Donald Trump

How Will Budget Cuts Change the Lives of Millions of Americans Like You?

Joshunda Sanders
Mar 21, 2017

Tyler Ealy, 17, is a low-income Upward Bound student at Bowdoin College in Maine whose family lives paycheck to paycheck.

Because of his class, in addition to the fact that Tyler struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, he never thought he had the potential to be a college student until he joined Upward Bound. “I was always made fun of and bullied for being a low-income student who dreamed of something more than working at my local Walmart,” he says.

Upward Bound, one of eight federal programs known as TRIO programs that date back to Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, is meant to increase the rate at which low-income students finish high school, enroll in and graduate from college. But the TRIO programs are one of many important programs and initiatives that are at risk of being drastically cut or eliminated in President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, “America First”.

Tyler is one of dozens of Americans who have started petitions at Change.org ahead of the next step in the process for establishing a federal budget for next year — House and Senate budget resolutions. These petitions focus on the wide-ranging areas of public life where citizens stand to lose the most: Science and Health, Climate, Transportation and programs like Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity or state programs for food assistance who serve the working class and poor all across the country.

Karina Lopez in Holland, Michigan, started a petition reminding Congress that programs like Habitat for Humanity are not handouts but catalysts for giving hardworking Americans access to the American Dream. Karina’s mother has been a hardworking seamstress for 20 years, working as many as 50 hours every week, often coming home at night with her fingertips bloody from her work. When Karina’s mother became the sole breadwinner for their family 14 years ago, they lost their home. A few years later her mother was laid off.

“I tried looking for work but no one wanted to hire me until my senior year of high school,” Karina wrote. “We went from apartments where cars got broken into to studios where I slept on the floor and sometimes would go without heat because that was what my mother could afford.” When Habitat for Humanity stepped into help, it gave them a safe, stable place to live. Karina’s mother is paying back the cost of the house and Karina felt free to pursue her dreams without worrying about her mother falling into housing insecurity again.

But Trump’s proposed budget could change everything for Karina, for Tyler, and for millions of Americans just like them. We want to hear from you about how the proposed budget cuts could impact your life. Will changes could be in store for you? What, if anything, are you planning to do in response? Are there any Change.org petitions you’ve been signing and supporting? Are there ones that you are thinking of starting?

Email us at press@change.org.