Making Your Voices Heard

By Annie Flom

As a people-powered organization, we exist because of you and for you. So when we fight for something, we want to center you. This is especially true of our efforts to show federal leaders why the expanded Child Tax Credit, which is essentially a temporary basic income for nearly every parent in America, is so important. Congress is currently debating its next spending bill, and one of the packages they are considering is the $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill which includes several important benefits for families — including extending the expanded CTC through 2025.

We’re thrilled that two moms who are part of the Income Movement family, Jennifer and Julia, were featured in a segment this week on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt outlining the tremendous impact the CTC has had on their lives and why Congress should make sure it continues.

These moms were part of an earlier push we made this summer with the Magnolia Mother’s Trust and Marshall Plan for Moms, sending a letter to the White House signed by 50 mothers from 50 states — nearly all of whom were part of the Income Movement network. The letter asked for the CTC to be made permanent, which we see as an important step toward our ultimate goal of establishing a federal basic income.

Jennifer and family, during the NBC Nightly News segment

When we asked for support on the letter, we were overwhelmed with moving stories from across the country on how incredibly necessary monthly unrestricted income is to people across the country who are still reeling from the pandemic’s recession, not to mention the deep inequity we faced in our economy long before we had even heard of COVID-19.

Once payments began in July, we heard how life-changing the money was — from Jennifer covering an expensive co-pay for her chronically-ill child to Julia’s ability to buy an air conditioner to keep her toddler cool during a heat wave. Some parents saved for college, others were able to splurge on extras for their kids like gymnastics lessons.

And that’s the power of no-strings-attached cash — that despite us having individual situations, financial flexibility through cash gives us all the dignity and agency to determine what’s best for us and our families, even if it’s different than our neighbors or even different for ourselves from one month to the next.

We are so grateful to everyone who has shared their story with us, and with the rest of the world. We won’t be able to change hearts and minds without showing the real-life impact these policies have on people, so your help is hugely beneficial in ensuring our leaders know the names and faces and stories of their constituents.

We often get requests from the press wanting to be put in touch with folks who would benefit from policies like the expanded CTC or a guaranteed income. If you’re interested in adding your name to our press roster, please send me a message telling me a little about yourself and why you’re in this fight. My contact info is below.

And if you want to show support for making the Child Tax Credit permanent in other ways, sign the petition created by Keri Troehler, another mom in our community, and share it with your friends and family. We are delivering this petition to more than a dozen members of Congress on Oct 21.

Annie Flom is the Communications Manager at Income Movement. Contact her via email here: Annie Flom

We are a people powered movement working together to pass basic income. | incomemovement.com