Thank you to CREDO members for a successful Climate Strike

This September, millions of people across the globe joined the Global Climate Strike, the week-long, youth-led movement to end the age of fossil fuels and stop the climate crisis.

We’re proud of our members who helped to play an important role in this year’s Climate Strike and lift up the voices of millions of young people fighting to save our planet.

Here’s some of what CREDO, our employees and our members are doing for climate justice:

 

Additional $50,000 donated to groups fighting for climate justice

This September, 36,000 CREDO members voted to help us distribute an extra $50,000 to five groups fighting for climate justice and a Green New Deal. Here are these five great groups and how much each received:

  • Climate Justice Alliance / $12,300
  • US Youth Climate Strike / $11,650
  • Sunrise Movement / $10,350
  • Data for Progress / $7,900
  • NY Renews / $7,800

 

CREDO joins Climate Strikers across the country

On Sept. 20, CREDO employees – including Ray, our CEO – walked out of work and marched with climate strikers in rallies across the country. We joined Patagonia, Levi Strauss, Ben & Jerry’s, Lush Cosmetics and others, to enlist as many of our employees and customers in the strike as possible as part of the Global Climate Strike Business Working Group. 

We designed and distributed new climate strike posters for activists and CREDO members to display during the strikes. (But we were especially fond of the homemade posters we saw that day.)

 

CREDO activists fighting for the climate

In September, our campaigners at CREDO Action helped to turn out thousands of climate strikers to events across the country. In the last few months, tens of thousands of CREDO activists have taken action to urge big banks and universities to divest from fossil fuels, demanded that the Democratic National Committee hold a climate debate, and told California Gov. Gavin Newsom to phase out all fossil fuel projects

This past year, hundreds of thousands of CREDO members have signed petitions to call on Democrats to support a Green New Deal, protect endangered species, and oppose the fossil fuel pipeline projects.

 

CREDO members funding climate justice

Every month, CREDO donates $150,000 to three progressive organizations. In the past 30 years, our members have helped us distribute nearly $20 million total to groups fighting for climate justice and the environment. Recent environmental organizations who we’ve donated to include: Sunrise Movement, Friends of the Earth Action, Rainforest Action Network, the Center for Biological Diversity, Amazon Watch and 350.org. In total, we’ve donated more than $88 million to progressive groups fighting for the climate, women’s rights, economic equality and more.

To learn more about our donations program and vote for this month’s grantees, click here.

Watch: CREDO’s story is powering progressive change

We have launched something special at CREDO Mobile. It’s a TV ad but it’s so much more than that too. It’s our story and yours

CREDO is all about empowering big and small acts of powerful, progressive change with a business model built to distribute a portion of our revenues to progressive causes and activism. 

At a time when more and more people are seeking to be socially-conscious consumers, and choosing brands that share their values, we want to ensure they know that they can put their money where their values are by switching to CREDO Mobile.

Personally and professionally, I’ve really enjoyed seeing brands large and small take more of a stand in the past few years. As we’ve done for more than three decades, cCorporations are expressing their values both as a way to connect with their audiences and followers and as a means to live their beliefs for their customers, employees and their brand. 

For example, following the Parkland gun massacre, Dicks Sporting Goods removed assault weapons from its shelves and raised the age to purchase firearms, and the company recently announced its best quarter in three years. Ben & Jerry’s has continued a tradition of special edition ice cream pints featuring social justice issues including its recent Justice ReMix’d flavor that highlights the work of Color of Change (a CREDO donations recipient and activism partner) and the Advancement Project on criminal justice reform. And Penzeys Spices has spent millions on ads about impeaching Trump and received some well-deserved attention.  

Likewise, our new ad highlights the people who take a stand every day, by marching, organizing, boycotting, resisting –- and choosing a CREDO Mobile phone. It features families getting ready to attend various rallies supporting progressive issues. Each uses their CREDO Mobile phone as they create signs calling for climate justice, women’s rights, economic justice, civil rights, voting rights and peace efforts. If you didn’t catch it on air, you can watch it here:

Please also share it with your friends and family. If you’re a CREDO Mobile member, thank you for making CREDO’s activism and donations possible. 

Don’t forget that CREDO Mobile customers get a $100 bill credit for referring a friend for each and every line added. Help your friends get off the Big Telecom providers while still getting service on the best network, the same high-quality phones and competitive pricing, all while powering progressive change. Really, why wouldn’t anyone switch? You can learn more here (and make sure your friend has your CREDO Mobile phone number to reference when signing up!)

New Video: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visits CREDO headquarters

Avril Benoît of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visited CREDO headquarters on Wednesday, November 6th. Avril shared the impact of increasingly restrictive migration policies in different parts of the world and how these policies heap more suffering on people who were forced to flee their homes.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the entire live stream below or here on our Facebook page, Twitter page, or YouTube channel.

Criminal justice reform – one scoop at a time

Since our founding, CREDO has been fighting for civil rights and against systemic racism, and that includes reforming the criminal justice system. We’re thrilled that Ben & Jerry’s is lifting up this important issue too.  

So, in turn, we want to lift up Ben & Jerry’s new ice cream flavor that is raising money for criminal justice reform: Justice ReMix’d.

The limited-time flavor was launched in partnership with the Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization that works with local grassroots organizers on racial justice issues, and Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization and a long time partner of CREDO who has received more than $371,000 in CREDO donations thanks to our CREDO Mobile, Energy, Long Distance and Working Assets Credit Card members. Ben & Jerry’s will donate a portion of the proceeds from Justice ReMix’d to help fund the Advancement Project National Office to support its work in criminal justice reform.

According to Ben & Jerry’s, their new flavor features “cinnamon and chocolate ice creams, gobs of cinnamon bun dough, and spicy fudge brownies. And the best part? Justice ReMix’d also has a sweet swirl of justice under the lid.”

Over the years, CREDO members have helped us donate more than $12 million to civil rights groups like Center for Media Justice and Black Alliance for Just Immigration who are working to reform the criminal justice system. And hundreds of thousands of CREDO activists have taken action urging key decision makers to end police violence and reform the current racist criminal justice system.

It’s no surprise that Ben & Jerry’s is taking a strong stand on criminal justice reform, either; the company has been a progressive partner for social change for many years. We’re always supportive when corporations leverage their brand’s voice to create positive social change, and we feel it’s important to lift up Ben & Jerry’s work to make “justice for all” a reality for everyone.

To learn more about Justice ReMix’d and Ben & Jerry’s work on criminal justice reform, visit their website here.

CREDO’s Nicole Regalado gives powerful speech demanding Congress investigate Kavanaugh

Earlier this month, on the anniversary of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, CREDO Action Campaign Director Nicole Regalado gave a powerful speech in front of the Supreme Court demanding that Congress investigate Kavanaugh, who has been credibly accused of sexual assault and lying under oath in 2004 and 2006 and at least 30 times during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Watch or read Nicole’s moving speech below:

“Good afternoon. My name is Nicole Regalado and I believe survivors.

When Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, every single person on my team at CREDO heard the rallying cry to fight back. We knew that the confirmation of an anti-choice, anti-women judge would put our freedoms and rights in danger.

We also knew that the confirmation of a known sexual predator would sanction and normalize the abuse that too many of our sisters have endured at the hands of predators. We came together and threw everything we had but the kitchen sink at the Senate to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation. We mobilized our members to make thousands of calls to the Senate, we showed up at Senate offices and all of us together watched every minute of Dr. Ford’s courageous and powerful testimony, cheering her on in California.

Like many people here today, we fought like hell to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation. So when Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans pushed Kavanaugh through anyway – ignoring Dr. Blasey Ford, the calls for accountability from thousands of women and the fact that Kavanaugh lied under oath in 2004, 2006 and 2018 – it felt like our voices, our stories, our pain, our work, simply didn’t matter. All of the women inside me were tired.

But today, as I stand here, right outside the Supreme Court, among hundreds of people who are rising up again, I am hopeful. Know that your actions here today will give thousands of people hope. And hope is one of the most dangerous threats to an administration that deals solely in hate and fear.

Brett Kavanaugh is a sexual predator who has no business being on the Supreme Court for a single day, let alone for a lifetime. One year ago today, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler promised that if Democrats took back the House, he would open an investigation into Kavanaugh and the accusations of perjury and sexual misconduct.

Democrats won back the House in November. It is long past time for Congressman Nadler to make good on his promise.

I am truly humbled to be here among you today. Thank you so much for coming out.”

Our October grantees thank you for your support

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 the environment, gun control, economic equality. In October, almost 74,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Amazon Watch, Brady and Social Security Works.

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 October grant recipients thank you.

Amazon Watch
$51,865

“Thank you! With support from CREDO members like you, we’re working around the clock to respond to the fires, expand our advocacy work on behalf of our indigenous allies and redirect funds to provide direct support to indigenous communities.” – Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director

To learn more, visit amazonwatch.org.

Brady
$41,948

“A huge thank you to CREDO and CREDO members for your continued support of our fight to prevent gun violence in America. Brady’s lifesaving work in Congress, courts and communities across the country is made possible thanks to partners like you.” – Kris Brown, President

To learn more, visit bradyunited.org.  

Social Security Works
$56,187

“CREDO members were with Social Security Works at the beginning and have been essential partners as we changed the conversation in America from whether benefits should be cut to by how much they should be expanded. Thank you for standing with us.” – Alex Lawson, Executive Director

To learn more, visit socialsecurityworks.org.  

Now check out the three groups we are funding in November, 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.

Vote for Bold, Dēmos Action and Planned Parenthood Federation of America this November

Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute $150,000 to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This November, you can support groups fighting for climate justice, civil rights and reproductive freedom by voting to fund Bold, Dēmos Action and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Bold

Bold protects our land and water from risky fossil fuel projects, like the Keystone XL pipeline, with an unlikely alliance of farmers, ranchers, Tribal Nations and climate advocates. 

Bold is facing a critical moment in the Keystone XL battle. CREDO funding will help Bold provide funding for landowners fighting eminent domain lawsuits filed by TransCanada to take their farmland for the Keystone XL pipeline. It will also help Bold put pressure on all the 2020 Democratic candidates to take the “NoKXL Pledge” to revoke Trump’s illegal KXL permit on day one in office.

Dēmos Action

Dēmos Action works to promote a multi-racial economic and pro-democracy agenda while building the long-term progressive power necessary to ensure an equal say and an equal chance to all Americans. 

CREDO funding will allow Dēmos Action to increase voter engagement and turn ideas into public policy that will have a positive impact on the lives of young people, people of color, women and working-class people of all races.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

For more than 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been a champion for sexual and reproductive health and rights, fighting to ensure that all people have access to the care and information they need to live strong, healthy lives.

Funding from CREDO will help Planned Parenthood ensure that all people have access to the information and care they need to protect their health and make informed sexual and reproductive health decisions.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by Nov. 30.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement.

Electric Vehicles 101: How to Drive Without Direct Carbon Emissions

In recent years, electric vehicles sales have surged from 1,919 in 2010 to 233,411 in 2018, and analysts predict the trend will continue upward. This increase in sales is due to several factors including price, longer-range batteries and market competition. In 2019 alone, five automakers introduced EVs that are able to deliver more than 200 miles of range on a single charge. 

The rapid growth of EVs is also good news for the environment. The oceans are warming, the ice sheets are shrinking and sea levels are rising, as the climate crisis becomes worse every day. 

Americans are addicted to fossil fuels. The U.S. energy sector constitutes 84% of our country’s total emissions, contributing heavily to climate change. But EVs can help us change that.

The recent surge in EVs is excellent news for consumers and the planet. If you’re ready to drive a vehicle without direct carbon emissions, here are a few things to consider when purchasing an EV:

EV Cost

Newer EV models tend to be more expensive than their gasoline counterparts. In April 2019, Sen. Debbie Stabenow introduced a bill called The Driving America Forward Act. This bill expands on the 2010 Electric Vehicle Deployment Act, which incentivized the purchase of EV’s with a $7,500 tax credit. If the bill passes, automakers will be allowed to extend a tax credit of $7,000 to $400,000 new EV owners. If the tax credit is not extended, what’s left of the current bill will be phased out by the end of this year. 

To find out what incentive you might quality for, visit energy.gov and check the box for “federal” and your state. This search will generate a list of tax credits and other incentives available in your area.

EV Range

While the advent of newer models with longer range capacity has significantly reduced range anxiety, the nation’s infrastructure is not yet ready for your cross country road trip. In fact, as EVs become more popular, the barriers to building more charging stations remain.

Some older EVs have a  range of about 84 miles, but with battery depreciation, they may only travel 60 miles over time. In urban areas, where driving distances are shorter, this isn’t as much of a problem, but can be a hindrance in other areas. 

When choosing an EV, make sure the car’s range will be sufficient to meet your needs. The average American drives 29.2 miles per day. Daily commutes, of course, vary from person to person, so it’s a good idea to map out your daily route and add a 5% margin of error. 

Various parts of the country are embracing EV technology at different rates, with San Francisco leading the charge with over 4,000 charging stations city wide, but that isn’t the case everywhere, which is why the next thing you should consider is how and where to charge your EV. 

Charging Your EV

If you live in a house, charging your EV can be as simple as plugging your car into an outlet in the garage. EVs plug into standard 100-volt outlets (Level 1 charge), but charging can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. You can also install a 240-volt station (Level 2 charge), which reduces your charging time to four hours. But a third option, known as DC Fast Charging (Level 3 charge), can charge your EV in as little as 30 minutes to an hour. 

For those who have shared garage or parking areas, installing a charging station may require permission from the owner of the building. The stations cost between $437 – $1,700, plus the cost of installation. You can use Home Advisors estimate calculator to help determine the price in your area and get quotes from local electricians. 

While on the go, it may not be convenient to drive home, charge your vehicle and then continue about your day. Luckily, several apps are available to help you locate public charging stations nearby. Before you buy an EV, download one of the apps and do a quick search of the areas you frequent most. The app will give you a feel for how accessible charging stations are in your area.

Quick note: Electricity to charge your EV from the standard electric grid most likely contains dirty energy from fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas. Driving EVs are still far cleaner than traditional gas-powered vehicles, but if you are interested in lowering your fossil fuel use, you can install solar panels on your home or offset your carbon consumption by signing up for CREDO Energy.

EV Ownership Cost

Although the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle has gone down, your insurance premium may go up. The price hike doesn’t mean that the EVs are any less safe. In fact, the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt has a 4.9/5 safety rating on Kelly Blue Book. The higher value and cost to repair a damaged EV are the culprits behind insurance premiums being about 21% higher for an EV. 

The benefit of an EV is, of course, that it requires zero gas, but owners should expect to see a rise in their electric bill. While many public charging stations continue to be free, some do charge, and the prices vary.

The Environmental Protection Agency maintains a searchable database that shows the cost of fuel/electricity for any given car. For example, a 2017 BMW i3 has an annual electricity cost of $550 compared to the fuel-efficient 2017 Honda Civic, which costs $1,050 in annual fuel costs. 

Unlike gasoline or even hybrid cars that have a lot of moving parts, EVs have no corroded fuel or oil lines (yes, that means no oil changes!). And with fewer moving parts in general, there is little maintenance. What consumers do need to be concerned about is the cost of replacing the battery. 

Battery

Electric vehicle batteries do lose their charge over time. However, federal regulations mandate an 8-year/100,000 mile warranty on all new EV batteries, and Hyundai has taken this a step further by offering a lifetime battery warranty on their new 2019 Kona Electric

SAE international lists a BMW i3 battery replacement cost at $16,000. However,  battery costs should decline as EV production increases. Experts project battery replacement costs to be as low as $125-$150 by 2030.

Extreme weather can also affect your battery life. During the polar vortex of 2019, many EV owners saw a 41% reduction in their EV’s battery life. Once the temperatures returned to normal, the battery life returned as well, but it’s a necessary consideration if you live in an area with freezing temperatures.

Cargo Space

In some cases, the battery pack required to operate the EV’s emissions-free technology takes up more room resulting in less cargo space in the vehicle. Some models like Tesla have accounted for this with additional storage located in the front of the car, but other automobiles like the Fiat 500e, simply have less cargo space. Measure or look up the cargo space for your current vehicle to help you choose.

 

 

Whether you are buying a new or used EV, there are many factors to consider. What we know for sure, though, is our dependence on fossil fuel is one of the root causes of climate change and EVs can help get us off fossil fuels while also helping to reduce carbon emissions.

We’ve outlined here many of the potential benefits as well as drawbacks to help inform your decision. As with any car buying experience, don’t be shy about asking questions when you visit a dealership to test drive an EV.

6 progressive podcasts to subscribe to right now

We’re living in the golden age of podcasts. According to industry data, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million available episodes on a wide range of topics that include history, pop culture and current events. 

There’s a podcast for virtually everyone, and here at CREDO, we’re fond of podcasters who are lifting up our movement, reporting on the progressive issues that the mainstream media ignores and highlighting frontline activism against Trump’s hateful agenda.

Whether you’re on the bus or subway, traveling in your car, or enjoying your favorite show on your phone or smart speaker at home, there’s a podcast for you. Here are six that we recommend.

Think 100%

When your tagline is the “Coolest Show on Climate Change,” you better deliver, and Think 100% sure does. Co-hosted by Antonique Smith, a Grammy nominated singer and actress, and President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus Rev Lennox Yearwood, Jr.,, Think 100%’s award-winning podcast brings together musicians, celebrities, government officials, activists and experts to discuss environmental justice, climate change and clean energy while dispelling the myth that people of color aren’t engaged in the environmental movement. Season 2 recently launched, so catch up on all the episodes here.

Brave New Words

With Brave New Words, Anat Shenker-Osorio takes listeners on a journey around the globe as she unpacks real-world narrative shifts that led to real-world victories. From electing the dynamic Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern to repealing a national ban on abortion in Ireland to beating back right-wing race baiting in Minnesota, Shenker-Osorio and her guests explore what made it possible to engage the base, persuade the middle, send the naysayers packing and win! Learn more and subscribe here.

Mothers of Invention 

Hosted by Ireland’s first female president Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins, Mothers of Invention tackles climate justice issues from a feminist perspective. Women will bear the brunt of the climate crisis, so Pres. Robinson, Higgins and their guests – the “mothers” who are driving innovation, activists fighting for climate justice, and policy makers and experts working to save the planet – discuss solutions to climate change.

As its tagline makes clear, “Climate change is a man-made problem – with a feminist solution!” You can find all the episodes here.

Majority Report with Sam Seder

Sam Seder is a progressive comedian, writer, film director and actor whose podcast provides informed, thoughtful political analysis with a healthy dose of scathing humor and features insightful interviews with guests ranging from politicians to musicians. 

Daily episodes are free but with a small monthly membership, you get access to all bonus content and can listen to the program five days a week in all formats commercial free. Find it here.

Code Switch

Named for “code switching,” the practice of switching between languages or forms of speech within a single conversation, Code Switch is comprised of seven NPR journalists of color exploring race, ethnicity and culture and how identities are shifting in a demographically changing world. 

“Unflinchingly honest and empathetic,” the podcast is funny and at times refreshingly uncomfortable as the team tackles themes ranging from inequality in the education system, systemic racism, history and pop culture. You can find current episodes here.

Kagro in the Morning 

If you’re looking for podcast to go with your morning coffee, Kagro in the Morning from Daily Kos Contributing Editor David Waldman could be the one for you. 

Daily Kos, one of the premier progressive online communities, is a close CREDO ally in the fight against the Trump administration and for our progressive values. Waldman’s episodes cover news of the day and progressive politics with insight, dry wit and sardonic humor. Start your day with the news, politics and commentary from our progressive friends here.

For privacy and security, get a VPN for your phone

Here at CREDO, protecting our members’ privacy rights is a top priority. We’ve fought the government in court to protect our members’ privacy rights and worked to repeal spying programs like the Patriot Act.

There are also steps you can take to protect your own privacy on your devices. A virtual private network is a way to connect your PC, tablet or smartphone to a remote server and browse the internet using that server’s internet connection. 

It’s a good idea for two reasons:

  1. Privacy: a VPN hides your real IP address behind the remote server’s IP address and prevents the monitoring or tracking of your activity while you’re online.
  2. Security: a VPN encrypts all the traffic between your device and the server, which gives you protection against hackers.

In the past, VPNs were mostly installed on home computers and laptops. Now, though, people access the internet more often on their smartphone than their PC and there are dozens of companies offering VPNs for your phone.

They’re easy to use:Just download and install. Then, before you access the internet, tap the app. From that point forward, all your internet activity may be hidden and encrypted, whether you’re using a browser like Google Chrome or an internet-connected app like Facebook. You’ll notice little – if any – difference in your phone’s performance. Texting and calling will not be affected.

Here’s CNET’s list of top mobile VPNs. And here’s a list from Popular Science (scroll down to find it).

Look for a mobile VPN that offers high speed, strong encryption and a no-logging policy – which means the VPN does not store information about what you do online. It’s a good idea to choose a VPN that charges a subscription (most are around $10 a month) because these services cost money to operate – and if you’re not paying, then there is a chance that the VPN supports itself by selling your data. Plus, free VPNs tend to be slower and less reliable. You can also read about some VPN recommendations on our previous blog post 3 Ways to Boost Your Privacy on an Android Phone.

There are two reasons why a VPN on your phone is a good idea: privacy and security.

A VPN protects your privacy

A VPN prevents your internet service provider and/or advertisers from watching everything you do online. So, no monitoring, tracking or ad targeting.

You can also be sure that your internet activity is not being tracked and recorded by the shadowy, unregulated data brokers that are now ubiquitous.

Your ISP knows a lot about you, especially since Congress and Donald Trump stripped the internet of privacy rules in March 2017. Here’s what privacy advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation had to say at the time. “Putting the interests of internet providers over internet users, Congress today voted to erase landmark broadband privacy protections. [ISPs] will have free rein to hijack your searches, sell your data and hammer you with unwanted advertisements. Worse yet, consumers will now have to pay a privacy tax by relying on VPNs to safeguard their information. That is a poor substitute for legal protections.”

So, if you’d like data brokers and your ISP to know less about you, use a VPN when you go online.

A VPN protects your security

Everyone likes free public WiFi – at the airport, the cafe, the hotel lobby. Hackers like it too, because data that travels via a public WiFi connection is often unencrypted, unsecured and easy to steal.

There is the man-in-the-middle attack, in which a hacker intercepts information – like your username and password – that travels between you and whatever websites you visit. There is the rogue hotspot, which poses as a legitimate hotspot with a similar name like “Airport WiFi,” and collects your data or plants spyware on your device.

A VPN protects your personal information when you use public WiFi. It encrypts all your data traffic to and from the VPN server and can block access by hackers.

For more tips on protecting your data when you use public WiFi, read our post 6 ways to protect your privacy on public WiFi.