May 20, 2013
My name is Kyle, and yesterday I graduated from college. I double-majored in International Affairs and Geography -- my dream is to help build the next generation of sustainable, healthy communities.
But before I get to that, I've got $25,000 in debt to pay off.
I'm not unusual -- thousands of new grads are in the same boat. And unless Congress acts soon, millions of students will see their loan interest rates double -- burying them in debt before they even start their careers.
Sign DFA's petition telling Congress to make college more affordable, not less. I know I'm lucky. I've studied at one of the best schools in the country, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.
But I also know what living with this debt will mean for me and my friends. It means having to depend on my parents for basic things like rent. It means feeling guilty about buying a simple cup of coffee. And it means putting dreams of a house, a family, a future, on hold.
This is the reality for me and my fellow grads. And if Congress doesn't act, it'll get a whole lot worse for those still in school, or thinking about applying.
Tell Congress: Don't let student loan rates double.
We literally can't afford it.
Democracy for America
How much student loan debt do you have? How has it impacted major life choices? Let us know in the comments below.
Economy and Jobs
May 17, 2013
The GOP's War on Mr. Smith:
Mr. Smith wanted to fight for something that mattered, and was not going to stop his filibuster until he spoke his piece (see the video here).
If he saw the modern filibuster, would he bother coming back to Washington? No. Fixing the Senate is going to take real people like Mr. Smith. Republicans don't want to govern, and we need filibuster reform now! Sign the YouPower petition and send congress a message.
The compromise on rules reform that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to at the start of this Congress is not working. We still do not have a functioning Senate that passes legislation and confirms nominations in a timely manner. Demand that Senators Reid and McConnell stop the obstruction and fix the senate right now.
The YouPower petition already has over 10,000 signatures. Help us send a message by reaching 15,000.
May 16, 2013
5 Signs GOP Re-brand Isn’t Going So Well
1. So you lost your Hispanic Outreach director....
Pablo Pantoja, the Director of Hispanic Outreach officially left the Republican party and became a Democrat.
He wrote in an email: “It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.”
2. They turn away candidate for GOP Chair in IL because he actually supports gay marriage...
State Rep. Ron Sandack supported bill for marriage equality in Illinois and subsequently, was no longer a viable candidate for taking on the chair position. Which brings the question: If the party was actually looking to change, wouldn't they accept someone who the majority of American's agree with? Someone who you know, stand for equal rights!!?!?! Read full story here.
3. Remember when Rand Paul spoke at Howard University?
Looking to court young African American voters, Rand Paul gave a speech at Howard University back in April. He did try to make some claims, such as never once wavering in supporting the Civil Rights Act, despite his stance that it was overly protective of black people in the workplace expressed in a 2010 interview with Rachel Maddow.
4. And this would be their smooth attempt at appealing to women...
...restricting contraception, cutting Planned Parenthood, mandating medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, forcing physicians to lie that abortion and breast cancer are linked, defeating VAWA, voting against equal-pay laws, and the occasional ‘rape’ blunder...
However, they assume somehow, they can gain support from “mommy blogs” - See USA Today.
5. Most recently, the Heritage Foundation believes amnesty would cost the US $6.3 trillion...
The study shows that an amnesty program would bring in $3 trillion into the US economy, but would be offset by a $9.4 trillion drain. Co-author of the report, Jason Richwine has been in the news before for his 2009 doctoral dissertation at Harvard entitled, “IQ and Immigration Policy,” and has made the claim that non-white immigrants, especially Latinos, have a genetically deficient IQ. When in fact, "the best study we have on the fiscal effects of immigration reform, from the CBO, finds the impact to be minimal or positive."
May 15, 2013
75.5% of Michigan Residents Support Same-Sex Marriage
12 states already have passedmarriage equality laws, and Equality Michigan is working hard to repeal the state's 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
With more than 3/4 of the state in favor of marriage equality, including 56% of Republicans polled, the state is coming closer to repealing the law.
Why is this important?
We can’t do this without your help. Please sign our petition so that we can keep you up to date on the march toward equality in Michigan. When the curtain comes up on the campaign for civil marriage we will make sure that you have a chance to sign the official petition that will put the repeal on the ballot in 2016.
You can take action by adding your name to Unity Michigan's YouPower petition and spreading the message to repeal this law today.
May 14, 2013
Last night at a forum on immigration, Rep. Frederica Wilson was able to connect with a family and stop a father of four from being deported at 4AM.
The bombshell request came from 18 year old Carlos Rivas: "My dad, he was two months ago arrested by ICE. I have my family right here: My mom and my three brothers and sisters. We don’t know what to do, pretty much."
The Representatives were stunned yet when they began to say it was too late, a voice from the crowd spoke up: "It's never too late." With that, the forum ended just after 9PM. There were literally mere hours left before Mr. Rivas was set to leave. However, the Democrat representatives launched into action. After many late night calls led by Rep. Fredrica Wilson (pictured right), they were able to save Mr. Rivas from deportation with a one week reprieve.
There are thousands across the nation just like Mr. Rivas and clearly, US representatives can not save them all from such a fate. However, it is small actions such as this that show us it is indeed never too late and Congress can make a significant difference in the lives of their constituents.
*Special thanks to DFA's Southern Regional Field Organizer, Franco Caliz, for sharing this story. For the full story details, please see Part 1 and Part 2 via The Miami Herald.
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