Workplace harassment continues while background checks and VAWA stall: Your civic action to-do list for 9-9-19

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3. In the first nine days of September, 15 people have died from mass shootings. Now that Congress is back in session, legislation that has the potential to make a difference must be introduced. We cannot be distracted by weak policies that evade the real problem.

In a nutshell: Although the Senate seems ready to take up gun violence prevention legislation, there is a deep concern that this legislation will be a watered down pseudo-solution. We need robust policies that mandate background checks for all gun purchases, ban all weapons of war, and allow the courts to remove firearms from people who are in crisis.

Take Action: Find the social media handles and pages of your Senators and Representative and tell them to pass strong legislation that will help save lives.

2. This Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the first passage of the Violence Against Women Act. In 1994, VAWA changed the landscape for victims and survivors of domestic violence making domestic violence a federal crime, creating a hotline for survivors and victims, and providing federal funding for domestic violence shelters and legal assistance for survivors. By allowing the bill to lapse a year ago, Senate leadership has proven it is not interested in prioritizing victims and survivors.

In a nutshell: Five months ago the House passed the Violence Against Women Act of 2019 (H.R. 1585), but the bill has stalled in the Senate. H.R. 1585 expands on the 2013 VAWA by increasing investment in prevention and youth services, expanding tribal jurisdiction to allow tribes to prosecute sexual assault, and closing the “boyfriend loophole” to prohibit violent offenders from having guns.

Take Action: Call your Senators and tell them to urge Senator McConnell to bring H.R. 1585 to the floor for a vote!

1. The laws meant to protect us from workplace harassment haven’t been working.

In a nutshell: Both Houses of Congress should prioritize passing the Be HEARD in the Workplace Act (H.R. 2148) that would extend civil rights protections to employees in small businesses, give survivors of sexual harassment a fair chance in court, and collect data on workplace harassment.

Take Action: If you are in D.C., join the BE HEARD rally at 11:00 a.m. on September 10th in Columbus Circle (at Union Station). You can also share the Facebook event page to spread the word!

Action AlertDanielle Cantor