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:
It’s Only Just Begun
The U.S. House has already voted to cut tens of billions of dollars from Medicaid and President Donald Trump has proposed slashing critical social programs. Now, Republicans could be planning “Massive Cuts to Programs for the Poor,” Politico reports.
They’re looking at deep cuts to food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, support for citizens who are disabled and other programs, as they draft a blueprint for spending and tax cuts and balancing the budget. It’s not a binding plan, more of a script to follow, but it matters.
Just as a reminder: Part of our goal with this digest is to look at whether policies are creating poverty or prosperity.
The Longest Mother’s Day Ever
Five hundred mothers marched on the California state Capitol this month to demand that politicians make sure low-income families don’t lose child care support or access just because they earn a small raise and deliver on a promised raise in reimbursement for providers.
“We believe these efforts will ensure (state lawmakers) will do the right things and fix the policy,” Mary Ignatius, statewide organizer for California-based Parent Voices, said. “They don’t want to hear of another mother turning down a promotion or a raise because of their failure to act.”
Maybe President Trump heard about the rally, we’re hoping, because four days later he called “for more women’s health care, paid family leave options,” saying he will work with the U.S. Congress on paid leave – for moms and dads – and mothers’ access to health care, Politico reports.
Or, maybe Trump was on Facebook reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Mother’s Day post that calls for paid family leave, higher minimum wage.”
If either of them needs talking points, they could read a new report showing The Effects Of Paid Family Leave In 2 US States Are Super Promising For Moms.
At Equal Voice News, we like to think the president was moved and inspired after reading about Washington state mom Angelica Gonzalez in our special report, “Child Care’s Broken Promise: Parents Want Solutions.”
Her voice comes through loud and clear on the need for positive change.
Immigration Rights Leaders Fight Back
After months of policies and rhetoric targeting immigrant families, grassroots leaders, families and even a billionaire are fighting back.
In Texas, cities, sheriffs, the Texas Organizing Project, Workers Defense Fund and others are launching a “Summer of Resistance,” complete with coordinated legal challenges, to fight SB 4, the state’s new anti-sanctuary law.
On the West Coast “California Senators Propose Citizenship Path For Farm Workers.” (CBS Sacramento)
And a “Miami billionaire plans political fund to defend unauthorized immigrants.” (Miami Herald)
As we’ve reported, grassroots advocates in Florida also beat back nine pieces of legislation that they say are anti-immigrant.
On the streets of Chicago, “Immigrant youth in summer jobs program tapped as ambassadors to jittery communities.” (Chicago Tribune)
The Soundtrack to Repeal and Replace May Be Changing
After a sometimes nasty debate in the House over repealing Obamacare, the tone is changing now that the debate has shifted to the Senate.
“Medicaid Expansion, Reversed by House, Is Back on Table in Senate,” The New York Times reports, though the Washington Post adds that House “Changes in Medicaid Distributions Worry School Districts.”
Then, in a promising sign, “Senators Hold Back-Channel Talk on Bipartisan Obamacare Fix,” according to Politico.
We still think leaders in Washington, D.C. really need to listen to Americans, such as Alabama farmer Hank Adcock.
Progress on Wages and Paid Sick Days in the West
The battle over raising the minimum wage continues in the states, even as Congress considers a step back for home-care workers.
- “Raise Pay? Minimum-Wage Hike Advancing in Louisiana Senate” – Associated Press
- “Bill to raise Nevada’s minimum wage moves to Senate” – Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Meanwhile, “Ready or not, mandatory paid sick time is coming to Arizona.” – Arizona Republic
- Congress, however, “Mulls Exempting Home-Care Workers From Wage Laws.” – Bloomberg BNA
A High Note From the High Court
In a win for voting rights, the “Supreme Court won’t review decision that found N.C. voting law discriminates against African Americans,” the Washington Post reported.
The War on Drugs and Sentencing Reform: Both Are Coming Back
Attorney General Jeff Session continues his campaign to roll back the Obama administration’s sentencing reforms.
The move runs counter to signs of bipartisan interest in reforming sentencing laws. We wonder: Has he ever heard of the “schools-to-prison pipeline?”
What We’re Hoping to Read
Speaking of criminal justice, the award-winning book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy,” is making waves.
In chronicling the uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility and brutal crackdown, author Heather Ann Thompson tells more than a story, exploring civil rights and justice in America.
Check it out. We will, hopefully in the coming days.
(Sources: Jobs With Justice digest, Associated Press, news outlets, and, of course, our neighbors. Paul Nyhan is the senior writer for Equal Voice News, which is published by Marguerite Casey Foundation. Ebony Slaughter-Johhnson, an Equal Voice News contributor, provided research assistance with this digest.)