News Update Feb 9th 2018

February 9th, 2018

  1. Trump Administration Drafts Plan to Slash Help to Immigrants in the U.S.
  2. Send Emails to Get Sponsors for HR 1276---Closing the Meal Gap
  3. Ask Your State Legislators to Co-Sponsor Bill to Restore SSI Payments
  4. Campaign to Revive Rent Control Kicks Off Feb 17

Trump Administration Drafts Plan to Slash Help to Immigrants in the U.S.

Exclusive: Trump administration may target immigrants who use food aid, other benefits

“The Trump administration is considering making it harder for foreigners living in the United States to get permanent residency if they or their American-born children use public benefits such as food assistance, in a move that could sharply restrict legal immigration.”

 

“U.S. immigration law has long required officials to exclude a person likely to become a “public charge” from permanent residence. But current U.S. guidelines, in place since 1999, narrowly define “public charge” to be a person “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” either through direct cash assistance or government-funded long-term care.”

 

“Current guidance instructs immigration officers to look at a narrow range of public benefits in trying to determine whether someone is likely to become a burden, specifically directing officers not to consider most non-cash benefits, such as government food assistance programs or preschool programs”

 

The Trump proposal would radically change this, and specifies non-cash benefits, especially SNAP (Food Stamps), WIC, Head Start and home energy assistance, to be included as benefits that might disqualify a person from getting a green card. Applicants could be considered as “public charge” even if only their children received the benefits. 

 

None of which should surprise anyone even remotely observing the tactics of the President, but all of which should steel our resolve to continue fighting for compassion, justice and tolerance.

 

Reuters obtained this exclusive story.


Send Emails to Get Sponsors for HR 1276---Closing the Meal Gap

The SNAP program has been discussed by Republicans and Trump administration officials as a probable target for huge reductions in spending and tightening of restrictions.

 

This would be a mistake. Robust SNAP spending ensured that the Great Recession our country recently went through did not turn into as tragic of a catastrophe as the Great Depression of the 1930s, when Americans literally starved to death.  

 

Legislation has been introduced to push back against this cruelty and shortsightedness. Representative Alma Adams of North Carolina has introduced HR 1276 , The Closing the Meal Gap act, to strengthen the SNAP program.

 

Representative Adams’ proposal would base SNAP benefits on a Low Cost Food Plan, updated over the 1950s era Thrifty Food Plan that presumed Americans could live off of a box of macaroni and cheese per day and feel wonderful. It would streamline some of the costly red tape (people of all parties support efficient processes) and help people with higher medical and rent costs to get sufficient benefits. It would also require states to put their money where their mouth is on providing work projects to able bodied recipients unable to find work in the regular job market.

 

Here’s a link to current California co-sponsors:  List of California Co-Sponsors of HR 1276

Join us in getting more California co-sponsors for this legislation. We are asking the following representatives to co sponsor this legislation:

(Please note: For emails, most of the representatives will only accept from people who live in their district)

 

Jimmy Gomez Rep Gomez Email

Maxine Waters Rep Waters Email

Alan Lowenthal Rep Lowenthal Email

Karen Bass Rep Bass Email

 

Below is a sample email provided by the good folk of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington. You can also use this email as a guide to a phone message/conversation with the representative:

 

Dear STAFF/REPRESENTATIVE,

I hope this message finds you well! I am reaching out to you with a request for co-sponsorship from REPRESENTATIVE on  HR 1276 (Closing the Meal Gap Act Act of 2017). The bill currently has 83 cosponsors, 20 of which are from California. H.R. 1276 is a commonsense bill that would strengthen and improve SNAP (known as CalFresh in California, formerly food stamps). 

The bill offers the following SNAP program improvements:

  • Permanently authorizes the standard medical deduction in every state for seniors and disabled individuals applying for SNAP benefits at a minimum of $140.  Individuals with high expenses could continue to apply for a higher, itemized medical deduction.
  • Incorporates the Low-Cost Food Plan into the SNAP formula to take into account how much working people, including SNAP recipients, spend on food.
  • Eliminates the cap on the Excess Shelter Deduction in the SNAP formula to take into account the cost of living for SNAP recipients in areas with high rent and utilities.
  • Raises the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $25 per month.
  • Allows Able-Bodied Adults to be exempt from SNAP work requirements if their state cannot provide them with a slot in a SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T).

If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Katherine Stewart (katherine.stewart@mail.house.gov) who staffs this bill in Representative Alma Adams office.


Ask Your State Legislators to Co-Sponsor Bill to Restore SSI Payments

Californians for SSI (CA4SSI) and the California Hunger Action Coalition (CHAC) need your help! Ask your State Assemblymember to join us in the movement to end poverty in California by becoming a co-sponsor of AB ### (Kalra), a bill to restore $100 to the SSI/State Supplemental Payment to get 1.3 million Californians on SSI – including over 400,000 here in Los Angeles County -- back to 100% of the poverty level. It’s $100 for 100% and we’re asking you to act to save money and lives.

(The bill has no official number yet, but it’s authored by Ash Kalra, Assemblymember in San Jose area.)

 

CA4SSI is a statewide coalition of over 200 organizations across the aging, disability rights, housing and homeless, anti-hunger and anti-poverty sectors. CA4SSI seeks to ensure that blind, aged and people living with disabilities living on SSI/SSP obtain adequate support to lead their lives with dignity. CHAC is a broad-based membership organization of volunteers united in our belief that access to adequate, nutritious and safe food is a fundamental human right.

 

  • SSI/SSP recipients increasingly rely on expensive public safety, medical and nursing home services that would not be needed if grants covered basic needs.
  • Women, disproportionately Asian, Black, and Latina, are the majority of SSI/SSP recipients.
  • California is the only state where SSI/SSP recipients cannot receive food stamps.

 

Your Assemblymember’s help is needed! Call them and ask them to “Co Sponsor the bill to Restore SSI to 100% Of Poverty Level” and let them know it’s sponsored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra. They can contact Chris Reefe <chris.reefe@asm.ca.gov> in Ash Kalra’s office for more information.

 

To find out who your Assemblymember is and contact them about this issue:

 

http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

 

Once you find out you can go to their website and easily fill in an email (usually under Contact, in the menu at the top). Paste this into your message (fill in the name of the official first):

 

“I am writing to request that Assemblymember _______________join us in the movement to end poverty in California by becoming a co-sponsor of AB ### (Kalra), a bill to restore $100 to the SSI/State Supplemental Payment to get 1.3 million Californians on SSI back to 100% of the poverty level. It’s $100 for 100% and we’re asking you to act to save money and lives.

  • SSI/SSP recipients increasingly rely on expensive public safety, medical and nursing home services that would not be needed if grants covered basic needs.
  • Women, disproportionately Asian, Black, and Latina, are the majority of SSI/SSP recipients.
  • California is the only state where SSI/SSP recipients cannot receive food stamps. SSI recipients are suffering from hunger.

Thank you for your attention to this request. You can let me know and/or contact Chris Reefe <chris.reefe@asm.ca.gov> in Ash Kalra’s office about your support. “

 


Campaign to Revive Rent Control Kicks Off Feb 17

From ACCE:

 

Dear Allies and Housing Justice warriors,

We have an unprecedented opportunity to address sky-rocketing rents, keep more people in their homes, and dramatically advance the movement for housing justice in 2018. 

 

We’re taking the repeal of the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which limits what properties we can cover with rent control, to the ballot!!!

 

Strong Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction laws are the way to keep people in their homes now, while we work to get more (truly) affordable housing built.  In order to have strong Rent Control laws, we need to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law which ties the hands of local government. Costa-Hawkins prevents cities and counties from applying rent control to apartments built after 1995 or to single-family rental units.  It also allows landlords to raise the rent as much as they want when a unit becomes vacant. 

 Our signature goal is 585,000 by the end of April, and over 121,000 have been collected.  We can do this!

 Time to get involved!!!

  1. Come out on Saturday, February 17th, 10am to TBD (near downtown) for a community kick-off event and signature gathering, followed by lunch and a campaign briefing

 

  1. Endorse the Affordable Housing Act, to repeal Costa Hawkins & allow the expansion of strong rent control

 

  1. Let us know how many petitions you want.  Let’s get busy!!

 

Long-time residents, particularly Black and Brown folks, are being pushed out of their communities.  Families are being torn apart.  Every day more people are pushed onto the streets.  We, as people of conscious, must fight to keep people in their homes and expand the supply of housing that is affordable to low income and working families. 

 Groups including ACCE Action, Eviction Defense Network, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, LA Tenants Unions, APEN, CHIRLA, Movement Strategy Center, Inner City Struggle, UTLA, UFCW Local 770, PICO affiliates PACT and LA VOICE, SAJE, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, dozens of other organizations, are taking this issue to the people.

 Too many of our state legislators have shown an unwillingness to stand up for renters. A state bill to repeal Costa-Hawkins, AB 1506 (Bloom), died in the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee when two Democrats – Ed Chau and Jim Wood – joined two Republican in refusing to support the legislation.  Our legislature is not going to make this happen.  We have to!

 California has the highest poverty rate in the country, due to the high cost of housing!  We need to act now!  ENDORSE THIS EFFORT, and get involved!

 Please reach out if you want to discuss.! Joe  jdelgado@calorganize.org or 310.704.9312

 In solidarity and resistance

 

Joe Delgado
Los Angeles Director

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)
3655 S Grand Ave, Ste 250 | Los Angeles, CA 90007
(C) 310.704.9312   | (F) 888.463.1187 | Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

PS - See Title & Summary of the ballot measure here.



Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Top of Page