Gun control now: Congress must ban assault weapons

Another horrific mass shooting happened on Saturday, leaving at least 50 dead and 50 more wounded at an LGBT club in Orlando.

As the death toll from the tragedy in Orlando continued to mount, Republican politicians were quick to offer their prayers and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Coming from politicians who not only refuse to act to reduce gun violence, but who also foster and promote anti-LGBT bigotry and hate through their words, their party platform and their legislative actions, those “thoughts and prayers” don’t mean much.

Breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive grassroots pressure on our elected officials, demanding they deliver more than thoughts and prayers in the face of our epidemic of gun violence.

Republican members of Congress respond to gun tragedies while they’re in the news. But, they don’t take responsibility for how their actions, and inaction, lay the groundwork for hate crimes and gun violence, nor do they take action to prevent these tragedies from happening again. Instead, they offer up either fleeting sentiments or xenophobic and racist policies.

They need to pass real gun control now, including:

  • Closing the terror gap by allowing the Department of Justice to block guns sales to anyone on the terror watch list. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 people on the list purchased guns in the U.S.
  • Closing the loophole that allows people to buy guns without undergoing background checks through private sales, at gun shows and online. An estimated 40 percent of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are transferred by unlicensed individuals not required to conduct background checks on buyers.
  • Banning convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.
  • Prohibiting the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and “large capacity” magazines for civilian use.

In 2014 alone, the gun lobby spent over $30 million on political advertising and lobbying to influence legislators in Congress and state capitals across the country. If Republicans really want to protect Americans, they need to break their blind allegiance to the NRA and pass gun control legislation. But they’ll never act unless we force them. Can you add your voice today?

When Republicans disagree with advances in women’s rights, LGBT rights, or civil rights, they don’t just offer their thoughts and prayers, they push legislation. In just the last year, Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across the country have worked to make abortion impossible to access, to discriminate against LGBT people, and to take away voting rights. At the same time, they have aggressively pushed the NRA’s agenda to weaken gun laws, from campus carry to permitless carry to stand your ground.

If all Republicans can offer after this weekend’s massacre are their thoughts and prayers, or misguided scapegoating of Muslim communities that plays into their base’s racism and xenophobia, that speaks volumes. It shows that current Republican leaders in Congress lack the care, or courage, to act.

Tell Republicans in Congress: “Thoughts and prayers” are not enough. We need real gun control.

Thank you for your activism.

San Francisco men support abortion rights

Issues of reproductive freedom impact women, their children, their families and their communities, so protecting abortion rights should be important to all of us. Too often the media classifies abortion and the fight for abortion access as just a women’s issue. But we know that’s not true. Men need to stand up and loudly champion the rights of women.

That’s why NARAL Pro-Choice America launched Men for Choice—to create a platform for pro-choice men to aggregate and amplify their voices with like-minded men and women to fight for the pro-choice movement. Over the past three years they’ve hosted events around the country, encouraging men to speak up as allies in the fight for reproductive rights. The fight cannot be won without men involved in the conversation, because they constitute most of our elected leaders.

So far, the Men for Choice movement has reached 14 states and it continues to grow. On June 1, NARAL Pro-Choice America hosted their first Men for Choice event in San Francisco, and CREDO was there. Read More

CREDO boosts Walmart workers’ activism at company’s shareholder meeting

Last week, as company executives and the Walton family convened for Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, workers with OUR Walmart gathered to take actions and deliver more than 200,000 petition signatures to these decision-makers, calling on them to pay workers $15 an hour and offer full-time, consistent scheduling.

They aimed to highlight the Walmart’s poverty wages, understaffed stores, and inconsistent schedules to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, the Walton heirs and other Walmart executives and shareholders.

CREDO teamed up with OUR Walmart to co-sponsor a mobile billboard truck that carried the workers’ message throughout Bentonville during the shareholder meeting. The workers also executed a banner drop inside the shareholder meeting to deliver the call for change directly to investors.

The billboard, which read “Walmart’s CEO earned $9,323/hr last year. Walmart can afford $15/hour and full time,” went to Walmart’s home office, the town square offices of the Walton family heirs, and Bud Walton Arena, among other places.


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The Social Security fight: A victory for the progressive movement

Expand social securityJust six years ago, the movement to expand Social Security was virtually invisible. President Obama had empowered a fast-track commission that was dead set on cutting Social Security and Medicare. The Washington consensus was that Social Security benefit cuts were inevitable – the only question was how big the cuts would be.

Back then it was pretty lonely in D.C. to be standing against the Democratic president’s commision. We had to push back not only against a popular Democratic president, but against the mainstream Democratic establishment that wanted to give him leeway to cut other deals. In 2010, it was like pulling teeth to get Democrats to pledge “no cuts” to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

But CREDO Action and Social Security Works weren’t interested in being popular in D.C., we were interested in what was right. And so from day one we opposed any and all efforts to cut benefits.

Whether we faced fast-track commissions like Bowles-Simpson, debt ceiling hostage crises, or supercommittees, we collectively raised our voices and stopped these attempts to dismantle our earned benefits. The plain fact of America’s retirement security crisis was powerful enough that the same arguments against cuts were also arguments FOR expanding benefits. We didn’t rest in victory – we kept fighting. And six years later, the president announced that he supports increased benefits to address the retirement security crisis. We did that together. Our voices changed the conversation. Read More

Who we’re funding in June

Every month CREDO gives you the opportunity to vote to distribute our donations. Here’s how it works. We select three progressive nonprofits and commit to donating a portion of our monthly revenue to them—more than $150,000—based on your votes.

For June we’ve selected three amazing organizations: Friends of the Earth and—both are vital partners in our fight for climate justice—and Project Vote, whose voter registration efforts will be critical to progressive success in 2016. We are excited to support them this month and we hope that you are, too. Read More

5 tips for better mobile phone security

As technology becomes a more and more important part of our daily lives, the risks of exposure to hacking and malicious software are constantly growing. The good news is that you can take a few quick and easy measures to better protect yourself and your device.

1. Avoid public WiFi
I’ve been there—at the airport or in the local coffee shop and desperate for wireless connectivity. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes I do connect to public WiFi. Networks that are open to the public and readily available in many corners of the world are hotbeds for snooping. Anyone with access to the network can view other people’s browsing behavior. If you must connect to public WiFi, avoid doing anything that involves payment or passwords (like online shopping or logging into Facebook).

If you have an Android phone, you can download the Secure Wireless app by Disconnect Inc. from the Google Play store. This app can help you fend of snoopers and stop tracking companies from collecting data on your online behavior without your knowledge.

2. Keep your apps up to date
Ever wonder why you keep getting nagged to install app updates? There’s a good reason for the frequent releases and pesky reminders to install them—they help keep secure the plethora of personal information stored on your phone. Many apps store sensitive information, like your credit card payment information or personal contacts. Engineers often find security vulnerabilities in their apps and fix them by releasing new versions of the software with improved security. Read More

CREDO’s May donations recipients say thanks

Thanks to our customers and the revenue they generate, CREDO donates more than $150,000 to three progressive nonprofits every month. In May, we funded Amnesty International USA, Pesticide Action Network North America and Women for Women International. Over 61,000 CREDO members voted on how to distribute our donations. Each and every one of these votes matter to the organizations – and our May donations recipients want to say thanks.

Amnesty International USA
“Support for Amnesty International will help protect and defend human rights around the world. Amnesty International is campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Our work protects and empowers people—from advancing sexual and reproductive rights and advocating for the rights of women and girls, to defending refugees and migrants’ rights, to combating discrimination, and to demanding the freedom of individuals around the world jailed solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs or identity. We speak out for anyone and everyone whose human rights are under threat. Support from CREDO and its members helps Amnesty as it researches human rights abuses, organizes millions of activists, and advocates for change locally, nationally, and internationally. We thank you for your incredible support, and encourage you to join our movement and continue helping us to create change. Thank you, CREDO! To learn more, visit” Read More

The power of ordinary Americans

I admire CREDO and its members for their desire for accountability against entrenched power. Your work serves as a great example of making manifest the American values of fair play and success through hard work. You have fought tirelessly for justice for those who invade our privacy or nearly bankrupt our economy. And you have had triumphs, however small, in building the movement to ensure that everyone in this country, no matter how rich or poor, is treated fairly and honestly. I want to tell you a story about three people who share those values.

In my book Chain of Title, I profile three Americans who played a significant role in uncovering the largest consumer fraud in American history. They didn’t work in government or law enforcement. They were not experts in real estate law or high finance. They had no history of anti-corporate activism or community organizing. They had no resources or institutional knowledge. They were a cancer nurse, a car salesman, and an insurance fraud specialist, and they were all foreclosure victims. While struggling with the shame and dislocation and financial stress that foreclosure causes, they did something extraordinary: they read their mortgage documents. And what they found was a scheme hidden in plain view, in millions of pieces of paper distributed to courts and county offices all over the country. Read More

How to beat Trump’s hate

At CREDO we believe that when we witness racism, xenophobia, or any other form of bigotry we have an obligation to fight back.

That is why we are doing everything we can to stand up to Donald Trump’s demonization of immigrants, dehumanization of people of color, and the violence his hateful rhetoric has incited and spawned.

Thankfully we have an incredible partner in frequent CREDO donations recipient ColorOfChange. From demanding Glenn Beck’s advertisers abandon his program to successful campaigns to remove racist shows like Cops from TV, they have led the way in holding corporations accountable for the racism their sponsorship dollars fund.

Now we are proud to partner with ColorOfChange and other progressive allies to stand up to the companies who are sponsoring the Republican National Convention (RNC) that will confirm Trump as the Republican presidential nominee. Corporate sponsorship of the RNC helps mainstream and sanitize Trump’s racism, xenophobia and misogyny. It is irresponsible and dangerous for any company to choose access to political power over standing up to bigotry and hate. We’re working hard to make sure that corporations get that message, and feel the pressure to do the right thing.

Donald Trump action at Google HQ

We are already seeing success. 93,000 CREDO activists signed a petition demanding Coca-Cola drop their sponsorship of the convention. 63,000 made the same request of Microsoft. Both companies have now scaled back their support and pledged not to make any additional cash donations to the convention.

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WATCH: Sen. Elizabeth Warren vs. a small, insecure money-grubber

News broke last week that Donald Trump responded to the prospect of the economic collapse of 2007 by saying:

I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy. If there is a bubble burst…you know you can make a lot of money.

In response, in a speech Tuesday night in Washington, Sen. Elizabeth Warren took Trump to task for being “a small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it.”

What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van? What kind of a man does that? I’ll tell you exactly what kind—a man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it.

Sen. Warren’s remarks raise another important question: What is Donald Trump hiding and why won’t he release his tax returns? We put together a quick video using Senator Warren’s powerful remarks to build pressure on Donald Trump to stop hiding and release his tax returns.

Watch the video below – then sign our petition urging Donald Trump to stop hiding and release his tax returns.