OUR UK FRIENDS SHOWED THEIR SUPPORT BIGLY FOR OUR DEMOCRACY!

Our brothers and sisters from across the pond showed up by the hundreds of thousands to make a certain racist-in-chief feel unwelcome and to stand up for human decency. In addition two dozen progressive organizations teamed up to organize a “Week of Action” holding a variety of political action events. There is so much activism taking place all over the country it is hard to keep up with.  However, if you know someone in need of uplifting news to bring then some cheer or a roundup of acts and accomplishments to help inspire them to work towards change, please share this blog with them. Or even just like this blog so it gets some attention and its positivity spreads. First up this week are some links to the UK protests just in case you missed them and then a very brief roundup of what happened in the U.S. as I was busy with “Week of Action” events.

Uplifting sights of the UK protests, the baby trump balloon, the hang glider at the Scotland golf club, and just for extra special kicks, my cake rendition of the baby trump balloon for a phonebank/postcard event I hosted. It is amazing what you can do with some cake mix, frosting, food coloring, whipped cream, and candy and I am happy to share instructions if you want.baby trump cake.jpg

🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS  Contra Costa County will end its contract to detain immigrants at a local jail, becoming the third California jurisdiction since last year to cut such ties with the federal government. FEDERAL RULINGS THIS WEEK;

  • A judge in Connecticut says the administration’s forced separation of two immigrant children from their parents at the border is unconstitutional and  ordered the government to produce the parents in court in Connecticut next week. The court found that the government violated the children’s constitutional rights by forcibly removing them from their parents without due process of law, notice or a hearing, and instead taking their parents, while distracting the children.
  • A judge in California rejected the administration’s request to indefinitely detain immigrant families apprehended at the border, calling it an attempt by the federal government to simply “light a match” to a two-decade-old settlement that set strict standards for detaining immigrant children.
  • A judge in California ordered the administration to reconsider the asylum requests of nearly 90 Iranian refugees, overruling the blanket denial the government had issued to all of them. The Department of Homeland Security must disclose individual reasons for the denials.
  • A judge in California ordered the administration to pay the costs of reuniting immigrant parents with children separated from them at the border, rather than forcing the parents to pay and refused to extend the deadline to reunite families by July 26th.
  • A federal judge upheld California’s sanctuary city law which limits law enforcement cooperation with immigration officials  and authorizes state officials to inspect detention facilities that contract with ICE, saying not assisting federal immigration enforcement isn’t the same as preventing the federal government from enforcing immigration law.

⚖️ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE Former top executives at ITT Educational Services have settled fraud cases with the Securities and Exchange Commission and will pay $300,000 in fines.

👨🏿‍⚖️SEEKING RACIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE  The ACLU of Nebraska launched a six-month pilot project to bail low-income people out of jail thanks to a revolving fund from an anonymous local donor.  Meanwhile, the US Court of Appeals ruled the New Jersey’s new bail system, which does away with most cash bail, is constitutional. ND Legalization Initiative 18,700 signatures to get an initiative on the North Dakota ballot to legalize recreational marijuana and are hoping it’s enough to get it on the ballot in November.  A federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for Tennessee to revoke driver’s licenses from people who can’t pay court costs, this is a big game changer.

🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT  A federal appeals court ruled that the EPA acted improperly when it downplayed cancer risks from certain pollutants and set low pollutant thresholds for hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride emissions. The Renewable Energy Standards Initiative was approved to appear on the ballot in Arizona and if passed would require electric utilities to acquire 50 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2030. A North Dakota judge acquitted activist Micah Lott of criminal charges stemming from his protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. A federal judge ruled that cancer victims and their families could present expert testimony linking the herbicide Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that they were not junk science in the hundreds of lawsuits alleging the weed killer causes cancer. California’s numbers are out and the state appears to have hit its first target for cutting greenhouse gases earlier then its planned goal.

👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS Missouri Gov M signed legislation raising the marriage age to 16 and requiring parental permission for 16-17 year olds to marry as well as baring someone 21 or older from marrying anyone 17 or younger.

🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER Three elementary schools in Virginia dropped their Confederate affiliated names this week after the city of Petersburg received a $20,000 donation from an anonymous donor to cover the costs of changing the schools’ signs and other places where the names appeared.

🕬 GUN REFORM EFFORTS CONTINUE Hawaii Gov. signed the bill banning bump stocks. Moms Demand Action was invited to do outreach at the Indigo Girls  concert in Nashville.

🏳️‍🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS New Jersey Governor signed legislation that allows transgender individuals to alter their birth certificates and other legal documents to reflect their preferred gender identity. The Madison City Council (WI) banned gay conversion therapy on minors.

🤰🏽WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE NY Gov. signed an executive order to protect access to contraceptives by allowing women to fill 12 months of contraceptives after a three-month trial period (including for Medicaid recipients) without co-insurance, copays or deductibles and require insurance companies to cover emergency contraception with no cost-sharing from an out-of-network pharmacy, including copays. New Hampshire Governor signed a law extending birth control prescriptions to one year.

🕫🗳️VOTING RIGHTS The Campaign Legal Center and Southern Poverty Law Center announced start of the Alabama Voting Rights Project, to “organize and train local leaders in communities across the state, participate in community events and forums, and go door to door” to inform formerly incarcerated people that they may have the right to vote, despite the fact that they have felony convictions. On the lighthearted side, a group of siblings created a board game focused on gerrymandering with the purpose behind it to get people to sit down and play to start a serious conversation on how gerrymandering affects the community and their kickstarter project has met its goal. The ACLU launched their voter website with candidate information and their voting history.

💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE Pappa John’s founder resigned as chairman of the board over using the “N” word during a meeting with a media company.  A Forest Preserve Police Officer in Chicago officer resigned after he was captured on video ignoring a woman’s pleas as she is harassed over her “Puerto Rico” shirt. SURJ Charlottesville is sharing info on how to handle recent KKK flyers. While one man stood up for an enterprising child against hate, RAICES stood up for the over 2,000 parents separated at the border. They used that 20 million they raised to show up in DC to offer it up to bail out all the parents when they weren’t out chasing ICE buses being used to  abscond with their clients before they could meet with them.

😊AWESOME ACTIVISM  One man standing his ground to stand up for democracy in Ontario, OH, show him some love on twitter.  I don’t condone violence but you can’t say that this person turned a blind eye to the racism he saw. Boycotts work, Canadian department store Hudson Bay dropped Ivanka clothing. A few examples of the hundred of groups of people that came together for this week of action like Sister District,  SIWomenWho March, Indivisible, and so many more. New Mexico Indivisible got some great local press for their resist Trump Tuesdays and United We Dream is working with their young and enthusiastic youth in NM to train them to be our next generation of leaders at the Summer of Dreams 2018 Summer Program. Mitch McConnell continues to have problems dining out thanks to activists. Indivisible Berkeley is working to get out the votes. Indivisible Houston and Phoenix took to the streets. The NFL players association is suing over the no kneeling rule. The Poor People’s Campaign is hard at work in Kentucky. NY elected officials got arrested standing up for democracy. March for Our Lives Road to Change tour is still going strong. Abuelas Respond/Grannies Respond is going to caravan more than 2,000 miles, hosting rallies in cities along the way to protest the administration’s immigration policy.

🇷🇺  Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

 

WHEN THEY GO LOW, WE CLIMB LADY LIBERTY!

Thank you to all who posted or emailed me with the awesome descriptions of what you are doing to help save our democracy last week. It was deeply moving to read all the responses and made me even more aware of all the different paths we take in fighting for the values this country has stood for. I am changing things up again this week to bringing you a special edition with a sampling of the actions taken and planned by those fighting for change from every state in this wonderful union.  Seeing Scott Pruitt get the boot has brought me some needed new-found inspiration, but if it didn’t energize you then I am hoping this list of people fighting for our democracy in every corner of this country will encourage you and show you no matter where you are, you are not alone. This list is the tiniest sampling of actions and accomplishments, I could go on for hundreds of pages but my point is there isn’t a single state where people aren’t standing up. This fight is far from over.

Up in NEW ENGLAND: The NEW HAMPSHIRE governor signed comprehensive bail reform while New Hampshire moms @CleanAirMoms_NH took the time to deliver hundreds of signatures to him demanding family reunification and Indivisible New Hampshire is holding a postcards to flip the house blue party. In RHODE ISLAND activists pressured the Rhode Island Democratic Party into rescinding endorsement of two controversial state house candidates, one for a pro-Trump challenger against a woman incumbent and the other for a former legislator with a criminal record over a progressive newcomer so now you can canvass with Indivisible Rhode Island @IndivisibleRI  progressive candidates since their July canvassing calendar is posted.  A coalition of groups @ULAnewhaven @CT4aDREAM @MaketheRoadCT @CTImmigrants @CAIRConnecticut @CTCORE @ctbailfund @womensmarchct held a Freedom for Immigrants protest outside an ICE office in Hartford, CONNECTICUT complete with arrests and Women’s March CT @womensmarchct is holding eleven events for “Justice in July.” Women’s March VERMONT has upcoming workshops on criminal justice reform and other topics. MAINERS for Accountable Leadership @mfalpac held a #postcards4family event and Mount Desert Island Indivisible @Indivisible_MDI marched in the Bar Harbor July 4th parade. Due to the hard work of Moms Demand Action and others, the MASSACHUSETTS Governor signed a gun control “Red Flag” law. Indivisible Somerville @indivisiville has an upcoming volunteer orientation and Minuteman Indivisible held a Dance Party.

In the MIDEAST: Patricia Okoumou, who came to the U.S. an immigrant herself, and a member of Rise and Resist in NEW YORK City drew national attention when she climbed up the Statue of Liberty on July 4th to bring awareness of the treatment of the immigrant children. Moms Demand Action’s hard work paid off with the DELAWARE Governor recently signing “Red Flag” gun control legislation and Delaware United marched in the Hockessin Parade. In MARYLAND, progressive candidate Ben Jealous won the Democratic nomination for governor over the more traditional democrat and the Howard County Indivisible @IndivisibleHoCo, joined by Our Revolution, the Unitarian Universalist Immigration Task Force, Columbia Jewish Congregation Tikkun Olam Committee, Progressive Maryland is holding regular demonstrations against family separation over Interstate 95. Just days after a woman encountering Scott Pruitt at a D.C, restaurant politely urged him to “resign before your scandals push you out” he did just that, who knew we just had to ask nicely and federal prosecutors dropped the remaining cases against people arrested in D.C. during the inauguration. The NEW JERSEY Governor signed bills to expand transgender rights in the state while NJ11 For Change has upcoming Friday for Family protests planned. Blue New Jersey is welcoming the liar-in-chief with a “Peoples Motorcade” as he heads to his golf club in Bedminster and Blue Wave NJ @BlueWave_NJ  is out canvassing to flip NJ3.  There is much going on in PENNSYLVANIA. After police removed Occupy ICE Philly’s multi day encampment outside the ICE office, protestors set up a new camp at City Hall and the Mayor announced he will allow them to stay there. PA Progress @PennProgress is holding a week of action to save SCOTUS and if your thirsty you can join Indivisible -Upper Darby @indivisible_ud for “Postcards at the PubPennsylvania Together ran a training to teach folks how to talk politics with strangers. Continue reading

WHAT WE DID TO RESIST THIS WEEK ____!

If you have been reading my blog regularly, then you know that for the past year and half I been posting a long list of inspiring actions, accomplishments, and news for those seeking to bring about progressive change every week.  With the devastating losses and infliction of cruelty we witnessed this week I felt that a list of what other random people did was not what this blog should be about this week. These are not normal times anymore and the time for real action is now.

So this week, instead of telling you what others did I am going to ask you to engage with me and help me. Share with me in the comments what you did this week to help bring about change or what healthy actions you took to comfort those around you, besides helping them look into the empty bottom of a bottle of wine.

If you were too heartbroken or discouraged this week to do anything, then reading this blog is your first step to shaking off the despair.  Now think about what you can do and tell me what you commit to doing this week or this month because inaction is no longer an option. I really hope my blog is about inspiring you to action and that this week you have something to offer back as inspiration.

I will get the ball rolling and hope that you will follow with your own comments.  We need to be here for each other. My list of recent actions are;

  • I went to the ACLU Emergency #NoMuslimBan rally in NYC after the travel ban was upheld.
  • I partnered with colleagues at work during our lunch hour to decorate and write 10 postcards to voters for a special election in Ohio with the app Postcards To Voters #BlueWave2018 and provided all the supplies we needed.postcard-mail.jpg
  • I attended one of the #EndFamilySeparation rallies and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a heat wave.family sep march
  • I stayed committed to the boycott of those who fund hate and republicans by not doing business with any of those on the #GrabYourWallet list.
  • I donated to groups helping immigrants at the border.
  • I helped a friend register to #vote in Pennsylvania (Virginia taught us that one lone vote can change an election).
  • I showed my support for #LGBTQ friends and family by cheering on the NYC Pride March.

I am committed to doing more in July and for starters I am promising to myself that;

  • I will host an afternoon postcard writing/phonebank through my Sister District chapter for our PA candidates that I have already committed to.
  • I will write and send 100 postcards with postcards to voters.
  • I will participate in at least one more phonebank or canvass for a progressive candidate.
  • I will make five calls a week to congressional members or federal agencies to express my views from the action alert texts I receive from the ACLU, Stand Up America, Daily Action, NAACP, and others. Consider signing up for one or more if you need the occasional nudge to remember to make calls.
  • I will consider suggestions and requests from friends and family to participate in other actions with them when they need me.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. THE COMMENT SECTION AWAITS YOU!

 

$20,005,671 AND GROWING SHOWS WE REALLY DO CARE!

It is heartwarming to see that as of Sunday morning the Facebook fundraiser started by a couple in California to raise money for RAICES, which provides help to immigrants, has raised over $20 million (and still growing) from over half a million people. And that is not the only fundraiser taking place. The news is abuzz with stories of so many individuals, communities, organizations, companies, politicians, and celebrities taking a strong stand against the policy of separating immigrant families that my entire roundup of inspiring actions and accomplishments could cover just that. But like every other White House created crisis that has happened, lots of folks were not fooled into distraction from the fight for many other fair, humane, and healthy causes. I will start with a reminder of some of the positive things done to help immigrants this week and move on to a shortened summer review of others;

🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS AN ABBREVIATED LIST;

  • LOCAL OFFICIALS TOOK ACTION: The El Paso County sheriff prohibited his deputies from working off-duty at a temporary shelter housing migrant children. Atlanta Mayor blocked the city jail from accepting any new detainees from ICE.
  • GOVERNORS TOOK ACTION: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon and Virginia governors announced they will not send, or will recall those already sent, their National Guard from the border. The Gov. of NY, where more than 700 of the separated children were sent, ordered state agencies sheltering or caring for the children to release their names and those of their parents to the state.
  • PEOPLE CAME TOGETHER: Round the clock protests at an ICE a regional office in Portland (OR) resulted in the agency temporarily shutting down the office. “Occupy ICE” protesters are now blocking an ICE loading dock in New York, have set up tents in front of an ICE facility in LA and are gathered outside of a detention center in Washington state. Children protested at Capital Hill, others protested at the NYC airport as children were expected to arrive and so many people protested in so many other places across the country. 600 Members of Jeff Sessions’ United Methodist Church filed a formal complaint against him, accusing him of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and the dissemination of doctrines contrary to the established standards of the Church.
  • CONGRESS DIDN’T MAKE IT WORSE: The Senate voted down the conservative immigration bill.
  • NONPROFITS ARE EXPANDING THEIR HELP: RAICES announced they will use the money raised to hire more outreach workers and attorneys, file applications for bonds, pay bonds to get people out of detention, and will launch a new “Post Relief Volunteer Project” to provide people with ongoing legal services and support once they’re released from detention.
  • COMPANIES REACT: American, Frontier, United Southwest, Alaska, and Spirit Airlines publicly announced they asked the government to refrain from using them to transport immigrant children away from their parents. A top speaker booking bureau cut ties with Cory Lewandowski after his ‘womp womp’ comment about child with Down Syndrome who was separated from her mother after crossing the border.
  • CREATIVITY ABOUNDS: Recording of the traumatized immigrant children crying and being made fun of by border control were blasted by protestors outside the home of the Homeland Security Secretary and at a GOP fundraiser at a Trump Hotel, and by Rep Lieu on the floor of the House. Activists turned a junk company billboard featuring a photo of a surprised child originally reading “We make junk disappear,” to read “We make kids disappear – I.C.E.”
  • LAWSUITS PILE UP:  Washington, Oregon, California, Maryland, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota announced they will be jointly suing over the new policies. Some Central American asylum seekers are suing the administration over its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which forcibly split them apart from their children.
  • SOME RESULTS: The child-abuser-in-chief reversed course on the family separation policy crisis he created after massive public outcry.  About 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from families since May have been reunited.
  • RELATED Under U.S. immigration law allow people who have stayed in the U.S. illegally may be allowed to legally remain if they meet certain continuous residency requirements. The Supreme Court ruled the clock does not stop ticking on the accrual of time for those seeking relief from deportation unless their notice of hearing from DHS includes a date, time, and place, of the hearing.
  • LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Nationwide protests against immigrant families being torn apart have been planned for June 30th.

🗳️ ELECTION INFO While technically a nonpartisan election, the democratic supported candidate, Eileen Higgins won a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission and defeated the former commissioner’s wife who resigned to run in a Republican primary. Ballotpedia.org reported that for the states whose data they have analyzed so far a total of 4 U.S. House races do not yet have a Democratic candidate and 41 U.S. House races do not yet have a Republican candidate. In big news for New York state, a court invalidated an agreement that a breakaway group of democrats, the IDC which caucused with the republicans keeping dems from having the full control that they should have, with a fundraising committee helping keep power in republican hands. Continue reading

IF A RACCOON CAN CLIMB A 25-STORY BUILDING, WE CAN FLIP THE HOUSE!

Watching the little raccoon fearlessly tackle a 25 story office building in Minnesota served to remind me that while achieving real change may look daunting (and this week was particularly hard for me as a mother and human being) we can climb any mountain we set our minds to.  Each election that passes where we see women, progressives, and establishment knocking candidates win primaries and flip seats, gives me hope for the future. Please don’t let fatigue set in and keep fighting for what is right, register voters, canvass for good candidates, donate if you can, or simply write postcards to voters from home from the comfort of your couch with Postcards to Voters.  The November election is just a few months away.

#BlueWave2018 – ELECTION RESULTS  San Francisco Board of Supervisors elected London Breed (D), the first black woman mayor of the city. Virginia Democratic voters picked women in six of their seven contested primaries in districts that didn’t already have a woman incumbent. Susie Lee (D) won her primary in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District Democrats flipped their 25th Republican-held district since the inauguration with Caleb Frostman winning in a special election for Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District

#IStandWithImmigrants 🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS  A woman in Nevada stood up on a Greyhound bus boarded by ICE and told everyone they were not within 100 miles of a boarder and did not have to comply with their ICE requests and repeated it in Spanish using Google translate. The agents retreated from the bus. That is being an everyday hero standing up for immigrants.  After an undocumented delivery guy was detained and then turned over to ICE after delivering pizza to a N.Y.C, military base, many restaurants and delivery services in the area began a boycott of the base. Austin City Council passed “Freedom City” resolutions by eliminating discretionary arrests for non-violent misdemeanors, issuing citations instead, requires police to prioritize who is sent to federal immigration authorities after an arrest, and ensures officers asking about immigration status inform people of their rights to not answer, as well as complete a report explaining the encounter. After ICE raided a meatpacking plant in Tenn. detaining 97 workers, many of them have won the temporary release while they await trial with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Vanderbilt University Law Clinic, the National Immigration Law Center, and Catholic Charities. Lots of activists showed up in the 102 degree heat in Tucson to stand up for immigrants

#PoorPeoplesCampaign ⚖️ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE Activists with the Poor People’s Campaign shut down a major intersection in Boston to bring attention to the need for higher minimum wages and other priorities. A federal judge denied a motion to stay the compliance date of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency’s payday lending rules that protect borrowers. North Carolina became the first state to guarantee a $15 minimum wage to most of its state employees. A federal judge ordered Washington state prisons to provide nighttime meals to Muslim inmates observing Ramadan. A coalition of 13 unions and the Federal Workers Alliance sued the administration challenging three Presidential Executive orders that make it easier to fire federal employees.

#BailReformNeeded 👨🏿‍⚖️SEEKING RACIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE  A federal court ruled that the New York City police dept.’s use of a sound cannon against nonviolent protesters is excessive force. Dads were bailed out of jail for Father’s Day by advocacy groups.

#ThereIsNoPlanetB 🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT  NYC will move forward to ban the use of Styrofoam after a judge dismissed a lawsuit against the city challenging it. Two federal courts ruled against the EPA finding that the EPA must uphold the Clean Air Act provision requiring they enforce the provision which requires they stop smog emitted in one state from causing harm to another state in cases brought regarding New York, Connecticut, and Maryland. Michigan will require public utilities to replace all lead water service lines. Hawaii Gov. signed bills that for the first time will require corporations to reveal where, what and when they have sprayed of restricted-use pesticides and a ban on pesticides containing chlorpyrifos. Three conservation and public-health groups sued the EPA for failing to ensure Detroit, Indianapolis and other localities have effective plans for cleaning up asthma-causing sulfur dioxide air pollution. The Supreme Court let stand a lower court order that Washington state make billions worth of repairs to damaged state salmon habitats in a big win for salmon and Native American treaty rights. U.S. District Court ordered the Bureau of Land Management to conduct further analysis on environmental impact of the potential drilling. Bloomberg News reported that the U.S. installed more solar energy than any other source of electricity in the first quarter of this year.

👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS CSX Transportation Inc. will pay a $3.2 million settlement in a lawsuit by the EEOC alleging the company administered physical capability tests that prevented women from being hired for certain jobs.

#TakeThemDown 🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital is moving the 30 gold-framed portraits of past white, male, department chairs from their prominent placement to more dispersed, less prominent locations, as part of their initiative to improve diversity efforts. A California school board voted to name a new elementary school after Jose Antonio Vargas, a local Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who is also an undocumented immigrant. Jefferson’s Monticello has re-imagined its curation and has added special exhibition to include Sally Hemings, the slave he is reported to have fathered children with, and to eliminate the tour that glossed over his ownership of slaves.

#NeverAgain 🕬 GUN REFORM EFFORTS CONTINUE Local police chiefs in Massachusetts were directed to begin revoking gun permits for hundreds of people previously cleared by the state’s Firearms License Review Board, because the Board was not previously complying with stricter federal rules when approving them. New Jersey Governor signed gun control legislation that requires background checks on private gun sales, a reduction of magazine capacity, a ban on armor-piercing bullets, and keeping “guns out of the wrong hands.” Student survivors of the shooting at MSD High School kicked off their 50 stop March for Our Lives: Road to Change national tour. Little Rock (AK) honors the Pulse shooting victims and survivor. Moms Demand action fill Texas legislative chamber.

#LoveIsLove 🏳️‍🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS At least in Poland, print shop workers must create banners for LGBTQ groups thanks to a recent decision by the Polish Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Trinity Western University cannot create a new evangelical Christian law school that limits admission to LGBTQ students in the name of religious rights. A federal court has denied another attempt by the administration to lift the injunction against implementing it ban on transgender people from serving in the military. Maine will start offering driver’s licenses and IDs with a third, non-binary gender option. The NYC Taxi and Limousine commission and Uber suspended the NYC Uber driver after he forced a lesbian couple out of his car because he was uncomfortable with their kissing. Portland (OR) is naming a major street after the LGBT icon Harvey Milk. The School Committee in Kittery (ME) and Titterton (RI) passed new policy intended to protect transgender students.  Trenton (NJ) elected their first openly gay mayor.  Don’t miss this picture of Seyðisfjörður, a town in Iceland, which has created an adorable rainbow path to show its support for its LGBTQ residents. Google has a feature show your pride month pride with your spreadsheet.

#MyBodyMyChoice 🤰🏽WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE A group of Texas abortion clinics and nonprofits filed a sweeping lawsuit against the state, challenging dozens of abortion laws, some of which were passed two decades ago.

#Vote 🕫🗳️VOTING RIGHTS Citizens in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana filed lawsuits against their respective states alleging the states are violating the Voting Rights Act through the drawing of congressional districts that dilutes black voting power.  Priorities USA sued Missouri over their new voter I.D. law. Maine supported ranked-choice voting for the second time in two years with the passage of a people’s veto of a republican passed law delaying the implementation of a voter passed ranked choice voting initiative. The IRS revoked the dark money group Americans for Job Security’s tax exempt status, a group that helped the Koch brothers funnel millions into elections.  A U.S. District Judge ruled unconstitutional a Nebraska law limiting independent candidate’s access to the statewide ballot by raising the number of signatures required to win a place on the ballot from 4,000 to about 121,000, about 10% of the state’s registered voters. A federal judge blocked Indiana from implementing a law that would purge voters from the state’s voter rolls if they appeared on a controversial voter tracking system.

#LoveTrumpsHate 💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE A Missouri waitress who spewed racist hate on social media has reportedly been thrown out of the Air Force.  Chrissy Teigen made four donations of $72,000 to the ACLU in honor of the immigrant-hating-commander-in-chief  72nd b’day and encouraged her followers on Twitter to do the same. From a private Facebook page I am a member of it was reported that after seeing the “Interstate Batteries” sign on a hardware store with a “no gays allowed” sign, the member contacted the battery company and received a response saying they terminated their relationship with that store. Pence was welcomed to Columbus (OH) with a “Big LGBTQ Dance Party.”

👩‍🎓BREAKING BARRIERS Dr. Patrice Harris was elected the first-ever black woman to lead the American Medical Association. The all-female lead “Ocean’s 8” delivered the best opening in the franchise’s history.

🙂 RUSSIA/PORN STAR/DEFAMATION LAWSUIT ROUNDUP A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to a federal prison to await his trial after special counsel Robert Mueller filed new additional charges of alleged attempted witness tampering and obstruction of justice. New York Attorney General charged the liar-in-chief, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric with multiple violations of state law for illegal use of Trump Foundation money for self-gain and election fraud. New York’s highest court ruled for the third time that the defamation lawsuit a former contestant of “The Apprentice” brought against the harasser-in-chief can proceed. A federal judge ruled that Michael Cohen cannot proceed in secrecy as he weighs in on the attorney-client status of the materials seized from him.

WOMEN CRUISE TO VICTORY IN PRIMARIES!

This week I am doing an abbreviated roundup of inspiring accomplishments and actions since this blog is mostly a one woman show and I am taking a brief vacation with family. Spending time in Portland (ME) my spirits were rejuvenated by the sight of welcoming to all signs in windows, pride flags, and the outward appearance of the large African immigrant community being accepted and welcomed in this city by the ocean. Next week I will be back with my usual full report and coverage of Pride Month activities. My short list of highlights for this week are;

  • #IStandWithImmigrants – A pizza delivery man from Brooklyn, NY, who was detained by ICE after bringing an order to a military base has been granted an emergency stay. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees scolded the U.S. administration and told them to “immediately halt” its policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the U.S. border.
  • #FairElections – A federal judge blocked Indiana from implementing a law that would purge voters from the state’s voter rolls if they appear on a voter tracking system. The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to a ballot initiative, and cleared the way for a measure against gerrymandering to go on the November ballot.
  • #HousingAndHealthCareIsARight HUD backed away on from a plan to triple the minimum rent for federally subsidized housing. A Maine court ordered the state to move ahead with Medicaid expansion and submit a plan by June 11tth to the federal govt. for implementation, which was approved by voters last year but blocked by the governor.
  • #LoveIsLove – The European Court of Justice ruled that EU countries that have not legalized gay marriage must respect the residency rights of same-sex spouses who want to live together in their territory. New Hampshire Governor signs law banning “gay conversion therapy.” An Arizona appeals court ruled that a calligraphy business cannot refuse service to same-sex couples and upheld the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Maplewood (N.J.) unveiled a permanent rainbow striped crosswalk to show LGBT pride doesn’t just happen in June.
  • #MeToo –  Voters in Santa Clara County (CA) recalled the judge who sentenced former college student Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexual assault. A judge ruled that the twittler-in-chief must sit for a deposition in the defamation case filed by a former contestant on his reality TV show.
  • #CriminalJusticeReform – After public outrage over an Alabama sheriff who was legally allowed to personally profit $750,000 over three years, from government funds intended to feed inmates, the sheriff lost his re-election bid. The Minneapolis Police Department is ending sting operations targeting low-level marijuana sales following a new report that revealed a vast racial disparity in those who were arrested.
  • #CollusionIsReal Paul Manafort and his aid, Konstantin Kilimnik, where hit with federal charges for tampering with and attempted tampering with a witness.
  • #BlueWave2018 – In a Missouri special election, Lauren Arthur (D) won a seat in the state Senate, flipping the seat blue. For the first time in history, the Custer City Council will be all female with the win this week by Carrie Moore and Dixie Whittaker. Mariah Parker, who ran as a progressive for Athens-Clarke County Commissioner, won by 13 votes and took her oath of office holding her hand on a copy of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” From New Jersey to New Mexico, Democratic women did well.  41 of the 92 women running for the House or Senate advanced in their races. Two democratic Iowa women, crushed their respective fields, winning more than enough votes to avoid a state convention. In five states that held primaries, women won the primaries for governor.  Democrats avoided disaster in the California “jungle primary,” that advances the two leading vote-getters regardless of party, and Democrats will be on the ballot in nearly all the state’s 53 districts and the Governor’s race. Voter turnout was up in four states that held primaries.
  • #RevolvingDoor Two of Pruitt’s closest aides at the EPA resigned amid further ethics scandals at the agency.
  • #ThereIsNoPlanetBBon Appetit is banning plastic straws and stirrers at their more than 1,000 food service locations for universities, museums, and other venues in 33 states. Hawaii Governor signed bills committing to make the state fully carbon neutral by 2045, to use carbon offsets to help fund planting trees, and require new building projects to consider how high sea levels will rise in their engineering decisions.

STATES TAKE THE LEAD AGAIN ON HEALTHCARE, HUMAN RIGHTS, GUN REFORM AND MORE!

This week there was a lot of orange for Gun Violence Awareness Day and nationwide protests against the separating of immigrant children from their parents to bring activists together yet again. It is heartwarming to see that so many are still taking to the streets to fight for what is right. We may not know if the North Korean summit is on again or off again, but we do know that a lot of other good happened this week. The highlights are;

  • #ConstitutionRules The Supreme Court limited the scope of police searches, ruling that officers must have a warrant to go through a vehicle parked at a home or on its surrounding property.
  • #NeverAgain Rhode Island Gov. signed into law a pair of bills banning bump stocks and allowing law enforcement to temporarily confiscate guns from people determined to pose a threat to themselves or others.
  • #HumanRightsForAll Connecticut instituted a new policy to legally allow transgender individuals to be housed in prisons that align with their gender identity, the first state to do so.
  • #MyBodyMyChoice Federal Judges for cases in Iowa and Kentucky have temporarily blocked restrictive abortion laws from taking effect in those states.
  • #LoveTrumpsHate ABC cancels the show “Roseanne” saying Roseanne Barr’s statement on twitter is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with their values. While the Ambien maker clarified that racism is not a side effect of the medication that Roseanne blamed for her tweet.
  • #WomanPower The island of Barbados elected its first-ever woman prime minister.

🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS ACCOMPLISHMENTS Homeland Security authorized a portion of the $1.7 billion in grants to “sanctuary cities” that do not enforce federal immigration laws, as required by the court order that prevents the federal government from withholding funding. ACTIONS FOR CHANGE  Protesters gathered in more than two dozen cities across the country to condemn the administration’s practice of separating all immigrant parents and children at the Southern border. A coalition of rights groups submitted a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asking it to stop the human rights crisis perpetrated by the U.S. by separating families at the border. A group of 21 immigrant rights advocacy organizations initiated the 5th lawsuit challenging the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Continue reading