Political Action to Take This Week

Share yours in the chat!

As usual, this week is filled with lots of political action to take. Do you know of something to share? Be sure to post it in the chat and share these with friends. Here are just a few actions to take this week.

Sign the petition to President Biden: Restore the Iran Deal: Obama's carefully arranged deal with Iran to block nuclear weapons development in exchange for getting rid of sanctions against the country was obliterated by Trump, and now Biden is in talks to re-negotiate the deal. Sign on to encourage Biden to restore this very important deal for global safety.

Learn About Shoot First and Stand Your Ground Laws: Many states are rejecting laws that protect citizens from murdering others, or "standing your ground," on the basis of feeling afraid for their safety, but these laws are still in place or up for implementation in many others. Read about these laws and prepare to speak out against them if your state attempts to pass one like mine did.

Get involved in the plan to reenact the full Selma-to-Montgomery March next month!

Join the Embrace Race Race in America: Tensions and Solidarity Across BIPOC Groups webinar to learn about building stronger relationships with BIPOC children.

Combat all the book banning in your area by running for the school board, being a vocal parent and community member, and making sure important books like this one are seen and read.

State like mine are STILL fighting against Medicaid expansion even after voters agreed that they wanted it. Be sure to keep fighting if that's happening in your state, too.
 

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Check Off These Take-Action Items

Act on Student Loan Debt, Clean the Ocean & More

Let's share all of our political actions to take this week here in the chat! We can begin with some of these:

Join Katie Porter in demanding that we cancel $50,000 worth of student debt as was promised during election season. This is one of the strongest ways to help many Americans today.

Stop Death Penalty Funding projects in your state. They're attempting to start one in mine.

Register for this self-managed abortion talk with ReproAction.

Join the Dream Corps in several actions, including helping folks who've been convicted of crimes get access to educational funds.

Ask your senators to pass the recently House-passed Postal Service Reform Act to help stop our postal problems, like the ridiculous pre-funding mandates.

Ask Congress to end the Global Gag Rule forever. We keep fighting this rule over and over with each Administration and we need to just stop it for good.

And for some fun, click here to play trivia and have the ads help pay to clean up the ocean.

What actions do you have to share? Link to them in the chat.

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Quick Actions You Can Take Today

Be sure to add your own in the chat!

Looking for some quick actions you can take with a couple of clicks right now? Here are some issues to learn about, take action on and definitely share with others this week!

Pass the Algorithmic Accountability Act: Did you know that complex Algorithms often replace what we want online based on our behaviors and history? That's pretty common knowledge, but did you know they're also used in everyday life on issues like whether or not to give someone a mortgage or insurance? And algorithmic bias occurs when predominantly Black neighborhoods are given the worst rates or even denied services due to where they live. Given that bias on basis of color is discriminatory and against the law, these algorithms are violating our laws and need to be stopped.

Support the IPES/EyeSeeMe Banned Book Program: Sign up to get banned books delivered to your door, or sponsor a family so they can get the books each month! Book bans are popping up like stinky flowers right now and it's time we stop them and support free knowlege and speech.

Support the Build Back Better Plan: Childcare, tax credits, paid leave and other life-saving legislation is included in this act, yet Manchin and all of the Republicans stand against it. Folks, I'm old enough to remember a time when people worked together to pass legislation like this no matter their party and with enough pressure, they sometimes surprise you. Call, write and keep at it to get this plan passed.

Do you have any actions to take? Share them in the chat!

 

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Guaranteed Income Being Tested in Georgia

Could this be the way of the future?

Many people argue that a guaranteed income is the way of the future, and that human beings will not be able to survive without it. They have a valid point when we consider human growth, income inequity, how many jobs are being replaced with robots and how many jobs just don't sustain life in the modern world. The Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund is testing out this idea by giving 650 Black women across the state $850 a month for two years.

In Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, nearly 40% of Black women are living in poverty, so participants are being selected from this area. While the GROF is targeting specific folks who live in poverty and not issuing a universal basic income like many are advocating for, this aid will certainly be helpful to both the citizens receiving it and their surrounding communities. It may help provide more insight into how these kinds of programs help folks.

What do you think of a universal basic income or programs like these? Do you have any experience with them where you live? Share your thoughts and experiences in the chat. 

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Where the Green Jobs Grow

Do you have a green job?

Have you heard about the new Clean Energy Corps? The program consists of jobs in multiple offices across the Department of Energy--both filled and yet to be filled. The idea behind it is to stimulate clean energy growth in the United States, and you don't necessarily have to be experienced in order to participate. There will be 1,000 new openings for jobs that individuals may wish to check out altogether.

The Green Energy Corps is meant to combat climate change while employing people in green jobs, and applications are already open for various positions available. Jobs are available in various fields, from communication and business administration to engineering and public policy. Chances are you may have a skillset in one of these and many other fields so check out the openings if you're interested in applying.

Know of any other great green jobs hiring? Do you currently work in a green field and have tips to share to newcomers? Post your thoughts in the chat. 

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Act on These Causes This Week

And be sure to share them!

Here are a few issues to be aware of, take action on and spread the word about this week.

The Women's Health Protection Act: We all know this should be worded a bit differently, I hope, as the act also protects anyone else with a uterus. This act is meant to protect people with a uterus from unwanted pregnancies by making the right to choose protected federally. Click the link to learn more and take action.

Protect Voting Rights: The right to vote remains under attack in many states and we have to fight to protect it. Yes, we are still fighting this fight. There's a script here you can use to ask your Congress members to protect the vote and eliminate the filibuster.

Save the Post Office: We now know that buying a billion stamps wasn't enough. We need Congress to pass the Postal Service Reform Act to help save the Post Office. 

Stop Racist Bills: Education itself is under attack even as we ask more from our teachers than ever. This time, lawmakers are silencing teachers who educate about racism, trying to prevent critical race theory from being taught. That's literally how we can combat racism--by letting folks know about it and understand it! Sign to stop this law.

And if you'd like to learn more about racism, especially in the classroom, check out this Antiracism class hosted by IDEA.

Have other actions to share? Post them in the chat!

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2022 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

Join in next week!

Next week, the virtual 2022 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference will be held on YouTube. The theme this year is Honoring Our Past and Protecting Our Future as the organization focuses on racial justice and economic justice within the labor movement. The conference is not only about building strategies to move forward--even as so many government officials strive to move us backwards--but to also celebrate the victories of the past year.

There will be sessions and trainings January 16th and 17th in honor of Dr. King Day. Several other Dr. King events are happening as well, such as this event for littles or this event for children and families. There are lots of great resources online as well as books, videos and other ways to celebrate the weekend. Perhaps one of the best ways to celebrate is committing to take antiracist action every day and to be an ally with your family.

What other events are going on near where you live? How are you celebrating Dr. King this month? Share your events and ideas in the chat. 

 

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Cancel Student Loans

It's high past time to make this happen.

People are not going to be able to pay off their students loans anytime soon--not only in this economy, but with the price tags they were sold. So many people with degrees can't afford their payments, and not just because of stagnant wages. The price of these loans have gone up between 100-200% in the last few decades, ensuring that no one will be able to afford payments unless they make super high wages, which is unlikely with so many people turning to higher learning in the first place. They were told they had to go to get good jobs, and now they're in over a trillion dollars of debt without many prospects, and with jobs demanding even more education than they have.

As it stands, Americans were sold a faulty bill of sale and will never get out of this debt. It would take more than a lifetime for many to pay off their student loans. Meanwhile other developed nations offer free--or at least highly affordable--education to their citizens, understanding that it betters everyone in the long run. Now activists are saying if Biden can keep pausing student debt payments, he can certainly cancel the loans entirely.

Biden needs to fulfill his promises that got him elected in the first place. Sign this petition to ask him to cancel student loan debt and keep calling him and your local government officials to ask the same. Have any other actions against student debt to share? Post them in the chat. 

Omicron Isn't An "African Variant"

The media needs to stop saying it is.

Most of us recall Donald Trump's scathing remarks about the "China virus," a misnomer he used to purposefully alienate an entire culture and cause more division and hatred during this global pandemic. We don't label viruses by the nation where they begin. There are dozens of viruses that could be dubbed the "United States virus," but that's not how we combat a deadly illness. It's definitely not how we create a unified effort to do to it, either.

The Omicron variant didn't even originate in Africa, yet the media is acting like it did and calling Africa a "covid hotspot," spreading fear and mistrust just like they did with China in 2020. Experts now know that Omicron did not originate in Africa, but Europe, where it was for weeks prior to cases found in Africa, yet no one is referring to it as the "European virus."

We need the media to be accurate more than ever. Sign this petition to tell the media to stop spreading misinformation, especially the kind that leads to xenophobia and harmful stereotypes. If you know of any other actions to take, be sure to share those in the chat as well.

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Student Loan Pause Extended to May

Will Biden ever cancel student loans?

The White House announced another another pause on student loan collection, moving it to May of 2022 after progressives fought against it reinstating earlier in the New Year. This gives borrowers a little more breathing room but not much. Biden made promises about student loan debt in order to get into office and now he needs to fulfill those promises.

There are plenty of petitions online to sign to ask Biden to cancel this debt, but we need to step it up if we really want it done. Student loans have skyrocketed in the past few decades, leaving borrowers stuck paying for as many years as they are alive. Since 2000 alone, average student loan debt has increased a whopping 76%. It needs to be controlled and the young people taken advantage of while it wasn't need some relief. 

Call, write and visit your legislators. Tell them you want this debt canceled to help stimulate the economy and help people use their funds in their communities rather than on loans that just keep getting bigger. Rally, march, make your voice heard. How are you combatting student loan debt where you live? Share your actions in the chat. 

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