Good news for people who want to do good: Week 66


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

Welcome to your weekly roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to make you smile.

Sen. Sherrod Brown demands Mick Mulvaney's resignation after latest scandal

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is yet another Trump administration member embroiled in scandal. As reported by The New York Times, Mulvaney recently told banking industry executives that while he was in Congress, he would only meet with lobbyists if they contributed to his campaign.

"If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you," he said.

And since taking his current job, Mulvaney has continued to meet with those lobbyists and others who donated to his campaigns, according to the Daily Beast.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown made it very clear: Mulvaney must resign his position.

California lawmakers advance bill to ban "conversion therapy" for LGBTQ people

The practice of so-called "conversion therapy" for gay or transgender people is widely rejected by all areas of the medical establishment. And California lawmakers are poised to ban the harmful practice in their state.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-San Jose) authored the bill to ensure "accountability for those who claim to provide therapy but are in fact peddling an unfounded and destructive practice."

The law, which would be the first of its kind in the nation, would label conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice that swindles consumers and commits psychological abuse against its victims.

"Once again, California legislators sent a clear, bipartisan message to the LGBTQ community across our state and around the world: 'You belong,'" said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, which cosponsored the bill alongside the Trevor Project.

ACTION ALERT: #BlockHaspel

Gina Haspel personally helped torture detainees in secret CIA-run prisons during the George W. Bush administration. She has no business serving anywhere in government, let alone running that agency. But that's where Trump wants her.

Indivisible has all the information you need on Haspel's horrific record, and how you can join the fight and encourage your senators to block her dangerous nomination.

Flint activist hailed as environmental hero with major award

The lead-poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, began in Spring 2014, and was only declared fixed this month, though that doesn't mean everything is right.

And it was the work of local citizens who helped make this inhumane crisis a national news story. One of those activists, LeeAnne Walters, just won a major environmental prize for her crucial work.

Walters was awarded the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize for bringing this horrific situation into the light, after she and her children began experiencing frightening health issues shortly after their tap water turned brown.

She brought samples of the water to city officials and demanded action. When they balked, she educated herself and continued to spread the truth and raise the alarm. Her work eventually shamed the city into reverting the water supply back to safer sources.

"[Walters'] communal spirit and powerful moral compass proved equally critical to her ability to reach and organize Flint residents and experts alike," the prize committee noted.

ACTION ALERT: Demand McConnell hold a vote to protect Mueller

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must allow a floor vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to protect Robert Mueller from Trump's petulance.

Sign the petition from MoveOn to demand that McConnell stop covering for Trump's lawlessness.

Hoboken mayor pushes for gender neutral bathrooms in public and private facilities

Hoboken, New Jersey, Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla is preparing for Pride Month by pushing for gender neutral bathrooms across his city.

Bhalla's executive order requires signs on all city-owned, single-occupancy bathrooms to reflect the change. And he will ask the city council to vote on an ordinance applying the same rule to bathrooms in private establishments.

The new rule will "further protect the civil rights and dignity of our transgender, gender non-binary, and queer residents and visitors," said Bhalla.

Rhode Island governor orders state agencies to honor net neutrality rules

Bucking the regressive actions of Trump's FCC, Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has ordered all state agencies to use internet service providers that abide by net neutrality rules.

This directive will help ensure "the free exchange of information on the internet including the ability to access the content of [Rhode Islanders'] choosing," Raimondo noted.

Rhode Island is the latest state to make its own push to save net neutrality protections, after FCC head Ajit Pai began working to dismantle them at the federal level.

ACTION ALERT: Protect net neutrality!

You can do your own part to defend the crucial protections of net neutrality from the Trump administration.

Visit Indivisible's guide to what net neutrality is and how you can help save it, by calling your members of Congress and asking them to co-sponsor a resolution of disapproval from Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA).

National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens in Alabama

Rather than monuments to the Confederate-era perpetrators of white supremacy, a new museum has just opened dedicated to honoring that ideology's victims.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, pulls no punches when it comes to the hard truths about the nation's racial history.

"It demands a reckoning with one of the nation’s least recognized atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a decades-long campaign of racist terror," The New York Times notes.

A walkway is hung with 800 steel columns bearing the names of American counties and lynching victims, as well as descriptions of the victims supposed "crimes."

The museum was inspired by the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany, and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Bryan Stevenson — the founder of Equal Justice Initiative, which backed the museum — made it clear what he hopes the heart-wrenching exhibit will do.

"I’m not interested in talking about America’s history because I want to punish America," he said. "I want to liberate America."

ACTION ALERT: It's town hall time!

Use Town Hall Project's guide to see if your elected official is holding one — or if you need to hold their feet to the fire because they're hiding out.

Federal judge halts Trump's cuts to Planned Parenthood teen pregnancy programs

Another federal judge has delivered a smackdown to Trump's anti-choice garbage. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice in Spokane, Washington, issued a permanent injunction preventing the Trump administration from cutting off grants that fund teen pregnancy prevention programs.

In his ruling, Rice slammed the Department of Health and Human Services for "arbitrarily and capriciously" terminating the grants. He added that the "public interest weighs in favor" of Planned Parenthood.

As Carrie Flaxman, a staff attorney for Planned Parenthood Federation of American noted, "The Trump administration is clearly trying to push their abstinence-only agenda" with moves like this.

But judges like Rice aren't having it.

Figure skating star Adam Rippon says "No" to the White House, "Yes" to GLAAD and Planned Parenthood

Figure skating star Adam Rippon made it clear months ago that he is no fan of this administration,  particularly the extremely anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence.

Rippon, who is gay, said he wouldn't meet with Pence during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea last January. And he later declared he had no interest in the traditional White House visit for Olympic champions.

Rippon made good on that promise in the absolute best way:

Those causes include the LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD, Planned Parenthood, and the Red Cross. And Rippon urged others to join him.

"I think when we're able to help each other out and do what we can to lift each other up, that's when we're truly making America great."

ACTION ALERT: Speak up for #DreamActNow!

Immigrants are fighting for their lives and livelihoods, and to stay in the only country they know as home. MoveOn wants to hear from you about why you support the Dream Act and what you're doing to fight alongside your fellow Americans.

Call 888-872-5316 to share your story!

It's time to go "Beyond I Do"

The fight for same-sex marriage rights was a hard-fought and crucial victory. But it wasn't the end of the story.

Beyond I Do wants everyone to understand the very real obstacles that LGBTQ Americans still face. In 31 states, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is still legal in areas like housing, employment, and medical treatment.

Someone could get married on Sunday, fired on Monday, and evicted on Tuesday. That is not right, and it is not American.

Beyond I Do is telling real life stories of this repugnant discrimination to raise awareness that marriage rights were an important milestone, but that the journey to true equality isn't over.

Pete Souza provides a master class in trolling Trump

Obama White House photographer Pete Souza is truly a national treasure. His Instagram feed is required viewing for anyone feeling the stress of the Trump era and longing for the days when we had an actual competent and compassionate adult in the White House.

Oh, and he throws shade at Trump like nobody's business.

The latest delicious example came after Trump admitted he hadn't bought his wife, Melania, a birthday present. He laughably claimed he was too busy to do so.

Souza was ready for it.