August? For real? Those midterm elections are right around the corner. How are you engaging? I’m finding there are so many ways to participate in democracy. From the various texting campaigns for races all across the country to local, boots-on-the-ground events with candidates in our own districts. There’s always something to be done. If you’d like to get involved but aren’t sure how to hook up with a campaign or other organization that needs help, please feel free to reach out to the communities on the ATMA state and regional Facebook pages. There are so many people in all our groups who are doing amazing work, and they would be more than happy to point you in the direction of all different kinds of ways you can help: texting, phone banking, canvassing, writing postcards, writing letters to the editor, donating … heck, I’m even doing data entry for one campaign. Every little bit of effort helps AND the work you do will give you a sense of empowerment and renewed hope. Trust me.
In the meantime, here’s another boost to your sense of renewed hope: this weeks’s selection of happy headlines. Enjoy them!
In local good news:
- Here’s an inspiring video from Mass350 of a recent demonstration at the State House. “We’re Massachusetts, damn it!”
- A bill championed by state Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), which requires all Massachusetts colleges and universities to perform biennial sexual misconduct climate surveys, was passed unanimously by the State House of Representatives.
- Here’s an interesting article on how things may be changing here in MA: A generational shift in politics finally arrives in Mass.
- State Arts Funding Increases By $2 Million For The 1st Time In 4 Years
- And—finally! —the MA legislature sent the automatic voter registration (AVR) bill to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.
- 48-Year-Old Woman Is Building Ghana’s Biggest Solar Farm
- Local Activists Put a Cork in Dangerous Gas Storage Proposal in New York’s Wine Country
- EPA reverses course, says it will enforce stricter pollution limits for glider trucks
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Tami Sawyer wins Shelby County Commission District 7 seat in Tennessee
- We’re not counting any chickens before they hatch, but one poll is saying that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker trails Democrat by 13 points in re-election bid
- Jessica Alter, co-founder of Tech for Campaigns, is heading up a 7,000-strong volunteer organization that enables Silicon Valley employees to use their digital skills to help Democratic election candidates.
And here are a few good things happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice fronts:
- From all the way in France, a Good Idea that we should maybe adopt: France Bans Street Harassment, Approving Hefty Fines For Catcallers
- On Wednesday, a group of activists rallyied in Washington, D.C. to #StopKavanaugh and fight to protect: access to quality healthcare, a woman’s right to privacy, the ability to marry the person you love, and the ability to plan your family.
- More in a related story: 74 arrested protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination on Capitol Hill
- Even though some are rolling their eyes and accusing CNN’s Jim Acosta of showboating, we still think it’s a good thing that he called Sarah Sanders out for not being willing to say unequivocally that the press is not the enemy of the people. It was a super awkward and tense exchange in the briefing room, but someone had to say it.
- One of the good guys: Michael Jordan donates $7 million to fund health clinics in Charlotte’s at-risk areas
- Another good guy – check out LeBron James’ new ‘I Promise’ school
- As a friend said on Facebook, “Queue the world’s tiniest violin.” Rolling Stone reports: The NRA Says It’s in Deep Financial Trouble, May Be ‘Unable to Exist’ TBD if this is a ploy to increase donations, but we can hope that it’s an actual crisis for this organization.
- As Mr. Rogers says, look for the helpers: Caravan of “grannies” heads to U.S.-Mexico border to protest family separations
- Trump ‘sanctuary cities’ order is illegal, US appeals court rules
- Donald Trump’s attacks on the media may have backfired – Trust in mainstream American newspapers has grown, even among conservatives
- Judge Blocks Attempt to Post Blueprints for 3-D Guns
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia/Stormy/Campaign Finance/etc. investigation:
- Aide to Trump confidant Roger Stone ordered to appear before Mueller grand jury
- Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of the House Intelligence Committee issued a stern warning Wednesday to President Donald Trump concerning Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation of Russian meddling in the elections: “Fire Mueller and we fire you.”
- Mueller refers foreign agent inquiries to New York prosecutors
- Looks like Manafort is going to be spending a lot of time behind bars: Accountants testify Manafort inflated loans, failed to disclose foreign accounts
- People are saying this may lead to an indictment for Roger Stone: ‘Manhattan Madam’ met with Mueller’s team
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- So, this is beyond cool: Chicago’s First-Ever Wakandacon Kicks Off This Weekend – Chicago’s first black, feminist-friendly pop culture/tech convention makes its debut this weekend.
- Totally unrelated to politics or activism, but as a mom of a teen obsessed with Fortnite, this video of two moms lipsyncing to their sons’ game play is hysterical!
- Everyone’s Laughing At That Awful Pro-Trump Artist’s Latest Painting
- In other funny art news: An unknown prankster put a Putin portrait in Colorado’s state Capitol where Trump’s would be
Ok – we know it’s from before the 2016 election when we thought everything was going to be not only alright, but freakin’ amazing, BUT … this song should still lift your heart and rev you up for this November’s midterms. Get ready. Get involved. This is out fight song!
“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