Posted on January 15, 2019
Throughout our nation’s history, the fight for civil rights and equality has never been fully realized without resistance. Today, many people associate “resistance” with opposition to the dangerous and hateful person occupying the White House. But resistance to oppression, tyranny, and injustice has always been achieved by groups of people rising up to challenge repressive authority in the pursuit of freedom and equality. From Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks to the Parkland students and the protesters arrested opposing the Supreme Court nomination of a credibly accused rapist, progress is rarely made without public displays of resistance or “direct action.”
What is direct action?
In short, nonviolent direct action is the use of demonstrations and public forms of protest to focus attention on issues that those in power have refused to address. It’s a tool for those who hold less power in society. Participants intentionally leverage their freedom, comfort and physical safety to challenge those who do have the wealth and access to influence politics. Direct action is rooted in the philosophy of nonviolence, a positive force that addresses the unjust actions of those in power while also actively respecting the humanity of the people who do harm. There are six principles of Kingian nonviolence, the ideology formed from the direct actions of the civil rights movement and influenced by the work of Mahatma Gandhi.
Public civil disobedience to bring attention to injustice can have a major impact, like when four young Black men risked their safety and freedom by sitting at a lunch counter at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960. Their direct action spurred more than 100,000 others to engage in direct action across the country to participate in similar sit-ins to protest racist segregation laws. Today, modern-day churches are providing sanctuary to undocumented families in violation of current immigration law. And of course, hundreds of thousands across the country participate in protests, marches (like ours at the Women’s March), banner drops, mic takeovers and other means of confronting power.
Why is direct action important to women’s rights and the progressive agenda?
A progressive agenda is inherently about making society more equitable and making space for people who have been historically marginalized and excluded to lead and thrive. A truly representative democracy is one with women leading in the halls of power and women advocating from the streets. Voting achieves the first. Direct action is a key part of achieving the second.
That means that once we put people in positions of power, we have to hold them accountable. Direct action is an effective way to do that. It allows sympathetic voices within the halls of power to justify their support for the issues we’re advocating for, and it puts pressure on less sympathetic voices to comply with our demands.
When the stakes are high – when children are being put in cages, when families are being torn apart, when toddlers are tear gassed, and when a sexual predator is being offered a seat on the highest court in the land — the #WomensWave must rise higher. When the threats facing our communities escalate, we too must escalate.
Women have put their bodies on the line to obtain the right to vote, protest police violence, defend immigrant families, stand up to the NRA, keep a sexual predator off the Supreme Court, protect our planet and so much more. This tried and true tactic has always been part of progressive agendas. We can’t stop now.
If you’d like to join our nationwide direct action in the fight for equality this month, please visit https://www.womensmarch.com/ to find a Women’s March event near you on January 19.
And if you need a protest sign to carry at your march, CREDO has some great options that you can download and print out here.
Posted on January 10, 2019
It’s a frightening thought: Republicans have never been closer to overturning Roe v. Wade.
With Brett Kavanaugh now sitting on the Supreme Court, the court’s solidly conservative 5-4 majority has a real opportunity to overturn the landmark case protecting a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. That would leave more than 25 million women in 20 states – more than one-third of women of reproductive age – without access to legal abortion. That includes “more than 4.3 million Hispanic or Latina women, nearly 3.5 million Black or African American women, more than 800,000 Asian women, and nearly 300,000 American Indian or Alaska Native women.”
In the 46 years since the court handed down this monumental decision, conservatives have tried to overturn Roe and restrict access to abortion through legal battles, unconstitutional legislation at the state and federal levels and intimidation and violence against women and providers. But never have they had a chance like now to truly overturn women’s protected right to a safe and legal abortion nationwide.
So what does the makeup of the new court mean for abortion rights and reproductive freedom?
Frankly, it means we could be in the fight of our lives to protect a woman’s right to choose. Never before have Republicans and right-wing conservatives had a Supreme Court so willing to overturn abortion access.
Trump famously declared on the campaign trail that he would only nominate judges who would overturn abortion rights, and he made good on his promise with the immediate nomination of anti-abortion judge Neil Gorsuch to the seat stolen from Merrick Garland. Kavanaugh’s paper trail in opposition to reproductive freedom is clear, and we have a pretty good idea how he would vote given the opportunity.
What can we do to stand up for a woman’s right to an abortion?
There are ways activists, allies and progressive lawmakers can protect women’s rights if states begin banning abortion or if the court agrees to take up and rules unfavorably on one of the many abortion cases making their way through the court system.
Our allies at Planned Parenthood (CREDO is among their largest corporate donors) have released a 3-part plan to fight back against any attempts to restrict women’s health and access to reproductive services now that Kavanaugh has been installed on the Supreme Court. They include:
- Expanding access to reproductive services in states where abortion remains legal, and increasing support for women in states where abortion is restricted;
- Increasing pressure on state lawmakers to strengthen good laws protecting access and oppose bad laws restricting women’s health, and
- Fighting the negative stigma of abortion that continues to pervade politics and popular culture.
To achieve those goals, we’re going to have to work hard – signing petitions, making calls, protesting and generating massive public pressure at both the state and national levels – to create an environment where conservative lawmakers and right-wing hate groups feel the pressure to back off their attacks on women and where advocates have the support to continue standing up for women’s rights.
In the coming months and years, we hope you will continue to help us in the fight to protect reproductive freedom, no matter what happens at the Supreme Court.
Do you know if the person who cleans your home has benefits? If she is sick, can she take a day off to recover without worrying about losing a day’s pay?
If she is an independent cleaner – i.e., she works for herself and not for a cleaning company – chances are, she can’t. Chances are, she doesn’t have access to any of the benefits that most workers do, like paid time off, accident or disability insurance, or any of the other benefits most of us are used to. Independent cleaners – along with other domestic workers including nannies and caregivers – historically haven’t had access to benefits, along with other workers’ rights and protections that have become standard for other occupations.
That’s why in December, at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, we launched Alia, so you can make sure that the person who cleans your home has the benefits she needs.
At the National Domestic Workers Alliance, we’ve been working for the respect and dignity that domestic workers deserve for 10 years, and we’re inviting you to join our movement.
You can now contribute to the benefits of the person who clean your home, along with all of their other clients. We suggest $5 per cleaning as a good amount. The person who cleans your home can use the contributions from all of her clients to manage her own benefits, like paid time off, or insurance products like life, disability, accident or critical illness insurances.
It’s easy to get started:
- Sign up for an Alia account and choose how much you’d like to contribute.
- We’ll help you invite the person who cleans your home to join Alia (you only need their cell phone number.)
- When they join, we’ll contact them personally to explain how Alia benefits work and help them invite their other clients, too.
Domestic workers are the invisible – yet critical – workforce who support the rest of the economy. They quite literally do the work that makes all other work possible: They are the nannies who love our children, the housekeepers who create order out of the chaos of our homes, and the caregivers who care for our elderly and disabled loved ones. They take care of the work we leave behind in our homes so that we can go and work outside the homes.
They care for us. They deserve to be taken care of, too.
Just over a month ago, I gave a TED talk at TEDWomen and did my best to sum up my last 10 years of work fighting for the domestic worker movement.
We’re all looking for ways to do the right thing, whether it’s large or small, to make a difference in the world. That’s why you choose CREDO. And that’s why we created Alia. Because all work is dignified and deserves respect.
Please join us in taking care of those who take care of us, and join Alia today.
Ai-jen Poo is the president of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the leading voice for dignity and fairness for domestic workers in the United States. NDWA is an ally and grant recipient of CREDO. Since 2015, CREDO members have voted to donate nearly $100,000 to NDWA.
Join us in counting down our top 5 Tuesday Tips of 2018
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our Tuesday Tips this past year. We’ve certainly enjoyed writing them —and providing you with useful information on a wide range of topics, from ways to save energy while heating your home to apps that help you manage children’s phone use.
What was our most popular Tuesday Tip of 2018? Keep reading to find out!
Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! Here at CREDO, we’re looking ahead to what we can do to make positive change for our communities, our environment, and our world.
To get you off on the right foot, here are seven simple, yet powerful New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve our planet, starting today.
Climate change is no longer an abstract threat. Experts are now predicting a full-blown climate crisis within the next few decades unless we take immediate action to reverse our carbon emissions. And we’re seeing devastating impacts already in the form of wildfires, droughts, extreme heat and superstorms.
You can do a lot by driving less. Cars and trucks are responsible for around one-fifth of all emissions in the United States, coughing out an average of 24 pounds of CO2 and other global-warming gases for every gallon of fuel they burn. So this year, resolve to take public transit, carpool or ride a bike. If you like to cycle, read our post on how to start biking to work.
Volunteer one day a month
It’s not your imagination. Everyone really does have less time these days. And that leaves fewer hours for self-fulfilling activities like volunteering. But if you can make the time, you’ll be glad you did. Volunteers don’t just contribute to their communities, they enjoy numerous personal benefits.
You can volunteer at a local school or shelter, take part in a park or beach cleanup (find one here) or sign up to be a docent at the museum or zoo. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, check out VolunteerMatch or United Way.
Take grassroots action
As anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
You surely know that plastic is choking our environment. But you may not know how bad the problem is. Here’s how bad: By the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This is a significant contributor to the threat of marine species collapse, which could come as soon as the year 2048. That’s bad.
You can help by resolving not to buy products packaged in plastic whenever you can. Take your own canvas tote to the store. Bring a mug to the cafe. Don’t use straws. Participate in Plastic Free July.
A personal-health note on plastic: you probably have microplastics in your body, and this is almost certainly not good for you. Exposure to plastics has been linked to cancer, birth defects, lowered immunity, endocrine disruption, and other health problems. One way to avoid plastic is to get a non-plastic water bottle. Read our post on alternatives.
Eat less (or no) meat
There are a lot of good reasons to eat less meat. You’ll make a major contribution to the health of our planet. Animal agriculture uses 56 percent of the water in the United States – the production of a single hamburger requires 660 gallons of water, which is enough for two months of showers. Livestock and their byproducts are responsible for over half of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined.
Reduce your waste
Our planet has a huge garbage problem. People now produce more than 2 billion tons of waste each year, most of which is buried, burned or dumped in the ocean. The average American tosses out three and a half pounds of the stuff every day. An astonishing 99 percent of everything we buy ends up in the trash within six months.
To help, you can resolve to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and refuse to buy products that harm the environment. It actually does work. Sweden, for example, recycles almost 100 percent of its household waste and now imports waste to keep its recycling plants in operation.
Read our post on four easy ways you can reduce your own household waste.
Switch your phone service to CREDO Mobile and your home electricity to CREDO Energy. You’ll power progressive change in the world just by doing what you do every day of the year because we donate to environmental organizations who are fighting the climate crisis every day. Take a look at who we fund and vote for the organizations we should fund this month.
Need posters for the Women’s March on January 19th? CREDO has you covered! You can download a high-resolution PDF of any of our posters for free! We look forward to being a part of the #WomensWave with you.
Brand New 2019 Women’s March Posters
Classic CREDO Women’s Equality Posters
Since our founding, CREDO has supported progressive nonprofits on the frontlines of the most important fights for civil rights, climate justice, equality and more. The donations we make to these organizations – $150,000 each month – wouldn’t be possible without our members. And that’s why we want to share with you what our recent grantees have accomplished with their CREDO funding. Here’s how your support has helped the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, Detention Watch Network and the Brennan Center for Justice.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
After receiving CREDO’s May grant of $43,005, EFF, in partnership with the ACLU, won its lawsuit arguing that the First and Fourth Amendments require border officers to get a warrant before searching our electronic devices.The court rejected the government’s motion to dismiss the case, signaling that the government’s invasion of people’s digital privacy causes constitutional concerns.
Rainforest Action Network
After receiving its $52,905 CREDO grant, RAN and partners launched a new U.S. campaign, “Insure our Future,” with the short-term goal of stopping U.S. insurance–company support for coal and tar sands and the longer-term goal to stop insurance-sector support for all fossil fuel expansion. RAN also stood with Indigenous & frontline communities during the Global Climate Action Summit in September to publicly condemn California state leadership’s lenient regulations for big oil and gas companies.
Detention Watch Network
Since receiving its recent $46,350 CREDO grant, DWN launched its new Communities Not Cages campaign, which works with local partners to prevent potential detention expansion and the spread of immigration detention and fights to shut down existing detention facilities.
Brennan Center Justice
CREDO’s $60,625 grant supported a critical Brennan Center for Justice campaign to fight voter disenfranchisement in Florida. Its work, in partnership with other local activists and policymakers, helped successfully pass Proposition 4 during the midterm election, which restored voting rights to more than 1.4 million people with past convictions in the state.
You can learn more about how previous grantees have used CREDO’s funding here. These efforts by our partners were made possible in part by the CREDO members who use our products and services everyday. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement today.
Activism can help tip the scales of justice: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown.
In 2004, Brown was a 16-year old whose adult boyfriend was trafficking her for sex. When she killed a man who had hired her for sex – because she thought he was going to shoot her – the state of Tennessee charged her with murder, tried her as an adult and sentenced her to life in prison, even though it should have considered her a victim of sex trafficking.
This victory would not have been possible without massive, sustained organizing. Black women led the charge and drew in celebrities as well as groups like the ACLU and the NAACP. More than 56,000 CREDO members signed our petition and added their voices to the fight.
Cyntoia Brown “should have never seen the inside of a cage, ” said Brittany Paschall, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Nashville, adding that the victory is “a glimpse into a world in which all Black lives matter, a world in which Black women and girls are free.”
Thank you for helping to make that world possible.
Overage charges. Like parking tickets and Sean Hannity, they’re one of those annoyances in life that we try to avoid. One way you can avoid overage charges on your bill is to limit data usage by apps like Facebook, which is one of the hungriest apps on your phone.
Normal use of the Facebook app—browsing your News Feed and looking at photos—consumes about 1.5MB per minute. Watching videos on Facebook uses around 2.6MB per minute. Spend 45 minutes a day on the Facebook app and it’ll cost you over 2GB of data in a month, which does not include the data the app drains while it runs in the background.
Here’s how to see exactly how much data the Facebook app is using on your phone. On your Android device, open Settings and select Data usage. You’ll see a graph that shows your monthly data usage and, below the graph, data usage by Facebook and other apps. On your iPhone or iPad, open Settings and select Cellular. Scroll down to view your data usage and scroll down a bit more to see data usage by Facebook and other apps.
If you’d like to limit the data your Facebook app uses, here are three steps you can take.
1. Stop videos from playing automatically in your News Feed
You can adjust your Facebook app’s autoplay settings to On, WiFi only or Off. If you choose WiFi only or Off, you’ll use less data.
To adjust the autoplay settings on your Android device:
- Open your Facebook app
- Tap the menu icon
- Scroll down and tap App settings
- Tap Autoplay
- Choose the option you prefer.
(If you don’t see the Autoplay setting on your Android device, log out of the Facebook app. When you log back in, Autoplay should be visible in App settings.)
To adjust the autoplay settings on your Apple device:
- Open your Facebook app
- Tap the menu icon
- Scroll down and tap Settings
- (you may need to tap “Settings & Privacy to expand the menu first)
- Tap Videos and photos
- (If you don’t see Videos and photos in your iPhone or iPad’s Facebook app settings, try updating your Facebook app.)
- Tap Autoplay. Choose the option you prefer.
2. Use the Facebook Lite app
Facebook Lite is a slimmed-down app developed to provide a more data-efficient Facebook experience. It uses over 90% less space on your phone, as well as less RAM and less CPU. It also uses considerably less data than the full-fledged app—yet it offers almost all the same features. The primary difference is the simplified interface.
You can download Facebook Lite to your Android device from the Google Play Store. There is not yet a version for iPhone or iPad.
3. Use WiFi whenever possible
This advice applies to all the apps on your phone. Using WiFi instead of mobile data will, obviously, save you a lot of data. Just go to Settings, tap WiFi and turn it on.
Posted on January 2, 2019
Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups supporting progressive economic policies, standing up to the Trump administration and fighting for the rights of immigrants. In December, over 69,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Americans for Tax Fairness, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and Cosecha.
These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our November grant recipients thank you.
“Thanks so much for your support! CREDO members help make it possible for us to amplify the voices of our hundreds of thousands of online members and our organizational partners to create an economy that works for all of us.” To learn more, visit americansfortaxfairness.org.
“Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is proud and honored to partner with CREDO to turn up the volume of the Jewish community’s voice for a more just, fair and compassionate America.” To learn more, visit bendthearc.us.
“Thank you for your support and leadership in these emotional times. As a funder of Cosecha you are instrumental in supporting undocumented families everywhere, and a big part of the fight for permanent protection for all undocumented people in the United States.” To learn more, visit lahuelga.com.
Now check out the three groups we are funding in January, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.
CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.