5 Ways to Keep Fighting for Progress before Election Day

We’re in the final stretch of the most important election of our lives. The presidential debates are over. Millions are early voting. Millions more absentee ballots have been turned in. Turnout on Election Day could be historic.

Here at CREDO, we’re not sitting idly by while we wait for results. There’s just too much at stake and still too much to do before the final ballots are cast.

Let’s not wake up on Nov. 4 and wish we could have done more. Here are 5 ways to stay engaged and do everything we can before Election Day.

1. VOTE! 

Yes, this one’s obvious, but with so many extra hurdles to voting during the pandemic, this is a critical reminder to make sure you complete every step in the voting process. Please do not wait until the last minute.

If you’re voting absentee or by mail, make sure you return your ballot AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you are able, drop off your ballot in a secure and official dropbox location. If you are voting in person, try to vote early and be prepared to wait. Here are some tips for voting safely.

Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

If you haven’t registered to vote, if you’re not sure you are registered or if you still need to request a ballot, you may still have time depending on where you live. 

Visit Vote.org right now to check your eligibility to register and vote.

2. Apply to be a poll worker. 

The United States is facing a poll worker shortage during the pandemic. Even though many people are voting by mail this election, many people with disabilities, do not have reliable mail service, or simply do not trust the postal service, will be voting in person. Having enough poll workers at each polling location will ensure those who require assistance voting get the help they need to cast their ballots.

You may still have time to apply to be a poll worker in your community. Visit Power The Polls to learn more and apply today.

3. Sign up to be an Election Protection volunteer with Protect the Vote.

When we recently surveyed CREDO members about voter suppression, nearly 50% said that they are worried that it could have an impact on the election in their communities. Common Cause, a non-partisan, non-profit organization, is looking for Election Protection volunteers who can help protect voters’ rights from the threats they will face trying to cast ballots in this election.

Sign up with Protect the Vote and they will reach out with all the information you need to get started.

4. Volunteer with the Working Families Party. 

Our allies at the Working Families Party, a CREDO grantee, have multiple ways you can get involved before Election Day, from virtual voter phone and text banks, poll site visibility events, and more.

Learn more and get involved with the Working Families Party’s election events.

5. Adopt a state with Vote Save America.

The folks behind the popular left-leaning Pod Save America podcast have built a robust set of Get-Out-The-Vote tools to help volunteers target battleground states. At Vote Save America’s “Adopt a State” project, you can pick one of six swing states to help organizers and volunteers in states like Pennsylvania and Arizona get out the vote for candidates that support our progressive values right from your home.

Learn more and adopt a state today.

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund Fights for Wildlife and the Environment

The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the cynical and hypocritical power grab to fill her seat before the November election shows that politics has profound consequences for our planet.

 A conservative majority on the Supreme Court that’s locked-in for generations will undo critical progress on fights to stop climate change, the wildlife extinction crisis and the collapse of ecosystems around the world. It will make it much harder for environmental advocates to even go to court for wildlife, public lands and the environment. It will further silence voices of Americans who oppose Trump’s anti-wildlife and anti-environment agenda. And it will empower special interests to accelerate their irreversible plundering of our planet for a quick buck.

These events have made our mission to save life on earth that much more pressing.The Center Action Fund

There’s never been a more critical moment for our wildlife, wild places, public health and the planet.

All of them are threatened by powerful corporations and special interests that have brought billions of dollars to bear to gut the fundamental safeguards that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, our nation’s public lands, and our most imperiled wildlife. All this is taking place while we face the quadruple existential threats of an extinction crisis, climate emergency, a seemingly endless and deadly pandemic, and systemic racism.

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund believes that protecting the environment is a bedrock American value that should rise above partisan politics. We seek to strengthen our core environmental laws, support lawmakers from all political parties that believe in a healthier environment, and to hold accountable any politician regardless of party who does not.

At a time when complacency is the norm, the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund does not accept the status quo of modern-day partisan politics. Instead, we proactively use our influence to ensure that elected officials place conservation at the forefront of national policy. Protecting Wildlife, Habitat, and Human Health by Fighting to Preserve the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act and Public Lands:

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is our nation’s most successful environmental law. Despite this success, anti-wildlife members of Congress continue to attack the Act and the animals and plants it protects every chance they get. The Center Action Fund tracks legislative attacks on the ESA, and calls out top enemies of the Act.

Public lands are continually under the eye of greedy corporate interests, with increasing threats of inappropriate uses like mining, logging, and excessive grazing, which would essentially leave precious habitats defunct. The overwhelming majority of Americans across the political spectrum support protecting our more than 600 million acres of public lands and 4.5 million square miles of ocean. But these cherished places are under attack by members of Congress who seek to exploit them to help polluters maximize corporate profit.

Clean air shouldn’t be an issue under debate. The Clean Air Act protects people from pollution-related health problems and, according to the EPA, has been a good economic investment for the country. Yet this bedrock environmental law is constantly at risk of being weakened by members of Congress who are, shamefully, not acting in the interest of their constituents’ health.

Since January 2017, Congress has introduced at least 76 attacks on one of our most essential environmental laws.

You Can Help.

Today, we find ourselves in a fight for life or death – for ourselves and the planet, in the most important election of our lifetime.  Check out our current list of endorsements and find out how you can get involved in this election.

Help ramp up our fight to protect our planet by voting for the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund in this month’s CREDO grant.

CREDO is proud to be a long-time ally of the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. Over the years, our members have helped us donate more than $1.1 million to help the organization fight for climate justice. To learn more about our donations program and vote for this month’s grantees, please visit CREDODonations.com.

4 ways to fight back as Republicans hijack the Supreme Court

On her deathbed, progressive hero and tireless fighter for justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Yet, right now — as you are reading this — Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Republicans are stealing yet another Supreme Court seat right before an election to solidify an extreme conservative majority for a generation. 

With the all-but-inevitable confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, so many of our progressive values are on the line — including reproductive rights, climate and economic justice, voting rights, marriage equality, affordable health care and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, even the outcome of the presidential election. In short, our democracy is at stake.

So what can we do? We can do a lot. Here are 4 things you can do right now as Republicans hijack the Supreme Court.

 

Vote. Vote. Vote.

Voting in this election — and convincing all of your friends and family to vote — is now more important than ever before. With so much at stake, the results of the election will determine if the White House and Congress will be able to serve as a strong and forceful check on a right-wing Supreme Court who could overturn progressive victories like marriage equality and Roe v. Wade. 

In addition, Trump has signaled he may call into question the results of the election, which could ultimately end up in the courts and be quickly decided by the Supreme Court. Not too long ago, Vice President Al Gore’s fate was sealed in the 2000 election when the Supreme Court essentially ended the Florida recount by a 5 to 4 vote, handing the presidency to George W. Bush. But it doesn’t have to end up like that this time. If progressives vote in such overwhelming numbers, there should be no possible way Trump can cast doubt on the outcome.

Visit our allies at Vote.org to check your registration and make a plan to vote,

 

Call Your Senators.

If you’ve seen the news reports, you probably think this nomination is a done deal. And it might likely be. But progressives like us don’t take “no” for an answer — not when it’s this important and so much is on the line.

Contacting your elected officials is a critical way to make your voice heard, and you’d be surprised how influential constituent contact can be to sitting members of Congress. 

When you call, tell your senators that voters should have a voice in deciding who fills Justice Ginsburg’s seat, why they should not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee this close to an election, and all the issues that are at stake if this confirmation moves forward. Even if you believe that your senators will vote against confirmation, you should call them, explain how much this matters to you and our progressive values, and thank them for taking a stand.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and the operator can connect you to the offices of your senators.

 

Send Your Senators a Letter.

If you can’t call your senators — our preferred method of contact this close to confirmation — you have another option. 

Our allies at the ACLU have put together a simple form for you to send a letter to your senators, urging them to delay any confirmation for Justice Ginsburg’s replacement until after the inauguration. 

Click here to send a letter to your senators.

 

Follow Our Allies at Take Back the Court.

The Republican Party has spent millions of dollars over decades quietly remaking the courts in its most conservative image — mostly white, right-wing, unqualified men who hold extreme views that are out of touch with mainstream America.

Our allies at Take Back the Court are taking the fight directly to the American people by informing the public about the danger that the Supreme Court poses to democracy, and about the viability of court expansion—adding seats to the Court—as the only strategy that re-balances the court after its 2016 theft. Last month, CREDO members helped us donate $50,000 to support their important work.

Next year, if Democrats take back the White House and the Senate, they have the opportunity to un-rig the broken system that’s stripped rights away from Black voters, allowed racist gerrymandering and the flood of unlimited dark money into politics, and threatens so many of our progressive values by rebalancing the Supreme Court to reflect the views of the majority of Americans.

Learn more about Take Back the Court’s work, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Download your Biden-Trump debate bingo cards here

If you tuned into the first presidential debate, you know it wasn’t very presidential at all. Interruptions, lies, distortions, false attacks, you name it! Donald Trump turned the debate into a circus, with a clown taking center stage.

The second of three debates was to be held on Thursday, but in the Trump era, nothing is ever certain. As you likely know, Trump and many members of his (maskless) staff contracted COVID-19. With new debate rules and a virtual format in place to keep folks safe, Trump balked at the idea and the debate was canceled.

Voters deserve to watch a substantive discussion from the candidates because this is a serious election. Luckily, the third debate is still scheduled for October 22 — and we’ve put together two fun Debate Bingo Cards to bring some levity to what might otherwise be another nerve-racking debate.

From the important issues like climate, the Supreme Court and racial justice to more light-hearted quips from the candidates, you and your friends can play along during the next debate — and maybe yell less at the TV this time around!

Click Here to Download & Print Our Presidential Debate Bingo Cards and Markers

 

6 simple ways to improve your WiFi signal during the pandemic

For some of us, we’re doing a lot more work from home during the pandemic. If you or your loved ones are in school or college, you might still be getting used to distance learning. That means a lot of Zoom meetings and remote lessons, and more time spent on the internet than ever before.

If you’re fortunate enough to have multiple devices connected to your WiFi at the same time — like laptops, tablets, smartphones, a smart TV streaming Netflix, a kid watching hours of Tik Tok — you’ve probably noticed a lag in your video conference calls or slow down in your internet connection. All these devices could be putting a big strain on your home WiFi network — but we’re here to help.

We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help speed up your home WiFi to ensure your video calls run smoothly and your connections stay strong.

 

Change the placement of your router

If you’re experiencing some dropped video calls or slower than normal download speeds, it could be something as simple as the location of your WiFi router. Because WiFi signals are stronger with fewer obstructions, it might be prudent to move your router (while still connected to your modem, of course) to a more central location in your home. If you have more than one floor, try placing your router on your main or top floor of your home, if possible, and not in a basement. Try to avoid the corners of your home, and keep the router off the floor, and opt for a higher placement in the room. 

 

Upgrade your WiFi setup

If a new place for your router hasn’t cured your connection woes, you may want to upgrade your current WiFi setup. If you have an older router, it might be time for a new one, as newer routers operate on faster wireless signals. Look for new routers that conform to 802.11ac standards, or even WiFi 6 (but only if you have the hardware and internet connection to support it). Here are some recommendations from Consumer Reports.

If you have a dead zone in your home — a spot where your signal is pretty weak — consider a WiFi extender or mesh networking kit. Extenders are an inexpensive fix that work by taking the signal from your router and repeating it to your device. They’re best for a troublesome spot with poor strength, but not if you have a large area in your home that needs a stronger signal. For that, try a mesh networking kit that spreads your WiFi connection throughout your home across multiple access points.

Here are some recommendations for extenders from CNET and mesh networking kits from Wirecutter.

 

Change the channel

Most modern routers have the option to run on two different bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz connection covers a broader and longer range with better wall penetration, while 5GHz is much faster but lacks the distance. Many other common devices run on 2.4GHz, so the bandwidth may be more crowded than on the 5GHz band. The FCC recommends “dedicating the 5 GHz network on your router to your most important uses, such as work or school. Change the password or manage the devices that access your Wi-Fi network to keep non-essential devices from connecting.”

 

Check to see if you’re infected (by malware)

Your internet speeds may have nothing to do with your connection at all. It’s possible that your computer may be infected with viruses or malware, which could slow down your computer. Make sure your computer has the most recent updates and patches and your antivirus software is up to date, then run a scan. Also, reboot your router in case it’s infected with a piece of malware called VPNFilter that has infected nearly 500,000 routers worldwide.

 

Hardwire your connection

Remember ethernet cables? Plugging directly into your router or modem might be the perfect solution to a slow WiFi connection. Ethernet connections are more reliable and faster than your WiFi signal, and you’ll free up some wireless space for other devices in your home. If your computer doesn’t have a dedicated ethernet port, you can pick up an inexpensive USB-to-ethernet adapter or hub to connect directly with your ethernet cable. 

 

Upgrade your internet plan

If all else fails, you may need to consider a new plan with your Internet Service Provider, if your budget allows for it. While you may have a top of the line router, your internet service could be the bottleneck. If you first signed up for an internet plan years ago, it’s possible your ISP offers much faster plans that can accommodate higher usage on multiple devices. You may also want to check with your ISP that your modem and router (if provided by your ISP) are the newest they offer, which could provide you with faster speeds at little or no cost to you.

 

The results are in: How CREDO members feel about the 2020 election

With only days to go, Election Day is almost upon us. 

As the news cycle twists and turns by the hour, millions of Americans across the country are already casting their ballots in an election that could determine the fate of so many progressive issues we care so deeply about.

Last month, we sent our members a “Progressive Voter Survey” with a series of questions about how they will cast their ballots and their concerns for a fair, safe and accurate election. 

After thousands of responses, the results are in: our members are more excited than ever to vote, but they have some concerns.

Since we were pretty certain most CREDO members plan to vote, we first asked them how they will vote. A vast majority — 67% — plan to vote by mail, compared to combined 29% who will either vote early in-person (19%) or in-person on Election Day (10%).

Next, as recent news reports revealed issues with mail delivery and possible political manipulation at the postal service, we asked if members were concerned that the USPS may not deliver their ballots on time. 

A whopping 84% of CREDO members have some level of concern that ballots may not be delivered on time, with 45% either extremely or very concerned.

Next, we asked members about their feelings on the safety of in-person voting. A plurality of respondents (47%) believe that in-person voting will be safe, compared to 20% who believe it will not be safe, and 31% who are not sure.

We always say this election is the most important in our lifetime, so maybe there’s some bias at play, but we asked members how important this year’s election is to them. Not surprisingly, 98% believe this election is the “most important” or “more important than normal.”

Next, we asked about voter suppression. 48% of CREDO members agree that voter suppression is happening in their state, with voter ID requirements and limits on mail-in voting as the top types of voter suppression tactics they are aware of.

Lastly, we asked about racial justice and the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement. A majority of our members (85%) believe BLM will influence the outcome of the election, with 64% believing it will increase voter turnout for Joe Biden and 47% believing it will persuade voters to choose Joe Biden at the ballot box. Conversely, only 15% believe it will drive turnout for Donald Trump, and 10% believe it will persuade voters to vote for Trump.

If you haven’t voted yet or would like to get involved in this year’s election, here are some resources for you:

Vote for Center for Biological Diversity, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Innocence Project this October

Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute $150,000 to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This October, you can support climate justice, online privacy rights and civil rights by voting to fund the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Innocence Project.

Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund

Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund pushes conservation to the forefront of national policy through uncompromising campaigns that defend environmental laws, elect candidates who believe in a healthy environment and hold accountable any politician regardless of party who does not. 

Funding from CREDO members will help power the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund’s fight against Trump and any elected official whose policies accelerate the extinction crisis, harm our planet and destroy the climate.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

For 30 years, EFF has advocated for the privacy and free speech rights of all technology users. EFF’s team achieves success through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, technology development, and support from people like you.

A donation from CREDO members will help EFF fight for an open and neutral Internet, for your private conversations thanks to encryption, and for a world free of unchecked surveillance. CREDO funding will allow EFF to work in the courts and online for a better digital future.

Innocence Project

The Innocence Project’s mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

With CREDO’s support, the Innocence Project will be able to sustain and increase the crucial work needed to identify and rectify wrongful convictions and prevent them before they occur.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by October 31.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement.

Our September grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups working to fighting for climate justice, women’s rights, economic equality and more. In September, over 40,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to three important civil rights organizations: American Civil Liberties Union, Color Of Change and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our July grant recipients thank you.

American Civil Liberties Union
$56,415

“CREDO members like you advance our agenda in times of crisis, helping us confront illegal Trump actions, win “vote by mail,” topple abortion bans, defend trans lives, support policing reforms in communities of color, and more. We are so grateful!” – Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

To learn more, visit aclu.org.

Color Of Change
$48,988

“Thank you for your support! CREDO members like you help Color Of Change amplify the voices of our millions of members to move decision-makers in corporations and government to do what is right for Black people, and all people, until justice is real.” – Rashad Robinson, President, Color Of Change

To learn more, visit colorofchange.org.

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
$44,596

“Thank you for joining LDF’s fight for racial justice and equality! We appreciate your recognition of the importance of our work. With help from friends like you, LDF will continue to protect and expand America’s democracy.” – Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. 

To learn more, visit naacpldf.org.

Now check out the three groups we are funding in October, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.

After Justice Ginsburg’s passing, CREDO donates $50,000 to Take Back the Court

In the wake of the passing of progressive icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and their Republican allies are quickly moving to ram through a conservative replacement before the election to solidify a right-wing majority for generations, putting at risk Roe v. Wade, access to health care, voting rights, immigration, climate change and so much more.

The urgent need to reform our democratic institutions — including the Supreme Court — is more important now than ever before. That’s why CREDO is donating $50,000 to Take Back the Court, an important ally in the fight to expand the Supreme Court and restore the right to vote, ensure reproductive freedom, protect workers, halt our climate emergency and save our democracy.

Take Back the Court is working to inform the public about the danger that the Supreme Court poses to democracy, and about the viability of court expansion — adding seats to the Court — as the only strategy that re-balances the court after it was stolen in 2016 when the Senate blocked President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. Now that Trump and McConnell are hypocritically moving to stuff the court with another right-wing justice before an election, Take Back the Court’s work is critically important.

For some of our CREDO members, reforming and expanding the Supreme Court may be a new concept, but the progressive values we hold dear, like protecting equality and expanding civil rights, ending voter suppression, combating the climate crisis, and of course, protecting a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, all hinge on a Supreme Court that rules in favor of these values — which now could all be under threat.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are some resources about the urgency of court expansion and the critical work by Take Back the Court:

CREDO Tip: Write letters to voters and strengthen our democracy

With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so many of the progressive issues we care deeply about — women’s rights and voting rights, climate change, health care, equality, racial justice, and so much more — are hanging in the balance. 

CREDO members are now more energized than ever before to participate in the election and help protect and strengthen our democracy. 

That’s why we’ve partnered with our friends at Vote Forward to help channel that energy to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote in this election. Vote Forward has found that writing these letters is the single most effective use of volunteer time from afar.

It’s easy to sign up with Vote Forward and write letters to other voters across the country. Check out our newest CREDO Tip to learn more and get started today.

In 2020, Vote Forward’s goal is to inspire volunteers to write 10 million “Please vote!” letters in the months leading up to the election. The letters will be mailed en masse this October, at the start of the get-out-the-vote period. They’re calling it “The Big Send” and forming a coalition of volunteers and allies to help make it as big as possible. 

Vote Forward is also very aware of the recent issues and mail delays at the U.S. Postal Service. They provide guidance and reassurance on their website and have recently filed a lawsuit with a group of other plaintiffs and supported by the National Redistricting Foundation, challenging recent policy changes at the U.S. Postal Service that unlawfully infringe on the right to vote in this year’s elections. 

Here’s how you can get started with Vote Forward:

  1. Visit votefwd.org and sign up for a new account. You’ll receive a confirmation email to continue the process.
  2. After registering, you’ll need to fill out a very short questionnaire, asking you to pledge to vote and ensuring you want to help other voters this election.
  3. Vote Forward will then review your application, which should take 12 to 36 hours. Once you are approved, you’ll receive an email and you’ll be ready to start writing letters!
  4. For writing letters, the organization suggests using a blue pen and having enough stamps and #10 business envelopes for each letter. (Yes, you are actually sending the letters yourself!)
  5. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be assigned a campaign (or you can choose a new one) where you will adopt voters in a particular state to whom you’ll send letters.
  6. The Vote Forward dashboard will guide you through the entire process — from writing letters to mailing them to voters.

To learn more about Vote Forward and the process of writing letter, you can visit some of the resources on Vote Forward’s website:

With so much at stake this election, we hope you can sign up and participate in this important project — and have a little fun doing it. Let’s ensure more voters participate in this election!