Break’s over, and it’s a good week for Good News. We’ll publish every two weeks from now on.
A Good News Election
“Anti-Trump backlash fuels a Democratic sweep in Virginia and elections across the country.” November 8 headline in the Washington Post.
Charlotte Alter’s tweet nails this moment. “A trans woman beat the guy who introduced the bathroom bill. A gun victim’s boyfriend beat a delegate with an “A” grade from the NRA. A civil rights lawyer who sued the police department just became the top prosecutor in Philadelphia. Something’s happening here, folks.”
The 15 seats Democrats flipped in the Virginia House of Delegates were all held by men. Eleven were won by women, and some of those women made history: Virginia’s first openly transgender person to win elective office and the first open lesbian, first Asian American woman, and first two Latinas elected to the House of Delegates.
Six women of color won seats on the 13-member Boston City Council.
Yvonne Spicer, who was elected Framingham’s first mayor, is believed to be Massachusetts’ first popularly elected female African American mayor.
Salem voters upheld the proposed change the city’s charter deeming it a sanctuary for peace and reelected Mayor Kim Driscoll, who supported the designation.
The first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office, Andrea Jenkins, won a seat on the Minneapolis City Council.
Eight transgender candidates were elected in races across the country.
Every member of the Palm Springs, CA, City Council identifies as LGBTQ+.
Manchester, New Hampshire, elected its first female mayor. Joyce Craig is also the first Democrat to be elected mayor of Manchester in 14 years.
Wilmot Collins, a black refugee from Liberia who ran as a progressive, was elected mayor of Helena, the capitol of deeply red Montana.
Maine voted by an overwhelming margin to expand the state’s Medicaid program after Republican Governor Paul LePage vetoed expansion 5 different times. Maine will be the 32d state to expand the program, and the first where voters directly authorized the expansion.
In Other News
Demanding that Congress pass a clean Dream Act before the end of this year, thousands of immigrant youth and their supporters took over the Hart Senate building Thursday, and thousands more walked out of schools nationwide.
Twenty-five House Democrats took the Dreamer pledge, saying they won’t vote for any government spending bill, risking a shutdown, unless Congress passes the Dream Act. Four Senators—Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker—also pledged to withhold their votes on the spending bill unless there’s a DACA solution.
And twenty House Republicans pressed Paul Ryan to act quickly on legislation to protect Dreamers. They indicated that it would easily pass the House, with dozens in the GOP set to join Democrats in backing any bill.
At least five companies, including Keurig and Realtor.com, have pulled their ads from Sean Hannity’s show in response to his coverage of Roy Moore.
Five states filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the administration’s rollback of the ACA’s birth control mandate, arguing that the change is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The Montgomery County, Maryland, Council voted unanimously to require a $15-per-hour minimum wage starting in 2021.
Los Angeles County adopted a new plan to divert about 80% of arrested youth away from the criminal justice system and offer them support services instead.
Spelman and Morehouse college students went on hunger strike to call attention to food insecurity on campus, and they convinced both schools to offer 14,000 free meals to students each year.
In a Pennsylvania case that could force the redrawing of congressional maps before the 2018 election, the state’s Supreme Court ordered a lower court to decide a gerrymandering lawsuit by the end of this year.
A group of US states, cities, and businesses with a combined economic power equal to the world’s third-biggest economy joined together at the Bonn conference on climate change to take “America’s pledge,” a commitment to combat global warming in stark opposition to the Trump administration.
Trump has succeeded in getting every other country in the world to sign the Paris climate agreement. Nicaragua signed last month, and now Syria, the last holdout, has announced it will sign.
A record number of people signed up for ObamaCare in the first few days of open enrollment compared to the same period in previous years despite the administration’s cutbacks in outreach and advertising.
Trump’s “election integrity” commission was sued by one of its own members. Matt Dunlap, one of four Democrats on the 11-member board, filed a suit claiming that he’s being denied access to the commission’s records and has been effectively frozen out of its activities.
Massachusetts became the first state to impose a ban on bump stocks since the Las Vegas shooting.
Robert Mueller’s team interviewed Stephen Miller.
At least nine Trump associates (Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, J.D. Gordon, Michael Flynn, and Jeff Sessions) had contacts with Russians during the campaign or presidential transition.
Sam Clovis—a right-wing radio host who is not a scientist—withdrew his nomination from a senior USDA position, due to his ties to the Russia scandal.
New York City passed a series of bills to protect undocumented residents and prevent city employees from working with ICE.
Framingham-based TJX Cos has continued to pay the employees of its 29 still-closed stores in Puerto Rico.
Directly contradicting much of the administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report saying humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.
Denver is the latest city to mandate rooftop gardens or solar installations on large new buildings, joining San Francisco, New York, Paris, London and other cities around the world.
Justice Department prosecutors dropped their second case against the woman who laughed at Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing.
George Bush called Trump a “blowhard” who is only interested in feeding his own ego.
A law to honor the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth sailed through Congress, and the president signed it.
Lamar Smith, the preeminent climate change denier in Congress and chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, will retire.
The University of Notre Dame will continue providing students and employees with access to birth control free of charge, reversing an earlier decision.
Over one hundred tech companies filed a brief supporting the lawsuit brought by four states over Trump’s decision to end DACA.
The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who attended the Donald Trump Jr meeting said he told her that if Trump won, he’d be open to pushing for changes to a U.S. law targeting Russian official, and he requested financial documents showing that money that evaded U.S. taxes had gone to Clinton’s campaign.
500 protesters met Trump in Hawaii. Some of the signs are great.
We don’t normally report polls, but the timing of this one felt significant. Approaching the first anniversary of the election, Trump had an approval rating lower than any previous chief executive at this point in his presidency over seven decades of polling. Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans — 37 percent — say they approve of the way he is handling his job.