H.I.V.E. held an Alabama Legislative Preview on Wednesday, January 15th! The main message from all our amazing presenters was “Your voice is needed!” It’s important to find an issue(s) that you care about, learn more, and to lend your voice to those causes. Contact your legislatures and talk with your family and friends! #beinformed #befabulous #bethechange
Not sure who your legislators are? Click here for more info.
Thanks to these fabulous folks doing amazing work in our state. Sign up on their mailing lists for easy ways to get involved and get informed. And join them on their upcoming legislative days to get a first-hand look at our state government in action and to advocate for the issues you believe in!
Representative Neil Rafferty, House District 54
The upcoming session begins Tuesday, February 4, 2020. Currently Neil is one of 105 members of the house/one of 28 democrats. There are 35 senators/8 democrats.
Hot topics for the upcoming session include:
- Budget – the budget currently has a surplus and discussion will center around what to do with the money. Ideas include Medicaid expansion, funding the general transportation fund, mental health in schools, saving the money
- Prisons – responding to DOJ report on prison conditions, building of new prisons
- Workforce development
- Mental health resources for students
- Gaming/lottery bills
A pre-filled bills that democrats will be fighting:
- House Bill 20 – Requires public K-12 school students to use their biological gender as it appears on their birth certificate to determine sporting events in which they can participate
Issues that democrats will be taking up this session:
- Red flag laws – permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves
- Voting rights
- Elimination of the Grocery tax
- Maternal mortality review panel – establishing and funding
- Reviewing access to care
Issues Neil’s passionate about:
- Modernizing language regarding sex education
- Establishing syringe exchange programs
- Veteran suicide task force
- Nondiscrimination clauses
- Strengthening anti-bullying laws
- Removing tax on solar panel
- Pregnant workers fairness act
- Low income housing regulation
Alabama Appleseed (alabamaappleseed.org)
Appleseed is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to achieve justice and equality for all Alabamians. Through policy analysis, research and documentation, public education, community organizing, litigation, and more, they work to change the root causes of injustice.
Issues Appleseed will be addressing this legislative session:
- Three Strikes law – supporting legislation that would give people sentenced to die in prison for crimes where there was no physical harm a second look
- Payday loan reform – supporting the 30 Days to Pay bill, mandating 30 day loan terms
- Drivers license reform – prohibiting suspension of drivers license for any reason except for dangerous driving
- Diversion task force – supporting legislation that will create a task force to standardize diversion practices and end user fee structures
- Marijuana – supporting legislation that reclassifies possession as a fine only, civil offense
- Improving re-entry – supporting legislation that increases state spending on vocational/educational programs in prison, providing birth certificates, drivers licenses, etc upon release, and giving people 6 months outside of prison before they begin paying their fines
- Open records reform
How you can help!
- Sign up for Action Alerts at the bottom of www.alabamaappleseed.org
- Commit to attending Appleseed’s lobbying day on Tuesday, February 18th as part of the Alabamians for Fair Justice
- Be a part of Appleseed’s carpooling fleet for lobbying day (contact them at www.alabamaappleseed.org/#contact)
- Host a house party on the prison crisis (contact them at www.alabamaappleseed.org/#contact)
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (www.momsdemandaction.org)
Mom is a grassroots movement fighting for public safety measures that protect people from gun violence by passing stronger gun laws and working to close loopholes.
- Alabama has the 3rd highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S.
- On average, 961 people die of guns in Alabama (55% of gun deaths are suichdes and 41% homicides)
- The rate of gun deaths in Alabama has increased 32% from 2008 to 2017 compared to a 17% increase over the same time period nationwide
Issues Moms will be addressing this legislative session:
- Opposing permitless carry in Alabama (pre-filed Senate Bill 1) which would remove Alabama’s concealed handgun permit requirement, allowing people to carry concealed loaded handguns in public.
- Supporting Red Flag laws – temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. 15 states and DC have enacted Red Flag laws which have been shown to reduce the risk of firearm suicide.
How you can help!
* Text READY to 64433 so that you can receive emails and texts from the local Moms Birmingham group
- Like the Moms Demand Action – AL page (www.facebook.com/MomsDemandActionAL/)
- Join them on their Legislative Day on Tuesday, March 10th
The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham (www.womensfundbirmingham.org)
Mission is to accelerate economic opportunity for women and their families through philanthropy, research, and advocacy.
- Only 29 out of 67 counties in Alabama have a hospital that offers obstetrical care
- 490,000 of women in Alabama are living in poverty, including 48% of all single women heads of households with children.
- Alabama has the second lowest labor participation rate in the country. The Alabama Workforce Council predicts a shortage of 500,000 skilled workers by 2025. Considered together, these stats speak to not only a problem but a potential solution.
The Women’s Fund will release their advocacy agenda beginning of February so join the mailing list to get more info.
How you can help!