The Trans-Pacific "Partnership," as you know, is a done deal, awaiting ratification by the various signatory nations, including ours. Roots Action's petition, with which you may tell Congress to reject the TPP, goes like this: "We are writing to urge the Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This agreement would destroy jobs, degrade the environment, undermine the Internet and weaken U.S. democracy and sovereignty." That's all true, and fairly succinct besides -- and if your Rep or Senator decides to write you back with a bunch of booga-booga about China or bipartisanship, remember that, as a citizen, you don't necessarily have to explain yourself to your Reps or Senators; you need only communicate your will. (They still have to explain themselves to you, of course -- and if they're snippy about that, well, they can always get another job, more easily than you or I can, I would think.) Public Citizen also helps you tell Congress to reject the TPP; their missive is a bit longer, if you prefer that (I go back and forth myself). Either way, the time to act, as usual, is now.
Meanwhile, the House plans to vote on H.R. 10 tomorrow; H.R. 10 would extend the voucher program in Washington, D.C. that allows taxpayer money to be diverted toward private and religious schools. See? House Republicans can get it together long enough to vote on bad ideas! Maybe next week they'll vote to put junk food back in public schools! But seriously, how does H.R. 10 harm the country? By diverting public money -- taxpayer money, your money -- away from the public schools that belong to you, the schools over which you have more control, toward private schools that will not necessarily accept your children, do not necessarily do a better job than public schools just because they're private, and are often religious schools. And making you, the taxpayer, pay to support religions you don't agree with? You'd think the "sincere religious belief" crowd would relate to that. But they do not, since the religious schools they'd fund are their people, and their people are always better than you. People for the American Way helps you tell your House Reps to reject the D.C. voucher program and reject H.R. 10.
In other news, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the U.S. Attorney General to investigate whether Alabama's plan to shutter more than 30 DMVs across the state violates the Voting Rights Act, then the Sierra Club still helps you do that. What do DMVs have to do with voting rights? Well, Alabama has one of them there Voter ID laws -- you know, the ones that make everyone produce photo ID at the voting booth even though hardly anyone actually commits the kind of voter fraud Voter ID laws supposedly protect against. And the most common place to go to get the photo ID that would satisfy Voter ID laws is the DMV. So why is Alabama closing 30 more DMVs? Well, they say it's because of "budget problems," but lots of states have budget problems, particularly in the last seven years or so, and very few of them resort to this manner of "resolving" them -- and surprise, surprise, the DMV closures will disproportionately affect black folks, rural folks, and seniors, many of whom have been voting for longer than many Alabama state legislators have been alive! So, yeah, let's try to kill this rubbish.
Finally, the FCC is mulling whether to stop phone corporations from charging prisoners and their families more than 20 times the cost of a phone call made on the outside, and they could issue new regulations in mere days. So if you haven't done it already, Sum of Us helps you tell the FCC to cap the predatory phone rates some big telecom corporations charge prisoners to keep in contact with their families. Should families have to pay thousands of dollars annually to keep in touch with their loved ones in jail -- particularly when we know that the more contact prisoners have with their families, the less likely they'll backslide once they're out of jail? If you think the answer is "yes," you should point out exactly where judges have issued sentences including "gouging the prisoner for phone calls to his/her family." Too many Americans still think it's OK to pile on whatever punishment they think prisoners deserve (never mind what society has already given them!) to prove they're tougher than everyone else. But this is a civilized society, so they shouldn't get all the say about everything.