The Amp

June 27, 2019

This summer, The Opportunity Agenda's weekly action alert system will have a new schedule. Every two weeks, we’ll offer tools and tips for using breaking news to frame and advance economic opportunity and racial justice solutions. This edition covers events between June 26 - July 10, 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

Resist Trump’s Scare Tactics by Pivoting to Values

Last week, President Trump announced and then rescinded his plan for immigration raids across the United States. Trump challenged Democratic leaders in Congress to come up with a plan to fix undocumented immigration in the next two weeks or his administration would go ahead with the raids. Advocates have called out the administration for using immigrant families as a political tool and scaring children across the country. While detention of children is egregious and worthy of attention, be sure to pivot to larger issues of family unity. Resist the urge to myth-bust and cite the values of Family Unity, Economic Security and Community.

#SavetheCensus for an Inclusive Country

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Today’s Supreme Court decision in Department of Commerce v. New York, directing the agency to provide a better explanation for the decision to include a question regarding citizenship status on the 2020 Census leaves much unanswered. First, the issue of whether there is still time to include the question if the agency is able to provide a better pretext to do so - it is unlikely, but not impossible. Importantly, however, the ruling upholds certain key values. The Court held that the agency’s decision was subject to review, and that “agencies must pursue their goals reasonably.” 

Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

In June

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We’ve reached the culmination of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. Friday is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which was a key turning point in the LGBTQ rights movement. Discuss intersectional issues for the LGBTQ community, including racial and economic justice. Cite the values of Economic Security, Community, and Voice.

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We’re also wrapping up Immigrant Heritage Month to #CelebrateImmigrants. Reference the values of Economic Security, Community, and Voice.

Now until Friday, June 28

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and their allies around the country are marking a Shelby Week of Action to push Congress to act to restore the Voting Rights Act. It’s been six years since the Supreme Court’s decision on Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the law intended to end discrimination in voting nationwide, and ensure that every vote counts. Discuss this issue by referring to the values of Voice and Equality.

Wednesday, June 26

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On this day in 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the third iteration of President Trump’s “Muslim Ban.” Previously, lower federal courts had found each iteration to be blatantly anti-Muslim, unconstitutional, and an abuse of the president’s power. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Equality, and Community. 

Thursday, June 27

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On this day in 2015, activist Bree Newsome removed the Confederate battle flag after climbing the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building. The flag was originally raised in opposition to the Civil Rights Movement and lunch counter sit-ins in the 1960s and has flown ever since. Confederate flags and many monuments honoring the Confederacy remain across the U.S. Discuss this anniversary and the underlying problem citing the values of Community, Voice, and Equality.

Friday, June 28

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Today is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, a key turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Use the anniversary to discuss intersectional issues for the LGBTQ community, including racial and economic justice. Cite the values of Economic Security, Community, and Voice.

Saturday, June 29

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President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. The 41,000- mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” insured safe and speedy transcontinental travel and created economic opportunity for millions of people. Infrastructure development demonstrates shows how we’re all in this together. Use this anniversary to discuss the need for new infrastructure spending and cite the values of Economic Security and Community.

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On this day in 1972, in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, ruling it as unconstitutional under the 8th and 14th Amendments. Justice William O. Douglas concluded that the death penalty "is disproportionately imposed and carried out on the poor, the Negro, and the members of unpopular groups." Four years later the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty on the idea that it was constitutional under the 8th amendment.Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Equality, Voice, and Community. 

Sunday, June 30

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On this day, one year ago, activists organized nationwide protests in opposition to the Trump administration’s family separation policy, which has separated hundreds of immigrant children from their parents. Now with the administration’s plans to arrest and separate immigrant families and detain even more children, this activism is even more important. Discuss this anniversary by citing the values of Voice, Equality, and Community.

Tuesday, July 2

At 12pm PDT/3pm EDT, join the advocacy coalition's #TrumpRaids tweetchat. See more above in Emerging Issues.

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Also on this day, while members of Congress are home for the Fourth of July holiday, activists will gather at 12 p.m. noon local time at their local offices in protest. Their demands are: Close the Camps; Not One Dollar for Family Detention and Deportation and Bear Witness and Reunite Families. Discuss children in detention by citing the values of Family Unity, Voice, and Community.

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On this day, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark civil rights and labor law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Use this anniversary to reaffirm the values of Voice, Mobility, and Community.

Thursday, July 4

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As the birthday of the United States of America, Independence Day is yet another opportunity to raise the values we believe our nation should embody: Opportunity, Voice, Equality, Community and Mobility. Use this day to remind audiences about the importance of this country's land, and its original inhabitants, Native American peoples, and their plight for equality and justice.

Friday, July 5

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by Chucha

Three years ago on this day, Alton Sterling was fatally shot several times at close range by Baton Rouge Police Department officers. Sterling had been selling CDs in a parking lot. His death was video recorded by several bystanders. This anniversary is an opportunity to discuss the values of Equality, Community, and Voice.

Saturday, July 6

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On this day in 1907, the pioneering artist and activist Frida Kahlo was born. Today her iconic work and image are shared as examples of politically engaged art and unapologetic self- expression. Use this hook to talk about the role of artists in social justice activism. Cite the values of Voice and Community.

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In 2016 on this day, Philando Castile was killed by Minnesotan police officer Jeronime Yanez during a routine traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend video recorded the encounter while her infant daughter sat in the back seat. Castile’s death was yet another example of police brutality and the use of excessive force.  This anniversary is an opportunity to discuss the values of Equality, Community, and Voice.

Tuesday, July 9

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Today is the deadline for comments on the proposed rule by Housing and Urban Development to deny housing to families who may have undocumented members. According to HUD’s own analysis, the rule would force as many as 25,000 mixed-status families – including more than 55,000 children – to leave their housing out of fear of family separation. The Center for American Progress writes, "It will force immigrant families to make an impossible choice: stay in their home or stay together as a family. This racist, xenophobic rule will compound the housing affordability crisis and the eviction crisis by forcing people out of their homes without creating a single new affordable home." Challenge the proposed rule by citing the values of Economic Security, Family Unity, and Community. 

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On this day in 1868, Congress ratified the 14th amendment to the Constitution, which granted citizenship and rights to African Americans and formerly enslaved people. It also forms the basis of “birthright citizenship” for children of non-citizen immigrants. Use this anniversary to discuss the on-going struggle for civil and immigrant rights by citing the values of Community and Voice.

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