Monday, October 07, 2013

Boehner needs to hear from these mothers

Here's another email I sent to the SierraRise community yesterday. The writing was definitely a team effort on this one.

Dear Friend,

Share on Facebook!
Share on Facebook!
Jessica moved from Texas to North Carolina to settle down and raise a family. But with just one income from her retail job, it's hard to make ends meet. It's about to get even harder -- if the government shutdown continues for even a few more days, the clinic that helps her feed her four-year old son may close. [1]

Speaker Boehner has the votes to prevent this and end the shutdown now. The SierraRise community sent him over 50,000 messages last week -- including yours! -- but the stakes are only getting higher.

We've put together an image that puts the focus on moms like Jessica -- and need to spread it far and wide to put pressure the House to end the shutdown.

Share the story of America's vulnerable mothers and children on Facebook so that your friends will join you in reminding the tea party House: This shutdown is not a game!

(Not on Facebook? Click here to email the original petition to your friends instead!)

The government has been dark for five days because Speaker Boehner and the tea party have so far refused to vote on a straightforward funding bill. From EPA staff out of work to kids with cancer being turned away from treatment, millions of Americans are feeling the pain. [2, 3]

Things are about to get even worse for 9 million low-income mothers who rely on the WIC program to feed their children. These mothers have no other safety net and, in many cases, no other affordable way to feed their children. One estimate is that funds will run out in just two days if the shutdown continues, and then moms like Jessica will have to make some really tough choices.

We can’t let that happen, not to them. Speaker Boehner has the power right now to end this senseless shutdown of services and get the government going again. He and the tea party extremists need to be reminded that this isn't a game -- real people are being impacted. 9 million mothers and their children.

50,000 voices is a huge start, but it still takes a little more to get the Speaker's attention. Will you harness our momentum by sharing this image on Facebook?

Jessica isn't alone. The stories keep pouring in from across the country, and we need to make sure they're heard in Washington.

Nicole in Grand Rapids, MI, has two daughters, a two-year old and an eight-month old. She told a local reporter, "You're angry because they are taking from the kids, but you're confused because you don't know what's the next step -- I work, and I can't afford to pay rent, and buy food and buy milk." [4]

In Allentown, PA, Cierra asked about her four-month old son, "What's going to happen to my baby? ... Am I going to have to scrounge up the little bit of change I do have for formula?" [5]

It's just heartbreaking -- and completely preventable. We need to put a face on what's at risk. Stand with America's most vulnerable citizens: our young children and new mothers. Will you share our graphic and demand an end to the shutdown today?

Standing together,

Nathan Empsall
SierraRise Senior Campaigner


1. Evans, Meghann (2013 October 3). "Some worried government shutdown will affect WIC." Winston-Salem Journal.

2. Achenbach, Joel (2013 October 2). "NIH trials turn away new patients as shutdown obstructs work of scientists, researchers." Washington Post.

3. Bravender, Robin and Emily Yehle (2013 October 4). "EPA enforcement takes severe hit under shutdown." Environment & Energy Publishing.

4. Walker, Heather (2013 October 1). "Gov't shutdown may affect WIC funding: Moms confused, hurt at possible loss of food aid." WOOD TV8.

5. Rubinkam, Michael (2013 October 3). "Poor moms fear loss of subsidized infant formula if government shutdown drags on." Associated Press via the Duluth News Tribune.

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