Your Weekly Dose of Sanity-Saving Good News! – The “Five Smooth Stones” Edition

(excerpt from Randi Weingarten’s speech  for the American Federation of Teachers)
“When leaders controlling the federal government are hell-bent on taking away health care from 32 million people in order to give a tax cut to the ultra-wealthy, we are David to their Goliath. When officials far from the classroom care a whole lot about testing and test scores, but don’t give a damn about what our students really need, we are David to their Goliath. When hedge funders, billionaires and anti-labor ideologues band together in an axis of inequality, further rigging our political and economic system against working folks, we are David to their Goliath. When a presidential administration takes actions that make immigrant students afraid to dream, that favor fraudulent for-profit colleges over students seeking an education, that put an entire religion in its crosshairs, we are David to their Goliath. When governors in state after state go after labor rights and voting rights, and they find an ally in the newest Supreme Court justice who will hear the Janus case, we must be David to their Goliath.

Years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Valley of Elah, where the standoff between David and Goliath took place. And if you remember Sunday school, you’ll recall: That wasn’t a fair fight, either. Goliath was big; David was a little guy. Goliath had an army. And David? David had a sling — with five smooth stones. But David had a plan. Goliath no doubt assumed his greater strength was enough, but we all know how that ended up.”

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“First, Americans deserve good jobs that pay a decent wage, and provide a voice at work and a secure retirement.”

CA: In Santa Rosa, workers at a waste management company have successfully organized and unionized.  Now they are working with local groups to implement more environmentally friendly waste-recovery practices.

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“Second, they deserve health care so people are not one illness away from bankruptcy. (And a clean environment to help keep them healthy. IV)”
The Health Bill’s Failure didn’t happen by itself. Resistance works! Even Republican senators admit that everyone’s calls, protests, letters, and general outrage helped kill the health care bill! Protesters (including doctors and nurses) risked arrest and occupied Senators’ offices on Monday (x2)Tuesday, and Wednesday. Here’s a great roundup of all the action in D.C., but the states got in on it too: Kansas, Maine, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana.

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“There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
Send a thank-you note to Sens. Collins, Murkowski and Capito if you’re a fan of the ACA.
Now let’s kill this thing for real.

The House of Representatives voted to protect an amendment to the 2018 defense budget bill that requires a study of the effect of climate change on the military.

46 Republicans buck party to help Democrats take down anti-climate action amendment.

A community successfully restores local river

Restoration of gray seal population attributed to the Marine Mammal Act of 1972

Two Down, Twenty-Five to Go: National Monument Review
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke withdrew two national monuments from his department’s review for removal or reduction of their monument designation. An announcement from Interior stated that Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington are no longer under review and the Secretary will recommend that no modifications should be made to the monuments.

In a victory for the Committee for a Better Arvin, California will limit the amount of a cancer-causing chemical in drinking water.

The Seattle Storm WNBA team has become the first pro sports team to partner with Planned Parenthood—raising $42,000 from tickets sales at Tuesday’s game. 

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“Third, they need public schools that are safe and welcoming and prepare young people for life and citizenship, career and college. And speaking of college, it must be affordable.”

Thanks to the Black Student Task Force, the University of Oregon officially renamed a dorm originally named after a member of the KKK. 

Make the Road helped Allentown, PA ban conversion therapy.

images-1“Fourth, none of this happens without a strong and vibrant democracy, including a free press, an independent judiciary, a thriving labor movement, and the protection — not suppression — of the right to vote.”

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The conviction for the woman who laughed at Jeff Sessions has been overturned.

Internet service providers were not amused by the Battle for the Net Day. No they weren’t…

Continued Democratic victories provide insight into local campaigns.

Money is one of the biggest impediments to running for Congress. A recent study found that candidates for Senate must raise an average of $3,300 every day for six years to match the contributions collected by that year’s winner. Money hobbles races; the need for it to run for office also immediately weeds out diversity. It Starts Today uses the simplest of tactics—disbursing money to every single Democratic Congressional candidate the day after they win their primary—to level the playing field.  This works via a monthly subscription—$4.68 minimum to be exact, a figure that represents one penny per federal and state race in the country (you can donate more). Started by a progressive campaign finance attorney and political technology entrepreneur, It Starts Today is designed to ensure that each Democratic nominee can run a funded, competitive campaign, regardless of their background. Click here for more info.

Trump’s voter commission has been hit with seven federal lawsuits from Common Cause, Public Citizen, ACLU, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and EPIC in a move to defend our privace and security, not to mention all the angry public comments flooding in regarding the commission’s dangerous request for voter data.

Thanks to a lawsuit from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington(CREW), the Trump administration has to release Mar-A-Lago visitor records by September 8th.

Connecticut passed a new civil forfeiture law that requires a criminal conviction before police can permanently confiscated a person’s property. (Thanks, Laura!) This makes Connecticut the 14th state to pass this legislation—you can check out where your state stands on this issue here

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“And fifth, there is no democracy without safeguarding the civil rights of  all. That means fighting bigotry and discrimination — like the attacks on immigrants, Muslims and transgender kids, and the rising tide of anti-Semitism”

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The Women’s March took on the NRA and Police Brutality, because every issues is a women’s issue.  Over the weekend, Women’s March and partners marched from the NRA headquarters in Virginia to the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to call for civil rights charges in the tragic and senseless killing of Philando Castile, and to proudly and bravely strive for the respect of the civil and human rights of all people. Over 350 people marched the 18.6 miles through scorching heat and torrential rains, and 1,500 more joined the rallies at the beginning and end of the route. Solidarity actions were planned in dozens of locations across the nation, because we know that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

Supreme Court says grandparents, and other relatives can enter US despite travel ban. In a loss for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court Wednesday left intact a lower court opinion that temporarily exempts grandparents and other relatives from President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Meanwhile, Trump and his flying monkeys say no one has been affected by the ban.

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Members of the group Bay Resistance dropped by the home of a contracting company’s CEO who put in a bid to build Trump’s proposed border wall—and convinced her to sign a pledge promising to retract the bid and not work on the wall in the future.

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Make the Road were instrumental in New York City’s prosecution of a landlord who retaliated against a tenant complaint by reporting them to ICE.

(Thanks to the usual suspects, Alison and Stephanie, Jen Hofmann, Rogan’s List, and many more….)

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