Street Scramble Activism

12.09.16 Written By: Terry Farrah
Street Scramble Activism

 The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”  Edmund Burke

Our country is in a time of great change and division.  Below are eight things you can do right now. I tried to make it as easy as possible. Do one, do all– but don’t do nothing.

According to a recent twitter essay by former Congressional staff member Emily Ellsworth, phone calls have the most impact.

This page was created as a post-race activity for the December 10, 2016 Street Scramble at the Market.  We made it fun by offering prizes for the teams who took action on four or more issues. Team Flying Potatoes, pictured here, won a gigantic chocolate bar by taking action on six issues, more than any other team.

— Terry Farrah, co-creator of Street Scramble.

Scroll down or click to find action instructions for the following issues:

Thank the Army Corps of Engineers for denying easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Don’t privatize Medicare

Restore the voting rights act

Don’t approve Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

Protest Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as a White House chief strategist and senior counsel

New trial for Cyrus Wilson

Ask Obama to grant clemency for those serving time under old, inequitable laws

Thank the Army Corps of Engineers for denying easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Six days ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated that construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline cannot proceed until a full Environmental Impact Statment is prepared. After this, alternate routings of the pipeline may be considered. This statement by the Army Corps is an important milestone in the effort of the Standing Rock Sioux to protect their resources and sacred sites.

Suggested script: “My name is ____________ and I am calling to thank you for denying the easement for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River. I am glad to hear that the concerns of our nation’s indigenous people are being attended to.”

U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers:  202-761-0014

Stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

The Seattle Times called this “The Pacific Northwest’s Standing Rock“. From

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion threatens our shared waters, shared economies, and shared climate. The pipeline expansion would bring 595,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil from Alberta to Vancouver BC and then ship it out through the Salish Sea between Washington and British Columbia. The result would be a 700% increase in oil tanker traffic to 400 tankers every year.

Sign a petition  to be delivered to Kinder Morgan

Governor Inslee 360-902-4111 (no answer after hours) Contact form

Senator Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441   Contact form

Senator Patty Murray 202-224-2621  Contact form

Suggested script: “My name is _______ and I live in the city of ______. Canadian officials have approved the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline expansion. If this project moves forward there will be a large increase in tar sands oil tankers off our coast. If the worst were to happen, an oil spill could devastate the Salish Sea, wiping out fisheries and the iconic orca who depend on them. Moreover, in light of the urgency of the Climate Agreement signed in Paris last December, the climate impacts of Canadian tar sands oil cannot be ignored. Please communicate the urgency and significance of our opposition to this project to Canadian Federal decision makers and British Columbian Provincial officials.”

No privatization of medicare. Preserve Medicare as a government program.

Earlier this month a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times urged us to contact our representatives

Suggested script: “My name is _______ and I am one of your constituents living in ________. I am calling with regard to Medicare, one of the most successful and needed programs in our nation’s history. I am disturbed by discussion of replacing it with a voucher system. Please work to maintain it in its current form. Privatization of Medicare will not serve America.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (202) 225-0600 (no answer on weekends)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (502) 582-6304  Contact form

Senator Patty Murray (202) 224-2621  Contact form

Senator Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441  Contact form

Restore the voting rights act

Thousands of votes, mostly those of voters of color, young voters, and new voters, were suppressed during the 2016 election, contributing directly to the outcome.   While too late for this election cycle, it is not too late to express your support.

Sign a petition by the ACLU asking Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act

Keep Jeff Sessions from becoming Attorney General

Confirmation is a two step process in the Senate, first with the Judiciary Committee and then the majority of the full Senate.

From :

At a time like this–a time of elevated attacks that are racially and religiously motivated–we cannot have a person with a history of racism being the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the land. If Trump wants to have a white supremacist as his Chief Strategist, realistically there is nothing we can do to stop him.  But we CAN stop him from making a man with a long history of racism the Attorney General of the United States of America.

Tell your elected representatives you are NOT okay with a person like Jeff Sessions being the Attorney General. Tell them you will put whatever energy you have into electing someone different if they approve him. If you are a Trump supporter, let them know that nominating white supremacists for Cabinet positions is NOT what you voted for.

Senator Patty Murray (202) 224-2621  Contact form

Senator Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441  Contact form

Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley  Contact form

Protest Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist and senior counsel

President-elect Trump doesn’t need approval for this appointment. But we still must make it clear that we don’t want Bannon, misogynist and anti-Semite with ties to white nationalists.

Sign this petition of the Southern Poverty Law Center addressed directly to Trump

Sign this petition addressed to Congress


New trial for Cyrus Wilson

There are people in prison who do not belong there. They do not receive justice unless folks advocate for them. One such person is Cyrus Wilson of Tennessee. You can read the full story in this blog post, but here is an excerpt:

Cyrus Wilson was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison–with NO physical evidence connecting him to the murder other than the testimony of juveniles who had lied many times before, and whom the prosecuting attorney admitted were unreliable witnesses.

Both of the main witnesses have signed sworn affidavits saying that they lied about their testimonies in the case, and that they were pressured into testifying against Cyrus Wilson for fear of being blamed for the murders themselves.

Ballistics tests on the shotgun shells found at the murder scene show conclusively that the shells were NOT fired from the shotgun to which Cyrus Wilson had access.

Cyrus Wilson has been incarcerated for over 24 years of his life, convicted of a crime he did not commit.

If your reaction is anything like mine, you’re probably thinking, “There is no way… That can’t POSSIBLY be true!” That’s what I thought too, because we want to believe we are living in a just society. But our society is only as just as we demand that it be. At the very least, these facts necessitate him getting a new trial.

Suggested script: “My name is ______ and I’m a resident of Washington State. I’m calling regarding the case of Cyrus Wilson, who has been incarcerated for 24 years for murder. I have recently learned the details of his case and it appears he was wrongly convicted. His conviction was based on the testimony of unreliable witnesses who later admitting to lying in their testimony to protect themselves. Cyrus Wilson has spent his entire adult life behind bars. Please re-open Cyrus Wilson’s case and get him a new trial. Thank you.”

Davidson County (Tennessee) District Attorney Glenn Funk 615-862-5500 — A recorded voice will ask for your name, your phone number, the person to whom you wish to speak (Glenn Funk), and the matter about which you are calling (be brief with, “Please re-open the case of Cyrus Wilson and get him a new trial.”)

On Twitter, tag Glenn Funk () and demand that he reopen the case.

Bill Haslam, the Governor of Tennessee (615) 741-2001 Press 4.

Herbert Slatery, Attorney General of the State of Tennessee (615) 741-3491 (no answer on weekend)

Clemency for thousands imprisoned under old, inequitable laws

The Constitution gives presidents nearly unlimited authority to grant pardons and commute sentences. Obama has already granted clemency to over 1,000 individuals on a case-by-case basis. To increase the number of people receiving justice, request Obama to do blanket commutations for those inmates still serving time under an old law that punished possession or sale of crack cocaine far more harshly than powder cocaine — a meaningless distinction that sent disproportionate numbers of young black and Latino men to prison for decades.

President Obama email link

Suggested email text: “President Obama: In your final weeks in office, please consider blanket sentence commutations for inmates serving time under older, inequitable cocaine laws, as requested in the November 29th letter sent you by a coalition of criminal-justice reform advocates.  Please do what you can to limit the structures of systemic racism that exist in our justice system.”

For future reference:  Washington Congressional Representatives — you have one representative depending on where you live:

Jim McDermott (District 7, Seattle)  202-225-3106 Contact form

Derek Kilmer (District 6, Tacoma area, Kitsap & Olympic peninsulas) 202-225-5916 Contact form

Adam Smith (District 9, I-5 corridor south of Seattle through Olympia, except Tacoma area) 202-225-8901 Contact form

Susan DelBene (District 1, northwest King county) 202-225-6311 Contact form

David Reichert (District 8, eastern King and Pierce counties) 202-225-7761 Contact form