Daily Action for Social Change

Do you do the Daily Action? I do! It’s amazing!

Ever since He Who Shall Not Be Named alarmingly became our president, many of us want to join the resistance but need a little help doing it. Maybe we have babies climbing all over our face, for example, and find it hard to read the news.

So the Daily Action sends text messages to your phone telling you what bills are being voted on, or what issues are being discussed in the White House, and then it prompts you to call your representative and talk to them about your opinion.

Someone needs to give this woman, Laura Moser, an award. Since I began writing my novel, on top of parenting and actual paid work, it is true that there have been days that I wasn’t able to do it. But for the most part, it’s so quick and easy that anyone can do it. And it doesn’t just quell my need to get involved in politics, making me otherwise complacent – in fact I find that once I start ranting to the representative’s aide on the phone, I find myself getting even more worked up and want to do more.

So definitely join the Daily Action, if you haven’t already, and donate to them while you’re at it.

Today I read this piece from NPR about Section 8 Vouchers, which are there to help the poor – think struggling single mothers – find affordable housing in a world where that’s increasingly difficult to find.

Let’s just take a moment to stop and think about the fact that we live in a world where a mother and her child – basically, the most pure and innocent victims one could imagine – are working so hard, and yet can’t afford to live just because housing is so ridiculously expensive.

Section 8 Vouchers are there to help with the affordable housing crisis, but the problem is that they need to find a place to live within 90 days of receiving the voucher. And no one wants to take the vouchers. Maybe it’s the stigma of having “poor” people live in their houses, or that they’re afraid they won’t be able to pay. But we should be lucky to welcome these people into our communities. And we should be going out of our way to help them get firm footing.

Lest you think I’m just a bleeding heart liberal housewife, the housing market has had a very traumatic impact on our family. My husband and I have always held jobs in creative (i.e. poorly paying) industries. With the booming Denver market, we were forced out of the entire state of Colorado because of high rent prices, moving to New Mexico with our young baby for almost two years. We came back when my husband got a decent (i.e. corporate) job, only to find that rent had skyrocketed even more and as usual, we were three steps behind (and about $1200/month short of) what it takes to live comfortably here. Since we were already paying such steep rent, we went ahead and bought a condo. We live in our condo with four humans and two pets. And actually, it’s pretty nice – it’s given me a haughty European superiority about Americans and how much space we waste. But we are still incredibly house poor. I’m sorry, condo poor. Our debt is large, and it’s slowly increasing. But at least we are here for reasons that we chose – creative careers – and are able to feed our kids and sleep in our own beds at night. We are still privileged.

The NPR piece also reminded me of our children’s health insurance. Since we are poor (yay!), our children qualify for incredibly affordable health insurance through the State of Colorado, CHP+. It’s basically Medicaid.

But no one will take our fantastic Medicaid. I’m sorry to say, but the only places that will take our insurance are dirty, depressing clinics where you have to wait all day for a doctor to look at your child. This doctor, incredibly seasoned and curt, will glance at your child over to make sure he is Not Dead, because his time is valuable and he needs to prioritize the really ill patients, and then he will send you on your way. It lacks the subtle nuance of a good family pediatrician.

Luckily we finally found one, and we are sticking with it, even though it’s half an hour away.

But it made me think that I would love for The Daily Action to branch off into social matters, as well as political ones. One of our Daily Actions, for example, was calling airport security people to see if they were actually detaining refugees when He Who Shall Not Be Named enacted his awful travel ban. It was really fun!

It would be great to get the Daily Action forces to take on landlords. Compile a list of landlords across the country and route calls to them. Have the public question whether they are accepting Section 8 Vouchers and if not, why? Maybe there is a really good reason, or a problem that we can help solve. Despite my rent troubles, I also have a ton of sympathy for landlords and how tough it can be to rent to folks.

Similarly, I would love to call doctors and see if they accept Medicaid. Maybe there is a system in place that I’m unaware of that makes it hard for clinics to accept Medicaid. Maybe it’s the paperwork. But maybe people are just being jerks, and we need to put them on the spot.

At any rate, maybe our health insurance will all be stripped away with the AHCA. Ha ha?

But you get the idea.

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