The latest on student debt relief

8 mins read

Government Shutdown Clock: 31 days remain

If Congress does not pass a budget bill or CR by Friday, November 17, the government will shut down.
The House cannot pass anything until it elects a Speaker.

Our federal legislature is currently deadlocked due to the lack of a House Speaker. The House needs a Speaker in order to do its part in averting the approaching government shutdown. We are watching this debacle closely and will let you know if there are any actions to take. At the moment, though, there is nothing our Federal Working Group can ask, as there is nothing our congressional delegation can do.

It’s yet another reason we need to win back the House majority in 2024—and there is plenty to do on that front! Check out our (Get Out the) Vote page for opportunities to talk to voters in critical districts today.

It’s been a year. What’s happening with student debt relief?

A lot has happened—and some things haven’t happened—since we published our 2022 student debt relief explainer. The Department of Education has a page summarizing the current state of things, and we’ve published an updated blog post that lays out the options available to you and what’s still coming.
Some of the relief so far has been in the form of automatic forgiveness—i.e., you’d know whether you’ve received it or not. But you must apply for other relief programs, and you should look into these even if you’ve done so before, as eligibility requirements may have changed.

Read more on our blog and get your student loan relief today!

Get your 2023 vaccines

To keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors safe from respiratory illnesses that can cause long-term complications, it’s important that we keep up with our annual vaccinations. There are at least two shots you should get this fall: one for COVID-19 and one for flu. If you’re 60 or older, you should also get the new vaccine for RSV.

After some initial trouble, availability of the new, updated COVID-19 vaccines is gradually improving. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, it might be time to give it another try. In addition to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, some locations have the new third option, Novavax.

The COVID-19 vaccines are still free, but the details have changed. People with insurance will have to present their insurance, and their insurance will be billed. People without insurance can get the new vaccine for free via the CDC’s Bridge Access Program.

For more information on where to get the shot and how to get it for free if you’re uninsured, see our blog post.

Get free COVID-19 tests from USPS and also from your insurance provider

The USPS and the Biden Administration have reopened the ordering site for free COVID-19 home test kits. Use these rapid antigen tests before attending (or hosting) a gathering or other event; if you test positive, cancel—or wear a good (N95) mask and gather outside if possible. Get your tests today!

Also, as a California resident, you can still get your insurance provider to reimburse you for at-home COVID-19 test purchases, thanks to SB 510, passed in 2021. This provision lasts until November 11, so the window is closing fast—you can get covered for up to eight tests per person this month and eight per person next month.

If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens.

Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, October 26, 7:30–9 PM. Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. Register here!

TODAY: Swing Left SF Bay Area Coalition Phone Bank: Wednesday, October 18 (and every Wednesday), 2:30–4:30 PM. Join Swing Left SF and the Bay Area Coalition to phone bank for all the key 2023 elections, as we organize swing states for key elections in 2023. RSVP here.

Meet the Candidates: George Whitesides for CA-27: Thursday, October 19, 7:00–8:30 PM. The road to the House in 2024 lies through California. Join the SoCal MEET THE CANDIDATES Series to meet George Whitesides, candidate for CA-27. RSVP here.

Common Cause Local News Focus Group: four dates starting Thursday, October 19. California Common Cause is hosting listening sessions with communities in San Francisco to understand how people get local news and information and how we can make our local news ecosystem stronger.
They invite San Francisco residents to participate in one of their Zoom focus groups this October.

  • Thursday, Oct. 19, 8:30–10:00 AM
  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 6:30–8:00 PM
  • Friday, Oct. 27, 11:30 AM–1:00 PM
  • Saturday, Oct. 28, 10:00–11:30AM

Use their Airtable website to pick one of those dates for your session.

San Francisco Public Library Commission Meeting: Thursday, October 19, 4:30–8 PM at 100 Larkin Street. Join the Commission Meeting to hear about SFPL’s community outreach process and how the findings will inform its final strategic plan. ln-person or tune in from home. This meeting is in-person, but remote and call-in access is available. For instructions, see the SFPL event page.

True to Blue IN-PERSON Phone Bank for VA, OH, and CA: Saturday, October 21 (and every Saturday), 10:00–12:00 PM at 541 Castro Street. Join an in-person phone bank with the Bay Area Coalition to make calls to voters in key states for critical elections in 2023 and 2024. RSVP here.

Join or Die Doc Screening & Community Involvement Fair: Thursday, October 26, 6:30–9:00 PM at the City Hope Community Center at 45 Olive St. Join filmmaker, Gentry Wilson, and community partner, City Hope, for a relaxed, welcoming screening of Pete and Rebecca Davis’ acclaimed documentary, Join or Die – a film about why you should join a club, and why the fate of America depends on it. Admission is $10 – register here!

About this week’s photo

If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on social media, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.

Today’s graphic is from the federal student aid website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Since the January 2017, more than 4,000 San Franciscans have united as Indivisible SF to march in the Women's Marches, protest the Muslim Ban, meet regularly with our Members of Congress, and make thousands of phone calls to their offices to pressure them to do everything in their power to counter the policies and politics of Trumpism. There is much work in progress and many actions to come.

Members of Indivisible SF are defined by our action and find solidarity in our shared opposition to Trump and Trumpism. Each of us explicitly reserves our individual stances on specific issues for other forums as we believe resisting Trump is more important than any single issue. We adhere to a Code of Conduct that welcomes and respects everybody.

Members of Indivisible SF come from all kinds of backgrounds and political persuasions. Some of us are first-time activists and others have been at this for decades. We are citizens and non-citizens. Most importantly, we are all patriots that want the best for our country and are willing to work for it.

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