• Screen Shot 2020 08 18 at 12.12.30 PM 6c44f

    Monday night, politicians Zoomed in all over the U.S. for the Democratic National Convention; but not one of their speeches could quite hold a candle to Michelle Obama’s, whose address harbored the authentic, non-withholding dose of reality we all need right now.

    Michelle addressed the American people last night from her living room, a simple “VOTE” necklace donned, making it clear right away that she was not just speaking as the former first lady, but as an American citizen and a mother. “I know a lot of folks are reluctant to tune into a political convention right now,” she began. “Believe me, I get that.”

    The speech was a heartfelt appeal to the hearts of the American people, who have been subject to 150,000 deaths and significant economic decline due to the Coronavirus pandemic; police brutality and racist violence that catalyzed protests all over the country; and the intense lack of empathy on part of the Trump administration. However, it was also a call to action: reminding us that our voices matter now more than ever.

    "If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this,” she spoke earnestly into the camera. “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don't make a change in this election.”

    Michelle pulled no punches in calling out President Donald Trump for coddling white supremacists, refusing to acknowledge the racism in American policing, and the fact that Black Lives Matter as a statement is still met with “derision from the nation's highest office." She went on to say, as blatant as she was sincere: “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country...It is what it is.”

    While she acknowledged Biden is not the perfect candidate, she iterated the urgency of the situation. “If we want a chance to pursue any of these goals, any of these most basic requirements for a functioning society, we have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored,” she said. “We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too because we've got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.”

    We’ll meet you there, Michelle!


    Header screen still from Youtube

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  • cyntoia b2ec8

    On Monday morning, January 7th, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam granted Cyntoia Denise Brown clemency. Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2004 for killing Johnny Mitchell Allen, who bought her for sex when she was just 16, CNN reports. On August 7th, 2019, Brown will be released to parole supervision, the governor’s office notified in a statement. “The decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,” the statement read. “Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope.”

    In 2004, prosecuters argued that the murder was motivated by robbery and not self-defense. Brown shot Allen in the head while he was asleep, then fled the scene with his money, guns, and truck. Brown explained that Allen’s behavior made her fear for her life and she took the money because she was too scared to return to her pimp, who went by the name Cut Throat, empty-handed. Brown was deemed competent to be tried as an adult by a juvenile court; she was convicted of murder and robbery and received a life sentence.

    Brown’s case, as well as the severe punishment for underage victims of sex trafficking in general, has garnered the attention and outrage of lawmakers and celebrities alike. Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West and Ashley Judd are among the few stars that have taken to social media and called for Brown’s clemency. Since her conviction, Tennessee’s juvenile sentencing guidelines have been modified. Anchor Stacy Case, who had been investigating reports of sex trafficking in Tennessee when she first heard of Brown’s situation, told CNN, “If Cyntoia Brown were tried today, legal experts say she would not have been tried in the same way. Our Courts today would view her as a child sex slave… she would be viewed as a victim.”

    A 2011 documentary titled “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story” helped change how Tennessee handles sex trafficking crimes. In the documentary, Brown recalls the abuse she experienced at the hands of her pimp. “The first time he did something to me is when he choked me and I passed out. I made him money… he wasn’t going to let me go nowhere. He told me he’d kill me.”

    Now 30 years old, Brown has spent 15 years in prison, working tirelessly to overcome her trauma. She received her associates degree from Lipscomb University in 2015 and has been working towards her Bachelor’s degree. She’s also working with Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice System to help council young individuals. In a clip from the documentary’s filmmakers, Brown said in a phone call, “I learned that my life was and is not over. I can create opportunities where I can actually help people.” 

    Header image: Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story/PBS

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  • Forney Democracy 01 c16ff

    Legendary cartoonist and author of bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & MeEllen Forney is using her latest comic to inform readers about the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

    Along with championing voting, Forney's work has given voice to other important issues such as mental health in her graphic memoir, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life

    Check out Forney's comic below to stay informed and get excited about voting! 

    Forney Democracy 01 ced36

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    -Comic by Ellen Forney

    To see more of Forney's work, visit www.ellenforney.com

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  • Screen Shot 2020 10 16 at 1.19.13 PM 0fde3

    Diane Guerrero adds a little "something-something" to voting in this hilariously seductive PSA, “Safe Voting Feels So Good”, which promotes “safe, consensual, and pleasurable voting.” 

    In the video, co-produced by Rosario Dawson, we see Guerrero sitting on the edge of a bed in a dimly lit room, purring to viewers that this is “no time for abstinence,” and that people need to “get it in.”

    This playful approach to voting is a cheeky way to motivate those who remain disengaged when it comes to casting in their ballots. Go VOTE!

    Top image: Screenshot from video.

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    In a turn of events that continue to wildly unravel, a republican GOP Lawmaker has resigned after crashing his car into a ditch while drunk resulting in being charged with a DWI.

    New York State Assembly Minority Leader, Brian Kolb, had a few too many at a holiday shindig on December 31, before reportedly making his way home and driving down an embankment, seconds away from his own driveway. But drunk driving is an issue Kolb seems to be very concerned about, since the day after Christmas he, very aptly, Tweeted (on his now-deleted account) “There is no excuse for driving impaired this holiday season.”

    Upon the arrival of the AAA worker at around 9:50 pm, Kolb appeared with his hands up outside the vehicle. His explanation as to why his car was stuck? Women, of course! And not just any woman. He said, “My wife was driving! You know how women drive!” Kolb maybe wasn’t in the right state to think this through, however, as apparently he was the only person at the scene.

    Court documents reveal that his blood alcohol count was 0.16% - the legal limit is 0.08%- and that Kolb smelled of liquor, had glassy, bloodshot eyes, and slurred his words. Not surprisingly the lawmaker resigned, releasing a statement apologizing and condemning his behavior. “The events of December 31 are ones I will always regret.,” he wrote.

    Notice how he never once apologizes for his sexist remarks regarding the stereotype that women cannot drive or apologizes directly to his wife who, if I were her, would be more than pissed off.

    By the way, according to a 2018 study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds men are more likely than women to be driving drunk in fatal crashes. Twenty-one percent of men were drunk in these crashes, compared to 14% for women.

    Never drink and drive.


    Image Courtesy of Flickr



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    On Wednesday morning, Democrat Lucy McBath officially won her Congressional race by less than 3,000 votes in Georgia’s Sixth District, reports the Associated Press. An advocate for gun control and social justice, McBath has been publicly involved in community activism and public service since her son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in 2012. 

    The Sixth Congressional District has been represented by Republicans for around 30 years, reports New York Magazine, most famously by Newt Gingrinch from 1978 to 1999. McBath beat Republican incumbent Karen Handel, whose platform very predictably included limited access to health care, support of “the wall,” and pro-life rhetoric. McBath, on the other hand, hopes to expand Medicaid in Georgia, push for gun safety, and strengthen the public school system, according to her website.

    Prior to running for Congress, McBath worked as a spokesperson and organizer for both Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Back in July, she told CNN that the wave of activism in Parkland, Florida inspired her run for office. “What I began to recognize is that I can keep helping to build this national movement and organize for gun violence prevention,” McBath said. “But you’ve got to have people on the inside that are willing to do the work, creating the bills and initiatives who will push the issue. You’ve got to have gun-sense champions on the inside.”

    McBath’s son was killed at age 17 by a white gunman following an argument about the music playing in Jordan's car. The man, Michael David Dunn, was ultimately convicted of first-degree murder in 2014, reports the New York Times.

    “I’m still a mother. I’m still parenting,” McBath said, as reported by CNN. “That’s why I believed this was the time to stand up.”

    Top photo via Lucy for Congress

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    Thanks to COVID-19, Lady Gaga’s new album isn’t the only thing to be pushed back this year. The pandemic also affected the 2020 elections, causing many states to delay or change their primaries. To find out when voting is happening in your state, you can click here.

    Now that you’ve figured out when your state is voting, what’s next? Here are some simple action steps you can take to make sure you get your voice heard in this election cycle.

    Visit Your State Election Website. You can look up your state election website online to find credible sources on your state elections and info about the national election, too. Visit their website and find info related to voting.

    Look Up Your Registration Status. You can click here if you need to check up on your registration status before requesting your ballot.

    Request a Vote by Absentee Ballot. Keep yourself COVID-clean and request an absentee ballot for your state here.


    Have some time to kill before the big day?

    Sign a pledge to vote!
    Recent research shows that pledging to vote can significantly increase voter turnout. Sign a pledge and manifest those intentions.

    Lastly, don’t underestimate your peer power. Call your friends! A 2008 study by Harvard psychologists showed that the most effective method of encouraging others to vote is to ask them three specific questions: qhat time they would vote, where they would be coming from, and what they would be doing beforehand. These questions allow voters to make a concrete “voting plan,” which increases their likelihood of actually voting. Use Social Media. Don’t be afraid to get out on Instagram or TikTok to share your resources and info. Researches have also found that when people see their friends sharing voting-related information online, they’re more likely to vote. 

    So, New York, Kentucky, and Virginia are next to up to have an election, on June 23, 2020.



    Header image by element5digital via Unsplash


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  • Julian Castro by Gage Skidmore 2a8d7

    A few days ago, Democratic candidate, Julián Castro, dropped out of the race to become the next POTUS. As the only Latino person, it’s disappointing to lose a runner that brought diversity and a voice of around 58.9 million people who identify as Hispanic in the country. Yet, although Castro is no longer a potential candidate for president, he isn’t about to disappear completely. The former secretary of housing and urban development (under the Obama Administration) and Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, has announced his endorsement for Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    Castro broke the news on his Twitter writing, “Elizabeth and I share a vision of America where everyone counts. An America where people⁠—not the wealthy or well-connected⁠—are put first. I'm proud to join her in the fight for big, structural change.” An accompanying video tells the story of Castro’s family, particularly his grandmother, who came to the USA at seven years old and worked as a maid. This strong leadership from a hard-working woman transcends into his belief and support for Elizabeth Warren “who’s unafraid to fight like hell to make sure America’s promise will be there for everyone.”


    In the video Castro is seen meeting up with Warren at her home in Massachusetts, where she congratulates him on his effort during the campaign while they share tea. He tells her that his message mirrors her own the most: Wanting the best for all Americans, no matter who they are, where they come from and where they live. Their shared views are what enabled him to feel confident in endorsing Warren for this year’s vote.

    “Nobody is working harder than you are,” he said, in an encouraging speech about his decision while Warren drinks out of a ‘Votes for Women’ mug. The pair talk about the change that is needed and what to fix, before cutting to a clip of a rally held by Warren in which she hugs supporters.

    Hope is mentioned, and probably the main takeaway from this message— something that we could all use a bit of at a time when a war seems imminent, Australia is burning and Brexit is less than a month away.

    Both Democrats will be holding a rally in Brooklyn tomorrow, Tuesday, January 6. Find out more information about the event here.


    header image courtesy of Gage Skidmore


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    Let’s play a game. Without thinking too hard, what are the first (non-policy) things that come to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton? You might think of the media's obsession with her emails, Bill Clinton, or when she unironically told Millennial and Gen-Z voters to “Pokemon-Go to the polls.” However, what likely comes to mind are her signature pantsuits. Fashion choices have long been used to disqualify or delegitimize powerful women, and, undoubtedly, Clinton’s pantsuits were used as a tool of communication to the American people. In her book, What Happened, she explains, “I also thought it would be good to do what male politicians do and wear more or less the same thing every day.” Since Kamala Harris’s Vice Presidential nomination, people have been noticing something unique about her uniform. Straying from what male or female politicians have worn in the past, Harris has been sporting Converse sneakers.

    Although the Vice President nominee has been seen in Converse throughout her own presidential run, by Tuesday, two videos of Harris’s arrival in Milwaukee had been viewed almost 8 million times on Twitter. Soon after, the internet exploded with comments and posts about the nominee’s Chuck Taylors.

    It feels redundant at times to speak about what lawmakers are wearing, but how we dress, whether we hold public office or not, sends a message. Politicians from Louis XIV to George Bush have used visual cues to tell us about themselves. Harris is the first woman of color to be on a major party’s presidential ticket, and the first American politician to subscribe to sneakers on the campaign trail. Converse are an inoffensive, unisex, classic American shoe. These shoes symbolize the idea of “big tent politics” by being something people from all walks of life recognize and likely owned at some point.

    “Until the 1990s, an 'unwritten rule' dictated that women could not wear pants on the Senate floor. That changed in 1993, after Moseley Braun, unaware of the rule, wore ‘a very nice Armani pantsuit’ to work,” Vox reported. Through this lens, Harris’s choice is significant, and in a way, a sign of a changing society, but it also leans into her “practicality.”

    After running a campaign situated closer to the center than other candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the shoe fits. Converse are not revolutionary; rather, familiar and practical. The Washington Post reported, “At a time when many in the Democratic Party are calling for a different kind of leader... Harris’s shoes resonated with those who saw something more familiar in low-rise Chucks than the usual polished wingtips.”

    Last week, Elizabeth Semmelhack, the author of Sneaker X Culture: Collab, told The Guardian, “The sneakers are acting as the sartorial equivalent of being willing to roll up her sleeves.” But perhaps it’s more subtle than trying to prove a point about hard work. It’s a hand reached out, not grabbing or pleading, but for a shake. They seem to say: “I’m like you.”

    Top Image: Flickr/ Davey D Cook

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  • conway 73e3a

    Kellyanne Conway, who’s currently serving as a counselor to President Trump, has a daughter named Claudia who’s gone viral in recent days. Claudia Conway, the 15-year-old has been posting TikToks like many people her age do. Many of the TikToks that Claudia has posted are blatantly against Trump, the person that her mother works for and often defends.

    So far, she has over 96,000 followers on TikTok. Conway's early videos largely didn’t have political messaging, but her account slowly became more political as time went on, which isn’t surprising given the fact that she comes from a very political family. Conway has posted many TikToks that have garnered mass attention over recent days because of outspoken videos that go against her mother’s boss. Conway got more attention when New York Times journalist Taylor Lorenz shared a tweet with Conway's TikTok videos.

    In her most viewed TikTok, Conway confirms that Kellyanne Conway is her mother and also states that “you can have your own opinions, not influenced by your parents at all, simply by educating yourself.” She goes on to say that her views have nothing to do with her mother’s.


    Reply to @charlie_b69 bye bye now ? ps. ACAB ?

    ♬ original sound - shortfakeblonde

    In an interview with Insider, Conway touched on this again, saying that “people look at me and are like ‘oh, that’s Kellyanne Conway’s daughter,’ she must love Trump. In reality, I really don't.” She states that her own and her mother's views “could not be more opposite.”

    In another TikTok, Conway identifies herself as someone who is anti-Trump, a leftist, and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter and anti-cop movements. And a caption for one of her earlier political TikToks states, “I love Trump but replace ‘love’ with ‘think we should extinguish.’”

    She says that because she grew up in a conservative family, she “was only exposed to those views for a very long time.”

    “I decided to educate myself and think for myself,” she tells Insider. “I'm still a kid, of course...I took the time to educate myself and took the time to branch out and be exposed to other sides and other biases and whatnot.” It seems that she also wants to educate people through her videos, saying that her intent on TikTok is to “inform people and spread love.”

    In the same interview, Conway states that she and her mother frequently argue over politics. “My mom is my best friend but we do fight all the time over politics, and I’m always shut down by my entire family.” She also admits that she and her father, a very outspoken opponent of President Trump, are the only members of her conservative family that are not Trump supporters. Her father supports her activism and, she adds, "thinks it's awesome that I'm speaking for myself and expressing my views."

    Conway affirms that she loves both of her conservative parents, despite the fact that they do not agree politically. Conway also posted a TikTok asking people who follow her not to comment hateful things to her parents, saying they’re both amazing people.

    Conway has said that her mother asked her to take down her TikToks, but she respectfully declined, arguing she has the right to her own freedom of speech.

    For now, she’s just focused on finishing high school, but in the future, she’s interested in doing more social justice work. “I think that's what I want to do when I'm older, like social justice activism," she tells Insider.

    Story art: Gabriella Shery is an illustrator, graphic designer, and comic artist from Brooklyn, New York. You can find her work on Instagram at @gabshery, or on her website at gabriellashery.com
    TikToks @shortfakeblonde

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    Just one week after the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques, which killed 50 people, New Zealand’s cabinet has committed to strengthening the country’s gun laws by banning military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high capacity magazines, CNN.com reports. At a press conference in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced;

    “On 15 March our history changed forever. Now our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place. Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned. This legislation will be drafted and introduced in urgency.”

    Earlier in the week, she called for social media companies to be held accountable for the content published on their platforms. While recognizing that social media was not the direct cause of the massacre, she argued that it has become an environment where hatred and racism flourish. The white supremacist gunman livestreamed the shooting on Facebook which remained available on various platforms hours after the murders took place, as companies rushed to erase the footage.

    New Zealand’s response to the attacks are strikingly different from the attitude of the National Rifle Association and its supporters in the United States. Decades of mass shootings and recent polling, in which 73 percent of Americans say more action is required to stop gun violence, have not convinced the government. It took one mass shooting for New Zealand’s government to take concrete measures against gun violence.

    Ardern showed the U.S what exemplary leadership looks like on account of her reaction to the tragedy. She didn’t tweet empty “thoughts and prayers” sentiments. She visited victims’ families and listened to their grief. She spoke candidly at Cashmere High School where some of the victims attended and condemned racism and bigotry. She refused to mention the suspected gunman’s name saying, “He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name.”

    These actions set an incredible precedent for governance. And, they leave many Americans wondering if our nation’s leadership will ever reach that standard.

    Header photo courtesy of Christchurch City Council Newsline/Kirk Hargreaves via wikimedia commons

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    Another measure to destroy women’s reproductive rights has been enacted into law, The New York Times reports. This week the Ohio House of Representatives passed what’s known as the “heartbeat bill,” one of the most oppressive abortion bills in the country. An unquestionable attack on Roe v. Wade, the bill criminalizes performing abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The bill will now head to the Ohio Senate.

    Doctors who perform an abortion on a fetus with a heartbeat would be charged with a fifth-degree felony and can face up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine as a result of the bill. A fetal heartbeat can be discovered as early as six weeks, usually when most women do not know they are pregnant. And situations involving rape or incest are not exempt under the bill. Doctors are only allowed to make exceptions during a medical emergency or if an abortion would save the woman’s life.

    In a departure from former Governor of Ohio, Republican John Kasich, who had twice vetoed the bill seeing that it was unconstitutional, Republican Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill defending that, “it is the right thing to do,” AP News reports. He continued his justification for attacking constitutional boundaries saying, “taking this action really is a kind of a time-honored tradition, the constitutional tradition of making a good faith argument for modification or reversal of existing legal precedents. So that is what this is.”

    Following Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa and North Dakota, Ohio is the fifth state to pass legislation that bans abortion once a heartbeat is detected. Georgia passed legislation back in March and Governor Brian Kemp, who is openly anti-abortion and has expressed support for the bill, has until May 10th to sign it.

    Before the Ohio bill was signed, the state’s ACLU said it was preparing “a constitutional challenge to the law on behalf of Pre-Term Cleveland and three other Ohio abortion clinics.” Supporters of the bill hope that provoking legal opposition has the potential to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, legalizing abortion until viability, usually around 22 to 24 weeks.

    Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis declared, “the heartbeat bill is the next incremental step in our strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade.” Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Kellie Copeland referred to the measures as “a dystopian nightmare where people are forced to continue pregnancies regardless of the harm that may come to them or their family.”

    Organizations such as EMILY’s List and the Democratic National Committee have condemned the Ohio bill, which DNC CEO, Seema Nanda, called “the latest example of how the Trump administration’s extremist, anti-women policies have emboldened legislators across the country to attack women’s access to health care.”

    Assaults on a women’s right to bodily and biological agency have grown increasingly hostile as more older, white, male lawmakers feel entitled to make decisions on behalf of women’s healthcare and encroach on their reproductive rights. Such legislation is irresponsible and dangerous as the criminalization of abortion forces medical professionals to consider the bounds of the law before addressing the health of their patient, consequently putting the patient's safety at risk. Furthermore, past history has proven that criminalizing abortion DOES NOT STOP ABORTIONS. But it does prevent safe abortions as health-care providers are barred from providing the best care options for patients in agreement with the ethical responsibilities of good medical practice.

    Header photo by trac1 via Adobe Stock 

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  • gaetz d6eb3

    Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida began an online feud with State Rep. Chris Latvala yesterday, which prompted the resurfacing of a rumor that Gaetz had a sexual point system when he worked in the Florida House. It was first brought up by a reporter for the Miami Herald, Marc Caputo, in 2013 when he wrote a Tweet breaking down the rules of the supposed game: “Hey ladies! Source: young male FL Reps have point-system contest for having sex: 1=lobbyist 2=staff 3=other legislator 6=married legislator.”

    Not much was heard about this rumor until now, despite Gaetz’s problematic behavior. He is, to put it lightly, a fellow brownnoser of President Trump and has condemned the media, Democrats, and Nancy Pelosi for his impeachment. “This is not about the Ukraine. It’s about power. Donald Trump has it and House Democrats want it. And so with no crime, no victim, no evidence, no proof, no agenda for America, this impeachment charade marches on, following no rules and adhering to no sense of honor,” he saidduring the hearings in December.

    He’s also on Fox News, like all the time, talking about how wonderful and great the president is and once, in his home state, tolda crowd with family members of the victims of Parkland at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, that guns weren’t the reason. Instead, he said, “the greatest driver of violence… was not the firearm, it’s the fact that we have an immigration system that allows people to come here violently.” Seems like a nice guy, right?

    And, he was arrestedfor a DUI in 2008, while driving a vehicle registered under his father's name (though the case was dropped, with a lot of suspicion surrounding his father’s contacts being the reason behind that). Gaetz is a third-generation politician and his father, Don Gaetz, has a shady past involving fraud within the medical industry. In a piece titled “How Matt Gaetz Used Daddy’s Money To Become Trump’s Favorite Congressman,” written by Mother Jones, it says, “In the late 1970s, his father co-founded a nonprofit hospice company that successfully lobbied Congress to allow Medicare and Medicaid to cover its services. Once the public money started flowing, the nonprofit became a for-profit corporation, Vitas, that grew into the country’s largest hospice care provider.” In 2013, however, the Justice Department sued the company for having defrauded Medicare with false claims “for services never provided or for patients who weren’t terminally ill.”

    More recently, he justifieddating 21 year-olds and appearing on their social media accounts with “I’m not a monk.” With all that, it would seem this Gaetz’s guy isn’t so wholesome. But, of course, there’s more. It all began with a Tweet from Chris Latvala, whose family members haven’t exactly been friends with the Gaetz’s, who appeared next to activist Reverend Al Sharpton; the caption reading “It was an honor to meet @TheRevAl today. #FlaPol.” To which Gaetz replied with comments about Sharpton calling police “pigs” and Jews “diamond merchants” finishing with “So that is pretty disgusting.” What’s more disgusting is what Latvalta insinuated in his follow up Tweet to Gaetz: That he created a point-based game, where members of the Florida House could gain them by sleeping with “aides, interns, lobbyists, and married legislators.”


    The argument swiftly descended into snide remarks about Gaetz’s DUI and Latvala's father’s resignation over sexual misconduct--Gaetz even said the word 'daddy'. There have been no other comments about these rumors, or whether an investigation will take place. It seems likely that, similarly to when it was mentioned before and Gaetz’s close connection to Trump, not much will follow.


    header image screenshot courtesy of PBS

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    On Tuesday, San Francisco voted in favor of the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, otherwise known as the CAREN Act. This legislation will give targets of racially biased 911 calls the right to sue the caller and is one of a few pioneering laws that have been passed in efforts to regulate the reporting of Black individuals for non-crimes including but not limited to barbequingbirdwatchingselling water, and more. 

    The CAREN Act is an obvious nod to the meme-ified “Karen,” a term popularized on Twitter to describe “a specific type of middle-aged white woman who exhibits behavior that stems from privilege, such as using the police to target people of color.” In recent months, we’ve seen many Karens: Amy Cooper“McMuffin Cop,” “Permit Patty,” and Lisa Alexander, among others.

    In an interview with the New York Times, Shamann Walton, the Democratic supervisor who proposed the CAREN Act, said, “We wanted to put something in place that’s going to stop these racist, prejudiced calls that weaponize police against Black people and people of color.”

    The legislation was drafted by Brittni Chicuata, the chief of staff at the city’s Human Rights Commission, after the Viktor Stevenson case came out, in which Stevenson was accused of breaking into a business while checking the security system of his own high-end lemonade stand. “When white people threaten to call the police on people of color, that is, to me, a very violent act,” said Chicuata to the New York Times.

    Under the CAREN Act, individuals who are subject to unwarranted 911 calls, and as a result, are harmed by the police, can sue the caller for at least $1,000. Hopefully, this will set a precedent for white people who continue to make racially charged reports to the police at the expense of Black lives.

    Top image courtesy of The Library of Congress via Flickr Commons

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  • Womens March Washington DC 31657223523 9a2d1

    In 2018, we saw an election with a record-breaking number of women running for office. This year, that record has been broken once again. According to The Hill, over 570 women are running for office during the 2020 election.

    574 women have filed to run for primaries for House seats and 58 women have filed to run for primaries in the Senate. This is a 20 percent increase from 2018, which had 476 House candidates and 53 Senate candidates.

    This is a major uptick in female representation when it comes to politics. A large number of the female candidates who are running for Congress are a part of the Republican Party, and the number of Republican female candidates has nearly doubled since 2018. Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokesperson for Winning For Women, a PAC that fights supports conservative female candidates said that “2018 saw the rise of the Democrat women. A lot of Republican women thought it could be our year next year, and if they can do it, we can do it.”

    One of the reasons that Republican woman candidates might be increasing is because the Republican Party has faltered when it comes to the female voter base since 2016, and this is their way of trying to get back lost ground with the female voters. According to recent polls, Biden is leading Trump among women.

    Of the female candidates, 104 are running as incumbents such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar, who all ran in 2018. These four congresswomen also make up what is known informally as “The Squad.”

    Despite this achievement, women still make up less than a quarter of Congress.


    Header image via Wikimedia Commons / Victorgrigas

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  • MichelleButeau03 269 718df

    There is a lot on the line during all elections, but the combination of a pandemic, a president who takes away human rights, and continued civil unrest makes this one particularly stressful. The internet and its inhabitants cope with this stress through humor: Gen Z makes TikToks about what outfit they’re going to wear to the “Civil War” and Twitter millennials rag on TV pundits. Here are a few of these funny and insightful moments: 













    By Lauren Williams and Madeleine Janz 

    Header image photographed by Winnie Au
    Styling by Deirdre Govan; Makeup by Latisha Rankin; Hair by Falon Jaloi
    Mohair Coat: Universal Standard; T-shirt: Michelle’s Own; Jeans: Democracy 

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  • rachel maddow ce8ef

    An all-women panel has been announced for the next Democratic debate in Georgia on November 20. The debate will include Rachel Maddow, White House correspondents Ashley Parker and Kristen Welker, and NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell as panelists. What an exciting time for us women! We are finally getting a panel. Now that we have one, we can talk about women’s issues! Apparently, we weren’t really allowed to do that too much when there were also men on the panels for the debates: one question, maybe. But a question on abortion and another on women’s access to reproductive health care? Absolutely not. That is too many.

    A curious choice is to have this specific debate in Georgia, especially after the "heartbeat law" that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy was temporarily blocked. After Democratic nominees like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker commented on how there wasn’t enough of a discussion about women’s issues at any of the past debates, Georgia and an all-female panel were both chosen, perhaps coincidentally.



    It actually is interesting to have this be considered a big deal. It’s thought of as out of the ordinary to have an all-women panel when there have been so many panels of all men. It goes to show how often women aren’t the majority for anything. According to the Pew Research Center, only 23.4% of the House of Representatives is made up of women, and that’s considered a record high. And late-night talk shows? There are barely any female hosts. And of the male late-night talk show hosts, I’m pretty sure most of them are named Jimmy. This doesn’t mean these male hosts are bad; some of them definitely care about women’s issues, but a female host is going to understand women's issues a little more—a lot more. And yes, these men have wives and daughters and mothers and neighbors who are women and many of their talk show guests are women and one time they said hello to a woman at a grocery store and they know many women. They’re still not women.

    Although there are many women in all types of roles in the media and in government that other women can look up to or at least know about, women are not getting the same amount of representation on television and in the media that men have always gotten. We keep questioning why there aren’t many female talk show hosts, and we still hire James Corden. Yes, Carpool Karaoke is very fun, and I loved him in Ocean’s Eight, but there was an opportunity to hire a woman for that hosting role that wasn’t pursued enough by the people in charge. It absolutely could have been hosted by a woman.

    Not having enough female late-night talk show hosts and female debate moderators change the way women watch these shows and debates, and they change the mainstream conversations that we're having. Women are missing out on the right way to have conversations about women’s issues when they’re mostly hearing about them from men—which is why it’s so important to have representation for everybody. If it’s just white men in those roles, only the Jimmys will be represented.

    Header photo courtesy of MSNBC

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  • Kellyanne 36a39

    This past weekend was a tumultuous one for the Conway family, whose discordant political platforms have raised eyebrows nationally--and left us all secretly grateful we aren’t at that table for family dinners.

    Last Sunday evening, Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced that she will be resigning from her post at the end of the month. This decision marks a sudden end to Conway’s indelible journey as one of the most controversial and outspoken Trump supporters. She took up the post in 2016 after becoming the first female campaign manager to win a presidential race and hasn’t stopped shocking us since.

    This announcement came a mere few minutes after Kellyanne’s husband, George Conway, tweetedthat he would be resigning from the Lincoln Project, of which he is the co-founder. The Lincoln Project is a political action group with a slightly unconventional group of former Republicans who declare themselves “Never Trump” conservatives whose mission is“defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line.”


    Both Kellyanne and George Conway cited taking time for family as the motivation behind their resignations. "This is completely my choice and my voice,” Kellyanne said in a rather Seussian statement. “In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."

    Interestingly enough, this decision follows a day after their fifteen-year-old daughter publicly declared her intent to emancipate. 


    While the Conway family has often been painted as a rosy symbol of hope for American democracy in which polarizing figures can live harmoniously together, social media has enabled Claudia to have her own voice on the matter. She has become a prominent social media figure on TikTok, where she is known for disputing her mother’s support for Trump and frequently advocating for her own leftist, Anti-Trump political beliefs. 

    Kellyanne Conway’s professed desire for “less drama” seems to be off to a bad start. NBC News reportsthat she is still expected to speak Wednesday at the Republican National Convention as previously planned, resignation be damned. Claudia has already publicly opposed her mother’s appearance at the RNC. If the Conway family is a metaphor for American politics...I think this means it's not working. 


    Header image via Wikimedia Commons

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