From Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s stunning strength coming forward and testifying in front of Congress, to Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, publicly airing their painful emotions about their sexual assault in front of a camera to Senator Flake in an elevator, I was moved by the bravery I saw to stand up against sexual predators and stand up for victims. People from all over the country, and in many different ways stood up not just for Dr. Ford, but for all victims of sexual assault by showing up and protesting in D.C., at Congress, by filing the halls and offices of politicians with sit-ins, with a national walk-out moment, getting arrested trying to have their voices heard, by flooding congressional phone lines (how many time were you like me and got the “all circuits are busy” message from congressional switchboard?), writing letters and postcards, and in other ways imaginable. This is a big fight with serious consequences, but it is not the only thing that activists, ordinary people, and organizations fought for or accomplished this week. We have a lot of good to inspire you and lift your spirits after another very difficult week. After your done reading and being inspired, here are just three groups who are working hard to bring a democratic wave in the November elections and how you can join them and help.
- Indivisible is training and coordinating phone-banking in five states. Check out the schedule and information.
- Live in a Blue State, Sister District has teams in 17 states working to flip neighboring state house with postcards, canvassing, fundraising, and phone-banking, and
- Flippable has GOTV calls to recently registered voters, text-banking, and other activities to flip congressional seats blue.
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS Arizona notified Southwest Key it intends to revoke the licenses of its Arizona shelters holding migrant children, after it failed to prove it is complying with required background checks. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit by the ACLU seeking the right to counsel for children in immigration removal proceedings. U.S. immigration authorities temporarily halted for at the deportation of Francis Anwana, a deaf and disabled Detroit immigrant people have been rallying around.
⚖️ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE Starts with WAGES The 40,000 workers at LaGuardia, Kennedy, and Newark airports in NY and NJ were awarded wage increases that put them on a part to earning at least $19 an hour within the next five years by a unanimous vote by the commissioners of the agency that runs the airports. A federal court ruled that employers in Nevada and Arizona must pay their workers for time spent going through security screenings at the end of their shifts. UNIONS A federal judge temporarily blocked a new North Carolina law that severely limited union activity by migrant farm workers. Striking Chicago hotel workers settled with another of the hotels, leaving nine remaining. WORKER’S RIGHTS Uber agreed to pay $148 million and take steps to tighten data security, after they failed for a year to notify drivers that hackers had stolen their personal information after being sued by states. Destination Hotels and Resorts, were sued by the EEOC for discrimination against employees for barring them from speaking Spanish on their properties. A new California law attempts makes big retailers, who pay the freight bill, liable for labor violations by the cargo carriers. The Governor of Maryland expanded state employees paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. HEALTH CARE People who buy Affordable Care Act policies on Maryland’s health insurance exchange will see lower premiums next year after the state created a reinsurance fund to offset the risk to insurers in the individual market. An executive at Memorial Sloan Kettering who received a stake of nearly $1.4 million in a biotech company for representing the hospital on its board has to give it back under questions about conflicts of interest. California governor signed bills that prohibited “short-term” “junk” insurance and other plans that exclude pre-existing conditions and don’t have consumer protections and prohibits work requirements for Medicaid. Congress passed a bill prohibiting “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers they can save money in some cases by paying cash for their prescriptions, instead of paying the insurance co-pay. RESPECT FOR CULTURE Alaska’s Gov. signed an order saying that the government must support the “revitalization” of native languages and calls for indigenous place names to be shown on public signs and directs the state’s Dept. of Ed. to work to promote indigenous languages in public schools and universities.
👨🏿⚖️SEEKING REAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND REFORM Springfield (MA) agreed to pay $885,000 to settle federal civil rights lawsuits brought by four black men who alleged they were beaten by off-duty police officers and never received justice because of a police cover-up. A federal judge ruled that withholding or delaying hepatitis C treatment from inmates was unconstitutional. The Dallas Police Officer who fatally shot a black man in his apartment when mistaking it for hers was fired. The convictions of another 18 men were dismissed because the charges were linked to a corrupt former Chicago police Sgt. A federal judge ruled that homeless groups may pursue a class action lawsuit against Berkeley, California. MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION Lancaster (PA) has decriminalize marijuana, changing the charge to citation with a small fine or community service. The Brooklyn District Attorney (NY) agreed to vacate 56 marijuana convictions and expunge over 3,000 arrest warrants on minor marijuana charges. Seattle Municipal Court judges agreed to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession prosecuted before pot was legalized in Washington state.
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT A federal judge returned Yellowstone-area grizzly bears to Endangered Species Act protection effectively blocking grizzly hunting seasons in Wyoming and Idaho. Federal judges ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must reconsider the denial of Endangered Species Act protection for Pacific fishers and that the Gunnison sage grouse will stay on the endangered species. The judge upheld a 2014 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the. A federal appeals court ordered the EPA to start enforcing a chemical plant safety rule that the administration tried to delay. McDonald’s is ditching artificial ingredients in six of its most popular burgers. A British bus company are putting specially designed air filters on the roofs of their buses, to clean the air as it travels. A company in Germany unveiled a gigantic 10 MW wind turbine model with blades the length of nine double decker buses that could power as many as 5,977 average homes.
👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS Pope Francis defrocked a priest Fernando Karadima, who has been the face of the church’s sexual abuse scandal in Chile. Bill Cosby sentenced to 3-10 years. The Connecticut legislature implemented new policies to enhance protections from sexual misconduct at the legislature, including creating a complaint process, investigation requirements, and new training and other steps. Walmart was charged with discriminating against pregnant workers by the U.S. EEOC. Virginia is suspending a newly introduced policy that would have barred women who visit inmates at state prisons from wearing tampons or menstrual cups. California Governor signed into law a comprehensive maternal mental health bill package. India’s Supreme Court overturned a Hindu temple ban on the admission of menstruating women and adultery laws that were discriminatory to women. A Minnesota state representative ended his campaign after his daughter alleged he had molested her for more than 10 years.
🕬 GUN CONTROL EFFORTS A group of nuns convinced shareholders of Smith & Wesson to pass a resolution calling for the gun manufacturer to report to the shareholders on what progress it has made toward making safer weapons. A Virginia state agency rejected a local school district’s effort to arm teachers and other school employees.
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS Colorado became the first state to issue a birth certificate that is not assigned “male” or “female” when they issued Anunnaki Ray Marquez, who is intersex, an amended birth certificate that declares him “intersex” rather than “male” or “female.”
🤰🏽WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE A federal judge struck down a Kentucky law that required abortion clinics to have written agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service in case of medical emergencies and put the state’s last abortion clinic at risk of closing because they were unable to obtain the state’s required signatures on contracts.
🕫🗳️VOTER MOBILIZATION Cook County (IL) has had a surge in voter registration and has now set a record for registered voters, with 1.5 million signed up to vote this year. The Texas voter rolls have grown to 15.6 million people, a new record, and a nearly 400,000 person increase since March. Chicago Votes Action Fund registered to vote 73% of the women in the Cook County Jail. California passed a law giving voters with questionable signatures on ballots 8 days to correct any problems.
🏢 OPEN AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT An Indiana judge ordered the governor’s office has to turn over emails between then-Gov. Mike Pence and “he I cannot bear to name this week”, about jobs at Carrier Corp as part of an access to records lawsuit by the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana. A federal judge ruled democratic lawmakers have standing to sue a president for accepting payments and other benefits from foreign governments without obtaining permission from Congress in violation of the emoluments clause. A federal court ruled that Justice Department official John Gore must sit for questioning by attorneys over lawsuits stemming from the introduction of a citizenship question his department requested for the 2020 census.
👩🎓BREAKING BARRIERS Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer are the first female broadcasting team set to provide commentary during an NFL game. Journalist Weam Al Dakheel become the first woman to deliver an evening newscast on state-owned television. Ruth Watkins was inaugurated as the first female president of the University of Utah.
🧗♀️ 🤸♂️SAMPLING OF ACTIONS FROM ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY Nearly 500 teachers, students, parents and allies rallied in Chicago to call for equal pay for equal work for charter school educators. People from planned parenthood stood up for Black Women. The Poor People’s Campaign held a large rally in Virginia. Moms Demand Action met in Omaha. An estimated 15,000 and 20,000 came out for a concert and rally headlined by Willie Nelson for Beto O’Rourke in Austin (TX). Check out some canvassers, postcard writers, and phone bankers that were out in droves for democratic candidates in New York, California, Illinois, Wyoming, Texas, Alabama The MiniVan app that Democratic volunteers can use when canvassing to record interactions has broken their record for most used in a day and has already topped their previous high for a year. The ACLU of Nebraska is offering a way to help GOTV. Immigrant activists brought an 800-pound cage to Salesforce’s Dreamforce convention in San Francisco.