fresh voices from the front lines of change







HUD To Remove Anti-Discriminatory Language

Carson's HUD to remove commitment to discrimation-free communities. Newsweek: "Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is changing the mission statement of his agency, removing promises of inclusive and discrimination-free communities. In a March 5 memo addressed to HUD political staff, Amy Thompson, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs, explained that the statement is being updated 'in an effort to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.' The new mission statement reads: 'HUD’s mission is to ensure Americans have access to fair, affordable housing and opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency, thereby strengthening our communities and nation. '"

Bank Deregulation Opens Door To New Discrimination

How senate banking bill opens front door to housing discrimination. PBS: "The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 modestly expanded upon information reporting that had started in 1975 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, a key civil rights and consumer protection law aimed at fighting racially discriminatory 'redlining' mortgage practices. Current legislation pending before the Senate — the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) — would exempt around 85 percent of banks and credit unions from the new reporting requirements... without this data, state attorneys general, fair housing advocates, and others would be back to where we stood in the aftermath of the 2008 crash: we could not connect racial, ethnic, gender and age discrimination to mortgages made in our communities and across the country."

League of Women Voters Sues Kobach For Blocking 1 In 7 Voters

Trump’s top vote suppressor and illegal alien voter claim goes to court. Alternet: "The mainstream media has simply missed the voting rights trial whose outcome could unleash the newest mass vote suppression weapon, the invention of Donald Trump’s chief vote suppression tactician, Kris Kobach of Kansas. On Tuesday, the trial of the lawsuit by the League of Women Voters against Kobach, Kansas’ Republican Secretary of State, began in a Wichita courtroom. The League has sued to block the state’s law, drafted by Kobach, requiring all new voters to show proof of citizenship. Kobach’s law has blocked an astonishing 1 in 7 new registrants from voting in the state because they did not satisfy his citizenship paperwork requirement. The ACLU, which represents the League, has sent in its top litigators, led by its voting rights director Dale Ho, because of the nationwide implications of the case. If Kobach’s law is upheld and spreads to other GOP controlled states, just over one million Americans could lose their right to vote by 2020.Oddly, Kobach has chosen a lawyer with little courtroom knowledge—himself."

Feminists Have Changed The Face Of Power

Feminists have slowly shifted power. There’s no going back. The Guardian: "This International Women’s Day comes five months after the revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s long campaign of misogynist punishments of women first broke, and with them more things broke. Excuses broke. Silence was broken. The respectable appearance of a lot of institutions broke. You could say a dam broke, and a wall of women’s stories came spilling forth – which has happened before, but never the way that this round has... Something had shifted. What’s often overlooked is that it had shifted beforehand so that this could happen. Something invisible had made it possible for these highly visible upheavals and transformations. People often position revolution and incrementalism as opposites, but if a revolution is something that changes things suddenly, incrementalism often lays the groundwork that makes it possible. Something happens suddenly, and that’s mistaken for something happening out of the blue. But out of the blue usually means out of the things that most people were not paying attention to, out of the slow work done by somebody or many somebodies out of the limelight for months or years or decades."

The Deep Roots Of International Women's Day

The radical reason why March 8 is International Women's Day. CNN: "As people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday — an annual March 8 observance — countries from Kyrgyzstan to Cambodia will officially honor women’s rights and achievements across the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. The day has been designated as an official United Nations observance since 1975, which was International Women’s Year, and is a national holiday in many parts of the world. But the day’s origins go much further back than 1975 — and are more radical than what we might expect from a day so widely celebrated. The impetus for establishing an International Women’s Day can be traced back to New York City in February 1908, when thousands of women who were garment workers went on strike and marched through the city to protest against their working conditions. 'Like today, these women were in less organized workplaces [than their male counterparts], were in the lower echelons of the garment industry, and were working at low wages and experiencing sexual harassment,' says Eileen Boris, Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. In honor of the anniversary of those strikes, which were ongoing for more than a year, a National Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in the U.S. on Feb. 28, 1909."

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