Yesterday, we got details on the 34 felony counts for which a Manhattan Grand Jury—everyday Americans across race, background, and party—has indicted former president Trump. The grand jurors weighed the evidence and decided he must stand trial. This is the first indictment of the former MAGA president for a raft of felonious behavior.
Republicans in Congress have enabled and excused many of Trump’s crimes, from campaign finance violations as “Individual-1,” to high crimes such as seditious conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, incitement to violent insurrection, violations of the Emoluments clause by using his office to personally enrich himself, and violations of the Espionage Act in taking hundreds of top secret documents with him to his retirement resort Mar-a-Lago. The NY state justice system has stepped up to take the former president to account; we’re glad to see it, and we hope this is just the beginning.
As Americans, we deserve leaders who act honorably in our interests and govern in our name. After Trump’s first two years in office, we voted to put Democrats back in charge of the House in response to his dangerous racist and unpatriotic policies. We voted the MAGA leader out of office in 2020, fed up with his lethal incompetence. Yet the MAGA Republicans who used him as their vehicle to take away our freedoms and empower the wealthiest few, have continued scheming and lying for him, promoting The Big Lie, plotting a coup that included a violent insurrection, and pressuring state Republican leaders to overturn our votes. MAGA Republicans are still lying for him and won’t stop unless they see him face consequences for his many crimes, serious enough to demonstrate that Trump’s reckless criminality is not and cannot be the future of the United States.
This first indictment is just one case (and an element of a broader track record and criminal conspiracy) and one step on the path to accountability for the American people. There is much more pending criminal and civil litigation facing the former MAGA president, so we’ve prepared a Deep Dive on resources available to help us all track their progress.
Tell the City Capital Planning Committee: Make Climate a Priority
San Francisco has decent climate goals on paper, but we need the City to seek the funding it needs to fulfill those goals. To build or refurbish infrastructure to protect our climate, it is necessary for the voters of the City to pass bonds. These bonds can be put on the ballot as soon as next year—if they receive the committee approvals they need. Three ideas for such bonds were endorsed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in December:
- A dedicated $300–500 million General Obligation bond for building decarbonization, to fund efficiency and electrification retrofits for existing residential buildings;
- Increasing the size of the upcoming affordable housing G.O. bond by $50–100 million to fund the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund for Climate Action Plan-aligned housing investment;
- A dedicated $300–500 million transportation G.O. Bond to fund public transit, active transportation, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
However, the SF Capital Planning Committee hasn’t included any such ballot measures in their planning for 2024. The time is late, and the need is dire for the Committee to consider one or more climate bonds.
Add your name to the SF Climate Emergency Coalition city bond funding demand letter and make your voice heard.
How to support Pajaro farm workers suffering devastating losses from a levee break in March
On Monday, President Biden granted a Major Disaster Declaration for California, including relief for the town of Pajaro, where March storms severely harmed our regional neighbors in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. A levee broke on March 11 and the Pajaro River flooded this farmworker community, forcing more than 2,000 people to evacuate.
It will take time for federal relief to arrive. Residents are starting to return, but they have lost most of their possessions, they have a lot of repair and restoration to do, and their livelihood remains at great risk.
To help those who face a long and difficult recovery, there are many groupson the ground providing cash, clothing, food, and cleanup supplies to the victims of this disaster, and they could use your financial support:
- Center for Farmworker Families provides direct support to farmworkers (donation page)
- Campesina Womb Justice GoFundMe organized by María Ramos Bracamantes
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Community Foundation of Santa Cruz Disaster Fund
- Community Foundation for Monterey County
Less than 2 weeks left: Public comment to end penalties on SSI beneficiaries receiving food aid
Currently, around 5 million people who are impoverished, disabled, or seniors rely on the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) administered by the Social Security Administration. This income amounts to $914 a month, but can be reduced by about a third if a beneficiary is receiving food aid. This is because food aid is considered “in-kind support and maintenance” (ISM).
The Social Security Administration is proposing a rule change that would remove food from ISM, so that SSI beneficiaries are not penalized for getting help with food.
Submit a Public Comment Directly at the Federal Register. Comments are due by Monday, April 17, 2023.
Lawyer and advocate Matthew Cortland made a blog post on Patreon explaining the details of this rule change and how to most effectively comment on it. Remember, comments written in your own words are the most effective.
VICTORY in Wisconsin: Janet Protasiewicz wins for Supreme Court!
Janet Protasiewicz appears to have won her race to join Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. As we write this on Tuesday evening, the margin is about 57% to 43%, though the exact numbers may change as all the votes are counted, and the AP has called the race as of 6:53 PM our time.
Wisconsin voters have elected a defender of reproductive freedom to their Supreme Court. We congratulate them on their excellent choice, and all volunteers for the work they did to get the word out about this critical election.
If you participated in postcarding, letter-writing, or phone-banking for this election, you helped make this happen. Thank you. You’ve proven again that when we show up, we win.
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens.
Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, April 13, 7:30–9 PM. Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. Register here!
Virtual Town Hall on Mental Health and Addiction: Monday, April 10, 6–7:30 PM. Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, California Senator Scott Weiner will be hosting a virtual town hall focused on behavioral health and addiction. RSVP here.
Budget Training and Community Advocacy Meetings: April and May.
Budget Trainings hosted by Budget Justice Coalition: Learn about the budget of San Francisco and how to advocate for your community! Next meeting is an Add-Back Training—advocating for your community in the budget process—on Tuesday, April 11, from 11 AM–1 PM. Register at https://tinyurl.com/Add-BackTraining.
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s image is a photo of Donald J. Trump arriving at the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday. It was taken by Benjamin Norman for The New York Times.
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