Defend Anti-White-Supremacist Programs, Save the 2020 Census

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Action 1:  Tell Homeland Security not to de-fund anti-White-Supremacist programs.

The Trump Administration has been quietly disarming two programs in the Department of Homeland Security that combat violent extremism, including White Supremacist activities.  It is critical not to allow the Trump Administration to dismantle programs that battle violent white nationalist groups. This constitutes overt support for white supremacists and other violent domestic extremists.

- The Countering Violent Extremism program (CVE), which is designed to prevent all forms of domestic extremism, has been told by the Trump Administration to focus only on radical Islamic terrorism activities, and to exclude white nationalism groups like the KKK.

- The Life After Hate organization works with communities to educate them on the dangers of white nationalism, and it also supports efforts of individuals who want to leave white supremacist groups. A grant from Homeland Security under the Obama Administration was canceled two months ago by the Trump Administration, after Homeland Security was told to focus away from white nationalism and to pursue only Islamic terrorism.

Call Homeland Security and tell them not to cancel these important programs.

Homeland Security 24-hour comment line: 202-282-8495

SCRIPT:

"My name is [NAME] and I am a resident of Washington State.  I am calling concerning the Countering Violent Extremism program.  It is critical that the CVE continue to focus on the increasing threats of violence from white nationalist groups.  I am extremely concerned that CVE canceled a grant to Life After Hate, which works with communities to counter these threats.  The recent violent event in Charlottesville, Virginia demonstrated that white supremacy and domestic terrorism are a real threat to American democracy.  I ask that the department stay focused on defeating this threat.  Thank you."

Background:

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program - https://www.dhs.gov/countering-violent-extremism

From the CVE website:  "Here in the United States, acts perpetrated by violent extremists can have far-reaching consequences. Countering violent extremism (CVE) has therefore become a key focus of DHS’s work to secure the homeland. CVE aims to address the root causes of violent extremism by providing resources to communities to build and sustain local prevention efforts and promote the use of counter-narratives to confront violent extremist messaging online.  Building relationships based on trust with communities is essential to this effort."

Life After Hate programs -  https://www.lifeafterhate.org/programs

"AVE [Against Violent Extremism] uses technology to connect, exchange, disseminate and influence all forms of violent extremism (from far right and far left to AQ-linked and inspired and gangs). It leverages the lessons, experiences and networks of individuals who have dealt first-hand with extremism. Through the website and YouTube channel, members can stay in touch, share ideas, collaborate, find investment and partners, and project their messages to wider audiences.

"AVE was devised and launched by Google Ideas at the Summit Against Violent Extremism in Dublin in 2011."

 

Action 2:  Tell lawmakers it’s not okay to endanger voting rights by depriving the census of funding.

 

The U.S. Census for 2020 is in danger of being compromised by a lack of sufficient funding, and by the departures of two key Census officials - Census Director John Thompson, and Deputy Director Nancy Petok.  

Why is the 2020 Census important?  Census results will be used in state redistricting efforts and to allocate seats in the U.S. House.  Redistricting at the state level has an enormous impact on outcome of Congressional races at the national level.  This is because districting at the state level determines who gets to vote and how the state’s population is represented in Congress.  The census data also support documenting of traditionally under-counted populations, including people of color and non-English speaking households, which is used in planning for government programs.

Budget appropriations bills that cut funding to the Census Bureau by $300 million have passed out of committee in both the House and the Senate.  These bills are headed to the full Congress for debate and voting.  Today, we’re asking you to email your lawmakers to urge them to protect the 2020 Census by demanding that Congress allocate the needed funding in appropriations bills H.R. 3267 and S. 1662.

Email links for MOCs:

Senator Patty Murray:  https://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

Senator Maria Cantwell:  https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/email/form

Representative Pramila Jayapal:  https://jayapal.house.gov/contact/email

Representative Adam Smith:  https://adamsmith.house.gov/contact

Background:

From the New York Times:  

“Every decade since 1790, as required by the Constitution, the federal government has undertaken a painstaking census of its people, the accuracy and fairness of which serves the interests of both political parties and of every citizen. The decennial count is used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and set the boundaries of congressional districts. It determines how tens of billions of dollars in federal aid are divvied up.

“. . . The census has always been vulnerable to political attack, and is especially so now. In 2009, Tea Party conservatives in the House tried unsuccessfully to kill off the bureau’s annual American Community Survey, a continuing tracking of respondents’ occupations, education, homeownership and other topics, as a supposed intrusion on privacy.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/opinion/census-trump-budget-cuts.html

 

YOUR IMPACT

From the front lines at Charlottesville last week: “Sisters Heartened by ‘So Many White People’ Opposing Supremacists”

“[When] Tadrint R. Washington . . .. neared the site of a white supremacy rally last Saturday, she was stunned. She saw a sea of white faces. But they were chanting, 'Black lives matter.'

“Stuck in traffic, Ms. Washington, who is African-American, pulled out her phone and began to snap photographs. ‘It was something to look at, so many white people, more than our race, out there, trying to protest, fighting for us,’ she recalled.”  (New York Times article) - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/charlottesville-crash-sisters-fields.html