Food Stamps and Farmers: The House of Representatives Got it So Wrong

After failing to pass a Farm Bill that included farm subsidies and food assistance (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps) in June, the House of Representatives narrowly passed a skeleton of a Farm Bill on July 11—without the food stamps. The House effectively left 46 million Americans wondering how to feed themselves and their families.

The response from House Republican leadership? House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio shrugged and said: “If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. (check out an irreverent look at Mr. Boehner) You’ve heard that before. My goal right now is to get the Farm Bill passed. We’ll get to those other issues later.” (NY Times, July 11)

So the hungry and indigent just have to wait until pigs fly, or Christmas comes in July. Congressmen who own farms themselves will get their subsidies, along with family farmers who actually need the federal support. Meanwhile, those other issues like food security; will have to wait. Indefinitely.

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The Alliance Hosts Our First National Conference in Baltimore and DC

A week ago, to the day, the Alliance for A Just Society hosted our 2013 Summer Conference with all our national affiliates (#Justice2013). There was no better way to kick it off than taking close to 200 participants into Washington DC and hosting three separate actions on the Hill.

As of this year, we are proud to note the following states affiliated with the Alliance for a Just Society and Main Street Alliance: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, New York, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Maine, Florida, Colorado and Connecticut.

 

State affiliate.Alliance and MainStreet

The morning of July 18 began with The Main Street Alliance hosting a forum on “Too Big To Fail”—addressing the policy conundrum where favors are given to Big Banks at the expense of the common good. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, economist Simon Johnson, and a panel of small business owners and policy experts each spoke of the need for renewed attention to megabank limits in order to stabilize the financial system and support the Main Street economy. Read more

The Acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Murder of Trayvon Martin re-Energizes the Movement to End Racial Profiling

 

On Saturday night, July 13, 2013, you could hear the people next to you breathing as thousands of civil rights leaders huddled together listening to the court verdict of the George Zimmerman trial.

Not Guilty.

On the night of the verdict—at first there was silence, then tears, then anger that could only yield by taking action.  Action fueled by a renewed commitment to end racial profiling based on the color of their skin, the clothes they wear, or the visual signifier of their religion. Read more

WITH WALL STREET “TOO BIG TO FAIL,” IS MAIN STREET “TOO SMALL TO PREVAIL”?

Small business forum adds Main Street voice to growing momentum for megabank limits

Today, small businesses owners from across the country added a Main Street voice to growing momentum for post-Dodd-Frank measures to end the era of “Too Big to Fail” banking in the lingering wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed.

At a D.C. policy forum organized by the Main Street Alliance, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, economist Simon Johnson, and a panel of small business owners and policy experts each spoke of the need for renewed attention to megabank limits in order to stabilize the financial system and support the Main Street economy. Read more

Good Medicine: Better Rx Policies Addressed with Senate

Grassroots delegates from 10 states joined Senator Rockefeller’s office to host a town hall today at the Capitol Senate Budget Committee Room. Also supported by Budget Committee Chair Senator Patty Murray’s office, the town hall was held to address health disparities, the national budget and specifically the importance of the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Act.

Citing austerity economics and the push for a “Grand Bargain” as key factors in efforts to cut Americans from receiving benefits through Medicare and Medicaid, The Alliance for a Just Society set the stage for the discussion. “There are cost savings options available to the American people—that make pharmaceutical companies responsible for paying their own fair share and stop the handout of taxpayer dollars to supersize corporate profits, “ Mauricio Ayon Political Director of Washington Community Action Network and a member of the Alliance. Read more

The Alliance Takes DC: #justice2013 National Conference Ignites

Bringing together friends and affiliates from around the country, the first national conference kicked off with three separate actions in Washington DC. #justice2013. 150 people from more than 10 states engaged Senators and Representatives on a message of equality and inclusion on issues as diverse as brewing up the big banks, healthcare and keeping families united with comprehensive immigration reform– it seemed more than a typical day at the Alliance.

The following updates will show just how inspiring it is to work with such a diverse, dedicated coalition of people united in one mission of a more just, a more fair, a more compassionate society.

If higher education is an investment we claim to believe in — then why does it take 30 years to pay off?

More than 37 million Americans are saddled with student loans — nearly one in five households. We glorified higher education for an entire generation, enabled an unsustainable system, and then blamed graduates for their choices.Student-loan-debt-growing

While some sectors of the economy have begun to see a recovery, student loan borrowers are watching their hopes of attaining the American Dream fade away. Read more

The Long Journey for Immigration Reform

Last week, “approximately 140 people, ranging in age from 7 to 80 years old, walked various distances along the 30-mile road from Wilder to Meridian raising awareness for the number of families affected by a lack of immigration reform. Along the way walkers said they celebrated their struggle for citizenship in the presence of family, BOH6MT6CcAAfI3r.jpg_largefriends and the community.” (Boise Weekly) Read more