The Resistbot Podcast

The weight of student loan debt and how it affects marginalized groups and young people in the United States.

Show Notes

✊🤖 Welcome to episode 22, where we discuss the weight of student loan debts and how they affect marginalized groups and the youth in our country. Listen along as we have an open and relatable conversation with our panelists about student loans and tuition evolution over the decades and personal experiences surrounding them. This podcast is broadcast live every Sunday on Youtube; please subscribe!

Related Petitions
Mentioned on the Air
Go Deeper on the Issue
This Week’s Panel
  • 0:00 Intro
  • 0:56 Melanie Introduces the Show
  • 2:05 Introducing the Panel
  • 2:07 Athena Fulay
  • 2:45 Susan Stutz
  • 3:05 Christine Lu
  • 4:36 Student Loan Debt Over The Years
  • 7:25 Student Loan Debt and Women
  • 10:08 Tuition: Past vs. Present
  • 18:37 Student Loan Forgiveness
  • 21:28 Pell Grants
  • 25:27 Petitions and Student Loans
  • 30:15 Eyes on This! Panelist’s Petitions
  • 37:42 Panelists Closings
  • 40:11 Monthly Donors
  • 40:28 Closings
Episode edited by Angel Barrera. You can find her on Twitter here if you need a show edited!
★ Support this podcast ★

Creators & Guests

Melanie Dione
Angel Barrera

What is The Resistbot Podcast?

Season 2 of The Resistbot Podcast, hosted by Melanie Dione, features a different interview every week with an organizer working to create change in their community. We aim to elevate voices without a large platform, focusing on their stories. Our pod is brought to you by the same volunteers behind the Resistbot ( chatbot that's driven over 30 million pieces of correspondence to elected officials since 2017. If you haven't given it a try, pull out your phone and text the word "resist" to the number 50409 to get started. You can text officials from your Mayor to the President, check your voter registration, start your own campaigns, and much more!

Intro: Coming together from
across the United States,

The real issues you don't
hear about elsewhere,

focusing on what matters
to you and your neighbors

Welcome to Resistbot Live

Melanie: Hello, wherever you are.

It is Sunday, March 20th, 2022.

The Equinox I'm your moderator, Melanie
Dione and this is Resistbot Live.


Thank you so much for joining us.

I just wanna remind you that we are here
every Sunday at 1:00 PM on YouTube.

If you wanna subscribe to our YouTube
channel, you can just go to

and it'll take you straight to our
YouTube and you can hit subscribe.

If you wanna join.

If you're listening from podcast
land, you can join us in the

conversation by using the hashtag.

live botters.

If you're live, you can comment a, in our
YouTube comment section, we would love

to hear 'em and share them this week.

We're talking about student loan debt,
women own about two thirds of the student

loan own debt in this country, $ And
when we start talking about student loan

debt, The people most disproportionately
disadvantaged are marginalized

communities, women, people of color.

So we wanna talk about what erasing the
student loan debt looks like, who benefits

and what some of the obstacles are.

So I'm gonna start
bringing up our, panelists.

First Athena hi Athena

Athena: Hey, Mel.

Hey everyone.

How's it going?

Melanie: going?


How are you?

Athena: Good.

Hanging in there, getting through
women's month and trying to keep

head above water and, stay positive.

Melanie: Absolutely.

And I figured we couldn't, when we start
talking about women's month, we absolutely

have to talk about these student loan debt
disparities, because they are crushing us.

Athena: A hundred percent.

So, thanks for bringing up this topic.

I know.

Directly affects me.

I have student loans from my undergrad.

I know that we're probably gonna have
some listeners who hopefully will

chime in with any comments and feedback
in the discussion we are on YouTube.

So go ahead and plug
into the conversation.

Melanie: Yes.



We also have Susan.

Hi, Susan.

Susan: Hi ladies.

I like you Athena.

This is

something that affects me too.

I've got

student loans from my bachelor's degree,
so, and the payments can be hefty, really


Melanie: Sometimes
bigger than your mortgage

Susan: sometimes

Melanie: for some people
bigger than a mortgage.

Susan: Certainly.

Melanie: And last but not
least, we have Christine Lu.


Christine: Hi everyone.

So I feel like I just paid off my
student loans finally, some years ago.

And then all of a sudden, I'm the mom
of a kid going to college in two years.

so it, this is very relevant even though I
think, you know, Hey, I paid mines off it.

Isn't, it's very relevant
to all of us parents out

Melanie: Right because it's, there's
the matter of, do we want things

to just continue to be the same,
especially what loans look like for us?

Especially if you went to school
in the nineties, like, I, I,

would've been in undergrad late
nineties, early two thousands.

Those those aren't the same loans.

that we're looking at now?

it's nothing like the same money.

So when we talk about what the
obstacles are into getting student

loan debt under control, forgiven,
whatever, and we're talking to

people who graduated in 19 86, 19 95.

They're not taking into account.

The reality, those opposers are not
taking to, into account the reality

of what tuition looks like right now.

Athena: and I think you're right.

You can't have a conversation
about student loans without.

Really examining the rising cost of

higher education in this country.

getting to be insane.

And then coupled with this predatory for
profit university structures that are

getting momentum in the us now, too, it's,

it's a really dismal situation
that, I'm sorry, your son is

gonna be facing very soon,


we'll talk about this a little
bit, but this idea that PE

grants are continuing to.

Be on the chopping block and PE
grants are absolutely critical in

making college affordable for such
a large population of this country

that sort of like, where do you even
start with a conversation like this?

Melanie: I went to a moderately
affordable I went to UNO and which

was, moderately affordable when
it comes down to universities.

I think of how much my Pell

grant didn't cover for me who was
taking a nine hour course load.

And, and had my own place.

And I can't imagine what that looks
like now, for someone who has to live on


Heaven forbid, if you dare to go outta
state for school now, the average cost

of higher education rose 103% since
1987, the median household income, 14%.

Susan: Well, there's also this
understanding too, that in order to be

competitive in the employment market,
that you have to have higher education.

I, I remember, years ago when I
was in high school, you needed

an AA and that was sufficient.

You had to have just some college and
now you have to have at minimum of

bachelor's degree to be competitive.

the average person just can't afford that
without student loans, they can't do it.

Melanie: when we look at also the economic
impact of what happens with the student

loan debt, we have these oppressive loans.

And what does that do with the economy?

It stifles the economy as far as
stifling, just business growth, because

you have to pay these exorbitant loans.

I was reading one article where a
woman's loan payment was $1,500,

which is more than my parents' mortgage.

And they had a fairly large
house in, in New Orleans.

So when I start thinking about
that a $1,500 mortgage payment,

and then when we look at what.

They're paying for people with bachelor's
degrees and that's about Maybe it's

not preparing you to live on your own.

It's not preparing you to be
able to take care of yourself.

By default, the system is kind of
stacking us where we have to have a

roommate, or we have to live with our
parents as much as there were writeups

about who's not starting families.

It's not affordable

to start a family, especially when,
before anyone has eaten or paid

rent or anything else, they have
$1,500 to pay to the government.

Christine: Well, also the average
American, I believe out there is unable

to absorb a $400 financial shock, right?

You, your car breaks
down, something happens.

So on top of that, your
student loans, you know,

Melanie: And there is nothing.

I am someone who I was a single parent.

I got into default on my student loans.

There's nothing more gut wrenching
than getting a garnishment notice.

I have these two kids that I'm raising
by myself and, and I was living

in Rockville, Maryland, which is.

Insanely expensive.

I had, before I touched anything,
I had about $300 coming out

of my check per pay period.

this is the reality as, a matter
of fact, 50 and I didn't finish.

So I was on kind of the easy end because
I don't have these full four years.

57% of black women have admitted
that they are struggling.

With paying their student loans,
postgraduation, that's not even counting

women like me, who didn't finish.

I wanna get a little bit into your
blog post for this week, Susan,

cuz you really did a great job.

It's called the crushing
weight of the mortar board.

the point that I appreciated that you
brought out was that we are dealing,

even though women are typically paying
slightly more than men, when it comes down

to student loans or the type, the student
loans that we have take in, even though

that amount is small, when you factor
in the wage gap, it becomes much larger.

Susan: RIght.

You we're already borrowing more a nd
we have to work harder for those degrees

and make sure that we, get them done so
that we can compete in the marketplace.

And then once we do get in
the marketplace, we're making,

at least 19, 17 to 19% less.

Than our male counterparts who are
doing the same work that we are.

We're having to borrow more money and
then we don't make the money that we would

if we had, you know, a different gender.

I think it just, it's the shovel
that buries us in the hole to

some extent, a again, you're just
trying to, you know, support your

family, take care of your family.

Melanie: Our producer, our lady on
the boards, Angel, she mentioned that

her student loans are like somewhere
around 30,000 and how her friends and

her brother, they consider that cheap.

And that's, when we look at what's
higher education is costing now it's a

drop in the bucket for a lot of people.

I can easily think of.

10 friends that I have right now
who have either have, or just

coming from under a hundred thousand
dollars or more in student loan debt.

So I wanna talk a bit about the Congress.

People who are, you know, against
student loan debt are where they

stand because, uh, CNBC they
reached out to everyone in Congress.

Last year and wanted to
just know where they stood.

And also if they had student loans and
if those student loans were paid off.

So of everyone in Congress,
we're talking over 500 people,

66 people bothered to respond.

five of them were still are
still paying off student loans

right now, three women, two men.

All people of color.

So that gives you an idea of who is
bearing the weight as usual when we're

dealing with these oppressive financial
structures and how unequal things are.

So one of the respondents was Scott
Perry, who is a Pennsylvania Republican.

And he stuck out in my in my mind
because he made sure to make it

known that he worked his way through
college, which is amazingly admirable.

We all love a good bootstrap story.

Rah, whatever Scott Perry was in
the Miller military, Scott Perry

was in the military working a
full time job with no children.

At Penn state in the eighties
there was actually an audit in

2019 Eugene DePasquale, one of
the auditors called it outrageous.

The tuition hike was 535% in 30
years in the 1986, tuition was

$2,760, which is more or less what.

Scott Perry, would've been paying,
working full time and probably not

living in a dorm 2017, $17,514.

That's not including any out-of-state
fees or anything like that.

So we're talking 535%.

Outside of the, the expense Scott
Perry's experience is not indicative

of the typical college experience.

Most students are not able to work their
way through college and pay for tuition.

Even if a student did work 40
hours a week at what the minimum

wages, that's less than $16,000.

I don't wanna say wrong math.

That wouldn't even cover a year of
tuition that would not even cover.

he's basing this on a model that
doesn't exist for anyone currently,

and he felt the need of all the
things that he could have pointed out.

He wanted to point that out.


Great army man, with a full old time job.

That's not everyone's experience.

That's not anyone's experience now.

. And absolute lack of care that
goes into this, it's very evident.

We're not dealing with people of
means this is something that affects

primarily women, people of color.

And so there's not exactly a
push to do anything different.

Athena: I think you're
touching upon an issue now.

That we're just completely myopic
in our view of like, this is what

I experience, and this is obviously
what everybody is experiencing.

Or I was able to bootstrap
myself out of debt.

I was able to work through college.

So other people aren't doing it because
they're lazy, even not to pick on Kim

Kardashian right now, but in her recent
statements about like, get the F to

work the assumption that people are
not actually trying to work right now.

it's just mind boggling to me that like,
if we were to strip away the resources,

the support structures, housing that they
might have had in place because of family

or whatever it is that we can't afford,
we can't even accept the reality that that

might not be the case for other people

is just continues to be a challenge,
which again goes back to this idea.

The, that Congress needs to look
like us, like the number, the people

who are representing us need to
look like the american public and.

They don't, they are oftentimes coming
from legacy families that have been

involved in politics, or God forbid,
we put life like lifetime limits

or restrictions in terms of terms,
because they're so distant now from

the reality of, I think what a lot
of, people are experiencing now that

it's clearly becoming increasingly
detrimental to our legislation.

Melanie: I don't know if you saw,
but about a week ago, a Bloomberg

opinion had an article that's
told us how inflation stings most,

if you earn less than $300,000.

So if you are in 95% of America,
inflation is terrible for you

and you need to suck it it up.

Susan: I get bothered by these
bootstrap, statements and most of us,

if we were working while in college,
it was working to put food on the

table and keep the roof over our head.

Making these statements as though,
like you said, Mel, that, that the

circumstances are the same for everyone
and not taking into consideration.

the barriers to education for people
of color, getting into the schools

that they want being able to afford it.

So they have to take the loans out.

I couldn't do college without the loan.

There was no way and just making it sound
as though the rest of us are just lazy.

And that if, we would just work harder,
then our life would be completely

different and we would have all the riches
that, we believe that we're entitled to.

And that just lights me
up more than anything.

The bootstrap theory,
it lights me on fire.

Christine: when you hear people say
that and you apply it to as a parent,

we don't say, well, I struggled.

So I want my kid to struggle the same
way I struggled it's accepted, right.

That we want a better
life for our children.

then we had ourselves.

And so if you kind of take that
10,000 foot view, and if we as.

Responsible citizens of our society
who care about the next generation,

regardless of if we have kids or
not, why would I apply a thinking?

Well, well, I had to struggle.

And so therefore this gen next generation
that I see visibly struggling on a daily

basis that does not have to go through
that I did not have to go through the

things that they had to go through.

I'd like them to also struggle too.

Like where is the logic in that?

So that's, I just had to that part.

It just never makes sense to me

Melanie: No, there's a bitterness
there that's counterproductive

to, to just a thriving society.

When you say, or you took
out those loans, yes.

You took out those loans, but
also these are they're exempt

from bankruptcy protection.

Athena: And how easy is
it to get these loans,

Melanie: Kids are getting loans, for
education in ways that they would

never be able to get home loans.

There's something upside down about that.

Athena: I have cousins in the state
of Texas in Houston, and this is

the discussion that they're having.


They're trying to figure out where
to get money to go to college

and which institutions that go to
large state private, liberal arts.

All of those are obviously different
experiences and a lot will depend on

what they'd like to do in their life,
but the ease with which to get a private

loan that they're predatory, right?

They make it so accessible and say
well, we're not gonna charge you

interest during your grant during
your education, which is fine.

That's pretty standard practice.

There are no guarantees that's not
gonna jump to a 15% interest rate.

Upon graduation and it's that kind of

evil might be a strong word, but
maliciousness, I think that these are

kids and their parents, depending,
again, back to this idea of marginalized

and people of color who might not have
gotten their, degrees in the United

States are completely unfamiliar and
aware of what the repercussions would

be to sign some of these private.

To sign off on some of
these private loans.

So I think there's also a discussion
that needs to happen about just fiscal

awareness and solvency and preparing
this next generation of like what that

promissory note, it looks like 16,000
now, but it's effectively gonna be

70,000 by the time you pay it off.

And, just making that clearer, like,
when you're signing all of this away,

Melanie: there's no adequate
counseling on the front end

of getting these loans and what
these loans are gonna look like.

There's not sufficient counseling
That when, we, when you tell someone

what career path you're on, you have
a very honest conversation about

this is what this occupation pays.


is what degree is going to cost.

That conversation is not happening
and it's not necessarily, it's

not just that you know, you're
doing something for the money.

A lot of people do things
for love and that's great.

There is nothing wrong with that, but when
educational institutions, we shouldn't

have to say, Hey, inform your students.

Be something that's baked in the cake.

If the function of college
is to prepare someone as a

well, well rounded individual.

Not giving them that type of financial
counseling, that type of information.

It's a failure.

Susan: I remember when I would, every
semester, you know, you would go in and

you have to like reapply or do follow the
steps, whatever, with your college, to

be able to get the student loan money.

And, you know, your
classes are all together.

Your classes are, say 2,500, but
your student loan own is giving you

five or $6,000, And when I was in
school and when I was growing up,

nobody told me how to do a budget.

Nobody told me how to manage money.

And so when you're young and
you're looking at receiving,

oh, well, Hey, you know, I don't
have to pay it back for a while.

So what's a few extra thousand dollars
and not really having any idea of

that actually looks to Athena's point.

Your $16,000 loan becomes 70 grand.

By the time it's all paid up.

and schools don't teach that anymore.

And my parents didn't teach me that.

And I was well into adulthood
before I learned how to really take

care of a budget and understand
the financial consequences.

Melanie: I saw my dad's final student loan
payment and like the total was something

like the total was, I wanna say $1,500.

So it's just and I'm saying that to
say, how do you even prepare your

kid from some, for something like
that when your loan was $1,500,

but Athena I know that there's, you
have some insight on like public service

forgiveness and that type of thing.

And I would, I know there are people
who would definitely benefit from that.

So can you speak on that a bit, please?

Athena: Sure just quickly.

I wanted to do a shout out
to Paula who commented that.

You know, we gotta keep in mind that
if a woman dares to dream, that she

could or have more in her life, there's
all this sort of double standard

that like, how dare you put yourself
first before family or children.

So you're absolutely right Paula that
yeah, that's another added level of

madness that women taking out student
loans taking into consideration.

But yes, thanks Mel.

So I, some of you might know I was a
peace Corps volunteer and I work in higher

education now in international education.

And I've been working at a nonprofit
that has fantastic benefits and

they actually have a student loan
forgiveness program through my job.

So I, they reimburse me for the
minimum amounts of my student

loan payments every month.

But because of the service loan
forgiveness program, some of you might

have heard about this, it was instated.

During the Obama administration, but it
only really kind of went live under Trump.

And then there was this big, New
York times article about the broken

promise of loan forgiveness, because
under DeVos, my understanding again,

is that under DeVos, no one was
actually able to be eligible for it.

There were always blocks hurdles that
just people cannot overcome to demonstrate

that yes, I have worked in the field of
public service for a minimum of 10 years.

I have made 120 payments
towards my student loans.

It should be forgiven after dedicating
your work and life to public service,

nonprofit government, anything like
that role, but nobody was getting it.

Like few people were actually
eligible for whatever, rigmarole

obstacles they put in place to do it.

Well, they've revisited that program.

They've made essence to
it and it's reopened.

And most recently during this
pandemic, They've done a sort of a

temporary and even larger expansive
understanding of who would be

eligible for this loan forgiveness.

I submitted my paperwork.

This is like the second or third
time I've submitted my paperwork.

And I finally got a letter saying
that it looks like you might, you

might meet this, these requirements.

So we're going to, for your loans to.

Federal agency to make sure that
I've made those 120 payments.

Like granted I've been, this
is an undergraduate loan.

So I've been out of
undergraduate for over 20 years.

so it's this idea that yes.

I've been paying my minimum of 10 amounts.


I've been in the field of public
service for over 10 years.

So hopefully we'll get some good news
there that expiration of that band.

Definition of public service
expires on October 31st, 2022.

So if anybody's listening to this
and has worked at dot org possibly

some EDUs as well as in government
agencies, definitely look into the

public service loan forgiveness
program or the temporary public

service loan forgive
program to see if you can.

Get out from the burden of your loan
and yes, after 20 years of paying it,

I have definitely paid more than my

principle of what I originally borrowed.

In fact, it's even looking like,
you know, the remainder is still

even more than that, but I would
encourage everybody to not be dismayed.

You gotta get those applications
in And the door is open.

So hope fully that'll
work out for some folks.

Melanie: that's another one of the things
that, that face women, we, on average,

even when we make loan payments, we still
take longer to pay our loans back because

of the hardships that come with that.

And that's without even factoring
in being in a global pandemic.

That's without that's before you
deal with any of that, that's just

kind of what we have to deal with.

Now, another relief for student loan
payments or Pell grants, PE grants

have been slowly getting stripped.

I remember I think there was one in 2004
and another in 2011, in 2019 the previous

administration, they proposed a budget.

That would have tapped into the PE grant
surplus, which was at about $8 billion.

That proposal was going to not only
wipe completely out, wipe out the

surplus, but also put PE grant, put PE
grants, a billion dollars into the hole.

Some of the proponents of student loan
debt relief are proponents of doubling.

PE grants like reinstating or doubling
the amount that was that people

were previously qualifying for.

one of the other issues though, even
when we deal with forgiveness, even if

we deal with increasing Pell grants,
that does not, none of this even touches

how exorbitantly expensive tuition is.

That doesn't because even if they, even
if there's a forgiveness of the $1.6

trillion student loan debt of which
where women own 9.2, 9 billion of that.

It a address.

What happens going forward with tuition?

There are some institutions that have
started lowering their tuition or

slowing down inflation, but that's
still, we're already on average, we're

already at a hundred per 103% increase.

And then we can look at institutions
like Penn state that we mentioned earlier

that just blow 1 0 3 out the water.

And we're at 535%.

Susan: When I was doing research for
my article you know, I found some

information on what tuition looks like,
and depending on what kind of school you

go to, whether it's a public university
or a private university, you're looking at

anywhere from 11,000 to $44,000 per year.

And if you think of a out the
fact that you have to have at

least a bachelor's degree to be.

Competitive in getting employment.

You're looking at, upwards, you
could be looking at upwards of

$175,000 for your four year degree,
depending upon where you go to school.

that is just outrageous.

When you think, you know, as you mentioned
earlier, know the salaries when you come

out of school and how many people are.

Actually able to take that degree
and translate it into the job

that the degree is meant for,

Melanie: I remember when I had to make
the transition from new Orleans to

working, working in, in DC, there was
of course a huge salary difference

because of the cost of living.

But I had legal, so I
was a legal secretary.

I had legal secretarial experience.

I was good at my job, but
I did not have a degree.

So there were other.

Younger millennial secretaries
there who, you know, they had a

chat about what they were making.

if I had paid, if I'd gotten a degree
and an employer had offered that I'm not

inciting a riot, but I would probably have
considered committing high crimes because

it's insulting what they are paying.

And, and I'm saying this to somebody
who went through a time where you

could get a decent job and it was.

Experience or degree we were phasing out
of that, but that was still something that

I was, I was able to take advantage of.

Not only do these, these younger
people and younger women not have these

options, the pay is, is beyond insulting.

It's not a pay where that you can live on.

We've shouted into the void on
all of it, all of this, right.

but we have petitions,

Because the people of the, of the over
500 people that, that were asked, just a

reminder that all of them work for you.

I just cannot stress that enough.

These people work for you.

So when they don't answer questions
about important things that are

affecting people who make under
$300,000, AKA 95% of America.

We can write to them and that like
that make, it known that these are the

things that concern us and they, and
you have to decide, have they met those?

Have they answered those letters?

Have they addressed those
concerns adequately?

So Susan, can you share with us the
petitions that we currently have right now

Susan: sure.

The first one that we're going to
look at, or I'm gonna look at and

tell you about is one for student loan
forgiveness for frontline workers and.

Frontline workers have saved this
country in the last two years.

they're the ones group of people
who haven't been able to say, you

know what, I'm gonna work from home.

I'm not coming to the office.

They didn't get that choice.

So, you know, student loans, the
burdens that they're carrying and

just their day to day jobs, and then
the student loans that they have to.

Become the medical
professionals that they are.

And so the first one that we have is
entitled student loan forgiveness for

frontline healthcare workers, and the
call sign for that petition is P as in

Peter, M as in Mary, B as in bot, O as in
octopus, C as in candy, U as in umbrella.

And if you text that call sign to
50409 you will be able to send this

particular petition to all of Congress.

You can also send it to the
president if you care to do so.

and then you can invite your friends
and family to sign onto it as well.

That one is student loan forgiveness
for frontline healthcare workers.

And I think that that's an important one.

They're all important, but
that was a connection that

I had not thought of before.

So the next one is POTUS.

Cancel 50 K and student loan debt now.

And that one is calling on president
Biden to exercise his executive

privilege and cancel at least 50,000,
the first 50,000 of student loan debt.

And they're asking him to do
that before the payments start

back up at the beginning of may.

And the call sign for this petition
is P as in Peter, E as in Edward,

H as in holiday, M as in Mary,
G as in good F as in Frank.

And again, text that call, sign to 5 0
4 0 9, and you can sign onto that one.

And we have another one for Return
bankruptcy protections to student loans

and anybody familiar with bankruptcy,
you can eliminate just about any kind

of debt when you file for bankruptcy.

Depending upon what kind you file for.

But one of the things you can't do
is get rid of your student loan.


And this petition is asking for Congress
to put that back in play when we're

talking about bankruptcy and it's return
bankruptcy protections to student loans,

and that one's got almost 1400 signers.

So that one is chugging along really well.

And the call signed for it is
P as in Peter, S as in Susan Q.

As in quick, V as in victory,
F as in Frank, Q as in quick.

And again, that is to add bankruptcy
protection back to student loans,

and then we have another one.

. And this is an open letter to the
president, again, asking him to flex

his executive muscle, which he can do.

And he also campaigned on dealing
with the student loan crisis.

So, some of the petitions that we have
out there are asking him to uphold that

campaign promise and make good on it.

And so this one is cancel
student loans against it's.

To president Biden and the call sign
for that is P as in Peter Q as in

quick, I, as in ice cream, K as in
kitchen, B as in boy, Y as in yoyo.

And again, you can send
that one to 5, 0 4, 0 9.

the last one that I'm gonna share with
you is continue student loan, repayment,

freeze, and cancel student debt.

So this petition is not only asking
for the cancellation of a port,

at least a portion of student
debt, but also to continue the

payment moratorium, um, the we're.

Payments are supposed
to start back up again.

I believe it's May 1st.

And so this particular petition is asking
the president to extend that again.

And so, and also reminding him
that he campaigned on a promise

to deal with student debt.

Student loan debt.

So the call sign for this one is P as in
Peter, U as in umbrella, S as in Susan, C

as in cat, N as in Nancy, F as in Frank,
again, you can send that to 5 0 4, 0 9.

And if none of these petitions say
what you want to say, Then by all

means you can create your own by
sending your letter to your legislator,

to the president, to Congress.

And then once you're done with that
letter, you follow the prompts and

you can turn it into a petition,
which again, you can send out into

the world and you can invite your
friends and family to sign on as well.

And so that's, you got
four petitions this week.

Melanie: Absolutely.

Thank you so much, Susan.

It's just a reminder like you, we
need to reach out to folks in Congress

just to remind them aid is great, but
you absolutely need to address the

issues of Americans and student loan.

That is a huge one.

So we have some other petitions that
are that we're looking at, because

while this is a huge issue, this is
not the only issue that's going on.

And so I had a petition that my eye
has, been on for a while, especially

as we're still trying to make progress
on the violence against women act

and my petition, the petition that
I'm interested in most interested in.

The call sign is P as in Paul, I N as
in Nancy, w as in water, H as in Harry,

U as in umbrella, this is by Jessica.

And the title is POTUS.

Use executive orders to close the
boyfriend loophole, federal law.

If you are a domestic abuser, You cannot
have a gun if you're married to live

with or a situated with your victim.

However, there are gun lobbyists
who are arguing that does not count

for people who are not married.

When you think about our society,
people are, a very huge loophole.

When we think about how many
people are abused by partners

who they're not married to.

So this is something that is.

Urgent for women.

We are seeing an uptick in, in,
in violence and it needs to be

addressed and gun violence in
particular against domestic partners.

So this is something that is
very near and dear to my heart.

And so it, and so far we
already have 272 signers.

We'd like to get it to 500.

So again, you can text P as in Paul, I N
as in Nancy, w as in water, H as in Harry,

U as in umbrella, text that to 5 0 4 0 9.

If you would like to pass that petition
along and let your representatives know

how you feel about violent against women.

Did any of you have some petitions that
you wanted to put on the radar that you

really think need a little bit of steam?

Christine: Yeah, no, I was
just gonna mention one.

I think that we all can agree
on and I came across this one

called oil companies must pay a
windfall tax past legislation now.

I was also very angry at hearing that.

Oil prices actually dropped the
last couple weeks, but we're

not feeling it at the pump.

And it's talking about being on
topic of a conversation about

putting more money into, the
pockets of working class Americans.

They're paying for it at the gas
pump, those prices aren't coming down.

So as someone who drives electric,
you would wouldn't think this relates

to me, but like, again, going back
to my, I want everybody to win

lower those gas prices or tax these.

Companies who then turn around
and they report to their

shareholders record profits.

It just does not make sense.

So that called sign was P T T H H w.

that was mine.

Melanie: Thanks, Christine.

Susan, did you.

Susan: Yes.

I've got one in resist bot community.

You'll remember we talked
about immigration and at very

early it was one of our first
shows or early on in our shows.

And one of the things that we talked
about with immigration was title

42, which is a policy that was
established under the previous admin.

And it calls for people
to be rejected or removed.

Because of COVID considerations
that it's just wrong.

It's wrong on so many levels.

You know, people are coming here because
they're looking for a better life.

They're fleeing dangerous situations
and they're coming to this country

because we are supposed to be
the land milk and honey, and you

know, they get here and they're.

denied for one reason or another.

this petition is entitled end title
42, and the call sign is P as in Peter,

Z as in zebra, P as in Peter, G as
in good, D as in David, Q as in quick

Melanie: Yeah, that's a good one.

Especially when we look at how
there's a clear disparity with

how, seekers are treated on the
base of rates, where they're

coming from, that type of thing.

So, Thanks so much, Susan Athena, did you
have one you wanted to with the class?

Athena: I did.

I wanted to add one more thing
though, to, Christine's point

earlier in March of 2008, this
was a tweet from Bernie Sanders.

A barrel of oil was $104 and
the price of gas was 3 23.


A barrel of oil is $95.

and yet the price of gas is 4 32.

So this is ridiculous.

This is really price gouging.

This is not how functioning
civil society should work.

And this go, our government needs to step
in and curb this, this like free reign

that these corporations are having and
to, and, and to, you know, Manipulating

these prices and giving people an even
harder time during, in this pandemic.

So thank you for bringing that up, Susan.

Thank you.

Obviously, ending titles,
42 is also ridiculous.

This is when you look back at some of
these campaign promises, we were told a

lot of these things would be addressed.

Student loan, the, the return
of asylum as a human, right.

Which it is.

And yet there seems to
that pedal seems to have.

Been let off a little bit.

Um, I would like to continue the
conversation with this idea of

what's going at the us postal
service elections are coming up.

We need to have the postal service
sorted out before it becomes an

issue in terms of voting ballots
and mail-in ballots and all of that.

And the joy is still leading
that chop for whatever reason.


Christine: why is he still there then?


Melanie: Isn't that the reminder that even
if, you more or less like the person or

you more, more aligned with the person
who's in office, that does not mean that.

You don't have to kind of sometimes
nudge them to do their job or, and,

and, and I don't just mean the president
that whether that's the president, your

representative of whatever, this isn't
just a, I don't like the person work.

This is a, what is right for the
betterment of society, activity.

Athena: Getting rid of dejo.


It needs to happen.

It's overdue.

We're literally running at time before
who knows what happens at midterms

and the subsequent 24 election.

But that said something that will last
much longer than that is this idea that

the postal fleet we're enacting we're
we're in the plans to purchase a 148,000

delivery trucks for the us postal service.

And the joy is using non-union
workers to build these trucks.

First of all, that's problematic.

The us postal service should try to
support unionized labor and facilities

and manufacturing whenever possible
that said the plans were in place

to make that a green postal fleet,
everything that's happening in Ukraine,

these gas prices and things like that.

This is all a symptom of our inability to
actually address the climate it crisis.

and we think what is one appointment?

How does that matter?

Do joy is effectively going to be able to.

Commit the us postal service
to continue to have a fleet of

gas, run cars and mail delivery.

And that's just a continuation of
these policies that were in place to

delegitimize as well as to ineffectively
run the postal service, shutting it down

and our hands likely turn to more private
histories for the delivery of our mail.

So all of the, all of this is tied.

All of these are linked.

The petition that I would specifically
like to bring up is to get your

legislators to sign on to HR 7 0
1 8, the green postal fleet act.


So I'll be dropping that chat in
the link, but the petition call sign

for that is P as in Paul, you as
in United V Victor, Q as in quiet,

I, as in Igor, V as in Victor.

So sign onto that, put the pressure
on that, These non-union built

trucks that they're trying to buy
out with an $11.3 billion contract.

They're gonna have the
efficiency of a Hummer.

So just think of everybody's mail being
delivered effectively by a Hummer.

We are not moving forward.

We are completely moving backwards.

And again, this is just one more
nail in the coffin of the us PS

system, trying to make it continually
inefficient and break it down.

Melanie: yeah.

And at a time where gas is.

Out of control.

So, no, it's, it's absolutely
imperative that we address that,

that's it for our show today.

Thank you so much.

Are joining us, first Christine,
where can they find you?

Christine: on the Twitter
is ranting as usual.

So ,,I'll see you in my timeline.

Melanie: Thanks, Christine, Susan,

Susan: I I'm not doing a lot this week
except starting a new job, unfortunately

, but again, you know, Hey guys, we're
here to support everything that you

need to say to your representative.

So, text resist of 5 0 4 0 9,
and just let your thumbs do

the talking all on any issue.

That's important to you, whether
we've mentioned it here or not,

we're here to support that.

Melanie: And just a reminder to
read Susan's article the crushing

weight of the mortar board,
and last but not least Athena.

Athena: Hi, everybody.

Keep the faith, keep the fight up.

I think it's easy to be just completely
overwhelmed by the crushing weight

of gas prices and war, you know,
you have a voice use it, make sure

that you are registered to vote.

Get ready to get your plan in place
already for this fall and find the

one thing that you, you support.

Well, one thing you cannot
stomach and just throw your

energy and support behind it.

Whether that's climate change,
whether that's getting women

elected, whether that's.

anything from, you know, taxing the rich,
but whatever it is, use your time, use

your voice and use your energy to try to
advance progressive policies and make it a

even playing field for everybody involved.

So, thanks.

See you next time.

Melanie: Thanks Athena.

And thank you for joining us.

Thanks Angel.

Our lady on the boards for helping
keep us together week after week.

If you wanna learn more about
resist bot, if you would like to

volunteer, if you would like to
donate, you can go to resist dot bot.

If you are tired of just seeing bad
news tweets with no call to action

with just, and you're just perpetually
doom scrolling, just remember and

remind people that texting resists
to 5 0 4 0 9 starts to petition and

get you on the road to taking action.

Or you can share a petition
that you already like.

That's, that's something that,
that I've really been doing.

I saw a lot of talk about the boyfriend
loophole and I literally just went

and looked and said, Hmm, I wonder
if resist bot has a petition on that.

And I kind of already knew it did,
but that's basically what I look at.

Like, this is what we can
do about it instead of.

Just talking about what needs to be done.

Here's one of the things
that can help push it along.

So it's one tool in your arsenal
and we would love you if you use it.

Plus if you are become one of our monthly
donors, you get all kind of neat stuff.

So go to and
learn more about that.

I also want to think our
monthly donors is this week.

, we have Sarah from Columbus, Ohio.

Tristan from Cleveland, Ohio, Andre
from Buffalo, Washington, and Jay

from Santa Fe, New Mexico who left
the message get money out of politics.

So thank you all for joining
us with the resist bot family.


You can, if you are not watching us
on our YouTube channel, which you

can find you can subscribe to our
podcast, which is RS dot slash pod.

Or you can go to resist bot live and.

The podcasts go up every Monday.

So for you can start off your week.

If you miss this on Sunday, you
can start off your week with a

fresh resistbot live episode.

So I wanna thank you all for joining
us and I will see you next week.

Outro: Resist bot live originally airs
as a live stream every Sunday at 1:00 PM.

Eastern on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter,
and Facebook, and is brought to you

by the same folks behind the chatbot.

If you haven't used resist bot
before it's simple iPhone users go

to on the web and tap the
iMessage button, non iPhone users.

Open your text messaging app
and compose a new text message.

For the phone number type five zero
four zero nine in the message field

type resist, or any of the keywords
you heard on the show, you can also

direct message resist bot on Twitter
or the telegram app for a printable

keyword guide and more resources.

Visit our website at
our website has a complete guide

to creating robust public policy
or voter turnout campaigns.

And we're here to support your activism.

Email support,

If you need help.

Getting started resist bot is a
nonprofit social welfare organization.

Built by volunteers and
supported by your donations.

You can donate on our website
or email

If you want to join our team resist
bot live is moderated by Melanie Dione.

Our regular panel includes Athena Fulay.

Christine Lu Susan Stutz and Dr.

Joseph Coohill.

Thank you for listening.