The Amp

January 9, 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 Jan. 9 - 16, 2018.

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

Hold Firm on Our Values, End #TrumpShutdown

Last night on national television, President Trump tried to up the ante in his stalemate with Congressional Democrats over the proposed border wall. Trump repeated misinformation and unsubstantiated fear-mongering claims that he has used for years. As a result of the government funding impasse, federal programs have been shut down for 18 days, affecting millions of Americans, potentially including those receiving medical and food assistance. Our values must not be compromised when addressing these actions. The current moment provides us with even more opportunities to amplify our values of Community and Economic Security as effectively as possible.

Stand Against SNAP Rule-Making on Reporting Requirements

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At the end of December, the Trump administration proposed the SNAP rulemaking that imposes reporting requirements targeted unemployed and underemployed workers. The move sidesteps Congress after similar measures were removed from the final Farm Bill and endangers food assistance for nearly 755,000 Americans. Once the rule is posted in the Federal Register, there will be 60 days for the public to comment. Be sure to refer to the values of Community and Economic Security when talking about this rulemaking.

Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

Month of January

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During Poverty Awareness Month, the Catholic community urges Americans to “take up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor.” Use this month to discuss poverty with your audiences and cite the values of Community and Economic Opportunity.

Thursday, Jan. 10

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On this day in 1957, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convened 60 Black ministers in Atlanta for a meeting that resulted in the Founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1968, the SCLC launched the Poor People's Campaign  (which recently relaunched). In telling your story, we recommend leading with the values of Voice and Community.

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In Washington, D.C., several labor unions are holding a rally to protest the continuing shutdown and resulting furloughs that are financially hurting 800,000 federal employees and families. The rally starts  at AFL-CIO headquarters and marches to the White House.

Friday, Jan. 11

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Human Trafficking Awareness Day is an opportunity to draw more attention to forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude and sex trafficking that affect thousands of men, women and children in the U.S. and around the world. Refer to the values of Voice, Economic Security, and Equality when discussing human trafficking.

Wednesday, Jan. 16

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One hundred years ago on this day, Prohibition was legalized when the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, outlawing “intoxicating liquors.” The ban came into effect in 1920 and lasted for 13 years until it was reversed by the 21st amendment. Today we view this period as a wasteful, punitive and ill-conceived intrusion on the lives of Americans. Current discussions about criminal justice reform and drug policy demonstrate that our nation is moving towards more effective and humane ways of dealing with addiction harm reduction. Use this anniversary to discuss how far our nation has come in upholding the values of Redemption and Community.

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