GREAT THINGS HAPPENING IN CALIFORNIA AND RHODE ISLAND!

After a three week hiatus for vacation and illness I am back with a summary of the awesomeness that happened for the resistance this week.  Sorry to have left you for so long.  This week we have California showing us what a progressive state can do.

STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS – The California Legislature passed the “sanctuary state” bill, designed to protect those in California without legal residency, now it awaits the gov. signature. The National Venture Capital Association has sued the administration over its decision to delay the International Entrepreneur Rule, an Obama initiative to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to build businesses in the U.S.  Anti-immigrant actions hurt no matter what the person’s economic status. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber and more than 160 technology companies filed a brief with the Supreme Court against the travel ban arguing it will “stifle the nation’s economic growth and global competitiveness.” Long Beach, CA City Council  voted to embrace a “sanctuary city” policy that would expand protections for its immigrant communities beyond those under consideration at the state level. Beneficiaries of DACA sued the administration for rescinding the protections arguing that the government, in asking the applicants to identify themselves and undergo background checks in exchange for protection to live and work in the US, is engaging in an “unconstitutional bait-and-switch” and that terminating the program breaks the government promise to them.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM –  A federal court in NJ denied a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought seeking to overturn NJ’s new Criminal Justice Reform Act. Court Officials in Utah are moving forward with a new screening process for bail that will give judges information about a defendant’s risk assessment with the expectation that it will reduce defendants held simply because they can’t pay bail, even though the UT legislature voted against the change.

LGBTQ ACCEPTANCE – An Albuquerque N.M. Mennonite Church has called an openly LGBTQ person to be their lead pastor, becoming the first congregation to do so in Mennonite Church USA. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that a spouse in a same-sex marriage is entitled to parental rights for a child conceived through artificial insemination during the marriage under the U.S. Constitution even though state law doesn’t specifically grant that right. A federal judge in Minnesota ruled that “Posting language on a website telling potential customers that a business will discriminate based on sexual orientation is part of the act of sexual orientation discrimination itself” and was “akin to a “White applicants only’ sign,” ruling against the discriminating wedding photographers. Oakland Park, FL approved the drafting of an ordinance that would prohibit gay conversion therapy. The ACLU sued Michigan for allowing state-funded adoption agencies to turn away prospective LGBT parents.

BREAKING GLASS CEILINGS  AND PROGRESS FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR Jennifer Lyon was named the Stroud Area Regional Police Chief, making her the first woman to be named as the chief of any police department in Monroe County, PA and Tina Goncalves was named the first municipal police chief in RI for the Pawtucket PD. Ana Carrasco, became the first woman to win a solo international Gran Prix road race. Sarah Mailhiot, become the first woman to earn a doctorate in Montana State University’s mechanical engineering program. Diana Becton was sworn as the first African-American and first woman to serve as CA’s Contra Costa County, District Attorney. The Idaho Potato Commission announced the appointment of Mary Hasenoehrl, the first female to represent potato growers – now put Idaho potatoes on your buy list.

EMMY ROUNDUP Lena Waithe, became the first black woman to win for Best Writing for a Comedy Series, along with comedian Aziz Ansari. Donald Glover won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, which a person of color hasn’t won in over 30 years and became the first African American to win an for directing a comedy series. Riz Ahmed was the first South Asian man to win for acting and Sterling Brown won Best Actor in a Drama Series–the first time in 18 years that a black actor was awarded that Emmy. Reed Morano, is the first woman to for directing a drama series in 22 years.

SAVING THE PLANET – The Gov. of North Carolina announced that the state is joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of States committed to meeting their share of the Paris Climate Accord emissions.  A federal judge held the Atlanta Gold mining company in contempt for allowing arsenic and iron to enter a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Boise River in violation of the Clean Water Act and ordered the company to pay up to half a million dollars in fines and penalties if they don’t fix the problems by 2018. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court ruling that the Bureau of Land Management had overstepped its bounds by trying to regulate fracking, upholding Obama era fracking rules. NC’s Department of Environmental Quality announced they were delaying their review of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline until December, saying “site-specific detail is necessary to ensure that downstream water quality is protected.” San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., are suing five major oil companies, blaming them for the effects of climate change. The Arkansas State Plant Board advanced a proposal limiting the use of dicamba, a herbicide linked to crop damage.

STOPPING PRUITT DAMAGE AT THE EPA – An environmental group filed an appeal of a court decision that overturned an EPA rule restricting the use of certain greenhouse gases.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE – Attorneys and advisers from the Obama administration have formed the National Student Legal Defense Network, which will partner with state attorneys general and advocacy groups to use legal action to fight on behalf of student consumers around financial protections. The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the portion of a Minneapolis law that require employers located within the city limits to provide employees with paid sick days.  Albuquerque. NM Public Schools, the Canon-McMillan School District in PA, have banned school lunch shaming. Massachusetts Attorney General sued Equifax, alleging the company ignored obvious cybersecurity vulnerabilities putting consumers at risk. In Michigan, the State Board of Canvassers approved a  ballot proposal by One Fair Wage to raise the minimum wage to $12, now they have to obtain 252,000 signatures on petitions to place the issue on the ballot. If you live in Michigan make sure you sign the petition.

PROTECTING HEALTH – McCain announced he will vote no on the recent ACA repeal. Planned Parenthood and other groups are challenging a Maine law that prohibits nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives from performing abortions.  California legislature passed legislation that forbids religious employers from forcing women to sign religious “statements of faith” or “codes of conduct” in order to keep their employment and prohibits employers from retaliating against a worker for making reproductive health decisions religious employers object to. Calling on Californians to contact the Governor and insist he sign this bill and the “sanctuary state” one.

STATES AND CITIES DOING THE RIGHT THING – The California Attorney General filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, arguing the wall “threatens California’s economic, procedural and sovereign interests and will harm the state’s natural resources and that officials have not complied with environmental laws and are violating the “separation-of-powers” doctrine.  The Rhode Island Legislature passed a bill requiring employers to offer paid sick days every year to workers, becoming only the 8th state to do so. The Rhode Island Gov. is expected to sign the bill so RI people please contact her and encourage her to do so.

FEDERAL AGENCIES STILL DOING THEIR JOB – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has agreed to a settlement with National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, requiring them to pay nearly $22 million in fines and borrower reimbursement and forces them to audit all 800,000 loans in its portfolio to see if they lack the paperwork needed to prove ownership of the loans, and stop collection on them, if they do.

AROUND THE WORLD – London’s Mayor announced that British suffragette Millicent Fawcett will become the first women honored with a bronze statue in London’s Parliament Square which will stand next to those of Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and other male figures.

BECAUSE SCIENCE MATTERS – Researchers at Penn State have developed an economical biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and numerous other applications. The Researchers predict its implementation would significantly reduce pollution.

THOSE PESKY THINGS CALLED OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS – The D.C. Court of Appeal ruled the use of a “StingRay” cell-site simulator by the police, which enables police to pinpoint the exact location of a cell phone, and consequently provide them with the person’s location, is a violation of the right prohibiting unreasonable searches and they must obtain a search warrant prior to using it. The U.S. District Judge in the Sheriff Arpaio case has refused to cancel his sentencing hearing and ordered the Justice Department to file supplemental arguments on whether a presidential pardon leaves intact the record of conviction and that the power of the pardon does not extend to impairing the court’s authority to protect constitutional rights. The ACLU filed suit against St. Louis for what it calls the “unlawful and unconstitutional action” during demonstrations following the acquittal of a white officer in the death of a black man.

FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT – The rally held by the Juggalos was attended by more people than the 100’s who reportedly attended the “mother of all rallies” to support 45 at the same time in D.C.  Now we know how many of his supporters are willing to make the trip to D.C. Former Sheriff David Clarke has been told to revise his master’s thesis or the Naval Postgraduate School will rescind his degree after his plagiarism was exposed by CNN.

AWESOME ACTIVISM – Millions have been raised in donations and some cities and states,  have allocated money to pay the October renewal fee for DACA recipients who can’t afford it. NFL Commissioner and many other sports leaders stood behind players who protest, and chastised 45 saying the country needs unifying leadership” not “divisiveness”.  A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the national anthem and the teams response was “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive. We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.” Thousands of protesters are standing up for justice in St.Louis. Three congressmen were among a group of protesters arrested outside Trump Tower at demonstration in support of immigrants.

Not to sound like a broken record, but please call your Congressperson, whether they are for or against, to oppose the repeal of the ACA.  Make your voice heard. Don’t sit back while they strip healthcare away. November elections are coming up fast and states like NJ and VA have some really important elections, so don’t wait for 2018 to get involved. Check out Flippable and Sister District for ways to help.

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