fresh voices from the front lines of change








Chelsea Hoglen

Building Power And Raising Voices Of Rural Women

In rural areas of North Carolina, people get sicker, die sooner, and have less access to what they need to thrive than their counterparts in the rest of the state. Women in rural communities are most affected by these crises, and we are uniquely positioned to be a key part of the solutions. Down Home North Carolina, a People's Action member group and a founding member of the Rural Women’s Collaborative, is organizing working people to grow democracy and improve the quality of life, so our grandbabies inherit a state that is healthy and just. We are shifting what’s possible in rural America by building the feminist leadership of rural women and promoting values of inclusion in communal life, interdependence, care for the elderly, love of earth and humanity, dignity of all work, and protection of the vulnerable. Rural women have served as the educators, healthcare givers, nurturers, and fighters for our community for generations. Now the women of Down Home are carrying forward this torch.

House Judiciary Holds First Impeachment Hearing

How to watch the House Judiciary Committee's first impeachment hearing. CN:: "The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump enters its next stage this week as the House Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing. The Wednesday hearing, which will feature constitutional law experts, follows a series of public hearings in the House Intelligence Committee where current and former administration officials testified as part of the House Democrat-led investigation into the Ukraine scandal. It marks a new phase in the investigation centered on Trump's actions when he asked the President of Ukraine in a July 25 phone call to do him a "favor" and pushed for investigations into the family of a potential political rival, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. The House Intelligence Committee has so far led that investigation, but now the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over drafting articles of impeachment, will have its time in the spotlight. Ahead of the hearing, Intelligence Committee Democrats released a report summarizing the findings in the investigation and stating that the inquiry had "uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election." The report is expected to serve as the basis for articles of impeachment. The hearing is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday. It will take place in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building."

Phone Records Confirm Secret Ukraine Campaign

A mysterious ‘-1’ and other call records show how Giuliani pressured Ukraine. NYT: "In the two days before President Trump forced out the American ambassador to Ukraine in April, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was on the phone with the White House more than a dozen times. Phone records cited in the impeachment report released Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee illustrate the sprawling reach of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign first to remove the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, then to force Ukraine’s new government to announce criminal investigations for Mr. Trump’s political gain. That effort accelerated through the spring and summer into a full-court press to force Ukraine’s new president to accede to Mr. Trump’s wishes or risk losing $391 million in military assistance desperately needed to hold off Russian-led forces waging a separatist war in eastern Ukraine. From March 26 to Aug. 8, as he developed an irregular foreign policy channel that eventually sidelined both National Security Council and State Department aides, Mr. Giuliani — who is not a government employee — was in touch with top-ranking officials, the newly revealed call records suggested. A spotlight on the people reshaping our politics. A conversation with voters across the country. And a guiding hand through the endless news cycle, telling you what you really need to know. He reached out to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; the national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton; Representative Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee itself; midlevel White House officials; the Fox News host Sean Hannity; a conservative columnist; an associate who has been charged in a scheme related to Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster; and the owner of a mysterious number, '-1.'"

Trump To End Food Stamps For 3.2m

Trump administration moves to end food stamps for 750,000. Bloomberg: "The Trump administration will announce a plan Wednesday to end food stamps benefits for about 750,000 Americans, issuing a new regulation that makes it harder for states to gain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or participate in a vocational training program, according to people familiar with the matter. Conservatives have long sought cuts in the federal food assistance program for the poor. House Republicans tried to impose similar restrictions last year when Congress renewed the program but were rebuffed in the Senate. The work requirement only applies to 'able-bodied' recipients who aren’t caring for a child under 6 years old. The measure would be the first of three Trump administration initiatives curtailing food stamp benefits to take effect. The Urban Institute estimated in an analysis last month that the measures together would cut 3.7 million beneficiaries from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, often known by its previous name, food stamps."

Kamala Harris Ends Presidential Run

Kamala Harris drops out of 2020 race. AP:
"Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California, announced Tuesday that she will end her quest to be the Democratic candidate for president in 2020. 'I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,' she wrote in a note to supporters. 'My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.' Harris, 54, announced on Jan. 21 that she was running for president, skipping the step of forming an exploratory committee. Harris previously served as California’s attorney general for eight years before being elected to the Senate. Harris started her campaign in a strong position in the polls, but her popularity quickly fell in early primary states. The first female and first black attorney general and U.S. senator in California’s history, she was widely viewed as a candidate poised to excite the same segment of voters that sent Barack Obama to the White House. She raised an impressive $12 million in the first three months of her campaign and quickly locked down major endorsements meant to show her dominance in her home state, which offers the biggest delegate haul in the Democratic primary contest. But as the field grew, Harris’ fundraising remained flat; she was unable to attract the type of attention being showered on Pete Buttigieg by traditional donors or the grassroots firepower that drove tens of millions of dollars to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders."

Dept. Of Ed Denies Loan Forgiveness To Disabled

Why student loan borrowers with disabilities aren't getting the help they deserve. NPR: "For over half a century, student loan borrowers with a significant, permanent disability have been protected by federal law. If they can no longer work enough to support themselves, they can ask the U.S. Department of Education to erase their debts. But an NPR investigation has found that hundreds of thousands of potentially eligible borrowers — more than enough to fill a city the size of Pittsburgh — have yet to receive the relief they're entitled to. Not only that, the Education Department told Congress earlier this year it had discharged the loans of 40% of eligible borrowers with significant, permanent disabilities. But new data obtained by NPR from a department official show the real number is much lower: Only 28% of eligible borrowers identified between March 2016 and September 2019 have either had their loans erased, or are on track for that to happen. Borrowers and advocates say the Education Department doesn't do enough to inform borrowers like Denise of their rights, and those who do apply for help have to navigate a years-long, bureaucratic obstacle course. A department official says the department has made incremental improvements to the process since 2016: "We continue to look for ways to make the process easier to navigate for disabled student loan borrowers, while maintaining the integrity of the taxpayers dollars associated with the discharges."

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