The Very Latest

  • Six more Republicans for immigration reform

    By Samantha Abernethy on Action August Immigration

    Momentum is growing in the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Since Action August began, six more Republican congressmen have publicly endorsed a pathway to earned citizenship.

    OFA supporters held events in each of their districts Monday to thank them for standing with our country's future.

    OFA-Modesto

    In Modesto, California, OFA volunteers rallied at Congressman Jeff Denham's office and spoke with his staff to thank him for his comments in support of reform. On Friday, August 16th, Congressman Denham attended a town hall organized by CBS-PICO and Mi Familia Vota, where the congressman re-affirmed his support for a pathway to citizenship and repeatedly said it's time to fix our immigration system.

    OFA-NV

    Congressman Joe Heck is one of the newest Republican congressmen to endorse a pathway to citizenship, and OFA volunteers visited his office in Las Vegas, Nevada, to say thank you.

    OFA-IL

    "To Mr. Schock, I would say we're very encouraged by what you've been saying, and you're moving in the right direction and we will be there to see that you vote correctly," OFA-Illinois Chapter Lead Scott Cross told WICS-TV outside Congressman Aaron Schock's office in Springfield.

    OFA-FL

    A group of OFA volunteers visited the office of Congressman Daniel Webster in Mount Dora, Florida, to thank him for his support and ask him to help bring immigration reform to the House floor.

    OFA-WA

    OFA volunteers met with members of Congressman Dave Reichert's staff at his office in Issaquah, Washington, to thank the congressman for supporting comprehensive immigration reform.

    OFA-WI

    And in Kenosha, Wisconsin, OFA held a lunchtime rally outside of Congressman Paul Ryan's office. "He has already said he wants to vote on immigration reform," a volunteer told the Kenosha News. "We want him to call for a vote. He's been a leader on this issue."

    This is what Action August is all about—supporters are standing up for the issues they care about, and lawmakers are listening. Does your representative support comprehensive immigration reform? Make sure your member of Congress hears your voice this August.

    Find an event

  • President Obama: "This is personal for me"

    By Samantha Abernethy on Economic Security Economy and jobs Education Student Loan Reform

    President Obama sent this message to supporters today, asking Americans to join him in calling on Congress to make college more affordable:

    Friend—

    Michelle and I wouldn't be in the White House today if it weren't for our college educations.

    It wasn't cheap. We didn't finish paying off our student loans until about nine years ago.

    That's why it's been a personal mission of mine to make higher education more affordable for more Americans—and starting today, I'm hitting the road to talk about real reforms to fundamentally rethink how we pay for college in this country.

    I'm asking you to speak out as well.

    Stand with me today—tell Congress you support real action to make college more affordable for American families.

    Right now, the average student who takes out loans to pay for school graduates with more than $26,000 in debt. Something's got to change—it's not enough just to tinker around the edges. We've got to shake up the current system.

    My plan won't be popular with everybody, especially those who profit from the way things are. But we owe it to our students to make sure that our colleges are working for them.

    While we'll need Congress' help to get some of this done, my administration will continue to do what we can to make sure quality, affordable higher education is in reach for millions more young Americans.

    So far, we've taken some good steps forward. We've published college scorecards to ensure that families are getting the best information as they pick a school, doubled funding for Pell grants, and established a college tax credit. And thanks to the income-based repayment program, which caps student loan payments based on new graduates' incomes, 1.6 million young Americans can keep more money in their pockets.

    But there's much more we can and should do—this is key to creating a better bargain for the middle class.

    That's something I've talked a lot about—every day, I think about what I can do to live up to it.

    That's why I'm calling on Congress to tackle rising tuition costs and pass reforms, so families can get a better bargain when it comes to getting a world-class education.

    I'm counting on OFA supporters to be part of this fight. Not much gets done in Washington without the voices of people like you.

    Add your name.

    Thanks,

    Barack

    Add your name

  • How background checks can help fix America's broken gun laws

    By Caleb Gardner on Action August

    The Center for American Progress is out today with a new infographic explaining how our country's gun laws are broken. Too often dangerous people, even those legally barred from owning guns, can still purchase firearms without background checks to stop them. That includes convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill.

    Check out the full infographic by clicking image above.

    We need to do more to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people—and expanding background checks for gun sales would do that.

    Don't let Congress get away with doing nothing. Say you'll help keep common-sense gun violence prevention measures at the top of Congress's agenda.

    Sign on

  • Demanding gun violence prevention in New Hampshire

    By Liz Merrow on Action August

    The streets of Nashua, N.H., were filled last week with OFA supporters voicing their support for common-sense gun violence prevention measures. Community members gathered at City Hall Plaza to raise the profile of an important issue that Congress has failed to act on.

    At the rally, volunteers were met by a group of anti-reform advocates who openly carried their own guns to the event as a counter-protest, but OFA New Hampshire did not back down. Volunteers started a "Honk for gun violence prevention" rally outside City Hall to show New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte that support for common-sense gun reform is real and widespread in the Granite State. They demanded that the senator stand with the people of New Hampshire—the clear majority of whom support expanding background checks for gun sales to protect our communities.

    OFA-NH supporters stood their ground to let Sen. Ayotte know they are not backing down on this life-or-death issue.

    Join with New Hampshire volunteers and say you won't back down until Congress acts. Add your voice to the movement for gun violence prevention today.

    I'm in

  • My town hall story

    By Ron Nelsen, Small Business Owner on Action August Health Care

    I’m a small businessman, a father and a husband. For years I’ve been listening to my congressman, Dr. Joe Heck, speak out against Obamacare, and what he was saying just didn’t sit well with me. You see, Obamacare is already working for me, my business, and my family. So I took a chance at getting a little face time with Congressman Heck at a town hall. I had to drive out to Sandy Valley, Nevada, to do it, but it’s a fun drive, up and over a little mountain pass, about 30 miles south of my office in Las Vegas. I'm glad I did it.

    I got to tell my Congressman that my family is already getting a break because of the law—free checkups, for one. And I got to tell him that as a small business owner, Obamacare will help me in October when I'm looking for a better deal to cover my employees. And I got to ask him why—why does he want to take this away from me, from my family, and from my employees? I asked him to explain why he opposes something that is helping me now, is helping bend the cost curve on health care and will help me in the future, and is helping small businesses. That’s mom and pop, my friends. That's me and my family and my business.

    You may have seen my conversation with him made the news. That wasn’t what I set out to do, but I don’t mind if it helps spread the word about my story. Because I know there are more people like me out there.

    While I sometimes volunteer with OFA and other organizations on the issues I care about, most times there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And I know that’s the case for many people. But sometimes there is something that’s important enough to take a 30-mile drive to say it. And when you do it, it matters.

    Ron Nelsen, Small Business Owner/operator

    Las Vegas, NV, Nevada Congressional District 3

    Learn more about how Obamacare can help you.

    Learn more

  • Watch: OFA is not backing down

    By Samantha Abernethy on Action August

    Earlier this year, Congress had a chance to pass common-sense legislation to prevent gun violence—but they failed to act. Since then, OFA supporters have been organizing in communities across the country to send a message to lawmakers: We haven't forgotten, and we will not back down. Take a look:

  • My son Daniel

    By Tom Mauser on Action August Finding an event

    My son, Daniel, was a smart, quiet kid. He'd just become a straight-A student, and he was overcoming his shyness as a new member of the debate team.

    On April 20th, 1999, my beautiful and bright 15-year-old son was killed by two teenagers with guns in the library of Columbine High School—one of 12 innocent kids who lost their lives for no reason at all. It's been 14 years since that horrible day—14 years of fighting so no family has to grieve like ours did.

    In December, when I heard about the shooting in Newtown, I sat in my office and broke down. I was watching another community torn apart by guns—more parents grieving, more kids who would never see graduation, or a wedding, or a family of their own.

    And in the wake of another tragedy, nine in 10 Americans agreed that it was time to act—expand background checks to close the loopholes that put guns in the hands of dangerous people. But Congress disappointed us, putting politics above the safety of our kids.

    That's why this week, we're asking: How many parents will have to go through what I did before we say "enough"?

    Tomorrow OFA and allied organizations are standing up for a national day of action to ask members of Congress: What will it take to finally act to prevent gun violence? Find an event near you to stand up and demand action.

    I hope you will join us and call on Congress to take some common sense steps towards gun violence prevention.

    Thank you,

    Tom Mauser

    Littleton, Colo.

    Find an event

  • This is what a conversation on climate change looks like

    By Stacy Cohen, California State Coordinator on Action August Environment

    At left, local supporters check out information on how to reduce their carbon footprint. At right, OFA volunteers greet Congressman Huffman.

    Congressman Jared Huffman joined OFA's Marin Chapter to hold a conversation on climate change titled "What Would Climate Leadership Look Like in Washington?" Huffman has been a leader on environmental issues, and OFA supporters in California have been working for months to put clean energy in the spotlight.

    The venue was at capacity with 330 attendees.

    The fight in Congress for common-sense solutions to climate change is just beginning. Find out what steps you can take in your community to act on climate change.

    Learn more