Posted on September 17, 2018
The 2018 midterm election is one of the most important midterms in decades. It’s the first since the presidency was decided by just 80,000 votes. And it’s the first midterm election since voter turnout scraped by at the lowest level in 72 years. As we all know, we’ve seen an ugly drive to make it harder for many Americans to vote.
So much is at stake – so what can we do to make sure that this election is fair, free and accurate?
Every one of us can play a role to #ProtectTheVote in 2018.
First, let’s understand the threats.
To start, there are cybersecurity risks. Russia attacked our democracy in 2016. It went well beyond stealing DNC emails. Hackers penetrated registration rolls, counting systems, even – unsuccessfully, we think – voting machines. As voting rights experts and intelligence experts agree, Russia will be back – and so will others. Those in the CREDO community won’t be surprised to learn that our enemies took advantage of vulnerabilities in our voting system and many of the solutions are those we’ve all demanded for years. Paper backup ballots. Audits. Stronger systems.
Congress authorized nearly $400 million earlier this year for states to buy new machines and take other steps. But that’s too little and too late to have the full impact this year. It’s up to all of us to make sure that state and local officials do their part to protect our democracy. Some of this money should surely be directed toward ensuring voter-verified paper records of every single vote. Those records can be used to make post-election audits standard to confirm that machines produced an accurate count.
Then there are the ongoing threats to voting rights. Since 2010, 23 states have enacted new laws to make it harder to vote for the first time since the Jim Crow era. That’s outrageous. It’s based on a lie: the myth of widespread voter fraud. When Donald Trump claimed he had really won the popular vote, because of 3 to 5 million “illegal” voters, he set up a task force to try to prove his bogus claim. It was guided by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who did so much to push anti-voting laws. The task force couldn’t find evidence of misconduct, then imploded before it could even issue a report.
The big risk over the next two months is when local officials find mischievous ways to keep eligible voters from voting. Take voter purges, for example. The voter rolls are full of errors, and we do want to make sure that they’re accurate. But too many states drop voters from the rolls recklessly and in ways that illegally boot eligible voters. A Brennan Center study found that 16 million voters were purged over the last four years. States once covered by the Voting Rights Act – before the Supreme Court gutted it in 2013 – have engaged in what NBC News called “a frenzy of purging.” Let’s guess that’s no coincidence. Read More
Posted on September 11, 2018
Tuesday Tip: How to Live Green in Your Dorm Room
A lot of young people will be going off to college soon and many will be living in dorms. You might be one of them. Or you might be a parent or grandparent of a soon-to-be dorm resident.
If you’re someone who cares about our planet (which obviously you are if you’re reading this blog)—we have good news: it’s easy to bring along an environment-friendly lifestyle when you go off to college. Here are a few tips for doing that.
Normally we’d suggest that you don’t buy new stuff when you move. But if the alternative is shipping your furniture to a dorm room where you’ll probably only live part of the year—and burning gallons of fossil fuel to do it—we say: buy local.
Most college towns have thrift stores and flea markets where you can pick up good cheap furniture, lamps, and accents, maybe even a velvet Elvis that will arouse the envy of your friends. Or check out eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. You can also find free stuff at sites like Freecycle.org.
If you’re looking for sheets, look for organic. Organic cotton is widely available these days and it’s a lot better for the environment than the alternative. Organic cotton uses no toxic chemicals (conventional cotton is one of the most-sprayed crops on the planet) and needs 71% less water and 62% less energy. It does far less damage to the soil than conventional cotton and often benefits the soil because it’s intercropped.
Organic cotton also feels better next to your skin. The fibers are longer and, since organic cotton is handpicked, the fibers are not weakened or broken during harvest, which means sheets made of organic cotton are softer and more durable.
Get a few plants
If your dorm doesn’t have a rule against them, plants make excellent roommates. They produce oxygen, which helps you sleep better. They absorb CO2 and other pollutants, which improves air quality—especially if you live in one of those dorms with sealed windows. They release phytoncides, which boost your white blood cells and neutralize microorganisms in the air.
Plus having plants around improves your mood—a bit like a pet and a lot less trouble. Although you do have to give your plants some attention. Water them, make sure they get sunshine and nourish them with compost. OK, we hear you. How do you compost if you live in a dorm room? Well, it’s easier than you might think. Read our post on composting for apartment dwellers.
The mini-fridge is as much a part of dorm life as leftover pizza and a neighbor who plays music too loud. But small refrigerators are big energy users relative to their size. That’s because they’re made with less insulation than large fridges, in order to save space.
When shopping for a mini-fridge, make sure to look for the Energy Star rating.
Even mild dehydration causes a loss of concentration, reduces your cognitive performance, erodes your motor skills, dulls awareness and dims your mood. So you’ll likely be drinking a lot of water in your dorm room and taking H2O on the go.
Try not to buy water in plastic bottles. As you no doubt know by now, plastic is a huge problem for our planet and a health threat to you. If you’re worried about water quality in your region, get a good water filter. When you’re taking water with you, put it in a reusable bottle. Here are four quality choices.
Don’t waste food
Imagine you take nearly half the food you buy and throw it away. In fact, that’s what we do as a nation every year. Around 40% of the food we produce is wasted—an average of a pound per person per day. Students don’t toss out as much food—around 142 pounds a year—but still, that’s a lot.
There are many steps you can take to waste less food, such as shopping and cooking smarter, eating all your leftovers and ignoring expiration dates (most of which are arbitrary). Check out our post on ways to avoid food waste.
Wash in cold water
You’ll probably spend a lot of time in the laundry room. Not only is it a good place to wash clothes, it’s also a great place to meet people and make new friends. But go easy on the hot water. A whopping 90% of the power consumed by a washing machine is used to heat the water for warm-water washing.
Switch to the cold-water setting and you’ll save a lot of energy. Cold water also cleans clothes, especially if you buy a cold-water detergent. These actually are formulated to work better in cold water (the claim is not just marketing).
Close your curtains
When the weather is warm, exposed windows are radiant heaters for your room. Shut your curtains or blinds and you can cut heat gain by 45%. Blinds are best but even a medium-color curtain with white backing can cut heat gain by 33%.
If you are headed off to school, we wish you luck and learning. Enjoy your year.
Posted on September 7, 2018
What it was like to be arrested at the Kavanaugh hearings for standing up for our beliefs and for CREDO’s values
“This is an attack on women’s rights and an attack on democracy. Shut this hearing down now!”
“Americans are scared. That’s why we’re here. We cannot go back.”
That’s what we shouted when we stood up inside the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room this Tuesday during the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, seconds before we were pulled away in handcuffs by Capitol Police.
We were arrested fighting the nomination of Trump’s extreme Supreme Court pick – and we would do it again.
You can watch the video here.
Many people have asked us what it was like to get arrested for standing up for what we believe in. We’ll be honest – it was empowering, but it was also emotional and downright frightening.
The hardest part, after waiting for what felt like an eternity to enter the hearing room was that last moment before each of us decided to stand up. We saw what happened to the people before us. We knew that the Capitol Police would drag us out — literally drag — and we could see all the disapproving looks of the people around us. But when Senator Grassley continued saying things so outrageous and wrong about Kavanaugh’s record, he actually inspired us further.
Once we stood up, the words came flooding out. This nomination hearing could not continue without us speaking up to say that this is not right, that his nomination is a threat to our democracy and that we were here to stand up and defend it.
But our arrests have not been the only action we’ve taken this week to prevent Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court.
This act of civil disobedience is just one tactic in our long and public fight to stop a criminal co-conspirator from stacking the court with another right-wing extremist who will greenlight Republican attacks on women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, people of color, workers, the environment and our democracy as whole.
We’ve known that the only way to stop Trump from installing Kavanaugh on the bench would be to ensure that every single Senate Democrat stands together in opposition, and the responsibility to hold his caucus together falls directly on Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer who has been failing miserably at his job.
That’s why we sent a scathing letter, along with a number of our allies, to Schumer on Wednesday urging him to immediately unite all Senate Democrats in opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
But that’s not all.
To ensure Schumer got the message loud and clear that progressive activists would not allow him to sidestep his responsibilities, CREDO Action members drove a mobile billboard around Capitol Hill for eight hours a day, calling on Schumer to keep Senate Democrats united in opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.
This overwhelming pressure and resistance to stop Brett Kavanaugh has only been possible because of CREDO members who are standing up to Trump’s destructive, extreme and dangerous agenda to reshape the judiciary and our democracy.
Over 250,000 CREDO members have signed petitions calling on Senators to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination, and more than 3,000 CREDO members have placed calls to Schumer’s office. And CREDO customers who use our products every day are helping to directly fund this activism. Thank you.
We know this is a cause worth fighting for, and we’re not letting up any time soon.
Posted on September 5, 2018
Why CREDO is fighting for a just and fair transition
As we push for a world powered by 100% renewable energy sources, where fossil fuels remain in the ground and we fight to slow the devastating effects of climate change, it’s important that we not allow the burden of transitioning from dirty to clean sources to fall disproportionately on the workers and communities who have been a part of our former energy economy.
That’s why CREDO is fighting for a just, fair and equitable transition, where we, not only power the planet with renewable and sustainable sources, but we also provide workers and their families with a sustainable path forward in a new economy without fossil fuels.
Low-income communities and communities of color are already disproportionately impacted by the fossil fuel economy. Communities of color are much more likely to live within three miles of fossil fuel power plants than whiter communities, regardless of income. This proximity exposes communities to toxic emissions linked to higher rates of cancer, asthma and other serious health risks. Yet despite the health benefits of transitioning from fossil fuels, there are economic impacts as well.
The reality is that, as we continue moving away from fossil fuels, more plants and mines will close, companies will shutter their doors and workers will lose their jobs. And that means the transition to completely renewable energy sources could disrupt the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers – and their communities – many of whom are indigenous, people of color or low-income who will bear the economic brunt of this drastic, but necessary, transition.
We must ensure that affected workers and their communities have the chance to participate in the new and quickly growing green economy at the same or greater pay, that public and private investments are made to provide workforce training and relocation, that workers’ benefits and health care for their families are preserved and where big polluters are held responsible for cleaning up the land and water they contaminated.
Here at CREDO, we realize that if we want to combat the climate crisis there’s no other sustainable alternative – and we need to make sure everyone makes the transition together.
Posted on September 4, 2018
Tuesday Tip: 5 ways to keep up the resistance before the midterm elections
Donald Trump might not be on the ballot this November, but his dangerous policies and hateful agenda certainly are.
Every politician running for re-election this fall who votes to confirm extremist judges or defends massive tax giveaways to the rich or turns a blind eye to the government terrorizing immigrants is explicitly supporting Trump’s agenda – and we must show them the door.
With the midterms quickly approaching, we can fight back and ensure our progressive agenda has a big election night. Here are five ways you can keep up the resistance before the midterm elections.
Register to vote
Resisting Trump isn’t just about resisting Trump himself – it’s about resisting his entire agenda and all those who enable him, from those in Congress all the way down to your local city and town officials.
That’s why it’s so critically important to vote, and the first step in that process is registering or ensuring your registration is up-to-date and accurate. We’ve detailed everything to know in our recent Tuesday Tip: “How to register to vote — or find out if you’re already registered.”
Know your voting rights
Now that you’re registered to vote, and you’re all ready for November, what’s next? Getting to know your voting rights.
Even though so-called Jim Crow laws were technically abolished more than 50 years ago, voter suppression – both legal and illegal – is alive and thriving today. Whether it’s through racial gerrymandering, voter ID laws, voter intimidation, voter purges in minority districts, or election interference, extreme Republicans are going to all lengths to prevent minority and progressive voters from casting ballots. That’s why it’s so important that all voters know their rights.
Rock the Vote has a handy tool to search your voting rights by state. Check it out here.
Get involved locally
Interested in doing more than just voting this November? There are a lot of ways to get involved in the resistance right in your community, including joining a local resistance organization, like Indivisible, attending a protest or even helping at a local non-profit.
Volunteer for a campaign
Want to take a step further and help elect a progressive candidate? Many progressive campaigns are eager and very willing to bring on volunteers who can devote their time helping knock doors, making phone calls, entering data or providing transportation to voters and volunteers. Have a specialized skill, like web design or data analytics? Any campaign would be thrilled to have you help out.
Fire up your favorite search engine and learn about the candidates in your area. For example, try searching for “Progressive candidates near [YOUR TOWN].” Read up on their stances on important issues to you. Visit their websites and sign up to volunteer.
Fund the resistance and join CREDO
If you’re not yet a member of CREDO, you might be missing out on a critical way to fund the resistance with the products and services, like your cell phone, that you use every day. Each month, CREDO donates $150,000 to three important progressive causes, many of whom are fighting the Trump agenda. In the last 30 years, we’ve donated more than $86 million to progressive groups, and we’re one of Planned Parenthood’s largest corporate donors.
CREDO members also fund an entire team of amazing progressive organizers and leaders at CREDO Action who help mobilize our 5 million member-strong activist base to take action.
To learn more about CREDO, our products and services and our mission to power the resistance, click here.
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 Trump’s Supreme Court takeover, protecting Social Security and Medicare and standing up for women’s rights. In August, over 75,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to the Alliance for Justice Action Campaign, Social Security Works and UltraViolet.
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 August grant recipients want to say thank you.
Alliance for Justice Action Campaign
“Thank you! Your support will help AFJAC fight Trump and Senate Republicans’ attempts to fast-track Trump’s ultraconservative and unqualified judicial nominees for lifetime appointments to our courts.” To learn more, visit afjactioncampaign.org.
Social Security Works
“CREDO members were with Social Security Works at the beginning and have been an essential partner 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.” To learn more, visit socialsecurityworks.org/.
“We couldn’t do this without you. CREDO members like you make it possible for UltraViolet to create bold, strategic opportunities for women and allies to create a more equitable world for all women. Thank you for your support!” To learn more, visit weareultraviolet.org.
Now check out the three groups we are funding in September, 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.
Every month, CREDO members vote to donate $150,000 to three progressive groups. This month, you have the opportunity to fund groups fighting for economic justice, civil rights and voter participation by voting for Other98, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Voter Participation Center.
Other98 does battle with Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Banks and the sociopathic billionaires that have kidnapped our democracy. It knows that all struggles for justice are interconnected and won’t rest until America’s economy works for all of us.
A donation from CREDO members would help fund the organization’s Mosquito Fleet, a group of climate justice activists standing up for indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest who are peacefully confronting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center uses litigation, education and other forms of advocacy to work toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
Funding from CREDO members would enable the SPLC to double down on its commitments to advancing social justice and standing up for the most vulnerable of our society.
The Voter Participation Center
The Voter Participation Center’s mission is to bring more people into our democracy and ensure that the underrepresented are fully represented. It works to register and mobilize the Rising American Electorate – unmarried women, people of color and young people.
With the midterm elections quickly approaching, CREDO funding would enable VPC to double its impact by matching CREDO’s funding and invest $100,000 into its registration and turnout programs.
Your vote this September 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 September 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.
Since he entered the White House, Donald Trump has waged war on women’s rights. But his latest attack could do the most damage yet: his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh is an extreme conservative who, if confirmed, would take away women’s rights for generations to come.
This is why we must stop his confirmation.
Throughout his career, Kavanaugh has ruled against the right of women to decide what’s best for their bodies, their health, and their lives. He would almost certainly provide the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But Kavanaugh’s anti-woman opinions don’t stop there. He has ruled to limit not only women’s access to abortion but to birth control as well. In 2015, he sided with employers who wanted to use religious objections to skirt the Affordable Care Act’s historic expansion of coverage for contraception.
The battle over Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a battle for our country’s future. And every American who believes, correctly, that the U.S. Constitution protects women’s – and every person’s – freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies should join the fight against Brett Kavanaugh.
Please help us block Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Sign our petition urging the Senate to reject Kavanaugh and visit our #SaveSCOTUS campaign page to find more ways you can take action to #StopKavanaugh.
Posted on August 31, 2018
For Civil Rights: Stop Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Dangerous Supreme Court Nominee
Since he launched his campaign, Donald Trump has been clear that his agenda is designed to serve and validate the white supremacist impulses of his base and undermine the civil rights of people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, and Muslims. His latest attempt to advance that agenda is his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh, if confirmed, would enshrine Trump’s bigotry for generations by joining the conservative majority to roll back civil rights on all fronts—racial equality, religious freedom, marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights, as well as abortion, voting and workers’ rights.
This is why we must stop his confirmation.
Kavanaugh is an extreme conservative whose career until now demonstrates hostility to civil rights. In 2012, he upheld a voter ID law despite evidence that it would disenfranchise minority voters. He has repeatedly ruled against employees in workforce-discrimination cases.
The NAACP called Kavanaugh a “dangerous ideologue,” who “has been a strong and consistent voice for the wealthy and the powerful. Over and over again, he has ruled against civil rights, workers’ rights, consumer rights and women’s rights.”
In response to Kavanaugh’s nomination, more than 100 civil rights groups signed a letter opposing his confirmation, noting that he would be the fifth and decisive vote on the Supreme Court to undermine a wide range of our core rights and legal protections.
These rights and protections are the foundation of our democracy. If you believe they’re worth fighting for, please join us in opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Sign our petition urging the Senate to reject Kavanaugh and share our video so others can take key actions to help #StopKavanaugh now.
You can learn about our campaign to stop Kavanaugh and find more ways to take action here.