Communications Workers of America | E-Activist Newsletter

TSA Delays Knives on Planes Policy

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AFA-CWA President Veda Shook holds a press conference at Washington National Airport with representatives from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Transport Workers Union, Teamsters, Machinists, Government Employees and members of Fliers Rights. Flight Attendants from across the country say NO KNIVES, EVER AGAIN.

In the face of a huge backlash, the Transportation Security Administration postponed its plan that would have allowed knives on U.S. flights starting today.

"Knives are not coming back on board!" said AFA-CWA President Veda Shook, announcing the delay at convention.

It was a huge victory for Flight Attendants, who built a strong coalition of supporters in aviation and the public to oppose the dangerous policy change.

The United States has banned all knives from commercial flights since the September 11, 2001, attacks for good reason: Knives were the terrorists' weapons of choice in bringing down four jetliners and murdering thousands of Americans. All knives should be banned from planes permanently. If the TSA wishes to explore a drastic departure from this logical, 11-year-old policy, it must comply with the rule-making requirements that it should have observed when it first announced its decision to allow knives on planes on March 5.

Like any agency, before TSA changes a rule it is legally required to issue a notice of rule-making, to allow all interested parties the opportunity to submit comments, and to fairly consider that input. If those procedures are followed, we have no doubt that the Administrator will conclude that knives have no place on our planes and will leave the rule barring "weapons" in place.

The coalition is working diligently with members of Congress – Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) as well as Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) – on legislation to permanently keep knives off planes. We thank these sponsors for their support on this critical security issue and urge Congress to act swiftly.

The fight continues. Stay up to date at

President Cohen: 'If Not Now, When?'

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CWA President Larry Cohen challenged convention delegates to build a robust movement for democracy and economic justice.

"Some may say this is too big a reach for our members," he said. "But this Executive Board and so many of you are saying, 'If not now, when?' If we don't build a much deeper movement now, when? If we don't fight for universal voter registration and against voter suppression now, when? If we don't demand that Democrats confirm an NLRB with a democratic majority that will make decisions that support us now, when? If we don't stand up for retiree health care, not just in our own union but across the nation, now, when? This is our time to take up this challenge."

Cohen said in the 75-year history of the union, "our survival has never been harder." State governments are attacking bargaining rights. Members are faced now with the worst trade agreement ever, the Trans Pacific Partnership, despite a democratic White House. Across the country, workers are struggling to join CWA and to even have the ability to negotiate with their employer.

"Yes, it's hard, but it's not hopeless," he said.

Cohen pointed out that CWA has celebrated a number of organizing wins. The union welcomed 9,300 Flight Attendants from United-Continental. CWA ratified contracts for over 100,000 at AT&T, 38,000 at Verizon, 10,000 at GE, 750 nurses at Mercy Hospital and 750 journalists at Bloomberg's Bureau of National Affairs.

"Our bargaining committee members have become heroes. When elected, no one knows how long they will be there – except one day longer than our employers' resistance," he said.

There are two key elements of our union's strategy moving forward, Cohen explained.

First, we must act different politically. We must challenge candidates who aren't with us and advocate for candidates who stand with us and for change.

"We need a new progressive Tea Party, not just more Democrats," he said.

Second, we must build a movement of 50 million progressives in our workplaces, locals and communities. This coalition will be what it takes to enact the changes we need and shake up the status quo. Recently, CWA has formed alliances with the NAACP, Sierra Club, Common Cause and more. Now it is time to reach out to more progressive groups and start working together.

"It won't be easy and it won't be quick. It's likely a 10-year effort because the challenges we face are monumental, but they are not impossible," he said. "This is where the choices each of you make and what you do matter."

Read his entire speech here.

Organizing Awards

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CWA locals helping T-Mobile USA workers get a union voice are recognized.

CWA President Larry Cohen announced the winners of the President's Award, CWA's highest honor for organizing and named in honor of our union's first president, Joe Beirne. This year, CWA Local 1109 and CWA Local 4302 shared the honor. Presidents Rolando Scott, Jr. of Local 1109 and Todd Leyda of Local 4302 accepted the awards.

Members and leaders of Local 1109 were recognized for their organizing and continued campaign at Cablevision. They will be there "one day longer," standing strong and building a movement in their fight for a first contract.

Local 4302 was recognized for its organizing at the University of Akron, where earlier this year, nearly 400 employees won their election and joined CWA. The local never gave up in the campaign that began more than 25 years ago.

Locals also were recognized for organizing more than 100 new members. Each local receives a $1,000 organizing subsidy and a plaque; locals that have won this award 5, 10 and 15 times receive $5,000. More than 300 locals have received this award at least once.

Honored this year:


  • Local 1036 West Trenton, New Jersey: 37 Certified Nursing Assistants at Aspen Hill and Buttonwood Hospitals; 50 Licensed Practical Nurses, Psych Aids and maintenance workers at Buttonwood Hospital; and 60 supervisors in Cumberland County, NJ.
  • Local 1109 Brooklyn, New York: 282 technicians at Cablevision, 69 technicians at Falcon Data Com and 53 techs, warehouse workers and dispatchers at Vision Pro.
  • Local 1126 New York Mills, New York: 103 Registered Nurses at St. Luke's/Faxton Healthcare–Faxton Hospital.
  • Local 3010 San Juan, Puerto Rico: 81 installers at JAF Communications–Caguas and Ponce, 3 workers at AT&T Switch, 11 AT&T Mobility–St. Croix workers and 13 installers at TTS–Salinas. This is the fifth time that the local has received this award.
  • Local 3176 Ocala, Florida: 131 employees at Embarq/CenturyLink.
  • Local 3403 Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 138 retail workers at AT&T Mobility.
  • Local 3406 Lafayette, Louisiana: 116 retail workers at AT&T Mobility.
  • Local 3410 New Orleans, Louisiana: 132 retail workers at AT&T Mobility.
  • Mississippi Political Action Council: United locals throughout Mississippi to successfully organize 312 AT&T Mobility retail employees.
  • Local 4302 Akron, Ohio: 378 classified staff at the University of Akron.
  • Local 7777 Denver, Colorado: 102 SuperShuttle drivers.
  • Local 9119 Berkeley, California: 165 Senior Dieticians at the University of California.
  • Local 39521 San Francisco, California: 225 ASL Interpreters at Purple Communications. The local is receiving this award for the fifth time.
  • Local 26072 Cocoa, Florida: 355 Flight Attendants at Omni Air.
  • Pinnacle Airlines MEC in Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1,470 Flight Attendants at Pinnacle Airlines.

The convention also recognized CWA locals that are working to help T-Mobile USA workers get a union voice. In a video message, CWA Local 3704 President Steve Auerbach from Charleston, S.C., talked about the harassment that T-Mobile workers face on the job: "Employees are belittled and harassed constantly, and they have no recourse but to quit if they don't like the way they're treated or they are fired without cause with no one to turn to. But even worse is the constant fear they work under. One told us, 'every Monday morning I go to work, wondering if I will have a job at the end of the day.'" He called on more locals to join the fight.

Financial Reports: Keeping CWA Strong and Effective

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Adopting the recommendations of the Defense Fund Oversight Committee, delegates strengthened CWA's ability to fight for economic justice and to play offense in organizing, bargaining and other campaigns.


  • Delegates approved recommendations to roll the Defense Fund into the Strategic Industry Fund and created two new silos – for public workers who don't have the right to strike and for AFA-CWA. SIF silos already exist for telecom, media, manufacturing, passenger service agents and public workers.
  • Delegates also voted to use one-half of the annual investment earnings from the MRF to create the CWA Growth Fund under the Strategic Industry Fund, which will support CWA's movement building, organizing, leadership development, research, industry analysis and fight for economic justice. DFOC responsibilities will be expanded to include participation in the approval and evaluation of Growth Fund campaigns.

The DFOC report stressed that, "the world has changed since we took collective action to establish the Members' Relief Fund in 1991. Today we face a new and different set of challenges that require us, once again, to take bold and decisive actions to keep our union strong."

The balance in the MRF, as of March 31, 2013, was $444,787,000.

Delegates also reviewed and adopted the report of the Finance Committee, which included some specific recommendations on meeting budget goals in these challenging times.

Delegates Adopt Constitutional Changes

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Delegates applaud convention actions. .

CWA delegates made some important changes to the CWA Constitution.


  • Delegates established telecom bargaining councils with the authority to designate national issues that cross bargaining unit lines at the same company. Vice presidents must agree on any changes to these national issues; if they can't reach agreement, the CWA president will resolve the issues.

    This change recognizes the frustration that members, locals and bargaining committees experience when employers refuse to bargain at a national table, and will coordinate issues across districts and sectors.

  • Delegates set a new mandatory retirement age of 70 for all full time, elected Executive Board members. Board members who reach age 70 before their terms are completed can finish out that term but not run for re-election. This measure complies with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • Participation in the National Committee on Civil Rights and Equity and the Women's Committee was expanded to include representatives from the Public, Healthcare and Education Workers Sector, the Media Sector, AFA-CWA and IUE-CWA.


Secretary-Treasurer's Report

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CWA Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hill reported on CWA's finances and administrative structure and also discussed CWA initiatives like the human rights program and our growing retiree project.

CWA's headquarters building pays for itself with an aggressive campaign to lease office space to non-CWA tenants and a refinanced mortgage contributing $2 million to the CWA budget for 2012-2013. Changes in CWA's administrative processes also will make it easier for locals to update membership information.

The human rights program is taking on the mission of movement building, working with civil rights groups, women's groups, students, and faith leaders to gain social justice in our communities and throughout our country.

The retiree program is growing fast too, with retirees active in just about every campaign in our union, from support on picket lines to political action. Retirees are a critical part of our union and provide real support, whether it's by contacting a member of Congress or doing an online action, Hill said.

TWU President Little: 'I Want to Be Part of the CWA Family'

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Jim Little, president of the Transport Workers International Union, outlined his hope that TWU becomes "part of the CWA family."

Last year, TWU had signed an affiliation agreement that had our two unions working closely together on several campaigns, including voter registration, American Airlines and legislative work. "We agreed to take on the challenges in front of us together," Little said.

"Our relationship really goes back to 2005, when Larry Cohen was first elected president. It didn't take long to see that we had a lot in common," like the determination to fight back against corporate greed and the strong belief that the labor movement has to move forward and has to pull everyone along with us, he said.

Since then, CWA activists in AFA-CWA, District 1 and other districts and sectors have joined forced with TWU activists to make a big difference.

Little said he would ask TWU convention delegates who meet in September to take this partnership to the next step. "I will ask our delegates to consider being a part of CWA. I want to be on picket lines together, to fight together, and to know that at the end of the day, we're doing everything in our power to stop the corporate greed that is dragging this nation down," he said.

Strengthening Our Next Generation

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CWA's Next Generation initiative is developing the future leaders of the labor movement.

"Today's young workers are part of the largest generation to enter the workforce since the baby boomers," CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins told delegates. "In the next five to 10 years, almost half of all current union members, approximately 5 to 7 million workers, will retire. Youth unionization rates are two and a half times lower than those of workers aged 40 to 65. This is why organizing young workers and developing young leaders is critical for the future of CWA. "

Over the past two years, young leaders assisted with organizing drives at T-Mobile, AT&T, Piedmont Airlines, and others, and also played key organizing roles in 2012 election cycle.

Jake Lake, a Verizon technician who represents CWA on the AFL-CIO Young Workers Advisory Council, shared his experiences at a Next Generation conference in Minneapolis. There, young workers attended organizing and political action trainings, as well as staged a "die-in" at Wells Fargo.

CWA is now developing an even more comprehensive outreach program – designed to reach out directly to every CWA member who is 35 years of age or younger. The goal is to have 10,000 members by 2015.

Keep track of their work at And sign up here to join the Next Generation network.

Swearing in District 4 Vice President Linda Hinton

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9_Linda Hinton sworn in

Linda Hinton is formally installed as CWA District 4 vice president. She was elected by acclamation.

Delegates Support Convention Resolutions for Equality, Unity

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Delegates support resolutions on civil rights.

The impact of no NLRB.



CWA delegates adopted several important resolutions at the 74th convention:

  • On the 30th anniversary of the Minority Leadership Institute, delegates resolved to continue the program's rich tradition at all levels of leadership in order to promote racial and gender equity and economic justice.
  • Delegates agreed to educate members and take action to oppose congressional proposals that would reduce Social Security benefits and raise out-of-pocket Medicare expenses on middle-income recipients. CWA will support a federal budget that increases tax revenues on the wealthy and large corporations; cuts military spending by the maximum amount consistent with true security for our people; and adequately funds programs that create jobs, invest in people and a 21st century infrastructure, and protect the social safety net on which millions of the elderly, children, disabled and others depend.


  • Delegates resolved that the size of a local does not guarantee its effectiveness. CWA local unions must make it a priority to educate and mobilize members to give them a real opportunity to participate in building the movement for democracy and economic justice. The size of a local does not guarantee its effectiveness.


  • CWA members, locals, officers and staff pledge to work in our communities to build effective organizations that will stand up to the 1 percent and fight for universal voting rights, democratic Senate rules and getting big money out of politics.


  • CWA will continue its campaign of mobilization, demonstrations, and direct action to demand that the Senate confirm a full package of NLRB nominees. If necessary, that means changing the Senate rules to permit debate, force votes on nominations made by the president and eliminate GOP hostage-taking.


  • Delegates resolved that CWA continue to demand a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants. They offered amendments from the floor and approved final resolution that said CWA at every level will join forces with other unions, faith groups, civil rights and community organizations, Jobs with Justice, students and others to build a movement for comprehensive immigration reform.


  • Delegates endorsed and supported efforts to remove health insurance exclusions that prevent transgender people from accessing medically necessary care. They resolved to ensure quality public and private health care coverage is available to everyone.

Delegates also adopted the reports of the Women's Committee and the Committee on Civil Rights and Equity. Both took on the tough issues facing the country and called for action on income inequality, education, violence against women, pervasive discrimination and other barriers to true social and economic justice.

Bargaining Update

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  • In Florida, Indian River County public school teachers finally got the step raise promised them in their contract a few years ago. Read more here.
  • In New Jersey, Mount Laurel settled two contracts with CWA Local 1036 that include salary increases. Read more here.


Daniel Rivera's Immigration Story

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CWA delegates were deeply moved by the story of how CWA Local 7019 member Daniel Rivera and his family marched toward citizenship.

Soon after he was born in Mexico, Rivera explained, his father made the difficult decision to find work on the other side of the border, so that he could better take care of his family. He made it to Greeley, Colo., where he took a job on a farm doing everything from feeding cattle to driving tractors. He worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week.

"My father was happy to be working but missed his family," said Rivera, who is now a CWA area representative, steward and credit consultant at CenturyLink. "He convinced my mother to attempt the trip across the border with me and my little sister who was only two at the time. It was risky but not being reunited as a family was unimaginable. Applying for legal entry back then was impossible as it is now. To the U.S. government my parents were not priorities because they were unskilled and uneducated. My mother agreed to the dangerous journey across the desert with two small children in order to join my father and give her children a better life."

Rivera, who was 6 years old at the time, walked for three days through the desert. His mother carried his sister the entire way, collapsing several times from exhaustion and dehydration. They ran out of water, and they would have become among the thousands that die attempting to across the border every year if they hadn't found a water well.

"My sister suffered from kidney failure as a child as a result of the extreme dehydration she had suffered. All of us carry the scars of that three day journey with us," he told delegates.

Once in the United States, his parents worked in laundry services for low pay.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act and they applied for citizenship. His family got their resident cards and then permanent residence. In 2007, his entire family became citizens.

"My immigration story is no different from the 11 million undocumented currently in the country. Look at me and you see them," he said. "They are just like me and we are just like you. Workers trying to support their families. I am proud that my union is on the front lines of immigration reform, pushing for a real path to citizenship."

Watch his full speech here.

Serious MOMentum for Paid Sick Days

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Blogger Kristi Rifkin

Did you know that more than 4 in 10 private-sector employees do not have paid sick days?

Workers are standing up and fighting back, along with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who just introduced a bill that would allow workers to earn seven paid sick days a year. On Wednesday, MomsRising teamed up with the AFL-CIO to co-host a blog carnival on anything and everything related to paid sick days. Check out all the bloggers here.

Kristi Rifkin, a former T-Mobile employee, told her story about how she was forced to use her earned vacation time and FMLA just so she could take bathroom breaks while she was pregnant. She wrote:

Moms shouldn't have to choose between their jobs and the health of their families. But too often, companies that are fixated on their bottom lines force women to make this choice. I know. It happened to me.

I became pregnant with my second child while I was working at a T-Mobile call center in Nashville, Tenn. It was a very, very rough pregnancy. I was taking medication to keep me from going into labor. I was going to the doctor twice a week, seeing both a regular obstetrician and a high-risk obstetrician. I had to drink a lot of water and go to the bathroom pretty frequently, which is what normal pregnant women do.

But my company warned me getting up to use the toilet would cut into what people in the call center industry call "adherence" – a metric that measures the degree to which employees stick to their schedules. Being on the phone was my job, so if I wasn't, I risked being written up and possibly fired. Essentially the message was, "You can go, but understand that if you don't meet that metric at the end of the day, week and month, we have the opportunity to fill your seat." They didn't tell me that I couldn't use the toilet. But the reality was that this is a metric on how your job is measured and if you don't meet it, then you do not have your job.

So I held off eating and drinking. I just couldn't afford to lose my job or my health insurance during such a high-risk pregnancy.

It was insane.

My supervisor said if I had a medical necessity to use the toilet, I should go get a note from my doctor. And my doctor thought I was crazy. She told me, "I'm sure one person going to the toilet wouldn't mean the collapse of an entire T-Mobile customer service center!" Yet, management reasoned that if I had to log off the phone, it meant one more T-Mobile customer would be stuck in the cue. That meant longer and longer waits for customers to get their issues handled. Or if I was off the phone, I wouldn't be making sales. And that all was inexcusable.

After a long consultation with H.R. to make sure it would be air tight, I got the doctor's note, so I was free to go to the bathroom whenever I needed. But T-Mobile was absolutely not going to pay me for going to the toilet. So every time I needed to go, I had to clock out and log out of the system. Then I had to write it down and turn it into resource planning – just to make sure it I wasn't gone an unreasonable amount of time! I felt very micromanaged.

At the same time, I was under so much pressure to keep my sales up. I would sprint – as much as a heavily pregnant woman can – between my desk and the bathroom to make sure I squeezed every second I could out of my work day. Everything I did was scrutinized. I felt picked on. Someone was always watching over my shoulder, monitoring my performance.

I was constantly checking to make sure my coaches and resource planning were making changes to my adherence based on the breaks I was reporting, so my adherence wouldn't fall and I wouldn't be in trouble. But sometimes they forgot to make the changes and my metrics suffered. I had to be constantly vigilant.

Everything about it was irritating. I was chasing my tail just to go the bathroom!

I was using intermittent FMLA and my vacation time to use the bathroom and go to doctors' appointments.

Finally one of my doctors told me that she was putting me on full FMLA. It was all too much. I still wasn't eating, drinking and using the toilet like I was supposed it. I was getting sick. My blood pressure was sky high. I was stressed about the possibility of losing my job and my health insurance. I was stressed about not being able to take care of myself and my baby. And being stressed out was only going to make my pregnancy harder.

I finally went on FMLA seven weeks before I had my son. It felt like it was my only option. It was my job or my family. When I stopped working, we worried about our strained finances and how we were going to pay our family's bills. But I had to do what was best for me and my baby.

I now have a very healthy son. But I wanted to tell my story because this is why paid medical and sick leave is so important. No one should have to go through what I did.

We expect better!

Fix the Senate Now Urges Filibuster Reform Revival

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Fix the Senate Now, a coalition of more than 70 progressive and labor groups, is renewing its call for Senate rules reform. The continued GOP obstruction of presidential nominees and important legislation makes it clear that real change – not just another unenforceable "gentlemen's agreement" – is needed soon.

The Huffington Post broke the news this morning, reporting:

The coalition's letter urges Senate leaders to change rules requiring 60 votes to break a filibuster.

"There are over 30 more vacancies now than when President Obama took office, dozens of which are classified as 'judicial emergencies,'" the letter reads.

The White House recently withdrew its nomination of former New York state Solicitor General Caitlin Halligan to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, after several attempts to confirm her were filibustered by Republicans.

The letter also mentions filibusters to block nominees for leadership positions at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior.

"The abuse of the filibuster to undermine policies that the minority cannot defeat through normal legislative channels represents a subversion of core democratic principles and Senate traditions, and should not continue," the letter states.

The coalition also launched a petition drive "to restore fairness and honor to the nomination and confirmation process for executive and judicial nominations."

The Senate cut a modest filibuster reform deal in January, which preserved the 60-vote threshold. Since then, Republicans have continued to use the filibuster to block critical nominations sought by Obama, as well as major legislation.

The president made a direct appeal to Republicans in a private meeting last month to stop filibustering his judicial nominees. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to change the rules by a simple majority vote if judicial nominees don't start moving through the Senate.

Republicans also mounted unprecedented filibusters against Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, and John Brennan for CIA director. Both were later confirmed, but with drama and delay. Republicans also used the filibuster to defeat legislation that would have staved off the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration for a period of 10 months.

The compromise on rules reform that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to at the start of this Congress is clearly not working. We still do not have a functioning Senate that passes legislation and confirms nominations in a timely manner. Senate dysfunction is standing in the way of confirming a full National Labor Relations Board, so that it can enforce labor law and give us a fighting chance. Sign our petition to demand change.


CWA Activists picket MetroPCS Shareholder Meeting for Job Security

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15_TMobile (1)

CWA activists leaflet at MetroPCS meeting.

Activists engage with shareholders.

15_TMobile (2)

MetroPCS shareholders on Wednesday approved a deal to merge with T-Mobile USA, clearing the final hurdle to combining the companies. But it wasn't done quietly.

CWA activists leafleted shareholders outside the special meeting in Richardson, Texas, urging them to hold MetroPCS to its promises to the Federal Communications Commission not to lay off workers, keep jobs in the United States and improve customer service.

There's already cause for concern: MetroPCS currently outsources 100 percent of its customer service work to overseas call centers. Last year, T-Mobile USA closed seven U.S. call centers, affecting 3,300 workers; the Labor Department certified that affected workers were entitled to trade adjustment assistance because T-Mobile USA offshored the work to the Philippines and Central America.

The deal combines T-Mobile's 30,000 employees and 33.2 million customers with MetroPCS's 3,700 workers and 9.3 million customers.

Steelworkers President Gerard: 'We Can Change the Direction of This Country'

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United Steel Workers President Leo Gerard commends CWA members and leaders as the "moral fiber" of the fight to save our democracy, to fix the broken Senate and to restore workers' bargaining rights.

"Our democracy is under attack and is being ripped away, by the broken senate rules and abuse of filibuster, mostly by Republicans but with the tacit consent of Democrats. We have a system that can't deliver," he said.

"No one can change the direction of this country on their own. We need to work with allies, people of faith, people looking for equity, every social movement we can, to reclaim our democracy. We must start by fixing the broken Senate and getting money out of politics," he said.

One thing is certain, he said, "we can't continue in the direction in which we are headed. The only way we will succeed in changing direction is to build a movement. And that means getting in the streets, to mobilize and march," Gerard said. "If we all pitch in, with everyone who wants change ready to march and work, we can change the direction of this country."

CWA Supports Immigration Bill

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CWA and CASA de Maryland members participated in the first U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing for S. 744, a bill outlining comprehensive immigration reform last Friday. The hearings continued this week on Monday with a full day of testimonies on favor of immigration reform. On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified in favor of comprehensive reform, arguing that bringing 11 million people out of the shadows would strengthen the country's security.

On May 1, there will be rallies across the country to show support for immigration reform. Find events in your area here:

Save Pittsburgh's AT&T Call Centers

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CWA convention delegates rally outside two AT&T call centers in Pittsburgh that AT&T is threatening to close. Nearly 200 CWA members and their families, plus their communities, would be harmed by the shutdown.



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