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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Senate Update: Judge Gorsuch Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings – March 20, 11 am

Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin on March 20, 2017 at 11 am in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The selection of a Supreme Court Justice is an important event for our democracy and a judge’s record on key issues gives an indication as to the type of justice they will be.

Prior to contacting the committee or its members, here are some resources to learn about the judge’s record so that you are able to articulate your concerns or provide questions you’d like the committee to ask the judge during his confirmation hearing. Below are a few items about Judge Gorsuch’s record:

  1. NPR – Here’s what we know about Neil Gorsuch
  2. SCOTUS Blog – Judge Gorsuch on civil rights
  3. New York Times – Democrats’ Line of Attack on Gorsuch: No Friend of the Little Guy
  4. The Denver Post – What you need to know about Colorado judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court

If you’d like to contact members of the Judiciary Committee, Dinner at the Grange has created PDF contact lists for each committee.  Download the Senate Judiciary Committee contact list (PDF)


Site Update: Congressional Committees – Contact Information (downloadable, PDF tables)

The first opportunity the average American has to lobby for or against a piece of legislation is when that bill or resolution is taken up by a committee. Any citizen can contact the committee or committee members to lobby for or against that bill. When contacting the committee, it’s important to reference the bill or resolution number and state how this bill will affect you. Consider it your opportunity to give brief, concise testimony to the committee member.

Dinner at the Grange would like to thank our newest site contributor on the east coast who has worked put together these congressional committee spreadsheets. There are over 35 congressional committees, so we’ve prioritized the committees that are most pertinent for current, active legislation. As additional PDFs are added, I’ll add to this post (which can be found on the Archives page for future reference) and will be adding these links to the Executive Orders and Legislation page.

These PDFs will help us to quickly contact the committee members via Twitter and calls or faxes to their DC and local offices. The below links are downloadable PDFs.

House Committees:
Armed Services Committee
Budget Committee
Select Committee on Intelligence
Judiciary Committee
Natural Resources Committee
Ways and Means Committee

Senate Committees:
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Select Committee on Intelligence
Judiciary Committee
Committee on the Environment and Public Works
Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs


Site Update: ACLU Resources & the People Power Resistance Training

Information in this post will be permanently stored on the Helpful Tools and Apps page.

ACLU’s mobile app: iPhone and Android (check respective app stores – it’s free!).

Head over to the ACLU’s  Know Your Rights page to get information. This page has helpful material to inform citizens of their rights in various situations including when protesting and demonstrating, if they’re questioned about immigrant status, if stopped by the police, want to record the police, etc.

The ACLU has created an action network for citizens to resist the current administration and GOP-lead congress called People Power. The training below focuses on explaining your rights when demonstrating and protesting and what you can do to protect yourself and your fellow Americans if questioned by the police or are the subject of an ICE raid. ACLU is asking for people to help develop Freedom Cities. ACLU’s “Freedom Cities” plan brings local grassroots activists together and provides a blueprint for local-level campaigns to defend our communities and block the worst abuses of the Trump administration. Go to PeoplePower.org for more information.

This training is a motivational companion to the ACLU Know Your Rights information posted on on ACLU Nationwide’s site.

ACLU’s People Power Resistance Training (recorded on 3/11/2017).
Materials from the training:

ACLU’s 9 “model” state and local law enforcement policies and rules
Freedom Cities’ Action Guide

Call to Action – HR 1313 in Committee- Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act

On 03/02/2017, HR 1313 – Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act  was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

full_Legislation alertBill Summary: H.R. 1313 would allow employers to offer substantial health insurance premium rebates to workers who take part in company wellness programs that may include submitting to health risk assessments. Once enrolled an employee is enrolled in a wellness program, businesses are allowed to collect “information about the manifested disease or disorder of a family member” of participating employees. The bill, which was sponsored by Committee Chair Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), does not require employees to enroll in such programs. But the bill notes that according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers could reduce annual health insurance premiums by up to 50 percent for employees who did take part and not does not allow employers to require all their workers to submit to genetic testing.

Nancy J. Cox, PhD, ASHG president, in a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, provides a frightening overview: “If enacted, this legislation would undermine fundamentally the privacy provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It would allow employers to ask employees invasive questions about their and their families’ health, as well as genetic tests they and their families have undergone. It would further allow employers to impose stiff financial penalties on employees who choose to keep such information private, thus empowering employers to coerce their employees into providing their health and genetic information.” from DNA Science Blog .

To Take Action:

  1. Read the bill & sign up for alerts on this bill here or  use GovTrack.us to get up-to-date information.
  2. Contact the House Ways and Means Committee. This is your opportunity to give citizen testimony and lobby for/against a bill. Adding personal stories as to why or how a bill will affect average Americans is powerful and may sway committee members.
  3. Follow the bill’s progress in the committee: Ways and Means Committee Hearing Schedule
  4. Once the bill is out of committee and before the House vote, contact your Representative and tell them why you would like them to vote a certain way (for or against).
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