May 2020

Poligon Condemns Anti-Black Police Brutality And Racism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2020
Contact: info@poligonnational.org

Poligon Education Fund Condemns Anti-Black Police Brutality and Racism, Urges Congress to Take Action
Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund strongly condemns the recent incidents of police brutality against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbury. These acts of violence by law enforcement officials are inexcusable as are the discrimination, institutional racism, and abuses of power that have targeted Black people across the nation for far too long. This is highly concerning for our community, as African Americans and Blacks represent 25% of the American Muslim population.

We urge Congress to act now and pass H.R. 4408, the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, to prohibit police chokeholds and other harmful tactics that result in asphyxiation. We are also supportive of the House Judiciary Committee’s demands that the Department of Justice open an investigation into the deaths of Floyd, Taylor, and Arbury.

In a country that boasts itself as being the land of equality and freedom, it is unacceptable that a police officer meant to protect their community can unlawfully murder a man and not be prosecuted by the law. We stand with our Black brothers and sisters in Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, and across the country who are hurting deeply in this moment. To do so is a religious obligation for Muslims, as the Quran clearly states, “Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God.” (Quran 4:15).
What is happening in our country right now is nothing less than brutal injustice. Poligon will continue to work with our communities and lawmakers in Congress to oppose and rectify it. 

Source: Who Are American Muslims: ISPU. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.ispu.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Who-Are-American-Muslims.pdf

#VoteSafe: Digital Lobby Day

Poligon joined National Council of Jewish Women, Alpha Epsilon Phi, and other advocates for a digital lobby day to #ProtectTheVote. The digital lobby day included speaker Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), NCJW staff, and more.  Speakers discussed the importance of vote by mail to ensure safety of everyone amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here to watch.

Letter: Urging Congress to Increase SNAP Benefits

Poligon and partners at the Domestic Human Needs coalition sent a letter urging Congress to immediately strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  

The letter asks Congress to immediately strengthen SNAP until the economy can fully recover by:
● boosting SNAP maximum benefits by 15%,
● increasing the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30, and
● suspending all SNAP administrative rule changes. 

Faith Leader Quotes SNAP Letter

BREAKING: House Passes HEROES Act

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 The House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the HEROES Act, by a vote of 208-199. 

The bill includes:

  • Frontline workers hazard pay:  The “Heroes’ Fund” of $200 billion would be established for hazard pay to essential workers
  • Funding for COVID-19 testing: $75 billion in funding to ensure Americans have access to free coronavirus testing
  • State and local government assistance:  $500 billion in direct assistance to state governments to in response to the fiscal impacts of the pandemic, $375 billion for local government assistance, $20 billion to tribal governments and $20 billion to U.S. territories
  • Unemployment benefits extension: Extension of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – would extend the $600 per week FPUC supplement to state and federal unemployment benefits through January 31, 2021. 
  • Stimulus checks for Americans:  It would include another one-time $1,200 payment for individuals who earn up to $75,000.
  • Election  Security:  $3.6 billion for grants to States for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections for Federal office

Click here to view more details on what is included in the bill.

The next step is the Senate will vote on the bill. 

House Introduces the HEROES Act

The House of Representatives introduced H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or the “HEROES Act“. This $3 trillion proposal far exceeds the cost of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which is the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history. 

A few highlights of the bill:

  • Food Security: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Provides $10 billion to support anticipated increases in participation and to cover program cost increases related to flexibility provided to SNAP by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • Housing Assistance:
    • Homeless Assistance Grants – $11.5 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants to address the impact of coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and to support additional homeless assistance.
    • Emergency Rental Assistance – $100 billion to provide emergency assistance to help low income renters at risk of homelessness avoid eviction.
  • Stimulus Checks: It would include another one-time $1,200 payment for individuals who earn up to $75,000. Families could also receive $1,200 for up to three qualified dependents (unlike the $500 payment under the CARES Act).
  • Health Care Provisions:
    • Increases Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) payments to state Medicaid programs by a total of 14 percentage points starting July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. 
    • Covering the uninsured for COVID-19 treatment – Ensures that uninsured individuals whom states opt to cover through the new Medicaid eligibility pathway will be able to receive treatment for COVID-19 without cost-sharing during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • State, Local, and Tribal Fiscal Relief :
    • $500 billion in funding to assist state governments, $375 billion in funding to assist local governments ,$20 billion in funding to assist Tribal governments.
  • Unemployment Benefits: Extension of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – would extend the $600 per week FPUC supplement to state and federal unemployment benefits through January 31, 2021. 
  • Elections: $3.6 billion for grants to States for contingency planning, preparation, and
    resilience of elections for Federal office. 
  • Census Bureaus: $400 million for expenses due to delays in the 2020 Decennial Census.​

The House is expected to meet on Friday to vote on this bill.

H.R. 6800 Summary.pdf

Letter: Urging Congress to Ensure Funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS)

Poligon and 105 advocacy organizations, we urge you to support robust funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the next coronavirus response package. 

USPS Funding Letter