The Amp

May 1, 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 May 1-8, 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

Speak Out for the Dream and Promise Act

Congressional leaders in the House recently introduced The Dream and Promise Act (HR 6), a bill that would protect over two million people from deportation: recipients of DACA, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs. Discuss this legislation citing the values of Community, Family, and Economic Security.

Advocating for Equitable Infrastructure

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Partnership for Working Families

Earlier this week, Democratic congressional leaders met with President Trump about a bipartisan $2 trillion infrastructure plan, but there was no agreement on how to pay for it. Infrastructure development plays an important part in creating economic opportunity, especially for Americans living in poverty. Be prepared to discuss any proposals by citing the values of Economic Security and Community.

Upcoming Media Hooks & Events

Month of May

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During May, Community Action Month calls attention to the positive programs by Community Action Agencies that help thousands of families across the U.S. These organizations were founded in 1964 as part of the War on Poverty and funding provided by Community Services block grants. Join the conversation by using the values of Community and Economic Security.

The month of May is also:

Wednesday, May 1

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Across the country, immigrant leaders and allies will lead marches, rallies, protests, and town halls for May Day. Partner groups of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement are marching under the theme of “Roadmap to Freedom.” Use this opportunity to talk about the values of Community and Economic Security.

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At 6pm EST, National Bail Out is holding a webinar about advocacy for bailing out Black mamas and caregivers across the country. Register here.

Friday, May 3

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by Anthony Pepitone

Today would have been folksinger and activist Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. Use Pete’s birthday to talk about the need for artists and activists to move others to support progressive social change and work together for economic and racial justice. Cite the values of Economic Security, Voice, and Community.

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Also on the same day, but in 1898, civil rights activist and educator Septima Clark was born. Clark is most famous for establishing "Citizenship Schools" which taught reading and citizenship rights to adults throughout the South. Clark often said “Literacy means liberation.” Connect her legacy of activism to the ongoing work for racial and economic justice today. Cite the values of Voice, Community, and Economic Security.

Saturday, May 4

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via apr.org

On this day in 1961, the original group of 13 Freedom Riders left Washington, D.C. on a Greyhound bus to protest segregated bus terminals in the South. Use the anniversary to discuss how today's racial justice activism echoes their pioneering actions and furthers their work. Cite the values of Voice and Mobility.

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Today would have also been the birthday of artist Keith Haring, who was a pioneer in pop and street art on LGBT issues. Use his birthday to talk about the importance of artists in the struggle for intersectional social justice. Cite the values of Voice, Equality, and Community.

Monday, May 6

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On this day in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur. In 2012, the U.S House of Representatives and Senate formally expressed regret for denying basic freedoms to Chinese Americans. While today's Muslim Ban is an Executive Order, you can draw the comparison to this earlier legislation that is now seen as a shameful act of xenophobia and discrimination based on national origin. On April 10, 2019, Democrats in Congress, led by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) in the U.S. House of Representatives and Sen. Chris Coons (DE) in the U.S. Senate, introduced the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (No Ban) Act, as companion bills H.R. 2214 and S. 1123. The legislation wouldn’t just repeal Trump’s Muslim, asylum, and refugee bans — it would limit the ability for this or any future admin to do something like it ever again. Cite the values of Equality, Voice, and Community when discussing the bills.

Wednesday, May 8

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On this day in 1973, Governor Nelson Rockefeller enacted the Rockefeller Drug Laws, which became the national policy model for addressing drug use and abuse through the criminal justice system instead of through the medical and public health systems. These laws mandated extremely harsh prison terms for possession or sale of relatively small amounts of drugs. Talk about this anniversary using the values of Redemption and Community.

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