A Congressional Committee has twisted the Farm Bill, H.R. 2, into a cruel and punitive bill that would take food assistance away from children, families, people with disabilities, older workers, low-wage workers, and those unable to find jobs.
The Farm Bill traditionally is a bipartisan effort every 5 years, but in this case not a single Democrat on the committee voted for it. This version pushed by Republicans on the House Agricultural Committee includes wide cuts and a reorganization of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps). The Farm Bill is up for a vote in the House on May 14, 2018 – so please take the easy actions to write your Congressperson NOW! Act now with the Budget and Tax Center action, or with MomsRising action. See more on actions at the end of the article.
Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg
If Republicans in Congress have their way, millions of people who get food aid through SNAP will have to find a job or attend job training classes for about 20 hours each week, or lose their benefits. There are so many good reasons why people on the SNAP program can’t work, but another problem is we just don’t have the jobs or training programs in too many parts of NC.
Fayetteville NOW’s Young Feminist Committee hosted their 3rd Blue Stocking Salon on January 27th, 2018. The topic of women in poverty drew the largest group yet! We discussed various studies and their results, personal experiences with social safety nets and anti-poverty activism as well as what we could do after the salon to act on what we learned.
The first point discussed was an analysis that estimated that if the wage gap was resolved, the number of women in poverty would decrease by half, what an astounding possibility asserted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research! We wondered if they studied the wage gap by comparing men and women in the exact same job or if they compared across similar job responsibilities, and concluded that while comparing the exact same job would yield more exact results, using the undervaluing of ‘women’s work’ instead of individual discrimination as a comparison tool is still effective.
Women In Poverty In America Data from National Women’s Law Center, Picture from Equal Means Equal
NC NOW Legislative Update #16 of 2017 is available. This legislative update includes the latest on the Senate budget, like proposed slashes to food stamps program, and how the House is going to try address some of the outrages of it.
“Last week the Senate passed its budget in a rushed process that allowed for
only limited debate and less than 72 hours of public availability before passage.”
“This week the process of sorting out what the budget contains beyond
appropriations and cuts continues. In addition to budgetary items, the budget
also includes new policies. Including policies in a budget bill is a way to bypass
the normal legislative process and pass controversial matters with little or no
public notice or debate. N. C. Policy Watch has identified twelve significant
policy changes buried in the Senate budget.” See
“One of the most disturbing provisions of the Senate budget is a policy change concerning eligibility for SNAP, the program that used to be called food stamps, that would effectively cut off 133,000 people from receiving nutritional assistance. The move was not motivated by saving the state money because the program is paid for entirely with federal funds and costs the state nothing.” See http://www.wral.com/senate-budget-would-cut-off-food-aid-to-133-000/16703663/, 5/15/17.
And there is more, because thank goodness that “[t]he House is working on its version of the budget which is expected to correct some of the outrages in the Senate version. “
Plus, see the updates and the bill tracking that are included in all of this session’s legislative updates.
See NC NOW Legislative Update 16.
The current wave of progressive activism is a continuation of the long fight for equal dignity for all, and an affirmation that if you show up to participate in something larger than yourself, you belong – and that our visibility matters.
If you’ve ever been to a 5k, fun run, or any road race, you have seen support and inclusion in action. Even when you are at the back of the pack (speaking from experience here), everyone wants you to succeed and they cheer you on. If you show up to participate, you belong.
The Feminist 5k in Raleigh on June 17, 2017 is an opportunity to run or walk with sisters and brothers in the cause, and to increase the visibility of feminism in our culture. You can sign up at www.feminist5k.org. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Center of Wake County. There is a $5 discount for NC NOW members. Use the Promotion Code “NC NOW.” Kids 12 and under are free.
Come run/walk/roll with us.
I learned so much from a man I knew so little about, that man’s name was Gene R. Nichol. I went not knowing what to expect, I came out feeling empowered knowing that there’s someone out there who cares. For 2 hours it felt as if I was constantly being punched in the back by Mike Tyson, and kicked by Bruce Lee.
Professor Gene Nichol, Alfonso Cristobal, and Gailya Paliga Photo Credit: Alfonso Cristobal