I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s been a hell of a couple of weeks in this country. My levels of anxiety and outrage have been soaring to previously unseen heights in response to multiple crisis, atrocities, and the many, many instances of obscene abuse of power. If you’re there, too, know that you aren’t alone. We’re all reeling. We’re all hurting. We’re all trying to figure out what to do next.
Thankfully, in addition to the happy headlines that are still out there in the press (if you know where to look for them!), there are also SO many great organizations out there, and they are doing good work on behalf of the most vulnerable among us. I am grateful each day for the individuals and groups that make it easy for me to do something – donate, sign a petition, text bank, attend a march. Honestly, the wealth of resources we have at our fingertips is astounding.
Clearly, one of the most immediately pressing and heart wrenching stories that has been evolving rapidly since our last Good News Edition is what’s happening on our southern border. The cruelty of this administration has perhaps never been so blatantly on display as in this moment of families being ripped apart and potentially separated forever, simply because they dared to come to this country seeking safety and help in their own moments of crisis. I am especially grateful for all the work being done across the country to rectify this terrible situation.
In case you missed today’s ATMA newsletter, here’s an excerpt regarding the marches that are being planned for next weekend, June 30:
MARCH ON WASHINGTON: There will be a protest against forced family separation and the administration’s cruel and oppressive anti-immigration policies AT THE WHITE HOUSE on Saturday, June 30th. We know this is short notice. But we also know it is important.
–> TRAVEL DETAILS: If you are able to travel to DC, either on your own or on a bus that ATMA organizes please get in touch asap with June30protest@gmail.com. There will be sister events planned across the state but it is also vitally important to lend our bodies and our voices in the Capitol.
MARCH IN NEW BEDFORD: Action Together Southeastern Massachusetts is hosting the local gathering on the Southcoast on Saturday, June 30 from 11:30 AM – 2 PM. Meet at Bethel AME Church County St in New Bedford, MA. Please join and spread the word – find event details at this post.
MARCH IN BOSTON: Liberate All Families on Saturday, June 30 at 12 PM – 2 PM. Please RSVP at the above link so we can accurately plan for this large-scale mobilization.
Please stay tuned. All of us are moving quickly here to pull things together. If you have resources to offer, please get in touch with your local ATMA leader or email us at ActionTogetherMA@gmail.com
And, here are a few other groups that you may want to consider supporting:
- RAICES in Texas is funding legal support and assistance for the families
- Together Rising is also doing work on this issue
- Jen Hofmann’s Americans of Conscience Checklist from this past week includes multiple action items that still apply
- And here’s a long list of organizations and action items from Slate
Doing something always makes me feel better. I hope it makes you feel better, too.
In local good news:
- Activists with the Poor People’s Campaign shut down a major intersection in Boston to bring attention to the need for higher minimum wages and other priorities.*
- Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital is moving the 30 gold-framed portraits of past white, male, department chairs from their prominent placement to more dispersed, less prominent locations, as part of their initiative to improve diversity efforts.*
- Local police chiefs in Massachusetts were directed to begin revoking gun permits for hundreds of people previously cleared by the state’s Firearms License Review Board, because the Board was not previously complying with stricter federal rules when approving them.*
- MA police reduce incarceration rates by treating opioid use disorder.†
- This one’s a little older, but worth sharing anyway: Federal Judge Refuses to Halt Discovery in Youth Climate Case
- The City of London Will Run on 100% Renewable Energy by October 2018
- First Manta Ray Nursery Ever Discovered Shows Marine Protected Areas Matter
- Florida Judge Rules in Favor of Conservation Groups on Constitutional Amendment for Land Acquisition
- Colorado joins California in fight to prevent Trump from weakening auto emissions rules
- ‘This Ruling Gives Us Hope’: Supreme Court Sides With Tribe in Salmon Case
- Two federal courts ruled against the EPA finding that the EPA must uphold the Clean Air Act provision requiring they enforce the provision which requires they stop smog emitted in one state from causing harm to another state in cases brought regarding New York, Connecticut, and Maryland.*
- Hawaii Gov. signed bills that for the first time will require corporations to reveal where, what and when they have sprayed of restricted-use pesticides and a ban on pesticides containing chlorpyrifos.*
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Not sure what this means for elections, but interesting anyway: ‘Today I renounce my membership’: Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he’s leaving his party
- Eileen Higgins wins Miami-Dade commission seat in upset over Zoraida Barreiro
- Parkland Survivors Launch Tour To Register Young Voters And Get Them Out In November
- Rhode Island bill would keep Trump off 2020 ballot unless he releases his tax returns
- San Francisco Board of Supervisors elected London Breed (D), the first black woman mayor of the city. Virginia Democratic voters picked women in six of their seven contested primaries in districts that didn’t already have a woman incumbent. Susie Lee (D) won her primary in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District Democrats flipped their 25th Republican-held district since the inauguration with Caleb Frostman winning in a special election for Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District*
- Maine supported ranked-choice voting for the second time in two years with the passage of a people’s veto of a republican passed law delaying the implementation of a voter passed ranked choice voting initiative.*
- And here’s an inspiring campaign ad from a woman running in Texas against an incumbent Tea Party member:
And here are a few good things happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice fronts:
- Not that we’re holding our breath, but apparently a GOP lawmaker called on Trump to fire Stephen Miller. That’d be a positive step.
- ‘Groundbreaking Victory’ for Privacy as Supreme Court Rules Against Warrantless Cellphone Tracking
- And then we have all kinds of good news happening around the resistance to the border policies:
- United Airlines asked the administration to refrain from transporting immigrant children on the airline.
- … and they weren’t the only airline making that request.
- Then, the Pope got in on the action
- And Jeff Sessions’ church had something to say as well (More from the United Methodist Church’s website)
- Not to be outdone, U.S. Catholic bishops are considering punishing Catholics who enforce Trump’s ‘immoral’ border policies
- Later, 11 states pulled National Guard troops from the US-Mexico border in a growing protest over Trump’s family-separation policy (Damn good thing Baker was one of them)
- And then NY took the legal approach: New York to sue Trump administration over child separation policy
- Speaking of the legal approach, 75 bipartisan former U.S. attorneys call on Sessions to end family separations
- And then the First ladies got together to condemn Trump and his administration’s family separation policy
- And the U.N. Rights Chief told the U.S. to stop taking migrant children from their parents
- And, on a practical note, 23andme is donating DNA kits to help reunite migrant families
- Richmond school drops Confederate name in favor of Barack Obama
- NH Raises Marriage Age To 16 From 13 After Girl Scout’s Plea – The legal New Hampshire marriage age for girls was previously 13 years old. A local Girl Scout helped change the law.
- A woman in Nevada stood up on a Greyhound bus boarded by ICE and told everyone they were not within 100 miles of a boarder and did not have to comply with their ICE requests and repeated it in Spanish using Google translate.*
- A federal judge ordered Washington state prisons to provide nighttime meals to Muslim inmates observing Ramadan.*
- Moms Demand action fill Texas legislative chamber.*
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia/Stormy/Campaign Finance/etc. investigation:
- A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to a federal prison to await his trial after special counsel Robert Mueller filed new additional charges of alleged attempted witness tampering and obstruction of justice.*
- Michael Cohen resigns from RNC committee post
- Trump’s personal attorney is ‘willing to give info’ about the President
- Not “good” news, per se, but an interesting twist: WaPo: National Enquirer sent Trump stories to Michael Cohen before publication
- This is also very “interesting” : Trump campaign data operation had stolen Clinton emails ‘more than a month’ before WikiLeaks
- Judge denies request by ex-Trump campaign aide to suppress evidence
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Young Trump staffers are complaining they can’t date in DC because everyone hates them. Can I get a womp-womp?
- Good people are everywhere: 15-year-old teen helps deaf, blind man on flight
- Pence was welcomed to Columbus (OH) with a “Big LGBTQ Dance Party.”*
- Wiener’s Circle sign trolls Trump — again. This time for immigration policies
- The all-female lead “Ocean’s 8” delivered the best opening in the franchise’s history.*
- And, just for fun, here’s the latest from Randy Rainbow. I totally hear you, dude!
“Mass State House Dome”: Photo Credit: twiga_swala Flickr via Compfight cc“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“I Voted”: standing8 Flickr via Compfight cc
“Blind Justice”: Government of Prince Edward Island Flickr via Compfight cc
“Russia Sickle”: AK Rockefeller Flickr via Compfight cc
“Snark Kitty”: Gratisography