I usually save up all the good news for Tuesdays, but this happened on Tuesday and it would be wrong to sit on it for a week: Desmond Meade won a MacArthur Fellowship. Who, you may ask, is Desmond Meade? He’s the architect of the movement to restore rights to convicted felons in Florida.
[The] idea was overwhelmingly supported by Florida voters at the ballot box before being hamstrung by the legislature. Meade himself failed to receive a pardon from the governor in recent years, something he was seeking so that he might practice law in the state.
He told the Orlando Sentinel that he will use the grant to pay for his law school loans and fuel his ongoing mission.
Working for democracy and human dignity has never been more important.
Honor Meade’s work with a donation to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions.
The all-important, intersectional justice issues related to the changing climate always seem to require a richer knowledge-base than mine. In any case, I helped raise a very knowledgeable and effective climate activist, and want to encourage you to learn from them.
Read Issue 74.2 of the Digestable and deepen your understanding of what constitutes an effective response to climate impacts.
Thursdays are throwback days. We go back to issues that still require our attention.
Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline is complete and expected to be operational tomorrow. It’s important to remember that we have not lost if we do not give up.
[A] spokesperson for the Indigenous Environmental Network, said the pipeline's opponents will continue their work.
"It's with a heavy heart we receive the news that the U.S. has tragically failed once again to honor our treaties and protect the water that sustains all life on Mother Earth," Jennifer Falcon said. "The Line 3 fight is far from over, it has just shifted gears. Do not think we are going quietly into the night, we will continue to stand on the frontlines until every last tar sands pipeline is shut down and Indigenous communities are no longer targeted but our right to consent or denial is respected."
More than 900 activists have faced arrest in protests against Line 3. Since March, I’ve been writing about the abusive policing, funded by Enbridge, that has included the use of sonic devices as well as pain compliance, with peaceful protesters wrestled to the ground, arrested, and jailed in crowded cells.
Tell the president to order the DOJ to stop police from using pain compliance against Line 3 protesters.
Fighting fossil fuel infrastructure is a long game, and we really need to stay in it. We sent some of the 6,000 comments that the Department of Environmental Conservation and the governors (Cuomo and Hochul) received weighing in against NRG’s proposed Astoria power plant. The comments against the plant outnumbered those in favor by a ratio of two to one.
“The Hochul administration and the DEC have reached a fork in the road: either continue allowing permits and further investments in the polluting fossil fuel-burning energy industry, like the pending permit for the NRG Astoria Power Plant . . . or pivot to clean and renewable energy sources,” [according to Elizabeth Moran, climate policy leader for Earthjustice].
Remind Governor Hochul that we don’t need any more fossil fuel infrastructure in New York City. Here are some sample messages!
Rita Joseph, who is going to be my next city council representative, traveled with Councilwoman Farah Louis (CD 45) to Del Rio, Texas, where they were appalled at the conditions where thousands of Haitian asylum-seekers camped out.
As overcome with emotion as they were by their initial visit to the border, Louis and Joseph were even more stunned when returned the next day with a small group of attorneys and interpreters to find the encampment had been cleared out.
The Biden Administration is using a Trump-era public health policy, Title 42, to justify the mass deportations. What happened to the promise of a humane immigration policy?
“We consider the whole thing to be outrageous as well as unlawful,” said Nana Gyamfi, the executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, who met with Biden administration officials last week.
“We take it as evidence of guilt when folks get rid of all the victims, all the witnesses, and all the forensic evidence,” Gyamfi added. “And when you look at the images of Del Rio, now, it has completely been cleared out, it's like it never happened.”
Contact the president to let him know that we demand the “elimination of restrictions on entry to the United States that disproportionately target and exclude Black migrants.”
On Tuesday, the governor ordered state criminal courts in New York City to conduct remote hearings for those who are detained. The mismanagement at the Department of Corrections has meant that folks at Rikers have been missing court appearances, so this is a welcome move.
State legislators are hoping that Hochul will take more action. Two hundred people were released from Rikers after the governor signed the Less is More Act and another 128 have been transferred from Rikers to less crowded upstate prisons.
Because the Less is More Act does not technically go into effect until March, legislators are calling on Hochul to take executive action.
"There are about 800 people who are being held right now who would not be if it were March," Gianaris told NY1. "To put them through this crisis now and put their lives in danger simply because the law doesn't take effect for a few more months is irresponsible."
Ask Governor Hochul to act immediately to release the hundreds of people who are qualified for release under Less is More.
Mayor De Blasio continues to drag his feet and to resist calls to sharply reduce the population on Rikers Island. There are indications that he plans to release dozens of people, but the response is not equal to the scale of the problem.
Folks at Rikers have not only missed court, but also medical appointments. Intake at Rikers now takes about ten hours, which represents an improvement. Yikes.
The staffing situation continues to wreak havoc. Officers are still pulling double- and triple-shifts, a plainly unacceptable and unsafe situation.
Tell the mayor to stop dragging his feet! He must grant immediate release to everyone being held on bail. The ready-made message reflects recent developments.
Desmond Meade and the Water Protectors have the right idea. We can’t lose if we keep on working for justice.