Big victories in NY, NH and the courts. Head to the glowing orb to see them or read about the good that happened week ending 5/27/17 below.
Empowering Court Decisions: The 4th Circuit Ct of Appeals upheld the injunction blocking the second version of the travel ban in a 10-3 ruling stating the order “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.” The Supreme Court struck down two NC congressional districts ruling that the state violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race and drawing them in a way that minimized the impact of black voters. Moving towards real gerrymandering reform one court decision at a time.
Election Wins: Democrats picked up seats in the state houses in NY and NH, winning House seats held by republicans in districts that voted overwhelming for Twittler. Christine Pellegrino won in the NY Assembly District Nine in Long Island and Edith DesMarais won the House seat for District 6 in NH. DesMarais is the first Democrat elected to the NH House from the town of Wolfeboro since 1913.
Federal Immigration Relief: The administration extended the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Haitians living in the US since the 2010 earthquake and stopping their deportation for another six months, the TPS was due to expire in July. The WH appears to be retreating in the war against sanctuary cities as DOJ has narrowed the definition of “sanctuary city” and significantly limited the potential financial consequences for non-compliance. The State Department quietly lifted restrictions on the number of refugees allowed to enter the US, nearly double the number of refugees may be able to arrive in the country by next month.
Cities and States Do the Right Thing: Tennessee became the first state to offer a free two-year college education to all residents. The Seattle City Council unanimously passed significant police reform, bolstering community oversight of the department’s disciplinary system, creating a powerful civilian inspector general and civilian supervision of internal investigations. Denver reduced the penalty to less than a year of jail for many criminal ordinances so that undocumented immigrants convicted of these violations can avoid federal rules that can put them on the radar for deportation when they are convicted of crimes carrying a penalty of a year in jail.
Taking it to the Courts: The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Mississippi over discrimination in education arguing the legally binding obligation to operate a “uniform system of free public schools” for all children placed on the state as a condition of rejoining the Union after the Civil War is not being met because of systemic racially based inadequacies.
Saving the Planet: India has cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations and has instead entered into contracts for solar electricity, now that for the first time ever solar is cheaper than coal in India. Following in the footsteps of resistance projections on buildings in DC. Greenpeace lit up the dome of the Vatican with the message “Planet Earth First” during twittler’s visit.
Love is Love: Taiwan’s High Court ruled that Taiwanese laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying violate the island’s Constitution, saying that sexual orientation an “immutable characteristic that is resistant to change. The Church of Scotland voted to apologize for its “history of discrimination” against gay people, and is considering allowing ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings.
Strong Women: Kim Reynolds (R) was sworn as Iowa’s first woman governor. She started in politics as the treasurer of a rural county in Iowa, start small, dream big, think long-term strategy. Charlene Diggs was hired as the first African-American woman police officer in Beckley WV, the NY Jets (that’s a National Football League team for those of you not familiar with sports) hired Collette Smith making her the first female coach in Jets history and the second for the league, and Rocky Mount, NC hired Rochelle D. Small-Toney as their first female City Manager.
Using our Wallets: After advertisers such as Cars.com, Casper, USAA, and Crowne Plaza Hotels pulled the advertising due to pressure from their customers, Sean Hannity has now taken a “vacation” from Fox News after spewing unfounded and refuted conspiracy theories about the DNC. I wonder if this vacation will go the same way as Bill O’Reilly’s? And designer Warby Parker publically reached out to the body slammed journalist in Montana to offer him a new pair of glasses. GrabYourWallet and spend your dollars wisely.
Awesome Activism: Dozens of students at Notre Dame walked out of Pence’s commencement speech at graduation and hundreds of Milton Academy students staged a sit-in to protest the school’s failure to address racism on campus. Half the middle schoolers from a NJ school refused to pose with Paul Ryan because they disagree with his political views. Teaching them young. Obama got a rock star greeting by tens of thousands in Berlin while there for a celebration, while 45 was greeted by thousands of protesters in Italy and Belgium. Happy the resistance in Europe’s got our back. We are not alone.
Just for Amusement: In entertainment from the overseas trip, there is Melania swapping her husband’s hand away, not once but twice, some epic handshake matches won by France’s Macron and Tajikistan’s president and some photos of the Pope with the creepy entourage that show a picture is worth a 1,000 words. The earth tried to swallow 45 whole or a giant sinkhole formed directly in front of Mar-a-Lago, you decide?
Now let’s get to phone banking for Ossoff, take a moment to protect national monuments by commenting on federal regulations here, and for those of you in NY call to support single payer health care. Don’t know how to get involved? Check out my page on activism resources. We all know this is going to be a long and bumpy road.