GI Bill restoration, climate wins in court, get Ohio over the November finish line, and more!
Contact all members of Congress:
- By phone: (202) 224-3121
- By email: democracy.io
- By US mail: Representatives / Senators
- By fax: Representatives / Senators
- By Resistbot: Resist.bot
Contact White House or other federal agencies:
- GI BILL RESTORATION ACT
The GI Bill was a godsend to many soldiers following World War II. It established hospitals, made low-interest mortgages available and granted stipends covering tuition and expenses for veterans attending college or trade schools. Most of these benefits , however, were not extended to Black veterans which has played a roll in the racial wealth gap. Lawmakers have re-introduced the GI Bill Restoration Act (H.R. 1255) to compensate families of these WWII veterans. Nearly half of our state attorneys general urge Congress to approve this legislation. Let’s add our voices and let our MoCs know that we, too, want this to pass to address this misstep in our history.
- CLIMATE WINS IN THE COURTROOM
This week saw a landmark victory in the courtroom for the environment. A state court in Montana ruled in favor of young people who claimed their right to a “clean and healthful environment” was violated by a provision in state law that prevented Montana from considering the climate impact of energy projects. While the decision in Held v. Montana is subject to appeal and based on a specifically enumerated right in the state constitution, it is a clear sign that a judicial approach to forcing climate action could bear fruit. Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit law firm in the Montana case, has cases pending in four other states, including one set for trial in Hawaii next year, and is pursuing a federal suit in Juliana v. U.S. which is on a path to finally be heard in court after years of setbacks and despite Justice Department resistance. Let’s urge the DoJ to stop obstructing Juliana v. U.S. from proceeding to trial. We can also donate to Our Children’s Trust to support their continued efforts.
- VICTORY IN OHIO – NOW LET’S DO IT AGAIN!
Part one of our mission is done, as democracy defenders won a sweeping victory against the effort to change the ballot initiative process in Ohio. Now it’s on to November, where we’ll have a chance to pass another initiative to permanently enshrine reproductive rights in the Ohio constitution. Let’s get to work! We can sign up to volunteer with #ProtectChoiceOhio or the Ohio Democratic Party to take part in this fight.
- SEND POSTSCARDS TO GET OUT THE YOUTH VOTE IN OHIO
On November 7, 2023, Ohio voters will decide whether to enshrine reproductive freedom and abortion rights in the state’s constitution. The Civics Center is offering us the opportunity to write to young voters in Ohio to urge them and their friends to go to the polls. Postcards must be mailed by September 22 to meet the voter registration deadline. Let’s order our postcards and start writing! If we need stamps, we can order “forever” postcard stamps from the US Postal Service store.
- VIRGINIA’S NOVEMBER 2023 LEGISLATIVE ELECTION Every seat in Virginia’s state legislature us up for grabs this November. Vote Forward, the organization that hosts letter-writing campaigns, has a new initiative starting, this one focused on young voters in Virginia. We “can write letters focused on three key issues—gun violence prevention, climate action, and reproductive freedom.” They have “designed these Labs campaigns to focus on these topics because they are critical to young voters nationwide, and because they could be impacted by the election results in Virginia this fall.” We can sign up to write letters for this campaign here.
- NJ – PASS A STATE VOTING RIGHTS ACT, EVENT *TODAY*
The Voting Rights Act turned 58 earlier this month, and this crucial protection for our democracy remains under assault. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, we’ve been faced with a torrent of new obstacles to voting, whether through voter ID, early voting reductions, burdens on voter by mail, racial gerrymanders, voter roll purges or changes to polling places. But while efforts to restore the VRA have been blocked by Republicans at the federal level, we’ve seen some progress closer to home: Connecticut recently became the sixth state to pass a voting rights act of their own. Advocates in New Jersey are pushing legislation to make our state the seventh. Let’s join our state’s VRA coalition today at 12pm for a webinar on their new report about the impact of such a measure, and use their tool to send a message to our legislators urging them to take action on a New Jersey Voting Rights Act.
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