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FYI NOW
FYI NOW – September 27, 2017
 
In this issue:
National Board Meeting - Oct. 14-15
March for Black Women - Sept. 30
Love Your Body Day - Discounted Film License for Chapter Screenings
Chapter Highlights
NOW Activists Helped Defeat Graham-Cassidy ACA Repeal Bill
Department of Education Withdraws 2011 Guidance on Sexual Assault - We Protest
NOW Submits Comment in Support of Maintaining Overtime Rule
Remarkable Film About ME/CFS May Be Coming to a Theater New You

National Board Meeting
National NOW’s fall board meeting will take place Oct. 14-15.  All members are invited to attend either in person or online.

To attend in person:
NOW Fall 2017 Board Meeting
Saturday, Oct. 14 9:30 am - 5:30 pm and Sunday, Oct. 15 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Embassy Suites by Hilton on Crystal City National Airport
1300 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA  22202

To attend online:
Please register for NOW 2017 Fall Board Meeting on Oct 14, 2017 9:30 AM EDT at: 
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6786574279466951171
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Participants can use their telephone or computer mic and speakers (VoIP).
United States: +1 (562) 247-8422 
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar
Attendee Access Code: 932-868-382

March for Black Women
Coming to DC to participate in the March for Black Women/March for Racial Justice on September 30? National NOW will be opening our office as a meeting place for members at 8:00 am. We will provide our activists with NOW rounds and signs, as well as coffee and other refreshments. If you are interested in meeting the morning of the march, please RSVP here.


Love Your Body Day - Discounted Film License for Chapter Screenings

We invite NOW chapters to join the discussion about body image, diversity, and women’s representation on Love Your Body Day, October 18, by screening the new, groundbreaking documentary film, Straight/Curve: Redefining Body Image, and hosting an engaging discussion afterwards. The documentary explores the relationship between fashion and body image, and follows the people fighting to challenge society’s unrealistic and dangerous standards of beauty.

The film producers are offering a special discounted license for NOW chapters: $300 per location, for audiences less than 200 people. Participating chapters will be provided with a DVD or a digital link, as well as a specially curated discussion guide and screening kit to help make each screening a success. Chapters may elect to charge a nominal fee for the screening in order to recoup the costs. 

You may view the film trailer on the Straight/Curve website, and may secure a license for your event by emailing straightcurvescreenings@gmail.com. When emailing, please identify yourself as a NOW chapter member. You may use the image above to help promote your event on your website and/or social media pages.


Chapter Highlights
Montgomery County NOW (MD) Co-President, Elissa Balsley, testified last week before the Montgomery County Council in support of creating a permanent county task force to prevent human trafficking. You can read and view the testimony on Montgomery County NOW's website.

Madison NOW (WI) has been working hard to protect DREAMers. They covered shifts at the Defend DACA Phone Bank in Madison last week, and over a six day period they had 48 volunteers helping to make 1,193 phone calls. Madison NOW also arranged for the discounted cost for NOW chapters to screen Straight/Curve.

Florida State University Campus Action Network (CAN) recently hosted their third general meeting with featured speaker Barbara Devane, Florida NOW Lobbyist and Tallahassee NOW President, with over 100 students in attendance. In the past month, FSU NOW has hosted several hurricane relief fundraisers, collecting items such as clothing, toiletries, feminine products, and monetary donations for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The CAN is also hosting their own March for Racial Justice in Tallahassee on September 30th at the Florida State Capitol. All are invited to attend.

Illinois NOW held their state conference this past weekend. National NOW President, Toni Van Pelt, was the keynote speaker.

Indiana NOW held their state conference this past weekend. National NOW Vice President, Gilda Yazzie, spoke at the conference.

NOW Activists Helped Defeat Graham-Cassidy ACA Repeal Bill
Thanks to the timely effort of National Action Program team members, Rachel Motley and Tyler Goodridge, we were able to help our grassroots in Maine and Alaska generate email messages to Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.) to oppose the Republican repeal/replace legislation for the Affordable Care Act, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill. In addition, NOW President Toni Van Pelt sent letters to Murkowski and Collins pointing out how devastating the bill would be for residents of their states--especially for women.  
 
Republican Sens. John McCain, Ted Cruz, and Susan Collins announced their opposition, depriving the majority of the few critical votes needed for passage. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he would not bring Graham-Cassidy to a vote. 
 
Graham-Cassidy, developed in secret by a small group of Republican men, would have essentially killed the Medicaid program. This is something right-wing Republicans, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, libertarian Rand Paul, and their ultra-conservative Republican colleagues have wanted for decades. If Graham-Cassidy would have been signed into law, it would have also greatly harmed women.
 
One particularly important gain: Planned Parenthood survives! The legislation would have denied Medicaid reimbursement for Planned Parenthood services -- income that is crucial to the survival of their network of health clinics. Their 8,000 patients per day will continue to have access to high-quality, affordable care. 

Department of Education Withdraws 2011 Guidance on Sexual Assault  - We Protest
As expected, the Department of Education, led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, withdrew a key 2011 Dear Colleague letter and a 2014 Questions and Answers document that provided advice to schools on how to handle sexual assault cases. In their place, a less clear guidance document has been issued, and many interpret this as a rollback of civil rights for students.
 
NOW submitted comments to the DoED, as did thousands of other organizations and individuals, urging that the department maintain strong protections for students against sexual harassment and racial and disability-based harassment.
 
A letter outlining the importance of Title IX, from the National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education, a coalition NOW founded in the 1970s to oversee Title IX implementation, was sent to Secretary DeVos.

NOW Submits Comment in Support of Maintaining Overtime Rule
Another critical protection for women may be doomed. The Depart of Labor is proposing a repeal of a 2016 regulation that clarifies employees salaried at less than $47,476 may not be exempted from overtime pay. The regulation, promoted by the Obama administration, strengthens Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protections for 12.5 million workers, including 6.4 million women. Close observers believe that the Trump administration will weaken the protection, and millions of workers will again be denied overtime pay.

Remarkable Film About ME/CFS May Be Coming to Theater Near You
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS) afflicts between 1 million and 2.5 million persons in the United States; an estimated 85 percent are women. NOW Foundation has written about this dreaded condition, and presented an award at the 2011 National NOW Conference to determined ME/CFS researcher Dr. Nancy Klimas.
 
NOW has since sent a letter to National Institutes of Health officials and to key Congressional budgeteers urging an increase in desperately needed funding to discover the cause and develop cures for what can be a lifelong disability. Many believe that the lack of sufficient funding is due to a persistent bias against conditions that mostly women experience.
 
A brilliant new film has been made by Jennifer Brea, whose pursuit of a Ph.D. at Harvard University was cut short when she was felled by this often maligned and mysterious illness. Unrest begins a national tour this week with an extended showing in New York City until Oct. 5. More openings begin on Sept. 29 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and other cities. Click here for information about a screening near you, and here to read more about Jennifer Brea.
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