After tweeting “Gerrymandering illegal, DACA put on hold, African American Senators on Judiciary Committee for the first time in this century, Feinstein releases GPS testimony, and Bannon forced from Breitbart and it is only Wednesday” I had to sift through a lot of shitholes to finish out the week and find you all the good news for the resistance. But no matter what else grabbed our attention, there is still a full list of positive things that happened this week. Some highlights are;
- A U.S. District Judge blocked the termination of DACA while it is litigated, finding that the decision to rescind it was based on a flawed legal premise. The icing on the cake was the court referencing some of 45’s own tweets as evidence and the administration, citing the decision, announced it is again accepting DACA renewals. #CleanDREAMActNow
- Sen. Feinstein released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary interview with Fusion GPS founder over the “Pee Pee dossier.” #TransparentGovernment
- A Florida judge permanently blocked and declared unconstitutional a law requiring a woman wait at least 24 hours after seeing her doctor before having an abortion in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU. #RightToChoose #ACLUWinsAgain
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejected a proposal by the Energy Secretary to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants, helping a handful of well connected companies, while raising rates for consumers under the bogus claim it was needed to provide for emergencies and the Supreme Court declined to hear a coal company’s appeal of an EPA ruling that the EPA does not have to regularly report on the impact to coal jobs from its regulations. #COALisDEAD
- A U.S. District Court held North Carolina congressional districts are unconstitutionally partisan and gave them three weeks to file a new plan so it will be in place before the 2018 elections all on the heels of last week’s dissolution of the Voter Suppression Panel. Outgoing Virginia Governor restored the voting rights of 200,000 felons by signing individual restoration orders for each person. #VotingRightsForAll
Read on to get all the rest of what went right to build up your strength for next weekend’s big Women’s Marches all across the country. Find your nearest one here.
🥊FIGHTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT The Maryland General Assembly is forming a commission to strengthen their policies on sexual harassment and the California Legislature reversed course and has agreed to release some records on sexual harassment investigations in the state Capitol. The President of the University of Rochester announced his resignation after controversy over how he handled a sexual harassment scandal at the school, including a controversial reference to false allegations. The EEOC announced five settlements worth a combined $1 million in sexual harassment cases in the last six weeks, the largest of which was for $500,000 with private prison company, GEO. The Indi’s Fast Food chain was ordered to pay $340,000 to former female employees to settle sexual harassment claims. #MeToo #TimesUp
🧕STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS A district court in Nevada ruled a ballot initiative to ban sanctuary cities in Nevada too confusing to move onto a statewide vote. NYC Council Members (NY) were arrested along with dozens of others during a rally over the detention of an immigration rights activist.
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS A Wisconsin school district settled with a transgender student, whom a court found had been discriminated against when he was barred from the boys’ restroom, and agreed to drop its appeal and pay him over $800,000. The Connecticut Gov. nominated state Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald for chief justice, which would make him the first openly gay state chief justice in the country. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ in Latin America, said countries in the region should legalize same-sex unions. Broward County joined 16 Florida municipalities in banning gay conversion therapy. Inclusive language for same-sex wedding ceremonies will be featured in the Presbyterian Church USA’s 2018 version of the Book of Common Worship. Adam Rippon is first openly gay male athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics for the U.S. Olympic team #LGBTQPride
🚨CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM The Manhattan (NY) and Middlesex (MA) District Attorneys instructed prosecutors not to request bail for defendants accused of non-violent misdemeanors, meanwhile in Dutchess County (NY) the NY Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit alleging the county unfairly jailed a man for 3 months for a misdemeanor shoplifting offense because he could not afford cash bail equal to 50% of his income. #BailReform NY’s Governor ordered the prison system to end a new program that limited the types of care packages and books that could be mailed to prisoners after public outrage and New Jersey lifted a ban on a book linking racial discrimination and mass incarceration after the ACLU complained. Oakland (CA) approved a program under which they will issue 50% of all medical marijuana facility licenses to prior felons and residents of neighborhoods that police excessively targeted for drug arrests.
✊🏿WORKING TOWARDS RACIAL EQUALITY AND JUSTICE The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will have its first African-American members in this century after Democrats added Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The Supreme Court found that a black death row inmate is entitled to a chance to challenge his death sentence because a white juror in his case later used a racial epithet in an affidavit and questioned whether black people have souls. Blue Island (IL) appointed the city’s first black police chief. #BlackLivesMatter
👩🚀BREAKING GLASS CEILINGS The first female volunteer fire chief in Montgomery County (MD) was sworn in. Virginia Gov.-elect Northam (D) has assembled the first majority-female Cabinet in state history. The first woman chair of Bristol Community College Board of Trustees was appointed. Democrats selected Toni Atkins as the first female and first openly gay California State Senate leader.
🗳️ELECTION NEWS The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners (MI) elected its first African-American woman chair and Melrose Board of Aldermen (MA) elected its first female mayor. Bessemer Borough Council (PA) voted its first woman to serve as president. As a result of recent elections, the Douglas County Board, the Omaha Public Schools board elected, and the Omaha City Council, in Nebraska are all led by African-American men.Canton City Council (OH) elected their first female majority leader.
🌎SAVING THE PLANET Environmental groups filed a lawsuit demanding the EPA take action against Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi for failing to adopt federally mandated rules to prevent states from appointing environmental regulators with conflicts of interests. The Interior Dept. exempted Florida from future oil and gas drilling. You may be upset that it was blatant political discrimination but I will still call it a win since every state exempted from drilling no matter the ugly reason is one less place for environmental damage and gives more credence to the “arbitrary and capricious” arguments in the expected lawsuits from other states. The U.S. Supreme Court declined an appeal upholding the endangered species protections for prairie dogs and an appeal upholding California’s statewide moratorium on recreational suction dredge mining. England is expanding the charge for plastic bags to include small shops under their new environmental plan.
🗺️STATES AND CITIES PROTECTING THEIR SLICE OF THE PLANET New York City (NY) is suing five major oil companies, becoming the latest in a growing number of municipalities attempting to hold them accountable for damages caused by climate change. The Phoenix City Council approved a new goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. Michigan established regulations pertaining to fluorochemicals polluting drinking water supplies and is suing Wolverine World Wide to recoup costs associated with a drinking water contamination investigation.
🗽HELP FOR THE SICK AND NEEDY The Maryland Legislature voted to override the Gov Hogan’s veto of a bill requiring private employers with 15 or more employees to provide 5 paid sick days a year. While schools were closed in Virginia because of the winter storm, one school stayed open to offer all district students and parents a free or reduced price meal, a take-home food pack and free transportation. Opioid makers are going to need their trucking fleet to haul the documents from all the lawsuits against them (193 and counting). This week we have two counties in Maryland, one in Indiana, one in Texas, and three Native American tribes in SD.
❤️STOPPING HATE A U.S. District Judge ordered former Sheriff David Clarke to face trial in connection with a lawsuit filed for his Facebook posts threatening a resident he encountered on a plane. A Catholic school teacher/coach was fired after school officials discovered he attended the Charlottesville white supremacist rally. The U.S. Ambassador to Panama resigned as a result of 45’s most recent derogatory comment. Felony charges were dropped against eight protesters who were charged with tearing down a Confederate monument in North Carolina.
🌐NOT GIVING UP ON NET NEUTRALITY So far 30 co-sponsors signed on to a bill to reverse the repeal of net neutrality, enough to bring it to a vote on the Senate floor forcing lawmakers to take a public stance during an election year to support or oppose a very popular legislation. The Internet Association, a trade group representing giants like Google and Facebook, announced it is suing the FCC over the repeal of net neutrality.#SaveNetNeutrality
🤦FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT Stephen Bannon OUT as chairman of Breitbart News and RBG STAYING ON at Supreme court announcing she hired her law clerks through 2020. Dutch reporters kicked the new U.S. ambassador’s you know what and forced him to admit that not only did he lie about Muslims in their country, but that he also lied when he denied he said what he said about Muslims. In ironies of ironies, Kobach is prosecuting a Kansas republican for voter fraud for voting in both Kansas and Colorado local and state elections in 2016, with the voter saying he thought he had the right to since he pays taxes in both places and thought voter fraud was “low-life traveling around the city to vote multiple times.”
🏆THE GOLDEN GLOBES The Golden Globes awarded the first best actor in a TV drama category to an African-American, the first best actor in a TV comedy to an Asian-American, and the first African-American woman the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Unless you were hiding under a rock you probably know that Oprah killed it with her speech and that the night was used as a platform for many to speak out against inequality and harassment and many honorees invited activists as their +1.
⛼ANOTHER REPUBLICAN BITES THE DUST Rep’s. Issa and Royce (R-CA) announced they will not run for re-election – 31 House Rep. not running for re-election so far.
💰MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND Jeffrey Bezos announced he donated $33 million to TheDream, a scholarship program for young immigrant “dreamers”. Mark Wahlberg donated the $1.5 million he earned for “All The Money in the World” reshoots to the #TimesUp legal fund. Tom Steyer announced he will spend 30 million on helping dems flip the house.
🕬CREATIVE ACTIVISM A Texas artist plastered a picture of the orange ones face on the entire side of a dumpster near a city center. Activists projected the message “F— Trump” on the front of the Atlanta stadium during the college football game attended by 45 and “ShitHole” President” on San Francisco Federal Building. Democrats in Wake County (NC) announced they have at least one candidate running in every one of Wake County’s House and Senate districts. Here are are just a couple of examples of the great way we have come together to show support for people from countries insulted by the “orange genius” in bookstores and newspapers.