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BREAKING: Congress Reaches Deal on $900 billion COVID-19 Relief Package

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After months of stalemate, Congress has reached a deal on a $900 billion in COVID-19 relief package, as multiple federal aid programs are set to expire at the end of the year.

The agreement includes:

  • $600 per person stimulus checks – for individuals earning $75,000 per year and $600 for their children.
  • Additional $300 per week​ through unemployment insurance and a federal unemployment insurance 
  • $284 billion in loans for businesses 
  • $69 billion in testing and vaccine distribution funds  
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance and a one-month extension of the eviction moratorium
  • $20 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $13 billion in food assistance is also in the bill
    • ​Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 months
    • Ensures college students have access to SNAP
    • Additional funding for food banks and senior nutrition programs
    • Emergency funds for school and day care feeding programs

The package excludes the GOP priority of liability protection from Covid-19-related lawsuits for businesses. It also doesn’t include additional aid to State and Local governments. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the package beginning Monday.

ACTION ALERT: Time is running out! Demand an emergency COVID aid package!

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​The United States has surpassed over 282,000 deaths due to COVID-19! Congress has failed to act in the face of tremendous economic battles impacting the most vulnerable communities.  Join us in calling on our elected officials to immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package and ensure that families are protected in such difficult times. 

Join us in calling on our elected officials to immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package and ensure that families are protected in such difficult times. A bipartisan $908 billion framework has been introduced without any legislative text. Vulnerable communities deserve a stronger sense of urgency. We urge the Senate to pass a COVID-19 relief bill that protects: 

  • The unemployed and low income individuals:​ Enact quarterly targeted stimulus checks, accessible to low income individuals, including immigrants, through the duration of the pandemic. While also extending unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Immigrants: Provide free access to COVID-19 testing and treatment to uninsured people, regardless of their immigration status. Extend stimulus benefits to immigrant taxpayers from previous relief bills.  Extend work permits and protections from deportation for immigrants.
  • Access to nutrition: Increase SNAP’s maximum benefit by %15, with an average $25/person per month, and expand the minimum SNAP benefit from $15/month to $30/month.
  • Access to healthcare: Fund health services for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine development and distribution.
  • Housing: Enact emergency rental assistance and prevent evictions, utility shutoffs, and homelessness. 

Write to your senator and demand they provide immediate relief to people impacted by COVID-19 today!

Letter: Urging Congress to pass the COVID Community Care Act

Poligon joined over 50+ organizations in sending a letter in support of the COVID Community Care Act (H.R. 8192/S.4941) and urge swift passage and implementation of this essential piece of legislation. This bill recognizes the essential role local non-profits, faith-based and community-based organizations have played in addressing Covid-19 through culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach for testing, contact tracing and the provision of resources such as access to food, medicine, and personal protective equipment, as well as the resource coordination necessary to address job and housing insecurity.

COVID Community Care Act

BREAKING: Bipartisan lawmakers introduce $908 billion COVID-19 relief framework

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The Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of bipartisan lawmakers, unveiled a $908 billion COVID-19 relief framework aimed to break stalemate between Democrats and Republicans over emergency assistance amidst the pandemic. 

The framework includes:

  • $160 billion for State, Local, and Tribal Governments
  • $180 billion for additional Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • $288 billion for small businesses including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • $45 billion for Transportation (Airlines, Airports, Buses, Transit, and Amtrak)
  • $16 billion for Vaccine Development and Distribution 
  • $35 billion for Healthcare Provider Relief Fund
  • $82 billion for Education
  • $25 billion for Housing Assistance
  • $26 billion for Nutrition (including SNAP)
  • $10 billion for U.S. Postal Service

The unemployment benefits would reduce to $300 a week for 18 week, compared to the $600 per week included under the CARES Act. The funds would run through the first quarter of 2021. Congress is running out of time to pass a fifth relief bill with lawmakers scheduled to leave for the year as soon as next week and multiple federal assistance programs set to expire at the end of the month. 

November Newsletter

Salaam, and welcome to our November 2020 newsletter! Here’s what we were up to this month:
#GivingTuesday
Tomorrow is GivingTuesday, a great opportunity to support nonprofits across the country. With your support, we can progress our mission to amplify American Muslim voices in Congress in 2021 through new initiatives, training our communities on how to advocate for issues that matter to them, and continuing to educate them through informative policy resources.

To continue these efforts, we need your help! Can you donate $20, $50, or $100 today to help to ensure every American Muslim voice is heard in Congress in 2021?

In The News
Poligon’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, Johanna Mustafa, was featured in an American Muslim Today article. She discussed the next steps organizations must take after this historic election to empower Muslim Americans. Check out the piece here!

Poligon Is Hiring! – DEADLINE: December 1stPoligon is hiring! We are looking for talented individuals interested in congressional advocacy and issues facing the Muslim American community. Click here for more information on the positions and how to apply!

Action Alert
Recent news reports revealed that the Muslim Pro App had compromised the data of over 98 million users. While consumer-facing platforms are often legally restricted from sharing such information, certain legal loopholes allow for data brokers and third-party firms without a direct relationship to consumers to share private data with government institutions. 

Poligon Education Fund is calling on our Representatives in Congress to investigate such loopholes and protect the Fourth Amendment right of the people to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” 

Please help us protect the American Muslim community: Send a letter to your Representative to investigate personal data privacy concerns and uphold our Fourth Amendment rights.

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.

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 engaging with Congress and being politically active, this is the position for you! Please send a resume and short statement of interest to info@poligonnational.org.
Thank you for your support as we continue to help amplify the American Muslim voices in Congress. 
Stay active,
Aksa, and ThePoligon Team

Letter: Urging Congress to Support Suffering Families by Passing a Robust COVID-19 Relief Package

Due to COVID-19 many families will be able to participate on Thanksgiving day. In a very real way these families will not have food to put on their tables, and the threat of hunger, unemployment, unpaid rent, mortgages, and medical bills will drown out the holiday joy this season is supposed to bring. During this month of remembrance, then, and on behalf of the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs (DHN), a coalition representing an array of religious denominations, service agencies, and faith-based organizations, we ask Congress to take responsibility and support suffering families by passing a robust COVID-19 relief package.

We believe a robust COVID-19 relief package should enact the following policy priorities:

  • Increase SNAP by 15%
  • Allocate more money for housing, homeless assistance, and extend the moratorium on evictions
  • Extend expanded unemployment assistance
  • Expand the EITC and Child Tax Credit
  • Authorize another economic impact payment
  • Authorize pandemic TANF

COVID-19 Relief Ask

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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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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Press Release: Poligon Education Fund ​Condemns White Supremacist Attack On The U.S. Capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2021
Contact: media@poligonnational.org

​Poligon Condemns White Supremacist Attack on the U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. –Poligon Education Fund released the following statement regarding the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol by white supremacist militias in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election: 

Poligon Education Fund condemns the violence inflicted by white supremacist militias and supporters of President Trump at the halls of Congress yesterday. A woman was shot and killed, our elected officials and their staff hid in their chambers as they prayed for their lives, and explosives and weapons were found on Capitol grounds. The attack on the Capitol is an attack on our democracy and on the American people. 

The violence we witnessed is an attempt to erase the fact that in the midst of a pandemic, millions of Americans have turned out in record numbers to vote against the last four years of divisive, racist governance. Even when a powerful few have continuously made it difficult for people to exercise their voting rights, marginalized communities spoke truth to power. In the face of intimidation, violence, and loss, voters reaffirmed their rights and echoed their voices in the halls of power. Poligon, alongside coalition partners and allies, has mobilized millions of voters and will not stand down in the face of this insurrection. 

We commend Congress for its steadfastness in completing the vote count and certifying the election results. We demand members of Congress continue to work towards the peaceful transition of the newly elected administration, and ensure an extensive investigation and full accountability of all groups involved in the white supremacist militant attack, including leaders who have repeatedly empowered  this hateful rhetoric. President Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy and his previous command to “stand back and stand by” did not only fuel an attack on our Capitol, but also paved the way for violence in statehouses all around the nation. 

The striking difference in the law enforcement’s efforts to protect the Capitol against Black Lives Matter defenders in June of 2020 and against white supremacist militias yesterday is a reminder of the deep, systemic violence harming our communities. We honor the victims of white supremacist violence and recognize the militarized, selective, and racist law enforcement practices. When exercising their right to protest, Black Lives Matter activists and indigenous rights defenders were met with police dogs, mace, militarized surveillance, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Not too long ago, black and brown children were tear gassed at peaceful protests. 

Poligon reaffirms its commitment to continue to hold our newly elected Congress and administration to account, to not only tackle the hateful rhetoric that threatens our communities, but also build a nation that keeps its people safe and allows everyone to thrive. This begins with coming together to swear in new leaders elected by the people, for the people.  

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