It’s officially awards show season! Last night, the Golden Globes aired, and millions of viewers tuned in, eager to see if their favorite movie took the grand prize. But movies and TV shows took a back seat in favor of Time’s Up—an initiative created by women in entertainment to call for an end to “discrimination, harassment or abuse.” Each woman who took the stage spoke of the power of women to make change—but male award winners notably stayed silent on the issue once they got to the stage.
Many actresses also brought guests to the show, but not their significant others or family members. Instead, they brought activists, including Tarana Burke of Girls for Gender Equity, Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Monica Ramirez of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, and Calina Lawrence, a Suquamish Tribe member. This highlighted that sexual harassment and abuse is not limited to the bright lights of Hollywood or the halls of Congress. As Oprah Winfrey said in her speech, “It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.” But women of color and women in lower-wage jobs are even more likely to experience harassment; in fact, more than one-quarter of sexual harassment charges came from service industries, which are often filled with women holding low-wage jobs.
Having this issue highlighted on a popular awards show is important—but concrete actions must be taken to ensure that women are protected in their homes, workplace, and public spaces. It is crucial that attacks on women’s health care and other rights be stopped, so that women know they have access to important resources and health services. Additionally, workplaces must include robust processes for reporting sexual misconduct that protect against any form of retaliation. And women must be in more leadership positions, so girls and young women have role models to look up to and believe that they too can be in positions of power.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#DreamActNow. Since the Trump Administration ended DACA in September 2017, nearly 15,000 young people have lost crucial protections, and 122 Dreamers are losing their legal protection every day. Watch and share this new video series called “American DREAMing.” Check out our new memo, which highlights the importance of fighting for Dreamers. Then, call key members of Congress today using DreamActToolkit.org, and demand a vote on the Dream Act by January 19th. Remember: Another delay by Congress is another vote to fund deportations.
Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador: Gone. The Trump administration announced the end of the Temporary Protected Status program for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans in the U.S. Although the decision allows for an 18-month extension, it represents another attack on immigrants by an administration whose callous policies are tearing apart families and uprooting peoples’ lives. These Salvadorans have been in the U.S. for, on average, 21 years, they are the parents of an estimated 192,000 U.S. citizen children, and they rightly consider this country their home. The decision puts them at risk for deportation, meaning they could be sent back to a country that they no longer consider their home—or have never been to before. The administration’s all-out war on immigrants in this country comes with major consequences—so speak out and stand up for our friends, neighbors, and coworkers today. And as with DACA, the burden is now on Congress to urgently pass legislation to protect these longtime community members from deportation.
More Corporate Interests. It’s become a theme for this administration: putting people in high-ranking positions that have deep ties to industries which they are supposed to regulate. Kevin McIntyre, the new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), spent much of his career as a lawyer, “representing companies that are regulated by the FERC.” His corporate relationships include the American Electric Power Corp. (AEP) and Enable Midstream Partners LP—both energy giants that face regulations issued by the FERC. McIntyre has some big decisions coming up in his new role. First, he will craft the response to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal that would bail out coal and nuclear power plants. Second, the FERC is poised to review its natural gas pipeline authorities. With clear ties to corporate and industry interests, McIntyre’s upcoming decisions will make clear whether he will protect or ignore the environment.
Hello 2018. The new year has already gotten off to a hectic start, especially with Trump’s tweets. But what else, besides chaos on Twitter, does 2018 have in store? Tune in to the latest episode of Off-Kilter podcast to hear from Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden to help get ready for the year ahead. And, hear from Rebecca Cokley, senior fellow for disability policy at the Center for American Progress, on how calling Trump “crazy” has negative consequences on how our society views mental illness.
UNDER THE RADAR
100 Days. It has now been 100 days since Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire. Rather than restoring funding for health care for 9 million children, Congress has instead focused on passing tax cuts for billionaires and arguing about a $18 billion wall. At least 47 states and D.C. will exhaust their current CHIP funding by the end of April 2018, with most of them ending the program much sooner, if Congress does not act. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV)—an evidence-based program that pairs new and expectant parents with nurses and social workers—has also been unfunded for 100 days as well. Call your member of Congress today at 202-224-3121, and tell them that funding for CHIP and MIECHV must be a priority in the coming days.