fresh voices from the front lines of change








David Hatch

Co-Governing Puts Us ‘In The Room Where It Happens’

What does it mean to move “from protest to power?” That’s the question People’s Action members like me asked at our national convention in Washington, D.C. two years ago. At that time, just a few months into the Trump administration, 72 grassroots leaders out of the more than twelve hundred gathered there took a pledge to take action by running for public office. Many of these activists – and even more from our network across the country – have made good on these commitments. They are part of the #PeoplesWave of 300 officials we helped elect in midterm and municipal elections. At this year’s convention, these leaders celebrated their victories and began to dig in on what it means to move from protest on the outside of government to power on its inside - and importantly, linking the two together. To People’s Action, co-governance means that once elected, officials will continue to listen to and actively work with our communities – rather than corporate lobbyists – to draft policies and move them forward, together. What must be figured out for co-governing to flourish is for the community, its leaders and our electeds to fashion clear parameters, bottom lines and processes that guide us in making these difficult judgments together. Only experience can be our guide, but there are already successes that point our way forward.”

Mueller Urges Congress To Act On Russia Probe Evidence

Mueller hands his caseload To Congress, as impeachment calls grow louder. NPR: "After two years of silence, special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller spoke for 10 minutes Wednesday morning. By the end, he had resigned and handed his caseload to Congress. Mueller noted that the president was not exonerated of obstruction of justice: 'As set forth in the report, after that investigation if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.' Importantly, he reiterated that he felt his team could not pursue charges against the president: 'Under long-standing department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. ... Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider.' Instead, as the report did in writing, he kicked accountability to Congress: '[T]he Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.' In other words, once again, it's over to Congress."

China Ratchets Up Trade War

'Don't say we didn't warn you:' Chinese state media issues ominous warning to US. CNN: "As Beijing threatens the United States with the possibility of a rare earths export ban and a stop to soybean purchases, Chinese state media has sent an ominously worded warning to Washington: 'Don't say we didn't warn you.' The People's Daily, the newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, used the loaded phrase in a commentary on Wednesday, in which it said that China would 'never accept' the US' suppression of Chinese development. "At present, the United States completely overestimates its ability to control the global supply chain and is due to slap itself in the face when it sobers up from its happy, ignorant self-indulgence," said the commentary published under the pseudonym Wuyuehe. 'Don't say we didn't warn you.' The phrase has, in the past, been reserved by the Chinese state media for times of serious conflict. The People's Daily used it in 1962 before going into armed conflict against India and again in 1978 before the Vietnam invasion. More recently, though it has appeared in several People's Daily commentaries on issues ranging from Taiwan to the trade war."

LA Moves To Ban 'Heartbeat" Abortions

LA moves to ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected. NYT: "On the heels of a spate of anti-abortion legislation passed in recent months across the South, Louisiana lawmakers voted on Wednesday to ban the procedure after the pulsing of what becomes the fetus’s heart can be detected. The restriction, backed by the state’s Democratic governor, could prohibit abortions as early as six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Several other states have passed versions of so-called fetal heartbeat bills this year, and Alabama approved a law about two weeks ago that would forbid nearly all abortions in the state. A State House vote on Wednesday moved the abortion measure to the governor’s desk, after lawmakers rejected a series of amendments including an exception for cases of rape or incest. The measure would require an ultrasound test for any woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy, and forbid abortion if the test detects embryonic pulsing — which can occur before many women know they are pregnant."

Transgender Rights Pioneers Honored With Stonewall Monument

Transgender activists are getting a monument in New York. NYT: "Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, pioneering transgender activists who were at the vanguard of the gay rights movement, will be immortalized in a monument that may be placed down the street from the Stonewall Inn. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, pioneering transgender activists who were at the vanguard of the gay rights movement, will be immortalized in a monument that may be placed down the street from the Stonewall Inn. Together, Ms. Johnson and Ms. Rivera founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, a group that provided support to poor young people who were shunned by their families. (The term transgender was not in wide use during this time.)

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