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 July 11 - 18.
Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Demand Rigorous and Careful Scrutiny of Supreme Court Nominee
The president announced his nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. While the challenge of this nomination is great, and the stakes are high, the ideals of freedom and equality are too important to be ignored in a hasty or perfunctory confirmation process. The Supreme Court represents the last line of defense for our country’s most cherished rights, and for our democracy’s very stability. This is an opportunity to tell the story of the nation we can and should be. Cite the values of Voice and Equality when discussing the nomination.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Recommended Messaging on the Supreme Court Nominee Announcement; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Civil Rights Leaders Discuss Supreme Court Nomination; Alliance for Justice’s Kavanaugh Confirmation Would Do Grave Harm; People for the American Way’s Protecting the Supreme Court
- Hashtags: #SaveSCOTUS #StopKavanaugh
Support Senate’s Farm Bill in Conference
The House and Senate are preparing for a Farm Bill conference to reconcile the two bills they passed in June. The current Farm Bill expires Sept 30th which will be the committee’s deadline. One contentious issue will be work requirements for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Ask your networks to call their Congressional representatives and tell them to reject any provisions that would undermine the SNAP program. Cite 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’ Congress Should Use Senate Farm Bill as Basis for Final Bill; and the Center for American Progress’ HandsOffSnap.org
- Hashtags: #HandsOffSNAP
Follow the Strategy to Strike Down Medicaid Work Requirements in Kentucky
The National Health Law Program, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Kentucky Equal Justice Center successfully challenged Kentucky's plan to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. It will have implications for other states. U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled that Kentucky's plan conflicts with federal Medicaid law to provide coverage for low-income, vulnerable citizens. In response, Governor Matt Bevins made immediate cuts to Medicaid dental and vision plans in the state. Cite the values of Economic Security and Community when discussing work requirements for safety net programs.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking about Economic Justice; Kaiser Family Foundation’s Explaining Stewart v. Azar: Implications of the Court’s Decision on Kentucky’s Medicaid Waiver and Implications of a Medicaid Work Requirement: National Estimates of Potential Coverage Losses; The Center for Law and Social Policy’s (CLASP) Medicaid Ruling Protects Health Care for Kentuckians, All Americans; Coalition on Human Needs’ Why work requirements won’t work;
- Hashtags: #SaveMedicaid #MedicaidMatters #HandsOffMedicaid
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
In Theaters Now:
This month, two new social justice-oriented films are screening across the country. “Sorry to Bother You” is a fictional story about an African-American man facing Whiteness in the telemarketing industry; while “The King” is a documentary about the rise and fall of Elvis Presley as a metaphor for the country he left behind. Use the films to discuss the values of Equality, Voice and Economic Security.
Friday, July 13
On this day in 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting and killing of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. This sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Use the fifth anniversary to discuss the values of Equality and Voice.
- Coming Soon (July 30): Paramount channel’s multi-part documentary Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice and Opportunity for Black Men and Boys; Color of Change’s A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families; Pew Research Center’s The Hashtag #BlackLivesMatter Emerges: Social Activism on Twitter; Movement for Black Lives’ A Vision for Black Lives
- Hashtags: #BlackLivesMatter #racialjustice
Monday, July 16
Ida B. Wells, the pioneering journalist and founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born on this day in 1862. Wells was one of the first journalists to investigate lynchings across the U.S. Use her birthday as a hook to discuss the importance of working for racial and economic justice. Cite the values of Economic Opportunity and Voice.
- Messaging and communications tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Equal Justice Initiative’s Lynching in America and Color of Change’s A Dangerous Distortion of Our Families
- Hashtags: #IdaBWells #racialjustice
Tuesday, July 17
Four years ago on this day, New York City police officers apprehended Eric Garner for selling single cigarettes. He was put in a chokehold which resulted in his death. Garner was recorded saying, “I can’t breathe,” which became a rallying cry against police brutality. Use this anniversary as the opportunity to discuss policing and racial justice issues by citing the values of Voice, Equality and Redemption.
- Messaging and communications tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Create Fair and Effective Policing Practices and Implicit Bias and the Limitations of Video Footage in Tackling Police Brutality and Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice; Movement for Black Lives’ A Vision for Black Lives
- Hashtags: #EricGarner #BlackLivesMatter #racialjustice
Read & Share These New Tools and Resources
Report: Read and share Demos and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Toward a Vision for Racial Equity & Inclusion at Starbucks: Review and Recommendations for recommendations about how the private sector can create policies and training on issues of racial bias and discrimination.
Toolkit: Use the Leadership Conference’s 2020 Census Public Comments Toolkit to engage and encourage your networks to submit public comments to oppose the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The toolkit includes a section on “Why Your Comments Matter,” talking points on the citizenship question, a public comments template, social graphics and social media messages and samples letters to the editor.
Use PolicyLink, Rural Forward NC and the NC Budget and Tax Policy Center’s Advancing Employment Equity in Rural North Carolina to show how much stronger a state economy would be with employment equity in its rural areas. Also see the fact sheet.