Food & Justice News July 21st, 2019
Federal Focus: While the President has distracted us once again this time with racist chants recalling the worst days of anti-immigrant hysteria in this country from 100 years ago, Congress has passed a new minimum wage and Senator Warren has introduced a bill on college hunger. But will either of these measures survive a hostile Senate? Meanwhile, another government shutdown may be approaching, and/or severe cuts to human services, and the administration has crippled the work of climate scientists and other agricultural researchers by giving workers in two key agencies the choice of moving immediately from Washington DC to Kansas City.
- Call In Monday July 22: Tell Senators No Cuts, No Government Shutdown
- New Federal $15 Minimum Wage Passes House of Representatives
- Senator Warren introduces College Student Hunger Act of 2019
- Trump Admin Relocates Science Agencies, Squashes Climate Study for Farmers
- Help Blind and Low Vision Shoppers Enjoy the Farmers Market: Hollywood August 4 Sunday!
Call In Monday July 22: Tell Senators No Cuts, No Government Shutdown
Call 1-888-668-8919 and ask your Senator “Before you leave for recess, please enact a 2-year budget deal to match or raise House levels to fund services all American families need like childcare, housing, and healthcare, and to prevent an economic crisis by raising the debt ceiling.”
From Coalition on Human Needs;
Once again, the Trump Administration and Congress are headed towards the brink. In September, services we need may come to a screeching halt unless new funding levels and the federal government’s authority to borrow are renewed. Since Congress will be leaving for August recess in a few weeks, these vital funding conversations are happening this week! Congress must act soon to agree on spending levels and to raise the limits on federal borrowing (the “debt ceiling”). And the time to speak out is NOW! On Monday, July 22nd, please join in a National Call-in Day.
On Monday, July 22nd, Please Join In A National Call-In Day. Call 1-888-668-8919 and tell your Senator:
“Before you leave for recess, please enact a 2-year budget deal to match or raise House levels to fund services all American families need like childcare, housing, and healthcare, and to prevent an economic crisis by raising the debt ceiling.”
If Congress does not agree to lift funding levels, there will be automatic cuts next year (known as the sequester). Instead of much-needed progress in funding child care, opioid treatment, education, etc., there will be painful cuts, about 10 percent below this year’s funding. Our families, children, seniors, and communities of color will be the deepest hurt and most impacted. Thankfully, the House has set spending levels high enough to make some real progress; that’s why we’re asking the Senate and the Trump Administration to agree to at least the House levels. Trump has previously called for deep cuts; the Senate has not yet acted on funding for next year. And we’re calling for a two-year budget deal to prevent another crisis smack in the middle of the 2020 election campaigns.
After you make your call, help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends and family and posting the call-in number to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can access images and sample social media here.
A special shout-out and thank-you to MomsRising for making the call-in number available!
New Federal $15 Minimum Wage Passes House of Representatives
Bernie Sanders Demands McConnell Let the Senate Vote Now:
"If Senator McConnell wants to vote against that bill and explain to the people of Kentucky why he believes a $7.25 minimum wage is acceptable to him that is his prerogative," —said the 2020 presidential candidate
Senator Warren introduces College Student Hunger Act of 2019
This is one of the first federal moves to mirror what we’ve done in California for years now—pass legislation expanding the use of SNAP benefits for students; helping more low–income students qualify; and allowing college students to use SNAP for prepared meals.
Trump Admin Relocates Science Agencies, Squashes Climate Study for Farmers
USDA is moving its Economic Research Service and NIFA—both connected to climate change research, SNAP-related research, and programs including GusNIP (Market Match)—out of D.C. all the way to Kansas City. It’s an effort to get most of the scientists working at those agencies to quit, and thereby dramatically slow or end climate change research.
More than half of the employees in the USDA's Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture have declined to relocate. The ERS staff, in particular, are concerned that it's intended to disrupt their scientific work on climate change and environmental issues. Employees in these two agencies have been issuing reports and conducting studies showing the impact that Trump's trade war with China and his environmental policies have been having on agriculture in particular. The workers rightly see these relocations as retribution.
One option Congress has, with Democrats in control of the House, is to block funding for the relocations, and (Senator Chris) Van Hollen, along with other senators, has introduced legislation to keep the agencies in D.C.
USDA squashed the report farmers needed to prepare for climate change: For years, the Agriculture Department worked on a plan to help farmers plan for and cope with the changes that are already affecting them as the climate crisis intensifies. Scientists across 21 agencies came together to develop a plan to safeguard the nation’s food supply, and the stability of the agricultural industry, for the next decade. That plan was completed in 2017 and the USDA prepared to distribute it to help farmers and ranchers adapt to a changing world. Then the USDA clamped down on the report and it was never issued.
As Politico reports, release of the report was halted after the White House forbid the USDA from using the scientific evidence collected by its own researchers, and to stop even using the term “climate change” or any discussion of greenhouses gases.
Help Blind and Low Vision Shoppers Enjoy the Farmers Market: Hollywood August 4 Sunday!
Sunday August 4 @ Hollywood Farmers Market!
Yes, the big Hollywood Market!
Market Location: 1600 Ivar Ave. Hollywood, CA 90028
But where we will actually park and meet: 6636 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028. This is the back of Blessed Sacrament Church and School, a few blocks from the market. They are arranging for us to have a few parking spots and space for a table. It’s tentative and we are arranging Plan B in case it falls through.
Meet at: 9:00 AM
End time: 12:30 PM
What we’ll be doing:
- Guiding blind or low vision shoppers around the market. Need outgoing people who love to converse! Also people who are patient and can describe to the shoppers the foods they’re encountering
- We anticipate staying from 9:30 am until probably 1 pm, You may have shoppers who wish to go for longer than that. Let me know how long you’d be available
- We also need drivers. You can be both a guide and a driver if you like. One or more drivers will shuttle people from our meeting spot at Blessed Sacrament to the market about 3 blocks away. The other drivers will be available to take the shoppers home from the market. They do not need to bring them TO the market
Since we want this to be a relaxing day for the shoppers, we have volunteers to drive them home. If you volunteer to drive we will be finding out the addresses of all the shoppers in advance and then alert all the volunteers to those potential addresses, BEFORE the day of the market (though it is often by email at night.) If you volunteer to drive you would then just let us know who lives in a convenient route home for you.
Here are some reminders to ensure that you are prepared for the day:
- Bring a signed copy of the liability waiver (You can also sign one at the market)
- Volunteer guides will need to provide their own transportation
Agenda: *The times below are flexible depending on conditions
9:00 AM Arrival at 6636 Selma, Blessed Sacrament.
9:30 AM Breakfast/Orientation—this is where volunteers will match up with shoppers
9:45 AM - 12:30 PM Shopping/Eating
12:30 PM-1 PM Take shoppers home (Unless some make particular arrangements to stay later with the volunteer)
- We will have fresh, good, not expired snacks and water for volunteers as well as shoppers.
- Shoppers will also receive $10 market money
- Along with helping guide shoppers around the farmers markets, we are also in need of drivers to take shoppers home afterwards.
- Drivers must have a valid license, insurance, and sign a waiver.
If you have any questions or need directions on the day of the event, please call Frank Tamborello, Director of Hunger Action LA at (213) 361-2075.