Since I spent a lot of this week phone-banking, texting, a writing postcards this good news list is brief, but not without plenty of good things. Everywhere I turn on facebook and twitter I see pictures of people canvassing, working to get out the vote, and raise the enthusiasm for democratic candidates. I run into random people on the street registering voters and large numbers of energized people showing up when I go to phone-bank. I even brought postcards to work with me and found new willing colleagues, who were not normally political, to help write them on their lunch hour. Who new all I had to do was ask? I may have even convinced a friend over lunch to not vote for her favorite republican. I have to remain hopeful that if we all pitch in as much as we can we can help democrats win up and down the ballot.
🚶🚶🏿🚶🏼ELECTION PARTICIPATION After Taylor Swift’s Instagram post coming out in support of two Tennessee democrats and encouraging people to register to vote, Vote.org has seen a surge in voter registration with more than 65,000 people registered to vote in the 24-hour period following Swift’s post and a large increase in her home state of Tennessee as well. At least 77,000 displaced Puerto Ricans in have registered to vote in the Florida.
💵 ELECTION FUNDRAISING Democratic candidate for Governor in Florida, Andrew Gillum, raised more than $3.3 million through his political committee last week.
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS Minneapolis police cars will start carrying “Know-Your-ICE-Rights” placards detailing immigrants’ rights in both English and Spanish. Baltimore police agreed to recognize identification cards issued by the city’s Catholic churches issue to undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable residents. Southwest Key’s Hacienda del Sol shelter was shut down after an investigation determined that staff physically abused three children. HELPING ONE PERSON AT A TIME Pablo Villavicencio, the immigrant detained while delivering pizza in Brooklyn had his deportation case against him has been dropped.
⚖️ECONOMIC JUSTICE Starting with WAGES AND BENEFITS Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed the Earned Sick Leave Bill that passed the Legislature last week which requires any company with five or more employees to provide one-hour paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. FOOD SECURITY The Shawnee Mission School District in Missouri will no longer serve students who owe lunch money an alternate meal,ending the practice of “lunch shaming.”
☮️ SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CIVIL RIGHTS A Pittsburgh-area school accused of creating a culture of verbal abuse and excessive force against black student has agreed to pay a $500,000 settlement to five students, and accused administrators have been replaced. An Alaska Superior Court judge ruled unconstitutional the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly invocation policy that required that invocations at its meetings be delivered by individuals and religious organizations on a pre-approved list. The EEOC sued JBS Carriers, alleging it violated federal law by using pre-employment screening to reject job applicants on the basis of disability. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling that allowed Missouri to required African-style hair-braiders to obtain a cosmetology license, which takes 1,500 hours and can cost thousands of dollars but doesn’t include any hair-braiding training.
👨🏿⚖️SEEKING RACIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE The Washington state Supreme Court ruled the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional. The former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice backed out of taking a part-time job with the Bellaire police department that recently agreed to hire him after public outrage and pressure. Los Angeles County supervisors voted to stop collecting fees once charged to parents and guardians of juvenile delinquents for their incarceration, erasing nearly $90 million of families’ debt. New York City completed moving of 16- and 17-year-olds out of the adult Rikers Island jail to juvenile facilities. CREATIVE SELF-HELP A newly created a shortcut uses Siri to record encounters with police similar to one developed for android by the ACLU.
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the creation of an underwater monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The Army Corps of Engineers suspended a permit that the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline must have in order to build through waterways in Virginia. The Food and Drug Administration announced that 8 synthetic food additives will no longer be allowed to be used in food. California Governor signed a law restricting the sale of flame retardant-containing children products and furniture. Small Greek island is on its way to be being powered by only renewable energy.
👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS The GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the security and protection costs faced by Dr. Blasey Ford has reached over $600,000. https://www.brettkavanaugh.com/ has been turned into a page with resources for sexual assault survivors.
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER The Staunton School Board (VA) voted to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School
🕬 GUN REFORM PA Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill which limits the ability of abusers to possess firearms.
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS A Wisconsin jury awarded two state employees $780,000 in damages after they were denied health care coverage under the state health insurance plan because they are transgender. Romania voids gay marriage ban referendum because not enough citizens came out to vote on it. A lesbian couple won the right to register the birth of their child in Poland, in a first the country.
🕫🗳️FAIR AND ETHICAL VOTING Port Chester (NY) voted to continue cumulative voting for county trustees, which the courts found is less discriminatory to latinx and black voters. A federal judge sentenced a man to six months in prison and six months of home confinement after he pled guilty to felony identity fraud charge tied to Russian troll activity that in the presidential campaign. Montgomery County (MD) Executive, Independent candidate, Nancy Floreen, returned $18,000 in campaign contributions after a county resident filed a complaint alleging that the donations were improper because they were made by five entities owned by one person. VOTER REGISTRATION AND ACCESS TO THE BALLOT BOX Civil rights groups sued Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for governor alleging the method his office uses to verify new voter registrations is discriminatory. A Missouri judge ruled that state election officials can no longer tell voters they must show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot, blocking part of Missouri’s voter identification law. Uber and Lyft are offering free rides to the polls on election day. This one young man stopped what he was doing to help get out the vote.
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE A local Kansas GOP official resigned after making disparaging remarks about a gay Native American congressional candidate. A Republican candidate for Connecticut’s General Assembly withdrew from the race after criticism over offensive comments he made online about victims of the school shooting in Parkland. Charges were dropped against protesters who were alleged to have splashed ketchup and colored powder on Confederate statues at the Alabama Capitol. Over 200,000 people marched through Berlin to protest racism after a recent demonstration by the far right in Germany led to violence. At least a dozen US cities, including San Francisco and Cincinnati, celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day instead of observing Columbus Day. Members of the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church met waves of opposition as they made their way through Spokane (WA).
👩🎓BREAKING BARRIERS IN TIME AND SPACE The first female to play the Doctor on Dr Who debuted to critical acclaim.
Now remember to share and like this page to help spread the inspiring news to keep the spirits up of all those working hard between now and November 6th!