Biden impeachment, libraries, abortion medication, and more!
Contact all members of Congress:
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Contact White House or other federal agencies:
- THE UAW IS ON STRIKE
The “Big Three” US automakers failed to offer their workers a fair deal before midnight, so the United Auto Workers are on strike. The union agreed to deep cuts to wages and benefits during the Great Recession, sacrificing to save the industry – and years later, their wage and benefit levels are still there, even with Stellantis, GM and Ford back to generating billions. They’ve made a quarter-trillion in North American profits in the last decade, and CEO pay is up 40% in four years – compared to just 6% for regular workers, who are working more and longer shifts at a more intense pace. The United Autoworkers union is pushing for wage increases equivalent to the CEOs, a 32-hour workweek, the restoration of traditional pensions and retiree health benefits, an end to wage and benefit tiers, a reinstatement of cost-of-living adjustments, stronger job security, and assurances the transition to EVs will be unionized. Workers are beginning with targeted strikes at key locations for all three corporations, enabling them to grind the industry’s gears to a halt without draining their strike fund. Let’s show our solidarity for this labor action! We can a) use this tool from More Perfect Union to urge our senators and representatives to speak out publicly in support of the workers, and track who has and hasn’t stepped up here; b) sign the UAW’s letter to the CEOs in support of the workers here; c) use this action kit from the UAW to contact the CEOs here; and d) sign up for updates from the UAW here. We can follow comprehensive coverage of the strike from a worker’s perspective from Labor Notes at this landing page, and contribute to support their work here or here.
- IMPEACHMENT OR GOVERNMENT FUNDING, FLOOD INSURANCE, FARM BILL, SAFE FLIGHTS…
We’re just 15 days from a government shutdown, and House Republicans can’t even find the votes to get their own version of the defense spending bill passed. Meanwhile, we also face end of September deadlines for a new Farm Bill and reauthorization of the FAA, the global HIV/AIDS program PEPFAR, community health center funding, pandemic preparedness, substance abuse aid, funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the national flood insurance program, along with the child care cliff. Is the GOP knuckling down and trying to address any of these crucial issues with real impact on American lives? Of course not – they’re focused on a sham impeachment effort based on nonsense allegations against Joe Biden, one that historians have condemned as the weakest impeachment case in history and that multiple congressional Republicans have admitted lacks evidence. Let’s contact our members of Congress and make it clear to them: we know these accusations are baseless, and we demand they stop this witch hunt and focusing on getting things done for the country.
- STOP THE COMSTOCK ACT ATTACK ON ABORTION
Right wing attacks on access to abortion medication have centered on the Comstock Act, an 1873 law that makes it a crime to deliver “obscene, lewd or lascivious material” through the mail. Whether or not provisions of this act that discuss abortion and birth control can still be applied to legal, FDA-approved pills will be fought out in the courts, but we don’t have to wait for judges to weigh in to act. Let’s ask our members of Congress to support the Freedom to Decide Act (H.Con.Res.33), which would make law the current Justice Department policy that access to medication abortion is legal and the Comstock Act does not apply. Let’s also ask our lawmakers and Democratic candidates to commit to backing a full repeal of the Comstock Act the next time we have full control of Congress, to put this threat to burden reproductive rights down for good.
- SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 IS NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAYCheck in with your friends and family and encourage them to register to vote, sign up to help register other voters and/or check your voter registration status. This link will help you get started. Your VOTE is your VOICE. You can help others by registering new Voters. Let’s prepare and get ready to get out the vote. We can use this link to register to vote, check our voter registration, and find other ways to get involved.
- LEVERAGE OUR LIBRARIES FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENTThe Toledo Lucas County Public Library in Ohio has unveiled a beautiful Civic Engagement page on its website. Figuring out how to register to vote, run for office, find our polling places, and other election information can be daunting exercises. Libraries can also help to curb the impacts of book-banning, as the Brooklyn, Seattle, and other public libraries have done by offering digital access to their collection to teens in districts with book bans Public libraries are trusted community resources, and no one is better at organizing information than librarians! Let’s share the link to the Toledo Library’s Civic Engagement website and also scan this report from the Urban Libraries Council on the ways that libraries can help. Then, let’s share these with our local librarian and ask them to implement both.
- CHILDHOOD POVERTY DOUBLED LAST YEARSIn 2021, during the pandemic, Congress approved monthly payments of up to $300 per child, per month. Studies have shown that the monthly payments . . . helped to significantly reduce child poverty and child hunger in the country. The monthly federal expanded child tax credit (CTC) payments stopped at the end of the year when the legislation to extend them did have enough support in Congress. As a result, child poverty doubled last year. We’ve shown that we can reduce childhood poverty; it is within our reach. Regardless of the source of that poverty, we the people can help alleviate at least part of the negative consequences for children. Let’s contact our MoCs and tell them that we support this kind of legislation that can help improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
- VICTIMS OF CRIME ACT (VOCA) FUNDING UNDER ATTACKThe federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants, which provide lifesaving services to millions of victims each year, is facing cuts that will likely cut or curtail services to agencies all over the country. The proposed amount for VOCA grants in the FY24 budget is a 40% cut from the current amount. Places like National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is joining with National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) to let people know that at, “this proposed funding level, thousands of victim service providers across the nation will be forced to lay off staff, cut programs, and/or shut their doors. The cuts will fall hardest on the smallest programs, particularly programs in rural communities, low-income communities, and Communities of Color. The cuts mean that victims in danger and crisis will have nowhere to turn.” While their day of action has passed, we can still contact our MoCs about maintaining the VOCA funding levels and use this toolkit.
- RESIST THE GUTTING OF WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
The Republican war on higher education is taking an ominous turn in West Virginia, where the leadership of the state’s flagship university is now proposing devastating program and staff cuts – discontinuing 32 majors and firing 7% of the faculty. Along with deep reductions in graduate studies, this would include the entire World Languages Department – WVU students would no longer be able to get a foreign language bachelor’s degree, the first flagship university in the country not to offer such a program. These measures come after years of falling enrollment, financial mismanagement by President Gordon Gee and university leadership, and public funding cuts by the legislature created a $45 million budget shortfall. If this disinvestment in the humanities succeeds in West Virginia, other states may follow suit. The WVU Board of Governors is set to vote on these recommendations on Friday. Let’s contact them via Special Assistant to the Board of Governors Valerie Lopez (Valerie.email@example.com) and ask them to reject these cuts. We can also share with them this open letter by WVU professors, or use it for talking points.
- WHAT’S AT STAKE IN LOUISIANA ELECTIONS
The odds are tough, but the stakes are high in the first round of elections in Louisiana on October 14th. The leading GOP candidate for governor in the all-party primary is Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who has long worked to undermine city control of their own affairs and criminal justice reform and has repeatedly singled out Black public officials and areas with high populations of Black residents for attack . He tried to withhold flood protection funds after city officials suggested they wouldn’t prioritize enforcing the states’ abortion bans and promised to “bend [New Orleans] to his will” while championing unrestrained, unaccountable policing. Former state transportation secretary Shawn Wilson is the leading Democrat in the race and he’s in for a tough fight, as are those opposing an effort to ban private funding for elections and write an election fraud conspiracy theory into state law. Let’s do what we can to help before early voting starts September 30th. We can sign up here to volunteer with the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice or sign on for a phonebank shift with Organize Louisiana here.
- RUNNING VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVESWith approximately 4 million Americans turning 18 each year, there will be many more eligible voters before the 2024 election. Before we can get out the vote, we must register the voters. Fortunately, The Civics Center is running some great trainings in early October about how to run voter registration drives at high schools: Let’s take a look at what they offering and see what is possible in our own communities.
- SOME – PASS LEGISLATION TO BAN TAXES ON MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS AND DIAPERSJessica Craven, in her wonderful good news Sunday round-up, reported that Texas became the latest state to ban taxes on menstrual products and diapers. There are still 20 states that charge taxes on menstrual products and 28 states that charge taxes on diapers. Let’s check our state’s current policies and, if our state has not already done so, let’s ask our state legislators to pass legislation to eliminate taxes on these essential products.
- MA—SUPPORT “PRIMARY CARE FOR YOU” LEGISLATIONMassachusetts Health Quality Partners, an independent research organization, is warning that the MA primary care system is on the decline. Spending on primary care is decreasing. The percentage of primary care doctors is shrinking. Nearly a third of primary care physicians are over 60 years old. And less than a quarter of MA medical school grads are becoming primary care doctors. Meanwhile, “underinvestment in primary care is an oft-cited reason for why the US healthcare system outspends and underperforms peer high-income countries.” A bill in the state senate, An Act Relative to Primary Care for You, S.750, will double primary care investment, decrease health inequities, and change the primary care payment model from fee-for-services to a monthly prospective payment. Let’s tell our state senators to co-sponsor S.750, and let’s submit testimony in favor of S.750 to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing using this tool.
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