This week has taken so many twists and turns, but we are thrilled to celebrate the biggest small victory we’ve had in a long time: The Senate voted against repealing Obamacare!
Thank you to all of the groups who have been organizing on behalf of health care for years, new groups like Indivisible who have mobilized nonstop for the past few months, and especially the heroic members of ADAPT, who put themselves on the front lines and led the way to the defeat of this deadly bill. (If you’re feeling grateful, you can thank them by donating to their legal fees.)
We hope you take a minute to bask in the glow of this win—watching the celebration outside the Senate was cathartic and uplifting—and to realize what we’re capable of when we work together for the greater good. Rest. Recharge. And then get ready, because the fight for healthcare for all has only just begun.
Your weekly songspiration!
1. After Donald Trump announced he was banning transgender people from serving in the military, people mobilized for impromptu protests in cities across the country, including more than 1,000 people in Times Square. Thanks to Equality New York and other groups for their emergency organizing, and to Tanya Walker for inspiration:
“It is our duty to fight. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and protect each other.”
Kirsten Gillibrand will introduce legislation to overturn the ban, and it’s unclear when it will be enforced or whether it will hold up in court. Meanwhile, in better news, New Jersey passed two new laws protecting trans students. (Thanks, Susan!)
2. Pedro Hernandez was released from Rikers Island, thanks to a human rights group who paid his bail. Despite evidence that he’s innocent, he was imprisoned for more than a year without a conviction because he couldn’t afford to pay the six-figure bail. It’s time to #endcashbail.
3. Illinois launched the state’s first restorative justice court.
6. During last week’s heat wave, the ArchCity Defenders and other St. Louis groups raised money and bailed 15 people out of a brutally hot jail. After days of protests, a federal judge ruled that the jail was likely violating prisoners’ Constitutional rights, but stopped short of improving conditions for all inmates—which is why it’s vital to support the abolition of the prison industrial complex.
7. A judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration from deporting 1,400 Iraqis.
8. The leader of Trump’s elections committee was fined $1,000 and cited by a federal judge for a pattern of misleading statements.
9. Texans’ creativity was on full display during protests at the state Capitol building: A Texas 21 Indivisible member wore a sari that unraveled into a banner; young women staged a quinceañera to protest racial profiling of the Latinx community; and youth activists led direct action in defense of DACA, supported by Movimiento Cosecha. #OutragedAndUnafraid
10. A huge number of Democrats have registered to run for office in 2018, and Swing Left announced that grassroots donors have already raised nearly $3 million for Democratic candidates in 64 swing districts. You can continue to track progress on their leaderboard, or join the fundraising effort.
11. Kentucky will be fined after a city clerk refused to marry same-sex couples in 2015.
12. Los Angeles ports are becoming more environmentally friendly, aiming for zero emissions by 2030. (Thanks, Jess!)
While so many of us are checking the news nonstop and caught up in the chaos around us, we want to pause and remember that it’s important to take care of ourselves and each other. If you’re having a hard time coping with the assaults on our rights and our lives, or going through the pain of loss, please know that there are people in your life who care about you and love you, and we will support you and lift you up.
P.S. More proof that representation matters.
P.P.S. Our ongoing struggle with the 24-hour news cycle looks a little something like this.
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