Your weekly songspiration!
1. Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council, and Devin Nunes will step aside from leading the investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia. (He’s now officially under an ethics investigation himself.) Oh, how the tables have turned 👀
2. More representatives are announcing support for single payer health care, and if you agree, you can join tomorrow's national day of action supporting Medicare for All. California and New York have been flirting with this idea for a few years, and we’re hoping for a love connection this time around.
3. Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that New York City is going to close Rikers Island! (There is a lot to unpack here, and it may take ten years, but we hope this announcement is one small step toward a larger victory for criminal justice reform in the future.)
4. More than 40 companies pulled their ads from The O’Reilly Factor, following sexual harassment accusations against host Bill O'Reilly.
5. While Sen. Jeff Merkley spoke against Neil Gorsuch all night (15 hours!) on the Senate floor, communities held their own People’s Filibusters across the country, everywhere from Colorado to Arizona. (And yes, while the Senate chose to go nuclear and Gorsuch's confirmation now seems inevitable, we consider it a victory that people mobilized and pressured Democrats not to give up without a fight.)
Meanwhile, people continue voicing their opinions at town halls, and your actions are pushing the Republicans to start speaking out against Trump’s ties with Russia—which is great, considering more than half of all Americans want an independent investigation into this issue.
Protesters also blocked an anti-transgender bus tour from stopping in Philadelphia, and we saw messages of resistance at The Washington Nationals’ opening game and at Trump’s national golf club.
6. Facebook is taking steps to prevent users from sharing revenge porn.
7. Cities and states continue to combat climate change and become more energy efficient.
8. More than 50 social justice organizations—including the Movement for Black Lives, the Fight for $15, and 350.org—are uniting to fight for racial and economic justice; environmental welfare; and women, children, LGBTQ+, immigrant, and disabled people’s rights. Their first initiative, Beyond the Moment, began on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, effectively continuing his historic Poor People’s Campaign.
9. Our judicial system continues to deliver good news across the country:
👍 A Greensboro judge ruled against a Republicans’ gerrymandered districts.
👍 An Indianapolis judge blocked a state mandate forcing women to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.
👍 A Kentucky judge ruled that a lawsuit accusing Trump of inciting violence can proceed, dismissing his free speech defense. According to the judge, Trump’s remarks against protesters at a campaign rally “at least 'implicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action.'”
10. Reporters—from student newspapers to mainstream media—are doing great work:
👏 A high school principal in Kansas resigned after a group of reporters and editors from the student newspaper uncovered discrepancies in her education credentials.
👏 The White House wouldn’t publish Trump staffers’ financial disclosures, so ProPublica, AP, and the New York Times joined forces to post them instead.
👏 Chris Wallace at Fox News challenged Scott Pruitt about his denial over climate change. #moreofthisplease
Also, The Omidyar network is giving $100 million to several organizations to support investigative journalism and fight hate speech. ✊
11. The rusty patched bumblebee was added to the Endangered Species List. We know, this sounds like bad news—but it’s actually pretty great. It may help save the bees from extinction, and it opens the door for groups to legally fight for new environmental protections, as is already happening in Minnesota. (Thanks, Joan!)
12. Bernie Sanders and others introduced The College for All Act, which includes a series of measures to make college free or affordable. Momentum is growing: Only two years ago, he had zero Senate co-sponsors for this bill, and he now has five, plus fourteen in the House. But Sanders acknowledged it will take more than support from elected officials to get this passed in Republican-controlled Congress:
“We can win this fight when millions of Americans stand up and demand this legislation.”
With that, there’s no better way to close than with Ifeoma White Thorpe’s college admissions essay. She’s got a tough choice ahead after being accepted into all eight Ivy League schools and Stanford. #yougogirl 👏 🎓 🎉