Written and curated by Peter Wilbur, Chuck Tryon, and Ellie Wood

****Actions 6/26/2017****

FEDERAL:

Senate Healthcare Bill:

There are plenty of reasons to hate the Senate healthcare bill. The name itself, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is an Orwellian insult to decency, and the bill itself will strip coverage to millions. But one aspect of the bill that is receiving little attention is the fact that the bill will take health coverage away from 1.75 million veterans nationwide, approximately 50,000 of those in North Carolina. This is due to the fact that not all veterans are eligible for coverage from the VA due to service year requirements, discharge status, and other factors. But it might be worth reminding Tillis and Burr that they will be taking health coverage away from 50,000 veterans and to make them think about how that might appear in a campaign ad in a few years.

SCRIPT:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from _______________ and I want to alert Sen. ______________ to the fact that the Better Care Reconciliation Act, as it currently stands, would strip health coverage from 1.75 million veterans nationwide and 50,000 veterans in North Carolina alone due to the defunding of Medicaid. Is Sen. ______________ willing to stand by and allow veterans and their family members to lose their healthcare because of this bill?

Tillis

DC: (202) 224-6342

Charlotte: 704-509-9087

Greenville: (252) 329-0371

Hendersonville: (828) 693-8750

High Point: (336) 885-0685

Raleigh: (919) 856-4630

Burr

DC: (202) 224-3154 (pick option 2 to speak to a staffer)

Winston-Salem: (800) 685-8916

Rocky Mount: (252) 977-9522

Wilmington: (888) 848-1833, (336) 631-5125

Asheville: (828) 350-2437

Stop Torture by U.S Allies in Yemen

Disturbing reports of horrific abuses in secret prisons in Yemen emerged last week, all against a swirl of chaos in the Middle East, which has become one giant proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni people are in desperate straits, and some of these secret camps have operated alongside our operations in the country. Pentagon sources deny any knowledge of torture, but the leaders of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, John McCain and Jack Reed, have asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to investigate the matter. We must not go down the same road led us to horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Let’s call these Senators and show our support. Let’s also reach out directly to the Department of Defense.

SCRIPT for McCain and Reed:

I am a citizen calling to commend Senator ______ for speaking out against the reports of torture in Yemen. I, too, would like to make sure that our allies from the United Arab Emirates do not engage in human rights abuses, and I want to be assured that Americans have no engagement with or knowledge of these practices. If not explanation is forthcoming, I expect the Armed Services Committee to hold hearings to investigate these disturbing reports. Thanks for taking my call.

McCain: (202) 224-2235

Reed: (202) 224-4642

SCRIPT for DoD:

I am a citizen calling to urge the Department of Defense to seriously investigate allegations of torture in Yemen by our allies the United Arab Emirates. News reports have suggested that some of these abuses took place in close proximity to U.S. operations in the region. I have also contacted the Senate Armed Services Committee to request the same level of inquiry. Thanks for taking my call.

Department of Defense: 703-571-3343

STATE:

Revoke Consent For Intercourse SB 553:

North Carolina currently has one of the worst rape laws in the country. Basically, the law, which has been on the books for decades, stipulates that once consent for sex is given, it cannot be revoked. Several women are now coming forward publicly to talk about their rapes and how they were unable to prosecute because they had temporarily consented. It specifically makes it difficult to prosecute marital rape and acquaintance rape, and while Sen. Jeff Jackson proposed this bill months ago, it has been sitting in the Rules Committee for months. The Fayetteville Observer article has brought renewed attention to the bill, but if it is not passed soon, it will likely mean that it won’t get another hearing for at least two more years. Focus on the Senate for now.

SCRIPT:

I am a constituent calling from _________________ to urge Sen. ___________________ to support SB 553, the Revoke Consent for Intercourse bill. This bill would overturn a terrible law that prevents people from being able to revoke consent for sex once it has been given. North Carolina is currently the only country in the nation with a law like this on the books. The bill has been sitting in the Rules Committee for months, but we urgently need to pass this law during this legislative session to make sure that rapists are prosecuted for their crimes.

NC Senate Contacts:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/reports/room-phone.pl?Chamber=Senate&viewType=normal

You can also thank the Fayetteville Observer for bringing this terrible law to light:

Executive editor: Michael Adams: madams@fayobserver.com

State Retirement Benefits Slashed in NC Budget

While this provision of the budget will not affect current employees and does not kick in until 2021, at that time benefits will be severely cut. Retirement pay will switch to a stingier private-sector model, and health care will be entirely eliminated. Not only are these cuts just plain cruel, but they will exacerbate the already looming teacher shortage. Teachers are grossly underpaid, but one silver lining has always been the excellent retirement package. After toiling away in service of our state’s children for an entire career, shouldn’t teachers expect to be taken care of in old age?

SCRIPT:

I am a constituent calling from _______ to urge Rep./Sen/ _______ to oppose the severe cuts to state employee retirement benefits. These cuts are mean-spirited and will hamstring efforts to hire excellent teachers and other state workers. If and when the governor vetoes the budget, please reconsider this provision. Our state should take care of those who give a life of service. Thanks for recording my call.

NC House contacts:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/reports/room-phone.pl?Chamber=House&viewType=normal

NC Senate Contacts:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/reports/room-phone.pl?Chamber=Senate&viewType=normal