CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS – A JUICY TASTE OF WHAT’S TO COME!
This week I took some time to travel to Washington D.C. to explore the National African American History Museum and it definitely lived up to the hype. I highly recommend a trip there if you ever have the chance. It is a monument to a thoughtful and thought provoking look on over 600 years of history. I did have to sacrifice time researching and writing this week’s summary so I ask my readers to add their pieces of good news for the week in the comments for actions or accomplishments that I may have missed. Now here is your short list of what went right this week;
- #StandWithImmigrants The democratic U.S. House is holding the administration accountable for how they treat people and the fake national emergency, one more democratic governor stops national guards at the border and New Hampshire dems stop bad legislation.
- #RedForEd Oregon gives big leg up for tenants rights, Kentucky teachers stand up for themselves again, and Fox takes a hit for their illegal ways.
- #CivilRights New York says no to racial hair discrimination and new Democratic Attorney General in Michigan shakes things up.
- #GreenNewDeal The Atlantic Coast pipeline still isn’t going anywhere, Lake Erie has new protections, the World Bank must protect the world not destroy it, U.S. Steel can’t keep polluting and Costa Rica doing its part to save the planet.
- #MeToo Men and women can now both be drafted, Wynn to pay steep fine for decades of sexual harassment, and one charter school learned the hard way that equal pay is the law of the land.
- #BlackLivesMatter San Francisco is taking back 9,300 wrongs on the war on drugs, Michigan jails are being forced to change their ADA violating ways, New Mexico bail reform stands firm, and those with dementia don’t get put to death.
- #NeverAgain Bump stock ban holds up under legal challenge and red flag laws expand to New York.
- #WeWillNotGoBack A Missouri transgender student will get his say in court, a 1971 gay marriage is recognized and Walmart is pissing off conservatives with their cute gay couple ad.
- #FairFight Texas stopped from their voter suppression registration purging and North Carolina takes legal action against ballot stealing.
- #NoH8 Politicians in Maryland and West Virginia continue to learn there are consequences for racist and anti-muslim speech.
- #OscarsNotSoWhite this year and Chicago will get its first female African-American Mayor in April . AND MORE SO READ ON
🧕 STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS
- A House committee voted to subpoena administration officials over family separations at the southern border.
- Wisconsin’s Governor pulled the state’s national guard troops pulled from border.
- The New Hampshire House voted down a Republican sponsored bill that would have banned cities and towns from adopting sanctuary city policies.
- House voted to block the fake national emergency declaration punting it over to the Senate that must now consider it.
- Oregon become the first state to impose mandatory rent control laws with legislation that limits rent increases and increases tenant protections.
- Kentucky teachers staged a sick-out protest against the state legislature considering changes to the teacher pension system.
- Fox was hit with a 179 million dollar judgement including punitive damages for lying for stealing by way of creative accounting from the actors and others on the show Bones.
👨🏿⚖️REFORMING OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
- San Francisco prosecutors announced they have identified and will move to expunge 9,300 marijuana-related convictions dating back decades as part of a sweeping effort to rethink “the war on drugs.”
- A federal judge found that the Michigan Department of Corrections violated the Americans with Disabilities Act with respect to deaf and hard of hearing prisoners for years and may place them under the watch of an independent monitor.
- A federal appeals courts upheld New Mexico’s bail reform legislation.
- The Supreme Court ruled that an inmate with dementia who as a result lacked a “rational understanding” of the reason they are to be put to death, could not be put to death for his crime.
- A non-profit immigrant organization is using donations raised to help reunite parents deported without their children by bringing them back to the border to reclaim their asylum request rights.
☮️ CIVIL RIGHTS
- New York City introduced new guidelines making discrimination in workplaces, schools or public spaces based on hair texture or style illegal and punishable by fines.
- The Detroit Free Press makes it clear why states matter by summing up how democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has dramatically changed the political trajectory of the office after 16 years of Republican control by withdrawing the state from 23 conservative cases ranging from abortion and gun rights cases to environmental issues and religious freedom battles and joining with 15 attorneys general to fight the declaration of a national emergency.
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT
- The Fourth Circuit Court declined this week to reconsider its December ruling that the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to authorize the Atlantic Coast Pipeline from crossing the Appalachian Trail.
- Toledo Ohio enacted the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, which guarantees “the right to a healthy environment” and will allow citizens to sue on behalf of the lake when it is being harmed.
- The US Supreme Court ruled that World Bank group organisation, like International Finance Corporation can be sued in US courts in a case seeking to hold them accountable for funding projects that caused environmental harm.
- The Allegheny County Health Department ordered U.S. Steel Corp. to end ongoing violations of federal sulfur dioxide standards at its three plants and they must now submit a plan to reduce those emissions within five days.
- Costa Rica launched an economy-wide plan to decarbonize the country by 2050.
👩 WOMEN’S EQUALITY AND RIGHTS
- No matter your thoughts on the draft, if we are to have it, it should be faire, and now a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional to exclude women from the military draft requirement now that they are allowed to serve in combat.
- The Nevada Gaming Commission fined Wynn Resorts $20 million for ignoring a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct complaints about Mr. Wynnn’s behavior; It is the largest fine ever imposed against a gambling licensee in Nevada.
- The Guidance Charter School (CA) will pay a fine and will be required to change policies and trainings for paying a female math teacher less than her male colleague for the same work.
- Washington state announced they will sue to challenge the new “gag rule” which effectively blocking planned parenthood from funding,
🕬 GUN REFORM
- A federal judge found the administration has the authority to ban “bump stocks” and allowed the rule to go forward.
- New York State governor signed the state’s new “Red Flag Bill” which will expand the state’s ability to take guns from individuals deemed dangerous.
- The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a discrimination case brought by a transgender student who was not allowed to use the locker room and restroom of his gender identity can proceed.
- A gay couple in Minnesota who were able to get married in 1971 when the clerk failed to recognize the marriage license request was for two men, were finally granted recognition by the federal government.
- Walmart made a cute tv ad about gay men on a date.
- The political operative at the center of allegations of ballot-tampering in the congressional race in North Carolina was indicted on multiple felony charges for the ballot tampering and the republican candidate at the center of the controversy will not run in the new election.
- After state officials conceded that at least a quarter of a list of nearly 100,000 Texas voters flagged for citizenship review should never have been questioned a federal judge ruled that the Texas counties may not purge registered voters or send letters demanding proof of citizenship until further order from the court.
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE
- The Maryland House of Delegates publicly censured and stripped Del. Mary Ann Lisanti of her leadership position for her use of a racial slur.
- The placement of an anti-Muslim poster on display for “Republicans Take the Rotunda” event in West Virginia resulted in the resignation of the Sergeant at Arms.
- In a bizarre story I admit I don’t fully understand, a black man convinced a white supremacist to turn over the leadership of his group to him.
- Chicago will elect its first African-American female mayor after Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle won enough votes in the special election in a field of 14 candidates to move on to a runoff election.
- New York City elected an African-American man as Public Advocate.,
- Illinois State Board of Education approved CArmen Ayala as the first woman and person of color to be appointed school superintendent.
- This year set the record for the most individual Black winners of Academy Awards, with seven victors in six categories; including; Ruth Carter the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design and Hannah Beachler the first black woman win for Best Achievement in Production Design, and Spike Lee for Best adapted screenplay.
🙂 A VERY QUICK LOOK AT RUSSIA ETC A federal appeals court rejected claims that the Mueller appointment was unconstitutional and ruled a former aide to Roger Stone must testify before a grand jury. The D.C. Attorney General’s Office subpoenaed the inaugural committee for documents related to its finances. The Michael Cohen testimony was a doozy. The Not-Great-Negotiator-In-Chief’s Aberdeenshire golf resort must pay the Scottish government’s legal costs after losing a court battle over a wind power development.