There is no Comey testimony here, only a brief summary of a fraction of our accomplishments in making the world a better place for all for the week ending 6/10/17.
THE SUPREME COURT – SCOTUS upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out 28 NC legislative districts, another big ruling against gerrymandering by republicans. The Court rejected the Haris County (TX) emergency request for a stay of a lower court ruling challenging bail rules and ordering that inmates who can’t afford their bail to be freed from jail. They also placed limits on the government’s ability to seize assets from people who are convicted of crimes but receive little of the illegal proceeds.
SAVING THE PLANET – Hawaii became the first state to pass a law adopting the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. CA’s governor signed an agreement with China to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to partner on renewable energy, zero-emission vehicles, and low-carbon urban development. The United States Climate Alliance, a group of states dedicated to upholding the accord has grown to include HI, CT, DE, MA, MN, OR, RI VT and VA. Attorney Generals from NY, CA, ME, MD, MA, WA and VT formally challenged the EPA’s decision not to further restrict the use of the dangerous pesticide chlorpyrifos. Six conservation groups sued the EPA for suspending rules to stop methane leaks.
DEFENDING IMMIGRANTS – Arresting or denying someone services based on their immigration status is now against the law in Columbus OH. Ipswich MA and Arcata CA voted to become “sanctuary cities”. Dallas joined other cities in the legal challenge against the Texas Anti-sanctuary law that prohibits cities from protecting immigrants. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is relocating its 2018 convention from Texas due to the state’s new anti-immigrant laws. The 15,000-member group pulled out even with penalties for venues already booked saying members wouldn’t feel comfortable in Texas.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM- New Mexico overhauled its bail system so that defendants are detained based on their individual risk of danger/flight, not on their ability to pay a bond and will permit some arrested on minor offenses to be automatically released without bail. Illinois also enacted bail reform, which will eliminate the requirement for cash bail for those charged with non-violent misdemeanors, offering home monitoring, curfews or drug counseling, and offering a rehearing for those who can’t come up with bail money. Provincetown RI passed significant police reform, including prohibiting police from profiling based on race, ethnicity, language, housing status, or political affiliation, baring officers from inquiring about immigration status or from complying with outside requests related to enforcing immigration law, and grants more power to an external review authority.
STATES DOING THE RIGHT THING – Colorado and Nevada passed laws requiring insurers to cover 12 months of birth control at a time and New Mexico instituted a policy allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control directly to women. Kansas has basically called their experiment with economic trickle down a failure after 4 years and even republicans voted to repeal the massive tax cuts because of the bigly deficit it caused, enabling them to spend more on education.
WINNING COURT CASES– A federal court awarded $6.7 million ($1.7 mil in compensatory damages and $5 mil in punitive damages) to a female Milwaukee County inmate who was sexually assaulted by an officer at the jail run by the notorious Sheriff David Clark. Des Plaines, Il will pay a Muslim group $580,000 to settle a federal lawsuit for using zoning laws to discriminate and prohibit them from building a mosque.
ELECTION WINS – A record number of 200 women (⅓ of lawmakers) and over 40 openly LGBTQ parliamentarians won seats in Britain’s election not mention the fact that the Labour Party gained 30 costing the conservative party their majority. In DeSoto County MS, Horn Lake elected LaShonda Johnson, an African American woman to the Board of Aldermen for the first time since Reconstruction and in the town of Walls, Dr. McLemore and Calvin Farmer, were the first two African Americans elected as Aldermen.
LGBTQ PROGRESS – Germany has begun admitting gay Chechen refugees on the grounds that they have been persecuted because of their sexual orientation. A Michigan judge ruled against a woman who had her membership at Planet Fitness terminated because she complained about them allowing a transgender person to use the women’s locker room.
FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT – Readership and advertising on Breitbart are down significantly, as a recent review showed only 26 brands appeared on Breitbart, down from a high of 242, and unique views were down 11%. Other conservative sites including, The Blaze and National Review, have also seen declines. While momentarily being taken over by mind controlling liberal space aliens (which you can still report to the ICE hotline) DeVos testified to a Senate committee that all schools that receive federal funds are required to follow federal civil rights laws. The WH admitted that Joseph Otting, the nominee for Office of the Comptroller of the Currency made up a degree on his resume from a graduate school at Dartmouth that does not exist. Fake news or fake degree?
DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT – Phil Stair, a government official in Flint, Mich., resigned from his position after he was recorded using a racial slur to blame African-Americans for the city’s water crisis. Racists just don’t learn.
STRONG WOMEN – Patricia Lundstrom (D) took control of the NM Legislative Finance Committee, which drafts NM’s state budget, as its first woman chair. Ann Telnaes become the first female to receive both the Reuben Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartoons. The Racine Wisconsin Police Department promoted Jessie Metoyer, making her the department first female police lieutenant and the first woman was appointed Post Master for Buffalo.
FROM THE WEEK BEFORE – Texas enacted legislation reforming the state’s potentially unconstitutional law requiring voters to show ID at the polls, right before a hearing before a federal judge. The new law still require voters to show ID at the polls, but it will allow voters without one to show non-photo id and sign an affidavit attesting to their identity.
AWESOME ACTIVISM – Counter protesters outnumbered racists at Islamophobic rallies throughout the country. Sister District groups have begun raising thousands of dollars for democratic candidates for Virginia state house races helping build bridges across state lines.
There are so many local and state areas to get involved in while we gear up for 2018 elections. Work on issues such as state coverage for birth control, bail and police reform, sanctuary city protection where you live. We can create meaningful change without congress. Remember to spend your money wisely and think GrabYourWallet.org