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October Newsletter

Salaam, and welcome to our October 2020 newsletter! Here’s what we were up to this month:
Are You Ready To Vote?
With November 3rd fast approaching, do you have all the information you need to cast your ballot? Poligon has put together resources to help you find out your registration status, ballot drop off locations, and in-person polling locations. We even have a faith-based civic engagement guide for faith leaders and community members. Check them out here
To continue these efforts, we need your help! Can you donate $20, $50, or $100 today to help Poligon turn out more Muslim voters before November?

Welcoming Our New Policy & Advocacy Manager! 
A huge welcome to Johanna Mustafa, our new Policy and Advocacy Manager! Johanna brings years of experience in national and grassroots advocacy and organizing work with the American Muslim community. Before joining the Poligon team, Johanna served as an Advocacy Specialist for the National Network of Arab American Communities. We are excited to have Johanna join us in our efforts to amplify the voices of Muslim Americans in Congress!

SCOTUS Nomination Facebook Live UpdatePoligon’s Legislative Fellow, Zayn Hasan, went on Facebook Live on Wednesday, October 21st, to discuss various hill updates, Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Nomination process, October Congressional recess, and voting resources! Click here to watch.

Poligon Applauds Muslim Civic Engagement Progress Highlighted in ISPU 2020 Muslim Poll
The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) released it’s fifth annual American Muslim Poll 2020: Amid Pandemic and Protest. The survey found that compared to members of other faith groups, Muslim political activity exceeds the general public, Muslim voter registration has increased, and nearly one-quarter of Muslims have attended a town hall meeting, which is much higher than other faith groups. Click here to read our full statement.

In The News
 On October 30th, Poligon’s President, Wardah Khalid, participated in a live Q & A hosted by Vantage Points. The livestream discussed how Poligon’s work is critical in helping the Muslim community engage with Congress. Check out the interview here.

Action Alerts

  • Urge the Next President & Congress to Ensure a Democracy That Works for All: It’s no secret that U.S. elections are driven by big corporate donors rather than everyday citizens. And the next presidential administration is tasked with addressing important issues that impact our communities, such as: repealing the Muslim ban, overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, and dismantling systemic racism in America. But for the next administration to do that effectively, our democracy needs reform to be more representative and inclusive. We urge the next President and Congress to pass the For the People Act (HR1) as the priority in their administration. Click here to learn more and sign your name to show the next administration and Congress that Day 1 is for Democracy. 
  • October Recess: The House of Representatives adjourned for their recess until November 13th. Congressional recess is when your members of Congress will be back in your home state. It is a great opportunity to call or email your Congress members directly to tell them about the most important issues to you! Click here to view our October Recess Action Alert for more information.

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.

Poligon Is Hiring!
Poligon 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!

RESOURCE: Expiring COVID-19 Relief Measures

Vital assistance for workers, renters, and small businesses have expired and several of COVID-19 relief measures are set to expire on December 31st. Congress must act now and pass an additional COVID-19 relief package. Click here to urge your Senate to provide relief to impacted communities.

updated_expiring_coronavirus_relief.pdf

Urge the Next President & Congress to Ensure a Democracy That Works for All

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It’s no secret that the U.S. Elections are driven by big corporate donors rather than us everyday citizens. And the next presidential administration is tasked with addressing important issues that impact our communities, such as: repealing the Muslim ban, overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, and dismantling systemic racism in America. But for the next administration to do that effectively, our democracy needs reform to be more representative and inclusive. 

We urge the next President and Congress to pass the For the People Act (H.R.1) as a first priority in their administration. In March 2019, the bill passed in the House with unanimous support, but the Senate has yet to bring it up for a vote.

The For the People Act (H.R.1) is a package of proven reforms that would:

  • Expand and protect voting rights and access to the ballot;
  • Put Americans ahead of Big Money donors, by creating a system of public financing which can reduce candidates’ demand for big donors by amplifying support from constituents;
  • End gerrymandering so that electoral districts are fairly drawn;
  • Hold our elected officials to higher ethical standards.

This bill creates a more inclusive and representative political system. We need a fair and functional democratic system, where everyone can participate, every vote is counted, and every voice is heard.​ We demand a democracy that works for all of us. 

Sign your name to show the next administration and Congress thatDay 1 is for Democracythe and to pass For the People Act.

This petition will be delivered to Congress in January, at the start of the next Administration.

BREAKING: House Approves 2.2T COVID-19 Relief Bill

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House voted to pass an updated version of The Heroes Act.  The bill was approved by a tally of 214 to 204. Every House Republican voted no, saying 2.2 trillion is too much to spend and the funding targeted programs unrelated to the coronavirus crisis. The $2.2 trillion legislation includes:

  • 15% increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs 
  • $225 billion for education – including $182 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education – and $57 billion to support child care for families.
  • $436 billion for assistance to state, local, territorial and tribal governments 
  • $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures
  • $1,200 stimulus check per taxpayer and $500 per dependent
  • $600 federal unemployment payments through next January
  • 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs 

It also includes a key provision backed by President Trump and GOP allies:

  • Provisions to improve the Paycheck Protection Program to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits
  • $25 billion to stave off thousands of layoffs at passenger airlines, as well as $3 billion for airline contractors. The restaurant industry would receive $120 billion in aid. 
  • Additional assistance for airline industry workers, extending the Payroll Support Program to keep airline industry workers paid

​Currently, the Republicans in the Senate and White House both oppose the bill and want a proposal that is $600 billion less. Negotiations between the House leaders and the White House are still ongoing.

Poligon Applauds Muslim Civic Engagement Progress Highlighted in ISPU 2020 Muslim Poll

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2020
Contact: info@poligonnational.org

Poligon Applauds Muslim Civic Engagement Progress Highlighted in ISPU 2020 Muslim Poll
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) released the results of their fifth annual American Muslim Poll 2020: Amid Pandemic and Protest. The survey found that compared to members of other faith groups, Muslim political activity exceeds the general public, Muslim voter registration has increased, and nearly one quarter of Muslims have attended a town hall meeting, which is much higher than other faith groups.  

Poligon Board President, Wardah Khalid, issued the following statement:
“The 2020 American Muslim Poll shows encouraging progress within our community’s civic engagement efforts. Muslims are more ready and fired up to vote and be civically engaged than ever before. We look forward to harnessing that energy and continuing our work to educate the Muslim American community and facilitate opportunities to have their voices heard in the policy making process.”

While we applaud these successes, we must also acknowledge the disheartening statistics revealed in the poll, namely that Muslims face institutional discrimination at higher amounts than the general public and their children encounter religious-based bullying at nearly double the level of families in the general public. Clearly, there is still much work to be done to ensure the Muslim community feels safe and valued. The results of this poll will help organizations like Poligon continue to fight against Islamophobia and stand for social, racial, and economic justice, and encourage Muslims in America to get out and vote this November.

September Newsletter

Salaam, and welcome to our September 2020 newsletter! Here’s what we were up to this month:

Poligon’s New COVID-19 Video
As the COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on our broken system, our community must have a voice in all levels of government to protect our rights and advocate for policy changes on issues that impact us, including healthcare. With American Muslims being the least likely faith group to engage with their elected officials, it’s time we act NOW. Watch our latest video on the Coronavirus pandemic and why American Muslims must engage in the policymaking process. 

Coffee and Conversations with Muppies DC
Poligon participated in a Coffee and Conversations event hosted by Muppies DC on September 27. Poligon’s Media Director, Aksa Asgher, and the Executive Director of the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, Umer Rupani, discussed the importance of political advocacy and ways for Muslims to engage with the government.

Supreme Court Nomination Process Resource 
The Senate will begin Supreme Court confirmation hearings on October 12. Poligon released a guide on the Process of Nomination to the Supreme Court, so you can follow along as the Senate begins deliberations. Check out last week’s Facebook Live with our Legislative Fellow Zayn Hasan, to hear about the process in more depth.

October Recess Action Alert
The House of Representatives adjourns October 5 for their recess until November 13, and the Senate from October 12 until November 6. Congressional recess is when your members of Congress will be back in your home state. Check out our Action Alert to learn about how you can contact your representatives.

Movement Voter Fund Grant
Poligon is excited to accept a grant provided by Movement Voter Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation. Movement Voter Fund works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government. This grant will help Poligon continue to work to empower the American Muslim community.

In The News
Poligon’s President, Wardah Khalid, was featured in Courier News this month in a story on moving forward after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As an icon in the movement for women’s rights, RBG left a giant legacy. In the article, Wardah discusses her thoughts on how women can follow in her footsteps to continue the work she started.

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.

  • September 4, 2020
  • September 11, 2020
  • September 18, 2020
  • September 25, 2020

Voting and Election Justice Resources
There are less than 40 days until the election on November 3. Are you registered to vote? Ensure you have a voting plan by figuring out your registration status, your ballot drop-off location, and where you can vote in person if necessary. Check out our Voting and Elections Resources 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 position 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!

BREAKING NEWS: House Democrats Release Updated Version of The Heroes Act

House Democrats released an updated version of The Heroes Act, which reflected negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. The $2.2 trillion legislation includes:

  • 15% increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs 
  • $225 billion for education – including $182 billion for K-12 schools and nearly $39 billion for postsecondary education – and $57 billion to support child care for families.
  • $436 billion for assistance to state, local, territorial and tribal governments 
  • $75 billion for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures
  • $1,200 stimulus check per taxpayer and $500 per dependent
  • $600 federal unemployment payments through next January
  • 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs 

​The updated HEROES Act also includes a key provision backed by President Trump and GOP allies:

  • Provisions to improve the Paycheck Protection Program to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits
  • $25 billion to stave off thousands of layoffs at passenger airlines, as well as $3 billion for airline contractors. The restaurant industry would receive $120 billion in aid. 
  • Additional assistance for airline industry workers, extending the Payroll Support Program to keep airline industry workers paid

A possible vote on the legislation this Wednesday or Thursday, before the House leaves for October congressional recess.

Updated HEROES Act One Pager

LETTER: Urging Congress to Pass a Robust COVID Relief Bill Providing Critical Assistance to Families

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Poligon’s President, Wardah Khalid,  and other faith leaders part of the Washington Interfaith Staff Community sent a letter calling for the passage of a robust COVID relief bill that provides aid for those most in need. As we approach the sobering loss of 200,000 lives in America with no end of the pandemic in sight, the vulnerable struggle under the weight of the health pandemic and crushing economic stagnation. Congress must pass a robust COVID relief bill providing critical assistance to families and communities.

WISC Letter to Congress

NEW VIDEO: America just Crossed 200k Coronavirus deaths. How can you help?

Over the weekend, the U.S. surpassed 200,000 deaths from Coronavirus. This is the highest death toll in the world. And unfortunately, projections show things will get worse before they get better. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on our broken system, our community must have a voice in all levels of government to protect our rights and advocate for policy changes on issues that impact us, including healthcare. However, Muslims are currently the least likely faith group to engage with their elected officials. Our team at Poligon has released a new video on the Coronavirus pandemic and why it is so critical for American Muslims to engage in the policymaking process. 

Forward this email to 5 family members or friends so they can watch the video too. Together,  we can empower American Muslims to make their voices heard on all of these interconnected issues by engaging with their elected officials and voting in the critical upcoming elections. 

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.