fresh voices from the front lines of change








Jacob Swenson-Lengyel

Organizing For Governing Power In Chicago

Chicago’s 2019 municipal elections delivered significant victories for People's Action member groups like The People's Lobby and Reclaim Chicago. These wins come after years of organizing work by unions and grassroots groups, and may provide a model for organizers in other cities looking to win progressive governing power. Their goal is to find the people who already have a vision of running, and those who don’t (yet) and create a community with them – because ultimately, if you want to run for office, you need a power base. A lot of people have great values, great personalities, but they run for office and lose because they’re not thinking about building a movement. So that’s really the work. We’re building permanent infrastructure forever and everywhere."

Trump Rolls Back Protectons For Transgender Patients

Trump administration rolls back health care protections for transgender patients. Politico: "The Trump administration Friday scrapped an Obama-era policy that prohibited health care providers from discriminating against transgender patients, in its latest rollback of federal protections for transgender people. The health department is rewriting an Obamacare regulation that barred health care discrimination based on sex. The Obama administration had issued a rule asserting that the provisions covered gender identity, but a federal judge blocked those protections in 2016 following a lawsuit from religious groups. The new rule says HHS will repeal the Obama-era definition of sex protections in order to make its regulations "more consistent" with other agencies. This week the Department of Housing and Urban Development moved to allow discrimination against homeless transgender people. The HHS announcement comes shortly after the department finalized rules making it easier for health care workers to refuse to provide care that violates their religious or moral beliefs, a policy favored by anti-abortion groups and Christian conservatives closely allied with the Trump administration. Democratic attorneys general in New York, California and more than 20 other cities and states have filed lawsuits challenging the so-called conscience protections. LGBTQ patient advocates, who say they often face discrimination when seeking routine procedures or medication, warn the new Trump administration policies put them at greater risk of being denied care."

Trump, Unhinged, Retweets Doctored Videos Of Pelosi

Trump tweets heavily edited video of Pelosi played by Fox Business. CBS: "President Trump tweeted out a selectively edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday night that played earlier in the evening on Fox Business host Lou Dobbs' show, as his verbal spar with the top Democrat escalates. The video, which pulls from snippets of Pelosi's press conference in which she suggested the president's staff or family should stage an intervention, is cut in such a way as to heighten and emphasize any verbal snafus. Mr. Trump has since pinned the tweet and attached video to the top of his Twitter profile. But that wasn't the only misleading Pelosi video circulating overnight. According to the Washington Post, other distorted, slowed-down videos of Pelosi have spread across social media to make her appear drunk. The escalating tensions between the two top U.S. politicians comes ahead of Mr. Trump's visit to Japan, where he's likely to hold a news conference at some point, according to a senior administration official. When Pelosi was abroad in the United Kingdom earlier this month, she made a point not to attack the president, but it remains to be seen whether Mr. Trump will do the same."

ACLU Sues Border Patrol For Killing Guatemalan Woman

Advocates want $100 million for woman killed by U.S. border agent. NBC: "Advocates demanded $100 million in damages Thursday on behalf of the family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent last year. The legal claim on behalf of Claudia Patricia Gómez González was filed one year after she died. It comes as the U.S. government grapples with surging numbers of Central Americans crossing its southern border and the deaths of six children in the last year after being apprehended by border agents. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed the claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act as a precursor to filing a lawsuit. Gómez González crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas along with several migrants who were confronted by a Border Patrol agent, who opened fire and killed her."

L.A. Landlord Wants To Evict 102-Year-Old

Landlord seeks to give 102-year-old woman the boot. CBS: "A 102-year-old woman is being forced out of her home here, reports CBS Los Angeles. Family and friends of Thelma Smith are banding together after she received an eviction notice, forcing her to relocate from her home of almost 30 years. Smith's landlord intends to move his daughter into the residence one she graduates from law school. Smith, a retired executive of a non-profit group, has lost most of her family over the years, including her husband, and her remaining family lives on the East Coast. Her family and friends say her options are limited to moving in with someone nearby or moving into an assisted living facility, which is difficult to do on her fixed income. The Los Angeles Times notes that L.A.'s rent control law offers relocation assistance for the elderly and disabled. But Ladera Heights is an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County, just outside the city limits, and the law doesn't apply there."

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