The fallout from the Charlottesville response continues, there were significant victories in Texas that could help shape upcoming elections, and we continue as a nation to see many thousands stand up against hate in city after city. Here is your weekly summary of what went right for 8-26-17
DEFENDING IMMIGRANTS – Coachella Calif.voted to become a sanctuary city. Los Angeles sued over the administration’s threat to cut funding for “sanctuary cities.” An undocumented mother who took refuge at a NYC church was granted a temporary reprieve from deportation.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE – Missouri Governor temporarily halted the execution of a man after new DNA evidence surfaced supporting his claim to innocence. The ACLU and others are suing Missouri, claiming they do not provide adequate legal counsel because the public defenders are underfunded. The ACLU filed suit against Indianapolis, alleging they are violating homeless people’s constitutional rights by using a prohibition on standing, sitting, or congregating on sidewalks discriminatory against homeless individuals.
LGBTQ RIGHTS – Illinois Gov. signed legislation allowing transgender and intersex individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Athens, Ohio City Council voted to ban “gay conversion therapy”. Canada is allowing a third option for “x” when identifying gender on passports. India’s Supreme Court declared the right to privacy a constitutional right, including right to privacy regarding sexual orientation.
PROGRESS FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR AND WOMEN – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi appointed Kelly Quintanilla as the first woman to serve as president. Cuyahoga County Democrats elected Councilwoman Brown as both their first black and woman leader. The American Legion elected Denise Rohan as the first female national commander.
SAVING THE PLANET – A bipartisan coalition of nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, agreed to a plan to cut power plant pollution by another 30 percent through 2030 by tightening the emissions cap in the nation’s first market to cut carbon pollution. A U.S. District Judge ordered a natural gas pipeline company to repair erosion that occurred along their pipeline canals on 20,000 acres of wetlands owned by another company. The top three container ports in California released an environmental study for 2016, finding it surpassed its 2020 goal for reducing the public health risk. Stockton, California became the first in the nation to have an all electric rapid transit bus route. The Interior Secretary did not recommend the elimination of any national monuments. A U.S. Appeals court rejected the government’s approval of a natural gas pipeline project in the southeastern U.S., citing concerns about its impact on climate change.
STATES AND CITIES DOING THE RIGHT THING – Washington state worked with the Federal govt to get Aequitas Capital Management, a private student loan company for a for-profit college to provide $7 million in debt relief to more than 2,000 Washington student loan borrowers. Oberlin, Ohio voted to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous People’s Day.
ELECTION WINS – Democrat Dawn Euer was elected to the Rhode Island Senate for District 13, maintaining the seat for the democrats. An 18 year old high school student was elected to the Rowlett, Texas City Council. A liberal insurgent democrat, secured more votes than the democratic establishment candidate in the Birmingham Mayoral primary.
AROUND THE WORLD – Chile’s constitutional court approved a bill allowing for abortion when a woman’s life is at risk, in case of rape and when a fetus is not viable. An Islamic practice permitting men to instantly divorce their wives has been declared unconstitutional by India’s supreme court .
THOSE PESKY THINGS CALLED FREE SPEECH, AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION – The Department of Justice dropped its request for visitor IP addresses related to an anti-Trump website saying that it is only looking for information that could constitute evidence related to criminal rioting on Inauguration Day. A U.S. District Court ruled the town of Oyster Bay, New York’s restrictions on where day laborers can stand to look for work on public streets was unconstitutional. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that Arizona’s ban on ethnic studies in schools was unconstitutional and motivated by racial discrimination. The Secret Service has agreed to stop erasing White House visitor log data while a lawsuit demanding public access to some of the information goes forward.
KEEPING STATE AND CHURCH SEPARATE – A Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reinstate a H.S. coach after he was fired for refusing to comply with an order from the school to cease praying on the football field following games because he was speaking as a public employee and still in school uniform.
SECURING VOTING RIGHTS – A U.S. District Judge ruled the Texas voter identification law was unconstitutional. A week after invalidating two congressional districts a U.S. District Court ruled Texas House districts were also drawn to intentionally undercut minority voting power and ordered them redrawn. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law settled a lawsuit on behalf of voters who alleged racial discrimination in how commissioners are elected in Jones County North Carolina, agreeing to institute a more fair district system.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT REMOVAL AND STANDING UP TO HATE – Since the city of Charlottesville is not allowed to remove war monuments under current state law the City Council instead voted to drape their confederate statues in black fabric in honor of Heather Heyer, at a packed and raucous meeting. Confederate statues were removed from the University of Texas at Austin campus. Durham, North Carolina public school system has prohibit the Confederate flag, Ku Klux Klan symbols and swastikas on clothing. A judge in York, NC dismissed a lawsuit seeking to force a clerk return the confederate flag removed from a courtroom. The web host for the white supremacist site Stormfront has seized the site. A judge has denied bail to a neo-nazi charged with using pepper spray on a protester. MTV has invited transgender military groups to the upcoming Video Music Awards.
CHARLOTTESVILLE FALLOUT CONTINUES – Rabbinical leader of 3 Jewish denominations have pulled out of the annual conference call held by presidents before the High Holidays. The science envoy for the State Department resigned in a letter in which the first letter of each paragraph spelled out “IMPEACH”. Seven members of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council and the co-chairs of the Department of Commerce’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors resigned. Crisis management consultant Risa Heller has dropped Jared Kushner’s family real estate company. Even crisis management co. doesn’t want them.
SURVIVOR “WHITE HOUSE” NEXT EPISODE – Sebastian Gorka, the extra special racist assistant to 45 has left the administration. Both sides quibble over whether he quit or was fired, but does it really matter? Andy Hemming, a White House staffer, who worked from 5:30 am to 11pm to spot and distribute positive stories about 45 from the mainstream media left.
FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT – Senate Majority Leader McConnell told the Louisville Chamber of Commerce that “most news is not fake” and that he reads many of the paper bashed by the racist-in-chief. The “email prankster” stuck again, fooling the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart into believing he was Bannon and getting him to pledge to do Bannon’s “dirty work” against the White House.
REAL FUNDING FOR POSITIVE CHANGE – The Clooney Foundation is awarding a $1 million grant to the SPLC in response to Charlottesville. NextGen America commits to spending $2 million in Virginia gubernatorial race on behalf of Democrat Ralph Northam. GoFundMe announced its community has raised more than $375,000 to eliminate school lunch debt and they are implementing a centralized location for all campaigns to eliminate lunch debt. A group organized an “Adopt-a-Nazi (Not Really)” GoFundMe campaign for the SPLC, raising more than $92,000, by encouraging donors to give some amount of money for each of the 300 expected attendees at an upcoming “free speech” rally.
AWESOME ACTIVISM – A number of Cleveland Browns player knelt during the national anthem, and Seth DeValve, was the first white player to kneel in solidarity. Sixty-seven planned “alt-right” rallies in 36 states were moved online after their first small rally in Boston was drowned out by thousands of demonstrators. Billy Joel wore a yellow Star of David on his jacket referencing during his concert at Madison Square Garden in NY. Activists convinced Norwegian Cruise lines to cancel a “far-right” organized sailing. A group of alumni from Liberty University, are preparing to return diplomas to their school in protest of the university President ongoing support for 45. Hundreds of San Franciscans organized to blanket Crissy Field with dog poop ahead of a planned alt-right rally there. A German supermarket removed all foreign food from shelves to make a point about racism. Thousands of counter-protesters showed up for a poorly attended 45 rally in Phoenix. Annie’s List, an organization helping progressive women get elected in Texas saw more than double the participation in training so far this year.
The 10 day “March to Confront White Supremacy” starts on August 28th in Charlottesville, VA, passes by Confederate sites along the route, and culminates in an occupation in Washington, DC on September 6th, try joining them along the way for any amount of time you can.
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