Don't let Betsy DeVos sweep campus sexual assault under the rugent

Stop Betsy DeVos' attack on student sexual assault survivors

Tell Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:
"Do not eviscerate protections for student survivors of sexual harassment and assault."

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Dear 5849376,

Stop Betsy DeVos' attack on student sexual assault survivors

Betsy DeVos is trying to make it easier for schools to sweep campus sexual assault under the rug.

Cheered on by conservatives and so-called men's rights groups, the Department of Education recently released proposed rule changes to Title IX, the landmark legislation that prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funding.1 If enacted, the rule changes would almost certainly deter survivors from reporting harassment and assault. Those who do report will be much less likely to see their schools take action and the small number whose reports result in an investigation will then face a retraumatizing and invasive process.

In the era of #MeToo, when survivors of sexual assault are starting to be comfortable speaking up, this will only serve to protect perpetrators and roll-back institutional responsibility for addressing sexual misconduct. DeVos cannot just ram this through – the Department of Education must first take comments from the public. CREDO is joining with UltraViolet to send comments directly to DeVos.

It's easy to send a comment to Betsy DeVos about her disastrous Title IX rule changes telling her to protect survivors not perpetrators. Click here to get started.

In recent years, students and advocates have made great strides in reducing campus sexual assault, holding perpetrators accountable, ensuring equitable and trauma-centered adjudication processes, and helping survivors get the accommodations they need to continue their education. Title IX and the Obama administration's guidelines for its implementation have been crucial tools in that work, but DeVos wants to roll back important Title IX protections.2

If DeVos gets her way, many of those protections will be eroded. The proposed rule changes would:

  • Relieve schools of the responsibility to investigate harassment and assault unless survivors report to specific, designated employees. If students who are more likely to have a trusting relationship with another school official, such as a coach or adviser don't find the "right" person to report to, the school will not be obligated to take action.3
  • Limit the definition of harassment so that schools are required to ignore complaints until the harassment is so bad it interferes with student learning – that is, until a survivor drops out of class, reports of the harassment will not be taken seriously.4
  • Require administrations to dismiss complaints – even if they are reported to the "right" school official – about off-campus incidents. That includes reports of harassment across the street from campus, in off-campus student apartments or even repeated online harassment. Dismissal of these reports means that survivors might need to face their harasser or abuser in class every day.5
  • Change the standard of evidence in campus adjudications to tilt the investigation in favor of reported harassers and rapists. Even if schools use a preponderance of evidence standard in all other student disciplinary cases such as cheating, the rule change would allow for a stricter standard for cases of sexual assault.6
  • Guarantee that accused perpetrators have the right to cross-examine the survivors who report them. In an almost certainly retraumatizing process, survivors would be required to face their assailants or their representative – and for wealthy perpetrators, that could mean an inquisition from a high-paid lawyer experienced in shredding survivors' accounts.7

If DeVos gets her way, schools will be off the hook for keeping their students safe. These proposed rule changes only serve to protect the likes of the Larry Nassars and Brock Turners of the world.

Send a comment to Betsy DeVos: Protect survivors not perpetrators. Do not enact your disastrous Title IX rule changes. Click the link below to get started.

https://act.credoaction.com/go/26948?t=7&akid=30856%2E3291973%2Eiev_2n

Thanks for taking action,

Kaili Lambe, Organizing Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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References:

  1. Erik Ortiz, "DeVos proposals for campus sex misconduct rules are 'worse than we thought,' victims' advocates say," NBC News, Nov. 16, 2018.
  2. Laura Meckler, "Betsy DeVos set to bolster rights of accused in rewrite of sexual assault rules," The Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2018.
  3. Sarah Brown and Katherine Mangan, "What You Need to Know About the Proposed Title IX Regulations," The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 16, 2018.
  4. Audie Cornish, "Former Title IX Official Outlines Changes To How Colleges Handle Sexual Assault Cases," NPR, Nov. 19, 2018.
  5. Brown and Mangan, "What You Need to Know About the Proposed Title IX Regulations."
  6. Meckler, "Betsy DeVos set to bolster rights of accused in rewrite of sexual assault rules."
  7. Benjamin Wermund, "The biggest sticking point in DeVos' Title IX rules," POLITICO, Nov. 19, 2018.

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Tell future Speaker Pelosi: Don't give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda

Tell future Speaker Pelosi: Don't give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda

Petition to future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
"Do not give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda. Drop your plans for new pay-go rules and a three-fifths supermajority for new revenue and oppose the corporate Democrats' proposal for a 20/20 amendment rule."

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Dear 5849376,

Tell future Speaker Pelosi: Don't give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda

Rep. Nancy Pelosi is poised to once again become speaker of the House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, she is contemplating new congressional rules – pushed by corporate Democrats and Republicans – that would give Republicans veto power over huge parts of the Democratic agenda.1,2,3

Right now – before Leader Pelosi officially becomes speaker but after she has secured the support of most Democrats – is the prime moment to pressure her to stop considering plans that would sabotage Democrats and instead fight for a bold progressive agenda.

Tell future Speaker Pelosi: Don't give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda. Click here to sign the petition.

Future Speaker Pelosi is one of the most effective legislative leaders in recent history and one of the few women in a senior leadership position in the Democratic Party. That makes it all the more important that she get this decision right – and knows we will stand with her if she makes the right call.

There are three horrible ideas floating around that Leader Pelosi must reject:

  • Caving to Republican deficit hysteria. Republicans blew up the deficit with massive military spending and the corporate handouts in the Trump Tax Scam. But Rep. Pelosi publicly committed Democrats to holding every bit of spending on a progressive agenda hostage to getting conservatives on board with revenue increases, a policy known as "pay-go."4
  • Allowing Republicans to set Democratic budget policy. The proposed rules for the new Congress include requiring a three-fifths supermajority for any income tax increase on individuals in the bottom 80 percent. The problem with this idea is that it gives Republicans power to block a progressive agenda. For instance, Medicare for All would save many Americans more on health care bills than they might pay in taxes, but under these rules, Republicans could veto it.5
  • Letting Republicans pick the amendments that get votes. Democrats tried and tried to improve legislation since 2010 with amendments, and Republicans mostly refused to even listen. But now, a gang of corporate Democrats and Republicans – with the Orwellian name of "The Problem Solvers Caucus" – is pushing a rule that would give an amendment with 20 co-sponsors from each party preferential treatment, and Rep. Pelosi is entertaining the idea.6

It is hard not to see in these changes a plan to rig the system against progressives by making it harder for them to offer amendments and pass legislation. Every one of these proposals would steal power from the triumphant progressive wing of the party and give it the corporate Democrats and Republicans who just got shellacked at the polls.

Progressive priorities like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, college for all and universal childcare are just some of the crucial pieces of legislation these congressional rules under consideration could end up blocking. The only good news is that there is still time for Leader Pelosi to back down from these disastrous ideas – and for us to make clear we will back her if she does.

Tell future Speaker Pelosi: Don't give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda. Click below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/pelosi_paygo?t=7&akid=30851%2E3291973%2EWDoD4c

Thank you for speaking out,

Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Sign the petition ►

References:

  1. David Dayen, "Nancy Pelosi promises that Democrats will handcuff the Democratic agenda if they retake the House," The Intercept, Sep. 4, 2018.
  2. Philip Klein, "Nancy Pelosi pushing rules change that would kneecap liberals," The Washington Examiner, Nov. 16, 2018.
  3. Colby Itkowitz, "Who are the 'Problem Solvers' trying to hold Nancy Pelosi's speakership hostage?" The Washington Post, Nov. 27, 2018.
  4. Dayen, "Nancy Pelosi promises that Democrats will handcuff the Democratic agenda if they retake the House."
  5. Klein, "Nancy Pelosi pushing rules change that would kneecap liberals."
  6. Itkowitz, "Who are the 'Problem Solvers' trying to hold Nancy Pelosi's speakership hostage?"

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Update for 5849376 on CREDO's activism last month

Dear 5849376,

It's been a busy month since election day. As we're sure you did, we celebrated the blue wave that gave Democrats a 40-seat edge in the House of Representatives and the deep organizing that helped win progressive victories at the state level, including Amendment 4, which will give back the right to vote to 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions. We celebrated the incredible gains candidates like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum and Beto O'Rourke made in the South and recommitted to the fight for voting rights in the face of the massive suppression that helped Republicans tip the scales in their favor.

The day after the midterms, to distract from election results that firmly rejected his hateful agenda, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We joined with partners to make sure that CREDO members were among the hundreds of thousands of people who rallied that night to defend the Mueller investigation and have been pushing since then to demand that Congress protect it.

Though many thought Trump's attacks on the Central American migrant caravan were just political posturing for the midterms, he and his administration have maintained the militarization of the border and doubled down – tear gassing families, authorizing troops to use lethal force and negotiating a deal to unconstitutionally keep asylum seekers in Mexico. We're working with our friends at Presente, Puente and Mijente to ask the United Nations to investigate the human rights violations that Trump is committing and with our friends at Movimiento Cosecha to organize a solidarity action in New York City this weekend.

In addition to fighting Trump, we're also working hard to make sure Democrats follow through on the progressive mandate voters gave them on November 6. That looks like going all in to demand a Green New Deal, asking every Democrat to join Rep. Pramila Jayapal's Medicare for All caucus, telling Sen. Chuck Schumer to use his power to make sure anyone but coal industry shill Joe Manchin becomes the ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee and pushing back on Rep. Nancy Pelosi's terrible plan to use a tax rule to give Republicans veto power over progressive legislation.

Last but not least, we had two significant campaign victories in November:

  • Thanks in part to the activism of more than 67,000 CREDO members, AT&T finally dropped its membership in the secretive right-wing lobbying organization the American Legislative Exchange Council.
  • In response to sustained opposition by progressives across the country, including more than 77,000 CREDO members, the Senate rejected the nomination of Trump's racist nominee Thomas Farr to a lifetime federal court appointment.

As always, you can keep up with everything we're up to by visiting CREDOaction.com. You can vote on which progressive groups we donate to at CREDOdonations.com. And you can connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for being a part of our movement for progressive change,

Heidi Hess and Josh Nelson, Co-Directors
CREDO Action from Working Assets

CREDO action

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Signatures needed: Trump's attacks on asylum seekers violate international law

Tell the United Nations to investigate U.S. human rights violations of asylum seekers.

The petition to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights and High Commissioner on Refugees reads:
"Launch an investigation into U.S. human rights violations of asylum seekers."

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

Dear 5849376,

Tell the United Nations to investigate U.S. human rights violations of asylum seekers.

Tear gas and rubber bullets should never be used to attack asylum seekers.

Yet, Donald Trump's deportation force used these weapons against unarmed refugee children and families. It also recently closed a major port of entry. And now, his hateful administration is considering a new rule that would require many refugees to pay an asylum fee.1

These actions are in gross violation of international law. More than 100,000 CREDO members recently demanded that the United Nations send observers to the border. Now we need it to go one step further and immediately launch an investigation.

Tell the United Nations to investigate U.S. human rights violations of asylum seekers. Click here to sign the petition.

The Trump administration has treated members of the migrant caravan like enemy combatants. It has launched tear gas and rubber bullet attacks against them, extended the military occupation at the border and authorized troops to use lethal force.2 Caravan members are unarmed refugees fleeing extreme poverty, violence and oppression. We should be welcoming them, not using violence and slowdown tactics to force them to give up and turn back.

The Trump regime's "metering" system is causing major delays, confusion and chaos at the border.3 It severely restricts the number of asylum seekers who enter the country every day. International law requires the United States to review every application for asylum. This system is preventing refugees from even applying. Now, the Trump administration is considering a new rule that would require many refugees to pay an asylum fee, adding yet another barrier to the process. It is also conspiring with the Mexican government to send these asylum seekers back to the countries they fled.4

These actions violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees under which the United States government has obligations. There is enough evidence for the United Nations to launch an investigation. It's up to us force it to act.

Join us and our friends at Presente, Puente and Mijente to demand that the United Nations investigate human rights violations at the border immediately.

Tell the United Nations to investigate U.S. human rights violations of asylum seekers. Click the link below to sign the petition.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/un_investigation?t=7&akid=30830%2E3291973%2EPZIf1i

Thank you for all you do,

Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Sign the petition ►

References:

  1. Michael Burke, "Trump mulling charging immigrants a fee for applying for asylum: report," The Hill, Dec. 4, 2018.
  2. Wesley Morgan, "Mattis extends border troop mission until end of January," POLITICO, Dec. 4, 2018.
  3. Jonathan Blitzer, "The long wait for Tijuana migrants to process their own asylum claims," The New Yorker, Nov. 29, 2018.
  4. The Guardian, "Mexico to deport up to 500 migrants who tried to cross US border," Nov. 26, 2018.

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Sign the petition: Joe Manchin is the worst possible choice to lead Senate Democrats on energy policy

Tell Sen. Schumer: Manchin must not be the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

The petition to Sen. Chuck Schumer reads:
"Senator Joe Manchin is the worst possible choice to lead Senate Democrats' work on energy policy. Do not allow a senator in the pocket of the coal industry to serve as the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources."

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Sign the petition ►

Dear 5849376,

Tell Sen. Schumer: Manchin must not be the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee

It's a nightmare scenario for climate and energy policy: Sen. Joe Manchin – the coal-loving West Virginian who once used a rifle to shoot a climate change bill in a campaign ad – could soon be the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.1

Sen. Maria Cantwell, the current top Democrat on the committee, is reportedly considering leaving the post to serve as ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee.2 If she does, Manchin would be next in line to lead the committee based on seniority.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has the power to stop this and ensure that Democrats' work on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is led by someone who supports bold action to fight climate change instead of a coal industry cheerleader like Joe Manchin. But we know from years of experience that Schumer can't be trusted to do the right thing without overwhelming grassroots pressure.

Tell Sen. Schumer: Don't let Joe Manchin serve as ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Click here to sign the petition.

Joe Manchin is the single worst possible choice to lead Senate Democrats' work on the committee. Here are just a few of the many reasons Manchin is unqualified this position:

  • Just a few months ago, he was the only Senate Democrat who voted to confirm anti-environment Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
  • Last year, he voiced support for Donald Trump's disastrous decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.3
  • During the Obama administration, Manchin repeatedly voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and frequently accused Pres. Obama of waging a "war on coal."4
  • He is the only Democratic senator with a lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters below 50 percent.5

Tell Senator Schumer: The ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources must support bold action to fight climate change. Pick anyone other than Joe Manchin for this important position.

The good news is that activists and progressive politicians are starting to fight back. Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said at a Green New Deal press conference recently that she has concerns with Manchin serving as ranking member, arguing that politicians should not be "financed by the industries that we are supposed to be legislating and regulating."6 And just the other day, activists with Sunrise New York and Indivisible Brooklyn rallied outside one of Sen. Schumer's New York offices to demand that he pick someone other than Manchin to serve as ranking member.

According to the Democratic Party's official platform, "Democrats believe that climate change is too important to wait for climate deniers and defeatists in Congress to start listening to science, and support using every tool available to reduce emissions now."7 If Senate Democratic leader Schumer agrees with that sentiment, he can't allow Sen. Joe Manchin to lead his Senate Democrats' work on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Click the link below to sign the petition:

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/manchin_energy_committee?t=8&akid=30824%2E3291973%2EAsTxgT

Thanks for everything you do.

Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

References:

  1. Ari Natter, "Green Nightmare: Coal-Loving Manchin May Get Energy Panel Perch," Bloomberg, Dec. 4, 2018.
  2. Rebecca Kern and Dean Scott, "Sen. Cantwell May Leave Energy Committee for Ranking on Commerce," Bloomberg Environment, Nov. 7, 2018.
  3. Olivia Beavers, "Dem senator: Paris accord did not 'balance' environment, economy," The Hill, June 1, 2017.
  4. Andrew Prokop, "6 Democrats standing in the way of action on climate change," Vox, Jun. 6, 2014.
  5. League of Conservation Voters, "National Environmental Scorecard for Senator Joe Manchin III."
  6. Mark Hand, "Ocasio-Cortez joins activists in raising concerns about naming Manchin to ranking energy position," ThinkProgress, Dec. 3, 2018.
  7. Democratic National Committee, "The 2016 Democratic Platform," accessed Dec. 4, 2018.

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Signatures needed: The Senate should condemn Cindy Hyde-Smith's racism

The Senate must censure Cindy Hyde-Smith

Petition to the Senate:
"Censure Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, whose history of racism and recent near-endorsement of lynching bring shame upon the Senate."

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Dear 5849376,

The Senate must censure Cindy Hyde-Smith

Between 1882 and 1952, there were 534 reported lynchings in Mississippi, making the state one of the nation's leaders in racist murders of Black men.1

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith certainly knows her Mississippi history. After all, she "defended slavery as a matter of plantation owners 'defending their homeland'" and pushed revisionist myths about the Civil War.2 So she knew exactly what she was saying when she told a supporter at a recent campaign event, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."3

With Hyde-Smith's racist record forced into the open, Senate Republicans have a choice: They can censure Hyde-Smith or explain why they think her racist remarks are acceptable for a senator.

Tell the Senate: Censure Cindy Hyde-Smith. Click here to sign the petition.

Every time Hyde-Smith gets caught declaring her true views, she quickly insists her offensive behavior was only a joke. That's what she said about endorsing lynching. She said the same thing shortly after the lynching comment when she was caught applauding attempts to openly suppress Black votes as "a great idea."5

But these aren't jokes – Hyde-Smith has a decade-long history of openly racist remarks. She backed a resolution pushing a revisionist history of the Civil War, said she had "great pride" in Confederate soldiers, defended slaveowners and tried to name a highway after Jefferson Davis.6

In the wake of Hyde-Smith's comments on lynching, image-conscious corporations like Major League Baseball, Aetna, AT&T, Pfizer, Walmart, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific demanded that she return the money they donated to her campaign.4 Massive pressure helped convince corporations of the importance of distancing themselves from her racism. We need to create the same pressure to demand that Republican senators do the same.

We need to draw a line and make it clear that Trump's open bigotry might make Hyde-Smith seem normal, but her racist rhetoric, a throwback to some of the worst times of American history, has no place at the highest levels of government. Senators must censure Hyde-Smith – or explain exactly why they believe her racist rhetoric belongs in the Senate.

Tell the Senate: Censure Cindy Hyde-Smith. Click below to sign the petition.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/censure_cindy_hyde_smith?t=7&akid=30816%2E3291973%2EJaNSrh

Thank you for speaking out,

Heidi Hess, Co-Director, CREDO Action
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

References:

  1. Nicolaus Mills, "Hyde-Smith Turned Mississippi's Racial Clock Back to 1964," The Daily Beast, Nov. 30, 2018.
  2. Adam Peck, "Cindy Hyde-Smith retains the title of most racist member of the U.S. Senate, wins runoff election," ThinkProgress, Nov. 27, 2018.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.

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