No Justice, No Pride: As a sign of progress and acceptance, Washington D.C.'s annual pride parade is huge, with somewhere close to 300,000 people participating last year. It's a great show of solidarity with the LGBTQ community, and a must-attend event for any aspiring local lawmaker. It's also become a prime target for corporate opportunists with lots of money poured in by forward thinking brands. To bring attention to this and a needed reminder of the queer community's activist roots, DC-based No Justice, No Pride blocked a portion of the march to bring attention to the corporatization of the LGBTQ movement, and a list of other demands including parade organizers including trans-women of color in the decision-making process.
Key bill addresses LGBTQ housing: Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has introduced a bill known as the Fair and Equal Housing Act, which aims to protect LGBTQ people from being denied housing based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill has bipartisan support in a companion bill submitted in the House by Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL). It comes at a good time given June is LGBTQ Pride month. This past weekend, D.C. celebrated Pride with enthusiasm and political activism, including Trans Lobby Day, an LGBTQ Parade, and the March for Equality.
The struggle continues: Senator Bernie Sanders addressed a packed house of leading grassroots organizers and activists in Chicago this weekend at the second annual People's Summit. Progressive luminaries like Jim Hightower, former state senator Nina Turner, author Naomi Klein, commentator Van Jones and many others joined more than 4,000 attendees gathered at the event put on by People for Bernie founder Winnie Wong and other Sandernistas, to unite on social issues and abandon neoliberal politics. "We may not have won the campaign in 2016, but there is no question that we have won the battle of ideas," Sanders said at the event. Looking down the road, the divide between mainstream Democrats and hard-line progressives appears to be alive and well, with no clear leadership unifying the party while the Republican agenda moves forward.
Brain drain: French President Emmanuel Macron continues to throw shade at President Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, and we are living for it. Now, Macron is luring US scientist to come to France with crepes and a respect for scientific facts. On his website, cheekily titled "Make Our Planet Great Again," Macron extends an invitation to US scientists in the form of a four-year grant to work on climate change solutions in France. While it's a tempting seduction, the country may not be able to survive a brain drain that lasts the entire Trump presidency. We may have to say au revoir to the best minds of our nation, but honestly, we can't fault them.
Zeroing in: Facebook knows what we love and now your elected officials are going to be getting some of that data. The company is developing a product that will show lawmakers which articles are most popular amongst their constituents. The idea is if representatives know what matters to voters they can use that information to shape policy. It's still just as important, now more than ever, to call and write letters to your representatives so they that they vote in your favor. Given today's tech-based society, it's clear that the way people were sharing information on social media, particularly Facebook, had a huge influence on the 2016 election. Although Facebook refuses to take a stance on left or the right, it's determined to define its role in an ever-changing political landscape.
It gets better, slowly: A new study coming from RTI, a research firm based in North Carolina, has troubling news about anti-LGBTQ bullying. Although LGBTQ representation is at an all time high, many LGBTQ teens say they are still facing violence and harassment in schools from peers. The study suggests that the increase of anti-LGBTQ mistreatment in the classroom is due to the homophobic and transphobic political climate, which has thrust bathroom bills and religious freedom bills into the spotlight. This type of legislation emboldens people to discriminate, and kids are no different. In fact, k-12 teachers say that since the president's election, students are quoting Trump to pick on their classmates. This Trumped-up trickle down effect is one that has to stop now.
Deal with the devil: It was a risky gamble for British Prime Minister Theresa May to call an early election to cement her party's control of the government, and she overplayed her hand. After the chips fell, May's party only won by a small margin and without enough seats to govern with a majority. Now, May has announced that she will form a "confidence and supply" or a pact government with a smaller party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The DUP is known for its super conservative stance on anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ issues. This agreement puts the rights of women and LGBTQ Brits in danger and concerned citizens are reaching out to their representatives to combat the deal. One thing's for sure, the UK doesn't need any divisive policies coming from an empowered oppressive minority.
Pick up in aisle 6: As online shopping skyrockets, traditional jobs in the retail industry are in decline, particularly in department stores and furniture stores. According to an Occupational Employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a few pockets of the industry are actually thriving. Grocery stores, hobby stores and, surprisingly, shoe stores are trending high, but overall things aren't looking favorable across the board. This is indicative of the nature of work changing, and many are already feeling the effects. As many services become automated, careers that were once thought of as stable have now lost their footing.