Tuesday June 19th, 2018

CenterLink CEO Lora Tucker Educating Our Military:  On Monday, June 4, CenterLink CEO Lora Tucker was the distinguished speaker at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy in Fort Bliss, TX. Planned by the LGBTQ committee at the Academy in observance of Pride month and attended by over 900 military personnel, the event began with a history of the Stonewall Riots and Gay Pride.  Lora had the opportunity to share personal stories of serving during "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell". She also emphasized the importance of good leadership.  The Sergeants Major Academy is a professional educational experience leading to a Master’s degree for the participants, who were selected by an Army board to attend. Graduates will go on to lead Army soldiers across the world. Lora will continue to educate this population with another stop at Fort Gordon, GA in July.  Speaking opportunities on military bases provide a new opportunity to help the military gain a deeper LGBTQ proficiency. Thank you for your leadership on this important subject, Lora!


Health Care Premiums On The Rise:  Last year, as part of the recently passed tax law, Congress repealed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate penalty, despite estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that this would increase average individual market premiums by 10 percent. The individual mandate fined people who chose to remain uninsured in order to encourage younger and healthier people to purchase health coverage. This resulted in a healthier insurance pool, lowering premiums for everyone.  In recent weeks, states have begun to hit their deadlines for insurers to file their proposed individual market premium rates. The emerging trend from these rate filings is clear:  Congress’ repeal of the mandate penalty is significantly driving up premiums. Maine, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington have already explicitly pointed to Congress’ actions as a major driver of premium increases. Contact your representatives and tell them to #ProtectOurCare. You can also use this Health Care Voter digital toolkit to share social media posts.


Have You Helped #PromoteTheVote Yet?  Midterm elections happen in just 138 days. There are  9.4 million LGBTQ voters in the United States and turnout among LGBTQ voters is reliably high. Join us at the polls on November 6h, 2018.  It's not just the presidential elections that are important. The consequences of congressional and local races can reverberate for years.  Not registered to vote yet? NonProfit Vote will guide you through your State's process. Already registered?  Download one of our signs telling us why you vote, snap a picture holding it, and send it to us.  We'll upload it into our #PromoteTheVote gallery and possibly use it in a national campaign! EVERY vote matters.


What's Happening With The Farm Bill?  It failed the House by a vote of 198-213 last month. However, Speaker Ryan has stated that a second attempt will come in June with a House revote on 6/22. The Senate has released their version of the Farm Bill. The bi-partisan bill passed committee last week, and will likely be on the floor for a vote this week.  The bill offers a marked improvement over the House of Representatives’ failed partisan bill, which would take away nutrition assistance from more than 2 million people. While it doesn’t include certain needed improvements, such as making the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) meager benefits more adequate, the legislation does maintain SNAP, which helps millions of families across the country put food on the table. More than 11% of same-sex couples currently participate in SNAP, and 1 in 4 LGB adults aged 18-44 have used SNAP benefits. Call these representatives and urge them to support a Farm Bill that protects SNAP.


 

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