Originally posted on the Small Victories website

Keeping it short and sweet this week with some inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut as we head into Labor Day weekend:

“Our aim is to make the world more beautiful than it was when we came into it. It can be done. You can do it.”

-Alison & Stephanie


1. The primary elections continue to deliver good news!

✅Progressive and Bernie Sanders-backed candidate Andrew Gillum won his Democratic primary for governor in Florida.

✅Oklahomans showed their support for teachers by voting out six state representatives who opposed higher salaries for teachers and greater education funding.

✅And teachers came out ahead in Arizona, too. From university professor David Garcia winning his Democratic primary for governor, and Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Christine Porter Marsh won her state Senate primary.

2. We’re also seeing some of the highest voter turnout numbers in years—like in Idaho, Vermont, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Arizona, and Florida. We’re hoping this a good sign for November.

3. Fun fact: A study came out showing that when a person received a handwritten postcard in addition to voter registration materials, there was a 14% greater likelihood that the person would register. #HandwrittenRevolution

4. In Georgia, the Randolph County election board took less than one minute to dismiss a proposal that would have closed seven of nine polling places before the November election. Plus, the guy who proposed the closures was fired.

5. A judge ruled that DACA should not be immediately shut down. However, his ruling doesn’t protect the program long term, so we must continue to push Congress for a #CleanDreamActNow.

6. In Massachusetts, students marched 50 miles from Worcester to Springfield to protest at the headquarters of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson. We’re hanging onto these wise words from high school junior Jack Torres, who had this to say during the march:

“There’s times where we’ve thought this is too tiring… [but] if we keep sending our message, we won’t know who or where or when, but we might save a life. That’s enough to keep us going.”

7. And online store provider Shopify has banned sales for specific types of guns and ammunition.

8. Communities in red states are coming together (and eating together) to support immigrant families.

9. From the Manafort conviction to Cohen’s plea deal, it’s becoming clear that Trump’s problems are bigger than Russia, and aren’t going away any time soon.

10. LA’s mayor rejected a $425,000 federal grant aimed at countering violent extremism, because it would unfairly target American Muslim adults and children.

11. A court ordered the EPA to immediately begin enforcing an Obama-era safety rule which requires industries to take steps to prevent chemical disasters.

12. The day before fall classes began, students removed a confederate monument from the UNC Chapel Hill campus.

13. With help from Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, a nineteen-day national prison strike is underway across the country to demand better living conditions, an end to prison slavery, sentencing reform, and increased funding for rehabilitation services—and it’s working. And hundreds of immigrants held in ICE detention centers and others have joined in solidarity. If you’d like to learn more or help support the strike, check this out.

14. Texas is lowering prisoner call rates from 26 to six cents per minute, making it less expensive for incarcerated people to connect with their families.

15. If their governor signs this new bill, California will be the first state to protect net neutrality, essentially restoring the previous rules under Obama.

16. And the state recently became the first in the country to eliminate cash bail. While this is good news, the system replacing cash bail has big problems as well, so there is still work to be done.

17. Kroger—one of the largest grocery stores in the U.S.—announced it will stop providing single use plastic bags by 2025.

18. This Republican representative from Southern California (and his wife) were indicted for using campaign funds to pay for everything from fancy vacations to fast food. #VoteHimOut

19. A former Dallas police officer was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison for murdering unarmed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards.  

20. The Keystone XL pipeline is facing delays again after a federal judge ruled that the state department must do a full environmental review on the latest route planned through Nebraska. 

21. This ride hailing company wants to help make voting easier, so they are offering free and discounted rides to voters on November 6th. If you know anyone who could use this service, you can learn more about it here.  

22. A judge in Washington, DC struck down key elements from three executive orders signed by Trump that would have made it easier to fire federal workers and weaken their unions.

23. Michigan’s health director will stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges due to his careless management of the Flint water crisis.

24. Eight restaurant chains have joined seven others by no longer using agreements that would block employees from seeking higher-paying jobs at other locations of the same chain.   

25. A federal appeals court in Alabama ruled that the state cannot ban a certain method of abortion after 15 weeks.

26. Illinois passed a new bill that will expand insurance coverage for mental health and addiction-treatment services.

27. Even though Maine’s current governor has vowed to stop the voter-approved Medicaid expansion, the state Supreme Court ruled that it must begin immediately.

28. And thanks to campaigners from Insure the Good Life, this fall, Nebraskans will be able to vote to expand Medicaid in their state as well. As Jonathan Schleifer, Executive Director of The Fairness Project, explained,

“Voters from across the political spectrum are revolting against politicians who are standing in the way of an America where every family can see a doctor without going bankrupt.”

29. Which is why we’re not surprised that Medicare for All is becoming more and more popular among both Democrats and Republicans.

30. Yet again, judges in North Carolina ruled that the state’s congressional districts are unconstitutional, and there’s a chance they will order them redrawn before the election this fall.

31. This very fun—and very important—rom-com has been winning at the box office since its premiere, and we’re thrilled to learn a sequel is already in the works.  

32. In a move to combat period poverty, Scotland will provide free sanitary products to all its students—becoming the first country in the world to do so.

33. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, marriage equality must become law in Costa Rica within the next 18 months.


Gratitude Journal

We’re loving this musician’s “soleful” response to a police trap in Chicago. And as we say goodbye to summer, we’ll be taking a few days to hang out near this, watch this, read this, and scroll endlessly through these. ?

Your Weekly Songspiration

Small Victories Issue 44Small Victories is brought to you with support from Peace is Loud.