Actions for Everyone
On Wednesday morning, I put on my long undies, warmest slippers, and streamed the impeachment hearings. I’m honestly not sure whether they ended well or not because it felt a little performative, but I’m happy to see them happening, happy to see the truth being shared publicly, and happy to have a great reason to stream the news indoors on a 25 degree day here in Wisconsin. Extreme temps to be address in the newsletter below.
Immigration updates: We knew the numbers had to be bad, but according to new government data, nearly 70,000 babies, children and teenagers held in U.S. government custody this year, which is a 42% increase over 2018. Immigrants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and their supporters organized a rally and march leading up until the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over it, which didn’t go well. Theodore B. Olson, a lawyer for the DACA recipients, said “The government’s termination of DACA triggered abrupt, tangible, adverse consequences and substantial disruptions in the lives of 700,000 individuals, their families, employers, communities and the armed forces. That decision required the government to provide an accurate, reasoned, rational and legally sound explanation. It utterly failed to do so.”
We all know from too many tweets that Trump has decided that those who are in the US because of DACA are dangerous criminals, and just generally there is a rise of white nationalism all over the world. Last weekend in Milwaukee, a US Citizen who immigrated from Peru was victim to a hate crime acted out by a local, white man.
This got me thinking that a bit of activism you can from the comforts of your own home, or at your next family gathering, office space, etc is stand up vocally or digitally against the ill-informed and ignorant. Reggie Jackson once told me that he believes 100% in the power of dialogue, and that telling your racist Uncle (or any other friend, family, acquaintances) that their comments upset you and then explaining why miiiiight just open a healthy conversation versus making an aggressive comment and then hard stop. I think I’ve posted this before, but just remember that even hard conversations are still just a conversation.
EPA Regulations: The New York Times got a whiff of a draft of a policy being working on through the EPA that limits science used to write public health regulations. In fact, that’s the title of the Times piece I read, “E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules,” which at first didn’t seem alarming, because maybe not all science is good science, and maybe being extra sceptical of the research used is a good thing…? Ya know, I’m not a scientist, but it was a thought I had.
When I kept reading, I learned that the proposal could erase past scientific precedents, like the 1993 Harvard University project that definitively linked polluted air to premature deaths, and is currently the foundation of the nation’s air-quality laws. According to the Times, the proposal also “drew nearly 600,000 comments, the vast majority of them in opposition.” Many of them are public health groups and scientific organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, The National Center for Science Education, The Medical Library Association, the Association of Academic Health Science Libraries, etc.
Ok, so with that in mind, the activism we need to do is to file public comments with the EPA as soon as that becomes available. As far as I can tell, it’s not public yet, but read up and get ready. Other EPA regulations on docket for public comment can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/dockets/view-dockets-open-public-comment-program-office
The climate crisis is taking many forms this season, extreme and unseasonsonably frigid temps here in Wisconsin, and the highest tides in Venice.
Things That Makes Me Smile: It’s not like very cheery, but it’s amazing and incredible and inspiring that Chilean protests have led to the government agreeing to rewrite their constitution. Even though it had casualties, it was hard fought and warms my heart to see a peoples’ movement win!