April 7, 2021
Action Alert Digest
Myanmar in the Streets: A Nonviolent Movement Shows Staying Power
The people of Myanmar have opposed military rule in the past but never like this: In the face of horrific brutality by a lawless regime, Burmese have risen up in a historic national movement of nonviolent resistance. Led by young women, the fractious country has united across ethnic, generational, and class lines, weaponizing social norms and social media in a refusal to accept the generals’ February 1 seizure of power.  MORE
Iowa Governor Signs ‘Constitutional Carry’ Into Law
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law last week a contentious measure eliminating a requirement that Iowans obtain a permit to acquire or carry handguns and loosening other state restrictions. House File 756 ends the state's current system that requires an Iowan who wants to acquire and carry a handgun to get a permit from a county sheriff, who runs a required federal background check on the individual before issuing a permit good for five years. MORE
Iran and U.S. Agree on Path Back to Nuclear Deal
The United States and Iran agreed through intermediaries this week to establish two working groups to try to get both countries back into compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. One working group will focus on how to get the United States to lift harsh economic sanctions imposed or reimposed by President Trump. The other working group will focus on how to get Iran back into compliance regarding nuclear enrichment and stockpiles of enriched uranium. MORE
Meet the Future Weapon of Mass Destruction, the Drone Swarm
Drone swarms are getting larger and, coupled with autonomous capability, they could pose a real threat. In theory, swarms could be scaled to tens of thousands of drones, creating a weapon akin to a low-scale nuclear device. The US Naval Postgraduate School is already exploring the potential for swarms of one million drones operating at sea, undersea, and in the air.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Citizenship Now for 11 Million Immigrants
Our elected officials now have the opportunity, the mandate, and the political power to transform our nation’s immigration policies while undoing four years of destructive and harmful actions. The National Immigration Law Center invites us to tell Congress to create a pathway to U.S. citizenship for the 11 million undocumented Americans who call our nation home, including millions who are working in essential roles. TAKE ACTION
Immigration Policies Based on Deterrence Don’t Work
Over the last two months, the Biden administration has been pressured to carry out another crackdown at the border as the number of families and children arriving rises. But officials making these calls must grapple with one simple fact: enforcement through deterrence doesn’t work.  MORE
U.S. Ramps Up Ad Campaign in Latin America To Counter Disinformation
As part of a stepped-up campaign to discourage migrants from heading to the U.S. border, the Biden administration placed around 28,000 radio ads in Latin America. It is unclear whether they have been effective, as many people are lured by false information and rumors from smugglers. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Support the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act
Last week, a bill was introduced in the House called the Parks, Jobs, and Equity Act (H.R. 1678) to expand outdoor equity in urban areas. White communities are three times more likely to have access to nearby nature compared to Black and brown kids and communities. The Sierra Club asks us to tell our Representatives to co-sponsor this H.R. 1678 to help close this “nature gap” by investing $500 million to address inequities in park access.  TAKE ACTION
Electrifying US Buildings by 2050 Would Be Like Taking 65 Million Cars Off-Road
Replacing fossil fuel-based heating and cooking systems with electric technologies in the majority of U.S. residential and commercial buildings over the next three decades would lead to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Wind and solar power are rapidly replacing dirty fossil fuels like coal as leading sources of our electricity. As our electricity grid becomes cleaner, replacing the direct burning of gas with electricity will reduce pollution. MORE
Big Meat and Dairy Companies Have Spent Millions Lobbying Against Climate Action
Top U.S. meat and dairy companies, along with livestock and agricultural lobbying groups, have spent millions campaigning against climate action and sowing doubt about the links between animal agriculture and climate change, according to new research from New York University. Overall, animal agriculture is responsible for more than 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. MORE
U.S. Marshals Recover Missing Iowa Children In ‘Operation Homecoming’
A series of investigations has been successful at recovering several missing Iowa children. The investigations, which fall under the name “Operation Homecoming,” have led to agents locating 21 juveniles and the direct recovery of seven. The children were between the ages of 4 and 17. A total of two people were arrested in connection to the operation. Four different human trafficking investigations have been passed on to other agencies for additional investigation. MORE
Texas Bill Attempts to Crack Down on Human Trafficking by Using ATMs
Texas lawmakers have proposed legislation that would crackdown on human trafficking using “white label” automatic teller machines which are not owned or operated by financial institutions. Illicit businesses are typically cash-only, so business owners will buy ATMs online and place them in the lobby of an illegal massage location. The ATMs become a money-laundering tool as well: taking the cash made from human trafficking and putting it back in for customers to then withdraw to pay for more illicit sex. MORE
Biden Administration Announces Next Steps in Overhauling Title IX Campus Sexual Assault Rules
The Education Department has announced plans to hold a public hearing on how schools ought to handle sexual misconduct cases as the first step in a planned overhaul of Title IX regulations. The hearing is described as a chance for students, parents, school officials, and advocates to weigh in before the Biden administration offers its proposal for how K-12 schools and colleges receiving public funding must respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment.  MORE
How The American Rescue Plan Will Help Domestic Abuse Survivors
The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes almost $50 million in aid for service providers who assist survivors of domestic abuse. It also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in housing assistance for survivors who have been trapped during the pandemic with their abusers. That pool of money will be drawn from $5 billion in housing vouchers for several at-risk demographic groups, including those fleeing abuse and assault.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Support Tax Cuts for Working Families, Not Mega-Corporations
Time and time again moms, women, low-income families, and people impacted by structural racism have been harmed by our unfair tax code. MomsRising urges us to sign their letter calling on President Biden and Congress to make permanent working family tax credits like the EITC and Child Tax Credit and to make sure the wealthy and mega-corporations pay their fair share in taxesTAKE ACTION
Voters Across Party Lines Support the American Jobs Plan
A new poll shows that a large, bipartisan majority of voters in the United States supports President Joe Biden's proposal to spend $2.25 trillion over eight years to upgrade the nation's physical and social infrastructure. The survey, conducted by Invest in America and Data for Progress, found that voters support Biden's American Job Plan by a 52 point margin, with 73% of all voters in favor (including 57% of Republicans) and only 21% opposed. MORE
US Fossil-Fuel Companies Took Billions in Tax Breaks – and Then Laid Off Thousands
Fossil-fuel companies have received billions of dollars in tax benefits from the US government as part of coronavirus relief measures, only to lay off tens of thousands of their workers during the pandemic. Over 75 firms involved in the extraction of oil, gas, and coal received $8.2bn as part of a major pandemic stimulus last year. Despite this, almost every one of the fossil-fuel companies laid off workers, with more than 58,000 people losing their jobs. MORE
Ramiro Gonzales is scheduled to be executed on April 20 by the state of Texas for the murder of Bridget Townsend. Please hold Ramiro, Bridget, their families, and the people of Texas in prayer. TAKE ACTION