DISPATCH: Marketplaces Open For Business…Not Our Federal Government


Stateside Dispatch

Welcome to the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's weekly newsletter! Here is the latest on the news and developments worth knowing.

Spotlight On Progressive Leaders

Georgia Sen. Nan Orrock
On the eve of the federal government shutdown, 100 women legislators, led by PSN Board Member Sen. Orrock, called on Congress to "shut down the shutdown" -- fueling the #ShutdownTheShutdown hashtag to trend on Twitter. Minnesota Senate President Sandy Pappas, Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula, Colorado State Rep. Angela Williams, and Ohio State Sen. Charleta Tavares were among the lawmakers who warned of the shutdown's damaging economic ripples across the states.

Pennsylvania Rep. James Roebuck
As part of the National Week of Action on Public Education, Rep. Roebuck joined with teachers, parents, and advocates in a rally to call attention to the dire funding shortfalls that forced Pennsylvania schools to open without the professionals they need. Read more about their call to action -- including a fair and transparent funding formula for Pennsylvania's schools -- here.

California Sen. Alex Padilla & Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez
More than 1 in 5 students in K-12 are Latino, which means that the state of Latino education should matter to everyone who cares about education policy. With that in mind, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund kicked off it National Summit on the State of Latino Education on Monday. California State Sen. Alex Padilla, NALEO President, and Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez are among the participating leaders.

Rhode Island Sen. Gayle Goldin & Rep. Elaine Coderre
Sponsors of the Temporary Caregiver Insurance bill that was recently signed into law, Sen. Goldin and Rep. Coderre are leading the way to make Rhode Island a model for work-family policies that benefit everyone: workers, families, employers, and our economy. It's a priority for PSN as well; click here to view a sign-on letter we joined to express our support for the FAMILY Act.

Don't Miss It

Health Care Marketplaces Are Open For Business!
The day is finally here! The Health Care Marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act are open for business today -- even though the federal government is not. Note that October 1 is only the start of a six month enrollment period, which ends on March 31, 2014, and January 1, 2014 is when coverage obtained through the exchanges can begin. Be sure to check out (assistance in Spanish available via and tell everyone to #GetCovered! For a list of the top 15 myths about Obamacare and pushback, see this Media Matters research item.

But Not Our Federal Government

In a stark contrast of values and priorities, the irresponsible brinksmanship of a small group of lawmakers in Congress has forced our federal government to shut down starting today. Here are the shutdown contingency plans of the federal agencies; as noted in the Department of Health and Human Service plan and reflected in the fact that the Health Care Marketplaces are open for business today, Obamacare implementation is continuing to proceed. However, most Americans -- save for the very wealthy -- are expected to be hit hard by the shutdown, including the federal workers who help keep our country running.

Pulse Of The Community

North Carolina. In this extensive profile, the National Journal dives deep into North Carolina, where "Republicans rule with unchecked power" -- as "if the House of Representatives were allowed to run the country." The piece comes on the heels of poll after poll showing the deep and growing unpopularity of those North Carolina lawmakers.

Voting Rights Act. The alarm bell is going off over more news that in the wake of the Supreme Court's outrageous and flawed Voting Rights Act decision, numerous states are moving to make it harder for people to vote. The U.S. Department of Justice is countering those attempts, such as through new suits against Texas and North Carolina over their anti-voting laws.

Gun Industry Divestment Campaign. Last Tuesday, the Newtown families, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, and a diverse coalition of gun violence prevention advocates held protests against the Wall Street firm Cerberus Capital Management, which still has not made good on its promise to sell its ownership stake in assault weapons manufacturers. See for more information.

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