Originally posted on the Small Victories website
We’re big fans of the late Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, and we recently came across this quote that we had to share. If you speak Spanish, you can watch him say this in an interview, but we think the English translation is pretty good, too:
“Utopia is on the horizon. I move two steps closer; it moves two steps further away. I walk another ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps further away. As much as I may walk, I’ll never reach it.
“So what’s the point of utopia?
The point is this: to keep walking.”
1. Instead of building a new prison as previously planned, Philadelphia will close its oldest jail, the notoriously inhumane House of Corrections, within the next two years. This is a huge win for the #No215Jail coalition, but still just a first step.
2. New Jersey is set to be the latest state to offer college financial aid to undocumented students.
3. Facebook and Instagram banned white supremacist Richard Spencer from using their sites.
4. Yet another federal judge ruled that Trump’s attempted ban on transgender military members cannot be implemented.
5. Protesters from the Black and Brown Workers Collective occupied the Starbucks where two black men were arrested for waiting for a friend earlier this week. And if you want to skip Starbucks on your next coffee run, check out one of these black owned coffee or tea shops instead.
6. The editorial staff of the New Republic became the latest journalists to unionize. As writer Sarah Jones said,
“By organizing, we’re affirming our commitment to each other.”
7. Also unionizing? The nurses at New York’s Albany Med, after a three-year campaign.
9. People on parole in New York have regained the right to vote, thanks to an executive order.
10. After Dick’s Sporting Goods decided to pull assault rifles from their shelves, they could have sent them back to the manufacturer to be sold elsewhere—but instead they’re going to destroy the guns.
11. In one of his last decisions, Stephen Reinhardt, and the district court in LA, ruled that women can’t be paid less than their male counterparts just because of their past salary history.
14. Trump and his lawyer fixer, Michael Cohen, won’t be able to hide any of their shady dealings from the FBI following a recent raid at Cohen’s office and home.
15. Thanks to a new law passed in Washington state, doulas and midwives will now be able to assist incarcerated pregnant women and new mothers.
16. Thanks to a lawsuit from the ACLU and Education Law Center, kids in Flint, Michigan will be checked for any effects caused by lead in their drinking water to help determine if they need any health or special education services.
18. Following a ruling by a federal judge this week, the federal government can no longer award more money to police departments because they agree to help ICE.
20. Thanks to organizers from Utah Decides Healthcare, who got a whopping 165,000 signatures for their ballot initiative, Utahns will get the chance to vote in favor of expanding Medicaid in November’s election.
23. While polls still make us nervous, learning that the race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke is currently too close to call gives us hope that we may see Texas change from red to blue this fall.
24. Prompted by the birth of Tammy Duckworth’s daughter, children under a year old will now be allowed in the Senate chamber when their parents need to cast a vote.
25. Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to win a Pulitzer for his album DAMN., and we can’t help but cheer for the amazing journalists like Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (who won for this piece) and the reporters who helped bring down Harvey Weinstein.
We weren’t expecting you guys to send such sweet notes about your gratitude for the newsletter, but thank you to all who did—boy, were we blown away, and so, so touched! We also heard from so many readers about what they’re grateful for that we can’t fit all of the responses in one issue! So look out for more next week, and feel free to drop us a line and tell us what keeps you feeling positive these days.
Peg is thankful for Postcards for America and founder Jennifer Fisher for giving her information and guidance on what to write. (And we’re grateful for you, Peg, since you’ve sent nearly 1,000!!!! postcards in the past year to get out the Democratic vote.)
Laurie found hope in this story about a homeless-shelter-based Girl Scout troop that beat, and then more than doubled, their cookie-selling goal in just two days.
Nicole is grateful for her town, Hopewell NJ—a sanctuary city—and this local artist and teacher who supports their community organization Hope Rises Up through her work, like these buttons. (We’d definitely wear one!) 👌