Good news for people who want to do good: Day 298


News you actually want to know, and what you can do to make a difference.

Welcome to your daily roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama to get your week started right.

NY attorney general leads coalition to protect access to birth control

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, along with four other states, filed a national injunction against the Trump administration's attacks on contraception.

"If a woman can’t control her own body, she isn’t truly free," Schneiderman said.

In October, Trump issued a decree that rolled back Obama-era protections for access to birth control and would allow companies to exclude contraception coverage from their health care plans simply by asserting a religious or moral objection.

Schneiderman and his co-plaintiffs are not having it, and are telling the Trump administration in no uncertain terms: #HandsOffMyBC!

ACTION ALERT: Tell your own birth control story

If Trump's decree enraged you, and Schneiderman's injunction makes you cheer, there's something you can do in this fight.

Generation Progress wants to hear your personal story about how access to safe and affordable contraception has improved or even saved your life. Your lived experience matters more than your boss's "moral objection." Speak your truth, and stand up for your rights.

Shareblue Media's Jess McIntosh on what the massive wins in Virginia mean for the future

Remember last Tuesday? How could you forget! Democrats saw a number of big wins, many of which were also important milestones as far as equality and representation in government.

Shareblue Media's Executive Editor Jess McIntosh explained what Tuesday's victories signified, and what they mean for the Democratic coalition moving forward.

Backlash to the Trump agenda surely played a role, McIntosh noted, but it wasn't the only factor.

"We saw Democrats really put a lot of effort into grassroots organizing, knocking on doors, turning out communities," she said.

"It was also the kinds of candidates they ran," she continued. "These are real people — a lot of women who decided to run for the first time in their lives, not career politicians, people who really spoke to the community that they wanted to represent."

"It proved that we can win with a diverse coalition of progressive candidates, as long as we stick to the issues and we represent the communities and the values that America wants us to."

50 religious groups demand Congress take action on gun violence

In the wake of the mass shooting at a church in Texas, a coalition of 50 religious organizations are calling on Congress to do their jobs and protect the people of this nation from senseless gun violence.

In the letter to congressional leaders, the Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence Coalition pleads with them to "take immediate action to curb the onslaught of gun violence plaguing our nation." The letter lists common sense gun safety measures, such as ending the gun show loophole and passing an assault weapons ban, that would help to assuage the "terrifying reality" in which we live now.

How many more innocent Americans must die before our lawmakers gather the necessary courage to stand up to the gun industry and the NRA and pass common-sense gun safety laws?

The answers to these questions go far beyond empty calls for thoughts and prayers; they require action. We read in James 2:14, "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." Leviticus 19:16 instructs us, "Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed." As organizations of faith, we strongly believe in the power of prayer. And yet, we know that prayer is a call to action rather than a substitute for it.

The letter closes with a powerful rebuke to Republicans in Congress who refuse to move beyond the "thoughts and prayers" stance: "Inaction is immoral and wrong."

Indivisible Chicago takes on Kris Kobach's voter suppression program

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach got his invitation to the Trump administration's so-called "Election Integrity Commission" largely due to his demonstrated affinity for voter suppression. Kobach is the creator of Crosscheck, an interstate program ostensibly designed to update and maintain registration rolls, but which actually functions as a voter purging system.

And in Illinois, activists have had enough with their state's compliance with such a dangerous and undemocratic program.

Indivisible Chicago has spent months persuading their lawmakers to join them in pressuring the state's board of elections to leave the Crosscheck program. And in doing so, the activists discovered that not only was the program an un-American nightmare — it was also riddled with security risks at the national level.

This important and troubling discovery was amplified by Mother Jones magazine, Pro-Publica, and Think Progress — major coverage of an issue no one outside of the Crosscheck executive board may have known about, had it not been for the dogged work by Indivisible.

Following their work and the coverage it garnered, Illinois Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin issued a joint statement urging the board of elections to withdraw from the program. And the group also won the support of dozens of state legislators and three U.S. representatives. The board hasn't made a final decision yet, but Indivisible will keep up the fight until they do.

And they're helping others do the same: visit to find out if your state is participating and what you can do about it.

ACTION ALERT: #WeAreStillIn on climate action!

The Trump administration has shown marked hostility toward climate science, and disturbing dismissiveness toward the need to act on climate change.

But millions of people around the country have a message: #WeAreStillIn on the Paris Accords and on protecting the planet for future generations.

On Tuesday, November 14, a vast coalition of environmental groups, activists, and others will come together in events across the country to demonstrate leadership on climate action. Find an event near you and speak out for Planet Earth!

Rep. Swalwell: Trump's decision to side with Putin and attack U.S. intel community is an "absolute betrayal"

Trump's disturbing affinity for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin seems to know no bounds. His shameless pandering to the man who orchestrated an attack on our democracy, and his galling smears of the U.S. intelligence community, are yet another new low for Trump.

As California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell put it on Saturday — Veterans Day, the day Trump chose to butter up a foreign adversary and attack a veteran — this was nothing short of an "absolute betrayal" of the intelligence community, and of "his oath to protect and defend our country and our Constitution."

"It's just a devastating message to those who toil away, here in the United States and abroad, to protect our country, that he is siding with Vladimir Putin and taking him just at his word," Swalwell stated.

ACTION ALERT: Demand that your members of Congress take the DREAMer Pledge!

After Trump decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, 800,000 young immigrants were immediately thrown into a state of fear and uncertainty.

It does not have to be this way. Congress can and should pass a clean DREAM Act now, so that these young folks who know no other home but the United States, will be protected from deportation, and their families will not be torn apart in the name of bigotry.

Tell your members of Congress to take the DREAMer Pledge:

What is the DREAMer Pledge? It’s simple. If Congress hasn’t passed the DREAM Act by Dec. 8 — when funding for the government expires — then they will insist on it being a part of the December spending bill. The pledge is that they will commit to voting against the December “continuing resolution” unless it contains a clean DREAM Act.

Visit to learn more, then call your Congresspeople and make your voice heard.