WE, AS A COUNTRY, HAVE TO RECKON – Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis summed up the tragedy of the Emmanuel AME Church shooting last week in Charleston: “We must call racism and White supremacy what it is and continue the work toward dismantling all forms of discrimination” … Since South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) urged the removal of the Confederate flag from government grounds on Monday, six major corporations–including Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon–removed Confederate flag merchandise from their stores, and five other Southern states have taken steps to remove Confederate symbols from parks, license plates, and government buildings.
… BUT SYMBOLS ONLY GO SO FAR. NAACP North Carolina President and Forward Together Movement Leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber hit the nail on the head: “[The families of the victims] are challenging the schizophrenia of American morality, which allows political leaders to condemn the crime but embrace the policies that are its genesis.” GOP efforts blocked the last federal bill to expand background checks for firearm owners and the National Rifle Association supported an amendment to the CDC budget that prevents research that could be used to advocate for gun control.
READ ”The Greatest Threats to American National Security are Guns and the Police” over at The Nation, JOIN Everytown for Gun Safety in #RisingForCharleston HERE and SIGN a Rising for Charleston postcard to your members of Congress telling them to pass stronger gun control laws HERE.
TPA BETRAYAL – Despite massive opposition from the public, labor unions, and progressive organizations including Demos, Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, Common Cause, and Presente, the Senate voted on Tuesday to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to push the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership through Congress. Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean unequivocally outlined the consequences for the few Senate Democrats who voted in favor of TPA: “This vote will be remembered, it will not be erased, and we will hold you accountable.”
SIGN a petition from Stop Fast Track telling your Senators, “If you vote yes on Fast Track, we pledge to vote against you in the next election” HERE.
NOTHING IN THIS WORLD IS INDIFFERENT TO US – Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) President Rhea Suh applauded Pope Francis’ Encyclical on climate change: “Putting belief into action drives progress.” The Encyclical comes as nations around the world prepare for the World Climate Summit in Paris this December. READ ”From Bonn to Paris: Navigating the Course to an Effective International Climate Agreement” over at Center for American Progress (CAP) and CHECK OUT a map of oil and pipeline spills in the US at the Center for Effective Government HERE.
ONE FLEW OVER THE FEC – This week, Public Citizen refiled Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairman Ellen Weintraub’s earlier petition in which she pleaded with her own agency to do its job and regulate dark money corruption in campaign spending. Weintraub reiterated what 84% of Americans already know: campaign finance needs a complete overhaul. READ suggested provisions from the American Anti-Corruption Act HERE and SIGN a petition over at Public Citizen urging President Obama to get big money out of politics HERE.
POLICE BODY CAMERA CONVERSATION **TODAY** – The Brennan Center for Justice is hosting “Candid Cameras?: The Impact of Body Cameras on Privacy, Law Enforcement, and Community Policing“ **TODAY** at 12:00 PM in Washington, DC. The event will feature Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann, Brennan Center Senior Counsel Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Streetwise and Safe Senior Policy Counsel Andrea Ritchie, and ACLU Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley. RSVP HERE.
IN THE FINE PRINT – Despite the 78,000 consumers and 71 Progressive organizations–including Alliance for Justice, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and National Council of La Raza–calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to end the practice of forced arbitration clauses, House Republicans introduced new legislation last week intended to keep these clauses alive and well. SIGN a petition over at Other98 telling the CFPB to reign in forced arbitration clauses HERE.
HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR OWN DISASTER – The same Wall Street firms that triggered the 2008 housing crash have profited over $20 billion by buying the titles of 200,000 foreclosed homes, according to a new report from the Center for Popular Democracy. READ: “Do Hedge Funds Make Good Neighbors? How Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & HUD are Selling Off Our Neighborhoods to Wall Street.”
GAY RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS – A new report from CAP reveals that 50 million LGBT people worldwide flee persecution from their countries for their sexual orientation. READ ”Humanitarian Diplomacy: The U.S. Asylum System’s Role in Protecting Global LGBT Rights” and CHECK OUT Immigration Equality, an organization that provides legal resources to LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.
… ON OUR AGENDA …