fresh voices from the front lines of change








Cuts and Militias

Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies. WaPo: “The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights… The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.”

Dems express concerns about Trump’s proposed rural development cuts. The Hill: :A group of 29 Democratic senators is raising concerns about proposals in President Trump’s budget to make cuts to rural development programs… The Senate Democrats took issue with several aspects of Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget, released last week, relating to agriculture. The budget proposed cutting Farm Bill programs by $231 billion. It also proposed eliminating U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for water and wastewater projects and small-business programs. ‘Simply put, cuts to these programs hinder the ability of rural America to see economic growth and development,’ the senators wrote.”

Portland Republican Urges Party to Contract Militia Groups for Defense After White Supremacist Murders Two. The Guardian: “As tensions continue in Portland following the racially charged murder of two men on Friday, the top Republican in the city said he is considering using militia groups as security for public events. ‘I am sort of evolving to the point where I think that it is appropriate for Republicans to continue to go out there,’ he said… Asked if this meant Republicans making their own security arrangements rather than relying on city or state police, Buchal said: ‘Yeah. And there are these people arising, like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.'”

In the Courts

A federal appeals court just reached a huge decision for transgender rights. Vox: “A single student’s case has turned into a massive legal decision for all transgender Americans. On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Kenosha Unified School District in Wisconsin violated the rights of a trans student, Ash Whitaker, when it refused to let him use the boys’ bathroom. According to the court, Whitaker is likely to win upon a full review of the case (instead of the current review of a lower court’s preliminary injunction) on his claim that the school’s actions violated Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools based on sex, and the Equal Protections Clause of the 14th Amendment.”

Supreme Court to hear Ohio voter purge case. The Hill: “The Supreme Court will hear a case next term challenging Ohio’s policy of removing inactive voters from the registration rolls. The justices agreed Tuesday to take the case, known as Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. The A. Philip Randolph Institute, an organization for African-American trade unionists, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Ohio resident Larry Harmon claim the state is violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by removing the names of registered voters from Ohio’s voter rolls.”

More from

Trump Budget Makes America Land of No Opportunity. Leo Gerard: “A few hundred billion cut here, a few hundred billion slashed there, and the Trump budget proposal adds up to real crushed opportunity. The spending plan slices a pound of flesh from everyone, well, everyone who isn’t a millionaire or billionaire. Each incision is painful. But what’s worse is the collective result: the annihilation of opportunity.”

DeVos Budget Robs from Poor Kids to Fund Schools That Discriminate. Jeff Bryant: “Trump’s education budget cuts $9.2 billion (13.5 percent) of federal outlays to public schools, and eliminates or phases-out twenty-two programs. DeVos called this a matter of making ‘tough choices’ and ‘putting an emphasis on the programs that are proven to help students.’ But tough questioning from Democratic Representatives revealed the real priority of this administration isn’t pragmatic; it’s ideological – and it’s a particularly ugly ideology our federal government has historically been focused on dismantling.”

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