fresh voices from the front lines of change








Adrienne Evans

We Can Create The World We Want To Live In

I’ll never forget one conversation I had in a little bar in Hagerman, about two hours east of where I grew up. I would start by saying, you know, “I just want to talk to you about some of these policies,” and immediately you’re met with resistance.

So I said, “Hold on a second. Let me just ask you some simple questions. What do you think about the concept that we all start out from the same place? Now we won’t all end up in the same place, but at least some of us won’t be advantaged or disadvantaged from the start.”

And the whole mood in the room changed. People said, “God damn, that sounds like a great idea! Isn’t that what America is?” that just opened the door to a new way of talking with people.

How are these conversations going to happen? How are we actually going to move people? It’s not by going in with our rhetoric, or with a moral authority and saying I’m right. It’s really getting people to see a different future than the one that they’re in. Nothing that’s amazing in this world has happened by playing it safe. It’s about cultivating the creativity and the energy in the passion of people who are working in communities to build that future and make it real.

People’s Action congratulates Adrienne Evans, executive director of United Vision for Idaho, on receiving a 2020 Roddenberry Fellowship. The program, whose alumni include Alicia Garza, Michael White and Judith LeBlanc, seeks to empower activists to “think, question, and challenge the status quo” with the intention of creating “a brighter future.”

Public Impeachment Hearings To Begin

Republicans admit they have no fact witnesses — and Trump did it. WaPo: "House Republicans acknowledged that they have no witnesses and no documents to dispute the main facts concerning President Trump’s impeachable conduct: a demand from Ukraine for dirt on a political rival; withholding of aid vital to Ukraine’s defense against Russia; concealing evidence of the scheme by moving a transcript to a secret server; and threatening the tipster who alerted Congress to gross malfeasance. They admitted all that? Well, in a manner of speaking they did. House Republicans sent Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) a list of witnesses they want to testify in the impeachment inquiry, including former vice president Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower who filed the initial complaint against President Trump. Hunter Biden lacks any direct knowledge of anything that occurred in the Trump White House, and hence he cannot rebut evidence of Trump’s demand that Ukraine interfere with our election. By Republicans’ own admission, the whistleblower lacks first-hand knowledge of events. (“Witnesses who testified out of public view have corroborated the crux of the case against Trump — that he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rivals — so the Democrats see no need for the whistleblower, who heard the story secondhand, to testify. Three career State Department officials are returning next week for the public hearings."


The Supreme Court could decide DACA’s fate. Vox: "The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on a trio of cases asking whether the Trump administration acted properly when it decided to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — an Obama-era program that allows unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the the US as children to live and work in the United States. A question looms over tomorrow’s hearing, however: Why did the Supreme Court agree to hear these cases in the first place? Certainly the human stakes in these cases — Trump v. NAACP, McAleenan v. Vidal, and Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California — are enormous. Almost 670,000 immigrants are protected by DACA. Ending the program opens them up to deportation. Families could be ripped apart; communities will be devastated. There really is a significant human toll here. But the Supreme Court typically only hears cases that involve a significant legal question. Indeed, the Court’s own rules state that it will only agree to hear a case 'for compelling reasons,' and they emphasize that the Court typically only hears 'important' questions of federal law. In this instance, the legal issue at the heart of the case is tiny."

Arpaio's Hate Spurred Progressive Surge In Arizona

Joe Arpaio’s surprising legacy in Arizona. Politico: " In the Phoenix City Council chambers, a squat, round room that evokes the traditional Navajo home known as a 'hogan,' Carlos Garcia is easy to spot. His chestnut hair, long and limp, is perennially fastened in a ponytail that hangs like a string halfway down his back. His feet are shielded by a pair of weathered sneakers. One afternoon last month, he showed up for work clad in a black golf-style shirt- 'That’s the most dressed up you’re going to see me,' he quipped - with the words 'City of Phoenix Councilman Carlos Garcia' embroidered over his heart. Garcia joined the council in March, but his style remains as casual as it was during his time protesting a mother’s impending deportation in front of the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in 2017, or chanting into a bullhorn outside the federal courthouse where Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stood trial that same year, accused of racially profiling Latinos.
'My priority is to make sure people feel comfortable with me,' Garcia says."

The Battle Over Inequality In Idaho

‘Go back to California’: Wave of newcomers fuels backlash in Boise. LATimes: "California bashing is a cyclical sport with a long history in the heart of Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Growth spurts have more than doubled Boise’s population since the 1980 census. Four months before federal counters hit the streets here that year, a Washington Post headline crowed, “To Most Idahoans, A Plague of Locusts Is Californians.” So where did all the hostility come from? Sheer numbers, for certain. A January report from the Idaho Department of Labor said the Gem State was tied with Nevada as the fastest growing in the nation. The agency also reported that more Californians were moving here than transplants from any other state. Which brings us to the heart of the problem: income inequality. Anyone moving to Boise from another part of Idaho is still saddled with the same bottom-of-the-barrel minimum wage, an anemic $7.25 an hour. So it’s most likely not the Idahoans who are driving up home prices and filling up rental properties, because they can’t afford to. The median home price in Ada County, where Boise is located, has risen 19.3% since February 2018, according to the Idaho Statesman. It is now a whopping (for Idaho) $349,994. Conversely, the vacancy rate for apartments in the price range of the county’s lowest-income residents was 0.45% as of Oct. 18. Boise needs 1,000 new housing units each year for the next decade, according to officials in this city of 228,000. That’s just not happening."

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