Last Thursday, President Trump released his “skinny budget,” which is basically a Christmas list of things he wants Congress to fund or to take away funding from. The Trump budget proposes devastating cuts to key federal agencies and would eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Meals on Wheels, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. The good news is that the president doesn’t actually set the final budget. Congress does, and they’ll be working on it over the coming months. This won't be our last budget edition, so today we’re going to start out with the basics.
The Washington Post has helpfully laid out the winners (defense industry) and the losers (all of us) in the proposed budget, and has put together a list of proposed cuts to each of the major federal agencies.Your 5 minute workout is to pick an agency and read the linked article. Did anything surprise you? Enrage you? Post about it on social media. Tag us at @mycivicworkout on Facebook or Twitter us so we can see how hard you are working.
Using the research you just did above, call all three of your elected Congressional representatives and tell them to save the program you just posted on social media about. Whether you’re calling about after-school programming or Meals on Wheels, remember that you are one drop in a sea of resistance. We will get this done together.
You’re doing great! Now let’s bring this workout home. Using this tool from the National Priorities project, you should be able to see where your state will be most impacted by the proposed budget. So...what are your local officials going to do to keep kids and seniors from going hungry, or to keep public schools functioning if the Trump budget passes largely intact? Use Ballotpedia to find your local officials (mayor, city council, county council, state representatives, governor) and ask them to start preparing for the humanitarian cost of the federal budget cuts. We’ve even made a short sample script below to help you out:
Hi, my name is __ and I’m calling from __. I am very concerned about the impact of the proposed federal budget on our town/county/state. A lot of vulnerable people from __ are going to be hurt by the budget, and I’d like to know what the mayor/councilor/representative/governor is going to do to protect them. If the federal government is going to cut funding for seniors and needy children, what is the government of __ going to do to fill the gap?
The Trump budget will hurt a lot of Americans, but it will affect vulnerable Americans most severely. Check out this analysis of the budget from Colorlines, which breaks down the impact of the proposed budget on communities of color (including African American, Latinx, Asian, Jewish, and Arab communities).