Today kicks off the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention, which is taking place in Dallas, Texas this year. Despite the NRA’s plummeting approval ratings, the convention has secured some high-profile speakers, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Here’s what to expect from this weekend:
- Expect a lot of the same old lies—from “a good guy with a gun” story to the myth that gun-free zones are unsafe.
- You’ll hear from NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who has pivoted from solely talking about guns to talking about everything from the media to protests in our country.
- You may see promotions for NRA TV. Check out John Oliver’s episode about what this network actually promotes.
- The NRA speakers and attendees will probably spend time bashing the students from Parkland and other young activists. Pay it no attention. Young people give us reason to hope that the future of this country will be less violent and more equitable.
Don’t sit silently while the NRA spreads its dangerous lies–and refuses to talk about who gives them money. We partnered with Guns Down to produce this handy myth vs. fact guide. And don’t miss this new report about the impact of gun violence on young people. Be sure to tweet today, and throughout the weekend, as the NRA perpetuates some of its favorite lies at its national convention.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Second Chances. Today is the 150th anniversary of the Florida law that excludes people with prior felony convictions from voting in the state. This November, a ballot initiative will attempt to reverse that law. It needs 60% of voters to vote in favor of it for the measure to pass.
- Petition: Pledge to support the amendment with this petition.
- Phone Banking: Help get people signed up to engage in virtual phone banking. It is important to call the list of people who signed the petition to get the amendment on the ballot and remind them to vote!
#ProtectOurCare. Today is the one year anniversary of the congressional majority’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It’s time to hold all the members of Congress who voted for the horrific repeal bill accountable. Read a breast cancer survivor’s story about how the ACA saved her life. Then, commit to fighting back against any attempts to strip Americans of health care coverage. Start with this list of anniversary events happening today, or check out ResistanceNearMe.org.
Hondurans Awaiting TPS Decision. Nearly 60,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from Honduras are awaiting a decision that could uproot their entire lives. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to decide whether or not they will extend TPS for Hondurans, who have lived and worked in the U.S. lawfully for two decades. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been an outspoken proponent for ending the program, and he could influence DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who is known to be Kelly’s protégé. If DHS does end protection for Hondurans, they would face returning to a country where conditions remain incredibly bleak.
Evicted. Last week, Ben Carson, President Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, unveiled a proposal to triple rents for the poorest families and take housing assistance away from unemployed and underemployed workers. This announcement comes amid a nationwide affordable housing crisis: In no state in the U.S. can a minimum wage worker earning $7.25 afford even a one-bedroom apartment at market rent. Meanwhile, just 1 in 5 eligible low-income families receive help from the nation’s already massively underfunded housing assistance programs, leaving others paying 50, 60, 70 percent of their incomes on rent – while they languish on years, sometimes decades-long wait lists for housing aid. Many end up facing eviction. Tune in to the latest Off-Kilter episode to hear from two individuals who are fighting the eviction epidemic in America in very different ways.
UNDER THE RADAR
Touring as a Native American. Earlier this week, two Native American men were on a college tour at Colorado State University (CSU). One of the fellow tour participants, a mother, reportedly became “nervous” about their presence and called the police. By the time the police had questioned the two men, the tour had left, and they were unable to rejoin the group. Colorado State officials said they have initiated an investigation into the incident and reached out to the two men about enrolling at CSU. This is just the latest incident of a person of color causing fear or anxiousness in a white person, who then calls the police (see: Starbucks in Philadelphia, Waffle House in Alabama, or the man moving into his new house in NYC). The question becomes: what can people of color do without arousing suspicion in America?