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Years ago, Howard Zinn wrote a staggeringly beautiful essay about how to stay hopeful and engaged in dark times, and it continues to inspire us each week:

“Human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places–and there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.

“The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

Your weekly songspiration


1. We saw so many city and state election wins this week—including the first two state legislative seats flipped from Republican to Democrat since Trump’s election! #redbecomesblue

?  Edie DesMarais won a special election for New Hampshire state Senate, becoming the first Democrat ever elected in her town of Wolfeboro.

?  In a New York State Assembly special election, progressive Christine Pellegrino beat her Republican challenger and became the first Democrat to win this very red seat:

“This is a thunderbolt of resistance”

?  Democrat Brian Benjamin won a New York State Senate special election and pledged not to join the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). After this week’s scandal, it appears these New York Democrats who vote Republican are beginning to see the writing on the wall.  #NoIDCNY #weseeyou ?

?  In Pennsylvania, Matt Shorraw, a 26-year-old high school band assistant director, defeated the incumbent mayor, a prominent Trump supporter, in the Democratic primary. (It’s expected Shorraw will win in November, too.)

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?  Jon Ossoff has become the first congressional candidate to receive 1 million online donations, and this nationwide support helped him take the lead in a new poll. Let’s keep it up—June 20th is just around the corner!

2. In a huge victory for voting rights, the Supreme Court ruled against two gerrymandered North Carolina congressional districts that suppressed African-American votes. (Even this guy wasn’t having it!) Next up: Wisconsin.

3. Another week, another Confederate monument dismantled. Thank you, #TakeEmDownNOLA! We recommend checking out Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s stirring speech—but only after watching this uplifting video of Robert E. Lee’s statue being taken down before a cheering crowd.

4. Fox News is spiraling out.  Most notably, they retracted Sean Hannity’s deranged conspiracy theory, and advertisers are already pulling their ads from his show. Plus, Fox fired one of their anchors for making a racist comment, and their prime time ratings plummeted for five straight days—causing them to come in third place for the first time in seventeen years.

5. In Chicago, thousands of protesters mobilized for fair wages and union rights during McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting. #FightFor15

6. Alabama restored voting rights to thousands of people who committed felonies.

7. Love continues to win. ? ? ?

?  Taiwan became the first government in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage.

?  Three transgender pastors made history by holding mass in Cuba.

?  A gay couple helped pave the way for Bermuda to legalize same-sex marriage. “Nothing changed. But for a couple in love.” ?

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8. Students walked out during Mike Pence’s commencement address at Notre Dame this week. As one of the We StaND For organizers said, “We walked out to reject the normalization of hatred.” Another one of Pence’s speeches—this time at a small, conservative Christian college—drew protests from students, alumni, and local residents.

9. State and local prosecutors are fighting back against Jeff Sessions’ cruel drug policy, and states are pursuing new strategies to safeguard legalized marijuana. #highfive

10. Allison Janney and the producers of the TV show Mom are foregoing an expensive Emmy campaign and instead making a $250,000 donation to Planned Parenthood. #priorities

Lady Parts Justice

11. Last but certainly not least, an appeals court has ruled against Trump’s travel ban, writing that it “drips with religious intolerance.”

We hope you all enjoy take some time to recharge and relax during the long weekend. We’ll be hanging out with friends and neighbors, taking long walks on the beach—oh, and snoozing. Lots of snoozing.  ? ? ?

P.S. Best yearbook photo.

P.P.S. We’re thankful for the helpers this week.

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