The Shutdown: What happened? What happens next?

I’d like to provide you with a few different viewpoints on the current budget/immigration standoff, in light of Democrats agreeing three days into the shutdown to approve a budget resolution. I’m seeing varying opinions from the blue side, and I don’t presume to know the future outcome of this conflict of basic social vales/chess match (take your pick).

Perspective #1:

Trump ended DACA unilaterally five months ago, and Republicans joined him in taking hostage the lives of tens of thousands of Americans who have done nothing wrong. They cannot be rewarded for this. Mitch McConnell famously goes back on this word, even to his fellow Republicans, and his vague assurances of bringing DREAM legislation to the floor cannot be trusted by anyone who has been paying attention. By caving on their pledge to stand against any further proceedings of the federal government without a clean DREAM Act, Senate Democrats sold out the most vulnerable amongst us and gave up their political leverage. And they did this while the breathtaking majority of Americans support protection for DREAMers. Morale has been undercut, and even the optics are self-destructive. The Democrats have demonstrated that when push comes to shove, they will not have the political courage to stand up for principles, and marginalized populations will again be thrown under the bus.

David Faris, THE WEEK

Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin, INDIVISIBLE

Perspective #2:

This was the best possible outcome for the current budget standoff. Democrats gained an enormous benefit this round in re-authorization of Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. The passage of a Clean DREAM Act becomes much more feasible when there’s actual legislation on the table, which now can happen. McConnell made an explicit promise on the Senate floor — if he goes back on it, he loses an enormous amount of political clout, which a canny politician like McConnell is unlikely to do. In the war on messaging, the Democrats were losing public opinion every day, so the optics and politics were only going to deteriorate at this point — putting red state Democratic seats in peril and undercutting the current midterm advantage. Democrats allowed the federal government to reopen for only 17 days, after which they can, and likely will, easily use this leverage again. And this time, the Democratic threat to shutdown the government over this issue has more teeth, because all now know that they are willing to go through with it.


Yascha Mounk, SLATE

Perspective #3:

Whether this was surrender or a wise gambit depends on the outcome.

Ezra Klein, VOX

John Cassidy, THE NEW YORKER

On Friday there was a report from Politico that Senate Democrats have dropped DACA from the budget negotiations, but I want to note that there’s been no corroboration on this reporting from any other source.

I’d like also to point out that all three of our members of Congress, Senators Feinstein and Harris and Representative Pelosi, voted No on the continuing resolution because it did not contain a clean DREAM Act, and have pledged to continue to do so.

The continuing resolution that was passed funds the government through February 8, and an immigration deal is being negotiated this week — so now is the time for us as citizens to step up our messaging to our elected representatives stating clearly what priorities, values and deal-breakers we want them to embrace.


We’re back, and we’re better than ever

I just got back from an energizing meeting with resistance leaders from the Bay Area and New York, and I’m more convinced than ever that our coalition-building is working. One of the inspiring things we discussed today was how to make our opposition to the current state of emergency more visible internationally by taking part in mass protests, like the women’s march coming up this month. Mark your calendar for January 20th as a date to tell other nations: we are not okay with what’s happening in our country!

Congress returns to work tomorrow, and as you might expect, they have a lot of damage planned. One of the things they’ll be trying to do is pass a bill funding the government without protecting DREAMers. Did you know that Senator Feinstein finally bowed to our pressure and voted against the budget resolution because it didn’t include a clean DREAM Act? We need to thank her for that. In addition, our blue MoCs need to be reminded that a wall is a no-negotiation dealbreaker. Trump is demanding that an $18 billion wall be funded in exchange for protecting DACA youth. This is a moment for us to stiffen our reps’ spines and tell them not to negotiate.


Call all three of MoCs and thank them for standing with DREAMers. Tell them not to budge: no funding for the government without a clean DREAM act, and no wall ever. (script). You can add “I want [Senator/Congresswoman NAME] to refuse to fund any aggressive immigration tactic including a wall, new ICE agents, and more stringent asylum requirements in exchange for Dreamers’ futures.”

Not comfortable making phone calls? Try Resistbot, and send an email to all three MoCs in under 2 minutes!


Women’s March: Noe Valley contingent!
Saturday, January 20th
12:30pm – 3:30pm
Join our fellow activists Action SF for the Women’s March. GET THE DETAILS

Stand Up SF General Meeting
Sunday, January 21
2pm – 4pm
Noe Valley Public Library
451 Jersey Street

Tell Congress: keep refugees safe

Hundreds of thousands of El Salvadoran refugees face deportation, and the situation is urgent. By Monday, the Department of Homeland Security must decide whether to extend or end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador. The Trump administration, predictably, wants to send them all back to an unstable country and often dangerous situations.

TPS was created by Congress in 1990 and allows people whose countries have experienced natural disasters, armed conflicts or exceptional situations to remain temporarily in the United States. Conditions on the ground for these folks can be bleak, and ending TPS has the potential to split up families.

This administration has already ended TPS protections for Haitian and Nicaraguan refugees. But the House has introduced the ASPIRE Act and the ESPERER Act to allow every TPS recipient to apply for permanent residency. We need to ask our leaders to sign onto these bills, to defend El Salvadorans and to shore up TPS to protect thousands more.


Call Congresswoman Pelosi and say, “I’m [NAME] calling from [ZIP CODE], and I’d like to ask the Congresswoman to fight for legislation such as the ASPIRE Act and the ESPERER Act that that extends protection for people from all ten countries under TPS, and that provides permanent relief for these refugees. TPS affects hundreds of thousands of people, whose lives will be ripped apart without our protection.”

Not comfortable making phone calls? Try Resistbot, and send an email to Congresswoman Pelosi in under 2 minutes!


Stand Up SF General Meeting
Sunday, January 21
2pm – 4pm
Noe Valley Public Library
451 Jersey Street

What’s next?

Thursday, when it started to look like we were going to lose on the tax bill, I realized: I wasn’t discouraged. I was angry. And now that the Senate has passed the bill, I am trying to hold onto that anger. Anger is fuel. Anger motivates us to take action.

However you’re feeling today, last night’s vote was a big loss. It’s not quite over yet, but most likely, the House will pass this bill as-is. But consider this: it’s December, and this is the very first time Republicans might actually have a major legislative victory. Nearly a year has gone by without a big win: that’s a huge testament to your strength and resilience. THANK YOU.

Trump and the Republicans who work exclusively for the wealthy top 1% would love for us to get so discouraged by this loss that we give up the Resistance. But if the history of progressive action in this country has taught us anything, it’s that standing up the next day and getting back into the fight is the way we win.

So what’s next? What do we do with our anger and frustration? The Senate calendar isn’t slowing down, which means we can’t either. Congress will need to pass a spending bill to fund the government by December 8 — and we need EVERY DEMOCRAT IN CONGRESS to pledge to withhold their vote for any spending bill that doesn’t include the DREAM Act. Republicans are trying to avoid including it in the funding bill, so it’s up to Democrats to stand up for Dreamers.


Call all three MoCs and thank them for standing strong on taxes (positive reinforcement is important!). Then demand that they take the Dreamer Pledge. (script)

Not comfortable making phone calls? Try Resistbot, and send an email to all your representatives in under 2 minutes!


Brown Bag Lunch with Sen. Feinstein Staff
Monday, December 11th
Rooftop garden (weather permitting), Crocker Galleria
50 Post St

We will not stop resisting

We were cautiously happy when we heard that Democratic leaders today struck a tentative deal with Trump to protect DACA recipients from deportation in exchange for increased spending on border security (but not a wall). We now wait for details, and are hoping to see a fast track to permanent citizenship for these young people.

A team from Stand Up SF met with Congresswoman Pelosi’s office this week. Here are the talking points we went in with, and the discussion that ensued. Many thanks to Kathleen who led the action for us, and to all the Stand Up SF volunteers who work behind the scenes to make these visits easy and productive, like our policy team and our Member of Congress trackers.

In other developments this week, the Justice Dept announced that none of the Baltimore officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray would face federal charges. This follows similar decisions in two other civil rights investigations this year where men died at the hands of police officers: Alton Sterling, a black man shot to death in Louisiana, and James Boyd, a mentally ill man shot to death in New Mexico. This is very disturbing, especially in light of Trump’s July remarks where he urged the police not to be “too nice” in transporting  suspects.

On the unfolding saga of Russia interfering with our elections, this week we learned that Russia used Facebook to organize anti-immigrant rallies on U.S. soil. This on top of using social media bots and fake accounts to spread fake news harmful to Clinton.

This week Congress also passed a bi-partisan resolution calling on Trump to condemn hate groups, in response to his “on many sides” shameful defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

I will close with something Charles Blow said so well:

“We, patriots, will not stop resisting this destruction. It is we who will Make America Great Again by trying to limit the damage Trump can do to us.”

Stand Up SF actions:

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has given preliminary permission for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin routinely destroying 11 types of records, including those related to sexual assault by guards, substandard medical care, overuse of solitary confinement, threats and physical assault by custody staff, and even death while in custody. The proposal is open for public comment through Friday 9/15. Here is an easy way to submit a comment.
  • H.R. 2810 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA) has passed the House and is up for a Senate vote soon. It authorizes $700B in war-mongering (base budget of $632B for the DoD and the national
    security programs of the DoE, $60B for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), $8B add’l requested for “other defense activities.”). We are concerned about dumping billions into defense while stripping critical programs from our citizens. Call both Senators about this (script).
  • And speaking of war, Trump has an itchy trigger finger and unrestricted power to launch nuclear weapons at will. S. 200 – Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 would require a congressional declaration of war in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack. Call and ask Senator Harris to cosponsor the bill (Sen Feinstein already has).

Troubled by the direction our country is taking? Come to our next monthly meeting and help steer and power our resistance!