Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Rent Relief Now
Millions who are out of work due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic now face the double threat of eviction. Roughly one-third of those living in rental households — or 30-40 million people — are at risk of eviction according to an analysis by the Covid-19 Eviction Defense Project and the Aspen Institute. Black and Latinx renters make up nearly 80% of this group.
A federal moratorium on evictions ended July 24. Republicans in Congress and President Trump — whose family wealth was built on rent payments from lower income families — have shown an unwillingness to take up the issue. At the same time, many state and local governments are facing budget shortfalls due to the pandemic that limit their ability to provide direct rent relief.
A patchwork of eviction moratoriums in states and counties offer temporary safety. But without rent relief, many jobless renters will face heavy debt to pay back rent and late fees when they do find new jobs.
Resources: The Opportunity Agenda’s three pillars of economic opportunity, Talking About Economic Justice, and On Disparate Impact: Inclusive Communities Supreme Court argument (2015); COVID-19 Tenant Organizing Materials (Right to Counsel NYC Coalition);
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
August 12 - 26
Events and Cultural Hooks:
August 13 — Black Women’s Equal Pay Day 2020, the approximate day that an African-American woman must work into the new year to make what a white non-Hispanic man made at the end of the previous year. This is based on the 2020 calculation of 62¢ for every dollar, a mere penny more and nine days earlier than in 2019. Use this news hook to talk about the values of Equality and Economic Security.
- Take action: Join a social media storm at 2 p.m. ET
- Messaging and communication tools: Equal Pay Today’s 2020 Toolkit; Inequality.org’s Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide; The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Economic Justice and Shifting the Narrative on Poverty;
- Hashtags: #BlackWomensEqualPay and #BlackWomenCantWait
- August 14, 1 p.m. ET — Please join The Opportunity Agenda and partners for a free webinar introducing the new COVID-19 Social Justice Guide. In this webinar, The Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting, Demos, and The Opportunity Agenda will present our new messaging tool, Map The Truth, a COVID-19 Social Justice Guide.
- August 17-27 — The Democratic National Convention (August 17-20) in Milwaukee and Republican National Convention (August 24-27) in Charlotte are both modified to be mainly virtual events amid the Covid-19 crisis.
- August 23 — Today, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.
Birthdays and Anniversaries:
- August 12, 2017 — During a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, counter protester Heather Heyer, was killed.
- August 14, 1935 — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act.
- August 14, 2016 — Professional football player Colin Kaepernick first protested racial injustice and police brutality during the national anthem.
- August 15, 2012 — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) began to be implemented. This anniversary is important because DACA recipients and their families are currently under threat as the Trump administration continues to dismantle DACA despite recent Supreme Court rulings.
- August 15, 1969 — Woodstock, one of the biggest rock festivals of all time and a cultural touchstone for the late 1960s, began on this day in 1969.
- On or about August 20, 1619 — the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in North America.
- August 20, 1964 — President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act into law. This created Head Start and nine other federal programs to combat poverty.
- August 21, 1988 — President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring today National Senior Citizens Day. Use this hook to discuss how safety net programs are vital for elderly Americans.
- August 21, 2018 — men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declared a National Prison Strike in response to the riot at the Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina, where seven people lost their lives. The strikers demanded “humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.”
- August 22, 1996 — President Bill Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, known as “Welfare Reform.” The act created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which Congress is currently considering changing drastically.
- August 24, 1945 — The birthday of LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969, a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, and S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) along with Sylvia Rivera.
- August 25, 2017 — President Trump granted a pardon to Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his obstruction of justice conviction. By pardoning him, the president sent a message that civil liberties are only for some, and that he is fine with law enforcement flouting the very laws they are meant to uphold. Other sheriffs, like Butler County’s Richard Jones, are continuing to follow Arpaio’s example.
- August 25, 1925 — A. Philip Randolph and colleagues launched the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The union was was the first labor organization led by African Americans to receive a charter in the American Federation of Labor and played a vital role in U.S. labor and civil rights movements.
- August 26, 1920 — the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted. While a groundbreaking accomplishment, it only gave white women the right to vote since Jim Crow laws prevented many women of color from exercising this right for decades.