July 2020

July Newsletter

Salaam, and welcome to our July 2020 newsletter!

Here’s what we were up to this month:
Poligon Celebrated the House Passing the NO BAN Act
On July 22nd the House of Representatives voted to pass the NO BAN Act, which would repeal the Muslim Ban and allow families to be reunited after 3 and a half years of separation. Poligon worked tirelessly with other organizations to advocate, collect signatures, and help draft the language of the bill, and we commend the House for passing this much-needed legislation. Read our official statement here: https://www.poligonnational.org/press-releases.

Islamic Relief USA Capitol Careers Webinar
On July 16th, Islamic Relief USA hosted an informational webinar featuring current Hill staffers, including Poligon’s president Wardah Khalid. Topics discussed in the webinar included the day to day life of a Hill staffer, navigating job searching, and skills needed to work on the Hill. 

August Recess Advocacy Toolkit
The House of Representatives will be going back to their home districts from August 1st-September 7th. Senators will be in their home states from August 8th-September 7th. Poligon has created a toolkit that includes guidance on how you can speak with your Member of Congress about repealing the Muslim ban, police reform, COVID-19 Relief, and protecting protesters. Want to talk to them about something else? Our town hall and office visit guide has you covered. Your member of Congress represents YOU, so schedule a meeting as early in advance as possible!

Click the link below to view or download the toolkit:
Poligon’s 2020 August Recess Advocacy Toolkit

In The News
Cafe Tanweer Podcast Episode Featuring Wardah Khalid
Poligon’s president, Wardah Khalid, was featured on a podcast hosted by Cafe Tanweer, on the topic of the role that American Muslims have in the government, politics, and civic engagement. Listen to the podcast episode here: https://bit.ly/3gEeZeV

Action Alerts
July 15, 2020: During the days leading up to the highly anticipated House vote on the NO BAN Act, Poligon sent out action alerts to gather support and encourage individuals to call their Representatives to urge them to vote yes on the bill. The bill passed and we will continue to push the Senate to pass it as well.

Poligon Is Hiring!
Poligon is looking for a Policy and Advocacy Manager based in the DC area (but starting remote during COVID-19). This is an exciting opportunity for someone passionate about civic engagement and getting Muslims and allies plugged into the policymaking process. Visit our website for the full job posting!

Hill Happenings

We’ve been keeping you up-to-date on the latest from Capitol Hill with our Hill Happenings going straight to your inboxes every Friday.

Letter: Urging Congresss to Extend USDA Waiver Authority for WIC Services

Poligon and over 60 advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress urging that any final legislative package that responds to the public health and economic crises include an extension of USDA waiver authority for WIC services through at least September 30, 2021.

WIC Waivers Letter

Poligon Endorsed the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act

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Poligon has endorsed the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act would allow all children to access breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snack programs either in school or through “grab and go” and delivery options. The bill was introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) and co-led by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05).

Under the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act: 

  • All students will temporarily be made eligible for free school meals during the 2020-2021 school year through the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
    • Due to the flexibility granted to USDA under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, free school meals will be available to students during remote learning through “grab and go” or meal delivery; All school districts, including those operating off-site services, can serve all children without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child. 
  • Anywhere in the country, schools and non-profit community partners can operate meal services, including off-site, under the Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) and the Summer Seamless Option (SSO), where they can serve all children without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child. 
  • Anywhere in the country, schools and non-profit community partners will be able to serve afterschool meals and snacks, under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Program or the NSLP Afterschool Snack Program, without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child. 

RESOURCE: Comparison of the HEROES Act and the HEALS Act

Progress Caucus Action Fund released an in-depth comparison of the Senate Republican’s Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act and the House passed HEROES Act.

Comparing HEROES Act and HEALS Act

Letter: Urging Congress to include Immigrants in Next COVID-19 Language

Poligon and over 800 other organizations sent a letter to Congress to include immigrants in the next COVID-19 Package. It is crucial that the next coronavirus relief package passed out of Congress includes provisions to include immigrant families who have been left out of previous bills

COVID 4.0 Immigrant Inclusion

BREAKING: Senate GOP Unveils Proposal for Next COVID-19 Relief Package

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Senate Republicans unveiled $1 trillion COVID-19 relief bill proposal, as enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire for millions of Americans who are out of work due to the pandemic. 

The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act will include:
  •  Another round of $1,200 in direct payments
  • $105 billion for reopening schools 
  • $150 billion in state funds provided under the CARES Act and extends the time frame under which that money can be used
  • $26 billion for vaccine research, distribution and use
  • $25 billion more for hospitals and other health care providers
  • $16 billion more for COVID-19 testing

Republicans have rejected extending the $600 enhanced unemployment benefits that expire for roughly 30 million Americans this weekend. It will offer liability protections for businesses and more aid for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program.

In May, the House voted to pass the HEROES Act which was a $3 trillion proposal. Click here to view more details on what is included in the House bill.

HEALS Act

Letter: Urging Congress to Prioritize the Vulnerable Communities in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package

Poligon and members of the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs (DHN) sent a letter to Congress urging them to protect the most vulnerable communities in the next COVID-19 relief package by enacting the following policy priorities.

  1. ​Expand and increase SNAP  
  2. Allocate more money for housing, homeless assistance, and extend the moratorium on evictions
  3. Extend expanded unemployment assistance
  4. Expand the EITC and Child Tax Credit 
  5. Authorize Another Economic Impact Payment 
  6. Authorize Pandemic TANF


We urge Congress to include these priorities in the upcoming COVID-19 package and demonstrate their commitment to addressing systemic poverty and racial disparities. 

DHN COVID Priorities Letter

Statement from the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19 Regarding Eid ul-Adha

Poligon signed on to a statement issued by the National Muslim Task Force which strongly recommends that Muslims nationwide continue to take necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially during the Eid holiday.

  1. Continue to follow public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and staying at home, when possible.
  2. Avoid large congregational prayers to decrease the risk of transmission.
  3. Recommend praying at home and only have the minimum number of people needed to establish prayer present at the masajids with precautions
  4. Donate Zakat and Sadaqah to organizations that are supporting vulnerable communities in the United States, local masajids, and abroad.

Statement for Eid Ul Adha

Poligon Education Fund Applauds House Passage of NO BAN Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22nd, 2020
​Contact: info@poligonnational.org


Poligon Education Fund Applauds House Passage of NO BAN Act

Washington, D.C. – Poligon commends the House of Representatives for passing the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, or NO BAN Act today. The bill repeals the Muslim travel bans and imposes limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict immigrants from entering the U.S. and prohibits religious discrimination in immigration-related decisions without statuatory basis. 

Poligon Board President, Wardah Khalid, issued the following statement:

“Today is a historic day. Over a year after the NO BAN Act was introduced, the House finally passed this important legislation. Innocent families have been separated for three and a half years due to this Islamophobic and racist ban, and it is encouraging to see American lawmakers take a step towards ending this cruel policy. This has been a monumental, multi-year effort by diverse advocates and everyday Americans working with Members of Congress to raise awareness about the issue, write the legislation, and gather co-sponsors. For some, this was the first time they ever engaged with Congress. 

“While I’m disappointed that the bill did not end up having more Republican support (discrimination against a faith group should not be a partisan issue), I’m pleased that it passed today. In this time of uncertainty, it is crucial that we come together and unite, rather than give into fear and divisive ideas. We look forward to working with the Senate on this legislation and continuing to build our community engagement with the political system to ensure that all people, regardless of background, are treated equally by the law and can live in prosperity.”

The Muslim Ban was President Donald Trump’s first action upon taking office. He made clear that his intentions were bigoted, claiming he wanted a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

For Poligon’s previous statements surrounding the Muslim Ban, please click here.

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Poligon Education Fund is a national non profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress through research, education, and advocacy. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

Letter: Urging the Senate to Provide Funding for the Election and Census Count in the next COVID-19 Bill

Poligon and partners of Faithful Democracy sent a letter to the Senate urging them to provide funding for the general Elections and Census count in the next COVID-19 Package. States and local jurisdictions desperately need $3.6 billion in federal assistance to expand mail-in voting, make polling places safe for in-person voting, and increase online voter registration.  We urge passage of $400 million in additional funding to ensure a successful enumeration in the face of unprecedented disruptions to 2020 Census operations. 

Provide Funding for Elections and Census Letter