August 2020

August Newsletter

Salaam, and welcome to our August 2020 newsletter! Here’s what we were up to this month:
CAIR Webinar on Census
Poligon’s Media Director, Aksa Asgher, joined CAIR-California and MPower Change for a webinar on the importance of the Census and building Muslim political power in America. Check out the webinar here!

Netroots Nation Conference
On August 15th, Poligon’s president Wardah Khalid participated in a panel at the Netroots Nation Conference, on “How Muslims Are Organizing in 2020,” along with other Muslim political experts. If you missed the panel, you can watch it here!

Muslim Civic Engagement Toolkit 
Poligon has joined several other national Muslim civic engagement organizations to create Muslim Civic Engagement toolkits. These are intended to educate community members and faith leaders on the importance of civic engagement in Islam and to facilitate political participation. Click here to view the toolkits’ information on how you can be more civically engaged and participate in upcoming elections throughout the year. 

Million Muslims Vote
Poligon has partnered with Emgage to help mobilize the largest Muslim American voter turnout in history, in a campaign called Million Muslims Vote. Our goal is to turnout as many Muslim voters as possible this November. To join the campaign or learn more, click here!

Congressional Advocacy 101 Training
On August 25th, Poligon offered a congressional advocacy training, led by our legislative fellow Zayn Hasan. Topics covered include a general overview of Congress, the advocacy process, and how to participate in office visits, town hall meetings, and phone calls with Members and/or their staff. If you are interested in having Poligon conduct a training in your community, email us at info@poligonnational.org.

Congressional Advocacy Training 2.0: Taking Healthcare To the Next Level
Poligon partnered with American Muslim Health Professionals for a webinar that focused on the nuts and bolts of tracking legislation and Congressional votes. If you missed the webinar, you can view it here!

Muslims in America COVID-19 Poll
Poligon has partnered with The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), along with other Muslim organizations, to investigate how COVID-19 has been affecting the mental health, faith, and service work of Muslims in America. We are documenting how the pandemic has impacted American Muslims specifically, and are seeking individuals to take this survey to help us! 

August Recess Advocacy Toolkit
Members of the House of Representatives are back in their home districts until September 7th. Senators are 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

Faithful Elections In COVID Toolkit 
Poligon worked with members of the #FaithfulDemocracy coalition on a new report on voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource is meant to help voters: 1) Navigate the system, understanding what options are available for their circumstances; 2) Find points of engagement to contribute to a successful election and influence decision-makers. Click here to learn more.

Join Our Board of Directors
Poligon is seeking passionate individuals to join our Board of Directors! If you are interested in helping educate American Muslims on how to engage with Congress and be politically active, this is the position for you! Please send a resume and short statement of interest to info@poligonnational.org.

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.

  • August 7, 2020: Negotiations on the Next COVID-19 Bill, House Committee Announced Hearing with Postmaster General, Oversight Committee Chair Denounced Shortening 2020 Census Timeline, Bill to Increase Diversity on CARES Oversight Commission, GOP Senator Recommended Agencies Extend COVID-19 Relief
  • August 14, 2020: COVID-19 Relief Package Negotiation Stalled, House Recess Extended for Additional Week in September, Senators Called On Congressional Leadership to Extend Census Deadline, Senators Called for, Funding To Help Older Adults and Nutrition Services In Next COVID-19 Relief Package, Bill to Block Postal Service Changes
  • August 21, 2020: House to Vote on Bill to Support the Postal Service, Hearing on USPS Oversight, Senate GOP “Skinny” COVID-19 Relief Package, Letter Sent to FBI Calling for Investigation on USPS 
  • August 28, 2020: House Approved $25 Billion to USPS but Bill Stalled in the Senate, Bill to Replace Confederate Monuments Nationwide, Mnuchin to Testify Before the House Coronavirus Panel. Bill Introduced Condemning QAnon, and Bill to Expand No-Excuse Absentee Voting

Action Alerts
August 11, 2020: The Senate must immediately pass the COVID-19 relief package and ensure families are protected amidst this pandemic. We need your voice: tell the Senate to provide relief to families impacted by COVID-19. Click here to send your Senator a letter.

August 18, 2020: The House returned from recess to pass the Delivering for America Act. Poligon urged constituents to send Representatives a letter urging them to pass the Delivering for America Act and protect the Postal Service.

Poligon Education Fund Joins Muslim Coalition to Share Results of ‘Muslims in America Policy Poll’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26th, 2020
Contact: info@poligonnational.org

Poligon Education Fund Joins Muslim Coalition to Share Results of ‘Muslims in America Policy Poll’
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday a coalition of national Muslim organizations released the results of their pre-election “Muslims in America Policy Poll” – an online survey of 1,500 Muslims in America that highlights issue and policy priorities of the Muslim community just months before the 2020 General Election. 

READ THE SURVEY: https://www.poligonnational.org/resources.html

WATCH THE LIVESTREAM PRESENTATION: https://www.facebook.com/406859649705218/videos/600924637260465/

Highlights of survey results, announced at a livestream news conference, include:

  • In asking what general issues were the most pressing priorities for Muslim Americans, the poll found civil rights (over 80%) was the greatest priority followed by healthcare (over 65%); education; foreign policy; immigration; climate change, energy, and the environment; economy, national security; and other.
  • American Muslims have prioritize issue areas similarly to non-Muslim allies such as Civil Rights and Healthcare.
  • Over 60% of Muslim respondents would like to see policy changes to the Muslim Ban, which allows vast immigration restrictions for travelers from several Muslim-predominate countries.
  • Over 45% of Muslim respondents would like to see policy changes in these four areas: international humanitarian, religious discrimination, Medicare for all, and gun control.
  • Among the various age groups examined, most ages agreed they would like to see a policy change to the Muslim Ban. Over 75% of seventy and over age group of Muslim respondents agree that they want to see a policy change with the Muslim Ban.
  • In the key battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, heading into the election — the issues of Civil Rights, Healthcare, Immigration and Education prove to be the biggest issue area of concern for Muslims.

The report also noted that in a separate voter report published by Emgage, just from Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia alone Muslim turnout jumped from about 130,000 votes to over 285,000 from 2014 to 2018.

Report sponsors plan to use the results of this report to engage candidates, elected officials, to advocate for policy reforms that serve the best interests of the Muslim community in America.

ABOUT THE POLL:

The poll’s 1500 respondents reflected a snapshot of the diverse Muslim community— comprising of African American/Black, Arab/Middle Eastern, South Asians and White community members from over 45 states.

The poll was conducted online over the course of January 2020-June 2020, just ahead of the November elections. The poll’s responses that survey participants could choose from on “pressing policy issues” and “policy changes” that respondents wanted to see were predetermined and presented without any politicizing context.

The highest percentage of participants of the survey were between the ages of 40-54 (21%) and 55-69 (17%). In contrast, the lowest percentage of respondents were under the age of 18. The poll was conducted online over the course of January 2020-June 2020, just ahead of the November elections.

LIVESTREAM: “Muslims in America Policy Poll,” What Muslims Want Heading into the 2020 General Election

LIVESTREAM: “Muslims in America Policy Poll,” What Muslims Want Heading into the 2020 General Election

​Washington, D.C. – Today a coalition of national Muslim organizations will release the results of their pre-election “Muslims in America Policy Poll” – an online survey of 1,500 Muslims in America that highlights issue and policy priorities of the Muslim community just months before the 2020 General Election.
Join national Muslim organizations live today, Tuesday August 25 at 12 p.m. (ET) to learn more about what priority policies American Muslims – especially those in key battleground states – would like to see addressed in the upcoming election.

Watch the Livestream: https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational/live/
[NOTE: Please submit your questions to aajeen@cair.com]

Poll results will answer:

  • What are the most important issues for Muslims?
  • What are the policy changes Muslims would like to see?
  • How Muslims views differ by key battleground states (PA, WI, FL, MI)?

The poll was created and distributed through a partnership of Muslim organizations including America Indivisible, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Emgage USA, Jetpac, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), MPower Change and Poligon Education Fund — consolidating efforts to educate and mobilize a Muslim constituency. 

Speakers include: 
Robert S. McCaw, CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department
Ishraq Ali, MPower Change, Organizing Director
Zayn Hasan, Poligon Education Fund, Legislative Fellow
Mohammed Missouri, Jetpac Executive Director
Aysha Ahmed, Deputy Organizing Director, Emgage Action
Lida Azim, Program Director, America Indivisible 
Adam Beddawi, Policy Analyst, Muslim Public Affairs Council

Letter: Urging House in support of Delivering for America Act

Poligon and more than 50 below organizations sent a letter to House Representatives to vote “yes” for the bipartisan Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015) when it is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives tomorrow. 

Support of Delivering for America Act

Urge your Representative to Provide Support to the Postal Service

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The recent Administration attacks on the U.S. Postal Service threaten the integrity of this year’s election, by implementing harmful operational changes and blocking emergency funding. The U.S. Postal Service is essential to the functioning of our democracy. Congress must pass legislation to protect the services of USPS.

The House will vote this Saturday on the Delivering for America Act, which prohibits the USPS from implementing any changes to operations it had in place on January 1, 2020 and includes a $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service. Additionally, the bill would prevent the USPS from implementing any changes to level of service, closure or consolidation of any post office or reduction in hours, and would allow for overtime. 

Although Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced halting further operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service until after the election, he offered no commitment to undo the harmful effects of previous actions. Raising the costs on mailing ballots and slowing down mail service will harm voters’ ability to safely engage in this year’s election during the pandemic. Delivering mail-in ballots is an essential function of the post office and is a safe and secure method of voting. Congress must act now to protect the Postal Service.

We need your voice: Tell your Representative to provide support to the Postal Service.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: CDC & HHS Guidelines & Resources

Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 Vaccines

With increased vaccine distributions nationwide following the passage of the American Rescue Plan, Poligon is here to provide resources, policy updates, as well as educational content on COVID-19.

[Breaking] Every person age 16 and up can now get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Have some general questions about receiving the vaccine? 
Read this FAQ from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Read what fully vaccinated people need to know
Read about how to talk to your family and friends about COVID-19

Read about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are uninsured

Here’s where you can find out more about the J&J Vaccine:

Urge your Representative to Provide Support to the Postal Service

The recent Administration attacks on the U.S. Postal Service threaten the integrity of this year’s election, by implementing harmful operational changes and blocking emergency funding. The U.S. Postal Service is essential to the functioning of our democracy. Congress must pass legislation to protect the services of USPS.

The House will vote this Saturday on the Delivering for America Act, which prohibits the USPS from implementing any changes to operations it had in place on January 1, 2020 and includes a $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service. Additionally, the bill would prevent the USPS from implementing any changes to level of service, closure or consolidation of any post office or reduction in hours, and would allow for overtime. 

Although Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced halting further operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service until after the election, he offered no commitment to undo the harmful effects of previous actions. Raising the costs on mailing ballots and slowing down mail service will harm voters’ ability to safely engage in this year’s election during the pandemic. Delivering mail-in ballots is an essential function of the post office and is a safe and secure method of voting. Congress must act now to protect the Postal Service.

We need your voice: Tell your Representative to provide support to the Postal Service.

RESOURCE: Faithful Elections During COVID-19 Toolkit

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This Unheard Voices COVID Chapter is a helpful resource for the faith community to navigate the changing landscape and emerging challenges for voters this election season. The challenges for the 2020 election are unprecedented in scale and complexity. 

This resource is meant to help voters: 1)Navigate the system, understanding what options are available for their circumstances, and 2) Find points of engagement to contribute to a successful election and influence decision-makers. Click here to view the toolkit.

TAKE ACTION: Urge the Senate to Provide Relief to Communities Impacted by COVID-19

The Senate is in recess until September 7th. The Senate must immediately pass the COVID-19 relief package and ensure families are protected amidst this pandemic. We need your voice: tell the Senate to provide relief to families impacted by COVID-19 by ensuring these provisions approved by the House in its HEROES Act are included in the next COVID-19 relief package: ensure access to food, ensure immigrant-inclusion, ensure safe voting access. Click here to send your Senator a letter!

Urge the Senate to Provide Relief to Communities Impacted by COVID-19

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​Negotiations between Congress and the White House for a fifth COVID-19 relief package failed to reach a compromise. Despite, the United States having surpassed over 160,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and a tremendous economic impact on vulnerable communities.

Right now, the Senate is in recess until September 7th. The Senate must immediately pass the COVID-19 relief package and ensure families are protected amidst this pandemic. We urge the Senate to secure these provisions approved by the House in its HEROES Act are included in the next COVID-19 relief package:

Ensure access to food: 

  • Increase SNAP’s maximum benefit by 15 percent from June 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021
  • An increase for all SNAP households averaging about $25 per person per month
  • Raise the minimum SNAP benefit from $15 per month to $30.

Ensure immigrant-inclusion: 

  • Access to free COVID-19 testing and treatment by uninsured people, regardless of their immigration status.
  • Immigrant taxpayers receive stimulus checks from previous relief bills. 
  • An extension of work permits and protection from deportation for immigrants

Ensure safe voting access: 

  • Allocate $3.6 billion for protective equipment and supplies needed to manage the 2020 elections, and protect voters’ and poll workers’ health.

We need your voice: Tell the Senate to provide relief to families impacted by COVID-19.

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