The Amp

February 6, 2019

This edition of The Opportunity Agenda's weekly action alert system offers tools and tips for using breaking news to frame and advance economic opportunity and racial justice solutions between Feb. 6-13, 2019. If you'd like to get the Amp delivered to your email inbox, click on the "Sign Up" button on the left.

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

Demand Reunification of Migrant Families

Last month, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services found that the Trump administration had separated thousands more children from their families than the 2,737 listed in court documents. On Friday, the administration told a federal court that it would take take too long to figure out how to reunite all the families and admitted that they have no tracking system in place. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) successfully sued the Trump administration to reunite the families. They return to court on Feb. 21 to ensure that the administration complies with the court order. Cite the values of Community, Economic Security, and Equality when talking about these developments.

Speak Out for Border Communities

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As evident in his State of the Union speech, President Trump is not backing down from the fight for the border wall. Yet the southern border is a place of hope and opportunity, not fear and conflict. It is one of the safest regions in the country, rich with culture, commerce and growth. We must continue to amplify our values of Community and Economic Security when discussing this issue.

Comment Now on Proposed SNAP Admin Rule

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The Trump administration posted its proposed rule to impose reporting requirements on SNAP recipients. This could result in 750,000 people losing food assistance. We now have 60 days (i.e. until April 2) to comment on it. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community when discussing this proposal.

Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

Month of February

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Ruben Guadalupe Marquez

Black History/Futures Month provides the opportunity to tell an affirmative story about racial justice in the United States. Amplify the values of Voice and Community.

Thursday, Feb. 7

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From 1-2pm ET, several organizations will host a #HandsOffSNAP tweetstorm to to push back and drive comments on the Trump admin’s proposed rule slashing SNAP. The deadline for comments is April 2nd. This the first of a series and upcoming actions will focus on specific stakeholder communities during the 60-day comment period. Stay tuned for the full schedule of topics.

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On this day, six years ago, Mississippi officially certified the 13th Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery and involuntary servitude. The amendment makes punishment for a crime as the only exception, which today is often discussed in the criminal justice reform debate (i.e. see Ava Devernay’s documentary, “13th”). Use this anniversary to talk about the continued need for racial justice in the U.S., especially in our criminal justice system. Cite the values of Redemption and Community.

Friday, Feb. 8

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On this day in 1887, U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed the Dawes Act into law, imposing private land ownership on American Indians. This was intended to break up tribes as communal units and threaten tribal sovereignty. Use this anniversary to advocate for racial and economic justice for Native Americans. Cite the values of Voice and Economic Opportunity.

Saturday, Feb. 9

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The acclaimed documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about Fred Rogers arrives on television: Both PBS and HBO will air the film. For over 30 years, the beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues. Use the film to discuss the importance of values like Community, Voice and Equality.

Sunday, Feb. 10

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The 61st Grammy awards will take place at 8pm EST. Women have been nominated for a record number of awards. One of the nominees, 21 Savage, was recently arrested by ICE after criticizing the agency on national television. Activists plan to use the ceremony to draw attention to his case. Resistance will undoubtedly be an overarching theme with Cardi B. (who is also nominated) likely to make political statements. When discussing the Grammys, cite the values of Community and Voice.

Monday, Feb. 11

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Each year, the president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) presents the State of Indian Nations around the time that coincides with the U.S. president's State of the Union. NCAI President Jefferson Keel will “outline the goals of tribal leaders, the opportunities for success and advancement of Native peoples, and priorities to advance the nation-to-nation relationship with the United States.” A member of Congress is invited each year to deliver a congressional response.

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On this day in 1978, Native American activists launched "The Longest Walk," a 3,200-mile spiritual walk across the country to support tribal sovereignty and challenge anti-Indian legislation that limited water rights. When discussing this anniversary, cite the values of Voice and Economic Opportunity.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

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On this day in 1968, African American sanitation workers went on strike in Memphis, Tennessee for better pay and safer working conditions. The strikers would create the iconic image with their “I am a man,” posters. During the strike, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis, where he was assassinated. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Economic Security, and Equality.

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