Current Actions

  • Contact your Senators: Confirm Dr. Murthy

    Dr. Murthy is one of America’s most exceptional doctors, yet ideologues in the Senate are trying to block his nomination as our nation’s Surgeon General.

    Now is the time to act!  It is our duty to remind Congress that we are holding them accountable to confirm and support Vivek Murthy’s Nomination for Surgeon General of the United States.

    Contact your Senators and voice your support for Dr. Vivek Murthy’s confirmation as Surgeon General. Please personalize and submit your own message. Edit our suggested message to emphasize why you support him.

    If you can follow up your email with a call, it will have even more impact.

    We encourage you to JOIN IN on our efforts and #StandWithVivek.

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  • Support H.Res 503 on South Sudan

    Since mid-December, tensions that erupted between opposing political factions in South Sudan have spiraled into massive violence that often leverages existing ethnic tensions. This fighting has resulted in massive human rights abuses and has left over 800,000 internally displaced and 7 million at risk of food insecurity.

    As a longstanding supporter of South Sudan, it is time for the U.S. Government to take a strong stand against the violence.

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  • Why Courts Matter - McCutcheon Letter to Senator

     

  • Why Courts Matter - LTS (Women on the federal bench)
  • Why Courts Matter -- LTS (FL Rubio)
  • Why Courts Matter – LTS (TX)
  • Take Action Today: Urge Your Congress Members to Renew Unemployment Insurance

    Now is the time for Congress to restore unemployment insurance for struggling American families

    Last week, due in large part to your calls and grassroots work, a bipartisan group of Senators reached an agreement to extend emergency unemployment benefits. More than 2 million unemployed Americans have been struggling for too long without this critical support. It has been devastating to them and their families, and also drained over $3 billion from our economy in January and February alone. The American people and our economy cannot afford for this to continue. The Senate should pass the measure quickly and the House should follow suit.

    It has now been more than two months since Congress allowed emergency unemployment insurance to expire, leaving 2 million Americans without a vital economic lifeline as more and more families lose the ability to make ends meet. That’s 2 million Americans who have been left out in the cold, whose financial security, and in many cases their children’s financial security, are in jeopardy because Congress’ failure to act. 

    By letting unemployment insurance expire, Congress has pulled the rug out from under millions of American families struggling to get on their feet and has hurt our economic recovery. Unemployment insurance remains a crucial protection for unemployed workers; it kept 2.5 million people, including 600,000 children, out of poverty in 2012. By definition, these benefits are for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing, and able to take a new job.

    In this slow economic recovery, it is taking longer and longer for workers to find a new job and get back on their feet. The share of long-term unemployed workers is higher than ever before. Today, 38 percent of unemployed Americans have been out of work long term. It is both unfair and devastating to cut off these benefits at a period of such high long-term unemployment.

    While profits at the biggest banks have bounced back to record highs, the economy is still not working for too many struggling families. Letting the extended emergency unemployment benefits lapse over the next year would cost us $310,000 jobs and slash economic growth. It already drained $3 billion from state economies in the first week alone after the benefits expired. We cannot afford for Congress to block this vital program that would support state economies and extend a lifeline for those looking for work.

    Enough is enough. We need to build on the momentum of the bipartisan Senate agreement and urge the full Senate and the House to extend unemployment insurance immediately. Now is the time to take action!

    Take action today to restore this crucial lifeline for struggling American families! Enter your zip code below to urge your members of Congress to renew unemployment insurance!

     

  • Take Action Today: Urge Your Congress Member to Renew Unemployment Insurance

    It has now been more than two months since Congress allowed emergency unemployment insurance to expire, leaving 2 million Americans without a vital economic lifeline as more and more families lose the ability to make ends meet. That’s 2 million Americans who have been left out in the cold, whose financial security, and in many cases their children’s financial security, are in jeopardy because Congress’ failure to act. 

    By letting unemployment insurance expire, Congress has pulled the rug out from under millions of American families struggling to get on their feet and has hurt our economic recovery. Unemployment insurance remains a crucial protection for unemployed workers; it kept 2.5 million people, including 600,000 children, out of poverty in 2012. By definition, these benefits are for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing, and able to take a new job.

    In this slow economic recovery, it is taking longer and longer for workers to find a new job and get back on their feet. The share of long-term unemployed workers is higher than ever before. Today, 38 percent of unemployed Americans have been out of work long term. It is both unfair and devastating to cut off these benefits at a period of such high long-term unemployment.

    While profits at the biggest banks have bounced back to record highs, the economy is still not working for too many struggling families. Letting the extended emergency unemployment benfits lapse over the next year would cost us $310,000 jobs and slash eocnomic growth. It already drained $3 billion from state economies in the first week alone after the benfits expired. We cannot afford for Congress to block this vital program that would support state economies and extend a lifeline for those looking for work.

    Enough is enough. As congress likely prepares to vote on legislation before the end of the month to protect doctors' pay rates, it may be our last opportunity to renew unemployment insurance and provide a lifeline for millions of families. Now is the time to take action!

    Take action today to restore this crucial lifeline for struggling American families! Enter your zip code below to urge your Congress member to renew unemployment insurance!

  • Urgent Action Needed: Don’t let your senators take the Child Tax Credit away from immigrant children!

    As you know, refundable tax credits are one of the best tools we have to help us achieve our goal of cutting poverty in half in 10 years. In fact, last year the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and Child Tax Credit, or CTC, kept more than 10 million people—including 5.3 million children—out of poverty.

    But with child poverty at a 20-year high, Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH) has just introduced an amendment that would deny the Child Tax Credit to immigrant children who do not have a Social Security number, or SSN, hurting millions of children and the nation as whole.

    The proposed cut targets low-income immigrant families who work and pay their taxes using an Individual Tax Identification Number, or ITIN, because they are ineligible for a SSN.

    The Senate may vote on this amendment as early as today. Call your senators now and enter your zip code below to tell them to oppose the Ayotte amendment and any changes that would deny the refundable Child Tax Credit to low-income immigrant children. Call toll free: 1-888-853-7037.

    ITIN taxpayers pay more than $9 billion in payroll taxes every year. More than 50 percent of the families who benefit from the CTC earn less than $20,000 per year, and more than 75 percent earn less than $30,000.

    Eliminating the CTC will take an average of $1,800 away annually from these low-wage, working families, affecting literally millions of children. These are resources that are needed to pay for basics such as groceries, utility bills, or child care.

    And here’s the kicker: Sen. Ayotte is proposing the CTC cut as a way to pay for veterans’ pensions benefits. As our friend Sister Simone writes in a Roll Call op-ed, “Our political leaders should never place poor children in a position of competing with other vulnerable populations for funds that help pay for food and other basic needs.”

    Please call toll free 1-888-853-7037 and enter your zip code below. Tell your senators to vote against Sen. Ayotte’s harmful amendment that would deny the Child Tax Credit to low-income immigrant children.

    There are moments when we have to stop doing what we are doing and take action. This is one of those moments.

  • Share Your Story

    Have you been impacted by the high cost of college? Maybe you had to take out loans, or drop out of school altogether. Whatever your story is, we want to hear it. Share it with us here, and let your voice be heard! 

  • America needs Higher Ed, not higher debt!

    Now, more than ever, a college degree is the ticket required for entry into the middle class. Unfortunately, the skyrocketing cost of this ticket is risking our nation’s future as a middle‐class nation.

    Sing on to this letter if you believe we should be:

    • Providing support to borrowers currently paying off the existing $1.2 trillion of debt;

    • Addressing the causes of declining affordability and quality, including changes to state funding and financial aid policies;

    • Educating the public about Wall Street’s complicity in the creation of the $1.2 Trillion student debt crisis; and

    • Civic engagement across all geographic, demographic and political lines.

    If you  believe that higher education should be affordable and accessible to all, without the burden of financial hardship, please add your name and stand in solidarity with us. The time is now!

  • I Want To Refinance My Student Loans

     

  • Take Action Today: Urge Your Congress Member to Renew Unemployment Insurance

    Congress allowed emergency unemployment insurance to expire at the end of 2013, leaving 1.6 million Americans without a vital economic lifeline. Never before has Congress allowed unemployment insurance, or UI, extensions to expire with long-term unemployment so high Now, however, several weeks have passed, and Congress still has not renewed UI, resulting in the lowest share of unemployed workers receiving aid on record, even though there are still three jobseekers for every job.

    The share of long-term unemployed workers is higher than ever before. When Congress has allowed unemployment benefits to expire in the past, the percentage of unemployed workers who were without work for six months or longer was never higher than 23 percent. Today, 38 percent of unemployed Americans have been out of work long term.

    By letting unemployment insurance expire, Congress has pulled the rug out from under millions of American families struggling to get on their feet in the midst of an economic recovery. Unemployment insurance remains a crucial source of protection for unemployed workers; it kept 2.5 million people, including 600,000 children, out of poverty in 2012. By definition, these benefits are for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who are ready, willing, and able to take a new job. Enough is enough!

    Congress must renew UI because it relieves hardship for jobseekers and their families and is one of the most efficient ways to spur job creation in a weak economy. If Congress does not renew UI, the economy will lose 310,000 jobs in 2014. Today, the percentage of unemployed workers who have been out of work long term, the length of unemployment, and the share of workers who run out of benefits before finding a new job are all higher than they were every time Congress has let emergency unemployment insurance expire after past recessions.

    Federal unemployment insurance supports the unemployed jobseekers, keeps millions of Americans out of poverty, and spurs economic growth. The failure of Congress to renew unemployment benefits would be unprecedented in the history of federal responses to high unemployment following economic recessions, especially as 68 percent of Americans support extending the time limit for unemployment benefits for the unemployed during economic downturns.

    Take action today to restore this crucial lifeline for struggling American families without making harmful cuts to programs for low-income children or other vulnarable people. Enter your zip code below to urge your Congress member to renew UI!

  • GP Test petition

    This is a sample petition to test for the GP website.  

  • Why Courts Matter - LTS (National)

     

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  • Take the Pledge—Talk to Your Family About the ACA!

    Will you pledge to talk to your family and friends this holiday season about what's really going on with the Affordable Care Act?

  • Why Courts Matter -- Thank Senators for Ensuring that Our Nation's Second Most Important Court is Fully Functioning

     

  • Take Action: Urge Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage

    More than four years after the end of the Great Recession, not only have wages for low- and middle-income workers yet to recover, but low-wage jobs have dominated job growth. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which translates to just $15,080 per year for a full-time worker. This level is decades out of date, and the federal minimum wage for tipped workers—$2.13 per hour—hasn’t increased in more than 20 years.

    This is why we must take action and support the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which must get enough votes in the Senate to even be debated, and would raise the wage to $10.10 by 2015 and raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

    More working adults than ever are depending on low-wage jobs. Since the recession, 58 percent of new jobs have been in low-wage occupations like cashiers and food preparation, and waitresses and waiters are three times more likely to be paid below the poverty line than the general workforce and nearly twice as likely to need food stamps.

    The Fair Minimum Wage Act would help 28 million American workers living on the minimum wage make ends meet, and more than 21 million children have a parent who would get a raise. Raising the wage would also take a huge step toward closing the gender wage gap; women disproportionately work in low-wage occupations, and 71 percent of tipped workers getting a raise would be women.

    Higher wages will power economic recovery and growth. Raising the minimum wage would boost consumer demand as low-income workers spend their higher wages at local businesses. The Fair Minimum Wage Act would cause $32 billion in new economic activity, translating into 85,000 new full-time jobs.

    Enter your ZIP code below to urge your senators to restore a strong minimum wage for America’s workers. Too many Americans have worked too hard for too long at wages too low to support themselves and their families—it’s time working families are given a raise!  

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  • Take Action: Urge your member of Congress to oppose cuts to SNAP in a Farm Bill

    Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is yet again on the chopping block as Congress attempts to pass a final Farm Bill. The Senate passed a Farm Bill that included a cut of $4 billion to SNAP and the House passed its nutrition-only farm bill that cuts $40 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years, which would kick 3.8 million people off SNAP and result in 1.5 billion lost meals for struggling families in the first year alone. Representatives from both chambers have come together for a conference committee to negotiate and reconcile the differences between their bills and determine how much they will cut from nutrition assistance over the next couple of weeks. It is crucial that we oppose SNAP cuts in any Farm Bill conference report. 

    A cut to SNAP now would come on top of a benefit cut that just took place on November 1, which has left the average SNAP benefit at less than $1.40 per meal.

    In addition, recent data underscore that SNAP is among the most effective anti-poverty programs, keeping 5 million people out of poverty in 2012. SNAP matters to neighbors in every community in the country, and we need your help to send a strong message to Congress that we won’t stand for more hunger and food insecurity through cuts to SNAP.

    The program also benefits our economy—every $5 in new spending on SNAP generates $9 in economic activity. The $40 billion cut that the House passed in its nutrition-only Farm Bill would be devastating to families struggling with hunger as well as to the national economy—translating into 55,000 job losses in the first year alone. We can’t let that happen.   

    We must make our voices heard again and urge our members of Congress to remain steadfast in protecting SNAP and to oppose a Farm Bill that slashes nutrition assistance. Take action now by entering your ZIP code below to protect SNAP!

  • Urge Samantha Power to Help Sanction Key Conflict Gold Smugglers

    Enough’s latest report, “Striking Gold: How M23 and its Allies are Infiltrating Congo’s Gold Trade,” provides evidence of the conflict gold trade that is financing mass atrocities and crimes against humanity in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gold is now the most lucrative conflict mineral in the east of Congo. The U.S. and the United Nations can take steps to help bring this illicit gold trade under control.

    Sign the petition below to U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and read the activist brief “Striking Gold: Why the Illicit Gold Trade in Congo Matters” to learn more ways you can take action and educate others on conflict gold.

  • Why Courts Matter -- 5th Circuit

    Yesterday, a three-judge panel for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to allow a Texas law that will block safe and legal abortion in vast stretches of Texas. As a result, many women will not be able to get the care they need, whether it be abortion care or a whole array of preventive services such as family planning that reproductive- health centers provide.

    Judge Priscilla Owen, the author of the order, is among the most staunchly anti-abortion judges in the country. For decades, conservatives have been appointing judges like Owen who choose ideology over the law. Owen and the other two judges who ruled in this case were appointed by George W. Bush.

    Conservatives long ago realized that they could use the courts to get the outcomes they would never get otherwise. While a president may only be in office for four to eight years, a federal judge is appointed for life and can shape the law for decades.

    We are seeing that impact now.

    President Obama has only been able to make two appointments to the 5th Circuit and Republicans in the U.S. Senate have delayed his efforts to fill two current 5th Circuit vacancies for a total of three years! By attempting to keep the President’s nominees off the bench, Republicans are trying to keep the courts in the hands of those who ignore the rule of law and the rights we value in favor of ideological pursuits.

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  • Why Courts Matter -- DC Circuit Letter to Senators
  • Why Courts Matter -- DC Circuit Court Petition

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is often considered the second most important court in the country because its rulings affect all Americans, regardless of where they live. The D.C. Circuit often has the responsibility for deciding cases that deal with the governmental balance of powers and decisions made by government agencies that affect issues like health care, national security, environmental rules, consumer protections, and workplace safety. More U.S. Supreme Court justices have come from the D.C. Circuit than any other circuit court, including four current Justices.

    Today, three of the court’s eleven seats remain vacant, including one seat that has been unfilled since 2005 -- nearly 3000 days! These vacancies have a crippling effect on the court’s ability to decide on key cases that impact the lives of Americans across the country. 

  • Why Courts Matter -- LTS (TX: Women judges)
  • Why Courts Matter -- LTS (CO: Judgeships Act)
  • Why Courts Matter -- LTS (CO)
  • Judge William Thomas deserves a simple yes or no vote.
  • Sign the Petition to Urge President Obama to Act and Respond to Bashir's Planned Visit

    Please sign below and then call the White House at 202-456-1111

    President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who is indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, is planning to travel to next week's United Nations General Assembly in New York. President Obama and his administration must take action. If Bashir attends next week's opening session at the UN, it will be his first visit since the ICC issued arrest warrants against him in 2009 and 2010.

    Take action to send the letter below to President Obama calling on him to do everything within his power to prevent this visit.

  • Why Courts Matter - LTS (NC)
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  • Take Action: Don’t Allow Congress to Let American Families Go Hungry

    Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps—a vital support for low-income families and children—is yet again on the chopping block. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a nutrition-only farm bill, which would cut $40 billion from SNAP over the next 10 years, causing at least 4 million to 6 million vulnerable individuals to lose their food assistance, including 170,000 veterans and 210,000 kids who will lose their school meals. These cuts would come on top of a benefit cut that will impact all SNAP participants beginning November 2013. 

    The nutrition-only farm bill would be devastating to families struggling with hunger as well as to the national economy—translating into about 1.5 billion lost meals for hungry families each year for the next 10 years, and 55,000 job losses in the first year alone. We can’t let that happen.   

    It was just a couple months ago that, thanks to the actions and advocacy of thousands of Americans, the House failed to pass a Farm Bill that would have cut $21 billion from SNAP, which would have eliminated benefits for nearly 2 million Americans and devastated families with children across the country who are struggling to put food on the table and make ends meet. But now the House is trying to double down. We must make our voices heard again and urge our members of Congress to remain steadfast in protecting SNAP and oppose a Farm Bill that doesn’t include nutrition assistance.

    SNAP is crucial for low-income families. The program helps put food on the table for more than 47 million people on average each month—the majority of whom are children, elderly, disabled, or the working poor. SNAP plays a vital role in keeping families living on the brink from slipping into poverty. In 2012, SNAP kept 4 million people out of poverty.

    The program also benefits our economy—every $5 in new spending on SNAP generates $9 in economic activity.

    It is critical that we stand together to protect vital supports like nutrition assistance helping millions of struggling families and children across the country. Take action now to protect SNAP!

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  • Make College More Affordable!

     Now more than ever, students understand the how soaring college costs and crushing student debt not only limit access to quality higher education, but prevent young people from contributing to a much needed thriving middle class.  Want to find out how you can help make college more affordable and accessible for all? Sign our petition.

  • I Pledge . . .

    Even though the August recess is over, you can still meet with your Representatives or their staff in-district, as it is the most effective step you can take to move this legislation forward. Face-to-face conversations are the best way to make your voice heard and have an impact.

    Therefore I agree to the following:

  • Why Courts Matter - Write Your Senator
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  • Take Action: Urge Your Member Congress to Remain Steadfast in Support of Nutrition Assistance

    Funding for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)—a vital support for low-income families and children—is yet again a point of contention in Congress. The House Leadership just introduced a Farm Bill that excludes SNAP, leaving nutrition assistance for low-income people in the dust as the rest of the bill moves forward. This is a blatant act of political gamesmanship that leaves SNAP vulnerable to attack and abandons American families. The blending together of the multiple interests within the traditional Farm Bill is what has led to positive outcomes for nutrition assistance in the past.

    It was just a couple week ago that, thanks to the actions and advocacy of thousands of Americans, the House failed to pass a Farm bill that would have cut $21 billion from the program, which would have eliminated benefits for nearly 2 million Americans and devastated families with children across the country who are struggling to put food on the table and make ends meet. We must make our voices heard again and urge our Members of Congress to remain steadfast in protecting SNAP and oppose a Farm Bill that doesn’t include nutrition assistance.

    SNAP is crucial for low-income families. The program helps put food on the table for more than 47 million people on average each month - the majority of whom are children, elderly, disabled, or working poor. SNAP plays a vital role in keeping families living on the brink from slipping into poverty. In 2011, SNAP lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty, including 2.1 million children.

    The program also benefits our economy-- every 5 dollars in new spending on SNAP generates 9 dollars in economic activity.

    It is critical that we stand together to protect vital supports like nutrition assistance helping millions of struggling families and children across the country. Take action now to protect SNAP!

  • Why Courts Matter

    Our federal courts are vital because they address the issues that matter and keep our judicial system open and accessible.

    The current judicial vacancy crisis is creating a backlog of cases and makes it difficult for ordinary Americans to have their cases heard in a timely manner. The holds on President Obama’s judicial nominees threaten the legacy of a more diverse and fair federal court for decades to come.

    The Senate must fulfill its Constitutional duty to get the courts running at full capacity. It is time to put aside the partisan bickering, get rid of the anonymous ‘holds’ that Senators can place on judicial appointments, and fill these critical vacancies so Americans can have their voice heard in court. Judicial nominees deserve a simple yes or no vote.

    I stand with others and call for the end of political obstruction and urge the Senate to confirm well-qualified, diverse judicial nominees.

  • Take Action: Urge Your Member of Congress Not to Cut Nutrition Assistance

    The Farm Bill, the legislation that provides funding for the majority of the nation's nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) is being voted on this week by the House of Representatives. The House Bill would cut a staggering $21 billion from the program, eliminating food assistance entirely to nearly 2 million low-income people, mostly families with children, which would deal a tough blow to those across the country struggling to put food on the table and make ends meet—right at the time when such families are coping with cuts to other vital safety net supports like housing assistance, child care, and Head Start as part of sequestration.

    SNAP helps low-income families. The program helps put food on the table for more than 47 million people on average each month - the majority of whom are children, elderly, disabled, or working poor. SNAP plays a vital role in keeping families living on the brink from slipping into poverty. In 2011, SNAP lifted 4.7 million households out of poverty in, including 2.1 million children.

    The program also benefits our economy-- every 5 dollars in new spending on SNAP generates 9 dollars in economic activity. When families receive their benefits, they use them to purchase groceries and necessities for their family, which not only meets family food needs but also keeps local businesses running smoothly.

    Cuts to SNAP would devastate low-income families. Along with the 2 million Americans that will lose their benefits entirely, the House Farm Bill would cause 210,000 children to lose access to free meals at school, and 850,000 households to see their benefits cut by an average of $90 per month.

    It is critical that we stand together against any efforts to undermine or cut nutrition assistance for struggling families. Take action and oppose harmful cuts to SNAP!

  • Keep the Search for Kony Alive

    Since President Obama deployed approximately 100 U.S. military advisors and support personnel to areas affected by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in late 2011, there has been significant progress in dismantling the rebel group.

    Despite this progress, including increasing levels of LRA defections, some policy makers in the Obama Administration are considering ending the U.S. advisors’ mission.

    Tell Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that you support the U.S. advisors’ completion of their mission to help dismantle the LRA. Tell Sec. Hagel that civilians living in central Africa who remain at risk of LRA abductions and atrocity crimes need U.S. advisors to stay with the regional forces pressuring the LRA until the job is done and peace is achieved.

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  • Urge Secretary of State John Kerry to stop LRA poaching of elephants to finance atrocities against civilians

    Enough's latest report, "Kony's Ivory: How Elephant Poaching in Congo Helps Support the Lord's Resistance Army", provides evidence that the LRA is poaching elephants in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo to finance continued atrocities against civilians in the region. The U.S. can take steps to help stop this funding stream for armed groups by preventing poaching and increasing information and access for forces fighting the LRA.

  • Urge Your Member of Congress to Support the Half in Ten Act of 2013

    On May 23, 2013, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) introduced the Half in Ten Act of 2013, calling for poverty reduction to be a national priority. This bill will help mobilize public and political will toward our shared goal of dramatically cutting poverty over the next decade and promoting shared economic growth that renews the American Dream.

    By creating a Federal Interagency Working Group, a coordinated effort across federal departments and offices charged with developing within six months a national strategy to cut poverty in half in 10 years and eliminate child poverty and extreme poverty in our nation, the bill promotes accountability for progress by helping identify problems and successful initiatives and ensures that those with the greatest barriers to joining the middle class are included in efforts to create greater opportunity for all.

    Importantly, the bill recognizes that cutting poverty in half in 10 years will require steps to create good, family-supporting jobs as well as to strengthen our network of work and income supports to provide greater economic security to millions of families.

    We must build support for this critical legislation and for the policies that will enable us to reach the Half in Ten target. Poverty must be a national priority, and the Half in Ten Act of 2013 is the first step. But this will only happen if we tell our elected representatives to support the bill.

    Take action now and urge your member of Congress to support the Half in Ten Act of 2013!

     

  • Ask your Senators to Co-Sponsor Senate Resolution 144

    S. Res. 144 concerns the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the need for international efforts toward long-term peace, stability, and observance of human rights.

    A companion piece to House Resolution 131, this legislation has recently been introduced that urges increased engagement by the U.S. government to bring long-term peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo. By passing this resolution, Congress can work more closely with the Obama Administration to prioritize eastern Congo. As of mid-May, the resolution has three co-sponsors, and we need to increase that to help the bill pass and demonstrate the strength of Congressional support for peace in eastern Congo.

    Contact your senators now and call for their support as a co-sponsor.

  • Take Action: Congress Cares More About Flight Delays than Struggling Families

    On March 1, 2013, automatic and indiscriminate spending cuts, also known as the "sequester," kicked in, costing our economy what will ultimately be more than 1 million jobs and cutting essential services for millions of low- and middle-income families. As stories have poured in from across the country from those affected, we know the effects of sequestration are real, and struggling low-income families are paying the price.

    Every day, people across America are seeing how sequestration is affecting their quality of life, safety, and ability to get ahead with no end to the indiscriminate cuts in sight. Last week, before leaving town for recess, Congress swiftly passed a bill to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to keep the nation's airports running smoothly, leaving struggling families across the country wondering where they fit into Congress's priorities .

    Two months into sequestration, there have been deep cuts to services that help low-income families pay their bills and put food on the table. Parents are unable to work because the Head Start program is no longer available for their children; a child with a disability does not have a teacher in his or her classroom; Meals on Wheels is cutting back vital food services for seniors; an expecting mother is not receiving nutrition assistance; and a family is losing its housing assistance.

    Our vulnerable children, families, and seniors are every bit as important as passengers waiting for their flights . If Congress can act this quickly for air travelers, they can-and should-do the same for struggling families. It's time for Congress to replace the sequester with responsible deficit-reduction solutions. The piecemeal approach of fixing one problem at a time after public outrage soars does not help our struggling families. It does not help those still looking for jobs during this economic recovery, and it does not help our economy.

    Take action now by entering your zip code below and telling your representative and senators what must be done!

  • Tell Your Representative: Vote NO on the House Republican budget

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently introduced the House Republican budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins in October. The budget can be summed up in one sentence: It proposes deep cuts to services that help struggling families pay their bills and put food on the table while further lining the pockets of millionaires and corporations.

    We must be clear—low-income Americans should not bear the brunt of deficit reduction to finance more tax breaks for millionaires.

    Instead of investing in effective programs that help strengthen the middle class, cut poverty, and boost our economic recovery, the House Republican budget makes deep cuts to the area of the budget helping low-income families put food on the table and make ends meet. The budget continues to shore up the bloated defense budget rather than looking for savings, unlike the budget released by the Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), which includes sensible reductions in military spending as part of its balanced approach to deficit reduction.

    The House Republican budget will push millions more Americans into poverty and put a large number of low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities at risk. It guts Medicare and Medicaid and calls for massive cuts to food assistance, all in order to protect tax breaks for millionaires and special interests.

    Let’s make it clear that we will not stand for this. Sustaining our country’s economic recovery and investment in the future is only possible if we continue to invest in low-income Americans and the programs that serve them.

  • Support H.R. 1692, the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013

    Ten years since the U.S. government found crimes in Darfur, Sudan to constitute genocide, violence and aid restrictions exist in multiple locations throughout the country. There was a resurgence of Janjaweed militia violence in Darfur in the first months of 2014. Such violence, coupled with continued aerial bombardment of civilian areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and the blocking of humanitarian relief by the Government of Sudan, has left 6.1 million people in dire need of humanitarian aid in Sudan.

    It is time for the U.S. Government to do more and put an end to these atrocities.

    Take action now: Send a message to your Member of Congress asking him or her to support H.R. 1692, the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013. It's a strong piece of legislation that needs your support to get passed — one that will help in dealing with protection of civilians, emergency aid, and punishment for perpetrators of mass violence.

  • Thank the President for Supporting Pathways Back to Work
  • Ask Your Representative to Co-Sponsor House Resolution 131

    H.R. 131 Concerns the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the need for international efforts toward long-term peace, stability, and observance of human rights.

    The resolution has recently been introduced that urges increased engagement by the U.S. government to bring long-term peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo. By passing this resolution, Congress can pressure the Obama Administration to prioritize eastern Congo. As of early April, the resolution has 50 sponsors, but we need to double that to help the bill pass and demonstrate the strength of Congressional support for peace in eastern Congo.

    Contact your representatives now and ask for their support.

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  • Really Serious Action
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  • Ask for a U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region

    Recently, wanted war criminal and M23 rebel leader Bosco (“The Terminator”) Ntaganda turned himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. And Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was appointed the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region.

    Now, the U.S. government must take advantage of this opportunity and make Congo a higher priority. The U.S. must engage more significantly in the UN peace negotiations between the Congolese government, M23, and regional governments (including Rwanda and Uganda) to coordinate a regional response to the ongoing conflict.

    The U.S. government should appoint a Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region to lead a coordinated response to the crisis in eastern Congo.

    Sign your name to this petition asking President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a high-level Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region.

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  • Tell Your Representative: Vote NO on the House Republican budget

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently introduced the House Republican budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins in October. The budget can be summed up in one sentence: It proposes deep cuts to services that help struggling families pay their bills and put food on the table while further lining the pockets of millionaires and corporations.

    We must be clear—low-income Americans should not bear the brunt of deficit reduction to finance more tax breaks for millionaires.

    Instead of investing in effective programs that help strengthen the middle class, cut poverty, and boost our economic recovery, the House Republican budget makes deep cuts to the area of the budget helping low-income families put food on the table and make ends meet. The budget continues to shore up the bloated defense budget rather than looking for savings, unlike the budget released by the Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), which includes sensible reductions in military spending as part of its balanced approach to deficit reduction.

    The House Republican budget will push millions more Americans into poverty and put a large number of low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities at risk. It guts Medicare and Medicaid and calls for massive cuts to food assistance, all in order to protect tax breaks for millionaires and special interests.

    Let’s make it clear that we will not stand for this. Sustaining our country’s economic recovery and investment in the future is only possible if we continue to invest in low-income Americans and the programs that serve them.

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  • Congratulate New Secretary of State John Kerry, and Call for Immediate U.S. Action on Sudan

    Senator John Kerry assumes his role as Secretary of State at a critical moment.  Dissidents from around Sudan are demanding a change in government, while the country’s military continues to violently target civilian populations and deny the free flow of desperately needed humanitarian aid. Secretary of State Kerry must act now.  

    Take action now: Send a message to Secretary of State Kerry. Congratulate him on his recent appointment, and tell him to use his new position to take a holistic approach to the multiple conflicts in Sudan.     

  • Tell Congress to Act Now on Immigration!

    In a campaign-style event in Las Vegas, President Obama outlined his plan for comprehensive immigration reform, including an answer to DREAMers' call for action. During the 2012 campaign and ever since the election, the president has continued to emphasize immigration as a top priority for his administration.

    The President’s speech comes on the heels of a very rare press conference featuring both Democratic and Republican senators who presented a set of policy principles that will shape a bill due from their chamber in March.

    Lend your voice to tell Congress to act on immigration reform and vote to fix our broken immigration system!

  • Protect low-income families from devastating cuts to key services!

    Thanks to your calls and letters during the fiscal showdown, many low-income families can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. On New Year’s Day, Congress voted on a deal to:

    · Extend the Recovery Act’s earned income and child tax credits for five years

    · Continue unemployment benefits for long-term unemployed workers

    ·  Raise more than $600 billion in revenue over 10 years in part by asking families earning more than $450,000 a year to go back to Clinton-era tax rates

    The deal did not include any cuts to programs helping millions of struggling families such as nutrition assistance, Social Security, and Medicaid.

    Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. The recent deal pushed the automatic, across-the-board cuts called “sequestration” two months forward to March 2013, setting up another fiscal showdown. It also did not raise the debt limit, which is necessary to allow our government to pay the bills it already owes. Failure to do so will result in enormous economic consequences. And while the deal’s provisions to raise taxes on families earning more than $450,000 is a good first step, it does not raise sufficient revenue by itself to avert harmful cuts in the future.

    The next two months are critical. Now is the time to weigh in with your members of Congress. Urge them to avert the across-the-board cuts, which are scheduled to hit the part of the budget that houses many critical human needs programs such as Head Start, child care, and nutrition aid for pregnant women and young children. Remind them that paying our country’s bills is non-negotiable and that any future deal to cut the deficit must be balanced and protect low-income families.

    Thanks to your advocacy, we were able to protect low-income families in the lame-duck session. Now we need your help again. Please join us in contacting Congress today.

  • Commit to Purchase Conflict-Free Products

    We need your help to increase demand for conflict-free electronics products. As a consumer, you can influence electronics industry leaders as they weigh whether or not to invest in making their supply chains transparent and producing verifiably conflict-free products. Tell companies that if they take conflict out of their products, you'll buy them.

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  • Tell Congress What $2,000 Means To You

    The fiscal cliff—or fiscal showdown, as we're calling it—is a bundle of expiring tax cuts and cuts to program spending that threaten America’s middle class with an average tax increase of $2,200 if Congress cannot reach an agreement by the end of the year.

    There is consensus among lawmakers and economists that increasing taxes on the middle class would be detrimental to our economy, particularly for small businesses. President Obama agreed, calling on Congress to "pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income."

    A bill, which the president said he is willing to sign quickly, would protect 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses from the tax increase. The wealthiest Americans, who have balked at the idea of higher taxes, would also get a tax-break on their first $250,000 worth of income.

    Let Congress know that we can't afford a tax hike on the middle class — and what $2,000 is really worth to you.

  • Protect low-income Americans in the lame duck session!

    Struggling families have a lot at stake if Congress fails to act by the end of the year. Without congressional action, vital expansions to tax credits for working families and federal emergency unemployment insurance benefits will expire at the end of the year. Not only that, but automatic cuts to human needs programs such as job training, early education, and nutrition assistance for mothers and infants are also scheduled to take effect in January 2013.

    Congress has already begun debating whether to extend the expiring provisions and how to address or avert the pending budget cuts that are set to automatically begin early next year.

    It’s imperative that, as Congress deliberates, it only considers proposals that protect low-income and vulnerable people, promote job creation so all of us can share in restored economic growth, and increase revenues from fair sources. The fact that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are set to expire must also be taken into consideration.

    Urge your members of Congress to continue unemployment insurance benefits and the tax credits that help working families. Ask them to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire so we can pay down our deficit and make the investments we need to lift all Americans up. And urge them to avert the automatic across-the-board cuts to human needs programs—with so many families and children struggling, we can’t afford to cut the services helping them make ends meet.

    Weigh in with your members of Congress today and ask them to protect low-income Americans in the deficit and tax debate. Now is the time to make your voice heard.

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  • Stand up for programs meeting human needs!

    Members of Congress will face some big choices in the coming months.

    With the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy set to expire at the end of this year, members of Congress have an opportunity to restore tax fairness to our nation, so we can pay down our debt and invest in our shared prosperity—rather than give more to those who need it the least.

    Members of Congress also have an opportunity to stand up for programs aiding the most vulnerable. Without congressional action before the end of the year, we’ll see automatic, across-the-board cuts to the area of the budget that funds essential programs like nutrition assistance for low-income expectant mothers and infants, early education opportunities for at-risk children, and more. 

    Will Congress make damaging cuts to programs helping low- and moderate-income Americans? Will they prevent cuts to these vital services by asking the wealthiest 2 percent to pay their fair share in taxes? Will they funnel even more of our taxpayer dollars to defense rather than to human needs, where investment is desperately needed? 

    If you’re concerned about promoting the common good, protecting the vulnerable, and rebuilding the economy, speak out!  Weigh in now with your members of Congress, urge them to stand up for programs meeting human needs this fall and beyond. If you represent an organization, show your support by signing this letter from the Coalition on Human Needs.

    Thanks to the Coalition on Human Needs for providing the basis of this alert.

  • Tell Congress You Support SNAP!

    On July 11, the House Agriculture Committee will vote on a Farm Bill proposal that hurts struggling families by cutting over $16 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. What does this mean for low-income Americans? 

    • 500,000 households would see their benefits cut by $90 per month
    • 2 million to 3 million individuals would lose their food assistance entirely
    • Nearly 300,000 kids would lose free school meals

    These cuts would be devastating for our most vulnerable neighbors. Ninety-three percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps) benefits go to households below the poverty line, and 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, elderly person, or disabled person.

    Please help us tell Congress that we need their support to stand up for hungry families! Call or email today and urge your representative to oppose cuts to supplemental nutrition assistance in the Farm Bill.

    Use our toll-free number to call right now and urge Congress to oppose cuts to nutrition programs in the Farm Bill!

    • Dial 877.698.8228.  When prompted, enter your zip code and listen to the brief instructions. You’ll then be automatically patched through to your Representative’s office. State that you are a constituent and give your name and the town you are calling from.
    • Let them know you are calling about the Farm Bill and deliver this important message:

    I strongly oppose cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other nutrition assistance programs. Please vote against the proposed cuts to supplemental nutrition assistance in the House Farm Bill. Increasing hunger in America is the wrong vote.

    Or, simply enter your zip code below and email your Representative today to make your voice heard.

  • Tell Congress: Vote for Tax Fairness!

    At the end of this year, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts will expire. This week the House is expected to take two votes--one on a bill that preserves tax cuts for the wealthiest while slamming 13 million low-wage working families, and one that asks the wealthy to pay their fair share while continuing tax breaks for middle and low-income families. The choice is clear.

    Not only does one bill, H.R. 8, preserve the tax cuts for the wealthiest, but it actually increases the burden on low-wage working families. By allowing expansions to the earned income tax credit (EITC) and child tax credit to expire, the bill would reduce tax credits for 13 million low-wage working families, including 26 million children, pushing many into poverty.

    The other House bill allows the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent to expire, while providing tax relief to families earning up to $250,000 per year and preserving the important expansions to the EITC and the child tax credit.

    Weigh in with your member of Congress and urge them to vote against H.R. 8 and for tax fairness today!

  • Stand Up for SNAP in the Farm Bill!

    The Farm Bill, the legislation that provides funding for the majority of the nation's nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), is being debated by the Senate this week. As it stands, the Farm Bill would cut approximately $4.5 billion from nutrition assistance which helps to ensure that the poorest and hungriest people in our nation can feed their families.

    As you know, the program helps put food on the table for nearly 45 million low-income participants each month—the majority of whom are children, elderly, disabled, or working poor. In 2010 alone it lifted more than 5 million Americans above the poverty line. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also benefits our economy--every $1 in SNAP is estimated to create $1.73 to $1.79 in economic activity.

    It is critical that we stand together against any efforts to undermine or cut nutrition assistance for struggling families. Several amendments to this bill have been filed, including one which would restore funding to SNAP.

    Please help us generate calls and emails to the Senate this week to support amendments that restore the cut to SNAP and further strengthen the nutrition title, and oppose harmful amendments that would further cut or undermine SNAP and weaken other parts of the nutrition title. Call this toll-free number: 877-698-8228 to be connected to your Senators or enter your zip code in the field below to access an emailable letter you can send to your Senators in two minutes or less.

    The House will soon consider their own version of the Farm Bill. Join Feeding America and FRAC for a virtual town hall and call-in push on the Farm Bill with Representatives Jim McGovern and Rosa DeLauro on Monday, June 18 at 1:30pm EST. The 30 minute town hall will provide an update on where the Farm Bill stands and an overview of threats and strategy in the House. At the end of the town hall, participants will be automatically connected to their representative’s office and encouraged to deliver a message about protecting nutrition programs in the Farm Bill.

    Register now for a Virtual Town Hall with nutrition champions. Join this interactive conversation for an update on the latest Farm Bill action and hear from leaders in Congress about what we need to do to protect nutrition programs from the significant threats in the House.

    What: Farm Bill Virtual Town Hall
    When: Monday, June 18, 1:30 ET
    Who: Rep. Jim McGovern (MA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT), hunger and nutrition advocates across the country
    How: 
    Register now to attend!

  • Student Debt Day

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  • Weigh in with Congress on their recent vote on nutrition assistance!

    The Ryan Budget sets forth $134 billion in cuts to nutrition assistance, or SNAP, which would kick 8-10 million people off the program, cut benefits below standards for a minimal diet, or some combination of these two outcomes.

    Specific cuts outlined by the House would simultaneously drop 280,000 low-income kids from school lunch.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has served as the nation's first line of defense against hunger, helping to ensure that the poorest and hungriest people in our nation can feed their families. The program helps put food on the table for nearly 46 million low-income participants each month—the majority of whom are children, seniors, people with disabilities, or working poor.

    • In 2010 alone it lifted more than 4 million Americans above the poverty line.
    • Cuts to the program will also cost us economically. Every $1 in SNAP is estimated to create $1.73 to $1.79 in economic activity.

    It is critical that we stand together against any efforts to undermine or cut nutrition assistance for struggling families.

    Share the #RealHungerGames and urge your members of Congress to protect and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program today.

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Help arrest “The Terminator” and be a leader for peace in Congo

    Bosco Ntaganda, a.k.a. “The Terminator,” is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Bosco uses child soldiers, intimidation, rape, and murder against the Congolese population while earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the illegal trade in Congo’s conflict minerals. Even worse? He’s getting away with it.

    Sign the letter below to join over 140 Congolese, European, and U.S. civil society organizations in calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help arrest “The Terminator.”

    By adding your name, you will ask Hillary Clinton to make the U.S. a leader in the creation of a conflict minerals certification system that legitimizes trade, helps communities, and ensures people like “The Terminator” no longer exploit Congo’s people and mineral wealth.

    Read the letter undersigned by Congolese and international civil society and human rights organizations to Secretary Clinton.

    Learn more about Bosco Ntaganda.

  • Take Action—Clean Up the Energy Industry

    A dirty playground in foreground with a coal power plant behind

    For the first time in history, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to limit carbon dioxide pollution from new power plants—and you can help make it happen.

    Power plants dump more than two billion tons of dangerous carbon and other toxic pollutants into the air each year. Carbon pollution fuels global climate change which increases the number of bad air days, resulting in more asthma attacks, more heat-related deaths, respiratory complications, and other threats. That’s why the American Lung Association and doctors and nurses across the country are already voicing their support.

    On the other side—Corporate polluters are spending millions of dollars on lobbyists and ad campaigns to block these new standards.

    We need your voice and support! Send a powerful message that it's time to protect the health of our friends and family, not the bottom line of big polluters. Be part of a historic moment: join with hundreds of thousands of Americans to support limits on carbon pollution from power plants. The public commenting period began on April 13th, so make your voice heard now.

    We have provided some basic text for your message to EPA. We encourage you to personalize it by adding specifics to your message. For instance:

    • Mention anyone you know who suffers from respiratory or other similar illnesses
    • Cite a local coal fired power plant with significant pollution
    • Refer to a local renewable electricity project that would become more viable if dirty power plants had to clean up
  • The REAL Hunger Games – Tell Congress to Protect Nutrition Assistance!

    This week the House is voting on $36 billion in cuts to nutrition assistance, or SNAP, which would kick 2 million people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), reduce benefits for 44 million more, and drop 280,000 low-income kids from school lunch.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has served as the nation's first line of defense against hunger, helping to ensure that the poorest and hungriest people in our nation can feed their families. The program helps put food on the table for nearly 45 million low-income participants each month—the majority of whom are children, elderly, disabled, or working poor.

    • In 2010 alone it lifted more than 5 million Americans above the poverty line.
    • Cuts to the program will also cost us economically. Every $1 in SNAP is estimated to create $1.73 to $1.79 in economic activity.

    It is critical that we stand together against any efforts to undermine or cut nutrition assistance for struggling families.

    Urge your members of Congress to protect and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program today.

  • Tell Your Representative: Vote NO on the House Republican Budget!

    The House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), recently passed their budget for the next fiscal year which begins in October. The budget can be summed up in one sentence: It proposes to deeply cut services that help struggling families pay their bills and put food on the table while giving millionaires and corporations a blank check.

    We must be clear—the next budget is America’s budget, and it is about defining our priorities.

    The priorities of the House Republicans are clear. Instead of investing in effective programs that help strengthen the middle class, cut poverty, and boost our economic recovery, the House Republicans cut the safety net deeply in order to finance tax breaks for millionaires. And if that isn’t enough, the House Republican proposal violates last year’s bipartisan agreement on annual spending levels as they propose to continue funneling millions to the bloated defense budget instead of investing in veterans and jobs here at home.

    The House Republican budget will push millions more Americans into poverty, and put a large number of low-income children, elderly, and people with disabilities at risk. It would gut Medicare and Medicaid and call for massive cuts to food assistance. In fact, the House Republican budget would cut $133.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/food stamps program over 10 years—a $13.4 billion cut per year beginning in October—which would result in 8.2 billion meals lost each year and 184,000 jobs lost. To see how many jobs and meals would be lost in your state due to these cuts, click here.

    Let’s make it clear that we will not stand for this. Sustaining our country’s economic recovery and investment in the future is only possible if we continue to support low-income Americans and the programs that serve them.

    Contact your member of Congress today and tell them to vote NO on the House Republican budget.

  • Tell your Representative to Support New Sudan Legislation

    "You must hand over the place clean. Swept, rubbed, crushed. Don’t bring them back alive. We have no space for them." –Ahmed Haroun, governor of South Kordofan and architect of the Darfur genocide, recently captured on video inciting Sudanese soldiers to commit war crimes in the Nuba Mountains

    It doesn't get much clearer than this: the Government of Sudan caught on video commanding an ethnic cleansing of its own people.

    Take action now: Send a message to your member of Congress asking them to cosponsor the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012. It's a strong piece of legislation that needs your support to get passed -- one that will help in dealing with protection of civilians, emergency aid, and punishment for perpetrators of mass violence like Ahmed Haroun.

  • The Most 'Insanely Great'—But Missing—iPad Feature Ever

  • The Most 'Insanely Great' -- But Missing -- iPad Feature Ever
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  • Tell Congress what you think about their recent vote on unemployment insurance!

    We did it! Thanks to your calls and emails, Congress passed a much-needed continuation of unemployment insurance benefits and the payroll tax cut through the end of this year. As a result millions of working families will be able to keep an additional $40 on average per paycheck, and jobless workers will be able to provide for their families and pay their bills while they look for work. Conservatives still succeeded in cutting a few weeks of benefits off the unemployment insurance program, which will hurt the long-term unemployed as well as the economy. But overall this was an important victory for low-income families, the long-term unemployed, and our economic recovery.

    Your advocacy made the difference. Your work means that low-income immigrant families won’t have to lose their child tax credit to pay for this vital extension. Jobless workers struggling to make ends meet won’t be penalized for having little education or be subjected to humiliating and costly drug tests. Our economy will continue to benefit from increased demand as families purchase goods and services from local businesses with their unemployment insurance benefits and payroll tax cut.

    We want to make sure our leaders in Congress know that standing up for policies that create jobs and cut poverty pays off. Please take a moment to reach out to your members of Congress today. You can thank them for protecting jobless workers and the paychecks of millions of American workers or express your disappointment if they failed to support this important extension.

    By entering your zip code in the field below, you’ll be able to access editable letters to send to your members of Congress depending on how they voted. If your member voted in support of the extension, you’ll see the letter thanking them for their support. If your member did not support the extension, you’ll see the letter expressing disappointment in their vote.

    Thank you for standing up for jobless workers, low-income families and children, and our economic recovery.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress Not to Block Affordable Access to Contraception

    Tell Congress every single woman deserves access to affordable birth control.

  • Tell Congress: Jobless workers are not political pawns!

    Thanks to your calls, Congress passed a two-month extension of emergency unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut in December. This vital action ensured that jobless workers were able to continue receiving this vital lifeline and that working families could keep an additional $40 on average per paycheck.

    This extension expires at the end of February, and policymakers are already working to negotiate a deal that would continue both of these key provisions for the rest of the calendar year. Should Congress fail to continue these important policies, millions of Americans will be at risk of losing benefits, subjecting them to potential financial instability. Families will be unable to pay their bills and local businesses will lose customers and shed jobs, burdening communities that are struggling in tough economic times.

    Many policymakers recognize that we need to continue both emergency unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut. But they don’t agree on is how to do it. Conservatives in Congress have decided to use jobless workers as pawns to extract ideological concessions in exchange for continuing both programs.

    Take a moment today to tell your member of Congress that jobless workers are not political pawns. Call now using this toll-free number: (888) 245-3381 or enter your zip code below for a draft email you can personalize before sending to your members of Congress.

    Let them know that this important legislation should not include new restrictions that subject Americans struggling with unemployment to humiliating and costly drug tests. Tell them that instituting new requirements such as mandatory GEDs as a prerequisite to receive benefits are onerous and unfairly target workers with little education. Remind them that asking some of our most vulnerable low-income immigrant families to bear the brunt of the cost of this extension is unfair and wrong.

    This is not the time to play political chess. With so many people living in poverty and shouldering the burden of unemployment, we can’t afford to delay this important extension.

    Contact your member of Congress and urge them to pass legislation extending unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut without onerous restrictions today!

  • Tell Congress to Save Pell

    Congress just doesn’t seem to be listening. With the Occupy movements around the country, young people have garnered the attention of the national media and people are finally talking more about the need to make college affordable and accessible for every American. But Republican leaders in the House have made it clear that they have different priorities—and at the top of their list is cutting Pell Grants.

    Pell Grants have been helping low-income students afford college for decades, but the House Appropriations Committee is proposing $3.6 billion in cuts that would eliminate Pell Grants for as many as 1 million college students and reducing the amount received by millions more.

    But we need your help to save Pell Grants and keep the dream of a college education alive for every interested American. Send a message to your member of Congress today, asking him or her to stand up for the Pell Grant.

  • Share Your Congratulations

    This is where we describe what we're celebrating and the reason we're congratulating.

  • Pass a Simple Continuation of Unemployment Benefits!

    The House and Senate have reached a deal to temporarily continue unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut for two months while they continue negotiating the possibility of a year-long package.

    We urge you to contact your representative and senators now. Tell them they must pass a clean, year-long continuation of unemployment benefits, the payroll tax cut, and other key low-income provisions.

    These provisions were almost allowed to lapse during the holiday season due to brinkmanship on the part of Republican House Leadership. This must not happen again. Struggling families are not bargaining chips!

    Call your members today!

  • Stop Kony and the LRA
     

    Joseph Kony’s Lord's Resistance Army is a violent rebel group. For 25 years it has terrorized civilians – murdering, raping, and conscripting child soldiers – in East and Central Africa. Last fall, President Obama deployed 100 U.S. military advisors to assist efforts to end the brutal reign of Joseph Kony's Lord’s Resistance Army.

    Watch our new video, then sign the letter below asking President Obama to do more.

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  • Rajiv Shah: Speak Out Against the Famine in Somalia

    Somalia's Famine

    Half the population of Somalia is in need of emergency aid. The epic proportions of this famine unfolding in the Horn of Africa must prompt the Obama administration to re-think its disaster relief efforts to save lives in the conflict-prone region.

    Send a letter to Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency of International Development, calling for U.S. action on one of the main triggers of the humanitarian disaster: the inability of aid agencies to reach most of those in need.

  • Urge Congress to Pass the American Jobs Act!

    In early September, President Barack Obama proposed the American Jobs Act, a large-scale effort to create jobs, assist the long-term unemployed, and advance American competitiveness. Sharing the details with the American public before a joint session of Congress, President Obama highlighted a few of the ways the American Jobs Act would jump-start the economy, put people back to work, and put money in the pockets of American families. Among other things:

    • It would continue federal jobless benefits for another year, which keeps more Americans from falling into poverty and boosts demand for goods and services, creating jobs for other Americans.
    • It would provide funding to keep teachers, firefighters, and police officers on the job, as well as funding to put Americans back to work repairing schools, roads, and bridges.
    • It would make key investments for low-income and long-term unemployed workers, including subsidized employment and summer job opportunities for low-income and long-term unemployed Americans, and a payroll tax cut that will reach low- and moderate-income workers.

    The Census Bureau’s recently released data on poverty underscores the urgency with which Congress should pass the American Jobs Act. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans, or 46.2 million people, are now living in poverty, making this the highest number on record since the Census starting keeping track in 1959. More than a third of the population is low-income, struggling to get by on incomes below $44,000 a year for a family of four. More than 1 in 4 African Americans and Latinos are living in poverty, rates which still more than double that of whites. What’s more, many of these same families are seeing their challenges compounded by hunger, unemployment, and foreclosure.

    Congress needs to hear from you! If you have direct experience in the areas of construction, education, or long-term unemployment, share your thoughts on new proposals to create jobs with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce—they need to hear from you.

    Please make your voice heard today and urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, including the critical provisions outlined above. With so many Americans living in poverty and struggling with unemployment, we can’t afford to wait.

  • Gov. Jerry Brown: Sign the California DREAM Act!

    Last month we asked you to urge key senators in the state legislature to support the California DREAM Act (AB 131), a bill that would allow undocumented immigrant youth to apply for state-based financial.

    They got your faxes, and they acted. Thanks to you the bill overcame some major hurdles and passed in the California Senate and Assembly. The bill is now sitting on Governor Brown’s desk waiting for final approval. If he’s going to sign it, he needs to hear from you today.

    In the face of severe cuts in education and skyrocketing tuition costs, making college affordable for undocumented immigrant youth continues to be a critical issue. Join California DREAMers and allies today by sending Gov. Brown a letter urging him to sign AB 131 into law.

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  • Congress spent over $120 billion to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. Tell them it’s time to rebuild America.

    Congress has spent over $120 billion of U.S. taxpayer money reconstructing Iraq and Afghanistan, building schools, roads, bridges and other essential infrastructure. Today, America's infrastructure is crumbling and millions of people are out of work. Write your member of Congress and tell them it's time to rebuild America. Demand that we invest at least as much in our own communities as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  • Demand that Senators Koheo and Steinberg get the California DREAM Act AB 131 to the Senate Floor for a Vote!

    Action on AB 131, better known as the second part of the California DREAM Act, is being stalled in the California State Senate.

    Today, activists all over the state will rally to put pressure on key legislators to pass the bill that will make higher education more accessible to undocumented students.

    AB 131 would make qualified immigrant youth in the California State University and University of California systems eligible to receive Cal Grants, or state-based financial aid. This aid is essential to hard-working immigrant students seeking a college education in the face of skyrocketing tuition costs.

    If we’re going to pass AB 131, we need to pressure key legislators to act now. This is where you come in.

    Appropriations Chairwoman Christine Kehoe and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg need to hear from you today!

    Join other activists in your community by sending Kehoe and Steinberg a letter to let them know we’re counting on them to pass the second part of the California DREAM Act.

  • Tell Congress: Protect low-income families and focus on creating jobs!

    Earlier this month, Congress passed a deal to raise the debt ceiling that included $1 trillion cuts over the next 10 years, and the creation of a bipartisan congressional “supercommittee” charged with finding another $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. Click here to get some background on the newly appointed members of the supercommittee.

    Not only does this deal stand to cut vital investments like cancer research and education and training programs, but it puts low-income families and children who rely on programs like WIC, Head Start, SNAP/food stamps, and Medicaid, at risk. At a time when unemployment is hovering over 9 percent and 44 million Americans are living in poverty, such deep cuts or structural changes to key programs is the last thing these families, and our fragile economic recovery, need.

    Your members of Congress are home this month for recess. Please visit their district offices, attend a town hall, or call or write them today. Ask them to weigh in with the newly announced members of the congressional supercommittee. Urge them to ask the supercommittee to ensure that the deficit reduction plan they develop follows these key principles:

    • Protect low-income families and programs that connect Americans to opportunity.
    • Include increased revenues by ensuring millionaires, oil companies and other profit-rich corporations pay their fair share.
    • Leave room for investments that put people back to work, and extend jobless benefits for those hit hardest in the recession.

    Your members of Congress need to hear from you. Make your voice heard—stand up for vulnerable families today.

  • Tell Your Senator to Vote for AB131

    Action on AB 131, better known as the second part of the California DREAM Act, is being stalled in the California State Senate.

    Today, activists all over the state will rally to put pressure on key legislators to pass the bill that will make higher education more accessible to undocumented students.
     
    AB 131 would make qualified immigrant youth in the California State University and University of California systems eligible to receive Cal Grants, or state-based financial aid. This aid is essential to hard-working immigrant students seeking a college education in the face of skyrocketing tuition costs.
     
    If we’re going to pass AB 131, we need to pressure key legislators to act now. This is where you come in.

    Appropriations Chairwoman Christine Kehoe and Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg need to hear from you today!

    Join other activists in your community by sending Kehoe and Steinberg a letter to let them know we’re counting on them to pass the second part of the California DREAM Act.

  • Speak Up for Conflict Minerals Regulations

    US Capitol

    This is a critical moment for conflict minerals regulations.

    Join us in the fight to ensure our electronics products are not fueling rape and violence in eastern Congo by sending an email to your Member of Congress. Ask them to weigh in with the SEC to support the approach of no additional delays and no phase-ins on the conflict minerals provision.

  • Hey Washington: End Corporate Welfare! NOW.

    Why are we giving BILLIONS in taxpayer subsidies and write-offs to oil executives and hedge fund managers? 

    Across America, thousands of teachers are being laid off, programs to help feed needy children have been abandoned, and Social Security is under attack. We’re told these cuts are the only way to deal with budget shortfalls. Well, it’s time to fight back and set the record straight. America's richest corporations are dodging billions in taxes they owe.

    It's time for Washington to End Corporate Welfare. NOW.

    Amidst the debate over the federal budget, we're launching an innovative grassroots campaign to tell Congress to stop diverting money from crucial programs to line the pockets of the corporate fat cats who got us into this crisis.

    Join us!

    We're forming a citizen network of community organizers and social media-savvy activists to take on the special interests and hold power accountable through both online campaigns and offline actions. The clock is ticking and we need you!

  • Protect Our Right to Vote

    25 major corporations are on the advisory board of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which crafted a “Voter ID” law that makes it harder for people, especially young people, low-income people, people of color, the disabled, and older Americans to vote. Stand up and support the right to vote by signing onto the petition asking these companies to oppose voter suppression measures such as “Voter ID” laws and to support voting for all our citizens.

    Sign the petition below, and we will deliver it the to major corporations.

  • Tell your members of Congress to stand up for the American Dream and protect programs for low-income families in the deficit reduction debate!

    With the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling rapidly approaching, President Barack Obama and Congress are working overtime to develop a plan to reduce the deficit. With only a few days of negotiations left, now is the time to make your voice heard. Urge your senators and representative to uphold one key principle as they finalize a deficit reduction plan: Protect programs for low-income families and individuals and ensure deficit reduction does not increase poverty.

    Major bipartisan deficit reduction plans in recent decades have met this basic standard. In fact, all of the deficit reduction packages enacted in the 1990s not only brought down the deficit but also reduced poverty in America. Getting our fiscal house in order need not, and should not, mean we do so in a way that increases poverty, hardship, and inequality while financing additional tax breaks for the wealthy.

    The American Dream is under siege today. With unemployment topping 9 percent, an ongoing foreclosure crisis, and the high cost of basic necessities, struggling Americans need services like Medicaid and food stamps to make ends meet more than ever. They need the opportunities provided by Pell Grants and job training to obtain economic security and provide a better future for their children.  

    Your members of Congress need to hear from you during this critical time—please call or email your senators and representative and ask them to stand up for the American Dream. Tell them to oppose harmful cuts to low-income programs and support fair increases in revenues to fight reckless cuts to important services. Urge them to reject a constitutional balanced budget amendment which would threaten our economic stability and likely force huge cuts to programs providing basic assistance to the most vulnerable Americans. Make your call today, toll free at 888.907.1485.  

    With critical services for our most vulnerable hanging in the balance, your voice on this issue could not be more needed or important during this time.

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    Pídele al EPA que proteja nuestra salud al reducir el mercurio y otros contaminantes tóxicos

    woman and child

    La adopción de la regulación de tóxicos de aire impediría aproximadamente 17 mil muertes prematuras, 120.000 casos de síntomas de asma en los niños, y 12.000 hospitalizaciones y visitas a la sala de emergencia cada año.

    Úrgele a la Agencia de Protección Ambiental que exija reducciones en el mercurio, el arsénico y otros contaminantes ambientales tóxicos que emiten las centrales eléctricas. Dichas garantías reducirían el envenenamiento a causa del mercurio en los niños, así como acelerarían la expansión de la eficiencia y tecnologías de energía renovable que no producen estos contaminantes.

    La protección de contaminantes ambientales tóxicos es especialmente importante para la comunidad latina:

    • El 66% de los latinos en EE.UU—25.6 millones de personas—viven en áreas que no cumplen con las normas seguras de calidad del aire establecidas por el gobierno federal. Esto resulta en vidas más cortas: Los latinos tienen tres veces más probabilidades de morir de asma que los blancos no latinos. Los niños latinos también tienen un 60 por ciento más de probabilidades de padecer de asma que los niños blancos no latinos.
    • Un reciente informe por el Center for American Progress encontró que siete de las 25 ciudades estadounidenses más contaminadas cuentan con poblaciones latinas de más de un 40%. El promedio de la población latina en las 10 ciudades más contaminadas de los Estados Unidos es del 33 por ciento.

    ¿Por qué proveer comentarios?

    El 16 de marzo de 2011 el EPA propuso nuevas normas que limitarán por primera vez los tóxicos peligrosos emitidos de centrales eléctricas de carbón. Cada año, 772 millones de libras de mercurio, dioxinas y otros productos químicos que causan cáncer salen de sus chimeneas. Esto tiene enormes economic costos humanos y económicos. Pero las grandes empresas del carbón y servicios públicos quieren bloquear estas medidas de seguridad para proteger sus ganancias. Expresa tu apoyo a la protección planteada por la EPA, y ayuda a demostrar una fuerte demanda pública a favor de esta protección.

    El período de comentarios públicos sobre esta regulación está abierto, así que haz escuchar tu voz hoy.

    Hemos incluido un texto básico para tu mensaje. Te animamos a que lo personalices añadiendo detalles a tu mensaje. Por ejemplo,

    • Menciona a cualquier persona que conozcas que sufre de enfermedades respiratorias;
    • Menciona a un central eléctrico de carbón cercano que emite bastante contaminación, o,
    • Refiérete a un proyecto local de electricidad renovable que se convertiría más viable económicamente si las plantas eléctricas de energía sucia se “limpiaran”.
  • State Senator to Student Government Leaders: “Go Home”

    Iowa State Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (R – District 42) condescendingly dismissed five student government leaders from a budget hearing on Monday, telling them to "go home" when they showed up to testify at the hearing on the impact of proposed education budget cuts.

    Tell Senator Hamerlinck that he should publicly apologize to the students.

    Transcript:

    "I do not like it when students actually come here and lobby me for funds. That's just my opinion. I want to wish you guys the best. I want you to go home and graduate. But this political theater, leave the circus to us, OK? Go home and enjoy yourselves. I want to thank you for joining us and though I have to concede, your time speaking before us is kind of a tad intense. It's probably a pretty new experience. You probably prepared for it for days and you sat there in front of us trying to make sure your remarks were just right, and that's a good thing. But actually spending your time worrying about what we're doing up here, I don't want you to do that. Go back home. Thanks guys."

    Tell Senator Hamerlinck that he should publicly apologize to the students.

  • State Senator to Student Government Leaders: “Go Home”

    Update: Iowa Senator Finally Issues an Apology. Read more.

    Iowa State Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (R – District 42) condescendingly dismissed five student government leaders from a budget hearing on Monday, telling them to "go home" when they showed up to testify at the hearing on the impact of proposed education budget cuts.

    Tell Senator Hamerlinck that he should publicly apologize to the students.

    Transcript:

    "I do not like it when students actually come here and lobby me for funds. That's just my opinion. I want to wish you guys the best. I want you to go home and graduate. But this political theater, leave the circus to us, OK? Go home and enjoy yourselves. I want to thank you for joining us and though I have to concede, your time speaking before us is kind of a tad intense. It's probably a pretty new experience. You probably prepared for it for days and you sat there in front of us trying to make sure your remarks were just right, and that's a good thing. But actually spending your time worrying about what we're doing up here, I don't want you to do that. Go back home. Thanks guys."

    Tell Senator Hamerlinck that he should publicly apologize to the students.

  • Demand a budget plan that promotes stability and protects the most vulnerable!

    In late May the Senate took an important step in standing up for middle- and working-class families by voting against the Republican budget proposal, a draconian plan that sought to strip underserved communities of critical resources while providing millions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

    Though the Senate’s vote was a step in the right direction, we realize there is still much work to be done. Americans deserve a budget plan that balances the budget responsibility without drastic cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other vital programs and safety nets serving families, children, and the most vulnerable populations.

    Over the next few weeks, senators and representatives will be home for their in-district work periods. During this time, be sure to call or visit their offices to demand a budget plan that follows these basic principles:

    • Reject global federal spending caps or caps on programs that meet critical needs of low- and moderate-income people and provide vital economic security for millions of Americans.
    • Reject any effort to impose an amendment to the Constitution that would require a balanced budget every year, regardless of the state of the economy.
    • The burden of deficit reduction must not be shouldered by vulnerable communities and the poor.
    • Protect investments such as public infrastructure, education, and job training that are vital to our nation’s economic advancement.

    With so much at stake, it is important that senators and members of Congress hear from you. Call or visit them over the next few weeks and demand a budget plan that promotes stability and protects the most vulnerable.

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  • Thank Your Senator for Voting Yes on the DREAM Act
    Sen. Majority Leader Reid

    SOURCE: AP / Alex Brandon

    Senate Majority Leader Reid stands with Sen. Durbin and Sen. Menendez after Saturday's vote on the DREAM Act. Sen. Reid hasn't given up on the DREAM Act and neither have our other allies in Congress.

    The Senate failed to advance the DREAM Act this past December in a vote of 55-41. While the vote was disappointing, Senator Reid has pledged not to give up on creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people.

    55 senators and a majority in the House of Representatives did the right thing and voted to move the DREAM Act forward. Take a moment let them know you'll be supporting them as they try and and move common sense immigration reform through the next Congress.

    Write a Thank You Note to Your Senator

    Enter your zip code below to email your senator a thank you note. You can use our proposed language or write something yourself.

  • Protect Health Care Reform

    A new Congress has arrived in Washington. Unfortunately, rather than ushering in an era of bipartisan cooperation for progress, conservative Congressional leadership already has set a precedent of prioritizing political stunts over the best interests of its constituents. By introducing legislation to repeal health care reform, the new leadership is sending a message that it will be business as usual for the next two years: protect special interests at all costs.

    If health care reform is repealed, more than 1.2 million young adults under the age of 26 could lose their insurance coverage through their parents' health plan at a time when it is difficult to find a job. Also threatened is protection against loss of insurance coverage because you get sick.

    Tell Your Member of Congress to Keep You Covered

    Send a message to your member of Congress today asking him or her to stand up for health care reform.

  • Protect Health Care Reform
    President Obama signs Health Care Reform legislation in March 2010

    SOURCE: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

    President Obama, surrounded by Congressional leaders and supporters, adds his signature to the health care reform bill in the East Room of the White House in March 2010. Some members of Congress want to repeal our health care reform, but the White House and others are fighting back.

    A new Congress has arrived in Washington. Unfortunately, rather than ushering in an era of bipartisan cooperation for progress, conservative Congressional leadership already has set a precedent of prioritizing political stunts over the best interests of its constituents. By introducing legislation to repeal health care reform, the new leadership is sending a message that it will be business as usual for the next two years: protect special interests at all costs.

    If health care reform is repealed, more than 1.2 million young adults under the age of 26 could lose their insurance coverage through their parents' health plan at a time when it is difficult to find a job. Also threatened is protection against loss of insurance coverage because you get sick.

    Tell Your Member of Congress to Keep You Covered

    Send a message to your member of Congress today asking him or her to stand up for health care reform.

  • Thank Your Senator for Voting Yes on the DREAM Act
    Sen. Majority Leader Reid

    SOURCE: AP / Alex Brandon

    Senate Majority Leader Reid stands with Sen. Durbin and Sen. Menendez after Saturday's vote on the DREAM Act. Sen. Reid hasn't given up on the DREAM Act and neither have our other allies in Congress.

    The Senate failed to advance the DREAM Act this past December in a vote of 55-41. While the vote was disappointing, Senator Reid has pledged not to give up on creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people.

    55 senators and a majority in the House of Representatives did the right thing and voted to move the DREAM Act forward. Take a moment let them know you'll be supporting them as they try and and move common sense immigration reform through the next Congress.

    Write a Thank You Note to Your Senator

    Enter your zip code below to email your senator a thank you note. You can use our proposed language or write something yourself.

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    Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

    The wage gap for women is getting worse, not better. That is why the Senate needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year. Help make pay equity a reality. Let's make sure the Senate votes FOR fairness to women and FOR helping American families before the end of this Congressional session.

    Tell your senators to vote YES on the Paycheck Fairness Act NOW.

  • Stand Up Against Racial Profiling in Arizona

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     Pass the DREAM Act

    Yesterday, more than 1,000 young people from across the country attended the Campus Progress National Conference and discussed the DREAM Act (S.729). Today, at least four hundred of them are visiting with their Senators to urge them to pass this important piece of legislation. 

    You can double their impact by sending a letter to your Senator today urging them to support the DREAM Act.

    The DREAM Act would create a path to earned citizen for students who were brought to this country as children, and who complete either two years of college or military service.

    If Congress fails to act, another entire class of 65,000 outstanding, law-abiding high school students will graduate without being able to plan for the future, and some will be removed from their homes to countries they barely know. This tragedy will cause America to lose a vital asset: an educated class of promising students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our society.

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    Save Pell: Tell Congress not to Cut the Pell Grant Program

    A few months ago, Congress passed a historic piece of legislation that cut wasteful subsidies to student loan companies and used the $67 billion in savings to invest in education, including the Pell grant program.

    Unfortunately, the program is still suffering from a funding shortfall because many people are enrolling in school because of the difficult job market, and because the recession has strained family budgets, leading many more students to qualify. If Congress doesn't act soon, students would see $5.7 billion less in need-based grants. This would mean that the maximum award--given to the neediest students--would be reduced by $845 to $4705.


    This 15% cut would represent only the 3rd time the grant has ever been cut, and one of the largest. To put it in perspective, the last cut to the maximum Pell grant was $100 in 1993.

    Congress does not have much time to act. It could, and it should, attach Pell grant funding to the FY2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill (HR.4899), which could be considered by the end of the month.

    Tell Congress to Save Pell! 

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    Stop Deporting Students

    Eric Balderas, a 19-year old sophomore at Harvard, has lived in the US since he was four years old. He was recently detained and put into deportation proceedings by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials when trying to fly back to Cambridge from his hometown of San Antonio. Eric is one of many young people in the US that would benefit the DREAM Act: a bipartisan proposal that could be considered by Congress as soon as this month.

    The DREAM Act would create a pathway to citizenship for students who were brought to the United States years ago as children. The bill works by allowing temporary legal status to undocumented youth who were brought to the US before they were 16, have lived in the US for five years before passage of the law, do not have a criminal record, and either graduate from high school or earn a high school degree. This temporary status will last for six years. If, during that time, the student either completes two years or more of college or serves in the military for two years, they would be eligible to begin a path to citizenship.

    Last month another class of 65,000 outstanding, law-abiding high school students graduated without being able to plan for the future, and some — like Eric — could be removed from their homes to countries they barely know.

    Update: Eric Balderas was granted "deferred action" by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency on Friday (6/18), which means he is no longer in danger of deportation at the current time, but still faces an uncertain future until the DREAM Act is passed.

    Tell Congress to Pass the DREAM Act

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    End Discrimination: Pass ENDA

    Share on Facebook Tweet It

    Our friend, Terrance Laney, had to wait tables to help pay for college. He did well, but soon faced repeated homophobic taunts. He was pushed out of the restaurant when they cut his hours to prevent too many gays from working a shift together.

    When he went to work on Capitol Hill, the closet followed him. The Hill is a "conservative" place, he was told, meaning that he couldn't be "out" and successful, and he was not the only one pressured against coming out. His story is not unlike the story thousands of young people who are trapped in hostile work environments, afraid of coming out to their coworkers, or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

    Today, you can be fired in 29 states for being lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and in 38 for being transgender. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will provide basic job protections based on merit, and not on who you are or who you love, in all 50 states.

    With 202 cosponsors, this landmark civil rights bill has more support in Congress than any other LGBT legislation in history. But time is running out. Without Congressional action now, LGBT people will continue to lose their jobs. 

     

    Tell Congress to pass ENDA now: fill out the form below to send your message.


    ***Please consider inserting a personal message or story about workplace discrimination in your letter.*** 

  • (No Title)

    Stop the BP Bailout

    What would you say if someone told you that BP, the oil behemoth responsible for the tragic oil spill in the Gulf Coast, could legally get away with paying for less than 3.75% of the total damages? Who gets to pay the rest, you ask? Well, you and other taxpayers, of course!

    Once again, oil drilling has proven to be the perpetrator of widespread environmental and human health devastation. And as the power of oil companies and other toxic polluters grows in Washington D.C., so does their greed and irresponsibility. Senate opponents of offshore drilling are expected to introduce legislation this week to combat these abuses by lifting the cap on companies’ economic liabilities for oil spills. Currently, those liabilities are capped at only $75 million, but the bill is expected to lift that cap to $10 billion.

    Taking this action is not only about BP. Exxon-Mobil dodged cleanup costs for much of the famed Exxon Valdez spill. Valero is sponsoring an anti-climate proposition in California while hiding its own toxic legacy. Irresponsible corporations must be held accountable for the damage and destruction they cause.

    Contact your Senators now and urge them to take action on this important issue.

    Please personalize the e-mail with a quick message about why holding oil companies accountable is important to you  (i.e. I am worried for my brothers and sisters getting sick from inhaling oil compounds, we are taught to own up to and atone for our mistakes but corporate polluters aren’t, etc.)

  • Cheese Now

    NATIONAL CHEESE DAY OF ACTION

    Every Senator should co-sponsor S1432, which would designate the week of March 2nd as nation cheese awareness week, and provide an earmark for $600 billion for Kraft to create bigger boxes of Mac 'n Cheese. Your Senator needs to hear from you. Fill out the form below to find your Senator's phone number, and see whether they have co-sponsored this life or death legislation.

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    Congress: Support Fair Protections for Student Loan Borrowers

    Legislation was has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to end discrimination against student loan borrowers in bankruptcy.

    For borrowers who get into trouble and cannot find a way to deal with their debts, bankruptcy is a basic protection that allows them to have some of their debts forgiven ("discharged"). In the 2005 bankruptcy bill, however, loans used to pay for college were stripped of this protection in virtually all cases.

    Private student loans have high and variable interest rates and few borrower protections, and have often been marketed to students in aggressive and misleading ways. Unlike federal student loans, private loan borrowers do not have important programs available to lighten the load of student debt like the Income Based Repayment program. Instead, they are at the mercy of their lender.

    Contact your members of Congress now and urge them to take action on this important issue.

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    Tell Your Representatives What You Think About Their Vote

    The passage of health care and student loan reform was a huge victory. But while so many of us were working to make reform better, some Senators and Representatives were trying to kill the bill.

    Enter your zip code below to find out how your reps voted. If your Representative and Senators voted yes – thank them! If they voted no, tell them how you feel!


    Enter Your Zip Code to Take Action

  • (No Title)

    Tell Your Representatives What You Think About Their Vote

    The passage of health care and student loan reform was a huge victory. But while so many of us were working to make reform better, some Senators and Representatives were trying to kill the bill.

    Enter your zip code below to find out how your reps voted. If your Representative and Senators voted yes – thank them! If they voted no, tell them how you feel!


    Enter Your Zip Code to Take Action

  • (No Title)

    Don't Light the Fireworks Early: Make Sure Your Senators Support Reconciliation

    On Sunday night, the House of Representatives passed the reconciliation bill for health care reform and college affordability. Yesterday, President Obama signed health care reform into law.

    The Senate still needs to pass the “fix-it” reconciliation bill. Their vote is expected to happen this week. If it fails, 500,000 students could lose their Pell Grants and millions more would see theirs cut 60%.

    This bill would increase the amount of subsidies given to low-income American and increase funding for community health centers in low-income areas, along with other significant improvements.

    Make sure your Senators hear from you before they vote.


    Enter Your Zip Code to Take Action Now

  • (No Title)

    Tell Congress: Support the Reconciliation Bill for Student Aid & Health Care Reform

    We've heard a lot of words tossed around to describe the point and potential of passing comprehensive health care reform. Yet, as we hit the final stage, the only word that matters, the one that we must reiterate until this debate ends is this:

    Help.

    Fundamentally, that's what reform is all about. It's based on the acknowledgement that while government can't solve all of our problems, it should be able to help. 

    Last week, Congress decided that student aid reform will be added to the health care reform package. This week, the House is expected to vote on that package. This bill will have double the impact for our generation by ensuring coverage for over 10 million uninsured young adults and investing $70 billion into making college more affordable.

    That's right. This bill will take major steps toward delivering on two of the critical goals that brought so many of us to the polls in 2008: health care reform and college affordability.

    This is a defining moment. This is it. Our chance to have the last word.

    Make sure your representative gets your last word; tell them to support the reconciliation bill for young America.


    Enter Your Zip Code to Take Action Now

  • (No Title)

    Stand With Students: Make College Affordable

    On March 4th students from across the country are participating in a national day of action to protest budget cuts to higher education and tuition hikes, and lobby for increased student aid.

    We can no longer afford to ignore our shortcomings in these areas: the average student debt for graduates has reached more than $23,000, and at least 37 states are slashing higher education budgets which will lead to increasing tuition and less student aid. 

    State legislatures, college administrators and Congress have a responsibility to the next generation to find solutions to this crisis. The Senate, for example, should pass legislation modeled after the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would cut wasteful subsidies to student loan companies and use the $87 billion in savings to increase Pell grants, invest in community colleges and minority serving institutions, and fund modernization and repair programs on campuses. 

    States must also stop neglecting their historic role in funding public institutions of higher education, and should not be cutting back on student aid programs when students need them most. 

    A few months ago, protesting students across California sent a powerful message to their college administrators and the California legislature that the college affordability crisis can no longer be ignored. By joining with them today, thousands of students across the country are taking a stand and telling decision-makers that it’s time to start listening.


    Enter Your Zip Code to Tell Congress and Your State Legislature to Stand Up for Education

  • (No Title)

    Make Your Voice Heard on Health Care for the President's Health Care Summit

    President Obama explains why he's hosting the health care summit

    Today President Obama is holding a televised summit with members of the House and Senate to discuss the future of health care reform. Young Americans have to take this opportunity to let our legislators know the changes we demand.

    Tell your representatives that it is time to pass reform that:

    • Creates a national exchange for health insurance
    • Extends the age of dependent coverage to 27
    • Expands Medicaid to low-income Americans
    • Ensures that the Catastrophic plan for young adults is more than insurance in name only

    They need to know that we refuse to stand by and watch health care reform fall apart.


    Enter Your Zip Code to Take Action Now

  • (No Title)

    The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Austan Goolsbee
    www.thedailyshow.com
     

    Spread the Word: 

    Tell Congress: Listen to Jon Stewart

    On Monday's Daily Show, Jon Stewart said it best (start the clip at 4:48 for the good stuff):

    The idea of taking away the middle man in college loans would get us 46 billion dollars over 10 years- that, stunned me. That gets us more savings than removing subsidies from oil companies which I guess over 10 years is like 40 billion.

    Loan company lobbyists are pressuring Congress to save their wasteful subsidies at the expense of students and their families.

    President Obama has proposes to save almost ten billion dollars a year by shutting down a program that gives banks wasteful subsidies on student loans.  He wants to devote billions of dollars to Pell Grants and other programs that help students pay for college. It would also expand programs to improve college access and completion, to make sure millions of additional young people can benefit from postsecondary education.

    Enter your zip code to send a message to your Senators and Representative

    Hint: Your message is more likely to be read if you include a personal message, especially about your experience paying for college.

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    Don't Leave Young Americans Out of Health Care Reform

    Congress is nearing the end of this health care battle and will soon pass a final bill to be signed into law.  This is great news.

    Unfortunately, the bill being finalized contains insurance plans targeted at young Americans that won't even cover most basic services. It will only cover care for catastrophes.

    This plan is threatening to leave millions of people - including young people and low- and moderate-income people of all ages - without quality, comprehensive health coverage.

    We still have a chance to make sure no one is left out of reform. Congress can fix the legislation and ensure that young Americans have access to basic care at affordable costs.

    Contact your Members of Congress today and urge them to make these outlined changes to the legislation so that millions of young Americans aren't receiving insurance in name only.

    Tell Congress to Fix the Catastrophic Plan

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    Take Action: Tell Senators Casey and Specter to Make College More Affordable


    President Obama has a plan to strengthen America by making college more affordable for millions of Americans.

    The President proposes to save almost ten billion dollars a year by shutting down a program that gives banks wasteful subsidies on student loans.  He wants to devote the savings – as much as $87 billion over 10 years -- to Pell Grants and other programs that help students pay for college. It would also expand programs to improve college access and completion, to make sure millions of additional young people can benefit from postsecondary education.


    Unfortunately, loan company lobbyists are putting a lot of pressure on Pennsylvania Senators to save their wasteful subsidies at the expense of students and their families. When the loan companies come knocking, we want to make sure that Sen. Casey and Sen. Specter know that students have their back.  

    Not a Pennsylvania voter? No worries, you can contact your members of Congress by clicking here.


    Fill out the form below, and we will fax your message to both Pennsylvania Senators

    Hint: Your message is more likely to be read if you include a personal message, especially about your experience paying for college.


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    Don't Leave Young Women Out of Health Care Reform

    Kierra Johnson, Choice USA

    The Senate is actively debating the health care reform bill, and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is proposing an amendment exactly like the Stupak amendment -- now is the time to ensure that reform includes abortion coverage. The Stupak-Pitts amendment aims to ban abortion coverage with reform. The amendment passed with House legislation and now could end up in the final Senate bill…unless we make our voices heard.

    WHAT STUPAK-PITTS AMENDMENT DOES

    - Under the Stupak-Pitts amendment, women would not be able to buy a plan in the new exchange that covers abortion, even if spending their own money to purchase coverage.

    - Women who opt into the more affordable public option would be banned from getting coverage for abortion services, even if their own money was used to buy insurance.

    - With Stupak-Pitts, it would be much harder—and perhaps impossible—for private insurance companies to offer abortion coverage for plans in the new health insurance exchange.

    - Dramatic impacts on young women in particular - 50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25 and 12.4 million women of childbearing age (15-44) are uninsured.


    Contact Your Senators Now to Stop Stupak

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    Dear Senator: Protect Reproductive Rights for Young Women

    The House passed their health care bill and with it the Stupak-Pitts amendment was passed and is now threatening to end up in the final health care reform bill. We must stop this restriction on women's rights from becoming law.


    The Stupak-Pitts amendment bans most abortions from being covered in the new health insurance exchange. Plans that cover abortion services will not be able to offer coverage in the exchange unless its subscribers can afford to pay 100% of their premiums with no assistance from the government. But the majority of women purchasing plans in the health insurance exchange will need government subsidies to purchase insurance, and many of these women will be young women ages 18-29. Women must be able to purchase private or public health insurance that offers comprehensive reproductivehealth care, including abortion care.

    This amendment significantly impacts the youth generation: Fifty percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25 and 12.4 million women of childbearing age (15-44) are uninsured.

    Take Action NOW: Your Senators have the power to block an amendment like Stupak-Pitts from ending up in the final legislation. Write Your Senator Below!

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    Watch the Ad / Spread the Word:

    The battle to make college more affordable has come down to a critical few weeks in the Senate. The banks and student loan companies already have spent millions of dollars on lobbying, PR firms, and advertisements in their attempt to stop reform and hang on $87 billion in subsidies that could be going to help students. Now Campus Progress is taking action. We've raised money to put this :30 second spot on cable TV and on Hulu in key states across the country. 

    We don't have the kind of money student loan companies have, so we're going to need your help spreading the ad on Facebook, Twitter, and email if we're going to get the word out. 

     Share on Facebook



     Share on Twitter



    Now Send a Message to Congress:

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    Click here to take action if not redirected within 5 seconds.
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    Raising Pell Week of Action


    Getting a college degree is more important than ever, but students have to assume too much debt to pay for it.  Increasing federal Pell grant aid will help students rely less on federal loans to pay for college.

    Both President Obama and the House proposed a massive $40 billion dollar increase in student Pell grants.  Now it is up to the Senate to invest in students.  

    Big lenders have spent millions fighting this proposal, which cuts wasteful lender subsidies from the federal government, and uses the $87 billion