After tweeting “Gerrymandering illegal, DACA put on hold, African American Senators on Judiciary Committee for the first time in this century, Feinstein releases GPS testimony, and Bannon forced from Breitbart and it is only Wednesday” I had to sift through a lot of shitholes to finish out the week and find you all the good news for the resistance. But no matter what else grabbed our attention, there is still a full list of positive things that happened this week. Some highlights are;
- A U.S. District Judge blocked the termination of DACA while it is litigated, finding that the decision to rescind it was based on a flawed legal premise. The icing on the cake was the court referencing some of 45’s own tweets as evidence and the administration, citing the decision, announced it is again accepting DACA renewals. #CleanDREAMActNow
- Sen. Feinstein released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary interview with Fusion GPS founder over the “Pee Pee dossier.” #TransparentGovernment
- A Florida judge permanently blocked and declared unconstitutional a law requiring a woman wait at least 24 hours after seeing her doctor before having an abortion in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU. #RightToChoose #ACLUWinsAgain
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejected a proposal by the Energy Secretary to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants, helping a handful of well connected companies, while raising rates for consumers under the bogus claim it was needed to provide for emergencies and the Supreme Court declined to hear a coal company’s appeal of an EPA ruling that the EPA does not have to regularly report on the impact to coal jobs from its regulations. #COALisDEAD
- A U.S. District Court held North Carolina congressional districts are unconstitutionally partisan and gave them three weeks to file a new plan so it will be in place before the 2018 elections all on the heels of last week’s dissolution of the Voter Suppression Panel. Outgoing Virginia Governor restored the voting rights of 200,000 felons by signing individual restoration orders for each person. #VotingRightsForAll
As part of my end of year review, I read over my prior posts and was reminded of the resourcefulness, ingenuity, and unity we showed during this difficult year. Places that I never expected to see progressive activism, surprised me, some acts made me simile like tying up the new ICE Alien hotline with reports of Space Aliens and some so moving and touching it brought me to tears, such as the woman who is the designated guardian for 1,800 U.S. children should their parents be deported. Communities from Alabama to W. Virginia that I never expected to elect democrats, people of color, immigrants, and those from the LGBTQ community, surprised with their votes. So many people, companies, courts, organizations, communities, states, and countries did so many good things to make the world a better and more fair world this past year that to include them all would make this a novel. I believe I have grown stronger, more resilient, and more committed than ever, even if I have the occasional day when I Google “How to move to Canada” and I hope you feel the same, because we need each other now just as much as we did a year ago.
Activists showed all kinds of perseverance and creativity in expressing their views, in addition to the millions of phone calls, emails, postcards, letters, twitter messages, and pizza and cake messages, when other forms of mail were rejected.
- Hanging inspiring resistance banners in awesome places on land and sea, such as D.C. cranes, the statue of liberty, Trump properties and boats by golf courses. Projecting words of resistance on the outside of prominent buildings, along with billboards, mobile messaging vans, and even videos in front of the Washington monument. Hundreds of people using their bodies to spell out protest sayings in different places to be seen from the air.
- Citizens broke records attending and holding Town Hall meetings in every state, with and without the appearance of their representative, with many meeting videos going viral. Civic engagement gave rise to millions of comments on multiple rules on the federal rules website during comment periods, record-breaking calls and faxes to Congress.
- Showing up in the rain, sleet, snow, and heat across the country for protests big and small almost every day since the election. We saw anti-hate activists put their lives on the line to come out against white-supremacists at marches in multiple cities outnumbering the hate. And let’s not forget the biggest coordinated world-wide march for women’s rights this planet has ever seen as well as the largest Tax and Science marches.
- We saw #NeverTheLessShePersisted #ReclaimingMyTime #BareArms from democratic MoC and NFL players #TakingTheKnee against racial inequality
THE POWER OF THE PROGRESSIVE WALLET The new GRABYOURWALLET movement used boycotts to get major retailers to stop selling trump branded merchandize and hundreds of advertisers to pull out from advertising on shows when they promoted hate, fake news, and right-wing garbage (Hannity and O’Reilly included), and SLEEPING GIANTS got over 3,000 advertisers to stop placing ads on Breitbart and Google changed policies making it easier for advertisers to prevent their ads from appearing on offensive sites.
NEW TOOLS AND ORGANIZATIONS for organizing and making our collective power heard harnessing the power of technology, including, 5 CALLS, RESISTBOT, DAILY ACTION, the RESISTANCE CALENDAR, PEOPLE POWER, and more, to make it easier for people to stay informed and to take quick actions. Groups formed or expanded to help us organize and win at the ballot box, such as Indivisible, Sister District, Flippable, Run For Something, Run Everywhere, Emily’s List and more, with over 22,000 reaching out to them for help running for office, and the Resistance Revival Chorus to bring us music. Feel free to add in your favorite new organization or tool.
MAJOR ELECTION WINS starting with Stephanie Hansen in Delaware, progressives in red states and red counties saw that people all across the country are there to support them by showing up for them with their feet and their wallets. SO LET’S RECOUNT a few of our biggest wins, Governor of New Jersey and Virginia, Alabama elected Doug Jones to replace Jeff Sessions, won trifectas in Washington and New Jersey, record number of women ran and were elected as mayor, council members, school board members, and other elected officials, 7 cities in Utah alone saw first time women mayors as did New Orleans. Dozens of gay candidates elected across the country as were 8 transgendered candidates. We saw the first Sikh mayor elected in New Jersey and first Sudanese American in Iowa.
WE STOPPED THE ACA REPEAL FROM HAPPENING IN 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WE SHOWED THAT IMMIGRANTS ARE WELCOME HERE by STOPPING THE FIRST AND SECOND VERSIONS OF THE TRAVEL BAN through the use of our vital donations to the ACLU and others, by showing up by the thousands to protest at major international airports across the country and having hundreds of volunteer lawyers provided on the spot legal representation. Advocates and communities fought and won the release of many undocumented immigrants with U.S. families, disabilities, and no criminal convictions from being deported. New York State and Chicago were among the jurisdictions to substantially increase funding for representing residents facing deportation. Many cities and towns, and the State of California officially declared themselves “sanctuary cities” and the courts said the federal government cannot withhold funds because of this status
ABORTION IS STILL LEGAL AND AVAILABLE IN EVERY STATE AND WOMEN STILL HAVE A RIGHT TO INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR BIRTH CONTROL. Thanks to Planned Parenthood, AG’s and others, Courts blocked a lot of legislative threats to a woman’s right to choose and access to birth control, including laws in bastions of liberalness such as Arkansas, Mississippi, and Indiana. States passed legislation to protect or expand access to birth control or strengthen access to abortion including Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Delaware and Alaska. The federal courts have so far stopped the repeal of the requirement for birth control coverage from the ACA for religious reasons.
IN THIS MIST OF ALL THIS POLITICAL ACTIVISM THE #METOO MOVEMENT finally gained traction and brought the spotlight on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and took down big names in politics, entertainment, news, law, education, and corporate America, and I think we are only getting started.
BABY STEPS ON GUN CONTROL HAPPENED the Maryland ban on assault weapons and California limits were upheld.
THE PLANET HAS NOT YET BEEN ABANDONED The Sierra Club, NRDC, and many others brought lawsuit after lawsuit, to stop the EPA, the Dept. Of the Interior, and others from harming the planet. After the administration announced withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, hundreds of cities and States organized themselves into Climate alliances to agree to abide by the accord regardless of national policy and many fortune 500 companies and Universities pledged to do the same. Maryland banned fracking. A number of companies announced the closing of coal mines and coal-based utility plants and states expanded solar and wind power plans. Other countries stepped up and replaced lost U.S. funding with grants of their own. States and cities expanded their protections of their own environments, like Oregon putting a stop to Nestle taking spring water.
SEEKING REAL ONE PERSON ONE VOTE FOR 2018 AND BEYOND as gains were made in the fight against gerrymandering in Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Texas and North Carolina voter ID’s laws were struck down. The Presidential Voter Suppression Panel has accomplished nothing and has hardly even met they are so bogged down in lawsuits. Social media sites added rules to show who is funding political ads. Groups continue to fight voter suppression in the courts and statehouse.
LGBTQ PEOPLE MADE GAINS IN ACCEPTANCE including the election of multiple transgender candidates at local and state-wide offices. The first of the states and Districts to allow a gender “x” on state id’s included Oregon and Washington. The fist all LGBTQ city council was elected as were many first time LGBTQ candidates in their districts. The attempt to ban transgender military members has so far been blocked by the courts. California added LGBTQ studies as part of their education curriculum.
STOPPING HATE AND THE MONUMENTS TO THEM – Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites have upped the policing of their sites for racist and other unacceptable forms of speech and began deactivating those that violate these policies. Cities began removing confederate monuments and other forms of honor to those who fought for slavery and Georgetown University set the bar high for how to make amends and admitted their first undergraduate student under their new policy to not only give the descendants of the slaves they owned admission to the University, but dedicated the resources to research to track down those descendants.
AROUND THE WORLD Iceland made equal pay a requirement, France, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Iceland elected progressive leaders and a record number of women won seats in England’s parliament, Serbia selected the first female and openly gay prime minister, and Germany, Australia, and Malta legalized same sex marriage.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE WAS FOUGHT FOR AN AND WON IN STATES AND IN THE COURTS The Supreme Court expanded what is racial bias in a jury, placed more restrictions on the death penalty for the mentally impaired, required the automatic return of criminal fees when found not guilty of a crime, The SPLC and others won in efforts to stop some localities from running modern day versions of debtor’s prisons as well as large awards for people subjected to police and judicial wrong doing. Marijuana was decriminalized in a number of local jurisdictions and New Hampshire. Forms of bail reform was passed or went into effect in Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana and Mississippi.
ON THE EDUCATION FRONT – The Supreme Court expanded the scope of special education rights, Arkansas passed a law requiring more coverage of civil rights in schools. New York made four-year college free for low and middles class families and Tennessee made two-year college education free.
MANY RIGHT-WING, UNQUALIFIED, AND CONFLICT-RIDEN NOMINEES FOR HIGH LEVEL POSITIONS WERE FORCED TO WITHDRAW and MANY WHO MADE IT DIDN’T LAST LONG starting with some now long forgotten names such as Andy Puzder, convicted felon Sheriff Clark, the Trump family wedding planning, and federal court judges who had never been in a federal courtroom. With probably the largest revolving door administration in history, the blood loss started with Michael Flynn at only 10 seconds and includes favorites such as Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, the “Mooch”, Reince Priebus, and Tom Price.
LET’S NOT FORGET THE LAUGHS WE HAD ALONG THE WAY the Melania-baby-man-hand swat (twice), the epic handshake battles, the creepy Pope photo, the “Mooch” (thought I forgot him didn’t you?) and all things Covfefe, as we watched the trump name come off of multiple Trump managed buildings because no one wanted to live, stay, work, or shop there.
There were so many other accomplishments on issues such as school lunch shaming, child brides, EEOC and consumer protection, increasing minimum wage laws and paid sick time at the local level, women and people of color breaking barriers and gaining leadership positions that are just too numerous to include. Groups like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, saw huge increases in donations and millions was raised for community bail funds and DACA renewal fees. Take a perusal through the past posts if you need more reminders of WHAT WENT RIGHT.
While we may have lost some battles, I truly believe that not only those who stand for progressive causes, but those who stand for humanity and fairness, are more united, more energized, more active, and more willing to put their money and their bodies were their mouths are and will continue to fight every day to save this country from hate and inequality until their last breath. Thank you all for reading and sharing my small contribution to trying to keep our spirits up and inspire us to keep on fighting every day.
Believe it or not there was plenty of positive things that happened last week. I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend and hope this good news brings you some holiday cheer. Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly summary if you haven’t already, you don’t want to miss the year-end review next week. The highlights for this week include;
- A jury acquitted six people on charges of rioting and destruction of property connected to violent protests during the presidential inauguration.
- 8.8 million people enrolled in an ACA health plan during the open enrollment period in the 39 states that use the healthcare.gov website, close to the number of people who signed up last year.
- Another U.S.Court of Appeals ruled that the third version of the travel ban violates the law (but the decision is on hold until SCOTUS makes a decision).
- When Tennessee refused to grant Memphis permission to take down confederate statues in local parks, the Memphis City Council then voted to sell the public parks containing the monuments to a private entity, Memphis Greenspace, which immediately took down the monuments.
- Seven undocumented immigrant youth risked deportation by staging a sit-in at the Capitol building, and are now staging a hunger strike after their arrest. #DACANow
- A second U.S. judge blocked the administration from enforcing new rules allowing employers to opt out of providing insurance coverage for women’s birth control.
- Under new rules to combat bigotry and hate, Twitter started removing accounts, belonging to white nationalist and far-right extremists, including leaders of Britain First, the American Nazi Party, and so many others.
Read on for more good news Continue reading
First we had New Jersey and Virginia, now Alabama. The Alabama win gave me the boost I needed to keep on fighting. How about you? And to keep that positive energy flowing, coming up in two weeks on December 30th will be WhatWentRight’s first ever year-end roundup of the best of the best that happened. Don’t forget to sign up to receive the weekly blog by email so you don’t miss all the goodness coming up. In the meantime, this week’s highlights include;
- FLIPPING A DEEP RED STATE SENATE SEAT BLUE Democrat Doug Jones beat alleged pedophile Roy Moore for the Alabama senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. #DougJones
- NOT GIVING UP THE FIGHT AGAINST DAPL 🛢️ A U.S. District Judge granted a request by Native American tribes for additional measures to protect Lake Oahe reservoir and ordered the Army Corps of Engineers and the developer of the DAPL to complete an oil spill response plan for the stretch of pipe beneath the Missouri River.
- ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL STAYS FOR NOW 🏥 U.S. District Court issued an injunction against the implementation of the administration’s rules allowing employers to deny health coverage for contraception on moral grounds in a lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania and PA gov vowed to veto the restrictive abortion legislation just passed in the state senate.
- TRANSGENDER MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS STILL HERE 🌈 Another federal court has ruled against the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military and blocked the ban from being implemented.
- KEEPING UNQUALIFIED JUDGES OFF THE BENCH Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa) announced the Senate would not move forward on the nominations of Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley, both rated “Not Qualified” by the Bar Association, after reports that they made public comments celebrating discriminatory groups or policies.
- STATES LINING UP TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY 🌐 So far 9 states and multiple advocacy groups have announced they will fight the net neutrality change in court.
There is plenty more good news so read on; Continue reading
This week we saw women leaders elected, women declared Time’s person of the year, and the harassers of women continuing to be held accountable. Change is a marathon not a sprint and women continue to make progress. The weekly summary comes with some added colorful emoji’s (it is the extent of my artistic abilities) in my effort to follow along with the holiday decorating momentum. I hope you enjoy it. The highlights from this week are;
- PUTTING A DEMOCRATIC DENT IN GEORGIA Democrat Jen Jordan won a Georgia Senate seat vacated by a republican, ending the Republican super majority in the State Senate.
- WOMAN LEADING THE WAY 👩 The California State Senate picked Democrat Toni Atkins as the first woman to lead the chamber. Iceland chose its second woman Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir a progressive of the Left-Green Movement.
- HONORING HEROES IN THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE 🥇 Colin Kaepernick received the Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU and Time magazine named the women behind the “Silence Breakers” and the #MeToo movement as person of the year.
- LEGALIZING SAME SEX MARRIAGE AROUND THE WORLD 🌈 Austria’s high court ruled that barring a couple from marrying on the grounds of sexual orientation is discriminatory and following the national mail-in survey, Australia’s Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
- GETTING SOME MUCH NEEDED RACIAL JUSTICE 👊White Officer Michael Slager, was sentenced to 20 years in jail after pleading guilty to shooting a black man in the back while he was running away from a traffic stop in South Carolina.
- KEEPING UP THE FIGHT FOR DREAMERS 👪 DREAM Act activists staged nationwide protests and about 10,000 people rallied on Capitol Hill at one of the largest immigration rallies this year. #DreamActNow
- MAKING THE HARASSERS PAY 💲 U.S. Rep Blake Farenthold (R-TX) who used taxpayer money to pay a $84,000 sexual harassment settlement announced he would personally reimburse the money.
The rest of the summary of the good news includes; Continue reading
I choose to reflect this week on that went right for the resistance and not on tax reform. Let’s remember that there are many significant differences between the House and Senate bills that they still have to come to an agreement on so it is not a done deal yet. Meanwhile, we continue to fight on and see many good things still happening. So cheer up and read on. The highlights for this week are;
- SOME COMMON SENSE ON GUN CONTROL – The Supreme Court rejected two important gun control appeals, thereby leaving in place the lower court rulings upholding a Maryland law that bans the sale of a range of semiautomatic weapons and large-capacity magazines and Florida’s ban on open-carry firearms.
- FIRST 45 ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL PLEADS GUILTY – Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.
- EEOC GETS WIN ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION CASE – Scott Medical Health Center in Pittsburgh, will pay a former employee to settle the first sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit ever filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where they allege the center refused to protect the employee from harassment.
- CALIFORNIA PROTECTS FARM WORKERS – The California Supreme Court upheld a law that allows California to impose labor contracts through binding arbitration for farm workers whose unions and employers cannot agree on a contract, helping maintain the power of farm worker unions by ensuring contracts that guarantee pay, hours and other terms that could otherwise be decided by employers.
- FEDERAL COURT PROVIDES IMMIGRANTS BAIL RIGHTS – The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled judges cannot deny bail to immigrants in criminal cases solely because they are living in the country unlawfully and could be deported before trial.
- MANDATORY SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING WHERE IT MATTERS – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution requiring all members and employees of the House to complete sexual harassment training every year.
This is the time of the year when we think about what we have to be thankful for, and for me it starts with the millions of people who showed up on January 21, 2017 in thousands of cities across world for the biggest women’s march ever and for the millions of people every day since then who call, write, protest, fund-raise, volunteer, donate, etc. to stand up for freedom, equality, health care, economic justice, our planet, and so much else. Thank you for all you do, without you this blog would be a blank page week after week. Now that you are post-Thanksgiving stupor let me tell you about all the good that happened while you celebrated the holiday honoring a time when true Americans fed the hungry and needy undocumented refugees fleeing persecution and seeking a new life arriving on the shores of their unspoiled land. The highlights include;
- CAN’T STOP SANCTUARY CITIES – A U.S. District Court Judge permanently blocked the executive order cutting funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities, saying in the decision that public comments by 45 and Jeff Sessions contradicted the Dept. of Justice’s arguments in court (the silver lining to the garbage they spew).
- MILITARY TRANSGENDER MEMBERS HERE TO STAY – A second U.S. District Court Judge blocked the entirety of the transgender military ban, including the ban on gender- reassignment surgery, going even further than the first judge. The opinionated Bush appointee presiding over the matter said the ban was “capricious, arbitrary, and unqualified” and transgender military members have no negative effect on the military.
- WOMEN IN TEXAS CAN STILL HAVE ABORTIONS – A S. District Court Judge struck down a Texas law that unconstitutionally restricted women’s access to the most common form of second trimester abortions.
- MASSACHUSETTS DEMANDS WOMEN GET BIRTH CONTROL – Massachusetts’ republican Governor bucked the party line and agreed this week that women should have access to birth control and signed legislation that mandates health insurers cover birth control and requires coverage of emergency birth control without a prescription, among other requirements (but male genitalia was saved by not requiring coverage of vasectomies).
- VIRGINIA HEADS DOWN THE PATH OF BANNING GUNS – Virginia Gov. has banned guns at political rallies at Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue.
- HELPING TO END TO INCARCERATION BEFORE CONVICTION – The Bail Project announced the start of their nationwide project using a revolving fund of $30 million in donations to bail low-income defendants out of pretrial detention.