Quite a few decisions on sanctuary cities, DACA, dark money in politics, and other things were issued by the courts that should bring you a waive of hope for the future. Anti-gerrymandering is making progress and so many groups are out there hitting the campaign trail for democrats and progressive candidates. The Manafort trial is on day four and we are learning a lot about rattlesnake coats, mortgage and tax documents, and M shaped flower landscaping. However, I will leave you to the NY Times, Washington Post, and other real news sources to read about the trial updates as there was so much other great things that happened. Now onto all the good to inspire you to keep going to the November elections and beyond.
☑️ELECTION RESULTS Democrat Jackie Hill and progressive activist, Tami Sawyer won seats on the Blount County and the Shelby County Commissions (TN). Democrat Lee Harris was elected mayor of Shelby County mayor, Tennessee’s largest county succeeding the term limited Republican. Four women won primaries for U.S. House races in Tennessee. #BlueWave2018
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS federal courts ruled that;
- The executive order threatening to withhold funding from #SanctuaryCities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities is unconstitutional.
- His order that the #DACA program must be fully restored, including accepting new applications will stand.
- The administration is 100 percent responsible for finding the missing parents of the children still in the U.S. who were forcibly separated and have the sole burden and responsibility and obligation to make reunifications happen. #FamiliesBelongTogether
- The government must transfer migrant children out of the Shiloh Treatment Center, an immigration facility in Texas, unless a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist determines they pose a harm to themselves or other. The judge also ordered the government to seek consent before giving psychotropic drugs to any child unless there is an emergency or court order, and determined an independent monitor was needed. #ReleaseTheChildren
ACTIONS FOR IMMIGRANTS the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition offered programming on how to prepare for an emergency raid by ICE and Immigrant rights activists and members of the ACLU of Connecticut protested Danbury Mayor’S immigration policies at City Hall. The Waco Immigrants Alliance demanded the McLennan County Commissioners Court break its contract with the private company operating the Jack Harwell Detention Center. People stood on a corner in Utah to demand an end to family separation. A group of protesters dressed in red robes mimicking “The Handmaid’s Tale” greeted the Vice President and Homeland Security Secretary. Immigrant parents were driven cross-country by carpool moms and dads to reunite them with their children. Movimiento Cosecha organized many hundreds in protests against businesses doing working with ICE. The Grannies Respond caravan, a group traveling from New York to Texas to protest current immigration policies, stopped in New Orleans for a rally. #StandWithImmigrants
⚖️ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE SLS South Beach hotel agreed to pay $2.5 million to 17 Haitian dishwashers who were subjected to racial discrimination and then fired for reporting the abuse. A federal court ruled that Albuquerque’s civil forfeiture program violates procedural due process because it forces property owners to prove their innocence to reclaim property when not convicted of any crime.
ACTIVISM Ballot initiatives to increase the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, and end gerrymandering are now certified for the November ballot in Missouri. More signatures were submitted to the Arkansas secretary of state to get a proposal for a raise to the state’s minimum wage to $11 on the ballot. Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus and Cincinnati sued the administration accusing it of sabotage in an attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. #Fightfor15
👨🏿⚖️SEEKING RACIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESULTS The Manhattan District Attorney stated that he will follow through on his March announcement and as of this week his office will stop prosecuting most cases for smoking and possessing marijuana. The Glastonbury Town Council declined to create an ordinance to deter panhandling, which amounts to the criminalization of poverty. Monmouth County (NJ) started a new program called Next Step, to provide drug counseling and programs for prisoners about to be released. The Pope declares the death penalty unacceptable in all cases. Anyone who owes fines and fees from criminal convictions in Orleans Parish (LA) must have the chance to plead poverty in a “neutral forum” before landing in jail for failing to pay in a ruling by a federal judge.
ACTIVISM ACLU of South Dakota launched a “People not Prison” advertising campaign. BLM Nashville collected 8,000 signatures to bring police oversight board initiative to voters. Reports indicate individual investors are pulling their money out of funds with private prison stock. #PeopleNotPrisons
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT A grand jury indicted a chemical manufacturing company, its chief executive, and the manager of a plant in Crosby (TX) saying they were responsible for a plant “recklessly” releasing a toxic cloud during Hurricane Harvey. The operator of 30 theme parks around the U.K. has partnered with Coca-Cola to reward visitors with large park discounts for bringing empty plastic bottles for recycling. The UK also reported that solar energy production was up and coal and gas, along with carbon emissions, and the use of plastic bags were down. India now has the world’s first solar powered airport and Germany increased solar power production. Activists continue to put their lives on the line to stop new pipelines in Appalachia.
🌳LAWSUITS TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT Clean Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit against the EPA over new smog regulations that narrowed a list of areas that weren’t meeting tougher standards for ground-level ozone pollution. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit brought by a group of children demanding that the federal government take stronger action against the climate crisis can proceed and that the government must comply with discovery request. #ThereIsNoPlanB
👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS Alorica Inc. agreed to pay $3.5 million to compensate employees whose claims of sexual harassment are approved by the U.S. EEOC. France passed a new law penalizing sexual harassment in public areas by imposing on-the-spot fines for cat-callers. Illinois legislator resigns after ex-girlfriend alleges he used her naked photos to ‘catfish’ men on Instagram
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER One man working to save a historic African American cemetery in Florida got some well earned recognition and the NY Times continues to post obituaries for those who were overlooked.
🕬 GUN REFORM A federal judge granted a temporary nationwide injunction blocking the plans for 3D guns from being posted online. Hundreds of people showed up for the Road To Change town hall in Georgia. Protesters temporarily shut down Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive to express outrage over Chicago’s endemic gun violence. #MarchForOurLives
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS A teen forced to leave his home after his parents found out he was gay was offered a full scholarship by Georgetown University after his teacher started a GoFundMe page to help him pay $20,000 in tuition his parents wouldn’t assist with, and the GoFundMe campaign has now raised more than $100,000 for him. United Methodist megachurch pastor Adam Hamilton stated Christians can support gay marriage without rejecting historic essentials of Christianity. A federal judge ruled that a St. Johns County transgender high school student can use the boys’ bathroom. A transgender high school student is suing the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. for refusing to allow him to use the boys’ restroom.
🤰🏽WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE The Department of Health and Human Services announced that 13 Planned Parenthood affiliates, along with 83 other organizations will get funding under the national family planning program this year.
🕫🗳️OPEN AND FAIR ELECTIONS A U.S. District Court judge invalidated a Federal Election Commission regulation that allowed donors to dark-money groups to remain anonymous, ruling that groups that spend at least $250 in independent expenditures must report every contributor who gave at least $200 as well as those who give to finance independent expenditures generally. Michigan Supreme Court ruled that a proposal to create a bipartisan commission to draw Michigan’s political lines will appear on the November ballot, thanks to the hard work by Voters Not Politicians, Promote the Vote, ACLU of Michigan, Count MI Vote and others, who helped gather the more than 400,000 signatures needed. The Massachusetts Legislature passed an automatic voter registration bill and now it awaits the Gov. to decide if he will sign it. A federal judge struck down as intentionally discriminatory against African Americans a Michigan law banning straight-ticket voting in a case brought by Common Cause, A. Philip Randolph Institute and others. #NoGerrymandering
Judge orders $26,000 in attorneys fees to the ACLU for costs associated with seeking contempt in the case against Kris Kobach and his voter suppression activities. Chicago Votes is organizing to register inmates to vote at Chicago jails who have not been convicted of a crime. Newly released documents from the disbanded Voter Fraud (Suppression) Commission uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud.
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE Cecily Wright, the GOP chairwoman of Spokane County, resigned after outrage at her inviting a white supremacist to speak at the meeting. Boone County Indivisible put up an anti-racism billboard. People of all faiths show up to support Indiana synagogue after it was vandalized with nazi symbols. A Marine who was a member of a violent neo-Nazi organization, was booted from the Marine Corps for his participation in the hate group and attack on a transgender person. #OccupyLafayettePark is still going strong. Smith College suspended an employee who called police on a black student for being present in a common room because she looked out of place.
CORPORATE ANTI-HATE RESPONSIBILITY Stitcher has pulled all episodes of hate speech spewing Alex Jones and his InfoWars podcast from its service and YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify have temporarily suspended him or deleted some of his media. Amazon announced that it would not let third-party retailers sell products that feature Nazi and white nationalist symbolism on its platform. Yelp added a tool for businesses to confirm they have pledged to be ‘Open to All’ and will not discriminate against minority groups or others, as part of a national campaign. Sleeping Giants confirmed that a total of 3,971 have blocked their ads from appearing on Breitbart. #NoHateInMyState
☎️HITTING THE STREETS, PHONES, POSTCARDS AND MORE Indivisible Manteca had over 100 volunteers for door-knocking and Indivisible Evanston had almost 100 people at their recent meeting. Lots of protesters showed up in Wilkes Barre to protest the liar-in-chief arrival there. Women’s March CT and Indivisible Philadelphia have lots of events going on. 74 people were arrested at the Hart Senate building demonstrating against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court organized by the Center for Popular Democracy. Over 200 people showed up to hear Stacey Abrams town hall. Almost 100 union volunteers canvassed to stop the IDC (dems who caucus with the republicans) candidates. Thanks to Beyonce a black photographer shot the cover photo for Vogue for the first time. A Haddam county official kneeled during the pledge of allegiance at a local meeting. CREW filed a Hatch Act complaints against 10 administration officials.
FYI – In an interesting political twist two women turned on the groper-in-chief, Melania stood up for Lebron James when her husband bullied him on twitter and Ivanka (guessing because she is thinking of running for office) also came out against her father’s family separation policy.