Here’s some ‘oomph’ for your ‘ugh’, aka. weekly good news to help combat all the bad news.

Abby Brockman
5 min readJun 18, 2017
  • Art collector and patron Agnes Gund sold her 1962 Roy Lichtenstein “Masterpiece” for $165 million to create a fund that supports criminal justice reform and seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the United States.
  • Controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has withdrawn from consideration for deputy secretary in the Department of Homeland Security!
  • The WNBA’s Seattle Storm is holding a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” rally, donating $5 from every ticket for that night’s game to the organization, and hosting a fundraising auction. They’re one of the few professional teams owned by women.
  • Marshawn Lynch, NFL player with the Oakland Raiders, is offering free haircuts to students in grades K-12 if they bring their report card.
  • Danica Roem, the first out transgender person ever to run for the Virginia General Assembly pulled off a surprise victory in her Democratic primary.
  • NBC Connecticut will not air Megyn Kelly’s interview with Sandy Hook-denier, Alex Jones. Kelly also overhauled the show in response to outrage, inviting parents to speak.
  • Vermont has created a “racial justice oversight board”. They’re updating their policing policies statewide in a move to combat racial bias and decrease incarceration rates.
  • New Mexico instituted a policy allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives directly to women.
  • Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a pay equity bill that allows victims of wage disparity to recover up to two years’ back pay.
  • Nevada’s state legislature passed a ton of women’s rights laws despite the state’s Republican male governor. The legislature is 40% female, second only to Vermont.
  • Louisiana’s Republican-dominated legislature passed a bipartisan criminal justice reform package that will trim jail sentences and expand parole opportunities to offenders in jail.
  • Michigan’s Attorney General has charged five water officials — including a member of the governor’s cabinet and a former emergency manager — with manslaughter related to their failure to act during the Flint water crisis, which has been linked with an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that contributed to at least a dozen deaths.
  • Robert Mueller’s probe now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, according to officials cited by The Washington Post. A Trump tweet on Friday seemed to confirm the story.
  • Jared Kushner’s finances and business dealings are also under investigation by the special prosecutor, according to another Washington Post story.
  • Senate Republicans quickly reversed their plan to restrict press access after massive backlash from the press and the public.
  • Robert Mueller has recruited for his investigatory staff “perhaps the most high-powered and experienced team of investigators ever assembled by the Justice Department.”
  • The director of the Office of Government Ethics called the waiver allowing Steve Bannon to talk to the news organization he used to run problematic because it isn’t signed or dated and “purports to have ‘retroactive’ effect.”
  • A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration’s approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline violated federal law and ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its environmental analysis.
  • The mayor of Washington, D.C., announced charges against a dozen members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail involved in last month’s violent clashes with protesters.
  • Vice President Pence hired outside legal counsel to help with congressional and special-counsel investigations into campaign collusion with Russia.
  • The Massachusetts legislature voted by an overwhelming 134 vote majority to approve the Fair Share Amendment (aka millionaire tax) for the 2018 ballot.
  • Democratic turnout in the Virginia gubernatorial primary exceeded Republican turnout by so much that the Republican winner ended up with 80,000 fewer votes than the Democratic loser.
  • President Trump infuriated Republicans by calling the AHCA, whose passage he triumphantly celebrated, “mean.” Yep. It is.
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) act, which would preserve Trump’s tweets as presidential records.
  • D.C. and Maryland sued President Trump for violating the constitution’s anti-corruption clauses by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments. Two days later, nearly 200 congressional Democrats filed a similar suit.
  • The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals became the second appeals court to rule against Trump’s revised travel ban. A footnote cited a Trump tweet as evidence.
  • The Supreme Court struck down a gender distinction in U.S. immigration law that treated mothers and fathers differently when determining a child’s citizenship, calling such inequality “stunningly anachronistic.”
  • The Commission on Civil Rights unanimously approved a two-year probe into the “degree to which current budgets and staffing levels allow civil rights offices to perform” their functions within the administration. The commission is a bipartisan agency charged with advising the president and Congress on civil rights matters.
  • Rhode Island Teacher of the Year Nikos Giannopoulos whipped out a black lace fan for his Oval Office photo with the Trumps. He was wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pin, a silver and gold statement necklace, and a nose ring. Of course the photo went viral.
  • Delegates of the Southern Baptist Convention condemned white supremacists and the alt-right on Wednesday, one day after they provoked a backlash by turning down a more strongly worded resolution.
  • Eight influential healthcare and consumer advocate groups (biggies like the American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, the March of Dimes, the AMA, and AARP) are partnering to highlight concerns about Trumpcare at events in 4 key states — Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, and West Virginia — showcasing the need for adequate, affordable healthcare.
  • The House panel investigating Russia’s election meddling is getting more funding and two new senior staffers for the minority as part of a larger staff shakeup.
  • Mass Attorney General Maura Healey joined a coalition of 11 state attorneys general and the City of New York in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for failing to implement critical energy efficiency standards. It’s Maura Healey’s ninth suit against President Trump.
  • When Senators Burr and McCain “manterrupted” (for the second time in 2 weeks) Sen. Kamala Harris as she fired tough, incisive questions at Jeff Sessions, social media went wild. Here’s a favorite tweet.
  • Russia erupted in widespread anti-Putin protests this week. On the front lines were high schoolers. Youth, lead the way.
  • Canada announced a new feminist-focused foreign policy with plans to ensure that eventually at least 95% of the country’s foreign aid helps improve the lives of women and girls.

Compiled by Mary Wasmuth, with input from the Small Victories weekly newsletter.



Abby Brockman

Hospital chaplain, community organizer, writer. Shamelessly laughs at the same jokes over and over and believes there are gateways to holiness everywhere.