Every other Thursday, the Equal Voice News digest, “Making It in Trump’s America: People, Policy & Poverty,” will track the latest from the Trump administration and whether its policies are creating poverty or prosperity. We’ll have reports from families and grassroots organizations working on those issues around the country. Here’s our latest:
Pulling back at the FCC?
Immigration rulings and cabinet appointees may grab headlines, but there are quieter and important changes happening at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
- “The FCC is stopping 9 companies from providing federally subsidized Internet to the poor,” The Washington Post reports.
- The same agency appears to be reconsidering plans to cap the cost of prison phone calls, the Post found in “FCC made a case for limiting cost of prison phone calls. Not anymore.”
Now back to immigration…
Through executive orders and court cases (including a big one on Feb. 9) immigration remains one of the main narratives within the new administration. Protests, such as the one in Phoenix to save a mom, are happening, too.
The fate of sanctuary cities – their status and the price each could pay for not cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement – is a critical subplot.
The debate over sanctuary status is only getting bigger, spreading to restaurants and college campuses. In Arkansas, for example, state legislators defeated a plan that could have jeopardized public funding for college campuses that become sanctuaries, according to The Associated Press, via Salon.
In this debate Austin, Texas, has become a key player: “The ‘sanctuary city’ on the front line of the fight over Trump’s immigration policy.”
Wages and work.
The minimum wage may not sit at the top of the new president’s agenda, but there is plenty of action in the cities and states, including:
- “Fight For $15 Minimum Wage Resumes In Baltimore.” (CBS Baltimore)
- In Wyoming, the “State House rejects raising minimum wage.” (AP via The Casper Star Tribune.)
Down in Tampa, Florida, the mayor is not waiting for the new president’s promised plan on parental leave, “Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announces paid family leave for city employees.” (ABC WFTS)
Health care reform train slows.
The drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be slowing down under the complexity of the task, which is outlined by The New York Times.
Remember the ACA is sometimes called Obamacare. Some of us are confused: “One-third of Americans unaware ObamaCare, ACA are the same,” according to The Hill.
During two weeks packed with news from the White House, people may have missed a big development for new families. It turns out there is deep and bipartisan support for ACA’s home visiting program, which sends nurses and other help to at-risk new families, helping them get a good start, the Chronicle of Social Change reports, Despite Threats to Obamacare, Program for Mothers and Babies Could Double.
What we’re listening to:
Are you confused by all the news out of Washington, D.C.? Sometimes we are. And we found help in a new podcast from The Washington Post, “Can He Do That?”
“Donald Trump’s historic presidency will look unlike any other that’s come before it. From his outsider status in Washington to his family’s continued residence in New York to his complicated business empire, each episode of this podcast will focus on one aspect of Trump’s time in the White House that defies conventions and ask the question,” — “Can He Do That?”
(Sources: Jobs With Justice digest; Amazon.com daily, Twitter, Associated Press, news outlets, and, of course, our neighbors.)