Long story short: tell Iowa state legislators to reject a bill that would loosen child labor laws, and tell your Congressfolk to defend Medicaid and CHIP and pass the DREAM Act and the Sunshine in Product Safety Act. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
Care2 helps you tell Iowa state legislators to reject Senate File 167, which would loosen child labor laws so that corporations could put 14-17-year-olds to work in such carefree childhood vocations as demolition, mining, and meatpacking. Perhaps even worse, the bill would let corporations off the hook in civil suits for any kids they neglected, sickened, injured, or killed at the workplace! Because trial lawyers bad! No: putting kids to work in dangerous occupations is bad, though maybe it’s not as snappy a bumper sticker slogan. Look, either children are the future, or they’re just another workforce for fat-cat bosses to use and discard. They ain’t both. And if we have any say about it, they ain’t the latter.
The Coalition on Human Needs helps you tell your Congressfolk to defend both Medicaid and the Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) from Congressional debt-limit hostage-takers. Maybe they won’t get Social Security and Medicare cuts and then again maybe they will, but we need to put them on notice about Medicaid and CHIP as well. Medicaid is less popular than Social Security and Medicare, because of the absurd perception that it only helps lazy people, but it’s no less important than any of the other programs they’ve taken so much flak about cutting. And Republicans already let CHIP expire once, so they don’t care about kids, and why should they keep getting away with that?
The Progressive Reform Network helps you tell your Congressfolk pass the DREAM Act, which, as you no doubt remember, would help immigrant children whose legal standing in America has lapsed, but who’ve met certain standards of service and education, to remain in America (and keep contributing to American culture) rather than get deported back to the countries they’ve never known. Because that’s cruel! And to those who reflexively respond AMURKIA FIRSTZ!!!! to everything because they can’t argue their way out of a paper bag: the DREAM Act would help, at most, some 1.9 million folks out of the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in America, so this is not so damn much to ask.
Penn PIRG helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass the Sunshine in Product Safety Act, which would let our Consumer Product Safety Commission (or CPSC) warn the American public about dangerous products without having to get permission from the corporation that manufactured the dangerous product first. Yes, you read that right! Currently we can’t spread the word about dangerous products lest we hurt some corporation’s fee-fees! That’s because Congress amended the Consumer Product Safety Act to give corporations an effective veto over product safety announcements in 1981. Still we deal with the bitter fruits of the Reagan Revolution. This is why we fight.