“Tell me something. Where your boss at?” – Beyoncé (also you @ your senator)
I don’t know about you, but my summer isn’t complete without sun, sand, and political accountability. August is the perfect month for all three because we’re about to enter “August recess,” a time when your representatives in the House and Senate return home and check in with the people they work for, i.e., you and your community. This year, August recess for the Senate is just one week that begins on Monday, August 6. The word “recess” might sound like time to take a break or relax, but don’t be fooled. August recess is a time for your representatives to work and listen to you. It’s a time for you to put your boss hat on and give them a progress report. Members usually return to their states and hold town halls or public office hours to get a sense of how their constituents (you, again!) feel about their work and the issues of the moment. And given the fact that the Senate is considering the lifetime appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a man who is fervently anti-abortion and anti-Affordable Care Act and would alter the makeup of the court for generations, you would think August recess should be more than a week so constituents can have enough time to find/visit/talk to their senators. Right? RIGHT?
That’s what should happen. But, alas, no. August recess is going to be even shorter than usual because Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, aka the man who stole a Supreme Court nominee from former President Obama, wants the Senate to focus on moving the Kavanaugh nomination forward. Long story short? We’ve got a week to make sure our senators understand that a vote for Kavanaugh is a vote against women’s rights, the Affordable Care Act, and countless basic freedoms that we hold dear. Need some tips? Here are three ways to make your voice heard during August recess and stop the Kavanaugh nomination.
- Find your senator’s August recess plans: Senators have an obligation to meet with constituents during August recess, which means they have to announce a plan of action. Find that plan. Check the press releases on their websites or go the google route and search your senators name and “august recess.” Some will visit community events, organize speeches, or hold office hours. Find their public events for the week of August 6 and if you don’t see one, call their office and ask for one. Get on your senator’s calendar.
- Show Up and Share Your Priorities: Attend your senator’s events. Bring talking points. Visit their district office. Tell them how the Kavanaugh’s appointment would affect your life or the lives of those you care about. Connect with groups like Planned Parenthood, Indivisible and MoveOn to find local actions in your community. Make it clear that you care about this nomination and expect your senator to represent your position. Need inspiration? Check out the amazing town halls organized last August recess to save the Affordable Care Act.
- Play the long game: August recess isn’t the only time your senator needs to listen to you. And it’s not the only chance to speak up on the Kavanaugh nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh in September. We need to be ready to make some noise and make our priorities known. Spend part of August recess setting the groundwork for future SCOTUS activism. Sign up to join Demand Justice, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL’s Rise Up for Roe Tour. Shows start on 8/11 and stops will be made in New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Maine, Virginia, California, Nevada, and Arizona. Make sure you’re following us on social media to learn about the latest actions and events related to the Supreme Court fight. Commit to making this a priority in August and September. It’s time for us all to put our boss hat on and get to work.