Victory: Scott Pruitt Resigns


Thanks to the activism and unrelenting pressure by CREDO members and our allies, scandal-plagued, anti-environment EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned.

A corrupt, fossil fuel industry hack like Scott Pruitt never should have run the EPA in the first place. The fact that Pruitt wasn’t fired over his blatant corruption and outright incompetence long ago shows that Trump’s only priority is loyalty – to himself and to the fossil fuel industry.

But the overwhelming grassroots pressure by nearly 150,000 CREDO members and other activists across the country was finally too much even for this administration.

This is a victory for everyone who cares about the environment, public health and stopping public corruption.

Unfortunately, we have no doubt that Trump will appoint another fossil fuel industry stooge as Pruitt’s replacement.In the meantime, acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, will undoubtedly continue Pruitt’s legacy of subverting the agency’s mission by putting corporate profits ahead of public health and the environment.

But CREDO members and millions of others will continue to fight back against whoever is next in line to rip up our environmental protections. And we will continue to push for a rapid and just transition to renewable energy for everyone.

 

Tuesday Tip: Raising and supporting activists in the age of Trump (with 5 book recommendations)

Here at CREDO, we know how important it is to raise an activist child, especially in the age of Trump. We also know how difficult it can be to figure out how to talk to children about the cruelty that is happening as Trump targets our families, friends, and communities – from family separation to the criminalization of people of color, the Muslim ban, attacks on the LGBTQ community, and more.

We found some articles we thought were helpful in thinking about how to approach these conversations in ways that are developmentally appropriate but don’t shy away from the real issues of racism, bigotry, and misogyny that are at the core of Trump’s agenda.

We also asked around the office for recommendations from a few CREDO staff members who have kids for books to help raise an activist. Here are five of their top picks.

A Is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

Firefighter, doctor, pilot. This ABC board book teaches children that to be an activist is also a good goal in life – that causes like environmental justice, civil rights and LGBTQ rights are worth fighting for. The alliteration, rhyming, and brightly colored illustrations make the pages engaging for kids while they come to understand progressive themes like community, equality, and justice. Nagara was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and moved to the United States in 1988 to study zoology at University of California, Davis. He’s a founding member of Design Action Collective, a worker-owned design studio in Oakland, California dedicated to serving the movement for social change.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

This is the touching true story (yup, really) of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo who raised a daughter. Roy and Silo do everything together. They sing, swim and, in 1999, built a nest and patiently began trying to hatch a rock. The zookeeper, Mr. Gramsay, noticed and brought them an extra egg from another penguin couple who would not be able to care for it. Roy and Silo hatched the egg and went on to raise the chick, named Tango. This is a marvelous tale that teaches children a happy, healthy family – whatever it looks like – is a natural family.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Last Stop on Market Street is a winner of multiple awards, a #1 New York Times bestseller and a celebration of cross-generational relationships that’s perfect for grandparents and grandkids. Every Sunday after church, CJ, a Black boy, and his grandmother take the crosstown bus back home. Along the way, CJ gazes out the window at the bustling, radiantly illustrated cityscape and wonders why his family doesn’t have a car and why he has to get off the bus in the dirty part of town. Grandma patiently answers all CJ’s questions with positive explanations and encourages him to see the beauty and enjoyment in his life and the world around him.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole

Children, even very young ones, understand existential threats and feel anxious about them, like climate change. Kids learn about it in class, hear about it in adult conversations and see the frightening fallout – floods, hurricanes, and wildfires – on TV. The Magic School Bus, the best-selling science series of all time, presents the topic with Cole’s trademark humor and wit. In terms that are not too scary, 4th-grade science teacher Ms. Frizzle explains why our planet is heating up and suggests ways kids can help reduce the effects of climate change and feel empowered at the same time. The lively and animated color illustrations by Bruce Degen easily move the story forward.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

A girl-power classic. Written back in 1980, it’s one of the first – and still one of the best – feminist princess books. It arrived long before studies began describing the “Disney princess effect,” which makes young children more susceptible to gender stereotypes. Brave and smart Princess Elizabeth is all set to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon wings in, destroys her castle, kidnaps Ronald and burns all her clothes, forcing her to put on a paper bag. Clad thusly, she tracks down the dragon and Ronald and rescues her fiancé, who, to her surprise, tells her to go away and come back when she looks more like a princess. Elizabeth rejects him and dances into the sunset to live her own life. The illustrations by Michael Martchenko are vivid and artfully drawn with an old-school familiarity.

The long days of summer are a great time for reading. If you’re looking for a book to read after your kids go to bed, check out our summer reading list.

Our June 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 reproductive freedom, battling climate change and defending transgender rights. In June, 70,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to NARAL Pro-Choice America, Rainforest Action Network and Transgender Law Center.

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 June grant recipients thank you.

NARAL Pro-Choice America
$62,623
“Thanks to CREDO members, NARAL is mobilizing our 1.5 million member-activists who fight to protect and expand reproductive freedom – including access to abortion and birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination.” To learn more, visit prochoiceamerica.org.

Rainforest Action Network
$52,913
“Thank you for your support of Rainforest Action Network! CREDO members like you support RAN’s mission to protect people and the planet by addressing the root causes of climate change, deforestation and exploitation within these industries.” To learn more, visit ran.org.

Transgender Law Center
$34,464
“TLC extends our sincere gratitude to CREDO’s members. Your support means the world to us and is a powerful stance for the dignity and leadership of trans and gender nonconforming communities. Now more than ever, we cherish fierce supporters like you.” To learn more, visit transgenderlawcenter.org.

Now check out the three causes we are funding in July 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.

Tuesday Tip: 7 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Phone Photography

7 Tips to Improve Your Landscape Phone Photography

Ansel Adams once remarked that “landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer—and often the supreme disappointment.” And he wasn’t even using a smartphone camera with a lens – he just cleaned on his shirttail.

For us weekend “phonetographers,” the challenge is incrementally harder. But fear not. Follow these tips and your landscape photos will be scenic – perhaps stunning – souvenirs of the time you spend outdoors this summer.

Straighten out the horizon
Your eyes always see a level horizon, even when you tilt your head. So when people see an off-balance horizon in a photo, the image just doesn’t compute. Make sure the horizon in your landscape shots is level as can be, and they won’t clang in the consciousness of their viewer.

Focus on the foreground
Ah, those majestic peaks, radiant in the distance. What a great shot they’ll make! But don’t forget the foreground. It’s the details in the foreground, humble as they may be – a tree, a rock or an old fence on its last legs – that add depth and interest to your landscape photos. Better still, aim for the trifecta. Include elements that catch the eye in the foreground, middle distance and background, and you’ll capture truly engaging photographs.

Look for diagonal lines
Diagonal lines pull the eye into and through a photograph. They add depth, perspective and energy. Studies have shown that people naturally view images left to right, so a diagonal feature that begins at the bottom left and travels to the top right can be powerful. Consider a river running diagonally across your frame. Or, if your primary object of interest is at upper right – say, a lighthouse – try to position another object of interest at lower left, like a seagull perched on a piling. This will balance the composition and draw the eye to multiple dimensions.

Use HDR mode
Most quality smartphones these days come with high dynamic range mode, or HDR. HDR makes for better pictures – automatically. When enabled – in some phones it’s on by default – it shoots multiple images at different exposure values, then combines them into one. One photo might be set for shadow, one for midtones and one for bright light. They’re snapped in quick succession, then the HDR software blends them into the best possible result. Details lost in the shadows of the more exposed image are added from the less exposed image, while details blown out in the more exposed image are supplied from the less exposed image. The result is a photograph with enhanced color and detail across a wide range of the spectrum.

Try a tripod
HDR works better when your phone is held absolutely still as it shoots the multiple photos that will combine into one. Tripods also help immeasurably when you’re shooting in low light. There are all sorts of smartphone tripods on the market these days. Many will fit in your backpack, and some in your pocket.

Add scale
A camera – any camera – tends to take the wind out of breathtaking vistas. Cliffs don’t look as epic, trees don’t look as tall and pounding ocean waves calmly lap the shore. To offset this shortcoming, find ways to emphasize the true scale of what you’re shooting. Include people and make them small in the frame (not standing right in front of you). Passing birds also work well. If you’re shooting a dramatic mountain valley, for example, place a flower in the foreground to indicate the majesty of the view.

Don’t zoom
When you use your fingers to spread the screen and zoom in on a distant object, you’ll degrade the detail in your photo. Instead, walk closer to your subject, if you can. Or, crop the photograph later.

Looking for a summer destination where you can snap awesome landscape photographs? Try a national park. We have six suggestions here. See you out there!

Vote for these three progressive groups this July

Each month, CREDO members vote to help us distribute $150,000 in donations to three great progressive groups. This month, you can help support groups fighting for civil rights, climate justice and racial equality by voting for the ACLU, Amazon Watch and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

American Civil Liberties Union
A long-time CREDO ally, the American Civil Liberties Union fights vigilantly to make the promises of the Constitution real for all people in the United States.

In the era of a hateful administration undermining the civil rights and civil liberties of Americans, immigrants, Muslims, women, CREDO funding will give the ACLU the flexibility to take advantage of new advocacy and litigation opportunities and respond to emerging crises.

Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch campaigns to defend the Amazon rainforest and advance indigenous rights by challenging resource extraction and promoting indigenous led alternative solutions.

Funding from CREDO members would enable Amazon Watch to hire a field organizer in Brazil to strengthen our advocacy campaigns against the new wave of industrial expansion taking place in the Amazon, largely in indigenous territories. Or, it could help the organization scale up its solar program in the Amazon to provide power to a school in U’wa territory of Columbia and support solar powered boats for the Ecuadorian Achuar to provide them with fossil free transport within their territories.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s foremost civil rights law organization, working to achieve racial justice, equality and an inclusive society.

In today’s turbulent political climate, LDF’s goal is to prevent what could otherwise become a multi-generational loss in civil rights gains and protections. CREDO support will help ensure that LDF has the resources to carry out its core operations, while also engaging in rapid response activities in the face of countless new assaults on civil rights. Through litigation and advocacy, LDF will work to eliminate discriminatory voter suppression tactics and educate the public on their voting rights.

Your vote this July will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive causes. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by July 31.

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.

Free Posters to Download for Families Belong Together March on June 30

Donald Trump doesn’t care about immigrant children, and his recent executive order does nothing to help children still separated from their parents and families who are being detained and jailed at the border.

The massive outrage over Trump’s inhumane family separation policy has put Trump and his Republican lapdogs on the defensive.

That’s why, on June 30, CREDO is supporting massive Families Belong Together protests in Washington and in cities and towns across the country to increase pressure on Republicans in Congress and the Trump regime to abolish ICE and stop criminally prosecuting immigrants and detaining families.

If you’re attending a protest, we have free posters for you to download, print, and bring with you.

Download your free posters


Download ICE: Inhumane Cruel Evil (PDF) – 18×12 in.



Download Familias Merecen Estar Unidas (PDF) – 18×12 in.


Download Freedom for Immigrants (PDF) – 18×12 in.


Download Abolish ICE (PDF) – 12×18 in.

Download: Families Belong Together and Free 18x12in.

CREDO and UltraViolet are fighting Google’s deceptive “crisis pregnancy center” ads


In the age of Trump, the fights for women’s rights, reproductive freedom, equal pay and equal treatment have become extremely difficult.

Trump and his sexist administration have emboldened anti-women Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across the country. These cruel and craven lawmakers have advanced policies that would block women’s access to affordable birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, prenatal care, breast exams, and safe, legal abortion.

And it’s not just members of the Trump administration and right-wing lawmakers who are attacking women’s health and rights. Some corporations are making it even harder for women to access the care they need.

Right now, Google is allowing crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to entrap women on its platform. CPCs are fake health clinics that do not provide health care and spread lies about abortion to scare women into carrying unwanted and life-endangering pregnancies to term. They use deceptive Google ads to steer women away from trusted health care providers like Planned Parenthood, which offers medically accurate health advice and safe, legal abortion. Right now, misleading CPC ads appear above Google Search results and in Maps results when women use the platform to look for information about abortion in more than 20 regions across the United States.

CPCs infringe on women’s ability to freely and safely access medical care. That’s why CREDO has teamed up with our friends at UltraViolet to expose Google’s continued promotion of fake health clinics and demand that it stop now. Read More

Brands, take note: The LGBTQ community needs allies all year, not just in June

You see it every year – brands like Miller Lite, Abercrombie and Fitch and McDonalds slap rainbow flags on their products in June in hopes of attracting a lucrative demographic through their support of Pride.

And it’s no surprise. A recent Gallup poll finds that more than 11 million Americans self-identify as LGBTQ. Companies go where the consumers are.

But this once-a-year, superficial approach strikes us as opportunistic, especially at a time when marriage equality and LGBTQ rights are under increasing threats by a right-wing Supreme Court and extremists at the highest levels in the Trump administration.

We believe brands can and should embrace Pride Month, but they should extend their support for the LGBTQ community throughout the entire year.

Some companies have tried to get it right, especially at the state level. In 2015, Salesforce and Angie’s List announced boycotts of Indiana when then-Gov. Mike Pence signed anti-LGBTQ legislation into law. IBM, PayPal and Google did the same in 2016 when North Carolina passed anti-trans legislation. And corporate pressure helped defeat anti-LGBTQ bills in 2017 in Texas as well.

But too many corporations still donate to the Republican Party or to Republican politicians who are relentless in their attacks on LGBTQ equality. And attempts to capitalize on Pride by simply changing a Facebook profile image or sponsoring a Pride parade or slapping a rainbow flag on a french fry box come off as simply another gimmick on the marketing calendar.

If brands want to support the LGBTQ community, they should do so authentically and all year-round, starting with the understanding that Pride Month was founded on resistance, and it isn’t a once-a-year party that corporate America can crash.

Here at CREDO, supporting LGBTQ rights is at the core of who we are as an organization. We not only speak out when we see discrimination, we actively campaign against it. We’ve been fighting for marriage equality and LGBTQ rights for decades. And with our monthly donations program, our members have voted to donate more than $5.7 million to progressive organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights, like the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Transgender Law Center, who you can vote for this month.

With the constant attacks by the Trump administration and right-wing conservatives on their civil rights, the LGBTQ community needs allies all year, not just in June. We hope other brands who are cashing in this month remember that.

New video: A conversation with CREDO ally Stand Up to Oil

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground and resisting oil and gas infrastructure projects are two of CREDO’s core issues in our fight for climate justice. That’s why we were proud to host a live conversation with our allies from the Stand Up to Oil (SUTO) coalition. SUTO’s Rebecca Ponzio and Linda Garcia joined CREDO Action campaign manager Brandy Doyle to discuss how SUTO organized communities and stakeholders in Vancouver to reject one of the largest proposed oil terminals in North America. If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the full live stream below, as well as an extension of the conversation from SUTO.

 

We’re going LIVE with CREDO ally Stand Up To Oil to learn how they’re helping keep fossil fuels in the ground! Tune in on Tuesday, June 26 for a live discussion with the team.

Posted by CREDO Mobile on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

 

 

We’re live to continue our discussion on the CREDO Mobile page about our Vancouver victory!

Posted by Stand Up To Oil on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday Tip: 5 Ways to Have a Greener BBQ

5 Ways to Have a Greener BBQ

With summer approaching and the Fourth of July right around the corner, you might be sweeping the leaves off the ol’ BBQ and wire-brushing the grill. Well, we don’t want to rain on your charcoal, but have you ever considered the environmental impact of barbecuing? It can be significant.

On July 4 alone, Americans will fire up 60 million barbecues, and those grills will emit 225,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Then, there are all the plastic plates, cups and utensils that will be used  and all the factory-farmed meats that will be eaten.

But don’t cancel your cookout just yet! You can have your Boca Burger and eat it too. Here are 5 steps to a smaller barbecue footprint.

Plan your menu

Inviting guests? You can avoid food waste if you figure out exactly what they’ll be bringing and precisely what dishes you need to supply. Then, make a detailed list and stick to it when you shop. If you do have leftovers, send them home with your guests. For more tips on avoiding food waste, read our previous post.

Buy local food

Choose food raised locally when you can. Less fuel has been used to transport it, and many small local farms are sustainable and pesticide-free.

And, of course, choose a lot of vegetables. Veggies can be great on the grill, and they’re far less harmful to the environment than meat. Several years ago, New Scientist magazine reported that the production of four half-pound burgers produces more greenhouse gases than driving three hours while you leave all the lights on at home.

If you do cook meat, go organic or grass-fed if you can. To find sustainable producers in your area, try the Eat Well Guide.

Don’t use disposables

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 Bambu, which has all sorts of sustainable bamboo selections, or Bio & Chic, which has everything from sugarcane plates to cornstarch cutlery.

If you do use plastic cups, make sure to provide cup markers so your guests won’t use more than one cup.

Get off your briquettes (and even your gas grill)

When it comes to outdoor grilling, the two most popular fuel options, charcoal and gas, aren’t necessarily the most eco-friendly. But if you must use one over the other, gas is slightly better for the environment, you and your family’s health and the climate.

A charcoal grill produces three times more greenhouse gases than a propane grill, and that’s not including the greenhouse gases emitted by the charcoal kilns where the briquettes are made.

Gas is more efficient than charcoal. Around 90 percent of propane makes it out of the production process as usable fuel, while only 20 to 35 percent of the source wood winds up as a charcoal briquette.

What about electric? It can be a good option if your power comes from green renewable sources, but if not, electric grills can emit the most carbon of all.

If you must have that charcoal flavor on your grilled foods, look for natural or environmentally certified charcoal chunks. They’re more sustainable – and less distasteful. Conventional charcoal briquettes often contain nitrates, petroleum solvents and coal dust. Yum.

Check out Royal Oak Star Grill Lump charcoal, which is from renewable oak, hickory, maple and walnut hardwoods with no chemicals or additives. Royal Oak annually converts hundreds of millions of pounds of lumber industry waste wood into the charcoal.

Choose to chimney

If you do ’cue with charcoal, start your chunks with a chimney. It’s quick and easy. Never use self-igniting charcoal – those briquettes that light at the touch of a match. They’re soaked with paraffin, petroleum products and other accelerants. Also avoid lighter fluids. Most of them emit volatile organic compounds, which can have adverse effects on your health.

Here’s to blue skies and greener BBQs this season.