1. When Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement, people immediately mobilized…
China and all 28 EU states reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the Paris Climate Agreement.
California, New York, and Washington formed a climate alliance.
More than 60 mayors of U.S. cities (including Pittsburgh) committed to adopting and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement goals.
Michael Bloomberg is coordinating a group of corporations, colleges, and mayors who are negotiating their own climate plan directly with the U.N.
Phoenix, Arizona announced plans to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
Protesters held rallies outside the White House and across the country.
Even Weather.com got in on the action!
Both Paris and Montreal lit their city halls green.
2. …And pretty much the entire world will continue to take action against climate change:
India canceled the creation of huge coal power stations, moving instead toward more affordable solar energy—and announced plans to allow the sale of only electric cars by 2030.
South Korea is beginning to shut down coal power plants, in a move to combat pollution.
Shareholders approved a proposal for ExxonMobil to report on climate change-related risks, despite management’s recommendation to vote against it.
4. The Trump administration continues to succumb to pressure: Their communications director resigned, and they’ve finally released details about former lobbyists now working in the administration, despite their initial refusal.
5. The Democratic Party introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, following through on their 2016 platform. It’s worth keeping in mind that two years ago, party leadership only supported a $12/hour minimum wage—we have the #FightFor15 and Bernie Sanders to thank for getting everyone on board.
6. Progress continues on the city and state level:
Illinois is one step closer to automatically registering voters AND to raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. Another #FightFor15 victory!
The California State Senate passed all kinds of amazing legislation, expanding food stamps, protecting federal lands, reforming bail systems, strengthening family leave, and creating single-payer health care! Let’s hope they all get signed into law.
Netflix’s documentary series The Keepers led Baltimore police to create an easier way for survivors to report sexual abuse.
South Carolina legalized hemp.
7. The Philadelphia Innocence Project secured the release of yet another man wrongly convicted and imprisoned.
8. An encouraging pattern is starting to emerge from recent special elections, and Swing Left’s take on the Montana race is worth reading.
9. The kids are all right: High schoolers created their own version of Mariame Kaba’s “Why Protest?” zine, this teenager eloquently educated his class—and the internet—on white fragility, and a group of eighth-graders on a class trip refused to be photographed with Paul Ryan. We love this explanation from a thirteen-year-old:
“Let’s say somebody is not nice to me at school, for example. I wouldn’t take a picture with them.”
10. Breitbart’s site traffic is plummeting.
11. The #RhodesMustFall and Why Is My Curriculum White? movements paved the way for Oxford University to change their curriculum to include a paper about people of color.
12. A women’s movement is growing in the unlikeliest of places–Deep in Trump Country: Buckhannon, West Virginia.
Taking Care of Yourself
If you’re feeling disheartened, hopeless, or sad, check out this little boy whose uncontrollable giggling enjoyment of his music class infects the entire class. Watch this bride completely lose it when the groom “waffles” his wedding vows, and the two show why they are perfect for each other. If you somehow missed it, watch this hilarious educational video about the honey badger.
- If you need to restore your hope for our future, read about these two young geniuses, 11 and 14, who are graduating from high school and college, respectively–but whose greatest achievement, according to their mom, is that they are good people.
- If you’re feeling exhausted, wrung-out, you need to give yourself some downtime, a break from the steady stream of poison the news can sometimes feel like. Get a massage. Go for mani-pedis with a friend. Get out on (or near) the water–actual studies show that it measurably lifts your mood.
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter–they actually need people whose jobs are to play with the kitties and walk the dogs, and lavish love on both. Offer to go into your child’s classroom and help the teacher one day–the energy and spirit of kids can be the very best medicine. Hospitals use volunteers to hold babies who have to remain in the hospital.–and hospices welcome volunteers to sit and chat with residents who are facing their final act. When you give of yourself to help others, you gain perspective, spread compassion and connection, and you get an added spiritual lift as a bonus. Here’s a great site to find the perfect volunteer match for you.
- Do something physical–go for a walk in nature (the greatest healer); go roller skating (I seriously just did this for adult skate night, and it’s impossibly to be gloomy on the rink); try indoor skydiving (that’s a thing). Or learn a new skill with friends–have some over to try cooking a gourmet meal, or make homemade truffles or macaroons or mochi. Go to a painting studio on BYOB adult night and learn to paint (even if you think you can’t). Try paddleboarding (it’s serious fun).
Next week we’ll be back with your regularly schedule Action Items, but for now…take care of yourselves, warriors. You need it to keep up your stamina, strength, and energy so we will win.
Love and gratitude,