Since other reports that may be of interest to you are not yet available you can get your fill of good reading with this weekly summary of some of the inspiring actions and accomplishments from across the country and the globe of those trying to save our democracy. The British took to the streets to demand a reconsideration of Brexit, New Zealanders continued to show love and support to those mourning their lost love ones, and across the U.S. big and small local groups protested and descended on their state legislatures that were in session to demand progressive legislation and to try to stop regression on so many issues. You can also follow WhatWentRight.org on Twitter at @WhatWentRight_ to get additional daily good news posts and information about actions and activities that you can participate in. Some highlights from this week’s are;
- Minnesota and Pennsylvania agreed to take better care of their prisoners.
- Harmful chemicals in paint stripper and oil and gas drilling on some federal lands were blocked.
- Facebook will change the discriminatory nature of many of their ads.
- Baltimore and Virginia put a stop to bad gun laws that were proposed.
- Michigan will stop funding adoption groups that ban LGBTQ parents.
- The Virginia governor stood up for immigrants.
- Judges put a temporary stop to two different abortion bans in Kentucky and Ohio.
- And it was a very good week for Native Americans with the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the terms of an 1855 treaty with the Yakama Nation, Washington state making it easier for them to vote and Texas prisons now allowing them to grow their hair long as part of their religion.
- READ ON TO FIND OUT ABOUT SO MANY MORE GOOD THINGS
🧕 STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS #StandWithImmigrants
- A flight attendant with DACA status and crew member of a flight returning to Houston from Monterrey, was released by I.C.E. after being detained for 6 weeks upon her return from Mexico after mistakenly being told by her employer, Mesa Airlines that she could work the flight under DACA rules.
- The democratic Governor of Virginia vetoed a bill that would have required jails to notify I.C.E. when the release date of an illegal immigrant is known.
⚖️ THE INTERSECTION OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE, CIVIL RIGHTS, RACIAL EQUALITY, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
HEALTH CARE AND WAGES #PoorPeople’sCampaign
- Maryland legislature sent a bill to governor raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 after it passed with a veto proof majority.
- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the California Trucking Association leaving a lower court ruling favoring the designation of employee rather than contractor classification of many truck drivers by motor carriers.
- Starting in 2021 New Jersey will start running its own Affordable Care Act marketplace rather than letting the federal government operate it.
- Wisconsin Gov. and AG announced they would remove Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
- A large Massachusetts property management company agreed to pay $600,000 and implement new policies and trainings to settle a claims they discriminated against applicants and tenants based on their race and income source.
- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of citizens of the Yakama Nation and held that Yakama Treaty of 1855 with the United States “pre-empts” the fuel tax charged by the state to a tribe member because the treaty allows the tribe members “the right, in common with citizens of the United States, to travel upon all public highways.”
👨🏿⚖️ POLICE #BlackLivesMatter
- Juries awarded $10 million in damages to a San Francisco man who spent six years in prison before his murder conviction was thrown out after evidence that the investigating officers framed him came to light, $250,000 in damages to a Mississippi woman jailed 96 days without seeing a judge, and NYC will pay nearly $2 million to the family of a NYC cab driver who was killed by police in his apartment in 2012 after a jury found the Officer lied about being stabbed by the driver.
- The Los Angeles Police Commissioner ruled that some of the shots fired by offers at a black man armed with a knife after he was already wounded and on the ground violated policy.
- A white police officer in Colorado was placed on leave while they investigate why he detained a black man for cleaning the trash in front of his home.
- Minnesota settled a class action lawsuit under which the Dept of Corrections will screen all inmates for hepatitis C and provide effective antiviral drugs to inmates with the disease under the agreed upon guidelines.
- An Oklahoma sheriff and nearly all of her staff resigned this week rather than defy a judge’s order to reopen a county jail that has been closed and evacuated over safety issues because she could “not in good consciousness bring back the prisoners.”
- The Philadelphia District Attorney announced that his office will now work to reduce the unnecessary onerous nature of probation and parole.
- Pennsylvania state prisons will now provide arts and crafts programs for the children of incarcerated parents during their visits to help build bonds and relationships.
☮️ CIVIL RIGHTS #WeWillNotGoBack
- Facebook settled five cases which requires they rebuild the way it sells advertising for housing, employment, and credit services so that it no longer violates civil rights laws by excluding viewers based on sex, race, etc.
- A federal judge ruled that three Native American male inmates in Texas state prisons can grow their hair long as an expression of their religious beliefs.
- The ACLU is once again taking on the FBI and is suing them for records related to a controversial report that said black extremists were on the rise following the shooting deaths of several African-Americans.
- A federal Judge ruled a high school student posting a Snapchat photo that did not identify the school or cheerleader team in a post that said “F^*# Cheerleading” was not objectionable speech that disrupts an educational environment and the school could not punish her for it.
- Fanatics Retail Group Fulfillment LLC will pay a former employee $322,050 to settle claims the retailer held black and white employees to different standards and allowed blatant racism.
- A Washington state court ruled that a person with a prior criminal conviction was entitled to due process to prove that they may be eligible to be licensed for work in a particular field.
IMPROVING CRIMINAL LAWS
- The ACLU is suing to stop Washington City (OK) from using a modern-day equivalent of debtor’s prison.
- Florida legalized smokable medical marijuana.
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT #GreenNewDeal
- A federal judge blocked oil and gas drilling across almost 500 square miles in Wyoming and said the U.S. government must consider climate change impacts more broadly when it leases public land for energy exploration.
- The EPA is banning the chemical methylene chloride, often used in paint strippers, from the retail consumer marketplace and prohibit the manufacturing, importation and processing of the chemical for consumer use.
- The EPA declared that the fish from the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, that once caught on fire in 1969 after years of contamination from nearby steel mills, is safe to eat again.
- Suffolk County (NY) released statistics to show that one year after their plastic bag reduction law went into effect there are about 1 billion fewer plastic bags in and shoppers habits of using plastic bags has been dramatically reduced.
- New Mexico Gov. signed landmark legislation that will mandate more solar panels and wind turbines and set ambitious new renewable energy goals for the state.
- Colorado Springs Utilities, Dairyland Power Cooperative, and even Italy’s Terna are expanding their solar capacity.
- Ten percent of Denmark’s farmland are now organic farms.
- Michigan withdrew from a lawsuit challenging the stricter regulation of bodies of water in the United States.
- A federal jury found that Monsanto’s popular weedkiller Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing a California man’s cancer.
👩#MeToo And WOMEN’S RIGHTS
- West Virginia is using a novel legal approach to hold the Catholic Church accountable for allowing priests known to be sexual predators to work at schools, camps, and churches, by using the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
- The West Virginia legislature passed a bill allowing woman 18 and older get birth control over the counter at pharmacies without a prescription and now we wait and see if the governor signs it.
- Federal judges issued orders temporarily blocking another new Kentucky law imposing more restrictions on abortion, this one trying to ban abortions based on the gender, race or disability of the fetus and an Ohio law banning the most common type of abortion.
- Kevin Tsujiharaw resigns as CEO of Warner Bros over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an actress and Brian Ellis (R), a Pennsylvania state representative resigned following allegations of sexual assault.
- Ed Markey gives Robert Kraft’s campaign funds to anti-trafficking group.
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER – A descendant of slaves is suing Harvard for photographs they commissioned in the 1800’s and still use, of her ancestors as slaves arguing they are stolen family property and the university is profiting and exploiting her by using the images.
🕬 GUN REFORM #NeverAgain
- Baltimore lawmakers voted down legislation that would have allowed city school police officers to carry guns while patrolling in schools.
- The Virginia governor vetoed a bill that would have required the state police to issue a concealed handgun permit if they fail to complete the required background check within 90 days.
- New Jersey filed a lawsuit against a retailer that sold “ghost guns” or assembly kits for untraceable AR-15 rifles.
- New Zealand announced an immediate ban on all “military-style semiautomatic weapons” and assault rifles just days after the mass shooting.
- A federal judge ruled her injunction preventing the transgender military policy from taking effect remains in place days.
- The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that the owner of a Hawaii bed and breakfast violated a state anti-discrimination law by turning away a lesbian couple, citing Christian beliefs.
- A West Virginia County Board of Education voted not renew the contract of a high school assistant principal who confronted a transgender student for using the boys’ restroom.
- Michigan will no longer provide funding to adoption agencies that turn away prospective LGBTQ parents due to religious objections as part of the settlement with a case brought by the ACLU.
- The Pride Center of San Antonio is holding its first free clinic to help the transgender community face the process of changing their sex on government documents.
- A Kenyan Court of Appeal allowed an LGBT group to register as a Non-Governmental Organization denying the government’s appeal of a lower court decision.
🕫🗳️FAIR AND ETHICAL VOTING #FairFight
- The U.S. Supreme Court allowed to stand felony convictions of three staffers on Ron Paul’s presidential campaign for filing false records to the Federal Election Commission.
- Washington state passed the Native American Voting Rights Act allowing tribal members to register at homes on the reservation that do not have standard street addresses and allows registration and drop boxes on the reservations.
- Wisconsin Gov. removed 82 appointments made by the prior republican Governor during last year’s lame-duck legislative session.
- Arizona will no longer participate in a questionable multi-state program that compares voter registration lists in search of duplicates.
💓STOPPING THE SPREAD OF HATE
- Jeanine Pirro’s Saturday night Fox News show will not appear as scheduled for a second straight week following her anti-Muslim remarks.
- A clerk at a public school in Connecticut resigned after video appeared to show her spitting at a black man and repeatedly calling him a racial slur.
- A University of Missouri police officer was fired after a photo was made public of him wearing blackface.
- Gucci is attempting to redeem itself by establishing a new global program and scholarship fund called Gucci Changemakers to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the company with a multi-step action plan.
- The Fresno County Republican Party canceled plans for an annual dinner featuring Rep. Devin Nunes as its keynote speaker after social media calls for people to crash the event.
- Karen Uhlenbeck is the first woman to receive the Abel Prize, mathematics equivalent to the Nobel Prize.
- Haley Taylor Schlitz, a 16-year-old African-American teenager a college graduate was accepted into 9 law schools.
- Elementary school students Serenity Mills, Janyia New, Aliyana O’Neal and Nakiyah Ray won a national book-writing contest for authoring and illustrating “Marian Spencer: A Light in the Darkness” about Ohio civil rights pioneer Marian Spencer.
ELECTION RESULTS Democrat Eric Giddens was elected to the Iowa Senate, keeping the seat blue.