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 Dec. 12 - 31, 2018.
Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Talking About the First Step Act
Senator Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will vote on The First Step Act, Senate bill 3649 to address some of the existing flaws in our criminal justice system. As it is currently written, the act would reform several unfavorable sentencing policies, such as decreasing mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses. When talking about the act, highlight the values of Equal Justice, Fairness, and Due Process. It’s also important to talk about Community Safety, Preventing Harm, and ensuring Accountability while lifting up Pragmatism.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About the First Step Act: One Step Toward Criminal Justice Reform; New York Times' podcast The Daily on the Criminal Justice Overhaul and Transforming the System
- Hashtags: #FirstStepAct #cjreform #cut50
Prevent Potential Government Shutdown
Congress must approve government funding by Dec. 21 to avoid a shutdown. Trump said this week that he would be “proud” to let the government shut down if he doesn’t get $5 billion committed to building the border wall. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security when talking about border communities.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s 5 Tips for Talking About Border Communities Without Talking about a Wall; National Immigration Law Center's Trump Threatens to Hold Government Hostage to Get His Wall; Fair Immigration Reform Movement's We’ll Say It Again: Not One Dollar for Trump’s Demands; Sally Kohn’s Why does it take a voice from the hereafter to make Republicans do the right thing?
- Hashtags: #nobannowall #noborderwall
Support an Equitable Farm Bill
The Congressional conference committee released its Farm Bill this week and it includes no (work) reporting requirements for SNAP recipients. Advocates should take some credit for helping defeat the proposals that were included in the House version of the legislation. Talk about this positive development citing the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about Economic Justice; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill Protects SNAP; Center for American Progress’ The Farm Bill Compromise Represents a Major Victory for American Families; Food Research and Action Center's Farm Bill Agreement Rejects Array of Harmful SNAP Provisions and Keeps Food on the Table for Millions of People Struggling Against Hunger; Coalition on Human Needs' With Farm Bill, most in Congress are poised to reject punitive rules that would lead to hunger and hardship
- Hashtags: #FarmBill #HandsOffSNAP
Also keep an eye on during the holidays:
The Central American migrant exodus and family separation at the border continue to make news.
- Messaging and communication tools: Five Questions to ask when Crafting Messages about Refugees in the Current Climate and Three Things to Remember When Talking about the President’s Proclamation on Asylum-Seekers
- Hashtags: #DefundHate #DefundICE #DefundCBP
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
Now until Saturday, Dec. 15
Open enrollment for health insurance plans ends this Saturday, Dec.15. Besides helping to advertise this fact when the Trump administration refuses to, you can discuss the importance of health care insurance by citing the values of Community and Economic Security.
- Resources: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' social media graphics on open enrollment; Families USA’s Open Enrollment resource clearinghouse; Georgetown University Center for Children and Families' Navigator Resource Guide; GetAmericaCovered.org; Kaiser Family Foundation’s FAQs: Marketplace Eligibility, Enrollment Periods, Plans and Premiums
- Messaging and communication tools: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' By December 15: Shop for Coverage, Update Your Information on HealthCare.gov
- Hashtags: #ACA #GetCovered
Thursday, Dec. 13
Today would have been the birthday of civil rights activist Ella Baker, who played an instrumental role in the movement. Use this day to talk about the intersectional nature of the struggle for racial justice in the United States. Cite the values of Equality and Community when talking about Ella Baker and her legacy.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Tips for Putting Intersectionality into Practice and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Ella Baker Center for Human Rights’ Who was Ella Baker?
- Hashtag: #EllaBaker
- Add to calendar
Saturday, Dec. 15
Bill of Rights Day was designated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to commemorate the first 10 amendments becoming a part of the Constitution of the United States in 1791. A few years later, Roosevelt called for a Second Bill of Rights to ensure economic security and prosperity. In telling your story, we recommend leading with the values of Equality and Community.
Monday, Dec. 17
At 2pm ET, advocates will mark the one year anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (or “Tax Scam”) with a tweetchat. MomsRising, Americans for Tax Fairness, National Women’s Law Center, Patriotic Millionaires, Public Citizen, and Tax March invite you to “mark this shamiversary by discussing all the ways this legislation has failed America’s working families, greatly benefited mega-corporations, and what we can do in 2019 to overturn these policies.” Refer to the values of Community and Economic Security when tweeting about this anniversary.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Quick Tips for Talking About Poverty and Taxes and Americans for Tax Fairness’ #TaxScamTurns1 Digital Toolkit; The Trump-GOP Tax Cuts One Year Later and The 2018 Tax Debate Media Briefing Book
- Hashtag: #TaxScamTurns1
On this day in 1944, Public Proclamation No. 21 ended Japanese-American internment and eventually allowed them return to their homes. For the 110,000 Americans who were “relocated” during World War II, this announcement ended a shameful period in American history, one that President Reagan apologized for many years later. Today advocates are making comparison between the internment camps, the present day detention of migrants and the banning of Muslim immigrants. Talk about this anniversary by referring to the values of Community, Voice and Equality.
Tuesday, Dec. 18
International Migrants Day recognizes and celebrates the rights of migrants around the world. In discussing migration, we recommend leading with the values of Equality, Mobility and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's 5 Key Facts: Online Discussion of Immigration in the Trump Era; Five Questions to ask when Crafting Messages about Refugees and Three Things to Remember When Talking about the President’s Proclamation on Asylum-Seekers; Center for Community Change's Messaging on Immigration and Executive Actions; and RadioPublic's Immigration and migration podcasts.
- Hashtags: #MigrantsDay, #IMD2018 and #ForMigration
Friday, Dec. 21
Today is the deadline for Congress to approve funding to keep the government running. Cite the values of Community and Economic Security when talking about border communities, which are a bargaining chip in the negotiations.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s 5 Tips for Talking About Border Communities Without Talking about a Wall; Sally Kohn’s Why does it take a voice from the hereafter to make Republicans do the right thing?
- Hashtags: #nobannowall #noborderwall
Christmas and Kwanzaa
Help your audiences prepare for effective and meaningful conversations about racial justice and economic opportunity with family over the holidays. Refer to values of Equality, Voice and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Five Tips for Surviving Holiday Conversations; the Social Justice Phrase Guide and Transforming the System (re criminal justice); Colorlines: 5 Ways to Face Race at the Thanksgiving Table – and Not Choke; Southern Poverty Law Center: Responding to Everyday Bigotry; The New York Times: How to Argue Fairly and Without Rancor
- Hashtag: #futureoverfear
There are a number of films with social justice themes that are premiering in movie theaters over the holiday break, i.e. “On the Basis of Sex;” “Mary Poppins;” “If Beale Street Could Talk;” and “Boy Erased.” Also there are great films streaming like “Roma” (Netflix), “Icebox” and “En El Séptimo Día” (HBO).
- Messaging and communications tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Future Over Fear: Pop Culture Strategies at Your Fingertips and Power of POP Media Analysis of Representations of Immigrants in Popular TV Shows; AndAction’s Pop Culture Works for Social Change; Pop Culture Collaborative’s Imagining a Future Beyond White Supremacy
- Hashtag: #MakeJusticePop