear of how it will be enacted. It’s our policy to remove anyone expressing racist sentiments – including replying with versions of the racist talking point “all lives matter” – from our list and community.

So if you’re still here, you may not be comfortable with these demands, but you’re not overtly opposed to black life or black liberation. We encourage you to sit with your un-ease, especially if you are not black, so we can listen to and uplift the voices of black people.

Because in addition to being the right, anti-racist thing to do, following black leadership is effective. Since the Movement For Black Lives released their demands (which we’ve endorsed), leaders in our cities, states, and federal government have jumped to adopt them:

  • In response to the demand to divest from the police and investment in Black communities: 
  • In response to the demand that local schools, colleges, universities, and all public institutions cut ties with the police.
  • In response to the demand that the rights of protestors be respected.
    • Cities like Portland Oregon and Seattle have banned the use of tear gas (enforcement is an ongoing challenge);
    • Cities around the country including Philadelphia, NYC, and Oakland have rescinded their curfews, which were used to harm protesters and take away our constitutional rights
    • Federal troops have been pushed out of D.C.
  • In response to our demand for an end to the war against Black people.
    • All 4 officers involved in the murder of George Floyd have now been charged, and Derek Chauvin’s murder charge went up to 2nd degree (not 3rd degree). Though Breonna Taylor’s killers have still not been charged.
    • And the U.S. Supreme Court is re-examining the “qualified immunity” doctrine, which makes it near-impossible to hold police officers accountable for misconduct.
    • Reforms on policing are moving in state legislatures like Michigan and Colorado, in cities like Louisville and Minneapolis, and in Congress.

All of these actions in just the last few days and weeks show what our movement is capable of. Now, we’re asking you to sign on along with leading progressives in Congress to support the demand divestment from police and investment in our communities. Join us, and together, I believe that we will win.

Stop Trump’s next Dirty Deal

Earlier this month, we warned you that Trump and team were bailing out fossil fuel companies with money stolen from Congressionally-appropriated funds to help families, workers and small businesses survive COVID-19. And we’ve been fighting ever since to make sure Congress’ next COVID-19 bailout bill protects people, not polluters.

On May 15, the House passed another the $3 trillion relief package, called the HEROES act. There’s some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support.

But in their haste to protect essential workers, House Leadership left out all the stuff that would have stopped Trump from stealing the money, again, and using it to Bailout fossil fuels– including the ReWIND act.

Congress is on a recess for Memorial Day, but when they come back, negotiation over this bill is expected to be their first priority. Will you email your Representative now and tell them to get it right this time – and make sure Congressional bailouts help people and essential workers, not polluters?

The ReWIND Act would prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds from being diverted to fossil fuel companies, making more money available for essential workers and communities. And it’s not as if House leadership doesn’t know about the problem: numerous reports have documented that Trump and his dirty associates are already diverting billions of taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies.

With more than 40 House and Senate cosponsors already, it’s a popular idea with a real chance of being included in the next Congressional relief bill. But Senator McConnell and the Republican-led Senate have indicated they will not consider the HEROES Act, ReWIND, or any form of additional COVID response bill, saying they have “not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately”.  And then he adjourned the entire Senate for two weeks so they could go home and have a vacation.  

We have a lot more work to do. Can you email your Member of Congress and tell them:

  1. Get back to work NOW – take up the HEROEs act negotiation with the Senate ;
  2. Fight to pass, and keep key provisions of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights in the next COVID response bill;, And
  3. Cosponsor the ReWIND Act to stop another fossil fuel industry bailout at the expense of public health crisis and frontline workers, and add it to HEROES during negotiation!

header image by  Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Tell the Senate to get serious about Essential Workers

Essential workers are on the frontlines of this pandemic, and many are working in high-risk conditions without appropriate equipment, safety standards, or job protections. But Mitch McConnell and his Republican Senate say they have “not yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. And to prove the point, they just went home for a two-week vacation.

Essential workers are home care workers, grocery and drug store employees, domestic workers, food service workers, government employees, janitorial staff, farm workers, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, transit workers, and child care workers. Anyone who has to remain on the job without the ability to telework during this emergency.

These workers put their health on the line when they go to work every day, often without adequate worker protections and benefits. But instead of helping Essential workers, Donald Trump and Senator McConnell have conspired to give hundreds of millions of dollars (and counting) to the fossil fuel companies profiting off climate change. That’s money stolen from Congressionally-approved funds designated to help families, workers and small businesses survive COVID-19.

If you agree that essential workers deserve labor and health care protections, pick up the phone and call your Senators right now at 1-833-933-0204. Tell them to get back to work by taking up the House-passed HEROES act, improving it by keeping the Essential Workers Protections, and adding in key pieces of the ReWIND act as well.

Here’s what’s been happening: Last week, the House passed another the $3 trillion relief package, called the HEROES act. There’s some excellent stuff in the bill –including many parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights (EWBOR), which we support. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the parts of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights included in the HEROES act would provide $200 billion for hazard pay, paid sick and family leave, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers, and improved collective bargaining. HEROES is also also inclusive of immigrants, which is something that got left out of the initial Congressional response, and broadens the definition of ‘essential’ workers to include people who work in sanitation, grocery stores or as domestic aides.

But in their haste to pass HEROES, House Leadership left out a bunch of other good ideas we support from the bill, – including the ReWIND act that we emailed you about last week. Remember, the ReWIND Act would prevent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds from being diverted to fossil fuel companies, making more money available for essential workers and communities. And it’s not as if House leadership doesn’t know about the problem:  numerous reports in the last week have documented that Trump and his dirty associates are already diverting billions of taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies.

Most frustrating is that Senator McConnell and the Republican-led Senate have indicated they will not consider the HEROES Act, or any form of additional COVID response bill, anytime soon. And then he adjourned the entire Senate for two weeks so they could go home and have a vacation.  We have a lot more work to do.

HEROES has passed the House, so the first step is to get the Senate back to work, and back at the negotiating table. Some Republicans are beginning to realize they can’t just deny, lie, and dismiss the pandemic like Trump does. So if we we can get them back, and get them talking, we have room to negotiate. And right now the items we want on the table are HEROEs, the Essential Workers Bill of Rights, and ReWIND.

Call your Senators now at 833-933-0204 and tell them to get back to work by taking up the House-passed HEROES act, fight to keep the Essential Workers Protections, and improve it by adding in key pieces of the ReWIND act.

No Dirty Deals, pass the ReWIND Act instead!

Congress is already negotiating on the next COVID-19 stimulus package, and Trump and his allies are pushing hard for another big bailout for fossil fuels. Alarmingly, some elected leaders are considering a dirty deal where they’d trade another fossil fuel bailout  for good-but-inadequate tools like tax credits for renewable energy and electric cars. 

Fortunately, not everyone is tempted by this devils bargain:  Dozens of Democrats in the House and Senate have signed on to support a new bill called the ReWIND act that would ban fossil fuel bailouts, and give us more control over the +$2 trillion Congress has already appropriated.  

So far, we’ve got more than 30 members of Congress on our side, but we need more than 200 to stop the dirty deal and pass the ReWIND act as part of the next Congressional stimulus bill. Can you write to your member of Congress now?

Now is the time to speak out: Amid a historic shock to energy and fossil fuel marketsthe corrupt Trump Administration and their allies are scrambling for any way to use our tax dollars to prop up the fossil fuel industry. They’ve already tried offering special loans to fossil fuel companies, stopping enforcement of key environmental laws, waiving payments and taxes the oil and gas companies are supposed to pay, and more. Last week the Federal Reserve relaxed allowed more risky and un-profitable fossil fuel companies to get federal bailout dollars, and Republicans in Congress promptly demanded the fossil banks give them a loan.

Trump and his cronies can only get away with all this because Democrats in Congress failed to negotiate tough oversight and restrictions in their last relief bill, called the CARES act. A new bill called the ReWIND Act seeks to fix that and stop future fossil fuel bailouts. The ReWIND Act would block the Trump Administration from using COVID-19 stimulus funds to bail out big polluters, stop many of the schemes Trump has taken or may attempt to benefit the fossil fuel industry, and ensure that the public has a say to protect our health and wellbeing.

With nearly 40 cosponsors already, it’s a popular idea with a real chance of being included in the next Congressional relief bill. But some Corporate Democrats would rather negotiate a dirty deal than stand up to Trump and his corrupt cronies. An internal Morgan Stanley report leaked to the media showed that big banks are working with the fossil fuel industry to trade a fossil fuel bailout for renewable energy tax credits

We can’t let that happen. We need to tell Congress NOW that there’s no time for a dirty deal as part of the next stimulus package​, and that passing the ReWIND Act would stop another fossil fuel industry bailout at the expense of public health crisis and frontline workers. Click here to tell your member of Congress: No Dirty Deals, cosponsor the ReWIND Act and push for its inclusion in the next stimulus bill!

Big Oil Got Bailed out. We got sold out. #PeoplesBailout NOW.

All over the country and around the world, people need help. They need a bailout to afford medical care, feed their kids, stay safe, and eventually get back to work.

But instead, what did Donald Trump and his corrupt, fossil-fascist cronies do? They gave big oil a bailout. You heard that right, after weeks of us warning this would happen, and just days after the fossil fuel industry lobbied them to do so, Trump & Co announced today that they’re sending big oil and gas companies billions of dollars from the coronavirus lending programs that are supposed to help small business.

We can’t accept this. And tomorrow, millions of us are speaking out, going on strike, and demanding action as part of the #PeoplesBailout day of action. Can you join us?

Tomorrow, May 1, 2020, Amazon workers are going on strike for safer working conditions. Renters and homeowners are calling on landlords and banks to cancel rent and mortgage payments. Families are demanding utility corporations put an end to water and utility shutoffs. Small business owners are fighting to get relief funds so they can pay their employees, instead of bailing out Big Oil. Community members are calling for the release of people trapped in unsafe jails and detention centers. Nurses and grocery workers are calling for better safety protections and pay.

More than ever, it is clear: Our fights are connected. We need a people’s bailout that includes us all.

On May Day we’re coming together to make some noise and tell our stories in solidarity with one another. To unite our individual fights into a shared struggle.

May Day is an international day of action historically led by immigrants and workers to demonstrate strength and solidarity. This year as the pandemic forces us to keep our distance physically, it’s especially important that we come together in solidarity with those who are hit first and worst by climate change and the Pandemic: frontline workers, immigrants, black, indigenous, and communities of color. All those at the edges of our society at this moment.

All week long, we’ve been supporting digital actions with the amazing crew at #ShutDownDC. Tomorrow, they’re hosting a safe, physically distanced, car and bike parade connected to a live webinar on the #PeoplesBailout website. Together, we’ll tell those in power – from Congress to the White House, law enforcement, corporations, landlords, and Wall Street – that we need a #PeoplesBailout – relief that is informed by the people and supports the people directly.

Click here to join us in action online tomorrow.

Use the power of art and social media to bail out #PeopleNotPolluters

For the last few weeks, thousands of us have been sending letters to Congress telling them to bail out #PeopleNotPolluters. But the pandemic has disrupted daily life for our elected leaders as well, and we’re hearing that most congressional offices are flooded in emails, and don’t have good systems for answering the phones while all their staff are quarantined at home.

Enter the magic of social media, art, and visual storytelling! If you’ve got an account with facebook, a twitter, or instagram (or any other social media platform) use it now to make sure they see and respond to our messages.

Here’s how:

The goal is to use your social media channels to send personal messages to your representatives in Congress:

  1. POST a video of yourself on twitter or facebook with a personalized message to Congress about why congress should put people first and not bail out the Fossil Fuel Industry – make sure to use the hashtag #PeopleNotPolluters so we can find you.
    1. Click here to find your member of Congress’ accounts on Facebook and Twitter
  2. TWEET at Congresspeople using the sample tweets in this toolkit (or come up with your own!)
  3. SHARE: Share these designs from the #PeopleNotPolluters & Stop The Money Pipeline Art Kit on social media. make sure to credit the amazing artists and illustrators who made them!

That’s it!

Want more easy, one-click actions? Share the letter campaign with your family and friends online:

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Share on Twitter
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Or, just forward this post to your friends!

Tell Congress to bailout #PeopleNotPolluters

A few weeks ago, thousands of us took action to tell congress to prioritize people, not polluters in the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27. Now, a new version is under debate in Congress, and the fossil fuel industry is working overtime to make sure they profit during this moment of crisis and pandemic. 

They’ve lobbied the EPA to drop all pollution controls. Pushed forward pipelines like Keystone XL. The coal industry event tried to get out of providing healthcare for sick workersNow, fossil fuel companies are lobbying to get a huge chunk of the bailout funds that are meant to go to small businesses across the United States. 

Can you write to your member of Congress right now at tell them to protect #PeopleNotPolluters in the next round of Coronavirus response bills?

So far we’ve signed on to Five Principles for Just Covid-19 Relief and Stimulus, and backed the big, multi-movement call for a “people’s bailout.” Now, we’re adding 4 clear demands to our action, to make sure Congress hears us:

  1. Put Health Care Workers and All People on the Frontlines of COVID-19 First in the Emergency Response.
  2. Federal Assistance Must Support People, Not The Fossil Fuel Industry.
  3. Recovery Funds Should Provide a Just Transition for Fossil Fuel Workers and Communities Economically Dependent on Declining Fossil Fuel Production.
  4. Congress Must Conduct Exhaustive Oversight of the Trump Administration and Financial Sector.

But Trump and his dirty friends in the fossil fuel industry are hard at it as well. They’re lobbying to open up the $500 billion Trump Slush Fund to fossil fuels and use billions in taxpayer money to purchase oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, even though we’re already facing an oversupply

Trump and co aren’t trying to help workers in the fossil fuel industry, or keep people save during the pandemic. If they were, they’d be supporting universal healthcare, direct relief to working families, and personal protective equipment for all workers. No, this is all about using the cover of the crisis to make a buck, and push through dirty projects that we’d never allow in normal times.

Luckily, there are some climate champions in the House and Senate who are fighting back against these polluter handouts. We’ve told you previously about Senator Sanders, Warren, and others who are putting forward real solutions that protect people and communities.

Add to those leaders, great House Representatives like Rep. Omar who has been fighting to keep post offices open and expand access to basic banking services, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez who introduced a ban on fracking with Sen. Sanders just before the pandemic and continues to push for Green New Deal, and Rep Raskin who drafted a letter calling for a halt to pipeline construction during the pandemic.

And add to the urgency of our work that new research from Harvard university shows that an increase of only one microgram per cubic meter of fine particulate pollution leads to a 15% rise in deaths from COVID-19.

With more than 16 million people out of work, and pollution making people more sick, and more likely to get sick, this is no time to give a bailout to the fossil fuel industry. If we speak together now, and generate a big public outcry, we can make sure that big polluters aren’t allowed to profit off this pandemic. 

Together, we can ensure that we have a just and sustainable recovery to COVID-19. Sign now to demand Congress adopt our 4 demands for a just recovery that helps strengthen our communities and protect our climate.