Last week, Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, destroying homes and lives. As Florida residents begin to recover from the storm, we’re grateful to read about everyone who pitched in to help their neighbors, including these Syrian refugees who cooked feasts for evacuees, and this “chainsaw-wielding nun” who cleared fallen trees from roads. She explains:
“The road was blocked, we couldn’t get through. There was a need, I had the means… Do what you can to help.”
Your weekly songspiration!
1. Bernie Sanders introduced Medicare-for-All legislation in the U.S. Senate. Only two years after Sanders’ previous bill had zero co-sponsors, this bill has 16 co-sponsors—a testament to how far the movement for single-payer has come. Here’s an easy way to check if your Democratic senator is on board.
2. Senate committees rejected key aspects of the Trump administration’s proposed budget. While this all still needs to be voted on by the full Senate, it’s promising that the committees voted to:
Keep funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Increase, not cut, federal education spending, and preserve teacher training and after-school programs
Require Betsy DeVos to get Congressional approval before allocating money for low-income students to charter schools instead
Continue funding climate change projects, including the part of the U.N. that oversees the Paris Climate Agreement
Increase funding for the National Institute of Health—and a House committee voted for this too, so it’s very likely to happen!
3. While this isn’t a concrete victory yet, we’re happy to see Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Susan Collins working together to stop Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military. And West Point just acknowledged its first recognized transgender graduate by her correct name and gender.
4. The House voted to stop Jeff Sessions from allowing the police to seize assets from anyone suspected of a crime and give them to the federal government.
6. Thousands of undocumented immigrants and allies rallied again to defend DACA, and California is dedicating $30 million to pay Dreamers’ financial aid and legal services. If you want to take action to support Dreamers, check out this amazing how-to guide from United We Dream, NILC, and Indivisible.
7. Democrats flipped two state-level House seats previously held by Republicans in special elections this week.
8. In response to Trump’s announcement to end DACA, Chicago’s Mayor announced the city is a “Trump-free zone.” (Can our city also be a Trump-free zone?) #askingforafriend
10. There seems to be a trend growing of Republican representatives choosing retirement over reelection in 2018. Just this past week, Michigan’s Dave Trott, Pennsylvania’s Charlie Dent, and Washington’s Dave Reichert announced they’re on their way out. #SwingLeft #nowisthetime
11. In a unanimous vote, Congress is calling on Trump to officially condemn hate groups supporting anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.
We’re planning to watch these heroines take on the heroin epidemic in this new Netflix documentary this weekend, but first we have to stop and give thanks to the late Edie Windsor for all that she did to bring equal rights to LGBTQ couples across the country.
P.S. bell hooks on “the good sex,” among other things.
P.P.S. Sometimes a bale of hay is all you need.
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