fresh voices from the front lines of change







Black Gay Woman, Lori Lightfoot, Is Chicago's New Mayor

Lori Lightfoot elected Chicago mayor, will be 1st black woman and 1st openly gay person to hold post. NBC:
"Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot defeated Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff for Chicago mayor Tuesday. She will be the first openly gay person and first black woman to lead the city. The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot shortly before 8 p.m. local time. With over 91 percent of precincts in, Lightfoot led Preckwinkle 73.7 percent to 26.3 percent, according to the Chicago board of elections website. Lightfoot pumped her fist in the air and the crowd cheered when she said, 'Thank you Chicago! In this election Toni and I were competitors, but our differences are nothing compared to what we can achieve together,' Lightfoot said. 'Now that it’s over, I know we will work together for the city that we both love. Today, you did more than make history,' Lightfoot said. 'You created a movement for change.'"

Trump Backs Away From Border, Healthcare Threats

Trump pulls back from border closure threats. The Hill: "President Trump on Tuesday evening pulled back from his threats to close the southern border, claiming that Mexico is now cooperating in apprehending migrants. 'I really wanted to close it,' Trump said during remarks at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual spring dinner. Trump earlier in the day shifted away from his threats to close the border this week, saying he would '100 percent' close the border or 'close large sections of the border' if Congress didn't pass stricter immigration laws. The president's apparent retreat Tuesday evening came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Tuesday that closing the border would have a 'potentially catastrophic' impact on the economy."

GOP To Change Senate Rules To Speed Nominations

Coming soon: The death of the filibuster. Politico: "With Republicans expected to change the Senate rules to slash debate time on President Donald Trump’s nominees this week, it will mark the third time the 'nuclear option' — changing Senate rules by a simple majority — has been triggered in just six years. Each of those unilateral moves by a Senate majority to weaken the Senate’s age-old precedents centered on nominations, leaving the legislative filibuster and its 60-vote threshold unscathed. But some senators say it’s just a matter of time before even that Senate institution is more or less wiped away by a majority tired of seeing its big ideas blocked. 'If eliminating the legislative filibuster will serve Sen. McConnell’s purposes, he’ll eliminate it,' said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). 'After what Sen. McConnell has done to this institution, there will be many people who will be putting pressure on us to do the same thing.' The latest change by Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) to cut debate time from 30 hours to two hours apiece for lower level executive nominees and District Court picks was, somewhat ironically, initially blocked by filibuster-wielding Democrats on Tuesday."

Rural America Reaps What Trump Sows

In rural America, farmers reap what the president sows. American Prospect: "n the wake of catastrophic flooding across the Midwest, small farmers are reeling from the widespread destruction of their crops and livestock. The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Department of Agriculture’s 2020 budget, detailed in the spending plan released last month, would make their plight even worse. A Budget for a Better America would cut $3.6 billion from the USDA’s budget—the exact same dollar amount allocated to the department for disaster relief in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. While advocates for small farmers say that the president’s budget is unlikely to pass in a Congress that bent over backwards to pass a bipartisan farm bill last year, this latest budget certainly reflects the current administration's priorities. According to Alicia Harvie of Farm Aid, 'it’s completely untenable.' 'This is the worst possible time for this to hit,' argues Harvie. 'At a time when the administration seems intent on providing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, it then asks federal agencies to cut back and farmers and ranchers to tighten up their purse strings.'"

Trump Plan To Kill Food Stamps Sparks Outrage

Flood of comments shows public 'utterly repulsed' by Trump plan to take food stamps from 750,000 people. Common Dreams: "As the Trump administration moves closer to stripping food stamps from as many as 750,000 low-income people by imposing punitive work requirements, a flood of nearly 30,000 comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture from experts, activists, and concerned citizens shows Americans are overwhelmingly appalled by the proposed rule change. 'The comments make it clear that most Americans not only oppose but are utterly repulsed by this plan to punish the poorest among us by denying them help to feed themselves,' Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), said in a statement Tuesday. 'Instead of making already struggling Americans suffer even more,' Faber added, 'we urge President Trump to cut off the farm subsidy spigot of taxpayer money flowing into the brimming bank accounts of millionaires.' The public comment period for the Trump administration's proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ended Tuesday night. President Donald Trump announced the rule change last year, on the same day he signed into law a farm bill that left out the GOP push for work requirements for food stamp recipients. The new rule could go into effect later this year."

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