The Amp

December 12, 2018

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.

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.



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.

Also keep an eye on during the holidays:


The Central American migrant exodus and family separation at the border continue to make news.

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.

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.

Saturday, Dec. 15

horward_morland via Flickr CC

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.


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.

Friday, Dec. 21

k3nna via Flickr CC

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.

Christmas and Kwanzaa

fauxto digit via Flickr CC

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.


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).

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