The Amp

February 27, 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. 27-March 6, 2019. If you'd like to get the Amp delivered to your inbox, click the "Sign Up" button on the left.

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

Support “Raise the Wage” Act

A few weeks ago, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a bill, known as the “Raise the Wage Act,” to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. New research from the Economic Policy Institute demonstrates that raising the federal minimum wage would directly or indirectly lift the wages of nearly 40 million working people―27 percent of the wage-earning workforce in the United States. Discuss this legislation citing the values of Economic Security and Community.

Stand With the House for our National Values

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This week, The House of Representatives voted to void President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to fund a border wall. Rep. John Lewis said it was the duty of Congress to “oppose this monument of hate.” The Senate will vote on the legislation in the next weeks. We need to continue to promote a positive, values-based vision of the southern border and its vibrant communities, and to call for actions that promote immigration policies that reflect our values as a nation, such as Community and Voice.

Demand Accountability for Family Separations

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This week, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Trump administration’s zero tolerance family separation policy. New data was also released showing that the Office of Refugee Resettlement received 4,500 allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment over the past three years. Support the committee’s work to hold the administration accountable for this harmful practice which has separated thousands of migrant families. Cite the values of Community, Economic Security, and Equality when talking about these developments.

Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

Wednesday, Feb. 27

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On Feb. 27, 1973, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) began their occupation of Wounded Knee, site of the 1890 massacre, in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. The occupation lasted 71 days and called attention to living conditions and mistreatment from federal and local agencies. Use this anniversary to talk about the values of Economic Security and Voice for Native American communities.

Thursday, Feb. 28

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From 1-2pm EST, the Center for American Progress will hold a #HandsOffSNAP tweet storm on food banks and hunger in relation to the administration’s proposed SNAP rule on work requirements.

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On this day in 1968, the special Kerner Commission released its investigation findings on the 1967 uprisings in several U.S. cities (including the Detroit Rebellion) after police actions. Its most famous passage reads: "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal." Cite the values of Voice, Equality, and Community when discussing this anniversary.

During the Month of March

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The theme for this year’s Women's History Month is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” The National Women’s History Alliance chose this to honor "women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society."Use this hook to discuss the vital role that women have played in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Be sure to cite the values of Equality and Voice. 

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It’s also National Professional Social Work Month when social workers and their supporters educate the public about the invaluable contributions of the profession. The National Association of Social Workers will also use the month to push for better pay for social workers, which continues to lag behind that of other helping professions. Use this hook to discuss the values of Community and Economic Security.

Friday, March 1

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Starting at 8:30am EST,  the American Psychological Association will convene a National Conversation on Deep Poverty to explore the causes, impact, and potential solutions to extreme poverty with a cross-disciplinary panel of experts dedicated to unraveling the problem.

  • Take Action: Watch and share the LIVE STREAM. For those in the DC area who are interested in attending this free event in-person, register here.
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Today is also the 16th birthday of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Use this anniversary to take stock of an agency that has deported millions of people and separated thousands of families in the process. Cite the values of Community, Family Unity, and Economic Security.

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On this day in 1968, students walked out of their high schools in East Los Angeles to protest the quality of their education and in support of civil rights for Mexican Americans. The protest was the first of many and inspired later protests that used similar tactics. To talk about this anniversary, use the values of Voice and Equality.

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On this day in 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law. The world’s first national park was born. This anniversary is particularly relevant this year because earlier this month the Senate passed a public lands act with overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats. The bill not only protects millions of acres of land and miles of rivers, but it also contains provisions for Native Americans and African Americans. When discussing this anniversary and recent legislation, cite the values of Community and Economic Security.

Saturday, March 2

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On March 2, 1955 (nine months before Rosa Parks’ act of civil disobedience), 15- year old Claudette Colvin was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. She became one of four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, which ruled that Montgomery's segregated bus system was unconstitutional. When discussing this anniversary, cite the values of Equality and Voice as well as the importance of youth voices in social justice activism.

Sunday, March 3

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On this day in 1991, officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were captured on camera beating Rodney King during a traffic stop. This anniversary offers the opportunity to discuss police accountability and over-policing in communities affected by poverty. Cite the values of Community and Redemption.

Tuesday, March 5

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From 1-2pm EST, the Center for American Progress will hold its weekly #HandsOffSNAP tweet chat to raise awareness and drive public comments on the proposed SNAP rule. This week’s theme is women, children and families. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community when discussing this proposal.

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