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NASW Responds to the Trump Administration

Friday, February 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allan Wachendorfer
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NASW Responds to the Trump Administration


NASW and our members have been extremely vocal and visible since the November election. NASW has sent its Transition Document, "Advancing the American Agenda: How the Social Work Profession will Help," to the Trump Administration. The document gives the administration guidance on how to address our nation's pressing social issues, including health care, immigration, and child and family well-being. Take time to read it: Also watch NASW CEO Angelo McClain's response to the Trump Administration:


Legislative Efforts as the 115th Congress Convenes:


The 115th Congress convened on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. As each new legislative session begins, members of Congress host swearing-in ceremonies to meet with key stakeholders. Our very own Angelo McClain, took Capitol Hill by storm and began this year by meeting directly with Republicans, Democrats, and those within Congressional leadership. He had fruitful conversations with dozens of members of Congress about NASW legislative goals, the work social workers do for their clients and communities, and our hope for continued partnerships in the coming year and congressional session.


These efforts go a long way and help pave the path forward for reintroduction and passage of NASW priority legislation. Currently, your NASW National Office is working hard with our Congressional champions to prepare for introduction in the new Congress of NASW supported legislation, including:


The Improving Access to Mental Health Act, Social Work Reinvestment Act, and the Social Work Month Resolution, all bills from previous Congresses that were not signed into law, must be introduced again and will receive new bill numbers. In addition, NASW is also exploring other priority policy issues such as Social Work Safety. Our hope is to have legislation introduced at the federal level this year that specifically addresses safety issues within our profession. Stay tuned!


To supplement legislative efforts, NASW is working with members of Congress to have them join the Congressional Social Work Caucus, and to broaden support for social workers on Capitol Hill. To lead this endeavor, NASW partnered with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to welcome all new members and returning members to the 115th Congress, reiterate top priorities, encourage them to join the Social Work Caucus, and offer ourselves as resources in the new term.


While NASW is leading the charge on Capitol Hill, we will need your help this year! Please watch for action alerts and updates on ways you can help advocate for these legislative proposals and help move them forward.


NASW posted an action alert about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on our web site. In one day, 1,151 advocates contacted 3,578 Members of Congress about the ACA in response to our alert.


If this month is any indication of 2017, your NASW team is full steam ahead to move priorities forward and forge partnership for success.


NASW Statements on President Trump’s Nominations for Four Critical Cabinet Posts


Social justice staff worked with NASW CEO, Angelo McClain to draft and finalize the organizational position on the nominees for four cabinet secretaries to lead Departments critical to social workers. NASW developed and posted official statements that opposed confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions to become Attorney General; opposed Rep. Tom Price’s confirmation to become Secretary of Health and Human Services; opposed confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and opposed confirmation of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Locally, NASW-Michigan legislative staff spoke with Senators Peters and Stabenow’s offices to ensure a NO vote on these same nominations.


Immigrants and Refugees


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) opposes President Donald Trump’s executive order Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States over concerns the order acts as a de facto ban on Muslim immigrants and was enacted in an inhumane and insensitive manner. Read more.


Support Letters


NASW has signed onto a number of letters of support, building coalitions with groups across the nation on important health and advocacy issues. Examples include:


·         NASW signs onto letter asking Congress to prioritize the most vulnerable in Medicaid (1/31/2017)

·         NASW signs onto letter regarding Medicaid oversight (1/30/2017)

·         NASW signs on to letter opposing blocking individuals from accessing services at Planned Parenthood (1/17/2017)

·         NASW signs on to open letter discouraging Congressional leaders from repealing the Affordable Care Act without a detailed replacement plan that provides equal or improved access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, especially for people with disabilities and older adults (1/13/2017)

·         NASW signs on to Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) Transition Plan for the Trump Administration to End the HIV Epidemic in the United States and Its Territories (1/11/2017)

·         NASW signs on to open letter to Congressional leaders supporting the Prevention and Public Health Fund, authorized under the Affordable Care Act (1/09/2017)

·         NASW signs on to Global AIDS Policy Partnership (GAPP) letter outlining recommendations for global HIV/AIDS priorities for in-coming Trump administration. (1/06/2017)

·         NASW signs onto MHLG Letter to Congressional Leaders asking them to preserve access to crucial mental health and substance use disorder services and programs (01/03/2017)


Local Response and Advocacy


On Saturday, January 21, 2017, millions of women, men and children joined marches across the world as part of the Women’s March on Washington. The National Association of Social Workers was proud to be a partner in the marches in Washington, D.C. (Read More), Lansing, and in many cities across the country. Additionally, NASW members had several roles in organizing the rally at Detroit Metro Airport on January 29th in response to President Trump’s executive order that restricts entry of travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations (Read more). 

NASW-Michigan Executive Director Maxine Thome penned her thoughts to members.


Since many of these events take place spontaneously, much of our organizing efforts are done through email and social media communication to our members. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and check your inbox often.  


Protecting the ACA


NASW-Michigan’s policy director recently attended a stakeholder meeting with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. There was welcomed enthusiasm from DHHS leadership about protecting the state’s Healthy Michigan Plan – a.k.a. Medicaid expansion. Unfortunately there have not been any promising replacements offered for the Affordable Care Act offered, which includes the Medicaid expansion. There was some glimmer of hope in the fact that Governor Snyder was going to bat for Michiganders in this respect as well as the new CMMS director, being from Indiana, understands very well our state’s Medicaid system and will likely be a supporter. NASW legislative staff at state and national levels are doing all we can to ensure our members and our clients remain covered. Take Action Now.


 Advocacy by Membership


We encourage you to get involved whenever you can. Even simple acts like making a few phone calls per week, one to each of your state and national representatives, can make a difference. Here are some resources and ideas to help you:


·         Weekly Action Checklist for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans of Conscience

·         Hear Our Voice: Join the 10 Actions for the First 100 Days Campaign

·         Indivisible: Former congressional staffers outline the strategies of the Tea Party to show how even small numbers of people can have a huge impact.

·         Quick guide to calling a representative.

·         Don’t be nervous to call!  Here’s a handy guide to help you overcome any anxiety you may have.  

·         Please sign up for NASW and NASW-Michigan’s action alerts so you can make calls when we need you to. If you get one of these alerts from us, it’s because we specifically need calls made from YOUR district.

·         NASW-Michigan additionally will be hosting space at our office (741 N Cedar, Lansing) weekly on Monday’s from 12-2pm for social workers to strategize and take action. Each week there will be opportunities to participate in the ’10 Actions. 100 Days’ movement from the Women’s March. For more information email  


In the meantime, while we are busy fighting back on some of the discriminatory and harmful policies at the national and state level, NASW-Michigan is also preparing to make long-term impacts. We are committed to getting out the vote and registering voters for the 2018 election, which will include Senator Stabenow, all Congress, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Sec. of State, State House, State Senate, Board of Ed, Boards of Regents, State Supreme and local courts, Local elections, and any Ballot initiatives that may arise. To get involved contact


Another way we anticipate making a tremendous impact is joining the fight to stop gerrymandering. Advocates are considering several strategies including a lawsuit, legislation to amend the constitution, and a citizen led ballot initiative that would also amend the state constitution by creating a non-partisan redistricting commission. Right now, it’s important that our members and the general public understand what gerrymandering is; how it impacts elections; and how public policy is affected. One thing is clear: voters should be picking their representatives, not the other way around. To get involved contact


SPEAKUP! Engaging Students and New Professionals in Political Advocacy: The National Association of Social Workers—Michigan Chapter is launching an action network for students and new professionals! SPEAKUP!, formerly known as the Student Action Network, is looking for passionate and motivated individuals to engage in political advocacy efforts in Michigan (and beyond!). Please fill out a brief application at to get started! If you have questions, or would like more information, please contact


Finally, we are always looking for NASW members in key districts (leadership and chairs of relevant committees) to meet with legislators to talk and raise awareness on issues important to the profession. We will be meeting with some of these key legislators soon and throughout the year.


If you are interested in getting involved in any of our initiatives, including meetings with legislators, ending gerrymandering, voter registration and education, legislative and social policy committee or any of our work groups, please contact us at


Send Us Your Stories


How are you and your clients being impacted by policy changes and the political environment? Let us know. Send your stories and concerns to

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