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Gun Violence Resources - Marginalized Communities

We shared a lot of resources on gun violence prevention last week. Today, we wanted to make sure we shared information on those groups working on gun violence issues in marginalized communities. This is a long post, so please bare with us. Existing/New Collaborative Efforts: Camp Solutions + Peacemaker Partnership Trainings- in 2018 we will host two types of trainings: Camp Solutions and the Peacemaker Partnership Trainings. Camp Solutions will be 4 (potentially more) large scale 1.5 day advocacy trainings camp for ANYONE who wants to become an advocate on gun violence prevention policy, organizing, or running for office. These free trainings will include tracks on civic engagement, leadership development, and an electoral lens of advocating for gun reform. We are working with some of the folks who developed the Camp Wellstone model and will have a curriculum that is a take away for people who attend. If you are interested in co-hosting or partnering with us, please let m...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Congress Reaches Budget Deal; President Proposes FY19 Budget

What you can doIf you are attending the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX, this week, join us on Saturday evening (February 17) for the 8th Annual Science Policy Shindig.Participate in the February 27 Internet Day of Action, aimed at getting #OneMoreVote to pass a Senate resolution restoring Net Neutrality.Join FreePress and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance in taking action to stop the FCC from curtailing its Lifeline program, a source of support for phone and Internet service for low-income households.Sign up for this year's March for Science, on April 14. No satellite march near you? Start one!Budget deal raises spending caps, but FY18 appropriations still to be determined On February 9, President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which ended an overnight government shutdown, raised the debt ceiling,increased spending caps, and includes a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23. The bill ends sequestration for FY18 and FY19 by raising the spendi...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Government Reopens After Shutdown, but Feb. 8 Deadline Looms; Senate Moves Nominations Forward; Republicans Target NIEHS Director

What you can doContact members of Congress to support restoration of net neutrality: Fight for the Future | Public KnowledgeShutdown ends with government funded through February 8, but more interruptions possible For the fourth time this year, the Republican-controlled Congress failed to pass a budget for FY18. The three previous times, a temporary continuing resolution was passed before the deadline to continue funding the government at current levels. However, no such deal was reached before January 19, causing a federal government shutdown, which ended three days later, with a deal that funded the Children's Health Insurance program for six years but postponed any action on immigration policy. However, the newest continuing resolution to fund the government runs out on February 8, risking another shutdown. An estimate of worker furloughs and office closures, based on the effects of the 2013 shutdown, shows their potential effects on science agencies: 95% of Environmental Protect...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Funding Showdown May Lead to Government Shutdown; GOP Tax Plan Passes; Net Neutrality Push Continues in Senate; Political Interference at Interior and CDC

This first edition of The Week in Science & Technology for 2018 covers events since our last edition (roughly the last month).What you can doJoin Fight for the Future in opposing the FCC's net neutrality repeal. Sign the petition posted by the March for Science to restore the nation's commitment to science.Time running out on government funding resolution; shutdown possibleOn December 21, Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through January 19, but a longer-term spending bill remained out of reach -- risking a government shutdown -- after an angry outburst by President Trump imperiled a bipartisan immigration reform plan. A shutdown, such as the one in 2013, would temporarily suspend most government-funded research services, and would impact NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies that award and manage research grants and informational websites. GOP tax plan passes, with uncertain effects on r...
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The Week in Science & Technology: FCC Ends Net Neutrality; Temporary Spending Deal Reached; GOP Tax Plan Nears Vote

Programming Note: This is the final edition of The Week in Science & Technology for 2017, and summaries will return in January 2018. We wish all of our readers a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year.What you can doJoin the fight to push back against the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules.FCC repeals net neutrality rulesOn December 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the net neutrality rules that currently regulate high-speed Internet as a utility and forbid providers from charging extra for some content. The three Republican FCC members, including chair Ajit Pai, voted for repeal, but the commission's two Democratic members, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, issued strongly worded dissents. The repeal plan drew the ire of consumers and technology companies, spurred in-person and online protests, and flooded the FCC's website with millions of comments by individuals as well as by automated bots; half a million comments supporting...
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​Call to Action: End Backdoor Searches of Americans and Other Abuses in U.S. Intelligence Law

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Congress will soon decide the fate of the law that governs America's main foreign intelligence spying program. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will expire this December 31st, requiring Congressional approval to reauthorize. This sunset and reauthorization is an opportunity to implement needed reforms. One of the most important is to end "back door" searches. This reform would require law enforcement agencies like the FBI to get a probable cause warrant approved by a judge before they search the vast troves of NSA communications data for evidence of crimes that can be used against U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. End Backdoor Searches Although Section 702 is seen by many as a necessary and useful tool in U.S. foreign intelligence and anti-terrorism operations, it has a glaring flaw when it comes to protecting the privacy of U.S. persons. When an intelligence agency like the NSA collects communications data under Section 702, it is suppo...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Senate Passes Tax Bill; Appropriations Vote Approaches Shutdown Deadline; FCC Threatens Net Neutrality

Programming Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this is a combined multi-week summary. The Week in Science & Technology will continue to be published at a reduced frequency through December and the winter holidays.What you can doIt's not too late! Indivisible has a list of actions you can take to oppose the GOP tax bill passed by the Senate on December 2.Speak up to save net neutrality! Join one of the public actions at Verizon stores across the country on December 7, and email and call the FCC and your Congressional representatives. Senate passes tax bill in post-midnight party-line vote; Democrats decry rushed processThe Senate passed its version of the Republican tax reform bill in the early morning hours on December 2, with all Democrats voting against it, joined by only one Republican, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). A blistering New York Times editorial called the bill a "historic tax heist" that would raise the federal deficit by $1.4 million over the next decade, make health...
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Ethics & Open Government Word of the Week: Double Jeopardy

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that a person may not be tried again for the twice for the same crime once they are acquitted. This is known as "Double Jeopardy." Double jeopardy attaches to a charge after a jury is empaneled, a judge in a "bench trial" begins to hear evidence, a jury has made a decision, or if a person pleads guilty to the crime. The purpose of double jeopardy is to prevent the government from potentially abusing its power to repeatedly charge a person with the same crime, from the same set of facts, until they get the result they want. In practice, strict application of this principle in a criminal context may produce injustices. In England, several murderers went free because the needed evidence wasn't discovered until after their acquittal. The British Parliament responded by enumerating circumstances under which a retrial could be ordered (U.K. Criminal Justice Act 2003). Since the U.S. has a federal syste...
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Background and Guide to a Single Talking Point + Phone Script: Mandatory Medicare Cuts

by Patrick O'MahenRelevant Policy Background: The Sequester, Tax Cuts and Medicare CutsThe large tax-cut bills moving through both houses of Congress have all sorts of hidden little evil things in them, like for example jacking up taxes on PhD students by several thousand dollars.[1] But perhaps one of the biggest evil unforeseen consequences is that the bills would automatically trigger $25 billion in cuts to Medicare.Here's how: In 2011, to end a showdown over the national debt limit, Congress negotiated a law with then-President Obama that instituted automatic budget cuts (a sequester) in response to any new law a future Congress passed that raised the debt further.[2] The Republican tax cut bills do this, raising the projected deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years to cuts taxes on large business and rich heirs. If the bill pass, the Sequester would automatically take effect and cut $136 billion from non-defense mandatory programs. Medicaid, Social Security and many oth...
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The House Republican Tax Bill Would Substantially Increase Graduate Student Tax Burdens

On November 16, 2017, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1 (the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act") along a party-line vote. The bill includes massive tax cuts for the wealthy, while substantially increasing the deficit and, and increasing the tax burden for many middle-income earners. In an attempt to reduce the deficits created by these tax cuts, the tax bill also makes tuition payments by colleges and universities taxable as federal income. This would dramatically increase students' tax bills, by up to $10,000, potentially quadrupling tax bills for students at private universities. Scientific and higher education associations have opposed the measure, noting that it would discourage student enrollment, devastate the teaching and research missions of universities, massively increase the cost of college attendance, and weaken the STEM workforce in the U.S. The analysis below details how the tax bill passed by House Republicans would affect graduate students, usi...
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