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STOP THE SHUTDOWN: Here’s what you can do to help

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 10, 2019) — As the partial federal government shutdown hits Day 20, hundreds of thousands of federal employees — folks who protect our borders and environment, who keep our food and air travel safe, and provide many other essential services that many take for granted — are still furloughed from their jobs or are working without pay. This shutdown is causing extreme hardship for these dedicated public servants and their families, and it’s costing the U.S. economy an estimated $1.2 billion per week.

President Donald Trump, who caused the shutdown with his demands for $5.2 billion for a southern border wall that Congress and most Americans don’t want, walked away from negotiations to end the shutdown on Wednesday and left town for some photo opportunities near the border in Texas. That means this shutdown — which Trump has was “proud” to take credit for — continues indefinitely.

This is unacceptable.

What’s Congress doing about it? The U.S. House of Representatives, now controlled by Democrats, has twice approved appropriations to reopen government. In the first vote, Washington state’s delegation voted on party lines with all Democrats voting to reopen government and all Republicans voting to keep it shut down. On Wednesday’s second appropriations vote, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd) joined the state’s Democratic delegation in voting “yes” to reopen government, but Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) and Dan Newhouse (R-4th) again voted “no” to continue the shutdown until Trump gets his wall money.

But the problem is that the Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have refused to act on the House-approved appropriations bills to reopen government, despite several Republican senators saying they want to end the shutdown. That’s why the AFL-CIO and other advocates for ending the shutdown are urging people to call their U.S. senators to urge them to demand an end to the shutdown before conducting any other business.

So here’s what you can do to help:

1)  Call your U.S. Senators at 1-866-803-8830 — or by clicking here — and urge them to reopen the government NOW by demanding an immediate vote in the Senate.

2)  Attend rallies to Stop the Shutdown! Here are two that we know about. If you know of other events/rallies planned to Stop the Shutdown, please contact the WSLC’s Cherika Carter via email or by calling 206-384-1133. Check out The Stand’s Calendar as other events are added:

FRIDAY in SEATAC — PASS (FAA aviation safety specialists) and NATCA (air traffic controllers) and their supporters will Rally to Stop the Shutdown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11 at the Sea-Tac International Airport Flag Pavilion and leaflet passengers in the airport walkway bridges.

SATURDAY in SEATAC — TSA security officers and federal prison workers represented by AFGE will conduct an informational picket to Stop the Shutdown on Saturday, Jan. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Angle Lake Park, 19408 International Blvd. in SeaTac.

3)  Post on social media to #StopTheShutdown! Check out the AFL-CIO Twitter and Facebook pages for graphics and other messages you can share.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!