Since we could all probably do with hearing some good news this week, I bring you another edition of What Went Right
- In the war against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, women scored big as 60 companies pulled their ads from the Bill O’Reilly show after disclosure that Fox paid millions to settle sexual misconduct lawsuits against him. This adds to the win last week by Women’s Hockey who negotiated a landmark settlement with large pay raises, benefits on par with the men, better marketing and promotion, and support to help advance women’s hockey.
- The world just got a little bit safer with the removal of Steve Bannon from the National Security Council and maybe we will see some progress in the House’s investigation of Russia-Trump now that Senator Nunes resigned from the committee investigating it. Nunes stepped down because he is now under investigation for making unauthorized disclosures of classified information while overseeing his panel’s investigation.
- The LGBT community won a huge victory when a Federal Appeals Court ruled a 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT workers from job discrimination, expanding workplace protections in the landmark law to include sex discrimination in the workplace. The Chief Judge wrote “It is actually impossible to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without discriminating on the basis of sex. It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.'” And in a similar decision, a U.S. District judge ruled that the Federal Fair Housing Act bars housing discrimination against LGBT people. Not to mention Dutch men walked hand-in-hand throughout the country in solidarity for a gay couple that had been attacked.
- There is one federal agency is still doing its job. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Car Wash Headquarters, a national car wash company for racial discrimination, alleging they favored less qualified white workers over African Americans for management positions.
- A coalition of officials from ten states and New York City sued the Dept. of Energy over its delay in the implementation of energy efficiency standards and the Pesticide Action Network and the NRDC sued the EPA to force it to take action on a pesticide linked to nervous system and brain disorders.
- Alabama politicians really do care about their constituents. Alabama didn’t take the Medicaid extension, but announced a new program to give away up to 60,000 “baby boxes” that serve as bassinets, in an effort to combat sudden infant mortality. The boxes come with a firm mattress and fitted sheet, diapers, baby wipes, educational materials, etc.
- NYS announced a budget plan that will make tuition free at public colleges in New York City and NY State for families with incomes under $125,000 and an additional $10 million dollars to provide immigrants facing deportation with free legal representation.
- There’s a new democratic sheriff in town, and he announced the closing of the notorious Tent City Jail in Arizona where prisoners are forced to live outside and wear pink underwear compliments of Joe Arpaio (R). Arpaio, is himself facing possible jail time as he goes on trial soon for criminal contempt in racial profiling cases after losing his re-election bid. Also in local news, a judge approved an agreement between Baltimore and the Justice Dept. to overhaul the Baltimore police department, denying requests from the Justice Dept. to delay it and the Cambridge City Council passed an increase in the required affordable housing contribution from large developers.
- The future of investigative journalism is bright. Kansas high school students working on their school newspaper did some old school, boots on the ground, investigation on their new principal uncovering a web of deceit and lies about her background leading to her resignation.
- Not to be outdone by the resistance at the Statue of Liberty or Greenpeace in DC, activist unfurled a large “Impeach Trump” banner on opening day for the Washington National’s baseball team at Nationals Park in D.C.
We have big special Congressional elections coming up in Georgia (4/18) and Kansas (4/11). Call, text, and email your friends and family there and remind them to get out and vote, canvass, and phone bank for John Ossoff and James Thompson. If you don’t live in Kansas sign up to phonebank from the comfort of your own home at www/votejamesthompson.com/phonebank