Category: Videos

What Are The Democrats Going to Do First in Congress? | Op-Ed | NowThis

Rep. John Sarbanes explains what’s in the first bill Democrats plan to pass in Congress.
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After taking the House, Democrats are taking on big money & voter reform. These are the Dems’ top priorities after taking the house. Democracy reforms top Dems’ agenda after taking the house. This is a first look at Dems top priorities after taking the house. Big money, ethics, and voting reforms are on House Dems’ agenda. Now that Dems have the House, here’s what they want.

The voters in this last election definitely sent a message that they don’t like business as usual, they want to change that status quo. They want back into their own democracy. That’s what this is all about. And Democrats are ready to do that.

Big money in politics. Sarbanes: And the first thing to push back on the influence of the big money.

Super PACs are pouring money in, millionaires, billionaires. You don’t know where it comes from because they’re hiding the ball. We need transparency and disclosure so that you the voter know where this is coming from and you can make decisions based on that.

Ethics reforms: The second thing we’re going to do is we’re going to make sure that when people come to serve in Washington, they serve with integrity. … we have to strengthen the Office of Government Ethics, give it some enforcement power so it can make sure that people are acting in the public trust. … We need to focus on lobbying activity as well. Lobbyists have way too much influence here in Washington. So we’ve got to make sure they behave and if they’re going to get into the lobbying business, if they’re going to be advocating on behalf of some special private interests, they better raise their hand and register and disclose what they’re doing.

Voter suppression: Third we have to make it easy not harder to vote in America…. We’ve got to push back on voter suppression which means that certain communities get targeted in a way that will stop them from getting out and exercising their right to vote. So we’ve got to strengthen the Voting Rights Act that’s absolutely fundamental here. We’ve got to make it easy to register to vote. Automatic voter registration is absolutely critical to that. … We’ve got to bolster election security because there are these new concerns about people hacking into our election system. So we’ve got to make sure election security is there so that you have confidence that when you cast the vote it will actually be tabulated and counted. … And we got to address this partisan gerrymandering that we’ve seen across the country because people are are rightly resentful of that.

#Democrats #Congress #Politics

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It’s Time to End Cash Bail Says Public Defender Scott Hechinger | Op-Ed | NowThis

Cash bail is a flawed, disastrous system and needs to end immediately — but don’t take it from us, listen to this public defender.
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According to public defender Scott Hechinger, the cash bail system is a national crisis that needs to end. Judges decide whether to hold suspects and what to set their bail at based solely on allegations and criminal history, with no regard for who that individual is and their financial circumstances. Hechinger says that 87% of his clients can’t afford bail. 500,000 people are detained pretrial only because they can’t afford to buy their freedom. Bail is supposed to be a incentive not a punishment. As long as you come back to court on your court dates, you get the money back. One of Hechinger’s clients was held on Rikers Island for 9 months because he couldn’t afford $7,500 bail.

#Bail #CriminalJusticeSystem #Prison #Jail #Crime #Politics

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‘Hamilton’ Education Program Invited Low-Income Students on Stage | NowThis

Low-income students are getting a chance to see ‘Hamilton’ — and then perform their original raps, songs, and poems on stage.
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The Hamilton Education Program brings students to the Kennedy Center stage. Many Washington D.C. students don’t have the opportunity to see live theater or even perform on stage. The Hamilton Education Program gives students a chance to see the popular hip hop musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, but also perform their own raps, songs, and poems on stage after the show. As part of the program students from Title I schools in D.C. performed original pieces. Title I schools have high percentages of children low-income families. The ‘Hamilton’ cast also spoke with students about being artists of color in theater. #EduHam aims to improve teaching of U.S. history for students around the country.

#Hamilton #Musicals #Theater #Education #History

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Cage-Free Is Fighting the War on Drugs in the Weed Industry | NowThis

This organization is doing much-needed work on criminal justice and diversity in the weed industry.
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Cage-Free cannabis is a Los Angeles-based organization with two critical roles in the emerging U.S. cannabis industry: Cage-Free Consulting, which advocates for social responsibility within the cannabis industry, and Cage-Free Repair, which is the non-profit branch of the organization that actually helps people expunge and/or seal their criminal records

‘Black people have traditionally been almost 4x as likely to be criminalized for participating in the cannabis industry—whether as a consumer or on the supply side. Even though we know that across racial and ethnic groups, consumption of cannabis is relatively stable and equal. So in spite of all of that, then when we look at the current industry, we know that participation of those communities of color is relatively low when we’re talking about the new, licensed industry. A 2016 BuzzFeed survey estimated that only 1% of cannabis dispensaries were owned by African Americans. So, that’s a huge problem. It’s a moral problem, it’s an economic problem, and it’s one of the central problems that we set out to solve.

Cage-Free started when co-founder Adam Vine saw the cannabis industry was excluding certain communities.

‘I saw that as this industry was really developing — more jobs, more profits were being created, but I didn’t see them coming back to those communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. So, that’s why we set up Cage-Free as an organization that could address that problem. That could serve as this bridge between the cannabis industry and those organizations doing that vital work of repair.’

Cage-Free helps coordinate and plan events like National Expungement Week, where the organization helped 298 people get their records expunged

“We know from a 2014 Stanford study that expunging your record creates about over $10,000 of benefit in the first year alone. Most of that accrues to the person who’s applying for it. Some of that also exists on the government side. So we’ve been able to create over $3 million of economic impact just in this first year, and that will continue to accrue as the years go by.’

It also licenses its logo to brands to raise money for reparation work

‘We’ve also just launched a pilot program in Washington state. That’s a collaboration with a cultivator there, a dispensary, and a band. The cultivator grew a new strain, named it after the band, and placed it in this one dispensary, Lux Pot Shop, and we licensed our logo to this collaboration. So we wanted to use our logo as a seal of social responsibility and commitment to these ideas of equity, justice, and repair. So that whenever this strain is sold, all the profits from it will come to us to invest in a reparative justice project in Seattle. First, by building a reparative justice council, and then by distributing further funds to uphold these values of equity, justice, and repair.’

While much of the work Cage-Free currently does is on the West coast, as more and more states legalize weed, Vine believes equity should be a concern and it should be addressed in the language of the legislation

‘This past year, we’ve done a good job at elevating this discussion and inserting these ideas that when you’re talking about cannabis and you’re talking about this emerging licensed industry, we need to be focused on equity, justice, and repair. Expungement programs need to be built into new cannabis policies. Social equity programs need to be built into new cannabis policies. And community reinvestment needs to be built into these new cannabis policies as well. That’s the baseline from which everything else should proceed.’

#Weed #Cannabis #Legalization #California #WaronDrugs #SocialJustice

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New Hampshire State Rep. Cassie Levesque Wants To End Child Marriage | NowThis

From the Girl Scouts to the state legislature, this newly elected state rep is working to end child marriage.
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Former Girl Scout Cassie Levesque ran for state legislature in New Hampshire to end child marriage and won.

‘My inspiration came from both from my research and from my family ancestry and seeing that child marriage is happening in my family. And that pushed me even further to continue my fight.’

19-year-old Cassandra Levesque is the newest State Rep in New Hampshire. Nearly 2 years ago, Levesque used her Girl Scout project had to fight to end child marriage in her state. Republican Rep. David Bates undermined her efforts by saying said Levesque was just ‘a minor doing a Girl Scout project.’

‘It definitely impacted my activism work because I was the quiet girl in the room I want to speak out and what the Girl Scouts. I became a person who can make my voice louder and I have become a leader.’

NH had one of the lowest legal marriage ages for girls at 13. Levesque successfully fought to raise the minimum age to 16 in 2019, but wasn’t satisfied with the bill. he decided to take matters into her own hands and run for office. Now as State Rep, she plans to raise the minimum marriage age to 18.

’18 is controversial because a lot of representatives are older and it’s very hard for bills to be passed and 18. I really believe that you’re an adult but at the same time you’re also a kid still.’

#ChildMarriage #Feminism #CassieLevesque #NewHampshire

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Lawsuit Alleges Dartmouth College Allowed Sexual Abuse by Professors | NowThis

These women filed a $70 million lawsuit against Dartmouth College alleging the university mishandled reports of professors sexually abusing students.
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‘Dartmouth chose to shelter known sexual predators to protect their endowment rather than their students.’

7 women filed a lawsuit against Dartmouth alleging the Ivy League university allowed sexual abuse on campus. The $70 million suit says professors groped, sexted, and raped students and called one of the college’s most prominent research departments, ‘a 21st century Animal House.’

The complaint says in April 2017, a group of women students reported the sexual harassment and assault from three Dartmouth professors. The school allegedly launched a Title IX investigation, but continued to allow the 3 professors accused , to continue working there. The women say they continued to be assaulted & harassed after reporting.

The university reportedly allowed the accused professors to retire or resign 15 months after the allegations were made. Now seven women have come forward to sue Dartmouth arguing the school mishandled for mishandling the situation by and allowing their alleged abuse to persist.

‘Protecting future generations of women from the trauma I faced at the hands of the sexual predators at Dartmouth is what motivated me to come forward.’

‘From the outside the experience that we’ve had might seem favorable depending on the outcome that Dartmouth’s reached, but we think there are some system problems that still need to be fixed in the culture.’

#SexualAbuse #SexualAssault #MeToo #DartmouthCollege #Dartmouth

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Get Health Care by December 15 and Piss Off Trump | Op-Ed | NowThis

Here’s how you can piss off Trump and help yourself at the same time.
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It’s no secret that President Donald Trump dislikes Obamacare. Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act put in place by President Barack Obama. So how can you stick it to President Trump in 2018? Sign up for health care through Healthcare.gov. Healthcare in America has been a hot debate for decades, but if you need health insurance, you can go to Healthcare.gov and sign up for 2019. The deadline to get health care in America is December 15.

#Obamacare #ACA #Healthcare #Politics #Trump

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Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins Advocates for Clean Slate Act | Op-Ed | NowThis

‘The lifelong stigma that comes with a criminal record makes zero sense. In fact, it makes us less safe.’ — Malcolm Jenkins wants to pass the Clean Slate Act nationwide so people who serve time can still improve their lives.
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Philadelphia Eagles football player Malcolm Jenkins, former football player Anquan Boldin and their nonprofit organization the Players Coalition are fighting to change the criminal justice system in the United States. Currently a criminal record can haunt your life and put employment, housing, or education permanently out of reach. There’s a lifelong stigma on having a criminal record and it might be making us less safe. The Players Coalition helped pass the Clean Slate Act in Pennsylvania this year. The act automatically clears the criminal history of non-violent past offenders if they’re crime-free for a certain period of time. Jenkins hopes that the Clean Slate Act can be implemented on a national level.

#CriminalJusticeReform #CleanSlateAct #MalcolmJenkins #Football

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Trans Military Couple Fights for Their Community’s Rights | NowThis

This woman and her husband were both transgender service members in the U.S. military — now they’re fighting on behalf of their community for the right to exist.
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Laila Ireland is a retired combat nurse who served 2 tours in Iraq. Her husband Logan Ireland is an active Air Force staff sergeant. Together they’re fighting to make life better for trans service members. Part of that battle is opposing President Donald Trump’s proposal to reinstate a ban on transgender people in the military that was lifted in 2016 by President Obama. Laila joined the military in 2003 and began her transition in 2012 her husband Logan joined the Air Force in 2010 and began transitioning in 2012. They’re featured in a group of transgender service members in the new documentary called ‘TransMilitary.’

#Transgender #Military #Rights #LGBTQ

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Teenager and Grandson of Holocaust Survivors Demands Climate Action | NowThis

Don’t let anyone tell you that young people don’t care about the world.
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This 18-year-old grandson of Holocaust survivors is demanding climate action from Democrats. This grandson of Holocaust survivors just gave a powerful testimony joined by hundreds of young people outside Nancy Pelosi’s office.

‘I’m gonna start telling a story about my grandparents. They were born in Hungary and when the Nazis rose to power, they lost almost everyone. Friends and families killed in the Holocaust. But they survived the war and moved […] to Cincinnati, Ohio to start a new life. I remember one day I was maybe 8 and my brother was maybe 10 and we were in my grandparents’ apartment and I remember my brother Nicholas secretly taking a copy of my grandmother’s Holocaust memoirs and going into the bathroom to read it.

And I remember my parents finding him and bringing him out and gently scolding him and saying to both of us, you’re too young to read this. You’re gonna have to wait a few years. I remember thinking, my brother shouldn’t have broken those rules and also remember asking myself, when will I be old enough to read those stories? And it was just a few years later when my parents let me follow my brother into the temple auditorium where there was a presentation on the Holocaust.

I remember how mature I felt, you know my head was up, my shoulders were back and I was full of resolve. Because you have to be full of resolve when you’re grappling with something so serious, when you’re dealing with the past that’s so painful. And I walked in and almost immediately to my right, I saw a book on the table and read that the Nazis pretended that the gas chambers were showers to kill the Jews. And I remember that I was devastated by that fact and all of my resolve fell from my shoulders. And before I left that room, I had to grow up.

So many times in the past few years, I have had to grow up. Like the first, second and third time I read about kids being shot in schools. And when we all learned about the lead in the water in Flint. And every time I read about the aftermath of climate-fueled disasters. Like the fires that are killing people. […] Record fires — I read that and my resolve is so shaken that I have to grow up.

On October 27th I was going to call my dad to ask a question about my bank account. […] and he said, ‘Jeremy, did you hear about what happened?’ I said, ‘No dad, what?’ He said, ‘Did you hear about what’s going on right now?’ I said, ‘No dad, what?’ He said, ‘There’s a shooter in a synagogue in Pittsburgh and he’s shooting people right now.’ He’s shooting people right now. And my dad’s voice broke. He’s shooting people right now. And I was wearing a hat and I threw the hat to the ground and I listened to my dad cry and I felt really afraid for myself.

My grandparents knew that when politicians plan seeds of fear and hate, those seeds turn into bullets and blood. Now I know that too. So I listened to my dad cry and I felt afraid. And then I grew up. […] Speaker Pelosi, last year I was the chair of the High School Democrats of America, […] I wonder if you remember this past June, Speaker Pelosi you came and spoke to us. I wonder if you remember how well dressed we were, how serious and attentive we were, how serious we were about fixing these problems. Because we have endured bullets, and storms, and fires. Because we have had to grow up one too many times.

Speaker Pelosi, Democratic leadership, we are asking you to grow up. When will you confront — When will you confront the roots of division and hatred? When will you come up with a plan to stop the climate crisis and defend the homes of millions of would-be climate refugees? When will you embrace a green new deal? When, Speaker Pelosi?

You know, everybody, I’ve got sort of a feeling that she’s gonna come out of the office and she’s gonna shake our hands and say, ‘Now — now is the day.’ I have hope in her and I have hope in the Democrats who I have worked so hard to support. Because my grandparents, they needed hope to survive.’

#ClimateChange #Climate #Activism #Politics

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State Senator Nikema Williams Arrested for Demanding All Votes Be Counted in Georgia | NowThis

This state senator was arrested while rallying for every vote in Georgia to be counted.
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‘Our lives are on the line. Elections are important. Elections are important.’ These protesters were arrested while demanding every vote be counted.

Protesters demonstrated at Georgia’s Capitol to demand every vote be counted in the statewide election where Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams, despite uncounted ballots

‘For someone to declare that they are the winner in this race with margin-thin numbers that are separating the two candidates, and then you’re going to—someone is declaring to be the winner of the governor’s race in Georgia, and every vote has not been counted is crazy.’ – Nikema Williams

#Midterms #Georgia #Voting #VoterSuppression #Votes

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Asylum Seekers Are Being Illegally Denied Entry, Says the ACLU | NowThis

These asylum seekers are spending days at the border waiting to lawfully enter the U.S. The ACLU says denying them entry is illegal
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Max Bergmann on Donald Trump Firing Jeff Sessions | Op-Ed | NowThis

‘If Donald Trump can get away with this, he can get away with anything.’
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President Donald Trump firing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions could launch a constitutional crisis.

‘America has only been in this situation a couple times in its history, namely in Watergate where Richard Nixon fired the special prosecutor that was investigating him, fired their attorney general. And so now we’re back in that sort of situation. […] The president’s trying to put himself above the law.’

‘Americans should be outraged and should be extremely concerned about this. The Mueller investigation has been producing results. This is not a witch hunt.’

‘He knows this investigation is coming after him. He knows that he’s in the crosshairs and so he’s trying to end it. And so the way to end it is to put someone in charge of the investigation that can can squash it can block evidence from coming forward.’

Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker in Sessions’ place who has attacked the Russia probe in a NY Times op-ed.

‘They know this guy will do the president’s bidding. And what’s so outrageous here is that normally what happens in almost the situation is the number 2 at a government agency, the deputy becomes the acting attorney general. That’s Rod Rosenstein. Why hasn’t Trump made Rod Rosenstein the attorney general? Because he wants someone there that’s going to protect him. So they pick someone that they knew would do it, that’s already written and said that he would do it.’

‘The attorney general’s job is not to protect the president of the United States. It is to enforce American laws and American laws say the American constitution holds that no one is above the law.’

#Trump #Russia #Mueller #JeffSessions #Politics

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Ink Minx Mobile Tattoo Shop For Women And LGBTQ People | NowThis

This woman-run mobile tattoo shop is for people who feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in tattoo parlors.
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Tattoo artist Shanzey Afzal opened up her own mobile tattoo shop to ink people who feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in a typical tattoo parlor don’t feel well-served in the male-dominated industry, Ink Minx is a safe space to women, LGBTQ community, people of color and non-binary people. Vulnerable demographics really deserve a space where they aren’t subject to discrimination or any kind of abuse. Afzal says her entrance into the business was rocky because tattoos are forbidden in her conservative Muslim community.

#Tattoos #BodyArt #LGBTQ #Women

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Doctors Show The Messy Reality of Gun Violence in the NRA’s America | NowThis

Doctors who support gun reform are showing the gruesome reality they deal with each day, after the NRA told them to ‘stay in their lane.’
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Doctors posted photos of what it’s like treating victims with gun wounds after the NRA told them to ‘stay in their lane’ regarding gun reform.

‘It is so tragic what we see everyday, having to talk to families over and over again, it’s a tragedy every single time. And it never gets easier. You never really get numb to it. And doctors are really uniquely positioned to study these problems and to apply public health principles to solve them’ said Stephanie Bonnie, MD, General Surgeon Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

The NRA posted a tweet on Nov 7 telling doctors to ‘stay in their lane’ of work instead of advocating for gun reform. The American College of Physicians (ACP) published position papers on Oct 30, which addressed gun violence and called for a ban of semi automatic firearms. The NRA’s tweet was sent just hours before the
Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, which resulted in 12 deaths in Ventura County on Nov 8.

Doctors and surgeons around the U.S. responded to the NRA on Twitter. They posted images of themselves treating victims with gunshot wounds and messages of how guns impact their work every day.

#Guns #GunViolence #GunReform #GunSafety #Doctors #Health

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Is Trump Really Soft on Russia? | The Russia Desk | NowThis

President Trump has embraced and denounced Putin on various occasions — sometimes even in the same breath. So where does this leave the complicated status of relations between Russia and the U.S.?
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President Trump’s critics love to paint him as a big softie on Russia who’s caught up in a strange and unprecedented friendship with its president, Vladimir Putin.

“What could possibly cause president Trump to put the interests of Russia over the interests of the United States” — Chuck Schumer

But if you listen to Trump tell the story, he’s been tougher on Moscow than any president before him.

“There’s been no President, ever, as tough as I have been on Russia.” — President Donald Trump.

So who’s right? Well, actually, there’s a grain of truth to both arguments. Trump really does have an unusually cozy relationship with Putin, he’s repeatedly denied Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and he’s dragged his feet on congressionally-required sanctions against Moscow post Skripal poisoning.

But on the other hand, Trump is starting a new nuclear arms race with Russia, kicked tons of Russian diplomats out of the US to punish it for attacking US allies, and is arming Ukraine with cutting-edge weapons that Russia hates.

And making things even more complicated, sometimes it’s hard to tell how much Trump is actually steering his own Russia policy.

#Russia #Trump #Putin #Politics

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Waleed Shahid On What the Democrats Should Do Next | Op-Ed | NowThis

‘If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that the Republican Party in Congress today is a toxic mix of white nationalism and corporate greed.’
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In the elections on Tuesday, Democrats won the House vote by about 6 percentage points, that’s nearly 6 million votes. That’s a big deal!

But the Democratic Party leadership — Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer —immediately put out statements saying they were ready to work with Republicans, compromise and and pursue “a bipartisan marketplace of ideas.”

Talk about serious buzzkill.

Very chill for the Democrats to pursue free college for anyone who helps build Trump’s border wall? No thanks.

If the past two years have taught us anything it’s that the Republican Party in Congress today is a toxic mix of white nationalism and corporate greed led by people who will lie, cheat, and steal in order to hoard more wealth, more power for themselves and their billionaire donors.

Democrats shouldn’t trust them!

Collaboration and compromise with Republicans shouldn’t be the Democrats goal — the goal should be to defeat the party of caravans, Kavanaugh, and the Koch Brothers in order to finally deliver for the American people, the majority of whom agree with each other on many policy areas.

Democrats need to use their power in Congress to hold Trump accountable, fight the Republican agenda of hate and corporate greed, and build a movement that brings people together around a bold vision to transform an America: Medicare For All, free college, dismantling mass incarceration and mass deportation, and a WW2-scale green jobs program to tackle climate change by transitioning off fossil fuels.

But there’s hope. The Democratic Party base gets it because the Democratic Party’s voters look a lot more like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Look at the leadership of the Democratic Party — look at the top. And then look at the base, look at the bottom. The people at the top of the Democratic Party are disproportionately white, wealthy, and male while the people who vote Democrat are largely working class, young, brown, black, and female.

It’s why the Democratic establishment is so out of touch. It’s our time to lead.

Democrats should follow the lead of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who says it best: in this moment there’s nothing radical about moral clarity.

Many of the people at the bottom of the Democratic Party have been told to wait our turn, that the leaders who got us into this mess are the ones to lead us out of it, that we don’t know enough or have enough money to lead our communities, or our party, or our country.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began to change that dynamic when she unseated a 10-term Democratic incumbent backed by Wall Street and a political machine.

Leaders like Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar will be moral anchors, a moral caucus for the Democratic Party because in chaotic times, it’s the people with a clear vision who often wield the most amount of influence and power — especially when so many old guard Democrats have stale ideas and follow more than they lead.

Democrats need to fight for the big solutions their voters want to solve our country’s biggest crises. And if they don’t: there might be an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez working at a restaurant who thinks the Democrat representing her in Congress just isn’t fighting hard enough

And the movement that helped Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pull off one of the biggest upsets in American history — Justice Democrats, the Democratic Socialists of America, a multiracial coalition of millennials — we’re going to be here to usher in the next generation of Alexandrias and Ayannas and Rashidas because they exist in every district in America and when over half of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — is made up of millionaires, you know it’s time for a change.

#Democrats #Politics #Midterms #Liberal

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92-Year-Old Black Woman Overcame Hurdles to Vote in Georgia in 2018 | NowThis

This is what a 92-year-old Black woman had to go through to vote in Georgia in 2018.
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Voter suppression is all too real in America and it was made even more apparent by the 2018 midterm elections. Voter rights were under attack in Georgia, where 92-year-old Black grandmother Christine Jordan found that her named had been purged from the voter roll at the polling location she has been voting at for 50 years. Brian Kemp purged over 500,000 names from Georgia’s voter rolls in 2017. Kemp was running against Stacey Abrams for governor.

#VoterRights #Voting #Midterms #Georgia #Black

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