ACTION ALERT: Congress Needs to Protect the Homeland from Heatwaves

August 29th, 2023 - by Win Without War

Act Now: Utility Shut-offs in Summer
Are a Death Sentence Congress Can Reverse
Win Without War

(August 27,2023) — Just this week communities from Chicago to Shreveport — about 130 million people — experienced DANGEROUS heat. And that’s on top of a record-breaking July.

In the face of these heatwaves, millions are forced to choose between spending their money on food and essentials OR paying for escalating energy costs to keep their homes habitable.

It’s a decision that no family should have to make. Maintaining a comfortable temperature indoors in the face of utility shut-offs and heatwaves is nearly impossible, and failure to do so has incredibly negative impacts on mental and physical health. That’s why Congress already created LIHEAP (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) to help.

The problem? The program is woefully underfunded.

But it gets worse: Right now, Congress is about to sign off on an astronomical Pentagon budget — $886 BILLION — that will do little to build true security and safety as families across the country struggle under stifling temperatures.

Their failure to prioritize peoples’ needs can’t go unnoticed — or unchallenged. That’s why it’s time for activists everywhere to speak out and demand Congress get its priorities in order.

ACTION: Tell your members of Congress to help solve this crisis by immediately increasing funding to LIHEAP and help millions of families stay cool in their homes without worrying about their utilities being shut off.

Extreme heat places immense strain on vulnerable populations, including seniors, young children, people with disabilities, and low-income families. Consequences, including heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and even death, only increase as these heatwaves persist. By increasing funding to LIHEAP, Congress could offer more families a critical lifeline.

Social programs like LIHEAP are a safety net for people struggling, keep our communities healthy, and push us closer to a sustainable future. But over the past decade, congressional funding to meet people’s needs — childcare, housing, food assistance, healthcare, programs like LIHEAP, and more — flat-lined while costs increased.

The National Energy Assistance Directors Association recommends Congress increase LIHEAP funding by $3 billion — and help six million households pay their cooling bills this summer.

But instead of resourcing our communities with the funding we need and deserve, too many politicians (and the greedy weapons manufacturers who fund them) are working overtime to plow $886 BILLION into a budget that includes massive funding for dangerous, unnecessary nukes and fighter jets that can barely stay in the sky.

Frustration doesn’t cut it. We’re furious. Every time we put pressure on members of Congress, we remind them that we’re paying attention and increase the political space for them to put people’ s needs over weapons contractors’ profits.

ACTION: Congress cannot justify spending millions on weapons of war when people are dying at home in extreme heat. Tell Congress: Increase LIHEAP funding now.

Your voice and activism is how we drown out the weapons lobby, flex our power — and fight for the positive change we all want and deserve. Thank you for joining us in this crucial campaign to push Congress to do better.

Thank you for working for peace,
Abbey, Sam, Shayna, and the Win Without War team