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 8-15, 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
Protest One Year of Family Separation Policy
One year ago, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance policy” for unauthorized entry into the U.S. and stated that migrant children would be separated from adults. As a result, Border Patrol separated hundreds of children from their parents with little planning on how to eventually reunite them. Despite numerous court challenges and directives, the policy continues. Last week, Senator John Cornyn (TX) and Representative Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced the re-introduction of the HUMANE Act to address the situation faced by migrant families at the border, which advocates previously denounced. This week, advocates are marking the one-year anniversary with events and rallies (see Mother’s Day below). Discuss this anniversary citing the values of Community, Family, and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Immigration Policy Solutions: Promoting Family Unity; Talking About the Crisis at the U.S. Border: Imprisoned Children and Separated Families; Immigration Policy Solutions: Supporting Child Migrants
- Hashtag: #UntilEveryFamilyIsReunited; #FamiliesBelongTogether; #keepfamiliestogether
Challenge Trump’s Redefinition of the Poverty Line
This week, the Trump administration suggested that it change how the government sets the poverty line by using a lower measure of inflation. Over time, this could mean that fewer individuals and families will qualify for various forms of assistance. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that “No statute or regulation requires [altering] the methodology for updating the poverty line. Rather, the administration is choosing to consider a policy that would weaken basic assistance programs and thereby increase hardship.” Discuss this proposal by citing the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Trump Administration Floating Changes to Poverty Measure That Would Reduce or Eliminate Assistance to Millions of Lower-Income Americans; TalkPoverty's Trump’s Plan to Lower Poverty by Redefining It, Explained; The Opportunity Agenda’s Talking About Poverty & Economic Opportunity Today and Talking About Economic Justice
- Hashtags: #handsoffsnap; #usapoverty
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
Month of May
During May, the federal Administration on Community Living recognizes Older Americans Month. The campaign is a great opportunity to discuss racial and economic justice. Discuss the values of Community and Economic Security.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda's Shifting the Narrative on Poverty; and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' How Medicaid Work Requirements Will Harm Older Americans
- Hashtag: #OAM19; #ConnectCreateContribute
The month of May is also:
Wednesday, May 8
Today at 10am EST, the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee will hold the first-ever hearing on paid family leave. Advocates are pushing for an equitable federal plan that supports all American families, no matter their background. Discuss this issue with your audiences by citing the values of Economic Security, Community, and Equality.
- Take Action: Watch and share livestream (& archived) video from the hearing via Paid Leave U.S.’s Facebook page and the committee’s YouTube channel
- Messaging and communication tools: Paid Leave for the U.S.’s Paid Family Leave: Why It Matters and Paid Family Leave: Messages That Resonate; Work Family Strategy Council’s Tweet Deck; Graphics; Videos; Resources; New America’s How Congress could finally get it right on paid leave
- Hashtags: #paidfamilyleave #paidleave; #paidleave4all
On this day in 1973, New York 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.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s Eliminate the Criminalization of Public Health Issues; Drug Policy Alliance’s Background on New York’s Draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws; New York Times’ video The Rockefeller Drug Laws
- Hashtag: #RockefellerDrugLaws
Thursday, May 9
Friday, May 10
On this day 1886, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Yick Wo vs. Hopkins that all people—citizens and non-citizens—had equal protection under the law. The case stemmed from San Francisco’s discriminatory issuing of permits for laundries. The court concluded that the kind of biased enforcement experienced by the plaintiffs amounted to “a practical denial by the state of that equal protection of the law” and therefore violated the provision of the 14th Amendment. Discuss this anniversary citing the values of Equality, Voice, and Community.
Saturday, May 11
To mark Mother's Day weekend, the Border Network for Human Rights has organized #HugsNotWalls in El Paso “to call attention to the deep inhumanity of U.S. immigration policy that forcibly separates, dehumanizes, and abuses immigrant families. The event will provide visual images of families reuniting briefly at the border. Use the event to discuss the issues of Family Unity, Economic Security, and Community.
- Take action: Reshare images from the event on your organization’s social media.
- Messaging and communication tools: The Opportunity Agenda’s 4 Tips to Keep the Border Conversation on What Really Matters and Replacing the Dominant Narrative Around the Border
- Hashtags: #HugsNotWalls #HNW7
Sunday, May 12
Mother's Day is an important time to discuss economic and racial justice for families. Forward Together's Mama's Day campaign works to "ensure all families have the rights, recognition, and resources they need to thrive." Over the past few weeks, Black Love Bail Out has been preparing for the holiday by raising money to bail mothers out of jail and working to end money bail. Also this Sunday, a coalition of groups is organizing rallies across the U.S. to oppose family separation and child detention Use the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Take Action:
- Messaging Tool: The Opportunity Agenda's Promote Justice in Pre-Trial Services & Practices; Talking About the Crisis at the U.S. Border: Imprisoned Children and Separated Families and Talking About Economic Justice; Moms Rising’s #EndFamilyDetention social media toolkit and Mother's Day social media toolkit; National Bail Out’s toolkit;
- Hashtags: #mamasday; #freeblackmamas; #motherofexiles
Monday, May 13 - Monday, May 20
Now that Trump is discussing infrastructure plans with Congressional leaders, it’s the perfect time for Infrastructure Week. Infrastructure development is an important part of creating economic opportunity, especially for Americans living in poverty. Be prepared to discuss any proposals by citing the values of Economic Security and Community.
- Messaging and communication tools: Americans for Tax Fairness' Infrastructure and Taxes talking points; Our Neighborhoods Our Future's Vision and Principles and Messaging Guide to Trump's Infrastructure Proposal; Partnership for Working Families' Infrastructure Week Social Media Guide, Graphics and Building America While Building Our Middle Class; Policylink's Equitable Infrastructure blog; Millions of Job's Ten Principles; In the Public Interest's Understanding and Evaluating Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
- Hashtag: #timetobuild #BuildForTomorrow