Raise the minimum wage, protect religious freedom and civil rights, and stop inhumane immigration roundups: Your civic action to-do list for 7-22-19

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3. Wage stagnation has trapped women of color, low-income women, and young women in a state of economic vulnerability. It has also put women at higher risk for workplace sexual harassment.Women comprise two-thirds of the minimum and low-wage wage workforce and two-thirds of workers in tipped jobs. Raising the minimum wage will help break down the structural inequity and workplace power disparities that leave women underpaid, undervalued, and unsafe.

In a nutshell: Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act (H.R.582), which will increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025 and ensure that wages for tipped workers, youth, and people with disabilities are livable. It’s time for the Senate to pass a companion bill and guarantee women – and all Americans – dignity and fairness at work.

Take Action: Tell your senators that they should support the Raise the Wage Act (S.150) to lift families around the country out of poverty!

2. Various federal agencies, businesses, and individuals have repeatedly exploited the terms of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to discriminate against and/or impose their religious beliefs on others, harming women and other marginalized groups along the way. For example, this administration has used RFRA to justify sweeping religious exemptions that allow any employer to deny women birth control coverage. Weaponizing religion to block access to health care is inexcusable.

In a nutshell: The Do No Harm Act (H.R.1450/S.293) will amend RFRA to protect both religious freedom and civil rights. It ensures that RFRA cannot be misappropriated to harm others, undermine current non-discrimination laws, deprive employees of health care, or evade child welfare laws. Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) as well as Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) are leading the fight for the Do No Harm Act in their respective chambers.

Take Action: Encourage your Members of Congress to cosponsor the Do No Harm Act!

1. No woman should be so afraid of deportation that she forgoes the health care she needs. The repercussions of our immigration policy on women’s reproductive, prenatal, and maternal health are existential. As the threat of mass immigration raids haunts immigrant communities, women’s health outcomes suffer.

In a nutshell: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act (H.R.1011/S.2097) to prevent the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from conducting sweeps in hospitals, schools, and places of worship. Hospitals should be bastions of health and safety, not hotbeds for ambushes and devastation.

Take Action: It’s time for Members of Congress to fight against Trump’s inhumane roundups, protect immigrants’ right to health care, and cosponsor the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act.