New video: How we can fight to expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid after the midterm elections

LIVE: Social Security Works explains how we can fight to expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid post-election

CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess and Social Security Works President Nancy Altman are live from CREDO HQ to discuss the plan to fight for the expansion of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare post-election.

Posted by CREDO Mobile on Thursday, November 15, 2018

On Nov. 15, we were pleased to host a very special live event with CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess and Social Security Works President Nancy Altman who discussed the plan for fighting for the expansion of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare post-election.

If you missed the original broadcast, you can watch the recording of the event below, on our Facebook page or on YouTube.

Fighting for our future: How NARAL members are mobilizing for reproductive freedom

Group of protesters with signs that say "Protect Roe" and "Stop Kavanaugh"
For more than four decades, Roe v. Wade promised the right to legal, safe abortion care.

But that promise, more often than not, doesn’t square with reality. The reality is that for many, access to abortion care is nonexistent  – because of laws that shut down the nearest clinics. Or policies that block insurance companies from covering it. Or bans on public funding for abortion, like the Hyde amendment, which make it next to impossible for low-income women to get the same care as everyone else.

Put simply, a right is not a right if you cannot access it.

Seven in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion, even in red states. Nationwide, 71 percent don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned and gutted.

But for decades, long before Trump took office, anti-choice extremists have chipped away at access – by stacking the courts with anti-choice judges at every level, electing biased officials to the governor’s mansions, legislatures, and Congress, and passing hundreds of state-level restrictions, designed to shut down clinics and cut off access to abortion and contraception.

And, most recently, by railroading Brett Kavanaugh through to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

Yet we fight on because we know the stakes. We fight on because we want better for ourselves, our families, daughters and sons. We fight on because we continue to be the torch bearers for the promise of a democracy that assures dignity, equality, and justice for all people.

As we take to the streets and demand leaders fight for our rights and values, we’re seeing the power of the people.

The resounding victories by pro-choice candidates in the 2018 midterms prove once again that when candidates stand up for women and our essential rights – including the right to access abortion – they have the power of the people on their side. More than 100 women were elected to Congress – a diverse group of women who stepped up to fight for their communities. Read More

Tuesday Tip: 8 Tips for Better Video Calls When You Can’t Make it Home for the Holidays

Illustration of a woman making a video call on her cell phone with a snowy scene outside her window and a cozy fireplace in the background

8 Tips for Better Video Calls – a Green Solution for Connecting with Family when You Can’t Make it Home for the Holidays

So many of us have family and friends all across the country or the world. We’d love to be with them in person, especially during the holidays. When we can’t, do the next best thing — a video call.

For environmentalists, flying poses another dilemma: air travel accounts for 4% – 9% of the total climate change impact of human activity. The overall impact of aircraft emissions is a warming effect that is 1.9 times that of carbon dioxide alone.  

If you’re not going to be with beloved family members this season, you can do the next best thing – enjoy a video call. Whatever your app of choice—FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat—a video call is a good and hassle-free way to spend quality time with family and friends.

Unless there is a glitch, of course. Then your intimate conversation can quickly get exasperating. The sound is garbled. The lighting is weird. You spend half the call distracted by the self-view and wondering if you always look like Bela Lugosi.

Happily, you can take steps to ensure that your holiday video calls are almost as good as being there.

Make sure your app is up to date

App makers improve their apps with each new update. So if you’re still running the same version of the app that you downloaded two years ago, you’re probably going to get the same quality you had two years ago (i.e. not so good).

If your apps are not updated automatically, on your Android device, go to the Google Play Store, then tap the menu icon at upper left. Scroll down and tap Settings, then tap Auto-update apps. On your iPhone or iPad, open Settings and go to the iTunes & App Store. Under Automatic Downloads, look for Updates and toggle the switch on. (For automatic updates to work in iOS, your iPhone or iPad must be running a recent version of iOS.)

Use headphones

Or earphones or AirPods or whatever you have. Your sound will be louder and clearer if you’re using a headset of some sort. You’ll hear better and your mic will pick up less background noise. Also, you won’t accidentally end the call while you’re pressing your cell phone to your ear.

Light yourself well

Let there be light—but let it be in the right place. Overhead lighting is not good for a video call. It will cast a shadow under your brow and you’ll look kind of like Marlon Brando in “The Godfather.” Also, don’t place yourself in front of a bright light or sun-filled window or you’ll be a mere silhouette. Natural light is best. It gives you a healthy glow. Sit by a window, facing the window, so that the light illuminates your face. Or use several soft-light sources at approximately eye level.

Find a stable background

If you’re in a crowded cafe or the flat-screen TV behind you is showing the Rose Parade, move to a different place. The more motion you have in your frame, the more work your app will have to do to capture the image and the choppier your video will be.

Be on the level

The best angle for a call is eye level, so hold your device there—and keep it as steady as you can. Also, try to look at your screen and maintain eye contact with the person at the other end. It’s annoying to have a conversation with someone whose thoughts seem to be elsewhere.

Close other apps

Video calls require your device to do a lot of work. Shut down other open apps to free up bandwidth and your call should perform better.

Have a charger handy

Video calls are battery-intensive. If your battery is low or tends to drain quickly when taxed, keep a charger handy so your call won’t end suddenly.

Dress correctly

Your top can be important—and not for fashion reasons. Pinstripes, herringbone and other fine patterns may cause aliasing or moire on some cameras. It’s that effect you notice sometimes on TV when a newscaster wears a check suit that seems to shimmer on the screen.

Wherever you spend them and whoever you spend them with—at home or on the phone—happy holidays from us here at CREDO Mobile.

So many of us have family and friends all across the country or the world. We’d love to be with them in person, especially during the holidays. When we can’t, do the next best thing — a video call.

For environmentalists, flying poses another dilemma: air travel accounts for 4% – 9% of the total climate change impact of human activity. The overall impact of aircraft emissions is a warming effect that is 1.9 times that of carbon dioxide alone.  

If you’re not going to be with beloved family members this season, you can do the next best thing – enjoy a video call. Whatever your app of choice—FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat—a video call is a good and hassle-free way to spend quality time with family and friends.

Unless there is a glitch, of course. Then your intimate conversation can quickly get exasperating. The sound is garbled. The lighting is weird. You spend half the call distracted by the self-view and wondering if you always look like Bela Lugosi.

Happily, you can take steps to ensure that your holiday video calls are almost as good as being there.

Wherever you spend them and whoever you spend them with—at home or on the phone—happy holidays from us here at CREDO Mobile.

 

Election Day voting rights victories in Florida and Michigan

Ballot box icon with the words
Thanks to the activism of CREDO members and our allies on the ground, progressives scored two big voting rights victories in Florida and Michigan on Election Day 2018.

Florida

In Florida, voters approved the Florida Voting Restoration Amendment (Amendment 4), a ballot measure that will restore voting rights for nearly 1.5 million Floridians who have served time for felony convictions.

Florida was 1 of only 4 states that imposed a lifetime voting ban on all citizens convicted of a felony. This ban prevented 1 in 5 Black Floridians from ever participating in our democracy. It was an unjust law the state passed in 1868, rooted in the racism of Jim Crow. Thanks in part to CREDO members who made calls to voters, more than a million Floridians will have their voting rights restored.

Michigan

In Michigan, voters approved Proposal 2, an effort to strengthen democracy in the state and end gerrymandering. Republicans had manipulated the redistricting process, drawing election maps and hand-picking their voters to protect and build power in the state legislature and Congress.

Proposal 2 will amend the state Constitution to create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission that will draw the state legislative and congressional districts using a set of strict criteria that prevents partisan influence, bias or manipulation. This important victory will also serve as model legislation for voters in other battleground states resisting Donald Trump’s authoritarian attacks on voting rights, civil rights and civil liberties.

CREDO members joined thousands of activists in Michigan pledging to vote “yes” on Proposal 2, which passed overwhelmingly by nearly 1 million more votes.

AT&T helped re-elect white supremacist Congressman Steve King

Blue AT&T logo with text
Rep. Steve King of Iowa is a racist and a white supremacist.

He retweets neo-Nazis and endorsed one for mayor of Toronto. He courts favor with extremist, right-wing European nationalists. He has accused immigrants of “undermining our culture and civilization.”

One of King’s biggest corporate donors, the telecommunications giant AT&T, donated $5,000 to his 2018 re-election campaign and a total of $59,000 over King’s career.

But thanks to massive public pressure, including by more than 66,000 CREDO members who signed our petition, AT&T announced they would no longer fund King’s campaigns.

But the damage has been already done: King was re-elected with AT&T’s help.

That begs the question: What took AT&T so long to stop bankrolling King? King has a long history of making overtly racist comments dating back over more than a decade, including comparing immigrants to animals, disparaging Muslim children and asserting that people of color have contributed little to American culture.

AT&T continues to fund politicians who support Donald Trump’s and the Republicans’ racist agenda, so we must keep up the pressure on AT&T to stop funding all candidates who support white supremacy.

CREDO will never fund white supremacy. In fact, CREDO and our members actively fight racism and white supremacy through our activism and by funding progressive organizations who stand up against hate.

To learn more about how we fund progressive causes and if you’re considering making the switch, visit CREDOMobile.com.

CREDO is Fighting to Ban Fracking in the Delaware River Basin

The Delaware River Basin is one of the east coast’s most vital water sources. More than 15 million people in the region from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware rely on it for drinking water.

Hydraulic Fracking

But hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – the extremely dirty and resource-intensive process to extract natural gas from the earth – could threaten the drinking water supply for at least 5 percent of the U.S. population, including residents in New York City and Philadelphia. Here’s why:

The average fracking well uses around 4.5 million gallons of water. In drought years, this intense water usage could reduce stream flows in the Delaware River Basin by up to 70 percent while potentially raising the amount of dangerous contaminants, like barium, 500 percent compared to background levels.

And if officials were to lift the current fracking moratorium, natural gas developers could create up to 4,000 new fracking wells. Running that many wells would require 18 to 26 square miles of land – the equivalent of building 840 Walmart Supercenters in the area.

Additionally, regional officials have proposed to allow fracking wastewater to be imported, stored, processed and discharged into the Delaware River Watershed. The rules would also allow for Delaware River Watershed water to be exported out of the basin to fuel fracking elsewhere.

That’s why CREDO and our members in the region are speaking out to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin and protect the watershed from the fossil fuel industry. We launched a petition calling on the Delaware River Basin Commission to ban all fracking activities.

And earlier this year, our campaign received some great news:

After fierce opposition by environmental groups, residents and nearly 20,000 CREDO members who signed our petition, New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy announced he would join with several neighboring states to oppose fracking.

But we can’t take a victory lap just yet. The full ban on all fracking activities has not gone into effect, and New Jersey is still importing toxic fracking wastewater into the state.

Recent legislation to ban the disposal or placement of fracking by-products in the state, however, is making its way through the New Jersey Legislature.

Take Action

We urge you to add your voice and call on all the governors in the region to ban fracking now. You can sign the petition here: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/DRBC-ban-all-fracking

After the midterms, Democrats must use their mandate to resist Trump

A blue background with white and black text that says, "Democrats: Time to Fight!" and the democrat donkey symbol below.
This week, voters handed Democrats an unambiguous mandate to resist Trump.

In a clear repudiation of Trump, Democrats won 9.2 percent more votes nationwide, picked up at least 26 House seats – with 15 that are yet to be called as of Wednesday morning – and took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010.

The incoming Democratic caucus is diverse and solidly progressive. Many newly elected members broke down barriers in their elections: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer are the youngest women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the first Muslim women, and Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids are the first Native American women to serve in Congress.

Voters are not sending Democrats to Congress to compromise with Trump’s hate or help Republicans rig the country for the powerful. But we cannot count on Democratic leadership in Washington to resist Trump and offer a progressive alternative unless we demand it.

Last week, Democratic leaders were silent as several of their senators flirted with ending birthright citizenship – an idea straight out of the white nationalist fringes. This week, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about bipartisanship, not resistance. We need to make sure Democrats know that voters expect them to stand up to Trump and fight for progressive values.

Democrats in Washington have not proven that they will lead according to this mandate. In addition to her call for bipartisanship, Leader Pelosi recently endorsed sabotaging the Democratic agenda by matching tax increases with spending – a policy known as pay-go – even though Republicans never do the same when it comes to handouts for corporations and the wealthy. And though there is major momentum to investigate and impeach Brett Kavanaugh, she recently said that impeachment is off the table. Chuck Schumer not only let Joe Manchin vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, but kept Manchin in his leadership team. Voters started the process of healing the rot in the Democratic party and our nation as a whole, but we still have a long way to go.

There are unfortunately still too many Democrats ready to go along with the argument that Democrats need to compromise with Trump and embrace Wall Street or white nationalist agendas in order to win elections, including the presidency in 2020. They are wrong, politically and morally, and we cannot let them determine the Party’s direction. Democrats must use their mandate to:

  • Protect immigrants, people of color, women, Muslims and the LGBTQ community from Trump’s attacks
  • Investigate Trump’s corruption and scandals and protect the Mueller investigation
  • Resist Trump-Republican attempts to steal elections, rig the economy for the powerful, cut Medicare and Social Security, turn their backs on climate change, and lead us to war
  • Fight for a bold progressive vision for the country

This week’s results show that Democrats win when they run as progressives. Progressive candidates took seats that Trump won two years ago and flipped long-held Republican seats. Where we lost, Republican voter suppression absolutely played a role. We must make major changes to ensure our democracy works, and that starts with Democrats standing up for progressive values and demanding that our government work for everyone – not just the white, wealthy elite. But without pressure, established Democratic leaders are far too likely to squander this momentum.

Before a cowardly, Trump-friendly and compromising narrative sets in among Democrats, we need to make it unequivocally clear that we demand resistance and a bold vision, starting today.

Please click here to sign our petition urging Democrats to use their mandate to resist Trump.

Tuesday Tip: 8 Ways to Save Energy and Keep Your Home Warm this Winter

Snowy, winter scene of a houses with solar panels and windmills

Climate change can bring colder winters. It’s counterintuitive but it’s true, according to a recent study in the journal Nature Communications.

So now you have two compelling reasons to outfit your home or apartment for the chilly months ahead. One, to keep yourself warm. Two, to cut your energy use and do your part to slow down climate change.

Here are eight do-it-yourself ways to prep your place for a cold winter and reduce your power consumption.

Install weatherstripping

The cracks around your windows and doors leak heat and let in cold air. Weatherstripping them will keep you comfortable and could save you up to 20% on your electricity bill.

But make sure you use the right type of weatherstripping. There are different varieties and they’re made to go in different places. For details on how to install them, search YouTube for instructional videos—there are dozens. Here are the basics.

V-strip

This is a V-shaped weatherstrip that expands to fill gaps. Made of plastic or thin, flexible metal, V-strip is intended to go along the sides of a double-hung window or sliding window and along the sides or at the top of doors. With plastic V-strip, just cut the length you want, peel and stick. Make sure to clean the frames for best adhesion. Metal V-strip is affixed with finishing nails.

Felt

Sold in rolls, felt is inexpensive but doesn’t usually last more than a year or two. It goes in the same places as V-strip. Just cut, peel and stick. One advantage is that it slows down air but lets moisture pass.

Foam tape

Also sold in rolls, this is usually EPDM rubber. It works the same as felt but lasts longer.

Door sweeps

Made of plastic or rubber, door sweeps fit the bottom of exterior doors to fill that gap down there and stop air flow in and out. They attach with screws.

Seal your ducts

If you have a home with central heating, you can save a lot of warm air and money by sealing and insulating your ducts—the network of tubes in your walls, floors, and ceilings that carries heat from your furnace to your rooms. Leaky ducts can lose up to 30% of their hot air and add hundreds of dollars to your yearly heating bill.

Given their location, it’s difficult to seal the ducts in your walls and floors so you may want to call in a professional to do that.

Service your furnace

To run more efficiently (and live a longer life), newer furnaces need service every two years and older furnaces need it annually. At a minimum, you should change your filters monthly during the winter. Hold your filter up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, you should replace it. Pleated filters are best because they catch more dirt and dust.

Insulate your water heater

Wrapping your water heater in an insulating blanket is an easy and effective DIY project. The blanket costs only about $20 at your local home center. If your tank is new, it’s probably insulated already. If it’s older, check the R-value of its insulation. It should be at least 24. If you can’t find the R-value, touch your tank. If it feels warm, it could use more insulation. This can cut standby heat loss by 25% to 45%.

While you’re at it, turn down your water heater’s thermostat from 140 degrees (the standard factory setting) to 120 degrees. This will save energy and your water will still be hot enough for showering and washing clothes or dishes.

Make your windows work for you

During the day, open the curtains or blinds on all windows that receive sunlight and you’ll gather free heat for your home. At night, close the curtains and you’ll keep heat in. Close them during cold weather and most conventional curtains will reduce heat loss by up to 10%.

Turn down your thermostat

Yes, normally in winter you turn it up. But turn it down when you go to bed. You’ll cut 1% from your heating bill for each degree you set back your thermostat. Set it back for eight hours every night and you can reduce your bill up to 10% per year.

Cover bare floors

Bare floors can drain as much as 10% of the heat out of your home. Cover them with rugs or carpeting to keep your home and your feet warm.

Foil your radiator

If you have a radiator against a wall, cover the wall in foil. This will keep heat from escaping and reflect it back into the room. You can buy foil made for this purpose or you can use plain-old aluminum foil. If you have large furniture next to the radiator, it will absorb heat, so move it away (unless you happen to be sitting in it).

We’ve got one planet. We need to take care of it. To help you do that, we launched CREDO Energy, an easy way for you to choose 100% renewable electricity for your home. Click here to learn more and check availability in your area.

Our October grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible organizations. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups fighting for civil rights, reproductive rights and economic justice. In October, over 55,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Center for Media Justice, Planned Parenthood and Working Families Party.

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 September grant recipients thank you.

Center for Media Justice
$43,745
“Thank you for this opportunity! With the support of CREDO members like you, the Center for Media Justice will continue to win structural changes in our media and technology systems that advance racial and economic equity.” To learn more, visit mediajustice.org.

Planned Parenthood
$68,898
“Planned Parenthood has fought for more than 100 years to ensure all people have access to the health care they need and deserve. Our movement is stronger than ever, thanks to our supporters and long-standing partners like CREDO. We’re deeply grateful.” To learn more, visit plannedparenthood.org.

Working Families Party
$37,357
“Thanks for your support! CREDO members like you are helping us elect a new generation of progressive leaders who will raise wages and living standards, strengthen our democracy and reform our justice system.” To learn more, visit workingfamilies.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 these three progressive groups this November

An image with the words "Who We're Funding" on the left over a blue background, with a ballot of three organizations on the right including 350.org, Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Women's Refugee Commission.

Every month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute our monthly donations between three great progressive groups. This month, you have the opportunity to fund organizations fighting climate change, holding corporations and politicians accountable and advocating for the rights of displaced women and girls by voting for 350.org, the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

 350.org
350.org is building the global grassroots climate movement to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100 percent clean energy solutions that work for all.

CREDO funding would help 350.org bolster its global climate movement in countries around the world, including current projects to pass fracking bans in Brazil, support deCOALanize campaigns in Kenya and Ghana, ban coal in Germany, stop the largest gas field in the Netherlands, halt the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline, and stop fracking in the United Kingdom.

Center for Economic and Policy Research
Center for Economic and Policy Research forces the rich and powerful to address the lack of corporate and government accountability in the United States. CEPR fights for an inclusive economy that works for everyone by exposing who is rigging the economy in favor of the 1 percent.

Funding from CREDO members would enable CEPR to press the new Congress for more oversight of the political appointee process, greater corporate accountability through a strong regulatory framework, and robust oversight of the Trump administration’s corruption by focusing on the many actions that enrich Trump administration allies while harming ordinary Americans, particularly communities of color and poor and working class people of all races.

Women’s Refugee Commission
Women’s Refugee Commission advocates for the rights and protections of women and girls, including families seeking safety at the U.S. border. We’re committed to ending family separation and detention and to advancing the human rights of asylum seeking women and children.

At a time when the current administration is separating immigrant families at the border and openly hostile to refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence, WRC’s work is critically important. CREDO funding will directly support WRC’s efforts to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.

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 November 30..

CREDO members who use our products everyday are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.