A Good News Radar is a wonderful thing

We had a lively and productive meeting with folks from Congresswoman Pelosi’s office today. A big thanks to all the Stand Up SF members who made the time to come and participate. Dan Bernal, Pelosi’s Chief of Staff SF, and Alex Lazar, Sr Congressional Aide SF were warm and welcoming as ever. As I contrast this to all the people with GOP Senators who hid from them over the July break, I realize how lucky we are to have members of congress who value our input. And, what an amazing thing… when you listen to your constituents and do your best to do the  right thing for them, it seems there is no need to hide.

On the way out of our meeting, someone mentioned how hard it is to keep up with the sheer volume of news, and how depressing it can be. I hear this often. As many of us at Stand Up SF have learned, one good way to fight the blues is to take action. As one of our members said recently, “It is what keeps me sane.”

Another helpful antidote is to make sure to have your radar up for good news. Here are some items my Good News Radar caught recently.

  • (12 July) A coalition of US states, cities and businesses pledged to meet the Paris Climate Accord emission  reduction targets. They have effectively said, “we’ll do it without Trump.” Called America’s Pledge, the coalition already includes 10 states, 227 cities and counties, and about 1,600 businesses.
  • (8 July) 19 of the 20 world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in July showed their embrace of the Paris Climate Accord and adopted a plan to move forward collectively on climate change without the US. (NYT)
  • (7 July) France announced it is going to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, and become carbon neutral by 2050. The announcement was part of France’s renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal. (BBC)
  • (7 July) Morning Joe enjoyed its highest-rated show ever the day after Trump blasted the hosts with a series of juvenile tweets. The ratings topped Fox & Friends in the same time slot. (Forbes)
  • And speaking of Morning Joe, its co-host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman, stated publicly that the GOP no longer represents his values and that he is quitting the party. (It is not good news that the GOP seems to have lost their values. We need two (at least) major parties with integrity. The good news is that people are speaking out that something important is broken.) (Time)
  • (6 July) 18 states and the District of Columbia filed suit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education dept over Devos’s decision to roll back rules designed to help students who have been defrauded by their colleges. (BuzzFeed)
  • (5 July) The backlash to Trump’s request for sensitive voter information was fast and furious. So many choice quotes to choose from… here are a few:
    • “Delaware will not be a party to this disingenuous and inappropriate campaign against one of the nation’s foundational institutions.” – Delaware Secretary of State
    • “I find this request for the personal information of millions of Marylanders repugnant; it appears designed only to intimidate voters and to indulge President Trump’s fantasy that he won the popular vote.” – MD Attorney General
    • “…the president has repeatedly spread the lie that three to five million illegal votes were cast in the last election. Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.” – Kentucky Secretary of State
    • “This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November. At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.” – Governor of Virginia
    • “NY refuses to perpetuate the myth voter fraud played a role in our election. We will not comply with this request.” – NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • (3 July) A federal appeals court ruled that the EPA cannot change the effective date of a rule that restricts methane emissions from new oil and gas wells. The court said the EPA does not have authority to block the rule, and that the agency’s decision was “unreasonable,” “arbitrary” and “capricious.” Since methane is more potent than carbon dioxide, this is good news for our planet.
  • (28 June) At least four leading law firms have refused to represent Trump. “The guy won’t pay and he won’t listen,” said one lawyer. (The Week)
  • (26 June) A women’s NBA basketball team, the Seattle Storm, announced a partnership with Planned Parenthood and held a fundraiser before a game. (The Seattle Times)
  • (26 June) According to a monthly tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 51% of Americans now have favorable views of the Affordable Care Act, the first time it topped 50% in 79 polls over 7 years. It seems one way to educate people on Obamacare is to threaten to take it away. Who knew?
  • (26 June) More than a dozen organizations representing health care providers signed an open letter to Mitch McConnell, published in his hometown paper, The Courier-Journal of Louisville, telling him to “STOP the mad rush to pass this bill” and instead seek advice from health care experts.“You said you have a ‘responsibility to act,’” the letter said. “We believe you have a duty to act responsibly. Kentuckians deserve better.”

Join our next Stand Up SF Monthly Meeting!
Sat July 22, 2-4pm Noe Valley Library (Sign up!)

Stand Up SF actions:

Monday July 17th is the deadline to submit a comment to the FCC about why Net Neutrality is important to  you. This ACLU form is much easier to use than the FCC site, and they do a great job explaining why net neutrality is important

Actions with other groups:

Sat July 15, Civic Center: Join Democracy Action for a phone bank to educate constituents in Nevada about their healthcare, and to support Democratic candidates in state races in Virginia. Sign up.

Sun July 16, Dogpatch: Join Democracy Action for a phone bank to support Democratic candidates in state races in Virginia. Sign up.