Hello! It’s been a while because we’ve all been “doing democracy” in different ways over the past few weeks. In times of crisis, we need to shift our focus and energy into the tasks and actions that we think will have the greatest effect, and boy have we had our hands full. We are so proud of all our members who are diving in and stepping outside their comfort zones to get involved by texting, sending postcards, calling voters, canvassing, and protesting.* And we are grateful to everyone who is finding other, more behind-the-scenes ways to support the Resistance: planning events, running reading groups, inviting friends to participate, keeping the website up and running, coordinating with campaigns and legislators. There is no shortage of work to be done, especially with the November 6th elections fast approaching. If ever there was an all-hands-on-deck moment, this is it.
With that in mind, we hope that you’ll be able to make the time and find the energy to push just a little harder over the next three-and-a-half weeks. That’s all we have left before the polling places open and the fate of our democracy will be in the hands of those who choose to exercise their right to vote. This is a big moment, and that’s no exaggeration. If you haven’t already, it’s time to GET ANGRY, and GET INVOLVED.
If you’re not sure where to get started, reach out to people in your regional ATMA groups. They will have plenty of volunteer opportunities to share. You can also connect with groups like the Massachusett’s League of Women Voters, Lift+Every+Vote, and local campaigns.
In the meantime, and to help give you hope, here are a few stories of Good News. Yes, Good Things are still happening, despite what the headlines seem to say. All is not lost. Not yet. And if we keep pressing forward, there will be lots more Good News to share in the near future.
Thanks for everything you do!
* Speaking of protesting, did you know that the Trump Administration is trying to stifle protests near the White House and on the National Mall?? We only have until October 15th (that’s THIS MONDAY!) to comment.
P.S. We know this isn’t the full and complete list of Good News items … not by a long shot … but we’re all busy out there hitting the streets, phones, and so forth. If you have more Good News to share, please post it on Facebook for all to see. 🙂
Dutch appeals court upholds landmark climate change ruling – Netherlands ordered to increase emissions cuts in historic ruling that puts ‘all world governments on notice’
- A Setback for Trump’s Plan to Slash Public Lands—Environmentalists and tribes won an early legal advantage in their battle to protect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
- Federal Court upholds protections for oceans and national monuments
- Judge overturns denial of endangered species protection for Pacific Fishers
- Judge restores protections for grizzly bears, blocking 1st hunts in 3 decades
- The federal court of appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that individuals whose drinking water was contaminated with PFAS chemicals from neighboring military bases can proceed with their lawsuit against the U.S. Navy.
- Persistant activism is turning the tide on gas plants in California
- The EPA announced J.G. MacLellan Concrete Co. will pay almost $150,000 to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act in MA and NH. *
- In compassion news: Unilever Announced Its Support of a Global Ban on Animal-Tested Cosmetics
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- 2018’s National Voter Registration Day broke its previous record of 771,321 new registered voters last week, as more than 800,000 people registered in preparation for the midterms.
- Ballotpedia compiled a ,state by state comparison of voter turnout in primary elections that is worth a peruse. It shows Democratic voters increased by 77 percent between 2014 and 2018, Republican voters increased by 25 percent between 2014 and 2018, and the total number of primary voters increased by 48 percent between 2014 and 2018.*
- A record 61% of all registered voters in a recent national survey said they are more enthusiastic about voting than in past congressional elections, a higher percentage than at any point during midterms in the past two decades.†
- In a related story, we know she hasn’t always done the right thing, but kudos to Taylor Swift for finally deciding to get involved. According to Vote.com, her recent Instagram post apparently inspired 65,000 people to register to vote. Looks like someone is finally getting woke.
- The Republican party is about to face the wrath of women (Let’s hope this is true)
- Uber will drive voters to the polls for free on election day
- We’re not sure if anything has come to light from his efforts, but this is an interesting twist on “oppo” – Former Obama Operative Built a New Anti-Republican Attack Machine
And here are a few good things happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice fronts:
- 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Yazidi Activist and Congolese Doctor
- Oh, snap! Someone bought brettkavanaugh.com and made it a resource site about domestic and sexual violence.
- Across the ocean: Abortions will be free for the women of Ireland
- It may be the absolute worst that Kavanaugh was confirmed, and we still don’t know how the events that took place during those hearings will potentially affect voters and the outcome of the midterm elections, but at least we can take some comfort in knowing that certain organizations are coming to their senses enough to say publicly that Kavanaugh is not fit to sit on the highest court in the land. Included in this list are: a Mormon Women’s Group, law students pretty much everywhere,
- Philly makes history with installation of first black female Lutheran bishop
- Harvard awards Colin Kaepernick top honor for African and African American studies
- Meanwhile, also at Harvard: Brett Kavanaugh will not return to teach at Harvard Law School amid Supreme Court controversy.
- California Gov. signed a bill restoring net neutrality protections that the FCC struck down last year.*
- Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.*
- California passed a law that makes the state the first to require corporate boards of directors to include women.*
- A federal court ruled that New Jersey’s ban on 15-round magazines is constitutional.*
- Wikipedia banned Breitbart as a source of news.*
- The Justice Department is doubling funds to address violence toward Native American women.†
- The Smithsonian is installing a memorial to honor US Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans, designed by Harvey Pratt, a Southern Cheyenne chief.†
- A federal court blocked a North Carolina law that prevented farmworkers from organizing and making collective bargaining agreements with employers.†
- GA: An Aryan Brotherhood member was sentenced to 20 years in a Georgia prison for shooting at a black man whose car momentarily blocked a driveway.†
- PA: The legislature voted to restrict gun ownership by domestic abusers, and the governor has stated he will sign the bill into law.†
- Techstars, a Boulder-based incubator and accelerator, has proposed a change to its code of conduct requiring that startups joining its programs support diversity in the workplace and equal pay for equal work.†
- More than 187,000 immigrants have renewed their DACA status this year, courtesy of federal court orders preserving DACA.†
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Robin Sokolov, the executive director of Town Stages in New York, published an “Open Letter For People Looking For Open Letters” that will absolutely knock you off your feet. Seriously – if you haven’t read this, take a moment. She is FIERCE.
- And here’s a letter that’s just as fierce, but with a softer delivery: To the brave women of America, with love, written by Sharon Blackie.
- Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker takes a justified jab at the First Lady after she bemoaned being the “most bullied person in the world” – Sympathetic Voters Hope to End Melania’s Suffering in 2020
- First American woman wins Nobel Prize in chemistry
- New York City will go after President Donald Trump for any taxes he owes on the money he received from his late father.
- One for the four-legged friends: Cuomo signs ‘no pet left behind’ law allowing animals on public transportation in emergencies
- The British Royal Family Finally Had a Same-Sex Wedding – Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his partner on Saturday, and his ex-wife walked him down the aisle
- And who can forget this classic moment: At the U.N., Trump finds the world literally laughing at him
- Totally unrelated and non-political, but snorting-coffee-through-your-nose worthy: I Just Went Shopping at the Mall and Now I Am So Confused
Finally, this will probably make you cry, but it should also fire you up to take action.
“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