This week in wins: New Jersey moves to reduce gun violence


The DCCC named Lucinda Guinn as the group's first Latina executive director, and wins in New Jersey and Michigan are bright spots to celebrate.

In addition to New Jersey putting in place commonsense gun regulations, Austin is working to ensure women have access to adequate health care, and residents in Michigan will soon have a credit union designed to serve the LGBTQ community.

On the political side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the arm of the Democratic Party tasked with protecting and expanding the House majority, named Lucinda Guinn as the group's first Latina executive director.

That's only some of the wins this week — here is more good news from across the country.

New Jersey governor signs executive order on reducing gun violence

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Tuesday ordering the executive branch to take additional actions to help reduce gun violence. The order directs various state agencies to "promote responsible gun safety practices for gun vendors and financial institutions providing services to the state, and take action against insurance policies that encourage firearm use," according to a press release from the governor's office.

In a statement about the order, Murphy said his actions compliment gun safety legislation he has signed as governor.

Murphy said his administration "is committed to making our communities safer by aiming to do business with gun dealers that have adopted best practices to reduce gun violence. We want those who do business with New Jersey to share our values and be committed to ending the scourge of gun violence in our communities."

The executive order take effect immediately.

Congress will hold first hearing on DC statehood in a generation

On Sept. 19, Congress will hold its first hearing on D.C. statehood in 25 years, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced on Thursday. The hearing will center on a House bill which would end the disenfranchisement of District residents for the first time in U.S. history.

At the moment, the hundreds of thousands of residents living in Washington, D.C., pay federal taxes yet have no representation in Congress. The district's license plates note this fact, reading, "taxation without representation."

The D.C. statehood bill would create the nation's 51st state, providing residents of D.C. with representation in both the House and Senate. The bill currently has the support of 219 members of the House, including the vocal support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Lucinda Guinn named executive director of the DCCC

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, announced Thursday that Lucinda Guinn would take over as executive director of the organization.

Guinn, formerly with EMILY's List, will be the first Latina to lead the DCCC, the arm of the Democratic Party tasked with protecting and expanding the House majority.

"Lucinda is a respected leader, manager, and strategist with the right experience to help lead our efforts to expand our majority and push even further into Republican territory," Bustos said about Guinn.

"I have spent my entire career helping elect Democrats across the country, and I look forward to working closely with Chairwoman Bustos to protect and expand our House Majority," Guinn said in a statement.

Virginia school creates new nondiscrimination policy to protect LGBTQ students

The Stafford County school board adopted a new nondiscrimination policy on Tuesday after discrimination during an active shooter drill left a transgender student with nowhere to go.

In October, a transgender middle school student was left in the gym after teachers refused to allow her to join either the girls in the girls' locker room or the boys in the boys' locker room. After the incident, the student noted that if there had been a school shooter, "I would have been the first one gone."

By a 4-3 vote, the school board now protects students from discrimination based on gender identity.

Credit union created to serve LGBTQ community comes to Michigan

On Monday, Michigan approved a charter for Superbia Credit Union, a new outfit seeking to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community, Bloomberg reported.

The credit union will offer services geared toward the LGBTQ community, such as loans for transition surgery for transgender people. Further, Bloomberg notes that the LGBTQ community still faces discrimination at lending institutions, including higher rejection rates for loans and higher interest rates for loans that are approved.

The new credit union hopes to begin serving its first customers in early 2020.

Austin creates innovative program to ensure health care for women

When the Texas legislature tried to restrict the ability of cities to assist women seeking an abortion, the city of Austin found a creative workaround to ensure women have access to the full range of health care options.

The new law, which took effect on Sept. 1, restricts the ability of cities like Austin to directly fund any facility that provides abortions. But the law says nothing about helping women with incidental costs associated with obtaining an abortion, such as travel costs and hotels.

Austin set aside $150,000 in city funds for a new program to help women seeking an abortion, doing so in a manner that complies with the new state law.

Come back next week for more good news.