If you were like me, you experienced extreme emotional vacillation between intense late night anxiety and outright hysterical laughing at the White House antics, which even the conservative newspaper the NY Post couldn’t help but poke fun at. As another roller-coaster of a week ends, I can report that many good things happened – 7/29/17.
HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE, HEALTHCARE – Three republicans stood up to their party, and all the democrats, and saved millions of people from losing affordable healthcare. Now we need to make sure the same happens for tax cuts for the wealthy.
DEFENDING IMMIGRANTS – Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court, ruled that local law enforcement does not have the authority to detain people beyond the time they would otherwise be entitled to be released from state custody based solely on a request from federal immigration authorities. Oxnard City Council in California passed a “safe city” resolution to support immigrants and their commitment for police not to enforce federal immigration laws.
SAVING THE PLANET – The UK has banned new diesel and petrol cars from the UK starting in 2040 and announced a £255m fund to help local councils tackle emissions. A coalition of 11 states, including NY, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, NM, OR, RI, VT and WA filed a petition with the U.S. Ct of Appeals challenging the EPA’s decision to delay new chemical plant safety rules. 100,000 pages of documents collected by environmentalist regarding the chemical industry obtained through discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the EPA and others are now publicly available through a project called the Poison Papers.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM – Pedro Hernandez, a teen held at NYC’s notorious Rikers Island for a year on $250,000 bail awaiting trial, was released on bail after the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization posted his bail after the DA agreed to lower the amount. The City of Aurora Colorado will pay $110,000 to settle a claim by the ACLU on behalf of Darsean Kelley, a young Black man who was unlawfully stopped and tased in the back by the police just as he said “I know my rights.” Luckily he was not killed. The ACLU sued Cranston, RI over its panhandling ordinance.
DECRIMINALIZING MARIAJUANA – Massachusetts Gov. signed a law to enact the rules to legalize marijuana for recreational use, nine months after voters approved ballot measures to allow it. York City became the 5th municipality in Pennsylvania to reduce possession of small amounts of marijuana to a violation from a crime and give officers the discretion to issue citations and fines instead of arresting.
PROTECTING WOMEN’S HEALTH – A U.S. District Court Judge issued an injunction blocking new abortion restrictions in Arkansas, including a ban on D&C’s procedures during the second trimester and a fetal remains law that would require a partner’s consent before a woman could get an abortion. An anti-abortion group dropped its challenge of a federal restraining order which required a buffer zone to prevent them from blocking the entrance to the only abortion clinic in Kentucky. In Washington State, victims of domestic violence will now be notified if their abuser illegally tries to buy a gun.
ELECTION NEWS – Democrats held on to two state senate seats in special elections in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to replace legislators who died. Kevin Cavanaugh won for District 16 in NH and n MA, Cindy Friedman won the 4th Senate District, where no republican even challenged her. A Brookings report shows that as of the end of June 208 democratic House challengers filing with the FEC had raised $5,000 or more as compared to 28 Republicans, with 105 Republican incumbents having Democratic challengers with $5,000, double the amount at this same time in 2009. Continue reading