Government Shutdown: Trump Didn’t Get $5 billion For Mexico Border Wall, Veterans, Women and Working Class Suffer

Trump refuses to sign legislation unless the bill includes $5billion for border wall.

A partial government shutdown began on December 22 because President Donald Trump didn’t get $5 billion for the Mexico border wall (from Congress). Meanwhile, millions of Americans suffer. Veterans, women and the working class are hurt most by Trump’s recent actions.

Government Shutdown Updates

A government shutdown occurs when an appropriations bill fails to become law. Appropriations fund the federal government’s operations and services.

Veterans, Women, and Working Class Suffer

Veterans, women and the working class suffer most from the government shutdown. See for yourself…


Resources

CSPAN.org is a fact-based news source for people who want up-to-date information about the federal government shutdown (and the actions taken by government in general).

Senate Session

The U.S. Senate met for session on the sixth day of the December 2018 government shutdown. Telephone lines were open for viewer calls at 3:30pm ET, and the Senate convened at 4:00pm ET.

[ Watch US Senate Session on C-SPAN]

House Session

The U.S. House of Representatives met for session on day six of the December 2018 government shutdown. The House convened at 4:00pm ET.

[Watch US House Session on C-SPAN]

Needless to say, this is an odd way to “Make America Great Again”.

About the Author

Olivia P. Walker is a ruthlessly candid public affairs strategist and writer. Prior to these roles, Olivia served as governance consultant for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). Before that, Olivia worked as government affairs and public policy analyst for WellCare Health Plans, a Fortune 500 health insurer; she served as community policy and management analyst for the City of Clearwater prior to WellCare.

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Olivia P. Walker

Olivia P. Walker is a member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the ASPA Section on Public Law and Administration. Further, Olivia holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Globalization Studies. The certificate is a specialized graduate-level credential reflecting knowledge of the most up-to-date research on globalization. Finally, Olivia was duly initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration in November 2016.

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Treason or Hypocrisy? Pick your Poison, Re:Featured image for Midterm Elections 2018: Treason or Hypocrisy, Pick your Poison.

Commentary: Midterm Elections 2018, Treason or Hypocrisy? Pick Your Poison

Midterm Elections 2018: Treason or Hypocrisy?

Do you prefer treason or hypocrisy? This is a question many Americans will answer when voting in the 2018 midterm elections. Personally, I’m struggling; I’m keenly aware of what’s at stake here. I voted. But here’s the deal, I don’t give away votes.

The Democratic Party

There are serious problems in the Democratic party, the party:

  • Fails — abysmally — to meaningfully act on behalf of the poor and people of color.
    • As a bi-racial millennial woman, I need to remind the Democratic Party: We are NOT your pawns.
  • Needs to grow some balls — the holier than thou approach is ineffective and condescending.
  • Fails to acknowledge the hypocrisy permeating the Party.
  • Must stop suggesting ‘racism’ is unique to republicans.
    • While some republicans are racists, so too are some democrats.
    • Racism is alive and well in both Parties.

[WellCare Health Plans Paid For My Silence]

Trump’s Republican Party

There are profoundly disturbing facts about Trump’s Republican party, the party:

  • Consistently violates laws and administrative codes of ethics.
  • Engages is blatant racist, bigoted and divisive rhetoric (among other things).
  • Lies, cheats and uses deceptive practices.
    • To be clear, the lies and deceptive practices will — irreparably — harm many republicans (and people in general). It will however, take time to realize their detrimental impact.
  • Russia…Enough said.
  • Has taken — quantifiable —action to prevent Native Americans, poor people, African-Americans, and other social groups from voting (which is a right of American citizenship, with some exceptions).

[Watch O.W.B Videos Online]

Key Takeaway

With regard to America’s electoral system and democratic processes, They are not sustainable and certainly not ideal. Elections and government actions have consequences. Americans deserve better because the decisions made by government officials impact the realities we face everyday.

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About the Author

Photo of Olivia P. Walker, MPA

Olivia P. Walker is a public affairs strategist, campaign consultant, and writer. She launched O.W.B Public Affairs Digest in 2017.  Most recently, Olivia served as governance consultant for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering.  Prior to these roles, Olivia worked as government affairs and public policy analyst for WellCare Health Plans, a Fortune 500 health insurer.

[Congress Proposed Change to Constitution]

Olivia holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs. In 2016, Olivia was duly initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. She is a member of the American Society for Public Administration and a member of the ASPA Section on Public Law and Administration. Olivia also holds a Graduate Certificate in Globalization Studies. The certificate is a specialized graduate-level credential reflecting knowledge of the most up-to-date research on globalization.


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Nonprofits and Democracy

Dark Money, Nonprofits and American Democracy|Part 1

Dark Money, Nonprofits and American Democracy

  • Nonprofits are tax-exempt organizations classified under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
    • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classifies nonprofits into more than 30 categories. For the IRS, what is important is the exemption of nonprofits from the corporate income tax.
  • Dark money refers to political spending by nonprofits classified under sections 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5),and 501(c)(6) of the IRC, and other entities.
    •  Dark money groups — A dark money group refers to an organization which seeks to influence people to vote a certain way during elections, where donors are “not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown” (Center for Responsive Politics).
  • Nonprofit advocacy and interest group participation are rights guaranteed  by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
    • Many nonprofits are interest groups. For example, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a membership interest group.
  • The Constitution gives Congress taxing authority.
    • The IRS is the executive authority charged with implementing tax laws enacted by Congress|Remember: Congress makes laws and the Executive Branch implements laws.

Nonprofits and American Democracy

A crucial element in a democratic society is the notion that every citizen has the right to take part in the political process. That is, a system of governance in which the ideals and preferences of all people are considered in the actions taken by government.

What is Nonprofit Advocacy?

Nonprofit advocacy describes the efforts of the sector to educate government officials, solicit broad support, and advance policy goals. Individuals cannot influence policy alone. Therefore, amassing support and resources increases the likelihood an issue makes the agenda for consideration by legislators.

How Might Nonprofit Advocacy Strengthen Democracy?

People cannot influence public policy alone. Historically, nonprofits have strengthened democracy by generating the networks, public support, financial capacity, and government commitment required to influence public policy and keep our democracy in tact. For example:

  • Nonprofit advocacy and grassroots movements led by ordinary citizens compelled President Lyndon B. Johnson to address poverty and civil rights in the 1960s.
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 — nominally — banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, among other things.
  • Similarly, nonprofit advocacy and the Tea Party’s grassroots movement in 2010 energized conservative voters and helped Republicans win political offices across the country during the 2010 midterm elections.

Both examples provide valuable insights about how nonprofits strengthen democracy. By generating the networks, public support, financial capacity, and government commitment required to influence public policy, citizens took part in political processes. Finally, in both cases, the ideals and preferences of many people were ultimately considered in the actions taken by government.

View O.W.B Public Affairs Digest Videos Online 

How Might Nonprofit Advocacy Diminish Democracy?

There are some ways nonprofits and nonprofit advocacy diminish — or undermine — democracy.

Dark Money

Dark money and dark money groups are examples of how nonprofit advocacy might diminish democracy.  Provided by PBS, a recently released documentary titled Dark Money, “Examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials.” The video trailer is a good primer on dark money and its impact on democracy.

This article is part one of a three-part series.  Part two explores more ways nonprofits might strengthen and diminish democracy. While this article provides an introductory overview, part two offers a deep-dive into the topic.

[WellCare Health Plans Paid For My Silence]

Nonprofit Advocacy Resources 

  • Political nonprofits  — The IRS website provides definitions and resources for people who want to learn more about the various nonprofit classifications, to include information about political nonprofits and the criteria upon which nonprofits are classified.
  • Treasury Department and the IRS Announce Significant Tax-Reforms — Click the link to view the Trump Administration’s new rule (published July 2018) on dark money groups and other political nonprofits.
  • GuideStar  — GuideStar is an excellent resource for people interested in learning more about nonprofit organizations. For example, GuideStar offers website users free access reports about nonprofits:
    • IRS Form 990 — Tax-exempt organizations must file Tax Form 990. Anyone interested in viewing the tax returns of nonprofit organizations such as the NRA, Sierra Club, NAACP, and chambers of commerce can do so for free on the GuideStar website.
    • Financial Information  —  If you want to know how much nonprofit executives make, an agency’s annual  revenue, and the sources of the agency’s revenue, GuideStar is a useful resource.

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About the Author| Olivia P. Walker is a public affairs and administration professional.  Olivia’s contract as governance consultant for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering  expired September 30, 2018. Prior to this role, Olivia served as government affairs and public policy Analyst for WellCare Health Plans, a Fortune 500 health insurer. Olivia is a graduate of the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs. She graduated from the Master of public administration program in 2015 with a 3.92 GPA. Olivia was duly initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration by the USF Chapter in November 2016. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Globalization Studies. The certificate is a specialized graduate-level credential reflecting knowledge of the most up-to-date research on globalization. Olivia is a member of the American Society for Public Administration.  
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Olivia taught nonprofits and public policy at the University of South Florida both as an adjunct faculty member and as a graduate teaching assistant.

 

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Post Image: The twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution.

Congress Proposed an Amendment to the US Constitution

On August 3, Congress proposed an amendment to the United States Constitution.

United States Constitution

The twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution grants US citizens, who are eighteen years of age or older, the right to vote. However, legislation extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older is now up for consideration. Before I get into the specifics, it is useful to clarify a few key concepts and terms.

What Is Legislation?

  • As the Legislative Branch of government, Congress creates laws (legislation) and changes laws. This includes amending the United States Constitution.
  • Most legislative proposals are in the form of bills. For a bill to become a law, both Chambers (the House of Representatives and the Senate) must approve the legislation in the same form. Once both Chambers are in agreement, the bill goes to the president. The President can veto the bill or sign the bill into law.

What is A Joint Resolution?

  • Other legislative proposals are in the form of joint resolutions. Bills and joint resolutions are essentially the same. But, joint resolutions are used for proposing amendments to the Constitution (among other things).
  • Joint resolutions require approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate.
  • Additionally, three-fourths of the states must ratify a joint resolution to amend the Constitution.
  • Finally, while the president must sign a bill before it becomes law, joint resolutions used for proposing amendments to the Constitution do not need the president’s signature. 
Congress proposing amendment to the constitution allowing people ages 16 and over to vote

 Summary: H. J. RES. 138

Representative Grace Mang (D) sponsored a joint-resolution to extend the right to vote to 16 year-olds.  Here is a summary of the proposed legislation.

Section (1)

The twenty-sixth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section (2)

The right of citizens of the United States, who are sixteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section (3)

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Let’s Talk About It

Should 16 year-olds vote?

 Click here to track

About the Author

O.W.B Public Affairs Digest Home Image Meet Olivia P. Walker

Olivia P. Walker is a public affairs strategist, campaign consultant, and writer. Most recently, Olivia served as governance consultant for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering. Before that, she served as government affairs and public policy analyst for WellCare Health Plans, a Fortune 500 health insurer.

[Read Article: WellCare Health Plans Paid For My Silence]

Olivia holds a master’s degree in public administration from theUniversity of South Florida School of Public Affairs. In 2016, Olivia was initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. She is a member of theAmerican Society for Public Administration and a member of the ASPA Section on Public Law and Administration. Olivia also holds a Graduate Certificate in Globalization Studies. The certificate is a specialized graduate-level credential reflecting knowledge of the most up-to-date research on globalization.

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