Kyle Borland

Storyteller and strategist at the intersections of cannabis, branding & communications, justice, and Urbanism.

ACES: In Spades – January 24

Happy Monday, ACES! 

I don’t know if y’all noticed but, in my neck of the woods, there were lots of people in the streets this weekend. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to march because I was scheduled to work but I was incredibly energized at the sheer size of the demonstration. Additionally, some great conversations have started post-march about the importance of intersectionality that I would encourage everyone to seek out and participate in. 

Like I promised, this edition of In Spades is a little more structured. Between Donald Trump’s eagerness to push his plans through and some great universal timing, our specific asks / issue areas have become more clear. Instead of value statements, I wanted to highlight and assign an end goal for each of the ACES values. 

  • Accountability → Gerrymandering and Term Limits
  • Connectivity → Fair and Affordable Housing
  • Equity → Integration
  • Sustainability → Universal Income

In Spades will highlight stories that are part of the events and dialogue orbiting these long-term goals. If you come across any articles, events or movements / organizations you’d like to highlight, feel free to share them with me at – KGB


Calls to Action

ACES Action: Call 202-224-3121 AT LEAST ONCE THIS WEEK to voice your opposition to Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as Secretary of Education. Committee Chairman Grassley has delayed that vote until January 31st because of her poor performance and ethical conflicts – your voice CAN stop her confirmation.

Join Indivisible’s National Day of Action (TOMORROW): Visit your senators’ offices on Tuesday, Jan. 24 to reject Trump’s unqualified, corrupt Cabinet nominees. Join #standindivisible, and send the videos, pictures, and stories from your actions to Search for your local Indivisible group / event(s) here: the Indivisible Guide.

Join the Movement for Black Lives: Follow and support M4BL’s events and initiatives.

SCOTUS Watch: 10 Supreme Court cases to watch in 2017

Swing Left: Find your closest Swing District – “Control of the House in 2018 will be decided by a handful of Swing Districts, places where the last election was decided by a thin margin. Join to learn about actionable opportunities to support progressives—and defeat Republicans—in that district, no matter where you live. We can stop Trump and the GOP agenda by working together NOW.”

Women’s March – Next Steps: If you marched, get to work. Also, you can find a running tally of all the marches, here.

Accountability → Gerrymandering and Term Limits

Voter Rights 
Alabama found guilty of racial gerrymandering – ”Unless Alabama appeals, the state will have to redraw its voting maps to comply with the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution before the next election in 2018. The leader of the statehouse Democrats, Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) said the state should take the opportunity to transition to an independent system that doesn’t allow the majority party to draw maps that help them hold onto power.” (ThinkProgress) 

Capitalism + Government
Pharma are the worst among us and they’re okay with that  “Which brings us to the FTC settlement: a $100 million fine for purposefully maintaining a monopoly on a drug that brought in one third of Mallinckrodt's $3.4 billion net 2016 sales. Although Mallinckrodt will have to sell off its U.S. license for the competing Novartis therapy, it has no obligation to lower Acthar's list price or hit pause on the price hikes since drug makers have carte blanche over their pricing in the U.S.” (Fortune)

Unlimited capitalism is a Communism’s best friend – ”Democracy has reached its limits, and deterioration is the inevitable future of capitalism, according to the People’s Daily, the flagship paper of China’s Communist Party. It devoted an entire page on Sunday to critiquing Western democracies, quoting former Chairman Mao Zedong’s 1949 poem asking people to "range far your eyes over long vistas" and saying the ultimate defeat of capitalism would enable Communism to emerge victorious.” (Bloomberg)

Connectivity → Fair and Affordable Housing

Rural vs. Suburban vs. Urban 
Access to stable housing is critical to children’s success – “If stable housing is necessary for health, how do we make it widely available? Researchers led by pediatrician Megan Sandel at Boston Medical Center are trying a new approach: providing housing prescriptions to protect children’s development and health, just as one would administer a preventative vaccine.* These housing prescriptions can include a subsidized housing unit or may provide case management and legal services, all with the goal of helping families avoid housing instability and insecurity.” (Public Health Institute)

Rise of the YIMBY Movement – ”The YIMBY movement has elevated the idea of inclusion. YIMBYs have raised a social change agenda – making sustainable, high-opportunity cities accessible to more people has resonance with many urbanists’ values including those championed by SPUR. That vision is not just about homes but also about good planning and zoning, transportation and infrastructure investments, and policies that support job diversity and protect low-income residents. These ideas about inclusion are relevant to families, social justice advocates, environmentalists and integrationists. (The Urbanist)

Equity → Integration

Criminal and Social Justice 
Say what: Alabama elected nine black women to judgeships – ”In an unprecedented event, nine black women were elected as circuit and district judges in Jefferson County, Alabama, this November. For a predominantly Republican state, the Democratic sweep came as a surprise, as Alabama is one of the few states that judges still have to run on party lines to get elected.” (New York Magazine)

 Teach this: black lives built this country – ”Educators and activists who support bringing BLM into lesson plans and classroom discussions say it provides students with an opportunity to learn about, and engage with, relevant social issues in a more thoughtful and informed way. But others argue that celebrating the movement in schools only teaches students one side of the story.” (Christian Science Monitor)  

White America is self-segregating – ”For example, in the Los Angeles suburb of San Marino, a large number of Chinese families began moving in — and despite some underlying unrest, there wasn’t much coarse rhetoric about race, according to Columbia University sociologist Merlin Chowkwanyun. Rather, more white families moved out, fewer moved in — and by 2005 there were stories like this one in the local paper where a white mother lamented: I know [my daughter] can do it, get good enough grades, so it doesn’t bother me. But to hear her say she can't win [a social chair] election because Asians vote for Asians, that bothers me.” (Vox)

White flight into charter schools – We must support #TrueIntegration nationwide if we have any hope of saving America’s youth. “Research shows that free-market school choice, without diversity as a stated goal of a program, tends to exacerbate segregation and inequality in schools,” says Halley Potter, a former charter school teacher and co-author of A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education. “The expansion of vouchers is particularly worrisome because of many private schools’ ability to pick and choose students based on academics, behavior, or even religion or sexuality.” (CityLab)

Sustainability → Universal Income

Automation (Entrepreneurship + Innovation)
Don’t listen to the Ruling Class. They’re scared of the apocalypse, too – “Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and a prominent investor, said, “Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more. Once you’ve done the Masonic handshake, they’ll be, like, ‘Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they’re nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.’ ” (The New Yorker)

Gender parity will take about 170 years at current rates – ”The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, is projected to be far more destructive globally to jobs currently favored by women than to jobs favored by men, according to the WEF. Three of the top growth areas -- management, computer and math, and architecture and engineering -- have low female participation with little expectations of significant increases.” (Bloomberg)

Climate Change 
Say bye-bye coal: Renewables make white guys more $$$ now – ”Carbon pricing is one way to send a strong and clear signal to the investment and development communities. This topic is picking up and the broad business community wants it — Exxon wants it, Total wants it, Shell wants it, and, of course, renewable energy companies want it. A good carbon price provides a “level playing field” and “you begin to understand what the real cost of energy is.’” (CleanTechnica)

ACES: In Spades – January 27

ACES in Spades – January 17-18