fresh voices from the front lines of change








Lois Gibbs

Trump Needs To Keep His Promises To Superfund

41 years after the nation first heard our cries for help from Love Canal, we are moving backwards. Our government is not keeping its promise to clean up communities affected by toxic waste. This is ironic, because Trump has long claimed cleaning up Superfund sites is a priority for his administration. Today, 53 million people live within three miles of a Superfund site. Forty-six percent of them are people of color, and 15 percent of them live below the poverty line. Trump and his EPA chiefs have repeatedly claimed that Superfund is a priority program for his administration. But as the person often referred to as the "mother of Superfund," I’m not convinced. How can Superfund be a priority if you cut its budget without advocating for the Superfund tax to be reinstated? There are almost no funds made available by the EPA to assess the environmental and health risks of toxic waste sites - especially orphan sites. There are even less funds made available for cleanup of these sites. It’s time for lawmakers to step up to the plate, and introduce legislation to reinstate the Polluter Pays tax. And if President Trump truly wants to keep his promise to the American people of making Superfund a priority program, he should champion this tax, so he can follow through and keep his word. Promises kept, Mr. President?

Trump Uses Day Of Healing To Stoke Discord

Trump uses a day of healing to deepen the nation’s divisions. NYT: "President Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso on Wednesday on a day intended as a show of compassion to cities scarred by a weekend of violence, but which quickly devolved into an occasion for anger-fueled broadsides against Democrats and the news media. Mr. Trump’s schedule was meant to follow the traditional model of apolitical presidential visits with victims, law enforcement officials and hospital workers after calamities like the mass shootings that resulted in 31 deaths in Dayton and El Paso and that created a new sense of national crisis over assault weapons and the rise of white supremacist ideology. That plan went awry even before Mr. Trump, who has acknowledged his discomfort with showing empathy in public, departed Washington."

ICE Arrests 680, Largest Raids In A Decade

Mississippi Immigration Raids Net Hundreds Of Workers. NPR: "Federal immigration officials raided several food-processing plants in Mississippi on Wednesday and arrested approximately 680 people believed to be working in the U.S. without authorization. The coordinated raids were conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations 'at seven agricultural processing plants across Mississippi,' according to an ICE statement. In addition to the arrests, agents seized company business records. 'Today's raids are part of the ongoing war against immigrant families and the communities in which they live,' Julia Solórzano, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in an emailed statement. 'It is especially sickening that days after immigrants were targeted by a gunman in El Paso, Texas, workers at plants across Mississippi witnessed armed agents descending on their workplace. It's also worth noting that immigration agencies that have repeatedly blamed 'over capacity' detention facilities for the horrific treatment of those imprisoned nevertheless detained more than 600 people today,' she said."

DHS Said Domestic Terrorism Was A Priority, WH Said No

White House rebuffed attempts by DHS to make combating domestic terrorism a higher priority. CNN: "White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN. 'Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism,' one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. 'The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on.'"

House Sues McGahn To Force Testimony

House Judiciary Committee files suit to force ex-White House Counsel to testify. Politico: "The House Judiciary Committee asked a federal court on Wednesday to force one of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s star witnesses to testify on Capitol Hill over objections from the White House, a crucial move as House Democrats consider whether to bring articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The Democrat-led panel filed a lawsuit to enforce a subpoena against former White House counsel Don McGahn, in a long-awaited effort to secure his testimony and defeat the White House’s efforts to block former top advisers from testifying about their West Wing tenure. In a 54-page filing, the committee made clear that it is conducting an impeachment investigation, employing its strongest language to date to suggest that the panel is seriously weighing efforts to recommend Trump’s removal from office. 'McGahn is the Judiciary Committee’s most important fact witness in its consideration of whether to recommend articles of impeachment and its related investigation of misconduct by the president, including acts of obstruction of justice described in the special counsel’s report,' the filing states."

More from OurFuture:

Fighting For Community Over Greed. George Goehl: Our work is actually going out, starting where people are at, and turning people in neighborhoods and communities who feel in many ways like victims right now into leaders in their communities, who can then add volunteers and build a power base that can win on issues and in elections. We need to heavily invest in communities of color and organizations led by people of color, and with poor white folks, have a race-conscious strategy not only for this electoral cycle but for the long haul around their worldview: around immigration, Blackness and other issues. If we aren’t engaged in that work, we’ll pay for it in this election, and definitely down the road.

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