This week brought us some exciting developments originating from the Russia probe and talk of a lot more to come, proving that stepping up and demanding justice is working. If your like me you did your happy dance at the Two for Tuesday, but settled right back in to working tp elect progressive leaders in the primaries and the November elections at city, state, and federal level. We may have lost the Queen of Soul this week but her music and memory continue to inspire us in our struggle now and will for generations to come. So believe it or not other good things happened while you were busy soaking up the Manafort/Cohen good news.
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS Los Angeles is suing the administration for the second time to try and stop the federal government from imposing immigration enforcement conditions on $1 million in annual funding for anti-gang programs. The ACLU continues to work for the reunification of the remaining families through the federal courts.
⚖️ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL A Michigan District Judge ruled that the State director of the Health and Human Services Department can be tried for involuntary manslaughter, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty for the deaths of two people from Legionnaires Disease. ON EDUCATION A Circuit Court Judge in Florida struck amendment from the ballot for being misleading that would have allowed for the expansion of charter schools. ON HEALTH CARE Illinois passed legislation that strengthens insurance coverage for mental health conditions and addiction treatment. Maine’s highest court rules that the Gov. must move forward with Medicaid expansion and denied his request to delay implementation. Maryland was granted a federal waiver regarding their Affordable Health Care implementation that they expect will result in lower premiums with the same coverage. Nebraska officials certified a ballot measure to allow voters to decide whether to expand Medicaid. A federal judge in Frankfort dismissed the Kentucky Gov’s. lawsuit against 16 Medicaid recipients in an effort to defend his new Medicaid work requirement, because the state is already a party to another case in D.C. on the same matter. FOR WORKERS federal judge struck down executive orders aimed at weakening federal workers rights by restricting the amount of on-duty time union officials can spend representing their members in grievances, limited the issues that could be bargained over, and rolled back the rights of workers to appeal disciplinary action against them for poor performance.
👨🏿⚖️SEEKING RACIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE A federal judge ordered experts to re-examine a privately run Mississippi prison after a trial where inmates claimed unconstitutionally harsh conditions. A planned 19 day nationwide prison strike continues and solidarity rallies have occurred across the U.S. in an attempt to bring reform to the criminal justice system.
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT Maryland environmental regulators have proposed regulations requiring a Baltimore trash incinerator cut its emissions of a pollutant by about one-fifth. Ocean City to break ground on a solar farm that will generate enough power to run the town’s convention center and municipal buildings. The Gov. of New Jersey stopped the annual bear hunt on all state land for this year. New York Gov. signed legislation prohibiting individuals from smoking in facilities that provide child care. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will protect 11,640 acres of critical habitat for three Hawaiian plants on the island of Hawaii. The Interior Department is no longer going to try to sell off 1,600 acres of federal land from the reduced boundaries of Utah’s Grand Staircase Escalante off the table.
👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS California’s legislature passed two bills that would ban ban secret settlements that require victims to stay quiet about crimes as well as mandatory arbitration clauses and nondisclosure agreements in employment contracts, hoping the governor signs them. CNN suspended Paris Dennard pending an examination of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Hooters is closing restaurants due to reduced interest.
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER Atlanta unveiled new street signs that will rename a street in honor of Rep John Lewis (D-Ga.). Activists toppled “Silent Sam,” a towering Confederate monument, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Confederate statue in Richmond (VA) was defaced with what appeared to be red paint.
🕬 GUN REFORM EFFORTS CONTINUE Massachusetts high school students undertook a three day, 50-mile march from Worcester City Hall to the Smith and Wesson headquarters in Springfield. New Jersey’s attorney general ordered state and local police forces to share information on buyers and sellers of guns used in crimes.
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS A Missouri school district has installed multi-user gender-neutral restrooms at two new elementary schools and in some existing locations. The Clark County School District (NV) approved an explicitly inclusive policy to protect transgender and gender diverse students. A federal judge ordered the Florida Dept of Corrections to recognize a trans inmate in accordance with her gender identity.
🤰🏽WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE A federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling barring Alabama from prohibiting one of the most common forms of abortion after 15 weeks, the “dilation and evacuation” method. The UK will now allow women to take the second of two abortion pills at home, eliminating the current requirement that they take it at a hospital.
🕫🗳️VOTING AND ELECTION INTEGRITY A local elections board in rural Georgia voted down a plan to close seven of nine polling locations in a predominantly black county after widespread public criticism and fired the election management consultant who made the recommendations. Virginia Gov. called a special session for the Virginia General Assembly to redraw House of Delegates districts that a court said were gerrymandered. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and his wife were charged with misuse of election funds for personal expenses for vacations, clothing, private school tuition, and so much more. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by “Anglo-Republicans” that they were being discriminated against in the Dallas election districts. Mi Familia Vota celebrated registering 450,000 since their beginning. LYFT is offering half priced rides to the polls for election day. A coalition of groups including, the League of Women Voters of Arizona, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and Promise Arizona, sued Arizona Secretary of State for violating federal law for not automatically updating voters’ registration when they update their address with the state Transportation Department.
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE A White House speechwriter was fired after it was publically revealed that he had spoken on a conference panel with well-known white supremacists. A Bronx (NY) Supreme Court Judge denied Trump’s motion to dismiss allegations of assault and battery and destruction of property against him, the Trump Organization, and individual employees stemming from an incident during his candidacy where his security director, Keith Schiller and five others attacked a Mexican man protesting his racists comments about Mexicans. The last known Nazi camp guard living in the U.S. was deported. Two white-supremacist convicted of beating a black man in the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally were sentenced to 10 and 6 years.
🙂 RUSSIA/CAMPAIGN/RELATED/LAWSUIT ROUNDUP Just in case you have been living on a deserted island without even access to a carrier pigeon you should know that Michael Cohen pled guilty to a total of eight charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations. Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight of the 18 charges he was tried for. There are other news stories about immunity deals with AMI (Owner of National Inquirer and the CFO of the Trump Organization, but you can follow those all you want on the front pages of the newspapers. The Special Counsel’s office recommended a judge sentence George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to federal agents. A federal judge dismissed a defamation case against the former MI6 officer Christopher Steele by three Russian oligarchs for allegations he made in his dossier about the Trump campaign and its links with Moscow.
💁 INDIVIDUAL ACTS OF KINDNESS A police officer in Argentina was promoted after a photo of her breast-feeding a neglected baby while in uniform went viral. A donor is matching $100,000 in donations to help families affected by an I.C.E. raid in Nebraska. One happy voter baked cookies for Beto Orourke. Vic Mensa organized a shoe drive in response to police trying to entrap poor kids in Chicago into stealing shoes from an abandoned truck.
🤸🏿 ALL OVER THE COUNTRY GROUPS HARD AT WORK TRYING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY Poor People’s Campaign is organizing to knock on doors in 26 six states. Justice Alliance in Tucson is trying to stop local police cooperation with I.C.E. Indivisible San Diego rallied at arraignment for Congressman Hunter. An unknown person(s) changed a light-up road sign near New York City to read “F–k Trump.” Garland Dems had a candidate meet and greet. Occupy ICE LA held a rally to support prison strike. Open Progress signed up its 3,000 volunteer to talk to voters. Moms Demand Action were spreading the message of gun control at the Charlotte Pride Parade. Environmental activists were arrested standing up against big oil in California and Water Protectors are camping along a pipeline in Michigan in an effort to stop it. The Nuns on the bus go “No and No” all the way to Mar-A-Lago. Even the nabisco animal crackers have been freed from the cage on their packaging. A group of Wyoming women nature lovers entered a lottery to win the right to shoot bears, but intend to only shoot with a camera in a creative effort to save the bears.