Hear, hear: good news from last week!
Ecclesiastes writes: “Everything has its season…a time to weep and a time to laugh…a time to wail and a time to dance,…a time to rent garments and a time to mend.” Ecclesiastes seems to be saying that there are distinct times for each of these emotions.
Yehuda Amichai, the great Israeli poet, understands it differently. He writes: “Ecclesiastes was wrong about that…A person needs to love and hate at the same moment. To laugh and cry with the same eyes…To make love in war and war in love.” As Trump continues to degrade and threaten our democracy, let us be active and intentional about finding all of the good that is happening alongside the bad. Let us find reasons to laugh and cry, to celebrate and doubt, to feel hopeful and scared, all at the same time.
As you go into your new week, take a few moments to reflect on some of the positive and hopeful events of last week (compiled with the help of Mary Wasmuth, Jen Hofmann’s Activism Checklist, and the Small Victories newsletter).
- Amazon has invited a homeless shelter formerly housed on the property to use nearly half the space of a new building it’s erecting there.
- Republicans Senators John McCain (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Susan Collins (ME) joined Democrats to ensure an Obama-era rule that prevents methane gas emissions was upheld.
- Another Confederate monument removed in New Orleans. This time, a statue of Jefferson Davis.
- A federal judge ordered the Trump Administration to disclose a memo drafted with the help of Rudy Giuliani that might have provided an outline to make the president’s travel ban look like it wasn’t aimed at Muslims.
- Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash is the second Republican to sign on to the bill calling for an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in the election.
- Sally Yates testified at a congressional hearing on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election — and boy, was she heard.
- When, for the first time, a Spanish girls’ soccer team joined a boys’ league this year, they took home the championship!
- A coalition of organizers has raised nearly $400,000 in bail money to release incarcerated black mothers from prison in time for Mother’s Day.
- After the Illinois state budget cut funding for children to visit their mothers in prison, groups raised enough money to provide them bus rides through the summer.
- Keep it up, Mass! Amherst passed (165–4) a Sanctuary Community Bylaw. Arlington Town Meeting approved a Trust Act Resolution. And Belmont Town Meeting affirmed the town’s status as a welcoming community.
- Connecticut Governor Malloy has signed a bill barring gay conversion therapy.
- Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) placed a hold on a presidential nominee until the Treasury Department provides documents about the financial ties between Russia and Trump associates.
- People fought back against last week’s health care vote using a diversity of tactics, from die-ins at their representatives’ offices to passionate outcries at town halls across the country.
- A crowd chanted “shame” when Paul Ryan visited a Harlem charter school.
- Democratic representatives are holding town halls in Republican districts, since their Republican counterparts can’t take the heat. #adoptadistrict
- Betsy DeVos’s commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college, was booed was greeted by a chorus of boos and students standing up to turn their backs on her.
- Maura Healy led a team of 19 state AGs demanding a special counsel to lead an independent Russia probe.
- Tennessee just passed a law making community college free for all adults.
- Republicans are struggling to recruit Senate challengers in states where Trump won, including Michigan and Wisconsin.
- Rex Tillerson signed the Fairbanks Declaration acknowledging the threat posed by climate change to the Arctic and indicating the need for action to curb its impact on the region.
- 9 anti-immigrant bills came before the Florida legislature this term. Thanks to an aggressive campaign from a group called We Are Florida, all 9 were defeated.
- The Treasury unit that investigates money laundering will hand over financial records to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of administration/Russia ties.
- Despite Trump’s attempt to end the investigation into his ties with Russia, the Senate Intelligence Committee invited Comey to testify next week (he will only testify in public) and subpoenaed Michael Flynn.
- The ACLU filed a FOIA request to force Trump to produce evidence of voter fraud claims.
- Argentina now has its first transgender police chief.
- United to Protect Democracy is suing Trump to reveal the legal basis of his Syria missile strike.