May 2018

We Kept Hunger at Bay in May!

Salaam, and welcome to our May newsletter! See below for what we were up to this month, as well as our upcoming events:

#MuslimsAgainstHunger Day
Poligon helped coordinate #MuslimsAgainstHunger Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, joined by interfaith coalition partner orgs: Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Bread for the World, MAZON, FCNL, Islamic Relief USA, Network Lobby. A Ramadan of action to protect the SNAP program (previously known as food stamps) from cuts in the Farm Bill. This photo was taken after a productive meeting with Senate Ag Democrats. Watch here as Poligon and Islamic Society of North America talk about why #MuslimsAgainstHunger Day is crucial at this time.
Rooftop Iftar in DC
Poligon hosted our first iftar in Washington DC and it was a huge success. Community members came out to support the work we’ve been doing at Poligon and hear how they can get involved with our upcoming plans for the year. You can watch the live video of the event here.

Houston Iftar
Poligon President Wardah Khalid traveled to Houston and met with community members for iftar to discuss the incredible progress Poligon has made over the last year.

Emgage Action Hill Day Training
Poligon’s Wardah Khalid and Afif Rahman put on a training for Emgage Action for their Hill Day on May 7th. This training focused on how to execute an office visit when meeting with representatives in Congress. 

Poligon Speaks at #HandsOffSNAP Rally
Poligon’s Afif Rahman spoke in front of Capitol Hill alongside various faith leaders to tell Congress that SNAP works and restricting access for families to have food goes against our values.

Interfaith Vigil to Oppose HR2 and Protect SNAP
Poligon acting Executive Director, Afif Rahman, with Representative James E. Clyburn (SC-06), who organized the interfaith vigil on Capitol Hill where members of Congress and various faith leaders spoke out to protect SNAP and say NO to HR2.

Poligon Visits with Students from Al Hamra Academy

Poligon’s Afif Rahman spoke with the awesome 8th graders at Al Hamra Academy in Massachusetts about Poligon’s work and the importance of Muslim Americans in politics and advocacy. We’re guessing some of these kids might become members of Congress some day!

Moms Summit
Poligon attended a Moms Summit hosted by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representative Robin Kelly,  and Representative Pramila Jayapal addressing the needs and struggles of moms and families. The summit mainly focused on health of working families, especially in today’s economy with tax cuts and gun violence.

Meet Our New Legislative Fellow
Welcome Poligon’s new Legislative Fellow, Niha Razi! Niha previously interned at the American Civil Liberties Union, focusing on international and domestic policies concerning economic justice, education, housing, voting rights, and environmental justice. She also worked as project lead at the International Human Rights Clinic at her law school and predominantly addressed immigration reforms and drafting amicus curiae briefs. 
Upcoming Events:

Poligon will be attending these upcoming events-

55th Annual ISNA Convention –  http://www.isna.net/convention/

Netroots Nation Conference  –  https://www.netrootsnation.org/

In The News:

Press Releaser: Poligon Celebrates Defeat of the House Farm Bill!

“SNAP is a tremendously effective program against hunger and poverty, serving nearly 42 million Americans and lifting up 8 million people out of poverty on an annual basis. In this holy month of Ramadan, we are reminded that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘He who fills his stomach while his neighbor next door goes hungry, is not a believer.'” – Afif Rahman, Poligon Acting Executive Director.

KGET-TV NBC: National Faith Leaders Call On Congress to Reject SNAP Cuts

Press Release: Muslim and Christian Leaders Mark the Start of Ramadan by Denouncing SNAP Cuts

Press Release: Prominent National Clergy Urge Lawmakers to Reject Cuts to SNAP and Prioritize Families
Weekly Hill Happenings:
We’ve been keeping you up-to-date of the latest on Capitol Hill with our Hill Happenings going straight to your inboxes every Friday.

May 11, 2018: Poligon Joins Faith Leaders Urging Congress to Protect SNAP, Resolution to Recognize American Muslim History and Contributions Introduced, Gina Haspel, CIA Director Nominee, Testifies before Congress, Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, Workplace Democracy Act

May 18, 2018: Senate confirms Gina Haspel as the first female CIA director, The US Senate votes to restore the FCC’s net-neutrality rules, The Senate rejects “Penny Plan.”, House votes to weaken Consumer Protections, Protect and Serve Act of 2018

May 25, 2018: Poligon Leads #MuslimsAgainstHunger Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, House Farm Bill Fails, Rollback of Banking Regulations becomes Law, Senate Passes Bill Making Lawmakers Personally Liable for Sexual Harassment Settlements, FAITH in Congress Act
Support Poligon this Ramadan:

Poligon Education Fund is holding a Ramadan fundraising campaign to raise the funds required to carry out important congressional advocacy 101 trainings during this critical election year for Muslim Americans to be able to amplify their voices in Congress. Make a zakat eligible donation to support our work today!

Click here to visit our Launchgood Fundraising Campaign

Stay active,Wardah, Ayesha, Afif, Nadia, and Farah

Poligon Celebrates Defeat of the House Farm Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 18, 2018
CONTACT: info@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund welcomes the defeat of HR 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, in the House of Representatives today. The version of the bill that failed to pass proposed to cut $20 billion dollars in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits over the next 10 years, the equivalent of 13 billion meals, and impose harsher work requirements on those seeking to access food assistance, creating additional barriers to SNAP participation.
Poligon is honored to have worked with many organizational partners and faith communities to fight against the Farm Bill’s proposal to cut funding for SNAP, and its defeat in the House today is a welcome victory,” said Poligon Acting Executive Director Afif Rahman. “SNAP is a tremendously effective program against hunger and poverty, serving nearly 42 million Americans and lifting up 8 million people out of poverty on an annual basis. In this holy month of Ramadan, we are reminded that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘He who fills his stomach while his neighbor next door goes hungry, is not a believer.’”
While the fight is not over as the Farm Bill awaits to be brought forth for another vote soon, we hope that Members of Congress draft a version that protects SNAP and does not punish those in need for being poor.”

Poligon Education Fund urges request members of Congress on both sides of the aisle embrace democracy and bipartisanship to draft a Farm Bill that protects and increases funding for SNAP and does not force Americans to decide between working and staying alive.
Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization working to strengthen Muslim American engagement with Congress through education and advocacy on issues of concern to the community and its allies. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

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Say NO To Mike Pompeo

Take Action!

This is CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

He has been nominated to be US Secretary of State.

We CANNOT let that happen.

Call your two SENATORS NOW to OPPOSE Pompeo’s nomination.

What’s going on?
Tomorrow, on April 12th, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Mike Pompeo, the nominee for US Secretary of State, the chief adviser to the President on foreign affairs.
Who is Mike Pompeo?
Mike Pompeo is the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a former member of Congress representing the 4th District of Kansas. 

What is Pompeo’s attitude toward Islam and Muslims?
Pompeo in a speech to his constituents in Wichita, KS in 2014:

“The threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the wayand the light and the only answer. [Muslims] abhor Christians and will continue to press against us.”

Pompeo calling Muslim Americans “complicit” to acts of terrorism after the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013:

“Instead of responding [to terrorist attacks], silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow…It casts doubt upon the commitment to peace by adherents to the Muslim faith.”

Pompeo maintains very strong relationships with anti-Muslim extremists and hate groups including Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America and Frank Gaffney, Jr. of the Center for Security Policy

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

Call your TWO SENATORS today and urge them to OPPOSE Pompeo’s Nomination!

Sample Calling Script:
Hello, my name is _________ and I’m a constituent of Senator ________. I’m calling because I oppose the nomination of Mike Pompeo for US Secretary of State. Pompeo’s recorded history of anti-Muslim sentiments and statements, including blatantly calling Muslim Americans ‘a threat to America’ and ‘complicit’ to acts of terrorism, is beyond disturbing and extremely unfitting for any public office, let alone a position responsible for promoting global peace and stability and cultivating relationships with diverse leaders and nations. Pompeo also has strong, open relationships with documented anti-Muslim extremists and hate groups responsible for propagating alternative facts and misinformation and breeding division. I urge the Senator to oppose Mike Pompeo’s nomination for US Secretary of State. Will the Senator oppose Pompeo’s nomination for US Secretary of State?

Let us know how your advocacy went and feel free to ask us any questions by e-mailing us at info@poligonnational.org.

Stay active,

Afif, Ayesha, Nadia, Wardah, and Farah