I am amazed by the tenacious energy that hundreds of thousands of Americans have to come out week after week over the past year and a half to stand up to the ever increasing amount of injustices being done. This week citizens from every corner of the country came out for vigils to stand up for democracy after the Putin and the Traitor-in-Chief met in Helsinki, so soon after the massive protests against family separations. Even some republicans are beginning to stand up and say no, no to a racist federal appeals judge and no to allowing the administration to make any officials available for interrogation by Putin’s government. More and more groups are organizing to do the door-knocking, phone-banking, fundraising, voter registration, and postcard writing it takes to get progressive, honest, and qualified candidates elected. Here is this week’s roundup of inspiring actions and accomplishments to keep you going as we get another week closer to the November elections.
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS #SanctuaryStates Attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington brought a multi-state lawsuit against the Dept. of Justice to block the federal government’s immigration-related conditions on a federal law enforcement grants. San Francisco began registering non-citizens, including undocumented immigrants, to vote in the city school board election pursuant to a 2016 ballot measure opening school elections to non-citizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19. #FamilesBelongTogether A federal judge temporarily halted deportations of recently reunited families after the ACLU filed for the injunction arguing that it was necessary to allow time to ensure no family is being improperly deported.
A few of this week’s many #WeAreAllImmigrants actions: Michigan United and the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights delivered more than 400 postcards protesting deportations to an I.C.E. field office. Mashable created a list of immigrants, activists, and organization you can follow on immigration issues. A local 10 Below Ice Cream offered up free ice cream for an immigrant rights fundraiser. Direct Impact Coalition brought needed supplies to Central America. Ordinary citizen posted bond for an immigrant mother. Florida activist groups held a march and blocked traffic near the I.C.E field office in Miramar. A Catholic parish in Lansing designate itself as a “sanctuary church” for immigrants facing deportation.
⚖️ECONOMIC EQUALITY #HealthCareForAll Dental and vision care benefits will be restored for hundreds of thousands of Medicaid recipients Kentucky in a sudden reversal by the governor after outcry over the recent cuts. The Idaho Secretary of State certified the Idaho Medicaid Expansion Initiative to be on the ballot in November. #ConsumerRights TCF National Bank has agreed to pay $30 million to resolve allegations that it misled consumers about overdraft services in a case brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2016 under Obama’s appointee. #UnionStrong After the Janus decision democratic states are taking action to protect unions. #HomelessRights The ACLU and Southern Legal Counsel obtained justice for homeless individuals whose belongings were seized and destroyed during a raid by city workers on a homeless encampment in Florida. #EducationNotDeportation a New Mexico state court ruled the state is not providing all public school students with a sufficient education and is violating the state Constitution.
👨🏿⚖️CRIMINAL JUSTICE #HousingNotJail More than 120 groups, referred to as the People’s Moratorium, including Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Columbia Legal Services and King County’s Department of Public Defense, No New Youth Jail Coalition, have joined together to try to stop construction on a prison for youth being built in Seattle. #SeekingJustice Prosecutors in Chicago have dropped dozens of criminal cases investigated by two police officers charged with lying to judges to obtain search warrants. The New York City Police Department has finally filed departmental charges against the police officers involved in the choke hold death of Eric Garner four years ago. A 100-member all-female task force of experts, prison officials and formerly incarcerated women announced a seven-year effort to bring down by 50 percent the number of incarcerated women in Illinois. The NYC Council passed legislation prohibiting charging prisoners as the city’s largest jail from being charged for domestic calls, and requiring they get free phone calls; Hoping the mayor signs it.
🍀#LegalizeMarijuana The Jersey City, New Jersey prosecutor and the Mayor announced the city is decriminalizing marijuana, allowing possession of small amounts and discreet use in the home. A jury in Laurens County Georgia ruled not guilty by jury nullification a local man who admitted in court that he possessed and used marijuana to treat PTSD.
#BLM CVS fired two employees after a black woman posted a video that showed a white male employee calling the police after she tried to use a coupon. Home Depot has reversed its decision to fire an employee for his response in defending himself against a verbal tirade from a racist customer and have offered him his job back. The NFL has put on hold all rules regarding anthem protests while they work to resolve the grievance filed by the players.
🌎#ThereIsNoPlanetB Rhode Island’s Gov. signed the “tackling plastics” executive order to establish a task force to recommend the best ways to avoid unnecessary use of disposables, prevent waste and increase recycling. The Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the EPA over its delay of enforcement of a regulation to limit the number of trucks sold with older engines that don’t meet newer pollution rules. The ‘Declaration for Ambition’ was signed by 23 nations, including Germany, Canada, the UK, and France, pledging to set more stringent goals and “lead from the front” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before 2020. Facebook announced they are working to construct solar projects to produce enough power to offset what they consumes at its data centers in Prineville, Oregon.
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER #TakeThemDown A Richmond Virginia commission says the city should remove Jefferson Davis monument as he wasn’t a Virginian and his monument glorifies the Southern revolt and they suggest the city should erect signage that make clear the history of other confederate statues. A Baton Rouge defendant is requesting his case be moved to another jurisdiction because the presence of a confederate monument outside the courthouse would prevent him from getting a fair trial. Virginia’s Louisa County Board of Zoning rules again that a giant Confederate flag visible from an interstate highway must come down.
🕬 GUN CONTROL #NeverAgain The Illinois governor signed laws authorizing judges to take guns from people suffering mental health problems and to extend the waiting period for delivery of newly purchased guns. The Seattle Mayor signed new legislation requiring safe storage of firearms and increased civil penalties and legal responsibility for failure to report guns that are lost or stolen.
Activists #MomsDemandAction wrapped up a very successful state legislature session campaign. EveryTown for Gun Safety has published every NRA ranking of political candidates going back to 2009 since the NRA took it down. Tulsa activists held a gun sense forum.
🏳️🌈#LoveIsLove The Episcopal Church’s U.S. dioceses compromised on a way to expand gay marriage rights into all dioceses, even those where local bishops objects. #TransRights Puerto Rico now allows transgender residents to update the gender markers on their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity following a ruling from a lawsuit against the island’s government. A Federal Appeals Court denied the administration’s request to lift a lower court’s decision to block the military transgender ban from taking effect. CVS apologies to a transgender person denied her prescription by one of their pharmacists.
🕫🗳️#RightToVote The Virginia Attorney General announced the state will not challenge a federal ruling that 11 House of Delegates districts were created to discriminate against African American voters, and argued that federal courts should disregard an appeal filed by Republican leaders. #StopElectionHacking California governor signed a new law that requires journalists, researchers and political campaigns that receive voter data to tell California officials if it may have been stolen,
📰#RealNewsMatters The FCC appears to have reversed course and is seeking to put the brakes on the Sinclair Broadcasting’s bid to create a conservative television giant through acquiring the Tribune Media by referring the merger for an administrative hearing. A community in Vermont rallied around their only remaining local paper after a fire gutted their office.
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE Anti-Trump Republicans are running an amazing anti-dictator ad on fox news. The White House withdrew the nomination of Ryan Bounds, as a result of his many racist public writings, to serve on the 9th Circuit appeals court when enough republicans were unwilling to vote for him. The hate group Oath Keepers cancelled a rally outside Rep. Maxine Waters office when counter protesters showed up even though Waters told them not to.
#Love: SURJ Charlottesville is working hard to stop hate. Women’s March CT is hosting great informational events. Great sign welcoming all (sort off) at Scotland Airport. @NAACPLouisa will host its first annual African American heritage festival.
🇷🇺 MUELLER AND TRUMP FAMILY LAWSUIT ROUNDUP Twenty current and former residents of a building owned by the Kushner Cos. allege in a $10 million lawsuit that they used relentless, noisy construction that exposed them to cancer-causing dust as part of a campaign to get rent-stabilized tenants out. NYS has opened an investigation into whether the liar-in-chief and his charitable foundation violated state tax laws by transferring assets or making misrepresentations about tax liability. The Justice Department charged Mariia Butina, a Russian national, with conspiring against the US as a foreign agent and has ordered her held without bail.
A TINY SAMPLING OF YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS WORKING HARD FOR OUR DEMOCRACY. PROOF THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
🌊 #BlueWave2018 Knocking on doors in Tennessee summer heat. Superheroes out registering ComicCon attendees to vote. Indivisible St.Louis wrote massive pile of postcards to voters. Michigan Indivisible MI14 is offering rides to polls and home delivered/picked up ballots. Indivisible Berkeley is working to flip Arizona blue. True Blue New York reported on illegal campaign fund use by fake democrats in NYS. Indivisible Evanston has put together a very full calendar of activities. Ponte Verde United for Progress delivered 81 vote by mail requests.
🏤 #StandUpForDemocracy #OccupyLafayetteSquare is still going strong. In Attleboro MA four citizens stood on a corner to stand up for democracy. ConfrontCoruption candlelight vigil in Times Square drew hundred. There were over 110 vigils against the Putin summit as far as Midcoast ME. Marion County Indivisible is holding rallies outside Manchin’s office. There was a Youth Climate March in New York City.