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The Latest News in Trump’s America – Aug. 10

· Making It in Trump’s America: People, Policy & Poverty

Every other Thursday, Equal Voice News tracks the latest from the Trump administration and whether its policies are creating poverty or prosperity. We have reports from families and grassroots organizations working on those issues around the country. Here’s our latest:

Climate Fight Flares Up, L.A. Families Fight Back

The dog days of summer are here and so is a bombshell report on climate change, sort of. The Trump administration hasn’t released the report…but The New York Times has. Stephen Colbert offered up wit to the whole thing, too.

Here is one key takeaway: “The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980s, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years,” the NYT reports.

Families and advocates in South Los Angeles have not been waiting for this or other reports. They’ve been telling the fossil fuel industry to “stop drilling in our neighborhoods.”

“Due to over development and a history of poor, often ‘racialized,’ land-use decisions, many drilling sites are located in communities with a higher percentage of residents of color and high rates of poverty, unemployment and linguistic isolation,” including South Los Angeles. – Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Equal Voice News.

To fight urban oil drilling STAND – L.A. joined SCOPE and other grassroots organizations to create a coalition to curb oil drilling in residential areas.

Check out the full story.

Lines Getting Clearer in Fight for Civil Rights for the LGBT Community

Business leaders are taking stands in high-profile battles for human and civil rights for the LGBT community.

In a carefully watched federal court case, some of the nation’s biggest media and tech players – think Microsoft Corp., Google, and Viacom Inc. – lent their support to gay rights in the workplace, according to NBC News.

And down in Texas, major “Business Leaders Join Advocates Opposing Texas Bathroom Bill.”

The bill would require transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, including in public schools.

That Didn’t Take Long.

Two weeks ago after President Trump proposed banning transgender individuals from the military, the move is facing its first legal challenge, with a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports.

Immigration and the Trump Effect

More than 200 days into the new administration, immigration remains a defining storyline from the White House. Among the latest: “Trump, GOP senators introduce bill to slash legal immigration levels,” and the administration “Escalates Crackdown On Sanctuary Cities.”

All of this activity from the White House may be sparking a Trump Effect: “Trump spurs wave of state immigration laws” from The Hill.

And Chicago became one of the first cities to sue the Trump administration over sanctuary cities.

Amid all this fighting DREAMers, people whose parents brought them to the U.S. without documentation years ago, remain in an agonizing limbo.

A group of attorneys general called on the Trump administration to phase out a program that offers DREAMers some protection, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program (DACA).

In response, the ACLU of Texas has joined nine other organizations in demanding to know what exactly the Texas Office of the Attorney General is asking the federal government to do about DACA.

“These young men and women are dedicated students, industrious workers and responsible members of their communities; to put them at risk of deportation to countries that they do not know would be both unwise and unjust. Both the courts and the American people have expressed their strong approval of DACA. Any attempt to end it should be made open to public debate and discussion,” a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas, Edgar Saldivar, said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, may be listening to DACA opponents. “If you’re going to count on Jeff Sessions to save DACA, then DACA is ended,” Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez said in The Washington Post.

Since the news cycle works at hyper-speed these days, here’s a solid look at Trump’s first 100 days and how workers are organizing to protect their families.

The Stark Reality of Caregiving

What does it really mean to work as a caregiver? One woman offers a glimpse into this increasingly vital work in a powerful story at Splinter, “Real #WomenWhoWork: The Home Health Aide Supporting Her Family on Less Than $20,000 a Year.”

After reading that, you can check out what Caring Across Generations is doing in this arena, as well as these multimedia reports: “The Dignity of Living: America’s Home Care Aides” and “Elders in America: Living on the Edge. Why We Should Care.”

Missouri Is a Battleground State

Battles over the minimum wage flare across the U.S., but Missouri is emerging as a key battleground:

• In Kansas City, “New $15 minimum wage ordinance clashes with Missouri law; legal battle likely.” (Kansas City Star)
• “More than 100 St. Louis businesses opt to keep $10 minimum wage, despite new state law.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

What We Want to Read

In Silicon Valley families are grappling with one of the biggest challenges of the new economy: How regional economic booms make it hard, if not impossible, for families to make ends meet. The Guardian put a face and voice to this challenge earlier in July.

Facebook worker living in garage to Zuckerberg: challenges are right outside your door.”

And if you missed it, working families in Silicon Valley are organizing to make progress on housing for renters and the minimum wage.

We also want to check out a new book that offers a broader take on gentrification, “How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood.”

(Sources: Jobs With Justice digest, Associated Press, news outlets, The Skimm, and, of course, our neighbors. Paul Nyhan is the senior writer for Equal Voice News, which is published by Marguerite Casey Foundation. Ebony Slaughter-Johhnson, an Equal Voice News contributor, provided research assistance with this digest.) 

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