fresh voices from the front lines of change








Gisele Hart

New Hampshire Demands Candidates Act Now For A Sustainable Future

The world is literally on fire because of climate change, and the next President of the United States must take swift action to end our dependence on fossil fuels. That’s why, in New Hampshire, we challenge every candidate who wants our votes to sign our pledge to Keep it in the Ground. We’re showing up at every turn as candidates crisscross the Granite State ahead of Tuesday’s primary vote to remind them we’re in a climate emergency. And we’re challenging them, through our #OurFutureOurDebate campaign, to address climate change head-on in their DNC debate at St. Anselm’s College tonight. We’ve put the candidates’ climate plans to the test, and given each of seven candidates who’ll be on the stage at the DNC Debate – Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, Vice President Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang – a climate grade. We know who is responsible. We have solutions. And we have a plan to transform our economy away from one predicated upon pollution, exploitation, and greed into one that is just, life-giving, and people-centered. To get there, we need a political leader with a clear vision for this just transition.  It’s time to take our future seriously, and do all that we can to stop adding fuel to the fire that is literally burning our planet out from under our feet.

The DNC candidates' New Hampshire debate will be broadcast Friday, February 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC, its website and YouTube channel.

DNC Shifts Rules To Favor Corporate Candidates

With establishment knives out for Bernie, Iowa fiasco just a taste of what's coming. Common Dreams: "As a center of elite power, the Democratic National Committee is now floundering. Every reform it has implemented since 2016 was the result of progressive grassroots pressure. But there are limits to what DNC Chair Tom Perez is willing to accept without a knock-down, drag-out fight. And in recent weeks, he has begun to do heavy lifting for corporate Democrats—throwing roadblocks in the way of the Bernie 2020 campaign as it continues to gain momentum. The fiasco in Iowa, despite its importance, is a sideshow compared to what is foreshadowed by recent moves from Perez. For one thing, he appointed avowedly anti-Bernie corporate operatives to key positions on powerful DNC committees. The flagrant conflicts of interest have included entrenching paid staffers for Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign on rules committees for the DNC and the upcoming Democratic National Convention. The glaring subtext of all this is the now-frantic effort to find some candidate who can prevent Sanders from becoming the party’s nominee at the national convention in July. Early corporate favorites like Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris fizzled and flamed out. Joe Biden appears to be sinking. Amy Klobuchar staked her hopes on Iowa without success. That appears to leave Pete Buttigieg and Bloomberg as the strongest corporate contenders to prevent the corporate Democrats’ worst nightmare—the nomination of an authentic progressive populist."

Trump Seeks Revenge After Acquittal

Donald Trump's unhinged impeachment victory speech. CNN: "Less than 24 hours after formally being acquitted by the Senate, President Donald Trump riffed for over an hour from inside the White House -- a vengeful, angry, fact-challenged spew of score-settling that even for this most unorthodox of presidents was eye-opening in its tone and jaw-dropping in its boundary busting. Trump spent the bulk of his stream-of-consciousness "speech" savaging his various enemies, which included, well, almost everyone not in the room. It felt like watching a bully beat up a helpless kid. Sure, the bully is to blame. But the crowd of people surrounding the beating and either cheering or doing nothing at all are far worse. The complicity of those in attendance -- the most powerful people within the Republican Party -- is what was truly astounding. Yes, the Republican Party threw in its lot with Trump (and his forced takeover of it) long ago. But to sit by or even celebrate while Trump used the White House as a combination of a campaign venue, or a bathroom wall on which to write his darkest thoughts about those who oppose him, was beyond unforgivable."

Payback Time: Trump Set To Fire Those Who Testified

Seeking revenge for impeachment testimony, Trump reportedly set to oust Vindman. Slate: "Trump is reportedly eyeing retaliation for all those career public servants that testified in his impeachment trial. At the top of the list appears to be Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council aide who brought his concerns about Trump soliciting foreign campaign help on the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine to the White House counsel’s office. Vindman, a Kiev-born, naturalized American citizen was on the call as the NSC’s top expert on Ukraine. Vindman testified during the impeachment hearing, setting him square in the Trump crosshairs for reprisal. Now that the impeachment trial is done, Trump is looking for revenge and Vindman reportedly could be on his way out as early as Friday. The senior aide was already scheduled to end his stint in the White House early, as the Purple Heart recipient informed the NSC he was planning on leaving his post at the end of the month. Vindman was appointed for a two-year term in July 2018. But allowing Vindman, someone who testified with conviction as a public servant, to respectfully exit the national stage having said his piece is not how Trump world operates."

Payback Time: Trump Opens Utah Monuments To Drilling

Trump opens national monument land to energy exploration. NYT: "The Trump administration on Thursday finalized plans to allow mining and energy drilling on nearly a million acres of land in southern Utah that had once been protected as part of a major national monument. The Interior Department’s release of a formal land-use blueprint for the approximately 861,974 acres of land will allow oil, gas and coal companies to complete the legal process for leasing mines and wells on land that had once been part of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, established by President Bill Clinton. In December 2017, President Trump cut the monument’s acreage about in half, aiming to open the newly unprotected land for drilling and development. At the same time, he removed about a million acres from another Utah monument, Bears Ears. Together, the moves were the largest rollback of public lands protection in United States history. Environmentalists decried the latest step in the Trump administration’s efforts to open public lands to energy exploration. 'These plans are atrocious, and entirely predictable,' said Sharon Buccino, senior director for lands at the Natural Resources Defense Council. 'They are the latest in a series of insults to these magnificent lands by the Trump administration.'"

Payback Time: DHS Excludes NY From Global Entry

Global Entry Ban For New Yorkers Sows Confusion — And Solidarity. WNYC: "The Trump Administration’s announcement that New Yorkers will no longer be allowed to obtain or renew Global Entry and Trusted Traveler benefits is prompting confusion — and solidarity. Some wanted to know why the government’s online portal still showed their applications to be in progress. Others wondered if they would get refunds on their $100 application fees (a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said they would). But by and large, residents of New York City interviewed by WNYC stood by the new state law that forbids the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with the federal government — like the identities of undocumented immigrants who have driver's licenses. 'I’m fine being personally inconvenienced if it means fewer people are deported,' said Kayla Webley Adler, who was conditionally approved for Global Entry before her final interview on Thursday was cancelled."

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The Time is NOW For The PRO Act To Protect Workers. George Goehl, Jennifer Epps-Addison, Rahna Epting, Leah Greenberg, Yvette Simpson, Dorian Warren, Liz Watson: As members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have made clear, if Congress is serious about supporting working families, labor law reform should be at the top of the agenda. This matters a whole lot to unions, but it also matters to progressive organizations. That’s because unions build power for the rest of us. Unions give us a say in our workplaces and in our democracy. From teachers demanding fair wages and better conditions for their students to McDonalds’ workers fighting for an end to sexual harassment to tech workers protesting their companies’ role in helping the Trump administration carry out its cruel family separation policy, unions are at the heart of the progressive movement. As leaders of some of the largest progressive organizations in the country, we demand that Congress take action to protect workers’ rights and fix our nation’s broken labor laws. In 2018, Democrats promised working people that they would take action to strengthen our democracy and boost our paychecks. Passing labor law reform is the surest way to deliver on that promise. Working people have never stopped fighting for their rights. Now it’s time for Congress to join their fight.

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