What to do when discouraged: Americans of Conscience Checklist

Jen Hofmann: Maybe you’ve been feeling it too—the news, the president, the border wall, the climate crisis, racist people in power, international corruption. We’re well past the two-year mark, and it’s still the same awful dudes at the top making worse decisions by the day.

Can we take a moment to just be honest about how overwhelming this is—and what to do about it?

When nothing seems to change, it’s demoralizing. It’s beyond infuriating. It’s enough to make you want to turn off the news, close the laptop, recycle the paper and just ghost it for the next two years.

At the core of this overwhelm and frustration is a flawed thought: I can change this myself.

If you’re accustomed to being listened to and respected… If you’re the kind of person who has had even fleeting success in life… If you’re like me and overcome big challenges, then we have been under the spell of the same limiting narrative.

In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, “What got you here will not get you there.” While you are no doubt capable person, what we’re facing right now—nationally and globally—is like nothing we have ever seen. Solving what lies ahead of us will take more than what’s gotten us this far. Our own willpower isn’t enough. A few letters or phone calls aren’t enough. No heroes—including ourselves—will turn this ship around.

This truth takes time to accept. It takes a deep breath and a willingness to be curious. The truth is you cannot change the outcome alone. Neither can I. None of us can.

Only we can.

Only we can create that change—with skills like cooperation, community, cohesion, collaboration—that will see us through this dark night of the planet’s soul. The roots of each word is “co”, meaning together. Only with others can we create a kind, flourishing world. However (and this is hard), it means banishing the idea that your outrage and effort alone can fix this. It can’t. Only together can we right the wrongs, heal what has been broken, and overcome the obstacles ahead. Together.

So, take a breath. Pause to feel the truth of this. Notice if you’re willing to accept an invitation. Will you commit to more “co-” into your life?

Thankfully, you and I are part of a movement of people who believe strongly enough in a better future to work for it. Even if you didn’t realize it. Even if you just forgot. It’s still true. This week, pause to remember when you dial the phone or write a postcard that thousands of other hearts doing the very same.

For it’s in community that we persevere, and together we create a better, brighter future.

This is from Jen Hofmann, author of the Americans of Concience Checklist.
Subscribe to her newsletter and send her money to support her remarkable efforts to inform and motivate us all.

Read this week’s checklist here. And then take action!
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Tenth Dems Winter 2019 Internship Program

The Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) is now accepting applications for its Winter 2019 Internship Program. The internship is a substantive program designed for high school, college, and graduate students seeking an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the political process.

Tenth Dems is a grassroots political organization that helps mobilize voters and activists in one of the most widely watched Congressional districts in the country. This is the ideal time to complete a political internship as we prepare for the critically important 2020 elections. Tenth Dems interns have staffed issue forums and events for elected officials and candidates up and down the ballot, worked on campaigns, and conducted research. Tenth Dems interns were very active during the 2018 election cycle, including legislative races, at the county board level, with countywide candidates, and in helping to turn the US House of Representatives blue. Interns may choose to complete general internships or specialize in areas such as media, technology, volunteer management, and political outreach.

Internships are unpaid, educational positions; however, academic credit is often available.

“This is an opportunity to learn about a grassroots political organization and to develop important skills,” said former State Representative Lauren Beth Gash, Tenth Dems’ Founding Chair. “Many of our interns have gone on to law school or other graduate programs, as well as paid political positions with local campaigns, and jobs in Springfield, Washington, and with national not-for-profit organizations.”

Acceptance into the program is selective, competitive, and contingent upon an interview. Residency in the 10th District is not required but applicants must have an interest in electing Democrats, be able to travel to our offices, and devote a minimum of eight hours per week to the internship during the school year. Applicants should submit a brief paragraph explaining why they would like to be part of the program, along with a resume summarizing their educational background and activities. Neither need be formal.

To apply or request more information, email us at volunteers@tenthdems.org. You can also “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@TenthDems).

Reject Trump and Wheeler’s plan to dismantle the Waste Prevention Rule

Join us in urging the EPA to reject Trump and Wheeler’s disastrous plan to dismantle the Waste Prevention Rule, which regulates methane emissions, at the expense of our public health, clean air, and climate. President Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler are proposing to weaken common-sense rules that stop the oil and gas industries from unnecessarily leaking massive amounts of climate-warming methane gas. This is a blatant giveaway to oil and gas interests at the expense of the American people, our clean air, our public health, and the future of our planet.
Call on the EPA to reject Trump and Wheeler’s reckless rollback and protect us from methane gas.

Email President Trump & EPA Wheeler to stop climate-saving methane regulations roll-back.

Protect the Tongass National Forest

Tongass National Forest

The Trump administration has inked a deal that, if finalized, could open the Tongass National Forest to logging and road construction. Together, we must stop them from destroying America’s largest national forest. The Tongass’ 17 million acres are home to the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people, 800-year-old trees, and an astonishing breadth of wildlife: brown bears, bald eagles, humpback whales, and sea lions. For years, Alaska’s elected officials and Big Timber-backed allies have tried to get their paws — and saws — on the Tongass. Now, this threat looms larger than ever as the U.S. Forest Service and the State of Alaska work to craft a disastrous Alaska-specific version of the celebrated Roadless Rule.

Email the US Forest Service via Sierra Club and tell them to reject Alaska’s proposed change to the Roadless Rule.

Oppose TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

The Trump Administration’s State Department just published another hastily-produced “Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)” on Keystone XL that concludes the pipeline would have only “minor” impacts to our land, water, endangered species and Native American sacred sites in Nebraska like the Ponca Trail of Tears.A new 45-day public comment period on this sham review is now open, and we must make our voices heard.

Email Sec’y of State Mike Pompeo and tell him of your opposition to TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

Just a few short weeks ago, a federal judge ruled that the Trump Administration’s review of Keystone XL was inadequate – now, Trump is back again with another sloppy review just 37 days later saying the impacts of the project would be “minor.”
A truly in-depth study would take months, if not years to complete. This is an insult to our communities, our water, and our climate. We will not accept Trump’s shortcuts to help out his friends in the fossil fuel industry.
Releasing their ‘new’ environmental review opens a 45-day public comment period before they draft the final version. You may remember we collected public comments just a few months ago – but we need to speak up again and make sure our voices are heard and counted.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Chairman, Harold Frazier, said in a statement this week that the struggle is approaching, as TransCanada started pre-construction work near the tribe’s South Dakota reservation.

Volunteer in the 10th Congressional District Waukegan Office

The Tenth Congressional District Democrats needs volunteers at its Waukegan office to help build a Blue Wave during the upcoming November election. State Representative Rita Mayfield is helping to organize efforts to help our Democratic candidates on a regular basis. The Tenth Dems Waukegan office is located at 118 N. Genesee Street in downtown Waukegan and is open Monday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Volunteers are needed for phone banking, canvassing and data entry.

Let us know if you can help (and when) by clicking here, or by emailing volunteers@tenthdems.org / replying with your contact info. Or stop by during office hours.

Oppose Roll-back of the Clean Power Plan

Save Clean Power Plan

Oppose Roll-back of the Clean Power Plan.

The EPA is now accepting public comments on the proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan.  Tell Acting EPA Administrator Michael Wheeler that you oppose any plans to roll back the Clean Power Plan. President Trump and his allies at the EPA just introduced what the NRDC is calling the “Dirty Power Plan” — their disastrous scheme that would replace the landmark Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan is our best chance to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and accelerate our clean energy future. Trump’s rollback is nothing more than a giveaway to fossil fuel companies and utilities that leaves the rest of us to pay the price with extreme weather, poisoned air and water, and a polluted planet. Thousands of Americans who support the Clean Power Plan will fight back against any attempts to dismantle it — in defense of our clean air and water, our climate, and our clean energy future.

Email Acting EPA Administrator Michael Wheeler to oppose Trump’s Dirty Power Plan scheme.

Stop the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

NO Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is all risk and absolutely no reward. Siding with NRDC, a federal judge just rejected the Trump administration’s attempts to fast-track the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — the fossil fuel monstrosity that would carry 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil each day from Canada’s boreal forest through America’s heartland. This massive pipeline would threaten land, climate, and drinking water supplies, keep us rooted in the dirty fossil fuels of the past, and slow our path to a clean energy future. Now, the fate of this climate-wrecking pipeline lies with Trump’s State Department.

Email Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: stop the Keystone XL pipeline

Fight Clean Car Roll-Backs

Fight Clean Car Roll-Backs
Clean car standards are at the heart of U.S. efforts to fight climate change and global warming. They’re also good for drivers, manufacturers, and the economy. Clean Car Roll-Backs would be disastrous across the board. Thankfully, the EPA and DOT are accepting public comments on this dangerous rollback plan. Tell them to put a stop to the Trump administration’s climate-wrecking scheme and help NRDC reach its goal of 100,000 comments.
In one click,

Contact the EPA Administrator & DOT Secretary

Fight Industrial Protection Roll-backs

Tell the EPA to Protect
Before he resigned, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, backed by his chemical industry allies, proposed industrial protection rollbacks. These lifesaving regulations protect communities from chemical and industrial explosions, fires, gas leaks, and oil spills. Everything we know about Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler indicates that he will continue to champion this reckless pro-polluter plan. We can’t let Trump, Wheeler, and their big polluter cronies push this through. Call on the EPA; fight industrial protection roll-backs. Protect our families from the threats of chemical and industrial facilities.