Resources for Veterans & Military Families in Case Shutdown Isn’t Quickly Resolved

government-shutdown-closed-for-business-570x4271Jan. 20, 2018 – As the government shutdown begins today, some banks and credit unions are offering low or no interest loans in the event that the shutdown disrupts February 1st pay. As Feb. 1 approaches, check with your financial institution to see if similar plans are in place. We hope that this information is helpful to veterans and military families.

 

Resources and Information

Military One Source doesn’t list information specific to the shutdown yet, but you can call their confidential help service if you have questions about what resources are available in the event the shutdown lasts until Feb. 1st

USAA has a page dedicated to helping their members in the event of a government shutdown.

 

First Command Bank will offer no-interest payroll advances to its clients affected by a shutdown. The bank also plans to work with clients who may have trouble making loan payments, will waive early withdrawal penalties for those who need to redeem a certificate of deposit before its maturity date, and may offer deferments of monthly credit card payments, as well as waiving cash advance fees on credit cards. (via Air Force Times) See their Government Shutdown FAQ

 

Navy Federal Credit Union has announced a plan to cover direct deposit for eligible members as the government shutdown goes into effect on January 20. The credit union is offering assistance to Active Duty military, Coast Guard and DoD civilian members who have an established direct deposit with Navy Federal. Those members can opt in to a special program and receive coverage of their direct deposit of net pay if they’re affected.

Program registration begins today on Navy Federal’s website, in branches or by phone at 1-888-842-6328. Wilson urged eligible members to register so their pay is covered. Members impacted by the shutdown who don’t meet the eligibility requirements should visit a branch or call to discuss their situation with a representative.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

For those on active duty, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may be helpful. Per the DOJ:

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA), is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automobile leases, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments.

You should contact your nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program office to see if the SCRA applies. Dependents of servicemembers can also contact or visit local military legal assistance offices where they reside. Please consult the military legal assistance office locator for each branch of the armed forces.

Beware of Scams and Predatory Loans

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s site has some helpful information about avoiding predatory loans and “pension poaching”:

Identity Theft

Predatory Lending

Easy Credit Retailers

Pension Poaching

Charity Checks
Veteran’s Advantage also provides a helpful checklist of what to look out for if you are contacted about offers that sound too good to be true:

1. Never provide personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or untrusted websites. Scammers have been known to make unsolicited calls claiming to be from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The Department of Veteran Affairs has stated that they “simply do not call Veterans and ask them to disclose personal financial information over the phone.”

Be especially protective of your Social Security Number.

2. Check the IRS’s list of registered non-profit companies and charities and confirm the charitable background of companies that solicit donations. In the past, scammers have masked themselves as part of charitable organizations that benefit veterans and requested “donations”. If you would like to donate to a charitable organization, you can search the IRS’s list of registered charities and non-profit organizations to verify whether an organization is a genuine charity.

3. Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to confirm the legitimacy of local charities. Some scammers have been reported soliciting donations door to door for local organizations. In this case, a background check might be better conducted by contacting your city’s local Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau rates organizations based upon multiple categories of ethical business standards. Veterans Advantage has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau – their highest rating.

Charity Navigator or Guidestar, for instance, are also other credible sources to check out charities.

4. Use Google and other search engines to perform your own background check. Most organizations have their own online website or at least some online content written about them. Use search engines to investigate an organization.

5. Contact the Department of Veteran Affairs. The Department of Veteran Affairs acts as the government’s official department in relation to Veterans Benefits and other official Veteran related matters. By contacting the Department of Veteran Affairs, you can confirm the authenticity of a solicited benefit. You can reach the department at 1-877-222-8387.

6. Prevent Unsolicited Calls and Requests. Respond to unsolicited requests by asking them to mail you information to evaluate their offer and legitimacy on your own time. If they do not comply, ask them to delete your phone contact information from their records.

 

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Candidate Profile: Meet Ryan Khojasteh, Running for CA-12

Ryan website picWe were fortunate to be able to talk with Ryan and find out what made him decide to run for Congress and how his life experiences have shaped his goals.

Thanks for taking time to talk with us Ryan. What made you decide to run for office?
My decision to get into this race wasn’t one that I was planning for. But after Jon Ossoff lost his race in Georgia 6, the most expensive race in Congressional history, I began to reflect.

This was 4 out of 4 House Special elections that the Democrats lost in 2017.
Our party isn’t necessarily representing the majority of Americans because a sizeable chunk of those in charge never lived these issues to understand these issues.

There is such a growing disdain towards the establishment. Our party likes to consolidate power amongst a very few. So, I went out for 7 months and spoke with
residents, classmates, colleagues, friends, community leaders about their thoughts on the viability of a young, idealistic, stubbornly optimistic, law student and city commissioner who wanted to take that leap of faith for the greater good. Month by month, support started to grow. The incumbent is the leader of the party, a party that is
becoming more and more flawed and comfortable in its ways, instead of fighting for a progressive future.

The party needs to change. Our leaders need to be held accountable. And I believe that if there ever was a time, 2018 would be that time. Changing the party, starts here in CA-12. I see this as a two step equation, while we need to flip red districts blue, we also need to redefine what blue means in these “safe” blue districts. These blue districts need to become more progressive and more representative of the people. This is the approach I believe will allow us to take back the House, Senate, and White House.

That sounds very well thought out! What district are you running in, and who are you running against?

DdM4qb7GI am running as a Democrat in California’s 12th Congressional District, the seat currently occupied by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in order to help redefine the Democratic Party. I hope to empower others to believe that they can and should run for office. If we get second place in the primary (California has an open two top primary) and
move on to the general election, we become the youngest campaign in American history to ever challenge a sitting Member of Congress. Our campaign believes this message will encourage others to see themselves as future candidates for office too. I want to get others involved. This race isn’t about one representative, and it isn’t about one district, it’s about the future of the Democratic Party and the United States of America.

I love that part of your goal is encouraging other young people to run!

I’ve heard women’s rights and women’s equality are important to you. What do you believe it means to be a feminist? 

I believe being a feminist means that you are an individual who advocates for equality no matter what your sex is or what gender you identify with. Our country has a troubled history of inequality, and we must mobilize as much as we can to usher in an era of equality for our daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers. I
absolutely consider myself a feminist. I have seen firsthand how my mother wasn’t afforded some of the same opportunities as her male counterparts in her career. This needs to change. I want my future daughter to live in a world where she never has to feel that she is “less than” because she is a woman. And I truly believe in our lifetime
we can make sure that that will be a reality.

teZIxRshIn undergrad, for my honors thesis, I actually analyzed Justice Scalia’s theory of originalism, the theory he used to advocate the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and I turned the theory on its head in order to show that using this same constitutional method of interpretation, the right to an abortion actually is granted within the Constitution.
Currently, I am a staff editor for the Hastings Women’s Law Journal and I volunteer with NARAL Pro-Choice California.

In October, a photo of me went viral (unexpected but really cool), circulating on outlets such as Huffington Post, Huffington Post Women, and Occupy Democrats. Even celebrities posted it. The sign I am holding says “An Assault Weapon is More Heavily Regulated than a Uterus.” It was disheartening to see many individuals thinking this was wrong. So, for my law school journal note, I will be proving that this is in fact true. Stay tuned! I hope it will be published! I also wrote a poem about women’s issues and gun control this past year, and it was published in the last issue of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal.

At NARAL, I have helped phone-bank and canvass small businesses in support of AB 569 – the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. I am disappointed Governor Brown did not sign this piece of legislation.

That is extremely impressive. Thank you for your dedication to women’s rights and equality Ryan!

Moving on, if elected, what will your legislative priorities be?

My legislative priorities are as follows: affordable housing through expanding Section 8 government subsidized housing, campaign finance reform, combating climate change, criminal justice reform through shifting our system to more of a rehabilitative one rather than punitive, free higher education, common sense gun laws, single-payer
healthcare, pathways to citizenship for all 11 million, reinvesting in American jobs, protecting small businesses, legalizing marijuana on a federal level and using that tax revenue to help rebuild the communities of color the War on Drugs destroyed, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, reforming our tax code, protecting our veterans and
expanding their benefits, ensuring equality for our LGBTQ community, and of course, fighting for equal pay and reproductive justice because it is economic justice.

That is a very thorough list Ryan!

Can you tell us about a few current laws or proposed laws regarding women’s and/or reproductive rights that you feel are wrong, and how you plan to address them?

Proposed H.R. 490 (Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017): makes it a crime to abort a fetus if the heartbeat if detected; Proposed H.R. 36 (Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act): makes it a crime to abort a fetus after 20 weeks; Section 529 of the #GOPTaxScam which allows a fetus the right to save for college. These are just three incredibly recent developments that are deeply, deeply troubling.

I propose that we encourage more women to run for office so that we don’t have white men trying to take away women’s rights or dictate what women can or can’t do with their bodies, and I propose working together as Democrats to push for a federally mandated Right to Choose law. Thiswell-authored bill would codify a woman’s absolute autonomy over her own body so as to also preempt any state law that would infringe on this autonomy, such as restricting access by limiting the number of clinics, mandating unnecessary counseling, or implem enting undue burdens on patients. Let’s get politics out of women’s bodies!

I love that idea, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!

Are you in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to include the Equal Rights
Amendment? 

Absolutely! This is part of our policy platform. This past year, Nevada became the 36thOsAcFqfL state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, leaving two more states to reach the 3/4 threshold. The ERA has been introduced in the legislatures of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. As members of Congress, we should be
urging our fellow colleagues who represent these states to lobby their state legislatures and use their influence to get these state legislatures to pass the ERA. In fact, on a state level, this issue should be a litmus test for Democrats who wish to have the State Party endorsement in their runs for the state house or senate.

Fantastic! Let’s discuss the economy and the gender pay gap. The gap is even more pronounced between men and women of color. How will you address that?

On January 1, 2018, Iceland became the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay women less than men. Employers in Iceland have to now prove unequivocally that they pay men and women in the same jobs the same amount, and if they fail to do so, they risk being fined around $500 a day in this current piece of legislation.

The time for this has long been overdue. The United States needs to follow Iceland’s example by placing the burden of proof on employers to demonstrate that they do not discriminate. Let’s get this on the books! I will fight for similar legislation (whether that means co-sponsoring an already written bill or if it means authoring one myself) if I
have the honor and privilege of being a member of the United States House of Representatives.

What is your position on the tax reform bill? What do you believe could be done to make it better for the average working class American?
This tax bill is a scam. At the expense of the middle and working class, the corporate elite and 1% will permanently have their taxes cut. This is going to cost our country $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

ljBEirWGOnce we take back Congress, we need to immediately repeal the #GOPTaxScam and implement a progressive tax code like we have laid out on our issue page. We suggest shifting everyone’s marginal tax rate down one from the tax code prior to the GOP bill (granting everyone who makes $418,400 and below a 5% tax break). This will grant
tax relief to millions of Americans that will then be put back into the economy. That’s just the first step. Then, we must create higher tax brackets past $418,400 because right now if you make $50 million a year, your tax rate is the same as someone making $418,400 a year. So annual income over $750,000 per individual will then be taxed at 39.6%, income over $1 million will be taxed at 45%, income over $5 million will be taxed at 50%, income over $10 million will be taxed at 55%, and income over $50 million will be taxed at 60%.

In addition, we need to have capital gains on long term investments and qualified dividends (which are currently taxed at 0 – 20%) to pass through to the federal income tax, so that it can properly be taxed in order to ensure that you no longer have CEOs paying less than secretaries. With this added revenue every year, we can work towards
achieving a single payer healthcare system and free higher 2 year and 4 year public education.

You’ve clearly put a lot of time and though into that topic. 

Moving on to healthcare, what will you do to help make healthcare affordable and accessible to all?

I support Medicare for All and shifting the United States towards a single-payer healthcare system. Healthcare is a human right. I want to see a day where no one goes bankrupt, becomes homeless, or dies because they didn’t have the funds for quality medical care. Achieving single-payer healthcare can be done through addressing two issues: campaign finance reform and the tax code.

We get money out of politics, then insurance companies no longer control the votes of Yy8WsTnjCongress. We fix the tax code and allow for more us to expand our federal budget, we can put that into healthcare. Currently, the government pays approximately $1.3 – 1.4 trillion annually for Medicare, Medicaid, ACA subsidies, Veterans’ Health Benefits, and CHIP. Single-payer healthcare, studies have reported, would cost anywhere between $2.7 – $3.0 trillion a year. Well, in 2015, due to all the tax loopholes and problems in
our tax code, we missed out on $1.168 trillion dollars. Add this to what we already spend our healthcare, and we very well could be on our way to universal coverage.

You’ve clearly done a lot of analysis and planning!

How will you protect funding for Planned Parenthood clinics which provide
women’s and reproductive health services to so many low income women?

There are 3 things we need to do. We first must increase Title X funding for family planning and reproductive healthcare services for low-income patients and the uninsured. We must then repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars the usage of this Title X funding for abortions, unless the life of a woman is at risk. And we must push for a
well-authored bill in Congress that would codify absolute autonomy over a woman’s body so as to also preempt any state law that would infringe on this autonomy, such as restricting access by limiting the number of clinics, mandating unnecessary counseling, or implementing undue burdens on patients.

Lastly, something I would very much like to work on in Congress is discussing the feasibility of universal birth control for women at no cost and funding research into male birth control. We as men should also play an equal part in birth control.

You are the only candidate I’ve heard suggest that! That is a FANTASTIC idea! *applause*

Gun control – it’s been in the news a lot for tragic reasons.  What is your stance on gun control?

Having lost a member of my family to gun violence, and after the privilege of interning at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (now the Giffords Law Center), I have a large number of specific policy proposals for common sense
gun legislation:

  • Closing loopholes in private transfers and gun shows, universal background checks
  • Banning semi-automatic rifles and modifications for civilian purchases
  • National Firearms Registry with more than 10 guns
  • Increasing Trauma centers in non-metropolitan areas that are capable and equipped to quickly deal with gun wounds
  • Prohibition on the ownership or usage of suppressors
  • Disarming hate, if you are convicted of a hate crime you are prohibited from owning a gun
  • Increasing the classifications of individuals that fall within the scope of Lautenberg Amendment, the law that prohibits convicted domestic abusers from owning firearms.

For example, right now federally the domestic abuse must be between a spouse, or cohabitant, or child; yet does not include partner who you don’t live with, or a sibling, or a parent. We need to expand the definition federally, some states have.

Domestic abuse can take place among more than just what the federal law entails, yet these people can still access firearms in some states.

  • Mandating more comprehensive gun safety classes and having safety exams be taken every certain number of years (maybe every 5 or 10 years)
  • Increased funding for smart gun technology with potential fingerprint recognition to fire so as to prevent suicides and accidental firings
  • Allowing the CDC to study gun violence as a public health issue
  • And, while controversial, mandating that all prospective gun owners watch a video of the effects of gun violence and mass shootings from a victim and victim’s family perspective prior to purchase, in order to fully understand the power of a gun
  • Potentially discussing gun owner’s liability insurance (you have it as a minimum for your car, why shouldn’t gun owners have it?)
  • We need to strengthen regulations regarding those who suffer from mental health issues and access to
    firearms

You’ve done an impressive amount of research on this topic, you’ve listed some ideas I haven’t seen before. 

Moving on to Immigration, another hot topic. Do you believe DACA recipients should be given a path to citizenship? If so, how do you believe that should be achieved?

B8GSKY_p100%, resoundingly YES. As an Immigrant Rights Commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco, I have been advocating for the passage of a CLEAN Dream Act. I authored a resolution that was unanimously passed by the full Commission calling on the Mayor and Board of Supervisors of San Francisco to use their influence and call
on federal lawmakers in the state of California to prioritize the passage of a Dream Act that includes zero concessions or compromises. Any additional security measures must only be in the form of a broader comprehensive immigration reform package.

Do you believe we need immigration reform? If so, what changes would you implement?

Yes, our immigration system is broken and has been for a very long time. We need to create pathways to citizenship for all 11 million. Our undocumented brothers and sisters who are here should be granted status so that they can live and work with dignity and certainty of the law. This would beneficially impact our economy and generate more
revenue for our government through employment taxes. We also need to reform our visa system so it does not take so many years to come into this country. I propose expanding the bureaucracy (creating more jobs in the process) so that we can handle the paperwork and processing more efficiently. Furthermore, we should be protecting TPS as well as pushing for a SOLVE  which would overturn the travel ban. Travel bans have no place in this country.

Education, another system that needs major overhauling. What will you do to ensure every child receives a quality education?

I support universal pre-kindergarten for all and free higher 2 year and 4 year higher education. The American Dream has become so much harder to achieve because of the rising cost of education. I currently have $150,000 in student loans with predatory interest rates. We need to reform the student loan program, lower the interest rates, and expand student loan forgiveness – especially for those who go into government work or the non-profit sector.

I also support raising the wages of teachers, because they create the leaders of tomorrow. In San Francisco specifically, teachers can’t even afford their housing! We should be protecting our teachers, not hurting them.

Ryan, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us! You’re a very impressive candidate! How can people read more on your positions and platform?

Please visit www.khojastehforcongress.com/issues and view our campaign video.

What can people do to support your campaign?

Please spread the word of our campaign and reach out to your friends or family that live in San Francisco to encourage them to vote in the primaries on June 5th! And if you’d like to contribute $12 for CA-12, you can do so here! https://secure.actblue.com/donate/khojastehforcongress

Woman Crush Wednesday: Brianna Westbrook

Brianna 1Brianna Westbrook is running for Congress in Arizona’s 8th district. She was kind enough to  give us some insight into what inspired her to run and her positions on various issues.

What made you decide to run for office Brianna?
I suppose I unwittingly climbed a ladder of reactions, from concern over my finances to anger at the elected officials who were supposed to be protecting my interests. Instead, I saw wealthy corporations and lobbyists buying votes for laws that continued to attack my ability to provide for my family and save for the future. I began paying closer attention to politics, signing petitions and making phone calls. One day, my political beliefs and activities evolved into a realization that I didn’t have to wait for a strong leader to come along for my district – I knew I could take up that fight, and I was ready, so after discussing it with my family and friends, I decided to use the strength I’d found in my personal struggles to fight for the interests and rights of my neighbors, my district, and my state.

That’s great! I think more people are coming to the realization that they don’t have to wait for a strong leader. 

Tell us about your district and who you are running against.
I am running as a Democrat for Congress to represent District 8. My district covers almost 10,000 miles north and west of Phoenix. Joining me in the race are: Bob Musselwhite (D) , Hiral Tipirnepi (D) , Chris Sylvester (R) and Augie Beyer (I). 

That’s a large district. It’s good to see that more people are running and not leaving it to career politicians.

We’ve had our first female presidential candidate for a major political party. What do you believe it means to be a feminist? Do you consider yourself a feminist? 
To be a feminist does not require a vagina, but rather to appreciate the many differences between men and women, and the wondrous variety and balance they contribute to our society.

Absolutely I’m an active and proud feminist, as are my male and female supporters and volunteers, in that we advocate for women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. As a citizen and a candidate for office, I have protested against the deplorable wage gap between equally qualified women and their male counterparts, our current administration’s attempts to strip women of their reproductive rights, and all attacks on women and families.

Excellent. It all goes back to equality!

If you are elected what will your legislative priorities be?
My legislative priorities are to secure the health and welfare of those in my district. Medicare for all should be among the inalienable rights extended to all Americans, as well as a quality education for all children. I will work diligently for a $15 minimum wage, because to remain competitive in the world, we must strengthen our nation’s strongest resource – her people.

Healthcare and living wages are incredibly important to working people and families, I think that will resonate with a lot of people.

Are there any specific laws or proposed legislation that you think infringe on women’s rights or reproductive rights?
My first thought is the reversal of the birth control mandate, which allows employers to deny provision of birth control to female employees based on “religious” beliefs.

Any and all legislation aimed at halting the valuable services provided to our communities by Planned Parenthood (H.R.354) would be among the first in my line of sight. I have vowed to work diligently to fight all legislation which discriminates against women and families.

The public eye does not focus on what is going through the House at every moment. We must return to a government that keeps the people of the country are informed. It is up to elected officials to inform their constituents of harmful legislation and encourage them to call and write letters to voice their opinions.

That’s very true! It’s a lot to keep track of for working people. 

How about the wage gap? It’s even more pronounced between men and women of color. How would you address that?
I view this issue through an intersectional lens, because yes, while women in general 77B51371-7121-4327-96C6-522F7C9E8E05often earn less than their male counterparts, women of color earn on average 15 cents less than white women. I will support the legislation of my colleagues, and introduce my own, which addresses the groups who are targeted by wage discrimination.

Another action that would improve the economy in general is the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, which provided the largest growth in our economic history, and 60 years of record-breaking productivity.

Excellent points. 

What do you think of the tax reform bill? 
The appalling tax reform bill announced today is a blatant slap in the face to the average working-class American. It is a Trojan Horse, handed to us as a lovely package saying that the age-old trauma of tax-figuring and filing has been replaced with a simple post-card filing system to make our lives easier when in reality the simplicity comes with a hefty price. The new tax plan slowly strips income from those of us in the lowest brackets to provide further financial comfort and security for the most wealthy individuals and corporations in America. It’s some of the most un-American legislation ever introduced.

Tell us how you really feel! All joking aside, many people share your opinion about how harmful that bill is. 

What do you think could be done to make it better for working Americans?
The entire tax bill needs to be reincarnated by a team who come from, and report to their constituents. Although I follow and admire many in Washington, too many of today’s politicians are tired caricatures of what they should be, and what America needs and deserves. It’s time for a new team to bring fresh energy and innovative ideas into Washington.

It seems that many people share your opinion!

A difficult but important issue – gun control. It has been in the news a lot, for tragic reasons. Can you share your thoughts on gun control?
We need a comprehensive, nationwide registration system, and to restrict private party sales. We also need to add to the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban (a.k.a. Lautenberg Amendment) and require that repeat Domestic abuse offenders surrender their firearms when found guilty in the court of law. Victims of abuse are five times as likely to be killed if the attacker owns a gun.

We also need ban sales of Bump stocks and any other accessory modifications that turn a perfectly legal firearm into an illegal firearm.

That sounds pretty comprehensive. 

Immigration continues to be a hot issue. What are you positions on DACA and the Dream Act?
I believe that deportation of DREAMERS would first be an unjust, un-American and irresponsible action. The economic loss and widespread personal devastation of a rushed decision to halt the issuance of DACA work permits will drastically impact our communities, our state, and our world.

America can easily follow a plan which allows for legal immigration procedures of DREAMERS who have built their lives in this country and have contributed richness to our society and have become a part of our economic infrastructure.

Great point, many people don’t consider the economic impacts of ending DACA.

Let’s talk about education. If elected, what will you do to ensure every child receives a quality education?
First, teachers should receive tuition assistance, and should receive significantly higher wages. Class sizes should be reduced to allow for a quality education for all children. America’s public schools should not depend upon bake sales to educate our children, nor should they be punished by reduction of vital funding for not comparing to schools who have far greater resources.

Finally, public schools should definitely not be disbanded under the guise of a “voucher” system which will give a small tax break to wealthy families who choose to educate their children in private or parochial schools, and leave equally deserving children from middle- to low-income families and America’s special education students with nothing. This is a shameful plan for a country once hailed as a democratic world leader.

Great points, and that’s very thorough!

How can people find out more about you and find out about your events?
You can read my platform and blogs for current political events at WestbrookforCongress.com

How can people support your campaign, even if they don’t live in your district?
Volunteer phone banking. It is something you can do from anywhere in the country from the comfort of your home, and it only takes 20 minutes a day. If you are interested, please visit Westbrookforcongress.com/volunteer.

Second would be donating because it makes my voice louder for more to hear. People can donate at WestbrookforCongress.com.

Thanks so much for taking time to talk with us Brianna, this has been great! We wish you the best of luck!

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International Day of the Girl Child

October 11th is the International Day of the Girl Child. The UN Women website says:

This year, International Day of the Girl (11 October) will focus on the theme, “EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict“.

Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 per cent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.

#RWU has decided to spotlight Malvika Iyer today. Please read about her extraordinary perseverance and accomplishments.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Day of the Girl!

#RWU Presents our First Man Crush Monday – Jean Luc Picard!

#RWU is proud to honor Jean-Luc Picard of #GeeksResist as our first Man Crush Monday! We’re thankful to have such a wonderful male feminist ally fighting with us!