fresh voices from the front lines of change








State Rep. Mari Cordes (D-VT)

Organizing From The Inside

In Vermont, we’re a citizen legislature, so we are full of community members for whom being in the General Assembly is not their primary job. Some folks are retired; I’m a registered nurse. I was still working 12-hour shifts almost every Saturday and Sunday during the session because I needed to, and because I feel that it’s important to have working people in the statehouse representing the working community. Coming into the statehouse, I intended to continue organizing from the inside.  I was a little concerned about how much of my activist work I was going to have to give up or modify, and I didn’t need to. Organizers know that we lose a lot more than we win – until we don’t. Often, when we win, it’s after a long struggle. It’s tiring. We can feel defeated sometimes. But then, we win. We need people in our institutions that can create policy, as well be persistent. Go for it!

Trump Wants To Detain Migrant Families Indefinitely

Migrant families would face indefinite detention under new Trump rule. NYT: "The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive. The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration says is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border. The new regulation, which requires approval from a federal judge before it could go into effect and was expected to be immediately challenged in court, would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the “catch and release” of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States."

States Sue To Block Curbs On Legal Immigration

New York, Connecticut and Vermont sue to block Trump's public charge rule. NBC: "Three states have come together to attempt to block an effort from the Trump administration to limit pathways to citizenship for certain legal immigrants. New York's Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday morning that Connecticut, Vermont and New York had filed a lawsuit against the federal agencies who would be implementing and enforcing a new rule that would expand the definition of "public charge" starting on Oct. 15. Under the new rule, officials can deem immigrants seeking to change their legal immigration status and who are enrolled in publicly funded programs such as food stamps and public health insurance as a 'public charge,' meaning they will likely use public benefits in the future."

'March For Our Lives' Demands Gun Control

March For Our Lives, no longer protesting in streets, unveils gun control plan. NPR: "With their hopes fading that lawmakers in Washington will pass new gun safety measures, young activists from March For Our Lives are out with their own plans on how to stem gun violence. The proposal, called A Peace Plan for A Safer America, comes a little more than two weeks after a pair of mass shootings claimed the lives of 31 people and injuring dozens more in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. In the days after those shootings, President Trump signaled there was "a very strong appetite for background checks" on people seeking to purchase firearms. But there are reports the president has either lost interest in the matter or changed his mind. Organizers with March For Our Lives say there needs to be a greater urgency by elected officials to protect American lives. They see the gun issue as both a crisis and a cause for the federal government to declare a national emergency."

Trump Wants More Tax Cuts Ahead Of Elections

Amid recession warnings, Trump reportedly considering more tax cuts for rich and corporations. Common Dreams: "While continuing to publicly downplay warning signs that the U.S. economy is barreling toward a recession, the Trump White House is reportedly weighing a number of supposed stimulus measures, including more tax cuts for the rich and large corporations. Politico reported late Tuesday that Trump officials are considering 'a cut of an additional percentage point or two to the corporate tax rate,' which the GOP tax law slashed from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2018. 'That's on top of a potential payroll tax cut,; the news outlet noted, 'which the Obama administration had used to shore up the economy, and a move to index the capital gains rate to inflation, which potentially could be done through an executive order.' A payroll tax cut, which Trump on Tuesday confirmed he is considering, would temporarily boost workers' paychecks. But, as the Washington Post reported Monday, depending on how it is designed, a payroll tax cut could 'pull billions of dollars away from Social Security.' The other option Trump is considering, indexing capital gains to inflation via executive order, would primarily benefit wealthy investors. According to Chye-Ching Huang of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 86 percent of the benefits would go to the top one percent."

Bolton, Pompeo 'Desperate To Start A War'

'Bolton is desperate to start a war': U.S. issues warrant to seize Iranian oil tanker. Common Dreams: "After the Gibraltar Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration's effort to stop the release of an Iranian oil tanker seized by the U.K. last month, the Justice Department further escalated tensions with Tehran by issuing a warrant on Friday in a last-ditch bid to seize the tanker before it sets sail. 'Bolton is desperate to start a war,' tweeted Quincy Institute executive vice president Trita Parsi, referring to President Donald Trump's national security adviser. The warrant, unveiled by the Justice Department Friday night, states that "all petroleum aboard [the Grace 1 tanker] and $995,000.00 are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), bank fraud statute, and money laundering statute, as well as separately the terrorism forfeiture statute."

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