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Last week, we used the phrase “fell on deaf ears,” without realizing it was ableist. We’re so grateful to our reader Ashia for calling our attention to this fantastic explanation and list of ableist language, which states: “Language is *one* tool of an oppressive system. Being aware of language—for those of us who have the privilege of being able to change our language—can help us understand how pervasive ableism is.” We’re sorry, and we’ll do better in the future.

Speaking of the future, we were thrilled that Ann Friedman included Small Victories in an essay about committing to the fight for justice over the long haul. She goes on to say:

“When it comes to electoral politics, you often need losses before you can build momentum and win. EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock says she advises women to run for office ‘early and often’ because they will lose their first race, and probably their second and third as well. The important thing is to keep running. And to realize that even losses lay groundwork…

“What’s heartening is that I see this long-haul attitude all around me—especially since the election. I see people showing up to immigration removal hearings, even when there’s not a big planned protest. I see people providing child care so that others can attend police-commission meetings. I see people driving women on the hours-long trip to an abortion provider. I see people offering their legal services and hosting candidate fundraisers. These things are all victories. Action over inertia is a victory.”

Your weekly songspiration


1. As opposition to the Senate health care bill continues to grow, the vote has been delayed! Senators congregated on the steps of the capital to discuss the bill, Handmaids rallied, protesters formed a human chain, and constituents spoke out against the bill. (Go, Sarah!) On one day, 50 people were arrested during five sit-ins and protests in their senators’ Capitol Hill offices, while chanting, “Kill the bill, don’t kill me!” As journalist Kira Lerner said, it was “hard to walk through the Senate halls today without bumping into a health care protest.” And it’s only just begun.

All of the protests are incredible, but this video of ADAPT members who occupied Sen. Gardner’s office for 57 hours before being arrested is a must-watch. (You can learn more about ADAPT’s inspiring history and contribute directly to their legal fees.)

2. As the Senate prepares to vote on this heinous bill, one thing is clear: a Medicare-for-All health care plan is becoming more and more popular. Elizabeth Warren endorsed single-payer for the first time, and this excellent five-point plan outlines how it would work.

3. California is on a roll!

?  The state passed a bill that won’t allow the expansion of immigration detention centers and gives the state the right to oversee current facilities. (We know this is a week late, but it was too big not to include!)

?  With help from The Climate Mobilization, L.A.’s city council has launched a new initiative, Mobilize L.A., aimed at making Los Angeles carbon neutral by 2025.

?  California had already barred state-sponsored travel to four states because of their discriminatory practices toward LGBTQ people, but this week they expanded the list with four new states.

?  The L.A. City Council will contribute $2 million to a legal fund for undocumented residents facing deportation.

4. The New York state legislature passed a bill offering tax incentives to TV shows that hire women and people of color in writer and director roles.

5. The Supreme Court ruled that parents in a same-sex couple cannot be denied the right to be listed on their children’s birth certificates.

6. Mormon Church employees just got a bump to their benefit package with the addition of paid maternity and parental leave. On top of that, women can now wear pants to work.  

Small Victories Issue 26

7. In an effort to lower the number of people entering Rikers Island, defendants now have more time to post bail, and prisoners who have made bail must be released within hours. (We hope this strengthens the movement to end cash bail!)

Plus, the NYPD will now comply with Freedom of Information Law requests, as a result of organizer Keegan Stephan’s lawsuit.

8. Three members of the Central Park Five joined other graduates from the Bronx Preparatory High School this week to receive their high school diplomas.

9. With bipartisan support, the House passed a resolution condemning violence against LGBTQ men in Chechnya.

10. Inmates in Alabama won a lawsuit over the state prisons’ “horrendously inadequate” mental health care. The ruling requires the state to improve living conditions and provide better mental health treatment.

11. The Handmaids appeared in California to protest their representative’s attacks on women’s rights. (Our reader Lee not only submitted this victory to us, but she’s also a member of the groups that organized the protest. Thanks, Lee!)

12. The New York Times created a list of every lie Trump’s told since he took office in January, while Amy Siskind continues to track the ways his administration breaks with norms and upends current government processes—this visual is staggering. #wearetakingnotes

13. After birding groups filed a lawsuit to block a wind turbine that could kill bald eagles, songbirds, and bats, the Ohio Air National Guard announced it would not move forward with the turbine installation. (Thanks for the heads up, Jess! This little guy is going to be very happy to hear the news.)

14. Three states have already refused to provide voter data to Trump’s election integrity commission, and if we start calling our governors, we bet more states will stand firm, too.

15. It’s definitively not a victory that the Muslim ban has been partially reinstated, but already people are marching and lawyers are organizing. Plus, the administration reversed one of the ban’s key positions, and Hawaii filed a lawsuit against others.

16. On the international front, Germany voted to approve same sex marriage, and a Jerusalem court ruled that Israel’s national airline, El Al, can’t move women passengers to accommodate ultra-Orthodox men.

As we prep for the long weekend ahead, we’re reading about the history and creators of the iconic Silence = Death poster and revisiting Frederick Douglass’s speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

P.S. Time Magazine wants its cover back.  

P.P.S. Bravo, le clitoris!

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