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Top #5Actions of the Past Week: November 8, 2019

voting treasure box

Happy Friday! Did you vote this week? When moms RISE, things happen. Big things. This year, to get out the vote for the Virginia elections, moms sent a massive number of GOTV texts & hand-written postcards to low frequency mom voters, made videos to inspire other moms to vote, shared stories, became Beacons of Hope in local communities, delivered so much strategic direct mail, reached out to infrequent mom voters with millions of impressions on social media, held more than 22 events at polling locations with games and fun for kids so moms could be voters & raise voters, met on the ground & so much, much more! Thank you for igniting democracy! Check out photos below, alongside our top actions from the past week. Please scroll, sign and share. Then have a great weekend! Here's the list => 

1. Tell Congress: Stop funding Trump's hateful immigration policies!

BACKGROUND: Our nation’s budgets are supposed to reflect our values and priorities, and we don’t want another dime of our tax dollars going towards a detention center that jails immigrant children or the construction of a harmful wall! Horrifyingly, just last week, the ACLU discovered 1,556 more immigrant families were separated than previously estimated. The U.S. Congress must reign in ICE and Customs and Border Patrol and put an end to President Trump's hateful immigration policies now and they have the power of the purse to do so. We will be on Capitol Hill next week delivering materials and talking to key Senate leaders in order to empower them to reclaim the power of the purse and stop the funding of Trump's atrocious immigration policies. ***MAKE SURE TO SIGN OUR LETTER NOW calling on the U.S. Congress to prioritize what our families really need—nutrition, healthcare, education, and disaster assistance programs—in budget negotiations and reject funding for family separation and Trump’s hateful immigration policies.

2. 100 Champions Wanted For Our Giving Tuesday Match! 

BACKGROUND: Become a MomsRising Champion monthly donor in honor of Giving Tuesday and a sister MomsRising donor will DOUBLE your generosity. Your steady, affordable, monthly contributions now have 2X the power to create a brighter future for women, moms and families!

✔ Your contributions matched for an entire year
✔ Every gift gets a MomsRising sticker
✔ Pledge $10/month to get a sticker + cool tote

Can’t chip in monthly? Make a one-time contribution instead — still matched $1-for-$1!

3. Can You Drop Off a Letter to Your Local Regions or Citizens Bank Branch on November 14?

BACKGROUND: Sign on and we’ll email you everything you need to do a drop-off. It only takes a few minutes, it will make a big impact, and is urgently needed. Whether for storing sticky snacks, toy race cars, or holding our leaders accountable, moms know the power of the purse. Now let’s also use the power of our consumer voices to end bank financing of private prisons! There can be no business in abuse. Join us in urging Regions and Citizens Bank to stop financing private prisons!

4. Let's Increase Funding for Child Care and Head Start This Year!

BACKGROUND: The struggle is real when it comes to finding high-quality, affordable care for our children. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the major federal child care program, helps families with the cost of child care and supports states to improve the quality and supply of care. Families deserve enriching child care options that won’t break the bank and will work for them, and child care assistance is essential for helping families find and afford the high-quality care they need! SIGN NOW to urge  Congress to increase funding for Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in the FY 2020 budget!

5. Write a Letter to the Editor to Support the Women’s Health Protection Act

BACKGROUND: Abortion care is health care, period. And most people who have abortions are already parents. Now more than ever—reproductive health care is under attack across the country. Send a Letter to the Editor to your local paper now and call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act! We make it super easy with helpful tips and talking points.

INSPIRATION: VOTING DAY TREASURE BOXES IN VIRGINIA! 

   

   

Thanks for all you do, and have a great weekend!  

Risers Radio: Nothing Spooky About Change!

There’s an all new episode of our Breaking Through podcast show this week where we cover all the many GOOD things that could be done with the funds Trump wants to use for his ridiculous wall. 

We also talk about Breast Cancer Awareness month and how women’s healthcare is under attack. And you can hear as we get fired up for change and learn about the impeachment proceedings. Finally, we dive into modern communications and what you can do.

*Special guests include: 

Donna Norton, MomsRising, @MomsRising;  

Planned Parenthood’s Jacqueline Ayers @PPAct @PPFA

Reggie Hubbard, MoveOn, @MoveOn

award-winning author Justina Chen, @JustinaYChen

Listen HERE:

TuneIn: http://tun.in/tjlCbH 

iTunes: 

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-through-kristin-rowe-finkbeiner-powered-by/id533519537 

 

Remember to join the conversation by using the hashtag, #RisersRadio, on Twitter!

Moms Need Health Coverage for Their Kids -- Not More Paperwork

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This year, we released our ninth annual report tracking children’s health insurance coverage and the findings were alarming: Between 2016 and 2018, the number of uninsured children in the U.S. increased by more than 400,000, bringing the total number of uninsured children to over 4 million in the nation.

 

What’s so alarming about this trend is that loss of coverage came during a time of strong economic growth and low unemployment – children should have been gaining coverage instead of losing it.

 

As we highlight in our report, this serious erosion of child health coverage is due in large part to the Trump Administration’s actions (or inactions) that have made health coverage harder to access for children and their families. Red tape barriers — like increased paperwork that force parents to frequently verify their income or letters being sent to wrong addresses and children being cut off when the paperwork isn’t filed — prevent kids and families from enrolling or renewing health coverage.

 

Parents have enough on their plate and shouldn’t have to worry about missing letters or piles of paperwork. They need helping hands. But instead of support, the Administration has ripped the “welcome mat” right out from under them.

 

The importance of continuous coverage for children cannot be overstated and has long term consequences. Children who have Medicaid have better health outcomes even as adults, are more likely to graduate from high school and have higher earnings as adults – using fewer government benefits in the long term. Families, whose child is uninsured even for a few months, face medical debt and even bankruptcy if a child falls on the playground and breaks a wrist or has an asthma flare up and winds up in the ER. The red flags are waving in this data and it is up to our elected officials to reverse this troubling trend and help parents get the support they need.

 

See how your state is doing on children’s health care at our interactive data hub.

 

[Editor’s Note: Thank you to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texans Care for Kids and community-based enrollment specialists in Florida for joining us in releasing this report.]

Voices for Healthy Kids SNAP Incentives Series: Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina

Voices for Healthy Kids

 

From Voices For Healthy Kids, an intiative of the American Heart Association with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, working to make each day healthier for all children.

Voices for Healthy Kids has funded Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC) since 2014. Recently, the coalition, working with the South Carolina affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA) and others, successfully pursued healthy vending policies in several cities around the state, including the passage of one of the country’s strongest vending and food service policies in Columbia, South Carolina.

In 2018, ESMMSC received a Voices for Healthy Kids grant to support the Healthy Bucks healthier foods incentive program. The coalition and its partners applied for and received a Voices for Healthy Kids policy campaign grant that focused on changing restrictive language in the Healthy Bucks annual budget proviso. But the focus shifted during the grant period, away from a budget language change toward advocating for legislation that would make Healthy Bucks a permanent statewide program.

When lawmakers drafted the Healthy Bucks budget language in 2013, it allowed the one-time allocation of funds to be spent only on the incentives themselves. ESMMSC wanted to expand the language to also allow for spending on “technology and infrastructure,” which would make the program easier and more efficient for both farmers’ markets and SNAP participants to use. Modifying the language would also make it possible to market the program much more widely across the state. These goals are critically important to the success of Healthy Bucks because, currently, while more than 330 farmers’ markets across the state accept SNAP EBT cards for purchases, fewer than 10% of those markets also participate in the Healthy Bucks incentives program.

In January 2019, however, a state lawmaker suddenly took the focus off the restrictive budget language by filing a bill (H.B. 3250) to make Healthy Bucks a permanent state program. ESMMSC and its partner organizations quickly pivoted, deciding to instead focus their advocacy efforts on supporting the legislation. According to Phil Ford, ESMMSC’s Manager of Policy, advocacy, and community support and coordinator of the Healthy Bucks policy campaign, there was an immediate recognition that the language change goal should be rolled into the effort to pass the legislation and “achieve the ultimate win—a permanent and properly working SNAP incentives program.” This was a significant development because ESMMSC and its partners had considered such legislation premature due to the state’s political environment in 2018. Specifically, about 25 General Assembly members were new to their offices and were still learning about various programs, including SNAP. Thus, ESMMSC had decided to seek the language change, and wait on legislation, as a step in the right direction.

With the introduction of the Healthy Bucks legislation, ESMMSC quickly lined up its partner organizations in support of the bill and began a full-scale advocacy campaign. “Being flexible is extremely important in this work,” said Ford.

At the first Agriculture subcommittee hearing on the bill, ESMMC brought 19 advocates to testify in support of the bill—people representing food cooperatives, farmers’ markets, the state hospital association and religious groups, as well as a SNAP participant and a SNAP program coordinator. At the same hearing, however, it became clear that passage of the legislation would take longer than hoped because a proposal was made to move administration of the Healthy Bucks program from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Agriculture. Following the hearing, advocacy efforts shifted yet again, this time to support the proposal to move Healthy Bucks to the Department of Agriculture.

In the coming months, ESMMSC will prepare “to hit the ground running” in January 2020, when the proposed Healthy Bucks legislation, with an added amendment to change the budget proviso language, will still be on the legislative agenda. According to Ford, these efforts include a statewide tour to provide in-person legislative updates to ESMMSC’s partner organizations and coalitions across South Carolina; a robust storytelling campaign, which will involve the creation of a video that tells the story about the importance of SNAP and Healthy Bucks; and a survey of elected officials in the General Assembly to help ESMMSC better understand lawmakers’ priorities related to public health and target its messaging more effectively around those priorities.

 

Help Inspire Change in Your Community

To learn more about this issue and how you can help mobilize a similar campaign, visit our SNAP Incentives Toolkit. Within our toolkit, you will find helpful information to build out your own advocacy efforts aimed at developing policies that support increasing access to healthier foods in your community!

IT'S THAT TIME: Can't Wait to Vote!

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[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A screenshot from a video about women who can't wait to vote.]

WOW! If your emails, social media posts, postcard parties, pledges to vote, and overall enthusiasm are any indication-- you all are MORE than ready to vote tomorrow, November 5th! LET'S DO THIS.

You've shared on Twitter how you #CantWait2Vote:

We've asked and you've answered: Why should EVERYONE across the nation vote?    

 

 

 

Everyone has a stake in their community-- which is why every eligible voter should vote! Voting is the best way to ensure that your taxpayer dollars are spent in a way that reflects your values and strengthens your community. Voting is a way of signaling approval or disapproval of your elected leaders' work. And there's another reason to vote-- voting shows our children that participating in our democracy matters. When you are a voter, you're helping raise a voter, too!

Share your plan to vote in the comments! Are you doing anything in addition to voting to help get out the vote in your community? We'd love to hear about it!

Family Separation is Wrong: SIGN NOW to Stop Trump’s Immigration Policies

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A photo of a young child looking off to the side, a worried look on their face.]

We’ve all been hearing about the depths of cruelty of the Trump Administration’s family separation policies for a while, but the extent of that cruelty is still being discovered.

Horrifyingly, just last week, the ACLU discovered 1,556 more immigrant families were separated than previously estimated. 

I read that and cried. Then I got pissed off. Now I’m taking action! Join me!

Leaders in the U.S. Congress MUST stop increasing funding to ICE and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for Trump’s cruel immigration policies and also exert strict oversight over the future funding to these departments. Enough is enough!

***Sign our letter NOW calling on Congress to pass a budget that lifts up all families and cuts funding for Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant policies!

With the new separated families that the ACLU discovered, we now know at least 4,300 families were separated at the border prior to a judge ordering the Trump Administration to stop this horrific practice. The ACLU said 207 of the newly identified children who were separated from their parents are under 5 years old, including five infants under the age of 1

This callous and heartless treatment of children by ICE and CBP is shocking and these agencies must be held accountable!

It cannot be overstated how damaging family separation is to the social and emotional well-being of these children—as well as their parents and U.S. born siblings. According to Jack P. Shonkoff, a professor of child health and development at Harvard, “Abrupt separation from primary caregivers or parents is a major psychological emergency [for migrant children].” In addition, placement, especially for long periods of time, of children in prison-like settings is incredibly damaging to their brain development and has long-term health (psychological and physical) affects. These children are not just missing the emotional support of having a caretaker nearby—touch, talk, having their basic needs met, etc.—there is also a negative neurological impact. Kids with chronic trauma, like those forced into cages and separated from their parents, have higher amounts of neurotoxins such as cortisol and are more likely to have stunted brain growth. 

Each of these thousands of children separated from their families are now at higher risk of mental illness, drug use, chronic illnesses, and dropping out of school later in life.

THIS is the legacy of President Trump and his inhumane immigration policies.

But Congress can stop this right now! It is not too late for Congress to re-assert its authority over the funding of the agencies that are carrying out the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies!

**ADD YOUR SIGNATURE TO OUR LETTER!

The question of funding is an important one since Congress needs to decide on a budget by the end of this year. A budget says everything about our priorities as a nation and President Trump's priorities are clear: He wants to use our hard earned tax dollars to fund detention centers that jail children and separate them from their families rather than programs that we really need that provide emergency aid in times of disaster, supporting our troops and their families, nutrition assistance, healthcare, education funding, and money to fix our roads and infrastructure.

Congress must fight the atrocities President Trump is committing at the Southern border, and throughout this country, by holding ICE and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) accountable for human rights abuses like separating thousands of children and parents at the border without even bothering to document which children belong to which parents

At this time, significantly cutting funding for these agencies is the best route to holding the Trump Administration accountable for these human rights abuses and preventing further abuses.

***Sign our letter NOW calling on Congress to pass a budget that lifts up all families and cuts funding for Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant policies!

Children deserve to be with their families outside of cages and they must have their rights protected. Family separation and family incarceration compounds the existing trauma and stress that children and families have already experienced in their home country or on their journey to the U.S.

There are alternatives to family detention that are not only more compassionate for children and families, but also more fiscally responsible. For example, asylum seeking families may be released from detention through a family case management program, which has a nearly 100 percent success rate in ensuring the families attend their hearings. The family case management program costs only $36/day, while family detention costs on average $1,280/day for a family of four. 

It’s time for our federal budget to truly reflect our morals as a nation. Don’t forget to sign our letter to your members of Congress — and also to forward this email to friends, as well as post the action link on Facebook and Twitter. The more people who take action, the faster we’ll all be able to make change. And please don’t delay: We’ll be delivering your signatures to key Congressional leaders next week on Capitol Hill. Congress will be making major funding decisions over the next few weeks and we need to make it known that we won’t stand for our tax dollars being used to tear apart families and jail immigrant families any longer.

Thank you for continuing to speak out for all of our families!

Parents in North Carolina Can't Wait for Health Care

Medicaid Helps Families Weather The Storm

More than half a million North Carolinians—many who are parents—can’t see a doctor when they need one because reliable health insurance is out of reach.

Yet, the NC legislative session just ended without expanding Medicaid.

Across North Carolina, thousands of low-income families fall into the “coverage gap,” earning too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to gain subsidies to purchase health coverage in the insurance marketplace. Many of these folks work in jobs that do not provide health coverage, including food service, retail, construction and early childhood education.

Learn more about Medciad expansion in NC at http://www.healthcarecantwait.org/.

Meet a real person in the gap

Anetra from Lumberton, NC

Anetra has a B.A. in English and minor in American Indian studies. She loves working in early childhood because she feels that she can have the greatest impact working with young children. “Research has shown that by the time a child reaches three, they learn as much vocabulary as they are going to learn in a lifetime.” Without insurance, Anetra is unable to get the glasses she needs, go to the GYN or get a mammogram. Her job requires her to get a physical and TB shots, which cost her a day’s pay. “Not having health insurance is detrimental to my health, and then I’m leaving a burden on my family members to take care of me later in life. And I don’t want to do that to my kids. I want to take care of it now while I can.”

Find more stories of North Carolinians, like Anetra, who are fighting for affordable health coverage at http://www.healthcarecantwait.org/

Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is a cost-effective solution

North Carolina can take advantage of available federal funding right now to bring health care to half a million people. 37 other states have done this by expanding the Medicaid program, including our neighbors in Virginia.

Getting coverage to uninsured people saves states money. Research in Montana, Colorado, Michigan, Louisiana and Virginia found that expanding Medicaid resulted in significant savings to those states’ general funds.

See which states have expanded Medicaid – it might surprise you - http://www.healthcarecantwait.org/

Expanding Medicaid in NC makes economic sense 

Covering more uninsured people reduces health care costs for everyone, even for those who have their own private health insurance. When people can’t afford basic care, they often wind up in the ER with preventable - and very expensive - health crises. Hospitals have to eat the cost – and those costs are passed along to the rest of us. That’s why premiums for people who buy their own health insurance are now significantly lower in the 37 states that have already expanded Medicaid.

See the real impact Medicaid expansion could have in your county - http://www.healthcarecantwait.org/county-data/ 

How you can help:

Top #5Actions of the Past Week: November 1, 2019

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Happy Halloween Week! Know what's scarier than a bump in the night? Not speaking out about issues that matter to women and families! Please checkout our list of top 5 Actions from the past week below, which makes it easy to scroll and catch up. Please be sure to share this with family and friends too! Thank you. Here's the list => 

1. Let's Increase Funding for Child Care and Head Start This Year!

BACKGROUND: The struggle is real when it comes to finding high-quality, affordable care for our children. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the major federal child care program, helps families with the cost of child care and supports states to improve the quality and supply of care. Families deserve enriching child care options that won’t break the bank and will work for them, and child care assistance is essential for helping families find and afford the high-quality care they need! SIGN NOW to urge  Congress to increase funding for Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in the FY 2020 budget!

2. Can You Drop Off a Letter to Your Local Regions or Citizens Bank Branch on November 14?

BACKGROUND: Sign on and we’ll email you everything you need to do a drop-off. It only takes a few minutes, it will make a big impact, and is urgently needed. Whether for storing sticky snacks, toy race cars, or holding our leaders accountable, moms know the power of the purse. Now let’s also use the power of our consumer voices to end bank financing of private prisons! There can be no business in abuse. Join us in urging Regions and Citizens Bank to stop financing private prisons!

3. Tell Senator McConnell: SHUT DOWN the Legislative Graveyard!

BACKGROUND: This year, Halloween is off-the-charts frightening because of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s LEGISLATIVE GRAVEYARD that is actively harming women, working families, the LGBTQ+ community, the immigrant community, and our democracy. Tell Senator Mitch McConnell to SHUT DOWN his legislative graveyard! Here is a snapshot of some of the many important bills that currently sit in U.S. Senator McConnell’s legislative graveyard:

  • H.R. 1 - For the People Act would expand voting rights, limit partisan gerrymandering, strengthen ethics rules, and limit the influence of private donor money in politics.
  • H.R. 5 - Equality Act would extend civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ people.
  • H.R. 6 - American Dream and Promise Act would provide Dreamers and immigrants eligible for Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure with a pathway to citizenship and permanent protections from deportation.
  • H.R. 7 - Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen equal pay protections for women by expanding upon the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • H.R. 582, Raise the Wage Act would raise the federal minimum wage in six steps to $15 per hour by 2024.
  • H.R. 986, Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act would prohibit the Trump Administration from implementing guidance released in 2018 that weakens protections for pre-existing conditions.
  • H.R. 1585, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would greatly improve our nation's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
  • H.R. 2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections Act would close dangerous gaps in our election systems and brings our election security into the 21st century.

4. Write a Letter to the Editor to Support the Women’s Health Protection Act

BACKGROUND: Abortion care is health care, period. And most people who have abortions are already parents. Now more than ever—reproductive health care is under attack across the country. Send a Letter to the Editor to your local paper now and call on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act! We make it super easy with helpful tips and talking points.

5. Join Us! National Call-In Day to Support Working Family Tax Credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit!

Call your Senators today and again on Wednesday, November 6th using our hotline 1-888-678-9475

BACKGROUND: Right now, Congress is looking to add bipartisan tax legislation to the end-of-year budget package. It is imperative that any tax legislation helping businesses and the rich also help low-wage workers through expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). The EITC and CTC help working families and individuals better provide for basic needs. These two tax credits together lifted 10.6 million people out of poverty in 2018, and helped millions more, demonstrating the power of federal programs to alleviate poverty and helping low-income families keep up with the increasing cost of living. Our message is simple: “Any tax package that passes this year must include improvements to the low-income tax credits: the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.” Remember to call your Senators on November 6th using 1-888-678-9475.***We also will be holding a Twitterstorm from 12pm-2pmET using #ExpandTaxCredits, so make sure to check us out on Twitter and help us spread the word!

P.P.S. Did you get your sticker? By popular demand, we’re printing more of our “Mothers Raising Liberty & Justice” stickers that have energized MomsRising members around the nation. Contribute to MomsRising today to protect women and families — whatever you can afford — and we’ll send you this special “Mothers Raising Liberty & Justice” sticker.