fresh voices from the front lines of change







Chicago Chooses Black Woman As Next Mayor

The rising Black Left movement behind Chicago’s historic elections. The Nation: "Tuesday, the people of Chicago will go to the polls for a special runoff election to decide who will lead their city for the next four years. When they do, no matter which of the two mayoral candidates wins, the result will be that the next mayor of the country’s third-largest city will be a black woman, possibly a queer black woman. Politics in Chicago have long flowed from two fundamental, intertwined truths: White, male-led machine politicians have worked to keep outsiders at bay, while trying to keep black voters and black politicians in check. Thirty-six years later, a lot has changed in the city that was once deemed one of the most segregated in the United States. In the wake of a historic first round of elections in late February, not only do the mayoral contenders look and sound different from their predecessors, so does the incoming City Council. The momentous 2019 election battles will be over on April 2, but the struggle for the heart and soul of Chicago, for a 'freedom city,' will continue."

Disaster Aid Held Hostage By GOP Refusal To Help Puerto Rico

Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico after Senate fails to advance disaster aid bill. ABC: "President Donald Trump directed his outrage at Puerto Rico on Monday night, calling the U.S. territory 'a mess' and its politicians "incompetent or corrupt," after Senate Democrats clashed with their Republican counterparts over sending more disaster aid money. Senators took test votes on two competing measures -- one drafted by Senate Republicans and another passed by Democratic-led House of Representatives earlier this year -- that would allocate billions of dollars in aid to U.S. states and territories ravaged by hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and other natural disasters in recent months. But neither piece of legislation got the support required to advance to a full floor vote. Democrats shot down the GOP legislation while Republicans rejected the House-passed bill, which proposes more aid for Puerto Rico than the Republican version. Democrats said they wanted the federal government to release the money already appropriated to Puerto Rico in a previous relief package, in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars more. Republicans echoed Trump's claims that Puerto Puerto Rico has been given much more than disaster-hit states and hasn't spent the money wisely. Over the weekend, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer penned an op-ed in The New York Daily News, saying the Trump administration 'has yet to disperse nearly $20 billion in long-term recovery and mitigation funds for Puerto Rico, more than a year after they were approved by Congress and a year-and-a-half after the historic hurricanes made landfall.'"

'Inhuman' Treatment Of Migrants In Open-Air Pens

Border Patrol accused of forcing families sleeping outside to wake and stand every 3 hours. Newsweek: "U.S. Border Patrol agents have been accused of carrying out a string of "inhumane" abuses at an outdoor holding area for asylum seekers at the overcrowded Paso del Norte Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas, where hundreds of predominantly Central American families were forced to wait for their asylum claims to be processed over the past week. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and ACLU Border Rights Center filed a joint complaint to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) calling "for an immediate end to the caging of immigrants in outdoor holding areas," as well as for an investigation into the treatment of asylum-seeking detainees held at the makeshift facility in El Paso. The complaint details a series of alleged abuses reported to ACLU lawyers by former detainees at the since shut down site, including migrant families being forced to sleep on rocky terrain for up to four nights in temperatures that dropped into the 30s with only Mylar sheets to protect them. It also alleges that asylum seekers were forced to wake up every three hours and stand in what The Texas Monthly magazine called a 'sleep deprivation tactic.' 'Border Patrol’s detention of people in outdoor pens, forcing families and children to sleep in the dirt for days, is just the latest cruelty inflicted on asylum seekers by this administration,' said Shaw Drake, policy counsel for the ACLU Border Rights Center."

Trump Says GOP Will Solve Health Care... In 2020?

Trump punts health care until after 2020. Politico: "President Donald Trump signaled Monday that congressional Republicans would wait until after the 2020 elections to vote on a GOP replacement for Obamacare — putting off a presumably savage legislative battle on a hot-button campaign issue until after his re-election bid. The president’s pledge comes days after his Justice Department endorsed a federal court ruling to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, moving to invalidate the landmark health care law. Trump's call to again put Obamacare repeal on the table for Hill Republicans was seen as a potential disaster-in-the making by GOP leaders, who knew their incumbents and candidates were hurt by it badly last November. Trump’s efforts to eradicate Obamacare have also endangered some of the administration's health initiatives, such as lowering prices for prescription drugs and combating opioid abuse and HIV."

National Protests April 4 If Barr Hides Mueller Report

Nationwide protests planned if Barr fails to release full Mueller report by tonight. Common Dreams: "A coalition of progressive advocacy groups representing millions of Americans is planning mass protests nationwide if Attorney General William Barr fails to release the full Mueller report by Tuesday night, the deadline established by congressional Democrats. 'We are calling for a National Day of Action on Thursday, April 4, to demand that Attorney General William Barr #ReleaseTheReport if he fails to meet the deadline set by congressional leaders of Tuesday, April 2,' the Trump Is Not Above the Law coalition said late Monday. 'Barr has offered an alternate timeline for a redacted version of the report,' the coalition continued, 'but we deserve the full report and Congressional leaders and the American people expect it now.'"

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