We're back with our latest #5Actions list of our most important campaigns this week. One of our top actions this week is urging the U.S. Congress to protect SNAP (food stamps). A study found that over 1:4 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with food insecurity . Shocking on this Memorial Day weekend, right? We must do better.
We're also keeping the pressure on around gun safety in the wake of multiple new school shootings this month and almost 2 dozen school shootings this year. This is unacceptable. In addition, protecting immigrant families and our kids' privacy online also top the #5Actions list this week.
Please scroll down for the complete list of our top five actions of the week. As always, your voice is urgently needed. Thank you for all you do!
1. This Memorial Day: Tell Congress to Protect SNAP in the Farm Bill!
BACKGROUND: Republicans in the U.S. Congress have introduced a Farm Bill that would increase hunger and hardship by taking away—or cutting—food assistance from many struggling families, including children. Their proposal includes sweeping changes to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps). The unworkable, harmful, unnecessary, and woefully-underfunded proposal takes SNAP benefits away from people 18-59 years old who aren’t currently employed or participating in training for 20 hours a week. We beat back this bill once when it failed on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. But Speaker Paul Ryan has scheduled a vote on the same bill again in a few weeks and the U.S. Senate will release their version of the Farm Bill after Memorial Day. We need to keep the pressure on and speak out!
2. Speak Out: The NRA Stands Between Us and Gun Safety
BACKGROUND: There is one major obstacle in the way of stemming our country's gun violence epidemic and preventing tragedies like those at Santa Fe High School in Texas from happening again: The influence of the NRA and gun industry PACs. The influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) is playing a major role driving our government’s massive failure to even attempt to reduce gun violence. Politicians who continue to accept campaign contributions from the NRA and gun industry PACs implicitly support an all-types-of-guns-everywhere-for-everyone agenda, which history shows us points in only one direction: More gun violence. In the U.S. Congress alone, more than half of incumbents have gotten money and organizational help from the NRA, many with financial relationships with the NRA that date back years. Heading into the 2018 midterms, gun rights groups, including the NRA, are already far outspending gun safety groups by 40 to 1. As of February, they had made nearly $600,000 in direct contributions and independent expenditures on behalf of congressional candidates as compared to the $14,000 from gun safety groups. It's time to hold our elected leaders accountable demand that they reject this influence! Take action and see U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren explain why she has taken the #NoNRAMoney pledge.
3. Urge Facebook to Pull the Plug on the Messenger Kids App!
BACKGROUND: Why is Facebook trying to lure young and younger kids onto its platform with its new Messenger Kids app, the first app that Facebook has specifically designed for kids under 14? Let’s be clear: Young kids aren’t ready to navigate online relationships. How many times have you as an adult seen or experienced something odd online? More than once, right? Kids don’t have the maturity level to manage online interactions, and/or understand what’s private or appropriate. Indeed research shows that social media use by teens is linked to significantly higher rates of depression, and adolescents who spend an hour a day chatting on social networks report less satisfaction with nearly every aspect of their lives. Eighth graders who use social media for 6-9 hours per week are 47% more likely to report they are unhappy than their peers who use social media less often. And a study of girls between the ages of 10 and 12 found the more they used social networking sites like Facebook, the more likely they were to idealize thinness, have concerns about their bodies, and to have dieted. Teen social media use is also linked to unhealthy sleep habits. Join us to tell Facebook to pull the plug on the Messenger Kids app!
4. Tell D.H.S. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Congress that Separating Children from Parents is Cruel and Inhumane!
BACKGROUND: Recently, the New York Times reported that more than 700 children have been taken from parents arriving at our borders since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4. It’s cruel to punish parents who are doing everything they can to protect their children and to punish children by depriving them of their parents. Separating a child from a mother or father only leads to more trauma for all. Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Join us in telling Members of Congress and D.H.S. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that we strongly oppose separating infants and children from their parents.
5. Join us to Say: ENOUGH. Pledge to Continue to Fight for Gun Safety
BACKGROUND: Our children deserve better than growing up in fear that they will be shot at the place they go to learn. America’s moms mourn every person killed and every child victimized and traumatized by the epidemic of gun violence that is plaguing our country. Stand with MomsRising to let leaders know that we demand they act to advance gun safety and community safety immediately. We will deliver pledge signatures to every member of Congress so they know that we are paying attention, watching their votes, and counting on them to prioritize families over the gun lobby.
BONUS: Check out These Amazing Photos From Events in Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg, P.A. this Past Week!
On Wednesday we joined moms, women’s advocates, and female members of Congress outside the U.S. Capitol to demand the Trump administration stop separating families, end the detention of pregnant women, and maintain the right of women seeking to escape domestic violence to be granted asylum. Check out the Facebook Live here.
And on Tuesday, we hosted an event at the Pennsylvania State Capitol urging leaders to Lift UP Pennsylvania parents and families through paid leave, equal pay, gun safety, shutting down the Berks Family Detention Center, and more! Check out the Facebook Live here.
Thank you for all you do, and #KeepMarching!