Happy Valentine's Day!
Even if you don't have someone special today, I love you and that's enough. Okay...it's not. But, I started out all the other emails with "Happy" so y'all knew this was coming.
Anyways...another day in Trumpian America means there's lots of news. Thank you to everyone who has sent me some feedback on In Spades! I appreciate all of it. As far as blurb length goes, they probably won't get much shorter. My goal is to activate your interest in a broad conversation and its various moving parts so, if you need to click to learn more – that's the point. ;)
With North Korea and Venezuela, it's looking more and more like Bannon is going to get his wish at WWIII. Even as the media / activists get distracted by the latest headlines or handshakes, we'll continue to focus on #StopPresidentBannon. As a distributed coalition, we have the potential to pressure various representatives at once which could prove to be an advantage as time goes on.
Remember to join the Slack and to follow us on Facebook / Twitter. Also, if you come up to a subscription wall when reading the articles, just copy the headline and paste into your search engine. You should be able to get around it. If not, open another browser and do it that way. Thanks, y'all! –KGB
Call your senator(s) / the Senate Committee on Homeland Security to express your disapproval of Bannon's placement on the NSC – Call script provided below and the SCHS number is: 202-224-4751.
"My name is [name here]. I am a constituent of [congressional district] represented by [senator(s) name] and a member of the ACCESS Coalition.
I'm calling to express my disapproval of Steve Bannon's placement on the National Security Council. I support Senator Feinstein's proposed Strengthening Oversight of National Security Act, because no individual whose primary responsibility is political in nature should be allowed on the NSC or authorized to attend its meetings.
After Michael Flynn's resignation, it's urgent that Senator [NAME] seize the moment and use their position to push for accountability and transparency from the Trump administration on matters of national security. Thank you for your time."
Demand an Investigation – "Michael Flynn's resignation raises more questions — and the American people deserve answers. An independent, bipartisan investigation into Flynn's actions is urgently needed to protect our national security and finally get to the bottom of the Trump administration's ties to Russia." (Stand Up America)
Join Slack and Follow ACCESS on social – You can join the Slack, HERE, and you can find the coalition on Facebook and Twitter.
Research Special Elections for AL 67th State House and AL 58th State House – The 67th's election will be held April 18 and the 58th's on May 16. If you're interested in working on ACCESS' efforts / support for these campaigns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Jon Ossoff for GA's 6th Congressional District – "The 6th District is historically Republican; however Hillary lost there by only one point, suggesting an incredible opportunity for Democrats. Jon Ossoff is the most viable Democratic candidate, with endorsements from John Lewis and Hank Johnson. The election will be held on April 18th. Stand with Jon and flip a seat." Volunteer to phone bank, HERE! (Flippable)
Vet your Members of Congress – Make sure your MoCs are hosting public events. Report back to email@example.com on what you find. Follow Indivisible's steps (linked) for what to look out for when researching. (Indivisible)
Accountability → Defend American Democracy
15 facts about Steve Bannon – "While some of the many accusations and theories about him may be true, there's more to the story. Unlike SNL's comedic depiction of him as a soulless skeleton, Bannon's long-formed, nuanced and highly controversial beliefs make him a far more complex character. Here's some surprising facts about Steve Bannon..." (Axios)
Bannon's rise to power was a masterclass in entrepreneurialism – "And what Bannon achieved, after a journey in the intellectual and political desert, is the ultimate entrepreneurial achievement – to overturn the establishment, attack government, evict two major political parties, extinguish three dynasties (Bush, Clinton, Obama) and seize power with a candidate coming from nowhere. What we witnessed last year was not an election, but a peaceful revolution. The losers are still crying." (South China Morning Post)
20 Lessons from the 20th Century on how to survive Trumpian America – "Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle." (In These Times)
The Supreme Court will examine partisan gerrymandering in 2017 – "Last December, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on two Shaw-type challenges, one from Virginia and one from North Carolina. In both states, a mechanical litmus test was applied without consideration of local circumstances that would affect the ability of African American voters to elect a candidate of choice, such as the willingness of white voters (or Hispanics or other minorities) to support a black candidate — a minimum 55 percent black voting age population in legislative districts in Virginia and a more than 50 percent black voting age population for congressional districts in North Carolina." (The Washington Post)
Gerrymandering Valentine's Cards by Blair Thornburgh
Character → Build Community Capital
Corporate Social Responsibility
Silicon Valley moves away from ad space, to hack your head – "More than 300 mental health startups have launched in the past two years alone, and venture capital investment has grown dramatically. The established mental health community has taken notice, too: Last year’s American Psychiatric Association conference featured a pitch-off for integrating mental health and tech. (The winner was a company called NeuroLex that uses speech-analysis software to detect signs of autism, schizophrenia, and depression.) Although many doubt that breathing exercises and text exchanges with a faceless, part-time counselor can replace visits to an experienced psychiatrist, proponents hope these new companies might democratize mental health care, making it cheap, anonymous, and easy to access." (California SundayMagazine)
Nigerian immigrant in Alabama provides legal help to immigrants impacted by Trump policies – "Afangideh immediately read the order and started contacting people in between conducting research on the order and its potential impacts on immigrants. She was in touch with lawyers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport but did not travel there, instead remaining in Alabama to work the phones and help immigrants who needed help outside the confines of the nation's airports." (AL.com)
Connectivity → Invest in the Network
Infrastructure + Transportation
Cars and Cities, the Autonomy Edition – "This episode of the podcast features a16z’s Frank Chen, who recently shared 16 questions about autonomous cars; Taggart Matthiesen, director of product at Lyft who covers the core platform as well as development / strategy for autonomous vehicles; and Carl Pope, former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club — and author (with former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg) of the upcoming book Climate of Hope: How Cities Businesses and Citizens Can Save the Planet." (a16z)
Rural + Suburban + Urban
America needs to rethink how it frames housing in a 21st Century economy – "That was the conclusion of a recent paper by the economists Ed Glaeser of Harvard and Joe Gyourko at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The paper uses construction industry data to determine how much a house should cost to build if land-use regulation were drastically cut back. Since the cost of erecting a home varies little from state to state — land is the main variable in housing costs — their measure is the closest thing we have to a national home price. According to them, a standard American home should cost around $200,000, a figure that includes the cost of construction, what land would cost in a lightly regulated market, and a modest profit for developers." (NYT)
Megaregions of the United States
Equity → Balance the Scales
Plantation to Prison: How the 13th Amendment moved slavery behind bars – "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. —Amendment XIII" (NYT)
Black, Latino Two-Parent Families Have Half The Wealth Of White Single Parents – In 2013, the median white family held 13 times as much net wealth as the median black family and 10 times as much wealth as the median Latino family, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. Just a decade earlier, the disparity was 7 to 1 for black families, and 9 to 1 for Latino families. In comparing the wealth held by single-parent white families to that held by black and Latino families with two parents, the authors found that:
The median two-parent black family had $16,000 in wealth; a two-parent Latino family had $18,800; and a median single-parent white family had $35,800 in wealth (two-parent white families had $161,300). (NPR)
Spirituality → Practice Self-love
Faith in America
From evangelical teen rallies to the Women’s March on Washington, Christianity still informs my politics – "T free birth control for all men and women in the form that is best for them, high-quality and low-cost health care for pregnant women, paid parental leave for the first year of a child’s life, free early childhood education, fewer hurdles for impoverished families to receive food and necessities for their children, a stronger public education system that’s not undermined by for-profit educational systems and income equality for women. These are just some of the reasons I enthusiastically voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election. When it comes to considering abortion matters, I’d rather vote for the woman who believes the procedure should be legal but has strategies to make sure women don’t need one than vote for the man who says he hates abortion but offers no solutions to the problem of unplanned pregnancy." (Salon)
Separation of Church and State
Trump wants to tear down the wall between Church and State – "The draft order would create unprecedented exemptions based on religious or purely “moral” objections to a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and even private activity, such as getting an abortion or having sex while unmarried. Such an order would be Hobby Lobby on steroids, creating an opening for almost anyone—government workers, federally funded social-service organizations, small-business owners, and more—to refuse to hire, serve, or provide public accommodations to others merely by citing one’s religious beliefs." (The Nation)
Sustainability → Implement Universal Solutions
Automation + Universal Basic Income
If you won't listen to me, listen to Elon – "Displacement due to automation isn’t just limited to transportation. Musk argues that the government must introduce a UBI program in order to compensate for this. 'I don’t think we’re going to have a choice,' he said. 'I think it’s going to be necessary. There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.'" (Futurism)
ACCESS will #StandWithGavin – "'I didn’t even know what transgender was when this all started. One of the first things I read was that almost 50 percent of these kids try to commit suicide. As a parent, that is all you really need to know to support your child.'" (ACLU)
Job Creation + Renewable Energy
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: Renewables are Bipartisan – "'The nation’s wind and solar energy resources are transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the passage of the Homestead Act over 150 years ago,' Kansas Republican Sam Brownback and Rhode Island Democrat Gina Raimondo wrote in the letter, on behalf of eight Republican governors and 12 Democrat state leaders. Rural property owners earn more than $245 million a year from leasing land to wind farm developers, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s fourth-quarter report. Solar companies employed more than 200,000 people last year, and most new installations were in rural regions, according to the letter." (Bloomberg)