April 26, 2019

Increasingly, Americans feel that Congress does not represent them very well. In fact, it has become more and more common to hear people say that we have become two separate Americas. Pollster and political consultant Mark Mellman reflected on that in a column this week. Here are some excerpts that may interest you:
A poll by YouGov reported that only 25 percent of respondents felt people like them were even somewhat well represented, with 60 percent saying they were not well represented.  A snapshot of Congress is not a snapshot of America.
  • Two-thirds of American adults do not have a bachelor's degree, but only 3 percent of Congress falls into that category.
  • About 12 percent of Americans are African American; over 10 percent of Congress is African American.
  • Latinx Americans comprise about 17 percent of those of voting age; only 8 percent of Congress is Lantix.
  • Women comprise over half of the country, but only make up about a quarter of the House and Senate.
In our hyperpartisan politics of today, lawmakers tend to vote 97 percent of the time with their party in so-called 'safe' districts, and about 93 percent in more competitive districts. One study goes on to show that legislators' votes reflect the positions of their constituents 60 percent of the time, an average just a bit better than flipping a coin.
Why are members not voting their constituents' views? Many constituents, per Mellman's column, believe legislators are listening to special interests and lobbyists over the concerns of their constituents. But, it seems that more often than lobbyists, lawmakers are listening to party leaders to determine their positions. It is difficult to dissent from one's colleagues in today's hyperpartisanship, and as a result, it rarely happens. Less obvious to constituents is the lack of awareness of those on Capitol Hill of district opinion on many issues.
So while we may not completely understand why Congress does not seem to be representing the country as a whole, the view that they aren't is not farfetched.
These findings make it all the more imperative for each of us to keep calling and expressing our positions on legislation and issues. We must make our lawmakers hear what our positions are, the values and needs of their constituents, over those of the party leaders.

Read the full article here.

Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.

In Apparent Dismissal of Two-State Solution, Kushner Says past Efforts 'Failed'      
In a clear indication that the Trump administration's peace plan will depart from the two-state solution as a framework for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian accord, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on peace efforts by previous administrations had "failed" and that the new proposal would be different. 
Continued Reading

Poll: 64% of Americans like Israelis, but Only 41% like Their Government

UNIFIL Reportedly Instructed to Expand Patrols in South Lebanon

Egypt Referendum Firms up Sissi Rule as Regional Unrest Flares

Citing Free Speech, Texas Judge Blocks Law Designed to Counter Israel Boycott
A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a Texas law that requires contractors to certify that they don't support a boycott of Israel. In a 56-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin said boycotts are protected free speech, declaring the law fails to serve a compelling state interest.
Continued Reading

If You Only Denounce Anti-Semitism When Politically Convenient, You're Part of the Problem
Delaying Trump's Latest Abortion Coverage Restriction Shows That When Women Speak Out, We Win

Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed a new restriction to dissuade private insurers from offering abortion coverage. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it had so received many comments on the proposal that it is unable to put its plan into action.
Continued Reading

Mick Mulvaney: Faith Is Driving Many Trump Administration Policies
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast  that faith drives the Trump administration's policy proposals, arguing that "the principles of our faith (are) being manifest" under the president's watch.  "The president has allowed us, Christians of all denominations, folks from all different faiths ... to be very vocal about their faith, and to practice their faith, and to take their faith and work it into our policies," he said.
Continued Reading

The Florida Senate Just Voted to Let Teachers Bring Guns into the Classroom

Florida lawmakers just took a huge step toward arming teachers in their state - against the wishes of the students who survived the Parkland mass shooting on Valentine's Day 2018. State senators voted 22-17 in favor of expanding the existing Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program - named for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School coach who died trying to protect students - to allow teachers to bring guns into their classrooms. The program currently applies only to non-teaching staff like janitors and athletic coaches. 
Continued Reading

Young People Actually Rocked the Vote in 2018, New Census Bureau Data Finds            
Voter turnout spiked to a 100-year high in last year's midterm congressional elections. Census Bureau data finds turnout rates jumped across nearly all groups, but the shift was particularly notable among young adults who typically stay home in nonpresidential years. The findings illustrate an extraordinary breadth of engagement in the first congressional election since Donald Trump became president, and only four years after turnout hit a 74-year low in 2014, according to the United States Elections Project. 
13 Reasons You Should Eat like an Israeli
Hummus, tomato-cucumber salad, extra-virgin olive oil ... these and other staple foods on virtually every Israeli table undoubtedly helped propel the country to #1 on a new ranking of countries with the lowest rate of diet-related deaths worldwide and #10 on the 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index.  
Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.

Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at [email protected]. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.
"I think we are in a very difficult time in this country's history, and I am begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on." 
- Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Monday, May 3, 2019
Coffee with Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA)
Chicago, IL
Contact the JAC office for details
JAC 2019 Power of Women Luncheon
Monday, June 3
Lincolnwood, IL
Watch your inbox for details
Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it. 
847.433.5999 or [email protected]
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
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