fresh voices from the front lines of change








James Mumm

You Say You Want A Revolution?

You say you want a revolution? Well, there is a recipe. It’s 2020, and you may be asking yourself where to put your energy in this very important year. To achieve transformational change, first we need to change the landscape upon which we operate. Since we are fighting on terrain defined by the corporate-conservative Radical Right, we need to first change this landscape through movement moments, electoral shifts, and shifting the dominant narrative. This requires escalating amounts of power in the form of organized people, money and ideas. To win lasting, transformational change that can shift power from corporations and the wealthy to people and the public starts with what can feel like incremental changes - but only if you are not paying close enough attention. In reality, these are stepping stones toward increasingly structural reforms. When we win increasingly structural victories, we institutionalize the change we seek. There is a dynamic relationship between changing the landscape, winning structural reforms and building power: all three combine to create lasting, structural transformations. If we, as organizers, are intentional about building multiracial, urban-rural and intersectional movements, then this should show up in all of the relationships and spaces where we are present. Let's get to it.

Trump Speaks, Pelosi Shreds

What we learned from Trump's State Of The Union address. NPR: "President Trump took full advantage of the large television audience for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to make his case for reelection in November, touting the strong economy and delighting Republicans in the room with a series of made-for-TV moments. But his address also laid bare his bitter partisan standoff with Democrats and left little doubt that legislative accomplishments between now and the election will be difficult, if not impossible. Before declaring that "the state of our union is stronger than ever before," Trump appeared to snub Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, turning away as she reached out to shake his hand after he handed her a copy of his remarks. After Trump finished speaking, as Republicans cheered, she theatrically tore her copy of the address in half. Later, on Twitter, Pelosi called the speech a 'manifesto of mistruths.'"

Senate Votes On Impeachment

Trump on brink of acquittal by U.S. Senate. NPR: "Senators will close the chapter on President Trump's Senate trial Wednesday, capping a months-long process that began with an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, led to the president's impeachment and, ultimately, his likely acquittal. At 4 p.m. ET, the Senate is set to vote on whether Trump should be convicted or acquitted of charges that he abused power and obstructed Congress. Ahead of the vote, senators have some time to give their own closing statements — up to 10 minutes each. Watch the floor proceedings live beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET.  The result was never in doubt. Republicans hold a comfortable majority in the chamber, and Democrats need 67 votes to remove the president from office. Most GOP senators are ardent supporters of the president. Trump has called the entire process a "witch hunt" and did not acknowledge it in Tuesday night's State of the Union address to Congress, a speech where the audience of congressional lawmakers was as divided on the issue of impeachment as the citizens they represent."

Majority Of Iowans Support Medicare For All

Most Iowa Democratic caucus-goers support a single-payer health-care plan. WaPo: "About 6 in 10 Democrats at the Iowa caucuses on Monday reported that they support eliminating private health insurance as part of establishing a single-payer health-care system, according to preliminary poll results, suggesting that most of the party’s voters agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the divisive issue. Sanders has campaigned on a Medicare-for-all health-care system in which every American would be placed with a single government insurer, regardless of whether they want it or not. Critics, including numerous moderate Democrats, have said the single-payer plan could prove politically toxic by forcing the more than 150 million Americans who receive their insurance through their employers to switch to the government plan. Medicare-for-all supporters say their plan would give Americans security by guaranteeing that they have a government health plan, even if they get fired or lose their job. About 4 in 10 Democrats also said health care was the most important issue for them, making it the leading issue, followed by climate change. Health care also rates consistently as a top issue for voters in a general election. Sanders led among supporters of single-payer health care, with about one-third of this group saying he was their first choice. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was in second position, with about one-quarter of their support."

CA Gov. Grants Posthumous Pardon To Bayard Rustin

Newsom grants posthumous pardon to civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. LA Times: "In an effort to rectify decades of prosecutions targeting LGBTQ Californians, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced a new clemency initiative to pardon people prosecuted under discriminatory laws. Newsom said the decision was inspired by calls from several state lawmakers to pardon black civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, a principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and a top adviser to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Newsom said the clemency program will allow pardons for others who were subjected to discriminatory arrests and prosecutions that unjustly targeted LGBTQ Californians. 'In California and across the country, many laws have been used as legal tools of oppression, and to stigmatize and punish LGBTQ people and communities and warn others what harm could await them for living authentically,' Newsom said in a written statement. 'I thank those who advocated for Bayard Rustin’s pardon, and I want to encourage others in similar situations to seek a pardon to right this egregious wrong.'

NY Park Renamed After Trans Rights Pioneer

Brooklyn park to be renamed after trans activist Marsha P. Johnson. NBC: "A state park in Brooklyn is to be renamed after Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender woman of color who fought for LGBTQ rights and was a prominent figure in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The plan was announced Saturday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a speech at a Human Rights Campaign gala. While speaking about expanding protections for the LGBTQ people, Cuomo said that the state was 'fighting back' against hatred toward marginalized communities. 'New York State is the progressive capital of the nation, and while we are winning the legal battle for justice for the LGBTQ community, in many ways we are losing the broader war for equality,' Cuomo said Saturday. The governor called Johnson an "an icon of the community" and explained that the East River State Park in Brooklyn would be the first in New York to be named after an openly LGBTQ person. Johnson died at the age of 46 in 1992 of undetermined causes after decades of activism. She worked waiting tables in New York City, becoming a fixture in the Greenwich Village neighborhood and earning the nickname the 'Mayor of Christopher Street.'"

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