Originally posted on the Small Victories website
West Virginia teachers ended their wildcast strike this week, after winning a 5% raise and the promise of a task force to help lower their health insurance costs. There are so many reasons why this strike inspired workers in other industries and teachers in other states, and we hope it will continue to be a model for future organizers.
“Over 30,000 West Virginians said enough is enough. It’s not like we’re a special group of activist teachers who have been studying for twenty years about how to mobilize the working class. We’re not. If we can do it, anybody can do it.”
Alison & Stephanie
1. Over a million Democrats showed up to vote in the Texas primary earlier this week—an 87% spike in turnout since 2014! Women won the night, including these two Latina candidates and this progressive candidate who’s headed to a runoff. We’re also reading up on this underdog, who raised less money than her competitors yet still won her primary.
2. And Democrats flipped two state legislative seats from red to blue in this week’s special elections.
4. Positive changes continue to take place since the Parkland shooting:
👍Thanks to public pressure, REI will stop carrying products made by a company who also manufactures guns. Plus, Kroger and L.L. Bean will no longer sell guns to people under 21. (Who knew L.L. Bean even sold guns in the first place?) And an Illinois gun show appears to be the first gun show to ban assault rifles and bump stock sales.
6. Teens aren’t just leading the way to stop gun violence—they’re also organizing for climate justice. As one of the lead organizers, Jamie Margolin, said:
“The powerful thing about youth is that I don’t have a hidden agenda. By default, teenagers’ only vested interest is their future. I don’t get paid for this, I’m not lobbying on behalf of anybody. I’m only doing this because it feels so urgent.”
8. Oakland’s mayor warned immigrants about a forthcoming raid, preventing ICE from potentially arresting hundreds of people.
10. Robert Mueller issued subpoenas to get emails, phone records, and tons of other info from Steve Bannon and other Trump associates. #GettingCloser
11. Utah’s state Senate will not move forward with a bill that would harm college sexual assault survivors.
12. Joining last week’s victories in Virginia and Arizona, Maryland will provide free tampons and pads to incarcerated women.
13. At Sunday’s Academy Awards, Jordan Peele became the first black person to win Best Original Screenplay, A Fantastic Woman became the first film featuring a transgender lead and storyline to win an award (and Daniela Vega was the first trans presenter), and we learned about the very important inclusion rider—thanks, Frances! It’s great to see this guy’s already adopting it. 👏
15. Following pressure from community advocates, Hudson County, NJ ended its agreement with ICE, so now county employees will no longer help ICE with their work.
16. As soon these companies found out they were advertising on this horrible human being’s YouTube channel, they started pulling their ads. Oh, and the original creator of Pepe the Frog is none too pleased with him either.
17. A Belgian man has become the first person to be found guilty of “sexism in a public place,” which will cost him $3,500.
18. After being sued by a big oil company for protecting their water supply, a small town outside of Quebec won their legal battle.
We’re reading about the women whose remarkable lives are finally being recognized by the New York Times, learning how the activists behind last year’s Milk with Dignity campaign pulled off their victory, and eagerly awaiting this new publishing imprint, Topple.
We can believe we didn’t hear about this last April, but we want one. Anybody else? #TheSnuggleIsReal
And these two best friends reuniting is everything. 🐶💗
Your Weekly Songspiration
Bonus songspiration this week by Miss Lisa Simpson