Way to go everyone who helped register voters for National Voter Registration Day! These people registered over 50 new students and informed their peers about the upcoming 2017 election. Great going Cornell Students!
Join us and NY23 Votes this summer to learn about how you can help with voter registration and canvassing drives in and around Ithaca. We will be at TGIF at the BRB 1-2 times per month this summer with information on how you can volunteer. You can always email us at IndivisibleOnCampus <at> gmail.com for more information.
Posting a nice link to a New York Times article on climate change and the shifting public perception of climate change. Despite political denials, most Americans now believe that climate change is happening and that it will harm people. Check out these really interesting maps...
How Americans Think About Climate Change, in Six Maps
Dahlia Lithwick is a Queen, and in her latest piece she lays out in real terms the damage Neil Gorsuch can do if appointed to the Supreme Court. As Lithwick writes and links to, there is no principled reason to even give Gorsuch a hearing. The Republicans led by Mitch McConnell made an unprecedented move in denying Garland a hearing, and though we all know that the Court is political this move crossed lines in ways that are concerning for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court (whether real or perceived).
But Lithwick goes on to lay out how Gorsuch's "record reflects a pattern of systematically privileging the rights of religious believers over those of religious minorities and nonbelievers." He is way, way more extreme in his beliefs than many people realize and Lithwick's piece is important for that reason. Here is a quote:
"It’s not just the great deference Gorsuch shows religious adherents that is worrisome. He also believes that the views of religious adherents are beyond factual debate. Again in the Hobby Lobby case, he wrote that companies must pay for “drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.” That claim is simply false, even with regard to Plan B. It is a religious conclusion, not a medical or legal one."
Read Lithwick's article on Slate and then call your Democratic Senators and ask them to make a lot of noise around this Gorsuch hearing!!!
The Case Against Neil Gorsuch by Dahlia Lithwick
The final details of Trump's Tax Plan will be released soon, but it looks like we already know that Trump’s tax plan provides the largest cuts for the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans and may even raise taxes on middle-income families with children.
According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, households in the top 1% income bracket would receive an average tax cut of over $275,000 (17.5% cut) under the Trump plan, and households with incomes over 3.7 million dollars, would experience a tax cut of $1.3 million dollars (~19% cut). In contrast, middle-income households would experience tax cuts of less than 3,000 dollars (less than 5% cut).
These differences are starker when considering families with children. Under the Trump plan, middle-income families with children will on average experience a tax increase resulting from repeal to personal exemptions and “Head of household” filing status. Under the Trump plan, a single parent earning $75,000 with 2 children would face a tax increase of almost $2,500. A married couple earning $50,000 would face an increase of around $150 with 2 children, and a tax increase over $1,000 with 4 children. According to the New York Labor department, average wages in Central and Western New York are less than $50,000, meaning that the majority of households with children in our districts would experience a tax increase under the Trump plan. In effect, our communities are the most likely to lose under the Trump tax plan.
Trump has filled his administration with Wall Street insiders such as Steven Mnuchin who is most famous for robo-signing foreclosures on the mortgages of middle-income families without proper review. It may thus be no big mystery why we keep seeing enormous giveaways to Wall Street at the expense of middle-income families.
Trump Tax Plan Sources:
Tax Policy Center Full Analysis -- With information on how it increases deficit
Tax Policy Center Analysis for Families with Children
Business Insider Article with more in depth analysis and good figures
New York Labor Department Statistics
Steven Mnuchin Sources:
Mnuchin lies about robo-signing
Mnuchin foreclosures evidence
Politico Article on Mnuchin
Mnuchin Tax Havens
Republican health care bill provides tax cuts to richest at expense to middle-class Americans
Trump's budget, who wins and who loses
Older article, one of many, on tax cuts and economy
Republicans on Climate Change
There is a group of Republicans who have signed on to act on climate change. Somehow, Representative Reed on this list but is in support of cutting programs and funds from the EPA and has voted in favor of policies that are detrimental to the environment. Personally, I'm not sure how exactly to address this, except to hold him accountable. A start would be to call his office and ask how he can sign onto this commitment while voting in ways that contradict this position. You can look at the "Republican Climate Resolution" here.
The Trump administration released their budget plan this morning and I'm posting links to some good early analysis. First the good news...Veterans Affairs would see an increase of about 4 billion dollars. That's really it for proposals that might help Americans. The rest of the proposal would pretty much strip away funding to all domestic programs in order to partially offset a 54 billion dollar increase to defense spending. I'm not really sure how eliminating programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which disburses funds to struggling families to help them heat their homes during the winter, puts America First? I'm also not sure how eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission, and eliminating support to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes puts America First?
Here are some links in case you're looking:
NYT Who loses
Washington Post Overview
Washington Post what else can you do with 54 billion
Thanks Charlotte for sharing these great resources on criminal justice reform! Some major points from these articles is that mass incarceration of people for non-violent offenses has increased dramatically in state and local jails. Many people in prison for technical offenses (e.g. missing probation requirements), and not for crimes that most people would consider serious offenses. Surprisingly, many people in prison are there awaiting a trial and have not even been convicted of a crime. People who can't pay bail may stay in prison for long periods of time awaiting a trial or access to a public defender.
New York is set to pass the Criminal Justice Reform Act which would address many of these issues of over incarceration, and it would direct resources to public defenders to decrease prison time for people awaiting trial! PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR AND ASSEMBLY PERSON TO SAY THAT YOU "SUPPORT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM ACT." Please also consider saying that you "SUPPORT RAISING THE MINIMUM AGE PEOPLE CAN BE TRIED AS ADULTS TO 18."
Way to go everyone who called in today in support of a functional EPA and in response to Scott Pruitt's uninformed comments! As background...this action was motivated by recent comments made by Scott Pruitt that reveal he lacks basic scientific understanding. We provided scripts, phone numbers, climate change fun facts, and of course something sweet and edible. Despite the cold weather we made over 64 phone calls in a single hour. Good job everyone! Also, thanks to the staffer in Reed's Geneva office who walked to work in the snow and fielded many of our phone calls!!!