Another Speaker vote, ballot questions affirming reproductive rights, Scholastic Book Fairs, and more!
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- ANOTHER SPEAKER VOTE TODAY – AGAINWe still do not have a Speaker of the House. Jim Jordan failed, for the second time, to secure the needed 217 votes. The next vote for House Speaker is scheduled to take place today. In addition to the 18 GOP House members from districts that Biden won in 2020, and the 22 who voted against Jordan yesterday, there are also some GOP U.S. House members who have announced they are not running for re-election and so, perhaps, have less to lose. Let’s do what we did yesterday and reach out to the Republicans on these lists, especially if they are from our district or our state and tell them that it’s time to find a bipartisan solution to help move the country forward.
- SUPPORT BALLOT QUESTIONS AFFIRMING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTSIn addition to the Ohio ballot question, which comes up to voters this November, organizations in several states are attempting to put questions on the 2024 ballot that relate to reproductive rights. Some of these questions aim to amend the state’s Constitution to affirm the right to reproductive choice and others aim to restrict abortion in nearly all circumstances. Let’s make sure to track these questions, and if there is one happening in our state, find out how we can help assure that reproductive choice is affirmed. We can also help this year’s effort in Ohio by donating or volunteering with Ohians for Reproductive Freedom.
- INCLUDE LEGISLATORS IN OUR CONTACT LISTSFrom a reader: Add your elected reps, especially Senators, member of Congress, state assemblyperson and state senator along with all of their phone numbers to your cell phone. Sometimes I’ve needed to call more than one office of an elected representative in order to leave a message. Let’s do this!
- SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIRS FALL TO PRESSUREIt appears that the popular Scholastic Book Fairs that are held at countless schools each year has succumbed to the pressure of the far right. They have culled their diversity books and created a separate mini-collection that schools can choose to include, or not. The books in question include those we want our children to have. Wanting to remain open minded and offering a wide selection of choices, school librarians are seeking other book fair options to Scholastic. Let’s make sure our school opts IN for these diversity books and let’s tell Scholastic that we want them to stand up for our children’s access to diverse materials that reflect as well as explain and expand their world.
- STRONGER PENALTIES FOR OSHA VIOLATIONS
Last New Year’s Eve, a 34-year-old mother of three named Courtney Edwards working at the Montgomery, Alabama regional airport was ingested into a plane engine and killed. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration fined an American Airlines affiliate for the safety breach that led to her death… $15,625, the maximum possible under the law. Under the last Congress, the House Committee on Education and Labor approved significant hikes in penalties for violation of OSHA standards – raising the maximum for a single incident to $70,000 and for repeated, willful and failure to abate violations to $700,000, but it did not become law. Let’s reach out to our members of Congress and let them know we’d like them to revisit this issue and ensure families like Courtney’s get justice, and their employers have a stronger incentive to keep them safe.
- AR – ARKANSAS’ BANNING OF AP AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY Despite a 2022 approval of the course code, Arkansas has now reversed itself and will not give high school credit for AP African American History, claiming that they can’t approve a “pilot” course that violates state policies against instruction “that would indoctrinate students with ideologies,”. We need to let both Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (501-682-2345 or 500 Woodlane St., Little Rock, AR 77201) and the Arkansas Department of Education (Sect. Jacob Oliva, 501-682-4475 or Four Capital Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201) know that this ban is racist and unconscionable and it needs to be approved for next semester.
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