September 13, 2023
Childcare cliff, proposed rules on Dakota pipeline, lead dust, and guns, Texas & New Hampshire state actions, and more!
Contact all members of Congress:
By phone: (202) 224-3121
By email: democracy.io
By Resistbot: Resist.bot
Contact White House or other federal agencies:
CONFIRM YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION
It never hurts to confirm our voter registration status. Be sure to check that you haven’t been removed, that you registered after a change of local address or a move to a new state. Even if we’ve been at the same address forever, it’s good to check out our status as some states cull their lists for voters they think are inactive. This official U.S. government webpage explains how we can confirm our voter registration status and make any necessary changes. Let’s check it out!
AVOID THE CHILD CARE CLIFF
The child care system in America, always inadequate and brutalized by the pandemic, is approaching a cliff. On September 30th, American Rescue Plan funding for childcare stabilization grants will come to an end, – and without this support to keep them afloat, more than 70,000 child care programs are expected to close – and those that remain open are likely to raise tuition, cut wages and staff or serve fewer children. That’s three million kids who will lose their slots. This is a crisis for the industry, for parents and everyone who employs those parents – and a completely unnecessary one. Let’s reach out to our members of Congress and urge them to extend child-care stabilization grants and avoid the cliff – and urge our state legislators and governors to step in with funding if the federal government won’t.
SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT AGAINST DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
In 2020, the D.C. District Court revoked a permit for a portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and ordered an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The following year, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe voiced many concerns over the EIS process, including the fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had contracted Environmental Resources Management, a member of a prominent fossil fuel lobby, to conduct the EIS. Last week, the Army Corps released the EIS, and Standing Rock has again pointed out the clear conflict of interest involved with the EIS. Now that the Environmental Impact Statement has been released, it is open to public comment for forty-five days, before a final statement is published. Let's join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and submit a comment asking for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down, and for the Corps to conduct an unbiased EIS. We can use Standing Rock's form comment, or submit our public comment directly to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following these instructions.
SUPPORT STRICT NEW SAFETY STANDARDS ON LEAD DUST
The EPA has proposed a new rule that would deem *any* amount of lead dust found in schools, daycares and homes to be a “lead hazard.” This represents a victory after a decade and a half worth of advocacy by environmental and health groups pushing the EPA to bring lead hazard standards in line with the latest science on its dangers. The new rule would require disclosure if any lead dust is found, and in some places removal or abatement. The EPA is seeking comments on this proposal until October 2nd. Let’s read the proposed rule, and let’s submit comments in support of this updated, scientifically accurate safety standard for lead dust.
SUPPORT REQUIRING THOUSANDS MORE GUN DEALERS TO RUN BACKGROUND CHECKS
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has proposed a new rule that would require people who sell firearms online or at gun shows to be licensed and run background checks on the buyers. If the rule becomes final, between 24,500 and 328,000 sellers would have to register for a federal license – and thus be required to run background checks. This would be the broadest expansion of firearms background checks in decades, a giant step towards closing the online and gun show loopholes. The ATF is seeking public comment on the proposed rule until December 7th. Let’s read the proposed rule, and let’s make sure we make our voices heard in support of this crucial measure by commenting.
NH – KEEP PRAGER OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS
PragerU, the unaccredited conservative YouTube channel that aims to indoctrinate kids with right-wing values, downplays slavery and climate change and likens being trans to being diseased, has already been approved for use in Florida and Oklahoma public schools. Now they have their sights set on classrooms in New Hampshire. Over the objections of educators, administrators and public school advocates, the State Board of Education is considering allowing students to get credit for taking a financial literacy “course” from Prager. The board may have its final vote as soon as Thursday’s meeting. Let’s contact the commissioner and the members of the board of education, either directly or with this tool from Granite State Progress, and make sure they understand Prager’s political project has no place in our schools. (We can share with them this extensive review of Prager videos by Media Matters for America, which goes into detail on the lies and propaganda they want to share with our students.) We can also contact State Attorney General John Formella here to share our disappointment in his rebuffing of Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington’s call for an investigation into whether Prager can operate lawfully in New Hampshire in light of state law regulating corporations’ abilities to call themselves universities.
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