Sanity-saving good news – “‘Respect’ is more than a song by Aretha” Edition.

Starting this hard week’s good news off with this song

Good news in resistance!

On Columbus Day, people in New York City and Pittsburgh protested for the holiday to be renamed Indigenous People’s Day.

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After Jemele Hill was suspended from ESPN, again, people showed up at their headquarters to protest. Hey ESPN, this is worth a read. #TakeAKnee & #StandWithJemele

If you missed the  story about why Colin Kaepernick knelt during anthems, here it is… Pass it on to that person on your Facebook feed that’s losing his mind over this.

If that person won’t accept the above explanation, here’s another way to explain the issue…

Other great videos on this whole ridiculous misuse of patriotism, see the original column here.

Hundreds of people, including clergy, shut down a highway in St. Louis to demand justice for Anthony Lamar Smith.

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Civil rights history – Ms. Hamer showed us how it’s done

Civil rights crusader Fannie Lou Hamer defied men,  even presidents,who tried to silence her. Amazingly tough, profoundly brave. On the centennial of her birth, the founder of the Mississippi Freedom Party remains one of the most compelling figures of the civil rights movement.

The kids are alright. We welcome these amazing young people to the resistance…

A 17-year-old Houston student is suing her high school after she was kicked out for not standing for the daily Pledge of Allegiance. India Landry, a senior at Windfern High School, has sat “hundreds of times” during the pledge since she was in ninth grade. However, according to the suit, Principal Martha Strother expelled her Monday for her action after threatening to call police if her mother did not come within five minutes. Administrators at the school had “recently been whipped into a frenzy” by the controversy caused by NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, indicative of a troubling backlash many African Americans are facing when they choose not to stand for the pledge or national anthem.

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“Last month, the students of the schools in Frederick County, Maryland, returned to a more inclusive educational environment thanks to the hard work of 17-year-old James van Kuilenburg. After the Trump administration revoked federal guidance that said transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity, a group led by van Kuilenburg went to the school board to make schools safe for transgender students.” The students and the school board came up with a new policy that bathrooms and locker rooms can be used according to gender identity and provides alternatives for students uncomfortable for any reason. It also covers privacy, preferred names, dress codes for major events and participation in sports teams.

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“I see it as one of the most comprehensive transgender student policies in the country,” said Jabari Lyles, executive director of GLSEN Maryland, which advocates for LGBT students on issues of education.”

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Members of the Frederick County Public School Trans Student Support group talk about their struggles, achievements and frustrations. From left are Maxx Frazier, 15, James Van Kuilenburg, 17, Emily Loechen, 16, and Asher Burrows. (Essdras M Suarez/For the Washington Post)

Congratulations to all that made this happen: dogged student activism and a school board that did not shy away from a contentious issue.

Good news in Indivisible resistance!

Tom McClintock, R-CA-04 is finally coming up against an Indivisible force!

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Using Facebook and Twitter as a metric, Indivisible CA-04 is now the largest Indivisible organization in the country, dwarfing groups in LANYCSFSan DiegoMiami  ChicagoSeattle, and the entire state of California. And for those of us who watch the video of Tom being escorted out of a town hall meeting over and over as a sleep aid, we couldn’t be happier. If McClintock is your problem, join your local group and help out. Go, CA-04 go!

Great news for women, less so for some men…

Harvey Weinstein has finally imploded. This description about what it’s like to work with sexual predators is something many of us can probably relate to. For decades, this man had the power to abuse and assault people. But now the narrative is switching from silence and complicity to outrage and action. We have the power to solve this by listening and trusting each other when we tell the truth.

The floodgates are open. This week Amazon Studios chief Roy Price was put on an immediate leave of absence Thursday, the company said, following allegations that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress’s claim of a sexual assault by producer Harvey Weinstein. This is just the beginning…

Yeah, you thought this was the beginning…

And really, this is a problem that’s really easy for men to avoid. They could follow this simple advice from Samantha Bee..

Or just treat every woman like she was “The Rock”. This is brilliant!

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Good news in helping those who need it!

The House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion package to help communities affected by natural disasters. Let’s hope the Senate moves quickly to pass the bill since Trump continues to be the worst.

Here’s 8 things you can do for the Napa fire victims now.

Indivisible SF has this list of vetted charities to consider. They recommend:

Our President is finally going to “own” his health care debacle.

Here’s a great article if you want to read it. But this being the good news column, here’s quick tweet to give you the gist.

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Good news from California – a banner year for women and families!

We talked last week about California’s Governor Brown signing AB 249 last week, a new law making it easier for voters to know who is actually funding political ad campaigns behind all those long, bland names. For those who get discouraged when things don’t happen quickly, the activists who worked on this campaign spent seven years gathering endorsements by 350 organizations, getting over 100,000 Californians signing petitions, encouraging thousands of people to write emails and make phone calls, and to show up by the hundreds to packed hearings. Seven years! But it’s effect may be profound and we thank them for their efforts. #TeamworkToTheMax

Seems so simple… Removing a economic barrier that keeps poor students from attending class during their periods, California schools will provide free tampons and pads. Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed AB 10, requiring middle and high schools where at least 40 percent of students meet the federal poverty threshold to stock half their campus restrooms with free menstrual products.

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Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a package of bills meant to address women’s and family issues, including expanding unpaid family leave and helping parents on welfare afford diapers. At a public signing ceremony at a Sacramento nonprofit aimed at helping homeless women, Brown touted the new laws as “California showing the way — on kids, on families, on women and husbands as well.”

Assembly Bill 480, from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, makes subsidized diapers available to single mothers and other parents who participate in the CalWorks Welfare-to-Work and Cal-Learn programs, and who have children under age three.

Brown signed SB 63, which extends family leave to millions of small business workers. The state currently requires companies with 50 or more employees to give their workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. SB 63 will expand that protection to workers at companies with at least 20 employees.

Brown also signed AB 1312, that will require sexual assault victims be given a standardized card that explains their rights. The new law will also require women be provided birth control options after their assault, and that law enforcement agencies preserve all rape test kits for unsolved cases for at least 20 years or until a victim who is a minor turns 40 years old.

Governor Brown signed SB 384,  which would allow, starting in 2021, for the names of those who committed lower-level, nonviolent sex crimes or who are judged to be low risks to re-offend to be removed from the registry after 10 or 20 years, depending on the crime. This allows law enforcement to cull their lists to make searching for violent offenders faster, and to stop the public punishment of those have not committed new crimes for decades, including some who engaged in consensual sex.

SB 500 by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) expands the crime of extortion to include demands for sexual activity and images of intimate body parts. Governor Brown signed SB 500 on October 5, 2017. “By signing this bill, California is telling sextortion victims that they matter and that they absolutely deserve to be able to receive justice in a court of law,” said Senator Leyva.

California bosses, including including the Legislature, the state and local governments, can no longer ask you about your previous salary. “The practice of seeking or requiring the salary history of job applicants helps perpetuate wage inequality that has spanned generations of women in the workforce. AB 168 is a needed step to ensure that my 9-year-old daughter, and all women, can be confident that their pay will be based on their abilities and not their gender,” said Assemblymember Eggman bill sponsor.

AB 557 by Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) makes CalWORKS homeless benefits immediately available to applicants who are victims of domestic violence. “My bill increases access to needed services and helps ensure that timely actions are taken to help survivors who need financial and housing assistance in order leave an abusive home. Like many Californians, I have seen first-hand the impact domestic violence has on families and communities – I know we can and will do more for women, men and children who need help escaping their violent environment. I applaud Governor Brown for taking action today to help stop the cycle of abuse,” said Assemblymember Rubio.

Good news for criminal justice!

The South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center received a $215,000 grant to support criminal justice reform efforts. Reducing South Carolina’s prison population and easing the transition of ex-inmates back into society are two major aims of a $215,000 grant just given to the Columbia-based Appleseed Legal Justice Center, an advocacy group for the low income on numerous issues.

Good news for the environment!

Bloomberg Philanthropies is donating $64 million dollars help the Sierra Club’s campaign to close two-thirds of U.S coal-fired plants by 2020. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charity Bloomberg Philanthropies made the donation to the Beyond Coal campaign run by non-profit Sierra Club, and other organizations fighting the burning of coal. Including this latest donation, the charity has given $110 million to Beyond Coal since 2011.

Good news for the environment!

Election officials are taking the Russian hacking issues seriously, even if our President doesn’t. They are upgrading their systems and making sure there are paper trails that can be audited.

Nevada has banned commercial collection of wild reptiles.

Brazil reinstates protection for Amazon reserve.

Good news for the elderly..

S178 – a bill that helps to prevents elder abuse and exploitation and improve the justice system’s response to victims in elder abuse and exploitation cases has passed both houses and is waiting for 45’s signature.

Good news from Gun-world…yeah, really.

(TheTrace.org) Charlottesville sues to keep out militias and armed white nationalists. A lawsuit filed yesterday argues that gun-toting militias, organized hate groups sporting improvised weapons, and the leftist self defense organizations who joined the fray all constituted paramilitary organizations, which are banned by the state. It cites three different state laws that specifically bar unregulated militia activity, as well as multiple Supreme Court precedents. That means that even though cities in many states whose laws prevent them from implementing blanket bans on gun carrying protesters, may be able to take action against the organized, heavily armed groups whose presence may chill the speech of counter protesters, terrorize bystanders, and inhibit law enforcement’s ability to keep confrontations from spiraling out of control.

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Yeah, we’re being teased..

A once-violent part of Harlem approaches a year without shootings
An eight block area in central Harlem marked 346 days without a single shooting after local activists, Street Corner Resources, received a grant to implement anti-violence techniques developed by the Cure Violence program to stop disputes from becoming deadly. The first year of the program saw at least seven shootings, a program employee estimated. As time went on, the group gained credibility and its results improved. Like other Cure Violence programs around the country, Street Corner Resources hired locals to talk to young men at risk of lashing out and tried to provide them with job opportunities.

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Good news from around the world!

India’s Supreme court ruled that sex with a girl under 18 is considered rape, regardless of whether she is married or not.

More than 30,000 Israeli and Palestinian women marched for peace to demand an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As former Knesset member Shakib Shanan said: “Listen to the cries of truth and justice, we want peace, from this place hope emerges.”

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There are still great people everywhere.

Check out the 2017 MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ grant winners!

And for a little self help, here’s an article on dealing with terrible people.

And in case “Respect” isn’t engraved on your soul, here she is.

(Thanks as usual to Rogan’s List, Michele at Small Deeds Done, Alison & Stephanie, our alert Facebook friends and the vast internet)

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