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.

How Planned Parenthood, Free Press Action Fund and People’s Action are using CREDO funding

How CREDO grantees are using our funding

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 helped Planned Parenthood, Free Press Action Fund and People’s Action.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood’s January grant of $55,290 from CREDO helped the organization continue expanding access to information and care to women across the country. Thanks to new technical support, Planned Parenthood affiliate offices are now offering care via telemedicine in 16 states, including access to abortion medication via telemedicine in 13 of those states.
Women protesting with a pink "I Stand With Planned Parenthood" banner

Free Press Action Fund

CREDO’s March donation of $63,240 to Free Press Action Fund helped the organization stop the Sinclair-Tribune media mega-merger from moving forward. The merger would have given a single broadcast company a disturbing level of influence in the country’s media landscape. For a full year, Free Press led public opposition to the merger. In partnership with CREDO, organized a protest outside the annual Sinclair shareholders meeting in June, as well as a large petition delivery to the FCC in July, ultimately leading to Tribune backing out of the merger in early August.
Activists holding a "Stop Sinclair" sign surrounded by boxes full of signed petitions to be delivered to the FCC

People’s Action

People’s Action used CREDO’s recent $41,715 grant to fund rapid response work in the family separation fight and oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. CREDO support also helped People’s Action organize 50 Community Cookouts to raise more than $15,000 for the Freedom for Immigrants National Bond Fund.
A picture of a grill with People's Action's "Community Cookout" logo over it

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, the carrier with a conscience.

Victory: FedEx drops the NRA

Red image with the words "Stop the NRA" in the middle, with an American bald eagle holding an assault rifle in the background.

Thanks to massive public pressure, including activism by tens of thousands of CREDO members, FedEx finally announced that it would be ending its long-time discount program with the NRA.

In response to the horrific massacre in Parkland in February, many companies, including Delta, United Airlines and Enterprise, ended their partnerships with the extremist gun industry lobby group, however, FedEx chose to keep aligning itself with the NRA and continued to help legitimize the organization.

CREDO launched a petition urging FedEx to break ties with the NRA and nearly 70,000 CREDO members quickly took action.

FedEx claims pressure on them to end its partnership with the NRA had nothing to do with recent mass shootings, but we know better. Activism is playing a huge role in weakening the NRA’s power.

In recent months, after massive public outcry, we’ve seen major gun retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods stop selling AR-15 assault rifles and Walmart end sales of guns and ammunition to people under 21.

While many retailers have taken a bold stand, there’s still work to do to get major investment firms like Vanguard and Blackrock to stop profiting from their investments in gun companies. In fact, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has demanded that these investors use their power to force gun manufacturers to make us safer, not more at risk. You can increase the public pressure and spur real action to rein in gun violence by signing our petition urging BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity and the other major gun investors to demand change.

You can sign the petition here: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/warren_gun_investors

Tuesday Tip: How you can help get out the vote on November 6

smartphone with rotating images of gay pride flag, women's rights, and voting

Tuesday Tip: How you can help get out the vote on November 6

The 2018 elections are the most important midterms in a generation. And if recent elections are any indication, every single vote will matter.

We need to vote against misogyny, racism, bigotry, and greed and vote for equality, justice and freedom. That’s why it’s more important than ever to all show up on November 6.  

It’s also essential that we encourage our friends, family—everyone we know—to go to the polls. Because these midterm elections are our chance to start reining in Trump and the Republican forces that are enabling him.

This is a defining moment. The November election will decide the future of every issue that’s important to us. Climate justice, environmental defense, economic fairness, women’s and reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, voters’ rights, workers’ rights, freedom of speech. All of them will be on the line on election day.

That’s why we’re doing all we can to ensure a decisive turnout on November 6. Here’s how you can help.

Get personal

November 6 is just weeks away and in the final weeks before an election, the best way to get voters to the polls is to give them a nudge in person. Think of the people you know who support your candidates and causes and get in touch.

In fact, research shows that a face-to-face conversation is the most effective strategy to get out the vote. People respond positively to encouragement from friends, neighbors and coworkers they know and trust—like you. Remind them when the election is and ask about their plan for getting to the polls—what time they’ll go, how they’ll get there, etc. A study by Stanford University discovered that a simple chat like this can have a significant influence on voting behavior.

The free app VoteWithMe can help. You can use it to see which of your friends live in swing districts and need a reminder to vote. And if you’d like to do more as the election draws near, check out the Last Weekend, where you can volunteer to take action in the final days before November 6. Sign up and the group will get in touch to let you know how you can make a difference.

Promote the vote on social media

Right-wing operatives and Russian agents used social media to turn the nation for Trump in 2016. You can use social media to turn it back. With posts on your Facebook and Instagram profiles and tweets on your Twitter account, you can encourage your friends to get out and vote for progressive candidates and ballot measures.

Remind your friends that their friends will be voting. Studies have shown that people are more likely to vote if they know others are voting as well. This is called social pressure and it works.

Make sure to include a photo in your GOTV posts, because posts and tweets with pictures perform far better than those without. Take a selfie with a sign promoting your candidate or cause. Include relevant hashtags and encourage your friends to share. You might even build a movement.

Carpool to the polls

A lot of people say they don’t vote because they can’t get to their polling place on election day. You can offer to drive them there. Or let them know that Lyft is offering free and discounted rides to the polls.

Volunteer to GOTV

There are many get-out-the-vote organizations where you can volunteer to help make sure people actually go to the polls. They provide the structure and the tools that make it easy for you to mobilize voters. Check out Rock the Vote, When We All Vote and the Voter Participation Center.

Provide information

As an election approaches, a lot of people have a lot of questions. Am I registered? If I’m not, how can I get registered? How do I ask for an absentee ballot? Where’s my polling place? You can answer these questions by visiting Rock the Vote for polling information, The Voter Participation Center to register, or check out CREDO’s Voter Registration Guide for general information. Share any of these sites on your social media or send them in an email to friends and family to get them ready to vote.

 Your vote—and the votes of everyone you know—can make a decisive difference in the future of our nation and the world. Please do what you can to get out the vote on November 6 and support the progressive candidates and causes you believe in. We’ll see you at the polls.

Victory: Interior Secretary signs mining ban at Yellowstone


Thanks in part to the activism of nearly 100,000 CREDO members, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently signed a 20-year ban on new mining in a 30,000 acre area north of Yellowstone National Park.

If Sec. Zinke failed to act, it could have spelled disaster for one of our country’s most precious landmarks and could have opened up tens of thousands of acres of public lands at the northern gateway of America’s oldest and most iconic national park to aggressive gold, silver and other mineral extraction.

This huge victory proves once again that activism works and could pave the way for a permanent ban on mining in the region. With an administration determined to hand over public lands to Big Oil, mining and other extractive corporations, the massive pressure by CREDO members and our allies in the conservation and environmental communities was enough to force Sec. Zinke to side with the environment over corporate profits.

Tuesday Tip: How to have a green Halloween

Cartoon of kids dressed as a leaf, the sun, and the EarthTuesday Tip: How to have a green Halloween

Halloween is a great holiday for a lot of reasons. And a not-so-great holiday for one particular reason: its frightening environmental impact. Measured by consumer spending, Halloween is now the second-largest holiday in America (after Christmas) and all the paraphernalia that goes with it – decorations, costumes, and candy – do some serious annual damage to the planet.

But we’re not here to troll your party: We’re here to offer a few tips to have a green Halloween.

Hand out organic candy

Candy is sweet, but the environmental fallout is bitter indeed. Candy manufacturers and their constant requirements for sugar, palm oil and cocoa contribute to deforestation around the world and push species like orangutans, rhinos, and leopards closer to extinction every day.

And then there’s all the non-recyclable packaging that comes with mass-market candy. Chances are, the candy wrappers your parents tossed out when you were a kid are still in a landfill somewhere, leaching toxins into the ground.

Also, most large candy companies source cocoa from farms in West Africa where child labor is common. In the Ivory Coast, for example, children are trafficked to cocoa farms, beaten and forced to work long hours without pay. They’re slaves.

So this year, hand out fair-trade and/or organic candy. You can probably buy it at your local natural foods store. Or search “fair trade organic candy” online and you’ll find a lot of sellers there, like Endangered Species Chocolate or YumEarth.

Craft your own costume – or thrift it

Most of those costumes you see at the store are made from non-recyclable plastics and synthetics. You wear them once, then off they go to the landfill, where they sit for the next thousand years or so. Worse, many plastic costumes contain PVC, which is one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created. A lot of these costumes are also made by workers who toil under brutal conditions in factories overseas.

Instead, consider making your own costume. You can make one out of pieces you have around the house. Or head over to your local thrift store. Many now have sections dedicated to Halloween in October. Another option is a costume rental shop. Most have a wide selection of elaborate Halloween costumes at this time of year.

If you’re painting your face or your kid’s face, be aware of the chemicals in the paints. According to one analysis, almost half of the paints examined contained at least one heavy metal. Some had up to four heavy metals.

Decorate sustainably

Halloween comes second only to Christmas on the decoration scale, and most of the options in stores are made from plastic. If you must buy these decorations, try to choose durable ones that you can use year after year.

Or, better, make your own decorations. You can make a big black widow out of a (recyclable) black garbage bag stuffed with newspaper. A ghost from an old bedsheet. Gravestones from cardboard. Here’s a crafting site with a bunch of ideas for eco-friendly decorations.

Get your pumpkin from a local grower or a farmers market. When you carve it, keep the seeds for toasting. Drizzle them with butter or oil, add a sprinkle of salt, spread on a cookie sheet and bake in a 300-degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Compost your jack-o-lantern when Halloween is over.

If you throw a Halloween party, avoid plastic. Choose reusable plates, cups, and utensils. If that’s not realistic, there are now more sustainable disposables like 100 percent recycled paper plates or organic bamboo tableware. Check out Bio & Chic, which has everything from sugarcane plates to cornstarch cutlery.

Halloween doesn’t have to be an environmental nightmare. Keep it green and have a sustainable good time. We’ll see you out there.

New video: How to protect the vote this November with the Brennan Center

On Oct. 18, we were pleased to host a very special live event with CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess and Brennan Center for Justice President Michael Waldman, who discussed how to protect the vote this November and every election.

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

 

CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess and Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law President Michael Waldman are live from CREDO HQ to discuss how to protect the vote this November and every election.

Posted by CREDO Mobile on Thursday, October 18, 2018

Millennials and the Midterms: The Potential Power of the RAE


I’m 25. When I get the question “what do you do?” from people my age, I excitedly explain that I work at a non-profit that focuses on voting. Unfortunately, I hear responses like… voting doesn’t actually matter… there’s too much money influencing elections… the process is too confusing… and, nothing changes anyway, so why vote?

I vote because I genuinely believe that there is NOTHING more important.

The upcoming midterm elections are the most important I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. This is why I’m excited to work at the Voter Participation Center (VPC), a leading organization in deploying voter registration and mobilization efforts directed at the Rising American Electorate (RAE) – unmarried women, people of color and millennials. Since 2003, VPC has registered more than 4,000,000 RAE members and helped to mobilize millions of members of the RAE to fundamentally transform the electorate – making it more reflective of a diverse and changing America.

Millennials are now the largest eligible voting bloc in the country. We have the power to make a fundamental difference in local, state and national offices by electing representatives who reflect the issues we care about, and most importantly, who we are.

We’ve seen the impact millennials and other RAE members can have in victories by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Danica Roem in Virginia. However, millennials still don’t turn out to vote respective of their size, which is why we at the VPC have spent the last 15 years fine tuning our data-driven programs to certify each RAE member makes it on the voter rolls and most importantly, turns out at the polls.

I wasn’t surprised when I learned through recent polling that 35 percent of the RAE are projected to sit out the upcoming midterm elections. However, I know the programs VPC runs this cycle will make a substantial difference by allowing underrepresented communities to express their voice in our democracy. It’s pertinent now more than ever for Americans to go vote on Nov. 6, and VPC is working to ensure the highest possible turnout.

Our innovative process and responsive experiments make it clear that we are the most effective voter registration and get out the vote organization in the nation, which means our work can change the composition of the electorate to be reflective of a diverse America. This year, we are running our largest voter mobilization programs in organizational history because we understand what’s at stake this election cycle. Our programs are designed to reach millions of the RAE members across 15 battleground states and 112 of the most competitive congressional districts. Read More

CREDO Mobile is behind the mysterious Ted Cruz artwork in Texas. Here’s why we did it.

Over the last few weeks, mysterious artwork of right-wing Sen. Ted Cruz popped up around Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas on plywood billboards, posters, and other public places:

Ted Cruz painted on plywood and Ted Cruz posters in HoustonMultiple media outlets, social media users, and voters questioned why these puzzling, yet fascinatingly pixelated art installations of one of America’s most reviled senator were installed:

Social media reaction posts to Ted Cruz poster campaigns

It might sound strange, but CREDO was behind it. Here’s why:

After every mass shooting, all we get from Republicans like Sen. Cruz are “thoughts and prayers.” That’s no longer enough. It’s time to hold them accountable and we knew we had to take action.

Early this morning, the images of Sen. Cruz were modified to reveal their true meaning: each dot comprising the image of Sen. Cruz represents one act of gun violence in the United States –  for a total of 36,231 since the beginning of 2018 through Aug. 15, 2018.

The images now direct viewers to AVoteIsAWeapon.com, our new website that includes an incredible reveal, information about our campaign and how voters can take action against gun violence, including by voting out Sen. Cruz.

Ted Cruz 36,231 dots one for each recent act of violenceFor far too long, Sen. Cruz has been taking his marching orders from the NRA instead of listening to his constituents. He’s been one of the NRA’s most reliable lapdogs in the Senate, and this year, we have a real shot at voting him out and sending a message to his buddies in Congress who put the NRA ahead of their constituents.

Americans of all political stripes overwhelmingly support common-sense gun reform. That’s why we’re reminding voters that they have a powerful weapon against the NRA: their vote. And that’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to support our customers’ values and make sure their voices are heard.

With this campaign, we’re putting Cruz and the NRA – and all members of Congress who stand in the way of lifesaving gun reform – on notice.

And as a CREDO member, you can be proud of this campaign. Just by using your CREDO products, you helped put into motion this incredible effort to hold Sen. Cruz and the NRA accountable.

We urge you to share our new website, AVoteIsAWeapon.com, with your friends and family – especially if they live in Texas, to get the word out that Sen. Cruz is in the deep pockets of the NRA and against his constituents who want common sense gun reform.

Paid for by Working Assets Funding Service, Inc./CREDO Mobile Inc. at www.credomobile.com. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Tuesday Tip: How to shift gears and start commuting by bike

Tuesday Tip: How to shift gears and start commuting by bike

Climate change will be much worse and come much sooner than most people think. Antarctica is melting three times faster than it was a decade ago. Storms and other natural disasters are growing stronger because of the changing climate. Within our lifetime, South Asia – home to 20 percent of the world’s population – could be too hot for human habitation.

We should all do our part to slow climate change’s devastating effects.

Here’s one change you can make: ride a bike to work. If city dwellers worldwide would use bikes for just 10 percent of their urban trips, greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles in large cities would drop by 11 percent.

Currently, only around 1 percent of urban travel in the United States happens on a bike, but cycling is on the rise. The number of people who got to work by bike increased roughly 60 percent from 2000 to the 2008–2012 period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the largest percentage increase among all commuting modes.

How far can bikes go? In the Netherlands, 27 percent of all trips taken are by bike. In Amsterdam, it’s 38 percent and in the university town of Groningen, 59 percent of all trips are by bicycle.

Here are a few tips to get you on the path to bike commuting.

Your bike can make or break your bike commute, so choose one that’s comfortable and practical.

The most versatile commuting bike is a hybrid, which is what it sounds like: a blend of road bike and mountain bike. On a hybrid, you’ll sit upright and have better vision and visibility. Hybrids have wider tires than a road bike (more durable and comfortable) but thinner tires than a mountain bike (more mobile).

For a longer commute – or a route with hills – you’ll likely want a road bike with high and low gears. It’ll be faster and easier, provided the streets you travel are reasonably flat and in good repair.

If you’re riding along rough roads, look into a mountain bike. It can take a potholing and keep on rolling. Keep in mind, though, that the knobby tires will slow you down if your commute is primarily on asphalt.

Eric Cohen from CREDO Mobile commuting by bicycle to vote and then go to work. He lives his credo!

If your commute involves a bus or train, a folding bike could be your best bet. Folding bikes nowadays tuck into small packages that fit almost anywhere.

In addition to these basics, you have many other choices, including a cyclocross bike (sort of a beefed-up road bike) and a town bike (what you most often see in European cities). Another, increasingly popular option is an e-bike, which has an electric motor to assist you up hills and/or over long distances. For full details, consult your local cycle shop.

Whatever bike you choose, make sure you have full-length fenders in case of inclement weather, some sort of luggage rack or saddle bags for carrying your stuff, lights, a mirror, a helmet, and a comfortable seat that’s not too cushiony or it will chafe. Also consider puncture-proof tires, because nothing upends your commute like a flat.

Find a good route

The right route will make your bike commute a more enjoyable experience. The wrong route – one that has trucks, heavy traffic or exhaust fumes – will be stressful and could be dangerous. If you live in a city with dedicated bike paths, seek them out. Your local cycle shop should have maps of local bike paths.

Before you use your chosen route to get to work, give it a trial run on a weekend. Time your trip and see how long it takes. Keep in mind that traffic on your route may vary by the hour of the day, and consider a different route to and from work if necessary.

Give yourself time

Racing out the door and pelting off to work like a sprint cyclist will defeat the purpose. You’ll arrive tired, frazzled and perspiring – and your stint as a bike commuter may be brief.

CREDO Mobile’s, Ron Hanhy, biking to work and stopping for a selfie. Hey, if you biked the hills of SF, you’d document it too!

So give yourself time in the morning. This way, you can pedal at a leisurely pace and enjoy the ride. Perhaps stop for a cup of coffee on the way. Also, plan to arrive at the office a little early, so you can catch your breath and prepare for work. Maybe your office has a shower. If so, get one of those chamois towels that swimmers use. They’re a lot easier to carry than a big bath towel.

Commuting by bike will take time out of your day unless you live in a place with regularly bad traffic – in which case it may be quicker than driving. But think of it this way: Your trip to work is your workout, and it will save you the time you would otherwise spend on exercise.

Here at CREDO, a lot of us bike to work. We hope you’ll join us soon.