I am excited to bring you this week’s edition of What Went Right so let’s get right to it my favorites.
- Two Federal Judges have blocked the new travel ban, preventing it from going into effect. One of the judges wrote, a “reasonable, objective observer” would view even the new order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”
- A Federal District Court permanently blocked Mississippi’s Texas-style clinic shutdown, ensuring the last abortion clinic in the state will remain open. The court refused to hear an appeal of the ban on the law, which required any physician associated with an abortion facility to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
- Rachel Maddow teased us with a release of the first two pages of the twittler-in-chief’s 2005 Federal tax return on prime time TV in a scathing take down. We can only hope that the full read comes soon.
- The Mississippi House defeated a bill requiring state universities to fly the state flag. Why do I include this? Well the Mississippi state flag has the Confederate emblem on it and some are trying to find a way to make the schools fly it since they can’t force the full confederate flag anymore. Gov. Matt Mead in Wyoming vetoed a bill that would have allowed people to carry guns at state and local government meetings.
- In more legal wins; a Federal Judge held the U.S. Border Control in civil contempt for failing to maintain surveillance tapes in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and others, claiming the agency detains migrants in inhumane conditions. The Arizona Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s minimum-wage law, rejecting a challenge by business groups to the Prop. 206 law. The law raises Arizona’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 and requires employers to offer mandatory paid sick leave as of July 1.
- Alexander City, Alabama will pay $680,000 in damages for the 190 low-income people who were unconstitutionally jailed for not paying tickets in a settlement agreement with the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of a lawsuit challenging the cities operation of a modern-day debtors’ prison in which people were jailed for being too poor to pay fines. The New York City Police Dept. agreed to install a civilian watchdog on a surveillance panel as part of a settlement to strengthen oversight of the NYPD surveillance tactics as a result of a class action brought by NY’s Muslim community.
- A Charleston jury awarded a black couple $1.3 million in damages for being arrested after they accused a white state trooper of racial profiling during a traffic stop. Neither victims were permanently injured, but the jury was asked to send a message with a large award, and they did after seeing the dash-cam footage.
- In deep red Alabama, Walt Maddoxx, a democrat, won re-election as the Mayor of Tuscaloosa with 90 percent of the vote. Democratic candidate for City Council in North Phoenix Arizona, Debra Stark, won over her Republican opponent. Stark will be the first Democrat in about three decades to win that seat. Change starts at the local level.
- Dutch voters rejected hate. Prime Minister Rutte and his conservative party won over the xenophobic, far-right-wing Freedom Party. Rutte said “This is a night when the Netherlands, after Brexit, after the American elections, has said ‘stop’ to the wrong kind of populism.” The Dutch left party, GreenLeft, also won big, increasing its seats in parliament from four to 14.
- In minor, yet entertaining news; McDonald’s calls Donald Trump ‘a disgusting excuse of a President’ with ‘tiny hands’ in a tweet. They later announced the account had been hacked, but was it really? I like to think not, and sadly Ivanka Trump has discontinued her high-end fine jewelry line because enough rich people didn’t listen to Kellyann Conway and buy her $10,000 baubles.
So keep on participating in town halls, help organize your community, make use of Emily’s List and Crowdpac.com if you want to consider running for office, and remember it takes lots of advance planning, so now is a good time to get started.