Friday, June 19, 2020
JUNETEENTH AND RACIAL JUSTICE
► From the AFL-CIO — “Juneteenth reminds us that we are independent of those who hire us“ — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “On June 19, we commemorate the official freeing of the last enslaved Black people in the United States. This is a day of profound meaning to Black workers, as it should be to all working people who cherish and defend the freedom to live our own lives, speak with our own voices and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Juneteenth reminds us that we are independent of those who hire us, who seek to control us and who view us as objects with costs instead of as human beings with inherent dignity and worth.”
ALSO at The Stand — Juneteenth: Port shutdowns, rallies and more
► From the Seattle Times — Juneteenth updates: How the Seattle area, Washington state and the world are marking the holiday
► From the Yakima H-R — Selah woman says city removed Black Lives Matter chalk art from her street — A Selah family says their attempts to support the Black Lives Matter movement were swept and washed away by the city. Laura Perez said Selah public works crews came by her home on Lacy Avenue and wiped out chalk art her adult children and others made in the street. The second time, she said, she was told the art was “graffiti.” Perez said: “I know it is not about the chalk, but what is written down.” … City Administrator Don Wayman has called Black Lives Matter “a neo-Marxist organization.”
► From Yakima Views — Selah’s (former) secret (by Anonymous) — Selah’s secret seems to have something to do with what makes them different from the rest of the county. Check the demographics and you will find their secret. Selah is overwhelmingly white. Not just a little bit. A lot. And if what their city administration has done twice in the past couple of weeks is any indication, they must like it that way.
EDITOR’S NOTE — But them the community says: “Whose streets? Our streets!”
► From the Yakima H-R — More than 100 join chalk art gathering in Selah to promote diversity, equality — More than 100 people of all ages, including plenty of small children, put chalk to pavement to create messages promoting diversity and equality. Selah School District Superintendent Shane Backlund approved the use of the school’s parking lot for artwork similar to that from Gabriel Fabian that was washed away by city workers on the street outside his house.
► From the News Tribune — What’s in a name, Pierce County? A pro-slavery, racist president we must reckon with (editorial) — President Franklin Pierce is known to historians as one of the most pro-slavery presidents in U.S. history. He is responsible for stoking many of the events that led to the Civil War. A thorough reckoning, if not a name change, is in order. None of us would tolerate living in a county named after Jefferson Davis or Benedict Arnold, but heretofore few of us have batted an eye living under the eponym of Franklin Pierce.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Read more about “Fainting Frank,” the pro-slavery one-termer turned Abraham Lincoln critic who had to persuade a mob not to destroy his house after Lincoln’s assassination.
► From the Washington Post — 150 years later, Americans have a chance to fulfill the legacy of Juneteenth (editorial) — The country needs education in the symbolic power of Juneteenth, which it is now getting amid a stunning surge of protests for racial justice. The date connotes a moment when America’s promise of full equality seemed about to be realized at last, only to be postponed — and yet, the “dreams that once dwelt in their hearts” never died. One hundred fifty-five years after Granger’s arrival in Galveston, at another watershed in our history, Americans have another chance to fulfill those dreams.
► From the News Tribune — Public defenders, Manuel Ellis’ sister call for firing of Tacoma officers in his death — Manuel Ellis’ sister stood in front of Tacoma police headquarters Thursday evening and demanded that her brother receive swift and sure justice. Ellis died March 3 while in police custody. His death has brought national attention to Tacoma.
► From the Seattle Times — Police union says Seattle laws to ban chokeholds, tear gas must be bargained — The union representing Seattle’s rank-and-file police officers has notified the city that two laws passed this week to ban police from using chokeholds and crowd-control weapons, are subject to collective bargaining because they enact changes to officers’ working conditions.
► From the Seattle Times — City agrees to extend ban on using force against peaceful protesters through Sept. 30 — The City of Seattle has agreed to extend a court-ordered ban on the use of tear gas, pepper spray, foam bullets and other force by Seattle police against peaceful protesters through the end of September.
► From Crosscut — Confusion, anger in Seattle Police Dept. after East Precinct exit — SPD Chief Carmen Best says she didn’t order cops to abandon the station. It’s unclear if there was even an order at all.
► From the Guardian — How Starbucks, Target, Google and Microsoft quietly fund police through private donations — More than 25 large corporations in the past three years have contributed funding to private police foundations, a new report says. That funding has little public oversight and is used to purchase equipment and weapons with little public input. But now several large companies announcing they are re-evaluating their commercial ties with police departments.
► From WFSE — Preserving jobs, health care and retirement through furloughs — The Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 is preventing job loss by securing this memorandum of understanding (MOU), introducing limited furloughs. Members will be able to vote on whether to accept or reject the MOU. While not ideal, furloughs mitigate job loss, help members maintain vital health insurance during the pandemic, and limit impacts on retirement. As a union, we have also successfully preserved the 3% raises provided under our current contract.
► From the Seattle Times — Some Washington workers seeking jobless benefits say their bank accounts have been frozen — At least nine people in Washington state say they’ve been locked out of bank accounts, including some at Chase, that were linked to unemployment insurance claims filed with ESD.
► From the Olympian — State Supreme Court holds school districts liable for employees’ sexual misconduct — Washington school districts may be held to strict liability for the discriminatory acts of its employees in places of public accommodation and that covers intentional sexual misconduct including physical abuse and assault, the state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, June 19 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 27,192 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 319) and 1,245 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 8)
► From the Tri-City Herald — Coyote Ridge inmate dies from COVID-19 three months before his release — Victor Bueno, a 63-year-old Coyote Ridge inmate is the first Washington state inmate to die from the coronavirus. The prison has been at the epicenter of an outbreak in Franklin County. As of Thursday, 91 inmates and 38 staff members have tested positive for the virus. This is 12 more cases than were reported Wednesday.
► From the Tri-City Herald — Most Tri-Cities hospital ICU beds are full. Many new COVID cases, 1 death
► From the Yakima H-R — Nursing home workers gather downtown to protest elimination of hazard pay — Nursing home workers waved signs Thursday in downtown Yakima calling for hazard pay and more funding for the facilities where they work. Some have been notified that hazard pay — amounts to about $2 an hour and is intended to offset the risk and extra work involved in caring for patients who test positive for COIVD-19 — will be eliminated this month. Some workers have already seen the cuts. Thursday’s protest was part of a national movement by SEIU demanding funding for nursing homes and their workers.
► From Politico — Rising coronavirus cases among Latinos alarm public health experts — Latinos age 25 to 54 have a coronavirus mortality rate at least five times greater than white people.
► From the USA Today — Florida shatters daily record with 3,207 new coronavirus cases — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said after Tuesday’s record high that he had no plans to pull back on reopening efforts that he launched in May and since expanded.
► From the Seattle Times — Boeing whistleblower alleges systemic problems with 737 MAX — A Boeing engineer who last year lodged an internal ethics complaint alleging serious shortcomings in development of the 737 MAX has written to a U.S. Senate committee asserting that systemic problems with the jet’s design “must be fixed before the 737 MAX is allowed to return to service.” The letter to the Senate was written by engineer Curtis Ewbank, a 34-year-old specialist in flight-deck systems whose job when the MAX was in early stages of development involved studying past crashes and using that information to make new planes safer.
► From the Washington Post — Supreme Court blocks Trump’s bid to end DACA, a win for undocumented ‘Dreamers’ — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismantle the program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, a reprieve for nearly 650,000 recipients known as “dreamers.” The 5-to-4 decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, stunned Trump, who said in a tweet that it and a ruling earlier this week that federal law protects LGBTQ workers were “shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — A shotgun blast of truth from the Pew Research Center: 74% of Americans — including a majority of people who identify themselves as Republicans — not only support allowing Dreamers to stay in America, but also granting them permanent legal status. Boom!
► From the AFL-CIO — A victory for all working people — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “Trump’s 2017 decision to end DACA was cruel and wrong, and that injustice now has been undone — but only temporarily. We know that this is but one step in our long fight to win permanent rights and status for all those whose labor helps our country to prosper.”
► From Reuters — Trump: will submit ‘enhanced papers’ on U.S. Supreme Court immigration decision — The court left the door open for Trump to attempt again to rescind the program, ruling only that the administration had not met a procedural requirement and its actions were “arbitrary and capricious.”
► From Roll Call — Congress must act now to help states with vote-by-mail in November, experts say — Election officials will need more resources to prepare for voting by mail and in person.
EDITOR’S NOTE — But Moscow Mitch will never allow this, because…
► From Politico — ‘My biggest risk’: Trump says mail-in voting could cost him reelection — Trump called mail-in voting the biggest threat to his reelection and said his campaign’s multimillion-dollar legal effort to block expanded ballot access could determine whether he wins a second term… Trump and his campaign argue, despite a lack of evidence, that widespread mail-in voting will benefit Democrats and invite fraud. The Republican Party is spending tens of millions of dollars on a multi-front legal battle.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Translation: “If I can’t stop Americans from voting, I’ll lose.”
► From the Washington Post — Top State Department official resigns in protest of Trump’s response to racial tensions in the country — Mary Elizabeth Taylor, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, submitted her resignation Thursday. Her resignation letter serves as an indictment of Trump’s stewardship at a time of national unrest from one of the administration’s highest-ranking African Americans. “Moments of upheaval can change you, shift the trajectory of your life, and mold your character. The President’s comments and actions surrounding racial injustice and Black Americans cut sharply against my core values and convictions,” Taylor wrote.
► From The Hill — Republicans brush off Bolton’s bombshells — Privately, GOP senators expressed little doubt that what Bolton has written about his interactions with Trump are by-and-large true.
► From Politico — Trump loyalty purge roils Pentagon
► Usually, The Entire Staff of The Stand chooses a live music performance for the TGIF video, but if we’re going to make an exception, it’s going to be for The Queen of Soul. This never-before-heard solo version of the late Aretha Franklin’s riveting and powerful collaboration with Mary J. Blige about faith and race, 2006’s “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” was released today to celebrate Juneteenth. Calling Franklin’s performance “chilling,” Sony Music’s chief creative officer Clive Davis says the song’s lyrics and relevance today “will shake every fiber in your body.” Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.