December 7, 2017
5 Minute Actions

PREFACE: When these are original Direct Action ideas from Together We Will North Carolina, they will be marked as such. Others are not original to Together We Will North Carolina and are shared from their sources with only minor formatting changes, titles, and sometimes context added. If you have any questions or want to submit a direct action idea for inclusion, please email 5mdpatwwnc@gmail.com. Thanks!
We respect that a diversity of opinion exists within the progressive community, and we trust TWW-NC members to choose the suggested actions that align with their personal values.

IndivisiblesNC Weekly Calendar: http://bit.ly/2kl6OvR

Resist NC Event Calendar: http://resistnc.org/events/

Transgender Youth Day, Dec 7: http://bit.ly/2A0NXNK  


North Carolina focus: Join the campaign to tell the NCGA to solve class size chaos now!

Education advocates, including the Community Alliance for Public Education, the Durham Association of Educators and Public Schools First NC have launched a campaign to pressure the NCGA to fund the class size maximums they imposed on schools earlier in the year.

“The NCGA is coming back to Raleigh on January 10, 2018 for a special session. This is a great time to remind legislators that we have a special problem that needs solving. Impending K-3 class size restrictions are causing enormous problems for school districts: from the loss of specials teachers to ballooning upper elementary classes, from underfunded programming to classes held in hallways, class size chaos looms. This is not just a K-3 issue; it is a PreK-12 issue. This is not an urban district issue—it is a statewide issue, affecting small and rural districts as well.

District leaders across the state have only just begun the 2017-18 school year and already this dark cloud hovers over every public school in NC.

How will they pay for art, music, and physical education teachers without knowing how much the state will contribute to pay for these important positions? The legislature stated its intent to fund art, music and PE teachers, but offered no dollar amounts or guarantees. Art, music and PE are essential to a well-rounded public education. They are required subject in the state-mandated curriculum.

 Will class sizes in 4th and 5th grade balloon into over 30 students per teacher? Or will course offerings in middle and high school disappear?

 How will school districts find the physical space to house the additional classrooms needed to lower K-3 class size? Wake County alone will need to create space for 559 new classrooms—the equivalent of 14 additional schools!—to serve 9,500 students.

 Where are school boards going to find enough teachers? Considering that North Carolina has had a teacher shortage for years, are we instead going to have larger numbers of untrained teachers in our classrooms?

 Large districts and many small districts do not have the space the restrictions will necessitate, and smaller, economically disadvantaged districts do not have the funds for both the extra K-3 classes and their current programming. Our legislators need to offer them relief NOW.”  (Source: http://bit.ly/2nsK91Q )

 

BACKGROUND:

Stronger NC: http://bit.ly/2o7UfAv

NC Policy Watch: http://bit.ly/2nG4HUc

WRAL: http://bit.ly/2o6dGNk

 

ACTIONS:

  • Sign the Public Schools NC Petition: http://bit.ly/2APoB5A
  • SAVE THE DATE, Tuesday 9th Jan, for a tweetstorm to legislators. More information here: http://bit.ly/2BazrmE and http://bit.ly/2AXdib2
  • Join campaigners on Jan. 10th, 2018 at the NCGA to deliver the message: NC Parents want smaller class sizes AND the funds and flexibility for our Districts across the State to implement them without hurting our students’ futures!
  • Call, Write, Email, or Visit NC Legislators http://bit.ly/2AhSziw

 

Talking points:

  • Local school districts want the NCGA to restore the original HB13 bill to allow more local flexibility in K-3 class sizes.
  • Further, our school districts are asking to have the enhancement teachers FULLY funded in January to allow time for local budgeting and to avoid lay-offs.
  • School districts need an option for obtaining hardship waivers to allow for more time to deal with these unfunded mandates and find more time to find qualified teachers and additional classroom space.
  • Class size matters at all K-12 age levels. The 4th and 5th grade class size caps should be restored. We are putting the burden of lowering class sizes in K-3 on the shoulders of our 4th and 5th grade students as they prepare for middle school.
  • When you write to your legislators, please use the #ClassSizeChaos hashtag so they can see our collective concern and support for making changes to class size restrictions and their implementation process.

(source: Public Schools NC: http://bit.ly/2nsK91Q )


National focus: National focus: Demand Congress pass a clean DREAM act; join the DREAM for the Holidays 2017 campaign

“While the deadline to find a legislative replacement for DACA isn’t until March, DACA will likely be a key bargaining chip in the upcoming 2018 budget discussions. A funding agreement must be passed by December 8th to avoid a government shutdown.

In September, Trump rescinded DACA, threatening over 800,000 undocumented young people with deportation. The declaration gave Congress until March of 2018 to pass a legislative fix or equivalent to DACA, or else those currently protected would face rapid deportation. The most robust legislative fix is the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill originally drafted in 2001 that not only provides protection and work permits to roughly a million undocumented immigrants, but also a path to legal citizenship.

Despite the momentum building on both sides of the aisle to swiftly pass the DREAM Act, Trump introduced a list of expensive and punitive demands that must be coupled to approval of the DREAM Act or any similar DACA protection. This includes full funding for his campaign-promised border wall, hiring of 10,000 more immigration agents, expedited deportations of asylum seekers, and withholding of federal funding from sanctuary cities. Though Democrat leadership has held firm against these egregious political demands, any new negotiations on what should and should not be included in a DREAM Act approval could delay or even derail its passage, putting the future well-being of thousands of young people at risk.

While border security is important, it is unacceptable to use the lives of our undocumented family and community members as a bargaining chip to for political gains. Congress must pass a clean DREAM Act with no concessions to Trump’s unnecessary demands.” (source: 5 Calls http://bit.ly/2AdEB1f )

 

BACKGROUND:

NBC: http://nbcnews.to/2kraFrt

WAPO: http://wapo.st/2kryT4T and http://wapo.st/2zT9WC7

 

ACTIONS:

 

Possible talking points:

  • It is unfair and immoral to use the lives of hundreds of young people as bargaining chips
  • The vast majority of Americans do not want to see these young people be deported (http://nbcnews.to/2gartkC )
  • Longer delays in passing legislation will result in more and more Dreamers losing their ability to work here legally. This will disrupt their lives and those of their loved ones, not to mention the many businesses who employ them.

Fax your US legislators for free. US Reps: http://bit.ly/2l4Tgkx. US Senate: http://bit.ly/2l0HAin
Text “RESIST” to 50409 to fax your US legislators: https://resistbot.io

Use the Stance app to record phone messages for delivery to your US legislators: http://bit.ly/2tMNcVb
Find US senators on Twitter and Facebook here: http://bit.ly/1i311yd
Find US representatives on Twitter here: http://bit.ly/22PLON2


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TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR NORTH CAROLINA & OUR COUNTRY!