The Amp

January 23, 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. 23-30, 2019.

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

Tell Congress to Vote Yes on Reopening the Government

For the first time since the start of the government shutdown, the Senate is slated to vote on two competing bills to end the impasse. Federal/D.C. employees, their unions, and other organizations are planning to occupy the Hart federal building today to demand that the Senate vote to reopen the government. The ramifications of the shutdown are becoming clearer, especially for Americans receiving medical, food, and housing assistance. We must continue to amplify our values of Community and Economic Security.

Keep Pushing to Eliminate the Census Citizenship Question


In response to last week’s decision to remove the census citizenship question, the White House has asked the Supreme Court to take up consideration of the case, bypassing the U.S. Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross agreed to testify to Congress about his controversial decision last year to add the question to the 2020 census. Discuss these developments with your audiences by citing the values of Community, Economic Opportunity, and Voice.

    Month of January

    by Benhur Arcayan

    During Poverty Awareness Month, Americans are encouraged 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.

    Wednesday, Jan. 23


    Today is the birthday of Edward Verne Roberts, who was a pioneering advocate for people with disabilities. Many consider him the “father of independent living.”  The new film, “The Upside,” also focuses on the issue of independent living for people with disabilities. Use the anniversary and the film to discuss how imposing work reporting requirements on Medicaid recipients will hurt people with disabilities. Use the values of Equality and Economic Mobility.


    At 1pm ET, the Arab American Institute will present findings of its research on get-out-the-count census messages that resonate with hard to count communities. The briefing is part of a series convened by the Funders Census Initiative. Register here.

    Friday, Jan. 25


    On Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, the Internal Revenue Service and community groups want to “increase eligibility awareness of refundable credits that many miss claiming or don’t get right.” Discuss the EITC using the values of Economic Security and Community.


    Starting on this day, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture launches the People’s State of the Union, to “build  bonds of empathy and connection by coming together in our own homes, schools, houses of worship, and community organizations and sharing our own take on the state of our union.” There are two main parts: Story Circles and a Poetic Address to the Nation.


    From 12pm - 1pm ET, advocates are launching a twitterstorm to mark the second anniversary of the “Muslim Ban” on Jan. 27 to draw the public’s attention to the ongoing injustice of the Muslim Ban, the impacts on refugee communities, and build support for a legislative fight. President Trump’s executive order 13769 barred the entry of nationals and refugees from 11 Muslim-majority nations. The Supreme Court upheld the third iteration of the Muslim Ban this past June.  Discuss this anniversary with the values of Community and Equality.

    Sunday, Jan. 27


    Today is the second anniversary of  President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” executive order which barred the entry of nationals and refugees from 11 Muslim-majority nations. See twitterstorm on Friday, Jan. 25 above.

    Tuesday, Jan. 29


    President Trump is moving ahead with plans to give his State of the Union address to Congress. It’s unclear where it will be held since Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not invited the president to the House of Representatives due to the government shutdown. Follow the Amp for updates.

    Wednesday, Jan. 30


    Korematsu Day celebrates the birth of Fred Korematsu who challenged the constitutionality of President Roosevelt’s executive order to create the “relocation camps” or internment camps for Japanese-Americans. The case is being discussed in relation to Trump’s Muslim Ban. Cite the values of Equality, Community, and Voice when talking about this date.


    At 2 pm ET, join The Opportunity Agenda’s webinar, Five Lessons for Shifting the Narrative on Migrants & the Border Region, as we explore the potential for artists and advocates to shift the narrative on migrants and the border region, and look at new opportunities to persuade and inspire, even as fear-mongering and white nationalism intensify. Featured guests will share their narrative shift strategies. Register now.

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