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.
Anita Hill knows a thing or two about what it's like to be a survivor of sexual harassment and abuse, especially at the hands of a powerful man. Now she's putting her life's experience and her wisdom into the fight against such misconduct in Hollywood.
Hill will be helming the Hollywood Commission for Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace — something that seems more and more crucial by the day.
"The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power," said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, one of the creators and funders of the project.
Hill said she's proud to be heading up this effort, which she called a "long overdue journey" aimed toward fostering "a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry."
"It's time to end the culture of silence," she added.
As the growing #MeToo movement proves, she has a lot of people in her corner.
Trump just got yet another smackdown from a federal court, which is nothing but good news for the rest of us.
Beetlestone slammed the motives and the "insidious effect" of Trump's move to allow employers to claim a religious or "moral" objection to offering contraception coverage to their employees.
"It would allow an employer with a sincerely held moral conviction that women do not have a place in the workplace to simply stop providing contraceptive coverage," she wrote.
And she noted pointedly that it is hard to imagine a rule that "intrudes more into the lives of women."
The Trump administration had barreled ahead with the move without allowing for the usual public comment period. Vox noted that Beetlestone "cited the likelihood that opponents of the regulations would prevail on issues relating to the Administrative Procedure Act — which sets guidelines for issuing federal regulations — in ordering the injunction to block the changes."
Donald Trump blithely insisted on Sunday that he has no plans to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. But rumors on the Hill say otherwise, and there are surely vanishingly few people left in the country who believe anything Trump promises anymore.
Thus it is absolutely necessary to be ready to fight back if Trump indulges his petulant whims and fires Mueller over the coming holidays.
We joined forces with @moveon, @IndivisibleTeam, @CommonCause, @Public_Citizen and many other partners to prepare a rapid response if Donald Trump fires Robert Mueller. We have 80,000 RSVPs to 500 events in all 50 states. Join us: https://t.co/ZfmUrHDQxY
— #MarchForTruth (@MarchForTruth17) December 17, 2017
Visit www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org to learn more and to find an event near you, and to make your voice heard against what would be a massive assault on our Constitution and our democracy.
Trump may not like where Mueller is heading, but he has no one to blame for that but himself.
2017 is nearly over, and we still do not have a clean DREAM Act. And young immigrants are making noise about it.
— #DreamActNow — Call 1.608.433.0522 (@PPact) December 17, 2017
Traveling from all over the country, thousands of young people are converging on the nation's capital to demand that Congress pass a DREAM Act that protects Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients from deportation and that allows them to live and work in the only country they know as home.
As Lizzeth Sandoval, a 20-year-old college student, told the Albuquerque Journal, her DACA status makes her feel "protected."
"I don't want to live in fear," she said. "I don't want to go back to the shadows."
And time is of the essence, because in the view of many DREAMers and allies, "it's now — or, most likely, never."
If you want to do your part to help all of those young Americans putting it all on the line in D.C., there is something you can do wherever you happen to be.
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) December 16, 2017
Visit dreamerpledge.org to get scripts, contact information, and all the information you need to fight for DREAMers and push Congress to do the same.
Shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth named for "Golden Girls" star and ally Bea Arthur opens in New York
Actress Bea Arthur, best known for her iconic role as the indomitable Dorothy Zbornak on "Golden Girls," was also a longtime ally to the LGBTQ community. And eight years after her death, she continues to provide aid and support to young queer and trans people in need.
The Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest agency serving homeless LGBTQ youth, just opened the Bea Arthur Residence, which will provide safe transitional housing for kids as they prepare to live on their own after being on the streets and in the shelters.
Arthur had been one of the Center's strongest financial supporters, raising over $40,000 in a benefit performance of her one-woman Broadway show in 2005, and leaving $300,000 to the agency in her will, which helped keep its doors open as it was struggling to pay the rent. And which also helped pay for renovations that allowed the new residence to open.
Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center, said the new shelter will be a lifesaver for young queer and trans people who have been ostracized from their families and have nowhere else to go.
And that's not a small group, sadly: a 2012 study found that 40 percent of homeless young people identify as part of the LGBTQ community.
Now they will have a new branch to their support system in New York, thanks in no small part to Arthur's love and dedication.
Thank you for being a friend, Bea.
We knew that women across the nation were signing up to run for office in record-shattering numbers.
And after the Democratic victory in deep red Alabama, which was due in large part to the staunch loyalty and activism of black women, it is inspiring to see that those tallies include a whole lot of black women, from coast to coast and border to border.
Luvvie Ajayi has a list of 100+ black women running for office in 2018, which she and others compiled to fill the void of attention and coverage given to black women in mainstream political coverage.
And she shouts out Higher Heights for America, an organization dedicated to "building a national infrastructure to harness Black women's political power and leadership potential." Through trainings, webinars, salons, and Sunday brunches, their "BlackWomenLead campaign is already making a notable difference.
And the dedication to progressive policies and social justice that black women in America continue to show means that the more of them elected to office, the better off the whole nation will be.
Remember, folks: it ain't over till it's over.
So now is not the time to give in to despair. Now is the time to get even louder against the Republicans' dangerous tax scam bill.
If you're in the D.C. area Monday and Tuesday, join your fellow citizens in telling Congress exactly what you think of this dumpster fire of a bill.